Smiler's Miscellany: A Little Bit of Everything & Books, Too! #12
This is a continuation of the topic Smiler's Miscellany: More Mismatched Odds and Ends, #11.
This topic was continued by Smiler's Miscellany: A Little Bit of Everything & Books, Too! #13.
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Artist Olaf Hajek inspires me tremendously, and I believe his illustrations for an unpublished book project, "Little Guru: Yoga for Children"
have encouraged me to start doing yoga again this month. I thought another image from the series might motivate me to continue.
Currently reading, listening to,
and occasionally browsing through:
Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 by Carol Squiers
Teach Yourself to Dream by David Fontana
♫ The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Potsdam Station by David Downing
Favourites of 2012 (4.5 stars and up)
On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry
Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd
L'Assommoir by Émile Zola
Études de Femmes by Honoré de Balzac
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes
Troubles by J. G. Farrell
Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig
Fear by Stefan Zweig
Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman Stefan Zweig
My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Stettin Station by David Downing
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
1. The First Half 1901-1951 9/12
2. Tea with Georgie, Vickie & Eddie - 18th & 19th Century Classics 7/12
3. Picked for me - chosen from my shelves at random by LTers 6/12
4. Guardian Knows Best - Guardian 1000 8/12
5. The Dark Side - Crime & Mystery 11/12
6. Going Places - International authors & places 10/12
7. Young at Heart - Children/YA/Fantasy 10/12
8. Hot Off the Press - Published since 2011 10/12
9. Visual Treats - books on art, photography, design, or just beautiful books 6/12
10. Beyond Fiction - non-fiction 6/12
11. Litérature Française - read in French 5/12
12. From My Treasure-Trove - off the shelf (acquired before 31/12/11) 6/12
Total read: 94/144
Books completed in August
103. ♫ Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac ★★★★¾ (review)
104. ♫ The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce ★★¾ (review)
105. East of Eden by John Steinbeck ★★★¾ (review)
106. ♫ Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ★★★⅞ (review)
107. It's Lonely in the Modern World: The Essential Guide to Form, Function, and Ennui by Molly Jane Quinn ★★★¾ (review)
108. Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford ★★★★½ (review)
109. ♫ The Warden by Anthony Trollope (tutored read - rating & review coming soon)
110. ♫ Muriel Spark: The Complete Short Stories (rating & some kind of review coming soon, TIOLI #16)
Unfinished: Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
111. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill ★★★¾ (review coming soon)
112. ♫ Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley ★★★★½ (review coming soon)
113. ♫ The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley (rating & review coming soon)
114. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck (rating & review coming soon)
115. ♫ Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (rating & review coming soon)
116. A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor (rating & review coming eventually)
117. ♫ The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (rating & review coming eventually)
118. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (rating & review coming eventually)
119. ♫ The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (rating & review coming eventually)
My rating system:
★ - hated it (may or may not have finished it but listing it for the trouble)
★★ - it was just ok
★★★ - enjoyed it (good)
★★★★ - loved it! (very good)
★★★★★ - all-time favourite (blew me away—will read again)
⅛ ¼ ⅓ ½ ¾ ⅞
♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
☀ = TIOLI
Suggested reads for August
☛✔ The Tenant and the Motive by Javier Cercas (TIOLI #4 Title either begins or end with the same letter as the one above, 12/12 #12 From My Treasure-Trove)
☛✔ Teach Yourself to Dream by David Fontana (TIOLI #5 recommended to you by one of your parents - dad, 12/12 #10: Beyond Fiction) - reading
☛❉ Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (TIOLI #17: embedded first name in either the title or author's name - John, 12/12 #8: Hot Off the Press)
☛❉ Potsdam Station by David Downing (TIOLI #17: embedded first name in either the title or author's name - Ning, 12/12 #1: The First Half)
♫ Middlemarch by George Eliot (12/12 group read, 12/12 #2: Tea with Georgie, Vickie & Eddie - 18th & 19th Century Classics)
☛ Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (TIOLI #2 a book from the 2012 Booker Prize longlist, 12/12 #8: Hot Off the Press) (audiobook on hold at N. library)
☛ At Mrs Lippincote's by Elizabeth Taylor (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
☛ The Soul of Kindness by Elizabeth Taylor (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
☛ Blaming by Elizabeth Taylor (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
☛ Palladian by Elizabeth Taylor (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
☛♫ The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
Even MORE options
☛ Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
☛ No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
☛ A Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym (TIOLI #8 book published as a Virago Modern Classic)
❉ Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (TIOLI #6: a summer scene on the cover)
Unplanned but felt like it
☛♫ The Books Thief by Markus Zusak (TIOLI #4 Title either begins or end with the same letter as the one above, 12/12 #12 From My Treasure-Trove) - listening
♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library
℮ = eBook
☛ = TIOLI
September: In Dubious Battle (384) - Mark
October: Tortilla Flat (224) - Tania/wookiebender
November: Travels With Charley and The Pearl (256 + 96) - Ilana
December: Sweet Thursday (288) - Mark
* approximate # of pages
** names indicate who will be heading up the threads.
Anyone is welcome to join in at any point, for as many or as few books as is desired.
January: Orange January,
February: Fantasy February,
March: Christine Falls by Benjamin Black,
May: May Murder & Mayhem, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (12/12),
September: In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
October: Blindness by José Saramago (12/12), Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (75ers)
November: Travels With Charley and The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
December: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
Books my fellow LT pals picked from my shelves for 12/12:
Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood - Picked by MickyFine
Arabian Nights: Four Tales from a Thousand and One Nights by Marc Chagall - Picked by Donna828
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Picked by DragonFreak
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver - Picked by calm
No Great Mischief by Alasdair MacLeod - Picked by KiwiNyx
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende - Picked by LauraBrook
Blindness by José Saramago - Picked by Whisper1
Caravan of Dreams of Idries Shah - Picked by PiyushChourasia
Candide by Voltaire - Picked by Fourpawz2
Native Son by Richard Wright - Picked by EBT1002
Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman - Picked by bohemima
Books Read in 2012:
1. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin ★★★★⅓ (review) ☀
2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett ★★★★ (review) ☀
3. ♫ Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson ★★★ (review) ☀
4. The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi ★★★¾ (review) ☀
5. ♫ Fight Club by Chuck Palaniukh ★★★½ (review) ☀
6. The Art of Reading: Forty Illustrators Celebrate RIF's 40th Anniversary by Reading Is Fundamental ★★★★ (review)
7. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck ★★★★⅓ (review) ☀
8. ♫ To Fear a Painted Devil by Ruth Rendell ★★★⅓ (review) ☀
9. No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey ★★★¾ (review) ☀
10. ♫ Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick ★★★★ (review) ☀
11. From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón ★★★ (review) ☀
12. ♫ On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry ★★★★½ (review) ☀
13. ♫ The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo ★★★ (review) ☀
14. ♫ Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson ★★★★⅓ (review) ☀
15. ♫ Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd ★★★★½ (review) ☀
16. Paris: Made by Hand by Pia Jane Bijkerk ★★★★ (review) ☀
Madlenka's Dog by Peter Sís ★★★★ (review)
Madlenka Soccer Star by Peter Sís ★★★ (comments)
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney ★★★★ (comments)
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say ★★★½ (comments)
17. ♫ The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West ★★★⅞ (review)
♫ Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
♫ Soulless by Gail Carriger
18. L'Assommoir by Émile Zola ★★★★½ (review) ☀
19. ♫ The Quiet American by Graham Greene ★★★ (review) ☀
20. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole ★★★★ (review) ☀
21. ♫ The Difference Engine by William Gibson ★★½ (review) ☀
22. The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck ★★★★⅓ (review) ☀
23. ♫ Rebeccaby Daphne du Maurier ★★★★⅓ (review) ☀
24. Drawing from Memory by Allen Say ★★★ (review) ☀
25. The Secret River by Kate Grenville ★★★★ (review) ☀
26. Le vieux chagrin by Jacques Poulin ★½ (review) ☀
27. The Seeing Stone by Holly Black, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi ★★★⅞ (review) ☀
28. The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís ★★★★ (review)
29. ♫ Doomsday Book by Connie Willis ★★★ (review) ☀
30. ♫ Études de Femmes by Honoré de Balzac ★★★★½ (review) ☀
31. ♫ The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark ★★★¾ (review) ☀
32. ♫ The City & The City by China Miéville ★★★★ (review) ☀
33. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh ★★★★½ (review) ☀
34. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman ★★★★ (review) ☀
35. On Cats by Doris Lessing ★★★★ (review) ☀
36. ♫ Dracula by Bram Stoker ★★★★ (review) ☀
37. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck ★★★ (review) ☀
38. ♫ The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins ★★★★½ (review) ☀
39. ♫ Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen ★★★★⅛ (review) ☀
40. The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman, Illustrated by Peter Sís ★★★★ (review)
13 Words by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman ★★★★ (review)
41. ♫ This Sceptred Isle Vol 3: The Black Prince to Henry VIII 1327-1547 by Christopher Lee ★★★★ (review)
42. ♫ A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes ★★★★½ (review)
43. Troubles by J. G. Farrell ★★★★½ (review)
44. ♫ Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon ★★★★⅓ (review)
45. ♫ Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley ★★★★⅓ (review)
46. ♫ The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura ★★★ (review)
47. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi ★★★⅞ (review)
48. ♫ Death and Judgment by Donna Leon ★★★½ (review)
49. The Last Song by Eva Wiseman ★★★★ (review)
50. ♫ Letter from an Unknown Woman by Stefan Zweig ★★★★½ (review)
51. ♫ Fear by Stefan Zweig ★★★★½ (review)
52. A Murder of Quality by John Le Carré ★★★★ (review)
53. Call for the Dead by John le Carré ★★★½ (review)
54. The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sís ★★★½ (review)
55. ♫ David Copperfield by Charles Dickens ★★★★ (review)
56. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler ★★★★ (review)
57. ♫ The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ★★★★⅓ (review)
58. My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault ★★★★★ (review)
59. Selected Poems by Roger McGough ★★★¾ (review)
60. ♫ The Great Poets: W. B. Yeats ★★★½ (review)
61. ♫ Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman Stefan Zweig ★★★★½ (review)
62. Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei by Peter Sis ★★★★ (review)
63. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck ★★★★⅓ (review)
64. ♫ Running Blind / The Visitor by Lee Child ★★★★ (review)
65. ♫ The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carré ★★★⅓ (review)
66. ♫ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark ★★½ (review)
67. ♫ Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper ★★★★ (review)
68. The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger ★★★½ (review)
69. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery ★★★⅓ (review)
70. ♫ The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark ★★★ (review)
71. ✔ Queenpin by Megan Abbott ★★★½ (review)
72. ♫ The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye ★★★★ (review)
73. ♫ The Crazy Kill by Chester Himes ★★★★ (review)
74. ♫ The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri ★★★½ (review)
75. ✔ The Glass Room by Simon Mawer ★★★★⅓ (review)
76. Selected Poems by Carol Ann Duffy ★★½ (review)
77. ♫ The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux ★★★ (review)
78. ♫ Stettin Station by David Downing ★★★★½ (review)
79. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan ★★★⅓ (review)
80. ♫ The Maze Runner by James Dashner ★★⅞ (review)
81. ♫ Persuasion by Jane Austen ★★★★ (review)
82. A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor ★★½ (review)
83. ♫ Katherine by Anya Seton ★★★★¼ (review)
84. ♫ Restless by William Boyd ★★★★⅓ (review)
85. ♫ The Suspect by Michael Robotham ★★★★ (review)
86. ♫ Lost by Michael Robotham ★★★⅓ (review)
87. The Observations by Jane Harris ★★★★⅓ (review)
88. ♫ A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch ★★★★½ (review)
89. ♫ Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck ★★★★⅓ (review)
89. ♫ The Real Cool Killers by Chester Himes ★★★½ (review)
90. ♫ Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card ★★★★⅓ (review)
91. River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh ★★★★½ (review)
92. ♫ Any Human Heart by William Boyd ★★★★½ (review)
93. ♫ Being There by Jerzy Kosinski ★★★★★ (review)
94. A Mind of Winter by Shira Nayman ★★★★ (review)
95. Angel by Elizabeth Taylor ★★★★½ (review)
96. The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sís ★★★¾ (review)
97. The Coroner’s Lunch by Collin Cotterill ★★★★ (review)
98. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ★★★★⅓ (tutored read thread and review)
99. ♫ Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens ★★★¾ (Group Read and review)
100. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill ★★★★ (review)
101. In Between: Guy Bourdin by Shelly Verthime ★★★★½ (review)
102. ♫ I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith ★★★★ (review)
♫ Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Books with touchstones are rated 4.5 stars and up.
(Some of the) Books I'd like to read in 2012 (ambitious list, as always)
In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
✔ Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
✔ Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
✔ Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
✔ Blindness by José Saramago
✔ Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
✔ Arabian Nights: Four Tales from a Thousand and One Nights by Marc Chagall
✔ Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
✔ The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
✔ No Great Mischief by Alasdair MacLeod
✔ Caravan of Dreams of Idries Shah
✔ The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
✔ Candide by Voltaire
✔ Native Son by Richard Wright
✔ Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman
❉ Une page d'amour by Émile Zola
✔ Nana by Émile Zola
✔ Pot-Bouille by Émile Zola
❉ Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola
❉ La joie de vivre by Émile Zola
❉ Old Filth by Jane Gardam
✔ Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
✔ The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
✔ Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins
✔ A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
✔ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
✔ Timbuktu by Paul Auster
✔ Moon Palace by Paul Auster
✔ Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
✔ Jamrach's Menagerie Carol Birch
✔ The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
✔ Angels & Insects by A. S. Byatt
✔ Possession by A. S. Byatt
✔ The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
✔ ♫ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
✔ The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble
✔ Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
✔ Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers
✔ Atonement by Ian McEwan
✔ Music & Silence by Rose Tremain
✔ The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
✔ ♫ Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
♫ 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
✔ The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
♫ = audiobook
✔ = off the shelf
❉ = library
℮ = eBook
An idea Heather (souloftherose) borrowed from Liz (lyzard), which has been catching on in these parts. Ongoing series that I am actively reading; this doesn't include series I have in my TBR but haven't started reading yet.
American Gods Next up: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (2/2)
✔ Anton Rider Next up: A Café on the Nile by Bartle Bull (2/3)
❉ Binky Adventure Next up: Binky Under Pressure by Ashley Spires (3/3)
✔ Border Trilogy Next up: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (2/3)
Cannery Row Next up: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (2/2)
❉ The Cemetery of Forgotten Books Next up: The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2/3)
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Next up: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (2/8)
✔ Commissario Brunetti Next up: Acqua Alta by Donna Leon (5/21 - read out of order)
✔ Commissario Montalbano Next up: Excursion to Tindari by Andrea Camilleri (5/18)
❉ De Luca Trilogy Next up: The Damned Season by Carlo Lucarelli (2/3)
✔ The Deptford Trilogy Next up: World of Wonders by Robertson Davies (3/3)
❉ Dr. Siri Paiboun Next up: Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (3/8)
❉ Easy Rawlins Mystery Next up: A Red Death by Walter Mosley (2/10)
✔ Empire Trilogy Next up: The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell (2/3)
Ender’s Game Next up: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card (2/4)
The Harlem Cycle Next up: All Shot Up by Chester Himes (4/8)
✔ Hercule Poirot Next up: The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (1/39 - read out of order)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Dramatization Next up: Secondary Phase (BBC Radio Collection) by Douglas Adams (2/5)
✔ The House of Earth Trilogy Next up: Sons by Pearl S. Buck (2/3)
The Ibis Trilogy Next up: Awaiting publication (3/3)
Jack Reacher Next up: Echo Burning by Lee Child (5/17)
Jackson Brodie Next up: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (3/4)
John Russell Next up: Potsdam Station by David Downing (4/5)
Joseph O'Loughlin Next up: Shatter by Michael Robotham (3/5)
Kenzie and Gennaro Next up: Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane (2/5 - read out of order)
✔ La Comédie Humaine Next up: The Country Doctor by Honoré de Balzac (65/88 - read out of order)
❉ Les Rougon-Macquart Next up: A Love Affair by Émile Zola (8/20)
✔ Lord Peter Wimsey Next up: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (2/15)
✔ Maisie Dobbs Next up: Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear (2/9)
✔ Miss Marple Next up: A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie (4/15 - read out of order)
✔ The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Next up: The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith (4/13)
❉ The Obelisk Trilogy Next up: Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller (2/3)
✔ Oxford Time Travel series Next up: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (2/4)
Parker Next up: The Mourner by Richard Stark (4/24)
✔ Philip Marlowe Next up: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1/9 - read out of order)
Phryne Fisher Mysteries Next up: Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood (3/19)
✔ Roderick Alleyn Next up: Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh (8/32 - read out of order)
✔ Sally Lockhart Mysteries Next up: The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman (2/4)
✔ A Song of Ice and Fire Next up: A Storm of Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow by George R. R. Martin (3.1/7)
❉ The Spiderwick Chronicles Next up: Lucinda's Secret by Holly Black (3/8)
Tales of the Otori Next up: Brilliance of the Moon by Gillian Rubinstein (3/4+prequel)
Three Men in a Boat Next up: Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome (2/2)
Timothy Wilde (Book 1: The Gods of Gotham) Next up: Awaiting publication (2/2)
❉ Wolf Hall Trilogy Next up: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (2/3)
✔ = in my TBR
❉ = library book
Books Read from My Shelves in 2012
(Acquired before 01/01/12)
1. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (entry date: 2011-09-09)
2. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (entry date: 2008-12-16)
3. ♫ Fight Club by Chuck Palaniukh (entry date: 2011-03-09)
4. ♫ Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (entry date: 2011-09-18)
5. Paris: Made by Hand by Pia Jane Bijkerk (entry date: 2009-05-20)
6. L'Assommoir by Émile Zola (entry date: 2010-10-15)
7. ♫ The Difference Engine by William Gibson (entry date: 2011-06-11)
8. ♫ The Quiet American by Graham Greene (entry date: 2011-10-30)
9. ♫ Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (entry date: 2011-06-16)
10. The Secret River by Kate Grenville (entry date: 2009-05-26)
11. ♫ Études de Femmes by Honoré de Balzac (entry date: 2011-06-23)
12. ♫ The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark (entry date: 2011-03-30)
13. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (entry date: 2008-11-12)
14. Troubles by J. G. Farrell (entry date: 2011-09-14)
15. ♫ Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (entry date: 2011-02-18)
16. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (entry date: 2011-01-13)
17. ♫ The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carré (entry date: 2011-03-12)
18. The Global Forest by Diana Beresford-Kroeger (entry date: 2010-08-26)
19. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (entry date: 2010-10-12)
20. Queenpin by Megan Abbott (entry date: 2011-05-05)
21. The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (entry date: 2011-05-30)
22. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (entry date: 2011-03-09)
23. ♫ The Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri (entry date: 2011-11-01)
23.5 Wolf Hall (reading)
24. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (entry date: 2010-09-30)
25. ♫ Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac (entry date: 2011-06-19)
26. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (entry date: 2011-01-09)
(this spot to be updated as I go)
3 Audible credits (on sale)
Welcome Paul! I sort of took a shortcut this time and didn't wait to hit the target 250. I got used to starting a thread at the start of the month to help me organize myself and hopefully can keep it up!
Hi Gail! But oh dear... smelling salts maybe?
Hi Claudia, great timing!
Do I get a medal?
Well, I don't know if it's in the Olympic spirit exactly, but if you come back in a little while, you might see a photo of Coco as a treat, how's that?
Happy new thread, Ilana!! Love the image up top and all of the lists. What prompted the list in post#9?
Hi Ilana- Congrats on the new thread! Love the opening illustration. I am crazy about A Tree grows in Brooklyn.
This one's for Team Coco! :-)
(by request from Claudia and Ellen)
eta: taken today on our walk. There's a leaf that's above Coco which was at least 4-5 times as big as the one you see. I took "art" photos of just those too after.
Hi Mamie, very glad to see you in my new place! I'll keep you in suspense regarding my book resolution for now, as it's getting late and I haven't started up the Red Pony thread yet... I promise to spill the goods tomorrow.
Mark, I just knew you'd love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I think it's one of those books that ends up being on everybody's favourites list, as you can tell from the 4.35 rating on the main page. Thanks for dropping by, always nice to see you here!
Did you listen to the audio? The reader doing mine is truly excellent. Narrating with the New York accents is perfect.
Oh! Coco! Hugs and tossles behind the ears!
You are such a sweet baby ;-)
You can't fool me with that serious pose - I know you love to romp and play!
Love the background too... hearts (leaves) and flowers! *smooch for the pooch*
Happy (relatively) New Thread from me too!!! I could spend quite a bit of time looking at that Olaf Hajek, and the one that you linked to is one I'd adore to own --- and if I could afford it, I could afford the place to display it!
And your lists! You're almost to 100 if not there already. I wish I could listen as well as read, but my life just doesn't work that way. Anyway, "You go, Girl!" and other words of encouragement!
Hi Ilana, that's a great picture of Coco above. I've seen both from your thread here and the tutored read thread that you have completed Wolf Hall. Like many others here, I lurked on the tutored read, and your questions and Suzanne's answers help me understand a lot more about the book than I absorbed in the reading.
Looks you have a busy August planned and I'm looking forward to following along.
Coco looks very serene and happy. I have some of those big leaf plants this year - a perfect year for them given how warm it is.
My daughter has included yoga in the curriculum for the 4 and 5 year old children she teaches, and they love it. I hope the unpublished book project gets published. Cool illustration.
Nice photo of Coco, too, looking lovely beside what I think are impatiens.
Great opening picture as always, Ilana! And of course it's great hear that you have been able to pick up a bit of yoga. Slow and steady is better than nothing and I'm sure the little bit you were able to do felt great! :)
Hi hi and thanks for visiting friends! Not sure where the day has gone already. I do know that last night, I discovered Audible had a new "return" feature, which allows "members in good standing" (whatever that means), to return or exchange audiobooks they didn't like. Up to three every six months, so three it was. In exchange, I got the following 3:
♫ Roots by Alex Haley - narrated by Avery Brooks
♫ Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller - narrated by Campbell Scott
♫ The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
Brought home from the library today:
♫ The Illiad translated by Fagles - narrated by Derek Jacobi (admittedly, this is an abridged version. I usually stay away from those, but love Derek Jacobi and the Fagles translation isn't available in the unabridged version in Canada for some reason. I'll get the book eventually)
Arrived in the mail today:
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
#21 Mark, I did listen to the audio. My version was narrated by Anna Fields, is that who you have?
#22 Claudia, actually, I'm sorry to say Coco was not trying to fool you at all—he has in fact been a bit out of sorts these past few days. Nothing seems really wrong with him; he's drinking and eating fine, doesn't seem to hurt anywhere, but is kind of cranky and restless. He's better today but yesterday when we got home he was not at all a happy boy. Poor thing.
#23 Hi Peggy, and thanks for the encouragement!
If you'd like to own a more affordable piece of Olaf Hajek, you might consider getting one of his books. His most recent one was just published in July. Here's a link to the publisher's page, where you can browse the book and also see a video interview with Hajek himself. I've just watched it and was quite stunned by what a beautiful man he is (on top of everything else!): http://shop.gestalten.com/black-antoinette-hajek.html
#24 Hi Judy! Every time I think of you beautiful Vancouver comes to mind. I'll have to make my way there again sometime and maybe we could organize some sort of North East LT meet up...
Wolf Hall: I've been stalling on writing a review, because what on earth could I possibly say about it that hasn't been said already? But I feel like my reading and assimilating a book isn't complete without me making some kind of effort in that direction. Maybe I'll actually manage a one-liner this time, but I have the feeling those are even harder to write! I'm really glad you found the tutorial informative. How could it NOT be with Suzanne as the tutor, right?!
#25 Lucy, these plants are in a huge planter just in front of the metro station (Lionel-Groulx), just a half-block away from my place. It's not a very nice area, and I'm sure the city's landscaping efforts go mostly unnoticed, but I always take time to look at what they've put there as they're always making changes bringing in new plants and flowers. I crave every little bit of nature I can get! :-)
#26 Joe, I actually took a teaching class for yoga for children (not sure if that's the right wording) a few years back, and it was lots of fun. At the time I was very active in my own yoga practice, but I shortly stopped after and never did teach children, but I do know that they take to it very easily and seem to quite like it. 4-5 was around the age I started learning to do it too with my father practicing at home twice a day for years and year and taking me to the occasional class and retreat.
I wish I knew names of plants and flowers, so your guess is for sure better than mine!
#27 You're right Valerie, that little bit did indeed feel amazing. I've done absolutely nothing except for a tiny bit of walking for exercise these past 5 years, so slow and steady is indeed the watchword. I'd like to work my way up to doing some sort of exercise at home at least 3-4 times a week. Who knows... I might eventually get back into a daily practice, but we'll see. For now, I'm just happy when I roll out my yoga mat and stand (or lie) on it!
#29 Hi Linda, you're a sweetheart as always! :-)
Mamie - I'll give you the story about my new resolution in two versions: the "light" version for those who just want a quick and easy explanation, and the "detailed" version, for those who are curious regarding details about my life.
I've purchased something like 150 books so far this year, over 75 of which are audiobooks, with nearly 10 art books. My spending is out of control, so I tried to work out a system that would limit it without being too restrictive, as I'm bound not to follow it otherwise. I let myself off during the month of December—hopefully I won't go into a crazy binge, but probably not (famous last words).
Even though I get decent earnings based on my former salary as an executive art director, I've been carrying a very large debt for a very long time and can't ever seem to reduce it because I spend as much as I pay in. Talking to my therapist yesterday, the topic came up (not for the first time) and it seems my two largest expenses these days are books and art-related expenses (classes and materials). The latter I'm not prepared to cut back on, but since I have over 700 unread books on my shelves and on audio at this point and use the library regularly, I could definitely cut back on those. Also, some pretty big news came in the mail yesterday from a gov't agency, saying I'd been accepted for disability payments. This doesn't change much for me financially, but it means the insurance company will get off my back for me to keep applying. Up till now the gov't kept refusing me, because as long as my psychiatrist didn't write in her report that I had NO chance of EVER returning to work (which she won't do because I'm still so young), the gov't won't pay out a portion of my earnings to the insurance co.. It seems the evaluating psychiatrist they had me see a few months ago decided that between what he saw in my file and my answers to his questions, there was indeed little chance I'd ever return to work. I certainly can't complain about my lifestyle now, but if he's right, that means the day I hit 65 and disability payments stop, all I'll have to live on is my old age pension (if it still exists by then). In other words, I either have to find a way of making money to put aside, or pay off my debts and start saving asap for my "retirement". It's all very scary to me because I've always been awful with money and I don't want to end up poor as a church mouse like my parents. So I thought my little blackboard approach might make it seem like a game and prepare me for further restrictions in the coming year.
Now I remember where the day went: I spent quite a while putting together a post on my blog showing a step-by-step evolution of the new project we just started working on in my painting class this week. I started with the sketch you see below. To see what my canvas looked like by the end of class: http://createthreesixty5.com/2012/08/03/plant-with-man-week-1/
Ilana - LOVE the photo of our dear Coco! Enjoyed reading both versions of your explanation about post 9 - sounds like a good plan! Good for you for coming up with a fund and easy way to track your purchases. That's so great that you are able to exchange some of the audiobooks that you didn't like - an excellent policy. Bummer that the Fagles' translation is only available in the abridged version - I am working my easy through The Iliad currently and very much enjoying the Fagles' translation. Thanks for sharing your progress on your newest work - I always find the step by step pictures so interesting, especially since I know nothing about the actual process. I am learning so much over here on your thread!
Hope you are having a great day and that the rest of your weekend is fabulous.
I'm glad for you that the bureaucratic tangle is being slowly sorted out.
Weird the Fagles is abridge on audio. Why do folks get these foolish notions??????
#37 Mamie, I always enjoy seeing the process for any artwork, especially since each artist has his or her very own way of working. Not something we get to see all that often either. I fully intend to stay indoors as much as possible since we have a scorcher of a weekend, but otherwise, all is as well as can be.
#38 Lucy, so far out of the hundreds of audios I've accumulated over the past 18 months, I've only gotten 4 abridged works. The two I actually purchased were Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged for $4.95, because I'm curious about it, having heard about it so much over the years, but no committed enough to want to read the whole giant work, another was a Ngaio Marsh mystery which I bought in the abridged entirely by mistake, and the other two, including the Iliad, because they came free from the library. I try to scrupulously avoid abridgements normally and would have skipped the recording of the Iliad if it had not been narrated by Derek Jacobi. At least I've read the full work once before and do intent to purchase the book or borrow it from the library eventually, but I couldn't pass up such a brilliant narrator for a work that was originally meant to be heard and not read... eta: it's not the first time I come across works that are only available in the abridged version in Canada. I have no idea how these decisions are made, but it's quite foolish indeed! Along the same lines, I had several W. Somerset Maugham books on my Audible wishlist and have just discovered that apparently the rights for recordings of that author have expired in Canada, because they have all become unavailable and no works of his appear in the searches anymore. Strange indeed.
I'm off to visit my dad at his new place shortly. Brining Coco on the metro with me. I was feeling ok this aft, headache manageable (only now of course it's ratcheting up slowly but surely) so called to invite myself over. Hope it goes well. The heat is maddening, and he's got no a/c, so I'll make sure to stay only for a short while to ensure I don't get overheated, temperament and otherwise. Bringing a sketch-pad too, as that seems to be a common ground of ours.
Ilana- The narrator for my audio of A Tree Grows in brooklyn is Barbara Rosenblat and she's doing an absolutely stellar job. Perfect accents and she sings delightfully. I don't think I've heard her before but she is one to remember.
Hope you have a nice time with your Dad!
Mark, I looked up Barbara Rosenblat, and I agree she's very good. I have a couple of audiobooks with her narrating already, and have reserved a couple of others from the library.
It was... a very emotional evening. Once in a while, immediately after I get out of the shower, my skin starts to crawl and itch all over my body, as if I was being repeatedly stung with needles or bitten by mosquitoes. And I mean, EVERYWHERE. At one point I thought it was a specific product I was using in the shower (a very nice vitamin e-enriched sugar body scrub) and discontinued it's use. But it keeps happening, and it can't really be any product I use, because even my face and eyelids and whatnot (which I never use the soap in the shower for) start itching madly. Once I filled the tub with cool water and loads of baking soda to soak in, which should have brought relief, but made very little difference. These weird "attacks" can last up to a couple hours or more and are extremely stressful, not to mention painful and upsetting. It happens rather frequently, though usually to a lesser, more *tolerable* degree and as a consequence, I'm always a little bit afraid of taking showers.
When I decided to go see my dad this afternoon, I was feeling just fine, calm, not in any great pain, in a good mood. I decided to take a shower to cool off before setting out to see him because I'd been hot here in my apartment even with the a/c, and knew his place didn't have any. When I stepped out of the shower, it was pins and needles all over. It lasted a very long time. In fact, it was around 5 pm when I took my shower, and I'm still feeling itchy all over. I decided to get ready and head over to the metro anyway, but by the time I'd walked just the 250 yards to where the station is, I was in such as state of frenzy with the maddening skin affliction that I just fell apart. Called my father, told him what was going on. To say I was irritable to the extreme in no understatement. We agreed I'd come later, or wait till another day. I walked around with Coco for a while, taking lots of deep breaths and trying to calm down and ignore the maddening sensations. Then I decided to head over to see my father anyway. When I arrived at the station close to his place, I called him as agreed so he could tell me how to get there. But my dad's is seriously challenged when it comes to quite a few things, and giving or taking clear directions is almost impossible for him. I got so annoyed I started ranting, and told him to come get me. This big group of maybe a dozen young black kids were all staring at me as if I was a madwoman. I realized they probably tought I was raving all by myself because I only had the earpiece on, with the phone in my pocket. They were laughing and pointing and I lost it with them too and shouted "haven't you ever seen a person talking on the phone before?". One of the older boys told me to fuck off. Nice. I was in a flood of tears by the time my dad came over. We sat in a park which was a bit breezier and cooler for a while, not speaking and me just trying to collect myself. I wasn't looking forward to getting to his place because I knew the street he's moved to is essentially occupied by tenement buildings and really filthy. Sure enough, he took me to one of those buildings. Every time I see places like that I get really upset. Poverty really scares me. I told myself I should look at it all with the eye of a writer collecting material, and it calmed me down. When I got to his place, I told him I can never get used to how skinny he is (shockingly so), but I also took out my sketch pad and said I'd sketch him. He's always wearing the strangest inappropriate clothes that make him look a bit like a homeless person. Anyway, I said he might as well take off his (extremely tattered, formerly white tourist resort) t-shirt as he's always taking his shirt off, but this time it was in the service of art. I'm really glad I brought the sketchbook with me. It helped me cope with it all. He insisted on giving me a cheque to help pay for my art classes, even though I told him that I felt it was wrong taking money from him, all the more so when I see his living arrangements. Hardly any furniture, and what he has is salvaged... but he insisted he wanted to give me the money. And here I am, living like a queen in comparison.
Is it any wonder I feel completely drained now? I'm off to get ready for bed. It's been a trying one today for sure.
Ilana dear what a heart-rending post.
Can't help thinking that you have some sort of allergic reaction to some cosmetic product or other - maybe you should check any new products you are using.
Felt my spirits sinking as I read about your day progressively going wrong - winced with you and felt your despair in the Subway, shuddered at your confrontation with the youths and was glad that you decided to carry on to see your dad.
I have to say he seems just as fascinating and complicated as his delightful offspring - I really hope that you both can square your loving but topsy-turvy relationship to be as much of a source of love and comfort to each other which you both patently need.
Take care sweetie. xx
Ilana, once again I have failed to keep up with you. I'm here for now...and will do my best. How's that for a "promise"?
32: I loved the cool blackboard. Good luck with your financial goals. Baby steps. I don't spend much money but I could use some goals as to how I spend my time. It seems giving up sleep and housework are not viable options for me!
I hope you and Coco and other furkids have a good Sunday...with no "itchies"! That sounds so unnerving - pun not intended! I would definitely stay out of the shower until you find what is causing your attacks. I am going to spend the day trying to figure out the wonders of my new MacBook Pro. I was in desperate need of a new laptop and decided to get a companion for the iPad and iPhone. Wish me luck!
#44 Paul, thank you. Must say I feel quite heart-sore today. This is when it's more a relief than ever to be able to immerse myself in all things bookish. In fact, I think I'll finish up East of Eden today and maybe try and crank out some of my tardy reviews.
#45 Donna, you needn't make any promise at all. I know firsthand how difficult it is to try to keep up with everyone AND do all the reading one wants to do (and never mind the other things life calls for)
The good thing about my blackboard is it's right in the passage, so I can't help but see it many times every day. I think I've given myself realistic goals, so we'll see how I do with sticking to them.
Not too surprisingly, I try to avoid showers whenever I think I can get away with it. The skin affliction could be due to all sorts of things, could even be a side-effect of some of the medication I take. I have an appointment with my dermatologist at the end of the month; I was going to consult him about other issues, but will definitely bring this thing up.
Congrats on the new MacBook Pro! I'm on my second one now, and I can't imagine being on anything else. Only makes sense to go with Apple for your computer if you're already using the iPhone and iPad, because they all work so brilliantly together, as I'm sure you've already found out.
I had put a purchase request at the library this week for a book called Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud which has been highly recommended to me by fellow art lovers as an excellent memoir and a great look into the great, now sadly departed artist. Got a call today from the librarian who apologized, saying something to the effect that it was a very particular kind of title and wasn't likely to see much use. But he'd looked up the collection at the National Library, he said, and there were copies of the book available there. He added that if I borrowed books from them, I could return them to my local library instead of having to go to the NB building. I'd heard lots of great things about the NB and had been told they had a huge collection of art books, but I kept putting off going there to sign up as a member. I've been feeling really blue today, with tears on the verge of spilling all the time, so I figured instead of putting it off again and moping around feeling sorry for myself, I may as well go over right then and there, sign up, and bring the book home. Which is what I did. What this means is that now I have one more reason for not spending so much money on art books, which can only be a good thing in the long run. Besides, I've long ago run out of shelf space to store them in.
They'd been predicting thunderstorms all week again, and when I came out of the metro station on my way home, I got caught right as the clouds split apart and let down sheets of rain. I didn't mind — it was refreshing, but I was just concerned the book might get wet. It didn't, so all's as well as can be. I'm off to do some reading now. Dunno if I'll write reviews or not later, we'll see.
Oh Ilana, what a trying day you had yesterday. So sorry that all of that happened and you had to deal with it. Wish I had a balm for your sore heart. So glad you are going to see a dermatologist - if it is not a food allergy or a reaction to a cosmetic product, the only things I can think of are a reaction to some medicine you're taking or the water. When our softener runs out of salt, I get really itchy skin. You should definitely bring it up at your next appointment.
And that is so great that you found a source of great art books that you can borrow - and bonus that you can return them to your local branch. What a fabulous find!!
Hope the rest of your evening is relaxing and enjoyable. Sending good thoughts your way.
Dear, dear Ilana - you are being sorely tested. What a day!
The sensations you feel after taking your shower could be due to so many things - even anxiety. Hope your doctor can provide some ideas and relief for you.
Hope you get some good sleep tonight and have a really sweet and calming day tomorrow. Every day holds it's own promise.
hugs and more hugs
#43 Oh you poor darling - things just went from bad to worse for you, ma cherie. Sometimes my husband suffers similarly - he blames the towels and says I have put too much powder in the wash. I also think that sometimes there is more chlorine in the water than other times. Perhaps use a 'chemical free' moisturiser before getting into the shower? As a bit of a barrier?
I agree with Paul though - what a gut-wrenching post...Sending the most soothing of thoughts your way!
#48 Mamie, thank you for your sympathy. Going to see my dad wherever he happens to be living (he tends to move around a lot), is always very trying for me. Almost every time, I walk away feeling desolate and rather hopeless. I don't know why that is, because my father seems to be reasonably happy with his lot, and has always lived more or less this way. It's very possible the skin affliction could be purely psychological. I think I recall it happening a few times before setting off for appointments, though not always. I've always had sensitive skin, but never to the point of being a real problem. I'm not sure what you mean when you mention a softener running out of salt?
Beyond all that, I'm really glad I finally got a membership at the National Library. I'll have to ask to make sure, by the librarian at the municipal library said the NL has arrangements with libraries around the world and can even get certain documents sent from overseas! That seems almost incredible to me. I guess that would be for difficult to find, out of print books and such, otherwise would be cheaper to purchase them, right? Rather intriguing. I shall investigate further and report on my findings.
#49 Claudia, you may be absolutely right about the cause being anxiety. We all know anxiety can manifest itself in all sorts of strange and unexpected ways. I was definitely anxious about visiting my dad. What I'm trying to sort out is that things between us were actually totally fine. He gave me the space and silence I needed, didn't get agitated and neurotic about my condition (which is often the case) and basically just let me be while being very caring. But I guess it was the context of the thing that just totally freaked me out. I'm so sensitive about so many things, not least of all the environment I happen to be in at any given time. I wish it wasn't so, but seems I don't have a choice in the matter. I brought him the watercolour sketch I did of him, which I had exposed at the student show, and he seemed quite happy about that. I should just be grateful that things went well between us and let go of the rest. But you know how "shoulds" work, don't you? Tomorrow is another day indeed. I'm grateful that I can sleep through most things.
#50 Prue, I hadn't thought of moisturizing my skin before getting in the shower before, but I may give it a try. Apparently we have very decent water in Montreal, but who knows. I know it can't be any specific soap I use, because it seems to have happened with different ones, and I tend to use soaps adapted to sensitive skin and preferably all natural. I'm sorry my post was so bleak. I did think maybe I'd be best not to post anything at all, but I guess it was a bit of a cry for support and encouragement because sometimes I do feel miserably hopeless. The good news is it usually never lasts very long. Thanks for your message my dear. xx
So sorry to hear you had such a dreadful day :-( I hope the dermatologist can come up with some ideas to stop your skin itching like that.
But good news about yoga and being able to get art books at the National Library!
Hope you feel better today.
I seem to have hit a slump, mood wise and have my personal little black cloud following me around, but it'll pass. It always does eventually.
I'm having trouble walking since yesterday. I've had a sore achilles tendon for several weeks now, and it sort of went away, but not completely, and the pain seems to have collected in my heel now. Not sure what to do about it. I guess I should make an appointment with my family doctor who'll refer me to a specialist. Typically, it'll be months before I get to see someone, but it's been going on for a while now, so I guess I shouldn't just ignore it.
Today I'll be finishing both East of Eden and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
Last night I decided to spend some of my Audible credits and got Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which is being raved about all over the place, and also got Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville, which I guess is more of a "true" follow-up to The Secret River, as it's about the youngest daughter of William Thornhill, the former convict who made a life for himself and his family in the new colony of Australia. There was also a 20% promotion to buy 3 credits, so I'll have to update my blackboard accordingly...
I really want to get my July reviews squared away. I'll see what I can do about that without spending the whole rest of the day on them.
Ilana, just finding your thread and reading through about your resolutions. It sounds like good news (from gov't agency) mixed with a dose of harsh reality (uncertainty about what happens after 65), and your resolution sounds like a good way to feel more in control. I have to say that my restriction on purchasing new books started out feeling very difficult but has now started feeling congruent for me. It has reduced my monthly spending, freeing up some $ for other things (like the new trim paint on our house -- boring but necessary), and I just feel more in control. I will go back to buying some books once I finish my personal challenge, but I might borrow from you and develop some kind of ongoing guideline...... rather than just "buy what I want when I want it even though I don't have time to read it"......
The picture of my dear sweet Coco is much appreciated. He is a cutie pie, that's for sure.
Yesterday sounds terribly draining..... I hope today is better (and yes, I'm glad you thought to take your sketch-book along, too!).
Hi Ilana- I hope you are enjoying The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It sounds very good and I heard it's narrated by the great Jim Broadbent. Hey, it's a win-win, or I hope so anyway. I just requested the audiobook from the library.
#54 Ellen, I have no idea how I'll do with my "guidelines". I've decided to spread the extra Audible credits I bought yesterday over the coming months, which won't leave me much room to play, but then of course, the whole idea is to read from the masses of books I already have. Plus there's always the library.
#55 Mark, I finished The Unlikely Pilgrimage today, and while I thought it was good, I don't think you can expect a glowing review from me. I don't know if I was just not in the right frame of mind to enjoy it (possible, even likely) or if the story and the structure itself simply didn't wow me regardless of my mood. On the other hand, Jim Broadbent was a real pleasure to listen to and I can only hope he'll be narrating more audiobooks in near future.
I've started on Gone Girl and must say it's a real effort taking off the earbuds because I'd be tempted to just listen to all 19 hours of it in one sitting!
Ilana- Sorry to hear that The Unlikely Pilgrimage wasn't a home-run. I'll probably still give it a try on audio.
Enjoy GG! Now, that's a winner!
Mark, I think most people including you will like The Unlikely Pilgrimage. I just wasn't in the mood for this man's particular journey since my own seems like enough of a trial sometimes.
Gone Girl is a treat and a half. Was inspired to finally clean up the BBQ and vacuum and wash the kitchen floor, just to give me an excuse to listen to it. All things I usually put off unless under a death threat! Did help that we had a cool breezy day today. We'll be back to swampy heat the rest of the week apparently.
I'm also one who should curb my book buying enthusiasm, I got carried away when I first joined the LT groups and so many good books weren't available from my library. Now that Auckland has become a 'supercity' most books are available as the libraries have amalgamated, but it's hard to break the habit of buying the lovely editions of favourite reads.
Illana, best of luck figuring out what's going on with your skin... that must be maddening!!! Just make sure your dermatologist listens, okay? Some don't. Some do. And the ones that don't sometimes just prescribe steroid creams to "fix" the problem. If that happens, can you PM me? I have a story to share. :) But hopefully that won't happen and it'll get sorted promptly.
Great to hear you're enjoying Gone Girl, it's not one I would have picked up myself but after looking at the work page, I'm intrigued...!
Kerry, it's just the beginning of the month, and already I've managed to tick off 3 out of 4 boxes on my blackboard, and have only 2 left in September... I'm really wondering whether I'll be able to do this, but I guess I'll find out as I go. Being an Audible member, what with all the sales they've got going all the time, certainly doesn't make holding to resolutions an easy job...
Faith, it's been at least a whole decade since I last consulted my dermatologist. I only go see doctors when it's absolutely necessary, but I remember this one being very kind and understanding. I think. Anyway, I'll find out at the end of the month whether he's truly helpful or not. I suspect some of my skin problems (there are a few) are probably side-effects from some of the medication I have to take.
Well, another day gone, and still haven't written those reviews. Tomorrow is another day and maybe the review muse will land on my should when I awake. One can always hope!
eta: Almost forgot to mention I just finished East of Eden a few moments ago. I really loved the first half of the book or so, but not so sure afterward. I feel like I may not be clever enough to fully understand it.
I must put Gone Girl on hold (last time I tried, I was instructed that I had reached my limit on the number of books I could have on hold at one time -- no more than 25 allowed.....).
Congrats on completing East of Eden, Ilana! I'll be interested in your thoughts once you digest your reactions a bit. I've heard it described as an allegory and those usually go right over my head. :-|
I'm behind on reviews, too, Ilana, so don't feel badly. Sorry to hear that The Unlikely Pilgrimage wasn't a better fit. And congrats on finishing East of Eden! I still am not very far into it, and truth be told, I am thinking of shifting it to another month as I am not sure that I am in the mood for it. I don't want to ruin the experience by reading it when I'm not up for it. I feel like it requires more effort than I can give right now.
Gone Girl is in my stacks, so I know that I will get to that one soon. Glad you are enjoying the audio.
Hope today is a good one for you - going to be hot here - 91.
Hi Ilana, just passing through. So sorry to hear of your skin problems, hopefully you can get some answers from the dermatologist. Glad you mostly found East of Eden to your liking, it's not one of my favorite Steinbecks, but I remember enjoying it when I read it many years ago.
Just got back from an appointment at the dentist's (just a regular checkup & cleaning, and all is well), then did some groceries. The latter was a bit awkward. It always has been so with Clara... she just has a strange way about her, but I got beautiful, local organic produce and dairy, which is one of the things that keeps me going there. Also went to get a tube of paint I needed to work on my Pascale painting, and will make some time today, even if just an hour, to work on it so I can keep my promise to myself, though the weather is nice and not too hot and what I really want to do is sit on the balcony with a homemade lemonade and read. Life is tought I tell you! :-)
#63 Ellen, Gone Girl is certainly no literary exploit, but it's completely engrossing. We have a 25 hold limit here too. I kept hitting the limit last year with all the audiobooks I borrowed to copy on my HD, but I've calmed down a bit I guess.
#64 Mamie, saying it wasn't a great fit is probably the best way to put it. And I'm glad I've finally finished EoE. No point in reading it if you're not in the mood. As I said, I was gripped in the beginning and by hte end, not so much. Maybe Ellen has a point about it being allegorical, which usually goes right over my head too. Dunno if I'll have time to write reviews today again, but it's not like there's an external deadline or anything either.
#65 Hi Judy! I hope the dermatologist can offer solutions too. I originally made the appointment (at least 4 months ago!) because it seems I may have developed some form of eczema on my scalp, which makes it constantly itchy and makes me look like I have dandruff all the time, and fairly recently, a couple of patches on either side of my nose have appeared, also constantly itchy and often very red. If I ever had any looks to speak of, my vanity certainly has taken a hit. All probably side-effects of the meds would be my best guess.
I'm pretty sure I read East of Eden in my teens, because parts of it seemed familiar, but it was mostly a whole new discovery. Maybe I had certain expectations which were met I must say, but there was a whole lot more going on that may have gone over my head.
How uncomfortable that must be -- I sometimes get a hint of what you are describing when I get suddenly overheated, basically, like ants crawling over me.... It always feels like something is getting mixed signals in my circulatory system when that happens. I seem to be able to get through it quickly. Someone recommended ice water, and that does help me.
#67 Ice water, I'll keep that in mind. Thank goodness it doesn't happen all that often. But then, I don't shower every day either (yes, I've finally come out and said it). Except in summer days of course, when I get all sweaty and gross and smelly. I don't let that happen. I do somewhat fear the shower. So I do the French thing and use cologne. I've got lots of nice smelling cologne!
So if you've read my message in #66, I'll say it right now: no, I didn't do it finally. I said I'd work on my painting, but I didn't. I'll tell you what I did with my entire evening instead, up till bedtime: I listened to Gone Girl. I NEVER sit down to listen to audiobooks; the whole point is that I can move around a DO things AND read. But I've been gripped by the intrigue, and so beat my own record yesterday and clocked in EIGHT hours of listening time. I did do things for most of the time, but I also just sat there for an hour or two, just listening. It felt so decadent. I guess I could have done that AND painted, but it just didn't happen. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring one of the plot twists well in advance, but from what I've seen in the reviews, I should expect more.
Anyway, won't be listening quite as much today because I am going to paint for most of it. Looking forward to my class quite a lot actually, so off I go to finish getting ready for it.
Hope everyone has a great day!
Hope you have a fun day and get a lot accomplished!
Gone Girl huh? Drat! Everyone is reading that! and liking it...
Just making sure I am keeping up over here. Hope you had a lovely day - good for you to enjoy the decadence of just sitting and listening to a good book! Getting ready to dive into bed with a good book myself and just relax and enjoy.
Oh no. I'd just finished typing up a whole bunch of stuff, and it's all gone again.
The short of it is I ended up having a great class, even though through most of it up till the last hour I felt like I was making a giant mess and might as well pack it in. But I'm glad I kept going. I've spent time editing the pics I took and will be posting them on my blog tomorrow.
Made my first BBQ meal of the summer, now I've cleaned my Weber grill. It was spicy italian sausage with zucchini and potatoes cut and mixed with olive oil, fresh chopped sage, cayenne pepper & salt in a foil wrap. Very yummy.
Spent the 6 hours since I've been back from class listening to Gone Girl while doing all this. Only 80 minutes or 40 pages to go, and there's a good chance I'll finish that up tonight, as soon as I'm done typing here! As I keep saying, it's no great literature or anything, but definitely a gripping thriller.
#69 Claudia, this couple will probably make you feel like you have the best marriage ever. It's a treat, just jump in already!
#70 Hi Piyush!
#71 Heather, I should have just stopped listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage in the first few minutes, when I realized I wasn't in the mood for it either, because it won't have gotten the appreciation it deserves from me... and yes 8 hours listening to Gone Girl is a pretty nice way to spend time indeed!
#72 Hi Stasia!
#73 Hi Mamie, you must be fast asleep by now, or bordering on anyway, but hope you enjoyed your reading tonight. I think it might be an early one for me too... feel all used up now...
Hello beautiful - if you are listening to an audio book, then you are reading, and if you are reading, well, that must be doing something! Expanding your mind, tending your soul, whatever. Never feel decadent for reading! I keep saying I won't get Gone Girl until it comes down in price on BD, and only hafter I come back from Cambodia, but, it is so tempting! Excuse me while I go sit on my hands.....
Audio books are still books I agree with Prue. Haven't read any myself but that has more to do with having the equipment and savvy to download etc.
Well, I finished Gone Girl and must say was quite disappointed with the ending. I doubt I'll be able to write more than one line about this book without giving away spoilers, so I'll any other comments I might have for whatever kind of review I'll be writing.
A friend I've known for a few years through my art classes has invited me tonight to see the last screening of a documentary on artist Gerhard Richter. I was going to turn her down, wanting to stay home as usual (hoping to write those reviews I've put off seemingly forever), but had a look at the artist's official site (http://www.gerhard-richter.com) and the movie trailer (http://www.gerhardrichterpainting.com) and decided I should go after all. During our brief phone conversation she told me she paints at home 3-4 days per week, which has me thinking I really need to get my act together and get going on doing artwork at home.
Did yoga this morning!
Hi Ilana, sorry I've been absent for a while. I'm trying to catch up with all that I missed while I was away. I love the sketch of your new project and can't wait to see the how this evolves.
Glad you liked Gone Girl, Ilana, sorry you didn't like the ending. I thought it was just right, and it gave me the creeps. I think his sister was on the money in her comments (*carefully avoiding spoilers*)
#76 Hi Prue, I certainly listened to Gone Girl in record time, but honestly if I had known how it ends, I wouldn't have bothered. But that's just me because I know most people who've read it absolutely rave about it. I'm just trying to figure out what message the ending sends out and more importantly, how it's received by the average reader.
#77 Paul, I won't say a child could figure out how to download and listen to an audiobook, because we all know kids are much better at figuring out technology than the average adult nowadays, but probably my father could figure it out too, which IS saying a lot. ;-)
In other words, it's really, really, really easy, especially when it comes to Audible and using their smart phone app.
#78 Judy, at this point I'm wondering just how fast they'll be coming out with the movie version. Seems they already have Reese Witherspoon signed on to play the lead female character.
#80 Hi Caro, I was actually just going to go over to post the work we did yesterday on my blog, so I'll be back to post the link here shortly!
#81 Joe, maybe it bothered me because the whole book reminded me of all the difficulties I experienced in my love life and the stories friends and lovers alike related to me about the state of their own relationships. Seems decent relationships are a rare commodity these days.
All right, speed-reviews. Wish me luck with it: as many as I can in the next hour or so, as must leave to meet my friend at the cinema soon.
98. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ★★★★⅓
(tutored read, also read for July TIOLI #7: *more than 300 pages* with *a multiple word title*, and 12/12 #12: From My Treasure-Trove)
Now that Bring Up the Bodies is out, this book is old news already, but I thought my timing was excellent before moving on to book 2 in the trilogy. I tried to read WH back in 2009, got to about 100 pages and gave up. There was the small matter of the pronoun "he" throughout to designate Cromwell which has been much talked about and which forced this and many other readers to reread entire paragraphs over and over again to figure out who was being discussed. But perhaps even more of an issue for me was that at the time, I was a complete newcomer to Tudor history and didn't know any of the main characters or the historical happenings and significance of what takes place in the novel. By the time I approached this book again this June, I at least had a better grasp on who Henry VIII was (he of the eight wives, who wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon, the first one, so he could wed the second, Anne Boleyn, whom he ended up putting to death when she couldn't produce a male heir and HVIII's attentions had already moved on to the next pretty young thing, Jane Seymour). But I still had no idea who Thomas Cromwell was, nor of his role in Henry VIII's court, nor of the part he played in that specific business of getting his boss to transition smoothly between his
(my review is hidden away on the main page here: http://www.librarything.com/work/9209435/reviews/65285201)
Hmmmm, once again, not doing so well on the "speed" part of speed-reviewing, but to be fair, I'd mulled over this one for quite a long time.
#85 Caro, I talked about it and linked to a trailer and web site in #79 earlier today.
Quickly now, MUST get July over and done with!
99. ♫ Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens ★★★¾
(Group Read, also read for July TIOLI #4: a title that suggests sharing, and 12/12 Category #2: Tea with Georgie, Vickie & Eddie - 18th & 19th Century Classics)
Another of Dickens sagas wherein the reader has plenty of time to settle down and come to consider each of the characters of the novel as very old acquaintances (yes, this one was serialized too of course). There's a very amusing premise here about the pursuit of wealth and it's consequences: a disagreeable man having made a great fortune from dust (which is just what is sounds like), leaves his great wealth to his son on the condition that he marry a certain young lady named in the will. The young son, who is to arrive from overseas, is found drowned and presumably murdered. The dustman's fortune ends up going to his long-suffering servants, a coupe of very simple folks by the name of Mr and Mrs Boffin, who are among a huge cast of characters, including a mysterious man (the mutual friend of the title), the young woman who was meant to marry the dustman's son, and several despicable characters that you just love to hate, with most everyone coming to meet the end they deserve in what is a most perplexing final plot twist which took away from my general appreciation of the story (hence not quite 4 stars), though that is a question of personal taste only. Great narration on this audiobook version read by David Timson.
100. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill ★★★★⅓
(Read for TIOLI #8: the author's initials form a commonly used abbreviation or initialism or acronym - c/c cubic centimetres, 12/12 #6: Going Places)
This is the second book in the Dr. Siri series, now officially a favourite of mine. This time there is a mistreated bear on the loose in Vientiane and people being randomly mauled to death, though of course things aren't quite as they seem; our coroner meets with a very unusual person in what might be the garden of Eden, and the communist party has called a meeting for all the shamans of Laos, which Siri of course manages to attend as one of the mystics. This chapter, called "Doin' the Exorcism Conga" had some of the funniest, laugh out very loud moments in the book, with the party official demanding that the shamans summon the spirits to give them an ultimatum and essentially get them to toe the communist party line. I intend to devour these books one after the other and worry about having come to the end of the series later.
101. In Between: Guy Bourdin by Shelly Verthime ★★★★⅓
(Read for 12/12 Category #9: Visual Treats)
Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) was a fashion photographer I discovered in my early teens via picture spreads in Photo magazine, a French monthly publication which is still in print and features a wide variety of work by professional photographers from diverse field, from fashion and travel to war reportage, portraiture and fine arts (and plenty of nudes, which were my initial models for my budding drawing efforts). Bourdin became a protégé of Man Ray after doing his army service and by 1955, his work started being regularly featured in Paris Vogue, a bible among style-conscious readers. Bourdin is credited with having been among the first to fully exploit the possibilities offered in the format of a magazine double-page spread, and the book's horizontal format was conceived to display his images at their full advantage. His signature style was honed between the 60s and 80s; always pushing the envelope with daring, overtly sexual (some might say sexist), often outrageous concepts and an ultra saturated colour palette, Bourdin never compromised his ideas to please his clients and it's obvious when looking at his incredibly imaginative and often disturbing images that only a man of vision and great conviction could have created the strange worlds he captured on film. All without recourse to the electronic technology contemporary photographers and viewers now take for granted: no digital imagery, no photoshop and limited retouching capabilities. This book, destined to become a collector's item, is beautifully produced by German publisher Steidl and features over 270 of Bourdin's photos covering his entire career.
(cover image to come)
102. ♫ I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith ★★★★
(read for: to come)
My... it's been dead in these parts. I'm dead too: dead tired. I rarely do this, but I'm off for a nap.
Those are some amazing photos. Beautiful and slightly disturbing....
Thirty-three Teeth is up next for me, by the way.
Ilana, I'm tackling Wolf Hall right now also, (coming to the end of Part 3) and I have starred your thread with Chatterbox. After each chapter/part I'm checking in to see what awesome analysis she adds to the book. It great to have someone explain the background. I also find that although the 'he' issue does make me reread paragraphs, I'm less annoyed, knowing about the issue, than if I read it fresh in 2009 and wasn't aware everyone else was having the same problem. So far I'm really enjoying it, glad it doesn't fall in the second half.
#94 Hi Ellen! Nice to see you in these parts! I remember being really intrigued by Guy Bourdin's imagery back in the 80s. I've always found his photos at once seductive and scary, and though they offend my vaguely feminist leanings, they also completely fascinate me. I've always thought I'd do some paintings based on his photos eventually...
I hope you enjoy Thirty-Three Teeth as much as I did! I got a notification today telling me Disco for the Departed is ready for me to pick up along with 7 other (mostly audio) books.
#95 Hi Susan, I'm really pleased that the Wolf Hall thread is coming in handy for you. Of course you're right that it helps knowing most people stumble with the maddening usage of pronoun throughout, because back in 2009 I remember feeling I was probably not smart enough to figure out that book! The second half is just as gripping and I'm now really looking forward to reading Bring Up the Bodies.
The above is a photo of the star of my current painting project, "Plant with Man" and is placed here as an invitation to visit my blog to see this week's latest developments: http://createthreesixty5.com/2012/08/10/plant-with-man-week-2/.
In book news... I already fell off the wagon! Had an appointment with my OT today, who is close to my favourite used bookstore. Hadn't been there in a long time, and I thought I'd just have a look and maybe buy just one book. That didn't go so well. Here's what I got:
A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
Excellent Women, An Unsuitable Attachment, No Fond Return of Love and A Glass of Blessings, all by Barbara Pym, a new-to-me author
A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell
The Master by Colm Toibin
All those books save for the Colm Toibin were under $5, so it all counts as 2.5 books according to my new system, but that's still well over my monthly limit, and we're still just beginning the month... not sure what to do about that.
I love the perfect red nails and red lips in that picture, Ilana. Wish I could take that color red, but instead of looking glam, I look like a cheap hooker.
The only one I've read from your latest haul is A Sight for Sore Eyes and I loved it. You're in for a treat. I've an Unsuitable Attachment in my TBR Tower but have yet to get to it.
Caro, I think that colour red makes most women look like cheap hookers. I do sometimes paint my toenails a bright red, and that can be quite nice and unhookerish.
I've read a couple of Ruth Rendell books, the first being The Crocodile Bird which I thought was really great, and she's since become an author I definitely want to keep reading. Glad you were a fan of A Sight for Sore Eyes. I almost ALWAYS check LT on my iPhone when I'm shopping for books to see what the general rating is for any book which isn't already on my wishlist and who among my connections has liked it. Somehow didn't see you there though.
#97: I love Barbara Pym's books, so I really hope you enjoy that part of your haul! I also loved The Master. You have got some good reading in store, Ilana. Congratulations!
#100 & 102 Ellen, I've only read two of her novels so far, but have quite a few on my wishlist, which I'm sure I'll keep adding to!
#101 Stasia, I'm glad to know you're a fan of Pym's too. She's one of many authors I only discovered recently thanks to LT.
#102 Thanks Paul, hope you're having a great weekend too. On the author page, the works of Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine are grouped together, which makes it easier to keep track of it all.
#103 You having read A Sight for Sore Eyes more than once is quite the stamp of approval for it Kerry! The Master has been on my wishlist for a number of years now, so when I saw what looked like a brand new copy, I grabbed it of course!
Wow! Lots of stuff to catch up on here - not sure where to start, so I'll just jump in. Loved your reviews - yours are always so interesting and thoughtful. You make great points about Wolf Hall, which I also gave 4.5 stars. Have not read that particular Dickens and am not likely to this year. LOVE Dr. Siri - I am ready for book 7...sob...just two more books and then I have to wait for more. There ARE more coming aren't there? *crosses fingers and whispers fervent wishes for more Dr. Siri books*
In Between sounds interesting - what's truly amazing about those images is this point that you make: "All without recourse to the electronic technology contemporary photographers and viewers now take for granted: no digital imagery, no photoshop and limited retouching capabilities. " Incredible! Love the vivid colors.
Haven't checked out the latest on your blog yet, but I will as soon as I am finished here.
I have not read any of those books that you just purchased, but they have created quite a bit of chatter, so I simply must check them out. Haven't read any of those authors, although I do have one of Boyd's on my WL. So I guess I have some homework from your thread!!
Hope all is well with you and that today is being kind. Quiet weekend here - tonight is the Bourne Marathon that my kids are going to at a friend's house. I shared on Caro's thread that when they first asked I thought they said "porn marathon" - would have had to say no to that one. LOL! Anyway, all is well as Jason Bourne movies get my hearty approval.
Take care, I'll check back later after my homework is done!
Hi Mamie, always love your visits, all the more so with such meaty comments left behind! (though ANY comment is a good comment in my book) :-)
I made the mistake of having a quick peek at the synopsis of the 8th Dr Siri book on Audible and had to stop at the 3rd word and pretend I hadn't read anything. I hope I didn't read what I think I saw, is all I'll say at this point. It's certainly a series one doesn't want to see ending, isn't it? I can understand why you'd be a little upset about being at the 7th book already. I feel quite smug having only gotten to the 3rd so far, but that won't last too long as I plod along...
I saw In Between at the bookstore a couple of years ago when they had a huge art book display as Christmas gift suggestions. I really wanted it quite badly, but figured I'd shop for it online to get it cheaper and promptly forgot to do so (or more likely, I put it off because had already spent too much on books at that point!). When, a few months later I looked online for it, it seemed to be unavailable everywhere. I had Amazon sending me emails every couple of months for nearly a year saying "we're still looking". I looked at AbeBooks, but it had obviously already become a collector's item, because there were no copies under $200. Then, when Amazon notified me they definitely couldn't obtain it for me, I went and checked the Indigo site again (the online arm of the store I'd first seen it in) and lo and behold it seemed to have become available again, for all of $55. But then... they were on backorder and I was sure they wouldn't have it after all. So you can imagine how happy I was when I got it in the mail finally....
Ok, I admit it's a boring story, but the whole thing had my heart soaring and hurting, then soaring again, from one moment to the next!
All the authors I purchased yesterday came highly recommended, and I certainly encourage you to get to Boyd ASAP! He's definitely one of my all-time favourites and I can't believe it took me so long to discover him!
My day started late, and it's grey outside, with thunderstorms probably coming our way, but I am not complaining at all. We worked out with my occupational therapist yesterday that I'd be doing at least one hour of artwork EVERY DAY from now on, so I look forward to getting cracking on that as soon as I get back from the library, which I'll be headed to shortly, hopefully before buckets of rain start falling. That'll cut into my LT time, but it's all for a good cause, right? So that's MY homework today.
I'm a bit discouraged about the reviews quite honestly. I cranked all those out in one evening and started feeling pretty good about it, but then realized I've already got over a half-dozen more to get caught up on still! Oy. Glad you enjoyed them though, that's pretty encouraging. xx
#97 "Had an appointment with my OT today, who is close to my favourite used bookstore." Well, if your OT will have her office near a bookshop what does she expect people to do? Ooh - Barbara Pym!
I don't think I've commented on your 'Plant with Man' posts but I've enjoyed seeing the development of the painting and the various layers again.
In reading news, I started the audiobook of The Warden by Anthony Trollope a couple of days ago. There's a tutored read for it, with Liz (lyzard) as tutor and Heather (souloftherose) as tutee, which I'll be following along with. I was ready to give up by the middle of chapter 2. The main characters are all clergy from the Church of England, and it's a milieu I have no interest in, but then I figured human nature is the same everywhere, and the book may be interesting from that point of view. I was relieved to see on the tutoring thread that Liz herself said most modern readers are put off for the same reasons I was, and that she herself had been at first too. It's a short novel in any case, so at the very worst I'll have spent 7 hours on a book I'm not in love with, OR, have the confirmation, once again that the topic of any given book hardly matters when put in the hands of a talented writer.
Lots of good stuff here and lots of good books as well, Ilana! Hopefully the skin condition has gotten better?
It looks like you enjoyed I Capture the Castle based on your rating and will be interested to see what your review on that book may be. :)
Oh, hi Heather! Funny that, I was just mentioning you above, as you were probably typing that message! It seems Barbara Pym comes recommended along with Elizabeth Taylor, so it's only fitting I should stock up on books by both authors, especially this month with the Virago Modern Classics TIOLI challenge.
LOL. I keep missing posts, sorry Valerie! I have no idea what I'll say about the Dodie Smith book yet. I thought I'd write that review earlier today, but the review muse isn't with me right now, so it'll have to wait! ;-)
My Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine wishlist collection has grown by 9 more titles today, after seeing what was available at the library and on Audible. I'm tempted to spend a credit on one of her audiobooks right now, but will hold off for now.
Off to the library with Coco in a moment. The weather is very confusing. Lots of clouds, but the sun shines through once in a while too. I guess I should play it safe and bring an umbrella...
That's perfect! Spending 1 hr/day on art. It's a gentle form of discipline in your favor. Cheering you on!
I forgot to tell you I picked up Disco for the Departed yesterday at the library... can't resist.
Hugs for you and Coco!
Claudia, I did my hour+ of watercolours. Nothing that I want to show for it, but that's not the point. And yes, a gentle discipline. The idea is to slowly get me more disciplined in general. May take decades!
I also forgot to mention that among the books I brought back from the library today, there was Disco for the Departed, which I'll start on tonight (because I can't resist either) and The Giver by Lois Lowry Other than that, a bunch of stuff by Marcel Proust.
#105: Pym is one of my LT discoveries too, although I had one of her books in the BlackHole for years before I finally managed to read it. LT spurred me to get it read and I am glad I did!
Stasia, I'm hoping I'll have time to pick up one of the Pym's this month, but we'll see how that goes since I've already planned for more books in August than I could probably read in 2-3 months! I'm thinking of starting with Excellent Women, would you advise that, or am I better starting with another of the books I got?
Started the day with 12 minutes of yoga stretches with my fabulous Gaiam video. The morning yoga sequence is filmed at dawn somewhere fabulous by the side of the ocean and the sights and sounds alone make it a very pleasant 12 minutes. The stretching isn't too bad either. Followed that up with French toast, which I hadn't had in a while. Altogether quite a nice start to the day.
Speaking of starts, I'm a couple of chapters into Disco for the Departed, and if I listened to myself, I'd spend the whole day devouring the book in one sitting. But I've decided I MUST get some reviews taken care of, because I'm stressed out thinking they're accumulating seemingly faster than I can finish any given book!
102. ♫ I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith ★★★★
(Read for July TIOLI Challenge #7: a book of *more than 300 pages* with *a multiple word title*, 12/12 Category #4: Guardian Knows Best - Guardian 1000 (Love))
Seventeen year-old Cassandra Mortmaine keeps a journal in which she introduces us to her household, which has the privilege of living in a beautiful, albeit crumbling English castle. Her family are so poor none of them ever get enough to eat, they all wear tattered clothes and most of the furniture has long ago been sold off, but things haven't always been so dire, because once upon a time her father published a successful book and they lived very comfortably, but many years have gone by since and instead of working on a new project, he sits in his study obsessively reading mystery novels, insisting that he'll never write again. Their young stepmother Topaz makes a very meagre income as an artist's model, but that won't keep any of them fed and warm. Sister Rose is a rare beauty, and might have hopes of making a good marriage and pulling them all out of their misery, but of course there aren't any eligible men around, nor are there likely to be any in this small country town where nothing ever happens. Nothing happens that is, until one day two men show up at the door unannounced, wanting to take a tour of the castle. We know of course things are going to change drastically with this new arrival, and they do. But while Cassandra struggles with new feelings—the novel threatened at that point, to my great annoyance, to become a teenage angst-ridden paean to unrequited love—there were plenty of surprises in store so that by the end I was very sorry to lose such a likeable narrator. Though it was written in the 1940s, this is a very modern romance that doesn't fall into clichés.
...and that's it for July books, FINALLY!!! Yayyyyyy!!!
Kudos to you for catching up with your July books! I just caught up with mine yesterday. I loved your review for I Capture the Castle - thumb for you.
Did my homework so now I know who Barbara Pym and Ruth Rendell are and have added some books to my WL. Checked out your blog - fascinated as always with the progression of your art. Did I miss what this particular art class is focusing on?
You will love Disco for the Departed - and then comes the fourth in the series which is one of my favorites so far.
Your day sounds like it got off to a lovely start, and you caught up with the current month - good work! Mine has been a lazy day so far, and I must see if I can talk myself into knocking out the last two reviews that I need to do in order to be completely caught up for at least a moment! We'll see.
Hope the rest of the day is kind to you.
Mamie, thanks for the thumb. Though of course, no sooner have I finished catching up with July that I now feel compelled to keep up with this month's reading too, as I already have a half dozen reviews pending and don't want to accumulate too many more than that. I've been plugging away at my review of Eugénie Grandet which isn't quite finished yet and will try to write as many as I possibly can within the next couple of hours. After that, back to some artwork!
In the meantime, I'll take out Coco for a bit of a walk, as he's just now very nicely asked me to take him outside, "Please Mommy, if you wouldn't mind too much." He's really polite about these things, so of course I can't refuse him. :-)
103. ♫ Eugénie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac ★★★★¾
(Read for August TIOLI #21: Read a middle-length work; 150-288 pages total and 12/12 Category #11: Litérature Française)
Set in the historic French town of Saumur, which is surrounded by vineyards and produces some of France's finest wines, we are first introduced to Eugénie's father, Félix Grandet, and told how in the early 19th century, having married a rich merchant's daughter, he came to amass a vast fortune, in part due to his business acumen but also by having inherited the estates of his grandmother, his mother-in-law and grandfather-in-law, all in the same year. Grandet produced what was considered to be the best wine in the country, so that his fortune was constantly increased, and we are soon shown what manner of despicable meiser he was. Nobody in this small town, where everybody knows his or her neighbour's business, knew exactly the extent of the man's fortune, so scrupulous was he to hide any sign of it, though many were those who were certain (and not wrongly) that he hid away a great pile of gold which he liked to admire regularly. Though he could easily afford to live like a great lord, Grandet employed only one person in his service, the old Nanon, who showed her master an unwavering devotion and in return was made to work like a dog. Far from spoiling his wife and only daughter Eugénie, the despotic Grandet forced them to work at mending all the household's clothing, this task keeping them busy from morning to night.
I won't detail here the extent of the man's avarice, because Balzac obviously took great delight in describing his mean creation, with a plot which continually underlines and confirms Grandet's sordid nature. Eugénie is a loving daughter who takes no offence at her father's constant mistreatment. The story takes off on Eugénie's 23rd birthday; the families of Grandet's lawyer and of his banker have been invited, both groups having high hopes of marrying their sons to the heiress. An unexpected guest also makes an appearance: Grandet's handsome nephew Charles Grandet, freshly arrived from Paris. The young man is a true Parisian dandy, such as are never seen in Saumur, and makes a not entirely positive impression, but Eugénie, seeing the splendour of her cousin's appearance, is suddenly made aware of the shabby state of their house. Charles has been sent over by his father, who has very suddenly found himself bankrupt, and has hopes that his brother Félix will take the spoiled young man under his wing and help him find an adequate means of earning a living. It seems that Balzac first had the idea for the great undertaking that was The Human Comedy (which consists of 91 finished works), while writing Eugénie Grandet in 1833. Though the subject of avarice is certainly a distasteful one, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, which will from now on rank among my all-time favourites. The experience was made all the more pleasurable thanks to the narration on this audiobook version by the French actor André Dussollier.
104. ♫ The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce ★★¾
(Read for TIOLI #2 a book from the 2012 Booker Prize longlist, 12/12 Challenge #8: Hot Off the Press)
Harold Fry and his wife Maureen have been holding on to what has become a truly dreadful marriage over the past 20 years. One morning, while Maureen bickers at him about the jam, Harold opens a letter from his old friend Queenie, who writes to let him know that she is dying of cancer. Harold hasn't heard from Queenie in many years and decides to write her an answer right away, but as he is about to drop off the letter in the mailbox, he decides that a letter just won't do and that instead he should make his way to see her in person. On foot. Over a distance of some 600 miles. He's told Maureen he was just dropping off the letter at the mailbox, he hasn't taken his mobile phone, isn't wearing adequate gear to make such a long journey, and his sailing shoes aren't likely to hold up or be very comfortable on such a long trek, but no matter, he's determined that positive thinking will somehow save Queenie from her terminal cancer, and what started as one man's journey eventually becomes a national sensation.
I was prepared to like this book very much. I loved the premise and knew it wouldn't be a cheery affair, but perhaps I wasn't in the right mindset to fully appreciate it. As we follow Harold through his long march, we are made to witness the wanderings of his mind, with remembered glimpses from an unhappy past. I fully appreciate the message here, that his journey is one to save himself and his marriage, that walking helps him mull over difficult things he would have otherwise kept buried away, that it's all about self-healing, but I wasn't comfortable with the repetitive nature of Harold's thoughts, circling over and over around events that are only hinted at, and that we know will be revealed toward journey's end. It all reminded me too much of my own journey, my own obsessive thoughts over past hurts and tragedies, and perhaps felt too close for comfort. Or perhaps this just wasn't a great fit for me, though I'm sure this story is and will be fully appreciated by many. Fantastic narration on the audio version by Jim Broadbent.
105. East of Eden by John Steinbeck ★★★¾
(Read for Steinbeckathon, TIOLI #16: a cover that is boring, uninteresting, uninspiring, or mostly brown, 12/12 #12: From My Treasure-Trove)
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” - Book of Genesis, Chapter 4, King James Version
Two families, now living in the Salinas valley, are at the core of this novel. There are the Hamiltons, the head of which, Samuel, made his way from Ireland to California to become a poor farmer on a great unyielding expanse of land which nobody else wants, and of which the narrator is a descendant. Then there are the Trasks, who originally had farmland in Connecticut, and have also eventually made their way to Salinas. The title of the novel and the themes of that story certainly influenced Steinbeck strongly in this sprawling novel. Adam Trask had a younger brother, Charles, who was smaller than him, but of a violent and dangerous temperament. Charles had always made himself sick with envy that their father seemed to favour Adam. He had never gotten over the fact that to offer a gift to his father, he'd saved and scrimped to buy him a pocket knife, which his father thanked him for and kept in a drawer, while Adam had given him a puppy which the old man took everywhere with him. Charles did indeed intend to kill his brother one day, but then Adam was sent by this loving father into the army, and Adam, a reluctant soldier at best, was made to fight in extermination campaigns against the Indians. A good portion of the beginning of the novel is dedicated to Adam's story, but we are also simultaneously, through alternating chapters, introduced to Cathy Ames, who from earliest childhood has all the makings of a psychopath—though Steinbeck describes her as having a "malformed soul"— who grows up with an incredible talent and taste for manipulation.
I first read this novel when I was 16. Or at least, I'm awfully sure I did, because some paragraphs read like déja vu, but most of it was entirely new to me. The parts about Cathy came back to me quite vividly. I was fascinated by her then, and I was fascinated by her this time around too. She is described as being quite beautiful, with wide-set blue eyes and a small rosebud mouth, and she is vicious and utterly devoid of feelings, but I was continually fascinated every time she made an appearance. Like watching a wild and dangerous animal circling it's prey. There were many fascinating characters in this book, including Lee, the Chinese servant working for Adam who is more like a member of the family, with his strong intellect and scholarly leanings, he becomes a great friend of Samuel Hamilton, who, with his curious and ever-searching inventor's mind became a favourite of mine too. The whole construction is a very complex one, which isn't surprising coming from Steinbeck. But in my mind, the novel is split in two parts. There is the part before Adam's children become characters in their own right, and there is after. While it could be argued that the scope of the story is in many ways much simpler in what I arbitrarily consider to be the "second part", mostly taking place as it does in one household, which is the Trask's, who have at that point moved to the town of Salinas proper, it felt to me like it was an entirely different novel, even though many of the main characters are in it. As I write this, I'm "speed-reading" the novel again in my mind, to try to find a way to explain why I felt there was such a strong division and why I felt that the "first part" was more cohesive as a novel, even though there were that many more characters, places, time periods and events described within it. I couldn't say. All I know is that in my memory, East of Eden was about "my" first part, and the rest was entirely foreign to me, interesting as it was. All this means is I'll have to read this novel again sometime in future, and maybe my combined memories will come together with the person I'll be when I'm reading it again to form the cohesive whole which Steinbeck considered his magnum opus.
Ilana, you were much more generous with your rating of EoE than I was. I just couldn't connect with any of the characters with the exception probably of Lee. I think it was a matter of too much information, too much symbolism, that most of it went right over my head. I think I wanted more story and more character, but in the end I was left with a rather large question mark.
Puff puff - just trying to do my start of the week rounds so I don't fall hopelessly behind...back later! mwah
Okay, I missed at least 1,5 or 2 threads... Just want to say "Hi" for now, I'll slowly try and catch up on your life and your books.
I LOVE those Hajek paintings. I want them on my wall!
Just delurking to say that I am about to start listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry so I hope I like it more than you did.
Mightily impressed by your recent reading and listening. Love most things Balzac and no-one does avarice and vice quite so convincingly. The Dodie Smith and Steinbeck are still on the shelves and entreating me to hurry up a wee bit. I guess The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will make it onto those same shelves but not your unqualified enthusiasm for it (hahaha) and will not be in a hurry to suffer similarly.
#126 Hi Valerie, I wouldn't have given East of Eden that rating either if it weren't for that fact that I enjoyed the "first part" so much and that whole part of the story to do with Cathy. And though a lot of it went over my head too (I don't do symbolism that well either), it was such a powerful novel overall that I felt I couldn't fault it for me not getting all of it.
#127 Hi Prue, good luck catching up with everybody, you have my blessing! :-)
#128 Nathalie, nice to see you around LT again. I wouldn't worry about trying to catch up with everything if I were you, or you'll be at it night and day!
You might want to have a look at message #30 in response to Peggy's comment about Hajek's work as I've posted about his latest book and a link to a video to an interview with him. He's quite the babe!
#129 Hi Rhian, I hope you like TUPoHF better than I did too, though as I said, it's more than likely that most people will do!
#130 Paul, whenever I think of TUPoHF, I get this sinking feeling, so I don't think I'll be reassessing my impressions on that book anytime soon...
I only started reading Balzac last year with Old Goriot and have read 4 of his novels so far (listened to, actually, since they had them all available on audio at the library in the original French) and must say I've been thoroughly enjoying the experience. I can see why and how Zola was influenced by him, and speaking of the latter, will have to pick up some Zola again very soon because I've seriously fallen behind on my goal to complete the Rougon-Macquart series.
I finished The Warden this afternoon. Can't say I loved it. Doubtful that I'll continue with the Chronicles of Barsetshire, given there are so many other books I really really DO want to read/listen to! Not sure what I'll follow up with next in the audio section, though lord knows there's no lack of choice there!
I've been telling myself ALL day that I'll just spend 5 more minutes on the computer and then go do some artwork. I guess it's now or never if I want to fit it in before bedtime. But I'm kind of hungry too and just finished up my yummy rice and chickpea salad earlier this evening. Cereal then?
Just got a couple of 99¢ titles from HarperPerennial's eBook sale. I would have gotten a couple more, but they weren't available for purchase in Canada, or at least, not on sale. I got:
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter - a memoir of living in Paris
Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
I only very rarely purchase eBooks, since the iPhone isn't ideal as an e-reader, though it's perfectly fine, especially for free, or almost free books!
Here are the available titles: http://www.facebook.com/HarperPerennial/app_208195102528120
Another quiet day today, which got started very late again. Today am going to try working on my art in the afternoon and see how it feels not putting it off till the end of the day like some homework I dread doing, because in fact, I'm rather liking this business of doing something everyday—makes me feel much more free to experiment and try things, though of course, the idea is also to finish some of the countless works that are at various states of completion.
Haven't started on a new audiobook yet, as I've been listening to a few Muriel Sparks short stories between each novel and only have a couple to go, so figured I may as well finish that book already, as seems like I've been on it for many months (which I have of course!) I'll finish it during Coco's walk in a short while and then start on something else.
Disco for the Departed is an absolute hoot!
I've also reserved Dandelion Wine from the library. One more lovingly crafted review singing it's praises (over on Donna's thread, which I finally caught up on) had me decide I must read it this summer. Not sure how I'll fit it in, but the intention is there.
Also had forgotten I'd reserved Bring Up the Bodies on audio from the national library. Not sure audio is ideal for that book, even though I like Simon Vance well enough as a reader, but it won't cost me anything to try it in that format, so we'll see.
Haha, too funny! I actually hated Cathy. I kept wondering what the heck was wrong with the gal. It was like she had NO capacity for human emotions. I will try the other Steinbeck books I have on my shelf, and hopefully I will like them a tad more than I did EoE. :)
Here I am..."stopping by" but no way have I kept up with your thread(s)...it's been difficult enough with my own1
I saw the Harper Perennial sale at Shelf Awareness, this morning...and must go forth and fatten an eReader
I have noticed, on my Home Page, that you've added some pretty fine books...keep up the good work...and, yes, I love Team Coco!......and his Mum!
Quiet days are the best, as far as I'm concerned. We have a hard time laying off the various city attractions so we can have more of them.
Harper Perennial sale....oh, no...another site to visit. After months of restraint, I visited bookcloseouts.com and ordered 16 books that were on sale. I came home from the office early today because the pain level is right up at level nine. When I walked in the door to a nice big box of books awaiting me, I felt oh so much better.
Thinking of you in the hope that happier times with your father might some day be a reality.
#109 I also found the first couple of chapters of The Warden quite difficult to understand. It's a strange book for that - sometimes I've found 3/4 chapters together where I've been fine, no questions and then there'll be a chapter where I feel like I don't understand a flipping thing he's talking about! All praise to Liz for helping me navigate my way through them :-)
#119 Well done on doing some yoga :-) We always called French toast eggy bread when I was growing up - I have to say French toast is a much more grown up word for it!
#120 "...and that's it for July books, FINALLY!!! Yayyyyyy!!!" Woo hoo! I feel like I'm a little bit ahead of the game already this month because I've already reviewed two books I read in August. Only four behind...
#124 Sorry Harold Fry didn't work for you - I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would, although I'd struggle to say why exactly.
#125 Wow - I had no idea what East of Eden was about before reading your review and you've made it sound really interesting. One for my wishlist although I have my Mum's copy of The Grapes of Wrath to read and a copy of Of Mice and Men I picked up recently.
#134 Valerie, please don't get me wrong—I didn't like Cathy one bit either... I mean, who would? She's a snake and yes, soulless. But I just found her fascinating. As for other Steinbeck books, I would strongly recommend The Grapes of Wrath. We've read a few of his this year with the Steinbeckathon, and it continues to be my absolute favourite. It's an all time favourite in fact.
#135 Hey Jude, thanks for dropping by. Shelf Awareness is where I found out about the Harper Perennial sale. Pretty funny too, because I rarely make time to read the whole newsletter and keep them all for "eventually", but I saw the sale advertised and rushed on over to it. I was sure most of the titles would be unavailable in Canada but in fact, most of the were, save for a couple I wouldn't have minded getting too. Oh well. Can't have it all! :-)
#136 Joe, sometimes I think I may as well live out in the country for all the use I make of all the city attractions here in Montreal... I used to be a gal about town, but all that's changed these past years. I'm sure there are many city amenities I completely take for granted which I would only notice as being essential if these options were taken away... I've been to Chicago once for a couple of days and absolutely loved it!
#137 Linda, amazing what the healing powers of a box of books or a book in the mailbox can be eh? That being said, I'm so very sorry you're in so much pain.
As for my father, I must say we've got a very decent thing going these days. We speak briefly on the phone everyday (he gives me a wake-up call, and sometimes I call him back later in the day), and things were fine between us last time I went to see him (was it last week?), it's just the setting which was upsetting to me, but thinking back on it I did see that he had been very kind, gentle and understanding with me that time and I felt very grateful about that.
#138 Hallo Heather! I can't say I connected with any part of The Warden, and like you, so much of it went right over my head, but overall I'd say it was much better than what I'd feared it would be like from the first couple of chapters. But I'm still not all that tempted to read the following books in the chronicles, unless Liz tells us they keep getting better or something! Haven't dropped by the thread today, so I'll try to visit tomorrow and see all I've missed.
Thanks for the congrats on the yoga. It seems silly for me to make such a big deal out of it, considering, but just the fact that I've managed to motivate myself to do anything at all is indeed worth celebrating. "Eggy bread"... cute, but somehow doesn't really make me crave the stuff. Have no idea why it's called French toast, other than a wild guess that maybe the French came up with it first? The French term for it pain perdu is none too appealing either as it literally means "lost bread"... "lost" in this case meaning spoilt of "off" "old" or whatever.
I was quite happy about getting those 3 August reviews done, but I too am 4 more behind. Actually, five, now that I've finished The Complete Short Stories of Muriel Spark (FINALLY! Yay!) though I don't very well see how I can review that one!
Harold Fry: I thought I'd enjoy a lot more than I did, because it's a good story, I do see that from an objective point of view. In any case, I'm glad you liked it better than I did. I felt quite badly about not appreciating it fully, but there we have it.
I liked East of Eden, but The Grapes of Wrath is really outstanding, and I think many people who've read them both will agree the latter should probably be picked up first. I tried to sum up what it's about and feel I didn't quite pull it off, but I'm glad you got something out of it. Probably when you read it for yourself you'll see what I bad job I did of it! LOL! :-)
So yes, didn't do my artwork in the afternoon, but didn't put if off till the last moment either (as attested by the fact that I'm here at this time). I must have been at it for nearly 2 hours, and while I have nothing to show for it, I like feeling like I'm finally spending time doing what I should be doing and should have done for the past couple of decades at least... but never mind that. Even if I'm not satisfied with the results, I feel like at least I'm making an effort, and that alone is it's own reward.
On the reading front, I finished The Complete Short Stories of Muriel Spark and decided to follow that up with the audio of Agnes Grey. It's really a very short work, and I enjoyed the first hour or so (equivalent to 30ish pages), but now am halfway through and have found the last couple of hours tedious at best. In fact, I don't think I'll bother finishing it, even though there's only 3 more hours left (or 90 pages or so). It's just... no, life is too short. So next up I'll start on Mary Wesley's Part of the Furniture, a new author to me, if only because it's read by Samuel West. ♥
Painting class tomorrow, bright and early, so I'll be packing it in early tonight.
Thanks for the visits and comments, always appreciated! :-)
>>#140 They keep getting better!! :)
No, really, they do. I don't want to push you or overpersuade you, Ilana, but I would seriously recommend that you give at least Barchester Towers a try; it represents a big step up for Trollope.
On the other hand, it does take place in the same community and amongst many of the same characters as The Warden, so I recognise that could be an ongoing issue for you. (After Barchester Towers, the Barchester novels "open up" and take in a wider variety of characters and situations, although the clerical families do appear at various times.)
If you want a more unbiased view than mine, I know Cushla has just finished BT.
#142 Why did I just know you'd say that Liz? :-)
I have nothing against the community in which the novel takes place. In fact, I quite enjoyed how unlikeable... can't think of his name now... Grantley? was. So yes, I'll probably give BT a chance since you insist... ;-)
#143 Ok ok, I give in already! What are the Palliser novels? For some reason I should know this. No time to check up on it now. And... hi Paul! :-)
Right. Off to painting class today. Have a great day everybody!
I've fallen terribly behind but you've been busy! Gone Girl - oh I love when that happens, total absorption. I'm with you on OMF. I love Trollope! Haven't indulged in a long while.
I did mention there is a movie of I Capture the Castle with Bill Nighy as the impossible father? It's priceless and strange.
Ilana - The Palliser novels of Anthony Trollope are also known as the Parliamentary novels and are a series of six books starting with Can You Forgive Her?. The novels largely feature Plantagenet Palliser an aristocrat and politician (except incidentally the last one which I understand features his children).
Very sorry you did not like Harold's Pilgrimage - I kinda did. I love books about journeys :) Especially on foot with no prep...
I'm very proud of you for doing the art hours. Pretty soon it will be a happy habit. Does it make you feel relaxed?
Glad to hear Disco for the Departed is a hoot. I will be starting that pretty soon :)
Ilana, I am dreadfully behind here - I did manage to read through all the postings that I had missed in the last couple of days, and as always there is fascinating stuff going on over here. Want to do it credit, so I will be back tomorrow with comments as my brain is starting to shut down this evening. Hope today was kind to you!
#145 Joe, I guess with that many respectable fans, I'll really have to give Barchester Towers a go. I guess it works as a stand-alone, since you read it that way right?
#146 Lucy, I'll have to borrow the ICtC movie from the library. I checked and they have several copies. Bill Nighy seems like the perfect casting for that role, no?
#147 Aha. Given how much I dislike politics, there's very little chance I'll get better acquainted with the Palliser novels, but thanks for filling me in Paul. I've just added a mountain of Balzac books to my wishlist (was going through the national library's audio files) and of course you had every single one of them already!
#148 I know you liked Harold, Claudia, which is one of the reasons I felt badly about not enjoying it more. But as I said, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. Dr. Siri on the other hand is a whole different story (in more ways than one obviously!) :-)
I've really enjoyed my daily art hour. It does make me feel relaxed, because since I get to do it every day, there's no big pressure to perform, and I feel I can break up a project and keep coming back to it too. So far, it's working out very well and I do sincerely hope I'll keep at it because it's a habit I should have taken up decades ago!
#149 Mamie, haven't had a chance to visit your thread, but I'm assuming since you're doing the rounds it must mean you're feeling better? I sure hope so. My brain is completely shut down at this point, so I understand that feeling all too well!
Was very happy with my work during painting class today. We had a critique and when I saw my painting among the others I felt like it definitely held it's own. No finished of course, but that's beside the point. Right. Ex-hau-sted. So off I go. I'll visit some threads tomorrow, tonight I was just a zombie and no good for socializing at all... but I'm always so grateful for your visits and comments. I keep saying that don't I? That's because I am!
No need to feel bad about books you don't like, Ilana. Cheer up! There's plenty more to love.
Books are like veggies in a way... there are some I won't even try no matter who loves them :PPPPPP
re Art Hour: Don't beat yourself up about "...it's a habit I should have taken up decades ago!". NOW is the right time :-)
Ilana - Re: Balzac - unfortunately when I like an author I am a little bit of a completist nut and I don't recall any of his work I didn't enjoy.
I had the hardest time waking up today. It's no secret I like to sleep as much as I can, but Thursdays, the day after my painting class, I always feel especially depleted. Probably a combination of the fact that I get up early in the morning on Wednesdays and then all the intense concentration sustained over many hours during the class. I'm really loving that class and am really glad I signed up for it to begin with. We start our final project next week, and it sounds like it's going to be a really interesting one too, this time taking a contemporary approach to portrait painting.
I was finally woken up today when the Purolator man arrived to deliver me an ER book I won from the July batch, Breed by Chase Novak, a horror novel which, according to Stephen King is by turns terrifying and blackly funny and a total blast. I'm not sure how I ended up winning this book because horror isn't exactly a usual genre for me, maybe something to do with the 480 reviews I've posted on LT so far?
Ilana, we won the same ER book. :)
I love my sleep as well. Was a total insomniac last night and couldn't fall asleep till 2 in the morning. End up staying up and reading my book instead of tossing and turning in the bed and being completely jealous that my husband has the uncanny ability to hit the pillow and be asleep in a matter of minutes...
#151 Hi Prue!
#152 Claudia, who said I feel bad over Harold Fry? I did, briefly, but I soon got over it! :-) Same thing about the art hour, I don't beat myself up over it, but I am keeping in mind that I've got decades of inactivity to catch up on to motivate myself to continue, if you know what I mean.
#153 Joe, I'm just wondering why you weren't tempted to read more by him if you enjoyed BT?
#154 Paul, I don't have that completist compulsion, however I've been enjoying all the Balzac novels I've picked up recently so much that I definitely intend to continue reading many more by him. Lucky for us he was quite so prolific eh? :-)
Valerie, 2 am tends to be my usual "lights out" time. It's supposed to be 1:30 at latest, but too often I'm wrapped up with what I'm reading and just want to read "one more chapter", which is what happened last night with Dr. Siri!
Oh yes, did I mention I picked up Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley? Read by the scrumptious Samuel West, it's a wonderful experience so far. It's set during WWII with a 17 year-old heroine who has a mind of her own. Amazing to think Wesley wrote it when she was in her mid-80s and only got started in her career as a writer at the age of 70! That's always so encouraging to me.
Hi Ilana- Wow, lots to get caught up on. See, what happens when you go away for a little while? Chaos. Great review of EOE. It's been many years since I read it but I do remember it having it's flaws. Not nearly as tight or focused as Grapes, which still remains my top read of all time.
That reminds me, I need to bookhorn the Red Pony in soon. Thank God, it's a shorty. It's been a few months since I've joined the Steinbeckathon.
I requested the audio of Harold Fry and should receive it soon. Hopefully, it works better for me, at least you liked Broadbent's narration, which was a big draw to me.
I love Cee's comparison of books and veggies. It's perfect!
Yay for a good day in painting class, Ilana! The kind of exhaustion that comes from a satisfying effort in something you love --> that's a good tired. :-)
>157 One answer to the question, why didn't I read more Trollope, Ilana, is, I might some day. A frank and more useful answer: BT is supposed to be his funniest and most entertaining novel, although some lit crits consider other of his books to be better overall (not The Warden). I enjoyed BT, but not enough to read other less funny and less entertaining ones of his at this point. So it's a good read and worth doing, not just for itself, but to see whether for you it's a gateway to reading more of his. There's one couple I know, in particular, who run a small publishing company, and just love everything he's written.
I think the problem with Barchester Towers as the Trollope "gateway novel" (and as you say, it is often recommended in this way) is that it gives a false sense of him as a novelist: people tend to get the impression of him as a predominantly comedic writer, and he certainly isn't that, though he is often humorous, and a number of his novels could be classified as social comedies. I don't find the other novels "less entertaining" because they are "less funny" - they're entertaining in a different way - but if someone is looking for Barchester Towers Part 2, then I can understand that they might well be disappointed with his other works.
>155 Re grouping after an Art Class or a Writing Class...is a pain.....which I am sure that you'll survive
I haven't seen your blogs in a while....and I regret that.....so must whip booty
My, must catch up on my own thread! Really out of it today. It's not just regular fatigue as it's also that time of the month and typically I'm always wasted on day 2 from nagging pain (should go get an Advil right this moment... ... ... done), having a generally befuddled state of mind, and plain old exhaustion. Had a phone appointment today with my therapist and wasn't even able to manage that between two naps! However, I DID manage to finish Disco for the Departed, which was sheer entertainment and a very welcome distraction. After that I fell asleep for the second nap and only woke up again at 6. Which is going to make for a very short day, but lucky for me, I can afford those without a problem.
#160 Mark, Harold Fry is a great story and I'm sure you'll enjoy it, and Jim Broadbent's narration is certainly a treat. I wish there were more recordings by him available, but maybe he'll be tempted to do more after this one?
#161 Ellen, you're right, it's a good comparison. I guess it applies to most people, but I happen to be one of the few (I think) who actually LOVES veggies. Second to fruit that is. I can go for weeks without meat, but can't manage more than a couple of days without those. With the exception of brussel sprouts, which I haven't yet sampled to my satisfaction.
Painting class: will post the *final* result either today or tomorrow. It'll be very apparent it's unfinished still, but the model at least is completed and I'm pleased with the way I managed to represent him in just a few sessions.
#162 I understand Joe. I often hesitate to start with what is considered an author's strongest or most entertaining work for just that reason — I want to be able to enjoy their range and not have my judgment tainted from the get-go. For example, I deliberately chose to read Jane Harris's The Observations first, because I thought that if I started with Gillespie and I, which so many people said was one of their favourites of the year, I'd probably make unfavourable comparisons. Which reminds me I've yet to get to that book!
#163 Liz, as a matter of fact, I did find there was humour in The Warden, especially all the parts to do with Archdeacon Grantly, which I found quite delightful, so if Barchester Towers is considered his funniest, I'll definitely look forward to that. I personally enjoyed Trollope's writing style, it's just the subject matter that puts me off a bit is all. But of course, a great writer can make me enjoy anything, and Zola here comes to mind with his novel The Sin of Father Mouret which I was also reluctant about at first, but it turned out to be a fascinating character study and an exciting novel besides, imho.
#164 Jude, the good thing about the blogs is they're there for whenever you have the time or disposition of mind to visit. I post only quite rarely too, so it's not like you're missing tonnes of content. Say hello when you do come for a visit will ya? :-)
Sorry, Ilana. I really am a poor writer and I did not come across very well I'm afraid (#152).
There are lots of veggies and books I LOVE - personal taste accounts for various levels of enjoyment among us all ... and disgust or disinterest as well at times. We're allowed :-)
And I was kinda hoping your motivation to take a special daily time out for art would be pure enjoyment rather than pressure to make up for lost time. Whatever keeps you going is good - you have a real talent. And it makes me happy when you say you are pleased with your work. I think it's great.
And if I didn't make any more sense than previously - just ignore me and I'll let it go. I had a lot of wine tonight.
Sleep well my dear - hugs.
Claudia, you have nothing to worry about, and I find you express yourself perfectly fine! And yes, the artwork is fun for it's own sake. Hope you had a good time last night and aren't suffering from a hangover today! :-)
I'm off to finish The Red Pony, which I started before going to sleep last night. It's kind of heartbreaking, so I already look forward to picking up my next book and go back to pure entertainment for now.
Finished Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley tonight as I was doing some artwork. Been away from the computer mostly, first because was busily sleeping off the better part of the day, then made a very brief stop here, then tried to finish The Red Pony before my phone appointment with the therapist (did not finish it in time), then went grocery shopping, then came home, put stuff away and tidied up a little, then did some artwork for nearly 1 1/2 hour, and now, here I am, making a brief apparition before calling it a night. I'm incredibly behind on the threads of course, but have visited a few at least and slowly slowly will get around more in coming days. Didn't have a chance to post my painting on the blog yet. Hopefully if I don't sleep away the day again tomorrow I'll have time to do so.
Mary Wesley writes beautifully, and as I was listening to the audio version (read by the scrumptious Samuel West—I truly am in love with that man's voice!), I kept going back over sections several times to fully take in various lovely passages, of which there were many. Maybe a book to get on paper eventually... anyway, I loved this one so much I immediately went to spend one of my Audible credits on another book of hers that's been on my WL for a while, The Camomile Lawn, this time read by another narrator I love, Carole Boyd.
Ilana - You are making audio books seem more and more enticing - the thought of a husky tones maiden whispering into my ear as I float towards dreamland is provocatively attractive - still for now I'll let SWMBO keep that role! Have a wonderful weekend dear lady. I am so happy that your relationship with your Dad seems so grounded and positive at the moment btw. x
I am a Mary Wesley nut big-time, so glad you are enjoying. So much so, I am intrigued by listening to Carole Boyd.....
I wonder now how I would like Trollope, I read tons in my late teens early twenties in that sweet time when you think you'll live forever..... would I be so patient now???
Well, I started to listen to Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks last night on my last walk of the day with Coco and though I'm sure I'll love that book, I found what I really wanted was to be immersed in Mary Wesley's world again, so switched over to The Camomile Lawn finally, and glad I followed my heart. It's all very well to plan reads, but up to a point, right?
Speaking of planned reads, I put off finishing The Red Pony to today and picked up The Amulet of Samarkand as a bedtime read. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I'm maybe 5 short chapters in and quite gripped by the story at this stage, so it's promising.
#169 Paul, I certainly wouldn't want you to displace SWMBO for audiobooks, that would be unthinkable! They really aren't for everybody, and may not (probably not) have worked for me at other times in my life, but now I just find them very convenient as well as pleasant.
#170 Lucy, when I originally looked up the author page for Mary Wesley, I did see you had quite a few books by her and had rated them all as 4 stars. I discovered her when I was looking for recordings by Anna Massey. She did quite a few of Wesley's novel, though unfortunately the majority are in the abridged version, which seems unthinkable somehow.
In many ways I've grown much more patient with age, though maybe I'll get less patient again as I move forward...
Hi Ilana, I stopped posting on threads for a few days and concentrated on reading a few books but now I have to do the catch up part of the equation.
Glad to hear that you enjoyed Part of the furniture. I've acquired a couple more of Wesley's books since I read that one but have yet to read them. And kudos to you for making art part of your routine at home.
Sounds like you are keeping busy, Ilana. You have some fabulous reading going on - I always learn new things over here! I still have to get to The Red Pony, and the month seems to be getting away from me. I have only read two books so far - just two. So very pitiful. Life has been distracting me from my reading lately, but I am oping to get back into the groove once things settle a bit. Cannot believe September is almost upon us -hooray! How I love the Fall - it's my very favorite time of the year.
I will be interested to see what you think of The Amulet of Samarkand - I have that in my TBR pile, but somehow never manage to get to it.
I will try to do better keeping up over here - hope you are having a lovely weekend, my friend.
Hi Kerry, I added a whole bunch of Wesley's books to my wishlist, because there are several of hers available at the library, plus a couple that are narrated by Anne Massey, who is one of my favourite narrators. She did the narration for quite a few of her books it seems, but most of them are only available in the abridged format here for some reason, a shame really.
Hi Mamie! I missed your post because while responding to Kerry, I found I couldn't write more than two words without getting distracted and had to move myself and the computer to the balcony at the other end of the house. There's are constant new arrivals of young university students living on this street, and they always manage to make a real nuisance of themselves. Right now there's a bunch of guys sitting on the sidewalk drinking beer and presumably drunk because they've been shouting continually for the past half-hour, and throwing each other a football in the street, which is just ridiculous because this is a very narrow road lined with parked cars on both sides and their aim didn't seem to be that good when I looked out the window. I turn into a real grouch when people make unnecessary noise and bother my peace of mind, so I'm the annoying neighbour calling the police to break up the revelries when they get too rowdy.
Anyway, on to more pleasant things, I'm really enjoying The Amulet of Samarkand so far, about a young magician's apprentice who summons a djinn to steal said amulet from a powerful magician who has presumably done him wrong. Not giving away any spoilers as all this takes place within the first couple of chapters. Really want to sit down and read some more right now, but I've promised myself that 8 to 9 is my art hour, so just have a few more minutes to play here on LT, then take my play in other directions.
Which reminds me I haven't yet posted my painting! Argh! Less computer time is a good thing, because I truly do live on this thing, but it also means less time to do all those things that keep me busy here!
I always love your visits, whether you manage to keep up or not. With so many wonderful people to keep up with here, I don't hold it against anyone for not being always up to date here, especially as I'm one of the worst offenders in that sense!
I am late to the Trollope discussion, just want to say that I've read 3 of those Barchester chronicles by now, and so far I liked #3 (Doctor Thorne) the best. Barchester Towers was more fun to read than The Warden, but there were some elements that irked me. For example that early in the book Trollope himself spoils the whole plot, so there are no surprises (or over-excitements for the readers as he says) and then drags it out over 600 pages. I'd rather not have known....
(touchstones don't work, sorry!)
Thanks for the link, I'll watch it from my office PC (this one here can't process videos anymore).
Hi Nathalie! It's been really interesting getting everyone's opinions on Trollope and Barchester Towers. Interesting that he wanted to spare his readers from "over excitements", how very strange...
As far as I'm concerned, you can never be late to any discussion here; anything posted on the thread is up for discussion at any point, since we know must of us are always playing catch-up with this group anyway, right?
I hope you'll let me know how you felt about your first encounter with Olaf Hajek. ;-)
I'm off to play catch-up with myself and go post that painting I've neglected to put up on my blog yet.
Hi there, Ilana, - Just quietly catching up on your thread today before the visitors arrive at our house for a party.
Hi Ilana- I started The Red Pony. It's been a long long time since I read this one, probably was in short pants at the time. This and The Pearl were my 1st introduction into Mr. Steinbeck. I should finish it up tommorrow.
I did snag the audio of Harold Fry and should get to that one in a week or 2. Hope your weekend is going well.
I've been hard at work adding a whole whackload of information about The Red Pony gleaned from wikipedia and loads more from SparkNotes, which makes the whole book more more interesting in retrospect. All spoilers. Also put together the post of my painting. Here's my little "promo blurb":
Not quite finished but getting there...
Just posted results from our third and final week on this project. I’ve got plenty of homework to do on this one! See the whole painting and details here: http://createthreesixty5.com/2012/08/19/plant-with-man-week-3
#178 Hi Caro! Thanks for visiting, all the more so just before a party... guess you're all done with the prepping, you superwoman you! Have fun!
#179 Hey Mark, there's no doubt that reading The Red Pony as a child, and reading it as an adult are two completely different experiences. I look forward to your comments on it. And on Harold Fry of course!
Right, must get off the computer to do some research for our next painting project. That one will be much more conceptual and we've been asked to gather ideas to determine the general direction we want to take with this one. Should be really interesting. I'll of course blog the progress. Will probably pop in later to catch up on a few threads...
Almost forgot to mention I brought back Dandelion Wine from the library today. How and when I'll fit it in this month, I've no idea. I'm hoping to get to it before Labour Day to appreciate the seasonal spirit of the novel, but we'll see about that...
I've been hard at work adding a whole whackload of information about The Red Pony gleaned from wikipedia and loads more from SparkNotes, which makes the whole book more more interesting in retrospect.
I'm looking forward to that! Our latest Steinbeck didn't impress me as much as I wanted it too, maybe a new perspective will make me appreciate it more.
Always, always, love seeing your paintings in progress.
A million reviews to write, and I don't know when I'll find time to do that. Well, more like 8 reviews. Though that number will surely grow faster than I have time to keep up the output. I keep thinking "just write really brief comments", and I always DO try to, but then I always end up going on and on and on and... and then editing, reediting, re-reediting, and so on.
Not much to report. It's been a good day but I feel like I got nothing done, and it's already over, and I still have so much research to do for this week's class project! Eek! I was doing that earlier this evening, but then my internet connection slowed down to a snail's pace suddenly, which was truly maddening considering I was doing image searching. I wasted a lot of time on the phone with the internet provider, first with a truly incompetent technician who didn't seem to understand the most basic things and had me repeat at least 5 times, FIVE TIMES that yes, my internet connection was painfully slow. Not like they never hear that complaint, right? Sheesh. After three minutes of not getting through to him at all (and having asked to speak to someone else, which he didn't follow up on), I terminated the conversation. I was in a really bad mood because very hungry and frustrated I hadn't gotten ahead with my research, and when I get bad service like that I always make a point to speak to someone in charge and report it so they can DO something about it. So called a second time, ended up speaking to a really nice technician who was quick on the uptake (thank god!) who gave me a bunch of helpful tips before passing me on to the manager so I could file my little report. I figure if nobody says anything about bad service, then how are they to know there's something to fix? So yeah. The internet connection suddenly went back to normal when I was talking to the second guy before I did anything at all about it, so it really WAS a huge waste of time. Or maybe not, since I discovered this thing called MacKeeper after he had me go to a site that rates your internet speed (http://http://speedtest.net). So that's my little rant for the night. Still very very hungry, and only ate half my Niçoise salad, lovingly made with super fresh organic produce, so I'll pull it out of the fridge and finish it up, otherwise I'll be up at dawn eating the equivalent of three bowls of cereal again!
MacKeeper is Good! Believe me.......it does a grand job of cleaning up the dreck that you aren't aware you even have...I've used it, since shortly after I got this MacBook...and use it every couple of weeks or so..
Nicoise Salad???? O dear...and I have to "cook" tomorrow...
So there...a message and a HUG...to boot!
Love the plant with man study to date Ilana - although looks a tad scrawny ; as does the man! The face is very well done and expressive (he's probably wondering if that plant hovering over him is going to land on his bonce).
Me being light-hearted only whilst enjoying free time in a hotel room with no distractions and with no family intruding! You are a very talented young lady. x
Hello lovely - great painting as always! Very proud. (the figure I mean).
Also some great reading you are doing...don't care what you say about naps and so on - you seem to pack a lot into your life!
I am also following your progress with the painting, and am loving the transformation. Amazing!
I predict that you will LOVE Dandelion Wine. Make sure you allow yourself time to swim in those sentences - it's not a book to be rushed. And I need to get to The Red Pony - not sure why I am procrastinating when it is such a short read and I adore Steinbeck. Maybe because everyone seems to comment on how sad it is? Not in the mood for sadness right now. But I do want to read it this month, so I guess I just need to jump in there.
Hope today is kind to you and full of good things.
My day is off to a nice start, with a whole new batch of French toast—I've given myself a serving loaded up with fresh fruit (nectarine, strawberries & blueberries), plain organic yogourt and maple syrup (the real stuff of course—hey, I live in Canada after all!).
A bit of LT time before getting on to non-LT things. Want to try doing my artwork sort of first thing today and see how that feels. Loads more research to do for Wednesday's project—looking at what's being done in contemporary portraiture and must say I'm quite discouraged with my findings. It looks like there's a current unending fascination with photorealism. Sure it's impressive to see what those artists achieve on a technical skills level, but what about artistic expression? And what's the point of copying pictures, down to the last pore in the age of Photoshop? I'm thinking these are maybe questions I should keep for the blog... all this art talk on a reading site might be out of place, I do realize.
Beautiful, sunny and not too warm here today. August is wrapping up very nicely over here.
#186 Hi Paul, I'll have to visit your thread shortly to find out what you're doing in a hotel room. I just know you didn't get there because of a fight with SWMBO. I did that once—when I was living with the man I thought was the love of my life... once we had a particularly bad fight, so I took myself to the nearest four or five star hotel, got myself a suite and asked them to prepare my popcorn (I'd brought a microwavable bag from home), spent the night watching movies and crying. Next day we kissed and made up. For a while.
I'm glad you get "scrawny" from the image, because I was quite fascinated by how scrawny this guy was and wanted to convey that. What else looks scrawny thought? The plant?
#187 Hi lovely Prue. Always happy to make you proud... I aim to please!
I don't know about how much I manage to pack in. What's for sure is I'm never sitting idle, though it can't be said it all productive stuff. For instance, I just took off the game Angry Bird off my iPhone because I'd rediscovered it this week and must have lost the equivalent of a whole day trying to get ahead AND spending money buying "power up" type stuff to try to beat those stupid pigs which are nearly impossible to defeat. I got really mad a myself yesterday when I ended up spending nearly 2 hours at that stupid game instead of working on art projects, or reading, or spending time on LT... ANYTHING but such a huge time-drain!
#188 Mamie, I'm certainly not going to pressure you to read The Red Pony. With this series of short stories, it seems that Steinbeck set out to systematically debunk a boys romantic notions about life, so yes, thought it's short and quick, it's a difficult read in many ways. But having sought out and posted a bunch of comments from SparkNotes, I ended up getting a lot out of it, and hope others who've already read it have too. Just read what you want and know the thread will be up all year for whenever you're ready.
Hope you're having a wonderful day too!
Ilana -my hotel jaunt is a post-Ramadhan treat for yours truly. The scrawny plant was a hopeless attempt at humour whilst I was trying to avoid the notion that my stomach was telling me to get the heck into the bathroom and fast. Much better now. SWMBO and Belle have returned happy from their trip to Singapore bearing burgers and smiles.
#185 Oh JUUUUUDE!!! So sorry I skipped over you. I checked in late last night, saw your message and meant to respond today first thing. Better late than never right? I ended up getting the basic MacKeeper package. I don't know if I really need it... it saved me 2 gigs of space last night, which is not such a big deal considering I've got well over 160 gigs left on my machine, but still not bad.
I don't remember last time I cooked... unless you count the chicken breast I marinated for a couple of days and put on the BBQ... it was yummy mind you!
Glad you dropped by!
I just love your painting.
And I'm with you -- I actually love veggies. Even Brussels sprouts. :-)
Just started reading The Red Pony and am carefully picking through the GR thread spoilers. Think I will finish the book before reading any more of the thread... though I am anxious to read all that info you recently posted.
So far, just read the first chapter and am happy I noted these are related stories rather than a true novel. That will make it easier to understand where I am going. Thanks for that info :)
#192 Thanks Ellen, there are lots of things about that painting I'd like to improve, but considering we only had 3 sessions on it (and that I work at snail's pace), I think I'm pretty happy with it so far.
#193 Claudia, I think you're doing the right thing by avoiding the Red Pony thread right now while you're reading it because it's too easy to stumble on spoilers there, and certainly everything I posed there yesterday is one MEGA spoiler, as meant to be read after you've finished the novel. I think I saw a comment about they being related stories before I started the book, but somehow that didn't sink it so I was a bit confused by the lack of flow from one "chapter" to the next.
I've been a busy gal today. And quite proud of all I've done so far too. Spent a full hour doing research online for that painting project we're starting on Wednesday—finally concluding that I'd just follow my own instincts and work with the inspiration of the moment when I'm in the studio with my materials, though I'm happy I had a bit of a look-see. One thing's for sure: there certainly is no lack of talented artists out there. No wonder so few of them actually manage to make a living from their art, and I'm sort of grateful I'm not trying to either!
After the research, I think spent over 90 minutes working on two art projects I've got going this week. One is a small watercolour painting of these two gorgeous little eggplants that are maybe 4 inches long and a light purple veined with white. I sometime buy produce more to paint it than eat it, and all too often it languishes there because I (used to) never get around to doing art projects at home. But now that's all changed. So I completed a dry pastel drawing of said eggplants and am doing a watercolour version too. Just for the heck of it, because I like drawing produce. I also sneakily took a photo of a woman when I was on the metro this week and am slowly working on a drawing from the photo. She was sitting in the bench across from me and obviously deep in what seemed like some very pleasant thoughts and I really wanted to be able to use her as a model. Somehow, I managed to sneak my iPhone camera and in one super fast shot, captured her expression and got a clear enough photo that I can work from. I can't even begin to say how many people I've crossed in my life that I've LONGED to keep engraved in my memory so I could draw or paint them later, but I'm far from having a photographic memory. I'll be one of the first to get a camera implant in my brain when they start making those, though I might wait a bit till they fix all the initial glitches.
On the reading front, while I was working away, I finished The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley. I preferred Part of the Furniture for reasons I'll get into eventually, though I really enjoyed this one quite a lot too. However I have no idea how I'll do my writeup about it when comes the time. Which won't be anytime soon unless I clear away that huge pile of reviews I've fallen behind on. Again. Almost as soon as I finished that audiobook I started on Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. I do ironing and mending maybe one or twice a year, and was at it today, sitting there sewing a button when this very sexy, very steamy and very explicit sex scene took place all of the sudden, and I swear I must have made the perfect picture of the old maid sitting there secretly getting her kicks out of steamy literature. I don't think there's been so much sex in my life in any way, shape or form in at least... well, never mind. A good long while is all I'll say. Yikes!
Just caught up with your latest blog post and enjoyed the latest progress on plant with man. Did I understand right that you'll be finishing the plant part at home?
#195 Busy, busy and deservedly proud I think :-)
"I swear I must have made the perfect picture of the old maid sitting there secretly getting her kicks out of steamy literature." :-D
Phew! I'm just checking in for a few minutes as must get to bed early tonight; must be up early tomorrow for my painting class. We're starting on a new project and I'm pretty excited about it. This is the first chance I get to sit down in front of the computer today... it's been a busy day, a good part of which was spent on preparing for tomorrow's class. While I was at it though, I continued listening to Birdsong and am already halfway through it (6.5 hours of listening time during the day does help!)
#196 Hi Heather, yes, you understood right. We've finished that project in class and moving on to another one now, so I'll finish Plant with Man on my own time at home. I'm quite motivated by this one, and now that I've started integrating working on art projects in my daily routine, I think there's a very good chance I'll actually finish this one!
And yes, it really was very steamy. I'm blushing just thinking back on it now! :-)
I thought your man looked lean but powerful, Ilana. He reminds me of some Indonesian fishermen I was observing some years back ..no body fat but oh so strong. I'll be interested to see how he 'shapes up' as you progress with the painting.
I've liked Mary Wesley's books. Have you read them all yet?
Caro - observing indonesian fishermen - pray tell as the mind boggles?! One of my best friends over here was a merchant shipping captain aeons ago (I still call him captain though most of our more recent mutual friends look non-plussed - he now has a bulk handling business) and he observed Indonesian seafarers often normally after pirates had taken over his vessel and extracted lucre from him at gunpoint!
Wonderful painting, Ilana! Although that isn't a surprise anymore since we've all been able to witness what a talented artist you are! Glad to hear that you've been able to really focus and dive into your art and concentrate all that creative energy you have oozing out of you!
I was investigating Birdsong on audible and my computer went wonky. :-(
Oh well, tomorrow is another day.
Much of which you will be spending in painting class! I look forward to hearing about your new project.
I'm envious of your talent. I'm just starting to draw and am fighting some major procrastination. I need to draw daily in order to improve but it ends up being more like once a week. You inspire me!
Hi hi, thanks everybody for keeping my thread moving while I've been away. I'm on my post-painting-class high today and more fatigued than I can say. Wanted to drop in after class yesterday, but it was a pretty intense one, creatively speaking demanding all I had, and I was more or less a zombie. I received an Elizabeth Taylor book I had ordered over a month ago with the others in the mail, A Wreath of Roses, unwrapped it while sitting dazed on my balcony, enjoying a cooling breeze, started reading a few pages and next thing I new, I'd read half the book. I think today I want to do more of the same, just sit on the sofa or out on my balcony (or alternate between both) and do more reading. Maybe maybe, if I can summon the brainpower try to catch up on reviews, but I'm not holding my breath.
Called my mom today as agreed, after I read her blogpost where she was describing how lonely she's feeling, now that the whole small town she lives in in southwestern France is empty, everyone away on the last of summer vacation. As we were talking, I remembered why I don't call her very often—the first part of the conversation was all about the hard time she's having, and she does always seem to have amazingly difficult issues to deal with. I told her all about my renewed passion for my art in the middle, and in the end she spent a good 10 minutes refusing the help I was offering (which was to buy her a new pair of sandals, as she told me the one she's walking in are currently being held together with tape). I did my best not to give in to guilty feelings or take on her problems myself. Besides, she just flat refuses help and insists she'll manage fine by herself. What she did accept was for me to send her some books. Book lovers are all alike, when it comes to our most precious commodity, aren't we? :-)
All I know is I don't want to sit in front of the computer today... it seems to be sapping the energy right out of me for some reason. But as always, I'm so grateful for visitors, and look forward to feeling energized enough to visit some threads too.
#198 Caro, what a cool comparison, between our model and Indonesian fishermen. He seems to have exactly that kind of strength you describe. He does contemporary dance and is obviously most comfortable moving and stretching, something he was doing a lot of, with sitting still seeming to inflict the worst tortures on him. As such, he was a terrible model for a long pose, but he was interesting to paint all the same!
I've only "read" (listened to actually) two of Mary Wesley's books, Part of the Furniture and The Camomille lawn. I really loved them both and will definitely be reading more by her in the future!
#199 Paul, what a talent you have for conveying the most incredible stories and adventures in just a couple of sentences!
#200 Thanks Valerie. I must say it's given me a huge boost in self-esteem to be spending more time on my art lately. I fell like I'm finally giving importance to honing my craft and giving due respect to this gift I've been given. I always love sharing the results and only hope I'm not boring anyone in the process!
#201 & 203 Hi Ellen, you're one day late on the class, which was yesterday, but I've applied you good wishes retroactively! :-)
I don't know quite what to say about Birdsong. It's got all the makings of a great story. IS a great story. One I'll gladly recommend. But somehow it isn't stirring me the way I would expect it to. Couldn't say why... because once again, it's really great. I think I'll rate it for it's worth and not let my lack of proper enthusiasm get in the way this time.
#202 Morphi, I know all about procrastination. One of the main reason I take art classes is just to force myself to do art at least that one time each week. I've been wanting to work on it on a daily basis for over three decades now, so don't beat yourself up about that one time a week. It's hard to self-motivate, so that's already a great start. Maybe you could consider taking classes to encourage you in your efforts too? Glad to know I'm inspiring you in your efforts though!
Hi Joe. We posted at the exact same moment! Funny that I picked that book out of all the other ones I've got sitting there vying for my attention and which I'm all dying to read this month. I think it's because I got so many Elizabeth Taylor books this month that I feel I need to at least properly sample one of them. Most enjoyable it's been so far, and somehow perfectly tuned in to my undefinable current inner world, though it might be also a question of how it balances with the other stuff I've got going right now, both on the reading front and otherwise.
Ilana I think I felt a bit like you about Birdsong - I knew it was a fine book, I knew it was widely lauded, I appreciated its qualities - but it just wasn't all that enjoyable in the end. The insight into trench life was fascinating, and I can enjoy reading tragic stories...but just not this one. I felt dis-engaged.
You said: I did my best not to give in to guilty feelings or take on her problems myself.
Oh, how familiar. Long story and I'll skip most of it, but at age 16, my older sister and I watched our very-depressed mother drive away after we had established a clear and appropriate and oh-so-difficult boundary, and my sister said "well, do you feel guilty?" and I responded "yes, dammit." It became a mantra. Of course you feel guilty. And you have every reason to feel angry about feeling guilty and to resist it. But, the guilt will be there. And it doesn't mean anything. It's just part of the dynamic.
I still want to read my first Elizabeth Taylor and hope you enjoy A Wreath of Roses. Your comments, and Prue's, regarding Birdsong are very interesting. It sounds like a wonderfully written book that, in the end, just doesn't work.
Spent the last 3 hours working on my Plant with Man painting, putting in the first layer of paint for the plant. Haven't painted at home in... well, have only done it twice I think, so this is quite a major achievement I guess. While I was at it, I listened to and finished Birdsong. Have to figure what to listen to next that'll also fit into a TIOLI challenge.
#208 Prue, it seems we feel the same way about Birdsong: great book, but I too felt disengaged as you say. A good book, but I doubt it'll leave me with many memories is my first impression. Only time will tell of course, because I must admit the last bit in the trenches was quite something.
#209 Ellen, very well put about the guilt factor: It'll always be there because it's just part of the dynamic, but it doesn't mean anything. I think you've just helped me gain a huge insight with that one.
I haven't read enough Elizabeth Taylor novels yet to be able to assert with confidence which novel you should start with, this being only my third so far, but I did much love Angel, and though it is apparently not representative of her work, I would strongly suggest it all the same as it has a protagonist you just love to hate (yet might feel compelled to) and is filled with wit and a wicked sense of humour.
I wouldn't say Birdsong doesn't work, as evidenced by the fact that over 3700 LT members have it in their collections, and with 92 reviews, it's rating is just above 4 stars, so obviously much loved by many.
Right, it's well past my bedtime. Coco's getting groomed tomorrow (a major event), and I may have dinner with my elderly friend whom I haven't seen since the end of spring (that would be 93 year-old Liselotte), who's offered to cook, but having eaten her food a few times, I jumped on her mention of maybe eating out... we'll see though, because I feel like I've just been thrown onto the shore by quickly receding waves that spat me out like a discarded fishbone.
I went to check on my own review of Birdsong and had to laugh. Short but sweet. "Good writing. Far too depressing."
Couldn't get out of bed today and now I have a migraine. Oy. I'll have to cancel any plans for tonight. I'm off with Coco to get him groomed in a minute, which won't be a luxury as he's gotten quite frumpy. But cute still of course. I started on The Age of Innocence yesterday and have only listened to the first two chapters, but loving it already.
#211 Morphy, I agree that it isn't a cheerful ride to be sure, that really wasn't an issue for me this time... it's just I couldn't bring myself to care enough somehow.
#212 Interesting getting these different perspectives on Birdsong, I'll have to look up Charlotte Gray, though that's another novel I think many people are divided on.
Hope your migraine is gone! I was just remarking to DH today - I have not had a headache of any kind in weeks! I'm pleasantly shocked :-)
The "new" Coco pictures - coming soon???
Am about 10 chapters into The Age of Innocence and really loving it. The writing is brilliant of course, but I've also got David Horovitch delivering great narration. He's presumably British, as his accent seems to indicatem but does all the dialogue bits with a very good American accent which brings the whole thing to life. A+
#214 Hi Kerry, I really wanted to love Birdsong, but in the end, even though I couldn't fully connect, I did appreciate it quite a bit.
#215 Hi Claudia. Funny, I was posting over on your thread just now. Migraine is still with me unfortunately. I was just thinking a few minutes ago that I need to get a few pics of Coco with his new "do". I'm on the case!
It's been hot and uncomfortable today. Haven't had time to do anything, including my artwork hour because of all the time I spent away while Coco was getting groomed. I was going to throw together a few reviews because I'm seriously feeling crushed under the pressure of so many books accumulating, but it'll have to wait. Too tired for that now. Visited just a handful of threads tonight and as I'm always so behind on everyone, takes a while to catch up. I'll visit some more tomorrow. Thanks for visiting and commenting even though I don't reciprocate nearly enough...
Hope you feel better soon.
I know what you mean about the crush of books. I actually spent a moment this morning seriously thinking, I don't want more books. Is that heretical??? Or just healthy?
Is that heretical??? Or just healthy?
I'd say a little bit of both!
Just finished A Wreath of Roses. Good thing I'd been warned on the back cover that this was one of her darkest books. Wonderfully written, it kept me engaged right till the end. Now have an embarrassment of riches to choose from as far as options for what to pick next.
Sorry to hear about your migraine Ilana - hope you feel better soon. I'll add my request for more pictures of Coco please :-)
I'm thrilled you're enjoying A Wreath of Roses and The Age of Innocence so much. Funnily, the painting used on your audio edition of The Age of Innocence seems to be the same as the one used on my kindle edition of The House of Mirth - obviously someone thinks it typifies Wharton's novels in some way!
I haven't read anything by Sebastian Faulks; I'd like to one day but they're not calling to me right now.
Ugh, sorry to hear about the migraine. I hope Coco is looking spiffy after his grooming appointment, and I hope you are able to rest and send this headache packing quickly.
I downloaded (uploaded? -- I guess first the latter and then the former, as I uploaded it onto my laptop and then downloaded it onto my iPhone) The Likeness for listening to while I work in the yard tomorrow. I'm going to be scrubbing and scraping the side of our garage so it can be painted by the professionals. I will need something to listen to.
Migraine not too bad right now, though I've only been up for about an hour and usually feel little pain when I'm not fully awake. I don't even feel badly about sleeping in so ridiculously late. Maybe because yesterday I forced myself to get together with my elderly friend Liselotte even though I was in pain, and also managed to work on my painting for 3.5 hours. Not that there's all that much to show for it—I'm working on the plant part of Plant with Man and it's all about excruciatingly minute detail, but at least it's coming along, however slowly.
Weather's been way too hot for comfort since yesterday, so I'm staying indoors with the a/c as much as possible. Will probably finish both The Age of Innocence and The Amulet of Samarkand today. I'll probably also spend time writing up short'n sweet reviews, because it's gotten to the point that I go to sleep at night, then wake up with those darn reviews at the forefront of my mind!
Here are a couple of photos of Coco taken yesterday by popular demand!
#219 Heather, I'm really glad you introduced me to Elizabeth Taylor this year. I've discovered a few great female British writers via LT, including ET, Mary Wesley and Barbara Pym (though haven't read the latter yet), to name just those.
I really love that painting, and wondered who it was by until just now it occurred to me—of course it MUST be by John Singer Sargent, which of course it is.
Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent, 1893, National Gallery of Scotland
eta: I got the picture from this site, which has a wealth of information about this painting and others: http://jssgallery.org/Paintings/Lady_Agnew.htm
#220 Ellen, Coco is so soft and smells so good post-grooming that I can't stop cuddling and kissing him. I already do that quite a bit no matter what, but now I could literally eat him up!
Haven't yet read anything by Tana French, though it's just a matter of time before I jump into that series.
I'm not sure if you got your audiobook from Audible (are you a member?) but if that is the case, there's a free Audible app you can get for your iPhone which allows you to download titles directly to your smartphone without having to get them onto your computer first, the only caveat being you need to be near a wifi connection.
Busy today, yet I haven't gotten the essentials done, i.e. artwork and reviews. I'll get on the first right after a dinner of fresh organic corn on the cob, herb chicken on the grill and spicy potatoes, also on the grill (onion, garlic, olive oil, cayenne, paprika, parsley). Did some prepping for dinner, which took maybe an hour and then my monthly budget and while I was on the former occupation, finished listening to The Age of Innocence. Slight spoiler: Of course I knew not to expect to feel elated with the ending, and tried as best I could to counteract the bluesy effect when I end of spoiler followed that up with The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, also on audio, borrowed from the library system via Overdrive (anyone know about this?)
I'll see if I can fit in more LT time after I've done my art hour...
Oh gosh, Coco is just so adorable and huggable, and insert any other word that has the same meaning!
Mmm..your dinner sounds delicious. :)
I know... I can't stop hugging and kissing him. Oops, I might have said that already... Dinner was delicious, BUT I had two huge helpings of potatoes and now I feel like one.
Shouldn't be here... got caught up on a few threads and off to work on my art for a bit, though it's admittedly quite late now.
Stopping by for a quick HELLO
the photos of Coco are so good...but i can tell he's no "puppy".....but, he has a good, human 'Mum"
Kitteh is going to the Vet on Wednesday morning...for a Major Check-up.....and a Neutering.....i hope I will be a good enough Mum to see him through his recovery
Ilana, I did get The Likeness from audible and so far I am love love loving it. Definitely my favorite audiobook so far (the Dorothy Sayers being so-so and the Sherlock Holmes being fine but not as engrossing as this one). I have heard others (including you) say that the narrator is critical in audiobooks and Heather O'Neill is doing a marvelous job narrating this one. My sister said she read this Tana French first and liked it so much she went back and read the first. She said The Likeness is the better of the two. I must compulsively read any series in order so I read In the Woods first and liked it, but not as much as this one so far.
Coco is adorable with his little blankie and I just bet he is irresistible after a trip to the groomers! One thing about cats -- they don't go to the groomers (Abby notes that this is an obvious sign of cat superiority, the fact that they don't need to be "groomed").....
I will check out the audible app for my iPhone. My favorite new app is the one that lets me track the Humpback Whales on their annual migration.....
Adorable Coco. So sweet. You can almost feel how soft his fur is.
I can't help loving Sargent - he really captures the sensual side of being 'a person of consequence' - of getting to always be clean and shiny and well fed, wearing fabrics that feel wonderful, being warm enough.... but it isn't at all wimpy and limp - to that he adds the personality of his subject.... Lady Agnew, one feels, is on her way to becoming a formidable person. At the time of this portrait, the sweet girl and the no-nonsense woman are in a kind of balance. Oh, he was good, very very good!
Oh! Coco! Such a sweet, soft, smelly-good little guy!
If he wants any peace, he's gonna hafta stop looking so dang cute!
I know what you mean about smothering a newly groomed and fluffy dog with hugs and kisses! I do the same thing with Loki - even tho he's a bit bigger. He's very patient with all my attentions, but I can tell he is just humoring me ;-)
Have just spent the last 3 days of my life eating, sleeping and reading! Whew! So now I look around and see things need to be done :ppppppppp At least it's a very nice, breezy day.
Hope you have a good one!
Love the photos of Coco, Ilana! He looks like a good pal indeed. And nice Sargent painting. Hope you're continuing to feel better.
Ooooh! Lots of visitors! I can always count on Coco to bring in the crowds! :-)
Am really proud of myself right now, because I got up and really didn't want to do yoga, not at all, but made myself do it anyway, then tacked on an extra routine from the DVD which ended up feeling really good. Other than that, I've decreed today is the day I do my best to catch up on all those darn reviews.
Forgot to mention this weekend that I brought back Anarchy and Old Dogs, or Dr Siri #4 and the audiobook of Bossypants from the library. I'll try to hold off a bit on the Cotterill, if only because there are so many other books I want to get to this month. Thinking of tackling Potsdam Station next, though I'm also tempted to read another Elizabeth Taylor or one of my new Barbara Pym's. Decisions, decisions...
I finished The Amulet of Samarkand last night and found the whole adventure very sweet and entertaining. Not sure "sweet" is the word for it, but that's what came to mind. The third book in the series and the prequel are available on audio at the library, so I might spend an Audible credit to get The Golem's Eye some time.
Meanwhile, really enjoying The Martian Chronicles which is unlike anything else I've read before. This one is on load from Overdrive, which is a library loaning system and disappears from the system after 21 days. I've still got plenty of time, 8 more days left, but I also got Anansi Boys and Babbitt, which both expire in 8 days too, and I'm not sure I'll be able to fit them all in. I'm not quite sure how the system works yet, but I suppose one can borrow a title more than once. Will call the library to find out right now.
#228 Jude, neutering is really no big deal, especially for male cats. You'll see, he'll recover really fast, though he might walk with hind legs apart for a day or two. :-) I'm sure you're a great mom to him no matter what.
#229 Ellen, I went to Audible to listen to Heather O'Neill, and she indeed sounds like a great narrator. Figures that The Likeness isn't available to us in Canada. But somehow the first and third book are... go figure. By the way Heather O'Neill the narrator is not the same person as the writer of Lullabies for Little Criminals, which is still in my tbr.
About cats and grooming, believe it or not, before I got Coco, there was a time when I used to give Mimi baths. I did that to get her used to the idea because I wasn't crazy about the idea of her tracking in dirt from outside. Mind you, it would never have occurred to me to try that with Ezra, but she was surprisingly cool about the whole thing. I even have pictures to prove it!
#230 Lucy, turns out that site I got the portrait of Lady Agnew from is dedicated to Sargent's work and contains a whole bunch of really interesting essays and quotes from various sources. I started reading up about this particular portrait, then got sidetracked with a link about the famous Madame X portrait, but there was this link to the only known photo of Lady Agnew aka Gertrude Vernon provided by a reader:
This photo confirmed to me that his likeness was very good indeed.
Part of the text about this painting: As with any portrait painter, and Sargent was no exception, he was often confronted by a patrons that were displeased with the image he gave them. "This happened so often that he used to define a portrait as 'a likeness in which there was something wrong about the mouth'" (Charteris, P157). - http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/Lady_Agnew.htm
#231 Claudia, eating, sleeping, and reading... yup, sounds just like the way I spend my life too. What's wrong with that?! I call that fine living!
Every time I bring back Coco from the groomers I feel a bit guilty. He just becomes such a teeny tiny little thing, suddenly half the size he was when I brought him in and looks so fragile and precious that I find myself treating him with much more gentleness and patience... almost with deference even. Which has me think maybe I should always keep him trimmed like that, which would minimize the occasions when I get impatient with him. He's such a lovely dog, but I can't say he's the brightest dog I've ever know, so sometimes I do get annoyed when he either pretends, or just simply doesn't understand simple request like "go to bed" or "come here". But I do love my little bunny so.
#232 Hi Joe, feeling better today thanks, with just ever so slight regular pain I don't usually bother to mention, even though we've got a low pressure system and plenty of cloud cover right now. I should get outside with my little one now before we get that thunderstorm they're predicting on the weather network.
eta: edited to add photos of Mimi taking a bath, but then decided to post them separately after all.
I know Becca's little guy (a miniature poodle) doesn't like the rain. I figure the raindrops probably have a bigger impact when you're a smaller size like that. Thunder doesn't bother him, but rain does.
Joe, what you say about smaller dogs feeling the impact of raindrops more does make sense I guess, though my little guy doesn't seem to mind the rain at all, unless it's falling in sheets or at least pouring heavily. Otherwise, he's perfectly happy taking in the smells at his leisure. I don't know if this applies when he has a short coat as he does now however, because his fur does give him quite a lot of protection from the elements otherwise.
Ilana - I also use Overdrive from my library for audiobooks and while they do disappear off your computer after the 8 days (21 days for me), if you've transferred them to your iPod or MP3 player, they are there till you delete them.
Love the cat washing photos and Coco is looking very spruce.
I am soooo behind, Ilana, but I wanted you to know that I was thinking about you and missing your postings. I am determined to catch up, but it probably won't be until I am back in Indiana with internet that actually works consistently. Until then I am dropping off hugs and wishes for sweet dreams and a kind tomorrow. Take care.
106. ♫ Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn ★★★⅞
(Read for TIOLI #17: embedded first name in either the title or author's name - Lynn, and 12/12 #8: Hot Off the Press)
Most people have heard of this story by now, about a young couple, Amy and Nick, who's marriage just may have a few problems. Amy is the only child of psychologist parents who've made a fortune on a series of books featuring the "Amazing Amy" character, a girl so perfect that her real-life counterpart can't ever hope to live up to her image. Born and raised in New York City, the mecca of the publishing industry, she eventually found work being a writer of sorts for women's magazines. Nick on the other hand comes from a small town in Missouri, and made his way to the Big Apple, also to make a living writing for magazines. When they meet, they are fascinated by one another, both for how clever they are, and the fact that they're both gorgeous doesn't hurt either. They marry and live happily ever after. Not. After making their home in NYC for the first few years of their marriage, they both find themselves out of work when the magazine industry comes crashing thanks to the internet. Against Amy's true wishes, Nick convinces her to move back to his small hometown, where Nick finds perfect contentment, whereas Amy feels like a fish out of water. On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to an empty house which looks like the scene of a crime. Amy's gone without a trace, and as the police start investigating, they quickly come to suspect that Nick has murdered her. Of course, this might have something to do with the fact that plenty of evidence makes him look guilty as hell.
Two things about this novel. 1) I couldn't stop listening to the audio version narrated by two readers who alternate between Nick's and Amy's first person accounts, and finished it in two days. 1.5) I hated this story because 2) These people really do exist in real life, only they don't necessarily resort to psychotic behaviour... or at least, not on that scale. I've got to hand it to Gillian Flynn for being an amazing storyteller. She builds up the various elements of this thriller in a way that has the reader constantly on the edge of the seat and makes two truly despicable characters absolutely fascinating case studies of the state of matrimony in the 21st century. For those of us who aren't married, this novel is like a warning signal not to believe it when someone seems to be too good to be true, because they inevitably are; having done the rounds of the dating scene in a big city, I can personally vouch for that.
That Mimi is such a princess!
Can't believe the baths and the sweet way she eats!
And a pretty lady too... oh - make that 2 pretty ladies ;-)
I was going to spend the whole day on writing my reviews, but then had forgotten that I also had planned to make ratatouille from the eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes that were crowding my countertop. Nipped over to the farmer's market with Coco to get a bunch of different coloured bell peppers, and couldn't believe it when it too me 3 hours to prepare the darn thing. I guess it was worth it, because I ended up with a huge pot of the stuff, and just had a serving with a sausage grilled on the BBQ. Now have plenty of leftovers, gotta love that!
#238 Kerry, I also borrow the Overdrive books for 21 days. It's just I've let time pass since I got them, listening to other audiobooks instead, so now am down to 8 days only. I downloaded them all directly to my iPhone with the Overdrive app, which means I won't be able to hang onto them unless I can download them again to my computer and transfer them onto my iPhone again as regular audiobooks. In fact, I'll try that right now.
#239 Mamie, please don't worry about being behind. I'm always behind on everybody because I just can't find enough time to spend on LT, and even if I did, it's a full time activity! I'll have to catch up with you really soon to find out what you're up to!
#241 Gee thanks Claudia! As far as I'm concerned, Mimi absolutely steals the show. Her looks combined with her sweet, simple and happy personality make her the most beautiful kitty in the world to me!
107. It's Lonely in the Modern World: The Essential Guide to Form, Function, and Ennui by Molly Jane Quinn ★★★¾
(Read for August TIOLI #21: middle-length work between 150-288 pages total - 175, 12/12 #9: Visual Treats)
From the book description: "From the creators of the wildly popular Web site Unhappyhipsters.com, this essential guide is for today's hipsters what The Official Preppy Handbook was for prepsters. Featuring detailed illustrations, beautifully staged photos, and helpful charts, this master manual is perfect for aspiring modernists, those who love them, and, of course, those who love to hate them."
I remember the Official Preppy Handbook very well, because when I was 16 I had my very own copy which I pored over for endless hours, both because it made fun of preps in a really amusing, snarky way, and because, well... I needed to figure out how to pass myself off as one. Many years later, I've now found a new bible in ILitMW. As a designer, I've daydreamed endless hours away wishing for a minimalistic, sparse, well-designed and stylishly appointed home, but as this book makes amply clear, keeping such a home takes complete dedication and an unwavering commitment, not to mention a very deep wallet, which few of us can afford. Beautifully designed and illustrated with plenty of tempting visuals (some more scary than tempting, to be honest), this book is divided into various sections that are both helpful guidelines for those looking to achieve the perfect hipster haven, and snarkily funny for those of us who can only watch from the sidelines.
There's no lack of material to quote from here, but here's one morsel I found particularly delectable, which also sums up the attitude required to pull off this kind of lifestyle (from the "Outdoor Furnishings" section):
Most people have become attached to the idea of "comfort" when sitting. With modern furniture, however, it's important to rethink your concept of what is comfortable. In a thickly cushioned chair, your body may be supported—but at what price to your design values? Your intellect? Your psyche? How comfortable are you with losing those aspects of self? It's better to focus on the pure joy and thrill of being close to high design than to slump into an overstuffed chair for a nap.
Best of all is the epilogue, which talks at some length about (famously gay) architect Philip Johnson's "Glass House" in New Canaan, Connecticut, which features no less than fourteen different buildings on the forty-seven-acre property. After describing what each space was built to contain, the final paragraph gave this far-from-minimalist reader some measure of comfort:
The lesson: if you can't let go of your book collection, then it's only logical to build a house for it. Or if you need a place to kick back and watch reality television, build another house. If your boyfriend is a world-famous art collector, build another house. And if you can't figure out where to stash the circuit board and furnace—you guessed it—build another house. Because the only way to become a true minimalist it to be conspicuously maximalist.
Ilana - I love the Sargent picture you posted. The MFA in Boston has a beautiful gallery just for Sargent's paintings. I can't decide if my favorite is Lily Lily Rose or Madam X.
Coco is adorable! I just love her sleeping pics. Thanks for sharing.
We used to bathe our cats as well and while they didn't love being showered, they at least didn't mind it too much, so at least I wasn't viciously clawed in the process and since they didn't yowl, neither did our neighbors have to think we were killing children.
108. Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud by Martin Gayford ★★★★½
(Read for TIOLI #7: a book someone recommended to you in the last month, 12/12 #9: Visual Treats)
Lucian Freud (8 December 1922 – 20 July 2011) was considered one of the greatest living artists until his death last year. A friend of Picasso, Giacometti and most famously, Francis Bacon, he was also the grandson of that other Freud. When figure painting went out of style in favour of abstraction in the 50s and 60s, he continued working from the model. According to the wikipedia entry, "his works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomforting examination of the relationship between artist and model." Part of the discomfort for the model would have been the fact that Freud demanded that his model be available to him on a regular basis for indeterminate periods of time, which usually meant many months, with multiple sittings every week, working at a famously incredibly slow pace, some paintings took over a year to complete, which for the models meant hundreds of hours posing under the painter's scrutiny. Martin Gayford, an art critic who's also written a book about Van Gogh, knew Freud and suggested posing for a portrait while writing about the experience for a book project, an idea which the painter apparently heartily encouraged as one of the project's most fervent champions. This is surprising when one knows that Freud shied away from photographers and journalists his whole life, preferring to retain his privacy and let others interpret his work as they wished. Gayford obviously took copious notes throughout his sittings, and quickly establishes that Freud, far from demanding that his models sit still for hours on end, on the contrary likes to engage his models in lively conversation and see the various expressions which animate each individual. Though the book is presented in the form of a journal of sorts, with each entry prefaced by a date, what emerges through all the fascinating conversations during nine months of sittings, restaurant meals and taxi rides, is the portrait of a brilliant mind of great intellect with fascinating views and amazing life experiences. This book, published by Thames & Hudson, who mostly produce high quality art books, is illustrated throughout with paintings from different periods of Freud's long and very successful career. A must for art lovers of every kind and certainly for Lucian Freud fans.
#245 Caro, that Sargent gallery sounds absolutely wonderful! Definitely a place I'll visit when I visit Boston again, eventually. Last time was just over 20 years ago, so hopefully I won't wait that long to do it again!
Now that I have Coco, who walks about three times a day, I can't imagine why I thought bathing Mimi was a good idea. She was so laid back through it all back then, but she's not quite as easygoing now that she's all grown up. Why did you do it, and why did you stop? I'm curious!
It would be so useful to be able to bath one of our cats. I have never known a cat care less about being grubby! It's like he wasn't born with the washing label that says self cleaning. Dirty paws, dirty nose, dirty tummy, he's got it all going on.
When the nose gets too bad, we clean it for him - imagine trying to wipe the nose of a very squirmy baby. Sadly, I doubt it would be worth our time to even try and bath him - if a miracle occurred and we could pull it off, it would be pointless - he'd simply go and get dirty again!
Both of your reviews are great, Ilana! I have to say, the book on Lucian Freud sounds most interesting to me. I'm sure it meant much to you as you actually work with models and Freud seems to have a very different view of how that is done. I like his thinking.
Re Quinn's book: I have tried several times to go minimalist. Can't do it... especially living with someone who throws out nothing! Not even sure I could do it myself - though the concept is alluring. So, I struggle with trying to keep a balance and think I should try again with my closet!
Been having a really good day so far. Started with the fact that I managed to get myself out of bed before midday (10:30, still late I know, but more reasonable), then, instead of going to the computer first thing, prepared breakfast while finishing up The Martian Chronicles on audio (excellent by the way), and then followed up with The Book Thief. I was going to listen to just a chapter then jump on the computer for a bit, then start on my artwork, but it grabbed me so well from the start that I decided to keep listening while painting. After 3 hours, had a great phone conversation with my therapist, a woman I like very much I've been seeing for over a decade. So now I've got all the essentials taken care of.
Yesterday, I received a little windfall in the form of a cheque which came in the mail completely unexpectedly. Adjustment to the cost of living plus interest on backpayment since 2007 on my disability benefits. It couldn't have come at a better time, because I was severely over my credit card limit. I'm booking an appointment at the hairdresser (much overdue), and of course, might splurge on a book or two, but the rest goes into credit card, savings (for art classes) and RRSPs (retirement fund and tax break).
It's a beautiful day, we had buckets of rain earlier but now it's beautiful and sunny and not too hot. Coco and I are going to the bank (to deposit the cheque—really feels like a small gift from heaven!), then to run a few errands at Canadian tire.
Almost forgot to mention I started reading Potsdam Station by David Downing last night, and after just one chapter I can say with confidence that I'm properly hooked.
#249 I feel for your lunacat, having a feline who won't clean himself must be really annoying. However, I'd trade that problem with my Ezra's refusal to use the litter box almost systematically and fighting with him every day to get in anti-anxiety medication which is supposed to make him more compliant in that way, but doesn't seem to work!
I'm guessing he's an outdoor cat? He's a beauty anyway, did you clean him up before taking photos?
#250 Claudia, I'm glad you enjoyed the reviews (all three?? hem hem). Once again I fully intended to knock out the dozen or so that are overdue in short texts, more comments than reviews, but I always get caught up with wanting so say more and say it as best I can at the moment. The Lucian Freud book is indeed fascinating, as you can see from my rating alone... it also so happens that I'm a big fan of his, even though I can't say I love all his stuff, but I do love his early work and his approach as an artist, and sheer guts and disregard for criticism*. I'm also grateful I'm not one of his (many many) bastard and legitimate children, because seems he wasn't all that good at being a dad, but that's no big surprise. This last detail isn't discussed in this book by the way, but we watched an excellent documentary in our painting class which interviewed his models, many of which are friends and family and some visibly scarred by the relationship and experience of modeling for him**
The Quinn book is similar to the experience of looking at decor magazines: beautiful fantasies of what one could and would gladly live in, but completely unattainable. Back to Freud, I was delighted to see that his studios (more than one) were hugely, incredibly, monumentally... messy. :-)
* eta: not to mention his complete dedication to his art and sheer output.
**eta: some, like his daughters Bella Freud, a designer, and her sister Esther, a writer were obviously big fans of his and had no compulsions about having posed in the nude for him.
We've got five cats, the one in the pic is Luna, our Mummy cat. Then there is her brother Bobble, her daughters Zita and Mouse, and the newest addition, a stray kitten called Tashi who is the grubbster. He's now 8 months old, so not really a kitten, and definitely old enough to know better on the cleaning front!
I'll swap you Ezra's problems for a cat with chronic cystitis that wees on my bed when she has a flare up, the insane amounts of animals (usually alive) that get brought home by the cats (there is currently a mouse running round our porch area somewhere cos Luna brought it in then dropped it) which includes bats, mice, voles, birds and ducklings. And said ducklings that have now grown into ducks, and are living in our small back garden, but in segregation, as one of them doesn't get on with the other three.
Oh, and I have a guinea-pig and a horse as well. Welcome to the mad house :)
Dear Ilana - the books are coming thick and fast here - I am alternately beffudled and impressed. You are doing the same as I with the difference being that your actually finish yours!
I always enjoy your take on books seemingly reviewed to death by others and Gone Girl is no exception. As a fellow cynic of sorts I must though make note of your comment:
For those of us who aren't married, this novel is like a warning signal not to believe it when someone seems to be too good to be true, because they inevitably are; having done the rounds of the dating scene in a big city, I can personally vouch for that.
How sad dear lady if your prognoscis was entirely true! I have a friend married to a Dutch guy who said that she married him 18 years ago believing him too good to be true and that she is still waiting for him to slip up! Sincerity is essential and can be at a premium with some on the dating scene but certainly not all. xx
#252 lunacat, I've always dreamt I could have a huge farm where I could take in all kinds of animals who need rescuing. Part of the dream is that I'd be rich enough to afford a staff of dedicated animal lovers who would take care of them thus giving me a chance to make a positive difference while also allowing me to have a life! I don't know about a mad house, but it definitely sounds like you have quite a little zoo going! I hope you live in a relatively large home to accommodate everyone... the horse especially would be a problem in a third floor walkup apartment like mine. ;-)
#253 Paul, I must say I too am rather stunned by how many books I've managed to complete this month, though it must be said that over half of the fifteen I've completed so far (9, to be precise) are audiobooks, and since I've been spending time away from the computer working on my art and using that as listening opportunities as well... you can see how one would devour books quite quickly that way.
About the other thing, I do know happy marriages exist, but I just have a strong feeling they are the exception rather than the rule, especially when you consider how many of them in divorce, or with partners staying together when the love is gone. Coming from a broken home and having known many many people in my life who do too, I guess I haven't had that many examples of successful pairings among those close to me. That being said, my best friend Kim has been with her man for over 25 years and she still considers him as her soul mate with whom she wants to be for the rest of her life. That being said, like many quebecers, they aren't actually married, but since they have a daughter who's just gone on 16 (or is about to any day now), that is a mere technicality at this point. I guess I've stayed bitter from my dating experiences and whatever brief relationships I've had, and since I've had serious health issues to deal with since 2007, AND managed to date two guys who turned out complete and utter a**holes (one of them, who turned out to be a alcoholic basket case actually stalked me for a few years after I finally managed to break up with him), I've not dared trust myself nor my capacity to choose wisely. Most of my relationships have ended up being quite disastrous, with the exception on one guy who was a really decent chap called Rob, who happened to be British and had been an RAF officer and then an airline traffic controller at Heathrow, therefore well equipped to deal with the crisis on wheels I've always been! His most memorable phrase (because oft used), was "Smiler*, why don't you come sit down and have a cup of tea with me?", usually uttered when I had packed up all my belongings and was huffily making my way to the front door. lol. Being mentally unstable does offer a certain challenge in the relationship department, to say the least.
I've known too many attractive and brilliant single ladies, career women all, who've had similarly disastrous luck with men and have not been psychiatric cases like me, as far as I know. If and when I make myself available again, it will be with extreme caution, which I'm sure is rather understandable.
*Rob is the one who gave me that nickname originally.
#254 Hi Joe, I wrote the above with you in mind too, since you and Paul were of the same opinion. Thanks for dropping by!
#255 Hi Mark, it's safe to say that I've been very busy in general, but books remain one of my priorities of course and I've got you to thank again for giving me the example and encouraging me to give audiobooks a try. Goodness knows I used to view them with a fair amount of disdain, but now I'm hooked I don't thing there is any going back! I even seek out titles I already have to see if the have the audio versions at the library, which gives me a chance to get to them faster (as is the case with The Book Thief, which I started listening to today. As you know, I really loved Jim Broadbent, and I must say Allan Corduner, who does the Zusak book is another great talent to look out for.
boo hoo! No time to visit threads, and much less to write more reviews... "only" have 11 more to go. Can I do it before the end of the month? Anyone willing to take bets?
Off to get rested up for tomorrow's painting class.
Just dropping by to say Hi, Ilana. I am so far behind on the threads right now, but I really enjoyed seeing Coco's picture, he is so adorable. Your Mimi is so very ladylike, from her dainty eating style to enjoying her bath, she is so definitely a female!
Just running - almost to the airport (ok in a few hours) gorgeous Coco! Gorgeous you! Great reviews! See you later!
Ilana, I love the pictures of Mimi getting a bath. She looks very tolerant. Sweet girl.
Since my cats are always exclusively indoor cats, I've been able to give them a bath when I first bring them home and they have taken it from there. We got Edgar when he was young enough that I was a bit uncertain how well he would groom, but he did just fine (and may have learned some of that from Abby, who was one year old when we brought 4-week-old Edgar home).
Thanks for telling me that the Heather O'Neill narrating my Tana French novel is not the author of lullabies for little criminals! I read that one last summer and liked it; I was assuming she was also my narrator!
I am determined (sort of) to get back to my hot yoga classes this fall. I really did find them to be beneficial and what with turning 52 and all, I feel that anything that will help my balance and flexibility is a good thing. Good for you for getting yourself there.
Happy Painting Class Day!
Sadly, we do not live in a large house at all - it is a small 3-bedroom, with three people living in it, so we are fairly overrun by the animals. Thankfully the horse doesn't live here, she resides about a mile from here at some stables.
On happy marriages: I've been lucky in that most of the marriages I've known have been happy ones. My grandparents were married for 59 years, and all my aunts have been married for 30+ years. And I firmly believe my parents would still be married if my dad hadn't passed away.
However, I am still immensely cynical about my own chances of a happy relationship, so I can completely see where you are coming from. It seems to me that a lot of people nowadays aren't willing to put in the time and effort to make a marriage work, and see divorce as the solution as opposed to working at things. Of course, some people should never have married in the first place, and in some cases it is best for all concerned if the marriage is ended.
I hope you like The Book Thief, Ilana. It's one of my all-time faves.
>263 I ditto jnwelch's opinion of TBT. It tops my list of favorites as well. (By the way, you might want to pick up a hard copy version at one point, at least for a few minutes, to see a tiny section of drawings in it.) There's a movie in the works which makes me happy and a bit worried at the same time ...
Man With a Blue Scarf sounds great. I've never heard of Lucian Freud before. (My art illiteracy is showing!) The things we learn on Library Thing! :)
I dread the thought of a film of The Book Thief. How on earth could they do it justice.
It took me two attempts to read it at first, as I couldn't really get into it, but once I did I thought it was incredible. Am working up to rereading it again, but it needs more brainpower than I've got at the moment.
>265 I dread the thought of a film of The Book Thief. How on earth could they do it justice.
#221 Lovely photos of Coco - thank you!
#222 And thank you for finding the information about the painting for me.
#225 "anyone know about this?" Overdrive? My library uses them for online or e-audio books too. I prefer the online system because it's free (they charge £2-£3 to borrow audio CDs unless you're blind or qualify for them in some other way) and I don't have to put up with old scratchy CDs. With my library you could definitely borrow a title more than once but you were limited to the number you could have 'checked out' at the same time. The only thing I did find annoying was that I couldn't return an item early and thus free up another borrowing slot.
#240 There's almost been a deluge of reviews for Gone Girl recently but yours really made me chuckle :-)
#246 Sounds like Man with a Blue Scarf provides some fascinating insights to Freud's methods.
#250 Yay for a really good day and a windfall cheque! And well done at not splurging all of it on a book spree :-) That would be the first thing I would think of doing with the extra money...
What a treat coming over here and finding all these messages! Yay! :-)
Had a really good day in the painting studio, even though our current painting project is rather driving me crazy. We're supposed to cut loose and follow our intuition and experiment, which sounds like it should be a lot of fun, right? Well, me, it just freaks me right out. But apparently I'm not the only one, so at least I'm not alone. I'm overdue to post photos of this project—which started last week—on my art blog, and will do so in the coming days. I'm nervous about posting photos of this one because I have no freaking idea what I'm doing, and keep doing one thing, then undoing it, and going back and forth like that all the time. Argh!
Reading is so very simple and so very calming in comparison. I can just sit there and enjoy other people's hard work, knowing that unlike them, I don't have to be especially clever to enjoy their work. Ahhhh.
But honestly, given that's my biggest source of stress these days, life is pretty good I'd say.
#258 Hi Judy, thanks for dropping by here, I know what it's like being behind and trying to catch up. I try not to stress out to much about it these days because I'm doing a very poor job of it and can only say I'm grateful people like you are still visiting my humble thread. I took more photos of Coco yesterday and today and have one or two really great ones which I'll share soon. Mimi is my little princess. My only girl too, so of course she is! 💗
#259 Ummm, thanks? I'm not sure I understood that... what language is it in? 😯
#260 Prue, wow! How exciting! I'm sure you won't be able to read this reply in your travels, but I'm amazed you made time to visit threads at such a busy/stressful time! Always lovely to see you!
#261 Ellen, I did mean to keep both my cats indoors, but Ezra started peeing at all the exit points to give me the hint he wanted out (or at least, that's what I think he meant), and then Mimi, whom I didn't let out for the first year, really made me feel pity when I'd let Ezra out and she could only watch out the window. She never wanders away very far. As for Ezra, I'm always intensely curious to find out where he goes when he's away.
I'm so impressed by you, lady! A marathoner, a hot yoga yogi... Two things I can't do right now. Running, because I'm too out of shape right now and plain just don't want to do it for now, and hot yoga because I'm always overheating as it is, and when I do exercise I sweat like a pig. I tried it a few times and felt so uncomfortable that I decided it's just not for me. And ironically, there's a really popular Bikram yoga studio practically across the street from my place too...
#262 Ok Jenny, I take back what I said. You most definitely DO live in a madhouse! I think to complete the picture you should also get a pet pig. Apparently they make amazing pets. I don't know how they get along with cats, but I just love that mental image. The five cats, the mice, the bats, voles, birds, ducklings AND... a pig. In a three-bedroom house. Makes perfect sense to me! ;-)
#263 Joe, I am so totally loving The Book Thief! And it's a major relief too because I hate it when I end up not liking a book that everyone else seems to be in love with... I always wonder "what am I missing here? Is there something wrong with me that I'm not feeling it?"
#264 Avidmom, I do actually have a softcover version, so I'll have to pull it out and look for those drawings.
No worries about not knowing who Lucian Freud is. I'm completely ignorant about artists, which is kind of strange considering how important art is in my life. I discover most of them through my art teachers, who often show us examples of works from a wide range of artists, and Lucian Freud, for all his fame, only became known to me about 2-3 years ago when I fell in love with his early drawings and bought a book of his works on paper. Man with a Blue Scarf is a fascinating book for anyone curious about the art process by the way, whether "in the know" or not.
#265-266 I can see I'll want to reread it eventually too. I just love the narrator, Allan Corduner who does this audiobook, but I may want to read it in paper format next time. The nice part is I have both options.
I know what you mean about worrying about the film being successful. It's so rare that a movie is satisfying for those who've fallen in love with a book. Nearly impossible, though there are some exceptional ones that get made once in a while!
#267 Heather, no need to thank me about the info on the John Singer Sargent painting—I was so thrilled to discover that web site, and at first didn't realize it was dedicated to him exclusively (though you'd think the name, JSS, would have tipped me off!) It's worth logging on if only to see what artwork shows up on the homepage, because every time you refresh it, a new one comes up and it's amazing to see what range he had that way.
I suppose there must be a possibility to renew with OverDrive, but thanks to Kerry, I found out one can actually copy the audiobooks to one's hard drive and listen on the computer or download them to a player whenever is convenient. So I've done that with the other three books I wouldn't have had time to listen to in the next 6 days (and I don't like the idea of listening to a book out of obligation rather than because that's the one I feel like at the moment). So that's taken care of. I found out there is actually a way to return them—if you use their free app on the iPhone (don't know if it's available for other players), you have the option to return and delete with one touch. The only caveat being of course you have to have download them to your player first.
I'm glad you enjoyed my review of Gone Girl. I wish I'd done a better job with my review, because I certainly have lots of things to say about this book, if only because the two protagonists (not to mention Gillian Flynn herself) have worked in and understand the magazine culture from the content providers point of view, and since I know a thing of two about that, there were a lot of things I could relate to in a very very scary way. But in the end, I sort of botched that review and decided to run it anyway as is. I figured for a bestseller kind of book, there was no call to go completely out of my way either, especially considering it's been reviewed to death by now, no doubt.
I have yet to buy a single book with that money that fell from the sky. I think the resolution I took recently may be part of it, because I really do NOT have any more room for books (for one thing), and for another, now that I've joined the National library, I have access to so many more books (and audiobooks) for free, that I feel less of a need to buy so many of them. But... maybe an art book? Or if there's an Audible sale with titles I can't resist? Or...
I'm sure I'll come up with a few titles I can't live without in my home forever and ever! :-)
#268 Hi Stasia! Thanks for dropping by!
#269 Hi Caro, thanks for dropping by. I'll have to make the time to catch up with your adventures too soon, it's been a while.
I know, eh? That windfall was totally like winning the lottery, only even better because I didn't purchase a ticket first, so it really did come out of the blue. Which reminds me I forgot to purchase a lotto ticket tonight, shucks! I wonder if it'll be too late to ride on my lucky streak on the next draw on Saturday... :-D
eta: Note to the thread police: I am aware of the *situation*. It has been noted, and something will be done about it soon. As in, at the beginning of September. Over and out.
Life seems very good for you right now! Makes me happy for you. Even though your current art project is driving you nuts - it's probably a good exercise for your brain. Doing somethng different. I can understand your dilemma though. Can't wait to see it. (no pressure - lol)
How wonderful to get a surprise check to lighten the financial squeeze. Woohoo! Sometimes it's just fun paying off some bills... I know :D
I need to pick another book to read today... maybe The Book Thief which has been collecting dust for too long. Lots of LTers seem to love that one.
Hugs for you and furkids!
I can understand questioning it when you don't like a book others love, Ilana. I do that, too. The worst is when a friend or relative gives me one they love and I just - don't. I'm not a Faulkner fan, for example, and that's blasphemy for a lot of folks. But I sure am glad you're loving The Book Thief. It is such a great book! I want to re-read it some time soon.
Ilana, I also listened to The Book Thief on audio and loved it, an amazing narrator can really enhance the book. Afterward I went out and bought the paper version for my girls to read. It has become one of their favourite books and they have recommended it to many many of their friends.
I also wanted to let you know I finally finished Wolf Hall, and I want to thank you and Chatterbox for filling in all the blanks. Excellent questions on your part and amazing answers on hers. Very helpful to understanding that time. The book doesn't just need discussing at the end it needs discussing all the way along, so thanks again to both of you. Even knowing about the pronoun problem, there were still many, many times I had to reread sections. And thank goodness for the cast of characters at the beginning. I kept checking who was who. I too, will be taking a break before starting Bring Up the Bodies, I need a few lighter one before I tackle that one.
Oh well, I enjoyed the pleasant streak while it lasted. I won't even get into today, because I don't want to just bore everyone to death. All I'll say is not getting enough sleep, especially on the day after my art class, is a recipe for disaster. Also, I will never go see Dr. Sonea, the dermatologist I had an appointment with today ever again. I think he took a kind of sadistic pleasure in making me feel about two inches high, if that. Also: I got impatient with The Book Thief and decided to put it aside for now. Not because there's anything wrong with the story. On the contrary, it's gorgeous. But I think I need to sit down with the book and read it in quiet moments, as opposed to listen to it when I'm doing other things. I'd listen to it in quiet moments, but that kind of defeats the purpose of audiobooks for me. I started on A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf, and also put that aside after a half hour. Very impatient today due to extreme fatigue, so I don't know if anything will be right, though I DO look forward to plunging back into Potsdam Station, which will happen much earlier tonight than my usual, because I'm about to call it a day.
#273 Claudia, the good cheer may come back when I've rested up. For now... I just want to crawl under a rock. The duvet might do just as well or better—more comfy.
#274 Joe, I have a couple of Faulkner books, including an audio recording which apparently makes him easier to take in, but I've seen so many people say they have trouble with him that I'm a bit scared to approach him quite honestly.
#275 Susan, I'm really pleased you found the Wolf Hall thread so helpful. I feel it was all the more worthwhile a time investment because others can learn a lot from it too. Maybe you could put a mention on the thread itself so Suzanne can collect her share of kudos, which she deserves more than I do, though of course you've probably thought of that already. I received a notification this week that the audio of Bring Up the Bodies, which I'd put on hold at the library, is now available. I'm not sure the audio format is such a good idea for this one, but I'll give it a try and if it feels right, will go ahead with it. If so, I'll probably listen to it in September. Otherwise it may very likely take me longer to get to it. I'd love to finish it before the Booker Prize Shortlist announcement on the 11th, but that's not likely to happen.
Ilana, we have a hot yoga studio in town with "zones" of heat. I always park myself in the back where it's around 85F rather than in the front where it's around 105F. In the winter here, 85F feels good. I would pass out at the higher temps!
Unbelievable, but I somehow went a whole day with LT yesterday! Caught up with a few threads and jumped onto a few new ones and now am about to start putting together #13.
#277 Ellen, that "zones" thing sounds like a a great idea. That way you get to pick your level of discomfort! Just kidding. I might be willing to try a formula like that too, but for now am happy doing my yoga at home.
This topic was continued by Smiler's Miscellany: A Little Bit of Everything & Books, Too! #13.
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