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My Thread for 2017

This topic was continued by Richard's Thread for 2017.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1richardderus
Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 7:10pm Top



I've reviewed 143 books this year, of 180 planned.




***See post 196 for my 2017 ANZAC Reading Challenge choices!***

Despite appearances, I am still alive. I am now reading:

137 13 Oct 2017 Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller--4 stars, a good read. I need to review this for the On The Southern Literary Trail group post 120.

138 14 Oct 2017 The Very First Damned Thing 5 stars, always fun, down in post 124.

139 15 Oct 2017 A Perfect Storm was my second delightful visit this week with the Disaster Magnets of St Mary's! W00t! in post 125.

140 23 Oct 2017 The Autobiography of James T. Kirk dull writing, familiar stories, fans only! in post 182.

141 23 October 2017 Gyrfalcon delicious 4-star space opera with gay male leads, truly my jam, in post 176.

142 24 Oct 2017 Free and Other Stories is a re-read of stodgy old Theodore Dreiser's short-fiction collection in post 188.

143 30 Oct 2017 The Tradescants' Orchard is a gift book of surpassing beauty teased in post 250.

144 1 Nov 2017 The Forever War is a reread of the terrifically unsuccessful variety maligned in post 278.

2drneutron
Oct 5, 2017, 3:55pm Top

Cool! Welcome back!

3richardderus
Oct 5, 2017, 4:43pm Top

Thanks, Jim!

4scaifea
Oct 5, 2017, 5:06pm Top

Hi, Richard! Good to see you here, friend.

5richardderus
Oct 5, 2017, 5:46pm Top

Thank you, Amber, hope you're well.

6scaifea
Oct 5, 2017, 6:43pm Top

>5 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! Well, but stressed. Going into Week 4 of a kitchen renovation that was quoted at 1 week... YEESH.

7amanda4242
Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 6:55pm Top

Welcome back! I only ever lurked on your threads in previous years, but I always enjoyed reading your thoughts on books.

8PaulCranswick
Oct 5, 2017, 8:30pm Top

Wowzer! Nice to see you back RD. I have missed you dear fellow.

9Deern
Oct 6, 2017, 12:20am Top

Great to see you again Richard! :)
I never managed to follow your (or any of the other fast-going) threads all through the year, but like >7 amanda4242: was always a happy lurker. Saw you recently commenting somewhere else about the Booker shortlist and was happy about the alive-and-reading sign.

10Berly
Oct 6, 2017, 12:35am Top

Ricardo--Hurray!! About time you're back here, mister. Missed you. Love you!! : )

11avatiakh
Oct 6, 2017, 12:49am Top

Howdy Richard, good to see you make an appearance.

12mahsdad
Oct 6, 2017, 1:16am Top

DUDE! Glad to see you round these here parts.

Looking forward to renewed BB battles.

13richardderus
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 1:32am Top

>7 amanda4242: Too kind, thanks...I'm mostly blogging these days. I miss the old homestead.

14richardderus
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 1:32am Top

>8 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! Glad to be around however briefly.

15richardderus
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 1:32am Top

>9 Deern: *garshk* It's so pleasant to be remembered. Thanks for the kind words.

16richardderus
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 1:31am Top

>10 Berly: Hey Berly-boo, are you mad?! I *told* you to keep our torrid affair a secret!

17richardderus
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 1:31am Top

>11 avatiakh: Hi Kerry! I'm more of a cameo since it's already October. I see more of you on Pinterest, I suppose.

18richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 1:31am Top

>12 mahsdad: Heh! I'm postin' them shoppin' lists on FB *just*for*you*.

19mahsdad
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 2:15am Top

>18 richardderus: I know. I saw the latest. Already have the Joe Hill.

ETA - Go to Bed! Its way past your bedtime. :)

20BekkaJo
Oct 6, 2017, 3:15am Top

Dropping in with a star. As with everyone, lovely to see you back on the old stomping grounds.

21FAMeulstee
Oct 6, 2017, 3:26am Top

Richard dear, it is good to see you back here!

22bell7
Oct 6, 2017, 8:31am Top

Good Friday morning, Richard! Nice to see you back on here :)

23benitastrnad
Oct 6, 2017, 9:54am Top

Good to see you back. I have been missing your pointed reviews and the off-the-beaten-track kinds of things you read and comment on. I hope to read more of what you are doing now. (and I still dislike Chuckles. He hasn't improved any in the time you have been absent.)

24ChelleBearss
Oct 6, 2017, 11:00am Top

Yay, glad to see you back! Hope all is well :)

25jnwelch
Oct 6, 2017, 11:12am Top

Good to see you back, Richard! I hope things are going reasonably well.

26johnsimpson
Oct 6, 2017, 3:16pm Top

How lovely to see you back Richard, you have been badly missed dear friend. Little Hannah has grown a lot since we last crossed posts dear fellow.

27richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 3:54pm Top

>19 mahsdad: heh, daaaaaaaaad do I hafta?!

I ended up falling asleep after an Ingrid Bergman movie marathon. It was about 6am...and I woke up too late to drink coffee so I didn't go on FB until after 3pm. Too much violence, hate, and verbal abuse in the world as it is without adding my uncaffeinated horrorshow self.

28richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>20 BekkaJo: Darling Bekka! I don't see enough of you on FB.

29richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 3:55pm Top

>21 FAMeulstee: Anita, so glad you're still here so we can book-chat.

30richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 3:56pm Top

>22 bell7: Hiya Mary! Disaster has struck: Keith is leaving the facility! I am bereft. No one else has his unique skills. *sob*

31richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>23 benitastrnad: Thank you! I'm a real strange reader, it's true. Though my blog will keep the interested abreast.

32richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 3:58pm Top

>24 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Mom! You and Nate appear to be thriving. It's a balm in my arid Gilead.

33richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 4:00pm Top

>25 jnwelch: Hey Joe! I see the cafe is hoppin' as always. Get out a super-sized stool for me at the bar, k?

34richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 4:03pm Top

>26 johnsimpson: It feels as though Hannah should be in school, it's been so long. You and Karen are well, I am sure, or the reverberations in the Force would've alerted me...

Cheers! And forza UK for Ishiguro winning the Nobel!

35johnsimpson
Oct 6, 2017, 4:13pm Top

>34 richardderus:, Hi Richard, Hannah is in school now and turns Seven at the end of February. I must say that she is a little monkey at times and has got me well and truly wrapped around her little finger, she is a delight to have over although sometimes she can be naughty, bless her.

Both Karen and I are well although Karen is recovering after Gallbladder surgery but apart from that she is well.

Hope you are well dear friend and so nice to see you on here, love and hugs from us both.

36richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 4:21pm Top

>35 johnsimpson: Thanks! I remember how unfun gall bladder surgery was, but let Karen know the results are *amazingly* wonderful. Just *amazingly* wonderful.

Heh, how did I know the lass would be Grandfather's Little Princess?

37johnsimpson
Oct 6, 2017, 4:23pm Top

>36 richardderus:, Very much my Little Princess.

38ronincats
Oct 6, 2017, 4:46pm Top

Hah, found you despite your studied anonymity here! Duly starred.

39richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 5:02pm Top

>38 ronincats: ;-) The right people always will.

40Crazymamie
Oct 6, 2017, 5:13pm Top

Oh. My. Word. You just made my day! Well, hello, BigDaddy!

41benitastrnad
Oct 6, 2017, 5:47pm Top

#31
You have a Blog? Where and how do I subscribe?

42richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 6:29pm Top

>40 Crazymamie: Mamie darling! How lovely. I'm hoping that Maria's leftover rage didn't cause you too much tsurres at Pecan Paradiso.

*smooch* to all y'all

43Crazymamie
Oct 6, 2017, 6:30pm Top

Nope. We came through it just fine. *smooch back*

44richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>41 benitastrnad: Hi Benita! My blog is called Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. 2017 wasn't my most prolific reviewing year...101 published, 22 in the can awaiting the Black Friday-to-Christmas Eve gifting season. I'll probably get another 20 done, so a ~meh~ year.

45richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 6:33pm Top

>43 Crazymamie: So so glad! I'll have to come visit your thread to see what's been elevating your game reading-wise.

46norabelle414
Oct 6, 2017, 6:56pm Top

Hi Richard! I'm glad to see you again.

47richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 7:01pm Top

>46 norabelle414: Nora! Thanks so much. It's a lovely homecoming.

48bell7
Oct 6, 2017, 7:12pm Top

>30 richardderus: Well, drat! Sorry to hear Keith is leaving.

49richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 7:27pm Top

>48 bell7: ME. TOO. Oh how marvelous it's been to see the library tidy, organized, and properly curated. I wish, in the darkest and most Trumpish recesses of my wicked heart, that he'll change his mind the evening of October 16th and call the move on the 17th off.

50msf59
Oct 6, 2017, 8:19pm Top

Welcome back, RD. You made my day, with your surprise visit.

We have missed you. I hope you can stick around for awhile.

51richardderus
Oct 6, 2017, 8:21pm Top

>50 msf59: Thanks for the kind words, Mark. I'm always at a trot, trying to keep my blog readership over 300 a day, so it eats the time. I'll be around!

52Storeetllr
Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 9:11pm Top

He's baaack! And the LT world cheers!

Welcome back, RD. It was a surprise - and a very pleasant one too, if I may say so - to get a visit on my thread from you. I know we interact some on GR and FB, and I have visited your blog on occasion, but this is THE place. :)

Edited to fix a line spacing issue.

53Oberon
Oct 6, 2017, 9:35pm Top

>1 richardderus: Missed you Richard. So glad to see a thread from you.

54bohemima
Oct 7, 2017, 9:12am Top

Disregard my pm, my Dear, as I have succeeded in finding your slightly secretive self.

I've done better here this year than last, but still not amazing. Barely adequate would be more on point.

55richardderus
Oct 7, 2017, 11:11am Top

>52 Storeetllr: Gosh, Mary, I'm not sure I deserve such enthusiasm! The LT world has made it through just fine sans moi.

But it's lovely to see you more often, dear lady.

56richardderus
Oct 7, 2017, 11:18am Top

>53 Oberon: Thank you, Erik! I'm so pleased to be remembered. IIRC, your interests include African literature. I've recently discovered Alain Mabanckou's novels, whose translations I'd recommend to you unreservedly. Black Moses and The Lights of Pointe-Noire are the most recent, each merits 4-plus stars from me.

Not that you need more books to read....

57richardderus
Oct 7, 2017, 11:20am Top

>54 bohemima: Okey dokey.

Secretive? I was aiming for "modest"! I didn't want to make a titanic fuss about deciding to spend more time here because the world moves on, and there are fleets of folks who don't know me from a hole in the ground.

58benitastrnad
Oct 7, 2017, 12:09pm Top

#44
I just checked out your blog and had me some fun reading it. Thank you for the explanation of why you weren't posting anywhere much during the last year. Like the others above, it is good to have you back. I too suffered in the last two years. In my case it was not physical, but it was a case of workplace bullying. While it has eased, it has not ceased entirely, because we live in a world where grey-hairs are not valued and are seen as obsolete. But, like you, with assistance from mental health care people and good friends, I am learning to manage the situation better. It is a long slow process.

I started collecting Nnedi Okorafor's work for the library a few years ago, but I haven't had time to read any of them yet. I did read Binti and thought it worthy of the success it has achieved. I haven't gotten to Binti Home yet, but plan to do so soon. I liked your review of Who Fears Death and will have to make sure that I get it on my purchase list for the upcoming fiscal year here at the library. Joe likes Okorafor's work as well, so she has been getting some love and buzz from the folks here on LT while you were gone, but this is one author who needs to see more readers. In my opinion.

59laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Oct 7, 2017, 12:11pm Top

>57 richardderus: "modest"?---OK, who are you really? And why are you pretending to be Richard Derus?

60richardderus
Oct 7, 2017, 12:29pm Top

>58 benitastrnad: That is despicable. I am so so sorry that it's happening to you. It's all well and good to say "you're tougher than they are" but living it isn't made easier by pep talks. I'm hopeful that your support system is resilient.

Who Fears Death is going to be an HBO TV show. I'm really looking forward to it.

>59 laytonwoman3rd: *affronted dignity* I, madam, am the very beau ideal of reticence and modesty. It is my core of identity.

61bohemima
Oct 7, 2017, 12:40pm Top

62BekkaJo
Oct 7, 2017, 12:55pm Top

Just had a Duhhh.... moment and realised that I recently read Who fears death because I saw a great review somewhere... *doffs cap and bows*

63Storeetllr
Oct 7, 2017, 3:48pm Top

>59 laytonwoman3rd: LOL
>60 richardderus: I second bohemime's *snort*

64Morphidae
Oct 7, 2017, 3:49pm Top

Glad to see you. What did Keith do? And just for you...

65richardderus
Oct 7, 2017, 4:51pm Top

>61 bohemima: hmmf.

>62 BekkaJo: Well heck-fire, li'l lady, that's what I'm here to do! Spray them book bullets with merry abandon.

>63 Storeetllr: hmmf

>64 Morphidae: Hiya Morphy! *smooch*

Keith was, before his diabetes caused too many problems, a librarian; he was great at the job. He whipped the library here into shape. He's a tremendous loss to the place.

66karenmarie
Edited: Oct 7, 2017, 5:47pm Top

Hello, darling Richard. *smooches from Horrible*

So, what do you think about the latest Louise Penny?

67sibyx
Oct 7, 2017, 9:24pm Top

Found you!

68LovingLit
Oct 7, 2017, 10:36pm Top


69tymfos
Oct 7, 2017, 11:38pm Top

Hey, Richard, welcome back. You're hard to find -- nothing in the thread title to identify it as yours.

Glad you're back here. I'm not getting to threads much these days (working full time and studying toward a MLS keeps me busy) but I had to stop by to say hello and drop a star.

70calm
Oct 8, 2017, 6:14am Top

So good to see you here. You were missed.

71drneutron
Oct 8, 2017, 2:53pm Top

Hey, just found out I didn’t manage to get this thread into the Threadbook. Sorry about that - it’s fixed now!

72richardderus
Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 10:32pm Top

>66 karenmarie: Hey Horrible. Glad to see you here! xo

ETA: I've stopped reading them! I gave up after the music-lesson one, with its unbelievable lapses of detection on Gamache's part.

>67 sibyx: Hi Lucy! I didn't realize I was so obscure...though that's perfectly understandable.

>68 LovingLit: HA!!

73richardderus
Oct 8, 2017, 9:43pm Top

>69 tymfos: There's no shock in that schedule being overwhelming! But then again you're not in the least the sort to sit on her hindquarters and watch the scene pass.

>70 calm: Thank you, calm my old pal. It is good to come back.

>71 drneutron: Oh, I'm not too fussed about it. It simply demonstrates my *true* level of importance to the group.

*broken sobbing*

74PaulCranswick
Oct 8, 2017, 10:24pm Top

>71 drneutron: Just three days Jim, you're still pretty much on top of things!

>70 calm: Wow yer even got Calm posting!

My much better half went swanning off for a three week trip to the UK yesterday, dear fellow, so I am left holding the fort which I will try to prevent being overrun by Redskins and pizza boxes until SHE returns.

75richardderus
Oct 8, 2017, 10:30pm Top

>74 PaulCranswick: "which I will try to prevent being overrun by Redskins and pizza boxes until SHE returns"

*snort* Good luck with that...

And the reading list for HER absence is...? Got to do something constructive with your time! Mooning about isn't going to get the job done!

Yeah, Jim's stewardship of this place really is what keeps the lights on. I know everyone is grateful for it!

76PaulCranswick
Oct 8, 2017, 10:46pm Top

>75 richardderus: Mooning has of course several connotations in Brit english one of which is to show your bottom to someone perhaps not particularly interested in seeing it. Will try to stick to your advice and not do any of that - for the next three weeks at least.

Hope my 75er pad is still not off your radar dear fellow.

77richardderus
Oct 8, 2017, 10:51pm Top

>76 PaulCranswick: Where the moons must rise...heh

I'll wander by soon. It's a major undertaking to stay even half-abreast of the old homestead. I still have 28 reviews to write for the gift-giving guide, an article to polish about Lovecraft and re-purposing the Mythos, and Twitter alone could keep me busy as close to 24/7 as I'd let it!

78PaulCranswick
Oct 8, 2017, 10:54pm Top

>77 richardderus: Yes I won't even see half a breast for the next three weeks.

You sound just as busy as always.

79richardderus
Oct 8, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>78 PaulCranswick: I can tolerate anything except boredom and Trump.

80Berly
Oct 9, 2017, 1:12am Top

And so what are you reading right now, this very minute? Inquiring minds want to know....

81richardderus
Oct 9, 2017, 10:50am Top

>80 Berly: Caroline Miller's Lamb in his Bosom, about pioneer days in Georgia.

82Berly
Oct 9, 2017, 4:31pm Top

Next question...is it any good?

83Copperskye
Oct 9, 2017, 4:36pm Top

Welcome home!

84Oberon
Oct 9, 2017, 4:39pm Top

>56 richardderus: Thank you for the recommendations Richard. I am not familiar with either title so I will indeed take a look.

85richardderus
Oct 9, 2017, 7:03pm Top

>82 Berly: Yes, it is, but it's a real kitten-squisher.

>83 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne! Good to see you.

>84 Oberon: They're novels, but short and concentrated ones, full of the spirit of the place...and The Looting Machine probably needs your attention as well.

86Oberon
Oct 10, 2017, 2:15pm Top

>85 richardderus: So many books so little time . . .

Looks interesting though so thanks for mentioning it.

87SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 10, 2017, 5:13pm Top

I'm in!

So, read any good books lately? I'm totally into horror this month. Zombie horror, not real horror. I haven't looked at newspaper since I can't remember.

88karenmarie
Oct 11, 2017, 5:59pm Top

Hallo RD!

Sending smooches and gentle hugs and Gout Go Away messages!

89richardderus
Oct 11, 2017, 6:03pm Top

>86 Oberon: As ever, my old, as ever. My TBR will collapse on me someday and no one will know for days that I've expired. At least it'll be a happy way to go.

>87 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Not today. I'm having a nasty gout exacerbation. Reading is beyond my capabilities. I'll hope for better in a few days.

>88 karenmarie: Thanks for the whammys, Horrible. It helps my peace of mind. *smooch*

90richardderus
Oct 11, 2017, 6:58pm Top

It's been a rotten few days, I fear, but a corner has been turned because books!

My hand and knee on opposite sides suffered can trauma after shopping. This kind of damage, a bruise for ordinary people, is a guarantee of a week or more of inflammation, nasty crystal deposition, and attendant pain for me. Joy.

Luckily the University of Chicago Book Sale box arrived! W00t! Almost 80% off retail on each of these.

If England Were Invaded--the Bodleian's publishing arm resurrected this piece of Hunphobic predictive fearmongering. Who can say no to English xenophobia as entertainment?
Philip Sparrow Tells All--Samuel Steward was my role model in the 1980s, after I learned he was Phil Andros. I coveted this book two years ago and lucked into it at less than half the cover price!
Blood Runs Green--can't say I'm all that enamored of Chicago per se (sorry Joe and Mark), but this one was too juicy to pass up.
The Passage to Cosmos--frankly, Alexander von Humboldt seems to me the best evidence we can get of the reality of time travel.
Kurdistan: In The Shadow of History--given the recent Kurdish independence referendum, seemed timely. Also a MAJOR kitten squisher! It must weight 10lb.
The Tradescants' Orchard--the most beautiful book I've seen in a long, long time. Bodleian does it again.
Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation, and Power--barring this one. WOWZER.

So that was my birthday binge from last month. Lovely. Just deeply satisfyingly lovely. *happy sigh*

91drneutron
Oct 11, 2017, 9:35pm Top

Oooo, that last one looks interesting!

92richardderus
Oct 11, 2017, 10:36pm Top

>91 drneutron: It's gorgeous, Jim, really and truly. It's only $20 at the UoC Book Sale!

93PaulCranswick
Oct 11, 2017, 10:41pm Top

>90 richardderus: A veritable Magnificent Seven without the Baldy Guy and the fellow with the shakes. English Xenophobia is alive and well unfortunately as Brexit duly attests.

94richardderus
Oct 11, 2017, 10:46pm Top

>93 PaulCranswick: Xenophobia runs rampant around the globe, dammit all.

95PaulCranswick
Oct 11, 2017, 11:00pm Top

>94 richardderus: Far right on the rise in Germany, almost winning in Holland. trump in the White House staining the place a turdy colour. Only Trudeau and that miniature little Frenchie fellow left to talk a modicum of common sense.

96Berly
Oct 12, 2017, 12:01am Top

Boo for the injuries. Yay for the book haul!!

97LovingLit
Edited: Oct 12, 2017, 12:57am Top

80% off

Nice. I hope that assuages the hideousness of the knock aftermath.

Eta: Also, Globes: 400 Years of Exploration, Navigation, and Power- yeh, this one is the one that caught my eye, and I haven't even seen the cover yet (*off to see the cover*)

98Deern
Oct 12, 2017, 10:41am Top

>90 richardderus: Very sorry about the gout and hoping that the books will help a bit. Great haul, and 80% off? That never happens here!

>94 richardderus: >95 PaulCranswick: I always wonder why those far-right parties cheer each other on. The moment they are all in government they should automatically become enemies with their nationalism and protectionism.

99jnwelch
Oct 12, 2017, 12:26pm Top

>90 richardderus: Nice book haul! You have such interesting and wide-ranging book tastes, Richard. Like Dr. Jim, I'm most intrigued by that Globes: 400 Years one.

I saw your less than enthusiastic comment about Chicago, but I'll try to carry on and enjoy this lovely city anyway. Sigh.

100SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 12, 2017, 12:53pm Top

Good grief, Richard, what do they give you for the pain? I'm sorry you're going through this.

101richardderus
Oct 12, 2017, 2:19pm Top

>95 PaulCranswick: And the Aussie government isn't great. And India swinging towards Hindu fundys, and and and....

>96 Berly: Hi Berly-boo, yay for the haul indeed. The Tradescants' Orchard has been so soothing.

>97 LovingLit: It does help, Megan, but it's a major source of annoyance that I can't even *open* two of the kitten-squishers.

102richardderus
Oct 12, 2017, 2:25pm Top

>98 Deern: That's always verschmeckeled me as well, Nathalie, shouldn't the far-right yobbos all be cheering on the wimpy liberals in other countries?

>99 jnwelch: Heh. I am sure I can't spoil your love of home.

I read the way I think: Widely. I don't do well with narrowing, tightening, focusing to the exclusion of all else. I bore too easily.

>100 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry, thanks for the good wishes. I'm on transdermal Fentanyl ATM. It's relatively recent, and I don't know what will happen in the long run, but I'm okay with it as of now. It's meant to control the baseline pain. Now the acute stuff needs attention.

103PaulCranswick
Oct 12, 2017, 7:26pm Top

>101 richardderus: I need look little further than Malaysia and its wonderful Kleptocratic administration. US$900 million pumped into the Prime Minister's personal bank account - Deputy Public Prosecutor charged with investigating the facts is found encased in a barrel of concrete; political parties organised based on ethnicity. I am really not sure why sometimes I feel compelled to leave this tropical paradise.

By the way - way to go triple digit posts in 6 days. Great to see you back, RD.

104richardderus
Oct 12, 2017, 7:45pm Top

>103 PaulCranswick: Kleptocracy is, I fear, the human societal norm. Yuck.

Triple digits, wow...amazes me anyone remembers me, at least those who aren't on FB anyway.

105PaulCranswick
Oct 12, 2017, 7:54pm Top

>104 richardderus: You did make a, erm, slight impression last time around, dear fellow.
26,246 posts to your threads 2012-14 - those were the days.

106msf59
Oct 12, 2017, 8:49pm Top

>90 richardderus: Sorry to hear about the recent pain, RD. Hooray for a very sweet book haul.

107karenmarie
Oct 13, 2017, 8:57am Top

>104 richardderus: Good morning, RD, and I hope that you're doing better today.

I've always been a "looker and liker" on FB, with the extremely rare Reply. I don't think I've ever posted..... Anyway. Now I go on it about once every two weeks or so.

Therefore, I'm very glad to see you back here on LT.

108ChelleBearss
Oct 13, 2017, 9:19am Top

Sorry to see you are having some pain issues. Hope you get some rest and reading in despite that!

109richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 10:44am Top

>105 PaulCranswick: Wow! Almost 9K a year. Amazing.

>106 msf59: Hi Mark, thanks for the kind wishes. I'm still ogling The Tradescants' Orchard all day, savoring a beautiful fantasy of life in a place with an orchard.

110richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 10:45am Top

>107 karenmarie: *smooch* for my Horrible

>108 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! Thanks for dropping in. Rest and reading are the things I miss most when these events occur.

111katiekrug
Oct 13, 2017, 1:38pm Top

Hello, Richard! Nice to see you over here...

112richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 2:14pm Top

>111 katiekrug: Hi Katie! yep. Came back for a minute. You doing well? I'm distancing myself from the misery of Trumpbook so I don't stroke out before I turn 60.

113mahsdad
Oct 13, 2017, 2:52pm Top

>112 richardderus: ...the misery of Trumpbook. Ha! That is too true. I'm such a non-confrontational guy, that I resist so much commenting on certain things. Its just not worth the pain and aggravation.

My wife, however goes to great lengths to post factual and well curated stories that counter-balances the RW-wacko stuff that goes around.

114richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 4:14pm Top

>113 mahsdad: I'm more invested in the results the hoi polloi have foisted upon us than many, and it does my ability to balance absolutely no good to keep whipping myself into a froth over shit that's already done.

I want to live long enough to watch the orange shitgibbon faceplant and drag the right-wingers down with it.

115richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 4:39pm Top

via my friend Jackiesue (Yellowdog Granny):

"But to keep you in the loop in trump news.. He still sucks bites and blows. He's whined so much the past few days and is such a pussy I want to grab him."

116jnwelch
Oct 13, 2017, 6:11pm Top

117richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 6:17pm Top

118SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 13, 2017, 7:31pm Top

>115 richardderus: Snort. I'm going to steal that.

119richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 7:45pm Top

>118 SomeGuyInVirginia: It's just fucking perfect, as Jackiesue would say. You should go look at her blog, Larry, she's hilarious and she can find memes that'll lay you out flat from laughing through the outrage.

120richardderus
Oct 13, 2017, 9:07pm Top

137. Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller

Rating: 4.5* of five

What a read, what a ride, what a life I led reading Cean's tribulations. What a miserable thing it is to be a woman, apparently, and how hard it is to love another! Forget the hell out of children.
The little unknown thing was growing within her as suddenly and softly as the first touch of spring on the maples. It was putting out its hidden, watery roots as simply and surely as little cypresses take root in a stretch of swamp water away off yonder. It was coming upon her as quietly as the dark came up from the woods at night and hushed in the little clearing, closing every chink of every shutter tight with nothing. Impulses swelled within her, swelled her body fit to burst; yet they did not come out in words, nor song, nor in any sign.

Only to lose them as soon as you writhe, scream, push, expel them. My gawd, the only comfort is Gawd.

But in spite of all that, Caroline Miller is a storyteller and I kept going although I don't believe in gawd, ain't straight, and have always had money. Why? Because this is why I read: to discover. I discovered a lot reading this book...a lot I didn't know already, I mean.

The view from 2017 back to 1933, when this book first appeared, feels like a greater gap than the one between 1933 and 1830s Georgia. That's silly, I suppose, since what Miller wrote was genuinely historical fiction, recreating in her imagination the ideas and feelings of people who never had any kind of break, never got any credit for their labor, never spoke in chorus the way the rich and powerful always have. I, we I would argue, need to read these voices. They left no imprint on the psyche of the nation, before or after the first US Civil War, being merely pawns in the games played higher up. Their fatalism is perfectly logical. They were largely christian folk and were accustomed to the idea of blessings or blastings emanating from Above sans explanation or merit. What sustained them? Miller, from her century's remove, thought it was:
All these things buried about her house added to it, somehow; the yard was lived in now, like the house, each bush had something added to it, other than enrichment of the soil, for, together with its history of planting and rain and sun and dark, each bush now had, close by its seeking root, flesh that had grunted or peeped or squeaked while it lived. It gave Cean satisfaction to know about it.

Just gorgeous, also exactly right, pitch perfect, and mercy on us all such a relief from the excessive flagellation poor, starchy, unbending Cean receives from This Our Life.

I must say that the losses Cean endures through the War are enough to convince me that, had I to suffer them, would've made me much more receptive to the "charms" of religion. Nothing, however, on this wide green earth could make me receptive to New Light Preacher O'Connor's charms. What a tedious prig. I felt that half-star slipping the second I met him. It fell off for good at the end, which felt more like something academics would discover among her papers and label "Notes Towards an Ending" in the Norton Critical Edition.

But the prose, the world, the sheer not-Gone with the Wind-ness of it, are reason enough to read it, and I feel confident in saying that you should.

121Berly
Oct 14, 2017, 2:44pm Top

>120 richardderus: There's the kind of review I love and have missed so much! Thank Gawd you're back. : )

122richardderus
Oct 14, 2017, 3:40pm Top

>121 Berly: Thanks, Berly-boo!

123Berly
Oct 14, 2017, 3:46pm Top

Smooch

124richardderus
Oct 14, 2017, 5:57pm Top

Read #138: The Very First Damned Thing...well, you're on the bus or you're not. I enjoyed it. Full Five.

Read #139 in progress: Pax Americana by Kurt Baumeister
The publisher says:
2034: Evangelical secret agents, fast food moguls, the voice of God in computer software, violence in the Bermuda Triangle! George W. Bush's foreign policy vindicated by a quick victory in Iraq, lucrative invasions of Egypt and Syria followed, bringing unparalleled prosperity to America and setting off thirty years of right-wing rule. But when a war in Iran goes bad--and the resulting cover-up goes worse--the democrats reclaim the presidency. This is the time of Pax Americana and its zealous anti-hero, government agent Tuck Squires.

Reading the ironic silences between the lines of the thriller, and roaring like a jet engine, Pax Americana is a sacrilegious, conspiratorial monster; like a literary dogfight between Ian Fleming and Robert Anton Wilson, loaded with prophecy, Baumeister's debut is an exorcism and an antidote for our era.

Yup, got my name plastered all over it!

125richardderus
Oct 15, 2017, 2:07am Top

#139 turned out to be A Perfect Storm: A Chronicles of St Mary's Short Story! Another chance to be with the Disaster Magnets. I loved it because I love them all.

So now Pax Americana will be #140.

126karenmarie
Oct 15, 2017, 10:24am Top

Good morning, RD!

I splurged on the first four books of the Chronicles of St. Mary's in 2014. Looks I'm seriously behind now, with a Prequel, seven short stories, and 4 more novels to catch up on.

Hope you're up and about, dear one, and not still laid low by the Dread Gout!

*smooches from Horrible*

127richardderus
Oct 15, 2017, 11:32am Top

>126 karenmarie: Hiya Horrible! Thanks for the well-wishes, well timed they are. At long last I'm losing the gout. It's not gone but the damned thing's on the retreat. Yay!

The pleasures of the Disaster Magnet Universe are spread before you! A lovely piece of insurance against reading slumps.

128kidzdoc
Oct 15, 2017, 1:32pm Top

Ah! There you are. I had no idea that this was your thread until now. Welcome back, Richard!

Fabulous review of Lamb in His Bosom. I'll be on the lookout for it. It seems to be out of print, but I'll bet that I can find it locally.

129msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 2:15pm Top

Happy Sunday, RD! Good review of Lamb in His Bosom. I had not heard of this title or of the author. I appreciate you putting it on my radar. What inspired you to read it?

Oh, yeah:



130richardderus
Edited: Oct 15, 2017, 2:20pm Top

>128 kidzdoc: Darryl! I didn't expect to see you here...such a lot of hustle and bustle chez vous...happy to have a visit. I expect that you'll have no trouble sourcing a copy of Peachtree's edition of Lamb in His Bosom locally.

ETA
>129 msf59: we cross-posted, Mark, sorry...over on Goodreads, I've been a member of the On the Southern Literary Trail group for years. This was the September group read, pre-1980 category.

Let's hope this is the Lester we see tonight:

131msf59
Oct 15, 2017, 3:06pm Top

>130 richardderus: The "On the Southern Literary Trail" group sounds like an interesting one. I am sure you have been able to discover some hidden gems along the way.

^Yep! That is the Lester we NEED to see tonight. Full throttle.

132BekkaJo
Oct 16, 2017, 4:18am Top

Note to self... pick up the St.Mary shorts - I haven't read most of the shorts.

133Ameise1
Oct 16, 2017, 6:27am Top

It's so wonderful to see you back, Rdear.

134richardderus
Oct 16, 2017, 10:07am Top

>131 msf59: Yes, that's one of the few groups there that I am reasonably active in.

Heartbreaking loss, thanks to John Lester. Ugh.

>132 BekkaJo: Oh my yes, Bekka, the shorts are excellent fun. I need fun just now. The world can go away for a minute.

>133 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara! The leapy guy made me laugh, and that's the most welcome thing I can think of now.

135Crazymamie
Oct 16, 2017, 10:39am Top

Morning, BigDaddy! It's Monday, so don't look it directly in the eye.

Delightful review of Lamb in His Bosom - I have not heard of that one before. And your review of #138 made me laugh, so thanks for that!

136richardderus
Oct 16, 2017, 11:03am Top

>135 Crazymamie: Mamie dear, do come have a seat and let's have some high-calorie treats.

137Crazymamie
Oct 16, 2017, 11:10am Top

Right. No need to ask me twice!

138SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 18, 2017, 12:26pm Top

Were you be at?

139richardderus
Oct 18, 2017, 12:52pm Top

>138 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry, neglecting my thread to be ick-sick. Cold. Blech! I spend most of my day sleeping to get rid of the crummy thing.

140karenmarie
Oct 18, 2017, 1:50pm Top

Feel better, RD! *smooches* from you-know-who!

141richardderus
Oct 18, 2017, 2:37pm Top

>140 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible, I'm better than I was as I'm able to form coherent sentences while walking. Achievement unlocked.

Now I need to find a horcrux for 45, like I dreamed last night.

142karenmarie
Oct 18, 2017, 3:18pm Top

You're obviously still delirious, RD. More codeine cough syrup or Nyquil is indicated.....

143SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 18, 2017, 4:34pm Top

Are you really supposed to put that fentanyl patch on your tongue?

144msf59
Oct 18, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Sorry, you are struggling with a cold, RD. I am also. I hope to see some light at this congestive tunnel. Hope you feel better soon.

145richardderus
Oct 18, 2017, 6:58pm Top

>142 karenmarie: What's that you say, Grandma Gladys? Come to the Darbanvilles' ball? Only if you send Serenity.

>143 SomeGuyInVirginia: *snerk* might try that one day...

>144 msf59: But *I* have a huge advantage over you: I don't have to go outside unless I want to. If I need three days of solid sleep, I get 'em. Lucky me, except for the whole needing-three-days'-uninterrupted-sleep thing.

Today circumstances dictated that I emerge from my cave for four hours. I thought I would expire from the yuuuuk. The retinologist I was referred to in order to assess the present condition of my eyes was about 25. Knows his onions, or maculae, as it happens. Upshot: annual scheduled visits for a few more years, some specific issues that should lead me to make a priority call to him if/when they occur, see you in 2018.

Since the practice is in Mercy Medical Center's campus, the Grasping Witches of...I mean Mother Teresa's order of nuns had well-stocked carts of books for a buck, pay on the honor system. You know what's coming, right?

Reservoir 13--*grumble* Booker booboisie, giving a UK prize to a Murrikin
The Sandcastle--Iris Murdoch I don't remember reading after 10pp
The Ascent of Money--or, How We Got to This Gawdawful Moment
Flying Changes
Riding Lesson--these last two are Sara Gruen mysteries for my roommate Mark, who adored her Water for Elephants and whose biggest regret in life is that he can't ride anymore. He's coming back from rehab soon, I hope.

146FAMeulstee
Edited: Oct 19, 2017, 4:56am Top

>145 richardderus: You know what's coming, right?
Yes, of course we all know, Richard, you got yourself a nice haul. Books are irresistible to us ;-)

147LovingLit
Oct 19, 2017, 4:59am Top

>115 richardderus: that was indeed a very funny summary of recent trumpery.

You will be pleased to hear that we (NZ) are now governed by a centre left government. The coalition govt has been formed after some deliberation, and not only are we lefter that we were, we are headed by the youngest female prime minister NZ has ever had. She's 37! I hope she gets to swoon over meet Trudeau....

148BekkaJo
Oct 19, 2017, 5:28am Top

Hope the cold is improving - or if not you at least have some good comfort reads on the go.

149karenmarie
Oct 19, 2017, 7:19am Top

Good morning, RD!

Glad you got your eyes checked. I'm having laser surgery tomorrow - most folks need to get their eyes 'cleaned up a bit' sometime after cataract surgery and tomorrow's my turn. I can't drive for 24 hours and have no idea if I'll be able to read, but the upshot is that my distance vision will get back to where it was immediately after the cataract surgeries in 2014.

150richardderus
Oct 19, 2017, 10:00am Top

>146 FAMeulstee: Irresistible...completely, utterly irresistible. Hope you're well, Anita.

>147 LovingLit: That is good news indeed, Megan. And if she doesn't swoon over Justin Trudeau, she has no libido whatsoever. He has It, whatever that is.

>148 BekkaJo: Improving is all I can hope for, since reading is still too hard. I can't even make it through The Autobiography of James T. Kirk! NOT challenging reading. It doesn't help that the writer is so anodyne as to be unable to craft a memorable line.

>149 karenmarie: Surgery is as yet in my future. The doc was clear: we can do surgery later, and should wait, because there's no gain commensurate with the potential downside.

So, colds rot and stink and suck and blow! IDK if y'all really *knew* that, so I thought I'd give ya the heads-up. After my day out, I've had a little relapse into stuffed-up-ness, made worse by the aerosol spraying the cleaners did in the hall outside my door. Really? Who uses "air freshener" in this day and time?

151Berly
Oct 19, 2017, 11:44am Top

Sorry you are still feeling under the weather. I am still emerging from my cloud.

Excellent book haul! I'd tell you to have fun with those, but I already know you will. : )

152richardderus
Oct 19, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>151 Berly: I hope to be able to focus enough to enjoy them soon, Kimmers. I've watched Minions twice in the past two days. It'll only be available until the 24th, so I feel justified. *snort* Like I need justifications! I'm heading into my sixties, I'll do what I durned well please.

153msf59
Oct 19, 2017, 9:15pm Top

This is gut-wrenching to watch, RD. I am seriously thinking of switching it off. Sighs...

154richardderus
Oct 19, 2017, 9:18pm Top

I just...can't. It's too grisly.

155msf59
Oct 19, 2017, 9:29pm Top

Just an embarrassing way to go out. I know we are facing Kershaw, but show a little effort, eh?

156richardderus
Oct 19, 2017, 9:32pm Top

Yep. Like last night was the sop to the team's dignity so now, well, it's Kershaw and we can keep our self-respect so g'nite ever'body.

157BekkaJo
Oct 20, 2017, 2:38am Top

I think you've transmitted me your cold over the internet :( Urghhhh gurgle. Gak. Grim.

158karenmarie
Oct 20, 2017, 6:50am Top

Good morning, RD. I hope you're feeling a tad better today. Being too sick to read is absolutely ghastly.

*smooches* from your own Horrible

159Deern
Oct 20, 2017, 7:38am Top

Hope you'll be better very soon and can return to reading! Aerosols? :(( I asked our cleaning lady here in the office to please not use them anymore, most of them give me nausea. Ew...

160richardderus
Oct 20, 2017, 11:05am Top

>157 BekkaJo: I think this strain of rhinovirus has spread around the world. Yeccchhh. I have a throbbing headache from the darned thing. Colds, bah. Also humbug.

>158 karenmarie: It is. I finished the deeply meh The Autobiography of James T. Kirk because I could safely allow it to pass before me unheeded for the most part.

>159 Deern: The aerosol propellant, whatever it is these days, makes my head throb and my stomach heave too. Just vile things and so unnecessary.

161SuziQoregon
Oct 20, 2017, 2:08pm Top

Saw you wandering around a few threads. Good to find your thread and to have you back.

162richardderus
Oct 20, 2017, 4:56pm Top

>161 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli! I can't do Trumpbook anymore, it's too stressful for me living on my Social Security, Medicare, and gap plan Medicaid.

163bohemima
Oct 22, 2017, 12:38am Top

Hello, Darling! I’m glad you’re feeling at least a bit better, but sorry about the nasty cold.

FB about did me in. I thought surely I was headed for apoplexy more than once.

Lovely reviews, as always. It’s a pleasure to read your thread.

164karenmarie
Oct 22, 2017, 10:18am Top

*smooches* from Horrible

165msf59
Oct 22, 2017, 10:33am Top

Happy Sunday, RD! Hope you are feeling better today and I hope you can find some time with the books.

166richardderus
Oct 22, 2017, 11:51am Top

>163 bohemima: Heya Gail, glad to see you...colds are worse for people who can't get up and move around easily, lying here doesn't help me clear out my lungs. I spent a bit of yesterday forcing myself to get vertical and moving around. As a result, I feel better today! Funny how that works.

>164 karenmarie: *smooch*

>165 msf59: Hi Mark! I'm reading!! Yay! Gyrfalcon is the start of a space opera series. So far so good. They're on an enemy planet and have just woken up a nest of automated "soldiers" and face annihilation. *happy sigh*

167richardderus
Oct 22, 2017, 2:08pm Top

W00t! I got my BookRiot contest win copy of Ann Leckie's new non-Radch book, Provenance. I wasn't impressed with the Radch book I read, but her sheer verve made a lasting impression on me. I entered the contest thinking it'd be interesting at the least. I'm really hopeful that it'll be a good read.

168johnsimpson
Oct 22, 2017, 5:04pm Top

Hi Richard, hope you are having a really nice weekend, and wish you a lovely week ahead. We have had Hannah over for a sleep over which she enjoyed and she sends smooches dear friend.

169richardderus
Oct 22, 2017, 6:20pm Top

>168 johnsimpson: Hi John! Thanks for stopping in. The weekend has been given over to a resurgent cold, which really made me angry today. I went outside for a walk, found out I'd missed a great weekend of whale and dolphin shenanigans, came back in more knackered than I should have been, and collapsed for four solid hours of sleep.

Tonight will be fun....

170PaulCranswick
Oct 22, 2017, 7:49pm Top

Hope you shake off the cold double quick RD.

171richardderus
Oct 22, 2017, 8:06pm Top

>170 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul but that ship has sailed. I'm at the tag end of a week with this damned thing.

172drneutron
Oct 22, 2017, 8:40pm Top

Interested in your thoughts on the new Lechie - i’ll Be watching for the review!

173benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 25, 2017, 7:17pm Top

I got a copy of Lechie’s new book at the library. I couldn’t believe that it was there! I would have thought there would be a waiting list for it. But there wasn’t - so I have it.

174Berly
Oct 22, 2017, 8:50pm Top

R--Still fighting the dang cold?! Rats! Whammy on the rhinovirus and smooches for you. : )

175richardderus
Edited: Oct 22, 2017, 8:56pm Top

>172 drneutron: It's up soon, I'm in the midst of Whistling Vivaldi ATM, and my Kindlebook is the really surprisingly exciting space opera Gyrfalcon.

>173 benitastrnad: That surprises me, Benita, I can't really fathom how such a major SFnal talent doesn't have a line out the door. But great luck for you, in any case.

ETA >174 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers! Rhinovirus slinks away from Whammys by moms. :)

176richardderus
Edited: Oct 23, 2017, 3:17pm Top

Rhinovirus has slunk! I can talk and breathe at the same time today.

I finished Gyrfalcon and loved it. A classic space opera with a father-and-son reunion that heals both men, a crappy demanding spouse whose selfish demands are his undoing, and two worthy mates find each other.

This is how you can tell it's fiction.

The space opera part takes up ⅔ of the book. It's really a lot of fun, and any SF fan who loved/s Battlestar Galactica (the 2004 iteration) and The Expanse owes it to themselves to try the first one out. You'll make it if you squint through the sex scene. That's right: One (1) mild sex scene and a good deal of falling in love.

177FAMeulstee
Oct 23, 2017, 3:52pm Top

So glad to read you are conquering the rhinothing!

178SomeGuyInVirginia
Edited: Oct 23, 2017, 7:41pm Top

>176 richardderus: Based on your own inestimable recommendation, and it's being free, I've purchased the Kindle version of Gyrfalcon. I hope everyone's already highlighted the dirty parts because I'm a very busy man.

Also, I'm saving my pennies to buy White Trash Princess by Molly Price. It's supposed to be a The Glass Castle for the people. (Actually, I read the first few paragraphs and it wasn't bad. Plus, she gets into a flame war with one of her red-eyed brood in the comments section. So it's win/win.

The bracket thingies don't work for either White Trash Princess OR Molly Price! Scandalous! Haters gonna hate!

179richardderus
Oct 23, 2017, 7:39pm Top

>177 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita...it's been a LOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNG march, akin to the Red Chinese one. I was most annoyed that I missed out on a whale sighting! I love living next to the ocean because we get to see stuff like that. I'm mad that I missed one.

>178 SomeGuyInVirginia: Start at 79%. And that's pretty much it. It's majorly NOT dirty, though, lacking at least 1,000,000 Scoville units to be considered "hot."

180SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 23, 2017, 7:42pm Top

>Yeah, I just finished it. It was OK.

181richardderus
Oct 23, 2017, 8:02pm Top

>180 SomeGuyInVirginia: Barely. I mean, reading for shmexytimes, this book's in the bottom 1% of the class. Fortunately I was much more impressed by and interested in the space opera facets of the story.

182richardderus
Oct 23, 2017, 8:25pm Top

So, read #140 was The Autobiography of James T. Kirk. I gave it 3 stars, more like 2.5 rounded up because Kirk.

Majorly meh writing, the story is familiar because really? Star Trek!, and really only good for someone like me who's battling a nasty cold, can't focus on anything substantive, and spent 99¢ on it.

The afterword by "Spock" was sweet (!) and I really liked the photos. Fans only.

183LovingLit
Oct 24, 2017, 12:54am Top

Hey RD, my wish has been granted! (from >147 LovingLit:)
The key is in the end of the web address! That would be Justin Trudeau and Jacinda Adern, our new PM, skyping :)
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/342262/justin-and-jacinda-skype

184LovingLit
Oct 24, 2017, 12:56am Top

Also, the sweet afterword from Spock, was that before of after James T. Kirk didn't go to his funeral? *shock*
I did NOT just say that!

185richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 10:43am Top

>183 LovingLit: Wow! Too much gorgeous for the internet to handle...both of them are luscious little plums, aren't they?

>184 LovingLit: Afterward, as the funeral didn't take so to speak, Spock not being dead after all. You saucy thing. ;-)

186karenmarie
Oct 24, 2017, 10:58am Top

Good morning, RD! Less rhino-virusy is good. Have you been able to pick up anything more substantive than James T. Kirk?

*smooches* from your own Horrible

187richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 11:20am Top

>186 karenmarie: Hiya Horrible! I'm so much better today...I've already been out for a sun-drenched, breezy walk and it was lovely instead of a reenactment of the Bataan Death March. Of course I didn't go challengingly far this time. I do NOT want a relapse! Ten days of this effing cold is more. than. enough, thank you.

I'm not all the way sure what prompted me to do so, but I picked up Free and Other Stories by Theodore Dreiser again. My review, or the roots of it, is below.

*smooch* for visiting!

188richardderus
Edited: Oct 24, 2017, 11:54am Top

Book #142 so far

Free and Other Stories by Theodore Dreiser, a re-read for some unaccountable reason that called to me

Rating: 3* of five

Dreiser had a good storytelling eye; he didn't have a deft hand at fiction. His prose is lumpen, his point of view conventional, his turns of phrase, at their most inspiring, aphoristic:
Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.

and
Art is the stored honey of the human soul.

and
In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking- chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel.

As I think these quotes demonstrate, this doesn't stop his work from being emotionally resonant, it just stops the reader from freeing the experience of reading from the physical act the way that the English language's truly gifted authors can do (eg, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, Colum McCann from my personal pantheon). It isn't somehow inferior for this. I find that form of lit'ry snobbery irksome. Dreiser's writing is not what he offers to a discerning reader. His stories must needs speak for themselves, as his telling of them doesn't mask their thin patches or downright bald spots. It's why his two famous novels, Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, remain canonical Dead White Male literature. The stories are compelling, even to their detractors, who frequently trumpet the sexism, the retrograde tilt of their take on unconventional choices. What that viewpoint doesn't include is the realization that, a hundred years ago, writing about unconventional choices made by modern people was pretty damned revolutionary.

But, the derisive voices say, why should we read this tedious, stodgy prose now? Aren't there many better versions of these same stories told in quicker, more deft strokes of the pen/pixel? Sure, any number of them...Louise Erdrich, Alice Munro, Donald Ray Pollock...but they're tilling the same field that Dreiser did, not breaking fairly new ground the way he did. (I'm excluding Émile Zola and Honoré de Balzac et alii because I'm limiting myself to authors I can fluently read in their original language, though clearly these two giants of realism were there pre-Dreiser and were gifted far beyond his reach. I'd say L'Assomoir is a gorgeous example of this, Cousin Bette another.)

Prior to Dreiser, English-language literary realists were largely also firm moralists. George Eliot, Charles Dickens *shudder*, William Makepeace Thackeray are excellent and enduring examples of this...their unhappy outcomes for transgressive behavior against social norms, their emphasis on the consequences instead of the sins with their concomitant pleasures, are indigestible to me in a way that Dreiser's equally stodgy sentences are not.

I won't try to change hearts and minds into Dreiser lovers (goddesses know I'm not his biggest fan). I think the day has passed where a book lover needs to have a wide experience of the second-tier authors of a given era, school, trend, movement's output. Scholars alone are expected to make such deep dives into this part of our collective past. I'd encourage pearl-diving among the curious, however, as I am among those curious about out-of-the-way corners and moldering undusted shelves.

The stories (whose Bryce Method reviews I'll add to as I'm inspired to do so) are:

Free...Mr. Haymaker faces his wife of more than thirty years' imminent, if not immediate, demise with a self-pitying look back at his unhappy life with a conventional woman when what he fancied was La Vie Bohème with a passionate, ardent girl at his side, ever young and supple and pliant. Demands of propriety, family, and conscience rendered him unfit for such shenanigans and he faces up to himself in the mirror of his failures and disappointments. No word on Mrs. Haymaker's thoughts, feelings, regrets, etc etc. Tediously sexist? Permaybehaps, I'm thinking, but also honest in its forthright presentation of a thwarted soul's unquenchable yearning for what was always beyond its grasp. 4 stars for the palpable ache of a second-rate being smart enough to know what first-rate is but not able to reach it.

189katiekrug
Oct 24, 2017, 11:37am Top

Glad you're feeling better!

190richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 11:49am Top

>189 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie, me too...are you mended yet? Last I heard it was down to scratchy throat or stuffy nose, can't remember which.

191katiekrug
Oct 24, 2017, 11:53am Top

I'm much better. Still a bit of a stuffy nose, but nothing dire. I am expected to live :)

192msf59
Oct 24, 2017, 11:55am Top

Hooray for feeling better and enjoying a couple of books. Let's hope this trend continues.

193richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 12:06pm Top

>191 katiekrug: Good! It doesn't feel like such a blessing, living through it that is, long about day three...

>192 msf59: Hi Mark! yes, let's get this from a trend to a through-line!

194SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 24, 2017, 12:30pm Top

>188 richardderus: That was a really beautiful review.

195richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 1:14pm Top

>194 SomeGuyInVirginia: *blush* Larry, you silver-tongued devil you! Such a lovely compliment. Thank you.

My social-media friend, author Seb L. Carter, posted a link to this:
Storytellers are engines of creation, not conduits for it. We force them into being. We conjure pyroclasm and lightning to tell tales. ... A lack of inclusion in narrative is one such choice — based on lazy tropes and outmoded prejudices, it’s a choice that refuses to acknowledge actual people and actual reality.

Chuck Wendig's article on LGBTQIA+ inclusion is here: http://tinyurl.com/yc7crbrf

196richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 1:33pm Top

HOLY GODDESSES! THIS RECIPE!!

1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 4-ounce chunk fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 5 pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chilies, stemmed and halved lengthwise
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon), plus lemon wedges, to serve
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn
Cooked basmati or jasmine rice, to serve

In a bowl, mix the fennel, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and the turmeric. Use 1 tablespoon of the mixture to season the chicken.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until just smoking. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilies, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and remaining spice mixture, then submerge the chicken thighs.

Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting the heat to maintain a steady but gentle simmer. Stir in the potatoes, cover and return to a simmer. Cook until the the chicken and potatoes are tender, another 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Remove and discard the ginger, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and chili halves, then continue to simmer over medium until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, using two forks, pull the chicken into bite-size pieces, then return to the pot and stir to combine, taking care not to break up the potatoes.
Stir in the lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with mint. Serve with rice and lemon wedges.

Don’t forget to remove the ginger, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and chili halves from the cooking liquid after removing the chicken. Also, don’t cut the potatoes smaller than 1-inch chunks; smaller pieces will overcook and break apart. Finally, don’t pull the chicken into fine shreds after simmering—the pieces should be bite-size.

197richardderus
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:53pm Top

Oooh, I just found the 2017 ANZAC Reading Challenge! It's October, so I'm going with a 12-entry choice, but I'm starting out with a big advantage: Text sent me a dozen books to blog about that I'm going to be reviewing for November as well as one or two in my planned book-gifting guide from 24 November to 24 December.

ANZAC Bingo 1x12
1) Read a book about love--I'm going with The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong because the love/hate relationship of these brothers is riveting.
2) Read a coming of age novel--Came Back to Show You I Could Fly by Robin Sloan a Text Classics entry that I've never heard of, which is exciting.
3) Read a historical fiction--Coming Rain by Stephen Daisley from Text, set in 1950s Outback Oz.
4) Read a book set on a Pacific Island--Pitcairn Pending by Kenneth Bain which it seems I'm the first person on LT to own. Hm.
5) Read a children's classic--The Fire-Raiser by Maurice Gee which you gifted me with on my 50th birthday Kerry!
6) Read a refugee story--The Road to Winter by Mark Smith is post-apocalyptic but the female lead is a "Siley" or asylum-seeker, so I think it fits.
7) Read a scifi novel--Dark Space and Darker Space by Lisa Henry, two very good gay-male led novels by Aussie romance powerhouse-cum-legend in that niche Henry. Excellent, if a small bit grim; together about 100,000 words and directly sequential, so I count them as one novel.
8) Read a book with a place name in the title--Potiki by Patricia Grace, another 50th birthday gift from Kerry.
9) Read a bestseller--Reckoning: A Memoir is, I'm assured, an Aussie bestseller by Magda Szubanski about her Polish WWII spy father's life and how it impacts her to this day.
10) Read a black comedy/noir--Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan combines comedy and suspense in approximately equal measure.
11) Read a debut novel--When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea is set on Jersey during WWII, written by a Jersey native who has, I gather, expatriated to Oz.
12) Read a book of short stories--Dead Americans by Ben Peek, these are thematically linked short stories and I really like Ben so I'm *finally* reviewing this book!

I'll edit this post to add links to reviews here on LT as they appear. Thanks to Kerry for making this challenge as I needed a spur to make me write the darned reviews already.

198Berly
Oct 24, 2017, 6:45pm Top

>196 richardderus: That looks divine!! I just went to the grocery store yesterday , so it will have to wait for the next trip. Thank you! Although now I am really hungry...

199richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 6:50pm Top

>198 Berly: I'm figuring out a crockpot-only version for my kitchenless self. Serious, serious droolage.

200Berly
Oct 24, 2017, 6:53pm Top

Mmmmm...yes!! Do you have a crockpot? Shall I send you a favorite recipe or two?

201richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 7:00pm Top

I am *wedded* to my crockpot. I feed myself here because they don't offer a low-purine gluten-free diet and I need both. Gout is exacerbated by purine-rich foods, and I've been on colchicine for 35+ years which has done a number on my digestive system. Heavy glutinous foods do bad things to me in all but the most abstemious quantities.

202Berly
Oct 24, 2017, 8:31pm Top

Now I have to google Purine-rich foods!! Be back in a min...

203Berly
Oct 24, 2017, 8:36pm Top

So no liver or tongue. Safe! No seafood (I'm allergic so have no recipes for this). Safe! Milk ok. Cherries good. Veggies good. Chicken, check. Do I have this right? : )

204LovingLit
Oct 24, 2017, 11:36pm Top

Happy ANZACing. Good to see at least one NZer in there RD.
Mental note, send RD NZ lit.

205PaulCranswick
Oct 24, 2017, 11:42pm Top

>196 richardderus: Looking good, RD. Reminds me that it is almost lunchtime here.

>197 richardderus: I am struggling with the challenge and may not complete it but I should get another one done today.

206richardderus
Oct 24, 2017, 11:55pm Top

>202 Berly:, >203 Berly: Pretty much, except I'm not an underexcreter of uric acid (the primary kind of gout that older folks usually get), I'm an overproducer. I can't have much high-purine stuff as asparagus, spinach, peas, cauliflower or mushrooms. I can eat beans and lentils, which are moderately high in purines but they're also a good source of protein.

>204 LovingLit: Hi Megan! Glad you're watching over the challenge. I thought Maurice Gee was a Kiwi, too, isn't he? Kenneth Bain definitely is...Patricia Grace is...Stephen Daisley was born in NZ, though is now an Aussie, so does he count?

>205 PaulCranswick: Challenges are just that to me, stretch goals, and not expectations. I don't like anything making my joy, reading, into a duty. Pork scratchings on that nonsense.

Take that yoke off, you're not an ox!

207PaulCranswick
Oct 25, 2017, 12:05am Top

>206 richardderus: Maybe not an Ox but sometimes I'm an Ass.

208richardderus
Oct 25, 2017, 12:12am Top

>207 PaulCranswick: as who among is not, at least occasionally? Remove the hair shirt, martyrs are surplus to requirements! Kindness, my old, begins inside.

209PaulCranswick
Oct 25, 2017, 1:41am Top

>208 richardderus: Me like. I will dictate that to my Queen, Hani, when she returns to these tropical climes on Friday.

210richardderus
Oct 25, 2017, 10:50am Top

>209 PaulCranswick: ...maybe not on Friday itself, eh what?

OMGOMG y'all!! Potiki!!!
It was His will that we did not push or dribble, whistle, spit, swear, or make dog's ears in books. But how did you make dog's ears in books? Could there be dog's ears without whole dogs? There could, because there was Little Dog Turpie all taken to pieces and put back together again—perhaps without ears.

This is on page 16. Roimata speaking of her childhood in parochial school. Happen I agree with gawd's will on all these matters, so GO NUNS this one and only time!

211karenmarie
Oct 26, 2017, 8:34am Top

Good morning, RD, and happy Thursday to you!

>210 richardderus: The closest I came to parochial school was a college boyfriend telling me Torture Tales by Nuns, including bloody knuckles from a sharp edged ruler. *shudder*

212mckait
Oct 26, 2017, 8:56am Top

I have read nothing. So many posts! just saying hi~

213msf59
Oct 26, 2017, 9:23am Top

Looks like a great game last night, RD. I missed it. Now, we go to Texas.

Sweet Thursday, my friend.

214richardderus
Edited: Oct 26, 2017, 9:59am Top

>211 karenmarie: Hiya Horrible...yep, those are the stories I had from my brief foray into religious education. I walked in the front door, out the back door, and went back home until Mama put me in public (American sense) school.

>212 mckait: Hey Kath! Glad to see you. Well, yes, posts because I can't do Trumpbook's political outrage anymore. I am not doing good things to myself that way.

>213 msf59: Evened up the Series last night, so the Dodgers are on notice that a sweep will be resisted. As it should be. Now the fun can begin in earnest!

Happy Thursday thrills to one and all! Let's revel in a Bierstadt painting of Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park during fall:

215Crazymamie
Oct 26, 2017, 10:09am Top

>196 richardderus: That looks most YUM!

>214 richardderus: Beautiful.

Sweet Thursday to you, BigDaddy! I'm so happy that you are feeling better.

216richardderus
Oct 26, 2017, 10:13am Top

>215 Crazymamie: Hey there Mamie! I'm happy to be relatively pain free today. Plus it's only going to be 65° so I'm purring.

217FAMeulstee
Oct 26, 2017, 10:20am Top

>216 richardderus: Relatively painfree sounds good, Richard, and so does the temperature. We are blessed with 59° and even less in the next days.
You purring??? I would love to hear that!

218karenmarie
Oct 26, 2017, 10:27am Top

>214 richardderus: Purty.

>216 richardderus: Purring and relatively pain-free. Yay. We're supposed to get low-60Fs here. It's currently 47F.

219Oberon
Oct 26, 2017, 10:49am Top

>214 richardderus: Very nice painting there. Been a bad year with all the wildfires near there.

220jnwelch
Oct 26, 2017, 12:00pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Richard!

Beaut of a Yosemite painting up there. Have you been there? We loved it way back when.

221EBT1002
Oct 26, 2017, 1:24pm Top

Found you. Okay, you actually found me, but the end result is the same. :-)

>214 richardderus: Love that, and still have never seen it in real life.

Last night's baseball game was fun ~~ since none of "my" teams are in the WS, I'm rooting for an exciting 7-game competition. (I'm rooting for the Dodgers a wee bit but mostly I want some great baseball.)

222karenmarie
Oct 26, 2017, 3:16pm Top

My Mom was a Dodgers fan. I remember listening to Vin Scully on the radio in the kitchen, on the radio on camping trips, on the radio in the car. She'd be very happy that they are in the World Series.

223richardderus
Oct 26, 2017, 4:01pm Top

>217 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, we struggled to get to 60° today, that 65° was out of reach. Presently raining and a hair under 55° which is seasonable and the rain's very, very welcome. It does mean I'm pretty much immobile, though.

>218 karenmarie: Horrible, the 60s must feel like a reprieve from the governor at the foot of the gallows! Ain't Yosemite gorgeous? I was first there as a tot, when it made such a huge impression on me that it's one of my few preteen memories.

>219 Oberon: That's such a saddening part of the wildfires, Erik, the incalculable loss of natural splendor to the ravages of climate change-fueled disaster. Human losses, built environments mostly, I can say "well, time to rebuild"; nature heals on longer time scales, so I won't be able to go back and experience the Yosemite of my youth again before I die.

224richardderus
Oct 26, 2017, 4:09pm Top

>220 jnwelch: Hey Joe, yes my first six years were spent in Cali. My parents took us to Yosemite several times, one of the few things Mama was willing to do with Dad because it made her so happy.

See my musings responding to >219 Oberon: above. *sigh*

>221 EBT1002: GO. Even though it's not what you see in the painting, and the other sixty or so that Bierstadt did, go and you and P will see something magical, enthralling. Howdy do, BTW. *smooch*

>222 karenmarie: My father was a Giants fan from the 1930s World Series games, and we lived in Los Gatos, so the SF move in 1957 made him a happy man. The Dodgers moved to his hometown at about the same time and the rest of his family took them up out of spite, or so he contended! I'm rooting for them because of the ancient Brooklyn connection. Also NL. So forza the LA team, which will be the only time you'll hear me utter such a thing.

225Berly
Oct 26, 2017, 11:56pm Top

Mostly pain-free, almost Friday, beautiful painting, and no cold! Life is good. Carry on.

226ronincats
Edited: Oct 27, 2017, 12:55am Top

Here's some coffee to wake you up in the morning!


And along the same line, ran into a promo for this book tonight and thought it might be up your alley. Here's the description from Ammy:

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret Government coffee stockpile could save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. His name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive Emma Windsor on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their next caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy-thriller set in the Britain of the future…


Whadayathink?

It's We Have Lost the Coffee by Paul Mathews.

227karenmarie
Oct 27, 2017, 8:38am Top

Good morning, RD!

Well, if the coffee-drinking octopus Roni posted above doesn't wake you up, I don't know what will!

I hope you have a frabjous day.

228richardderus
Oct 27, 2017, 9:41am Top

>225 Berly: Morning Berly-boo, it's a beautiful day today with sunshine all about and a lovely breeze. It should be mandatory for a minimum of 50% of all days to be like this in any given calendar year.

>226 ronincats: How is it possible to have 8-10 arms and only ONE holding coffee? A sentient creature should always have at least 50% of its arms occupied with caffeine delivery. :)

And We Have Lost the Coffee sounds hilarious, thanks!

>227 karenmarie: Hiya Horrible! *smooch* It's another week in the books, yay hooray, even though not working makes that a less notable achievement.

229richardderus
Oct 28, 2017, 11:38am Top

Happy Saturday to one and all. It's a perfect fall day, cool and sunshiney and slightly breezy. Living at the seaside, while it has risks, is beguiling on a day like today.

230Crazymamie
Oct 28, 2017, 11:40am Top

>229 richardderus: Lovely! That begs one to saunter out and sit a spell with a good book. Happy Saturday, Richard - hope it's full of fabulous!

231richardderus
Oct 28, 2017, 11:43am Top

>230 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! It's beautiful bench-sitting weather, and I'm doing exactly that. Smartphones rule.

Reading Provenance which I won off BookRiot earlier this year. Touchstone isn't coming up...it's the Ann Leckie book.

232FAMeulstee
Oct 28, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>229 richardderus: I love the seaside, Richard, I am happy you are in such a lovely place.

233richardderus
Oct 28, 2017, 12:23pm Top

>232 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I'm extremely lucky. It's a terrific benefit to me to have the sea so close. It makes every day feel like a vacation instead of a chore.

234Crazymamie
Oct 28, 2017, 12:28pm Top

>231 richardderus: Oh! Heather liked that one. I still need to get to her trilogy.

235msf59
Oct 28, 2017, 2:07pm Top

>214 richardderus: Lovely painting of the Half-Dome.

>229 richardderus: I would love to be strolling this beach today.

Happy Saturday, RD! Glad you are enjoying some fine weather. Damp and chilly here. Stuck in the 40s, with a freeze-warning for tonight. Sighs...

Let's see if the Dodgers can come roaring back today.

236richardderus
Oct 28, 2017, 2:18pm Top

>235 msf59: It's glorious here, but tomorrow promises to be dim and dank. Oh well, life's like that innit?

The Dodgers. Oh heavy, heavy sigh. Let's think about happier things, shall we?

237karenmarie
Oct 28, 2017, 2:31pm Top

Chuckles?

Sliced SPAM with Splendid Sauce from a twisted cookbook called Caramel Knowledge?

Oh, wait. You mean REAL happier things.

Books.

Coffee.

Chocolate.

Ice cream.

Better?

238richardderus
Oct 28, 2017, 5:06pm Top

>237 karenmarie: Chuckles and SPAM. Now there's an image of misery: Being so poor that one can only eat SPAM on untoasted white bread with Miracle Whip and sweet relish *retch*, and without access to a library that has actual books but only has those matched sets of Chuckles the Dick and the like *harder retch*.

Coffee, books, and ice cream. My day. *happy sigh*

239richardderus
Oct 28, 2017, 5:33pm Top

240EBT1002
Oct 29, 2017, 6:54pm Top

Hi Richard!

241richardderus
Oct 29, 2017, 8:28pm Top

>240 EBT1002: Hi Ellen!

Bad day for wi-fi chez moi. Whenever it rains, the "Optimum" cable floods and we, all along our block, either lose or partially lose out cable, internet, and wi-fi service for varying, unpredictable periods of time. This is consistent since I've lived here, almost three years now.

It is exceedingly annoying!



No indeed memester you are not.

242bohemima
Oct 29, 2017, 9:51pm Top

>196 richardderus: Looks lovely but a wee bit spicy. That’s a lot of ginger!

>214 richardderus: What a beautiful picture! I was there with DH and plan to get my eldest to accompany me on a return trip.

>229 richardderus: Home and Heaven, all in one. Surely I must have been a selkie in a past life.

Way upthread (I can only remember so many numbers...)
Excellent discussion of Dreiser, who isn’t my favorite, although the short story sounds wonderful. I don’t see misogyny in not including the wife’s p.o.v; that would be a completely different story. And Cousin Bette! La, Sir; one astounding book. Have you tried Dangerous Liasons? Shocking, absorbing, and unforgettable.

243richardderus
Oct 29, 2017, 10:01pm Top

>242 bohemima: Hi Gail! No worries re numbers, I recall the chat. I'm not sure about Dreiser and women. I think that his perception of women as competent actors in their own right was advanced for his day. What always gets to me is the egocentrism of marriages/relationships told as if the Party of the Second Part is merely a prop. This is also present in many "women's novels" that I've read. It rankles equally. That said, point taken re a different story.

I read Dangerous Liasons back in the 1980s when I saw John Malkovich and Glenn Close embodying the leads. Mme de Merteuil's hissing at the Opera was, and is, my personal definition of humiliation. Close's slight stumble as she leaves her box, deeply shocked, is *perfect*.

I hope one day soon you'll give L'Assomoir a shot, too. I think it's called The Dram-Shop in English translation, though that's not quite what it means...more like The Dive Bar...and the new generation might just use the French title.

244karenmarie
Oct 30, 2017, 9:17am Top

Good morning, RD! I hope you're okay up there what with the Nasty Weather and all. Stay safe.

I read Dangerous Liaisons the within a year or so of the movies that came out one after the other - Dangerous Liaisons with John Malkovich and Glenn Close, and Valmont with Colin Firth and Annette Bening. DL was a better movie, but Meg Tilly's Madame de Tourvel was brilliant. I have DL on DVD... might be time to watch it again.

245richardderus
Edited: Oct 30, 2017, 12:56pm Top

>244 karenmarie: How-diddledy-do, Horrible! Last night and today have been notable for the 40+ mph winds. Rain has ceased, low pressure is farther offshore, I'm a lot less achy than yesterday and even-gasp!-vacuumed my room. My roommate comes back from rehab before too long, so it was time.

So the rain. The rain. Yes, that ol' rain made my plans to watch the Prime series Comrade Detective with a friend impossible. That's a big bummer since this is a treat I was really looking forward to and, as is ever the case during rain events here next to the sea, cable and internet went out! Maybe phone service did as well, I wouldn't know now that I've gone wireless. Which is amazing considering how violently I opposed the mere notion of such a thing only a few years ago.

I'm not sure I've mentioned my blog lately...I'll be blogging a whole passel of reviews from 24 November through 24 December under the rubric "Booksgiving." We should all be thankful that we live in a time of incredible, unprecedented abundance for readers. We may not personally care for whole huge swathes of the outpouring of written information and entertainment. We can agree to disagree on many, if not most, of the individual merits of any given book. After all every review is an opinion, no matter how informed or even learned it might be, and thy mote might yea verily be mine own beam, if you get my drift.

But here's the thing: In this tangled forest of choice booklovers quail before, how is a gift-giver to other readers to select even a *pool*of*candidates* to choose the recipients' gifts from among? I will endeavor to present you with some ideas in that glorious time leading up to our Solstice festival by every name it has, Yule—Noël—Christmas—Navidad et alii.

I'll post links here for the interested to follow.

246SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 30, 2017, 1:18pm Top

I love buying books for kids, but quail at the thought of buying for grownups. Enlighten me, o Sage of the North!

So, is that cocaine rehab or post-op rehab? Inquiring minds and all.

247richardderus
Oct 30, 2017, 1:26pm Top

>246 SomeGuyInVirginia: *snort* Oh wait...

Not anything as exciting as drug rehab. My poor roomie got here to The Crippled Arms after being hit from behind by a speeding car while he was walking home from the grocery store last year. His right leg is mangled. This is the third (?) surgery to try to restore weight-bearing ability to it, so he's in pretty intensive therapy. I'm expecting him to return after 6 weeks there, or in about two more weeks at the most.

248SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 30, 2017, 2:14pm Top

Oh man, I am so sorry. That's terrible, and things like it seems to be happening all too often these days. Even Stephen King got run over. I hope he gets better.

249richardderus
Oct 30, 2017, 2:20pm Top

>248 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks on his behalf, Larry. He's 73 so the effort expended is amortized over a relatively short time. Which means to me, at least, that it's all the more important to get it right!

What's fun about having Mark as my roomie is that he's interesting. His dad was the lead producer of The Misfits and teenaged Mark was around Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller a lot...his dad was a bigwig at Avon Books when they were an innovative young publisher...he comes from My Kind of People, in other words.

250richardderus
Oct 30, 2017, 2:34pm Top

Read #143 I'll be reviewing The Tradescants' Orchard more completely during Booksgiving. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous book, it's on sale from the University of Chicago Press, and it should be on any gift-giving list. Seriously!

Look at this lovely pear, with its fantasy bug appearing to chat with his lizard buddy:


What about the snacking snail enjoying her cherry while that somewhat louche grasshopper ogles her shell-whorl? Enjoying the show, you pervy butterfly?


These are delights you should not deny yourself.

251benitastrnad
Oct 30, 2017, 3:47pm Top

I saw the weather report this morning and thought of you on the coast. High waves? Or just rain and wind? I have the termite inspector coming to the house today. I am hoping that he won't say anything about the boxes of books piled along the outside walls.

252richardderus
Oct 30, 2017, 4:51pm Top

>251 benitastrnad: Hi Benita! The rain's blown away from us, but the wind...! I can't go outside because the wind is funneled down a canyon of tallish buildings and my feet and ankles hurt from the effort of plodding against the 40mph continuous stream.

I'd say that hope for silence is ill-founded, at least if my experience from Texas days is anything to go by. Good luck in any case! Hope it's relatively painless.

253bohemima
Oct 30, 2017, 6:25pm Top

Wow, that book is beautiful!

I’ve added the Zola to the WL. Have you read Teresa Raquin?

And yes to all remarks about the D.L. movies. Malkovich was incredible.

254richardderus
Oct 30, 2017, 7:29pm Top

>253 bohemima: I don't think I have read Thérèse Raquin...the plot's familiar, but it's basically the same plot as Double Indemnity, so that's no help. I should see if Bookmooch has a copy.

He was, wasn't he. And La Close. I was impressed with Michelle Pfeiffer as Mme de Tourvel, though I agree with Horrible that Meg Tilly's turn in the role was perfection.

255msf59
Oct 30, 2017, 8:03pm Top

>250 richardderus: Love the artwork, RD. Chilly and blustery here today, on my first day back to work. At least I stayed dry.

Not watching much of the WS but it sure seems like one helluva series.

256SomeGuyInVirginia
Oct 30, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Malkovich just weirds me out. Like, although he wouldn't do it again, yes, he's tried human flesh.

257richardderus
Oct 30, 2017, 10:07pm Top

>255 msf59: Not getting wet is a great way to avoid illness when it's this cold. Trying to keep your body warm while wet takes so much energy that the immune system throws up its hands and lets viruses have their way.

It's been amazing, though the stakes are fairly low for me as I'm just rote-rooting for the NL.

>256 SomeGuyInVirginia: How...vivid, to quote Auntie Mame from the eponymous book. That image would *seriously* weird me out!

258BekkaJo
Oct 31, 2017, 4:07am Top

Just dropping in to wave. Love the pics.

259richardderus
Oct 31, 2017, 4:22pm Top

>258 BekkaJo: Hi Bekka! Happy to see you here.

I decided to make Potiki last by reading something else for a while. The something-else is The Forever War, which I read long enough ago that all I recall is the coolness of the collapsar-portal planet-UNEF world Haldeman created. First shock: we start in 1997!! The Future was 20 blinkin' years ago!! Second shock: sexism and heteronormative codswallop in the first 18 pages. I had no faintest recollection of either, but the eyes looking out of my 1975 head ain't the ones looking out of my 2017 head.

260Berly
Nov 1, 2017, 12:00am Top

Nevermind books tonight...



Trick or Treat!

261msf59
Nov 1, 2017, 6:59am Top

Go Dodgers, eh. Another gem. I went to bed in the 7th but was hoping for a final showdown tonight and I got it.

262karenmarie
Nov 1, 2017, 8:00am Top

Good morning, RD! Happy Wednesday and thank you for mentioning BritBox on my thread, which we're too cheap to pay for, but which caused me to discover that Acorn TV is free with our Amazon Prime membership. *smooches*

263richardderus
Nov 1, 2017, 9:54am Top

>260 Berly: Hey Kimmers!

He'p yo'sef.

>261 msf59: This series is good baseball, there is no denying it; but I have little emotional investment in the teams so I find myself wandering away. A character flaw, rather like the one that causes me to wish 45 the very worst, the most thoroughgoing of humiliations, the hideous and disfiguring public, historical, and personal ruination of him, his family, his party, his associates, and all the supporters he conned, seduced, and dazzled with substanceless lying propaganda.

Yep. I'm the problem.

>262 karenmarie: Yay! Happy I could help even a bit, Horrible. Happy day! *smooch*

264SomeGuyInVirginia
Nov 1, 2017, 9:59am Top

Oh! I'll have one of the Whoppers!

265Berly
Nov 1, 2017, 10:08am Top

>263 richardderus: Oooohhhhh! I'll take a Smarties, and a Kit Kat, and I see a Nestle's Crunch, and Whoppers and a Tootsie Roll!! Did I mention how much I like you?!

: )

266richardderus
Nov 1, 2017, 10:19am Top

>264 SomeGuyInVirginia: Well, just the one, Larry, and only because it's All Souls' Day.


>265 Berly: The bowl's yours, my dear. Dive in!

267Berly
Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 10:27am Top

Smooch!!

268ChelleBearss
Nov 1, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Happy November 1st, Richard!

269richardderus
Nov 1, 2017, 1:34pm Top

>267 Berly: That's priceless, I love it!

>268 ChelleBearss: Oh hi Chelle! Yeup, totally agreed. *smooch* for dropping by

270Crazymamie
Nov 1, 2017, 1:38pm Top

>263 richardderus: Oh, I love those long skinny Tootsie Rolls! They are very hard to find down here. Isn't that positively tragic?

271richardderus
Nov 1, 2017, 1:52pm Top

272Crazymamie
Nov 1, 2017, 2:42pm Top

I know, right?!

273richardderus
Nov 1, 2017, 7:08pm Top

144 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Rating: 1.5* of five

Pearl Ruled (p91)

The main character attempts to have sex with a woman after discovering his female "true love" damned near dead and perhaps not going to survive the trip home.

Heteronormative and sexist. This mattered to me not at all when I read this in 1975 (?) so it might not matter to others. 2017 me can't do it anymore, doesn't wanna do it anymore, and can't return to a 20th-century mindset long enough to feel anything except "ew."

274msf59
Nov 1, 2017, 10:20pm Top

Watching game 7. Astros have a commanding lead but still plenty of game left. I rarely watch baseball postseason, unless it involves my Cubs, but this is a helluva series.

Hope the week is going well for you, RD.

275richardderus
Nov 1, 2017, 10:22pm Top

Blanked at the bottom of the fifth ain't the best way for the Series to trend vis a vis Dodgers, but the game's damned good!

Tomorrow a tooth extraction. Oh joy.

276richardderus
Nov 2, 2017, 12:02am Top

No getting around it, the Astros were the better team tonight and deserved the win they got. World Series champs 2017. "American League" they might be, for a few years now, but they're still the NL Colt 45s in my book.

277LovingLit
Nov 2, 2017, 2:47am Top

>250 richardderus: lovely illustrations! It reminds me of one I got my mum a few years back, I even ended up photocopying some of them to colour in. (they were pencil outline drawings)

>271 richardderus: LOL! Oops, I mean, there there guy from Dawson's Creek.

278astroamarsharma
Nov 2, 2017, 4:10am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

279msf59
Nov 2, 2017, 7:31am Top



^It appears the Dodgers ran out of gas, but they sure fought hard in this series, didn't they?

280karenmarie
Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 8:59am Top

Good morning, darling Richard!

Happy Thursday to you and many *smooches* from your own Horrible.

>263 richardderus: Whoppers, Tootsie Rolls, Butterfingers. Total yum, totally worth spending the calories on. My grandmother used to keep a milk glass candy jar full of either malted milk balls or lemon drops. I still love them both, but avoid lemon drops because I want to crunch them and shouldn't. I've got the candy jar packed away in the attic somewhere. Hmmm.

281sibyx
Nov 2, 2017, 9:58am Top

Catching up here. How marvelous you have the ocean nearby. Here, this is one of those days to get mesmerized by clouds forming on the mountainsides.

I'm skipping away without any book bullets! Heigh ho!

282Deern
Nov 2, 2017, 10:21am Top

>226 ronincats: I might want to read this! :)

>229 richardderus: OMG, that's breathtaking! That's exactly the landscape where I always thought I'd end up, the German Northsea Coast looks just like that on the islands. The Alps are beautiful of course, but I always preferred the ocean.

>263 richardderus: thanks, I'll have a twix! No trick-or-treaters in my new neighborhood, and I'm proud I managed to bring most of my mini mars and Lindt sweets to the office today for the candy bowl at reception and didn't eat all of them yesterday (holiday in IT). They were all gone before lunch break, I have lots of stressed colleagues.

Sorry, I've been away for a bit, seeing parents. Bad/wobbly internet is a surprisingly big issue in Germany as well outside tge bigger cities, they are second-to-last in the EU. Italy is hardly better.

Wishing you a lovely Thursday!

283jnwelch
Nov 2, 2017, 11:12am Top

Sweet Thursday, Richard.

Great to see your thread hopping again!

I'm with you on The Forever War; some lousy POVs don't age well.

Have you read Nnedi Okorafor? I suspect you'd like her two Binti books (they're shorties), and I just enjoyed her two Akata books. The latter are more African fantasy-oriented than sci-fi..

284Berly
Nov 2, 2017, 12:15pm Top

Happy



Sorry about the tooth. : (

285richardderus
Nov 2, 2017, 5:17pm Top

>277 LovingLit: They are spectacular, aren't they, Megan? I am ever so gruntled when I contemplate them.

James van der Beek will never live that meme down, poor man.

>279 msf59: The right team won, Mark, there's no getting away from it. The Dodgers didn't quite want it enough, or didn't quite have enough *oomph* or whatever. But it made for some good baseball watching, and that's always a win.

>280 karenmarie: Hey there Horrible! Why do I sense a sneak trip to the attic in your future...hmm...

286richardderus
Nov 2, 2017, 5:25pm Top

>281 sibyx: Hiya Lucy! Glad it's beautiful there. It was here too, though in a radically different way what with the sea breeze and the sunshine and the 70° to enjoy. Once I left the dentist's office at 3.15, that is.

>282 Deern: Nathalie! How lovely. I hope you'll join us for God Stalk in January.

Internet problems in the "First World" are pretty much inexcusable in my book. Pay your CEO $1 and your shareholders nothing until the speeds are blazing for all 350MM of us, you greedy bastards, I want to shout at the corp-o-rats.

I'm impressed that you didn't scarf down all the candy on your enforced day off. I'd've made a dent in it at least.

287richardderus
Nov 2, 2017, 5:33pm Top

>283 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I am a fan of Nnedi's ever since Who Fears Death days, and can't wait to see the TV show HBO is making of it. I'll get to the Binti series first, I suspect, and am anticipating it with hand-rubbing glee.

I was so disappointed by rereading Haldeman's famous story. I can't stop being old to re-experience the wow factor and I can't ignore, accept, gloss over, explain away the squirm-inducing sexism anymore. Badass women who still "serve" men's lust without batting an eyelash...yeah, no.

>284 Berly: Thanks, Berly! And thank you, dear. I have to go back next Friday to get more work done. I like this dentist, and I'll see his maxillofacial surgeon son on the 10th. Yippee.

288FAMeulstee
Nov 2, 2017, 5:51pm Top

>287 richardderus: I have never been able to say "Yippee" or something similair after a tooth extraction. I am happy you can :-)

289richardderus
Nov 2, 2017, 6:20pm Top

>288 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita, happy you're here...must confess, though, that particular "yippee" was of the ironic mood.

290FAMeulstee
Nov 2, 2017, 6:41pm Top

>289 richardderus: For a moment I thought you were Superman ;-)

291richardderus
Nov 2, 2017, 7:17pm Top

>290 FAMeulstee: heh, no not me, I've never been a superhero kinda guy. :-D

292PaulCranswick
Nov 2, 2017, 10:38pm Top

Nothing much worse than toothache, RD. Glad you have the thing out. My last experience was not a good one as they took two out in one sitting and struggled to get one of the buggers out. Left sharp little fragments that found their escape for a couple of weeks afterwards.

293richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 12:13am Top

>292 PaulCranswick: OW!! Horrifying. One of the problems for me is that I had several root canals some time ago and those teeth are now failing. One in particular cracked in three pieces and the edges are sharp, so it was time to get stuff done. I hated it, of course, and my jaw is sore, but my tongue is safe at last.

294richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 11:11am Top

Possibly the only thing I miss about living in Texas, where fall color comes from shrubs instead of trees, is the yaupon stand in my front yard on Grovedale Trail.


The crepe myrtles Mama planted had pink (of course!) flowers, but made up for it with lovely fall colors every November.


And that loveliest of shrubs, my personal favorite and the subject of the first piece of art I ever commissioned and that I possess to this good day, the prairie flameleaf sumac.


Good memories of a place I still know in my bones. I'm from Texas, New Yorker that I am, and I'll always be from there.

295drneutron
Nov 3, 2017, 12:49pm Top

Oh, those pics are beautiful! We're just starting to get some fall color here in Maryland - gonna head out tomorrow morning to see some sights to the west where the mountains are.

296Crazymamie
Nov 3, 2017, 12:52pm Top

>294 richardderus: GORGEOUS! And I did not know that crepe myrtles could do that - the ones in Georgia never keep their leaves long enough to achieve that glorious range of color.

297richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 1:10pm Top

>295 drneutron: Maryland's just enough further south from me that you're on a similar color schedule. Being surrounded by ocean, we are more southern in our climate than most of New York.

I love the colorful part of the season!

>296 Crazymamie: Yep, in cooler climes. Austin's about 700 feet above sea level thanks to the ancient Western Intercontinental Seaway, a shallow Jurassic sea, leaving *immense* coral reefs that have eroded into dramatic hills. The climate, while hot and humid, does funnel cold air from polar vortices into deep valleys. Color in the fall is a good side effect of this...frequent flash flooding is a not-so-good one.

298PaulCranswick
Nov 3, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>294 richardderus: Beautiful.

I don't know why you Murrikans call it fall as those auburn autumnal hues never cease to lift my spirits.

299richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 1:24pm Top

>298 PaulCranswick: Cause "fall" describes what happens, the defining quality, of the season and "autumn" is just a word that the Romans made up for the season.

My dear Wikipedia explains this practical, commonsensical usage as follows:
The alternative word fall for the season traces its origins to old Germanic languages. The exact derivation is unclear, with the Old English fiæll or feallan and the Old Norse fall all being possible candidates. However, these words all have the meaning "to fall from a height" and are clearly derived either from a common root or from each other. The term came to denote the season in 16th-century England, a contraction of Middle English expressions like "fall of the leaf" and "fall of the year".

During the 17th century, English emigration to the British colonies in North America was at its peak, and the new settlers took the English language with them. While the term fall gradually became obsolete in Britain, it became the more common term in North America.

The name backend, a once common name for the season in Northern England, has today been largely replaced by the name autumn.

I'm deeply grateful y'all Yorkies' name, "backend," didn't get normalized!

300PaulCranswick
Nov 3, 2017, 1:29pm Top

>299 richardderus: Fascinating. "Backend" must have been suggested by the rump left behind when all the good guys and gals with their vocabulary full of Old Norse left for the New World.

301richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 1:39pm Top

>300 PaulCranswick: Yes, the brain drain on Merrie Olde Englande was dramatic as we-all left, wasn't it? Such a pity. :)

I think 300's enough, so I've opened up a second thread. I'm still surprised that I needed one!

302bohemima
Nov 3, 2017, 7:06pm Top

*smooch*

303richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 7:09pm Top

>302 bohemima: Hi Gail! Mosey over to the new place too, k?

304ronincats
Nov 3, 2017, 9:17pm Top

Reese's peanut butter cups, please! And any dark chocolate hanging out.

305richardderus
Nov 3, 2017, 9:33pm Top

>304 ronincats: Heh, sorry Roni I ate every Reeseycup the second no one was looking but some silly soul left a bunch of Lindt dark chocolate fruit-flavored bars:


But no one seems to have eaten the truffles!

306ronincats
Nov 3, 2017, 10:01pm Top

I'll take them!!

307mckait
Nov 5, 2017, 7:06am Top

I have a fondness for Whoppers. Hi rd!

308richardderus
Nov 5, 2017, 9:32am Top

Hi Kath! Surprise surprise and happy Sunday.

309rocketjk
Nov 7, 2017, 1:26am Top

Hey, bro. Just checking in. Nice of you to come say hello on my Reading Globally thread. Come see me on the 50-Book Challenge group some time. In the meantime, I'll do my best to follow along with your progress here.

310richardderus
Nov 7, 2017, 7:38am Top

>309 rocketjk: Hi Jerry! I'll stumble over to the 50 thread soon. Happy to see you here.

This topic was continued by Richard's Thread for 2017.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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