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The Qur'an Translation by Sayed A. A. Razwy

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The Ginseng Hunter: A Novel by Jeff Talarigo

War and Peace (Volume 1 of 2) by Leo Tolstoy

When the World Ended: The Diary of Emma LeConte by Emma LeConte

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Member: mkboylan

CollectionsRead in 2014 (71), Top 5 of 2013 (5), Best of 2013 (10), Translations I Have Read (13), iBooks (17), Read in 2013 (120), Best of 2012 (6), Donated, not read or no longer wanted (95), Kindle (46), Read in 2012 (118), Desert Island Ten (10), My Home Library (2,184), Your library (2,487), Wishlist (405), Read but unowned (190), Favorites (5), All collections (3,037)

Reviews161 reviews

TagsTo read for Dewey (40), Buddhism (18), Anarchy (12), library (7), French (5), Graphic (3), Italian (3), Japanese (3), Norwegian (3), German (3) — see all tags

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Recommendations4 recommendations

About me

Yahoo! Retirement means reading any dang thing I please! Retired four years ago from teaching family studies and psych. Also had a psychotherapy practice, which was a nice balance. I loved both and love retirement also. It's been interesting seeing my reading habits change. While teaching and having to constantly read professional texts and journals as well as student papers, I only wanted entertainment when I had time for pleasure reading. I did love reading student papers but also enjoy a good thriller. Now I also have time for more serious reading on any subject I choose, and I am choosing a big variety: travel lit, memoirs, bios, nature, recently discovered graphic novels, cultural info, political, history, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! Read Tolstoy (Anna Karenina) for the first time and could not believe how good it was - I know - I know - but I was still burned from high school ; I certainly intend to read more! I added up my books and reading speed and realize, like many of us on LT, that I simply can't live that long! I'm having fun reading tho!

About my libraryThe category Your Library is basically my "all collections". My Home Library are books that I physically own currently. I additionally have 500 books on Kindle that are not catalogued.

Here is my 2013 Reading Log:

My 2014 Reading Log:

GroupsA Pearl of Wisdom and Enlightenment, Anarchism, Ask LibraryThing, Banned Books, Book Nudgers, Book reviewers, BookCrossers, BookMooching, Books in Books, Books on Booksshow all groups

Favorite authorsGuy Delisle, Raul Ramos y Sanchez (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresAlmost Perfect Books, Avid Reader, Beers Books, Friends of the Sacramento State Library Book Bin, Sacramento Surplus Book Room

Favorite librariesCalifornia State University Library, Folsom Public Library

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameMerrikay Boylan

LocationFolsom, CA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/mkboylan (profile)
/catalog/mkboylan (library)

Member sinceJan 15, 2011

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What a wonderful space! I'm so envious!
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I like this!
Thanks, Merrikay, for the recommendation! Rebecca
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Yes Joyce that is a recliner. I thought it was really cool because altho I like sitting up straight, I also like to have my feet up.
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Very nice room. Is that a recliner?
An embarrassingly long time ago, you asked for recommendations on the BC books thread, and I said I'd think about it and get back to you. Sorry, brain decided not to think. Anyway, I just stumbled across the tread and added a review and a list of recommendations. So sorry for the delay! Here's the link:
Thank you, Merrikay. I really appreciate the info.
I'm glad you liked the stand-up, Merrikay. If you ever get a chance, check out his special "I'm Not Fat, I'm Fluffy." The things we find on LibraryThing!
Thank you for trying Merrikay. I was just going to get them from my library before I go on my vacation in August. We go to Cape Cod for two weeks every August, and it sounded like just the thing for a holiday read. My confusion was mainly around it being called a trilogy, but only finding two books. Maybe the third isn't out yet?

How is your Dewey Decimal Challenge going? I think you are very brave to go there.
Merrikay, A while back you suggested an Orna Ross trilogy after I had read A Star Called Henry which was related to the Easter Uprising in 1916 Ireland. I found "After the Rising" and "Before The Fall". Is there a third yet? I just finished reading At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill, and thought it might be one you would be interested in. I commented on it in my post on Club Read, but not sure you have seen that yet. A lot of people seem to have trouble getting into it because of the Irish dialect, but after about 50 pages or so, it does get easier. Of course everyone on my mothers side of my family speaks with an Irish brogue, so maybe that is why I found it got easier. :)
Sorry it's taken me a bit to get back to you, but my latest pick has been thoroughly enjoyable. I'm happy to see that you're getting excited about reading the Dewey. I think your idea of putting up the whole list will work just fine. I do it that way just so I can see exactly what I'm missing and how far I've progressed.

To answer your question on reading speed, I can only say that I devote almost every waking moment to this project. If I'm not working, cooking, or sleeping, I'm reading. Plus, I read a bit faster than most people I know. I'm a bit obsessive and I want to be the first one to finish this, so it'll be my life for the next 4 or 5 years.

A quick word about terminology (because you seemed a bit worried): The Dewey system is divided into classes (100s), then divisions (10s), then sections (then subsections and subdivisions after the decimal point). The easiest way to remember them is that they go in alphabetical order by left-to-right placement in each number. While a quick tour of the classes won't reveal much, the divisions will open up your horizons dramatically. I hope the amount of sections won't prove too daunting.

And as always, have fun!
Got your note on joining the DDC Challenge Group. I have to say, I'm very excited for you! Here's my advice:

First--on the tables: Mine are slightly different from the others' as I copied mine verbatim from my copy of the Dewey Decimal Classificaion Index (volume 22). Most people work with the Melvil Classification Tables (which are open-source and in the public domain) or the ones on Wikipedia (which can be slightly flawed). They're generally the same with some minor differences or semantic changes, but not enough to throw off the whole shema. Some classifications, though, will have open sections where others have them as unassigned. Melvil, for instance, keeps the 040s and the 920s assigned, while these have been retired in the DDC22. In the end, it's all just a personal preference. I use the DDC22 because I can reference it locally when I need to.

On the formatting: The formatting and arrangement are my own. After months of experimenting, I finally settled on what I have now. Inside each class's thread post are a bunch of HTML tags that keep things orderly as well as notations for which books I've read, have to re-read, have yet to read, so forth. It helps keep me straight. You are more than welcome to copy my code and I can send you all the info in a private email if you'd like. Remember, if you do the whole thing and like to include cover pictures of the books you've read, the thread will start to get unwieldy after while (like mine) and you'll have to make a part 2, part 3, etc. So make the master list in such a way that you won't mind moving it every once in a while.

On advice: If you're not going for speed on this effort, I suggest you start with everything in your own collection first that satisfies the challenge (I remember seeing you had 200 or so on hand). Once you've gotten through that, you'll have a better feel for which classes and divisions you like and which ones you'll have a tougher time on. Since you already own the books, I can safely assume that at one time or another, they piqued your interest. Start from there, then expand. Also, I tried to structure the first 100 books so that I read a book in every division first to get a feel for the different subjects. Now, I skip around. For the last 99 books (sometime in 2017 or so), I'll do another grand tour of the divisions to finish things off.

I hope all this helps and if you have any more questions, feel free to drop by!
That's a very interesting article Merrikay! Thanks for sharing. :)
I want mkboylan for MY team!!!
mk, while I have not used Beautiful Trouble for any social action, I have perused its pages, and I think it would scratch any itch you have. The sections are only a couple of packed pages each, with just a taste, but a real one: URLs, many keywords to Google for more, and most important, abundant cross referencing in the book: tactics to principles to theories to case studies, no entry just hangs there like an isolated recipe, but is tied to other entries and resources beyond the book. Worth buying, if only for a job well done.
Cool---I hope you enjoy it!
Hey Merrikay,

Though I've only skimmed through it so far, Beautiful Trouble looks great. Maybe a bit uneven, considering that each chapter is a contribution from different authors, but overall playful and very well edited.

I see you got Buddhism Observed! Let me know what you think f it.
Of course I will be your LT friend. I would also be glad to follow your reading journal on LT if you have one. Mine is here:

Being scrutinized by others is a great way to ensure I am hitting good reading goals!
I am very honored to accept your friend request. Thanks.
So what did you think about the The Secret Lives of Wives?

I followed that up the next month to review a book on Grief (stories of families dealing with it and the text book ways people deal with it) and then a memoir by a man who's father was an alcoholic (I'm still slogging through that one on my IPad).

Powering through to read Stephanie Nielson's Heaven is Here about her life before and after a bad plane crash (every hear of the NieNie dialogues blog?).

BUT I just won "More Like Her" - finally FICTION! there's a murderous husband somewhere in the mix (Yay!)

Did you try for anything in January or February?

When I started reading the prologue/intro I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But as I've been reading I'm enjoying it. She talks about her own marriage and before each narrative from a wife she has a little introduction of their marriage and of her talking to them. I've been married for 24 years this year so I find it interesting.
I got The secret lives of wives just now by UPS!! There was a note with it that said " thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing your review on"
Hope you get yours soon too!
I'm so glad you like the books! Enjoy your vacation - I love the desert too! Happy reading!
I did! I hope you did too. Didn't get any books (I would have been buying them for me as Santa anyway!) but got an iTunes card so I may buy one for my IPad. I hope you get your Secret Santa books soon! I'm almost done with my December ER book. It's pretty good. I haven't even received my November book and it's an e-book!
I saw Secret Lives in a bookstore today - oh how I wish it would get sent to us!
Oh, I would love to be back in California. I was born in SF, grew up in palo Alto and went to Berkeley. When I got married, we moved east and I've not been back, except for vacations, since then. Whenever I think of "perfect" weather, it is California. having lived in the area, you know about the greyness, bleakness of the long, cold winters.
Where's Lexington Park? I'm not from here. In 1958 I was growing up in warm and sunny California. Still haven't adjusted to the grey and cold.
thanks for your note. I do have to admit that when I opened the package, I just had question marks. But as I read the covers, scanned the first few pages, they really all made sense and became very intriguing. I've been reading "Meeting Faith" and hadn't realized that there would be a section later in the book that she wrote at a later time. I'm looking forward to her adult "take" on this. Again, thanks, they are all a great choice.
thank you very much, Secret Santa.
I know, I'm bad. Never wait to open packages. I'm already reading them. Good choices. Hope you are as pleased.
I remember contemplating the Beyond Religion but thought it might be too deep for me right now. I'll make a note of it though for the future.
I get 99% of my books from the library or library book sales. The last sale I bought about 15 books and swore I was going to read all of them before I went to borrow a book again. My weakness at the library is the 2 week books so I'll get 3 or 4 and be a madwoman trying to get them read!
I'm reading Mr Darcy Takes a Wife which (obviously) is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I guess it was originally self published and then later picked up by a publisher. It's lusty and fun and I enjoy picturing Colin Firth and Kiera Knightly in their respective roles. It's long and I had to take a short break to read my October review book - one More River - which was really good.
I nearly died of a joyful heart attack when I realized there was a "wish list" here! I'm not super familiar with the site that's why there's only one book there! I have to start transferring book titles from the scraps of paper I usually write titles or authors names on!

My husband and I were pretty impressed with her in an interview we saw (not Charlie Rose, don't remember who - 60 minutes maybe?) and I try not to let critics reviews sway me to see a movie or not. Whenever I see a movie is based on a book I make every attempt to read the book first.
Did you get anything in the November batch? I got an ebook so I'm surprised it hasn't shown up yet in my email! I thought I'd get it ASAP since the author is a Library Thing author. It's called "go the distance" and it's a memoir.
Still waiting for Secret Lives .... You too?

Two books in a row (especially with a similar subject) are much more believable than three!

Thanks for reminding me about the Padgett books. I read the first chapter of Child of Silence online at Amazon and added it to several of my wishlists. It hasn't come available, and I had forgotten about them. Next time I'm at the library, I'll see if they can get them for me.

A social worker's job sounds very tough; limited time and manpower while being held to the very high standard needed when working with kids. And your class sounds very interesting! Are you still teaching?
Hi-- I saw your post that you won a copy of Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by the Dalai Lama. I did too, so I came to take a peek at your library.

Whoa--did you really win Aging as a Spiritual Practice and This is US? If so, we have won the same book three months in a row.
I didn't see that! That would be great. I received an e-book this month - its good but I like an actual book better. I don't want to start taking my IPad to bed but some days it's the only time I read!

Let me know if you receive it and I'll do the same.

I received One More River by Mary Glickman. It's an ebook and I just got the notification to download it.

So disappointed about the other 2 books. I hope you get your October one soon!
Anything yet?

I saw the post that October books were awarded and figured I'd get nothing - but I got one and it's an e-book and the author posts her library on LibraryThing. I have a feeling I'll definitely get to read it!

Fingers are still crossed for August and September selections.

Me either!
I'm really disappointed as this is the 2nd month in a row with no book. I wish publishers wouldn't put them out there offering early reads and then not send them.
But I'll keep trying every month!
Thanks for the recommendation of Abigail Padgett. I love mysteries--they are my go-to stress-buster read. And someone in my family has bipolar so I'm very interested in that, too. So much of the bipolar stuff that is out there is like Carrie Fisher's falling-off-the-mountain-when-I'm-manic memoirs. That sort of stuff can be very depressing to read when you are dealing with it in real life.
OK, my site is now back up and running. It's just a small little item, so don't expect too much, but what's there is now viewable!
I called my hosting company and it seems its an issue throughout their servers and they're working on a fix. Maybe check back on the site tomorrow. In the meantime, if you're on Facebook, you can checkout the store's page there: Village Books - Ukiah. Thanks again for letting me know about the problem.
Dammit! Thanks for letting me know.
It is! I get so excited when I see I've been selected to review a book.
Hey Mkboylan!
Did you get your copy of "Secret Lives of Women" yet? I haven't gotten mine - hope it comes soon!
Nancy (readingfiend)
Have not, but the environmental connection is intriguing. Lots of conservation folks here in Ithaca. Thanks for the recommendation!
Hello, Merrikay

I've managed to fathom this Read but Unowned business out, thanks to a couple of fellow Library Thingies. See "What Are You Reading Now? Read but Unowned". I copied and pasted the review that I sent to you. Very easy, when you know how.

Best wishes,


P.S. Of course you can call me Cap, though my wife's nickname for me is Cappy. She thinks I look like a capybara.
Hi, merrikay

I've just spent about fifteen minutes trying to put Catch a Wave in my Read but Unowned category, but to no avail. I don't suppose you could tell me how it's done?

Many thanks,

Hello again, merrikay

I was going to write a review, but didn't know how, possibly because it wasn't my book (I found it in the library at work). There doesn't appear to be a facility to do this on LT, unless I'm missing a trick.

Incidentally, my wife Susan went out with a friend of hers last night. When it was over, I collected the girls and ran Susan's friend home. I played Pet Sounds very quietly in the background, and as our friend was getting out of the car, she said "Who's this, then? Jethro Tull?". Hmm...

All the best,


Good afternoon, mkboylan

You asked me to let you know what I thought of Catch a Wave by Peter Ames Carlin, which I've just finished.

The book is the life story of the members of the Beach Boys in general, and Brian Wilson in particular. I can neither read music nor play an instrument, alas, but found the passages about how the songs were written and came together in the studio most engrossing. Carlin has a direct style of writing which suits the narrative well, and avoids sensationalism in this very strange tale; although I thought it interesting that he had as much to say, if not more, about Eugene Landy, the man who controlled Brian for much of the 1970s and 80s, as about Murry Wilson, father and supposed tyrant. The book ends on a positive note, with the re-emergence and triumph of Brian Wilson, though it's sad to think that the band members are still squabbling in court about who-wrote-what. Best of all, Catch a Wave made me listen again to Pet Sounds. I could never understand what all the fuss was about, but now must concede that it's a pretty good album.

I recommend this book.

Happy reading,

Dave (Cappybear)

Thank you for your message, mkboylan.

I like my name, too. Unfortunately, it's not really mine. I've never liked my real name very much so whenever I have a chance I give myself another. I came up with this one by putting together the names of two characters in a story I was trying to write . . . Molly, the main character, and Grace, a friend. Mauley might have made a good name for Molly's alter ego, who was a bit of a troublemaker.

Looking at the books we have in common, I see you have several by Annie Dillard. I've been thinking it's time to reread some of her books -- though I must say I think that about too many authors and then another package of new books arrives and I get distracted -- plus there are all those other books waiting for me in the tbr pile.
What to do? Ah, well, it's a nice sort of problem to have, isn't it?

Thank you again for writing to me.


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