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Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #4 for 2017

This is a continuation of the topic Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #3 for 2017.

This topic was continued by Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #5 for 2017.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Jul 25, 2017, 10:58am Top

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Edited: Jul 25, 2017, 11:04am Top

Jul 25, 2017, 10:58am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 8:08pm Top



73) Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwel
72) The Unquiet Grave: A Novel by Sharyn McCrumb
71) My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
70) Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman


69) Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King
68) Rembrandt's Shadow by Janet Lee Berg
67) Emily Jane and The Witches' Children by Patricia Clapp
66) All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

65 The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin
64) Wild Wings by Gil Lewis
63) Bloody History of America: Revolution, Race and War by Kieron Connolly
62) Lincoln in the Bardo by George Sauders
61) Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin
60 Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
59) Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham
58 My Soul Looks Back in Wonder by Juan Williams
57 My Name is Lucy Barton by ElizabethStrout
56 The Address by Fiona Davis

55 The Barrens by Joyce Carol Oates
54 Morningstar Growing Up With Books by Ann Hood
53 Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
52 The Vanishing Year
51 The Widows House by Carol Goodman
50 Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James
49 The Trapped Girl by Robert Dogini
48 Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia

47 The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
46 The Mothers by Brit Bennett
45 Train I Ride by Paul Mosier
44 Crisis of Character by Gary J. Byrne
43 A Boy Called Bat by Elana Arnold
42 The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the murder of 1.5 Million Jews by Father Patrick Desbois
41 Rise and Shine Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick

40 West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan
39 The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christoher Paul Curtis
38 The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff
37 Reading With Patrick: A Teacher, A student, and Life-changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo
36 If I Could Tell You by Elizabeth Wilhide
35 Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
34 Birmingham Sunday by Larry Brimner
33 The Black Dahlia Files by Donald Wolfe
32 A Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
31 The End Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis

30 Before The Fall by Noah Hawley
29 Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
28 Red Butterfly by A. L. Sonnichsen
27 The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff
26 Behind the Bookcase by Mark Steensland
25 The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
24 Black Dahlia & White Rose short stories by Joyce Carol Oates
23 Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes by Lynn Sherr
22 Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans wrote and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

21 The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper & Gloria Vanderbilt
20 Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford with lovely siepa illustrations of Floyd Cooper
19 A World Without You by Beth Revis
18 Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

17 Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
16 The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
15 Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
14 The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
13 Radiant Child The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Stepfoe
12 Voices from the March on Washington by J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon
11 Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
10 The Way A Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith

9 Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
8 Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne Lafleur
7 The American Wing A Guide The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Marshall Davidson

6 My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
5 My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
4 The Tsar's Dwarf by Peter H. Fogtdal
3 Enchanted Air Two Cultures Two Wings by Marganita Engle
2 Civil Rights Yesterday & Today by Herb Boyd
1 Jackie After Jack by Christopher Andersen

Jul 25, 2017, 11:49am Top

Is it safe?
I hope so.
Happy New Thread, Linda!

Jul 25, 2017, 12:26pm Top

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Linda. What a beautiful topper.

Jul 25, 2017, 12:56pm Top

Happy new thread Linda and as Barbara said, what a beautiful set of opening images.

Jul 25, 2017, 1:13pm Top

Hi Linda and happy new thread. I, too, love the images at the top.

Jul 25, 2017, 1:38pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda!

I'm glad you are feeling a bit better. You've been missed!

Jul 25, 2017, 1:51pm Top

Happy new thread, Linda.
Hope you are feeling better!

Jul 25, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Happy new thread Linda my dear and a great thread topper, hope all is well with you dear friend, sending love and hugs.

Jul 25, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jul 25, 2017, 6:26pm Top

Hey Miss Linda!

Your pictures are reminiscent of me this summer. So far the only thing that I have been able to do is read. That wouldn't be so bad if the reason wasn't a fall followed by a LOT of pain. I need to distract myself and reading has been the best distraction. Hope you are doing well! we'll talk soon!

Jul 25, 2017, 7:26pm Top

Hi Linda!! Yay for another thread filled with all your wonderful art and YA books. I can't wait! Love the toppers.

Jul 25, 2017, 8:07pm Top

Happy new thread, my dear Linda.

Jul 25, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Happy new thread, Linda. >2 Whisper1: Love all those reading ladies.

Jul 26, 2017, 6:48am Top

Happy new thread, Linda!

Jul 26, 2017, 8:44am Top

Happy new thread, Linda, I hope all is well with you.
Nice collection of paintings with reading women up there!

Jul 26, 2017, 12:45pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda! Sending best wishes your way.

Jul 26, 2017, 1:54pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda! Beautiful paintings up top.

Jul 28, 2017, 9:48am Top

>1 Whisper1: That little girl in the middle of the bottom row!! What an expression...she knows the whole world at her fingertips.

Aug 5, 2017, 6:40am Top

Hoping August is being kind to you dear lady - do come and tell us it is so. xx

Aug 5, 2017, 9:36am Top

Happy new thread, Linda! Hope you're able to sit outside and enjoy the late summer sunshine :0)

Aug 5, 2017, 4:28pm Top

Hi Linda, sorry to hear about you having another series of injections my dear but apart from that hope you and Will are having a good weekend dear friend. Sending special love and hugs to you both from both of us.

Aug 6, 2017, 4:33am Top

Happy Sunday, Linda. I hope it's a good one for you.

Aug 6, 2017, 9:37am Top

Hi Linda! I hope you're feeling better.

I love the paintings. Especially the bottom left.

Aug 9, 2017, 12:01am Top

Linda love, justs dropping by to say you are in my heart and my thoughts. I hope for a less painful and more peaceful end to your summer. may you and Will continue to share smelling roses, sipping lemonade, and feeling warm sun and gentle breezes together.

Aug 9, 2017, 1:52am Top

Linda--Hoping that the painful injections are now having a positive influence. Thinking of you and Will and hoping you get to enjoy the end of summer. Hugs.

Aug 10, 2017, 5:13am Top

I'm thinking about you, Linda, and hoping that you're doing better.

Aug 11, 2017, 7:16pm Top

Hello, and many thanks to all. I've missed LT and all of you. I've read, but not at the usual pace. I made a huge step and gave notice that I will retire within two years, but I also know that most likely I will retire within one year.

It is sad, but still, it feels right. As the pain takes over, it is becoming more difficult to work professionally with the energy needed to perform in the way I need.

Overall, I'm ok. It has been a tough summer, but my spirits are good and I find joy in small things, like the butterflies that surround the large seven butterfly bushes in the garden!

Meeting Diane Keenoy for book sale acquisitions, and lunch brings joy. And, Will and I now have a total of seven little ones in the neighborhood who take Lilly for walks with us and then return to the house to play with craft items we have collected for them in a large basket. Will also plays card games and joins in the baking sessions.

Even when in pain and low energy, holding a child while they make pizza from play dough, or watching as they collectively tumble down the hill in the front of our house, brings such amazing joy to me.

Last week my family visited from Ohio. My daughter laughed when one day the door bell rang often with a small wee voice asking her if Mr. Will or I could come out and play.

I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you for visiting my thread even though I haven't been diligent in responding by visiting yours.

Much love to all!!!

Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 7:22pm Top

BOOK #48

Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia

It takes awhile to learn that seventeen year old Hattie Hoffman is a sociopath. Longing to be popular and known for her acting talents, living in a small midwestern town, she aims to move to New York when she graduates high school. Like most of her dreams, she does not possess the ability to plan how to exactly accomplish a goal without realizing the consequences.

She is extremely extroverted and pretends to care about all who she knows. Changing her personality to blend in with all circumstances, before they realize it, many are used and manipulated by her charms

Running full steam ahead with emotions flying high, she smiles and endears herself to all who come under her radar. She experiments on the internet and finds someone anonymously whom she can intellectually relate and flirt with. Thinking her internet friend is far away in cyberspace, she is quite surprised to learn that he is her very married high school English teacher.

Experiencing marital problems, Hattie all too soon meets his every need, and he is increasingly, obsessively in love. But, the midwest has a set of high moral standing and Mr. teacher is torn, not enough to stop seeing her, but enough to be worried.

Noting that both literally and figuratively, she is an excellent actor, and that she shines both on and off stage, too late, Mr. teacher cannot break the nasty web. In true fashion, when she fears a loss, she threatens to tell Mrs. teacher.

When her bloated body is found in a pool of water at the edge of a barn where teens go to drink and grope, the small-town is torn apart. Stabbed and slashed, the murder is emotionally charged.

This is not an unusual tale. Many authors have succeeded in writing a who done it. But, this author in particular is excellent at character development, and does not stoop to twisting and turning the reader.

The focus is naturally on who did the crime, but the tale is framed so well that each and every character is fully developed, leaving the reader feeling unmanipulated.

It is difficult to feel sorry for most of the people. I read the book in a few sittings, and now will look for more books by this excellent author.

Four and 1/2 Stars!

Aug 11, 2017, 8:12pm Top

Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 8:16pm Top

BOOK #49

The Trapped Girl by Rober Dugoni

Riveting and hard to put down, this mystery is haunting and mesmerizing. When a body is found in a crab pot by a young boy who is illegally fishing in waters where he should not be, local detectives and police are left to discover the identity of the woman.

There are lots of twists and turns. It is well written and captivating, I will search for more books by this author.

Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 8:46pm Top

BOOK #50

Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

The setting is WW1. Jo Manders finds the love of her life and marries him in a short time span. Alec is intelligent, handsome and beguiling. With a mother in a home for those whose sanity is frail, she must support her mother. Previously a typist, she is left alone while her husband tells her he is called to the war.

Lonely and without financial means, she is taken in by her husband's Aunt. Traveling with her as a companion throughout Europe watching her collect objects of art, when they return, she is given secretarial duties. Living in a beautiful estate, she finds a friend with her husband's cousin.

For lack of interest, I was temped to put this book aside. But, I forgot the Nancy Pearel 50 page rule and continued on, all the while wondering why.

I can't recommend this one at all.

Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 8:41pm Top

BOOK #51

The Widow's House by Carol Goodman

Experiencing marital and financial problems Jess and Claire Martin decide to leave behind city life and move into a cottage on the property of their former college literature professor. There are lots of things that go bump in the night and danger lurking all around.

As the marriage falls apart, so too does the fragile string to reality. While I liked the book, there were too many occurrences of weirdness for me to believe the tale. While others rated this book highly, 2 and 1/2 stars is about right for me.

Aug 11, 2017, 8:28pm Top

Linda---so nice to see you here! That is a big decision you have made and one that I am sure you thought about a lot. I am sure you will negotiate finding the exact time with your usual grace and consideration--make sure you take care of yourself first in the process. You are so giving to others.

Love that you have so many wee ones ringing your doorbell. What a blessing both ways.

Thanks for the great reviews. I just read a dark mystery, too. I really should write some reviews...!

Aug 11, 2017, 8:31pm Top

>36 Berly: Hi Dear One! Yes, please do write a review of your recent dark mystery. I seem to be drawn to them lately.

Aug 11, 2017, 9:20pm Top

>30 Whisper1: I hope you will find that, with retirement, some stress you may not even be aware of will melt away, and lessen your pain. I know it doesn't compare to what you deal with, but I've found I need far fewer chiropractic appointments to keep my sciatica under control than I did when I was working. We tense up without knowing it, trying to meet deadlines, satisfy others' needs, etc. And how wonderful that your neighborhood children love to visit you and Will, and that you get such joy from them, even when you aren't feeling your best.

Aug 11, 2017, 10:03pm Top

>30 Whisper1:

Maybe the best thing that Western Civilization has contributed is alleviation of pain -

sure wish we'd pursue it stronger toward a cure.

While we wait and hope, HOW TO BE SICK by Toni Bernhard

comes highly recommended by my daughter

who endures very painful RA flareups.

Edited: Aug 11, 2017, 10:39pm Top

>30 Whisper1: Dear Linda, that is great good news to me! Once you let the idea of retirement take hold, you'll find that you are more and more ready - or at least that was my experience. I know that the college will be sorry to lose you and that you will feel some loss in letting the job go. Move on! You will love being available for going outside to play (I love it!) and for staying in with Will or when you don't feel like moving. Enjoy this brand new opportunity, my friend! SOON!!!!!

ETA: I want to be the woman on the sofa with her book .... Oh wait! I AM the woman on the sofa with her book!

Aug 13, 2017, 7:53pm Top

Hi Linda
Retirement is great! You get to do things on your own schedule! In fact you might find yourself overcommitted so take care in planning your activities. And.. you get more reading done.

Aug 14, 2017, 10:53am Top

BOOK #52

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

When Zoe Whitaker marries very rich and connected Henry Whitaker, she becomes part of the elite New York City echelon of fund raisers and a lifestyle of lavish jewels, clothing and a Tribecka large apartment. Feeling as though she is never quite accepted, Henry assures her of how very beautiful and accomplished she is.

Making all decisions, including what she should wear and where she should go, eventually Zoe finds it over bearing. Avoiding a past where drugs and a rough life were her reality, life with Henry is far different.

When Henry looses the control he demands, the relationship quickly sours. There are twists and turns in the story and, while not my usual reading matter, I've read a lot of mystery books this summer. This one is worth the read.

Edited: Aug 20, 2017, 10:09am Top

BOOK #53

Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

There is lots to like about this mystery A setting of a book store, a twisty, turning plot, and well developed characters, all of which come together to make a book to recommend.

As a child, Lydia experienced an event which forever haunted her. The lone survivor of a murderous rampage at the hands of a man with a hammer. Sleeping over at a friend's house, all members of the family were brutally hacked, save for Lydia who quickly hid beneath the sink cabinet.

When her father rescued her, the media quickly posted the photo of "poor little Lydia." As an adult, Lydia tries to move away from the horror and start a new life. When Joey, one of her favorite visitors to the bookstore hangs himself in the upper levels of the store, leaving her his meager possessions, once again she is thrown into questions of why.

Finding books in his small, sparse apartment, she notes that many are cut out leaving the puzzle of words connecting a secret about her past.

Aug 18, 2017, 5:01pm Top

Hi Linda, hope you have had a good week my dear and wish you a great weekend dear friend, sending love and hugs.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:43am Top

Hello John. Same to you!

Aug 20, 2017, 10:50am Top

BOOK #54

Morningstar Growing Up With Books by Ann Hood

This is a lovely book about books. Written so very well, each page is a joy. Ann Hood takes the reader on a wonderful journey of books that changed her life. Weaving the title of the book with the story of how and why the particular book led the author on a marvelous path, I read the book in one sitting, relating to many of which I had read.

Highly recommended!

Aug 20, 2017, 9:23pm Top

Oh, I am keen to read Midnight At The Bright Ideas Bookstore. I've already got it on my wish list, but you've created a solid BB with your review. I hope you are keeping well, Linda.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:00pm Top

Hi Deb

I visited your page and saw the wonderful wedding photo of your son and his lovely bride.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:04pm Top

Oh, you are so kind! He got married just over two years ago and they are very happy together. I had wished I could find a dress that was a little more " Mother of the Groom" - like something floral or lacey, but after searching nearly everywhere, the dress I finally settled on felt like" me" and it fit! :)

Aug 20, 2017, 10:10pm Top

Hi Linda! I'm wishing you a happy week. It sounds like you are feeling more comfortable with thoughts of the next phase of life. How fun to have tiny playmates in the neighborhood.

Aug 20, 2017, 10:37pm Top

>54 I've been looking forward to this one and glad to see you liked it, Linda. The author was a bookseller here at the Tattered Cover in Denver and so the book has gotten a lot of press locally.

Aug 26, 2017, 5:27pm Top

Hi Linda--How is fall prep work going? Hope you are not overwhelmed. Miss seeing you here on a regular basis. Big hugs!!

Aug 27, 2017, 8:07pm Top

>60 Hi Deb. You chose a very lovely dress. When both daughters married, I wore dresses that were simple and not frilly and over the top.

>61 Hi Jen Will and I so enjoy being the surrogate grandparents of the neighborhood children. The latest addition, a wonderful little shy boy who will turn three at the end of September, just cracks us up. He walks in the house and calls to Will "Will, where are youuuuuu?" And should be in the initial path of his walk through he sticks out his little hand and waves with a wide swatch through the air.

One night last week, I was particularly tired. Little Andres walked over, sat down on the deck rocker and smiled while calling for Lilly. That night while the usual group of children who love to pull out the big container of crafts were gathered round the table, Andres hopped up on my lap. There are few things in the world as wonderful as the smell of a child with freshly washed baby shampoo hair.

After the group of nine left (the group grows as now the children invite their cousins to join when they are visiting), somehow I didn't feel as tired. My spirit was lighter, and as the children disbursed calling goodnight to each other, Will and I jointly picked up the craft basket, we looked at each other and smiled. It felt that all was right and that we were meant to be doing this in our older years together. At one point, I looked over at Will as he was trying to work children's blunted edged scissors and wanted to laugh right out loud.

The next time little Andres came through the back yard, he simply looked at Will and made the motion of cutting paper with scissors by putting his two little fingers together and then spreading them apart. Truly, we get such joy from spending time with glue, paint, crayons, books, puzzles and anything interesting that we can find at Michael's Craft Shop.

>62 Joanne, it is a book meant for all of us readers.

>63 Hello Friend Kim! Thank you for stopping by. One more year, and I will be retired. I have such mixed feelings, but increasingly I simply don't want to keep up with the crazy pace. Even if I felt well, still it would be too much.

I hope you are well.

Aug 28, 2017, 7:31am Top

Hi Linda!

Thank you for sharing the joy of the neighborhood children.

I think your mixed feelings will resolve the closer you get to retirement, Linda. I was heavily invested in work emotionally, worked 60 hour weeks the last 6 months I was there, yet dropped it immediately, never regretted retiring at 62 1/2, and can't imagine working full time any more.

I hope you have a good week!

Aug 28, 2017, 10:05am Top

Hi Linda! Hope you have a lovely week!

Aug 29, 2017, 3:25pm Top

>65 Hi Karen. If my health was better, and if my partner Will was younger, I might consider delaying retirement. But both of these issues, added with the fact that there increasingly there is a huge divide between administration and academia, it is time to say good bye. I will miss so much, but then, I will gain so much as well. Thank you for your feedback!

>66 Hi Chelle, I wish the same to you!

Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 3:39pm Top

BOOK #55

The Barrens by Joyce Carol Oates

Purchased recently at a local book sale, this is another book by Joyce Carol Oates that allows the reader to get inside the mind of the characters. Matt McBridge appears to have a very good life. As a partner in a large, prestigious New Jersey real estate office, his income is above average and allows a high level of comfortability. A country club membership, nice clothes, a wife and two sons and a very nice home foster the image of a man who has it together.

But, there is a dark side to Matt. Calling himself the night stalker, he is excellent at taking photos, particularly those of crime scenes of young murdered girls, or car accidents wherein people have died.

Obsessively, Matt places himself in the unhealthy position of the murderer, so much so that the reader cannot help but wonder if he actually is the one who murdered the innocent victims.

As Matt discovers the killer, he places himself in a dangerous position. The author also takes the reader into the ugly thoughts of the man who slaughters girls/women who have talents. With a sick religiosity bent, at times I felt uncomfortable learning of the depravity.

As always with the books of Joyce Carol Oates, I love to hate her subject matters, while always returning for yet another book.

Four Stars.

Aug 29, 2017, 4:19pm Top

Linda, I loved the message of hope and gratitude in >30 Whisper1:. I also love how you are anticipating your retirement and spending time with the children in your neighborhood. It sounds like a delightful time. We now have new neighbors on both sides with children. So much fun when they come over and use our tree swings!

Aug 29, 2017, 4:25pm Top

Hi Donna, Thanks for stopping by. It is amazing how time spent with a child can change our entire frame of mind!

Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 4:54pm Top

BOOK #56

The Address by Fiona Davis

This was a very interesting read. If a book leads me to learn more about the subject matter, in this case The Dakota Hotel in New York City, NY, then I rate it highly.

Usually, the changing of stories every other chapter leaves me frustrating, and I did experience some of that, but not enough to stop me from reading the book.

Built in the late 1880's, from the inception, The Dakota has been filled with very intriguing people. Famously know as the address where John Lennon, a senior member of the Beatles, and one of the most famous tenants, was murdered outside the hotel. This book mentions none of it, but learning about the history of The Dakota, was indeed a wonderful experience.

Both woman characters lost a lot in their lives because of poor choices. In 1886 Sara Symthe left England to manage the newly built Dakota. She falls in love with the owner of The Dakota, and it was Mr. Camden who convinced her to leave her country and move to New York to work with him. The very married Mr. Camden, is at first a likable character, and the reader can understand how he gently seduced Sara. But, all too soon, he becomes a cad as a web of deceit spins around the now pregnant Sara who undeservedly lands in a terrible mental hospital.

Fast forward to the year 1985 where Bailey is newly released from rehab having fallen from the graces of the elite New York society. She is fired from the prestigious job of an interior decorating firm, and after completing rehab, she is homeless, broke and unemployed. Her quasi cousin,who will soon inherit the Dakota, offers the opportunity to live and work at the Dakota, assisting with the overall renovation and reconstruction of the famous hotel. While her rich cousin continues to live the fast life of drugging and drinking, Bailey is continually fighting temptation. When she finds three large chests in the basement of The Dakota, she is lead to discovering the lives of Mr. Camden, his wife, and Sara. This unfolding leads her to present knowledge of the true owners of the hotel.

The plot is very good, the detail is marvelous, rendering this a four star book.

Edited: Sep 14, 2017, 4:28pm Top

BOOK #57

My Name is Lucy Barton by ElizabethStrout

This is a touching story of a young woman, grown with a family of her own, who is hospitalized for a long stay, and her mother, who is a stranger to New York City, visits her when her daughter is recovering. As the time of together is prolonged, both can finally take time to express the hurts and feelings from past events.

A lovely book, written at a wonderful pace with insightful character develop. I will look for more of her books!

Highly Recommend.

Edited: Sep 14, 2017, 4:38pm Top

BOOK #58

My Soul Looks Back In Wonder by Juan Williams

This is an insightful, well-written chronology of the Civil Rights Movement. Looking at issues that sparked the movement, such as the blatant murder of Emmett Till, the injustice of not being allowed to sit at the lunch counter in a store that depends of the sales to black population to keep the business open, the freedom riders, some of who gave their lives, the walk from Selma Alabama to the Capitol to fight for the right to vote, and the March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his powerful speech that sparked a nation.


Aug 29, 2017, 8:15pm Top

Sorry for all the mixed feeling about your upcoming retirement. I can't share much personally in that area, other than to say that one of my walking buddies recently told me her workplace had gotten rid of two of her colleagues via " a package" . She is 64 and says she has never felt better in her life and has planned to work until age 66 or even 67. All of a sudden, her place of work has sold off a couple of branches of the sort of work that they do and I know she is anxious about finances, and also how to fill her time should she be told she is getting " a package". When I spoke with her last , she had spoken with someone at work about the fact that she has no plans of retirement for several year, but in reality she is prepared for the shoe to drop.

As for my husband, he is 60 going on 61. I think he'll be happy to be retired at 65. I'm sure if we could afford it , he'd retire right now. He is fortunate to be busy with our dog, kite flying, gardening in our townhouse complex and seems to never find himself at loss as to what to do. I hope it all sorts itself for you. I admit I feel a bit of anxiety about the financial aspects of retirement for us.

Aug 31, 2017, 4:57am Top

Hi Linda!

I've never read Joyce Carol Oates and have We Were the Mulvaneys on my shelves, just waiting to be opened.

I hope you're having a good week.

Aug 31, 2017, 11:55am Top

>57 Whisper1: I just started Morningstar last night, and will probably finish it today. I agree with you--it's a wonderful little memoir of reading. And although I'm a little older than the author, many of her experiences resonate with me: I read Marjorie Morningstar at a young age and loved her; I remember the CBS evening news in the background (although it's Richard C. Hottelet, not Walter Cronkite, who speaks in my mind); and I remember Johnny Got His Gun making the rounds of older schoolmates, although I never read it myself.

>74 "she had spoken with someone at work about the fact that she has no plans of retirement for several year, but in reality she is prepared for the shoe to drop. " Been there, survived that. Both my husband and I have, but he got "a package" and I didn't. We've been surprised to find how easily we've adjusted. The biggest challenge, frankly, is that now that we're both home, we're competing for time in the kitchen. Our lunch schedules don't mesh, and he likes to lounge at the table with the newspaper when I might want to put a movie on the TV and bake something, or make a pot of soup. A minor issue!

Sep 2, 2017, 2:54pm Top

Just stopping by to wish you a lovely Labor Day weekend.

Given your health challenges, I think retirement will be a good thing for you, and I'm glad you're ready to prepare for it. Please be at peace, and I wish you diminished pain.

Sep 5, 2017, 11:20pm Top

Just popping in to save Hi!

Sep 10, 2017, 8:53pm Top

I've recently retired too, (in March, at 58). I hadn't planned on it but when my department was moved to the east coast and a package was offered, I couldn't resist. When the paychecks stop coming I know I'll be more anxious, but my husband has been retired for years and it was time to spend some time together. It's an adjustment, but then every major change takes some getting used to.

Hope you are well today, Linda!

Sep 10, 2017, 9:03pm Top

Hey! It is so quiet over here. Linda, where are you? Missing you! Hope life is going well for you. : )

Sep 10, 2017, 10:11pm Top

Came to share what was waiting for me when I got home, Linda.

Sep 10, 2017, 10:47pm Top

Just catching up Linda and wishing you all the best with your coming and well deserved retirement. xx

Sep 11, 2017, 2:57pm Top

>74 Thanks for stopping by Deb! I appreciate, and enjoy your visits. I can understand your friend's angst. I've been at Lehigh University 34 years when November 2017 occurs. I've weathered many storms. Mainly what they do here is increase work load to the point where I feel as though I am on a treadmill, and as the work load increases, the pace on the treadmill goes faster and faster and faster and faster. Some day, there will be a collective splat against the office and class rooms. Increasingly I simply can't and don't want to keep up.

Most recently, I talked to a friend, also here a long time. As professional employees, we are not told, but it is an unwritten expectation, that you NEVER take lunch breaks, unless it is to meet with students. My friend noted that three new, younger employees leave during lunch time. Those who remain complain about those who take lunch. That makes no sense to me. Actually, I think the newer employees are more sane than the rest of us.

I also admit to feelings of wondering how I will fare financially. Finally, after such a long time here, I am making a good salary. And, because the university places the amount of 10% of our salary into our pension plan, and we do not have to put in anything unless we choose, these two items make it difficult to let go.

But, the main thing pushing me forward is that Will is older than I am. He was a smoker and has COPD. Breathing is getting harder for him. I don't want to keep working and miss quality time with him.

>75 Hi Karen Joyce Carol Oates is a mixed bag. I continue to say I am not going to read any of her books, then find that I am doing just the opposite. She is a good author, but her subjects tend to be rather dark.

I hope you are well. Thanks, as always, for visiting here.

Sep 11, 2017, 3:25pm Top

>76 Linda, Increasingly I find that Diane Keenoy and I read similar books. She highly recommended this to me, and she was right! It is lovely having a LT friend live within an hour of each other. We can meet 1/2 way for lunch, and we both are very good at finding library sales. And, when we go to library sales, it is dangerous, because we call out between the racks "Have you read this one?" "This one is good!" And, into the bags the books go!

Johnny Got His Gun is the most anti-war book I've ever read. I read it years ago, it still impacts!

I hope you are well and enjoying the fall-like weather.

>77 Terri, always kind, and always sensitive. It would be wonderful to meet you, and so many other wonderful LT members. I hope you are well. Are you taking courses? How is your son? All good wishes to you. I must visit your thread in the hope there are SIG photos!

>78 Dear Friend Kim...Hi right back to you. I smile when I find a message from you. Are you well?

>79 Joanne, I anticipate some space issues and some adjustment to not working. Will sold both practices when he was 59. He never wanted to be in the healthcare field and simply grew tired of paperwork which got in the way of giving the care to patients that he felt they deserved. He is quite accustomed to being home alone. It will be a huge adjustment for him.

>80 Hi again Kim. I've been very lo energy and it is impacting on all phases of my life. I hope you are well and life is good to you!

>81 Ah, how lovely! Did one of your cats have these wonderful kittens?

Sep 11, 2017, 3:42pm Top

Hi. Linda.

I can understand your financial trepidation about retirement. I can say that the freed up time is, as you'd expect, a wonderful thing. And it makes sense to spend more time with your hubby.

Sorry to hear that the speed of the work treadmill keeps increasing. Seems like the "downsizing" of employee numbers keeps happening all over the place, with those left expected to do the work of those gone. The "no lunch" thing is understandable, but I agree with you, the young 'uns seem more sane about that.

And, when we go to library sales, it is dangerous, because we call out between the racks "Have you read this one?" "This one is good!" And, into the bags the books go! Ha! Yup, same thing happens when I'm with our friend Mark at a book fair or bookstore.

Edited: Sep 11, 2017, 3:59pm Top


The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield

Sent to me as an early review book, I was excited to receive this one! As someone who had a wonderful relationship with my grandmother, this book automatically brought endearment.

A boy who loves his grandmother who reads books to him and who previously won many awards for her architectural abilities, she promises to built a special house for him. Alas, she passes away, leaving the boy heartbroken. Picking up a hammer and nails he designs and builds a model of his grandmother. There is a very sweet image of the grandmother who came back to life in a medal body. And as she holds him high in the sky, and over the waters as he listens to the sound of medal on the ground and sees the lovely bright stars way up high in the air.

Traveling through deep water as he rides high on her head, she finds their destination. And, awaiting the boy at the end of the journey is the house she built for him, It is a work in progress, leaving him to use his inherited building talents.

Four stars. I really liked this incredible story of the love of a boy and his grandmother which transcended grief.

Sep 11, 2017, 5:40pm Top


JCO's book THE FALLS was really good, then, like Nevada Barr, she decided to write 'where no woman has gone before'
and ended up with a bunch of sensationalistic gruesome ugly garbage that fans won't give up on.

I read partway through two and a couple of short stories, then vowed not to waste any more time since there are
so many really good writers out there to read and re-read. Nevada Barr's TRACK OF THE CAT is one.

And, The BEST KIND of PEOPLE by Zoe Whittall from ER last month is another.

Sep 11, 2017, 7:33pm Top

Oh, it is so nice to hear from you, Linda! I have missed your updates and all your lovely page photos. Thank you for taking the time to upload them. I am doing pretty well at the moment. Life has been very hectic, but should calm down a little after another week or two. This weekend I am hosting the Sunday night varsity soccer team dinner at our house. That should be madness!! LOL Hope your energy picks up a bit and that you can find it in you to look forward to your retirement without all the worry. Hugs.

Sep 12, 2017, 12:38pm Top

>86 That books looks great. I will have to look for it.

Sep 12, 2017, 2:10pm Top

thinking of you Linda - much love

Sep 14, 2017, 2:28pm Top

>87 Many thanks for posting your thoughts on books you have read. I hope all is well with you.
>88 Kim, WOW, making dinner for all the soccer players sounds like an incredible thing to do. Best of luck to you!
>89 Hi Erik. I've always loved art, and now I can see some incredible artistry through children's illustrated books.
>90 Right back at you Jim. I always appreciate your kind words.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 10:12pm Top


The Call of the Swamp by Davide Cali

Obtained through the early review program, this is quite a delightful book. A couple who are unable to have children, find a baby by the side of a swamp. Gently lifting him up and taking him home, the fact that he has gills is overlooked. And, the little baby becomes a lovely child who seems to need inordinate amounts of water. After some years of adjusting and living with his parents, the smell of the swamp calls to him. Sensing his unhappiness, his parents write a lovely message stating "As long as you are happy; we are happy!"

Finding his way back to the swamp, he immerses his body under the water. Enthralled that he can smile and laugh with his water friends, for a period of time he feels content. But then, the lure and memories of his loving parents, he rises to the top and rides his bike to the home where he wants to remain.

This is an excellent book for foster parents, or parents who have adopted a child. The bottom line is that it is natural to cling to your past, and allow your memories to overtake you. But, eventually, your heart longs for what it knows to be the best family.

Four Stars

Edited: Sep 18, 2017, 10:22am Top

BOOK #59

Life at the Dakota: New York's Most Unusual Address by Stephen Birmingham

It took four years to build from `1880-1884, it was, and still is a monument to New York City's image of love and care of older structures. It continues to be the home of many famous people. Most people heard of this building because John Lennon, and Yoko Ono lived there, and John was shot at the front of the building.

It was interesting to learn of the building, but I thought the book tended to drag for too many pages.

Sep 15, 2017, 9:06am Top

Hi Linda!

This is the second review of Life at the Dakota I've seen here on LT. Sounds interesting enough to buy used.....

I hope you're doing well and I wish you all good things for today and the weekend.

Sep 15, 2017, 9:14am Top

I love all the illustrated books that you post! Just lovely

Sep 15, 2017, 10:23am Top

Happy Friday!! Love the message in The Call of the Swamp.

Sep 16, 2017, 1:55pm Top

>93 Just curious. Did you read The Address first?

Sep 18, 2017, 12:54pm Top

>94 Hi Karen. This was the first book I read on The Dakota. Years ago, our office secretary was anxious to meet a student who majored in our department and whose mother had an apartment in the Dakota. I had never heard of this building. It has a fascinating history. But, I don't think I need to read anymore about it.
Happy Day To You!
>95 Hi Chelle. I really enjoy illustrated books, both for the beauty of the art, and for the stories that accompany them.
>96 Hi Dear Friend. As a person who has an adopted daughter, I very much enjoyed this book and the story it tells.
>97 Hi Lori. I read The Address after reading the second book about Dakota.
Happy day to you!

Edited: Sep 18, 2017, 1:02pm Top

BOOK #60

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow"
I really did not like this book at all. At the risk of sounding prudish, I simply do not understand why authors feel the need to smatter a book with sex. I didn't see the sense of it and frankly the way in which it was written was in my opinion, smutty.
I read the book 3/4 of the way through. I should have stopped before that. Perhaps this author has written other books that are credible. This one gets no stars from me.

Sep 18, 2017, 2:58pm Top

Hi Linda, happy birthday my dear. Hope all is well with you and Will dear friend and send love and hugs.

Edited: Sep 18, 2017, 3:48pm Top

>92 almost wonder if the author of The Call of the Swamp is writing about American parents who adopt foreign born babies - sometimes Chinese babies.

And then how are you fair to the child to give the child both the loving American home and the "deep waters" of the child's Native Land?

Oh boy Linda - Ragtime is one of my favorite books ever. Sorry it didn't work for you.

Sep 18, 2017, 4:37pm Top

Happy Birthday, Linda. I hope your day is pain free and full of good things like books and the laughter of children. Oh yes, and Will can take you out for a birthday dinner, too! Have a good one!

Sep 18, 2017, 5:43pm Top

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Edited: Sep 18, 2017, 6:24pm Top

^I hope you are enjoying a fine birthday, Linda. Hugs to my pal.

Sep 18, 2017, 6:31pm Top

Enjoy your day, Linda!

Sep 18, 2017, 8:36pm Top

>99 Wow....sorry you didn't care for Ragtime, Linda. It's one of my contenders for Great American Novel, actually. It's based, in part, on real people and events. And there was an excellent movie with Mary Steenburgen, Mandy Patinkin, and Elizabeth McGovern, among others.

Sep 18, 2017, 10:16pm Top

>106 I also rated that one very highly, Linda. I must be getting old but I cannot remember the sexual content being over indulgent.

Happy birthday, dear lady.

I think you inadvertently missed me in >82 Whisper1: above.

Sep 18, 2017, 11:43pm Top

I hope that you are having a lovely birthday today, Linda! Best wishes!

Sep 19, 2017, 1:28am Top

Sep 19, 2017, 5:31am Top

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Sep 19, 2017, 9:55am Top

Hope you had a happy birthday!!

Sep 19, 2017, 2:52pm Top

Thanks to everyone for wishing me a Happy Birthday. I officially gave my date of retirement on my birthday. I will work for one more year, then retire next September. It feels scary, but freeing.

Edited: Sep 19, 2017, 2:59pm Top

BOOK #61

Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin

This is a YA book that really did not hold my interest. Recovering from a car accident wherein her car went over a bridge, killing her traveling companion, and seriously hurting her. While her body recovers, there are still pieces of memory that cannot be remembered.

I thought the book repetitive and boring. I finished it, but cannot recommend it.

Sep 19, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>112 Congrats on the big step of making it official!!! I hope you fret less now that you have committed to this. Time to look ahead with anticipation!

>113 And thanks for sparing me from this one.

Sep 20, 2017, 8:45am Top

>112 That's exciting!! Congrats on your retirement plan!

Sep 20, 2017, 4:30pm Top

Belated Happy Birthday, Linda!
>112 That is good news, you now have a year to get used to the idea of retirement.

Sep 21, 2017, 2:59pm Top

Happy Belated Birthday, Linda!

And congratulations on giving your official notification to retire. Good for you!

Sep 23, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Happy Belated Birthday, Linda!

Ooo, retirement. So great!

Sep 23, 2017, 2:43pm Top

Hi, Linda! I somehow missed the start of this thread. Belated happy birthday, and congratulations on setting your retirement date. My parents are retiring next summer, and are in the process of building their retirement house. They are excited at the prospect, but I can understand your trepidation. I'm sure it will be wonderful for you, though.

Sep 23, 2017, 11:18pm Top

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Linda. xx

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 6:27pm Top

Happy Sunday to all!

I'm a bit more pain than usual today, so I will respond individually tomorrow. In the meantime, thanks for your kindness. One of my great sorrows is that I have not been able to read threads as much as I would like. It is my hope that the next surgery will happen in October. I know the surgeons discussed November, but I want to move on after removal of the rod that is pinching a nerve in my back. I have an appointment September 29th. At that time, I will stress that I want an October date.

Thanks to all for walking this journey with me.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 6:38pm Top

BOOK #62

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saudrs

As young Willie Lincoln passes away, his parents are consumed with grief. Willie lies in a borrowed plot in a graveyard in Washington, DC. Sadly, Willie refuses to move on to the next level. Rather, he remains earthly bound with various others in the graveyard who talk to each other about others and their early life.

Feeling sad watching President Lincoln visit his un departed son, those who are earthly bound, try various measures to instruct little Willie to move on to the next level. With his father's visits, little Williie becomes more earthly bound. The visits from his father root the child to earth rather than moving along.

With the backdrop of the Civil War and the many who tragically lost their lives for the war between the states, those who remain in the graveyard have more company to talk about.

At times it was difficult to understand the language of all the characters, but this was a fascinating, well-written book. The premise was unusual, and at times bothersome, still I recommend this.

Sep 24, 2017, 8:36pm Top

>122 That one is on my October TBR list after I hear Saunder's talk at Literary Arts. : )

I know your appt can't come soon enough and I really hope they can get you in in October. Crossing my fingers for you!

Sep 24, 2017, 8:40pm Top

Happy Sunday, Linda. Nice to see you check in. Glad to see you liked Lincoln in the Bardo.

Edited: Sep 25, 2017, 1:21am Top

Good luck with your appointment this week, Linda.

Great review of Lincoln in the Bardo. I haven't read it yet; I have been considering recommending it to my book club for next year. After reading your review, I'm not sure I want to wait that long!

Sep 25, 2017, 2:48am Top

Wishing you a good start into the new week Linda and sending lots of good vibes.

Sep 25, 2017, 12:22pm Top

Another great review for Lincoln in the Bardo. I will get to it ... someday!

Sep 26, 2017, 10:14am Top

>123 How neat that you attended a discussion by the author of Lincoln in the Bardo. I have never done this. Perhaps when I retire, I will set this as a goal. Thanks for your frequent visits. You are indeed a very special person!
>124 Hi Mark. Thank you for stopping by.
>125 Hi! I note from your home page that Sherman Alexie is one of your favorite authors. He is one of mine as well. Thanks for your kind wishes!
>126 Hi, and many thanks for your visit. I hope all is well with you.
>127 I did like the book, but confess that the premise is rather deep. I had a nightmare after reading it. The descriptions and conversations of the people earth bound were, at times, very difficult.

Sep 26, 2017, 10:37am Top

BOOK #63

Bloody History of America: Revolution, Race and War by Kieron Connolly

This is an interesting depiction of the events that created a great deal of crime, war, and the resulting bloody history. Purchased at a bargain price at Barnes and Noble, I will now pass this along to the library. This is a fast read that again made me wonder the nature of our being.

Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 11:39am Top

BOOK #64

Wild Wings by Gil Lewis

Set in Scotland, this is a story of a young boy who befriends a lonely girl who lives in poverty with her grandfather. Because she doesn't fit in, she is bullied and made fun of. Her fickle classmates have no idea of how intelligent, kind and sensitive she is. When she shows Cullum her secret, he and she become friends. Discovering an Osprey nest, they watch as Iona describes the habits of this endangered species.

Fascinatingly told, the author excellently weaves the tale of friendship, discovery and the impact their discovery has when they share their secret with a local naturalist who captures the bird when she is harmed by a wire entangled around her leg. While saving the rare bird, he places a tracer on the osprey.

Tracing the Osprey as it leaves Scotland to travel to Africa, Cullum worries when there is no signal. Soliciting the assistance of those in Gambia, an unlikely internet relationship develops which changes many.

Dealing with many issues, this is a wonderfully written book of nature, friendship and the power of bonding through discovery.

Sep 26, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>128 I'll save it for when I can concentrate better, thanks for the tip!

Edited: Sep 27, 2017, 4:22pm Top

BOOK #65

The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin

David is almost finished with high school, but, he cannot complete his education in the area where he lives with his parents. Previously on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, he was found not guilty. Because of all the constant media attention, his parents make a decision to send him to live with relatives in Cambridge, MA.

While trying to sort through his life and consequences, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate both his past, and the new home where, in particular, his Aunt, really does not want him in their house. This family also has a lot of garbage to sort through while also suffering from a great deal of grief because of a death/suicide of a teenage daughter.

The new family includes an Aunt who truly does not want him, a nasty, manipulative sociopath, child, and an Uncle who tries to deal with his own family dysfunction and grief while trying to make David comfortable in their home.

David is dealing with two dysfunctional families, the one he left behind, and the one where he was shuffled off, and he must come to grips with his past, while trying to cope with the present.

Sep 27, 2017, 4:33pm Top

>2 Whisper1:

Your paintings continue to be fascinating for many reasons.

At first, choosing the one I liked the most = the third, with the incredibly inviting view out the huge doorway.

Then, the one most like me = the second, the woman reading on the couch, each of us with our black cat.

And, the Last, the one I loved because of the two dogs, the way I used to be.

Today, I am enjoying making guesses about what book each of the 1-7 would be reading.

Thanks for all the inspiration!

Sep 27, 2017, 4:50pm Top

Hi Linda, hope you are well my dear. I hope your appointment on Friday goes well and you get the October date for surgery to remove the rod that is pinching the nerve and as you say you can then move on. I love seeing your reviews and the illustrated book reviews dear friend.

Karen has had her Gallbladder surgery and is recovering reasonably well although she is not a good patient at times but I am looking after her.

Sending love and hugs and best wishes for Friday dear friend.

Edited: Sep 27, 2017, 5:39pm Top

Lovely review of Lincoln in the Bardo, Linda. I liked that one a lot, too, and I'd like to hear it in audio some day - apparently there's one with many different actors doing the voices, which would add to it, I think.

You got me with Wild Wings. I'd not heard of it, but it sure sounds good. Onto the WL it goes.

Sep 28, 2017, 9:19am Top

>133 Hi Marianne: I'm glad you like the paintings. I am fascinated with art. I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler, thus I truly admire those who can make a canvas come to life.
>134 Hello John. I am sorry to be out of touch. I also had a ball bladder surgery, quite a few years ago, but I remember that I was very tired for a few weeks after the procedure. All good wishes to Karen for a speedy recovery.
>135 Hello Joe. I wonder what it would be like as an audio version. Wild Wings is another YA treasure!

Sep 28, 2017, 9:43am Top


If I had MAJOR Tech Skills, it would be fun to set up your paintings to click on, then get three book suggestions!

Sep 30, 2017, 8:27am Top

Hi Linda!

>122 m.belljackson:, >125 Whisper1:, and >135 I loved Lincoln in the Bardo and think that even though I've read it I will recommend it for book club so I can listen to it on the audiobook I bought in July and haven't listened to yet. We pick books once a year for the next 12 months, and November is book picking month. The more I think about it, the more I think this is what I'll do!

I hope that your appointment yesterday was productive and that you can get an October date for surgery.

Sep 30, 2017, 1:48pm Top

Hi, Linda. How did your doctor's appointment go, yesterday? I hope things are progressing in order to be able to remove the pain.

And congratulations on fixing your retirement date. With everything else facing you, it will be good to not have to face going in to work in that freeing future day.

Sep 30, 2017, 2:31pm Top

Just checking in here for the Dr update...I'll come back later. : )

Sep 30, 2017, 2:43pm Top

Sure hope September 29th worked out for pain relief and to get an October surgery.

Oct 1, 2017, 10:22pm Top

Sorry not to have heard from you here over the weekend, Linda. I hope that doesn't mean there was discouraging news from the doctor about scheduling.

Oct 5, 2017, 3:51pm Top

My appointment last Friday was a big surprise. I expected to get a date when the rod that is poking the nerve could be removed. Instead, the xrays show that an area from the bottom of the cervical area to the mid range of the thoracic level has not fused, and a rod has snapped. This explains why I am in such increased, unmanageable pain, and why I am so tired.

The local surgeon was upset about the rod that snapped, and I tried not to be impacted by his high level of anxiety. The major problem is that because one rod is snapped, the adjoining rod is now weaker and also prone to damage. If the second rod snaps, I must go to the ER and be transported to Philadelphia/Thomas Jefferson hospital.

Since my appointment was at the end of the day, the local surgeon quickly tried to reach Dr. Vacarro in Philadelphia. He was able to talk to his Physician's Assistant about this new development. I received a phone call early Monday morning. Yesterday I had a ct scan and sent the disk overnight express to Dr. Vacarro.

I am wearing a neck brace, not picking up anything and I am hopeful that the second rod will not break. These new issues are on the left side whereas the fused rod to be removed is on the right.

Will was wonderful and once again came through like a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. I cried after I left the office and until I got home. Currently, I wait to hear from Dr. Vacarro. When I have an appointment in Philadelphia, I am told to pack, expecting to stay for surgery.

What a journey! I am wearing down. Overall spirits are ok, and I thank all of my LT friends for your incredible, constant support.

Oct 5, 2017, 3:54pm Top

I will post as soon as I have concrete knowledge of when I undergo surgery number eight.

Oct 5, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>143 Dear Linda, I am sorry to read that one of the rods has snapped and you have to have surgery again.
I am glad Will is on your side.

big ((((hugs)))) and sending love & good thoughts

Oct 5, 2017, 3:59pm Top

Hi Linda, no wonder you are in so much pain my dear with the lack of fusing and a snapped rod and let's hope the second rod does not snap. Will is a very special and good man and it is no surprise that you cried dear friend, I think I would have been in tears.

I just hope the appointment comes through quickly for you and that it can all be sorted out and your pain back to manageable levels until it has all healed. It is a very long journey my dear and it would wear anyone down. You are a strong lady and we are all here for you dear friend and wishing you all the very best.

Sending very special love and hugs for both of you, a wonderful couple.

Oct 5, 2017, 4:01pm Top


Peace, Healing, and Strong Good Hope for a quick and painless resolution.

Oct 5, 2017, 4:19pm Top

>144 Fingers crossed for you Linda.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 4:39pm Top

Hello Whisper1! It's been a while, but I'm glad I stopped into your thread today.

>1 Whisper1: Beuatiful paingtings.

>92 jnwelch: Wow. the artwork you shared is wonderful on its own, but the story makes it perfect. I am an adoptive parent. My kids are growing out of picture, but I love to read them stories. I'll definitely get this one.

>122 m.belljackson: Okay. enough is enough. I have not heard a bad review yet. I need to read this book. It's getting a fast track!

>129 Berly: Sounds like a interesting survey.

>130 m.belljackson: Excellent review, Whisper1! I'll be looking into this one, too.

>143 I to hear of these complications and that you are in such pain. I am praying for no further complications, reduced pain, and successful future surgeries.

Oct 5, 2017, 6:55pm Top

Oh my goodness, Linda, so sorry to hear that the rod has *snapped* and may lead to all sorts of other issues. What a scary appointment that must have been! Sending prayers your way, and hope you hear from Dr. Vaccaro soon.

Oct 6, 2017, 10:51am Top

Thanks to all. I await the phone call from Philadelphia. The ct scan was sent overnight federal express. I am waiting to hear from them.. I appreciate all the support. May the 8th surgery be the one that is the last.

Oct 6, 2017, 8:31pm Top

So sorry to see about the rod issues! Hope this is the last surgery that you need! Crossing my fingers for you!

Oct 6, 2017, 10:02pm Top

>151 From your lips to God's ears, my dear! May it be so.

Oct 7, 2017, 5:09pm Top

My heart fell through the bottom of my feet reading about the results of your doctor's appointment. I pray that they'll be able to remove, fix, stabilize everything that needs it. And that there hasn't been damage to all the parts of you that needed to have been on the road to recovery all this time. Hugs, Linda.

Oct 7, 2017, 8:12pm Top

Dearest Linda--I can't believe that you have yet ANOTHER complication! I hope this eases your mind that 1) you are not crazy and 2) you are not a whiner!! Please be careful and hang in there. Hopefully this soon-to-be-scheduled surgery will do the trick. Sending love and hugs.

Oct 10, 2017, 7:52am Top

Oh, my, Linda! Snapped???

Sending hugs and best wishes for success on surgery number 8.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:51am Top

Sending you best wishes!

Oct 10, 2017, 9:50am Top

Many hugs. I'm holding you (and Will - God bless him!) in my heart.

Oct 11, 2017, 4:03pm Top

Thanks to all for your kind words and support.

Now that the dust is settled, it Dr. Vacarro in Thomas Jefferson hospital, t is confident that my local surgeon is competent to handle the surgery. The local surgeon is in Europe. He left the day after my appointment with him, and he will return a few weeks from now. The surgeon from Philadelphia looked at the CT disk, the accompanying report by the radiologist, and read all remarks sent to him before the local surgeon left for Europe.

Yesterday, I received a call saying that the surgery should be ASAP, and can be done here at a hospital that is not far away. Dr. Vacarro said that cobalt-chromium rods, should be used. Three rods in my spine will be removed and replaced.

I have an appointment early morning with the local surgeon on the 23rd of October . I anticipate that surgery will be during that week.

Thank to all

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 4:56pm Top

BOOK #66

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This is yet another example of Young Adult fiction at it's best! Violet and Finch meet high in the air on the ledge of their school bell tower. Both suffering severe depression, it is Finch (known as "the Freak", who talks Violet off the ledge. Violet is content in letting the school population believe that she saved Finch.

Finch, who is severely troubled by life and the way in which he is treated by most people including his father and mother. Finch simply gains more reputation as a freak when he allows his school mates to believe he was saved by Violet. When Violet and Finch are given a project to find some unique places in their state, slowly, they trust each other and Violet comes to know Finch as a wonderful, intelligent, funny boy who understands her.

She lost hope of wanting to live when a year before the bell tower incident, her sister and she were driving over an icy bridge, skidding off the road and down into a ravine, her sister died; she survived. As Finch and Violet travel throughout their state, time spent together becomes unique and wonderful.

To say more would spoil the book. I highly recommend that you read this one! It is an incredible insight into teen depression and suicide.

Five Stars

Oct 11, 2017, 4:31pm Top

Going waaaay back to your comments about The Barrens, "As always with the books of Joyce Carol Oates, I love to hate her subject matters, while always returning for yet another book."
So well put. I've only read a couple of hers but your words ring true for me.

On a different note, I am SO sorry to hear about the medical complications and the persistent pain. So glad to see the update in >159 and we're all pulling for the go-ahead on having the surgery that week of October 23.

Hang in there....

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 4:41pm Top

BOOK #67

Emily Jane and The Witches' Children by Patricia Clapp

A book told in two different stories, each about children who are over the top mean. The first Emily Jane is a haunting tale of a young child whose parents have died. With her Aunt, she travels to Massachusetts to spend a summer with her grandmother. The house is old, well kept and lovely. The gardens too are spectacular. Soon, when Emily looks into the glass ball sitting carefully on a pedestal, she sees the face of Jane, the nasty daughter of her grandmother. Jane died long ago, but appears to reside inside the lovely glass ball. Increasingly Jane takes over Emily.

The second tale The Witches' Children is the story of the witch hunts in Salem Mass. in the 1600's, and the nasty girls who were responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people. There is nothing new to learn, but the story is well told.

Reprinted, this older book is written in a wonderful way that calls the reader to continue the journey.

Oct 11, 2017, 4:47pm Top

Oh, All the Bright Places sounds really good, Linda. Thanks for the tip. I added it to the WL.

Oct 11, 2017, 5:03pm Top

>163 Hi Joe. Anita recommended this one to me. I always follow her recommendations...and yours!

Oct 11, 2017, 5:04pm Top

BOOK #68
Rembrandt's Shadow by Janet Lee Berg

Review to follow

Oct 11, 2017, 5:31pm Top

>159 I am glad the surgery can be done near this time, Linda, and I hope this will be the last one you have to go through.

>160 Great review!
I am happy you loved All the bright places :-)

Edited: Oct 12, 2017, 9:09am Top

I, too, am glad to hear that the surgery is scheduled for sooner rather than later and at a local hospital.

Sending hugs to you.

Oct 12, 2017, 10:00am Top

hoping surgery is soon and will relieve all problems and give you blessed relief!!

Oct 12, 2017, 2:14pm Top

Good lord, woman...is your middle name Job? Words fail me; I can no longer count how many times we've all wished that this next surgery would be your last, and the one to remove your pain and set you free. That's still my profound hope. And I also hope that the days pass quickly between now and then.

Oct 16, 2017, 6:47pm Top

Augh! I haven't been here for awhile and did not know about your last drs visit/newest development . . .
I'm so sorry :( Hoping the surgery DOES take place next week and that it fixes your pain and mobility issues. Sending love and hugs . . .

Oct 22, 2017, 4:56pm Top

Hi Linda, hope you are having a really good weekend my dear and that your meeting with the local surgeon on the 23rd goes well and surgery is done later in the week. Hope the week goes well for you dear friend and send love and hugs from both of us.

Oct 26, 2017, 8:45pm Top

>171 As always, thank you John for your kind words. I am officially cleared for surgery on the 6th of November. I hope surgery #8 is the one that ends all this drama, and pain!
>170 Hi Brenda. I haven't been on LT a lot. I think of you, and send love and hugs right back to you!
>169 Hi Linda. I appreciate your frequent visits, and your support.
>168 Hi Cheli. I look forward to the day when pain is minimized and I can spend more time on LT, friends and family.
>167 Hi Karen. I long for the day when I can return to visitings threads. You have been a loyal friend. I appreciate your kindnes
>166 Hi Anita. Where has the time gone? We have posted on each other's threads since 2008 That is a long, long time. Thank you!

Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 11:10pm Top

BOOK #69

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King

Gwendy resides in a small New England town. She is a bit chubby and not one who has access to the most popular group in her grade. While pushing herself to walk up the "suicide steps" built in the side of a hill, she reaches the top to find a man with a top hat sitting on a bench.

He tells her he is watching her, leaving her with a creepy feeling. As the conversation progresses, he leaves a button box in her care. Instructing her that she can never push the black button, she guardedly takes the button box home.

As she pushes a button, a small, intricately carved piece of chocolate, shaped as an animal pops out. When she eats the chocolate she discovers the need to only eat one piece. As time progresses, she also becomes slim, smart and a member of the in crowd.

Leaving her previous one and only friend behind, her friend commits suicide on the suicide steps.

Gwenedy learns the power of the box comes with a price.

Typical Stephen King including some gore and retribution.
Interestingly, unlike most King books, this one is much smaller in page numbers.

Oct 26, 2017, 10:45pm Top

Yay! Linda was here. And she reviewed a Stephen King book, too. : ) Perfect author for October. Hope life is treating you well. Hugs.

Oct 27, 2017, 4:11pm Top

>173 Great review of Gwendy's Button Box! I liked the book a lot--it gave me chills and unease (no, wait, that was the flu!) Seriously, good read, and so surprisingly short.

Karen O.

Oct 28, 2017, 6:20am Top

Hi Linda, is there any news yet about sceduling the surgery?

Oct 28, 2017, 8:24am Top

Hi, Linda. Just checking in with my missing pal. Glad you have the next, and hopefully final surgery, scheduled. Keep us posted.

All the Bright Places sounds very good. It is on the List.

Oct 28, 2017, 10:40am Top

Linda, so sorry to learn that you will need yet another surgery. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and hoping this is the very last one. I am IN AWE of your courage and attitude, dear one.

Oct 28, 2017, 6:40pm Top

Hello to all! Many thanks for your visits! The surgery is scheduled for Novembere 6th I'm told by the surgeon that it will take 5-6 hours. Ill be in the hospital three nights, four days. I'm ambivalent. I want to get rid of the rods, especially the one poking a nerve, but I am not looking forward to the recovery.

Thank God for Will, and Thank God for all of you who have steadfastly walked this journey with me.

I appreciate it!

Oct 28, 2017, 11:02pm Top

Thinking of you and hoping that you are taking it easy to get ready for the surgery. Still praying for you.

Oct 29, 2017, 12:27pm Top

I'm glad you have a date certain for the surgery now, Linda, and that it's coming up soon. Sending lots of positive thoughts and energy for it going well and giving you some significant relief.

Nov 1, 2017, 12:11am Top

Glad you are schedule--just around the corner! Hang in there.

Did you get many trick or treaters? Hope you had fun tonight!

Happy Halloween!!

Nov 1, 2017, 3:02pm Top

Happy November 1st, Linda! Good luck with your upcoming surgery!

Nov 1, 2017, 3:12pm Top

Wishing you all the best on November 6. Only the best. Nothin' but the best. What hospital? Post surgery visits permitted?

Still yer pal, Linda.

Nov 4, 2017, 7:53pm Top

Best wishes to you for your surgery Monday! You are in my prayers, Linda.

Nov 5, 2017, 8:27am Top

Dear Linda, thinking of you. Sending good thoughts for your surgery tomorrow.

Nov 5, 2017, 12:25pm Top

What Anita said, Linda. Good luck tomorrow!

Nov 5, 2017, 1:35pm Top

Peace and calm, caring and prayers, come to you tonight, tomorrow and for your recovery.

Nov 5, 2017, 2:47pm Top

Fingers and toes crossed for a really good outcome. May God help your doctors as they work to free you from pain.

Nov 5, 2017, 4:28pm Top

Hi Linda, hope you are having a really nice weekend and send love and good thoughts for your operation tomorrow dear friend. We hope the surgery goes really well and it frees you from pain dear lady.

Edited: Nov 5, 2017, 9:05pm Top

Nov 5, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Sending loving wishes that everything goes perfectly tomorrow, Linda dear.

Nov 5, 2017, 10:49pm Top

I will also be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Linda.

If the power of good wishes count at all you'll be better than brand new coming very soon.


Nov 5, 2017, 11:07pm Top

Dear Linda, thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers - also your team of doctors, nursing staff, and dear Will.
I do so hope that you will feel real improvement soon.
Love to you!

Nov 6, 2017, 3:32am Top

>143 countrylife: wow, you have a lot on your plate, as ever. I hope your surgery goes well, take care.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:38am Top

Linda, our thoughts and prayers are with you today.

Nov 6, 2017, 10:46am Top

Thinking of you today, and praying for you and Will, and your doctors and staff.

Nov 6, 2017, 3:36pm Top

Just dropping in to add my positive vibes, Linda. May all go well.

Nov 6, 2017, 3:43pm Top

Hi, Linda! Hope everything is going well and that your recovery progresses smoothly. If you're looking for a children's book to read while recuperating, I think you'd like Clayton Byrd Goes Underground.

Nov 6, 2017, 11:10pm Top

Dear Linda, I'm off to check fb to see whether anybody's posted there for you. How I hope that this surgery is the one that offers you real relief!

Nov 7, 2017, 12:11am Top

Linda--Hoping all went well for you today and that you will be pain-free soon!!! Hugs and hugs and hugs.

Nov 7, 2017, 1:39pm Top

Helping the community keep your thread warm while you are hopefully recovering with nothing but fabulous results. The recovery may take some time. We'll be here when you are able to return.

Just take good care of you, Linda.

Edited: Nov 7, 2017, 2:53pm Top

For those who aren't FB friends of Linda:
I saw a msg from Linda that the surgery went well according to the surgeon. She is in a lot of pain and will stay in hospital until Saturday.

Nov 8, 2017, 7:38am Top

Thoughts and prayers and hugs to you, Linda! Glad to hear that the surgery went well, and I hope the pain gets managed quickly and your recovery goes well.

Nov 11, 2017, 9:08pm Top

Also sending thoughts, prayers, and best wishes for you, Linda!

Nov 12, 2017, 10:46am Top

Waiting for news of dear Linda. Praying that everything went swimmingly.

Nov 12, 2017, 11:37am Top

Hope things are going according to plan and that you are home today or tomorrow! : )

Nov 12, 2017, 12:07pm Top

Sure hope the pain is gone - that's one of the good things we can count on from Western Medicine!

Nov 12, 2017, 2:42pm Top

Hi Linda, glad to hear the surgery went well my dear and that you are recovering steadily dear friend with Will nursing you back to full health. Sending special love and hugs dear lady from both of us.

Nov 12, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Hello To All! And, many, many thanks for your kind wishes. I am home from the hospital Despite the severe pain, I am doing reasonably well.

My attention span is not long, reading is not an option right now. But, as I focus on the positive, I had long-term conversation from the surgeon who us amazed I could sustain all the pain from the eight complicated surgeries. I was treated very well at the hospital. The nurses and assistants were outstanding. I was in the recovery room for an extended time because they were not able to help me control the pain level.

My paperwork work from recovery room to my extended stay room noted that it took extended time to transition. It was dark when I awoke. Thank you to all for walking thi journey with me.

More later..Much Love to All!

Nov 12, 2017, 4:19pm Top

Sending love and hugs, Linda.

Nov 12, 2017, 7:44pm Top

Nov 14, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Sending love and hugs . . .

Nov 14, 2017, 9:39pm Top

More love and hugs!!

Nov 17, 2017, 1:39pm Top

And still more hugs! Hope that it is continuing to go well, with less pain day by day.

Nov 19, 2017, 9:33pm Top

Hello To All

Tomorrow will be two weeks post surgery. I've had good days, then bad days. Overall, I am heading in a positive direction. I haven't been able to read in a long time. That makes me sad. But, the thought that hopefully soon I will be able to focus my attention and read. For now, I am hooked on the Brtitish series Broadchurch. I finished the last segment of Series Three! I highly recommend this excellent series with great character development.

Thanks to those who visit here. I deeply appreciate it.


Nov 19, 2017, 10:48pm Top

It's great to see you posting here, Linda. You are one amazing woman! I hope that you will soon be seeing signs of real improvement. Love and long distance support to you!

Nov 20, 2017, 5:37am Top

Linda--Sorry you are not up to reading yet, but so wonderful to see a post from you!! I hope things continue to move steadily in a positive direction. Big (but gentle) hugs.

Edited: Nov 20, 2017, 5:50am Top

Hi Linda! Thank you for the update. So glad to hear that you're moving in a positive direction! The reading will come, in the meantime relaxing with British TV is a great way to divert yourself.

Gentle hugs from me, too!

Nov 20, 2017, 7:29am Top

Hi, Linda. Great to see you posting and filling us in. Glad you are slowly feeling better. I sure hope your reading can get back on track. You asked me for some book suggestions on my thread- I can definitely recommend Turtles All the Way Down, which is just your cuppa and I can also recommend Manhattan Beach & Commonwealth, 2 of my favorites from the past 2 months.

Big, Gentle Hug to my pal.

Nov 20, 2017, 11:00am Top

Glad that you are improving, Linda!

Nov 20, 2017, 11:32am Top

Good to hear that you feel that overall you're headed in the right direction, Linda. I join Mark on Turtles All the Way Down, which I'm reading right now, and I think you'd get a kick out of the old-timey Suds in Your Eye, in which three charming older ladies without much money manage to have a grand time together. My wife just read it, too, and loved it.

Nov 20, 2017, 4:12pm Top

Hi Linda, thank you for visiting my thread my dear, lovely to see you are recovering well after another surgery. Rest up my dear, we will always be around to leave a comment or two and when you are fully well you can reciprocate, in the meantime get well enough to select a special book that you can read with a full attention span. Sending love and hugs dear lady from both of us.

Nov 20, 2017, 6:07pm Top


So happy that so many hopes and prayers for you have found a good and positive response!

Nov 20, 2017, 8:00pm Top

Thanks to all for visiting here. I slept the day away. I awoke at 11:00 a.m., watched a bit of tv with Will, then fell again and awoke at 6;00. I think my body is resting.

It is so lovely to see posts from such incredible 75 challenge group members. I received a phone call from Cheli last night, and once again we confirmed the strength of this incredible group of very wonderful people.

Good Evening to all!

I am really in a book slump. Naturally, I will follow all suggestions sent. Mark and Joe, thanks a lot! You haven't steered me wrong yet.

Nov 20, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Hi Linda. I'm very glad you weathered this latest (lastest) surgery. I know Will is taking good care of you.

But I don't guess we'll see you at the book sale Dec. 1. (just kidding, of course). Heal well, my friend.

Nov 21, 2017, 12:53am Top

It has been a while since I checked your thread, Linda. I was saddened to hear of your new health problems. I hope that your recovery is going well and that you will be able to get back to reading soon.

Nov 21, 2017, 1:28am Top

So nice to see you around here again, Linda!

Take your time getting back into the swing of things again - your reading mojo will come back as you rest and recover.

Wishing you a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Nov 21, 2017, 8:48am Top

It makes me happy to see you posting, Linda!
Sending good thoughts, hoping the recovery goes well.

Nov 21, 2017, 2:41pm Top

>225 Book slumps come and go at the best times - take it easy and I hope you have a restful holiday.

Nov 21, 2017, 11:15pm Top

Hmm -book suggestions- what about some art books with illustrations to get you in the mood to look? or good graphic novels? Artists- William Turner landscapes? Monet's Waterlillies?
Take care

Nov 22, 2017, 4:44pm Top

>231 I have two books that are filled with art - I haven't finished either one because I use them as a pick me up when I'm down. I glance at a few pages and feel awe at the beauty that another human being can create.

Mine are Michelangelo : the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel and The Louvre: All the Paintings.

Nov 22, 2017, 4:46pm Top

Hi, Linda! So good to see you posting! Wishing you steady progress in healing, and a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2017, 12:34pm Top

Nov 23, 2017, 12:55pm Top

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for many things, one of them being my

Thank you for being so wonderful! : )

Nov 23, 2017, 1:24pm Top

I am so thankful that your surgery is over and that you are on the road to recovery, Linda. Hugs and loving thoughts.

Nov 23, 2017, 3:39pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving Linda my dear.

Nov 23, 2017, 3:59pm Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

Nov 23, 2017, 10:02pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Linda. I hope you continue to rest and mend.

Nov 24, 2017, 8:46pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We had a low key celebration on Wednesday. Yesterday was a day of rest. I finally was able to have enough concentration to read a book. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult as great, albiet the ending was very upsetting.

Today was my first day out of the house. It was so good to feel the breeze on my face. Will took me to the Pain Management Center for eight trigger point injections.

We also went for a quick trip to the library. We didn't stay long, but it was wonderful to re-connect with Stephanie, the librarian, who is a wonderful lady!

Thanks to everyone for your visits here.

Nov 25, 2017, 11:41am Top

Sounds like you’re having a good holiday weekend, Linda. How great to get back to reading, get outside again, and visit the library. I hope it all just keeps getting better and better.

Nov 25, 2017, 11:49am Top

Hi Linda and Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you and Will! "8 trigger point injections"?! Oh my goodness! Are they painful? Well, on the bright side I'm happy to see you're up and about mingling with the masses once again.
Although I haven't read Jodi Picoult for some time, I remember she has quite an effective way with tugging the emotions out of a reader.
Have a wonderful Saturday and a restful, painfree weekend.

Nov 25, 2017, 12:08pm Top

Hooray for the breeze on your face and getting out a bit, no matter how briefly.

I hope the trigger point injections bring relief.

I remember reading My Sister's Keeper but can't remember the 'surprise ending' that several reviewers mention. I'm glad you've found an author to encourage your reading.

I'll recommend two of my seasonal favorites: Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory which I first read in junior high, and Fannie Flagg's A Redbird Christmas which I read for the first time last year.

Nov 27, 2017, 11:26am Top

So glad to hear that things are moving in a positive direction. I hope your low-key Thanksgiving and pain management injections will lead to a pain-free Christmas!

Nov 28, 2017, 1:52pm Top

Hi Linda!

I'm glad you were able to get out, and going to the library was a nice reward to offset the 8 trigger point injections.

My Sister's Keeper is the only book (so far) that I've read by Jodi Picoult, and I adored it. I listened to it and it was read by 3 or 4 readers so got male voices doing male characters. I, too, found the ending upsetting. Such a good book, though! I gave it 4.5 stars, and I'm pretty stingy with stars.

I hope you're having a good day today. *hugs*

Nov 28, 2017, 2:36pm Top

Linda--Glad to see you managed to fit in a book. That must mean things are a wee bit better. Sending lots of hugs!

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 8:26pm Top

>246 Hello Dear Kim. Thinking of you and hoping you have energy for the holidays. I remember the first Christmas when my grandmother did not put a tree in the corner of the parlor. It was sad. Now as I age, I understand how much energy it takes to bake, put up the tree, shop for presents, wrap the presents and entertain. This is the first surgery recovery during Christmas time. We will have a tree and it will be decorated, and much of the shopping will be via Amazon Prime. I still hold the memory of my grandmother's victorian house with a wrap around porch, and pocket doors which separated the living room from the parlor.
>245 Hi Karen. I've read another book by Jodi Pichoult. I have not idea why I waited this long to read My Sister's Keeper. It really was good.
>244 Hi Cindy. I wonder if a southern holiday is different than a northern one. Do you have special things you make, like pecan pie?
>243 Hello Janet. Is there snow on the ground in Montana. I think your state is marvelously beautiful. Thanks so much for the recommendations. I've read Truman Capote's a Christmas Memory. It is difficult for me to understand how he wrote such an incredibly beautiful book and grew to be such a nasty, mean spirited egotist. I haven't read Fannie Flag's book. I may have it. I'll check to see, and if not, I am sure the local library has a copy. It sounds like a lovely holiday classic.
>242 Hi Lynda. Yes, the trigger point injections are painful, but they provide relief and thus they are worth it. I won't be visiting Ohio this year. I am very sad about that. I have such lovely memories with my daughter and family. Will and I will have a low-key holiday and that will be fine. We enjoy each other's company. He watches more tv than I do. While he is watching tv, I am reading. We give each other a lot of space. How did you land in Ohio? Is this the state where you grew up?
>241 Thanks Joe. I hope your holiday is filled with love and laughter. It is good to hear from you.

Nov 28, 2017, 8:37pm Top

BOOK #70

A Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman
Set in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, be prepared to read a lot about snow, driving in snow, getting stuck in snow, putting chains on tires that travel in snow, and bodies buried in snow.
Small town Wedeskyull is run by the police officers who are employed there, one of which is Nora Hamilton's husband Brendan. When Nora awakes one snowy, cold morning, she listens to the usual sounds made by her husband, but this morning, she doesn't smell the coffee or hear the shower running. What she does find is her husband's body strug from a cord with no suicide note.

A close knit set of men, Nora begins to feel that the police force is hiding something. Her marriage seemed to be a good one, and Nora had no portend of what happened.

As the tale unravels, Nora and Ned, the local newspaper reporter discover that all is not well in Wedeskyull. There are too many deaths and too many secrets.

I read this in one day. If you like mysteries, then you will like this one.

Four Stars.

Nov 29, 2017, 8:58am Top

BOOK #71

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

This is the second book I've read by this author, and similar to the first, this book also seemed to grab hold and take the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride. Except, I am not keen on manipulation of feelings. I'll state at the beginning of this review what I hated at the end of this book -- surprise, unnecessary twisting of emotion to the last drop of pity. It's Picoult's book, but really? Did she have to end on such a ugly way?

Two sisters, one who has since the age of two, a very invasive, hard to treat blood disease. Anna, the second and younger child was conceived for the express purpose of a donor match for her sister so that her organs can be used to keep her sister Jessie alive.

Closer than twins, there is a very large sense of love between them. Neither one selfish, each one held at hostage of a mother who portrays the love of both, but still will do almost anything to keep her oldest child alive.

Picoult does an excellent job of portraying a dysfunctional family spinning out of control because of a blip on the DNA chain. A middle brother who, because of neglect, does some rather radical things to get attention. A husband who loves all and is trying his best to keep his head above water. A mother who claims love of all, but her actions speak much louder than her words.

Both daughters torn, each wanting to live, but not at the other's expense. The story primarily focuses on Anna, who as she ages is exceedingly tired of giving so the other might live. When a kidney is needed, Anna takes a firm stance that her body should not be held hostage. Spunky and unselfish, Anna hires a lawyer to represent her right not to donate a kidney.

Anna is the least selfish of the bunch. Her lawyer is likeable, taking the case pro bono. All characters are well developed, and that is the highest praise I can say about the book.

BUT, there was no need for the end. Curious? Give the book a try. It is worth the time spent reading it.

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 9:19am Top

BOOK #72

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: and Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell

Well written and entertaining, the author takes the reader with him to some of the largest wastelands in the world. The first chapter is the focus on Chernobyl. Finding a guide to take him to the center of the disaster, the reader cannot help but be upset by the lack of common sense of the engineers who were to blame for this largest radioactive disaster.

Using a sense of humor, what could be pedantic is rendered as fact in a realistic, but not over dramatic style.

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 10:28am Top

BOOK #73

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

This is a fictional telling of a murder that actually occurred. The setting is Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
I was drawn to this book primarily because I wanted to learn how the author could retell the story of the ghost of her daughter who visited her mother.

My great grandmother lived in rural West Virginia when she was young. When she visited us at night, she loved to tell spooky stories, and as I remember, she told us ghost stories often. My sisters and I were scared, but always wanted to learn more.

The description of rural Appalachia where life was tough and those who lived there, in order to survive, were tougher.

A young girl, Zona Heaster, is more than a bit foolish and unwise and has an out-of-wedlock child. Her mother gave the baby away to an older couple. Already tarnished by the standards of the time, Zona, suddenly latches on to an older man who seems to be steady and holds a job.

After a quick marriage, she is whisked away a few hours from her parents. The husband dominates and thus the girl has no contact with her family. In a short period of time, Zona is dead. Saddened, her mother brings the body back home for burial. Suspiciously, her Zona's husband protects the coffin and the body.

Grieving, the mother wonders what she could have done. In her sleep, Zona appears in a dream, and her mother is led to believe her daughter was murdered by a breakage to her neck.

The defense team contained an African American man, who now, years later lives in an asylum for colored people. Part of the story is told by his recollections of the tale. The prosecution was firm in their conviction that Zona was indeed murdered at the hands of Erasmus Trout Shue.

While, I thought the book seemed to take a long time for the story to unravel, I was fascinated. And, I could almost hear my great grandmother tell the story.

Three Stars

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 10:53am Top

>247 "How did you land in Ohio? Is this the state where you grew up?" I was born in Cleveland, Ohio via a mom born in New York to Romanian/Slovak immigrants and a dad also born in Cleveland to Hungarian immigrants. I've lived in the suburbs of Cleveland since the 70's when Cleveland was going through tough times but still close enough to enjoy its attributes. My husbands story is similar and our son seems to like Ohio as he now attends an in-state college.
Your life with Will mirrors mine and my husbands. He loves Star Trek and the like so I'm usually reading while he watches. It works out well enough............except when baseball season starts, then the tussle begins :0)
Are you on sick leave? Will you return to work after your recovery ?

>249 Jodi Picoult is an awesome writer but her novels are draining.

Nov 29, 2017, 10:50am Top

What an outpouring of reviews, Linda. Accomplishing that work should in itself be a recovery boost. Encouraging.

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 11:33am Top

Linda--judging by your many recent reviews, life must be getting a little better!! I am so glad. Enjoy the holiday spirit without feeling the pressure, okay? Be kind to yourself. : )

I love Piccoult! It has been a while since I read one...another 2018 plan! ; )

Nov 29, 2017, 2:51pm Top

>251 I liked it better than you did. Perhaps hearing her discuss the book before I read it helped.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:16am Top

Hi Linda!

>251 I've added it to my wishlist. It sounds intriguing.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:44pm Top

>256 Hi Karen. It is a good book, my only complaint is that it seemed to drag in spots, but that may simply accompany my pain levels. I appreciate your frequent visits
>255 Hi Lori. I got the book from the local library because it sounded intriguing. I envy that you had the chance to see the author.
>254 Hi Kim. Yes, it goes it spirits. Today is a very low energy day, and I except for the visiting nurse time, I slept most of the day. I understand about plans, unfortunately, when it comes to books, I never seem to be able to stick to my goals.
>253 Good to see you. Many thanks for stopping by
>252 What a fascinating story. My daughter met my son in law via Lehigh University. They both had a free education there, he because of the Air Force ROTC program, and she because after x amount of years, and if your child is bright enough to enter with the same sat and other criteria, can go for free. She actually stayed and obtained her master's degree and he landed in Edward's Air Force base in California. They they moved to Wright Paterson, Dayton Airforce base. In between there he obtained his master's degree from Tufts and they lived in the Boston area for a few years. When Tony got of the service, he was able to obtain an engineering job on the base working for the company he did when he was in the Air Force. Both love Ohio.
Actually, I do as well. It is a wonderful place to raise children, and my grandchildren are able to attend charter schools. When I visit there I always am in awe of the family centeredness.
I know they would like me to come in live near them when I retire. I don't think I could talk Will into it, and we are very attached to our 14 year old grandchild Kayla.

Thanks for responding to my question. I'm always amazed at how people come to live where they do.
Happy Evening to All!

Dec 1, 2017, 7:10pm Top

Glad to see that you're reading and feeling up to posting on occasion, Linda. You're still in my thoughts and I hope you continue to recover well from the surgery and finally get some relief from the pain.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:14am Top

Hi, Linda! You're doing some good reading. I read Cover of Snow back when it was offered as an LT ER book, and I won it. I really liked it, too.

The Unquiet Grave is on my to-read list. We have a copy at the library. I love Sharyn McCrumb's books.

>240 Whisper1: Glad you've been able to get out and about a bit, and that you're reading and posting.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:14am Top

Hi Mary. Many thanks for your kind words. I imagine you are excited as the holiday nears. Will you visit your sister, or will she bring the little ones to you?

This topic was continued by Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #5 for 2017.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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