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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Six

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

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

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 6:46pm Top

-Tom Thomson, August 5, 1877 – July 8, 1917

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 9:47pm 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


121) The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen 3.6 stars (audio)
122) Solar Bones by Mike McCormack 4.2 stars
123) Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett 4.3 stars AAC
124) Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country: Stories by Chavisa Woods 4.3 stars
125) Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum 4.2 stars (audio)

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 9:47pm 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 Completed Truth & Beauty
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, 6:48pm 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, 7:00pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 2, 2017, 7:03pm Top

Lovely fall pictures! Happy new thread

Oct 2, 2017, 7:05pm Top

Happy New thread from Dubai, Mark. They like their birds of prey here. I've refrained from buying a soft toy version.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:11pm Top

Happy New thread! Quick pop in - I have not been feeling great. Better , more or less now, but not 100 % But sandhill cranes, that is my kind of bird - or at least the kind I see around my area. Do read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:13pm Top

happy new thread, Buddy.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:29pm Top

>5 drneutron: >6 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Jim & Chelle.

>7 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. I LOVE the falcon. Thanks for sharing. I hope you are having a fantastic holiday.

>8 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. Sorry, to hear you have been struggling. Hugs from The Lone Ranger. Hooray for Sandhill Cranes and it appears that I should read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Lots of warbling on that one.

>9 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

Oct 2, 2017, 7:32pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

> 1 A beautiful fall painting. Love the colors.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:38pm Top

Happy new thread Marc.

>1 msf59: Spectacular colours, especially the top one. Love it.

Oct 2, 2017, 7:46pm Top

Happy New Thread, buddy.

Yes re the much-warbled Eleanor Oliphant. Add me to the list of ones who LOVED it.

Oct 2, 2017, 8:01pm Top

RAIN - you've said the magic word so I hope that makes it true!

If you read the rain forecasts for 2018, Summer through October,
in the 2018 Farmer's Almanac,
you may want to conserve and save every drop for what looks to be a drought.

Their prediction record, like Sun Prairie's Jimmy the Groundhog, is around 80% accurate.

Oct 2, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Ah, I thought I recognized the style in your topper. Nice to see you get back to Thomson. Happy new thread.

Oct 2, 2017, 8:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Love the toppers. Fall is here.

Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 8:57pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I recognized those toppers immediately, ;-) Great choices

Oct 2, 2017, 8:28pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 2, 2017, 8:35pm Top

Those are spectacular. Happy new thread!!

Oct 2, 2017, 8:41pm Top

Happy new thread!!

Oct 2, 2017, 9:17pm Top

>11 brodiew2: >12 EllaTim: Thanks, Brodie & Ella! Glad you both like the topper!

>13 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Looks like I better find a copy of Eleanor Oliphant.

>14 m.belljackson: I sure hope the Farmer's Almanac is wrong, Marianne fingers crossed. Sure, could use a little rain.

>15 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Hooray for more Thomson.

Oct 2, 2017, 9:20pm Top

>16 BLBera: >17 jessibud2: Thanks, Beth & Shelley! Hooray for the fall toppers!

>18 banjo123: >19 lindapanzo: Thanks, Rhonda & Linda.

>20 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers. Love the birds & books image. Perfect.

Oct 2, 2017, 11:10pm Top

Beautiful art up at the top, Mark!

Oct 3, 2017, 12:48am Top

Lovely toppers, Mark. Happy New Thread!

Oct 3, 2017, 6:23am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread!

Oct 3, 2017, 6:32am Top

>23 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne! Trying to capture that fall feeling.

>24 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen.

>25 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

Oct 3, 2017, 6:47am Top

Stopping by and saying hi. Shawn will be sending out The Locals today. Looking forward to discussing it with you.

Oct 3, 2017, 6:50am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Have an awesome Tuesday!

Oct 3, 2017, 6:52am Top

>27 alphaorder: Thank you so much Nancy. Looking forward to it. Tell Shawn I appreciate it.

>28 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Good to see you.

Oct 3, 2017, 6:56am Top

^During this lull in the baseball season, before my Cubs start their playoff run on Friday, I started Vietnam. Only in the first episode but I am impressed in the early going and learning a lot about our early connections with Indochina. The Ho Chi Minh stuff is fascinating.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:39am Top

Hiya Mark! We just wrapped up the Vietnam series. It's excellent but really sobering and intense.

Go Cubbies!

Oct 3, 2017, 7:51am Top

Happy new thread, Mark, with as always beautiful toppers.

The second painting makes me think of the cormorants flying over, although those in the painting are probably geese. In summertime large groups of cormorants, sometimes over 50 birds, fly over our place a few times a day, going back and forth to the lake, getting fish for their youngsters.

Oct 3, 2017, 8:47am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy new thread.

I almost dread watching the Vietnam series, because it was such an emotional time. I became seriously anti-war when I had to do a project on US-Vietnam relations for my honors government class in my senior year of high school. Husband's recorded it and we'll probably start watching it next week. This week is the book sale and I just don't have the energy for it.

Oct 3, 2017, 9:50am Top

>31 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. Looking forward to Vietnam but it is going to take me awhile to get through it.

>32 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Yes, these are probably geese in the painting. I like comorants. It is funny seeing a flock sitting in a tree.

>33 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Love to hear your thoughts about Vietnam, once you start it.

Oct 3, 2017, 10:49am Top

Glad to hear you're liking Vietnam, Mark.

Any idea when the group read thread will be posted?

Still feeling pretty miserable again today. Ugh.

Oct 3, 2017, 10:53am Top

My hubby is watching the Vietnam series. Me, not so much.

Happy Tuesday! (Nobody pays attention to this poor day.)

Oct 3, 2017, 11:16am Top

>35 lindapanzo: Yep, Vietnam seems to be another solid effort from Mr. Burns.

I will try to get the Group Read up tonight. Hope you start feeling better soon. Sending healing vibes.

>36 Berly: Happy Tuesday, Kimmers. Yes, Tuesday is a sad, forgotten little day.

Oct 3, 2017, 11:43am Top

Morning, Mark!

I've started a Bob Hicok, The Legend of Light. Like you with the one you read, I'm having some sail right by me. But the ones that hit home are topnotch.

From "Neighbor" (the post probably won't show his indented lines the way he does them)

He didn't sing or splash but threw his head back
and drifted
under the water. As if baptized, as if pulled down
by the flow which touches
like music, which cuts its home through rock and is gone.

Oct 3, 2017, 11:49am Top

Good morning, Mark! Not much new under the sun this morning, but I thought I'd fly by with a hi!

Oct 3, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>37 msf59: I feel quite a bit better today. The final arbiter, the man across from me at work, who tells me either "go home, you sound terrible" or "you sound much better" opined that I sounded much better. However, when I said I didn't sleep well, he suggested sitting in the Lazy Boy and putting on the Golf Channel as a surefire sleep prescription.

As it's tough to concentrate, I'm reading some lightweight books these days.

Oct 3, 2017, 2:36pm Top

Closing in on the halfway point in Bel Canto. I just may have to read another of Ms. Pratchett's novels. Two on the TBR.

Oct 3, 2017, 2:49pm Top

Hi Mark, you've been a busy boy this last week or so. I am totally jealous of you getting to see Stephen King live. I have been falling behind here on LT but have been doing a lot of reading. I recently read The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield and loved her writing. I then picked up another volume of short stores, 13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl and have been struggling through this collection. Obviously not a book for me, I can't get past how nasty I find both the characters and the stories.

Oct 3, 2017, 5:56pm Top

>38 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I like the Hickok excerpt you shared. I will definitely like to try him again.

>39 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I hope your work day went well.

>40 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Glad to see you are back at work. Hope this is the tail-end of your illness and you can move on and be prepared for the playoffs.

Oct 3, 2017, 6:00pm Top

>41 weird_O: Well, it sounds like your first venture into Ms. Patchett is a success. Yah! I plan on starting my Patchett tomorrow, but this one is NF.

>42 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Good to see you. The Garden Party and Other Stories sounds like something I might like. I have slapped it on my WL, for future reference. Sorry, 13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl isn't cutting it for you.

Oct 3, 2017, 6:28pm Top

How is it going with Fate of the Tearling? I might have to fly up there to discuss it with you and Joe - over a beer. The ending is that intriguing to me. As Joe said, the author takes a brave course with this one.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:32pm Top

“...were we so blind to the world teetering on the edge that we never straightened up from what we were doing to consider things more clearly or
have we lost completely that brute instinct for catastrophe, that
sensitivity now buried too deep beneath reason and manners to
register but which, once upon a time, was alert to the first whining
vibrations radiating from those stress points likely to give away first...”

“...our prophets deranged
and coming toward us wild-eyed and smeared with shit, ringing a bell, seer and sinner at once while speaking some language from the edge of reason whose message would translate into plain words as
we're fucked
well and truly fucked because
with the signs stacking up like this there will only be one outcome...”

^These 2 quotes are from Solar Bones and I thought they both eerily reflect our current times and our current leadership, although the narrator is describing other calamities, in his home country of Ireland. I am into the second half of this novel and it is a bit of a challenge, with the story being told in one unbroken sentence, but this is deeply introspective prose, beautifully written and I'll be glad I stuck with it. Obviously, it will not be for all tastes.

Oct 3, 2017, 7:34pm Top

>45 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Less than 2 hours left in Fate of the Tearling, so I will finish it early tomorrow. I am curious to see how it ends, because I have not been as enamored by it, as you and Joe. Loved the first 2, though.

Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 8:02pm Top

The Group Read of Rules of Civility is up: https://www.librarything.com/topic/270551#

^I know several people expressed interest in this one, but if you are curious or on the fence, stop on over.

Oct 4, 2017, 6:27am Top

Morning, Mark!

Oct 4, 2017, 6:40am Top

>49 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Come on rain!

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 7:05am Top

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 7:15am Top

>51 msf59: - Sadly, that conversation will never happen in the White House. trump would lose his entire voter support base if he ever raised the topic. He is much more interested in what football players are doing than in the lives of his citizens. And he is much too chicken and immature to face the really tough issues. :-(

Oct 4, 2017, 7:51am Top

>52 jessibud2: Well said, Shelley. After his disastrous showing in Puerto Rico, there is no hope. This has been a sad and disheartening nine months. Glad we have our books.

Oct 4, 2017, 8:43am Top

Morning and Wednesday, Mark!

'Happy' doesn't seem to factor in right now with the news from Las Vegas and the idiot gas bag's embarrassing trip to Puerto Rico.

Books are a great escape.

Oct 4, 2017, 8:58am Top

Happy new one, Mark! So funny to see you posting about Solar Bones because I just picked that up at the library yesterday on a whim.

And hooray for the Rules of Civility thread - I'll have to stop by there and drop a star.

Oct 4, 2017, 10:57am Top

>54 karenmarie: Morning Karen! Boo to the Orange Gasbag! Yah, to the books.

>55 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! I am very curious what you will think of Solar Bones. It is a challenge, indeed, but a worthy one IMHO.

You read Rules, right?

Oct 4, 2017, 10:58am Top

Since you (and others who haunt your thread) are fans of the late Kent Haruf I wanted to let you know that NPR interviewed Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, who are starring in a Netfilx production of Our Souls At Night. Here is the link to the interview.


Oct 4, 2017, 10:59am Top

That trip was embarrassing. Doesn't he know how stupid he sounds?

Oct 4, 2017, 11:02am Top

>57 benitastrnad: Thanks for sharing that link, Benita. I will read it later. I have the film saved on my Netflix watchlist.

And no, he does not realize how stupid he sounds. That is the problem.

Oct 4, 2017, 11:30am Top

I enjoyed Our Souls at Night. I thought the end was sad and, of course, all too real. I just can't see Fonda and Redford being Addie and Louis. But I can see them wanting to do it, really really wanting to do it. Is this Jane's On Golden Pond?

Just a cranky guy I am. Haven't experienced the interview. *SIGH* I guess I should. :-) I just don't want it to change my mind.

Oct 4, 2017, 11:41am Top

Good morning, Mark!

My celebrity memoir diversion, Almost Interesting, was temporarily derail when I accidentally returned the CDs to the library while retaining Disc 1. Imagine my disappointment when I reached for Disc 2. While I wait to get it back, I've switched to The Cuban Affair, the new Nelson DeMille.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 12:34pm Top

I started the audio of Truth & Beauty and Patchett narrates it herself. It is sooooooooooo good.

Oct 4, 2017, 1:10pm Top

Hi Mark, the first day of the NHL season is always a red letter day for me even if, as is true with this year, the Hawks aren't playing.

I got a good night's sleep, finally, and am feeling somewhat better today.

Oct 4, 2017, 1:14pm Top

>56 msf59: Nope. I read A Gentleman in Moscow earlier this year and LOVED it, and I have Rules in the stacks. Planning on joining your GR of it this month.

Oct 4, 2017, 5:17pm Top

Just released - Shortlist for the National Book Awards - Fiction

Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman (Knopf)
The Leavers by Lisa Ko (Algonquin)
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Grand Central)
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf)
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)

There are at least two titles on this list that should make you happy as you gave The Leavers and Sing, Unburied, Sing good reviews.

Oct 4, 2017, 5:26pm Top

Shortlist for the National Book Awards - Poetry


Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison (University of Akron Press)
WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier (Graywolf)
In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae (Wesleyan University Press)
Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith (Graywolf)

Oct 4, 2017, 5:29pm Top

And last the Shortlist for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature

Young People’s Literature:

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold (Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab)
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway (HarperTeen)
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez (Knopf)
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperCollins/Amistad)
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)

I hope American Street wins but I think that it will probably be I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 5:37pm Top

And tomorrow the Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced. NPR did a story on the top runners. Margaret Atwood was named.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 6:19pm Top

I just posted my review of Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson over on Joe's thread. This novel made my Best of the Year list. I think it would make a great book for you to listen to while you work. I can't speak to the quality of the recorded version, but the book was GREAT! It is set in this area of Mississippi and Alabama, and so it mentions towns and geographical features that are real places, but it is a work of fiction. This book was my real life book discussion group book for October. We meet on Sunday, and I can't wait to hear what the members will say. I think this one is going to prompt lively discussion.

It is still hot down here. Way to hot.

Oct 4, 2017, 8:14pm Top

>60 weird_O: Hi, Bill. I agree with you about Fonda & Redford being in the film version of Our Souls at Night. The star power can overshadow, but let's hope they can pull it off.

>61 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! I have not read Nelson Demille in nearly 20 years. Always a solid thriller writer. Hope you enjoy it.

>63 lindapanzo: Glad you are feeling better, Linda. I hope the Hawks get off to a good start. And Go Cubs!

>64 Crazymamie: That is what I thought, Mamie. Just wanted to make sure.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 8:26pm Top

>65 benitastrnad: Thanks for sharing the National Book Awards lists. Out of the fiction, I am really interested in Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. This is a collection that really appeals. I tried to snag a copy at ALA, but they did not have any. I have Pachinko saved on audio. Maybe, I will try to make room for it, in November.

>66 benitastrnad: On the NF front, I am most interested in Killers of the Flower Moon, but The Evangelicals sounds good too.

Of course, all the poetry sounds good. I have a copy of the Smith collection, from ALA.

Not familiar with any of the YA picks. Thoughts?

Glad you enjoyed Secret of Magic. Like the warbling.

Oct 4, 2017, 8:39pm Top

Hey, buddy.

The Danez Smith collection, Don’t Call Us Dead, made the NBA list. Time to dust off your ALA copy! So good.

Edited: Oct 4, 2017, 8:50pm Top

^ I started the audio of Truth & Beauty. I think it begins very well. It is an amazing story of a friendship. I first heard about this relationship, in an essay, in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage and knew I had to read it and with Patchett doing her own narration, it would be a Win Win.

The only puzzling thing is, is some of the reviews have been mixed, with some sharp criticism directed toward Patchett, about describing her relationship with Lucy Grealy as unfair and unbalanced. Grealy died in 2002, before this book was released. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Oct 4, 2017, 8:55pm Top

Has anyone read Killers of the Flower Moon? It looks good and would help fill my category challenge problem category nice.

Oct 4, 2017, 9:01pm Top

>73 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Thanks for checking in from TN. The Smith collection is tagged, to be read soon. I think I have 2 collections from the library to get to, first.

>75 lindapanzo: I have not read Killers of the Flower Moon yet, but it is high on my To-Read list and I LOVED The Lost City of Z, which I highly, highly recommend.

Oct 4, 2017, 10:46pm Top

>74 msf59: - I read Lucy Grealy's memoir, Autobiography of a Face many years ago and it was very powerful. I had heard of their friendship but will admit that although I have tried to read Patchett, I could never get into her writing. I can't even remember which of her books I tried (could be this one, or Bel Canto) but whichever it was, I never managed to finish it.

Oct 5, 2017, 4:45am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you!

>74 msf59: Our book club read Autobiography of a Face and Truth & Beauty in 2012 as a combined read, but I'm afraid I didn't finish either.

Oct 5, 2017, 6:33am Top

>77 jessibud2: It looks like I should track down Autobiography of a Face. It would be interesting to see her side of the story. Sorry, Patchett doesn't work for you.

>78 karenmarie: Morning, Karen! Now, that sounds like a perfect Book Club pairing. Sorry, you didn't care for either. What turned you off? And have you read any other Patchett?

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 7:02am Top

Like I mentioned up above I am listening to the audio of Truth & Beauty. I read another story in Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country: and Other Stories. I am really enjoying this collection and my journey continues with Solar Bones. Should wrap this one up tomorrow.

Oct 5, 2017, 7:37am Top

>60 weird_O: I loved the book. Won't be watching the film - the stars are too big.

>62 msf59:. I really enjoyed Truth and Beauty too.

Oct 5, 2017, 7:59am Top

>78 karenmarie: that's interesting. I read Truth and Beauty and immediately went looking for Autobiography of a Face. I liked them both for different reasons, but I thought they made an excellent pairing.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:25am Top

By the way, I am thinking of reading The Ninth Hour next. Was a big fan of McDermott back in my bookselling days.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:37am Top

>75 lindapanzo: Daughter Becca (seasonsoflove) loved Killers of the Flower Moon. She reviewed it.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:42am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Sounds like you’ve got some good reading going on. I hope someone responds re Truth & Beauty. You’ve got me curious.

I’m enjoying the Millard and a Travis McGee. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains national park is on the agenda this morning.

Oct 5, 2017, 9:27am Top

Gorgeous fall morning...

>81 alphaorder: I am curious enough about the film version, to give a shot. Hope it doesn't disappoint.

I have not read McDermott. Bad Mark?

>82 lauralkeet: I think that is a great pairing, Laura. I am completely flummoxed by the varying opinion on this one and in Patchett in general.

Oct 5, 2017, 9:29am Top

>85 jnwelch: I want to go hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Wah! Have a fantastic time, Joe.

Did you mention Millard? Swoons a bit...glad I am not driving. Grins...

Oct 5, 2017, 11:28am Top

A friend of mine is currently reading Killers of the Flower Moon and she likes it. She was about to finish it when I talked to her on Sunday. She is in my book discussion group and we are meeting to discuss Secret of Magic on Sunday, October 8. She told me that she wasn't even going to think about starting Secret of Magic because she as engrossed in Killers of the Flower Moon. She told me that she was going to suggest it as a title for our group discussion. I think that is a good recommendation, so I don't think you can go wrong in reading it.

Oct 5, 2017, 11:28am Top

OK, Mark - here's my big question - Did you finish Fate of the Tearling?

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 2:30pm Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well in your world.

I wish the Cubs the best in the post season!

Sadly, print editions of both Killers of the Flower Moon and Lightning Men are languishing in my library basket at home. I haven't been in the mood. I think I will return them and try again later.

>51 msf59: I guess the political cartoonists job is to be provocative and evocative. This one certainly is that. Very pointed in its declaration.

I know I may be opening a can of worms here, but I have a question. Do both liberal minded and conservative minded individuals have to fall in line with every liberal/democratic or conservative/republican policy. Does the ideology of liberalism or conservatism have to be a whole hog commitment? Is it possible to have issues where individuals cross the line?

Is gun control something near and dear to your heart or are you (plural) joining the voices of other like minded people calling for it?

I do not own a gun. I am not an NRA member. I recognize that a historic tragedy occurred and I mourn with the families and victims that were lost or wounded or present at the event. What chaps my hide is celebrities and politicians alike lecturing me about how I don't care that people were killed because I disagree on matters of gun policy. I'm being told my prayers are 'insufficient' while families are still identifying the dead.

Is there a middle ground on gun control? I don't know. But, a friend of mine made a comment that I'm still mulling over. You can put a hundred guns into the hands of a reasonable person and no one will be shot. But, inevitably, some unbalanced person is getting a hold of these weapons and people are being killed. He cited the other countries that have gun laws on the books also have universal healthcare which makes it easier for the mentally ill to be cared for. Which would reduce mass shootings and other gun violence. That said, Paddock, specifically, showed no signs of such mental illness. I'm sure we'll learn more, but he was a blank slate to start.

Oct 5, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>90 brodiew2: That is a thoughtful question.

As a liberal, I don't feel the need to fall in line behind every liberal viewpoint. I'd say I'm more liberally socially but not quite as liberal when it comes to other things.

I'm thinking that gun control may be an atypical issue for many. We are suburbanites and don't need guns for food or any real purpose but, growing up, we had guns in the house. In fact, my father made me go with him to the shooting range just so I'd respect their power. I tried skeet shooting (or maybe it was trap shooting) but I liked shooting a pistol at pieces of wood at the plinking pond the best.

I don't think we should ban all guns but I feel like I'm middle ground somewhat. People need guns for various reasons, such as protection, and I can accept that. We need limits on numbers owned or features. I don't know enough to even begin to think of what those limits should be.

That said, when I personally encounter someone in public with a weapon, I am extremely uncomfortable.

Other freedoms have limits (hate speech springs to mind) but it's unfortunate that many refuse to acknowledge the need for some limits when it comes to the Second Amendment.

Oct 5, 2017, 2:42pm Top

Just read that Kazuo Ishiguro has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Oct 5, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Hi, Mark. You mentioned the harsh criticism that Ann Patchett's book, Truth & Beauty has gotten, wondering where it has come from. What"s behind it.

Here's a link to an article by Suellen Grealy, Lucy Grealy's older sister, that was published 10 years ago in The Guardian.


I was struck by this statement in the article: "My sister Lucy was a uniquely gifted writer. Ann, not so gifted, is lucky to be able to hitch her wagon to my sister's star. I wish Lucy's work had been left to stand on its own."

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 3:02pm Top

>60 weird_O:
>71 msf59:

Hope the film version has a different ending, not involving the Son-out-of-Dickens.

Oct 5, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>91 lindapanzo: Well said Linda. Other freedoms have limits and we accept that as a society. I see no reason that licensing of firearms could not be implemented and yet fully comply with the Second Amendment. It is a strict scrutiny test (to go all constitutional law on the issue) but I think it can pass muster.

Oct 5, 2017, 4:44pm Top


I think that we license other lethal weapons - like cars - why not guns? Or maybe types of guns? Like the types that my cousins use to hunt deer - AK47's.

I also think that your point about health care and mental health care in particular is also a larger question that needs work. We need to offer more coverage for mental health and stop viewing it as if it were secondary to other kinds of health care. But then I forgot that we don't even have real universal health coverage for anything. Including gun shot wounds.

As for your other large question - I don't think that any two people see everything exactly the same. What we all have to do is agree to live with some limits. If we didn't none of us would survive the carnage. But, even though we are a large nation with a large population, we have far to many guns and live in a gun happy culture. There is a book I have been wanting to read Gunning of America: The Business and the Making of American Gun Culture by Pamela Haag. I wonder why we manufacture so many guns and why?

Oct 5, 2017, 5:01pm Top

As upset as I am about the Vegas attacks, I've read in several places that he reserved a suite at a Chicago hotel overlooking Lollapalooza this summer and I've gotten even more upset. I think about how the Cubs will, next year, have a hotel overlooking the ballpark, how St Louis has a hotel overlooking Busch Stadium. We even stayed in a hotel room overlooking the field at the Toronto ballpark.

The last time we went to Vegas, on business, we stayed at the Mandalay Bay and that was probably the nicest hotel I've ever stayed at. Since then, my co-workers and I, even many years later, talk about what a unique experience that was for all of us. Sadly, now we just think about this attack.

Oct 5, 2017, 5:18pm Top

>97 lindapanzo: - Is it true what I heard that he had elaborate cameras set up in his hotel room, as well? For days? How is it that hotel cleaning staff never noticed or alerted authorities? Something seems really wrong with this picture.

>96 benitastrnad: - I really hesitate to weigh in on this volatile topic, but I will and will try to be brief (and not too naïve). As a Canadian, I will never understand the gun mentality in the States. I agree that life has to have some limitations. I personally don't think that owning or driving a car is a *right* either and licensing, seat belts, drunk and impaired driving laws are all meant to restrict the damage a vehicle can do to others. Why should it be different for guns? The mentality of the pro-gun people that owning a gun (guns) is a right and not a privilege, is, frankly, insane. Truly. Yes, I do understand that some people feel they *need* to protect themselves, some people may even shoot for food, though I doubt that number is very big. Personally, I don't even like the idea of killing for sport, I think it's cruel and totally unnecessary. But I really don't understand why people WANT to own a gun if not to use it. And to use a gun is to use it to kill (target-shooting aside; that can be done at a range and without *owning* or *carrying*). And this is where I think it turns into being barbaric. Politics aside, it is just barbaric. A person walking around with a loaded gun is either intending to kill or to intimidate. Neither of which is very civilized behaviour.

And unfortunately, I think it has gone way beyond what politics can address or deal with. The line was crossed ages ago. And today, more than ever, I dread being in large crowds. And my fear is more than ever, founded in reality.

Oct 5, 2017, 5:29pm Top

>98 jessibud2: I've heard that. I know I accidentally left the DND sign out once when I was taking a nap and housekeeping skipped me and left me a bag of stuff at the door (new soap, towels etc) but people in that business have said that there's usually a 3-day limit to how long they'll wait and, at that point, housekeeping will go in with a manager. I assume that he knew that as he seemed to have been very particular about details.

I do know that, whenever I go to an event with large crowds, like Wrigley Field or the UC, I think about what some of the dangers I can foresee are and what I could do. I also notice that barriers are quietly being placed in areas I've been to many times. It's rather startling to see.

Oct 5, 2017, 5:41pm Top

>99 lindapanzo: - True. But barriers will be completely useless if hotel rooms on upper floors are the newest weapon in the arsenal of terrorists. I also noticed that trump has not/will not use the word *terrorist*. I guess he reserves that for Muslims and people of colour, foreigners. Yet this man, this killer, is the dictionary definition of a terrorist.


I haven't been to SkyDome (actually now called The Rogers Centre, where the Blue Jays play, but it will always be SkyDome to me) in ages. Pity, but I don't see it happening any time soon...And while it is good to be aware of your surroundings, and have a plan, it's hard to stay a step ahead of a maniac.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 5:55pm Top

>100 jessibud2: It is hard to stay ahead. I like puzzles and mysteries but don't think like a criminal. After the fact, these cars driving up on sidewalks, or attacking at bottlenecks, or this killer from the 32nd floor make perfect sense but it's not something I would've ever thought of.

There used to be that TV show that explained how things work. I think there was a man in a beret. They once investigated to see whether it is easy to shoot at fish in a barrel (didn't actually do it, just analyzed it). When I saw the Vegas attack, I quickly thought of "like shooting fish in a barrel," people trapped with no place to go.

I think the Sky Dome rooms were quite expensive but my sports fan friend and I went the year of the SARS epidemic. 2003? I think they gave us the stadium view at no extra charge. One of our best vacations ever. Went to the hockey HOF. Went to the ballgame while watching from our room. Went to a Leafs/Senators game. Ate at Wayne Gretzky's restaurant. A dream vacation for this pair of hockey and baseball fanatics.

Alas, every time I go to Toronto, I somehow fit their profile. Every time I go there, I get extra security precautions. Not sure why bc it's never happened anywhere else.

Oct 5, 2017, 6:19pm Top

I am back...

>88 benitastrnad: I hope your Book Club picks Killers of the Flower Moon. I really want to read that one. Did you read Lost City of Z?

Yes, I did finish Fate of the Tearling. I really liked the ending. A nice, clever twist. I just thought the rest of the finale, dragged. It was my least favorite of the trilogy, although I am glad I wrapped the series up. Interested in what she will do next.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 6:35pm Top

>90 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. All is well here. A gorgeous day in the Midwest. And yah, for the Cubs. Getting very excited about tomorrow night.

I plan on reading/listening to Lightning Men soon. Within the next 2 weeks. I hope you decide to get back to it.

"Do both liberal minded and conservative minded individuals have to fall in line with every liberal/democratic or conservative/republican policy." Absolutely not, or at least that's the way it should be, but I think those days are over. The extremists rule the day.

I started my young adult life as a conservative, voting for Reagan both times but I began shifting to the left soon after and never looked back. I also grew up liking guns, although I am not a gun owner. I am a strong proponent of gun control. No one is even suggesting taking any individual's guns away from any licensed gun-owner but we NEED rigid regulations. This is a epidemic. The idea of automatic weapons, turns my stomach, along with the folks that defend them.

Oct 5, 2017, 6:46pm Top

>91 lindapanzo: Thanks, for your thoughts on the gun issue, Linda. Something needs to be done, but I am afraid that nothing will be done and the body count will continue to rise. If nothing changed after Sandy Hook, which it DID NOT, we are doomed.

>92 lindapanzo: I really like Kazuo Ishiguro but I would have preferred Murakami.

Oct 5, 2017, 6:46pm Top

>101 lindapanzo: - Surely, you have heard the story, famous local lore but apparently, it really happened: on live tv, no less, the camera crew broadcasting the game apparently zoomed in on the hotel windows (maybe after a huge homer) and well, let's just say, caught some hanky-panky in a room where they forgot to shut the drapes... Yep, it was big news here for some time, lol!

I also once took a class of special needs boys to the Hockey Hall of Fame, as a class trip. Let's just say, never again. I'd go back myself, because it was really interesting but these kids were wild! I don't miss those days.....

Oct 5, 2017, 6:47pm Top

>103 msf59: I appreciate the honest response, Mark, as well as all of the above response to my question. I agree that extremists rule the day, but it appears that most self identified Liberal/Conservative old the 'party' line on most social, fiscal, or other socio-political issues.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 6:54pm Top

>105 msf59: I was just telling my work neighbor woman that I thought it was Murakami and I was excited and then realized it was Ishiguro. She was an English major and likes to read and what sprang to mind for both of us was Remains of the Day.

I had hopes that the shooting of Congressman Scalise might change the discussion but that didn't happen.

It was interesting that a country music performer who was injured in Vegas, I think, now says that, since it happened to him, he's changed his mind on gun control. It's sad that people don't have the empathy to feel something like this til it happens to them.

>106 jessibud2: I heard about that escapade. We actually stood in our hotel room when the anthems came on. I think the Blue Jays were playing the Yankees. If I'm remembering, the first day, we watched the game in the ballpark as usual and, when I bought a 50/50 raffle ticket, I used some of the paper currency my uncle had given me and mobs of people were coming up to me to look at it. Little did I realize that Canada hadn't used paper currency for $1 or $2 in years. Loonies and toonies? I saved one and keep it in my wallet. I think it has a robin on it, along with the queen.

As for me, no reading tonight. It's Opening Night for the Blackhawks!! In fact, I got into work early so I could get home in time to see all the pregame even. Hoping that maybe they show Bryan Bickell in a Hawks jersey one last time. Poor guy.

Oct 5, 2017, 6:53pm Top

>107 brodiew2: - Here's the thing, though Brodie. And yes, I realize how naïve this is going to sound. But why is this even a political issue? Guns kill. Are life and death political? When a maniac like the Las Vegas guy shoots out of a window into a crowd, he isn't targeting people of one party or political persuasion or another. And though I don't know for sure but I would guess that not all gun owners are of one party, either. So, really this conversation needs to get beyond politics and address the real issues of why PEOPLE feel the need to own and use guns.

David Frum, a Republican who writes for The Atlantic, was interviewed the other day on our radio (he is a former Canadian and was George W Bush's speechwriter). He had a theory. I am not so sure I agree 100% with it but there is something to what he said when he said it's not so much about independence, and the *right* to own a gun, as much as it is about POWER. Hard to argue with that, with a barrel pointed at you....

Oct 5, 2017, 6:57pm Top

>108 lindapanzo: - Um, Linda, that would be a Loon, not a robin... ;-)

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>93 weird_O: WOW! What an interesting and bitter article, from The Guardian, Bill. I am deep into Truth & Beauty and it is an unflinching account of their friendship. Warts & all, but I don't have enough information about what really happened, to make an opinion either way. There is no question, Patchett loved and supported this woman for many years. It is hard to believe she would do anything spiteful, but I just don't know.

Her sister, in the article is correct: Lucy's family is completely absent from this memoir, which definitely had me wondering what the deal was.

>95 Oberon: "Other freedoms have limits and we accept that as a society. I see no reason that licensing of firearms could not be implemented and yet fully comply with the Second Amendment." Amen, Erik!

Oct 5, 2017, 7:09pm Top

>96 benitastrnad: Gunning of America: The Business and the Making of American Gun Culture sounds like a good, informative read but I wonder how upset you would get reading it.

>97 lindapanzo: Now, we have to worry about this fear, Linda and of course, stuff is being brought up about the upcoming Chicago Marathon. Living in fear. I guess that is the objective and "they" are succeeding.

>98 jessibud2: This is scary stuff, Shelley and I find it interesting that all the pro-gun folks are mostly Republican, which keeps driving a wedge deeper into the American divide and most puzzling is the Christian Right is also pro-gun. Die-hards.

Are your gun-advocates, all right-leaning?

>100 jessibud2: " I guess he reserves that for Muslims and people of colour, foreigners. Yet this man, this killer, is the dictionary definition of a terrorist." Spot on, Shelley.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 7:13pm Top

>107 brodiew2: I agree with you, Brodie. It is very difficult to have any bipartisanship these days. If a horrific event like this doesn't draw us together, what will?

>108 lindapanzo: "As for me, no reading tonight. It's Opening Night for the Blackhawks!" Go Hawks!

Thanks for the discussion everyone. Nothing like an even-handed discourse.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:03pm Top

>109 jessibud2: Hello jessie. I don't doubt that many gun owners associate have a gun with a feeling of power. That makes total sense. It's also been proposed that, similarly they are compensating for deficiencies in other area. not a joke. Licensing gun ownership a la driving sounds like an interesting concept, but what many far right wingers fear is too much Government intrusion in their lives. The Far right. What I hear you and Mark saying is that you don't want to confiscate, but you're also wondering why people that have them have them in the fist place. The extreme of such 'barbarism' is confiscation which is likely why nothing happens. If you open the door to further government regulation, is confiscation completely out of the question down the road. And this doesn't even address the fact that Paddock, and I would suggest any mass murderer is mentally ill even it doesn't 'show'.

>113 msf59: I hear what you're saying, Mark.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 8:31pm Top

>110 jessibud2: What?? It's a loon? That would've why they call it a loonie, no doubt?

But why does it say robin right on the bill then? Hmmm, those tricky Canadians? Or as my Montreal fan nephew calls them, Canadiens.

ETA: Here's what the Canadian currency in my wallet looks like. Mine looks more mangled etc, though. Still looks like a robin to me...


Oct 5, 2017, 8:41pm Top

>115 lindapanzo: - The word *robin* is printed on the bill, on the Loonie coin?? This is news to me! lol! Maybe I never looked that closely but no, I wouldn't have thought so. (goes off to empty the change purse and take a closer look...)

>114 brodiew2: - I do hear what you are saying, Brodie and I think pushback against confiscation is not surprising. Nobody anywhere (I believe) wants government breathing down their necks. But restrictions may be the meeting place, the compromise, if there is ever going to be one. I mean, how many guns does one person need? How many can one person use at a time? And military guns, in a house? I think that maybe people who own guns tend to own more than one and maybe, without restrictions, that is where some of the problems arise. I don't know, I'm already out of my realm of knowledge and understanding and am guessing here. And you are right, David Frum mentioned that very point in his interview, about gun owners compensating for lack of power in other areas of their lives (he cited lack of work, as one example). Those are legitimate concerns but perhaps ought to better addressed directly and with more practical (and safer) solutions in mind.

I don't know. This really is a complex and fraught problem and no solution is going to come easily. Or without honest good will and hard work on all sides.

Oct 5, 2017, 8:56pm Top

>116 jessibud2: Is the loonie one dollar or two? This is the reverse of a two dollar bill. The queen is on the other side.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 9:09pm Top

>117 lindapanzo: - The Loonie is the one dollar coin, all one colour. The toonie is the two dollar coin, 2-colured (same colour as loonie in the centre, and surrounded by silver). The queen is on all our coins so that's no clue, lol! When we phased out our one dollar bills (some time in the 1980s, I think), the Common Loon was an unofficial national symbol and that was what was chosen to be on the reverse side of the coin from the queen. Thus the nickname of the *loonie*. Some years later, when the $2 bill was phased out, and the $2 coin came in, the nickname of *toonie* (or *twoonie*) just seemed to follow. There are several versions of it. Some feature a polar bear, some, Inuit art symbols, and other pictures too. But a robin? That's a first for me. ;-)

We also phased out our pennies a few years ago. Thankfully, they weren't replaced by anything. In stores, change is made by rounding up or down. I used a glue gun and made an Inuksuk out of my remaining pennies at the time.

Oct 5, 2017, 9:11pm Top

According to an article in WaPo (that's the Washington Post):

78% of American adults (that’s adults, not the entire population) don’t own any guns.

19% of American adults own 50% of the guns

3% own the other 50%


Oct 5, 2017, 9:20pm Top

>112 msf59: Our gun advocates? Do we have gun advocates in Canada?

Oct 5, 2017, 9:41pm Top

So Loonie is the name for the coin, so what is the name for the bill with the Loon on it?

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 9:51pm Top

Living in fear. That is what it is all about. I don’t take unnecessary risks but I am not going to let the bastards win by putting me in a cage. That is what terrorism does - I makes people afraid to live. Some people castigated Dubuque after 9/11 for telling us to go shopping, but in a larger sense he was right - we need to keep calm and carry on. Any other course of action is reactionary and the result of emotion. Reason should win over emotion.

However, in the case of this kind of violence the numbers tell us we have something wrong here and there has to be a reasonable way to fix it.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 9:52pm Top

Stepping away from discussions on gun control and birds on Canadian currency, I may have a Mark-like reading month ahead.

If I get to them all, October reads would include such books as Bel Canto, A Man Called Ove, Rules of Civility, and perhaps Killers of the Flower Moon.

Oct 5, 2017, 9:49pm Top

>121 benitastrnad: - As far as I know, we don't name our bills, other than *five dollar bill*, *ten dollar bill*, etc. Even our nickels, dimes and quarters are just plain nickels, dimes and quarters. Only the loonies and toonies have nicknames.

Now I have to go find which bill has a loon on it.... ;-p

Next, you will be asking about the colours of the bills! I bet even citizenship tests don't ask this! lol

Oct 5, 2017, 9:52pm Top

Just don’t call them greenbacks. We have dibs on that name.

Oct 5, 2017, 10:04pm Top

Thanks for the continuing conversation. I am busy watching Vietnam. I am on episode 2. Really enjoying it and learning a lot.

See everyone in the A.M.

Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 10:20pm Top

I thought the author was very brave with the ending of Fate of the Tearling. She could have given us a standard fantasy ending of everybody lived happily ever after, but she didn’t. I agree with your assessment of the rest of the novel, but that ending makes up for it because it makes the reader sit up and go What? It was so sad that she had to give up The Mace, and all her other trusted friends and bodyguards, but it also totally makes sense. I am not sure that the dual timeline worked as well as I would have liked, but still it was a brave novel. I think there is a Star Trek episode about changing timelines that would fit right into this ending as well.

Tomorrow is Friday and I have a full day of classes to teach. We have to squeeze those classes in whenever we can because of the football schedule. I will be very happy to see the weekend come, but then I have to teach a class on Saturday morning because we have to fit weekend college in around the games as well. Football is not a fun time to be librarian.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:51am Top

Hi Mark, I haven't read this new (to me) thread thoroughly, but did read some gun posts. I was in idyllic holiday mode when I heard about the mass shooting in Nevada...I actively avoided commentary on it but have since caught up on it all. Ironically, at the time, my kids were out hunting with my dad (for deer, which are a pest here). The boys both wanted a picture taken with his rifle, and it made me extremely uncomfortable seeing the image of them cradling this thing- even though a gun in NZ has a very different set of associations than a gun in the US does.
Either way, the laws here around guns make it a lot harder to access and keep guns legally, and for that I am pleased. And, the pics of my kids with guns wont see the light of day!

Oct 6, 2017, 6:32am Top

>116 jessibud2: "This really is a complex and fraught problem and no solution is going to come easily. Or without honest good will and hard work on all sides."
Very well said, Shelley. We can only hope...

>119 weird_O: Thanks, for the WaPO link, Bill. I have seen these stats before. Interesting and disturbing.

>120 Familyhistorian: I hope not, Meg. I think your gun culture, is a bit different than ours, with hunting still being a way of life up there.

Oct 6, 2017, 6:36am Top

Morning, Mark! Will not chime in on the gun discussion in any real way, because that is one area in which my views are at one absolute extreme (why in the world does anyone need a gun of any kind?! I won't even let Charlie have a Nerf gun.)

Oct 6, 2017, 6:39am Top

>123 lindapanzo: Wow! You have some great reading ahead of you, Linda. Enjoy. Really looking forward to your thoughts on Bel Canto.

And how about those HAWKS??

>127 benitastrnad: Once again, Benita, I really liked the way she wrapped up Fate of the Tearling. Very fresh and inventive. I just wish the rest of the book would have been stronger.

>128 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Good to see you. Thanks for chiming in on the gun issue. Hunting is a different story. No one wants to take away a person's right to hunt. And I am not sure any of these recent "shooters" have ever hunted in their life...at least wildlife anyway. We are in a ugly, violent quagmire at the moment and I do not see any light at the end of this tunnel.

I love the fact that your kids, are hunting with your Dad. How perfect. Did anyone get a deer?

Oct 6, 2017, 6:41am Top

>130 scaifea: Morning, Amber. I am siding close to your views of guns, by leaps and bounds. The thought of these weapons are beginning to make me queasy, along with their nasty and ignorant advocates.

Oct 6, 2017, 6:49am Top

Hi Mark!

Happy Friday to you. I will try to go back and catch up on the last 50 messages, but being in the middle of the book sale as Treasurer is taking way too much time away from visiting friends here on LT!

Oct 6, 2017, 6:57am Top

Morning, Karen! Happy Friday! Good luck at the book sale.

Oct 6, 2017, 7:08am Top

>130 scaifea: - Hi Amber. I stand 100% in your corner, too, when it comes to guns. I have a neighbour on my street whose 2 sons are always playing with toy guns, large, colourful plastic, some of which are water guns. But still. I never see them with a basketball or skateboard or anything else. It makes me shudder to think what they will play with as they grow up. What are these parents thinking??! Do they even think? In my mind, this just normalizes violence and promotes violence as entertainment (already well-entrenched in the social psyche). Sigh...so why are we continually surprised when bad events happened.

Oct 6, 2017, 7:39am Top

Have had a wonderful morning in a peaceful bird sanctuary , hope the books are treating you well Mark.

Oct 6, 2017, 7:59am Top

>132 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'm afraid it's a fairly unpopular view, which just blows my mind. How is it that owning a gun is a right worth fighting for, but universal healthcare? Nope. Sweet cheese and crackers. Idiotic. (And here I wasn't going to get involved in the discussion. Ha! There aren't very many things that make me really angry, but this is definitely one of them.)

>135 jessibud2: Exactly. I don't want to normalize that kind of inherent violence with Charlie at all. As far as hunting goes, if you must, then make it an actual worthwhile *skill* and learn to use a bow and arrow (or I suppose you can have a musket).

Oct 6, 2017, 8:43am Top

Good morning, Mark. Happy Friday!

I grew up with in hunting country in Michigan, and that use of guns I understand. But surely we can all draw the line at assault weapons. We had a ten year ban on assault weapons that they failed to renew in 2004. Idiots in Congress, and here we are. We also need strict regulations for gun purchases and use - the comparison to cars fits that. You've got to pass tests to get your drivers license, and it can be denied or taken away for all sorts of good reasons.

Personally, I'd also like to see handguns banned, but I at least understand there being a debate over that.

Oct 6, 2017, 9:34am Top

Damp, cool morning in Chicagoland. We still need the rain...

>135 jessibud2: Sadly, I do not think anything can surprise us anymore. And what should be uniting us, only drives us further apart.

>136 charl08: That sounds fantastic, Charlotte. Thanks for checking in. Anything worth reporting?

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 9:38am Top

>115 lindapanzo: - LOL! Linda, I am just now seeing your edit, with the picture of the robins! Yes, that is a robin! But that is also the two dollar BILL, not the toonie coin. I had completely forgotten about that picture! We haven't had that bill in circulation in absolute years! I bet young kids working nowadays would not even know what it was! I did keep one (and also kept a one dollar bill), as a sort of keepsake, but yes, all this time, I thought you were talking about the coin. Lol. When you said that *robin* was printed on the bill, I interpreted that as the bill (aka beak) of the bird! Lost in translation....

Glad we cleared that up. :-)

Oct 6, 2017, 9:38am Top

>137 scaifea:. Swiss cheese and crackers! You sure have that, right. There should be no debate at all.

>138 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. See? Nothing about taking anyone's guns away from them. Just practical regulations put in place. It will not do away with it completely, of course, but any lives saved, makes it well worth it, right?

I am with you on the handguns too.

Oct 6, 2017, 11:25am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Friday!

>132 msf59: Come on, Mark. 'Ignorant advocates'? I will grant you that there are extremist factions that will not want to listen to reason, but I think you go too far labeling all gun rights advocates as ignorant. I'm not saying that there isn't willful resistance, but ignorance seems too strong.

>130 scaifea: >135 jessibud2: I respectfully disagree with not allowing boys, or girls for that matter, play with toy guns; especially Nerf guns which are mostly, not all, have science fiction designs. And, yes, they are brightly colored in order to separate them entirely from real looking guns. The heart of my disagreement is that boys will be boys. You take away their weapons and, inevitably, they will use their arms and hands to simulate the weapons anyway. I grew playing game like cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and war. It's what we did. Video games were not even around in the early mid to late 70s. In most of those cases, we were emulating police and military personnel, who are worthy to be emulated. I'm pretty sure I have not grown up to be a maladjusted, violence loving, crazy man. There is no more rooted 'inherent violence' in me than there would be if I hadn't played these games. The games we played, even now, can be simulated in paint ball or adult versions of laser tag. It's fun. It's exercise. Ultimately, I would find sitting inside playing war type video games for hours at a time is more harmful to a child's psyche.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:04pm Top

>142 brodiew2: I'm not going to respond any further about the gun issue. I wouldn't do any good, I suspect, and this isn't my thread (and I already feel that I've taken up too much of Mark's space on this). But I can't not say that I really intensely dislike the phrase "boys will be boys." It gets used to cover all manner of sins these days and I find it unacceptable for so many reasons. Not all boys fit that stereotypical rough-and-tumble category. Mine most certainly doesn't - he loves pink and Hello Kitty, ballet and writing plays for him and his friends to perform. I'm grateful that I have a son who really doesn't want to play with toy guns at all, because he finds it pointless and violent.

And where does one stop with such a phrase? I can't help but think of the college boys getting light sentences for rape because we wouldn't want to ruin their chances for a good career, would we? And anyway, Boys Will Be Boys. Cripes.

Mark, I'm sorry for losing my cool on your thread. I've typed and erased this message several times, but finally decided that, for me at least, it's important enough to post.

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 12:16pm Top

>143 scaifea: I hate that phrase, too. It's now being used with regard to our nearby religious college football hazing scandal. The college's punishment for the "boys" who attacked their teammate was some community service and an 8-page term paper.

The college didn't want to "ruin" their lives over a hazing case. I'm thinking how they've conveniently forgotten how the victim's life has been ruined.

Probably best to not get started on that case.

>140 jessibud2: My aunt and uncle used to go to Canada regularly to fish. When my aunt died in the late 1990's and my uncle's health declined and he was confined to a nursing home, he gave me some Canadian currency when he heard I was going to Toronto.

I gather that, even on my 2003 trip, that money hadn't been used in at least 15 years. People at the ballpark gave me a number of "you don't get out much, do you? type of comments.

Anyway, Mark, a 3-day weekend ahead for me (Sat-Mon) but, alas, not much room for reading along the way. Very busy stretch.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:15pm Top

>144 lindapanzo: Linda: Yep. All. Manner. Of. Sins.

(Sorry, again, Mark. B.A.G.?)

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 12:22pm Top

>143 scaifea: >144 lindapanzo: I agree that the phrase is overused and that I should not have made that kind of generalization. I recognize that all boys do not fit into a cookie cutter form. I didn't mean to imply that. However, the point of my post remains. I disagree with the idea of keeping such toys away from boys who would want to play with them.

I also disagree that wanting to play with toy guns is 'sinful'. The phrase above would never, in my mind, cover bullying, vandalism, general mischief/ antisocial detrimental actions, or criminal behavior.

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 12:24pm Top

>146 brodiew2: I'm certain that we will continue to disagree here. Again, I'm in the camp of taking *all* guns away and, as I saw suggested on FB the other day, melting them down to make a giant statue of a kneeling Kaepernick (it was suggested as a joke, of course, but I think it's a fabulous idea). So, yeah, we're never going to agree about guns, of the real or toy varieties.


Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 12:29pm Top

>147 scaifea: We disagree, scaifea. And, that's ok. My intent is not to rile anyone up, but to have a conversation. I think the conversation has run its course.

Thank you, Mark, for allowing the conversation to take place on your thread. I appreciate you openness and willingness to talk.

Oct 6, 2017, 12:44pm Top

>147 scaifea: >148 brodiew2: No worries at all. I am glad I have a thread where everyone can feel comfortable discussing difficult subjects. As long as it remains civil. FB has become a minefield lately.

I will have to reply more, once I get home.

Oct 6, 2017, 1:54pm Top

FB has become a minefield lately. That's for damn sure...

Oct 6, 2017, 2:58pm Top

>150 drneutron:

Minefield, I guess...yet click on the www.factcheck on my post far above for FACTS on gun control.

Australia's voluntary gun turn-in would NOT work in the U.S., but offering a no-questions-asked turn in any old gun or rifle
and instantly receive five hundred dollars in cash MIGHT jump start the cause.

Oct 6, 2017, 4:29pm Top

>1 msf59: I *adore* those paintings. Gorgeous.

And, in spite of your fondest hopes, I've made a 2017 thread. Just to spite you. :-0

Oct 6, 2017, 4:32pm Top

The postman delivered, Mark. Thanks and thanks again.

Where's the Westchester Library?

Oct 6, 2017, 6:01pm Top

I have been trying to read Rebecca Solnit's book Wanderlust A History of Walking. I have checked it out from the library twice and I don't get it read. What is beginning to irritate me is that the book keeps getting recalled. That means somebody else wants to read it when I want to read it.

But perhaps, it is no great loss as I recall you weren't that thrilled with it.

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 6:34pm Top

>152 richardderus:

^^Was that an actual RD sighting? Wowza! Great to see you, Richard. I will have to stop by the new thread.

Oct 6, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>155 msf59: Yup. Iss me. Late, but here, like I am every year for the past eleven (11) of 'em, and ain't that wild as it gets!

Oct 6, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>142 brodiew2: I apologize for that, Brodie. It was a poor choice of words. Ignorant Extremists, would have been more appropriate.

>143 scaifea: >144 lindapanzo: I am with you both, on the "boys will be boys" statement. That is abhorrent.

>144 lindapanzo: Have a great 3-day weekend, Linda. And Go Cubs!

>147 scaifea: I definitely like that "giant statue" idea, Amber. Grins...

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>150 drneutron: I tip-toe in, Jim and I tip-toe out of FB. I also have zero tolerance for hate-spewing asshats.

>151 m.belljackson: Thanks, for chiming in, Marianne.

>153 weird_O: Glad you got the book okay, Bill. I work in the western suburb of Westchester and I have snagged many good books, over the years, from their Friends of the Library shelves. I just grabbed two the last time I stopped in, but that was the first visit in a year or so.

>154 benitastrnad: I had mixed feelings about Wanderlust A History of Walking, Benita. Although, you never know- You might love it!

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 7:10pm Top

Happy weekend, Mark! Hope your Saturday overtime shift is comfy temps and a light load!

>143 scaifea: Amber, I won't weigh in on the gun issue but I also despise that phrase and how it is used to let some kids off the hook for bad behaviour.

>158 msf59: "I also have zero tolerance for hate-spewing asshats." Amen

Oct 6, 2017, 7:30pm Top

>159 ChelleBearss: Happy Friday, Chelle. It should be a good work day tomorrow, as long as there is not many sick calls. Fingers crossed. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous.

Boo to asshats!!

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 7:39pm Top

^Despite the damp work day, it turned out to be a good book day: I finished Truth & Beauty & Solar Bones. Both were terrific reads. In print, I jumped back into Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country: and Other Stories. 3rd story in. I LOVE this collection! On audio, I stayed with NF and started Ranger Games, which has been excellent in the early going. More on that one in a minute...

Oct 6, 2017, 7:39pm Top

>158 msf59: hate spewing ass hats be bad, indeed.

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 7:56pm Top

"Alex Blum was a good kid, a popular high school hockey star from a tight-knit Colorado family. He had one goal in life: endure a brutally difficult selection program, become a U.S. Army Ranger, and fight terrorists for his country. He poured everything into achieving his dream. In the first hours of his final leave before deployment to Iraq, Alex was supposed to fly home to see his family and beloved girlfriend. Instead, he got into his car with two fellow soldiers and two strangers, drove to a local bank in Tacoma, and committed armed robbery..."

^I first heard about Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime, on a NYT Books podcast and was immediately intrigued. I was able to snag it on audio. I started it today and it is quickly shaping up to be quite a winner.

Oct 6, 2017, 7:57pm Top

>162 brodiew2: Yep, this is a Hate-Spewing Asshat Free Zone, Brodie. Grins...

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 8:00pm Top

^ My Cubs are playing the Nationals tonight. The first game in their playoff match-up, so I will be shifting to my favorite seat in the Man-Cave to watch the game.


Oct 6, 2017, 10:37pm Top

^Cubs Win 3-0! Yah!!

Oct 6, 2017, 10:46pm Top

Hope you enjoy your time in your Man-Cave, Mark. Hey, I think I am in your time zone for a change!

Oct 6, 2017, 11:50pm Top

We went to see a musical with our Friday night friends. The show was terrible and we left at intermission and I dragged my Sox fan friend over to see the Cubs 9th inning. Nice start to the series.

Oct 7, 2017, 6:38am Top

>167 Familyhistorian: I had a great time in the Man Cave, Meg. And hooray for being in the same time zone!

>168 lindapanzo: Boo to a terrible musical. You missed a great one. Hendricks was magical. Let's do a repeat today.

Edited: Oct 7, 2017, 7:04am Top

^Fits perfectly into our current spew...

Oct 7, 2017, 12:02pm Top

Have a lovely weekend, Mark. Good luck to your Cubbies, and go Vikes! :)

Oct 7, 2017, 12:32pm Top

I heard that Ranger Games podcast too, and put the title on my radar. I also have the new Katy Tur book Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History on that same radar screen. I also heard Tur talk on the NYT Books podcast. I also want to read Notes on a Foreign Country by Suzy Hansen. Her interview on the NYT Books podcast was also very interesting. There are lots of good books out there right now about current events. I have got to find time to read some of them!

Oct 7, 2017, 12:33pm Top

Loved the word.

Oct 7, 2017, 12:56pm Top

RAIN - with raucous thunder - has been great up here with more on the way toward Chicago, spearheaded by a herd of chattering little birds.

Oct 7, 2017, 1:10pm Top

Just checking in. With much booky love. Then going into major lurk mode again.

Oct 7, 2017, 1:25pm Top

Happy Saturday, Mark!

Go Cubs! Great win last night. Hendricks is something, isn't he.

We're continuing to have fun down here. Went to a big outdoor crafts fair today, and just got back.

Destiny of the Republic was excellent, and now I'm trying Jo Nesbo's The Snowman on our SIL's recommendation. We've got her trying A Man Called Ove and The Shape of Water (Montalbano).

Oct 7, 2017, 1:29pm Top

>176 jnwelch: Joe, just to warn you The Snowman is smack in the middle of a series that carries a lot of backstory - it would be better to start with The Redbreast, but his books are very good.

Hello, Mark! Hooray fro your Cubs! And I love the word of the day.

Oct 7, 2017, 3:19pm Top

>177 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. I responded over on the other thread, too. I'll have to follow through with The Snowman to keep spirits bright, but if I like it, I'll go back to the beginning.

Oct 7, 2017, 4:40pm Top

Finally caught up with you, Mark. *phew*

While driving around Nova Scotia saw several bald eagles soaring near the highway. Not a bird I would have expected out that way but had to drop by and share with my favourite birdwatcher on LT. ;)

Oct 7, 2017, 5:03pm Top

Home from work. Glad the rain held off until I was done with the route. Poured all the way home.

We are heading out to a bar to watch the next Cubs game. I'll check back in when I get back.

Go Cubbies!

Oct 7, 2017, 5:05pm Top

Go Cubbies!

Oct 7, 2017, 6:02pm Top

Happy Saturday, Mark! I'm glad you're getting the rain and very glad it waited for you to be done with work.

Tired feet and some Treasurer stuff to do tomorrow, I am done with the book sale. Believe it or not, but by about 12 p.m. today I was beyond looking at books except to make sure they were being consolidated into boxes to be donated to the thrift shops at the end of the sale. We'll see how long I can go before NEEDING to buy a book since I just bought 57.

Oct 7, 2017, 7:17pm Top

Nice start to the post-season by those Cubbies.

>163 msf59: That sounds fascinating!

Tomorrow is a day off for you ~~ enjoy!!

Oct 7, 2017, 7:19pm Top

I told you to enjoy and I was immediately overcome by a desire to go get one of the pumpkin ales from the basement and enjoy while reading and watching football this evening. Consider it done.

Oct 7, 2017, 9:01pm Top

^Cubs lose to the Nats, 6-3. Boo!! Tied 1-1. Back to Chicago on Monday night.

Oct 7, 2017, 9:09pm Top

>171 BLBera: Hi, Beth. Cubs lost. Bummer. Looking forward to the Bears/Vikes game Monday night, but of course the Cubs will take precedence.

>172 benitastrnad: Hey, Benita. Ranger Games has been fantastic. Great audio too. I also requested Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat. That one also sounds promising. I LOVE the NYT Books Podcast! I loved today's Jennifer Egan interview.

>174 m.belljackson: We finally got some rain, Marianne. A couple different waves, rolled through. Just what we needed.

>175 BekkaJo: Hi, Bekka! Yah, for booky love! Good to see you.

Edited: Oct 7, 2017, 9:20pm Top

>176 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Glad you are still enjoying yourself in eastern TN. Cubs lost it tonight, but Let's hope they are stoked for their return to Wrigley, on Monday. The Nationals are a TOUGH team.

So glad you loved Destiny of the Republic. My favorite Millard. I have not read The Snowman, but I have read a few Nesbo. I am not sure he is your cuppa, and I heard this one is particularly violent.

>177 Crazymamie: Good advice, Mamie, about Nesbo. I hope to get back to him one of these days. I stalled out on him, a couple of years ago. Keeping up with series crime fiction has been tough.

>179 MickyFine: Hi, Micky! Thanks so much for checking in. Yah, for soaring bald eagles. One of my favorites:

Oct 7, 2017, 9:24pm Top

>181 richardderus: Howdy, RD! The Cubs couldn't hold on tonight, my friend.

>182 karenmarie: Happy Saturday Night, Karen! 57 books? Ya gotta be kidding me? You are a Wild Woman!

>183 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Great to see you. I am off the next 2 days, with the holiday on Monday. Yah!

I am not a big fan of pumpkin ales but I like the sound of "Night Owl". Let me know how it is.

Oct 7, 2017, 10:10pm Top

>185 msf59: That was a disappointing loss, Mark. To have the lead in the 8th and have the bullpen fold like that...

The day off comes at a good time.

The Hawks look impressive once again.

Oct 7, 2017, 10:20pm Top

>189 lindapanzo: I was a bit worried about Lester, but then he pulled it together and pitched a terrific game. Bullpen let us down.

I hope we are fired up, once we get back home. And, Go Hawks!!

Oct 8, 2017, 4:15am Top

>131 msf59: I love the fact that your kids, are hunting with your Dad. How perfect. Did anyone get a deer?
I love it too, little Lenny walked 6-7km "hunting" with grandad :) And no, no one shot anything (apart form a target on a deserted beach the preceding day). W walked 10 kms with my dad on his hunting trip, and at least they saw sign.

This evening my lovely other pulled out a 6 pack taster pack from a brewery and we sampled then over the afternoon/early evening. What a lovely treat!

>185 msf59: this is baseball, right? I remember from when the Cubbies won the all time national comp (which surely has a name) last year :)
*still a novice*

Oct 8, 2017, 6:53am Top

>191 LovingLit: Your descriptions of your boys with their Grandad, is perfect. That's what it is all about. I worked alongside my grandfather, on his farm, when I was a boy and we did some shooting too. Some of the best memories of my life.

Yes, this is the postseason of baseball and the Cubs are back in it, after winning the World Series last year. They have a very difficult first round though, so we are hoping they can slug their way through.

Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 7:21am Top

-Harry Bliss

Oct 8, 2017, 7:36am Top

^Soaring off on an organized birdwalk. New place...

Oct 8, 2017, 7:41am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you!

Have a wonderful time on your bird walk.

Oct 8, 2017, 7:51am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark, I hope you get to see some nice/new/rare birds today :-)

Oct 8, 2017, 8:10am Top

Have a good day with the birds today!
and good luck to your Cubs! My jays are out so I have lost interest in following baseball until next spring. I am sad as Bautista was not brought back. I know he is a dick but he is my favourite. Hope your guys make it through the next round!

Oct 8, 2017, 8:44am Top

Morning, Mark! Have a great time on the bird walk!

Oct 8, 2017, 8:45am Top

Enjoy the birdwalk, Mark!

Too bad about the Cubs; tough to drop it after having the lead late. But this is a very good Nats team.

I've heard about Jo Nesbo for years, and so far The Snowman is intriguing. I'm also a ways into Ninefox Gambit, a sci-fi-er Dr. Jim liked and Benita is reading.

It's rainy here, but I'm hoping it's clear enough long enough for some hiking. We head back tomorrow.

Oct 8, 2017, 9:15am Top

Good morning, Mark. Sorry about the Cubs loss last night. We've experienced quite a few of those late-game losses over the season. Not sure I mentioned it but a couple of weeks ago, I was at a local book/literature fair, called Word on the Street. One of the many books I managed to pick up that day was Scott Simon's My Cubs A Love Story. It's brand new, hard cover, published this year. I can't remember what I paid but it was nowhere near cover price. I started it last night and, as expected from Simon, it's great so far. I have read another by him, his memoir and story of his mom. I really like his writing.

Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 9:34am Top

Hey Mark! Hope your cubbies come back but you do remember this is Cleveland's year, right? Almost 70 years without a World Series victory, it just has to be the year of the Indians!

ETA: I purchased a suet holder and suet, of course, but the birds haven't been around. Are birds attracted to suet more so in the winter? Do you have any tips to entice them over to it?

Oct 8, 2017, 9:24am Top

Have a great time birding! Can't wait to hear about it.

Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 2:17pm Top

-Swainson's Thrush

^ I just spent 4-plus hours traipsing through woods and meadows, on a glorious fall morning, with a nice group of birders. 45 species were spotted but my total had to be between 20-30. I NEED to start keeping my own tally. I do jot down a list of special birds seen. We did see a belted kingfisher right off but not much was seen right around the lake, other than a Green Heron, a little later on. The woods were a different story. There was one spot, where we stood still for a half hour or more, and saw 10-15 different species. A birdy mother lode. Lots of warblers and kinglets, along with the thrush and a few Brown creepers. Plenty of woodpeckers too, seen and heard.

Oct 8, 2017, 2:30pm Top

^Of course, the main highlight was seeing a Great Horned Owl, flapping away from us. This is the 2 or 3rd time I have spotted one flapping away in the opposite direction. One day I will spot one perched or landing. Very high on my birdy bucket list!

Oct 8, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>195 karenmarie: >196 FAMeulstee: >198 scaifea: Happy Sunday, Karen, Anita & Amber. Hope you liked the bird report.

>197 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. I am so glad the Cubs won it all last year. It really takes the pressure off. The Nationals are going to be very tough to beat but we have the talent to do it.

>199 jnwelch: Howdy, Joe. Yep, that was a tough loss. The bullpen really blew it. Lester ended up pitching a very good game. Hope we are fired up, once we get back at Wrigley, tomorrow night.

I sure hope the rain clears up, so you can squeeze one more hike in before you leave. Fingers crossed.

Oct 8, 2017, 2:43pm Top

>200 jessibud2: Happy Sunday, Shelley. There were several Cubs related books released last year. I read and loved The Cubs Way. Make sure you let me know how the Simon book is. Sounds good.

>201 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Unless we are playing the Tribe in the W.S., I will be rooting for them. They played so hard last year and are playing even harder this year. I would have no problem with them going all the way.

I keep the suet feeder up all year but they definitely feed more in the winter months. Sometimes I replace the block every 5-6 days. Now, it is every 10-14 days.

>202 alphaorder: Great time, Nancy. One day we will have to go on an organized walk together. Fingers crossed.

Oct 8, 2017, 6:09pm Top

Looks like you have had a weekend with the birds, buddy!

Trust that the rest of your Sunday is a good one.

Oct 8, 2017, 6:43pm Top

>207 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul! I hope you had a great weekend. I had a birdy morning but I spent some time with the books in the afternoon. Happy Camper!

Oct 8, 2017, 7:38pm Top

Sounds like you're having a great weekend, Mark. Hope it continues that way. :)

Oct 8, 2017, 7:47pm Top

>209 MickyFine: Happy Sunday, Micky. I have the day off tomorrow too, so it should be another action-packed one and our weather has been gorgeous too.

Oct 8, 2017, 8:19pm Top

>206 msf59:. I'm thinking four of us (you, Sue, Shawn and me) could do a spring migration National Wildlife Foundation field trip next spring!

Oct 8, 2017, 8:46pm Top

>193 msf59: Ha.

>204 msf59: WOW!!! So cool to see that! I think spotting an owl is one of the more profound moments for a bird-lover and outdoors-lover, too. And really your whole birding experience sounds pretty awesome.

Enjoy your Monday off, Mark!

Oct 8, 2017, 9:40pm Top

>211 alphaorder: Sounds great, Nancy. Is that the group the sponsors trip around WI, including Horicon?

>212 EBT1002: I am still waiting for a solid look at an owl. My time will come. I am getting close. I am driving into the city in the morning and heading up to the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, near Montrose Beach. It is supposed to be an amazing place during migration season.

I will also bring my bike along and ride the lakefront bike path for a few miles. I have not done this yet, which truly amazes me.

Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 9:56pm Top

^I was hoping to start Manhattan Beach today, but did not get around to it. I will definitely start it tomorrow afternoon. A Visit from the Goon Squad won the Pulitzer, but I know readers were divided on that one. Personally, I LOVED it and sadly I never did get to read anything else by her, although I have 2 of her earlier works on shelf.

This was has been getting some promising reviews, so I am getting pumped. Any Egan fans out there?

Oct 8, 2017, 11:10pm Top

>214 msf59: I just picked up a copy of that one, too, and am eager to start it as well.

Oct 9, 2017, 6:23am Top

>215 lindapanzo: You like some good historical fiction, right, Linda? I can't believe the Cubs game starts so early. I am glad I am off today.

Oct 9, 2017, 6:30am Top

>213 msf59: Yep. I'll watch for their 2018 schedule.

>214 msf59: Really looking forward to reading this. Sounds like I will love it. Didn't read Goon Squad.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 6:43am Top

>217 alphaorder: Manhattan beach is yours if you want it, Nancy. Let me know.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 6:47am Top

^This is supposed to be the hottest birding spot in Chicagoland, located along Lake Michigan, near Lincoln Park. I am heading out very early to beat traffic. This is a solo jaunt but I am hoping to hook up with a couple of more seasoned birders. Fingers crossed.

I am also bringing my bike along, to ride the lakefront bike trail for a few miles. It looks to be a gorgeous day.

Oct 9, 2017, 6:54am Top

Morning, Mark! I hope you have a great morning at the bird sanctuary!

Oct 9, 2017, 7:06am Top

I love all following your birding just as much as your reading! I hope you have a great morning.

BTW, we get the Sunday NYTimes and Manhattan Beach made the front page of yesterday's book review section. And guess who reviewed it? None other than your buddy Amor Towles!
In ‘Manhattan Beach,’ Jennifer Egan Sets a Crime Story on the Waterfront

Oct 9, 2017, 7:47am Top

>221 lauralkeet: - Reading Towles' book review just reinforces what a good writer he is! I've read both his novels so this was a treat. Thanks for that link.

Oct 9, 2017, 8:09am Top

Good morning, Mark!

We head to the airport soon for the trip back. Looks like Hurricane Nate isn’t going to screw things up, thank goodness.

Oct 9, 2017, 9:08am Top

Enjoy your birding this morning! It's a cloudy morning here with a bit of showers so far.

I hope you enjoy Egan's latest! I will be interested in your thoughts on it as I loved A Visit From the Goon Squad!

Oct 9, 2017, 12:22pm Top

Good morning, Mark!

>185 msf59: It ain't over til it's over!

>204 msf59: I'm glad you got a peek at a Great Horned Owl. A majestic creature.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 2:05pm Top

^This is the view I had this morning of the Chicago lakefront, looking south, just after sunrise. Later I biked the lake path, south to Navy Pier and back. Just under 13 miles. Breathtaking views.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 2:08pm Top

^Nelson's Sparrow. This was a lifer for me. It likes prairie land.

I had a great time at the Montrose Bird Sanctuary and it easily lived up to it's lofty reputation. I was very fortunate to hook up with an old-time birder, named Alex, who took this postal fledgling under his wing, and showed me the ropes. He gave me invaluable information and pointed out the Nelson's for me, otherwise, it would have been another impenetrable sparrow. I did spot white-crowned, swamp and song sparrows, which I am slowly beginning to recognize. Other highlights were a few Hermit Thrush and a group of American Coot, paddling along in the lake.

The sanctuary offers, beach and shoreline, for water fowl and shorebirds. There is a large prairie and meadows, along with some terrific wooded areas. It has it all and I will be going back. Possibly, a trip in the winter and one early next spring.

Oct 9, 2017, 2:15pm Top

>220 scaifea: Hi, Amber! Had an excellent time. Now, I NEED to spend some time with the books.

>221 lauralkeet: Towles reviewing the new Egan? How perfect is that? I will come back and check out the link a little later.

Glad you like hearing about my birding adventures. I always hope I am not chasing anyone away with my "other" hobbies.

>223 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I hope you are have a safe trip home.

>224 ChelleBearss: It was a good time, Chelle and the weather was stunning. I am so glad it all worked as planned.

>225 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! My goal is to see a GHO perched and now there are several other owls, on my radar. Hope to end the year with a couple crossed off the list.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 2:17pm Top

Now, I need to get some reading time in, before the Cubs/Nats game starts, in less than 2 hours...

Oct 9, 2017, 3:03pm Top

>227 msf59: - Sounds like a fantastic day! Congrats on those sparrows. The only ones I recognize are house sparrows (ya think...!), and chipping sparrows. All the others are LBJs (little brown jobbies, as they are commonly called)

I am watching the Boston-Houston game. It's 2-1 for Houston and it's been very frustrating so far, with umping being the main cause. No surprise... We Torontonians don't like Houston....;-p

Oct 9, 2017, 3:49pm Top

Wow, what a nice morning! Birding is sounding better and better...

Oct 9, 2017, 4:27pm Top

Hi Mark!

It's exciting to hear that you had an old-time birder show you some of the ropes.

Good luck to your Cubs today!

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 7:28pm Top

Just got home from my long weekend away at the family gathering near the Dells. Intense game, sounds like. Back to the books at some point.

Schwarber should not be playing. His lackadaisical play may have just cost them the series. I'd trade him for a bag of baseballs. Disgusting.

ETA: Feeling better now that they won.

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 7:35pm Top

^Cubs win Game 3, 2-1!! Yeah baby!

Edited: Oct 9, 2017, 7:40pm Top

>234 msf59: Do we know what time tomorrow, Mark? I have a company dinner from 6 to 9. I might have to eat/talk fast

Oh wait, never mind. 3:30. I can follow along as best I can and then maybe they'll have a TV or updates at the restaurant.

Oct 9, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>230 jessibud2: You cracked me up with LBJs, Shelley! Honestly, I felt the same way about sparrows before I started birding. There are so many different kinds, that I am still finding it challenging. At least the Nelson's has some unique coloring.

>231 drneutron: I just started 2 years ago, Jim, so it is never too late. Most of the people I meet "birding" are older than I am. I wish I would have started years ago, just to get the experience.

>232 karenmarie: It was a great birding day, Karen.

Oct 9, 2017, 7:53pm Top

>233 lindapanzo: " I'd trade him for a bag of baseballs." LOL. Not sure I would go that far, but if he doesn't do anything in the postseason, I am sure he is GONE.

Heyward has been disappointing once again too. Hey, why be negative? It was a terrific win.

Oct 9, 2017, 8:12pm Top

>237 msf59: Heyward has more leadership than anyone else on the team. He shows what being a leader/good teammate is.

Schwarber ought to be an American League DH. He'd be good at it. The Cubs have an overabundance of outfielders and could get something for him.

Oct 9, 2017, 8:25pm Top

>238 lindapanzo: Glad to see you stand up for Heyward. I would just like to see him contribute at the plate. Offense is tough in the postseason.

Oct 9, 2017, 9:00pm Top

>238 lindapanzo: He's the one who gave the pep talk that won the World Series last year. Can't ever take that away. Plus the guy across from me at work loathes Heyward so I get a lot of practice defending him. Not my favorite Cub (that would be Rizzo) but I like Heyward.

Schwarber and Lackey are probably my least favorites.

Oct 9, 2017, 9:26pm Top

Nice Cubs win, buddy! We got back early enough for me to catch the last 3 innings. Great!

Blackhawks and Bears looking pretty good so far, too.

Oct 9, 2017, 9:39pm Top

>241 jnwelch: I've been watching the Hawks and missed the Bears' safety.

Oct 9, 2017, 10:06pm Top

>242 lindapanzo: Oof, the Hawks really ran out of gas, darn it.

The Vikes qb hung on to the ball too long on the safety, but still a great play by Floyd. He has two sacks so far.

Oct 10, 2017, 2:32am Top

>227 msf59: What a beautiful bird! I saw guinea fowl at the weekend, seen them before but they are very pretty.

Oct 10, 2017, 6:21am Top

>244 charl08: Charlotte: My parents used to keep guineas - my mom has a snake phobia and she heard somewhere that snakes won't come round where there are guineas. Not at all sure if that's accurate, but it did mean that we had a handful of these guys around for years. Not the most intelligent things, but funny to watch sometimes.

Morning, Mark!

>228 msf59: Well, I'm neither a baseball or a bird fan, but for some reason I keep coming round, so I think you're fine. B.A.G.!

Oct 10, 2017, 6:34am Top

>240 lindapanzo: My favorite is probably KB, with Rizz a close second. Not a fan of Lackey either but he could be valuable out of the bullpen.

>241 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Glad you got back home in time to see the last third of the game. It was easily the best part. We go again later this afternoon. We NEED Arrieta at the top of of his game.

>243 jnwelch: Very sloppy Bears/Vikes game. What was this high school? Yuck!

Oct 10, 2017, 6:38am Top

>244 charl08: Yah, for the guinea fowl. Good looking bird. I am sure I have seen them in zoos, one point or another. Thanks, for sharing, Charlotte.

>245 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Hooray! I am safe. I know people are not always into my other interests, so I appreciate their patience. Books are always, right there near the front, so no worries there. I am falling behind on my mini-reviews, so I hope to get back on track.

Oct 10, 2017, 7:15am Top

Good morning, Mark!

I hope the cooler weather makes your route easier. We're still in the midst of humid mid-summer weather today and tomorrow. High will be 88F. Ugh.

Yay Cubs!

>244 charl08: - >245 scaifea: I think I heard somewhere that Guinea Fowl are great at keeping ticks at bay.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:00am Top

>248 karenmarie: Ticks, too? Interesting! For being such ding-a-lings, they sure are useful.

Oct 10, 2017, 11:03am Top

Morning, Mark!

Yeah, and the sloppy officiating didn't help the Bears game either. Trubiskey showed he can be the guy, and that's the most important thing this year. Stay competitive in the games, lose a lot, and get another high draft pick. That's what I'm hoping for. Floyd (last year's first round pick) looked really good, too.

Our relatives who are Red Sox fans are bummed. Houston was just playing too well.

Go Cubs!

Oct 10, 2017, 11:11am Top

Can't...keep...up...here!! But I'm trying! : ) Happy Tuesday.

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 11:22am Top

Heavy workload today. Not surprising after the holiday. Now to get home in time for the first pitch...

>248 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Much cooler today and breezy. I just hope to stay dry. Fingers crossed.

>249 scaifea: Those feathery ding a lings. What are you going to do with them?

Oct 10, 2017, 11:27am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well. The Cubs are staying in the fight. This looks like it could be a slug fest. Pun totally intended. :-P

I am so thankful that you warbled about The Punch Escrow! I am having a great time with it. It's about time I got on to a compelling read in print.

I finished Almost Interesting this morning and returned to The Cuban Affair on audio. I'll keep you posted on the DeMille.

Oct 10, 2017, 11:54am Top

Hi Mark, I see that you read (listened to?) Charlotte's Web recently. I read that yesterday and am reading The Trumpet of the Swan today. I like his writing.

Soon, i'll start either Rules of Civility or else Manhattan Beach.

Oct 10, 2017, 11:59am Top

>252 msf59: *grins*

Oct 10, 2017, 12:00pm Top

>250 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Thanks for your thoughts on the Bears and I agree with all of it. I am not a fan of Fox. I think they need to let him go and try someone else.

>251 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. I know keeping up around here can be a chore but I hope to make it worth your time. Grins...

Edited: Oct 10, 2017, 12:05pm Top

>253 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I am so glad you are having such a good time with The Punch Escrow. It is a fun, fast-paced read. I passed my copy on to Joe, so we should be getting quite a warbling chorus going.

>254 lindapanzo: I listened to Charlotte's Web and it was a delight. I want to read more of White's work.

I am really enjoying Manhattan Beach and The Rules will be my next audio.

Go Cubs! I should get home before first pitch.

Oct 10, 2017, 1:04pm Top

>226 msf59: Lovely.

I have had A Visit From the Goon Squad on my shelves for years and haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Maybe I should do that while I wait for my turn with the library copy of Manhattan Beach.

I also looked at a copy of Rules of Civility in a bookstore the other day.... almost purchased it but resisted (for some unfathomable reason).

Happy Tuesday, Mark! And GO CUBS!

Oct 10, 2017, 2:01pm Top

I agree with you about Fox, but personally I'm fine with them hanging onto him while they go through a losing period. It'd be different, for me, if they had prospects of going to the playoffs. But no question, at some point they need a much better head coach!

Oct 10, 2017, 2:41pm Top

Hi Mark. I can hear a woodpecker (Downy) as I type. I have come to recognize their single chirp because, for some reason, they have been visiting my feeder a lot lately. What really got me going, though, was a few days ago. I looked out the window and there were 2 woodpeckers on the feeder at the same time, on opposite sides: a Hairy and a Downy! They are identical except the Hairy is almost twice as big. I keep my camera on a little shelf beneath the windowsill for just such events and damn if, in the 2- or 3-second delay between the time I clicked it on, one of them didn't fly away. I love my camera but man, I want instant gratification! I want that photo immediately! Can you imagine? I have a great zoom, too but that delay kills me. Oh well... the downy returns several times a day but the Hairy has only been back once or twice.

Oct 10, 2017, 6:29pm Top

Rain out til tomorrow, Mark, so no need to me to check my phone on the sly at the company dinner tonight.

3:08 pm tomorrow is the start time, I think.

Oct 10, 2017, 6:45pm Top

^The Cubs & Nats games was rained out, here in Chicago. Will be postponed until tomorrow afternoon. Fortunately, the rain held out, until I completed my route. Grins...

Oct 10, 2017, 6:54pm Top

>258 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! I would love to hear your take on Goon Squad. It is definitely a challenging read. Many readers just did not connect with it, but if it clicks for you, you are in for quite a literary achievement.

Manhattan Beach is a much more conventional novel, in style, but the her writing and storytelling are stellar.

I wish you could have just broke down and bought Rules of Civility. I have not read it either, but this has got to be a sure bet.

We have to wait until Wednesday afternoon for the Cubs game but let's hope it is worth the wait.

Oct 10, 2017, 7:06pm Top

>259 jnwelch: I didn't mean to get rid of Fox immediately but I think you need to start with a new skipper, in the future. I am not a fan.

>260 jessibud2: Love the woodpecker report, Shelley. I have now seen several Hairy woodpeckers but never at my feeders. I mostly get downys and on a rare occasion, a red-bellied. And yes, Hairys are bigger and have a longer beak. On my last 2 bird outings, I have seen a couple yellow-bellied sapsuckers, which are also similar in color and shape. Looking forward to your photos.

>261 lindapanzo: At least they called it early, Linda and we have another early start tomorrow, so it is working out fine for me. Hopefully, you'll be able to see most of that one.

Oct 10, 2017, 7:28pm Top

I found the Jo Nesbo books to be incredibly violent. Hard to understand where a Scandinavian comes up with all that hatred and violence aimed at women. My guess is they put all that putrid stuff in books instead of acting on it.

I am about half done with Nine-Fox Gambit and liking it. It has a rather strange plot and it took awhile to get me hooked. Jim said to stay with it, and I did, I think it is going to be a good one. And I think there is a sequel.

Oct 10, 2017, 7:29pm Top

>193 msf59: Hah!

I am also a fan of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Mark. I've read it three times and still love it. I didn't like The Keep as much. I am loving Manhattan Beach. All of these books are so different, but I love her writing.

I'll cheer for your Cubs. Glad you stayed dry today.

Oct 10, 2017, 7:53pm Top

Hi, Mark! Not sure how I managed to misplace your threads (yes, I missed 2 of them) but so glad I found this one before you started the next so I can say how much I love the first thread topper.

So, you're getting the rain we had here in Colorado yesterday? I hope it doesn't freeze into snow like it did up in Denver. October 10 is JUST TOO EARLY FOR SNOW.

Anyway, glad your books are treating you well. :)

Oct 10, 2017, 8:31pm Top

>265 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita! Thanks for the reading update. Has it cooled off there at all?

>266 BLBera: Wow! You have read Goon Squad 3 times? That's admirable. I would love to reread it myself. I should have a copy on my "Keeper" shelf, but sadly I do not. I am The Invisible Circus & Look at Me on my TBR shelf. Both, look promising.

I have not hit the 100 page mark, in Manhattan Beach but I am really enjoying it

>267 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. Great to see you. Glad you found me. You didn't miss much, though. Just birds, baseball and books. The usual...

Boo to snow! Yes it looks like we are getting your rain, which we can really use. Hope your weather has improved.

Oct 10, 2017, 8:34pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Oct 11, 2017, 6:30am Top

Morning, Mark! I've got the Goon Squad on my list, but just haven't gotten there yet...

Oct 11, 2017, 6:35am Top

>270 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Goon Squad was my introduction to Egan and it blew me away.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:48am Top

Hi, Mark! Congrats on the Nelson's sparrow! Haven't seen anything unusual for a while out here.

Oct 11, 2017, 7:02am Top

Morning, Harry! We are on the tail end of migration. I haven't been able to watch my feeders lately either, due to the shortening days. I did have a productive weekend though.

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 7:05am Top

^I heard about One More Warbler recently. Is this tailor-made for me, or what? Not familiar with Victor Emanuel, but I would like to learn more. Unfortunately, my library does not have any copies yet. WTH?

Oct 11, 2017, 7:54am Top

>274 msf59: - Hi Mark. Have not heard of this book or author but the cover is very appealing!

Oct 11, 2017, 9:04am Top

Good morning, Mark.

Smart to move the Cubbies game to today. I'm hoping they can put the Nats away.

Both the Bulls and the Hawks looked good last night. The Hawks have this small-sized rookie, Debrincat, who looks like he may be another standout player like Kane. Great to have Saad and Sharp back, too.

I'm nearing the end of The Snowman, and it's been pretty good. I can see why folks like to follow the adventures of Harry Hole.

I hope the rain stops sooner rather than later, and that you have a good one today.

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 9:57am Top

>275 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. I definitely want to read this one.

>276 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Just a very light rain falling at the moment. It is supposed to clear up. I will have to listen to the Cubs game on the radio, for the first couple of innings, until I get home from work.

Nice to see the Hawks, starting off strong. Glad you are enjoying The Snowman. I have not read that one but I have read 3 of the Hole series. If you want to continue, go with The Redbreast. That one is my favorite.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:25am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you, even if you do have to work.

>269 msf59: Yup.

>274 msf59: My scope looks almost identical to that, and I also have it mounted on a full-sized tripod.

I've opened Rules of Civility and read about 2 pages, but gotten diverted by a police procedural called Missing, Presumed and 1066 and All That.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:30am Top

Morning, Karen. Light rain falling here. I did not realize you owned a spotting scope. Very cool. Someday, for me. I want to buy a nice camera first and then start saving up.

I was going to start Rules today but I think I will hold off a couple more days, since I am reading another NY historical novel at the moment, which has been excellent so far.

Oct 11, 2017, 11:42am Top

We had some rain early this a.m., too, but it's now mostly blue with wispy clouds and humidity thick enough to cut with a knife. No relief until next Tuesday-ish. I want fall!

My daughter surprised us with a visit in late August. I had expected her in September after the season slowed down (she works for a cleaning company at the beach in NC and they're always busier during the summer season). She had gotten me on board for an LLBean shirt for her dad so I knew she'd come bearing birthday presents, and we talked about spotting scopes (me wanting one for Christmas). She totally blindsided me by asking for a book list for a late birthday present, though, so when she arrived with the scope I was stunned. It came with a weensy cute little tripod, but like I said above I've got it on my full-sized tripod. Daughter earned lots of points with this one, for sure! *smile*

I've opened Rules of Civility but am more immersed in Missing, Presumed and 1066 and All That.

Oct 11, 2017, 12:16pm Top

I've got some other books going but will probably start Rules of Civility tonight.

Oct 11, 2017, 1:46pm Top

Okay, so did a group read of Rules of Civility get set up for this month?
I guess I need to go back to the bookstore.... heh.

Oct 11, 2017, 3:05pm Top

Good morning, Mark!

I haven't been compelled to read/listen to Rules of Civility. I will wait to for the groundswell a la A Gentleman in Moscow.

Oct 11, 2017, 6:29pm Top

Still hot, humid, and muggy. Got some rain from Hurricane Nate, but it didn't help at all. Just made it worse. I am so tired of summer. Today it got up above 85. Not cool!

Oct 11, 2017, 6:52pm Top

>281 lindapanzo: I LOVE 1066 and All That! And there's a followup - And Now All This (maybe not as good as the first, but still really fun). And I have a large-print Rules of Civility: A Novel because the list is SO long at the library. I think I'll like the large print.

Karen O.

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 8:12pm Top

>280 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Boo to all the nasty humidity. Hooray to a gift of a spotting scope from your daughter. What a terrific gift. I hope you get a chance to use it.

>281 lindapanzo: Disappointing loss, Linda. Did you start Rules?

Oct 11, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>282 EBT1002: I did set up a Group Read of Rules of Civility, about a week ago. Did you find it? Glad you are thinking of joining us.

>283 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I won't start Rules for a couple more days and then you can expect a barrage of warbling.

Oct 11, 2017, 8:21pm Top

>284 benitastrnad: Sorry to hear about the continuing heat and humidity, Benita. Yuck.

>285 klobrien2: Big Waves to Karen!

Oct 11, 2017, 8:32pm Top

Hi Mark. Sorry about the Cubs loss tonight. So disappointing. On the other hand, I just finished reading Scott Simon's My Cubs A Love Story and it was delightful. I love his writing. This is the second book of his that I've read. He has a way of turning a phrase. Near the end, he was quoting President Obama's speech at the White House, just days before leaving office, last January, when he had the Cubs visit: "Throughout history, sports has had this power to bring us together, even when the country is divided. Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle but that ultimately made us think differently about ourselves and who we are. It is a game and it is a celebration, but there's a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here. There's a direct line between people loving Ernie Banks, and then the city being able to come together and work together in one spirit."

Cody Keenan, Obama's chief speechwriter, told (and showed) Simon the transcript of that speech and showed him how those last lines were not in the speech he wrote. Obama added them on his own.

Scott Simon: I told the president's chief speechwriter, "I think it's the greatest presidential address since Gettysburg."

No matter what happens on Thursday, in the deciding game, read this book. It will make you feel good. Really.

Oct 11, 2017, 8:53pm Top

>286 msf59: I got home right as the game ended. Tomorrow night, I won't be home til about 8:30. What time does the game start?

I'll be starting Rules of Civility momentarily.

>289 jessibud2: I loved that Scott Simon book!!

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 9:32pm Top

^ Cubs lose 5-0, in game 4. Frustrating loss. Series tied 2-2. Final game in Washington tomorrow night.

Oct 11, 2017, 9:31pm Top

>289 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley! You have convinced me to give My Cubs A Love Story a try. Nice warbling.

>290 lindapanzo: The game starts tomorrow night at 7:08. I hope it is not another 4 hour-plus marathon.

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

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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