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Read a thousand books, and your words

will flow like a river.

- Lisa See

Landis by Shelly Mack

What a fun read! Mack has created distinct characters that I felt like I knew by the end of the story. Mack has handled the multiple points of view expertly, propelling the storyline forward while exploring individual motivations and struggles. The magic, the fairies, and the threat on the kingdom kept me turning the page. 

Disconnected by Riley Cross

1984 meets Ready Player One in a game to win control. This well-written fast-paced novel sucked me in to the dystopian world and had me on edge as the mystery unfolded. Chiara is a strong female protagonist who earns her place and shows her mettle. Her smarts, courage, and tenacity are inspiring.

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The Conjurer's Curse by Stephanie Cotta

There was never a dull moment as I followed Rowan on his journey to break the curse that killed all those who loved and got close to him. Cotta has developed characters with emotional depth, whose struggles I felt. Their complexities ring true, and I was sucked into Rowan's adventures and all the twists and surprises.

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The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Set during the Dust Bowl, this story focuses on the challenges faced in the era -- especially the challenges women faced: keeping children safe and fed, supporting a family when work and pay is sparse, standing up against those in power. Listening to this book made a 12 hour drive fly by -- and made me thankful for all the strong women who paved the way for me.  

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Chiang's stories are so beautifully crafted and detailed that I could almost forget they are science fiction and not reality. The stories in this collection are varied and creative, but they consistently pose questions about humanity--our choices, our values, our purpose. They left me thinking long after I left their worlds. 

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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

This is a deeply researched book that explores eight pillars that are the foundation of caste systems across civilizations. Wilkerson masterfully intertwines personal narratives, history, and contemporary society to explore hidden hierarchies of power. I haven't read her Pulitzer Prize winning Warmth of Other Suns yet, but I need to when I finish this one. 

Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber

A perfect summer read with magical realism, love, and forgiveness all in a small Alabama town. And it made me want to eat pie...but maybe not blackbird pie.

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