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Member: LisaCurcio

CollectionsRead (726), LT recommendation (131), Language reference (13), Non-fiction (362), Fiction (822), Your library (999), Wishlist (16), To read (415), Read but unowned (201), Favorites (69), All collections (1,329)

Reviews23 reviews

TagsTBR (412), Given away (270), Mystery (211), Acquired 2010 (148), History (143), 2008 (90), 2009 (89), Fantasy (82), Acquired 2011 (71), Translation (71) — see all tags

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Recommendations1 recommendations

About meI am one of those who reads the back of cereal boxes over and over if there is nothing else to read.

"The worst affliction of our age--stupidity.

Stupidity is not always easy to diagnose. The simplest form of stupidity--the mumbling, nose-picking, stolid incomprehension--can be detected by anyone. But the stupidity which disguises itself as thought, and which talks so glibly and eloquently, indeed never stops talking, in every walk of life is not so easy to identify, because it marches under a formidable name, which few dare attack. It is called Popular Opinion, and sometimes the Received Wisdom of the Race. It looks as though it came from some form of mental activity or spiritual grace, but it does not, and its true name is Intellectual Stasis. Robertson Davies lecture to doctors on November 18, 1984 at Johns Hopkins.

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Well, I doubt I would step into the street but I surely have wanted to knock people's hats off from time to time. And then it is time to go to sea.

What Kind of Reader Are You? Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm What Kind of Reader Are You?Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

About my libraryI use LT as a place to keep track of my reading--books that I have read and plan to read. I want to keep a list of books that I actually own, to try to list books I have given away (so I don't buy the darn things again!)and even keep a list of books I have borrowed and read so I can buy the ones I want to own and not buy the ones I have no interest in seeing again.

The list is, and probably always will be, a work in progress. I add books as I acquire them or read them, but I would rather read or do other things when I am not working than take the time to reconstruct a list of what I no longer have. The books in stacks around the house--I will get to them someday.

Actually, I have a problem with reading. Almost every time I pick up a book, I start out thinking it is just a little book--no harm in that. Next thing I know my "friends" are giving me more information about the book, or the history, or the area, or the culture. Then, it seems like a good idea to maybe investigate other books by the same author, or other books on the same topic, or other books of the same genre, or even history, anthropology, archeology related to the book I am reading. Keep following that path--now there is no time for work, so I won't have any money; I can't buy more books; I fall into despair.

It's not just a book--it is the bane of my existence!

" . . .the books are advancing silently, innocently through my house. There is no way I can stop them." The House of Paper by Carlos Maria Domingues

"I confess I have been a rake at reading. I have read those things which I ought not to have read, and I have not read those things which I ought to have read, and there is no health in me--if by health you mean an inclusive and coherent knowledge of any body of great literature." Robertson Davies

"(W)hat doubles the pleasure of reading is the subconscious feeling that I ought, most of the time, to be doing something else." The Buying of Books, Carl S. Patton, Atlantic Monthly, February, 1922

If you have never said "Excuse me" to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you are probably wasting too much valuable reading time. ~Sherri Chasin Calvo

Best of 2009

Brat Farrar, Josephine Tey
The Glass Palace, Amitav Ghosh
Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
Christ Stopped at Eboli, Carlo Levi
Burnt Shadows, Kamila Shamsie
Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh
A Darker Place, Laurie King
The Given Day, Dennis Lehane
Resistance: A Frenchwoman's Journal of the War, Agnes Humbert
A Thread of Grace, Mary Doria Russell
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
The Leopard, Giussepe di Lampedusa

Best of 2010
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Midaq Alley, Naguib Mahfouz
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
The Plague, Albert Camus
The Three Musketeers, Alexander Dumas
Chef: A Novel, Jaspreet Singh
Wizard of the Crow, Ngugi wa Thiong'o
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery

Best of 2011

Bleak House, Charles Dickens
The Cornish Trilogy, Robertson Davies
Venus and the Voters (The Alone to the Alone), Gwyn Thomas
The Cunning Man, Robertson Davies
Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess
Can You Forgive Her? Anthony Trollope
Summer Will Show, Sylvia Townsend Warner
Martin Chuzzlewit, Charles Dickens
Straight Man, Richard Russo

Best of 2012
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens (Reread)
Collection: Mississippi Writings, Mark Twain, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi, Pudd'nhead Wilson

GroupsBully's Tavern, Chicagoans, Club Read 2010, Le Salon des Amateurs de la Langue, Le Salon du peuple pour le peuple, The Federalist Papers, The Idea of Justice, The Idea of Justice Redux, Tropic of Ideas

Favorite authorsEric Ambler, E. F. Benson, Taylor Branch, Willa Cather, Winston S. Churchill, Robertson Davies, Tomie dePaola, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Alice Thomas Ellis, E. M. Forster, Amitav Ghosh, Dorothy Gilman, Victor Hugo, Roy Jenkins, Guy Gavriel Kay, Laurie R. King, Alex Kotlowitz, Madeleine L'Engle, Donna Leon, Naguib Mahfouz, William Manchester, Thomas Mann, David McCullough, John Mortimer, Eric Newby, Iris Origo, Elizabeth Peters, Tamora Pierce, Dorothy L. Sayers, Paul Scott, Georges Simenon, Wallace Stegner, John Steinbeck, Josephine Tey, J. R. R. Tolkien, Anthony Trollope, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Émile Zola (Shared favorites)

Also onBookMooch

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameLisa Curcio


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/LisaCurcio (profile)
/catalog/LisaCurcio (library)

Member sinceJan 29, 2008

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Well, I was "only" off by a couple of hundred miles. At least I didn't pick the Amazon, Seine or Nile.
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Nice sun set pic. Maybe Calumet River?
Thanks! Adam Bede is one of the few Eliots I haven't read yet, along with Romola and Felix Holt. I'm excited that something so good is yet to come for me. Are you going to write a review???

I'm reading The Woodlanders (Hardy) at the moment, and am surprised at how much I'm enjoying it. (Never could get into Tess). Maybe I might treat myself to Adam Bede when I've finished it :)
Thanks for your hello on my profile a while back!
I've missed the Tavern.
Thanks for the note. We are fine! Still adjusting...but I'll be back soon.
oh and also, have fun boating! Tell us all about it afterwards.
Dear Lisa

What personal item could you have included with the book? you ask. A rudder, an anchor--wrapped the book in sail cloth...(My wife loves those ziplock bags, by the way.)

Thanks very much--it matches one of my Melville books and the kids will certainly have their day with it.

Middle class? Maybe. Dull? Hardly.

take care,

'Back to the coffin!'
they just won't let him rest
Dear Lisa,

that would be wonderful

my address is Sončno nabrežje 6

Izola 6310

To a seaman, a ship is no piece of mechanism merely, but a creature of thoughts and fancies, instinct with life. Standing at her vibrating helm you feel her beating pulse. I have loved ships as I have loved men. Mardi 37 Melville
thanks, lisa
Hi Lisa--Good to hear from you. Sorry for the delay in responding.

I am reading my way through the Rougon-Macquart series in order. I had read several of the more well known books previously, so I reread those as they come up. I'll be starting Pot Luck soon, which puts me more than half way through the series. I'm really enjoying it. There have been a couple that I was lukewarm about, but for the most part I'm finding the quality of the lesser known works to be excellent.

I write a short review/comments for each one. I don't always post to the book page, but post each one in the comments column in my library if you ever want to check one of them out.

See you around. I'd love to hear your comments on any of the books in the series as you read them.

Yes! RL is taking over. I am in the process of moving!, baby prep, dr's appointments and having to go to stupid work. Aaargh. All I've been able to read of late is Anne of Green Gables books. I had forgotten how good they are!

Thank you for asking.
Hey Lisa,
How was Florida? Did you buy a bunch of things at the boat show? Mike and I went to Hawaii for vacation. We hated to leave, the weather was beautiful. We got home on Saturday afternoon and of course it was snowing when we walked out of the airport! I didn't read anything of note, just some fun, easy books. I got a huge TBR pile going now!

Mary Ellen
lol, well, I don't knooooooooooww, it might be pretentious to give each other classy book references, no? shouldn't we all be buying trashy books at Tesco?

It's The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay, with this famous opening line:

"Take my camel, dear", said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass.
Thanks Lisa, I may dip a toe in from time to time, the water does indeed look fine but damn, it flows fast!

Dangerous library, going back to browse...

Dear Lisa,

sneak off to the everglades for some python hunting...

I think the 'read' will start in week

take care,

Thanks for the clarification!
Lisa, I must confess I haven't been following the birthday thread. Are all your lists that follow Por's the ones you already knew about?
Thanks again, again! I just did the paypal thing and it seemed to work. I'm surprised how easy that was. I hope I did it right. I guess I'll find out.

Mary ellen
Thank you Lisa! I'll contact him now!
Mary ellen
On my profile: "I'll read a Pony Club Manual if there's nothing else available." Hmmmmmm, Is there a name for this syndrome????
Lisa, I have finally begun posting on my music project. You were interested in the past so I thought I would give you a heads up. It's in the group "Readers Over Sixty", the topic is "Gene's Juke Box".

If you check it out, I hope you enjoy it.
Hey Lisa, I think I will join you guys for the Bruce Chatwain book for February. Although I would much rather read your other selection, but I see I won't have time to buy it. I was laughing when I read all your posts about the Tito lighter and all. I would have LOVED a Tito lighter. Is the author living in a pro-Tito area of the former Yugoslavia?
Thanks! At least we got some sun today! Mary Ellen
Hey Lisa! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. Thanks for the warm welcome. To be honest I am always pretty reluctant to comment in the forums because I feel like Gomer Pyle walking in on a society tea. Everyone seems so well read and smart, it's intimidating. Too much ego on my part, I guess. I've tried reading Moby Dick and I just can't get through it. My husband just read it a couple of months ago and he raves about it. I'll tackle it one day. Are you guys planning on reading anything else together this year? Reading a book with someone and talking about it is so much fun. I love your profile page! You have the cutest dogs ever and I love the quotes you used.
Take care, Mary Ellen
oh yes! that would be great. I do want to read more Zola this year, if I can pick them up here and there. I think my copy of Germinal still has my old notes in it. amazing book.
Love love love the boat pics!
Hey thanks, Lisa.

I avoided it for a long time myself. But when I finally got around to it, the first time, I read it in two sittings over a weekend. Couldn't put it down. It's since then become a sort of reference work for me, one in which I've read certain sections over and over again. She's just so preternaturally wise in her writing. She could've been a philosopher, I'm sure, had she honed her talents in that direction.

Best to you too!
dear Lisa,

But I DO want to know...this process gives me nerves
It probably is in some places hereabouts already. Newport Harbor puts on a spectacular one. That pic is from a few years ago when we head down to the Naples canals in Long Beach for our annual holiday jaunt among the outrageously decorated homes that line the canals. Lights and mini-rollercoasters on front decks and patios like you wouldn't believe. There's a boat parade they have there too but we've never been to that one, but the boats are abundant enough it might as well be a constant parade. Awesome place this time of year.
oh no, i just think the whole thing can be either exasperating or funny and I choose funny. The customer shouldn't have to do much thinking, and the expenses should not all be thrown at the customer. so goes my little ethos.

at any rate, my book is in an envelope headed for Chicago.

uživaj (a Slovene take it easy)
Dear Lisa,

I'll send the book tomorrow. Thanks much

Dear Lisa,

Nothing should be too easy. I am a paypal person, yes. But I found out today that i cannot withdraw money from my Paypal account unless i have a VISA card. A friend warned me of this potential problem, I called the paypal peoples, and they said no problem, sent an email that went into elaborate half-truths about Slovakia...I called again and was told get thee a VISA card. I'll see if I can.

Done. I am a paypal person. I have to figure out some way of getting a page set up, I suppose a simple website, but for now, person by person I can do it.

Next I have to figure the price. The book is 24 euros, and mailing a single copy is between 7 and 8 more. That's an obscene figure in dollars, more or less 40. I already have my publisher's permission to sell at 20 euros (discounts for unemployed, underemployed, single parents, students, pensioners, and one other I keep forgetting, so can be used by friends...). If I sell it for 34 dollars including postage, I receive after postage 16 euros and I can probably get my pubisher to agree to that. What do you think? It sounds like a lot.

let this serve as an advertisement for the curious:

Rick Harsch
So glad to be back, Lisa. Thanks! Sometimes you don't know what you've really got till its gone. Cliche is true.

While I was away I wrote a blog piece chronicling an early adventure of ours called "Tet Baby". I'd link it for you but my dang browser here at work can't handle the load my blog creates.
You're quick! How about your thoughts?? I'm still about halfway through book 3, I read the Davies books at lunch times, so as to draw them out longer.
No, I don't, Lisa, but have used that Web site. It's one of the reasons why I recommended the Antietam battle site--i know from the Web site what it's about. I want to check out the Chickamauga site to get a better feel of what I'll be seeing.

I'm sure there are other resources.

Above all, make sure you read David Powell's The Maps of Chickamauga as well. It's a terrific explanation of a complicated battle.
Lisa,, according to what I've been told, there's a great deal to see around Chattanooga/Chickamauga. You can spend days there. I know I intend to next year.

Based on what I've read about different Civil War sites, one you might want to visist if you take a detour is in Maryland--the Antietam/Sharpsburg batlefield. I understand that it's a very good site, and certainly an important one.
Are you willing to detour/drive through Virginia?

Let me take a look at some maps.

Hello Lisa,

Glad to hear you are well. Whine away, long winters are depressing !
I think this "wanting to know how it ends" is quite normal and universal, we are a curious primate after all. This is also the reason why we need a second and eventual third reading, we miss so much in our haste.

Now at least you can focus on several threads developed through the pages.
While the commentator TJ. Reed saw in the MM a spiritual biography, a confession and apologia, an intricate allegory, a kind of historical novel, an analysis of Man, a declaration of principle for practical humanism and a parody of a German Buildungsroman, you should stick to a only a few of these themes. Let me propose the seven (seven is the number to remember in this book) most obvious themes, you should keep an eye on, when reading the book a second time.

1 A Bildungsroman or a parody of a bildungsroman. The Education of Hans / Castorp learning’s process / philosophical principles from which he has to choose / ways of living
The 7 teachers are : Jonathan, Settembrini, Clavdia, Naphta, Peeperkoorn, Krokowski and Behrens

2 Dissertation about time. What is time ?

3 Symbolic forces fighting over the soul of Europe, coded through the Geography of the Novel ( The danger of the East and the south for the North and the west

4 Love and Nurture versus Death ( Hans dance around Death and Love )

5 Art versus Science

6 Sickness vs health

7 Music

One of the major feats of Mann,is how he keeps our interest with his realistic descriptions / all the gossip ( who loves who ? Who is gay ? who betrays who )/
Play with symbols : the number seven, cigars, thermometers, pens , Music /
the characters , Hans equipment, the book, the cane, the hat, the plaid


The group readings are interesting but I too only participate if it is a book I want to read in the first place. SO I participate only in a few. Moby Dick maybe in 2012.
I have my own reading program and am presently working on EM Forster and his passage to India.

Enjoy your boat, your two cute dogs and the Mountain


Hi Lisa, Yes I seemed to drop off the radar for a while there. I think there was too much going on and I simply cut out librarything only for the behavior to form as a habit. I was thinking 'gosh it's been a while since...' and then I looked at the date on you're message and gasped. Goodness knows where the time goes.


I have "The Glass Palace" on my reading list but have yet to get round to reading it. I read Emma Larkin's "Everything is Broken" which recounts the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis and had the good fortune to meet her in Paris at 'Shakespeare and Co' this last summer.

Thanks for the invitation, Lisa. I will check out the Federalist/Anit-Federalist group.

Well, you are definitely missed and I will pass along your hello, Lisa!
If you didn't get a chance to read it in paperback, The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed is now up as a podcast on Woven into the podcast are the songs of 20 contemporary Asbury Park bands (the legacy of Springsteen) is free and hassle free. The direct URL is


Hey, girl! You make it through the storms okay?
Will send one out to your tomorrow! Thanks! - Lois
I haven't the vaguest notion if I ever replied to your comment in June.

Herodotus, hmm? I'm tempted. What's involved? Might be interested if I can get it on Kindle.

Thank you for welcoming me into the Herodotus discussion. I'll try to keep up with it, but I'm trying to write a dissertation, so I might fall behind. You should be aware that my attempt to found a religion with The Histories as our sacred text failed, however. I blame a lack of persecutions and martyrs.
I'm really going to miss Reading Girl, but you've asked, and you have received.

Slow day today, last few days. It'll pick up, I suspect.
Hi Lisa! Yes, I have it. At a recent book-signing, I even had the author and photographer inscribe it for me. In fact, I know them both, and worked in the same building with the photographer for many years. Do you live in Illinois? I'm in Carbondale.
Walter (bookwalter)
Ditto the below!

You've put more into Herodotus preliminaries than most ever do into the actual read. A pleasure to behold. Thank you for all your hard work!

Hi Lisa,
It's been a long time since you invited me to join your August group on Herodotus. What a leap from La Salon! I am definitely interested as I read a little of his Histories (there are several volumes) several years ago. Were you planning a Private or Public Group? And thanks so much for the nice things you said about my posts. I, also, find your post most interesting and and thought provoking. Here is a link to Herodotus that is very informative:
LOL... me too. Been tapping my toes ever since I posted it. Takes me back to high school dayz and rafting the Clackamas River in PDX. I can picture you at your desk, squirming. ;-)
Thought you would like the Doobies! ;-) Loving your river tales! ♥
re "little time" -- "Don't just read good books, read only the best". Although "Carpe Diem" sometimes leads to a great experience.
Thanks for your invite to "Herodotus". I read him when I was quite young and could do with some refreshing.
I'm suprised to hear Chicago does not have a significiant, independent bookseller, like Denver, Seattle, Portland, etc. Good review on The Magic Mountain. It sounds like it is a 'mountain' of a book to really understand on a deep level. I think I need to get through Grossman's version of Don Quixote first. With kids, reading time is rather limited, so I continue to collect, and collect,.. I noticed you added some Jeff Smith cookbooks. Also, a Chicago native, I belive. He was my primary inspiration, while in college, for not only learning how to cook, but loving the process. I owe his PBS programs many thanks for my affection of the culinary arts.
Hi, Lisa--

Good to hear from you! I've wondered what you've been up to. As for me, I've had the Year From Hell--just about exactly 12 months of health troubles, either mine (fractured pelvis) or our 15 1/2 year old Lab, Ethel, who it turns out has gastritis, has to have special prescription diet, and enough care to ties us both down. Not to mention just the ordinary exasperations of living! But things have eased up on the health front lately, and that's good.

I have absolutely no time for any type of thread or discussion. I do some reviews on Goodreads but not every book I read. I keep current on my catalogues on both sites (LT and Goodreads), more out of a sense of duty than anything else. Yes, and about the only thing outside of house, dog, and lawn maintenance I do is read, and I'm successfully keeping up with my Kindle DX. I don't know if you have one, but I love mine. Only problem is any type of graphics: poor resolution. I never intended to do all my book buying on Kindle (although 95% is about what I'm doing) and history books or anything where graphics are important are definitely out. But it's great for mysteries and truly wonderful for checking out new authors cheaply, since I have to buy all my books and import hard copies as well. so it's serving me very well.

Perhaps you'll get a kick out of this--I've started Gibbon's history of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire!! So far, I haven't managed to get beyond about page 60+ of the Intro!! LOL

Also, almost through with Pillar of Fire, which has turned out to be a surprise--in that, I had no use for Lyndon Johnson before I started reading it, and have been pleasantly surprised at his real dedication to Civil Rights--far better than Kennedy's. Well, always willing to accept new info. :-)

Do check in when you can and I'll try to remember to do the same

Hi Lisa,

According to Wikipedia, "locum tenens" is Latin for "place holder", which sounds right. Locum tenens doctors fill in for doctors in the private practice or hospital setting who are out on extended leave, e.g. maternity leave or significant illness. Since a large percentage of pediatricians are women of childbearing age, there is almost always a need for locum tenens PCPs (primary care pediatricians) in a major metropolitan area like Chicago. One of my partners, who is also a former classmate from residency, told me that Bilkis was doing locum tenens work in Chicago. Bilkis sent me a Facebook message last week, but she didn't mention what she was doing, work wise.

You're certainly in good company, amongst many of us who continue to buy books despite having hundreds of books that we're eager to read! I'm certain that I have more "must read" books on my shelves than my local Borders does. But, I did print out the latest Borders coupon, and I'll head there later today or tomorrow, to pick up "Solar" by Ian McEwan and "The Patience Stone" by Atiq Rahimi. I'm sure to add a dozen or more books to my collection next week, when I take the short train ride from my parents' home to NYC. Sigh...

I'll post some introductory comments to "The Plague" threads later today or tomorrow, after I read the sections in "Albert Camus: A Life" that refer to its creation and inspiration. I haven't read it in 20 years or so, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to examine it with readers of different backgrounds.

Hi Lisa,

I'm doing well at the moment, as I just started a 16 day break from work today, after working 11 of the past 12 days, most of which were 12-16 hours in length. I still haven't made plans, but I'll probably stay in Atlanta for most of the coming week (chores, taxes, hospital committee meetings), and then travel to Philadelphia to visit my parents, family and friends for a week and a half. I'll be much more active on LT starting tomorrow, as I plan to read 8-12 books during that time. I'll also host the group read of The Plague by Albert Camus, which will start next month.

I hope that you're doing well. I'd love to know what you buy at Myopic Books. I'll probably call my Chicago friend and classmate from residency next week, to see what she's up to. I saw her a couple of months ago when she came through Atlanta, and I think she's doing locum tenens work in the city, until she can find a permanent position.

Thanks Lisa for pointing out the discussion.

Aside from the philosophy 101 course I took in college, I have only read a few pop-philosophy titles like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, The River Why, and Good without God, as well as some essays mostly dealing with Ethics and morals from a Atheistic/Secular perspective. I find that I am able to relate more to philosophical ideas that draw on nature and critical examination for sound conclusions on the human condition.I also taken an interest in the History and Philosophy of Science.

I figure that reading Philosophy: History & Problems, will give me enough background to pursue some of the specific problems. I'll be interested to hear thoughts on the on Rawl's and Sen's books. I have read the essay that Rawls' titled "A Theory of Justice." I think this was the basis for the larger book. Sadly I don't know if I gained a lot from that essay.

The list of future titles (Tentative):

Meditations for the Humanist by A. C. Grayling
Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science by Peter Godfrey-Smith
Candide by Voltaire
Writings by Thomas Paine and Henry David Thoreau
I would like to find a decent title that survey's Eastern thought, but so far I haven't had much luck.
good concise review !
off you go for asecond reading !
Read your review of The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. It is going on my TBR list. Fantastic review!!
You are too kind! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. It's always great when a Big Important Imposing Work turns out to be accessible and even enjoyable :)
Hello Lisa,

I try to review everything I read but ofcourse it takes time and inspiration. Sometimes i lack both.
Lisa, If you decide to buy Herodotus choose the Landmark edition. It is super !
Snow is a pivotal chapter. Hans has his near death experience and decides to live. His dream has shown him the barbarity at the core of all civilized societies ( the witches ) whatever the philosophical discussion.

I have now 5 half read books on my night-table and I have to finish and review them onen by one or I will lag indifinitely behind : )


Hi Lisa,

Just saw this today and thought it might be of interest to you re Herodotus translations:

Lisa, people who share Burch and Bowditch in their Libraries must be friends... don't you think : )
: ) Tell me something !

I switch constantly from Pamuk to Nabokov to Eco and back. Really frustrating !
Hi Lisa,

I have started my name is red andI too have swallowed the bait. It looks like it will be a very good read.


In its series on “Underappreciated Authors,” The Librarything group Le Salon Litteraire du Peuple pour le Peuple is doing a month-long interview with me about my novel The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed. The interview starts February 1. If the intersection of fiction and music interests you, please drop by. The URL is Alex
Hi Lisa
Congratulations on your hot review listed on today's home page!

Did you join the 75 challenge group for 2010? I don't see posts by you.

I hope all is well.

I love the photo of your dogs!



Are you still interested in "Preserving the Italian Way"? I recently picked up a copy in London at a discount and may be able to get you one for about $15.

Here are the primary points to the table of contents (and their page numbers, to gauge chapter size):
Preserves 11
Preserving 14
Preserving in Oil 15
Vegetables in Vinegar 47
Wild Mushrooms 71
Olives 81
Fish 105
Cheese 125
Sauces 137
Salami & Salted Meats 145
Liqueurs & Wine 177
Fruit Preserved in Grappa or Alcohol 183
Steps for Wine Making 187
Syrups 197
Dried Preserves 201
Bread 207
Herbs & Soap 216

The directions seem clear and thorough, though I'm not an experienced cook/preserver. The section on Salami is extensive and Bread includes diagrams for a brick-fired ovens. I suspect much of the information appears in other books on preserving, but if you want a Calabrian twist, this may suit you.


I've started contemplating Hugo's essay on Argot from Les Mis on my Club 2010 thread. Care to join? :)
Ooh! The Magic Mountain. I'll be interested to see how you like it. I see it mentioned alongside Proust quite often. I loved The Book Thief when I read it.

I am following your Books Off the Shelf Challenge quietly. That group filled up & got prolific so quickly that I panicked and put it on ignore, just so that my talk wouldn't be so cluttered. I'd still like to track my reading there but without a lot of chat, but I feel like I'd come off as rude.

that is absolutely hilarious. My Balzac project: LOL LOL LOL.

I spent two days in France communing with Honore at the Balzac Musee. I spoke to all the busts, (there must be thirty), I studied the portraits of the extended family, and the cartoons of the hundreds of figures who appear in the Comedie Humaine, weaving through many novels. In the garden where he had walked I sat on a bench and breathed "his" air. I bought the guide to the Musee and the book which reproduces all the cartoons. Elsewhere, I bought many of the novels en francais. I also have many of the novels in English, including a lovely 10 or 12 volume hardcover set.

And that, right now, is the Balzac project. I would love to do a scholarly read. Perhaps take ten or twelve important novels, read them quickly and then reread slowly. I would love to trace a character from novel to novel, and see how a naif in one novel will turn eventually into a degenerate or a fallen, pathetic figure. I would love to follow many avenues. Will I?

If I get my computer expert to make it work, I will be listening to Faulkner's Light in August for the next month and discussing it in the Salon du Faulkner. I am supposed to participate in the Pamuk Read in February and Infinite Jest in March.

My employer would sort of like it if I occasionally did a bit of work for them. My family needs.

So, bottom line, "Balzac project" is a dream. If I am alive for a long time, a few years down the road, perhaps, I will embark on it. I am looking forward to it already. LOL
I know, I also didn't really understand it the first time I read it - about 1985 or 86 I think. But I still enjoyed it immensely! And reading it again 20 years later and finding so much more in it, only goes to show what a superb book it is, to be able to stand the test of time and revealing more secrets through multiple readings.

Hi, Lisa,

Trust me, the movie will enhance your enjoyment of the book--and you'll want to reread the book immediately. Bur Lancaster gives the performance of his career of who knows how many others as the Prince. It is a superb film in and of itself, but Lancaster's performance is so stunning as to make it one of the most memorable films I have ever seen. I now can not think of the Prince in any other way except as Lancaster.

When you see the film, watch how Lancaster moves in it. I've now seen it on DVD maybe 3-4 times. The last time watched in particular to try to figure out how Lancaster gives such a sense of powerful presence--I mean potency--and it's in the way he moves.

You won't regret your time away from reading to watch this film. :-)


I saw your 5 star rating of The Leopard. Yes, one of my all-time favorites. If you haven't yet seen it, view the movie with Bert Lancaster. It is superb, a classic, a gem not to be missed. The DVD that I have has both the Italian version and the shorter one released for the US. Both are excellent but the Italian version is superior to the US one.

Hope your holiday season has been a good one. Mine has been perfect.

Hi Lisa- Thanks for the note! Myopic books? Sounds very interesting and yes a bit dangerous! Take care!

Hi Lisa- Thanks for the message! It's always nice hearing from a fellow-Chicagoan! I live in Downers Grove, raised in Oak Park. Yes, I will keep an eye out for more Stegner. Excellent author. I see you are on Bookmooch also. If you are ever going to put something on BM, that I might like, let me know! Send me the link to your 75 Challenge, I can follow what you are reading. Mine's under "Mark's Gallant Attempt", in the 75. Take care and hope to see you around more!
Thanks for the note! I hope you enjoy Les Mis & Middlemarch, I can hardly imagine anyone being disappointed with them. Since joining LT I have felt massively behind in my reading, as I encounter all sorts of people here who seem to have read everything! But I've made progress in the last couple of years, and wow, what great things I've read. I feel my soul expanding. :)

Are you keeping a reading thread? I know you had a couple going earlier this year, but they seem to be defunct. If you are, I'd be interested in seeing your thoughts on Middlemarch; if you're not and you're inclined to share anything, drop by my profile or my reading thread anytime.

I saw that you joined the Books Off the Shelf Challenge--I have followed suit. Maybe it'll help offset the other thing that LibraryThing does for me: make me buy massive stacks of books.
Thanks, Lisa,

for the compliment re my Belletrista review. The frustrating part of writing reviews is not knowing if anyone ever reads them. So I am glad to know at least one person did :-)

As far as Pamuk is concerned, I saw him doing a reading last month and was not necessarily impressed. But as someone commented to me recently about books and authors, "You don't complain about the goose liver pate based on the personality of the goose." I am not that eager to get Pamuk's most recent book, and my Mount TBR is teetering with no doubt 1,000 books on it. As far as I know the order in which you read his books is not all that important. One of the threads, Salon I think, is doing My Name Is Red in February, so perhaps we will discuss him then.

Take care,

Hi Lisa,

I enjoyed "Sea of Poppies", and am eagerly awaiting the next volume; if I remember correctly, Ghosh is planning a trilogy, of which "Sea of Poppies" is the first book. I'm eager to get your thoughts on "Discovery of India"; it's a book I've had my eye on for awhile, but haven't seen in any of the bookstores.

"Christ Stopped at Eboli" sounds interesting. I have a couple of books by or about Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir about their writings and experiences during the French Resistance that I hope to get to later this year or sometime next year.

If I haven't said so already, I'll probably read "The Good Doctors" during my Thanksgiving break, assuming that I finish the Thelonious Monk biography by that time.

Have a great weekend, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,
Dear Lisa;
I kindly invite you to:
Best regards Reinhardt [[user:Gangleri]]
Sorry for not answering very quickly but I've just seen your message today. I think Julin Blanc is a french writer (not one of the most famous...) who died in 1951. He has been a soldier in the 1st World War and participated to the Spanish Civil War. There's something on the "french Wikipedia" about his autobiographical novel "Seule la vie,...",_la_vie...
I hope this could be a bit useful
Your sincerely
jean paul
was thinking that you may find this thread interesting.
Hi again,
I forgot to mention the best buys on Daniel V. Gallery's books (or any for that matter)
are ex-library books. They are usually not in to bad condition but colletors don,t relish them. Two of mine are library copies.
Hi Lisa,
Glad to make you a convert to the exploits of Boatswains Mate First Class "Fatso" Gioninni.
Your not giong to like this info, but there is a book two called "Capt'n Fatso" which is just as funny as the first. As far as getting them it's hard. They haven't be re-printed in thirty years. I lucked out and got them on E-bay for about $10 to $20 dollars each ( got "Stand By-y-y to Start Engines" that way also).
I wish someone would reprint them. I'm surprised that the Naval Institute Press doen't
re-print them.
Anyway glad you are enjoying it. Hope you can find a copy.
Read your comments about Catona. going to prod my cousin to get to aur aunt and see if he can come up with anything else.

What's the word on War in Val d'Orcia?

I also see you liked 1776. I have his Pathway between the Seas, on the Panama Canal, which I have yet to read.
I should mention--I'm not posting to my thread anymore--doesn't seem worthwhile--so my reviews will be going up only on the book's page. Since you have me down as Interesting Libraries, you should see when I review a book on your home page. You can follow any reviews that interest you from there.

It may be a bit before I get to the Raj Quartet. Last night, I started reading Christ Stopped at Eboli, and was so intrigued by the first few pages that this morning I emailed a cousin in PA to see if he knows the name of the village in Calabria that our grandfather came from. My parents and all my aunts and uncles except one (and I have no idea how to get in touch with her) are dead, and I'm hoping that Tony either knows (not that likely) or knows some relative who may have the answer.

But the Raj Quartet is high on my list to read soon, and I'll probably get to it next month.

I'm having a difficult time reviewing lately, don't know why. Looking forward to reading yours!

What I really liked about the Lehane book was the labor and anarchist history. My father talked a lot about the Sacco-Vanzetti case, which occurred much later in time, and I've been meaning to look it up, but this was an interesting background.

Christ Stopped At Eboli arrived here the other day.
P.S. Thanks for the recommendation about "Plan de Paris". I had a copy of Access Paris, which I bought in 2007 when I was in London and planned to visit Paris, except that I was having so much fun in London that I never made it. This time for sure! My copy of "Plan de Paris" originally came from French and European Publications Inc., a famous NYC bookstore in Rockefeller Center that I had forgotten about. I'll be back in NYC in early July, so I'll definitely stop there. Any other recommendations on guide books or maps? I'll also look for a laminated pocket foldout map of the Métro similar to the one I have of the Underground. I'll plan to stay for the entire trip in London, and take Eurostar from St. Pancras to Gare Nord for a 2-3 day trip in early August.

Thanks again,

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the compliment about the photo. I still have to figure out how to post the others online, maybe in the next day or two.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed "Burnt Shadows"; I'm hoping that it makes the Booker Prize longlist. I haven't finalized the itinerary for my trip yet, but I should be in London on July 28, when the longlist will be announced. I'll probably pick up most of the longlisted books that I haven't already read (and are not available in the US) while I'm there, and it would be nice if the Shamsie and "Brooklyn" made the list, so that I can stuff my bags with one or two other books!

Black Oak Books is/was very good, with a nice selection of "serious" literature and literature in translation. Oh, another good used bookstore I went to a few years ago, when I visited a good friend, is Myopic Books in Chicago, which I'd assume you're familiar with.

Best wishes,

Hi Lisa,

Thanks; I'll probably read "Seven Ages of Paris" and "Evening Is the Whole Day" later this month. I'll let my parents read "Levittown" first, and I'll probably read it later this summer. They have lived in Levittown, PA since 1976, and we are African-American, so the story holds a special interest for all of us. Current day Levittown is quite different from 1957, as we have never had any racial problems living in essentially an all white neighborhood, and our neighbors are quite friendly and inviting.

Are there any upcoming literary events in Chicago that you're aware of? A good friend of mine lives there, and will be resigning from her job shortly, and I hope to visit her there later this summer.

Have a good weekend!

I'm nearing the end of the third volume of Welles' diary, and you might hang on a bit to see if you want all 3. The third volume is day after day of rant against Congress, against army and navy officers, against just about everyone. I'm reading every single paragraph on every single page--BUT i wish I had started the Foner sooner. Welles just plain lost it. He was a flat-out racist as was Johnson and his ravings about the Radicals in Congress are really violent.

Foner has a superb section on the failure of Presidential Reconstruction--I've jumped ahead in the book because of where I am with Welles. It's superb. Next section is Radical Reconstruction. After reading Welles, when you read Foner about the same people--Wade, Butler, Sumner, Stevens and others--you wonder if they're the same people.

I consider reading the 3rd volume valuable because it does show you what a majority of the US thought about civil rights at the time. Welles is an extremist, but he also raises constitutional questions. As someone who has already looked into that with Lincoln's Constitution, you, I think, will appreciate his States Rights position and arguments better than I. We're too used to a powerful central government, and that was just starting with the Civil War.

Glad you like my fiction reviews! I'm bogged down at present in a bunch of books, although some are picking up in interest. Foner, Welles--these are my mainstays every night. Reading Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger, and am not quite sure what to make of it yet. Loved her other books. Clockers is getting much more interesting. Got an early reviewer book--into the Beautiful North--yesterday that I'm dying to read, but have to finish something here before I start yet one more book!

OK, Lisa, have noted your comments about Lincoln's Constitution, and will probably get it some time, but it sounds like something that is fairly low down on my priority list. However, still there, after the reading I've been doing in Foner's Reconstruction AND Welles' diary which, in the 3rd volume, just rages about the unconstitutionality of the Radical Reconstruction laws, for example..

I hope Foner's book is on your TBR list, because it's your kind of book, believe me.

Well, well-just happened to read the comment previous. A judge, hm? Terrific! I love it--"a career involving the law"--nicely put! *BIG grin* You go to it, woman!

Ooooh! A judge! Now I see why you were interested in "Judging in Good Faith". I have an offer that may be of interest to you. Anne has been beavering away since she wrote "From Sociological Pedagogy to Constitutional Adjudication" and her latest offering is shortly to be offered to unsuspecting law review editors across America. Her new paper looks at the role of court experts and requirements for judicial recusal (serendipitously topical as it transpires) in the context of the Boston Schools case. She has a detailed discussion of Edgar v. K.L. 93 F.3d 256 (7th Cir. 1996) and Judge Tashima's celebrated dissent in Ass'n of Mexican-American Educators v California 231 F.3d 572, 611-14 (9th Cir. 2000)as well as the most recent cases. It is - alas - even longer than her last paper and the footnote count is truly alarming.

If you would like a look I will ask her to send you a copy. She's desperately keen for someone au fait with the Federal Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure to take a look at it and make sure she has not overlooked anything obvious. She has had some feedback from Gary Edles, a former U.S. Administrative Judge who teaches at Hull University here and at American University in Washington, but he says his experience is not sufficently recent and was limited to sitting on the Nuclear Regulatory Court.
Also--what do you think of Crossing to Safety?

Lisa--please do let me know what you think of Lincoln's Constitution when you finish. That will just be perfect for segueing into vol 2 of Welles' diary, should you decide to continue that work.

I'm probably going to veer off into more "serious" literature for a while, although I'll continue with lighter stuff as a sideline.

Another of your additions that has pricked my interest in Christ Stopped at Eboli. Let me know about that one, too!

Thanks for your interest in my library - glad you found something of interest. My current legal interests are the US Supreme Court's capital penalty jurisprudence (I'm currently working on an amicus brief in Sullivan v Florida) and its Equal Protection jurisprudence. I have been working with a colleague (who is more of an expert than I am in this field) on the chambers papers of Judge Arthur Garrity who had the Boston Schools desegregation docket for approx 20 years. The fruits of her most recent research on that topic has just been published in the current edition of the Michigan Journal of Race and Law. An annual pilgrimage to the UMASS Boston archive at our university's expense is a cherished burden!

Given your interest in French literature, you might like to have a crack at J-K Huysmans' A Rebours - one of my very favorite French reads. The language is tough - and the syntax even tougher - but it can be read with profit and pleasure. Léon Bloy wrote that Huysmans was "continually dragging Mother Image by the hair or the feet down the worm-eaten staircase of terrified Syntax." I dearly love that book.
Hello Lisa

You know I have not read 'The Glass Palace' as yet (I have read several other Burma based books)but I'm fairly sure I will sooner than later as I really want to try some Amitav Gosh. Before coming to Burma I was told not to pack 'Burmese Days' as the authorities would confiscate it when I arrived if they searched through my luggage but as it turns out things appear pretty casual; when I am downtown I see copies of 'Burmese Days' openly for sale on street side stalls, clearly the locals know that the police and MI are not prioritizing that kind of repression!

Ethel will be a lot more comfortable when her stitches come out on Friday. Right now, she's enduring them, but clearly she'd prefer to be without them.

I love old animals. They're a lot of work and worry, but they are always sweet. "Sweet" is not an adjective I would have used for Ethel in her salad years, but she is now and is the darling of our "neighborhood", such as it is.

Lisa, I do appreciate your cold-blooded self interest! LOL

Ethel is doing well. She's an old dog, so she isn't healing as fast as a young dog would from what is a huge hole, really, under her skin. We just returned from the vet this morning, who is very satisfied with her progress. Still continuing my vet tech duties, but at a much reduced level! I have offered my services to our vet, given his superb técnico is out, recovering from an operation! (I actually helped out, in another way, this morning, translating for a 20-something idiot American male who clearly did not believe that any vet who could not speak English was much good).

Looks like somebody got a shipment of Donna Leon's! I love her books. Enjoy.
Hi Lisa,
Thanks for putting my books on your interesting library list. I'm honored.
Feel free to ask questions on anything I have.
I see that you have read a few Emile Zola books. I just got around to him a few months ago with "La Curee" ("The Kill") really enjoyed it. Just got "L'Assommoir" and going to try and read his entire 'Les Rougon-Macquart'
Or as many of them that are in english (I failed french)
Hi Lisa...I am determined to read the Kahlil Gilbran book sometime this year. I had forgotten about it, and when I was re=shelving all the other religion books I read for Lent, this one popped up on the shelf....I have moved it over to the TBR shelf, but it's about 40 down in the queue. I'll keep you posted.
So, how is the Guicciardini?
Wow! You have quite a boat if the helm is any indication. I have taken the old paddlewheeler from Peoria to Starved Rock and it is a beautiful trip. The river seems much more remote than you would guess from the road. I imagine past Starved Rock and up to Lake Michigan that is not the case. Is the great circle going down the Mississippi, back up the Atlantic seabord and through the St. Lawrence back to the Great Lakes or is it something else.

My boat (a canoe) doesn't allow me to even dream about trips of that scale!

See you on the Dante discussion and looking forward to your insights on Florentine history. I plan to continue through the whole thing ... I am really most interested in the Purgatorio (probably that old Protestant fascination with something so "Catholic").
Thank you, that would be great. No worries on timeline, I have plenty else to read first. About 250 in fact! I'll let you know if I do happen to stumble across a copy.

I've just discovered that, contrary to what I had assumed, the books that I want, particularly "Meade's Army", are rather easily available! Evidently, with the increased interest in the Civil War, there's been an upswing in publication of things like diaries and memoirs. Since the authors of the books I read are top-flight scholars, they use original sources--papers in libraries, historical societies, etc--and I know that Rhea used collections of Lyman's original papers for his research. BUT now these are available in books!

It turns out I can buy easily from a number of sources; what remains is to figure out the cheapest overall way to get them to me.

Thanks for your offer, Lisa! And have a great time browsing when you do go. Let me know how you liked the library.


Don't put yourself out in the slightest, but if you do go, could you inquire about "Meade's Army: The Private Notebooks of Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman"? That's a title I've been given.

I like political history and social, too, depending on how it's handled. I read military history to convince myself (easily) of one thing--just how stupid and wasteful war is.

Hi, Lisa--

Whenever you get to the Lincoln book store, if you can ask them about anything they have from Theodore Lyman, who was one of Meade's aides. Or A.A. Humphreys. both of those men did diaries or memoirs after the war and they are quoted extensively by Rhea, especially Lyman.

Thanks muchly and enjoy your borswe!

Hi, Lisa!

I'll check out the bibliography in the current Rhea book I'm reading on Spotsylvania Court House, because there are some fascinating-sounding memoirs/diaries there. And then again, they may only be in university or historical society collections. But I'll give you a list of at least three.

I'm actually rather wistful of your upcoming browsing trip through the store! It's probably just fantasy, but I imagine and old building with somewhat limited space, books piled to the ceiling in old-fashioned wooden bookcases. Powell's book store in Portland, OR used to be like that and maybe still is, and there was a wonderful used book store in Anacortes, WA that was just like that. I spent hours and hours in the latter--buying books, yes, but mainly talking with the owner, Kevin Gray, who was a classic bibliophile.

So, happy browsing!

Let me know how you liked "Persuasion." Say, I didn't know there was an LT group for 50-somethings.

Machiavelli would be a great idea, and Francesco Guicciardini as well (if you can find a translation in English).
In reading Dante, you always have to remember that he talked about his contemporaries according to his likes and dislikes. For example, Farinata degli Uberti belonged to the Ghibellinis, enemies of the Guelfis, to whom Dante belonged. As a consequence of that, he was placed in the Inferno.
The Commedia can be very entertaining and amusing (especially the Inferno), but it is extremely complex, both because of the language and the subtext.
Let me know what you find.

I found Belting helpful in finding out what the settlers' lives were like. That always interests me. Those people worked so very hard - my people were always so poor! My paternal grandmother's family is Louisiana Colonial - some of them came down the river from Canada and stopped off at Kaskaskia. One of them then married someone mentioned in the book and that made it of even greater interest. Perhaps we're cousins?

I had an interlibrary loan through the local university and it's been a while. But it's a worthwhile book.
Hi Lisa,

I just had a great time reading your entire 75 Challenge thread in one gulp. I also now notice that I am on your "Members with LisaCurcio's books" list. That hardly ever happens to me!

And then I find you live in Chicago--my older son and his family (with my only 2 grandchildren, so far) live in Buffalo Grove. So we really do have several "connections!" What's your favorite book store in the Chicago area? It will give me a place to visit the next time we go there.

You are going to be dangerous for me--I already added books from your thread to my TBR.

Thanks for giving me an interesting evening before I have to get back to work tomorrow!

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for stopping by my library. I've been browsing through yours and we have some of my favorite books in common. You've also read a lot of books that I've been thinking of adding to my TBR pile, particulary somthing by Guy Gavriel Kay. Maybe Tigana? I've also had my eye on The Hiding Place.

I visited Chicago about a year ago on business. I thought it was beautiful but windy!

Happy Reading!
If you're up for shipping to Romania, I'd love to have it. If not, that works too. Next time your in Europe (isn't gmail US based?) let me know -- we travel a lot. It would be great to hook up.
Hello Lisa,

Thank you for your comment. Since I posted my message about accents, I've received several reactions from people having the same disagreeable experience. I regret however that no member of the LT board has giving notice that they perceived the problem and are going to do something about it. We'll have to wait - this is not the only bug, I know. But I still hope some kind of solution will be found. Then you will be able again to communicate in normal French...

Tant que la situation dure, j'omets les accents en francais (oui, la cedille aussi!). Ce n'est pas ideal, mais pour le moment c'est mieux que ces signes bizarres qui rendent le texte illisible!

All my best wishes to you. I hope your boat will continue to make you both happy.
Greetings from Paris!
Jan Willem

Happy New Year !
Don't worry about writing French. Yours is actually good and I must admit (confess ? :-) ) that I'm really pleased to find somebody interested in books I can write in English with. I hope you enjoyed Christmas and the end of 2008. I wish you a lot of entertaining readings for 2009.

I'm reading Ian MacLeod's "House of Storms" (sequel of "The Light Ages"). This is Science Fiction but much more than that, a really interesting "alternative history".
I see that Crossing to Safety was one of your top 5 fiction picks of 2008. I love that novel and re-read it often. I wish I could read it again for the first time. Just a fellow midwesterner stopping by to say hello.

Happy New Year,
Nancy / alphaorder
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