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kidzdoc is cutting down the mountain of unread books in 2012: part 4

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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1kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 8:58pm Top



Unknown photograph of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (BTJ is on the far left)










Currently reading:



The Singapore Grip by J.G. Farrell
Maimonides by Sherwin Nuland
Little Misunderstandings of No Importance by Antonio Tabucchi

Completed books:

January:
1. Volcano by Shusaku Endo (review)
2. False Friends: Book Two by Ellie Malet Spradbery (review)
3. A Disease Apart: Leprosy in the Modern World by Tony Gould (review)
4. Best Mets: Fifty Years of Highs and Lows from New York's Most Agonizingly Amazin' Team by Matthew Silverman (review)
5. Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (review)
6. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (review)
7. Letter from the Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
8. Mister Blue by Jacques Poulin (review)
9. Stained Glass Elegies by Shusaku Endo (review)
10. Botchan (Master Darling) by Natsume Soseki (review)
11. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
12. Guadalajara by Quim Monzó (review)

February:
13. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
14. Erasure by Percival Everett
15. Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now by Touré
16. Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal
17. India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India by Akash Kapur (review)
18. The Three-Cornered World by Natsume Soseki
19. Angel by Elizabeth Taylor
20. Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
21. The Golden Country by Shusaku Endo
22. The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi

March:
23. Professor Andersen's Night by Dag Solstad
24. Amsterdam Stories by Nescio
25. Your New Baby: A Guide to Newborn Care by Roy Benaroch, MD (review)
26. Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD (review)
27. There but for the by Ali Smith
28. The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle
29. When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks by Harvey Araton (review)
30. Walk on Water: Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit by Michael Rudman (review)
31. Suffer the Children: Flaws, Foibles, Fallacies and the Grave Shortcomings of Pediatric Care by Peter Palmieri (review)
32. Tonight No Poetry Will Serve by Adrienne Rich

TBR books read in 2012 (books on my shelf for ≥6 months):

1. A Disease Apart: Leprosy in the Modern World by Tony Gould
2. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
3. Botchan (Master Darling) by Natsume Soseki
4. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
5. Guadalajara by Quim Monzó
6. Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal
7. The Three-Cornered World by Natsume Soseki
8. Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
9. The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi
10. The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle

Books purchased by me in 2012:

1. The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq ($13.99)
2. Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD ($9.99)
3. The Irish Americans: A History by Jay P. Dolan ($0.99)
4. The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories by Etgar Keret ($8.70 (partial purchase))
5. The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright ($12.99)
6. Suffer the Children: Flaws, Foibles, Fallacies and the Grave Shortcomings of Pediatric Care by Peter Palmieri ($3.99)

Books acquired in 2012:

January:
1. Best Mets: Fifty Years of Highs and Lows from New York's Most Agonizingly Amazin' Team by Matthew Silverman (2 Jan; LT Early Reviewer book)
2. The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (3 Jan; Kindle purchase)
3. The Lepers of Molokai by Charles Warren Stoddard (7 Jan; free Kindle download)
4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (8 Jan; gift book)
5. Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (8 Jan; NYRB Book Club)
6. There but for the by Ali Smith (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
7. I Am a Cat by Natsume Soseki (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
8. The Samurai by Shusaku Endo (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
9. Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima ((9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
10. Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
11. Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista by Erin Aubry Kaplan (10 Jan; LT Early Reviewer book)
12. Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
13. Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
14. The Temple of Dawn by Yukio Mishima (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
15. The Golden Country by Shusaku Endo (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
16. Deep River by Shusaku Endo (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
17. Letter from the Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (15 Jan; free download)

February:
18. Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph (2 Feb; free ARC)
19. Angel by Elizabeth Taylor (4 Feb; NYRB Book Club)
20. Class War?: What Americans Really Think about Economic Inequality by Benjamin I. Page (10 Feb; free e-book from U of Chicago Press)
21. India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India by Akash Kapur (15 Feb; LT Early Reviewer book)
22. Amsterdam Stories by Nescio (29 Feb; NYRB Book Club)

March:
23. Your new baby: A guide to newborn care by Roy Benaroch (6 Mar; free Kindle download)
24. Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD (11 Mar; Kindle purchase)
25. The Irish Americans: A History by Jay P. Dolan (17 Mar; Kindle purchase)
26. The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret (17 Mar; partial book purchase from Barnes & Noble gift order)
27. The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (17 Mar; Barnes & Noble gift order)
28. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (17 Mar; Barnes & Noble gift order)
29. Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor (17 Mar; Barnes & Noble gift order)
30. The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (17 Mar; iBooks order)
31. When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks by Harvey Araton (20 Mar; Kindle gift book)
32. Assumption by Percival Everett (20 Mar; Kindle gift book)
33. The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar (20 Mar; Kindle gift book)
34. A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes (22 Mar; Kindle gift book)
35. The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer (25 Mar; Kindle gift book)
36. Walk on Water: Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit by Michael Rudman (25 Mar; borrowed book)
37. Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete by Washington Irving (26 Mar; free Kindle download)
38. Suffer the Children: Flaws, Foibles, Fallacies and the Grave Shortcomings of Pediatric Care by Peter Palmieri (26 Mar; Kindle purchase)

2kidzdoc
Mar 7, 2012, 5:17pm Top

The new iPad was announced in San Francisco earlier today; it isn't called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD, as was previously reported; it's simply "the new iPad". I followed the announcement via a blog on CNET's web page, and drooled nonstop looking at the still photos and reading the descriptions of the device. I had already made up my mind to buy one last year, so I ordered it from the online Apple Store ASAP. I'll receive my iPad on Friday March 16th, the day that it will be available in the Apple retail stores. I can't wait to try it!

3Ireadthereforeiam
Mar 7, 2012, 5:19pm Top

Hi Darryl, I bet you will love your new iPad! I have yet to venture into that territory but when I do, it'll be all on Id say :)

Congrats on new thread, looking forward to some good book recommendations from you.

4Chatterbox
Mar 7, 2012, 5:21pm Top

I think this may be one that tips it for me -- the built-in microphone was what did it. That means I can record interviews, I think. Can't afford to buy it just yet, but this will be the one. Are you getting wi-fi or wi-fi plus 4G? That's what I can't decide. Btw, I'm writing about this for tomorrow. Interested in being quoted??

5weejane
Mar 7, 2012, 5:22pm Top

Hey Darryl - So glad I finally have a short thread to catch up on! :)

Congrats on the new iPad! We really enjoy ours!

6kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 5:31pm Top

>3 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks, Megan. BTW, here's a link to a CNET article about the new iPad:

Apple's new iPad: Hands-on

>4 Chatterbox: I went all out, Suz. I bought the 64 GB Wi-Fi + 4G LTE for Verizon (list price $829). The basic model (16 GB Wi-Fi) is considerably cheaper, at $499.

Sure, you can certainly quote me.

>5 weejane: Hi, Brit! I can't think of anyone I know who doesn't sing praises about their iPad. I was going to take the plunge and purchase an iPad 2 last year, but I held off once I learned that the new iPad would be released early this year.

7kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 5:42pm Top

I just received a Google e-mail alert about the new novel that Mario Vargas Llosa is working on:

Vargas Llosa: Upcoming Novel To Be Based In Piura

ETA: This article doesn't refer to The Dream of the Celt, MVL's newest novel to be translated into English, which will be released in the US on June 5th.

8msf59
Mar 7, 2012, 5:47pm Top

Hi Darryl- Congrats on the new thread and congrats on ordering the new iPad. I guess I'm just learning to live without.
It looks like you're still reading an exciting and eclectic group of books.

9tangledthread
Mar 7, 2012, 6:25pm Top

Love the new photo. It's windy enough here today that we could all be floating around like that (would that our bodies be so lithesome...sigh)

10rebeccanyc
Mar 7, 2012, 6:42pm Top

#7 Thanks for the news about the new MVLs. Very exciting. I believe Piura was in one of the novels I've already read that had desert scenes.

11kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 7, 2012, 7:20pm Top

The Orange Prize longlist has just been announced:

Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus) - Swedish; 1st Novel
On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent's Tail) - Irish; 3rd Novel
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press) - American; 4th Novel
The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador) - Irish; 7th Novel
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent's Tail) - Canadian; 2nd Novel
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) - Irish; 5th Novel
The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review) - British; 5th Novel
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus) - American; 4th Novel
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury) - British; 3rd Novel
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber) - British; 2nd Novel
The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - British; 2nd Novel
The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape) - British; 6th Novel
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker) - American; 1st Novel
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury) - American; 1st Novel
Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books) - American; 7th Novel
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury) - American; 6th Novel
There but for the by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) - British; 5th Novel
The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alma Books) - British; 2nd Novel
Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus) - British; 1st Novel
The Submission by Amy Waldman (William Heinemann) - American; 1st Novel

More info: http://www.orangeprize.co.uk/prize.html

12PaulCranswick
Mar 7, 2012, 7:17pm Top

Darryl - jumping for joy at your new thread!
Thanks for putting up the Orange longlist - I have Altenberg, Donoghue and Morgenstern on the shelves already so I'll look forward to forming my own view as I know you will!

13Chatterbox
Mar 7, 2012, 7:19pm Top

Wow, I've actually read five of those already, with another three on deck! Of the ones I've read, The Night Circus is probably my favorite, for sheer inventiveness and the ability to capture my attention. (It was one of those books that I didn't put down, even when walking down the subway steps.)

14cameling
Mar 7, 2012, 10:29pm Top

Congrats on your purchasing the new iPad, Darryl. There was a frenzy at the office today when the announcement was made. We had so many people streaming the announcement there were clumps of people around various desks watching it together. Then there was the mad dash to start ordering through our company portal - Apple is one of our clients, and we can get a discount on Apple products purchased through our portal.

I'm still holding off because I already have a Blackberry, my laptop, a netbook, a Kindle and a Kindle Fire. I'm going to wait and see if the hubster gets it and then I'll *ahem* borrow it from time to time if necessary.

Thanks for posting the Orange longlist - NOT! Waahhhh....... this is going to kill my challenge this year if I give in to temptation. I've only read The Night Circus so far, and I do have Island of Wings, State of Wonder, The Forgotten Waltz and The Pink Hotel in my TBR Tower already. But I am tempted by some of the others. Grrr......

15Chatterbox
Mar 7, 2012, 11:25pm Top

Curiously, Painter of Silence is available for Kindle already in the US, although the hardover isn't due out until September. The same is true of Sarah Thornhill, not due out until summer, I think, but already available via Kindle.

16Ireadthereforeiam
Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 2:16am Top

ooooh aaaah, the Orange Longlist.
Things like this shouldn't excite me this much.
Thanks for posting all the details alongside each book, it rounds out the information.

Eta: I cheekily started posing on this thread before reading the last of your last thread. No wonder you had to start again, death threats, sham wow's, book theft and biblioverlap's....now I need a sham wow for my hot caffeine-free-coffee-substitute drink.

17lunacat
Mar 8, 2012, 3:30am Top

#16

The death threats will continue, never you fear ;)

18kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 5:08am Top

This year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist has been announced:

1Q84: Books 1 and 2 by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin
Alice by Judith Hermann, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo
Blooms of Darkness by Aharon Appelfeld, translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green
Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke, translated from the Chinese by Cindy Carter
The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg, translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death
From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Hate: A Romance by Tristan Garcia, translated from the French by Marion Duvert and Lorin Stein
New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani, translated from the Italian by Judith Landry
Next World Novella by Matthias Politycki, translated from the German by Anthea Bell
Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas, translated from the Hungarian by Imre Goldstein
Please Look After Mother by Kyung-sook Shin, translated from the Korean by Shin Chi-Young Kim
The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon
Professor Andersen's Night by Dag Solstad, translated from the Norwegian by Agnes Scott Langeland
Seven Houses in France by Bernardo Atxaga, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa

This is also one of my favorite literary prizes, so I'll be on the lookout for some of these books, especially Blooms of Darkness, The Prague Cemetery and Seven Houses in France. The selection of 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 is an interesting, and probably unique one, as the entire novel was not selected for the prize. 1Q84: Book 3 was translated by Philip Gabriel instead of Jay Rubin, and it was released seperately from 1Q84: Books 1 and 2.

From this list, I've read 1Q84: Books 1 and 2, which I enjoyed, and I just read Professor Andersen's Night, which was confusing and pointless, IMO. I also have Dream of Ding Village, but I haven't read it yet.

19DorsVenabili
Mar 8, 2012, 6:02am Top

#18 - Oh good grief! Another prize I'll have to add to my crazy spreadsheet. I don't think I was aware of this one.

20kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 6:20am Top

>12 PaulCranswick: Good one, Paul! I wish I could leap like that. Bill T. Jones is an amazing physical specimen; he just turned 60, and he was has been HIV positive since 1985, yet he is in better shape and is more physically gifted than most people half his age.

From the Orange Prize longlist, I've read The Submission and Half Blood Blues, and I own Lord of Misrule, Gillespie and I, There but for the and State of Wonder. Like last year, I intend to read 8-10 books from the longlist, and the entire shortlist. I'll initially read the books I already own, starting with There but for the today, and then focus on the final six books once the shortlist is announced on April 17th. The winner will be announced on May 30th.

The longlisted books I don't own which look most interesting to me are The Grief of Others, which is about the death of a newborn baby and the effect it has on his family (which would make it eligible for this year's Wellcome Trust Book Prize later this year, so I'll get it soon), The Flying Man, The Song of Achilles and The Forgotten Waltz.

Today's Guardian features an excellent online article about the longlist, with pictures of the covers and links to reviews:

Orange prize for fiction 2012 longlist - in pictures

>13 Chatterbox: Which are the four other longlisted books that you've read, Suz? And, what was your opinion of them? Which are the other three books that are on deck?

>14 cameling: Thanks, Caroline. I'll bet that the initial sales of the new iPad, including pre-orders and the sales in the Apple retail stores in the first week or month of its release next Friday, will be record shattering. I'm glad that I was able to order it online, so that I wouldn't have to stand in line with hundreds of people in one of the local Apple retail stores.

I'll probably use my iPad at work as well as at home. Several useful medical apps have been designed for it, and I'll probably use it as a teaching tool for residents, medical students and families on rounds. I can also access the hospital's EMR (electronic medical record) system with it, and at least one of my partners uses hers to complete daily progress notes and view radiological images. I hope and suspect that it will replace my netbook, and overtake it as a device to be used at home and on the road.

>15 Chatterbox: That is interesting about the current Kindle availability of Painter of Silence, Suz. I'd love to have the ability to read books that have been released in the UK on my Kindle (or iPad!) ahead of their US publication dates.

BTW, has anyone read books on an iPad and a Kindle? If so, which device do you think is the better e-reader?

>16 Ireadthereforeiam: I'm with you, Megan; I definitely get excited when the longlist of my favorite literary prizes (Booker Prize, Orange Prize, Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, Wellcome Trust Book Prize, National Book Award) are announced. And, obviously, we're far from alone!

What's a "caffeine free coffee substitute"?

>17 lunacat: Good grief, Jenny! You've lost a bit of weight since the summer.

21kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 6:34am Top

>19 DorsVenabili: Kerri, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is far less popular or well known than the Booker or Orange Prizes, so I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of it. It's most similar to the Best Translated Book Award in the US, as both focus on books that have been translated into English, and both honor the author as well as the translator. I don't think I posted the longlist for this year's Best Translated Book Award, which was released last week; I'll do that later today.

There is one more major book prize announcement today: the winners of the National Books Critics Circle Awards will be announced tonight.

22kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 7:18am Top

>8 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I couldn't justify getting an iPad until last year, until I learned more about it and saw how my partners were using it, as a tablet, e-reader and a source of medical information. I didn't want to buy it and not use it, which is why I held off buying it until now. I used the same line of reasoning before I bought my Kindle last year. I understand that there is a Kindle app for the iPad, but I suspect that I'll continue to preferentially read e-books on the Kindle.

>9 tangledthread: It was windy in Atlanta this past weekend, after the cold front that spawned the deadly tornadoes in the South and Midwest passed through. It's gotten warm again, but it will cool down to normal temperatures starting tomorrow.

>10 rebeccanyc: I guess that it will be a couple of years at least before we're able to read the new MVL novel in English. Fortunately there are several MVL novels that I haven't read yet, and I'll definitely get The Dream of the Celt as soon as it is released.

23lauralkeet
Mar 8, 2012, 7:49am Top

>20 kidzdoc:: has anyone read books on an iPad and a Kindle? If so, which device do you think is the better e-reader?
Yes, I have ... mind you, I have an first generation iPad and a Kindle purchased a year ago (e-ink, no touchscreen), so things may have changed. I didn't care for the glare on the iPad screen and prefer the e-ink on the Kindle, plus e-ink is easier to read outdoors in sunlight. Not that I do so often, but if I were on a beach or something ...

Having the Kindle app on iPad will allow you to synchronize your reading (bookmarks, etc.) so if you read up to a certain page on Kindle and then suddenly find yourself with only your iPad at hand, you can pick up where you left off.

One person's opinion. I'm eager to hear about your new iPad, Darryl!

24Chatterbox
Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 10:44am Top

From the Orange longlist I've read:

The Submission by Amy Waldman -- liked it, think it was a 4 plus book for me, but not quite as good as it could have been
Tides of War by Stella Tillyard -- fascinating and unconventional historical novel looking at the Napoleonic wars, but never emotionally engaging
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon -- loved it, one of my fave books of last year
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern -- loved it, one of my fave books f of this year!
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett -- underwhelmed. Thought it was very clever, the writing was excellent, but I always felt held at a distance by the cleverness rather than being immersed in the narrative.

On deck:
The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue -- has been on my Kindle for a while. Odd, because I thought this was a 2009/2010 book...
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan -- have had this since last fall
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris -- coming from the library, possibly today
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding -- on my Kindle already, spotted on Amazon.co.uk
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller -- heard some advance buzz from hist. fic. crowd.

Already on my radar & probably will read:
On the Floor by Aifric Campbell -- someone I know mentioned it to me
Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick -- I like the author's essays and have been pondering it since it was published
There but for the by Ali Smith -- some LT buzz

I got a NetGalley version of The Prague Cemetery (why am I being told there is no touchstone??) and a few efforts so far have left me close to concluding that it's unreadable. Not just the complexity of Eco's ideas and prose, but the sheer dislike-ability of the character. I don't need a likeable character, but I want someone who is interesting or compelling, not just unpleasant.

ETA: Yes, just checked the library website and Gillespie and I is waiting to be picked up; will probably get it on my way home from a lunch today.

25EBT1002
Mar 8, 2012, 12:01pm Top

Darryl, last year your lists got me into all kinds of buying and reading trouble. I'm so excited to go through it all over again!! :-D

I'm envious of your new iPad. I'll look forward to hearing how you like it. I want one badly, but I haven't yet figured out how to rationalize it. I have an iPhone. I have a MacBook Pro laptop (not an Air, though). Any great rationalizations you can offer up?

26EBT1002
Mar 8, 2012, 12:07pm Top

I just went back and read through the posts on your prior thread, Darryl. I can see why you created a new thread - that one was going down some unpredictable paths! Marriage, match-making, book-stealing...... horrors!! But I do like Chatterbox's refinement of my tioli challenge idea: read a book rated ≥4 OR ≤2 by kidzdoc! :-D

27brenzi
Mar 8, 2012, 12:34pm Top

Having just returned from a Florida vacation, Darryl, I can attest to the fact that the iPad is impossible to read on outdoors. Other than that I can't overstate how much I love my IPad 2. I have the apps for Kindle, Nook and Overdrive so that I can borrow e books from the library until publishers make that option go away, which is looking more and more likely.

From the Orange LL I have read State of Wonder, The Night Circus and Lord of Misrule which won the National Book Award in 2010 but totally underwhelmed me. I'm reading Gillespie and I right now.

I also like the books listed for the Costa Prize and the National Book Award.

28jnwelch
Mar 8, 2012, 12:57pm Top

Darryl, I see you read Kokoro. How did I miss that? I didn't see a review on the book page - how did you like it?

29EBT1002
Mar 8, 2012, 1:20pm Top

I'm reading The Night Circus right now and very much enjoying it. It's a bit different from my usual genres.

30avatiakh
Mar 8, 2012, 1:36pm Top

Congrats on your new iPad purchase, sounds like it will be very useful with your work. Cushla is the only LTer I can think of who has read extensively on both devices.
The Orange Prize longlist has some great books on it, I've only read The Night Circus but have several of the others on my tbr pile: Foreign Bodies, Gillespie and I, There but for the and I really liked Francesca Kay's An equal stillness so would like to take a look at her The translation of Bones.
Thanks for posting the Foreign Fiction List there are a few that I've marked as 'want to read' but this doesn't look likely to be a great reading year for me. I've decided to give up on Karen Russell's St Lucy's Home for Girls raised by wolves after tackling two stories. I'll read the title story and then give it back to the library. The stories are strange which I usually like but these don't work for me and I'd rather read more Angela Carter.

31drneutron
Mar 8, 2012, 1:43pm Top

I've had an iPad since the early days of iPad 1, so let me know if you have any questions!

32kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 4:18pm Top

>23 lauralkeet: Thanks for your comments about reading on the iPad and Kindle, Laura. I suspect that I'll continue to use my year old Kindle as my primary e-reading device, due to its light weight and its lack of glare and probable eye strain in comparison to the iPad. However, it's nice to know that the iPad has a Kindle app.

>24 Chatterbox: Strong work, Suz! It seems that you're way ahead of everyone else, as usual; I think that most of the readers in the Orange January/July group have only read 1-3 longlisted books so far. I'm glad to hear that you liked Lord of Misrule, and I'm eager to get your take on Gillespie and I.

BTW, I started There but for the today, and I'm loving it so far.

Hmm...maybe I'll postpone reading The Prague Cemetery for now, given your comments about it.

>25 EBT1002: I have an iPhone. I have a MacBook Pro laptop (not an Air, though). Any great rationalizations you can offer up?

Uh...I can't think of any at the moment! I don't have any Apple products, except for an old (but still very useful) 60 GB iPod that I bought in 2005 or 2006. So, I don't have any devices that take advantage of the medical and nonmedical apps for the Apple that are very enticing and useful.

>26 EBT1002: Actually, I create new threads when the message count reaches 250, per Offissa Pupp's (Richard's) orders.

Why would anyone want to read a book that I (or anyone else) rated 2 stars or less? Mmm, then again there are some books I've given low ratings to that other people have liked, such as Swamplandia! and The Testament of Jessie Lamb.

>27 brenzi: Thanks for your comment about reading on the iPad outdoors, Bonnie. I'll start reading on my patio and in the park close to my place more often, now that the weather is warming up. I'll try out the iPad outdoors the weekend after next, to see how well I like it.

>28 jnwelch: You didn't miss anything, Joe. I did read Kokoro, but I haven't reviewed it yet; I'll do that this coming weekend. I liked it far better than The Three-Cornered World and Botchan. I'm still planning to read I Am a Cat, which I'll probably get to during my second long break off from work starting two weeks from tomorrow.

>29 EBT1002: There has been a lot of positive comments about The Night Circus. I'll hold off buying it for now, but I'll definitely read it if it makes the Orange Prize shortlist next month.

>30 avatiakh: Thanks, Kerry. I think I will get a lot of use out of the iPad, at home and at work. I had forgotten that Cushla has been reading extensively on her iPad; I'll have to ask her about her experiences with it, and see if the new iPad is a better reading device. I should have mentioned that I'll definitely use it to read magazines, journals and newspapers, such as The New York Times, The New England Journal of Medicine and The New Yorker, particularly when I'm traveling.

It seems as though a lot of the people are planning to read There but for the and Gillespie and I in the near future. Both books caught my attention last summer, when the Guardian listed them amongst the books it felt should be longlisted for the Booker Prize. I've enjoyed all of the books I've read from that list so far, specifically The Sense of an Ending, The Stranger's Child, Chinaman and The Good Muslim. The Forgotten Waltz also made that list, which is why I'll almost certainly read it.

I'm curious to learn more about the books on the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist. I haven't received any Google e-mail alerts about the longlist, except for the two early this morning that announced the eligible books.

I was seriously considering reading St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, but I won't after I was disappointed by Swamplandia!.

>31 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I'll probably take you up on that. One question I would have for you and other iPad owners: what apps do you like and use the most?

33ChelleBearss
Mar 8, 2012, 7:04pm Top

Congrats on the new ipad! My fiance has the first edition and loves it. I just use it to play angry birds and I used to use it as an ereader before I got my kobo. I'm sure you will love it! I don't know anyone who has one and doesn't think it's awesome

Thanks for posting the Orange longlist! I've on read The Night Circus so far, but I've had my eye on Half Blood Blues and State of Wonder. Hopefully I'll get to them before the short list comes out.

34Chatterbox
Mar 8, 2012, 7:15pm Top

If you take your iPad outdoors to read, pack the kindle as well. You're likely to find the iPad's screen difficult to impossible in direct sunlight -- it's like a computer screen.

35kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 7:21pm Top

The winners of this year's National Book Critics Circle Awards are:

Fiction: Edith Pearlman, Binocular Vision

Nonfiction: Maya Jasanoff, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World

Autobiography: Mira Bartók, The Memory Palace

Biography: John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life

Criticism: Geoff Dyer, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews

Poetry: Laura Kasischke, Space, in Chains

36Chatterbox
Mar 8, 2012, 7:22pm Top

Yahoo!!! So glad to see Pearlman's wonderful book of stories recognized!! And I raved about Mira Bartok's book on my blog (and she sent me a lovely note about my review...) Both were on my fave book lists of last year.

37hacienda
Mar 8, 2012, 7:34pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

38drneutron
Mar 8, 2012, 8:17pm Top

My favorite app is Evernote. Note-taking, to do lists, etc, all synced on the Internet so you can access notes on a computer or mobile phone too.

Feedler for rss feeds.

GoodReads for PDFs, etc.

39lauralkeet
Mar 8, 2012, 9:10pm Top

Another Evernote fan here!
You might like Pulse as a news aggregator, and NPR Music for ... music.
And when you're in New York or London, Hopstop is a great app for finding the best subway route.

40kidzdoc
Mar 8, 2012, 11:49pm Top

>33 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! I agree, I haven't talked to anyone who has an iPad who doesn't rave about it.

>34 Chatterbox: I'll definitely continue to bring the Kindle with me. I usually pack my netbook and my Kindle in my shoulder bag, which both easily fit. I'll just replace the netbook with the iPad.

>36 Chatterbox: RidgewayGirl raved about Binocular Vision last year, when it was listed as a finalist for the National Book Award. So, I'll add it to my wish list.

>38 drneutron:, 39 Thanks for the app recommendations, Jim and Laura. I'll have to look for web sites for apps for the iPad over the next week.

Breaking news: I bought my second book of the year today, the Kindle version of Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD. I read the transcript of the story about the book here, and I knew that I wanted to read it right away. I'm about 1/4 of the way through it, and I should finish it tomorrow.

Yawn...I can barely keep my eyes open, so I'll call it a night soon.

41lauralkeet
Mar 9, 2012, 6:12am Top

I'll have to look for web sites for apps for the iPad ... Darryl, all of the apps are available to download at the iTunes store, so it's one-stop shopping. If you want to do a little research though, you can learn quite a lot through some targeted Google searches. I have been pleasantly surprised how many apps are available for free, too. Try searching on phrases like "best iPad apps", "top iPad apps", "best free iPad apps", or "best iPad apps for (insert area of interest here)".

*****

OK folks, I think I've distracted him. Let's steal all his books!

42Linda92007
Mar 9, 2012, 9:11am Top

>35 kidzdoc: It's so unusual, but encouraging, to see a major fiction prize go to a collection of short stories. Maybe it will help to reawaken readers' interest in such. Everything on this list looks like a wishlist add!

By the way, has anyone else noticed more frequently encountering "not currently available" or "this title not available in the US" when checking for Kindle editions? It seems to be happening to me a great deal more than it used to. But maybe it is just an effect of the books I am learning about through LT and my need for immediate gratification. Actually, it's probably a good thing, since I am not sworn to reducing my purchases and it sends me off to the library instead.

43tiffin
Mar 9, 2012, 9:43am Top

>32 kidzdoc:: I have had St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves sitting here for over a year. It may continue to sit.

Very interested to hear how you will like your new IPad as I was thinking of one for Himself as an anniversary gift. No rush: autumn. ;)

44Chatterbox
Mar 9, 2012, 10:22am Top

#42 -- Linda, it's deeply annoying, and usually indicates that the rights haven't been sold in the US. Or that the publisher doesn't expect the book to be a big mover, or that the publisher is a smaller or niche firm that hasn't bothered to forge ahead into ebook land. I find I'm seeing this less frequently, though. For instance, Palgrave Macmillan now offers Kindle books.

45LauraBrook
Mar 9, 2012, 12:49pm Top

Hi Darryl - Just starting from here! I hope you're enjoying your time off - and Congrats on the new iPad!

46kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 9, 2012, 4:41pm Top

>41 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I'll check that out this weekend.

Wait...what? Go steal Suz's books, she has way more than I do (and she's much closer to you).

>42 Linda92007: By the way, has anyone else noticed more frequently encountering "not currently available" or "this title not available in the US" when checking for Kindle editions?

Honestly, no. Most of the books I've wanted in the past year have been available on the Kindle, provided that they were books that were recently released in the US, such as Fragile Beginnings, the book I downloaded yesterday.

>43 tiffin: Very interested to hear how you will like your new IPad

According to the tracking utility on Apple's web site, my iPad is enjoying a lovely evening in Hong Kong, after it flew there from Shenzen, China yesterday. Hopefully it won't be so imbibed that it misses the UPS flight later tonight or tomorrow. It's still scheduled to arrive on Friday, but hopefully it will get here a bit sooner, considering that UPS is headquartered in Atlanta. Two other accessories are already en route, and both look to arrive here ahead of schedule.

I'm off from work next weekend, so I'll definitely get to try it out then. I'll certainly let you know how I like it, and I'll compare it to my partners' iPads the following week (provided that they don't knock me in the head and steal mine; I wouldn't put it past them).

>44 Chatterbox: I find I'm seeing this less frequently, though.

I agree. Although I've only ordered purchased two books this year, I have added several books to my Amazon wish list. Very few, if any, of the new books were not available for the Kindle.

>45 LauraBrook: Hi, Laura! I'm definitely enjoying this week off, as I sorely needed this break to recharge my batteries.

Friday Reads posted a link to an interesting challenge on Facebook earlier this afternoon. Next week will mark the beginning of March Madness, also known as the college basketball men's tournament, where 68 of the best teams will play in a single elimination tournament to determine this year's national champion. Millions of sports junkies (raises hand) and casual fans will fill out brackets, based on who they think will win each game in the tournament, and compete in pools to see who gets the most points and is declared the winner (my work group, like millions of others, has a pool set up on ESPN's web site). With that in mind, Out of Print Clothing, which sells clothing and accessories with covers of classic books (such as the one of Invisible Man, which I own, below), has a Book Madness challenge, in which participants vote on 64 of the best 21st century novels, in order to come up with an eventual champion. It's free to participate, and prizes will be awarded, including a $500 gift certificate for Out of Print. Caroline and I have already filled out our brackets; come join the fun!

47Linda92007
Mar 9, 2012, 4:51pm Top

>44 Chatterbox:, 46 Thanks for the explanation, Suz. Maybe it's just the particular books I have sought. Probably some that are more obscure or books in translation. But one is actually the National Book Critics Circle Award winner for poetry: Laura Kasischke's Space, in Chains, which was published a year ago.

48roundballnz
Mar 9, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Congrats on the iPad ..... been tempted myself but not logical rationalisation can be found since already have iPhone & Macbook Pro ... hmmm Keep the kindle as they will still trump the iPad when reading outside.

49Chatterbox
Mar 9, 2012, 11:29pm Top

Oooh, those brackets are tricky. It's not so much about what we think should win, as who we think others will vote for! I think I've only read perhaps 1/3 of those books.

50PaulCranswick
Mar 9, 2012, 11:45pm Top

Darryl - thanks for updating the award announcements so diligently - I find it fascinating. Just wanted to express my profound congratulations on being willful enough to have only bought two books this year so far. Amazing and well done.

51kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 10, 2012, 1:26am Top

>47 Linda92007: Linda, now that you mention it, I have noticed that several recent and notable collections of poetry that I've been interested in, mainly finalists and award winners for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, are unavailable for the Kindle. I've been especially interested in reading Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney, the winner of last year's National Book Award for Poetry, but it still isn't available as an e-book.

>48 roundballnz: Thanks, Alex. As I hoped and suspected, I'll almost certainly receive my iPad well before Friday. It's now in Louisville, Kentucky, which is roughly 400 miles from Atlanta. I suspect that I'll get it no later than Wednesday.

>49 Chatterbox: Oooh, those brackets are tricky. It's not so much about what we think should win, as who we think others will vote for!

I thought about that, but I decided to vote for the books I liked best, or the ones I would vote for based on what I had heard about them. By my count I've only read 15 of the 64 books, and I almost always voted for a book that I had read over one that I hadn't. My Final Four are Netherland, Wolf Hall, Cutting for Stone and Room, and I have Wolf Hall edging out Cutting for Stone to win the championship.

>50 PaulCranswick: You're welcome, Paul. Obviously I love following literary awards, at least for the genres that I'm interested in, so I'm happy to do it.

I did place an online order at Barnes & Noble today, using my Christmas gift card to buy four books that I will definitely read this year. Two are from the Orange Prize longlist, The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen, and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. The others are Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor, which I'd like to read before my probable trip to London next month, and The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories by Etgar Keret, which I'll read in July or August for the Reading Globally 3rd quarter read on authors from the Middle East. I only paid $8.70 for this order, so I've spent just over $30 so far this year on books.

I did finish Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD late last night, and it was excellent. I'll review it later today.

52elkiedee
Mar 10, 2012, 7:50am Top

On the Orange Prize longlist

Have read:

The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue (Picador) - Irish; 7th Novel - my favourite of those I've read so far
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent's Tail) - Canadian; 2nd Novel
The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki (Headline Review) - British; 5th Novel
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Faber & Faber) - British; 2nd Novel
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker) - American; 1st Novel
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury) - American; 6th Novel

I own

Tides of War by Stella Tillyard (Chatto & Windus) - British; 1st Novel

Others are:

There but for the by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton) - British; 5th Novel
The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard (Alma Books) - British; 2nd Novel
The Submission by Amy Waldman (William Heinemann) - American; 1st Novel
Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg (Quercus) - Swedish; 1st Novel
On the Floor by Aifric Campbell (Serpent's Tail) - Irish; 3rd Novel
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (The Clerkenwell Press) - American; 4th Novel
The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (Jonathan Cape) - Irish; 5th Novel
Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (Quercus) - American; 4th Novel
Painter of Silence by Georgina Harding (Bloomsbury) - British; 3rd Novel
The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) - British; 2nd Novel
The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy (Jonathan Cape) - British; 6th Novel
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Bloomsbury) - American; 1st Novel
Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick (Atlantic Books) - American; 7th Novel

I do want to read a lot of the others - particularly Ali Smith, Anna Stothard, Aifric Campbell, Georgina Harding, A L Kennedy and Anne Enright, but I'm disappointed that there seems to be much less of an international dimension, rather than British, Irish and American, this year - I particularly liked The Memory of Love and Lyrics Alley and I enjoyed The Tiger's Wife too - nothing set in Africa or Asia this year? Or even in Eastern Europe.

I loved St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves but then I also loved Swamplandia! and I liked Half Blood Blues a lot too..

53Chatterbox
Mar 10, 2012, 1:57pm Top

...whereas I decided to make my calls based on what other people would pick. So I've got, as my final four, Cloud Atlas vs Bel Canto, and The Shipping News vs The Kite Runner. None of which I have read, but each of which other people have repeatedly assured me are Great Novels. (In other words, they are popular enough and good enough/moving enough to outweigh the literary label -- i.e. being too difficult or intellectual for many people to read). Kind of a fun exercise, though there are only about 15 or 20 I've actually read. And several of them, I sort of blink at and say "what???" to myself!

54lauralkeet
Mar 10, 2012, 1:59pm Top

I did a little bit of both in my picks -- some personal preference, some anticipating popular opinion. How does the fan voting work?

55kidzdoc
Mar 10, 2012, 2:34pm Top

I would definitely call today a "Chamber of Commerce Day" here in Atlanta; it's sunny and 61 degrees, headed to a high of 65 degrees (perfect weather, IMO), the dogwood trees are in full bloom, and there's nary a cloud in the sky. I spent most of the morning outdoors, along with everyone else in town, and I'll go back out soon.

>52 elkiedee: Nice Orange list, Lucy. After I receive The Song of Achilles and The Grief of Others I'll have eight of the 20 longlisted books. I probably won't buy any more books until the longlist comes out next month, and I'll try to read at least two books this month and two or three more in April. I'll finish There but for the no later than tomorrow (and hopefully today), and I'll probably read Gillespie and I in two weeks, if not sooner.

I was one of the few people who liked Room, so I'm curious about The Sealed Letter. What did you think of The Flying Man?

I'm also disappointed in the lack of international diversity on the longlist, and, if I haven't said it already, I'm very surprised that The Good Muslim wasn't chosen. However, at least on the surface this is a far better longlist than last year's Booker Prize fiasco.

>53 Chatterbox: That's as good a Final Four as any, Suz. I haven't read any of those books, although I own Cloud Atlas and The Kite Runner and I definitely plan to read Bel Canto, and possibly The Shipping News.

56kidzdoc
Mar 10, 2012, 2:43pm Top

>54 lauralkeet: How does the fan voting work?

Laura, I just looked at the Book Madness page, and the scoring system is essentially the same as most (if not all) of the March Madness tallies. You get one point for picking the winner for each match up in Round 1 (e.g., Netherland vs The Art of Fielding), two points for picking the right book in Round 2 (e.g., the Netherland-Art of Fielding winner vs the Out Stealing Horses-Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close winner), etc. The more teams books that advance in your bracket, the more potential points you score:

Bracket Challenge: Scoring

Round 1: 1 pt per pick
Round 2: 2 pts per pick
Round 3: 4 pts per pick
Round 4: 8 pts per pick
Round 5: 16 pts per pick
Championship Round: 32 pts per pick

I'm not clear on what criterion is used to pick the winning book in each round; is it by popular vote, or do the Out of Print folks decide?

57kidzdoc
Mar 10, 2012, 8:38pm Top

From this week's issue of The New Yorker:

58EBT1002
Edited: Mar 10, 2012, 8:49pm Top

Book Madness sounds like a hoot. I'm a huge fan of March Madness. I always fill out a bracket for the men and the women --- and I always do poorly in both. Maybe I would be more successful at Book Madness, though I have no reason to think so. But I might go join in.

ETA: I love the t-shirt and also plan to check out that website! You are a fount of information, Darryl.

59elkiedee
Mar 10, 2012, 9:06pm Top

The Flying Man was a good read, though I thought her 3rd novel previously longlisted for the Orange was even more enjoyable. It's about the life of a man who's a bit of a reprobate, his life and marriages in different countries, often using slightly different names - his birth name is Maqil but he's sometimes Michael, or Mike, or Mikhail.... apparently Roopa Farooki's dad (now dead) was a little bit like the man in the book. I have to write a Vine review in the next few days though it will probably be quite brief as I have a few to do - it would be good if I could get 2 or 3 done tomorrow - actually today here now (Sunday).

60PaulCranswick
Mar 11, 2012, 6:33am Top

Fascinating discussion on the Orange Books longlist which certainly serves to tell me just how much reading and book buying I still have to do!

61lauralkeet
Mar 11, 2012, 8:08am Top

>56 kidzdoc:: I'm not clear on what criterion is used to pick the winning book in each round
Yeah, that's what I was wondering too.

62kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 10:55am Top

Book #25: Your New Baby: A Guide to Newborn Care by Roy Benaroch, MD



My rating:

The first time parents of a newborn baby face several challenges in caring for the most complex device they will ever own. The baby does not come with an instruction manual. It is not equipped with indicator or warning lights, and it can only cry or shriek when something isn't quite right. It requires constant attention, and its toxic emissions must be removed promptly and thoroughly. Worst of all, it does not come with a money back guarantee or exchange policy after 30 days.

In an effort to help maintain the sanity of the new mother and father, Dr. Roy Benaroch and his partners at Pediatric Physicians P.C. in metropolitan Atlanta have created an introductory manual for the newborn baby, which covers the basic parts and normal function of this bewildering apparatus, starting from the moment of birth. Parents are taught about breast feeding, circumcision care, bowel movements, head shape, and other essential topics. Most importantly, the authors provide a troubleshooting guide for the newborn with a fever, vomiting, diarrhea or other minor and more serious problems. The book is mainly designed for the families in their practice, but all new and experienced parents and other caregivers will find this to be a useful and handy guide, which I highly recommend.

Disclaimer: Dr. Roy Benaroch and I are good friends. However, I have not been asked to review this book, and I have no financial ties to it.

63Chatterbox
Mar 11, 2012, 12:59pm Top

ROTFL re "the most complex device" analogy. The good news from the kid's pov is that he/she has no basis for comparison, and in contrast to the the apparent conviction of several parents I have known, is not going to be tapping its toes while awaiting a diaper change while saying to himself/herself, "hmmm, I'd be sooo much better off with the Edwardses down the street..." The irony? By the time they do start making those judgments, (and always assuming the kid has been lucky enough to land up with one of the families with parents that care enough to be good & loving parents), and telling their parents they wish they belonged to the Edwardses, the parent has become a pro!

64kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 1:35pm Top

Book #26: Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD



My rating:

Adam Wolfberg was an OB-GYN intern at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital when his wife, Kelly, was pregnant with their third child, a girl who would be named Larissa. Her previous two pregnancies were uneventful, and all indicators pointed to another straightforward one. However, Kelly suddenly developed contractions when Larissa reached 26 weeks of gestation, 14 weeks before her due date. Despite the Wolfbergs' proximity to one of the leading obstetric and neonatal centers in the world, Kelly's labor could not be reversed, and Larissa was born after a very traumatic and stressful delivery. She was stabilized in the delivery room, placed on a mechanical ventilator due to her inability to breathe on her own, and whisked away to the NICU (or neonatal ICU; a neonate is a baby 0-28 days of age) at Brigham and Women's. Her birth weight was 1 lb 15 oz, making her tiny enough to fit into the palm of her father's hand.

From his training, Adam knew that a baby as premature as Larissa faced serious complications, including cerebral palsy; epilepsy; severe developmental delay that could prevent her from being able to walk, talk, eat by mouth or function independently; and death. One of his greatest fears was realized within days of Larissa's birth, when she developed a severe intracranial hemorrhage, or brain bleed, within the first week of life, due to the trauma of her labor. This injury is always associated with some degree of impairment; however, the extent of the damage is often not known for a year or more, once the baby begins to sit, crawl, walk and perform routine activities of daily living. Thus, the neonatologists and neurologists caring for Larissa could not give the Wolfbergs a definite answer on her future prognosis, leaving them with the difficult decision to withdraw care, or to continue to do everything possible for her.

In Fragile Beginnings, Dr. Wolfberg discusses his daughter's early years and how her premature birth has affected her and his family, while discussing the history, politics and ethics of the care of severely (less than 32 weeks of gestation) and extremely (less than 28 weeks) premature infants born in the United States. Normal gestational age is 37-42 weeks, dating from the first day of the last menstrual period. These babies normally don't have any complications during or after birth. Babies born at 32-36 weeks of gestation generally do well, although a small percentage have minor complications, particularly infant respiratory distress syndrome or chronic lung disease, due to the immaturity of the lungs and the relative lack of surfactant, a substance that keeps the alveoli (air sacs) in the deepest parts of the lungs from collapsing. Many of you will remember that John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy's last child, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, born 5½ weeks premature (or 34½ weeks of gestation), died on his second day of life in 1963 due to hyaline membrane disease, the old name for respiratory distress syndrome, due to a lack of surfactant in his lungs. In 2012, the mother of a baby born at this age would receive a corticosteroid injection to increase the production of surfactant in her baby's lungs, and he would likely survive his premature birth with few if any complications. The author discusses the discovery of surfactant, along with the major developments that have allowed thousands of babies similar to and much worse off than Patrick survive and have meaningful and healthy lives.

Needless to say, the more premature a neonate is at the time of birth, the greater is the chance of significant morbidity or mortality. However, as mentioned above, it is impossible to determine which extremely premature infants will do relatively well, and which will suffer severe complications. Doctors generally consider 22-23 weeks of gestational age or those who weigh 400 grams to be the limits of viability, and those who are less than this age or weight are normally delivered and handed to the mother by the pediatrician to die naturally in her arms. The obstetrician, pediatrician and parents can find themselves in an extremely difficult position in the case of infants who are at these limits, as they must decide which infant should live and which should be allowed to die. In most cases the doctors follow the wishes of the parents, once they are provided with information about the medical possibilities and probabilities for their child. However, there are times in which the parents and medical staff do not agree with each other; some families wish to do everything possible for a babies that the doctors believe are nonviable, and other families wish to withdraw or withhold care for babies that the doctors expect will have a relatively good outcome. Dr. Wolfberg discusses several famous cases and subsequent government laws passed in the 1980s and 1990s that have affected how obstetricians and neonatologists manage the extremely premature infant on the edge of viability.

Finally but most significantly, Dr. Wolfberg discusses new developments in the field of neuroplasticity, in which the central nervous system makes new connections in order to overcome injury. The highly educated and motivated—and financially stable—Wolfbergs were able to travel to get the best and most advanced therapies for Larissa, and work with her for several hours every day to maximize her physical and intellectual development.

Fragile Beginnings is a superb book about severely and extremely premature infants, their care, and the challenges they, their families, and their caregivers face. The author's own experience as a father of an extremely premature infant and as an obstetrician who provides care to mothers of high risk pregnancies greatly enhances and humanizes this important topic. Although designed for the lay reader, there is a good amount of medicine and neuroanatomy that may challenge the average reader without a strong science background at certain points in the book. However, I would still highly recommend this book to all readers, as the story of Larissa and her family is both riveting and highly inspirational.

65Chatterbox
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 1:59pm Top

I'm not sure I could face reading this book... Definitely an important one, though, especially as this and end-of-life decisions are among the hardest to make. What it is possible to do medically has somewhat outstripped our abilities to cope practically, financially, psychologically, etc. A family may want to do all that's possible to save the life of their v. premature infant, and then be faced with such burdens that it destroys them. I have one acquaintance whose husband walked away after the marriage broke up, and whose life now revolves around working just to keep her damaged child more or less alive. As she told me once, it doesn't feel like being a parent, because there's no learning curve, just more of the same, day after day, except for the love for her child. This was a child born at about 25 or 26 weeks, if I recall correctly, whom the docs didn't expect to live. As you note, until relatively recently, that wouldn't have been in question. I know when my brother was born 4 or 5 weeks premature in 1966, he was v. small and frail, but OK. Still, he was always small & skinny, right up until he was a teenager and took up wrestling. My mother later told me the docs told her she had been lucky.

66richardderus
Mar 11, 2012, 1:56pm Top

>64 kidzdoc:, 65 What Suz said. Can't deal, can't face it, can't bear to think on it too much.

67phebj
Mar 11, 2012, 2:00pm Top

Wow, Darryl, that was a fascinating review and I just gave it a big thumbs up. I have a question though. What is the difference between morbidity and mortality? I realize I think they mean the same thing but obviously they don't.

I read Suzanne's comments with interest because I've just started a memoir called By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir of Disaster and Love. The author's son wasn't born prematurely but with a rare genetic disorder (tuberous scerolsis) and his son has behavior patterns similar to severe autism. He talks about how stressful it is to raise his son and the negative impacts on his marriage. So far it's a very compelling memoir.

Hope you have a great weekend.

68kidzdoc
Mar 11, 2012, 2:23pm Top

>58 EBT1002: I'm a huge fan of March Madness. I always fill out a bracket for the men and the women --- and I always do poorly in both.

I was on track to win my work group's challenge last year, but my decision to support my alma mater hurt me badly when Pitt lost to Butler in the second round. Pitt also cost me in the 2010 tournament, after their loss to Xavier. Fortunately(?) Pitt's string of 10 straight years going to the NCAA Tournament (2002-2011) ended this year, after an extremely and unexpectedly disappointing 17-16 season. So, maybe I'll have a chance of winning this year's pool. I'll watch the Selection Show later this afternoon, and start working on my bracket immediately afterward.

>59 elkiedee: Lucy, are you referring to Bitter Sweets by Roopa Farooki? I received that as an LT ER book in 2007, and I still haven't read or reviewed it! I'll definitely get to it during Orange July.

>60 PaulCranswick: I'm glad that you've enjoyed the Orange Prize discussion as much as I have, Paul. Knowing that others are excited about these books makes me that much more eager to read them. Thanks, everybody!

>63 Chatterbox: By the time they do start making those judgments, (and always assuming the kid has been lucky enough to land up with one of the families with parents that care enough to be good & loving parents), and telling their parents they wish they belonged to the Edwardses, the parent has become a pro!

I think it's natural that many people wished at some point in childhood that they had been born to the Edwardses or some other parents who were "cooler" than theirs. Of course, this usually means that the desired parents were viewed as being more lenient or more willing to shower their kids with desirable gifts (car, latest toy, etc.) than the child's own parents. Overall I was very pleased with and feel very lucky to have my parents (and I'm extremely grateful that they are both still alive, doing relatively well and are still married to each other, despite my mother's (mostly) tongue in cheek repeatedly expressed desire to kill my father). Some otherwise normal people do seem to make lousy parents, not including the ones who neglect and abuse their kids or allow them to sustain abuse without doing anything about it.

>65 Chatterbox: These decisions are incredibly hard to make, especially the decision whether to provide care to extremely premature newborns, withdraw care, or continue care for a newborn who is not doing well. I was involved in several such cases during residency. I won't go into detail here, but I can remember several of them as if they had happened yesterday. I'll also never forget an emotional tearful conversation with one of my fellow residents in the Residents' Clinic years ago, after she finished seeing a young child who she and her team "successfully" resuscitated after a difficult delivery. That child was in a wheelchair, had seizures and severe developmental delay, and was a financial and emotional burden on her parents (I think the father left the mother and the children before the baby reached her first birthday). I remember my classmate saying that the team was about to withdraw care, but the baby developed a strong heart beat after several minutes of little or no activity. This, of course, meant that the baby didn't have significant oxygen flow to the brain, which resulted in severe brain damage (known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIE, another feared complication of premature and difficult births). This conversation and my experiences made me never want to attend another delivery for the rest of my life (except for any children I might have, which seems very unlikely now).

69Chatterbox
Mar 11, 2012, 2:27pm Top

#68 -- "which seems very unlikely now" - having put that in print, you now realize that you are about to meet Ms. Wonderful and announce first a wedding, then the impending arrival of twins?? (That would put a real dent in your reading... :-) )

70richardderus
Mar 11, 2012, 2:34pm Top

>69 Chatterbox: *heeheehee* You're good at this curse business, Suz!

71kidzdoc
Mar 11, 2012, 2:44pm Top

>66 richardderus: That's a very understandable sentiment, Richard. I regularly treat kids who have sequelae of severe or extreme prematurity, several of whom are admitted to the hospital several times per year. Many (but thankfully not all) of them have miserable lives, filled with pain, disability and frustration, particularly if they are intellectually normal but are unable to participate in daily activities as their siblings, friends and classmates can. Sometimes I wonder why we continue to try to save the tiniest babies, but I soon realize that I'm seeing only the sickest of the extremely and severely premature infants that survive the neonatal period. This becomes particularly obvious when I do take care of a "good baby", one who was born extremely premature but is doing quite well, except for relatively minor problems such as asthma due in part to chronic lung disease that was a result from them being on mechanical ventilators for weeks to months after birth.

>67 phebj: Thanks, Pat. "Morbidity" refers to disease or illness, whereas "mortality" refers to death. So, morbid complications of influenza would include asthma attacks and pneumonia, whereas the only mortal complication of inlfuenza is death.

By the Iowa Sea reminds me of a book I read last year or in 2010, The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown, a journalist in Toronto who has a son with an even more rare genetic condition, in which he describes the miserable life that his son has, and how his life has affected those of his parents and siblings. I'll be very curious to read your review of that book.

72kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 2:48pm Top

>69 Chatterbox: Nooo!!! One of the pulmonologists at my hospital, who already has two or three kids, announced recently that his wife is pregnant with twins. He already looks as if he's aged 20 years in the past six months, and the twins aren't born yet (to my knowledge).

>70 richardderus: That's a worse curse than anything Caroline or Jenny has ever concocted. I think I need a mug of vodka now.

73richardderus
Mar 11, 2012, 3:01pm Top

I say it again, Darryl, I do NOT know how you do your job day in and day out without succumbing to paralyzing depression and sadness. And then you come home and read these bloody awful grisly miseryfests and gotterdammerungenlieds like they're catnip!

I'll join Suz in wishing you four sets of twins before you're sixty. Then we'll see how fast you join the Light'n'Fluffy Brigade.

74kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 5:18pm Top

>73 richardderus: Seeing and taking care of the kids keeps me and the rest of the people I work with satisfied and sane. No matter how stressed or tired I am or how bad a day I'm having I always encounter at least one or two kids that make me smile, laugh and forget. It would be a completely different story if I didn't love kids.

Thanks for the kind wish, sir. I'll be sure to enlist you and Suz in frequent babysitting duties.

If I had four sets of twins, I'd be sitting in a long term care facility with Pablum dripping out of my mouth, while I stared at the only book I could possibly comprehend:

75Chatterbox
Mar 11, 2012, 4:43pm Top

Sigh. Some perfectly good Earl Grey tea just ended up on the keyboard.

76tiffin
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 9:33am Top



Darryl, this was my first book and I still have it.

ETA: I was two.

77kidzdoc
Mar 11, 2012, 11:38pm Top

>75 Chatterbox: *orders more ShamWows from Amazon*

>76 tiffin: Excellent, Tui! I'm not sure if The Poky Little Puppy was my first book, but it is the first one I remember. I don't own it, unless my mother still has it.

I'll have to think about my other favorite books from childhood. How about the rest of you?

78EBT1002
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 11:40pm Top

I was a Dr. Seuss girl all the way.
eta: and then, later I tore through every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys

79kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 11, 2012, 11:47pm Top

>78 EBT1002: Same here, Ellen. I loved the Dr. Seuss books, but I didn't read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys series.

One other book I remember reading repeatedly was Frog and Toad Are Friends. I think I was too old for that book when it came out, but it was one of my brother's favorite books.

80EBT1002
Mar 11, 2012, 11:49pm Top

And, of course, there was Go, Dog, Go!.
No, I do not like your hat.
Good-bye.
Good-bye.

81richardderus
Mar 12, 2012, 12:01am Top

Green Eggs and Ham...my father read this book better than Seuss wrote it! I listened in on him reading it to his grandkids, and my gawd *I* was howling as hard as they were!

The Story of Ferdinand the Bull was another story my father read to perfection.

82Chatterbox
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 12:34am Top

I loved Dr. Seuss; other than that, I have to confess I don't remember very many until after we moved to London. My very first chapter book was The Family From One End Street; I was six or seven. When I was 7, read The Diary of Anne Frank. (As you can see, my parents had zero interest in censoring my reading...) Cue for Treason was another fave, at the age of about 8; We Couldn't Leave Dinah by Mary Treadgold at about the same age. Enid Blyton's school stories, and above all, the Chalet School books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, which I still have. My first adult books, when I was about nine -- Jean Plaidy and Georgette Heyer (Arabella), then Katherine by Anya Seton when I was 10. ETA: The pages have all fallen out of my edition of Katherine, and I've been driven to wonder if I should purchase a series of Chalet School "fill-in" novels that (surprise) fill in the gaps between the 62 canonical books... *grin* Oh, how I wanted to go to the Chalet School...

83tangledthread
Mar 12, 2012, 9:13am Top

>77 kidzdoc: am I the only reader that didn't like Dr. Seuss as a kid? (I liked him much more as a parent!)

Uhm...first Golden Book I remember was The Fuzzy Duckling (and that was before I was aware of the amusing anagram one could make of the title) I had a ton of other Golden Books.

But I remember my first "chapter book" was Heidi which I loved....and OMG I just read the reviews and suspect that this book is probably what lead me to become a pediatric physical therapist! Talk about over identification.

84SandDune
Edited: Mar 12, 2012, 12:16pm Top

#83 I never came across Dr Seuss as a child but I didn't like the books as a parent and neither did my son. We had a couple but they definitely weren't favourites.

I don't actually remember many picture books from when I was very small apart from Beatrix Potter. I remember my sister (who's quite a bit older than me) telling me that there was a huge difference in the books that were available for her second son (born 1971) compared to her first son (born 1967). I was born in 1961 so maybe I'm just too old.

The first books that I can remember reading and loving were Winnie-the-Pooh and A Bear Called Paddington. Later I loved The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner and The Whispering Mountain by Joan Aiken, as well as the Narnia boks. There's a definite fantasy theme going on there I think.

85sibyx
Mar 12, 2012, 12:26pm Top

Frog and Toad!!!! Ah..... heavenly.

That was the best cartoon this week..... so far that's all I've read.

86Chatterbox
Mar 12, 2012, 12:27pm Top

Oh, Paddington.... YES!!!!!

I was never quite as much into fantasy, even back as a child.

87tiffin
Mar 12, 2012, 12:40pm Top

I loved The Wind in the Willows as a sprat.

88Linda92007
Mar 12, 2012, 12:41pm Top

I've been cleaning out the attic and came across my stepsons' childhood copy of The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter. I'm tucking it away to bring out with the arrival of our first grandchild. Well, okay, maybe some wishful thinking at this point, but eventually...!

89jnwelch
Mar 12, 2012, 2:16pm Top

Hah, nice to see The Poky Little Puppy and Frog and Toad. The first was very important to my kids, and a friend gave me the second when I was young.

What a great review of Fragile Beginnings, Darryl! Big thumb from me, too. You have a knack for explaining medical esoterica to laypeople. Fascinating. I can't imagine being in those kind of situations, as a parent or doctor. We had a day when the doctor warned us that our daughter might have cystic fibrosis, and that was a deep well I don't ever want to be in again. Waiting to find out, and my wife . . . indescribable. (Our daughter's a controlled asthmatic now). Anyway, thanks again for being such a good explainer.

90mckait
Mar 13, 2012, 9:23am Top

ooops! missed the big transition ! not able to catch up today... so just placing a bookmark :)

91richardderus
Mar 13, 2012, 11:42am Top

My first chapter book was Professor Diggins' Dragons, which I loved. But I think one of the most deeply satisfying reads of my single-digit life was The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. It is a rescue fantasy, and I so wanted to be rescued that I was constantly satisfied afresh by reading it. I must have read it fifty times. My sister Winter commented on it at the time, and from her distance of a decade she couldn't see my fascination. She read it after I was on my seventh or eighth trip through it and wasn't that impressed. Then again, what twenty-year-old would be?

92Chatterbox
Mar 13, 2012, 12:43pm Top

I liked that, as well, Richard. Did you read the sequel, The Starlight Barking? No, not as good, but still...

93richardderus
Mar 13, 2012, 12:48pm Top

The Starlight Barking? I never heard of it before this good moment! Must investigate...must liberry...can't coherent....

94Berly
Mar 13, 2012, 1:22pm Top

Delurking to say Hi! My favorite book was Frog and Toad, which I can not find a copy of anywhere! : (

95lunacat
Mar 13, 2012, 2:10pm Top

I think I'll go for a curse of four sets of triplets. Although I pity the poor mother. Perhaps she runs off to Hawaii after the fourth set and leaves Darryl with them all?

96Chatterbox
Mar 13, 2012, 5:14pm Top

But wait, Jenny, weren't you volunteering to become Mrs. Kidzdoc?? In which case... *grin*

97richardderus
Mar 13, 2012, 5:17pm Top

98lunacat
Mar 13, 2012, 5:26pm Top

It's ok. If that eventuality occurs, Darryl will have met his demise LONG before he has a chance to cause any kids. A week after marriage wouldn't be too suspicious for an accident to occur.........right?!

99Berly
Mar 13, 2012, 6:04pm Top

dun dun dun...(you know, that ominous sounding thing right before someone dies)

100mckait
Mar 17, 2012, 8:31am Top

*wonders of Darryl and Caro have run off together *

101kidzdoc
Mar 17, 2012, 11:00am Top

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I'm typing this on my new iPad, which I picked up today. It will take me awhile to learn how to use it, and I don't think it will completely replace my notebook, but I love it so far.

I'll definitely have to get a keyboard for it; it takes me far too long to type on its built in keyboard.

102kidzdoc
Mar 17, 2012, 11:58am Top

I'm done playing with the iPad for a while. I have a lot to learn about it, I think.

I downloaded today's Amazon Kindle Daily Deal book, The Irish Americans: A History by Jay Dolan, which cost 99 cents. Yesterday I received the four books I ordered with my Barnes & Noble gift card:

The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (2012 Orange Prize longlist)
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2012 Orange Prize longlist)
Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor

So, my 2012 book purchases have skyrocketed from two to seven in the past 24 hours.

103kidzdoc
Mar 17, 2012, 12:00pm Top

I hereby announce my St. Patrick's Day weekend challenge: Read and/or buy a book by an Irish author or one that is set in Ireland. I'm planning to read The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle, which I should finish today if I don't get overly distracted by the new iPad or March Madness.

104DorsVenabili
Mar 17, 2012, 12:22pm Top

Hi Darryl - Good luck with your new iPad and thanks for the Daily Deal reminder (I always forget to check it on the weekend)!

While I've really gotten into the NBA during the past year, March Madness always reminds me of the sleazy, former frat-boy sales guys at the newspaper I worked for years ago, so I can never get into it. (I do realize how completely irrational that is, by the way.)

105PaulCranswick
Mar 17, 2012, 12:23pm Top

Short notice Darryl but I'll take you up on it and jump in with Christine Falls by John Banville / Benjamin Black and hold the Tony Hillerman for a day or so.

106Linda92007
Mar 17, 2012, 12:29pm Top

Hi Darryl. I also grabbed The Irish Americans: A History this morning and have a few others I am considering that deal with the history of Ireland itself. It is a goal of mine to learn more about my Irish ancestors before making my first trip to Ireland, some day. Reading Troubles has made me realize that my knowledge of Irish history is not very deep. I have finished the book, but will be starting the group read discussion this weekend. Can that count for your challenge?

107kidzdoc
Mar 17, 2012, 12:32pm Top

>80 EBT1002:-89 I also loved the Dr. Seuss books as a kid, especially How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Green Eggs and Ham. I think I read most of the Little Golden Books as a youngin; I definitely remember The Fuzzy Duckling, Three Little Kittens and The Little Red Hen, along with The Poky Little Puppy.



>89 jnwelch: You have a knack for explaining medical esoterica to laypeople.

Thanks for the compliment, Joe. It's a skill I've been working on for years, as I and my partners often have to distill complicated medical concepts into layman's terms for parents and older patients.

Oof...I'm very sleepy all of a sudden. Back later.

108EBT1002
Edited: Mar 17, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Hi Darryl. Just wondering how your March Madness is going. I'm assuming you did not pick both Norfolk State and Lehigh!
Because who did??? :-D

109kidzdoc
Mar 17, 2012, 6:21pm Top

I'm tied for first place in my group, but I have more potential points remaining than anyone else, so technically I'm in the lead. I did well on Thursday (14-2), but I was bitten by the upset bugs yesterday (8-8). Today has gone well so far (2-0), but I'll be in trouble if Marquette, one of my Final Four teams, doesn't rally to beat Murray State.

After the shocking Lehigh, Norfolk State and Ohio U upsets, none of the six million plus Tournament Challenge brackets on ESPN are perfect. (I didn't pick any of those teams.) One of my partners graduated from Norfolk State but she didn't make out a bracket this year.

Oh cool. I'm just trying the voice activated microphone on my iPad and it works great! I had to insert the exclamation point in the last sentence but all of the words were typed correctly.

110Ireadthereforeiam
Mar 17, 2012, 7:33pm Top

>20 kidzdoc: What's a "caffeine free coffee substitute"?
Mine is called "caro", made from Barley, malted barley, chickory and rye.

>64 kidzdoc: wow, a great review on a heavy topic. Im so thankful for my own two healthy babies.

>107 kidzdoc: I am with you on the Golden Books Darryl, we had them, and now I have my old ones along with my partners old ones, and our kids have had them red to them so many time but still go back to their favourites. (Pano the Train, the tugboat one, Seven Little Postmen....)

111avatiakh
Mar 17, 2012, 8:07pm Top

I'm reading Proxopera by Benedict Kiely, a novella set in northern Ireland during The Troubles.

112jnwelch
Edited: Mar 17, 2012, 8:24pm Top

My son is a big Dr. Seuss fan, too, Darryl, and I just got him The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories for his birthday (he'll be 22). Have you heard about that one? They collected ones that had only appeared in magazines and the like.

113mckait
Mar 18, 2012, 7:58am Top

I almost forgot about those Little Golden Books.
All of the ones I owned were lost, when we lost our home when I was a kid..
My own kids had some.. and, sadly they met a similar fate..

Sr Seuss helped me teach my kids to read :) and many of those were passed along
to others with kids as mine grew. Ahh the good old days when the kids were little!

Megan, I have to say that Mine is called "caro", made from Barley, malted barley, chickory and rye. sounds perfectly horrible :PPPPPP I don't know what I would do in a world with no coffee :)

114sibyx
Mar 18, 2012, 9:41am Top

One of our top favorites both when I was growing up and with my daughter was No Fighting, No Biting -- Sendak illustrations...... we still use one of the great utterances in it when caught with 'hand in the cookie jar' that is: - "Glub." Even with no siblings our daughter loved that one.

115kidzdoc
Mar 18, 2012, 10:01am Top

>104 DorsVenabili: Thanks, Kerri. I spent too much time trying out the new iPad yesterday, so I'll set it aside until the basketball games I'm most interested are on TV.

March Madness always reminds me of the sleazy, former frat-boy sales guys at the newspaper I worked for years ago, so I can never get into it. (I do realize how completely irrational that is, by the way.)

Ha! Needless to say I don't share that association.

I've been a devoted fan of the tournament since 1976, when Rutgers (my undergraduate alma mater) was one of the two Final Four teams to enter the last weekend undefeated. (Indiana and Rutgers were both 30-0 by the time they reached the Final Four; this hasn't happened since then.) Rutgers's regular season home games were shown on the now defunct (thanks, Governor Christie) New Jersey Network, and the team acquired a close following as their undefeated season progressed. Unfortunately Rutgers lost the national semifinal to Michigan, and the 3rd place game to UCLA; Indiana beat Michigan to win the national championship. That year marked the end of UCLA's incredible run of 10 national championships in 12 years, a feat that will never be repeated.

>105 PaulCranswick: Excellent, Paul. I didn't think about a challenge for St. Patrick's Day weekend until yesterday morning, after I downloaded The Irish Americans. I didn't finish The Deportees and Other Stories, but I'll complete it by this afternoon.

>106 Linda92007: It is a goal of mine to learn more about my Irish ancestors before making my first trip to Ireland, some day. Reading Troubles has made me realize that my knowledge of Irish history is not very deep. I have finished the book, but will be starting the group read discussion this weekend. Can that count for your challenge?

My paternal great grandmother immigrated from Ireland to NYC around the turn of the century, and I proudly claim that tiny bit of Irish heritage. Sadly that's all any of us know about her, as my paternal grandfather refused to discuss his mother or his early childhood with his children or grandchildren. (My father is planning to take a genealogy class, in order to find out more about his father and paternal grandmother.) I'm very interested in the history of immigrants to the US, particularly the Irish, so I'll definitely read this book later this year.

IMO, discussing Troubles counts for my challenge. I loved that book (I've mentioned previously that it was my favorite book of 2010), and I mildly envy those of you who are reading it for the first time. The second novel in J.G. Farrell's Empire Trilogy, The Siege of Krishnapur, was nearly as good as Troubles; it won the Booker Prize in 1973. I plan to read The Singapore Grip, the last novel in the trilogy, next week.

Speaking of trilogies, I think I'll also start Edward St Aubyn's Melrose Trilogy next week, particularly after reading an article about him that appeared in The New York Times last week. I bought all three books in London last summer: Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last.

>110 Ireadthereforeiam: Mine is called "caro", made from Barley, malted barley, chickory and rye.

Hmm. I'd be willing to give it a try, but somehow I doubt that I'll like it better than the real thing.

>111 avatiakh: Proxopera sounds interesting, Kerry. I look forward to your review of it.

>112 jnwelch: I hadn't heard about The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, Joe; thanks for mentioning it! I looked at the preview of the book on Amazon, and I'll definitely add it to my wish list. Hmm...maybe I can buy this for a kid, but read it beforehand.

>113 mckait: I know that we passed the Dr. Seuss and Little Golden Books between the boys in our family (myself, my brother, and our three "super" first cousins; our mother and their mother are sisters, and our father and their late father were brothers, so the boys have been very close since childhood). I'm sure there wasn't much left of any of the books by the time they reached the youngest, so I doubt that any of them are still around.

I bought one more book yesterday for St. Patrick's Day, The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright, which made this year's Orange Prize longlist. I purchased the iBooks version of it, to try it out on the iPad; I had already planned to read it, but I wanted to see how reading an e-book on iBooks compared with reading an e-book on my Kindle, or the Kindle app for the iPad.

116richardderus
Mar 18, 2012, 12:20pm Top

I made such a fuss over the stupidity of The Poky Little Puppy that I never got another Little Golden Book read to me. My mother said I was snorting and rolling my eyes at it when I was four.

I suspect I was never actually a child.

117thornton37814
Mar 19, 2012, 9:07am Top

LOL, Richard. My nephew loved The Poky Little Puppy, but I think he was younger than four when I read it to him. His mom died when he was only 18 months old, so I spent a lot of time taking care of my nephew until my brother eventually remarried.

118cameling
Edited: Mar 19, 2012, 7:27pm Top

Darryl - So now that you've had the weekend to play with your new iPad, are you really glad you bought it? can you see yourself using it for work as well ? Have you discovered Angry Birds yet? ;-)

119katiekrug
Mar 19, 2012, 9:03pm Top

He's obviously abandoned reading books for perusing PerezHilton.com on his shiny new gadget...

120kidzdoc
Mar 20, 2012, 8:03am Top

>116 richardderus: I suspect I was never actually a child.

Although I've only met you twice in person, I think just the opposite of you. You seem to be a child at heart, someone who loves to enjoy life to the fullest, laugh, and make other people laugh.

>117 thornton37814: Nice story, Lori.

>118 cameling: I did spend a good amount of time with the iPad this weekend, although not as much as you might suspect. I do like it, but I suspect that I'll like it much more once I learn more about it and what it can do. I'll definitely use it for work, which was the tipping point for me to decide to buy it; I couldn't justify it to myself if it was going to be a just a glorified toy.

>119 katiekrug: LOL! I think I'd rather watch daytime soap operas than look at that web site (I had to look it up, since I had never heard of it or Perez Hilton).

I did finish The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle Sunday night, an excellent collection of short stories set in Dublin, which has seen an influx of immigrants from other countries. Each of the stories is about an interaction between a native born Irish person and a recent immigrant to Ireland. The stories were quite amusing and memorable, and this is easily one of the best short story collections I've read. I'll give it 4½ stars, and review it later this week or this coming weekend.

I think I'm experiencing a case of LT burnout. Although I love the company, I'm spending too much time trying to catch up on threads, and not enough time writing reviews, reading for pleasure and for work, and exercising. So, I'm planning to limit my LT time, particularly on work days, and I'll probably only briefly pop in just before I go to bed on weekdays, and limit my time to an hour or two on my days off.

Off to work...

121mckait
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 8:10am Top

Or Maybe rd is really Benjamin Button-like?

Perez Hilton?

122kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 20, 2012, 8:12am Top

Oh, I forgot to mention that my father purchased three books for me from my Kindle wish list for my birthday this coming Saturday, which I downloaded yesterday:

Assumption by Percival Everett
The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar
When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks by Harvey Araton

123PaulCranswick
Mar 20, 2012, 10:32am Top

Well done Darryl you have become spectacularly successful at adding to your book collection and keeping within the confines of the challenge!

124jnwelch
Mar 20, 2012, 10:56am Top

I look forward to hearing your reaction to When the Garden Was Eden, Darryl. I loved those Knicks teams, and that's hard for a Chicagoan to say. They played together so well.

125SandDune
Mar 20, 2012, 12:16pm Top

#122 Looks like we share the same birthday then. Suprise, suprise I'm hoping for some books too!

126EBT1002
Mar 20, 2012, 12:22pm Top

Happy birthday a bit early, Darryl!

127richardderus
Mar 20, 2012, 9:45pm Top

>120 kidzdoc: Darryl! How very sweet of you to say! I suspect I'm more of an orc in hobbit's clothing, but your impression is very easy on my ears. Thanks!

128tiffin
Mar 21, 2012, 9:51am Top

>120 kidzdoc:: Darryl, I've been feeling that way about the computer in general but fortunately have gardening season to pull me away. I've given up completely with trying to follow threads. It's down to a few now, which is a shame, but it was cutting in to my reading and creative time.

129Chatterbox
Mar 21, 2012, 10:51pm Top

The voice-activated microphone is the reason I might succumb and get one of these gizmos... though I'm a bit scared off by people wiping out their entire wireless data plan in the space of two days!

Darryl, the starting points for research are: your great-grandmother's name (you should be able to get an online marriage or death certificate for her, which would have it, and might also have all kinds of other info, like city of birth); where she arrived from (and to!), etc. The census data also will be helpful. I think the 1930 census data was just released. There are passenger ship manifests, which are very helpful. Frankly, since she probably came over in the late 19th century (right?), there are actually oodles of records. A starting point is your grandfather's birth certificate, which your father probably has somewhere, or can get a copy of. One question is whether she came over solo or as part of a family group. A problem for Irish research is that many records were destroyed in the Troubles, esp in a giant fire that wiped out many civic records. Catholic church records are better than Protestant ones, but it's still hard to get back to the potato famine years. A lot depends on the county in question. In one case (Co. Leitrim) I was incredibly lucky, and was able to find stuff in copies of the Church of Ireland registers that the vicar had kept. But there were entire years -- crucial ones! -- missing. But in Co. Cork (my mother's father's family, the Burchells) there is nothing firm at all. We know it was a very common Protestant surname, but that's it.

130Ireadthereforeiam
Mar 22, 2012, 5:35pm Top

Re: "Caro", made from Barley, malted barley, chickory and rye.
You'd never want to drink it if you could have actual coffee....but if you have to have cafffeine free, as a hot drink that isn't sweet, its good.

>120 kidzdoc: LT burnout is about at present, its hard to maintain a presence so constantly. I think we all know it is impossible to keep up with everyone's threads as well as work/play/read/sleep/eat etc :)

131mckait
Mar 22, 2012, 8:04pm Top

LT burnout is about at present, its hard to maintain a presence so constantly. I think we all know it is impossible to keep up with everyone's threads as well as work/play/read/sleep/eat etc :)

Amen to that Megan..

132mausergem
Mar 22, 2012, 10:21pm Top

Hi Darryl, many happy returns of the day in advance.

Excellent review of the medical books.

Me and my wife just had a baby boy on the 17th, premature at 34 weeks. He had secondary apnea and was immediately intubated and ventilated and diagnosed to have rds and surfactant was given. He is now off the ventilator and doing fine. He is supposed to start breastfeeding today. Just wanted to ask you about the long term complications of rds you must be seeing in your day to day practice. I've read about asthma and chronic lung disease as a some complications and my neonatologist says that it occurs in just a few cases and most of the kids make a full recovery. Your thoughts please. Thanks.

133gennyt
Mar 23, 2012, 3:15pm Top

I'm spending an afternoon catching up on threads... Many happy returns of tomorrow, Darryl.

134Chatterbox
Mar 23, 2012, 4:26pm Top

Happy early birthday, in case I forget!

I'm a bit worried that the reason Darryl-san isn't here is that he's planning a raid on my library while I'm in DC this weekend thru Tuesday. Time to check to make sure the locks are working and that the attack cats are prepped.

135tangledthread
Mar 23, 2012, 5:26pm Top

Happy Birthday tomorrow, Daryl! I hear the pollen in Atlanta is horrid this year? Hope you have enough vital capacity to blow out all of those candles.

136richardderus
Mar 23, 2012, 5:28pm Top

Borrow some more cats, Suz, and be sure they're in full dander-shedding mode. Darryl's asthma will prevent him from making off with any books.

*gets out gas mask for his own raid*

137kidzdoc
Mar 23, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Thank God this work week is over! I'm convinced that I worked at least eight days between Monday and Friday, as it was a long and painful week on the teaching service. Fortunately I'm off this weekend, and all of the following week. I won't be completely free from work, as there are at least three or four hospital committee meetings that I'll need to attend, along with our group's monthly meeting and a couple of interesting sounding lectures. My car needs a major repair (over $3000), so I'll take it to the service center first thing Monday morning. So, it will be a busy week off, but I should get some reading done.

I've read absolutely nothing since Sunday. I tried to read a few pages of The Comedians on Wednesday, but I couldn't focus on the text. I'll try reading When the Garden Was Eden, the story of the great New York Knicks teams of the 1960s and 1970s today, and pick up something more substantial later this weekend.

>121 mckait: Hopefully RD is not Benjamin Button. Otherwise we'd have to buy him a pacifier and several sets of onesies.

>123 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. I've bought far fewer books in the first three months of the year, but a sizable number of books have still entered my library. I'll have to tally those and see where I'm at sometime next week.

>124 jnwelch: I was a diehard Knicks fan, along with my father, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when they won their two NBA championships. He & I went to a few games at Madison Square Garden when we lived in Jersey City, as it was an easy trip across the Hudson River by subway (PATH) from there. You're right, the team played fantastically together, unlike most current professional teams, and the Knicks were a joy to watch, at MSG or on TV. I transferred a bit of my loyalty to the Philadelphia 76ers after we moved to suburban Philadelphia in 1974, but I'll remain a Knicks fan for life.

>125 SandDune: Happy Birthday to you too, Rhian! I was born on 3/24/61, BTW.

>126 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen!

>127 richardderus: You're welcome, sir.

>128 tiffin: Right, Tui. I've had an especially difficult time following threads so far this year, and I find myself skimming many threads to get to the book reviews. I'll have more free time later this spring, so I'll have an easier time keeping up, but I'll have to rethink how I approach LT in the future.

>129 Chatterbox: I have a 10 GB monthly plan for my iPad, which should be enough for me. I think the people who will reach their data plan maximum in a short period of time are those who watch movies or lengthy videos regularly, which I don't do. You can keep up with your data plan usage easily on the iPad; I don't yet know what happens if you reach or exceed your limit, though.

>130 Ireadthereforeiam:, 131 LT burnout seems to be endemic.

>132 mausergem: Congratulations on the birth of your son, Gautam! I'm glad to hear that he is doing better after a rough start. As you mentioned, reactive airway disease (RAD), asthma and chronic lung disease (the new term for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)) are the main sequelae of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, in order of frequency. I see kids with RAD and asthma on a daily basis in the hospital; most kids with RAD "grow out" of their wheezing by the time they reach 4-5 years of age, whereas those kids who continue to have wheezing after 5-6 years of age will generally continue to wheeze throughout childhood and adulthood. Kids who have night time cough twice a week or more, or those who have wheezing or shortness of breath with exertion on a regular basis are the ones we diagnose with asthma. It's easier to diagnose a child with asthma after 5 years of age, but we'll do so if the history fits. (I imagine that you know much of this, being a pulmonologist, but I thought I would answer your question more generally, in case anyone else was interested.)

>133 gennyt: Thanks, Genny!

>134 Chatterbox: Thanks, Suz! In my current brain dead state, I'm barely interested in my own books, nonetheless anyone else's. So, you're safe. Have a good time in DC; are the cherry trees in bloom yet?

>135 tangledthread: Thanks! Right, the pollen count in Atlanta has been horrible this week, although it has been improving the past few days. Let's see...the Atlanta pollen count was 1009 today, the first day this week that it hasn't been in the extremely high range (1501 or higher). It was as high as 9369 on Tuesday, and hopefully the level will continue to decrease.

>136 richardderus: *gets out gas mask for his own raid*

Heh. Maybe Suz should get a home alarm system, unless she has trained her cats to attack anyone who comes too close to her books.

138rebeccanyc
Mar 23, 2012, 9:10pm Top

Happy birthday, youngster! Hoping you find more time for reading and yourself, even if it means less time on LT.

139LauraBrook
Mar 23, 2012, 10:27pm Top

Happy Birthday, Darryl! I hope you enjoy the start to your long week off. :)

140cameling
Edited: Mar 23, 2012, 10:54pm Top



Darryl, I'm a few hours early, but I'm heading out soon for lunch and then for the airport, so I wanted to get my birthday wishes out to you before I did. What's great is that not only did you get some fab gifts from your dad which allowed you to add to your TBR while keeping within the challenge, but you get a whole week and weekend off as well! Celebrate well, my friend ... sending you big virtual hugs and kisses!

141SandDune
Mar 24, 2012, 4:19am Top

#137 We are exactly the same age then. I was born in 61 as well . Happy birthday for today.

142kidzdoc
Mar 24, 2012, 6:29am Top

>138 rebeccanyc: Thanks, Rebecca! I'm glad that I won't have to work on my birthday this year. I crashed not long after I typed Message 137 last night, so I'm much more awake now. I don't have any definite plans for today, but I may go to see Anoushka Shankar perform tonight. She's the daughter of Ravi Shankar, the legendary Indian sitar player, and is an outstanding sitar player as well. She incorporates other elements into her music. I saw her perform in San Francisco several years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

>139 LauraBrook: Thanks, Laura! Today will be an enjoyable day, even if I do little more than read and sleep.

>140 cameling: Thanks, Caroline! My father bought another Kindle book for me from my wish list, A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes. I'll read When the Garden Was Eden today; he bought that for me earlier this week. After a very busy and unpleasant work week I'm thrilled to be off from clinical service for the next 9 days.

>141 SandDune: Nice! I don't think I've met anyone who shared my exact birthday before. Cait (Cait86) from Club Read is the only other LTer I know whose birthday is today.

Today is also the birthday of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the Beat Poet who co-founded City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco in 1953. He is 93 years young today.

143SandDune
Mar 24, 2012, 6:47am Top

#142 A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters is one of my favourite books. I particularly like the chapters on the Stowaway, Shipwreck and the Dream. Unfortunately I've never liked anything else by Julian Barnes quite as much.

144lauralkeet
Mar 24, 2012, 7:12am Top

Happy birthday Darryl! I hope you reward yourself with a relaxing day -- sounds like you deserve it!

145mckait
Mar 24, 2012, 7:34am Top

146msf59
Mar 24, 2012, 7:45am Top

Happy Birthday, Darryl! Hope all is well and you are having a good weekend!

147kidzdoc
Mar 24, 2012, 9:12am Top

>143 SandDune: I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, Rhian. I've read several compelling reviews on LT and elsewhere about it, so I'll probably read it soon.

>144 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura! I've already gone out for breakfast and bought groceries. I'm still a bit sleepy, but I'm in a mood to read something substantial. I'll probably start reading The Singapore Grip today, and begin reading Gillespie and I later this week.

>145 mckait: Thanks, Kath!

>146 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

148AnneDC
Mar 24, 2012, 1:29pm Top

Hapy Birthday! Nice that you don't have to work.

149DorsVenabili
Mar 24, 2012, 1:35pm Top

Happy Birthday, Darryl!! I hope you have a remotely relaxing week, compared to the last one.

150PaulCranswick
Mar 24, 2012, 2:02pm Top

Adding my happy birthday wishes Darryl or as they say over here SELAMAT HARI JADI. You share a birthday with my SIL so one of the candles that she nearly blew off the table had your name on it mate. Hope you manage to get some reading done and especially that GG's Haiti opus manages to belatedly grab you.

151qebo
Mar 24, 2012, 2:03pm Top

Happy Birthday!

152Ireadthereforeiam
Mar 24, 2012, 2:18pm Top

Sending restful birthday wishes your way.....even if I do little more than read and sleep.....cheers to that!

153richardderus
Mar 24, 2012, 3:12pm Top

Next time you visit NYC we'll have to go have cupcakes at the Cupcake Cafe. Purely to celebrate your birthday, of course!

154jdthloue
Mar 24, 2012, 4:24pm Top

Happy Birthday, you!



;-}

155roundballnz
Mar 24, 2012, 4:54pm Top

"even if I do little more than read and sleep" - sounds perfect Birthday to me - have a great one!

156kidzdoc
Mar 24, 2012, 8:13pm Top

>148 AnneDC: Thanks, Anne! Yes, I'm glad that my birthday fell on a Saturday this year.

>149 DorsVenabili: Thanks, Kerri! The residents drove me batty this past week; otherwise it wouldn't have been a bad week. Normally I enjoy my week working on the teaching service, but not this time.

>150 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I had almost forgotten that I had intended to read The Comedians this past week. I'll definitely get to it in the next few days.

>151 qebo: Thanks, Katherine!

>152 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks, Megan! I've decided to stay home tonight instead of going to the Anoushka Shankar concert, so it will be a day of reading and sleeping, with a bit of March Madness thrown in for good measure.

Is anyone else participating in a March Madness pool at work? I'm in second place in my group, and I have a good chance to win, especially if Kansas defeats North Carolina tomorrow.

>153 richardderus: Cupcakes? Oh, yes!!!

>154 jdthloue: Thanks, Jude! Hmm, I haven't heard of "Jazz Party"; I'll have to check it out.

>155 roundballnz: Thanks, Alex!

157Chatterbox
Mar 24, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Happy happy happy!! (birthday, that is)

Just got to DC. Got to the train station to find that the ticket my marketing boss at Thomson Reuters bought for me came up as an invalid/nonexistent reservation, so had to buy new tix, which delayed me. Gahhh..

Hoping to brunch with AnneDC tomorrow, then head to Politics & Prose!!!! Wow, two book rampages on successive weekends???

Apparently the cherry blossoms lasted for about five minutes, and the rain DC got yesterday (after a day of temps around 85!!!) blew 'em away. In NYC, we have forsythia and magnolias blooming simultaneously (both nearly over) which is downright weird.

If Richard thinks he's got painful limbs with gout, all I can say is wait until he's gone three rounds with Tigger-the-terror-cat. Let's just say he earned the moniker...

158cameling
Mar 24, 2012, 10:27pm Top

Can't wait to see what you think of A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters when you get to it, Darryl. I liked it but I know a few people who didn't.

Cupcake Cafe? Am I invited too? *grovel*

159richardderus
Mar 25, 2012, 12:20am Top

>157 Chatterbox: I have a secret anti-cat weapon.

*calls Acme Customer Service for Wile E. Coyote's Secret Anti-Cat Weapon*

>158 cameling: Hm. I dunno. The idea of introducing the woman who *tried to check into the wrong hotel* into a cupcake-and-frosting rich environment causes me some anxiety. Darryl?

160kidzdoc
Mar 25, 2012, 10:53am Top

>157 Chatterbox: Thanks, Suz! Have a great time in DC. I've spent very little time in that city, despite its proximity to Philadelphia.

>158 cameling: I'll probably read A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters in the summer. I would have purchased it this summer in London, but I couldn't fit another book into my tote bag or luggage.

Yes, you're definitely invited to a cupcake meet up (along with all other LTers who want to come).

>159 richardderus: I think a trip to Russ and Daughters (smoked fish heaven) would be a cheaper and more reliable way to neutralize Suz's cats.

Suz could also set a trap in her house with a plate of Russ and Daughters smoked salmon, whitefish salad and bialys on a table inside of a springed cage if she wanted to keep Caroline or I from pilfering her books.

Hmm...good point about the mayhem that could occur if Caroline join us for frosting laden cupcakes. However, the entertainment value would far outweigh the risk to life and limb. Besides, how much damage could she do with a few cupcakes (said with a high degree of trepidation)?

161kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 1:56pm Top

A bit of sad news: Italian author Antonio Tabucchi died in Lisbon today, after a long battle with cancer. Several of us read and loved his most famous novel, Pereira Declares, and I own two of his other books, The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro and Little Misunderstandings of No Importance. I'll read one or both books next month.

Italian novelist Antonio Tabucchi dies

162jnwelch
Mar 25, 2012, 2:22pm Top

Sorry to hear about Antonio Tabucchi, Darryl. He's an author I don't know and will have to look into.

Wanted to wish you a belated happy birthday. In our family the celebration often continues over a period of days because of schedules and such, so I hope you're getting to continue to celebrate yours.

163gennyt
Mar 25, 2012, 2:52pm Top

I saw the news about Tabucchi on the In Memoriam thread. I haven't read any of his yet, but I've heard several very positive reviews of Pereira Declares and am interested in reading that, especially since my visit to Portugal last year and wanting to read more literature associated with that country.

164kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 25, 2012, 4:19pm Top

Book #29: When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks by Harvey Araton



My rating:

Warning: This review is sullied by shameless and completely biased hero worship. Non-sports fans or fans of the Baltimore Bullets, Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers are advised to move on to the next message.

The New York Knickerbockers or Knicks (named after the fictional narrator in Washington Irving's satirical novel Knickerbocker's History of New York), one of the original teams of the National Basketball Association (NBA), has been in continuous existence since 1946. The early Knicks teams were competitive, playing in three consecutive NBA Finals from 1951-1953, but lost each series to a superior foe. The Knicks then sunk into mediocrity from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, playing before sparse and largely uninterested crowds at the old Madison Square Garden and the 69th Regiment Armory. The low point of the franchise occurred 50 years ago this month, when Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain set an as yet unbroken NBA record by scoring 100 points against the Knicks in a 169-147 shellacking on March 2, 1962.

New Yorkers were avid basketball fans in the mid-20th century, but they reserved their passion for the powerful local college teams at City College (CCNY), St. John's, LIU, NYU, Fordham and Manhattan, until a notorious point shaving scandal in 1951 led to the de-emphasis of basketball at several schools.

Beginning in 1964, the Knicks' fortune would begin to change. Willis Reed, a center from historically black Grambling College in Louisiana, was selected in the second round. Reed would later be named captain of the Knicks, and served as the team's linchpin during its glory years from 1967-1973. Unorthodox and brash shooting guard Dick Barnett joined the team the following year. Coach Red Holzman assumed responsibility for the flagging team midway through the 1967-68 season; his steady hand and willingness to allow his savvy and highly intelligent team to run its own plays and determine how it should attack each opponent's best players directly led to the team's success and the loyalty his players afforded him. The Knicks acquired two essential players in the 1967 draft: Walt Frazier, a superb shooting guard and defensive wizard from Southern Illinois, and Phil Jackson, a long and lanky defensive specialist from North Dakota, who would become famous as the coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, winning 11 NBA titles. The All-American and future New Jersey senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley, who was drafted in 1965 but left Princeton to attend Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, also began his NBA career that season. The following season brought forward Dave DeBusschere from the Detroit Pistons, a blue collar scorer and defender who also served as the Pistons' coach and as a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox.

With the essential pieces in place, the team improved dramatically over the next two seasons, as regular fans, along with celebrities such as Woody Allen, Elliott Gould and Dustin Hoffman, packed the new Madison Square Garden. The Knicks' success energized and united New Yorkers, who often found themselves divided over the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the city's growing financial crisis.

The 1969-70 team burst out of the gate, winning 23 of its first 24 games en route to a 60-22 regular season. The Knicks defeated the Baltimore Bullets and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first and second rounds of the NBA playoffs, and then faced the powerful Los Angeles Lakers, led by future Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlin. Both teams were hungry for a championship; the Knicks had never won an NBA title and hadn't been to the Finals since 1953, whereas the Lakers hadn't earned hardware since 1954, losing in the Finals in six of the previous eight seasons. The teams split the first four games of the series, and appeared to be evenly matched until Game 5, when Willis Reed tore a thigh muscle. Somehow the Knicks battled back from a 10 point deficit without Reed to defeat the Lakers. With Reed on the bench, the New Yorkers were thoroughly outclassed in Game 6, setting up a deciding Game 7 in Madison Square Garden before 19,500 partisan spectators and a national television audience. One question resided on the lips of everyone who watched, listened to or participated in that game (including this 9 year old diehard Knicks fan and his father): would Willis Reed play?

When the Garden Was Eden, written by a long time sports reporter for the Post, the Daily News and the New York Times, is at heart a love story about the great Knicks teams of the late 1960s to early 1970s, who overcame a lack of height and team speed by playing unselfish basketball that is almost foreign to the current crop of highly paid, self centered superstars who would rather take a contested shot than throw a pass to an open teammate. Araton's 40+ year career following the Knicks, many of whom remain close friends, allows the reader to learn about the lives of its stars and supporting players, the coaches and owners, the supporting staff of broadcasters, trainers, and office workers, and the fans who supported the "Old Knicks" and the newer, less talented and successful, versions that followed. Araton places his book in the context of the societal strife that surrounded and touched the players, and shows how racial differences affected many of them personally, but did not affect their relationships with each other or the chemistry of the team, unlike many other collegiate and professional teams during that time. Fans of the Knicks, especially those like me who grew up watching these great teams at MSG or on television or listening to Marv Albert's radio broadcasts on WNEW ("Yes! And it counts!"), will love and cherish this book. However, other sports fans, especially those interested in or familiar with the history of the NBA during that period, will also find a lot to enjoy in this engaging and inspirational work.

165phebj
Mar 25, 2012, 9:24pm Top

Hi Darryl, Happy Belated Birthday from me too. I'm glad you have the next week off and hope you have some more celebrating to look forward to.

166kidzdoc
Mar 25, 2012, 11:53pm Top

>162 jnwelch:, 163 I've only read Pereira Declares by Tabucchi, but it was a 5 star read for me. He was touted as a strong candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature the past few years and was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, so he did receive critical acclaim abroad. Hopefully more of his works will be translated into English in the coming years.

>165 phebj: Thanks, Pat! I don't have any specific plans to celebrate my birthday. However, a week off from work during the busy season is as good as any present or party!

167Deern
Mar 26, 2012, 3:04am Top

Happy Belated Birthday, Darryl!! Wish you a wonderful free week.

Sad news about Antonio Tabucchi. I read his Pereira Declares only last year and like it a lot. Must check if my library offers any of his other works.

168kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 26, 2012, 10:29am Top

>167 Deern: Thanks, Nathalie! It will be a good week, and the weather in Atlanta will be very nice, with plenty of sunshine (and pollen) and high temperatures in the mid to upper 70s through Sunday.

There is still very little acknowledgement of Antonio Tabucchi's death yesterday, with no obituaries in the Guardian or the New York Times. Salman Rushdie did post a tweet about him yesterday; he recommended reading his "beautiful, dreamlike Indian Nocturne". His word is good enough for me; onto the wish list it goes.

Rushdie's tweets can be absolutely hilarious, such as this one from yesterday: "Confused by news of Dick Cheney's heart "transplant." That implies he had one before." I'll readily admit to having had the same thought when I first heard about the former VP's surgery.

I've finally tallied and corrected the number of books I've purchased this year, the ones I've read from my TBR pile, and the books I've acquired. I dropped my book purchases for the year from 8 to 5, as I had originally counted all four books I ordered with my Barnes & Noble Christmas gift card as purchases. I exceeded the worth of the gift card by $8.70, so I'll only count one of the four books as one that I purchased. I'll post the list at the top of my new threads, but I'll put these initial tallies here for now:

TBR books read in 2012 (books on my shelf for ≥6 months):

1. A Disease Apart: Leprosy in the Modern World by Tony Gould
2. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
3. Botchan (Master Darling) by Natsume Soseki
4. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
5. Guadalajara by Quim Monzó
6. Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal
7. The Three-Cornered World by Natsume Soseki
8. Kokoro by Natsume Soseki
9. The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi
10. The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle

Books purchased by me in 2012:

1. The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq ($13.99)
2. Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD ($9.99)
3. The Irish Americans: A History by Jay P. Dolan ($0.99)
4. The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories by Etgar Keret ($8.70 (partial purchase))
5. The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright ($12.99)

Books acquired in 2012:

January:
1. Best Mets: Fifty Years of Highs and Lows from New York's Most Agonizingly Amazin' Team by Matthew Silverman (2 Jan; LT Early Reviewer book)
2. The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (3 Jan; Kindle purchase)
3. The Lepers of Molokai by Charles Warren Stoddard (7 Jan; free Kindle download)
4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (8 Jan; gift book)
5. Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (8 Jan; NYRB Book Club)
6. There but for the by Ali Smith (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
7. I Am a Cat by Natsume Soseki (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
8. The Samurai by Shusaku Endo (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
9. Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima ((9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
10. Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami (9 Jan; ordered from Alibris 30 Jan)
11. Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista by Erin Aubry Kaplan (10 Jan; LT Early Reviewer book)
12. Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
13. Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
14. The Temple of Dawn by Yukio Mishima (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
15. The Golden Country by Shusaku Endo (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
16. Deep River by Shusaku Endo (11 Jan; ordered from Strand Book Store on 27 Dec)
17. Letter from the Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr. (15 Jan; free download)

February:
18. Panther Baby by Jamal Joseph (2 Feb; free ARC)
19. Angel by Elizabeth Taylor (4 Feb; NYRB Book Club)
20. Class War?: What Americans Really Think about Economic Inequality by Benjamin I. Page (10 Feb; free e-book from U of Chicago Press)
21. India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India by Akash Kapur (15 Feb; LT Early Reviewer book)
22. Amsterdam Stories by Nescio (29 Feb; NYRB Book Club)

March:
23. Your new baby: A guide to newborn care by Roy Benaroch (6 Mar; free Kindle download)
24. Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU by Adam Wolfberg, MD (11 Mar; Kindle purchase)
25. The Irish Americans: A History by Jay P. Dolan (17 Mar; Kindle purchase)
26. The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories by Etgar Keret (17 Mar; partial book purchase from Barnes & Noble gift order)
27. The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (17 Mar; Barnes & Noble gift order)
28. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (17 Mar; Barnes & Noble gift order)
29. Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now--As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor (17 Mar; Barnes & Noble gift order)
30. The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (17 Mar; iBooks order)
31. When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, the Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the New York Knicks by Harvey Araton (20 Mar; Kindle gift book)
32. Assumption by Percival Everett (20 Mar; Kindle gift book)
33. The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar (20 Mar; Kindle gift book)
34. A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes (22 Mar; Kindle gift book)
35. The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer (25 Mar; Kindle gift book)
36. Walk on Water: Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit by Michael Rudman (25 Mar; borrowed book)
37. Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete by Washington Irving (26 Mar; free Kindle download)

So, obviously I'm doing well with my plan to buy less books than I read, and to read more TBR books than books I've purchased. However, I also wanted to decrease the overall size of Mount TBR; so far 37 books have entered my home, compared to 29 books that I've read. Hopefully I can make some progress in that goal in the next couple of months.

169jnwelch
Mar 26, 2012, 11:32am Top

Nice review of When the Garden Was Eden, Darryl. Thumb from me. I remember that team well, and enjoyed the way they played together. Sounds like an interesting, well done book.

170gennyt
Mar 26, 2012, 11:46am Top

Well done on the plans re buying fewer books and reading more TBR. Keep on climbing that mountain!

171kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 26, 2012, 11:49am Top

Thanks, Joe. I watched the YouTube broadcast of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals over the weekend, and it made for an interesting comparison to the NCAA Tournament games I saw. The Knicks's players were far slower and smaller than the current crop of high fliers, but their ability to pass, run, hit open shots and play solid pressure defense with little need for double teaming or gimmick defenses was marvelous to watch. Reading When the Garden Was Eden was nearly as good as watching that game.

Thanks, Genny!

172richardderus
Mar 26, 2012, 12:37pm Top

I have over 1000 free Kindle books...if I tried to catalog them all, I'd never do anything else!

173kidzdoc
Mar 26, 2012, 8:21pm Top

>172 richardderus: Wow! I "only" have a little over 200 books on my Kindle. I'll guess that a little less than half of them are free books.

I did buy one Kindle book this afternoon, Suffer the Children: Flaws, Foibles, Fallacies and the Grave Shortcomings of Pediatric Care by Peter Palmieri, MD. Dr. Palmieri is a primary care pediatrician, and writes about the problems of primary care pediatrics and hospital pediatrics in the US. I'll read this very soon, probably this week.

174tymfos
Edited: Mar 27, 2012, 7:15am Top


glitter-graphics.com

Sorry I missed your birthday, Darryl! I hope it was a happy one!

Maybe I should read the book about preemies, though it would be scary. I had the beginnings of pre-term labor at 26 weeks. Thankfully, with prompt and continued medical intervention, I carried to 37 weeks, and bore a son who is relatively healthy. But the drug used to stall my labor is one of a zillion substances that's been investigated as possibly involved in causing autism -- which my son has. That drug may or may not have anything to do with the autism -- but a look at the alternative if I had not been treated with it may be a helpful reminder of how much worse things could be!

175tututhefirst
Mar 27, 2012, 11:13am Top

Lurking and borrowing a quote from Joe(jnwelch)on another thread someplace:

Just parachute in, say whatever you want, and take the next jet-pack back out again. referring to my complete inability to keep up with your thread!!

I can't give it up tho....such interesting discussions, and you always always manage to find terrific reads that literally leap onto my TBR pile. I have got to track down Pereira Declares both for myself and the portuguese feller I married.

176kidzdoc
Mar 27, 2012, 1:53pm Top

>174 tymfos: Thanks, Terri! No need to apologize; I've missed several birthdays of other 75ers myself.

I would highly recommend Fragile Beginnings to everyone. The author's background as an OB-GYN who manages high risk pregnancies, as a father of a daughter with sequelae from her premature birth, and as a journalist, combined with his talents as a writer, make this a unique and very compelling book.

Unfortunately I can't say that about the book I just finished, which I'll review after I take a nap.

>175 tututhefirst: LOL! I read far more threads than I post comments on. It would be much easier for me if I only limited myself to the 75 Books group, but I'm also active in Club Read, Reading Globally, Author Theme Reads, Orange January/July, and several other groups. I have no idea how many threads I follow, but I'll bet it's well over 200.

Thanks for the compliment about my wayward thread. Pereira Declares was a 5 star read for me, but I haven't yet read anything else by Tabucchi. I'm disappointed that neither the Guardian nor the New York Times has published an obituary about him yet.

177Chatterbox
Mar 27, 2012, 2:22pm Top

Just a wee bit obsessive-compulsive with this LT thing, Darryl??? *grin*

178kidzdoc
Mar 27, 2012, 6:20pm Top

>177 Chatterbox: Me? OCD? Never!

179kidzdoc
Mar 27, 2012, 7:46pm Top

Book #30: Walk on Water: Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit by Michael Ruhlman



My rating:

Author and journalist Michael Ruhlman's fascination with people at the top of their professions, who seek perfection in themselves and those around them, led a friend of his to refer him to Dr. Roger Mee, the head of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic and one of the world's best heart surgeons. Ruhlman spent two months shadowing Dr. Mee, his colleagues and assistants in the OR and the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit), and the parents who entrusted him with the lives of their very sick children.

The children chronicled in Walk on Water are young infants born with complex congenital heart defects, who are gravely ill and have been referred to Dr. Mee in a last ditch effort to save their lives. Ruhlman observes and effectively describes the preoperative angst and despair of the parents, the drama during these babies' difficult surgeries, which are fraught with unforeseeable challenges and unexpected consequences, and the occasionally uncertain postoperative recovery of the sickest patients.

Ruhlman also attempts to understand and describe what makes Mee and other leading pediatric cardiac surgeons and heart centers as good as they are, and compares them to other surgeons and centers who have markedly higher perioperative and postoperative morbidity and mortality rates. He also gives the reader a history of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, by depicting the leading surgeons and groundbreaking procedures that permitted the field to make tremendous advances over the past 75 years.

Unfortunately, the author is not as successful in these goals. He does portray Mee as a complex man, who is perceived by his peers as arrogant and difficult, but a man who beats up on himself and becomes depressed whenever he doesn't live up to his lofty standards, and looks forward to a time when his services are no longer required. He also paints a compelling portrait of Mike Fackelmann, the physician assistant and right hand man to Mee, whose presence in the OR is invaluable to the great surgeon. However, Ruhlman frequently gets caught up in the cowboy mentality of the all male enclave of cardiothoracic surgeons, whose descriptions of themselves and Mee as God like figures and star athletes were repetitive and often in poor taste, and detracted from the far more effective narratives of the main characters in the book. Ruhlman's lack of medical training is most apparent when he attempts to describe the surgical procedures, which made these sections boring and overly lengthy.

Walk on Water is an interesting but somewhat disappointing look into the field of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and the career of one of its leading practitioners. The excellent narratives of those featured in this book are diminished by the author's lack of detailed medical knowledge of the pathophysiology of complex congenital heart defects and his tendency to repeat points that were previously covered. Ruhlman is to be commended for tackling a difficult topic, and I would marginally recommend this book for anyone who is interested in this field.

180kidzdoc
Mar 27, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Hmm. I posted my review of Walk on Water on Amazon, but I received an e-mail stating that "could not be posted to the website in its current form", as it didn't meet Amazon's guidelines for reviews. I don't get it.

181Chatterbox
Mar 27, 2012, 8:41pm Top

Look through it for words that might be flagged; that's usually what it is.

182EBT1002
Mar 27, 2012, 8:49pm Top

Sad news about Antonio Tabucchi. I'm not familiar with him, but I assume we might find ourselves with an April TIOLI challenge into which some of his work might fit....

183kidzdoc
Mar 27, 2012, 8:55pm Top

I've looked through my review three times. I thought that "Cleveland Clinic" might be the offensive term, but other reviews also mention this medical center by name. I still don't get it, but it's not at all important to me that my review is posted there.

184kidzdoc
Mar 27, 2012, 8:58pm Top

Ellen, I am planning to read one or two of the books by Tabucchi that I own but haven't read yet. I had thought about creating an April TIOLI challenge that would include him, but nothing has come to mind yet.

185avatiakh
Mar 27, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Maybe author name with a double consonant?

186richardderus
Mar 27, 2012, 11:39pm Top

I've had several reviews turned down for reasons I know not. Several for perfectly obvious ones, too. I don't care, Amazon can go float, I don't care about their review service.

187Deern
Mar 28, 2012, 2:33am Top

The Indian Nocturne sounds like something I'd like to read, but it seems to be the only Tabucchi book my library doesn't have on offer. Maybe I'll buy it, "beautiful dreamlike" is very tempting.

You could start a "Primavera in Italia" challenge (spring in Italy) for books by Italian authors or set in Italy.

188kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 4:53am Top

>187 Deern: Fabulous idea, Nathalie! That would allow me to also read The Name of the Rose for the 2nd quarter Reading Globally challenge (Closed and Selective Societies), The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, and the two books by Antonio Tabucchi I own (each is less than 200 pages). I'll post this as a shared challenge, since it was your idea.

189Deern
Mar 28, 2012, 6:59am Top

#188: well, it wasn't exactly an unselfish suggestion... I need a motivation to get through my Eco as well (The Prague Cemetery) and I have to read another Italian book by Dino Buzzati I just got from my library + a Tabucchi of course.

I hope you'll enjoy The Leopard, it's among my favorite books by Italian authors. I found the writing very interesting - the book is not that old (1958), but reads like a 1800s classic for the most part and then, from time to time, there's a sparse modernistic/ realistic and often ironic insertion. I need to reread it. Have you seen the movie?

190rebeccanyc
Mar 28, 2012, 7:47am Top

The movie of The Leopard is great. Someone told me there are two versions (English and Italian) and to be sure to get the Italian one. I am considering reading Eco for the Closed and Selective Societies challenge, unless I can find something from a less familiar/western country.

191kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 8:24am Top

>189 Deern: I'm curious to get your opinion about The Prague Cemetery, Nathalie. I'd also welcome recommendations for novels by other contemporary Italian writers.

I haven't seen the movie version of The Leopard. I'll consider watching a streamed version of it on my speedy new iPad after I finish reading the book.

>190 rebeccanyc: Thanks, Rebecca; I'll look for the Italian version of the movie.

The Name of the Rose is the only book I own that has been mentioned for the challenge, so I'll plan to read it. I'll wait to see what other people plan to read before I buy or borrow any other books. I've done very well in limiting my book purchases so far this year (only six books in the first three months), although that number is certain to at least double next month, as I'll probably go to London in about 3 weeks.

192SandDune
Mar 28, 2012, 12:20pm Top

#188 You're reading all my favourite books at the moment! The Leopard is another one that I love. It's got such a wonderful feeling of fading grandeur and an old world passing.

193jnwelch
Mar 28, 2012, 1:02pm Top

Excellent review of Walk on Water, Darryl. Thumb from me. Too bad the execution fell short in the ways you describe. Sounds like it had the potential to be a good one.

194Linda92007
Mar 28, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Interesting review of Walk on Water, Darryl. I am also planning to read The Leopard. I have a chance to attend a seminar that would combine discussion of the book with viewing the movie, but am undecided as two sessions for the book and two for the movie seems like a bit too much.

195kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 5:12pm Top

>192 SandDune: I'm glad to hear that you also loved The Leopard, Rhian. I'm quite eager to read it ASAP.

>193 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. You're right, it had the potential to be a great book, but it fell short of my expectations. It did receive several glowing reviews on LT and Amazon, though, and no one ranked it lower than I did. One of my partners lent it to me last week, and she enjoyed it, too.

>194 Linda92007: Thanks, Linda. I'm glad that you'll be reading The Leopard, too. If I remember correctly it's a book from JanetinLondon's library...yes, that's right.

196richardderus
Mar 28, 2012, 5:19pm Top

Oooooo The Leopard! Such a beautiful book! I assume y'all're TIOLIing it. I am so sorely tempted to break my no-group-reads vow....

197kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 28, 2012, 5:31pm Top

More sad news: I just received a tweet from @nationalbook that the National Book Award winning poet Adrienne Rich has died at the age of 82. I bought her most recent poetry collection Tonight No Poetry Will Serve, which was a finalist for last year's National Book Award. I'll plan to read it this weekend.

Poet Adrienne Rich, 82, has died

Poetry Foundation page: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/adrienne-rich

198kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 5:41pm Top

>196 richardderus: Definitely, Richard, as soon as Madeline creates the April TIOLI thread.

I made reservations to visit London from April 14-24. The Orange Prize shortlist will be announced on April 17th, so I'll probably buy the books I don't own while I'm there. I'm sure that I'll buy many more goodies, though (*waves goodbye to his noble book buying plan*).

199richardderus
Mar 28, 2012, 5:50pm Top

Hey, you made it to the meniscus of April. That's progress.

200kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 5:54pm Top

>199 richardderus: Right. I think in two of the past three years I went to the New Year's Day sale at Book Culture, and bought at least a dozen books each time. I haven't set foot in a bookstore since the Boxing Day trip to the Strand.

201Chatterbox
Mar 28, 2012, 6:10pm Top

Sigh. I haven't been to London in four years (as of next month); you're planning to go twice this year!
*whimper whimper*
I think this is the longest period of time that I've gone in my life without being in London.

202brenzi
Mar 28, 2012, 6:28pm Top

I'd be glad to have a reason to read The Leopard and The Name of the Rose Darryl.

203kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 7:38pm Top

>201 Chatterbox: Right, Suz. I'll almost certainly go back to London after the Olympic and Paralympic Games have completed. In past years I would always go to San Francisco in April, using the time that I had earned off from work after we dropped 1-2 doctors from the rounding schedule, but I'll go there in June, to see my two friends from med school who live in California, and in October or November, for Litquake and the SF Jazz Festival.

The flights to Heathrow from ATL and JFK were really expensive! I almost decided not to go. Hopefully you'll be able to go to the capital soon.

>202 brenzi: Glad to hear it, Bonnie. I'll definitely read those two books next month.

204Chatterbox
Mar 28, 2012, 7:46pm Top

If I don't go by late May (which I can't...) then I'll shoot for September. Summer is too expensive and too crowded. In September, the weather is often nice and the prices come down again after the 10th or 15th.

205kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 7:58pm Top

>204 Chatterbox: The Paralympic Games end on Sep 9. Ideally I'd like to be there when or before the Booker shortlist was announced, which took place on Sep 6 last year. I checked the Man Booker Prize web site, and the key dates haven't been announced yet. There is a break between the end of the Olympic Games, on Aug 12, and the beginning of the Paralympic Games, on Aug 29. I'll have to see what's on at the NT and the museums, and check the hotel and airline prices before I decide when to make my second trip.

206EBT1002
Mar 28, 2012, 8:10pm Top

Well, I, for one, am glad to see you waving good-bye to your noble book buying plan -- or ban -- or whatever it was. I was done with that. :-P

207kidzdoc
Mar 28, 2012, 8:32pm Top

>206 EBT1002: LOL! I should have said that I didn't intend to stop buying books, especially on trips to my favorite cities and bookshops. My stated goal of only buying 50 books this year is probably unrealistic, considering how many books I buy in London, SF and NYC every year. If I can keep the total number for the year under 100 I'll be pleased, as I have been buying over 300 books annually for the past few years.

208EBT1002
Mar 28, 2012, 8:35pm Top

Oh, well, okay, that all sounds much more sane.
xo

209avatiakh
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 1:49am Top

Darryl - I just read a review of No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller which sounds fascinating, it's aimed at teen readers but I thought you might like to take a look.

whoops, edited to fix link.
Also adding publisher's page here: http://www.lernerbooks.com/products/t/11485/9780761361695/no-crystal-stair

210kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 5:54am Top

This longlist for this year's Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, has been announced:

Afgansty: The Russians in Afghanistan, 1979-89>, by Rodric Braithwaite
Cables from Kabul: The Inside Story of the West's Afghanistan Campaign, Sherard Cowper-Cowles
The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India, by Siddhartha Deb
Dark Market: CyberThieves, CyberCops and You, by Misha Glenny
The Conservatives: A History, by Robin Harris
Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards in Afghanistan, by Toby Harnden
Arguably: Essays, by Christopher Hitchens
Hood Rat, by Gavin Knight
Pakistan: A Hard Country, by Anatol Lieven
People Who Eat Darkness: The Fate of Lucie Blackman, by Richard Lloyd Parry
The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China, by Julia Lovell
A Train in Winter: A Story of Resistance, Friendship and Survival, by Caroline Moorehead
Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and The Saville Inquiry, by Douglas Murray
Just Boris: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity by Sonia Purnell
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs
To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? by Lucy Siegle
Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex by Christopher Turner
Unfair Trade: The Truth Behind Big Business, Politics and Fair Trade by Conor Woodman

The shortlist will be released on April 25, and the winner will be announced on May 23.

More info:

The Orwell Prize 2012 longlist (official web site, which includes summaries of each book)

Christopher Hitchens longlisted for the Orwell prize (The Guardian)

211kidzdoc
Mar 29, 2012, 6:19am Top

>208 EBT1002: Oh, well, okay, that all sounds much more sane.

Sane is probably a relative term in this context. Non-book addicts would probably find this plan extreme at best, pathologic at worst.

>209 avatiakh: Thanks, Kerry. Lewis H. Michaux was one of the most famous residents of Harlem, as he was a longtime bookseller and civil rights activist. He was mentioned prominently in at least two books I've read recently, one being Harlem Is Nowhere by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts. I'll add No Crystal Stair to my wish list.

212gennyt
Mar 29, 2012, 8:26am Top

Interesting list for the Orwell prize - I'd not hear of any of those titles yet. The two that most interest me are the Opium Wars one (after reading Sea of Poppies) and Unfair Trade. Have you read any of them?

213kidzdoc
Mar 29, 2012, 8:35am Top

>212 gennyt: I haven't read and don't own any of these titles, Genny. The only one I'm remotely familiar with is The Beautiful and the Damned, by Siddharta Deb; I think Suz may have read it earlier this year. I haven't read anything by Christopher Hitchens, so I might pick up Arguably.

Hopefully Suz is familiar with some of the other titles on this longlist. IMO the Orwell Prize has her name written all over it.

214rebeccanyc
Mar 29, 2012, 8:47am Top

#207 Oh, how the leopard changes his spots! Back in December and January, it sure sounded like you had sworn off buying books for the whole year . . . and now it's not even April and you want to buy as many as 100 . . . we'll have you back up to full book-buying strength in no time!

#210 I've seen some of these titles in bookstores, but haven't heard of most of them.

215tiffin
Mar 29, 2012, 9:41am Top

The Leopard is one of my all-time most favourite books {referring to a post way up there somewhere}. Pea green about London. Am really due for a visit there.

216SandDune
Mar 29, 2012, 10:45am Top

To Die For: Is Fashion wearing out the World? and Unfair Trade: the Truth behind Big Business, Politics and Fair Trade look interesting. I'm also quite intrigued by Just Boris: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity as I am someone who finds it quite confusing that Boris Johnson has got where he is today (for those not familiar with him Boris Johnson is Mayor of London) but I think I'd probably find it very annoying and end up throwing the book out of the window!

217lindapanzo
Edited: Mar 29, 2012, 10:50am Top

I've been eager to read When the Garden Was Eden and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much.

218mckait
Mar 29, 2012, 2:49pm Top

Oh dear... too much to catch up on here this time.. *waves*

219kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 5:38pm Top

>214 rebeccanyc: I prefer to think of myself as a salamander who can change color to blend in with the background environment.

I may hit or even exceed 100 book purchases this year. There's no way I'll reach 300, though (*whistles, crosses fingers behind back*)

>215 tiffin: I'm glad to hear that you loved The Leopard, Tui. I hope that you're able to visit London soon.

Our LT meet up plans are fully underway, mainly via Facebook. At the moment, five of us are planning to meet in Cambridge on the afternoon and evening of Mon Apr 16: Rachael (FlossieT), Fliss (flissp), Jenny (lunacat), Luci (elkiedee) and myself. If anyone is in or around the area and is interested in joining us, on that day or on some other day, please let one of us know.

>216 SandDune: Several of the books on the Orwell Prize longlist look interesting, particularly The Beautiful and the Damned, Dark Market, Arguably, The Opium War, and Just Boris. Whenever I see Boris Johnson on television I have a nearly unsuppressable urge to break out hair (or sheep) clippers.



>217 lindapanzo: I think you would like When the Garden Was Eden, Linda, especially if you're familiar with the star players of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Jerry Sloan, Chet Walker and Bob Love of the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, that was also the era of the most hideous professional sports uniforms of all time, especially those of the teams in the ABA:



However, for my money, nothing is more revolting than the recent alternative uniform of the Washington Wizards:



No, wait: the worst uniform of all time has to be the cute shorts that the Chicago White Sox modeled in the 1976 season (yes, they actually played in these monstrosities):



Stylin'!

>218 mckait: *assigns Kath to after school detention to catch up on threads*

220tiffin
Mar 29, 2012, 8:03pm Top

Whoa, check out the pipes on that guy in the Wizards uniform (sorry, don't follow basketball so I don't know who he is). In stitches over the Chicago shorts! Imagine sliding into third on bare knees!

221Chatterbox
Mar 29, 2012, 8:25pm Top

I generally like the Orwell prize lists, but this year found a little less that interested me. I have read A Train in Winter and The Beautiful and the Damned and I have Dark Market teed up and ready to go (it's a library tome). I had looked at Lieven's book on Pakistan, but it's a real chunkster, and I'm not sure I'm interested in something that massive, at least on a relative basis. Arguably by Hitchens is a book that I'll buy when it's out in paperback, and dip into, but it's not one that can be read cover-to-cover. I'm simply not interested in the UK's experience in Afghanistan -- too narrow -- and read a book about the Russian campaign that was informative but tedious too recently to have much interest. When it comes to Unfair Trade, I can pretty much guess at the arguments; if it were available here in paperback or from the library, I might succumb. So what interests me are Julia Lovell's book on the Opium War (esp. given the fact that I'm reading Amitav Ghosh's novels), Lucy Siegle's riff on the fashion industry, Hood Rat (which sounds fascinating, if bleak) and maybe People Who Eat Darkness because I'm always fascinated by the darker side of Japan, and have a friend who is a former police beat reporter in Tokyo who knows a lot about the Lucie Blackman case.

222kidzdoc
Mar 30, 2012, 9:22am Top

>220 tiffin: Why, that's Agent Zero in the Wizards uniform, Tui! I'm surprised that you don't know him.

I'll bet that hardly any of the sad sack White Sox that had to don those unis dared to slide head first all season.

>221 Chatterbox: Thanks for those comments, Suz. Hood Rat sounds interesting to me, too. I'll look at some of the titles on the Orwell Prize longlist next month, including Just Boris. He is a fascinating character, and I'd like to read more about him. He seems to have done a decent job as Mayor of London, and I think he's up for re-election this year. I think he is the main person responsible for getting the horrid bendy (articulated) buses off the streets of London, in favor of the new Routemasters, which went into service last month:





223kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 9:32am Top

I've also made flight reservations to visit my parents in Philadelphia, from Apr 30 to May 8. I'm planning to go to this year's PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in NYC, which runs from Apr 30 to May 6, which I missed last year. Is anyone else planning to go? If not, would anyone be interested in a meet up in NYC that weekend (May 5 or 6)? I'll stay with my parents, and take NJ Transit into NY Penn Station.

ETA: I haven't looked at the lineup in detail yet, but one event caught my eye right away: Jamal Joseph, author of Panther Baby, which I received as an ARC from avaland, is speaking with Sonia Sanchez, who is one of my favorite poets, on Sat May 5 from 3:00-4:30 pm at Cooper Union.


In Conversation: Jamal Joseph and Sonia Sanchez


And, following it, there is a talk about Children's Rights from 5:00-6:30 pm, which is also being held at Cooper Union.

Children's Rights

224jnwelch
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 10:35am Top

I saw some team wearing bizarre camouflage uniforms in the NCAA men's b-ball tournament, but I couldn't dig up a photo.

I remember those ridiculous White Sox uniforms. Oh my, what was management thinking?

Good for you for going to the literary festivals, Darryl. I go to readings here, but I have to admit the thought of traveling to a festival like that never crossed my mind. I do like Sonia Sanchez.

225kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 12:26pm Top

>224 jnwelch: I remember Cincinnati's wacky looking uniforms from the Big East and NCAA tournaments:



As much as I hate the school (being a Pitt alumnus), I adored the uniforms that WVU sported a couple of years ago:



Then they had to go and do this to them:



The school name is reasonably legible in close up, but almost invisible when seen on TV.

I definitely remember those White Sox uniforms, too. Even though we were living in Pennsylvania at that time, we were close enough to NYC to pick up televised Yankees games on WPIX, and Mets games on WOR. I'd love to know what the players thought of those unis when they first learned about them.

I love going to author readings and literary festivals, although I don't go to many in a given year. Several LTers got together to attend the PEN World Voices Festival last year, including Suz, Tad, and Lois (avaland, from Club Read); I was also supposed to have gone, but didn't (I think I was sick, but I can't remember). The London Book Fair will take place in April during my visit, but Rachael said that it's primarily for publishers and writers, rather than the general public, so I probably won't go.

226kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 30, 2012, 4:46pm Top

My planned reads for April (as always, subject and certain to change):

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
J.G. Farrell, The Singapore Grip
James Hannam, God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science
Jane Harris, Gillespie & I
Michel Houellebecq, The Map and the Territory
Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard
Alice LaPlante, Turn of Mind
Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
Elizabeth Nunez, Boundaries
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder
Antonio Tabucchi, The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro
Antonio Tabucchi, Little Misunderstandings of No Importance

227Deern
Mar 31, 2012, 7:03am Top

Darryl, I'll share The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro with you. I wanted to get Little Misunderstandings of no importance, but somebody else checked it out just today. I requested it, but won't get it in time for the April TIOLI.

Sadly, Indian Nocturne seems to be out of print, at least in Italian. I hope they'll do a reprint now, but haven't got much hope. I've been to two book shops today and there wasn't a single Tabucchi book on display.

228mckait
Mar 31, 2012, 7:25am Top

I read The Name of the Rose ad loved it. I think I still have it.
Good story!

229kidzdoc
Mar 31, 2012, 7:34am Top

>227 Deern: I plan to read The Missing Head of Damasceno Monteiro tomorrow, Nathalie. I'm sorry that you won't be able to get to read Little Misunderstandings of No Importance this month. I bought the first book from Amazon, and the second at Foyles.

Indian Nocturne is one of eight books by Tabucchi that have been translated into English by New Directions Publishing:

http://ndbooks.com/author/antonio-tabucchi

It seems as though this book is out of print, but I saw that limited copies are available from online booksellers. It seems as though the London Review Bookshop has it in stock, so I'll look for it there next month.

230kidzdoc
Mar 31, 2012, 7:36am Top

>228 mckait: I'm glad to hear that you loved The Name of the Rose, Kath! I've had it on my bookshelf for a while, so I'm eager to get to it soon. I'll probably read it in the middle of the month, so that I can devote as much attention to it as possible.

231sibyx
Mar 31, 2012, 8:24am Top

I'm crazy for Umberto's fiction, but The Name of the Rose is still my favorite!

232Linda92007
Mar 31, 2012, 8:28am Top

That's quite the line-up of books for April, Darryl, and a few that I am also planning to read.

I would love to attend the PEN World Voices Festival someday and have considered it the past few years, but scheduling has never seemed to work out. But we are planning on a Spring trip to NYC to visit my stepson anyway, and I know he would also love to attend, so I think I'll go take a look at schedules.

233torontoc
Mar 31, 2012, 11:00am Top

Yes-The Name of the Rose is terrific. I haven't liked any of Eco's later books, unfortunately.

234jnwelch
Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Me either, and I loved that one, too. Oops, my "me either" is I haven't read any of his other books, although maybe I haven't missed much.

235kidzdoc
Edited: Mar 31, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Book #31: Suffer the Children: Flaws, Foibles, Fallacies and the Grave Shortcomings of Pediatric Care by Dr. Peter Palmieri, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.P.



My rating:

Peter Palmieri is an American pediatrician who has worked as a primary care physician and as a pediatric hospitalist, a pediatrician who, like myself, treats hospitalized children. He bemoans the current state of pediatric medicine in America, and wrote this book as a wake up call to his fellow pediatricians and to parents about his concerns.

When I read his opening salvo, which claimed that primary care pediatricians "frequently mismanage the most common conditions that bring children to medical attention", including the use of antibiotics, which are "routinely prescribed inappropriately to treat viral infections", and the treatment of asthma, which "is mishandled with...stunning regularity", I was ready to join him on his soapbox, although I wouldn't have been quite as harsh in my assessment. My partners and I routinely take care of kids who were prescribed an antibiotic for a reason unknown to the parents or to us. And, hardly a week goes by that I don't treat an asthmatic child that has been hospitalized for a severe asthma attack, whose pediatrician or family practitioner who did not want to label the child as asthmatic, or has told his parents that the child is "too young to be diagnosed with asthma", which is not true. As a result, the child is undertreated and poorly managed, which significantly increases the likelihood of hospitalization for an attack.

Dr. Palmieri lambasts his fellow pediatricians for practicing medicine based not on clinical evidence, but on a "laxity of discipline", including illogical patient management (such as the routine ordering of laboratory tests and administration of medications such as albuterol and dexamethasone for benign, self-limited conditions such as the common cold), parental pressure (e.g., prescribing an antibiotic when a child clearly has a viral infection, due to the parent's demand for an antibiotic), and routine referrals to specialists for conditions that a good pediatrician should be able to manage without assistance. He elucidates, presumably for the sake of parents, common conditions which he feels are frequently mismanaged by primary care pediatricians, such as ear infections, purulent rhinitis (mucus in the nasal passages, whose yellow or green in color is often incorrectly thought to indicate a bacterial infection), and pharyngitis, which is most often caused by a viral infection but is frequently mislabeled as strep throat by physicians based on the appearance of the throat rather than the performance of a rapid strep test.

He gives numerous examples of patients who were horribly mismanaged by incompetent primary care or emergency physicians, until they were fortunate enough to come to him. He, of course, never makes a mistake, and the child always makes a full recovery thanks to his brilliant diagnostic skills.

He closes the book by providing a list of recommendations for physicians to provide better care for their patients. These points are well intentioned, though well known to most physicians, mostly correct, and fortunately less caustic than his previous comments, although this reader felt as if Moses had descended from Mount Sinai to read the "Ten Commandments of Pediatrics" to the masses.

Suffer the Children is a book with filled with good intentions, but one that is plagued and severely undercut by the author's pomposity, lack of tact, and the absence of a good editor, as it was apparently self published. I think this book would be of some limited benefit to families of young children, although the less sophisticated readers may come away believing that pediatricians, except for Dr. Palmieri of course, are generally incompetent, dishonest, and more interested in making money than in providing good care to their patients.

236kidzdoc
Mar 31, 2012, 2:52pm Top

>231 sibyx: I've only read one novel by Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, which I did enjoy.

>232 Linda92007: Thanks, Linda. I've only been aware of this festival for the past two years, but the line up of events is very enticing. Next year I'll consider renting a hotel during the festival and seeing as many events as I can, instead of commuting into the city for selected ones.

>233 torontoc: Which of Eco's books have you read, Cyrel?

>234 jnwelch: I'm also glad to know that you enjoyed The Name of the Rose, Joe.

237roundballnz
Mar 31, 2012, 6:35pm Top

add another voice to the Name of the rose fan base ...... also about to start The Prague Cemetery which looks excellent as well

238EBT1002
Mar 31, 2012, 9:57pm Top

I started The Name of the Rose a number of years ago and stalled on it pretty quickly. I keep thinking I'd like to give it another try. Maybe this is the month.... It seems like a novel I would like!

239brenzi
Mar 31, 2012, 10:05pm Top

All this love for The Name of the Rose is just too much. This is the month. I'll be joining you Darryl. I just can't understand how I've let it sit for so long, jealously regarding all the books next to, above and below it that have taken priority.

240kidzdoc
Mar 31, 2012, 10:48pm Top

>237 roundballnz:-239 Okay, so now the pressure is on me; I have to read The Name of the Rose next month! I'll try to start reading it next weekend; otherwise I'll download the Kindle version (currently on sale for $3.28 on Amazon), and read it when I'm on vacation in mid-April.

241kidzdoc
Apr 1, 2012, 7:02am Top

Please follow me to my new thread!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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