Alisa

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Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
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I would do 3.5 stars if I could. The first half of the book dragged for me at some points, and I was glad the second half came as a fascinating surprise. But then the ending, which was its own mini-story, didn’t seamlessly blend for me with the rest ...more
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In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
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Wow. a full-throated five stars for this incredible memoir/collection of stories. What a fascinating look at queer intimate partner violence. I found myself highlighting often.
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The Need by Helen          Phillips
The Need
by Helen Phillips (Goodreads Author)
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It feels like the kind of book that will be made into a movie--full of twists and turns. The meditation on motherhood is interesting and disturbing. The writing is gorgeous.
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Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
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Recently re-read this classic for a book club, and remembered that I'd liked it the first time. It's funny and moving and Rita Mae Brown is a badass. The writing doesn't blow me away, but worth reading for a look at gay women in the 60s, and a tale ...more
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Drift by Rachel  Maddow
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Wow. A comprehensive takedown by Rachel Maddow of extreme amount of resources we spend on the American military. The chapters on Reagan reminded me that Americans electing TV celebrities who lie to the public is not just a problem of this election ...more
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Jailhouse Lawyers by Mumia Abu-Jamal
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I often found this book to be rambling. However, it is a perspective on the judicial system that I was completely unacquainted with, and therefore I found it very much worth reading. Mumia Abu-Jamal has been in prison for decades. He has something ...more
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The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri
The Ungrateful Refugee
by Dina Nayeri (Goodreads Author)
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What an amazing mixture of autobiography, storytelling, and philosophy. Especially recommended for people who are not refugees but who work with refugees. A reflection on what it means to be a refugee, and what it means to welcome people.
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The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys
by Colson Whitehead (Goodreads Author)
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A devastating novel based on a true story about a “reform” school where boys were beaten and killed. Honestly hard to read for the sheer brutality of the events, including endless racism. Also worth reading and magnificently crafted.
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Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
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An amazing journey of a book across a landscape of emotions, mostly. A look at the child refugee crisis and the end of a marriage wrapped in a thin veneer of plot. I loved all the luminescent stories-within-stories. You will either love or hate the ...more
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On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
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Melancholy and poetic account of relationships: a doomed gay romance, and a complicated mother-son bond. Not plot-centered, but compelling for the pearls of language throughout.
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