Karen O's (klobrien2) Reading for Fun! and Profit! (THIRD "75"!)
This is a continuation of the topic Karen O's (klobrien2) Reading for Fun! and Profit! (Second "75").
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Welcome to the THIRD page of my 2017 reading thread! This thread will begin with my 151st book read this year (truly, OMG), and I'm hoping to manage another set of books, maybe to 200 total? That would be amazing!
I've been with the 75-bookers for several years now, and I enjoy so much the camaraderie and book talk that happens here. I'm very glad to join with you all again!
The year 2016 was a terrific year for reading. I find myself reading pretty much as the spirit leads, although I participate in the Take It or Leave It project and have a great time doing that. I participated in the American Author Challenge and the British Authors Challenge, and plan to continue with them (as the spirit leads). A long-term project of mine is to accomplish reads from the "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" book, so that may guide my reading a little. What directs my reading more are my friends here on LT, so keep those recommendations coming!
This is my ninth year participating in the 75 Books Challenge. In 2009, I read 94 books; in 2010, I made it to 148!; 153 in 2011; 160 in 2012; 114 in 2013; 92 in 2014; 109 in 2015, and 145 in 2016. I hope to be reading even more in the new year.
Here's a ticker to keep track of my 2017 reads :
Here's a ticker to keep track of my progress with "1001 Books":
Here's where I'll list the books I read, starting with (the number at the end of each line represents the post number where I placed my "review" for the book):
The first 75 "reviews" can be found on my first thread, here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/245357
1. Angel & Faith Season 9 Volume 3: Family Reunion by Christos Gage
2. Angel & Faith Season 9 Volume 4: Death and Consequences by Christos Gage
3. Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler
4. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
5. Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
6. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu
7. But I Really Wanted to Be an Anthropologist by Margaux Motin
8. Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith
9. Monkeewrench by P. J. Tracy
10. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P. D. James
11. Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky -
12. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Previous Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer
13. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafjai
14. You Will Know Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott
15. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
16. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
17. Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An) by Robert Van Gulik
18. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
19. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
20. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue -
21. Monstress Volume 1: The Awakening by Marjorie Liu
22. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
23. Angel and Faith Season Nine Vol 4: What You Need, Not What You Want by Christos Gage
24. Angel and Faith Season Ten Vol 1: Where the River Meets the Sea by Victor Gischler
25. Angel and Faith Season Ten Vol 2: Lost and Found by Will Conrad
26. Angel and Faith Season Ten Vol 3: United by Joss Whedon
27. Angel and Faith Season Ten Vol 4: A Little More Than Kin by Joss Whedon
28. Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump by G. B. Trudeau
29. March: Book One by John Lewis
30. Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
31. The Magicians (Magicians Trilogy, Book 1) by Lev Grossman
32. Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
33. Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
34. March: Book Two by John Lewis
35. Othello by William Shakespeare
36. Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
37. Beware!: R. L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories by R. L. Stine
38. The Revolving Door of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
39. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Ten, Volume 6: Own It by Christos Gage
40. Angel & Faith, Season Ten, Volume 5: A Tale of Two Families by Victor Gischler
41. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
42. So You Want to Be President?
43. Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hell-Cat: Hooked on a Feline by Kate Leth
44. Du Iz Tak? by Connor Ellis
45. The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter
46. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
47. Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
48. March: Book Three by John Lewis
49. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
50. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
51. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
52. A Bullet for a Star by Stuart Kaminsky
53. Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
54. My Depression: A Picture Book by Elizabeth Swados
55. Dusk and Other Stories by James Salter
56. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
57. The Bertie Project (44 Scotland Street #11) by Alexander McCall Smith
58. Not in God's Name by Jonathan Sacks
59. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
60. The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
61. See No Color by Shannon Gibney
62. Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders
63. Zen Shorts by John J. Muth
64. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
65. Forever Words: The Unknown Poems by Johnny Cash
66. Always a Reckoning and Other Poems by Jimmy Carter
67. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
68. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel
69. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacquelyn Woodson
70. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
71. A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York by Liana Finck
72. A Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
73. Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy
74. How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
75. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil
"Reviews" for books 76 - 150 can be found on my second thread, here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/255678
76. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R. A. Dick
77. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
78. H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
79. The Green Man by Kingsley Amis (Book 206 of 1001 Books)
80. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Vol. 1 by Joss Whedon
81. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Vol. 2 by Joss Whedon
82. News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
83. Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman by Lindy West
84. Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA by Sue Bradford Edwards
85. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
86. Billy the Kid and the Vampyres of Vegas by Michael Scott
87. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg
88. At the Reunion Buffet by Alexander McCall Smith
89. A Bintel Brief: Sixty Years of Letters from the Lower East Side to the Jewish Daily Forward ed. by Isaac Metzker
90. Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
91. The Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
92. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Book 207 of 1001)
93. A Bintel Brief, Volume II: Letters to the Jewish Daily Forward, 1950-1980 ed. by Isaac Metzker
94. The Lewis Man by Peter May
95. Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron
96. The Book of Merlyn: The Unpublished Conclusion to The Once and Future King by T. H. White
97. The Long Good-bye by Raymond Chandler (Book 208 of 1001)
98. Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
99. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
100. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Vol. 3 by Joss Whedon
101. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Vol. 4 by Joss Whedon
102. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
103. Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
104. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
105. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
106. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
107. Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King
108. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
109. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
110. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling
111. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
112. Lincoln in the Bardo (audiobook) by George Saunders
113. Fatherland: A Family History by Nina Bunjavec
114. The Stranger in My Genes by Bill Griffeth
115. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
116. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian by W. Kamau Bell
117. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
118. This is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe
119. My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith
120. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
121. Journey by Aaron Becker
122. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
123. Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
124. The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
125. MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors by Richard Hooker
126. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
127. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
128. Quest by Aaron Becker
129. Return by Aaron Becker
130. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
131. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
132. Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
133. A People's History of Chicago by Kevin Coval
134. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
135. Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, & Manners by Therese Oneill
136. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
137. Birdsong: A Story in Pictures by James Sturm
138. SheHeWe (Three-Story Books) by Lee Nordling
139. Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan
140. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
141. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
142. Unspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
143. Arrival by Shaun Tan
144. Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford (Book 209 of 1001)
145. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson
146. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
147. The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook by Shaun Tan
148. A Distant View of Everything (Isabel Dalhousie #11) by Alexander McCall Smith
149. Oh, Money! Money! by Eleanor Porter
150. The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden
Here's where I'll list the books that I read until the end of 2017:
151. Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie - 2
152. His Toy, His Dream, His Rest: 308 Dream Songs by John Berryman - 11
***N.B. I went through my 1001 Books list, and found a few that I hadn't marked, so I have finished 212 with this next one! ***
153. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (Book 212 of 1001) - 12
154. The Enigma of the Owl: An Illustrated Natural History - 16
155. Norse Mythology (audio book) by Neil Gaiman - 20
156. Longbourn by Jo Baker - 22
157. White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America by Joan C. Williams - 23
158. Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter - 28
159. Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson - 32
160. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark - 33
161. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay - 34
162. The Third Nero (A Flavia Albia Mystery) by Lindsey Davis - 37
163. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles - 38
164. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson - 39
165. The Bride Price by Mai Neng Moua - 40
166. Magpie Murders: A Novel by Anthony Horowitz - 41
167. To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines by Judith Newman - 44
168. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl: Fiction by Mona Awad - 49
169. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie - 50
170. Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles - 53
171. Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day - 54
172. Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza - 55
173. Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine - 56
174. Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams - 57
175. Al Franken Giant of the Senate by Al Franken - 66
176. When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War iI by Molly Guptill Manning - 67
177. Fables: Legends in Exile, Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham - 69
178. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman - 71
179. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett - 80
180. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - 81
181. Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth by Joe Hill - 82
182. BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop by Kevin Coval - 83
183. Fables: Animal Farm (Vol. 2) by Bill Willingham - 85
184. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman - 86
185. Schtick: These Are the Poems People by Kevin Coval - 87
186. Ben's Flying Flowers by Inger Maier - 90
187. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay - 93
188. Chemistry: A Novel by Weike Wang - 97
189. Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown - 98
190. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - 99
191. Eve in Hollywood by Amor Towles - 107
192. Fables: Storybook Love (Vol. 3) by Bill Willingham - 111
193. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay - 112
194. The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith - 113
195. Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972 by Dave Bidini - 114
196. Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward - 121
197. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce - 122
198. Wonders of the World: 100 Great Man-Made Treasures of Civilization by Rosemary Burton - 128
199. Anansi the Spider: A Tale From the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott - 129
200. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton - 130
201. The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman - 136
202. Little Tree (Dragonfly Books) by e.e. cummings, ill. Deborah Kegan Ray - 152
203. How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen - 152
204. I'm Not Santa (Baby Owl) by Jonathan Allen - 152
205. What Cats Want for Christmas by Kandy Radzinski - 152
206. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires - 152
207. The Story of the Leprechaun by Katherine Tegen - 152
208. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby - 154
209. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman - 155
210. Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm - 161
Here is where I'll list the authors selected for the 2017 American Authors Challenge, the books I will read, and if I complete them (here's hoping!)
January- Octavia Butler: Unexpected Stories - COMPLETED
February- Stewart O' Nan - Last Night at the Lobster - COMPLETED
March- William Styron - Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness - COMPLETED May
April- Poetry Month - Forever Words: The Unknown Poems by Johnny Cash - COMPLETED; Always a Reckoning and Other Poems by Jimmy Carter - COMPLETED; Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - COMPLETED
May- Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God - COMPLETED
June- Sherman Alexie - The Lone Ranger and Tonto's Fist-fight in Heaven - COMPLETED
July- James McBride - The Color of Water - COMPLETED
August- Patricia Highsmith - The Talented Mr. Ripley - COMPLETED
September- Short Story Month -
October- Ann Patchett - Commonwealth - COMPLETED
November- Russell Banks -
December- Ernest Hemingway -
My 2003 "Books Read" list (casually kept, and probably incomplete): http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2003-reading-list.html
My 2004 "Books Read" list (see above caveats: things get better!):
My 2005 "Books Read" list (most pathetic list yet): http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2005-reading-list.html
My 2006 "Books Read" list : http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2006-reading-list.htm
My 2007 "Books Read" list : http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2007-reading-list.html
My 2008 "Books Read" list : http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2008-reading-list.html
My 2009 "Books Read" list : http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2009-reading-list.html
My 2010 "Books Read" list : http://librata.blogspot.com/2012/04/karens-2010-reading-list.html
Here is a link to my last thread from 2011: http://www.librarything.com/topic/122919
Here is a link to my last thread from 2012: http://www.librarything.com/topic/138897
Here is a link to my last thread from 2013:
Here is a link to my thread from 2014: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163564
Here is a link to my thread from 2015: https://www.librarything.com/topic/186139
Here is a link to my thread from 2016: http://www.librarything.com/topic/211096
Good reading to you!
151. Death Comes As the End by Agatha Christie
Strange little mystery by Christie; this one is set in ancient Egypt (maybe not your normal "cozy" setting). Although ancient civilizations are one of my favorite things to read about, and this book seems a nice mixture of history and mystery (ooh, that's kind of a nice rhyme there!)
Happy new thread, Karen, and congratulations on your epic reading year.
Congratulations Karen, both on your new thread and also on your 2x75. xx
>9 jnwelch: Ooh, I will have to look for The Singing Bones! Thanks for the heads-up!
>9 jnwelch:, >8 PaulCranswick:, >7 karenmarie:, >6 streamsong:, >5 drneutron:, >4 FAMeulstee:, >3 mstrust: Thank you for the nice comments! What a treat to get on LT and find all of your cheery "faces"! It really has been a good year for reading for me, and I know that I owe a lot of my reading finds to you folks!
See you around!
152. His Toy, His Dream, His Rest: 308 Dream Songs by John Berryman
I picked up this book because I'd always been curious about the poet John Berryman, mainly for his unfortunate suicide on the banks of the Mississippi on the nearby University campus. Berryman was a poet of the "Confessional" school, I read, and many of the poems in the book are quite confessional. Here's what Berryman wrote on the inside cover:
The poem then, whatever its wide cast of characters, is essentially about an imaginary character (not the poet, not me) named Henry, a white American in early middle age sometimes in blackface, who has suffered an irreversible loss and talks about himself sometimes in the first person, sometimes in the third, sometimes even in the second; he has a friend, never named, who addresses him as Mr Bones and variants thereof. Requiescant in pace.
I only kinda sorta liked this collection; I kept reading because every once in a while I'd find a poem that struck me in a special way. Such as this one (#190):
The doomed young envy the old, the doomed old the dead young.
It is hard & hard to get these matters straight.
Keats glares at Yeats
who full of honours died & being old sung
his strongest. Henry appreciated that hate,
but what now of Yeats'
lucky of-Fanny-free feeling for Keats
who doomed by Mistress Gonne proved barren years
and saw his friends all leave,
stale his rewards turn, & cut off then at his peak,
promising in his seventies! all fears
save that one failed to deceive.
I scrounge ensamples violent by choice.
In most what matters, Henry wondered. Let's lie.
All we fall down & die
after a course worse of a stoppage of voice
so terrible I have no more to say
but best is the short day.
153. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Quite the thriller, this story of the chameleon sociopath. Ripley becomes so caught-up in his play-acting that his own identity wavers and almost disappears at times. I found it very chilling, and a terrific read. I think I'll probably look into the sequels.
Got this link from Paul C.'s page -- a listing of the 1001 Books (2006, 2008, 2010). I imagine that if a book was on an earlier list but then dropped, it will not appear on the merged list.
I've been proceeding through the 2006 list, keeping track also on the 2008.
Here's an LT list of what's on what list:
This list is pretty well hidden. The only way I can remember how to find it, is to pick a book I know is on the list, go down to awards on the main page, and click on the 1001.
I have a thread in the 1001 group, but have not read many books this year, and have reviewed even fewer of them. :( I do like keeping track of what I read on my thread.
Thanks, streamsong! It's difficult enough keeping track of one list, let alone three different editions!
154. The Enigma of the Owl: An Illustrated Natural History by Mike Unwin
What a tremendous collection of owl photography! Such an assortment of species, types, colorings, habits! The book is arranged by biogeographic areas (very sensible) and the write-up on each species provides a full description of the owl, its habits, its chief diet, mating habits, parenting habits, etc.
There is an index and a "for further reading" section.
The photography is the star of the book, however. These are big pages, and the photographs are often full page, or even two-page spreads. Glorious color.
Cool! I think owls are fascinating and this book looks good. On the list.
Hi, mstrust! I think you'd like this book--you can go for the amount of detail you prefer. Lots of fun facts, too!
Thanks for stopping by!
155. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman
Utterly thrilling reading of the book by the author left me laughing, snorting, and crying at the end. I don't listen to a lot of audiobooks, because the pace is just so slow (compared to reading) and I tend to fall asleep when I'm read to (does this date to childhood?) But this is one of the books that seemed to fit being consumed in words read aloud--like the oral tradition of storytelling. And Gaiman is a master at voices, at squeezing every bit of juice out of the words (and they are really juicy to begin with). The alliteration I was only slightly aware of when reading the printed page was front and center in the oral telling. The snideness and humor of the gods was so clear when read. Gaiman is just stellar at voices and characterizations. Really, I can't say enough about what a treat this audiobook was!
>10 klobrien2: I'm just about to start Ripley Under Ground!
Thanks for stopping by!
156. Longbourn by Jo Baker
This novel shows us the "other" side of Pride and Prejudice, the world below stairs, the working class, the world of poverty and class differences. And, while I've been such a fan of P&P, both the book, various film versions, and even fan fiction, this new point-of-view is really eye-opening. There is still a place in my heart for the Bennets, but my heart belongs more with Mrs. Hill, Sarah, Polly, and James. Great reading!
157. White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America by Joan C. Williams
Excellent book about the current state of class upheaval in the USA. The author writes with clarity and intelligence about the last several decades in America (prompted to do so by Election Night 2016). Her goal is to bring understanding and to liberals and conservatives alike; to both the the PME (Professional-Managerial Elite), the white working class, and everyone in between and all around). The book is quite eye-opening, and encouraging for the future of America. Highly recommended!
p.s. thanks to majleavy for suggesting the book!
I loved Longbourn, too, Karen. I'm glad it worked so well for you. It's very clever, isn't it, along with those great characters you mention.
Yes--I really liked the plot development and the unflinching look at war and the lives of the non-privileged--it was eye-opening. And, of course, the love stor(ies) are pretty great.
Thanks for stopping by to chat!
>26 souloftherose: Thanks! Although I take my time making threads, so it's more of a middle-aged thread by now. ;)
Thanks for stopping by!
158. Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter
Well, I've been working on this tome for quite a while! Finally wrapped it up with a big push this weekend. I am so loving the Alter Bible translation/commentaries; I feel a little bereft that Chronicles is next up, and I don't think that Alter has a commentary for it. I'll have to make it through with my Harper Collins Study Bible (also no slouch at the Bible stuff). I also will reference The Literary Guide to the Bible, which Alter co-edited.
I can't speak more highly about Ancient Israel and the other Alter books. They have deepened my understanding of the books of the Hebrew Bible, and given me lots to think about as far as the literary nature of the readings. I'm actually a little sad to have finished this one, but I have no doubt that I'll be back here again.
Participating in the year's Reading Through the Bible as Literature thread, I've now made my way through Kings (I Kings and II Kings were, originally, one book). I'm reading Robert Alter's translation and commentary, Ancient Israel: The Former Prophets: Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, and just loving it. One reason I am enjoying the read is the simple physical setup of the book: each chapter of the Bible gets a chapter in Alter's book; lots of white space, making it easier to read; footnotes are plentiful, but they are footnotes, not ENDnotes (I hate flipping!). I've gotten really used to Alter's style and it feels very comfortable.
So, Kings. The first two chapters finish up the story of David. After that, "the Book of Kings proper exhibits an approach to politics, character, and historical causation that is quite different from the one that informs the David story." Alter identifies Kings as the most miscellaneous of all of the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings); put together as an olio of widely disparate sources, a compilation. He also refers to the "palpable tension between the narrative of the kings and the tales of the prophets, however they intersect." The stories of the kings read (largely) historical; the narratives of the prophets abound in the supernatural.
Chapters 3-11 is the Solomon story. "...Deuteronomy's conception of historical causation, in which idolatry leads to national disaster." Solomon is my LEAST-favorite biblical king.
In I Kgs 17, Elijah the prophet springs into the picture. Probably my favorite of the non-literary prophets (who, mainly, pronounce the future). Great character; celestial fire is his prophetic medium.
In II Kgs 19, Isaiah the prophet shows up (I'll be visiting those fellas later on in my reading!).
Alter's commentary on Kings ends with this last footnote, which I just love: "The historical event with which the Book of Kings ends is of course a complete catastrophe--the utter destruction of Jerusalem, including temple and palace; the massacre of the royal line and the military and priestly elite; and the exile of a large part of the population. This concluding image (Jehoiachin, the last king, is treated kindly in Babylonia), however, seeks to intimate a hopeful possibility of future restoration: a Davidic king is recognized as king, even in captivity, and is given a daily provision appropriate to his royal status. As he sits on his throne elevated above the thrones of the other captive kings, the audience of the story is invited to imagine a scion of David again sitting on his throne in Jerusalem."
>22 klobrien2: Having just finished watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, as soon as I saw "Mrs. Hill" I immediately thought of one of the scenes that Mrs. Bennett comes into the house after church and yells "Hill!" I love all things P&P, so I'll keep my eye out for this one.
>23 klobrien2: Two books immediately came to mind - both memoirs - when I saw your review: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Both come from an educated perspective, Ehrenreich's a tale of her living below the poverty line and Walls growing up in a dysfunctional family and below the poverty line. Both are told from the perspective of safety, Ehrenreich's because she chose to live that way to understand and report on, and Walls from the perspective of having worked her way out of what she was born into.
>28 klobrien2: and >29 klobrien2: You're being so much more thoughtful about this project than I am, Karen. My goal is to read the entire Bible this year willy-nilly. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here and on the Bible As Literature group read thread.
>30 karenmarie: Hi Karen!
Yup, it was that "Hill!" But a totally different perspective on things. I think you would like it. And that version of Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite.
I did read The Glass Castle but haven't gotten to Nickel and Dimed yet. Something tells me I should put that on my TBR list!
Thanks so much for stopping by to chat! Good reading to you!
159. Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson
I'm really enjoying the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I've read Vinegar Girl, Hag-Seed, and now this one.
I haven't read The Merchant of Venice and I think that my reading of "Shylock" would have been better if I had. I knew the basic plot of the play, I guess, but I'm sure I missed out on the nuances. So I see a reread in my future. I actually did a little bit of a reread on this time through--about halfway through, I backed up and reread the beginning, to get characters and plot a little more straightened out in my mind. It helped a lot, especially to realize that the character of Shylock is really there, and is spending a few days with Strulovitch, a fellow Jew and fellow mourner. Shylock and Strulovitch spend a lot of time discussing life, daughters, wives, and what it means to be Jewish.
Shylock speaking, to his dead wife Leah:
These Jews, Leah, these Jews! They don't know whether to cry for me, disown me or explain me. Just as they don't know whether to explain or disown themselves. They wait for a sign that they are not as cringingly passive as they have been described and when it comes they tear their hair in shame. 'We are a people on the verge of annihilation,' Strulovitch is fond of telling me, when he remembers. 'We cannot look to anyone to help us but ourselves.'
160. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
This was a reread for me; I can't remember how many times I've read this little book, but it's a real treat. This was one of my favorites when I was young, a million years ago, and it still tugs at my heart. Muriel Spark is terrific!
161. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Another author I learned of from "The Daily Show"--Roxane Gay is an author of both fiction and non-fiction (Bad Feminist is now on my read-sooner-rather-than-later list). In "Hunger" she goes deeply personal and tells about her brutal gang-rape at age 12 and how that affected her life. She is a tall woman (6'3"), and started eating as a way to try to make herself safe from further sexual trauma. Being severely obese affected all parts of her life, but she has persisted as a writer and is now nationally known. She writes clearly and with insight into her psychology and the realities of living in a thin-wannabe world as a "fat" person (the term she uses for herself).
I have some experience with being a large woman, so Gay's writing rang so true for me. Gay's bravery just amazes me, and she is smart and funny as well. My new hero!
162. The Third Nero: a Flavia Albia by Lindsey Davis
Fun little mystery, set in ancient Rome. Flavia Albia is a young woman detective hired to investigate political matters (and ancient Rome is very political). It is jarring to see Flavia acting so "modern" but the book seems so well researched and written that one supposes that it could be possible. I think I would like to read more by this author.
163. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
One of my favorite books of the year. It was a constant delight to read; I never knew what to expect next. There was history, culture, romance, spy stuff, even culinary offerings. Above all, one of the most likable main characters in the history of the novel. I'm sure that I'll be returning to this one for a reread.
164. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
Interesting presentation of the glory of the "White City," the Chicago World's Fair, in conjunction with the story of the sociopathic killer who stalked Chicago at the same time. Chicago is one of my favorite cities, and to learn something of its history was great. I will definitely be looking for more books by the author.
Here is a quote that gives some insight into the author's style and methods:
I do not employ researchers, nor did I conduct any primary research using the Internet. I need physical contact with my sources, and there's only one way to get it. To me every trip to a library or archive is like a small detective story. There are always little moments on such trips when the past flares to life, like a match in the darkness.
166. Magpie Murders: A Novel by Anthony Horowiitz
Great mystery-within-a-mystery, book-within-a-book giving a look inside the publishing world. It was a little difficult to keep the inner "book"s plot and characters separate from the outer, but I think that this is part of the whole concept. The fictional mystery writer built his books from other mysteries, using names, characters, plot elements--so the two story circles add to the complications. Really liked the story and the female book editor's narration.
Here's a quote that I just loved:
You must know that feeling when it's raining outside and the heating's on and you lose yourself, utterly, in a book. You read and you read and you feel the pages slipping through your fingers until suddenly there are fewer in your right hand than there are in your left and you want to slow down but you still hurtle on towards a conclusion you can hardly bear to discover. That is the particular power of the whodunit...
167. To Siri With Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines by Judith Newman
What a great book, both in its subject material, and in the fine writing of it. Newman writes with humor and bravery. All seems very well-researched; resources and further reading lists! as well. Highly recommended (I gave it a full 5 stars).
>42 jnwelch: >43 karenmarie: You know, I read you peep's threads daily, so I would not be surprised to find out that I learned about these great read from you! If you were my "warblers," then thank you! And, >43 karenmarie: thanks for the heads up on the Fadiman book--that one's been on my radar for a while, so I might need to get to it. Thanks!
So nice to see your posts here!
>46 jnwelch: Ain't it grand how we pick up good reading from each other!
It sure is! LT has opened up my reading to such an extent. I hope you aren't embarrassed, but I've found you to be one of my "sure-fire" recommenders--thank you!
I was amazed by "To Siri"--it kept me laughing, then crying, and was just so well-written.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
>47 klobrien2: Wonderful to hear! I'm honored.
I'm with you on "To Siri". I was impressed in so many different ways. I learned so much from just her day to day; in some ways, I learned more from that than from the critically acclaimed overviews.
168. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
A collection of achingly true-to-life stories about a woman of size (sometimes average, sometimes large, sometimes probably too thin), from teenage years through full adulthood. I almost put this away early on, it just seemed so sad. But I have to say that there are insights galore here into the life of a large person and the people who surround her.
I probably wouldn't recommend this to someone who didn't have a real interest in the lives of fat women. Awad's writing is just fine, story plots and characters are realistic. I did give it 3-1/2 stars, but most books that I finish get 4 stars. I might try reading this again and see if my rating changes.
169. Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
Such a comfort read! Miss Marple's last case--a woman remembers a murder that she witnessed as a small child, and the murderer is uncovered thanks to Miss Marple. Lots of fun!
Oh, and despite the bottle of pills on the cover, the title refers to the fact that the case had long since gone cold.
Hi, Karen. Just checking in. You have been doing some excellent reading. Glad you loved Devil in the White City, A Gentleman in Moscow and Magpie Murders. I am a big fan of all of those too.
170. Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles
I am such a fan of this guy now; I'm anxiously awaiting his next book, and joining others in trying to find a way to locate a copy of Eve in Hollywood, a collection of stories about one of the characters in Rules of Civility.
Towles is such an expert at describing places and creating a whole sense of history. In this book, the place is New York, in the years before the start of WWII. Our heroine is Katie, and she is bold, funny, smart.
This book was Towles's first; and I have to say that it didn't seem quite as polished as A Gentleman in Moscow. But I think that this is okay, for a first book, especially when it's as involving and interesting as this one.
171. Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Excellent Easy book, and Carl really is a good dog, although some might think him too permissive and risk-taking. Lots of fun!
172. Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza
Needed a book for the TIOLI "character wears a mask" challenge, and this book has all kinds of kids in masks! Great bit of empowerment and self-esteem for Lucia, who learns (from her grandmother, no less) that girls can be as physical, fast, and strong as boys.
173. Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society by Cordelia Fine
Lots of science in this one, which I struggled with a bit. Fine writes with humor and clarity, and debunks the "of course that's how men act--it's the testosterone!" myths. Copious endnotes, and an index provide the proof here.
Fine's writing made getting through the science quite a bit easier. She uses review and refers to previous chapters to tie things up and provide a framework. I very much appreciated that!
Here's one of my favorite passages, which I'm coming back to add because it's so good. It's also how she wraps up the book:
Apparently we're all for sex equality then. So what now?
We can decide it's too much trouble, and settle for a half-changed world. Alternatively, we can continue with our polite, undemanding panel discussions about gender equality, our good intentions and gentle tinkering, and patiently wait out the fifty to one hundred or so years it's regularly predicted to achieve parity in the workplace. But if neither of these options is appealing, then maybe it's time to be less polite and more disruptive; like the first- and second-wave feminists. They weren't always popular, it's true. But look at what they achieved by not asking nicely. Words are nice, but often deeds work better.
Which of these directions we prefer is up to us: it's a question for our values, not science. But that evolving science is showing that one time-honored option is no longer available to us. It's time stop blaming Testosterone Rex, because that king is dead.
174. Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam by Fawzia Gilani-Williams
Lovely little book, based on folk stories, of two friends, one Jewish, one Muslim. Drawings were gorgeous, too!
Saw this one before on Charlotte's thread, and my library has a copy of the Dutch translation :-)
I hope to read it next month.
>53 klobrien2: lindapanzo mentioned that Eve in Hollywood was on BooksAMillion, so I ordered the download for $2.99 plus .20 tax. I downloaded the Adobe Digital Editions software, created an Adobe ID, and have successfully downloaded Eve in Hollywood to my computer. Downside - can only read it on my computer but apparently because of the Adobe ID read it on other devices. Upside - instant gratification. I will still buy it when Amor Towles offers it somehow later in the fall because I almost consider this a bootleg copy even though BooksAMillion is a fairly large and legit bookstore/website.
>58 FAMeulstee: I found the Yaffa and Fatima book because I was desperate to find a starts-with-Y-book for the TIOLI challenge! Once I saw this one, I was very happy. I really enjoyed the book, and such a beautiful story. The book is published out of Minnesota (where I live) which really impressed me, too. I'm sure you'll enjoy it when you get a chance.
Thanks for stopping by!
>59 karenmarie: Ooh, good news! I haven't used BooksAMillion before, so there is a learning curve for me. I have a Nook, which uses the Adobe PUB format. Do you have a Kindle? I love your determination and fortitude!
Do you think his next book out will be a full-size "Eve in Hollywood" story? Can't wait, in any case!
Thanks for stopping by to chat!
>61 klobrien2: Hi! The only problem I had with the Books-A-Million website is that apparently you can't add a credit card on the fly even though it lets you fill in all the information on the CC screen and then just does nothing. I livechatted with a woman who eventually said I needed to go add the credit card at the account level, which worked, but was irritating and tedious. All for $3.10. I am a very stubborn person, though. *smile*
I have a Kindle. I use it perhaps 5-10% of the time. As I've gotten older I've started using it for chunksters as it's lightweight. Heck, I have two Kindles, as husband bought me a Paperwhite when I couldn't find my old Kindle for a while (it was buried in a stack of papers). I prefer the new one, now, but still don't use it frequently. This year I've read 7 of 79 books on my Kindle.
>63 karenmarie: I'm finding I prefer the Nook over paper books almost all of the time now--and it's because I can read the big books without my hands and wrists hurting from the weight of a big old paper book (arthritis).
Where an ebook does NOT work for me is with anything graphic: the illustrated Harry Potters (or anything illustrated for that matter). Non-fiction is kind of dicey on an ebook; but end-notes are a pain in the neck in paper or electronic format.
So, it's kind of like Ecclesiastes: For every book there is a format; a format of paper, a format of pixels. I hope that isn't being sacreligious!
175. Al Franken Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
This book was such a treat! A real balm for the soul. Franken is the real deal--an honest, sincere, hard-working statesman (not "politician") who is like the anti-Trump. Though Franken is very realistic in his view of the past, present, and future, I feel more hopeful than I have in a while, just to know that he is still in the fight. And he is still as funny as anything!
It was a solid 5-star read for me.
The night before the hearing, there I was with my binder, reading his testimony, getting that old familiar feeling as my lie-dar began to tingle.
It turns out that being a good senator--working hard, sweating the details of legislation, staying focused on the issues that matter to your state, looking for ways to find common ground with the other side even as you stand your ground on your core principles--is good politics.
176. When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
Amazing story of the VBC (Victory Book Club) and the ASE books that were sent out by the hundreds of thousands to soldiers, sailors, and marines during WWII. The impact of these books in increasing morale and providing entertainment and support is unfathomable. The author writes very well and provides a lot of great source material, including endnotes, index, and appendixes listing Germany's Banned Books, and a full list of the Armed Services Editions.
FDR: We all know that book burn--yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory. No man and no force can put thought into a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man's eternal fight against tyranny of every kind. In this war, we know, books are weapons.
I like that - For every book there is a format. I do quite a bit of my reading here at my desk in the Sunroom, where I can lay a chunkster down or tilt it against the printer.
I wish Al Franken was President.....
177. Fables: Legends in Exile, Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham
I'm not sure who it was who brought this series to my attention (berly? jnwelch? avatiakh?) but thank you so much! This first volume reminds me of the TV show "Once Upon a Time," which is a lot of fun, and I'm sure that I'll enjoy this graphic novel series even more. Great writing, great illustration, and snappy plot.
>68 karenmarie: Yes, the propping up thing is the only way to read some paper books.
And I, too, wish Franken were President. Not to get political here, but I think almost anyone else would be better in that job!
Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon!
178. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You That She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Another lovely reading experience from Backman. Here's what the front cover says: When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of dunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones, but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
Elsa is a wonderful characters, funny, smart, and "different"; lots of great characters in this book. The book shows many various kinds of "family" and friendship. It's about grief, and love, and surviving. I would highly recommend this to anyone (especially if you read and liked A Man Called Ove but be aware that there will probably be some tears mixed in with your smiles and laughs.
Here's one of my favorite passages:
George used to say that Granny wasn't a time-optimist, she was a time-atheist, and the only religion she believed in was Do-It-Later-Buddhism.
Happy Saturday, Karen. I am so glad you loved Al Franken Giant of the Senate. It is such a terrific memoir. I need to track down a copy of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You That She's Sorry. I really liked Ove and Beartown.
>72 FAMeulstee: Oh, good! I got you with a book bullet, huh? If you loved Ove, I am pretty sure you'll love this one.
>73 msf59: Happy Saturday to you, too, Mark! I'm actually working (well, not right now ;) ). I liked Beartown too--but such a different book than the others, don't you think?!
I'm waiting for a copy of Britt-Marie Was Here--it's a follow-up to "My Grandmother" and in heavy demand at my library right now. I'll have to make do (sniff, sniff). Like I have ever lacked for something to read!
Thanks to you both for visiting! I love to get posts!
>74 klobrien2: Even started it today, Karen, as I found it at the e-library, and added it as a shared TIOLI read :-)
>75 FAMeulstee: Yay! We love shared TIOLI points! (And I bet you'll love the book!)
Have a great weekend!
>76 klobrien2: Yes, Karen, I loved My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You That She's Sorry, thanks for the recommendation :-)
Hi Karen. We seem to be sharing quite a few reads recently :-) I read Rules of Civility whilst I was on holiday and I started Testosterone Rex this morning! Hoping I can finish the latter by Tuesday for some shared TIOLI points...
I am really enjoying the humour in Testosterone Rex.
>65 klobrien2: 'So, it's kind of like Ecclesiastes: For every book there is a format; a format of paper, a format of pixels.'
Oh, this made me smile :-D
>71 klobrien2: I'm a bit hesitant about trying Backman and I think it's because I disliked Jonas Jonasson's The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared so much and I'm worried I'll feel the same way about Backman. Are they similar? Looking at reviews on the book page it sounds like A Man Called Ove is more like The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry which I did enjoy so maybe I should try it.
>78 souloftherose: Hi! You know, I've never read The Hundred-Year-Old Man so I can't compare them for you. I've found Backman's characters to be eccentric, but lovable. Pure on the inside. The books are funny when the author shows characters interacting, but he doesn't shy away from sad things. I urge you to give one of the Backman books a try!
And thanks for visiting!
And I have to get The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry--I think I had it out from the library at one time, but didn't get to it. Thanks for the reminder!
179. Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett
I find myself on the side of those who really liked this book, and I'm happy to be there. Sure there's tragedy, and dysfunction, but the characters in this "patchwork" family (assembled by step-marriages) rings so true. There is pathos, yes, but also humor, and lots of love.
I loved this paragraph:
If Kumar had his way they would leave for Fiji every year just before Thanksgiving and not return until the New year rang in and the decorations came down. They would swim with the fishes and lie on the beach eating papaya. On the years they were tired of Fiji they would go to Bali or Sydney or any sunny, sandy place whose contained an equal number of consonants and vowels.
180. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Such an eerie, atmospheric book. Terrific book to be reading so close to Halloween.
181. Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth by Joe Hill
I thought this series was all done, but there have been a few new books showing up. This book is actually a set of three stories. Writing is great, illustrations are fantastic.
182. BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop by Kevin Coval
Great assemblage of new poetry, curated by Kevin Coval, my favorite poet at this time.
The poems are hard, dealing with rough life and horrific history. The poets play with words, with structures, and the poems just engage the reader from the get-go.
There is a section of essays at the end of the compilation, providing more insight into the lives of the poets.
Here are two of my favorites:
"Renegades of Funk," (Section VII) by John Murillo
The walls are sprayed in gospel.
This is for
The ones who never made the magazines.
Between breakbeats and bad breaks, broken homes
And flat broke, caught but never crushed. The stars
We knew we were, who recognized the shine
Despite the shade. We renegade in rhyme,
In dance, on trains and walls. We renegade
In lecture halls, the yes, yes, y'all's in suits,
Construction boots, and aprons.
Out of work
Or nine to five, still renegades.
To rest, forgotten renegades. In dirt
Too soon with Kuriaki, Pun, and Pac--
I sing your names in praise, remember why
When we were twelve, we taught ourselves to fly.
Ooh, and one more:
"Blk Girl Art" (after Amiri Baraka) by Jamila Woods
Poems are bullshit unless they are eyeglasses, honey
tea with lemon, hot water bottles on tummies. I want
poems my grandma wants to tell the ladies at church
about. I want orange potato words
soaking in the pot
til their skins fall off, words you
burn your tongue on,
words on sale two for one, words
that keep my feet dry.
I want to hold a poem in my fist in
the alley just in case.
I want a poem for dude at the bus
stop. Oh you can't talk ma? Words to make the body inside
my body less invisible.
Words to teach my sister how to brew remedies in her mouth.
Words that grow mama's hair back.
Words to detangle the kitchen.
I won't write poems unless they are
an instruction manual, a bus
card, warm shea butter on elbows,
water, a finger massage to the scalp,
a broomstick sometimes used for
cleaning and sometimes
A quick hello = you are really zooming through the books!
I'm ...ah... moving... as opposed to zooming through the NT. Tomorrow I'll start John.
184. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
From the author's preface:
This is a story about memories and about letting go. It's a love letter and a slow farewell between a man and his grandson, and between a dad and his boy.
I never meant for you to read it, to be quite honest. I wrote it just because I was trying to sort out my own thoughts, and I'm the kind of person who needs to see what I'm thinking on paper to make sense of it. But it turned into a small tale of how I'm dealing with slowly losing the greatest minds I know, about missing someone who is still here, and how I wanted to explain it all to my children. I'm letting it go now, for what it's worth.
185. Schtick: These Are the Poems People by Kevin Coval
I am growing so fond of Coval's writing, and this collection seems so revealing and expressive of the man himself. I'll keep an eye out for anything else from him!
Here is one of my favorites from the book:
these are the tongues in my mouth:
a barrel of pickles
a pool of cod
my father the storyteller
gags, George burns's jokes, broadway
the year overseas: an english
of mutton stew, fish & chips and curry
and of course Chicago
and which side
its borders, my own diaspora
pilsen four years
Gwendolyn Brooks, Algren's
northside polish haunts
the stark light of day
break in an alley, a walk-
a-bout of historic mounds
wounds I have songs for
closed and shut down, spots
disappeared. the pidgin
of the academy I learned in public
libraries, a post-modernity
for post-industrialism. journals
and books on hold. the Sulzer
my preferred branch
ransacked for blues
this city has born.
there is the crutch
of suburbia, the likesand ya knows
i've tried to excavate
the north shore nonchalance
the world customized for you.
there are students who stack my vocabulary
with the latest ingenuity. south- and westside
joes who pledge allegiance to southern rappers
who sound like where their great grandma came from
vowel slow roasted like bbq words on a spit
in your mouth, yes y'aawwwlll.
there is the synthesis of this. the blend
of Flash's hands, mixed strands on the tongue.
the sense of the sentence, its regionalism
and broken syntax.
my family cannot feel me
fully. i speak a fractured tongue
a new Yiddish, an english of broken
worlds, new words mashed together,
an appropriate appropriator. maybe
the network will get the message
i scribble in bottles of old english.
Rog & Idris, Angel & Denizen
anyone mixed and working and torn
between two cultures or more
bridged between multiple devotions
practiced in Wu-Tang slang, X-clan science
the specificity of woody allen neurosis
the outrage of stones vs. tanks
anger and diction, the desire
to communicate, to be felt
>88 jnwelch: What?? You know Kevin Coval personally? That is like the coolest thing ever. I've seen Coval twice on TV--The Daily Show--and have been so impressed by him. And I love his poetry. He is such a fighter for social equity, it seems. There are a few other of his books that I need to get my hands on, too!
Jamila--his wife? I will have to research!
Thanks for visiting and for posting!
186. Ben's Flying Flowers by Inger Maier
Sweet and touching children's book about death and dying and how to survive the experience with positivity and healing.
>89 klobrien2: Oh yeah, Kevin Coval was great on the Daily Show, wasn't he? He's so smart and articulate. He is a fighter for equity, you're right; he's an admired guy in this community.
Jamila Woods is much younger and not related to him. She came up as a slam poet through YCA's Louder Than a Bomb competition. (BTW, there's a great documentary on that competition called "Louder Than a Bomb"; last I knew, Netflix had it). Besides being a fine poet, she's got quite a singing voice, and has performed on TV with Chance the Rapper (another YCA grad, and the guy who wrote the Foreword to Kevin's book).
>91 jnwelch: Well, I have to find that documentary (Louder Than a Bomb)! The concept of the YCA is great.
I think Chance the Rapper was on The Daily Show, too! (I just love that show--a lot of my recent reading is because I saw the book authors on the show; it's kind of a tasting menu situation). I should go through my completed reads and highlight the ones that stem from my viewership of The Daily Show!
Thanks again for visiting and posting! I'm working my way through the threads, so I will be seeing what you're up to.
187. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (illustrated) by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay
Dazzing, gorgeous illustrations are the magnificent icing on the very tasty book by Rowling. Most pages have some kind of sketches or paintings, and a few of the double-page spread illustration literally made me gasp upon turning the page. The attention to detail is marvelous, and the book is a total treat to read.
Keep an eye out, Karen - Chance the Rapper is going to host Saturday Night Live(!), my wife tells me. I'm not sure how soon.
187. Chemistry: A Novel by Weike Wang
I really enjoyed this funny, at times heart-breaking, but always charming, read. The heroine of the novel (never named) is a chemistry graduate student, child of cold and impersonal parents. As a result, she is unable to commit: to her boyfriend, to her career in chemistry. There is hope, however, in her spirit, her sense of humor, and her intelligence. Great read!
A few passages that struck my fancy:
The lab mate often echoes the wisdom of many chemists before her. You must love chemistry even when it not working. You must love chemistry unconditionally.
Three hundred years ago, the world was believed to be a flat plate that rested on an elephant that rested on a turtle. Below that turtle there was another turtle and below that turtle as another one. It was turtles all the way down.
What Doctor Who said: A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.
189. Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown
I'm a real fan of the Dan Brown "Robert Langdon, symbologist" novels (and movies, for that matter). I'm not hyper-critical of any silliness or overblown writing. I suspend disbelief and just have fun.
This was a fun read. The book is set in Spain, mostly in Bilbao and Barcelona, and the descriptions of the architecture and art are really interesting. The plot of the book focuses on two questions: Where did we come from? and Where are we going? I am left with a mind full of thoughts about the book and its meaning--pretty good for a popular author of a popular book!
190. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
This book did remind me a bit of A Man Called Ove, maybe because in both cases, a man towards the end of life, gets a chance to deal with what that life has been and can yet be. It also reminded me of Pilgrim's Progress, I guess because of the obvious pilgrimage going on. :)
I loved the concept of Harold's just off and starting a walk to visit his friend from decades ago who is dying of cancer. The story is really heartbreaking, especially when you learn more of the painful lives that Harold and his wife lead. But there is always hope, and this book is a very hope-filled one.
I hope you are enjoying / enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I sure did.
>100 vancouverdeb: Greatly enjoyed! (I must get around to completing all of my "reports"!) It did remind me a bit of A Man Called Ove, maybe because in both cases, a man towards the end of life, gets a chance to deal with what that life has been and can be. I've picked up The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, also by Rachel Joyce; Queenie, of course, was a character in Unlikely Pilgrimage. Have you read the Queenie book?
Thank you so much for visiting!
>93 klobrien2: I've got that one on the list I gave daughter for Christmas. I hope she gets it for me! She got me the first one several years ago.
>102 karenmarie: And the third one is illustrated now, too!
The illustrations (drawings and paintings) are fantastic. There are some double-page painting that almost made me gasp with their beauty and how they enhanced the story.
As the books in the series get longer, they seem to be saving space by printing two-up on a page. The books are quite hefty, though!
I hope you get it for Christmas!
Thanks for stopping by!
>105 jnwelch: Origin moved a little slowly at points, but overall it was a lot of fun! I watched a documentary on Barcelona today, and it was so cool to be able to recall plot point from the book and the places where they occurred. I hope you like it when you get a chance to read it!
>104 msf59: Again, I get so many good reads from you, Mark! Your "warbling" is almost a guarantee that I'm going to like the book as well. So, here's my cumulative thank you!
Thanks to you both for visiting and stopping to chat!
>102 karenmarie: I got the third illustrated Harry Potter from the library yesterday! I think it weighs about twice as much as the first one! But it is a seriously beautiful book on the outside, and I'm finding it to be on the inside as well
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.
What a nice sentiment, Paul! I am thankful for your sharing that! :)
192. Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham
This series is such fun and so well-done. Learning more about the main characters, Snow White and Digby Wolf (the "storybook lovers").
193. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J, K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay
Beautiful, beautiful book--the combination of the great story by Rowling and the magnificent and always surprising illustrations by Kay are just amazing. The only negative is that the physical books (the only way to read these illustrated treasures) are getting to be really heavy! Good to use a table or other prop to read them.
This one was just recently published. I'm assuming that there will a fourth? (I hope, I hope).
194. The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith
Can this possibly be the 18th in the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series?? And it is--I looked it up. I really like this series, and this one is among the best of the books. The writing is clean and polished, the description of places and people is wonderful, and there is both humor and pathos. A treat for the soul, as always.
Here are a few of my favorite passages from the book, fairly representative of why I so like Alexander McCall Smith's writing:
...these matters had been resolved satisfactorily, which meant, in Mma Ramotswe's view, that all those concerned had been persuaded to see reason That, she felt, was the key to the solution of any problem: you did not look for a winner who would take everything, you found a way of allowing people to save face; you found a way of healing rather than imposing.
It was a time of day when the sun had all but sunk into the Kalahari, when shadows lengthened and the glare and heat of the day was replaced by a far gentler light and a less ferocious warmth. It was a time of returning birds, of drifting wood smoke, of murmuring voices coming from somewhere nearby, beyond the scrub bush at the end of her yard, where people sometimes walked or sat or went to talk about things they needed to talk about.
195. Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972 by Dave Bidini
I found this book by accident: I was browsing through my library's ebooks, looking for the latest book by Joe Biden, and this one rode along with the others (similar last name). It just so happened that I had been listening to some Lightfoot albums, reliving my childhood (I was basically raised on Lightfoot and other Canadian musicians) so the timing was something. I'd also been reading Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward, and the infamous Cathy Evelyn Smith, who administered the speedball that killed Belushi, was involved with Lightfoot over the years. So, lots of coincidences.
This book takes a very interesting approach to the subject of the title. The focus of the book is the Mariposa Music Festival (held in Toronto) of 1972. Gordon Lightfoot was there, along with other "stars" of folk/rock of the times. The festival was never meant to be about the "stars" but they showed up for this one.
While the book uses the framework of the week surrounding the festival in Toronto, it also deals with Canadian and American news of the times; in fact, it covers world events, but all during that snapshot of time. The author excel at detailing American pop culture of the time--I was 14 years old in 1972, and absorbed absolutely everything from TV and radio, I think. Felt such identification with Bidini's descriptions. Interspersed with history, humor, stories from people involved with Mariposa and Gordon Lightfoot, the author writes "letters" to Lightfoot about his life.
I found the book really interesting, very helpful in understanding Gordon Lightfoot, person and musician. I will definitely be looking for other books by the author.
I’m next in line for the latest Precious book. Great to hear it’s a strong addition to the series.
The Gordon Lightfoot book looks really good too! This Canadian will definitely be keeping my eye for it.
>115 raidergirl3: I was surprised at how much I liked Writing Gordon Lightfoot, once I figured out the structure and the author's style. Lots of humor, sadness, insider stuff. I hope you like it.
There are a few books that I want to locate, that no library in the States has, only Canadian libraries! And they are way too expensive to buy used. Lightfoot: If You Could Read His Mind by Maynard Collins and Chasing the Dragon by Cathy Evelyn Smith (yes, her). I *think* my librarians can request books from Canada (I hope so--the snoop in me wants to learn all!)
Thanks for stopping by to chat!
>114 klobrien2: For some reason I am SO amused at the thought of a book about Gordon Lightfoot - I have no idea why! I'm definitely a fan. I may have to indulge if I can come up with an inexpensive copy.
>117 Dejah_Thoris: The book is a little quirky, but I liked it. If Lightfoot is a hero for you, be aware that the book might make it plain that heroes sometimes have feet of clay. But the book is not mean or gossipy--just looking for truth. The author is a real fan of Lightfoot's.
Thanks for stopping by!
>107 klobrien2: They are luscious little stories. I'm happily waiting for his next book, too!
196. Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward
Illuminating but sad biography of John Belushi that I just could not stop reading. I knew the ending, but maybe subconsciously wanted the end to be different. The drug culture was just unbelievable--so many lives ruined by drugs and out-of-control lives.
197. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
I have given this book two tags: love stories and death and dying. I think it is, foremost, a love story between Queenie and Harold (of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but also between Queenie and Harold's son, between Queenie and her co-residents in the hospice where she awaits Harold's visit, between Queenie and the nuns who tend to the dying there; really, the love story between Queenie and the world. The book is beautifully, lovingly created.
The author explains some things about this book in her Reader's Guide:
And so I set out to write a book about dying that was full of life. It seems to me that you can't really write about one without the other--just as you can't really write about happiness if you don't confront sadness. It's by looking at the whole shape of something, I think, that you see it for what it is....
And for the record, I still would say that I have not written a sequel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I have not written a prequel either. What I have written is a book that sits alongside Harold Fry. They really should come that way--her in the passenger seat, him in the driver's seat. Side by side.
I would call this book a companion.
My reading goal is to hit 200 books read this year, and I'm sure that I'll make that goal. Here's what I have going right now:
Wonders of the World: 100 Great Man-made Treasures of Civilization by Rosemary Burton
What Happened by Hillary Clinton
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby (wow! lots of books starting with "W")
The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella by Fredrik Backman (yay!) (this one looks like a great Christmas-ey read)
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
Plus I have two LT Early Reader books that by now I am unimaginably late in report-filing. It would be great to have those done by year-end.
So I have a lot of reading to do, but all good, lots of variation.
My goodness, Karen! You're a reading dynamo. I'll be happy to hit my 100 book goal.
I'm due two LT ER books. Frankly I think they do some fudging or resetting because there are two books I got about 5 years ago that I never reviewed, yet this year I've asked for and received books in October and November and have a pending request for December. Not complaining, and should eventually review the books.
Good luck with your December reading.
>124 karenmarie: The two ER books I have are probably that old, as well! Yikes. And they gave you more books? Maybe I should try for more. Nothing wrong with free books.
I'll be really happy if I finish the first 5 on my list--some because I'm already well on my way to being done with them, the others because I've been waiting a long time to get them. 202 is a nice symmetrical number, right?
Thanks for stopping by to chat, Karen!
You obviously will have no trouble reaching 200! Enjoy your (excellent) list of current books!
>126 Dejah_Thoris: What the Princess said.
Have a lovely Sunday, Karen.
198. Wonders of the World: 100 Great Man-Made Treasures of Civilization by Rosemary Burton
I checked this book out from my library after I'd read Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown, which is set in Spain (largely in Barcelona). I wanted to see some of the places that Brown always includes in his novels.
But I got much more than information on La Sagrada Familia in this book; this is a global travelogue to the world, specifically, man-made "treasures," including buildings, railroads, ruins, churches, temples, what-have-you. Lots of information for if one plans to go travel to the different places; tons of history about their foundation and the ramifications. Excellent photographs, in a large-sized format, for those more graphically minded.
199. Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott
Fun, beautiful story and fantastic illustrations make this little gem so much fun to read.
200. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
A well-written, informative apologia/analysis/explanation, providing both balm for the soul and encouragement for the future. Clinton is so smart and so funny, and that comes through quite well in this book. Here's one of my favorite quotes from the book. Clinton and Trump are participating in their third debate, hosted by Chris Wallace of Fox News:
"The most important question of this evening, Chris, is finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this, and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election," I said. Trump retreated to his usual pro-Putin talking points: "He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good." Then, turning to me, he added, "Putin, from everything I see, has no respect for this person."
"Well," I fired back, "that's because he would rather have a puppet as President of the United States." Trump seemed befuddled. "No puppet. No puppet. You're the puppet," he stammered
I think about that line every time I see him on TV now. When he's yucking it up in the Oval Office with the Russian foreign minister and divulging classified information. When he's giving the cold shoulder to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and other European allies. When he's lying through his teeth about Russia or anything else. "No puppet. No puppet. You're the puppet." This man is President of the United States. And no one is happier than Vladimir Putin.
And I made 200! I never would have thought I'd get to this number. I've enjoyed my reading so much this year; I so love the eclectic nature of it. And I love how LT makes it so easy to do.
I'm not done yet for the year; I still hope to finish most of the books I listed in >123 klobrien2:. And some others. Maybe after Christmas!
>131 klobrien2: Congratulations, Karen, for making your goal!
I feel the same about eclectic reading and LT.
>132 karenmarie: What Happened was, surprising, comforting. Clinton really lets us know the horrible things that went on during the campaign (nothing we hadn't heard of already), but she remains positive and provides possible "next steps." And she has got this dry wit and great writing skills. I hope you give it a chance!
Thanks for stopping by!
>133 FAMeulstee: I have never, ever read this much in one year! And I've been a pretty voracious reader. LT has really helped, but TIOLI and the shared challenge notion have just accelerated my desire to read. I am looking forward to keeping up with everybody next year!
So good to see you here--it's such a treat to have visitors.
201. The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
Backman is currently one of my very favorite authors. This little novella (with drawings!) is a thoughtful little essay (though presented as fiction) about life, family, and what is the legacy that we can leave when we die. A little supernatural, but sweet.
Back in message 123, books I wanted to get through yet this year:
Wonders of the World: 100 Great Man-made Treasures of Civilization by Rosemary Burton - completed
What Happened by Hillary Clinton - completed
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - reading
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby (wow! lots of books starting with "W") - reading, almost done
The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella by Fredrik Backman (yay!) (this one looks like a great Christmas-ey read) - completed
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks - probably won't be reading--didn't catch my attention
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
So I'm making pretty good progress to finishing these books. I'm thinking that I'll have more reading time after Christmas (duh!)
>140 karenmarie: Oh, good! I hope you like it as much as I did.
I'm sure you'll make your goal--there's a whole third of the month left! I've been so impressed with your steadiness at the Bible reading. That shows such dedication and long-term thinking. Good job! And thanks for stopping by.
>141 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks! I started the year only wanting to read more than last year's 145. I have to go check and see what your numbers are getting to--I'm thinking, way up there! It's been a good year for reading (for me); I haven't had too many clunkers, and lots of gems.
Thanks for stopping by!
Stopping by to wish you and yours all good things this holiday season.
Happy holidays! I am thankful this holiday season for all the good friends I have made in this group. You are all so supportive. I don't know what I'd do without you!
It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:
Best wishes for the holiday season, Karen, and peace and joy to you and yours!
Well, another Christmas season is winding down. We had a nicely full house with the "usual suspects" -- my husband and four cats, two sisters, our daughter and her two little boys (husband was recovering from sinus surgery and didn't feel up to traveling from Duluth) and our son. It was a blessed time, but now I'm enjoying the quiet again.
Those aforementioned visiting "little people" are the reason for the next set of books that I am including in my yearly book total. Granted, they are very small books, quickly read, but I would love to get my total up to three sets of "75" = 225. Can I do it? I don't know, but we'll see.
202. Little Tree (Dragonfly Books) by e. e. cummings, ill. by Deborah Kogan Ray
Lovely little book, with such color and light. Lots of things to look for and to point to.
203. How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen
So funny and clever; these big dinosaurs have human parents and dogs and cats as pets and nobody thinks twice about it.
204. I'm Not Santa (Baby Owl) by Jonathan Allen
A case of mistaken identity is so sweet and fluffy.
205. What Cats Want for Christmas by Kandy Radzinski
Beautiful drawings of cats!
206. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Clever little girl is a builder and a problem-solver!
207. Story of the Leprechaun by Katherine Tegen
Fun little story about a leprechaun who gets the last laugh.
The ongoing saga of the books that I wanted to finish this year:
Wonders of the World: 100 Great Man-made Treasures of Civilization by Rosemary Burton - completed
What Happened by Hillary Clinton - completed
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates - reading (ebook--used up my checkout and now I'll have to wait to finish it. I am about halfway through)
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby (wow! lots of books starting with "W") - completed
The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella by Fredrik Backman (yay!) (this one looks like a great Christmas-ey read) - completed
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks - probably won't be reading--didn't catch my attention
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm - reading
Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman - reading (I actually bought an electronic copy for my Nook!)
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (ebook--used up my checkout and will wait for it back. I'd only read one story, so this will be a 2018 book).
I'm halfway through another Fredrik Backman, Britt-Marie Was Here and loving it--I'll probably finish tonight.
I've got another few ebooks from the library that I want to get to after Britt-Marie:
Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt
An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic by Daniel Mendelsohn
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I've picked up a few more library books that I want to get to soon:
Twelve Angry Librarians: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery by Miranda James
Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic by British Library
Living Better With Hearing Loss by Katherine Bouton
Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers by Bill Willingham
Whispering Pines: The Northern Roots of American Music by Jason Schneider
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor
Always too many books, too little time. Although I don't think there is such a things as "too many books." :)
208. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
A very funny, but sometimes edgy collection of essays by the author. I've read a number of autobiographical collections by young and youngish female writers this year and have enjoyed them very much. I'd put this one right in with the others--Irby is smart, hilarious, honest, and definitely seems to have a heart of gold.
209. Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
Well, I think I'm up-to-date on Backman books, at least until his next book is published in the new year. I really enjoy his characters and plots--usually Swedish (well, he IS Swedish), and often involving player-participation sports, which is fun. And the ongoing motif of a person, toward the end of life, getting another chance to do things right, to right wrongs. That's a nice recipe for a good read.
She wonders how much space a person has left in her soul to change herself, once she gets older. What people does she still have to meet, what will they see in her, and what will they make her see in herself.
Sometimes it's easier to go on living, not even knowing who you are, when at least you know precisely where you are while you go on not knowing.
Hi, John! Thanks for the cute greeting. And Happy Holidays to you, too!
I find Backman so easy to read and his characters so likable. The Britt-Marie book was the continuation of the character from My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry so it was nice to see what happened to her after the first book was done.
Hope you get a chance to read more Backman in the new year!
My RL book club is slated to read A Man Called Ove for our February discussion. Lots of raves here on LT, so I'm hopeful.
Hi, yourself, Karen!
I hope you like "Ove"; I think you will.
You know, they made a movie out of the book, too--I think it stayed pretty loyal to the book, and it was really enjoyable (IMHO).
Best wishes for the new year, Karen!
We loved the Ove movie, too. I think it stayed pretty loyal, too. And good casting.
210. Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm
I read this book as partial fulfillment of my training at the library. A terrific combination of theory and practicality, I think it will one of the more useful training activities I've done lately.
The book, based on an early article that the author did, is presented from the child's point of view, and the author, a mother of two kids with autism, keeps the focus on the children (where it should be).
A terrific "last book" for 2017!
I didn't make my three complete 75-books, but came darn close. Lots of good reading this year, just plain *lots* of reading. The most books I've read in a year! And it was never a grind or imposition. So, on to the new year!
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