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Member: vpfluke

CollectionsYour library (6,361), Withdrawn (357), Wishlist (76), To read (3), Read but unowned (398), Favorites (4), Nook (86), Kindle (9), Do Not Own (46), Currently reading (5), All collections (6,408)

Reviews358 reviews

TagsULTB (579), history (511), travel (480), illustrated (403), religion (401), novel (391), fiction (388), guide (299), fantasy (264), pictorial (253) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations10 recommendations

About meManager of Planning and Scheduling for Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE), powered by Veolia Transportation; formerly, Manager of Scheduling for MTA Long Island Bus.

About my libraryMy collection includes books that my wife owns. I have about 3000-4000 books, and am in the process of cataloging them, about 100 a week. My interests include public transportation (rail, buses, scheduling), travel, linguistics and languages, some fantasy and science fiction, Oulipo, religion, Episcopal church, Enneagram, mathematics, almanacs. I also collect city maps and public transport timetables.
Flash! By Memorial Day, 2007, I have now reached over 4,000 books.
Since the beginning of 2008, I have 4600 books, some of my catalog includes books withdrawn, or "library books".
I reached 5,000 entries on July 4, 2008 Imnow cycling books out of storage (and some back), but also withdrawing.
I am at 5,600+ entries from the beginning of January 2010.
6,000 books from Nov 2011.

Groups25 technical nonfiction books per year, A Pearl of Wisdom and Enlightenment, All Things New England, Amazon's Kindle, Archivists on LibraryThing, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Bestsellers over the Years, Book Listers UNITE!, Books in 2025: The Future of the Book World, Books on Booksshow all groups

Favorite authorsPatrick M. Arnold, Robert Bly, Jorge Luis Borges, Octavia E. Butler, Moyra Caldecott, Italo Calvino, Orson Scott Card, Agatha Christie, Paulo Coelho, Susan Cooper, Saint John of the Cross, Robertson Davies, Diana L. Eck, Shusaku Endo, Episcopal Church, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, David Hackett Fischer, Northrop Frye, Malcolm Gladwell, Rumer Godden, Edward T. Hall, Roy Harris, Edward M. Hays, Mark Helprin, Frank Herbert, Susan Howatch, Jan Karon, Morton T. Kelsey, Katherine Kurtz, Mercedes Lackey, Madeleine L'Engle, Doris Lessing, C. S. Lewis, Kevin Lynch, George MacDonald, Anne McCaffrey, Gita Mehta, James A. Michener, Desmond Morris, Kathleen Norris, Helen Palmer, Georges Perec, Chaim Potok, Michelin Travel Publications, Raymond Queneau, J. K. Rowling, John A. Sanford, Jack E. Schramm, Moacyr Scliar, Paul Scott, Nancy E. Shaw, Massey Hamilton Shepherd, Dan Simmons, Jane Smiley, Richard Tames, Shashi Tharoor, Phyllis Tickle, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, World Almanac, Arthur M. Young (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstores192 Books, Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Country Glen Center, Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Main Store, Book Revue, Borders - Manhattan - Penn Plaza, Idlewild Books, The Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore, The Concord Bookshop

Favorite librariesEast Meadow Public Library, North Bellmore Public Library, North Merrick Public Library

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameRobert (Bob) Campbell

LocationBellmore, NY 11710

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/vpfluke (profile)
/catalog/vpfluke (library)

Member sinceDec 10, 2006

Currently readingThe joy of X : a guided tour of math, from one to infinity by Steven H. Strogatz
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Harry Potter's bookshelf the great books behind the Hogwarts adventures by John Granger
The Nine Dots: Discovering the Three Faces of Self Using the Enneagram by Ian Cogdell
Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love: What Neuroscience Can--and Can't--Tell Us About How We Feel by Giovanni Frazzetto

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Hello I enjoy voting on your proposals. My question is "zombies fiction". Is there any other?

Bob, Thank you for letting me know that your plans have changed and you won't be able to make the Ellsworth meet-up. Ninety-year-old birthdays are certainly something to celebrate! I wouldn't miss one in our family, either. Sure was looking forward to meeting a Mensa person, though! Maybe next time through.

Bob, It's looking like the LT meet-up in Ellsworth will be on a Sunday (9/7) at the Chicken Barn. You mentioned that that weekend would work best for you, but did not say whether Sunday specifically would work. So far, the majority of responders have preferred the Sunday, but I wanted to wait to call it after we heard from you again. We'd like your thoughts on the day and the time.


I was at St. Bart's this morning and managed to walk out with 'only' 5 books.
Thanks. I'll be going to St Barts on Sunday morning since it is near where we are staying. Normally we go to the UK in summer and that includes a good visit to Blackwell's in Oxford, but this year Steven graduates from college, so we are flying to the US instead. I liked that bookstore, but it's been over ten years since I was last in NY, so I'm starting to check things on-line.
You entered the Episcopal Book and Resource Center, but a quick look online makes it look as though they have closed down. What a shame. I had hoped to go there when we are in NY in May. I don't suppose you know somewhere else where I can browse theology books?
I saw your conversation about railroads and wondered if you play Empire Builder or Rail Baron. If not, they are great board games based on railroading.
Thanks! I'm not sure how I managed to overlook it. I'm surprised so few people have read "Tinker, Tailor..." I once did a "What book are you" quiz with the result that I was "Watership down". Guess I really have to get to it now.:)
Hello Bob,
I've just come across your "Bestsellers over the Years" group -- will you still be carrying on with that? It's an interesting concept. I'm looking forward to 1974.:)
Susan in Berlin
Hi Bob, do you have an item in your catalogue that you would consider a model for cataloguing a map?

I see we are both currently reading "The Palace of Illusions". How are you finding it? I am generally enjoying it but there are a few things about it that I find annoying, not least the shortening of the Sanskrit proper names. I find I am just reading all the names with the missing ending anyway. I have read about half of the "real thing" (The Kisari Ganguli translation of Mahabharata) and I think reading this book will inspire me to take it up again. Actually since it is more than five years since I stopped I think will have to start at the beginning again. As far as retellings go, I prefer William Buck's. The Draupadi perspective is interesting but I think has taken a few too many liberties with the original story.
Dear Bob
Thanks for adding The Anglican Church of Australia to my author page. It's flattering to know that someone has looked at it!
You're very happy here, aren't you? I'm so pleased that at least one other person from our old Mensa Lit List came and stayed. I think there was one other, Meridiani, but she never seems to stick around.
Wow, that does go back a ways. :>
I'm proud to say born and raised in Southern Maryland, though I was still dust when you lived in the area.

I'm always disappointed with all the expansive growth down here. I prefer trees and open space to buildings.
What is Religion? Religion is a hard work.
There are many meaning of the word ‘ Religion’.
What is Religion for me?
Religion is a hard work.
Book ‘ The pushcart prize, III:
Best of the small presses.
From a journey through the land of Israel.
By Pinchas Saden. Pages 132-133 ‘

‘ To be religious, in my terms, means to understand that
life is a parable of which God is the meaning – that is,
to live life as a struggle to make contact with the divine.
. . . .
– in other words, by the drying up of the previously
renewable source of human contact with God.
. . . . . .
There can be no other significance to life beside worshiping Him.
The rest is simple a question of how one understands this worship –
- that is, of how one understands God.
Worshiping God, as the phrase suggests*, has nothing to do with
pleasure or cultural frills. It is work, hard work, like paving a
road, or farming land, or building a house.
In general, I don’t believe that the purpose of life in this world is
to snatch a little pleasure here or there. If it were, we might as
well have been born bedbugs. In whatever we live and do – in our
happiness, our suffering, our love, our hate, our passions,
our thoughts – we must live and do it not just for itself, but as
a parable, as a question, as a war. As work. As worship.
What is man? Man is question. God is answer.
If the answer were available here, in this life, the question
would be unnecessary. The painful tension between the two
gives life its energy.’
=====================. .
/ * In Hebrew the word for ‘ Worship’ avoda,
is the same as the word for ‘ work’. Translator./
Best wishes
Israel Sadovnik Socratus

Oh, please, go ahead! I went back and put that note on because I was mortified to realise that I was the one who had left the page split, without any disambiguation. But if you've already done some work on it, you know more than I do about the various James Macdonalds. I'll take my note off and leave you to it.

So, I put in a nationality which popped up as 'Canada, USA'. I think we're now discouraged from putting more than one nationality in a single line - a lot of those pop-ups are misleading!
Thanks for fixing! I really didn't feel I could do it when I saw the Monk book among the Merry-Mouse's.

Since you worked on the Priscilla Hillman page, I hope you would be willing to look at it again:

I wanted to be sure that the 5 charts from Designs from Gloria & Pat (and designed by Pat from the work of Priscilla) would not be there. (To make sure they stay separate, I put Pat in as the author in my catalog. And I'm not sure if this is the same case for the Hillman Cherished teddies but I don't know about that one since I don't have it.) I believe that there are some combinations that could be made. I really didn't know if Merry Mse Christmas was the same as the Christmas ABC even though the picture matched. But the strangest thing was 2 copies of Bertrand Russell and the origins of analytical philosophy by Ray Monk in among one og the Merry-mouse book of months. Since I didn't know if separating this would send it to the correct author, I did nothing on the page.


Thanks for your kind message. I'm having fun getting started with the Thing. Many volumes yet to enter, and some to clean up (as I'm sure I've put in the wrong info now and again). I very much enjoy being the St. Paul's (Jackson MI) parish librarian, and should try to get us a copy of the Diocese of Michigan book you mentioned.
Thanks for the welcome. I don't know how much of my library I will eventually choose to put in here, but I suspect that as I go we will share more than we do now.
Dear Bob, thank you very much for your help with how to create a hyperlink in a LibraryThing message. I went back and added a hyperlink to the November Early Reviewer book arrival notification I posted. It's so easy! All best to you and much happy reading, Elizabeth
Dear Bob:
Yes, thank you. Anglican Church of Australia is correct. I would be glad if you would add it to the Common KNowledge page.
I uploaded a cover for this book if you are interested.
Bob, I've just been reading back over my Reading Globally thread and I found a post from you from way back in August which I'd overlooked, sorry. You won't even remember about it now, but just in case - it was in response to my post about Train to Trieste, and you were wondering if at least the train trip was well described. Well, no, not really! I wouldn't like you to read it in the hope of getting a great train journey. (The "train to Trieste" was a symbol of freedom, and when the narrator actually takes the train to Trieste she doesn't dwell on it). I think you can safely give this one a miss...

Sorry again for appearing to ignore your question.

Oh my, I am in bus Scheduling too...I am a route manager for the school buses here. Thanks for the Espicopal book suggestions.
Thanks for all of the good suggestions! I did find one group when I searched Siddhartha, and what an interesting group. I certainly would not have found them without this search. I did post an invite. Possibly someone will be interested.

I will try a couple of other places too, and see what happens.

You might have to pull out the old Glass Bead Game, as I and reading that now... and for a humanities person, it is super.

Thanks again, rosinbow
Vpfluke--rosinbow again
I have looked at the tags, and I am wondering is it possible to send an invite to folks who have recently added _Siddhartha_ to their collection? is there a way to invite people who have an interest in this book in particular and not necessarily Buddhism in general without going in one by one and sending an invite?

I am in no big hurry, but it is such a widely read book, I imagine there are people here who would like to discuss this book; I'm just not sure the best way to let them know. Thanks, rosinbow

Hi vpfluke
Thanks for your help with tags and the Readings in the Humanities group i started. I am using tags for my own categorizing, so that I can see what books I have in Religion and in Buddhism, for example, so that is why I have tags like Religion: Buddhism. If I understand what you are saying, i would do better if my tags were just Buddhism or just Islam instead of having the Religion:Islam tag.

I don't really understand how people find my new group. With this first text, I just sent an invitation to the 3 other folks currently reading _Siddhartha_.

I wasn't "getting" how tags affect people with like interest seeing my group.

I realized the group would take time, but I thought being so broad in the humanities would be good...hmmm... well we shall see what happens. I will re-think these tags--thanks... rosinbow
ps yes, I realized that I touchstone the URL and that takes one to the group--thanks

I am an amature Clarence Budington Kelland historian. I appreciated seeing your 10 best sellers posts, but was disappointed to learn that CBK never had a best-seller. I'll have to be satisfied with his success with the magazine audience, radio and movies.

Great info, thanks.
Bob: check out the ESV prices at - the bookstore of Westminster Theological Seminary, They promise to meet (or is it, beat?) pricing. They had to, students were abandoning the on-campus store for Amazon! An interesting note: only English bible that WTS bookstore carries is the ESV! Faculty from the 1970's worked on the NIV, but Zondervan took complete control of that translation. Some current WTS faculty are involved in the ESV. Took my M.Div at WTS (1982); was the Asst manager at the Bookstore back then, it was a very different era and operation. No fiscal connection to the seminary or it's bookstore these days (well, I buy from them occasionally) so this is not that kind of plug!
PS: I have a couple odd books on BookMooch you might be interested in. I think they are 1950 travel-related, but that's a guess.

Just a quick note to let you know that I thank you for your interesting note about the Golden Era and I'm trying to find 5 minutes to answer you! :)

Thanks for sharing that information about the acrostics in Psalms in the Oulipo group. Pretty cool.

Actually, the publisher of The Fire (which was in the July batch, I believe) ended up finding a huge pile of extra copies, but it was after I had already closed the July batch and picked winners. So I quickly gave her a list of more member addresses (people who had requested the book but hadn't won it), and she sent out more books. I just never got a chance to tell everyone to expect a surprise books! Hope you review it and enjoy it!

Thank you so much! You are like the matchmaker for lonely singletons -- seriously, I do appreciate that you took the time to do this.
Hi, I'm having trouble dealing with a "fake" singleton and was wondering if you could help me out again. I have [The World's Shortest Stories] edited by Steve Moss. I don't know how to combine, but I see there are two other copies of the same book listed, one with about 70 members and the other with 44 or so. I tried adding the most popular version to my library, but the search engine couldn't find it. So, could you come to my rescue again?

Bob, Thanks for the comment! PAX River hasn't changed in the 10 years I've been here, but the area surrounding it has, especially the California area. The library in Lex. Park moved into a brand new building a few years ago, and Leonardtown is in the budget for a new bldg. in 2010. It's incredible how much growth there has been in the decade I've lived here. Where do you live now?
Thanks for the heads up about the wonky tangs. I'll go take a look at my profile and see if I can figure out what's going on.
Good. I'll remember that and combine them when the time comes. I rarely look in the used book stores in Vienna, but that book jumped up and down and waved and shouted at me from a store window two or three times until I just had to go in and buy it so it would calm down. You don't believe that? It sure felt like it. Then a few years later I saw a book at the National Library that I really, REALLY wanted a copy of: An out of print catalogue for the works of a monk who stitched gorgeous paraments. I looked on-line and found that the same book store had it. I called them and got downtown within a day or two. Now I keep an eye on the window.
We have a lot of overlap in our libraries. And there will be a lot more by the time I have all mine in. BTW Do you have a German title for Lehman's Christian art in Africa and Asia? My Afroasiatische Christliche Kunst isn't in yet, but I suspect they are the same book.

With the bilinguals, there's no way to tell whether the ancient language is there because the person can handle it or in spite of their not being able to handle it. My Greek is fairly bad. (Latin the same, Hebrew even worse)

I have Song of Songs because it was the only edition available when I bought it. I read the German (some of it anyway) when I was writing a paper. I'm not terribly likely to even look at the German again. On the other hand, I'm working on Greek again, so because I have it, I might just pull it out to get a taste of Origen's Greek. (At the end of the course.)

Synopsis I bought Greek/English deliberately. This way I can use the English most of the time, but check out how the writers varied the Greek when I want to get down to that level.

In general I like the fact that with bilingual editions there is some sort of check on the translation. A lot of early church stuff has been published in Latin or Greek/German editions, and I'm coming around to prefering them to English alone just for that reason. I want to be sure I'm reading what the original author wanted to write, and not what a later scholar thought he should have written. Besides the German slows down my reading pace, which is quite useful for these things.
Hi Robert,

I just read your review of "Hungry Tide" a book I also loved a great deal. I read it last year before I started writing reviews for everything I read. I, too, gave it a four-and=a-half star rating.

I took a look at your profile and noticed that you love books about "travel, linguistics and languages" so I thought I'd write and mention that "Fieldwork" by Mischa Berlinski is a marvelous book that would fit in that category. It was a National Book Award finalist even though it is a first novel!!!

Also, you say you love "public transportation (rail, buses, scheduling)" ...another good (but not marvelous) book in that category is "The 8:55 to Baghdad" by Andrew Eame. I would never have read a book like this, but it was on one of my book club reading lists, so I gave it a chance and I am happy that I did.

I've written reviews for both those case you're curious.

Reading your review of "Hungry Tide" made me remember how much I enjoyed that book.

Here's a link to that wonderful used book store down in CT that I was telling your wife about yesterday.

It was great meeting you both.

Found you on the Christianity board. Suspect we have more than the 66 books in common listed as I've listed only about 15% of my library. Good to "hear" your voice online.
Dear vpfluke, How wonderful to receive your reply. I attended General Theological Seminary. While I worked on my doctorate in religious education at New York University, I served as a part time associate at Holy Apostles. When I am in Manhatten, I still prefer to attend church there. I was last there when Bishop Tutu was at GTS for the opening of the new Center. I began using LibraryThing when I had to cull my library when I retired a year ago. All the culled books are listed. Now I am working slowly at my remaining collection. However, I am about to enter hospital for major back surgery and will not be able to lift anything heavier than 5 lb. or, for that matter, bend over. So it will be a while before the additions continue. I was thrilled to be able to preside at the Eucharist at the parish we now attend this morning. This was the first time since August 2006. I could not do the bending to distribute communion. Nonetheless, I was at last again at the table. The rector is tremendously generously and allows me to volunteer at the level my health will provide. Bless you in your continuing lay ministry in the church and in the world. Faithfully, Ann McElligott
Dear vpfluke,
I have looked often at your library since we share, at latest count, 119 books. Since I am still in process of entering books and our libraries have common interests. I had been planning to let you know you were a library of interest to me. So welcome. Faithfully, Ann+

We're up and rolling on the GEB read at
Looking forward to your comments. Jim
Welcome to our group. I wish I were nearly so organized about traveling, I always end up without that one essential piece of information. Usually it comes out alright in the end, but it's always very annoying. If you want to post anymore about public transportation drop by, I can always use more tips to make travelling easier^_^
Hi, you have a typo in a tag, one of your linguistics books is tagged linguisitics.
Dear vpfluke: Thank you for your wonderful Christmas greeting. Yes, Christ Himself is with us! God be praised for Emmanuel, "God with us"!!! All the fullness of the Godhead resides in us through Him! May you, your wife and all whom God has put on your heart be blessed by Him! Have a blessed New Year as well. yangguy
Hi Bob,
thanks for your reply re bestsellerlists.
You are right - Der Spiegel has had bestseller lists for some decades now - but they do not seem accessible without paying for access to their online archives.
Thanks anyway!
Kind regards
Hi Bob,
I like your bestseller lists. Where do you get them from? I would like to have German bestseller lists for years past, but could not find the right sources.
Kind regards Christian
hey ^.^ you wanted a review on Sampson's 'Schools of Linguistics' so here you go.

I wonder, do you read all the entries in the 50 book challenge board?! (o=

You are the only person besides myself who had the Dept 56 catalog so this led me to your library. Quite impressive. I have read all the Jan Karon series and see you have the Cookbook as well. Have you tried the famous "orange marmalade" cake yet?

Happy Reading
Hello..logged on after a long time and saw your message. Rumer Godden doesn't seem very fashionable these days but a few of her titles (including the two volumes of autobiography) are all time favourites, like comfort food. Have been trying in vain to get hold of China Court and Lady and The Unicorn..but even the staggeringly well stocked second hand bookshops in Hay On Wye(Wales)didn't have them. And some of the shop owners were a bit dismissive, as though I had very plebeian tastes.
vpfluke: I'm glad that you found the Hazelbaker edition! Thank you too for the explanation on combinations. Enjoy the journey along the Highway of Holiness to the Celestial City. yangguy
Just a thought, but if you'd like to find a place to start with your planned reviews, there's a Go Review That Book! community. It's basically a game where someone picks a book for you to review out of your library or out of certain tags, you read, review it and so on.

It can be a great way of picking books to review when the pile is too daunting. Thought you might be interested. If you are, drop me a message for an actual invitation, or you can, of course, search the group page.

Hope this wasn't spammy.
Bob, I hope you do make it up for Readercon, I think you might like it. Besides the programming, there is a whole ballroom filled with almost nothing but books! There are several authors who cross genre lines like John Crowley, Karen Joy Fowler, James Morrow, Jeffrey Ford, Elizabeth Hand and Maureen McHugh. If you 've looked at previous years' schedules on the website you'll get the gist of what we talk about. If you do come, look for me in the bookshop (a.k.a Dealers Room), which is what I'm overseeing once again this year. Best, Lois
Yes, we do seem to think along similar lines.

I already had a catalogue of my books, using readerware. I must admit I'm happy I've changed this way, but I uploaded about 2,000 books all at once. Newer books, and some where I've recently added to a series I've tagged. I will fill in other tags as I can, or as I find the time and willingness, but I do agree tags are useful, it's just rather daunting looking at so many to do all at once!
Bob, thanks for the encouragement to join up. I've been busy but may do it soon.
My collection includes books that my wife owns. I have about 3000-4000 books, and am in the process of cataloging them, about 100 a week. My interest include public transportation (rail, buses, scheduling), travel, linguistics, some fantasy and science fiction, Oulipo, religion, Episcopal church, mathematics, almanacs.
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