Search Marensr's books

Random books from Marensr's library

Growth of the Soil (Penguin Classics) by Knut Hamsun


The Sunset Gates by Kathleen Duey

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

The Whispering Land by Gerald Durrell

Illustrated Letters of Jane Austen, The by Penelope Hughes-Hallett

Scandinavian Holiday Recipes by Michelle Nagle Spencer

Members with Marensr's books

RSS feeds

Recently-added books

Marensr's reviews

Reviews of Marensr's books, not including Marensr's

Site design selection

Use the new design

Use the old design

The old design is no longer fully supported nor does it get full attention when we roll out new features. We strongly recommend using the new design.


Member: Marensr

CollectionsYour library (1,807), Favorites (31), All collections (1,807)

Reviews37 reviews

TagsRead (1,144), Fiction (713), British (436), Children's Literature (299), Nonfiction (274), Drama (198), Mystery (141), Kindle (131), Classic (114), American (113) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meIn no particular order: actor, writer, dramaturg, teacher, researcher, knitter. I have a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Montana State and a Master's Degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago. I have performed Shakespeare outside all over Montana. In school, I specialized in Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, and Renaissance Literature, especially drama and women writers, but I've ended up doing lots of dramaturgy for contemporary plays (which is a great excuse to be a dilettante and to buy more books). I generally have several books going at once. I am a tea-drinking Anglophile. I still believe in the ideal of a broad humanist education which for me roughly translates as being curious and never failing to continue one's formal or informal education.

Note: My husband's collection is catalogued separately. So if you are looking for books on Lawrence of Arabia, U-boats, Napoleonic wars, or pirates you'll have to find his collection.

About my libraryI have a lot of those former English Major books as well a good selection of children's literature (I learned to love to read as a child I see no reason to abandon children's books now), knitting books, plays, field guides, cookery books, some books on science (I really like physics) and French, and lots of old, pretty books picked up second hand as well as whatever I am reading at the moment. Lately, I search out books Nobel Prize winners in Literature from other countries, Iceland, Turkey, Sweden, Egypt, etc. I have also developed an interest in books published by Virago Modern Classics and the New York Review Books and works about the period between the two World Wars. It is a motley collection.

GroupsAll the World's a Stage, Anglophiles, Barbara Pym, Book Arts, Book Care and Repair, Chicagoans, Felony & Mayhem Press, friends of Maugham, Golden Age Illustrators, Hogwarts Expressshow all groups

Favorite authorsJoan Aiken, Sherman Alexie, Elizabeth von Arnim, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Albert Camus, Margaret Cavendish, Bruce Chatwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, G. K. Chesterton, Isak Dinesen, Eleanor Farjeon, Rachel Ferguson, E. M. Forster, Stella Gibbons, Graham Greene, Helene Hanff, Henry James, Tove Jansson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Imre Kertész, C. S. Lewis, Naguib Mahfouz, W. Somerset Maugham, Thomas More, Sōseki Natsume, Amélie Nothomb, Mrs. Oliphant, Barbara Pym, William Shakespeare, Dodie Smith, Muriel Spark, Tom Stoppard, Dylan Thomas, Edith Wharton, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Thornton Wilder, Virginia Woolf (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresSandmeyer's Bookstore, Selected Works Used Books and Sheet Music, Seminary Co-op Bookstore, The Book Cellar

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameMaren


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/Marensr (profile)
/catalog/Marensr (library)

Member sinceMar 29, 2007

Leave a comment


Hey Maren,

Thanks for responding! No, after you asked the question, it really made me think too. That article by Franzen was about Edith Wharton and her characters and how they may not be the most appealing ladies but we still love the books. He even brings up the character of Tom Ripley and how we certainly wouldn't like him in real life but we still have sympathy for his character. Really a great article! I would love to have a Chicago Virago meet-up. Maybe the Newberry Library sale searching for old Viragoes!
Regards, Mary Ellen
Hi Marensr,

I have a question for a fellow LT-er. I am desperately looking for a cake recipe that my Mom used to make, but she has lost the book it is in, From a Monastery Kitchen. We're pretty sure it was either a blueberry cake or a cake you could put blueberries in, and my mom thinks it had yogurt in it.

I found you by searching for the book on LT in hopes of finding someone who can copy the recipe and send it to me. It's for my birthday this weekend, so we don't have time to order the book (and we're not sure if it is in the newer editions). Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Jane 8)
Hey Maren! We've never met but I see your comments a lot on the Virago group and there was a question you asked that I have been thinking about ever since you asked it. It was something like, "Why do we need to identify with the protagonist of a book?" I was wondering that myself when you asked it. In the February 13th issue of the New Yorker, Jonathan Franzen wrote an article related to that topic. He says, "... But I suspect that sympathy, or it's absence, is involved in almost every reader's literary judgments. Without sympathy, whether for the writer or for the fictional characters, a work of fiction has a very hard time mattering." So maybe that's it? I think it's on the right track.

Regards, Mary Ellen
Great! All three of us reading it would be lovely.
You're very welcome indeed! Your happiness has made my day - I'm just sorry I couldn't wrap it myself. I'm hoping the company followed my instructions about not including the packing info...

I can't remember if I mentioned in the card - I own Sun City, but have been keeping it in reserve, since I can't bear the idea of running out of Jansson books to read. But if you read it soon, I might just be compelled to join in!

all the very best - and have a lovely Christmas - Simon
Saw Pitman Painters last Sunday. Absolutely wonderful! The actors really held their accents. This certainly is an award winner.


Got it, Maren! Thanks for signing up!
Hi Maren,

I can't way to get to the newest book! I'm making my way through "The Weed that Strings the Handman's Bag" right now, and I am thus far enjoying it immensely. I can't thank you enough for recommending the series - it always makes me happy to read new books, and I had been looking for a new heroine who is similar to Enola Holmes (a series of books about the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes).

Thank you so much again! :)

Hi Maren!

I just finished "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" a couple of days ago, and I enjoyed it very much! I'm taking Chemistry this year, so Flavia has inspired me as to how cool Chemistry can be. It was, as you said, very well written, and I liked how Alan Bradley gave her a sophisticated voice, but yet still like a little kids.

Thank you so much for advising those books, and I am eagerly awaiting the second!


P.S. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who reads "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations!" :)
Hey Maren,

Sorry to bug you, I just wanted to thank you for recommending "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie," at Hogwarts Express. It sounds just like the sort of book that I would like, and I am going to get it.

Thank you for pointing that out!
Sounds good, Maren. I guessed Lifeline; I've been to a number of their adaptations, including Neverwhere and the Harriet Vane/Lord Peters. I missed Moonstone, unfortunately.

Thanks - Joe
Hi, Maren. If you don't mind my asking, who is adapting Pride and Prejudice? Is it in the Chicago area? When is it going to be put on? I'm a pushover for adaptations of that book!

Best wishes - Joe
Thank you for organizing this, Maren! I wish you hadn't told me that I had until May to send a card; I'm the world's best procrastinator.
Dearest Maren - you are so welcome! Thank you for the address which, of course I have already! I was wondering if I may send a card from la belle France ... I'll see.

Trusting all is well with you and yours
Wow! I can't think of a more clever adaption of a Victorian novel than Lifeline's Moonstone. And the set was wonderful. Do you always try to choose a fun play to work on after something as wrenching as In Darfur? Looking forward to the next season for the 'line' theatres.


PS. For some reason I sent this message to someone I have never heard of! He kindly let me know that he had received it, by mistake. I'm just glad I wasn't discussing anything too sensitive!!
I began "The Solitary Summer" last night when I went to bed and couldn't put it down until my eyes began burning. It is a beautifully drawn book and at about 1/2 way through, I am so loving it.
Your choices were excellent and I thank you so much. Elizabeth von Arnim has such a wonderful way with words. When she puts pen to paper she paints the very panorama of what she is writing. She writes so beautifully.
Thank you again. I hope your V.S.S. was as kind to you as mine was to me.
I'm glad you liked your presents! I'm glad I'm not the only one who is working on knitting something! I will be going on a long road trip soon, so that will give me plenty of time to finish your scarf :)

I'm off to Toronto tomorrow for four days. Keeping my fingers crossed that I stay relatively sound!

Mailed them off so hopefully you'll get them before Thanksgiving!

To Master the Art! Wonderful and it did make me hungry so my cousin and I went to the Jewish restaurant after the play and pigged out on a bunch of stuff very noneFrench.

How did you get the smell of sauteing shallots?


PS So looking forward to The Moonstone.
Loved Frost/Nixon! And a very good after session. Except for one silly question (one of those audience members who doesn't ask a question, but rambles on boring the audience with scholarship), the actors were very honest about their characters and how they got into them.

Looking forward to Julia. Are you working on Wuthering Heights?

It was a delight to meet you and I hope we can do it again some time. Thank you for the Cather biography which I know I will enjoy. I am off to add it to my library.


PS Oak Park book sale is Aug 7 9AM to 5. (preview Aug 6 with entry fee, I think at 7PM).
Dear Maren,

Took a friend to see Neverwhere and we were delighted with the production. (This is after we found out that the theater was West, not East, of the Red Line tracks.) Everything was perfect; the set; the costumes; the monster. And the actors held their accents. And I think that most of the audience had a nodding acquaintance with the London Underground system because there was a mighty laugh when Richard said. "But Earl's Court is not on the Central Line.!"

Next season looks challenging. Is the company going to do all of, or half of, Wurthering Heights?


Thanks for the suggestions, Maren. I'll have a look at both groups.
Stephen (Tom Kitten)
Dear Maren,

Just came back from the Farnsworth Connection! Fabulous in every detail. I WANT MARY PICKFORD'S DRESS!!!! Will be seeing Neverwhere on June 19. I am impressed with next year's Timeline choices, especially the Darfur play.

What are you working on next?

Hi Maren,
Thanks for the comment. And don't forget Stoppard, who I revere as well. I've been fortunate to work on productions of two of his plays (The Real Thing and Rough Crossing, which, I suppose only counts as half Stoppard) and I'm always looking to do more. I do believe he is without peer among contemporary playwrights.
Stephen (Tom Kitten)
Thanks for the comments, Mar! I showed the kids this week and they loved them!
Just saw Cabaret at Storefront Theater. WOW! No matter what the Trib says!

I'm seeing Farnsworth June 6. Next season looks amazing!

I sure did mix you up! Don't know where my brain went!

Happily, I just got back from ABT's Swan Lake. Very pleased.

Wednesday I go see Taming at Chicago Shakespeare. The reviews are mixed. I really didn't care for the wet 12th Night last year.

Just got Timeline renewal in the mail and will renew posthaste.

On Wednesdays they have $1 milkshakes at the Einstein Bagels in the Reynolds club. It would be a fun afternoon outing to meet up...if it ever warms up enough to be milkshake drinking weather! ;)
I'll be seeing Farnsworth Invention June 6. I just called in yesterday. I'll check out the other play.

Oh, your friend as Lady Macbeth was absolutely wonderful! Sexy, bossy, fragile. There was a bit of stage business where it is Lady Macbeth who tries to warn Lady Macduff that she and her children are in danger. (The lines, as I know you know, are Ross's, in the folio.) Brilliant! Nothing better to show her dismay and anguish at the turn of events. The play, in general, was one of the best productions I have seen, equal to the Patrick Stewart's Macbeth of a few years ago.

Chicago Shakespeare is doing all of two Shakespeare plays next year. Should be called Chicago Sometimes A Little Overproduced Shakespeare. Just R and J and As You Like It. Boring....there goes another subscription.

I am in love with the little stages....


What plays are you working on? Where????? I have to see them!!!!

Did you catch Macbeth at City Lit? Wonderful production. On the other hand I wrote a scathing review of Goodman's The Long Road Home. (or the Long, Red, Road or follow the Yellow Brick Road...)

So far I've renewed Steppenwulf and Lookinglass, Am waiting for Timeline. Court looks interesting so I may go back there with flex ticket option.

By the way, I'm really enjoying the Neverwhat blog! You and Paul are both talented writers and I love the insights you gave on the character name origins! Keep up the great work!
It'll be in your email in a couple minutes.
Still going and enjoying the journey!! I even watched the old Study in Scarlet movie. I'm almost done with the Return of Holmes collection. Then I have to wait for the library to tell me the second volume of the set is in. Have you finished all your rereading?
Hello love, I believe you had a recommendation of a group on here for me to look into...I am interested in learning more, so if you do, please share.
I've never seen the old Holmes movies but I loved the new one. I found Watson to be perfect. The unhelpful, clumsy Watson I've heard about from the old movies is not at all the Watson I see in the books -- this portrayal was excellent. And I liked that Holmes acted the eccentric part. In the books he seems like an outlandish idiot to everyone until they see he was right all along. I loved the colors and sets they used and the humor was perfect. I can't wait for the movie to come out so I can buy it and watch it several more times.

I am going to have to track down the older movies just so I can be fully versed in Holmes culture. I haven't heard of the other mysteries you mentioned but I'll put them on my to read list. Good mysteries can be hard to find.

What good husbands we have who will put up with our crazy ways! :)
I saw your reply in this month's reading thread that you're on a Holmes kick yourself. Did you see the new movie or were your rereadings otherwise inspired? I had never read anything by Doyle before and I rather wish I had started on his work sooner! I am absolutely loving the Holmes stories. Since starting on Holmes, I haven't picked up anything else. I'm almost done with the whole collection.

My picking up the books was prompted by the new movie. I wanted to read the books eventually anyway and seeing the movie made me go to the books. It seems some Holmes fans have plenty of criticisms about the movie, but I love it. I won't say too much about it because I don't know if you've seen it but I do love it. :)

Anyway, husband is getting weary of my constant Holmes chatter so I am trying to gush elsewhere in order to spare him. He may never read them if I go on too much.
I'm so glad you liked the books and that they arrived in time! I had so much fun choosing.
Hope you have a lovely holiday with snow, a fire and lots of food, drink and books!
It was so cool that we got each other for the gift exchange! At first I thought elfster had done that to everyone. It was very funny. You're welcome for the gifts! You gave me a little bit of education about tea. I was happy to learn something about it. I made the card myself so I am very glad you love it. I can only imagine what snow looks like in front of trees that are in the distance and hope it looks all right.

Thank you very much for the gifts you sent! Everything you made is so beautiful! I've never seen paper as pretty or had earrings made of the things you've made them out of. The hat is wonderful. It's a good fit and I'm very much looking forward to not having to deal with a coat hood that flies off my head but to instead laugh at the wind while wearing a hat. I cannot wait to read the book! It's going with me everywhere to read just as soon as I finish the book I'm almost done with. Thanks again!

I'm likewise very glad to be your friend. Merry Christmas! :)
Thank you so much. You are an angel and very clever! x
Maren, you'll have to let me know what you ultimately thought of The True Deceiver. I haven't purchased it yet but when I do and whenever I get around to eventually reading it, it'll be interesting to see if I get an altogether different "flavor" from it then The Summer Book. The latter being the only Tove Jansson book I have read to-date unlike you---though I have been tempted to order some her Moomin books!
yes, loved wes anderson's fantastic mr. fox. am hoping to see it again. haven't read the book, though. just saw the movie An Education. wonderful acting.
hi maren, thanks for accepting the friend. i haven't read handke's SLOW HOMECOMING yet, but i've enjoyed a few of his other books, particularly THE GOALIE'S ANXIETY AT THE PENALTY KICK, which was very reminiscent of camus' THE STRANGER. his style seems to change with each book, too. i see you're reading FANTASTIC MR. FOX. have you seen the movie? i thought it was absolutely delightful, one of my faves this year. john
Hello Maren,

Many thanks for comment about women travelers - I already have West With the Night and A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains - both fabulous! I shall definitely have another look at Virago to add to my collection.

Have you looked at Persephone Books? They specialize in republishing a brilliant range of forgotten books (mostly by women but not exclusively). My sister and I are both fans.

Best wishes

Thank you ! I was a great devotee of the Virago Modern Classics back in the mid 80s i think...time to get back into it! :)
Hi Maren

Thanks for the response on Knitters Inc. Your list of favourite authors reminded me of a few of mine - thanks!! e.g. Joan Aiken and Tom Stoppard. I think I will have to add you to my list of interesting libraries :)


I saw All My Sons last Sunday; will be seeing History Boys Saturday; and the Isadora on November 29. I really did enjoy All My Sons and wish I could have stayed for the post play discussion. Theater season is starting...hooray! I hope When She Danced is coming along. It is the reason I subscribed to Timeline this year.

Hyde Park neighborhood book sale is October 10. Since Powells used to carry all the VMC's there might be a good selection in the area.

Elaine Cichantk
Thank you for your quick response Maren. I appreciate that.
I will let Mark know your preferences and hopefully we can get a title nailed down fairly soon.
Ohhhhhh, I see you have "The Edwardians". I finally found a copy on line, but you never know when you order online (used) which published print you will I am hoping!~! Enjoy.
Mark and I have been discussing the possibility of another group read in November and want your input. We have narrowed it down to two books at this point. "The People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks and "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. So chat it up with friends or us and let us know if you are up for it and what you think. Probably the same plan as with "Pillars of the Earth" which seemed to work out perfectly for almost all of us.
Think it over and give one of us a shout.
hugs and looking forward to hearing from you,
Ah, this site just gets better and better. Thanks!
Thank you! I really enjoy the nyrb classics. Are you currently reading any?
And the great Dame Muriel too! Is the dramaturg profession a profilic one in the states? Here it tends to pend a bit, but is slowly gaining ground again. Most big theatres have at least one dramaturg hired. That said, there is of course as many descriptions of what a dramaturg does as there are dramaturgs...
Thank you so much for the book - it arrived today! AM excited to see a Dial Press VMC...Will read it in the next couple of weeks so I can thank you publicly. You are so kind!
I kept forgetting to check my profile so I just read your reply to my querry about your theatrical career. I do love the little theaters and have seen some of the best stuff in them. I plan to see History Boys before it closes in Sept. You didn't miss much at either the Goodman or Chicago Shakespeare this past year. I didn't bother to renew Goodman because next year's season seems so blah. (except for the Albert. That little theatre is fun). I think Chicago Shakespeare can be much better than it is. The space is wonderful, but the plays are so white processed bread. (Did you see Fall's King Lear a few years ago? WOW). On the other hand, Lookinglass was really fun.

My fall tickets are beginning to arrive. I went a little nuts with the symphony and got two series and all the Beethoven concerts. Also, the dance series at the Auditorium.

Please let me know what plays you are working on and where your husband is acting. I will make a point of seeing them.


P. S. Liz is my pen name when I wrote 1980's bodice rippers.

Hi Mar! Can you meet in the chat room Monday or Wednesday around 8 or 9 LT time? We want to get together and finalize plans for the Midwest meet-up! I can't wait to meet you, foggi, and lefty!
Huzzah! I will let you know as soon as I know. At the moment, our theaters are selling tickets just up through this weekend. I should know more in a few more days. :)

Just read your CV. So, what Chicago theater are you involved in? I have series at Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court, Lookinglass, and Chicago Shakespeare. But I really love the smaller venues. I'm going to see History Boys before the end of the run and have to see Blackbird! Did you see the wet 12th Night at the Pier and the retro Tempest at Stellenwolf? (I should say one of my very favorite companies are the kids at Roosevelt. I saw the BEST Measure for Measure there a few years ago, much better than anything I've seen with the RSC or the National. Prof Fink announced Pericles for the first production this fall.)

Oh, the Newberry used book sale is coming up July 23-25. The best in the area for classic lit, history, etc. Not so much for romances. I'm hoping for a bunch of green covers.

Suge arrives on early on Friday morning. I shall be spending a very decadent night in a hotel at Heathrow airport on Thursday so I can be there to meet her soon after 6.30a.m.

I can't wait - I just hope it's everything she hopes it will be. I've taken a few days of work, which is exciting enough, without adding a suge to the mix! I do love you guys coming over, it's really special. We shall of course keep everyone updated with our shinannigans.

I'm hoping to focus harder on the acting career after my orangutan trip in October. We're also hoping to get a little residency for a comedy show at a theatre in Leicester Square, either at the end of this year or the beginning of next - depending on the waiting list. The venue are being a bit evasive, which they have the luxury of being able to do of course. ho hum! In the meantime we're working on what form we would like the show to take, as well as finding places to try it out before hand.

Onwards and upwards!

Big love


Congratulations on that great review of "The History Boys". I had been wondering how it was going, and was going to drop you an enquiring line. Awesome!

I'm depsarate to get back on stage in some "straight" theatre. The comedy is all very well, but I don't find it as challenging or satisfying as a good old drama somehow. Ho hum. I'll keep my ear to the ground.

Lots of love, hope you're well.


No, no - that's great. I will see you at Intelligentsia at one!
This is true: both when I put the note up, and when I just now read your reaction, I teared up. It was an unforgettable theater moment. (We share 42 books. I plan to look at our overlap and may get back in touch. Meanwhile thank you for this moment together.)
Hi Maren! Just to let you know that it is 10.40pm here and I have just logged on, having returned home at 9.45pm and made dinner - phew! I will need to think about your questions or maybe ask others so as not to mislead you and the boys. I have a long day tomorrow but will get back asap! Love Julie
Thanks for the tip on the groups and adding library. Speak soon- Patrick
Hi lovely!!

I'm assuming I didn't get the job, as I've not heard anything. I'm sort of pleased about it, as it would mean compromising a great deal regarding the comedy, etc.

We have a gig on monday, which we're frantically trying to get up to scratch. It's all brand new, un-tested material, so we're a little anxious about this one!

Suge arrives on 15th May, and I can't wait! It's such a shame you guuys couldn't stay longer on your visit. Next time!!

How are things with you? Any more exciting projects on the go?

Lots of love,
Hi, Maren!

I'm glad you got to see Coraline and that you enjoyed it so much. I've never seen a movie in 3-D. Did you wear those special glasses to see it? I haven't had a chance to see the movie yet but did try to on President's Day before work. They were sadly sold out of tickets.

So you have read Ella Minnow Pea? It did look very interesting to me! I haven't had a chance to read it yet but am hoping to read it soon.

Thanks. I'm well and hope you are, too. We miss you!
Hi Maren,

Thanks for adding me to your list of interesting libraries.

Your library contains many books I haven't read (or even heard of), but we do share 65 books. I guess it's because many of them are "world literature".

Two Norwegian books on your shelves I'll recommend:
'The Wild Duck' by Henrik Ibsen
'Kristin Lavransdatter' by Sigrid Undset

Kjell :)
Hi, Mar!

I'm happy we got to see you in chat last night! It was great to get to talk to you after so long. I had been sad that I had missed you over the weekend when you were on LT. :)

I'm doing okay. My temporary promotion ended at the start of this month which was sad, but I enjoyed it greatly while it lasted. I'm typically quite well and have been sick, but am good now. Thanks about the profile photo. I put it up at a challenging time thinking how strong the plant was to grow where it is. Violets are one of my favorite flowers and I think of them as my comfort fragrance.

I hope you're doing okay health-wise and that your work eases in stress and demand so you may be healthier. Where have you been traveling? Is it related to your and your sister's website? Hopefully it was enjoyable. It sounds like you will get to have a good time being with family very soon. Has your niece read Coraline? I may go see the movie Sunday or later next week and hope the two of you have a good time seeing it. I only recently read the book and found that I loved it. I'm glad you're fond of it, too.

Wishing you better health and good luck to the website and new play,
Hi Mar, we are both fine thanks, nothing to worry about. We live in a metropolitan area of Sydney, so we are pretty safe from fires, floods, tornadoes etc. Sharks are another matter.
Hi, Mar. I missed you! How have you been?
Thank you for your kind words about the GD. And welcome to the group!
Hi Maren --

Do you still want In this House of Brede? If so, could you leave me a note with your address and I'll send it out to you.

Hi Maren!
Welcome back to the threads! It's been a while.

I wanted to thank you for mentioning Slings and Arrows (sometime way back).
We just finished watching the third season and we enjoyed it immensely! My husband kept saying things like, "The stage manager reminds me of so many stage managers I've known!" It was a pleasure to bring him back to his theater days. :o)

My only regret was not previewing it before letting the kids watch with us. I guess I can count those toward sex education, right? *blushing* In my opinion, it was worth it for the excellent Shakespeare lessons!

~JP (Cristina)

did you get the book yet?
you'll get the book soon! Now remember we had a spending limit so the book is used...just an FYI.
Shoot! The pictures didn't work. I'll post them on the party thread
Here's the toys (I hope these pics work)
Kirby loves the football. I just happened upon this. Kirby will let Finnegan have any toy he is playing with, except this football. They both love the squeaky tennis ball. I didn't know they made such a thing.

And since I couldn't throw the football and tennis ball, and take video at the same time... Here's more of the killer fish video:
I'm glad you like your gifts. I figured you'd appreciate some gloves in Chicago! I'm glad you like the ornament, that's about the extent of my craftiness. I had word for the seller so you should get your book soon.

Hi Maren!
I'm glad you liked the prezzies! Sorry we missed each other when you visited England this year, maybe I'll make it to Chicago one of these days. ;) It's snowing here in Portland. Beautiful, but unusual I think. Everyone is panicking and chains are required for driving!
Merry Christmas!
Hi, mar! Just checking to see if all is okay. I hope everything is alright.
I'm glad you dropped a note, I was beginning to wonder because I hadn't heard from you! I'll get an email out to you in a few minutes!
World Dance Party Today at 3:00 p.m. est. (Set your world clocks)
P.S. Party to Be repeated at 8:00 p.m est for those who can't make the 3:00 time

Maren, it's my birthday and I want to celebrate. I've already got an impromptu dance party going on at the Moss-Freestate maison right now. But why stop there? Let's get the world dancing, dancing for peace, for justice, for gentleness, for love and human kindness. So here's the deal. At exactly 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, I'm going to put on my current favorite dance song "Life in Technicolor" from the Vida la Vida cd by Coldplay. If you have a copy of this song, at exactly 3:00 p.m. est (whatever time that is by your clock), hit the play button and dance away. If you don't have this song, turn on your favorite dance song and dance. Even if you can't stand, dance. Dance in chair, in your bed, if all you can do is wiggle your fingers, dance with them. The song is 2:29 minutes so it won't take much time. At the end, shout YAY for everything that's good in the world. Pass the message on to friends if you like. They don't have to know me; I'd just like to think of millions of people all over the world dancing at the same time for all that is good. It would be the best birthday present ever!!!
I'll see you then.... :)
This evening would be great, unless lunch or post-work Friday is better for you, at this point. I can meet you at 320 W. Plymouth at 5:30. Unless you'd prefer something else?

Looking forward to it, whatever the plan,

Dear Maren:

Likewise. And thank you = I'm having a lovely visit, though purposely low-key. Oakes may or may not be free of work, but it sounds like a good time either way.

As for places, I am completely open to suggestion. Have you a thought?

(Natives get first dibs.)

Warmly, indeed...

I second Mary's recommendation of Lolly Willowes!

All Passion Spent arrived yesterday. Thank you so much. I'm nearly finished, and I love it. Have you read Lolly Willowes by Slyvia Townsend Warner? It's another book about an older woman kicking over the traces and moving out on her own. I really enjoyed it.
Thank you Maren. According to some, the passion will be spent not a moment too soon. "Some" people think I'm headed for trouble and will end being shot by some stranger who does not appreciate my passionate indignation about the issue of the moment.
Thanks lovely!
Gig went really well - I had no idea the new material; would be so popular, but many of our regular crowd came up afterwards and said how much they loved it, which is great! I was particularly worried about the first skit, which I've never found very amusing and predominantly features me, so I was amazed when people started laughing right at the start. That definitely helped me to relax into it and feed off the response.

Thanks for the good back wishes. I don't think I've ever had back pain like it! Oh well, I'm better off than a lot of people in this world, so I shall grin and bear it.

Lots of love,
Welcome back - I'm glad to hear you had a nice time in England as well :) May I ask what's your husband's collection, as I too have an interest in the Napoleonic wars?
Oh I had a fabulous day with you!!! And not at all disappointed about the dungeon!

I will certainly hold you to the Chicago offer - as soon as I have any money at all, I'll be over there like a shot!

Glad you got home safely.

Lots of love to you both,
I look forward to it. Enjoy Wales!
Hi Maren,

Really looking forward to meeting you a week today!!

I've been having a think about how to maximise the short time you have here, so the following is a little thought;

Morning: I meet you at your hotel, and we walk across the thames and down the southbank to the Globe, and do a tour around there.

Lunch at the Globe

After lunch - Perhaps an open top bus tour? A nice way to at least see all the hotspots.

Late Afternoon- The London Dungeon. I can get us in free, and it's a fun way to learn about the history of the city.

I have to meet my comedy group in a pub at London Bridge at around 6.30pm - you're welcome to join us for a drink.

If there are other things you'd rather do, please let me know - I shaln't be at all offended.

All best,
Dear Maren - Looking forward to meeting you both on Tuesday at Heathrow. As we may not recognise one another I will have a piece of paper with your names on!
I am of more mature years, short grey brown hair, brown eyes - but I will be smiling to welcome you dear friends to England. I wonder when you are leaving - I will give you a weather update when I know! Please would you also let me know which Heathrow terminal you will be flying into ? can't believe that these last few days have gone by so very quickly! Warm wishes Julie
Excellent. I'm so looking forward to seeing you. We'll have agreat time. I so rarely get to be a tourist, and there are so many things I want to do. Hurrah!
We have a teeny problem. Tickets in the galleries are completely sold out, and they only have standing yard tickets left. So, I can either book those, or find something just as wonderful to do. MAybe we could take the tour of the globe, but go do something else? The choice is yours xx
Excellent, I shall book this week. I agree about the standing, so I was secretly hoping you'd say gallery!

If at any point I'm getting too overexcited and carried away, you must tell me to back off, and I won't be at all offended!

I'll find out if any other interesting things are happening that day too.


I have researched. On Sundays there is a 1 o'clock performance at the globe. That day it is Merry Wives. NOw we have a choice. I'm very happy to book tickets, but would you like to sit in the galleries around the edge, or have the authentic historical groundling experience of standing in the yard around the stage like the peasants used to?

The choice is yours!

Thanks for the hotel number. My "cell phone" is 07929 000862 (that's from within the uk. If your phones do work over here, thenyou may need to replace the first 0 with the 0044 country code). Anyway, I will phone you since I am hosting. Or maybe I'll just lurk in your hotel lobby...!!

My only request from the states is you guys!


Do you know, I was thnking of a trip to the Globe! I'll sort that out for the 14th - I'm pretty sure it will eather be Merry Wives of Windsor or Midsummer Night's Dream that day. They also do wonderful tours. I'll check out what I can get. If it's all booked out, I'll arrange something else equally as marvellous!

Can't wait to see you!


I'm in Stratfird upon Avon on 13th, bu definitely around in London on 14th. Yippee!!!!

I'll think about lovely things we cn do - if there's anything specific you'd like, let me know nd I'll organise.

Whoop whoop!

Thanks Maren ... no problem about the cover. Christina had done the same for me with another book, which inspired me on my next "cover upload". Also, re: Laxness, this is my first time reading him but I've heard so many good things; I'm really looking forward to it!

I just want to let you know that I have scanned and uploaded my cover for The Constant Nymph, and since you have the same edition (same ISBN) as mine, I thought you might want to know that a correct cover for the Dial Press edition is now available.

Thanks, Mar! That sounds like a great idea! :)
You're welcome. I'm glad you're back and are getting your home internet connection tomorrow! Maybe I'm just crazy, but setting up books on shelves again always sounds fun to me. You see how much I wish I could help you! :)

Thanks for asking. The job hunting isn't going well, but I've also been trying to hold out for a bookstore after discovering the full time jobs are simply too far for someone without a car. I have another plan that I'm working on since I know they're more likely to hire for the holidays. It would involve working a part time now, and picking up a second one (bookstore, with luck) in November. I'm crossing my fingers.
Hi, Mar! Congrats on moving into your new home! I hope the cats adjust soon. :)
Thanks for the continued well-wishes. T's job search is going, but slow-going. I just keep telling myself: Patience, patience, patience. :)

Did you make it through the storms okay? Luckily I was one of few in the 'burbs that didn't lose power. I feel like we had this same conversation last year, but hope you're doing okay!
I'm soooooooooooooo excited you're coming over here! YAY!!!!!!

I'd be glad o give any help and advice, and would of course love to meet you!!!!

Maren, answering Christina's kind offer of group spreadsheet assistance, I saw your comment on visiting Houston. While I've never met her in person, I'd be delighted to see either or both of you, any time you are traveling in this direction.

Among books about the inter-war period, do you have favorites to recommend?

Maren, belated wishes for a happy birthday, and a fine year to come - one full of the best in tea-drinking, reading, discovery, and all vocations and avocations. (Christina is rather a give-away. :) )

Finally looking at your library earns it at once the 'interesting library' marker it deserves. My apologies about not doing so, more than glancingly, sooner.

Salem Chapel arrived today. Thank you so much for sending such a lovely copy. I am very keen to read it but I shall probably save it for my holiday in September when I have the time to savour it properly - I am planning a Virago-fest then!


West with the Night has arrived--that was quite quick! (Perhaps her aviation experience helped speed her over to me?) That you so much. She does seem like a fascinating woman!

Thank you, Maren!

Yes--I know it isn't in the Virago edition. That's no problem at all--it's the book I'm interested in!

Thanks again!
Hi Maren,

Just to let you know I posted the Virago anniversary booklet on Friday, via airmail so hopefully it won't take too long!

Dee (Soupdragon)
Well I'm glad that you are getting a booklet now, I felt very guilty about your missing out. I'll go over to the Virago group and offer it to everyone again now.

The lemur was very sweet. I was wearing green boots because the ground was muddy and the zoo keepers also wear green boots. She thought I was bringing her dinner so she came rushing over and sat on my boots. When I bent forward to look at her she got hold of my hair and used it to pull herself up onto my arm and shoulder. She was very light so it didn't hurt at all and she sat on my shoulder for about five minutes before the real keeper arrived with her dinner.

My Virago interest is new but I have always loved good childrens books. Hope to chat soon.
Hi Maren, I've been back to Waterstones and managed to get another copy of the Virago Booklet so if you would still like it I will send it to you.

I put the others in the post yesterday and am hoping they won't take to long to get to everyone.

Let me know your address if you would like me to send you this booklet.
Sorry, my last message was meant to read, I'll pop it in the post!!

I'm just about to post on the Virago message board, as I have two more of the promo booklets and thought I'd give you first refusal as I saw you've just missed out on one! Send me your details if you're still after one and I'll pop on the post.

Dee (Soupdragon)
Maren, I just wanted to let you know that [Dangerous Calm] has arrived. It's a lovely copy, almost like new!

You asked if I had any Taylor favorites. While I haven't read them all, I do love Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and A View of the Harbor.

I am not too far from having 200 VMCs in my stacks--pretty good for someone who has been collecting less than a year! Now if only I had the time to read them all . . . I will probably still be working on that when I retire (which is still a ways off).

Again, many thanks,

Hello Maren and thank you for your warm welcome to the Virago group - much appreciated. My lovely copy of Elizabeth and Her German Garden arrived today. Feels good and I am very much looking forward to making a start. Best wishes Julie
I hope you enjoy the Viragos, Maren. Sorry not to reply sooner; my brother had surgery out of town, and I just got back from a week away from the computer.

Post Script: I love your comment about a "broad humanist education". Hear, hear!
Thank you, Maren. I love the fact that you knit (as do I). I have not finished capturing my library and am currently debating the issue of cataloguing my hubby's library. We have some overlap, but I'm already squirming at the presence of the likes of Ken Follet on my shelves. I have an aversion to most sci-fi, and his shelves are lined with it! What to do about the "shared" gems however? Do we both lay claim to the classics and call it quits? I am sure this is what it must feel like when couples part and have to split their music collections. Well, a little like it, perhaps. In the meantime, I look forward to perusing your shelves with a sense of satisfactional envy. Cheers, Celeste
Thanks, fortunately my mother had excellent taste so I got started with the Tove Jansson books early. Now I force them on everyone I know (well, everyone interesting) and I have never known anyone yet who didn't fall in love.

(Re: an earlier comment: I like Little, Big too)
I just added it to my wishlist for now, so check back with me when you finish and if I have not ordered it in a moment of weakness, I'd love to borrow yours.
Little, Big. I admit it was the book cover that caught my eye, but then I read the write up on Amazon and few reviews I got very intrigued. Are you still reading for work or are you at a point you can go back to reading for fun again? What are you reading?
I should know better than to look at your library. Everytime I do, I end up adding at least one book to my wishlist. You're dangerous.
I am a little egotistical in my choosing of interesting libraries - they usually share a lot in common with mine. Thanks for adding me as well!
You're welcome. I hope you're able to find them and that you enjoy them.

Thank you! Nelson isn't really as haughty as he looks in that photo. It can be tricky reading around him, though, as he has a habit of trying to sit on whatever I'm reading! We also have another cat, Gus, but I haven't got a photo of them together (apart from when they were kittens) so I've plumped for this one for the mo.

Hi Maren,

Yes, I agree. That's pretty much my main criterion for designating someone's collection an interesting library! Thank you for returning the favour.

If you enjoyed what you read of Paul Gallico, then I recommend that you try the Snow Goose next, followed by 'Love of Seven Dolls' or 'Love, Let Me Not Hunger'. All of which are quite wonderful.

Looking forward to getting to know you!

Well drat! I didn't see Love's Labour Lost or Learned Ladies so I guess I missed seeing you after all. Here I was thinking that this was a 'small world/degree of connectedness' thing and find out it's a near miss, although it's wonderful to know there are other LT'ers also involved with MSIP. I hope MSIP was/is as much fun to do as it is to watch!
As a fan of the Shakespeare in the Parks program, I'm thinking there's a good chance I've been at one of your performances--did you ever play in Hamilton? Or perhaps there is more than SITP company touring different areas of the state? It's a fun experience, and they are a treat to attend!
Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,667,261 books! | Top bar: Always visible