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The Adventures of Flash Jackson: A Novel by William Kowalski

Hidden: A Novel by Paul Jaskunas

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

In a Dry Season by Peter Robinson

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

Lux: A Novel by Maria Flook

The Lost Slipper of Soul: An Adventure in Contemporary Spirituality by Stefan Garris Meyer

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Member: mmignano11

CollectionsHarcourt Inc. (24), Harper Perennial Modern Classics Paperback (11), Canterbury Classics (1), Riverhead Books (2), Wishlist 2013 (2), Acquired 2013 (7), Read by Simon Vance (30), McMillan Audio (1), Blackstone Audio (26), Colleen McCullough (2), Joanne Harris (5), Books off the Shelf (20), Aquired 2011 (12), Nobel Prize winner (7), Series (10), Harper Perennial paperback (1), Vintage International Books (2), Winner-Shamus Award-Best 1st Novel (1), New noir (2), Detective series (5), Wishlist 2010 (3), audio book (13), Diana Gabaldon (1), HarperTorch paperback (2), Prometheus Books hardcover (1), Margaret Atwood (1), Classic Fairy Tales (1), Large Print (2), Acquired 2012 (7), Thorndike Press hardcover (1), Sequel (3), Delta Book by Dell (1), Berkley Signature Edition (1), Elizabeth Berg (10), Avon Paperback Edition (2), New York Times Bestseller (3), Bantam paperback (2), Barnes and Nobles trade paperback format-2004 (1), SantaThing gift-2009 (1), Norton paperback (1), Perseus hardcover (1), New York Times Notable Book (3), Perennial paperback (2), Murder mystery (11), Random House Trade paperback (1), Bantam paperback (1), Back Bay paperback (1), Penguin Books paperback (4), Ballantine books paperback (4), Bloomsbury hardcover (4), Harper Collins hardcover (4), Historical Fiction (15), Historical mystery (2), Random House hardcover (2), Borzoi hardcover (2), Viking Penguin Hardcover (3), Early Reviewer Edition (10), National Book Award Winner (1), Catalogued 2010 (68), Received as a SantaThing gift (1), Vintage Contemporaries edition (1), Vintage paperback edition (2), Checked out at Local library (20), Acquired 2010 (38), Takes place in NJ (5), Jodi Picoult (2), Geraldine Brooks (1), Alice Hoffman (1), Thriller (5), Paperback (35), Hardcover (43), Science Fiction (7), Martha Grimes (1), Essays on Writers (1), Orange prize recipient (1), medical reference (1), Lionel Shriver (1), Romance (7), First American Edition (5), Fantasy (8), Writers-not living (6), Writers-living (3), Fiction based on the truth (7), Journalist (4), Jersey Shore lit (1), Animals (6), Fiction (56), First Edition (19), On Writing (7), Brain teasers (1), Quotations (2), Financial advice (2), Literary Criticism (2), Reference (6), Magical Realism (3), Presidential biography (1), Biography (2), P.D. James (6), Young Adult (4), Organization (1), Cookbook (1), Horror (5), Southern fiction (5), Been read (12), Coming-of-Age (8), Short stories (11), Poetry (3), Reference (3), Mystery (17), Signed by author (3), Debut novels (11), Classics (6), Compilations (2), Religion (4), Memoir (14), Non-fiction (9), Mark Twain (2), Non-fiction-Inspirational (3), Literary journals (2), Your library (794), Wishlist (17), Currently reading (6), To read (620), Read but unowned (12), All collections (1,125)

Reviews135 reviews

TagsTBR (693), Fiction (294), 2009 (110), 2010 (98), office closet (65), fiction (53), Non-fiction (51), non-fiction (47), It's a keeper! (40), attic (39) — see all tags

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About meI love to read more than anything. I have three daughters, who have grown up to be more wonderful people than I had ever dreamed of having the privilege to influence. LibraryThing has given me the opportunity of being among people who love to read, who cherish the feeling of a new book in their hands, the smell of the ink, the feel of the page, the adventure to come. I have a degree in literature and creative writing from Stockton College, and try to read and write as often as I can. I am a dog owner(4 females and 1 happy male)and a dog lover. We have a Bengal cat,Miles(male and brought home by my daughter when she came home again)whom we just love for his independent nature. Our calico girl,Maude My husband calls her Little, although she is not. Now, the latest, what I call addition without permission is what we think is a marmalade and the vet concurs. Her name is Baby Beats. Update- Now that she has grown up some, we begin to suspect that she may be a dwarf cat of some sort as she has stayed quite small, like a perfect petite example of a grown cat. Above is a picture of my beautiful,smart,black-and-tan dappled mini-dachshund Boston Baked Beans, more popularly known as Boston, or Boss or Bossy, which was much more indicative of her nature. She was our dominant female, at a whopping 20 lbs. We unfortunately had to have her put down only a month or so ago, as she became ill and it was so difficult to watch her suffering. She was so full of life, and so quickly brought down. I miss her greeting me every morning. I miss her keeping the rest of the pack in line. We will never forget her. Now there is our golden wire-haired dachshund Kaia and our 4 American Bulldogs, Lyla, Remy, Rae and Darla.Nylons was a Chinese-Crested that was retired by her breeder and so came to us.Sadly, we had to put her to sleep right after New Years, 2012. She had CHF and we couldn't see her suffering. She was a brave girl and lived a long and happy life. She had lovely long white and caramel locks on her head and tail that need cutting regularly. So exists my zoo, although I have decided we should call it the barnyard.

My Library at LibraryThing
This is how many times my page has been visited since Jan. 17, 2009

As Winter plods along, we say goodbye to our beautiful home and return to our teeny tiny house a town over. The economy, the recession, whatever you want to call it, has taken everything we have worked for and left us with little, but I imagine we must be grateful for that little,as there are others who do not even have that.The only good news is that in staying in our own home we won't have to get rid of our dogs. I am very grateful for that but dread the future. It's a horrible way to feel at the beginning of a New Year but we will be saying goofbye to our dream home and moving back into our first home on Jan 1st or 2nd. We built our dream home, we lost our dream home, and now I'm a bit skeptical about any dreams ever coming true again.
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About my libraryMy library consists of a wide variety of books. I don't keep books I have read unless I truly love the book and just like to look at it from time to time, will read it again, or want to pass it on to someone else. Most of my books have been acquired through library sales, some through Atlantic Books,some through Barnes and Noble, and some from a local thrift shop, where I am often surprised by a good find, historical fiction or biography. I used to find the best prices at Atlantic Books( since closed, leaving us without a bookstore for 30 miles around) and of course at library sales. I often pass my books on, sometimes I want them back, sometimes I don't. I read several literary magazines, Poets and Writers, Writers Magazine,The Rambler, etc.and a new favorite is a craft magazine "Cloth,Paper,Scissors"My Library at

...I will attempt to read books from my TBR mountain. I am cataloging them this year alphabetically and putting them away in the same way so that I can find any particular book by author when I want one. It's helping me find duplicates, too, which I pass on to friends or family.
My Library at LibraryThing

;0) 75 Book Challenge 2014
Here is my link-

;0) I have joined the 75 Book Challenge again in 2013-
Here is my link-

;0} I have joined the 75 Book Challenge again in 2012- The people are so nice and Sunday at the Acre is over there and well...Here is my link to my list-

mmignano reads 75 books in 2011-

mmignano's hot 75 in 2012

Here I am listing books as I acquire them but prior to putting them in my library:

...Reading and reviewing (love it), plugging away at my new business named "Bee's Knees" (working with paper, scrap booking materials, altered art, etc to create cards, bookmarks and other small gift items) lately drawing and painting or what I call dabbling,doing housework and helping with the construction company, writing (NanoWrimo 2012)and time out for relaxation (yeah, right), I think I have enough on my plate to see me through 2012. Don't you?

Currently Reading:
Cross and Burn
Listening to A Land As Kind As Home
Waiting to be read:The Pattern In the Carpet

Looking forward to:
Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankel
Second Chance Dog by Jon Katz

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Groups1001 Books to read before you die, 2013 Category Challenge, 40-Something Library Thingers, 50 Book Challenge, 75 Books Challenge for 2010, 75 Books Challenge for 2011, 75 Books Challenge for 2012, 75 Books Challenge for 2013, 75 Books Challenge for 2014, All Things Discworldian - The Guild of Pratchett Fansshow all groups

Favorite authorsNicholas A. Basbanes, Sara Donati (Shared favorites)

Also onWordpress

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real name(Mary Beth)


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/mmignano11 (profile)
/catalog/mmignano11 (library)

Member sinceDec 3, 2007

Currently readingThe Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel by Stef Penney
John Adams by David McCullough
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis
Acceptable Words: Prayers for the Writer by Gary Schmidt
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
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Happy sixth Thingaversary, Mary Beth!
Mary Beth - how lovely to receive a PM from you. I have missed seeing you around the threads much this year and I hope you'll be back to your old self very soon. I don't really celebrate Thanksgiving but the idea of a huge family meal appeals immensely.

I have a fair bit of Kingsolver on the shelves and should get some of her work "under my belt" soon.

Take very good care of yourself and have a Happy Thanksgiving. xx
Ack! Yep, will get your threads on the Threadbook. Sorry I missed you!
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lol looks like me
What can I say, I work in a library and constantly rescue discards from the dumpster!
Hi MaryBeth, I haven't read Mudwoman yet, but I have it on my ereader already! I love JCO as well. I haven't checked out your library yet, but will do and sounds like I will count it as interesting. your review was excellent. So many are about the story and not what makes the good book. So I appreciated yours. Kate
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I love dragons, that is cool.
I'm making the rounds of those that expressed interest in John's (johnsimpson) cricket tutoring. I created a group for the cricket and a Welcome thread. I will post a link to John's thread for tutoring on the Welcome thread a soon as he creates it. I hope you join us.

Thanks for commenting on my reviews. Yeah, I love Rumer Godden; that's a lifelong thing, since some of the first novels I ever read were her novels for kids. Have you ever read any of those? MISS HAPPINESS AND MISS FLOWER and LITTLE PLUM are still two of my favorite books - they never palled as I got older (and older...) Of her adult novels, my two favorites are A CANDLE FOR ST. JUDE and IN THIS HOUSE OF BREDE - both marvelous. I got on LibraryThing because I could never find my books when I wanted them for a re-read, and that's still my major reason for being on it - I review a book occasionally, do the Early Reviewer program (yay!) and that's about it - I've tried joining groups but don't seem to keep up with them; maybe it's my mild techno-illiteracy. :)
Of course I remember you, it's lovely to hear from you again. I took a bit of a break for a while but am very glad to be back on-line and talking books again.

I am on the 75 book challenge now too, on this thread although some of my readings are short stories rather than books. I'm still counting them.

I do still have Scottie and at Christmas we got Hector, a rough haired Jack Russell who Scottie works hard to put in his place. She's very protective of him, but also very bossy. He's mostly white, with a couple of brown patches on his side and a brown face and ears, with a little white stripe down the middle of his face.

Your dogs sound great, and I love the picture above. He's a little cutie.
Hi Mary Beth, thanks for the note! That's a very sweet pup in your user photo. :) I'll try to post more in the ROOT group, but it may be slow going this year.
Mary Beth, thank you. I thought a lot about Lolita while I was reading and then afterwards, trying to figure out why it worked and why it's still shocking. That Nabokov can write!

Hi, Mary Beth,
Thanks for stopping by. I love all the pictures on my profile page. When I log on each morning I immediately see at least on of my grandbabies and it brings a smile to my face. What a great way to start the day.

And FYI, regarding the Nook, I wish that the book I'm currently reading was on it. I have regular book of When Christ and his Saints slept - 741 pages and my hands keep cramping up holding it. I can't just lay it down because it won't stay open. E-books for chunksters are a definite must as far as I'm concerned.

Have a great weekend!
Mary Beth, I wasn't sure which of your threads would come out on top, but I figured if I tagged both of them I'd find you wherever you landed. :-)

It's exciting to be at the beginning of a new reading year! Although if I keep adding books to my wishlist at this rate, I will drown!

Good reading to you, too!

Hi MaryBeth, I'm not planning many changes this year in my reading habits. I'm too set in my ways! I did set a goal to read A Dance to the Music of Time, a 4-volume novel. Last year my big book was Infinite Jest so I'm thinking "Dance" should be a breeze in comparison. Wishing you a wonderful new year full of good books and productive writing. I look forward to reading your thread again this year. ~dh

Thanks for the New Year's wishes, Mary Beth! Heartily returned, of course, with some hugs thrown in.

NaNovel was a Sandy victim, since we had no power. I haven't gotten back to it, though I will.

Mary Beth thank you for your lovely message. I have been away to the holiday island of Langkawi over the Christmas period and had three full days without internet. Happy Christmas to you too, if a little belatedly. I hope to see you active in the group next year and it has been an honour to get to know you a little this year. x
Thanks for the messages Mary Beth! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
I've updated my profile now. I always seem to forget about that profile page and focus more on updating my library! lol

Hope you enjoy the rest of December and have a great New Year!
Looks like we share 157 books and a love of dogs. Thanks for checking out my library.
Mary-Beth, I'm sorry I didn't reply to your messages. It's been a bit chaotic over the last week with everyone being off-colour in my house. We saw that cat every day of our our holiday. It had obviously found a perfectly sized spot to sleep in!
Hi Mary Beth,

I'm glad you liked the photos! There's nothing like a good LT meetup. It sounds like it woud be just the thing after all the devastation that you've suffered there. I hope you and your family and friends all made it through okay.

For some reason there haven't been a lot of meetups in New York, except for the Dec. 26 meetups when I'm inevitably out of town visiting family. The closest we got was Richard's birthday in Long Island a few years ago. But we've started talking about possibilities for a Philadelphia meetup in the spring, and I bet that everyone would be more than happy to plan another meetup that involved visiting you and meeting your dogs! As much as we all love bookstores, I always find that one of the best parts of a meetup is the time when we just sit together and talk. We can also do meetups in multiple places: for Richard's birthday, we all went to his house one day, and then met up in NYC the following day for some book shopping at the Strand and the big Barnes and Noble in Union Square. Lots of possibilities! I'm excited already at the thought of the next meetups :).
Thank you so much! Your dogs sound beautiful as well. Finn weighs something like 160lbs, now? He was a skinny boy for awhile but he's definitely filled out now. Anyway, dogs are totally the best! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)
Thanks so much for commenting on my photos :)
I've just read your comment on my review of the "Victorians" and I want to thank you for taking the time to write. It is one of the pleasures of the modern electronic age that we communicate so easily with people from around the world. Take care and I hope you get a copy of the book, you will enjoy it. Michael
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So cute. I love his little pink paws.

Hi - thank you for dropping onto my page to look at my kitten pictures. My two current ones are Australian Bombay which is, I gather, different from the American variety. Their names are Parsifal and Poppy. Parsifal has pica and is rather a worry but it is being managed (almost - I hauled about 10 inches of shoelace out of him yesterday).

They went off to boarding school today because I am flying to Sydney for a few days and I am missing them already. They will be back again next week, though ...
Oh, Social Security - well, I can help you with that a bit. When I could still work, I spent a few years working for a lawyer who specialized in disability law. Okay, you can file your initial claim on-line nowadays, so do that. You WILL be denied. Hie thee immediately to a disability lawyer - get one who specializes in disability law, and who will work for a contingency (a percentage if you win, nothing if you lose except expenses like copies and such). He will file a reconsideration for you. You WILL be denied. He will then file a request for hearing. About 2 - 3 years later (all told) you will go to a hearing, where they will hopefully approve you for benefit. I got denied, so apparently my lawyer is freakin' useless *sigh* Anyway, maintain meticulous medical records - get your doctors on your side. Get them to sign letters stating unequivocally that they believe you are disabled and unable to work. This is another place where I fell down because I've not have insurance for several years, including the last two years before I broke down and filed, and because I have to go to a pain management clinic on a monthly basis at $100 a pop plus almost another $100 in medication (pared down significantly) .... well, I just didn't have the funds to get the medical records I needed.
I appreciate your comment. You have to understand that, to me, $25 is a major investment; my husband and I are barely surviving off his fast-food salary; I can't work, and I can't get disability. So, yeah, paying $25 just so I can catalog more books on this site is not something I can justify to myself. I have heard a lot of good things about LT from other people and it would be nice to be able to keep my library here, but ... *shrug*

All the best...
Hi Mary Beth,

Oh yes, don't you just love those moonflowers? I didn't plant any this year, and I really missed them. I'm not exactly an expert, since I've only grown them a couple of years. I'm a native of Colorado, and I don't know for sure, but I doubt that the moonflower vine would grow there. I think it needs heat and humidity, like we have here in Missouri. Anyway, what I remember is that I planted the seeds in pots, like you see in my pictures, I'm pretty sure in early May. I guess when you plant them depends on where you live. Then I waited what seemed like forever for them to appear. It took so long, I thought the squirrels had gotten to the seeds. I think it helps if you either soak the seeds before planting or score them--I think I soaked mine, overnight I'm pretty sure. The vines took forever to get past the seed leaf stage, but once they get going, they grow really fast and don't need much of anything. My gazebo is about 20 feet high, and two plants had it completely covered by July.

I guess what I like most about Clarissa is the epistolary format, since it allows Richardson to present a distinctive voice for each character. I like the complex back-and-forth of the letter format as well. Clarissa has gotten herself into such a mess, and her friend Anna is trying to help, but not having much luck.

Nice to hear from you.

Hi Mary-Beth,
Nice of you to take the time to look at my library. We have the one dog - the grey one that you can see in most of the pictures is Daisy, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She's seven and a half month's old now and we've had her since she was eight weeks old. The brown dog in the first few pictures was Lulu, who unfortunately was run over at the beginning of the year. She was a Staffie as well, but probably with a little bit of something else mixed in - we got her from the rescue centre so I'm not 100% sure. I wasn't very familiar with American Bulldogs, but I've looked at some pictures and Staffies look quite similar, but a lot smaller. I think Daisy is pretty much fully grown now height wise (although she should put on more weight) and she's only about knee height.

Looks like we do share a fair few books. I've found your thread and starred it - I hadn't come across it before.
Mary Beth thank you for taking the time to wade through 200 or so posts on my overworked thread.
You are right of course I do really enjoy Scandi and as I am an avid listaholic (which you would have noticed by perusing my thread)I will list some of my favourites:

SWEDEN - Inspector Wallender - Henning Mankell of course
Inspector Knutas - Mari Jungstedt - set on Gotland
Van Veeteren - Hakan Nesser
NORWAY - Harry Hole - Jo Nesbo
- Henning Juul - Thomas Enger
- Inspector Sejer - Karin Fossum
Denmark - Department Q/Carl Mork - Jussi Adler-Olsen
Iceland - Inspector Erlendur - Arnaldur Indriadson

Why do I like them; sense of place (I live in the tropics so the escapism helps) good characterisation, gritty but elegiac, good plotting but with heroes who are normal, usually maudlin and/or troubled.

Hope that helps rather than confuses you! Have a great weekend.
Thank you for your message of Aug. 28. I meant

to reply that, unfortunately, I donʻt own the art book

you mention.

It became a "Wish List" item in my collections,

which, in fact, the great majority of all the

books listed by me are. (About 5/6).

I borrowed it from the library, and didnʻt

do much more than scan it. I think itʻs promise of

intending to discuss "the invention of color" was

a little too much for the author to undertake, but

other than that Iʻm not really familiar with it.

The "Wish List" category implies a possible

borrowing again later. It shows interest, but

doesnʻt, in most cases

mean that Iʻm making a desperate search for the item

that phrase was what attracted me to it. I donʻt

own, or even borrow, many art books. But Iʻm

glad to hear of your own interest in art and how it

combines with reading interests.
I find it difficult to play on my Ipad, I usually play on my desktop. Actually elate was fine,I use control f which produces a box in which I entered e l a t e and found that it was not play on. So you were fine. If a word has played I usually thell evetone. It is nice having you play, I enjoy it. Please keep trying ,we love to have you. Check out some the other word games also.
Hey! Thanks for your message and your welcome :) You definitely seem more well-versed in LT than I am, but I'll get there. Have a great day!
So good to hear from you. Thank you for all the wonderful information and for taking time to care!
Happy new year and great reading for 2012! - Karen
Dear Mary Beth.....

Great hearing from you again.... sorry for being so repetitive in each of my emails on this subsject.

Since last I wrote, I have finished "The Orphan Master's Son", a strange book that takes place for the most part in North Korea. Descriptions of that culture and life in that country seemed horrific to me. I don't know enough about the subject to determine whether descriptions were true or whether they were exaggerations. If true, that society would be an awful place to live after experiencing our culture and society. I wasn't entralled by the story and would have seriously considered putting it down for awhile had it not been a LT Early Reviewer's book. From there, I have progressed to "The Road to Rome", the third book in the "Forgotten Legion" series by Ben Kane. At the risk of being chauvinistic, I will say that I consider this to be a man's book since it is filled with battles, duplicity, individual combat, brutality, gladiatorial contests and, of course, sex though the latter is not of the extremely descriptive variety. It does have depth of characterization, and the author spins a pretty tight story. All in all, it is an enjoyable read due to the depth of Kane's historical research and his ability to stay true to the time period. My so tells me that he is within 100 pages of finishing Book 4 of Martin's series, so that is on the near horizon of things to be read.

From what you said about "Echo Maker", I will not put it at the top of my "To read" list. As a rule, I do not care for experimental writing nor strange writing patterns. About the only author that I really like who consistently uses strange and amazing patterns of prose is William Faulkner. I found his "chain of consciousness" style absorbing. I really liked "Intruder in the Dust" and his trilogy as well as "The Sound and the Fury".

Your bulls are significantly different from the English bulldogs that I was picturing. They sound as if they are massive beasts. I didn't realize that they were so large.... they must be solid blocks of muscle! I don't imagine that keeping them fed is an inexpensive thing to do.

I'm happy that you found "Toss of a Lemon".... I think that you will enjoy it. I haven't read any of Vikram Seth's work at all, but know that I have one of his books laying around the house somewhere. You might also like Vikram Chandra and also Adiga, who won the Man Booker Prize a couple of years ago for "Yhe White Tiger". He also released "Between Assassinations", but I haven't managed to get through that one yet. I also really, really like Amitav Ghosh's writing style. He is an Indian author who writes about Indian characters though they may not always be in India... instead in Malaya, Burma, etc. There is a humanity in his writing that seems to really strike home for me.

I heartily agree with you regarding Martin's descriptive writing. He paints a vivid picture with so few words. I have often thought about James Fennimore Cooper's writing in comparison: where Martin takes a paragraph, Cooper takes two pages with little, if any, significant difference in creating a picture!

Eric is, as he describes, still drowning in his research. He has finally reached a point where he is close to being done with the research: he's comparing manuscripts against the published work. Tehn he will have to sort through notes organize, and collate, and then he will finally be able to start writing. He'd like to finish by mid February, but is unsure if that is possible. If not, he will have to put it aside for awhile as he needs to prepare another paper that he needs to present in Kalamazoo, MI, at an international medeival conference. He also returns to full time work at the university in a week and a half so that cuts down significantly on available time.

Sounds as if you were going to make marinara sauce. I love that with hot Italian sausage over whole wheat pasta along with the salad that you describe and a crispy, crunchy baguette.

Once again, I have written more than I had intended. I hesitate to lull you into a stupor and state of boredom. Keep warm: stay safe....


Hi Mary Beth.....

How wonderful to hear from you. I really do look forward to hearing from you and hearing about what is going on in your life. I don't think that you could ever possibly write enough.... I surely don't get tired of reading your messages!

Sounds as if you have really kept busy with Thanksgiving and your puppies. I take it by your "jowly" description that they are bulldogs rather than dachshunds. My sister in Texas has a bulldog as do the people next door here in Columbus. The one here is a massive male who is terrifically affectionate and loves to be petted. As soon as one starts, he just leans into the rubbing, shuts his eyes, drools, and makes noises almost like a cat purring. He is a really neat dog!

You must finish all of your books prior to beginning Book 3 as that book will demand your full attention. So much happens, there are so many twists: you will find yourself totally immersed making it difficult to even want to delve into any other book! There was one point in that book that I stopped reading and thought "My God, did that just happen !?!"

I have "Echo Maker" sitting on my shelf to be read. What did you think of it? The reviews that I read were very positive, so I am hoping that it will live up to my expectations. I am reading "The Orphan Master's Son" right now while I wait for Eric to finish Book 4. He is almost to the end, but he has been slowed down due to all of the research that he has been doing. Anyway the "Orphan Master" has a North Korean as the main character and most of the action so far takes place in that country. I am about half way through it, and I still haven't decided whether I like it or not. It is a strange book about a strange culture and geographic place. I guess that I just haven't figured out whether everything that goes on and all of the expressed beliefs are reality or just the imagining of the author! This is a book that I rec3ived through LT's Advance Reader program, so I need to at least finish it. I'm not sure if I would continue if I didn't feel the obligation to give it a full reading.

I also read "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet". The book is a combination of a "coming of age" story combined with a live story. It takes place in the NW US and deals with life in the Chinese and Japanese sections of Seattle. The story shifts back and forth between the 1940s and 1980s and deals with Japanese internment and prejudice. Parts were somewhat typical and predictable with some stereotypical characters, but I enjoyed it and was able to identify with the characters. The story made for some good light reading at a less intense level than some of the other books that I have been reading.

There are so many books sitting on my shelves that need to e read yet I keep on buying more. I will never be able to catch up!

Monday night is the big Aldus Society supper and auction. We meet for supper at one of Columbus' Italian restaurants for wine and good food. Combined with that is a silent auction for books which have been contributed by Aldus members. This year there will be over 200 books to bid on. The selection of topics is diverse, so one can usually find something interesting to bid on. Bidding runs from the inexpensive to some books which can go for a goodly sum. Last year I won the bid for a hardcover auction catalogue book by Madelaine Stern and Leona Rostenberg. I like looking at book collections and seeing what other people are interested in. I have the bound three volume catalogue of the auction of A. Edward Newton's library. The neat thing about the set is that two of the volumes have the prices that the books actually sold for. I would have loved to have been at that auction.... prices were unbelievable low compared to what some of those books cost today. Of course, prices were significantly lower since the auction was in 1941!

Eric is still reading and rounding up info, but it seems that his research is close to being completed.
Writing will be the next step, and then he will have to submit it for publication. He hasn't decided which journal he will go with first. A peer reviewed journal of some kind will be his first choice. There are multiple professional journals that could be interested since his topic crosses over into different areas, so we will have to see what happens. He is hoping that the article will lead to a book since there seems to be quite a bit of related info to his original project. When it finally comes out, I will get you a copy and mail it off to you. He has two other articles that he finished early this year that will be published in early 2012.

Yes, "Dance of the Dragons" is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I imagine that as soon as Eric gives me Book 4, he will take that one to read. His research leave will be up in a couple of weeks, so he will be back to work full time at OSU. That will cut down on his recreational reading immensely.

We had a heavy frost last night.... it was different seeing white on the grass this morning! I think that the same will be true tomorrow morning. We are supposed to stay in the 40s for the rest of this week then we are supposed to go down to the 30s during the day next week. Winter is surely on the way!

Well, I guess that I had better sign off before this turns into a book and I put you to sleep.... maybe that would be a good thing for you! I hope that you are getting more sleep and that your days are going well. You know that I look forward to hearing from you so I won't say "Write soon!" Stay safe, stay warm, sweet dreams....


I finished the last character chapter of Book 3 and then thought about skipping the Epilogue. What a mistake that would have been!
Dear MB.....

I just finished Book 3.... can't wait for you to get into it.... this book will blow your mind.... absolutely. Just don't start it before Thanksgiving or your holiday will be ruined, and your family will be upset that you are totally engrossed in this story! I have started to read "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet". It is really low key after the previous read, but it is keeping my interest so far.

I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday is filled with happiness, love, and peace. Stay warm: stay safe!

Hi There, MB.....

Well, it is a rainy day here in Columbus.... guess that that is a great reason to continue reading some Martin. I am still on book 3.... it is absolutely amazing.... so much so that I have often had to stop reading just to think about what I just read. I thought that the first two books were terrific, but they are just a prelude to whet one's appetite for book 3. I don't know how Martin will possibly follow up, but I am sure that he will!. I'm on page 767, so have a way to go. My son hasn't finished book 4 yet since he has been working on the research that he worked on at Princeton. He will get an article out of it for publication and is thinking about expanding it into a book as there is so much in that genre that has never been written about or only briefly touched upon from the academic standpoint. I find that the topic is strange since he is really a medeivalist.

I haven't started anything else... not even the Twain book. I try to spend some time outside on nice days getting plants, flowers, and bushes cut back for the winter. I also try to get a workout in three to fivce times a week.... nothing really strenuous, just trying to keep the blood flowing.

I will watch for Cathedral by Carver. I have just begun to get into the short story genre. I've read some Alice Munro, Tim Gautreau, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nam Le ... all of which I have truly enjoyed but not been gripped by. I purchased a copy of Barry Hannah's short stories that was released this year. I had heard that he was an extremely interesting writer, so one of these days, I must get to him. I do find the obvious advantage of stories being short a great draw for me.... also that the really good writers have great variety in topics and depictions of characters.

Well, you take care of that huge family of yours. Soon your animals will be frolicking in snow, and we will be bemoaning the cold.... hopefully, it will not be a bitter cold this year. As always, it is great to hear from you. As a dear friend of mine always says...."Write when you will! Craig
Hi MB.... Wonderful to turn on the computer and have messages from you.

The Mark Twain book came out last year and was published by The University of California Press. The book is the first of three volumes including previously unpublished material. The first volume is quite large... I think I will not read it straight through but rather read a bit, go to something else, and then come back to it. If it is really engrossing, I may change my mind, but right now there is just so much else to read.

It would be fun to communicate and speculate on the Thrones story, but you are absolutely correct: I would probably give something away. An interesting phenomenon that is sharable is that ones interest in certain characters fluctuates.... at least they do for me. For example, Sansa has gone from a character that I didn't care about much to one that, to me, is now really interesting. I find it the same for Daenyrs and Tyrion. I do agree with you, sometimes one just wants to get through one character's chapter just so that one is closer to another character. I will tell you that Tyrion develops into a great character with real depth!!!! I hadn't thought about your specualtion that Martin may have written the story, or part of it, as a character and then went and cut and pasted. That would have been helpful in keeping continuity, that's for sure. That whole thing was a really neat observation on your part!

If you go to Library Thing and get into my library, put "Cotsen" into the search box and hit "Search" That will give you all of the private press books that I have from the Cotsen Library. Three of them are about Beatrix Potter. One is a facsimile of a letter that Beatrix sent while the other two are compilations of photographs, drawings, correspondence, ad infinitum in the collection. Lloyd Cotsen, the person who funded the Cotsen Children's Library is a prolific collector.... children's books is just one area that he collects. He is getting up in years, and though he was recently quite ill, he has recovered admirably and appears to still be going strong!

Well, guess that I had better sign off for now. Take care and give your puppies a pet for me. Stay safe..... CRaig

Hi There.... It is really nice hearing from you.... I don't know how, but I missed your emails from October 23rd and then the 28th. I usually look to see if there is anything from you... don't know how they evaded me, but there they are today along with the last one that you sent.

Wonderful that you are reading and enjoying "Thrones" I finished the second book.... on a level with the first book... and am into book three. I think that this third book is even better than the first two.... characters have their stories really advanced and there are lots of twists and unexpected (but logical and true to the story) events. This author really knows how to spin a tale! I think that, so far in this book, Sansa, Jon, Jaime, Daenrys and Tyrion really come into their own. My son told me that another way to read these books is to read the chapters devoted to one character all together, then go back and read another character. I don't know how well that I'd like that... whether the individual stories would be less for not knowing what is going on with other characters. I may give it a try and go back after I have finished book five and see how it reads.

As usual, I haunt local book stores and found O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" (Viet Nam) and also "The Autobiography of Mark Twain" last week. If one waits long enough, books seem to show up at a decent price. I try to buy first edition/ first printing hard covers, so if a book is really popular, I usually don't find it right away at a price that I am willing to pay. I guess that patience is a virtue!

If you ever get to Princeton, stop in at the Cotsen Children's Library in the same building as the main university library (Firestone Library, I think is the name) They have quite a bit of original Potter material.... manuscripts, letters, etc. I know that they have also published two limited edition hard cover books about her... one is a collection of photographs. There is also a soft cover reproduction of a picture letter that Potter wrote. It is amazing to me how someone like her can capture the essence of wonder and whimsy in her creations.... truly talented. Usually, one can just walk into the library and they are able to pull out things for you to look at. There is something about seeing and holding the original that is never duplicated in a reproduced publication.

I really don't have reading goals, I have a backlog of books, so I just pick up what piques my interest at the moment.. In the area of fiction, I check out Bookmarks, Publisher's Weekly, LA Times, and New York times as well as local publications to see what books are recommended. Then I try to find them at book stores. We have a chain here (they're in quite a few cities and states) called Half Price books. The store handles mostly used books and, if one checks carefully, great books can be found. Current publications... whether fiction or non fiction.... are half of list price and one can often find what one is looking for if one is patient. Also there is a good selection of hard cover and soft cover editions that are not current.... a great place to look for books that one missed when they first came out, or to find a classic. Usually I find more books that I buy than I will probably ever be able to read. Could this be a sickness.... I think so! Columbus also has a book group called The Aldus Society that meets regularly that I sm a member of (sorry for the misplaced modifier, but I am too lazy right now to go back and reconstruct that sentence!)

Check out "Toss of a Lemon" by Vistwanathan (I think that spelling is correct) if you haven't read it already.... an excellent novel about India. There is also a book called "Partition(s)" that was published this year and is a story about the India/ Pakistan partitioning. Amitov Ghosh is another Indian author who I think is superlative in his story telling. Vikram Chandra has also received some acclamations.

Well, I guess that I had better end this book and let you get on with more important things. Working with Avon products will surely cut into some of your time! Write when you will.... I can't possibly tell you nor explain to you how much I enjoy and look forward to your messages! Stay safe....


Hi MB.... I was happy to hear that you found a copy of Invisible Bridge.... I sure hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. Besides being a comnpeling read, it also filled in some historical WWII facts that I hadn't known about.... especially Hungary's wartime participation.

Alan Mallinson is a British author who writes a lot of fictional period British military history. His main character is Matthew Hervey. The theme is very similar to Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series though the settings are very different. Both are great from an action, military history novel point of view, but I think that I like Mallinson's use of language a little better than Cornwell's The Sharpe series was very popular in England: they went so far as to produce a BBC series with Sean Bean starring as Sharpe.

I finished the second book from the "Game of Thrones" series. I started to read another book that I have been wanting to get to, but just couldn't get into it since I wanted to know what happened to Martin's characters, so now I am back into the third book of the series. I find that I have become invested in some of the characters and can't wait to see what happens with them. In a way, the series does seem like a soap opera in that it is a continuation, but it surely isn't maudlin, overly dramatic. It is also similar to much historical fiction that I have read, but I find that the Martin books move much more quickly. There seems to be no pause in these books so far.... characters are constantly developing... or dying off.... and the story keeps moving on at a good pace. Maybe you mighty be able to get "Game of Thrones" at the library and give it a try. The following books seem go e set up the same way as the first (chapters carrying forward the story but fro different characters' perspectives). If you like the format of the first book and the story, you will surely like the rest. Eric, my son, spouts effusive praise for the third book, so I am anxious to get into it.

Re: Larsson's trilogy, if you get a chance to see the Swedish film versions of the three books, be sure to invest the time The characters were exactly as I pictured them and the film script itself stayed true to the books.... a rare thing these days.

Thanks for filling me in on Nanowrino. I hadn't heard of that project before.... sounds quite intriguing. I am in wonder at all of your activities... absolutely amazing!

The weather here has been cold and dreary with intermittent rain... drizzle and the heavy stuff. Not the kind of weather on would want to be outside in, but it is glorious weather to curl up with a book. I hope that all is well with you. Write when you will.....Craig
Hi, Mb...

What is "Nanowrimo"?. I haven't hearcd of that.

I finished "Snake Woman...." a good story, but I didn't find the conclusion too satisfying: I thought that it was really bland and the easy way out for the author. Now I'm about 300 pages into "Clash of Kings"... 2nd book in Martin's series. So far, it is every b it as good as "Game of Thrones". The story carries on with the same characters and adds a couple of new ones. I think that part of the genius of Martin is that he is not afraid to add new characters nor is he afraid to get rid of characters after they have served his/ their purpose! I guess that one could equate this series to a sci fi soap opera with the length that is involved!

I will be sure to start on the Tana French books soon. I don't know why, but when I do read mysteries, I enjoy those written by non U.S. authors. Perhaps it is because of the different outlook on life and varying value systems. I really enjoy the Scandinavian authors, so I am anxious to put an Irish author up against the formers' skill.

I also have a couple of new Age of Sail books, both fiction and non fiction, to start on and my son picked up seven Allan Mallinson novels that I haven't read yet. I always enjoy his writing.

There are so many books.... so little time!!! I hope that all is well with you... stay safe....



I haven't read anything by Collen McCullough. I will watch for a copy and give it a try.

I'm reading the Snake Woman of Little Egypt by Hellenga right now. It is a novel about fundamentalist Christianity with snake handling, cyanide drinking, etc. Hellenga does a good job taking a "fringe" group and making that culture clear and understandable..... a very sympathetic look so far. The story so far is very informative and not at all "Preachy": neither pro nor con. The characters are well drawn, believable.... although, at this point, I'm not so sure who one of the main characters (Sunny/Fern) really is.

I just finished Martin's Game of Thrones. I usually don't read sci fi fantasy, but my son demanded that I give it a try and supplied the book so I sat down and tried it. The story is absolutely amazing... hooks the reader from the start. Characters are full and defined and just when one thinks that the story will be predictable, the plot twists. I can highly recommend it. This first book is 800+ pages and is followed by four more books.... the fifth just came out... with another two in the offing before the story ends. According to my son, the story keeps getting better, so I will start the next book as soon as I am finished with Snake Woman.

I have found some good, older books lately.... I will never be able to read everything that I want! The books keep piling up, but the way I look at it, they are all potential friends and one can never have too many of those. Each is a different personality with a uniqueness to offer!

Your new phone seems to be working out well for you. It is a great feature to have the word supplied when one begins to type. I haven't opted for a new cell phone yet. My youngest son has a 4G phone and loves it. He is back out in Princeton for a couple of weeks doing research at the Cotsen Library on campus. He has research leave for this quarter from OSU, and Princeton gave him a grant so he has time to get some things done. It is a change for him since he is usually working with manuscripts and early books.

Well, this is longer than I intended it to be.... write when you can: I do enjoy hearing from you. Stay safe...

Hi again....

Well, the Orringer book takes place pre and during WWII in Hungary and France. Besides providing insights into that period of time that I hadn't read about previously, the story centers on a couple who fall in love, deal with the hardships and joys that they face, and, as Jews, fight to survive within a Europe stacked against them. Orringer is spellbinding in her prose.... draws the reader in and holds their attention unflaggingly. This is NOT the holocaust novel that has been read before.... a totally different animal!

If you are into the historical fiction genre, be sure to read Sharon K. Penman's earlier stuff... the Sunne in Splendor for one (her first) and another entitled When Christ and His Saints Slept. A good historical mystery author is Ariana Franklin and her "Mistress of Death" series. She has depth to her characters and plots are really intelligent.

What have I been reading? Currently I am reading the third book of Conn Iggulden's Emperor quartet about julius Caesar..... excellent series with depth of characterization.... prominently Caesar and Brutus throughout all four books. I've been reading various Age of Sail books from my collection of sea stories and nonfiction. I also can recommend two books by a Louisiana author named Tim Gautreaux. He has written short storers and novels... the two that I have read are The Clearing and The Missing.... the latter was one of the better books in 2010. He writes with an honesty that captures the essence of his characters.... something not so common anymore. I also have started reading a lot of work by Middle Eastern authors. I am trying to get some sort of understanding of the Islamic culture. No, I should change "understanding" to "knowledge". There seems to be so much in that religion culture that I will never understand.

Glad that you are getting on the computer at the WiFi places. I go over to Panera once in a while and my son takes his computer and heads over there to pound out some work occasionally. I have a wireless hookup here at home.... convenient but, as you note, pricey. Sounds as if your husband is treating you well by keeping you hooked up to books!

I have Tana French's three books..... I had heard that In the Woods was outstanding, but I haven't read an of them as of yet. I have never been a huge mystery fan, but I really was drawn into Stieg Larrson's trilogy. What an amazing trio.... so sad that he spent such a little time on earth. I have heard that Jo Nesbo is also an outstanding author of mysteries as well.

Well.... this is turning into a book. Let me know your opinion of In the Woods when you are done... I'd like to hear your take on it. You take care of yourself... stay safe.... Craig

Hi Mary Beth.... It's been ages since last we wrote! I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you to watch for a book by Julie Orringer entitled The Invisible Bridge. I think that you might enjoy it. Hope that all is well with you..... Craig
Hi Mary Beth,

Gosh, what a story about your pups! Well done for your midwifery - I'm impressed. They sound adorable, and I hope you find deserving homes for them.

It is true I have had very little time to visit LT recently, for a whole host of reasons I won't bore you with. I have been spending so much time at the computer writing one thing or another (I produce magazine articles for the textile and horse press too) that I need to get away from it completely the rest of the time, which means on-line forums and such don't get much of a look-in. However, please do send the link to your reviews in due course, and for that I will definitely log in!

Hope you are having a lovely summer,

All good wishes (for the puppies too!),

Cute the one crawling on the screen.

Stopping by to say hello and to look around and to tell you about two giveaways on my blog.

I have two separate giveaways going on…one is for NIGHT TRAIN and one is my Blog Hop giveaway of HOW TO READ THE AIR.


Elizabeth's latest review link-75 book challenge
Thanks, as always, Mary Beth, for your support! I'm delighted to report that A World Invisible has been chosen for another Book Club's group read here in the UK, so I'll be going to meet the members in May.

Best wishes,

For those of you who stop in to check out my profile page, I'd like to leave a message. Don't forget to put "A World Denied" by our own LT author Joanna O'Neill on your list of books you have to read. You'll regret missing it if you don't. Well-drawn characters, with a tight, clever literary style, Joanna's latest never fails to delight in this, her second book. Start with "A World Invisible" to double the pleasure although the second book stands on its own, you'll feel like you are in the know when you come across clues with Rebecca, Connor and the unique bunch they meet in "A World Denied".Enjoy and drop in to Joanna's page which you can see below this message to let her know what you think. Sincerely yours in sharing a good thing, Mary Beth!
Hi Mary Beth,

Thanks for your kind comments about my new book - very much appreciated, as I'm sure you know! I'm currently on the third and final Rebecca story, and have strong ideas about what I will be following it up with next year - something quite different, but I'm trying not to think about it too much lest the ideas start to feel stale.

Good luck with yours. I agree that organisation does help. I write in the morning when I can, although sometimes other stuff gets in the way - Life, I guess...

Best wishes,

Hi Mary Beth,

This is to let you know that my second book, 'A World Denied', is now out and available through Amazon and other on-line booksellers. As you might guess from the title, it continues the story begun in 'A World Invisible', and I am now in the planning stages of the third and final novel in the sequence.

'A World Denied' is published by Wooden Hill Press (ISBN: 978-0956443212) at $12.99. I really hope you will buy it and enjoy it!

Have a great Christmas,

Mary Beth, You sent me a note when I had just signed up -- and I don't think I ever answered it, plus your are on the 75 challenge and I don't know your thread (there are a lot of them!!!! and my eyes get tired.....) I'm kind of finding my way around now..... and I am cleaning up my comment box and found your note. I am so sorry!

The answer to your question (which was if I liked the John Adams bio) is YES!!!! If I haven't rated it yet when I do I will give it a *****. One of the best bios I've ever read. I finished it on July 4 in the morning -- just about exactly around when he died, and burst into tears. Quite a moment, I had no idea until I got to that page.

Your dog is a dear!

My own thread is Whatisasibyx? on the 75. Lucy/Sibyx
LOL! Some might say I'm obsessed with dogs. I took the name from my business and my blog:

Thank you so much for your note.
Hi Mary Beth

Thanks for posting on my LT home page. I'm a member of the 75 challenge group. We are a friendly, caring, kind and well-read group of folk. Why not stop by the thread and visit us.

Later tonight I'll be sure to check your library.

Hi, I still consider myself an aspiring writer. I tend to write speculative fiction and poetry. Since this is a smaller niche, I have joined a lot of online discussion groups that have a lot of "genre" authors involved in them, and new projects (anthologies) get discussed a lot. If I feel I can write what is being asked for in the call-out, and the prices are "professional-rate" (which isn't very much, ha ha), I will throw my hat into the ring. I am not quitting my day job, and I don't plan on it. I write what I like, and I do it mostly for myself.

The main advice that I could give you is as follows: Stick with professional rate jobs/offers. Don't do things "just to get your name out there" at a cut rate or even *gasp* for free (NOOOoooOOoooOooo! but charity projects are okay). Be ready to wait for replies, but feel free to find out how long a reply will take. If you get rejected, be nice and ask why. They may even tell you what you need to fix, and accept your re-write. No matter what, thank them for their time. Feel free to build up the résumé by writing for magazines, online publications, anthologies, etc. This may even lead to someone asking you to contribute something to their project (I've never been asked, but I've been told to NEVER refuse when someone asks you to contribute... and they are paying...UNLESS it is for charity or something). Use the books you mentioned and already have for professional resources. You should NEVER have to pay ANYTHING for someone to publish your book (unless you are "self-publishing"). A lot of digital only publishers pay the same rate as physical publishers. Remember, if a company seems too good to be true, do some research about it. Find a favorite author of yours who writes like you do, and see if they have a message board. Join that community. Talk about issues and problems as they come up. Keep us informed if you sell a story, book, poem, non-fiction piece... whatever. Please!
Thank you for your very kind review of my first book "Poetry Unplugged." I would like to know if I can pay you to add your review to my Amazon and Barnes & Noble page. My publisher says it is always helpful to have several reviews. So far, I have 2 reviews and want to have more.
Please advise! I also hope this message finds you and your daughters in the very best of health and happiness!
Irene & Neale Brodsky
and Brodsky family
To Mary Beth
From Irene Brodsky, author of Poetry Unplugged (Outskirts Press)
I would like to have a review of my book on
Where can I send my book to you?
Irene Brodsky
Teacher of Poetry at Brooklyn College of the City University
of New York
I am the author of Poetry Unplugged (Outskirts Press) 1432736507
I would like to know if you review poetry books. my book is
free style with no boundaries, no resemblance to a Hallmark card,
eye-opening, hopefully never boring, definitely daring and it even has
Halloween poetry that I read to the public school children here in
new york city. Please advise.
irene brodsky
Teacher of Poetry / Brooklyn College
Dear Mary Beth,

Thanks for your message, and for ading me to your Interesting Libraries.

We may end up sharing a few more books in common - I have yet to add most of my SF books with authors P-Z to my library, which means there's quite a few Pratchett books to be added; and I, like you, have "Tiny Deaths" on my wishlist for 2009. But I agree that it's good to find people with whom one has few books in common, as well as those with whom one shares lots of books.

I'm glad you want to buy Transported. I recommend getting it through New Zealand Books Abroad - the direct link is

(I think this is the link you meant, but I'm reposting it to make sure.)

The fastest postage option is quite expensive, so I think most people go for a cheaper but slower option. NZ Books Abroad are very reliable, but please let me know if you have any problems.

Thanks so much for your beautifully crafted comment at author chat.
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