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Ireadthereforeiam 2017: Chapter 4

This is a continuation of the topic Ireadthereforeiam reads into 2017: Chapter 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Apr 15, 8:22pm Top

By Local artist, Diana Adams (see www.littlerivergallery.com)

Edited: May 23, 4:36am Top


1. Amongst Women by John McGahern 184p
2. A Beautiful Young Wife by Tommy Wieringa 123p (Tally 307p)
3. To Die in California by Newton Thornburg 288p (tally 595p) (published 1973)
4. Five Go Parenting by Bruno Vincent (an Enid Blyton spoof) 104p (tally 699p)
5. The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton 314p (tally 1014p)
6. The Vegetarian by Han Kang 183p (tally 1,197p)
7. The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church, 333p (tally 1,530p)
8. The Smell of Apples by Mark Behr 200p (tally 1,730p)
9. James K. Baxter Poems By James K. Baxter 103p (tally 1,833p)

10. Psychogeography by Will Self NF 255p (tally 2,088p)
11. Jernigan by David Gates 339p (tally 2,427p)
12. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit NF, Essays 130p (tally 2,557p)
13. A Boy's Own Story By Edmund White 249p (tally 2,806p)
14. The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman 363p (tally 3,169p)
Discursive Psychology by Derek Edwards NF Introduction and chapter 1, 35p (tally 1,204p)

15. A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin Short Stories 399p (tally 1,603p)
16. City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan 194p (tally 1,797p)

17. Explain Pain by David Butler and Dr. Lorimer Moseley, illustrated by Sunyata NF 133p (tally 1,930p)
18. The Yellow Wall Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Short Story 17p (tally 1,947)
19. Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett 143p (tally 2,090)
20. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf NF 112p (tally 2,202p)
21. A Body Undone by Christina Crosby 204p (tally 2,406)

22. Ravelstein by Saul Bellow 235p (tally 2,641)
23. Grandad's Wheelies by Jack Lasenby (read aloud to W) 141p (tally 2,782)

Edited: May 12, 2:54am Top

1. The Smell of Apples by Mark Behr $6 (2nd hand)
2. Last Orders by Graham Swift $7.25 (new)
3. there is one more, I can't remember it! (what is the world coming to!!??)
4. Old Devils by Kingsley Amis &16.25 (new, an impulse book deep buy)
5. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (gift from neighbour)
6. Ravelstein by Saul Bellow (gift from mum) CURRENTLY READING
7. City of Secrets by Stewart O'Nan (gift from Chatterbox/Suz)
8. Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett (gift from Nittnut/Jenn)
9. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf $11 (new)
10. The First Touch of Light by Ruth Pettis .50c
11. Le Bal by Irene Nemirovsky .50c (Aka The Ball)
12. If This is a Man, The Truce by Primo Levi .50c
13. A Body Undone by Christina Crosby $32.98 (new)

1. Paterson
2. Sing
3. Hidden Figures
4. Boss Baby
5. Smurfs

Apr 15, 8:27pm Top

Currently reading:

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women essays by Siri Hustvedt, and Engaged Scholarship by Andrew Van de Ven

Apr 15, 8:32pm Top

Just poking my nose around the door to see if it's all clear.

Hope your cold goes away quickly!

Happy Easter!

Apr 15, 8:51pm Top

Back to back 5-star reads you ask? Why yes!

Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett 143p (posted to me from NC, courtesy of nittnut)

This little book, in spite of its tough events, was a pleasure to read. It links together the stories of various members of an extended family on or about the ranch that the grandparents still live on- albeit at opposite ends. The children, grandchildren, in-laws, animals and hangers on are described sparely and always with reference to the landscape that they live on, and find so much meaning in. Each chapter would make a stand alone short story, but together it is worth more than the sum of its parts.

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf NF 112p

How did it take me so long to read this? I didn't even know it was non-fiction when I started it, as had assumed it was about a lonely and tragic heroine who toiled away in her room writing a masterpiece, or philosophising, or dreaming of better things. It ended up being so much more than what I thought I was reading it for.
What it is, is a scathing polemic (I love that word) on the state of womens' affairs at the start of the 20th century. Woolf pursues the idea that of course women couldn't have written epic sagas the likes of War and Peace, or deeply though out pieces like some of Shakespeare' works- they had not the time, the resources, the headspace or the freedoms to even consider such projects. And even if they had any of these things, society (read: patriarchal society) condemned, belittled and mocked them for even trying. She describes the process, as she sees it, of female writers finding their own voices, and compares this to the way that male writers, by virtue of their being male, were grated a privilege not acknowledged even to themselves, that allowed their voices to dominate.
This book sits very well with my latest batch of feminist writings and I can already think of two people I want to give it to to read.

Apr 15, 8:53pm Top

Happy new thread! I love the topper. It looks like it might be 3D? Makes me want to touch it!

Apr 15, 8:56pm Top

>5 nittnut: hi there! I saw you had just visited the old thread.
Yes, I saw Blondie and Cyndi Lauper on stage last night. I went for Blondie and stayed for Cyndi- it really was two shows for the price of one. Blondie for an hour (with Cyndi Lauper joining Debbie Harry for one song) and then after a 30 minute break for me to talk to my friend (perfect!) Cyndi Lauper for the last hour (and a bit) with Debbie Harry making a guest appearance for one song.
Blondie were fantastic- I feel very lucky to have seen them live. The band is superb, and Harry certainly hasn't lost anything from her voice over the years. I was impressed. Lauper was fun, and chatty and was far more musiciany than I had given her credit for.
(Note, this also sits well with my feminism readings of late!!)

Apr 15, 8:58pm Top

>7 cbl_tn: that scene depicts our braided river systems that we have a few of in the South Island of NZ. The river courses change depending on flow levels and weave around the gravel flats causing great pains for the bridge builders of old! Some of the bridges needed to span the rivers are over a kilometre in length.

Apr 15, 10:45pm Top

Hi Megan! Happy new thread and Happy Easter (late).

>6 Ireadthereforeiam: I am one of the few people I know who despises Woolf's fiction, but I kept my copy of A Room of One's Own when I got rid of everything else of hers I own; perhaps, partly inspired by your review, I might actually read it one day.

Apr 15, 11:14pm Top

At least I'm able to say HAPPY NEW THREAD!
I'm always hopeful that I'll reread VW's fiction with new eyes and love it as much as I do her criticism. *One's Own* is at least as seminal piece of feminism, and I'm due for a reread.
Happy Easter too!

Apr 16, 1:52am Top

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Megan. What a strong coloured painting in the topper. Love it.
From the old thread: Glad to hear that the Easter bunny treated your kids well.
Happy Sunday.

Apr 16, 3:03am Top

Happy Sunday! Happy Easter! Happy new thread!!

Apr 16, 4:09am Top

Happy new thread. Glad the gig was fun and hope you are feeling a bit better...

Apr 16, 8:42am Top

Happy new thread, Megan, I am glad to read Debbie Harry is still going strong on stage.
Love your topper, it looks so smooth, I almost want to touch it.

>6 Ireadthereforeiam: Good review, now I want to read A room of one's own. Don't know either why I haven't read it. I remember reading and enjoying her book Flush when I was young.

Apr 16, 9:34am Top

Happy new thread, Megan!

Apr 16, 9:54am Top

Happy new one, Megan! I love your topper picture.

I am also a huge fan of Laura Pritchett, and Hell's Bottom remains my favorite. Glad you loved it.

Apr 16, 12:12pm Top

Happy New Thread, Megan. I hope you had a lovely Easter Sunday.

Apr 16, 1:55pm Top

I haven't read A Room of One's Own either and I probably should. I was so put off by VW's fiction. Bleurgh. Your review makes me want to give it a go.
I'd love to see Blondie. I have always liked them. Cyndi Lauper? Maybe. My main memories of her stem from the "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" era, which was somewhat underwhelming.

Apr 16, 2:10pm Top

>6 Ireadthereforeiam: I loved A Room of One's Own when I read it. I will have to look for Hell's Bottom, Colorado.

Happy Easter, Megan!

Apr 16, 5:29pm Top

Happy new thread!

Apr 16, 7:29pm Top

Happy New Thread, Megan!

Apr 16, 8:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Megan! Hope you've had a wonderful Easter Sunday.

Apr 16, 8:02pm Top

>10 karenmarie: not too late- it is still Easter Monday, officially a holiday although I am working it.

>11 LizzieD: I hadn't realized that Woolf's fiction was not universally loved. She certainly had a lot to say about what wasn't great about one of the Bronte sisters' writing, I thought she might have had her own fiction sewn up, as it were.

>12 Ameise1: Easter bunny was nearly outed by big bro this year. But, he still showed. Maybe next year he wont??!!

>13 Berly: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

>14 roundballnz: pretty cool huh? I was looking for a Rita Angus but thought this one really cool.

Apr 16, 8:05pm Top

>15 charl08: comparatively much better today thanks! Clear-ish in the nasal passages at least ;) (too much info?)

>16 FAMeulstee: Debbie Harry was great, the reviews talked about sound quality being not up to scratch, but as I know that that venue is crap for sound I wasn't expecting much anyway. Plus, from where I was the sound was OK. I am so glad I got to see her, and that band- so tight!

>17 scaifea: Thanks!

>18 katiekrug: Hell's Bottom was her first, I think I saw. I might have to seek out more :)

>19 lunacat: I spent most of it in bed. IT was lovely- even though I was there for illness. You know you are sick when you have a triple shot coffee and then sleep for two hours immediately after!!

Apr 16, 8:09pm Top

>20 nittnut: Cyndi Lauper I wasn't so fussed to see, but she surprised me. She was an amazing vocalist, and finished by singing True Colours with no backing from musicians. It was quite something. Blondie was my thing though, so of course I was buzzing about them the most.

>21 alcottacre: Yay! Me too :) I recommended it to my dad, but framing it as feminist criticism did nothing to persuade him ;)

>22 drneutron: Thanks Dr. N!!

>23 jnwelch: Thanks Joe!

>24 thornton37814: Like I mentioned just now, I spent it in bed for the most part. A luxury that even a sick mother is most times not afforded. So I was stoked. I napped, read, and dozed. And when the kids came back I played speed-cube with W, where you race to do a side of the Rubik's Cube. It was fun :)

Apr 17, 3:31am Top

Happy New Thread, Megan and a slightly late Happy Easter from our phoneless traveller.

Apr 17, 11:55am Top

>1 Ireadthereforeiam: That's just gorgeous!

>6 Ireadthereforeiam: Wasn't it good?!! Now you need to add Stars Go Blue to your list if you want to revisit the characters!

Apr 17, 4:06pm Top

Happy new thread Megan my dear, hope you had a really good Easter, sending love and hugs.

Apr 18, 12:52am Top

Hi Megan, I hope you had a good start into the new week.

Apr 18, 3:31am Top

Thanks for the package ... arrived today :)

Apr 18, 3:44am Top

>28 PaulCranswick: thanks Paul. Hope your phone and you get reunited soon! Happy travels.

>29 coppers: yes- I will add it to my list. I only just found out those characters were revisited, so I am keen to catch up with them again.

>30 johnsimpson: Thanks JS. All good here, some rain, some sun, some illness, a concert, hardly any chocolate, and a lie in. So- A mixed easter, but that's life!

>31 Ameise1: Thanks B- today was great. I caught up with an old friend while our kids swam at the pool, we then took the kids to the local bakery/cafe which puts on a gingerbread man icing activity in the school holidays for kids. $1.50 for a 'naked' gingerbread man, and the kids get to decorate them with bags of icing all laid out on the table. They love this activity, its the third time we have done it. Sometimes there is more icing than man!!

>32 roundballnz: Yippee! Good old NZ post huh, it didn't disappoint this time ;)
I hope you enjoy To Die in California- I really did.

Apr 18, 3:56am Top

That sounds like fun Megan, and you may have just given me an idea for an activity for my volunteering!

Apr 18, 5:16am Top

>33 Ireadthereforeiam: That's great fun. I always loved gingerbread man/house icing. I did it with my daughters too.

Apr 18, 6:07am Top

>33 Ireadthereforeiam: Ta muchly !!!! both are on my read soon pile ....

Apr 18, 9:47am Top

>33 Ireadthereforeiam: The gingerbread dressing project sounds like great fun! It's so nice to have little traditions like that to share as the kids get older. (Note that only the kids get older; your lovely self remains exactly the same age forever.)

Apr 18, 12:36pm Top

>1 Ireadthereforeiam: I love that thread topper. Gorgeous.

Apr 18, 3:18pm Top

>34 charl08: great! Make sure you get a good gingerbread man cut out, and make heaps :)
They just use icing bags (plastic ones) so that with a snip of the end the king can flow. Just don't snip too much off or the kids go crazy with icing ;)

>35 Ameise1: Even better for us as our oven is still broken, so we can't bake them at home.

>36 roundballnz: good to hear! I am still 'reading' one of the ones you sent me ages ago, it is about technology...solutionism...it is pretty heavy reading, but I only dip into it every now and then.

>37 rosalita: Note that only the kids get older; your lovely self remains exactly the same age forever.
Yes, I have food myself mis-quoting my age lately. And now I know how it is that my mum could not be entirely sure of how old she was. As a kid I would be incredulous that someone wouldn't know their exact age. But- once you are 40+, it gets less important (as well was harder to keep track of!!!).

>38 Oberon: it is lovely isn't it? The braided river systems of NZs South Island are very distinct looking.

Apr 19, 12:24am Top

Stopping by to wish you a belated Happy Easter Weekend, Megan! Always fun when the kids are young! Yum! Gingerbread! I did not have any easter eggs for Easter, just a some lovely chocolate cupcakes at our family dinner and I did sneak a small chocolate easter egg from my son's that my mom had given them - so I guess I had a couple of tiny Easter Eggs after all. I do love my chocolate.

Apr 19, 1:24am Top

Sorry to hear that your oven is broken. We need ours so often that it would have to be replaced quickly.

Apr 19, 4:28am Top

>40 vancouverdeb: I went to a spectacular Easter feast a few years back. Apparently Easter is a big thing in Latvia (from where my father's side of the family hails). They celebrate everything special with a table heaving with foods.

>41 Ameise1: we are getting by surprisingly well with the slow cooker, bread maker, and the fact that the grill part of the oven still works (and of course the stove top, we would be stuffed without the stove top!).

Tonight I reclaim the lounge by issuing W a set of headphones with which to listen to his DVD. Now I claim my space by the fire (previously off limits for me to read by as the lighting is not good) and read a research paper on my computer. Is this my first forays into e-reading!!!??? I think so! And I like it :)

Apr 19, 10:05am Top

>42 Ireadthereforeiam: I didn't think e-reading would work for me, but I've found it's a nice complement to paper books. Different for media for different settings, I think.

Apr 19, 11:23am Top

Megan--Hope you are winning the cold war, although time in bed (with a book) as a mom is not entirely bad. ; ) Forgot to mention that I am totally jealous of the concert! And I am glad the Easter Bunny lives on for at least another year. In my house, baskets still "mysteriously" appear while the kids sleep at night. Excuses for chocolate are never outgrown!!

Apr 19, 3:54pm Top

>43 drneutron: for me it was a case of needs must. That spot by the fire is so appealing for reading, and with the poor light a back-lit device was just the ticket.
With e-reading though, I can't help but keep looking at the battery indicator- I feel it slipping away as I read. For that reason it is no way near as relaxing as remind a proper book is ;0

>44 Berly: I know- can you imagine the highlight of your easter was being able to go to bed when ill? Sheesh, what has the world come to??? I may have to do more from the Easter bunny next year, to make up for a lacklustre effort this year. I don't actually like the kids eating so much chocolate is the problem! Their mood tends to bounce back (post-sugar) to a dreadful state....

Apr 20, 6:06pm Top

So sorry to read you've been feeling poorly. I've been waging an off-and-on battle with the crud myself, but have hopes I've finally quashed it.

Yay for reclaiming good reading spots! I've become pretty good at reading across multiple forums - audio, ebooks on my Ipad and cellphone, and the trusty old print book. Seeing as I live in terror of being stuck without reliable reading material, this helps keep something close to hand at all times. I hear you on worrying about the battery indicator. But I also seem to get anxious simply realizing by the feel of the hard cover book's pages that I'm coming to the end of an excellent one I don't want to end!

Apr 20, 6:39pm Top

Being sick with two (not so) little boys is no fun, Megan. I'm sure they were happy with their Easter goodies. That gingerbread man decorating sounded like fun with the mess not in your house!

I love the topper, Megan, and the array of books from the years of your life on the last thread. You have the best ideas!

Apr 20, 10:17pm Top

The crud caught me. I am feeling rather fortunate it's just a head cold and not the other thing. Of course my husband is away and I have to do double sport duty in the afternoons. However, once the kids are off to school, I've been putting myself back to bed. It does help me to make it through the evening. I hope you're feeling better!

Apr 20, 10:47pm Top

>46 michigantrumpet: oh the terror at the thought of being without book at the exact moment when you have 5 minutes spare!!! It is an awful feeling :)
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reclaiming the family space, which- in the interests of some peace and quiet in the house (read: no fighting)- has become W's lounge for DVD watching. Even if that is relatively peaceful compared to the fighting, it is still annoying DVD noise. So, headphones for him fixes that and then I get the hot spot next to the fire. I loooove that spot :)

>47 Donna828: I am seeking peace and quiet at work and it is actually working. It is a lot easier to go to work (a bit) sick than it is staying with the kids. Also, it has the added benefit of me needing to sort childcare. Today the allotted time was covered by Grandad who is enjoying it so much he has extended it: he has taken the kids to the pool, to the park and soon to the shops for sweets. Lucky boys :) Lucky mum :) (and really, lucky Grandad too!!). Win win win.

>48 nittnut: Eurgh to crud. And taking oneself to bed is a mighty fine idea. I like to set it up so that no moving is required- book, light, cuppa, tissues, cough medicine etc. Cardi (gan) for when you feel like sitting up to read, computer for same...it can be quite delicious once the nap has been had!

Apr 20, 11:11pm Top

Book Haul!

The First Touch of Light by Ruth Pettis .50c
Le Bal by Irene Nemirovsky .50c (Aka The Ball)
If This is a Man, The Truce by Primo Levi .50c
A Body Undone by Christina Crosby $32.98 (new)

Apr 21, 4:16am Top

>50 Ireadthereforeiam: If This is a Man, The Truce ok that is a little weird, was listening to podcast this week about that book & now you pick it up for a bargain ....

On the battery angst need to get yourself one of those battery/power banks (have one for my camera when i tramp via doc huts) usually good for 4 full charges before you need to power them up again :)

Apr 21, 5:16am Top

>51 roundballnz: that is weird! I haven't read anything from Primo Levi in spite of owning at least three now. I really really want to remedy that. What was the podcast about- the books or the author?

The battery thing isn't a real fear as such, I am just conscious of the ticking clock. It points to the fact that I am using up something that reading a paper book doesn't. No one ever accused me of being rational!

Apr 21, 6:01am Top

>50 Ireadthereforeiam: Nice haul. I am going to have to see if I can find the Primo Levi book. I really liked his books The Periodic Table and Survival in Auschwitz.

Apr 21, 7:01am Top

Wow! I am very late wishing you a Happy thread, Megan. Deepest apologies. I know you will not be mad at me for long. Come on. I am the Master Warbler!

Hope you are doing well and hooray for Hell's Bottom, Colorado. I also loved that one.

Apr 21, 8:19am Top

Hi Megan! I'm sorry you've been sick, but it sounds like you've got the stay-in-bed-to-get-over-it well under control.

I frequently use my Kindle with the power plugged in, especially if I haven't used it for a while and want to read something NOW.

The gingerbread man decorating sounds like a lot of fun, congrats on capturing the good space by the fire.

Best wishes for a great weekend, too.

>20 nittnut: Jenn - I was so put off by VW's fiction. Bleurgh. Yup.

Apr 21, 8:53am Top

Hi, Megan.

I'm another fan of The Periodic Table. VW's fiction: have you read Mrs. Dalloway? That one really worked for me. To the Lighthouse, not so much.

Apr 21, 4:54pm Top

Oops, I did it again.
I started a new book when I am already reading one some. A Body Undone: Living on After Great Pain by Christina Crosby arrived in the mail courtesy of the Book Depository and I just couldn't help myself. Just a few pages I told myself, and now I am 1/3 of the way through. In case people like hearing the stories of why we must read certain books, here is mine.

I was reading an academic research paper about qualitative research methods and how narratives are good way to elicit nuanced information, and it mentioned various types of other methods. One of which was the autoethnographic account (basically taking the principles of ethnography and applying them to look at yourself). The paper cited another paper as a good example of this, but what piqued my interest was that it was an account of a woman's experience of diagnosis with osteoarthritis in her hip- this is an experience I have great interest in seeing as the same thing happened to be in my late 20s! So I read it and was enthralled by her power to put into words the things I had thought and felt but never really articulated- certainly not aloud.

I was so excited (maybe not the right word, but you get the picture) that I emailed the author gushing about how much I loved reading her paper (outing myself here as an *academic fangirl*). I was thrilled that she emailed me back thanking me for my contact, and in her email she mentioned that she wanted to read a marvellous account of someones personal pain journey and that book was called: A Body Undone....so naturally I sought it out. Because any recommendation from any where is good enough for me.

Apr 21, 5:01pm Top

>53 alcottacre: it looks like it is two stories in the one book, but I haven't looked at it closely enough yet to make sure. I have The Periodic Table awaiting my eyes and chastise myself often for not having read it yet.

>54 msf59: no excuses Master Warbler! OK, you have a few. Sheer LT volume of traffic being one, and I hear your sinuses are not coping with the Spring pollens too, so you are forgiven :) (of course!). Any time is a good time for a visit.

>55 karenmarie: VWs fiction is sounding less and less appealing from the sounds! I intend to read To the Lighthouse seeing mainly as whenI was reading The Lighthouse by Alison Moore a few years back (it was shortlisted for the Booker) I kept coming across the touchstone or VW's tome of similar name.

>56 jnwelch: the comment to Karen above also applies to you Joe, I haven't read any of VW's fiction. Is there any more of her literary criticism that is available to read? That I am definitely interested in revisiting.

Happy weakening everyone! I am off to league with (the powerhouse that is) Little Lenny this morning, then off to do 4 hours of work (playing catch up). We have just put W on the train with his step-grandmother so they can travel to where my dad will pick them both up- his first trip away with out me or my lovely other. H will be away 4 nights!!! I am coping very well so far :)

Apr 21, 5:14pm Top

>52 Ireadthereforeiam: It was a bit of both .... of course now can't find the episode (maybe toooo many podcasts in my life)

Always thought best thing about paper books is the lack of time angst - well if you exclude old withering paper books & almost due library books

Have a great weekend - am sure your little human will be fine away from home

Apr 22, 4:41am Top

>59 roundballnz: am sure your little human will be fine away from home
Yes, he will be :)
But just to illustrate what an alien concept it is to NOT have one of our littlies here with us, the lovely other has twice today said in mild panic - "where's Wilbur??!". I had to laugh (both times) and say, he's on the way to the Coast, remember!!? I am not too concerned about him coping being away, I just worry that he will find Grandad a little ....un-maternal. Lol, granddads usually are! But- he can get easily frustrated so I hope W can tread those boards lightly.

Apr 22, 5:09am Top

>60 Ireadthereforeiam: Happy weekend, Megan! If Wilbur is anything like I was as a child I'll bet that you and your lovely other will miss him more than he will miss you. ;-)

Edited: Apr 22, 5:21am Top

Hope W and his grandad have a lovely time. Sounds like a big adventure.

Edited: Apr 22, 5:55am Top

>61 kidzdoc: Yes. I actually hope so!
I love to joke with him about his reticence to be snuggly....(intimate is SO the wrong word!!!). Basically he hates to admit any emotional stuff. I said that when he was a Grandad's I would call him every 30 minutes and that even if he was out fishing or doing something cool- he would be called back in to talk to his *mother*. But- it was only cos I love him.
The exact response was elicited that I expected.
"Oh , MUUMUU!!!??". *eye roll*

>62 charl08: it is a pretty big adventure for him. Our kids have never really had the benefit of grandparents who are willing/able/keen to have them on any sort of regular basis. I see that as just one of the benefits of me not having parents that are in my face. E.g., I don't get micro-managed about my actions or decisions, and that comes with the flip side of them not really being that interested in the kids. In know for sure that it was my dad's parent that initiated the trip for him to go visiting these school holidays. She is all over her own grandkids, which is one thing about her that I love. I think she has positively influenced my (eta: how could I misspell dad??!) dad in that regard.

Apr 22, 3:51pm Top

Hi Megan, hope you are having a really good weekend my dear, sending love and hugs.

Apr 22, 5:48pm Top

Found the guardian article which is linked to the podcast ..... https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/22/primo-levi-auschwitz-if-this-is-a-man-memoir-70-years?CMP=twt_books_b-gdnbooks

That reticence to express emotions in culturally accepted form could bring you rewards later, more likely to be the one to surprise you ... chances are he is deep thinker & deep emotions just expresses that differently :)

Apr 22, 6:33pm Top

Having my daughter away from me was torture until she was about 12 when I figured out that the time alone was cool. I could read, sleep in, do less laundry, cook less, etc. She didn't particularly like being away either until about 10 or so, then she got ferociously independent. She's now 23 and lives about 3 hours drive from us yet she and I talk almost every day. It ebbs and flows.

I hope your weekend has been good. I also hope Wilbur has a very good experience with his step-grandmother and his granddad.

Apr 22, 6:40pm Top

>50 Ireadthereforeiam: Nice! If This Is a Man is the first non-children's book I read in Italian!

>53 alcottacre: Survival in Auschwitz is just another title for If This Is a Man. The Truce is a sequel I think. It looks like they're often put into the same edition, but mine didn't have The Truce.

Apr 22, 8:41pm Top

How did I miss that you started your year with a book by John McGahern? I read his novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun, which I read under the title By the Lake. I still have such vivid memories of that novel, the characters, the setting, the mood. I may not wholly remember the plot but I remember the book. I LOVED it.

Apr 23, 1:35am Top

>64 johnsimpson: good so far! Lovely sunny Autumn days this weekend, made use of with sport, walks and sandcastles at the beach. Also a few wines last night, which made my sleep in this morning all the more valued :)

>65 roundballnz: Interesting re: emotions. I was the same as him as a kid in that regard, I never liked seeing people explicitly showing love for each other, I thought it gushy and showy. But that was probably seeing as my parents barely spoke, let alone ever got snuggly in my presence. I think W is definitely a serious kid, and a deep thinker. I love hearing about what it going on in his head, when he will tell me. And in the absence of him being affectionate with me (often) I just make sure to tackle/hug him more often!!!

>66 karenmarie: I am totally cool wiht W being away, the less fighting in the house makes having just Lenny feel like a holiday. :) I didn't used to get homesick as a kid, and I hope he isn't. He sounds like he's having fun- he caught 5 fish this morning!

>67 ursula: Good to know about that book- I wasn't sure about if it was two stories to one.

>68 EBT1002: Yes- I posted that book to Jenn/nittnut earlier this year, so I hope she likes it too. Maybe she will post it on to you if you are keen!? It was certainly told with charm, but I didn't feel entirely devoted to the story.

Apr 23, 3:54am Top

Happy Sunday, Megan. I had never problems when my daughters were away for a few days. On the contrary I enjoyed the time for myself.

Apr 23, 4:21am Top

>70 Ameise1: thanks! Me too- it is so calm here with just the one child. I am fully aware of how much I dislike living amidst fighting boys, and the whole one-kid-only thing is a lovely break from that. Plus, Lenny is liking all the attention too :)

Apr 23, 6:41am Top

>71 Ireadthereforeiam: I hear you, Megan. Love my kids to bits and miss them on my travels but it is nice to have a bit of Me time too!

Have a great "whatever is left of your weekend".

Apr 23, 1:11pm Top

Enjoy your spell of one-boy-at-a-time living!

Apr 24, 3:51am Top

>72 PaulCranswick: when you posted that I had exactly 1 hour and 19 minutes left of my weekend, but I was asleep at the time so didn't get to appreciate it. :)
I can't say I am suffering for Wilbur's not being here, but he is thoroughly enjoying his time with his Grandad, so that helps me a lot. This morning they went out and gathered shellfish (pipis) and then fried them in fritters for breakfast.

>73 EBT1002: hehe, I am! I worked today....5 hours for the careers job, then had a flu jab (Darryl will be pleased!) and then had 1.5 hours free for university work - which has greatly suffered in the last few weeks thanks to the school holidays leaving me no spare time. Thanks to a public holiday tomorrow (ANZAN Day) my lovely other is off work, so I have booked in 4 hours of study time. I really hope I can make it productive!!!

Apr 24, 4:36am Top

A Body Undone by Christina Crosby 204p

I whizzed through this book. The first sentence gives away the fact that the author is a 50 year old academic who has a catastrophic cycling accident resulting in a broken neck and paralysis. This story is her journey of her recovery, if you could call it that, to the point where she can function as well as is possible. The theme of the book is grief- for the life she has lost, and also grief for the loss of her family, whose deaths have left her with a complicated set of feelings and memories. It is also the story of her pain, which continues to this day and is described exquisitely. I can imagine some readers might have been frustrated with the tangents that the book takes into the past, or into the development of academic ideas, but I liked wandering along with the author's thought train.

So although it made forays into various academic areas such as feminism, gender, literature, sexuality, and even broached some epistemological and phenomenological issues, it treaded those particular boards relatively lightly and challenged me just enough theoretically. I was particularly interested in reading about her relationship: how it was, how it evolved, and how changed after the accident.

(See >57 Ireadthereforeiam: for the reasons that I had to read this book.)

Apr 24, 4:54am Top

Nice review of A Body Undone, Megan. That book reminds me of two other autobiographies that cover similar ground, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, and The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt. Have you read either one?

Apr 24, 5:13am Top

>76 kidzdoc: Yes, I read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it was a book club read, 2 books clubs ago. I found it fascinating to think about the process he took to write that. I still recall a section where he describes his relationship with and dependence on various nursing aides, one of which came into his room and with the simple act of turning off the TV part way through something he was watching descended him into paroxysms of frustration. He described so beautifully the effect it had on his thousands of other frustrations. It was challenging to read for the heartbreak.
I haven't read the other one though. A Body, Undone takes a more theoretical approach to understanding her own situation and her processes of dealing with it.

Apr 24, 11:31am Top

>57 Ireadthereforeiam: Hi, Megan! I hope you and your lovely other are making the most of only having one little in the house temporarily. Although ... I don't know how you would do that, exactly, since it's no more appropriate to lock one child in the closet while you go out carousing than it is to lock up two. Maybe less so. :-)

I enjoyed your story of how you got sucked into reading a new book — twisty paths lead us astray, don't they? Do you have the citation for the academic paper by the woman with the arthritic hip? That's something I'm dealing with right now and I'd be interested to read what she had to say.

Apr 24, 2:30pm Top

Wishing you a lovely new week, Megan.

Apr 24, 6:11pm Top

>78 rosalita: Hi there- you are right about putting child(ren) in cupboards, it is seriously frowned upon ;)
Here is the citation for the autoethnographical account of a woman's experience with arthritis. I am sorry to hear that this is affecting you too! In my experience the fear of pain is an additional burden on top of the actual pain, so arming yourself with as much information as possible is a good idea.
Ellis, C. (2014). No longer hip: Losing my balance and adapting to what ails me. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6(1), 1-19.

>79 Ameise1: Thanks B- it is a public holiday here (ANZAC Day) so I have taken advantage of the lovely other's day off and am at uni- I have competed one section of my literature review for my Masters proposal so am celebrating with a jaunt to LT. As one should!

Apr 24, 8:32pm Top

>80 Ireadthereforeiam: Thanks for the citation! It looks like I have full-text online access through my university library, so I can download the article PDF and read at my leisure. What you say about fear of pain is so true. I have found my world considerably narrowed because I no longer go anywhere if I don't know in advance exactly how much walking I will have to do and whether there are places to sit along the way if there is a fair bit of walking involved. I miss being able to just spontaneously go and do new things. :-(

Apr 24, 9:29pm Top

Hi, Megan. Good review of A Body Undone. Sadly, I have never read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I did see the film, which was excellent.

Apr 24, 10:45pm Top

>57 Ireadthereforeiam: Very cool story!

Apr 25, 2:02am Top

>81 rosalita: ack! I have a dark memory of being out walking once- not that long before I had surgery to rid me of arthritis. I turned a corner into a street, and not seeing any low fence, seat or place to perch in my line of sight, burst into tears. Sitting on the footpath meant trouble getting up, and also- who just sits in the street?- and the prospect of having to walk the length with no respite was just too much for me to handle. Oh dear.
But, with proper pain medication and taking it regularly, I could have avoided that. Even so, I have a new appreciation for city planners who provide rest stops! Dint let it stop you getting out and about- you just have to plan well for it.

>82 msf59: Thanks Mark, I saw the movie too, and thought it was good. That foreboding feeling was never far away though in the first half!!

>83 nittnut: cool huh! She is from Sth Florida university, and Im wondering if I should email her again saying I have read the book she recommended. She'd be like my academic penal then ;)

Apr 25, 2:31am Top

>75 Ireadthereforeiam: Great review. Is this a theme you can see yourself developing in your own writing / study?
I love the account of W's activities with his grandfather - sounds like a children's book, or a childhood from fifty years ago.

Apr 25, 3:12am Top

Hi Megan--Great review of Body Undone, and since I enjoyed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I will have to keep an eye out for this one. Love that W is spending time with his granddad and that you have an only child...briefly. : ) Happy Tuesday!

Edited: Apr 25, 3:34am Top

>85 charl08: Well, my childhood was pretty idyllic, and it is mainly due to mum and dad being sure to get us out and about into nature. The below picture shows how Grandad's access to the outdoors has changed with his advancing age- (note the table chair and wine!) but he is sure to make the effort to get out there!

>86 Berly: Tomorrow the family becomes intact again! I will have a lot to live up to after grandad's action-packed schedule, but them's the breaks! We will tidy the kids bedrooms tomorrow (me and Lenny that is) and try to get out for one last mama Lenny day. This afternoon we went to Orana Park- the wildlife park. His favourite animal was the Meerkat. Mine was the gorilla!!!

Apr 25, 11:25am Top

Nice picnic! We carry a wine table too when we picnic. :)

Apr 25, 4:00pm Top

>88 drneutron: my old man knows how to organised a picnic. He loads the 4-wheeler bike trailer (or car, or boat) up with deck chairs, a cooler back filled with cheeses and all sorts, the wine and beer bag mustn't be left behind either, chopping boards, baking, even a tent fly sometimes to make some shade! And wherever possible, a bonfire to :)

Apr 25, 4:42pm Top

>89 Ireadthereforeiam: Looks like your dad had all that with him at the picture, I only don't see a tent fly ;-)
It looks like your son had a good time with his granddad.

Apr 26, 12:06am Top

>90 FAMeulstee: Grandad time is pretty special. My kids are lucky enough to have an awesome grandad. This was his first trip away, so he is feeling rather grown up. It's good to have him home again!

Apr 27, 5:11am Top

Well, I lent my book A Body, Undone to my sister yesterday. She rang me before and said she had finished it already, and that she loved it. Even more than I did.
A very satisfying book bullet!!!

Also, I worked 9 hours today at job 2: there is a project on, so I was feverishly writing a report from the data that had already been grouped into themes (or, 'coded' as we say). Only thing is that my feverish is very slow (although hopefully thorough). And the more I try go go fast, the less fast I can go!!! Yikes. Must. Try. Harder.

Apr 27, 6:43am Top

>91 Ireadthereforeiam: That's lovely Megan. Glad everyone had a good time. The photo is really cute.

Yikes - 9 hours writing up research? I'd need a lie down (at the very least).

Apr 27, 7:02am Top

>87 Ireadthereforeiam: LOVE the photo! Hooray for meerkats & gorillas!

Apr 27, 5:25pm Top

>93 charl08: hehe, 9 hours of paid writing-up-of-research gave me a lot more than what 9 hours of writing up my academic research would have.
Even though I was sick of being seated for so long, I liked the process of writing it up. The half hour bike ride home helped me decompress my spinal cord and get my heart pumping!

>94 msf59: W has been raving about all the cool stuff Grandad did with him on his holiday :)
It is awesome to see them getting along, as my sweet eldest is quite a serious and quiet kid and his Grandad doesn't get a chance to know him amongst all the other grandkids- W bows out to the noisier kids- just like i used to!

Edited: Apr 27, 6:18pm Top

HI Megan, so glad you loved the penguin cartoon and moved it from Charlotte's #6 to #7.
I have the Roz Chast book out of the library right now Theories of Everything. She amazes, so hilarious and clever that I just might have to buy it. So good. She sure "gets" family.

Apr 27, 9:38pm Top

>96 mdoris: it was a funny one! I love random humour like that. Which explains my obsession with Gary Larson lately.

Edited: Apr 27, 9:46pm Top

I was also very close to my paternal grandfather. He was a very special man. Glad W has a special bond with his own grandfather.

Apr 27, 10:14pm Top

>97 Ireadthereforeiam: Agree, Larson is fabulous. I have his old books and have been making cards for pals with them. He does a delicious dark thing in his humour.

Apr 28, 2:40am Top

>87 Ireadthereforeiam: I think I could camp with your Dad. Love the chair, table and wine. ; ) Enjoy having the whole family again.

Apr 29, 3:52am Top

>98 msf59: I had no grandfathers growing up- Well, I did have my mum's step father (her dad died when she was 8). I never really gelled with him, he didn't like girls you see. He barely acknowledged us as kids. And my dad's dad I though long dead until I was 15, when we all found out he was in fact alive. Pretty full on! But seeing as I only met him once, and we didn't speak each others languages, it was not exactly close (even if he does mean a lot to me even now, 3 years after his death). I had cool grandmothers though, and was really close to one of them in particular. :)

>99 mdoris: I have a dark and horrible feeling that I threw away a load of Larson books. Some were falling apart and I had no book room. Of course, I regret that but also I am hoping that I will find them in the garage....

>100 Berly: He doesn't do things by halves. Camping trips were also very well-provisioned when I was a kid! One time we went to an off the grid place, it rained a lot of the time we were there and my dad and his friend stitched together a mega-tarpaulin to shelter the whole campsite with. We had a camp fire under it and everything! That particular trip yielded a lot of beer bottles too, I think.

Apr 29, 3:45pm Top

>101 Ireadthereforeiam: Megan I am a bit of a bad girl as I buy books at the used book sale on our little island that supports the local independent library. It is incredible what some people donate and then I make cards with them. Gulp, yes, I cut these gorgeous books up and cartoon books are the best especially if your pals have a great sense of humour.

Loved hearing about your grandparents. I had only one grandfather and he died one I was about 7 but had my first Toronto subway ride with him and I do remember it. We are now grandparents to 5 little ones and they are so far away. Boo hoo.

p.s. it's me Megan who wishes you a happy bd because I have the same one so it's easy to remember yours!

And I can relate to the camping trips. My P loves it when it's really really horrible out so he can impovise and make all forms of shelter. Geez. Lots of PB and J recipes......

Oh and daughter #1 is in Auckland at the Masters games. She is playing basketball and is having a blast and LOVES NZ!.

Apr 30, 12:00am Top

>102 mdoris: oh wow! A relative in NZ, cool :) It must be tough having grandkids far away. I have many friends who are parenting away from their own parents, and they say it is hard too. My dad lives 5 hours drive away, but counter-intuitively, he sees our kids more often than my mother does. It's all about effort too I suppose is my point.
Also, I had forgotten about our birthday snap, that is cool.

Apr 30, 12:08am Top

I was invited to an awards ceremony for the scholarship I got (cool!). So I RSVP'd yes, and my lovely other too please. A few days later they send another email saying very nicely that they like to hear about the awardees research, and could I please put together a 6 minute presentation (and email the PPT file so it can be projected on the screen as well). That was sneaky! Get us invested and then hit us with the extras :)
I thought about trying to beg off doing it (because I haven't actually started my research really) but then realised that I owe them at leas that, seeing as they are finding my research.

So today I managed to find a few hours to put together a PowerPoint presentation. Not something I am good at throwing together, but actually quite useful as a way to consolidate what I know so far. And, as it will be a fairly relaxed affair, with the other awardees presenting too, a good place to practice articulating what the hell it is I am doing. PLUS my lovely other will be a captive audience, mwa ha ha.

Apr 30, 8:20am Top

Hi Megan! Quick catch up here, congratulations on the scholarship and awards ceremony. I'm glad you have put a positive spin on having to present for 6 minutes. And now it's done and ready to go!

Apr 30, 11:03pm Top

>105 karenmarie: thanks! Of course my meeting on Wednesday with my supervisor and 2 people from a regional sporting organisation may change my topic somewhat...but I will add that in later if so :)

Apr 30, 11:32pm Top

Megan, definitely see if you can find something like Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson. Burial Rites was a great read, but a pretty depressing view of Iceland and definitely a historical view. I'm half Iceland by heritage, though I've never visited there. My son and his wife drove around Iceland in March and piqued my interest in Iceland. They said they really loved it, and they have travelled a lot. My mom and niece have also been their and spent 5 days in Reykjavik and they loved it too.

I was really blessed growing up, Megan! I had my maternal grandparents as well as my paternal grandmother. My parents were only 19 when I was born, so for the first few year we lived with my grandparents. All of my life they functioned somewhat like excellent parents. I was really sad to lose them in my 40's , but blessed to have them for so long.

May 1, 2:34am Top

>107 vancouverdeb: Iceland has fascinated me since I was a kid and friends of my parents went there and came back with stories of blackout curtains to deal with the 24-hour light. I though it so wondrous that there could be light all night.

I had such a close and loving relationship with my paternal grandmother. I used to visit her after school sometimes, or after netball on a Saturday, and then get collected later by one of my parents. She was without fail loving, and kind, and giving and understanding. And later on, as an adult, I found out what hardships she had faced as a young woman, and it amazed me that she came out of all that so together. My dad told me later, after she had died, that she came into her own when she left her second (abusive) husband and got a house of her own, a place where she grew vegetables and where the door was open to everyone, including of course all her 5 kids and their children! She died when I was 18 though, so I feel I missed out on a lot with her.

May 1, 6:48am Top

I'm 90 messages behind so not going to manage to catch up, but just thought I'd stop by and say hiya :).

Edited: May 1, 10:44pm Top

>109 lunacat: lunacat: telling it like it is on LT since Jun 21, 2008
Eta: I should at least spell your name right!

May 3, 12:32am Top

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind by Siri Hustvedt is chugging along, but I have been stymied by a chunky middle section (aren't we all, eventually!!??) that feels.....big. It is an essay, but it is well over 100 pages in length, possibly more like 200, and it lacks subject breaks or headings to define the topics, so is (I hate to use the word) rambling- (but look at that! I just did).
I am determined to keep at it though, as parts of it are super interesting. Such as, the artificial intelligence predictions that have been being made for decades, with little or no attention to the fact that nothing LIKE a human has/will/can ever be replicated, particularly if we consider subjectivity and the human experience as any important part of being human (which surely we must). The philosophical and ethical arguments are engaging, but I still feel like I am plodding, and that it is keeping me from the academic reading I should be doing.... dilemmas!!

May 3, 5:22am Top

>110 Ireadthereforeiam: I'd like to think I always tell it as it is ;) often far too much!

May 3, 2:33pm Top

>111 Ireadthereforeiam: I have been stymied by a chunky middle section (aren't we all, eventually!!??) LOL! Well said, Megan. So true. :-)

I've read good things about A Woman Looking at Men Looking; I hope overall it turns out to be a worthwhile read.

May 3, 2:39pm Top

>111 Ireadthereforeiam: This sounds really interesting Megan. Hope you manage to find the time to get through that Mega Essay though. The stuff about robots seems kind of scary - I read somewhere they think most office jobs are on their way out in the next few years. What will I do?!

May 3, 10:12pm Top

I'm not sure I'd like 24 hours of light! My brothers used to live up in Northern Canada, where they got light all night and dark all day , during the extremes of the seasons. I think they found it hard to cope with. Fortunately they live in Southern Canada again.

You were very lucky with paternal grandmother. I really missed my grandparents when we moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver, which is about 3 hour flight. In the old days, it was a big treat to be able to phone them once a month or so and we kept in touch by frequent letters. We did visit them 3 times a year, though.

May 4, 2:35am Top

>112 lunacat: the world needs at least some people who tell it like it is! Preferably more.

>113 jnwelch: I think it will be an overall great read, I look forward to reading some each night, so that must count for something. Yes- it is heavy stuff, and quite academic/theoretical, but that is my thing lately, and as it happens, so it feminist readings. So really, I should have no complaints.

>114 charl08: I emailed my supervisor a snippet of my mega essay yesterday, and she seemed very pleased so, I am on the right track at least. I sometimes find it hard to keep going until I am sure I am on the right track, so I was really pleased she got back to me about it.

>115 vancouverdeb: I think I could handle one season of no light, but that would be it. Light all night would be easier I reckon, but somehow weirder. Thank G for blackout curtains~

May 4, 3:38pm Top

Hi Megan, hope you are having a good week my dear and send love and hugs.

May 4, 11:58pm Top

Congrats on the awards invite and the "Honor" of doing the presentation!! LOL. Seriously though, congratulations.

May 5, 9:08pm Top

>117 johnsimpson: sure thing JS. All good at my end

>118 Berly: such an "honour", I know! Ah well, its all good practice for me. And it will be nice not to have to present to my supervisors or others 'in the know' as that is what makes me nervous- knowing that I really don't know much at all!

Edited: May 5, 10:45pm Top

Hi! Lucky you, to be fed dinner and then get to present to a captive audience. :) I am sure you will do a fabulous job.

I love all the grandparent memories. I miss my grandparents. None living any more, the two last passed away while we were in NZ. My Dad's father had ALS and died when I was 15, but the others lived to a ripe old age. His wife, who we called G-G after she became a great-grandma, was not warm and fuzzy, rather given to saying really offensive things, really loud, and turning up at your university apartment to "check on you" at random, inconvenient times. Mostly, she was lonely and got bored, and when she'd get bored she'd get in the car and go places.
I remember my mum's dad always had one of the grand-babies in arms and he would settle into his big leather chair and go to sleep with a baby. He never ever dropped any of us. He also liked to sing songs from musicals in his big rumbly voice. My mum's mum was really feisty and funny. She used to send me silly things like a daily calendar page that said: "I worry that scientists will discover that lettuce was fattening all along."

May 6, 2:54am Top

>120 nittnut: aw, they are nice memories! I have lots like that of my dads mum. She would call our place and say that she had done baking and could someone go an collect it- of course we wold stay over there and chat for ages too. She made the best breads! Latvian sweet breads, bacon rolls, buns that were little knots of dough that she would call doggie-do's and then giggle!!! And the Christmas biscuit tradition that I have now taken on :)
Grands have such an awesome opportunity to be a special someone for a child. It is cool when they take that opportunity and run with it.

May 6, 3:16am Top

Happy weekend, Megan.

May 6, 8:08am Top

I miss my grandparents as well. The ones on my mother's side were the best ones you could ever wish for. I had such a good childhood with them. They were kind, loving, interesting, always up for ridiculous games, fed our imaginations, couldn't go past a sweet shop or bakery without buying something for us. Perfection. I have such wonderful, wonderful memories of them.

And now I'm in tears, but happy tears. I miss them so much, but I am SO thankful to have had them in my life. I often think, when/if I have children, they'll have names strongly tied to Grammie and Grandie (what we called them). If not the first name, then their middle names. They were so important to me.

May 6, 12:00pm Top

I am another who misses a grandparent. Specifically, I miss greatly my maternal grandmother who I spent much of my childhood in the company of. Great storyteller and whisky devotee; huge heart and the most cuddly person in the whole wide world when I was seven years old and in need of cuddles.

Have a lovely weekend, Megan.

May 6, 6:41pm Top

>122 Ameise1: thanks B!!

>123 lunacat: It is a lovely thing to honour a grandparent by carrying their name on. My sister named her daughter for our grandmother- the one who I mentioned above. And I named little Lenny (his middle name) for my mother's father, who died when she was only 8. My brother also has his name as his middle name.

>124 PaulCranswick: Little Lenny in particular loves (absolutely loves) cuddles with my dad- he will just sidle up and snuggle into his hair, sucking his thumb all the while. You can tell my dad just loves it, even if he just carries on as normal. My heart always melts a little bit when I see that happening, it is delicious :)

May 8, 10:44pm Top

Woohoo- job one nearly done (my contract hours are up, and I have nearly wrapped up the project too, so all going according to plan there) and job two going well. And that leaves me tomorrow to do job threemy favourite day of the the week- university day. Tomorrow is just a short day, but I'm still craving it :)

May 8, 11:04pm Top

I gave my eldest son my grandfather's name as a middle name. It was " Freeman" and he went by " Frim" . He was Icelandic and his first two names were Hallstein Freeman, but he went by Frim. I think he was quite honoured that I called gave my eldest his middle name. And fortunately my eldest son does not mind his middle name :)

May 9, 12:20am Top

>126 Ireadthereforeiam: I guess that means job(s) well done!! : ) Have fun on University Day.

May 9, 3:41am Top

>127 vancouverdeb: I like family names! My mothers side of the family has the name Frances (for females). I shied away from that as am not that into that side of the family ;) But I liked being able to include my maternal grandfathers name with my kids.

>128 Berly: Yay! Efficient at each job, but this time of the week (having not spent time at uni since Friday last week) feeling like University work has been neglected. Which I will amend tomorrow!

May 9, 6:50am Top

I'm glad to hear that everything is going so well, and I hope the University work catches up tomorrow :).

Edited: May 9, 9:58pm Top

Megan I thought of you today. Near our new house, a neighbour strolled by with his wee dog who had been "tutored"( poor thing) yesterday and I thought of you and our recent Gary Larson conversation. This is one of my very fav. of his and there were others there who must have known it too and we all commiserated with him about his" tutoring". Then we all laughed (how bad of us).

My P said to the wee dog...."if you were mine, I wouldn't have had you tutored!!!" and the dog sure liked my P!

May 9, 10:02pm Top

Hi, Megan. Just checking in. Yah, for getting your "jobs" done.

May 10, 12:46am Top

I am too far behind with with threads and posts so I am just going to pop up here and say "Hi!"

May 10, 5:30am Top

>130 lunacat: I am so not caught up- but any progress is still progress, right? (that's what I will go with!)

>131 mdoris: haha! That one is so funny- he is so keen and proud....poor Rex (or whoever he is), doesn't know what will hit him.

>132 msf59: thanks Mark- tomorrow for job two- I have to finish my section of the report. Nothing like a deadline to get me moving. There is no excessive reworking of reports in the private sector, I can tell you that. (not like with my university essays- they get reworked to within an inch of their lives)

>133 lkernagh: Hi back!

May 10, 5:36am Top

Good luck with your report Megan. Sounds like you've cracked the difference between public and private !

May 10, 5:46pm Top

Megan--good luck with the report rework!

May 11, 8:30pm Top

>135 charl08: my boss has reminded me that "this is not academia" :)

>136 Berly: I finished the bits I needed to- well, there was about 10 minutes work still required of me, but I had to leave to pick up the kids from school. I hate that- it feels pretty bad to bail when so close to completing my part of the job. But I am sure the boss wanted to read over it anyway, and by the time he did it would have taken him minutes to add in the last section.

May 11, 8:33pm Top

This was me last night, speaking about my research at the awards ceremony held by the people who gave me my scholarship. I cant believe I nearly turned it down- I am loving what I am doing. Sheesh, what was I thinking?!?! (I can go into that, but who has the time to read a detailed analysis of every step of my indecision!?)
I got a certificate, and little Lenny said in delight "wow mum, just like a school kid!!". Indeed.

May 12, 12:26am Top

You are in school, and a kid at heart, so Lenny is right! Congratulations.

And "a detailed analysis of every step of my indecision" made me laugh out loud!

May 12, 4:04am Top

>139 Berly: yes! Kids sometimes just nail it don't they!? Little Lenny is known to have some classics, and some classic turnabouts. Today he said, virtually in the same breath- Oh mum, today is the best day ever! // THIS IS THE WORST DAY IN THE WORLD.
Sheesh. What a drama king!

May 12, 6:48am Top

>138 Ireadthereforeiam: Look at you, Megan, being all scholarly and stuff! Well done, you!

May 12, 7:08am Top

Congratulations, Megan! Lenny's comment is priceless.

May 12, 9:26am Top

>138 Ireadthereforeiam: Way to go, Megan!

May 12, 1:03pm Top

>138 Ireadthereforeiam: Well done, Megan, would you have dared if the first e-mail had a mention of this? ;-)
Lenny was spot on.

May 12, 3:24pm Top

A certificate?!? Wow. I hope you taped it to the fridge. :)
What I love is that you are loving what you are doing. Not everyone can say that, can they? Lucky you. :)

May 12, 3:24pm Top

Well done Megan my dear, glad you had a good night at the awards night, wishing you a really lovely weekend dear friend, sending love and hugs.

May 12, 4:19pm Top

So fun to see a picture of you during your presentation. Well done! You have worked hard and it's so great to have such an accomplishment under your belt. Nice to have the family support too.

May 12, 9:30pm Top

Well done Megan. You have come quite some way since you almost bailed on me in Christchurch for fear that I may have been an axe-murderer!

Have a lovely weekend. xx

May 12, 10:04pm Top

>87 Ireadthereforeiam: Granddad and Wilbur seem to be having the best time together. I love that picture and how they've made themselves comfortable with the fire and table and chairs.

Good job on the presentation on such short notice. It's great that you love what you do. I know how hard it is to wear all those hats at the same time!

May 12, 11:14pm Top

>141 rosalita: anyone would be forgiven for thinking I was capable and articulate in that image ay! ;)

>142 kidzdoc: He meant it with the highest of praise, I am pretty sure. Cos, how is being a school kid not the coolest thing ever!?!?

>143 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! I was a little nervous, but got over it pretty quickly once I started.

>144 FAMeulstee: I know, they were very clever to get you committed before asking you to present!!!

May 12, 11:19pm Top

>145 nittnut: My certificate is in its glory spot- clipped to the wall above the dining table, and has already been upstaged by Lenny's "Maths Home Learning" certificate, which is twice the size and far more glossy than mine!!!

>146 johnsimpson: Thanks JS- it was a good night. I wish I had invited more people now but at the time of RSVPing I was barely sure I could get even me and the lovely other there!!!

>147 mdoris: the men in the audience got recognition in a way that women and mens' awards ceremonies would rarely get (I'm sure). It is nice to acknowledge their support too, and I am grateful that my lovely other encourages me so much- butlet's face it, I wouldn't be with him if he was the type to kick my dreams to the curb!

>148 PaulCranswick: ha ha!! I had sense enough to meet you anyway, with the proviso that my friend knew of my whereabouts!!!

>149 Donna828: Grandad and W are besties now ;) It is lovely.
Thanks for the support for the presentation! The IT woman who was setting up the computer for the presentations chastised me for my slide's lack of 'pizzaz'. She thought they ought to all have colourful backgrounds, or stripes! I prefer a more simple slide, with colourful images :)

May 14, 5:31am Top

To all the parents down under Happy Mothers day!

"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path." Agatha Christie

(extra bonus point if you know the book without googling it )

May 14, 5:38am Top

>152 roundballnz: Pass.

Great to hear your cert is in the wall. Congrats again.

May 14, 6:54am Top

Hope you had a nice Mother's Day, Megan! Big, warm waves from the Midwest!

May 14, 10:53am Top

Adding to Mark's good wishes from the Midwest, Megan. Happy Mother's Day!

May 14, 12:36pm Top

And from the NW, the same wish for a Happy Mother's Day!!

May 14, 10:24pm Top

>152 roundballnz: aw thanks Alex. No idea about the source of that quote! But it is a goodie.

>153 charl08: Thanks. :)

>154 msf59: Thanks Mark- it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, but I am focusing on the positive, which was that I spent a few hours hanging out with my sister while our kids played nicely away from us both. The morning had me sweeping out the fire, and doing dishes, and the evening had me crying frustrated tears in the shower before having a very early night. As trump would say- SAD! But I got over it.

>155 jnwelch: Thanks Joe- I got some lovely cards, including one from my god-daughter who is so incredibly sweet and thoughtful and not at all like my two boys. Although, their cards were fantastic too- I heard W making his on Mother's Day morning, as my lovely other had placed the necessary materials where he couldn't fail to see them- he pulled something together that had more than just the obligatory "happy mothers day" message, so that was pretty good for him :)

>156 Berly: Thanks Kim. The messages above will give you some clues as to how it went, and with that, I head back home to prepare a nutritious and delicious and probably badly received (by the kids) meal for the family!

May 14, 11:32pm Top

Hey, I hope you are in a better space today ......

May 14, 11:45pm Top

>157 Ireadthereforeiam: Sorry to see that Mother's Day fell a little flat. I got the usual, "you didn't wish me happy mother's day" and my stock reply' "well you're not my mother". I did drive her 3 and a half hours down south to have dinner with her own mother, pay for said dinner and then drive 3 and a half hours all the way back again. I asked if she thought that was Mother's Day present enough and actually managed to solicit a smile.

May 15, 12:09am Top

>158 roundballnz: much better space today! Worked like a trojan to get the most out of my last 15 hours of the writing job.....and attended my supervisor's lecture on gender and sport. Very interesting!

>159 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! I don't expect to much on Mother's Day, but I would seriously love some kindness and peace at home. Clearly, the kids didn't get the memo!!!
Your mothers day efforts sounds fantastic! My lovely other got me a cool book of 100 cult movies and 4 mini bottles of wine- so that I can have just one and not have to drink the whole bottle! It wasn't pointed, I often lament the fact that I have an opened bottle and don't feel like finishing it (and then it goes off...). So that was very thoughtful of him.

May 15, 2:00am Top

>160 Ireadthereforeiam: Love the mini bottle of wine. Glad you got some love from your hubby and I hope you will feel the love more and more as your kids grow older. Yay for today going better!

May 15, 3:47am Top

>161 Berly: amen to that! (feeling the love from the little ones more and more as they grow older). They are both so physical, and so fast, and so loud that the quiet times are few and far between. Me and the lovely other 'divide and conquer' so much (so they don't fight) that we rarely spend time together. Seriously, after my presentation/awards thing last week, we went to the supermarket by ourselves and wandered around leisurely, looking and the different craft beers on offer. It was way more fun than a trip to the supermarket should have been.

May 15, 11:30pm Top

OMG work was so cool today- We have three new interesting projects to work on. And I got to write the proposal for one of them today! Big ups to my boss who actually thought me capable enough to do that, and who simply left me to do it without micro-managing. (I would be such a terrible boss, as would want to know everything my underlings were doing).
Woohoo for satisfying jobs!

Edited: May 16, 7:52am Top

Well done, Megan! That's a great way to start your work week.

May 16, 3:52pm Top

>57 Ireadthereforeiam: and >75 Ireadthereforeiam: What a great story about how you came upon that recommendation and the book sounds interesting.

>163 Ireadthereforeiam: YAY! I'm glad your boss trusts you to just get on with what you're good at. I agree with Darryl: it's an excellent way to start your work week.

>138 Ireadthereforeiam: "I cant believe I nearly turned it down- I am loving what I am doing."
Yes, well, and all the more so because you considered it closely.

See? I can turn anything around to have a positive angle. It's a sickness. :-)

May 16, 10:06pm Top

>164 kidzdoc: Yup, Darryl, a great start. I love the working week more than I love the weekend these days. I have a female friend who is the breadwinner for their family, and she feels the same. She felt very guilty about it, so I forwarded her a research paper about the ideology of family time as rewarding and fun. It was a paper that had also made me feel better, as I know my impressions of family life don't match those that the status quo espouse.

>165 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, my sister snapped up the book and read it in less than 25-hours! She loved it, which I was pleased about. I'd even give it an extra half-star now that I have discovered the book is actually collected essays. I was thinking of it as a whole - and had felt it was a little disjointed. Now I know why!
I'll take your positive spin today thanks, on other days I might feel inclined to disregard silver linings as "fake news"! ;)

May 17, 12:02pm Top

Sorry to hear that your Mother's Day was rather a bust, but glad to see that things are looking up now. It's good to see that your boss has such faith in you - justified as well :). And that you are enjoying your work week so much more, given that there are more days of it than the weekend! I hope your weekends begin to look up soon though.

May 18, 7:43pm Top

>167 lunacat: Hi! Yes, mother's day was a flop this year. But hey- you can't winnem all!! This week has been much better, and my dad is coming to stay this weekend so that is good (even if he is in town for a heart check- which is potentially bad!). It will be nice to have him.

Edited: May 18, 7:51pm Top

Oh, and as some of you have seen on fb I got my diploma mailed to me this week. Seeing the fancy certificate was pretty cool- and the "with distinction" added- wow! All those rewrites are now worth it :)
I'll add a pic soon!

The lightening bolt was added myself, just in case you are wondering.
I think this one needs a frame (without the lightening!)

May 18, 8:07pm Top

Saw it on Facebook too. Congrats!

May 19, 2:51am Top

Congratulations. Hope it's up in a prominent place. I like the university building in the background. Nice lightning bolt action too!

May 19, 3:50am Top

>170 drneutron: the most 'likes' I've ever had! Note though, nothing from my siblings. Im convinced they either don't do Facebook, or just think I'm a nerdy swot. My dad however, emailed his congratulations and this evening presented me with a bottle of local bubbly! Aw, so thoughtful.

>171 charl08: I will get it framed, I think, to mach my other one.
The university building is the library- a gorgeous piece of architecture and one that I get to experience every time I am at the university. The front step is stone that has worn down over the 100 + years that it has been stood on. I love it.

May 19, 6:40am Top

Congrats, Megan!!

May 19, 6:48am Top

I don't use Facebook anymore so thank you for posting your diploma over here, Megan! That is very skillful deployment of a lightning bolt — is there a course for that? :-)

May 19, 4:40pm Top

>173 scaifea: thanks Amber!

>174 rosalita: thought I would plonk the image down here on LT too, just to get maximum social media coverage of my certificate. (with emphasis)

May 20, 1:41am Top

>172 Ireadthereforeiam: "a bottle of local bubbly!" Fancy your Dad knowing that was your thing - can't imagine how that would be the case ??? :) ... Congrats again!

BTW Did you get to any of the WORD sessions in CHCH ? or was life too busy ... imagine that was the case

May 20, 5:14am Top

>176 roundballnz: He knows I like the reds, and also that i like the fizzles ;)
WORD and me did not connect this year, although I did read some of the reviews of the Dunedin version as an old school friend of mine does reviews for Booksellers NZ and got free passes to the lot to review. Lucky her, but hard yards in the writing.

May 20, 2:45pm Top

>169 Ireadthereforeiam: Great! Congratulations, Megan. Lot of hard work went into that, we know.

May 20, 10:22pm Top

>175 Ireadthereforeiam: Oops, sorry — your certificate is marvelous!

May 21, 5:29am Top

>178 jnwelch: you know all right, Joe! I was all: boo hoo, I have an essay due, and boo hoo, my brain is so full of academic readings I can't find time to read fiction....
Aaaaaah, it seems like a lifetime ago- oh- hang on. It is the same now ;)

>179 rosalita: thank you. I appreciate the emphasis ;)

May 21, 5:37am Top

Sunday was not the day of rest today! I had a finely tuned schedule and it was thrown at the first event- the christening of my nephew. Unknown to me there was more than one baby being baptised at the service, so the time ran over.
I snuck Lenny out to take him (late!) to his wee friends birthday party, and then (got coffee and) raced home to proof read my neighbours essay she was writing for teacher's college, and to await the arrival of my friend. She will soon be away for a month and needed a cuppa and a cuddle for some family issues. That duly done, once the lovely other came home (late!) from the christening, I went off to do 90 minutes of work that I had already time sheeted (so had do deliver). Did that, came home, made a delicious (mild) curry just in time to make the official tea time time slot (nearly late!). Lovely other went out, me and kids went to the park in the near dark (late!) for a kick around of the soccer ball. They loved that it was dark- and both got extra muddy. Came home, bathed kids, ate ice cream, watched TV, read stories and put them to bed (not late! I made up the time!!). Finished proof reading my neighbours essay and read a research article.

Now- I shall have just enough eyelid will-power to finish my book tonight- Hoorah! Ravelstein nearly had me beat, but I pushed on. It will be lucky if it gets 2-stars, but I pushed on.

May 21, 5:42am Top

>177 Ireadthereforeiam: Believe there are also 1 or 2 Youtube vides around ..... another way to score via work computer maybe ?

May 21, 7:28am Top

Crikey, what a busy busy day! I hope your week calms down a little, or at least doesn't get behind schedule. I'm glad to see you fitted everything in, even with events running over.

May 21, 7:41am Top

Howdy, Megan. Sounds like you are one busy Mom. I hope you can find some down-time, which includes some reading, of course.

Congrats on the diploma! You remain one of my very favorite students. Hugs to my pal.

May 21, 8:20am Top

Sorry to hear it was such a busy day. I hope it calms down soon.

Edited: May 21, 3:18pm Top

>181 Ireadthereforeiam: Seriously, you've got one of those magic watches like in Harry Potter. I don't think I do that much in a week.

May 21, 6:48pm Top

>181 Ireadthereforeiam: So you will have to have the weekdays for you to rest up for the weekends!

May 21, 10:13pm Top

>182 roundballnz: good to know! The odd time I have managed to watch something on youtube while cooking tea, if the kiddos can quieten up for 10 minutes that is :)

>183 lunacat: It was unusual for the day to be so busy. I didn't mind it, but I do hate to be late and felt bad for the little boy having the birthday party that his friend was late.

>184 msf59: Downtime does exist believe it or not! Like now, at my desk :) (Did I mention I love having my own desk? I can feel the resentment building about the possibility of my desk being wrenched away from me and given to a full timer....)

>185 Ameise1: It wasn't bad- just full :)
I wouldn't want to keep that full a schedule though, usually Sundays are a lot calmer.

>186 charl08: Well, when you list everything (like getting coffee!), it does sound rather longer a list than it actually was :)

>187 PaulCranswick: I love the calm order of weekdays, Paul. My workplaces are my sanctuaries!!

Edited: May 21, 10:19pm Top

Book 22 (but my FIRST one for May- disgraceful!)
Ravelstein by Saul Bellow 235p
I couldn't finish it fast enough.
The self-indulged clap trap just would not end.

May 21, 11:13pm Top

>189 Ireadthereforeiam: Oh, dear. Have you read other Saul Bellow books? I've not read that one (though I don't believe it's considered one of his finer works) but I've enjoyed other books of his quite a bit. Then again, he has a rather distinctive regional style (American Midwest/Chicago) so I'm not sure how he "translates" to a wider audience.

Edited: May 22, 12:17am Top

>190 rosalita: I usually love the introspective, inner monologue thing. But this one fell flat for me as just never seems to go anywhere. I can't remember if I have read him before, I actually think I have! I will eta when I find out :)

Eta: yes I have read him, it was Herzog, and I loved it!!

May 22, 1:35am Top

>189 Ireadthereforeiam: / >190 rosalita: He isn't a favourite of mine either. Herzog I thought was okay but Henderson the Rain King was obtuse and I failed in my attempt to read Augie March.

May 22, 2:59am Top

>192 PaulCranswick: I had wondered if it were my new found love of feminist works that has turned me off the existentialist, middle-aged male protagonist. But it is probably just this author ;)

May 22, 3:39am Top

As an existentialist middle aged male protagonist I am also hopeful that it is merely the author!

May 22, 4:26am Top

What Paul said, Megan, except a little less middle-aged (on the far side). I still haven't read Bellow. I remember Augie March was assigned in one class (not mine) in college.

May 22, 11:55pm Top

>194 PaulCranswick: my favourite authors are Chaim Potok, Don DeLillo, John Steinbeck, Richard Ford....all using existentialist middle aged male protagonists in their works! Maybe not Potok, he uses young men to tell his stories, but probably was middle-aged himself when he wrote! So I haven't completely abandoned you guys :)

>195 jnwelch: I don't think I will read Bellow again too soon. I started Norwegian Wood last night though, as its one I have been meaning to read for ages. In fact, I started it when I was first pregnant with W and had to abandon it as the person I borrowed it from wanted it back. Fancy it taking me 8.5 years to get to!!!!

May 23, 6:22pm Top

>181 Ireadthereforeiam: Supermum! Wonderwoman!

May 23, 7:19pm Top

>197 nittnut: lol- it was a tight schedule, one I hope not to repeat in the near future!!!
I am planning a weekend away with a friend, and one of my little'uns, to Hanmer soon. She has a family place there, and I have a less-than-half-price voucher for us all to hit the hot pools. We will relax!

May 25, 7:17pm Top

>169 Ireadthereforeiam: - Congrats on the diploma, and "With Distinction"!

>189 Ireadthereforeiam: - Oh well... there are always more books to spend your valuable time reading!

May 26, 10:14pm Top

>199 lkernagh: thanks! I found out a while ago that I got a distinction, but it was lovely to see it in print.
More books? Oh yeah! Waaaaaaaaaay more books. Like Norwegian Wood which I am currently loving reading. About time, right?

Yesterday, 9:52pm Top

>200 Ireadthereforeiam: "Isn't it good…Norwegian Wood…." Sorry, Megan, I just couldn't resist. Still a Beatles fan after all these years! And I also liked the book. It was my first Hurakami.

Today, 6:14am Top

>201 Donna828: I actually can't wait to get to bed tonight to finish it! I have been reading it morning and night as just cannot wait to get back to it. The sign of a good book. :)

Today, 8:14am Top

Hi, Megan. Hope you are enjoying a nice weekend. How is the Murakami coming?

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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