Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 7
This is a continuation of the topic Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 6.
This topic was continued by Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 8.
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I don't think I had this many friends in school who liked to read like I did ;-)
Hello, Old Friends, and Welcome, New Ones!
My husband and I just re-located from Dallas, Texas to the metro New York area, so I am all about new adventures and fresh perspectives!
About me: I'm in my late 30s and besides reading, I love to travel, try new wines, indulge in shenanigans, and spend time with friends and family. Other things I love: Pimm's, snark, the New York Giants, the New York Yankees, sports in general, Cards Against Humanity, and "ethnic" (i.e. non-American) cuisine. But I like American food, too. I just like food. :)
My reading is primarily fiction, though I love nonfiction, too. I'll read almost anything if it has a compelling narrative - from great literature to tawdry romances. This is a judgment-free zone. Unless you use bad grammar, and then I judge you. A lot. (Ooh, look, lots of sentence fragments; I'm judging myself now...)
Other characters who occasionally make an appearance on my thread:
The Wayne - husband
Louis - The World's Best Dog (who is currently being taken care of by my sister-in-law because my mean landlord won't let us have a dog in this beautiful house...)
Leonard - a cat that thinks he's a dog, which is why I find him acceptable
Olivia, Peter, and Abby - my cousins (11, 7, and 3) on whom I dote
Charlie - my baby nephew born January 24!
Benjamin - my baby cousin born March 15!
(Kindle) (Kindle) (Kindle)
BOOKS READ TO DATE
1. And Justice There is None by Deborah Crombie (3.5 stars)
2. Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas (3 stars)
3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3 stars)
-- In Twenty Years by Alison Scotch Win (DNF)
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (audio) (4 stars)
5. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer (audio) (4.5 stars)
6. The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (4 stars)
7. Kindred by Octavia Butler (3.5 stars)
8. News of the World by Paulette Jiles (4.5 stars)
9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (audio) (3.5 stars)
10. Everyday People by Stewart O'Nan (4.5 stars)
11. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (4.5 stars)
12. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (audio) (4 stars)
-- Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life by Yiyun Li
13. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (4 stars)
14. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (4.5 stars)
15. You Can't Make This Up by Al Michaels (audio) (3 stars)
16. Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan (3.5 stars)
17. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (audio) (4 stars)
Ratings: I've stolen my star scale from Ellen and slightly modified it.
5 stars = I connected with this book in a special way. It may not be perfect, but it was perfect for me.
4.5 = A great read, among my favorites of the year.
4 = A good read and one that I recommend; truly enjoyable and/or worthy.
3.5 = Pretty good, with a few things done very well.
3 = Good for what it is.
2.5 = Average, and life is too short to read average works.
2 = A bit below average. A waste of time.
Anything worse I probably didn't finish and so wouldn't give a rating.
Some of the challenges I am following/wanting to participate in:
American Author Challenge (75ers)
Nonfiction Challenge (75ers)
Monthly Themes (Reading Through Time)
CultureCAT (2017 Category Challenge)
Why the Hell Did Donald Trump Win? (not sure of actual group read name :) ) (75ers)
I also want to save room for random/serendipitous choices, so I need to give myself permission to dip in and out of the challenges. I may bring back my LT Folly book selection or some other random means of selecting at least one book a month.
Reviews from the end of the last thread....
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
Why now: The author was speaking locally and I’ve wanted to read this for a long time.
This should be required reading in high school so that the generation coming up will have a real sense of the problems in our justice system and inspiration to address them head on. I could quote so many passages of this book and relate each time I was brought to tears, but you should just read it for yourself. It is a really tough read, but an important and worthwhile one.
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
Why now: Nonfiction Challenge Theme – Voyages of Discovery
Candice Millard is an excellent narrative nonfiction writer. I loved her Destiny of the Republic, and I liked this one a lot. And may have been less of a revelation than Destiny just because I am more familiar with T.R. and knew about this expedition he undertook down an unchartered river in Brazil. But Millard’s research and ability to synthesize so much information into a readable and entertaining narrative is really impressive.
The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
Why now: Suzanne gave me the ARC and it’s a favorite series
I really like this series, especially the first couple of books and now the last couple. I always find the background and context of the mysteries interesting (this one is about underground societies) and the character development and relationships are intriguing. The resolutions to the mysteries are usually kind of ridiculous, but that’s almost secondary. Developments in the Nelson and Ruth relationship alone make this one worth reading. Hoo boy!
This one will be published in the US at the end of May.
Mine!!! Happy St. Paddy's Day!! A favorite series, you say? Dang it. Maybe I can find one or two at Powell's tomorrow. So maybe I should go finish what I am reading. Ha!!
Happy New Thread, Katie! Some day I'm going to get to that Ruth Galloway series. I've got the first one on my WL.
Thank you, Micky! My only plans are laundry and packing. I fly Sunday night to Bangkok :)
Happy new one, Katie! I am very jealous that you have gotten to read the latest Ruth Galloway.
Well, Mamie, I am sending it up to Beth, so maybe if you ask her *very nicely* she will pass it along to you next!
>18 ronincats: - Thanks, Roni!
>19 drneutron: - Honored to share twin threads with you, Jim :)
>20 charl08: - Thanks, Charlotte! I hope so, too.... It's a loooong trip! My layover in Abu Dhabi is about 3 hours, so that should be fine (knock on wood!).
>21 msf59: - Exit West is very good so far, Mark. I'm only about 50 pages in but reads really smoothly, and I love the writing.
>5 katiekrug: Into the BlackHole it goes! Thanks for the recommendation, Katie.
Happy weekend :)
Happy new thread Katie, and here's to having a great weekend. I struggle with the 'reading time/social time on LT' thing constantly. This year reading time has been doing well, but the price is that I am usually behind on all the threads.
>23 alcottacre: - Thanks, Stasia! Happy weekend to you!
>24 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, so far I am getting over my compulsion to get and stay caught up. Once I leave for this trip, there will be no hope so it's good practice ;-)
>25 BLBera: - I think you're going to like it, Beth! I probably won't get it in the mail before I leave but The Wayne may remember to take care of it for me. Otherwise, I'll send it as soon as I get back the week after next.
>26 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba!
Happy new thread, Katie. It seems to be an especially challenging year to keep up with the threads! Safe travels!
I wish I were flying to Bangkok tomorrow! Have a good flight and I hope you enjoy the time there, in spite of the work involved. :)
I have mixed feelings, Ursula. It's a long flight, but I'll be in business class so that helps. I am missing The Wayne's birthday, which is a bummer. But I am really looking forward to seeing my colleagues whom I miss since I left Dallas. And I am happy to get some Katie time, which I plan to spend just relaxing at the hotel. This is my 3rd trip to Bangkok, so I've seen what I'm interested in seeing of the city and plan to chill at the hotel during my downtime, so that will be nice. But I will be glad to have the trip behind me, too!
Happy travels, Katie. I hope the business class makes it all go smooth sailing for you (as it were). That will be nice I bet!
>34 katiekrug: Ah yeah, a mixed bag definitely. Enjoying the parts you can will definitely help you get on the other side of it faster!
Happy Sunday, Katie! And have a very safe trip, my friend. Do you travel today?
No worries. I still need to pack but that's about it. I'm trying to finish Exit West right now (it's excellent!).
Hours and hours in business class sounds like just the thing if you have to fly anywhere :-) I hope the trip goes well and you enjoy all the hotel amenities.
Katie--Safe trip to tonight and I hope you have some wonderful me-time in Bangkok. I swear I added Ruth Galloway to my WL before Powell's, but it wasn't on it and I only just remembered now that I am on your thread. I am so bummed. : ( But it is now really, truly on the list.
Hope the room service is good in your hotel. I rather like the idea of being holed up with my books. Good luck with packing your books. Choices choices!
Hi, Katie! Just stopping by (and delurking) to say Happy New Thread. Bangkok! Sounds so exotic to one who has never been. Safe flight and enjoy a relaxing time between work stuff!
A rather delayed Happy New Thread. I hope your travels go smoothly and you have a fabulous time in Bangkok, even if it is for work and not play!
Here's wishing you a safe, smooth trip and a great time in Bangkok
Happy New Thread, Katie, and safe travels! I can relate to the opportunity to build in some down time in the room when on a work-related trip. Enjoy your room service (do you do room service? I have a hard time letting myself indulge in it but when I do, it's so decadently wonderful!).
I'm looking forward to reading Just Mercy one of these days. I have taken the important step of purchasing it.
Hi all! Just checking in from Abu Dhabi, where I am laying over. Uneventful 12 hour flight from JFK. I slept a majority of it. And got started on Sophie's Choice which, weirdly, is a good airplane book. *shrug*
A little over 3 hours. I'm holed up in the Etihad lounge where the wine is free :-)
>34 katiekrug: Meeting with colleagues is one the best things about working. I hope you enjoy the time in Bangkok, Katie.
Yeah, not what I would have expected to keep me going on a 14 hr flight...
I'm safely ensconced in the lap of luxury at the hotel :-) Breakfasting on the terrace before getting to work.
Individual responses later! Thanks for keeping my thread warm!
I hope you're not also coming back via Abu Dhabi (or Dubai, for that matter) ... this new ban on all devices is kind of a pain if you're a Kindle reader. Good thing you can sleep through flights too! :)
>61 katiekrug: Good to see you arrived safely in South East Asia, Katie. It is a shame that my schedule is so hectic right now and I am trying to get done to relocate, otherwise I would have downed tools and paid you a visit up there. Enjoy yourself some R&R.
Happy new thread, Katie! I hope that you have some enjoyable down time in Bangkok.
Hi, Katie. Just me, catching up yet again after my trip to Portland, Or. I hope the return flight isn't too boring, and you have few good physical books to get you through.
Howdy, Katie. I was stationed in Bangkok for nearly a year during the war. Yeah, that war. Vietnam. Fifty years ago. I was so lucky in how that worked out.
Hope your work trip is treating you well, Katie.
I ran across a sports romance today while browsing through a publisher catalogue and the title made me giggle: Third Base. It might be funnier when combined with the cover image of a shirtless man holding a baseball bat. Anyway, sports romances always make me think of you. :)
Hi Katie, stopping by to get caught up. Wishing you a wonderful week and that your work trip is going well.
Hi Katie, hope all is going well and you are having a great week. Stay safe and healthy.
I, too, hope your trip is going well and that you're also enjoying yourself!
Home again, home again, jiggity-jig!
After a hellish ride home from the airport, I am now safely ensconced at home, which may not be the lap of luxury, but which is most welcome after a seemingly endless trip :)
>48 charl08: - As it turned out, Charlotte, I never got room service! But the food was excellent everywhere I went :)
>49 Storeetllr: - Good to "see" you, Mary! And thanks for the good wishes.
>50 lunacat: - Thanks, Jenny! I did manage to survive everything thrown at me, so thanks for that :)
>51 RebaRelishesReading: - Thank you, Reba!
>52 EBT1002: - Ellen, I have zero problem ordering room service, but I never did on this trip... I think the opportunity to hang out with my colleagues whom I see so infrequently now was too good to resist.
>53 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber!
>57 susanj67: - Susan, this trip would have been a nightmare without the lounges... and not just because of the free wine!
>58 Familyhistorian: - Meg, it's been an adjustment working from home, and I am grateful to have some opportunities to connect with my colleague-friends...
>59 lit_chick: and >60 drneutron: - I know, totally weird. But there was something about the rhythm of it... And then, after a while, it would make me sleepy, so win-win :)
>62 ursula: - I did come back through Abu Dhabi, Ursula. The new restrictions are ridiculous. Luckily, I have the Kindle app on my phone, so I just made sure I had books downloaded onto it, plus I had 3 back issues of Vanity Fair to read, a book of crossword puzzles, and my audio book to keep me company. I was really worried about having to put my laptop in my checked bag, but it made it back with me. I was secretly hoping my Kindle wouldn't, so I could get a new one ;-)
This was my first trip overseas since the election, and I've never had so many people comment on US politics to me (and no, they weren't complimentary); the Bush-Iraq war era didn't even come close in levels of negativity. It's also the first time I have ever made a point of making sure to hold my passport with the back facing out so as not to advertise my nationality. As our not-so-esteemed leader would tweet: SAD!
Edited for clarity.
>63 avatiakh: - Thanks, Kerry! It was lovely.
>64 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul. A special trip to Bangkok would have been above and beyond the call of duty!
>65 RebaRelishesReading: - Indeed!
>66 charl08: and >67 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Charlotte and Darryl! I did enjoy the bit of downtime I had, though I was chomping at the bit to start home by the end of it :)
>68 ffortsa: - Thanks, Judy. I survived the flight home, mostly thanks to sleep :)
>69 Crazymamie: - *Smile* It's nice to be missed.
>70 weird_O: - Lucky, indeed, Bill. It's a great city - at least now. Not sure what it would have been like then... But I can't imagine the essential nature of the people has changed much, and I find them very warm and friendly.
>71 MickyFine: - Love it! And of course, baseball is always played shirtless :-P
>72 EBT1002: - Great now that I'm home, Ellen!
>73 lkernagh: - Thanks, Lori! Good to "see" you :)
>74 DeltaQueen50: - Home now, Judy, thanks for the good wishes. I hope I stay healthy - the dude across the aisle from me on the return flight sounded like he was about to die from a head and chest cold. Yay.
>75 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen! Glad to be home, but some fun was had while away...
When one arrives at the Mandarin Oriental, one receives the most amazing-smelling nosegay (?) of fresh flowers.
Speaking of fresh flowers, they were everywhere...
Even on my pillow when I came back to my room...
The view from my room up the Chao Phraya River:
Where we had our opening reception:
The gorgeous meeting rooms (this one is set for the last meeting of the trip):
Love that view.
Glad you made it back despite being without all the entertainment on such a long flight. Kindles are so great in that sort of situation.
Glad you're safely back, Katie.
Sounds like a great trip. I'm not surprised you got the negativity re U.S. politics. We got some of that while traveling during the Bush the Younger years, but I'm sure it's much more pronounced for the Orange Voldemort.
Glad to see you've arrived home safe, and I'm not surprised about the negative comments either. When we go to Europe these days, I've made it quite clear which way I voted re Brexit, whenever the topic turns to politics. I do NOT want to be associated with any of it.
Glad you're home safe and sound. Sounds like the trip went well until the ride home -- right?
>89 BLBera: - Thank you, Beth.
>90 lunacat: - I usually try to just smile vaguely and move on when politics comes up overseas but I feel so strongly about The Apricot Menace, I can't do that anymore.
>91 RebaRelishesReading: - That's right, Reba. The ride home from the airport wasn't so great - traffic was bad and the driver kept making odd choices. But I made it, so that's the important thing :)
I took a five (!) hour nap yesterday and was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep last night, but I managed a solid 5.5 hours. Now I've been up since about 4:30am. We'll see how the day goes. The Wayne has a late work thing tonight and doesn't want to get a late train and then turn around the next morning and go back, so he surprised me by booking a room at the Library Hotel. I'll head into the city late this afternoon and check-in and meet up with him for dinner before he goes back into work. I wouldn't mind just being at home, but he isn't super spontaneous, so I need to be supportive when he is ;-)
It looks to be pretty neat:
"The Library Hotel’s collection of over 6,000 books is organized by the Dewey Decimal System. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the DDC and each of our 60 rooms are uniquely adorned with books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to."
There's even a reading room with refreshments! I wonder if I could just move in....
Wow, that sounds very very cool. I hope you have a lovely evening. And encouragement of spontaneity seems an excellent reason for going along!
I was just perusing the website's photos (http://www.libraryhotel.com/en/gallery.html) - there is a giant (faux) card catalogue behind the front desk. I was obviously meant to stay there!
>99 katiekrug: Ooh, I want to go! This sounds fun.
(Although I think they should use LCC classification... ;-)
Morning, Katie! Welcome home. Glad you survived the trip and are getting caught up on precious sleep.
Did you get any memorable reading in?
I have massive envy over your getting to stay in The Library Hotel as it's on my bucket list. I'm curious what floor/ Dewey range you'll get. :)
Your trip sounds fascinating. I love all the fresh flowers. Thanks for the pictures. Heh. The Apricot Menace. I'm adding that one to my repertoire. My go-to for him, since I refuse to put the words President and his name in the same phrase, is President Tweet.
You know, you could probably just 'lose' your Kindle somewhere in the house and get a new one after a week or so. Mine got lost in a stack and husband bought me a new one 2 months later. Of course I found the old one some time after that. so now Ihave two. I have started thinking I'll give it to my daughter.
Supporting not-usually-spontaneous husbands is a good thing. Have fun!
>102 charl08: - LOL, Charlotte! Only on LT would we debate the relative merits of books classification systems :)
>103 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I did very little reading, I'm afraid. All of it was in Sophie's Choice, but I'm only about 130 pages in. It's good but slow-going, mostly because I really don't like Stingo much :-/
>104 MickyFine: - Micky, I will be sure to report back!
>105 karenmarie: - Karen, I do have a birthday coming up and am thinking of asking for an Oasis. I feel a little guilty, though, as my Paperwhite works just fine...
>106 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth!
>97 katiekrug: What's the "Library Hotel"? It sounds wonderful, as does dinner in the City. I know that after a work trip you're delighted to be home but the evening/night sounds great and I imagine you'll enjoy it.
Hi Reba! It's a little boutique hotel in Midtown, with the floors themed by the Dewey Decimal System (you can read more about it on the link I posted above in >101 katiekrug:). Should be fun!
Sorry, I responded up at the original post and then read further. Meanwhile, I was gone to the link. it looks absolutely wonderful!!!
Someone needs to plan a major NYC meet-up for the 75ers and get a room block at the Library Hotel. It's fab!
Katie--Welcome back home! Love all your pictures from your trip and I am glad you had the chance to catch up with old colleagues/friends. And have fun at the Library Hotel; with a name like that I think it is a sure thing. ; )
Morning, Katie! I'm so glad you're home! And that Library Hotel looks full of fabulous - how fun. And lovely photos - thanks for sharing. Did I mention that I'm so happy you are home?
Good to see that you are back, Katie. Makes your new place feel even more like home, doesn't it? The flowers and photos of where you were are gorgeous but, I think, the Library Hotel looks even better! I think the Wayne has outdone himself on spontaneity.
>107 katiekrug: I hadn't heard of the Oasis - just checked it out. Whew! It looks wonderful, and that leather charging cover - oh my goodness. I can't justify it because I read less than 5% of my books on my Kindle, but it sure would be fun to have one. I'm sure you could find someone to give your Paperwhite to! My sister had a Kindle that she wasn't using, so she gave it to me to give to a woman I knew who couldn't afford one.
>113 katiekrug: I'd consider a NYC meet up. I haven't been there since 1980. I drooled over the pictures of The Library Hotel.
>114 drneutron: - It was, Jim!
>115 Berly: - Had a great time, Kim - both on my trip and at the hotel :)
>116 Crazymamie: - Hi Mamie, thanks! You would love the hotel, not least because they have complimentary wine and cheese in the Reading Room every evening and the wine does not suck ;-) You should come visit, and we'll stay there and paint the town red!
>117 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg! I'm always thrilled when The Wayne does something unexpected. Makes the treat all the sweeter :) We had a nice time, though he ended up working until after 9pm but I am good at entertaining myself!
>118 karenmarie: - Karen, I am sooo tempted by the Oasis. I know Mamie loves her. A big NYC meet-up would be fun, and I could put my event planning experience into the effort if I didn't have this pesky job! I may think on it a bit.....
Not sure if I've mentioned that I'm going to see Trevor Noah speak tomorrow afternoon at a nearby university. It's part of a literary festival the next town over is putting on. They have a pretty good line-up of events for the weekend, but I am restricting myself to Noah and a panel on Trump, journalism, and "alternative facts" on Saturday that The Wayne is going to go to with me. I expect we'll both have steam coming out of our ears by the end. Heh.
This is the description from the festival program:
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Alternative Facts: Trump and the New World Order. Tim O’Brien, author of Trumpnation: The Art of Being The Donald, Kate Zernike, New York Times journalist and author of Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America, and New York Times Presidential Campaign Editor David Halbfinger sit down with The Daily Beast columnist, author and political commentator Jonathan Alter. Join the conversation as they try to make sense of fake news, enemies of the people and Trump’s attitude to the media. Venue: The Sanctuary at First Congregational Church
>121 vivians: - I loved Exit West, Vivian! I finished it right before I left on my trip so should probably write up a few comments...
Maybe I should take a poll to see who would be interested in traveling here for a meet-up. I don't want to put a ton of effort into it if it would just be a couple of people, but I could probably find out from the hotel when there most advantageous pricing would be and go from there....
>120 katiekrug: Totally jealous about Trevor Noah!! Can't wait to hear about both of them.
Hi Katie! I had to come over because I heard that someone was dissing the Dewey Dec- Oh. It was Charlotte. Um, never mind...
The hotel looks amazing. I'm glad it was fun. Bangkok looked pretty good too. But welcome back :-)
I will not willingly set foot in the US until February 2021 or earlier impeachment, but I will be very envious if there is a NY meet-up. Enjoy the festival tomorrow. I was watching Suits the other day and they went to a beautiful house in Montclair, which you mentioned was where your friend lived, so I thought hey, I almost know someone from there :-)
I'm sooooo tempted by a NYC meet up. I love New York and the flights are only about 5-6hrs long. I reckon I could talk TheBF into coming as well.
>123 Berly: - I will report back, Kim!
>124 susanj67: - Selfishly, Susan, I hope work sends you to New York so we can visit McDonald's together ;-) But at least I'll see you in July (fingers crossed)!
>125 BLBera: - Of course, Beth :)
>126 lunacat: - Oh, the pressure.... Now I feel like I need to act on this hare-brained idea... :-P In the meantime, you should plan to come to London when I'm there in early July :D
>127 Crazymamie: - Yes, please x2.
Hooray for Friday! It's raining and cold here, but I don't mind. I took the day off and have grand plans - Trevor Noah, a pedicure, some reading... And I think I'll make The Wayne take me out for dinner :)
Howdy Katie! Miss ya lady. I've been so out of touch.
Your book event for the weekend sounds fantastic. Can't wait to hear how it went.
The Library Hotel sounds so awesome. Now I have a new bucket list item. ;-) ETA: I love how each room is assigned a topic from the DDC.
>76 katiekrug: Ain't that the truth!
I want to go the library hotel - but I might have to wait until 2021, sadly for budgetary rather than moral reasons... I guess if the first LT meeting is a winner, you could hold it again in four years? Not much to ask (!!)
I could probably talk mrsdrneutron into a New York meetup, depending on the schedule.
Absolutely perfect spring day here today. I've opened all the windows to let in some fresh air and sunshine. Only about 60F but the sun is warm. The Wayne and I walked into town to get breakfast this morning - it's so nice to be able to do that.
Yesterday, we went to a talk moderated by the journalist Jonathan Alter; the panel featured a reporter for Bloomberg and two from the NY Times. The title was "Fake News: Trump and the New World Order" or something like that. I took some notes and will do a little write-up about that and the Trevor Noah event later. Right now, I'm going back to reading :)
Headed into the city tonight to go to a Rangers game with my friend, Eileen.
It sounds like you are having a wonderful weekend, Katie. Can't wait to hear about Noah and the talk about fake news.
Morning, Katie! Yay for the spring weather! We've had a certain kind of spring here this weekend, but the chilly rainy kind. Good reading weather, though.
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks is on sale for $1.99 for Kindle (US). This is a fascinating look at an often misunderstood aspect of Islamic culture. I learned a lot from reading it; it's engaging and really well-written, to boot!
>142 katiekrug: May have to try out my new "wish list on LT" skills for that one. I really like Geraldine Brooks and wasn't aware of that one.
Today was my first full day back at work. Oof.
Luckily, dinner is easy tonight - rigatoni and meatballs, courtesy of the Instant Pot. I am most looking forward to the bottle of 7 Deadly Zins I have waiting :)
Oh, that is one of my favorite wines! You can't beat a good old-vine zinfandel.
Hi, Katie! Dinner sounds tasty! I hope you enjoy Brown Girl Dreaming. I loved it. The writing is lyrical but I don't really consider it poetry. A novel of verse, perhaps?
>151 drneutron: - It was fantastic, Jim! The pasta cooked perfectly, and then I could just leave it on "Warm" while I went to pick up The Wayne from the train station :)
>152 ronincats: - It's one of our favorites, too, Roni!
>153 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I'm enjoying Brown Girl Dreaming. Woodson herself considers it poetry, as do a number of others, from what I can tell from a brief Google search. Interesting that you call it a novel; I think it's more a memoir than anything else.
I'm envious of your getting to see/hear Trevor Noah. I hope it lived up to your expectations.
I'm a philistine, I guess - I just couldn't get into Brown Girl Dreaming. Everybody else in my book club loved it, so it really has to be me on this one.
Hi Karen - it would be boring if we all liked the same thing. I'm not sure if I would like BGD as much if I read it in print. Seems like it's the kind of thing meant to be read aloud, maybe?
(photo from The Montclarion)
Trevor Noah spoke at Montclair State University, as the kick-off speaker for the Montclair Literary Festival. He was "interviewed" by his book editor, but he could have just sat up there and spoken in a monologue for an hour and it would have been fascinating. He is just as funny and charming as on The Daily Show, and he had a lot to say about politics, race, storytelling, and our common humanity. Among the points he made that struck me:
- The media has sensationalized so much over the past decade or two that now that there really is "bad" stuff happening, too many people are quick to dismiss it as just more of the same.
- Resistance is focused engagement, not blind rage or thoughtless rejection.
- Stories are fibers in the fabric that makes us all human; in my story, maybe you see a piece of yourself through my lens. And that is how we forge connections.
There was a lot more I scribbled in my little red notebook (I've decided to start keeping notes of the author and other speaker events I attend), but I don't want to go on and on too long :) Suffice it to say, he was a really engaging speaker, and I can't wait to read his book.
>157 katiekrug: Noah is such a gifted speaker and thinker (those two gifts are not always both present in an individual). Thanks for sharing your notes from the session. You haven't read Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood yet? You're in for a treat! I read the book (paper), then got the audiobook from my library and listened to a bit of it--I could listen to that voice all day, I think.
(Terrible photo from the MLF's Facebook page; the two women on either end are festival staff - the panel is pictured between them (l-r): Halbfinger, Zernike, O'Brien, Alter)
Alternative Facts: Trump and the New World Order
This session was moderated by The Daily Beast's Jonathan Alter, who was with Newsweek for many years. The panelists were Tim O'Brien with Bloomberg, and Kate Zernike and David Halbfinger with The New York Times. Apparently Zernike is an "expert" on the Tea Party, and she mentioned having a cameo in The Unwinding when Andrew Breitbart attacked her at CPAC (I don't remember that bit in the book, but anyway....). Halbfinger ran The Times' 2016 campaign coverage. And O'Brien wrote a book about Trump that led to him being sued by Trump because he said Trump wasn't actually a billionaire. As O'Brien said, "That's the level of childishness we are dealing with in our President." Fun fact: O'Brien is also one of the few people who has actually seen Trump's tax returns, because it was part of the lawsuit. Trump lost the suit, but O'Brien is not allowed to discuss any specifics of what he saw (interesting piece he wrote about it: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-05-12/time-for-donald-trump-to-release-his-tax-returns).
ANYWAY, this was an excellent conversation about Trump and the state of news (real/fake/alternative/etc) today. Some nuggets:
- Trump is a world class propagandist, and has been for decades. None of this is new for him or to how he's operated for years.
- The anti-intellectualism, narrow world view, distrust of institutions has been developing slowly over time and tends to be dismissed and/or ridiculed by "coastal elites." Wealthy Republicans who voted for him have no excuse - they should have known better but just wanted tax cuts. But the "regular" Trump voter is not well understood, and the media hasn't covered it well enough. The Times is starting to do more "deep" reporting to try to address the gap, but it will take time.
- One of the panelists described Trump as “a child grown old” which seemed just about perfect to me.
- They didn’t actually talk much about “fake news” or “alternative facts.” Most of the discussion was about Trump as a person/candidate/politician, and how to cover him and his Administration. They all seemed to agree on the need to not "normalize" him, and the need to better understand where his support comes from, but there wasn't a lot of detail on how to do that.
>158 klobrien2: - Hi Karen! No, I haven't read Noah's book yet, but I got a copy as part of my ticket to his event, so I will read it soon.
>154 katiekrug: I guess this is why I still consider myself a novice, Katie. Glad you are enjoying it.
Thanks for sharing your events, Katie. Great idea to start a notebook. I still haven't been totally won over by Noah on TDS, but it sounds like his book is worth reading.
>157 katiekrug: I've decided to start keeping notes of the author and other speaker events I attend
Yuss! Me too :) If only to report back on LT.
He sounds like a fascinating guy alright!
>161 msf59: - It's a great audio! I like that she isn't ultra-polished as a reader.
>162 nittnut: - Hi Jenn!
>163 BLBera: - I am really looking forward to his book, Beth. And oh! The Chevalier book arrived so thanks! The book I'm sending to you is all packaged up and in my car - I just have to remember to stop at the post office :-P
>164 Berly: - Kim, I may try to get the audio from the library so I can listen to parts of it. And I have another bottle of that wine waiting in the wings - and no The Wayne who will demand I share it with him tonight. Heh.
>165 Ireadthereforeiam: - He had lots of smart, nuanced things to say, Megan. Looking forward to reading his book...
Blerg. Rough night last night, as our security alarm (which we haven't "armed" since we've been here) decided to go off at 1am, thanks to some equipment malfunction. I stumbled downstairs and turned it off but it went off again 20 minutes later. Rinse and repeat twice more before The Wayne managed to disconnect the battery and silence it for the rest of the night. I'm soooo tired!
But I have a free evening tonight because The Wayne is spending the night in the city; he has an early meeting tomorrow morning and his commute has been all jacked up due to a train derailment on Monday that damaged a track switch or something at Penn Station. He didn't want to risk missing the meeting, so he booked a "room" at one of those pod hotels with the super tiny accommodations. Heh. He's a giant so this could be really funny.... He promised to send me pictures :)
Have a lovely evening, Katie. It sounds like you might have an early night. Did you put the batteries back in the alarm?
No hurry with the book. Good old UPS - it arrived quickly.
I hope The Wayne can manage to squeeze himself into a pod! I would love to try one, they seem so cozy and snuggly!
>168 BLBera: - Beth, I haven't put the batteries back in because I expect it will just do the same thing. I spoke with the landlord about getting it fixed, so that should be done soon. Our landlord is fantastic.
>169 lunacat: - We shall see, Jenny! I looked up the place online and, while small, they are still rooms with private baths. I was picturing some sort of sci-fi capsule in the wall or something!
I am still working on Sophie's Choice. I can only take it in small bites, as I really dislike the narrator. The writing is *so* good, though...
I started Dancing at the Rascal Fair and was hooked immediately. I decided to give it a whirl, because there will be a discussion about it at our local indie bookstore on Friday night, and I think I will go to that, though I won't have finished it by then. Conveniently, the bookstore is right next to the train station where I pick up the Wayne, so he can just meet me there.
I am also hoping to fit in Cutting for Stone this month, as there is another book club I want to try in the area. Yes, the search continues....
>170 katiekrug: Well that's disappointing. I was hoping for one of those ones found in Tokyo etc, that are stacked one on top of the other. Where is the fun in a proper room?!
Hi Judy! I will be in Houston the first week of May, or else that would have been great timing...
This is the place he's staying: http://thepodhotel.com/pod-39/. Small but not quite a "pod" as I originally envisioned!
I'll have to see what he thought, Amber. For the location, it's pretty inexpensive, and it would be a great option for when we do things in the city at night and don't want to have to trek home....
>175 katiekrug: That's too bad. We'll talk about it among ourselves.
I have gotten really old and staid. Even those prices seem extraordinary to me. I guess I haven't done much hotel-based traveling over the years.
>178 lauralkeet: and >179 ffortsa: - The pricing seems to vary a lot. Next week shows over $200 and the week after over $150. I believe The Wayne booked his for about $140. He may have gone through a generic booking site and gotten a discount for paying up front...
Laura - Shared bathrooms?!? Yikes.
Judy - Yeah, some of them can be outrageous. I told The Wayne to ask HR if, should the need arise again, he can get Bloomberg's corporate pricing at a nearby hotel - pay for it himself, of course, but get a discount...
Sophie's Choice: Stay with it, Katie. I've got that Doig staring at me from the middle of one of my bedside TRB towers. Let me know how it goes for you.
I'm sticking with it, Bill! But dear God, it's like wading through molasses...
Thanks, ladies! I can't wait to meet Ben - I'll see him the first week of May :)
>183 katiekrug: So cute! I love the expression on the baby's face in particular :-) Wrapped in a blanket, cuddled by my sister - happiness.
Thanks, ladies! I think they are pretty cute. Abby is a firecracker, so I have a feeling Ben will be a very mellow kid...
>183 katiekrug: AW! That is such a sweet photo! Cuteness overload.
Morning, Katie! It's Friday!!
Hooray for Friday! And I'm getting my hair cut! And I'm going to a used book sale! And the wine has been restocked! And we are having pizza for dinner!
Perfect day :)
Your little cousins are adorable, Katie, no two ways about it.
Hope you're setting up for a good weekend.
>198 charl08: - So far, so good, Charlotte!
>199 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba!
>200 jnwelch: - Y'all are so nice to validate me goofy pride, Joe!
Weekend is looking busy with necessary things, but I'm sure we'll fit in some fun stuff, too! It will, unfortunately, include a visit to the dreaded DMV.....
>194 katiekrug: Perfect indeed! And you have cute cousins. And The Pod looks like a plan for the future stay overs, pending a good review from The Wayne.
Sweet babies, book doings, all appreciated while sipping my nightly glass of Seven Deadly Zins. Yum!
Hi Katie, your little cousins are indeed adorable. We are knee deep in the sorting through of our stuff but everything came to a halt today when I opened a box and found all my old report cards from school. Had to look at each and every one. I guess I haven't changed much over the years, I still spent too much time on socializing and not enough on actual work!
>202 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth :) Got to transfer the car registration. But I've been promised a stop at a furniture store to look at dining sets, and some Mexican for lunch :)
>203 Berly: - Kim, he said the Pod Hotel was just fine, so we will probably keep it in mind. Next month, we are going to an event at the Botanical Gardens on a Thursday evening, so that could be a good time to make use of it.
>204 ronincats: - I have a bottle for the weekend, Roni! And by weekend, I mean one part of one evening this weekend ;-) Right now, I'm enjoying a Josh cabernet...
>205 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, you are doing so well with the moving prep! I wish we had had as much lead time so we could do a proper cull before everything got packed and moved. Most of what is slowing me down in getting unpacked and organized is that so much is just crap we really don't need and shouldn't have moved. But we were pressed for time last fall, so it is what it is...
I just told Morgan yesterday that this weekend we are going to do some pre-packing stuff, getting rid of things now instead of in a mad rush at the end. (Of course, it's not like we've accumulated a lot of stuff that needs to be gotten rid of in the last 8 months, but there are things we've had longer that need to go.) So yeah, on tomorrow's agenda is some sorting, trashing, and cleaning. I'm determined not to start from the beginning in the last couple of weeks.
>208 ursula: - I hope to have the boxes out of the dining room after today - I bought a table and chairs today that will be delivered Wednesday, so I need to get my act together!
The trip to the DMV was just as awful as it always is, but we did get the car registered and a set of NJ license plates, so that's one thing off the list! Then we stopped at a furniture store to see a dining set in person that I saw online. We both really liked it, so we bought it and scheduled delivery for Wednesday! Now I just need to clean up the dining room :)
It's a round pedestal table with a cherry finish and four creamy-beigish upholstered chairs. I'll take a photo when it's delivered. It's basically this one but with a cherry, not gray, finish:
The picture makes the table look smaller than it is. It's a nice size to comfortably seat 4.
>211 karenmarie: - I don't dislike SC, Karen. By wading through my molasses, I meant the density of osme of the writing. When I do pick it up, it's excellent, but when I put it down, I don't have that compelling feeling like I want ot pick it up right away again...
>212 Crazymamie: - Thanks, Mamie! I'm excited for the new set. And the motivation of it arriving worked - we pretty much sorted everything in the dining room and packed up four big boxes to go to Goodwill! I can see a lot of the floor again :D
Okay, I haven't been here in a while. Hi Katie!
I LOVE >76 katiekrug:. Hilarious and true.
>210 katiekrug: Gorgeous table! And congrats on having NJ plates now. :-)
I know Seven Deadly Zins but I don't know Josh Cab. Right now I'm enjoying a Corpse Reviver #2 that my sweetie made for me. Yum. It is effectively taking the harsh edges off the world.
Yeah, your cousins are pretty cute. (heh - they truly are adorable!)
Oh! I loved Dancing at the Rascal Fair!! It was my first Doig and I do believe it is still my favorite.
If I end up living in central NY, we can have a meet up in the city, no?
>210 katiekrug: That's a very pretty dining set, Katie. Glad the purchase motivated some serious cleaning and clearing out. :)
>171 katiekrug: I am still working on Sophie's Choice. I can only take it in small bites, as I really dislike the narrator. The writing is *so* good, though...
I read Sophie's Choice so very long ago, I'd need a reread to be even half close to understanding it I think.
>183 katiekrug: oh my, that is some severe cuteness there. I love the little bundle of baby all cuddled up by big sis.
>214 lauralkeet: and >215 BLBera: - Thanks, Laura and Beth! I'm glad I finally just decided to pull the trigger on it. Sometimes I can talk myself out of things really easily. But a table seems like an important thing to have in a house ;-)
>216 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen! I have been exploring "old vine" Zins lately (are there "new vine" ones, as well?) because a friend of mine loves them. I had one from Laurel Cellars last night that was good. I used to mostly be a pinot noir girl, but lately the zins and good cabs have been hitting the spot for me. And now that the weather is getting nice, I'm returning to my favorite chilled sauvignon blancs, too :)
I'm glad you like both the table AND the cousins - I don't think I'll be returning either of 'em. Heh.
I'm really liking the Doig, but it is now taking a backseat (along with Sophie's Choice) to Cutting for Stone because I'm reading that one for a book club I'm going to test drive in a couple of weeks.
And if you end up in central NY (I am trying not to get my hopes up!), we can meet in the city, but also closer to wherever you are. "Central NY" covers a lot, but The Wayne and I have already been talking about going to Cooperstown for the baseball HoF and Glimmerglass and to the Finger Lakes to try the wineries there, so there are some attractions up that way!
>217 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky! I keep wandering into the dining room and just looking around happily at the near emptiness :)
>218 Ireadthereforeiam: - Hi Megan! I'm involved in 3 "big" books - all novels - right now which is totally unlike me, so it'll probably be another month before I finish Sophie's Choice! But I'll get there...
Isn't the photo adorable? I hope Abby continues to be a smiling, happy, protective big sister...
This topic was continued by Katie K's 2017 Book of Books (and Shenanigans and Beverages and Friends) - Chapter 8.
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