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Berly's ABCs -- Amidst Books and Chums #11

This is a continuation of the topic Berly's ABCs -- Amidst Books and Chums #10 .

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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May 8, 1:49pm Top

It Must Be Spring
by May Fen

Hush, Can you hear it?
The rustling in the grass,
Bringing you the welcome news
Winter's day is past.
Soft, Can you feel it?
The warm caressing breeze,
Telling you the sticky buds
Are bursting on the trees.
Look, Can you see them?
The primrose in the lane,
Now you must believe it -
Spring is here again.

Edited: May 20, 8:51pm Top

Reading Now
Dreams from My Father (A) by Barack Obama
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story (K) by Douglas Preston
Mr. Rochester (449 pages) by Sarah Shoemaker

The Cruelest Month Louise Penny (Paul's Canadian Challenge)
Why Science Does Not Disprove God by Amir Aczel (253 pages) (April--CultureCAT Challenge hosted by EBT1002)
America's First Daughter by Laura Kanole, Stephanie Dray June RL Bookclub
Lincoln in the Bardo (IR) by George Saunders
Evicted by Desmond
I Am No One (LTER) by Patrick Flannery
The Almost Sisters (LTER) by Joshilyn Jackson

Read in May
44. As Time Goes By (335 pages) by Mary Higgins Clark
43. Borne (IR) by Jeff Vandermeer 3.75
42. A Wild Sheep Chase (353 pages) by Murakami 4.0
41. Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance, May RL Bookclub 3.5
40. Ordinary Light (349 pages) by Tracy K. Smith 3.5

Read in April / 2,346 pages / 11,372 YTD
39. Love Story, with Murders (K) (400 pages) by Harry Bingham 3.5
38. Harry Potter (309 pages) re-read and April Obama Read 5.0
37. The Captain and the Enemy (A) (192 pages) by Graham Greene, Narrate by Kenneth Branagh
36. Nutshell (208 pages) (L) by Ian McEwan 4.0
35. Being Mortal (OTS) (263 pages) by Atul Gawade -- RL Bookclub 4.0
34. LaRose (384 pages) by Louise Erdrich 4.0
33. We Are Legion (A) (382 pages) by Dennis E. Taylor, Narrated by Ray Porter 4.0
32. milk and honey (208 pages) by rupi kaur 4.0

Read in March / 3,448 pages / 9,026 YTD
31. We Are Called To Rise (305 pages) by Laura McBride 4.0
30. Self-Reliance (117 pages) by Ralph Waldo Emerson, March Obama Read 4.0
29. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (456 pages) by Anne Brontë 3.0
28. The Obsession (480pages) by Nora Roberts 3.5
27. The Sign of Four (92 pages) (A) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Read by Stephen Fry 3.0
26. Dr. Mütter's Marvels (304 pages) by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz 4.5
25. Insidious (447 pages) by Catherine Coulter 3.5
24. Hunting Badger (324 pages) (K) A Leaphorn Mystery by Tony Hillerman 3.5
23. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (84 pages) (IR) by George Saunders 4.0
22. The Madwoman Upstairs (341 pages) by Catherine Lowell 3.75
21. The Globe: The Science of Discworld II (345 pages) by Terry Pratchett, for Paul's BAC 3.0
20. A Study in Scarlett (124 pages) (A) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, collection read by Stephen Fry 3.0
19. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (304 pages) (A) by Trevor Noah 5.0
18. The Night Beat (K) (30 pages?) Short story by Harry Bingham 3.75

Read in February / 2590 pages / 5,273 YTD
17. Talking to the Dead (368 pages)(K) by Harry Bingham 4.0
16. Life on Mars: Poems (76 pages) by Tracy K. Smith 3.5
15. Behind the Beautiful Forevers (256 pages)(OS) by Katherine Boo, for Feb Obama Reading Challenge 4.0
14. Invisible Man (608 pages) (A) by Ralph Ellison, read by Joe Morton, reread of a classic 4.0
13. Nights at the Circus (294 pages) by Angela Carter w/ Cammykitty (Late Bowie read) 2.5
12. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (316 pages) by Amy Schumer 3.5
11. Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott (LT)(215 pages) Joyce Wallace Scott 5.0
10. Jane Eyre, (457 pages)(OS) by Charlotte Bronte, classic reread for RL book group 4.5

Read in January / 2,683 pages
9. The Secret History of Wonder Woman (OTS)(332 pages not incl. the index) by Jill Lepore 4.0
8. Kindred (264 pages)(L)(K) by Octavia Butler 4.0
7. The Vegetarian (201 pages) by Han Kang 4.5
6. Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos Meg Langslow #3(288 pgs)(L)(K)by Donna Andrews 3.0
5. An Obvious Fact (336 pages)(A)(L) by Craig Johnson 3.5
4. Fun Home. A Family Tragicomic (232 page)(GN) by Alison Bechdel--RL Bookclub 4.0
3. Night of Fire (358 pages) (IR) by Colin Thubron 4.5
2. Fire Touched Mercy Thompson novel #9 (352 pages)(K)(L) by Patricia Briggs 4.0
1. Murder with Peacocks (320 pages)(K)(L) 1st in Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews 3.0

Rating System
I think I am giving out too many high scores, so I needed to post a rating chart and I borrowed Karenmarie's. You probably won't see many below three because I am less afraid to use the Pearl rule now, but "Anathema" tickled me. So many books, so little time!

Masterpiece 5.0
Stunning 4.5
Excellent 4.0
Very Good 3.5
Good 3.0
Average 2.5
Bad 2.0
Very Bad 1.5
Don't Bother 1.0
Anathema 0.5

OTS=Off the shelf
GN=Graphic Novel
IR=Indiespensable Readers
LT=LibraryThing Early Reviewer

Edited: May 8, 1:58pm Top

Welcome to the President Obama Challenge!!

This is a chance to read one of his books, or several; independently or following a monthly theme. Just have fun and let us know what you are reading and what you think about it! There are more books suggestions on the thread.

May--Books About Other Presidents
1. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Morris
2. John Adams, David McCullough
3. Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, Fred Kaplan
4. Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, Jonathan Alte
5. FDR, Jean Edward Smith
6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin
7. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

And anytime, any month
By President Obama
1. Dreams from My Father
3. The Audacity of Hope
3. Of Thee I Sing a truly beautiful children's book

By Michelle Obama
1. American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
2. Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words
3. We Rise: Speeches by Inspirational Black Women by Michelle Obama, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Rosa Parks
4. Michelle Obama: Speeches on Life, Love, and American Values by Michelle Obama, Stacie Vander Pol (Editor)
5. Michelle Obama: Our First Lady

And here are some other links:



(Coinciding with Mark's Poetry Month)

Completed This Year
February -- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo ✔ ✔
March -- Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson ✔ ✔
April -- Harry Potter And the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling ✔ ✔
May -- Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama --reading

What are you going to read? Click on the link and tell everyone!! (✔ ✔ are ones I have read)


Edited: May 15, 9:54am Top

Plans for Reading

The President Obama Reading Challenge
February - Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo ✔ ✔
March - Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson ✔ ✔
April - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling ✔ ✔
May- Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
Summer -
September -
October -
November -
December -

RL Book Club #1
February - Jane Eyre - Jane Austin ✔ ✔
April - Being Mortal - Atul Gawade ✔ ✔
June - America's First Daughter - Laura Kanole, Stephanie Dray
August - In the Time of Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
October - Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
December - Choose new books! ✔ ✔

And RL Book Club #2
January - snowed out : (
February - Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel ✔ ✔
March - A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (read last year) ✔ ✔
April - Born A Crime by Trevor Noah ✔ ✔
May- Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance ✔ ✔
Summer - Off!
September -
October -
November -

And just maybe an occasional one from here, Mark's AAC or Paul's BAC

January AAC - Kindred by Octavia Butler ✔ ✔
February BAC - The Globe: Discworld II by Terry Pratchett ✔ ✔
March - Nope
April - Poetry Month - milk and honey by rupi kaur ✔ ✔
April - Paul's CAC - Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood ✔ ✔
May - AAC Zora Neale Hurston
June - AAC Sherman Alexie or BAC Georgette Heyer
July - AAC James McBride or BAC RL Stevens
August - AAC Patricia Highsmith
September - Short Story Month or The New Millennium
October - AAC Commonwealth (OS) Ann Pratchett and BAC Roald Dahl
November - AAC Russell Banks and BAC Poet Laureates
December - AAC Ernest Hemingway or BAC Neil Gaiman

luvamystery65/Roberta's Tony Hillerman and ???

January - The First Eagle
March - Hunting Badger ✔ ✔
May - The Wailing Wind
July - The Sinister Pig
September - Skeleton Man
November - The Shape Shifter


August - Kafka on the Shore by Murakami

Edited: May 8, 2:01pm Top

Favorites from this year:

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah 5.0
Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott by Joyce Wallace Scott 5.0
The Vegetarian by Han Kang 4.5

Favorites from last year:

Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson 4.5
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore 4.5
A History of the World In 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor 4.5
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes 4.5
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman 5.0
The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens 4.5
Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs 4.5
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens 4.5
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchet 5.0
Eleanor Jason Gurley 4.5
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters 5.0
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal by Jeannete Winterson 5.0
And Again by Jessica Chiarella 4.5
As I Lay Dying by Faulkner 5.0

Edited: May 8, 2:02pm Top

These are series I still want to follow. This list will evolve over time...

Inspector Gamache by Louis Penny (on #3 The Cruelest Month)
Dublin Murder Squad by Tanya French (on #2 The Likeness)
#2 Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
Cormoran Strike--#4 whenever that comes out
Alex Cross--I have read (17) and (23)
Alpha and Omega--Next is Dead Heat (4)
Longmire Series: now on (9)
The Gaslit Empire Series: (3) The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire
Morgue Drawer by Jutta Profijt (on book 6, not out yet)
Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs--next up is (10)
Meg Langslow Mysteries by Donna Andrews (Read #1, 2, 3, 7, 20)
Spenser and Hawk Series, by Robert Parker (Read # 1, 2, 3, 15,16,20) And Ace Atkins
Maggie Hope series by Susan Ella MacNeal (on #2 Princess Elizabeth's Spy)
Fiona Griffiths Crime Series by Harry Bingham (on book #3)

End of Watch in Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King
Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children

Edited: May 14, 1:24am Top

New Books in 2017
✔ ✔ = read

GN=Graphic Novel
IR=INDIEspensable Readers
LT=LibraryThing Early Reviewer

8th Thingaversary
1. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (GN) by Alison Bechdel ✔ ✔
2. The Vegetarian by Han Kang ✔ ✔
3. Commonwealth (TBR in October) by Ann Patchett
4. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
5. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer ✔ ✔
6. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
7. Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter ✔ ✔
8. Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith ✔ ✔
+1. Self-Reliance and other essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson ✔ ✔

10. Wait for Signs (A) by Craig Johnson (Free--Audible)
11. The Night Bird (K) by Brian Freeman (Free--Kindle First Pre-Release)
12. Night of Fire by Colin Thubron, INDIEspensible Reader #63 ✔ ✔
13. Moonglow (IR) by Michael Chabon
14. The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (from MichiganTrumpet) ✔ ✔
15: History of Wolves by Emily Fredlund, INDIEspensible Reader #64
16: Ordinary Light by Tracy K. Smith ✔ ✔
17. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
18. Dr. Mutter's Marvels by Christen O'Keefe Aptowicz ✔ ✔
19. Talking to the Dead (K) by Harry Bingham ✔ ✔
20. Love Story, With Murders (K) by Harry Bingham ✔ ✔
21. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths (K) by Harry Bingham
22. This Thing of Darkness (K) by Harry Bingham
23. The Dead House (K) by Harry Bingham
24. The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story (K) by Douglas Preston
25. Sherlock Holmes Collection (A) read by Stephen Fry (have read book 1, 2 ✔ ✔)
26. The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders, INDIEspensible Reader #65 ✔ ✔
27. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, Powell's INDIEspensible Reader #65
28. A Criminal Defense by William L Meyers, Jr (Free-K) no touchstone
29. 100 Books You Must Read Before You Die (A)
30. The Ice Twins: A Novel (K) by S. K. Tremayne
31. Insidious by Catherine Coulter ✔ ✔
31. The Last Mile by David Baldacci
32. The Obsession BY Nora Roberts ✔ ✔
33. We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride ✔ ✔
34. Good poems selected by Garrison Keillor
33. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay Thank you BLBera!!
35. Milk and Honey poetry by rupi kaur ✔ ✔
36. The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (I am on a Brontë tear this year!)
37. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
38. Why Science Does Not Disprove God by Amir Aczel (April--CultureCAT Challenge hosted by EBT1002)
39. Seamus Heaney collected works 1966-1987 (April--Mark's Poetry Month)
40. Kafka on the Shore by Murakami
41. A Wild Sheep Chase by Murakami ✔ ✔
42. Babayaga by Toby Barlow
43. Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet (Tournament of Books)
44. Pond by Clare-Louise Bennett
45. All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks
46. The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky
47. For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2 (A) by Dennis E. Taylor
48. The Almost Sisters: A Novel (LT ER) by Joshilyn Jackson
49. Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë ✔ ✔
50. The Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway Mysteries) by Elly Griffiths
51. A Small Revolution (K) by Jimin Han (Free Kindle First)
52. News of the World (K) by Paulette Jiles (Ellen's Fault)
53. Hillbillly Elegy by JD Vance ✔ ✔
54. The First Word by Isley Robson (Kindle First Reader-Free)
55. As Time Goes By by Mary Higgins Clark
56. The Grip of It by Jac Jemc Powell's INDIEspensible Reader #66
57. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer Powell's INDIEspensible Reader #66 ✔ ✔
58. Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker

Edited: May 8, 2:08pm Top

Open a book!!

May 8, 1:52pm Top

Happy New Thread, Kim!!

May 8, 1:54pm Top

Second up to wish you a very happy new thread, Kimmers.

Edited: May 8, 2:15pm Top

>9 ronincats: Roni--You're first!! As a reward, I give you a special portable case to display all your amazing jewelry!!

May 8, 2:16pm Top

>10 PaulCranswick: And it was a close second, too!! Hi, Paul. : )

May 8, 2:39pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: May 8, 2:53pm Top

I am in the middle of reading A Wild Sheep Chase and, as one would expect, it is crazy, unbelievable and I can't wait to find out the ending! You truly have to put aside reality to read Murakami's books sometimes. For instance, this book centers around a special sheep that one very influential guy may have encountered 40 years ago and it may have changed his life. But we are not sure, because he is actually in a coma. Never-the-less the hunt is on to find this very special sheep! Problem? "The life expectancy of sheep is similar to large breeds of dogs, about 10 to 12 years. Some breeds are known for being longer-lived, e.g. Merino. According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the oldest sheep lived to be 23. She was a Merino." So, this sheep could not possibly still be around. Oh wait...I forgot. This is supposed to be a new breed of sheep. So now it all makes sense again. Right? LOL

May 8, 2:54pm Top

>13 mstrust: Hi, Jennifer!!! Happy Monday. Do you like sheep?

May 8, 2:58pm Top

Happy new thread, Kim!
One day I will start a Murakami, there is so much love for his books here.

May 8, 3:49pm Top

Happy new thread Kim my dear, hope you had a good weekend and that you are recovering well after your recent illness dear friend. Sending love and hugs.

Edited: May 8, 4:28pm Top

>16 FAMeulstee: Anita--I do hope you find a Murakami in your hands one day soon! It is a twisted but fun ride, guaranteed!

>17 johnsimpson: John--The bad news is the car that got T-boned last week is a total loss. The good news is that we will get some money from insurance for it. So this weekend was spent looking at cars. It is not an easy task since we want a manual and there are so few of them nowadays. I think we found one model we like, but the exact version we want is not readily available so we had to reserve it. It is "in production" and then it will be "in transit" and it won't be here until July-ish. Which leaves us still in a dilemma for the immediate future as one car between four people is not cutting it. Too many jobs, schools, and after-school activities. And unfortunately, although we have a great bus system, from our house, many of them go downtown and then you have to switch to another bus and come back out again and that just takes too long. T

The hunt continues. And, of course, my daughter recommends one things, my son another, and then I have my own opinion! This could get interesting...

Hugs to you and Karen.

May 8, 4:23pm Top

Happy New Thread, Kim! I'm glad you're having fun with A Wild Sheep Chase. What an imagination he has!

May 8, 5:35pm Top

Hope Number Eleven turns out to be a rip-snorting thread for us, Kim! I always enjoy scrolling through, reading the posts.

May 8, 5:45pm Top

I can only imagine how hard it is to find a manual now. It was hard when I was looking in 2000, and I had to pay extra for it (hilarious).

Until and unless I'm getting a car just for me, I won't be getting another one because Morgan can't really drive it. :/ (I put in the "really" because he claims he knows how to do it "in theory", but in practice he killed it and ground the gears.)

May 8, 7:58pm Top

>19 jnwelch: I just finished A Wild Sheep Chase and I totally wish I had read this one with a book group because I have that many questions. His endings always leave me saying, "But wait! Why did...? and what happened to...? and what did you mean by...? and how could s/he...?" And still, I love his books. Unpredictable, thought-provoking, fun, smart and unforgettable. The last is the thing that keeps drawing me in. No one else writes characters and plot like Murakami does. The protagonist was never even named. In 353 pages! The story is told in the first person, which usually bothers me, but the story wasn't littered with constant "I"s, so it didn't. In fact, many of the characters have no "name": There is the ex-wife, the girlfriend, The Rat, The Sheep Professor, The Boss, The Chauffeur, etc. Fascinating and recommended.

May 8, 8:03pm Top

>15 Berly: As animals, yes. Unfortunately I'm not reading A Wild Sheep Chase, which has so many readers on LT right now. I'm usually a year or two behind the pack.

May 8, 8:33pm Top

>20 weird_O: Hi Bill! Rip-snorting, huh? I thought that usually meant mad as heck...! In fact, a google search turned up lots of angry faces and cars. This is my favorite one...

In any case, I hope you enjoy my little literary posts. I know I enjoy yours! : )

May 8, 8:40pm Top

>21 ursula: Ursala--We did find a few manual cars to drive. Which was great because we wanted the kids' input as they will be driving this next car a lot. Despite much grumbling by a few, we made sure that all our kids know how to drive a stick and now they are kinda proud that they do. Not many of their friends know how. And it is way more fun!! (Except in traffic, when climbing up a hill.) You can come visit me and drive my cars any time you want. : )

>23 mstrust: Jennifer--Well, it is kinda fun to be in the thick of things, when everyone gets all excited about the same book, but I also enjoy reading at my own pace when things strike me. So put it on your list for "some day."

May 8, 10:01pm Top

Happy New Thread, Kimmers. I like the spring poem in the topper.

I am about 120 pages into A Wild Sheep Chase. I am really enjoying it. Like you mentioned up there, no one else writes like this.

May 8, 10:46pm Top

Happy New Thread, Kim! Happy reading!

Edited: May 8, 10:49pm Top

Happy new thread, Kim. Good luck with the car hunt.

A Wild Sheep Chase sounds like quite a read!

May 8, 11:54pm Top

>26 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Have fun with the Sheep!!

>27 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. Happy reading to you, too!

>28 tymfos: Terri--I will need all the help I can get with the car hunt. : )

May 9, 12:05am Top

>11 Berly: Oh, wow, that IS an amazing case! And now I want it in real life...

Good luck on the car hunt!

May 9, 12:42am Top

Happy new thread!

May 9, 6:40am Top

Happy new thread, Kim!

May 9, 6:59am Top

Happy new thread! I can't imagine driving anything but a manual - I can't stand automatics as they never change gear when I want them too. The only thing useful about having our big Jeep 4x4 as an automatic is that when we're towing, I don't have to struggle with hill starts with two horses in the trailer. Although, again, I often find myself having to get it to kick down a gear when I'm towing uphill to keep a consistent speed on our way.

So I can absolutely understand your need for a manual. I hope you can figure out a solution to the car woes. Could you get a cheap little runaround that you can 'make do' with until the new car comes through, and then sell it on when you get the new one?

May 9, 9:34am Top

Your description of Murakami perfectly captured why I'm standing well back from this author!

Hope you manage to sort out the car woes. A couple of cities here have city car schemes where you join the club and then use the car when you need it.

May 9, 10:54am Top

Happy new thread Kim! Fingers crossed for much better health for you this thread!

>14 Berly: That does sound pretty wacky :-)

>18 Berly: Bummer about your car :-(

May 9, 12:49pm Top

>30 ronincats: I tried to find the maker, but was unsuccessful. I think it was actually from Etsy. Hope you find something you like!

>31 banjo123: Hi Rhonda!

>32 scaifea: And Amber!

>33 lunacat: Exactly! I am thinking we might find a used car and then sell it once we get the new one here. All plans are delayed until the weekend though, as we are swamped. : )

>34 charl08: Murakami takes the weird and makes it work for him. It is genius! I hope I did not scare you away from him, but I am also sure that he is not for everyone. I am under his spell. ; )

>35 souloftherose: Thank you!

And yes : )

yes : (

May 9, 1:37pm Top

>22 Berly: Yes! Great sum-up, Kim. The unnamed narrator continues in Dance Dance Dance, and most (all?) of the other characters pop up, too, although it's very brief for the Rat.

I'm under his spell, too. His new collection of short stories, Men Without Women, just came out.

May 9, 1:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Kim/Beth

>22 Berly: Great description of my reaction to Murakami as well. Yours and Ellen's descriptions of Wild Sheep Chase is piquing my interest -- and I already have a few of his on my shelves...

Good luck with car shopping. I retired my manual and doubt I'll go back to one.

Love the spring poem.

My favorite is this one by ee cummings:
in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and




balloonMan whistles

May 9, 5:19pm Top

>37 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Hit me with a book bullet on my very own thread!! I will have to get Dance Dance Dance now. (Ha! I put commas between the "dances" and Kurt Vonnegut came up. LOL) The Rat didn't play that large a physical role, although he was part of the quest, so I am not sure I will miss him too much. I will pass on the short stories for now. Me thinks you will succumb to the purchase though, so let me know the verdict. ; )

>38 BLBera: Hi Kim/Beth--I hope you find a way to open a Murakami soon. Love them! And I love the spring poem, too. I haven't read it in a long time: thanks for posting it here. ee cummings is a favorite.

Edited: May 9, 5:34pm Top

Box #66 of the Powell's INDIEspensable Reader just arrived. (Thank you, Hubby!). The Grip of It is apparently a page-turner, creepy haunted house kind of book, and it is recommended by the author of the second book, Borne, by Jeff Vandermeer. He is the author of the bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy (which I have never heard of) and his new book is an after-the-apocalyse story; Borne is a strange sentient product of The Company.

They both sound awesome! I am tempted to hold out on The Grip until October, because it would be great scary reading. But I am diving in to Borne right now!!

May 9, 5:54pm Top

I'm becoming more and more intrigued by A Wild Sheep Chase} the more I see people talking about it.

Good luck with the car stuff. One of my least favorite things to deal with.

May 9, 9:46pm Top

Yah, for Murakami. I am having a good time with A Wild Sheep Chase. They just arrived in Sapporo...

I have really been hearing great stuff about Borne. I want to get my mitts on that one.

May 10, 12:30am Top

Happy new thread, Kim! I am rather behind with all the thread news so I will be brief: Kudos on nailing your TKD test, and still dealing with pneumonia at the time! Yikes on the car accident. Good luck with the new car hunting/purchasing. Like you, I prefer a manual transmission. I like the increased control one has with a manual tran.

Edited: May 10, 1:20am Top

>41 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli--See...I knew we'd draw a few Sheep Lovers in yet! Thanks for the good luck wishes on the car. I will take them!

>42 msf59: Hang on, Mark! PM me if you want to talk about it when you finish. ; ) I am 30 pages in to Borne...so far so good!

>43 lkernagh: Hi Lori--So glad to see you here! Another manual transmission fan, I see. They are so much more fun, and, yes, I like the increased control. No guilt, but I hope to see you again here soon. : )

May 10, 1:19am Top

What?!?!? Trump fired the director of the FBI?

May 10, 9:34am Top

Happy new thread, Kim. Looks like things are hopping here. You really do have a busy life don't you? I thought you were supposed to be taking it easy! Good luck with the car search but July isn't really that far away - just saying!

May 10, 11:35am Top

Meg--I am trying to take it easy!! LOL. Not doing a very good job am I? I am letting my hubby take the lead on the car search at this point. Does that count? And waiting 'till July would make me so unhappy! Then I would have to remain in charge of who got the car and when. Or be taxi mom. And we have way too many extracurricular activities for one car between four people. All four of us have jobs, some part-time, but still and that's almost worse! Two are in school. Then there is soccer, boyfriends and girlfriends, TKD, theatre tix, you get the idea. We'll see what happens. Happy hump day!!

May 10, 11:41am Top

Happy new thread, Kim! Has your book club met yet to discuss Hillbilly Elegy?

May 10, 12:25pm Top

Happy new thread, Kim.

May 10, 2:59pm Top

>45 Berly: Unbelievable, huh? They seemed to be best buds before. However, I'm not sure the alternative would have been much better.

May 10, 3:10pm Top

>48 kidzdoc: Welcome back, Darryl! We meet tonight to talk about Hillbilly Elegy--I'll keep you posted.

>49 Ameise1: Hi, Barbara. Thanks for stopping by. : )

>50 rretzler: Robin--Just another stunner. The news is never boring lately.

May 10, 7:09pm Top

>45 Berly: yep, he did. Let's see if this gets anyone in the Senate to take things seriously.

Regarding manual transmission, I'm a spoiled automatic driver. One of my boyfriends tried to teach me manual, but I really wasn't that interested at the time, and I'd be hard pressed to have a reason now, since I drive so little and exclusively rentals.

Oh, and I found a copy of A Wild Sheep Chase perched on my bookshelf. (A friend recently asked me if I'd read all the books I own. Really. He's not much of a reader.) If I can bookhorn it in, I'll try to catch up to you all.

May 10, 11:15pm Top

>22 Berly: Great description of the reaction to Sheep Chase and to Murakami's work (of which I have now only read two). Did you notice that the protagonist was not named but neither were most of the other characters? I think J is the only one that came close. Rat; I guess that was a name. Or was it?

SO interesting. I am looking forward to reading more of his works.

I used to drive and loved driving cars with manual transmissions. The ONLY reason we now have an automatic is that we live in a place where one has a greater potential for getting stuck in traffic. Especially driving back home to Seattle from Olympia on a Sunday afternoon. Getting through Tacoma is hell.

I love that our little shared read has sparked so much Sheep Chase interest!

May 11, 9:37am Top

>47 Berly: Letting your husband take the lead on the car search is a start to taking it easy, Kim. It only works if you let go of your anxiety about getting a fill in car before July LOL.

May 11, 6:59pm Top

>52 ffortsa: Hi Judy! I think at this point (well, actually from the beginning) that we need a special prosecutor to investigate this whole mess. And if Trump is okay with costing the American public millions to provide special security at all his weekend retreats, then he should be okay with the cost of this research to clear his name (Ha!).

I hope you do read A Wild Sheep Chase! And I am sure several of us would be happy to share our thoughts with you after you are done. : )

I think the manual car days are over for you. ; ) Carry on with the automatics.

>53 EBT1002: Ellen--I did notice the whole no-name thing (see >22 Berly:). Weird, huh? Love talking about the book with you. Let's do another one in August. I think Mark, and maybe Crazy, would be up for it and let's see who else we can suck into reading with us. : ) How about Kafka on the Shore? It is a re-read for Mark, but he said he'd be up for it.

Yeah, manual is fun, except for in traffic, and Tacoma would be awful!

>54 Familyhistorian: Meg--Oh! I am supposed to not worry about it either? Ha! Fat chance! LOL. It's not that I don't trust my Hubby. It's that I am a tad on the perfectionist side. And a worry-wart. These traits served me well in school and on the job, but there are times when it is not useful. So "letting go" is something I am continually working on. Thanks for the reminder. : )

May 11, 7:07pm Top

"I think Mark, and maybe Crazy, would be up for it." Damn tootin'...

Only 30 pages left in Wild Sheep. Just met the Sheep Man. What in the heck is up with this dude? Grins...

May 11, 7:13pm Top

>56 msf59: Ha! Good question. Let me know what you think after you finish the book. Strange goings on...

Edited: May 11, 7:19pm Top

And how about the way he talked? I really had to pay attention. LOL.

ETA- Hey, any bird feeder activity?

May 11, 8:01pm Top

Hey Kim! Ouch! So sad to read of your car's fate. Important thing is everyone is ok! I used to love car shopping but they all seem so similar these days. At least those in a certain price range. There's still a variety if you're willing to lay down some big bucks. Lot's of luck in finding something which works for all!

May 11, 11:27pm Top

>58 msf59: Youmeanallruntogether?Likethis?Yes,itwastough!!

I saw a hummingbird for the first time at my neighbor's house. It is the same feeder I have, so I am hopeful that they will find mine soon.

>59 Carmenere: Ouchie is right! Hopefully we will find a new one this weekend. Crossing my fingers.

May 12, 2:10am Top

Hope the car search goes well Kim. No hummingbirds here, sadly...

May 12, 2:21am Top

>61 charl08: Thanks. Here's a hummingbird for both of us!!

May 12, 5:11am Top

>14 Berly: Im not sure I could deal with that level of insanity...I'm not used to Murakami, even though I have read two of his works. Maybe one day I will go on a 3-month holiday and take his back catalogue to read.

May 12, 6:17am Top

>63 Ireadthereforeiam: I can think of better things to do with a 3 month holiday! Jus' saying ;) (I am not a Murakami fan!)

May 12, 6:39am Top

>62 Berly: Love the image. I am still waiting for my first visitor too. Maybe this weekend. It is supposed to be much warmer.

Edited: May 13, 3:53am Top

Good luck on your car search, Kim.

I've owned manual transmission cars for over 30 years, starting from the first one I bought in 1982, and it wasn't unti last year that I bought a vehicle with automatic transmission. Learning how to drive a manual transmission small car on the steep hills of Pittsburgh for four years came in very handy last year when Bianca and I drove through the mountains and hilly small towns in Andalucía, as automatic transmission vehicles are far from the norm there.

May 12, 9:21am Top

I've never really noticed having a manual in heavy traffic/traffic jams as being a problem. I guess, given how rare manuals are in the US, it becomes something you think about a lot more? I'm looking at taking my lorry (truck) test at some point - not truck and trailer but fixed axle trucks (in order to be able to drive a horse box) and I'd hate to have to go from just driving an automatic to having to contend with gears in a bigger vehicle!

So hurrah for manuals, and manual drivers :)

Edited: May 12, 10:42am Top

>63 Ireadthereforeiam: Not sure I could read all of Murakami's works all at once. I'm thinking that might be a bit much! But I hope to fit in another one or two this year.

In fact, if you are interested, plan on Kafka on the Shore in August. Ellen, Mark (and maybe Crazy), would be up for it. I am hoping we can pull a couple more people into reading with us. Then I could start a group read, which might make it even more fun because Murakami usually leaves a lot to talk about.

News Flash! Crazy is in. : )

May 12, 10:22am Top

I'm in. I have that one in the stacks.

May 12, 10:29am Top

>64 lunacat: Ermintrude--And never mind the above post. : ) Happy Friday!!

>65 msf59: Mark--I do not have high hopes for the weekend and a hummingbird visit. Back to cooler weather and rain. Rats.

>66 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. I have had a manual transmission car (or at least one in the family) for 30 years as well. In fact, the first car I bought on my own was a manual and I had no idea how to drive one! I just wanted one and the guy at the car dealer gave me a crash course on what to do and I drove it off the lot. I was late to a show at the symphony with my family and my Dad was so mad! Until I told him I bought a car. Then it was quite the challenge to drive home afterwards because I had parked in a multilevel parking lot and had to go UP the ramp in bumper to bumper traffic in order to exit. I kept revving the engine so it wouldn't stall; I sounded like I was ready to start a race, but I never killed it. Whew! I can imagine it was vital to know how to drive a manual in Andalucía!

May 12, 10:41am Top

>67 lunacat: Jenn--Hi again. : )

I do not have a problem with driving a manual in traffic or up hills (now that I've had some practice!), but automatics are definitely easier . I cannot imagine trying to switch to a truck without having some experience first. Wishing you the best of luck with your lorry test when you get around to it!

>69 Crazymamie: A Crazy sighting!! And she's in for Murakami!! Yes. : )

Hope all is well at the Pecan Paradisio these days. I was thinking about you yesterday as I was navigating all sorts of kids stuff. Aren't you taking "time off" form LT doing the same?

My daughter Sarah has dyslexia and never received the classroom notes she is supposed to get as part of her accommodations and it really affected her ability to study for her last exam. So we were talking with Disability Services and the Registrar because I think she wants to drop the class and not have the bad grade. And she is in the middle of job training for her first job. She had to get her food handler's license and fill out all the tax forms. She is excited and nervous at the same time!

May 12, 2:13pm Top

>68 Berly: I actually did read Murakami all at once, Kim, many years ago now. Oddly enough, it started with a play adaptation of his short story collection After the Quake, at Steppenwolf Theater here. It knocked me over, so I read that short story collection, loved it, wanted to read more, and just never stopped. He was my reading diet for a couple of months. So good!

If you all read Kafka on the Shore in August, I'll re-read it. I've been wanting to do that, and that would be a good inspiration.

May 12, 3:12pm Top

I've been wanting to reread Kafka on the Shore, but I also want to read the sheep book... We'll see.

Happy Friday and good luck car shopping.

May 12, 3:31pm Top

Hi Kim, hope you have had a good week dear friend and wishing you a really lovely weekend my dear and send love and hugs from the pair of us.

May 13, 1:11am Top

>68 Berly: Yep, I might try to join in too as I have been meaning to read that one for an age.

Have a great weekend, Kimmers

May 13, 6:04am Top

>68 Berly: Not good at planned reading at the moment but I have a copy of Kafka on the Shore so will tentatively pencil it in for August.

May 13, 12:19pm Top

Oh! Oh! I want to read A Wild Sheep Chase! It sounds wonderfully weird. I love the books I've read by Murakami. Book bullets are raining down on me!

Oh, hi Kim! Thought I would pop over to your thread and look what happened!

Edited: May 14, 12:20am Top

>72 jnwelch: Wow, Joe! I don't know many people who have read Murakami's oeuvre!! I can't wait to talk Kafka with you.

>73 BLBera: BethKim--Well, you should read Sheep now, and then join us for Kafka!! : )

>74 johnsimpson: John--Happy Sunday! Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

>75 PaulCranswick: Paul--That means I have free reign to remind you (read: twist your arm) to join us on the group read of Kafka in August. : )

>76 souloftherose: And another victim enthusiastic fan onboard for Kafka!! Whoohoo!! This will be fun, Heather.

>77 -Cee-: Cee!! You're here!! Yay! It's so great to see you. : )

I hope you plunge right into A Wild Sheep Chase and maybe even join us in August for Kafka! Have you posted anything more on your thread? Off to check...

May 14, 12:25am Top

Edited: May 14, 1:46am Top

I seem to be on a bit of a Brontë tear this year. So far I have read:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (about descendants of the Brontës)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

And now my latest arrival: Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker. Starting it right now!

Also reading:

May 14, 2:57am Top

>55 Berly: Worrying about what might happen is a waste of energy, Kim. You can never foresee what will actually happen so while you are spending energy worrying about one thing something else you never even thought about is waiting around the corner. I hope you are taking it easy and are well on your way to recovery.

May 14, 3:06am Top

>81 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I know, I know. : )

I am slowly gaining ground in the health department. Tomorrow is Mother's Day here, so that should make for an easy day. The kids are making brunch. They have asked me to coach them on the quiche, but they said they have the rest covered. Yum!

May 14, 3:24am Top

>82 Berly: Enjoy your Mother's Day, Kim. Quiche sounds quite ambitious.

May 14, 5:12am Top

>82 Berly: That sounds wonderful! Have a great day.

May 14, 6:49am Top

Happy Mother's Day, Kimmers! Hope you have a good time with Monkey God. That is a good one.

I had a really good time with A Wild Sheep Chase. I doubt I had everything sorted out at the end, LOL, but I don't think it really matters does it?

May 14, 10:03am Top

Happy Mother's Day, Kim/Beth. Mr. Rochester sounds interesting. I'll watch for your comments. I hope you have a stellar day.

My daughter mowed my lawn and took me to a movie last night.

May 14, 10:11am Top

Happy Mother's Day, Kim!

May 14, 12:13pm Top

>83 Familyhistorian: The quiche is a family favorite and the hardest part is chopping the veggies and ham, so I think they can manage it. My oldest daughter is coming over around 10 and then the kids are taking over the kitchen!

>84 charl08: Thanks Charlotte. Same to you!

>85 msf59: Thank you, Mark. I am already pleasantly surprised by the humor in Monkey God and I can honestly say that the "pay attention to your surroundings" talk before they set out on the exploration was scary enough that I might have stayed home!

Sheep left me with many questions. Joe mentioned that there is a sequel, Dance Dance Dance and I am not sure that will provide any answers either, but I will have to get to it someday.

May 14, 12:16pm Top

>86 BLBera: Your daughter gets points!! I hope you have a wonderful day, too. I 'll let you know what I think about Mr. Rochester, but that might be a while: it is more of a chunkster than I thought!

>97 Thank you, Joe! Hope Mother's Day is going well in your family. Best wishes to Debbie! : )

May 14, 1:35pm Top

Happy Mother's Day, Kim. Hope the quiche came out okay and you enjoy your brunch! Sounds like good family time involved, so that's a given.

May 14, 4:45pm Top

Thanks, Roni. The brunch was wonderful. Quiche, fruit salad, waffles, hash browns and sausage. YUM!!! And they got me some really thoughtful presents as well. Best Mother's Day ever! I have some pictures....

May 14, 4:50pm Top

I am pretty sure this is my first selfie. LOL

May 14, 5:29pm Top

Intentional? Great selfie. I hope you're having a great day.

May 14, 7:58pm Top

Awesome selfie! Happy Mother's Day!

I'm thrilled that we'll be doing a group read (we have four; that is a group) of Kafka on the Shore in August. Yay!!!

May 15, 1:55am Top

>93 BLBera: Yes, intentional. LOL

>94 EBT1002: The Group Read of Kafka in August is on!

So far, we have you, me, Mark, Crazy, Joe, Paul, and maybe, Beth, Cee, and Heather. Awesome!

May 15, 2:11am Top

>92 Berly: Nice selfie, Kimmers. I still haven't done one.

May 15, 2:30am Top

I just got back from the Portland Symphony where I saw the world premiere of a new musical production of Homer's Persephone by Stravinsky. It was sung and spoken in French with English subtitles (thank goodness because it was sung much like an opera and I only caught a little of it from the French). The stage production included shadow dancing, life-size puppets, a ballerina, a tenor opera singer, two choirs and a French actress, a backlit moon and two huge trees with gnarly roots framing the stage. The stage production was the work of Michael Curry, who created the masks and puppets for Broadway's The Lion King, and who has worked with Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry, not to mention the US Olympics. And, of course, the Portland Symphony. The music, the singing, the stage. It was simply stunning. Wow.

May 15, 2:31am Top

>96 PaulCranswick: As I have clearly just demonstrated today, it is never too late!!

May 15, 2:37am Top

Fun pictures Kim. Thanks for sharing them. Sounds like a great weekend.

May 15, 4:19am Top

>92 Berly: Nice selfie, Kim! (and I love your kitchen :-) ) My gadgets all seem to have cameras that point all ways, but I've never tried either. Persephone sounds amazing. What a lovely Mother's Day weekend.

May 15, 4:24am Top

>68 Berly: oooh, sounds intriguing!!! A Murakami Party!!! Like Cee and BLBera I also want to read the sheep book- as in, as well as the Kafka one.
*all in good time, Megan. All in good time*

May 15, 4:25am Top

>92 Berly: Nice photos, Kim!

May 15, 9:06am Top

>95 Berly: Great!

May 15, 10:09am Top

>99 charl08: Thanks--It was a wonderful weekend. It was the first Mother's Day in years where it was just immediate family (and one extra kid), so we spent most of the day in our PJs, very low-key and quite fun.

>100 susanj67: I am not sure there will be a huge amount of selfies in my future, but that was a good one. Thanks--I love my kitchen, too, especially since it is very open to the family room and eating area. I tend to see literary events and plays much more than musical events, so it was a really nice change to hear Persephone, and a wonderful way to end my Mother's Day. : )

>101 Ireadthereforeiam: Megan--Ha! You have until August to find your Kafka. I am thinking not a problem.

>102 kidzdoc: My pleasure, Darryl.

>103 jnwelch: Joe--Which is your favorite Murakami?

May 15, 10:10am Top

And just because it is fun...

May 15, 3:22pm Top

Great selfie Kim my dear.

May 15, 6:57pm Top

>104 Berly: Which is your favorite Murakami? Kafka on the Shore, Kim. I'd put Wind-Up Bird Chronicle right below that. I like them all, but those two would be at the top for me.

May 15, 9:23pm Top

Kim, I specialize in worrying , it's a " gift " of mine! :) I totally understand that! :) Love the pictures of your Mother's Day!

May 15, 9:41pm Top

>106 johnsimpson: Why thank you, John!

>107 jnwelch: Joe, I haven't read either of those. My current favorite Murakami would have to be 1Q84. I have heard really good things about Kafka, so I'll have to reassess after our August read.

>108 vancouverdeb: Deb--I am so worry-gifted, too! And now I know I am not alone. : )

Glad you liked the pictures--it was a very fun day. So nice to have all the kids home.

May 16, 10:50am Top

By the way, Powells is currently having a sale on all Murakami

May 16, 10:53am Top

>105 Berly: Love it!

>110 SuziQoregon: I need to move to Powell's -- I mean Portland.

May 16, 12:38pm Top

>95 Berly: That is a great group! I'm excited. Except that I don't want to wish my summer away so really, August can take its sweet time getting here. :-)

>111 BLBera: "I need to move to Powell's -- I mean Portland." LOL. I feel the same way!!

>105 Berly: I also love it. I think my next Murakami will be What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I want to read that before we do our group read in August (not because they are at all related but because I want to read another Murakami and this one is on my shelves and interests me because of the topic).

Happy Tuesday, Kim!

May 16, 10:01pm Top

I'm hopelessly behind after being out of town for over a week. Still playing catch-up on threads. I read one book by Murakami and enjoyed it. I need to try another.

May 16, 10:56pm Top

>112 EBT1002: - I have only ever read one by Murakami (What I talk About When I Talk About Running and to be honest, it did nothing for me except annoy me (I felt he was rather self-absorbed), and I have not been inclined to try any others by him even though I have been told by several here that the one I read was probably the least appealing. Oh well. Odd man out, again. Story of my life... ;-)

May 16, 11:02pm Top

>114 jessibud2: I have read After the Quake and A Wild Sheep Chase, Shelley. Others might be better able to give you a recommendation of a best work of his to serve as antidote to your experience with WITAWITAR, but I have indeed heard that it is not characteristic of his style. I will, of course, share my own reaction once I get to it. :-)

May 16, 11:07pm Top

>115 EBT1002: - I think I chose that one, Ellen, because the library had an audiobook version and I often can get through books faster that way, especially if the reader is a good one. I don't recall having any issues with the reader. It was the story itself that turned me off. I think it was Joe, or maybe Mark, who did recommend any number of other Murakami titles for me, but as of yet, I haven't gone there. Maybe one day, when Mt. TBR erodes down to a reasonable height (as if)...;-)

Edited: May 17, 9:13am Top

>114 jessibud2:, >115 EBT1002:, >116 jessibud2: *eavesdropping* Psst. Shelley - yes, please try reading anything else by Murakami. That one's mainly for runners and Murakami completists.

Hi, Kim!

May 17, 11:05am Top

>110 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli! IJ think I have three Murakami's I haven't read yet, and I have already bought more than I have read this year, so I am going to show some restraint. But I really appreciate the insider's info!! Keep me in the loop.

>111 BLBera: Beth: "I need to move to Powell's -- I mean Portland." What a great idea!!

>112 EBT1002: Happy Wednesday, Ellen! I hope you really enjoy M's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I look forward to your feedback. I am not sure it is for everyone, but given your love of running, I bet you like it.

>113 thornton37814: Hey Lori, group read in August...! Hope you have settled back into home life.

May 17, 11:11am Top

>114 jessibud2: Shelley--Kafka is supposed to be one of M's best, so maybe you should give him another try and join us in August. Don't give up yet!! : )

Also see comments in >115 EBT1002:, >117 jnwelch: (good job you guys!)

>116 jessibud2: And your Mt TBR is never going to get down to a reasonable height. LOL. I would panic if mine did! It's kinda like my security blanket. So, no more excuses. Join us in August!

Nothing like a little friendly peer pressure encouragement. ; )

May 17, 11:22am Top

Club soccer tryouts were the last two nights and my son made the A-team again for next year, yay! We though he would, but you never know until the list is posted. ; )

My daughter has her first night on the job tonight. She is a little nervous!

I haven't read anything in the past few days or posted as much because I have been watching the endless commentary on the white house drama. Wow. Hope to return to normal a bit this evening after work.

May 17, 11:39am Top

I hope the drama from the WH settles down. Preferably with the removing of a certain person, but you can't have everything ;). Good luck to your daughter, and congrats to your son!

Edited: May 22, 11:26am Top

>120 Berly: Congrats! That is terrific for your son. Good luck to your daughter!

Some day I'll share with you my soccer stories - some of our club's coaches, on the boy's side, are, well...I don't know how to describe them (knowing next to nothing about what makes a good soccer player might be a good place to start.) Let's just say that my younger son, Keegan, recently made Ohio South's Olympic Development Program's state pool, but if we have a certain coach again next year, we are wondering if he will even be placed on a team. And of course, Keegs doesn't want to change Clubs because his friends are at this one. He's got his first training with the ODP state pool tonight and after this round, if he is picked will go to the US Regional Pool Camp! And the Director of the Boys told me a couple of years ago that my older son would not play HS soccer (which if you saw him play, you'd know was ridiculous!) This past year was his first HS year and he was only one of 4 boys who were being considered for JVA instead of the freshman team - ultimately none of the 4 went to the JVA and only 1 freshman played anywhere other than the freshman team! I got a great kick out of letting him know that Becks started for the freshman team!!

May 17, 1:22pm Top

I'm going to pencil in Kafka on the Shore for August. I've never read any Murakami and I must change that! Love the group reads! And what a fun group of people they are who going to read it.

Best of luck and congrats to your son and daughter!

Oh, the WH.

May 17, 4:10pm Top

>117 jnwelch:, >119 Berly: - Ok, ok! I will commit to find at least one Murakami title for August and join you. It may be the only way I do, lol! ;-)

And you are right, Kim, as if I didn't already know that. My book haul today, at the little hole-in-the-wall bookstore off McGill campus in Montreal, rang in at 3 books, and that was restrained. Plus another one from the museum and there is at least one other that I will purchase before going home on Monday. I may need to borrow a larger suitcase. For the complete haul, see my thread. (I haven't added today's yet...)

*Mt*. TBR maybe be a euphemistic term. What's larger than a mountain....

May 17, 5:45pm Top

>120 Berly: Does seem like you can never know for sure which is why I am not a big fan of tryouts, >122 rretzler: Congrats on the ODP selection! We just started that in our family too.

May 17, 8:38pm Top

I'm not very good at planned group reads, but Kafka on the Shore has been sitting on my shelf glaring at me since I bought it when it was first published (hardback even!). The only other Murikamis I have read are The Wind-up Bird Chronicle which I loved, and the nonfiction Tokyo Underground Gas Attack which was fascinating.

Well, it's just been announced that a special counsel has been appointed, so it looks like we're in for a long ride with this investigation.

Edited: May 17, 11:54pm Top

>121 lunacat: Well, there is now a Special Counsel, so I think this might go on a while. Yes, I am watching TV again tonight. No I am not reading! Sigh.

Haven't picked up my daughter yet, so I don't know how the first day went, but thanks for the good luck wish. And the congrats for my son. ; )

>122 rretzler: Robin--Oh, I hear you! Coaches. Yes, well. My son played on the Olympic Development Team for four years, but ultimately opted out this year. Partly due to a coach and also the other players. (And a lack of free time.) Jack and his best friend both play on a club team that is perhaps a little more low-keyed, allows players to miss practice for a good reason, etc. The other ODP players ribbed Jack and his friend endlessly, putting them down. Not that they really had a case since Jack's club team made it to the state semi-finals this year so I guess they actually are pretty good! And Jack's friend was the only Freshman to play HS Varsity. Jack made Varsity his Sophomore year. Ultimately, the extra time in ODP or any higher level sport has to be a good experience and a lot of factors go into that decision. Jack was happy he got to play at that level, and he is also happy to done with it for now. He has time for school, a part-time job, and his friends. He is a happy camper.

Good luck to both your kids!!

May 17, 11:51pm Top

>123 streamsong: Yay! So glad to have you on board for the Kafka. This is really picking up steam and we have a lot of really fun people now (present company included). : )

>124 jessibud2: And another Murakami recruit! Excellent! Try and put your hands on Kafka because that will be the focus of the August read and then you will be able to join in the discussion.

And if Mt TBR doesn't suffice...Planet TBR...Galaxy TBR...how about TBR Black Hole!! I think that one says it all. LOL

>125 Oberon: Tryouts are very stressful, but I don't know how to get around them. Congratulations on the ODP selection in your household, too!! Look at all us book nerds with athletic kids. ; )

>126 arubabookwoman: Oh no. You can't have Kafka glaring at you from the shelves. That is no good at all. I am signing you up for the August read, to protect you!

Yes, the Special Counsel will prove to be interesting. I am not sure how much the general public is going to learn with this method (typically very behind-closed doors) and it is much more serious with criminal implications and not just impeachment at stake.

May 18, 8:59am Top

Congrats to your son.

I hope your daughter's first night went well.

Finally, a Special Council. Although it would be nice to have less WH drama.

I was thinking of you during my visit to Birchbark Books last week! You need to make another trip.

May 18, 9:17am Top

>129 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. The first night went very well for my daughter. She was scared to death she was going to have to do tables by herself, but she was paired with a very nice girl who showed her the ropes and they only had three tables to wait on her. And she made some tip money! She had a smile on her face when she got home.

I did love Birchbark Books and whenever I make it out to MN again, we will have to pay a visit. I know my daughter is headed out that way for a visit this summer, but it is a solo trip, a belated graduation present from the Uncles. She is super excited to see all the relatives out that way.

May 18, 12:18pm Top

It's been a while since your last visit; are you SURE you shouldn't come with your daughter?

May 18, 5:45pm Top

>118 Berly: No. I haven't settled back into home life. I've been trying to prep to begin a client project for which I'm the third professional researcher. There is lots of data to sort through to see which sources were checked and which were not. I think the way I work through things is a little different than the way the previous researcher, so it's taking a little longer to sort. Actually I'm the fourth researcher if you count the report included where one of the researchers subcontracted some work.

May 18, 10:29pm Top

Kafka on the Shore is sure catching fire around here! Yah!! We may have to consider having a Murakami March!

Hi, Kimmers! Congrats to your son!

May 19, 12:07am Top

I have two Murakamis on the Tower TBR, one of which is Kafka on the Shore. I might therefore join y'all in that group read in August. Kinda depends on what's blowing up just then.

I dropped that rip-snorter on you at post 20 and now I'm back. I read of your car shopping, and perhaps you've already bought something. I think of myself as a stick-shift kinda guy, but I have had a sprinkling of automatics. Mmmphpnf years ago, I met this hot chick who bought her first car, and I drove it home for her, since she couldn't drive a stick. Fast forward through a wedding and three kids and into some grandkids. This babe is stuck with that same guy, who slips and falls on a dusting of snow in an East Boston dog park, about a hour before The Dueling Harbaughs Super Bowl and breaks his ankle. Several days later, she drives him to a checkup and gets a commendation from the valet parker 'cause she can drive a stick.

A few years ago, in a nearby town, a pizza delivery fellow was robbed of his cash and his car. The two thieves abandoned the car a block away because neither of them could drive a stick.

May I add that automatics have had two drive positions as well as a low position for decades. You can get that kickdown simply by snicking the shift into drive two. Transmission downshifts. Wheee! Snick it back and the tranny upshifts to top gear.

Yeah, yeah. I'll consult a dictionary on rip-snorter.


May 19, 1:01am Top

Kafka on the Shore is my second favorite Murakami, of those I've read. (Norwegian Wood is first)

May 19, 11:30am Top

>131 BLBera: The whole point is for her to go alone and be the center of attention, LOL. The flight out there was a graduation present from high school and the timing hasn't worked out until this summer. So I can't crash her party. ; )

>132 thornton37814: Well, stick to your method and good luck! Sounds like this one is complicated, if there have been so many people involved.

>133 msf59: A Murakami March! That sounds like fun. Let's see how August goes and then...!

>134 weird_O: Hello, Mr Rip-Snorter!! Yes, I know you can "shift" the automatics, but it is not the same. LOL.

Thanks for sharing the romance of your manual car history. That is so much fun! Well, all except the broken ankle. Did you miss the Superbowl? My daughters love that they can drive a stick, and they frequently get compliments from their envious guy (and girl) friends. I think my oldest has taught 4 or 5 people how to drive. Now, don't be such a stranger. ; )

>135 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda! Well, I hope that you will follow along and add your comments.

Happy Friday, everyone!

May 19, 11:32am Top

I started As Time Goes By by Mary Higgins Clark. Needed something little lighter and it is a perfect fit for the May Murder and Mayhem thread!

Edited: May 19, 2:14pm Top

>136 Berly: Naaah. I limped back to my daughter's apartment, propped my foot up and applied ice, and watched the game. Next day, we wrapped the ankle with an Ace, yes, my right ankle it was, and I drove us back home to PA (5 to 6 hours). And then the next day we went to the family doc, who rolled her eyes, sent me for an x-ray, then on to an orthopedics practice. I survived.

May 19, 5:23pm Top

>138 weird_O: When I was a kid, I walked around for two weeks with a fractured left arm. I thought is was a pulled muscle. Then I REALLY broke it and the doctor said, "Oh, look! This arm already had a break." So, we are a fine pair of stubborn, brave, idiots with very high pain tolerances. : ) Glad you got to watch the Superbowl.

May 19, 9:44pm Top

>120 Berly: Whitehouse drama does seem to be an ongoing thing these days...how much longer can that guy last, seriously. I am still in shock that he got there, let alone been able to stay so long.

Re: "stick shifts" and automatic transmissions.....automatics were barely available here when I learned to drive (20+ years ago) so everyone learned to drive in what we call "a manual" (what you cal stick shift). When I first drove an automatic my left foot was confused about what to do...because it had precisely nothing to do!! It got used to it though, and now an automatic is by far my transmission of choice as my let leg is still stiff (from my hip surgery) and doesn't like the job of pushing in the clutch all the time.

May 19, 11:02pm Top

Happy weekend, Kim!

May 20, 12:11am Top

Too tired this Friday night to write much but wanted to say Happy Weekend, Kim!

Edited: May 20, 6:46am Top

>139 Berly: That definitely reminds me of me! I couldn't be bothered to go to hospital with a suspected broken elbow (I broke it once as a teenager, absolutely spectacularly, and this wasn't nearly as bad so I wasn't too fussed) but after a week of not being able to use it, I finally relented. The impression I got from the A&E staff was that it couldn't possibly be broken if it had taken me a week to show up.

It took a while for it to get properly diagnosed as the joint is so messed up from the previous time, though functional, that the A&E doctor wasn't sure. Eventually they said I had broken it again but it was a stable fracture, and although they would have cast it if I'd gone there and then, it was healing nicely so there was no point now! I was quite pleased that my procrastination meant I didn't have to have anything on it :).

I hope you have a pleasant and relaxing weekend with lots of reading and no stress.

May 20, 10:10am Top

From the chap in the group who has to date (touching a rather wooden forehead) never broken a bone or had stitches; from a fellow who loves his automatic cars and wouldn't dream of stick-shift auto 2 (or whatever) especially when Azim (my driver) is at the wheel. If Hani is driving I am normally clinging on for dear life and saying my prayers that the increased g-force won't make my heart stop.

From the chap, the rather portly individual, who is still propping up the Malaysian outpost of this august bunch with a wantaway smile ..........have a lovely weekend, Kimmers!

May 20, 11:00am Top

Happy Saturday, Kimmers. Cool and rainy here but at least I have a couple of fine books to keep me company.

Have a great weekend.

May 20, 2:25pm Top

Hi Kim/Beth - My son also had a high pain threshold; once when he broke his wrist in baseball, he didn't really say much for two days. When he actually showed it to me, it was about twice its normal size.

My daughter, on the other hand, was responsible for many visits to the ER for nothing.

Well, your daughter should get her time in the spotlight, but you should plan a trip soon.

Have a great weekend.

May 21, 6:23am Top

Happy Sunday, Kim.

May 21, 11:46am Top

Just passing through and saying HAPPY SUNDAY.

May 22, 5:50pm Top

All this warbling about Murakami. I had never heard of him before LT. Because of previous postings I bought Norweigan Wood. But it sits on the shelf among all the other unopened books. Maybe one day.

Congrats to your son and yay for your daughter with her new job. I hope your week is going well.

May 22, 9:04pm Top

Hi, Kim! I finished Universal Harvester and posted my review on my thread, if you get a chance to mosey over and compare notes.

May 22, 11:44pm Top

H Kim! I've finally made it over. Gosh, you have been busy! Lovely Mother's Day photos. Good luck with the car hunting.

My 13 year old has already decided he's going to be driving my car in five year's time (only he forgot to ask me!); I'd like the kids to learn on a manual, but I doubt there'll be any around by the time they're old enough. Appreciating the football discussions, but my boys aren't up to that level yet. My younger one just finished the season playing for his club and his school, but my older one isn't in a football team this semester. I think his age group should come around in the second half of the year, in school.

Ugh, all these bone breaking stories. I think I'll stay out of it, thanks - except to say you're all mad. Just get the things treated as soon as it happens!

As for Marukumi, I don't think I'm ready to dive in yet. I'll just meander along with my current books and spectate from the sidelines.

May 23, 1:12pm Top

Hope you're surviving the heat. Yesterday was too hot to even be outside.

Yesterday, 11:36am Top

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all my US buddies!! I am off to do gardening while the temperatures are still comfortable. I have been swamped with RL. More details later....and maybe a book review or two!

; )

To those who gave their lives and to those who fight today. Thank you.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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