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Markon is Home in 2018

Club Read 2018

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1markon
Dec 19, 2017, 5:31pm Top

Hi, I’m Ardene, and this is my first year on Club Read. It happens that many of my favorite books in 2017 were nonfiction, but in terms of volume I read a lot more fiction, especially mystery, science fiction and fantasy.

My favorites in 2017



The starlit wood (fantasy story collection)
Words without music (memoir: Philip Glass)
Walls: resisting the Third Reich (nonfiction)

2markon
Edited: Dec 20, 2017, 11:34am Top

Artist Play Word of the Year: Home



I’m part of a group of women who meet regularly to have fun and encourage each other’s creativity. This year we chose a word in the fall of 2017, and my word is home. At the end of the calendar year, I’m also thinking about the word threshold – the border between the inside and the outside, the old and the new. I also sing with a threshold choir.

Oh, and my spiritual community is searching for a new home, and my dad is in the process of selling his half of the farm that my mother grew up on (though thankfully he's selling to my cousin, so I can still visit if I want.)

So home - where it is and what it means - is on my mind.

3markon
Edited: Apr 11, 3:44pm Top

Books read in 1st quarter 2018
January
1. Emergence by C. J. Cherryh (science fiction) (ebook) ****
2. Glass Houses by Louise Penny (mystery) (eaudiobook) *** 3/4
3. Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman (& The Cold Eye in 2017) (fantasy)
4. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (eaudiobook) **** 1/2
5. The Open Door by Latifa Zeyyat, translated by Marilyn Booth *** 3/4
6. Clarkesworld magazine, January 2018 edition (ebook) ***
7. Binti**** & Binti: Home***3/4 by Nnedi Okorafor (ebooks)
8. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (eaudiobook) ****
9. My friend Madame Zora by Jane Duncan ***1/2
10. In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle ***
11. The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017, series editor John Joseph Adams, volume editor Charles Yu ***

February
12. The Muse by Jessie Burton *****
13. Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman ***
14. Semiosis b Sue Burke ***3/4
15. The End of all things by John Scalzi ***1/2
16. The Power by Naomi Alderman ****

March

I re-listend to a couple of Maisie Dobbs novels, but didn't record them.
17. My friends the MacLeans by Jane Duncan ****
18. Lake Silence by Anne Bishop ***.75
19. The Line Becomes a River by Franciso Cantu****
20. The Western Star by Craig Johnson****

Books I didn't finish
Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick (non fiction)
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben (non fiction)
Jade City by Fonda Lee (fantasy) (science fiction)
Prussian Blue by Phillip Kerr (mystery)
The overneath by Peter Beagle
Dark Matter: reading the bones edited by Sherree R. Thomas

4markon
Edited: Apr 10, 7:32pm Top

Books read in 2nd quarter 2018

April
22. Down the river unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
23. My friend Sashie by Jane Duncan
24.

May

June

Books I didn't finish

The future is history
Sadness is a white bird
Born to run

5markon
Dec 22, 2017, 2:39pm Top

Books read in 3rd quarter 2018

July

August

September

6markon
Dec 22, 2017, 2:42pm Top

Books read in 4th quarter 2018

October

November

December

7markon
Edited: Mar 27, 10:34am Top

I hope I may achieve a Bingo this year, but am not choosing books to fit the categories.



#3 - Originally in a different language: The Open Door by Latifa Zayyat (Arabic)
#4 - New to you author: Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures
#7 - Published in 2018: Emergence by C. J. Cherryh
#13 - Alpha Category - Z!: My friend Madam Zora
#17 - Something in the sky in the title: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
#20 - Beautiful Cover: The Muse by Jessie Burton
#21 - Memoir or autobiograph: The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu
#24 - Story involves travel: Binti & Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Planning thread with cards

Directions for using cards can be found here

Bingo Card wiki

Link to 1001+ books to read before you die on LT

Cats & kits

Colour cat
February/Brown
March/Green
April/Yellow
May/Blue
June/Purple
July/Pink
August/Grey
September/Metallic
October/Orange
November/Red
December/White

Mystery cat
February: Female Cop/Sleuth/Detective: Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman
March: Global Mysteries
April: Classic and Golden Age Mysteries
May: Mysteries involving Transit
June: True Crime
July: Police Procedurals
August: Historical Mysteries
September: Noir and Hard-Boiled Mysteries
October: Espionage
November: Cozy Mysteries
December: Futuristic/Fantastical Mysteries

Random cat
January: read a book bullet

SFF kit

February: "Urban Fantasy"

March: "Off World"

April: "Time Travel"

May: "Rise Up" hosted by
Rise up as in revolution, movements/groups/individuals undermining authority

June: "Series"

July: "Cyberpunk or Techno SFF"

August: "Makes You Laugh"

September: Myths, Legends, & Fairy Tales

October: "Historical and Alt-historical"

November: "Creatures"

December: "This is how it ends"

Alpha kit

Jan: V, M Z: My friend Madam Zora
Feb : P, J
Mar: F, I
Apr: Y, U
May: Q, K
Jun: G, R
Jul: S, A
Aug: O, D
Sep: B, E
Oct: N, L
Nov: T, H
Dec: C, W

Yearlong: X, Z

8MGovers
Dec 31, 2017, 10:21am Top

Passing by to wish you a wonderful new year and to add a star to this thread. I look forward to your comments on the books you read.

9dchaikin
Jan 1, 10:36pm Top

I love your idea of your artist play word. And I found myself looking into the word origin of threshold. Not as clear as I had thought. Welcome to CR. Wishing you a great reading year ahead.

10ronincats
Jan 1, 11:11pm Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

11markon
Jan 2, 10:45am Top

>8 MGovers:, >9 dchaikin:, >10 ronincats: Thanks for stopping by!

13arubabookwoman
Jan 2, 5:59pm Top

Hello Ardene. I'm looking forward to following your reading this year. I have Nothing to Envy on my shelves, so I'll be interested to see what you think. I should get to it soon.

What is a threshold choir?

14ELiz_M
Jan 2, 9:04pm Top

>12 markon: I listen to Nothing to Envy and thought it was a fine audiobook (I usually need "lighter", more plot heavy books for audio). I will be curious to see how you like it.

15Cait86
Jan 2, 10:21pm Top

>12 markon: I read Glass Houses today, and I thought it was another excellent instalment in the Gamache series.

16markon
Jan 3, 10:59am Top

>13 arubabookwoman: Hi Deboarh. I started Nothing to Envy before Chrismas. I need to get back to it, but I've got a couple of gulity pleasures going that are hard to put down.

>14 ELiz_M: Liz, I'm glad you enjoyed listening to Nothing to Envy. I often have trouble listening to non fiction. So far, I'm enjoying the stories of individuals and the way Demick is weaving them together.

>15 Cait86: Cait, I am enjoying Glass Houses. I have to admit I sometimes find the structure frustrating (I get involved and one storyline, and then it switches in time), but it is still a good book.

17markon
Edited: Jan 3, 11:42am Top

>13 arubabookwoman: Deborah, a threshold choir is basically a group that sings for people at thresholds/crossing points of their lives. Mostly that means people who are dying. My group visits two hospices regularly, and will also do on call visits in people's homes. We usually sing in small groups (2-4 people, I'm not confident enough to to less than 3.) Our music is all acapella, and is pretty simple, since it's meant to bring comfort and ease. We are not there to entertain, and are fine if someone falls asleep while we're singing. Here's a link to the website for the national organization.

18arubabookwoman
Jan 3, 1:42pm Top

>17 markon: That sounds wonderful Ardene, very peaceful. What are some of the songs you sing--religious, classical, folk, ???

19markon
Jan 3, 4:49pm Top

A lot of the music we sing has been written for threshold choirs. We will do familiar spirituals if people request them and we know them. Our group has 10-12 memorized, and my two favorites right now are Deeply Loved and Walking Each Other Home (inspired by a Ram Dass quote.)

20markon
Edited: Jan 4, 1:48pm Top

Is it a good start to the year when I've purchased 5 books already? I say yes.

Reading purchases


Emergence by C. J. Cherryh (ebook)
The golden scales and The burning gates by Parker Bilal (#1 & #4 in the Makana mystery series)
Daughters of Iraq by Revital Shiri-Horowitz (3 generations of a Jewish family who move from Iraq to Israel, MENA buddy read for February)
The open door by Latifa Al-Zayyat (set in Egypt, 1950s, MENA read for January)


and the January issue of Clarkesworld, a British science fiction magazine is here.

21markon
Edited: Jan 5, 10:43am Top

C. J. Cherryh has done it again! Emergence was a satisfying read for me. I am happy that we are finally getting some background filled in about Damari's family and her situation, and hope to see more action for her. The storyline on Mospheria was less interesting to me, but is moving the story forward. I'm curious whether we'll see action on the island from the point of view of any of Cajeri's "friends" as the story moves on to the next novel, Resurgence. I'm amazed that I only discovered this author a few years ago, since she's been publishing since the mid-1970s, and is now in her mid-70s.

For anyone with a science fiction bent, this is the 19th novel in the Foreigner series, featuring Ben Cameron, the human pahdi, who represents humans to the Atevi, and repesents the Atevi to humans living on the island of Mospheria. There is good character development, and usually some intense action by the end of each novel, with every three novels representing an overall story arc. The series begins about 200 years after humans have been stranded on the Atevi planet, so humans are initially the foreigners, and the first few arcs involve Bren getting more familiar with Atevi language and behavior as he moves to Shejidan to live as the only human among atevi.

22baswood
Jan 5, 10:54am Top

>21 markon: So you will be speaking Atevi soon. I know that when I was reading Frank Herbert's Dune novels I felt I was learning a new language.

23markon
Jan 5, 1:23pm Top

>22 baswood: One would be happy to learn:)

24ronincats
Jan 5, 2:16pm Top

>21 markon: Would you believe that I have yet to start that series, much as I love Cherryh? I do have 4 of them on my tbr shelf, though.

25markon
Jan 5, 2:45pm Top

>24 ronincats: Well, I would say that you'll have something to look forward to when it's too cold go go outside, but it doesn't get that cold where you are, does it? You'll find a time when it's the right read.

26labfs39
Jan 9, 7:05pm Top

>12 markon: I read Nothing to Envy a while ago and gave it 4.5*. In addition to the intimate glimpse into a world few Westerners have ever seen, I was very impressed by Demick's attention to accurate reporting and to bias, both within herself and the defectors she interviewed. I like how she focused on a few people, although she interviewed hundreds. It allows the reader to become more emotionally involved than a strict report or news article. I'll look forward to your impressions.

27markon
Edited: Jan 10, 11:20am Top

>26 labfs39: Lisa, I'm glad you enjoyed Nothing to Envy. I have unfortunately had to return it to the library unfinished because someone else wants it. So back unto Mount TBR it goes, along with The Hidden Life of Trees.

28markon
Edited: Jan 13, 11:19am Top


I’m less than satisfied with Louise Penny’s latest, Glass Houses. Why? It’s a combination of things. One is style - I’m getting tired of the technique that goes back and forth between one character or time period and the next. This is not a Penny problem, it’s simply I’d had more than enough when I picked up this book. I also had trouble suspending my sense of disbelief for several plot points - the only safe smuggling point left is in Three Pines? A secret door in the basement of the church? And Gamache is once again going to save Quebec? And one drug raid is going to end the drug problem? It was all just a bit too much.
However, a less than satisfying Penny novel is still good enough to finish. I’m not sure where she’ll take Gamache next, since he’s now resigned or lost his job with the Surete twice. Maybe she’ll explore another character? Or he’ll start consulting?
I did find the concept of the cobrador and the theme of conscience that runs through this book interesting.

29Cait86
Jan 13, 2:15pm Top

>28 markon: - Yes, all the arrows in Penny's world do seem to point to Three Pines, don't they? I really loved this book, but you're right that they do require some belief suspension.

30markon
Edited: Jan 13, 4:01pm Top

>29 Cait86: Yes, and I've had to work at it a couple of times, but this one was just too much work for me.

31markon
Edited: Jan 16, 10:18am Top

Currently reading



Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly on audio (better than the movie, which I also enjoyed)

The Open Door by Latifa Al-Zayyat
1996 winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, this is the story of a young middle class girl in the 1950s, during the time Egypt was struggling for independence from Britain. Published in 1960, it was one of the first Egyptian novels to use colloquial Arabic, and was made into a popular Egyptian movie in 1963. My edition was translated by Marilyn Booth.

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty
The story of Twitty's journey to "document the connection between food history and family history from Africa to America."

32labfs39
Jan 14, 1:45pm Top

>31 markon: I, too, enjoyed the movie version of Hidden Figures and have the book on my shelf. Must get to, but the TBR pile is wobbling. I culled it last night, but still...

The Open Door is my first book bullet of the year. I didn't realize there was a Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature; although I'm not surprised. Mahfouz is the only Egyptian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and the first Arabic author to do so. I read Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy and loved it. I have two more of his books that I hope to get to someday.

33markon
Edited: Jan 16, 10:30am Top

>32 labfs39: Lisa, I didn't know about the Naguib Mahfouz medal either until I ran across this title, due to the Middle East North Africa reading group on Goodreads. 1996 was the inaugural year for the prize, and there were two winners that year - Zayyat's novel and The Other Place by Ibrahim abdel Meguid. In addition to a cash prize, each winning novel is translated into English, lucky for you and me.

I haven't read the Cairo trilogy - I'm a bit initimidated by its length.

34labfs39
Jan 16, 12:33pm Top

>33 markon: While the trilogy is long, it is at heart a compelling family drama and follows the lives of the colorful members of one family from English colonialism to Egyptian independence and dictatorship (from WWI-WWII). You could read the first book, Palace Walk on its own and see if you like it. I think it would stand on its own, although once I had read it, I was so hooked, I had to go get the others!

35janemarieprice
Jan 19, 7:57pm Top

>31 markon: The Cooking Gene sounds interesting, looking forward to your thoughts.

36markon
Edited: Jan 26, 10:43am Top

>34 labfs39: Onto the list it goes!
>35 janemarieprice: I sooo need to get back to this!


Had an enjoyable visit with family & celebrated my dad's 90th birthday this past weekend. Since the visit was bookended by an ice storm in Atlanta and two plane flights, I've added several titles to my January reads, with comments hopefully coming by the end of the month.

37markon
Jan 26, 9:51am Top

I'm returning Jade City by Fonda Lee to the library unfinished. There's nothing wrong with it, I just don't want to read a gangster fantasy. It didn't suck me in enough to finish it, just enough to skip to the end and say, yeah, that's what I thought would happen. I found myself irritated at the end because it was clearly set up to be part of a series and didn't seem to finish in and of itself. (Maybe that's because I didn't read the whole thing?)

Why do I want to read the rest of Laura Anne Gilman's Devil's West fantasy, and not this one? Setting. I'm intrigued by the Devil's West setting and don't have it figured out. And I think I understand the setting, and to some degree the politics, of The Green Bone Saga. But I don't have a handle on the Devil's West.

39markon
Edited: Feb 5, 2:37pm Top

Quick comments on several books I’ve read this month.

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Two science fiction compilations - one a Best of 2017 anthology, one the monthly issue of Clarkesworld magazine. Although both had good stories, neither one overwhelmed me with greatness. Favorite stories?

"A world to die for" by Tobias S. Buckell and an interview with Sue Burke that has made me curious to see what she does with intelligent plant life in Semiosis. (Clarkesworld)


I also read the novellas Binti and Binti Home by Nnedi Okorafor. I enjoyed both, and the world-building is excellent, leaving me with just enough to tantalize and make me want to read the next. I did feel like Home didn’t really end or stand alone as a complete story, however. I am curious to understand more of the history of Binti’s planet & people.


And finally, Peter Beagle’s In Calabria, a fable about love and unicorns and courage. This was short, but I read it slowly and savored the characters.struggled to cope with their situations “””

40markon
Edited: Feb 5, 2:39pm Top

Historical Fiction


What do I do when I want to read a familiar favorite? I purchase an ebook of one of Jane Duncan’s My Friend series, this time My Friend Madame Zora. I discovered these at my local library in high school, and am quite happy McMillan has republished this out-of-print historical fiction series set in the middle of the 20th century. I do wish they had paid for a copywriter to correct the many errors in the text, but am glad I can now read these again - I like them as well as an adult as I did as a teenager.


I finally got around to reading, er listening to, Kristen Hannah’s Nightingale, and liked it a lot. At the beginning the sisters, Vianne & Isabelle, seemed a bit two dimensional to me, but this changed as the story developed. I liked particularly the development of Vianne’s character over the course of the occupation, as she and the Nazi soldier billeted in her home struggled to find their positions in relationship to each other, and she reflected on her troubled relationship to her sister & father as well. ****

This was my introduction to fiction set in occupied France. To augment, I saw the movie Un sac du billes (A Bag of marbles) yesterday, This Canadian remake is based on a 1973 memoir (according to the introduction yesterday) or an autobiographical novel (per Wikipedia) by the same title. The story of two Jewish brothers, ages 8 & 12 at the beginning of the story, it tells of their search for safety from Paris to various parts of France during World War 2. The movie is in the family friendly
portion of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

41markon
Feb 3, 4:03pm Top

On to my friend Regina's house for supper and another movie, Challah Rising in the Desert.

42labfs39
Feb 3, 11:47pm Top

>40 markon: So many interesting tidbits in your last few posts. I'm off to see if Netflix has either of the movies you mention...

43chlorine
Feb 4, 8:15am Top

Interesting last books read!
What did you think of the movie Un sac de billes? The book is a classic for children literature here in France, so it seems natural that the movie is family friendly. I read it when I was a kid and was really moved.

44markon
Feb 5, 2:54pm Top

>43 chlorine: Clémence, I liked Un sac de billes quite a bit! It was a more complex movie than I expected, and I thought it well done. Apparently the brothers are still living in France - they had a current/recent photo of them at the end of the movie. Interesting to know that it is well-known in France.

>42 labfs39: Lisa, if they don't have the movies now, try again in 6 months to a year. Some of the movies at the festival are just being released this year.

I quite enjoyed Challah Rising in the Desert as well, a documentary about Jewish communities in the southwestern United States. The movie talked about three strands of migration. One of conversos (forced converts to Catholicism from Spain) who came to the New World in the 15th century. I understand documenting this is difficult and controversial because the secret of their being Jews was so well kept. A second strand was 18th century immigrants who were store keepers/dry goods merchants that traveled the Santa Fe trail. The third is scientists who came to Los Alamos in the mid-twentieth century.

45shadrach_anki
Feb 5, 5:10pm Top

>21 markon: I read the first two Foreigner books back in 2008; I did not realize there were already 19 of them! I am thinking that might be a series I want to dive back into, and I think a reread of the first two is in order, otherwise I have a feeling I will get hopelessly lost.

And I see in post #40 you've also read The Nightingale; that's on my list to read this year as well. It isn't precisely in my normal reading range, but my book group will be discussing it in April (book groups can be wonderful for getting one to read outside one's normal genres). From your description it sounds like a fascinating read!

46markon
Feb 5, 5:27pm Top

>45 shadrach_anki: Anki, I did enjoy The Nightingale, hope you do too when your group gets to it. As for the Foreigner series, I think the first one will get you oriented, though some of the associations do develop over time. I am glad that Damiri is getting some time in the most recent one.

47markon
Edited: Feb 7, 11:51am Top

Am planning a road trip towards the end of next week and am looking for suggestions for audiobooks for an 11-hour drive. :)

Looks like my drive may include:
Seven brief lessons on physics
Loving vs. Virginia
Strange the dreamer
The underground railroad

48shadrach_anki
Feb 5, 5:53pm Top

>46 markon: I hope I do as well! I think I will start reading it soon. In March we are discussing Endurance by Alfred Lansing, and I read (or rather, listened to) that back in December, so I have a bit more wiggle room for our April book. :)

49markon
Feb 11, 6:20pm Top

>48 shadrach_anki: March is fairly clos. hHappy reading!

50markon
Feb 11, 6:36pm Top

Saw a moving documentary this morning, Remember Baghdad, about Iraqui Jews in the 20th century. I'm looking forward to reading Daughters of Iraq, and hope to visit the Brennan Museum this week for Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage. (This exhibit will be in Dallas, TX starting in May or view it online.)

51markon
Edited: Feb 12, 12:20pm Top


This year's first five-star read for me is The Muse by Jessie Burton, ©2016. Two stories are intertwined, one from Spain (Arazuelo) in 1936, one from England (London via Trinidad) in 1967, connected by a painting. Both stories brought to resolution with not all the loose ends and motivations explicated. What drives creativity? How do a person's relationships fuel or destroy their art? What enables some to keep creating and what blocks others?

I greatly enjoyed this audiobook, though it's not without a flaw or two. I savored the voices of Bahini Turpin and Mary Elena Infantino. The story intrigued me and the themes of creativity and identity made the story rich and universal.

52labfs39
Feb 11, 7:11pm Top

>50 markon: I read through the website for Remember Baghdad and was interested in seeing the movie, but it seems as though it's through private screenings only? How did you see it? You might also be interested in reading My father's paradise : a son's search for his Jewish past in Kurdish Iraq. I received it as an Early Reviewer book and previously hadn't known (or thought) about the Iraqi Jews. A fair amount of the book is about the relationship between father and son, so it's not as focused as some of the other things you mention.

53markon
Edited: Feb 12, 12:30pm Top

>52 labfs39: Lisa, I saw this as part of the Atlanta Jewish Festival. I didn't realize it wasn't available for purchase. I'm guessing they don't have a distribution channel. Looks like people in the UK will be able to buy it later this year.

One of the people in the documentary actually bought a house in Kurdish Iraq. At the Q&A afterwards, the rabbi leading discussion also mentioned that in the 30s/40s when a mufti working with Hitler was stirring up anti-Jewish sentiment in Iraq that in the Kurdish part of the country the muftis teachings weren't well received.

54markon
Edited: Feb 14, 4:05pm Top


Taking a road trip to Missouri tomorrow and trying to decide what to take to read. My cousin from Texas and I are meeting up near Osage Beach, MO at my brother & sister-in-law's condo for several days. Am looking forward to time when all I have to do is read, walk the dog, talk to my cousin, cook, eat and sleep.

I have several audiobooks and music for the car. What's on my list when I get there? Let's see,
still working on The Cooking Gene
Daughters of Iraq
a re-read of Their eyes were watching God
The future home of the living god
The future is history by Masha Gessen
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, translated by Jonathan Wright

55markon
Edited: Feb 22, 1:22pm Top


The Open Door (Latifa al-Zayyat, 1960) is a novel I hope to read more than once because it's rich enough to deserve reading from a variety of perspectives.

On one hand, it's a coming if age story of Layla as she becomes a young woman during the decade of 1946 - 1956. At the same time, it's the story if Egypt seeking to be a self-governing country, told through the eyes of an adolescent girl seeking her own self-governing. The personal - Layla's life as a woman and a sexual being - and the political - both the Egyptian government and Layla's position in her family and society- are inextricably intertwined. 4.5 stars

56chlorine
Feb 20, 3:28pm Top

I hope you enjoyed your vacation!
The open door seems very interesting. Thanks for the review!

57markon
Feb 22, 1:36pm Top

>56 chlorine:, Clémence, I had a great time, it was just too short! Jacki & I hung out and walked Milo and cooked and watched the Olympics. It was just what I needed, some quiet time away.

58chlorine
Feb 24, 2:20am Top

>57 markon: Glad to hear that it was great! I'm going away for four days in two weeks and highly anticipate it! :)

59markon
Feb 27, 1:53pm Top

>58 chlorine: Vacations are wonderful! Hope you enjoy yours.

60tess_schoolmarm
Feb 27, 3:28pm Top

Both your vacation and your book sound wonderful. Until lately our vacations were a tiring whirlwind, visit this, see that, from morning till evening. Now, I like vacations where the most difficult thing I need to decide is to cook or go out for dinner! I want a nice view, my books, and silence! (For the most part...having visited The House of Seven Gables last year).

61markon
Mar 1, 11:35am Top

<60, Yes, I like to have 1-2 things I want to see, but take the rest at a relaxing pace.

62markon
Edited: Mar 3, 3:18pm Top

I finished two science fiction books recently.


The best one was The power by Naomi Alderman, set in a world where adolescent girls start developing the skill to intentionally shock (up to kill) people who challenge them. Told in multiple points of view, it depicts the individual stories of several girls and women and one young man as these changes play out globally. I was especially interested in Allie/Mother Eve and Roxy, their friendship, and their differences by the end of the novel. 4 stars

Edited to add:

I was glad to see that Alderman doesn't show this new power of women as a solution to women's problems, or present the women she focuses on as providing unambiguously good ways to channel power.

Did anyone besides me find the framing of the story as fiction a little cheesy? It reminded me of Margaret Atwood's framing of The Handmaid's Tale (which I didn't find cheesy), and then I discovered Atwood mentored Alderman, so I felt like she was copycatting.

I enjoyed the book, but find it hasn't challenged how I think about power or women's place in society.


The end of all things by John Scalzi was also fun. It's a collection of stories set in the "Old Man's War" universe that continues the conflict/struggle to come to terms of the Conclave, the Continental Defense Force, and Earth. 3 1/2 stars.

63markon
Mar 1, 12:35pm Top


Jane Crow: the life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg
For those of you who hadn't heard of Pauli Murray until The firebrand and the first lady, I just ran across this biography which is going onto my to read list. Here's a quote from page 1:

In the 1950s, Murray's legal scholarship on race discrimination encouraged Thurgood Marshall to shift course and attack segregation directly as a violation of equal protection in Brown v. Board of Education (1954). In the 1960s, her attacks on the federal government for failing to protect women against gender discrimination persuaded Betty Friedan to join her in founding a National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for women, which Friedan named NOW (National Organization for Women). In the early 1970s, Murray's concept of Jane Crow - the depiction of gender discrimination as analogous to race discrimination - propelled Ruth Bader Ginsburg to her first Supreme Court victory, establishing a woman's constitutional right to equal protection in Reed v. Reed (1971). And in the late 1970s, Murray became the first black female Episcopal priest, in the process extending her critical thinking on race and gender to the realm of theology.

Murray accomplished all this while struggling with what we would today call a transgender identity.


64janemarieprice
Mar 1, 11:03pm Top

>63 markon: That's sounds great and going on to my wishlist as well.

65fannyprice
Mar 3, 12:28pm Top

>62 markon:, I love the cover art for your copy of The Power! It is so different from the one I read -- where are you located?

66markon
Mar 3, 2:54pm Top

>64 janemarieprice: Hope it's as good as the intro makes it sound.

>65 fannyprice: I'm in the USA, though that cover is different than the one on the book I read.

67markon
Edited: Mar 26, 6:46pm Top


Anyone else been experimenting with litsy? I'm finding it quite easy to use and rather addictive. I have a different handle there, bnp.

I want to post a screen cap of an artist's response to gun violence here, but LTs upload feature only allows me to access my camera, not my gallery. Go figure. To post the same picture to litsy was easy - I just made a screen capture from the artist's web page, uploaded it to a post, and added a tiny url to link to the artist's blog post.

Ahhhh - upload to drive, download to computer hardrive and now I can upload and then post. I think.

I'll be interested to hear from anyone else who is playing with this new to me app.

68markon
Mar 25, 1:14pm Top

Want to give a shout out to Carolyn Ives Gilman for her story Umbernight published in Clarkesworld. Funny and suspenseful & made me look up some science facts to better understand what was happening.

I'm also enjoying Bruce Springsteen's autobiography, Born to Run, as an audiobook.

69shadrach_anki
Mar 26, 10:45am Top

>67 markon: I signed up for a Litsy account back in Dec 2016 and promptly...did nothing with it. Well, not until I got the email announcement that LibraryThing had accquired Litsy, at any rate. So far it seems to be a fun little app.

I've seen some people post cover collages on there, but I don't know how to do that yet. And I really hope that there is some sort of way to clean up a bunch of the data. I've seen a number of errors when I've gone searching for books.

70markon
Edited: Mar 26, 5:34pm Top

>69 shadrach_anki: I think LTs data/cataloging skills are much better than litsy, but I think LTs app skills, judging by the Android app, leave a lot to be desired. So, not sure what's going to happen down the road. An I want to get the location data embedded in cellphone photos turned off before I start posting a lot of pictures there.

71markon
Edited: Mar 26, 6:38pm Top

Two light reads finished recently.


Lake Silence by Anne Bishop (fantasy)


The Western Star by Craig Johnson (mystery)
I don't like cliff hangers at the end of my books! I knew this character would come back, but when I wasn't ready for it!alert>

72markon
Mar 26, 6:55pm Top

An artist's response to a school shooting in Florida, carried in the March for our lives on March 24, 2018.

See blog post here and here.

73janemarieprice
Mar 30, 7:11pm Top

>72 markon: This is quite lovely, thank you for sharing.

74arubabookwoman
Apr 2, 11:56pm Top

I joined Litsy too, with the same user name as here. I will go over there to mark you for following.

75markon
Apr 10, 9:28am Top

>73 janemarieprice: You're welcome.
>74 arubabookwoman: Back at you.

76markon
Apr 10, 9:40am Top

I'm having trouble reading, so not getting through a lot. Listening to rereads of Sue Grafton, Louise Penny, Jacqueline Winspear.

Current reads:


The Miniaturist (audio)


Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser.

Recently abandoned because they were due back at the library:

77markon
Edited: Apr 11, 4:05pm Top

This thread is getting long and hard to manage, so I'm starting a new one for spring here.

Group: Club Read 2018

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