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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Five

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Four.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Six.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 6:39pm Top

-The Horicon Marsh National Nature Reserve, WI. I had to share my sunset shot again.

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:43pm Top



Books Read So Far...


78) The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich 4 stars (audio)
79) Chemistry: A novel by Weike Wang 4.3 stars
80) The Good Lord Bird by James McBride 4.2 stars (audio) AAC
81) The Trespasser by Tana French 4 stars (partial audio)
82) The Warbler Road by Merrill Gilfillan 3.8 stars
83) The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros 3.6 stars
84) The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker 4,2 stars (audio)
85) See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt 3.8 stars
86) The Color of Water: Memoir by James McBride 4.8 stars (audio) AAC
87) Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo 4.4 stars
88) Staked: The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne 4 stars (audio)
89) Birds of America: Stories by Lorrie Moore 4.6 stars
90) The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles 4.2 stars (audio)


91) The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon 3.7 stars (audio)
92) Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson 4.4 stars ALA
93) Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith 4 stars (audio) AAC
94) Love That Dog by Sharon Creech 4 stars
95) Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami 4.8 stars (audio) Reread*
96) Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams 4.3 stars
97) Olio by Tyehimba Jess 5 stars (poetry)
98) Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken 4.6 stars (audio)
99) Charlotte's Web by E. B. White 4.5 stars (audio)
100) Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson 4.2 stars (audio)
101) The Girl of the Lake: Stories by Bill Roorbach 4.2 stars ALA
102) Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz 4.3 stars (audio)
103) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov 4.3 stars
104) The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock 4.4 stars (audio)
105) The Solace of Open Spaces by Gretel Ehrlich 4.2 stars
106) Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn 4.8 stars (audio)


107) Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman 3.8 stars
108) The Graybar Hotel: Stories by Curtis Dawkins 4.5 stars (audio) AAC
109) Jesus' Son: Stories by Denis Johnson 4.3 stars AAC
110) Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta 3.6 stars (audio)
111) The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein 4 stars ALA
112) Swing Time by Zadie Smith 3.3 stars (audio)
113) The Dark Dark: Stories by Samantha Hunt 4 stars (audio) AAC
114) Pastoralia by George Saunders 4.2 stars AAC
115) The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne 4.7 stars (audio/print)
116) What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories by Raymond Carver 4.2 stars (audio) AAC
117) In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien 3.7 stars
118) Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie 4.5 stars (audio)
119) American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse 4.2 stars (audio)
120) Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward 4 stars ALA

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:44pm Top

Welcome to the AAC IV! It should be another fun year. Some interesting and diverse authors.

January- Octavia Butler Completed Kindred
February- Stewart O' Nan Completed Songs For the Missing, In the Walled City: Stories
March- William Styron Completed The Confessions of Nat Turner
April- Poetry Month Completed Incendiary Art, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, Scriptorium,
No Matter the Wreckage
May- Zora Neale Hurston Completed Dust Tracks on a Road
June- Sherman Alexie Completed The Toughest Indian in the World
July- James McBride Completed The Good Lord Bird, The Color of Water
August- Patricia Highsmith Completed Strangers on a Train
September- Short Story Month Completed The Graybar Hotel: Stories, Jesus' Son: Stories, The Dark Dark: Stories
Pastoralia, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
October- Ann Patchett
November- Russell Banks
December- Ernest Hemingway

The General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/244600#
The Poetry Thread Continued: http://www.librarything.com/topic/254101#6045134

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:44pm Top

115) The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne 4.7 stars

“It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature.”

“If there is one thing I've learned in more than seven decades of life, it's that the world is a completely fucked-up place. You never know what's around the corner and it's often something unpleasant.”

The opening of this epic Irish novel, begins in a church, with a pregnant sixteen year old girl, being viciously castigated, from the pulpit, by a hellish priest. She is verbally and physically cast out of the village for being an unwed “whore”. How Catherin Goggin flees to Dublin and somehow survives, against all odds is a marvel to read.
The narrative then switches to her son, Cyril Avery, who is immediately adopted, after his birth. This is his story and we revisit him, every seven years. He spends the rest of his life, struggling with his homosexuality, his love and hate relationship with his homeland and a yearning to find a true “home” and his long lost mother.
Yes, there is pain and anguish in this novel and tears will be shed, but there is also plenty of humor sprinkled throughout and I found myself laughing out loud several times. Boyne is a terrific storyteller and he has created a cast of memorable characters, which I think Dickens would have been proud of.
This was my introduction to this author's work and it was a perfect place to start.

**I read this, both in print and on audio but I highly recommend the audio. Excellent narration.

Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 6:43pm Top

116) What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories by Raymond Carver 4.2 stars

“Drinking’s funny. When I look back on it, all of our important decisions have been figured out when we were drinking. Even when we talked about having to cut back on drinking, we’d be sitting at the kitchen table or out at the picnic table with a six-pack or whiskey.”

“A man can go along obeying all the rules and then it don’t matter a damn anymore.”

“and it ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we're talking about when we talk about love.”

Carver writes spare, slices of American life. Stories of love, booze, pain, infidelity and death. These tales take place, in small towns, trailer parks and on camping trips. There is just enough dry wit, to keep it keep the bleakness at bay.

I first discovered Carver, while reading Short Cuts: Selected Stories, which was a special edition collecting stories from the Robert Altman film Short Cuts. It is a truly amazing film, with a stellar cast and it perfectly captures the spirit and tone of Carver. A couple of the stories found in the film show up in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

I have no idea why it has taken me 20-plus years to revisit Carver, but I am back on board now and will read the rest of his work.

**I read this for the AAC. This is my 5th collection of the month. I am happy with that total, although many have still been left behind.

Sep 21, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Happy new thread, Buddy.

Glad you opened with your sunset shot as it is worthy to top any thread.

Sep 21, 2017, 8:27pm Top

Thanks, Paul. You are number one, kind sir. Glad you like the sunset topper.

Sep 21, 2017, 8:47pm Top

I agree wholeheartedly with Paul - that is a lovely photo! Happy new thread!

We had a serendipitous day of birding today at the lake (Chatfield State Park). It was a beautiful warm day but lousy for boating (very windy). While hanging on the dock, I got to watch an osprey fish (he missed). Then while walking out, a golden eagle (!!) soared along the shoreline in front of us. It was huge! Then, while turning the car around on a dead end road near the shore, in a grove of trees in front of us, there was a great horned owl sitting in a tree. It was all pretty amazing. And earlier, I'd been lamenting that the pelicans have nearly all moved on. I love going there during the week, especially now at the end of the season - it's so quiet and you never know what you'll see.

Sep 21, 2017, 8:57pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Gorgeous topper. Looking at it, it's hard to believe this earth isn't this calm, everywhere

Sep 21, 2017, 9:03pm Top

Who's the big bird sitting on the middle of the wire?

Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 9:16pm Top

>8 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. An osprey, a golden and a GHO, in the same day? WOWZA! How cool is that. I have only seen osprey and white pelicans. Hopefully, my day will come.

>9 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I took that photo last Friday evening. It was a gorgeous night and there was plenty of bird activity too, as the day came to an end.

>10 weird_O: I believe that is a King Warbler, Bill.

Sep 21, 2017, 9:48pm Top

>11 msf59: It was really extraordinary, Mark! All within about two hours - the owl and eagle within 30 minutes! I've never seen a golden eagle before. I chatted with a ranger about it afterwards and he said it'd been hanging around yesterday and today.

Sep 21, 2017, 10:33pm Top

Spectacular sunset photo at Horicon Marsh, Mark. Wow!!

Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 10:36pm Top

>12 Copperskye: I want to see a Golden Eagle! Wah!!

>13 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. I got a nice shot, even if it was with my cell phone.

Sep 21, 2017, 10:38pm Top

>14 msf59: You can take good pics with a cellphone.

Got home from South Elgin only to find the Cubs and Brewers tied. Not liking how this is going.

Sep 21, 2017, 11:49pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. The Boyne sounds interesting and highly rated too.

Sep 22, 2017, 2:02am Top

>5 msf59: ooooh, looks good.

From the last thread, yes, the Dandy Warhols do continue to make new music. Go see this one off the latest album, it is utter low-fi heaven.

Sep 22, 2017, 2:37am Top

Lovely sunset shot Mark. With the Boyne and the Carver you have had some great reading lately.

Sep 22, 2017, 6:32am Top

Love the topper photo, Mark! Cyril is back in Dublin... I have 100 pages to go. Will likely finish my audio today as well.

Thinking about starting Letters to Memory in paper next.

Sep 22, 2017, 6:35am Top

>15 lindapanzo: I fell asleep just after Baez tied it, in the 9th and it looks like they came back to win! YAH!!!

>16 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! I hope my warbling encourages a few more LT pals to pick up this Irish gem.

>17 LovingLit: I think you would enjoy, Carver. You would those dark shadings and odd quirks. Thanks for the Dandy Warhols link. I will check it out after work tonight.

>18 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. Yes, September has been a good reading month, although nothing can beat my August but I will continue to try.

Sep 22, 2017, 6:42am Top

>19 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy! Good luck with the homestretch of the Boyne. I hope you are still enjoying it. Let me know what you think of Letters to Memory. Sounds interesting.

Edited: Sep 22, 2017, 6:48am Top

^I know Home Fire did not make the Booker long list but I have heard such good things about it, I decided to make it my next audio. I also snagged Solar Bones from the library, for the very same reason.

Sep 22, 2017, 7:07am Top

Looks like you have some good reading ahead. Have a great Friday.

Sep 22, 2017, 7:48am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Nice shot of the marsh up top. Enjoy your Friday!

Sep 22, 2017, 8:07am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread, and stay cool out there today!

Sep 22, 2017, 8:20am Top

Happy New Thread, and Happy Friday, Mark!

I join the chorus of warblers warbling "lovely photo" up top. That's quite a photo of the golden eagle, too.

We're starting early this a.m., so off I go. Hope you have a good one. Find as much shade as you can!

Sep 22, 2017, 8:53am Top

Happy new thread! Lovely opening shot!

Sep 22, 2017, 9:26am Top

Sounds like a hot one there today. I hope you are able to stay cool, Mark. Autumn has definitely struck here, damp and cooler but who knows what the day will bring - it is only 6:30 am and our weather predictors don't have a good track rate.

Sep 22, 2017, 9:29am Top

That was a huge Cubbies win. Brewers were one ball away from a walk off walk in the 9th but didn't get it.

Today's game is at 6:30. I'll probably miss most of it though.

Sep 22, 2017, 9:31am Top

>23 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. I think you would also like Home Fire. Just sayin'...

>24 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. Happy Friday.

>25 scaifea: Morning Amber and thanks. Yep, I think it is going to be steamer out here today and I am carrying extra too. Ugh.

Sep 22, 2017, 9:39am Top

Happy new one, Mark! Your photo topper is stunning, and I was delighted to see the return of the birdman.

>5 msf59: Nice review - I'm giving it my thumb and adding that one to the list.

Sep 22, 2017, 9:52am Top

I have Home Fire waiting for me at the library. I hope to start it and finish it before I leave on my trip next Saturday...

Have a good day, Mark!

Sep 22, 2017, 11:14am Top

Happy new thread, Mark, your sunset topper is still beautiful. You can share it as many times as you like :-)

Sep 22, 2017, 11:31am Top

>26 jnwelch: Morning Joe. Happy Friday. Wickedly hot all ready. Ugh!

Glad everyone likes the sunset topper.

>27 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle and thanks.

>28 Familyhistorian: Morning, Meg. 94 and humid today. I will plug along.

Sep 22, 2017, 11:36am Top

>29 lindapanzo: Great win, Linda. I fell asleep just after Biaz, tied it in the 9th. I checked my texts this morning from my pals and discovered the happy outcome. I will be watching tonight.

>31 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! Great to see you. Hooray for the Birdman.
And thanks for the thumb, I hope my warbling leads to a few LTers to pick up Carver.

Sep 22, 2017, 12:26pm Top

I forgot to mention - great Cubs win last night!

Sep 22, 2017, 1:34pm Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 22, 2017, 4:45pm Top

>17 LovingLit: the song I meant to refer you to with that link is called STYGGO....

Sep 22, 2017, 6:03pm Top

>32 katiekrug: Happy Friday, Katie! Glad you have Home Fire lined up. It has been a good solid read.

>33 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Glad you like the sunset topper. It has been a hit. Happy Weekend.

>36 jnwelch: I went to sleep, in the 9th, Joe, when Biaz tied the score. Glad to wake up to a epic win. Let's do it again tonight!

>37 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. I am just plodding along. Grins...

>38 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan. I will check it out a little later.

Sep 22, 2017, 6:06pm Top

^It hit 94-95 out there on the route today. WTH? This is late September, right? 1st day of fall? It is supposed to stay in the low 90s right through the weekend. Once again- WTH?

But I am home in the a/c with a cold one, so I am making the best of it.

Sep 22, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Enjoy your cold beverage! It is hot here too and we had to turn the A/C back on as I thought the kiddos were melting!

Sep 22, 2017, 8:16pm Top

Happy new-ish thread, Mark. Love the thread topper photo!

We're having unseasonably warm weather, too, though not up to the mid-90's level. This after a cold snap early this month that made us wonder if winter was already coming.

Sep 22, 2017, 8:33pm Top

>41 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. I am definitely enjoying my beverage(s). Grins...

We turned our air on Wednesday and may have to leave it on until early next week. Ugh!

>42 tymfos: Thanks, Terri. Good to see you. Glad you are not dealing with this intense heat.

Sep 22, 2017, 11:13pm Top

Hi Mark! We are supposed to get another hot week next week, but only in the 80s, thank goodness. : )

So, you have liked Home Fire on audio? Maybe that's the version I will get...

Stay cool--have a great weekend!

Sep 22, 2017, 11:44pm Top

Woo, that's some Cubs win! What a play at second by Russell!

Sep 22, 2017, 11:56pm Top

Glad you are enjoying Home Fire. I loved it! I hear it is hot " back east " as in Ontario . Dreadful! I call it climate change.

Sep 23, 2017, 6:23am Top

Good morning and happy Saturday to you, Mark!

I'm sorry it's been so brutally hot in Chicagoland, especially with you having to be out in it all day.

A/C and a cold one are a good reward.

Sep 23, 2017, 6:41am Top

>44 Berly: Happy Saturday, Kimmers. You have been dealing with the heat all summer. I definitely feel for you. For, the most part, our summer was a comfortable one.
Yes, Home Fire is working well on audio, with a single female narrator.

>45 jnwelch: Yahoo! I fell asleep in the bottom of the 9th. I haven't heard the highlights yet but this is awesome. It would sure be nice if we can win at least one more. Yes, I am greedy.

Sep 23, 2017, 6:42am Top

>46 vancouverdeb: Yep, it looks like we are going to agree on a book, Tonto. I love it, when that happens.

>47 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yes, they are talking 94 again today. Really? Hey, at least I can have a recovery day tomorrow.

Sep 23, 2017, 6:51am Top

Morning, Mark! Dang, as I was reading down through your thread, I was hoping to see here at the bottom that you have today off. Double dang. Maybe an audiobook about the arctic would help...?

Sep 23, 2017, 7:03am Top

>50 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Yep, I am working and no arctic tale to keep me company but Home Fire has been very good, so that will have to do. Looking forward to it cooling off later next week.

Edited: Sep 23, 2017, 7:12am Top


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

-Naomi Shihab Nye

^I heard this poem read on a book podcast yesterday! I wish we could get our world leaders and everyone else to read and understand these words.

Sep 23, 2017, 8:13am Top

Hope the weather is better for you today! It was 29c here yesterday and that's the forecast for today too :(
I don't want winter yet, but low 20's would be grand!!
Nate was given a bottle of Bailey's Liqueur for me yesterday morning when he got to work and the silly bugger left it in his car for the whole day while he worked 12 hours .... in 29c degree weather .... it's made of cream!!! UGH. He forgot that it would go bad. I was quite sad when he brought it home and I opened it and it was HOT!!
Although now I can guilt him into buying a bottle of the new Forty Creek Liqueur for me!

Sep 23, 2017, 8:28am Top

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Mark. I love the topper. Wishing you a great weekend.

Sep 23, 2017, 8:44am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Love the photo topper. Lots of good reading here. I hope to get to Home Fire soon.

Stay cool! I feel for you on these warm days, but they won't last much longer.

Have a great weekend.

Sep 23, 2017, 8:53am Top

>46 vancouverdeb: - Yep, I don't even think it was this hot during the summer! We're talking *scorcher* here today and tomorrow! Yuck. I can't wait for real autumn to arrive!!

Good morning, Mark! Do you wear one of those *cold* headbands * when you are working? I think they are gel-filled and if you keep them in the fridge or freezer they are supposed to really feel good on your forehead. I sometimes see runners wearing them

Sep 23, 2017, 9:42am Top

>53 ChelleBearss: Happy Saturday, Chelle. Bummer about the Baileys but hooray for the Forty Creek. I have not heard of this liqueur.

>54 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. Have a great weekend.

>55 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Happy Saturday. Home Fire has been very good. I am sure you will love it.

Sep 23, 2017, 10:25am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark. Another hot one.

I got home in time last night to see the last inning or two of another unbelievable finish for the Cubs. That Addison Russell tag at second was a game changer.

Sep 23, 2017, 10:54am Top

Morning, Mark. I hope your book carries you through the heat of the day. The weather here feels seasonal, at least to me it does, damp and cobwebby - one of my least favourite seasons. Oh well, at least it is getting closer to hibernation time.

>52 msf59:
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.

Wonderful! And how true.

Sep 23, 2017, 10:56am Top

Good morning, Mark. Man, we'll just have to hang in there during this hot weather. Hope it goes okay for you today.

>52 msf59: That's a beaut. Thanks for posting it.

I'm sure they'll show highlights of that Russell tag on Sogard. Huge.

Sep 23, 2017, 12:31pm Top

>56 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. I do have one of those neck wraps but I always forget to prepare it and bring it long. Lol. I sure could use it today.

>58 lindapanzo: Happy Saturday, Linda. I fell asleep and did not see the end or the tag. I plan on listening to a chunk of today's game on the route.

Sep 23, 2017, 1:55pm Top

Hi Mark! Happy new thread and beautiful poem!

Sep 23, 2017, 5:29pm Top

Sorry that you needed to be out in this heat, Mark. I will be outside at the Center as we are participating in Doors Open Milwaukee.

Finished Heart's. Enjoyed it for many reasons. We need to have a more in-depth discussion now that we are both done.

Now I am not sure what to read. I might need to wait until after work tomorrow to start something new. Wasn't feeling like digging right into Letters to Memory. Was thinking about the stories you sent me, but they seem a little too similar to what I just finished. I have about 500 books in my house to choose from. Why is it so difficult sometimes?

Edited: Sep 23, 2017, 6:32pm Top

^Hey, save one of those for me, Fraulein. It has been a hot few days. These pipes are scorched...

Didn't read as much today, since I was listening to the Cubs/Brewers game this afternoon, but I will try to finish up In the Lake of the Woods tomorrow.

Sep 23, 2017, 5:58pm Top

>59 Familyhistorian: Happy Saturday, Meg. It was stiflingly HOT today. Ugh! Glad it is over. Looking forward to things cooling off mid-week.

Glad you like the poem. She does a beautiful job with it.

>60 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I am finally home and relaxing. We are going out to dinner with family tonight. Beer will be on the menu...or, at least it will be in my case.

Yep, Naomi Shihab Nye is a treasure, isn't she?

Sep 23, 2017, 6:34pm Top

>62 banjo123: Happy Saturday, Rhonda and thanks. And hooray for Naomi Shihab Nye. Have you read her?

>63 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. It has been a hot, uncomfortable few days. Ugh! I hope your staying cool and hydrated at the Doors Open event.

Hooray for finishing Heart's! I hope you can share some thoughts and good luck picking out something else. I never have that problem. Grins...

Sep 23, 2017, 6:49pm Top

>62 banjo123: Mark, I think I have read a bunch of Naomi Shihab Nye's work unintentionally, when others posted poems; but I don't think I have ever sat down with one of her books. I need to do that.

Sep 23, 2017, 6:57pm Top

>67 banjo123: Words Under the Words: Selected Poems is the only collection of hers, I have read and really liked it. I think Joe recently read and enjoyed it too.

Sep 23, 2017, 8:28pm Top

A lazy day. Ate too much at our fancy tea this afternoon but now it's time to put the Blackhawks game on. The first game I've seen so far. Only 3 more preseason games and then the regular season starts.

Sep 23, 2017, 8:28pm Top

It has been hot and miserable down here as well. It has been in the 90's all week and last weekend was above 90. It should be hot this time of year, but not this hot!

I have not read any Boyne. I also have not read Kamilla Shamsie. I do have Burnt Shadows in my library and have had God in Every Stone on my wishlist since 2015. It was nominated for the Walter Scott Prize that year and sounded like a winner. I just don't have the book.

I have been intrigued by her novels for some time but just haven't read any of them. Burnt Shadows is a war novel and has heavy content so I haven't read it because I have to be in the right frame of mind to read materials like that. I will read it sooner rather than later because I think she is an up and comer as an author.

There sure is lots of good stuff coming out of India and Pakistan. These are authors we can't ignore.

Sep 23, 2017, 9:16pm Top

>40 msf59: Any excuse for a cold beer! Save one for me.

>52 msf59: Shihab Nye is very talented. I may read one of her collections next month.

>64 msf59: Any excuse2. Save another one for me.

Have a great weekend, Mark.

Sep 24, 2017, 7:12am Top

>69 lindapanzo: Hope you had a nice quiet evening with the Blackhawks, Linda. And Go Cubs! I would like to take this last game.

>70 benitastrnad: I had not heard of Kamila Shamsie until now, but I am so impressed with Home Fire, I will be looking for her other work. Lots of talent in this woman. Hope you cool off down there soon.

>71 PaulCranswick: I saved a beer for you, Paul and I hope you can get to a Shihab Nye collection.

Sep 24, 2017, 7:16am Top

^I just received a copy of A Plague of Giants, from Penguin Random House. This is a new fantasy series from the author of the beloved Iron Druid series. Looking forward to it.

I also received Solar Bones from the library. It may have fallen off the Booker long list but it has been getting great reviews. Should get to it soon.

The beer is a Stone Vengeful IPA. Not bad.

Sep 24, 2017, 7:17am Top

Hi Mark - hope yo have the chance to relax today!

Sep 24, 2017, 7:29am Top

>74 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy! You are a early-riser, just like me. Smiles...

Nothing on the docket for the day but books, baseball and some football. I hope to get to Sing, Unburied, Sing today.

Sep 24, 2017, 7:38am Top

I would be up anyway, but today is the day I am working (not yesterday). Welcoming hundreds of people to experience the Center for free is not a bad job for a Sunday, though. Will relax when I am done!

Sep 24, 2017, 7:43am Top

Good luck today, Nancy! Give out plenty of hearty welcomes and stay cool. How late does it go?

Sep 24, 2017, 8:01am Top

Happy Sunday to you, Mark! Enjoy the books and Cubs today.

Sep 24, 2017, 8:08am Top

>78 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. That is the plan.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 8:14am Top

^Due to popular demand, (and the fact that he is a helluva writer) I will host a Group Read of Rules of Civility for October. I will set up the G.R. thread in about a week or so. I plan on starting the book, (the audio) around mid-month.

So, there is plenty of time to find a copy and join us.

Sep 24, 2017, 8:26am Top

Morning Mark! Is this a day off for you?
I will think about joining for that group read. I have Rules of Civility and would like to get to it sooner than later

Sep 24, 2017, 8:33am Top

>81 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle! Yep, I have the day off and since it is still ridiculously hot out there, I am glad.

I hope you can join us for Rules of Civility. Fingers crossed.

Sep 24, 2017, 8:37am Top

Morning, Mark! I have Rules of Civility in the stacks, so I might join you next month. Hoping your Sunday is full of fabulous!

Sep 24, 2017, 8:45am Top

Event runs from 9-5. I'll have plenty of water with me! Last year we had 1100 people come through. Not sure how the heat will affect today's attendance.

Sep 24, 2017, 8:55am Top

>80 msf59: - I would like to think that my warbling kick-started this group read. So, since I just recently finished Rules, I will be a silent observer... Enjoy! ;-)

Sep 24, 2017, 9:12am Top

>83 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! I sure hope you can join us for Rules of Civility. The more the merrier, they say. There will be no reading restrictions, just at your own happy pace.

>84 alphaorder: Ooh, sounds like a long day, Nancy. Be safe and enjoy. Are they giving you off tomorrow?

>85 jessibud2: Absolutely, Shelley. Most of the credit goes to you, my friend. I just hope you won't be a complete "silent observer". That is no fun.

Sep 24, 2017, 9:12am Top

Morning, Mark!

Sep 24, 2017, 9:59am Top

Morning, Mark!

Great idea to do a GR of Rules of Civility. I'll follow it with interest. Similar high quality to A Gentleman in Moscow, but a very different story.

Just a reminder to take a look at Naomi Shahib Nye's 19 Varieties of Gazelle - I liked it even more than Words Under the Words. I remember Ellen was high on it, too.

Great article today about Eve Ewing in the Trib's A & E section. Hers is the next one I plan to read.

Enjoy your Sunday, buddy. I'm on our back deck, and so far it's pretty nice out. We head over soon to a local church for Debbi to perform a story.

Sep 24, 2017, 10:06am Top

>87 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

>88 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. A Group Read of Rules of Civility should be a lot of fun. Well, it looks like I better request 19 Varieties of Gazelle. I was wondering which one of hers to go with next.

I do not get the Sunday Trib, just Mon-Fri. If you see a link, please share. Not familiar with her.

Quiet day planned here. Me, the books, the Cubs and maybe some football.

Sep 24, 2017, 10:32am Top

I just watched a segment on "Sunday Morning" about Ann Patchett and about independent book stores. Good stuff. She'll be in the AAC spotlight soon, right? I had no idea what Bel Canto is about, but now I know, and it sounds very interesting. It's in the on-deck circle.

Sep 24, 2017, 11:25am Top

>90 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Yep, Patchett is up next for the AAC. I will get the thread up, later in the week. Bel Canto was my first Patchett. It is a very good novel. I never thought I would get excited about opera...but, I did.

^Did you see my post up there about Rules of Civility?

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 11:28am Top

^The Leavers is currently available on Kindle for 2 bucks. A steal. I really liked this novel and it has been nominated for the National Book Award, to boot. What are you waiting for?


Sep 24, 2017, 12:13pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mark!

I am hoping to join you on the group read next month...

Sep 24, 2017, 12:27pm Top

>80 msf59: I have a copy of Rules of Civility and will keep an eye out for the group read thread.

A lazy day. I'll focus on the Cubs game but watch the Bears before the Cubs game starts and the Packers game after it ends.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 12:42pm Top

>93 katiekrug: Love to have you along, Katie. B.A.G.

>94 lindapanzo: I hope you can join us for Rules of Civility, Linda. We like a crowd. Hooray for lazy Sundays. Books and sports.

Come on Cubbies! Let's take this last one.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 1:00pm Top

My real life book discussion group has put Rules of Civility on the list for us to vote on. That list consists of about 20 novels and we narrow that to 10. Those titles are the ones that we read for the next year. One of the members suggested it because she had read Gentleman in Moscow and really liked it. For that reason she wanted to read the prior book.

I would like to read this book, but will only be lurking on the group read thread. I am going to be reading Racism, Public Schooling, and the Entrenchment of White Supremacy for the fall College of Education book discussion. That starts in October, so I won't get much else done that month.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 1:33pm Top

Here's the Eve Ewing article in today's Trib, Mark. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ent-eve-ewing-20170901-story.html Hope you can access it. Her photo was on the front page - very cool.

Sep 24, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>96 benitastrnad: Happy Sunday, Benita. I hope you get a chance to read Amor Towles. I would love to hear your take on it. Racism, Public Schooling, and the Entrenchment of White Supremacy sounds like heavy reading. Good luck with that. Are you spending the day at the coffee shop?

>97 jnwelch: Thanks, so much, Joe. I will check out the link shortly.

Go Bears! Go Cubs! Sorry, make that Go Cubs! Go Bears! That's better.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 1:47pm Top

^I just started Sing, Unburied, Sing. Benita snagged this one for me, from ALA. Bless her little heart. I loved Salvage the Bones & Men We Reaped, so I am pumped about this one. This also recently made the National Book Award list. Salvage the Bones won this award in 2011.

Sep 24, 2017, 2:08pm Top

>97 jnwelch: I loved the article, Joe. I had not heard of Eve Ewing but I have now. I requested her new collection but there are no copies available yet, in my library system. I'll be watching for your thoughts.

Sep 24, 2017, 2:26pm Top

I am at the coffee shop and am getting ready to leave. I have finished my hazelnut cappuccino and am getting ready to buy a couple of books. Barnes & Noble is having an extra 20% off of book purchases if you have a Barnes & Noble card. That means that some books could be as much as 50% off. But that special ends here today. As we say in Kansas - make hay while the sun shines.

Sep 24, 2017, 2:29pm Top

Beautiful topper - did you stay in the camper in the photo? (I'm still considering camper options).

Loved the poem in >52 msf59: so much that I have copied and pasted it to a file. Thank you.

I hope your weather breaks soon. That sounds miserable.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 2:35pm Top

I am planning on spending tonight ensconced in front of my TV watching the start of the second half of the Vietnam seris. So far it is excellent. I am learning so much about the policy decisions that got us there and how desperately our leaders tried to get us out. It reminds me so much of current news.

Earlier up-thread you asked if I had seen the documentary film Fog of War. I have not. It was in Tuscaloosa for one night as part of the Art House Movie Series and I missed it. I have wanted to check some of our streaming video databases at work, but without Internet at home that isn't much of an option. I would be reduced to watching it while at a coffee shop and I don't really want to do that. That documentary is one thing that will have to wait for my retirement.

Sep 24, 2017, 2:53pm Top

>100 msf59: Oh good, Mark. Eve Ewing came up through Young Chicago Authors, so we know her pretty well (Debbi better than me). Her collection, along with that Danez Smith one, got a red star review in PW. I'll keep you posted.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 3:00pm Top

>101 benitastrnad: What did you buy? Inquiring minds...

Sorry, you can't track down Fog of War. It is an amazing doc.

>102 streamsong: Happy Sunday, Janet. Glad you like the topper. I did not camp at Horicon. I do not think there is any camping at the Refuge. I was staying at a motel in town, just a mere 2 miles away. Gorgeous Reserve.

I hope you can track down a collection by this poet. She is a keeper.

I hope this weather breaks too. Ugh!

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 3:23pm Top

I bought Lisa Ko's book The Leavers for $17.00. Regular price was $25.95. And, I got a Bernie Gunther mystery Lady from Zagreb for $4.50. I passed up Aeronauts Windlass because we have it at the library, but for $4.50 I might go back and buy it....

Now I am off to the library to return my Inter-Library loan copy of the Tony Hillerman Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn mystery novel Skeleton Man.

I scored a recorded copy of Skeleton Man for $.99 because the box it came in had a big slice. I took a chance that the CD's weren't damaged and they weren't. The surprise was that the narrator was George Guidall. So far I am enjoying listening.

Sep 24, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>99 msf59: I like Ward's books; might be another book to get!! Eagerly awaiting your verdict. : )

Enjoy your cool Man Cave this hot weekend!

Sep 24, 2017, 4:34pm Top

How about those Bears?! I saw the last play after the Vikes game.

Lucky you with the early Ward. I think it's coming out soon, and I am number one on the library reserve list.

Sep 24, 2017, 5:50pm Top

Afternoon, Lone Ranger! So glad you are enjoying Home Fire. Imagine that, finally a book we both love!

Sep 24, 2017, 6:33pm Top

>86 msf59: It was a great day - although HOT, but I don't need to tell you about that. :) I am working on a project from home tomorrow, and then will take Friday off...

Just got home and opened a Good City Motto IPA for the second half of the game. Ugh.

Congrats to the Bears and Cubs. You are having a good day!

Still haven't definitively decided what I am going to read. Might go with Jamie Ford's new novel Love and Other Consolation Prizes. Looked at the short stories you sent me, but might be too similar to the novel we just finished (both authors were compared to John Irving.)

Sep 24, 2017, 6:41pm Top

>107 Berly: Hey, Kimmers! Did not get very far into the Ward, due to watching sports and other distractions, but will go full throttle tomorrow.

>108 BLBera: Nice Bears win, Beth. But they made a couple of big mistakes, so they should have scored more points. Sloppy, but a good win.

>109 vancouverdeb: It is nice to see Tonto and the Lone Ranger on the same wavelength, Deb.

Sep 24, 2017, 6:47pm Top

>110 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. Glad you survived the heat. Hope you can enjoy your beer and spend time with the books. Let me know how the Good City is.

Have you read Jamie Ford before? I have only read Songs of Willow Frost, which I did enjoy.

Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 6:52pm Top

^My Chicago Cubs just took 3 out of 4 to the Brewers. Yeah baby! 7 games left in regular season. Still riding high.

Sep 24, 2017, 6:58pm Top

My first Jamie Ford was Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Liked it quite a bit more than Songs of Willow Frost, which I find often happens when I find someone new.

I think you had the Motto when we were together. It is my go-to. :)

Sep 24, 2017, 7:13pm Top

Hurray for the Cubs. Hoping the Packers can come back now. Hottest Packers home game ever, I think they said.

I haven't been outside all day. Just sitting inside with the AC and fans.

Sep 24, 2017, 7:25pm Top

>114 alphaorder: - I just recently picked up Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet because it was recommended by a local friend whose book tastes are very aligned to my own. I had already borrowed Songs of Willow Frost as an audiobook from the library and abandoned it after 2 or 3 discs. Just never held my interest.

Sep 24, 2017, 8:06pm Top

>119. We did it!

Sep 24, 2017, 10:30pm Top

>114 alphaorder: I have Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet in print and on audio. Why I have not read it yet, is completely baffling.

Hooray for Motto!

>115 lindapanzo: "I haven't been outside all day". I haven't either, Linda. Good day for the Cubs, the Bears and the Pack!

>116 jessibud2: Maybe you will give me the nudge I need, on Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Shelley. You never know...

>117 alphaorder: ??

Sep 25, 2017, 3:39am Top

Good morning, Mark. Wishing you a good start into the new week.

Sep 25, 2017, 6:26am Top

>119 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. Hope your week goes well too.

Sep 25, 2017, 6:29am Top

Morning, Mark! This week is supposed to cool off - here's hoping...

Sep 25, 2017, 6:36am Top

Howdy do, Mark! Look at you, not only a book loving bird watcher but now an awesome photographer too! Great sunset pic, for sure!
A couple more days of sizzling weather for us, I don't particularly mind but I do love the coolness of autumn days so I am more than ready for the temps ahead of us later this week.
Keep hydrated my friend :0)

Sep 25, 2017, 6:52am Top

>121 scaifea: Morning, Amber! 72 on Wednesday! Yah!

>122 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. Good to see you. Glad you like the topper. My plan is to slowly save up, for a nice camera and I am considering taking a photography class or 2, just to sharpen my skills.

Sep 25, 2017, 7:59am Top

Good morning, Mark and happy Monday to you! I'm glad there are only a couple of days until you get some respite from the heat.

I loved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and recommend it wholeheartedly.

I've read the first two stories in Olive Kitteridge and am intrigued with Olive's character. I am reading some chick lit right now Jack with a Twist to get the taste of the newest Louise Penny out of my mouth, and want to savor the Olive stories. If it's one thing I'm starting to learn, it's that when the writing's good I don't need to rush through to the end.

Sep 25, 2017, 9:13am Top

Good morning, Mark! Stay as cool as you can, buddy!

Sep 25, 2017, 11:21am Top

Heavy mail volume, teamed up with hot temps, make for a nasty Monday combo. Ugh...

>124 karenmarie: Morning Karen. I hope you continue to enjoy your time with Olive.

>125 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. All ready getting uncomfortable out here. 70s on Wednesday. This keeps me going.

Sep 25, 2017, 11:38am Top

Too bad about the heat, Mark. I hope you have a good Monday nevertheless!

Sep 25, 2017, 11:49am Top

Hi Mark! I just started Sing, Unburied, Sing this morning on audio so I'm right behind you! And I've moved Home Fire up on my list due to your comments.

I'm another fan of A Gentleman in Moscow - in fact it was my favorite book of 2016 and I'm still raving to people about it. I'm curious about you and the group's thoughts on Rules of Civility. I read it when it first came out and didn't love it (although I know I'm in the minority here).

Stay cool!

Sep 25, 2017, 12:18pm Top

Sorry to see your Monday isn't spectacular yet! Hopefully you get the same cooler temps that we are due later this week

Here's something to cool you off for now

Edited: Sep 25, 2017, 12:46pm Top

Warbs! Howyadoin'?

What's up wid dem Bears? Topping the Steelers! (Maybe I should be asking: what's up with the Steelers?) I've managed to stay clear of televised football so far. But I do know that two of "my" teams—the Nittany Lions and the Eagles—won with end-of-regulation scores.

Reading Longitude right now, and hoping to finish today. Then back to some short stories.

Sep 25, 2017, 4:38pm Top

It is still hot and still down South way. Of course that is nothing new down here, but it should be cooling off at night and it isn't. What's up with that?

Sep 25, 2017, 5:47pm Top

>127 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. I survived. One more hot one left. Hope your Monday went smoothly.

>128 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Great to see you. I am 50 pages into Sing, Unburied, Sing. It is off to an impressive start. How is the audio?

Sorry, Rules of Civility didn't float your boat. Looking forward to trying it myself.

Sep 25, 2017, 5:53pm Top

>129 ChelleBearss: Ooh, I love the fan, Chelle. I trudged through the day and made the best of it. One more day left and then we get back to normal. Smiles...

>130 weird_O: The Warbs is doing just fine, Bill. Thanks. I would definitely go with "what's up with the Steelers?" The Bears are not a very good team but they did step up to win that one and they could have won it, even by a bigger margin, if it wasn't for a couple of major gaffes.

How is Longitude?

>131 benitastrnad: Sorry, to hear your heat is continuing, Benita. We are in the low 70s on Wednesday and high 60s by the weekend. I am looking forward to it.

Keep cool.

Sep 25, 2017, 6:01pm Top

>131 benitastrnad: I haven't heard whether we set a record here in Chicagoland for the 6th straight day today (it was supposed to be close) but even so, during this hot streak, it was cooler than you'd think at night. In mid-summer, it might not have gotten down below 80 but at this time of the year, we were down into the mid 60s.

Edited: Sep 25, 2017, 6:06pm Top

^"The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all."

After finishing the powerful Home Fire, I decided to switch to NF and started American Fire. I am thinking a "pyro-theme" is beginning to emerge, in my reading. Maybe I will finally pick up Young Men and Fire next, which I have wanted to read forever. Kidding of course...

American Fire is off to a very good start. A nice, easy narrative and the pair of arsonists are beginning to take shape. Sort of a Bonnie and Clyde of fire.

Sep 25, 2017, 6:57pm Top

I loved Young Men and Fire. Hope to get to American Fire at some point, too.

Sep 25, 2017, 8:07pm Top

>136 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I think you will like American Fire. Smooth NNF. Go Cubbies! Let's take this first one. We need a turn-around for Lester.

Sep 25, 2017, 8:58pm Top

>137 msf59: I liked the big start tonight, Mark. Hope they can keep piling them up.

Did you see Addison Russell dive into the stands and knock the nachos out of the Cards' fans hands. Nachos all over the field and nachos all over Russell. Who knew that their portions were so large.

Sep 25, 2017, 9:11pm Top

>138 lindapanzo: LOL. I did see the nacho mess. It looks like they replaced the guys nachos too. Aw....

8-1?? Yeah, baby!

Sep 25, 2017, 11:55pm Top

>133 msf59: How is Longitude? Tasty. And all gone. Reading me some black humor right now.

Sep 26, 2017, 2:44am Top

De-lurk - oooh! Plague of Giants! Any good?

Sep 26, 2017, 6:22am Top

Morning, Mark! I hope the last day of heat is a bearable one.

Sep 26, 2017, 6:31am Top

Morning, Mark! Still don't have a kitchen...this is getting a bit old...

Sep 26, 2017, 6:34am Top

>140 weird_O: Glad you liked Longitude and black humor should also be a tasty treat for Mr. Bill.

>141 BekkaJo: Hi, Bekka! Great to see you. It might be awhile before I get to it. My wife will probably read it first. She's a fan too.

>142 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. And thanks. Let's hope this is the last recorded 90, until next June. Fingers crossed.

Sep 26, 2017, 6:50am Top

Mark - I think your comments nudged me to load up American Fire on audio.

Stopped by to remind you that the new James McBride is out today.

Sep 26, 2017, 7:01am Top

>143 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Bummer about the continuing kitchen woes. Hugs, to my pal.

>145 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. American Fire is off to a good start. NNF Rules! Short fiction by McBride sounds great, doesn't it?

Sep 26, 2017, 7:54am Top

Good morning, Mark! I'm glad today's supposed to be the last of the nasty heat for you. I just saw a Tufted Titmouse - they land, grab one sunflower seed and immediately fly off - and keep coming back for more after smashing them one at a time on a branch.

Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 8:30am Top

Hi Mark. Take that cool head/neck band today!! And lots of water!

We have today and tomorrow of stinking hot weather to get through (high of 31 or 32C - that's 87, 89F, with humidex factor making it feel like 40C, or 104F). Makes me damn cranky. Can't wait for Thursday when the big temperature drop is expected. Finally.

Good luck out there

Sep 26, 2017, 9:58am Top

Morning, Mark!

If you haven't read Longitude yet, you'll love it. It's the one that got me started on the most excellent Dava Sobel. I need to get a hold of her new one.

I finished the pretty good Poldark novel - it's the 9th of 12, so I'll go the distance. I'm a good ways through Why Buddhism is True, and impressed with his patient building of his conclusions. Turns out he taught (still does?) a course on Buddhism and Modern Psychology at Princeton. I'm amazed to see it sticking on the NYTimes bestseller list - the only Buddhism books I remember doing that involved the Dalai Lama.

The Eve Ewing poetry book is really good, too. Very different, with some of her own art work and handwritten, different direction conclusions to some of the poems.

Sending cool thoughts to you today, buddy. Out of this heat and back to normal come tomorrow.

Sep 26, 2017, 10:24am Top

Hi - so far the audio for Sing, Unburied, Sing is going well. I wish I could speed it up as I usually do when listening on my phone, but these are CDs from the library which I'm listening to on my commute. Glad you're enjoying it so far!

>149 jnwelch: I just finished the last Poldark novel (Bella Poldark)yesterday morning and am so very sorry the series has ended for me! It's one of the few I've read that has been consistently engaging all the way through. I've really enjoyed the mix of politics, history, plot and characters, not to mention evocative descriptions of Cornwall. It even prompted a visit to Cornwall this summer, to which I dragged my entire family! I'm looking forward to season 3 of the BBC production but I think the novels are far better.

Sep 26, 2017, 11:40am Top

>147 karenmarie: Morning Karen. Hooray for the tufted titmouse. I saw my very first one, early last year. It landed on the spepards pole and then flew off. Great looking bird.

>148 jessibud2: Morning Shelley. Warm and muggy out here at the moment. Last day of it. Good riddance. Stay cool.

Sep 26, 2017, 11:54am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well with you.

Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 12:04pm Top

>149 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Yep, pretty steamy out here. One more day of this nonsense.

Thanks for the book update. I have not read Sobel, although I have always wanted to. Glad the Ewing is going well. Hope I can get my hands on that one.

Sep 26, 2017, 5:23pm Top

>150 vivians: Hi, Vivian! I am approaching 120 pages in Sing, Unburied, Sing. She can get quite gritty, can't she? Glad the audio is working.

>152 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I am doing okay. Thanks. It looks like this is the end of our record-breaking heat. Yahoo! Back to normal temps tomorrow. It is going to feel so good.

Sep 27, 2017, 4:23am Top

Grumpy about Plague of Giants. It's not published over here yet :(

Sep 27, 2017, 6:30am Top

Morning, Mark! Cooler days are here! FINALLY.

Sep 27, 2017, 6:38am Top

>155 BekkaJo: Hi, Bekka. It isn't released here until mid-October, so you are not alone, my friend.

>156 scaifea: Morning. Amber! Hooray for cooler temps. I just let Riley out and it feels lovely out there.

^After a week of very hot & humid weather, we are back to normal. Yah!

Sep 27, 2017, 6:58am Top

Good morning, Mark! Enjoy the autumnal weather!

Sep 27, 2017, 7:00am Top

>158 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry! And thanks! It will feel great out there. Sure, makes my job a bit easier.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:08am Top

Amused by the pyro-theme developing in your reading. Surely a contender for unlikely theme of the year?
Hope the cooler temps continue for you. It's lovely and breezy here today, and autumnal leaves make for a nice colour range too. No complaints!

Sep 27, 2017, 8:02am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy cool Wednesday to you. We're supposed to get to 90F today, so I won't be hanging out in the hammock.

Sep 27, 2017, 8:04am Top

Morning Mark!
Enjoy your normal fall temperatures! We still have one more day of semi hot and the are due some normal cooler temps starting tomorrow

Sep 27, 2017, 9:07am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Finally, some fall weather. Hope you have a great day.

I'm still reading the usual suspects, although I finished the Poldark and started a Heyer. Sorry about them Cubbies; I think they're just so close to clinching that they let down a bit. They still made it close in the end!

Sep 27, 2017, 11:03am Top

>160 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Sadly my pyro-themed books are coming to a close, as I am finishing up the excellent American Fire. Maybe I can locate something for October.
Hooray for fall color. We are getting a nice taste of it here too.

>161 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Good luck with your last day of heat. Nice and comfy, here. No complaints.

Sep 27, 2017, 11:25am Top

>162 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. Glad you only have one more day of heat. It is very nice here.

>163 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. A nice, breezy cool day. I will take it. Let's clinch tonight. Go Cubbies.

Sep 27, 2017, 1:14pm Top

Hi Mark, hope you're enjoying the cooler temps as much as I am. Feels refreshing.

Our Cubs had better clinch soon. Last night drove me crazy. Both the Cubs and the Brewers games looked out of reach and then both the Cubs and the Brewers opponents came back and almost, but not quite, succeeded in winning.

I'm nearing halfway in Magpie Murders and am absolutely loving it. I know you liked it. Also saw that you read Charlotte's Web which I might read for my category challenge involving books by New Yorker magazine contributors.

I'm off on Friday and so have Fri and Sat to kick back and then my first opera of the season on Sun. It's a joint production between the Lyric Opera and the Joffrey Ballet. The Trib critic said that he didn't know whether to call it a "sung ballet" or a "danced opera."

Sep 27, 2017, 1:59pm Top

Yes, it's finally cooling off up in Wisconsin as the last of the Monarchs head toward you.

A recent article said, sort of politely, that we up here and in Illinois, should just shut up
about the heat in September and get used to our new MISSOURI climate:

enjoy the lengthening growing season,
the new plants that will now survive,
less snow to shovel,
and the surprise
of new birds.

Sep 27, 2017, 5:05pm Top

>166 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Much, much better today. Now, these temps I can handle.

Yep, let's clinch this thing tonight. Go Cubbies.

>167 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I don't gripe much about the weather but this heat deserves some fussin'. Much better today.

I am up for less snow to shovel and seeing new birds.

Sep 27, 2017, 5:24pm Top

>168 msf59:

Today's GOOGLE "doodle" is pretty cool -

you click on the spinning wheel and, with patience,
go thru a bunch of fun and funny games,
including a remarkable one which shows Spectrograms
of a variety of instruments, then a Bird and a Wine glass!

Sep 27, 2017, 5:32pm Top

Great to see Linda enjoying Magpie Murders. Seems like that's almost as surefire a recommendation as A Gentleman in Moscow.

Sep 27, 2017, 6:21pm Top

>170 jnwelch: Joe, have you read it? At lunch, I got to the halfway point, roughly speaking, where it changes. If you've read it, you know what I mean but, if not, I don't want to spoil it. I'd heard enough to know that something was coming.

I hope I like that second half as much as I liked the first.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:18pm Top

>169 m.belljackson: Hooray for the GOOGLE "doodle"! Hope you are having a fine week, Marianne.

>170 jnwelch: "Great to see Linda enjoying Magpie Murders. Seems like that's almost as surefire a recommendation as A Gentleman in Moscow.

Excellent observation, Joe. I completely agree.

>171 lindapanzo: My apologies, Linda. I meant to respond to your comments on Magpie Murders and completely spaced it. I was on my ipad, at a bar, and I got distracted and then my daughter arrived. LOL.

I am so glad you are enjoying it. It is a lot of fun.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:26pm Top

>172 msf59: Hope you get to see the Cubs clinch tonight. I'm just about ready to head home. The game started at 6. Must be on ESPN tonight.

Sep 27, 2017, 7:29pm Top

>173 lindapanzo: It is on CSN. Slow start. I think ESPN is tomorrow night.

Edited: Sep 27, 2017, 8:25pm Top

^ I really enjoyed the first two books in The Queen of the Tearling series, but I read the second one, back in Jan. '16. I have no idea why it has taken me so long to get to book 3, The Fate of the Tearling, which came out last November. Well, I decided to finally start it, inspired by a conversation with my wife, about this series and why "We" haven't read the 3rd book. My wife, my daughter and a pal at work, all really liked the first 2 books. It looks like I will finally get off my lazy behind and be productive.

It was a bit confusing in the early going, as I tried to piece the story-lines together, (She does not recap) but I am finally getting into a groove.

Sep 27, 2017, 9:00pm Top

Nationwide, it's on ESPN though. That's why it started at 6, not 7. Locally, on CSN though, thankfully. Len and JD are a lot better than the national announcers.

Sep 27, 2017, 9:57pm Top

Hurray for our 2017 NL Central Division Champs!!

Sep 28, 2017, 6:29am Top

I turned the heat on this morning! Chilly! I LOVE it!!

I need to get round to the Tearling books...

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 6:12pm Top

>177 lindapanzo: We are the NLCD champions, Linda! Hooray! Good solid win too. I am going to the game of Saturday.

Sep 28, 2017, 6:43am Top

>178 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Hooray for cool nights! I really enjoyed the first 2 Tearling books. They were big hits around here. You should give them a try.

Sep 28, 2017, 7:48am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Thursday!

Congrats to your Cubs!

I loved Magpie Murders and just loaned it to a dear friend who I met at the Friends of the Library book sales about 9 years ago. Thank you for your warbling on this one, Mark!

Sep 28, 2017, 7:54am Top

Good morning, Mark! Nice that your team pulled through for you. Enjoy your day!

Sep 28, 2017, 10:47am Top

>179 msf59: We aren't division champs but the Twins are joining the Cubs in the postseason after a record loss year. A huge turnaround.

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 10:54am Top

>181 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the Cubs and the Magpie Murders. Keep spreading the book joy.

>182 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Another glorious day in the Midwest.

>183 Oberon: Morning, Erik. Happy Thursday. Hooray for your Twins. That is an impressive accomplishment.

Sep 28, 2017, 11:26am Top

Good morning, Mark!

>172 msf59: If Magpie Murders is being equated to A Gentleman in Moscow that makes me happy. I am still waiting for MM to arrive at the library.

>179 msf59: Congrats to the Cubs!

Sep 28, 2017, 11:53am Top


I can't believe that you have waited so long to start the Fate of the Tearling. When you read it don't tell you wife or daughter about the ending.

I second Joe's recommendation for the work of Dava Sobel. I don't think the woman can write a bad book. I think she is better than Candace Millard and I think Millard is good. I enjoyed Longitude but I thought that Galileo's Daughter was even better. I think it is my favorite of her's. She made the life and times of the Renaissance come alive in that one using a very unusual source to do so. I think that Sobel's work would be good listening as it is more of that narrative non-fiction that you like so well.

All the talk about Magpie Murders has me thinking that I should move that one up on the TBR pile. However, my TBR pile is stacked with things I am trying to finish and things I have to read for something else. My reading time has been precious this last month, with much of it being taken up by the excellent Vietnam series. That ends tonight, so I will be able to read more next week.

Keep that Poldark love coming. I think this series would make excellent listening as well. However, I don't know that all of them are available as recorded books. Many of the publishers are going back and recording older titles - (an example is the Tony Hillerman books, HarperCollins is recording them and giving them new life with a whole different set of readers/listeners. Plus this series is being narrated by George Guidall and people seem to like listening to him.) - maybe the publisher of the Poldark series will record them. I am on book 4 Warleggan but just haven't been able to finish it with all the other reading bumping it out of the way.

Sep 28, 2017, 1:35pm Top

>171 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Yeah, I think I was one of the first 75ers to read Magpie Murders, along with esteemed daughter #1. We both loved it. You have more cleverness to come. :-) You'll have a good a time with the second half as the first.

Trivia I've since learned while watching Midsomer Murders: he Horowitz wrote some of the episodes.

>175 msf59: Can't wait to hear what you think of Fate of the Tearling, Mark. She (the author) does some very bold things in it!

Sep 28, 2017, 1:36pm Top

>179 msf59: Cubs win! Cubs win!

Great to see the clinch, buddy. Onward and upward.

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>186 benitastrnad: Hi Benita - just chiming in to say I listened to all of the Poldark novels on audio and loved them. The narrator, Oliver Hembrough, does a chilling George Warleggan voice.

Sep 28, 2017, 4:06pm Top

Hi Mark, I hope you are having a great week. I am excited to hear your opinion of Sing, Unburied, Sing as I loved Salvage the Bones. Currently I am reading The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi and his view of the near future is based on enough fact to make one very nervous.

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 6:04pm Top

>185 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! Not sure Magpie Murders is as high up there as A Gentleman in Moscow, but it is very smart and a whole lot of fun. Hope you can get to it soon.

>186 benitastrnad: "I can't believe that you have waited so long to start the Fate of the Tearling." Me, either, Benita. It is a lot pieces to try and put back together, without any kind of recap.

Looks like I need to read Sobel. I did have Galileo's Daughter on shelf, at one point. I'll have to see if I still have it. Comparing her to Millard, is definitely enough to spark interest.

Hope you can snag a copy of Magpie Murders.

Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 6:08pm Top

>187 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Off to a decent start with Fate of the Tearling. I am off for the weekend, so I won't have as much listening time but I'll squeeze in whatever I can.

Yep, you were the lead warbler on the Magpie Murders. It got me involved.

Go Cubbies! That first series against the Nationals is going to be a doozy.

>189 vivians: Good to know, Vivian. Thanks.

Sep 28, 2017, 6:11pm Top

>190 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Sweet Thursday. I will finish off Sing, Unburied, Sing tomorrow. A good solid read. She sure can go dark. Not sure it is as strong as Salvage the Bones, but this author can WRITE!

I hope you are enjoying The Water Knife more than I did. That one fell completely flat for me and I really like that author. A rare misfire.

Sep 28, 2017, 8:35pm Top

Thought I'd pop over and say Hey!

Both of those Jesmyn Ward books sound pretty good. Have to WL them.

I have The Water Knife on the shelf. In fact, I'm pretty sure its your old copy. :) Have to bookhorn that one in sometime.

Did you see the trailer for Annihilation? Its pretty trippy. Link in my thread.

Sep 28, 2017, 8:52pm Top

Hi Mark! Did I see that you are going to see Mr King tomorrow night? Is it just a book signing or will you get to hear him speak?
I am quite jealous. I'd love to see him on tour but I don't think he is coming near me any time soon. Bummer

Sep 28, 2017, 8:55pm Top

Whoa! If you've got the Bears game on, cover your eyes! They are scary bad.

Sep 29, 2017, 3:39am Top

Happy Friday, Mark.

Sep 29, 2017, 6:21am Top

Hey, Mark! The cool weather has moved in here, too, so it should be a beautiful fall day. Have a good one!

Sep 29, 2017, 6:28am Top

Morning, Mark!

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 7:16am Top

>194 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Good to see you. Yes, I passed The Water Knife onto you. I hope it works better for you and I like his work too.

I will have to check out the trailer for Annihilation. Thanks.

>195 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. Yes, tonight is the Stephen King event. Looking forward to finally seeing and hearing The Master. This will not be a book signing.
That would be madness. LOL. Just a discussion and Q & A with King and his son Owen.

>196 jnwelch: I did not check the final score yet but I imagine it is bad. Shudders.

34-14. BAD!

Sep 29, 2017, 7:16am Top

>197 Ameise1: Back at you, Barb. Good to see you.

>198 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Getting ready to head out on a organized bird walk. Should be a nice weekend.

>199 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Sep 29, 2017, 8:16am Top

Morning, Mark!

Yup, Bears bad, Cubs good. Jeez that sounds familiar. :-)

I reviewed Why Buddhism is True, and think it'd be a good starter book for folks. I'm about to jump into the latest Longmire.

Cool day, and you've got the weekend off. Happy Friday!

Sep 29, 2017, 8:17am Top

>200 msf59: Have a blast!! Seeing him speak is on my bucket list but he needs to come to Ontario for that to happen!

Sep 29, 2017, 8:57am Top

In case you need a few more poetry recommendations:

Sep 29, 2017, 9:14am Top

>204 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. That's a really good list. I WL'd a couple right away.

I'm reading the Eve Ewing one right now.

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 9:22am Top

Good morning, Mark, happy Friday, and I hope you have a wonderful time at the King & King event tonight. I'm envious.

>187 jnwelch: I noticed Horowitz, too, Joe, in Midsomer Murders. We are also seeing so many of the actors we've seen in other series including Carson from Downton Abbey, Wickham from the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Burt Large from Doc Martin, and Harriet Vane from A Dorothy L. Sayer Mystery among many others. We're up to season 8 in MM.

Sep 29, 2017, 9:32am Top

>206 karenmarie: Oh, I haven't seen Wickham or Harriet Vane yet, Karen. Looking forward to that! We're still back in Season 4. Our daughter is up there in the teens.

Sep 29, 2017, 9:34am Top

Hey Mark! I love the idea of you getting a newer camera. Great hobby once you retire!
Well, you know the Indians are ALCD champs, right? Hope we meet again in World Series my friend, but this time it's OUR turn!

Sep 29, 2017, 9:38am Top

>193 msf59: Hiya Mark, I'm about halfway through Sing, Unburied, Sing (they just arrived at the prison). I agree with you -- she sure can write! I'm a big library and used book reader, but I have no regrets about buying this book in hardcover.

Sep 29, 2017, 11:45am Top

>202 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Bears bad, Cubs good! Yup, that is our Chicago mantra. Let's see how the Bulls and Hawks fit into the scenario. Hopefully, the latter category.

It looks like I should request Why Buddhism is True. Looks like a fine place to start. Thanks.

>203 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. I wonder if Mr. King is venturing into Canada at all?

>204 alphaorder: Ooh, sweet. Thanks Nancy. I will check it out and keep a notebook handy too.

Sep 29, 2017, 11:55am Top

>206 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Looking forward to the King & King event tonight. I also had a terrific birdwalk this A.M. More on that in a minute...

>207 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Lynda. Good to see you. I am leaning toward purchasing a nice camera, with a couple of lenses, by the end of the year. It will be a combo, birthday present/Christmas gift/Christmas tips, treat to myself. I am thinking of taking a couple of photography classes too.

Yes, I am quite aware of your Indians. Probably the best team in all of baseball right now. I would hate to face 'em. Grins...

>208 Carmenere: Hi, Laura. Great to see you. I will wrap up Sing, Unburied, Sing today. I like this book and her writing but boy, she can go dark and nasty, can't she? I think I will end up preferring Salvage the Bones, but that is quite all-right.

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 11:56am Top

^Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Sep 29, 2017, 11:58am Top

>208 Carmenere:, >211 msf59: - Well, those Indians have MY favourite (former) Jays player this year, Edwin(g) Encarnacion. We were heartbroken to see him leave but I am happy that he is doing well and now that the Jays are out of it for this year, I wish him well....

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 12:25pm Top

^Went on a terrific organized bird walk, this morning. This was at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, in a western suburb. I have not visited this place, since my kids were small. I WILL be going back. The main highlight was seeing a Sharp-Shinned hawk. A lifer. It is similar to a Coopers Hawk, which we also saw but they were in flight. Lots of woodpeckers- downys, flickers, red-bellied and yellow-bellied sapsuckers.

Lots of warblers too, including a Blackpoll and Baybreasted, both lifers. Along with a Tennessee and several Palm Warblers. There were several others seen but I could not get my glass on them. Yah, for warblers!

We saw several cedar waxwings, a blue grey gnatcatcher and many many finches.

**This is also a rescue center, so I saw many rescue birds, inside. It is nice to see and study these birds up close. There were also a GHO and a Screech Owl. This is an amazing facility.

-Blackpoll Warbler

Sep 29, 2017, 12:18pm Top

>210 msf59: I checked his tour website and he is going to be in Toronto next week, however it's sold out and too far for my to drive right now. I'll keep and eye out and see if he comes back this way.

Sep 29, 2017, 12:39pm Top

>214 msf59: - I LOVE cedar waxwings. They are so beautiful! The only time I have ever seen them was in upstate NY, when visiting a friend. A whole bunch of them together in a tree on her property! I was amazed!

Sounds like this was a really successful morning for you, my friend!

Sep 29, 2017, 1:02pm Top

So this thing involving "cubs" y'all are chatting about? Is that some sort of sporting competition? Whatever it is, it can't match the joy of reading, can it? I mean, Good Grief!

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 2:57pm Top

>215 ChelleBearss: Glad to see The Master is making it to Canada. He does not do many of these tours, so who knows when he will return. Hope you get a chance someday.

>216 jessibud2: Cedar Waxwings are one of my favorites too, Shelley. Never seen them at or around our feeders but I have seen them many times on my bird walks. They seem to like hanging along creeks or rivers.

>217 weird_O: " Whatever it is, it can't match the joy of reading, can it?" LOL. I think you have a point there, Bill, although there are many things in life to enjoy, so why limit yourself, am I right?

All kidding aside, books always have a front and center place in my life.

Sep 29, 2017, 3:15pm Top

>185 brodiew2: I'm hoping to finish Magpie Murders today, on my day off. It's unlike any other mystery I've ever read.

>217 weird_O: For me, baseball and hockey match the joy of reading. My very favorite day is one where I can read and then watch the Cubs and then the Blackhawks.

Sep 29, 2017, 3:33pm Top

Good afternoon, Mark! I hope all is well.

I finished The Return of the King, and thus, LOTR as a whole. What an amazing experience!

>219 lindapanzo: I look forward to it, lindapanzo.

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 3:38pm Top

117) In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien 3.7 stars

John Wade, running for the U.S. senate, receives a crushing defeat when a dark secret he has kept hidden for nearly twenty years, suddenly sees the light. Wade and his wife flee to the deep woods of northern Minnesota, to escape the public eye and try to repair and renew their lives. Shortly after arriving, his wife mysteriously disappears from their lakeside cabin.
This is a dark and disturbing tale, especially when the reader discovers, that Wade's secret, was that he was a young soldier, involved in the My Lai massacre, told in a series of horrifying flashbacks.
The story becomes a tangle of mystery, illusion and secrets, with the Lake of the Woods being a perfect backdrop, for these deceptive and destructive themes. O'Brien is a fine writer, who also seems to be wrestling with his own demons of war.

Sep 29, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>219 lindapanzo: Happy Friday, Linda! Hooray for MM! Glad you are having such a good time with it. Were you happy with the Pack last night? The Bears were abysmal. Thankfully, I only watched a little of it.

>220 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! My day is going great and it helps that I am off work today and I will be attending a Stephen King author event tonight.

And hooray for The Return of the King! One of the great finales!

Sep 29, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>221 msf59: Great review. I am going to put this one on my reading list.

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 3:52pm Top

"The My Lai massacre was one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War. A company of American soldiers brutally killed most of the people—women, children and old men—in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. More than 500 people were slaughtered in the My Lai massacre, including young girls and women who were raped and mutilated before being killed. U.S. Army officers covered up the carnage for a year before it was reported in the American press, sparking a firestorm of international outrage. The brutality of the My Lai killings and the official cover-up fueled anti-war sentiment and further divided the United States over the Vietnam War."

^Obviously I knew of the My Lai massacre and some of the atrocities that were done there but I never knew exactly how deep those horrors ran. This is truly one of the worst American travesties, right up there with many of the Native American slaughters. Truly shameful.

I heard this incident was covered in Ken Burns Vietnam series. Another reason I want to watch it.

Sep 29, 2017, 4:15pm Top

Hiya Mark. Long time, no visit from Ellen! But you know I've been thinking about you, of course.

We have been recording the Ken Burns show on The Vietnam War and have watched the first three episodes. It is very intense and very well done. I am learning a lot!

How are you liking Solar Bones?

I'm glad the Cubbies are back in post-season play. I will be rooting for them all the way.

Have a great weekend!

Sep 29, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>210 msf59: I suspect the baskeball/hockey mantra is going to be Bulls bad, Hawks good. We'll see. The Bulls are going with a youth movement to get out of being stuck in the middle of the league rankings. The Hawks, of course, have several future Hall-of-Famers. I'm looking forward to having Saad and Sharp back.

>224 msf59: My Lai, woo. Horrible. One of the worst American travesties, as you say. I'll be interested to see Ken Burns' take on it.

Sep 29, 2017, 5:32pm Top

>223 Oberon: Thanks, Erik. Good Minnesota setting too. Have you been up in that particular wilderness?

>225 EBT1002: Happy Friday, Ellen. Always enjoy an Ellen Visit! I might start the Vietnam series this week, before the playoffs start next Friday. I am going to the Cubs game tomorrow afternoon, with my cousin. Should be a nice time.

I just finished Sing, Unburied, Sing and barely cracked Solar Bones, but I plan to spend more time with it this weekend. It is off to an interesting and offbeat start.

>226 jnwelch: I trust you on the Bulls, who I do not follow as close and I hope you are right about those Blackhawks. Yep, plenty of talent still on that team.

I hope to start the Vietnam series soon.

Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 5:37pm Top

^I had requested Solar Bones from the library, when it made the Booker long list. It arrived, just after it fell off the Booker list but due to it's unusual structure and tantalizing premise, I decided to read it anyway. It is off to an interesting and offbeat start.

Sep 29, 2017, 6:01pm Top

^Off to see the Master of Horror himself...

Psycho music screeching...

Wish me luck...

Sep 29, 2017, 6:36pm Top

Have fun at the King & King event, Mark!

Sep 29, 2017, 6:41pm Top

>229 msf59: Enjoy, Mark!

Sep 29, 2017, 7:06pm Top

I'm right with you Mark - just started Solar Bones last night! It takes getting used to....

Sep 29, 2017, 7:17pm Top

>228 msf59: and >232 vivians: I can't wait to hear more, to help me decide whether I'm going to read that one.

Sep 29, 2017, 7:18pm Top

Not to nag you (okay, to nag you just a wee bit), but Sunday is October 1st. :-)

Sep 29, 2017, 7:29pm Top

Just finished Magpie Murders and absolutely loved.

Sep 29, 2017, 8:53pm Top

What a day for you! Loved the bird walk update. I can't wait to hear about tonight.

Sep 29, 2017, 11:12pm Top

>227 msf59: I have been up there. I saw the only wild wolf I have ever seen near there. Minnesota's north country is very beautiful.

Sep 29, 2017, 11:21pm Top

Mark--Did the screen get in the way much or could you see King? SO jealous!!! : )

Sep 30, 2017, 7:27am Top

>230 Familyhistorian: >231 brodiew2: Thanks Meg & Brodie. The King & King event was great.

>232 vivians: Not far into Solar Bones, Vivian. I hope to spend some time with it today. I find myself rereading those lengthy "sentences" but the prose is strong and vivid. We will have to compare notes.

>233 EBT1002: I hope to dig deeper into it today, Ellen.

>234 EBT1002: My apologies for that. Grins, sheepishly. I plan on getting the thread up later this A.M.

Sep 30, 2017, 7:33am Top

>235 lindapanzo: Hooray for MM, Linda. Hope you have a great weekend. Go Cubbies!

>236 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Leaving on another organized bird walk shortly and then the Cubs game this afternoon. Action packed.

>237 Oberon: WOW! Now, that is cool, Erik. A wolf in the wild. I would like to get up to the Lake of the Woods or Boundary Waters, one of these days.

>238 Berly: Nope, Kimmers. The screen was perfectly placed and a real lifesaver. The stage was a bit obstructed, by heads in the way. Terrific event.

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 1:41pm Top

^My apologies for not getting the Patchett AAC thread up earlier. I WILL post it later this morning. First off, I am heading out to another bird walk...

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 8:07am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope you have a wonderful time on your bird walk. Thanks for sharing the Palm Warbler on my thread!

How was the King event?

Sep 30, 2017, 8:31am Top

Morning, Mark! THe O'Brien book sounds great - adding it to the wishlist. And how was the King event?!

Sep 30, 2017, 10:51am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Beautiful morning - looking forward to hearing about the bird walk and the audience with Kings.

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 12:14pm Top

^The King event was excellent. There were no photos allowed during the talk, only at the beginning and at the end. I could not have got a good shot anyway. The video screen mounted on the wall in front of me was invaluable. The only downside, was that there was a huge young guy, sitting on my left, squashing me a bit.

King Sr. was as smart, engaging and as wickedly funny as you would expect. Still razor-sharp at age 70. Plus he got off a couple Trump zingers, which got a huge applause. King Jr. was not shabby either and I enjoyed their easy, banter.

King Sr. does not make many of these author appearances, through out the country, so this was a definite treat. Looking forward to the new book, Sleeping Beauties, which has been getting good reviews.

Sep 30, 2017, 12:17pm Top

>242 karenmarie: Happy Saturday, Karen. I enjoyed my bird walk and will share some comments. Thanks.

>243 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Glad you took a BB with the O'Brien. Very dark but well-done.

>244 jnwelch: Happy Saturday, Joe. Heading to the north-side for the Cubbies game, here about 1pm. Should be a lovely day for another WIN.

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 12:25pm Top

-Wilson Snipe

I returned to Springbrook Praire, for another organized bird walk. Trudging through marsh and prairie land, on a gorgeous fall morning. The main target were Nelson and Le Conte sparrows, with we did not see. My highlight was spotting several Wilson Snipe, a lifer for me, along with other shore and wading birds: herons, killdeer and egrets. We did see plenty of swamp & song sparrows, along with flocks of goldfinch. I have never seen that many flying together. There were also warblers: yellow-rumped and palm.

As a bonus, we saw a pair of young bucks bounding through the prairie, clear as day. B.A.G.

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 1:02pm Top

^The Ann Patchett thread is up: http://www.librarything.com/topic/270409#

Stop by and let us know what you will be reading.

Sep 30, 2017, 1:08pm Top

Wow! What a weekend you're having already!

The bird walk sounds terrific, as does the King event. Have a great time at the Cubs game! Some friends went last night, and said this weather is perfect for a ball game there.

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>249 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! I think I will just kick back tomorrow. Me & the books. LOL. My ride should be here any minute. Nice day to sit in the bleachers with a couple of cold ones.

Enjoy your day!

Sep 30, 2017, 1:42pm Top

^Yep, full of apologies today. No time for thread visiting, since I am now heading into the city for the Cubs game. I have not cracked a book today either but I plan on catching up tomorrow.

Sep 30, 2017, 2:22pm Top

Sounds like you had an excellent bird walk! I'm very jealous of the Stephen (and Owen) King event - what a treat that must have been.

Congrats to the Cubbies, enjoy the game!

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 7:43pm Top

The Ken Burns Vietnam series featured many prominent authors among the "talking heads." Philip Caputo, Karl Marlantes, and Tim O'Brian" as well as author and reporter Neil Sheenan who won a Pulitzer for Bright Shining Lie.

There were event Vietnamese authors featured, but I confess I don't know their names. One of them is a historian who was a soldier and his take on the war is fascinating.

Sep 30, 2017, 8:40pm Top

King, Cubs, and a kickback kind of day tomorrow sounds good, Mark. I've had a lazy two days and am going downtown for an opera tomorrow at the Lyric.

Anderson's puts on nice author events. I saw Louise Penny at North Central College and Tony LaRussa at their bookstore.

Sep 30, 2017, 9:08pm Top

Sounds like you are having an excellent weekend! King & Cubs & birds :)
Glad to see the King event was great! I can't wait to get to the new book, but it's quite a size!

Sep 30, 2017, 10:25pm Top

You know how to pack a lot of things into one weekend, Mark. Good that you made it a long one with some recovery time on Sunday.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:15am Top

>252 Copperskye: Happy Sunday, Joanne. It has been a fun action-packed weekend. The King event was the highlight, for sure, but I am kicking back with the books today. And, yep, Go Cubs!

>253 benitastrnad: I am hoping to start the Vietnam series this week, Benita. Still hot down there?

>254 lindapanzo: Happy Sunday, Linda. Yes, the weekend has been bubbling along as planned. Looking forward to a day in the Man-Cave.

Good day at the ballpark yesterday but I don't think I'll sit in the bleachers again. I don't care for the view.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:18am Top

>255 ChelleBearss: Happy Sunday, Chelle. If I can find Sleeping Beauties on audio, I might go that route. I really enjoy King's work in that format.

>256 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. There was another bird walk this morning but I am laying low today. The books have been neglected. Hope your enjoying your weekend.

Oct 1, 2017, 7:52am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark, enjoy your retreat in the Man-Cave!

Oct 1, 2017, 8:34am Top

>259 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. That is the objective for the day. Enjoy your Sunday.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 8:39am Top

119) American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse 4.2 stars

Accomack County, is a rural community, on the eastern shore of Virginia. Once, a booming area, it has suffered a sharp economic decline, like scores of rural areas throughout the country.
In November, 2012 abandoned houses and buildings were being set on fire here and would eventually total 80-plus fires, for the next five months. Volunteer firefighters and other investigators were working around the clock to find this arsonist, stretching their manpower and the municipal water sources to their limits.
Eventually Charlie Smith, a struggling mechanic, along with his fiance, Tonya Bundick, were caught and tried for these crimes. A Bonnie and Clyde of mass arson. A completely twisted love affair.
The author, a Washington Post reporter, was assigned to cover this case, so Hesse followed this case closely, from the onset. It also helps that she is a terrific writer, with a strong narrative flow. One of the best true crime books I have read in awhile.

Oct 1, 2017, 9:00am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you1

The King event sounds fantastic. So glad you were able to go.

Oct 1, 2017, 9:15am Top

>261 msf59: That looks like a good one, Mark.

Have a great Sunday, buddy.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 9:26am Top

>262 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. After an action-packed couple of days, I am looking forward to chillin' in the Man-Cave.

>263 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It should be another nice day. This one spent with the books.

Oct 1, 2017, 9:42am Top

Have a great day, Mark

Oct 1, 2017, 9:49am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark!! Go commune with the Man-Cave. ; )

Oct 1, 2017, 9:52am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the King event! So cool.

Oct 1, 2017, 10:08am Top

Happy Sunday and 1st day of October, buddy.

That looked like a great Cubs game yesterday. I like that they're playing well going into the playoffs.

I'll mention American Fire to our true crime aficionado, Becca. I don't remember her ever reading an arson book, but this sounds like a good one - she sure appreciates terrific writing.

I've started Eleanor Oliphant, and the latest Longmire, The Western Star.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 10:26am Top

>265 jessibud2: >266 Berly: Thanks, Shelley & Kimmers! This is the game plan. Grins...

>267 scaifea: Morning, Amber! I am so glad the King & King author event worked.

>268 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. We had a great time at the game. 9-0. Yah! We ended up sitting in the upper center field bleachers which was not the best place to watch the game, IMHO, but the crowd around us was a lot of fun and the beer was cold and serviceable.

Becca would LOVE American Fire. I will have to drop by her thread and mention it.

Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 10:46am Top


O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if the were all,
Whose elaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes' sake along the all.

-Robert Frost

Oct 1, 2017, 10:56am Top

Happy October, Mark! Enjoy your Sunday in the man-cave!

Oct 1, 2017, 11:21am Top

>271 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. This is the plan and I hope to stick with it. Enjoy your day too.

Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 5:30pm Top

^I am finding Solar Bones quite compelling, with many flashes of brilliant prose but it's unusual format calls for reading it in chunks, instead of straight through. That said, I decided to also start Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country: and Other Stories, which I heard about on a book podcast and it sounded like my kind of thing. It is off to an interesting start.

Here is the book trailer, if you might be interested in these type of rural/goth stories:


Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:47pm Top

September was another good reading month. Nine months in and this is looking like another kick-ass year.
The main focus was short stories, which I read for the AAC. I finished 5 collections and all were worthy. It was also great to finally read a Denis Johnson, George Saunders and Raymond Carver, all masters of the short form.
I read a fun Sci-Fi, The Punch Escrow, was a bit disappointed in Swing Time and Mrs. Fletcher but loved The Heart's Invisible Furies, Home Fire and Sing, Unburied, Sing. I read very little NF, but I did squeeze in American Fire, which was excellent. See my mini-review.

Plenty of choice titles lined up for October, so let's keep this bookish train rollin'...

Oct 2, 2017, 1:40am Top

Happy October, Mark, and go Cubs!

Oct 2, 2017, 6:28am Top

Morning, Mark!

Oct 2, 2017, 6:29am Top

>275 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. Good to see you. Hope you had a nice weekend.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:04am Top

Good morning Mark! Excellent reading month for you, for sure.

I hope you have a sweet Monday - still got cool temps? It's 50F here - deliciously cool, going to a high of 75F.

Oct 2, 2017, 8:52am Top

Morning, Mark!

I'm pretty sure I'll be recommending Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine to you (joining others who are recommending it). I'm about 2/3 through, and it's really good. Totally out of left field for me.

Back to some heat today, unfortunately. Hope it goes okay for you.

Oct 2, 2017, 10:17am Top

>278 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. About 80 the next couple of days. I can handle that, my friend.

>279 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. The usual heavy Monday workload but it looks like it be a nice day. This helps.

Glad to know about the Eleanor book. It is on the list. Thanks.

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 11:38am Top

You asked somewhere, Mark, am I 100% on the AAC this year?

The answer is, No. Couldn't deal with poetry: minus one. Couldn't find a Hurston I could read: minus two. Couldn't find a Highsmith I wanted to read: minus three. So not so good. I do have Patchett, Banks, and Hemingway books resting on the bench, waiting to be put into play.

Worst showing ever. But it's only my third year at it.

Oct 2, 2017, 11:42am Top

Good morning, Mark!

>229 msf59: Excellent poem! The leaves are changing and the temp is dropping!

Oct 2, 2017, 12:14pm Top

Happy Monday, Mark!! Enjoy the last of the warm temperatures today. : )

Glad to hear you loved Sing, Unburied, Sing -- I just got that in my latest Powell's INDIEspensable box!!

Oct 2, 2017, 1:56pm Top

Enjoy your week, Mark. If anything goes wrong just think back to your kick-ass weekend!

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:08pm Top

>281 weird_O: I think you are doing great with the AAC, Bill. No worries there. I appreciate any participation. I haven't been following any other Challenges myself. You never want it to feel too restrictive.

Looking forward to Russell Banks.

>282 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. Glad you like the autumn poem. I don't read much Frost but I do enjoy him, when I do.

Oct 2, 2017, 6:34pm Top

>283 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! One more warm one tomorrow and then we get back to normal temps, plus we are supposed to get some well-needed rain. Fingers crossed.

I really liked Sing, Unburied, Sing, but Ward can go very dark, so beware.

>284 Familyhistorian: That is excellent advice, Meg. Smiles... I made it through my heavy Monday unscathed, so that's a good start.

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:56pm Top

^Join these Sandhill Cranes, and flock over to my new thread....

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Six.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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