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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirty-One

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirty.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirty-Two.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 8:24pm Top

^Late November on the route. What a difference two weeks make, eh?

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 6:16pm Top



Books Read So Far...


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


121) The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen 3.6 stars (audio)
122) Solar Bones by Mike McCormack 4.2 stars
123) Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett 4.3 stars AAC
124) Things to Do When You're Goth in the Country: Stories by Chavisa Woods 4.3 stars
125) Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum 4.2 stars (audio)
126) Sourdough: A Novel by Robin Sloan 3.7 stars (audio)
127) Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan 4.7 stars ALA
128) Rules of Civility by Amor Towles 4.2 stars (audio)
129) Lightning Men (The Darktown Series) by Thomas Mullen 4.3 stars (audio)
130) Commonwealth by Ann Patchett 4.8 stars AAC
131) Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado 4.4 stars
132) A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson 4.2 stars


133) Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur 4 stars (audio)
134) Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks 5 stars (audio/print)
135) Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green 4 stars GN
136) Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor 3.8 stars (audio)
137) Turtles All the Way Down by John Green 4.3 stars (audio)
138) One More Warbler: A Life with Birds by Victor Emanuel 4 stars
139) Half in Love: Stories by Maile Meloy 4.3 stars
140) Day In, Day Out by Héctor Aguilar Camín 4.2 stars (E)
141) Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King 3.7 stars (audio)
142) Any Other Name (Longmire) by Craig Johnson 4 stars (audio)
143) Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann 4.7 stars
144) You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie 4.3 stars (audio)
145) Human Acts: A Novel by Han Kang 4.4 stars


146) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 5 stars (audio)
147) Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami 3.7 stars
148) Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay 4.2 stars (audio)
149) Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich 4.3 stars (audio)
150) The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash 4.2 stars ALA

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 6:17pm Top

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

January- Octavia Butler Completed Kindred
February- Stewart O' Nan Completed Songs For the Missing, In the Walled City: Stories
March- William Styron Completed The Confessions of Nat Turner
April- Poetry Month Completed Incendiary Art, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, Scriptorium,
No Matter the Wreckage
May- Zora Neale Hurston Completed Dust Tracks on a Road
June- Sherman Alexie Completed The Toughest Indian in the World, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir
July- James McBride Completed The Good Lord Bird, The Color of Water
August- Patricia Highsmith Completed Strangers on a Train
September- Short Story Month Completed The Graybar Hotel: Stories, Jesus' Son: Stories, The Dark Dark: Stories
Pastoralia, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
October- Ann Patchett Completed Truth & Beauty, Commonwealth
November- Russell Banks Completed Cloudsplitter
December- Ernest Hemingway

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

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 6:17pm Top

Edited: Nov 27, 2017, 7:11pm Top

^I have been reading some tough and painful books lately, with Flower Moon and the Alexie memoir, so what do I start reading? Human Acts a novel about brutality and mass murder in South Korea. Plus, I have a couple of dark reads lined up after these. Just call me Mr. Sunshine!

I had mixed feelings about The Vegetarian, although I recognized her talent and felt there were some amazing moments. I think this will be a better fit for me. It is off to a very good start. I like that cover too.

Nov 27, 2017, 7:06pm Top

Is it safe?

>4 msf59: Where IS Batman when you need him, anyway?

Nov 27, 2017, 7:16pm Top

>4 msf59: - He needs to stop more than just tweeting. Like, how about speaking. How about breathing.

Bad Shelley. (or maybe not)

Happy new thread, Mark!

Nov 27, 2017, 7:28pm Top

Happy new thread, buddy.

Love the topper as I can now really imagine you on your route.

Nov 27, 2017, 7:31pm Top

>7 jessibud2: Amen. Good Shelley.

Happy new one, Mark! The topper is sad and tragic - but it made me laugh after your last topper. So true what a difference two weeks makes.

Nov 27, 2017, 8:09pm Top

>6 laytonwoman3rd: It is definitely safe, Linda and yes, we could use Batman around here, slapping folks around. A few in particular.

>7 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I agree with you on the speaking and breathing thing. LOL.

>8 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It is a dull topper but I wanted to show the contrast.

>9 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. I did not intend for the topper to be sad & tragic? Should I change it? Grins...

Nov 27, 2017, 8:16pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 27, 2017, 8:20pm Top

>11 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

Nov 27, 2017, 8:23pm Top

Drop on by the AAC General Discussion Thread and check out the 2018 list. Hope there is plenty for everyone to enjoy:


Nov 27, 2017, 8:27pm Top

Looks good to me!

Nov 27, 2017, 8:54pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark!

>4 msf59: Yes!

I'm glad to see you're reading the GN Park Bench. I've been curious about that one. Can't wait to hear.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:17pm Top

>14 drneutron: B.A.G.

>15 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I read Park Bench. It is a good little, dialogue-free GN. It really grows on you.

Nov 27, 2017, 9:38pm Top

>16 msf59: Good, thanks. Bumping it up the GN list.

Nov 27, 2017, 10:00pm Top

Sounds like you liked Killers of the Flower Moon. I need to move that one up higher in the pile.

Nov 27, 2017, 10:03pm Top

Mark--Happy new thread. Go Batman, go!! I really enjoyed The Vegetarian, but am nervous about Human Acts. Let me know how it goes.

Nov 27, 2017, 10:05pm Top

>17 jnwelch: It is light and quick, Joe. Worth taking a look at.

>18 lindapanzo: Flower Moon was excellent, Linda. Highly recommended. Working on a min-review.

Nov 27, 2017, 10:20pm Top

Happy new thread wishes to you, Mark!

>4 msf59: If only.....

Nov 27, 2017, 10:28pm Top

>19 Berly: Thanks, Kim. I will have to revisit The Vegetarian at some point. Many of my good pals really liked it. Human Acts is off to a very good start.

>21 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. BTW- Flower Moon was excellent. I am glad I was able to enjoy it in print. The photos were a big part of it. Thanks, again.

Nov 27, 2017, 10:43pm Top

Hi Mark, I read Fool's Crow many years ago but remember that I loved it. I may just have to hunt down a copy for a reread!

Nov 27, 2017, 10:46pm Top

>4 msf59: *BWAAAAHAAAAHAAAA* Oh oh that is priceless just too good


Happy new thread, unhappy route change...but it's the blink-and-it's-gone nature of beauty that makes it such fun.

Nov 27, 2017, 11:00pm Top

>22 msf59: Good, good, good! I knew it'd be right up your alley. Did you know they're going to do a movie? "They're" being Scorsese and DiCaprio (sp?). Could be good.

Nov 28, 2017, 1:37am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I see you lost no time in setting up a new one now that your internet is back. Yes to >4 msf59:! Where is the caped crusader when you need him?

Nov 28, 2017, 6:24am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread!

Nov 28, 2017, 6:38am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Gasp* Human Acts is a tough read especially around the holiday season. That, plus the other difficult books you've read, earns you the award.

Nov 28, 2017, 7:08am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

Nov 28, 2017, 7:25am Top

Morning Mark! I hope you enjoy the nice weather today.

I am going to try to start each day with a walk down to the lake before I head into the building - at least until it gets too icy.

Not getting much reading done lately. Need to get back to audio.

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 7:33am Top

>23 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Funny, I had not heard of James Welch, until recently but I am so glad several of my LT pals have enjoyed his books, particularly Fools Crow. Looking forward to it.

>24 richardderus: Thanks, RD! I knew you would enjoy the Batman meme and hooray for a shiny new modem. It is sitting on my left like a small black monolith.

>25 Copperskye: Flower Moon is terrific read, earning Grann high NNF honors. If they make a film, let's hope they do it justice.

>26 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. It is nice being back in the saddle again and yes, we can definitely use Batman, to deliver daily slaps.

Nov 28, 2017, 7:36am Top

>27 scaifea: Morning, Amber and thanks.

>28 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. And hooray for Tough Cookies. I really like the style of writing in Human Acts, along with the terrific translation.

>29 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry.

>30 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I am off today. I haven't decided yet, if I will go on a bird hike or not, but the weather is definitely cooperating. I am so glad you are trying to fit in a daily stroll. I wish I could join you.

Nov 28, 2017, 8:11am Top

Cooperative weather = bird hike. Don't waste birding weather this close to December!

Nov 28, 2017, 8:39am Top

>33 richardderus: Great point, RD. You may have swayed me...

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 8:47am Top

“This is who I am. This is who I have always been.
I am in pain.
I am always in pain.
But I always find a way to the story. And I always find my way home.”

“Doesn't an Indian tribe finally surrender to colonization by becoming as capitalistic as our conquerors? Isn't indigenous economic sovereignty one of the sneakiest damn oxymorons of all time?”

“Scholars talk about the endless cycle of poverty and racism and classism and crime. But I don't see it as a cycle, as a circle. I see it as a locked room filled with the people who share my DNA. This room has recently been set afire and there's only one escape hatch, ten feet off the ground. And I know I have to build a ladder out of the bones of my fallen family in order to climb to safety.”

-You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

^I am still making my way through this funny, yet heart-breaking memoir. Alexie pours out torrents of pain and anger. He even has some words to say about our Commander in Chief:

“But I am more afraid of the quieter forms of right-wing anger and sociopathy that have found power with Donald Trump’s election. I never directly feared for my life and career during a Republican presidency until Trump won the office. I have never felt so scared for the peace and safety of the entire world.”

Nov 28, 2017, 9:05am Top

Hi Mark! Happy new thread. I love the topper because fall and winter are my favorite seasons and a few bare trees are part of my seasonal happy place.

From your previous thread, I did something I've Never Done Before, and made my calls. Thanks, RD, for the link!

>4 msf59: Sure would be nice if he stopped, but he gets to his base and jerks the news media around, which is what appeals to his puerile sense of self.

Go on the bird hike and report back to us! Some of us (who, me?) are excessively lazy and will stay in today trying to avoid a sinus infection and do some Christmas prep. We can live vicariously through your exercise.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:23am Top

>35 msf59: - I have never felt so scared for the peace and safety of the entire world.”

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? Sigh.....it just doesn't end....

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 10:26am Top

>36 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen and thanks. Glad you like the topper. It is very dull compared to past toppers, but that was the point, right?

Glad you made those important calls and we appreciate RD for giving us the nudge. I think I will go on the hike, after all. It is cloudy out there but breezy and mild.

>37 jessibud2: I am glad Alexie included some Trump shots in the memoir. We are terrified but I can only imagine how Native Americans feel about it.

What did you think about Trump making an inappropriate jab at Elizabeth Warren yesterday during a Native American ceremony? What a classless jerk.

Nov 28, 2017, 10:48am Top

Keith Olbermann, whose "The Resistance" show I've been savoring all Trump long, had the best response to the Pocahontas jab: I quit. The party's over. He's an ex-president.


Nov 28, 2017, 11:38am Top

>38 msf59: >39 richardderus: I don't know why I am still surprised by him, but I couldn't believe t said that!! What an a**!!

Nov 28, 2017, 11:39am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Even without the leaves, I think it's still a gorgeous shot of the route.

Nov 28, 2017, 1:48pm Top

>39 richardderus: "He's an ex-president." That sure has a sweet sound to it, doesn't it. I have been a fan of Olberman for a long time. I should follow him more closely.

>40 Berly: That is putting it politely, Kimmers. Grins...or should I grimace?

>41 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky. Good to see you. Glad you like the topper. Maybe I should have taken it, on a sunnier day.

Nov 28, 2017, 1:55pm Top

^Eastern Bluebird

I did go for a solo hike in the woods. For just over an hour. Not much bird action but I did spot a pair of bluebirds. These hardy guys, must be wintering here. There were also cardinals, chickadees and red-bellied woodpeckers. It was also 60 degrees. You can't beat that, with December looming.

They were also doing a controlled burn in the forest preserve, where I hiked, which was pretty cool. They were burning off the undergrowth and the flames were licking the edge of the trail, in just one spot.

Now, the afternoon is reserved for the books. No distractions, no distractions, no dis...

Nov 28, 2017, 2:10pm Top

I'm always so envious of cardinals out east. The only colourful bird we get on this side of the country (and this far north) during the winter is blue jays.

Nov 28, 2017, 2:12pm Top


Nov 28, 2017, 2:33pm Top

Ha! Good afternoon, Mark. I’ll try not to be a distraction. :-)

I finished the good Depression and Other Magic Tricks, and I’m nearing the end of the Nordic noir Snowblind. An Ellen rec?

Nov 28, 2017, 5:15pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark.
Who is that handsome fellow at >1 msf59: reading under an umbrella?

Nov 28, 2017, 5:49pm Top

>44 MickyFine: Sorry, you don't get to see cardinals. They are such a welcome splash of color. We see plenty of blue jays too, but not at the feeders.

>45 richardderus: Thanks, RD. It worked. I still want to read 10-20 pages, before wrapping it up.

>46 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. You are not a distraction at all. I just stayed off the internet for a couple of hours. That usually works. How is Snowblind?

>47 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I have no idea who the guy under the umbrella is. LOL. I like the image though.

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 5:52pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Edited: Nov 28, 2017, 9:23pm Top

>38 msf59:, >39 richardderus:, >40 Berly: - I don't know why I am still shocked, either. But it is indeed endless. It seems he can't open his mouth without spewing verbal diarrhea. Every single time. Can he really be that moronic? That ignorant? Or is it deliberate? Geez.

There was a bit of a Twilight Zone moment last evening when I was watching Jeopardy. I know the shows are pre-taped so there is no way anyone could have known, but there was not one, but two answers last night made me claim, out loud to my tv: Holy cow!!. The answers were: *Pocohontas*, and *Al Franken*. The questions, of course, had nothing to do with *current events*, but still. Timing is everything.

And I saw yet another screw-up from him tonight on the news. It really is draining to have to hear this, day in and day out. Thankfully, I can just turn it off here and, in truth, it's only a small part of our Canadian news broadcasts. My heart goes out to you Americans.

I hope Keith Olbermann is right

Nov 28, 2017, 8:37pm Top

Snowblind was really good, Mark. I’m already looking forward to the next one with Ari Thor.

Nov 28, 2017, 8:40pm Top

>50 jessibud2: Olbermann has a habit of being right. Like bloody Cassandra...thank th goddesses.

Nov 28, 2017, 9:21pm Top

I'm suffering from outrage fatigue. I wish Mueller would just hurry up already.

Nov 29, 2017, 6:19am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Your walk sounds great. Sedentary folks like myself thank you for it. *smile*

I started watching Keith Olbermann's Resistance videos last year. His last one at #147 has seven reasons why he thinks drumpf will be out of office before the end of his term. Some are sooner than others, but this is the last Resistance: Keith Olbermann #147 Please, God, and all good things in this world and universe, I hope he's right!

Nov 29, 2017, 6:24am Top

Morning, Mark!

Nov 29, 2017, 6:32am Top

>50 jessibud2: That is quite a Twilight Zone moment, Shelley. LOL. And Go Keith Olbermann!

>51 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I will slap it on the list. I have not read any Scandi-Crime in a couple of years.

>52 richardderus: "Olbermann has a habit of being right." Muttering a silent prayer...

Nov 29, 2017, 6:34am Top

>53 Copperskye: "Outrage Fatigue"! What a perfect label, Joanne. I wonder what we will call it in year 3?

>54 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Thanks for the Resistance link. I will check it out tonight. I haven't seen much of Olberman since he left MSNBC.

"Please, God, and all good things in this world and universe, I hope he's right!" Amen, my friend.

>55 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 6:56am Top

^I watched Mudbound last night. It is currently running on Netflix. It is an excellent adaptation of the book, which I read and loved a few years ago. I highly recommend it to all my bookish pals. I thought living in or around sand was bad but mud is a very close second.

Nov 29, 2017, 7:36am Top

>58 msf59:.

I need to watch this soon. Hillary Jordan was one of the last authors we hosted at the bookshops before they closed, for the paperback of this book - such a nice person! I loved this book. Can't believe I read it about a decade ago! Time to revisit...

Nov 29, 2017, 7:47am Top

>59 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I wonder what Jordan will do next. I really liked both of her books.

Enjoy your walk. We need to take advantage of this continuing mild weather.

Nov 29, 2017, 8:21am Top

Good morning, Mark! There's a blue jay under one of the feeders this morning; this is the first time I've seen one around the feeders in some time.

Nov 29, 2017, 8:24am Top

I second Joe on Snowblind, Lone Ranger. And yes, that Pocahontas comment. 45 is so hilarious, as long as he does not do damage with North Korea etc etc. He is alternately hilarious and very scary. Such a nut job.

Nov 29, 2017, 8:34am Top

Good morning, Mark!

I can't remember - did you read Ann Leckie's Ancillary series? I'm reading her new one, Provenance, and it's off to a good start. Oh, and my GN (after a disappointing Boundless) is All's Faire in Middle School by the author of Roller Girl.

Nov 29, 2017, 9:49am Top

Morning, Mark! I third Snowblind, which I read because Deborah recommended it. Very well done.

Nov 29, 2017, 10:03am Top

>61 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Hooray on the blue jay. I do not see them at our feeders either.

>62 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. It looks like I better track down Snowblind.

On one of our rare disagreements, I find nothing hilarious about Trump. Dangerous, classless and gut-wrenching are more like it.

Nov 29, 2017, 11:11am Top

Plus the orange shitgibbon debases the US presidency. The empire is ending a decade sooner than predicted with that thing squatting in the Oval Office, throwing shit everywhere, and making loud, unpleasant noises at all who pass.

Nov 29, 2017, 11:14am Top

"I find nothing hilarious about Trump."

Especially his insulting Native American war heroes.

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 1:19pm Top

I just came in from a quick trip to the drug store post office. On the magazine stand, I saw a copy of the latest Forbes magazine. It had a photo of trump on the phone, with a headline: *Inside trump's Head*.

I had a sudden urge to be a caricaturist. I would draw a cartoon that would show a serious committee of experts, around a table upon which trump was lying (laying? I always get this wrong). Anyhow, I would show the head being sliced open and the speech bubble would reflect a gasp of shock as they revealed the contents of trump's head:

Nada. A hollow, empty shell. Period.

Actually, I don't think that would actually be a shock to anyone, would it?

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 11:30am Top

>63 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I did read the first Ancillary book and I liked it. Someday, I'll get back to them.
All's Faire sounds fun.

>64 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie. Well, this definitely confirms it- I am finding a copy of Snowblind.

>66 richardderus: Orange Shitgibbon? Now, that is freakin' hilarious.
Can you believe I still have friends and relatives that are still standing by this...this squatting thing? It is beyond my comprehension.

>67 katiekrug: Amen, KAK.

Nov 29, 2017, 12:31pm Top

Mark, I finished Lost Memory of Skin last night and I really loved it. I have a quibble or two but I thought it was a brave novel on a challenging subject. His ability to make a registered sex offender into a sympathetic character is rather remarkable.

Nov 29, 2017, 12:39pm Top

>69 msf59: If anyone I know is a Trump supporter, they're keeping quiet about it just now. Wisely so, may I add.

Nov 29, 2017, 2:53pm Top

I haven't watched MUDBOUND yet....I, too, loved the book

Nov 29, 2017, 5:37pm Top

>39 richardderus:, >54 karenmarie: - I just now watched the Olbermann link. Well said. And interesting to hear him mention trump's own sexual predatory behaviour (among all his other disgraceful behaviours). I have just been wondering, myself, why no one is coming out NOW with more dirt. Even the ones who spoke up before the election. Where are they now? Now is the time. His most recent crap (the retweeting of racists videos from UK), is bad enough. Maybe if enough dirt gets shovelled, it will eventually bury him, no?

Nov 29, 2017, 8:10pm Top

>72 TheWorstOffender: More Mudbound love. Yah! Did you read When She Woke, her follow-up? Another terrific read.

>73 jessibud2: All great points, Shelley. Watching the Olberman piece now.

Nov 29, 2017, 9:12pm Top

>58 msf59: - Great reminder I still need to get around to reading the book sitting on my booksleves. Then I can enjoy the movie.

Nov 29, 2017, 9:15pm Top

>75 lkernagh: Hi, Lori. Good to see you. And yes, I would definitely read the book first. Great excuse, right?

Edited: Nov 29, 2017, 9:17pm Top

^RD cracked me up earlier today, about the Orange Shitgibbon, so I had to share this one.

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 6:14am Top

>77 msf59: - EWWWWW! But then, everything about trump makes me want to say EEWWWWW ;-p

Nov 30, 2017, 5:08am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you. It's hard to believe it's the end of November. I'll be finishing up another book today, The Fireside Watergate, which is a combination of cracking me up and reflecting on how awful most of our recent Republican Presidents have been, up to and including the Orange Shitgibbon, as RD and you so elegantly put it.

I'm glad y'all are appreciating the Keith Olbermann link. One can only hope he's right.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:23am Top

Morning, Mark!

Nov 30, 2017, 6:34am Top

>78 jessibud2: Yes, definitely a EWWWWW, but a funny and spot-on EWWWWW!

>79 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. The Fireside Watergate sounds interesting. What's up next for you?

>80 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 6:43am Top

^I finished the Alexie memoir, (Boy, that was a tough one! No, weeping while carrying mail) and I am moving onto The Hate U Give, which several of my LT pals have strongly warbled about. I did listen to a few minutes of it and I like the narration.

I will also be wrapping up Human Acts today, which has been excellent.

Nov 30, 2017, 7:35am Top

>81 msf59: I just finished The Fireside Watergate. I'm thinking I'll start The Secret Teachings of Jesus - Four Gnostic Gospels by Marvin Meyer. I am shamelessly looking for some short books right now in order to hit my 100 book goal. This book is also in keeping with where I am in my year-long read of the Bible as Literature and an interesting companion book.

Nov 30, 2017, 7:41am Top

I need to find time for The Hate U Give soon. It sounds amazing.

Nov 30, 2017, 9:01am Top

Good morning, Mark! Although it is supposed to be mild today, it started out quite chilly. I hope your good weather continues. The birds seem to have finished their breakfast, so I'll have to head out to refill a couple feeders a little bit later.

Nov 30, 2017, 9:37am Top

>83 karenmarie: Thanks for the book update, Karen. Enjoy.

>84 scaifea: It is off to an excellent start, Amber. Hope you can track a copy down.

>85 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. It will hit 50 here with sunshine. No complaints at all.

Nov 30, 2017, 9:46am Top

Sweet Thursday, buddy.

I'm really happy you're reading The Hate U Give. Great book.

Good plan for The Last Ballad next week. Now I've got to find my copy.

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 11:00am Top

>87 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. The Hate U Give is off to a terrific start. I appreciate the nudge.

Nice day out here. The sunshine really helps.

Nov 30, 2017, 11:50am Top

Happy Thursday, Mark. Glad you have a nice day today. Carry on....

Nov 30, 2017, 12:58pm Top

Mark, you're in for such a treat with The Hate U Give that I am *quivering* with anticipation for your thoughts on it. I want people to drop what they're doing right now and absorb this amazing story.

Carry on.

(Heh...see what I did there?)

Nov 30, 2017, 5:48pm Top

>89 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. It was definitely a Sweet Thursday. Good weather. Good books.

>90 richardderus: I am loving The Hate U Give, RD. A good, strong narrative, without giving in to the usual YA tropes. I am glad I bookhorned it in.

And yes, I am definitively carrying on...Grins.

Nov 30, 2017, 5:52pm Top

I love the writings of Sherman Alexie. Thanks for sharing the poem.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:01pm Top

Glad you have been enjoying Human Acts. It is a tough read, but wow -- I finally understand why people think she is brilliant and creative. The Vegetarian was just inaccessible to me, alas. I hope more of her stuff is translated now, and reaches audiences here. I suspect that will happen...

Sherman Alexie is on my radar to read in the New Year.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:11pm Top

>92 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Those were just quotes from You Don't Have to Say You Love Me but there was plenty of poetry in the memoir too. Make sure, you are in the right frame of mind before tackling this book. It can be a very tough, gut-wrenching read.

>93 Chatterbox: Hi, Suzanne. Great to see you. I LOVED Human Acts and like you, The Vegetarian didn't quite work for me, although there were flashes of brilliance. I also think the translation of Human Acts was triumphant.

Like I mentioned to Linda- Read the Alexie memoir when you are emotionally stable. It is a rough ride at times. I have never heard a author narrator weep while delivering the text.

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 6:21pm Top

"A devotional anticipation is generated by the announcement of a new Haruki Murakami book. Readers wait for his work the way past generations lined up at record stores for new albums by the Beatles or Bob Dylan. There is a happily frenzied collective expectancy- the effect of cultural voice, the Murakami effect."

-Patti Smith, The New York Times Book Review

^Joe lent me his copy of Men Without Women several months ago. I am finally getting to his latest story collection. I read A Wild Sheep Chase in May and then I joined the group read for Kafka, so I was just trying to space him out a bit. I read the first story and I am quite enjoying it.

I know Joe liked this collection, but I am not sure I saw much LT activity on it. I may have to change that.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:40pm Top

I am back in Alabama after 5 wonderful days in the West. I went to Bozeman, MT for Thanksgiving. It is only the third time in 24 years that I have done something with family for Thanksgiving. I managed to get to Yellowstone again. This time my sister and I took a dip in the Boiling River. It is actually the Gardner River, but some of the hot springs from Mammoth Hot Springs flow directly into it, making the river warm enough that it doesn't freeze. It isn't Baden Baden but it was a delightful interlude.

My Bozeman, souvenir was Gray Ghost Murders by Keith McCafferty. He is a local Bozeman author who writes mysteries about a fly fishing guide name Sean Stranahan. I have the first book in the series but don't have any of the others. I thought it would be the perfect Bozeman take home item.

I almost didn't make it out there on Thanksgiving Day. I was late getting to the airport because the extended parking lot was full. Who knew that on the heaviest travel days of the year that the parking lot would be full? Certainly not I. I finally had to park in the expensive hourly parking lot, but because it was over three days I did get a discount. It worked out, and Delta got me on the next flight to Atlanta and from there I was not lally-gagging around any airports because I was behind schedule. It was a fun trip and I am glad I went.

Nov 30, 2017, 6:54pm Top

>92 Whisper1:. I think I will wait until I am healed from the most recent surgery before tackling the Sherman Alexie book. I will read it though. He is one incredible writer.

All good wishes for a wonderful holiday season. But, I imagine you are very busy delivering packages as the holiday grows near.

Much Love

Nov 30, 2017, 7:11pm Top

>96 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Welcome back. I LOVE that part of the country and I have been itching to get back to Yellowstone. What a nice holiday you must have had. I am sure you saw some snow too. I know they have received some in Montana.

You'll have to let us know about Gray Ghost Murders. Sounds fun.

>97 Whisper1: Waiting until you are physically and mentally ready, is a fine idea, Linda. I hope your reading has begun to pick up.

The parcels haven't been bad this week but it is coming. It is definitely is coming...

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 7:34pm Top

The Ernest Hemingway thread is up. Stop by and let us know what you will be reading: http://www.librarything.com/topic/276578

Edited: Nov 30, 2017, 9:03pm Top

Hi Mark, I am not happy wit the USPS at the moment. An important, though not very expensive, package was shown as delivered at 4:15. I noticed and a family member was at the mailbox by 4:15 and nothing. I got home and wandered around with a flashlight. Nothing. Grrrr.

The regular mail arrives at around 1-2 pm so this was an extra delivery.

Nov 30, 2017, 9:22pm Top

>100 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I am sure this gets very frustrating. I wonder if it was misdelivered to a different home. They'll be able to track it with GPS.

Let's hope it shows up.

Nov 30, 2017, 10:35pm Top

Happy newish thread, Mark. I loved Human Acts; it was a powerful novel. I thought the translation was awesome. It was one of my top reads last year.

Dec 1, 2017, 12:53am Top

>94 msf59: Hmm, if I wait until I'm emotionally stable, it may never happen. I'll pick something else by Sherman Alexie to read in the meantime.

>100 lindapanzo: That's horrible. I hate it when my regular mail guy is off. He is so good at his job, they yank him to train other people. Which is great for the USPS, presumably, but bad for me. And for Fergus the cat, who loves to trot to the front door to listen to Mike make fun of his podgy frame.

Dec 1, 2017, 3:46am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Friday the first of December to you!

>96 benitastrnad: and >98 msf59: I have a friend who lives in Belgrade, MT, just a blink or two from Bozeman, and I’ll be visiting her next year some time.

>100 lindapanzo: I love my postal carriers, regular and alternate. I don’t usually see them because our mailbox is with the rest of our little tiny 15-box subdivision’s lined up at the entrance to our cul-de-sac road. And, shhh! lately they’ve even been bringing boxes that don’t fit into the mailbox down to the house because it’s easier than lugging it back to the PO, leaving me a note, me going to get the box, them fetching the box, and then recording that I’ve picked up the box.

Dec 1, 2017, 6:27am Top

Morning, Mark!

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 6:34am Top

>102 BLBera: Happy Friday, Beth. Human Acts really caught me by surprise, with it's depth and emotional impact.

>103 Chatterbox: Great point, Suzanne. I want to track down a volume of Alexie's poetry next. That I have never done.

And hooray for Mike the mailman and his podgy frame!

>104 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It sounds like you have very conscientious mail-carriers. Sounds like me. We have curb-side delivery at our home and sometimes she is too lazy to walk up to the house and will cram a package into the mailbox, which I can barely yank out. Always pisses me off. She will get a Christmas tip reduction this year. Grins...

>105 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Dec 1, 2017, 6:40am Top

Good morning, Mark. I also love my regular carriers. For years, it was Raoul who was always smiling, friendly, chatty. After he was moved to another route, we got Diane and she is also terrific (and fast!). The substitutes, not so much. I have had to - more than once - leave notes asking them to please close the lid on my mailbox. I can't really understand how difficult this is but apparently, the reminders are necessary. Oh well. I love my snail mail so that's it! :-)

Dec 1, 2017, 6:55am Top

>107 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. More good cheer for mail-carriers. I leave notes and instructions for my replacements. They are not always followed. The one thing that really bugs me, is that I have some apartment buildings on my route and my replacement loves jamming the mail in the small slot, until it becomes an unmovable ball. I am surprised the customers haven't complained.

Dec 1, 2017, 6:57am Top

^Let's hope for a mild December, followed by an even milder January. High hopes, right?

I have been very impressed with The Hate U Give. May it continue.

Dec 1, 2017, 8:35am Top

Good morning, Mark!

The Hate U Give is impressive, isn't it? Good to see RD's a fan up there.

I'm glad you're enjoying the Murakami collection. It did seem quiet on LT about it, didn't it.

Happy Friday, buddy. In the 50s again - we'll take it!

Dec 1, 2017, 9:26am Top

Morning Mark! It's my husband's birthday today. Celebrating tomorrow though. Creaking off with my walker and hearing aid to see the family on Saturday. You can't rush kids to have babies . I am sure your time will come. I think I shocked my poor old parents insetting pregnant at the age of 23. They were 19 when they had me, so they were grandparents in their early 40's - like 43? My mom adapted quickly, but I think it took my dad a bit to take it all in, even if I'd been married 18 months. Of course I thought they were well on in age at 43 at that time. lol!

You'll enjoy The Last Ballad. I finished it a day or so ago.

Dec 1, 2017, 9:52am Top

Talked to the PO lady (I say PO because she was exasperated and so was I). With GPS, she said i was scanned in front of our mailbox. She described us geographically. I asked whether, just because it was scanned in front of our mailbox, it was actually delivered. Sounds like they'll check with the carrier.

The current one is very chatty and somewhat crabby. She'll gripe about the neighbors and we wonder how she ever gets her route done since she gabs so much. The previous one was great. We have an unusual last name and she once said, "do you know a woman with the same unusual last name who lives in Vegas?" Well, her sister was my aunt's next door neighbor in Vegas and our mail carrier knew her well. She retired and moved there but my aunt has since passed away.

Anyway, I fear that it was lost and I am not happy as I need this now, not later.

Dec 1, 2017, 11:02am Top

Good luck with continued mild weather, Mark. :)

Dec 1, 2017, 11:09am Top

>110 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Nice out here, once again. Yes, The Hate U Give continues to impress and I am looking forward to starting the second Murakami story.

>111 vancouverdeb: Happy Friday, Deb. You can't rush the kids to have kids but you can hope, right? My daughter will be 28, in March, so she is still young.

Dec 1, 2017, 2:55pm Top

Happy December, Mark! I hope you've been having a good Friday.

Dec 1, 2017, 5:02pm Top

Hmmmm.....Mudbound...I think I've had that one on the TBR pile for, like, always...

Dec 1, 2017, 5:08pm Top

>99 msf59: I read Hemmingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls last month, don't think I can fit one in this month, sorry.

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 5:33pm Top

>112 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Funny, I left a response to you, this morning but it never posted. Sighs...Did you get your package? If not, I hope it wasn't swiped by someone. Of course, this happens on occasion.

I see very few of my residential customers, to there isn't much chattiness time during the day and I am completely fine with that.

>113 BLBera: Happy Friday, Beth. It was another very nice day out but things are changing next week. Winter will be arriving.

>115 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. My work day went really well. Thanks.

>116 laytonwoman3rd: I highly recommend Mudbound, Linda. You will like it and then see the excellent film.

>117 FAMeulstee: Hey, Anita, there is no reason you can't count For Whom the Bell Tolls for this month's AAC. No penalty for advanced reading. Grins...

Dec 1, 2017, 7:27pm Top

Hi Mark, somehow, either the post office figured out where they put my Christmas card package, after all, or else a neighbor dropped them after a misdelivery off but they did, indeed arrive in our mailbox late morning, separate from regular mail delivery. So I'm happy.

The PO woman was trying to very helpful and explained how the GPS system works. Very cool. I had no idea.

Reading tonight but, sadly, a memorial tomorrow in Des Plaines. Before LT, this co-worker read upwards of 200 books a year (she had a really long commute) and often gave me book recommendations. She was a huge cozy fan, too. I hadn't seen her in 10 years but we'd often "talk" on FB about books and politics.

Dec 1, 2017, 8:03pm Top

>74 msf59:..I have When She Woke on one of my eReaders...my reading has crapped out for the past two years...but I have been keeping up with you

Dec 1, 2017, 8:46pm Top

>119 lindapanzo: Hooray for getting the package! You can now do your Christmas cards! Yah! I have seen how they track packages and us, (LOL) on the computer. Very cool, but kinda scary too.

>120 TheWorstOffender: Hi, Jude. Good to see you. I think you would like When She Woke. I hope you can get back on track with your reading.

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 8:56pm Top

^We took advantage of the continuing mild weather and attended this Illumination Event at the Morton Arboretum, this evening. They do quite a spectacular job, with the lights and the trees. Only 40 degrees. Next Friday, it will probably be in the 20s.

Dec 1, 2017, 8:58pm Top

>122 msf59: How gorgeous! Well, winter had to come sooner or later.

Dec 2, 2017, 6:10am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

>122 msf59: Beautiful. 20s? Oh, wait. That's why I live in the South, not the North! Today's high should be 50F here.

Dec 2, 2017, 6:30am Top

>123 richardderus: We had a nice November, RD, so no complaints. With my job, I don't mind the cold as much, it is just the snow and ice that is a pain in the ass.

>124 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, it looks like we will have below normal temps from mid-week on. Low-30s. I am just hoping the snow monster misses us.

Dec 2, 2017, 6:47am Top


Here is the article: https://bookriot.com/2017/12/01/the-hate-u-give-banned/

^See? Nothing ever changes. I will wrap up The Hate U Give today. It is such an excellent book. F Texas!

Dec 2, 2017, 6:59am Top

Hi Mark, happy Saturday!

Do you work saturday?

A friend of mine started as a post woman, this year. She likes the job, but it can be tough, like having to work a route you don't know, and having problems locating addresses. And today we have light frost, mist, rain, and chances of sleet and snow predicted. Bad day, I think.

Hope yours is better!

Dec 2, 2017, 7:07am Top

>127 EllaTim: Happy Saturday, Ella. I have a rotating day off, so I work most Saturdays. My least favorite part of this job, is dealing with the snow and ice, especially as I have gotten older. Good luck to your friend. Does she listen to books as she delivers her mail?

Dec 2, 2017, 7:39am Top

She likes to read, but I don't think she listens to books as she delivers the mail. She is very much a plant lover, as you are a birder, so she keeps her eyes open, and enjoys that part of being outdoors a lot.

Dec 2, 2017, 7:49am Top

>129 EllaTim: Being outdoors is the best thing about this job. I am still trying to learn my trees.

Dec 2, 2017, 10:39am Top

Have a great day, Mark. Our weather is about to change too, after today it is supposed to stop raining. We had 27 days of rain in November - see, it wasn't just me complaining!

Dec 2, 2017, 10:59am Top

>130 msf59: I would imagine that tree-knowledge is a huge boon to birding, since some birds favor certain trees and knowing which tree is which would be a great way to narrow the targets for spotting.

Happy weekend! SO glad you're liking The Hate U Give. An extraordinary book.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:03am Top

Hi, Mark. I'm too late to wish a happy new thread, but I can wish you a good weekend!

>122 msf59: Very pretty!

Dec 2, 2017, 11:09am Top

>131 Familyhistorian: 27 days? Yikes. I hope you are in for a nice long, dry spell, Meg. Enjoy your weekend.

>132 richardderus: I am very slowly learning the trees and which ones birds favor. Another nice way to pass the time, as I stroll through the streets. Lots of sunshine today.

>133 tymfos: Happy Saturday, Terri. Good to see you.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:18am Top

>134 msf59: Yes, here as well, positively sun-struck. It's a slice of heaven.

We'll pay for it soon enough. I detest ice and it's a-comin'.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:19am Top

Morning, Mark!

Dec 2, 2017, 11:40am Top

Morning, Mark! Another beaut out there.

I've started Practical Magic - her recent Rules of Magic follow-up has been getting positive buzz, and I've meant to read PM for eons. So far, good stuff.

Hope the day goes well. Sounds like you'll be wrapping up The Hate U Give. How stupid is Texas. Banning it? Really? Let's ban humanity while we're at it.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:43pm Top

Hi Mark. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed that you have a mild December and January. I often think of you having to trudge through snow and ice and I hope that whatever your current audio is, it is able to keep your spirits up!

I don't like to talk about Trump cause even saying his name makes me throw-up in my mouth a little, but he seems to be intent on showing the world what a classless jerk he really is. As you say, if we feel this hopeless dread now after one year, how are we going to feel after year three. I would love to see him removed from office ASAP!

On the happy side, both my current reads are excellent, and I believe you have already read them. As Good As Gone by Larry Watson and News of the World by Paulette Jiles. My only problem these days is finding time to read!

Dec 2, 2017, 4:07pm Top

>106 msf59: I hasten to add that this is FERGUS'S podgy frame. He has lost two pounds since June, but still resembles a butterball turkey on four spindly legs, rather than a cat. The idea is to laugh at him so that he'll lose weight. (Oh, and deprive him of Greenie treats...)

Dec 2, 2017, 6:02pm Top

>135 richardderus: "I detest ice and it's a-comin'." I am with you, RD. Ugh! Got away with just a light jacket today. Sweet!

>136 scaifea: Big Waves to Amber!

>137 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Honestly, I can't remember if I read Practical Magic or not but I am leaning toward not. Glad you are having a good time with it.

The Hate U give was a 5 star read. No question. It deserves any amount of warbling we can muster.

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 6:10pm Top

>138 DeltaQueen50: Happy Saturday, Judy. Well, I live in the Chicago area, so I have to expect some winter. I just hope it isn't a bad one. The snow and ice can wear me out.

I sure don't like to deface our LT oasis with Trump talk, but every once in awhile we have to vent a little, or we will all explode with fury and disgust.

As Good As Gone & News of the World? Great choices. Enjoy!

>139 Chatterbox: Go Fergus! Go Fergus! Easy on those Greenie treats, my furry pal.

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 6:36pm Top

^November was a strong reading month for me, which does not surprise me at all. It was a great month for NF too:
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History, One More Warbler, Killers of the Flower Moon and You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir, (another AAC treat). The last 2 were real heart-breakers too. (I still have to write up mini-reviews on both).
For the AAC, I read the excellent Cloudsplitter. John Green delivered once again, with Turtles All the Way Down. I snuck in a solid story collection, with Half in Love: Stories, along with a Longmire and closed out with another impressive novel, Human Acts.

My December is off to a stellar start too, as I wrapped up a 5 star read, with The Hate U Give and we are off and running, folks.

Dec 2, 2017, 7:50pm Top

Mark I am pleased to be the one to put up this your 9,000th post on your threads in 2017 mate.

Well done in joining me and Stasia and Amber in a fairly exclusive club. No-one has posted as consistently as you over the years and your thread is always a joy and a comfort to so many of us. You are a great guy, a good friend and I am proud to get to know you vide this wonderful group.

I have had one of my little spikes of activity in the group and narrowly got to the 9,000 before you but my waxes always tend to wane.

Have a great weekend, buddy.

Dec 2, 2017, 7:51pm Top

Stellar reading in November, Mark! Yay for more of the same lined up for December!

The Alexie is a tough listen. He is clearly fighting tears the last few chapters. It's understandable why he had to cancel the book tour part way through - he poured his whole soul into that book.

Thanks for the article about Texas banning The Hate You Give. I had no idea it was controversial. Unless, of course, you think white policeman are right in shooting black teenagers, no matter what the circumstances.

Whoa - Trump's Saturday morning tweet may have cooked his goose. It's going to need something big to distract people from that one. I can't bear to think of this man with the nuclear codes.

Dec 3, 2017, 3:03am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you.

drumpf is vileness and evil combined, but the Senate passing their awful tax plan is also vile and evil. I can feel my blood pressure going up even as I write this.

But, on to happier things. Congratulations on passing 9000 posts for the year!

Dec 3, 2017, 8:43am Top

Morning, Mark! Congrats on 9000!

Dec 3, 2017, 8:44am Top

>143 PaulCranswick: WOW! That is a hefty number, Paul and it looks like I am joining a very elite club. Congrats on creeping past me at the finish line. I am not surprised at all. And thanks for the kind words, my friend. You know, I feel the same about you and this very special group.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:48am Top

>147 msf59: No dear friend, the finish line is still some ways ahead.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:52am Top

>144 streamsong: Happy Sunday. Janet. I have had another great reading year and looking at the stacks of potentially good books on the TBR shelves, reflects, that this trend could continue into infinity. A bright future indeed.

I would love to see Alexie at an author event, one of these days. I did not hear about Trump's latest tweets. I will have to seek it out. It just never seems to end, right? What an abysmal human being.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 9:00am Top

>145 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. You are right, I am not sure what is worse- that vile party or that douche in charge. Let's hope they all pay for this, for years to come, but we need to make some very, deep changes in the system first. One democratic president will not be able to do it. Obama is living proof of that.

It looks to be another beauty here today. We are planning on getting the Christmas stuff out and set up, especially the outside lights.

>146 scaifea: Morning, Amber and thanks.

>148 PaulCranswick: Well, if I have to go neck to neck with someone, I have no problem, with it being you. Tip my coffee cup in your direction.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:04am Top

>150 msf59: You are the lucky one, Mark, because Hani always says that I have got no neck. :D

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 9:20am Top

>151 PaulCranswick: LOL. If I can keep my chin from drooping, I should be fine. Grins...

**Is anyone else having posting problems? This started yesterday. I tried posting on someone's thread and the duplicate post window comes up but it will not let the message post. It just happened on Paul's thread.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:24am Top

I am in a reading slump. So I picked up your A Guide to the Birds of East Africa - thank you! Then I was poking around the internet to find a link to the book and I found this bird book site. Did you know of it? http://www.birderslibrary.com/category/reviews/

Dec 3, 2017, 9:25am Top

>152 msf59: - Hi Mark. Yes, re the posting. I started a post in the bugs thread so it may be a good idea to post there, to let them know the issue continues:


BTW, congrats on your BIG number!

Dec 3, 2017, 9:29am Top

>153 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Boo to reading slumps. I hope Birds of East Africa pulls you out of it. It is such a delight. Were you able to get out for your walk, all of last week?

Thanks, for the bird link. I will check it out.

>154 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I will post over there. I even closed out my browser yesterday. Came back and it still would not let me post a message. Frustrating.

Dec 3, 2017, 9:46am Top

>155 msf59: Yes, I got down to the lake all 6 days! (The bonus was that Alina and I went to Bradford Beach yesterday in search of beach glass.) I also took a conservation hike with our Dir of Conservation, who shared his plans for stormwater management and a new water path. Very exciting stuff!

Dec 3, 2017, 10:06am Top

Yes mate I am struggling with the threads and posting and duplicates and all same as your goodself.

Dec 3, 2017, 10:15am Top

>156 alphaorder: Hooray for daily hikes. I know the weather is taking a nasty turn this week, so I hope it doesn't prevent you from continuing. I would sure like to go on a conservation walk.

>157 PaulCranswick: Fortunately, the only problem I had this morning, was my first post on your thread. Let's hope this issue gets resolved.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:26am Top

Oh the joys of a gloomy Sunday! Cloudy, so no pressure to go out and "enjoy" the sunshine...chilly enough to make it unappealing...guess I have to stay inside and read.

Boo hoo hoo

Dec 3, 2017, 11:35am Top

Morning, Mark!

>152 msf59: Yes! Exact same thing happened to me on Paul's thread, and getting out and coming back didn't cure it. Fingers crossed for this post.

Huzzah for The Hate U Give. Five stars! Let the warbling commence!

My chores are done for the time being, so I'm kicking back with some java and LT. Always a great combo. What a beautiful day out there! We'll enjoy it while it lasts.

BTW, the third in that The Girl from the Other Side GN series has come out, and I'm liking it so far.

As you know, I agree with you on the delightfulness of A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. I hope that works for Nancy.

I couldn't figure out what book you're reading now. I'm curious to hear. I've got to find The Last Ballad today.

Congrats on the 9000 posts! Are your brain and fingers tired? That's awesome.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 12:55pm Top

>159 richardderus: There, there, RD, you'll be okay. Actually, your plan for the day sounds perfect. We are enjoying another mild and sunny day here but lots of chores to attend t, through the afternoon.

>160 jnwelch: Happy Sunday, Joe. Let's hope these posting issues are corrected. I have only had the one problem earlier this morning.

You can always check out my current reads in Post #2. I am pretty good at keeping it updated. I am on the last story, of the Murakami collection. The very short title story.

I never did follow through on The Girl from the Other Side GN series. I need to request the 2nd one. Good luck finding The Last Ballad. I hope to start it today.

Dec 3, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>161 msf59: Thanks - after all this time, I didn't realize the usefulness of your "Current Reading" post!

My favorite story in the Murakami collection was "Kino". That's the one I could see him developing into a novel. But there were a lot of good ones in it.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 6:55pm Top

>160 jnwelch: - As I mentioned to Mark earlier, in>154 jessibud2: - the posting issues started for me yesterday (or was it the day before?). I posted in the bugs forum and I think that it would be helpful to the powers that be to know that the issues persist. The link is in that post back there. Just as an FYI. You Mark, and a few others I have read have all experienced this over the last day or so

Dec 3, 2017, 6:28pm Top

>162 jnwelch: Glad you discovered my Current Reads post. LOL. I think Kino ended up being my favorite story too, but it definitely took a strange turn, at the end. I liked the story Yesterday too. I just started The Last Ballad. Promising start...

>163 jessibud2: Thanks, for posting this, Shelley. I'll stop over on the thread and leave a comment.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 6:43pm Top

"The author of the celebrated bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events, that chronicles an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice..."

^I love Wiley Cash and I was lucky enough to meet him at Booktopia Asheville, a couple of years ago. I FINALLY started his latest novel, The Last Ballad, which I have had in my possession, (thanks and hugs, to Suzanne), for six, long months. But, better late than never, right?

If you have not read Cash yet, track down a copy of his debut, A Land More Kind and read it. You can thank me later.

Dec 3, 2017, 7:28pm Top

Hi Mark. Still feeling miserably sick and, if anything, even worse. I hate to go in for treatment for a cold but this cough won't let me sleep and I'm exhausted. Can't even focus on reading!!

Dec 3, 2017, 7:53pm Top

>166 lindapanzo: I am so sorry to hear you are sick, Linda. Bummer. Hopefully you are at least taking off tomorrow. I hope today is the worst of it.

Sending healing vibes.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:09pm Top

>167 msf59: I had off Fri and also this upcoming Mon and Tues. Plans to do Christmas shopping. Can't even sit up long enough to shop online.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:20pm Top

I am glad you have the next couple of days off. Hopefully, you'll feel better by Tuesday, to get a little shopping in.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 10:11pm Top

>165 msf59: Wiley Cash is going to be one of those authors whose next book can never come fast enough for me. I thought The Last Ballad was terrific.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:36pm Top

I was looking at The Last Ballad at the bookstore the other day. I am also a fan of Wiley Cash and will look forward to reading this one, probably some time in 2018.

Hi Mark!

Dec 4, 2017, 5:53am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Monday to you.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:15am Top

Ohh! You have actually met Wiley Cash! So cool. I am sure you and Joe will enjoy The Last Ballad. And going in blind! You are one bold dude! I like to read up on a lot of the books that I read so as to assure myself a decent read. Throwing caution to the wind, though, yes, Wiley Cash is an excellent writer. You and Joe are in good hands. Best wishes for the week going forward.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:17am Top

Hmm, and as Paul would say, Wiley Cash is hot American dish? Or is that what Paul says? I dunno, but he's a bit young for me anyway. I could be his mother, I suppose. More positive thoughts to me! lol ! I amuse myself very easily. But I am old.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:30am Top

Morning, Mark! Raining here this morning. Gah.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:33am Top

>170 laytonwoman3rd: Another Wiley Cash fan! He has many around these parts and deservedly so.

>171 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. You have read Cash's earlier stuff, right? If not, I also highly recommend doing that.

>172 karenmarie: Morning, Karen.

>173 vancouverdeb: Morning, Deb. I knew just enough about The Last Ballad to want to read it and normally when you are a big fan of a certain author, you will follow them anywhere.

And yes, I can attest to the fact, that he is a bit of a hunk. We even shared a beer together.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:57am Top

>175 scaifea: Morning, Amber. A bit of light rain here too, also very warm, but quite gusty too. I better enjoy the last mild day.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 7:02am Top

^I have been meaning to read Roxane Gay for a few years now. I have heard good things about this memoir and since I snagged Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body on audio, I thought I would start it next. I heard there are some difficult moments in this book but I hope it isn't as painful and raw, as the Alexie memoir.

Anyone here, a fan of Gay's work?

Dec 4, 2017, 7:17am Top

This book is amazing. Audio is the way to go, although it probably makes it more difficult, as you hear about her life in her voice. But you did that with the Alexie. Curious to hear what you think and how the two books relate. I read them close together and found similarities, including how poetic they were. I have more to say, but I will wait until you are done and we can have a conversation.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 7:33am Top

>178 msf59: - I read the Gay memoir a few months ago. Tough stuff but worth it, I think.

ETA: Wiley Cash is dreamy ;-)

Dec 4, 2017, 7:32am Top

Happy Monday, Mark! Soak up the moderate temp while you can, things are about to change. Brr

Dec 4, 2017, 9:05am Top

Good morning, Mark.

>178 msf59: Debbi is a Roxanne Gay fan, and I need to read her, too. Good for you for taking on Hunger. (The Hunger by Knut Hamsun is really good, too).

Hmm. Sounds encouraging that Katie in >180 katiekrug: thinks Wiley Cash is "dreamy". I'm sure she means in a literary, Murakami-like way, right?

Dec 4, 2017, 9:56am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope the week is off to a good start for you.

Dec 4, 2017, 10:04am Top

>182 jnwelch: - Totes.

Dec 4, 2017, 10:47am Top

Morning, Mark! Finally all caught up with you - I was 97 posts behind. YIKES!

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 11:53am Top

Well, it looks like I was definitely fooling myself, in thinking Hunger was going to be less raw and painful. Another heart-breaker and the horrific attack this woman suffers, as a young girl, is like a wicked gut-punch. What the hell is wrong with boys and their mannish counterparts?

BTW- Gay narrates herself too, quite beautifully, I must say.

Dec 4, 2017, 11:53am Top

I have a heavier workload today, so I will try to leave responses when I can...

Dec 4, 2017, 12:20pm Top

I have double pneumonia and need urgent care treatment asap. Glad I had this checked out.

Dec 4, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>4 msf59: I concur! Also, I'd add to that, "Stop EVERYTHING".

>1165 looks like a WL'er, to be sure. Any similarity to Larry Watson? (is that his name? I think I have the right guy, the covers remind me of each other)

Dec 4, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>188 lindapanzo: - Yikes, Linda! Take good care, and yes, good that it was checked!

Dec 4, 2017, 3:28pm Top

I am a fan of Gay. I've read both Bad Feminist and her short story collection, Difficult Women) and highly recommend both. I'm not sure if I'll tackle Hunger as I'm not sure I can take a more prolonged exploration of the ramifications of the attack she suffered and which is explored in both of her other titles.

Dec 4, 2017, 4:47pm Top

I have a copy of Practical Magic somewhere, but right now I am trying to get two books read for different real life events. Both of them are this weekend. How did that happen?

I did manage to finish the biography I was reading, and I got a memoir from Inter-Library Loan that I started last night. So much reading to do and so little time.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:10pm Top

>179 alphaorder: Thanks for chiming in on Hunger: A Memoir, Nancy. Another terrific memoir and much more stream-lined than the Alexie. I'll finish it up tomorrow.

>180 katiekrug: It is an excellent memoir, Katie. Have you read her other work? I definitely want to try her fiction.

>181 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Very mild out there today but quite gusty. It might be a 30 degree difference, when I walk the route tomorrow.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:16pm Top

>182 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I am not familiar with Knut Hamsun but his book Hunger also sounds interesting. Is this something you read and enjoyed in your past?

>183 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. My Monday went smoothly. Thanks. And the weather was quite mild too.

>185 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! You shouldn't disappear that long. Grins...

>188 lindapanzo: Oh NO!! I am so sorry to hear this, Linda. Glad you got in today and I hope you are resting easy. Sending more healing vibes.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 6:26pm Top

>189 LovingLit: He ended up going on another tweeting tangent over the weekend. This one directed at the FBI. Can't he just shut-up and do his damn job.

Not seeing a lot of comparison with Cash and Watson. Cash sets his stories in the American south, mainly North Carolina and Watson, of course writes about the American west and has a more spare style. Cash's latest is a period novel, based on an actual union-organizer.

>191 MickyFine: Hi, Micky. Thanks for chiming in on Gay. I want to read both of those and you know, I like short stories.

>192 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Thanks for the book update. I am enjoying The Last Ballad. I think this one might be your cuppa too.

Dec 4, 2017, 7:00pm Top

>195 msf59: - See, Mark, he thinks tweeting IS his job. And the more he does it, the more he seems (finally!) to be digging his own hole. One of these days, hopefully soon, someone is either going to push him in, or he will (preferably) just trip over his own tweets and fall in, face first. The signs are there.....but he just can't/won't/doesn't read them....

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 7:28pm Top

>196 jessibud2: And what is his crazy obsession with Hillary? She is the liar. She is the criminal. She should still be under investigation. Give it a freakin' rest, Gasbag.

I sure hope Mueller comes through. All crossables crossed.

Dec 4, 2017, 7:17pm Top

Hi Mark...congrats on the posting milestone...and pull out that heavy duty winter gear for tomorrow. It's gonna be a chilly one, and we're not used to it.

Dec 4, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>198 kac522: Hi, Kathy. Great to see you stop by. Yep, I am a professional, so I will be prepared for tomorrow and the rest of the week. As long as we don't get more than flurries, we should be fine.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 8:35pm Top

>194 msf59: Yeah, I was a big Hamsun fan in the past, especially his Hunger and Mysteries. If I remember correctly, he got a Nobel Prize for Growth of the Soil, but I found that much less interesting. He's got a couple of other pretty good ones, Victoria and Pan.

So, really good writer, and in my opinion, Hunger is his best. The caveat: as I later found out, late in life he was also a Nazi sympathizer. His books got burned in Norway, and he ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 9:58pm Top

>134 msf59: Two days with no rain so far, Mark. Yeah, when we complain about the rain here there really is a reason. LOL. I hope that your temps don't plunge too far tomorrow. >197 msf59: Hit the spot again!

Dec 4, 2017, 10:33pm Top

>200 jnwelch: Thanks, for the info on Hamsun, Joe. I will have to look into his work.

>201 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Yah, for no rain. It looks like we will be 30 degrees colder by Wednesday. Shivers...

Dec 5, 2017, 1:24am Top

Hiya Mark! Congratulations on breaking 9,000!! Well deserved buddy. : )

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 3:12am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope you have a lighter work load today if today's a work day and a wonderful day off if today's not a work day. How's that for covering all the bases?

Dec 5, 2017, 6:28am Top

>203 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers. I give all the credit to my wonderful visitors. Glad to see this place still going strong.

>204 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It should be a lighter work day but the wind has been howling all night and this weather is taking a turn. I am off tomorrow, so looking forward to that.

Dec 5, 2017, 6:30am Top

Morning, Mark!

Dec 5, 2017, 6:56am Top

>206 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Dec 5, 2017, 7:19am Top

>203 Berly: I say we get Mark to 10,000 by the end of the year! :)

Dec 5, 2017, 8:21am Top

Good morning, Mark! 9,000 posts on your threads is quite an achievement. Congrats.

Dec 5, 2017, 9:42am Top

Morning, Mark! Quite a windy night over here. Now that the rain and wind have moved out, what do we have?! COLD :(
Hope the load is a lighter one today, my friend.

Dec 5, 2017, 11:06am Top

Hey, buddy. Happy Tuesday.

I'm looking at The Last Ballad, so I'll definitely start it today. We're at a new cafe, the Star Lounge on Chicago Ave, the latest in our quest to find the best cafes for reading and writing. Debbi has to finish a story that she'll performing next week at Victory Gardens theater, as part of a "Liquor and Latkes" program. I've got a bunch of poetry with me.

As you may have seen, The Hate U Give won two Goodreads' Best Book awards (Debut Author and YA). Yes!!

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 11:14am Top

Cold and blustery out here. There is sunshine but it is not making a lick of difference. Hey, at least it isn't snowing.

>208 alphaorder: That is quite okay, Nancy. I am quite okay with 9000 plus. Lol.

>209 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry and thanks. You would think I was retired with those crazy numbers.

>210 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. They said it should reach forty today but it sure feels like the 20s.

Dec 5, 2017, 12:09pm Top

>211 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Hope you both are bundled up.

Hooray for finding a new cafe, for starting The Last Ballad and for The Hate U Give finding more recognition. Life is good.

Dec 5, 2017, 1:11pm Top

I've dipped into Bad Feminist and read some of the essays and think Gay is a very strong and thoughtful author. I've not read her cover to cover, and have deferred reading Hunger precisely because I think it might be too much for me. I know about the subject it covers, and dealing with PTSD, there's some stuff I just don't want to read. (Reading Sylvia Plath's journals was the first time I ever contemplated suicide -- admittedly, I was in my early 20s and in a particularly vulnerable place, but it reminded me of the power of a particular talented writer, and certain subject matters, in combination. I keep it on my shelves for precisely that reason -- unread.) I may read it but am more likely to read Bad Feminist and her stories, and follow along any discussion with you guys.

Meanwhile -- is The Hate U Give suitable fare for my niece, just turned 15 and young for her age? Seems aimed at a YA crowd, but I'm not sure. I'm getting her the YA steampunk book by Gail Carriger (not Soulless but the one aimed at younger readers) and Code Name Verity, but didn't know if this might make an interesting/topical third book.

>188 lindapanzo: Thank heavens you had that checked out, Linda!!! A reminder to us all not to assume that stuff is just a bad/stubborn cold...

Dec 5, 2017, 5:48pm Top

I reckon you can get to 10000 by Christmas. Just saying :)

I really want to read Roxanne Gay's last three books. I'll probably start with Bad Feminist, and go from there. Which reminds me that I can't recommend A Room of One's Own enough, and I think I might give a copy of that to my supervisor for Xmas!

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 6:44pm Top

>214 Chatterbox: Hi, Suzanne. Thanks for chiming in on Roxane Gay. I finished Hunger: A Memoir. Gay did a great job with the audio narration. I did not realize, that the bulk of the book would be on her weight issues and her self-loathing. It is a strong memoir but also raw and painful. It definitely, opened my eyes on how it must feel to be obese and navigate through a pretty cruel world.

I want to read her other work, both fiction and NF.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 6:49pm Top

>215 LovingLit: I know I maybe somewhat popular around here, Megan but let's not get silly. Grins...

This was my first book by Gay, (see my comments, to Suzanne, up above) but I want to read her other work and I would love to hear your thoughts on her. I think she would be a good fit for you.

Surprisingly, I am not familiar with A Room of One's Own, although I have read a couple of Woolf's books. You now have my attention.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 7:43pm Top

^After finishing Hunger: A Memoir, (another tough, raw listen) I decided to switch to Future Home of the Living God, which I am really enjoying, in the early going. I did not realize that Erdrich narrates the audiobook and is really doing a terrific job.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:46pm Top

Thank goodness for audiobooks. Ear reading saves lives.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 10:16pm Top

>219 richardderus: for me, ear reading saves eyes.

Hey Mark it was brutal out there today. Thought of you several times.

Dec 5, 2017, 10:36pm Top

>219 richardderus: This will be my only regret, when I retire, RD. Finding time and excuses to listen to audiobooks. They have been a God-Send.

>220 kac522: Hi, Kathy. Yep, that wind was wicked today, despite the sunshine. I am off tomorrow. Full day to recover.

Dec 5, 2017, 10:55pm Top

>221 msf59: You may be one of the few people whose reading decreases in retirement, Mark. Mine has increased so far. I wonder what it will be next year with a whole year of retirement?

Dec 6, 2017, 6:27am Top

Morning, Mark!

My best friend starts his job with the postal service this week. He's a big reader, but hasn't ever jumped on the audiobook bandwagon, so I've been trying to convince him that he now has the perfect job for listening to audiobooks all day!

Speaking of audiobooks and Erdrich, I've just checked out The Round House on audio from the library, so I'll be getting to that one soon - have you read it (I'm almost positive that you have)?

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 7:12am Top

>222 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I am sure my reading will be decreasing when I retire. Just a sad fact but I'll have to try finding reasons, to listen to audios and, of course, step up my print book reading. It will, not all be lost.

>223 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Congrats to your friend. Where will he be working and will he be carrying mail?

Yes, I read and loved The Round House. A favorite Erdrich. I think I listened to the audio but I will have to double-check. Enjoy.

**It looks like I read it, in print.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 7:33am Top

>224 msf59: He's driving a truck like yours in an Indianapolis suburb.

I'm looking forward to the Erdrich - it'll be my first of hers and I've heard such good things about her here.

Dec 6, 2017, 7:41am Top

>225 scaifea: You'll have to let me know, if he has a walking route or a curb-side route. Just postal curiosity.

I am sure you will love Erdrich and she is easily one of the most prolific authors out there, so there are so many to choose from.

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 6:31am Top

Good morning Mark, and happy day off!

When I retired I went from 20% audiobooks because of my commute to less than 10% this year. 30-minute round trip jaunts into town maybe 2-3 times a week are no match for 1 1/2 hours per day 5 days per week.

I've put The Last Ballad on my wish list.

Dec 6, 2017, 8:30am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Kudos for making your way through the raw Hunger. I'm a ways into The Last Ballad now and liking it. I also started the next-to-last Poldark book, The Twisted Sword.

I really liked the third Girl from the Other Side GN. Now I'm ready for the fourth, which will take some time, I'm sure.

I'm another one who liked The Round House a lot. I want to read more Erdrich. I'll be following your thoughts on this new one.

Dec 6, 2017, 9:25am Top

Didn't get any reading in last night, but hope to finish BIRDS tonight. Curious to see how things work out!

Decided to get back to audio books on my commute. Started Joyce Maynard's memoir this am. I am liking it!

Dec 6, 2017, 9:32am Top

Good morning, Mark! Enjoy the day off!

Dec 6, 2017, 9:46am Top

Morning, Mark! That is some heavy holiday reading you have been doing lately - I need lighter stuff this time of year. Hoping that Wednesday is kind to you.

Dec 6, 2017, 9:52am Top

>227 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I will probably drop to below 10% on my audios, after retiring. It looks like I will just have to get very creative. On my various walks, I prefer the quiet and nature sounds.

>228 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Hunger was a very tough listen but it gave me a true insight into what morbidly (terrible word) obese people deal with, in their everyday lives. It is a torturous existence.

And hooray for The Last Ballad, the GN and The Round House.

Dec 6, 2017, 9:57am Top

>229 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I loved the photo you texted me, from your walk earlier. You should share it over here, when you get the chance. And hooray, for getting back into audiobooks, on your commute. Brilliant idea.

>230 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. If I didn't have chores and errands to run, I would squeeze in a walk, but it doesn't look promising.

>231 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Yes, my reading for the past 2 weeks, has been pretty tough, but at least all the books, were worthy reads. Even, The Last Ballad has it's tragic moments. I think I will go much lighter, for the rest of the month. That is the plan, anyway...grins.

Dec 6, 2017, 12:43pm Top

Happy St. Nick, Mark. Glad you're indoors!

Dec 6, 2017, 1:16pm Top

Hi Mark. You want light? I have a terrific suggestion for you. And on audio, it's the best, very short (only a couple of discs) but absolutely hilarious and priceless. I nearly drove off the road a couple of times, listening to it and laughing.

It's Wishin' and Hopin' written and read by Wally Lamb (whose other books are not at all *light*). Not all authors are good readers but he was perfect and so good. Trust me on this one. You can thank me later. :-)

Dec 6, 2017, 2:09pm Top

>235 jessibud2: - This is good to hear, Shelley, as I have that one saved on audio!

Dec 6, 2017, 4:14pm Top

>234 richardderus: Hooray, for St. Nick. I have been out running errands. It is cold out but not bad and the sun is shining. Back in now and back to the books.

>235 jessibud2: Thanks for the light, Shelley. I could use it about now. I will seek out the Lamb audio. I have not read him, in a number of years, although I am a big fan of his earlier novels.

Dec 6, 2017, 4:21pm Top

>235 jessibud2: I snagged Wishin' and Hopin'. See? The Warbler does not mess around...saunters off into the sunset.

Dec 6, 2017, 4:46pm Top

>236 katiekrug:, >238 msf59: - I look forward to your impressions, Mark and Katie. Enjoy. Lamb does great *accents*...:-)

Dec 6, 2017, 8:01pm Top

>239 jessibud2: Sounds perfect, Shelley. Plus, I have A Christmas Memory lined up for the holidays too. Another one, I have not read.

Dec 7, 2017, 2:52am Top

Enjoy your lighter reads heading into the Christmas season, Mark. I am still trying to finish off challenges but that lighter stuff creeps in especially when I keep trying to figure out how many pages it will take me to get to the end in some of those weightier tomes.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:21am Top

Morning, Mark! Oh, goodness, you're gonna LOVE A Christmas Memory. So. Good.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:33am Top

>241 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Looking forward to some lighter fare. Future Home of the Living God has some dark elements, in the early going but I would still consider it much lighter than what I was reading. Hemingway is coming up soon too.

>242 scaifea: Morning, Amber. I can't believe I still have not read A Christmas Memory. I know many of my LT pals have warbled about it over the years.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:36am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you.

We had sleet for about 2 hours last evening. Didn't stick, but sleet? It was about 41F out. Today our high will be about 51F, significantly colder than earlier in the week, but compared to your 22F now and high today of 26F, we'll be basking.

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 6:42am Top

^I woke up to see our first snowfall of the season. Fortunately, it was a light snow. This is a good thing. Gotta keep the Old Warbler happy.

And speaking of happy- I am really enjoying both my current reads too: The Last Ballad & Future Home of the Living God.

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 6:43am Top

>244 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Sleet? Nooooo!! At least it won't stick around. I am hoping for the same thing, with our light snow. it's pretty to look at but let's move on. Grins...

Dec 7, 2017, 8:23am Top

>245 msf59: A nice scene, Mark, but cold. They are seeing snowy owls at the Forsythe NWR, so we'll probably make a try for them on Saturday, especially as we were already planning on heading that way.

Dec 7, 2017, 8:29am Top

Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday! Joining Amber in singing the praises of A Christmas Memory - LOVE that one, and I have read it many times. I just got down my copy yesterday, and I plan on reading it today.

Dec 7, 2017, 9:01am Top

Morning, Mark! It's clear and 12 degrees here. Brrrrrrrrrrr BUT the good news - only a skiff of snow on the ground and in two weeks the days start getting longer!

Bullet for me with Wishin and Hopin. I've read two of his early novels, but nothing else for years.

I'm reading another excellent non-fiction: Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif. Can a memoir be NNF? I'm learning a bit about Saudi history and its path to extremism. Excellent, fairly quick read.

Dec 7, 2017, 9:03am Top

I'm going to start the audio of Wishin' and Hopin' today!

Hiya, Mark - stay warm out there!

Dec 7, 2017, 9:47am Top

Only 21 degrees and breezy, as I start the route. I am bundled...

Dec 7, 2017, 9:51am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark!

I'm off to work soon, and it'll be a chance to catch up with folks a bit. One nice part of my new status - I'll leave after the rush hour.

I hope to read some more of The Last Ballad on the train; I didn't get much further in it yesterday. I did love that scene with Ella telling her story and singing her song at the union rally.

Park Bench has been good so far; intriguing premise.

Stay warm and have a good one today, my friend.

Dec 7, 2017, 10:56am Top

>245 msf59: THere's a possibility of a bit of snow for us this weekend. It'll be a light one, if any, but I'm up for a bit of it!

Dec 7, 2017, 11:18am Top

>247 harrygbutler: Morning Harry. Hooray for snowys. They are being spotted along the lakefront here. I will have to venture down there, one of these frigid days. I would love to see one. Good luck, yourself.

>248 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie. Lots of love for the Christmas Memory. Hope to get to it soon.

Dec 7, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>249 streamsong: Morning, Janet. That is cold. Keep bundled. Glad we got you with the Lamb novella. I am looking forward to it.

I heard about Daring to Drive from somewhere. Glad you are enjoying it.

>250 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. I will watch for your thoughts on the Lamb novella. I hope to start it next week.

Dec 7, 2017, 12:03pm Top

Horrifyingly enough, my upcoming weekend will be nothing but "wintry mix" with highs of no more than 41° and that's awful enough for me. 22° is waaay too cold for comfort.

And I don't *have* to go outside unless I damned well please! You poor guy. *there there, pat pat*

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 1:07pm Top

Although I haven't been reading Books, for the past forever...i do have subscriptions to World Literature Today and The Oxford American...the touchstones don't actually touch the magazines themselves, but they are worth seeking out, and worth every penny.......Hey La, Mark!



Dec 7, 2017, 2:04pm Top

Today's "Atlas Obscura" (free, online) features "Poet and Parrot Painter" Edward Lear!

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 5:58pm Top

Hi, Mark - I've been catching up on threads this week, but haven't posted yet on yours, though I've been following it. Thought I'd better delurk before you start a new one. :)

Yes, it's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter - everywhere you go. At least I don't have to be out in it, and no snow in the forecast here. I've been keeping the last of the garden plants alive under a plastic tarp during the day covered by blankets during the night to keep them safe from the 30F nighttime temps. I forgot to cover them with blankets last night, and when I woke this morning I saw it was 11F out there. The Weather Channel said it felt like 4F. Yikes! I'm afraid to look.

Anyway, glad you're enjoying your reading (audiobooks saves eyes AND lives). Stay warm!

Dec 7, 2017, 6:00pm Top

>252 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I hope your work stint went smoothly. It was a cold one out there, so I am glad you were inside. I am 275 pages into The Last Ballad. Quite impressed on how ambitious, Cash takes this story. I liked the Ella D.C. moment too. A turning point in her life.

I hope you are enjoying Park Bench. It really grew on me.

>253 drneutron: No problem, with a bit of snow, Jim. This we can handle, plus it can be pretty to look at.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:07pm Top

>256 richardderus: This is the job I decided to do, so I can't really gripe about it, plus I have been doing it over 30 years, but the weather extremes are my least favorite part of it. Retirement is on the horizon. It will keep me moving forward.

>257 TheWorstOffender: Thanks, for the links. I do a crazy amount of reading but I do very little magazine reading. I will have to take a peek at these, though.

>258 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I will check it out. I hope you are still enjoying The Last Ballad. I am 275 pages in.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:31pm Top

>259 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. I miss seeing you around, my friend. I hope you are are back on track with your reading, after a busy November of writing.

It sounds like you experiencing some frigid temps. Yikes! Keep warm.

Dec 7, 2017, 6:43pm Top

You're going to love A Christmas Memory!

I have The Last Ballad and thought I'd read it this month, but maybe next.... I'm reading The Mistletoe Murder to start my Christmas reads.

There's more cold weather heading your way, I'm afraid. It was so warm here for so long, it's quite a shock to the system. No snow though. :(

Dec 7, 2017, 6:44pm Top

>262 msf59: Yeah, not having much luck on the reading front. I started Artemis, Andy Weir's follow up to The Martian (not a sequel), but put it down and haven't gotten back to it yet. So far, it isn't grabbing me like The Martian did. I'm also about halfway thru Night School, a Jack Reacher that also isn't grabbing me. *sigh* I did finish Blue Monday, the first in the Nicci French series recommended by Joanne, tho parts of it annoyed me. Still, I enjoyed it enough that I'm listening to Tuesday's Gone, the second in the series, now.

I think I am just being a grouchy reader.

Dec 7, 2017, 7:07pm Top

>263 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Great to see you. I know many of my LT pals have warbled about A Christmas Memory, over the years. I am glad I'll finally get to it this month.

I am sure you will really enjoy The Last Ballad. Cash has quickly become a very dependable author.

>264 Storeetllr: Thanks, for the Grouchy Reader update, Mary. LOL. I am very lucky to be a completely untemperamental reader. I just keep chugging along, like an old freight train.

I have heard no LT activity on Artemis, although I have the book saved on audio. Let me know if you get back into it.

Dec 7, 2017, 8:05pm Top

-The New Yorker

Dec 7, 2017, 8:10pm Top

>266 msf59: - Shouldn't that be *Donald* instead of Kevin.... just saying... lol

Dec 7, 2017, 8:35pm Top

I have lots of irons in the reading fire right now. I started Climbing the Mango Trees, a memoir by Madhur Jaffrey. She is my celebrity chef read for the year. I am reading Murder in the Marais by Cara Black this is the first in the Amiee LeDuc series. At work I started Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To by D. C. Pierson, and I am listening to Human Division by John Scalzi as my commute book. I am enjoying all of them, but hope to also finish up some books that I have read most of - but just can't seem to get them finished. That would be Goldfinch and Burial Rites.

I listen to books in my car all the time. It is amazing how much I get listened to while just driving around town. I ordered my book for my drive back to Kansas. I had to get it from Inter-Library Loan. It will be Physik by Angie Sage. It is a children's book but Jim Dale narrates the series so it is great fun to listen to while driving on down the road. My local library didn't have it so I put in a request through ILL. I hope it gets here before I leave on December 16. My other book for the long drive is going to be Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. That one is about 15 hours of listening, so it should get me all the way back from Kansas to Alabama.

Dec 7, 2017, 8:57pm Top

I listened to The Hour I First Believed a couple of years ago. He is a great writer but it's a sad book

Dec 7, 2017, 10:23pm Top

>267 jessibud2: Great point, Shelley.

>268 benitastrnad: Thanks for the reading update, Benita. I hope you can finish up The Goldfinch & Burial Rites. I am a big fan of both. I also really enjoyed The Hour I First Believed. A good companion piece to Columbine.

>269 jessibud2: I think that was the last Lamb I read, Shelley. Fortunately, I can get back to him with Wishin' and Hopin'.

Dec 8, 2017, 4:18am Top

Good morning, Mark. Happy Friday to you.

>266 msf59: Yup. We're in cloud cuckoo land with the drumpf. Dangerous cloud cuckoo land.

Dec 8, 2017, 6:26am Top

Morning, Mark! I think I may finish up Native Son today. Wow, but that's powerful stuff.

I keep meaning to get round to Artemis, too, since I loved The Martian so much. Soon, hopefully.

Dec 8, 2017, 6:58am Top

More internet issues. This maybe a security problem. That said, I can't connect on my laptop. Sighs...

>271 karenmarie: Morning Karen. Happy Friday. Boo to Drumph!

>272 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Glad you also found Native Son powerful.
I know it has its detractors but it worked for me.

Dec 8, 2017, 8:01am Top

Morning Mark! 19 Brrgrees! Keep warm out there, my friend.

Dec 8, 2017, 8:42am Top

Good morning, Mark!

I did enjoy Park Bench. As I mentioned over on my thread, I ended up really liking it, and I can see why it won awards in France. I did wonder how many words were translated to English. For example, was the older woman reading Barbara Cartland in the original, or some French equivalent? Maybe I'll come across the French edition some day.

Stay as warm as you can today, buddy.

Dec 8, 2017, 9:15am Top

DAMN that security issue! Evil, nasty vibes on whatever the cause of your issues eventually proves to be.

Stay warm, strong, and happy ear reading today.

Dec 8, 2017, 1:05pm Top

Another bad modem. Can you freakin' believe It? Fortunately, my daughter was home to make the calls. They will deliver another modem tomorrow afternoon. WTH?

I'll be back later, for a limited time. Sighs...

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 3:31pm Top

Ah, too bad, Mark. Kudos to Bree for lending a hand.

I just finished The Last Ballad. Good one, buddy. Some things have gotten better, even if we have a long way to go.

Dec 8, 2017, 4:44pm Top

Total bummer, Mark - so frustrating. Hoping the new modem shows up on time and actually works. Missing you, my friend. Hang in there.

Dec 8, 2017, 6:28pm Top

I miss my laptop. Wah!! This really sucks.

>274 Carmenere: Happy Friday, Lynda. It was chilly today but not bad.

>275 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Glad you enjoyed Park Bench. I would like to try more of his work.

Dec 8, 2017, 6:34pm Top

>276 richardderus: Hi, RD. Fortunately, it was not a virus or security issue, just another shitty modem and this one was only a few weeks old. Grrrr...

>278 jnwelch: It is a real bummer, Joe. Hope it will all be fixed, when I get home from work tomorrow.

Wow! You blew right past me on The Last Ballad. I have 50 pages left. I am also really enjoying it.

Dec 9, 2017, 6:43am Top

>279 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Sorry, I missed you yesterday. I have only been able to post on my cell and it sucks up more time.
Hope to be up and running later today.

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 6:50am Top

Woke up to another coating of snow this morning. I can handle that.

I finished and loved Future Home of the Living God and I should wrap up The Last Ballad later on today, so books are being consumed.

Dec 9, 2017, 7:23am Top

Hey there Mark! When insomnia strikes I hit the threads. Snow you say? We've had fog , but it is currently 46 F outside. Not too bad, but that damp gets into your bones. Especially old bones like mine. Say, in the newspaper yesterday , there was an article about the many " Barred Owls" in our are and how they even dive bomb people! I think previously I have mixed up Barred Owls with " Barn Owls". I'm not too bright. And they eat mice and rats! Some of rats are big. Ugh! But good for the owls!


Dec 9, 2017, 7:50am Top

>284 vancouverdeb: Morning, Deb. Sorry, to hear about the insomnia. We have barred owls here. I have not seen one yet but I have not heard of them dive-bombing people in our area. I did hear about this happening in Salem, OR, in a local park there.

I am just about finished with The Last Ballad. Another impressive book by Mr. Cash.

Dec 9, 2017, 7:52am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you! I hope you are modemed-up again. Connectivity is now necessary, not a luxury, isn't it?

We had a bit of snow yesterday afternoon - didn't stick to the concrete, but there was definitely a coating of the white stuff at our house.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:08am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Did you see the FB ad for the Cornell Bird a Day calendars? Besides the daily bird info and photo, there is one of those smart phone scanner things on each page so you can also hear the bird's call. I think that is incredibly cool!

Here's the ad for the Eastern and Central version: https://cornelllabpublishinggroup.com/product/bird-a-day-eastern-central-calendar/?v=7516fd43adaa

It's also available on Ammy for a few dollars less and free shipping.

I see that the Cornell site is also offering free classes on various bird topics. I may have to check those out in January.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:25am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm sorry about the modem woes!

Dec 9, 2017, 9:44am Top

>286 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. They are supposed to deliver the new modem today. Hopefully it will be up and running, once I get home from work.

At least, a little snow to look at and enjoy. I never have a problem with the small amounts.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:46am Top

>287 streamsong: Morning, Janet. Ooh, I will have to order one of those Bird A Day calendars. Sounds perfect. Thanks.

>288 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Let's hope this is the last of the internet woes. Very frustrating.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:46am Top

Don't forget the wifi hotspot with your cell phone if you're home!

Dec 9, 2017, 10:44am Top

>287 streamsong: I love this calendar! I have had it on my desk for the last three years.

Dec 9, 2017, 10:53am Top

Morning, Mark!

Dec 9, 2017, 11:02am Top

>291 karenmarie: I have that one in my back pocket, if needed. Thanks again, Karen.

>292 alphaorder: Big, loving waves to Nancy. It looks like I better order one of these.

>293 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie!

Dec 9, 2017, 11:10am Top

Hi Mark, happy snowy Saturday.

I read for a steady half hour yesterday. The first time this month. It's good that things are starting to get back to normal. I know I won't feel 100% for quite some time, but hoping for continued improvement.

Dec 9, 2017, 11:58am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark.

We got 1 or 2 inches of snow here. Hope it's okay on your route today.

Wiley Cash is a good storyteller. Thanks for the nudge. That was a lot easier than Infinite Jest!

I've started How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, which apparently did well across the pond. We'll see.

Dec 9, 2017, 12:04pm Top

It's gone from wintry mix to light snow so far today, but it's December so I can't feel good about complaining. I'm still not goin' outside, though.

I got a little bit in on Solar Bones and stalled. So I read a stupid little romance novella in a super-duper queer-as-folk series. My equivalent of watching a sitcom.

Be warm, be safe, and BE CONNECTED!

Dec 9, 2017, 4:27pm Top

Hi Mark, I hope that your connection issued gets fixed when you get home and that it lasts this time!

>284 vancouverdeb: There is a good photo of a Barred Owl in Friday's Province, Deb. I took this photo of one off my back deck in August.

Dec 9, 2017, 5:36pm Top

^Yah!! Thanks to my son for getting everything set up. It took him awhile with all the various keys and passwords. We have a big, beefier modem. Supposedly, one of the best AT& T makes. Let's hope we are issue-free, for a long time to come.

Dec 9, 2017, 5:37pm Top


Dec 9, 2017, 5:40pm Top

>295 lindapanzo: Happy Saturday, Linda. Great to see you. Glad to hear you are on the mend and finally getting some reading time in. May, it continue...

>296 jnwelch: Happy Saturday, Joe. We are connected! The little snow was no problem, but it was another breezy and chilly day in Chicagoland.

I finished and enjoyed The Last Ballad too. Glad you liked it, my friend.

Dec 9, 2017, 5:44pm Top

>299 msf59: - Did they compensate you for the last *new* one lasting such a short time? It does seem rather odd, doesn't it? Congrats for being back!

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 5:46pm Top

>297 richardderus: Hi, RD. Well, it is December and it is winter, so we will have to expect the accompanying weather. I cam bundle up against the cold but dealing with deep snow and ice, can still be a trial.

Do you think you will return to Solar Bones? That one really grew on me but it is definitely not for all tastes.

>298 Familyhistorian: "I hope that your connection issued gets fixed when you get home and that it lasts this time." Yes, on the first count and fingers crossed on the second count.

I LOVE that photo of the Barred Owl, Meg. This is the image, I want to see as I stroll blissfully through the woods.

>300 Crazymamie: B.A.G.

Dec 9, 2017, 5:49pm Top

>302 jessibud2: We plan on calling back and bitching, Shelley and demanding some compensation. With the way our system is set-up, we are without a landline, any internet connection and can not connect with any online TV programming like Netflix or Amazon. It is a real hassle.

Dec 9, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>287 streamsong: Janet, thank you!! The Bird a Day calendar is a perfect stocking stuffer for my husband, especially since we are moving to an urban setting and will miss our backyard birds. I just ordered it via Amazon Prime. Yay!

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirty-Two.

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