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Possession : a romance by A. S. Byatt

Sir Thomas Browne. by Peter Green

Falls the shadow by Sharon Kay Penman

Sweet potato recipes by Janet Borman

The shipping news by Annie Proulx

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The Ghost at the Table: A Novel by Suzanne Berne

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Member: rmckeown

CollectionsYour library (7,199)

Reviews654 reviews

Tagsfiction (3,033), biography (396), short stories (363), jims office (362), updike (345), poetry (327), inscribed (318), literary criticism (257), film (225), Algonquin (185) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meWe have been married 531 weeks (we were married on 04/04/04). Ramona is a librarian and Jim is an English Professor at a small college in Texas. Talk about a match made in heaven! It was not so much a marriage as a merger of libraries, film, and CD collections.
--updated 4/27/14

About my libraryThis cataloging "disease" makes us want to expand our desert island shelf at least two-fold! We will have to pick a larger island on which to be marooned!

GroupsAlgonquin Readers Round Table, Anglophiles, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Book Nudgers, Early Reviewers, Evolution, Fans of Joyce Carol Oates, Le Salon du peuple pour le peuple, Librarians who LibraryThing, The Brontës

Favorite authorsMargaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Ann Beattie, Elizabeth Berg, Charlotte Brontë, Anita Brookner, John Cheever, Billy Collins, Michael Cunningham, Richard Dawkins, George Eliot, Charles Frazier, Kaye Gibbons, Jane Hamilton, Homer, James Joyce, Barbara Kingsolver, Ian McEwan, Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Carl Sagan, Henri Troyat, Anne Tyler, John Updike, Patrick White, Jeanette Winterson (Shared favorites)


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Real nameJim and Ramona McKeown

LocationWaco, TX

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/rmckeown (profile)
/catalog/rmckeown (library)

Member sinceSep 3, 2005

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Your profile photo makes me smile. You look like a happy family.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. You have a very nice library. We have wide but similar tastes.

1,000 Yen Soseki notes are hard to come by these days so your friend has done well. You might be interested to hear that Murasaki Shikibu was used in a limited run 2,000 Yen note. These are hard to come by as mostly they have gone into collections. It is a truly beautiful note.

I'm doing all right. Still reading. Taking history courses and annoying my professors. (In my World War II class, when the prof spoke on the Holocaust I kept contributing esoteric bits of info and correcting her pronounciation if various concentration camp names.) I'm glad you hated the book as much as I did.
I guess it's always a work in progress, right? I've recorded the shelves where my children's books are located on Gurulib, but I haven't yet transferred that to LT, so only my literature is recorded by shelf so far in LT. I guess I have five bookcases completely full of books and a few others with board games and other things.
It looks like you have a great library--I'll have to browse some in it.
FYI, I uploaded a cover for "The Moon Pinnace" in case you want to use it.
You are an idiot.
Howdy from Houston. I bought the Glenne book, "King Harry's Sister, Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland," back in 1996 or so, from a UK bookseller via ABE. I knew absolutely nothing about the author. I was looking for background information on Queen Margaret, as I'd been assigned the role at the Texas Renaissance Festival (played QM 1996-2000), and the pickings were mighty slim.

Yes, Mr. Glenne's various books in this vein are technically categorized as biographies. My guess, based on my read of the Margaret Tudor book, is that they were targeted for a 1950s-era YA/Juvenile audience. "Scholarly," they ain't, LOL.

The one I *really* want to read is "The Loves of Louis XIV." ;-)

I have been unable to convince the library to re-shelve the Glenne book in the fiction section. The conversation went like this:

ME: "This book is in the wrong section. It's with the biographies and I just finished it and it's a novel. A really bad one."
LIBRARIAN: "It has a B on the spine, for biography."
ME: "I know that. But that's wrong. It's not a biography."
LIBRARIAN: "But it has a B on it."
ME: "The B shouldn't be there."
LIBRARIAN: *exaggerated sigh, takes the book*
ME: *returns some days later to find it right back in with the biographies*
My Catherine Howard book is from the Allen County Public Library in Indiana. The catalog says it was published by R. M. McBride in 1948. The book is mis-shelved in the biography section of the library, but it's actually fiction. I thought it was terrible. Here are my complaints from my review I wrote at the time: "From the tender age of four she [Catherine] is ludicrously aware of the world around her in such a way that cannot suspend disbelief. The first third of the book is about Henry VIII's first four marriages, interspersed with tedious descriptions of Catherine's neglected, amoral childhood in the care of her step-grandmother. Finally Henry notices Catherine and the story slogs to its conclusion and her death on the scaffold. This is neither historically accurate nor well-written."

A few things I remember about it: Catherine knew Anne Boleyn even though they were yonks apart in age and there's no evidence they ever even met, and that old myth about Henry VIII having an affair with Anne's mother was in there. I understand it's a novel and doesn't have to be strictly accurate, but those sorts of errors combined with the just plain bad writing irked me.
I have added you library to my list of interesting ones too.
I am looking forward to browsing through your shelves, even more so because it is a combination of your wife's library and yours.

Paola :-))
I read it here on LT. You have a blog? Is that the one listed above, here on your profile page? I am off to take a look.

I know what you mean when you say you have too many unread books. It is the same with me, but it certainly does not deter me from buying more. I could not live without books, that's it!


P.S. I turned a nice shade of envy green when I read you had the luck of meeting A.S. Byatt....sigh....;-)
I just read your beautiful and insightful review of "The Children's Book", and I just wanted to express my appreciation. I am reading the book now, and savouring each and every word of it. I thought 'Possession" was my favourite book, but I am afraid it will soon become my second favourite.
Thank you.

Paola :-))
Yes, Jim, Alan's a good friend -- and I'm sure it was a great reading. I'm afraid I'm about a year behind in updating books on this site. Will have to catch up one of these days! Peace, Steve
"In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro."

It's Latin, a cite from a 14th century monk, and it means "I have sought tranquility in everything but found it nowhere except in a corner with a book."
Haha, no -- I used to work in a bookstore, worked in libraries in college, and went to grad school, but now I'm just unemployed.
Well, hello Jim & Ramona, I have to say, you two are an inspiration! I just discovered LT, and have been working away. What a bunch of interesting ways to look at books-we share 51, and I've only entered around 130. Very interesting indeed. Thanks for the invite. Best, Dave
Like your profile site. Another Updike fan - and Jim Harrison too? I am from Harrison's hometown, but he is several years older and moved away when he was 12 or 13. I first met him 30-some years ago. Love his new book, but my favorite is FARMER. Another bestselling author who was born in Reed City is Doug Stanton, whom I do know, as well as his folks. His new book HORSE SOLDIERS will be out in a week or so from Scribners. And, like you, I was once an English teacher. Thank God, that's over - long ago. - TimBazzett
I don't think so. It's fairly violent.
P.S. I see your Updike collection is huge. I feel so lost this week. I never questioned that Updike was always going to be there for me -- to light my way, to enlighten my path, to delight & expand my vision. I can't begin to "deal" with an Updike-less world. We were so very fortunate to have him.
I have one day left to break my record & list 10 books in one month ! In order to do this I've looked at finishing some of my half-read books. One I feel guilty about leaving mid-way is Margaret Drabble's RED QUEEN. I searched a few reviews (really negative - Drabble is great - who are these readers??) then I found YOU. How delightful - your story, your photo your lovely pets, your library. "Meeting" you is a GREAT way to start my day! I too am a librarian - retired - husband, alas, reads few books. One more note: up here in Ottawa, Canada (snowed in & with a 2-month long bus strike to help things along) it is so very good to revise my TX aversion & learn that Waco is not just the mad-religious-nut-centre of the US. Now for a bit of breakfast & a plunge into the last 100 pages of the Red Queen.
Thanks for being out there. All the best.
Congratulations, you two on finding each other and successfully merging libraries! Makes me think I shouldn't give up looking for a man who loves to read as much as I do. Actually that's not quite right, I haven't really been looking (happily enough divorced for 10 years), but am a bit tempted by knowing there's a guy out there who loves [Ellen Foster]! I'm not ashamed to say it's one of my favorite books--and I, by myself, have 3 copies, so there! :-) Going to go check out your libraries...
I have just read your review of "March" by Geraldine Brooks. You expressed exactly what I was feeling as I read the book. Thank you for putting into words that which I am not gifted enough to write myself.
We just read your review of "The Terrorist" and thought it was a great review. But you may not know that very early on, you seem to have hit the italics key, and a large portion of your review is in italics. But also, LOVED the sentence about the bit of bright ribbon!
Jill and Jim
Thanks for returning the favour and adding me to your interesting libraries.

I stumbled across your profile - and its wonderful photo - whilst deciding where to begin with Patrick White. You've really sold me with your review of The Aunt's Story, but I think I will just head to the bookstore with my mind open and see what grabs me on the day. I've already eliminated Voss though, because one too many people has told me how difficult it is. As you may have already discovered, White is the Australian author that everyone respects and loves to have on the bookshelf, yet never actually reads. I want to see what all the fuss is all about. :)
yes... I have heard that quote and sadly it seems to be words that I live by.

I am currently hiding books under pillows in my living room. My husband doesn't read, has never read an entire book.
He never actually complains about my books, but there is that creeping guilt that shows up when once again I have more books than
I do shelves. I am to receive some that belonged to my aunt, her son will bring them next weekend. :D

Thanks for the interesting library add.. I am adding you back!

take care

wow! what a beautiful picture of two beautiful people, a beautiful pup and of course your lovely books.
You talked me into buying Ellen Foster with your post, Jim! drat!
I am supposed to be enforcing a book buying moratorium on myself!

There is no White museum in Canberra. Only the National Archive, and I don't know how much of his stuff is catalogued and on view. I can find out for you.
Hi Jim, The 510 Reading Series is the brain child of author Michael Kimball (the one in Baltimore--author of Dear Everybody, How Much of Us There Was, The Way the Family Got Away--not the thriller writer in Maine). (I'm not him ... just an enthusiastic supporter and go-to kitty, as it were.) His mission is to bring together writers and their readers, writers who have been at this for a while and have books out to promote as well as writers who are just getting going, reading works-in-progress or short stories from literary magazines. The crowds have been fantastic with this kind of mix--it's a literary sampler of sorts. And with the readings themselves confined to 15 minutes, everyone is at their best! Afterwards, a whole mass of enthusiasts gets to go out for a drink with the authors at the place down the street. We'd love you to do it, too, a literary franchise! Let me know what your plans are. And if you're ever in B'more, you are warmly welcome.
Thanks for sharing! If you're in the Baltimore area, William Henry Lewis and Jessica Anya Blau will be reading in the 510 series in September (different dates: info here:
Hi Jim,

Yes, I did see the review you wrote, and was quite moved by your enthusiastic response to "Tomato Girl." Thank you so much for your generous words of praise.

I won't be traveling to Denver, but I'm sure we can work out a way for me to inscribe the book for you. Drop me a line ( when your book arrives and we'll figure it out.

My poetry book, "Forms of Intercession," is available at Thanks for asking about it. Poetry isn't as popular as fiction, but is my first love. Few people know this tidbit, but "Tomato Girl" began as a poem.

All my best,

Hi - I have added Fly Away Peter after reading your thought-provoking and thoughtful review. What a match made in bibliophile heaven you two are - I have visions of your spending many evenings with just the sound of turning pages and shared appreciation of a particularly moving passage in a book. My husband, although wonderful, is a sports addict - both playing and as a spectator. He was inducted into the West Point Sports Hall of Fame last year - alas, there is no Readers' Hall of Fame. I would like to peruse your extensive library from time to time for more suggestions. I finished What We All Long For and look forward to your review after seeing that you also received an ER copy.
You did a beautiful review of "Fly Away Peter." I am especially glad to see it since other was so far off the mark!
We share 63 books, including Malouf's "Fly Away Peter." It has 2 reviews, mine, and one quite opposite. Since this is a book I am haunted by I wonder what you thought. . . Esta1923
Jim/Ramona, I just cataloged my arc of Margot Livesey's forthcoming novel and I see that you also have a copy. Should you read it before me, and that's entirely possible, I'd love to hear what you think. I like her work, so when I was visiting the bookstore where I used to worked they kindly passed the ARC on to me (it came to the store in my name anyway which made me feel good:-). It is one of the things I miss about not longer being in the book biz. Best, Lois
I picked up Max Tivoli on the strength of your review. Today I read your review of Young Werther. I'd always assumed that book wouldn't appeal after late-adolescence or early adulthood and I've avoided it. Now it sounds like a must read! That grad project must have been a gas. I'm surprised you can't find it on one of those academic databases that are too expensive for anyone but an institution to afford. I also liked C's review of Farenheit 451. Kudos and best wishes to you both in 2008.
Jim: Really nice review of The Fall. I wasn't over impressed when I read it. but I was young. I will definitely go back and read it again. The Plague on the other hand I have reread every seven years or so. It is illuminating and enjoyable every time.
Thanks for adding me to your friends list. I live in North Carolina, and am a teacher of the Visually impaired. As a lifelong reader I love teaching reading (braille) and always hope that my students will be inspired to read beyond the requirements for school.

I had noticed that we share several books that not many readers have found yet, like the Long Walk and Ebenezer Le Page-what a delight he is!
Thanks for your friendship! I look forward to checking out your books and hope you enjoy mine.
Hi Jim and Ramona,
Thanks for accepting my invitation! We live in Bridgewater, NJ which is in Somerset County, kind of in the north central part of the state. I grew up here, and my husband is from central PA. We met at Penn State as undergraduates and have been together ever since.
You have a nice looking cat and dog there.
Hi Jim & Ramona,

Thank you! He is called Nelson. We have another cat, too, called Gus, who is mainly white with black splodges (Nelson's brother).

Yes, I am in England. Banstead is in the northern part of the county of Surrey - very close to London.

Looking forward to getting to know you,
Hey, Jim -

You're spot on about this "thing" being addicting. I suppose there are plenty worse vices, but dang, this thing has been guilty today of gobbling up a good portion of my afternoon... but I am delighted it exists.

It's a real kick to see your collection of covers in a collage, huh? I'm new to this whole "tag cloud" concept, so let's just say I'm relishing in all the features of the site and the novel ways it is schooling me.

I'm a former bookseller who's just started cataloguing my collection, but I'm sure to fall short of the depth and richness of your library.

Look forward to continued book talk,
Your poetry and literary criticism books were the deciding factors in my adding you to interesting libraries. Then I read that you're an English professor and your wife is a librarian. It's perfect, not to mention adorable :) Literature has always been my favorite subject in school, and remains among my top classes in college. Being an avid reader, I am especially fond of bookstores and libraries. You and your wife are, indeed, a match made in heaven!

I recently finished Passage by Connie Willis and I'm currently engrossed in my Biological Psychology textbook. Good stuff!

Read any good books lately?
Hey -- I'm finally on this thing!!

My libary is pitiful in comparison to yours (even though I'm not finished yet), so I won't be visiting your catalog too often. Your libary makes me weep bitter tears of envy. So thanks for that.

Hope all is well with you two :)
love Jacobsen! a friend gave me a copy for my birthday and it turned into one of my favorite books. luckily have a friend who owns a used bookstore, and he scrounged a couple other books of his out of the ether. Have read Mogens and a collection of his other smaller stories. truly amazing literature.

love the Dawkins also, but find myself not liking his all-or-nothing approach. his passion for science is amazing, but even as an atheist myself he comes off as exceptionally harsh. i think i'll just have to go back to reading his books on evolution. what did you think of it?
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