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Independent people : an epic by Halldór Laxness

The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear

Life and fate by Vasily Grossman

World of our fathers by Irving Howe

Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-Gazer: A Novel by Sena Jeter Naslund

Lilah: A Novel (Canaan Trilogy, 3) by Marek Halter

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Member: labfs39

CollectionsYour library (2,986), Currently reading (5), To read (558), Read but unowned (161), Wishlist (194), Replace (4), Favorites (50), Children's (710), East European (132), Bill's (117), Katie's (42), All collections (3,341)

Reviews300 reviews

Tagsfiction (1,433), nonfiction (1,143), memoir (434), children's fiction (406), WWII (310), Jewish (307), history (264), Bill's (231), young adult (186), picture book (170) — see all tags

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Recommendations26 recommendations

About meI tend to read mostly international literature, history, and memoirs.

Monica (JustJoey) posted this in her thread, and it is just perfect:

You and I know too many different things, entertain too many different thoughts, hold too many different beliefs to see Pip - or any other character - in quite the same way. Same words, same pages. Different us. Sometimes different me. I find that my Pip today is not my Pip of yesterday. As I've changed over the years, I find that my thinking about characters has changed as well... -Thomas C. Foster

About my libraryMy LT library includes my husband's and daughter's books, as well as my own. I have not included any textbooks.

Groups75 Books Challenge for 2010, 75 Books Challenge for 2011, Club Read 2011, Club Read 2012, Club Read 2013, Club Read 2014, LibraryThing Gatherings and Meetups, Non-Fiction Challenge / Journal, Reading Globally, Reading Globally IIshow all groups

Favorite authorsJane Austen, Orson Scott Card, Philippe Claudel, Robert Frost, Diana Gabaldon, Vassili Grossman, Olga Grushin, Harper Lee, Primo Levi, Arnost Lustig, Czesław Miłosz, Jacques Poulin, Mary Doria Russell, José Saramago, Neal Stephenson, Mark Twain, Sigrid Undset, Elie Wiesel, Connie Willis (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresSerendipity Books, Third Place Books

Favorite librariesBaker-Berry Library - Dartmouth College, Woodinville Library

Favorite listsThe Emergence of the Modern Middle East, Middle East Fiction

Homepage (Club Read 2014)

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameLisa

Locationnear Seattle, WA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/labfs39 (profile)
/catalog/labfs39 (library)

Member sinceMar 24, 2008

Currently readingThese Happy Golden Years (Little House, 8) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet : a novel by Jamie Ford
The long ships by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson
Sakhalin Island by Anton Chekhov
A Nurse at the Front: The Great War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton by Edith Appleton

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Hi Lisa. I'll write more tomorrow when I'm not limited to phone internet but I'd be fine with you copying this to my thread. There are probably people who know more about this than I do that might respond. Thanks for messaging.
I loved it! We have since moved and downsized and I need to figure out a new arrangement. I sure miss it!
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
After geothermal test drilling in 2007 the earth started lifting in this town causing cracks in this and many other houses.
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
Gasthaus Löwen in Staufen in Breisgau where in 1539 Dr. Faustus died (probably in an alchemist explosion). He was the inspiriation to Goethe's dramatic work "Faust". Goethe lived in Weimar and died there 1832.
The inscription reads:
"Anno 1539 ist im Leuen zu Staufen Doctor Faustus, so ein wunderbarlicher Nigromanta gewesen, elendiglich gestorben und es geht die Sage, der obersten Teufel einer, der Mephistophiles, den er in seinen Lebzeiten nur seinen Schwager genannt, habe ihm, nachdem der Pact von 24 Jahren abgelaufen, das Genick abgebrochen und seine arme Seele der ewigen Verdammnis überantwortet."
Great--I'll be there about 11. See you then.

Lisa ah okay. I liked the slow reveal, especially that it felt organic not contrived to tease the reader.
Happy Easter, Lisa.

Oops--I missed it. Too bad, because I think that was my first time!
Hi Lisa--I looked for your thread in CR but couldn't find it.

Are you going to be able to go to TPB on Saturday? I'm going to try to make it, and would love to see you.

Lisa, I made a big mistake. The Meet-Up is for January 5th, at Lake Forest Park - Third Place Books, 12:30 pm, for lunch and shopping! Sorry.

I hope you will be back by then!

Ok, I'll check that yearbook tomorrow.
What year did he graduate? I am the publications adviser for the student newspaper and the yearbook. Perhaps his photo is in the yearbook

I'm reading The Snow Child and read your review. It is amazing!


Linda Lipko
Member of the 2012 75 challenge group.
Hi Lisa, just added Hamsun's Hunger to challenge 10 in TIOLI. I read it in German and you read in English, I guess.

Have a good start into the new reading month
Thank you, Lisa. It's odd but when I look at your profile it says we share 483 books. I wonder why the discrepancy? Maybe it's because some of my collections are designated not to be visible through "connections" because they are actually my wife's books. In any event, I'm glad my reviews have given you some ideas. I've picked up so many leads from other Club Read members that I can't remember where they came from.

The mockingbird feather has a history: as a teenager I took a book out into the back yard to read, but as I was just starting it I didn't have anything with me to use as a bookmark. When I was ready to go back inside I was looking around for a leaf or something to use as a bookmark when there was a commotion in the tree above me and the feather floated down.

Your comment reminds me that I need to update my profile page, but I keep putting it off.
Lisa, here's a link for the cool cat swag - have fun! I'm curious about who got final bids on the little libraries and where they will be posted. I wonder if the festival has thought about posting photos of them in situ . . .?

P had seen that. It's our branch location in the picture! Love that!
Hi Lisa!

I hate to tell you this, but as far as I know, pretty much all of our Independent book stores have been swallowed up by a Big Bookstore Chain called Chapters. That said, I really like Chapters. Even they have been diversifying such they carry more than just books lately - more in the area of gifts etc. I'd still very much recommend Chapter's Books. You may find more British/ Canadian books at the store. They are two quite near to you - Chapters at Robson and Howe, right downtown where you are. Phone number there is 604-682 - 4066. They are open til 10 pm. Chapter has many branches but another big store is quite close to too , at Broadway and Granville, 2505 Granville Street. I have not been to either in 8 months or so, as I get most of my books from my local Chapters, and amazon ca, as well as The Book Depository.

Sorry I cannot be more help. We used to have a great independent book store in the Dunbar area, but it seems to have closed down. There is also Black Bond Books, which tends to have books at a discount. You'd have to google that one.

Nikelini, aka Joyce, one of my friend here on LT , lives a different part of Vancouver than I do, you might try sending her a PM and asking her if she has any better ideas than I do. Just let her know that you " know " me. She has a thread in Club Read.

Best of luck, and do enjoy your holiday. I quite like Chapters, but it is a big book chain, not a fabulous Independent bookstore. For that , Munro Books over in Victoria would be the place to go -but that's a long ferry ride away - 2 or 2 1/2 hours by ferry and the wait time, plus the cost of the ferry. I don't think that would be restful at all!

Enjoy your time in the city!


Lisa- Thanks a bunch! I'll give it a try tonight. If I have any questions, I'll let you know. Have a wonderful weekend.

Lisa- Once again congrats on the Hogarth Books win. How fantastic. I think you helped me out before on how to back-up my LT library and save it to my hard-drive. It was you right? If so, could you run it past me again and this time I'll copy it down. Thanks!

Lisa, I'm so sorry about getting your name wrong. I think I got your "handle" mixed up with labwriter (all us labrador lovers get put in one category in my head.) Anyway, I'll be bopping over to your Club Read thread soon to catch up.

thanks again for the Jacques Poulin recommendations. When I stopped by here I saw we share over 300 books, but HAD to make you one of my contacts when I saw you are also going through a Peter Sís phase. I just discovered him in December and am completely enamoured with him. I liked Madlenka quite a lot more than you did, just finished the other two in the series (which were not as strong IMO), and looking forward to The Wall, which I have on my library books pile. I'll work my way through all his work sooner or later!


Hi Lisa - that was quick! We share 443 books according to your profile page which is impressive isn't it?
You can find my thread here to keep up to date with both my reading as well as my somewhat hectic Kuala Lumpur lifestyle with SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) - my darling wife Hani, my three children, my maid, driver and the helpmeets who are bizarrely making my mini-malaysian empire quietly a success!

Keep reading and keep adding to your already very interesting collection. I have your thread starred and will contribute from time to time as much as I can.
oh good! I'll let you know when I drop it in the mail.
Hi Lisa, your comments about Blankets resonated, and had me revisiting my rating of 4* so I looked at my 2010 thread and found my comments ... and am keeping my rating at 4 :) I'd never posted them as a review but did so now; you may be interested since we share some thoughts.
Hi Lisa,

The Old Grief certainly makes more sense for a title rather than Mr Blue. I wonder why they didn't just translate the title rather than change it altogether.

Then again,maybe when you read the book you'll pick up on something I missed which may have made that an appropriate title as well.

Lisa, several of us in Club Read are going to do a joint read of Parzifal starting in mid or late November, and I thought you might be interested since you were the person who told me about the Parzifal theme in Matterhorn. You can read about it starting with this post,, and then jumping around in the thread, but it will eventually have its own group read thread.
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Nice picture!
Thanks, Lisa! I bought Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It from the London Review Bookshop this morning, as it was displayed on one of the new nonfiction tables. I hadn't heard of the book, which consists of his columns from the Independent, and, according to Amazon UK, it isn't supposed to be released until Monday (and not until the end of February in the US).

So far I've only read The Finkler Question, although I did buy Kalooki Nights and The Mighty Walzer recently.

Hi Lisa,

Just read your post on Anne's (AMQS)thread about my daughter's Harry Potter class.

It has been offered at her high school for as long as she has gone there as an English elective. It is popular and hard to get into, so only seniors usually get in. I understand that they read all the books in order. They follow the year as at Hogwarts....they are sorted into houses on the first day, earn points, play quidditch, have a Yule Ball, etc.

My daughter has heard that it is academically demanding with papers, oral commentaries, and presentations, not just fun.

I will share more after school starts and she gets the course outline, if you are interested.

I see you are in Woodinville, WA. My husband has been there for work and said he thought I would like it...he works for a wine company and they once owned a winery in the area. Sounds like a great place!

Take care!
At the Radisson Blu. I've stayed there in Zurich and it was good. the trip is bankrupting us!!
Thanks for adding BannedBooskLibrary to your interesting libraries. Happy Reading!
Hi Lisa, Thanks for adding me to your Interesting Library list! I'm doing the same for you! Rebecca
Hi Lisa- I can't believe we weren't friends already! Like Duh! Hope you are having a nice weekend!

Yes, I am enjoying it quite a bit. Just turned over to part 3 and it changes yet again. I'm putting it down for tonight to allow myself to digest part 2 better.

This is a book that I'd like to read again. Perhaps the book group I belong to will choose it in the coming months.
#63.....that makes sense. The number of doctors referenced in that first chapter had me confused. I went back to it once we began to learn more about Orito and became even more confused in the re-reading.

Also...thanks for pulling that clue from p. 23. (message 64)

Please keep me posted regarding your surgery next month. I wish you are the best!

Hey Lis,
No I haven't read the series of the Girl with Dragon Tattoo.
Hi Lisa- Here's a link to my GR profile:
Let me know if it works okay!

Hi Lisa,

I, too, get so sad about the Israeli-Palestinian situation that I often also avoid reading anything political anymore - even newspaper headlines - about "the situation".

Oddly enough, Dr. Abuelaish was speaking locally last night, but it was at night in downtown DC... not a good time or place for me. So I missed the chance to hear him in person. I'm sure I'll have another chance someday. His message is too important.

I'm glad you like the TIOLI challenges. I created them to amuse myself! :)

Glad you are enjoying it. Yes, I had the same response - I doubt I would have picked up a book about these men had her name not been on the cover. Their lives have been romanticized and mythologized in American culture. Speaking of Westerns - I'm now reading Carol Emshwiller's Ledoyt - a young woman's coming of age story set in the west during the early part of the 20th century. It's another easy narrative-type book thought not as dense perhaps as Russell's. You probably would like it. - Lois
Hi Lisa,

I'm so glad you shared my read, I Shall Not Hate, with me. I guess it's not as if you had a choice being that it was an ER book, but wasn't it great? I'd love the chance to be able to meet the author one day. What an amazing man!

Thanks for the info. This makes me sad that I missed his talk last week, but the roommate of a close friend died suddenly, and that took priority for me. I'll look forward to your review from more info.
Thanks Lisa for your kind comments. Most people here at LT are good folks, so I guess when I run into something like that, I'm doubly surprised. I appreciate your message very much.

Regards, Becky
Lisa, I noticed you added I shall not hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish to your library recently, and wondered whether you had read any of it yet. I have a chance to hear the author speak Thursday night at a local church and am curious about what your perspective is on the book.
Give yourself time on Blackout, Lisa. I can pretty much guarantee that by the time you finish All Clear, all WILL become clear and you will find yourself sucked into the story just like we were! I had problems with all the different POVs in the first half of Blackout myself, wishing there were a guide. But that wouldn't have worked at all. Let me know how you like it when you finish both books, please!
That's a wonderful review of *Cloud Atlas*, Lisa! Thanks!!! I'm reading it and loving it now. And I'm trotting right off to visit your 75 thread. 254 books in common makes us some kind of kin, I'm sure.
Hey Lisa! Yeah, my 75 threads get unwieldy fast. I'm among the chattier 75ers.

If you want to be notified every time I post a review, go to my profile. You'll see the "RSS Feeds" box. You can choose to be notified of the times I add a book (not recommended, I keep my wishlist here so it'd get old fast being notified every ~2min when I add something to that list) or "richardderus's reviews" (which will show you the review, and if you get interested in what I've said, will take you to the thread where I posted it).

That, IMHO, will be best and easiest for you.

Thanks for the heads up re: my review of Emperor of All Maladies! Should be the correct one now.
Hi Lisa,

Thank you for the remarks about my reviews. I just read your terrific review of The Siege; such a horrific but fabulous read.

About Bonnie and I being sisters---well, we're not actually but last year on Louanne's thread on the fifty book challenge, we were going back and forth about something (can't remember what)and Louanne said we were like sisters so we just use that to refer to each other now. You may not know but I was in Seattle last summer and met up with her and Deborah at Third Place Books. We had a great time. I will look for your 2011 thread as I see we like a lot of the same books. I got Unbroken for Christmas. (loved Seabiscuit)

Lisa--Thank you so much for inviting me to be your friend. Maybe we can get together in RL--perhaps at the dog park?

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas today.

I add books to my "Wishlist" collection every few minutes, it seems. Since we can now access amazon from the book's page, I can use this collection in place of the amazon wishlist, which I seldom look at. This way any stray cash has an instant home!
Maby he will. love Katie

Simply checking in to thank you for your kind, loving comments posted through the 75 challenge thread.

You are quite a special person!

Sorry it took a few days to answer you comments. I can recommend the following books:
"Into the Valley" by John Hersey is an excellent account of a U.S. Marine patrol in WW2
"An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943", by Rick Atkinson an excellent account of the war in North Africa (if you are enjoying "the Coldest Winter")
"With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa" by E. B. Sledge (about the U.S. Marines in the Pacific.(WW2)
"The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War" by Iris Chang (about the Japanese occupation of China

I tend to read more memoirs then straight histories and with eight years in the Navy and the son of a career sailor I do read a lot of Naval History and fiction. Feel free to ask about any if you want.
And thank you for the quotes.


Hi Lisa, I saw on Mark's thread that you are looking for recs on Iwo Jima.
usnmm2 from the 50 challenge might be able to give you some advice. I think books about the military and wars are what he reads the most.-- Tammy
Ha! Ha! You're in luck--I was hoping for rain last weekend, so you're safe! And I know how you feel about missing the library sale. I routinely miss it and it's only a couple of miles from my house. If I get it on my own calendar, I'll add a note to remind you too. B.
Hey Lisa,
I went to Lorri's and grabbed up some books I didn't have!!!! I read a whole book yesterday with very few interruptions-WOW! Do you have the book "Three Cups of Tea" by Motenson and Relin? If not I am going to send it to you as I think you might like it. Let me know-Sis
Hey, Lisa! Not sure what all that below is about. The only pic I see on your profile is of (I assume) your dog! Has s/he given you permission to post that image? ;-) I was adding books read to my thread and noticed that I didn't respond to your comment about Kristin Lavsrandatter (or however that name is spelled, don't have it in front of me right now.) I actually got that from another LT-er--not even someone I know very well. I started on it one day and liked what I read, but then, as now, had a massive amount of library books to read. I'll put your name on it, so I can come back to talk to you about it. Take care! B.
Just finished no 46 last night . I think I will get to about 80
Hi Lisa,

Hello! Thanks for your compliment. I'm able to read as much as I can because I work part time (0.8 FTE, or full time equivalent), which ends up being about 14-16 days per month, not counting vacation time. I hardly read anything on the days that I'm working, but I spend a lot of my spare time reading on my days off.

I had heard about "Six Months in Sudan", so I'll check out the author's blog and look for the book next week in San Francisco. I normally go there in mid to late summer for a week, to beat the summer heat, and I'm especially looking forward to it this year.

I'll have to look for and follow your 75 Books thread; I'm off to do that now.

Thanks, I will have to check out the sequel.
Hi Lisa! Yep, I've been buying some books. I have less restraint over here than in NZ, where there were tons of great second hand bookshops.

I haven't found the Madonna one yet though, it's just on my wishlist. It's a pain how LT mixes wishlist adds up with real ones. But I'm starting the Birds of East Africa - it looks good. It's set in Kenya and it's about a man who's in love with the woman who does weekly bird call walks in Nairobi.
And I'm afraid I did not adore Guernsey (the book, I'm sure the place is lovely). It was just a bit too cute for me. I found some of it too hard to believe - I liked the bits about WW2 though, and Sidney, and some of the other characters. Have you read the Elegance of the Hedgehog? I loved that one!
Hi Lisa--

Wanted to welcome you to the 75 book challenge group. I'm a Pacific NW'er too--Sammamish. We have over two hundred books in common, so perhaps our reading tastes are similar. I'm looking forward to following your thread.

Wow we share tons of books! Your thread is going to be bad for my wallet, I can tell...

We are in Basel for 2 years. It's fantastic being in the middle of Europe - New Zealand is so far away. I speak German and French but don't get much chance to use them at home, so it is really cool talking (imperfect) German all the time. I went to the Bernese Oberland for the first time a few weeks ago - up the Jungfrau and around Grindelwald - and LOVED it. How much time have you spent here?

The Monuments Men sounds good. I haven't read The Rape of Europa yet, just stuck it onto my wishlist. I love LT but I wish it wouldn't dump the wishlist books in with the others!

Erk, better go, kids making bad noises in the living room...
I've marked yours as an interesting library-we have 47 books in common. we have more than that in common however as I grew up in the area you live in as I went to school in Redmond & Kirkland(Lk. Washinton Sr. Hi '59). I am retired & reading a lot more now. Vanye (Bonnie Connel)
I added Pigeon to my wishlist yesterday because it sounded so interesting. Now I've read your message I'm even more intrigued. I'm going to try to pick up a copy shortly. Will be happy to discuss it!
Welcome to the group! I'm a Lab lover myself, although I live dog-less in a high-rise apartment these days.

I see you've read some Sue Grafton mysteries. I'm looking for a good home for 'M', 'N' and 'O' of that series, in paperback - would you be interested in them? I'll be happy to mail them to you if you like.

I'm stopping by to thank you for recommending Kindertransport. I started reading it this morning. It is great!
Why not stop over to our 75 challenge group. We are a lovely, lively, well read, chatty, friendly bunch of wonderful folk.

If you would like to know how to import covers, I'll be happy to show you how. Actually, a wonderful member of our 75 challenge group (TadAd) taught me how to do this. He is an all-round great person, always willing to help our group with computer issues.

Here is his link in which he graciously shared his knowledge:

Hey there,

No problem! Welcome to the group, and I appreciate your comments :) I'll certainly look into purchasing the book as soon as possible being as I now have a recommendation!


I'm a part of the 75 challenge group and the book Goodnight Mister Tom was recommended by a well-read member of our group. When adding my review, I noted that you recommended Kindertransport. I'm adding this book to the to be read pile. Thanks for the recommendation and your excellent comments.
I'm from Ontario and specifically the Toronto area. Aside from a brief time in Ohio in my high school years I have lived in Toronto or the surrounding area most of my life. I have travelled down east and loved it and have been to Calgary a few times when my brothers lived out there, and loved it as well. Hope to get to BC in the future (and back to Nova Scotia and PEI). I will one day get to The Rock (Newfoundland) but am not brave enough to go in the winter. How do you like Seattle?
Have you read "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks? It was mentioned in a reply to one of my comments and is worth looking at given the skill she showed in "People of the Book". I am looking forward to getting the program completed -- it is a way off yet though as I am studying part time. I am also learning to drive at the same time! Talk about a challenge!
I love your story about your bookshelves and your husband. My husband looks at the pile of books growing on my side of the bed and just shakes his head...but he buys me more for my birthday and Christmas. We are looking forward to our family room project of floor to ceiling bookshelves. And my husband has become resigned to the fact that the tv and audio components will need a separate unit. I am rewarding his forebearance with shelves for his sanctuary/office.
Dear Lisa-
Oh My Gosh, I am so sorry that this reply to your nice note is so long in coming. As so many (apparently) others, I was so burnt out by three months of solid book-entering, I took a hiatus from Librarything. I am just now entering books purchased in the interim, and getting to my messages. I most recently read Penderwicks II, HOUSE ON GARDHAM STREET, and boy howdy, I do like those books. I hope there are more coming down the pike.
As for your comment on my non-fiction bent, I totally understand from whence you are coming, but I suffer from PRS- Precocious Reader Syndrome. I started reading at three, and we lived far away from any other American families in my early learning years, so I read just about anything we had in our house- mostly a dictionary, an atlas, a few history books and an encyclopedia. By first grade, I had begun on the encyclopedia set (The Book of Knowledge, which, as you know is about nine steps down from the Brittanica), and finished it by the end of second grade. My neural pathways were set toward knowledge collection, and so they remain to this day. I like the accumulation of facts and the feeling of being moderately knowledegable in a wide field of subjects.
Besides, it is kinda cool to know that whenever my wife or any of my kids has a question, they all ask Dad (there is hardly any better feeling than when a kid calls from college and has a question (the latest one one was during a late-night game session my #4 daughter was having, and she asked what "autochthonic" meant, and when I told her, I heard her tell her friends "I told you my dad would know"! That, my dear Lisa (please forgive my familiarity), made my day.
As for learning about life from fiction, well, I will just say that I have learned about life by living it, and feel no need not draw on any external sources for reference. Please understand, I am neither claiming any special status or to be an expert on pain nor have I been the recipient of any arcane or preternatural wisdom, nor am I attempting to "buff up my resume" or impress an audience (in this case, you) by making my life out to be anything particularly special. I just am capable of learning, remembering, interpreting and extrapolating my experiences as a man, a husband, a father and, most importantly, a human being. (Gosh, this sounds SO puffed up-I certainly did not mean it to be so at all. Let me just say that I do NOT feel especially intelligent or gifted- I am just VERY curious about many things, and that descriptor I will willingly claim.
Well, I am sure I ranted enough to make you sorry you contacted me on the tubes and pipes of the internets. If I overstepped any bounds of propriety or familiarity, please accept my apologies.
My apologies for the extremely tardy response. Life has a way of getting in the way, sometimes!
I was intrigued to read your pages and peruse your collection. Indeed, what was so intriguing was not the relatively large number of shared books but, given some of our overlapping interests, the ones you have that somehow I don’t know or don’t have. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about LT—the opportunity to learn about what else is out there. Not to mention the chance to meet some truly fascinating people. I must confess that your favorite job sounds intriguing to me. (Is it fair to presume that it is your current job?)

I gather that it means you must have at least a Slavic language or two under your belt. Since my family is primarily from what is now Belarus, I once thought it a good idea to learn Russian. But some things are best undertaken at an early(ier) age. At the end of the year I spent working on it, I had the vocabulary of a kindergartner—or worse. I guess the lack of common cognates is a killer. It meant spending a lot of time memorizing. And six cases just about destroyed my ability to speak. I guess that’s one of those things where it’s better to just immerse yourself in speaking, because if you spend too much time learning the technical aspects like grammar, your mind is too bogged down with detail. And, in fact, when I spent three weeks in Russia and Belarus, I managed to get by. I can read Cyrillic and speak a very basic collection of what I need to know. Plus, even if I wasn’t blessed with a great memory, I was lucky enough to have a knack for excellent pronunciation (even if I don’t know what I’m saying!).
And before I forget, you had some recommendations for me. I must confess that others (including my mother!) recommended “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.” I read it some time ago and, though I don’t recall too much about it, do recall not liking it. I can’t really put my finger on it any longer but recollect that it seemed a little…formulaic. But then you also recommended “Quo Vadis” which is something that has been on my list (with a couple other hundred things) for a while. I’ll let you know when I get to it.
I see that you just added “Doctor Zhivago.” (In fact, the little list of your recent additions is so eclectic and fascinating!) Have you had a chance to read it yet? Although it has been quite a while since I read that, I remember liking it quite a bit. I’ll be curious to know what you think.
Hope all is well in Seattle. Chicago is currently enjoying a week of summer weather. But I’ve always preferred fall, so I’m looking forward to next week’s predicted drop in temperatures.
All the best,
I'm chewing my way through The Whiskey Rebels, which I got an ARC for. I got mine late, coming from the US, so I'm behind all the other reviewers, and not making headway as fast as I'd like! But I am enjoying it -- whenever I get to it!

I'm also halfway through The River Midnight, which is lovely. Can't wait to get back to it to see where it "flows" next. And... as I don't have enough on the go, I'm reading Sex with Kings for my non-fiction selection.

I've yet to pick up any Fforde, but I have a copy of the Eyre Affair - seemed like a good place to start, and hopefully I can get to it soon!

Happy reading!


PS Please say Woof to frisbee lab for me!
I think you might have added it first! I've been watching what my "interesting libraries" are adding on the new LT home page, and finding some books with good potential there!
Hi Lisa,
I attended UCLA and studied Slavic Languages & Literature. The CHI books are my husband's. I see you were/are a Slavic serial cataloger, were you also a Russian major?

My apologies for not having responded sooner. Life has a way of getting in the way!
Thank you for including my library on your list of "Interesting Libraries." It's always a bit of unlooked-for recognition but enormously appreciated nonetheless. I love LT for precisely that reason: it exposes us all to so many other world views, both large and small. In my time here I have been lucky to have made some wonderful contacts and, through them, discovered new authors and books. In turn, I guess, I've learned a lot about many things, some old, some new, and much about myself as well.
I see that although we don't appear to share a lot of books (I suspect your entire library isn't here yet), we do share some books very dear to me.... And that we share an interest in Slavic culture as well and even a favorite author: Arnost Lustig.
In any event, many thanks for the notice; I'm grateful.

Floor to ceiling shelves! It won't happen in my current home, but maybe one day... a girl can only dream! Let me know how you make out with your living room reno...

Glad to know we share a love of books, plants (I think we're in the same gardening zone), and apparently, doggies too.

I can't believe we've both read Tisha. I didn't think anyone else had read that book... but now that I look, 138 people have copies!

Thanks for writing!

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