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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Nine

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Eight.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Ten.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Mar 12, 8:50am Top

Edited: Mar 24, 6:52am Top



Books Read So Far...


1) News of the World by Paulette Jiles 4.7 stars (E)
2) My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt 4.3 stars audio
3) One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives by Bernd Heinrich 4 stars audio
4) Kindred by Octavia E. Butler 4 stars AAC
5) Battleborn: Stories by Claire Vaye Watkins 4.2 stars
6) Victoria: A Novel by Daisy Goodwin 3.7 stars (audio)
7) The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart 3.8 stars (audio)
8) The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore 4 stars BAC
9) Nutshell: A Novel by Ian McEwan 4.4 stars (audio)
10) Lady Cop Makes Trouble (A Kopp Sisters Novel) by Amy Stewart 3.6 stars (audio)
11) Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria & Iraq by Sarah Glidden 3.8 stars GN
12) Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami 4.2 stars
13) The Mammy by Brendan O'Carroll 4 stars
14) I Will Send Rain: A Novel by Rae Meadows 3.5 stars


15) Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson 5 stars (audio)
16) Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan 3.6 stars AAC
17) The Assault by Harry Mulisch 4.4 stars
18) Nine Island by Jane Alison 4 stars ER
19) Silence by Shusaku Endo 4.5 stars
20) The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak 3.6 stars
21) Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace 5 stars (audio)
22) In the Walled City: Stories by Stewart O'Nan 4 stars AAC
23) One Man's Owl by Bernd Heinrich 4.3 stars
24) In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides 4.6 stars (audio)


25) A Separation: A Novel by Katie Kitamura 3.8 stars (audio)
26) The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston 4.4 stars (audio)
27) The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron 4.5 stars AAC
28) Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney 4 stars (audio)
29) My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris 4.7 stars GN
30) Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah 4.5 stars (audio)
31) Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear 4.3 stars
32) Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo 4.5 stars (audio)
33) The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen 4.2 stars
34) Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War by Adam Hochschild 4.2 stars (audio)

Edited: Mar 24, 6:54am Top

Welcome to the AAC IV! It should be another fun year. Some interesting and diverse authors.

January- Octavia Butler Completed Kindred
February- Stewart O' Nan Completed Songs For the Missing, In the Walled City: Stories
March- William Styron Completed The Confessions of Nat Turner
April- Poetry Month
May- Zora Neale Hurston
June- Sherman Alexie
July- James McBride
August- Patricia Highsmith
September- Short Story Month
October- Ann Patchett
November- Russell Banks
December- Ernest Hemingway

The General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/244600#

Mar 12, 8:51am Top

Happy new one, Mark.

Mar 12, 8:51am Top

^Despite the frigid temps, male cardinals were singing their little hearts out, on the route. I saw 3 or 4, in the treetops, trilling away and heard several more, unseen. Lots of male robins bopping around too. 'Tis the season.

Mar 12, 9:00am Top

I love both toppers, Mark!! Happy new thread

Mar 12, 9:21am Top

>4 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb!

>6 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! Continuing the owl theme...I am hoping this will be the year.

Mar 12, 9:35am Top

Happy New Thread, Mark. A wise old bird..............................the owl.

Mar 12, 9:42am Top

>8 PaulCranswick: Doesn't quite fit me, but it does others. Grins... Thanks, Paul!

Mar 12, 10:05am Top

LOVE the owl up top!

Happy new thread, Mark!

Edited: Mar 12, 10:23am Top

Happy New Thread, Mark! And Happy Sunday!

Ooo, great owl up there. Or should I say, "Hooo".

I love cardinals and that trill. Plus they hang out here even in the cold weather. One of the best sights in the world is a cardinal on a snowy day.

I'm struggling a bit to get into The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but hanging in there. I'm enjoying the kooky storyline and great art of World of Edena.

Mar 12, 10:28am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Wishing you a lovely Sunday.

Mar 12, 11:09am Top

>10 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! Glad you like the snowy!

>11 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! And good morning. Hooray for owls & cardinals. Sorry, to hear The Tenant of Wildfell Hall has been a bit of a struggle. Fortunately my current reads are all singing along.

>12 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! Wishing you the same.

Mar 12, 11:57am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

Mar 12, 12:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I love your birds, especially the owls.

Mar 12, 12:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Thanks for the owl pic. Owls are just so much fun to look at, aren't they?

From your last thread re suet feeders:

We've taken to putting the suet feeder's nylon string on a swivel hook, putting the swivel on the pole's hanger, then pulling the suet feeder OVER the hanger to make it even that more difficult for the squirrels. It mostly works, although yesterday the suet feeder was on the ground, empty. The newest attempt is husband's - wrapping the nylon string on the pole's hanger in addition to the swivel. We'll see if it works.

We really like this suet feeder, by the way, because that long green extension underneath it allows the birds to perch comfortably on the feeder with their tails resting on it. They'll stay for minutes at a time. I just watched a blue jay there for about 2 minutes.

Mar 12, 1:14pm Top

Hi Mark! Happy new thread. I LOOOOOVE the owl topper photo. So dramatic. Hope the festivities today at your house are lots of fun. And you have tomorrow off? Perfect!

Edited: Mar 12, 1:33pm Top

>14 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl!

>15 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Yah, for snowy owls!

>16 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! Can't get enough owl pics. I think if I keep posting pics of them, it will improve my chances of seeing one in the wild. Probably a pipe dream but you never know.

I love the look of that suet feeder. It looks like you do daily battle with the squirrels too. Do you see the squirrels actually eat the suet? Hope the new swivels work. Keep me posted.

>17 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers. Yah, for snowys! Should be a fun party. Beer will be involved after all and Sue is making Irish Car Bombs. Grins...
And hooray for having Monday off, especially one that may involve snow. Ugh!

Mar 12, 1:35pm Top

>18 msf59: We haven't actually seen squirrels eat the suet. We haven't actually seen them on the feeders at all this winter/early spring. Last fall was a bumper crop of nuts, so perhaps they've still got their stashes. I'll be glad to report back..... *smile*

Mar 12, 2:24pm Top

>19 karenmarie: Funny, the squirrels seem to love nibbling the plastic casing that the suet block is encased in. This can't be healthy, right?

Edited: Mar 23, 7:41pm Top

“When he fell in love with birds and began to photograph them, his anxieties dissipated.
The sound of birdsong reminded him to look outward at the world.”

“He had discovered his joy was bird-shaped.”

“It was a relief to be back with the bird-loving weirdos, soaking up their stand-and-stare vibe, basking in the still night air that carried not even a breath of wind.”

“Birding is more than an activity. It's a disposition. Keep your eyes and ears and mind open to beauty.”

“If you listen to birds, every day will have a song in it.”

^These are just a few of the quotes I bookmarked in Birds Art Life. I just finished it and really have an itch to go on a long, ponderous birdwalk, but there is this party...

Mar 12, 4:09pm Top

>20 msf59: I can't imagine that nibbling plastic is good for any animal. Even squirrels.

>21 msf59: “Birding is more than an activity. It's a disposition. Keep your eyes and ears and mind open to beauty.”

“If you listen to birds, every day will have a song in it.”

Excellent quotes, Mark! For someone like me, who is being more aware of the birds around the house and as we drive around, they are inspiring.

Mar 12, 4:44pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark. I love the photo of the owl, and of the red cardinal.

Mar 12, 6:12pm Top

Hi, Mark! Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!

Love the thread topper!

Mar 12, 6:44pm Top

>22 karenmarie: Glad you like the quotes, Karen. The book was filled with these kind of thoughts.

>23 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny! Glad you like the birdies!

>24 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. We had a birthday party for Bree and Matt, so it was a good day.

Mar 12, 8:11pm Top

Happy new thread, buddy!

Mar 12, 8:15pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Are you reading The Sympathizer? I am thinking of trying to foist it off on my book group.

Mar 12, 8:25pm Top

Great thread toppers, as always, Mark.

What a Blackhawks game today!! I am hoarse.

Good thing you're off tomorrow. I am working from home. Picked some work up to bring home after the Hawks game (I meet my friend at my office parking lot).

Horrific crime near my sister's, in St Charles. Ugh. Man shot his estranged wife, then shot and killed his twin 16-year old daughters, then killed himself. There are no words.

Mar 12, 8:32pm Top

Happy new one, Mark!

Edited: Mar 13, 1:19pm Top

Love the snowy owl topper. When we moved into our first house in Vancouver a million years ago (well 36), the backyard was wild and undeveloped and I startled a snowy owl when I went exploring, or maybe he startled me. I will never forget it!
Happy new thread.

Edited: Mar 12, 10:17pm Top

>26 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>27 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda! I was hoping to start The Sympathizer today but no such luck. Tomorrow...full immersion

>28 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Glad you like the toppers. Go Blackhawks! Yah, for working from home tomorrow. I am hope to get plenty of reading in.

That is a horrific story out of St. Charles. How sad. My cousin lives there.

>29 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>30 mdoris: Glad you like the Snowy topper, Mary! I love the fact that you saw a Snowy. I dont care if it was decades ago. That was an event!

Mar 12, 10:22pm Top

>31 msf59: While I'm enjoying Parting the Waters, it's soooo long and I'm looking forward to finishing it and reading a few lighter books for awhile.

Mar 12, 10:27pm Top

>32 lindapanzo: I have Parting the Waters in print but if I can find it on audio, I may go that route. I am very impressed that you are reading it. It is very highly regarded.

Edited: Mar 12, 10:33pm Top

^I wanted to start The Sympathizer today but I just could not squeeze it in, before or after the party. I will start it tomorrow. I picked up a copy of this, at Booktopia, last May. It is time, folks...

Has anyone else read this Pulitzer Prize winner? Hmmmmm?

Mar 12, 10:47pm Top

>33 msf59: There's a few slow parts where he talks about who's in which group and doesn't get along. But the sections on the freedom riders, for instance, are unputdownable.

After I get off the internet, I'll pick it up again and, since I don't need to be up early for work, I can stay up late and read.

Edited: Mar 12, 10:53pm Top

Wah? Another new thread!? I better go off and see what I missed from the last thread! I'll be back (as the Terminator says).

Eta: only missed 10 posts, phew. I love you thread topper! That owl is magnificent. Our mornings are darker now too....but when daylight savings ends it will go back t lighter for a bit again. only the kids will still get up at that time, and it will mean loong mornings before school and lots of in-house fighting. Yikes. My catch cry will be this: *to your corners boys*

Mar 12, 11:47pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark! My you move fast! Love the owl topper! I have The Sympathizer in a tbr pile. I won't get to it right away, but I am planning to read it.

Mar 13, 12:09am Top

When I was a pre-teen, I used to collect owls. Then I started collecting unicorns instead. More chance of seeing an owl, I think.

Mar 13, 4:53am Top

A quick hello before we leave, Birds Art Life sounds wonderful, Mark!
I decided to take The brothers Karamazov with me, that should be enough to keep me reading until Wednesday.

Mar 13, 6:29am Top

Morning, Mark! Not nearly as much snow here as they were doomsaying predicting. That's not a bad thing, though...

Mar 13, 7:17am Top

>35 lindapanzo: Looking forward to your final thoughts on Parting the Waters. Glad you get to work from home today, Linda. It looks like we have about n inch or so out there at the moment.

>36 Ireadthereforeiam: *to your corners boys* I love that expression. Glad you like the owl. Snowys are seen here sometimes, migrating down from the north. Usually near the lakefront. I have not seen one, in the wild.

With the time change, it is darker here too...for now.

>37 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb! Yah, for owls. I am off today so I am looking forward to curling up with The Sympathizer.

Mar 13, 7:21am Top

>38 Morphidae: Owls & Unicorns! Oh, my! Back to snow, Morph. Ugh! At least April is right around the corner.

>39 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! I hope you can find Birds Art Life there. It is a quick and lovely read. Yah, for starting The Brothers Karamazov. I have never read it.

>40 scaifea: Morning Amber! We may have an inch or so out there, at the moment but we can expect a couple more through the day. Sighs...

At least, I am home, for most of the day. A good thing.

Mar 13, 8:08am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Snowy owl pic is awesome!

Were you hit hard last night. They're predicting 8" for us. It will start late this afternoon and continue to Wednesday. Seems like the east coast will get it worse.

Have a good Monday at home.

Mar 13, 8:17am Top

Good morning, Mark! Whew! Sorry Old Man Winter is blasting you again. And even when it's not snowing looks like you guys are back into artic weather for a while.

Mar 13, 8:38am Top

>43 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! We have an inch or so, out there, making it a slippery commute for many but I am snug in my cozy den, so no problem there for me. We may get a couple more inches through the day.

8 inches? Yikes. I hope it isn't that bad for you.

>44 karenmarie: Morning, Karen! I have a few errands to run later and I am meeting my cousin for lunch but I plan on spending a large chunk of the day with the books.

Edited: Mar 13, 8:42am Top

28) Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney 4 stars

It is New Year's Eve, 1984. Lillian Boxfish, 85 years old, usually spends this holiday eve, reading in her apartment, alone with her cat and then retiring early. On this night, she decides to walk across Manhattan, ten miles or so, to a favorite restaurant. This was the period when the subway vigilante had struck, stirring up an uneasy feeling in the city, putting people on edge.
Lillian uses this time, on her stroll, to reflect back on her life- working as a copy editor in the early' 30s, her marriage, divorce, the birth of her son, the writing of her poetry and the friendships she had made, through the decades.
This premise may seem spare and trite, but Lillian is a wonderful character and spending these pages, walking alongside her were a delight and the reader receives a NYC history lesson, along the way.

Mar 13, 8:48am Top

>46 msf59: Adding that one to the list - it sounds fantastic!

Edited: Mar 13, 1:38pm Top

Good morning, Mark!

Phooey, I'd hoped they'd be wrong about the snow. Hope today goes all right for you.

>46 msf59: I'd already added it to the WL based on your earlier comments, but that really does sound like my cuppa - and Debbi's, too.

I'm liking Rain; she has a friendly writing style. I hope to make progress today in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Good luck with The Sympathizer.

Mar 13, 10:19am Top

>47 scaifea: It works really well on audio too, Amber but I did get this one from the library, as a digital loan.

>48 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Happy Monday! Yes, I am off today, otherwise those words would not be uttered. Very wintery out there at the moment. Good day to stay in with the books.

You both will enjoy Lillian Boxfish. Which book is Rain? Your touchstones are off.

Edited: Mar 13, 10:21am Top

^Snowy Monday morning. Feeders have been busy. Cardinal and Junco on the ground. A Downy Woodpecker at the suet feeder.

The squirrels have been on the attack too. I have caught them swinging from the suet feeder several times all ready. They are relentless.

Mar 13, 10:25am Top

Morning, Mark! Lillian Boxfish sounds lovely. But I am with Joe attempting The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I read Jane Eyre in February and just finished The Madwoman Upstairs and I have Mr. Rochester on order, so I figured I better jump on this group read, too!

Stay warm.

Mar 13, 10:32am Top

Morning Kimmers! I had never heard of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I did love Jane Eyre but have not read this sister.

Mar 13, 10:41am Top

>46 msf59: Lillian Boxfish sounds terrific. Maybe after I finish Parting the Waters.

I haven't been outside yet but it looks like 3+ inches so far. That lake effect snow for tonight/tomorrow is very uncertain.

Mar 13, 10:58am Top

Our snow is expected to begin around noon. Do you think the birds know what's coming, weather-wise? There is a hell of a lot of activity at my feeder as well. I filled it right up last night, in preparation for today. I just hope they don't empty it before the snow actually starts! The whole point was so I wouldn't have to go out in a blizzard to fill it!

Mar 13, 11:03am Top

Arrgh, so sorry you're back to snow. Here is hope that spring is coming quickly. Happy Monday, Mark.

Mar 13, 12:42pm Top

>53 lindapanzo: Looking forward to your take on Lillian Boxfish. It has been pretty calm here, the last few hours. The sidewalks and streets have melted all ready.
Hope, that is the last of it.

>54 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley! How much snow are you expecting? Lots? My feeders have been active too. Not, full-bore but frequent enough. Funny, I have been reading downstairs out of sight of the feeders. They can be too distracting sometimes.

>55 Ameise1: Hi, Barb! Love the owl. A barn owl, perhaps? Yes, it looks like we will be stuck in winter mode for the next few days. Boo!

Mar 13, 12:46pm Top

Mar 13, 12:51pm Top

Good morning, Mark and happy new one! I hope all is well with you.

>57 msf59: Good one. Crazy weather. Stay safe, brother.

Edited: Mar 13, 12:59pm Top

>56 msf59: - Well, at this point, the forecast says we could get around 9 cm (that's around 3.5 inches) by the end of it all but who the heck knows. I've learned not to always believe the forecast..... Right now, it's light flakes floating around out there....;-)

>55 Ameise1: is definitely a barn owl. Very sweet.

>57 msf59: - LOL!

Mar 13, 1:23pm Top

>57 msf59: Great cartoon. Sorry that winter's still hitting you. We are looking for some sunshine.

Mar 13, 1:40pm Top

>49 msf59: Oh, touchstones. So annoying at times. I fixed it up in >48 jnwelch:. It's Cynthia Barnett's NF book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History.

Mar 13, 1:50pm Top

>61 jnwelch: I've heard of that one, Joe.

Well, we are up to about 5 or 6 inches of snow here now and the wind is picking up.

Mar 13, 3:55pm Top

>58 brodiew2: Howdy, Brodie! Hope your week is off to a good start. We didn't get much snow, out where we live but if definitely is a winter like day.

>59 jessibud2: Hoping you get the minimum, Shelley. Fingers crossed. And yah, for barn owls!

>60 mdoris: Hi, Mary! We are a cold, overcast day here. Not much snow on our end. Whew!

>61 jnwelch: Thanks for fixing it, Joe. The Barnett book sounds interesting. How did it land on your radar?

>62 lindapanzo: Boo to 5 or 6 inches of snow. Groan...We got barely an inch, with very light flurries coming down. I am in for the rest of the afternoon.

Mar 13, 4:25pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Sounds like it is a good day to have off weather wise. I hope it warms up for you tomorrow. In the meantime enjoy your day with the books.

Edited: Mar 13, 5:57pm Top

>64 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. The day off has been nice. The Sympathizer is a slow read but I am enjoying it.

No warm up in sight. Maybe by Friday?

Edited: Mar 13, 6:01pm Top

^Hey, I just got a Thumbs Up, from Kathleen Rooney, for my review of Lillian Boxfish. Always nice to hear from the author.

Gloating a bit...

Mar 13, 6:03pm Top

>66 msf59: How cool is that!!

I think she's a Chicago area author. It seems like she does the occasional Lake Forest Bookstore signing and maybe others.

Mar 13, 6:04pm Top

I am loving all the owls!!

Congrats on the Thumbs Up, Mark!

Edited: Mar 13, 6:29pm Top

Mark, How do you determine who the other users are that thumb your reviews?

Edit: Ah, did the author send you a private message?

Mar 13, 7:12pm Top

>67 lindapanzo: I am not sure if you saw my introductory post, about Lillian Boxfish, but she is indeed from Chicago and I met her husband Martin Seay at last year's Booktopia. He wrote the terrific The Mirror Thief. I knew his wife was also an author and when this book came out, it was pointed out who she was.
Very talented couple.

>68 alcottacre: Glad the owls ar making you happy, Stasia. There will be more...

>69 brodiew2: I have an account on Good Reads, Brodie and it is set up to give you notifications, if someone likes or comments on your reviews or if you are starting a book. It is one of the features I like about G.R. although we have them beat on the social side of things.

Edited: Apr 4, 8:34pm Top

29) My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris 4.7 stars

Set in Chicago, in the late 60s, this dazzling, graphic novel, is presented as a fictional diary, written by a ten year old named Karen. She has a devout adoration for monsters and envisions herself as a female werewolf, or were-girl, if you will. After a neighbor dies, mysteriously, Karen decided to do some sleuthing herself and finds herself navigating some dark, twisty, places, confronting the drug world, freaks and the Holocaust.
I would rather not divulge any more details but I will start hurling a few more superlatives- This is a powerhouse work, written and illustrated, with depth, beauty and horror. An unsettling creepshow that would make Robert Crumb shudder.
Yes, it is early in the year but I would be hard pressed to think, I will read a better GN in 2017. As an added bonus, this is only part one...wolfish grin.

Mar 13, 8:04pm Top

>70 msf59: That explains it. I think I was the first and, last I looked only, thumb on LT.

I've hit the two-thirds of the way through point on Parting the Waters. Maybe I can finish by Fri or so.

Mar 13, 8:42pm Top

Hunkering down here, ready for the blizzard coming our way. They are calling for 8-12" in our part of PA (southeast), and more snow to the north. Schools are already starting to close. Tuesday will definitely be a work from home day for me.

>57 msf59: is spot on!!

Mar 13, 9:46pm Top

I suspect we are close to 10 inches up here, with another band expected tonight. Took me 3X the normal to get to work this am, and then I ended up leaving early...

I am glad to see you are enjoying Birds Art Life as much as I thought you would.

Mar 13, 9:56pm Top

Hi Mark, I love the dramatic picture of the owl that you used in your opener.

We here in Delta get an influx of Bald Eagles this time of the year. I suspect they come to hang out at the Vancouver garbage dump, but as you drive along the country roads quite near to our place, you can literally see hundreds in the fields and trees.

The other day we drove out that way and there were so many that we gave up trying to count them.

Here is a picture of some in a tree:

Edited: Mar 13, 10:06pm Top

>72 lindapanzo: Hooray for making your way through Parting the Waters. Do you have plans on reading the other 2?

>73 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. Good to see you. Bummer, about all that snow coming. Good luck, my friend. At least you can work from home tomorrow.

>74 alphaorder: 10 inches? Ugh! Hope you are surviving. We only got an inch or so here. I loved Birds Art Life. I hope to get to The Warbler Road, later in the month.

>75 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Glad you like the owl. I LOVE the photo of eagles. Very nice. We are starting to see bald eagles in our area, mainly along rivers.

Mar 13, 10:12pm Top

>76 msf59: I would like to read the other two but probably not right away. The Coretta Scott King memoir, followed a few weeks later by this lengthy tome, is enough for me for awhile. If I could get to the other two by year's end, I'd be happy though.

Mar 13, 10:17pm Top

Yes, Judy is quite correct . We have no shortage of bald eagles around these parts. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters - that sounds very creepy , Mark!

Mar 13, 10:26pm Top

>77 lindapanzo: I think I have the second one, possibly the third volume. I can pass them onto to you, when you come in for the Meet Up, if you would like. If I ever get to them, I will probably do them on audio.

>78 vancouverdeb: I love some eagles, Tonto. I do not think My Favorite Thing is Monsters is your cuppa. Hope you are enjoying your current read.

Mar 13, 10:30pm Top

>79 msf59: I'd love that, Mark, thanks.

A work friend just offered me a copy of the Hamilton bio, another weighty tome I hope to read soon. I've got that one on Kindle already.

Mar 13, 11:07pm Top

Mark--Congrats on the author thumbs up on your review!!! That's fun. Glad you didn't get too much snow and had a day off.

Good luck to the rest of your north easterners during this snow dump!!

Mar 13, 11:54pm Top

I saw this art work on the wall of a corridor where I was having a meeting tonight. I thought of you when I saw them, Mark. Here is one of the masks.

Mar 14, 2:00am Top

Good morning, Mark. Sending huge spring waves over the pond.

Mar 14, 2:27am Top

Stay warm big fella.

Mar 14, 2:35am Top

Hey Mark, >46 msf59: looks great. I'll add it to the wishlist. I've read a couple of NF books about New York history - most recently linked to art - The Lonely City. Fascinating subject.

Mar 14, 5:53am Top

Morning, Mark.

Edited: Mar 14, 6:37am Top

^Woke up to more snow this morning. 3-4 inches. Noooooooooooooooo!

Okay, it's not as bad as our northern neighbors or east coast pals, I will agree, but I still gotta walk in it...Jeesh.

Mar 14, 6:41am Top

>80 lindapanzo: Sounds like a plan, Linda. I would like to get to the Hamilton bio at some point.

>81 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! We got hit with more snow over night and it is still snowing, as I get ready for work. Boooo!

>82 Familyhistorian: I like the mask, Meg. I could hang one of those in the Man Cave! Grins...

>83 Ameise1: Keep those "huge spring waves" coming, Barb! We could use it.

Mar 14, 6:42am Top

Morning, Mark! Congrats on the author thumb - how exciting!

Edited: Mar 14, 6:44am Top

>84 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. I wish I could stay home again with the books today.

>85 charl08: Hi, Charlotte! I hope a few of my pals give Lillian Boxfish a try.

>86 DianaNL: Big waves to Diana!

>89 scaifea: Morning, Amber! We like that author attention. Very rare, but welcome.

Mar 14, 9:19am Top

Morning, Mark! I am late to wish you happy on your newest thread. But at least I have caught up with you. Heh. Nice review of My Favorite Thing is Monsters - that one looks very interesting.

Mar 14, 9:30am Top

Hi Mark! Brrrrr! Cold walking for you today. I hope your day goes by quickly and as warmly as possible.

>46 msf59: Lillian Boxfish sounds wonderful and I've added it to my wishlist. I'm not as fond of "old person remembers their life" stories as most, but this one sounds really good, especially because of the NYC history lesson.

Mar 14, 10:32am Top

>71 msf59: Yes! I heartily endorse your warbling about My Favorite Thing is Monsters!

Morning, Mark. Woo, hope you're doing okay out there. Lots of snow, lots of reported accidents on the expressway.

I just re-read a couple of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo GNs. What a harrowing story. I'll probably re-read the novels at some point. I'm a good ways through World of Edena, and getting a kick out of it.

Mar 14, 11:17am Top

Running behind today, for various reasons. I will back to reply after work. Have a great day.

Mar 14, 2:55pm Top

Belated happy new thread, Mark!

I think we have about 8 inches of snow here, so far. (It's hard to tell with the way the wind is blowing it around.) We have a snow day here (library closes when school does) so I started The Confessions of Nat Turner for the AAC this afternoon.

>57 msf59: Love the cartoon!

Edited: Mar 14, 4:33pm Top

>71 msf59: Nice review. Will be reserving the GN from the library.

>87 msf59: Yikes! Try to stay warm and be glad you don't live in some parts of the East Coast. We here in the Denver area have been having an unseasonably warm and dry winter. I'm not complaining, but I do keep looking over my shoulder.

Mar 14, 5:52pm Top

>91 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Good to see you. I highly recommend, My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Abby might like that one too. We NEED to spread the word on that one.

>92 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. It was not a pleasant day on the route. Only in the low 20s for most of it and then it snowed, (just flurries) one minute and then the sun popped out. This happened most of the afternoon.

Lillian Boxfish is a little treasure. I hope you can find a copy.

>93 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I survived the day. I think I would have rather worked yesterday. Yes, let's keep spreading the word My Favorite Thing is Monsters. It is such a keeper.

Glad you like the GNs of the Dragon Tattoo books. I do not think I have ever tried them.

Mar 14, 6:03pm Top

>95 tymfos: Thanks, Terri! Good to see you. We had about 4 inches, maybe 5 here. Not a terrible amount, but teamed up with the frigid temps, made a long day.

Hooray for snow days! (We don't get them!) I sure hope Nat Turner works for you. It is a bit of a challenge at times but there are plenty of rewards.

>96 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. My Favorite Thing is Monsters should be just your cuppa. Can't warble loud enough about that one.

Yes, I agree, I am glad we are not getting hit like the east coast. OMG. And I am happy to hear you are enjoying a mild winter. We were too, until March came along.

Mar 14, 6:44pm Top

Hi Mark, the snow was actually worse today. I worked from home a second day today. I think we're at about a foot of snow now. Eager to go to work tomorrow as I'm getting a bit of cabin fever.

Blackhawks/Montreal game tonight and maybe, just maybe, finish Parting the Waters.

Mar 14, 8:24pm Top

It looks like winter isn't ready to give up yet. I do feel bad for you, Mark, being out there in the cold all day. I cut my dog walk short this morning because of the snow and also because I had an extra dog and DH is out of town. Two big Labs is one too many when they want to go in different directions!

How cool that you got approval from the author on your review. I heard from an author several years ago and almost fainted. I have so much regard for people who write the books we love.

Mar 14, 8:46pm Top

I may have to change the channel away from my Blackhawks to watch Rachel Maddow. This would be big, big news.

Mar 14, 8:53pm Top

I've got Lillian Boxfish sitting on my coffee table but I don't think I'll be getting to it (it's from the library). I'll check it out again, though, on your recommendation! I was feeling a little wishy-washy about it.

My library still doesn't have My Favorite Thing is Monsters but I'm sure they'll catch up soon. I have the second The Vision GN waiting for me.

Mar 14, 10:03pm Top

>101 lindapanzo: I don't have a TV but just saw on FB that Rachel got scooped. Not sure what it all means yet.

Mar 14, 10:49pm Top

>66 msf59:, I love it when you get a correspondence from an author., when they return a "thank you" to praise. I think Kathryn Schulz is amazing and I read anything she writes with great enthusiasm. Recenlty she wrote a NYer article about loss, loss of things and loss of people (grieving). It was fabulous so I wrote to her and she wrote me back. How fun is that! Have you read her book Being Wrong?

Mar 15, 6:35am Top

>99 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda! We ended up with about 4 inches here and maybe 5 in Westchester, where I work. Glad it wasn't a foot. Looking forward to a warm up.

Did you finish Parting the Waters? I did catch Rachel's scoop-Not a surprise to many of us and I doubt that would be enough to sway any of his blindered-followers.

>100 Donna828: Hi, Donna! Good to see you. I bet those labs are giving you plenty of exercise. Not a bad thing, right? I think you would have a good time with Lillian Boxfish.

Mar 15, 6:43am Top

>102 coppers: Hi, Joanne! I heard you have been enjoying some mild weather? Yes, I am jealous. I hope you give Lillian Boxfish a try. I think it turned out to be an enjoyable read.

>103 Storeetllr: I wasn't surprised by Rachel's scoop, Mary but it will be fun to see how they spin this one- the infamous spin-doctors.

>104 mdoris: Hi, Mary. It wasn't a correspondence in my case just a "Like" but I do appreciate when the author makes an effort. I am not familiar with Kathryn Schulz or her books. Something I would like, eh?

Mar 15, 8:02am Top

Good morning, Mark! I'm going to be offline 'til tomorrow night so wish you a happy Wednesday AND Thursday! Stay warm!

Mar 15, 9:02am Top

Good morning, Mark!

We're almost to the better weather. Hope today goes okay for you.

Still working on the ones you know. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is pretty darn good.

Mar 15, 9:06am Top

>106 msf59: if he leaked it himself, it wasn't his sharpest move. Raises a lot of issues.

No, still about 10 percent left in my book. Maybe I'll finish it today.

At least the sun is out so maybe some of the snow will melt, despite the cold.

Mar 15, 9:09am Top

Hey Mark! I sympathize with you! We've got a total of at least 12 inches since Monday night. Aaaaargh!

Mar 15, 9:37am Top

I hope that your snow disappears soon, Mark. It almost seemed like you were going to get away with mild unwintery weather this year. I am currently reading The Confessions of Nat Turner but at the same time I am also reading a book about Jack the Ripper - hmm, maybe all that dark stuff is not the best thing to read at the same time.

Mar 15, 10:19am Top

Frigid start for me, only 18 when, I climbed into my postal vehicle. Lots of sunshine but it is doing no good.Brrrr...

>107 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Have a great couple of days.

>108 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Cold one out here. Hope those books keep me warm.

Mar 15, 11:02am Top

>109 lindapanzo: Morning, Linda. I did not hear that there was the possibility that Trump leaked his own return. Interesting.

I am not sure, the sun is going to help much today. Fortunately, the sidewalks and stairs are all dry and clear.

>110 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. Bummer about the 12 inches of white stuff. Hopefully much of it melts away this weekend.

>111 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. We have a very mild Jan & Feb but March is here to remind us that winter is not over yet.

I hope you are enjoying Nat Turner. What is your Jack the Ripper book called?

Mar 15, 11:43am Top

>113 msf59: The tax return had 'Client Copy' stamped on it so it's certainly not outside the realms of possibility that he leaked it himself. Who knows, with him.

Edited: Mar 15, 1:33pm Top

>106 msf59:, Hello Mark. Yes for me she is an amazing writer. She is a clever thinker/researcher and expresses herself perfectly and takes a fresh look at things when she writes about them Kathryn Schulz (non fiction). I think she has written only the one book.
recent one that impressed...

Schulz won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her New Yorker article on a potential large earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.(Wikepedia)

Mar 15, 1:39pm Top

Hello, Mark! Slow LT start for me today, but I'm getting there now...

I hope the sunshine is keeping you warm out there!

Mar 15, 5:27pm Top

>114 lunacat: Hi, Jenny. I have been stuck at work, so I did not hear or see anymore fallout over these tax returns. Knowing his supporters, nothing seems to faze them.

>115 mdoris: Thanks for all the info regarding Schulz, Mary. I will check out the links that you are have shared. She sounds like my cuppa.

>116 scaifea: Big Waves to Amber! It definitely got better today, as the day went on. About 35 on the way home. And better tomorrow. Yah!

Mar 15, 5:29pm Top

Mission accomplished: you all are talking about the tax returns, rather than Russia or health care...

Edited: Mar 15, 5:30pm Top

^I came home from work and there were starlings at my feeders. (This is not my photo). I think this was the first time I have seen them there and they especially like the suet feeder. Nice looking birds but they look a bit aggressive. The woodpeckers are probably a bit peeved at the moment.

Mar 15, 5:32pm Top

>118 katiekrug: Great point, Katie! They do this so well. It is so funny and quite ironic that his supporters think that the Russia issue is just smoke and why can't we just deal with it.

Mar 15, 5:59pm Top

>120 msf59: Mark, as you well know, most of us anti-Trumpers are pretty good at talking about more than one thing at a time.

Their health reform package is sinking faster than the Titanic. That provision forcing people to submit to genetic testing (or else pay a big premium penalty) and letting your employer see the results alone is grounds for rejecting it.

Russia still remains the hottest topic. The tax return thing is already old news.

Mar 16, 2:16am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark.

Mar 16, 6:33am Top

>121 lindapanzo: I agree with your thoughts on the fading returns, Linda. Let's get back to the Russia probe(s).

>122 Ameise1: Back at you, Barb. Hope the week is going well.

Edited: Mar 16, 7:01am Top

^I haven't mentioned my current reading in a few days but both of the books I have going are making me very happy. My audio- Nobody's Fool and in print, The Sympathizer. Both are long reads, so I will be reading them for the rest of the week. This is helping me get through this last blast of winter.

Mar 16, 7:00am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy Thursday!!

Mar 16, 7:01am Top

Morning, Amber!

Mar 16, 9:24am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark!

Tenant of Wildfell Hall was much more enjoyable than I expected. Something about the descriptions of the book I'd read made me think it wasn't my cuppa. Glad I finally tried it.

Mid-30s today? Well, that's a step in the right direction. Hope you have a good one. We're going to do our taxes. Oh, boy.

Mar 16, 11:04am Top

Morning Joe! Little better today but still a chilly start. Glad your Wildfell Hall worked out.

I am picking up Flight of The Raven from the library. You recommended it, right?

Good luck with the taxes.

Mar 16, 11:06am Top

Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday! Love the photo of the starling - those always make me think of Mary Poppins, which is one of my childhood favorites.

Mar 16, 11:10am Top

>129 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Sweet Thursday. I always forget the difference between starlings and grackles, but I think I have it down now. Good to see them at the feeders.

Mar 16, 12:52pm Top

Hi Mark,
How odd to see your message in >130 msf59:. Just the other day my friend sent me a link because she too, was saying that she was forgetting the difference between starlings and grackles. Personally, I have never had that problem as, to me, they look nothing alike! Now, grackles, crows and ravens, maybe, though I know grackles have yellow eyes so even if the angle of the light doesn't show up their iridescence, the eyes are a dead giveaway.

Anyhow, if you are interested, here is that link (it's from several years ago):

Mar 16, 12:56pm Top

>128 msf59: Taxes done! Yes, I recommended Flight of the Raven. Great artwork, and an interesting French Resistance story.

Mar 16, 6:23pm Top

>131 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley! I completely agree with you on the differences of starlings vs. grackles. They are quite distinctive. I just didn't remember, which one was what. That is all. Now, I know. Thanks for supplying the link. It will help to reinforce my memory.

>132 jnwelch: Yah, for getting your taxes done. We hope to get our taxes done soon. I plan on picking up Flight of the Raven tomorrow. I needed a good GN, to sink my teeth in after "Monsters".

Edited: Mar 16, 6:34pm Top

^Hey, I am going on a organized birdwalk tonight, (hopefully much more successful than the owl walk). It is a much better evening, with some sunshine, temps in the low 40s. We will be on the lookout for the American Woodcock. They are very reclusive but get active at dusk during mating season, in the early spring. I have never seen one and honestly, was not aware that they were even around here. Wish me luck...let's make this an extra special Sweet Thursday!

Edited: Mar 16, 6:58pm Top

I did it, I did it!! Just finished Parting the Waters. (Probably my longest book since Bleak House) Still gathering my thoughts but it was certainly one of the most difficult, that is painful and most intense, books I've ever read, yet probably most eye-opening book ever.

I need a break with something lighter for awhile but I absolutely now want to read volumes 2 and 3. Maybe tackle volume 2 around June or so.

I typically read 3 or so books a week but this one took me nearly 3 weeks to read and, for the past two weeks or so, this was about the only thing I read.

I notice that I actually do already own Kindle copies of vols 2 and 3.

Mar 16, 6:56pm Top

Good luck sighting the American Woodcock. What a gorgeous bird.

Mar 16, 7:04pm Top

>135 lindapanzo: Hooray for finishing Parting the Waters, Linda. Fantastic job. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this book. Why have I never read it? Who the heck knows.

3 weeks? That is unusual for you. Let me know if you still want a softcover edition of volume 2.

>136 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. The woodcock makes a very distinctive mating call. We hope to track it down that way. It is going to be dark, for a big chunk of the walk. This should be interesting.

Mar 16, 7:07pm Top

>137 msf59: Nearly 1,100 pages.

I think I'll stick with my Kindle version for 2. That one's a shortie. Something like 700 or 800 pages.

Enjoy your birdwalk. Seemed warmer out. Snow is melting at a prodigious rate right now and water is pouring off the roof of the office.

Mar 16, 7:18pm Top

>66 msf59: yay on author-thumbs-ups!!! You have many thumbs-ups from your LT lot, its good others can also appreciate you :)

>134 msf59: good luck, I hope you see one (or many)

Mar 16, 7:19pm Top

Hey Mark. I just found this:


I was all set to enter the contest but then realized it is only open to US residents. Boo hoo. It sure looks good. Why don't you give it a try?

Have fun and good luck tonight!

Edited: Mar 16, 9:33pm Top

I saw woodcocks! I saw woodcocks! Yippee! Actually saw quite a few. It just wasn't easy to tell if you saw the same one, a couple of times. But they were present. They are almost impossible to see on the ground, with their natural camouflage, but during this time of year the males do a mating dance. They shoot up into the sky, a couple hundred feet, fly in circles and then zig-zag back down to the ground. Very impressive to watch. It looks something like this:

Mar 16, 9:36pm Top

>138 lindapanzo: I hope I can find that trilogy on audio, Linda. Let me know if you change your mind on volume 2.

>139 Ireadthereforeiam: We did see many! We did see many! Hooray! Glad we did too because it got dark fast.

>140 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley, for thinking of me. I signed up for the contest and the newsletter. The book sounds interesting.

Mar 16, 9:45pm Top

If you have to have snow, I hope you at least get some more good birdwatching out of it!

Your My Favorite Thing is Monsters looks like a bb.

Mar 17, 6:25am Top

>143 cammykitty: Hi, Katie! Great to see you. Are those snow geese? They are such beautiful birds. I have not added them to my list...yet.

Edited: Mar 17, 7:49am Top

>141 msf59: I agree that the Woodcock dance is really something special to see. Glad you were able to catch it. Last year we found Woodcocks breeding at the Center!

Mar 17, 9:21am Top

Happy Friday, Mark!

Sounds like a successful bird watching outing. Glad you were invited to the Woodcock Dance.

Should be better out there today as far as the temperature goes.

I finished World of Edena and got a kick out of it, although the story got a bit muddled for me at the very end. Wonderful art. I hope someday to track down a not too expensive copy to buy. Now I've started Rolling Blackouts.

Mar 17, 9:35am Top

For you and your many friends!! Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Mar 17, 9:42am Top

Good morning, and Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mark!

Congratulations on seeing the Woodcocks. That mating dance looks like a lo of fun to watch.

Mar 17, 11:06am Top

>145 alphaorder: Morning Nancy. It was great seeing the woodcock dance and sharing the experience with other birders.

>146 jnwelch: Morning Joe. Damp and chilly out here at the moment. It looks like this will be with us all day.

I hope you enjoy Rolling Blackouts.

Mar 17, 11:09am Top

>147 Berly: You just made me very thirsty, Kimmers. Guess what I will be thinking about all day?

Happy St. Pats Day.

>148 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. And yah, for the woodcock dance.

Mar 17, 11:09am Top

Morning, Mark! It's Friday!

Mar 17, 3:04pm Top

Great to hear that you had a successful birdwalk. Happy Friday, Mark.

Mar 17, 5:33pm Top

>141 msf59: Congratulations on seeing woodcocks, Mark!
The mating dance looks unusual.

Mar 17, 5:35pm Top

>151 Crazymamie: Howdy, Mamie! Damp, chilly day here. Hope it was much better for you.

>152 Ameise1: Happy Friday, Barb. It was only a one species bird walk but, yes, it was a success.

Mar 17, 6:04pm Top

>153 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! I am new at seeing these birdy rituals, but this one does seem unique.

Mar 17, 6:09pm Top

Mar 17, 6:10pm Top

Edited: Mar 17, 6:37pm Top

^I know many of us are Timothy Egan fans, but somehow I missed his last NF book, The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero, released last year. I see, that Joanne LOVED it. Well, on St. Patrick's Day it is today's Daily Deal on Audible for 5 bucks. I snagged that baby. Will you? Joanne doesn't give out 5 stars very often, (Okay 4.5. Excuse me).


Mar 17, 10:10pm Top

>158 msf59: My local library has that one! I am a big Timothy Egan fan, so I will be reading that one soon.

Happy weekend, Mark :)

Mar 17, 10:17pm Top

>159 alcottacre: Happy Friday, Stasia. Did you read The Worst Hard Time? That one made me an instant fan of Egan.

Mar 17, 10:20pm Top

>160 msf59: Yes, I read it several years ago. I enjoyed both it and The Big Burn.

Mar 17, 10:35pm Top

I read The Big Burn too. We are on the same Egan page, Stasia. I never did read Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. That one got by me too.

Mar 17, 10:39pm Top

Hi Mark, I've been trying to read one non-fiction per month but even so I am falling behind on all the recommendations that I have picked up both here on your thread and all over LT!

Mar 17, 11:14pm Top

Happy weekend, Mark! I am another Timothy Egan fan. But I still need to read The Shadow Catcher.

Mar 18, 3:56am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark.

Mar 18, 5:40am Top

>156 msf59: This made me laugh. So true! Happy Saturday :-)

Mar 18, 6:45am Top

>163 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy! Expect plenty more NF recs over here. I have several lined up. I can't get enough. Happy Reading!

>164 banjo123: Happy Saturday, Rhonda! so good to see you. Yah, for Mr. Egan.

>165 Ameise1: Happy Saturday, Barb.

>166 charl08: Glad it put a smile on your face, Charlotte. Happy Weekend.

Edited: Mar 18, 7:09am Top

^ I read and loved King Leopold's Ghost a couple years ago and was very excited to read Hochschild's new (last) book Spain in Our Hearts. Vivian even sent me a spanking new copy but there it sat neglected and scorned...until now. This one also received glowing reviews. Looking forward to diving in.

Mar 18, 7:20am Top

Have you read Hochschild's To End All Wars? My library has got a copy of it?

Mar 18, 8:40am Top

A Belated Wish for a Happy St Patrick's Day, Mark. Did you down a pint of Guinness? I'm not a drinker and certainly not a Guinness, though my husband does not mind a Guinness here and there. He was working yesterday and works again today, so no chance of him drinking anything.

We have had no mail for 3 days straight. I am guessing that our mail man has decided to take a break from the rain and wind. Just kidding, but I am waiting for 3 books via the post.

Mar 18, 9:04am Top

Hey, buddy. Happy Saturday! Should be be better today weather-wise. Hope it stays reasonably dry for you.

I'm caught up in the NCAA men's basketball. Northwestern got in for the first time ever, and won its first round game - but now it has to play powerhouse Gonzaga. David and Goliath. We'll see.

I'm thoroughly enjoying A Man Called Ove. I've gotten better at not resisting when everyone tells me I should read a particular book. All my life, my first reaction to "you should" (do anything) has been "no." Debbi will back me up on this. :-)

Mar 18, 10:13am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark!

Any bird walks scheduled for the coming week?

Mar 18, 10:56am Top

On the route, this morning, I saw a red-winged blackbird singing in a tree top. I heard a couple of others yesterday. Hope they are singing in the Spring.

>169 Ameise1: I have not read that one, Barb. But it does sound very good. Let me know if you pick it up.

>170 vancouverdeb: Happy Saturday, Deb. No Guinness last night but I am a fan and I do have a couple of cans in the fridge.

No mail, eh? No bills either, right?

Mar 18, 11:00am Top

>171 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Still a bit chilly but not bad. I think some sunshine would help.

I do not follow or watch college basketball but I am very happy for Northwestern.

I am so glad you relented and started "Ove". One thing I learned early on, from LT, is we have the best warblers and the most accurate. You rarely strike out.

Mar 18, 11:01am Top

>172 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. No, bird walks scheduled, until the middle of next month and then it should take off. Of course, I plan on doing solo outings whenever I can.

Mar 18, 12:35pm Top


Every day in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, my dogs and I would walk up and down Portage Road
and be greeted by the same singing red-winged blackbird. I sang his/her song back and was
rewarded by its patient acceptance of my efforts. What beauty in sound and in reaching out to us!

Mar 18, 1:14pm Top

>174 msf59: Truth.

Glad you got to see a red-winged blackbird singing in the top of the tree. I love those birds. That flash of red is really something.

Mar 18, 7:29pm Top

Hi Mark, happy weekend. I've had a lazy day, not doing much of anything but I'm now watching the Blackhawks/Leafs.

Mar 19, 4:26am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark.

Mar 19, 7:20am Top

>176 m.belljackson: I love your red-winged blackbird story. Have you heard any this season yet?

>177 jnwelch: I did not see that flash of red on that one, Joe. Due to that fact that he was high up in a tree but I knew that unmistakable song.

>178 lindapanzo: Happy Sunday, Linda! Yah, for lazy days. I had the reverse. Worked all day and then attended a wedding. I will try to get some lazy time in today, in between a few tasks.

>179 Ameise1: Have a great day, Barb!

Mar 19, 8:02am Top

Hi Mark! Happy Sunday. I hope you can get some R&R&R today - rest, relaxation, and reading!

Mar 19, 8:06am Top

Morning, Karen! The 3 Rs sound fantastic. We are having our main bathroom remodeled, (FINALLY!!) starting tomorrow, so there maybe some prep work, involved with that, but I hope to get in some reading, whenever I can.

Mar 19, 9:29am Top

32) Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo 4.5 stars

There are plenty of good reviews on this one, so I will just add a few thoughts: The story takes place in upper New York state, in the fictional town of New Bath and is centered around Donald "Sully" Sullivan, who is 60 years old and still rambling through life on a reckless, carefree course. He is one of my favorite literary creations and this is a perfect example of small town America. It is laugh out loud funny but also dips into some serious issues, as well.

I am now looking forward to reading Everybody's Fool, which is Russo's follow-up, that came out last year.

Mar 19, 3:54pm Top

Hi, Mark! Hope you're having a wonderful day off!

Thanks for visiting my thread and your kind wishes. To answer one of your questions, I posted picz of my new back yard.

Mar 19, 4:42pm Top

> 162 Thanks for reminding me about Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. I am going to have to track down a copy.

Mar 19, 5:27pm Top

>184 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary! We are getting our main bath remodeled, starting tomorrow, so we have been doing some prep work for that, although the wife is doing the bulk of it. She knows where things go.

I am getting some reading in, in between though.

>185 alcottacre: Happy Sunday, Stasia. I also want to track down a copy of Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher.

Edited: Mar 19, 5:35pm Top

^Recent acquisitions. Nice variety here. It seems like I read 2 and then add 3 more. The life of a Book Geek.
The 2 GNs laying flat are from the library- The Best We Can Do and Flight of the Raven, the latter is a Joe rec.

**That is my trusty Nano, next to the beer glass. I wonder how many audiobooks I have listened to on that little guy? 8 hundred? A thousand?

Mar 19, 7:37pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mark. Nobody's Fool sounds good; I haven't seen any negative comments on it around here. I did love Empire Falls, so I will get to it one of these days.

Mar 19, 7:45pm Top

>187 msf59: I think if we showed that picture around the group and asked them to guess who the table and its contents belonged to, a fair proportion would get it right, buddy. I am not at all sure why?!

Mar 19, 7:55pm Top

>158 msf59: Yeah, I loved that one - it was quite a story! I need to read The Worst Hard Time one of these days.

>187 msf59: I got The Lauras, too.

Have a great week, Mark!

Mar 19, 9:35pm Top

>188 BLBera: Hi, Beth! I hope you can find a copy of Nobody's Fool and give it a try. It is a terrific read.

>189 PaulCranswick: I am thinking maybe, 2 or 3 people would guess who that photo belongs to. Okay, maybe 4. Hope you had a great weekend, Paul.

>190 coppers: Happy Sunday, Joanne! I highly, highly recommend you find time to read or listen to The Worst Hard Time. NNF does not get any better.

Hopefully, we can read The Lauras around the same time. I want to read Ill Will first, though, (my last E.R. book).

Mar 19, 10:00pm Top

>191 msf59: Ha! I've got Ill Will, too (not from LT, though)!

Mar 19, 10:21pm Top

>192 coppers: I think I WILL kick off April with Ill Will, Joanne. It sounds really good. Have you read any other Chaon?

Mar 19, 10:59pm Top

>187 msf59: Love the iconic photograph, Mark. The postal truck and beer are what I have come to expect.

>189 PaulCranswick: Paul has that right on! :)

Mar 19, 10:59pm Top

Mark, I LOVE that snowy owl in your thread topper. So stunning. There is a snowy owl at the Woodland Park (Seattle) Zoo and I once had a stare-down with him. He won.

I got a copy of The Lauras too. I so loved her first novel, I am hopeful about this one. I think I got it for Early Reviewers.

Kim and I looked at Consider the Lobster at Powell's yesterday. I think she bought it. She went to high school with DFW.

I hope you have a great week ahead! I'm off to NOLA tomorrow to meet up with P and my sister for our cruise on the Mississippi. I anticipate lots of time sitting on the balcony reading and watching the world go by.

Mar 20, 2:04am Top

Good moring, Mark. Have a good start into the new week.

Mar 20, 6:31am Top

Morning, Mark!

The package came while Charlie and I were in Indiana - thanks so much!! I'll give it a try later today to make sure everything works (I'm certain it will)...

Mar 20, 6:32am Top

>194 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. It is nice to be recognized. Grins...Hope you had a nice weekend.

>195 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! Hope you enjoyed a nice weekend. Yah, for snowys! I am hoping this is the year I see an owl in the wild.

I am also looking forward to The Lauras. Glad you had a great time at the Meet-Up. That had to be very special. Have a good time in NOLA. I have never been.

>196 Ameise1: Hi, Barb! I hope your Monday goes smoothly too.

Mar 20, 6:33am Top

>197 scaifea: Morning Amber! I did not realize you had went to Indiana. I missed the memo. Glad you received the package. Let me know how it goes.

Mar 20, 6:42am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you.

More DFW, congratulations. Essays, too, and I've read several over the years and then last year read String Theory, a collection of his tennis-related essays. I love his essays.

I note with interest >195 EBT1002: Ellen's comment about Kim going to high school with DFW.

Mar 20, 6:54am Top

>199 msf59: You mean you didn't miss me for 4 days?! Yeesh...

Mar 20, 6:54am Top

Morning, Karen! It stormed quite a bit through the night. I hope it is finished for the work day. Fingers crossed.

My first DFW, was A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and I have been wanting to try another of his collections. I remember Kim sharing that tidbit with me before. How cool!

Mar 20, 6:57am Top

>201 scaifea: I thought you might be enjoying some "Me" time and did not want to be bothered with the fast-paced chatter. Grins...

Mar 20, 6:57am Top

>203 msf59: Oh, sure...sure...

Mar 20, 7:01am Top

My first and still-favorite essay by DFW is his Roger Federer essay, Roger Federer as Religious Experience for the NY Times from 2006. And Roger just won Indian Wells yesterday, his fifth! My man is having a very, very good year.

I hope the storms finished in the night too. Fingers crossed for you!

Mar 20, 7:03am Top

>204 scaifea: You saw right through that, eh?

>205 karenmarie: I will have to track down that essay. It looks like rain will continue here, off and on. Boo!

Edited: Mar 20, 7:19am Top

Here 'tis:

Federer as Religious Experience

And, here's a Youtube about Roger. I just discovered it, but being a Serious Roger Federer fan, it's giving me chills.

Roger Love

Sorry about the rain, Mark. I hope your work day passes quickly.

Mar 20, 7:31am Top

Sorry to hear about the continuing rain. Hopefully it will ease off quickly and you don't end up too cold and wet.

Mar 20, 8:25am Top

Happy Spring, Mark! I'm finding all the bird talk so interesting.
We've got a beautiful sunrise this morning but I hear we'll be getting some rain later today. It's ok, should wash the remaining snow down the drain.
I'll need to add Nobody's Fool to the every growing TBR list!

Edited: Mar 20, 11:18am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well with you.

>158 msf59:. sounds good. I have The Big Burn on the TBL list. Another Roosevelt story.

Mar 20, 11:39am Top

Morning, Mark! I think way more than 4 people would be able that photo as belonging to you - a very nice selection.

Mar 20, 11:39am Top

>207 karenmarie: Thanks for supplying the essay, Karen. I will check it out this evening. Staying dry at the moment. Hope it continues.

>208 lunacat: Hi, Jenny. Not a bad start to the day, especially for a Monday. Staying dry right now.

>209 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. We love our birds, don't we? With migration season, just a couple weeks off, expect more bird warbling.

I hope you find time to read Nobody's Fool. It is a terrific novel.

>210 brodiew2: Morning, Brodie. So far so good, my friend. I hope you find time to read The Big Burn. Another gem.

Mar 20, 11:41am Top

>211 Crazymamie: Okay, 5 tops...grins. Morning Mamie! No time for thread visiting, this being a Monday but I hope to check in on a few pals tonight.

Mar 20, 1:16pm Top

Hi Mark - happy Spring! I haven't heard any LT talk about Lincoln in the Bardo. This is my first George Saunders since I'm not a big short story reader. I'm listening on audio and it's incredibly different, creative, and totally fascinating. Hope you get to it! (I'm just trying to get back at you for all the BBs I've taken from your thread!)

Mar 20, 2:48pm Top

Hiya, Mark!

Consider the Lobster was my first DFW (thanks to our DIL), and I thought it was terrific. It's going to be interesting to hear your thoughts after Infinite Jest. There's much more of a laser focus in these essays, although he still gets into some hilarious and thought-provoking digressions.

Did I tell you that Lucifer at the Starlite came in? I've got it right here beside me. I think Melissa Range is another poet you're going to like; I reviewed her new one over on my thread.

Mar 20, 8:35pm Top

^I THINK I saw a white-crowned sparrow, on the route today. It was bopping along on someone's front lawn. I had a nice long look, but I still cannot be completely certain, but this is what I narrowed it down to. The bands/stripes on it's head was a major clue.

Good bird day too. All kinds of singing and other activity, on the route. I even had a Canada Goose, honking at me from a rooftop. Bringing in the Spring, perhaps?

Edited: Mar 20, 8:43pm Top

>214 vivians: Hi, Vivian! Good to see you! There has been some warbling about Lincoln in the Bardo, on the threads but I have not read it yet. I do have it on audio, so it is so good to hear that you are enjoying it, in that format. I think I will make it my next audio selection. How about those apples?

>215 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! It is Matt's birthday today, so I took him out for beer and wings, just after I got home. In regards to DFW, I did read A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays, which was my first, so I am all ready pumped about Consider the Lobster.

Good to know about Lucifer at the Starlite. I enjoyed that one and I will have to check out the Range collection too.

Edited: Mar 20, 9:16pm Top

^I started Mexico: Stories today. A promising story collection, based on the first couple of stories. Just my cuppa. Lynda recently enjoyed it too and Janet was kind enough to pass it on to me. LT folks are the best folks.

Mar 20, 11:49pm Top

Oh those pesky Canada Geese! They never leave my area . Nor do the seagulls, or a lot of different ducks. I always have the dog with me when I am out walking and I try to " memorize" the look of the ducks so I can tell you what they are , but my memory of patterns on ducks is not that good. Or else my little bird book is too small. I always see mallards, wood ducks and others with complex patterns that I am not sure what they are. Cute little white crowned sparrow!

Mar 21, 4:55am Top

>183 msf59: ooof, I have to read that. I like it that you clarified that it was set in a fictional town. It is important for me to know that if I do start reading it :)

Also, your cartoons have inspired me to start posting some Gary Larson ones on my thread, my dad had all the books when I was a teenager and as I have gotten older I am pretty sure I get them all now. Some took a while, but I love his humour.

Mar 21, 5:40am Top

Greetings from finally sunny Berlin. I have really lucked out on my hotel accommodations in Germany. This hotel in Berlin is amazing. It is in a residential district and quiet at night, but that wonderful service for which Germans are so famous.

I toured the Reichstag yesterday and hit Gendarmenmarkt. I had a Berlin currywurst and some great hot chocolate. Today I am doing a cruise on the River Spree and bus tour of the city. I want to get to the Neues Museum as well.

I also have to say that Rick Steves guide book has been invaluable. His recommendations are right on the mark.

Mar 21, 6:39am Top

Morning, Mark!

I'm delighted and excited to be able to say that the meet-up has moved from a possible to a definite - we've booked the hotel, even! Woot! Charlie and Tomm will likely make a brief appearance, but will be dropping me off and then heading out for the Lego Discovery Center.

Mar 21, 7:27am Top

>219 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb! The geese seem to be around here most of the year too. Many winter here. I think it is mating/nesting season, so they seem to be very active. I am sure you have some very interesting ducks up there, but they are not always easy to identify and they are still very shy, at least here, so they keep their distance. Wood Ducks are one of my favorites.

>220 Ireadthereforeiam: Hi, Meg. Good point about the unnecessary use of "fictional". Regardless, it is a terrific American small town novel. I take it, you have not read Russo?

I like Gary Larson too. I will have to share a couple over here.

Mar 21, 7:34am Top

>221 benitastrnad: Hooray for Deutschland, Benita. Thanks for checking in, from Berlin. I LOVED Germany, when I was stationed there, (over 2 years) but never made it to Berlin. Bad Bad Mark! I am sure you will have a wonderful time and enjoy all the fantastic bratwurst and of course, do not forget to have a beer or 2.

Ooh, a cruise on the River Spree sounds great.

>222 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Hooray for making the Meet-Up official. We are going to have a terrific time. I am meeting Joe on Sunday, for lunch and beer and I am sure we will discuss the upcoming event. B.A.G.

Edited: Mar 21, 7:58am Top

^I also saw and heard a blue jay on the route yesterday. Great splash of color, in our drab surroundings. Today is my day off. I have to run a family member to the airport but then I plan on going for a solo bird walk, to a place I have never been. I will report back. I also hope to fit in some reading throughout the day.

We are FINALLY getting our main bathroom remodeled and they tore everything out yesterday, so things are a bit chaotic in the Marky-Mark household, especially keeping the dogs out of the way. We hope to have it done in a few days. The workers should be arriving shortly.

Mar 21, 8:04am Top

Morning, Mark! Hooray for the bathroom remodel - you'll be so happy that you did that. Enjoy the day off and the bird walk.

Mar 21, 8:09am Top

Morning, Mamie! I was just visiting the Paradiso. Yah! Our bathroom was screaming REHAB, especially after some water leaks in the bathtub area. We are installing a stand up shower, which will be nice, since I haven't taken a sit down bath in 20 years.

Mar 21, 9:18am Top

Good morning, Mark! and happy day off Tuesday!

I wish I could recognize bird song - that would give me a clue to what's out there that I could look for. I've listened to recordings on some of the websites, but that hasn't translated into the listening-looking coordination I need.

>214 vivians: I read Lincoln in the Bardo several weeks ago, and like you, not being a short story fan, it's my first by George Saunders. It's only the 6th book I've ever given a 5-star rating to since rating books here on LT starting in 2007. I can't recommend it enough. I read it but have been told that the audiobook is absolutely wonderful too.

Mar 21, 9:54am Top

>228 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Recognizing bird song is new for me. I am paying better attention now and the ones I hear regularly, are making the proper impression. My hearing is not great, so I really have to work at it.

I am adding Lincoln in the Bardo to my audio rotation and might start it, after Spain in Our Hearts.

Mar 21, 1:29pm Top

Hiya, Mark!

I'm glad you have the day off. It's a beaut over here, and I hope it is for you. Lots of sun.

I liked A Man Called Ove, and I'm about halfway through Norse Mythology, which is a solidly good Gaiman. Rolling Blackouts continues to be an engaging read, no surprise.

Mar 21, 2:07pm Top

Morning, Mark! Be sure to take before-and-after pics of the bathroom!

Mar 21, 2:22pm Top

>222 scaifea: Woot! So excited to hear this. It's coming right up!

>225 msf59: I love blue jays — it's very exciting when I get to see one even though they are kinda cranky birds for the most part. Come to think of it, maybe that's why I like them — we have something in common. :-)

Mar 21, 4:05pm Top

>230 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! It was a nice day. It is beginning to cool off now. I had a nice afternoon traipsing through a nature preserve in Willow Springs. The downside...very little reading but sacrifice's need to be made.

Glad you enjoyed Ove. I have Norse Mythology saved on audio. I should get to it soon.

>231 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary! I only have one before photo of the bathroom, that my daughter took. It might be too dark. I'll try to take a after one. When it isn't beer, books or birds, I sometimes drop the ball.

>232 rosalita: The Meet-Up will be here before you know it, Julia! Yah! I saw more blue jays on my walk today. They sure like fussin'. Yah, for cranky birds, of all kinds.

Edited: Mar 21, 4:15pm Top

I saw my very first red-headed woodpecker today. Actually several of them, including an immature one, (the photo on the right). Major highlight. I think I also saw a couple purple finches, (first timers) although they look similar to house finches. I wish I had someone along that could make a positive ID, although after scanning photos of them, I think I am correct.

I saw many of the usual suspects too, making this a special solo outing. The place was called the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center and Preserve. They also had feeders outside the center. Did not see many at my first visit but after my walk, the place was hopping. I bet I saw a dozen or more, different species in 20 minutes.

Mar 21, 4:42pm Top

>234 msf59: I heard a woodpecker close by this morning as I left for work. I think it was doing its magic on a neighbor's tree.

Mar 21, 4:45pm Top

Oooh, I'm jealous of the red-headed woodpeckers. Congratulations!

Mar 21, 4:47pm Top

I am leaving Berlin in the morning. Time to go back to Kansas and then back to work.

Mar 21, 4:48pm Top

>218 msf59: I wholeheartedly agree that LT folks are the best! I saw Lynda recommend that book recently and I am intrigued by it, so I hope I can get hold of a copy once it is 'officially' published (I understood that her copy was an ARC).

Mar 21, 4:51pm Top

>235 lindapanzo: >236 karenmarie: Funny, I never heard them pecking at trees, today. Some of them make distinctive sounds, but I haven't learned the sounds yet. I also seen downy, and red-bellied woodpeckers, as well. A very productive day.

Pileated woodpeckers are also seen here, but, sadly I did not see one of those. These are very large, nearly crow size.

Mar 21, 5:04pm Top

>232 rosalita: Julia: I'm *beyond* excited that you'll be there, too! WOOT times 2!!

Afternoon, Mark!

Mar 21, 5:14pm Top

>239 msf59: My sister and my niece tell me that a woodpecker pecks at their siding right outside my niece's bedroom window.

>240 scaifea: The more the merrier. Can't remember when we last got together though I distinctly remember rooting for the Blackhawks in the playoffs while we talked and also eating Home Run Inn pizza. Our nearest HRI is near Mark's house, which is pretty far, and having HRI pizza is, for me, always memorable.

Mar 21, 5:24pm Top

>241 lindapanzo: Linda: Ooof, pizza - 75ers meet-up + pizza sounds like heaven!

Mar 21, 5:32pm Top

>233 msf59: Which reminds me: I need to do some Meet-Up shopping. Do you have a preference for a certain kind of beer — ale, lager, IPA, some other thing I've never heard of but I'm sure I could find around here?

Mar 21, 5:46pm Top

>238 alcottacre: I can send you my copy, when I through with it, Stasia. How is that?

>240 scaifea: Lots of "wooting" going on. Wait until April 15th and I am not talking about tax day either.

>241 lindapanzo: Before we put up vinyl siding we had woodpeckers attack our cedar siding too. Frustrating and destructive.

It looks like we should order Home Run Inn for the Meet-Up, eh?

Mar 21, 5:48pm Top

>238 alcottacre: Really?! I would love that! I will pay it forward too.

Mar 21, 5:48pm Top

>243 rosalita: Thanks, Julia! Please don't go overboard, but I have been enjoying porters and stouts, of late, although I have no problem downing a good pale ale or an IPA.

Mar 21, 6:01pm Top

>246 msf59: Excellent! I'm sure I can find some Iowa craft beers to suit your preferences. :-)

Was it Home Run Inn pizza you served at the last meet-up? I remember that pizza being pretty darn good!

Edited: Mar 21, 8:56pm Top

I was planning on bringing you some New Glarus (that stuff that you can't buy outside of WI) - interested? I know NOTHING about beers, so any guidance would be a very good thing...

ETA: Linda has let me know that the New Glarus is sort of her thing to bring, so I'll leave her to it. I suspect she knows more about it than even this WI resident, so it's likely for the best.

Mar 21, 10:02pm Top

>180 msf59: msf59

No red-winged blackbirds yet on the phone wires along the road,

but crows, cardinals, cranes, and mourning doves in abundance
in our yard and cornfield to the west.

Also heard, then saw, the biggest red-headed woodpecker ever -
I didn't know they grew so large!

Mar 21, 10:09pm Top

Isn't Woody Woodpecker a pileated?

Mar 22, 6:31am Top

>247 rosalita: Much appreciated, Julia. And yes, I believe I did get Home Run Inn Pizza that last time.

>248 scaifea: Our favorite New Glarus is Moonman. Spotted Cow is to light for our palates. Thanks for the offer.

>249 m.belljackson: Thanks, for the bird report, Marianne. I heard and saw many red-winged blackbirds yesterday. What type of cranes are you seeing?

And could the woodpecker have been a pileated?

>250 jessibud2: I believe, Woody is a pileated, Shelley. Sure, looks that way.

Mar 22, 6:40am Top

Morning, Mark!

Mar 22, 6:45am Top

Hi Mark and Happy Wednesday to you!

I've seen a pileated woodpecker out here and my neighbor Louise says they look prehistoric to her. Interesting, since birds are descendants of dinosaurs. I heard a woodpecker pecking yesterday when replenishing the feeders, but don't know which type it was. I listened to pecking recordings of the three main types out here just now, but frankly they all sounded alike to me.

Mar 22, 7:04am Top

>252 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

>253 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am not sure if you can tell woodpeckers by their pecking sounds, (I am probably wrong) but I know they are make distinctive songs or chitters. I WANT to see a pileated. Wah!

Mar 22, 9:11am Top

Good morning, Mark!

I can hear a woodpecker by us, working over the tree bark, but I haven't seen it yet.

I started John MacDonald's The Girl, the Gold Watch, and Everything, recommended by Roni, and I'm getting a kick out of it.

Have a good one, buddy. The temperature roller coaster is in operation; cold one today, unfortunately.

Mar 22, 10:27am Top

I saw a pileated once on my drive home from work and nearly drove off the road I was so excited. It really was huge!

Mar 22, 11:02am Top

>msf59 - Sandhill Cranes - with distinctive, haunting calls...

Mar 22, 11:14am Top

>255 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Lots of woodpecker love going on. You probably heard a downy woodpecker. That one seems to be the most prevalent in our area.

I never did read that MacDonald. That is a non-McGee, correct?

Mar 22, 11:16am Top

>256 jessibud2: I am glad you avoided a crash, Shelley. I heard they are nearly crow-size. That one is the next one to cross off my list.

>257 m.belljackson: I saw a flock of Sandhill cranes, on my walk yesterday. I hear them, quite often on my route, flying high above.

Mar 22, 11:41am Top

>225 msf59: The blue jay is a beautiful bird, Mark.

>234 msf59: Congrats on spotting your first red-headed woodpecker!

Mar 22, 3:09pm Top

>258 msf59: Yes, The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything is a non-McGee, with a bit of a sci-fi twist. Tons o' fun.

Mar 22, 6:42pm Top

>260 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita! I saw a couple of blue jays on the route, again today. Such a nice flash of blue.

And hooray for red-headed woodpeckers!

>261 jnwelch: Looks like I should track down The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything, Joe. Looks fun and refreshing.

Edited: Mar 22, 7:31pm Top

^This is a Xoloitzcuintli, or Xolo, a Mexican Hairless dog breed. It was mentioned in one of the stories in my collection, Mexico: Stories. They come in all sizes from miniature to large. The one in the book was a big mean dude. Not sure I can get into the hairless thing, although it is less of a mess to clean up after.

Mar 22, 11:07pm Top

I've run across a few hairless dogs in my dog walking travels. They have to wear sun block, , or so I was told. I think it must be quite a bit of work looking after their skin, but what do I know?

Mar 22, 11:59pm Top

Aaahhhhh!! I have Lincoln in the Bardo, Consider the Lobster (I went to college with DFW, not HS), Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase, I just told Ellen I would read LaRose....I need to clone myself!!

Mar 23, 5:20am Top

Morning, Mark! I remember reading The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything many years ago and watching the movie. I might have to reread that one just for fun.

Mar 23, 6:32am Top

>264 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Since this dog is from Mexico, I am surprised it isn't used to the sun. Were they mostly small breeds that you saw.

>265 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. Nice book haul, my friend. I am starting Lincoln in the Bardo. I want to read LaRose too. Never short of ideas, especially around these bookish parts.

>266 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! You are making the rounds early. I am drinking my first cup of coffee, just wrapping up my workout and buzzing right along. Looks like I should find a copy of The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything.

Mar 23, 6:40am Top

Morning, Mark! That dog is a little, um, different-looking, but still a dog, so still adorable! I love 'em!

Mar 23, 6:47am Top

Howdy Markk! Thanks for posting the Xolo I hadn't give it a thought to check out the breed. Looks like he'd be one tough dude.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:55am Top

>268 scaifea: Morning, Amber! This Xolo isn't bad looking but many of the smaller breeds, IMHO, are pretty darn ugly.

>269 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I had not heard of this Aztec dog breed name before but, of course I had heard of the hairless ones. Not my cuppa...thank you.

Edited: Mar 24, 6:55am Top

^Well, Lincoln in the Bardo seems to be all the rage, here and elsewhere, so I will start it next, on audio. Reportedly, there are 166 narrators on this audio book. An all star cast. WOW! This is his first novel.

I did read his story collection, Tenth of December and thought it was excellent but I failed, (miserably) to try and get to his early stuff, which is also supposed to be terrific. I will get there, folks, i will get there.

Mar 23, 9:19am Top

Good morning, Mark!

>263 msf59: Hairless dogs and cats and those rat-like tails give me the shudders. Which is odd, because both daughter and I had pet rats as kids (I had one, Hermoine Greenrat, and daughter had a total of 4, although I can only remember the names of Snoopy and Woodstock.)

>271 msf59: Yay for your starting Lincoln in the Bardo. My friend Sarah says that the audio works well - I read the book. 166 sounds about right. I may just have to get the audio to listen to a book that I gave one of my stingy 5-star ratings to.

Mar 23, 9:24am Top

Morning, Mark!

Yup, The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything was a hoot. I didn't know there was a movie. I'll have to look for that now.

Hope today goes okay, buddy. Big warmup tomorrow, they're predicting.

Mar 23, 11:00am Top

>272 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I also shudder at hairless cats & dogs. Ugh.

I am really enjoying Lincoln in the Bardo, in the early going and the audio is working just fine, I just really have to pay attention, because it moves quickly.

>273 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. A chillier start than I expected. It supposed to get up to 50? I sure hope they are right.

Mar 23, 12:28pm Top

I love listening to birdsong, mostly because I know so many - dove, robin, cardinal, red-winged blackbird, chickadee, cowbird, crow, Canada goose, and more.

My favorite is the robin's alarm call - it sounds like laughter. Least favorite is the chickadee's fee-bee call. It's high pitched and they do it repeatedly. MrMorphy and I call it the "F*** Off - and Die" call. The cowbird's call is kind of creepy. It's not very loud and sounds like a cat (or some say baby) crying.

Mar 23, 1:57pm Top

Hi Mark, boy things are hopping over here! That hairless dog kinda gives me the creeps, he doesn't look the slightest bit friendly! I am starting Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, I think this stand-alone is going to be something special!

Mar 23, 3:46pm Top

Hi Mark! Because you get so much traffic over here, I thought I'd post this for Fiona Griffiths fans:

Harry Bingham has a prequel that's available as a pdf or e-book download. He says it won't come out in print, unfortunately.

Here's the link for the download: Fiona Griffiths Prequel

Edited: Mar 23, 6:38pm Top

>275 Morphidae: Hi, Morph! Were you talking a brown-headed cowbird? I think there are a couple different types. Thanks for chiming in on the bird song. You did crack me up with the ""F*** Off - and Die" song.

Mar 23, 6:44pm Top

>276 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy! Yes, things continue to hop & bop over here. Well, you know what they say about idle minds...

I am waiting for someone to jump in and defend the hairless dog breed. I am sure someone will. Hope you enjoy Ordinary Grace. I have not read that one either.

>277 karenmarie: This thread gets traffic? Wow! Will wonders never cease? Grins...

Anytime, Karen. Be my guest.

Mar 23, 7:33pm Top

33) The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen 4.2 stars

“I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds.”

This is how the novel kicks off, as we are introduced to the main character: a Vietnamese Army Captain, fighting for the south, with his loyalties to the communist north. After the fall of Saigon, in 1975, he relocates to California, with his general's staff and continues there as a sleeper agent.
The writing here is strong and ambitious. Nguyen is a smart and crafty author. It is a story about friendship, loyalty and the horrors of war and it's aftermath. Even if you may not agree with it winning a Pulitzer, you can clearly see why it was considered. Nguyen is an author to watch.

**Funny, the book opens, in much the same way, as The Confessions of Nat Turner does, with the main character, imprisoned and making his confession to his captor. I thought this an interesting coincidence and worth pointing out.

Edited: Mar 23, 7:48pm Top

31) Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear 4.3 stars

“When he fell in love with birds and began to photograph them, his anxieties dissipated.
The sound of birdsong reminded him to look outward at the world.”

“He had discovered his joy was bird-shaped.”

“It was a relief to be back with the bird-loving weirdos, soaking up their stand-and-stare vibe, basking in the still night air that carried not even a breath of wind.”

“Birding is more than an activity. It's a disposition. Keep your eyes and ears and mind open to beauty.”

“If you listen to birds, every day will have a song in it.”

^I will cheat a bit on this one and just add some quotes, instead of reviewing it. I have also shared these before. Call me lazy if you will, but I loved these quotes and much of her writing. There was a bit more navel-gazing, than I would have preferred but this little book did grow on me. It also really brought to light, the geeky joy of simply being out in nature, in an urban setting or not.

Mar 23, 8:07pm Top

>280 msf59: oooh, sounds good!

*looks left*
*looks right*
No Gary Larson cartoons yet? I just emailed my dad the one with the kid in class with his hand up. He says: Can I be excused sir? My brain is full.
This is how I am feeling today, hence my LT visiting!!

Edited: Mar 23, 8:11pm Top

Yes , I've seen a hairless crested chinese crested dog. A small dog, yes. I think maybe all of the hairless dogs tend to be small? I'll happily defend the hairless dogs! :) A Chihuahua /crested Chinese dog won the Ugliest Dog contest of 2016. I think they are so pitiful that they are cute!

Great review of Birds Art Life. Scroll down from for some pix of " ugly dogs " who have won prizes! :)


Mar 23, 8:20pm Top

>281 msf59: - I like this one: “Birding is more than an activity. It's a disposition. Keep your eyes and ears and mind open to beauty.”

All of them, actually. I am on the waiting list for it at the library I hope it doesn't take too long!

Edited: Mar 23, 8:40pm Top

^Gary Larson

Edited: Mar 23, 8:45pm Top

>282 Ireadthereforeiam: Those Larson comics are for Megan! So hard to choose...he was so good.

>283 vancouverdeb: Why do you share those horrid photos, Tonto, just before bedtime. I thought we were friends? Grins...

>284 jessibud2: I bookmarked so many quotes, in that book, Shelley. She definitely has a poetic style. I hope your copy comes in soon.

Mar 23, 9:50pm Top

Was in Pueblo today to sign the lease and thought of you when I looked into the backyard of my soon-to-be new rental house and saw a robin (my first of the season) and this bird. The landlord said here are always a lot of birds around (probably because of the huge old trees) and that I'm welcome to put in a bird feeder and birdbath.

Northern Flicker Woodpecker

Mar 23, 11:10pm Top

Ha The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything, I remember the movie version when I was growing up. Ultimate 80's cheese.

Here's the TV promo from Operation Prime Time for the movie.

Robert Hays (of Airplane fame) ad Pam Dawber (of Mork and Mindy fame) star.

Too funny... https://youtu.be/OiQidro72ng

Mar 24, 1:48am Top

Happy Friday, Mark.

Mar 24, 2:35am Top

Nice review of The Sympathizer, Mark. However, that first sentence reminds me much more of the opening paragraph of Invisible Man:

I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of those Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination--indeed, everything and anything except me.

Mar 24, 2:59am Top

Love the bird chatter Mark. I am struggling to keep up with the bird feeder in the garden. The goldfinches are really going for it at the moment. I will look out for >281 msf59:
After reading The Refugees, !The Sympathiser is on the wishlist.

Mar 24, 6:23am Top

Morning. Mark! Friday! “He had discovered his joy was bird-shaped.” This made me smile.

Mar 24, 6:32am Top

>287 Storeetllr: Hooray for Pueblo, northern flickers and new bird feeders! Flickers are nice looking birds. I have seen them around here but not very often. It has been a couple of years. I am excited to hear what you get at your feeders, Mary.

>288 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. I will check out the movie link. Funny, I thought the movie was from the 60s.

>289 Ameise1: Happy Friday, Barb.

Mar 24, 6:33am Top

Morning, Mark! Charlie and I heard a woodpecker a couple of days ago and I thought of you...

Mar 24, 6:37am Top

>290 kidzdoc: Hi, Darryl! Good to see you. Thanks for sharing the Invisible Man quote. Beautiful stuff. I have not read that one in over 25 years. I am due a reread.

>291 charl08: Hi, Charlotte! Glad you like the bird chatter. I hope I am not going over-board on it. Glad The Sympathizer is on your WL. Now, I want to read The Refugees.

Yah, for goldfinches. I have not put up with finch feeder yet. Soon?

>292 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! That quote made me smile too.

Mar 24, 6:37am Top

>294 scaifea: Morning, Amber! I love it when people hear woodpeckers and think of me. Awwwwww....

Mar 24, 10:06am Top

I read somewhere that Woody Woodpecker was the number one song on the charts the year I was born. That explains a lot. :-D

Edited: Mar 24, 12:27pm Top

>288 mahsdad: Oh, what a shame, Jeff. That looks horrible. I wish they'd done The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything in a more serious way. The book's so much fun, and there's no overacting. :-)

Mar 24, 10:43am Top

>278 msf59: Yes, the brown-headed cowbird.

We came up with that name (well, I came up with the first part and MrMorphy the second) one day when they just wouldn't stop making that loud, high-pitched call.

Just wait until the next time you hear it. You'll never be able to forget our nickname again! Bwhahaha!

Mar 24, 6:54pm Top

>297 Storeetllr: That does explain a lot, Mary. Grins...

>299 Morphidae: I am sure I have seen a brown-headed cowbird, but I have not added one to my LIST, yet. I am sure I will and I will also listen for that cowbird song. Smiles...

Mar 25, 9:34am Top

>300 msf59: Oh, that song is by the chickadee. The cowbird makes an unusual baby/cat cry..

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Ten.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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