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Member: avaland

CollectionsYour library (3,267), Poetry (276), Read but No Longer Own (848), New England history (89), Margaret Atwood (49), Quilting, Sewing & Other Needlework (101), Joyce Carol Oates (73), juvenile (47), Boris Pasternak (16), Wishlist (2), Read but unowned (2), All collections (3,274)

Reviews378 reviews

Tagsfiction (1,247), read no longer own (847), science fiction (435), poetry (264), crime novel (220), short fiction collection (167), women's studies (167), literary reference (165), New England (162), nonfiction (155) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meLongtime active member of LT, creator of many groups here, founder & managing editor of (currently in hiatus); former bookseller, newspaper correspondent, and communications specialist in the law enforcement and emergency management fields. Feminist and political progressive, wife to the best guy in the world, mother of three terrific now-adult children. Also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and so on.


I chronicle my reading (reviews, chitchat...etc) in the group Club Read 2014 HERE.



Burley Postbox Theft by Nicola Barker (2010, UK)
The Brides of Rollrock Island (2013, Australia)
The Circle Game by Margaret Atwood (1966, Poetry)

>Recently Read

The World Will Follow Joy by Alice Walker (2013, poetry)
The Red Road by Denise Mina
Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne (2014, US)
Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates (2014)
The End of Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Scottish, 2011)
Still Midnight by Denise Mina
Leon and Louise by Alex Capus (Swiss, 2011)
Burn by Julianna Baggott (2014, SF)
The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce (2014)
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (2014)
The Lie by Helen Dunmore (2014)
Enon by Paul Harding (2013, novel)
Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson (2013)
The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore (2012, novel)
Evil Eye Four Novellas of Love Gone Wrong by Joyce Carol Oates (2013)
Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila (2004, Nigerian)
The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill
I Still Believe Anita Hill (2013, nonfiction, essays)

About my libraryI enjoy all kinds and forms of fiction, in English and in translation. I'm fascinated not just with story, but also with the art of fiction itself. I also enjoy poetry, literary criticism, cultural studies, art history, historical fashion and dress, New England history, social history, women's studies, some science, contemporary issues...and whatever else might catch my interests at any time.

GroupsAfrican/African American Literature, All Things New England, Anglophiles, Arab, North African and Middle Eastern Literature, Atwoodians, Board Room, Bug Collectors, Clarissa's Cottage, Club Read 2009, Club Read 2010show all groups

Favorite authorsChimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Louisa May Alcott, Patricia Anthony, Margaret Atwood, Trezza Azzopardi, Anita Rau Badami, Julianna Baggott, Nicola Barker, Elizabeth Bishop, Martin Booth, Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Octavia E. Butler, Angela Carter, Suzy McKee Charnas, Nancy F. Cott, A. J. Cronin, John Crowley, Emily Dickinson, Assia Djebar, Thomas Dublin, Carol Ann Duffy, Helen Dunmore, Barbara Ehrenreich, George Eliot, Nawal El-Saadawi, Buchi Emecheta, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth Gaskell, Amitav Ghosh, Sandra M. Gilbert, Lisa Goldstein, Kate Grenville, Ursula K. Le Guin, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Elizabeth Hand, Thomas Hardy, Nathaniel Hawthorne, David Herter, Reginald Hill, Nalo Hopkinson, Arnaldur Indriðason, Gish Jen, Ha Jin, Gail Jones, Graham Joyce, James Patrick Kelly, Margo Lanagan, Margot Livesey, Amy Lowell, Ian R. MacLeod, Henning Mankell, Maureen F. McHugh, China Miéville, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Beth Norton, Joyce Carol Oates, Yoko Ogawa, Sharon Olds, Boris Pasternak, Viktor Pelevin, Ian Rankin, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Roberts, Mary Doria Russell, Robert Shearman, Elaine Showalter, May Swenson, Deborah Tannen, Sheri S. Tepper, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Jeff VanderMeer, Kate Douglas Wiggin, William Carlos Williams (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresOld Number Six Book Depot, Toadstool Bookshop - Milford

Favorite librariesJ. V. Fletcher Library


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs (profile) (library)

Member sinceOct 3, 2006

Leave a comment


Re Pure trilogy: thank you for your comment. I read your review; interesting reference to China Mieville. I hadn't thought of that but you have a point. Although he is SO very dark! But I can see the similarities now that you mention it! And yes, I too love her poetry. She is so talented. I have not yet read her books as N.E. Bode - really because I keep forgetting! - but I mean to one of these days!

Since I've messaged you in desperation about my my frustration with Kraken- despite my great love for China Mielville's work, I wanted to be sure to send you this link to an interview that set me at rest about his Kraken motives.

I've been reading a lot of Ed Brubaker's graphic noels lately- the best so far being the Criminal editions.
(I've got them listed on my profile page)
A noir series all written with the same events and backdrop, but from the different perspectives of the characters involved.
Sean Phillips is the ace illustrator.
Too bad graphic novels still get the shaft- my partner lifts an eyebrow at my "low brow", when he sees me reading them.

But- redeemed? Chine Mieville's participation in Dial H, published by DC Comics.
I'm looking forward to seeing that.


Thanks for the welcome. I'm not very chatty either, although my wife does mention that I talk too much. Interferes with her reading don't ya know!
Lois, I just wanted to let you know that the book arrived safely. I'll take good care of it. :)

Happy New Year!

Good to hear from you Lois. Anyway we made it to Ireland for 16 days which I thought was fabulous. We used the homeaway site for a good portion of that. Basically that site takes you practically anywhere you want to go and sets you up in hotels, condos, b & b's, homes, cottages. This is the place we stayed at in Lahinch which is in the western county Clare for a week--for about $1000 altogether:

It was gorgeous--looked right straight down on Liscanoor Bay. The roads were really narrow to get there though. The house was great as well and the people renting it to us were extremely gracious--funny too. A couple days in Dublin--then to Lahinch for a week--to Galway City and into Connemara for the next two days--two days up north in Ballymoney--the Giants Causeway and the Marble Arches--back in the Dublin area for the last couple days--Newgrange. Anyway we've had three other trips--drove down to Savannah Ga. in March. The Ireland trip in June. Out to Minneapolis in July--drove our daughter out there--she had to do a college field camp and then a short trip to Vermont in October. We're kind of pooped now--imagine no big trips until March/April. Apart from that I've been getting too fat and have to lose about 20 lbs. Messing around with the guitars, watching hockey games and reading. We have a new puppy Roscoe--Bichon/spaniel--if he sees me reading he wants to play.

Right now I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna--about 100 pages in and it's pretty good. Yesterday I finished Ba Jin's 4th Ward. My favorite books this year Leif GW Persson's Another time, another life--Michel Houellebecq's The map and the territory--Colum McCann'sTrans-Atlantic--Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture---JMG LeClezio's The African--Rodolfo Walsh's Operation Massacre--Alice Munro's Friend of my youth and Curzio Malaparte's The bird that swallowed its cage.
Thanks, avaland. I'll pop in and take a look at your library, too. This is the busy time of the year! I have only joined a few groups. I'd like to join one that is active; I was a member of several at GR, which I left last month for many reasons. I'll check out that group you mentioned sometime this month.

How has my reading changed since I left the book world? Hard to nail that down as after I left my job I spent many years overseas--my first volunteer job was culling library books in Spain. One of the fastest books I chucked was a book on US Presidents that ended with the coda "Now that we have a new president, what will Roosevelt do about the gathering storm clouds in Europe?" Books were hard to get--I used to drive over to the airfield to get an overseas line to call Olsson's or Kramer Books and place an order. Now Olssons is gone, but the indies that have hung onin DC DO seem to be more than surviving, which is encouraging. I was a YA buyer for the chain, and YA, of course, has changed immensely. Now that I don't buy and clerk for that department, I read less of that flowing dress dystopia market. I went back to one of my loves. fantasy, this year, with mixed results. On the other hand, I was a moderator for an around the world in 52 books on GR that was very rewarding. in general, however I am a big literary and historical fiction reader, and a reader of history, but I will read anything but true crime and philosophy.

I did love the ABA show. When I left, way back in the '90's, there was talk of moving in permanently to Vegas.

See you around.
Hi Lois,
Yes, the Joyce Carol Oates, and the book of stories by Lydia Millet.
"The Three Sisters" arrived safely--many thanks!
Lois - thank you so much for sending me the beautiful copy of the Wharton book. It arrived today and I am thrilled.

Moellers and Allens, not that I know of; Thaxtons and Youngs are my primary ones, although there's a several more families tied in at various points. Lexington is a nice town--big city with things to do, but small enough that after a while you get to know a fair number of people.
Hi - Laura on the Virago thread asked me to contact you about your Edith Wharton give-away.

Many thanks

Hi Lois,

Haven't been on here for ages! No, still quilting and sewing. Its a good thing I have air conditioning otherwise I wouldn't survive the wet season... beautiful time of year up here now - warm days but cooler (20C) at night but NO humidity. Which is the thing that really gets to me.

In fact I have been selling my things (no big quilts) at some markets around the place and have alot of things in a shop in Kuranda (up the range from Cairns) so it all keeps me busy as does working full-time at James Cook University... its all go.

Must update my profile page again... cant believe how much time as passed since I last did it...

How are you?

Hi Lois -- I read a short essay by Joyce Carol Oates and thought of you. I love the idea of these sweet early works and wonder if she’ll ever give the public a glimpse:

Before I could write what might be called human words in the English language, I eagerly emulated grown-ups' handwriting in pencil scribbles. My first "novels" -- which I'm afraid my loving parents still have, in a trunk or a drawer on our old farm property in Millersport, N.Y. -- were tablets of inspired scribbles illustrated by line drawings of chickens, horses and upright cats. For I had not yet mastered the trickier human form, as I was years from mastering human psychology.

The whole essay is here.
I'm looking forward to your review of the book on Anita Hill.

Thank you so much for the box of books. It's chaotic over here, what with getting things packed for storage, trying to get rid of stuff we don't need, getting ready for the movers and keeping the house pristine for people to look at (looking around, it seems I am failing magnificently on that last thing). It's just wonderful to be able to jump out of that frantic place to look at books! I'm really intrigued by the Brazilian crime novel and the Nussbaum book. So now the stack of books to travel air freight to Germany has increased from five to eight and the Pineiro is going directly on the nightstand. Thank you for the needed and welcome distraction!

Now, back to the boxes.
Oh, pitches are FINE. I was just trying to explain my "business model" is all. Once they start paying you to haul stuff away it's hard to reach for your wallet in the other direction.

I was there for the year Harlan was there and Kersh was the deceased GOH or whatever and one other year a few years later. Sadly, I missed Mieville. Love his stuff.

Best regards - Barney
Hello Lois,

I don't really buy books these days. I run a business where I am the recipient of all of the local library and large church sale books along with some auction and estate hoovering and paid cleanups. This presently amounts to about 6 or 7 trucks of books per year which I thin down to what is sale-able. And every year I thin more viciously as you can imagine. Presently I have 88,000 books in storage with my next pick up at the end of June. But I appreciate you thinking of me.

I do like the books we have in common A LOT. That would be a FINE 150 book library right there.

I've attended READER*CON twice and hope to again. One of my all time favorite conventions. Probably my very favorite these days.

Best regards - Barney Dannelke
You mean I hadn't friended you here yet...shame on me.
Wow! Thank you for the lovely box of books. They're fantastic! The Nabokovs! That beautiful copy of Pilgrim's Progress! The signed Fadiman!

Thank you!
We don't leave until the beginning of July. Which is ages from now, right?
Lois thanks, the package arrived!
No worries at all on time or particulars of selection, your generosity in passing any along at all is most appreciated! :))
Lois -- thank you so much! A treasure trove of books arrived today. I can't wait for the semester to end, and I can start reading something besides what I'm teaching and students' papers again. The African books look fascinating. -- Jane
Quelle surprise! I'll just be adding stuff as I read stuff, we shall see. Frankly, I'm mostly interested in talking to people I already know. :-)
I figured that you probably wouldn't attend the PEN World Voices Festival this year, Lois. As it turns out I won't be able to go either, as I'll have at least two hospital committee meetings that week.

Thanks for steering me to your comments on The Room and the Chair. You're right, I'll probably pass on this one, at least for now.
The JCO book arrived safely today and looks fantastic. Thank you!
Yes, please, Lois. I would love to read Winterthurn. It looks like an entirely different direction from the two I've read lately.
Hi Lois
I suppose what those books have in common with me is the Australian factor so I'll give you some Australian favorites of mine.. (I,too, LOVED The Idea Of Perfection.)
Sue Woolfe, Leaning Towards Infinity AND The Secret Cure
Time Winton, Cloudstreet
Gail Jones, Dreams of Speaking
Patrick White, ANYTHING; a lot of people find him difficult; The Twyborn Affair is not difficult.
Christopher Koch, ANYTHING, including The Year of Living Dangerously
Good luck
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