RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 1
This topic was continued by RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 2.
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I'm a retired city planner who loves to travel. We live in San Diego but have a little townhouse at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state where we spend much of the summer and some of the fall. In October this year we plan to fly from Chautuqua to Scotland, spend two weeks in the western highlands, then train down to London for a week before flying to Ireland for two weeks. I lived in Ireland for two years back in the early 80's and haven't been back since that should be fun. Actually I'm really looking forward to the whole trip.
I had challenged myself to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction and finished that last year. I plan to continue by reading the Pulitzer Prize winning biographies, but at a slower pace than I did the fiction (which took me several years). I'm pretty eclectic in my reading so there will be a lot of fiction, ranging from new books to classics, history, current topics and the occasional "beach read" (even though I don't ever actually read at the beach).
I enjoy LT meet-ups and hope to have at least one this year.
Hope you all have a really great 2018.
1. The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone****1/2
2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman*****
3. Love and Friendship by Alison Lurie** (audio)
4. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan****
5. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder****
6. The Ladies' Room by Carolyn Brown (audio) ****
7. Melbourne by Lord David Cecil ***
8. Inferior by Angela Saini****
9. How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry***1/2
10.Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (audio) ***
11. The Return by Hisham Matar****
12. My Reading Life by Pat Conroy*****
13. If I Were Going The Alice and Jerry Books
14. When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards****1/2 (audio)
15. 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie (audio) ***
16. City of Women by David R. Gilliam*****
17. P. S. from Paris by Marc Levy****(audio)
It's almost 2018 so time to get the new reading year going. I'm looking forward to making progress with Mt. TBR. Now that I've moved it to my desk I am constantly reminded of how many books there are in there that I really want to read!
I'm also really looking forward to keeping up with what you all are reading and doing. I'm sure I will be hit by many BB's. Here's to a great year!
Thank you Jim and Susan. We're all ready for the new year now :)
>4 RebaRelishesReading: You moved the whole TBR to your desk?? How did you manage that?
>7 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Judy.
I have a fairly large corner desk with a hutch top on one side. I have three stacks tucked under the hutch so they're stable and nicely visible for me. I gaze at them and think about which one I want to read next -- which changes from day to day.
>10 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Looking forward to 2018 reading and chatting :)
I know that I left a message on your new thread before. Where did it go? Your upcoming trip sounds like fun. Where in the Western Highlands are you going, perchance to some of the Western Isles? I dropped my star yet again. (The star keeps disappearing too.)
>12 Familyhistorian: Goodness, Meg, is my site haunted? lol As to the trip, we've rented an apartment near the south end of Loch Ness and plan to use it as a base to visit some of the islands, ride some of the historic trains and generally explore the area. (Hope your start stays put now)
Starred again! My daughter will be jealous. She lived in Dublin for a semester during college. Loved it!
Hi Reba! Happy new reading year!
i look forward to vicariously traveling along with you next fall :)
>13 RebaRelishesReading: Sounds like a good plan, Reba. That way you can see places like Skye and Glencoe. If you go further afield you can take in Islay and maybe have a drop of whiskey or two. When I was with a group in Edinburgh we took a bus tour of some of the castles, it was really interesting.
>14 Berly: Hi Kim! Glad you're here. I lived just west of Phoenix Park in County Dublin 1982-83 and had a ball. I haven't been back since so it will be fun to see all of the changes that have happened.
>15 katiekrug: Welcome Katie -- so glad you found me.
>16 Familyhistorian: Oh good, Meg, I assume the star stuck this time. We aren't going to make many plans until we get there but I'm sure we will have a great time.
In order to have them listed in the correct year, I'm still recording book I finish on my 2017 thread. If I finish the audio book I have going I will have met my secondary goal of 100. Best be off to put the earbuds in :)
>20 RebaRelishesReading: Recording the books in the 2017 that are read in 2017 is the right way to do it, I think Reba. I am still working on finishing my books for the end of the year
With one more day to go, a day which I expect will be fairly busy, I think I can safely say that my total for 2017 is 100 books. Not bad, especially since some of the ones I read last spring were real chunksters :)
Reba, congratulations on reaching 100! (And I'm also still posting finishes on my 2017 thread).
It's pretty early in the morning still in California but we're among the last to get the new year so I will go ahead and wish you all a VERY HAPPY 2018!!!
Thank you Rachael and Anita -- I wish you both a very happy 2018. Also, Rachael, I adore French Bulldogs both in real life and in pictures :)
Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.
Hi Reba! Happy new thread!
I'm impressed that you've read all the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction. Do you have one absolute favorite or are there so many good ones that you can't choose?
Thank you and happy new year to you too, Roni, Paul and Jenn!!
Hi Karen -- thank you. It took me a few years but it was worth it. IMHO there are many, many wonderful books that have won the Pulitzer. After reading your question I was thinking "maybe I should go over the winner list and make a list of ones I really liked"...maybe I will but I fear it will be a long list.
Happy new year from me too. Your trip sounds lovely, I've been to Ireland a few times but very aware there are some beautiful places I've yet to get to.
Thank you Rhonda, Char and Bekka. I am excited to go back to Ireland and see some new parts of it while we're there :)
Congratulations, Reba, on reading 100 books in 2017 and on completing your Pulitzer Fiction Challenge. I look forward to tagging along with you on your reading journeys. I’m also going to Ireland with you, at least in spirit. Sounds like a fun time!
Hi Donna -- thank you! It's nice to see you and I promise to have you along with me to Ireland. I still have a lot of planning and reservations to make for that trip.
The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone****1/2
I seem to be gravitating towards books about underrated women lately. Margaret Fuller was a woman who should have been well known for her work in literature and publishing. When Everything Changed is a book about the women's movement in general and now this fascinating work about an unsung woman who was one of a very small circle of people who figured out how to break code and then kept doing it as it changed and got more complex. The story includes things about code breaking that I didn't know (there were several enigma machines with varying levels of difficulty, for example) interesting facts about spying during WWII as well as the lovely story of Mrs. Friedman's life and her marriage to a fellow code breaking pioneer. Great read!
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman*****
I don't really like Scandinavian literature and the synopses I read confirmed my opinion that I didn't want to read A Man Called Ove...yet, so many LTers really liked it so I decided to read it. I just finished drying my tears from reading it and I will confess that I absolutely LOVED it!
Ove is 59 and angry. He's had a tough life, which may be part of the cause, but he also just likes things to be the way they are supposed to be and when they aren't he gets angry. The book takes one back to earlier experiences interspersed with stories of his encounters with neighbors who take a more relaxed view of life. Most of the scenes are humorous on the surface but underlying them is a serious look at the value of relationships and warmth. It's really a wonderful read.
By the way, I had bought the Audible version and was given the book for Christmas so I ended up listening to parts and reading parts. Both worked well for me and I enjoyed the narrator who seemed to strike just the right note with the story.
>53 brenzi: I'll look forward to seeing how you like the new one. Have you read any of his previous ones?
San Diego has the world's largest (or second largest) outdoor organ in Balboa Park (Chautauqua makes the same claim the point of distinction is that at Balboa Park the audience doesn't have a roof while at Chautauqua the audience is under cover) and each Sunday the Civic Organist gives a free concert. A new Civic Organist has just been hired and gave his first concert today so I walked over to hear him. Very impressed. He's a young man from Barcelona with lots of enthusiasm and stage presence PLUS he can really play the organ! Given that I had run a bunch of errands before walking to the park, I'm pleased to say I now have 12,256 steps with several hours to go before I sleep :) (Since I don't use a Fitbit any more I have to announce this because it won't show up in the Fitbit group stats).
>55 RebaRelishesReading: I got to listen to the organ being played there on one of my visits years ago. It would be fun to hear this new organist.
>Thanks Mamie -- it pales in comparison to you, Susan, my BFF here and several others but it was pretty good for me :)
>Hi Lori -- they said something about it being webcast. Here's the organ society web site https://spreckelsorgan.org. There is nothing audio there now but it may come.
Hi Reba. I think I have A Man Called Ove on my Kindle stack - and from what you say I think I know someone just like him! Maybe I'll get to it this quarter.
Hi Judy -- nice to "see" you. I think you'll like Ove. It's really wonderful.
I took advantage of a half-price sale to join Ancestry.com Sunday and spent all of yesterday engrossed in it. Big exciting thing was I found a great portrait of my great-grandfather and his sons (one of whom I could clearly recognize as my grandfather) and a snapshot of that same great-grandfather with his wife, sons and the wives of those who where then married. The second included a photo of my grandfather when he was a very young man. I was thrilled. I don't have anything on my calendar today, and it's raining, so I will likely spend today with my nose in the past again :)
>58 RebaRelishesReading: No, it does not, Reba. I haven't gotten that many steps in a long time.
And hooray for Ancestry.com - very cool.
>62 RebaRelishesReading: I spend a lot of time on Ancestry (and on FamilySearch too).
That's a great way to start the year's reading, Reba, with a couple of fabulous books! I've not read either one of those but they both sound appealing.
Hi Mamie -- I'm surprised. You're always one of the top steppers. Of course with the holidays and all that is going on in your household I guess it shouldn't be a surprise.
Hi Lori -- I imagine you do. I've thought about getting a membership for a long time but kept thinking I'd wait until I "had time" to use it. Recently I've been targeting "the beginning of the year" so when I saw the sale I realized it was fate and dove in. I don't expect to find many treasures like photos of unseen ancestors but it was a lovely addition to my first day!
Thanks Julia -- I would definitely recommend reading them. Especially Ove. I haven't read a word that isn't on Ancestry for the past two days, however. Need to correct that today.
>49 RebaRelishesReading: Right, I had meant to get to that one! I'll have to charge my eReader and try to remember to move it up sooner!
>67 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! It's really a pretty simple read, just so human and touching. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
>62 RebaRelishesReading: That's really cool! I often think about doing something similar as I know so little about my Dad's side of the family - he doesn't really like to talk about it, and as my Nana (his mum) has passed away, there is no-one to ask. Some day I'll get round to it I guess.
>69 BekkaJo: Hi BekkaJo. I'd been thinking that for years too and finally pulled the switch on Sunday. The photo Monday was so exciting and then yesterday I got in contact with the wife of first-cousin-once-removed on my father's side. I had been totally out of touch with that side of my family since my mom died 22 years ago (Dad died much earlier) so I'm excited to get a bit of an update there.
Hi Lori -- yes, It's been an exciting beginning with Ancestry I must say! Didn't have much time for it yesterday and I'm not sure I will today but hopefully I'll be able to devote a couple of good chunks of time per week to my "tree" :)
>49 RebaRelishesReading: I liked it too! I wasn't sure I would at first, but in the end, I did like it quite a lot.
>74 nittnut: I agree Jenn. At the very beginning I wasn't charmed but it didn't take long for me to warm to it and by the end I just absolutely loved it.
>49 RebaRelishesReading: A Man Called Ove is next up for our February RL book club discussion. I don't particularly want to read it for your reasons and for the general reason that I don't particularly care for books or movies about cranky, curmudgeonly old men. However, the first paragraph of your review gives me hope that I might actually like it.
Today we're taking our grandson out to celebrate his 13th birthday (which is next Sunday). Last year we decided it would be nice to spend time with the grandkids one at a time so we invited each of them out for a day to celebrate their birthday. Granddaughter chose a trip to the Science Museum and grandson opted to rent a "surrey bike" and the three of us rode around for an hour. It was a big success. This year our granddaughter chose "shopping for a new outfit" (my suggestion for her b'day present) as her day for her 15th and she and I had a great girls-day-out last month. I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas for today's outing, however, so I hope the grandson has some (realistic) ideas of his own. Wish us luck!
Good luck, Reba! I love that you give them each their own day - so full of fabulous!
>78 RebaRelishesReading: Oh, that's a fantastic idea! I hope you have a wonderful time today - I can't wait to hear about what you decided to do!
>79 Crazymamie: >80 scaifea: We went to pick him up armed with ideas such as "movie", "harbor cruise", "maritime museum" but he said he'd like to go to the Science Museum (his sister's choice last year when he said "no museums"). Turned out it was the last day of "Game Master: The Exhibition". The entire lower floor of the museum had been filled with at least 100 video games organized by type and era with good explanations of who had designed them and how the design was new. The games were all available to be played (no quarters needed). We spent an hour or so with the games, then proceeded to the permanent exhibits to visit so old favorites with an hour-long film on lemurs in the mix. A very good day indeed.
(Sorry that film came out darker than it looked on the camera)
We went to a percussion concert last night. One of the numbers was the director using himself as the instrument. He came out wearing only active wear slacks and slapped and tapped his chest, neck, face, feet most while sitting in yoga pose but also while moving into prone, during which he also slapped the wooden platform he was on, then into standing. It was fascinating to watch (and hear). Other numbers were mostly with 3 to 13 performers using traditional percussion instruments plus informal (right word?) ones like cow bells and paint cans. I wouldn't want this all of the time but once a year or so a percussion performance is really interesting and enjoyable.
>85 RebaRelishesReading: Very cool. I've been a part of those performances before and they're fun for the percussionists, too.
>86 scaifea: True, Amber. They mentioned that several times but it was also obvious just watching them.
Karen hit me with a BB the other day so I went to Audible last night (she said the audio versions were particularly good) to look for John McWhorter's work and found a rather large selection. I chose three:
An interview of him by Terry Gross on Fresh Air
The Great Courses
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English
I'm looking forward to listening to them as I walk and when in the car alone.
>88 RebaRelishesReading: I have McWorter's 'The Story of Human Language' on audio. He's easy to listen to.
That's so nice that you spend a day with each grand child for their birthdays! What a wonderful way to spend time together.
That museum game exhibit looks very fun!
Thanks for stopping by!!
Hi Judy -- I plan to listen to him next. I'll probably start with the Terry Gross interview and then do Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue. I'm really looking forward to it.
Hi Chelle -- We really enjoy spending time with them one at a time and the game exhibit was interesting for us and fun for him.
Love and Friendship by Alison Lurie** (audio)
Emmy, a wealthy society girl arrives in a small northeastern college town with her husband, a new professor, and young son. The story revolves around college life, Emmy's boredom, and various people she meets. The main theme is about a love affair and it was so drawn-out, detailed, etc. that I found it terribly tedious. I really enjoyed Lurie's Foreign Affairs but not this one.
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan****
William Finnegan is an award winning journalist, staff writer for The New Yorker and contributor to other publications, who specializes in racism and other areas of conflict around the globe in both articles and books. He won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for this memoir which is the only reason I picked it up. Turns out, however, that I really enjoyed reading about his adventuresome life as both a surfer and a writer.
Finnegan was raised in California and Hawaii as the child of parents who worked in the movie industry. As a young man he set out to surf the big waves of the world and lived outside the U.S. from 1971 to the early '80's. He managed these years by living very frugally (camping, using cheap transportation, eating simply) and finding jobs. In 1980 he taught in a black high school in apartheid South Africa for 15 months, which was a turning point in his life.
The book has much more information about surfing and waves than I ever thought I would want to know but, actually, it was rather interesting and I will now watch surfing with a tiny bit more understanding of what they're doing. Beyond that, the book is an amazing travel adventure story. Well worth the read for anyone who loves to travel and/or is interested in life outside the U.S.
Hi Reba! Jealous that you got to meetup with Roni. And I love the idea of a day to individually celebrate a birthday! I am going to remember that tradition. I am not a surfer, but Barbarian Days sounds like a good one. Happy Saturday!
Reba--So glad to hear your are visiting my fair city in April. I have set up a thread so we can talk about visits and who can come and what we want to do. : )
Looks like your grandson had a grand time Reba. I keep seeing On Tyranny being talked about and I think I’m going to have to look for it.
Hi Reba. I thought I'd stop by to say hello since I'm hoping to be able to join the Portland meet up in April.
>81 RebaRelishesReading: It sounds like a good day with your grandson and actually a very interesting exhibit! I gave up video games long ago but I certainly played some of the earlier ones.
Hi Reba, what a wonderful idea to spend one-on-one time with each of your grandchildren! They'll never forget it. A visit to Portland! Sounds wonderful. We're thinking of going to OR for spring break and renting a beach house. It would be silly *not* to go to Portland, since we'll be flying in, but we'll see how the schedule shakes up. Enjoy!
>99 brenzi: Hi Bonnie -- We did have a fun day. Hope you find On Tyranny worthwhile.
> 100 I'm so glad you stopped by and look forward to meeting you in Portland. I don't really play video games but I thought the exhibit was interesting and it sure was popular with those who do play them :)
>101 AMQS: That would be wonderful Anne! I hope it works out.
So news update -- grandson #2 was born Monday night. This is our 45-year-old daughter's first child and she has pins in her pelvis left from being hit by a car while riding her bicycle about 10 years ago. It ended up being a cesarean but everyone is doing well now. I didn't get here to tell you yesterday because I was at jury duty all day. I was called in the afternoon for jury selection and have to go back this morning to continue the process. If I'm selected I may not be around much for the next week.
>103 RebaRelishesReading: Congratulations on the newest add to the family!!! I have been called in for Jury Duty like four times and have never gotten past the waiting room. Good luck. (I don't know whether you want to get selected or not.)
>101 AMQS: If you come to Portland over Spring Break, use the link in >97 Berly: and let us know. : )
Reba, congratulations on your new grandson :-) I hope you're not needed for jury duty so that you can visit and start shopping for his bookshelf :-)
>103 RebaRelishesReading: Congratulations, Reba! Amazing!
And jury duty - oof. I was only called up once, got selected for the jury, and it was a sexual abuse of a child. Truly one of my worst memories.
Thank you Kim, Susan, Chelle, Katie and Mamie. We're pretty excited about the little guy. Everyone is doing fine. They expect to be released from the hospital tomorrow. Meanwhile Dad and baby are both able to sleep in the room with Mom so that's nice.
I was not selected for the jury. There are things I would rather spend my time on but I wouldn't really have minded being on this trial either. It was a welfare fraud case. I strongly support social programs but don't think they should be abused so I feel like I could really have been impartial and it wouldn't be full of awful things like yours was, Mamie. I can imagine you still have terrible memories from that.
I served once 20+ years ago on a civil trial where the plaintiffs weren't happy with what the insurance company was offering them as compensation for a traffic accident. Their allegations were so ridiculous I kept thinking "aaack, I'm going to be the grinch int he deliberations. It's going to be awful" but when we got to the jury room everyone looked at each other and went "REALLY?!?". We ended up awarding them something like $5000 and then, afterwards, learned they had turned down something like $40,000. All by all it was almost fun. Since then I've been called to the courtroom for selection but not on the jury -- and in every case that was fine with me.
So I'm free now and can go to the movies tomorrow :)
Thanks, Bonnie :)
>105 susanj67: BTW, Susan, I've already started on his bookshelf. We bought him eight board books for Christmas :0. There were also a lot of books included with gifts at the two showers we attended so he's off to a good start.
Stopping in to say hello since I'll be seeing you when you're here in Portland.
Congrats on the new grandbaby!!!
Congratulations on the new Grandson :)
Are they nearby for visiting? Hope you get lots of cuddles.
Congrats on the new grandmunchkin!! And yay for everyone being safe and healthy. I had a c-section and it couldn't have been an easier thing, and I loved that Tomm and Charlie could stay in the room with me, too. Please give that brand new bundle a gentle hug and a top-of-the-head kiss for me.
Congratulations on your new grandson, Reba! What an exciting time for all of you. All the best to everyone.
Hi Reba! Congratulations on the new grandson. Your daughter and husband must be ecstatic.
112 Thank you. Juli! I'm looking forward to seeing you.
>113 AMQS: Thanks, Anne. We're all really happy.
>114 BekkaJo: Hi Bekka. No, they're in Portland and we won't see them until April.
>115 scaifea: I will deliver that hug but not for while.
>116 rosalita: Thank you Julia. It is pretty darned exciting.
>117 karenmarie: Hi Karen. They're very happy although still a bit too tired to jump around about it.
The Ladies' Room by Carolyn Brown**** (audio)
Trudy is in a stall in the women's restroom during her great-aunt's funeral when two of her cousins come in and start talking about her in rather unflattering ways ("bless her heart") and mentioning her husband's many affairs. This upsetting news starts a series of changes in her life. It's a fun story, sort of a "coming of age" story for a 40 year old woman. I listened to it while walking and it stimulated me to walk more frequently and go farther just so I could listen to it :)
His Mom called this "NURSING STUPOR", I just thought it was too cute not to share :)
>122 RebaRelishesReading: OHmygosh, what a cutie!! I just want to pat that little hand!
Chelle, Jenn, Rhonda, Mamie, Amber and Char -- thank you all so much!! I may print a copy of that photo to frame :)
Hi Kim. Thank you :) The phrases aren't mine but I like them too.
I got The Ladie's Room at Audible just a couple of weeks ago. Maybe they'll even have it on sale -- they're doing that a lot lately. I really did enjoy it. Spent the whole time quietly thinking "you go Trudy!!"
>122 RebaRelishesReading:. He’s beautiful Reba even if he is in a nursing stupor.
>122 RebaRelishesReading: SO SO cute!!! We used to call it a milk coma :)
Sorry you wont get to see him for a little while, but April will be here before you know it.
Great, Kim! I'm glad it was on sale and hope you enjoy it.
Thanks Bonnie. So far he seems to be a very calm baby. Hope for them it continues :)
Thank you too, Bekka. Indeed April will be here soon meanwhile we FactTimed with him a couple of days ago. Of course he didn't say much, but we got to watch him sleep and squirm when his mommy tried to get him to open his eyes. :)
Melbourne by Lord David Cecil ***
Watching the Victoria series made me curious to know more about Lord Melbourne so I looked for a biography on Amazon and found this one which was originally published in 1939. It's a little long-winded and shows its age in some ways but ultimately presented a very interesting life in a quite readable fashion.
I was hoping to see the lunar eclipse but wasn't willing to set the alarm for middle-of-the-night to do so but luckily I woke up almost on the dot of 6:00 a.m. (prime time was to be 5-6 a.m. for San Diego) and there it was still at its peak. Most interesting sight. Five minutes or so later the left side started getting bright and now it's all over. Here's what it looked like from our balcony at about 6:02 a.m.
>138 RebaRelishesReading: Great picture! I also saw it just about then, and when it came out of the penumbra. Then I fell asleep again and missed the rest.
I love the nursing stupor photo. Thanks for sharing.
Super Blue Blood Moon. Your photo is wonderful.
Congratulations on your new grandson! Now you have even more reasons to visit Portland.
>138 RebaRelishesReading: Nice picture of the lunar eclipse. We didn't get to see it because - rain! We should be sprouting fins any time soon.
>143 Familyhistorian: That's a very big reason!!
Wish we could have some of your rain. January is usually our biggest rain month and we got one moderate day.
Inferior by Angela Saini****
When we had lunch a couple of weeks ago Roni surprised me with two books, Inferior} and My Reading Life by Pat Conroy. I've been reading quite a few books about overlooked women and the women's movement lately so I picked this one to read first. It's a most interesting review of studies aimed at showing how women have been (mis)treated by scientists through time. The book jacket summarizes it quite well:
"Whether looking at intelligence or emotion, cognition or behavior, science has continued to tell us that men and women are fundamentally different. Biologists claim that women are better suited to raising families or are, more gently, uniquely empathetic. Men, on the other hand, continue to be described as excelling at tasks that require logic, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. But a huge wave of research is now revealing an alternative version of what we thought we knew. The new woman revealed by this scientific data is a strong, strategic, and smart as anyone else."
The book fit perfectly with much of my recent reading, was really interesting and was very "readable" as well. Thanks so much Roni!!!
>144 RebaRelishesReading: We have more than enough rain to share, 249 millimeters in January over by the airport (we get more over here).
I enjoyed Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. It was a really thought provoking book.
>146 Familyhistorian: Too bad we can't really share that rain, Meg. Glad you also enjoyed Inferior.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry***1/2
I couldn't resist the title of this book when I spotted it at Powell's in December and it turned out to be a pleasant love story or, perhaps better said, series of love stories. It's a good, quick read although it gets a bit choppy with all of the various relationships that are going on. A good 'beach book" or for when you just want a light read.
>148 RebaRelishesReading: That one is on my TBR list . . . if I ever get around to it.
It's a fun read, Lori. Pick it up sometime to give yourself a treat :)
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (audio) ***
Georgina is 34th in line to the English throne. Her father, grandson of Queen Victoria, killed himself after losing much of the family fortune to gambling and her brother, the current duke, has cut of her allowance because of his "financial difficulties". She decides she can't stand living in the cold, isolated castle in Scotland so leaves for London to seek her fortune. A good audio book for listening to while walking.
>151 RebaRelishesReading: The narration of Katherine Kellgren makes those books, I think, Reba.
Good morning everyone! I didn't even make it to my own thread yesterday but I'm hoping to have a nice quiet time until this afternoon.
I thought I would mention that a friend and I saw The Shape of Water the other day. Anyone seen it? I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it.
>154 RebaRelishesReading: Is that a show or movie? From the title I would guess that it's a Montalbano based show?
The Return by Hisham Matar****
The Return won the 2017 Pulitzer in the Biography/Memoir category and was short-listed for the Man Booker and the National Book Critics Circle Award.. This is the story of the family of author, Hisham Matar, is a novelist who is a British citizen and lives in London. His grandfather was a leader in the resistance movement against the Italian occupation in the early 20th century His father was a prominent Army officer under the King and was sent to the U S. as a diplomat to get him out of the way when Qaddafi came to power. Matar was born in New York. His father resigned his diplomatic post and returned to Libya where he continued to oppose the regime and was ultimately forced to flee to Egypt. While the author was in school in Britain his father was arrested. The book is the story of his father's disappearance and the family's quest to find out what happened to him. It is a very human story of love, hope, pain, fear, and coming to terms with a sad reality while at the same time giving a clear, bleak picture of life under the Qaddafi dictatorship.
Oh what a beautiful baby! Love that photo.
You got me with Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong. Go Roni!
Here's Quinn at 2 1/2 weeks old. I think he's peeking out of that one eye to see if it's worth waking up :)
Oh, so very precious, Reba. Magic moments when they are so small. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, thank you Chelle, Mamie and Juli (by the way, Juli -- Quinn's mom's name is Julie and they live in Portland too :))
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy *****
Thank you so much, Roni!! This is the second of two books given to me by Roni. I liked the first one very much and I simply loved this one. I read Conroy's first book, The Water is Wide, years ago because a friend who lived in South Carolina when it was published sent it to me. I enjoyed it but never followed Conroy's career past that point. This perfectly titled book is a memoir which explores how the author came to love words and read, who influenced his development, and generally how he came to be the writer he is. I loved this book and now plan to seek out some of his later novels.
Lovely review, Reba. I have that one on the list already - it's one of Katie's Dirty Dozen from a previous year, or you would have hit me with it.
>169 katiekrug: I have that in my notes, and I remember you said not to speed up the narration.
Hi Mamie and Katie -- I missed that one on your dirty dozen Katie...but then since I missed it I didn't buy it and got it as a gift instead...:)
So glad you enjoyed both books, Reba! I chose a good home for them. ;-)
Love the baby pictures--bet you can't wait to get up there!
>151 RebaRelishesReading: I've read the first four of the Georgie books and I need to get back to them.
And yes, where IS our rain?!?
Mornin' Roni!! A home where they are definitely appreciated!!
I get more anxious to go to Portland every time a photo appears...but have to wait our turn.
I'm going to watch for more deals on Georgie audio books or break down and just buy them after I finish a couple of other things I have cued up at the moment.
Rain dance in the park at midnight anyone?
The library has them in print edition if you get needy! Supposedly weather coming in earlier than that, between 3 and 5. Here's hoping.
I'll keep my fingers crossed (and go for my walk this morning)
Those are books I like for my walks so I'll wait -- but just in case it's good to know :)
I just found out that Amor Towles is going to be at Chautauqua this summer!! I will for sure be at his talk.
Adorable picture of Quinn.
Yay for planning to see Amor Towles.
I love the Quinn photos, Reba. You are so lucky to have a new grandbaby. When will it be your turn to hold and coo over the little guy?
I am a big Pat Conroy fan and loved his reading memoir. I need to get a new copy because my youngest son must think the copy I loaned him is a keeper. I read The Prince of Tides many years ago. It just might be time for a reread.
Thanks, Donna. We're going to go and visit them in April but we get to FaceTime with him this morning :) I saw the movie of The Prince of Tides but I'm looking forward to reading the book.
Hi Joanne -- thank you!
Last Sunday an acquaintance came up to me and said "may I loan you a book?". She had heard that I like to travel and wanted to share her favorite book from childhood If I Were Going. How could I say no? It's a chapter book for children that tells the story of a couple, he from England and she from France, who now live in the U.S. and often talk about what they would do if they went back to Europe "but of course they aren't going to". It's a fun, quick read and was a sweet thought of my acquaintance.
When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards****1/2 (audio)
Cecilia and Robin met each other when they were placed in the same foster home. Cecilia was four years older and became a protective older sister to Robin. Now Cecilia is a famous singer and Robin the wife of a rising-star attorney but they have not finished dealing with the past. The book is story of the past and their trying to come to terms with it. It's a touching book which deals with the very important issue of how best to care for children whose parents, for whatever reason, are unable to do so. A really good book on a couple of levels.
I'm not familiar with Beach Music but just looked it up and think I should put it on my wish list. Thanks for the tip, Juli.
It's on my Audible wish list -- next time I get some credits...
4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie*** (audio)
After I bought this I realized I had seen the TV version twice but decided to listen to it anyway since it's a good "walking" book. Turned out the actual book includes considerable more detail that the filmed version so I was glad I went ahead with it. It's a typical Christie, entertaining and light.
City of Women by David R. Gilliam****1/2
Digging deep into Mt. TBR, I unearthed, and read, City of Women which I received from the Book Passage First Editions Club in September 2012. The book is set in Berlin in 1943, a time when the city was mainly inhabited by women. According to the book jacket, the main character, Sigrid Schroder, "is for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier's life: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime." The author" explores what happens to ordinary people thrust into extraordinary times, and how the choices they make can be the difference between life and death". I was about 2/3 of the way through the book when I picked it up at bedtime last night and I didn't put it down until I finished it at 1:40 a.m. Excellent, thought-provoking book.
I was about 2/3 of the way through the book when I picked it up at bedtime last night and I didn't put it down until I finished it at 1:40 a.m. Excellent, thought-provoking book. There's no better endorsement than that - you got me, Reba! How's that sweet grandbaby?
Hi Anne!! So nice to find a post before I even get through the threads this morning. I hope your day is going well!! Quinn is doing well, thank you. He had his 1 month birthday last Thursday and visited the pediatrician who was very pleased with his growth. Just two more months and we'll get to see him in person :)
>195 RebaRelishesReading: I liked that one too when I read it a few years ago Reba. I got it as an LT ERbook.
Hi Bonnie! I think we have pretty similar taste in books so I'm not surprised you liked it too (besides the fact that it's just a good read).
>195 RebaRelishesReading: - I won that as an ER many moons ago and thought it was pretty good. I remember thinking it would make a good movie...
It's been in Mt TBR for years but I'm glad I finally got it out. You're right, it would make a good movie
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