Streamsong #4 Long Cozy Evenings
This is a continuation of the topic Streamsong Long Days of Light.
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This is what fall in the Bitterroot Mountains is supposed to look like - beautiful mountain peaks dusted in snow and larch trees turning color in the high country.
Unfortunately, this year we are smoked in - with wildfires throughout Montana, air quality is unhealthy to hazardous and visibility is nil.
I'm doing a snow dance for the high country, and hope we'll get our golden days soon!
Update as of September 18th - SNOW SNOW beautiful snow on the mountains, calmed the fires and made the air clear again.
Hi and welcome!
I'm Janet. I've retired in October 2016 from my job as a research technician in an NIH lab here in western Montana.
The Montana Rocky Mountains are a beautiful part of the country, close to both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.
I plan to do a lot more outside exploring as well as traveling now that I have more time.
I have an elderly golden retriever, two cats and more horses than I need :-)
I'm continuing to read my way around the world using the list of 192 permanent members of the UN plus 3 additional. (post at >7 )
I 'm also reading from the combined 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.
I usually read about 100 books a year. This year, I've had some eye problems which have slowed down my reading and participation in the many wonderful challenges.
The ones I have been semi-participating in:
American Authors Challenge
British Authors Challenge
Chatterbox's Non-Fiction Challenge
Rachel's Political Challenge
Another goal is to decrease the number of books on my physically-owned Planet TBR:
And of course, I'll be reading some downright fluff in the way of mysteries and comfort reads!
2016 : https://www.librarything.com/topic/235503
- The Beak of the Finch - Jonathan Weiner - 1995 - ROOT
- On Beauty - Zadie Smith - 2005- 1001 - ROOT acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
- Ten Days That Shook the World - John Reed - Lit seminar; acq'e 2017
- Bel Canto - Ann Patchett - 2001; American Author Challenge - October; ROOT acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
And of no interest to my bookish friends on here, I am also reading this:
North American Sport Horse Breeder - Kathleen Hiney Kirsan
Even though I don't raise sporthorses, the combination of horse breeding and genetics is irresistible to me!
Finished but not reviewed:
- Brooklyn - Colm Toibin - 2009 - RLBC - acq'd 2017
- Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory - Michael Korda - 2017 - library
- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby - 1997 - TIOLI # ; library
- A Hiss Before Dying - Rita Mae Brown - LTER - 2017
- The Call - Yannick Murphy - library
- Daring to Drive - Manal al-Sharif - 2017 - Global Reading: Saudi Arabia; library
- A Dog Named Christmas - Greg Kincaid - 2009 - ROOT #23/50 acq'd 2009 = 1 ROOT Point = 55/225
- Call Me Mrs Miracle - Debbie Macomber - 2010 - ROOT - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point
BOOKS READ FIRST QUARTER 2017
1. Evicted - Matthew Desmond - 2016 - group read - library
2. The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obrecht - 2011; acquired 2012 = 5 ROOT points
3. Parable of the Sower -Octavia Butler - 1993 - AAC; Library
4. March: Book Two - John Lewis - 2015 - library
5. Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond- 1997 - NF Award Winner Challenge; ROOT # 2/50; acq'd 2008 = 9 ROOT points - 14/225 (print copy on MT TBR/listened to audio)
6. My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante - 2011 - Real Life Book Club - Global Reading - Italy; ROOT #3/50 - Acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point 15/225
7. The House in Paris - Elizabeth Bowen -1935 - BAC, 1001, ROOT # 4/50; acquired 2016 =1 ROOT point = 16/225
8. Transit - Anna Seghers - 1944 - Lit seminar; Feb TIOLI #6. Read a book where the author’s first name begins with an A, B, or C ; acq'd 2017
9. Witch of Lime Street - David Jaher - 2016 - LTER; ROOT #5/50; Acq'd 2016 =17/225; TIOLI #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (Get caught up with my LTER reviews)
10. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell - 1851 - 1001 group read; WomenCat - Classic by a woman - Feb TIOLI #5: Read a book where both “humor” and “romance” are words listed in the tags for that book; audiobook from library
11. March: Book Three - John Lewis - TIOLI #19: Read a memoir by a living author of a different gender from yours - library
12. The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America - George Packer - 2013; TIOLI # #3: Read a book that's relevant to one of your new year's resolutions (becoming more politically aware); library
13. Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump - G. B. Trudeau - 2016 - Feb TIOLI #9. Read a book that is a satire; purchased 2017
14. Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - 2015 - RLBC; acq'd 2017
15. Thud! - Terry Pratchett - 205 - Feb BAC; March TIOLI #7 - Read a book where the author's first or last name has exactly five letters; ROOT #6/50 (not previously entered in LT = 1 ROOT point - 18/225), own print version - audio from library
16. The Poet's Dog - Patricia MacLachlan - children's book, library
17. City of Secrets - Stewart O'Nan - 2016 - Feb AAC; Global Reading: Israel; library; audiobook
18. Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - 1992 - Global Reading: Martinique; lit seminar; acquired 2017
19. The Inconvenient Indian - Thomas King -2012 - CultureCat: Cultural Awareness and Diversity; library
20.The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - John Le Carre - 1963 - March BAC; 1001; TIOLI #12: Read a book with a title word or author name that rhymes with "pi" (shared read); library; audiobook
21. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit- 2017- Michael Finkel; TIOLI 14. Read a book with a title which has as its exact middle letter the last letter of the preceding book; library
22. A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman - 2012 (first translated) - RLBC; RLBC; TIOLI #8 Read a book whose title begins with the letters of MARCH in rolling fashion; - ROOT # 7/50- acq'd 2016 - 1 ROOT point - 19/225
23. Human Acts - Kang Han - 2016 - Global Reading: South Korea; LTER; TIOLI #2: Read a book set in a real country other than the US, Great Britain, France or Germany; ROOT #8/50; 2016 = 1 ROOT point = 20/225
24. Canoeing With the Cree - Eric Sevareid - 1935 - TIOLI #6. Read a book with a title that makes you think of spring; library
25. Born a Crime - Trevor Noah - 2016 - Global Reading: South Africa - library
26. The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero - Timothy Egan ROOT #9/50; acq'd 2016; 1 ROOT point = 21/225; listening to audiobook from library
27. The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson - 2017 - TIOLI#1. Read a book whose title has two words sharing one adjacent letter across those two words - 2017 - library
28. My Life in France - Julia Child - 2004 - NF Challenge: Hobbies; WomenCat - Memoirs; ROOT # 10/50; Acq'd 2013 = 4 ROOT points (25/225) listened to audio from library
29. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi - 2016 - RLBC; Global Reading: Ghana; TIOLI# 21. Read a book by a woman which has been listed for a book award since 2015; ROOT #11/50; 2016 = 1 ROOT point (26/225)
30. Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich - 1984; WomenCat- Debut Book by Woman author; 1001; 13. Read a book with the word egg or eggs in the title or text ROOT #12/50 - acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point - 27/225
31. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley - 2013 - 75'er's NF challenge - hobbies & Pasttimes; TIOLI #Read a Graphic "Novel" that is autobiography or biography; graphic non-fiction; library
32. The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollen - 2006 - ROOT#13/50; acq'd 2007 = 10 ROOT points - listening to audiobook - 27/225
33. Among the Creationists - Jason Rosenhouse - 2012- CultureCat: Religious Diversity; ROOT #14/50; Acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point = 28/225
- Audiobook was abridged.
34. At Blackwater Pond: Mary Oliver reads Mary Oliver - Mary Oliver - 2006 - April AAC poetry; audiobook from library
35. The Beekeeper's Apprentice - Laurie R King - 1994 - May Mystery & Mayhem; ROOT #15/50; acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point (29/225)
36. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston - 1937 - May AAC- 1001 (reread); ROOT #16/50 acquired 2014 = 2 ROOT points (31/225); listened to audio
37. Flight - Sherman Alexie - 2007 - AAC; audiobook from library
38. Bleak House - Charles Dickens - 1853; group read; 1001; acq'd 2017
39. The Burma Chronicles - Guy Delisle - 2007; graphic memoir; Global Reading - Myanmar; library
40. Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline - 2013 - Library Brown Bag Book Club; tioli #2: Read a book in which an important character has red hair; library
41. Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal? - Jeanette Winterson - 2011 - library
BOOKS READ THIRD QUARTER
42. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - 1997; 1001 Books to Read Before You Die; Global Reading: Japan; TIOLI #8 - Book Published between 1955 and 2017; ROOT#17/50; acquired 2011 = 6 ROOT points (37/225)
43. The Birchbark House - Louise Erdrich - 1999 - Shared Erdrich read; TIOLI #12 Read a book that doesn't end on the last page (Note on Ojibwa language and Ojibwa glossary) - library
44. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me - Sherman Alexie TIOLI #8 - Book Published between 1955 and 2017; - library, audiobook - 2017
45. Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild 2016; RLBC; acq'd 2017
46. Radium Girls - Kate Moore - 2017 - LTER - TIOLI #14: Read a book with a word in the title or series title indicating hot or cold) - 2017
47. Love That Dog - Sharon Creech - 2001 - children's novel in verse. TIOLI # 16. Read a book that has an animal as the main focus or character; library
48. Dance of the Jakaranda -Peter Kimani - 2017- LTER - Global Reading: Kenya; acq'd 2017
49. Hate That Cat - Sharon Creech - 2008 -TIOLI #10. Read a book with at least two words in the title where all the title words are of one syllable (shared read) - library
50. American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and… - David Baron - 2017 - LTER; TIOLI #18 - Read a book with an eclipse or wedding word in the title; audiobook
51. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami - 2002; Group Read; 1001; Global Reading: Japan; TIOLI #9: Read a book of at least 450 pages and 4 LT stars; library
52. The Arrival - Shaun Tan - 2006 -Australian author; TIOLI #15: Read a "wordless" book; library book
53. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann - 2017 - TIOLI #18 - Read a book with an eclipse or wedding word in the title; library
54. Fourth of July Creek - Smith Henderson - 2014; acq'd 2015 = ROOT#18/50; 2 ROOT points = 39/225; listened to audio
55. Norse Mythology- Neil Gaiman - 2017 - audiobook, library
56. The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen -2015; RLBC; Global Reading: Vietnam; acquired 2017
57. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot - 2010 - RLBC -(reread) - ROOT #19/50; acq'd 2013 = 4 ROOT points = 43/225
58. How to Be Human - Paula Cocozza - LTER; TIOLI #4. Read a book which you must read; 2017
59. The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen Flynn - 2017 - audiobook - library
60. Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women - Ghada Alatrash -2016; LTER; Global Reading: Syria; TIOLI # 14:Read a book with an interesting dedication - acq'd 2017
61. The Elephant's Journey - Jose Saramago - 2008 - RLBC; TIOLI # 15. Read a book with a title that names a living thing; Global Reading: Portuguese author; acq'd 2017
62. The Snows of Kilimanjaro - Ernest Hemingway - 1936 - AAC Short Stories; ROOT #20/50; cataloged into LT 2012 = 5 ROOT points (48/225)
63. Oedipus Rex - Sophocles - TIOLI #6: Read a book that has a significant relationship to a book you read in August (Kafka on the Shore) - library
64. Longbourn - Jo Baker - 2013 - audiobook - library
BOOKS READ FOURTH QUARTER
65. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas - 2017 - TIOLI #6. Read a book where the authors first name starts with a vowel; YA; library book
66.- Hillbilly Elegy - J. D. Vance - 2016 - Rachel's political read - TIOLI #10. (shared) Read a book where the author's name contains a common noun (Van) library
67. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story - Haroon Moghul - 2017 - LTER - September NF Challenge - Religion; Global Reading - United Arab Emirates; acq'd 2017
68. March - Geraldine Brooks - 2005; RLBC; Pulitzer Prize; ROOT #21/50; acq'd 2015 = 2 ROOT points (50/225)
69. Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - 1990- Reread - audiobook - ROOT #22/50; acq'd 06/13; = 4 ROOT points = 54/225
70. Little Women -Louisa May Alcott - 1868 - Reread; 1001; (Reading March for RLBC in October); library book
71. Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection - Edgar Allan Poe - Read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone - 2000; Halloween Reading Challenge; acq'd 2017
72. Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins - 2012- AAC short stories; Reading the states: Nevada; acq'd 2017
73. Brooklyn - Colm Toibin - 2009 - RLBC - acq'd 2017
74. For Two Thousand Years - Mihail Sebastian - 2017 - LTER - Global Reading: Romania - 2017
75. Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory - Michael Korda - 2017 - library
76. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby - 1997 - TIOLI # ; library
77. A Hiss Before Dying - Rita Mae Brown - LTER; TIOLI # 2 - Read a book that has a word in the title that describes how you feel when the wiki is not working (Hiss); 2017
78. The Call - Yannick Murphy - 2011- library
79. Daring to Drive - Manal al-Sharif - 2017 - Global Reading: Saudi Arabia; library
80. A Dog Named Christmas - Greg Kincaid - 2009 - ROOT #23/50 acq'd 2009 = 1 ROOT Point = 55/225
81. Call Me Mrs Miracle - Debbie Macomber - 2010 - ROOT #24/50; acq'd 2016 = 1 ROOT point - 56/225
82. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson - 1972 - Reread (almost evey Christmas!) ROOT #25/50 acquired 2007 = 10 ROOT points 66/225
83. On Beauty - Zadie Smith - 2005; 1001 Books; ROOT #26/50; acquired 2016 = 1 ROOT point = 67/225 - audiobook
84. Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures and the Search for… - Annette McGivney - 2017- Outside Beyond Book Club acq'd 2017
85. A Christmas Memory - Truman Capote - 1956 - ROOT #26/50; entered 2007 = 10 ROOT points 77/225 (Reread)
****************************STATISTICS FOR BOOKS READ IN 2017***************
85 - TOTAL BOOKS COMPLETED IN 2017 ****
Of the books I've read this year:
- cataloged into LT 2006 or before
4 - cataloged into LT 2007
1 - cataloged into LT 2008
- cataloged into LT 2009
- cataloged into LT 2010
2 - cataloged into LT 2011
1 - cataloged into LT 2012
2 - cataloged into LT 2013
1 - cataloged into LT 2014
2 - cataloged into LT 2015
13 - acquired 2016
1 - acquired previously but not cataloged until 2017 (have lots of these!)
19 - acquired 2017
38 - borrowed from library & elsewhere
18 - Audiobook
1 - e-reader
60 - Print
6 - Combo audio & print
34 - Fiction (may fit into more than one category)
12 - 1001 Books
5 - children's fiction
11 - general fiction
1 - graphic novel
10 - literary fiction
2 - novel in verse
4 - sff
4 - short stories
3 - thriller/mystery
2 - YA
31 - Non-Fiction (may fit into more than one category)
- 1 - Anthropology
- 17 - Autobiography/Biography/Memoir
- 3- Cooking, Food
- 3 - History
- 3 - Medical/Science
- 3 - Nature/ Outdoors
- 3 - Politics/Government
- 4 - Sociology/ psychology
- 4 - Spirituality
- 1 - Travel
- 2 - True Crime
4 - poetry
1 - combined poetry and short stories
1 - plays
-1- cartoon satire
48 - Male Authors
38 - Female Authors
- Combination or Mix of male and female
53 - Authors who are new to me
29 - Authors read before
6 - Rereads
Multiple books read in 2017 by same author:
Sherman Alexie - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me & Flight
Sharon Creech - Love That Dog & Hate That Cat
Louise Erdrich - The Birchbark House & Love Medicine
Neil Gaiman - Good Omens & Norse Mythology
John Lewis - March: Book Two & March: Book Three
Nationality of Author:
1 - Australia
2 - Canada
1 - Canadian/Syrian
2 - France /Caribbean/ Martinique
1 - Ghana/US
1 - German
1 - Greek
1 - Ireland
1 - Irish /UK
1 - Italy
1 - Japan
1 - Kenya
1 - Portugal
1 - Romanian
1 - Serbian/ American
1 - South African
1 - South Korean
1 - South Vietnam
1 - Saudi Arabia
1 - Sweden
13 - UK
50 - US
Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:
- 1 - Serbia
Language Book Originally Published in:
- 73 - English
- 2 - French
- 1- Greek
- 1 - Italian
- 1 - Japanese
- 1 - Korean
- 1 - Portuguese
- 1 - Romanian
- 1 - Spanish and English
- 1 - Swedish
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE
- 1 - 400+ BC
-1 - first half of 1800's
- 1 - 1851
- 1 - 1853
- 2 - 1935
- 1 - 1868
- 1 - 1934
- 1- 1936
- 1 - 1937
- 1 - 1944
- 1- 1956
- 1 - 1962
- 1 - 1984
- 1 - 1990
- 1 - 1992
- 1 - 1993
- 1 - 1994
- 3 - 1997
- 1 - 1999
- 1 - 2001
- 1 - 2002
- 1 - 2004
- 2 - 2005
- 2 - 2006
- 2 - 2007
- 2 - 2008
- 3 - 2009
- 1 - 2010
- 3 - 2011
- 4 - 2012
- 4 - 2013
- 1 - 2014
- 3 - 2015
- 12 - 2016
- 16 - 2017
Global Reading Challenge Group: 5 books set in or by an author from the 192 member countries of the UN plus 3 additional regions
List and thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/188308
83 countries visited/ 17 countries completed with five books each
Cumulative : 83 countries visited
visited 83 states (36.8%)
Create your own visited map of The World
24 Countries Visited in Bookish Travels in 2017:
visited 23 states (10.2%)
Create your own visited map of The World
******************States Visited in Books Starting in 2014*******************
visited 32 states (64%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
1001 Books to Read Before You Die - Thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163173
1001 Books read in 2017: 8 + 1 reread; Total: 159 Goal: 25 for year
Library Brown Bag Book Club/ RLBC
✔ January: My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
✔ February: Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell
✔ March: A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
✔ April: Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi
✔May: The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen
✔ June: Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
✔ July: Strangers in Their Own Land - Arlie Russell Hochschild
✔ August: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot - Reread - ROOT
✔ September: The Elephant's Journey - Jose Saramago
✔ October: March - Geraldine Brooks
✔ November: Brooklyn: A Novel - Colm Toibin
My biggest challenge is that I keep hauling books home faster than I can read them.
I have been a member of the ROOTS challenge (Reading Our Own Tomes) for the past several years. I define a ROOT as anything I owned before January 1st of the current year. I hope to read 50 ROOTS in 2017. I want to read fifty from my shelves and piles again this year.
To keep myself in the oldest part of the Planet of Neglected Books, I'm giving myself points for each book I read, with older books getting more points.
Here's how it works:
1. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2006 -- 11 points
2. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2007-- 10 points
3. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2008-- 9 points
4. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2009-- 8 points
5. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2010-- 7 points
6 .ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2011 -- 6 points
7. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2012 -- 5 points
8. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2013 -- 4 points
9. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2014 -- 3 points
10. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2015 -- 2 point
11. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2016 - 1 point
12. ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2015 (many of these are pre-2006 when I joined LT)--1 point
Goal: Read 225 ROOT points this year.
As of 01/01/2016: 459 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2017: 481 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 04/01/2017: 484 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 05/01/2017: 486 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 11/01/2017: 500 books on physical Mt TBR
BOOKS ACQUIRED IN 2017
Read in 2018: 3
✔ 1. Transit - Hella S. Haasse - lit seminar 1/09/2017
✔ 2. Dance of the Jakaranda - Peter Kimani - 2016 - Kenya - LTER - 1/14/17
✔ 3. Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins - gift - 1/26/2017
4. As Good As Gone - Larry Watson - gift - 1/26/2017
✔ 5. Yuge! : 30 years of Doonesbury on Trump - B. B. Trudeau - 2016- 02/01/2017
✔ 6. Clementine: The Life of Mrs Winston Churchill - Sonia Purnell - RLBC
✔7. Texaco - Patrick Chamoiseau - lit sem 2/10/2017
✔8. Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild
✔9. How to Be Human: A Novel by Paula Cocozza LTER 2017
10.***Reading*** Satantango - László Krasznahorkai - April lit seminar
11. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive because sometimes you need a bit of heartwarming corn.
12. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - hardbound copy in like new condition FOL freebie
13. Get Shorty - Elmore Leonard FOL freebie
14. Still Life - Lousie Penny - (I haven't started this series!) FOL freebie
15. All Around the Town - Mary Higgins Clark -FOL freebie
16. My Gal Sunday - Mary Higgins Clark - FOL freebie
✔17. The Sympathizer - May RLBC; Thank you Mark!
✔18. Homegoing - April RLBC choice; I had started it last fall, but had to return to library; Amazon
✔19. How To Be a Muslim - Haroon Moghul - 2017- LTER
✔20. The Topology of Tears - 2017 - LTER
21. A Life on Gorge River - Robert Long - Amazon Marketplace
22. The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria - Helon Habila - 2016 - book bullet for Global Reading
23. Warrior Woman - Dark Rain Thom - 2003 - 05/2017 (rec by Penny)
24. Total Solar Eclipse 2017 - Marc Nussbaum - 2017 - 5/2017 - gift from Dee
✔25. A Hiss Before Dying - Rita Mae Brown - 2017 - LTER - 6/2017
✔26. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women - Kate Moore 2017 - audiobook - LTER 6/21/2017
✔27. American Eclipse: A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and… - David Baron - 2017 LTER- audiobook - 7/19/2017
28. English Creek (Montana Trilogy) - Ivan Doig FOL rack 7/27/2017
29. Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather - FOL fack 7/27/2017
30. Rosie - Anne Lamott - FOL rack 7/27/2017
31. A Good Man is Hard to Find - Flannery O'Connor - FOL rack 7/27/2017
✔ 2018 32. Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior’s Life & Legacyby The Edward Clown Family, William Matson - book signing - 8/4
33. Selected Poems & Letters of Emily Dickinson - Emily Dickinson - FOL rack 8/18
34. The Color of Lightning: A Novel - Paulette Jiles - gift msf 8/24/2017
✔35. The Elephant's Journey - Jose Saramago - RLBC 9/8/2017
36. Braving the Wilderness - Brene Brown - 2017 - 9/18/2017
✔37. Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women (edition 2016)
Ghada Alatrash LTER Kindle/PC/Phone
38. Our Souls at Night - Kent Haruf 2012 - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
39. Vinegar Girl - Anne Tyler - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
40. Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
41. South Pole Ponies - Theodore K. Mason - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
42. Lab Girl - Hope Jahren - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017 (read but not owned)
43. God is Red - Vine Deloria, Jr - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
44. Travels in Alaska - John Muir - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
45. The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
46. Or Perish in the Attempt: Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis & Clark Expedition - David J. Peck - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
47. Senator Mansfield - Don Oberdorfer - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
48. Zane Grey's Arizona - Candace C. Kant - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
49. Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris - audiobook FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
✔50. The Edgar Allen Poe Audio Collection - audiobook - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
51.Enduring Love - Ian McEwan - audiobook - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
52. The Whole Town's Talking - Fannie Flagg - audiobook - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
53. Following the Alaska Dream - Marilyn Jordan George - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
54. No Ordinary Time - Doris Kearns Goodwin - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
55. The Apache Wars - Paul Andrew Hutton - FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017
- War Horse - Dickinson (2nd copy to give away or trade) FOL Booksale - 9/26/2017 - for gift or trade - duplicate - given away :)
✔ 2018 56. Disgraced - Gwen Florio - Festival of the Book
57. The Devil All the Time - Donald Ray Pollock - Festival of the Book
58. Montana Noir - James Grady - Festival of the Book
59. 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel - Jane Smiley - Festival of the Book
60. ***Reading*** North American Sport Horse Breeder - by Kathleen Hiney Kirsan
✔61. For Two Thousand Years by Mihail Sebastian LTER audiobook
62. ***Reading***Ten Days That Shook the World - John Reed lit seminar
✔63. Brooklyn - Colm Toibin Nov RLBC
✔ 2018 64. God Stalk - P. C. Hodgell - Roni's group read January? 11/13/2017
65. Emerald Labyrinth: A Scientist's Adventures in the Jungles of the Congo - Eli Greenbaum 2017 - LTER - 11/15
66. Our Kate - Catherine Cookson - FOL free rack 11/17/2017
67. Ordinary Love and Good Will - Jane Smiley - FOL free rack 11/17/2017
✔68. Pure Land - Annette McGivney - Outside Beyond Books club 12/01/2017
✔ 2018 69. Reputations - Juan Gabriel Vasquez - Lit Seminar - 12/08/2017
70. Transforming Therapy Through Horses - Lynn Thomas - 12/26/2017 - gift
71. The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins - gift
72. Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear - gift
73. The Paper Menagerie - Ken Liu - gift
Love the poster for this year's Montana Book Festival September 27 - October 1
POSSIBILITIES FOR SEPTEMBER READING
LTER I am really behind on these!
✔ - How to be Human
***Reading***How to be Muslim - read for 75'ers NF challenge
A Hiss Before Dying - read for 75'ers Series & Sequels
✔ -Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women by Ghada Alatrash (not yet received)
Requests From Library
Little Women - RLBC reading March in October
***Listening***Longbourn - audio
Oedipus Rex - because of the group read of Kafka on the Shore last month
✔ - RLBC: The Elephant's Journey - Jose Saramago
AAC: Short Story Challenge - ***Reading***Battleborn; ***Reading*** Snows of Kilimanjaro
BAC: THE NEW MILLENNIUM (Great Books Since 2000) A novel chosen from each year of the new century - ✔ - Longbourn audio; Girl on the Train ?
75 er's NF: Gods, Demons and Spirits; ***Reading*** How to be a Muslim (LTER)
Catwoman: Children's/YA/Graphic novels; Little Women (library)
CultureCat: Journalism & the Arts?
75'ers Series and Sequels: A Hiss Before Dying (LTER); Pigs in Heaven (ROOT); Merry Misogynist (ROOT)
Is it okay to post, Janet? (If not, we can delete my stuff and put in yours).
Happy New Thread!
I hadn't realized your retirement was that recent. Mine started at the turn of the year (although I still go in every once in a while). Are you loving it?
And how are you liking The Jane Austen Project? I got a kick out of it.
. >14 jnwelch: Yup, post away, Joe. Thanks for visiting! You are the first-footer (which I read somewhere or other is an Irish term for first over the threshold).
Yes, I love retirement. I haven't had a boring day yet. It sounds like we retired pretty close to the same time - I hadn't realized that, either.
The Jane Austen Project is a lot of fun. I'm listening to it, which means it's slower than when I commuted every day. Nice light fun to start off the 4th quarter. Who wouldn't enjoy a little time travel to go meet Jane Austen?
. >15 drneutron: Thank you, Jim!
Who wouldn't enjoy a little time travel to go meet Jane Austen? Exactly!
We've been getting quite a bit of smoke and haze down here in Colorado but no where near what it must be like closer to the fires. We've been pretty lucky here this summer, with no major fires (so far).
Like you and Joe, I recently retired, too (this past March)! More time to read.
Happy new thread (I'm not sure I've ever stopped by before...)!
Happy new thread, Janet! I see you're reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. How are you liking it? I thought it was fascinating.
Have a great weekend.
Hi Janet. I just went back and looked at some of the images of the fires on your prior thread. The loss of the chalet, not to mention the gazillions of gorgeous acres!!, is so heartbreaking! I have only been to Glacier National Park once but it was a memorable trip. I am especially sad by the juxtaposition of the photos with the mountain goats in one and that decimated chalet in the other. The fires all over Montana and now in Washington and Oregon, always make me hurt for all the animals that will never survive that.
My SIL grew up in Choteau, Montana, and she and BIL were planning to head that direction for some camping this week. They changed their mind because of the fires and smoke and headed toward the Olympic peninsula instead.
I brought The Sympathizer home with me last week, thinking I might read it while home taking care of Prudence. I noted your comment that you didn't want to pick it up but also couldn't put it down. So... good but difficult?
Prudence took the whole month of August off to prepare for her surgery and I have to admit, as we thought of it as a "practice retirement," it was actually kind of nice for me, as well! I'm younger so she will retire first and I've been trying to get her to hang in there until 65. I think we've compromised to 64 so she'll probably retire this coming June. I now know that having one spouse retired benefits the working spouse, too, in terms of household stress level and just having things taken care of around the house.
Keep taking care, Janet. I hope you get some rain soon.
Hi Janet, happy new thread!
>Your map of countries is quite impressive. I've just started a similar project myself. Quite liking it, but it will take me ages to get to 80 countries read. I'll visit your other thread and have a look at your books there as well.
Happy New Thread, Janet! Love that topper! Sorry, to hear about the continuing fires. I hope they are finally getting them under control.
Enjoy your weekend.
Happy new thread, Janet!
It is sad so much is destroyed by the fires, how are the horses doing with all the smoke?
Hi Janet and happy new thread!
My friend in Belgrade wrote yesterday No, no fire near me -- BUT such a big one north of Helena (and about 100 miles NE of me) that I can't see the mountains just one mile from my house. Smoke is incredible. So thick the nighttime parking lot lights stayed on all day yesterday at Taco Bell.
I hope you have a great weekend.
>17 jnwelch: Joe :)
>18 BLBera: Hi Beth! Thank you for stopping in! The Jane Austen Project is indeed fun and hopefully gets picked up by some of the mega-warblers. Thanks to Roni for pointing me towards it..
>19 Copperskye: Hi coppers and I'm glad you've stopped by! I hope you'll be back often..
I'm glad to hear the Colorado is getting less of the smoke and no major fires around you. I lived in Glenwood Springs for a few years while I was growing up and Colorado is dear to my heart.
Yay for retirement! I hope you're enjoying every minute of it.
>20 PaulCranswick: Thanks for stopping by Paul, and for the good wishes. I always enjoy your visits here and am always amazed at how much you accomplish for this group.
>21 tymfos: Hi Terri! Thanks for the good wishes!
Henrietta Lacks is a reread for me. Having worked with HeLa cells almost every day for the last twenty five years or so, I have a bit of a different take on the subject.
At the time Henrietta's cells were originally harvested from a surgical specimen, no one could have predicted that cell culture was possible or what these cells would do for science or how ubiquitous they would become.
It's a bit like the internet - no one could have imagined what it would mushroom into - the internet wasn't even conceived in science fiction works prior to its birth. Now it's a part of most people's lives; some people make huge amounts of money from it, other people use it as a research tool, or in other ways.
The internet pioneers are not rich and famous household words, although people who found specific commercial applications and became billionaires, like Mark Zuckerberg are.
I think Skloot conflates examples and draws parallels which don't really apply and sensationalizes events. Even the cover of my book says "Doctors took her cells without asking".
Well, no. There is absolutely no evidence of this.
Did they say "We want to see if your cells can earn the world billions of dollars?"
No. No one could imagine it.
Did she sign a form that gave the lab permission to experiment with the cells like they had done with hundreds of other specimens? Probably. There is no reason to believe that George Gey was anything but a dedicated, ethical, conscientious researcher. Stories of unethical researchers told in parallel besmirch his name without evidence.
Her family said she didn't sign a form - heck they didn't even know she had cancer for months. Would she have signed something giving away a huge legacy for her family? Of course not. But no one could envision it.
I believe that the courts got it right, although most people not familiar with the subject who have only read this book would certainly feel the opposite.
I can understand the shock to the family. The things they imagined are horrible - but not true.
I agree of course, that it would be nice if some of the biotech firms would set some sort of fund for the family. But it ain't gonna happen.
Off my soapbox.
Great new thread Janet. I had fun strolling through the entries and loved seeing all your reading choices and ideas.
Hope that you like The Elephant Journey as much as I did. I loved it! I read it for my real life book club too. At the time each of us researched a book award and suggested a title from the award and what a great year that was! Rain here today first signifcant rain in months and the air temperature has cooled. No more ocean swimming. Can you say BAF (big ass frown)? Well, I'm going to!
Henrietta Lacks has been on my back burner for awhile. I'm so happy to read your comments here with a different insight into the subject.
On your previous thread, I followed your youtube link about the Montana wildfires. My brothers took our father on a road trip to Alaska from Oklahoma, returning home last month. Even that long ago, they said they drove through smoke for 5 days. I cannot imagine the devastation.
>28 streamsong: I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in March of 2013 for book club. George Gey gave the cells away. Nobody asked Henrietta Lacks for permission. It was a different world. Yes, it would be nice if the family was simply given some of the money made the from HeLa cell line, but big pharma, like other big business, isn't very ethical, and certainly doesn't seem to be in the business of compassion. Admittedly, some of the big businesses developed in the 1980s and 1990s and beyond seem to be willing to give money away and to take ethical stands, but not the older ones.
I hope you're having a good weekend.
>22 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. - Good to see you! Yes, the smoke from the fires is miserable. It's amazing how oppressive it can get- not to mention the impact on the people with allergies and lung problems.
I went out to dinner with a friend and we brainstormed about SAD lights and extra Vitamin D. As the fires increase and multiply, it's getting harder and harder to get out from under this nasty blanket of smoke.
But this morning the wind has shifted a bit. There is enough sunlight out there to be able to see shadows! It's funny how you miss shadows after a while.
I'm glad Prudence is doing well. And hooray that she has a retirement date in mind. I think you'll both enjoy it.
I'm working on a review for The Sympathizer. I'll be interested to see what you think.
>23 EllaTim: Hi and welcome! My list of countries read includes books I have read and have cataloged in my LT library, so it really is the result of years. It's fun to see where I have read and what countries I have neglected.
I need to read more in the Central and South American countries.
Having logged 80 out of almost 200 countries means there are still soooooooooo many more to go!
>24 msf59: Hi Mark - thanks for stopping by.
Unfortunately, the fires won't be under control until snow falls in the high country. There are a ton of firefighters, but their job is to keep the fires away from the valley floors and houses.
Each triangle on this satellite photo indicates a fire in the area. Hamilton is southwest of the circle and just south of the Lolo Peak fire triangle at 7 o'clock from the circle. We are directly east of the lower triangle labled Hidden which is a fire in the Idaho wilderness. You can see how the smoke is concentrated in the Bitterroot Valley which runs along the Idaho border.
And here is how it looks from the ground:
>34 streamsong: Wow.
Our BIL in Helena, MT is saying the same thing - what's really needed is snow, not just rain.
>25 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Thanks for helping initiate my new thread!
The horses seem to be doing OK with the smoke - but I'm not working them at all right now. I think if people are not supposed to be exercising in this gunk, then horses get time off, too.
Ginny, my elderly golden retriever, and Cree the indoor/outdoor cat both prefer being indoors right now with the HEPA filters going full blast. They ask to go outside, poke their noses outside the door, and make a quick 180 turn back into the house, just as they do in nasty weather.
Yesterday the smoke cleared out a bit and this morning there is a bit of sun. There is a forecast for rain in the valley and snow in the high country later this week. Fingersandtoescrossed! Frost is also forecast in the valley.
Sorry to hear about the continuing smoke and fire issues! I well remember wearing a breathing mask for a full week during our Cedar fire due to the ash and smoke, and yours is lasting much longer. Crossing everything for a soaking rain and snow.
. >26 karenmarie: Hi Karen - it's always good to have you stop by. I really enjoy your thoughtful comments. The smoke is better today. Yay! Yesterday evening I could see the mountains.
I took this last night at sunset; this is from the end of my driveway looking west - the smoke makes gorgeous colors!
>29 jnwelch: >31 countrylife: >32 karenmarie: Joe, Cindy and Karen: I'll have more comments about Henrietta after I finish reading it again. Right now I need to refresh my memory as to what's in the book. It's definitely a book worth reading.
>32 karenmarie: Karen, that's absolutely the take away that most people have after reading the book. I'll comment a bit more after I've finished my reread.
>30 mdoris: Hi Mary - Thanks for stopping by!
"At the time each of us researched a book award and suggested a title from the award and what a great year that was"
What a great idea! I'm looking forward to The Elephant's Journey but haven't started it yet.
>31 countrylife: Thanks for sharing your brother's comments about Alaska, Cindy. Until I saw a map on FB I had no idea that Alaska was on fire, too. They are another state that is not getting much press about the fire situation.
>35 jnwelch: Hi Joe - Hooray! The forecast is for rain in the valley and a bit of snow in the mountains later this week. It won't be enough to put an end to the fires, but hopefully will help to slow them down.
>37 ronincats: Hi Roni - always nice to see you! I'm enjoying The Jane Austen Project so thanks for the rec!
The only good thing about the smoke is that when it gets thick enough, it helps to smother the fires. So - heavy smoke, fires die down and the smoke dissipates a bit; with less smoke, the fire gets more oxygen and starts up again.
I'm certainly learning a lot about fire behavior this year.
Glacier Park and the Canadian side called Waterton Park still have historic structures threatened so keep them in your well wishes.
57. The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen - 2015
- Global Reading: Vietnam (Fifth Vietnam book - finished goal)
- acquired 2017
From the cover” ..The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film and the wars we fight today”
From the author:” The tendency to separate war stories from immigrant stories means that most Americans don't understand how many of the immigrants and refugees in the United States have fled from wars – many of which this country has had a hand in.”
This novel is a flashback, as we see the narrator write his confession while being held in a Communist prison camp. He was a South Vietnamese officer and the son of a French priest and a Vietnamese woman. He was also a sleeper agent for the communist North.
Having arranged to have himself on one of the last flights to the US, he continued as a both a member of the South Vietnamese refugee community and as a Communist agent. We see the difficulties the Vietnamese refugees encounter as well as his own unique difficulties with those he counts as friends; both those who know and do not know that he is an agent.
No one is all good; no one is all evil. Everyone's role can become ambiguous at times as masks are worn and discarded.
It was a tough novel for me to read; descriptions of war and torture are not in my wheelhouse. Still, this Pulitzer Prize winning novel was a very worthwhile read. Seeing the Vietnamese viewpoint of the war and the Vietnamese refugee communities was unique and eye-opening for me.
I can usually manage one or two 'tough' novels a year. I've already hit my quota with American Tabloid and My Dark Places, both by James Ellroy, but if I see The Sympathizer at the book sale in October or a thrift store, I'll probably snatch it up for next year.
I hope you're doing well considering the fires all around and the smoke.
>41 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I would be happy to send you The Sympathizer. Mark loved it and sent it to me when he saw my RLBC was reading it. PM me your address if you would like it. (Maybe we should start signing the inside covers of the books that are round-robin-ing around the 75's)
The local fires and smoke are about the same. Everyone is looking forward to the snow/rain forecast for the latter part of this week. Snow in the high country! I hope they aren't teasing us.
Waterton Park, the Canadian side of Glacier Park is not doing well. Waterton town is threatened. So far they have lost a visitor's center, golf course clubhouse, and a livery stable (horses OK). The historic Prince of Wales Hotel is threatened.
>40 streamsong: Nice review Janet. It sounds like an interesting and worthwhile book. Though I feel the same about too many tough reads.
Hoping you will get rain! That's a nice picture of the hotel, I hope they can save it.
>43 EllaTim: It's really nice to have you stop by again! Thanks for the complement on the review.
I enjoy tough books. but after a few of them I need to go to something lighter.
It's a beautiful hotel, although I've never stayed there. I believe that they are still defending it. I join you in your wish that they can continue to do so!
Yay! It's raining in Hamilton today. It's very odd, because even though it has been raining for several hours, the air outside is still chokingly filled with smoke.
There is a winter storm warning for the high country for the next few days. Fire season may be over!!!!!!!!1
Thank you for the kind offer, I've PM'ed you my address.
I hope the rain does a better job than it seems to be doing at present. I hope that Fire Season is over for you.
Hi Janet - Great comments on Henrietta Lacks; it was a common book at our school years ago, and one of the nursing instructors brought up many of the same points that you did. I suppose it made a better story the way the author wrote it...
Your smoke photos are very dramatic. I feel for you all.
The Sympathizer sounds like a worthwhile read. One of these days...
Janet, it looks like your snow dance worked. I hope it helps with the fire and smoke situation.
I really appreciated your thoughts on Henrietta Lacks. I remember thinking the author sensationalized the story when I read it seven years ago. It was a good solid 4-star book for me and I might have rated it higher if she wasn't so biased. Personally, I would be proud if one of my family member's cells were being used in the fights on cancer and other diseases.
>45 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I am notoriously slow about getting books mailed out, so I'm glad it doesn't sound like you want to read it immediately. I'll get it packaged up and off to you soon!
>46 BLBera: Hi Beth - good to see you. Thanks for your comments on Henrietta.
Yup, I felt The Sympathizer was a very worthwhile read.
>45 karenmarie: >46 BLBera: Do you happen to be watching the Ken Burns PBS series? It's so well done! I couldn't imagine watching that many hours (14? 18?) about the Vietnam war, but after watching only two of the episodes, I feel like I have a **lot** more understanding of the war than I ever have.
I almost never buy videos, (Dr Who excepted :-) ) but these would definitely bear rewatching.
>47 Donna828: Hi Donna - Thanks so much for stopping by!
>46 BLBera: >47 Donna828: Yes, the snow danced worked! Maybe a bit too well .... Another really cold rainy day here on the valley floor.
I feel bad for my horses and the other livestock and furry wild things. It went from mid-80's and smoky to pouring rain, almost snow. The animals had no mid- temps to grow winter coats and are now soaked through with very cold rain.
I need to bring in my outdoor baskets since it's supposed to freeze the next few nights.
However it is such a blessing to be smoke - free!
>46 BLBera: >47 Donna828: Henrietta Lacks - sensationalized and biased, are both interesting words. I'm still working on a detailed report for the RLBC next week and I'll post it here as my final book review.
I'm glad other people have the same problems with Henrietta that I do.
57. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot – 2010 reread
- TIOLI #12. Read a book whose title contains the name of a historical figure
- ROOT # #19/50; acq'd 2013 = 4 ROOT points = 43/225
Epigraph: ”We must not see any person as an abstraction.
Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets,
with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish,
and with some measure of triumph.
from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code ”
From Rebecca Skloot: “When I tell people the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, the first question is usually Wasn't it illegal for doctors to take Henrietta's cells without her knowledge? Don't doctors have to tell you when they use your cells in research? The answer is no--not in 1951, and not in 2009, when this book went to press.”
In 1951, a young black woman named Henrietta Lacks became a cancer patient at the famous (and infamous) Johns Hopkins hospital.
During an initial biopsy of a tumor on her cervix, a sample of the cells was also sent to Dr. George Gey's lab. Dr. Gey had attempted to grow human cells in the laboratory from hundreds of other samples and been unsuccessful. But Ms. Lacks' cells proved different. They grew and thrived and became an important and ubiquitous scientific tool which ended up revolutionizing the distribution of the polio vaccine, cancer and genetic research and many other specialties in the microbiological research world.
In some ways, the story of HeLa cells in laboratories parallels the story of the explosion of the internet. No one could foresee how both would thrive and change the world.
Henrietta Lack's family had no idea that her cells were being used. The family was both frightened and shocked when they discovered this fact, some twenty years later. They imagined the worst, believing that Henrietta's cells were somehow sentient; scientific techniques such as cell cloning and hybridization terrified them. They also questioned how an industry could earn billions of dollars using her cells, and yet they themselves were so poor they couldn't afford doctors or insurance.
It's an interesting story of medical ethics.
Rebecca Skloot presents the case that Ms Lacks had no knowledge that her cells were being used. Indeed, Johns Hopkins issued a statement confirming that version. Yet, it is reported that Dr. George Gey said he had talked with Henrietta before her death, a fact that Skloot mentions and dismisses. And courts decided there was no evidence one way or the other if Henrietta had given consent since whatever consent papers Lacks may have signed were destroyed. Cells grown from a second biopsy didn't grow. Neither did cells recovered at Ms. Lacks autopsy which the family gave permission for.
Skloot brings in many other medical ethics cases involving racism and the de-humanizing of research subjects. She also recounts other cell ownership cases. By telling these instances in parallel to the HeLa story, one is left with the distinct impression that a wrong was committed against Ms. Lacks.
There are medical inconsistencies throughout the book which bother me. For instances of page 16 in Henrietta's presenting notes: “Two months prior to current visit, after delivery of fifty child, patient had significant blood in urine. Tests showed areas of increased cellular activity in the cervix. Physician recommended diagnostics and referred to specialist for ruling out infection or cancer. Patient cancelled appointment.” On the next page, p 17, the doctor states “No note is made in the history at that time, or at the six weeks' return visit that there is any abnormality of the cervix.” “Yet here she was, three months later, with a full-fledged tumor. Either her doctors had missed it during her last exams- which seemed impossible or it had grown at a terrifying rate”.
There is one more issue that bothers me. That is medical privacy.
Skloot says “Dead people have no right to privacy.” It seems to me that an incredible error in judgment was made when one of the doctors released details about Henrietta Lacks and her medical records to a reporter for an article that appeared in Rolling Stone in the 70's. I acknowledge that without this leak, Henrietta's story would have been unknown and her family would never have been able to point with pride to her unique contribution.
But one of my questions is why did Skloot let her inner reporter loose to write about that the mental problems several of Henrietta's children had that were probably due to being born from a syphilitic mother? Did the Lacks' children and grandchildren know that these details were coming out in the book? How did these details of Henrietta's children tell the story of the HeLa cells other than making the book a bit more titillating? Henrietta appears to have been such a private person – keeping her cancer diagnosis away from her family even while she was having inpatient treatments. Would she have approved of this?
Skloot worked long and hard to gain the trust of Henrietta's daughter, Deborah, who felt that the family had been exploited at every turn. Deborah died before the book was published. How would she have felt about these details of her own medical history in the book?
So I'm torn about this book. It raises interesting medical ethics questions, blithely skips over other questions such as that of privacy, and leaves the majority of people who read with a rather false impression of the events; not by facts, but by the technique of combining this story with other stories where boundaries were clearly crossed.
Excellent review, Janet! I read the book quite a while ago but am still fascinated with the issues raised.
>50 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We'll see how it flies. I'll probably add it to Goodreads but not Amazon since comments on Amazon reviews can get so darn ugly.
Woot! - finished two books yesterday, so there will be more reviews soon. The first one, How to Be Human, is a long overdue Early Reviewers book.
The second was my audiobook, although the cover doesn't reflect that.
There's very little as satisfying as finishing an ER book, especially an overdue one.
I'm not a member of Goodreads, although I recently used their website to nudge me in the right direction for my Book-a-Year list. Are you as active on Goodreads as you are here on LT?
>52 karenmarie: "There's very little as satisfying as finishing an ER book, especially an overdue one. "
Well said, my friend! (Now if the review would just write itself!)
ETA: No, I'm not very active on Goodreads. I do add the books I've read for the year (because I like seeing all the covers at once as Mark posted on his end-of-year-thread a couple years ago). I post some reviews there because I think they have a larger audience than LT.
On Monday night, I went to the local Audubon presentation - on a wolverine research project here in the valley. They are incredibly rare, with only 450 in the lower US. and approximately 8 in this part of the Bitterroot. They need volunteers .... do I wanna do that? Could consist of snowshoeing with a group once a month to collect camera discs and rebait video stations. They get photos of many black bears, martens, the occasional mountain lion or bobcat, and the very rare fisher (pic below but I've never seen one in the wild). They're hoping to see lynx, but I don't think it's happened yet.
In the meantime, next Tuesday I'm signed up to watch at a songbird migration banding station. Hopefully I'll get an interesting photo or two to share.
>49 streamsong: Good, insightful review of Henrietta Lacks, Janet. Big Thumb!
I hope you decide to volunteer for the Audubon society. Sounds really interesting and so does the songbird banding operation.
>53 streamsong: Both sound really interesting. What would you actually be doing, at the songbird banding (I don't really know what that means, sorry)?
>54 msf59: Thank you, Mark. A thumb from you is a really nice complement.
The mid-level carnivore project is actually not part of Audubon. It's called a Citizen Scientist project (under the auspices of the Defenders of Wildlife) and run by two PhD biologists.
Here is one of their youtube videos:
Besides the cameras, they have metal prongs on the tree to pull a bit of hair that they send away for DNA testing so that they can identify individual animals.
The Audubon members at the meeting who are also volunteers for the wolverine project take care of one of the farthest away stations - 7 miles by snowshoe. The fourteen mile round trip takes from 'can see' to 'can't see' (dawn to dusk) in the dark winter months. I'm a new snowshoer so I'd need one much shorter! Wolverines aren't seen close to civilization, so any station would have a several mile journey.
>55 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Hmmm, I'll just be watching. It's the time of the year for songbirds to migrate south to warmer climates for the winter. This will be at a research station that routinely puts the metal bands (do you call them rings?) on the birds' legs so their travels can be monitored if they are recaptured elsewhere.
I'm interested to see how they do everything, too. (I have no clue.)
As a new birder, I'll be thrilled to see any of the birds that aren't native to this area, but are just traveling through.
With all the forest fire smoke, there weren't many birds around the last few months. Now it's gotten cold and wet very quickly, so I wonder how many we'll see.
>56 Oberon: Thanks for stopping by, Erik! It does sound cool, doesn't it? There are disadvantages living so far from city life, but these sort of opportunities are amazing.
Hi Janet - I hope your weather improves.
Great comments on Henrietta Lacks; you definitely hit on some key issues that surround the book.
I'll watch for your reviews.
>38 streamsong: Great (though small) photo, Janet. Actually looks quite like Asia from this remove.
Have a wonderful weekend.
>59 BLBera: Hi Beth - Thanks for stopping by and the good wishes! I also have fingers and toes crossed that we have a nice long Indian summer. It's supposed to clear up and be sunny this week.
>60 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - and thanks. That's an interesting comment about the photo. I hadn't seen it that way, but now that you mention it ... I looked at a bigger version of the pic but it's not much clearer due to the smoke and low light.
The deciduous trees on the valley floor are mostly cottonwoods which are very common (and sort of like weeds). The mountains are covered with various conifers. And the forest fire smoke makes beautiful colors in the sky as long as one isn't breathing it.
Yesterday I tried to take photos of the mountains with snow on top and smoke plumes still active in burned areas a bit lower down. They didn't turn out, so I'll try again later this week next time I head north.
It will be an active book week.
The FOL sale starts Tuesday evening (with my bird-banding expedition Tuesday morning).
The Montana Festival of the Book starts Thursday-ish and they always have a good variety of panels. Friday evening Jane Smiley will talk. I'm not aware of any connection that she has with Montana - except that many of her stories are set in rural locations. I've read A Thousand Acres and Horse Heaven and had hoped to read Moo, which I have on Planet TBR, before I heard her talk. Oh well.
Thursday is the RLBC. I'm loving this month's selection, Jose Saramago's The Elephant's Journey. It's the story of a white elephant being regifted from one emperor to another. It's sly and witty. However, I'm find the style a bit off-putting: there are no paragraphs and capitalization occurs only at the beginning of sentences.
How did pages look in the 16th century when this event took place?
58. How to Be Human – Paula Cocozza – 2017
– TIOLI #4: Read a book which you must read (long overdue ER)
- acq'd 2017
The story begins with a fox bringing a human baby, neatly bundled and unharmed to Mary's doorstep. Mary, who never thought of herself as having a baby, is charmed by this one. And she knows where it came from.
Mary lives a fairly typical British middle class life. She's just had a rather bad romantic breakup, but managed to buy out her partner's half of their house. It boasts a great garden and opens into an undeveloped area she calls 'the woods'.
There are foxes in the area; she's seen a dead one on the road and a handsome male lives in the woods.
Gradually, as Mary's life spirals out of control and she is on leave from her job, the fox becomes bolder and the two develop a friendship, which turns into love and obsession on Mary's part.
Unfortunately her neighbor is anti-fox and plans are made to exterminate him.
The fox accepts food and brings a few chewed up gifts in exchange. First the fox comes to her patio and then even inside her house. And then it brings the baby to her door step.
I love characters that are unreliable witnesses. The neighbor is suffering from post-partum depression. She's clearly lying about how her baby appeared in the fox hole. And Mary – well, even her ex think she has gone round the bend and that he must step in.
It makes for an interesting ride. I was engaged by the story and ended up reading it quickly as I was carried along by the tale. 3.5 stars
I hope you enjoy the FOL sale and the Montana Festival of the Book. I just acquired Moo after somebody reviewed it - can't remember who. I hope you enjoy hearing Jane Smiley speak.
>58 streamsong: Thanks for the explanation, Yes, when you say ringing I get it. Have done that myself for a couple of years, also migrating birds, in the Dutch wadden sea. So totally different location from your mountain area.
I enjoyed the opportunity to see the birds, from so up close. And bird migration, i still think it's pretty special when the birds come through here, and you know they're migrating all the way from northern Siberia, or Lapland.
So wishing you lots of good birding.
Well, I didn't make it to the bird banding. Long story, just too much on my plate and a bit of depression. I feel bad about missing it and also bad about taking a slot and then not going. From the photos on facebook, they saw some amazing birds.
I did make it to the FOL sale that evening. :) 19 books. One was previously read that I wanted a copy of; one was one I want to send to a pedigree researcher friend. So 17 for the TBR pile.
I've listed them above, but will try to take a photo. I love the photos of book piles that people post.
The Montana Book Festival was also fun.
Jane Smiley was interesting. She teaches writing and I think she'd make an amazing teacher. I went to both her keynote session (which was in tandom with Donald Ray Pollock a new-to-me author.
I also went to a second session featuring Smiley and her children's horse series. One of the characters is based on Tom Dorrance, who began the natural horsemanship phenomena, so I believe it will have more to offer than many of the kids-and-horses series, which I gave up on long ago.
I stood in line for a while with local author Gwen Florio. She was also warm and engaging and we talked a bit about writing. I had received the first two of her mystery series from LTER, and purchased the third at the festival.
The Montana Noir panel was fun. There were nine authors there who contributed to the book, including James Grady whom I had met at an author signing in the 70's when Six Days of the Condor was hot. Another contributor to the Noir volume was a poet, author and teacher that I had gone to high school with, Caroline Patterson. She remembered me, gave me her card, and we may do lunch with mutual friends one of these days.
Four books purchased at the festival:
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel - Jane Smiley
The Devil All the Time - Donald Ray Pollock
Disgraced - Gwen Florio
Oh, the Montana Book Festival sounds like a lot of fun! and you get to "do lunch with mutual friends" with an author!
The Sympathizer arrived today.
Sounds like you had a fun time at the book festival! Not to mention finding a stack of new to you books at the library book sale!
>68 karenmarie: Hi Karen! The book festival *was* fun. It was significantly smaller than other years, though, and that makes me very sad. I feel it might be on its way out.
Yes, the lunch should be interesting. The high school group were (mostly - but not me) daughters of University professors and there are some very accomplished women in the group: writer, professor in pharmacy college, judge, opera singer (now retired), two museum curators, and the one I am mostly still in touch with who was a librarian at the lab where I worked. I met with several of them recently here in Hamilton.
I'm glad The Sympathizer arrived. Did you watch the Ken Burns' Vietnam series?
And one of my mailbox under an inch and a half of wet snow this morning:
>71 streamsong: No, we haven't watched the Vietnam series yet. I was saying over on Mark's thread that it was such an emotional time. I became vehemently anti-war as a senior in high school and still have strong feelings about the war. We will watch it - husband's been recording it. Husband and I have a few disagreements about the military - he was in it from 1976-1982, I would have gone to Canada had I been a man with a low draft number during the Vietnam war. We'll tread carefully, as we do with sensitive subjects.
I hope you're having a good week.
I'm glad the book arrived. It might be one your hubby enjoys more than you do. :)
I've only watched part of the Vietnam series, but as far as I've watched has been excellent. I think they did a wonderful job of showing multiple voices and viewpoints.
When my book club discussed The Sympathizer several of the women wondered how Viet Nam vets could be proud of their service.
Such a dialectic! Somehow we have to both be proud of the men and women who went, served to the best of their ability, watched their friends die and often came home to a country that reviled the; and yet also honor those who acted on their conscience and chose not to serve.
My brother would have gone as a medic. By the time he graduated from high school (1973) the war was already winding down. When my Mom told me about my brother's decision, she literally whispered it to me and told me not to talk about it as my Dad was quite upset.
Years later, my Dad told me he had come to appreciate and respect my brother's choice.
59. The Jane Austen Project - Kathleen Flynn - 2017 - audiobook - library
Our time travelers come from a future 'after the great dying off' when time travel is newly possible. They are sent back in time to befriend Jane Austen and her family, and to ostensibly recover a manuscript that Jane had destroyed. However, it's possible that those in charge of the team hope they will do a bit more.
But of course, even the smallest of actions can drastically change the future. They return to find that other time traveling teams have eliminated problematic points in history and that their own lives have become virtually unrecognizable. They have the choice of reconciling their memories to the new historical events. This however, will leave them with no memories of their time travel and their time together.
I think there are not many new ideas for either the Jane Austen or time travel aficionado, but altogether a fun, entertaining romp with an ending reminiscent of Jane Austen herself. 3.8 stars.
>77 jnwelch: Thanks for stopping by, Joe. Yes, an enjoyable book. It's one to try for those who are in a book slump and need something diverting! I think you and Roni were the first two to put me onto it.
I finished Longbourn in this past week too - purely serendipity as to when library requests show up. I should be set on Jane Austen spins for a while.
I'm on to listening to Good Omens - a reread for me and I'll also count it as a ROOT.
In addition, I started a YA book that I've seen several people mention : The Hate You Give about a black teenaged girl who is in the car when her friend is gunned down by an overzealous policeman during a routine traffic stop.
"I've seen it happen over and over again: a black person gets killed for being black, and all hell breaks loose. I've tweeted RIP hashtags, reblogged pictures on Tumblr, and signed every petition out there. I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
"Now I am that person, and I'm too afraid to speak"
I am sooo far behind in both books and reviews. I will work double time to get some reviews up:
In the meantime, the TBR pile has somehow grown to 506 due to the recent sale and festival.
✔ How to be a Muslim
A Hiss Before Dying
Rec'd 10/11/2017 - For Two Thousand Years - Mihail Sebastian - audio
***Listening*** Good Omens - reread ROOT audio
Requests From Library
***Reading*** - Little Women
✔ The Hate U Give
✔- Hillbilly Elegy
RLBC: March - Geraldine Brooks - ROOT
AAC: Ann Patchett - Bel Canto - ROOT
✔ - 75 er's NF: The World We Live In: Current Affairs: Hillbilly Elegy -
Catwoman: Regional Reading: The Macgruder Murders
✔ CultureCat: Poverty: Hillbilly Elegy
>75 streamsong: Such a dialectic! Somehow we have to both be proud of the men and women who went, served to the best of their ability, watched their friends die and often came home to a country that reviled them and yet also honor those who acted on their conscience and chose not to serve.
I think that is a problem with every war that doesn't end in a clear victory.
>79 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! That's a really interesting thought about the treatment of soldiers in wars without victories.
The Vietnam war was even more than that, though. It was as if when the US pulled out, the war protestors felt they were vindicated. Some returning soldiers weremet at airports with derisive crowds spitting and yelling things like 'baby killers'. It was as if those who chose to fight were judged morally lacking.
It may have been one of the first symptoms of the political split we see now. Those who fought were from working class, conservative God-and-country families. Those who protested were more questioning of authority and the status quo, more liberal, more apt to be found on college campuses.
>80 ronincats: Hi Roni! Thanks as always for stopping by! And thanks for the rec's. I don't read much SFF, but when I do, they are almost always from you and I enjoy them.
>81 msf59: Hi Mark! Thankfully the snow is all gone, although more may come later this week.
oooh I wasn't familiar with Donald Ray Pollock. I did buy one of his books, The Devil All the Time. Unfortunately my phone camera ran the battery down, so no pics.
I was intrigued by Pollock's story as an author.
He said he grew up in a home with no books at all - not even a Bible. His dad had true detective type magazines and his Mom read true romance magazines so he did read both of those, but never developed as a reader.
When he was fifty-ish he decided he'd like to try his hand at learning to write. He tried several methods, but didn't find one where he was satisfied with the results.
So he decided to copy published works and for about two hours every day he copied stories. He did this for a year before he thought he knew how the art form worked and started writing his own. His first book was a book of short stories.
When he signed my book for me, I told him that it would be the first of his that I had read. He commented that he 'hoped it wasn't too brutal for me'
I told him that I had also read Dad's true crime magazines and remember reading Dad's filched copy of Helter Skelter shut in my closet.
He said I should do just fine. :)
From the reviews, I may have to wait to be in exactly the right mood to read this.
>84 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Thanks for visiting. I love the wide variety of reading that you enjoy!
I really enjoyed Longbourn, too. I knew it was a story of the servants' lives at Longbourn, the downstairs story of Pride and Prejudice. I didn't expect the characters to be so well realized and have more interesting lives than the Bennets themselves.
No, you haven't missed my review. I start several books at the beginning of each month to fulfill various challenges, finish them up in a whirlwind the last few days of the month and then have multiple reviews to get caught up. Still being easily overwhelmed by stuff.
How about another excerpt from my current spectacular read, The Hate U Give, which was longlisted for the YA category of the National Book Awards. It's the story of a sixteen year old black girl, caught up in events when her friend is shot by a policeman as she is getting a ride home from him after a party. It's eye-opening, heart breaking and funny all at the same time. It's deserving of major warbling.
A light moment between father and daughter:
" 'Daddy, you're the worst person in the world to watch Harry Potter with. The whole time you're talking about - I deepen my voice - "Why don't they shoot that nigga Voldemort?"
"Ay, it don't make no sense that in all them movies and books, nobody thought to shoot him."
"If it's not that," Momma says, "you're giving your 'Harry Pottter is about gangs' theory."
It joins my previous, much more serious quote in >78 streamsong:
And a review! I received this one from LTER very recently. I read a few passages, was hooked, and it jumped the line before the other LTER books that I am so inexcusably tardy on completing.
60. Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women - Ghada Alatrash -2016; LTER;
- Global Reading: Syria;
- TIOLI # 14:Read a book with an interesting dedication
- acq'd 2017
This is a very brief collection of seven short stories. The women depicted are from different aspects of Syrian culture: Druze, secular and Muslim, daughters and wives, progressive families and very conservative families; those who stayed in Syria and those who left.
The writing is honest and kind. It gives us a look into women's lives in the midst of a war-torn and culturally-torn area of the globe that not many of us are familiar with outside the brutal images on the evening news. Each story begins with a bit of poetry or a quoted phrase from a well known poet or writer from the region.
“To leave a homeland was to leave a piece of one’s heart and soul behind. He cried as the plane departed the soil of his birthplace. He cried tears of pain; they were tears that sprung from a broken heart. He closed his eyes and reflected on Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish’s words: ' You ask: What is the meaning of homeland They will say: the house, the mulberry tree, the chicken coop, the beehive, the smell of bread, and the first sky. You ask: can a word of eight letters be big enough for all of these components, yet too small for us?' In the Presence of Absence, an excerpt from “IV”, by Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian,”
Another that touched my heart was that of a Syrian Refugee in Canada, whose gay brother and partner are awaiting the arrival of their new daughter – an Syrian orphan.
“Throughout life, she had been taught that the likes of Hazem and Baasil are cursed with a disease, sick, and bound for hell. An ironic world indeed, she thought to herself. Those fighting, killing, beheading and raping in the name of a God were bound to heaven and awarded virgin brides, while two men like Hazem and Baasil, who were the manifestation of goodness and the essence of truth, were deemed pagans destined to burn in God's scorching fires. She smiled at the two truly beautiful men ..”
Highly recommended! 4.5 stars
Ha! I remember that Harry Potter exchange in The Hate U Give. I thought that was a terrific book.
>34 streamsong: I can't believe the fires are still burning. Come on, snow! I think because we had finally gotten some rain here, I was thinking it would have made its way east and done some good. Although I know the thing about snow being better than rain. Smothering the fire in a cold, wet blanket is what is needed.
Oh boy, you are making me want to prioritize The Hate U Give. I will start reading it as soon as I finish my current read, Cold Earth. I also want to start Bel Canto but I'm thinking they can be read simultaneously.... trying to imitate some of my multi-book-reading friends around here.
>88 jnwelch: It's a funny exchange. Although in the light of the subject matter of the book and gun control debates following the Vegas shooting, it's definitely dark humor.
I'm continuing to whip through The Hate U Give. It *is* terrific. My only criticism is that there is a bit too much of the wise father philosophizing and telling his kids what's what.
>89 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Great to see you. I'll be interested to see what you think of THUG.
Thank goodness the fires are out. I must have made a bit of a change to post 34, giving it a more recent date stamp. Sometimes as I scroll though my thread, I am amazed at the typos and go back and edit a few.
I always have three or four going at the same time. I always have an audio book in the car, a fiction and a nonfiction book going. I often have a 'I have to read this' like an ER book or two that I'm slogging through at the same time.
Hi Janet and happy Tuesday to you!
>75 streamsong: We did used to whisper things that Dad didn't want to hear. I never ever mentioned to them that I would have gone to Canada - I'm not sure that my brother wouldn't have flown over the border either. But I learned early, and I remember the specific conversation, to Not Discuss Politics With My Father. I was 11. Religion either, but he was agnostic so that wasn't so volatile.
I am probably going to take The Sympathizer for our book choosing meeting - we didn't have anything particularly challenging last year. I should be able to entice them with a Pulitzer Prize winner.
Last year I only read 6 of the 12 books, a pretty normal year for me. As one of our members said to me privately, Glory Over Everything was slavery porn. I thought spill simmer falter wither beyond depressing (plus I'm not a dog person), A Spool of Blue Thread is a type of fiction I don't enjoy very much any more, My Brilliant Friend is about Italians and right now I'm still getting over working for an Italian company before retiring, Defining the Wind was a poorly written book about a potentially interesting subject, and The Crying of Lot 49 incomprehensible. (So, tell us what you really think, Karen!)
I'm glad the fires are out.
I'm like you - a non-fiction, an audiobook in the car, and a fiction. Although right now I've started two fiction - Rules of Civility and Missing, Presumed, a police procedural.
>92 streamsong: Hi Karen! I had a difficult time finishing The Sympathizer. It took me a couple months after the book club meeting to finally finish it. I kept after it on the theory that I was learning more about the war from the Vietnamese side - but it was definitely not my cup of tea.
I'm contemplating the suggestions for next year's RLBC selections, too. I know the moderator is going to suggest The Lentil Underground which was the University of Montana's fall group read. I have had it on my radar for a while now as I heard the author speak two years ago.
I currently am reading Battleborne - fiction, short stories, a non-Fiction ER book How to Be a Muslim: another non-fiction Hillbilly Elegy,which as a new book at the library only has a two week check out period; and my audio in the car Good Omens.
Hmm. Maybe not then for book club. I'll have to think about it. I have until November 5th.
I'm reading The Literary Study Bible and The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible for the year-long Bible as Literature group read, Missing, Presumed a police procedural, 1066 and All That from the book sale and because it's short, and Rules of Civility for the group read, although I've only read 3 pages so far. Oh, and in the car is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for perhaps the 4th or 5th time.
Another decluttering trend hit my Facebook Feed: Swedish Death Cleaning.
"Swedish death cleaning, or dostadning, is the process of radically decluttering your home so your children don't have to do it after you have passed away. Margareta Magnusson, author of the new book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, suggests a good time to start shucking belongings is in your 50s.
It is a gradual process, meant to make the grieving process smoother for the next generation – so they don't have to make hard decisions about what to do with Dad's newspaper clippings archive or Auntie's dolls of the world collection – and to enhance the lives of those doing the decluttering."
Whole article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/97723876/swedish-death-cleaning-the-hot-new-organisational-trend
Since I'm still dealing with Mom's stuff, I get how hard it is for heirs to clean things out.
It bothers me that this 'death cleaning' should probably start in one's 50's. (Too late! I've already missed it by more than ten years!)
Damn - I want to cut down, clean out and declutter, but there is stuff I want to enjoy for another 30 years or so ...
Luckily, this book isn't published until after the first of the year so I don't have to think about it until then.
In the meantime, I am working on decluttering slowly. Marie Kondo just didn't quite work for me. I'm back to the Flylady system of 15 minutes a day. I get anxious when confronted with huge amounts of decluttering all at once.
The Flylady focus this week is the kitchen and this month is paper clutter. I am happily fluttering along for 15 minutes a day on each of these areas.
>93 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I may be the anomaly in struggling with The Sympathizer. Besides the Pulitzer, Viet Thanh Nguyen just won a MacArthur genius award.
61. The Elephant's Journey - Jose Saramago - 2008
- September RLBC;
- TIOLI # 15. Read a book with a title that names a living thing
- Global Reading: Portuguese author;
- acq'd 2017
King Joao III of Portugal feared that he hadn't given an impressive enough wedding present to his cousin, Archduke Maximilian of Austria. He determined to regift him with an elephant, Solomon, that had been given to King Joao several years earlier (and done nothing but eat ever since).
Based on a true story that occurred in 1551, this is an imagining of the elephant's journey by land and water, along with his mahout Sudhro, a military escort, an assortment of drivers needed to carry the elephant's food and water and eventually Archduke Maximilian and his wife.
Sudhro, is a deceptively simple man; however he organizes the expedition, cares for the elephant and entertains us hugely with his sly philosophy about both large and small people and events; he even arranges a few small miracles for the Holy Catholic Church.
Saramego's style takes some getting used to. Only the first letter of each sentence is capitalized; paragraphs go on for pages with little punctuation. At first I thought this might be conscious imitation of to 16th century manuscript style; but since then, I also read that Saramago is known for his lack of adherence to stylistic rules.
For me it was well worth the journey. I'll be reading more by this Portuguese author.
I'm just surfacing after a move but having fun snooping on your thread. Just read the article about Swedish Death Cleaning and like you, have not embraced Kondo but will look up info about the flylady. That sounds like a good idea. We still have some "wicked" boxes to unpack that get shuffled A to B and really should just be put in a burn pile. Your reading looks fabulous and so glad that you liked The Elephant's Journey. Got some good ideas from your thread! Very glad the fires are out.
Hi Mary - thanks for stopping by. It's always nice to hear that visitors found something of interest!
I've been trying to declutter for a while now. I was very enthusiastic about Kondo. but I just can't commit to that much time all at once. I get bored and wander off. It does look wonderful when it's done, though!
Sounds like you're a fan of The Elephant's Journey, too. Have you read any of Saramago's other books?
I'm enjoying Hillbilly Elegy. I had expected it to be more political and less memoir. Excellent book!
Author J. D Vance hasn't brought up the issue of guns, but I suspect that it also falls into the domain of rural people moving to cities and bringing along attitudes and objects. He related the story of a relative(?) bringing half a dozen chickens with them to suburbia. Their next door neighbor was appalled at them butchering chickens beneath her window. Chickens were zoned out and the relatives' reaction was 'f***ing zoning board'.
I see gun control as not only a Republican versus Democrat issue but a rural vs city issue. City people can't imagine a reason to need a gun. Rural people - especially on the fringes of wilderness - can't imagine not having a gun.
Hi Beth- thanks for stopping by. The Jane Austen Project was fun. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a whirl.
I agree - a big no to snow! That's the only snow so far and way too early.
The days are already getting so short. The leaves are really beginning to fall. I need to get after my fall chores. I have some fall flower bulbs to get planted and a bird feeder to get up.
Also need to get after a few mini reviews from September!
62. The Snows of Kilimanjaro - Ernest Hemingway - 1936
- September American Author Challenge Short Stories
- ROOT #20/50; cataloged into LT 2012 = 5 ROOT points (48/225)
These stories seem quite dated and straight out of the men's magazines of an earlier period: fixed boxing matches, safaris in Africa, stories of organized crime and n****r cooks.
Yet there is no doubt that this guy's writing stands with the best and packs a wallop yet today. We know the landscape and the people and gasp at the all too recognizable human-ness of them, even while being cognizant of the time gone by.
My two favorite stories of the collection are both about death and Africa: 'The Snows of Kalamjaro' and 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' . That's where the similarities end. These two will remain with me.
>103 jnwelch: Hi Joe - Thanks for stopping by. The men and the environment in those two short stories aren't all that dissimilar - but oh my the differences in the two women make the stories completely different.
I like the challenges as they help me to get things off the shelves!
63. Oedipus Rex - Sophocles - - first performed 400+ BC
-TIOLI #6: Read a book that has a significant relationship to a book you read in August (Kafka on the Shore)
I am nerdy enough to regret the holes in my classical reading and occasionally try to fill them in.
When I saw this September Take It or Leave It challenge to read a book with a significant relationship to something read in August, I jumped on the chance to read Oedipus Rex, thinking perhaps it would help me to have a deeper understanding of August's read of Kafka on the Shore.
Everyone pretty much knows the story: At birth it is predicted that Oedeipus will kill his father and sleep with his mother.
He's gone to great lengths to leave his father's country and become king over a neighboring land in order to avoid his fate.
But there is no escaping fate. Andy by the time he's learned the true circumstances of his birth, the prophecy has already come true.
I also watched a video of the play with Douglas Campbell and Eleanor Stuart and directed by Abraham Polonsky. Although a different translation, it followed closely and greatly helped my appreciation and enjoyment.
Not sure it helped with Kafka, but I'm glad I read it!
Woot! Finished two books yesterday: Hillbilly Elegy which was wonderful and an LTER book called How to Be a Muslim, which was only OK but had one chapter I really liked.
And I started two more: Little Women because the RLBC is meeting to discuss March next week, and Bel Canto for the American Author Challenge.
It's great to hear how much reading you're getting in after your eye surgeries!
>107 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I'm going to pull out a specially cozy seat on this thread just for you!
Yes, It's wonderful to be reading again! (Insert multiple exclamation points here!) And this is with one eye, since I haven't gotten glasses yet after the second surgery in August. I plan on driving to Missoula and ordering the new ones tomorrow; the current ones have plain glass in one side.
I probably won't make it to a hundred books this year and I know I won't make it to my ROOTS goal; I've done TERRIBLY at all the challenges: but I'm reading again! Woot!
Now I just need to get in the habit of writing reviews .....
The Last of the September reviews!
64. Longbourn – Jo Baker – 2013
– September British Author Challenge
– September TIOLI # 7: Read a book where a 3+ course meal is served
I had resisted reading this one for a while. I enjoy Jane Austen, but I am not the super fan many are. But when it showed up on Paul's BAC for September, I felt the time was right. It's sheer coincidence that The Jane Austen Project also appeared on my list of books read this past month.
Longbourn is familiar to readers of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as the home of the Bennet girls.
This is a spinoff of the lives of the servants that live on the Bennet estate. I was expecting to see P & P as seen through the lives of the servants. And while we did see some of that, mostly the reader is treated with the servants as well rounded people in their own rights who are often more interesting than the mostly circumspect lives of the Bennet girls' focus on parties and possible romance. The characters have their own secrets and sorrows and complicated relationships.
There were enough plot turns to keep me happily interested until the end.
4 stars for a fun, light read.
Hello Janet! Sorry for the delay in replying – I was all of a twitter over my scheduled laser eye surgery.
>107 karenmarie: I’m glad you’re getting new glasses soon and will be able to ‘seriously’ read again!
I don’t feel required to post reviews, but some books just cry out for them and when they do, the words just seem to flow. >109 streamsong: Nice review, I've added it to my wishlist.
Aren’t “we need to watch this" diagnoses the pits? Hugs to you.
>110 jnwelch: Thanks for stopping by, Joe!
>111 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Yes, I understand what you mean about words flowing when you write a review for a book you feel strongly about.
I'd love to write at least a few lines about every book I read. The reviews are mostly for me. I wish I had written more in my early days here on LT to help jog the old memory about older books. Details escape quickly.
I shared on Karen's thread that I had a bit more medical drama this week.
About a year ago, my borderline diabetes spiraled out of control and one optic nerve quit working. After several months of diabetes back in control, the nerve kicked in again, but I had also developed diabetes- related cataracts on both eyes. The cataract surgery this summer, keeping my diabetes under control, losing weight etc all have my eyes pretty stable.
It seemed to be to be enough medical drama for a long time.
But at a doctor's appointment a while back, they detected some odd heart beats. I had a stress test and the cardiologist said basically - yup, odd little beats, see you in six months for a 48 hour Holter monitor test. In the meantime, avoid stress (I was in the middle of the eye problems at the time) and cut down on caffeine.
So last week I wore the Holter monitor for 48 hours. And more odd beats. Doc now feels it's an electrical thingy in my heart that is progressing. At some point I will probably need medicine. In the meantime, I see him in six months for another EKG.
If I have probs, I'm supposed to have someone drive me to the emergency room.
And there's the rub. I'm not sure how to resolve that with solitary walking/short hikes/horse treks/hoping to buy a camper and camping by myself.
I'll continue working on my weight and getting myself in better shape. Those things won't help a cardiac electrical problem, but will make my heart overall healthier.
Oh, I am sorry you have to deal with this, Janet, you had enough in the last year :'(
It is scary if something isn't right with your heart. I was lucky last month, after 72 hours with the Holter monitor it turned out there was nothing wrong with my heart.
I can't think of a solution right now for doing things on your own.
>87 streamsong: Good review of Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women. Sounds like something I would like. It is now on the list.
>96 streamsong: Good review of The Elephant's Journey. I have been meaning to read this one forever.
Happy Sunday, Janet. Good to see you reading some fine books. Hope you had a good weekend.
I wonder if there’s a Fitbit style device out there that would let you monitor yourself to give some kind of early warning that there’s an issue. That would give you time to either get to an ER on your own, get someone to get you there, or allow for a 911 call and trip to ER. Darryl might know.
>113 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad your heart is OK.
At this point mine is just a wait and see and test again in six months. And yeah, it seems like way too much medical drama this year.
I'll just have to hike with friends, or hike along well used trails like along the river where there is also cell phone coverage if I'm by myself. (You can't count on cell phone coverage once you get off the valley floor.)
>114 msf59: Hi Mark - great to see you! Yes, I've had some excellent books lately. I did have a nice weekend! I went to a wonderful Audubon meeting last week - I'll talk about it a bit soon, I promise!
>115 drneutron: Thanks for your concern, Jim. Another 75'er - bless their heart! - told me about a portable EKG device they use which sounds similar to your idea. Goes to show you're a true engineer even in a medical field, which my guess is not too familiar to you. Kudos to the engineering mind.
Speaking of which, I'm decluttering a box of odd bits from high school(!) and came across my old slide rule (and the manual). Out it goes ....
I finished my read of March by Geraldine Brooks for Thursday's book club.
>Karenmarie, I'm sorry to say I liked it! Still working away on Little Women.
Pretty everybody but me likes it, I think - I'm not a fan of Geraldine Brooks except for Year of Wonders. I am on the lookout for Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women, though.
As I say to dear RichardDerus - we'll ATD. Agree to Disagree.
Good for you for getting rid of your old slide rule! It makes me think I should get rid of my old programming flow chart template - plastic, IBM, from the mid-1970s. I don't remember which box it's in, but I'll try to have the wherewithal to chuck it when I see it.
I did read The Hate U Give and I gave it five stars. It's an excellent and important work!
And The Elephant's Journey is one of my all-time favorite novels!
I LOVED Year of Wonders, liked March: A Novel, and am interested in reading more Geraldine Brooks. I have Nine Parts of Desire on the Kindle.
Oh, and I don't think I have ever read anything by Hemingway. How I got out of high school and college with this gap in my education is beyond me, but I do plan to read something by him for Mark's AAC in December.
Happy Wednesday, Janet!
I've been away for too long to really get caught up but wanted to stop by and say hello! You've been doing some great reading. I loved The Hate U Give, powerful, heart breaking but somehow upbeat.
I want to throw out a request for participants in a group read of one of my favorite but relatively unknown fantasy novels, God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell. The "stalk" refers to stalking gods, not a stem. It is the first of a still ongoing series, but it is a complete story and easy to walk away from after the first book if you wish--indeed, all of us had to wait many years after this one to get a sequel. I am looking at possibly November, December or January for the time frame, but the actual month will depend on what those interested work out. If you would be at all interested, please PM me or drop by my thread and let me know.
>117 karenmarie: Hi Karen ATD - I like that.
The bookclub was split about March. About half of the folks there thought it was improbable and over - sentimentalized, even though it was based on the life of Bronson Alcott.
Still working on my reread of Little Women. I'm in Part 2 and there seems to be much more moralizing than in Part 1 which was published earlier. Still there is something sweet about it and so I will keep on.
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women was the first of Brooks' books that I read and I really learned a lot.
>118 EBT1002: Hi Ellen - it's good to see you. It's nice to know we agree on quite a few books. I take your recommendations seriously!
I should have saved Hemingway for December, but I did want to finish a book for Mark's short story challenge and this was partially read.
>119 witchyrichy: It's good to see you, Karen! That's a perfect description of The Hate U Give, and I'm glad you enjoyed it, too.
As I've said many times, I like donating to the teachers requesting books at donorschoose.org Since of the first of the year I've been donating to teachers wanting copies of the John Lewis's March trilogy, but now I'll also donate to teachers looking for The Hate U Give - and there are quite a few teachers looking for that one.
>120 ronincats: Hi Roni! You haven't ever steered me wrong with SFF rec's so I'll join in your group read of God Stalk. January would work best for me since I am going to focus very hard on reading off my shelves for the next two months. I won't get to my goal of 50 ROOTS read, but I'd like to see how close I can come. (Of course, resolutions are made to be broken, correct?
I want to comment on the Audubon meeting I attended a few weeks ago which was on the Winter Eagle Project here in the valley:
You can actually take part in the project by identifying (mostly) birds in the images captured by the cams. They have 10 people identify each image, so the occasional mistakes won't affect their data. They currently have 3500 people from around the world identifying images for the Western Montana project, but the data from last year is only 75% complete so they need more help!
zooinverse.org has other on-your-computer volunteer projects that also sound fascinating. There is a seabird project for the birders. You can also transcribe handwritten historic journals in the history section or literature sections.
I'm a bit skeptical that I can tell the difference between young bald eagles and goldens, so I'm holding off until they have a training.
But I definitely want to explore some of the other opportunities on the site!
65. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas - 2017
- TIOLI #6. Read a book where the authors first name starts with a vowel;
- library book
Starr is a black teenager with a foot in two entirely different worlds. She lives in a rough 'hood, and although she cringes at the word ghetto, that's what it is. Her father is a former gang member and also spent time in prison. He's turned his life around, owns a small store in the area, and believes that the best way to help the hood and its people is to continue living there. Starr's mother, a nurse, would prefer to move to the suburbs. Together they are able to send Starr and her brother to a better, almost entirely white school in a much safer part of town. There Starr struggles to hide the poverty and the violence that surrounds her home in the ghetto.
But when Starr accepts a ride home from a party with her former best friend Khalil whom she hasn't seen for a long time, they are stopped by a cop. Her friend makes a sudden move, and is gunned down. Starr has a gun held on her until other police arrive.
Khalil was rumored to be a drug dealer and the cop thought he had a gun. But is any of that relevant?
Starr wants to hide her involvement as the 'unidentifed passenger' from her white friends, but also needs to honor her murdered friend's memory. And so begins Starr's journey to make sense of the two parts of her life, to figure out who she is and how justice and injustice permeate her life.
It's a complex and moving story, straight out of the headlines. I finished the book with huge empathy for those caught up in these events and increased awareness of how my white privilege has colored my views.
A rare five star book.
67. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story - Haroon Moghul - 2017
- September NF Challenge - Religion
- Acq'd 2017
This is a memoir of Haroon Moghul's coming of age in America. He struggled with an unnamed birth problem which plagued his childhood. Later he also struggled with bipolar disorder and suicidal ideation. Throughout it all, he struggled with fitting into a mostly non-Muslim America.
The descriptions of his struggles, however, seem somewhat distant. I didn't feel what he was feeling and his experiences seemed more like reporting than bringing me into what was happening to him.
There was one vividly described incident that did stand out for me, though in Chapter 23. Here Moghul describes hearing Imam Idrees Abkar, substituted at the last moment for a more famous imam that Moghul came specifically to hear. But Idrees Abkar, touched Mogul's soul and as he described this, I was also touched:
”Abkar was not leading us in prayer. He was talking to God and we happened to behind him, squeezed in so tightly we could hardly find place for our foreheads on flawless plush carpet. We were realizing what he was realizing, in the course of his supplicating, that he was talking to Him, and this nearly did him in.” p. 203
If other chapters had had this sort of heartfelt writing this would have been a much more interesting book.
Thanks for stopping in, Ella. I hope you can find a copy of it!
Just a quick hello, Janet! I hope this finds you well.
I made the Green Chicken Chili last night - and thought of you and your kids. It's officially now renamed. *smile*
Yay for green chicken chili, Karen! Otherwise known as white chili if you don't have kids that enjoy a good joke.
Sometimes in life, you give up something you love for your best friend even if it makes you a little sad. - Ginny the wise old Golden and Cree the cat Ginny rescued
I found a lovely trade paperback copy of Longbourn at the Thrift Shop yesterday for $1.60. Might be a November read! I'm excited about it.
>131 msf59: Hi Mark - I'm sure you'll like it!
The photo is pretty fuzzy because the light was so low, but Ginny had such a funny look on her face, that I posted it anyway. Those two are the best of friends.
>132 karenmarie: Hi Karen - hope you like Longbourn . Save it for when you want a lightnfluffy. I thought it good fun.
Yesterday I ordered two more books:
-Brooklyn for the Nov Real Life Book Club
-Ten Days That Shook the World for the lit seminar
And I won another LTER book: Emerald Labyrinth: A Scientist's Adventures in the Jungles of the Congo
>130 streamsong: There's nothing so sweet as a sugar-faced golden.
Our cat steals the dog bed, as well.
>134 drneutron: Hi Jim! Yay! It's always fun to compare your reviews on the science-y books.
I had kind of hoped to win the audio of Her Body and Other Parties since Mark gave it such a good review.
>135 Copperskye: Hi Joanne - " nothing so sweet as a sugar-faced golden' oh I hadn't heard that before, and I love it. I'm definitely going to use that!
It definitely seems to be a common cat meme. I was surprised they weren't curled up together.
I haven't posted any of my cooking experiments lately so I'll post this.
I bought a really big crockpot a while back, but don't have much use for it. Then I read (on FB of course!) that you could do several items in the crockpot, even if you don't want the flavors to mix, by separating them with foil or dishes.
So here it is:-
- turkey legs and barbeque sauce on the bottom.
- A dish of radishes - cooked radishes make a low carb potato substitute. They lose 'most' of their spiciness, although a tad remains.
- carrots with a few green onions wrapped in foil (I wanted to try more than one technique)
All turned out yummy. I did put the radishes under the broiler for a minute to brown them and crisp them up.
***** 65. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas - 2017 - TIOLI #6. Read a book where the authors first name starts with a vowel; YA; library book
66.- Hillbilly Elegy - J. D. Vance - 2016 - Rachel's political read - TIOLI #10. (shared) Read a book where the author's name contains a common noun (Van) library
67. How to Be a Muslim: An American Story - Haroon Moghul - 2017 - LTER - September NF Challenge - Religion
68. March - Geraldine Brooks - 2005; RLBC; Pulitzer Prize; ROOT #21/50; acq'd 2015 = 2 ROOT points (50/225)
69. Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - 1990- Reread - audiobook - ROOT #22/50; acq'd 06/13; = 4 ROOT points = 54/225
Battle Born - acq'd 2017
Edgar Allen Poe audio collection - acq'd 2017
Return to Bel Canto - ROOT
Library: The Call - Yannick Murphy
Requested not Received:
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
Alone : Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk : defeat into victory - Michael Korda
LTER: A Hiss Before Dying - acq'd 2017
audio - For Two Thousand Years - Mihail Sebastian - acq'd 2017
75/er's challenge:Science and Technology: Beak of the Finch - ROOT
RLBC: Brooklyn - Colm Toibin - acq'd 2017
Lit Seminar Ten Days that Shook the World - John Reed - acq'd 2017
Number of Books in To Be Read collection here on LT: 500
Howdy. Nice goals for November. And if you don't like any of those, you certainly have from 500 others to choose from!
>140 karenmarie: Hi Karen - "you certainly have from 500 others to choose from" There is that, yes. :)There are also the three I have ordered and the museum book sale in Missoula this week. Although we are supposed to have a blizzard-ish storm so I may miss that one.
Started January 1st with 459 books on MT TBR. I'm going the wrong way, but not by huge numbers. What's a few over 40 books for an LT'er library?
Why is it that the new books and book bullets always look so more enticing than the ones I already have dusted for years?
66. Hillbilly Elegy - J. D. Vance - 2016
- Rachel's political read - 'Six Books to Help you Understand Trumps's Win'
- TIOLI #10. (shared) Read a book where the author's name contains a common noun (Van)
Author J.D. Vance's family roots are deep in the hills of Kentucky. But when jobs became scarce, generations of his family and their neighbors moved out of the hills and into the Middleton Ohio area for mill jobs.
They brought with them many of their customs and beliefs.
These were fiercely independent people. They brought with them a strong sense of family – but unfortunately this sometimes included broken families, addictions and child abuse. Many of them had lived in abject poverty, but refused government help which would have given their children a better chance at education and life. They looked down on those receiving such help.
They also looked down on government regulations.
One incident that I found both amusing and enlightening was that of one family bringing a few chickens into their city backyard. A neighbor was appalled at seeing chickens butchered outside her window. A zoning board got involved and chickens were outlawed in the 'burbs. The relatives' reaction? “#?#Xing zoning board stay out of my life.”
This book is included in The New York Times list of 'Six Books to Help you Understand Trumps's Win' which was published in November of 2016.
Will I ever understand Trump's supporters? Probably not, but this is an interesting description of the evolution of some of their populist views.
>143 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Yes! to your Yes!
Yesterday's view from my window
In that serendipitous way, I now have two history books to read quickly:
Ten Days that Shook the World (the Russian Revolution) for a seminar on Monday
Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory - because Michael Korda and Charlie Rose were discussing it so eloquently on PBS. New book from the library, so I only have it for two weeks and no renewals.
>146 FAMeulstee: That would be fun, Anita! So far it's a bit dry ... The lit seminar I'm going to on Monday is mainly lecture with a few people giving comments or questions at the end. It's a casual community lecture, not a formal class with a professor who is likely to pierce you with his stare and demand "Now Ms Sager, what do you think of the incident on page 142"?
So, if I don't get it done before then, it won't be a problem.
>144 streamsong: Ice?!! Yeesh. My friend Karen in Belgrade got 2 FEET of snow two nights ago. I've been wanting fall weather, but it's not quite time to think of wanting snow or ice here in central NC.
>148 karenmarie: Hi Karen - Yes, parts of Montana really got dumped on by snow. Thankfully, I've only had a few inches.
Road conditions are very bad, though - very icy. I skipped driving to the Missoula Museum book sale to avoid the roads. :(
There's a bit of a pun in the photo in >144 streamsong:. The horse pictured is my stallion whose barn name is Ice. So yes, it is a pic of Ice and snow. :-)
>149 msf59: Hi Mark! Happy Day off!
Yay that you enjoyed Hillbilly Elegy!
Boo to snow! This is starting way too early this year.
No, I've never read Cloudsplitter. I take your reccies's very seriously but am trying to avoid any more for a while as the piles are growing taller and steeper. Hands over eyes -
Have you read March? In this spin off of Little Women, the way the March family became poor was by investing in John Brown's utopian community.
Now that I'm actually into the revolution in Ten Days That Shook the World, it is much less dry and more interesting. I have too much to do outside to get it finished by tomorrow morning's meeting, though.
I'm going to do quickie reviews for both March by Geraldine Brooks and Little Women which I reread to go along with it.
But this Afterword by Nina Auerbach in my edition of Little Women summed up both books beautifully:
First off she sees LW as a book about “self-conquest and self-perfection” but not merely 'moral pap for children.'
"Home under Marmee's guidance cherishes the adult understanding while sheltering the girls from the pressure to sell themselves in a 'good match': ' better to be happy old maids than unhappy wives, or unmaidenly girls, running about to find husbands.' With these words, Mrs March bestows upon her girls a rare dowry in any century, the freedom to remain in a sanctuary that nourishes self-possession in the face of the compromising demands of official adulthood.”
“The underlying faith in the spiritual self-sufficiency of women may explain why the March family has been cherished for decades by women readers. …
“... the richness of the March household – its plenitude reproaches the scantness of the world outside-- has to do with the absence from it of controlling men. When Mr. March does return, the ghostly invalid is scarcely more present than he was in Washington: his philosophic mind is immune from the book's energy, its crises, its human life, which are the property of the women alone. Charming Laurie and his wealthy grandfather are equally peripheral. A more conventional novel would cast them as romantic rescuers, but here, wealthy men are wistful mendicants, forever soliciting the access to the charmed circle. After a series of cavalier rejections , of which Jo's is the dramatic, Beth's death makes a place for Laurie at last. Amy is heartsick and vulnerable, and so he manages to win the one sister who is “left for him”; so immune is the March family from the world's lure that an eligible suitor can enter it only by default.
" In this American classic, so dutiful on the surface, only women can build Utopias. For Louisa May Alcott, better worlds are the creation, not of high-minded men, but of practical women who understand the art of work and so transform their home into a self-sustaining work of art.”
>144 streamsong: I love that and I love that your horse's name is Ice. :-)
Although I know the snow brings its own troubles. I just hope you get lots of snow in the mountains this winter to reduce the fire hazard for next summer (too late, I know).
I read March a while ago and had forgotten that the family fell into poverty by investing in John Brown's utopian community. What a great side-plot idea.
Hi Janet - I'm so glad your eyes are allowing you to read again! Boo to the electrical misfires in your heart.
I saw the end of the Korda/Charlie Rose interview but missed the title of the book. Thanks. It sounds like one I would like.
>152 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. It's good to see you.
It's a tough time of the year as it's neither snow nor ice so it mostly turns into mud. I have both outside mud and inside mud thanks to boots and dog paws.
I enjoyed the John Brown sub-plot, too. There has been a bit of John Brown talk in the 75 due to several different books that people are reading. It was fun to see him pop up March, too.
>153 BLBera: Yes, thank you, Kim, it's amazing to be able to read with both eyes. It's one of those little things that actually is really big, that I won't take for granted again.
I need to get going on the Korda book. I haven't started it yet.
I've been reading Ten Days That Shook the World for the lit seminar earlier this week. I know so little about the Russian November Bolshevik revolution, but the chaos and coincidences of chance are fascinating. This week is the 100th anniversary of the revolution - but due to frequent purges and counter purges it's not being marked much even in Russian itself. The seminar teacher who led the discussion on the book said Russia has released a new documentary hero-izing Trotsky for the event. Trotsky was exiled from Russia eventually assassinated in Mexico.
Not light reading for sure!
Woot! The douweosinga map site is back up! https://douweosinga.com/projects/visited
I finished two books this past week:
- Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection - Edgar Allan Poe - Read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone - 2000; Halloween Reading Challenge; acq'd 2017
- Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins - 2012- AAC short stories
And I started reading two more:
On audio: - For Two Thousand Years - Mihail Sebastian - 2017 - LTER - Global Reading: Romania - 2017
For the Real Life Book Club on Thursday: Brooklyn - Colm Toibin - 2009 - RLBC - acq'd 2017
Sobering week: An acquaintance committed suicide. I only knew her in a caregiver/client capacity as she was a nurse practitioner that I had seen regarding my sleep problems. I have several friends in common that were deeply affected by her death.
I volunteered to help at the funeral on Saturday. I believe it was the largest funeral our church had ever seen. So much love.
I also battle the black dog and had a suicide attempt a bit over a dozen years ago. There is no condemnation here as I know how compelling and inevitable suicide can feel.
Nothing but sorrow when I think of this.
Thanks, Jim. There were several circumstances that make this extremely heart wrenching. But maybe that is true of all suicides.
Ah, what a shame, Janet. My condolences, too. I'm glad she was remembered with love by so many.
>156 streamsong: I was catching up on your thread and was trying to remember all the things I wanted to comment on, but they've all been driven out of my mind by your recent loss. I'm so sorry.
68. March - Geraldine Brooks - 2005
- Pulitzer Prize
- ROOT #21/50; acq'd 2015 = 2 ROOT points (50/225)
No wonder simple men have always had their gods dwell in the high places. For as soon as a man lets his eye drop from the heavens to the horizon, he risks setting it on some scene of desolation.” p 4
This is the spin-off story of Robert March, the father of the four girls in the 1864 classic Little Women. In that book we see Mr March only as a shadow figure; we know he's a chaplain in the Civil War and eventually lies ill in a hospital. Not many details are given.
In this Pulitzer Prize winning imagining of his life, Geraldine Brooks has created his backstory as well as given a fresh look at events surrounding the Civil War.
In many ways Ms Brooks patterned Robert March's life after that of Louisa May Alcott's own father, Bronson Alcott.
But March is also true to Alcott's vision of the husband and father in Little Women as Brooks depicts a philosopher more comfortable with the thoughts of his Transcendentalist friends than with deeds. Guided by his hopeful visions, March often jumps impulsively into events such as supporting John Brown's idealistic agrarian venture or impetuously joining the Union Army.
As in Little Women, the women in the book are the strong characters, the heroes who pick up the pieces.
Geraldine Brooks is married to a Civil War historian and did large amount of research on this era, giving what I felt was a fresh look at lesser known history. As always, I enjoy Geraldine Brooks' writing and ability to tell a tale. While some in my book club criticized the story as too far-fetched and coincidental, I give it a solid four stars.
I went to see Loving Vincent last night.
What a wonderful movie! If you love Van Gogh's work, it's not to be missed.
I kept thinking how much my Dad would have loved it. Hopefully they screened it in heaven where everyone there has a front row seat. And a bit of Scotch (or another favorite beverage for those who believe there may not be Scotch in heaven)
And oh what a blessing to be able to jump into my car, drive an hour and drive back home in the dark without experiencing any of the nasty vision problems that plagued me this past year!
>156 streamsong: Janet, that is quite a story and memory to share with us. Thank you for doing so.
>168 mdoris:: Hi Mary. Thanks, as always for stopping in and commenting.
Book Club meeting today. In December we will chose the next years's books from the following nominations:
-The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
- Salt Houses by Hala Alyan 2017
- Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller 2011
- Sourdough: A Novel by Robin Sloan 2017
- Oil and Marble: A Novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo by Stephanie Story 2016
- Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X Kendi
- The Sellout: A Novel by Paul Beatty
- In the Midst of Winter: A Novel by Isabel Allende
- A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
- Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly
- The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone
- Lentil Underground:Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
- The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell
- American Nations: a history of the eleven rival regional cultures of North America by Colin Woodard
- Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanche, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne
- The Glass Castle: a memoir by Jeannette Walls
- The Four Tendencies: the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better (and other peoples lives better, too) by Gretchen Rubin
- Whatever Gets You Through the Night: A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments by Andrei Codrescu 2011
- The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America 2017 by Frances Fitzgerald
- Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right 2017
by Jane Mayer
- Trump: The Art of the Deal 2015 by Donald J. Trump and Tony Schwartz
- Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics 2016 by Richard H. Thaler
- One Nation After Trump by E.J. Dionne Jr. and Norman Ornstein
Nominations That I've Already Read:
- You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie 2017
- The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
- Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
- Caleb`s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
- The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
- Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI 2017 by David Grann
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis 2016 by J. D. Vance
>166 streamsong: I'm so glad that your vision has improved to the point of night driving with confidence!
>169 streamsong: My top two books this year have been Lincoln in the Bardo and A Gentleman in Moscow. The Glass Castle is an amazing and eye-opening memoir. I have had Empire of the Summer Moon sitting on my desk for over a year - my husband's aunt loaned it to me because it was one of her husband's favorite books. I think it's calling to me - I saw a copy of it at Barnes & Noble Wednesday while visiting with daughter, and now it's mentioned here!
Wishing you a happy Friday and good weekend.
>170 karenmarie: - Hi Karen: I like all those choices that you mentioned.
I also like The Lentil Underground about eating locally and Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly.
I think our voting meeting is December 14th so I have a bit of time to read some reviews on the ones I'm not familiar with. I'm not sure how many we can vote for.
First of the November Reviews: I had read this one previously when I was in 5th grade.
70. Little Women -Louisa May Alcott - 1868
- Reread; (Read March for RLBC in October)
- library book
This 1868 classic is a familiar storyline, that needs little introduction. It's the coming of age of four girls, whose father is a chaplain in the Civil War and who are living in rather impoverished conditions under the watchful eye of their mother, known as Marmee.
Marmee raises them with a strong dose of Biblical teachings, and encourages them to look to the classic Pilgrim's Progress for lessons on life and perseverance.
Even with the moralizing, I found something sweetly charming about the book.
I was happy to read this afterword by Nina Auerbach in my edition of Little Women:
“Home under Marmee's guidance cherishes the adult understanding while sheltering the girls from the pressure to sell themselves in a 'good match': ' better to be happy old maids than unhappy wives, or unmaidenly girls, running about to find husbands.' With these words, Mrs. March bestows upon her girls a rare dowry in any century, the freedom to remain in a sanctuary that nourishes self-possession in the face of the compromising demands of official adulthood.”
“The underlying faith in the spiritual self-sufficiency of women may explain why the March family has been cherished for decades by women readers. …”
>170 karenmarie: Hi Karen! My post to you disappeared-- ugh! LT is LibraryWacky this morning.
Huh - and there is my earlier post back again. Nevermind.
LT does have its moments, doesn't it? Fortunately, they are rare.
I hope you have a wonderful Sunday - looks like today will be the last sunny/partially sunny day for you for a while.
Hi Janet - what a great list of nominees for your book club. We choose our year's reading in January.
I'm so glad you loved the "Loving Vincent" movie. We did, too. What a wonderful movie they created.
Little Women: Even with the moralizing, I found something sweetly charming about the book. Perfect summary of how I felt about it. I read it for the first time a few years ago. I was surprised by the moralizing but, like you, found something sweetly charming about the book.
>174 karenmarie: Happy Sunday, Karen! I know they are working on making the wiki's hack-proof as some of them were totally corrupted. I suspect as they roll out new code, we'll be seeing little glitches here and there. I want the wiki's back! It's making the TIOLI challenge nigh onto impossible!
Yes, I hope to work outside a bit today. I have a few spring flower bulbs that need to be planted ASAP. It may already be too late, but I'll give them a shot. Crocus, grape hyacinths, daffies, something they called 'wild tulips'- all from the discount bin at the grocery store. :)
>175 BLBera: Hi Beth - I enjoy the book club, although I don't always enjoy all the selections. :) Still, it gets me reading additional authors and subjects and so expands things a bit.
>176 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Yes, I'm so glad I took the hint on someone's thread (yours perhaps?) to watch "Loving Vincent" on the big screen. Such genius.
I'll admit that one of my favorite Dr Who's is when they went back to meet VVG. I caught myself looking for the alien peering out of the church window. It wasn't there, which proves the Doctor and Rose did a wonderful job. :)
I'm glad I reread Little Women. I don't think I've ever read any of the sequels, and not sure I'll go there, since several people have told me that LW is the best of the lot.
>177 streamsong: Most spring bulbs can be planted as long as the soil isn't frozen, Janet. I have planted well into December with good results.
>178 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! That's good to know. We have little patches of snow, but the ground isn't frozen solid, yet. I didn't get it done yesterday, but I hope to do so today.
I'll also plant a few of the daffodils in a pot, store in my refrigerator for a few weeks and then take them out in January to have some midwinter blooms in my house.
>179 msf59: Hi Mark - I'm glad you liked the review of March. Thank you.
Little Women - it's not one I would recommend to you, but I love the fact that Joe enjoyed it. I'm thinking maybe I'll take on Pilgrim's Progress next year.
Thanks, Mark. I did enjoy Battleborn: Stories and I really appreciate you sending it to me.
I've decided not to comment too much until I get the review written, since it seems like I'm sometimes talk about the same book forever that way.
I'm happy to pass Battleborn on to another person to enjoy. I was fascinated to find that author Claire Vaye Watkins is the daughter of one of the Manson family - one of the main witnesses who helped break the case and testified against Charles Manson.
>180 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Oh it's so good to see that you are out and about on the threads and to hear that your pain is bearable.
Yes, it was a really bad fire season in Montana. The federal firefighting money did not come through and there was a special legislature session to deal with the shortfall.
The Montana Republican dominated legislature rejected upping taxes (which would have spread the burden among everyone) and instead decided to cut services like healthcare and also furlough state employees making over $50K. I am heartsick. The burden has been shifted to the poor and to the middle class. I'm sure that the best of the state employees will be looking for new jobs.
What will they do next year if there is another bad fire season - and they are steadily becoming worse.
>177 streamsong: We love that Dr. Who scene with Vincent seeing all his paintings at the Musee D'Orsay (I think that's the museum) and hearing Bill Nighy, as the curator, talking about his legacy. Wonderful.
69. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – 1990
- ROOT #22/50; acq'd 06/13; = 4 ROOT points = 54/225
This is a reread for me; undertaken for the Halloween read here on the 75. The first time I read this several years ago, I read a print copy – this time I listened to the audiobook. My only complaint with the audio is that Neil Gaiman wasn't the reader.
It's time for the Apocalypse, the end of the world. But a well-meaning Satanic nun fumbles the baby switch and the Anti-Christ goes to the wrong family.
It's much harder running the Apocalypse with an anti-Christ who isn't interested and the forces for good and evil have become friends since they've been working against each other so long.
Lots of great moments in this, but one of my favorites will always be when the angel Aziraphale is set to guard the gates of Eden against Adam and Eve after they are cast out of the garden. Instead of chastising them with his flaming sword, Azirophale gives it to them to keep warm because they look so cold and miserable. That's my kind of Biblical story!
4.5 stars. I know I'll enjoy this one again!
>183 jnwelch: Joe, Yes!!!! That's the best part of a wonderful episode. Darn near brings tears.
Hope to finish these this week. Two are LTER books. One is overdue from the library.
>187 jnwelch: Hi Joe- There are so many wonderful books touted here on LT, that I only manage a few rereads a year. I'm glad this one was one of them.
Happy Thanksgiving, Janet! I hope you are having a lovely holiday with the family.
BTW- Flower Moon has been fantastic.
Thank you, Karen, Dejah and Mark! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
Mark I'm glad you're enjoying Flower Moon - it was so eye opening! and it made me so darn angry. I'm not sure how much better the Indian Justice system is today.
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.
Thanks for stopping by, Paul, and for helping to make this group such a wonderful corner of the internet.
71. Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection - Edgar Allan Poe - Read by Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone - 2000
- Halloween Reading Challenge
- 1001 Books to Read Before You Die:
- acq'd 2017
Another audio for Halloween challenge that I didn't complete until earlier this month.
This was perfect!
Twenty two stories and poems by Edgar Allen Poe including many of his most famous works.
It includes all three Poe creations that are on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list.
The Fall of the House of Usher – new for me
The Purloined Letter (Reread)
The Pit and the Pendulum (Reread)
I can't think of any more perfect reader/performers than Vincent Prince and Basil Rathbone.
This is a keeper that I'll listen to again next year.
Well, I got through your thread without any book bullets, however you’ve made m want to reread The Elephant’s Journey and Good Omens…way to go, Janet!
It would be hard to choose from that amazing list of proposed books for next year’s book club meetings. Vote for A Gentleman in Moscow. You won’t be sorry!
Pretty snow picture but just keep the real stuff up there, please. At least until December 24th. We are due for a White Christmas here in Missouri.
Loved the pic of your book haul(s). And I’m jealous about your book festival. I would love to have something like that locally.
Hi Donna! It's really good to see you!
No book bullets :( but I'm glad you got hit with a couple to reread. I've been enjoying my rereads this year. Thanks to Ellen for hosting the reread thread.
A Gentleman in Moscow is getting lots of LT love and so, whether chosen or not, I will work it in next year.
We are now having unseasonably warm weather, rain, and mud, mud, mud. :( We need a good hard freeze and a bit of snow to cover it all up!
I suspect the book festival didn't go well for the organizers this year. I wonder if they will have another one. :( In previous years, they had a central venue with many speakers in various rooms and vendors in the main area along with a few events at local bookstores. This year all the events were at local bookstores. It was far too much walking, driving, looking for parking places and I think they had no control over people paying for events.
I'm trying to get caught up with my LTER reading and reviews, since Heaven Knows! I totally **need** more books in my tbr pile.
Actually I love the fact that LTER is offering books newly published in the US from other countries. They are becoming a prime source for my global reading challenge.
74. For Two Thousand Years - Mihail Sebastian – 1934 – translated from Romanian into English 2017
– LibraryThing Early Reviewer
- Global Reading Challenge: Romania
- acq'd 2017
This was originally published in 1934 and just recently translated and published in English. It is based loosely on the experiences of the author.
This is the story of a fictional Jewish student and then young professional coming of age in Romania in the years between WWI and WWII.
As anti-Semitism mounts, the student find some teachers at the University Law School refusing to teach Jewish students. He therefore turns to architecture and begins a successful career.
But as the anti-Semitism continues to grow, we see him in a variety of debates with his friends and colleagues. Why are Jews always hated? Is Yiddish or Hebrew better? What role should Jews take ? Is it better to stay or is it worth the effort to leave for the Palestinian territory and and the Zionism movement– and they debate how that will affect the Palestinian residents already there and how they will feel with floods of Jewish refugees coming into their homeland.
At the heart of the debates: Are the philosophers and students of religion useful or does that only apply to those who take action? Should one work within the system and hope for the best, or opt out altogether and flee?
Sad to say, although I hadn't read anything about the 'Jewish Problem' in Romania, the growing hostility and the ways it is acted out reflect nothing new when compared to the stories I've read from other countries in this era. Somehow I'd hoped that the Romanian story of the Jews in the pre-WWII years would be different.
And since this was published in 1934, you know how this plays out after the book ends.
And that is very sobering.
>198 streamsong: Very good review, Janet.
This one isn't translated into Dutch, but his diaries are, I will keep an eye out for that one.
>198 streamsong: What Anita said - very good review. I've added it to my totally unmanageable wishlist. *smile*
Thank you Karen and Anita for the complements on the review!
>199 FAMeulstee: Oh, that's good to know, Anita ,about his diaries. After you mentioned them, I tried to find them online and they are very expensive (unless you buy the Kindle version and I haven't taken the Kindle plunge yet - except to download the Kindle app to read on the computer).
I'll look forward to see your take on what he has to say. It ended rather ambiguously and I'll be interested to know how his story played out.
And here is the wreath I made in a wreath-making class I mentioned on Karen's thread:
It's pretty 'au naturale' since I didn't have time to try bow-making and add a few ornaments. I may add to it a bit more.
All the elements are from the Bitterroot forrest: mostly fir branches, but a few ponderosa pine (long needles showing at bottom right and the pine cones), some western cedar and juniper with blue berries (both towards top of wreath). The red sticks are native red willow with a few rose hips thrown in.
It was fun to do as I've never made my own wreath before.
I think I may make it my new Christmas tradition.
I've joined the Outside Beyond Books book club on FB, to add more adventure books to my reading.
Here's the first one for December - Pure Land, a true crime murder mystery in the Havasu portion of the Grand Canyon:
My other December possibilities: (506 books on the physical TBR stack as of 12/1/2017)
✔A Hiss Before Dying - LTER
On Beauty - audiobook - ROOT
Ten Days That Shook the World
The Beak of the Finch - ROOT
Bel Canto - ROOT
✔ Daring to Drive
✔ The Call
Holidays on Ice - Sedaris - audio
A Guide to the Birds of East Africa
Wishin and Hopin - Wally Lamb
✔A Dog Named Christmas ROOT
✔ Call Me Mrs Miracle - ROOT
A Christmas Memory - Reread - ROOT
***Reading*** The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson - ROOT reread
A Christmas Memory - Truman Capote - ROOT Reread
- The Emerald Labyrinth (Congo) - Eli Greenbaum
- Mouths Don't Speak - Haiti - (not yet received)
Reputations - Juan Gabriel Vasquez - lit seminar 1/2/2017
I like your wreath, and am impressed with so many varieties of branches. I always buy a wreath - a Christmas tree farmer in the mountains in NC and his wife bring trees to a location about 25 minutes from us. She makes all the wreaths. She mixes some boxwood into some of them but didn't have any in the size I wanted. She said she'd make me one. It would take a couple of hours, but I didn't want to go back out so bought one she'd already made. I put some angels on it, and it's in the breakfast room so that we see it every time we come in from that end of the house.
Holidays on Ice is a hoot - I love David Sedaris. I also read A Christmas Memory for the first time this year and found it charming.
Happy Sunday, Janet. I was warbling about Flower Moon to friends last night. NNF has been on a killer roll lately. Let's hope it continues.
Is winter back there? Our weather will be taking a sharp turn. Only 30 degree high for Wed and Thurs. Well, it is December.
>204 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! The wreath making was fun.
Your wreath sounds beautiful. I love that you added your own touches. I need to google boxwood - they don't grow here, so I don't know what they look like (or their fragrance!)
Sometimes Sedaris is a bit over the top for my comfort zone. But on the other hand, I need a bit of balance for the over sentimentalized and over saccharinzed season. Cynical Janet!
>205 msf59: Hi Mark - Just barely winter with a dusting of snow on the ground in the last few days.
I finished Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory this past week. Another 4.5 star non-fiction. This is from a person who avoids war non-fiction (and history!) altogether. I'll get to the review soon.
Now I've started Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening by Manal al-Sharif. It was a new NF that caught my eye at the library - and it's also outstanding and hard to put down.
Sunday afternoon I went to a Singing Bowl Sound Bath. Ten of us were on the floor of the leader's Yoga studio with mats, pillows and blankets while she played the singing bowls for an hour and a half.
Wowza! I have *Never* had a more relaxing experience. My muscles were so relaxed that after a short while, my neck vertebrae popped and moved into place. Then right before it ended, my back popped into place. This is a chronically irritated area, so I had muscle spasms after the back pop.
Both of these occurred when I was lying motionless.
I go to a chiropractor once a month and get rearranged, but I'm now going to go the monthly Singing Bowl Sound Bath. It was an absolutely amazing experience.
Tonight I'm going to the local hospice for a dinner and 'tree of lights' ceremony. I bought lights for both Mom and Dad. I am missing them both, but especially Mom (perhaps because her death was so recent). I dozed off in the chair and honestly thought I saw her sitting next to me as I woke up.
Hi Janet, Greatly appreciated your story of the singing bowls, WOW!!! and appreciated your post wake up visit with your mom. I look a great deal like my mom and especially so as I get....shall we say...."older". Often as I pass a mirror and have a quick glance I see my mom and it is a jolt and a shake down of "Who was that!"
>207 streamsong: That sounds like a great experience, Janet, I hope it keeps working for you.
>208 mdoris: Hi Mary - Thanks for stopping by! The Singing Bowl relaxation was spectacular. I've already signed up for the January session.
LOL on seeing your Mom in the mirror! My Mom was a very tiny woman and I ..... am not. Sigh. No chance of mistaking my reflection for hers.
The hospice tree of lights dinner and tree lighting was unexpectedly rough for me. I had a lot of tears. I came home exhausted - I hope it was just what I needed; I feel much lighter this morning.
>208 mdoris: Good morning, Anita! It truly was great.
I am a Christian, but a very liberal Christian (and am not good at church-going although I am rejoining a Bible study group with some friends). I love some of the meditation practices. There used to be a LT member posting regularly who was a Christian pastor - 'with leanings toward Buddhism in the spring'.
>210 streamsong: While difficult, it sounds in a way that the hospice tree of lights dinner and tree lighting is just what you needed. Lighter the next day sounds good.
>211 ronincats: >212 mdoris: Thanks, Roni and Mary!
I talked to a councilor friend. She said it's not an unusual reaction when you see your father and mother's name together in death for the first time. Usually it's on tombstones, but, since both my parents were cremated and the ashes scattered, for me it was the printed flyer listing the names of the lights for the tree. (Jim and Dorothy B).
Today is the Real Life Book Club's Christmas potluck and book picks for next year. It should be fun. The list of books we are voting on is in >169 streamsong: .
I am over a month behind in trying to catch up on threads. Reading of the acquaintance who committed suicide was very sobering, but more so to me, was your mention of the experience over a dozen years ago. May the black dog never win. I hope your new year is one to bring healing to your heart from all the hard things which 2017 brought.
Would love to hear what the decisions on the bookclub reads will be for the coming year. I am no longer in a bookclub after having been in a bookclub for 35 years at our former place. I tried but it didn't work for me.
>207 streamsong: The singing bowls sound wonderful. I have chronic back issues and have found gentle yoga to be helpful.
The hospice lights sounds like a lovely practice and those tears are part of grieving for and celebrating the lives of your parents. I still have mine and we spent Thanksgiving together. But they are moving from old to elderly and I cherish every moment with them. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful.
My husband and I are slowly disengaging from things that keep us tied down (farm animals, mostly) and are ready to head back to Montana and the NW. You are blessed to live in such a beautiful place.
>214 countrylife: Hi Cindy! Thanks for your lovely comments. It was a tough year for me, but I've passed through and December has been wonderful - I've been to local concerts and classes, and lots of laughter with friends.
About a year ago, I had some genetic testing done which showed there is a whole class of anti-depressants that don't work for me as I am a double negative for both genes that make these anti-depressants effective (and also keep me from utilizing folate - I now take methylfolate daily instead). Yay for modern science!
>215 mdoris: Hi Mary - We'll get the final list of books chosen soon and I'll post it. My nomination, Lincoln in the Bardo, didn't make it. :( A Gentleman in Moscow did. The January choice is Caleb's Crossing which I've read before. I think I've read four of the books that were chosen. Most of them I learned about here on LT.
One of the members wants to start another bookclub using current and political topics books. I think I'll give that one a shot, too.
>216 witchyrichy: Hi Karen - It's good to see you! I'm glad you still have your parents and you are wise to cherish your time together.
I've signed up for a free six week long yoga class at the library starting in January. I used to do it regularly, but have not for quite a while now.
It's time for me to cut down animals, too. I'm really struggling with 7 horses this winter.
In the strange but true category, my elderly golden retriever has received a new lease on life. When sleeping she would have a large puddle of what I thought was drool around her head. I took her to the vet to see if she had something like a bad tooth. It turned out the vet thought her esophageal sphincter was failing (it's a muscle after all) and the 'drool' was actually acid reflux. She had me put her on Pepcid AC. Within two days the problem is not only solved, but the dog has regained her wags and happy. Can you imagine how sore her throat must have felt with that much stomach acid going through it?
I am in the mood to read light-hearted Christmas books along with my other reading. So far I've read A Dog Named Christmas and Call Me Mrs Miracle from my ROOT pile. I'm currently doing my almost annual reread of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and also have A Christmas Memory slotted in. All will help me up the number of books read this year and my ROOT challenge - can't see that I'll make either to 100 books or 50 ROOTS this year.
I'm going to try to get long neglected reviews done (aren't I always behind!) - skipping around between ones I've just finished and older ones.
The first is one that I finished in November. Mark sent it to me after he enjoyed it earlier this year. I'll be glad to send it on. PM me if you're interested.
72. Battleborn - Claire Vaye Watkins - 2012
- AAC short stories;
Reading the states: Nevada;
Battleborn is the motto of Claire Vaye Watkins' home state, Nevada.
From the dustflap: “... Battleborn represents a near-perfect confluence of sensibility and setting, and the introduction of an exceptionally powerful and original literary voice. In each of these ten unforgettable stories, Claire Vaye Watkins writes her way fearlessly into the mythology of the American West, utterly reimagining it. …. Most bravely of all, Watkins takes on – and reinvents – her own troubled legacy in a story that emerges from the mayhem and destruction of Helter Skelter. Arcing from the sweeping and sublime to the minute and personal, from Gold Rush to ghost town to desert to brothel, the collection echoes not only in its title but also in its fierce, undefeated spirit the motto of her home state.”
This is a wonderful, often gritty, collection of short stories.
Two especially were memorable to me:
The first entry in the book and one of my favorites is 'Ghosts, Cowboys'. It is more essay than short story about the hard scrabble state of Nevada's history. It segues into the author's own story. Her father, Larry Watkins, was a member of the infamous Manson family, living on the Spahn and also the Meyers Ranches. Although Watkins was present when Manson gave his Helter Skelter prophecy, he did not take part in the murders, and became one of the prime witnesses against Manson during Manson's trial. After the trial, Watkins acquired a job and a wife and eventually daughter Claire.
My other favorite, 'The Diggings', recounts a story of two brothers hunting gold in Nevada. When they need extra help to work their claim, they befriend a Chinese father and his son. This is a sad part of American history as the Chinese were hated. The outcome of the story is very sobering.
Excellent writer. I'll look forward to reading more of her work.
I have a 12 1/2 year old large dog (dearly beloved Maggie) and I loved the story of your golden retriever regaining..."wags and happy". We went to a new vet a few days ago who we are way more comfortable with and he seems very sensible. Mags is in relatively good health but hips are fading and she sleeps a lot (like me!).
I am amazed by the science around assessment for anti-depressant medication (double negative for gene effectiveness). Ooops I started last night and thought it seemed familiar and when I double checked I did read this book in early 2017 but it is a loving tribute to her father who greatly suffered from depression. I am such a slow reader that I really can't re-read a book but this one was tempting. It shows the challenges which I found very insightful! Swing Low by Miriam Toews.
I am almost finished Inferior, How Science Got Women Wrong and am finding it a gem. Most research (re drugs ...and way more) is NEVER done on women. Sure, why not ignore 50% of the population!
Thanks for giving your bookclub ideas (I know more to come!). I have not yet read Lincoln in the Bardo or A Gentleman in Moscow.
Great that you have had a very good December!
>221 mdoris: - Hi Mary! Yes, Ginny is much better but she still has many problems including hips.
Book bullets on my thread - both Swing Low and Inferior, How Science Got Women Wrong sound very good. I've added them to my 'wanna read' list.
I had an amazing experience last night. I was feeding about 11 pm and there was a great horned owl close by hooting and one farther away hooting back. So I started hooting and had four owls hooting back at me! Pretty darn amazing.
They are staking out territory now for the nesting season. I felt a bit guilty since the seminar I went to last spring said that calling in owls can make them use energy at a time when food may be scarce. But I tell myself they were already stirred up and hooting and I just joined in the conversation.
I went to a really good Christmas concert last night, but my owl concert was even better!
Sounds like things are perking along nicely for you.
The Singing Bowl relaxation sounds wonderful.
It's fantastic that Pepcid AC gave your elderly golden retriever a new lease on life. Both my cats are benefiting from Metacam for inflammation/arthritis and move much better with it twice a week.
I love the story of your owl concert, too!
Cheering you on to the 75, Janet.
Have a lovely remainder of your weekend.
Love your owl experience and very happy that Ginny is feeling so much better, Janet!
Hi Janet, what a wonderful owl story. I had to look the great horned owl up, very impressive! And four of them, no less!
>222 streamsong: Must have been great, Janet, having a conversation with 4 horned owls!
>222 streamsong: Wow! Quick thinking on your part to start the hooting! I think the wonder of that experience would stay with a person for quite a while!
>222 streamsong: Loved the owl story! I hope you get a nesting pair or two.
OMG that owl experience sounds AMAZING!!!! I love things like that; to me that is spiritual.
We have Barred Owls in our neighborhood that regularly call to each other at night. Very soothing. I also like the idea of your singing bowl meditation/yoga experience. I got a singing bowl but don't quite know what to do with it. My granddaughters like to play with it, but it's not that relaxing when they are fighting over it! I loved your wreath upthread, Janet. It looks like an excellent tradition to me. I also like the natural look. So many of the purchased ones to a little too merry and bright!
I so appreciate all the messages!
Karen, Paul, Roni, Linda, Ella, Mark, Rachel, Karen, Dejah, Ellen, Donna - a veritable feast of messages going on. Thank you so much.
I'm taking off for a few days - not an easy thing to do since I need a housesitter with all the critters I have going on.
I've actually made it past 75 books (yay!) I'm on #83 for the year. I'm just so behind on reviews that unless you carefully study >5 streamsong: you'd never know it. :) I won't make it to 100 for the first time in many years, but I'm just feeling blessed to be reading again!
Merry Christmas to all!
Yes, congratulations on blowing past the 75 book mark, Janet! And I'm so happy you are able to be reading again too.
I'm so glad you are able to read again, too, Janet. It is something for which to be grateful, even if this year you covered fewer books than usual. Over 80 books is still quite something!
Wishing you a very merry Christmas.
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:
Stopping by to wish you and yours all good things this holiday season.
^Have a great holiday, my friend. And Congrats on hitting #75!!
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!
Merry Christmas from Philadelphia, Janet! I hope that 2018 treats you, and all of us, well.
I hope you're enjoying your travels! Peace and joy to you and yours.
Wishing you a happy holiday season, Janet, and all the best for the new year!
Thank you for all the beautiful Christmas and Holiday wishes.
The very same to you, Anita, Jim, Roni, Ellen, Karen, Mark, Rachel, Paul, Darryl, Dejah and Ella!
I had a wonderful trip to Tempe Arizona (city adjoining Phoenix) to visit my brother, his boys and my son. The 65 degree weather was heavenly and including picking fresh oranges, lemons and pomelos (similar to grapefruit) from the back yard trees.
We went to the desert botanical gardens which was lit beautifully at night with luminaria and lights on trees and cacti to show off their amazing forms. There was a wide choice of musical groups as you wandered the grounds. I especially enjoyed the Native flute and storytelling - amazing to think that these sounds have been heard there for thousands of years. My next favorite was a contemporary handbell choir. We also listened to jazz, bluegrass, and mariachi among others. What a great evening!
My sister-in-law traditionally has a huge Christmas eve party. She and a couple others had made dozens and dozens of pierogi which we then boiled and fried before people got there. My contributions included a Honey Baked Ham, and persimmon cookies and never-fail fudge, the latter two of my family's traditional childhood goodies.
Unfortunately, things did not go so well for my house and critter sitter. Temperature dipped below zero and on Christmas eve, the heater in my well house gave up the ghost, causing my well to freeze and the pump casing to split. She and friends had to haul water from town for several days to keep 7 horses watered until a new pump could be installed the day after Christmas. What a nightmare!
I had a bachelor uncle, Uncle Emanuel, on the family homestead in North Dakota. Mom always wanted him to visit us over Christmas, but he never would, saying it would be too much for his neighbors to take care of, if things went wrong.
Boy, do I understand that now!
I'm so glad you had a wonderful time in warm climes with your family, sad that you now understand your Uncle Emanuel's position on visiting over Christmas. So sorry that your well froze and the pump casing split. So glad your sitter and friends were able to transport water for the horses.
Stopping by to wish you a belated Merry Christmas along with best wishes for the new year. I am sorry about the well freezing.
My husband and I learned the same lesson you did although ours usually involved wayward pigs who seemed to know when we were both away and took to wandering the farm and the neighborhood across the street.
I can't imagine keeping animals in Montana or North Dakota in the winter!
I’m so sorry to hear about the pump troubles, but how fortunate you had a reliable sitter and that it could be fixed so quickly!
>250 karenmarie: Hi Karen - Yes, definitely a mess with the well ... but ... it was mostly all handled when I got home. I do need to call him to see why I don't have much pressure in the house. I have an old style pressure tank and it may made need air injected.
The jury is out on how much I'll be charged for an emergency call on Christmas morning ....
The family was fun. My brother's two boys are freshman and sophomores in college. My son Dan is a PhD student. I'm proud of all three of them!
We played several hands of Exploding Kittens Christmas afternoon so now I can add that to my resume; we also went to the Last Jedi - which I enjoyed much more than the previous two movies.
My sister-in-law took me to my first ever pedicure - my hardworking mountain/farm feet were embarrassing but they look great and it was as relaxing as she promised. My poor pedicurist pulled out a rasp to work on my calluses and I thought "Hmmm well I could always use the horse hoof rasp on them." :-)
>251 witchyrichy: Merry Christmas, Karen! I love that ornament. Is it one of yours?
Haha on the wayward pigs. Yes, something always seems to become a challenge for the critter sitter, doesn't it?
We had 6-8 inches of snow overnight. Now it's up to 40 degrees F. For the next few days we are expecting LOADS of precipitation - almost an inch of rain or perhaps several feet of snow depending on how the Arctic express cold coming from the north and the moisture laden Pineapple express from the coast collide.
>252 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you Dejah and thanks for stopping by. It's always grand to have you drop in.
Good for your sister-in-law! Pedicures are absolutely wonderful. I've had less than a dozen in my life but have decided that I'll be getting them about every 6 weeks or so from now on.
I'm trying to figure out which challenges will have me reading more off my shelves next year. :-)
The 75'er's non-fiction challenge: January - Award Winner The Long Tail - Chris Anderson
And maybe from the 2018 challenge group:
ColorCat challenge (read a book with a certain color cover) - Jan-black: Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vasquez & Missing Persons - Stephen White
AlphaCat challenge (read a book with the title or author starting with a particular letter) M or V - Missing Persons - Stephen White
RandomCat Challenge (read a book with the category chosen randomly each month)- Jan - book bullet - Winterdance - Gary Paulsen
MysteryKit Challenge - (particular genre of mystery each month) - although for January I don't have anything on my TBR pile for ScandiCrime, so I should skip January .... or .... perhaps Jo Nesbo from the library ....
>255 karenmarie: Hi Karen - yes I think I'll have it done semi-routinely at least during the warmer months so I can wear more sandals. Right now there is not a soul who will see my tootsies under my heavy boots.
>257 streamsong: I take great joy in having nicely done toenails even though I don't even wear sandals during the summer - with my feet problems I always thick wool sox and black new balance tennis shoes with gel insoles. My husband, daughter, and kitties are the only ones who ever see my 'tootsies' besides me. *smile*
And I thought I was the only person on the planet who had never had a pedi. I'm not feeling the pressure though!
Wishing you a wonderful 2018 full of awesome reading!
p.s. glad that the pump got fixed and the horses watered. Oh boy....
Wow, what a mess for your housesitter. I'm glad she was so dedicated.
>254 streamsong: It is one of the ornaments on my tree. It is mostly bird ornaments I've collected or been given. My craft theme this year is going to be bird ornaments.
Best wishes for the new year! Stay warm and safe!
Sorry, to hear about the pump house problems, Janet. What a bummer. But, thank God, for helpful neighbors. I hope you can get it fixed in a timely fashion.
>258 karenmarie: That's what my sister-in-law said, too. So far neither my dog or two cats are impressed. :)
>259 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! The same to you and your wonderful family!
>260 mdoris: Hi Mary - Definitely worth a try.
Thanks for the wishes for good reading. As long as I hang around here at LT, my good reading will overflow.
I just picked up three from the library which were all book bullets on recent threads:
Odd and the Frost Giants - audio by and read by Neil Gaiman
Unbelievable: My Front Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History - Katy Tur
The Child Finder - Rene Denfield
And thanks to Morphy for my LT swap books:
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear
The Paper Menagerie - Ken Liu
>261 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel, good to see you back at LT again! I miss your posts!
Yeah it was a mess for the housesitter. I am grateful for her effort in taking care of the horses. But she charged $$$ as she considers herself a professional house and horse sitter - and some of the things she did caused greater damage in the well house. I had the well guy out again yesterday and he confirmed my suspicions without me saying a word when he said 'if only ...'
She also did things I specifically told her not to do - things which if they had gone wrong would have voided the insurance on this place.
I had hoped to encourage this friendship - she's the volunteer coordinator at the therapeutic riding place I volunteer - but I don't think I'll hire her again. I think she took too many jobs over Christmas, which worked as long as something didn't go wrong.
Ah well. Everything but my wallet is intact. I learned a lot about leaving - or not leaving - the place in the winter and I had a great time with my brother's family.
>262 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I love the idea of a tree full of bird ornaments. I have a few - I think I'll look for more. For a while I was collecting cat ornaments - cats and birds should make an interesting combo!
>263 msf59: Good to see you, Mark. Thanks for checking in. I always appreciate your visits.
>265 drneutron: Hi Jim!
"Oh, Morphy did good!" She did, didn't she!
She chose one from my wishlist and two books that she had really enjoyed from the 'what should streamsong borrow from Morphy' list. I think that's a clever way of giving someone a surprise. I hope I remember it next Christmas.
>266 EllaTim: Thank you Ella! The same good wishes in 2018 to you and yours!
>267 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. I followed your link and checked in over there.
I finished two books yesterday - the audio of Zadie Smith's On Beauty and also Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives, Three Cultures and the Search for ... by Annette McGivney.
The latter is a mix of true crime, the Havasupai tribe that lives in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Japanese culture and the psychology of child abuse and historical PTSD. Outdoors, psychology, Native American and Japanese culture are all topics I am interested in . I wonder if it's a 'too broad' mixture for many people - especially as about a third of the book is the author's own story.
I'll get a review written on this one - I might put it on my new thread instead of here. I hope to start the 2018 thread later today as well as finishing up a few more books.
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