Joanne (coppers) Tries Again - 2017 #1
This topic was continued by Joanne (coppers) Tries Again - 2017 #2.
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Daniels and Fisher Clock Tower, Denver, New Year's Eve
Hi all, I'm Joanne, and back again trying to read 75 books. This is my 8th attempt. I've only reached that goal, maybe twice, three times, tops. Now if the challenge was to buy 75 books in a year....
I'm not very good at this whole setting up a new thread thing and as much as I'd love to be clever and entertaining, it's just not going to happen. :)
Here's to the end of 2016 and the beginning of the great unknown 2017. I'm wishing everyone the best, with lots of good reads and good friends. Welcome to all!
Here are my favorite books read in 2016, in the order I read them (for the most part). Rather than looking at my ratings, I just considered how I currently feel about the book - 12 months or just a few weeks after finishing.
1. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe and The Last Great Dance on Earth both by Sandra Gulland – these are the second and third books in a historical fiction trilogy about Josephine Bonapart. I loved all three books as one.
2. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – we should all read this book.
3. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier – probably the one book in 2016 that I look back on, and sigh, and say I truly loved.
4. Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift – thoroughly unexpected and memorable.
5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell– Fabulous YA
6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – it’s on most everybody’s best of list for good reason
7. The Last Policeman, Countdown City, and World of Trouble by Ben Winters – taken as a whole, a fun end of the world trilogy
8. News of the World by Paulette Jiles – I would have loved to have traveled along with these two
1. Old Filth by Jane Gardam 4.5 stars OTS #1
2. The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins
3. March: Book Two by John Lewis (GN) 4.25 stars
4. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick OTS #2
5. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri 3.75 stars
6. Vision: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King (GN)
7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (GN)
8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Mara OTS#3 5 stars
9. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam OTS #4
10. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (audio) 4.25 stars
11. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (GN) 4.25 stars
12. March: Book Three by John Lewis (GN) 4.5 stars
13. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 5 stars
14. Autumn by Ali Smith OTS #5 4.25 stars
15. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie OTS #6 4.5 stars
16. Vision Vol. 2: Little Better Than a Beast by Tom King (GN) 3.5 stars
17. Celine by Peter Heller
Dropping my star, Joanne! And I think you're clever and entertaining. Just saying...
I wish you from my heart health, happiness, satisfaction and much exciting read in 2017. May all your wishes come true.
from my hometown Zürich, Switzerland
>6 drneutron: Thanks Jim! And thanks for keeping us all so well organized!
>7 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Well, I'm a little quiet.... :) Happy New Year!
>8 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! The same to you!
>9 Ameise1: Happy New Year, Barbara! Beautiful photo of your fair city! I'm off to see the fireworks in Denver tonight. (The early, 9pm show. Let's not get too crazy!!)
I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.
Thank you for also being part of the group.
Happy New Year, Joanne! I hope you have a safe year and one filled with books and bookish friends!
Hi Joanne! I love that Neil Gaiman quote. I can't wait to see what fine books you read in 2017.
Happy New Year, Joanne! I love your simple thread style, because it lets your wonderful reviews and personality shine. Here's to a bookful 2017.
>11 PaulCranswick: How lovely, Paul! You are making everyone a little teary eyed, I think! Happy This Will Be a Better New Year!
>12 katiekrug: Happy New Year, Katie!
>13 DianaNL: Happy New Year, Diana!
>14 msf59: Wishing you the same, Mark! Happy New Year!
>15 porch_reader: Same here, Amy! Wishing you many good books!
>16 ChelleBearss: Happy New Year, Chelle!
>17 cal8769: Happy New Year, Carrie!
>18 BLBera: Happy New Year, Beth!
>19 rosalita: I don't know, Julia...but Happy New Year! :)
>20 nittnut: Happy New Year, Jenn!
>21 tymfos: Happy New Year, Terri!
>22 scaifea: Hi Amber, Happy New Year!
Thank you for your visits, everyone! A reminder that I really need to visit some threads!
Happy New Year to you, Joanne! I LOVE both Ogden Nash and Neil Gaiman -- great choices to begin your new thread in a new year! I wish you much, much happiness in 2017!
>24 AMQS: Happy New Year to you and your family, Anne! Wishing you all the best!
1. Old Filth by Jane Gardam 4.5 stars OTS #1
What a great book to start off the new year! I loved how Gardam dropped and resumed threads and offered hints as to what was to come in this story of a raj orphan turned barrister. Lots of memorable characters and I'm so happy it's the first of a trilogy!
LOVE Old Filth and the whole trilogy! Oh, wow, you have some great reading ahead of you! I have the whole series if you need a book.
>27 AMQS: I think I have you to thank for this one, Anne! So thank you! Lucky me, I found the other two at a library sale, but thank you. I'm really looking forward to learning more about Betty.
>26 coppers: I loved that one, too. You're off to a good reading year, Joanne.
Well, here you are, Joanne! Last time I looked at the threadbook, you hadn't started one yet. Glad I looked again.
Happy New Year and happy reading in 2017!
>33 Storeetllr: Not half as glad as I am - happy you found me, Mary! Every year I debate whether or not to start a thread and every year (so far) I have. I'm afraid I'd be lost without it and my LT friends.
Sorry about our upcoming weather.....I know you hate it. :( Stay safe and warm and dry!
Thanks, Jo. I hadn't realized snow was forecast and now I must go out in it to get milk and salad fixings. :( You stay safe too!
>34 coppers: >35 Storeetllr: - I was just hearing about the Colorado snow from my husband's sister. She's 24 (20 years younger than we are) and lives in Fort Collins. She went to the store to stock up and said that it was such a zoo that she just left again! I hope that both of you are safe and snug!
>36 porch_reader: Thanks! I got to the store and back in a light snowfall, nothing even sticking to the roads. Got my milk and three full bags of other stuff, so I'm good for the rest of the week, at least. :)
I'm another fan of Old Filth, Joanne. What a great start to your year of reading.
>35 Storeetllr: It sure is winter out there...
>36 porch_reader: I tend to keep an eye on the weather in Ft Collins because my son lives there, too (wouldn't it be a coincidence if they knew each other). I think they are getting a bit more snow than we are. It's a nice little town - you all should come out and visit her!
>37 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Happy New Year to you! Always good to start the year on a good note!
>38 Storeetllr: I brought my laptop home from work, just in case. Such forethought on my part generally means less snow. :)
>39 BLBera: And I have a few other of Jane Gardam's books on the shelves. Have you read any others besides this trilogy, Beth?
Another fan of Gardam here Joanne. Love your topper pictures too. Belatedly wishing you a lovely year of reading.
Morning, Joanne! You are reminding me that I have Old Filth on the shelves, and I need to get to it.
Last night's snowfall wasn't as bad as I thought! If only we don't get more today. Did you stay home today or brave the snowy streets?
>40 coppers: I've read a few, Joanne, and loved all of them. I have a few unread ones on my shelves as well.
>41 charl08: She apparently has a lot of fans! I have much to look forward to! Wishing you a happy year of good books, Charlotte!
>42 Crazymamie: You'll like it when you get to it, Mamie. It sat on my shelf for a long while, too!
>43 Storeetllr: No, not bad at all, although the roads were pretty snowy. We had a ridiculous "late start" today. 9 am. So I left the house at 9:30 and there was very little traffic. Brrr...cold though!
>44 BLBera: For years, whenever I'd see a book of hers at a used book sale, I'd buy it. I'm glad I finally read one since I seem to be collecting them! :)
>3 coppers: I added a list of my favorite reads for 2106 if anyone's interested.
>47 FAMeulstee: Good morning, Anita, I love how varied we all can be in our reading likes and dislikes!
>48 mdoris: Hi Mary! Glad you found me!
>49 Storeetllr: Morning Mary! You really need to pick up a copy of We Should All Be Feminists!
>50 porch_reader: Hi Amy, The Last Policeman is a good one - I hope you like the series as much as I did!
You are still #1 on my "Members with your books" so I need to pay close attention to your reading. (Not that I am stalking you!) I see you liked News of the World by Paulette Giles. I really liked Enemy Women by her several years back and this will act as a nudge for me to get "News..."
Your girls are beautiful. Happy New Year!
I agree We Should All Be Feminists should be required reading for all. It is also a lovely size and shape and could fit into back pockets and purses to be at the ready at all times!
Just dropping by to say hello. We've had 10 inches of snow and we are pretty much house bound for the next few days. People from around here are predicting the kids won't be back at school before Wednesday. Crazy. I had stocked up on food a few days ago, but I heard from friends that the stores were out of bread and milk last night.
>55 nittnut: Welcome to the South. A friend of mine likes to tease that people dine on milk sandwiches when snow comes. I think they usually purchase eggs though too, so I really think they're eating French toast. Jeff's church in the Raleigh area cancelled services tomorrow, but the pastor will be doing a Facebook Live service.
I love your lists of favorites, Joanne. I am still thinking about The Last Policeman series. I've read three by Jiles and News of the World is my favorite. It was a close contender for my Top Ten List. We finally got out first snow this week. I was beginning to feel left out! I thought for sure I had posted here. A belated Happy New Year and an early Happy Birthday. I remember that it is sometime in January!
>52 -Cee-: Cee! It's so nice to see you! Truly. Happy New Year to you! I have Enemy Women on the shelf (for years!). Maybe this year I'll finally get to it. Glad to hear that I'm still #1.
>53 mdoris: Yes! It's such a small little book - perfect to pick up and read at a moment's notice!
>54 BLBera: And you keep adding to my list, Beth... :)
>55 nittnut: Stay safe in all that snow, Jenn! I saw the pictures of the storm on the news. Our storm last week fizzled out (at least here in the southern burbs). We only got a few inches.
>56 thornton37814: Worse than snow are the ice storms...
>57 Donna828: Hi Donna, Happy New Year to you! Glad you got to join in on the snow fun, finally! Yeh....another birthday is rolling around - Friday the 13th, ha! Thanks for the early good wishes!
>58 PaulCranswick: It is, Paul. My mother was a big du Maurier fan and she gave me Rebecca to read when I was a teenager and I read My Cousin Rachel in my 20s. I don't know why I waited so long to read Jamaica Inn!
2. The Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins
The always entertaining Billy Collins' latest collection of poems.
I didn't know Collins had a new collection out. I'll have to look for it. He's one of the few poets I really enjoy.
I spent the first week of the new year visiting old friends in Pennsylvania and then returned to the real world of work. I got my own thread going but didn't get around to say Happy New Year! One of my goals is to add more poetry to my reading diet so maybe I'll start with Billy Collins.
I'm glad that you started a thread this year, Joanne. You know, I can't remember if I read Rebecca in my teen / early twenties, and I realized I am not sure whether I read Wuthering Heights either. I think I did, but I might have to get a hold of a copy of each to remember. I read a lot of Jane Austen in those years, but I can't quite remember about Rebecca or Wuthering Heights.
Hi, Joanne! I finally knocked out my mini-review of News of the World and I hope my warbling, inspires a few more people to pick it up. Did you know that the character Britt Johnson, the ex-slave that gives the Captain the girl, is featured in Jiles earlier book, The Color of Lightning? Cool, huh? Fortunately, I have it on shelf.
I have been meaning to request, The Rain in Portugal. Thanks for the reminder. You should drop by the poetry thread on the 75 and leave a comment or a poem.
Hey, I am now friends with Chris, on G.R. I am so impressed he is tackling Infinite Jest. Funny, Joe and I had plans to read it this month but I am getting gun-shy. Maybe Chris, will give me the nudge I need.
Lastly, I am on the 3rd episode of The Crown. I like it.
>64 RebaRelishesReading: I don't read a lot of poetry, Reba, but I really do enjoy Collins. Also Mary Oliver.
>65 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, I highly recommend him!
>66 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah, Me Too! I loved both Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. I have a soft spot for gothic mystery/romances, I guess. When I read WH (years ago), I wasn't sure if I had read it or not. Turns out I hadn't but I had seen the movie several times (WPIX used to run it late on Christmas night, and I'd stay up and watch it and just cry.....). Heathcliff is very different in the book, though, as I remember. Don't tell anyone but the only Austin I've read is Lady Susan...I plan on changing that this year.
>67 msf59: I did not know that, Mark! I kept expecting his character to reappear more than he did. He seemed so well fleshed out - now I know why. I'm sure your warbling will attract many new readers!
>68 msf59: I saw that! Chris had planned to read IJ last summer with some friends but they didn't get to it. Two of them are reading it now (apparently it works best with a support group). He starts back to work this week so it may take him a while! Yay for The Crown! I'm looking forward to Victoria starting this weekend on PBS.
>69 AMQS: I plan on reading Rebecca again sometime. I'll be interested in how you like it on audio, Anne! I love rereading via audio, especially since I listen while I drive and so I'm not always listening completely.
Oh I thoroughly enjoyed Mothering Sunday as well last year--picked it up on a whim from the library and found it so engaging. The concept of the main character being a writer should have felt tired, yet Swift made it feel so fresh!
Hi Emily! That's pretty much what I did - I knew very little about Mothering Sunday when I started it. I wonder if that made a difference, no real expectations. I should pick up another of his books one of these days.
Happy Birthday, Jo! Hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend!
Speaking of snow, SO happy that yesterday's threatened snowfall fizzled and we only got a light dusting. Cold is one thing; snow is a whole other thing!
Can't wait until we all get together next month!
Birthday! Hope it's a happy one, Joanne, and that the coming year is great for you.
Happy birthday, Joanne! I hope you're doing something especially splendid to celebrate.
Happy, happy birthday celebration and wishes come true!
Imagine a cake with candles here >
(I forget how to do pictures at the moment.)
>73 witchyrichy: I haven't yet, Karen!
>74 Storeetllr: Thanks Mary! Had a great day yesterday and a lazy day today. I'd rather have one big snowfall than this inch here and there... So chilly and damp today. :(
>75 BLBera: Thank you Beth!
>76 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba!
>77 rosalita: Thanks Julia!
>78 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie!
>79 -Cee-: Beautiful cake, Cee - thank you! :)
>80 nittnut: Thanks Jenn! Dinner out, cake, games, and family! Works for me. :)
>81 msf59: Aww! Thanks Mark.
>82 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle!
>83 drneutron: Thank you, Jim!
>84 tymfos: Thanks Terri!
3. March: Book Two by John Lewis
I can't imagine a better format for John Lewis' story of the civil rights marches of the 60s. As a GN, the illustrations are as powerful as the words. Looking forward to Book 3. 4.5 stars
4. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick
After watching two seasons of the Netflix series, I really wanted to know what the heck was going on and where the story was going. Not surprising, I guess, the TV series veers wildly from the source material (other than a few main characters and the basic premise). The book was ok. There's not much action, though, and I kept waiting for more, a resolution, at least. But it was thought provoking and oddly relevant. 3.25 stars
My current reads are The Potter's Field, a Montalbano mystery, and Vision: Little Worse Than a Man, a Marvel GN. Between the GN and the PKD, I'm stepping a bit out of my comfort zone this month.
Hi Joanne - We were reading March:Book Two at the same time. I just finished it yesterday - how powerful. Amazing that DJT can say Lewis is all talk and no action. I had the same reaction you did. I can't wait to get to Book Three.
I also read The Man in the High Castle, thinking it would help with the series. You're right; it bears little resemblance to the book. I am still only halfway through the first series. I found if I watched right before bed, I had trouble sleeping, they were so intense. I need to get back to it while it is still available for free.
>88 FAMeulstee: I'm so glad you liked it, Anita! :)
>89 BLBera: I'm waiting my turn for the library copy of Book Three. I love how sales of all of Lewis' books rose so much after trump's obnoxious tweets. There were aspects of High Castle that I really liked and then it would just fizzle out. I can't help but think that it could have been a really good book in another writer's hands, but then, a lot of people seem to love it as it is. The TV program can get a little infuriating at times, too, but I'm looking forward to the next season.
How I felt today:
I'm not very good at posting links. This NYT interview with President Obama, about the importance of literature and books, is worth a read:
eta: Oh good, it worked for me!
Happy, happy birthday, Joanne! Love that interview so much.
We got quite a bit more than a light dusting -- I think we ended up with about six inches here when it was all done snowing! Heavy, wet stuff -- spring snow!
Hi Anne - Thank you!!
Same here, the overnight snow last night was only an inch or two, but by noon, there was about 6. It was heavy and wet enough that John got the snow blower out! I was glad we had the day off (first time in ages that I had a MLK holiday). It is almost spring, isn't it?? :)
>91 coppers: That's such a lovely account of reading by Obama.
Glad to read Lewis's books have received a sales bump from Trump's obnoxious tweets. Those books need to be widely read.
>91 coppers: Lovely image of the Little Polar bear surrounded by books, Joanne. I would love to hide there ;-)
>93 coppers: It is almost spring, isn't it?? :)
I keep telling myself that every day is one day closer to spring, Joanne! One of the local TV stations tweets the sunrise/sunset times every day, and notes whether the hours of daylight is longer or shorter than the day before. I have been enjoying seeing that for a few weeks now each day has been a minute or more longer than the day before. Progress!
>91 coppers: That's the same way I feel! We don't have enough snow to require hibernating but I want to anyway!
Hi, Joanne! I am halfway through The Crown. What a terrific series. I also started Victoria last night. Dueling Queens.
We are also enjoying Rectify. Have you ever watched it?
>94 charl08: I was happy to hear his sales were up, too. An unintended consequence!
>95 FAMeulstee: Some days, Anita, some days! :)
>96 rosalita: I'm the same way, Julia. Every day when I leave work, the sky is a little brighter over the western mountains. Another month and I'll be able to go for a quick walk when I get home. Yes, progress!
>97 ChelleBearss: Plenty cold enough though, I'll bet!
>98 witchyrichy: Absolutely! It's certainly a plus, too, that maybe more kids will read it in a GN format.
>99 msf59: We loved The Crown and Victoria is great, too! Also recently watched Elizabeth I so we're really going hard on the royalty lately. I had to look up Rectify - it looks interesting, I'll have to give it a try. Did you ever watch Stranger Things? Lots of fun!
Happy weekend, Joanne. Yeh for londer daylight days even though the progress is slowly.
Sorry I missed your birthday, Joanne - the last few days have been simply hectic for me and I was unable to get around the threads as I normally like to. Please accept my very belated salutations.
Thank you for the wonderful post on Obama and books. I don't think we'll see his like for a while in the White House. Not sure about his political legacy but a great man IMHO.
>91 coppers: Thanks for sharing the link. It's sad to know President Obama is gone but at least now he has more time to read!
5. The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri 3.75 stars
Another entertaining adventure with Insp Montalbano and crew as a bag with body parts is found in a field and Mimi, forever the womanizer, is acting strangely.
I think Mr. Obama would be right at home here!
>93 coppers: Glad you had MLK Day off -- any chance for Presidents' Day?
6. Vision: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King 4 stars
Not only is this a GN, but it’s a superhero GN, and so totally out of the realm of my normal reading habits. Here we have Vision (he’s an Avenger), with his manufactured family, attempting to live a normal life in the suburbs. He wants to be human, to assimilate, and live the American Dream. Instead he faces discrimination, fear, and prejudice. Sure it’s a superhero comic but I’d say it’s more of a dark commentary on humanity. The illustrations are great, the story well told, and I’m waiting for the next one.
>110 coppers: Oh! That looks really good! (Guess the "March" GNs have opened a new world to you, huh?)
>111 Ameise1: Yes, absolutely, Barbara! I'm always happy to go back and spend some time with Salvo.
>112 Storeetllr: It was interesting, Mary! Actually Chris recently read it and gave it 5 stars. Our reading tastes don't always line up so I like to branch out and try things he recommends when I can. He's still waiting for me to read House of Leaves, but it's quite a bit longer. :)
Current reads are Fun Home (another GN!) and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.
>113 coppers: Not only is it longer, it's, well, unusual in structure! Took some time for me to finish it.
>114 drneutron: I know, Jim, it's so bizarre! I guess it's not the size so much as the seemingly ridiculousness of the structure. I need to read it to discover why it is so.
>115 jnwelch: Thanks Joe, I'd be interested in your opinion since I really have nothing to compare it to. I guess the closest to it that I've tried to read is Watchmen. I got about 3/4 of the way through that one.
Stopping in to catch up with you, Joanne. Hoping your weekend is full of fabulous!
>110 coppers: Just added the King GN to my TBR list. I've been exploring GNs myself and finding them a fascinating genre as words and images combine to create the narrative. The ones I read in January were all black and white...it looks like Vision: Little Worse Than a Man is in color so wondering how that will make a difference.
Have a great weekend!
Belated Happy New Year! >2 coppers: What a wonderful photo of two darling pets.
The March books are on my tbr pile. I found many excellent Civil Rights books today at a local library sale. I still haven't exhausted this topic.
All good wishes for a magical 2017 filled with wonderful books and magical moments.
Hi Joanne. You remind me that I've only listened to the first of the Montalbano books. I must get back to the most interesting Inspector. Right now I'm listening to Maisie Dobbs which is about all I can handle with being in charge of 3 kiddos for the next ten days. I am mainly the cook and chauffeur. Leftovers on the menu today and a stay-at-home day. I think I can handle it!
>122 Whisper1: Hello Linda, What a beautiful picture! You'll like the March GNs when you get to them. I hope you are well today!
>123 Donna828: Hi Donna! I still need to try the Maisie Dobbs series. Have fun with the grands! 10 days...you're going to need a vacation!
>124 katiekrug: Hi Katie, Thanks for soaring by!
7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
A darkly humorous and acutely straightforward graphic memoir that is both well drawn and honest. Not always an easy read, but worthwhile.
Look at me, two graphic novels in a row!
I'm still reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (and love it) and listening to Being Mortal (finally).
Good work with the graphic novels. I am usually a little suspicious of them, but no reason really, I've liked the ones I've read. Hope your weekend is good!
Glad to hear you're liking A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It remains a favorite of mine.
>127 drneutron: I had initially wondered about that too, Jim!
>128 nittnut: I'm not usually a big fan of the format either, Jenn, but memoirs seem to work for me. I just picked up March: Book Three from the library.
>129 jnwelch: It was actually on stage here recently, Joe. It was the commercials for it that finally prompted me to read it!
>130 katiekrug: I'm nearly finished with it, Katie. And it's breaking my heart.
>131 BLBera: First one I've read, Beth. Enjoy your weekend!
8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Mara 5 stars
Wow, what a book! I loved this interwoven story of villagers in war torn Chechnya and a Russian doctor working in deplorable conditions and searching for her sister. I don't feel like I'm giving anything away (considering the circumstances) by saying that I felt like crying over the fate of some of the characters. What is family, who should be trusted, what motivates people to do good or bad, understanding what motivates the people around us - these were all constant questions. It wasn't always an easy read but it was an engrossing one. If anyone knows someone who needs help feeling empathy for refugees or others suffering through the after effects of war and violence, give them this.
If anyone knows someone who needs help feeling empathy for refugees or others suffering through the after effects of war and violence, give them this. . Would it do any good? Sorry -- too much social media has made me cranky:( . I bought this book for my mom a few years ago after superlative reviews here, but I don't know that she's read it. I think she might be afraid -- as I think I am -- that it will be too devastating to read. Your review gives me hope. About my reading prospects. Feeling kind of hopeless about other things.
Hope you're having a great week, Joanne.
Joanne, I am finally stopping by and leaving a star on your thread. I love the photos of Skye and Boomer (of course).
I'm glad you loved A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. It's one of my all-time favorites, I think.
And I'm a big fan of Fun Home and Alison Bechdel's comic strip from back in the 1980s and 1990s. Are You My Mother? was less compelling for me.
5 stars for A Constellation! Yah. It is such a great book. His next book was excellent too.
I am glad you also enjoyed Fun-Home. It remains one of my favorite GNs.
Hope all is well, Joanne.
>134 AMQS: Oh Anne, I know! You can lead a horse to water and all that. I think someone should read it to 45. Some of the left side of my family had an online "discussion" with some on the right over the weekend. It was truly bizarre. How and why did these election "winners" get so angry?
I had put off reading it because there is a young character (8 yrs old) that seemed spotlighted in some reviews. I hate it when children in books act and talk and think more like adults so I kept putting it aside. Actually, that young character was used more to drive the action in the story than anything else.
It was devastating, but well worth it. Hugs to you!
>135 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Good to see you. Constellation will, at least, be a 2017 favorite! I'll probably pick up Are You My Mother at some point, but I don't think I'm in any rush.
>136 msf59: It was fabulous Mark! I love getting lost in a book and feeling so attached to the characters. That's what reading is all about to me!!
>133 coppers: Thanks for the review, Joanne, I have added it to mount TBR.
Oh, my, not sure I'm quite up to Constellation yet.
>137 coppers: It is bizarre. Do you suppose it's because they realize they messed up majorly (sorry, channeling my inner preteen) but, human nature being what it is, they need to defend the indefensible but can't so go on the offensive and resort to rude anger?
Bechdel is one of my favorites. I loved all her GNs, but Essential Dykes - a collection of her comic strips which, together, make up a full memoir - is probably my favorite.
>138 FAMeulstee: I hope you like it as much as I did, Anita!
>139 BLBera: I'm not surprised that you liked it too, Beth!
>140 Storeetllr: I don't know, Mary, but probably. They sure didn't like have facts tossed at them. Essential Dykes sounds interesting. Constellation really allowed me to get my head into another space (not necessarily a good place, to be sure, just another space).
Current reads are The Man in the Wooden Hat, March Book Three, and the audio of Being Mortal. I also have an egalley of Peter Heller's new one, Celine that I really want to get to!
Hi Joanne - You make me want to reread these books. Are you going to read the last one now?
>143 BLBera: Absolutely, Beth! I have it waiting on the shelf (along with a few other Jane Gardam books I'm looking forward to)!
I just logged into FB tonight and discovered that Canadian Stuart McLean, of Vinyl Cafe fame, has died. I knew he was diagnosed with cancer a while back, but still, I am shocked and saddened and am in tears. He will be sorely missed by many.
Hi Ellen, I'm probably going to read Last Friends next month. I enjoyed the first two so much - I don't want to wait!
Stopping by to say Happy Saturday! As always, you've been doing some great reading.
Loved both Constellation and Being Mortal! I keep wondering what it is like to listen to a good audiobook. Someday I hope to get more adventurous.
I still need to get to Old Filth. Why do I always forget about that book? I bought it when everyone was raving about it... but I forget now what it is about. I should go read the reviews.
Hugs to your girls ;-)
edited to add that I am sorry to hear about Stuart McLean.
Oh, I loved the Old Filth books. Isn't it nice to have such a treat to look forward to?
>147 witchyrichy: Hi Karen!
>148 -Cee-: Hi Cee! I also bought Old Filth back when everyone was raving about it and then let it sit...it's one of those quiet books that'll warm your heart. You'll like it, I'm sure, whenever you get to it!
>149 charl08: Hi Charlotte! Constellation will be one of my favorites for the year, I'm sure!
>150 AMQS: Hi Anne! Yes, absolutely! One of the great joys of reading! :)
>133 coppers: I've managed to escape this one despite all the warbling all over the 75ers, but can see I'm going to have to read it after all if my LT doppelgänger gives it 5 stars! You have never steered me wrong, Jo.
Hi, Joanne! Hope you had a nice weekend. It has been beautiful in Chicagoland. Can't complain. Yah, for The Man in the Wooden Hat. I also loved that one and NEED to get to the final book.
I hope to finish IJ tomorrow. Whew! I have enjoyed trading thoughts with Chris on it.
>152 rosalita: It's funny how that can happen, everyone loves a book and somehow time goes by and you wind up reading it years after it was hot or, worse yet, never getting to it. That's the problem with too many good books and not enough time. I think you'd love it, Julia!
>153 msf59: Hi Mark, I can't complain about the weather here, either. Mid 60s and sunny. But it's been terribly dry and there are brush fires tonight just north of us. And here it is, only February. Yay for nearly finishing IJ! I'm enjoying reading your back and forth with Chris on GR. How did the footnotes work on audio, anyway? Did you have a hard copy too? Hope you had a good holiday today!
10. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (audio) 4.25 stars
Here's one everyone seemed to be reading a year or two ago but I felt pretty squeamish about it so I skipped it. It was good though, and as much as I don't want to think about end of life care, it is, well probably, inevitable. The audio was great - still not a book that I could probably sit and read, but it kept me engaged during my commute and was certainly thought provoking.
11. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier GN 4.25 stars
Look at me! Another graphic novel - I think I've read more GNs this year then...ever (if I don't count the Archie comics of my youth). This is a middle grade book with some fantasy mixed in with some serious themes. I liked it more than I thought I would and thought it was sweet.
12. March: Book Three by John Lewis GN 4.5 stars
The final volume of John Lewis' story of the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. That all this was going on during my lifetime always seems so unbelievable to me. Should be required reading.
Hi, Jo, and welcome back to February in Colorado! Snow! Woo-hoo! (I don't usually get excited when I need to go out in the snow, but having just bought a set of all-weather tires which I've been longing to try out in, well, weather, I'm welcoming this snowfall. I'm hopeful it will be here and gone in a day or two, and also that you aren't too inconvenienced by it.)
Oh my goodness, Mary, it was a skating rink out there tonight! There were so many cars stuck and/or sliding on any incline, it took me well over an hour to get home (6.5 miles/18 mins). No salt or any sand trucks on the road - it's not like this was a surprise! Hope you aren't out and about!
I'm taking off tomorrow so I don't have to deal with it. I have one last personal day to use or lose before next Thursday (my last day!).
Hooray for Being Mortal & Ghosts & March! I am also a big fan of all 3. Good reading, Joanne.
Sorry to hear about the bad road conditions at your place, Joanne. When it happens here I never go by car. Luckily we've got a wonderful public transportation.
Hoorey for a day off. Enjoy it.
I was out and about yesterday afternoon, right in the middle of the storm! It was amazing to drive around on the icy roads on my new all-season tires! Sorry your commute was so bad.
Next Thursday's your last day?!? We need to go out and celebrate!
>165 Ameise1: Hi Barbara, The bad roads never last very long. Thank goodness! My office is directly across the street from a light rail station which is convenient for those who live near another station, but alas, that's not me. :( I hope you have a good weekend!
>166 Storeetllr: Anytime Mary! Good tires make such a difference - congrats on a smart purchase! We still have snowy March to get through. And maybe April. And maybe May. If you're still in the state. :(
>155 coppers: Being Mortal is on my list too - has to be dealt with at some point.
>162 coppers: My newly licensed 18 year old was out in that. He texted me while waiting for his windshield to defrost after work. I couldn't go to bed until he texted that he was home OK. He said it was pretty nerve wracking to drive in that. Thursday is your last day?? Wow! Exciting!
>157 coppers: I will definitely look out for the books by Lewis, Joanne. We didn't really have quite the same experiences in the United kingdom but some of the issues are universal ones aren't they?
Have a lovely weekend.
>168 nittnut: We never stop worrying, do we, Jenn...Glad he was safe. And yes, last day of work for me is Thursday (my department moved to CT last summer). It's weird and yet awesome.
>169 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, Standing up and fighting for what's right is certainly universal. It was a shameful period of US history and I guess the U.K. has had its share, but Lewis' story was scarily recent. And certainly something to be mindful of today.
>170 BLBera: Oh yeah, sorry about that, Beth, but it couldn't be helped... Beautiful today, and seasonal, and 60s are in the forecast, so there's something to look forward to! :)
We've moved right on into summer, it seems...it is supposed to be 80 degrees on Wednesday! I worry that a cold snap will kill off all the fruit trees. Sorry about your tough winter travel! Snow like that would shut us down here in the South.
Hi Karen, Oh my! We actually hit 80 one day in Feb. It's snowy and cold again today but should be in the 60s by the weekend. Typical spring!
Hi Joanne, congrats on retirement. Will this mean more traveling for you...or more time to read. It looks like we will be out your way the last week end in March. I hope you will be around for a meet up.
How is Celine? I am first on the library reserve list. Two copies are on order but sometimes that can be a slow process.
Thanks Donna! I hope both, and I don't see why not! :)
Celine is...good, so far. Frankly, it hasn't quite grabbed me yet, but I'm only about 25% in. I also read Lincoln in the Bardo, which I loved, after I started it, so that was a bit of a distraction.
I'm looking forward to seeing you when you're here!!
13. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Soon after the Civil War began, President Lincoln's young son, Willie, was taken seriously ill and tragically died. The night of the burial, the distraught President visited his son in his burial crypt. From this historically accurate moment, Saunders' cemetery ghosts begin to tell their own stories. They witness Lincoln's raw grief and love and attempt to help young Willie leave their land of limbo and cross over to the other side.
The action takes place in one night and is told in various voices in a stream of consciousness style. That style may turn off some readers, but for the adventurous reader, it's a marvelous treat that's both wildly imaginative and heartbreaking. Can an author known for his short stories write longer fiction? In this case, a resounding yes. I can't wait to listen to the multi-voiced audio version. 5 stars
Hi, Joanne. I can't wait to read Lincoln in the Bardo. I have it on audio, so maybe I'll try to bookhorn it in.
Looking forward to your take on Celine. I am a big fan of his last 2
I finally finished up The Crown. WOW. What a terrific series. I can't wait to see Season 2. This fall?
>178 msf59: It was so good, Mark! I'm glad I read it before listening to it because I think it'd be confusing otherwise. I'm easily confused sometimes with audio books so you should be fine. :)
Celine is suffering in comparison. I'll get back to it though. I loved Heller's first two, too. I need to give her more of a chance.
Wasn't The Crown fabulous!? I'm so looking forward to more. I'm liking Victoria just as much and PBS has some other interesting series starting this spring. Yay for good TV! Oh, and Big Little Lies on HBO is excellent, so far. Lots of fun.
>179 msf59: I LOVED Civilwarland in Bad Decline. I wanted to read Tenth of December before Lincoln in the Bardo but the library came through pretty fast with the new release and books on my shelf tend to be patient.
>177 coppers: I've got that one on my list - it looks so good. I'm so glad to see that you loved it!
Hi Amber and Julia! It was so good and thoroughly unconventional. I'm anxious to see what others here think of it.
Hi Anne, Yes! As of 2pm this afternoon. We'll see how long it lasts but I really don't anticipate doing anything full-time anymore.
So far, so good. 🙂
(My department moved back East and the opportunity to be packaged out was a bit irresistible.)
Congratulations, Joanne. Enjoy! Retirement really is worth waiting for :)
Congratulations on retirement, Joanne.
You got me with Lincoln in the Bardo - off to reserve it immediately. Wonderful comments.
I am thoroughly envious of your retired status. Alas, I have a good 10-15 years before I can consider such a thing for myself. In the meantime, I will live vicariously through you and the other retired LTers around these parts!
Congrats, Joanne! I imagine it's a big adjustment, but not an unhappy one!
>194 Ireadthereforeiam: Lol, thanks Megan! They were all great reads!
>195 rosalita: I'm afraid my days are pretty dull, Julia, whether I'm working or not. I'm anticipating a cleaner house, for instance. Maybe we should both live vicariously through another retiree.... 🙂
>196 lunacat: Thanks Jenny!
>197 katiekrug: Thanks Katie, and yes on both of those!
Oh, Joanne, I am just so happy thinking about you retired! I predict you will be busy in retirement. But... if you ever want anything to do, you are more than welcome in my library!
Congrats on retirement. Hope you are enjoying some lovely free time reading.
Adding my congratulations on retirement, Joanne. I can recommend it highly. :-)
All caught up here, Joanne, just in time to wish you happy in your retirement. Congrats! And you got me with Lincoln in the Bardo - onto the list it goes.
Wow! I missed some big news! Congrats, Joanne on your retirement. I am very happy for you and a little jealous. I could retire any time but I am going to try and hang in there a few more years. I want to at least pay off our house.
All that said, I do like my job, as long as the weather doesn't kill me.
14. Autumn by Ali Smith 4.25 stars
My first Ali Smith book and it was a lot of fun. A non-linear story about a young woman and her near lifelong friendship with an elderly man. The story moves back and forth in time, with the Brexit vote as the backdrop of the current day storyline. I'm glad I thought to look up both Pauline Boty and Christine Keeler before I finished the book as it added to my enjoyment.
Here's an example of Pauline Boty's work. She was a 1960s British Pop artist. This one is entitled Sunflower Woman and was described in the book. I thought it'd be apropos for Intl Women's Day.
Thanks for sharing Boty's art. I knew about Keeler before reading group but had never heard of her before reading: I have no idea how representive that is. I'm looking forward to the next three books and very tempted to buy the beautiful hardback edition, as I read the library copy.
Hi Charlotte, I really liked the soft cover version I read, which was from a U.K. publsher. I hope to get the matching versions of the next three.
>212 coppers: One of my favourite novels, Joanne - maybe even my favourite novel written in this century!
Have a good weekend. xx
Joanne, like Paul, I think very highly of Adichie's Yellow Sun. I may ha e to give Ali Smith another chance. I wasn't crazy about The Accidental but now I can't remember why. Others here seem to be big fans of her work so I may have just been in a picky mood when I read her other book.
I'm excited about our upcoming meetup. Would lunch at Sahara on Saturday, March 25 work for you?
Hi Mark, Hope you had a great weekend! I just realized I'm reading two authors in a row that I haven't really read before. And both seem very different from each other. But I think you'll like them both!
>208 coppers: you know, I have never read anything from Ali Smith. It's a crime I tell you- a crime! I have a couple stockpiled, so may get to them this century ;)
>218 Ireadthereforeiam: Hi Megan! More the problem of too many good books to get to!
I'm so glad you loved the Ali Smith, Joanne. It was my first Smith as well.
I love Adichie -- Americanah is my favorite, but they are all good.
>208 coppers: Into the BlackHole it goes!
Congratulations on retirement, Joanne!
Hi! How is the life of a Lady of Leisure? I hear it has been a little warm? I am sure there will be a nice big snow storm in April to make up the difference. :)
15. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 4.5 stars
This is the second book I've read within a very short period of time, that tells the story of people - in this case, two sisters, their partners, and a houseboy - caught up in the ravages of war.
I knew little of the short, bloody life of Biafra in the 1960s. As a young child at the time, I still remember hearing of the starving children of Biafra, but never knew why exactly they had no food. Well, now I know. Adichie tells the personal stories with a dramatic backdrop that makes for a page-turner of a book.
And knowing little of the history of Biafra, I was happy to discover the source of the book's title at about page 200 - the rising sun on the Biafran flag.
Good review of Yellow Sun, Joanne. I really need to read Adichie. Next month...I hope.
>224 coppers: Nice review, Joanne - I have that one in the stacks. Happy Thursday to you!
Delurking Joanne because I just realised that I hadn't responded to your post >215 coppers: above.
I have all her work but the only other book I have so far read is a collection of her short stories.
Have a lovely weekend.
Enjoyed our meetup so much! It was great seeing you and all the gang again. It had been a long time!
>230 PaulCranswick: Happy weekend to you too, Paul! I think I'll try The Accidental next. It looks like something I'd like.
>231 Storeetllr: It was great to see you, too, Mary! It's a wonderful little group! We didn't even need the book store - just some great food and good company.
>232 alcottacre: Yay for good books already read! I hope you liked it at least as much as I did, Stasia.
>224 coppers: I pick up copies of this second hand as I have the idea that it might be good for a class talking about history and fiction. I love this cover, hadn't see it before.
I LOVED Lincoln in the Bardo! The audio was amazing, but I want revisit it, in print, at some point. It is quite an achievement. What a smart, talented guy.
Happy Sunday, Joanne. Hope you are still enjoying some fine weather.
I picked up a copy of Lincoln in the Bardo during my recent travels. Have you seen the New York Time Virtual Reality app? They have a Lincoln in the Bardo version. Very eerie!
Mostly stopping by to wish you a wonderful week!
Great comments on the Adichie, Joanne. Chinua Achebe has a memoir from the Biafra War that is really good, too. I think I read it around the time I read this one, and it really helped me appreciate both books more.
>224 coppers: I think I rated this book the same! It was a great read, imo.
>234 charl08: Hi Charlotte, Isn't that a great cover!? My son picked it up for me for my birthday and I think at least half the reason he chose it was for the cover.
>235 Ameise1: Hello Barbara! I hope you have a great week!
>236 msf59: Yay for Lincoln in the Bardo!! Did you see that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally (sp?) have bought the movie rights?
>237 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I have not seen that app but it sounds very interesting! Not to mention, eerie.
>238 BLBera: I will have to add that to the list, Beth. I spent a lot of time looking up the conflict while I was reading the book. Such a sad time.
>239 Ireadthereforeiam: It was a fabulous book, Megan!
17. Celine by Peter Heller 3.5 stars
Peter Heller tries his hand at a mystery/detective novel and is moderately successful. I felt the character of Celine was a bit overdrawn and unrealistic and her backstory, although interesting, interrupted the forward movement of the narrative. The beginning was slow, but once the action moved westward, to Montana and Yellowstone, Heller's fine descriptive writing soon overcame any character issues. A good book, but not up to the same quality as The Dog Stars or The Painter.
My thanks to Edelweiss for providing a free galley for review.
I picked this one up at the library a few days ago, Joanne. As an "older" woman like Celine, I just might like this one better than you did!
Our meetup was so much fun. I'm already starting to look forward to the next one. I will be in Denver around June 18 for a week or so. Just saying....
>242 Donna828: Oh good, Donna, I'm already looking forward to your next visit!
Also, oh good! that you have a copy of Celine to read. I'm anxious to see what you think. Most of the reviews I saw were good so I really feel like an outlier/crank about it. And not to bicker about it, but I'm not that much younger than you! 🙂
>244 Storeetllr: Oh good, good, good!! And, hopefully by then, no worry of a random snowstorm! 🙂
>242 Donna828: OMG We're going to be in Denver from June 15-17 and I've been hoping there could be a meet-up. Maybe I'll finally get to meet you since we've missed a couple of times in Springfield. Would love to see the Denver group again too.
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