The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2017 part 2
This is a continuation of the topic The Read goes ever on and on...MrsLee 2017 part 1.
Join LibraryThing to post.
Simply beginning a new thread from the older longer one.
4 books finished in April, although, I have listed 14 on my chart. So 10 were either rereads (8, of which several were children's books), or unfinished (2).
Ghost Story - audible
Have His Carcase - reread
The Travels of Marco Polo - only reading half-heartedly
The Silverado Squatters - reading at work when duties are light, they haven't been lately, so I may bring this one home.
Understanding Art: People, things and ideas
Hurray! Still following--more closely now, I hope, than I was able during the first quarter.
What are you getting out of the art book? That's a pretty big title.
"What? A play withal? I'll be an auditor; and an actor too, if I see reason"
*settles back to see what befalls, and who can spot both sources I'm channelling*
>2 Meredy: Nice to see you again! :)
The art book is very basic, I believe it may have been a textbook, but certainly meant for beginning art appreciation. I am enjoying it very much, being the beginner I am. It is helping me to know why a piece is pleasing to the eye and how to look at a work to see how the artist used color, light, brushstrokes, etc. to get the idea across which they were trying to express. It also explains a little about how art mediums and expressions have changed through the ages. Bonus: it is filled with many photos of art so the authors can explain what is going on and how the artist worked in each masterpiece. My husband is enjoying it too. A perfect read for our year of "Art exploration."
>4 hfglen: I have itchy fingers and want to use Google, but I will resist. Although I cannot say the source with any assurance, I will say that Shakespeare and Pratchett come to mind. Pratchett because of the word "auditor."
>3 pgmcc: I don't know where we stand on who has wounded who more with book bullets, but I do know that we give and get pretty evenly! Also, I have no confidence using the word "whom" or I might have used it in that previous sentence.
>5 MrsLee: As the victim of your shooting, I would be the "whom" in that context. :-)
I followed the bread crumbs to your new thread.
And I like art books, though I wish I had more talent.
>9 hfglen: Hmm, I know the play, and I know the character, but that is not helping me with the other word or author. Unless it is about hockey? I don't know many books about hockey. ;)
It's time I stopped being mean. The first time round is indeed Puck preparing to disrupt the "rude mechanicals" in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The second occurrence is precisely the same Puck, using precisely the same words, introducing himself to Dan and Una on almost the first page of Puck of Pook's Hill, which you can download for free from Project Gutenberg if you don't already have a copy.
>13 hfglen: Hmmm, if I have read Puck of Pook's Hill, it's been ages ago, must look it up. I have a collection of Rudyard Kipling stories, so maybe it is in there.
I'm meandering through Have His Carcase. Since I do remember "who dunnit" I tend to skim the red herrings.
There are some very pointed and insightful thoughts on independent women, and on men and how men perceive women, and how women think they should behave due to that perception. I'm hoping we've come a long way, baby, but sometimes I wonder.
I would never believe the conversation with Endicott the barber, if I hadn't met a man at work who has a memory just like that. The man I know used to be a bartender, among many other things and I think he could lend St. Peter a hand at recalling the details of the lives of every person he has known.
It is my theory that there are two types of readers. Those who read every word of the code breaking and indeed, try to work it out themselves, and those who skim it for good dialog bits and get to the end quickly to read what Peter and Harriet have deciphered. I am decidedly of the second type. I stuck with the code bit long enough to see how the code worked, then skimmed mercilessly.
Me too. (That is in being one of the second type in reading Have His Carcase.)
Same here. By this time, I know which parts of the Lord Peter books matter to me. This one is not one of my favourites. I really should go through my not favourite ones again to see whether I've grown into any of them.
>18 fuzzi: My life is too disorganized right now to do anything that focussed. It might be something to consider later in the year though.
>16 SylviaC: I find that even my "not favorites" have special bits in them I would not want to forsake. I'm going to have to pay attention and get these in hardcover, because my poor little paperbacks are falling to pieces.
>17 pgmcc: Yes, yes it is, if only because like a vampire, I am feeding off of your delight in reading them for the first time. Something I can never experience again.
>18 fuzzi: I am dipping in and out of my favorite mysteries and other books this year as comfort reads. I pushed too hard last year to read books I haven't read in a vain effort to lighten the load on my TBR shelves and I am coming to the realization that it will *never happen.
*see post in new books thread.
Anyone here read Death's Jest Book, or anything by Thomas Lovell Beddoes? I have not, and the selected quotes at the beginning of the chapters are not encouraging me to. What made Sayers connect it to her work? I mean other than the fact that he dwells on death a lot. Wait. Maybe that was all it was? I'm just trying to see the process of the author thinking as she reads something, "Hmm, this is full of great quotes, I think I'll write a book and use these at the beginning of the chapters."
Finished Have His Carcase. It was fun watching her poke at each method of detective writing throughout the story.
I'm trying to read the Lovelace and Babbage book I bought for my daughter. She gave me permission. Much of it is over my head, and I don't think I will be able to finish it before the 22nd when I am to deliver it to my girl, but it is enjoyable.
Having a hard time finding time to read again. Sigh. Balance. Is there ever balance?
ETA: While looking at Amazon for a good hardcover version of Have His Carcase, I saw this little bit of info which I did not know before: "The title is taken from William Cowper's translation of Book II of Homer's Iliad: "The vulture's maw / Shall have his carcase, and the dogs his bones."
>21 MrsLee: How very interesting. I had always thought of it as being an unkind translation of the legal Latin habeas corpus, but your version fits the story much better.
>22 hfglen: And yet, the issue of habeas corpus is brought up several times in the story I believe. I would not be surprised if it was a bit of both.
Today looks to be a quiet day at work, so I'm taking The Haunted Bookshop back with me to begin. Usually that means all Hell will break loose and I won't have a moment to read, but we shall see.
I've asked this on fb, and in the name that book group. Also putting it here.
I need help. This isn't going to leave me alone. I can't remember the name of the book or possibly it was a movie or a television series?
It involved poison in the spine of a book and a secret code for a perfect recipe for rubber I think and running across rooftops and a bookstore getting flooded and I think there was a Jewish element to it?
I don't think it was Doctor Who. It doesn't seem like Sherlock Holmes. Unless it was Mary Russell?* Or could it have been Flavia de Luce? I just can't remember but I remember enjoying the whole thing.
I've been assured it wasn't Mary Russell. Now I'm going to skim my reading threads to see if I can find it, but in my head, it smacks of the cinema.
It's a Miss Fisher mystery by Kerry Greenwood. Title is Raisins And Almonds.
>28 suitable1: Lol, I can usually sort those memory blocks out on my own, but for some reason, I could picture each of my favorite detectives or TV series people as the main characters in my memory and I couldn't trace it. Miss Fischer crossed my mind, since I binge watched her TV series, but she was no more prominent in my memory than Dr. Who or Sherlock. Also, the visuals were strong, but not the visuals of the actual characters, which is why I was confused as to whether it was book or cinema. I've yet to read the Miss Fischer mysteries, but they were great TV shows. Lush and eye appealing.
Yesterday I put aside for good (at least for now) Hercule Poirot's Casebook and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.
Poirot, well, I have read those stories before, but the book is so huge it is daunting and I haven't picked it up to actually read for months now. It just sits there by my chair staring at me and making me feel guilty.
Lovelace and Babbage, I'm taking that to my daughter this coming weekend and there is no way I can finish it before I go, so I got to a nice stopping place for me. I am not a maths girl. I am not a computer girl. Half of the techno-speak might as well have been Greek to me, so it took much more time than I was willing to give it at the moment to decipher. What I read, I liked, but again, time is short. So is my patience.
I am enjoying The Haunted Bookshop, in a sort of love-hate relationship. This is one of those books which has me writing in the margins in argument or wholehearted agreement with the author/characters. Also for definitions of the many words I have to look up, and in the back is a list of authors and books I want to pursue, or at least take a closer look at.
I am very happy that I finally have a use for the huge Reader's Encyclopedia which has been sitting by my chair since forever! Very helpful in looking up all the authors and works mentioned, since they are all older and included in it. :)
Mr. Mifflin; sometimes I want to high-five him, and other times I would like to slap him (but of course I wouldn't, I realize he is a product of his age when it comes to his ideas especially as regards women). The whole argument of which books have value and which do not grows tiresome to me. Also, I don't care for the idea of someone else deciding that for me. Happily, the author generally includes a character to give perspective.
The mystery in this book is the whole reason my head was spinning with that mystery plot above which I couldn't remember.
Haha here's a quote from The Haunted Bookshop about patrons in a used bookstore.
"They seemed normal enough from behind, but in their eyes, he detected the wild, peering glitter of the bibliomaniac."
>33 2wonderY: I had read enough of them to not feel completely at sea, but I wrote down six or more I would like to at least try to read. Happily, not all were "improvement" authors.
>31 pgmcc: You absolutely came to mind when I read that! There were even more descriptions of patrons of second-hand bookstores which had me laughing, but you will have to read them for yourself. Or have you read this one already?
Finished the above mentioned book today, and I am going to try Her Majesty's Occult Service, but at 550 pages, I will have to love it to complete it. It's not so much my reading genre, so we will see.
I'm taking The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin to work with me so I can start dipping into it. I'm anticipating great pleasure with this.
Hmm, April is turning out to be a month of DNF books. Four so far.
I am giving up On Her Majesty's Occult Service. I think if I had tackled this 10, or even 5 years ago I may have liked it very much, but I could tell by page 35 that it wasn't going to work for me. Way too much IT, computer, math, techie, speak, not to mention graffiti language. The main character has potential, but the overall tone is dark. It is described as a "horror" or "Lovecraftian" style, so that didn't surprise me. One of the author's inspirations is Neal Stephenson, which is also a clue for me, because I do not care for his writing, either. I have a feeling that many of my fellow Dragoneers would love this book, so you should probably try it if you haven't yet.
Instead, I picked up The Squire's Tale by Margaret Frazer, a known author who has never disappointed me. I need the balm for my soul.
Also, the pages I have read in The Physiology of Taste have delighted me so far. May have to bring that one home from work on the weekend. This week I need a good book at work because it is Rodeo week here and my bosses are heavily involved and committed. Also, mid-month is pretty light duty at work, so, reading time!
>37 Darth-Heather: Rodeo Week?
That's the week all the car enthusiasts take their Mustangs out and see if they can steer.
The Red Bluff Round-up. It's a very big deal here.
"Red Bluff drew national attention in 1988, when it hosted one of the seven Challenge of Champions match rides between 1987 World Bull Riding Champion Lane Frost and 1987 Bull of the Year Red Rock, a hometown bull from Growney Brothers who had bucked off all 311 riders who tried to ride him in his rodeo career."
My boss's brother used to raise bulls and travel all over western United States and into Canada to various rodeos with them. Their grandfather, I believe, was one of the founding members of the rodeo.
Me, I saw all the rodeos I wanted in my childhood, having grown up in the atmosphere, but never really taken to being a cowboy (only taken with a few cowboys, they can be charming).
>44 pgmcc: You are appreciated, but I didn't see your post until this afternoon. We were posting at the same time.
>44 pgmcc: Didn't say so here, but found your comment so good as to be repeatable in RL.
>44 pgmcc: i snickered quietly in my cubicle :) can't have too many cattle puns!
>48 Darth-Heather: said, "... can't have too many cattle puns!"
Truer words have seldom been uddered.
Hoof it folks, this is a lot of bull. ;)
Had two interesting interactions yesterday at work while reading The Physiology of Taste. One, with my hispanic coworker who has told me that reading is a waste of time. I asked him what a word in Spanish meant, because Google told me it meant "steering wheel" and the author said he used it to refer to anyone who ran an errand for him. My coworker said it meant "steering wheel." When I explained to him the age of the writing, and the sentence the word was used in (after he made some comments about why on earth would I read anything so OLD!), he told me it also meant "flyer" someone who ran around doing errands. So, cool, time changes the meaning of words. By the way, Brillat-Savarin was strongly of the opinion that the French language should not try to stay pure, as he was sure that would also cause it to die out.
Second encounter, a radio salesman wanted to know what I was reading, I told him a little about the book and he seemed very enthused, said he loved to read older books. Our conversation was interrupted at that point, but now I want to ask him which books he enjoys reading to find out if that was just "sales-speak" (never disagree with a customer), or if he really is a reader. :)
Also, had a customer come in yesterday with a huge bag of books which he traded for some of the books I had taken to work to give away. Encouraging!
>55 MrsLee: Start leaving free books in the glove compartments of cars your dealership sells. ;)
>38 pgmcc: "That's the week all the car enthusiasts take their Mustangs out and see if they can steer."
>55 MrsLee: Of course, one has to wonder if any Dragoneers would be cowed by the tone of the first sentence.
All the punsters should give themselves a pat on the head. Though on second thoughts best not.
>68 hfglen: Speaking of which, my husband wanted a new book in the bathroom to read, so I mentioned that R. L. Stevenson's journal of his time in Calistoga, CA might work well. He said it seemed an appropriate bathroom read because the title is The Silverado Squatters.
Really, my thread has no tone at all. Born in a barnyard.
I have nothing to contribute, but I am simultaneously amused whilst also shaking my head in disbelief.
(I wish JPB were still here for this one. I'm sure he would have a few terrible groaners of his own to add.)
I'm lowing this pun fest because really, it's hard to stop a stampede.
However, stepping in it again, my nephew was inspired by my disclosure of the above mentioned bathroom read to begin thinking up other "classics" which would be suitably named for a bathroom shelf of classics.
The House at Pooh Corner
Lord of the Flies - especially if said bathroom was an outhouse.
Moby Dick - one blushes
The Sound and the Fury - especially after certain meals
Les Miserables - we've all been there
Care to add any?
And, just to gently turn this thread back to its purpose, I was able to finish Ghost Story on my trip this weekend, and also Understanding Art, People Things, and Ideas. The art book segued beautifully into my visit to the Legion of Honor museum with the early Monet exhibit. I came away enchanted by The Magpie, which I love above and beyond all the water lily pictures Monet did. Of course all of it was lovely, interesting and inspiring, but that picture above all others made me gasp with its treatment of color in the snow and sky and the interaction of shadow and light. Love, love, love it, seeing it in all its huge glory was a gift, honor and privilege. Also, there were sculptures by Rodin, art through the ages, and some French chateau rooms restored with furniture, walls, floor and all. Pretty cool.
Began the next audio book of Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood, on the way home. Fun stuff.
>78 2wonderY: Thank you for that link in my thread, now I can revisit as needed. :)
Possibly tonight I will read begin to read Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. I've picked up The Travels of Marco Polo again, and so far my evenings have been too full of chores (trying to catch up from my lost weekend) to allow much reading.
Ah well, the chores are fun too. Last night involved a friend coming over to mark which irises she would like starts of, and of course she was invited to dinner, which was an Asian inspired cabbage salad and scallops gently, but quickly, sauteed in butter. My friend added lightly roasted asparagus wrapped with prosciutto. Lovely meal.
OH! OH! I started watching the TV series of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on Netflix with my daughter the other night. I love it! It was so hard to turn the TV off and go to sleep like a good girl. I may suspend my reading the next couple of nights to finish it.
The fairy dude is a bit over-played for evil rather than fey, but other than that, it is stunningly lovely.
>82 MrsLee: Oh noes. Now I have to decide if I can live with watching before reading on this one... Although I don't have a shortage of things to watch.
I'm having this same dilemma over The Night Manager. I've had the book for ages, but haven't read it. Recently I tried to, but wasn't in the right frame of mind and it didn't grab me. Bah.
>84 Bookmarque: Ah, that series is awesome. :o) I only have two episodes left to go. I have to admit I didn't even try to read the book. :o/
Good to hear. We've finished what we have of The Americans, House of Cards and The Patriot and need something new besides the latest Bosch. When it hits Amazon prime video we'll get it.
I really enjoyed The Night Manager as well. Didn't really think about there being a book, but for that kind of story I'm happy with the visual version. Especially since it stars Tom Hiddleston. :) Oh so visual.
>83 clamairy: I'm not sure what to tell you. I loved the book, but it was a long haul for me. Fiddly little footnotes that were as good or better than the story, things which seemed to be going nowhere suddenly tying into the tale. It was a world unto itself, but I have to say that the TV series is clearing up a lot of things and simplifying it in a good way. Still, I love the rabbit trails in the book as well. I really don't think the series would spoil the book for you, I think you would just feel that you are getting the extended version when you read the book.
>89 MrsLee: Thank you. I might give it a go, then.
And we are in complete agreement about Tom Hiddleston, BTW. Oh yes... :o)
>82 MrsLee: The way the TV version portrayed the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair bugged the heck out of me...though I did like Jonathan and Arabella. But JS&MR is one of my top favorite books ever, so no TV version was going to get it right...
>92 jillmwo: I assume we probably all had the same conversation after watching the Thor movie - "Chris who? Nope, don't remember him. Let's talk about Loki..."
Plugging along on Marco Polo, and really enjoying the Brillat-Savarin book, but can't seem to pick up a fiction at the moment.
I started watching the "Escape to the Country Collection" on Netflix. A very subdued reality TV show about folks who want to move into the countryside of England. The show seeks out 3 homes for sale which fall marginally into their budget and wishes and takes them there to view them.
What this American girl loves about it is; they show a map of the county, they describe it both historically and geographically and with references to literature which featured that area, and they give a couple of little sideline stories about local people doing interesting things. Like the farmer building a barrow mound in his field to hold 2000 corpses, and the sausage business which has been operating for almost 500 years, and lace making and leather tanning using oak bark instead of commercial chemicals.
There isn't any of the fake drama of most reality shows, and there are a lot of lovely homes and countryside views. Relaxing.
Oh, that sounds lovely. A good thing to watch while pedalling away on the elliptical machine.
>98 MrsLee: Oh! That sounds perfect. Sadly, not available at my library. Must put daughter on to it. I think they have Netflix...
A productive weekend of rest, reading and chores. I made progress in both the Marco Polo and Brillat-Savarin books. These are very interesting, but do send me down so many rabbit trails with Google. I like that, but it makes for slow progress.
Started reading Children of War (if you are anywhere besides America), or if in America as I am The Children Return by Martin Walker. It grabbed me by the throat and pulled me in yesterday until I struggled to pull away at 10:00pm and go to bed. An hour later than usual, but it was worth it. I love the Bruno series.
>98 MrsLee: that sounds like a series I would love! But I think it would make me want to move to England.
Finished my audio, Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood. Phryne Fisher is always good for some naughty fun without being nauseatingly detailed in the bedroom scenes. I enjoyed this plot because the whole "Queen of the Flowers" parade thing was so very 1920s. My own grandmother was the "Orange Blossom" queen back in about 1918ish and we have pictures of her and her court.
It wasn't a beauty contest, the girls were chosen by the orange growers association although they were very nice looking girls, their grades and citizenship counted as well. The costumes were elaborate and it was fun to follow Phryne through the process and imagine that it was a bit similar to the event my grandmother was in. Hmm, I should find a picture of her and share it here, but that is complicated, so it will depend on my mood this weekend. I don't believe my grandmother had nearly the complications that Phryne had.
Also finished Children of War by Martin Walker. Aside from loving Bruno (although I would never get involved with him, even if I could, because the women he gets involved with seem to get deadly injuries, if not quite dead), it was an interesting story of integrating Muslims into a community and the pressures that terrorism put on those fragile relationships. A light exploration of it, to be sure, but Walker does go into some detail of the intricacies of the "Muslim" issues and backgrounds of various types of immigrants.
Began rereading The Black Mountain by Rex Stout. I love how easy I fall into the company of Wolfe and Archie.
My audiobook is The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde, book 7 in the Thursday Next series. I'm enjoying it, even though I don't think I've read any of these since about book 3.
I really should get back into that series. I think I read #2 & #3 too close together and then stopped. Have you read (or listened to) anything else of his?
>107 clamairy: I read the first in the nursery rhyme character series, but I think that is all. Listening to this book, it really is a type of humor which I need spaced out. Fun to think about the different scenarios he presents, but completely ridiculous. I like it in small bits though. :)
I finished The Black Mountain yesterday. Not sure what I will pick up today, but I want to make some progress in The Physiology of Taste and possibly Marco Polo's adventures. I'm supposed to be reading Stardust, it's by my chair, but hard to pick up for some reason. We shall see.
Finished The Silverado Squatters, interesting especially if you are familiar with the area of California, or particularly like memoirs of early settlements and can handle the attitudes of the day towards other folks and races. Stevenson writes beautifully of nature, and at times charmingly of human nature. I particularly enjoy the lightness of his humor.
>106 MrsLee: >107 clamairy: I read the first two Nursery Crimes books and liked the second better than the first. The idea of Jack facing up to being a Person of Dubious Reality was entertaining. I think the last of the Thursdays that I read was Thursday Next: First among Sequels, which I liked a lot. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on The Woman Who Died a Lot.
>107 clamairy:, >108 MrsLee: > 110 I liked the Nursery Crimes books too, which surprised me because I'm not keen on mysteries. But they were fun and clever. He's supposed to be writing a third one, along with the sequel to Shades of grey (not the more famous 50 shades of grey!) but there's no sign of either.
Finished reading The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. What a delightful book! I feel like I've been enjoying the company of the character Maurice Chevalier played in the movie Gigi. Had to be careful at work translating one of the Latin bits. Brillat-Savarin loved to play with words and there were several "nudge-nudge, wink-wink moments, such as this passage:
"A host of the Chaussée-d'Antin had an Arlesian sausage of heroic proportions presented at his table. "Please accept a slice of it," he urged the lady next to him. "Here is a piece of equipment which, I hope, implies a well-furnished establishment."
"It is truly enormous," the lady said, peering at it with lewd mischief, "What a pity that it does not resemble anything!"
Oh, and my quest for a truffle of my own to cook with has taken on new meaning! ;)
His wit and charm are on every page; most likely due to the fact that it was translated by M.F.K. Fisher. Her "Translator's Glosses" are every bit as charming and fun as the text. Written (or rather published) in 1825, he says very little about the Revolution which he lived through. He does have a few anecdotes from his time spent in America during his exile, and one remembrance in the "Varieties" section of his flight from France. For the most part though, this is a collection of his thoughts on food and health and good living. I was pretty amazed how the diet for health that The Professor promoted was very like our Paleo diet, and there are several recipes for what amounts to bone broth. Everything old is new again.
>115 pgmcc: Please do. I think this could get interesting and lead to a fascinating discussion. (Oh, and ask the bar maid for some of those bowls of peanuts, would you?)
>115 pgmcc: ;o)
(Just to clarify: She didn't think it was rubbish. She gave it 3 stars.)
>115 pgmcc: By all means bring drinks to the table!
No, not rubbish, only rather boring. Or perhaps it was the pacing of the story? Or all the pissing in the tale? In my review, I mentioned that sex and toilet habits are two things which I do not need details of. I am an imaginative and experienced reader. ;) The story wasn't horrible, just predictable with not much meat to it. YMMV
Finished The Travels of Marco Polo. I'm glad I read it to the end, there were several episodes and descriptions I would not have wanted to miss, but I'm also very glad I'm done and won't be reading it again any time soon, if ever.
I picked out a new book for work, The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. I do not expect to love this, as I did not love the other book I tried by this author. I was given three or four of them. Another author who is adored by many, but leaves me rather cold. If my expectations prove true, then I will remove the other books of hers from my shelves without reading them.
Speaking of which, today I made the decision that I don't care if I ever read the Nelson DeMille books on my shelf, or the Dean Koontz books. Therefore I have removed 5 books from my TBR shelves and will be sure to pass them on to someone more interested than I via the Little Libraries in our town.
>116 jillmwo: Did you mean these?
I don't need the sex details, but I find it reassuring when book characters have to answer the call of nature just like real humans.
I'm one of those fans of Sarah Addison Allen, and The Sugar Queen is my favourite one of her books. I hope you find it tolerable. Or...could it be...you might not love something I loved?
>120 SylviaC: :) Isn't it fun how so many of us have similar reactions to lots of books, until we don't? Variety is the spice of life. I do want to give her a fair chance though, simply because several folks here (like you) whose reading habits I respond to, love her.
On the call of nature, I always thought I wanted to see that in a story, until I did in Stardust, and I found that it wasn't necessary at all, and rather repulsive.
On the other hand, when I read in The Travels of Marco Polo how some of the natives of India of a certain religious sect, did their bowel movements on the beach, then were careful to spread them out far and wide so that no creatures could breed, hatch and then starve to death in them; that I find fascinating.
I suppose it depends on the amount of detail. After all, pee is pee, with few variations.
I suppose I must not be as much of a 'proper lady' as some of you. I was not offended by the peeing, and I didn't find the sex scene to be either explicit or bothersome. I thought the book was both funny and a breath of fresh air compared to what I'd read before that point. It has been a decade since I read it. I would imagine the peeing would bother me even less considering what I've been through in the last 10 years. And I imagine the sex would only make me wistful now.
Speaking of peeing...
I finished the "Bathroom read" of The Theater in Ancient Greece, a Calliope Magazine. Informative, brief and just what I wanted to help me understand a bit more about the Ancient Greece plays I've read so far. Written for children, it suits the bill for me too since I have only a passing interest in the subject.
I will be starting The Journey and Ordeal of Cabeza de Vaca: His Account of the Disastrous First European Exploration of the American Southwest by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca soon. Touchstone title isn't quite right for this one, but perhaps it is the same book. Mine is a Dover edition.
Finished Too Many Cooks last night. As always, very enjoyable. This particular edition is in an omnibus called Kings Full of Aces, and there are bonus recipes at the end of it! All of them particular ones mentioned in the story. Even Saucisse Minuit, along with a lengthy explanation as to why it is okay to publish it now. I won't be making most of them any time too soon. This one in particular calls for "pork, goose and pheasant." Other recipes call for things like terrapin, opossum, lamb kidneys, snapper turtle, lobster, shad roe; you get the picture. :)
I do NOT understand the mother-daughter relationship dynamics in these books about Southern women. How can they be so poisoned?! How can the daughters let it happen? I'm not doing well with The Sugar Queen. It's making me sick to my stomach.
Having said my say in >127 MrsLee:, I realize that is not necessarily a pattern which is only in the South, but it is usually a feature of writing about women in the South. I do not do well with movies or books about people messing with other people's minds in this manner. I have had a couple of women try it on me, and needless to say, I distanced myself from them PDQ.
As for men trying it, no. I've never stayed with a man who would do that, although the relationship there is tricky. How much do we change ourselves to be with the one we have chosen? Not necessarily a male or female thing, but a human thing, and I think women are programmed/trained to be the more changeable ones. I don't know who my husband and I would be if we had not married 33 years ago, we would certainly be different, and I'm convinced I would not be a better woman. We have grown together, suffered together and changed together. However, it has never been one of us trying to shape/change the other into something we think we would prefer.
I believe very strongly that humans are not modeling clay, not even children, which is why I tried to keep my hands off of my children's spirits and let them find out who they were. Some would disagree with me, but I tried the whole "push your children into the mold you want them to live in" thing and couldn't do it. The look in their eyes. Nope. So we are where we are, and we love each other, respect each other, even in our differences and I wouldn't change a thing.
So, I'm thinking that The Sugar Queen must have been a good book to provoke all the above thoughts from me. It was predictable, but some aspects were charming, and by the end I found it a satisfying read.
Last night after finishing it, I picked up From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. This is a reread for me, as it was a favorite from my childhood.
I'm going to start Buckaroo Heart by Rick Steber, on Monday as it will be my book for work.
I've fallen rather off of my pattern of picking the books I want to read at the beginning of the month. Going back to random picks for now.
I'm glad you got something positive from The Sugar Queen, even though it isn't really your kind of thing. (Aagh! What happened to the spiffy new touchstones? The Sugar Queen has no results.) I'm partial to meek heroines who learn to face the world. I've almost given up on Southern fiction, with the exception of Sarah Addison Allen, because I've been burned too often by descriptions of quirky characters who turn out to be members of horribly dysfunctional families.
Finished From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and I am happy to report that the suck fairy has never discovered this book! I loved it just as much today as I did the first time I read it. Possibly more, being a mother now and having been to some large museums.
Here's a quote all who have worked with the public in any numbers will relate to:
"People working at the Grand Central Post Office grow used to strange remarks. They hear so many. They never stop hearing them; they simply stop sending the messages to their brains."
Think I will continue in Kings Full of Aces and read Plot it Yourself my brain isn't doing heavy this weekend, so light reading it is!
It looks like we're rereading Nero Wolfe at the same time. I'm taking them in order, which I didn't do the first time through (mostly in the sixties and seventies). Number 12 is up next: Too Many Women. Some of them are a little too dated for me--blatant, offhand sexism and racism were not so conspicuous in the thirties and forties--but I still love the characters and the stories. I just learned that Theodore Horstmann squeaks. Did you know he squeaks? I had completely forgotten.
>131 Meredy: I finished Plot it Yourself, which was very fun. Wolf mentioned the dash, the comma and the semicolon and I realized that Stout used the dash. Not exclusively, but more than I realized. I'm not sure I even know the rules for using a dash, I have certainly never used one, unless it was to dash to the store or the bathroom.
Tomorrow, when I'm not posting from my phone, I will post Archie's rating system for books.
We all know our own meaning for the assignment of star ratings here on LT. It's much harder to know someone else's meaning. It was amusing to find a rating system by Rex Stout via Archie Goodwin.
From the first paragraph of the first chapter of Plot it Yourself.
"I divide the books Nero Wolfe reads into four grades: A,B,C and D. If, when he comes down to the office from the plant rooms at six o'clock, he picks up his current book and opens to his place before he rings for beer, and if his place was marked with a thin strip of gold, five inches long and an inch wide, which was presented to him some years ago by a grateful client, the book is an A. If he picks up the book before he rings, but his place was marked with a piece of paper, it is a B. If he rings and then picks up the book, and he had dog-eared a page to mark his place, it is a C. If he waits until Fritz has brought the beer and he has poured to pick up the book, and his place was dog-eared, it's a D."
>133 MrsLee: I dimly remember that one from decades ago. It's number 32 on the list I'm working from, so I have a long way to go, but I'm looking forward to it. Does Archie have anything to say about how Wolfe picks what to read next--and what he does with his books when he finishes them?
>134 Meredy: Aside from the books he is needing to read to solve this case, it doesn't speak about Wolfe deciding what to read. I find it interesting that while Archie doesn't portray himself as an intellectual, he mentions in passing that he has read at least one of the books by the authors in the story, and has a working knowledge of more than that. Another instance of there perhaps being more to him than he lets on.
In the same paragraph above, at the end, he goes on to say, "I haven't kept score, but I would say that of the two hundred or so books he reads in a year not more than five or six get an A."
From this story and others, I get the notion that only A and B books find a place on his shelves, they never mention what happens to the others, except for a memorable scene when Archie walked in to find Wolfe ripping pages out of a dictionary and burning them because he didn't approve of their definition of the word, "contact."
From the Early Reviewer program, I received Grandfather Whisker's Table by Eun-Jeong Jo. It is an early history of banking for children. As such, it does a good job of explaining in a very simple way what banks are for and how they came about. The story itself is perhaps a bit too simple in my mind, because I don't see children of four or five all that interested or in the "need to know" about banks. However, it is beautiful in colors and different in the artwork. Very stylized. The people are all drawn to have the looks of Medieval Italian puppets of a sort, or perhaps dolls? The colors are lovely tones of browns, orange and yellow, which is fitting since the story is set in Siena, Italy in the 500-1500s. My quibble is that looking at the pictures made my neck ache. Every figure has their head twisted up at an odd angle, almost as if they had been hung. Ouch.
Began reading Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch, and am enjoying it, but find I can only read a chapter or so before I have to put it down. This may be because my brain is tired at the end of the day and have nothing to do with the book.
Also began Buckaroo Heart by Rick Steber, at work.
Finished The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde, audio version. I enjoyed the story, but I can't read these too close together. I have not read books 5 and 6, but it didn't matter much, the story was easy to pick up on, and although I know I've missed some key parts of Thursday's life, it gives me something to look back toward.
I'm working my way through my audio library by purchase date, so the next book on the list is Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton. I wasn't sure why I purchased it, since I have already listened to it once, and I have the print version, but I see that it is narrated by Simon Vance, and I know that I loved the book, so that is probably why. It is 6 hours and something long which is a bonus as that means no more than 2-3 weeks of listening.
I find I get tired of any story if it takes too long to finish, and since I walk a bit less than an hour a day, depending on the days, and usually not on the weekends, well, it takes time to finish a book. Also, I enjoy listening to the world around me more and more these days. What is happening to me?! I used to be an inveterate eater-while-I-eat person, and now after practicing mindfulness, I find myself only wanting to appreciate the food I'm eating and concentrate on it. Also, in the evenings on the weekdays, and even on the weekends, it is difficult for me to read more than an hour and a half at a time. If that. Even with a good book. Sigh.
>138 2wonderY: lol, yep, yep I did! And it took me three times of rereading my post to see what I had done. Perhaps this is why reading is becoming difficult?
I think I will go back in the series, but not in a hurry. I like the humor, but in small doses.
Finished Moon Over Soho last night and I am torn and undecided whether to continue this series or not. I enjoy reading the characters, but I've had an odd experience in looking up the author. Because Peter Grant is a young black police officer/wizard, I had been enjoying his quips on the culture and viewpoint, thinking this was written by a man of that same culture. When I saw the photo of the author, he looks like a typical English white guy and now all the comments in the book seem...strange. I have had this experience before, with Alexander McCall Smith who wrote Precious Ramotswe so well that I felt violated when I found out the author was a man. Of course I know that a good author can pull that stuff off, but I suppose I would like confirmation that somehow Aaronovitch has some way of insight into Peter Grant that makes Peter authentic. I haven't heard any complaints from anyone, but then I don't go looking for that stuff.
Also, quite a bit too much exhausting sex in this one for me to swallow whole. It all seemed a bit too "this is how I imagine sex could be."
>142 MrsLee: I highly recommend listening to the Peter Grant stories. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, as a British Kenyan, lends his identity to Peter Grant. I too had to research Aaronovich, partly because I was so impressed by the massive amounts of detail in various specialties. If you'll remember, Peter's first love was architecture; and every book testifies to that. He notices and describes all of the buildings from that perspective. Broken Homes zooms in on that quite nicely; as Moon Over Soho highlights a deep knowledge and appreciation of jazz.
Aaronovich manages to make the Metropolitan Police culture fascinating and ironic. His depiction of African immigrant culture, glimpsed at Mama Thames' household, but even more vividly through Peter's mother rings true, yes? I consider the author a polymath, and I really enjoy the richness of the series.
As I recall, future sex isn't quite so over the top. Simone's appetites are, after all, part of the plot.
>143 2wonderY:, I'm glad to hear about the rest of the series being a bit less steamy. I understood that it was the nature of Simone in this book, and so was hoping!
I loved this one for the jazz, if nothing else. Some kind person has made a track on YouTube called "Body and Soul" with all the variations by many of the artists mentioned in the book. It made great background music.
I don't think I would have any problems with the author so long as I know his writing is from an authentic love and knowledge of the culture. After all, it is the gift of writing to make us feel it is "true."
>144 MrsLee: Also, Aaronovitch's son is black. Or mixed race, like Peter.
>145 tardis: I didn't know that! Aww ... He calls him "Evil Monster Boy."
>145 tardis: That makes me feel much better! Although I feel silly for having the thoughts in the first place. He obviously writes with a fondness for the people and culture of immigrants, I haven't read a false note, but then, would I know?
I think I'll read Triple Jeopardy by Rex Stout, to finish out the omnibus I began called Kings full of Aces, then read a few Father Brown mysteries by G. K. Chesterton. I'm reading Chesterton's Orthodoxy (audio) right now, and recently have listened to a performance version of the mysteries and have been watching the television series. Neither of which quite ring true to my memories of the stories themselves, but it has been so long since I've read the stories I have to refresh my memory and see if it is correct. Was Father Brown a bumbling buffoon? I don't remember him so because I don't usually enjoy reading that sort of detective, and although these mysteries never made it to my "5" shelf, they most certainly are on the "3 1/2" or "4."
>148 MrsLee: A bumbling buffoon? By no means. But he had an unprepossessing look that made people tend to underestimate him. That's a ploy that has worked well for a number of notable detectives, including Miss Jane Marple and Lt. Columbo.
>149 Meredy: I thought so, and I too enjoy that ploy, but the radio production and television production make him seem less than he was IMO. Anyway, that's why I will reread to make sure. Also, those productions seem to have majorly changed the plots according to my memory, to the point where they either belabor the point or completely erase the point. I want to see how Chesterton handled it, because I know he had a point, but I don't remember him belaboring it.
Finished Buckaroo Heart by Rick Steber last night. It isn't "high literature" or the best writing I've ever come across, but the story is nice (a bit treacley here and there, but not too bad). Since it takes place close to the area my family is from, and in the era my parents were starting their married life together, it made for an interesting read. I can tell the author has done some thoughtful observation of the country around there, as the description of the landscape, animals and plants was well done.
Next book to take to work will be The Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo.
Last night I picked up L.A. Mexicano by Bill Esparza, to read. It was late, so really I only entered it in my reading journal and started to read the Introduction. I think I'm going to love this one. The photographs are rich and beautiful, and it seems very promising.
Finished The Cop Killer, which is a novelette in Triple Jeopardy, which is one of the books in the omnibus Kings Full of Aces. :) I love this one, it is Archie at his most engaging. The first novelette, "Home to Roost" didn't do much for me. Unremarkable, but not unreadable.
Singing my own little tune it this thread. Ah well. First day of summer should be a holiday here so I could stay home and read. It isn't.
I finished Triple Jeopardy last night, by reading "The Squirt and the Monkey." Not one of the best, but it has points of interest. I think this is the closest Wolfe comes to losing his detective license and I like seeing how he reacts under pressure. Then of course, you find out that he created the pressure. Those geniuses, always thinking ahead like that.
Still haven't gone beyond the introductions in L.A. Mexicano, but I can tell I am going to enjoy it. He describes the dilemma of growing up as an immigrant's child in the last 50 years. Parents don't want you to speak Spanish, etc. I won't go into it here, but I've heard the story before from my mother-in-law and more so from my husband. I can't wait to get to the introductions to the Mexican/American chefs and the recipes they were willing to share. The author of this book has been a jazz/blues musician and traveled throughout the land seeking out special foods of the areas he visits. He does the same in east L.A.
>154 clamairy: :) No worries, but sometimes I think talking to myself so much is a bad sign.
I know I don't answer on someone's post unless I have read/want to read what they are talking about, so I don't really worry about people not posting here.
I do miss folks though. I count on you people to give me my daily laugh allowance.
Talking to yourself is not a bad sign; arguing on the other hand ...
>155 MrsLee: I’m always here lurking too, even if I don't post. :) I enjoy seeing what people are reading, but I have trouble myself with finding things to comment on if the posts aren’t about books I’ve read or plan to read.
I picked up my Father Brown book last night to see what's what. The radio programs were fairly close to the stories in content, but the tone was amped up, I suppose for dramatic effect? The TV shows use the title character and the titles of the stories, and that is about it.
I enjoy reading Chesterton, but don't want to think that hard right now. Father Brown tales are in the same rank as Sherlock Holmes and the Agatha Christie mysteries for me. Always readable, but not really loveable. As a rule, I love them as a whole more than I love them individually. I don't feel a need to go visit the characters in them as I do with Rex Stout, Dorothy Sayers and Ellis Peters.
I know what you mean by readable, but not lovable. Christie is that way for me - the rampant sexism, racism etc just does my head in. I KNOW it's a byproduct of the place and time, but it's wearing and I can't read many of them in close succession.
I'm curious to know whether Christie readers prefer Miss Marple or Poirot stories?
I'm very fond of Father Brown, but he doesn't have a fleshed out backstory like Lord Peter's. Like Miss Marple and Poirot, the Father Brown stories are mainly about solving the mystery, whereas in the Wimsey books the characters are as important as the crimes—and sometimes even more important. Brother Cadfael is a well developed character, too, though that isn't as big a focus as in the Sayers books.
(*whisper* I have to confess, I never developed much enthusiasm for Nero Wolfe, despite reading several of them. Sorry.)
>161 Darth-Heather: Miss Marple or the ones with other main characters. Poirot is way down on my list.
It has literally taken years for Poirot to grow on me as a literary figure. I have the same issues with him that I have with Nero Wolf and Sherlock Holmes. All of them can be utterly insufferable in their superiority. (So to answer >161 Darth-Heather: in the short term, I think on one level that I largely prefer Miss Marple.) I tolerate Father Brown but I wouldn't say that Chesterton's sleuth is a favorite. Small doses and only in certain moods.
That said, once you try all of those various approaches to the mystery, it's a whole lot easier to understand what you're looking for in the writing you enjoy. Some authors are focused on the puzzle (like Christie) or on making a point (like Chesterton) so that their character development gets shoved to the side. If you like fully fleshed out characters (she noted in pontifical fashion), those aren't the books you turn to.
Conversely, as Sayers developed as a writer, her skill in rendering character developed. At least for me, her protagonists are largely memorable and I enjoy revisiting her titles. (I can't always re-read other mystery writers that way. Christie may be re-read but it's for the sake of revisiting the time period and setting rather than the people in the novels.)
(Too much information? I'm on lunch break so felt I could be expansive, but you may not have been looking for the full three paragraphs...)
>164 jillmwo: Another vote for Sayers over Christie, at least in book form. I can't help a sneaking fondness for Poirot, though, because David Suchet brought him to life so wonderfully.
I am lurking in the corner.
For your daily humour ai shall relate a joke my son told this morning.
I tell Dad jokes but I do not have any children. That makes me a faux pas!"
Cheese! Somehow I accidentally put this thread on ignore!
>161 Darth-Heather: Hmm, I like them both different. ;)
>164 jillmwo: I think that Rex Stout did a great thing when he made Archie capable of taking Wolfe down a peg or two, in spite of the fact that Archie knows his intellect is superior. It reminds me of a big dog and a little dog playing. The little dog is not aware of the size difference, the big dog is. :) Their relationship, the things said, the things unsaid, are what makes the books for me. Everything else is just setting.
And yes, this was the post I was looking for in the other thread. I am all about the characters, and I like them to bring about a healthy dose of justice to ne'er-do-wells.
>165 Marissa_Doyle: You have something there. The same goes for Sherlock. While I soon tire reading the stories, I can watch endless adaptations and develop more fondness for the characters than the books actually permit. Then, going back to the stories in the books, I can see beyond the words and enjoy them more.
>166 pgmcc: :D
I'm here, I read the thread if not daily then a couple times a week.
Mysteries. Hmm. They are not my favorite type of book. That being said...
Sherlock Holmes is pretty good, but Laurie R. King's Russell/Holmes' books are very good, most of them I consider to be excellent.
I've read three Agatha Christie books, two with Poirot, and I have to say, three strikes and she's out.
I have read all the Lord Peter Wimsey books by Dorothy Sayers, though many years ago. I did a recent reread of The Nine Tailors and found I enjoyed it as much as 40 years ago.
Ellis Peters' Cadfael series is enjoyable. I'm working my way through them.
I read several of the Spencer Quinn "dog" books, and enjoyed them as well.
Once upon a time I read a bunch of the "Cat Who..." mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun, enjoyed them, but lost interest after a while.
I love, love, LOVE the Inspector Rostnikov mysteries by Stuart Kaminsky, own them all, have read almost all of them.
And finally, Sharon Kay Penman wrote a short series of mysteries set late in Queen Eleanor's time, which are good, rereadable works. The first one is The Queen's Man, about an illegitimate son who is making his way in a dangerous world.
Addendum: a nice little mystery in the fantasy genre is Tea With the Black Dragon. I've reread it several times.
Hmnah, humnah, I finished the first book in The Garrett Files omnibus, Sweet Silver Blues, by Glen Cook. The story was fine, but the characters kind of leave me flat and I find myself not caring much about the world, either. Perhaps because the main character doesn't seem to see much in it? The women were the worst of caricatures, which in a noir book I expect, but don't have to like it.
I will continue reading. As a mystery goes, there was an element of that, but not the typical puzzle type of mystery.
>169 MrsLee: I had pretty much the same reaction to Sweet Silver Blues. I believe the series does get better but it's been a couple of years or so since I read it and still haven't gotten around to the next one. Not exactly a glowing endorsement but if you continue then I'll be interested in how you find it.
Here are a few pictures of some of the mountains around me. I live in a hot dry valley, but I can escape to the Lassen Volcanic Park in a matter 50 minutes. Those of you on Facebook have already seen these, but I know some of you aren't there. :)
This is Emerald Lake, but not much visible except snow at the moment. The place we thought we would picnic was covered with about 10 feet of snow.
I've never seen this little yellow beauty before. Have to look it up. Haven't seen the other one, either.
One of the many mudpots in the area, live volcano remember.
OOOH. Lassen. We've been trying to get there for a while, but the snow is a show stopper. And yeah, fuzzi, we've been close to that area in early June and couldn't get above 8000 feet because there was too much snow and the roads were closed. Literally you drive to an 8 or 10 foot wall of snow. Some years they ski at Mammoth lakes all year long, there's that much snow. If we ever get there, MrsL, I'll give you a shout! Love me some boiling mud.
Oh and the flowers look like a similar species to trout lily. The ones next to them are spring beauty and they flower at the same time and I have trout lily and spring beauty growing next to each other in the yard. I think the species with plain leaves are called dog tooth violets.
Your photos here and on FB are spectacular.
Why don't you just build an igloo to escape to when the temps at your house are in the 100+s?
>172 fuzzi: I think we were at about 8000ft. In good years, there is snow all through the year, but for the most part, by the end of August, the road will be open to get to the other side of the park and see the devastation area from the eruption which occurred in the early 1900s. That would be the side of the mountain I saw from where I lived in my youth. My grandmother watched the explosion with her oldest son on her lap when he was about 2. Ashes all over the valley where we lived.
>173 Bookmarque: Thank you! I was hoping you would see them and speak up. :)
>174 clamairy: Thank you, they came out better than I was hoping for, because my cell phone and I do not always get along or agree when it comes to photos. The igloo is a tempting idea, but the bears up there might want to share. When I was a teen, I worked in the park for a summer, camping up there. It was great. I started out sleeping with my head out of the tent (teen girls who have been working hard all day put off quite the fug), until I noticed the bear pawprints all around me one morning.
>175 MrsLee: Ack. I hear yah. I often dream about getting a nice screened porch added to my house, so I could sleep out there when it's temperate and enjoy the sounds of the "children of the night." Then I remember that a mere screen between me and the coyotes, bears and now, apparently, mountain lions might not be enough of a barrier.
Beautiful shots, MrsLee, and the ones on Facebook too. I find all that hot mud fascinating.
>175 MrsLee: Of course, if you forego the plumbing, you could build an ig without a loo ;)
The pictures are stunning, as others have said.
>176 clamairy: Isn't current thinking that mountain lions are not particularly interested in hunting humans? Can't speak to the bears or coyotes, but I'm sure I read recent findings that the mountain lions are not as dangerous as previously thought.
>171 MrsLee: I can't help but wonder if there isn't some useful purpose to which boiling mud might be put. Has anyone tried however foolishly to commercialize the mudpits? There must be stories.
>178 hfglen: :P Thank you, I thought of you often while looking at all the high elevation flora.
>177 SylviaC: Thank you, I could sit and watch the bubbling mud for a long time.
>179 jillmwo: The jogger killed here in California in the 1990s might not agree with whoever decided that, nor would my father, who had a mountain lion stalk him while he was on a horseback trip for three days. Because my father was vigilant, there was no issue and he was not attacked.
I would say that the likelihood is not high, but being a carnivore and upper end predator, if the opportunity presents itself, I doubt they would pass it up. For the most part, they avoid humans, but if they lose their fear it is wise to be on your toes.
Our town has a mountain lion which has us on its prowling route (I think their territory is something like 75 miles). Several times a year he is spotted, or his tracks are. He pads down the creek which runs behind my house, lounges by the Sacramento river, investigates the local physical therapy joint and lays around for a day or two, then disappears. So far we just keep an eye on it and it hasn't ever been aggressive.
As to the mudpots, I don't think anything commercial has been tried? Since the park was established in 1916, and before that there was an active volcano. There used to be a wooden sidewalk, no railing, which one could walk on to see even more of the activity, but it became too dangerous. I remember a school trip and the teachers trying frantically to control the children. Not me, I was terrified of accidentally falling off the boardwalk. There is a trail further on called Bumpass Hell, which can be explored from a boardwalk. People have been severely injured thinking they were stepping on solid ground only to find that it was a crust and there was boiling water/mud below. Here is a link if you would like to read more:
I began reading the first book I have by Aristotle, it is a collection of his writings, and I've only got as far as the short biography on his life. This is part of my adventure in Invitation to the Classics which I am happy if I read one or two a year.
Since the second quarter ended, here are my stats for that quarter. My reading is progressing better than I thought it would this year, which may be due to the fact that I am rereading a lot of my favorites.
30 books read, 24 fiction, 06 nonfiction
15 by men, 12 by women, 03 combined male and female, ** Anonymous
11 by authors I’ve never read before
24 physical books, 03 audio and 01 ebooks
Oldest writing was by Marco Polo (in c. 1295), oldest physical book from 1955 (The Haunted Bookshop).
Not counting ebooks, audio books or rereads
Books Retained After Reading : 13
Books Discarded: 14
>180 MrsLee: I just read about that jogger in Nature Noir, about the American River park area. Yikes.
>179 jillmwo: At least in Yellowstone, the mud in mudpots tends to be sulphurous and eats holes in clothes if you get splashed (as my husband discovered.) Not sure what non-nefarious use it would lend itself to...
>181 Marissa_Doyle: It certainly does smell of rotten eggs! I watched a documentary on cooking and food in some place or other, it was an island I think, perhaps the people on it were of Portuguese origin? Can't remember, Anthony Bourdain was the host. They were cooking in their hot springs, but not in mud. It is far too hot for anything like a spa treatment.
I had today, the 4th of July, off. Spent the whole day cataloging my movies! With the new LT app for Android, I scanned them all (at least 120) in about half an hour. The rest of the day has been spent fixing covers and adding tags for the most part. I am not done with that part, but it's much easier now that they are all entered.
>184 MrsLee: I love doing stuff like that!
I just ordered my first Android, and will look into the LT app. Thanks for letting us know. :)
Not reading much lately. Too much company, working on editing my movie entries, and cooking good, yummy food, in addition to my job leaves me no brain awake time to read. However, I'm dipping in and out of the books I am currently reading, and I started the next book in the omnibus of Glen Cook novels, Bitter Gold Hearts.
Last night I finished L.A. Mexicano and Bitter Gold Hearts. I won't be keeping the cookbook, but it has given me a strong desire to visit L.A. and stay for a month trying the various restaurants and food wagons highlighted within.
The Glen Cook novel was fine, kept me wanting to read. The mystery was better developed, as were some of the characters, although it is still missing that special something to make me seek out more. One more book in this omnibus, which I will probably start today sometime, Cold Copper Tears.
It's quite possible that I might start Gracie, a Love Story by George Burns as well.
Reading is tough this time of year, what with both inside & outside stuff that demands to be done. I'm amazed to see you finished anything with the schedule you've been keeping! Don't you sleep?
>188 clamairy: "Don't you sleep?"
Haha, yes, usually by about the third paragraph! ;)
The books I'm finishing, I've been working on for a month or more. If not, it feels like it.
Finished Cold Copper Tears last night. I wish I loved the characters more, but there is some sort of something missing. Still, I found it readable and interesting. This time Garrett is up against a demi-god, or is he? I found the plot rather transparent, but that didn't hurt the story, the ending was rather a let down, or what is the word? When all the action comes to a screeching halt, everyone looks at each other and says, "Yeah, we're done." I read about Glen Cook on Wikipedia, and they said he is very popular with soldiers because his people behave realistically. I think that was my problem with the resolution, it was so sensible! :)
The other thing I read about the author, is that he worked on a General Motors assembly line for most of his writing career! Now I feel like I have to cheer for him since we are/were on the same team.
I need to find a different book for work. The long The Toilers of the Sea will never be finished at this rate, and I do want to give it a good try. About the time I get into the atmosphere of his writing, I am interrupted by work (the nerve!) and lose it. I need something lighter and less absorbing there.
Also not making progress on my audio right now. Am enjoying the sounds of nature and the quiet while I walk. It's possible that my work may pay for a gym membership for me, and if that happens, I will be able to listen better to my books.
Okay, I randomly picked out California Bloodstock by Terry McDonell, from my shelf. Will try it at work and bring the Victor Hugo book home to read. Says LT, "LibraryThing thinks you probably will like California Bloodstock (prediction confidence: very low)" It has a blurb by Hunter S. Thompson on the cover saying it is "twisted truth" and "original" which does not mean he liked it, but at least the publisher got his name associated with the work. I know very little about Thompson except that Johnny Depp thought very highly of him and something about a canon and his remains. What little I've heard, does not make me think I will love this book if he did, however, I do enjoy reading books about California, so will give it a try.
I'm enjoying Gracie, A Love Story. Again with the YouTube, I can look up performers he mentions and nine times out of ten, see a bit of their shows. Got some good laughs last night, but I didn't get very far in the book. :D
I'm with clamairy. It sounds neat that you can turn to YouTube to fill in the blanks (or rather, the cultural references).
I finished The Journey and Ordeal of Cabeza de Vaca: His Account of the Disastrous First European Exploration of the American Southwest last night. A fascinating read. This version is a translation of Cabeza de Vaca's account, but also lets us know where his account differs from the joint account by the few survivors of the journey. It also recounts some of the details unearthed by Carl Sauer and Cleve Hallenbeck in the 1930s which confirm many of the details in the journal.
The details of how little they ate and still survived amaze me. Not to mention the fact that the tribes would eat mostly one food while it was in season, then move on to the next. I wish the book had included a map to follow his trail. The insights of a person who lived among the various tribes not as a conqueror, but as a slave give perspective. He managed to better his situation by learning the languages of several tribes so that he could act as a go-between and do trading back and forth. In that way he was able to gain a little, and he was on the path most of the time alone, so avoided the beatings which were common. He described many of the customs of the people, which seem bizarre to our materialistic culture, such as that when a tribe brought a healer among their neighbors, they would go and pilfer everything they wanted from the homes, then when the pilfered people took the healer to the next tribe, they would do the same. Since the tribes didn't live in one place long, but constantly moved to find the next food source, I don't imagine there was much to pilfer.
I am putting the following paragraph in spoilers because it mentions the faith of those involved. Hardly a topic which can be ignored in the history here, still, for those who prefer not to read it, at least they don't have to. Also, I don't know, does one need to worry about spoilers in a nonfiction account which is over 500 years old?
In spite of our present feeling about the results of this period of history, I believe it is important to read this sort of first person material to gain perspective. In reading it, it becomes clear how the jumble of history can happen one person at a time through misunderstandings, differing personalities and distant uncomprehending governments with their own agendas.
I tried reading Walking Among the Unseen by Hannah Hurnard, but even if I agree with what she is saying, I can't stand the tone. Not quite baby-talk, but very cutsie or something. Anyway, it makes me want to do the opposite of what she suggests is a good thing, simply because of the way she says it, so I won't read it.
Am now beginning Fireside Chats by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Will be keeping this not by the fireside (considering it is supposed to be 104° today), but in the room we don't mention that some of us read in.
>191 MrsLee: I do that with books - Youtube or search engine. It enhances the experience but definitely slows me down.
I began reading A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd, last night. Did not want to stop and go to bed. I'm enjoying this Bess Crawford novel more than I did the other two I've read.
>198 MrsLee: Ooh, I didn't know they had another series. I've just been reading the Ian Rutledge series, which is also quite good. I met them at Bouchercon when it was in Raleigh two years ago, and Caroline in particular was very gracious.
>199 Jim53: How interesting to meet them! I wonder and wonder how a mother and son team writes together. What that looks like. I think it could be very fun to collaborate with one's child like that.
The Bess Crawford series seems a little lighter than the Ian Rutledge one. At least to me. It's not that it is light. Bess is in the middle of WWI as an army nurse, and full details are given of the horrors she faces, but I think for me there isn't the darkness of the mind that Rutledge suffers from. I enjoy both series, but Rutledge is one I only read far and few between because of the overall atmosphere.
I think I may have read the first books of both series back when I inherited my mother's books. There were dozens of mystery series there, and I had to pare them down to something manageable. I found both intriguing, but decided not to get pulled into a long series that looked like it would require more emotional investment than I was able to give at the time.
>201 SylviaC: Plus the Ian Rutledge books are sooo dark. :o/ I did not know there was a second series, though.
>201 SylviaC: & 202 The Bess Crawford series do not seem as dark. Even though they deal with dark material. A Duty to the Dead, #1 in the series, has all the hallmarks of a very dark novel, and yet, it does not leave you feeling that way. Nor did I feel that way reading it. Finished last night. It was one of those books you can't put down, or when you have to, you are longing to get back to it. I will keep up with Bess Crawford.
Looking at my catalog, I see that I've read An Unwilling Accomplice which is #6 in the series. I don't think I cared for it as much as I enjoyed this one, but I wonder if that was due to not knowing the characters as they grew? Time will tell. It could be that one simply didn't resonate with me whereas this one did. I loved the details in this one of the time (WWI) and place and people at that time. The nurse's perspective of events. The little changes that were going on due to the war, not only economically and such, but socially and in the minds and hearts of people.
Aristotle, volumes I & II. Read as much as I wanted of this, and here are my general thoughts.
I believe that herein lies, if not the answers to life, the universe, and everything, at least a minute and carefully specified description of it all. Sadly (or not) there is probably not enough time left in my life to read/comprehend it. Nice to know what he was about though. I skimmed mightily, read some, and enjoyed reading some, too.
The mind boggles at one man sitting down and writing this whole thing, let alone having students to teach and enemies to avoid. The reasoning of the workings of the world around him (reading specifically in the book "Atmosphere") is amazing. It is easy to think of these ancient peoples as being simple in their understanding because they lacked our scientific equipment, but they reasoned it out pretty well, considering!
I enjoyed reading his precise phrasing. He was not one to leave loopholes.
Gracie, A Love Story, finished last night. Very enjoyable reading. Interesting, too.
California Bloodstock, finished (skimmed and quit reading) yesterday. Here's why.
I am not avant-garde or modern enough in my tastes to enjoy this. My reaction? Sordid, depressing, drivel. Is there a story there? Yes. It is a retelling of the history of the making of California highlighting the feet of clay of those who made it. It focuses on every negative, nasty thing that could be thought of in the lives of the early settlers. That it mirrors some of the actual behaviors, I have no doubt. Does it tell the whole story? No, not at all. It seems to derive pleasure in sneering at the events, and yes, it is fiction, but historical enough that it includes major places and players, although not directly.
LT predicted that I might like this, with what they described as a weak level of confidence in their prediction. :)
I'm going to try to read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, today. It will be a reread for me, but since the last time I read it was when I was in high school, I think it will be like a new read. A new read with deja vu moments.
Also want to try some more of Toilers of the Sea, but my day is suddenly becoming rather disturbed and hectic, so I may not get a chance.
Will be taking "Fabulous Memories of a Truly Adventurous Life" by Bruce Barron, to work for reading in slow moments. It is written in short story format. They include such topics as:
Forest Service Stories
Water Wheel Park
Flying Stories (I assume in an airplane)
My Adventures with Earl Stanley Gardner in Baja, CA
True Confession: I have never been particularly enamored of Hemingway. I hope you have a better experience!
>205 jillmwo: Like Steinbeck, I have mixed emotions and reactions to Hemingway. It was long ago that I read several of his works, and I remember this one being my favorite. Maybe I discover that is still true, or maybe I will not. I do remember it being bitter-sweet, I don't think any of Hemingway's works are particularly uplifting. :)
>206 MrsLee: I do hope you enjoy your rereading.
Both Hemingway and Steinbeck are dark, but they were the product of rather nasty times.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.