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Member: anna_in_pdx

CollectionsYour library (1,070), Currently reading (3), To read (4), All collections (1,070)

Reviews62 reviews

Tagslost (295), fiction (249), american (246), own (241), british (205), mystery (190), library (180), borrowed (160), historical fiction (79), humor (74) — see all tags

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About meBesides the fact that I love to read, in a nutshell I am a divorced mom of two wonderful young men - happily employed at the city of Portland - partnered with an amazing man - I lived in the Middle East for many years - Glad to be back in the Pacific NW! And completely in love with LibraryThing.

I also want everyone to know that I am a PROUD CHARTER MEMBER of the Salon Littéraire du Peuple pour le Peuple - formerly known as the Salon Littéraire de Henri Freequi - formerly known as the Quest for the Last Page of Ulysses!

About my libraryI read everything from genre fiction to biography to essay. It will take me some time to remember what I have read and add it to this site. I left my real life library behind in Egypt (I am heartbroken over this! Check the "lost" tag to see all the books I *used* to own) and am slowly rebuilding it, but for now I am grateful to have a great county library system (Multnomah) to feed my addiction.

The books listed on LibraryThing will include books I have read, books I used to own, books I borrow, and books I currently own. I expect to add heavily to whatever you see here. I started using the tag system to indicate where I read them and whether I own them.

Groups40-Something Library Thingers, Arab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, Bully's Tavern, Cats, books, life is good., I became a fabulous opera, Infinite Jesters, Le Salon des Amateurs de la Langue, Le Salon du peuple pour le peuple, Literary Snobs, Oregoniansshow all groups

Favorite authorsEdward Abbey, Jane Austen, e. e. cummings, Alexandre Dumas, Robert Frost, Martin Lings, David Lodge, Macumbeira; tomcatMurr, Idries Shah, J. R. R. Tolkien (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresBarnes & Noble Booksellers - Lloyd Center, In Other Words feminist community center - Bookstore & Library, Mother Foucault's Bookshop, Powell's City of Books (Portland), St. Johns Booksellers

Favorite librariesMultnomah County Library - Central Library

Other favoritesWordstock - Portland's Annual Festival of the Book


Also onBlogger, Facebook, MySpace

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameAnna Sadika Shook

LocationPortland, OR

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/anna_in_pdx (profile)
/catalog/anna_in_pdx (library)

Member sinceDec 16, 2008

Currently readingThe Pale King by David Foster Wallace
Harmony Junction by Goddard Graves
You Can't Win by Jack Black

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Hi Anna,

Many, many revisions later...

Nakamura Reality has been picked up by The Permanent Press, a small but well-respected NYC house whose books are widely reviewed and win awards. It will come out January/February 2016.

Thanks for your help along the way, friend.


Ha thanks. I am trying not to ruffle feathers:) Luckily everyone's writing is really good ….
A more FABULOUS life, I can not invent! Prime for HISTORIES, like "I WAS THERE
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use the left and right carets instead of brackets to post pictures {img src=""/}
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Lol! Anna you've just gotta post this in the Tropics.
Yes, see you there
why Anna! I've never known you to drunk post before! Nice to cut loose on a holiday weekend isn't it? Well, are you a fan of Harper Lee? She only wrote two books you know; there was the one, name escapes me, something about a mockingbird?, and In Cold Blood. I liked it. I think you'd be better off buying more books, though, rather than reading it. See one of the movies based on it, there were two that came out about ten years ago, both are winners. Sasquatch lives all right, Anna, and now he's out of the closet!
Ha. Gotcha. Portland...Hmm Oregon? :)
Yes, that's good.
I don't know if you got my message from the iPad thing. Sophie's dollhouse is in the App Store, but the story one still is not
Thanks, Anna.

Did you decide to read George Saunders' The Tenth Man? I'm reading it now and feeling about 50/50. Would love to know what you think.
Are there right -wingers in Oregon? Say it ain't so! :)
Make sure you read all the way to the end. Just felt you should be warned.
Hey Anna,

Not a problem re: Twitter invites. I'm trying to make those invites more specific and hence less bothersome to people.

I do cut on the oil and butterfat some. And no sweets! ;) (I'll buy a box of imported mixed cookies every now and then...)
Oh, Anna--I can't go into the whole Syrian catastrophe--but I've felt compelled to subsist on tabouleh, kebbeh and zaatar pie for months now. Do you cook middle-Eastern? There are no comparable aromas and taste, are there.
NEVAIR!!!1! Submit to the Power of Cute; Read the books! ALL OF THEM!

*cruel only to be cruel*
Thanks for the review
Tuesday - tomorrow - is good. Could we meet inside the Starbucks at the square (our outside place, but inside)?
I wonder if I should have put that whole thing in the thread...but, what the heck, I'm much more of a one-on-one type of person anyway. :-D
Well isn't that convenient. Cleveland.
Please don't forget to start your own reading thread by 11:59pm, 12-31-12, or I promise you I'll go Yeti on you like you've never been Yeti'd before! And no speed reading, either, Anna. Slow down! No skimming over the Marathe and Steeply sections too.

Thanks! ;-)
IJ. Try and test the public waters again, great whites be damned! ;-)
Are you really ready for IJ come 1/1/2013? It could be an unlucky time to read.
That's so good to hear!

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Well, I didn't mean to leave the same comment four times! I guess the button doesn't work so well in Safari! And deleting doesn't seem to do anything either...
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Thanks, Anna. I have my computer just can't afford internet. I'll be around soon. Much love! ♥
Hi hun! I'm kinda back... no internet so I'm mobile. Its been a long hard year. Mama died last May and I'm on my own now. Dad moved back to Welches and I'm still up in La Pine. How s it going with everyone? I've really missed you all!
We might actually get a nice day. See you tomorrow - Wednesday.
I so much appreciate your reading the novel, Anna. I've revised it a bit more, but it's close enough to the version you have. You're right about that likely response to the ending. In previous versions I had an unhappy ending (The Fingal's Cave ending was reality). I may have gone too much in the opposite direction. I'll give that some thought. Of course, I'd love to get a review. By the way, which title would get your vote

The Father Who Never Yelled
Double Fiction
Mother's Beach
Night Swim

Thanks for the kind words,

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Looks like my Sam, from my childhood!
Re: Les Miserables, Le thanks! I thought it was very entertaining. I was reading the book and listening to the audiobook. Ended up mostly listening to the audiobook. When Victor Hugo went on a long digression it was like having the radio on; just background noise. Although I do have to say that some of the digressions were interesting. I kind of liked the density of the plot. And the whole moral indignation thing.
He's 5 or 6, can't quite remember which. So still quite a young man :)

Your Belle is doing very well! Long life and good health to her!
And very cute they are, too. :) Belle looks very much like my Chizzy.
You are very welcome! How are you? Much better, I hope. I'm over to Tropics and elsewhere to catch up.
Quite an ambitious currently reading list! I liked Dream of Scipio quite a bit too. Haven't read Fingerpost. You are practically a Pears completist!

Hope you are enjoying Earthly Powers. I need to read Catch 22 and never have. I think you'd like (probably already read!) Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo, which is what I am mostly reading now.

Hope you are on your feet again before too long!
Let me know should you decide to visit London again. I am a good guide, I'm told!
Anna, I love your cats. I honestly don't think I could find the calmth and composure required for writing if I didn't have them in my life...even though they are sometimes everything but calm and composed (as you can gather from my photos). I also love the Pacofic NW. I camped there for months and months in 1996 and 2000.
I have to ask others to get me food or water or whatever and I can move around with a walker but really am not very ambulatory.

Yes, same here. I don't like asking people to do things for me, so that's been a challenge. In fact I had a laminectomy too, a few years ago, as I just explained in the Writer's Journal thread. Took a while to rehabilitate. I don't think this will be as bad.

Watched one of my favorite TV shows the other day, a fantasy concoction in a detective format, with characters who become various exotic hybrid animals and monsters--in Portland. It's called Grimm. It's silly, but I get a kick out of it.
How's the ankle healing? And how's your state of mind, now that you're thrown off your usual game? My body has become a stranger, different at night and also from day to day as I await my operation. I'm most comfortable sitting at the computer, writing or editing.
Excellent! I'll send what I have in tomorrow's mail. Glad they're going to a good home! Hope your pain isn't too terrible and that the pain killer are doin' their job ;)

Hi Anna,

Sooo sorry to hear about your accident. My offer to pop some nice mindless paperback books in the mail stands. I could pass along books by [Ian Rankin], [Phil Rickman], [Charles Todd] and [Lisa Lutz]. I also have a couple of "art" mysteries by [Ian Rankin]. You have a Nook, right? I could set you up in my lending library, though most of the stuff there probably won't take you mind away from pain. Still, your welcome to look. Let me know if any of this sounds interesting.

Take care,

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I checked the Russian with Chris! He thinks that is an accurate translation.
Thank you very much, Anna. It was so nice to read your comment on my review of The Sadness of the Samurai. And it indeed is a very powerful novel.
Thanks, Anna.

Good to hear from you, Anna. Help is on the way, from the lone ranger. I am merely his consiglieri. I've been watching a TV show, by the way, purportedly set in Portland, though probably done in Hollywood; Grimm. Have you seen it? Perhaps we should start a TV thread.

Hi Anna,

Two top literary magazines have just published excerpts from my novel-in-progress THE FATHER WHO NEVER YELLED. One excerpt (UV-30 ) is realistic, robust and sad, the other (Night Swim is surrealistic, sensual and mysterious. Read in tandem, they should give you a solid feel for the new book.

Congratulations on the granddaughter, Anna!!! Congrats to the lucky kid too, it's super to have a young grandma!

Cool. I'll send you a copy this weekend. Thanks to the nice people at Archipelago Books.

Got a copy of "As Though She Were Sleeping" by Khoury (on eBook) from Archipelago Books. Thought you might be interested. Can I send you a copy?


Shukran ktir, habibti!
Love to find people with Hubbard's Scrapbook. I have my mother's copy which she received as a goodbye present in 1930 in Alabama from the woman'club that started the Library in the small town,now part of public library system. I keep meaning to read it. Maybe I will now.

Love your page.
Hey Anna,

Gene is listing music again and invites you to join him:

He says there's lots of bluegrass to come!
Thanks for your comments about my review of Ex Libris. Actually, it wasn't so much a review as a listing of quotes from the book which was oh so quotable. As a fellow proofreader, I'm sure you found that essay hysterical as well if for no other reason than the fact that you've found yourself exhibiting the same behaviors. Fortunately, there are many of us;-)

You speak of painting the Portland town red but I'm just red with envy over all that fun and nightlife opportunity you have on a daily basis. And No TV ain't weird in my book, but smart. Someday I would indeed like to get up there and hang with you (visit Powell's too, of course) and maybe knock on Solla's and slick's doors as well, though I don't think the latter would let me in (very elusive & mysterious, that slick).

Did you ever read Solla's novel back in the day? I've finally gotten to it over the past few months, and am floored (though I suppose I shouldn't be) at how well done it is.

That bass turd Romney knows damn well not to disgrace the sacred name of Yeti.

I've caught the first two episodes of Portlandia on IFC and couldn't help thinking of you and Solla & slick. Have you seen it? If that show is at all accurate in its sociocultural depictions of the lives and psyches of Portland city dwellers, and not just some silly satire, then you Portland people are truly and endearingly strannnnnnnnnge.
How funny, yes the tux, that just what Diesel looks like...except his tail is all black. And he is insane-o cat. The only exception is in the morning. I get up early and he comes and meets me and crimes bloody-murder until I pick him and hold him for about five minutes. There's a constant purr. If i try that any other time of day, I'll going to have bite and scratch marks.
They say, "Thanks!" asked me not to tell you that the picture is around seven years old now (well, they would have told me that if I were at home). We have a cat now too. I'll have find a picture with all three. Take your Samantha and paint her feet and chest white and you'll have a good sense of what he (a boy cat, named Diesel) looks like. Oh, and add one black freckle to the back left foot.

Love that Bukowski signature.
In light of possible restructuring of EU treaties, "Sweden" is tentatively exploring new roles for itself within a larger and more integrated LT. That said, Sweden remains confident that it will generally hold fast to its traditional yellow and blue indifference to the more bombastic and attention-seeking nations . :)
Thanks for the article. I did read it but haven't ever been able to think of a comment worth leaving. I do think it is a bit of schtick - on the part of the writer and Malamud. Writers have got to come up with something, though, and they do tend to goose it a bit in the telling.
Hey Anna: In a word - YES!
We take donations. Just swing by the camp Library in Lownsdale Park. There's typically someone there to accept the during day hours. And thank you!
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L-r: Dad, Anna, Yasser, Osama
I'd say my library is no more highbrow than yours. Chose a page at random, and saw Boccaccio, Borges, Bradbury, the Brontes (whom I see you didn't like) and Boswell's Life of Johnson. Good stuff (I presume), and all of which I have an eye toward reading. When? Who knows. But I plan on it. You've read all the major Austen - I haven't read any! I mean to correct that every single year, and somehow just don't.
Hey, just wanted to say you're the only person I've come across on LibraryThing who actually uses the "comments" section in your library. I was beginning to think I was the only one who bothered, and it always disappoints me to see impersonal, lofty libraries when they're so much more interesting to peruse with the commentary. Anyway, I appreciate it. Just thought I'd let you know.
I missed one of your questions - it does not have the entire thing in it. I believe there are two complete translations into English: the old Ganguli one, in not particularly flowing Victorian English, and the more recent P.Lal one, which seems hard to find here but more easily available in India. I haven't gotten any of P.Lal's, and need to some time. We've read a bit of the Ganguli, including the Gita; it's perfectly readable if a tad dated at this point; it is heavily infiltrated by Victorian biblical phraseology and concepts.
Thanks, Anna.

We started reading the Mahabharata with the Chicago editions, and then moved to the Clay Sanskrit, mostly based on my son's preference. I think the Chicago editions tried harder for consistency between translators, and that may have cramped their individual styles. We've also read different editions of the Gita. But now we're mostly reading in the Clay Sanskrit, and like the transations alot. These also have the Sanskrit on the opposite page, and were done with the idea of encouraging Sanskrit study, which means they are meant to be readable to all ages (as was the original) and also to be closely faithful, tracking to the lines, to the original.

We're now well into this project, and one observation I'd make is it changes the way you think of time while reading. I don't ever expect to "finish", I'm not even sure the term is relevant here. We're in the book, focusing on one part, slowly we'll move to another part, and we long ago stopped worrying about reading in "order".
Anna, i wish my books could be nooked -- i sure could use the sales as the yearly income from my 12 books in english only make me enough to pay a mont's rent! -- but the text boxes are too wide and there are many indented quotes and the mix of columns and the individually made pages (the "notes" are not made the usual way, which i never learned) will not e-pub without much work, and i lack the time and money to do that myself without having to stop research and writing my next books (of kyouka and in japan/ese). If i can find someone with a japanese language enabled computer who would work for a percentage -- and would not mind some editorial choice (without columns, some of the composite translations will need thinning)= with the cat bk, the text boxes are narrow but over 50 illustrations complicate things.
I went to a talk re what is language where i thought i might find a Derrida-lover to ask why no one complains of the way he jumped from Alice's kitten to all cats and by implication Cartesian animals . . . and read something you wrote there and immediately came here to suggest you peek at my book THE CAT WHO THOUGHT TOO MUCH 100% viewable at Google Books and see what you think of it.

I just joined the group after reading your post. Don't know if I'll be able to join but will give it a try. Thanks for the heads up!
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Too cool.
Thank so SO much! It is always a surprise to be read, even here. The world of readers is so enormous & diffuse.
What's the elevation (roughly) in the Siskiyous?
Gorgeous! I had no idea how close to Shasta you guys were. That first pic with Shasta in the distance is just beautifully lush. You guys look like you had a wonderful time. Nice Bukowski autographs too! I'd forgotten you'd mentioned uploading them. Fyi: slick recently uploaded a nice William T. Vollmann autograph on his page.
I am leaving LT, so long
I wish I was a little more receptive to poetry in that way. I've been listening to the Eagles for some unknown reason and got a little teary-eyed yesterday when peaceful easy feeling came on, the begining sounds so lovely and it has a poetic simplicity. Shouldn't all life be like that?

Glenn Frey's voice deserves more credit than it recieves. Maybe it is Don Henley's fault. If you burn some Eagles to a CD in a certain way, take out the obvious, add the lesser ones, it's wonderful.

I can recite To His Coy Mistress from memory. I'm not sure that poem is exactly about getting some sex. That was one we discussed in HS for whatever reason. Everyone was supposed to realize the author was working an angle, and the teacher was supoosed to seem hip for letting us read a poem about sex, or it was meant to show how poetry could be other things than just stuffy, but I picked it up a few years ago and felt completelty different about it.

My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;

I find that remarkable. I think my teary-eyed moments are when I get into one of those romantic/melancholy moods and a line like that will get me. But, that seems a tad shallow...
God, I love that poem. It's interesting, so satisfying. The lines I remember, misquote are mainly imagery or epigrammatic phrases:

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

Dare I eat a peach?

but as an uninterrupted string of sounds, it's quite lovely with unique rhythmic flows and stops...
A classic! A favorite site of mine. Thanks for the reminder of the futility and folly that surround us.

Here's one for you.
Ugh... I better get some nose spray. My claritin doesn't cut it down there. ;p

So looking forward to meeting up with you. ;-)
Hahaha! Guess what? I will be in PDX from May 26th through June 12th. I had totally forgotten that I am house/cat-sitting for my brother while they are off to the Grand Canyon. I will bring the book with me. ;-) I'm just glad I called him today. This last six months has really been crazy. And on top of everything else, I fell on the stairs this afternoon wrenching my left ankle, left knee and my back. Calgon, take me away! I think I will soak in da Mama's tub tonight.

I'll call ya next week when I get to town and we can figure things out. Woo Hoo!

BTW, How is the pollen count over there?

That would be a blast. Not too sure when we'll be over the hill, but will let you know when we do. ;-)
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Oh duh, it's the Beaterville Cafe. I thought at first it was that VW Auto shop just up from the old mall 205 on Powell.
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Oh my gosh... is that on Powell?
What a friendly looking crew! Your son looks so much like you! -- great idea Anna!
Yes, there was a fairly elaborate style needed, if I recall, to distinguish between telepathy and/or speech between cats, cats and people, people and people. I did a lot of altering of the original text, as I also had to do with her "Pern" books, where the telepathy has to do with dolphins, beavers, human beings (who can also become beavers), and so on.
So you weren't crazy about the Barque Cats, it seems. I'm not surprised, and I can't help but feel somewhat responsible. I should asterisk those books I express an opinion on that in fact I read because I was assigned to edit them. A star or more usually separates them from those I read without being paid to do so.
Anna--please excuse lower case hereafter. wanted to thank you for your review of tuchman's the guns of august. i enjoyed it and you've encouraged me. i'm currently reading pat barker's life class, which, while not as good as her regeneration trilogy, is still a good read. the novel starts in England just prior to the start of WWI. it's very painful to know what's coming.

as i'm listening to it, i realize how much i don't know, especially about what led up to the whole ghastly mess.

i've been trying to decide whether to see if i can find 'guns' in audio as i can't read much visually anymore. your review convinced me to give it a go. i do expect to be a bit at sixes and sevens. i enjoyed listening to a distant mirror but confess to having been terribly confused and thus having to do it twice and i still feel as though i've not really comprehended much. too many names and places. would that history were simpler for us simple folk. *sigh*

anyway, thanks.

p.s. like your group photo a lot. :)

it depends if you want a real book, or a manuscript that should be a real book in a year.. i can send the manuscript by email

how long ago was the discussion--i'd be interested to look at it after i finish the book.

take care
A little bit of both, actually. :)

And thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Hey, I thought you might be interested in this link to an interview with De Clezio about Desert,
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Right to left: Chris, me, my son Osama (18) and my dad.
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What a great pic! Is that your son, on your right, by any chance? Just curious and nosy is all.
The article fit perfectly what it feels like to be submitting. Very funny.

I want to be on Library Thing more, but I am just having a lot of trouble fitting everything in to my life - writing, submitting things, getting ready for the next week of work, etc. I'm trying to write up some of my reading today.
Just read your well-worded review of Five Thousand Years of Slavery. Your comments helped me understand why I was disappointed in the book. Thanks. Well done.
Here's what I found out, and posted on the thread, but as a reedit you might otherwise miss: the pub date for a whole klatch of poems including [my computer] is 2004, in a collection called, simply, poems. But that collection might've been put together by the website poemhunter, with the poems appearing earlier elsewhere.
Just read your Tess review, and enjoyed it a lot. I've read Jude the Obscure, and I must have a masochistic streak that allowed your review to make me want to read Tess. Also, maybe to look over others I've read to remember if they are quite as sad. I know I read the Mayor of Casterbridge. Seems to me it was a little more upbeat, but I couldn't swear to it - its been a long time.
Have you read Saul Bellow's 'Herzog'? In which the eponymous hero writes letters to historical personages, both living and dead? Your review reminded me of that. It's an excellent device for a review.

yeah, you made me chuckle, but you also got some important points across about the book and Hardy's project generally.
Fantastic review of Tess. Brava!
Simply put....your review of dear Tess is the AWESOME. Thank-you.
Hi Anna, I just read your review of Tess and putting in a little thumbs up alone didn't feel like a satisfactory way to let you know how much I loved it. I saw the movie version when I was probably much too young to be exposed to that sort of thing, but then read Anna Karenina at 12 so... only made sense to continue on with doomed heroines. I completely sympathize with what you've said, and at the same time, perversely enough, it's made me want to pick up the book and see just how much worse poor Tess had it in the novel.
Your impassioned note to Mr. Hardy belies the value you find in his Wessex novels (four stars for dear Tess Durbyfield!). Perhaps it's my brooding temperament, but I find his stories of human longing and failure under the blind eye of the godless universe to be exemplary in their tragic beauty. One cannot deny a certain poignancy as we observe, from on high, Tess and Jude making their way, like blind ants, striving across the face of the earth towards a doom that is - through no fault of their own - so certain, living lives that are ultimately so futile. Mr. Hardy's is a majestic and delicious pessimism, so full and so human, lacking the astringency (as well as the humor) of his Irish "nephew" Mr. Beckett.

Happy wishes for the year ahead!

Wonderful and puckish review of Tess!
I agree with you about the Lord of the Rings films: it is such a literary work that I just can't imagine it as a film and I don't want to try. Everyone thinks I'm nuts for not seeing it.
Hi Anna,

I came across this book today and thought of you. It looks good. Have you heard of it?

Happy New Year!
Haha! No, but I don't see any possibility of melt until June. We have about 18 inches accumulated right now, but it's been waxing and waning like the moon. ;-)

Sorry, I have been away from my computer for most of the last week. Mom's died and I moved mine to her desk so she can pay her bills, etc. Frankly, it's just not as accessible as it was. I will be in PDX tomorrow afternoon and will put it in the mail when I get there. I have been really flaky on my reading lately. Too many distractions to concentrate so have been reading fluff only. I am presently on Pern and watching the creation of the dragons.

Enjoy your holidays!

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HAHAHA! love it!
Its okay! How incredible is Savage Detectives? If you like it as much as I did, check out Alvaro Mutis's Adventures of Maqroll - which is like that and Conrad mashed together. Beautiful writing. A high level of alienation, but adventurous too.
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


I can't imagine a book more perfectly structured. It begins with that funeral march, then has a chapter for each player, going 'round the table. I just started the Russian chapter, so I'm not too far along. Fifth chapter, maybe?
Your library is small but impressive. I could wander in and not wander out for months.

Thanks for the slacktivist mention. I like seeing something between fundamentalist ranting and scornful sneering (or sneering scorn). Anyway, I always enjoy reading something closer to a discussion than people shouting.
Anna, so sorry to have been so long responding to your comment. Motherhood has been so exhausting. It hardly leaves me a moment to rest, and you know how those kittens monopolize the computer with their online miaowing.
Yes, Thursday would work.
How would you compare the Silmarillion with LOTR and the Hobbit? The fact that it was published posthumously makes me wonder whether it was still a work in progress.
Hi anna_in_pdx, I've been meaning to ask you, how did you like "The Silmarillion"? I looked for your LT review, but didn't find it.
Hold on ... I'm still only 41 ... a youngster by comparison.
Got the book! Thanks, Anna! After my short but exhausting trip to Lacey, WA I am going to spoil myself and do nothing but read! ;-)

Happy birthday, Anna. A Leo, huh? Yeah, I can see it.

On the nature thread, which has become increasingly poetical--perhaps as people have less to say of a personal nature--I try to be global. But I'm weak on Middle Eastern stuff (as well as other areas), having posted Cavafy but no one else from that region/reality. It occurs to me that you might be able to post some of your own favorites from that part of the world. How 'bout it?
Guh-reetings, Anna!

Wishing you and Kelpie good luck as we begin tomorrow. Do let me know anytime if I can be of specific assistance in anything during August. I'll be following your lead mostly. I too will keep a very close eye on the thread and will step in should things grow quiet. I've got your's and Kelpie's back. As I told Peter and Alex, I'll do everything I can to make the experience enjoyable, exciting, and helpful (hopefully) in more books being sold.

What's Kelpie's LT handle btw?
Sounds, good. I am in Olympia right now for my niece's wedding tomorrow... okay well, later today. ;-)
Started reading The Histories tonight and will be looking forward to Kelpie's book when it arrives. I think I will definitely need a break by then.

Thanks, Anna!
Okey-dokey! ;-)
One of my favorite lakes... just down the road about 15 minutes. ;-)
I loved your review of The Story of Stuff. It made me go back to read the words of Alice's Restaurant. Thanks for that trip down Memory Lane. :)

Just checking in to see how your SO is... Love & Light your way!
The answer to your question is fairly simple: A lot of literary fiction bores me. I don't begrudge anyone the right to enjoy it, but it is usually just not for me. I find a decent amount of fantasy and science fiction to be enjoyabel to read. Occassionally, I run across junk, and then sometimes I have an author get bent out of shape. But someone has to fall on the grenade and call out junk for being junk, and I'm reasonably well-suited to doing it.

What I should probably avoid is self-published fantasy and science fiction. Looking through my list of reviews, I think I've given those an average of about 2 stars. I keep hoping that I'll find that diamond in the rough though.
#20 is where SR calls TC a you-know-what, then later uses legalese to say he didn't.
is that in Labyrinths? I must read more Borges. Dontcha love those New Directions Paperbooks? I'm trying to build up a collection of them, but they're hard to come by in this neck of the woods.
LOL! thank you! That really made my day!
I had a few nightmares myself, Anna, some while awake. And I had some more in retrospect in the sequel I'm still working on, when I was somewhat more grown-up.
hey anna,
thanks for your comment on the lectern. I hope you get around to Eugene Onegin soon. It's really worthwhile.

Are you enjoying IJ as much as I am? The Eschaton game is one of the highlights. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after i finished it, I was so stunned. I just hit page 706, still trying to get an hour in a day in spite of everything.

I sure hope Peter didn't pressure you into reading his damn book either that mothereffer. ;-)

Yeah, that part in IJ is a stunner. Very glad you're enjoying it.
I see you don't usually enter a book until you've read it and rated it. You went a different way with mine. I hope you didn't feel pressured by hoofawring.
So that was you who ordered it yesterday? I was about to order it myself, to avoid the indiginity of hitting 1,000,000 on the amazon sales meter.

here's that old "underappreciated" thread, for when you're in a masochistic mood:
Loved your comment on [Paradise Lost] in the Snobs group, but I bet there ARE a few who'd need a spoiler alert. I saw a Jeopardy game a few years back in which the final answer was, "They're the first three books of the Bible". How easy can it get? NONE of them knew the answer. Sheesh....
Anna -
i know i've recommended Nye's anthology, "This Same Sky" to you before - or at least i'm pretty sure i have. But i really think both you and your poetry writing son will love it. And it's been out in paperback for a good while.
(I v. much enjoyed those last two KS Robinson books you 4starred - haven't read 60days and counting yet.)
Odysseus to Telemachus
by Joseph Brodsky

My dear Telemachus,
The Trojan War
is over now; I don't recall who won it.
The Greeks, no doubt, for only they would leave
so many dead so far from their own homeland.
But still, my homeward way has proved too long.
While we were wasting time there, old Poseidon,
it almost seems, stretched and extended space.

I don't know where I am or what this place
can be. It would appear some filthy island,
with bushes, buildings, and great grunting pigs.
A garden choked with weeds; some queen or other.
Grass and huge stones . . . Telemachus, my son!
To a wanderer the faces of all islands
resemble one another. And the mind
trips, numbering waves; eyes, sore from sea horizons,
run; and the flesh of water stuffs the ears.
I can't remember how the war came out;
even how old you are--I can't remember.

Grow up, then, my Telemachus, grow strong.
Only the gods know if we'll see each other
again. You've long since ceased to be that babe
before whom I reined in the plowing bullocks.
Had it not been for Palamedes' trick
we two would still be living in one household.
But maybe he was right; away from me
you are quite safe from all Oedipal passions,
and your dreams, my Telemachus, are blameless.
YES!!! You too? It comes from Less than One, his collection of essays.
DITTO!!! to those three good people below.

OMG! and I see you're the one who invited thealizabet to the group? Brilliant move. Thank you. She's an awesome contributor.

I can't believe you did not watch the FB game with your SO but let him HA (Hang Alone). I sure hope he don't return the favor come Valentine's Day!

Ah, and what a beauty, seeing Infinite Jest there in your recent activity. I hope you don't experience anti-climacticness due to it's overhyping....
Terrific review of Papa Sartre. I will definitely want to read it. Have you read The Bridge of the Golden Horn? If not, you might want to have a look at my review of it in issue 2 of Belletrista. I think it is a book that would appeal to you.
Anna, I forgot to tell you earlier how much I enjoyed and learnt from your review of Papa Sartre.
Thank you.

I found your review of Papa Sartre helpful. I think I would like to read it. When I read a book written by authors in troubled or potentially troubled areas of the world (that includes the entire planet I suppose), I always wonder about the political motivations that underlie both the writing and the decision by publishers to publish/translate that particular work. In reading your review, I though this might be an interesting question to investigate.

Have you read The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine? I found it an amusing and thought provoking book about the dynamics of a Lebanese family. I read it last year, meant to review it, but life got in the way.
Le Salon Litteraire du Peuple pour le Peuple, one of LTs most active groups, is doing a month-long interview with me regarding my new novel The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed. The interview starts February 1. The group’s url is and the topic’s title is Alex Austin: Feb. '10s featured real-life underappreciated author. (Whether I will be more or less underappreciated after getting slammed with questions for a month is uncertain, but it should make for some lively reading). It’s not expected that everyone who asks a questions will have read the book. I’m underappreciated, after all. The book is available in print (make sure it’s the “Remixed” version) and if you feel compelled to read it but can’t afford it, send me an e-mail at and I’ll send you a free pdf. Le Salon’s discussion leader has read the book and found it "riveting." You’ll find reviews of The Red Album of Asbury Park Remixed on Librarything and Goodreads.
Have you visited It's a site dedicated to collecting the ML series pre-1970. There was a sea-change in 1970, which fizzled out (to mix my metaphors) and died off (so much mixing!) until the early 1990s to be resurrected. Yes, I love it. I even have some Modern Library ephemera and a rarity or two in my collection. My favorites are the special buckram bindings for libraries they did in the early 1960s. A lot of ML titles got the treatment, but not all, alas. I wish Amenities of Book Collecting, and Parnassus on Wheels did. I don't have a lot of them in that binding, but the ones I do, I just love to read for the feel of it. The Modern Library is just great. I was thinking the other day: "I need to read The Compleat Angler for that history of fishing seminar in March... did they do that title in the ML?" Sure enough! Walton, take your place at the head of the class.
Thanks. How is your read of the Desert in French going? Isn't it all so immediate, in the moment, without reflection on past and future?

This is the third holiday season where I hosted Thanksgiving and my daughter hosts Christmas. I like it. I share expenses, but no cooking for me. Then I'm going to try to wrap up my novel. I'm off work until Jan 4.
Be at home nowhere. My dear departed father used to say about me that I was only comfortable when I was uncomfortable. I miss that old dawg.
That will work. I'll see you then - Pioneer Place at the food court then?
Any day next week would work for me.
Really like your twin reviews right now! That is all.
Dear Anna,
I was just learning how to add a picture to a post. After several false starts... Have a look at Message #84

Jumping straight to a specific message, I am still working on.

I think the Max & Lizzy SAGA will continue for a while yet. :-)

Hi Anna,

I just saw that you posted over at the Salon. Good to "see" you again. Thanks for the official invite to the group. I've been enjoying it.

My best,

Yes, I'm reading it, but, as you said, it is pretty short, and I could easily read the Desert at the same time. I'd like to reread it too.
Anna, I just got caught up on your reviews, including the Guns of August. You made me want to read it. I only know disconnected bits about WWI, including the lead up where it seemed to have been seen as needed for a kind of "cleansing", to it's effects on artist like Max Ernst and Franz Marc. I remember reading a journal of a young British (as I remember it) soldier stationed in the Bosporus
Thanks Anna, I saw the first bit of Genesis published in The New Yorker. It seems that R. Crumb is following in the footsteps of H.G. Wells and T.S. Eliot in embracing mainstream religion in their later years. Must have something to do with going by one's initials. Maybe that's not quite an accurate assessment of R., but I seem to remember from the article that he is a bit more mainstream now.

I treasure the copies of Zap! that I have, only lately connecting the Zap! to satori. Don't know if that's an official connection, but I think it fits with Mr. Natural's philosophy which is very close to Zen IMHO. I especially like the concordance I mention in my review, which I only "got" recently after reading the Zen koan related by Alan Watts.

In regard to Genesis, mainstream or not, R. couldn't go over the top. Just staying close to the original is going over the top!

I envy your personal connection with the R. But I enjoy reading along with you even more.

I feel exactly the same about Tuchman's book as you do. Great review.

Good for you Anna! He be a lucky man!
oh wow! nice new pic too! You're young! You lie when you say you're 40, you fibber you!

You rock Anna! The sock puppets will forever hold you dear in their hearts of yarn!

The Master & Margarita is swiftly being elevated into my all-time personal top 10. Unlike Ulysses, it's complicated, but understandable- and fun-complicated & convoluted, never tedious. I like the way you're reading it - nice and slow, absorb it all in - it definitely is a pageturner, so it's easy to miss details. But like Wilf said too, read it for enjoyment the first time, then you can go back and disect it some as much as you like. That's how I'm reading it. Though I am a bit behind, but I'm finding that all the notes in the salon are then just right there ready to go, so being a bit behind (but I'm catching up) does have its advantages. Fabulous leadership over there, David, Mac, Wilf - as usual.
“The people that get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” -- George Bernard Shaw

“Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” -- Calvin Coolidge

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” -- John Quincy Adams

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward ... Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.” -- Jim Rohn
I'm glad that someone agrees with me. In other news, I got attacked in a Facebook discussion the other day when I suggested Moby Dick was not a great book. =P
But of course I'll be reading M&M - wouldn't miss it for the world. Though I truly did not realize, as in Ulysses, how vast the amount of material it draws upon. I will humbly follow our leaders and trust that they will in fact fill in all allusions and references that might not be so obvious to such literary laity as I.

Am glad the book arrived safely and is now in your good hands. Sort of breathing a sigh of relief that you won't be reading it right away because I'm still so anxiety-ridden that I inadvertently inverted that dowry issue. Do let me know, whenever you do get to it, if I was accurate or not, as I did not end up having time to go back and re-read the pertinent sections.

I do think this'll be our best group-read yet. Though I must say I do feel lost and oddly out of place w/out the hottie and all her friends. It's a much quieter salon w/out her input. But maybe that's a good thing now, eh?

I've finished reading it, but I want to read it again, and I will wait for you. Right now I have a ton of reading to do of books I had on hold at the library that took forever, and then all came at once. I'm sure they are all on hold by someone else - actually i know they are as I checked - so I need to get them read. One of them is M & M. So, like you said, probably after M&M.
*gg*, hook, line and sinker ;-D. Welcome to the club.
There is the "HMS Surprise" group here on LT, you know... and not to forget, the Gunroom (which it is the Patrick O'Brian list of the world!) *feeds the addiction*
I see you logged all those Lloyd Alexander books you read as a kid. I've only read the Book of Three, and I wasn't a kid.
Hi, I see you have started on the Aubrey/Maturin Canon. First read-through or repeat offender ;-)?
GFI (from the 40-somethings group)
The Desert came, and I've read a little. I've been writing a lot and not reading as much. How are you doing with the heat? I hope it lets up soon.
So, what is your take on Joyce's use of metempsychosis? With Poe, it is transmogrification of human into animal--a horse, for instance. With Joyce, is it the hidden character within a person that blooms when pressed? Is it Bloom as Ulysses? Bloom is a mere mortal, Ulysses a classical hero. Does Bloom achieve heroic proportion as we get to know him?

He is a mensch, as most others we see in Dublin on June 16, 1904 are not. He attends Dignam's funeral, a passing acquaintance, and does not hesitate in pledging a donation and in fulfilling the pledge. He is long-suffering as a down-trodden minority. He helps out Dedalus when Dedalus is incapacitated.

He is transcendent. Ulysses sees Penelope as a prize he must retake. Bloom sees Mollie as a prize he is willing to give up, Greater love hath no man than to give his wife . . .. They have had a rough patch and he fosters change to recover what is lost, with the hope that what he sets free will return of her own will. I would say he surpasses Ulysses.
Hey, I just got an email from Amazon that my order, the Desert, was shipped and I can expect it by July 28. Do you think we could slip it in between then and Sept (Master and Maigarita)? I'd like to. I am on vacation next week, but maybe we could have some lunch discussions after that.
Thanks I hope that book was good to read!!!
Yes, isn't that cat something, iambic pentameter even (well mostly). I'm going to have to drop her a line. Glad you were able to use the ap. I'm going to revise the rest that I made so they are picture books, instead of cards, but I have been more diligent on my novel lately and not focused on anything else. My goal is to finish the first draft when I have a weeks vacation at the end of August. I think I can do it, but part 3 will be very bad. Well, Annie Lamont (Bird by Bird) says we have a right to a "shitty first draft."

Erin and I are off to Corvallis this afternoon for our poetry reading.
Hi, do you like "Personal History "
Thank you for your kind thoughts. We must have a lot in common because I see that Enrique thinks you are me (

Perfect review of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrel
I see you recently added two books about Cats. You show very good taste.
Hey, good review. so now I want to know who the Spanish poets were.
Pleased to give the second "thumbs up" to your Tomcat review. Very nice!
Unsolicited opinion re: Strange & Norrell. I loved it. The gentle slow and ornate storytelling. The realistic/magicial/but ever so slightly alternate history angle. Its got nice old timey English/fairy thing pulled off amazingly well. Only thing I didn't like was the end. But it was, I am sure, a hard book to end. I didn't actively dislike the end. I wished it could go on and on.
Hi Anna!

I read the first 75 pages and quit. Not my cup of tea. However, I remember slick saying he read it and really liked it. So you might want to check his opinion too. Maybe I bailed out too early, or maybe I was too distracted at the time as is often the case with me and books.

Good hearing from you!
You look so great
That would be great to have lunch together. I have been bringing my lunch so the waterfront or the square would work out. I am on SE 3rd and Washington. Pretty much any day would be okay. I suspected you might have changed buses. I am still catching the #10, and I still manage to be about 10 minutes early for work in the morning. In the afternoon I rush from work to make it by the scheduled time, but so far the bus has been late every day. I worried that it would be to crowded for me to read, but so far it has been fine.
Anna: I just posted about place and identity and writing on my blog. If you have a few minutes:

I envy you reading ANNA KARENINA and here's why:
It was very helpful. The working title of the next one is "Life Afterlife".
Excellent! Thanks Anna - and good luck with the new job! As John Muir once said, "The mountains are calling, and I must go."
Good morning Anna,

Wonder if you might do me a favor? Uh-oh! No, it's nothing horrible. I'm heading up to the Sierras next Wed. for a long weekend away (and hopefully to acquire some fresh images/perspectives/insights/details for the book - and to hike of course!) without my'm requesting, if you're available, that you and Bokai keep an eye on the group for me, you know, the usual, welcome new members if you notice any, prop reviews if and when you notice them, and just check in and keep things moving in the light (though educational) direction too.

What say you Lass? Are you game? Let me know.

Well I'm the one who didn't read the description, and Amazon makes it easy to do returns. Thanks for inviting me to the other group.
Thnaks for the reference. You were right I will likely spend way too much time there!
Ouch. I realize I am a bigger rookie than I thought I was (and believe me I know I am a rookie!), you are going to laugh, but my first reaction was "Okay who is Gary Stu?" I googled it and I think you are right. I will recover from my chagrin and my next novel will be better thanks in part to reviewers like you.

Thanks again Anna!
Well, I totally blew it. The copy of Desert arrived and it is in French, which I cannot read at all. According to Amazon the Enlish version has not yet been released. I pre-ordered it, but they did not say when it would be released.
Thanks. We aim to crack up.
Catching up on my reading (thread version) this morning, I noted that you will continue to be gainfully employed. Congratulations!!

I am so sorry for not having noticed your Bigfoot review sooner! I don't know how I missed it. Well done, Anna, though payback's a you-know-what! ;-)
Hi, I hadn't read the end of the Ullyses thread, but I did today, and was happy to read you now have a permanent job. Is it still downtown with the city? Anyway, congrats. I'm happy for you, although, if it was me, I'd probably try to finagle a break in between.
Well, I checked the library and found my hold was really on 7 copies that were ordered but not arrived - ordered on 3/3 which would seem like plenty of time to arrive, but I saw that another book order last December was still not there. So, I ordered it from Amazon, and it is supposed to arrive May 5. Also, order a replacement for my lost copy of The Animal Family, one of my favorites.
Hi, just read your review of the autobiography of Bigfoot. It was very entertaining. I saw your last pages of Ulysses group was deciding on a new book. I put one of your suggestions, the Desert, on hold at the library. Hopefully, it will come through in time if you decide on reading it. I don't think the library had the 2666 that was mentioned.
Thank you! It's gorgeous! And that's a great link too!
Thanks for your comment, anna!
Which Baudelaire were you thinking of?
Ah, okay, only last week, now I don't have to feel guilty!
Oh, I thought that "Flight to Arras" was a good book, but it was interesting to see how contemplative a war book could be made. I don't know if an American would ever write a book quite like that!
Anyway, I will add you back...I don't know how long ago you added me, I haven't been on here for a while.
Welcome back to Portland!
Just a note to say thanks for posting a link to your old (soon to be new again?) blog. I found the first several entries really amusing -- and got the same results on both quizzes! -- plus particularly enjoyed your 11-22-06 entry. Anyway, wanted to let you know that you decision to share was appreciated. :)

Important Answers may be found in the Group Description. Where I go you cannot follow. But be of good cheer, for I am with you always, even unto the end of the Book.
I was so happy when I read that you thought the clan of the cave bear was horrible. You are the only person I know of who agrees with me. I felt like it was a lie - which is the worst thing I can say about a book, not meaning factually untrue (though in this case that too) but a lie about what is real. And I thought it was racist as well with this little white girl running around discovering everything. Also, I thought the descriptions of beatings, rape, etc. was not from the victom's perspective but was more like a description of rape meant to tintillate the reader.
Nothing to do with quilting, so I thought I'd post to you directly--have you read tanstaafl's review of the book of mormon? Talk about stitches! Hmm, guess this could have gone on the quilting thread, but we're already going in so many directions my head is spinning.
Later today we will post our giveaway (30 copies) watch for it and hopefully you can get a free copy.

Best regards,

well, our small town library had a copy, which was the one we first read, before we bought our own and sent our son who's in the Minneapolis area a paperback copy. So i'm reasonably sure a metro library in a "groovier" area of the country will also have a copy!

..a little more info from another comment i made elsewhere:

"is a nifty graphic novel set in Egypt, primarily Cairo, featuring a djinn, an Egyptian drug runner, an female Israeli Def. Force soldier and a prospective suicide bomber, a naive American journalist (surrogate for Wilson, i'm sure) and a rather more jaded Egyptian semi-underground journalist. And then they're the assorted bad guys and bad spirits. Despite the cast/setting, Wilson, an American converted to Islam who lives as a journalist in Cairo, keeps a guardedly optimistic atmosphere*. Not great lit, a bit predictable, but original and very sweet.
*just the wary hint of optimism is a great relief given other books and graphic novels dealing w/ the middle east. One of the really good ones (more about media distortion of coverage, esp. middle east war coverage) is Lappe's much grimmer graphic novel [shooting war].
just out of curiosity, after noting yr faith(s) (i didn't know that Sufism could exist independently of Islam till you mentioned it) have you read G. Willow Wilson's "Cairo"? A recent graphic novel set in ..duh...Cairo. Our household happens to have enjoyed it immensely. But i thought of you because the author is an American convert to Islam (sig. younger than we) who moved to Cairo after college and has been living there are a journalist for a good while.

A cat and a lion both figure prominently in "the rabbi's cat" v1 & 2 which is set in Algeria between the world wars.
I just laughed so hard I think I bruised a rib. :)
Suh-weet! There's still time. Most of us are deluded anyway, no matter how many annotated helps & reference guides we possess -- thinking it's possible somehow to ever be truly "prepared" for Ulysses.
Thanks for the interesting library! I see you've met Medellia12 & tomcattMurr...yes they are indeed interesting libraries (and people) too! Though I've yet seen your posts in the snob group but must make a point of doing so. Both Med & tom btw, are in a group along w/me and many others which is setting off for the summit of Mt. Ulysses on March 1st. After I reciprocate your interest momentarily, I'll then send you an invite.
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