Mark's Reading Place #16: The Dog Days Continue...
This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place #15: The Dog Days!.
This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place #17: The 5 Spot!.
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Books Read So Far...
46) Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson 3.7 stars (audio)
47) Zoo Station by David Downing 4 stars (OTS)
48) You Are Not a Stranger Here: Stories by Adam Haslett 4.5 stars (OTS)
49) Alice In Sunderland by Bryan Talbot 4.2 stars (GN)
50) Drift by Rachel Maddow 4.3 stars (audio)
51) The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri 4 stars (OTS)
52) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 3.5 stars (audio)
53) Voices: A Reykjavik Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason 4 stars (OTS)
54) The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg 3.7 stars (audio)
55) The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill 3.8 stars (OTS)
56) Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill 4.3 stars (audio)
57) What We Talk About When We Talk About A. Frank by Nathan Englander 4.5 stars
58) Iron Lake-(Cork O'Connor) by William Kent Krueger 4 stars (OTS)
59) Defending Jacob by William Landay 4.2 stars
60) Hell and Gone by Duane Swierczynski 4 stars (OTS)
61) 11/22/63 by Stephen King 4.5 stars (OTS)
62) The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman 3.8 stars (audio) (OTS)
63) Still Alice by Lisa Genova 4.5 stars (OTS)
64) Wonder by R. J. Palacio 4.3 stars (audio)
65) The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler 4.5 stars (audio)
66) The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan 3.6 stars (audio)
67) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury 4.7 stars G.R.
68) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 4.3 stars (audio)
69) Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir by Doron Weber 4.2 stars (OTS)
70) River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh 4.3 stars (OTS) Group Read
71) The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson 4.3 stars (audio) (OTS)
72) Round Mountain by Castle Freeman Jr. 4.5 stars
73) I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior by Howard E. Wasdin 3.5 stars (ER) (OTS)
74) Island of Vice by Richard Zacks 3.7 stars (audio)
75) The Odds: A Love Story by Stewart O'Nan 4 stars (audio)
76) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 4.5 stars (OTS)
77) Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury 4.5 stars
78) Train Dreams by Denis Johnson 4.3 stars
79) Cross by Ken Bruen 4.2 stars (audio)
80) Insurgent by Veronica Roth 3.7 stars (OTS)
81) A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor 4.5 stars (OTS)
82) Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward 4.8 stars (audio)
83) Every Man in This Village is a Liar by Megan Stack 4.7 stars (audio)
84) Any Human Heart by William Boyd 4.5 stars (OTS)
85) The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst 3.4 stars (audio)
86) The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker 3.3 stars (audio)
87) Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie 4.5 stars (OTS)
88) Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri 4 stars (OTS)
89) The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson 4.2 stars (OTS)
90) Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne 5 stars (audio)
91) Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories by Edith Pearlman 4.7 stars
92) The Giver by Lois Lowry 4.2 stars
93) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 4.5 stars (audio) (G.R.) (OTS)
Cream of the Crop '12:
1) Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick 4.8 stars (audio)
2) The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson 4.7 stars (audio)
3) Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne 5 stars
4) Stay Awake: Stories by Dan Chaon 4.6 stars
5) What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes 4.7 stars
6) Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo 5 stars
7) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 4.7 stars (audio)
8) Every Man in This Village is a Liar by Megan Stack 4.7 stars (audio)
Group Reads 2012:
August: The Red Pony by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon), The Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
September: In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
October: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
November: Travels With Charley and The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
December: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
The Best of the 21st Century:
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa LahiriThe love I have for this woman!
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson Unadulterated beauty!
Drop City by T.C. Boyle
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiThe start of an ongoing love affair
Essex County by Jeff Lemire Hands-down my favorite GN!
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell A classic mind-f*ck
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout The perfect linked story collection
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane One of my all-time favorite crime novels
World War Z by Max Brooks I know I'm going out on a limb on this one, but it really is an outstanding read.
Best of the 90s:
A Thousand Acres I am due a re-read on this one. I was blown away the first time.
The Things That They Carried
Plainsong I still smile whenever I think of this one
Montana 1948 Ditto
The Shipping News
Interpreter of Maladies Did I mention I love this woman?
Blindness Still gives me chills
Snow Falling on Cedars
Cities of the Plain What a great finish to a fantastic trilogy
Best of the 80s:
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry This is probably my 2nd favorite book of all time
The Color Purple by Alice Walker Great film too!
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy A nightmarish western. Unlike anything else.
Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro Another great film too!
Ironweed by William Kennedy
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
Eight Million Ways to Die by Lawrence Block I had to throw a crime novel in there and this is one of my all time favorites!
I had to include a couple bonus NF titles:
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer OMG!
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally Sorry, but another great film too!
Hope I'm not crashing the party too soon. Thought I'd better get my seat because this place will fill up fast. Nice new thread, Mark - Sweet Sixteen!!
Love the photo, Mark! Look at me, posting so early on your thread! Don't get too used to it....
Hi Mark, guess I'll have to go see what I've missed on your previous thread, but in the meantime, Happy 16th! The image I do see in the top post is gorgeous and that would be the second one because unfortunately the first one doesn't appear. I trust it's beautiful too.
Okay, lots of book news. I finished Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. What a perfect little book, lovely in every sense. Thanks to Joe for handing this one to me at the Book Fair. Man-Hug!
I had mixed feelings about the Age of Miracles. This really should have worked all the way. Thompson had a terrific idea in place but for me it bogged down in the teen-angsty stuff. She missed the bulls-eye on this one.
On audio I started The Terracotta dog, book 2 in this fun crime series. I get the biggest kick out of his use of profanity. It always gets me chuckling.
Mamie- You crash my Sweet-Sixteen any time your heart desires. There is always a place for you in the front row.
Chelle- Thanks! Actually, I'm having problems posting pictures up there. First nothing came up and then one came up and then none. Frustrating.
Terri- "Don't get too used to it...." Come on, why not? Glad you liked the train pic, actually there is supposed to be 2 there.
Hi Mark, no Marilyn pic this time? Maybe she only read three books in her life! I agree with you on The Age of Miracles. I don't understand why that book wasn't classified as YA. Another fan of the Little Chinese Seamstress. It's in the reread section of my library. Try to stay cool.
Thanks, Mark! First I could only see the bottom train pic, and now I can only see the top one! How DO you do that?! They are both really cool. Did you see the typo on the last thread about Balzac and the Little Chinese Mistress - that had me cracking up! It could be a whole different story.
Donna - you might want to look for that one. *wink* I know what kind of books you like...remember Wild Cheryl Strayed?!
For fans of the Life of PI, the official film trailer was just released and it looks pretty cool:
Here's the lengthy trailer for Cloud Atlas. Very trippy, with a killer cast:
Happy belated birthday Mark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My hubby is out picking up a pizza and I'll crack open a beer in your honor - I think Kona Brewing's Wailua will hit the spot.
I love everyone's best of lists and, not surprisingly, many of your favorites are also mine. I may have said that already....
So glad you read Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. It is a lovely little gem.
I started a new one today - Safe from the Sea. Have you heard of it?
Back to the circus.......
Terri- It's always good to see you, "weak flesh" or not!
Donna- Did you see my Marilyn pic from the last thread? That was my favorite so far. I might still include it, although I'm having problems posting pictures tonight.
Now, I know why you and Bonnie gave the Age of Miracles a lower rating. It just didn't quite gel, with those characters.
Mamie- LT is acting funny and it won't allow me to post both pictures. I think it came up once and then switched to only one. Frustrating.
I had a good laugh over "Balzac and the Little Chinese Mistress". I did not catch that the 1st time. At least it wasn't me. LOL.
Joanne- Thanks, my friend! I hope you guys are having a fantastic time, (dumb question, right?). And it looks like you are picking a good beer to drink in my honor. Cheers! Not familiar with Safe From the Sea. Looks good.
This might be in bad taste but I thought it was pretty damn funny:
Mark - trains have always been my favourite mode of transportation. So no complaints from me for continuing the motif for round 16.
I thought the author of The Age of Miracles showed promise and the premise was good but it just sort of fell apart Mark. BTW I read recently that she was paid one of the very rare (and getting rarer all the time) $1,000,000 advances! Seems like that should have gone to Gillian Flynn.
Love the new thread, Mark. Our first house was very near a railroad crossing and I loved to hear the whistle at night and imagine where it was going or where it came from. I'm also a fan of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress and I'm very interested in seeing what Ang Lee will do with Life of Pi. The Cinematography looks amazing.
I took my son and his friend to see The Dark Knight. In light of the Colorado incident, I stayed with the boys and was pretty much bored with most of the movie, however,the last 30 minutes was outstanding. 2 hours and 45 minutes was a bit too long for the whole ordeal.
Oh...I am not sure about seeing a movie of two of my favorite books!! Chews nervously on fingernails...
It looks like a beautiful day and comfortable for the next few days. Whew, we need it. This was supposed to be my weekend off, but I'm working today and taking off tomorrow. We could always use the money but not that bad.
I haven't heard it mentioned much on LT but I'm starting the Family Fang, (despite the title it's not a vampire tale) but I recall it getting solid reviews. Looking forward to it.
And I'm listening to the 2nd Inspector Montalbano and still dipping in and out on Binocular Vision, which is a perfectly lovely collection.
Paul- Glad you like looking at the train pictures. I like the moodiness of them too!
Bonnie- You are right on the money about Gillian Flynn. Thompson offered so many fresh ideas in her book, I wish the story could have been as good.
Lynda- Thanks! I love the way Life of PI looks too. It looks stunning and so does Cloud Atlas. Let's hope the rest of the film is as good.
A good friend of mine liked the new Batman better than the Dark Knight, which I have a hard time believing but I'll see it eventually.
Kim- I try not to get worked up about film adaptations. I'll check out the reviews when they come out and get a feel for it then. But every once in awhile, they get it right.
Ellen- Did I go someplace? LOL. Nope, still here in the heat. And yes, we are getting rain here and there, better than many other places.
Love your current reads, hope you are enjoying them!
Adding my admiration for the trains up top. Like Paul, it's my absolute favorite way to get anywhere, although, as you know, it's not as easy to do here in the states. Sad.
A very attractive thread here.. and I am way behind on all of it..
cool rainy mojo coming your way~
Whew... I finally read this thread in its entirety. I think I may have to claim it as a "book read".
I'm off to continue lurking around.....
I am looking forward to an hour of undisturbed reading time at lunch today. I am deep into Devil's Peak and things are starting to get twisty on me. I think I finally know why the BBC bought this book. At first it was just a standard police procedural and I kept thinking why bother when you have already done Wallender and done it so well. But now I think I know why. I may have to go to the library to get the second book in this series just to keep up with the TV shows! (I don't like to see them first. I would rather read them first.) Can you believe that I haven't read Life of Pi! Got to get busy on that one. The trailer looked good so maybe the book will be as well. Not sure what I think about a movie version of Cloud Atlas, especially with Tom Hanks in it. I am not a fan of his work. The only movie I ever saw of his that I liked was Philadelphia.
I went to see the new Spiderman last weekend and was so disappointed. I just couldn't muster up any sympathy for the Peter Parker in this one. He was just so irresponsible and so stuck on himself. Too much testosterone and teenage angst. I may try to go see the Batman movie sometime this week, but won't cry if I don't get there. I didn't go to the last one so probably won't miss much in this one either.
I am really enjoying listening to Krakatoa:The Day the World Exploded.
Hi Mark, nice new thread, and I love your train theme! I had seen that you were reading Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, and I hoped that you would love it. Seems like you did!
Happy belated birthday to you -- hope it was as wonderful as you are!
Hey, Mark. Liking the noir and the spooky train photos up top!
Glad Balzac hit the spot! Debbi has The Family Fang, so I'll look forward to your reaction to it.
You know I'm just a totally gone fan on Inspector Montalbano, so I hope you like Terra-Cotta Dog.
I'm reading a good YA, Mockingbird, along with the latest Montalbano, The Age of Doubt.
A nice NORMAL summer day! I know many of you are saying, NORMAL, what's that? And I completely agree. We haven't had many. And guess what? I agreed to work tomorrow too! If it would have been another scorcher, I probably would have said no. Hey, more bucks for books!
I am really enjoying the Family Fang. This style, quirky and humorous, works well for me and I hope it stays consistent.
Amber- I'm glad you liked the trains! It was something I just stumbled on and folks seem to get a kick out of it.
I don't think I've ever taken a long distance train ride in the US but when I was stationed in Germany, we took trains all the time. I do like the experience.
Linda- Hiya stranger! Thank you! I miss your visits.
Kath- We've actually been getting a fair amount of rain, a little above normal for the month and more scattered stuff in the forecast too. Although the grass and other plant life look pretty ragged.
Maggie- Well, at least this was an easy thread to get through, unless you counted the last one too. Thanks for stopping by.
I will be working tomorrow too. However, I won't get paid extra for it, but will get an extra day of vacation for doing so. I am going home to settle in with a pizza and a night spent watching the Olympics. I had a very nice lunch hour by myself in our break room reading Devil's Peak. This one is getting good.
I will be working tomorrow too. Only I won't get paid extra for it. I do get an extra day of vacation but no money. I am getting ready to go home to settle in with an evening of watching the Olympics with a nice pizza. And then reading more in Devil's Peak. I had the whole lunch hour with no company so got to read and things are getting good.
Benita- I agree both film adaptations of Life of Pi & Cloud Atlas is going to be tough and take just the right amount of artistic vision. Both films are being directed by talented film-makers, so we will see.
Sorry, you didn't care for the latest Spiderman. We haven't seen it yet either, although it has received decent reviews. I think the latest Batman might be more problematic for me.
Enjoy your pizza and the Olympics.
Anne- Thanks! And it's good to see you. Balzac was wonderful.
Joe- So you are reading the 14th Inspector Montalbano? I have some catching up to do, my friend. And this series remains consistent? If so, that is very impressive. I'm really enjoying book 2. The sudden bursts of profanity, always crack me up.
Caro- Yep, I'm reading them in order. I did book 1 in May and hopefully do book 3 in September.
Mark, I'm quite excited about the film adaptation of Life of Pi. Ang Lee is no small-weight and the preview did grab me. As for Cloud Atlas, I didn't watch the preview as have yet to read the book and want absolutely no spoilers! Maybe the movie's release will encourage me to get to it sooner. Glad the weather is giving you a break. We've had a few almost perfect days with tolerable temps, but cloud cover spelled persistent migraines for me this week. I am so loving East of Eden all over again, and am several chapters into Thirty-Three Teeth. Life is good!
Happy Saturday, kids! I'd be happier if I stayed home but off to work to make extra bucks. At least it'll be another nice summer day and I have several good books to keep me company.
I saw a terrific little indie film last night called "Martha Marcy May Marlene", about a young woman who flees a dangerous cult in upstate NY and how she comes to terms with what she has seen and done. Dark, atmospheric and creepy at times. Highly recommended.
Ilana- I think Ang Lee is a good choice too, sure he has his stinkers too, but when he is on, he is on. Hope you can squeeze cloud Atlas in at some point. It's a true classic. And enjoy Dr. Siri!
Terri- You are forgiven, my friend. No problem at all. Thank you!
>33 Yes, Mark, the Montalbano series is so consistent it's hard to wait for the next one to come out.
We drive back today. Hard to end the good vacation life, but there's no place like home . . .
Glad yesterday was better for you, Mark. I just finished my LTER and now to read a kindle book by an author I follow on twitter. I don't know how much I will like his writing.. but he is a swell guy, lol.
Morning Mark - sorry you ended up working today. I finished The Terra-Cotta Dog yesterday and liked it even better than the first book. Haven't written my review yet, but I'm hoping to get to it today.
I finished Devil's Peak late last night after watching the Olympics pageant. I am sold on this author. I pushed this book up on bedside reading table because somebody (I think it was you) said that the BBC and hired Sean Bean to star in the BBC mystery production of this title. That in itself was enough to make me read it, but up until about 2/3's of the way through the book I wondered why. Up to that point it was a fairly standard police procedural with a prototype hero that had been better done by other authors. Wallander comes to mind. Then, when I thought I knew where it was going, all of a sudden, the plot got twisty on me. From that point on I could not put the book down. You have got to read this one and let me know what you think. I liked it. I really liked it.
Meyer builds this story slowly, ... from disperate pieces, in much the same way as Kate Atksinson does in the early Jackson Brodie series. Meyer takes the stories of three different people and weaves these seemingly unrelated pieces into a whole connected story that evolves and eventually engrosses the reader. For the patient reader the wait is worth it, but I am afraid that many people won't wait that long, and therein lies the rub. Meyer writes in Afrikaans and the books have to be translated. (as far as I can tell this is a good translation) This makes him an important new voice in the world of literature. I am happy to recommend this book to readers and will read more of his books.
I liked Man, Woman, Eat, Drink, but other than that I have not seen any Ang Lee movies. I also have not read the book Life of Pi so will have to get around to reading that one. I just can't keep up with all the books to movie conversions. I wouldn't feel pressured to read this one, but several people have told me it is a wonderful book. And Martha Stewart recommended it several years ago on her TV show. So naturally I will have to read it.
Hi Mark, just checking in with you after a few days off.
Hope all is well and good in Mark-Ville :)
Oops. Missed you birthday. So sorry. Happy Belated Birthday then Mark! Hope the rest of your weekend is restful.
Mark - wishing you the very best of weekends. "Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene" looks like a great film but I'm sure tracking it down here will be tough.
As promised, another fine summer day and yes my books kept perfect company. I finished the delightful, (another word I can't use in normal conversation) The Terracotta Dog. Along with the Dr. Siri series, these make ideal tweener books and this one also was perfect on audio, read by the masterful Grover Gardner.
Making one of my patented left-turns, I started on audio, Empire of the Summer Moon, which has been recommended by a couple different people I know and it is excellent. Comanches on the plains. A terrific narrative flow on a fascinating subject, IMHO, of course.
I'm also highly enjoying both the Family Fang and Binocular Vision.
Joe- Have a safe trip home! I'm glad to hear the Montalbano series is so consistent. I'll try to read another one in a couple of months.
Kath- 2 nice days in a row! Yah! Tomorrow is supposed to be a little warmer. Did you like your LTer?
Mamie- Funny, we happened to be reading The Terracotta Dog together. It was another gem and I found it very amusing. The bursts of profanity crack me up every time.
Benita- I didn't mention the Sean Bean connection, (see how honest I am?) but I enjoyed your thoughts on Devil's Peak and will keep an eye peeled. Sounds good.
Ang Lee has done some terrific work, like "Crouching Tiger" & Brokeback Mountain, both which I highly recommend.
Megan- Good to see you! I've missed your visits. All is well in Mark-Ville.
Ilana- Thanks and no problem. I'm glad to be home, it's been a long week.
Mark - I also have Empire of the Summer Moon on the shelves and will get to it soon.
I forgot to mention, one of my mail collection boxes, was blown up last night. Some arsehole dropped a heavy duty firework or two inside and blew off the lower door and it burned up the letters inside. Fortunately there were only a half dozen or so letters, but it still sucks, especially if those were bill payments.
The little girl in the photo is fine, she was no where near! (It's a stock photo)
Paul- "Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene" was very strong. Nice visual style and solid acting.
I love reading about the American Old West and Native American history. Early on, he described the teaming of the Comanches with their horses and they quickly became the best horsemen in history.
Hi Mark: hope you enjoyed the beautiful day today. I was at the ballpark, where else, and it was probably the nicest weather day of the year there. Great game too, with the Cubs beating the Cardinsls on a suicide squeeze.
Marky-Mark .. I started the CFP thread here
It has a link to the wiki page too ....not sure I did that one right though. I dropped a note to Jim to ask him to take a look and offer some advice. hopefully he doesn't fall over laughing when he sees what I did.
Caro - your link just takes us back to the top of Mark's thread.
Mark - That's terrible about the mailbox. So lucky that no one was hurt.
Ugh! ok .. here goes ... what about this time?
ETA : ok, i tested it and it works. phew
Linda- It sounds like a gorgeous day at the old ballpark! And the Cubbies beat the Cards! Yah! Hope we can make it 2 out of 3 tomorrow.
Caro- Yes, that's the correct link. I always thought that the Wiki link was just the area where you can find the thread you are looking for. Am I wrong?
Mamie- Yes, glad no one was hurt. It was late at night, so it would have been unlikely anyone was hanging around. Strange to see a bare spot where the box used to be.
I don't know..but I thought wiki pages are easier to manage lists because then others can edit a page by adding themselves to it ... e.g. the TIOLI wiki pages.
By the way, Mark .. I started a list on the wiki too and listed Round Mountain in it with you as the original owner and a comment that the book's been passed forward. Take a look.
I would be very angry if one of my bill payments was messed up because of said arse blowing up the mailbox. What are people thinking??? Still, I'm glad no one was hurt and that you are having some normal summer weather. You deserved a break...... any rain in sight?
You and Mamie have recently read The Terra Cotta Dog, which I read a while back. It makes me want to pick up the third in that series, The Snack Thief, which I own but have not yet read.
We watched the 2011 version of Jane Eyre, (finally). It starred Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and the great Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. It was a dark, moody version and I thought well-made. Another chance to experience those lovely words.
I picked up the audiobook of the Sandcastle Girls, so I hope to get to that in a few weeks. I was lucky enough to snag 3 new releases from the publishers this week:
Advent the 1st in a new fantasy series
Midwinter Blood New Scandi-Crime!
Caro- I didn't see it on the Wiki page, I'll have to check again.
Ellen- Fortunately, there were only a few pieces of mail. I'm not sure how they'll get the word out to the customers. Maybe there were some fragments left.
I'm looking forward to continuing the Montalbano series too! Lots of fun.
geez! I hope that doesn't start again.. or perhaps it never stopped. Some years ago, blowing up/ setting on fire/ dropping trash into mailboxes was done fairly often in the area outside Boston where I lived. And weirdly, when we moved back to PA there was a bit of it that I heard of. For me, the result was that it has been many years since I have used a box outdoors regularly. I usually step in and drop my mail straight in @ the P.O. Unless it is just before a pick up is due, then I will do a drive by :) We have one next to the P.O. that is on the drivers side!!!! and three steps outside the door of the post office :) This is easy for me, though because the P.O. is about 2 blocks away.
I will be interested in hearing your thoughts about AVENT, as that one looks appealing..
86) The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker 3.3 stars
Okay, the premise is terrific: One summer morning, in the sunny climes of SoCal, the earth’s rotation suddenly begins to slow, adding time to each day. The troubles this event causes, is both disturbing and fascinating. The story focuses on eleven-year old Julia and her parents and how they deal with this unusual, possibly catastrophic, circumstance and this is where my problems begin to sprout, like pesty weeds. Young teen angst, laid on with a generous hand, along with uninteresting, lackluster characters, bog this book down and that’s sad, because this could have been a solid cautionary SF tale.
p.s.- Like any rabid book lover, I loved the idea of adding more time to the day, (as I lovingly glance at my over-burdened TBR shelves) but sadly had to dismiss that fantasy. No food, sunlight or electricity would be a price I'm not willing to pay. Well, back to reality...
A very belated happy birthday. I hope you have a great year ahead of you. I love the pictures on top of your thread. The picture on your last thread was quite nice as well, but honestly it remembered me constant of WWII so it always gave me a bit of a sad feeling to visit you. Luckily I have none of these feelings with the new pictures.
So sorry about the firework incident. Fortunately there was only material damage, but still.... I do have to admit I had to chuckle a bit about paying the bills by post. Of course it's due to my age (24), but I have never payed a single bill by post in my entire life. I hope you don't think me awful young by admitting this.
Have a good Sunday
Hi Mark - I do remember when blowing up mail collection boxes was "a thing" several years ago. Why are people so stupid? That's terrible. It also lends support to my argument that fireworks are the devil : )
Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the Jane Eyre film. I haven't seen that one yet. I do love the novel though, and keep meaning to reread it. Perhaps I'll do it, via audiobook, sometime soon.
Kath- I'm sure it was a random incident! Those residential collection boxes don't get as much activity. A lot of my customers just leave the outgoing for me, in their boxes.
Funny, one time a customer, (she's a little loopy) walked passed me on her way to the collection box and she was carrying a letter. I told her I would gladly take it but she looked at me funny and said that was okay she would rather put it in the box, like she couldn't trust me. Yes, I admit it, I keep a trunk of outgoing letters in my root cellar, (which of course, I really don't have).
Lilian- Great to see you! Thank you! Hey, I pay most of my bills online or on automatic withdrawal too. It's effortless.
Glad these pictures at the top make you more comfortable. LOL.
Kerri- I'm sure it was a one-time incident, so I'm not worried. We have family coming over later for a get-together, other-wise I'm going to chill and read and pop over here occasionally.
Oh, and I forgot to add that I had one of these last night. One of my favorites. Do you know this beer - New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red?
#54 : Ellen, you should get a copy of The Snack Thief. That's a good one in the series.
Mark - I think I should warn Lucy that her name's up on the CFP wiki under Round Mountain because there are 2 people listed under her name as requesters for her to pass it forward when she's done with it. :-)
Some of my neighbors leave outgoing mail in their mailbox often for our mail carrier to pick up on their rounds. My neighbor across the street is an elderly lady and when she leaves her outgoing mail in her mailbox, she also puts some candy or a wrapped cookie with it as well. :-)
Kerri- No, I haven't tried New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red, but it sounds tasty. Where did you get it and is it available for purchase?
We cracked open a growler of Emmett's McCarthy Red Ale, which is also very good. (I can't find an image).
Caro- I'll also be looking for the Snack Thief. I did mention it to Lucy about the CFP thread and left her the link.
" she also puts some candy or a wrapped cookie with it as well" Ooh, my kind of customer!
#63 - You can only get it in Wisconsin. They don't distribute anywhere else. I can pick you up a couple when we go to the beer fest in a couple of weeks, if you'd like. I think Joe picked up several the last time he was in Wisconsin and that was the last one. I'm not even a huge fan of fruity beers, but this is made with Wisconsin cherries and it's amazing!
I saw the movie Martha Marcy... And was impressed also. I kept expecting it to be a typical commercial movie and none of the scenes turned out as I anticipated. I enjoy the actor who played the cult leader. I would like to see him in some more leading or supporting actor roles. Im going to read Life of Pi now. It's been on my bedside TBR bookshelf for some time now but I would like to read it before I see the movie. Looking over your favorites list, I see we agree on Lonesome Dove and Cormac McCarthy's trilogy was one of my favorite Westerns. I enjoy his clean, spare writing and have tried to duplicate it as a writing exercise myself.
46: Mark, that stinks about the mailbox prank. Will it be replaced? Our collection boxes are becoming few and far between. If something happens to one...poof...it's gone for good.
Good review of The Age of Miracles? Of course, it doesn't hurt that you agreed with my assessment! Yet another book that was overhyped...imo.
Hope you're having a good, relaxing Sunday, Mark.
Don't know whether you looked at the Sunday Trib today, but there's an article in the Sunday magazine about what to do with those bookshelves now that reading is becoming "paperless". Here's a line you'll enjoy: "Current magazines stil recommend buying hardbacks for almost nothing at garage sales to fill shelves to make a person appear well-read." !! No, this isn't a New Yorker spoof. Unbelievable.
No mention of the outrageous idea of actually reading those books.
It also talks about the exciting opportunities to display all sorts of non-book items. It's a good reminder of how unusual all of us apparently are these days.
Hi Mark I am just dropping by to wish you a belated Happy Birthday. I have fallen so behind on everyone's thread but will be home next Wednesday or Thursday and will then return to my regular stalking. Stay cool!
So, I am jumping on the Inspector Montalbano bandwagon! I just got the first one, The Shape of Water on my Kindle. Should be good airplane material. Do you think the have to be read in order?
"When the New England winter settled in, my mother bought oatmeal, and on those dark mornings it bubbled on the stove. We hated oatmeal. But it was the glue of normality, the stuff that was supposed to stick to kids' ribs through a morning of math and grammar."
-Binocular Vision (Home Schooling)
Bonnie- I hope I can bookhorn Istanbul Passage in somewhere. It looks good.
Kerri- I wish we could join you guys in Madison. Sounds like a blast. Maybe next year. Yeah, you can pick up us a couple 6-packs, if you remember and if it's not to much trouble.
Mary Beth- It's great to see you! I've missed seeing you around. The actor who played the cult leader in "Martha, Marcy" is John Hawkes. He is continuously popping up in indie films like "Winter's Bone", "Higher Ground", " Me and You and Everyone We Know" and many others. I first saw him on Deadwood.
I'm a big McCarthy fan too, but seriously NEED to get back into reading him.
Mark - Love that quote - it was one that I marked, too. Home Schooling was one of my favorite stories in there.
How's your Sunday shaping up? The weather here is gorgeous - a lovely 78, so I am headed out to the deck for a bit of reading.
HI Mark! Hope you are enjoying your weekend
I think that is so strange that someone would actually take the time to blow up a mailbox. Don't they have anything better to do with their time?
#68 :Joe ... I hope they're wrong and that reading will never be completely paperless. I like the convenience of ebooks when I travel (ack..that's tomorrow!) but I definitely prefer being able to touch and at times, smell (unless they're from libraries or used books) paper books.
to fill shelves to make a person appear well-read
LOL ... I know someone who does just this. I was invited to someone's home for a dinner party and, having drinks in their 'library', I wandered over to the bookshelves and started commenting on books I'd read and asked about some titles I was unfamiliar with .... only to have the host's child pipe up that nobody in the house EVER reads them. I think the hosts wished the earth would open up and swallow them just then.
Caro, that situation could happen to me too (sans the child of course), because most of the books on my crowded shelves haven't been read yet either. When I do read them, they either leave the house or a very few get put on a "reread" shelf hidden away...
eta: Joe, I used to love reading magazines in general and men's magazine for their general irreverence and political incorrectness, and came across this suggestion of filling shelves with the "right" titles (with a list of said titles generously included) to make one appear well-read more often than once. I think that notion has probably been around ever since people started keeping collections of books in their homes.
Hah! Love the dinner party story, Caro! It's like stupid trump l'oeil, hoping no one will question the illusion.
Jeesh, am I glad I don't read men's magazines, Ilana. Apparently you're supposed to leave your brain cells at the door.
Sorry, I got pulled away and had to attend to our family guests, it was "you know who's birthday" after all.
Had a nice afternoon with everyone!
Donna- I'm pretty sure they will replace that collection box. There are not very many residential ones left. The individual carriers do not even deal with these boxes anymore. There is a collection person who goes around emptying each box, this way it can be tracked more consistently.
I was hoping for a little more out of The Age of Miracles. You are right, the buzz was unwarranted in this case.
Joe- I did not see that article. Wow! I could not imagine filling a bookcase with books I would never read or care to read.
I know this sounds super geeky, but I have 2 bookshelves that flank my TV and my eyes are constantly drifting to MY BOOKS, even when I can't make out each title. Plain & simple, there is a love affair going on there!
And you know what else is sad, I just had a houseful of company and not one person commented on the shelves or books. It's like they were invisible, just some more dorky furniture.
Judy- So nice to see you! You've been missed. I hope you are having a nice visit and I look forward to your stalking next week.
Kim- You will love Inspector Montalbano! It's a perfect mystery series. Funny and smartly written.
Mamie- It was a very nice day here! Not much reading but I will try to get a few pages in before bed. 78 degrees, huh? That sounds heavenly. We were about 10 degrees warmer. It's clouding up out there now and it's got a bit more humid.
Chelle- Thanks! I'm having a good weekend. I'm sure the mailbox thing was kids being bored, must have got tired of their video games.
Caro- I love your dinner party story! Wow! Would a person be so shallow, that he would stock his bookshelves with books, strictly for decoration and have no worries that no one would call him or her on it?
I'm sure most of us book-lovers are the same way, if I go to a home and I spot bookshelves, I'll check them out, when it's appropriate and I'm sure I could spot a fake when I see one. LOL.
Ilana- I think that's different. Over half of my bookshelves, contain books I have not read but I am still informed on nearly every title. My GOAL is to read every book, eventually anyway, that's why I HAVE it! Normally, after I read or listen to a book I own, I'll either keep it, (only the chosen few), lend it out or pass it on. It's a no B.S. Zone.
Joe- Come on, don't you read Maxim every month? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....!
Hah! I know what you mean, Mark. We have books everywhere in our house, and it's rare that any guest comments about them. Maybe they figure they're just for decoration and we haven't really read them. :-)
I have 2 bookshelves that flank my TV and my eyes are constantly drifting to MY BOOKS
I have to laugh at that, Mark. Lo these many years, I have resisted having bookcases in my bedroom, but in the last year, that had to change, so now there are two of them. Unfortunately, every time I pass them (and I pass them fairly frequently), I stop and say "Oh, I need to read this one!" and "Oh, I need to read that one!" It makes them SO much harder to resist than the ones whose titles I can't read until I get up close!
Joe- I guess we are in a league of our own. True-bookies. Truly, have you ever been in a house with well-stocked bookshelves, that you weren't immediately curious about? It's like a powerful magnet.
Unless, I happen to spot a bunch of James Patterson novels, (sorry, JP fans, my snobby side comes out at times), which might warrant a cursory glance at best.
Totally agree, Mark - if the house is filled with books, we find them irresistible. One of the best was a couple who squeezed shelves into every inch of their attic, and they were filled with wonderful old books, including a ton of vintage paperbacks.
Well, I have another 6 day week ahead of me, hopefully it goes quickly and smoothly. I am loaded up with books, which should help immensely!
Joe- NOW, those look like our kind of people! LOL.
>>>>>>>> sending speedy week energy>>>>>>>>>>>
I have a bed with a bookshelf headboard. I also have a smal bookcase. #hard to ignore
Oh, having difficulties ignoring the book bullets!
I have lots of shelves filled with lots of books and flanked by stacks of books... But the only people who have commented are people who don't know us (pizza delivery guy, charity door knockers, etc).
Need to do a cull of books that won't be read or reread, so I can move some of those stacks onto the shelves and get some floor space back!
We have books everywhere, too, and you know who never fails to comment on them - not the adults we have over but the kids' friends. They are always amazed that we have so many. When the kids were younger we kept separate bookshelves in our foyer that just had YA books on it because their friends would often stop over to borrow books or ask for recommendations. It always made me sad these kids who are interested in reading but whose parents didn't read and therefore did not prioritize books.
Hope the week goes quickly for you, Mark!
Oh, Mark, it's so easy to fall behind here! I'm so glad no one was hurt in the mailbox incident, but how awful for the senders/recipients of the contents!
Ha. All caught up -- not only on your thread, but on all my threads!
This will last for exactly 17 seconds.
Just catching up again, I got The Family Fang as one of my santathing books and I'm hoping to finally read it in August, so good to hear that you are enjoying it.
(Ixnay the exploding mail box! the town removed all mail boxes a few years ago...for just that reason...but, the dumpster next to the hardware store, where Mark is working with their remodeling, was set on fire/blew up , a couple of weeks ago....some fools set fire to the "trash" not knowing that flammable solvents were underneath)
I am LOVING Empire of the Summer Moon. If it keeps up at this pace, this will be a top read of the year! How do these quiet little gems get by us? This was just released in '10.
Actually, my cousin told me about this title at last year's family picnic. Next time, I'll pay better attention. I need to send her a glowing e-mail.
Kath- Thanks for the " speedy week energy" blast. I could use it, especially early in the week. Warm one today, a little more humid.
Careful those books don't tumble down on you in bed! Ouch!
Tania -Good to see you! Sorry about the book bullets! It's an LT hazard. Hey, at least people comment on your books, like I mentioned up above we had a bunch of family over yesterday and several had not seen the new shelves, no one made a peep. Oh, well! Nascar must have been on!
Mamie- I love your comments! It looks like your kids have good friends! What's up with these parents anyway? I can't wait to have my daughter back home, so I can start hammering her with books again. She's been reading a lot lately, which does this old heart proud.
And speaking of Bree, she just binged on DA and watched both seasons in a week. And she said, "Dad, I didn't know you watched that show!" Kids, these days.
Anne- Yes, it was fortunate that there wasn't any other damage. I'm wondering when they are going to put a replacement box in? I'm sure people have been calling in.
Ellen- I hope you spent more than 17 seconds perusing my thread? That took 30 seconds.
Kerry- Good to see you! I'm really enjoying the Fang Family, but this will not be a title for everyone. Hey, it's working for me.
What is "santathing books", may I ask?
Jude- Lots of action in Eastern Ohio! I thought you said it was quiet there, (not counting hunting season)?
Sigh - added Empire of thew Summer Moon to the bulging BD WL. Drat you, temptor Mark!
Getting ready to watch the Walt & Jesse Show! This is a definite weekly highlight for me...
Jude- Damn fools!
Prue- We do spread it around over here, no one is safe. I'm sure I'll catch a round from you again soon.
Good to see you!
>91 well now, I may just have to look into that one then ;)
(eta: library has 3 copies- yay)
Do I watch Walt and Jesse or beach volleyball??? Decisions, decisions, decisions........
#92 Mark - santathing is Librarything's secret santa which runs each year from about November. It's very collaborative, you can make recommendations, people ask for help in choosing for their assigned person etc etc.
I'm looking forward to reading The Family Fang, it has had a few interesting reviews.
I spent more than 17 seconds on your thread, Mark, but I was "caught up" for less than that!
Good episode of Breaking Bad. Quieter, more of a set-up episode. Walt continuously proving how much of a monster scumbag he is.
Hey, I snagged a copy of City of Women from ER. Yah! I think this is 3 months running. The problem is, I never received my May winner, Barbara Demick's latest, Logavina Street. I'm supposed to mark it unreceived after 7/29. Has anyone else had an ER book come up missing? Bummer.
Megan- Empire of the Moon is excellent. I'm listening to it but I also have a borrowed copy at hand too. Some good photos included. I might be buying my own copy, at some point.
Bonnie- It looks like you were able to watch both. Hope you enjoyed BB.
Kerry. LOL. I was reading santathing as one word and didn't make the connection, now it's obvious. I should be wrapping up the Family Fang today.
Ellen- I was just teasing you! I think setting LT time-limits is a great idea and it's tougher than you think. I should do it more often.
I agree with you Mamie.. When kids do not grow up around books, it is less likely that they will become
readers. Sad when potential readers miss out due to parents who don't give them the opportunity.
I too, am trying to spend more time away from LT, sort of working on a morning/evening schedule..
hmmm we'll see.
Oh, my first ER book never showed up. *sad face* Every now and then I pop over to the ER page and mark it as still not arrived...
Rewatching "Firefly". Too much fun! Not really an Olympics watcher, and nothing else on tv, so we'll be revisiting some old DVDs for a while.
Mark - That's so great that your daughter is moving back! You must be so excited! ANd you snagged an ER book - congrats! I still have not gotten around to checking out Breaking Bad (did I get that right?) - after the Olympics probably. Hope today is a good one.
First things first - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Break out another brew and continue the celebrating! :)
Since I heard a story of kids throwing popsicles in mailboxes I have been using the inside of the PO exclusively. Hate the thought of sticky mail!
I had one ER win that never showed up a long while ago. I wanted it really bad and finally wound up buying it... glad I did too! I have one outstanding from a couple months ago - hope it arrives soon. Jeremy has been on top of these no-shows lately and doing a good job :)
And... I think I've finally caught on to why you are accepting more work hours. I'm guessing it's not so much for extra money to buy books, but extra time to listen to them! Am I right here? lol
Hope your weather is tolerable - have not been following it lately. We've got 73 and breezy here today - but heat and humidity predicted to increase as the week goes on :PPPPP
My apartment is full of books, and that is going to be a potential problem. I am moving September 1 to a house and will have to move boxes and boxes of books. I will also have to buy bookcases. Lots of bookcases as I have about 1,000 unread titles in my possession. I am excited about living in a house rather than an apartment, but the thought of moving is killing me. All that packing and just when school is about to start. It will be a problem. But as long as I have a bed and hot water I should be alright till I can get organized. My first order of business will be to get a stackable washer and dryer set. Second is bookcase, and third item will be a TV with a screen big enough that I can see it. Then some bigger bedside tables, so that I can have more books on the TBR pile at night.
Hope this heat isn't too bad for you, Mark. Where I am the storm clouds are piling in, but last night's storm didn't bring down the heat or humidity any.
I'm a ways into Gone Girl, and it's got me hooked all right. What happened to Amy? No, don't tell me. I'll find out soon enough.
Great discussion on books in peoples houses Mark - you would need eyes in the back of your head in our pad I'm afraid and not a James Patterson in sight.
One of my best friends moved house a few years ago and had had himself built an impressive set of shelves to form a nice library. He had around 5000 books but had them strewn all over the place and in no sort of order at all. I offered to sort all the books out for him and shelved them all alphabetically by author and chronologically for each author. What amazed him the most is that I could put most of the authors in order without referring to any reference source or even the inside of the book itself.
He thought I was doing him a great favour (it took me around 16 hours solid -2pm to 6 am -fortified with several bottles of vintage port) and didn't realise what a kick I got from it.
LOL! Sounds like something I would do, Paul. On someone's thread a couple of years ago, we talked about book voyeurism. I'm a terrible guest, in that my eyes keep flicking to the bookshelves until I can get away for a good look. Conversely, we get frequent comments about the numbers of books we have, but few people actually comment on the content of the shelves. I feel a little miffed when that happens! Perhaps, like Joe said, they assume the books are for looks.
I had several books not show when I first joined ER, but the situation seems to have gotten better (for me, at least), and the last book that never arrived was from the Feb. 2010 batch. It was for the Age of Orphans, and I ended up buying a copy.
Sorry folks, I can't stop gushing about Empire of the Summer Moon. I haven't had this kind of goofy grin on my face, as I walk along, in quite awhile, (some may argue that, that's my normal look but that's utter B.S.).
I'm sure much of my enjoyment is my love of this period in American history, plus I keep flashing to Lonesome Dove and the classic film "The Searchers", which is actually mentioned in the book. The section on the Texas Rangers is freakin' awesome.
Kath- "I too, am trying to spend more time away from LT". Well, I'm glad you are able to sneak in a visit to me. I'm honored, although we do go waaaaaaaaay back!
Tania- Good to see you! I saw in the paper today that Peter Jackson is now planning to split his film version of the Hobbit into 3 parts. Come on! Do you really think that's necessary or is it just about the money?
I'm not watching much of the Olympics either, although I have it on in the background and follow it in the paper.
Mamie- I'm still hoping to get my ER copy of the Demick book. I was very excited about that one. I hope you can get to Breaking Bad one of these days. It's excellent.
Funny you should mention the New Glarus beer. I saw an article yesterday, in the Daily Herald I think, about someone who makes a run up there once a month for beer. They associate themselves with Wisconsin and refuse to sell their beer outside the state.
I know we haven't talked about the Playaway devices, very often, but that's how I'm listening to empire of the Summer Moon. It's a very nifty device, with a single book downloaded onto each one. The pros are that it's ready to go immediately and always remembers your spot and the negatives are the poor volume control and that the pause feature only lasts 20 seconds or so, before it shuts down, (to save battery power, I'm sure) but it can be a hassle for me, since I'm pausing often.
Claudia- It's good to see you! I always enjoy your visits. It was my birthday? Oh, that's right, that's ancient history now, LOL.
What month did you win that ER book ,you are waiting for? Mine was in May.
"I'm guessing it's not so much for extra money to buy books, but extra time to listen to them!" You have me so figured out! Am I that transparent?
Benita- Congrats on moving into a house! That's great! But moving a 1,000 books, not to great. Hey, you never have to go to the library again, am I right?
Good luck on the book shelf shopping. Have you started a plan on how you want to sort them?
Joe- I'm so thrilled you are diving into GG! It is such a roller-coaster read! It's one of the very rare books that live up to it's hype, IMHO! enjoy, my friend!
Lisa - So often conversation has passed me by much to the chagrin of SWMBO as I have delved instead and usually unbidden into the contents of a hosts bookcase/shelves. Also have received agonised looks depending upon the tuts or longing sighs that result from said delving!
Mark you are being as successful as usual in chasing a book up my TBR list - The Searchers is probably my favourite movie bar none.
Hi Paul- Sorry, I did not forget about you, I just got called away for dinner. I LOVED your story about helping your friend organize his bookshelves. 5,000 titles too? What a venture. Has he kept it up, like you organized it? With that many, you have to have some order.
I know you are a huge fan of "The Searchers" and so am I and to find out that the film was based on an real-life incident, involving a 9 year old girl being kidnapped and raised by the Comanches. I always felt that Wayne's character was a bit of a racist but the Comanches were a ruthless tribe and it was common for whites to hate and fear them.
Lisa- I love your thoughts on "book voyeurism"! I'm the same way and maybe I just can't understand how someone can walk past them, like they are invisible or just props.
It was so nice to have Becca here for the Meet-Up, she was attacking the shelves, with perfect abandon. That doesn't happen very often.
Linda- I like Spotted Cow (it's a lighter beer), that's the only New Glarus beer I've tried. I'd like to try more of their brands.
BTW- You would LOVE Empire of the Summer Moon.
Mamie- What an amazing pairing that would make! I think I'm beginning to know your taste and there is no way you are not going to LOVE Lonesome Dove. Easily, one of the best books I've ever read.
All this gushing over Empire of the Summer Moon and I'm just over halfway.
Mark, I love the image of you walking along, delivering mail, with a big ol' goofy grin on your face! What fun to have discovered a real treat of a book! It's also now officially on my WL (like that's an extraordinary event....)
I tried a Playaway device, it didn't work for me only because I listen to books to help me fall asleep, and it was too hard to find my place again. But for long walks, I think it would be perfect-maybe I'll look into one for my walks with Sherlock.
the Yellow Birds
Hey, I snagged another book from the publisher! This one has been getting some very strong buzz. I think it comes out in September. Anyone else hear anything about this one?
Ellen- I'm glad the image of my goofy grin, put a smile on your face. And yes, expect more gushing!
Becca- Good to see you, stranger and world-traveler! I wouldn't buy these Playaways but they sure can come in handy from the library.
If you were listening to an audiobook on another device, wouldn't you have the same problem if you fell asleep? Just curious.
I gave in and added Empire of the Summer Moon to my wishlist. It sounds like it would be an interesting counterpoint to The Unredeemed Captive, about a young girl who was captured and chose to remain with her adoptive family. The book is about the Abenaki, Huron, and Mohawk Iroquois tribes of New England and New York.
Empire of the Summer Moon looks tempting...
Bird books... you and rd :)
Hey, Mark! Yes, GG is continuing to be a great read, with the twists coming fast and furious now.
I'm also reading Dream Team by Jack McCallum, about the '92 Olympic team with Jordan, Magic, Bird and the others. Great fun to get an inside view.
Hey Mark, I also won a copy of City of Women - here's hoping it arrives! I've had one book not show up but that was about a year ago, I think. And speaking of ERs, I just started Battleborn which I won a couple of months ago. It's a short story collection set mostly in the American West, I think. I've only read the first story but it was pretty good.
I'm on the homestretch of Empire of the Summer Moon. 3 or 4 chapters left. Dyno-mite! I also have about 40 pages left in binocular Vision, so I'll be wrapping that one up as well. She is truly an amazing writer.
I woke up this morning just after 4am, and the power was out, so I was afraid to go back to sleep. This rarely happens in our area, so I had to get ready by flashlight, plus no coffee & no LT. WTF? My wife said it came back on close to 7. Hey, no biggie! There are plenty of folks who not only lose their power constantly but for much longer stretches of time.
Lisa- I'm sure you will love Empire of the Summer Moon. It's NNF at it's very best. The Unredeemed Captive sounds very good, (loved your review too!). I'm not as familiar with Native Americans from that region. On the WL it goes.
Kath- Bird books? It's been very warm but the lower humidity make it manageable.
Joe- Glad you are enjoying GG. The twists and turns never stop. I lent my copy to a friend/co-worker and she's loving it.
Dream Team sounds interesting too!
Katie- It's good to see you! It's been awhile. I'm looking forward to City of Women. I'll be watching for your thoughts on Battleborn. You know we are running a Short Story thread over on the 75. You should stop by.
I took "Empire" out of my "recently purchased non-fiction cupboard" - SWMBO is still grinding her teeth as she bought a lovely antique cabinet ostensibly to find space for her collection of linens and was horrified that I solved my own space issues by filling said cabinet with unread non-fiction. Ideal for the purpose actually!
Will start the book very soon as it is now "on deck" as Morphy coined.
Err...100 messages behind.....
I'll just pop in and say hi and hopefully catch up with you sometime next week. :)
I skimmed and of course you have been doing some good reading so all is well with Mark. Have a fantastic day! :)
Er, me too ... 124 to be exact, LOL. I see on your profile page you are reading Binocular Vision. It's popular right now, so I'm looking forward to hear what you think of it.
Really, Paul, you couldn't leave your wife ONE cupboard for linen, LOL.
This is Walt with his baby and his son. They are watching Scarface.
For anyone interested, here's this week's "‘Breaking Bad’: The Week’s 5 Biggest Walter White WTF Moments" (I love this stuff!):
Paul- I'm nearly finished with "Empire". We are in the 1870s, the last days of the Comanche Nation. Brutal & heart-rending.
I love your antique cabinet story, spoken like a true bibliophile. I'm surprised you weren't injured.
Valerie- Good to see you! Catch up when you can!
Nancy- Just a few pages left in Binocular Vision. I'll be finishing it early tomorrow. It's been fantastic.
Ellen- Have a great time camping! Hope the weather is perfect for you guys.
No power? That's no fun - glad it was back by 7. We had no hot water - ignition failure! Luckily, I had this problem once before when Craig was away so I impressed the kids with my amazing knowledge of how to fix this problem. And no, the answer was not call the repair man! So glad you have been loving Binocular Vision. That's one of my favs from this year so far.
Well, I have to get Empire of the Summer Moon now then dont I? How great for you to have a pearler read. I love them the most out of all the kinds of reads out there ;)
Yeah, Mark. The ER book I am waiting for is from the May batch My Struggle: Book One. This one seems a little different from the kind of thing I usually read - but sounds interesting. Surprised I got it. Well, technically, I haven't got it yet! lol
I have to snicker when people get nervous about losing their power. We lose it frequently. This morning we lost the phone for a few hours. Living on an island is not always fun but we are used to it ;-)
I seem to remember that you love Murakami as well. I'm currently reading Kafka on the Shore, my third book by this amazing author. So far it is really great again, although I wished
I didn't read the scene about the murder of the cats by cutting their bellies open with a scalpel, ripping out their still beating heart, eating this, followed by sawing of their heads. Although on the upside I'm glad I didn't read this chapter while eating my breakfast.
END OF SPOILER
Unfortunately I have to be at work in half an hour so I have to wait till tonight to continue reading. Bummer.
#107 Love, love, love your story Paul. I could see myself (among many others in this community I'm sure) doing this just for the fun of it as well. Actually a friend of mine who is on LT as well (stortemelk) helped me organising my bookcases after I moved a couple of weeks ago and had we great fun in doing this 'job'.
3 days down, 3 to go! It's also been very warm, low 90s for the rest of the week. Ugh. I'll be wrapping up both Empire of the Summer Moon & binocular vision. I think I'll start the audio of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the Group Read. It's a longish book, so I might as well get cracking. I also plan on starting the Giver. A shorty, Yah!
Mamie- I can't really complain about the power loss. In the suburb where I work, they lose power on a regular basis. Any bad storm, one section of town or other, goes out.
Glad you guys figured out the water heater problem.
Megan- "A pearler"? Enlighten me, my friend. I'm sure it's going to be a good one.
Claudia- I'm still waiting on my ER. I don't care if it takes a lot longer, (I have plenty to keep me busy), I would just like to get a copy.
As far as power loss goes, we are definitely spoiled rotten. I guess if you're used to it, it makes it much easier when it happens.
Lilian- Nice to see you! I'm glad you are enjoying "Kafka", despite the nasty cat sequence. It was my first Murakami and still remains my favorite. Are you going to join us on the G.R. of 1Q84 in October?
BTW-What part of the world do you hail from?
Mark, my friend, I am semi - back - long story on my thread -and my reading too. Ohh The Giver . I read that to my two sons eons ago, and all of us loved it ! I am sure you will too! I've looked at Family Fang - I see you've given it 4 stars - do you think I'd like it?
Midwinter Blood - oohh new Scandi crime!! I'll be on the look out! The next book in the The Keeper of Lost Causes Scandi crime " series" by Jussi Adler-Olsen is coming out in late August. I think it's called The Absent One .. I can't wait!
I gave my father a copy of Empire of the Summer Moon last year for Christmas. He read it and said it was OK but that the guy didn't do his research about some areas of the Staked Plains. He also said that the book was a little short on the ecology of the area and how that affected the outcomes, but overall he thought it was a good book. My Dad is a little hard on authors who write about the Great Plains because he thinks they come into it with preconceived notions that the natives were all good and that modern farming is bad. Anyway, what he said about it was enough to have me put it on my To-Be-Read list.
How do you listen to Non-fiction? I have to read it to get at the meat of it. Listening just doesn't do it for me unless it is truly light weight history. I am doing find with Krakatoa:The Day the World Exploded but when I read Founding Brothers I ended going to the paper and reading because I kept needing to check into the footnotes. Krakatoa is narrated by the author who does a good job. However, I really needed a map of the area to follow the events so ended going to the library and checking out the book. When I opened it I discovered that there were footnotes on the pages that the narrator was not reading in the recorded version. That will teach me to trust the recorded version of a book. Always check out the hard copy when you listen to a book as parts of it may be missing in the recorded version.
That being said, a friend of mine listened to the great book Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is a book full of footnotes. Some of which are pages long and end up being part of the story. I asked her how she was managing to make any sense of the story at all without the footnotes. When she looked at my paper copy of the book she was surprised to see how extensive the footnotes were. She checked and the recorded version was reading the footnotes but telling the listener that they were footnotes. She thought that they were just part of the normal narrative.
Bottom line - I am always afraid that I will miss something of importance in non-fiction if I listen to it. Don't have that problem with fiction so I listen to lots of fiction.
I forgot to tell you that I lived in Southwest Kansas for three years. Not far from the town of Satanta so I was really in Quanah Parker country. The town I lived in, Ingalls, was right on the Arkansas River just west of Dodge City. Nowadays that whole valley is full of corn and cattle instead of buffalo and prairie chicken. It is an amazing region. Most people think it is empty but it really isn't.
I loved The Giver and had no idea it was the first in a quartet. Must get the others!
Mark, I just know you'll love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. If I hadn't read it so recently (exactly 12 months ago!) I would have gladly joined you because it's a definitely reread for me. Enjoy!
Whoops! I made a mistake in my last message. What I meant to say was I wish I didn't read this scene right before my breakfast so not meaning wishing I didn't read this scene at all, although it does make my stomach turn a bit.
I wasn't planning on joining the group read for IQ84. I thought I would move on to After Dark first, but things can always change. Especially since I didn't make a single plan for anything beyond August. It will depend on how my thesis is coming along and whether I can find a good and cheap copy somewhere in the next two months.
To answer your question, I'm from Amsterdam, born and raised. I go to one of the universities here and I'm still (and I think I'll always be) very much in love with this city. If I make mistakes in my writing, which I'm sure happens to me quite often, it's because English isn't my native language, so I apologize in advance. Have you ever visited the Netherlands?
Off to bed now. Good night.
"The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country-and we haven't seen them since."
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for president. One hopes it's the same half."
-Gore Vidal (RIP 1925-2012)
(sadly I've never read him)
Big book day! (Don't you love it?) Beside sweating profusely, I managed to finish a couple titles and start a couple more. I wrapped up Empire of the Summer Moon and as predicted, it was outstanding*.
**FOOTNOTE- I've always considered myself a fiction reader but nonfiction is clearly dominating my top reads, once again. 6 out of my top 8 are all nonfiction. I thought this was worth noting, proceed to current post...
I finally wrapped up Binocular Vision, which was excellent. She is a treasure. It took me awhile to finish it because I was dipping in and out. This is the ideal collection for that approach!
Okay August is starting with a major bang, because I've listened to the first 6 chapters of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and it's jaw-dropping. This might be my first back to back 5 star reads, in a long long time. Hugs to Lynda for just the right nudge. I'm having a beer in your honor.
I also just started The Giver, which immediately holds much promise. Okay, cease the gushing, it's getting nauseating.
Deb- Okay, it's clear I had a great book day and now I have a Tonto appearance? Could you ask for anything better? I think you might like the Family Fang, although that can be a tricky call with this type of book.
I have The Keeper of Lost Causes saved on audio, I hope to bookhorn it in. Hope to see you again soon.
Kath- Danger Will Robinson! Hey, you need a little to spice things up, right?
Joe- I'm so glad you enjoyed GG. It's one of those rare titles, worthy of the hype. I'm also glad Debi liked The Family Fang. I know some of the subject matter can turn people off, but it sure worked for me.
Benita- I think "Empire" is a perfect gift for the right person. I do not have a deep knowledge of the Great Plains like your Dad but I think this was a very well-balanced book, all the way around. Did your Dad read The Worst Hard time?
I LOVE listening to nonfiction. I'm just the opposite of you. I think I prefer it. I do like to have the print book handy for reference. It's not always possible but I try. In this case, I have a copy, (not mine) of "Empire". There are some great photos in there.
Have a great trip to Kansas!
Chelle & Nancy- Big hearty waves!
Valerie & Lisa- I love the beginning of the Giver. Excellent introduction by Lowry and fantastic illustrations. Did the versions you guys read, include them?
Ilana- Smith pulls you in immediately. I am going to LOVE this book. I can't believe it has taken me this long to get to it. The audio is stellar!
Lilian- I hope you can find time to join us for 1Q84. We would love to have you. I really enjoyed After Dark too!
I visited Amsterdam twice, while I was stationed in Germany during the early '80s. I really liked it there but of course I was young and more interested in partying than anything else. I've grown out of that...somewhat.
No, I didn't have an illustrated version of the Giver. I put that in past tense because I think I may need to treat myself to the whole quartet. :-)
Mark - three writers whom I have books on the shelves have passed away this week:
Gore Vidal as you pointed out - read most of his historical fiction including Burr - not an absolute favourite if truth be known but a sharp mind for all that.
Sir John Keegan - military historian and biographer. Have read his war histories and his short biography of Churchill; and
Maeve Binchy - some would say chick-lit, others rollicking good yarns. The prolific irish writer was a favourite of my mothers.
Just checked my library and I've requested A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on audio! Only 1 request ahead of me. Thanks for the tip, Mark!
>133 A "pearler" is a good one, a gem, a one of a kind....
Turns out it's Australian, but we use it here too sometimes just to try and show solidarity for our cousins across the ditch :)
(Across the ditch = the 2000km gap between NZ and Australia)
You have pictures? I'm jealous. I can imagine just how much the illustrations would add to the story! I hope you continue to enjoy the rest of the book as much as you've enjoyed the beginning. :)
Hot & sticky high 90s, today & tomorrow. Pant, pant...what would I do without my loving books to keep me distracted? Perish, in a stinky pool of...ewwwww.
Lisa- This might be one I would like to own, so I'm glad the illustrated version is available now. Now, I have to WL the other 3.
Bonnie- You will adore A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It has aged like a fine Kentucky bourbon.
Paul- I appreciate the info. I did not realize Mr. Keegan passed. I have not read him but I do own a couple of his World War books. Also never read Binchy.
Kerry- Thanks for the audio heads-up on Stonemouth. I've never read Banks. And, to think, I consider myself pretty well read. NOT!
Nancy- I hope you snag it soon. It's incredible.
RD- Hugs back! Miss your perfectly cantankerous your visits!
Megan- You are a sweetheart! Thanks for the definitions, for this simple Midwesterner. I love "across the ditch".
Valerie- They are perfect & creepy illustrations too. I want to thank you for the nudge on this one. Hugs!
I have never read Gore Vidal either.. sad to say..
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, still on my shelf.. waiting.... waiting..
Wishing you a Belated Happy Birthday Mark!!! Hope you have a great year ahead!!!
I haven't been around much, work and Ty's baseball games have kept me busy. Some how I've still found time to read. Right now I'm working on Ordinary Thunderstorms. I think you will like this one. I'm also reading Escape From Camp 14.
Hope you have a good weekend!!! Happy Reading!!!
Hi Mark! You are made of strong stuff - not one of those sissies in the a/c PO! I would have totally melted by now in your shoes What a mess that would be :ppppppppp
Have a great weekend - hope it includes some cool time for reading ;-)
I came to curmudge as requested, but Facebook has thwarted the plan by making me laugh and "awww" simultaneously:
It was just a matter of time considering all the great reads that I've gotten off your thread! *HUGS*
I was trying to find the illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline, that were included in the Giver but nothing comes up. Grrrrrrrrrr...this guy is very talented too!
This is his other work, (although his pictures from the Lowry book are completely different):
I hope you are enjoying The Giver, Mark! I know how delicate your sensibilities are so I'll understand if you can't make it through the book... Kidding of course!
Kath- I've had Jonathan Strange on my WL forever. I think LT opinion has been divided, so I'm sure that's why I haven't jumped in yet and it's a BIG BOY too!
Linda- I'm sure Joe answered your question about The Giver. It's definitely YA and actually it's pretty smart too. It looks like both my kids read it in their school days.
Tammy- Good to see you! After loving Any Human Heart, I was an instant fan of Boyd and I also have a copy of Ordinary Thunderstorms waiting in the stacks. Look forward to your thoughts on Escape From Camp 14. It's getting great LT buzz.
Have a great weekend.
Joe- I'll need to WL the other 2 "Giver" books. I'm really enjoying it. Glad you are enjoying book 5 of the Dr. Siri series. I'll get to book 4 in September.
Claudia- I would just like an occasional break from the heat. 80 degrees would be a relief. I work tomorrow but I hope to reserve a large chunk of Sunday for R & R.
RD- I was expecting a classic "curmudge" but I'll take an "ugly bald puppy" pic.
Valerie- I try to give credit where credit is due! It "really" helped that the Giver was a shorty. Have you read the other 2 books?
Deb- I appreciate your concern for my "delicate sensibilities". Not every one has that faithful Tonto love!
Ok, all caught up and ready to move forward. I read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn last year and consider it an American Classic, it was a 5 star read for me.
Empire of the Summer Moon has been on my wishlist for some time, ever since I read an excellent novel about Cynthia Parker, mother of Quanah Parker called Ride the Wind.
Nope, I havent, but I've been warned that it's not as good as The Giver. I do plan on reading them one of these days but I suffer from the common malady of too many books, and not enough time. Actually I just found out that there is a 4th book coming out this year that is supposed to tie all the stories together.
Funny, Mark. The Family Fang caugt my attention at the library last week, so I brought it home but doubt if I'll have time to get to this one anytime soon. I'll keep renewing till I can't.
I think the playaways are a terrific device, especially for you. No cd's to carry around, no need to stop and change disks. I think they're genius!
I read Vidal years and years ago. I think it was Lincoln. Very good as I remember, but haven't picked up anything else since. Maybe it's time to change that.
Mark! I hope you're doing well.
I'm glad you enjoyed Binocular Vision. I'm still plugging away at it and have enjoyed what I've read so far. Although I haven't read from it this week. Eek!
I haven't read any Gore Vidal either, but I remember him being quite entertaining on political talk shows, although he had been losing his sharpness a bit during his final years. Very sad.
As my regular visitors know, I have a crush on Rachel Weisz, (Paul's a rabid fan too). I just finished watching "The Deep Blue Sea" and it was a nice showcase for Ms. Weisz, who I think goes as Mrs. Daniel Craig these days. It's a very good period film.
Judy's back! Judy's back! Yes, it's looking like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is shaping up to me a 5 star read for me too! I'll have to look into Ride the Wind.
Valerie- I see they have the 3 book set of the Giver for about 17 bucks, over on Amazon. I'm thinking about it, although I'm also considering this illustrated version too.
Lynda- I've probably listened to at least 7 or 8 Playaways so far and they are very convenient. I am behind on my reviews but I'm going to try to do one for the Family Fang. I really liked it.
Kerri- It's been a long hot week but I'm hanging in there. I'll be watching for your thoughts on binocular Vision.
Linda- Good to see you and thanks for the rec! Much appreciated.
Ahhhhh Rachel Weisz. I might reconsider my options for her. Just sayin'
I discovered Bagram Ibatoulline with The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and promised myself I'd seek out more books illustrated by him, so I've just reserved The Giver from the library since I see it comes so highly recommended.
For those interested in the Steinbeckathon, I've put up the discussion thread for The Red Pony: http://www.librarything.com/topic/140559
Oh, if I knew about the illustrated version, I would have been all over that! Too bad you couldn't find any examples to post on the thread. I am mighty curious to see what they look like.
I found a few illustrations from The Giver here: http://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Giver_illustrated_Gift_Edition.html?id=hK...
Ilana- I saw some of Ibatoulline's other work, like Edward Tulane and they look very interesting. Thanks for posting the link to the illustrations.
*Now beware, the only edition of The Giver that has illustrations is this latest version.
Thanks for the Red Pony link, I'm thinking about joining for that one. It's probably been nearly 40 years since I read it.
Valerie- There are not a ton of illustrations but the ones included are quite vivid.
Have a good Saturday everyone! My sixth day finally! Pant, pant!
Count me in as a Rachel fan, too, although I liked her more in the first Mummy film, when she had a little more meat on her bones...
I'm just getting my verbalistics going, too, Mark, but I wanted to stop by and say hi. Debbi talked me into not going downtown to work because of Lollapalooza (Jesse and his gal are down there enjoying it with a zillion like-aged colleagues).
Are you watching any of the Olympics? The U.S. women swimmers are unbelievable. And they all seem to have their heads screwed on straight, too, at a very young age. Missy Franklin is my fave, although Soni, Beibel, and Leckey are all amazing. And Phelps - he just somehow willed himself to another gold last night.
Hi Mark: I hope you're staying cool. Looks like one last hot day and then maybe a string of 80s. As long as the humidity stays away, maybe it'll be more pleasant for awhile.
Just finished a Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe) mystery late last night and now I want another. I think I've got only about a half dozen to go til I've read them all. Love that series.
Hi Mark! Just checking in and making sure that I stay caught up over here! Sorry you have to work today. It's muggy and overcast here - we're supposed to get rain, but so far just a mere sprinkle this morning.
The sky quickly went dark, the wind picked up and it's raining pretty good out there. Yah! Especially after such a hot & sticky day. They say there is a cold front behind this batch of storms. Fingers seriously crossed.
I finished and loved The Giver. Hugs to Valerie for the nudge. Funny, I was not even familiar with that title a few weeks ago. LT works it's magic.
Since my copy of Canada came in to the library, after a lengthy wait, I'll jump on that one next. I've heard good things and I need to return my gaze to Mr. Ford.
I'm over the halfway point in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and this one continues to be a joy. I can't believe how fresh it still feels after more than 60 years.
Amber- Yah, another Rachel fan! I like the fact that she is very attractive and equally talented. Killer mix.
Kath- Hope you found some words, my friend or has it been a mute day?
Joe- Funny, I was just mentioning to Sue about Lollapalooza and this storm that just blew through. Could make it nasty down there. You know I love music and would love to see many of the bands playing there but I can't handle the crowds, the heat and the ridiculously expensive crappy beer. I wonder how Ozzy and Sabbath were?
You know I haven't been watching much of the Olympics. My TV stays off most of the time. I catch up in the sports section.
Linda (my other Chicago Peep!)- It was gross today. My T-shirt and work-shirt were soaked. I would love to have a few "normal" days in a row. Enjoy your weekend.
Mamie- Thanks for checking in. I hope this rain is moving your direction, although it's already moving past.
>178 American swimmers...Id have to chime in with the guy who pipped Phelps to the post in one of those races. Now he is pretty nice looking! Although, I dont think the early starts would be good for our love life....then again, neither would my weightlifting husband person ;)
I like the fact that a few of my LT pals post their projected reads. I did it last month and here's my list, with the usual flexibility quotient:
Canada Already in hand!
Let's Pretend This Never Happened Laura sent me the audio and I've heard it's highly entertaining.
the Red Pony I have been absent lately on the Steinbackathon. That NEEDS to change.
An Artist of the Floating World It's a shorty and Caro sent me a copy!
The Lost Ones An overdue ER
Shadow and Bone Sadly, a title from last month.
Hi Megan, I know you weren't talking to me but I'll give you a wave anyway!
Thanks to Ilana these are a couple illustrations from the Giver.
I'll be very curious too see what you think of Canada by Richard Ford . It seems to be getting a lot of " hype" here in Canada. Of course, as an American, your opinion may not be valid! ;) I'm always so delicate in what I say, aren't I, dear Lone Ranger.
Well, I am planning to read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry next, if projected reads interest you! :)
If I were single, living in an attic...
After a hot & muggy day, I can understand this one...
Hi Mark: we had a four hour power outrage, a lot of thunder and lightning but just a few minutes of rain.
I ventured off to Waukegan tonight for the Happy Together concert of 1960's bands. Absolutely terrific!!
Enjoy your Sunday!!
Mark - more than a day away and so much to comment upon!
"Rachel Weisz" - more fan than rabid I hope mate but sometimes I have my doubts. One of my favourties definitely and eve more so since she is a dead ringer for our onw dear Montreal Miss.
The Red Pony was my first Steinbeck read. We had an English lit teacher who used to insist upon us preparing a book cover for all our essays - since I have eight thumbs and two fingers unlike most normals I was horrified at this, but I recall getting an A-grade for my Red Pony cover which believe I traced from an old edition.
The US swimmers have been magnificent and single-handedly kept the stars and stripes at the top of the medals table. I understand that Jenn/Jonah know Missy Franklin from school races in Colorado.
I also enjoy seeing everyone's projected reads but I have stopped putting mine up as I invariably fail miserably and get my head turned by all the whispering paperbacks waiting to way-lay me in my reading room.
Love the pictures from The Giver. The blue one is very atmospheric.
"Single and living in an attic" - I would be as equally likely to have the second illustration realised in my dream pad as the first - as it ticks most of the boxes!
Happy Sunday! I'm off 2 days in a row and I'll be on vacation the following week, finally get some fishing time in, sadly it's been over a year. What? And hopefully when I return things begin to cool off measurably.
Anyone watch Showtime's "Homeland"? We watched the 1st 2 episodes and it's terrific stuff. Claire Danes & Damian Lewis are amazing. It doesn't come out on DVD until the end of the month. It might be one I'd like to pick up.
Deb- "your opinion may not be valid!" Now, that doesn't sound like the Tonto I know and love? What happened?
Funny, I was just getting ready to add The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry to my WL after hearing a glowing report. I can't wait to hear what you think. Is this a library book?
Linda- Sorry to hear about the power outage. Bummer. At least there was some cool air behind it. Yah! Sounds like you are having a nice weekend.
Paul- Thanks for all the comments! I always love hearing your opinions on things. Good story on The Red Pony. It may have also been my 1st Steinbeck, way back in grade school, it was either that one or the Pearl.
Have you read the Giver? It's a nice quick read.
"as it ticks most of the boxes!" LOL.
Hmmm Can't say that I have ever read in the nude.. in a towel, maybe... in the distant past.
The Giver is on my shelf for someday...
Morning Mark! 2 days off - can you handle that? Then vacation the following week? HEAVEN! My two oldest absolutely love to fish - usually this time of year they are up in Minnesota roughing it with Craig and loving every minute of it.
Haven't seen Homeland, but it did look good in the previews that I saw, and I love Claire Danes.
We are getting more rain this morning - sure hope you're right about the cool air. Yesterday it was like walking through soup outside - yuck!
87) Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie 4.5 stars
Two privileged boys, in their late teens, are sent to a remote mountain village, as part of Mao's "re-education" plan for China. They are to spend four years toiling like slaves. A pair of events arise, that change their young lives forever. First is the introduction to the local tailor’s daughter. She’s lovely and smart and they fall for her instantly. The second event, is finding a trunk full of banned books, containing some of the world’s finest literature.
This is a beautiful novella, full of hardship and wonder, powered by simple but lilting prose. Many LTers have adored this book and now I can join the happy ranks.
** I want to thank Joe for handing me this gem at the book fair and stating simply. "You need to read this."
I definitely must read Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress - it appeals a lot.
Has anyone seen the film adaptation of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress? I just added it to my Netflix queue. It looks lovely.
Kath- I've not read in the nude either. I'm more comfortable with a few items of clothes on. the Giver is a quick read. You could easily do it, in one sitting, in a towel if you like.
Morning Mamie- I would love to get up to Minnesota one of these years, to fish. I love the outdoors.
I finally read and loved your review of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Nice job!
Rhian- Good to see you! Yes, it's a perfect little book. I hope you can get to it.
Nice review of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Mark.
Does reading while taking a bath count as nude reading?
89) The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson 4.2 stars
“Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art. Their children called it mischief.”
Meet the Fang family! Caleb and Camille and their children, Annie and Buster, known simply as Child A and Child B. The parents are performance artists, spending their lives, creating art out of bizarre everyday situations. The kids play along, mostly because they have no choice, setting them on a disturbing road to adulthood, mined with many psychological pitfalls.
This is a fresh and funny novel, but does contain a healthy share of dark and unsettling moments. It will not be for every reader, there is child abuse, but if you lock in, there is much pleasure to be had.
“Your in a weird place right now?’ Buster said, his voice rising. ‘Right now, right this very minute, I’m sitting on my childhood bed, drinking Percocet-laced orange soda out of a straw that I’m holding in the gap where my tooth used to be, before it was shattered by a potato. Mom and Dad are in the living room listening to La Monte Young’s Black Record at a ridiculously loud volume. They’re wearing Lone Ranger masks, which seems to be a recurring thing for them.”
wow The Family Fang sounds like one I would enjoy!
Perish, in a stinky pool of...ewwwww. You made me laugh out loud here, the dog is giving me funny looks now
I'm 25 pages into Canada. I like Ford's clean straight-forward prose. This might be one of the best days we've had in awhile. Sunny, breezy and mercifully cool.
Darryl -Yes, I would consider reading in the tub, reading nude, unless you wore swim trunks or something. I shower mostly, so that won't work for me. Good to see you sir!
Chelle- The Family Fang would probably be a good fit for you. Glad you got a chuckle out of my "stinky pool".
Nancy- 2 reviews down, 2 to go. I'm sure you would enjoy them both, especially "Balzac".
Mark, I loved Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress when I read it several years ago. Then I gave it to my middle son, who also loved it.
I can't do much of anything in the nude in my house, due to a 24 year old young man wandering around. Even if he were gone, though, I'm afraid I'd traumatize the dog. But a sleeveless nightgown is perfect!
Lucky fellow meeting up with Joe and getting such gems passed to you. Couple of intruiging reviews mate.
Have to take up Kath on her reluctance to read au naturel - very liberating I can assure her. Read in the nude on a daily basis and many a chapter has been polished off resting my book on my chest whilst soaking in a hot tub.
What great reading you've been doing, Mark! Glad you enjoyed Balzac so much, and The Giver, too. That was a blast at the book fair, wasn't it?
Jesse's got the 3 day Lollapalooza pass, and I know he saw Ozzie and Black Sabbath. Everyone was evacuated around 3:30 pm from the concert because of that storm yesterday, but were let back in around 6:30. Some band he really wanted to see still played, so he was happy about that. We'll probably get a full report tomorrow - we haven't seen him since Wednesday! (His girlfriend's place is much closer).
Much cooler today. I've got Becca's new dog Sherlock sitting on my lap and helping me type this. He's a clever dog, but his spelling still needs some work.
Hi Mark, great picture above! Well, you at it again, filling up my wishlist! Today I've added Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress and The Family Fang, both sound quite intriguing.
We are experiencing our hottest day of the summer so far, but compared to the temp. you've had, it's just a balmy, warm day.
Two nice reviews there, Mark! And thanks for the compliment. I am loving that picture you posted in 204!
I am procrastinating catching up on my own reviews, and I am about four or so behind - bad Mamie!
We polished off another 2 episodes of Homeland! Love this show! Claire Danes is kicking major butt.
It's a beautiful evening. We haven't had one of these in awhile.
Terri- "I can't do much of anything in the nude in my house". Sorry to hear that! LOL. Isn't it great to share books with your kids? I wish I could do it more often.
Paul- You, "Read in the nude on a daily basis". Why am I not surprised? LOL. I'm a shower guy. I haven't taken a bath in years. Am I missing something?
That's what was great about the book fair, I handed Joe a couple and he did likewise. I'm already looking forward to next year.
Lori- Good to see you! Yes, I loved "Balzac" and please add the Family Fang to that obese WL.
Joe- Yep, I'm on another nice book roll. I like following one gem after another, but then again, who doesn't?
I heard they have each of the Lollapalooza shows available on You-Tube. I might have to check out the Sabbath for old time sake.
Judy- I don't know why I love that photo so much, it doesn't have a lot to do with books or reading, maybe just the sense of "wonder"?
Sorry, you are having a hot one! Pretty rare for you guys!
Mamie- Thanks! Glad you like the photo. Nothing like a walrus and a toddler, huh?
I just want to know what good reading in the nude is??? It's still too hot!
Glad you had today off - and that it was cooler ;-)
I could never make a list of what books I will be reading in the coming month. As soon as I write it all down, I'll think of a dozen other books and get confused and indecisive. I have to choose my reading one book at a time...
And it is time again! Just finished The Graveyard Book. Liked it a lot.
Hmmm - what's next????
Thumbs-upped the reviews, Mark, good good stuff.
Please add me to the list of those who loved Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.
Happy Sunday evening Mark
Hi Mark, loved, loved, love Balzac so what's so surprising about you loving it too? And speaking of love---love the pic in 204.
Hello Mark - I loved Homeland too - was seriously rivetted throughout the series. Claire Danes was amazing and I was astonished to learn that the guy who plays the return soldier is English! Hope you are LOVING Canada - I have it by my bedside, but I am trying to delay reading it for as long as I can bear it...Such jewels from Mr Ford are far and few between! He says that he is nervous of starting a new book in case he dies before he finishes it - a thought that haunts him, evidentally. I hope neither will be the case.
I know, I know, just what we need is another planned Group Read! Karen, aka Maggie1944, suggested we do one for Team of Rivals for November and since I haven't had a chance to read it yet and the film version, directed by Spielberg comes out in December, I agreed. Are we masochists or what? Won't we be coming off an October G.R. featuring a whopper of a Murakami? Yes, but......anyone else interested? spoken with a shy squeaky voice.
Claudia- "I just want to know what good reading in the nude is". Don't ask me, ask Paul. I think he does most of his reading in the nude and it's hot there all the time.
I'm glad you enjoyed the Graveyard Book. I was a big fan, as well.
RD- Thank you sir! Do you think that's a curmudgeonly walrus or a kind, easy-going one?
Linda & Bonnie- Yes, I loved Balzac. It's a special book. I plan on watching the film version too!
Prue- Yah, a Homeland fan! I had to go Down Under to find one, but I did. We are only 4 episodes in. I think the 2nd season starts next month.
The actor's name is Damian Lewis. I first saw him in Band of Brothers, he played another American officer and he was excellent. Mandy Patinkin is also very good.
And yes, I'm enjoying Canada, about a 100 pages in.
>204 Love it!
Nothing much to report.. just finished book #90... slow going for me this year...
Doing other things. Good day to ya!
Good morning, Mark. I wanted to thank you for your recommendation of Any Human Heart. I read it yesterday and like it quite a bit.
Just adding my voice to the list of those who enjoyed your review of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Mark. Glad that things have cooled off a bit for you. Here too. I was actually able to open the windows for awhile this morning and am looking forward to tonight as it is supposed to go into the mid-50s. I am definitely not a summer gal.
90) Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne 5 stars
Cynthia Ann Parker, age nine, was kidnapped by a Comanche war band, from a fort in north central Texas. She spent twenty-four years with this group, marrying a Comanche chief and raising a family, including a boy, named Quanah, who became one of the fiercest warriors in Native American history.
Cynthia Ann and Quanah are perfect bookends in this brilliant, sweeping epic of the American West. It explores the origins of the Comanche people, their introduction to the horse, which transformed them into the most formidable and ruthless tribe on the Great Plains.
Gwynne also looks into the birth of Texas and the strong, tenacious people that were responsible for it’s creation. There is the Texas Rangers and the US Calvary. The heart-rending demise of the sacred buffalo and the persistent pursuit of the white population to conquer it all. The narrative is fast, informative and well-balanced and I can’t recommend it high enough. Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.
Cynthia Ann w/her daughter and Quanah Parker
Nice review, Mark! I'm going to have to keep this one in mind, although I'm afraid at this point it would topple off the teetering tbr.
Good to hear Stasia also liked Any Human Heart. That's coming up soon for me.
Have a good one today!
Kerry- I'm glad you liked the film version of Balzac. I hope to squeeze it in soon. I'm also happy you are enjoying the Family Fang. The potato-shooting passage, was not only my favorite part of the book but one of favorite fictional pieces of the year. Perfectly written.
Big hearty waves to Darryl & Kath!
Stasia- I'm so glad you enjoyed Any Human Heart. For me, it was a great introduction into Boyd, now I NEED to read everything else by him.
Linda- It was perfect sleeping weather last night and a lovely morning. I WANT more of the same.
Joe- Thanks! It's a great book. One I will recommend to everyone. Glad to hear you'll be getting to Any Human Heart soon.
Empire of the Summer Moon does sound excellent, Mark. I'll have to add it to the list.
I didn't realize that the Team of Rivals movie is due out later this year. That was one of my top books in 2011.
Nice review, Mark - thumb for you, my friend. I'm excited because our library actually has it. Off to pick it up while I'm out running errands - I might have to bookhorn that one in this month. See how I'm using my new LT vocabulary?!
Whew, a busy day! I've been taking care of our vehicles, for various things and getting my fishing equipment ready for my trip. At least it was productive. Maybe now, I can enjoy a cold one and get a little reading in.
Nancy & Linda- Empire of the Summer Moon is NNF, at it's very best. If you love American history and the Old West, please give this one a try.
Mamie- I did have the book at hand but "Empire" also worked very well on audio. My print copy is borrowed, so I will be on the lookout for a "keeper" copy. And yes, I admire your use of LT Lingo!
RD- Thank you, sir! Hope I can stir up much interest.
Ellen- It sounds like you are running out of gas. I thought you would be all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after your trip!
Mark - enjoyed your review of Empire of the Summer Moon. I will start it this week as a result.
>204 holy moly, that thing is HUGE. I think someone has been over feeding at the water park. wow
Im with Paul: Ill be seeking out Empire of the Summer Moon asap. I am in an exceedingly indecisive reading mood these days. Nothing seems to grab me, and the words skip about on the page when I do read something. Fingers crossed for a good one sooN!
Trumpets playing & Angels singing: I just received my May ER copy of Logavina Street. Hooray! And at the same time my June ER copy of Tenth of Dec also arrived. Double Hooray! And both are shorties! Triple...!
Speaking of ER books, the latest batch is pretty weak. I didn't pick anything, although I glanced at Randy Bachman's memoir and the "Real" Rooster Cogburn. LOL, but then moseyed on. Anyone else see anything?
I was disappointed in this month's LT offerings, too, Mark. Not that I needed another book to call my name. It looks like I'll need to add Empire of the Summer Moon to The List. It sounds like my kind of book for sure.
Paul- Especially since you are such a big fan of "the Searchers", is an added bonus, in your enjoyment of "Empire". It's a great one!
RD- "The Callings" does sound good. I wonder why there isn't anything on the LT page? A couple great reviews on Ammy though. Thanks for the rec.
Megan, you poor dear- "and the words skip about on the page when I do read something". How frustrating. I'll send positive, healing waves your direction. It might take awhile, it's quite a distance, but they will get there.
Donna- Yep, awful slim pickin's. I'm sure you would love "Empire". It's a keeper.
I already have Empire of the Summer Moon in the BlackHole or I would be adding it again. I am glad to see that you thought so highly of the book, Mark!
Empire of the Summer Moon looks pretty good. Glad you liked Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. It's a gem. I know I want to read The Family Fang so I'm glad to see you liked it.
Missy Franklin had a fabulous week of swimming. She and her family really are good people.
Heard you had some wild storms out your way - hope nothing's damaged.
How about Breaking Bad this week - Skyler...WOW! (Here's your bacon, here's your bacon. Throw in some cigarette smoke...and please, die already). She's a bit of a ticking time bomb herself, but in a good way.
I wholeheartedly recommend Safe from the Sea - I think you'd really like it.
So I hooned it to the library across town today to get Empire of the Summer Moon, only copy left in the city. yes!
I have read 5 pages and love it.
Another good rec from Mark :)
"Nothing stops this train."
-Walt (Sunday's Breaking Bad)
Low 90s today, Boo but the good news it cools off the rest of the week. I think it's supposed to be in the high 70s on Thursday. Yahoo!
I'm reading Canada and of course the highly entertaining A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Hey, I was invited to see Coldplay tonight. I haven't followed them much in the past few years but I loved their 1st 2 albums. Wish this old fart luck.
Bonnie- Good point about the weak ER list. I can't complain to much, I snagged a copy the past 3 or 4 months.
You'll LOVE "Empire". Did you like BB? Pretty intense.
Stasia- Hope you can find a copy of "Empire". It's NNF, at it's very best.
Joanne- So good to see you! I'm not sure the storms you are referring to. I think the worst hit Wisconsin, we were spared but at least got a little rain here and there.
Yes, intense BB. We were waiting for Skyler to erupt and she did. Walt is so freakin' scummy!
Megan- I'm so glad you found a copy and already started it. Yah! I hope this also pulls you out of your little book-funk.
I'm in agreement with the rest of you; this month's ER list was extremely disappointing. I was also hoping to see NW by Zadie Smith, Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, or Lionel Asbo by Martin Amis. This will be the second month in a row that I haven't selected anything from the ER list; considering that I have two unread ER books from earlier this year and one on the way, that's probably a good thing.
OH man, you lucky dog...I LOVE Coldplay. We have hot for today and tomorrow, and then it should be cooler- can't complain, the last two days have been absolutely beautiful.
Picked up Empire of the Summer Moon from the library yesterday, so we'll see if I can work it in. Hope today is a good one.
Empire of the Summer Moon does look good. I agree that the list is weak this month.. I selected two to request.. that could change either way as the month goes on, though.
Nothing extraordinary here.. I have some good books on my short stack and the weekend is predicted to be cooler, so? A few good days in the offing :) Hope it's the same for you!
Empire of the Summer Moon is going on the wishlist. Thanks Mark!
I also agree about the August ER book choices, but I just received one yesterday (short stories, Mark!) and have another that I am waiting for, so I wasn't really all that disappointed.
Linda - Weren't you the one asking about a GR of IQ84 (over on Paul's thread)? Mark's in charge of that - it's in the Fall...um, October, I think.
*edited to put the l on Paul's name - honestly, how did I miss that the first time?
Very interesting to see others comment on the paltry offerings on the ER list. I found nothing that attracted me. Too bad.
Can't remember whether I complimented you on that review of Empire of the Summer Moon, Mark, but if not, I am now. Looking forward to the TOR group read in November.
Hope you're having a good one today.
I've stopped asking for ER books because I have so very many unread things around here already.
I wrote a review of The Callings in 2008 or thereabouts, but I can't seem to find it. Back in the day, I gave reviews numbers, assuming I'd remember what order I wrote them in versus put them up in.
HA. I'd like to go back and give my forty-year-old self a good talking to.
EoSM duly added to the list. I picked up the second book after The Giver and it's somewhere near the top of the tower. I am sitting in the waiting room of a hospital in MN. My niece just went back to the OR for open heart surgery. Should be an "easy" fix but still open heart. Fingers arms legs...everything crossed!
>243 Yes, that was me. I should have known that it was being organized by the King of GRs. Thanks Mamie!
It figures, it was a very heavy day (volume-wise) and it was a hot one, but I still got out of there on time, hustled home, showered and dressed. I leave in a few minutes, it's about a 50 minute drive, (maybe more with rush-hour traffic) to my buddy's home and then on into the city for showtime at 7pm. I hope I get a serious 2nd-wind. On work-days, I'm usually in bed well before 10. Yikes.
Sorry, if I don't respond individually, I'll get caught up later.
Darryl- I would have loved to have seen some of those titles on the ER list. Junot Diaz has one coming out next month too!
Mamie- I hope you can fit in "Empire". You will not be disappointed. Weren't we talking about doing a G.R. with Caro in November? LOL. I completely forgot.
I'll try to say hi to Chris Martin for you!
Kath- 77 on Thursday! Yahoo! And a lovely weekend ahead.
Linda- What SS collection did you snag? Yes, GR of 1Q84 in October!
Karen- I already stopped by and made my MARK.
>238 Did you like BB? Pretty intense. Well intense is a good way to describe it Mark, also insane, scary and just plain crazy. I understand what Skylar is trying to do and I don't know what other choices she has but honestly, it's getting a little nuts. Add to that the fact that I thought the woman who showed Jesse the GPS had been killed by Mike a couple of episodes ago and I'm getting lost.
Looks like you have started a run on Empire of the Summer Moon, Mark! You should get royalties.
Phew, got caught up again.
Berly, I hope your niece's surgery went smoothly. Scary even at the best of times.
No ER books called my name, either. Made up for it at the library's ongoing bookshelf sale. :-)
You are having a blast at the concert, even as I write! I hope your ears aren't ringing so loudly after this that you can't hear your book while walking your route tomorrow!
Just catching up--I would love to see Coldplay in concert. I hope you're having a great evening. And some great books up there it looks like.
Well, I thought it was me. Couldn't find any ER books to interest. Not that I need another book right now. Have picked up quite a few this summer.
What I NEED is more book space already.
Didn't I just re-organize my books incl a new shelf???
And I hope you are still able to get up on time tomorrow! Whadaya think? That you are still a kid??? We'll see...
Morning everyone! Stumbled in at about 11:40, fell in bed by 11:45. And 5:15 rolled around way to fast. Coldplay put on a terrific show. Chris Martin is a stellar frontman. The downside was the crappy sound at the United Center, (where the Bulls & Hawks play). It brought a A show to a C show.
Wish me luck today, as I flounder around out there!
Joe- I did hear about the new Lemire book and I intended to mention it to you. I need to get over and request a copy from the library.
RD- I'll keep an eye out for "The Calling". It does sound good. 40 years old, huh? I forgot we were the same age. LOL!
Kim- I hope everything came out okay with your niece! Wow, how old is she?
Bonnie- Mike did not kill that woman, the first time. You hear him mention that toward the end. I surprised Skyler doesn't load the kids up and bolt!
Megan- How far have you got in "Empire"? I hope you are enjoying it. It's a fast narrative.
Lisa & Karen- big hearty waves!
I'll be back at the end of the day.....
Glad you had a good time... After doing this for so lone, I would imagine that you can nap now and then along the way, even as you walk from box to box :)
This is quickly becoming a WL morning. I added The Giver, Canada and Empire of the Summer Moon. Woooooo, and what's this a link to a GR of a Team of Rivals? Must join in as I have the book waiting for just such a moment.
I'm happy to see that some of you have not requested any ER books this time around. It increases my chances. I requested the two books on art forgeries and the Elizabeth George.
What a bummer that the sound system was so crappy last night. Hmmm, seems like that would be a pretty important aspect of putting on a concert.
Glad to see you'll be on vacation soon, I'm sure your little tootsies require the rest.
>251 The collection is Tenth of December by George Saunders. I am not familiar with him, but he seems to be a short story specialist.
Good luck today, Mark! I've had days like that after nights like that. :-)
I'm not much of a Coldplay fan, but I know that's pretty much a minority view. I do like Gwyneth Paltrow. :-) Sorry the United Center acoustics weren't better. I've been to concerts there and it's not ideal for that.
I'm thinking of shelling out for that new Lemire with an Amazon gift guard I got for my birthday. We're also going to Comic-con on Saturday, so I'll look to see whether there's a marked down one there.
No way to catch up...so, I'll say "Hi"!!!
>207 I loved Clare Danes in MY SO CALLED LIFE....waaay back in the day!
I think I'll steal your "woman with train" Pic...up top...for something or other
Anybody watching/watched THE CLOSER???? I'm thinking of buying it, somewhere...need opinions....
Glad to see you had a great time at Coldplay! Hope the weather cools down for you soon!
I survived, although I was a bit heavy-lidded at times, especially when I cracked open my book. More humid than I expected too, although that is supposed to change over night. I finished A tree Grows in Brooklyn. Yah! It's a classic for a reason.
Sorry, I've been neglecting the threads, just been a little busy lately but I will be making the rounds, you can count on that!
Ellen & Anne- Had a good time at the Coldplay show. My ears were not ringing, although it didn't get super loud in a few spots.
Claudia- Yes, a weak ER line-up, but like you said, we have a ton of books to catch-up on, (in my case a couple past ER books too), so not much to fuss about but there is nothing like free "promising" books.
Kath- Sadly, I'm not very good at napping and plus I'm to busy being engrossed in an audiobook, while I meander along the boxes.
Lynda- Nailed you with a few blue bullets, huh? You know what they say about payback. I'm glad Karen set the G.R. up of Team of Rivals. I'm not sure I would have started that "monster" on my own, I needed a nudge or a shove.
Yep, the "tootsies" will be getting a well-earned rest. LOL.
Linda- Is that perfect or what? I just received an ER copy of Tenth of December. I didn't even realize it was a SS collection. Hooray!
Joe- Actually, Coldplay is a bit lighter than my usual fare but they have wrote some pretty terrific songs and they do put on a hellava show, plus it was FREE, (for me anyway), you can never beat that, right?
Is this new Lemire a stand-alone or the beginning of a new series?
Jude- I always love a Jude sighting! Always makes my day. You steal whatever you want, I do! LOL. You will love "Homeland". It doesn't come out until the end of the month, but it's kickass all the way.
Glad you enjoyed seeing Coldplay in concert. I'm so happy for you. Really. I'm not jealous at all. On account of I'm so happy for you.
I think that's right about the November GR with Caro - Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles - is that right? Something by Bradbury. Whatever it is, I'm in. That's just how easy going I am - and fun to be with, even though I did not get to see Coldplay. Did I mention that I'm really happy for you?
OK, now I want to put everyone on notice. My copy of TOR is on my Kindle, and I must take it with me when I fly to Hawaii on Nov. 11 (my 68th birthday!) so I can read it while on the beach. Everyone help me to remember!
This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place #17: The 5 Spot!.
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