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Joe's Book Cafe Door 26

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe Door 25.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe Door 27.

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:26am Top

Art by Kerry James Marshall

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 3:42pm Top

2017 Books


1. The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham
2. Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon (poetry)
3. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
4. Love Story with Murders by Harry Bingham
5. Four Swans by Winston Graham
6. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Bingham
7. Tell Me by Kim Addonizio (poetry)
8. Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love
9. A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install
10. The Dead House by Harry Bingham
11. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
12. Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano
13. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
14. The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Stephen Mitchell
15. The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


16. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
17. City by Clifford Simak
18. Eggtooth by Solia Carrock
19. The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer
20. A Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
21. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
22. Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor
23. Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer
24. The Dry by Jane Harper
25. I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio De Giovanni
26. The Simple Truth by Philip Levine (poetry)
27. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace!!!
28. Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty
29. Away with Fairies by Kerry Greenwood
30. The Sandman Omnibus Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman*


31. News of the World by Paulette Jiles
32. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris*
33. Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold
34. Nightmare in Pink by John D. MacDonald
35. The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey
36, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce by Morgan Parker (poetry)
37. The Assault by Harry Mulisch
38. Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
39. Scriptorium by Melissa Range (poetry)
40. World of Edena by Moebius*
41. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
42. The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything by John D. MacDonald
43. Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden*
44. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
45. Lucifer at the Starlite by Kim Addonizio
46. Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb


47. The Deep Blue Goodbye by John D. MacDonald
48. I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
49. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
50. Tender: Stories by Sofia Samatar
51. We Are Legion by Dennis Taylor
52. The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer
53. Just So Happens by Fumio Obata*
54. Wild Nights: New & Selected Poems by Kim Addonizio
55. I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles
56. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
57. A Purple Place for Dying by John D. MacDonald
58. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Sanders
59. Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer
60. The Quick Red Fox by John D. MacDonald
61. Nutshell by Ian MacEwan
62. Orphan X by Greg Hurwitz


63. A Deadly Shade of Gold by John D. MacDonald
64. The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
65. Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
66. Bright Orange for the Shroud by John D. MacDonald
67. Incendiary Art by Patricia Smith
68. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
69. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
70. The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
71. The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
72. The Nowhere Man by Greg Hurwitz
73. The Toll-Gate by Georgette Heyer

74. Vicious Circle by C.J. Box
75. No Middle Name by Lee Child
76. 99 Poems by Dana Gioia
77. The Angry Tide by Winston Graham
78. The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomer
79. The Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham
80. Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke*
81. By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
82. Planetfall by Emma Newman
83. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
84. Czeslaw Milosz Selected Poems Revised
85. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
86. The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths


87. Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
88. The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths
89. Olio by Tyehimba Jess
90. Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
91. Dr. Mutter's Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz
92. No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
93. Room Full of Bones by Ellie Griffiths
94. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
95. Robert B. Parker's Kickback by Ace Atkins
96. Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
97. Crooked House by Agatha Christie
98. Never Go Back by Lee Child
99. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
100. The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
101. Leviathan Wakes by James S. Corey
102. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
103. Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
104. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


105. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
106. Brand New Ancients by Kate Tempest
107. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui*
108. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
109. The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
110. The Windfall by Diksha Basu
111. leadbelly by Tyehimba Jess
112. Selected Poems of W.H. Auden, selected by Edward Mendelson
113. The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemesin
114. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
115. The Jane Austen Project by Kathryn Flynn
116. Horse and Rider by Melissa Range
117. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
118. To Siri, With Love by Judith Newman
119. Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds


120. Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
121. Nest of Vipers by Andrea Camilleri
123. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemison
124. Knockemstiff by Donald Pollock
125. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
126. Glass Houses by Louise Penny
127. Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb
128. Words Under the Words by Naomi Shahib Nye
129. Autumn by Ali Smith
130. Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
131. The Miller's Dance by Winston Graham
132. The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
133. Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright
134. Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer
135. Electric Arches by Eve Ewing


136. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
137. The Legend of Light by Bob Hicok
138. The Western Star by Craig Johnson
139. Pale Gray for Guilt by John MacDonald
140. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
141. Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
142. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
143. Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
144. Rain in Portugal by Billy Collins
145. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
146. Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M. Steele
147. The Punch Escrow by Tal Klein
148. Giving Godhead by Dylan Krieger
149. Murder in Grub Street by Bruce Alexander
150. The Loving Cup by Winston Graham
151. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving
152. Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen


153. Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
154. Reading with Patrick by Michelle Kuo
155. The Virginian by Owen Wister
156. Fort Not by Emily Skillings
157. Spinning by Tillie Walden*
158. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
159. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudine Rankin
160. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
161. Midnight Line by Lee Child
162. Suds in Your Eye by Mary Laswell
163. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
164. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
165. Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith
166. Jane Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
167. Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Bemain
168. Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson
169. All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson


170. Provenance by Anne Leckie
171. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
172. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
173. Barbie Chang by Victoria Chang
174. The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham

Graphic Novels and Illustrated Books

1. Jessica Jones Pulse by Brian Michael Bendis
2. The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan
3. Whiteout by Greg Rucka
4. Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt
5. Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
6. The White Donkey Terminal Lance by Maximilian Uriarte
7. Paper Girls Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan
8. Ms. Marvel Vol. 6 by G. Willow Wilson
9. The Flight of the Raven by Jean-Pierre Gibrat
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson and Denise Mina (re-read)
11. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larrson and Denise Mina (re-read)
12. Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe
13. Coward by Ed Brubaker
14. Bandette Volume 2 by Paul Tobin
15. Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
16. Criminal Volume 3: The Dead and the Dying by Ed Brubaker
17. Lazarus Vol. 3 by Greg Rucka
18. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larrson and Denise Mina (re-read)
19. Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullivan
20. Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
21. Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan
22. Black Widow S.H.I.E.L.D. Most Wanted by Mark Waid
23. Big Appetites by Christopher Boffoli
24. Lucifer Book Five by Mike Carey
25. One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
26. Vagabond VIZBIG Edition, Vol. 11 by Takehiko Inoue
27. Tales of Honor On Basilisk Station by David Weber
28. The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg
29. Wonder Woman Volume 1 The Lies by Greg Rucka
30. Dresden Files Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
31. Dresden Files Downtown by Jim Butcher
32. Buffy The High School Years by Kel McDonald
33. Lazarus Volume 4 by Greg Rucka
34. Wonder Woman Vol. 5: Flesh by Brian Azzarello
35. The Adventures of John Blake by Philip Pullman
36. Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
37. Wonder Woman Bones by Brian Azzarello
38. Archie Volume 1 The New Riverdale by Mark Waid
39. Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender
40. Guardians of the Louvre by Jiro Taneguchi
41. Sleeper Season Two by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
42. Batman Hush by Jeph Loeb
43. The Girl from the Other Side by Nagabe
44. The Girl from the Other Side 2 by Nagabe
45. Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire
46. Scene of the Crime by Ed Brubaker
47. Spill Zone by Scott Westerfield
48. Quest by Aaron Becker
49. Return by Aaron Becker
50. Stumptown Vol. 4 by Greg Rucka
51. Ms. Marvel Vol. 7 by G. Willow Wilson
52. Valerian Complete Collection 1 by Pierre Christin
52. Valerian Complete Collection 3 by Pierre Christin
53. Paper Girls Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
54. Surreality by Caleb King
55. Monstress Volume 2 by Marie Liu
56. Catwoman Volume 3 by Ed Brubaker
57. Fatale Volume 2 by Ed Brubaker
58. Birdsong: A Story by James Sturm
59. Valerian Complete Collection 2 by Peirre Christin
60. Jessica Jones Uncaged by Brian Michael Bendis
61. Fatale Vol. 5 by Greg Rucka
62. Lazarus Vol. 5 by Greg Rucka
63, Witchblade Vol. 3: Borne Again by Ron Marz
64. Fatale Vol. 3 and Fatale Vol. 4 by Ed Brubaker
65. Criminal: The Dead and Dying by Ed Brubaker
66. Lady Killer by Jamie S. Rich
67. Baking with Kafka by Tom Gauld
68. The Golden Compass Vol. 1 by Philip Pullman
69. The Golden Compass Graphic Novel, Volume 2 by Philip Pullman
70. The Wheel of Time Eye of the World Vol. 2 by Robert Jordan
71. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
72. The Wheel of Time Eye of the World Vol. 3 by Robert Jordan
73. The Girl on the Shore by Inio Asano
74. Shade The Changing Girl by Cecil Castellucci
75. Giant Days Vol. 1 by John Allison
76. Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt
77. Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book by Jomny Son
78. Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
79. Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang
80. In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
81. Pashmina by Nidni Chanani
82. Eye of the World Vol. 4 by Robert Jordan
83. Giant Days Volume Two by John W. Allison
84. Boundless by Jillian Tamaki
85. Poppies of Iraq by Brigette Fidakly
86. Girl from the Other Side by Nagabe
87. Park Bench by Chaboute
88. A Bride's Story Vol. 9 by Kaoru Mori
89. Happy! by Grant Morrison

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:58am Top

Joe Poem. A grim one, but it does have rhymes.

It's What They Deserve

Let's blow up a bus filled with children
They gunned down a bunch in our street
They took our land, they took our trust
Let's do unto them what they did to us

Hardly anyone remembers where we wanted to go
Those who remind us have no control
Let's stick together, bring death to their door
Words of wisdom mean nothing anymore

Got to blow it up, got to make them hurt
Got to take them down, shove their face in the dirt
We remember the time when they ruined it all
Now it's their turn, it's what they deserve

Allah will bless it, it must be God's will
Jesus is a soldier, Israel says go
We've all got a reason for hurting each other
Words of wisdom mean nothing any more

Let's take down their mosque, let's take down their church
Let's take down their temple, hit 'em where it hurts
"It's sacred, don't touch it, some lines can't be crossed"
We crossed them, it's righteous, it's what they deserve

Got to blow it up, got to make them hurt
Got to take them down, shove their face in the dirt
We've taken enough, now it's their turn to suffer
God will reward us, it's what they deserve

Hardly anyone remembers where we wanted to go
Hardly anyone remembers where we wanted to be
We justify killing in the name of heaven
So up in paradise we'll at last be free

Our way is the right way, there can be none other
The heathens, non-believers, must all be overcome
If death is the only way infidels learn this
Then by God, by Allah, let our will be done

Got to blow them up, got to make them hurt
Got to take them down, shove their face in the dirt
We've taken enough now, it's their turn to suffer
The Almighty loves us, it's what they deserve

The Almighty wants this, it's what they deserve
It's blessed and it's needed, it's what they deserve
To kill those against us, that's why we are here

Come on people now, let's kill one another
Pull a gun on your brother right now
Come on people now, let's hurt kids
And mothers, let's kill one another
Right now, we're right, now, we're
Clear, we know why we're here
Right now, right now, right now

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:15am Top

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:16am Top

Dec 2, 2017, 11:03am Top

Here I am, ready or not!

Pancakes please. I'm thinkin' blueberry ones with a cow or two of butter, howzabout.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:20am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy new thread!

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 11:24am Top

>5 jnwelch: Hey, Speedy Gonzalez! That aroma of blueberry pancakes must've been wafting your way. Here they are, and you also get a prize for first in the door.

And for your cephalopod collection:

Dec 2, 2017, 11:25am Top

>4 jnwelch:, >5 jnwelch: HA!!

>6 richardderus: YUMYUMYUM

And the pancakes look good too.

Dec 2, 2017, 11:29am Top

Happy new thread, Joe!

Dec 2, 2017, 11:36am Top

Happy new thread, Joe.

It's What They Deserve on audio book and read by trump.

Have a great weekend buddy.

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 12:00pm Top

>7 scaifea: Oh, I missed your slipping in there, Amber. Thanks!

>9 richardderus: I wish I was doing as good a job of waking up as you are, RD. Jeesh, missed this post the first time around. I'm glad the ceph was delish, and the pancakes, too.

>10 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>11 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul.

Oh there's a scary Trump thought. We're all praying that Mueller nails him.

So far so good re the weekend. I hope you have a great one, too, mate.

Dec 2, 2017, 2:24pm Top

Hi Joe and happy new thread!

Yum blueberry pancakes, yay for the Flynn plea. I was able to read KatieKrug's Twitter link last thread even though I'm not a twitterer, and I loved Treason's Greetings from vancouverdeb.

Dec 2, 2017, 2:35pm Top

"Treason's Greetings" will be my Twitter Yule card this year. Price. Less.

Dec 2, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Hard to believe we are in the last month of the year! Your poem at >3 jnwelch: is very moving, Joe. I can imagine it being put to music.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:41pm Top

>13 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen.

Which was Treasons Greetings from vancouverdeb? I muddled it somehow.

>14 richardderus: I'm hoping I find "Treason's Greetings", RD. In the meantime, here's a kindred spirit for you.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>15 DeltaQueen50: Thanks very much re the poem, Judy. I wrote it with a songwriting friend in mind. Maybe someday we'll find some music for it.

I know - last month of '17! Hard to believe. In terms of Trump, it's seems like at least a decade of horribleness in less than a year. In terms of everything else, it's feels like we raced through the months.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:50pm Top

>16 jnwelch: Perfect!

>17 jnwelch: Wanna *really* freak out? We're almost completely through the second decade of the 21st century.

Dec 2, 2017, 3:52pm Top

Someone ought to send "Treason's Greetings" to the orange gasbag...... (insert evil little laugh here)

Edited: Dec 2, 2017, 4:56pm Top

Joe, with all your gallivanting to all kinds of events like concerts and basketball games, I was wondering if you were planning to take in National Theater Live's "Follies". I seem to remember that you liked NTL's page. I saw it the other night and it was magnificent. I hope you get a chance to see it.

Dec 2, 2017, 5:41pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe, and timely poem.

Dec 2, 2017, 5:50pm Top

Oooh, blueberry pancakes! I may have to see if Charlie will whip us up a batch tomorrow morning - it's one of his specialties...

Dec 2, 2017, 6:14pm Top

yeah....blueberry pancakes.... or cinnamon walnut cranberry pancakes...

Dec 2, 2017, 6:15pm Top

Happy Saturday, Joe. Happy New Thread. Love the Marshall toppers. The Hate U Give is a 5 star read. Thomas deserves all the accolades. Helluva job.

I am also enjoying Citizen: American Lyric. I just finished the piece on Serena Williams. Wow. I had no idea what she went through. My last few reads have been real eye-openers.

Dec 3, 2017, 8:44am Top

Morning, Joe!

Dec 3, 2017, 11:27am Top

Hey Joe, hoping it's fun-busy not ick-busy that's keeping you away from the threads.

Dec 3, 2017, 1:14pm Top

>18 richardderus: Hey, RD. You know, I used to think as a kid of 2020 in a science fiction-y way: what would the world be like in a year that far in the future. We're almost there!

(My poor young self would've been appalled by our government in 2017!) (My old self, too!)

>19 jessibud2: I'll have to find "Treason's Greetings", Shelley. I'm behind on the Orange Gasbag holiday spirit.

Dec 3, 2017, 1:36pm Top

>20 NarratorLady: NTL Live's "Follies" - we're going on the 12th, Anne! Thanks for thinking of us, and I'm glad to hear it's so good. We're Sondheim fans, as you probably remember. I'll report back.

>21 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg, and I appreciate it re the poem. It does seem timely, doesn't it. Part of me sure wishes that in 2017 it wasn't. Will we ever collectively learn? Probably not in our lifetimes.

Dec 3, 2017, 1:40pm Top

>22 scaifea: That Charlie - what a guy. Making tasty blueberry pancakes at his age is impressive. Good idea to remind him, Amber. That sounds perfect for a Sunday.

>23 laytonwoman3rd: Cinnamon walnut cranberry pancakes - hmm. How intriguing, Linda. Here we go.

Dec 3, 2017, 1:56pm Top

>24 msf59: Huzzah for The Hate U Give, Mark! Five stars - yup. Every LTer should give it a go, and I hope most do.

Isn't Citizen: An American Citizen remarkable? Eye-opening is a great word for it. Yeah, I had no idea Serena went through that either.

>25 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

>26 richardderus: Thanks, RD. It's been fun-busy. Cleanup and present-wrapping this a.m., among others - and even those seem okay once retirement comes around. Hanukkah starts early this year (12/12), so I'm trying to get ahead of the game. Debbi was over at Becca's, so that gave me the present-wrapping chance. Now we're going to go back out into the most excellent weather we're having here.

Dec 3, 2017, 2:25pm Top

>30 jnwelch: Oh yay! Excellent weather, wrapped holiday gelt, clean house. Nothing not to like in there except the notable absence of "...and I read the most amazing book..."

Dec 3, 2017, 3:32pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. With my son's help we got the outside Christmas lights put up, along with some decorations. I also worked on the leaves, hopefully for the last time. It is such a beautiful day out there, but winter is coming...

I am just wrapping up the Murakami collection. It is a solid read and then I hope to start The Last Ballad. Did you find your copy?

Dec 3, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>30 jnwelch:

BOOK RIOT (free to join) is today offering a drawing into 20 copies of The Hate U Give!

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>32 msf59:

Let me know if The Last Ballad will be a small group read - my free copy is sitting on top of the TBR.

Dec 3, 2017, 4:21pm Top

>31 richardderus: Ha! I'm finding Practical Magic to be pretty darn good, Richard, if not amazing at this point.

On top of all the other good stuff, we just followed a long walk by sitting out on our front porch while Madame MBH read from The Long Winter. We're nearing the end of that one. Man, count our blessings. What a lot they had to overcome back then.

>32 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. Congrats on getting the Christmas lights done. We do Hanukkah lights (blue and white), and I suspect our project is a lot smaller than yours - we do the stair railings and front window.

Phew! I panicked for a minute, but I did indeed find The Last Ballad on my TBR shelf. If you're in a go mode, I can join you after I finish the second half of Practical Magic, which won't be too long.

>33 m.belljackson: I'll let Mark respond, Marianne, as he was the initiator, but I'm sure he'd say the more the merrier forThe Last Ballad. We did this kind of informal shared read for Infinite Jest, and it was a good motivator.

Dec 3, 2017, 5:35pm Top

>35 jnwelch: Heh...Joe, that touchstone goes to the 1998 film, which I suppose isn't the destination you had in mind. The Alice Hoffmann novel is Practical Magic, which is one I don't think I've read, or maybe I did and it was 20 years ago and I recall nothing about it. I have a copy of The Rules of Magic here, a giftie from a friend, so should go get me a copy of the first in the series to make sure I get the nuances of the second.

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 6:16pm Top

>35 jnwelch:. Thanks, RD. I’ve been correcting the touchstone for Practical Magic in my Other posts, but must have missed that one. Isn’t the film based on the Alice Hoffman book? Madame MBH remembers it from ‘98.

Right, it was the positive buzz re the new one, Rules of Magic, that got me to go back and finally read the first one. So far it’s a fun read.

Dec 3, 2017, 6:28pm Top

Joe, I wanted to drop by and mention that I have started the Heyer biography and thus far - a little over 50 pages in - am enjoying it. Heyer was very much a product of her time and upbringing. I find it fascinating that she never WENT to school until she was a teenager. A lot of girls, especially those in the lower classes, were being pulled out of school by then. Heyer was not in the lower classes - upper middle class - but it is still rather interesting, at least to me :)

Dec 3, 2017, 6:46pm Top

>34 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I am not setting up a Group Read for The Last Ballad, but I would love to see you join us. I just started the novel and it shows promise.

>35 jnwelch: Hooray for finding The Last Ballad! I just started it, so jump in as soon as you are ready.

Dec 3, 2017, 7:49pm Top

>38 alcottacre: Stasia! Good to see you!

Thanks for letting me know about the Heyer biography. I've never heard of that before - starting to go to school as a teenager. As you say, the opposite -being pulled out then, or before then, is what I'm familiar with. Intriguing.

One of the things that has consistently impressed me with her books is her huge vocabulary. How did she get that, if she didn't start school until a teen? Being upper middle class helped, I imagine.

>39 msf59: Jeez Louise, Mark, you said "next week" for Practical Magic. No way Sunday is part of "next week". I think you have to go back two spaces and lose a turn.

We'll see - I may be able to finish Practical Magic tomorrow. Tonight I must watch Seattle-Philadelphia. Is Philadelphia for real?

Dec 3, 2017, 7:59pm Top

Honestly, I thought it would have been closer to mid-week, but I have been wrapping up my books, quicker than I thought. I just didn't want to start something else. It is nearly 400 pages, so it will take me awhile.

And Go Eagles! They are red hot! And how about those Bears? Are they awful or what?

Dec 3, 2017, 8:26pm Top

>41 msf59: Ha! Yup, awful, them Bears. Keeping Robbie Gould couldn't have cost too much. I'm happy for him, at least. But if the Bears can't beat the 49ers, forget it. They're unlikely to win one for the rest of the year.

I'm looking forward to this game tonight. This is a big test on the road for the Eagles. Seattle's had some injuries, but they're well-coached and tough, tough, tough.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 10:21am Top

>39 msf59:

Sounds good - I'm starting The Last Ballad tonight - have not read any Wiley Cash previously and am looking forward to this.

I'm currently also reading non-fiction, the fascinating LADY LIBERTY, and a slow moving Diane Johnson book about the quartiers of Paris,
plus finishing a slim and excellent Coleridge poetry book and reading a few early Tennyson poems.

Dec 3, 2017, 11:19pm Top

Hi Joe! I am indeed back. That art work by Kerry James Marshall is really beautiful.

I've only read a couple by Alice Hoffman, Turtle Moon and The Dovekeepers. I remember loving the first one (although it was eons ago) but I gave The Dovekeepers only 3 stars when I read it in 2013.

I'm loving Murder on the Orient Express!

Dec 4, 2017, 12:40am Top

Hey Joe. Happy New one. Love the toppers, especially the last one. I really enjoy images where everyone just seems to be getting on with their own thing, and there is so much detail to explore.

I think you and Deborah cross-posted hence the "greetings" miss.

I missed what you thought of Poppies of Iraq? Or is it better not to ask?!

Dec 4, 2017, 2:29am Top

I have this sudden craving for pancakes - I wonder why that is?

Dec 4, 2017, 6:32am Top

Morning, Joe!

Dec 4, 2017, 6:47am Top

Happy new thread, Joe! I think I'll make cranberry pancakes this morning. I've never done so, but I've the ingredients so I'm going to attempt it.

Dec 4, 2017, 6:49am Top

Good Morning Joe and happy Monday!

Dec 4, 2017, 8:39am Top

>43 m.belljackson: I love it, Marianne. You're a busy reader. Lady Liberty does look fascinating. I'll probably be able to start The Last Ballad tomorrow.

>44 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Nice to have you back!

Oh good, I'm glad you like the Kerry James Marshall artwork. There's been a lot of silence about it. :-) He got a nice write-up today in the Tribune on a mural he's doing here at the Cultural Center.

I remember hearing good things about Turtle Moon. I'll probably go to Rules of Magic after Practical Magic - I'm liking it. In places it makes me think of Sarah Addison Allen's books.

Isn't Murder on the Orient Express a treat?

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>45 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Isn't his artwork cool. I like that last one, too. I've been wondering what that yellow element is on the floor center front. A wing?

Oh, thanks very much on figuring out the "Treason's Greetings" miss, and for the link. I'll follow up.

No fear, I liked Poppies of Iraq. I thought it was a bit too scattered in its memoir approach to be as compelling as The Best We Could Do or Rolling Blackouts. But it was an interesting look into living in Iraq, and I enjoyed the quirky illustrations.

P.S. How does that compare with your reaction, Charlotte?

>46 Familyhistorian: Huh. Go figure, Meg. Maybe you saw some or heard about some pancakes somewhere?

We've got 'em:

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 8:52am Top

>47 scaifea: Morning, Amber! We will tactfully refrain from mentioning what day of the week it is.

>48 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. We were talking about how, for me anyway, cranberry isn't a fruit I'd seek out - but in baked goods, cranberries are A-OK. Good luck with yours! Here are some to inspire you:

Dec 4, 2017, 8:54am Top

>49 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen!

As I thought, Madame MBH was quite excited to hearing about After the Black. She's asked for all the DVDs of Orphan Black for the holidays. Thanks for the tip!

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 9:01am Top

Dec 4, 2017, 10:24am Top

>50 jnwelch:

Touchstone for LADY LIBERTY was not correct - I edited above - and this one IS right,
with envelopes for vintage reproductions!

Dec 4, 2017, 10:34am Top

Morning, Joe! I was pretty sure you would enjoy Practical Magic since you loved Garden Spells - for me, Garden Spells is the better story, but I really love both of them. Rules of Magic is a prequel, which I am excited to get to soonish.

Dec 4, 2017, 10:55am Top

Hi Joe. Here's a bookish coincidence. I subscribe to Literary Hub (http://lithub.com/). In this morning's email newsletter, there on the right sidebar, was a promo for Anne Fadiman's new book, The Wine Lover's Daughter. Just as we were discussing it here so recently!

Hmm, skimming back, I don't see that discussion now. Was it in your last thread, or maybe someone else's thread? I can't possibly be imagining it, can I? lol....

Dec 4, 2017, 12:00pm Top

>55 m.belljackson: Ah, got it, Marianne, thanks. The other Lady Liberty looked interesting, too. :-)

>56 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Wow, I'm impressed you may that connection. I did love Garden Spells, and Practical Magic does indeed make me think of it. Like you, I'm probably going to come out loving the most excellent GS more, but I having a very good time with PM.

Good to know that Rules of Magic is a prequel, not a sequel. Hmm. The aunts, maybe?

Dec 4, 2017, 12:01pm Top

>57 jessibud2: It was on his previous thread, Shelley.

Dec 4, 2017, 12:09pm Top

>57 jessibud2:, >59 Crazymamie: Yeah, Mamie has it, Shelley. The discussion about Anne Fadiman and The Wine Lover's Daughter went through the end of the last thread. I think Anne started it all in >228.

To add to your Literary Hub story, I just read a very positive review of The Wine Lover's Daughter in the NY Times book review. The reviewer found the book unusual in that, rather than the usual saturnine (my word) view of parents in memoirs, she reveres her father and wants him to be remembered. That intrigues me, too.

Dec 4, 2017, 1:33pm Top

I actually made pancakes the other night for supper. It's what I was craving. If I were not out of cranberries and walnuts, I might be trying that combination tonight. I'm stocked on pecans though, so if I'm still craving pancakes when I get home tonight, pecan pancakes will be on the menu.

Dec 4, 2017, 1:34pm Top

I finished reading Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee and this is a very different book than the first one in this space opera series. The battle scenes are few and far between. This is more of a character driven novel than the first. Even though I had read the first novel in the series, I was confused as to who was who until about half-way through the novel. Was it Cheris or was it Jedao? I am still trying to get all the ins and outs of the culture assimilated as well. I think I finally figured out what formation compulsion is for the Kel. I think it is sort of like the hivemind. Gosh, does everything in space operas have to reference Star Trek? Anyway, it was a good read, but not at all the same as Ninefox Gambit.

Now I am on to another space opera. Human Division by John Scalzi.

Dec 4, 2017, 1:37pm Top

One of the things we made during my Montana trip was Gingerbread Waffles. These were so very very good. Here is the URL for the recipe. It is a King Arthur Flour recipe and the waffles were GREAT! The gingerbread spice was not over-powering, it was just enough to give the waffles a unique flavor.


I hope everybody makes these. They were great comfort food. Of course, the fact that my sister had a Death Star Waffle Iron was great as well. Somehow, I don't think the Death Star affected the taste of the waffles, but it sure was as much fun as eating the waffles.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 4:54pm Top

>61 thornton37814: It's a pancakes time of year, isn't it, Lori. Fluffy cakes of buttery goodness, covered in syrup and fruit. What's not to like? I'm all for pecan pancakes - I'd pick them first, whatever ingredients were on hand. Enjoy yours, my friend.

>62 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Interesting to hear about the follow-up to Ninefox Gambit. I'm still not sure I want to continue after that first one.

A new Old Man's War book! I've read the others by Scalzi, except Zoe's Tale, which is sitting on the tbr. I'll look forward to hearing what you think of Human Division.

>63 benitastrnad: I love the sound of gingerbread waffles, Benita. I love most things ginger. Ha! I can imagine the Death Star shaping adding to the fun.

Here are some without the Death Star:

Dec 4, 2017, 4:56pm Top

At Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant in Harlem, Red Rooster, you can get chicken and waffles with ginger-cardamom waffles and the most amazing fried chicken I've ever tasted. So, SO good!

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 5:23pm Top

>65 katiekrug: Oh, Madame MBH LOVES Marcus Samuelsson. I need to get her there, Katie.

Dec 4, 2017, 5:32pm Top

Yes, yes you do :)

Dec 4, 2017, 5:36pm Top

I did most of my Christmas gift baking this weekend. I did 2 loaves of braided pumpkin bread and 3 loaves of filled braided bread loaves. All of them turned out great. I should be able to get the rest of the baking done next weekend before I leave Alabama for Kansas and that homey Christmas.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 5:57pm Top

>65 katiekrug:, >66 jnwelch: - Well, I have never been to his restaurant, but I sure did love his memoir, Yes, Chef, and having him read the audiobook version was icing on the cake, pardon the bad pun. Just loved it!

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 6:48pm Top

Hi, Joe. A bit busy at work today, so no check ins. Crazy mild today, but a bit gusty at times. Will be adding a few layers, for the rest of the week, though.

Hunger is another tough memoir. I guess I am a glutton for punishment. I will have to read more of Gay's work.

Just 80 pages into The Last Ballad. You will catch up in a flash.

Dec 4, 2017, 7:21pm Top

Happy new cafe, Joe!

Oooohhhh.... the pancakes look lovely but I am more of a French Toast kind of gal. ;-)

Dec 4, 2017, 8:12pm Top

>67 katiekrug: :-)

>68 benitastrnad: Sounds great, Benita. I love braided bread.

>69 jessibud2: Madame MBH really liked Yes, Chef, too, Shelley. MS seems like quite a guy.

Edited: Dec 4, 2017, 8:22pm Top

>70 msf59: It was gusty, wasn't it, Mark. We liked the mild - we were out in it a lot.

Hunger sounds like a tough one. You are a glutton for something - grit?

I did finish Practical Magic (very good - I'll be reading Rules of Magic), so I'll start the Last Ballad tomorrow, if not tonight. I also got through People's History of Chicago, the Kevin Coval poetry collection. Good, not great, IMO, but filled with intriguing info about this great but flawed city.

>71 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori! We've had pancakes and waffles - french toast it is:

Dec 4, 2017, 9:27pm Top

>40 jnwelch: Regarding Heyer, her early education was handled by her parents. Her mother graduated from from a school of music and her father was a French instructor, so both of them had higher education.

Dec 5, 2017, 1:29am Top

Hmmm.... adding Practical Magic to the wish list.

Dec 5, 2017, 3:56am Top

Hi Joe!

>53 jnwelch: You're welcome. I had to stifle myself last night after we watched the last episode of the series and not blurt out that the complete blu-ray series is upstairs waiting to be wrapped.

What a final season! What a final episode! We both got tears in our eyes when Helena had Orange and Purple in the basement with Sarah and Art and then eventually named them Donnie and Arthur.

>63 benitastrnad: That gingerbread waffles recipe looks yummy Benita. I've never looked at a King Arthur Flour recipe before and just love the fact that you can look at it in volume, ounces, or grams.

>73 jnwelch: Oh my. French toast, too. But where's the real maple syrup?

Dec 5, 2017, 6:28am Top

Morning, Joe!

I need to add Practical Magic to my list...

Oh, and I should report that I had a Belgian Waffle for lunch yesterday at IHOP; Charlie had pancakes in the shape of a snowman, with a strawberry nose and a little cup of chocolate chips on the side for him to decorate for eyes, mouth and buttons, plus a ton of whipped cream, too. Very healthy, of course.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:23am Top

>29 jnwelch:, >52 jnwelch: I should have specified dried cranberries. Makes all the difference. We have a local diner that makes them the size of a dinner plate. Simply scrumptious.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 9:22am Top

>74 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. That makes sense. Home schooling for Heyer before going to school as a teen. Are you still liking the bio?

>75 EBT1002: Ha! You'll enjoy Practical Magic, Ellen. I know that sigh, and sympathize. Just think of it as a gift to yourself. Aren't we lucky there are so many good ones out there?

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 9:23am Top

>76 karenmarie: Hi, Karen!

Yes, that was a great last episode of Orphan Black. We loved Orange and Purple, too - ha! And then her re-naming them as Donnie and Arthur. So great. And we loved all of them (amazing how they pull this off with Tatiana) sitting together outside at the end.

Did we forget the real maple syrup? Here you go:

Dec 5, 2017, 9:24am Top

Oh man, pancakes and waffles. Mmmmm. And syrup. I can't make waffles but adding pancakes to the list for the weekend :-)

Dec 5, 2017, 9:29am Top

>77 scaifea: Morning, Amber.

Oh yeah, you're a natural for Practical Magic, Amber. You'll have fun with it, I'm sure.

Hmm, Snowman pancakes. The kitchen says . . . yes. Here's the cafe version:

>78 laytonwoman3rd: Ah, got it, Linda. Dried cranberries. Those may be dried inside the pancakes and decorate not-dried on top, I'm not sure.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 9:31am Top

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

The Goodreads Best Book awards have come out. Here's the list: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2017?ref_=pe_2701710_256535830&rto=x_gr_e_nf_gca_2017&utm_campaign=winners&utm_content=more_categories&utm_medium=email&utm_source=choice_awards.

I'm really happy to see that The Hate U Give won two of them, for Debut Author and Young Adult. If you haven't read it, Mark and Ellen and I and many others highly recommend it.

Eve Ewing made it to the finals for Poetry, and I was hoping she'd win it for Electric Arches, but she got beaten out by the new Rupi Kaur collection.

Great to see Astrophysics for People in a Hurry win, too.

P.S. Big Mushy Happy Lump winning for Graphic Novels baffled me. Has anyone read this one?

Dec 5, 2017, 11:44am Top

Got to share this. I'm loving everything I'm reading by a poet who's new to me, Victoria Chang. Here's one of hers, based on an Edward Hopper painting.

Edward Hopper Study: Room in New York

by Victoria Chang

The woman's finger hangs

above the F key. She always

wears the same red dress.

The man's hands cup

the newspaper edge, his face

ashen, half-edible.

The woman's back

to the man, head down,

her arm, dairy and bloated,

long before men preferred

peeling brown shoulders,

the midriff. She can't leave him,

doesn't know how.

How many times have you

heard this? You will hear it

again and again , like the F key

that in a moment will

glaze the room with its

throbbing mouth.

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 12:04pm Top

I knocked out another one last night. I finished reading my At-Work/Lunch book. It was a work of non-fiction for young adults. (YA's aged 12 - 18; the ALA definition of Young Adult). Since you and MBH are fans of YA books I thought I would point this one out to you. It will take you about 3 hours to read - maybe less, (it took me almost a month to read over lunch hours) but it is perfect for the age group for which it was intended.

Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate by Richard Bowers is a young adult non-fiction work that chronicles the rise of Superman and promotes the idea that he was created as a protector figure for oppressed people around the world. The book is aimed at middle school to junior high school age students and has a corresponding reading level. It introduces young adults to the most prominent figures in the development of Superman as a comic book icon and to the people who lead the crusade against the Ku Klux Klan. This is definitely a book with a message and that message is that the common person can stand up against hate and prevail. It is short and to the point, but that is understandable given that the topic is very limited. The author brings in enough outside information to put things in context of history and culture and that will enhance understanding on many levels for young adults. It is the kind of book that is going to appeal to young readers grades 5 - 9 and is packed full of information that students that age are going to eat up. This age group needs more of this kind of non-fiction. In my mind it has lots of classroom uses, including that some parts of it would make great book talks, but I will leave that to the teachers to figure out.

Dec 5, 2017, 7:39pm Top

So, lots of pancake/waffle talk. I had gingerbread/cranberry today, as it happens, and was entranced. I'd've liked them better if the cranberries had been on top instead of inside as the cranberry *oomph* was missing a step.

I've been clearing out an old bin of paperbacks that needed to be tossed out for being too tanned and brittle to keep. I chose paperbacks whose movies I could watch alongside them...some *major* turkeys, but it was fun to do.

Sangaree by Frank G. Slaughter was the second worst book and first worst movie. The worst book was Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate because it was ick-ptui rapey grossness. *shudder*

Dec 5, 2017, 7:53pm Top

>85 jnwelch: LIKE! It looks like I need to look into Ms. Chang.

Hooray for Angie Thomas! She deserves every single award and accolade. Good Reads gets it right on occasion. Other times, they go with the masses. Not always a good thing.

I hope you are enjoying The Last Ballad. Just about 150 pages in. I wish it would stick with Ella's story. That is where it really sings.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:12pm Top

Joe was it you who so enjoyed Neil deGrasse Tyson? Do you watch Jeopardy? Tonight, he was on, giving one of the clues. It was hilarious. His clue was: In the year 2000, he was flattered and honoured to be named Sexiest Astrophysicist in the world by this magazine. He then said, "I do have to wonder, though. Who was I up against"...
The answer was People magazine but his delivery was so funny.

Dec 5, 2017, 8:58pm Top

>86 benitastrnad: Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan does sound like a good one for that age group, Benita. I hope teachers pick up on it.

>87 richardderus: Woo, what a project, Richard. I've never heard of those two you just did. I do like the idea of pairing the books with their movies. I look forward to hearing more about what you unearth.

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

>88 msf59: Oh good, Mark. I forgot to bring a poetry book to the cafe, so I was reading Victoria Chang online. All of them were really good! I'm getting her new Barbie Chang book, and really looking forward to it. A positive review of Barbie Chang is what got me to look for her poems.

Hooray for Angie Thomas! I know, some of the other ones the masses voted in as "Best" left me thinking, huh? But she deserves it, and it makes me happy that The Hate U Give has that much support.

I'm about 50 pages into The Last Ballad, and it's good. The NY Times Book Review identified it as one of its Notable Books this week.

>89 jessibud2: Yes, I'm the one who so enjoyed Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I've seen him and read him in a number of contexts, but I enjoyed him the most in that new Cosmos tv series a couple of years ago (an update of the Carl Sagan series).

I love that Sexiest Man Alive story on Jeopardy! Yeah, who exactly was he competing against for Sexiest Astrophysicist? :-)

Dec 6, 2017, 6:29am Top

Morning, Joe!

>87 richardderus: Richard: Cranberries always pack an ooomph for me, in the form of hives... *sigh*

Dec 6, 2017, 8:21am Top

>92 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Yikes, that's not the oomph RD was talking about, is it. I hadn't heard of a cranberry allergy before - do other berries give you hives?

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 8:23am Top

Dec 6, 2017, 9:19am Top

Good morning, Joe!

Last comment about Orphan Black: Oh my yes, having Sarah, Cosima, Helena, and Alision sitting together was a technical wonder and a stunning performance by Maslany. And, earlier, I was so sad when MK was killed.

Dec 6, 2017, 9:29am Top

>94 jnwelch: This had Birdy and I hooting this morning, Joe! Hoping your Wednesday is a good one.

Dec 6, 2017, 9:41am Top

>94 jnwelch: I like, ha.

On that note, I’m about to start Why Buddhism is True, Joe, they bumped publication forward here.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:01am Top

>94 jnwelch: LIKE! I have another copy of Why Buddhism is True home from the library. I hope I can bookhorn it in, otherwise I may have to borrow your copy. You own it, right?

Morning, Joe. I am off today but I have some things going on, including meeting my cousin for lunch and checking out Bree's new house. She closes mid-Jan and I haven't seen it yet. Very proud of her.

Hope to reserve a nice block of time for The Last Ballad too.

Dec 6, 2017, 10:57am Top

>93 jnwelch: As far as I know, cranberries are the only ones that cause me to break out in hives, and that's not a test-proven thing, but the one time I ate fresh cranberries, one came the hives, so yeah.

Oh! I forgot to mention that my hold on All's Faire in Middle School came in! Excited!

Dec 6, 2017, 12:52pm Top

>92 scaifea:, >93 jnwelch:, >99 scaifea: YIKES!! I don't recall, Amber, do you drink tea? As in tea-tea, not herbal?

>94 jnwelch: HA!! I love it.

Happy St. Nick!

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 3:01pm Top

>91 jnwelch: >98 msf59:

Just finished Chapter 1, Ella May, of The Last Ballad and love watching

Wiley Cash slowly and deliberately unveiling the unpredictable plot and unique characters.

One thing that still puzzles me

(and, yes, I do value her need for a male friend, adult warmth, and erotic seduction
and do understand the lack of birth control in 1929)

is that, knowing full well that this man will likely soon depart (as she drives him away with the guitar toss)

AND that she will lose major income - and probably her job -
if she has to take off for pregnancy

AND that she can barely support herself and the kids she already has -

why she would take a chance on getting pregnant again...any insights, guys?

I'm reading Chapter 1 again before going on to her strong and forceful daughter.

Dec 6, 2017, 3:46pm Top

>95 karenmarie: Hiya, Karen!

Right - me, too. It was like that unbelievable dinner scene with all the sestras, at the end of the season before. Magic. I was hoping MK would make it, too. Poor thing. She had one of the tougher roads.

>96 Crazymamie: Ha! Oh good, Mamie. I'm always happy when we can get you and one of yours hooting. :-) Please give Birdy our best.

Dec 6, 2017, 3:54pm Top

>97 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline? Zen GPS - easy to find our way there now. :-)

Oh, I can't wait to hear what you think of Why Buddhism is True. He lays it out so well for Westerners, and he has a good understanding of all the underpinnings.

>98 msf59: Hey, Mark. I'm glad you LIKE that >94 jnwelch:. I somehow missed that you had the day off. Hope you've been enjoying it!

I originally read Why Buddhism is True on Kindle, but it's one of those I liked so much I went out and got in hardcover. So I've got it. The one fly in the ointment for forking it over is that Debbi also plans to read it. If you need it, let me know, and I'll run the timing by her.

Good for Bree! Getting a house is a big deal. Please congratulate her and give her our best. I'll look for your reaction to it. We're really happy about the one Jesse and Adri bought in Pittsburgh.

I've been reading some The Last Ballad today; Ella just spoke and sang at the union rally in Gastonia.

Dec 6, 2017, 3:59pm Top

>99 scaifea: Yeah, I'd be the same way, Amber. Hives me twice and I'm a dope. I'd stay away from them cranberries, too.

Debbi just loved All's Faire in Middle School. I hope you have a good time with it.

>100 richardderus: I can't remember Amber's tea or tea-tea preferences, if any, Richard. I think of her as a tea drinker, but I could be wrong.

I thought you'd probably get a kick out of >94 jnwelch:. That's a beautiful seasonal illustration you posted. Thank you!

Dec 6, 2017, 4:08pm Top

>101 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne.

I'm enjoying The Last Ballad, too. The change in perspective with her daughter is interesting - that one (her daughter's perspective) needs to be developed more, for me. I'm already hooked on Ella.

I'm not sure what her thinking is on the pregnancy issue. Different times, for one thing - she'd already lost Will, and this seems like still a time period where you have a lot of kids with a good possibility that some won't make it. She also seems both to be fatalistic about getting pregnant - kind of a "God's will" kind of thing - and to really love having children. They give her purpose.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 4:21pm Top

We just finished our sixth in the Little House on the Prairie series, which Madame MBH, bless her, has been reading aloud to us. The Long Winter was very good, and I've read in a couple of places now that it's considered to be the one she wrote at the height of her powers. Count our blessings! What a lot they had to overcome back then.

Dec 6, 2017, 5:52pm Top

>100 richardderus: Richard: Huge tea drinker. HUGE. And tea-tea, none of that herbal business. Early Grey and Lady Grey are my favorites.

>106 jnwelch: Oh, LOVE. Such a good one.

Dec 6, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>105 jnwelch:


here's one more from Chapter 1 that I've read 3 times and can't figure out if something is missing:

Page 5 = "John had left her-left them all, for that matter-almost two years ago right after their son, Willie, had died..."

Page 22 = "It had been five years since Willie's death...."

Two years ago or five years...?

Dec 6, 2017, 9:01pm Top

>107 scaifea: Always knew you had good taste, Amber. Tea is good! Too bad about the cranberries, though.

Your thread is just zipping along, Joe and I see there are a lot more pancakes. Gingerbread waffles sound interesting and french toast. Is everyone in need of comfort food?

Dec 7, 2017, 5:23am Top

Very belated happy new thread, Joe.
Catching up with the fast moving threads after nearly a week isn't easy ;-)

Dec 7, 2017, 6:20am Top

>109 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! My day doesn't start properly until I've had my first cuppa, and in the winter I usually have at least three cups in a day, although I sometimes mix chai and coffee in there, too.

Morning, Joe!

Dec 7, 2017, 9:19am Top

Morning, Joe! Sweet Thursday to you!

Dec 7, 2017, 9:31am Top

>107 scaifea: The Long Winter is such a good one, isn't it, Amber.

OK, huge tea drinker. Here's your huge Grey tea.

Dec 7, 2017, 9:38am Top

>108 m.belljackson: Does the context affect it, Marianne? 17 pages and 3 years later? If not, you've spotted a screw-up the editors missed.

>109 Familyhistorian: I suspect everyone is in need of comfort food, Meg. Winter coming on and, in the USA anyway, our political situation still in turmoil.

More French toast?

Dec 7, 2017, 9:42am Top

>110 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. No worries. I'm glad you're able to catch up a bit. I hope you're doing okay.

>111 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Three Huge Teas and you should be squared away for a week or so?

>112 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Sweet Thursday!

Dec 7, 2017, 9:43am Top

Alice Pasquini

Dec 7, 2017, 9:55am Top

When you have finished the Little House books you will have to read Prairie Fires. That is the new biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the reviews of it have been very good.

Dec 7, 2017, 11:17am Top

>114 jnwelch:

If it's the context, I still can't figure it out!

I have an Advance Copy, but doubt that author & many editors could have missed it -

three years may well have passed, yet the first entry clearly states "almost two years ago."

Dec 7, 2017, 11:24am Top

>107 scaifea:, >113 jnwelch: OIC

Well, permaybehaps your nasty cranberry reaction is to the large quantities of tannin you already consume going into overload condition when you add the extra-large helping of tannin in cranberries. Too much of a good thing, methinks.

So Joe. How's the staff's mood today? I'm feeling a mite peckish and have a yen for pumpkin spice pancakes with my customary vat of coffee. Are the temperamental divas of the gas range willing to accommodate a mere guest?

Dec 7, 2017, 11:37am Top

>117 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. You're right - we have a advance copy of Prairie Fires, featuring Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter,and it has been highly recommended to us. Thanks for thinking of it.

>118 m.belljackson: It may be a clue as to who killed the passenger on the train, Marianne - oh wait, that's Murder on the Orient Express.

If I find out anything that sheds light on that, I'll let you know. I'm nearing halfway through, thanks to the train commute to work.

Dec 7, 2017, 11:43am Top

>119 richardderus: You're a silver-tongued devil, RD, and no "mere guest". As soon as the kitchen staff heard your dulcet inquiry, and knew it was you, it was all hands on deck. Here you go.

As soon as our daughter hears there's such a thing as pumpkin spice pancakes, she's going to be nagging us for more.

Dec 7, 2017, 11:52am Top

It's getting to be time for eggnog pancakes, you know....

Dec 7, 2017, 12:53pm Top

>122 richardderus: Now you're talking my language, RD! I like just about eggnog anything. Pull up a fork.

Dec 7, 2017, 1:27pm Top

>123 jnwelch: ooh. That looks amazing. Two of that please.

Dec 7, 2017, 2:07pm Top

>124 charl08: Back! Back, I say! Away from the nogcakes!!

>123 jnwelch: I remember our shared delight in this seasonal joy. I've never heard of nog syrup, though, and now crave it intensely.

Dec 7, 2017, 2:34pm Top

>123 jnwelch:, >124 charl08: LOL!! (We'll get you some nogcakes on the sly, Charlotte - mum's the word).

Nog syrup was new to me, too, Richard, and I've now got that same intense craving.

Dec 7, 2017, 2:45pm Top

Recipe for same is here and looks delicious.

Edited: Dec 7, 2017, 3:04pm Top

>127 richardderus: Oh my, thanks for that link to the recipe, Richard.

Nice and simple, too.

Dec 7, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>126 jnwelch: I'll just tiptoe away with >128 jnwelch:...

Dec 7, 2017, 3:30pm Top

>129 charl08: Ha! Well done, Charlotte.

Dec 7, 2017, 3:38pm Top

>129 charl08:, >130 jnwelch: *chagrin*

Oh well, if I ate another nogcake I'd bust wide open. Much as it pains me to admit it, now that I'm closer to 70 than I am to 40, I'm slowing down.

Dec 7, 2017, 4:04pm Top

All these pancakes are looking mighty tasty, Joe! I've decided that one of my next reading projects is going to be a re-read of the "Little House" series, I truly loved that series when I was a kid. I sure hope to get my present shopping completed over the next week, I do not enjoy shopping and I can't relax and enjoy the season until the gifts are purchased. I've been having an excellent run of books lately with News of the World, The Jaguar's Children and The Boy on the Bridge, now I am about to start To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey which I have been looking forward to as I loved her first book, The Snow Child. Have a great day!

Dec 7, 2017, 6:31pm Top

Hi, Joe! I've been catching up on threads this week, reading yours but not posting. Decided I had to delurk to tell you that all this talk about pancakes made me hungry for - pajeon (Korean scallion pancakes). I even took a pic of last night's dinner, in case you were wondering what they look like. I can tell you that they taste delicious! (The red "syrup" is sweet chili sauce.)

Dec 7, 2017, 7:29pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Joe. I hope your work day went smoothly. At least, you didn't have to trudge around in the cold. It never felt like it warmed at all, even with the sunshine.

I am really enjoying The Last Ballad. It is a much more ambitious narrative, than I expected. 275 pages in. Ella May is a heck of a character.

Dec 8, 2017, 1:20am Top

>109 Familyhistorian: I always start my day with tea too, Amber. Maybe that is because I don't drink coffee?

>114 jnwelch: But anyway a large cup of tea would go well with that French toast. Thanks Joe.

Dec 8, 2017, 6:26am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy Friday!!

Dec 8, 2017, 8:24am Top

>131 richardderus: Slowing down, but eating pancakes with more relish, Richard. Wait, that didn't come out right. Enjoying those pancakes more, that's what I meant.

>132 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. We sure have enjoyed reading the Little House books for the first time as grownups. Hope you have a good time with the re-read.

That does sound like a good run of reading. The only one I've read of those is News of the World, which I loved and we've given as a gift more than once. I may have to try Ivey at some point.

Dec 8, 2017, 8:30am Top

>133 Storeetllr: Hiya, Mary. Mmm, pajeon (Korean scallion pancakes). That looks good, all right. Nice riff on the pancake theme.

>134 msf59: Sweet Thursday and Happy Friday, buddy. The work day did go smoothly, thanks. Man, it was chilly downtown though. Cooler by the lake is much better in the summer.

I'm about the same ways in The Last Ballad. Hampton is with them now.. It's a good 'un. Agreed re the strong Ella May.

I finished the Park Bench GN and liked it. I can see why it got all the awards in France. I wondered whether the guy with the briefcase would ever change his routine, and did he ever! Boo to the new artsy bench, but good solution by the Barbara Cartland reader.

Dec 8, 2017, 8:34am Top

>135 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Yeah, every non-coffee drinker I know drinks tea instead. Chai has become very big here. Madame MBH loves it, although she's particular. I'm always relieved when she likes the chai at a cafe we go to. If not, we're not likely to go there again.

>136 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Woo-hoo! We made it. Happy Friday!

I went to work yesterday, so now I'm ready for the weekend. :-)

Dec 8, 2017, 9:13am Top

Proprietor! I demand nog in all things!

Happy Friday, Joe, now that you've had a small reminder of why retirement is The Bomb. Happy weekend reads abounding and abundant.

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 9:22am Top

>140 richardderus: OK, personalized sign in the kitchen for RD:

Retirement is the Bomb, no bout adoubt it, Richard. I'm nearing the end of a very good The Last Ballad, and about halfway through the next to last Poldark, The Twisted Sword. I'll be heading over to the tbr soon and picking out more abounding and abundant reads.

Hope you're setting up for a good weekend yourownself, buddy.

Dec 8, 2017, 10:40am Top

>141 jnwelch: I wonder if anything in the world can be called "good" while the Gross Old Pedophiles are in power.


I had a good time reading a tiny little collection of shortyshortshorts called Errata, by a publisher friend called Jacob Smullyan of Sagging Meniscus Press. Really more like prose poems. But whatever you do, DON'T tell Paul I was reading and commenting favorably on something I called "poetry" or who knows what will happen...the Apocalypse...resurgent Black Death...the mind boggles.

Dec 8, 2017, 11:28am Top

>142 richardderus: 'Sagging Meniscus Press' - love it.

Dec 8, 2017, 11:39am Top

>143 ffortsa: Heh, I know, right? Although I admit that it makes me think of aging knees.

Dec 8, 2017, 2:18pm Top

>142 richardderus: November, 2018, baby, and fight until then, too. "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." (Thomas Paine)

All right, if Paul happens by, we'll tell him we were talking about . . . anything but poetry. Meanwhile, I'll check out Mr. Smullyan's Errata, but refer to it only by the code name "eggnog". Although that could get confusing.

>143 ffortsa: Ha! I caught that, too, Judy. There's an eye-catching name if ever there was one.

>144 richardderus: "Propped Up By Bionics Meniscus Press" was probably too much of a mouthful, RD.

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 2:22pm Top

How many times have I said that to myself? Not everyone has Darryl's fedora luck.

P.S. Her hat looks like a bicycle seat, or maybe a large coin purse.

Edited: Dec 8, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Park Bench by Christophe Chaboute

This book with no words, only graphic images, is worth your reading time. It centers around a park bench, and the occurrences on it and around it. People, and one dog in particular, come and go, and we get glimpses of their lives.

An older couple comes and sits there on a regular basis to share a single pastry, brought in a box. A young man returns repeatedly with a bouquet of flowers, waiting for someone who may never show up. A man with a briefcase purposefully walks by in all weather, until something changes, and the bench becomes part of his life, too. A homeless man and a cop are at odds, but find some common ground. There are many humorous encounters, including the man angry at the young tokers who show up, only to sneakily enjoy the joint roach they leave behind.

Everyone uses and passes the bench with only their own life in mind, but we get to see it all. It's a pretty remarkable book, that won multiple awards in France.

Dec 8, 2017, 4:04pm Top

>147 jnwelch: nice review

>146 jnwelch: a hat? What hat?

Dec 8, 2017, 4:06pm Top

>147 jnwelch: Thanks, Judy - I added a line about a homeless man and a cop to the review.

a hat? What hat? Exactly!

Dec 8, 2017, 7:32pm Top

I enjoyed The Last Ballad, got there before you and Mark! ;-) I have many things that I wonder - "what made me buy that." I am much improved in that area, but I understand!

Dec 8, 2017, 10:19pm Top

This 38-foot-tall mural of legendary Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut was painted by Pamela Bliss as part of the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI public art project. I don't know where it is, but it's there.

Did you know that Vonnegut was a Saab dealer? Had a dealership on Cape Cod, back when Saabs had three-cylinder two-cycle engines. RING ding ding ding ding.

Dec 9, 2017, 9:24am Top

Morning, Joe! Park Bench sounds lovely - I've added it to the wishlist.

Dec 9, 2017, 11:06am Top

>151 weird_O: LIKE!

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. It has been frustrating, without internet access at home. It has hog-tied my thread visiting. Hope to have this resolved today.

I am so glad you enjoyed Park Bench. Good review. Hope it snags more attention.

Dec 9, 2017, 11:20am Top

>150 vancouverdeb: Yeah, I've gotten a bit better at "what made me buy that", too, Deb, but I still have my moments. Particularly when we travel. Really, that weird t-shirt, that doesn't fit? What was I thinking?

Kudos for getting to The Last Ballad before Mark and me. I raced down the block and through the bookstore doors, but hats off to you, you were quicker. :-) It was a good read, wasn't it.

>151 weird_O: I don't remember Vonnegut being that tall, Bill. Nice street portrait of him. I wonder how well he'll last as an author. I re-read Cat's Cradle a couple of years ago, and didn't get knocked sideways by it the way I did as a kid. I'm going to try Sirens of Titan again some time soon. I loved that one. And I should give Slaughterhouse-Five another go, too.

Saab dealer?! I had no idea. Imagine getting some of that philosophical wit while buying a car. He probably could've talked me into anything, if he was interested enough.

Dec 9, 2017, 11:23am Top

Morning, Joe!

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 11:31am Top

>152 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Oh, glad to hear it. Park Bench is lovely. You'll have a memorable time. I was pleased our library had it.

>153 msf59: Happy Saturday, Mark. Now you've got me imagining hogs tying threads. No wonder you're having problems.

Seriously, that's a drag. Plus we're all over on your thread commenting and asking questions. Sending positive whamsters your way for the fix-up.

Ann Arbor just had a power surge and outage through a huge chunk of it - my dad had to be moved to a hotel (confused the heck out of him). Detroit Edison admitted fault (three transformers simultaneously screwed up, as I understand it), so it and its insurer are going to be making a whole lot of payouts. Alarms, thermostats, meters, and on and on, all fried, through a large section of the town. We're going to have to replace my dad's refrigerator and probably furnace, and we'll see what more. Power surge protectors in his house helped some. Electricians are in huge demand.

But I digress. It's frustrating to have the usual taken out of our hands. I hope you get back up and running today.

Thanks re the Park Bench review. I know you enjoyed that one before I did. I hope the word spreads.

Dec 9, 2017, 11:33am Top

>155 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie!

We got an inch or two of snow here. Hard to complain on Dec. 9th!

Dec 9, 2017, 11:58am Top

Today's predicted "wintry mix" has turned out to be light snow. We'll see if, by afternoon, we get some freezing rain (ugh) but for sure and certain it's hard to justify complaining about it on the ninth of December.

>154 jnwelch: Oh dear, you've said out loud what I was thinking...Vonnegut isn't aging well. The Sirens of Titan wasn't a successful re-read and now I'm scared to revisit Slaughterhouse-Five. It's a moot point, however, with the TV series in the works. Must be done, can't be helped, re-read is now mandatory though the timeframe is open. The series must needs have a network before I trepidatiously crack the Kindle.

Dec 9, 2017, 3:31pm Top

Hi Joe!

>151 weird_O:, >154 jnwelch: The only Vonnegut that I think will stand the test of time is Slaughterhouse Five. Well, at least it's MY favorite, for sure.

>156 jnwelch: It seems to me that power, which we once took for granted and which I don't ever remember failing us in the LA area when I was growing up, has become a much more fragile thing. Perhaps less spent on maintenance and fewer people paid to monitor/manage?

Dec 9, 2017, 4:06pm Top

>139 jnwelch: And you went to work in cold weather, that counts extra! >157 jnwelch: An inch or two of snow doesn't sound too bad for there, just keep it there! LOL We are enjoying our third day in the fog.

Edited: Dec 9, 2017, 4:34pm Top

>158 richardderus: Yeah, you know, Richard, he was such a fave when I was young, I'm rooting for Vonnegut to have staying power. But I worry he may not. I'm hoping maybe I'll have a different reaction to Sirens of Titan than yours. But the odds seem slim.

>159 karenmarie: Hi, Karen!

You may well be right about Slaughterhouse-Five. Jeez, his books were so entertaining when I was a young guy. I wonder what causes the fading?

>160 Familyhistorian: Ha! I should get bonus points for going to work in cold weather, you're right, Meg. It was pretty bone-chilling down in the loop on Thursday. Sure is making me appreciate not-going that much more. :-)

I love fog for walking, but not for driving. What's the Fellini movie, was it Amarcord, where the whole town turns mysterious in the fog?

Dec 10, 2017, 6:53am Top

>161 jnwelch: wow, I’ve been reading along, but forgetting to wave Joe.

I think Vonnegut may have staying power too. I’ve not read loads of his stuff, and some may have a sell-by date, like many writers cannons do, but he has some interesting things to say. Timequake was a book I gave as gifts to a lot of friends the year it came out, though one of his less well known perhaps.

How about some Appel Strudel today :

Dec 10, 2017, 8:04am Top

Good morning, Joe!

Happy Sunday to you. Re Vonnegut, I abandoned Timequake a while back because I didn't think it was saying anything new. That's the way most of books now strike me - derivative. Slaughterhouse Five was simply the best of them.

Dec 10, 2017, 9:17am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy Sunday!

Dec 10, 2017, 10:24am Top

>162 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. Always good to hear from you, my friend.

I love ome may have a sell-by date. Yeah, that's my concern. We'll see. I've not read Timequake, surprisingly enough. I think it came out after my Vonnegut-reading heyday. Should I try it?

Apple strudel - what a great pick for this time of year for the upper part of the planet. Yes! Here's some more:

Dec 10, 2017, 10:27am Top

>163 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen!

Interesting to hear you abandoned Timequake. That's my concern - his books were such a hit for me way back when, I'd hate to start feeling meh about them. I remember Slaughterhouse-Five as a terrific book.

>164 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Happy Sunday, my friend. How's it going with All's Faire in Middle School?

Dec 10, 2017, 11:14am Top

>166 jnwelch: I'm nearly finished with it and loving it!

Dec 10, 2017, 11:49am Top

>167 scaifea: That's great to hear, Amber, thanks! Debbi and I are both in the All's Faire in Middle School fan club. She's (Jamieson's) got such a nice touch with these.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:07pm Top

Wishing you the very best of Sundays, Joe.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:19pm Top

>170 jnwelch: Thanks, Paul. You're way ahead of me on time, but I hope you've been having a great weekend.

Edited: Dec 10, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday. I have been running around doing chores and errands. I hope I can get a chunk of reading in this afternoon. I know you are not a big fan of Hemingway but I am doing a reread of A Farewell to Arms, which I do remember fondly.

Hope you have a nice day planned.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:30pm Top

>171 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. I know what you mean about chores and errands, although it's been light this morning. So I've been catching up on LT!

I'm probably more of a Hemingway fan than you think, just not so much his novels. A lot of his short stories, like "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" and 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro" have that wow factor that lasts really well. The ones I think are particularly under-read are his Nick Adams stories.

I've read all the novels, but they don't have the same lasting feeling for me. I do like The Old Man and the Sea more than a lot of folks, who find it hokey, as far as I can tell. The racism in Farewell to Arms and a couple of the others make them particularly hard to admire for me.

I'm going to try to get to some reading, too. I just started that Happy graphic novel by Grant Morrison that's the basis for the new TV show coming out - the one with the imaginary friend blue horse hooked up with a tough-as-nails ex-cop? It's very good so far, although (of course) very violent.

Dec 10, 2017, 12:51pm Top

Good to know on Hemingway, Joe. Funny, I am not as big of a fan of his short fiction, although I agree with you on The Snows of Kilimanjaro and some of the Nick Adams stories. I will have to revisit them. Maybe, the others just didn't click at the time I read them.

Ooh, the Morrison GN sounds good. I hope to crack the new Gauld today.

Dec 10, 2017, 1:12pm Top

>173 msf59: I hope to crack the new Gauld today. Ha! You're in for a treat, my friend. Perfect for a cold gray day.

Dec 10, 2017, 2:04pm Top

Ha, I can see you are stuck between a rock and a hard place with two conflicting views on Timequake Joe. I’d bare in mind I haven’t yet read Vonnegut’s most iconic work, so the quieter piece was intriguing, and had me thinking I remember. I’ll read it again before going on to his better known stuff.

It’s a big problem for many writers I think, having your masterpiece amongst your first two or three books, and then never cutting the mustard for the fans of those books later on, whilst later books are appreciated by those who start with them, and maybe come to the earlier work later on.

Edited: Dec 10, 2017, 2:24pm Top

I remember liking Galápagos more than Player Piano or The Sirens of Titan when I reread parts of the latter two...thinking that Galápagos was just an all-around better quality of writing and craftsmanship.

Sorry, clearly that's part of the Vonnegut discussion that's ongoing!

Dec 10, 2017, 3:00pm Top

Apropos Vonnegut's Saab connection, I searched and discovered that Kurt was neither the dealer nor was the store Saab's first. Vonnegut was the manager, and the dealership was Saab's second. The endeavor reportedly last from 1958 to 1961. The job gave Vonnegut a steady income while he was writing his first novels. He'd published several short stories while working at GE, and his editor urged him to focus on writing full time. I don't image buyers were beating a path to Saab's door.

By the bye, Vonnegut's fellow Dresden survivor Bernie O'Hare, who is featured in the first pages of Slaughterhouse Five, was a local attorney. Hellertown, adjacent to Bethlehem.

Dec 10, 2017, 8:40pm Top

>175 Caroline_McElwee: It's quake time, Caroline; Timequake has me quaking, and I don't have enough time to make up my mind. Maybe I'll just watch football (American-style).

I know what you mean about the problem for some writers of having an early hit that readers measure his/her subsequent ones against. When I read an amazing debut novel, I always worry (for some reason) that the author won't have anything else worthwhile to write. I was a big fan of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, for example, and it was a relief that The Summer Before the War was a good one, too, if not quite as good.

>176 richardderus: That's an intriguing endorsement of Galapagos, Richard. Another one I haven't read.

Dec 10, 2017, 8:46pm Top

>177 weird_O: Somebody probably could write a readworthy article about jobs held by famous writers. I never would've figured Vonnegut as a Saab dealership manager, or a GE employee. Wallace Stevens was a high-up insurance company exec, wasn't he? And I think T.S. Eliot ("Mr. Excitement") worked as a bank teller.

Jeez, I know Barnstable, MA. My dad grew up outside Boston (in Walpole), and we used to trek across to Cape Cod from Ann Arbor every summer when I was a lad.

Is that a self-portrait by Vonnegut? I can't decipher the signature.

Dec 11, 2017, 1:24am Top

>161 jnwelch: I don't know which movie it was, Joe, but our town is pretty mysterious in fog too. (or smoke for that matter) Enjoy your week not having to go out in the cold if you don't want to.

Dec 11, 2017, 6:17am Top

Morning, Joe!

Dec 11, 2017, 7:38am Top

>179 jnwelch: I agree. So did someone else http://mentalfloss.com/article/31026/early-jobs-24-famous-writers (although it's a bit sparse. And the representation beyond dead white guys is not great).
I'm sad Douglas Adams didn't get to write all the time given how short a time he was around. Although given his attitude to deadlines ("whizzing past"? have I got that right or mixed it up with someone else?) perhaps that's not surprising...

Dec 11, 2017, 7:49am Top

Hi Joe!

Interesting idea about reading an author's later works and THEN going to her/his first novel/blockbuster. Of course once a book's read one can't do that. Some authors I just leave well-enough alone. Like I have no desire to read any more Helen Simonson after Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Chabon is another author I've tried reading more of, but after The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union my attempts have been just that - attempts, not successes.

Dec 11, 2017, 8:38am Top

>180 Familyhistorian: Amarcord was right for the fog movie, Meg. Great movie, BTW.

Wouldn't you know it, we've scheduled all sorts of stuff out of the house this week, including Madame MBH performing at Victory Gardens theater here on Wednesday. (She's performing a new story she wrote, about (my take on it) growing up as a female Jew in male-dominated traditions). So I'm hoping for a heat wave. (Yeah, right).

We're training today, and tomorrow is cafe day, then we're seeing that NTL Follies movie that Anne recommended. Plus Hanukkah starts!

>181 scaifea: Morning, Amber! So glad you enjoyed All's Faire in Middle School. I may actually need to buy a copy of that one.

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 9:01am Top

>182 charl08: Great! Let's see if I can get that Mental Floss article on jobs of famous writers over here, Charlotte.

The Early Jobs of 24 Famous Writers

BY Adrienne Crezo
June 26, 2012

Everyone knows that Stephen King was a janitor and Ransom Riggs shared creepy old photos on mentalfloss.com. What did some other famous writers do before their big breaks?

1. Robert Frost was a newspaper boy, his mother’s teaching assistant, and a light-bulb-filament replacer in a factory.

2. William S. Burroughs was an exterminator. He really liked that job. He liked the word, too, and published a collection of short stories called Exterminator! not to be confused with a collaborative collection of stories with Brion Gysin called The Exterminator.

3. James Joyce sang and played piano while struggling to publish Dubliners. (It was rejected 22 times, so he sang a lot.)

4. Nabokov was an entomologist of underappreciated greatness. His theory of butterfly evolution was proven to be true in early 2011 using DNA analysis.

5. Margaret Atwood first worked as a counter girl in a coffeeshop in Toronto, serving coffee and operating a cash register, which was a source of serious frustration for her. She details the experience in her essay, “Ka-Ching!”

6. When Douglas Adams’ comedy-writing career stalled in the mid-70s, he worked as a hospital porter, barn builder, chicken shed cleaner, a hotel security guard and a bodyguard for an entire family of oil tycoons from Qatar.

7. Ken Kesey was a voluntary participant in CIA psych tests. Mostly these involved being unwittingly dosed with LSD. The one element of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest based on his experiences in the lab (a.k.a., hallucinations): Dr. Broom.

8. J.D. Salinger was the entertainment director on a Swedish luxury liner.

9. Harlan Ellison claims that by the age of 18, he’d been a "tuna fisherman off the coast of Galveston, itinerant crop-picker down in New Orleans, hired gun for a wealthy neurotic, nitroglycerine truck driver in North Carolina, short order cook, cab driver, lithographer, book salesman, floorwalker in a department store, door-to-door brush salesman, and as a youngster, an actor in several productions at the Cleveland Play House." It should be noted that he's a guy who makes stuff up for a living, too.

10. Zane Grey was a dentist. He really, really hated it. When he married his wife Dolly, he closed the practice he'd been running for nine years to focus on his literary career. The couple (and his mother-in-law and sister-in-law) lived off of Dolly’s inheritance.

11. Raymond Carver worked with his father at a sawmill after graduating from Yakima High School. Later, he would work as a janitor, delivery man and again at the sawmill to support his family while building his career as a short storyist.

12. Don DeLillo took a job as a parking attendant when he was a teenager. It was so boring that he became an avid reader, which led him to pursue a career in writing.

13. Haruki Murakami (whose most recent title is 1Q84) worked in a record store during college. Just before graduation, he and his wife opened a coffeehouse and jazz bar in Tokyo called the Peter Cat.

14. As a teen, John Grisham worked at a nursery, watering bushes for a dollar an hour. That is, until he was promoted to a fence crew, where he got a 50-cent raise. But Grisham decided “there was no future in it,” and took a job with a plumbing contractor.

15. Before writing 1984, George Orwell (born Eric Arthur Blair) was an officer of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He shouldered the heavy burden of protecting the safety of some 200,000 people, and was noted for his “sense of utter fairness.”

16. Though one might expect the author of Moby-Dick to have some experience at sea, it’s interesting to note that Herman Melville was employed as a cabin boy on a cruise liner after his attempts to secure a job as a surveyor for the Erie Canal were thwarted. He made a single voyage from New York to Liverpool.

17. Kurt Vonnegut was the manager of a Saab dealership in West Barnstable, Massachusetts—one of the first Saab dealerships in the United States. He also worked in public relations for General Electric, and was a volunteer firefighter for the Alplaus Volunteer Fire Department.

18. While everyone knows about Jack London’s experiences in the Klondike Gold Rush, a time that heavily influenced his writing, it’s not-so-common knowledge that as a very young man, Jack London worked at a cannery, then became an oyster pirate. And his sloop was named Razzle-Dazzle.

19. A strange job, perhaps, but working as a tour guide at a fish hatchery led John Steinbeck to his first wife, Carol Henning. Later, he would work long hours at a grueling warehouse job until his father began supplying him with writing materials and lodging to focus on his literary career.

20. Perhaps most famous for being a self-proclaimed dharma bum, it’s no surprise that Jack Kerouac worked some odd jobs. These include but are not limited to: gas station attendant, cotton picker, night guard (detailed in On the Road), railroad brakeman, dishwasher, construction worker, and a deckhand.

21. Richard Wright, celebrated author of Native Son and “The Man Who Was Almost a Man,” fell on hard times during the Great Depression, like almost everyone else. He secured a job as a postal clerk, only to be laid off. It was then, living on federal assistance, that Wright began making literary contacts and having work published in journals.

22. Coiner of the phrase and lauded author of Catch-22, Joseph Heller grew up very poor and had to work at a young age to help support his family. Before going on to literary greatness, he was a blacksmith’s apprentice, messenger boy, and file clerk.

23. Though it’s apparent in reading Joseph Conrad’s work (especially Heart of Darkness) that he lived a large part of his life at sea, it’s maybe less obvious that he spent part of that time involved in gunrunning and political conspiracy.

24. Harper Lee, author of one of the great American novels and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, had worked as a reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines for years when she received a note from friends: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” By the next year, she’d penned To Kill a Mockingbird."


So much to enjoy there. Thanks, Charlotte!

Zane Grey as an unhappy dentist - I'll bet that led to a lot of daydreaming. Having been a counterboy at a book shop, I'd be just fine with Margaret Atwood's job as a countergirl at a cafe. (In fact, I'm kind of counterboy at a cafe now, aren't I?) But it makes me curious to read her essay about what she disliked about it.

What wonderful gifts Douglas Adams gave us during his short stay on the planet. I don't know the deadlines "whizzing past" reference; maybe one of our patrons here does.

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 9:03am Top

>183 karenmarie: Sorry Major Pettigrew's Last Stand didn't ring your bells more, Karen. I'm looking forward to her next one after Summer Before the War.

I've had similar difficulties with more recent Chabon books. I did love an early (maybe his first?) one called Mysteries of Pittsburgh. I've been given Summerland with assurances I'll love it. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay remains my favorite.

Another one that comes to mind: I loved the weird early books of Jonathan Lethem. As he's gotten more acclaim, he's written longer and more "authorly" tomes, and I've enjoyed those less. I wish he'd go back to writing short weird ones.

Dec 11, 2017, 9:23am Top

>186 jnwelch: I've been given Summerland with assurances I'll love it.
Someone has a brave spirit.

Oh counterboy! I'll have a waffle-and-eggstravaganza, please.

with a side of bacon, this would be the definition of heaven.

Dec 11, 2017, 9:29am Top

>187 richardderus: Looks like you've done a great job of wrestling up some grub all by yourself, Richard, but I sense you'd not say no to seconds. Here you go:

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 9:31am Top

Dec 11, 2017, 9:32am Top

I *love* Chabon's Summerland! I agree that I think you'll love it, too.

Dec 11, 2017, 9:32am Top

For those who use the Threadbook:

Now that the wiki has been re-established, I've updated the Threadbook to include all the new threads made in November/December. If you find any errors, let me know and I'll get 'em fixed!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:34am Top

>188 jnwelch: Oh yuss, that'll do most nicely thank you.

I suspect you'll enjoy Logical Family. Amusing and touching and nostalgic. Deathless lit'rachure, no; better than a pleasant way to pass a day, yes.

>189 scaifea: HA!!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:39am Top

>186 jnwelch: Oh, I really liked Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and rated it , but have no urges to seek out any more by her.

I've never heard of Jonathan Lethem. Which of his early short weird books would you recommend?

Dec 11, 2017, 10:06am Top

>186 jnwelch: I adored The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay but had a lukewarm reaction to The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I think that's why I've hesitated reading Moonglow.

Both Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War were winners for me so like you Joe, I'll be first in line for Simonson's next one.

Dec 11, 2017, 12:02pm Top

>189 scaifea: Aw, ya beat me to it, Amber.

Wonder Boys. Come on, people. Wonder Boys is not only a great Chabon novel, it was made into a terrific film with Michael Douglas, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr. Just a hoot. I am just now thinking I should reread it.

NOTE: That is a Vonnegut self-portrait, Joe.

Like the list of authors and their non-literary jobs.

Dec 11, 2017, 1:11pm Top

>189 scaifea: Ha! There we go. Thanks, Amber. I do remember that one now. Wonderful.

>190 scaifea: OK, that helps, Amber. I've been a bit skeptical about Summerland, but I'll keep an open mind. He's a talented writer, I know that much.

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 1:29pm Top

>191 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. You're such a good guy to keep the Threadbook updated. I do use it a fair amount, as I'm sure others do.

>192 richardderus: Armistead Maupin! I remember him from Tales of the City, Richard. That (Logical Family) does look good.

Dec 11, 2017, 1:20pm Top

>193 karenmarie: Oh, I'm glad Major Pettigrew's Last Stand at least was a four star read for you, Karen. OK.

There were a lot of weird, (relatively) short Lethems I loved. I started with Gun, with Occasional Music (a kangaroo as a main character, what's not to like?), and that's what I'd recommend. If you like it, then As She Climbed Across the Table, Amnesia Moon, and Girl in Landscape are more good 'uns. There are longer ones I liked, like Motherless Brooklyn, but not as much as those early shorter, weirder ones.

Dec 11, 2017, 1:23pm Top

>194 richardderus: Ha! Once again we're on the same wavelength, RD. Agreed - Gun with Occasional Music.

>195 NarratorLady: Yeah, me, too, Anne. And was it Gentlemen of the Road? Meh. Like you, it's made me hesitate on Moonglow.

I'm glad the two Helen Simonsons were also winners for you. We'll put our heads together when the next one comes out.

Dec 11, 2017, 1:28pm Top

>196 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Thanks for inspiring the list of famous authors and their non-literary jobs. I thought that was a Vonnegut self-portrait. I remember he had a nice touch with sketches.

I haven't read Wonder Boys, nor seen the movie, so thanks for posting about those. I've got Summerland next, as you can tell, but I'll add Wonder Boys to the mix.

Edited: Dec 11, 2017, 1:32pm Top

>189 scaifea: Nice one.

>196 weird_O: I liked that novel too. And what about The Yiddish Policeman's Union?

ETA a whole load of posts just emerged when I hit send.

Dec 11, 2017, 3:13pm Top

>202 charl08: Someone else may endorse The Yiddish Policeman's Union, Charlotte. I'll be busy in the kitchen. :-)

Dec 11, 2017, 3:13pm Top

Did this happen when I wasn't looking?

Dec 11, 2017, 4:52pm Top

That's an interesting list of writer's first jobs. Thanks to all who brought that about.

>204 jnwelch: I didn't notice that happening. Maybe it has and they're hiding it from us. You notice how it is a guy in a suit who will be having his intelligence and intellect increased, maybe all those CEOs of companies are keeping something from us?

Dec 11, 2017, 7:44pm Top

Hi, Joe. Late check in. My Monday workload kept me hopping today. I am enjoying Gangsterland on audio. It is a fun and refreshing crime drama. You might get a kick out of it too. I am trying to close out the month/year with less heavy reads, which dominated the past few weeks.

Bill is comparing A Farewell to Arms to a root canal, but I am having no problem with it, in the early going.

Dec 11, 2017, 7:54pm Top

Oh the apple strudel looks so yummy! I am hungry now, Joe! I am also one who enjoyed Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War . I'll be keen to read another by her!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:48pm Top

>204 jnwelch: Anyone who believes, or ever believed, that intelligence is increased by drugs has never conversed with a stoner or a junkie. Just sayin'

Dec 12, 2017, 4:49am Top

Thanks Joe and RD. Gun, With Occasional Music is now on my wishlist.

Happy Hanukkah, Joe!

Dec 12, 2017, 6:24am Top

Morning, Joe! We had just a dusting of snow here yesterday; Charlie is impatient for more...

Dec 12, 2017, 9:25am Top

>205 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Bill kicked off the idea, and Charlotte brought the article on the jobs held by famous writers.

I may have been wearing my tinfoil hat and using my telescope to watch for UFOs when those CEOs were handing out the intelligence enhancers. Yeah, hold on, is this just more old white guy stuff? We need more diverse CEOs who'll hand out drugs to everyone, and connect us all to computers. Wait a minute - do we even want to take drugs and connect to computers?

>206 msf59: Morning, Mark. Sorry you had a late one due to workload. This no doubt is a mega-busy time of year for you.

You make Gangland enticing. I'll add it to the WL.

Ha! I love Bill comparing A Farewell to Arms to a root canal! It's been too long for me. I just remember a feeling like a bad taste in my mouth. Hope it goes better for you.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:30am Top

>211 jnwelch: Hemingway: the morning breath of reading.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:30am Top

>207 vancouverdeb: Oh good, Deb. It always feels good to have kindred spirits. Simonson is a talented writer, isn't she. And those two books were quite different. I sure can't predict what the next one will be.

>208 richardderus: Ha! The stoners, at least, may think their intelligence is enhanced, Richard. I can remember many a wildly philosophical discussion in my youth, with all sorts of important world problems solved. If only we could've remembered the solutions the next day.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:34am Top

>209 karenmarie: Oh good, Karen. I'll be watching for what you think of Gun, with Occasional Music when you get around to it.

I wonder whether Weird Bill (weird_o) has read it? Seems like a natural for him, too.

>210 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Ha! I love it. Kids really appreciate snow, while we oldsters (this one, anyway) grumble.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:36am Top

But really intelligent!

Dec 12, 2017, 10:30am Top

Oh, LT had a great question on Facebook. What favorite literary character would you like to hang out with?

I said Lizzie Bennet. Lisbeth Salander and Fiona Griffiths also came to mind.

Dec 12, 2017, 11:02am Top

Morning, Joe. I wish I was back in the Marky-Mark Man-Cave, with the books and a warm beverage. It is going to be brutal one today. Ugh.
Send cozy vibes...

Dec 12, 2017, 11:04am Top

I am sure several will pop to mind, but first off, how about Walt Longmire?

Dec 12, 2017, 11:25am Top

>206 msf59: I think Bill's comparison is spot on. Just saying...

Morning, Joe! I would like to hang out with The Count from A Gentleman in Moscow.

Dec 12, 2017, 1:39pm Top

>212 richardderus: That's one blurb we'll probably never see on a Hemingway back cover, Richard. :-)

>217 msf59: My sympathy, buddy. It's nippy out there. Debbi had to wrap a scarf around her face. Sending cozy vibes and maybe a St. Bernard with whatever they carry - brandy?

>218 msf59: Walt Longmire would be a great one to hang out with, Mark - how about at Henry's bar, The Red Pony.

Dec 12, 2017, 1:44pm Top

>219 Crazymamie: A Farewell to Arms as either a root canal or bad morning breath. It's not getting high scores here, Mamie.

Oh, what a great idea. The Count from A Gentleman in Moscow would be a distinguished treat to hang out with.

Dec 12, 2017, 6:02pm Top

Hi Joe!

>216 jnwelch: Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey, hands down. Bibliophile, accomplished detective, pianist, lover. Devoted son, husband, and father. Intelligent, sensitive, full of life. Rich, too.

Dec 12, 2017, 6:25pm Top

>222 karenmarie: Oh, good one, Karen. Ha! "Rich, too." Yeah, besides all his fabulousness, Lord Peter can pick up the tab.

If you can convince Lord Peter to bring Harriet Vane, I'll join you.

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 6:32pm Top

Many thanks to Anne for the tip on National Theater Live's film of Sondheim's Follies. We just saw it and loved it!

Dolores Umbridge Imelda Staunton is much nicer (if mixed up) as Sally in this than she was as the villainous Dolores.

Janie Dee was terrific as Phyllis (here with Imelda)

Lots of great musical numbers

Dec 12, 2017, 7:13pm Top

I wonder what Voldemort would have to say for himself over martinis.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:15pm Top

>225 richardderus: Just be sure not to tick him off.

Dec 12, 2017, 7:16pm Top

...you *did* notice the martinis...maudlin things, those.

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 7:52pm Top

Mamie beat me to the punch on The Count. I thought of him right away. How about Gus McCrae from Lonesome Dove?

Dec 12, 2017, 8:02pm Top

Incredible, the amount of books you've read this year!

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 8:51pm Top

>227 richardderus: OK, although a martini-ed up Voldemort still worries me a bit.

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 8:58pm Top

>228 msf59: Hey, man, didn't you already vote on this? You went with Walt Longmire, right? That disguise isn't fooling anybody.

P.S. Gus Macrae is a great choice. Nobody's gonna mess with that one.

Dec 12, 2017, 8:57pm Top

>229 Whisper1: Oh, you're kind, Linda, thanks. I do love them books. But I'm a piker compared to some of our 75ers!

Dec 12, 2017, 9:26pm Top

>224 jnwelch:. Glad you liked it Joe. Imelda Staunton has played other Sondheim female leads (Sweeny Todd, Into the Woods) as well as Mama Rose in Gypsy which is available on DVD. It's probably a matter of time before she gets her dame hood.

This is the first production of Follies in the UK in 30 years. I saw that one with Diana Rigg as Phyllis.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:41pm Top

>233 NarratorLady: Wow, Diana Rigg! I had such a crush on her from The Avengers, Anne. Could she sing and dance? Her presence would be perfect as Phyllis.

We LOVED this NTL one. We saw a phenomenal Gary Griffin production of Follies at Chicago Shakespeare (same guy who did the acclaimed Sunday in the Park with George), but this one got to us just as much. Loved the interviews with Sondheim and the director, too.

I'm sure you're right about Imelda Staunton being headed for dame-ness.

Dec 12, 2017, 10:22pm Top

>231 jnwelch: Sorry, I got a bit excited. I am still thinking about it. Grins...

Dec 13, 2017, 5:15am Top

>224 jnwelch: it was a good production wasn’t it Joe. I love the Live and Encore showings. I sometimes see them even if I’ve seen the play live, as the closeups give a different perspective. I saw this one Live, and was actually at the night they filled a Lear a few years back.

Before my holiday in Sicily, I went to see the showing of La Boheme live from the Taormina Greek Amphitheatre, which was wonderful, and a taster of what was ahead. The season had finished by the time I visited.

Dec 13, 2017, 7:39am Top

Good morning, Joe!

>223 jnwelch: Okay. Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane.

>224 jnwelch: Imelda Staunton was in an episode of Midsomer Murders, and I didn't realize that she's married to Jim Carter, who played Carson on Downton Abbey. He was in an episode of MM too.

Dec 13, 2017, 8:06am Top


First Democrat in 25 years. Horrible human being Roy Moore lost. Hallelujah!

Dec 13, 2017, 8:14am Top

>235 msf59: Ha! I actually liked your disguise, Mark, so feel free to come back incognito with more literary characters to hang out with.

>236 Caroline_McElwee: 'Twas, Caroline. I'm so glad you got to see it live. In the film interview, the director (I'm drawing a blank on his name - Cook?) said it's the only play he's done where they get standing ovations every single performance - even the preview.

You were there for the filming of Lear? What was that like - did the filmers interrupt, or did it go smoothly? I agree re the close-ups and different perspective. This is one where I'd love to have seen it live and on film.

I'm not a big opera fan, but you make seeing that La Boheme sound wonderful.

Dec 13, 2017, 8:18am Top

>238 jnwelch: YES!! Whew! How ridiculous that it was such a nail-biter.

Dec 13, 2017, 8:21am Top

>237 karenmarie: Hi, Karen!

They put on play adaptations here (at Lifeline Theater) of the three Lord Peter/Harriet Vane stories, and we loved them. I also love those Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walter ones (they're in the photo), and actually bought them on DVD. I'm glad both will be joining us to hang out. :-)

We haven't seen Imelda Stanton or Jim Carter in Midsomer Murders yet - we're in the 5th season, I noticed. Recently watched the bizarre bell ringer one, if you remember that. Revenge across the centuries.

Dec 13, 2017, 8:24am Top

>238 jnwelch: He can ride out on that horse that he came to vote on. Reckon the horse would have made a better Senator.

Dec 13, 2017, 8:26am Top

>240 scaifea: Yes! Hi, Amber. Yeah, it shouldn't have been a nail-biter but - Alabama. It's just about the reddest state out there. But good news this morning!

Madam MBH is mortified that reportedly 80% of white women in the state voted for the child predator. WW were surprisingly big supporters of Trump, too (you probably saw Darryl's post-election rant). Weird.

Dec 13, 2017, 8:29am Top

>242 PaulCranswick: Shades of Caligula, Paul. You're right, there was a lot of "F- you and the horse you rode in on" going around social media. So glad we don't have to deal with that guy being elected to the Senate.

He hasn't conceded, but the Attorney General says there'll be no recount (they're expensive, among other things).

Dec 13, 2017, 8:36am Top

>243 jnwelch: - It's more than weird. It's disgraceful. It's the best news that Jones won. It is beyond belief that a sexual predator garnered so much support to begin with. And that one lives in the White House. ICK

Dec 13, 2017, 8:42am Top

Hi again!

>241 jnwelch: I have the DVDs, too, watched them recently again, and only wish they had done the final one, Busman's Honeymoon to round out the love/murder story.

Huh. I didn't even think about "F*** you and the horse you rode in on." Oh yeah!

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 9:01am Top

>245 jessibud2: You're right, Shelley. I join your ICK. There are rumblings in Congress to investigate the Drumpf's sexual predation. I hope they do - but mainly I hope someone (Mueller?) brings him down. Unfortunately Pence, who would step in, is no picnic either.

We just have to keep fighting, turn things around in the '18 elections, and survive intact through 2020 elections. No choice.

P.S. I haven't heard yet what the voter turnout was in Alabama, but our current environment doesn't motivate people to get out and vote, I don't know what would.

>246 karenmarie: It's been a while since I watched the Peter and Harriet DVDs, Karen. I'm glad to hear you're another fan of them. Yeah, I wish they'd done Busman's Honeymoon, too. I liked Petheridge a lot more than over-the-top Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter, although I did enjoy those, too.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:02am Top

>243 jnwelch: Joe: My best guess (and that may still not be a very good one) on the WW bit is that being White outweighs being a Woman in the south; in other words, bigotry is ingrained, I suspect, to the point that making sure the status quo stays status quo-y is more important that what that White Man does with young girls in his free time. I could be completely wrong, but it just sort of feels like a possible, if horrible, explanation, both in this election and the Trump one. I also wonder how much "My wife votes how I vote" goes on down there, too...

Dec 13, 2017, 9:02am Top

>238 jnwelch: If Alabackward can do it, so can the rest of us on 6 November 2018.

I am in a celebratory mood. May I impose on the kitchen for a gigantic round of pancakey goodness? I'll pick up the tab for all who care to indulge. Me myownself, it'll be nogcakes with relevant syrup, if you please sir.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:07am Top

Not to be annoying, but according to The Washington Post, "only" (quotations mine) 63% of white women voted for Moore. Still disgraceful...

Dec 13, 2017, 9:12am Top

Honestly, I'm not sure which is more of a head-scratcher: the 63% of white women or the 18% of black men and women. What in the world?!

Dec 13, 2017, 9:25am Top

>248 scaifea: I know, Amber, it's such an unfamiliar way of looking at things. You may be right. Debbi wondered about the "I vote the way my husband votes" part. And some of the WW vote no doubt was plain conservative Republicanism, ignoring anything else. But that high percentage, wow.

>249 richardderus: Agreed, RD. This'll have to be it - leaving the house, I am. But here are them pancakes - celebrate!

See you later on!

Dec 13, 2017, 10:37am Top

On the subject of Alabama's election:

- Total turnout appears to be about 40%, which is high for a special election like this, but conceivably low for one with such controversy.

- So 60% of the people in Alabama chose not to vote.

- 63% of the white women who voted voted for Moore. This is means roughly 25% of the white women in the state who are eligible to vote voted for Moore.

My thought is that the hardcore Republican voters turned out to vote for Moore, a small group of cross-over Republicans voted for Jones, and the real victory here is that Black voters were able to get out a strong vote with very high turnout despite a challenging system to carry the election for Jones. The bulk of white voters stayed home - either because they didn't care or because they couldn't vote for a Democrat even though they also didn't want to vote for Moore. I suspect the latter. Either way, not a shining moment for white Alabama.

Edited: Dec 13, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>234 jnwelch: Diana Rigg could certainly carry a song but I suspect she's not much of a dancer. In that production, they replaced the Jesse number with another one that was sort of talk-y. Every other production I've seen has included the Jesse number and Janie Dee was fabulous. I do remember that when DR walked on stage a collective (lustful?) sigh could be heard from all the guys in the audience!

I thought the filming of this particular show was excellent because every time a character was featured you could see his or her "ghost" in the frame also. On stage, looking at the whole picture, it's sometimes difficult to identify the secondary characters with their ghosts. I've always loved the show but this was my favorite performance of Follies.

The photo of Edward Petherbridge (237) reminded me of dear Ellie. We both had such a crush on him!

Dec 13, 2017, 1:06pm Top

>250 katiekrug: Not annoying at all, Katie. I'd much rather we discussing the right info. I don't know where Madame MBH got the 80% figure from, but it looks like the 63% is more reliable. As you say, still disgraceful.

>251 scaifea: I know, Amber, I can't imagine what the 18% black voters for Moore were thinking. Really?

Dec 13, 2017, 1:09pm Top

>253 drneutron: Really helpful breakdown, Jim, thanks.

This always gets me - how could 60% decide not to vote? And no doubt a huge percentage of those complain about elected officials.

Everyone seems to agree that the black voters saved the day, bless them.

Dec 13, 2017, 1:13pm Top

>254 NarratorLady: Interesting - it sure sounds like they tried to adjust the production for Diana Rigg's relative lack of dancing ability. I can just imagine that it was a wow moment for the guys when she walked out. It wasn't just her beauty; she came across as so smart and witty (still does, as far as I can tell).

Janie Dee was fabulous, for sure. She's the one we were talking about the most afterwards.

I've only seen Edward Petheridge in the Wimsey films. I love that both you and Ellie had a crush on him!

Dec 13, 2017, 1:19pm Top

>256 jnwelch: Oh now, that one I completely understand. I myownself wouldn't go out and vote for a GOP candidate that was, in point of fact, the better person for the job than one of my own party or the Democrats. I'd stay home and let nature take her course.

Dec 13, 2017, 2:12pm Top

When our TV news covered the Alabama election I remember hearing that Moore was the front runner. The majority of the vote wasn't in at that time. There were some interviews with white women republican voters in the broadcast as well as an analyst talking about why Trump needed Moore to get in. Great to see that Jones won (my those names are Anglo). I am hoping that this means it will be more difficult for the current government to ride rough shot over the political process. Is that the case?

Dec 13, 2017, 2:44pm Top

>258 richardderus: Well, it's right to be reminded of that, RD. I know a lot of good folks do think that way. I'm not a stay home and let nature take its course kind of guy. And in this case, they came close to being complicit in letting a racist sex predator be elected. I guess in the end I remain mad at them.

My thinking is affected by the fact that, if there's a big turnout, it's normally an advantage for the Democrats. There are a lot more of them if they vote. That's of course why the Republicans keep trying to come up with ways to restrict voting.

>259 Familyhistorian: Hiya, Meg. My those names are Anglo Ha! Aren't they?

It helps in the political process, but only a little. If I've got it right, the Repubs still have a 51-49 advantage in the Senate. But as we've seen on the healthcare failure, there are Republicans who crop up occasionally who put the good of the country, and what's right, ahead of the party. That shouldn't be unusual, should it, but it is. So this makes it tougher for the Repubs in the close, majority wins votes (a lot of votes require more than that - we probably need a Civics 101 course at some point).

Also, it's temporary - Jones gets two years, I think, and then Alabama votes again, and it's about the reddest state out there.

What this does do, besides helping the Democrats in close votes, is prevent Trump from crowing (with a Moore victory) that people love what he's doing, etc. The majority of people here, by a long shot, hate what he's doing, and here a Trump-endorsed Republican in what may be the reddest state loses to a Democrat. The loser had to be a villain of the first order, but if he'd won, oh my. I don't even want to think about it.

Dec 13, 2017, 4:28pm Top

>239 jnwelch: interestingly Joe, I was barely aware of the filming, if memory serves the cameras are at each end of one row in the audience, with that row left empty, and I think a couple of cameras low on the stage, but because the ones in the audience float higher than the audience in the stalls, you don’t really notice them. Maybe those looking down from the circle are more aware of them.

>250 katiekrug: I don’t understand why so many women can support such a hateful individual. Some weird wiring going on there. Maybe it’s something in the food.

>252 jnwelch: ooo, now you’ve made me hungry. I actually had crepes for dessert at lunchtime.

>257 jnwelch: Another one here who had a crush on Petherbridge as Wimsey. I see him as the character when I read the books, he was so good in that role. He had a stroke on stage about 10 years ago, but recovered quite well. He’s an artist too.

Dec 13, 2017, 4:38pm Top

>261 Caroline_McElwee: Petherbridge had a supporting role in a London production of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" several years ago. I didn't realize he was in it until he walked on stage. Come to think of it, my reaction wasn't too different than the male reaction to Diana Rigg!

Dec 13, 2017, 4:44pm Top

>260 jnwelch: Blessedly, I've never been tested. So far there's been someone I could vote *for* instead of against in every election I've voted in since 1978 (John Luke Hill, Democrat for governor of Texas, lost to *shudder* Dolph Briscoe).

Dec 13, 2017, 4:47pm Top

>261 Caroline_McElwee: - I saw an interesting breakdown of the voting which showed the support of white women was overwhelming the support of white evangelical Christian women. Non-evangelical white women overwhelmingly shunned Moore. So maybe it's less an issue of what's up with white women and more an issue of what's up with this particular subset of white women. As an atheist, I have a lot to say :)

Dec 13, 2017, 5:00pm Top

Interesting Katie, if disturbing too. Less independence in their choice perhaps.

Dec 13, 2017, 6:27pm Top

>261 Caroline_McElwee: After I asked, Caroline, I was thinking that reactions to the play from the audience and shots of the audience in the film indicated they were unaffected by the cameras. So I suspect your experience applied everywhere in the theater. Glad to hear it.

Don't those pancakes look good? We used to have a very good crepe place near us, but unfortunately it closed.

Who knew Edward Petherbridge was such a heart throb? I'm glad he recovered well from the stroke, and intrigued to hear he's also an artist. I need to look into him more. I can see why you visualize him as Wimsey in the books - he was aces in the part.

Dec 13, 2017, 6:30pm Top

>262 NarratorLady: Ha! I wish we could convey these sighs of delight to Mr. Petherbridge, Anne. He'd be feeling quite proper, I imagine.

>263 richardderus: Yeah, I could see sitting out if I didn't like either of the candidates and who won mattered not, RD (six of one, half dozen of another). But when it matters so much, like this one, I don't get it what those who didn't vote were thinking, other than that they couldn't be bothered.

Dec 13, 2017, 6:32pm Top

>264 katiekrug: Wow, good info, Katie, thanks. I'm with you. This guy (Trump) is so un-Christian, and Moore as much or more so, and yet Evangelicals support them? Crazy.

>265 Caroline_McElwee: Interesting and disturbing, yup.

Dec 13, 2017, 6:41pm Top

We're off soon to Victory Gardens Theater where Madame MBH will perform in the "Liquor and Latkes" program. Entertainment to celebrate Hanukkah and the holiday season. Hosted by Kevin Coval (People's History of Chicago), with Peter Sagal of NPR and other local noteworthies on the program with her. We went last year and loved it. The latkes (potato pancakes) are free, and the liquor is . . . not.


December 13, 2017
Hosted by Kevin Coval
Produced by Tammy Job

Join us for the 6th annual Liquor & Latkes all-ages event on Wednesday, December 13th hosted by poet and Louder Than A Bomb founder, Kevin Coval.

Liquor & Latkes is a multi-ethnic, inter-religious Hanukkah celebration that will feature Indira Abraham, Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Britteney Black Rose Kapri, Defcee, Rich Jones, Debbi Welch, Leor Galil, Adam Mansbach, Peter Sagal, H. Melt, Verbal Kent and Band from Bohdi Spiritual Center, and other special guests.

Come join us for this can’t-miss incredible mishmash of new school talent including rappers, singers, comedians, graffiti writers and Rabbis at Victory Gardens Theater.

Latkes donated by Manny’s Deli.

Dec 13, 2017, 7:38pm Top

On the two subjects surfacing most on your thread

1) I think the threat of a pro-choice senator was a big issue for evangelical women, and may explain their vote, even with the allegations against Moore

2) I had the pleasure, years ago, of seeing Edward Petherbridge as Newman Noggs in the stage production of 'Nicholas Nickleby' in New York. The entire production was dazzling, and Petherbridge particularly so.

Enjoy the Liquor and Latkes tonight! I wish we were close enough to join you.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:42pm Top

Joe--Delurking to say Hi! and so glad Moore LOST!!

Dec 13, 2017, 9:46pm Top

>261 Caroline_McElwee: >250 katiekrug:

Aside from always voting as your husband does, maybe the Southern white women were voting,

not so much for Moore, as against Jones who took down the KKK, that eternal protectorate of Southern womanhood.

Dec 13, 2017, 9:51pm Top

>269 jnwelch:

A joyful and Happy Chanukah to you and your Family, with plenty of gelt!

Dec 14, 2017, 6:21am Top

Morning, Joe!

Edited: Dec 14, 2017, 8:11am Top

Hi Joe!

Liquor and Latkes sounds wonderful.

Speaking of Edward Petherbridge, he was in last night's episode of Midsomer Murders, S10 E8.

Dec 14, 2017, 8:37am Top

Morning Joe! Happy Chanukah & Sweet Thursday! How was the Liquor and Latkes event? I am sure Debbi killed it, right?

I am enjoying a day off. Bree is going to Oregon, to visit the family for a long weekend, so I am taking her to the airport this afternoon. Otherwise, it will be a mix of chores and books, hopefully more of the latter.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:02am Top

Hiya Joe, ya slug-a-bed. Liquor AND Latkes, not Liquor OR Latkes. Drag your hangover out of bed and hop to! You have guests to pamper.

I'm tempted to order steak tartare with capers just to make you queasy.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:08am Top

How were the L squareds? : )

Dec 14, 2017, 10:10am Top

Liquor and Latkes was a remarkable evening, and Madame MBH was her usual terrific self. It was special for her because a number of people who knew her from Young Chicago Authors, including host Kevin Coval, had never seen her perform before. They have now!

Peter Sagal was personal, and very, very funny. Part of his story was about returning to Jewish traditions. His new wife is Jewish and from renowned Jewish enclave Skokie. He said, if you want a Jewish wife, "go where they are made." Ha! We all agreed he should have a late night talk show, in addition to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and his other stuff.

The author Go The F*** to Sleep was hilarious, in conversation with Kevin C. They obviously are good pals who crack each other (and us) up. He writes screenplays now and mixes with Hollywood celebs, and his story of teaching Robert Pattinson (Twilight movies and Harry Potter) how to use a drum machine was priceless. As was his tale of the unlikely success of Go the F*** to Sleep - their biggest question, once it looked like they should try publishing it, was where to tell stores to shelve it? It ended up, appropriately, in "Parenting".

There were other great performances, including a poem about "The Hanukkah Man" from an amazing 14 year old, whose parents had come up with a substitute for Santa. She was an Orthodox Jew of African-American and Dominican descent, and quite composed. I was an idiot at that age.

Anyway, it was a great night, and a number of friends unexpectedly showed up to make it even better.

Seasonsoflove (Becca) and Walklover (Madame MBH) at Liquor and Latkes, with pals Rhona and Keith behind.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:19am Top

>270 ffortsa: Hi, Judy.

Good point re evangelical women not wanting a pro-choice senator. I'd have loved to see Petherbridge in Nicholas Nickleby, you lucky lady.

Wish you could've joined us at Liquor and Latkes; you and Jim would have LOVED it. See >279 jnwelch:.

>271 Berly: Agreed, Kim!

Dec 14, 2017, 10:23am Top

>272 m.belljackson: Ha! Another good thought, Marianne. 2017 and we still have the KKK and their fans. Ridiculous.

>273 m.belljackson: Thank you, Marianne! We're having a wonderful Hanukkah so far. A Rabbi last night said Hanukkah is about finding light in dark times, and everyone agreed that we're sure looking for light in dark times right now.

I hope you have a great holiday season.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:30am Top

>274 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

>275 karenmarie: Hi, Karen!

Liquor and Latkes was great. See >279 jnwelch:. I was just saying, it was a high level variety show, and you don't see that much anymore.

We'll watch for Petherbridge in Midsomer Murders. We're about 5 seasons behind you (!), but I'll remember. Is he young in it? Hugh Bonneville was so young!

Dec 14, 2017, 10:35am Top

>276 msf59: Sweet Thursday, Mark! And thanks re Chanukah. Yes, Debbi killed it. She was so good - wish you and Sue could've seen it. Her two main themes were growing up as a female Jew in male-dominated traditions, and her search for spirituality as a Jew - those traditions didn't connect for her. It fit the evening perfectly, and a number of folks we know who hadn't seen her perform before got to find out how good she is.

Hooray for a day off! Enjoy it, my friend. We're aiming to get to Portland in 2018; I must visit Powell's or I'll go kablooey.

Dec 14, 2017, 10:39am Top

>277 richardderus: You're such a sensitive and perceptive guy, Richard. Yes, perhaps it did take us a while to roll out of bed today. You'd like a cake armchair you say? We can do that (yes, this really is a cake).

>278 Berly: The L Squareds were great, Kim! See >279 jnwelch:.

Dec 14, 2017, 11:33am Top

I have a Christmas party to attend tonight, so I have spent the last two evenings preparing my desert in stages. I did a pan of Strawberry Pretzel desert. I made the crust and refrigerated it to set up on Tuesday night. Last night I made the whipped cream center part and set it outside in the car to set up - the refrigerator is full of other stuff for other parties this weekend. This morning I made the jello part, but I was late for work, because the jello wouldn't set up in the house. I think the house was to warm. I ended up putting the dish (covered of course) out on the hood of the car for half an hour, and FINALLY it set up enough I could put it on the rest of the desert. The result is that we will have a pretty desert for our Christmas celebration tonight.

I laughed as I was putting the dish outside this morning, because the whole time I was growing up, during the winter we used the back porch as an auxiliary freezer. It was a great place to put soups, stews, and even roasts, and ham so that they could freeze, without taking up huge chunks of space in the freezer. We weren't the only ones. One winter, our dog (a good sized German Sheppard) came home with a beef roast, that I am sure she nabbed from somebody's back porch. We never did find out who's roast it was. See cold weather is good for something.

Dec 14, 2017, 11:49am Top

>285 benitastrnad: Ha! I love it, Benita, including your dog coming home with a mystery beef roast. I know it's hard to train dogs to do that. :-)

Good for you for letting Mother Nature solve the problem. You're right, we need to find all those things that the cold weather is good for. Have a wonderful Christmas party tonight, and best wishes for the holiday season.

Dec 14, 2017, 11:49am Top

We can keep going here, but the new cafe is also open. See you there!

Dec 14, 2017, 12:40pm Top

>284 jnwelch: HA!! I love that cake.

Edited: Dec 14, 2017, 1:01pm Top

Dec 14, 2017, 1:12pm Top

>284 jnwelch: - A former colleague of mine used to make cakes like this. Incredible!! At school, she'd raffle them off, and give the money to the school's Christmas Fund. I should try to find some photos I have of some of them.

Dec 14, 2017, 1:17pm Top

>279 jnwelch:

Any chance Liquor and Latkes was videotaped?!

Edited: Dec 14, 2017, 1:53pm Top

>290 jessibud2: It does amaze me that someone can make a cake like this, Shelley. It'd be great to see photos of your former colleague's work.

Dec 14, 2017, 1:49pm Top

>292 jnwelch:

Message intended for Shelley came to me...

Edited: Dec 14, 2017, 1:54pm Top

>293 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. Fixed it. Unfortunately, no videotaping of Liquor and Latkes. I wish!

Dec 14, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>292 jnwelch: - Ok, Joe, done! Check my gallery (and my thread, for a note first ;-)

Dec 14, 2017, 2:59pm Top

>3 jnwelch: cripes Joe, I’ve been meaning to reread your poem, I like to read a poem more than once before commenting. Sadly it’s so apt. I wrote one many years ago about the Irish troubles, and you have one here that still tells us how little we have advanced. Sad face.

>279 jnwelch: ha, lovely to see evidence of your happy evening.

Dec 14, 2017, 7:07pm Top

>295 jessibud2: I'll do it, Shelley, thanks. We're about to go out to see a play, but I'll check it out soon.

>296 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, thanks, Caroline. I appreciate your giving the poem a re-read, and commenting on it. I know; I'm an optimist by nature, but arggh, we have advanced so little. Sad face from me, too.

Yes - happy face for the evening shown in >279 jnwelch:. Amazing things and people are happening at the same time that violent stupidity continues. What a world.

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