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Maggie1944's Reading Journal for 2012

The Green Dragon

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1maggie1944
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 11:56am Top

Happy New Year everyone! I am in the process of reading 1. Inheritance which is big; 2. I'll be back to post my book group's January title. 3. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (the second of my SantaThing's choices for me)

Hopefully, this will be a year full of good readings.

2GeorgiaDawn
Dec 31, 2011, 1:26pm Top

I have you starred!

3maggie1944
Jan 1, 2012, 9:38am Top

Here's a great quote to start the year:

“No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!” - C. JoyBell C.

4majkia
Jan 1, 2012, 11:34am Top

Nice quote! :)

5sandragon
Jan 1, 2012, 3:42pm Top

I second the 'Nice quote!'

I got my brother an Alan Furst for Christmas, Spies of Warsaw. He's already finished it and is happy to have found a new author, with several books to his name, to read and enjoy. Thanks again for that rec, Maggie.

6maggie1944
Jan 1, 2012, 7:43pm Top

oh, you are so welcome. I am delighted to introduce Alan Furst to people. I think he has done some excellent work.

7Morphidae
Jan 2, 2012, 7:05am Top

Starred!

8maggie1944
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 11:56am Top

Finished reading Let's Take the Long Way Home last night.

Gail Caldwell has captured her rich friendship and the landscape of grief when her friend dies. There are dogs, writing life, and the joy of rowing as well. To say I enjoyed reading the book would avoid saying it was very sad but her writing was excellent and I am a sucker of peering into the details of others' lives. I am glad my niece gave me this little volume for Christmas and I will pass it on to a friend.

Now I must go make a little ticker for the New Year! Woo Hoo!

9maggie1944
Jan 2, 2012, 1:54pm Top

Books Added to the Inventory from all sources:




I just bought from Amazon, using my Christmas gift card + my money (sigh) these books: Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook, Zenspirations, The Paris Wife and The World at Night.

As if I did not have enought to do, already!

10jillmwo
Jan 2, 2012, 5:42pm Top

Hey, one can always use a good cookbook!

11fuzzi
Jan 2, 2012, 6:57pm Top

Starred your thread, maggie!

Once I get back to work (tomorrow) I won't be able to read as much as I have over the holidays...sigh.

12maggie1944
Edited: Jan 2, 2012, 9:43pm Top

So, now I am reading The lies of Loche Lamora and participating in the discussion amongst Green Dragoneers who are also reading it in January: http://www.librarything.com/topic/129342

13Joybee
Jan 3, 2012, 4:08am Top

I starred ya, looking forward to see what you're reading this year...I'm also doing the group read (just waiting on my book from the library).

Happy New Year

14maggie1944
Jan 3, 2012, 8:39am Top

I have been reading Morphy's comments about Lies and am beginning to wonder if I really want to finish the book. I have so many unread books in the house, why would I read a book I'm not enjoying? It is a tough call. I read a few pages and then get up and find something else that needs doing, and then go read a few more pages. It will take me forever, at that speed.

15majkia
Jan 3, 2012, 9:04am Top

Once he grows up it changes dramatically, if that's any help. That said, I'm a firm believer in abandoning books that don't hit a sweet spot.

16katylit
Jan 3, 2012, 9:43am Top

You're starred maggie.

17maggie1944
Jan 3, 2012, 11:59am Top

Thanks, every body! Looking forward to a great year of good reading!

18LunaticDruid
Edited: Jan 3, 2012, 5:22pm Top

One more star for you.

I am unable to abandon a bad book (or even a series). Last year i read all five books in Christian Jacq "Ramses" series and disliked all of them... Not shure if it was the authors fault or the Norwegian translater tho...

Edit: I pushed the "publish button" before I was done writing...

19maggie1944
Jan 3, 2012, 9:14pm Top

Trond, you are more faithful to the authors than I am, I guess. I am so busy with taking care of kids, and dogs, and wanting to spend more time on my small Norwex business, my photography, and my crafts, and a few friends, I just cannot justify spending time reading something I am not enjoying. My one caveat is that I do finish the books I've committed to reading with my real life book group which meets once a month and discusses one book.

20Severn
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 2:26am Top

And another star for ya. :)

I honestly think if a book isn't for you, drop it. Life is too short. I did that with Widow of the South by Robert Hicks just last week.

Spoiler Below:

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The screwed up main female lead nearly beats to death her amputee love interest with his own crutch, as he lies helpless on the ground, with an accompanying internal monologue that she's doing it because she loves him. Hauled off him by a slave she then needs to hide him, and what she's done, so she drags him (with the help of said slave) to a cellar where they end up...kissing. At that point I just said 'no,' snorted and tossed it into my 'to trade' box.

Edited to add: It wasn't the violence. Violence I can handle - I'm a fantasy fan after all. It was the sheer...ridiculousness of it all. You're seriously going to tell me that a woman beats a guy nearly to death and then he kisses her an hour later as if it was some great romantic revelation? I was outright annoyed. NOT to mention it was based on a true-life character and I think it most likely impugns her character.

21LunaticDruid
Jan 4, 2012, 5:30am Top

#19 - I think I'm just stubborn and overly curious, hehe. I allmost bought the series in English just to check if it was better (that's bad).

22maggie1944
Jan 5, 2012, 9:29am Top

oh, dear, oh dear!
..
January 5th it is today and here is my 5th book purchased: The Creative Photographer. My only excuse is that my New Year's Resolutions includes trying to do more photography

Does reading about it count?


23MrsLee
Jan 5, 2012, 2:11pm Top

Heh, heh, a book a day for the New Year?

24sandragon
Jan 5, 2012, 2:28pm Top

*visions of Maggie under an avalanche of books goes dancing through our heads*

25Liz_S
Jan 5, 2012, 3:11pm Top

Hello everyone! I also try really hard not to abandon a book once i've started reading it. Only a handful ever! I guess I try to keep telling myself it's going to get better eventually, if only at the end, but I at least will learn something no matter the topic! This is one of the reasons why books mean so much to me!

Sandragon- ROTFL :)

26maggie1944
Edited: Jan 5, 2012, 10:16pm Top

ok, you guys: wait until you see this! The Paris Wife, Zenspirations, Zentangle6, The World At Night, Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook Five more!!

I think I'll take a break, and to be fair one is a cook book and two are art technique books... But I do need to read the other two.


27maggie1944
Jan 7, 2012, 3:23pm Top

I am trying to read The Paris Wife this weekend. I am enjoying it so far, it is a lot like all the old fashioned romantic movies made about the 1920s. I am on page 60 and the puppies are next to me, one on each side. I have a fresh cafe au lait at hand, and the pellet stove is burning merrily.

I had a date to visit a neighbor and do a little grooming on her old horse; but she just called and said, "you know you can't brush her when she's wet". Its raining, of course. Maybe tomorrow.

More reading today, then.

28sandragon
Jan 7, 2012, 3:35pm Top

Your day sounds lovely, although getting to spend some time grooming a horse sounds lovely too (says someone who's never tried it. It's one of those things I'd like to do at least once someday). I'm having a do nothing day as well. I'll fold some clothes after Jason's put them through the washer/dryer but Jason has agreed to save the Christmas tree and house cleaning until tomorrow. So I'm reading and relaxing today.

29katylit
Jan 7, 2012, 5:17pm Top

Both of you sound like you've had/are having a lovely day. I was able to grab an hour for reading, but life crept in too and errands had to be run.

maggie, I'm looking forward to read what you think about The Paris Wife when you've finished it. I've looked at it at the bookstore and thought it sounded really good. I remember reading a biography of Hemingway and his last wife years ago. It would be interesting to read about his first wife.

30maggie1944
Jan 7, 2012, 6:46pm Top

Katherine, it is fiction but I think the author did a good deal of research. There is no way of knowing whether the conversations, discussions, arguments, paties etc. were just as she imagined them, or even close, but it is a fun story. A love story. And then a story of a marriage going not so good....

I'm about half way though and had to put it down for a minute as it is beginning to feel so sad.

31maggie1944
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 1:02pm Top




Finished reading The Paris Wife

32maggie1944
Edited: Jan 8, 2012, 1:06pm Top

I have two tickers, in addition to the buying books ticker. I am so confused.




The Paris Wife is a fictionalized biography of Hemingway's first marriage which was a very nice read. They married as kids, all excited and dedicated to his writing and to his becoming successful, getting published. They moved to Paris because they'd been told that there was where the writers were. They made friends with the whole crowd of interesting characters who were in Paris, and all over Europe, between the wars.

This book does not delve into why these characters were interesting or intellectually and creatively important, just assumed they were. The author rather tried to explore what might have been motivating Hemingway, and Hadley Richardson Hemingway; what made their marriage, and ultimately what broke it.

I enjoy reading of Europe in this time period between the wars and I identify with these young, creative, energetic people trying to hard to live their lives, and live them well. The author's descriptions of the bull fights and Hemingway's fascination with them was especially convincing to me. I could almost understand why Hemingway found these demonstrations of male courage so compelling.

33maggie1944
Jan 10, 2012, 5:47pm Top

I sold a bunch of books yesterday, and today. With part of the money yesterday I bough dinner before my book group meeting. The rest of the money, about $20, is in my purse. I am saving to go to Disneyland with the kids this coming Spring.

Money, money, money....

34fuzzi
Jan 10, 2012, 6:52pm Top

You...sold....books???

::weeping::

35maggie1944
Jan 10, 2012, 7:34pm Top

Ah, yes, I have finally decided that, really, most of the books I've been hauling around were 1. not going to be read again; 2. were not going to be lent to any one any time soon; 3. were becoming obsolete (nonfiction ones, that is); or 4. I'm not "into them" that much any more. Add to that, I am on a pretty limited income budget with many, many desires... I want more books to read, I want to eat really nice food (expensive frequently), and I love spending money on my great niece and great nephews. And then, for a final reason, August of 2010 I moved into a small house and I've totally used up my bookcase spaces. Some of my bookcases are actually being used for craft supplies. (blush)

OK, now you can decide if you hate me... or perhaps this may be the future for some of you, dear readers.

36Morphidae
Jan 11, 2012, 6:58am Top

I simply don't buy books anymore. We used to have a library of thousands but between purges and not buying books, we're down to around 1,200. We could barely afford necessities, much less luxuries. Now I've gotten used to getting books from the library. I did splurge a little with Christmas money and got some used copies of science fiction books I'm going to read with my husband this year.

37fuzzi
Jan 11, 2012, 7:40am Top

Hate you, maggie? NEVER!

I rarely get rid of any of my books. I've done so, in the past, when we had to move long distance, and in so many ways I regret it. I had over 100 Louis L'Amour books which I donated to the local lending library (they were ecstatic) and I'm finally recreating that very loved and wanted series of books.

I rarely buy new books, and even more rarely buy a book that I have not read. When I go to Barnes & Noble (not that often), I see lots of interesting books, but unless I'm pretty sure I will love it, I don't buy...but try to find it at the public library instead.

If there isn't one already here, maybe we could make a 'cull' section to allow LT member have 'first shot' at the culls?

38maggie1944
Edited: Jan 11, 2012, 8:25am Top

I think there is a way for LT members to give each other books. I think "budding" authors do that to give away copies of self published books. Check the stuff on your home page, and I think you'll see a link to Member Giveaway.

I didn't plan to be giving these away as my purpose is to supplement my income, not drain it. (-: If I was to offer them to my LT friends I would be paying postage. I am sure you understand why I'd rather save the money for next Spring's trip to Disneyland with the kids.

39katylit
Jan 11, 2012, 8:37am Top

I like fictional biographies, it's fun to go with the author into the realm of "Maybe this is what was said, what happened, etc." The Paris Wife is going on my wish list.

As to selling books, I know it'll probably be in my future sometime, but not anytime too soon I hope. I am making a conscious decision this year to buy less, or much more selectively, and try to make a significant dent in my 400 TBRs waiting on the shelves.

That's great that you have a venue available to you that pays you for your used books. Here, if I were to take in my books I'd be lucky to get 40 cents for hard covers, usually it's just given as a credit for more used books. Not worth it to me - at this time.

Go Disneyland!! I've been having hankerings to go again too. I'd love to check out Disney World now.

40maggie1944
Jan 11, 2012, 9:21am Top

I actually have two places I like to go. Third Place Books where they are quite choosey about what they buy, and they do provide a great place to look for used books of good titles. The shelve used and new books right together and have a great selection of fantasy and sci fi as well as all the other categories of good books. Any they do not want to buy, I take to Half-Price books. They will take everything you bring to them and if they will be "donating " some of the titles they will tell you so if you want to keep those and look for a friend who might enjoy reading the you can.

Between Monday's and Tuesday's efforts I made about $23 from two smaller plastic crates of books. Paid for my dinner at book group and fattened the Disneyland funds.

As for the bookshelves, I still have books "filed" on the floor... More shall be going in the future...

41fuzzi
Jan 11, 2012, 12:28pm Top

maggie, if you're trying to raise money, then more power to you! If I took unwanted books to the local used book store, she'd give me credit, that's all, no money.

I donate duplicate books (sometimes I forget what I have in my collection!) and those I didn't like to the local Habitat for Humanity. The money they raise helps to build housing for people who do not have money. It's a good charity.

And they sell books for fifty cents to a dollar each, buy four get the fifth free! Woo!

42maggie1944
Jan 11, 2012, 12:43pm Top

I took an American Modern Usage book into Half Price Books yesterday and they gave me $10 for it! Are you sure there are no places near you who will give you money for your books?

Katylit, I am sure you will love An American Wife. Hope you can find a copy, I'm sorry I already passed mine along so I can't send you mine. )-:

43fuzzi
Jan 11, 2012, 12:44pm Top

(42) If there are such places, I've not located them.

44maggie1944
Jan 12, 2012, 7:14pm Top

OK. I wish one to open near you, soon!

45fuzzi
Jan 12, 2012, 8:00pm Top

I wish too!!!

Friends of the Library book sale is coming up, first weekend in February....

46Busifer
Jan 15, 2012, 5:14am Top

Taking nieces to Disneyland definitely justifies the purge!

Some time ago we had to make the decision that Legoland will not happen. We had planned to go this summer (I really want to go, myself!) but it just ended up not only expensive but an extremely bad summer experience as well - 2013 there's a HUGE international orienteering event up by our cabin so we don't expect to be able to spend summer there, then. This means we really want to spend summer vacation 2012 there and driving first 2.000 kilometres to Legoland and back and THEN drive another 900 km to the cabin (and 900 home again) is a miserable way to spend one's vacation. Air travel to Legoland and back is over US$2.000 for the three of us... (ferries, road tolls and gas is "only" about US$450), entrance fees, general expenses and hotel nights uncounted.

Even son understood why we made the choice we did - I would had been quite allright if we would plan it as a trip to Denmark, with a stay in Copenhagen and a visit to Louisiana. But for what would effectively would be a one-day visit to the park...? No.

I hope a trip to Disneyland isn't that expensive!

47maggie1944
Jan 15, 2012, 9:45am Top

I am afraid I've not done a detailed estimate which I definitely should do. We are hoping to visit a Legoland near Disneyland, too. And maybe the San Diego zoo. We shall see. Probably will drive there... awk, 6, maybe 7, people in a van. I don't know. I may have to buy an airplane ticket, round trip, for self defense. Hahahaha

48MrsLee
Jan 15, 2012, 12:45pm Top

Maggie! If I'm still working at my hotel when you decide to come, stop and stay with us! Lots and lots of people from your neck of the woods make our hotel their half-way point on the way to Disneyland. :) I can't guarantee a better rate, but if it's on a night when we are not booked up, I'll certainly do what I can. Just don't make it the 3rd week in May or April, those are weeks we are completely booked up. Anyway, if you're interested, when it's closer to the trip, private message me.

49maggie1944
Jan 15, 2012, 1:33pm Top

oh! Dang! The third week in May is exactly when we are scheduled to travel. I think The Father of this merry band wants to drive straight through, although I think The Mother is trying hard to convince him otherwise. I don't know if The Great Aunt (me) will be asked my opinion but I think three kids who are over tired from a long road trip will be not fun to be with! Gawk!

But send me a PM and let me know more precisely where you are and perhaps I can make my own, separate, at a different time trip. I would be so fun to have a little meet-up! And I do need to do a little more traveling before I hit 70 years of age.

50fuzzi
Jan 15, 2012, 4:44pm Top

(49) maggie, I hope The Father can be persuaded to not drive straight through. My father was like that on the few trips we did take, and would not stop to let us see anything along the way.

When my dh and I go on trips, now, we will make side trips and numerous stops and get a hotel if necessary. He likes to tour battlefields, and I like to see nature and/or historic places.

Why waste the opportunity to see what is on the way?

51maggie1944
Jan 15, 2012, 5:09pm Top

Well, fuzzi, the option is driving straight through, or flying. The vacation is limited by days off from work, and days available at our time share hotel. The airplane option is quite a bit more expensive.

So, I don't think the driving choices include stopping and looking at the sights, and staying at any additional hotels. Budgets are being strained as it is.

But I agree the best road trips are those which include taking your time, and looking at the sights along the way.

52maggie1944
Jan 15, 2012, 7:21pm Top

The World at Night was great! I so enjoy Furst's ability to evoke the atmosphere of Paris, and France, during this challenging time. The city is so beaten down by having been occupied by the Germans and everyone just scurries around, trying to live their lives. Alors, the war will not let people not take sides!

The characters are believable, not all that lovable, more just like real life people who make decisions, some good, some not so much. The food, even when sparse, is somehow prepared with French flair. The aristocracy is totally irrelevant, except when they are not. And so it goes.

Recommended to those who enjoy historical fiction, and light spy novels. Furst does not indulge in gratuitous violence, or sex, and so the novels are very pleasant to read, even when discussing a less than pleasant time.

53maggie1944
Jan 16, 2012, 10:27am Top

Here is a great article explaining why silver in the Norwex cloths can be good for the environment. Read the whole article, no skimming!

http://www.ethicalocean.com/blog/eco-friendly-cleaning-is-nano-silver-safe

54maggie1944
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 12:55pm Top




I think I can not improve over this description of The Invention of Hugo Cabret:

"Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery."

I started reading it in February of last year and I foolishly let the size of the novel put me off reading it. How stupid was I?

55fuzzi
Jan 16, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Not stupid, Miss Maggie. I've looked askance at some very large books, which would take a great deal of time and effort.

Sometimes we just don't have the time we'd like...one reason why a bunch of Tom Clancy books on my shelf remain unread...

56maggie1944
Jan 16, 2012, 2:23pm Top

fuzzi, the reason I was hard on myself is because the book is for youngsters and is featuring many lovely pencil drawings, many pages with very few words. It is really an easy, relatively quick read. Not exactly a picture book, not really a graphic novel, and not completely a YA novel, but some kind of creative combination of all of the above.

I would have noticed this had I just flipped through some pages. I could have finished it sooner.

57catzteach
Jan 16, 2012, 2:25pm Top

I love Hugo Cabret!!! I read it to my students every year. They freak at first when they see how long it is. They love it! I need to read his other one. I forget the name.

58fuzzi
Jan 16, 2012, 2:25pm Top

Ah, gotcha.

I like some graphic novels, but I miss having more words....

59maggie1944
Jan 16, 2012, 2:35pm Top

catztech, the next book to read is this one, I think: http://www.librarything.com/work/10896390/book/

fuzzi, this book has plenty of words and is a delight to read. I recommend it highly, expecially if you think you might see the movie Hugo.

60Sakerfalcon
Jan 16, 2012, 2:46pm Top

Agreed, Hugo Cabret is a wonderful book. The words and pictures work really well together even though they are not integrated as in most books.

61sandragon
Jan 16, 2012, 3:57pm Top

I love the premise of Wonderstruck, the book Maggie links to in 59. The boy's story is told in words, the story of the girl (who is deaf) is told in illustrations. The pencil drawings are beautiful. I've read Hugo Cabret, but not Wonderstruck, and I'm thinking I'll have to get them for one or other of my boys.

62maggie1944
Jan 16, 2012, 4:14pm Top

I am definitely going to go get Wonderstruck even though I'm supposed to be resisting buying new books...

63jillmwo
Jan 16, 2012, 7:54pm Top

I will add it to my WishList, but - really - I am trying to resist obtaining new books; Christmas and birthday have presented me with plenty of reading materials. (In addition, I'm going to chat with my friends who teach children's lit to see if they've read Wonderstruck ahead of me!)

64reading_fox
Jan 18, 2012, 11:03am Top

I've been meaning to read Hugo ever scince it was reference in a bizzare SF collection pixel juice (plus the great title of course). I really must move it up the wishlist pile.

65maggie1944
Jan 22, 2012, 9:07am Top

oh! I am now deeply experiencing the world of Keith Richards, without actually taking all those drugs, and unfortunately without listening to all that music, but I am reading The Life and loving it.

The Rollin' Stones are in France, having run from the taxation atmosphere of Britain, and Richards has a lovely villa on the Riviera. The Stones get together and record music there, in the basement, and when finished they jump in a speed boat and off to Italy for breakfast. That's the life?! eh?

66maggie1944
Jan 22, 2012, 9:33pm Top

Day I was born song: I'll Walk Alone by Dinah Shore

A very sweet song, about missing your sweetheart who is away. Dinah Shore had a lovely voice, and a very beautiful smile. I'm happy to know her song was popular when I arrived on the scene

67maggie1944
Edited: Jan 24, 2012, 8:05pm Top

Finished reading Keith Richard's Life. Keith Richards, for those who do not know the guy, is one of the most important of the original Rolling Stones. He is the Rock and Roll Star often thought to have replaced his entire blood supply in order to get off and recover from drugs. He also was often predicted to be a rock and roll star most likely to die soon.

BTW, he was born one year ahead of me, so that makes him 68 now. He did get off the drugs, and quite a few years ago, too.

Any way, about the book:

Richards (along with his co-author) does a conversation with his readers and I enjoyed learning how he was raised, his background, and how he got his start with The Stones. He also talks a lot about the music which I enjoyed as I enjoy their music.

He has a good number of heroes in the area of R & B music, the Blues, and Reggae. He has a remarkable episode of getting some Rastafarains to do a music album which captured even the sounds of the nearby beach. I felt as if I was going to run right out and buy that album.

But probably the most remarkable thing about the book was that even though I know he did too many drugs, and too much alcohol, and probably ran around way too much, I came away admiring and loving the guy. Plus he has a library to make any of us green with envy.

I recommend the book to those of us who lived through the 60s and 70s, and who may have forgotten more than they remember of those days, and who loved dancing with The Rolling Stones. I also think people who love the Blues, R&B, and rock and roll would enjoy it for historical perspective.

68maggie1944
Jan 25, 2012, 6:08pm Top

Oh, Dear! Reading LT threads is so bad for my budget: I bought two more books today.




I was happy to buy Wonderstruck and I am hoping that after I read it I can give them to either one of my great nephews, or maybe to my great niece. I am loving Selznick's style and stories.

BTW, I'm the Great Aunt. Does that make them Great or are the Grand?

I also bought Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, book one Bad touchstone! Bad touchstone!

I got it so I could read it in the bathtub. It was only pennies more expensive than the ereader version. I am irritated that the cost of ereader books has escalated to nearly the same as RL books!

69maggie1944
Jan 25, 2012, 6:09pm Top

Books I am in the middle of reading right now are: Inheritance, (more to come)

70jillmwo
Jan 25, 2012, 8:05pm Top

I rather enjoyed Across the Nightingale Floor when I read it some years back. It was not predictable (IMHO) and the culture was interesting.

71Liz_S
Jan 26, 2012, 12:10pm Top

I agree with Maggie # 68, reading LT threads are bad for your budget!!

72maggie1944
Jan 26, 2012, 12:13pm Top

My unique, works only for me, solution is to focus on selling enough of my books to used book stores to make up for the amount I spent. It could be a while after this last expenditure!

73sandragon
Jan 26, 2012, 12:28pm Top

I've also been weeding the bookshelves of no longer wanted books, which I take to Russells who will give me credit towards more books. Those they don't want I take to the library or Sally Ann. I've still been buying the occassional book however so it's not a perfect spendthrift solution.

74maggie1944
Jan 28, 2012, 10:27am Top

Here is an advertisement for the Nook, maybe? She loves using it to have books read to her.

75streamsong
Jan 28, 2012, 10:32am Top

What a sweet photo!

76maggie1944
Jan 28, 2012, 10:37am Top

yes, the camera and Jocelyn do love each other. And she loves having the Nook read to her.

77GirlMisanthrope
Jan 28, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Maggie,

I am currently reading Life and 11/22/63 by Stephen King, both DOORSTOPS! How do you read these big honkers so quickly?!!

78sandragon
Jan 28, 2012, 1:57pm Top

Such a lovely photo, Maggie.

79GeorgiaDawn
Jan 28, 2012, 4:25pm Top

11/22/63 and Under the Dome are on my list. I can't believe I have let Under the Dome sit for so long. I think it's because home life and work have been a bit stressful. I've had trouble reading shorter books, much less those longer, much longer, books.

The photo is precious, Maggs!

80maggie1944
Jan 28, 2012, 4:26pm Top

Girl, I have not read 11/22/63, just intend to. Have not even bought it yet. I have so much on my plate. I read Life relatively quickly because it is my RL book group's next book and I enjoyed it greatly.

81maggie1944
Jan 28, 2012, 4:26pm Top

GeorgiaDawn, thank you.

82fuzzi
Jan 28, 2012, 4:34pm Top

Aw, what a sweet picture, and a sweet subject!

I want grandchildren, waaah!

83maggie1944
Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 7:51pm Top




Completed reading Across the Nightingale Floor but I will withhold comments until the group read in February begins the spoilers thread.

84GirlMisanthrope
Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 10:00pm Top

Georgia,

Under the Dome is even longer! I do want to read it as well, if only to beat the movie version that is being developed.

Sorry Maggie! Didn't mean to turn this into Stephen King's Doorstop Book discussion! (If you like King, you guys will like 11/22/63 because he references many of his past characters. Creepily good.

85GeorgiaDawn
Edited: Jan 29, 2012, 11:46pm Top

I have Under the Dome in the stack on my bedside table. It's been there for a few months. :)

I love when King mentions characters from other books.

86maggie1944
Jan 30, 2012, 8:33pm Top

I started reading Wonderstruck today, this afternoon, actually. And I think I will finish it today! Awesome. I mean my being able to read it in one day... but the book is good, too.

87maggie1944
Edited: Jan 31, 2012, 2:02pm Top




Finished reading Wonderstruck and really enjoyed it. It is a touching story and one its "messages", as well as Hugo Cabret's, is that the past is worth exploring, and can be a wonderful, awesome place.

Both books feature a boy who is left alone by parents and who needs to be resourceful, and caring, as he navigates his way through treacherous reality.

I really don't think I want to say more than just that. I'm going to give this one five stars, I think.

88maggie1944
Feb 1, 2012, 7:00pm Top

Woo hoo, the sequels to Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori have arrived and I bought two books in February, I guess. They are Grass for His Pillow: Tales of the Otori, Book Two and Brilliance of the Moon: Tales of the Otori, Book Three.


89maggie1944
Feb 2, 2012, 9:40pm Top

I thought it was time to post my Snow picture. Winter is coming, someone told me.

90majkia
Feb 2, 2012, 10:28pm Top

oh that is lovely!

91GeorgiaDawn
Feb 2, 2012, 10:53pm Top

Maggs, love your photo! We have everything blooming and pollen in South Georgia! I would love to see snow.

92Sakerfalcon
Feb 3, 2012, 5:22am Top

You live in Narnia? Sweet! ;-P

93maggie1944
Feb 3, 2012, 8:17am Top

Thanks, majkia, GeorgiaDawn, and Sakerfalcon. It was rather "epic" for our neighborhood. I have a few more pictures and I'll make them put them up on Flickr.

94streamsong
Feb 3, 2012, 9:43am Top

Beautiful photo and I love Sakerfalcon's comment.

Was this a recent storm? Do we finally have white stuff coming our way?

95maggie1944
Edited: Feb 3, 2012, 11:35am Top

Yes, the Pac NW was hit with a big storm a couple of weeks ago, don't remember the exact dates. I stayed in my cozy home for about 3-4 days straight, dogs ventured out a bit watching for squirrels to feed below the bird feeders, and my pellet stove sang its merry song. I was very happy.

Unhappily, my neighbors directly to the west lost power for those same days. Many families had to move out of their homes and seek shelter with friends or family. I felt so sad for my next door neighbors who have two small children.

I hope we are done with snow for our "neck of the woods".

ETA: photo was taken Jan. 15, 2012

96fuzzi
Feb 3, 2012, 12:43pm Top

Pretty, pretty, pretty!!!

97maggie1944
Feb 3, 2012, 3:58pm Top

OK, you twisted my arm, so here is one more snow picture. This was found on my front porch. I am a sucker for gnomes.

98jillmwo
Feb 3, 2012, 8:38pm Top

Love the gnome in the snow!

99tardis
Feb 3, 2012, 9:41pm Top

Yes, he looks a little depressed about the snow!

100hfglen
Feb 4, 2012, 4:59am Top

Maybe he wants to go gnome

*ducks flying tomatoes*

101maggie1944
Feb 4, 2012, 8:57am Top

jillmwo, I wish I'd been more persistent and taken more gnome in snow pictures. He really is pretty cute, and the not yet disturbed snow always makes a great pic. Thanks.

tardis, I thought he was just looking a "what are we going to do about this?" kind of way, but maybe depressed is the same thing, eh?

hfglen, you've got me ROFLAO - hahahah

Thanks all for stopping by.

102maggie1944
Edited: Feb 4, 2012, 9:14am Top




I stayed up "late" last night to finish Grass for His Pillow and then I even started reading Brilliance of the Moon after I'd had a half a night's sleep. I did go back to sleep, but isn't a really good series too, too satsifying?

Also, is it often, or even always, true that the second book is more satisfying than the first? We know the characters (unless you are reading George R.R. Martin), we know the setting, and we've got some of the plot under our reading belt.

This second book definitely was satisfying. I became more attached to the main characters and their story, I learned more fascinating details about their world.

I don't know whether to describe this book as set in medeival Japan, or not. The author definitely has done her homework and the books are full of interesting, and picturesque, details. But even though the environment is completely different than the one where I live, nevertheless, I was very identified with the main characters and am completely rooting for them.

On to book 3.

103jnwelch
Feb 4, 2012, 9:25am Top

I'm glad you liked Wonderstruck, Karen! He's got a knack with this kind of book, doesn't he? Good to hear you're enjoying Gillian Rubenstein's series, too. Love the snow pictures!

104maggie1944
Feb 4, 2012, 9:34am Top

Thanks, Joe, for stopping by. I am glad you encouraged my reading of Wonderstruck. I enjoyed it enough to read it in a little tiny bit more than one day! Impressed my great nephew, I did!

And yes, Rubenstein's series is lovely and a very enjoyable read. Reminds me of why I love reading so much and takes me back to when I was 10 years old, sitting in a big comfy chair, and just reading the days away.

Thanks for the complement on the photos. I try, I really do, I try but not often enough. I have these time consuming habits which have just eaten up my hours of retirement!

105fuzzi
Edited: Feb 4, 2012, 3:19pm Top

(100) *ducks flying tomatoes*

For a moment there, I envisioned ducks as pilots, flying in airplanes that looked like tomatoes...

;)

If an Alaskan gnome owned a book, would you call it a Nome gnome tome?

::runs away::

106jillmwo
Feb 4, 2012, 4:20pm Top

It would seem likely that any Nome gnome would not be reading his tome in the snow.

*flings tomato*

*oddly pleased by the splat sound that rotton tomato makes on fuzzi's back*

107GeorgiaDawn
Feb 4, 2012, 4:53pm Top

This thread is getting messy. Where is Rosie?

Gnomes have also been a bit scary to me. Gnomes, clowns, revolving doors.

*trying to find my happy place*

108maggie1944
Edited: Feb 5, 2012, 9:20am Top

Oh, My! Not only did I find myself mysteriously in a Barnes and Noble, and found myself actually spending money there.... And, and, and... a punning throw down is happening in my thread! Oh, my, oh, my!

I bought The Harsh Cry of the Heron which is "The Last Tale of the Otori" and Heaven's Net is Wide which is a Prequel to the thiad I am just now finishing. Ms Rubinstein did love writing about Japan and I am enjoying her work, immensely.




109maggie1944
Feb 5, 2012, 9:19am Top




Completed the trilogy, and really enjoyed the third book, Brilliance of the Moon but I was troubled by the use of a somewhat believable deus ex machina to resolve the story lines. I did not like that the natural event arrives just in the nick of time to resolve several cliff hanger situations which just strained credibility a bit too far for me. Nervertheless, I loved the characters Rubinstein develops and their interwoven lives and I especially appreciated her use of details to bring color and life to the story.

I did like the book well enough to run out and buy the prequel Heaven's Net is Wide and the follow up The Harsh Cry of the Heron. I am going to let them sit for a while and read some other things before I go back into Rubinstein's capable writing. I am glad I have these two good books to read sometime in the near future.

110katylit
Feb 5, 2012, 10:44am Top

Okay, I'm confused. I read The Tales of the Otori a couple of years ago and my copies are written by Lian Hearn? Ohhhh, never mind, I wikipedia'd her.

Just as an interest maggie, do your books credit Hearn or Rubinstein as the
writer? I wonder why she changed from the pen name to her real name.

And...I have The Harsh Cry of the Heron in my TBRs. I really must get to it sooner, rather than later.

111maggie1944
Feb 5, 2012, 10:50am Top

The books all show Lian Hearn as the author and I am guessing she looked for a unisex pen name. There was a time when publishers did not favor female authors, not all that long ago.

Let me know when you decide to go for The Harsh Cry and maybe we can read it together... might be fun.

112maggie1944
Feb 5, 2012, 11:19am Top

113majkia
Feb 5, 2012, 12:59pm Top

oh that's gorgeous!

114maggie1944
Feb 5, 2012, 1:15pm Top

Thank you. Early morning light in my neighborhood.

115sandragon
Feb 5, 2012, 2:34pm Top

89, 97, 112 - Great photos, Maggie. Love the difference only a few short weeks makes in our part of the world.

116MrsLee
Feb 5, 2012, 3:00pm Top

When in Nome, the gnomes keep their eyes on the gnomon while reading their tomes. An omen?

*walks away whistling*

117fuzzi
Feb 5, 2012, 3:49pm Top

(116) And I got splatted by a tomato for my slightly punny post???

MrsLee's is better. It's actually punderful!

:D

118sandragon
Edited: Feb 5, 2012, 4:02pm Top

You guys all come up with wonderful puns. I'm not very good with those. It's like the lights are on but gnome's home.

119fuzzi
Feb 5, 2012, 3:55pm Top

::throws tomato at sandragon::

hehehehehe

120sandragon
Feb 5, 2012, 3:57pm Top

*smiles gratified tomato splatted smile*

121fuzzi
Feb 5, 2012, 4:00pm Top

::hands sandragon a wet towel::

122maggie1944
Feb 5, 2012, 5:11pm Top

*cheers* thank you, thank you, thank you. This threads not seen so much fun in a very long time!

123maggie1944
Edited: Feb 7, 2012, 8:28pm Top

I just pre-ordered Robert Caro's fifth volume on Lyndon Johnson! It's title is .... The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson and I am so excited. This has been Caro's life work and the previous books make up the most readable, and fascinating, in detail, biography I've ever read. I am so jazzed this book is coming out in May and hope he and I both can live long enough for him to finish Volume 6, which I imagine will be the last of the books on LBJ.

ETA: I ordered the hard bound version as it is just a couple of more dollars than is the Kindle version, and I like the photographs which usually come with good biographies. I am disappointed that the Kindle costs are close to the same as the RL book costs! I started down this e-reader path looking to save significant funds. Not happening, so much.

124maggie1944
Feb 21, 2012, 5:55pm Top

I am so on the verge of finishing... Heaven's Net is Wide, finally. I just have to stay awake tonight for a little while, and I should be able to do a little review tomorrow! Honestly, I am sick of all these health issues. But the Dr. did give me one more day to "recover" (not go back to babysitting) and I should be able to use that to my full advantage.

125jillmwo
Feb 21, 2012, 8:45pm Top

Take care of yourself and you'll ultimately have more to give!

126maggie1944
Feb 22, 2012, 10:11pm Top

Finished reading Heaven's Net is Wide and enjoyed it although I think it is not a good "prequel" to read after having read the trilogy. It ended up not being all that exciting or engaging as so much was already known by the reader.

Next on the deck: Polaris for my local RL book group. I think it will be entirely a different loaf of bread. Looking forward to it.

127GeorgiaDawn
Feb 24, 2012, 8:43pm Top

Maggs - I hope you enjoy Polaris! Jack McDevitt is one of my favorite authors.

128maggie1944
Feb 24, 2012, 9:19pm Top

Thanks! I've also picked up and started reading Birdsong but since Polaris has a definite deadline, I'll probably focus on getting it finished first.

129maggie1944
Feb 28, 2012, 8:33am Top

If for some reason you've not seen the oscar winning book loving short film, check out this thread. It has a couple of links to it.

IT IS NOT TO BE MISSED!!!!

http://www.librarything.com/topic/131868#t

130maggie1944
Feb 28, 2012, 9:21am Top

mid-book comment on Polaris... world building is pretty extensive and believable but I'm feeling somewhat bored reading about a world I would not enjoy even if it were right outside my door. Gossip, celebrities, antique traders... hmm Maybe it will ramp up but if it is one of these books which teases the reader with obscure hints towards the mystery, it is lost on me. I tend to not pay close enough attention to catch all the hints and sign posts.

The nice thing about reading books you would not normally pick up all by your own self is that you learn about your own reading propensities; and then, there's the choice as to whether to try harder to read more carefully, or closely.

Nah. Not today!

131GeorgiaDawn
Feb 28, 2012, 6:42pm Top

If you don't like the Alex Benedict books, try another of McDevitt's books. Moonfall is one of my favorites.

132maggie1944
Feb 28, 2012, 7:30pm Top

This is for my RL book group which meets in early March. I have so many TBR books...shelves of them...I don't think I'm adding any more right now. But thanks.

133maggie1944
Mar 3, 2012, 5:20pm Top

I finished reading Polaris and if you want to read my "review" it is in my 75 book challenge thread. I'll not post my thoughts about it here until after my book group meets and discusses it.


134Morphidae
Mar 4, 2012, 7:46am Top

My book group has noticed that our enjoyment of a book bumps up a notch after having talked about it. So for instance, if I gave it a 6 before the meeting, I might bump it up to a 7 or 8 after the meeting. Discussing it often brings out the positives.

135maggie1944
Mar 4, 2012, 8:02am Top

Yes, I agree, Morphy. I really enjoy talking about books in real time with people, face to face. I also need to exercise some personal self-discipline and stay on topic. It is so tempting to turn it into an all purpose chat fest!

136maggie1944
Edited: Mar 6, 2012, 8:18pm Top




Just bought Robin Hobb's City of Dragons. I am disappointed with how expensive the Nook and Kindle books have become but I do love this series and the Nook price was less than the hardbound cost. Sigh. Just barely.

137maggie1944
Mar 5, 2012, 9:11pm Top

I just rec'd an email from Amazon that my season 1 of Game of Thrones has been shipped. I am looking forward to seeing all the episodes! I think I saw one or two of them, I really want to fill in all the empty spots. Not that I don't know what happens....

138majkia
Mar 5, 2012, 9:31pm Top

I got mine today!

139maggie1944
Mar 5, 2012, 9:34pm Top

woo hoo!!!

140drneutron
Mar 5, 2012, 10:09pm Top

Time to bump 'em up on the Netflix queue!

141LunaticDruid
Mar 6, 2012, 10:03am Top

#137 Got mine on Blu-Ray today! The series is really well done, enjoy!

142maggie1944
Mar 6, 2012, 2:58pm Top

Thanks majkia, drnewt, and LunaticDruid for stopping by. I will be enjoying the series as soon as they arrive...

*tapping my feet*

143fuzzi
Mar 6, 2012, 7:13pm Top

I'm lurking. :)

144maggie1944
Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 7:59pm Top

I bought Steve Jobs for the Nook, along with a kids book. I am incorrigible. I think I'll go read it right now.


145maggie1944
Mar 8, 2012, 7:57pm Top

I did. I started reading it and the first 40 pages grabbed me. I'm in for a quick reading of it, I am pretty sure.

146fuzzi
Mar 9, 2012, 7:50pm Top

I like it when a book grabs me like that. :)

147maggie1944
Mar 9, 2012, 8:00pm Top

He was a very interesting guy and I think is an example of being at the right moment in history. I recommend the book for those who would like to understand more about how our world has changed since the 1970s.

148streamsong
Mar 11, 2012, 12:11pm Top

I'm glad to know you enjoyed the Jobs book. The RL book club has it scheduled for later this year.

149maggie1944
Mar 11, 2012, 1:17pm Top

I am still reading it although I doubt my enjoyment will be lessened as I finish it up.

Had a very weird day yesterday, Saturday, and I don't know what to blame it on. Could not, just could not get moving. Slept on and off pretty much all day long, and through the night, too. Could be the RA is kicking up as I'm off my meds, per doctor's orders, pending clarification of nodules found in lung x-rays. Also, could be the god awful chicken thingies I bought from McDonalds. I swear they are made of heroin...I could not stop eating them, even though I fully knew they were constructed of all sorts of pseudo-foods and fried in the worst cheap oils available. Icky. I believe I have been cured of ever, ever going back to McDonalds for anything, and feel very completely warned away from any food made in a "chain" restaurant. IMHO all capitalists do not care about anyone's health, except their own. And yes, I know this generalization includes moneys invested from my poor State pension and so I, too, am to blame albeit at a distance.

Oh BTW, I hate being sick! It makes me quite grouchy. But I am still reading, and that is good news!

150jillmwo
Mar 11, 2012, 7:20pm Top

Sympathies regarding the indigestion and the subsequent exhaustion. It does seem sometimes that one's physical body extracts real revenge in middle age for food offenses that used to be quite mundane.

151maggie1944
Mar 11, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Nicely described! Yes, I think that is what befell me yesterday. This morning I woke up feeling much better and I assume the three Ensures that I had for yesterday's menu did their job: ensuring I could get up. I actually had a normal day, more or less, in the food department and had a lovely time with my younger niece helping me a bit with housework and book sorting.

More books for the used books stores tomorrow.

Still reading about Steve Jobs. I must say his biography reads a bit like a good novel. A little hard to believe, and yet, maybe not.

152fuzzi
Mar 12, 2012, 12:51pm Top

jill and maggie, I know of what you speak: there are things that I used to eat with no problems, but now my body doesn't like them.

I think that those of us who no longer can tolerate the 'junk' that is added to most food are the canaries in the mine: our bodies warn us when we're not eating 'good' food, and then we de-tox for a couple of days.

Rejoice, Fellow Canaries! :)

153maggie1944
Mar 12, 2012, 1:27pm Top

yup - detoxing right now: oatmeal, cranberries, apples....

154fuzzi
Mar 12, 2012, 6:59pm Top

...pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, brown rice...

155maggie1944
Mar 12, 2012, 7:03pm Top

Unfortunately, I'd forgotten I need to go to my RL book group tonight. I'll see if I can't find some sort of easy salad thing to have for dinner.

156fuzzi
Mar 12, 2012, 7:06pm Top

Greens are good, too. And fish like salmon is also excellent.

157maggie1944
Mar 12, 2012, 7:11pm Top

oh, salmon... good idea.

158maggie1944
Mar 15, 2012, 8:41am Top




Finished Steve Jobs. What a fascinating fellow he was, and I really enjoyed reading about his life. As I am, personally, of more than one mind about the value of all the technology which has proliferated since the 1980s (+/-), I am still thinking about all that he accomplished. However, I am pretty much completely sure this is one great biography. Might have to look at reading other books written by Walter Isaacson such as the ones on Benjamin Franklin, and Einstein.

I'll write a fuller review in a little bit. Need to think about it for a while.

159maggie1944
Mar 18, 2012, 4:17pm Top

Finished reading Birdsong, a book off my TBR shelf, and one I was encouraged to read by various LT friends. And boy, howdy, I am glad I did. It was a bit difficult at first to stick with the book as it jumped from one story to another without much transition to link them, and then there was a third. Nevertheless, I was encouraged by my LT friends to "carry on" and the book eventually became whole, and wholly wonderful.

First off, it is a fine historical novel giving some lovely, horrible, and intense, glimpses into pre-WWI France, the actual War, and then, follows through with some thoughtful reflections on how the lives of family members affect people even into today. Secondly, it is one of the most realistic books I've read in sometime giving me wonderfully written passages which capture exactly, and poignantly, some strong emotional experiences I have had in my own life. And the novel is also wonderfully romantic peppered with undying commitment to the power of love.

160jillmwo
Mar 19, 2012, 2:51pm Top

Just two or three weeks ago, a friend was talking about Birdsong being one of her favorite books of all time. I may have to add this to my TBR pile. It would fit in nicely with the other World War I titles I've been reading.

161maggie1944
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 10:14am Top

I finished reading The Warden and feel very proud of myself for having slogged my way through it. I guess I did find a few things to appreciate in the book. One, it did give me a glimpse into a certain way of life in 19th Century England; and on the other hand, 19th Century England is a large reason why I found it to be so tedious a book.

Oh my, Trollope could write some paragraphs which would qualify him to go to some On and On and On Anon meetings. And the topics of these rapidly multiplying paragraphs was frequently so obscure to my contemporary context that I was cross eyed in my attempt to figure out what the heck he was talking about, anyway.

The story was worthy. A peaceful village religious "leader" is criticized for taking advantage of a legacy charity and collecting a salary he does not deserve. Basically Trollope follows the man's consideration of what he should do, and what were the consequences of his actions. I enjoyed the glimpse into village life, and the influence of the legal and newspaper professions on these simple people's lives.

So, here I am, at 18.6% books finished, and almost 25% of the year slipped by:



162streamsong
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 10:44am Top

Hi Karen-- I had not put together that Walter Isaacson also wrote Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Several people here on LT have recommended that one. Definitely moves it up my list, too!

Like you, I can't believe the year is almost 1/4 over. I'm really glad for the nice spring days we're getting this weekend. (Except for the stupid robin who, for the third year, hurls himself nonstop against my windows). With longer daylight in the evenings, and the nicer days, I suspect I'll be reading less.

I hope your wrist is feeling better!

163maggie1944
Mar 25, 2012, 12:16pm Top

oh, no, not reading less! I was shopping at Home Depot yesterday for just the right reading chair to put in the yard. I so want to sit on those long, warm afternoons and read my way into the night!

Wrist is not feeling better. Hurts like the devil this morning, will be taking prednisone in a minute to keep the flare down! Damn it.

yes, I was happy to see the connection with Walter Isaacson and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and then! imagine my joy when I spotted a copy of aforementioned book on my crammed TBR shelves! Woo hoo. I may even start reading in it today, after I do my Income Tax duties. Kind of a reward system, I hope.

164katylit
Mar 25, 2012, 1:25pm Top

Just dropping in maggie. Your reading sounds interesting as always. I enjoyed (if enjoyed is the right word) Birdsong too, some of the images of battle experiences still haunt me to this day. Have you read the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker, more excellent stories about WW1 experiences.

165MrsLee
Mar 25, 2012, 2:52pm Top

I've only read two Trollope books so far. I delight in the very dry and obscure humor. However, The Warden made me very sad. I thought it showed how people who jump into causes they really know nothing about can do much more harm than good.

166maggie1944
Mar 25, 2012, 3:34pm Top

Too true, MrsLee, and that is one reason I am very cautious in joining in on seemingly virtuous public policy positions. Don't sign petitions, for example.

Yes, the humor was amusing but it was the obscurity which weighed down my enjoyment.

167fuzzi
Mar 27, 2012, 10:48am Top

Still lurking and enjoying your book reviews. :)

168maggie1944
Mar 27, 2012, 12:24pm Top

thanks, fuzzi. I appreciate your showing up!

169fuzzi
Mar 27, 2012, 12:32pm Top

I've been really busy at work (lunchtime meetings) and too tired at night to do much online, but today I'm proctoring an exam, and have to sit at a computer all day watching residents take examinations.

So I'm playing catch-up! :)

170jnwelch
Mar 27, 2012, 12:40pm Top

Yay! Glad you liked Birdsong so much, Karen! You're right about the strong romantic aspect, too.

Walter Issaacson's Benjamin Franklin is on my "some day" list. It sounds really good.

171maggie1944
Mar 27, 2012, 7:15pm Top

OK, you guys! I will take it off the shelf this evening and at least look at the first few pages. Perhaps it will leap out of the covers and grab me by the brain!

172maggie1944
Mar 27, 2012, 7:26pm Top

OK, here's a picture from our snowy past:

173drneutron
Mar 28, 2012, 9:13am Top

Wow! That's a great shot.

174maggie1944
Mar 28, 2012, 9:33am Top

I would have liked it much better were it more in focus but nonetheless, an interesting perspective.

175fuzzi
Mar 28, 2012, 10:07am Top

I love the brindle coloring....I assume it's a dog? :)

176maggie1944
Mar 28, 2012, 11:18am Top

yup. My niece's platzhund, or platshound, or something like that. Nice dog, but she likes to attack small animals, like my two schnauzers. I have to keep them all separated at all time. Too bad.

177fuzzi
Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 11:25am Top

I've never heard of that type of dog, so I looked it up. From Wikipedia:

Of the seven breeds of United Kennel Club (UKC) registered Coonhounds, the Plott Hound does not trace its ancestry to the foxhound. And, of those seven breeds, we can be most certain of the Plott’s heritage and the men most responsible for its development.

The ancestors of today’s Plott Hounds were used for boar hunting in Germany many years ago. Originally from Germany, Johannes Plott emigrated to the United States in 1750. He brought a few wild boar hounds with him. These dogs had been bred for generations for their stamina and gameness. Plott and his family settled in the mountains of western North Carolina. Though there is no evidence that Johannes ever came to western North Carolina, his son Henry settled there around 1800 and was responsible for the Plott hound legend of an incredible big game dog. The Plott Balsams are a mountain range that carries the family name to this day.

Plott supposedly kept his strain entirely pure, making no outcrosses. In 1780, the Plott pack passed into the hands of Henry Plott.

Shortly after, a hunter living in Rabun Gap, Georgia who had been breeding his own outstanding strain of “leopard spotted dogs” heard of the fame of the Plott Hounds and came to North Carolina to see for himself. He was so impressed that he borrowed one of Montraville Plott’s top stud dogs for a year to breed to his own bitches. This single cross is the only known instance of new blood being introduced into the Plott Hound since they first came to this country. Eventually Mont decided not to continue this breeding practice and gave all the leopard dogs away, returning to his original breeding practices.

Other crosses possibly took place around the year 1900. G.P. Ferguson, a neighbor of the Plott family in North Carolina in those days, was a major influence on the Plott breed. He made a careful study of the Blevins hounds and the Cable hounds of that era. To what extent he used these bloodlines in his Plott breeding program is not known.

The Plott Hound was first registered with the United Kennel Club in the 1900's. They have a clear voice that carries well.


It's the state dog of the state I live in, and I'd never heard of it, go figure...

Here's a picture:

178maggie1944
Mar 28, 2012, 11:32am Top

She does look quite a lot like this, except for the muzzle. She does not have that Great Dane muzzle looking on her. She looks more like a regular dog. But boy howdie she will chase small creatures! Otherwise, she is sweet and totally a family friendly dog. The toddlers are all over her.

179fuzzi
Mar 28, 2012, 11:51am Top

Apparently, they are wonderful with children, read here: http://dogbreeds-list.blogspot.com/2010/07/plott-hound.html


Does this look more like your niece's dog?

180maggie1944
Mar 28, 2012, 1:38pm Top

Yes, kind of. She is not that long in the leg, and she is more brindle all over, no real black on her. Her tail might be a little shorter. But yes, this would be in her ilk, for sure.

181MrsLee
Mar 28, 2012, 5:20pm Top

Love your wintery photo, maggie. All kinds of possibilities there, with what the dog is thinking. I agree, I wish the eye were more in focus, but I imagine that would be serendipitous in a quick photo op as this had to be. Snow and dogs hold still for no one. :)

182maggie1944
Mar 28, 2012, 7:13pm Top

So true! Kind of like the kids, too.

183maggie1944
Edited: Apr 9, 2012, 10:44pm Top




finished reading Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things and really am glad I found this little gem. I appreciated the authors' balanced view which allows them to notice, and appreciate, the different way of thinking found in collectors and hoarders; and, appreciating there are positive aspects in these people. Mostly, though they recognize that the compulsion to not deal with the stuff creates much suffering.

I also was glad to see that the authors took the time to consider the connection between abnormal hoarding of "stuff" and the every day, out of control, consumerism which is such a large part of American life.

As I personally have some issues with having clutter and keeping some things well beyond their useful lives I am tempted to re-read this book just to find and focus on the ways in which my way of thinking is somewhat similar to the characteristics of pathological hoarders, and use this as a way to kick start my taking more control of my clutter.

I do recommend this book to people who have family members who might be out of control with clutter, and hanging onto stuff which is not needed; or, who might have a little problem themselves with getting their own homes under some reasonable amount of control; or, any who are just curious how these folks can do what they do.

184fuzzi
Mar 29, 2012, 6:57pm Top

I wanna hear about 'Stuff'!!!

185maggie1944
Mar 29, 2012, 7:27pm Top

And here's a little more:

Early in the book the authors mention that it is a more wide spread occurrence than most of us realized; and, that there is evidence that "hoarding" behavior has been around for centuries. Unfortunately, effective treatment for individuals who may threaten their own health and lives with their pathology is usually very intensive, and not inexpensive. Forcing them to "get rid" of their stuff with massive clean outs can reinforce all of their concerns and may create a rebound of worse behavior, or in some cases, may cause suicide.

I am glad to see that the mental health and public health fields are beginning to do some credible research in this area and may be able to provide more useful suggestions.

And yes, I know that feeling of "oh, thank god, I am not the only one!"

186Tane
Mar 29, 2012, 11:29pm Top

>172 maggie1944: I'm glad to see the photography is going well. That's a cracking shot. Really tells a story.

187maggie1944
Mar 30, 2012, 8:23am Top

Thank you, Tane, your comment is very welcome!

188maggie1944
Edited: Apr 1, 2012, 11:58am Top




Just bought The Horse Boy and plan to read it along with folks who are reading books during an Autism Month. See this: http://www.librarything.com/topic/135101

189fuzzi
Apr 1, 2012, 4:32pm Top

Go, Karen, Go! :D

190streamsong
Apr 1, 2012, 4:44pm Top

I read The Horse Boy a few years ago and thought it was really interesting.

I'm going to read something for the autism read--just haven't decided what quite yet. Perhaps another title by Temple Grandin since I loved her Animals in Translation when I read it last year.

191maggie1944
Apr 1, 2012, 6:01pm Top

yes, I like reading Temple Grandin's works, too. It appeals to my interest in autism, and psychology, and the brain, etc. etc. and animals!

192maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 9:21am Top




Back from nice trip to Portland, OR, and Powells Books! I had a wonderful nice visit with a college buddy, she and I walked our combined "herd" of miniature schnauzers (4 of them) and ate and talked and then spent hours in Powells. Perfect vacation!

I bought 5 books from my wishlists and one just because:

The Night the Mountain Fell: I bought this because it tells about the first earthquake I ever felt. I was sitting in a bed, reading, on a ranch in central Idaho when the earthquake hit at nearly midnight, August 17, 1959.

Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker. How can I resist reading about the woman who had her pillow, "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me".

Seven Ages of Paris was an irresistible combination of history + Paris.

Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon. I bought this as I spent many days in my youth in this part of Idaho and Oregon and I do love my history.

Are All the Giants Dead? purchased because I love illustrations by Brian Froud. It is a good story, too.

The Question of Hu purchased due to its enthusiastic review by drneutron.

I've got some reading to do!!

193fuzzi
Apr 5, 2012, 9:26am Top

"Powells Books".... is that a "drool, drool" place, Karen?

194maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 9:56am Top

OMG, Powells is a dream come true. Located in an older building, in downtown Portland, it is a multi-room maze of tall book shelves, with lovely aisles which give room for browsers and passerby people to coexist happily. Excellent and friendly staff. Computers available for customers to use to look up books to their hearts' content! They also have a small but acceptably nice cafe and a light and airy room for children's books.

Of the more obscure books on my wishlist I found all but one!

I could have spent the entire day there, but I had my schnauzers in the car so we had to leave after a couple of hours. I will return.

New picture of an excellent vacation: train ride from Seattle to Portland, and then spend the day in Powells. Must find lodging close by....

195fuzzi
Apr 5, 2012, 10:02am Top

My sister lives in Portland, actually Hillsboro. Maybe I need to fly out there to visit with her...and Powells...

196jnwelch
Apr 5, 2012, 10:12am Top

Powells sounds so great, Karen. I will confer with my much better half - we need to get to Portland and Powells. We are going to visit the Strand in NYC in early May, another great bookstore.

197maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 10:17am Top

Oh, fuzzi! Do come. I could maybe catch the train down and we could do a little meet-up!

198maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 10:18am Top

Joe: I think Powells may be a "don't miss seeing this place"! It is a real warren and one could get lost in the "stacks". Do you remember college libraries where you were allowed into the stacks? It is a wonder, and well worth a special trip.

199fuzzi
Apr 5, 2012, 10:19am Top

It's a long way from Raleigh, NC...about 2400 miles...

...but if I do come to Portland, I will let you know! :)

200streamsong
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 10:26am Top

Someday, I hope to make it to Powell's.

After you read Massacred for Gold you should think about going to the Chinese Remembering Day in Lewiston (can you say meetup?!) . DD & I went last year and really enjoyed the lectures, although we didn't take the jet boat to the site. DD recently contacted Nokes about some Chinese students coming to Montana/Idaho this summer to do research and he seemed pleased to be in contact with them. He's a nice guy and very interesting--had lived and worked in quite a few places in the world as (if I'm remembering it right) an AP correspondant.

http://www.historicalmuseumatstgertrude.org/outreach/programs/2012_programs/2012...

--had to edit--an extra 'w' slipped in.......

201maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 10:27am Top

Oh! I would love to do that! When is the Remembering Day? I have another friend who has recently moved to Clarkston and it would be fun to visit with him, too. I love the idea of LibraryThing meet-ups. I could go broke running around the region to meet all my LT friends.

202Marissa_Doyle
Apr 5, 2012, 10:29am Top

The Alice Roosevelt book is quite good. I've recently done a lot of research on her as she is important in the book I just finished; a very interesting, but ultimately rather sad life.

The earthquake book sounds interesting--I'm a sucker for geology non-fiction. :)

203streamsong
Apr 5, 2012, 10:32am Top

June 21 & 22. There's a brochure for it online, but it's taking forever to download.

204sandragon
Apr 5, 2012, 11:04am Top

My brother has been to Powell's a few times. He says you need a map to get around, it's so big. Each time he goes, he kindly asks me if there are any books I'd like him to look for, but I'd love to visit it someday in person.

205maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 11:19am Top

The thing I fastened on, big time, was that in that store I had a chance of finding a copy of even the most obscure title I might be wanting!

206fuzzi
Apr 5, 2012, 12:04pm Top

:drooling:

I can't do anything right now, but I would like to attend a meetup, sometime...

...if you ever get to NC, let me know and I'll drive to see you.

207MerryMary
Apr 5, 2012, 1:42pm Top

I too own The Night the Mountain Fell. I was not quite 10 years old, living in Billings, Montana. We had often camped in Yellowstone, and the sight of the devastation there truly frightened me.

So we weren't very far apart that night. Cool.

208maggie1944
Edited: Apr 5, 2012, 2:07pm Top

I think I was about 14 then, and was quite impressed. We heard that people had died but now that I've read The Night the Mountain Fell I am very inspired with how difficult that night was for people, and how bravely and resourcefully most responded.

209maggie1944
Apr 5, 2012, 2:08pm Top



210maggie1944
Apr 6, 2012, 11:53am Top

So, I finished reading Are All the Giants Dead and enjoyed it very much. Mary Norton takes traditional fairy tale characters and writes a new chapter. Most have "grown-up" and are busy with "happily ever-after" but it appears that Jack-the-Giant-Killer did not get all the giants! There is one left and he has a treasure which The Princess must have before she has the courage to kiss the frog.

Read it if you have any childlike wonder left in your heart. Also, recommended for 11 year old kids.

211fuzzi
Apr 6, 2012, 4:26pm Top

I might just check that out. Is that the same Mary Norton that wrote The Borrowers?

212maggie1944
Apr 6, 2012, 4:30pm Top

Yes, it is the same author!

213Morphidae
Apr 7, 2012, 8:03am Top

Sounds like it was a fun read.

214MerryMary
Apr 7, 2012, 4:37pm Top

*sigh* And another for the WishList...

215maggie1944
Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 5:37pm Top




I just finished reading The Horse Boy and I guess I'll give it 3.5 stars. I think the author, his wife, his editors, and whoever else helped him decide what to put in and what to leave out of this book made an error on the side of conventional wisdom.

This is the story of a family with an autistic boy who made a trip to Mongolia to connect with horses and shamans.

The father was definitely a horse person, and found that his autistic son did have an ability to connect with horses. The father also had some connection with shamans in Africa and so his quest to take his son to shamans was not completely made up without some realism. When first introduced to some shamans the boy did connect and did show some improvement in behavior, so the idea had some foundation in this family's reality. However, having traveled to some less developed corners of the world I know how daunting such a trip can be and I believe the author skimped in telling the hard parts of the story.

The book was about 300 pages and I think I would have been happy to read another 200 pages to get a little more detail in the ups and downs of the trip.

In the end, it was a sweet book full of the love this family had for their boy, and happily did have some good news in the boy's growing ability to deal with life in a more functional way.

216maggie1944
Apr 8, 2012, 9:46am Top

Ok, next book: At Home in Mitford is started. I am reading it as my May selection for the RL book group. I always try to get these books started early in case they are long, or dense, or tough to get through but this little gem is going to go by way too fast. I think it is what many might call a "cozy" read. Descriptions of a quiet, peaceful village is almost too good to be true. I can't say whether I like it or not, yet.

217jillmwo
Apr 8, 2012, 12:32pm Top

The Mitford series really is cozy or as close as late 20th century American life can be to cozy. I read them at a gallop when they came out initially.

218Morphidae
Apr 9, 2012, 7:15am Top

The Mitford books are delightful but I can't imagine reading them close together. I read one about every 6 months.

219streamsong
Apr 9, 2012, 9:31am Top

Another vote for the Mitford books. I love their sweet, gentle humor. They work especially well for me as audiobooks!

220maggie1944
Apr 9, 2012, 9:35am Top

Ok, I'm willing to admit I've run into a couple of really good "laugh out loud" moments. Maybe I can have an open enough mind to find some appreciation for this book....

221catzteach
Apr 9, 2012, 9:39am Top

I, too, love the Mitford books. Father Tim is so sweet!

222MrsLee
Apr 9, 2012, 10:30am Top

I enjoy the early Mitford books, especially. My friend became very irritated with Father Tim because he was stuck in many aspects of his life, but I won't talk anymore about it. Spoilers.

223maggie1944
Edited: Apr 11, 2012, 8:25am Top

Finished it! At Home in Mitford is closed.


I confess I ended up liking some things about the book but generally it was just too sweet, too good, too perfect. All the tragedies had their soft side and all the characters were lovable.

Honestly, I was looking for one description of a person who was not redeemed or one occurrence which had no silver lining. I like books which reflect "real" life and which show people who somehow are able to survive their hard times and tragedies, and who are wounded and yet carry their pain with some dignity and authentic emotion.

Oh, well, I'll go hit the TBR pile and I'll bet I'll find something a little more bleak.

224maggie1944
Edited: Apr 11, 2012, 7:00pm Top

Ok, well, I am reading, all in the same times, these:

The Discovery of France (my little bit at a time, in the bathtub book);

The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir and Atlantic: Great Sea Batttles, Heroic Discoveries, Titantic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories (library books);

The Sisters Brothers recommended by many on LT, found at the grocery store, at the check out line, (yes, I am impulsive);

and, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life which I received as a part of Santa Thing... lo those many months ago.

I think The Grace of Silence has worked its way to the top.

225maggie1944
Apr 13, 2012, 8:24am Top

I'm well and good into The Sisters Brothers and am loving it. I actually laughed out loud, loudly, twice last night. And this is in a book which truthfully might be described as bleak and "dark"; not optimistic about the human race.

226sandragon
Apr 13, 2012, 12:19pm Top

224 - This is the second time in a couple days I've noticed Atlantic mentioned in the Green Dragon. I just passed up a copy at the Sally Ann earlier this week. I think I'll have to go back this weekend to see if it's still there.

227JannyWurts
Apr 13, 2012, 12:23pm Top

In response to #215, did you know the couple made a documentary of their journey to Mongolia to find shamans and seek healing for their autistic child? It was definitely their own film - and narration - and fascinating to watch. I don't recall the title, but Don and I rented it through Netflix.

228maggie1944
Apr 13, 2012, 1:33pm Top

Yes, the book actually includes the making of the film as part of the story. After all, it was a small number of people in Mongolia, not just the family. Interesting, no doubt.

229maggie1944
Edited: Apr 14, 2012, 7:22am Top




Finished reading The Sisters Brothers and loved it. Could hardly put it down. Yes, one could describe it as "dark" as there is plenty of gun shooting, and dying, and undeserved miseries but in truth the "old west" of the US of A probably was pretty much like that, in some places. This book is set during the California gold rush and we all know what greed does to people's concerns for others.

Additionally, the book was also funny, and had many instances of the the best in humanity. It is the dark books which are not relieved by these other facets of humanity which give me heart burn.

230maggie1944
Apr 14, 2012, 7:25am Top

26.6% of the 75 books finished; and 29.1 % of the year has passed. So I am not too far off goal.

231AHS-Wolfy
Apr 14, 2012, 11:14am Top

The Sisters Brothers is already on my wishlist due to some other good comments from people on LT. Yours just add another positive notch and I should really get around to picking it up sometime soon.

232jnwelch
Apr 14, 2012, 11:15am Top

Another vote for The Sisters Brothers. Like you, Karen, I thought it was a really good read, and the humor helped balance some of the dark, gritty aspects.

233maggie1944
Edited: Apr 14, 2012, 12:19pm Top

I've decided to follow up with reading Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon which is about a horrible slaughter of a Chinese gold mining crew in the late 1880-1890s, near the Wallowa Valley in northeastern Oregon. Another gritty western story, but this one is true, and has been suppressed for over 100 years.

234maggie1944
Apr 16, 2012, 10:00pm Top

I've added a new picture, due to several requests from library thing friends while over in facebook

235MrsLee
Apr 17, 2012, 6:33pm Top

234- Such a lovely pose! And the flowers are pretty, too.

236jillmwo
Apr 17, 2012, 7:08pm Top

#234 - It's just a great picture. I'm glad you put it up over here as well.

237hfglen
Apr 18, 2012, 1:57pm Top

Thinks: I wonder if we should ask Clam for a new Dragon at the head of the pub page -- the one in #234, for instance

238maggie1944
Apr 18, 2012, 1:58pm Top

oh, Hugh, I am very flattered.

That would be fun. Do it!

239JannyWurts
Apr 18, 2012, 2:48pm Top

I LIKE that idea, of the green dragon and the flowers on the masthead for the group.

240maggie1944
Edited: Apr 22, 2012, 11:13am Top

Ok, I heard an interview on public radio and viola, I bought another book for my nook: The Glass Castle. I am a sucker for memoirs of dysfunctional families.


241catzteach
Apr 23, 2012, 10:35pm Top

I have The Glass Castle on my pile. Can't wait to read it!

242maggie1944
Apr 24, 2012, 8:28am Top

I finished reading the abridged version of my iPhone user guide! It works. Really!

I set the alarm last night, and this morning it woke me!

243clamairy
Edited: Apr 24, 2012, 8:45am Top

I love the piccie. The only issue I have with making it our official photo is what it will look like when reduced to postage stamp size on the group page. Because of all the greenery there is nothing to set the dragon off.

Right now it looks like this:

And maggie's will look something like this

I could replace the 'WELCOME' dragon with maggie's great picture, though.

244maggie1944
Apr 24, 2012, 8:46am Top

Thanks for trying, Clamairy. I can see it might be a problem.

I can put some effort into finding some way to take a pic of it with a simpler background, but I think it is the columbines and strawberry plants that people were liking. The green dragon all by herself may not be so spectacular.

But maybe... I'll see if I can come up with any good ideas.

245clamairy
Apr 24, 2012, 8:47am Top

Let's try it as a replacement for the welcome dragon.

246GreenDragon
Edited: Apr 24, 2012, 8:50am Top

How does that look? Tim turned off a lot of coding ability so I can't center it.

http://www.librarything.com/groups/thegreendragon

247maggie1944
Apr 24, 2012, 8:50am Top

okey, dokey

248clamairy
Apr 24, 2012, 9:38am Top

Um... please tell me how you think it looks. LOL

249streamsong
Apr 24, 2012, 10:42am Top

Beautiful!

I asked DD to bring me a green dragon from China. She told me most of the Chinese dragons are red and she is having trouble finding a green one she likes. Silly Chinese!

250jillmwo
Apr 24, 2012, 11:32am Top

I like the way the photo displays on the group home page. Looks good!

251clamairy
Apr 24, 2012, 11:45am Top

Thanks, Jill. :oD That is exactly the kind of specific reply I was looking for!

252reading_fox
Apr 24, 2012, 11:48am Top

#246- yes I like it. Always good to have a change now and then.

253maggie1944
Apr 24, 2012, 12:25pm Top

Wow! Big dragon picture! I love it. "I'm a famous photog now?"

254fuzzi
Apr 24, 2012, 12:33pm Top

clam, I like it!

255Morphidae
Apr 24, 2012, 12:50pm Top

I love it!

256jnwelch
Apr 24, 2012, 2:04pm Top

Congrats on getting that iPhone working, Karen! And another thumbs-up for your dragon!

257maggie1944
Apr 24, 2012, 2:08pm Top

Thanks, all. My ego is basking in the sunshine of your kindnesses. (I don't know if that is good for my spiritual health, but I'm enjoying it)

258sandragon
Apr 24, 2012, 2:34pm Top

I think Maggie's dragon is a fine addition to the group.

259fuzzi
Apr 24, 2012, 2:37pm Top

Go to the continuation! :)

260MerryMary
Apr 24, 2012, 9:03pm Top

Maggie: Just think of it as a tiny Karmic pay-back!

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