Joe's Book Cafe 2017 Door 8
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Top 5's for 2016
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Honorable mentions: A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (hard to leave this out of the top 5), Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (ditto), Dodgers by Bill Beverly (ditto - I guess that's going to be true for all of these), A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson, Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, and others, but I'd better stop there.
Evicted by Matthew Desmond (remarkable, outstanding, please read it)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (and his wife)
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard
Honorable mention: Create Dangerously by Edwidge Danticat, Dead Boys by Adriana Ramirez (novella-length), In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan, Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre, Waterloo: The History of Four Days by Bernard Cornwell
Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison
The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Honorable mention: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Without: Poems by Donald Hall
Cold Mountain by Han Shan
Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
Neon Vernacular by Yusef Komunyakaa
Natural Birth by Toi Derricotte
Honorable Mention: Strike Sparks by Sharon Olds, The Swallows by Adriana Ramirez, Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
The Poet's Dog by Patricia Maclachlan
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Honorable Mention: On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder,
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Mysteries and Thrillers
Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley
Darktown by Thomas Mullen
His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham
Honorable Mention: I Shot the Buddha by Colin Cotterill, Night School by Lee Child, An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson, The Gods of Gotham (wonky touchstone) by Lyndsay Faye
March: Book Three by John Lewis
Super Mutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
Velvet Volume 3 by Ed Brubaker
Saga Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Missed Connections by Sophie Blackall
Honorable Mention: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Omnibus by Philip K. Dick and Tony Parker, Sleeper Omnibus by Ed Brubaker, Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, How to Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman
1. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham
2. Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon (poetry)
3. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
4. Love Story with Murders by Harry Bingham
5. Four Swans by Winston Graham
6. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
7. Tell Me by Kim Addonizio (poetry)
8. Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love
9. A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install
10. The Dead House by Harry Bingham
11. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
12. Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano
13. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
14. The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Stephen Mitchell
15. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
16. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
17. City by Clifford Simak
18. Eggtooth by Solia Carrock
19. The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer
20. A Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
21. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
22. Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor
23. Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer
24. The Dry by Jane Harper
25. I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio De Giovanni
26. The Simple Truth by Philip Levine (poetry)
27. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace!!!
28. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
29. Away with Fairies by Kerry Greenwood
30. The Sandman Omnibus Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman*
31. News of the World by Paulette Jiles
32. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris*
33. Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold
34. Nightmare in Pink by John D. MacDonald
35. The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey
36, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker (poetry)
37. The Assault by Harry Mulisch
38. Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
39. Scriptorium by Melissa Range (poetry)
40. World of Edena by Moebius*
41. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
1. Jessica Jones Pulse by Brian Michael Bendis
2. The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan
3. Whiteout by Greg Rucka
4. Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt
5. Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
6. The White Donkey Terminal Lance by Maximilian Uriarte
7. Paper Girls Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
8. Ms. Marvel Vol. 6 by G. Willow Wilson
9. The Flight of the Raven by Jean-Pierre Gibrat
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson and Denise Mina (re-read)
11. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larrson and Denise Mina (re-read)
*Also graphic novels
OK, here's an odd Joe poem.
Van Gogh Frenzy
I. Barely Visible
When asked I
Sidestep of power,
Slight, if any,
From afar, or even closer.
II. A Walk in the Wild
Here's the blazing
I wish, I walk
Down the pathway
Screaming, I mean
Seeing - each tree
Gnarling into the
Ear, I mean air - with
Digits trembling like
Exultant misers caressing
Heaps of golden glinting coins,
Xylophone shimmers of wild
Hopped-up squirrels who
Race the branches to
Hurl themselves into the
Vibrating summer air
Cavorting in ecstasies of
Muscle and power
While beneath them
Moshing dogs snarl and
Yap and leap and gnash their
Jaws with dreams of
While the grass starts to
Turn bright yellow of
All things to sizzle and
Snap, and the many
Coats of many colors
Mash together under the
Tin tube pressure like
Gooey thick tawny smears of
Paste crushed onto
That chance to
Explode outward, to
Disperse utterly I tell you, the
Creaking, cracking, fiber-bound, blood-
Pumping yearning trying to
Whippy exhilaration, I mean,
Acceleration, hurting, I mean,
Hurtling, into the blue
Air strewn with jet tails and
Frayed feathers and always the
Howling gees pushing flat
Absurd back over
Smackered masses of
Pulsing globules, of
Endless glob hues
Splashing, smashing, thrashing
Into this world, into our yearning
World, spattered, samba-ed,
Salsa-ed, mega-pumped, entirely
III. Back Again, Gone Again
There's a need somewhere to
Slow down, to
Dissemble, I mean, reassemble, and
Diminish. Reduce. Lull.
Avoid all hospitals, of all kinds.
Smile briefly, mumble pleasantries,
Nicely rounded, barely visible.
I tip my hat, and appreciatively
Turn the corner.
Alone once more.
The orange-spattered trees
Begin to twist, begin to
Clamor, the wind begins to
Whip the raging leaves . . .
Started a new list, I see! And I just happen to be on-line while you did it. Oh lucky me! Does this mean you won't look at my last posts on the previous thread?
Way to go, Benita! As first in the cafe door, you win a great time in Berlin!
I think I responded to your previous posts. Just let me know if I missed anything.
>7 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! I hope you've been having a happy Friday in your beautiful part of the world, and that you have a relaxing weekend.
Happy new thread, Joe!
The toppers looked familiar, so I looked up Jean Girard. Lieutenant Blueberry was by him, loved those when I was young.
Joe--I am really impressed that you read not one but several Georgette Heyers for the challenge!! Happy new thread.
Happy New Thread, Joe! I like the Girard toppers. Nice art work. Looking forward to the GN.
I will be back to check out your poem...
Happy new one Joe.
Digits trembling like
Exultant misers caressing
Heaps of golden glinting coins,
I like that.
>14 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Yeah, I've been a Moebius fan for long time. His World of Edena just came out in the USA after all these years. Really cool art (no surprise) so far.
>15 Morphidae:. Ha! No worries, Morphy. This poem is probably too ambitious for it's own good. It's about the crazy creativity we have inside us, and the need to act normal in society. Poor Van Gogh saw and painted such a vivid world, but ended up in a mental institution. Was it worth it? To us, for sure. I'm sure he wouldn't have minded more mental peace.
Good instinct on the art. He was in Heavy Metal a lot.
Joe, I see that retirement is agreeing with you. Your reading list is impressive. Infinite Jest is quite an accomplishment all by itself. It took me quite awhile to get through it, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it, even the parts I didn't quite "get"!
I hope you and your lovely wife have a great weekend!
Happy new thread, again! No wonder I can't keep up! Looks like you are getting lots of good reading in. Retirement must agree with you!
Okay, I reread the poem after you said what it was about and finished it. Whoo hoo!
>4 jnwelch: Wow Joe, you ensnared a lot of Vincent in there. He's one of my dearest friends. I walk in his footsteps in London a lot (he visited Dulwich Picture Gallery at least twice we know of) and visited Auvers Sur Oise, the place he spent his last months. His letters are wonderful and well worth your time, what a talent.
I'll see if I can find the poem I wrote about him, and post on my thread this weekend.
>25 Donna828: Hiya, Donna! My lovely wife and I just finished a big shop at the grocery store. She has many creative cooking plans. I'm a lucky guy. We're having a great weekend. Dinner out with friends tonight, and the teen poetry slam (Louder Than a Bomb) tomorrow. Lousy ballgame last night (well, the other team looked terrific, but that's not much solace). Regardless, we had a fun dinner and enjoyed our date.
Retirement does make reading easier, you're right. There's much less having to squeeze it in on commutes and so on. Thanks re the reading and Infinite Jest. The latter is one of the bigger reading mountains to climb, but worth it. I think you have plenty of company for parts you didn't quite "get." I have this strong feeling that there are many Wallace acolytes who pour over IJ again and again, looking for new nuggets of meaning.
>26 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg! Thanks!
Retirement agrees with me big time. :-) Working out, reading, writing, traveling, seeing friends, going to this, that and the other thing with Madame MBH, putting in some community time - love it.
This all would have been hard to imagine when Madame MBH and I started out. We're counting our blessings.
>27 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks for the Babar yoga reminder, Megan. I should be able to find it. My yoga teacher sister has her birthday in April, so it would be perfect.
Yeah, both Ellen and Mark recommended The Assault, and that's a duo I find hard to resist. It's easy to see why they did, too - it's very good, and the resolution is satisfying and quite thought-provoking.
>28 Morphidae: Oh good, Morphy. Thanks for finishing the poem; that definitely deserves some tater tots, don't you think?
Now I need to figure out how to better clue people in to that inside the poem. It's one that's been on my mind for a while, and it's finally in the right general shape. One thing I need to do is make it a big clearer what's going on with this guy. The Van Gogh reference in the title isn't enough, I don't think.
>29 Caroline_McElwee: Perfect, Caroline. I consider Vincent a friend, too, and think about him a lot. I would like to read the letters some day. Can't wait to see your poem!
Mine for some reason has a very rev'd up Vincent - I don't think he had that much propulsion going on inside. So this guy is similar but not the same. We'll see.
*Coming in out of the wind, pulling up a chair, hoping for a nice hot cup of anything*
Beautiful toppers Joe. Sounds like you have a great weekend in store. It's 16 degrees in Boston and my big plan is to hunker down with Lab Girl with a hot beverage. Life has been a little hectic and promises to be more so in the near future (all good, I'm happy to say) so this weekend is unusual with only dinner with friends interrupting my reading pleasure!
>34 laytonwoman3rd: Whoa! You look tousled and ready for a hot drink, Linda. :-)
Let's start with hot tea, and take it from there.
>35 NarratorLady: Thanks, Anne. We're going a little sci-fi with the toppers. It's nice to spend time with Moebius again.
Yes, we've got an excellent weekend going despite the cold. Your 16 degrees is about ten lower than us, so I'll try to refrain from complaining. Definitely a prime day for Lab Girl with a hot beverage. I hope you enjoy LG.
I've got to be honest, those open weekends with only dinner with friends, for example, to interrupt reading pleasure, are my favorites. Enjoy your respite from the hecticness!
>37 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!
Oh, that's great to hear re the poem, my friend. I think it's been a bit of a tough one to decipher for many.
It is a traveling day today. I finished listening to the Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin. He is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and this is another of the excellent mystery series he did set in Istanbul in the 1840's. In this novel I learned more about the Byzantine city and the Hagia Sophia. If I ever visit that city I will appreciate all that the Byzantines did to make it one of the world's great cities.
Today I started listening to Magyk by Angie Sage. This is the first in the Septamus Heap children's fantasy series. So far the narrator of it is doing a great job. There are 7 books in this series so I anticipate listening to them for at least several trips back to Kansas in the future.
Happy weekend, Joe. My one is a gorgeous spring weekend filled with lots of reading in the garden.
Joe--I am still trying to recover from my cold, so I am nestled in my bed, playing on LT and reading my books. Not bad! Wishing you a happy weekend and looks like it already has the makings of one. : )
Curious what you think about Lab Girl, I have not read it but I recently stumbled on a research paper of hers and it was an interesting paper for sure. Totally can relate to an open weekend with lots of reading like that, sounds pretty nice!
>32 jnwelch: Don't change it just on my account. I'm totally oblivious to meaning.
>39 benitastrnad: I really enjoyed The Janissary Tree, and it's probably time to get to The Snake Stone soonish. I also picked up Goodwin's cookbook, Yashim Cooks Istanbul, which looks like fun, even if I never try any of the recipes in it.
>36 jnwelch: Thanks for the tea, Joe. I assume that's one of those bottomless pots, like Mary Poppins's carpetbag...the wind around here today was something else. And the Nor'easter doesn't even hit until Monday!
Happy new thread, Joe! I could use that vehicle in >2 jnwelch:; it would make it so much easier to travel to and from the hospital.
>39 benitastrnad: Safe travels, Benita. I enjoyed the first Jason Goodwin mystery in that series, and I think our daughter carried on with the others. I haven't read the Septimus Heap books, so we'll look forward to your reaction.
>40 Ameise1: Happy weekend, Barbara. I'm envious of your gorgeous spring weekend and reading in the garden. Winter has returned here, even though we explicitly told it not to. Snow is predicted for the next couple of days. Boo! We're ready for spring.
Morning, Joe! Happy Sunday! We are having a birthday party here for Bree & Matt today. Sue is making corned beef and cabbage. One of my favorites.
I hope to squeeze some reading in early. Are you a fan of Russo? I can't warble loud enough about Nobody's Fool. It is such a wonderful novel and I am finding myself laughing out loud on occasion. Yes, that kooky mail carrier.
>41 Berly: Hi, Kim. Sorry you have a cold, but that's the way to make the best of it. Yeah, we're having fun. Hilarious dinner last night at an excellent Italian restaurant called Cafe Lucci. A group of very funny folks, lots of high quality wine picked by our host, and excellent food. (I started with barrata, and had a delicious parmesan-crusted grouper).
Two of the women work with autistic children, and they were fascinating to discuss it with. They, and the kids' parents, consider the kids "gifts to society", bright and remarkable spiritually. They got quite moved just talking about the kids. The question in the two's minds is whether society will appreciate and understand the gifts being given, or treat the kids as useless and ignore-able because they're not "normal".
In a bit we're off to the poetry slam semi-finals.
>42 NarratorLady: Oh, glad to hear the endorsement of Magyk, Anne. I know you've got to take the meh with the good in your narrating, but I'm glad that was a good one for you.
>43 pbirch01: Nice to see you, pbirch01. First time here, yes? Welcome!
I think your comments were directed to NarratorLady. As she knows, I read Lab Girl and loved it.
>44 PaulCranswick: 'Tis going swell, Paul, thanks. Hope you're having a swell weekend yourownself.
>45 Morphidae: Ha! Thanks, Morphy. No worries. I was just sensing that collectively a number of folks were having trouble understanding it. Plenty of poets would care less at that point and would leave it the way it is, and they're not wrong. But I like it when readers can walk inside a poem and understand it. So this (the cafe) can be a bit of a testing ground for that.
>46 laytonwoman3rd: Yes, that's the one I read, too, Linda. The Jannissary Tree. Very good.
That's definitely a Mary Poppins-like bottomless teapot. We had that strong wind here a couple of days ago. I know, we've got the dismal weather coming, too. We'll just use it for some good reading time?
>47 NarratorLady: This lab girl can write! Yes! Isn't she engaging, Anne?
>48 kidzdoc: Ha! Wouldn't it, Darryl? If you've ever seen the movie "The Fifth Element", with Bruce Willis, Mila Jovovich and Gary Oldman, Moebius did the visual design for it with another comics guy, including the "aircabs" that reminded me of this one.
Hope you're getting a bit of chance to relax, my friend.
>50 msf59: Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday, buddy.
Do Bree and Matt have the same birthday? Happy Birthday to the two of them!
We were just talking about corned beef and cabbage last night, believe it or not. It's thought of as an Irish dish, but supposedly (according to this one person, anyway) Irish immigrants picked it up from Jewish delis in NYC because it was inexpensive. I'm not sure - it's definitely an Irish-American dish in terms of prominence, especially on St. Patty's Day, but they do eat it sometimes in Ireland. It's just not a big deal.
>53 scaifea: Morning, Amber!
We haven't had a Becca and Sherlock photo in a while! Here they are in our kitchen.
>58 jnwelch: BIG LIKE!!
Bree's birthday is on the 8th and Matt is on the 20th. It is easier to combine them for the family visit. I think another one or two family members will be included too.
Have a great time at the poetry slam.
Nice photo of Becca and Sherlock, unsurprisingly surrounded by books. Is she sporting new glasses?
>59 scaifea: Aren't they sweet, Amber?
>60 msf59: Ha! Hey, buddy. You know those two!
Makes sense re Bree and Matt. Jesse's is March 27. Great kids all.
The slam has had some good 'uns already. One group piece featured a pill called "Being Black." It's guaranteed to turn you black, but has many potentially serious side effects. Very clever and well done. It got three 10s (The highest score) out of its five scores.
>61 kidzdoc: Hiya, Darryl. New glasses? I'm just her Dad. But her mom isn't sure either. That is a new fur cut (but same fur coat) that Sherlock is wearing.
>62 Berly: Thanks, Kim. Sherlock is always ready to pose for photos. Even when he's asleep.
The full poetry slam report will come after finals. We're very much enjoying semi-finals. This event has grown so much. We're at the Metro, a mid-size concert venue that seats a lot of folks. Finals will be at the much bigger Auditorium theater.
I always tell people that if they're interested, they should watch the "Louder Than a Bomb" documentary. It's this event, won a bunch of film festival awards, and is available on Netflix, among other places. The discerning will be able to spot our son performing on one of the teams, and Madame MBH enjoying it all in the audience.
>52 jnwelch: ahh yes, rookie mistake on my part! Glad you liked it as well, might have to add that to the 2017 list
>58 jnwelch: It's always a good day for a new photo of Becca and Sherlock! They are both looking lovely as usual.
Hey Joe. I love the art; the play of light in the illustrations is really nicely done. And the Joe poem in >4 jnwelch: is delightful. I read it out loud and that worked. :-)
I'm happily settled in San Antonio for my conference. P and I have had some time to explore. Today we went to the missions and the history of the area is so rich and interesting. I checked to see which books have been tagged "San Antonio" on LT and of course News of the World came up along with a series of mystery/suspense novels by Rick Riordan (whom I have not read).
I finished and greatly enjoyed The Warden, my first by Anthony Trollope, and now I'm splitting time between The Confessions of Nat Turner (really well written) and the second in the Peter May Hebrides series, The Lewis Man. The latter is all that a good suspense novel should be!
Have a great week ahead.
Joe, I remembered that I had written something ages ago about a contemporary and pal of V V-G and your poem and Caroline's prompted me to go look for it.
Not a free form or lyrical as you two but more typically wry and cynical as is my wont.
Strickland on the Page in Tahiti
In what gaudy colours
did he daub your life?
The moon, a sepia hued sixpence
cast a tepid pastiche.
Rather than those furrowed lines
upon his face you painted
the native ladies of Papeari.
Were your daubings primitive,
or were you smeared?
The artist's hand placed heart
The author's pen entertained
>67 EBT1002: Hey, great, Ellen. I like the idea of reading the poem out loud. I'm glad you enjoyed it. And the Moebius illustrations. Yes, he use of light really draws me in. And I love his colors. World of Edena is filled with bright colors.
Debbi and I loved our time in San Antonio. It's the first place we had and fell in love with chilaquiles. The river walk is such a pleasure. Enjoy!
I should read some more Anthony Trollope. I liked Barchester Towers, but never went on to read more.
I've never read Peter May, but I have his Blackhouse on the tbr shelf. Have you read others of his?
Good morning, Joe! Hope you weren't hit too badly by this latest blast of winter. It's headed our way now *sob sob sob*
ps Happiest of new threads to you!
>64 jnwelch: We have a similar contest here called Verselandia. My daughter and I went two years ago and I hope to go again this year. How cool that your son and Mrs. MBH were in and watched the filming of "Louder Than a Bomb" documentary! I will have to look for it.
Morning, Joe! I am off today, starting my new rotation cycle, which will end at my Meet-Up weekend. Yah!
Good day to stay indoors with the books. I do have a couple errands to run, plus I am meeting my cousin for lunch, otherwise, it will down in the cozy Man-Cave.
Did you see my question up there about Mr. Russo?
>74 Carmenere: Hiya, Linda. Thanks!
It's annoying to have to shovel the sidewalk and stairs and dig out the car, but we all agree we can't complain too much. This has been a merciful winter for the most part. I hope you don't get hit too hard. I know there are some severe weather possibilities out there.
>75 Berly: Hiya, Kim. Yes, I remember Portland has a slam community, from son #1's time in Seattle. He actually became Seattle's Grand Slam Champion while he was there, and now he's Pittsburgh's Grand Slam Champion - we're proud parents, can you tell? In the "Louder Than a Bomb" documentary, he's the curly-headed kid with glasses on Northside College Prep's team - Adam Gottlieb is featured on the team. You'll love it, I'm thinking.
>76 msf59: Hiya, Mark! That's great - enjoy the day off. Good one to have off! Perfect Man-Cave day.
I did miss your question about Mr. Russo; in fact, it took me a while to track it down. I liked Empire Falls a lot, but never got tempted to read another of his. I'm glad you're enjoying Nobody's Fool. One of his may be enough for me, with all the other good ones out there, but we'll see.
I did get into Tenant of Wildfell Hall much more today, I'm glad to report. I'm enjoying it now.
>77 jnwelch: Impressive!! Thanks for the description o your son--now I can keep an eye out for him when I watch.
I'm on Chapter 3 of Wildfell. I've gotten into the linguistic groove and it's going faster now. : )
>82 Berly: A pleasure, Kim. It's always a good feeling when someone takes an interest in slam poetry. These kids (and no longer kids) pour out their hearts.
We've noticed that in Chicago it's often about race, violence and politics, while in Seattle, while we were there anyway, it was often about gender issues.
I'm not sure what chapter I'm on, but I'm 10% into Wildfell and feel the same way. It's a good linguistic groove, but it took a while for me to adjust.
>85 brodiew2: Good morning, Brodie, and thanks!
Great to have a fellow Moebius appreciator. Agreed - I love his style and use of color, and what an imagination. I'm taking a wild journey with him right now in World of Edena, which just got published in the U.S.
Isn't >84 jnwelch: beautiful? I'm sure that's David Zinn, and I love that he did one in the woods like that.
>87 msf59: Hey, buddy. Squirrels are a lot cuter when they're not raiding your bird feeders, right?
I like >81 jnwelch:, too. I unsuccessfully tried to find one I'd seen where a little girl is looking at a book in joyous amazement, saying, "It's just like TV in your mind!"
I'm glad the writing is excellent so far in The Sympathizer. That's not an author I've been drawn to, but I'll look forward to hearing your reactions.
>88 Morphidae: :-) Glad you enjoyed that one, Morphy. How are things going for you?
>89 alcottacre: Happy Mmphmumble Day, Stasia! Jeez, I could happily get used to seeing you back on the LT campus. Goodbye academics, hello LT! We're all thankful your studies are over. :-)
>90 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Yes, those are two of our favorite crime solvers up there in >58 jnwelch:, Linda. We love Get Fuzzy, too. Our local paper stopped carrying it, so we get our Bucky and Satchel fixes with the collections. One of our favorite Get Fuzzy cartoons is when Satchel falls in love with the lady at the grocery store who gives him free sausages.
>91 jnwelch: I don't want to complain about rehab so let's just leave it at meh. Or perhaps ugh. :D
A late happy Monday, Joe! Squirrels are definitely a problem when you have bird feeder, as we found out. In a townhouse, as we are, I don't want to attract rodents to our backyard - it is so small. My mom and sister, who live together, had a problem this year with their bird feeder. Mice and other rodents made a home in my mom's car , and ate through some soy lined wiring! Apparently soy - lined wiring was the big thing in eco friendly wiring and I think it still might be. Anyway, my mom's Toyota RAV 4 is now kept in the garage! ;) My sister really loves her bird feeder outside her window. She is great for getting all sorts of birds, including humming bird. Her car is older, so it does not have the soy wire lining.
As for The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , I'm going to leave it till later this year. and I''ll refer to the groups notes. They look great!
>84 jnwelch: So cute, I'd almost forgive those squirrels ;)
>86 jnwelch: Unfortunately my laptop is not loading the images of Moebius at present, but I was pleased to finally discover him thanks to reading the wonderful GN biography, The Osamu Tezuka Story, late last year. I loved the story in the intro of World of Edena of how it all started with a comic for Citroën.
>31 jnwelch: Babar's Yoga for Elephants looks fun!
>94 vancouverdeb: It doesn't matter if the wiring is soy lined or not, Deb. Rodents find wiring tasty. When squirrels invaded my last house I was told that they posed a fire hazard as they would eat through the wiring. I also saw one climb up the glass on my picture window. You can't keep those frisky critters down!
>93 Morphidae: I can believe it, Morphy. My sympathy. I hope it's helping. Ughmeh?
Some brownies with pecans to perk up your day, on us:
>94 vancouverdeb: Hiya, Deb. Soy lined wiring? Who knew? I've never heard of mice (and other rodents) doing that before. Glad your mother's Toyota is safely tucked away now.
Your sister's lucky to get hummingbirds. They're fun to watch.
I'm enjoying The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. You'll like it when you get to it, methinks.
Ha! I know, >94 vancouverdeb: makes it hard to dislike squirrels. It always strikes me that we're so used to them scampering around. If some other kind of rodent or raccoon or opossum or whatever shows up, we get jumpy, but squirrels we're used to. And they've generally figured out how to steer clear of us. Except for the temptation of bird feeders. And some learn to eat from people's hands - I wouldn't want to try that one.
>95 avatiakh: Hi, Kerry. I'm sorry the Moebius images aren't loading for you. Weird for that to happen. How does his work figure into The Osamu Tezuka Story? I have to admit, I'm not an Osama Tezuka fan, although I of course respect him. The style just doesn't work for me.
Yes, I love the Citroen story behind World of Edena, too. It started as an internal gift for Citroen employees, but Moebius found the first story triggered his imagination, and he just kept going.
>96 pbirch01: Good for you, pbirch01.
>97 ronincats: Ha! Yes, agreed, Roni. The apple in >94 vancouverdeb: really makes it. David Zinn is good at that. He has some wonderful ones where he plays with fall leaves. Let's see whether I can find one.
>98 Familyhistorian: We just got our hands on a copy of Babar's Yoga for Elephants, Meg, and it's a sweet one. We're giving it to my sister for her birthday.
I didn't know about the appeal of wiring to rodents. We had squirrels inside our roof for a while, and we had to get a pro to get them out of there - and patch the holes. I'm glad they didn't get into the wiring.
>99 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Good to have fellow Get Fuzzy fans. Hmm. Let's find one.
>104 jnwelch: Another "Get Fuzzy" fan here. We still have the comic strip in our newspaper.
>109 jnwelch: Like!
Morning, Joe! Very chilly start to the day. Funny, 30 will probably feel pretty good, once it reaches that temp.
Enjoy your day stay warm and snug.
Morning, Joe! Catching up with you made me smile BIG, Joe! So much fabulous going on in this thread - keep up the good work.
>110 msf59: Morning, Mark! Our trainer called off our workout, so we're warm and snug at home. (I just did a home workout). Thirty degrees sounds pretty good about now, right? It goes up from there, at least for a while.
I hope to get more read in Scriptorium today. Pretty good poetry collection.
>111 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Ha! Giving you a BIG smile is one of our favorite things to do in the cafe. :-) I'm glad you're enjoying it.
>112 Berly: Oh, good, Kim. You're welcome indeed. I'm glad you're loving the artwork and comics. I think that one in >108 jnwelch: is so cool. Perfect for a kids' school ground.
News of the World happens in post-Civil War Texas, in a time when journeying from North Texas down to San Antonio is a long, perilous journey. 72 year old Captain Jefferson Kidd is a former soldier and newspaper publisher who agrees to take a 10 year old girl, ransomed from the Kiowa Indians, back to her aunt and uncle. Unfortunately, her four years as a Kiowa have made her one of them, and part of the challenge is acclimating her to the quite different non-Indian life, something that has proved difficult with other kidnapped children rescued from Indians.
The captain is an honorable man, determined to fulfill his promise. The journey they take together is epic and vivid. The girl, Johanna, is exasperating in her divergent views and practices, but the captain does all he can to protect her and help her. He purchases an old green wagon which has "Curative Waters" on its side, and sets off on the journey many others question.
There's lots of dry western humor, and the two eventually learn to trust each other. Johanna, who struggles with English and thinks stealing chickens is perfectly sensible, turns out to be both brave and clever. Although feeling his years, Captain Kidd is learned and capable of dealing with difficult situations. Their relationship is one of the delights of the book. There are plenty of villains to overcome, and occasional unexpected help.
More than once I thought of the stellar Lonesome Dove. The author, Paulette Jiles, apparently is a rancher herself, and it shows in the striking world into which the reader is drawn.
"Britt smoked and turned to lean on the wagon tailgate and looked back into the dark spaces of the stable with the noise of horses and mules eating, eating, their teeth like grindstones moving one on another and the occasional snort as hay dust got up their noses, the shifting of their great cannonball feet."
“Above and behind them the Dipper turned on its great handle as if to pour night itself out onto the dreaming continent and each of its seven stars gleamed from between the fitful passing clouds.”
This short book packs in a lot of living, and is one of my favorite reads of the year.
Hello, Joe! Love the Bucky moments up there - so funny.
And News of the World is firmly on my list - so many good reviews out there!
This is just a companion to Mark's fine review of My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Based to some extent on Ferris’ experience growing up in Chicago’s Uptown, MFTIM features 10-year-old, monster-obsessed Karen Reyes as, in her trenchcoat, she investigates a woman friend's death in her apartment building. It's declared a suicide, but signs point to murder. There are many intertwined stories, as she begins to better understand her older brother Deeze, who's irresistible to the ladies, and other friends, neighbors, and relatives.
Many are already calling this a masterpiece, and they're right, IMO. I loved the quirky but skillful drawings.
The story is surprisingly deep and wide-ranging. A local newspaper article explained that she sketches people on Chicago's El trains for inspiration, and that's easy to imagine in this book.
One of my favorite parts is the time she spends in the Art Institute with her brother Deeze, talking about various paintings, and even entering some.
If you enjoy graphic novels, you'll want to read this one. If you like reading something different, and seeing a new talent emerge onto the scene, that's reason to give this one a try, too.
>114 jnwelch: hmmm, you are the third person at least who has raved about this book. Trying only to keep it on the list for the time being.
>117 jnwelch: I've not yet got into graphic novels Joe (though I do have three or four in the tbr mountain, which could change all that). As someone who loves art, I'm not sure why I'm holding back. This one certainly intrigues. It could be a while til I get to it, it's selling on Amazon for £71 right now. I notice Volume 2 is out in October.
>118 Caroline_McElwee: Yes, News of the World is worthy of the raves, Caroline. It came out of nowhere for me until I heard about it here on LT. I can't imagine your not enjoying it.
Our libraries are carrying My Favorite Thing is Monsters, but maybe that's not happening across the pond yet. That's expensive on Amazon UK! Thanks for the heads-up on October for Volume 2. Can't wait.
>119 jnwelch: The kindle edition of My favourite Thing is Monsters is selling at £20.99! I think that's the most expensive kindle book I've ever seen.
Good afternoon, Joe! I hope all is well with you.
Here is a question for you: When it comes to books, films, gns, what doesn't work for you, in general? I grew up on super hero comics and,even though I've broadened my perspective a bit, I have real trouble reading black and white comics and those that have art styles that just make it unappealing. I guess this is inspired by the Monsters gn that is getting so much attention around the 75ers. I have no interest and I know it is just my opinion, what is it's appeal and what would not work for you?
>122 brodiew2: Good afternoon, Brodie.
Hmm. What don't I like. I'm not a manga guy, although there are exceptions, like Akira. I've tried Naruto and some of the others, and they just don't work for me. If the realistic art of ones like Lone Wolf and Cub are considered manga, then those would be exceptions, too.
I've drifted away from the super hero comics of my youth (although I still read Dr. Strange). The stories tend to be too simplistic now. Ms. Marvel would be an exception to that, and a couple of others.
I have no problem with black and white comics - e.g. Lone Wolf and Cub and Local. I need a good story these days. My Favorite Thing is Monsters supplies that in spades.
>123 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'm glad you like the reviews. And thanks for the thumbs!
I'm covering ground you and others have covered well already, but I liked both News of the World and My Favorite Thing is Monsters a lot, as you know, so I'm doing what I can to help spread the warbling.
Wasn't that cool with Karen and Deeze at the Art Institute? I hope she does some more of that in the next volume.
Sweet Thursday, Joe. Just waiting on that warm up. Good luck today with those taxes.
>131 jnwelch: Like!
>130 jnwelch: I would like to go there. Even though there's no "there" there.
>108 jnwelch: never underestimate the power of a little girl with a paintbrush
>132 Crazymamie: Hiya, Mamie! Sweet Thursday! I'm glad you got a kick out of >131 jnwelch:.
>133 Caroline_McElwee: :-)
>134 msf59: Sweet Thursday, Mark! Taxes are done, and we rewarded ourselves with lunch at Terzo Piano, at the Art Institute, and then spent some time with the collection. Whistler's Mother is back, and a bunch of the traveling Georgia O'keeffes have returned, and we visited Hopper's Nighthawk and other old friends.
>131 jnwelch: Wow, I think Bucky's channeling me today. No food? I'm going back to bed...
>32 jnwelch: We're gearing the "Tater Tots for Reading Poetry" program up for an international rollout, Megan. Based on early reactions, we believe it can greatly increase poetry reading around the globe. Tater tots are indeed crispy nuggets of deliciousness, well worth becoming their becoming nonfictional for you.
Just spreading the joy with our friend Kim. :-)
>33 jnwelch: Ha! Bucky often expresses my inner thinking, too, Jim. I'll try to post more of his and Satchel's wisdom later today.
Morning, Joe. The Get Fuzzy comics bring a smile to my morning. I am trying to resist the bb's you are shooting with your last two reviews!
>143 Familyhistorian: "Resistance is futile", Meg. Let those bbs have their effect. The books are so good!
I'm back from working out, and will get a Get Fuzzy posted for the delectation of you and the other cafe patrons.
>144 laytonwoman3rd: I know, right, Linda? I can see why the paparazzi are out for the coconut cherry cookies. I'd like a dozen or so meself. Here you go (we can sprinkle more coconut on if you want):
Hi Joe, I started The brothers Karamazov (accidently put it on Marks thread instead of yours), but find it a difficult read. I finished the first part/book of 4 and put it aside for some other reads now. Hope to get back to it next week.
>148 FAMeulstee: You're not alone in finding The Brothers Karamozov difficult, Anita. Good for you for giving it a go. It's brilliant and thought-provoking, IMO. I've read it twice, and will probably do it again some day. Crime and Punishment - also brilliant and thought-provoking, but reading it once was plenty for me.
>149 jnwelch: I remember exactly when and where I was when I read Crime and Punishment, Joe. I was about 26, and read large chunks sitting outside a conference room, in case anything was needed (luckily very little was). I'd read it again. The recently departed John Hurt played Rascalnikov in a BBC dramatisation in the 80s I think.
Haven't yet cracked my copy of The Brothers Karamazov >148 FAMeulstee: Anita. Breath deeply and keep going after your little repose.
>150 Caroline_McElwee: Crime and Punishment is an amazing and must-read book, Caroline, no doubt about it. I read it in high school, and my experience was somewhat soured by a teacher trying to be too clever about it (long story).
The Brothers Karamazov texted, and said they can wait as long as needed.
I also wanted to mention that I did try Above the River: The Complete Poems. I read quite a few of the earlier poems but then I skipped ahead to The Branch Will Not Break. I liked this style better but he is a poet I am having a hard time clicking with, despite some amazing passages. Obviously, I will blame my own ear and inexperience. I wonder if I would appreciate him more, down the road. What do you think?
>156 msf59: In my mind, James Wright at his best comes up with beautiful imagery and plainspoken truths. He's a very Midwestern poet - the Ohio river comes up a lot for him, as far as I remember.
I just found this on the Poetry Foundation website, which says it pretty well.
"Wright's early poems, especially those in his first two volumes, are "too literary, too subservient to the poems and poets of the past," according to Stitt. Other critics noted the elaborate rhymes, complex rhetoric, and traditional use of imagery in these early efforts. As Wright began to experiment "he loosened his forms" and "whittled rhetoric to a succession of intense perceptions," Laurence Goldstein explained in the Michigan Quarterly Review. The result was that his speech became more natural and his settings, Marjorie G. Perloff reported in Contemporary Literature, "are dream images rather than actual places." Paul Zweig of the Partisan Review outlined the impact of Wright's later style: "Long before he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Wright had been acknowledged by a generation of poets as the artisan of a new language for poetry: A style of pastoral surrealism, built around strong images and a simple spoken rhetoric. Wright's art lay not in complex grammar, but in a stark structure of perceptions which became their own statement."
Pastoral surrealism - I like that.
I have several favorites by him, but this one and "Blessing" always come to mind.
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.
* * * *
That last line is a killer. Really? You write a poem this beautiful, and you've wasted your life? You can perceive a world this beautiful, and express it, and you've wasted your life? But there's no question about the sincerity, as he lies there in a hammock at William Duffy's Farm.
But, to answer your question, he may not be for you, or he may not be for you right now. He's definitely not required reading in any LT course I know of. And there are plenty of other poets to explore!
I also read Crime and Punishment in high school, Joe, and loved it, thanks to a great teacher. I am toying with the idea of a re-read for this year.
>114 jnwelch: I just picked that one up at the library last night. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did!
Happy weekend :)
>164 jnwelch: You have to see the size of the stack to truly appreciate the sacrifice, lol
>165 alcottacre: :-) I try to keep my stack from getting too far out of hand, but I'm in one of those stages where I want to be reading about a dozen books all at the same time. I finally crumbled under the warbling pressure and just started A Man Called Ove. Despite everyone else I know really enjoying it, I'm really enjoying it.
Hi Joe, I used to read one book at a time, but with all the great recommendations from here and the different formats, I now find myself reading up to five at a time, usually 1 real book, 1 electronic, 1 by installment, 1 audio and maybe 1 graphic. I also want to second the recommendation you got at >120 NarratorLady: for Nevil Shute's The Pied Piper. It's a wonderful story.
A Man Called Ove is a excellent read, Joe. Enjoy! Lately what has been " calling to me" is chocolate chip hot cross buns from a local bakery. I have resisted so far, but I fear I must try one before the season is gone. Chocolate Chip Hotcross buns do not seem quite right to me, but I love my chocolate ;)
>169 alcottacre: :-)
>170 DeltaQueen50: I appreciate the second endorsement of Pied Piper, Judy. It does look awfully good, and I've added it to the WL.
As you can tell, I juggle multiple books now, too (traditional, Kindle, poetry, and graphic novel usually), and I also jump around more sometimes - both Norse Mythology and A Man Called Ove jumped the queue, for example. LT is like a candy store - I keep turning around and finding more I want to take with me.
>171 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Jeez, I can't say I absolutely loved Crime and Punishment. Kind of like trying to absolutely love creepy Edgar Allen Poe stories for me. Raskolnikov is unforgettable, but I'm sure he could hear a heart pounding under the floor.
The Brothers Karamazov is more challenging to read, but very rewarding, IMO.
>172 Ameise1: Oh, so sorry, Barbara. I was caught up in telling Meg resistance to bbs is futile, and must have cross-posted with your >145 Ameise1:. I haven't had that particular problem in a long time (I've learned to catch them, for the most part).
Happy Friday, and Happy Saturday! I hope you're having a relaxing weekend. I'm sure you could use some normalcy for a while.
I'm glad you liked The Brothers Karamazov when you read it. I know there are folks it doesn't work for, but it sure did for me.
>173 vancouverdeb: I'm thoroughly enjoying A Man Called Ove, Deb. A curmudgeon with a heart of gold - irresistible.
Chocolate chip hotcross buns? That's a new one to me, but the staff says yes, they can do it.
Oh my. Those do look good. Glad they made a lot.
>158 jnwelch: I love that Wright poem, Joe! There were a few that I really engaged with and many that sailed right over this amateur's head. Later time, perhaps?
Happy Saturday, my friend. I am so glad you caved in to warbling pressure and started Ove. It really is a treat.
Working today and then a wedding tonight. Full day.
>175 jnwelch: Never mind, Joe. I'm currently overseen regulary especially by my student teachers who should keep me posted regulary. *sigh*
Tea and orange scones, please, Esteemed Prop.? My eyes are grainy and my nose twitchy. I need the cure!
>177 msf59: Oh, good, Mark. Isn't that one great? A bunch of my favorites of his are given here: https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~cinichol/CreativeWriting/423/WrightJames.htm
I particularly recommend "Outside Fargo, North Dakota" and "Beginning". Later for your digging into him makes sense to me.
Hope work is A-OK, and that you have a great time at the wedding. We're off to the LTAB slam finals tonight at the Auditorium Theater. High energy!
>178 Ameise1: Love that street art, Barbara, thanks. I'm glad you're getting good help from the student teachers and others.
>179 laytonwoman3rd: It's that time of year, I think, Linda, for grainy eyes and twitchy noses. Here you go!
>182 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Glad that worked, Linda. I always like glaze on my scones (which I see more in the U.S. than overseas).
People mock the South wherever I pass through.
It's so racist, so backward, so NASCAR.
I don't hate it, but they all do.
As if they themselves marched out in blue,
they're still us-themming it about the Civil War,
mocking the South, wherever it is (they've never passed through).
It's a formless humid place with bad food (except for BBQ) -
the grits, slick boiled peanuts, sweet tea thick as tar.
I don't hate it, but they all do,
though they love Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, the B-52s.
The rest of it can go ahead and char.
People mock my Southern mouth wherever I pass through,
my every "might could have" and "fixin' to,"
my flattened vowels that make "fire" into "far."
I don't hate how I talk, where I'm from, but they all do
their best to make me. It's their last yahoo
in a yahooing world of smear, slur and mar.
People mock the South, its past. They're never through.
I'm damned if I don't hate it, and damned if I do.
* * * *
I received Scriptorium by Melissa Range as an ER book. A scriptorium was a room where monks copied and illuminated (illustrated) manuscripts, like the Lindisfarne Gospels.
This is a topnotch collection of poetry. Range is polished and adept with poetic forms, and the scope of her exploring is impressive. Many of the poems involve spirituality, and particularly Christianity. As a non-Christian, I found these thought-provoking, and neither clubbish (do you have your membership card) or pedantic. Several of these poems, I learned in the interesting notes at the end, have been included in spiritual anthologies. (I didn't even know there were spiritual anthologies out there).
She is fascinated by the process of illuminating manuscripts, including the creation of the pigments used, as shown in this excerpt from "Shell White":
The monk grinds bleach from mollusk-carapace,
pestles his basket of beach-combed sea-crumbs
so limed hides might beam brighter for the Lamb.
Before he paints incipit, interlace,
he blenches before the page as if it were the face
that he might hope to glimpse in prayer, numb
within the blizzard of love that strikes dumb
the heart, shell-shocked before the story's grace.
* * * *
Some of my favorites involve her hillbilly background, like "Regionalism", up above. In "Crooked as a Dog's Hind Leg" she leaves that mountain country by "crooking/ down switchbacks that crack the earth/ like the hard set of the mouth/ women are born with where I'm from."
Other poems address such diverse topics as the WWII Navajo code talkers, the Celts rebellion against the Romans, and the original Beowulf. This is a very bright woman with a graceful poetic touch, and she's created a beautiful collection here. Upon finishing, I immediately added her first one, Horse and Rider, to my WL.
Apparently they put 100 chocolate chips in each hot cross bun. Perhaps I'll have to purchase a couple and count the chocolate chips for accuracy? ;) I'd never heard of it either . A quality control purchase?
>184 jnwelch: I can't read that poem without calling to mind Quentin Compson in conversation with his Yankee roommate, Shreve, in Absalom, Absalom!:
(Shreve)'"Now I want you to tell me just one thing more. Why do you hate the South?"
"I dont hate it," Quentin said, quickly, at once, immediately; "I dont hate it," he said. I dont hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron New England dark: I dont. I dont! I dont hate it! I dont hate it!"
Methinks they both protest too much.
>150 Caroline_McElwee: >151 jnwelch: wow, Crime and Punishment in high school. Our high school would never have tackled that. We did have to sit through Shakespeare though, I read a part from King Lear. Maybe it was Laertes (I have mucked this up here before, and been corrected, so clearly I can't recall it properly.)
>184 jnwelch: I like the poem "Regionalism", it reads nicely (in my head- which I think counts).
>181 jnwelch: If my oven worked, I would be inspired by your glazed orange scones to make my semi-famous buttermilk and date scones. They are so melt-in-your-mouthy.
I started and finished News of the World, Joe. I am glad I moved it up the stack! Thanks for the encouragement to do so!
>158 jnwelch: Oh gosh, Joe, I LOVE that poem. That last line is incredible.
>188 Caroline_McElwee: I know what you mean about school colouring one's view of Shakespeare. I was lucky that my English Lit teacher was able to convey her enthusiasm in a genuine and inspiring way. Early visits to watch the play you are studying of course helps too.
>184 jnwelch: Melissa Range looks like one to look out for Joe.
I looked at a lovely edition of The Brothers Karamazov while at Powell's yesterday. It really was lovely but I resisted.
>184 jnwelch: I love that poem. Being originally from the south, it resonates for me. I do know that there are some reasons to feel about the south the way many folks feel about the south, but I love how the poem addresses the internal and internalized tension... and the overgeneralizing we all do regarding any and all regions.
It looks like a collection worth owning. I will keep an eye out for it.
Happy almost Monday, Joe!
Joe, I tried my quality control experiment with the Chocolate Chip Hot Cross bun today! Purchased one and bit into it. Too sweet and I did not like it. Perfect! Craving solved and no weight gain! :)
Been a bit of an odd weekend for the Welches, with an unexpected family development that is turning out not great, but okay, interspersed with a high energy poetry slam final Saturday night and a wild Blackhawks hockey game last night, with them winning by scoring 5 goals in the third period. Madame MBH performs at a storytelling event tonight.
Not much reading going on, but I'm still enjoying A Man Called Ove and Norse Mythology.
>185 vancouverdeb: The things we learn, Deb. I've never heard of requiring exactly 100 chocolate chips. I'm still trying to count these for the next batch.
>186 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. I'm no Faulkner expert, as you know, but that seems a bit harsh for Melissa Range. From what I've read, she's earned the poem.
I remember initially feeling a bit like a fish out of water as a Midwestern boy going to an Eastern college, and most of us have probably had that feeling somewhere along the line. The poem also makes me think about my assumptions about the south, and how the south is changing and isn't changing. Madame MBH and I know lots of liberals who have moved to North Carolina, for example, but it still is a very illiberal state. And I have never understood people who like to watch cars race around an oval track, like NASCAR, but that's not limited to the south.
>187 Ireadthereforeiam: Ha! Yeah, I grew up in a college town (Ann Arbor), Megan. So even though I was in public school, they had us reading Crime and Punishment and all sorts of challenging stuff. Our daughter ended up reading King Lear four times, twice in high school here in Chicago, and twice in college. The last time was when she was able to do a college semester abroad in London, at St. Mary's, and she was amazed by how many classmates hadn't read King Lear. She figured reading major Shakespeare plays, including King Lear, had to be an education staple there, but not so.
I'm glad you like "Regionalism". One of the things that impressed me is that, for all its informal references, it's a form poem. If you look at the line ends, you can see the internal rhyming going on. I want to remember to ask Paul if he knows what form she's using.
Your semi-famous buttermilk and date scones! Oh my. I'm ready to be your taste-tester.
>188 Caroline_McElwee: Good point, Caroline. My love of Shakespeare developed long after school, and I wasn't taught him much in school. Now, thanks in particular to the excellent Chicago Shakespeare Theater (bless you, Barbara Gaines), I've seen most of the plays more than once.
I did have a high school English teacher, Andrew Carrigan, may he rest in peace, who helped kindle my enthusiasm for poetry.
>189 alcottacre: Oh good, Stasia! Isn't News of the World great? What a refreshing read. I'm very glad it worked well for you. Thanks for giving it a try.
>190 scaifea: Isn't that a spectacularly good poem, Amber? I love "Sitting in a Hammock" every time I read it. That last line knocks the breath out of you, doesn't it. And the rest reminds us (or me, at least) how vivid life is around us.
>191 PaulCranswick: Good teachers can make such a difference, can't they, Paul. It reminds me that I'm baffled by how poorly we pay them at the pre-college level, at least in the States.
Isn't Melissa Range impressive? Paul, do you have any idea what form she's using in the poem "Regionalism" in >184 jnwelch:?
>192 EBT1002: Don't resist next time you see a lovely edition of The Brothers Karamasov, Ellen! Just kidding - if we didn't resist, at least some of the time, all of us would be penniless.
I'm glad you love "Regionalism", and that it resonates for you. I had no idea you originally were a Southerner. Yes, over-generalizing, good way to put it. We too often come in with expectations. I'll bet the Hillbilly Elegy author has experienced this, too.
It is a collection worth owning. I'm very happy I asked for the ER Scriptorium, as I hadn't read her before. Now I'm going to get my hands on her first one.
There are so many good poets out there that I don't know! It boggles my mind sometimes. But I remind myself the same is true of other types of writers. I hadn't read Candice Millard for example, until recently, although at least I'd heard of her.
All caught up with you, Joe, and sorry to hear about the "unexpected family development that is turning out not great". Keeping you in my thoughts.
Lovely review of Scriptorium - adding my thumb to your review and placing it on the list.
>196 jnwelch: I'm sure you're right, Joe. I am not familiar (mea culpa) with Melissa Range. But the "I don't hate it" phrase brought poor Quentin and his tormented Southern psyche inevitably to my mind. And, naturally, I'm always ready to toss Faulkner into the conversation, you know!
Howdy Joe! such an imaginative selection of graphic art/ urban art? whatever it's called it's truly amazing!
I want to read News of the World sometime soon. There's just sooooo many good books out there!
>202 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie! The family development is not really my story to tell, or I'd say more, but it's turning out okay, all things considered. Unfortunately, none of us gets to stick around forever.
Oh, I'm glad you liked the Scriptorium review. Kind of a goofy format for it, so I'm glad it made some sense. Thank you for the thumb!
>203 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. It was a mixed weekend. Parts of it were truly great, parts of it were sad. So it goes.
>204 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! I'm sure you've got as many Faulkner-related figurines and t-shirts and so on as I do for Totoro, Linda. Or is that just my own kind of craziness? (I do have Jane Austen and Shakespeare action figures, too).
>205 Carmenere: Howdy, Lynda! I've seen it called graphic art, urban art, street art, public art and I'm sure more. I'm used to calling it street art, and when you're looking to see some in a tour in a city, that's what it's normally called. I'm glad you like it! I'll probably post another one today.
I know, I'm in one of those time periods where I'm running off in a whole lot of reading directions all at once, there are so many ones I want to read. I'm trying to slow down to one step at a time. I will say both A Gentleman in Moscow and News of the World jumped the queue for me, because so many of our savvy 75ers enjoyed them - and I'm really glad both did. Superb, each of them.
>207 jnwelch: I know, I'm in one of those time periods where I'm running off in a whole lot of reading directions all at once, there are so many ones I want to read. I'm trying to slow down to one step at a time. I will say both A Gentleman in Moscow and News of the World jumped the queue for me, because so many of our savvy 75ers enjoyed them - and I'm really glad both did. Superb, each of them.
both those on my radar for this year as well. I also have to fit in the one...oh what was its name...Plainsong!
I don't have anything to add to the conversation except to say that my hotel here in Berlin is lovely, and I am very tired. I toured the Reichstag and the area around the Gendarmenmarkt plaza. That is beautiful and Rick Steves is spot on when he recommend the Fassbender & Rausch chocolate store. He has the same three words to say about the store and cafe that I do - erupting chocolate volcano. Do either of us need to say more?
I didn't know anything about the small hotel chain in Berlin named Victor's Residenze Inn but I got deal on a room here and it is a wonderful place to stay.
>207 jnwelch: "Faulkner-related figurines and t-shirts " Well, now, let's see. A Yoknapatawpha County Fair t-shirt, another T-shirt with the man's caricature on it, a Faulkner pot-belly figurine, a cube with photos and book covers on each side, a miniature facsimile copy of The Hamlet, a mug that says "Go Faulkner Yourself", a decal on the back window of my car that says "Got Faulkner?"...
>209 weird_O: That's a fun one, Bill, thanks. They could have "draped" the whole building with that as far as I'm concerned.
>210 brodiew2: Ha! I do think you'll like A Gentleman in Moscow and News of the World if you can get to them, Brodie. And Plainsong - what a great idea! I remember that as being a really good one. :-)
>211 benitastrnad: Sounds great, Benita. Glad you're having a good time in Berlin. "Erupting chocolate volcano"? You're right, what more need be said?
It helps so much when you have a wonderful place to stay when you've worn yourself out exploring the city. Good to hear that worked out so well. We look forward to hearing more about your adventures.
>212 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Now we're talkin', Linda! "Got Faulkner?" - love it.
>213 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! Since I'm a slowpoke, Happy Tuesday!
>214 msf59: Isn't >184 jnwelch: great, Mark? Yes, give Scriptorium a look if you get a chance. She has all the signs of a young, major force.
Happy Birthday to Matt! I'll bet you guys had a good time.
I'm seeing sun out there - we're about to go out. Hope you have a good one.
Morning, Joe! Happy Tuesday. I am off today, so I will be doing some running around. Matt and I, were only out for a little while, just long enough for a couple of beers.
It looks official- Amber is coming to the Meet-Up! Yah!!
>222 msf59: Oh, good, Mark. Morning! Enjoy the day off! A couple of beers with your young guy sounds mighty good to me - we have to travel a long ways to do that with ours.
Wonderful news re Amber! What a treat!
We're heading out for coffee, so I'll be back later.
>209 weird_O: looks like a building I know of in Toronto. I will have to check on that when I get home (I am currently in Montreal).
Your beignets are nothing like the buffet breakfast here at Victor's. It is simply wonderful and I will miss it very much. Tomorrow it is back to Kansas.
Adventures - many. starting with the trip to get here. I was to leave from Lincoln, Nebraska but the plane had mechanical problems so they paid for a taxi for me to go to Omaha. $110.00 one way. I said I would go. I had never been in the Omaha airport. This is a small airport in the middle of the country and I got patted down - thoroughly. Something about the clothes I was wearing made the scanner light up. I had nothing on me. I was sure surprised by that. A lady who had on a skirt got groped - she was angry about it. That TSA woman went up under her skirt on both sides. The woman getting examined was upset and angry. I don't understand what was happening, but I think that something was wrong with those scanners.
Then I got to Amsterdam. There was a strike at both Berlin airports by ground crews so the Berlin airports were closed, but KLM could send me to Dresden or Leipzig and KLM was organizing air transport to Berlin from there. So I did. There were lots of people who were doing the same thing so the KLM desk was very busy. The KLM lady handed me a ticket and I took it. Of course, the gate was clear across the airport from where I was so I hoofed it over there. I never looked at the ticket so it wasn't until I got to Dresden that I found out it wasn't mine. That fact caused problems. But a two hour bus ride to Berlin and I was in my hotel for the night. Without my luggage. It was delivered to Victor's two days later while I was still in Lubeck.
You never know how nice it is to have a full size tooth brush and a clean shirt. Fortunately, I had packed spare underwear in my backpack.
>228 benitastrnad: Wow, what a tough journey, Benita. Good for you for making it through that maze. Thank goodness you like Victor's so much. You deserve it!
>230 jnwelch:, >209 weird_O: - Yes, it is! I am in Montreal now so I just googled. It is officially (or previously) known as the Gooderham Building. The Gooderhams were in the distillery business, I believe. Here is a bit of its history: http://www.aviewoncities.com/toronto/flatiron.htm. The bit about the artwork is at the end of this article.
After some refurbishing, it is now familiarly known as the Flatiron building. I am sure I can find better pics though the one posted in >209 weird_O: is probably as good as it gets. The building has a historic designation.
Toronto has an event every year known as Doors Open, whereby the public is invited to visit buildings in the city that are normally not open to the public. I believe this originated in Europe but Toronto was one of the first North American cities to bring it here. I think it has spread to many cities now. It is over one weekend in the spring and one of those times, several years ago, I went to see the inside of the Flatiron Building. It's very cool and now just houses offices.
>231 vancouverdeb: You got it, Deb. We're going to bring some more out this morning, so come back for seconds. :-)
>232 jnwelch: You look familiar.
>233 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. The Gooderham/Flatiron building. I'll check out the link.
Yes, I think Open Door days started in Europe, too. We keep meaning to do the one in London. Chicago does it in October - called Open House Chicago. It's a great idea, particularly (in my mind) for older buildings. I'm glad you got to see the inside of the Flatiron Building. Our Flatiron Building in the Wicker Park area is filled with artists' studios, which can be seen during the Around the Coyote art festival.
Morning, Joe. Quick check in. Chilly out here. Still in the low 30s. And then 70 on Friday? Nutty...
>196 jnwelch: I love all that chocolate, Joe, but it wasn't me who had the craving for Chocolate Chip Hot Cross buns. I prefer the traditional kind.
I remember initially feeling a bit like a fish out of water as a Midwestern boy going to an Eastern college, and most of us have probably had that feeling somewhere along the line. Ha, I have had that feeling since I was about 5. Guess that's what I get for starting school in Montreal with an English accent and later heading from there to Nova Scotia for higher education. Sometimes it is best to just embrace your difference.
>241 ronincats: The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything was a fun one, Roni. How interesting that MacDonald wrote something so different. Thanks again. :-)
>242 scaifea: Morning, Amber!
>243 Familyhistorian: Oops. Thanks, Meg. I changed it to Deb.
How interesting about school in Montreal and Nova Scotia. I hadn't thought about Montrealers scorning an English accent. Does Nova Scotia, too? I've never been there.
>246 jnwelch: Oh, wow. He held an owl. Was that at a release? I got to release a Merlin at one of those.
And happy birthday to Jesse!
Happy Birthday to Jesse! Love the barn owl. How cool is that?
Morning, Joe! Sweet Thursday. Chilly out here at the moment.
I am enjoying Flight of the Raven. Gorgeous art work. About halfway done.
Good morning, Joe! I hope all is well with you.
I should be finishin up Winterkill by C.J. Box this weekend. It is much better than the second one which I slapped with the Pearl rule.
Hi Joe, and Happy Birthday wishes to Jesse. Isn't it strange how we stay so young and yet our children become full fledged adults! I can hardly believe that my "girls" are in their forties!
>247 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny! He's a great guy, and we miss him a lot. He's about a 7 hour drive from us these days, darn it, but he's happy as a lark in Pittsburgh.
>248 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I hope you get to meet him some day.
>249 Morphidae: Thanks, Morphy! Jesse's holding an owl at a rain forest resort in Australia, somewhat near Brisbane on the east coast. No release - the owls would fly back to their trainer, and we got to hold them like that. Somewhere I've got a scary-brave photo of Madame MBH "holding" (getting an affectionate hug from) a ginormous snake there.
>250 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Isn't that cool? I thought of you when I found that one of him with an owl. I'm glad you got to meet him at the book fair.
Sweet Thursday, buddy. That temperature is climbing - I hope you get some of the warmup effects today.
Isn't the artwork gorgeous in Flight of the Raven? I'm glad you're enjoying it.
>251 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Thanks - I'm hoping Jesse's birthday is full of fabulous, too. He deserves it.
>252 brodiew2: Hiya, Brodie. All is well enough, thanks.
Oh good. Yes, Box gets better with the Joe Pickett series as it progresses, both in terms of better writing and better story development, IMO. I'm glad you've been enjoying Winterkill. I don't think you've met Nate Romanovski yet, have you? Another great character.
>253 scaifea: Ha! Thanks, Amber. He's a sweet fellow, that Jesse.
>254 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Thanks re Jesse. You're right; it is a strange feeling to have the kids become adults, when we don't age at all. I'm not sure how that works. I just wish we had him in Chicago, but Pittsburgh is a great place to live. We may be able to visit him and his bride at the end of April, if schedules work out.
>258 jnwelch: See, the opposite appears to be happening over here. My mum is ageing and yet I'm not. I'm definitely still 19.
Bittersweet indeed, to see the fine young man he is now and yet to miss the sweet boy that was!
>259 FAMeulstee: Thanks re Jesse, Anita! We just talked to him, and he's having a good birthday. We sent him an ice cube tray that makes centipede-shaped ice cubes, among other things. Appropriate for any occasion, right?
>260 lunacat: Ha! You're doing it right, seems to me. It's Einstein's theory of relatives at work.
>261 ronincats: Yes, you got that right, Roni. We often talk about how we wish we could have bottled up and kept every step along the way with the two of them (even the hard times!). That trip to Australia, with him holding the owl, is the last trip we were able to take as just the four of us. Schedules got complicated, of course, as they got older. Especially their workplaces expecting them to show up on a regular basis.
Happy birthday to Jesse! And so cool with that gorgeous barn owl. We took our students to a conservation place near here one year that does a wonderful education program with rehabilitated animals that had once been injured but are not able to be re-released into the wild. They use them in their education programs and it's terrific. One gal described the barn owl as having *burnt marshmallow*-colouring. I love that. It is one stunning bird!
Happy belated birthday to Jesse! That photo reminds me of the one I took of Bianca last summer when we visited the Andalucían town of Arcos de la Frontera:
>188 Caroline_McElwee: I always think it is King Lear as one of my lines was "The king! The king is to blame." LOL, I also remember part of a soliloquy that we were given a chocolate fish to memorise. The quality of mercy is not blamed, etc.... When I was 13, and my mum harped on at me for knowing the words of all the TV ads, I rolled that little whiz-banger. That stopped her in her tracks ;)
Happy birthday to your baby ;) I cannot conceive of having a 27 year old boy!!!
Morning, Joe! Megan's quote about the quality if mercy not being strained always reminds me of The Wednesday Wars - LOVED that book and so did the kids.
>246 jnwelch: Happy birthday Jesse. Your babies don't stay babies very long Joe! My dad's baby (my sister) turns 50 this year (as he turns 90!). I too love owls.
>244 jnwelch: It's not that Montrealers scorn an English accent, Joe. It's that kids pick on anything that is different.
Great pic of Jesse. Happy birthday to him. Funny about the aging thing, about our kids getting older but not us though I must say it was a bit of a shock when my son turned 30 this year *sigh*
>263 jessibud2: Thanks re Jesse, Shelley! Poor guy has an asthma cough, probably due to no frost and lots of junk in the air, but otherwise he was having a very good birthday. One book we gave him that he was excited about was something like, Ethics for the Information Age. He's very into privacy and other ethical issues for companies like Google. Bless him, he's active in promoting diversity at the company.
That program for injured/rehabilitated animals who can't be released into the wild sounds great. That may have been (probably was) the situation with Jesse's owl. Burnt marshmallow-colored - nice.
>264 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. One of these days we'll get you connected with that Jesse guy, and Adri. Oh my, great photo. We miss Bianca! That's one of the worst parts about not going to London this fall. Debbi's in good contact with her, but it's not the same as in-person.
Hope you're getting a good chance to relax, buddy.
>265 Ireadthereforeiam: Ha! As you probably have heard, Megan, don't blink! Those kids grow up fast. Seems like only yesterday I was playing "tennis" with the little guy up there. Raising them was the hardest and best thing we've ever done.
Nice use of "the quality of mercy" line with your mom. That would've blown me away, too. I misread the second sentence of your post, and thought you were given a chocolate fish to memorise. I'd have a tough time figuring out how to do that one!
>266 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Thanks for stopping by. Always gives me a smile.
>267 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! I wish I'd liked The Wednesday Wars better. I did read it, but maybe it was the wrong time for some reason. Shakespeare, the 60s, an interesting main character - what's not to like? I probably should re-read it some time.
>268 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. We love following along with Jesse's adventures (and those of his sister). They grow up fast. Although there was a time with him, late teens before his frontal lobe grew in, when he was impossible. Thank goodness that passed. But if we could re-live it all with him, I'd take that time, too, difficult as it was.
Owls are fascinating, aren't they. We took a nighttime guided walk in Australia, with flashlights, and could see their eyes gleaming in the trees. We got to see platypuses in a pond on that walk, too - very cool!
>269 Familyhistorian: Ah, thank you for clearing that up, Meg. Yes, It's that kids pick on anything that is different. Why is that? We're really trying to address bullying here, but it's tough.
Thanks re Jesse. I know, as those ages get higher, we pause and think, wait a minute, am I getting older, too? Our daughter is the same age as your son.
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