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Streamsong Winter Light and Book Lists Grow Longer (Pt 2)

This is a continuation of the topic Streamsong Reading in Winter's Dark.

This topic was continued by Streamsong Long Days of Light.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: May 1, 11:20am Top

My place in winter:

- - - - - - -

Hi and welcome!

I'm Janet. I've recently retired from my job as a research technician in an NIH lab here in western Montana.

Western Montana is a beautiful part of the country, close to both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. I plan to do a lot more outside exploring as well as traveling now that I have more time. I have an elderly golden retriever, two cats and more horses than I need :-)

I read about 100 books a year.

You'll find I'm easily suggestible so I sign up for way too many challenges, bring home far too many stray books in need of good homes, and have a wishlist stretching to the stars.

I'm currently in a Real Life Book Club (RLBC - list of books below) and also going to start participating in a literature seminar in January. Besides these two, my main challenges will to be read 50 books that I owned prior to 1/1/2017, fondly known as ROOTS (Read Our Own Tomes challenge). Of course I stacked the deck a bit by buying a few extra in December).

I'm continuing to read my way around the world using the list of 192 permanent members of the UN plus 3 additional. (post at >5 )

I hope to read about 25 books from 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. (Currently 151 read)

I'll take part in some of the challenges, both on the 75 and in the Category Challenge:

American Authors Challenge
British Authors Challenge
Chatterbox's Non-Fiction Challenge
Rachel's Political Challenge
CultureCat Challenge
WomenCat Challenge

And of course, I'll be reading some downright fluff in the way of mysteries and comfort reads!

2016 : https://www.librarything.com/topic/235503

Edited: May 1, 11:21am Top


- The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R King - May Mystery & Mayhem; ROOT 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollen - 2006 - ROOT 2007 = 10 ROOT points - listening to audiobook
- Among the Creationists - Jason Rosenhouse - 2012- CultureCat: Religious Diversity; ROOT 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Satantango - László Krasznahorkai - lit seminar - Global Reading: Hungary; acquired 2017
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens - group read, 1001, library

Next Up:

Fiction: Dance of the Jakaranda -Peter Kimani - 2017- LTER -
Non-Fiction: With the Nez Perces: Alice Fletcher in the Field, 1889-1892 - CultureCat (gender equality), 75'ers NF Challenge: History

- Thud! - Terry Pratchett - BAC, ROOT (not previously entered in LT), audio from library
- The Poet's Dog - Patricia MacLachlan - children's book, library
- City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - Feb AAC - audio in the car - library
- Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - Global Reading: Martinique; lit seminar; acquired 2017
- The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King -2012 - CultureCat: Cultural Awareness and Diversity; library
- The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre - 1963 - March BAC; 1001; TIOLI ##12: Read a book with a title word or author name that rhymes with "pi" (shared read); library; audiobook
- The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit- 2017- Michael Finkel
- The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson - 2017 - library
- My Life in France - Julia Child - 2004 - NF Challenge: Hobbies/WomenCat - Memoirs; ROOT 2013 = 4 ROOT points - audio from library
- Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi - 2016 - RLBC - ROOT 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; ROOT - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley - 2013 - graphic non-fiction - library

Edited: May 1, 10:24am Top



1. Evicted - Matthew Desmond - 2016 - group read - library
2. The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obrecht - 2011; acquired 2012 = 5 ROOT points
3. Parable of the Sower -Octavia Butler - 1993 - AAC; Library
4. March: Book Two - John Lewis - 2015 - library
5. Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond- 1997 - NF Award Winner Challenge; ROOT # 2/50; acq'd 2008 = 9 ROOT points - 14/225 (print copy on MT TBR/listened to audio)
6. My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante - 2011 - Real Life Book Club - Global Reading - Italy; ROOT #3/50 - Acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point 15/225
7. The House in Paris - Elizabeth Bowen -1935 - BAC, 1001, ROOT # 4/50; acquired 2016 =1 ROOT point = 16/225

8. Transit - Anna Seghers - 1944 - Lit seminar; Feb TIOLI #6. Read a book where the author’s first name begins with an A, B, or C ; acq'd 2017
9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 - LTER; ROOT #5/50; Acq'd 2016 =17/225; TIOLI #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (Get caught up with my LTER reviews)
10. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1851 - 1001 group read; WomenCat - Classic by a woman - Feb TIOLI #5: Read a book where both “humor” and “romance” are words listed in the tags for that book; audiobook from library
11. March: Book Three - John Lewis - TIOLI #19: Read a memoir by a living author of a different gender from yours - library
12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013; TIOLI # #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (becoming more politically aware); library
13. Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 - Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire; purchased 2017

14. Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - 2015 - RLBC; acq'd 2017
15. Thud! - Terry Pratchett - 205 - Feb BAC; March TIOLI #7 - Read a book where the author's first or last name has exactly five letters; ROOT #6/50 (not previously entered in LT = 1 ROOT point - 18/225), own print version - audio from library
16. The Poet's Dog - Patricia MacLachlan - children's book, library
17. City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - 2016 - Feb AAC; Global Reading: Israel; library; audiobook
18. Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - Global Reading: Martinique; lit seminar; acquired 2017
19. The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King -2012 - CultureCat: Cultural Awareness and Diversity; library
20.The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre - 1963 - March BAC; 1001; TIOLI #12: Read a book with a title word or author name that rhymes with "pi" (shared read); library; audiobook
21. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit- 2017- Michael Finkel; TIOLI 14. Read a book with a title which has as its exact middle letter the last letter of the preceding book; library
22. A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman - 2012 (first translated) - RLBC; RLBC; TIOLI #8 Read a book whose title begins with the letters of MARCH in rolling fashion; - ROOT # 7/50- acq'd 2016 - 1 ROOT point - 19/225
23. Human Acts - Kang Han - 2016 - Global Reading: South Korea; LTER; TIOLI #2: Read a book set in a real country other than the US, Great Britain, France or Germany; ROOT #8/50; 2016 = 1 ROOT point = 20/225



24. Canoeing With the Cree - Eric Sevareid - 1935 - TIOLI #6. Read a book with a title that makes you think of spring; library
25. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah - 2016 - Global Reading: South Africa - library
26. The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero - Timothy Egan ROOT #9/50; acq'd 2016; 1 ROOT point = 21/225; listening to audiobook from library
27. The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson - 2017 - TIOLI#1. Read a book whose title has two words sharing one adjacent letter across those two words - 2017 - library
28. My Life in France - Julia Child - 2004 - NF Challenge: Hobbies; WomenCat - Memoirs; ROOT # 10/50; Acq'd 2013 = 4 ROOT points (25/225) listened to audio from library
29. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi - 2016 - RLBC; Global Reading: Ghana; TIOLI# 21. Read a book by a woman which has been listed for a book award since 2015; ROOT #11/50; 2016 = 1 ROOT point (26/225)
30. Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; 13. Read a book with the word egg or eggs in the title or text ROOT #12/50 - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point - 27/225
31. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley - 2013 - 75'er's NF challenge - hobbies & Pasttimes; TIOLI #Read a Graphic "Novel" that is autobiography or biography; graphic non-fiction; library

Edited: May 1, 10:28am Top

STATISTICS FOR BOOKS READ IN 2017 - **********************************

***** 31 - TOTAL BOOKS COMPLETED IN 2017 ****

Of the books I've read this year:

- cataloged into LT 2006 or before
1 - cataloged into LT 2007
1 - cataloged into LT 2008
- cataloged into LT 2009
- cataloged into LT 2010
1 - cataloged into LT 2011
- cataloged into LT 2012
- cataloged into LT 2013
- cataloged into LT 2014
- cataloged into LT 2015
8 - acquired 2016
1 - acquired previously but not cataloged until 2017 (have lots of these!)
4 - acquired 2017
15 - borrowed from library & elsewhere

5 - Audiobook
23 - Print
- online
3 - Combo audio & print


11 - Fiction (may fit into more than one category)

5 - 1001 Books
3 - general fiction
4 - literary fiction
2 - sff
1 - thriller

15 - Non-Fiction (may fit into more than one category)
- 1 - Anthropology
- 9 - Autobiography/Biography/Memoir
- 2- Cooking, Food
- 1 - History
- 2 - Nature/ Outdoors
- 2 - Politics/Government
- 2 - Sociology
- 1 - Spirituality

1 - children's books
- poetry
- plays
- Other
-1- cartoon satire


19 - Male Authors
12 - Female Authors
- Combination or Mix of male and female

20 - Authors that are new to me
10 - Authors read before
- Rereads

Multiple books read in 2017 by same author:
John Lewis - March: Book Two and March: Book Three

Nationality of Author:

1 - Canadian/ American
1 - France /Caribbean/ Martinique
1 - Ghana/US
1 - German
1 - Irish /UK
1 - Italy
1 - Serbian/ American
1 - South African
1 - South Korean
1 - Sweden
4 - UK
17 - US

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:
- 1 - Serbia

Language Book Originally Published in:

- 26 - English
- 1 - French
- 1 - Italian
- 1 - Korean
- 1 - Spanish and English
- 1 - Swedish


- 1 - 1851
- 2 - 1935
- 1 - 1944
- 1 - 1962
- 1 - 1984
- 1 - 1992
- 1 - 1993
- 1 - 1997
- 1 - 2004
- 1 - 2005
- 2 - 2011
- 2 - 2012
- 2 - 2013
- 2 - 2015
- 10 - 2016
- 2 - 2017

Edited: Apr 27, 4:54pm Top

Global Reading Challenge Group: 5 books each set in or authored by the 192 member countries of the UN plus 3 additional regions
List and thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/188308

80 countries visited/ 16 countries completed with five books each

Cumulative : 80 countries visited

visited 80 states (35.5%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Countries Visited in Bookish Travels in 2017

visited 15 states (6.66%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Israel: City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - 2016 (US author, location)
South Africa Born A Crime - Trevor Noah - 2016 - (location, author) NF 4/9/2017
South Korea Human Acts - Han Kang - 2016 - F (author, location)

* Country Completed With 5 Books in 2017:
*Australia: The Immortal Irishman - Timothy Egan - 2016 - (partial location- Tasmania/ US author) NG - 4/2017
*Italy: My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante - 2011 - (location, author) F, 2017

** Countries New for Me In 2017:
**Ghana - Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi - 2016 - (partial location/US Ghana author) - F - 4/2017
**Martinique (Insular Region of France) Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - F (author,m location)
**Serbia: The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obrecht - 2010 - F, (unnamed Balkan location, Serbian/American author)

*** Additional book for country already completed
***Canada - Manitoba: Canoeing With the Cree - Eric Sevareid - 1935 - (location, US author) NF 4/6/2017
France: My Life in France - Julia Child - 2004 - NF (location, US expat author) 4/19/2017
***Germany: Transit - Anna Seghers - 1944 - (France, German author) F, 1001 2017
***Ireland The House In Paris - Elizabeth Bowen - 1935 - (location =France & UK/ Irish /UK author)
------ The Immortal Irishman - Egan, Timothy - 2016 NF (location, US author) 4/2017
***Sweden A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman F (author, location) 03/2017
***United Kingdom Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1951 - (author, location)
*** United States: Evicted - Matthew Desmond - 2016, NF (US, US author)

I'll also be reading at least one book for each of the quarterly challenges in the Reading Globally group:
Quarter 1: Works by writers from the Benelux countries
---Omega Minor - Paul Verhaeghen - Belgium

Quarter 2: Travel writing by non-European and non-North American authors
Quarter 3: Works by writers who write in what are considered minority languages within their own country
Quarter 4: Writers from the Scandinavian countries and associated territories

Edited: May 1, 10:29am Top

1001 Books to Read Before You Die - Thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163173
1001 Books read in 2017: 5; Total: 155 Goal: 25 for year

Library Brown Bag Book Club/ RLBC
✔ January: My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
✔ February: Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell
✔ March: A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
✔ April: Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
May: The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen
June: Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
July: Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild
August: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
September: The Elephant's Story - Jose Saramago
October: March - Geraldine Brooks
November: Brooklyn: A Novel - Colm Toibin

Literature Seminar
✔ February: Transit - Anna Seghers
✔ March: Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau
April: Satantango - László Krasznahorkai

Edited: May 1, 10:44am Top

I will read one at least one from these three challenges each month:


- ✔ AAC: Octavia Butler - Parable of the Sower
- ✔ BAC: Elizabeth Bowen - The House in Paris
- ✔AAC - Stewart O'Nan: City of Secrets - (library)
- ✔ BAC - Terry Pratchett: - Thud! - ROOT
- ✔ BAC: 60's authors: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre - 1001
-AAC: Poetry Month : Requested Mary Oliver from library

75er's Nonfiction Challenge:

- January: Prizewinners ✔ - Guns Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond
-----------------------------✔ - Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond
- February: Journeys - Island of the Color Blind - Oliver Sacks - ROOT
- March: ✔ (finished in April) - Heroes and Villains : The Immortal Irishman - Patrick Egan - ROOT - listened to audiobook
- April: ✔ Hobbies and Passions: My Life in France - Julia Child- (ROOT)
---------------------------------- ✔ Canoeing With the Cree - Eric Sevareid
---------------------------------- ✔ Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
- May: History: With the Nez Perces: Alice Fletcher in the Field, 1889-1892
------------------Team of Rivals - (audio)

Rachel's The New York Times' list of "6 books to help understand Trump's win"

✔ - January - February: THE UNWINDING: An Inner History of the New America, by George Packer
March - April: STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
May - June: HILLBILLY ELEGY: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
July - August: LISTEN, LIBERAL: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? by Thomas Frank
September - October: THE POPULIST EXPLOSION: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis
November - December: WHITE TRASH: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Others Group Reads:
January: ✔ Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond

Edited: May 1, 10:43am Top



January: Ethics in Science & Technology- Playing God in Yellowstone - Alston Chase
February: Medicine & Public Health - The Island of the Color Blind - Oliver Sacks
✔ March: Cultural Awareness and Diversity - The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King
***Reading*** April: Religious Diversity & Freedom: Among the Creationists - Jason Rosenhouse
May: Gender Equality - With the Nez Perces: Alice Fletcher in the Field, 1889-1892
June: Environmentalism/Conservation (including global warming concerns) -
July: Violence, Crime & Justice -
August: Impact of Natural disasters -
September: Journalism & the Arts -
October: Poverty -
November: Conflict & War (including terrorism) -
December: Cultural Flow & Immigration -

✔ January: Classics by women - Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
***Reading*** February: Debut books - Love Medicine - Louise Ehdrich
March: Genres -
✔ April: Biography/autobiography/memoir - My Life in France - Julia Child - ROOT
--------✔ Relish: My Life in the Kitchen -
May: Women in the arts -
June: Professional women -
July: Women of color -
August: Nonfiction or historical fiction -
September: Children's/YA/Graphic novels -
October: Regional reading -
November: LGBT/Feminist writing - The Bell- Iris Murdoch - 1001
December: Modern (post-1960) novels by women

Edited: May 1, 11:29am Top

My biggest challenge is that I keep hauling books home faster than I can read them.

I have been a member of the ROOTS challenge (Reading Our Own Tomes) for the past several years. I define a ROOT as anything I owned before January 1st of the current year. I hope to read 50 ROOTS in 2017. I want to read fifty from my shelves and piles again this year.

To keep myself in the oldest part of the Planet of Neglected Books, I'm giving myself points for each book I read, with older books getting more points.

Here's how it works:

1. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2006 -- 11 points
2. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2007-- 10 points
3. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2008-- 9 points
4. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2009-- 8 points
5. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2010-- 7 points
6 .ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2011 -- 6 points
7. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2012 -- 5 points
8. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2013 -- 4 points
9. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2014 -- 3 points
10. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2015 -- 2 point
11. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2016 - 1 point
12. ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2015 (many of these are pre-2006 when I joined LT)--1 point

Goal: Read 225 ROOT points this year.

As of 01/01/2016: 459 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2017: 481 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 04/01/2017: 484 books on physical Mt TBR

I'm trying something new. Since I TOTALLY FAILED in reading books off my shelf last year, I've made myself a template. Every other book will be off my shelf. I can these in any order and swap them out at will - get rid of a ROOT and choose another one instead.

I'm hoping it will limit the number of library books and new books and encourage me to read books off my shelf.

Round ()

AC'D 2016 or 2017

Edited: May 1, 11:32am Top

Acquired: 10
Read: 4

✔ 1. Transit - Hella S. Haasse - lit seminar 1/09/2017
2. Dance of the Jakaranda - Peter Kimani - 2016 - Kenya - LTER - 1/14/17
3. Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins - gift - 1/26/2017
4. As Good As Gone - Larry Watson - gift - 1/26/2017
✔ 5. Yuge! : 30 years of Doonesbury on Trump - B. B. Trudeau - 2016- 02/01/2017
✔ 6. Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - RLBC
✔7. Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - lit sem 2/10/2017
8. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
9. How to Be Human: A Novel by Paula Cocozza LTER 2017
10. Satantango - László Krasznahorkai - April lit seminar
11. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive because sometimes you need a bit of heartwarming corn.
12. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - hardbound copy in like new condition FOL freebie
13. Get Shorty - Elmore Leonard FOL freebie
14. Still Life - Lousie Penny - (I haven't started this series!) FOL freebie
15. All Around the Town - Mary Higgins Clark -FOL freebie
16. My Gal Sunday - Mary Higgins Clark - FOL freebie
17. The Sympathizer - May RLBC; Thank you Mark!
18. Homegoing - April RLBC choice; I had started it last fall, but had to return to library; Amazon
19. How To Be a Muslim - Haroon Moghul - 2017- LTER
20. The Topology of Tears - 2017 - LTER
21. A Life on Gorge River - Robert Long - Amazon Marketplace
22. The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria - Helon Habila - 2016 - book bullet for Global Reading

Edited: Mar 29, 9:29am Top

****************************States Visited in Books Started starting 2014*********************************:

visited 32 states (64%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Maine: The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit - Michael Finkel -

last post of awesomeness

Feb 10, 9:30am Top

First post of non-awesomeness! Happy new thread, Janet!

Feb 10, 9:37am Top

Wow, now that is fast, Paul! I'll buy you a lovely micro brew if we ever meet up!

Feb 10, 9:39am Top

>13 streamsong: Be careful, Janet. I have been known to cross continents for less!

Feb 10, 9:50am Top

>13 streamsong: Promises, promises.

Feb 10, 10:07am Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 10, 11:16am Top

Wonderful, all the books mentioned above!

Feb 10, 12:20pm Top

Happy new thread, Janet, I like the visuals of countries and states read, true armchairtravels!

Edited: Feb 10, 1:07pm Top

>16 drneutron: Thank you, Jim. I usually only have four threads a year, so I'm ahead of myself in 2017.

>17 mdoris: Hi Mary - thanks for stopping by! I'm addicted to lists and challenges, what can I say. After the first thread, it's pretty much copy and paste, so pretty easy.

>18 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - I started keeping track of both a few years ago. I'm enjoying doing the visual especially for the the global reading. I'm glad you find the maps interesting, too.

Woot! I finally finished The Witch of Lime Street, an LTER book I received last year. Interesting but too long, so it became a bit of a struggle.

I'll once more pick up The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, which I would like to finish fairly quicly, as it has a waiting list at the library. I also need to work in March: Book Three since it also has a waiting list.

I'm still listening to Cranford and reading a couple chapters a day of Bleak House.

Feb 10, 6:37pm Top

Hi Janet! Happy new thread.

>9 streamsong: I'm intrigued with your idea of awarding ROOT points by year entered into LT catalog. I might have to add that to my ROOT challenge for this year - so far all I'm doing is one point per book, regardless of when acquired. Based on your methodology, my 40 books translates into 200 points.

Feb 10, 6:56pm Top

Happy Friday, Janet! Happy New Thread! Love those toppers! You got A LOT of snow! You all dug out?

Feb 10, 7:19pm Top

Love the pictures of the snow! Happy New Thread, Janet. I may have to start prioritizing my BOMBs as well.

Feb 11, 10:03am Top

>20 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I've been trying various methods to encourage myself to read the older ROOTS for several years. Last year's ROOTS are new and shiny and I could read all of them easily. I use my goal of 50 ROOTS for the counter for the ROOTS challenge - I add the points on to remind me to 'dig deep'. It doesn't work very well. :-)

I picked up three more items from the library yesterday to up my checkouts to 14, which I think is an all time high for me. Granted, they are a combo of video's, audiobooks, and paper books, but I still feel somewhat buried!

Yesterday from the library:
- Gilmore Girls Season 7
- audio of Stewart O'Nan's City of Secrets
- print book of Canoeing With the Cree by Eric Severeid - BB from Oberon and the Journeys thread

Edited: Feb 11, 10:22am Top

>21 msf59: Hi Mark! Book and feathers are on the way. (finally, finally, finally)

Postal note: When I went to the PO yesterday, I picked up 20 prestamped postcards. The woman there said they were almost out of them. Seems the new administration is upping the demand for them. He may be good for the PO!

- The photos are actually from a couple years ago, but I l really love them. We have more snow than that this year, but the last few days the temps have been in the high 40's so it's shrinking fast.

The melting snow has been causing enough flooding in the area that the county has been named a disaster area, but so far my own stream is behaving itself. I need to walk up to the dam and make sure it hasn't been catching any downed trees.

>22 ronincats: Hi Roni! My system doesn't entirely work, since I am easily distracted and don't follow plans very well. :-) Nevertheless, she persists. :-)

Feb 11, 10:33am Top

>23 streamsong: Hi Janet! Well, I've acquired 74 points via your ROOT points method. It's deceptive, though, because I've been reading Agatha Christie and I had all those books before I joined LT. Most of them, though, have not been re-reads, just reads as I've dug out a few Hercule Poirots I hadn't read. But the column has been added to my spreadsheet. *smile*

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Feb 13, 8:17am Top

Happy new thread, Janet!

Feb 13, 9:23am Top

>25 karenmarie: Hi Karen - Wow! You are reading circles around me.

>26 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

Edited: Feb 20, 3:04pm Top

8. TransitAnna Seghers – 1944
Lit Seminar (but was not able to attend the class)
1001 Books
TIOLI #6: Read a book where the author’s first name begins with an A, B, or C
Acq'd 2017

... 'don't you ever feel like going home again?'
… 'A leaf blowing in the wind would have an easier time finding its old twig again.'”
p 156

The narrator, who has escaped from a Nazi concentration has been captured and interred in a French camp. As the Nazi's approach, he fears for his life, and escapes a second time to flee to Paris. But once again, the Nazis are advancing, and after attempting to deliver a letter to a writer named Weidel whom he discovers has committed suicide, he flees south once more with Weidel's suitcase in hand.

The French, however, are not fond of refugees and so our narrator winds up with a variety of false identities as he enters Marseilles, France's last open port. He'd like to stay there, but is only allowed to be there if he is actively trying to leave, so he begins to half-heartedly play the game of acquiring the proper visas. This is a complicated since visas must be obtained for exiting France, entering the destination country, obtaining transit visas for each port in every country the ship may stop, and booking ship passage. The bureaucracy is almost insurmountable – one can not obtain item 'A' without first having item “D” and each item is only good for thirty days. He is one of a faceless mass, with very few of the overworked officials caring about much but their own safety.

It's also a deadly game as many of the refugees will be imprisoned if they aren't able to leave before the Nazis arrive- Jews, escapees from concentration camps, cripples, gypsies and those who fought against Franco.

The novel's repetitiveness and frustrations leave us feeling those emotions along with the refugees. It's a world where identities are lost and no plans can exist as one can only wait to see what happens next.

Feb 14, 11:48am Top

It seems that I'm reading a huge number of heavy duty books so far this year.

Hooray! Yesterday I finished listening to Cranford and started Terry Pratchett's Thud! on audio.

Nothing like a little Sir Terry to put a good face on things.

Feb 14, 11:58am Top

>27 streamsong: Hi Janet! I think of the circles as radiating out from a dropped pebble - I may be reading more than you but so much less than other of our LT friends. It's all good.

I loved Cranford. I hope you did too.

Edited: Feb 15, 8:25am Top

Happy New Thread, Janet. I hope your having a good week. Love the toppers.

Edited: Feb 15, 10:47am Top

Hi Karen - I did like Cranford - I loved the gentle satire and the humor. I listened to the audio and the reader did a wonderful job. I believe the narrator was Clare Wille, but will have to double check that - the CD's are in my car. I would definitely look for more readings that she has done.

Good morning, Bird! Glad you like the toppers!

The weather has moderated a bit. We're in the teens at night, but in the 40's during the day so the snow is settling. Another storm is supposed to come in tomorrow and last a few days. We have such lovely sunny weather this morning that this video almost doesn't fit, but I love it so much I'll post it anyway!

It's set to 'The Sound of Silence" and called 'Grounds for Violence'

If You're Sick of Winter

Feb 16, 11:49am Top

Janet, I love the "grumpywolf" topper along with images of your place in winter.
Of course, snow is a rarity here in Seattle (although we did get one snow day a couple of weeks ago and it was delightful!) but I may be applying for a job in upstate NY (don't tell anyone) so I would be seeing a lot more snow.... It's way too early to speculate, though.

I also love this as it resonates so well:
"You'll find I'm easily suggestible so I sign up for way too many challenges, bring home far too many stray books in need of good homes, and have a wishlist stretching to the stars."

How far along are you in The Unwinding? I'm planning to start Part III today. It is quite a read.

Feb 16, 11:52am Top

I just LOVE how organized your thread is!

Feb 16, 11:56am Top

>32 streamsong: Familiar! I should post a video I took of the sidewalk-clearing in front of our house the other day...

Feb 16, 1:07pm Top

>33 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I'm glad you're feeling better. Won't tell a soul! (Does P know?)

I'm on part three of The Unwinding. I need to finish it today, since it's due at the library and has a waiting list so I can't renew it.

I just stopped reading to copy down this quote from Peter Thiel and to check out where he fits into the Trump administration.

"Peter Thiel told an interviewer, 'In the history of the modern world, inequality has only been ended through communist revolution, war or deflationary economic collapse. It's a disturbing question which of these three is going to happen today or if there's a fourth way out.'” p372.

>34 countrylife: Bit overwhelming, huh? By the end of the year, I'm happy to have the lists, though.

>35 ursula: I thought that video would bring a smile, Ursula.

Right now it's raining on top of the snow. The hiking group has a plan for tomorrow - the notice says bring snowshoes, cleats and hiking boots and we'll see what we need.....

Feb 16, 1:57pm Top

>36 streamsong: That is quite a quote.

And yes, P knows. :-)
She is trying not to get too excited (her dream is for me to get whatever my next job might be in such a place and manner that she could retire; as it is, we need both incomes to manage our Seattle mortgage).

Feb 17, 7:21am Top

Morning, Janet. Rain on top of snow? Yuck. Thats how you get slosh.

Feb 17, 9:29am Top

>37 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. It is, isn't it? As I said in your thread, I'm not sure if I'm up to reading all six of the NYT 'How Did Trump Happen" books.

Heehee. I suspected she did. I hope it all works out for your plan. I love visiting the Seattle area, but understand the $$$ thing. I can't tell you how much I do NOT miss my job since retiring in October.

>38 thearlybirdy: Good morning, Birdy! Yup, double yuck out there. It's very very, very slick with water over ice. My elderly golden retriever had trouble walking on my driveway yesterday.

Something happened last night (car accident due to the road conditions? tree down across wires?) although I'm not finding it on the local news. Lots of sirens and my electricity was out for about three hours.

There was a wonderfully chilling coyote serenade very close to the house just before the power came back on at midnight. It broke up quickly. I suspect that was due to the horses who are quite territorial and probably encouraged the coyotes to move on.

Edited: Feb 17, 9:45am Top

Oh, it feels so good to get this LTER review done!

9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 -
- Feb TIOLI #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (Get caught up with my LTER reviews)
- ROOT #5/50; Acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point 17/225

“ 'The idea of the Scientific American, ' one columnist wrote, was 'to prove or disprove all the beliefs of spiritualists with one swishing swipe of its sword' “ p 74

I have an interest in reading about many forms of religion and the afterlife. I knew that the Spiritualism movement had been very popular in the early twentieth century, but not much beyond that.

After the millions of deaths in WWI, the spiritualism movement grew by leaps and bounds as the bereaved sought desperately to once more be in contact with their loved ones. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the Sherlock Holmes series became a vocal proponent of the ability to reach those had passed on.

And so the young journal Scientific American put together a panel of experts – made up of spiritualists, scientists and the magician and escape artist Harry Houdini to award a monetary prize to any medium who could prove the veracity of their encounters. One by one, each medium was discredited as being a trickster. Often this was done by Harry Houdini who was a master of illusion and could reproduce any so called supernatural effect by physical means.

In 1924, enter Mina Stinson Crandon, who produced a variety of phenomena during seances, supposedly produced by her dead brother Walter. She had many devoted followers, including several of the supposed skeptics on the Scientific American panel itself.

Her story epitomizes the spiritualism movement as Harry Houdini worked to show that even her amazing feats could be reproduced.

However, not all her followers were convinced that all her phenomena had been explained, and even on her deathbed, she declined to give further explanations.

This is a very detailed and well-researched look at spiritualism. I found it well written, but the details worked against it for me and I got a bit bogged down in its 400 pages. I suspect it will work best for someone with a deep interest in Harry Houdini, the spiritualism movement and the debunking of so-called psychic phenomena. The detailed bibliography and index will make it a useful reference and easy to refer to specific incidents.

Feb 17, 9:55am Top

I can't tell you how much I do NOT miss my job since retiring in October. Yay! I don't miss my job either.

>40 streamsong: Great review, Janet. I suspect that my level of interest wouldn't reach to 400 pages, but it is an interesting subject for me. There are really things out there that go bump in the night.....

Feb 17, 2:08pm Top

Great to visit to your thread to hear tales of horses, coyotes and dogs, especially when there is ice and the power is out. Some drama is going on in your neck of the woods!

Feb 18, 8:32am Top

Morning, Janet. Nice review. I hope you have a good weekend.

Feb 18, 8:39am Top

>34 countrylife: I agree! Your thread is organized and visually wonderful!

Mostly stopping by to say hello and happy Saturday!

Feb 18, 8:53am Top

>41 karenmarie: It is funny because I have always told myself that I never want to retire. Another week like my last one and I won't need to because I wouldn't survive very long at all!

Have a lovely weekend, Janet.

Feb 18, 9:32am Top

>41 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thank you. That was exactly how I felt about the book; a subject I was interested in, but 400 pages of very small type was a bit too much.

Personally, I haven't met anything that goes bump in the night except for the four foots that live with me. I have an open mind, though. I believe there is more out there than we understand.

>42 mdoris: Hi Mary - it's good to see you. I'm glad the critter stories are entertaining you. With the roads so nasty, I've been pretty home bound since before Christmas.

>43 thearlybirdy: Thank you, Birdy! You, too!

>44 witchyrichy: Thank you, Karen! happy weekend to you, too!

Edited: Feb 19, 4:03pm Top

I finished The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. Tough read but fantastic. I learned a lot. I'm going to purchase a copy of the next one in the group read, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right since my RLBC will be tackling that one later in the year.

I started Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine for the WomenCat debut book challenge - and then - whoops - realized that my book club meets this Thursday instead of next, so I've also started Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill.

Story of my life: Finish one book and start two more!

Edited: Feb 19, 10:49am Top

>45 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - I understand your feeling about retirement.

Some of the people who have been friends here for a long time may remember some of the battles I've fought the last ten years, including being a breast cancer survivor.

When I started having vision problems a year ago, I really had to do some soul-searching. With Mom's passing in October, I decided it was time to focus (pun!) on me.

I have ideas about next stages in my life, but haven't moved on them yet.

Edited: Feb 19, 2:50pm Top

10. CranfordElizabeth Cranford- 1851
- 1001 group read;
- WomenCat; Classic by a woman
- Feb TIOLI #5: Read a book where both “humor” and “romance” are words listed in the tags for that book
- audiobook from library

”In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses above a certain rent are women. If a married couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappears; he is either fairly frightened to death by being the only man in the Cranford evening parties, or he is accounted for by being with his regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business all the week in the great neighbouring commercial town of Drumble, distant only twenty miles on a railroad. In short, whatever does become of the gentlemen, they are not at Cranford.”

Sweet, gentle satire of the ladies in a fictional Victorian village. We see their fight to stay “genteel” in the face of poverty, their alarms over possible theft and crime, regrets over lost loves, and through all, their loyalty and kindness to each other.

I listened to the audiobook read by Clare Wille, who did an excellent job.

4.5 stars

Edited: Feb 20, 3:09pm Top

11. March: Book Three - John Lewis – 2016
- TIOLI #19: Read a memoir by a living author of a different gender from yours
- library -

John Lewis's third graphic memoir is just as powerful, perhaps even more so, than the first two in the series.

This one begins with events unfurling in 1964 as black citizens fought for their right to vote. Lewis relates beatings and murders of activists, as well as the four little girls who died in the bombing of the Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Lewis was in the forefront of the proposed march from Selma to Alabama's capital of Montgomery, to protest the disenfranchisement of black voters. This first attempt at the march became known as Bloody Sunday as state forces attacked kneeling protesters with billy clubs and tear gas. Lewis was beaten over the head and hospitalized in that incident, recovering sufficiently to join the subsequent march that did make it to Montgomery several months later.

Lewis's un-embroidered prose combined with the brutality of the graphics make these graphic memoirs memorable.

This era of citizens being denied their right to vote and their hard won-freedom to exercise that right, need to be taught in history classes in every school in America. May we never forget.

Feb 20, 3:19pm Top

Hi Janet!

>49 streamsong: I loved Cranford. I think Miss Matty Jenkyns is one of the most heroic characters I've ever encountered in a book.

Feb 20, 3:52pm Top

>50 streamsong: I loved the third one most of all.

Also, it made me go find LBJ's speech on youtube and listen to it in its entirety. It was very interesting.

Edited: Feb 21, 1:21am Top

>51 karenmarie: I've borrowed the BBC version of Cranford from Netflix. Judi Dench is Matty. I haven't started it yet, though. (Want to finish out the 5th season of Gilmore Girls before I start anything new.)

>52 ursula: Good idea, Ursula! I will definitely go do that!

Feb 22, 8:42am Top

>53 streamsong: I watched the BBC version of Cranford and loved it. Haven't made it to the book yet, though. Glad you enjoyed it. But Gilmore Girls is a good choice any time!

Edited: Feb 22, 11:31am Top

>54 witchyrichy: I hope you read it, Karen! It's delightful and fairly short, too.

I finished the Gilmore Girls season 5 last night. I can get these through the library ILL system, but I can only keep them for two weeks, which is a challenge to watch a season in that short amount of time. Lots of twist at the end of this season.

I am so disgusted with television now, that I'm glad to have several series on hand that people here on LT have recommended: News Radio, The Librarians (which I haven't started yet) and now Cranford.

I finished West Wing earlier this month, and it became one of my favorite series ever.

Feb 22, 11:31am Top

I'm trying to finish Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill for the RL book club tomorrow. It was a bit slow going at first, but I am now in the section during WWII and Clementine seems to be coming into her own. It should make an interesting discussion tomorrow. There are some history lovers in the group, so I'm looking forward to their impressions of the book.

I have come to the conclusion that with my vision problems, I am not only reading less, but more slowly. Boo.

I'm going to Missoula today for my diet appointment, and there are two lectures on SE Asia on campus supported by the institute where my daughter works. I may go to both - one on China, one on Vietnam - or perhaps just the Vietnam one as it may become DD's next country of interest.

And hooray! my night vision binoculars arrived yesterday. These are going to be so much fun to watch the wildlife that I know passes along the creek at night. The owls seem to be past their midnight hooting ... but I'm sure there will be lots more to see.

Feb 22, 11:57am Top

Morning, Janet!

Gilmore Girls!! The West Wing!! News Radio!! All excellent shows.

Feb 22, 9:02pm Top

What fun is that to have night vision binoculars to watch the local nocturnal wildlife. Enjoy and please report!

Feb 23, 10:48am Top

Hi Janet!

>55 streamsong: A friend of mine suggested The Librarians, but husband is adamant about only watching things we can record or watch over Amazon Prime for free, so it's on hold for now. We watched the BBC production of Cranford before I really even knew who Judi Dench was. It's excellent.

Feb 23, 11:33am Top

Sweet Thursday, Janet! I have never read Gaskell. Bad Mark? Cranford might be a good place to start, especially if it is that good on audio.

Hope your week is going well.

I am getting ready to start One Man's Owl. Have you read this author?

Edited: Feb 24, 12:45pm Top

>57 scaifea: Hi Amber! My LT friends have very good taste!

And that is why I honestly don't feel guilty about having so many high stars reads. I get such great rec's here that of course my average star rating is high.

>58 mdoris: I honestly have no experience with night vision - so I took it out for a bit of a spin last night. I learned why they aren't actually binoculars - the eye you are using for the scope is so night blind, that when you look away, it feels like you have gone physically blind. It does have both a video and photo recording on it, so I may have something to share eventually. It was fun, although all I saw last night were dog and horse noses. I heard an owl hooting very far away, and found out that watching snow falling on night vision video is pretty awesome.

It would be fun to figure out where the wild turkeys are roosting.

>59 karenmarie: I started watching Cranford last night, and I totally agree, Karen. Cranford is excellent and Judi Dench amazing.

>60 msf59: I think you'd enjoy the audio of Cranford, Mark. I liked it much better than the only other Gaskell I have read, which was a collection of her spooky (not so much) tales.

I think Paul has Gaskell on the BAC list for later in the year.

ETA - No, I haven't read anything by that author. I'll be interested to see what you think.

ETA: Whoops - had a brackety thing wrong, so a good part of my post had disappeared.

Feb 24, 12:57pm Top

12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013
- TIOLI # #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (becoming more politically aware)
- library

"As Van Sickler drove back to the office to write up his story, he thought about the way Bender had looked at him. The contempt. Just like the comments that came in after one of his stories went up on the Web—they had nothing to do with what he'd written, minds were already made up. Every local issue was drowned out by the shouting on national cable news. There were no longer any facts that everyone in America could agree on at the start. For example, his paper had gone to great effort and expense to dig up information about the benefits as well as the costs, of light rail in Tampa, and none of it had sunk in. What had sunk in was “No tax for tracks” … p 314

“Peter Thiel told an interviewer, 'In the history of the modern world, inequality has only been ended through communist revolution, war or deflationary economic collapse. It's a disturbing question which of these three is going to happen today or if there's a fourth way out.'
” p372.

How did we get this way?

George Packer follows both well known and unknown people in this episodic biography of the last few decades. Attitudes change: civility in public office fails, profit rules, there is less and less recognition of the humanity behind the people effected by companies closing, downsizing, pension plans disappearing, real estate bubbles bursting. At last it seems that doing all the right things – working to own a home and educate your kids aren't enough; in fact in many cases it isn't even a possibility.

This book was written in 2013 but, clearly illustrates what is going on in America in 2017. Many of the biographical political snippets are people in power today.

Highly recommended. Deeply saddening.

My only criticism is that I wish it had an index.

Feb 26, 9:37am Top

We had a great book club discussion on Thursday about Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill.

The RLBC is such a joy and so incredibly well read. I am horribly deficient in history, but others in the group are history buffs. Several had read the three volume biography of Churchill as well as Churchill's six volume work on WWII. They gave this book a thumbs up, and loved seeing the humanity, which I guess is often missing in other works by or about him.

I'm learning a lot of WWII history before America joined the war. I'm still not quite done - drat this slow reading, but should finish before the end of the month.

Continuing to read this week:

- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; ROOT - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - 2016 - RLBC -
- Thud! - Terry Pratchett - BAC, ROOT (not previously entered in LT), audio from library
- Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 - Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire; purchased 2017
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens - group read, 1001, library

Feb 26, 12:42pm Top

Hi Janet - Happy newish thread. What a lot of great reading you've done so far this year. Transit caught my eye, and I hope to read Cranford this year.

And, of course, Doonsebury. :)

Feb 26, 5:48pm Top

>63 streamsong: Some great reading there, Janet. I am also on with Bleak House and have just finished my first Mr. Pratchett.

Have a great Sunday.

Feb 26, 9:02pm Top

I hope you can make it to the Great Portland LT Meetup in March--it would be great to meet you!

Feb 27, 9:48am Top

>64 BLBera: and >66 arubabookwoman: Hi Beth and Deborah! I hope to meet you both in Portland. I'm still waffling because of my vision problems. My left eye is good; my right eye seems to be clearing up a bit. I can't get new glasses until things stabilize. All of this makes driving in unfamiliar places pretty iffy as my depth perception is off. Cross your fingers and toes for me! I already have my audiobooks lined up - the current plan may be drive to Seattle and then hitch a ride with Karen, so I'm not driving in unknown territory. I'm also contemplating flying (Can anyone say Montana cabin fever?)

>64 BLBera: the Doonesbury is rather almost too true to be funny because it makes it very clear that Trump has not changed a bit in 30 years. It's almost painful.
- I hope you enjoy Cranford and Transit!

>65 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Thanks for stopping by! I'm having a bit of trouble getting into Bleak House Hopefully it picks up soon. I'm enjoying all the descriptions and the fun characters, but the plot is escaping me so far.
- I love Pratchett, but only take him in small doses. Listening instead of reading is working well.

Feb 27, 7:06pm Top

Fingers crossed, Janet.

Feb 27, 7:34pm Top

Yuge is painful. Garry Trudeau nailed him in the '80s and has consistently nailed through the last cartoon in the book.

>67 streamsong: I just finished Bleak House today and found it very rewarding. I hope you keep on keeping on, Janet.

Feb 27, 8:03pm Top

>55 streamsong: Love West Wing! It actually got quoted on the news today as one of the episodes dealt with

Edited: Mar 1, 10:27am Top

>68 BLBera: Thank. Beth! I had an incident with my right eye during the night. It's gone back to normal, but I'll call the doc this am as soon as they open.

>69 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Yup, I will definitely keep on with Bleak House.

>69 karenmarie: Hi Karen! West Wing is definitely a winner. Part of your post got lost, so I'll be interested to see which episode they were talking about.

Edited: Mar 2, 10:29am Top

February - Only 6 books for me - a record low, considering one was an audio and two were graphic novels/comics.

8. Transit- Anna Seghers - 1944
9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 - LTER
10. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1851; audiobook
11. March: Book Three - John Lewis - library 2017
12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013;
13. Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 -

Women authors: 2
Men: 4

Library: 3
ROOTS owned pre 01/01/2017: 1
Acquired 2017: 2

Non-fiction: 3
Fiction: 2
Cartoon satire: 1

Graphic novels/cartoons: 2
Audiobooks: 1

Edited: Mar 7, 8:59pm Top

March Possibilities:

Currently Reading:

- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
✔ - Thud! - Terry Pratchett - Listening
✔ - Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens

And adding to the mix for the lit seminar next week:

Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau

Next Up:
Audiobook: The City of Secrets: A Novel - Stewart O'Nan
Fiction: Human Acts (LTER)
NonFiction: The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King

Real Life Book Club:
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

Mar 2, 8:09am Top

Just stopping by to check in. Hope you are surviving this crazy winter, and that your creek is not rising.

I empathize with your vision challenges. Although what I'm experiencing seems to be much less than what you are experiencing, nonetheless it is an adjustment for me. I'm just not reading as much as once I did. Multiple reasons, I think, but changes in vision post cataract surgery certainly is part of the game.

I'm definitely anticipating the trip to Portland! And hours spent in Powell's perhaps.

I picked up a graphic novel yesterday after reading about it in Ellen's thread. Local is fascinating but I'm suffering a little bit from generation gap, I think. I can't quite wrap my head around the experiences depicted for a young woman, hitchhiking around the USA.

I am also spending more time reading periodicals - The New York Times, in print, at my door every morning; and The New Yorker in my mail box from time to time. (I've not yet received enough to be able to predict when it arrives). It is "fun" to keep up with the "news" in a more "in depth way". I don't really know if it is fun, or if news is the right word, but I do know there is more to it than what I see on the TV.

Mar 2, 8:50am Top

I hope everything is OK with your eye now.

Mar 2, 10:17am Top

>74 maggie1944: Hi Karen! The newspapers sound wonderful. I've been thinking about getting an online NYT subscription.

-No, no flooding here. It's a bit early, although other areas in the valley did have some flooding earlier due to ice jams. I am sooooooo over this winter. Most of the snow is gone. It's disintegrated into dirty piles from plowing and drifts.

Hmm, I can see where there might be a disconnect for Local for me, too.

>75 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny!

Eyes: I woke up in the middle of the night Monday without any vision in my right eye. Very scary. Over the course of fifteen or twenty minutes it lightened and I am back to my usual blurred out right eye vision. I'll see my opthamologist on Friday. He's out of the office - either sick, family emergency or perhaps he's run away :-). When I called, his receptionist said "Well he won't be in today or tomorrow, but he'll probably be back by Friday." I talked to his technician who said that it sounds like more of the same nerve spasm stuff and I did not need to be seen right away. Thank God it's only in one eye right now.

Portland is definitely still iffy.

Mar 2, 11:31am Top

Oh, dear, I do hope that the eye calms down and that you are able to make Portland, Janet.

Mar 2, 3:51pm Top

Yes, I'm holding hope, too. But I also want you to do whatever is best for getting this eye to behave itself. I have my fingers crossed, and wishing for the very best outcome.

Mar 3, 10:15am Top

Eye problems are so scary and I hope that the opthamologist's visit today confirms the 'same nerve spasm stuff'.

Mar 3, 3:20pm Top

Eye Doc: Yup, more of the same.

Keep doing what I'm doing:
✔Low carb diet (No more cheating - which I do from time to time when a piece of chocolate or a cookie shows up under my nose and insists on being eaten)
✔Lose weight
✔Exercise - OK, I've been remiss with my walking this winter, but I did start a water aerobics class this week. And it's FUN! And my new swimming suit is THREE SIZES smaller than my old one!
✔Meds and ✔eye drops

I was horribly discouraged (to the point of near-tears) by the eye exam. I can see the big E with that eye. I hadn't realized it was that bad. He says there are still no permanent changes, that's it all reversible, although he rec's seeing an endocrinologist. Everything can get back to my normal near-sighted self as blood sugars normalize.

My left eye is holding its own, thank God. But .... the nerve in the left eye could also start to spasm at any time. I asked about driving. He said I am good to drive with one eye, but to realize that if it also develops a nerve spasm, I could be suddenly sightless. Yikes! I was afraid of that!

So, I would say I'll have to skip Portland until the eyes settle down.

Mar 3, 6:42pm Top

Oh my, Janet. Scary. chocolate, cookies, unhealthy carbs

On the up side, I'm impressed with your three sizes smaller swim suit! That's a fantastic accomplishment.

Hang in there, and I hope your blood sugars normalize soon!!

Mar 3, 7:45pm Top

Oh, I'm sorry the Portland trip is a no-go, for now. Maybe getting the blood sugar stable will be a motivator?

I'm going to send you a "proposal" in your private messages.

Mar 3, 8:06pm Top

Hi, Janet. I am so sorry to hear about your eye issues. What a bummer. I hope this problem can be solved and you can get some relief. Does this effect your reading vision?

Mar 3, 9:02pm Top

So sorry about your eye issues! I hope you can get that blood sugar stabilized. Hang in there!

Mar 4, 10:55am Top

>81 karenmarie: >82 maggie1944: >83 msf59: >84 tymfos: Thanks for the support Karen, Karen, Mark & Terri! I'll get through this. I've been working hard on this since November (three sizes!). I will soon be at a weight I haven't seen for twenty years. Yay for hiking longer and riding horses this summer!

It's not just bad carbs that are off the list with my low carb diet - it's almost all carbs. No dairy (no cheese!) No fruits. No grains. No root vegetables including carrots and onions (although rutabagas, turnips and radishes are OK. If anyone is interested, rutabagas make great fries and roasted radishes aren't bad). No winter squash including spaghetti squash. No beans. No nuts.

But writing all this out, I've just had a brainstorm. With this diet, you eat three of their fake food packets each day. I probably should try avoiding their packets with white flour or potato starch in them. This is too bad because their fake potato packet makes an excellent cheeseless fake pizza crust. :-)

>83 msf59: Thanks for the concern, Mark. Yeah, it's definitely affecting my reading.

Mar 4, 2:18pm Top

My P is reading the new Gary Taubes book The Case Against Sugar and quoting out all sorts of figures/facts/statistics. He says it's very good. Good luck and wishing you the best for your eyesight challenges. Fingers greatly crossed!

Mar 5, 12:17am Top

Oh, Janet, so sorry to hear about the continuing eye problems and that you won't be able to make the Portland meetup. I think you should find someone to convert to LT there in Idaho who would want to come to meetups and of course bring you along with them. But the three sizes smaller swimsuit is great. What a restrictive diet, though! {{{{Janet}}}}

Mar 5, 9:30am Top

I hope Sunday treats you kindly Janet. And I can't imagine what you are finding to eat with that diet...lots of meat I assume? I'm so impressed.

Mar 5, 10:02am Top

So sorry to hear about your eyes, Janet. And I'm doubly sorry I won't get to meet you in Portland. Take care of yourself. Fingers crossed that the nerves settle down.

Mar 5, 10:56am Top

>86 mdoris: I have read Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It.

It's not just bad carbs that are off the list with my low carb diet - it's almost all carbs. No dairy (no cheese!) No fruits. No grains. No root vegetables including carrots and onions (although rutabagas, turnips and radishes are OK. If anyone is interested, rutabagas make great fries and roasted radishes aren't bad). No winter squash including spaghetti squash. No beans. No nuts.

Wow, I'm surprised at dairy and nuts - I thought they are mostly fat and protein. I can understand the no carrots because of the high glycemic index, but onions.

Your perseverance is admirable. I hope you see improvement in your eyesight sooner than soon!

Edited: Mar 5, 3:23pm Top

>86 mdoris: Thanks for the good wishes, Mary. The Case Against Sugar sounds interesting! As part of the diet program, I have a short video to watch everyday with lots of current studies quoted and referenced.

>87 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I would love to meet more people in the area who are part of LT. Hopefully, I'll get to Portland or at least Seattle later in the year.

>88 lunacat: Hi Jenny! Menu today:

Breakfast: Ideal Protein drink + two scrambled egg whites.
Lunch: Homemade marinara sauce (mostly tomatoes and spices) with Shirataki noodles, two cups of salad greens, vaguely Italian tasting bread made out of an IP potato packet.
Dinner: New recipe with chicken, mushrooms and asparagus, two cups of salad greens. If my son, who is here on a short break from school shows up for dinner with a friend, I'll make Satay chicken instead since it's yummy enough to be a company recipe.
Snack: IP BBQ soy nuts, sliced cucumber

Not bad once you get used to it.

Interestingly enough DS's friend who was over here yesterday used a very similar (but non-commercial) diet when he joined the National Guard and was told to lose a significant amount of weight really quickly.

And Yay! DS's friend would like a couple hours of chores here a week while he is going to school. He's very reliable, a pretty darn good handyman and very strong - which will help immensely. Hired!

Edited: Mar 5, 3:29pm Top

>89 BLBera: Thank you Beth. I hope to meet you at a later date!

>90 karenmarie: Hi Karen- That sounds like another interesting book.

Dairy contains quite a bit of lactose. I do cheat a bit on cheese since one store has the individual 3/4 ounce cheddar portions. If I buy a package of them, I overeat so I (try to!) only buy one at a time.

Onions have enough sugar that you can caramelize them. The green parts of green onions are allowed, as are chives.

And like, I say, I cheat occasionally with a piece of chocolate. Mostly I'm pretty good. Losing the weight is wonderful. Getting the eyesight back is mandatory.

Edited: Mar 6, 9:38am Top

I am reading the most interesting book right now - Texaco by French/Martinique author Patrick Chamoiseau . The novel, translated from French with lots of Creole thrown in, follows the generations of a family of slaves into freedom and into the slums of the modern period. Quite a different arc than the US slaves-into-freedom that I am more familiar with.

I've just finished the first section which ends with the eruption of MT Pelee in 1902. A pyroclastic cloud incinerated the city of Saint-Pierre and its thirty thousand people.

Here's a photo I stole from Wikipedia showing the remains of the city:

It's for the literature seminar that I attend on Tuesday.

Mar 6, 9:18am Top

Wow. Sobering. Both your latest read and the health concerns you're working on. Kudos for your wonderful progress so far.

Mar 7, 8:24am Top

Janet, I'm also impressed and pleased you are doing well with your eating plan. You know we are all pulling for it to be successful. Eyesight is so precious.

Texaco sounds like a very interesting book. I wish I had time to just drop all I'm reading and run go get it. I am struggling with the often experienced frustration that I've made commitments, to myself and to others, to read this and that, and then along comes something which appeals to my impulsive side. But today, I will stick to making progress in Alexander Hamilton and a couple of other books I'm reading for variety. I'm really enjoying "Alex" as I do love me my history books but it is daunting in size, and my deadline (book group meeting) is looming ever closer!

Mar 7, 8:27am Top

Hello, Janet!

Mar 7, 8:32am Top

Hi Janet. I hope you have a good day!

I just read about Mt. Pelee and the eruption. 30,000 dead. Whew.

Mar 7, 10:39am Top

Janet, I am so impressed with your reading in spite of your eye problems. That sounds so scary. The weight loss must give you lots of energy these days. I wish I had a hiking group! Same old daily walk for me is getting a little boring, although we did see some deer in the wooded area along the path a few days ago.

Edited: Mar 8, 1:40pm Top

>94 countrylife: Hi Cindy - It's always good to see you!

>95 maggie1944: Hi Karen - Texaco is going to be one of my top reads this year. It's looking like a five star read, even though I'm only a bit over half way. The seminar on it was great!

>96 alcottacre: Stacia! Haven't seen you in a coon's age (as Dad used to say - even though I have no idea how long a coon's age might be......)

>97 karenmarie: Hi Karen - It was amazing to me to realize that the worst volcanic disaster of the last century was completely off my radar. It's not even the focus of this novel .. just the end of the first section.

>98 Donna828: Hi Donna. I am so thankful to have one normal eye that allows me to read and drive. The reading is slow. I read 15-30 minutes at a time, and then go do something else.

ETA: I have not been out with my hiking groups since just before Christmas. There is a full moon snowshoe hike planned for Saturday night - perhaps if I can hitch a ride, I might do that. I love the full moon on snow!

I bought some trekking poles at Costco this weekend. I hope they'll help with the ups and downs of trails as well as give my upper body a bit of a workout on walks.

Mar 8, 10:36am Top

I picked up the children's book The Poet's Dog and read it last night. It was a sweet meditation on moving on. I loved that some people (poets! and children) can hear dogs' talk.

But having lived in snow country for so long, part of me was yelling in my head NO NO NO - the kids did everything wrong. I'd hate for kids stuck in a bad situation to make the choices these kids did.

I'll read it again before I return it.

It reminded me of a time when the kids were young and we went sledding. Part way home, the car died and refused to restart. DH started walking out for help along the canyon road. I stayed in the car with the kids for several hours. It was getting dark and cold by the time DH and the tow truck arrived.


Mar 8, 3:08pm Top

>100 streamsong: Janet, I thought that too when I read it!

Mar 8, 5:28pm Top

>100 streamsong: Hi, Janet.

Yeah, I think you have to view The Poet's Dog as a fairy tale to enjoy it fully. What the parents do (or don't do) wouldn't work in RL either. But if you just go with it, it's a beautiful, affectionate story.

Mar 9, 9:08am Top

>100 streamsong: Okay, Janet, I never have been in real snow country, note to self "Stayinthecarstayinthecarstayinthecar!".
But it was a lovely story :-)

Mar 10, 11:35am Top

>101 mdoris: Yuppers, Mary!

>102 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I'm always happy to see you. I suspect this is a geography thing. I have a really good friend who was a technician with the USFS. During winter months, she would dress up in a Woodsy Owl costume and go to primary school classes to teach Survive - Hug a Tree (summer months) and stay-in-the-car survival skills. Staying put is the difference between life and death.

The adults behaved abominably, too. But the kids going off into the woods just makes me feel really hinky.

For me, it turns into a 'Other than that, what did you think of the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" scenario.

It was a sweet story about loss. I wonder how kids would feel about this book, though?

>103 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Good plan!

Mar 10, 2:18pm Top

>104 streamsong: I've only given The Poet's Dog to adults, Janet, but I'm thinking it would work well with kids. I suspect kids would have an easier time just going with the story than we anxious adults do, who think, but, but, but . . .

Mar 11, 8:36am Top

Hi Janet! I hope you're having a good weekend. Does it include the full moon snowshoe hike?

Edited: Mar 11, 10:27am Top

>105 jnwelch: You could well be right, Joe. I made that comment about what kids would think of it after reading the reviews on Amazon - one teacher said she bought it for her classroom and the kids thought it was 'just OK'.

Yup, I overanalyze. Cynical me says it's nice to know that if I die, my dog will find someone else to love before the food in the refrigerator goes bad. :-) .

Like I said in >100 streamsong: there are parts of the story that I really like, and parts I just can't. I know it's a favorite with several people whose opinions I respect (including you, Joe!).

>106 karenmarie: I'm afraid I may have to pass on the full moon snowshoe tonight. I have a bad cold which has settled into my chest (cough, cough). I almost made it all winter without a single sniffle.

Mar 11, 10:32pm Top

Hope your cold clears up over the weekend, Janet. xx

Edited: Mar 14, 2:50pm Top

>108 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It turned into a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cold (Thank you Judith Viorst ). I've been lucky not to have one that bad in several years. Today I am poking my head up and feeling like I'll live. :-)

Heck, I may even read something today.

Mar 14, 3:40pm Top

Hi Janet! I'm sorry you've been so sick. I'm glad that you are doing better today and hope you get well quickly.

It's awful to be so sick that you don't feel like reading, so hurray for feeling like you might want to read something today!

Mar 14, 4:04pm Top

So sorry for the bad cold, Janet, but glad you seem to be coming out the other side.

Mar 14, 7:58pm Top

Mar 14, 8:01pm Top

>109 streamsong: Yay for feeling alive again!

Mar 14, 10:39pm Top

Loved the comparison of cold/Viorst. I can see the pictures of that book in my mind! Hope you're feeling better soon.

Mar 16, 11:32am Top

>110 karenmarie: >111 ronincats: >113 alcottacre: >114 mdoris: >Hi Karen, Roni, Stasia, and Mary! Thanks for the good wishes! I'm at the tail end of the cold - coughing (oh what a good work out for those core muscles!) It also did wonders for my weight loss this week. I was down 3.5 pounds at my appointment yesterday.

I stopped by several second hand clothing stores yesterday and found two gently used pairs of pants, since, once more, I can slide my smallest pants over my hips without unbuttoning. Not at all good when out doing horse chores.

>112 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I'm glad you didn't find the remark too b****y. I know it's a sweet story and a favorite of many of my friends here.

>114 mdoris: Hi Mary I read that one to the kids many a time when they were little. I don't know about them, but it always made me feel better. :-)

Mar 16, 11:32am Top

I finished my audiobook on the way into Missoula yesterday. It was my February AAC pick, Stewart O'Nan's City of Secrets. Interesting, and lots to think about once it was over. It was part of Israel's history that I was unaware of - and yet another look at refugees. I went to Wikipedia and read about the bombing of the King David Hotel this morning.

And now I've started listening to my March BAC challenge: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, the first I've read by Le Carre and on the 1001 list.

I'm not making much headway on print reads right now. I'm still reading Texaco and The Inconvenient Indian which I can't renew from the library again.

Love Medicine and Bleak House are on the back burner, but not forgotten.

Mar 17, 10:44pm Top

I'm glad you are feeling better. Great idea about "new" pants while on a weight losing slide. My pants also can be brought down without unbuttoned, or even without unbuckling the belt (which has no more holes). Sigh. I went to a less expensive store and bought some workout pants. Very satisfying to have a friend in the retirement home say, "well, only you could pull those off".... they were bright with flowers. Yeah!

I, too, have bailed out for going to Portland this weekend. Poor little Greta Garbo is not feeling well, skinny, and gets really cold out side. So I need to work on hand feeding her some food, and am very patient with her wanting, but not wanting, to go outside. Poor dear! I have no dates or obligations for the weekend so I may get quite a bit of reading finished! Yay!

Take good care of yourself. And spring really is coming.... soon.... soon....

Mar 19, 11:37pm Top

Hi Janet, I'm sorry the eyes kept you from joining us for the Portland meet-up. We had a good time. Books were purchased and a fine dinner was shared. And today I enjoyed the spring-like weather (finally!).

I'm off again tomorrow, heading to NOLA to join P and my sister and SIL for a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi. I'm looking forward to some time on the balcony with a book, watching the world go by.

Take good care. We're tentatively planning a Seattle meet-up for this summer so maybe we can enjoy your company for that one!

Mar 19, 11:47pm Top

It is a shame that both you and Rhonda were unable to join the other six ladies at Powell's as they seemed like they were having a blast. Hope the eyes are now much better. xx

Mar 20, 11:49am Top

>117 maggie1944: Hi Karen! I'm feeling much better, but still coughing away.

Poor Greta Garbo. The older I get, the more empathy I have for the old critters, including my own Ginny the antique Golden Retriever. Ginny seems to have a bit of doggy Alzheimer's going on - she went for a wander the other evening and didn't come back before dark. I finally found her an hour later in an absolute panic, since she can't see well in the dark. It didn't keep her from taking off again the next two days. Sigh.

Sounds like you're losing weight, too. Congrats! It's fun, isn't it!

Yup, happy happy spring! The snow is gone, except for a few piles from plows. The corrals are muddy, muddy, muddy. Skalkaho Creek is roaring, but so far not threatening

>118 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I'd love to make the Seattle meetup. A Mississippi cruise sounds awesome!

>119 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! No, the eyes are not doing any better. The good eye is very sensitive to eye strain right now, so reading has slowed to a crawl, as has computer time. Drat!

Finished a book, finished a book - finally done with Texaco. It was a great read and I'll get a review done soon-ish.

Working on finishing up The Inconvenient Indian and I've started A Man Called Ove for the RLBC next week.

Mar 20, 1:36pm Top

Congratulations on the weight loss, Janet, even if some of it came by being sick.

I'm sorry that your eyes are not improving more quickly.

I'm sorry about Ginny - it's so sad when our fur kids start failing.

Mar 20, 2:23pm Top

Hi - any chance of confining Ginny in a fenced place so she won't get hit by car or truck?

Edited: Mar 20, 8:20pm Top

>121 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen for the congrats on the weight loss. It's slowed down, but still steady. The eyes are what they are. After I see my GP next week, I may start seeing a specialist or two.

>122 m.belljackson: Hello, I'm not sure if we've met, but your judgment is a bit off. Ginny is a farm dog and as such, has a different life than city or suburban dogs. Like farm dogs everywhere, she goes with me to do chores. Her sneaking off usually takes her to the creek. Unfortunately, the recent snow melt has uncovered a dead deer and she is happily bringing home bits. In a few days, the scavengers will have it cleaned up and hopefully the problem will be solved.

In this area, it's not terribly safe to leave a dog in a fenced area without supervision. There are just too many predators that can easily enter a fenced area and are happy to have the smorgasbord of the day. Ginny is in the house when she's not with me.

Mar 20, 9:21pm Top

Hi, Janet! Just checking in. Hope you are doing well. I have been enjoying an excellent reading year, so far and see no reason, why it shouldn't continue.

I just started Mexico: Stories. I think this is a collection, I am really going to enjoy.

Edited: Mar 23, 7:59am Top

>123 streamsong: A great reminder of what it is like to live out in the country, not a place many of us even visit any more. So sad. I miss the farm where I spent summers as a kid. The owners are now long gone, and I'll bet the house and barn are gone, too. Probably part of a large corporation which grows wheat, barley, and whatever.

I've been reading Maman, What Are We Called Now - a memoir of Paris just at the very end of World War II, by a French woman who's husband was in the Resistance. Her daughter said those words in the title when they were continuing to hide from the Nazi forces. Now, there's a book to make you feel grateful for where you are today.

We had a lovely sunny day today, but tomorrow and on through the week it will be raining, again! We are facing flooding in many parts of western Washington. But even that is so much better than what so many other parts of the country are experiencing.

My puppy is now old enough that if I do let her "off leash" she pretty much just stays a few feet away from me, and when I turn to go somewhere else, she follows. Dogs are so good as companions.

I hope the week goes well for you.

FYI: some late editing to correct my fat finger errors.

Mar 21, 11:31pm Top

>123 streamsong: Streamsong > Confusion here _ I thought you wrote that she had been wandering off, but now you say that she's in the house or with you - not judgement, concern.

Edited: Mar 22, 9:40am Top

>124 msf59: Hi Mark! I thought the first of the Mexco short stories was the best of the lot. Talk about starting with a rush and a shiver. After you're done reading it, I think you'll enjoy reading some of the LTER reviews from people who didn't quite understand the concept of 'noir'.

>125 maggie1944: Hi Karen - Yes, it's sometimes quite hard to contain one's equanimity in the face of unmerited judgement concern.

The RL book club read The Nightingale at the end of last year, which sounds like the same time frame and setting as Maman, What Are We Called Now

>126 m.belljackson: Sigh.

She definitely was lost the other night, which was the very first time ever and which I think may have been a result of decreasing vision. And yes she does sneak off to the creek (on my property, not across a road), which she has more danger from coyotes and mountain lions than cars.

ETA: Both sets of statements are true. She is not outside without me, and yes she can wander off. I sometimes have her clipped on a thirty foot longe line attached to my waste, but not everything I need to do can be accomplished with a dog attached.

Mar 22, 7:53am Top

We have a border collie, who is *very* good about staying within our property boundaries, both now that we live in a town and before, when we lived on 2 acres out in the country. Back when we lived in the country, she ran off only once, and was gone for most of a day. I was in panic mode, but eventually she can trotting back and looked at us like, "What? I'm here now. Chill out, dudes." Still have no idea where she went then. Silly thing.

The golden retriever, though, well, she's another story altogether. We can't take her outside unless she's on a leash: if she seems someone three blocks away, she'll race for them, wanting to make a new friend. Yeesh.

Mar 22, 8:42am Top

I lost track of your thread, and so many others, because I haven't checked my "starred" list in, apparently, over a month. Both commiseration and congratulations are in order. The night vision binoculars are intriguing.

Mar 22, 9:34am Top

>128 scaifea: Hi Amber! Too funny. No such thing as strangers to Ginny, either. If someone pulls into my driveway and opens their car door, Ginny is going to try to climb into the car with them. She used to be especially bad with climbing into visiting pickup trucks, but age has made it impossible for her to clamber up into one without help.

I used to take her to the dog park to have a chance to play with other dogs, but she would spend her time making besties with all the two legs and ignoring the other dogs completely.

>129 qebo: Hi Katherine! I'm not getting around much to other threads, either. The night vision is intriguing, but not easy to use with one eye acting up. I'm thinking of buying a small (probably used!) camper to park by the creek, which I hope will yield some interesting night visitors. Several people have trail cams set up in the area, and it's amazing what's out there that you don't see.

Mar 22, 8:48pm Top

I'm very sorry to hear about your loss of visual acuity, Janet. I pray that improves, or at least doesn't worsen.

I look forward to your comments about Texaco, which I hope to read later this year.

Mar 22, 8:59pm Top

>116 streamsong: I am interested in City of Secrets so I will have to see if I can track that one down.

Mar 23, 5:28pm Top

>131 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl - Thanks for the commiseration on the eyesight. This has already lasted much longer than predicted, but I'm still very hopeful.

I thought about your African Diaspora reading when I read Texaco. I predict you'll like it!

>132 alcottacre: Hi Stacia! I don't know anything about the this time period in Israel's history, so for me it was very intriguing. I believe I have a copy of Leon Uris's Exodus stashed around here - I should probably give it a go.

Mar 24, 10:41am Top

Hi Janet! Just a quick hello. I have to smile about Ginny getting into cars - I took a friend to get his hair cut yesterday (he's temporarily unable to drive) and while waiting outside I heard a cat meow. I opened the door, and up he jumped! Just as friendly as ever could be. He stayed a while on the back seat and left when I opened the back door to show him to a woman who was walking through the parking lot. I asked her if he had a home. She said he did, that he lived behind Country Time Haircuts and was very friendly.

Mar 25, 10:47am Top

Yup, that's Ginny! Another reason she can't be outside on her own.

Ginny was a rescue. The Rain Beau (unique spelling because believe it or not I have heard they monitor the web for negative comments about them) old hippies group camped in a nearby forest several years ago, and as always, dogs were left behind when the encampment was over. The speculation is that they pick up dogs as they travel to the camp and then leave them.

Ginny wasn't microchipped and had been wandering in the woods for several weeks along with half a dozen other dogs when she was turned in to the Humane Society. They advertised her on the internet for several months, but no luck in finding her owner and no way of telling what part of the country she may have originated. She is the sweetest golden retriever ever, with a an old C section scar. I bet she just happily climbed into the car with someone who invited her along.

Today I'm going to volunteer at a local therapeutic riding center. I've long had an interest in this, but now I have time!

And this afternoon, the college guy who has been helping me this week is going to teach me to cut down trees with a chainsaw. :-) I only plan to tackle the very small 1-2 inch diameter cottonwoods that grow like weeds in the wet areas of my place.

Mar 25, 1:14pm Top

>135 streamsong: I've long had an interest in this, but now I have time!
Hooray for retirement!

Mar 26, 9:25am Top

>136 qebo: Hi Katherine! Yes, the time is a real luxury.

The therapeutic riding was fun to watch. Really happy kids and great horses.

My chain saw lesson didn't go quite so well. :-) It's the smallest model, and after a lesson, I did take down a cottonwood sapling under supervision. I went back out later and couldn't get the saw started. Perhaps I have something set wrong. I think my college helper is planning on coming over later today to finish working on my shed before his spring break is over, so perhaps I'll get Lesson Two. Unfortunately my back is a bit sore and my arms very stiff. This may not be a chore I can handle.

Edited: Mar 26, 10:15am Top

I finished two books yesterday! I finished listening to The Spy Who Came in From the Cold for the BAC challenge. Very sixties cold war spy vs spy plots within plots. Kicked me right back to 60's TV shows like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

And I also finished The Inconvenient Indian which was an amazing look at current Indian and First Nations problems. This was written in 2012 and one of the interesting bits that was casually mentioned was that Donald Trump was one of the big adversaries against gambling on Indian Reservations, as he felt it would compete with his casinos. I've been a bit stunned over 45's handling of all things Indian in the last 60 days - now I wonder if he's holding a grudge against every tribe because he lost against them in the gambling issue.

Mar 26, 9:42am Top

I'm now reading A Man Called Ove for my RLBC this week. It's a bit 'too sweet and neat' for me but it's upbeat and carrying me along. Not a bad read, but in my opinion, not enough meat to it to generate a great discussion. We shall see.

I've also started the audio of Timothy Egan's The Immortal Irishman. I met Egan last year when he did a talk at a brewery in Missoula as the book came out. Thomas Meagher was Montana's first governor and is pretty much overlooked and disrespected here in this state. The story Egan told about Meagher's life was eye-opening. I had no idea of his heroic adventures in Ireland, Tasmania, and his leadership of the Irish Brigade in the Civil War.

Statue in front of Montana's Capitol which was subscribed and erected by Irish miners who always felt Meagher was an overlooked hero.

Mar 26, 9:48am Top

Hi Janet!

Interesting about a source for President Tweet's animus towards Native Americans.

I hope that Lesson Two goes well.

Mar 26, 10:21am Top

>139 streamsong: Timothy Egan's book certainly sounds like something I should go out and look for, Janet.

Have a great weekend.

Mar 26, 11:08am Top

Hi Janet - We did miss you at the meet-up in Portland. I hope the eye situation improves. I'm another fan of The Poet's Dog

Edited: Mar 27, 11:46am Top

>140 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I'm a bit unhopeful about Lesson Two as a disc in my back is getting quite sore - I must have twisted it yesterday. I may have to give up my Pioneer Woman aspirations. :-)

>141 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! It sounds quite fascinating. So far I've just scratched the surface, listening to the first chapter.

>142 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth. I was quite sad not to get to go to the meetup. I'm glad you liked The Poet's Dog. I liked parts of it, but others I just couldn't swallow.

Back in January, I signed up for an owl walk in the Mission Valley, near Flathead Lake. It's through the Glacier Insititute which has some outstanding programs, mostly in Glacier Park, although this is one of the few that is located elsewhere. They say the valley is home to five species of owls, so I'm really looking forward to it. It's a couple hour drive, and of course, once more I am concerned about driving.

I need to make my reservation for the night before. The tour meets at one of the Indian casinos in Polson. Staying there would be convenient and comes with a bit of a gambling and food package. Thomas King in The Inconvenient Indian calls Indian gambling establishments 'the new buffalo' and gambling there 'feeding the buffalo'. So I can support a local tribe (I'm not much into gambling and have never visited a tribal casino), but .... the enticing alternative would be a rustic lodge about 30 minutes south which has one of my favorite restaurants with a gorgeous bank of windows overlooking a pond. It's also on the edge of the Ninepipes bird refuge. And alternative two is $30 less. Tain't easy tryng to be politically and socially responsible.

Mar 26, 2:26pm Top

Stopping by to say hello and sending you best wishes for a wonderful week!

Mar 27, 11:01am Top

>144 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! Good to see you. Wishing you a wonderful week, too, and also wonderful reading!

Rainy day here - the grass is popping up so quickly, you can almost watch it growing. And ... I have my first crocus blooming. Spring spring spring!

Agenda for today:

-Taking piles of papers to bank to get notarized:

We've had to open probates for both Mom and Dad in North Dakota as well as Mom's here in Montana.

And also papers for me to get a certified copy of my birth certificate. It's been years since I've been out of the country, but since you now need a passport to get into Canada, I'm applying for my first one. :-) Possibly exciting stuff going on.

- Taxes - both my own and Mom's income taxes (again there is a complication on these as Dad, who passed away three years ago, was listed as primary owner of several accounts).

As soon as the estate work is wound up, I sincerely need to work on my own legal stuff. I know I have a tangle or two that would make life complicated for my kids if I don't sort it out.

- I have not posted a single review for March, so I'll be working on catching that up as well as working on finishing two books.

- And water aerobic class which is quite fun.

Mar 28, 12:48pm Top

As promised, the first of the reviews:

13. Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump – G.B Trudeau – 2016
Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire;
purchased 2017

These are cartoons from the Doonesbury comic strip published between September 1987 and April 2016. The book was published early in 2016.

What's obvious is that in the thirty years that Gary Trudeau has been lampooning Trump through these cartoons, Trump has not changed a bit, which means basically and unfortunately, no growth at all as human being.

While at times I did laugh at the utter absurdity of the man, mostly it struck me as being almost too true to be funny. As the flap of the book says ”It's all there – the hilarious narcissism, the schoolyard bullying, the loathesome misogyny, the breathtaking ignorance – and a good portion of the Doonesbury cast has been tangled up in it.

What is truly funny are the comments made by Trump about his appearances in the comic strip, which are generously quoted on the back cover : “Actually I don't read his stuff. You know, I did well in school, but for the life of me, I still can't understand what Doonesbury is all about.

Mar 28, 12:58pm Top

>146 streamsong: Hi Janet! Good review. I read this last year and feel pretty much the same way you do.

Edited: Mar 29, 10:11am Top

>147 karenmarie: Hi Karen: Thanks for stopping by! and thanks for your comment.

It's been over a month since I read these first books that I am reviewing, and my enthusiasm for doing this is a bit low. I'm setting a timer for fifteen minutes and writing that long (Flylady: You can do anything for 15 minutes!), alternating between the next review in line (oldest!) and the most recently completed.

I finished A Man Called Ove yesterday and found it sweetly funny. RLBC is Thursday.

I also finished The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit which was another quick, fascinating read.

I jumped right in to the other end of the spectrum by starting Human Acts last night. These are very bleak and bloody connected stories about the Gwangiu Uprising and massacre in South Korea told from multiple points of view and timepoints. It's an LTER that has been sitting since December.

Speaking of LTER, I won a book yesterday that I didn't request, or didn't mean to request: The Topography of Tears by Rose-Lynn Fisher. A slip of the finger or the eye-sight? Something the gods decided I should read? It looks to be a collection of photographs, so I guess I'll be stretching beyond my usual (which is basically what LT is all about for me, anyway).

Edited: Mar 29, 5:28pm Top

HI Janet, I'm getting back to you a late about the bird feeder. It is designed for hummingbirds who are currently and frantically slurping back the sugar water. We are wondering if there are needy babies about! We have it hung right outside our windows that have a silver coating on them for sun protection so the hummers can't see us but we sure can see them. We have had a few different kinds of feeders but we like the round red topped one the best as the top is easy to get off for refills and the refills at this time of year are often (daily). In the past we have tried several feeders out at once but that just seemed to create chaos in the hummer world, with too much fighting and territory to defend. They are very interesting to watch as sometimes there will be 4-5 feeding at once then there is a big bully that swoops and won't let anyone near.

Not my picture!

Edited: Mar 30, 12:35pm Top

>149 mdoris: Hi Mary! Thanks for posting that. I had not seen that type of HB feeder before. I can see where it would be useful with several hummers on it at the same time. I love your description of the hummingbird disputes.

ETA: I hven't seen more than one hummer at my feeder at a time; now I'm wondering if a larger feeder would attract them.

Mar 30, 4:19pm Top

Our hummingbird feeders are almost identical to Mary's.

Mar 30, 4:55pm Top

>150 streamsong: My goodness Janet, there can be a frenzy here with up to 8 to 10 HB buzzing the goods and all intimidated so no slurping happening. While at other times there can be up to 6 feeding at once. It is so great to watch!

Mar 30, 5:05pm Top

Hi Karen! Thanks- that's good to know. I'm thinking hard about a new feeder. Mine is a style without a perch for the bird - seems like I remember that was 'safer' somehow. Of course there is no law saying I can't have both the old and a multi-bird feeder up at the same time.

Oh such good news today. When I woke up this morning, I looked at the clock and thought "Something's different". It took me a few minutes to realize the vision in my right eye is much clearer today. Still blurry, but not like looking through a goldfish bowl. I can lean close to the computer and actually read words! After more than four months, I hope this is beginning to resolve. I was losing faith in the opthamologist who kept telling me it will do so.

Mar 30, 5:10pm Top

Janet! How wonderful! Just the boost you need.

Mar 30, 5:12pm Top

>152 mdoris: Hi Mary - there's a restaurant a few miles from here that has that type of activity of hummingbird activity - so I know they are in the area - I just need to attract them better. Maybe I'll add some nice red flowers....

Mar 30, 5:14pm Top

Yup, Karen! It's definitely a good day! And just in time for the owl walk I'm doing next weekend!

Mar 30, 6:11pm Top

>153 streamsong: I am so happy for you!

Mar 30, 7:52pm Top

>153 streamsong: That's wonderful news!

Karen O.

Mar 30, 10:10pm Top

Janet I am so pleased for you about the return of vision. I know it's on a continuum and you WANT more but so good that baby steps are happening.

Mar 31, 11:08am Top

Thanks Anita, Karen and Mary!

Mary, you are so right - I want this NOW!

I'm trying to finish my December LTER book Human Acts today, as I only have about 25 pages left. I agree with other comments that it's a tough but wonderful book, and very saddening. Before I started reading it, I had not heard of the Gwangiu Uprising and Massacre.

Many years ago we had a post doc in our lab who had been in Tiananmen Square when the tanks rolled in. This reminds me so much of his story.

I've also started Satantango by Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai for the literature seminar on Tuesday.

Mar 31, 10:05pm Top

Happy Friday, Janet. You are doing some fine reading, as usual. How is the Egan book coming? I also have it saved on audio.

I also just snagged an audio copy of The Stranger In the Woods. Yah!! I also have a copy of Human Acts. Thanks to a lovely LT pal.

BTW- I mailed the book out on Thursday.

Edited: Apr 1, 10:07am Top

>161 msf59: Hi Mark! Happy weekend to you, too! Egan's Immortal Irishman is fascinating as always, and the reader has just enough of an Irish brogue to make it interesting, but not undecipherable.

I loved Stranger in the Woods as well as Human Acts.

I just need to get caught up on those pesky reviews!

This morning I'm heading out to a 'Welcome Back Waterfowl' walk at a local refuge. There are supposedly 19 varieties of waterfowl in residence, so we shall see what we see. A wildlife rehabilitator will also be there with two varieties of owls (a Long-eared Owl and a Northern Saw-whet Owl.)

The plans had fallen through for my women's group camp out to see the total solar eclipse on August 21. I decided that since the next total eclipse wouldn't be until 2044 (at which time I'll be in my 80's!) I didn't want to miss this one. I couldn't find anywhere to stay in Idaho, backed up to Montana, and low and behold there is now a new plan for the group. A day or two of camping and hiking followed by a two hour drive to view the eclipse. I'm stoked! I actually made reservations at a motel in the area and will hold on to them for now - I may motel it and join the group for the activities and fun.

Apr 1, 10:09am Top

Hi Janet!

The Welcome Back Waterfowl walk sounds like lots of fun.

Your plans for the total eclipse sound wonderful, too.

Best wishes for a great weekend.

Apr 1, 10:30am Top

Glad you enjoyed The Unwinding! Saddened to have missed another of my own group reads. :(

Edited: Apr 2, 11:11am Top

Hi Karen - Thanks for stopping by!

The waterfowl walk was great. I didn't see anything but the common to the area water birds, but seeing the two owls up close was amazing.

Both were from this area and had damaged wings from being in an accident with cars. She's had both of them for more than ten years.

She was able to gently push back the Long-eared owl's feathers below its eyes and show the eye cones, which are not protected by skull. How amazing! And while she held the bird upside down, we got to see and even touch the softly furred feather edges which give owls their soundless flight.

And the saw-whet owl was cute as a button, with a heck of a lot more attitude. Here's a page with not only an adorable photo, but a video with its unusual call (no hoot for saw-whets)


It was a wonderful setup for this upcoming weekend's owl walk sponsored by the Glacier Institute.

Another upside is that I walked a couple miles - it's the first time since last fall that the Fitbit has vibrated its 10,000 step congratulations.

Edited: Apr 2, 11:12am Top

>164 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! Thanks for the grumpy cat greeting. I love that guy!

I had to switch up my reading a bit and take on Canoeing With the Cree, a book bullet from Oberon which he commented on in the journeys thread. In 1930, seventeen year old Eric Sevareid and a buddy canoed over two thousand miles to Hudson Bay. It's a short, quick read, but absolutely due back at the library tomorrow.

I'm not making much progress with Satantango, the book for the lit lecture on Tuesday. I'm not sure if I'm just not a fan of experimental literature forms. All I know is that with one fuzzy eye, paragraphs would be nice.

Apr 2, 11:06am Top

Hi Janet! The Northern Saw-whet Owls are fascinating! Their call is unusual, and the juveniles are huggable. Thanks for sharing.

I hope you're having a good day.

Apr 2, 11:46am Top

>167 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! I would have never recognized that as an owl sound.

Edited: Apr 2, 11:50am Top

14. Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston ChurchillSonia Purnell – 2015
- March TIOLI #8 Read a book whose title begins with the letters of MARCH in rolling fashion;
- acq'd 2017

The story of Clementine is the story of Winston Churchill and of Britain.

Clementine lived an upper class, but rather unconventional childhood, with a mother known for her many lovers and Clementine's paternity somewhat in doubt. She married Winston Churchill in 1908. He was already a well known political icon, ten years her senior.

The subtitle of the book :”The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill” is most apt. Clementine Churchill stayed in the background of Winston's political career. Clementine made her opinions known to Winston (they argued over women's suffrage in the early years, a proposal that Winston vehemently opposed.) Unlike her contemporary and counterpart Eleanor Roosevelt, Clementine was the helpmate, furthering politcal ties for Winston with social events, and often offering the wisdom of empathy, which Winston seemed to lack. She engaged in helping in the homefront in both World Wars as well as spearheading help for an impoverished Russia before the iron curtain slammed down.

She was a complicated person. As Winston wrestled his Black Dog of depression, Clementine also wrestled at times with 'nervous conditions'. A loving mother, she often was away from her children for quite extended amounts of time until a family tragedy jolted her back to motherhood.

I learned a lot about Clementine's life and the life of British upper class at the time. I learned more about Winston Churchill and British history. A worthwhile read.

Edited: Apr 3, 5:47pm Top

I'm going to be jumping around between the older reviews that I need to do, and books that I've just finished.

22. A Man Called OveFredrik Backman - 2012 first translated
- Global Reading: Sweden
- TIOLI #8 Read a book whose title begins with the letters of MARCH in rolling fashion;
- ROOT # 7/50- acq'd 2016 - 1 ROOT point – 19/225

Ask any of Ove's neighbors: Ove is downright unpleasant to live next to; he's the epitomy of curmudgeon. He's a self appointed one-man neighborhood watch, keeping track that none of his neighbors break the most minor of the Neighborhood Association rules as he goes through his self appointed rounds each day.

He's also deeply, suicidally unhappy.

And yet when a new family moves in that includes pregnant Iranian (!) wife, Parvenah, a somewhat bumbling husband, and two little girls, rules are broken regularly. Parvaneh, especially, seems out to befriend Ove, and does not hesitate to ask for his assistance with small chores.

Slowly we get to see the holes in Ove's heart and the wonderful things he has done in the past and perhaps can do again.

As I get older, it's lovely to have an older protagonist, especially one with an interesting story uncovered step by step.

There's nothing too deep in this novel, but it is heartwarming and draws one into the its world, making it hard to put down.

Apr 2, 12:37pm Top

>165 streamsong: Janet that sounded like an amazing owl experience and thank for including the link. That is a great site (abcbirds).
And well done on the fitbit!

Apr 2, 1:53pm Top

>166 streamsong: >167 karenmarie: Adding both of those to the Black Hole. Thanks for the recommendations!

>170 streamsong: I already have that one in the Black Hole or you would have hit me again!

Happy Sunday, Janet!

Apr 3, 7:22am Top

And with that nice review of A Man Called Ove, I took a BB.

Apr 3, 10:09am Top

>165 streamsong: Seeing an owl so close must have been a great experience, Janet!

>170 streamsong: Very good review of A man called Ove!

Apr 3, 11:01am Top

>171 mdoris: Thanks, Mary! The owls were amazing. I see great horned owls regularly, but didn't realize there are seven species in the area.

>172 alcottacre: Thanks, Stacia! It's always fun when someone takes a BB. Clementine and Ove were both from my RLBC book club, a month apart, which shows how far behind I am in doing reviews.

>173 countrylife: Hope you enjoy it, Cindy!

The person suggesting the book for the RLBC is always the moderator. She said that when she first started reading Ove, she thought "Oh No! How could I have suggested something so corny!" but it absolutely has a way of drawing one in.

>174 FAMeulstee:. Thank you, Anita! Touching an owl was amazing. The kids were enthralled, but I was too. I can now see how just how valuable it is having rehabilitators bring birds to show.

I'm going to be on the lookout for owl feathers as I walk!

Edited: Apr 3, 5:48pm Top

23. Human Acts - Kang Han - 2016
- LibraryThing Early Reviewers book
- Global Reading: South Korea;
- TIOLI #2: Read a book set in a real country other than the US, Great Britain, France or Germany;
- ROOT #8/50; 2016 = 1 ROOT point = 20/225

From Wikipedia: “ The Gwangju Uprising had a profound impact on South Korean politics and history. Chun Doo-hwan already had popularity problems because he took power through a military coup, but after authorizing the dispatch of Special Forces upon citizens, his legitimacy was further damaged. The movement also paved the way for later movements in the 1980s that eventually brought democracy to South Korea. The Gwangju Uprising has become a symbol of South Koreans' struggle against authoritarian regimes and their fight for democracy.“

These are interrelated stories told from various viewpoints of victims of the Gwangju Massacre. The central character is a middle school boy who is murdered . We hear his story, the stories of his family and friends who were both survivors and fellow victims, and his heartbroken mother still mourning her sons twenty years later. Such brutality cannot be forgotten by those who encountered it.

Although there are some descriptions of torture which will be hard for me to erase, I came away feeling that this is an important, wonderful book that not only conveys one of the pivotal events in recent South Korean history, but the minds and hearts of the victims.

Many years ago we had a post-doc in a neighboring lab who had been in Tiananmen Square when the tanks rolled in. This sounds much like his story; I thought of him often while reading this.

Apr 3, 11:24am Top

Janet, it sounds like you have been having some amazing experiences outdoors. Your eclipse plans sound fantastic as well. I hope your eye is continuing to improve.

Apr 3, 11:31am Top


- Canoeing With the Cree - Eric Sevareid - 1935 - library
- Born a Crime - Trevor Noah - 2016 - Global Reading: South Africa - library
- Satantango - László Krasznahorkai - lit seminar - Global Reading: Hungary; acquired 2017
- The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero - Timothy Egan - 2016; ROOT 2016 = 1 ROOT point; listening to audiobook from library
- Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; ROOT - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Bleak House - Charles Dickens - group read, 1001, library

Next Up:

Fiction: Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi - RLBC (I'm the moderator) ROOT
Possesion - A. S. Byatt - BAC ROOT
Dance of the Jakaranda - Peter Kimandi - LTER

Non-Fiction: - The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson
Audiobook: My Life in France - Julia Child - NF Hobbies; CatWomen- memoir by a woman; ROOT
Among the Creationists - Jason Rosenhouse - CultureCat - Religion; ROOT

Also maybe:
Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell
All Quiet on the Western Front

I need to concentrate heavily on my ROOT (Reading Our Own Tomes) challenge -I'm way behind with my goal of reading fifty off my shelves this year.

Here's the good news:
As of 01/01/2017: 481 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 04/01/2017: 484 books on physical Mt TBR

Apr 3, 2:01pm Top

Hi, Janet. I had the same positive reaction to A Man Called Ove. Nothing too deep, but heartwarming and heart to put down. Yup. I'm glad I read it. I'd love to read more about his wife. She sounded wonderful.

Edited: Apr 4, 9:48am Top

>177 ronincats: Hi Roni! Yes, now that I'm retired I plan to enjoy the outdoors to the max!

Unfortunately, after a couple days of clarity, my right eye went back to being blurry. But ... I'm encouraged by the couple of good days. Hopefully, there will be more of them soon. Doctor appointment tomorrow.

>179 jnwelch: I agree, Joe! Our moderator read a bit that the author, Fredrik Backman, had written about the book and its creation. Ove started out as a blog, mostly about his father's grumpiness. When Backman's wife, pointed out that Backman was even grumpier than his father, he switched to writing more stories about himself. He says the wife in the story is based on his own wife. It would be a blessing to be in her life.

Apr 3, 2:26pm Top

>180 streamsong: I was so glad to see that your eye was improving, but now saddened to see that it has gone back to being blurry. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come and it shows that the things you are doing are the right ones. It must help to keep things on the right track, when you have a hint of improvement.

Edited: Apr 3, 6:00pm Top

>181 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny. You are absolutely right.There is not much to do, but keep on, keepin on. I'm going to take it as a good sign that it was better for a few days.

Except, oh yeah, I might buy a new broodmare. When life throws you lemons, buy horses.

Apr 3, 9:19pm Top

Hi, Janet. Glad you were able to see the Owls up close and personal. How cool.

Do you have any other birding events coming up?

Good book reviews too. I hope you enjoy Born a Crime, as much as I did.

Apr 4, 3:14pm Top

Hi, Janet! Thank you again for visiting my thread and for your kind wishes on my move. I cannot wait until it's over and I'm all settled in my new place!

Love your thread toppers - what gorgeous scenery! I see you are recently retired - isn't it just wonderful! I love all your plans and look forward to reading about your adventures. I retired four years ago, moved to the Denver area, and have wanted to get up to Yellowstone but haven't done it (yet). Now that I'm moving to southern Colorado, it may be awhile before I get around to it. Now I'm hoping to get down to the Four Corners area to visit Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, and other places out that way.

So much to do, so little time to do it!

Apr 4, 4:21pm Top

>182 streamsong: I like that tactic for dealing with things much better than any others I've come across ;). I think TheBF would kill me if I did that though, plus it would bankrupt me seeing as I don't have the land to keep Connie at home! Good luck with the new horse, if she comes along.

Apr 4, 7:45pm Top

Hi Janet - What a lot of good reading you've been getting in. And Love Medicine! I love that book.

Edited: Apr 4, 11:18pm Top

>180 streamsong: Janet sorry to hear about your eyesight being blurry again..... steps forward...steps back..... but fingers greatly crossed for continued improvement.

Apr 5, 9:08am Top

>183 msf59: Hi Mark! Last weekend was just sort of a warmup. This Saturday is the owl expedition with the Glacier Institute. I'm looking forward to this, although there is a 90% chance of rain ....

Thanks again for the book!

>184 Storeetllr: Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping by. I visited the Four Corners country only once, about twenty years ago. We did not make it to Mesa Verde, but did go to another cliff dwelling at the Navajo National Monument. I envy you getting to spend time in that area.

>185 lunacat: I'm not sure I should do it either, Jenny. With ongoing health/eye problems, this may absolutely be the wrong time. A Canadian breeder friend has offered me an absolutely gorgeous mare to ride and use for a couple years and cross with my stallion. (She doesn't want to sell her). And of course, it's always nicer to have two foals on the ground than one. Deep thinking required here.

>186 BLBera: Hi Beth! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I'm been enjoying my reading a lot! I'm one of those that rely heavily on LT friends' recommendations, so I guess it's not surprising that I enjoy a good 95% of all the books that I read.

>187 mdoris: Thanks for the encouragement, Mary!

So yesterday I had a very good appointment with my GP. My blood sugar is down to the normal range and my A1C, which is a measure of the blood sugar over the last three months has dropped by 50% and is also in the normal range. He's taken me off several medications. Yay for low carb eating! So what's going on with my eye? He's referring me on to a retinal specialist to have a second opinion.

Edited: Apr 5, 9:26am Top

Yesterday was book Christmas!

I returned a book at the library and bought two books from the FOL rack:

- Parable of the Sower which I read earlier this year and decided it would be nice to have a copy on hand when I get caught up enough to read the sequel
- The Good Husband of Zebra Drive because sometimes you need a bit of heartwarming corn.

The library had their gazebo stuffed with free books, and I stopped there, too and acquired:
- A Christmas Carol - hardbound copy in like new condition
- Get Shorty - Elmore Leonard
- Still Life - Lousie Penny - (I haven't started this series!)
- All Around the Town and My Gal Sunday by Mary Higgins Clark

And when I arrived home, my mailbox was stuffed with four more books:
- The Sympathizer - Thank you Mark!
- Homegoing - April RLBC choice; I had started it last fall, but had to return to library

and two LTER books:
- How To Be a Muslim - Haroon Moghul
- The Topology of Tears

Apr 5, 9:46am Top

Hi Janet!

I'm sorry about your right eye going blurry again, and hope your doctor's appointment goes well.

When life throws you lemons, buy horses. Well, of course! Sounds like the mare needs a temporary home, and why not get a foal out of it!

I hope you like Still Life. I have really enjoyed this series.

Apr 5, 1:06pm Top

>189 streamsong: Oh my goodness Janet, what a book feast. Nice.
I swooped in to the library yesterday and picked up 13 holds. Pressure, pressure!

Apr 5, 3:31pm Top

Definitely much nicer to have two foals to play with - I always feel sorry for homebred foals when they don't have companions to play with. It's one of the huge advantages of the large studs around here, all the foals get to run together and they don't notice weaning as much as, each day, one broodmare gets taken away from the large herd and it's less traumatic for the foals when they have each other for companionship. And, usually, the mare will be in foal again so she doesn't mind too much.

However, it is always something to think about seriously. If things are looking up with the diabetes, maybe it is a good time? Can you postpone your answer until you get an appointment with the retinal specialist to find out if this is likely to be a permanent problem, in which case maybe having another beastie around the place isn't the best idea?

Sorry, my waffling probably doesn't help!

Edited: Apr 6, 11:23am Top

>190 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I've heard such good things about the Louise Penny books - on your thread and others - that I was tickled to find the first one in a free box.

My friend says she is retiring - currently they have more than 40 horses, a couple of stallions and compete in cow and reining competitions as well as having horses in endurance rides (50 - 100 miles on a horse in 24 hours). Yup, having her offer me the use of a mare for a year or three is a huge complement.

>191 mdoris: Hi Mary! Yes, It was a great book haul. A bit heavy on the cozy, comfort reads, but I like that sort of book when I'm travelling and I hope to do a bit this summer.

>192 lunacat: Jenny, your thoughts echo mine exactly. In addition, a single foal can get awfully pushy in a herd situation since it knows it has mama-bear-mare to back it up. Another broodmare with a foal won't stand for that sort of nonsense so two foals are much better socialized. Knowing they aren't the alpha carries over to how a foal interacts with humans.

I definitely think I'm building castles in the sky a bit, since it's so much more fun than thinking about the health stuff going on. I won't make any commitment (especially one like importing a mare from Canada) until I get things sorted out.

Apr 6, 5:53pm Top

>166 streamsong: I hope you liked it!

Apr 6, 10:57pm Top

It seems to me that if your eye can clear up for even a short time, that the potential is there for it to clear up again and possibly permanently. I am glad you are getting a second opinion, and congratulations on your blood numbers!

Apr 7, 12:44am Top

>194 Oberon: I liked it a lot, Eric! I used to canoe a fair amount (lakes rather than rivers) and would love to do it a bit of it again.

>195 ronincats: Thanks, Roni, I think so ,too! Light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

Apr 7, 10:12am Top

Great acquisitions, Janet, and for a good price.

Great news from your doctor. I hope you can get the eye sorted. I have a visit with my eye doc today too. Fingers crossed for good news.

Apr 9, 12:33pm Top

Hi, Janet! Happy Sunday! So sorry to hear about your blurry eye and hope the ointment gets rid of the blurriness. The older I get and the more problems I have with my eyes, the more I realize how important they are.

I never canoed, but it sounds like a lot of fun, and very peaceful, especially on a lake. I used to whitewater raft, which is also a lot of fun but not very peaceful, especially when you're going over rapids. I loved it and wish I could go again, but at my age and level of physical endurance, I don't think it's going to happen.

Apr 10, 10:35am Top

Janet, I'm sorry that your vision worsened again, but, as you said, hopefully the period of increased acuity is a good sign.

Nice review of Human Acts; I won a LT ER copy of it, so I'l try to get to it next month.

Apr 10, 12:04pm Top

>197 BLBera: Good morning, Beth, and thanks for stopping in. Free books are always fun, aren't they! (Even if I am trying to cut down on the unreads). As is getting books in the mail, whether they are gifts, or something I've ordered.

>198 Storeetllr: Hi Mary - Whitewater rafting **is** fun although I've only done it a couple times and with professional raft companies. I never had the skill to do it on my own.

>199 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl for the complement on the review. I predict this is another one that you'll like.

You can tell how my eyes are doing any given day by the strange punctuation and spacing (or at least I'll blame it on that).

Edited: Apr 10, 12:32pm Top

For one of the first times ever, I am returning several books unread to the library. Perhaps I'll get to them later.

I'm having to read like crazy to finish The Blood of Emmett Till which is overdue and non-renewable since it's a new book with a long waiting list.

I did finish Born a Crime which was very engaging and hugely recommended.

I'm also within a whisker of being finished with listening to The Immortal Irishman.It's a great look at Irish history in Ireland and the US, especially the Irish regiments during the American Civil War. It's an intriguing and unconventional look at Meagher's time as governor of Montana - definitely not what I learned in the Montana history classes!

Edited: Apr 10, 12:31pm Top

I had a wonderful time Saturday on the owl expedition that was offered through the Glacier Institute. I'll write more and try to post a few photos, since I've finally purchased a new camera. :-)

I'll try to take another of their offerings inside of Glacier Park this summer.

Perhaps Raptors of Glacier Park or Birding By Ear although they have so many more on bears, flowers, photography that it's hard to choose.

Apr 10, 12:39pm Top

Hi Janet! Congrats on all the good reading and the owl expedition.

I can't wait to read Born a Crime, but I'm deliberately waiting until August so it will be fresh in my mind for our September discussion. Several people have also said that it's wonderful as an audiobook read by the author.

Apr 10, 1:49pm Top

>202 streamsong: Congratulations on purchasing a new camera, Janet, I hope to see some pictures soon :-)
The owl expedition sounds good, I looked at the other tours you mentioned, I would go for the raptors or the photograpy.

Edited: Apr 12, 11:29am Top

>203 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I predict that you and your book club will enjoy Born a Crime and have a great discussion. Five star read for me.

>204 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Good to see you. The camera is the most basic sort of point and shoot, since with my eye blurriness, I have more confidence in the camera capturing a good image than me!

The raptors course does sound interesting. Besides the big raptors, there is a hawk owl which is apparently not uncommon in Glacier, but is usually only found farther north in Canada. Its silhouette can look more like a hawk, it sometimes acts more hawkish than owlish (sitting on branches in broad daylight leaning forward instead of the upright owl position, hovering while hunting besides doing the owl swooping thing). I have many of the big raptors moving through my place - but it would be lovely to learn more about them, and frankly, Glacier Park is so stunning, that any class there would be awesome.

Here's a hawk owl from the Audubon site:

Edited: Apr 12, 11:43am Top

24. Canoeing With the Cree - Eric Sevareid - 1935
- 75'ers NonFiction Challenge: Hobbies
- April TIOLI #6. Read a book with a title that makes you think of spring
- library

Arnold, who became known during his journalism career as Eric, Sevareid was stirred to adventure during a high school reading of Rudyard Kipling's poem The Feet of the Young Men. His best friend, Walter Porter, also longed to see the world. Together they decided that as soon as high school ended and they graduated they would buy a canoe and paddle from Minneapolis to the Hudson Bay.

It didn't bother them that they didn't have a canoe or experience, or that this particular trip had never been done before.

As the forward says:
Without benefit of motor or radio, and indeed with little in the way of good maps or background information, the young men launched an eighteen-foot canvas canoe at Fort Snelling. .... 2250 miles, sixty portage and fourteen weeks ... Delayed by accidents and weather, they raced against time. ....(as they must arrive) before fall freeze up” (Slightly edited to avoid spoilers)

Woot – if you enjoy stories of wilderness and youthful derring-do adventures, this is a great read. I enjoyed the descriptions of the First Nations and the Metis, although the casual prejudices of the time do show. The book carried me onward to the end. A short book, a quick read and highly recommended.

Edited: Apr 13, 8:22am Top

This quote is my current read, The Blood of Emmett Till, a young black teenager who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955.

“Sheriff Smith knew Roy and J. W. And immediately he assumed that they had killed the boy and thrown his body in the river. ....(Sheriff Crosby Smith said) “It was custom, what was being done around here in those days. We went by custom when something like that happened, and that's usually what they done to 'em.” P 58

Apr 13, 9:41am Top

Oooh, another Nature Girl experience this morning. (I feel like I'm living in a Girl Scout camp right now).

With all the cotton wood snags along my creek bottom, I usually have a great horned owl or two hanging around my place.

I was up a bit earlier than usual this morning and just as it was getting light, I heard an owl hooting. I thought that it had to be a horned, but it sounded a little different. I googled up a site with owl calls and listened to several variations.

And then, Mr. Owl (I learned this weekend that it's the misters that call at dawn as a sort of territorial thing) hooted back much closer than before.

I played the computer owl again. And again he replied.

Then there was an excited bird mob at the top of one of the two huge Norwegian pine trees that totally hide my house from the road. A bird mob is when small birds start attacking an owl to drive it away. There are several small bird nests in the trees. I can see a robin nest and a house finch nest from where I'm sitting. The branches were too thick for me to see the owl, but the little birds sure did!

So I won't try calling the owl in again as neither the birds nor my in-and-out semi-house cat would appreciate it.

But for a serendipitous moment, it was entirely cool.

Apr 13, 10:00am Top

Janet the Bird Whisperer! I've never heard of a bird mob, though. As a one time adventure it sounds wonderful, but you're right to not risk the baby birds or your kitty.

Apr 13, 3:39pm Top

>208 streamsong: Wow, Janet, that is very cool!
Do you know what kind of owl it was, or on wich kind of owl sound he responded?

Apr 13, 9:51pm Top

Loved your owl bird mob story, told so well that I was sitting in the branches too!

Edited: Apr 13, 10:00pm Top

>205 streamsong: Love the hawk owl. I am not familiar with this raptor. Have you seen one of these?

>206 streamsong: Good review, Janet. Looks like one I would enjoy.

>208 streamsong: Love the owl story. How cool. You know I want this to be the year, I finally see an owl in the wild. I will be giving it a gallant effort.

Apr 13, 11:16pm Top

Janet, I'm so glad your vision has improved -- and your reading and posting are benefiting from the improvement!

>208 streamsong: That is an awesome story. I love love love owls and that is just so wonderful. Probably a good idea not to call Mr. Owl back, especially during nesting season for all those little ones, but what a cool nature moment.

I'm still going to resist A Man Called Ove although it does sound appealing. Human Acts, on the other hand, is going on the wish list. And I have Born a Crime waiting on my Kindle and I really want to get to it soon.

Edited: Apr 15, 11:56am Top

>209 karenmarie: >210 FAMeulstee: >211 mdoris: >212 msf59: >213 EBT1002: Thanks, Karen, Anita, Mary, Mark and Ellen!

Glad you all enjoyed the owl story. It was one of the coolest things I've encountered for a long time.

When I got up yesterday morning, Mr. Owl was back and hooting very loudly. He may have been in the big pine again, because the birds were definitely upset about something. Again, I did not see him. He gave several variations of his call.

I really wanted to call back to him, but refrained. It was so hard not to talk to an owl! But apparently I've already upset his routine by convincing him there's another owl in the area. I'd love to spot the nest!

>210 FAMeulstee: Anita, I'm pretty sure it was a great horned owl. The site I was on had three variations of great horned owl calls.

>212 msf59: Hi Mark! No, I've never seen a hawk owl. I'd never even heard of them before the workshop last weekend. It sounds like Glacier Park may be one of the very few places in the US to spot one. Glacier is full of awesomeness, including the only wild caribou in the lower 48. (They migrate back and forth over the Canadian border). Nope, I've never seen the caribou either.

I think you'd enjoy Canoeing With the Cree. It's short and quick. It was a book bullet from Oberon/Eric.

>213 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Born a Crime is just as good as every says it is. Human Acts is great, but tough.

My current main read, The Blood of Emmett Till is also tough but important. I had no idea how bone-deep the hatred of blacks was in Mississippi. The author Timothy Tyson does a wonderful job of placing the murder in its historical context. I read and enjoyed the John Lewis series; this give the incidents their historical background.

Apr 15, 1:47pm Top

Great owl story, Janet. Have a great weekend.

Edited: Apr 16, 9:31am Top

>215 BLBera: Thank you, Beth!

I watched an amazing video last night, The Eagle Huntress, a documentary about a thirteen year old Kazakh Mongolian girl.

Because I'm feeling lazy, here is the summary from Wikipedia:

"The Eagle Huntress follows the story of Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia, as she attempts to become the first female eagle hunter to compete in the eagle festival at Ulgii, Mongolia, established in 1999. She belongs to a family of nomads that spend their summers in a yurt in the Altai Mountains and their winters in a house in town. The men in her family have been eagle hunters for seven generations,6 and she wants to follow in their footsteps.

With her father Nurgaiv's help, she learns how to train golden eagles, and then captures and trains her own eaglet. Although she faces some disbelief and opposition within the traditionally male tradition, she becomes the first female to enter the competition at the annual Golden Eagle Festival.

Spectacular scenery, beautiful birds and a wonderful look into the Kazakh culture.

Apr 16, 9:57am Top

Happy Sunday, Janet! I hope you're having a good day.

Apr 16, 3:32pm Top

>216 streamsong: Indeed an amazing documentary, Janet, I have seen it too and loved it :-)

Apr 16, 4:04pm Top

>208 streamsong: What a cool experience! I love owls.

Happy Easter, Janet!

Apr 16, 5:21pm Top

Apr 16, 7:45pm Top

>216 streamsong:. I enjoyed the Eagle Huntress too Janet. We have something called" Film Circuit" which is administered nationally by TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and each satellite of Film Circuit brings in about 8 movies a term that are not the regular theatre kind. and monies raised go to a local charity after costs are met. The films are so good! Especially good in a small community where I now presently live and would otherwise have no access to independent/art/documentary type films. Anyway E.H. was one and I thought very interesting.

Happy Easter to you!

Apr 17, 8:33am Top

>217 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen!

>218 FAMeulstee: I'm so glad you liked The Eagle Huntress, too! What a great movie!

>219 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Glad you enjoyed the owl story. They really are fascinating and beautiful! The more I learn about them, the more I'm hooked.

>220 witchyrichy: Thank you for the beautiful flowers, Karen! The daffies are just starting to bloom here. No iris in sight yet, so your pic is extra appreciated.

>221 mdoris: Hi Mary! It's wonderful to see another fan of The Eagle Huntress. The Film Circuit sounds amazing. I'm able to get some indie films through Netflix DVD's, but I'd love to get more recommendations for exactly the sort of movies that your Film Circuit offers.

6:30 am and Mr Owl is out there hooting again.

Apr 17, 8:47am Top

>222 streamsong: Owls really are fascinating birds. There is such a wide diversity of them too.

Edited: Apr 17, 11:55am Top

>223 alcottacre: Totally agree with that statement, Stasia!

I finished The Blood of Emmett Till this weekend. Very sobering, but I now feel that I have a much better understanding of the racism surrounding the incident both then and carrying on through today.

I've started Among the Creationists for the CultureCat religious diversity read that Ellen is leading. This was a lovely choice from my 75'ers secret Santa weird-o. Bill, I don't usually see you on my thread, but thanks again for the wonderful choice!

I'm also trying to finish up Love Medicine.

And on audio I'm listening to the irrepressible Julia Child and My Life in France. This is for both the WomenCat memoir read and the 75'ers NF Hobbies read.

Apr 17, 11:04am Top

>216 streamsong: That sounds excellent, Janet.

Apr 17, 9:04pm Top

>222 streamsong: more later....but have a peek at the schedule and you can click on the titles and see a description. It might give you some ideas.

Apr 18, 1:37am Top

Nice review of Canoeing with the Cree, Janet. I remember Eric Sevareid's occasional appearances on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Could you imagine two teenage boys making that trip today?! "Mom, is it okay if Walter and I rent a canoe and spend three months traveling from here to Hudson Bay? We'll call you when we get there."

Edited: Apr 18, 10:40am Top

>225 BLBera: hi Beth! The Eagle Huntress was great. I hope you can find a copy to give it a try.

>226 mdoris: Thanks, Mary! There are several on that list that I will try to find.

>227 kidzdoc: Thank you, Darryl! It's even worse than that ... parties of experienced men had simply disappeared along parts of their route. And they still do!

They were totally out of touch with their parents the whole time they were gone. They had a 'if you don't hear from us that we are at Hudson's Bay by September 19th, we're in trouble, send a search plane' message left with people along the route. And they missed getting there by that date. At that point, everyone just assumed they were OK and running a bit late ......

Apr 18, 10:11am Top

I've just started reading Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by foodie Lucy Knisley. Her parents, their family and friends were all chefs, so she talks about her favorite childhood memories bound with early food experiences.

Instead of bringing cupcakes to school for her birthday, her mom brought a huge crème brulee and a blow torch and caramelized the top in front of her class. (Wonder how that would go over in schools today?!!)

Apr 20, 9:36am Top

It was so much fun to catch up with your thread this morning! I love that you talk to owls, only occasionally of course. And the Eric Sevareid story is too cool! I often think one of the "problems" we have with younger people today is that they are physically, if not mentally or emotionally, ready to strike out for independence way too early for "these days". I know that when the Great Depression hit many of the folks who rode the rails were young men hunting for their place in the new world. Just not safe to do that today, I think; or maybe, it just is not a good way to find a successful place in the world.

I am amazed with your vision issues that you are able to read as much as you do. My on going trouble with my eyes which is much less limiting than yours, has slowed my reading considerably. Of course, I also can blame it on living in a cooperative retirement community where we have many things going on every day.

Hope spring brings many good things to you!

Apr 21, 11:11am Top

Hi Karen! Thanks for stopping by - I'm glad you enjoyed the owl story.

Canoeing With the Cree might be right up your alley.

I think I'm blessed because only one eye is effected. I've found I can read early in the day without causing strain to the good eye. Evening reading is more problematic, as is my depth perception. Today my eye is clearer again. Yay! Last time it didn't last too long. I hope one of these times it will clear up entirely.

Yesterday I finished listening to My Life in France, Julia Child's autobiography. It was fun to hear her describe how she got interested in cooking and French cuisine and how her career unfolded. I see Netflix has the videos of her earliest TV series on French cooking. I've never done any French cooking (and with my restricted diet it's not likely to happen soon), but I'm thinking they may be fun to watch.

I started another foodie audiobook of an entirely different type, Michael Pollen's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Oh my. The agriculture industry is downright scary.

I've also re-started Homegoing since I am the leader for the discussion in the RLBC next week. I know a lot of people read it last year, so any comments you have are welcome! I listened to several youtube interviews with author Yaa Gyasi yesterday. I especially liked this rather long one featured on Politics and Prose


Edited: Apr 21, 11:23am Top

25. Born a CrimeTrevor Noah2016
– Global Reading: South Africa
– library

Trevor Noah was born under South Africa's apartheid system.

When his fiercely independent mother decided she wanted a baby, she picked her best friend for the father. It didn't matter to her that he was a white foreign national. However, it did matter to South Africa. It was a crime for whites and blacks to have sex – much less a baby. If discovered, Trevor's mother would have been imprisoned and Trevor taken away to live in an orphanage.

Throughout her life, this strong woman bucked the system in many ways, finding ways to live in the better neighborhoods where it was illegal for her to live, and getting the best education for her son.

Trevor spent his earliest years being hidden- not allowed to venture from his family house and yard. Once apartheid ended, and Nelson Mandela walked out of prison, things became different – but the deeply ingrained racist system remained.

Trevor identified himself as black since he lived within a black family. To the casual observer, he was much lighter skinned and so labeled as mixed – but the mixed bloods, who were the result of mixed bloods marrying mixed bloods for generations, had their own culture as did the whites, the Indians and the Chinese. The race that you belonged to determined who who were, where you lived and whom you hung out with in the school yard. Trevor was the odd man out – not belonging to any of the predetermined groups.

This is Trevor's story of finding a place for himself in a society.

Like others with painful childhoods, Trevor overcame with humor, and is now a well-known South African comedian. The stories he tells are deeply saddening but achingly funny at the same time. It's a vivid picture of growing up in an absurd time with an absurd and unjust system where white policemen armed with automatic rifles and tactical gear still arrived to break up noise complaints in black neighborhoods.

Highly recommended!

Apr 21, 11:30am Top

Hi Janet! Happy Friday!

I hope the clearing you're experiencing lasts longer and longer and then becomes permanent.

Have you read or seen Julie and Julia by Julie Powell? I have seen the movie twice and it's quite wonderful. I've made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon once and it was "Oh My", but it is pretty complicated.

I've skipped your review of Born A Crime because we're reading it for book club's September meeting. I don't even want to read it before August because I want it fresh in my mind. This is torture, though - if it wasn't a book club book I'd have read it by now!

Edited: Apr 21, 12:17pm Top

>233 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Happy Friday to you, too!

I watched Julie and Julia once several years ago. It's an excellent idea to watch it again, having just finished My Life in France. I've added it to my Netflix queue in the next position. Thank you!

Boeuf Bourguignon - That's impressive!

You'll enjoy Born a Crime when you get to it, I'm sure! It will make good discussion for your book club!

Apr 21, 12:47pm Top

Reading through your thread is like taking a long deep breath of crisp mountain air, Janet. I'm not a bit surprised you can talk to the owls. I didn't know it is the male's voice I hear from the Barred and Great-Horned owls that frequent our neighborhood. We also have plenty of hawk visitors in the warm months so I'm familiar with bird mobs.

I hope you continue to have more and more periods of clarity in your bad eye until all is well again. It will be so much easier to keep track of your wildlife with two good eyes! 👀

Edited: Apr 21, 1:18pm Top

Fantastic food reading going on over here! I did read Julie and Julia many years ago and remember loving it. I was blown away with Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and it really changed how I "thought" about food. I am back to reading his Cooked and on to the "water" section. I love French cooking and use an old favourite cookbook from the Time/Life series Cooking of Provincial France especially for making soup. Right now I have a Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table from the library. She amazes! I think many American cooks are smitten with french cooking and then do an amazing job bringing it back home such as Patricia Wells, Dorie Greenspan, David Lebovitz and many more ....Ina Garten, Anthony Bourdain. .....I read a great graphic novel about one of the big star chefs in Paris and I guess the thing with French food is that they like to eat (not much quantity) and in a leisurely fashion and fabulous quality (local) so I'm "all in" with that philosophy. In the Kitchen with Alain Passard

On anther note there was an interesting article in the April 3rd NYer mag" Food Fights" and the author responded critically to Taubes new sugar book. He did mention some diets that I don't know much about i.e. 5-2 (fasting) and others. It was interesting to read though.

I have had the double volume of Julia Child Mastering the Art of French Cooking, (her tomes) languishing on my shelves for a VERY long time. They are instructive but greatly intimidating, suck up hours in the kitchen and use every pot in the house!

Apr 22, 9:50am Top

>235 Donna828: Thanks for stopping by, Donna. It's so good to hear from you!

The lady owls hoot, too, but not much this time of the year when they are sitting quietly on their eggs.

Yesterday morning there were two owls hooting at each other. They'd be close and then far, but never together. I'm guessing it was two males discussing territory. I still haven't spotted a nest.

>236 mdoris: Oh wow, Mary - your food adventures sound amazing. I've never done any French cooking, but the Julia Child memoir has really piqued my interest. Sadly, In the Kitchen with Alain Passard is not available through my library.

Ms Child said she did her cookbooks with the idea that people would read them not just to cook from them, but read them for pleasure.

Thanks for mentioning the NYer article. I looked it up and did find it interesting. The low carb diet I'm on has done wonderful things for my diabetes. My doctor suggested it because he had other patients with the same good results. This diet differs from Atkins because protein is limited as are healthy fats.

Low carb oddity for the day: Roasted radishes taste almost like roasted new potatoes. Last night's dinner was meatloaf, roasted radishes, roasted asparagus and salad.

Edited: Apr 22, 1:05pm Top

Janet, your dinner sounds yummy. I have seen recipes for roasted radishes. Must try!

Watched a wonderful program last night on our local Knowledge Network. I am wondering if it might be available on the internet. It is Jacques Peretti Investigates-the Men who Made Us Fat. He interviews all the big guns, very knowledgable and well equipped to express an opinion and not connected to BIG BUSINESS....Marion Nestle (food politics), Lustig (pediatric endocrinologist.), Taubes (journalist/researcher), Ludkin (nutrition/scientist from the 70's). David Kessler (Fat, Sugar, Salt book) There was lots of info about cheap corn syrup/fructose glucose in pop and prepared foods that greatly parallels the increase in obesity since the 80's. An interesting suggestion concerning addiction and sugar. (Kessler). Also showing the influence that BiG BUSiNESS has in international food policy recommendations (WHO) = very scary! It was very interesting to watch and well done.

Right now I have a cookbook from the library and you might be interested. The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman(2002).

Apr 22, 9:24pm Top

"It was so hard not to talk to an owl!" What a wonderful thing to be able to say!

I'm in a storytelling mood so I'll tell my talking-with-an-animal story. I was in college (so, this was a few years ago) in central Florida and some friends and I went to Marineland, a precursor to SeaWorld. Having grown up in that area, I had been to Marineland a time or two so while my friends went in to see the educational film, I stayed outside to enjoy the sunshine. I was loitering beside the pool where they did the show with the bottle nose dolphins and, unprompted by me, one of the dolphins tossed their half-deflated volleyball my way. Taken by surprise, I looked around and then tossed it back. The dolphin caught it and tossed it back to me again! I played catch with that dolphin for about ten minutes! It was amazing! I had friends who said "well, s/he was just hoping you'd toss 'em a fish," but, especially with all we know now about marine mammals and their neurobiology (and ours), I am certain that this was not just conditioned response. It was interactive. And it was amazing.

Joining others in cheering on your continued eye recovery! I'm hoping to orchestrate a Seattle meet-up this summer and hopefully you'll be able to join in!

Apr 23, 8:57am Top

May I add my cheering on a Seattle Meet-Up this summer! Let's do it.

Apr 23, 9:19am Top

Morning Janet! Happy Sunday! Great review of Born a Crime . Big Thumb! I loved this memoir too. Very talented guy.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Apr 23, 9:24am Top

Great comments on Born a Crime, Janet. I've heard so many good things about this I can't resist. Off to the library to reserve it.

Apr 24, 1:13am Top

Our weather guy is suggesting that you are in for some snow, a fair amount, so stay safe! Good excuse to read.

Edited: Apr 24, 9:50am Top

>238 mdoris: Hi Mary! The roasted radishes aren't bad. They lose all their peppery taste on cooking. However ... my GI tract knows whatever chemical that makes them peppery still is present. :(

That sounds like an interesting series on food. The Omnivore's Dilemma is blowing me away. I have several of Pollan's books on MT TBR. I'll have to investigate further.

>239 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I love, love, love your dolphin story. Thanks so much for sharing it. Interactions with animals are so amazing. I would have been totally flattered by the dolphin's deciding to play.

>239 EBT1002: >240 maggie1944: I would love to get to a Seattle meetup this summer! You two are the only two LT'ers I've met, and it was a Very Good Thing.

Apr 24, 9:48am Top

Hi Janet!

Good luck on indoor activities with the weather you're supposed to get this week!

Apr 24, 10:41am Top

>241 msf59: >242 BLBera: Born a Crime was amazing. Thanks for the kind words. Mark, I'm sure your warbling helped convince me to read it. Beth, You'll enjoy it! I know you will!

>243 ronincats: Hey Roni! I sincerely hope the snow stays up in the mountains! It's cloudy and rainy here today and is predicted to be that way all week. When the clouds lift a bit, I can see the snow line has come down the mountains and is creeping towards the valley.

>244 streamsong: Wow Karen! That was fast! You sneaked in while I was debating my next post. You have a good day, too!

Edited: Apr 24, 10:46am Top

Stuff this week:

Bookclub on Thursday when I'm supposed to lead the discussion on Homegoing. I'm about half done with it. I'm enjoying it, but we'll see what the club thinks. I know at least one friend wasn't crazy about it - found all the points of view hard to get into.

Have an appointment with an accountant to work on tax stuff for Mom's estate. I may put this off until next week. :-) since I don't have everything together yet. It seems Mom's retirement community did not forward a lot of the statements I need.

I am looking at campers. Pure escapism. :-) But this is so cute:

It's a hard sided tent trailer. (Yay! I feel safer from crazies with large knives when I have metal between me and them!). Folds down teeny tiny but has bed, table, cooktop, oven, microwave, fridge,AC, heater, a place for an outdoor stove and, while it doesn't have a potty, it does have an outdoor shower. It also is wired to add solar energy. And it's not very expensive. Considering.

My ladies' hiking group is having a camping weekend starting Friday night. It's too cold (for me at least!) to camp without a camper. I'm considering renting one - a trailer not the tent trailer which isn't available to rent - just to see how I like it. I wonder how much I'd honestly use a camper.

Also it looks like my new mare finally has all the paperwork done and is ready to come home. Here is a photo of 'Sunday Mortgage' with a previous foal:

Apr 24, 11:03am Top

>247 streamsong: That is a cute trailer, Janet!
I would like to try a camper or a trailer, but my husband prefers spending vacation in an appartment or hotel.
The only people I know who use campers regular are the ones who frequent dog shows.

The mare looks sweet, how do you call her color, is it chestnut?

Apr 24, 1:38pm Top

Hiya, Janet.

I thought Homegoing was really good. I hope it's a success with your book club. You and Mark have convinced me on Born a Crime. We're going to do it on audio on a car trip.

>239 EBT1002: Love Ellen's story of playing catch with a dolphin!

Apr 24, 7:31pm Top

>247 streamsong: I'd love to get one of the Alto Safari ultralights, but there's an 18 month waiting list on those. I may take a look at the Little Guy--one of the models where the kitchen is inside instead of on the back.

Apr 24, 8:07pm Top

>232 streamsong: I am going to have to see if I can find a copy of Born a Crime as I have seen nothing but excellent reviews of it.

Apr 25, 10:51am Top

>248 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Yes, nice comfy hotel rooms are also wonderful and have a great attraction. Dog show and horse show people also use campers here in the States but they tend to be big huge things that cost heaps and piles of money. :)

I live in an area surrounded by National Forest, lakes and wilderness so there would be lots of camping opportunities.

Yes, the mare has a very kind eye, doesn't she? She could be called chestnut or sorrel. Some people will debate the difference. I tell myself that buying her is actually the first step in reducing the number of horses I have. :-)

>249 jnwelch: Hi Joe - The further I get into Homegoing, the more I like it.

I think Born a Crime would work really well on a car trip. Great idea!

And I agree that Ellen's story was wonderful!

>250 thornton37814: Hi Lori - It's fun that you are also looking at small campers. I haven't seen the Alto campers - I googled and they don't seem to be in this area. With that kind of waiting list, they probably won't be expanding into new territory too quickly. :-)

I've also looked at the T@G campers. There is a very nice used one with the rear kitchen for sale locally.

I love the idea of a camper - I'm just not sure if I would use it enough to justify the $$

>251 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I think you'll enjoy Born a Crime. I haven't seen anyone here on LT who has disliked it, which is really unusual.

Edited: May 1, 11:47am Top

26. The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero - Timothy Egan - 2016
- ROOT #9/50; acq'd 2016; 1 ROOT point = 21/225;
- listened to audiobook from library

Living in Montana, I knew Thomas Meagher through the eyes of Montana history. He was Montana's first governor, seen as a drunkard and a wastrel, not to be taken seriously, who died probably through his own drunkenness. I thought the statue of Meagher, erected by Butte's Irish miners in front of the State Capital Building, was a conundrum and a bit of a joke. It depicts Meager on horseback, sword in hand.

Timothy Egan's latest narrative non-fiction tells a different story. I had no idea that Meagher is revered as an Irish champion and a Civil War hero.

Thomas Meagher was born in Ireland, the heir of the ancient Waterford estate, still a rich and powerful family in Ireland under the British rule.

He was enraged by the British treatment of the Irish during the Potato Famine. This was a time when a million Irish died of starvation, another millions more died of disease or fled the country in what came to be known as 'coffin ships'. Yet during this time, Ireland was still exporting food to Britain – including grains, and meat in quantities which would have easily ended the starvation. The Irish worked in the fields of their British landlords, producing this food in a system that bore a strong resemblance to slavery. In exchange for their work, they were given small plots of land to raise food for themselves. These plots were small enough that the only crop productive enough to feed a family was potatoes. So when a devastating new blight rotted the potato plants in the fields, their subsistence crop was gone and the Irish had no access to the crops they were growing for their British landlords.

Enraged by this callous treatment that was causing the loss of so many lives, Meagher and others began calling for Irish Independence, in a movement that came to be known as The Young Irish Rebellion. Meagher, as one of the leaders, was betrayed, caught and sentenced to execution. At the last minute, Meagher's sentence was commuted to banishment for life from Ireland and his ancestral estates. He was transported to the Australian penal colony of Tasmania.

His life there was fascinating as was his subsequent escape to America.

Once in the United States, it became clear that the Irish were held in contempt. It was partly to alleviate this feeling and bring honor to the Irish name, that Meagher organized the Irish regiment that fought for the North in the US Civil War. With Meagher as general, the regiment was pivotal in many important battles. But however well and nobly they fought, and even honored by President Lincoln himself, there was still strong prejudice against them in many parts of the popular press and US society.

After the war, Meagher headed to Montana Territory. He dreamed of establishing an Irish homeland there, much as the Mormons had done in Utah. He was appointed the first governor of Montana. However, he immediately fell afoul of the Vigilantes, who believed they had the law in their hands and who were both anti-Catholic and as anti-Irish.

After numerous death threats from the Vigilantes, Meagher mysteriously fell from a steamboat on the Missouri River, and, although a strong swimmer, apparently drowned in a few feet of water. His body was never found.

Thomas Dimsdale, a prominent member of the Vigilantes and author of the subsequently popular book The Vigilantes of Montana, was the one to write Meagher's history in Montana. Not until I heard Timothy Egan speak and then read this book, did I realize the different version of Meagher's life, and understand that his reputation in Montana may have been carefully crafted by political enemies.

Apr 25, 12:24pm Top

Wow! I found myself really caught up in your review. Can't wait to read that one!

Apr 25, 2:40pm Top

Hi Janet and happy Tuesday!

Boo, flunk, to estate stuff - I'm ramping up on it now, myself.

Yay Sunday Mortgage. She's a pretty girl.

And that kind of camper is very functional and, as you say, it's good to have metal between you and potential crazies.

Interesting review of the book about Montana's first governor. I'll have to mention this book to my friend Karen, who lives in Belgrade.

Apr 25, 3:31pm Top

Great review, Janet, I will put the Egan book on hold today!
Lots of fun plans going on in your world....mare....camper....camping. Sounds very good!

Edited: Apr 26, 11:02am Top

>254 countrylife: Hi Cindy! Hope you like it! I've been happy with all the NNF I've read by Timothy Egan. This one just struck a little closer to home.

>255 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Happy Wednesday! Actually, the time Meagher was in Montana was a pretty short period of his rather amazing life. It was eye-opening for me. I hope your sister enjoys it.

Yeah, lots of dreaming going on. Retirement is fun! I also have the feeling that it should be sooner-rather-than-later on some of the more physical stuff that I want to do. Now, if only I could come up with unlimited funds (and energy!) to do all this ....

Boo on estate stuff. I'm supposed to meet with an accountant today, but I think I'll cancel and give myself two more weeks. I've made progress getting missing financial documents together for Mom's income taxes, but I think her retirement community was very bad about what they forwarded.

>256 mdoris: Hope you enjoy it, Mary! I can see why Meagher has been the honorary grand marshal of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade. An interesting life, largely unsung outside of the Irish community.

Apr 26, 10:19am Top

Good morning, Janet!

I feel the same way about retirement - unlimited funds and energy would be great. Getting older isn't for sissies.....

Apr 29, 10:30am Top

I also was attracted to the Timothy Egan book, and bought it. Unfortunately, at t his minute I'm not sure if it is still on my shelves or if it got caught up in the great "sell off the books" frenzy I have had. I sold a great many TBR books because I just realized it was foolish to hang on to so many books in such a small space as I have now. I have a library within walking distance, we have the mobile library which visits our community with books once a month, and I also have a used book store within walking distance, and then to make it even better I have a B&N and the main public library within a short drive. So, I really do not have to store all the books I might get to reading.... some ..... day.

I think I will get to the book, but can't say when. Sigh.

Apr 30, 10:35am Top

Hi Janet - I love the little camper. It is very cute. If I camped...

I'll be interested in your book group's comments on Homegoing.

I hope spring is arriving.

The Egan books looks great.

Edited: Apr 30, 12:54pm Top

>258 karenmarie: Happy weekend, Karen! I am finally getting back to Bleak House. It's not that I'm not enjoying it, but somehow I got buried in library books that I only had for short times and really wanted to read.

>259 maggie1944: I think you'd really enjoy the Egan book, Karen. I know you enjoy history.

I understand how you feel about the towering pile of TBR books. I'm going to make a true effort for the rest of the year to read off my shelves. (Nobody has ever heard me say that before, right?) So many wonderful books. Every time I visit threads, the list gets longer and longer.

>260 BLBera: Hello Beth! Spring is arriving, although very slowly. My women's hiking group did a camp out this weekend. I did not camp, but I went up for the potluck last nigh. As soon as the sun went down, it was COLD! Cold enough that I wish I had had my winter coat cold. I loved sitting around the camp fire and gabbing away but it was really nice to come home to my nice warm house. Ginny, the elderly wonder dog came with me, and I think she was glad to get into the warmth, too.

We had a great discussion of Homegoing at the book club. Amazingly enough, there was a gentleman there who had not only lived in Ghana, but had done his PhD on the missionary societies and their affects in Ghana. Fortunately, he really liked the book, and thought it an accurate portrayal of Ghana. He had also worked as a social worker in New York City. Wow. It was pretty amazing. It made my job of being the designated leader very easy. :)

Apr 30, 12:58pm Top

Friday I did my first stint as a volunteer at a Therapeutic Riding Program. I am lowly 'side-walker' in training - meaning that for the most challenged riders a person walks along each side of the horse by the rider's leg in case something happens. There is a third person that leads the horse. Wow! The riders were all so happy to be up on the horses. It was a wonderful experience. Right now everyone is training hard for the Special Olympics in a couple weeks, so volunteers are in big demand.

I'll try to get my new thread up tonight.

I'm also trying to finish both Among the Creationists for the CultureCat challenge and Relish: My Life in the Kitchen today.

Apr 30, 1:23pm Top

Happy Sunday, Janet. Great review of The Immortal Irishman. Big Thumb! I will have to move this one up in the stacks. I love Egan.

I am so glad Homegoing was a hit at the book club. One of my very favorite books of last year. What a debut.

And hooray for the Therapeutic Riding Program. Sounds like a wonderful project.

Apr 30, 2:39pm Top

Janet, I volunteered at a Therapeutic Riding Program near here a few years ago. It was fun, but I did not have the strength I needed to continue. Even walking at the head of the horse in the hot summer afternoons was more than I could handle comfortably. But I did enjoy trying.

May 1, 11:04am Top

>26 scaifea: Hi Mark! I think you'll enjoy The Immortal Irishman. Thanks for the thumb.

The Therapeutic Riding Program was lots of fun - great riders and great people.

>264 maggie1944: Hi Karen - Thanks for stopping by! I didn't know you had done that - too cool! It's a small program with all the lessons in an indoor arena and so far, lessons are done by 2 pm. I'm hoping that means it won't be too hot ... we shall see. Also the sawdust in the arena is not very deep - harder on the horses, easier walking for the humans.

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