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Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 1

This topic was continued by Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1EBT1002
Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 3:45pm Top



Hello friends and welcome to another year! I'm Ellen, a 50-something university administrator (psychologist by training but now I work in the admin building and oversee a bunch of student care functions). I live, work, read, and run in Seattle where I share a home with my spouse, P, and my tuxedo cat, Abby.

I resist summarizing my reading tendencies because I am always trying to expand my horizons and read beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone. I want my reading to be enjoyable (that goes without saying) but I also want to develop new neuronal pathways (at least some of the time).

LibraryThing has done more to expand my reading than anything else I have encountered. I love this community and I look forward to sharing more reading adventures in 2018!

2EBT1002
Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 2:56pm Top

My Rating Scale:

= Breathtaking. This book touched me in a way that only a perfect book can do.
= A wonderful read, among my favorites of the year.
= A great read; truly enjoyable.
= Not quite great but I'm truly glad I read this.
= A solid read, with a few things done particularly well.
= Average, and life is too short to read average works.
= A bit below average. A waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.

Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

3EBT1002
Edited: Jan 9, 3:32pm Top

My reading goals in 2018 are to have fun, learn, read some of the long-time books on my shelves, and read works by authors of color and international (non-U.S.) writers.

For my own reference and with no commitment whatsoever, I will be tagging along with the following challenges:

ColorCAT

January/Black - Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz - COMPLETED
February/Brown - Saving Mozart by Raphaël Jérusalmy
March/Green -
April/Yellow -
May/Blue -
June/Purple -
July/Pink -
August/Grey -
September/Metallic -
October/Orange -
November/Red -
December/White -

RandomCAT

AlphaKIT

Jan: V, M
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

Irish Author Challenge (hosted by Paul)
Nonfiction Challenge (hosted by Suzanne)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++​

I will also be reading African American Autobiographies, at least one per month. I won't create individual threads for these because I just can't keep up with more than one thread, but I certainly welcome co-readers as I make my way through the list (and the order of the reads will be random rather than predetermined).

Here is the reading list that inspired this personal challenge; it's from a course being taught at the Asheville OLLI. I'm not saying these are exactly the books I will choose but this is the list from which I'm starting.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois
--- Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil
--- Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward the Autobiography of a Race Concept
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
A Voice from the South By a Black Woman of the South by Anna Julia Cooper
Crusade for Justice by Ida B. Wells
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neal Hurston - read in 2017
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin - read in 2013
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - read twice already
Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family by Pauli Murray
Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

Already running off the rails....

January
Negroland by Margo Jefferson

4EBT1002
Edited: Jan 2, 12:25am Top

January Plans*

ColourCAT - January = Black
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

AlphaKIT - January = M and V
Magpie Murders (double score) ~
Murder in the Marais by Cara Black (double score)
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

RandomCAT - January = Ack! I've been hit!
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson - book bullet by Darryl

Nonfiction Challenge = Prize Winning Books
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson - 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Memoir/Autobiography

Group Reads:
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens - hosted by Karen
Godstalk by P.C. Hodgell - hosted by Roni

*This looks more ambitious than it is; if you look closely you'll see lots of duplicates and even a triplicate!

5EBT1002
Edited: Jan 9, 3:38pm Top

6EBT1002
Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 3:51pm Top

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty - I may pass on this one.
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

7EBT1002
Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 3:28pm Top

Here is a list of 46 books by women of color, to be published in 2018.

Electric Literature 46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018

January:
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins
Halsey Street by Naima Coster
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

8EBT1002
Edited: Jan 1, 2:20pm Top

My five-star* reads from 2017:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
March: Book Two by John Lewis - Graphic Memoir (I still need to read Book 3)
Autumn by Ali Smith
Olio by Tyehimba Jess - poetry
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
One Hundred Nights of Hero: A Graphic Novel by Isabel Greenberg
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
News of the World by Paulette Giles
Nutshell by Ian McEwan

4.5-star books read in 2017*:

The Master Butchers Singing Club - Louise Erdrich
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
Exit West - Mohsin Hamid
LaRose - Louise Erdrich
Human Acts - Kang Han
Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century - Timothy Snyder
American Salvage - Bonnie Jo Campbell
Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
The Blood of Emmett Till - Timothy B. Tyson
Sing, Unburied, Sing - Jesmyn Ward
Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
Cold Earth - Sarah Moss
The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich

*Think of these as Honorable Mentions

9EBT1002
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 3:59pm Top

Currently reading:

. . .
Why Buddhism is True, Magpie Murders, Radical Candor, and Nicholas Nickleby

Currently listening:


Any Other Name

10richardderus
Dec 28, 2017, 3:14pm Top

I had an idea for opening art!

Tom Thomson, Northern Lightsmdash;Canoe Lake

11libraryperilous
Dec 28, 2017, 3:15pm Top

I read that Electric Lit article yesterday and irrationally was angry with it for including not a single title on it that I wanted to skip.

12EBT1002
Dec 28, 2017, 3:18pm Top

>9 EBT1002: I was trying to find an image by Tom Thomson and none of them were working for me, Richard -- so thank you for that! I'm trying to simplify the thread-upkeep for the coming year so I've been partially thinking about letting go of the art topper thing. That, and foregoing the touchstones as I keep track of my completed reads - fixing them every time I start a new thread is a pain in the neck!

>10 richardderus: cracked me up! I know the feeling.

13thornton37814
Dec 28, 2017, 3:22pm Top

Hope you have a year filled with great reading!

14EBT1002
Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 3:29pm Top

>13 thornton37814: Thanks Lori!

15Crazymamie
Dec 28, 2017, 3:59pm Top

Dropping a star, Ellen!

16katiekrug
Dec 28, 2017, 4:12pm Top

I'm here! I'm here!

Re: the African American autobiographies, I will be reading Go Tell It on the Mountain for Suzanne and Judy's book group in NYC which I am crashing on January 4.

(Psst, I believe it is technically a novel, though heavily influenced by his own childhood...)

17SuziQoregon
Dec 28, 2017, 4:53pm Top

Dropping off a star! Here's to good reading in 2018 and some sort of Seattle/Portland gathering.

18drneutron
Dec 28, 2017, 5:46pm Top

Welcome back!

19Ameise1
Dec 28, 2017, 6:09pm Top

Happy reading 2018, Ellen. Dropped a .

20witchyrichy
Dec 28, 2017, 6:19pm Top

Happy reading!

I haven't done my top books for 2017 list but I saw at least a few of them on your five star list.

Like you, I have really benefited from my time with this community. Your lists of African American autobiographies is just one example. I've read a good number of the older ones but haven't kept up with more contemporary writers.

21Berly
Dec 29, 2017, 1:36am Top



Wouldn't miss your thread. Starred!

22kidzdoc
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 2:11am Top

I love your African American Autobiographies theme, Ellen. I'll almost certainly re-read Notes of a Native Son in 2018, as I intend to read my copy of James Baldwin: Collected Essays, which includes that book, from cover to cover.

Starred, of course.

23davidcruise
Dec 29, 2017, 2:27am Top

This user has been removed as spam.

24EBT1002
Dec 29, 2017, 2:34pm Top

>15 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie!

>16 katiekrug: Hi Katie! I'm glad you're here. I tend to think of Go Tell It On the Mountain as an autobiographical novel. They guy who is teaching the course at the Asheville OLLI must have decided that it's autobiographical enough to include in his syllabus. I've read it before so I'm not sure I'll reread it in 2018, although I just might!

>17 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli and welcome! I'm totally in for a PDX/SEA meet-up. I will be in Portland again this June for my annual meeting there. How about if we gather the troops and plan a meet-up for any who will be in town and available?

25EBT1002
Dec 29, 2017, 2:39pm Top

>18 drneutron: Thanks Jim and thank you thank you thank you for setting this group up every year! It is my number one on-line home!

>19 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara!

>20 witchyrichy: Hi Karen and welcome! I will come find your thread, drop off my star, and check out your 2017 list once you have it compiled.

>21 Berly: It's mutual, Kim. xo

>22 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl. I will look forward to hearing about your experience rereading Notes of a Native Son (and really the whole collected essays!). I'm looking forward to this theme for my 2018 reading.

26EBT1002
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 2:58pm Top

I think I'll keep the RESISTERHOOD image as my topper but I do want to add some art to my thread. Here is a lovely painting by Tom Thomson, one of Canada's Group of Seven. I love their art work, all driven by a desire to capture the natural beauty of Canada.

27EBT1002
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 5:01pm Top

28EBT1002
Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 5:03pm Top

I didn't say I was going to DO the BingoDOG. I'm just playing.

Sheesh.

And I haven't yet read a book that fits two KITS/CATS (and it's not yet 2018!) but I'll finish that square first.
You know, if I were to play along with the BingoDOG thing. Just for fun.

29EBT1002
Dec 29, 2017, 5:01pm Top

Here is the list of BingoDOG squares for 2018.

1. Title contains a person’s rank, real or fictional
2. Story involves travel
3. A long-time TBR/TBR the longest
4. Poetry or plays
5. New-to-you author
6. Autobiography/memoir
7. Book with a beautiful cover (in your opinion)
8. Book that fits at least 2 KIT’s/CAT’s
9. Related to the Pacific Ocean
10. Title contains something you would see in the sky
11. Book bought in 2017 that hasn’t been read yet
12. Number in the title
13. Book that is humorous
14. Book on the 1001 list
15. LGBT central character
16. Book set during a holiday
17. Fat book - 500 plus pages
18. X somewhere in the title
19. Money in the title - any form of currency, type of payment, etc...
20. Book published in 2018
21. Relative name in the title (aunt, niece, etc...)
22. Originally in a different language
23. Published more than 100 years ago
24. Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional
25. Read a CAT (middle square)

30SandDune
Dec 29, 2017, 5:03pm Top

Starred you Ellen!

31witchyrichy
Dec 29, 2017, 5:46pm Top

I know you aren't doing challenges, but I appreciate your posts about them! I haven't gotten too involved in challenges but I think a few of them like Alpha and Colour could help me reach my goal of reading books I already own.

32katiekrug
Dec 29, 2017, 5:56pm Top

Ellen, I know you aren't doing challenges, but if you want my table listing out all the challenges for Read Harder, Pop Sugar, and BingoDOG, with duplicates highlighted, you just let me know ;-)

33Berly
Dec 30, 2017, 2:15am Top

>26 EBT1002: Love this!!

>27 EBT1002: And the Bingo! I already posted that one on my thread and have a button checked off on mine, too. I was playing with the marker colors. I want to fill it out with books I ALREADY OWN!! so we'll see how I do. My priority is to lower my TBR piles, not the Bingo card. : )

34LovingLit
Dec 30, 2017, 5:02am Top

>6 EBT1002: my Booker reading has fallen by the wayside, unfortunately. But I live in hope.

>27 EBT1002: I love reading bingo, but since I have no photoshop on my computer now, I find it hard to create the *perfect* bingo card. I have made a school holiday bingo poster though, each square has an activity on it and we cross them off as we do the. It is as much for giving me ideas as for them to get into! (not that I have used it yet, as I have ben working while the lovely other is off his job for summer break. I will tag in as a parent on the 8th, when he returns).

35msf59
Dec 30, 2017, 6:48am Top

Hooray for Resisterhood! Fight the good fight! Looking forward to following your bookish adventures in '18, Ellen.

I am starting Why Buddhism is True next.

36EBT1002
Dec 30, 2017, 12:20pm Top

>30 SandDune: Yay! I'm looking forward to another great reading year, Rhian.

>31 witchyrichy: Karen, that is exactly why I've chosen to "not do" the ColourCAT and AlphaKIT challenges. They provide a lot of flexibility (I mean, if the letter is M, it's just a matter of perusing the shelves to find a book with a title or author name starting with M - I have dozens of those!).

>32 katiekrug: Katie, I would love to have you share your table with me. It will help me "not do" those three challenges in a more efficient manner. :-)
Thank you for the offer!

37EBT1002
Dec 30, 2017, 12:25pm Top

>33 Berly: "My priority is to lower my TBR piles, not the Bingo card."
Me too, Kim. We'll see how both of us do....

>34 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I have neglected my Booker winners challenge, too. I'm hoping that, with the flexible challenges that I'm "not doing" in 2018, I will be able to include some of the Booker winners that I already have on my shelves!

Megan, my dear, it would never occur to me to make my own Bingo card! I'm impressed that you can do such a thing. This one is provided by Stacy (LittleTaiko), the host over on the BingoDOG thread. I just copied and pasted and she gave instructions for doing the chips (and options for colors - I chose purple). I like the school holiday bingo poster idea! Great way to keep the kids entertained and perhaps a bit focused. :-)

>35 msf59: Mark, I have read the first three chapters of Why Buddhism is True and it's another winner from our dear book recommending friend Joe. I'm really enjoying it.

38Carmenere
Dec 30, 2017, 3:16pm Top

Hi Ellen! Happy 2018 thread and happy New Year to you and P! Hope it's a year filled with lots of travel adventures and good reading.

39SuziQoregon
Dec 30, 2017, 3:52pm Top

>24 EBT1002: A meetup when you're here in June sounds fabulous!!

40jessibud2
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 9:45pm Top

>27 EBT1002: - Clueless, here. Can you tell me why it's called bingo CAT when it has a dog on it? And what does the one you marked, mean (fits at least 2 kits/cats)? Or is it just bingo dog? I am easily confused...

41FAMeulstee
Dec 31, 2017, 11:50am Top

Happy reading in 2018, Ellen!

>26 EBT1002: Lovely painting! Before I joined this group, I had never heard of the Group of Seven

42The_Hibernator
Dec 31, 2017, 12:24pm Top



Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

43cameling
Dec 31, 2017, 4:10pm Top

Happy new year, Ellen. Love the Bingo card... hmmm... tempting, tempting.

44Ameise1
Dec 31, 2017, 5:09pm Top


view from Zürich's landmark mountain Üetliberg

45EBT1002
Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 8:47pm Top

>38 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! I'm hoping for a 2018 full of better news than we had in much of 2017!

>39 SuziQoregon: You're on, Juli. PDX Meet-Up in June will happen!

>40 jessibud2: You're not clueless, Shelley. It's a bit convoluted (and also fun). That is actually a BingoDOG playing card and it's a challenge group that can be found HERE. I don't think the DOG stands for anything but is just a referent to the CATegory Challenge Group, found HERE, within which they use CAT for various challenges (as you will see, there is a MysteryCAT, a ColourCAT, and a RandomCAT). Then there are KITs for challenges that didn't get enough votes to be full CATegory Challenges for the year but that folks might want to do.

I think the "fits at least two kits/cats" just refers to the KITs and CATs. So, I'm currently reading Magpie Mysteries which will fit both the January ColourCAT (Black) Challenge and the January AlphaKIT (M) Challenge. So when I finish it, I will get to put a marker on that square.

It's my first time doing any CATegory Challenges so I'm probably not giving the best description. And someone else may know about the origin and meaning of the term BingoDOG.

46EBT1002
Dec 31, 2017, 8:49pm Top

>41 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita!
I just discovered The Group of Seven a couple of weeks ago when I purchased a calendar for my office. It's the kind of art to which I am very much drawn.

>42 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel!

>43 cameling: Caro, join me in the BingoDOG Challenge! (I can't believe I'm participating in so many challenges and of course I want to encourage companions!!)

>44 Ameise1: Lovely photo, Barbara -- and thank you for the new year's wishes!

47EBT1002
Dec 31, 2017, 8:53pm Top

I'll make some New Years Day rounds tomorrow. I'm no longer a big partier on New Year's Eve and this virus will indubitably prevent me from seeing midnight. I'm spending the evening with P, a bottle of bubbly, and a couple of good books. Oh, and we'll likely watch another couple of episodes of "The Crown" on Netflix. We have been binge watching it since we've both been sick and it's just wonderful!

48EBT1002
Dec 31, 2017, 8:57pm Top

This is what we're enjoying this evening, along with homemade chili and Cheddar Bunnies.

49katiekrug
Dec 31, 2017, 9:16pm Top

Happy new year, Ellen and P! We are watching The Crown tonight, too :)

50weird_O
Dec 31, 2017, 9:16pm Top

It isn't 2018, Ellen. Not yet anyway--fewer than three hours. But you are up and running, so Howdy.

51jessibud2
Dec 31, 2017, 9:53pm Top

Thanks for the explanation, Ellen. Not sure I am any less clueless but since I am not looking for more challenges, I will smile and nod and move along quietly... ;-)

I have been binge watching Call the Midwife. I have one disc left to complete Season 3, and my library has informed me that Season 4 is on its way to my branch. I have not seen The Crown but maybe, if the library has it, I will try it after I am caught up with CTM.

I hope you are feeling better soon. It probably isn't nearly as cold where you are as it is here in Toronto. A lot of outdoor New year's Eve celebrations here and in other cities have either been cancelled or considerably scaled back due to the cold. If it's even close to as cold where you are, you might want to postpone a run until you are really better, especially since you've been using the puffer. This kind of weather is only good if you are a penguin

Happy new year!

52Caroline_McElwee
Dec 31, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Happy New Year Ellen. I look forward to being hit by some of your book bullets.

53cushlareads
Dec 31, 2017, 10:08pm Top

Happy New Year,Ellen, and I hope your virus goes away soon.

What’s a Cheddar Bunny? If it involves cheese that’s a good thing.

54ronincats
Jan 1, 12:19am Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

55mdoris
Jan 1, 2:06am Top

Dropped a star Ellen. Happy New Year and wishing you wonderful reading!

56Familyhistorian
Jan 1, 2:44am Top

Happy New Year, Ellen. Love the Thomson art. Dropping my star.

57PaulCranswick
Jan 1, 3:57am Top



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.

58Carmenere
Jan 1, 7:18am Top

59msf59
Jan 1, 8:10am Top



^Hugs to Ellen & P! Let's have another stellar year of reading, my friend and fingers crossed for a Meet Up in '18.

60EBT1002
Jan 1, 12:10pm Top

>49 katiekrug: Isn't "The Crown" a wonderful series, Katie? I think Claire Foy is marvelous.

>50 weird_O: Hi Bill! I didn't make it until midnight last night although I read until about 11:20pm. Now it is the new year and I'm hoping for a good one!

61Whisper1
Jan 1, 12:13pm Top

Hi Katie

Happy New Year. I hope to visit frequently. All good wishes for a wonderful year of reading.

62EBT1002
Jan 1, 12:15pm Top

>51 jessibud2: You're not supposed to make me laugh, Shelley, because it still makes me cough. :-) Smiling and nodding and moving on is a reasonable response, especially if you're not looking for more challenges. I'm trying to only choose challenges that are very flexible. You know, read a book for which the letter M is relevant (author's name, title, whatever...). I have dozens of those!

Oh, I am a HUGE fan of Call the Midwife! We actually purchased the whole thing, BBC version, before Prudence's surgery. The PBS version edited out some scenes so it's fun to have the less prudish BBC version to watch.

I hope you stay warm in that frigid air that has taken hold of the midwest and eastern seaboard of North America. It's cold and sunny here but that means 30sF.

Happy New Year, my friend!

63EBT1002
Edited: Jan 1, 12:18pm Top

>52 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline! Happy New Year to you, as well!

>53 cushlareads: Happy New Year, Cushla! A Cheddar Bunny is like a goldfish except in the shape of a bunny.



You know, they're organic so they are healthy. :-)

64EBT1002
Jan 1, 12:21pm Top

>54 ronincats: and >55 mdoris: and >56 Familyhistorian: Thanks for dropping off stars on my thread, Roni, Mary, and Meg! I'm so looking forward to all my reading this year!

>57 PaulCranswick: I love the image and the poem, Paul. Happy New Year to you, as well!

>58 Carmenere: Happy New Year, Lynda!

>59 msf59: Thank you, Mark. I am totally hoping for another meet-up in 2018. You could come to Philly in early March... ;-)

65EBT1002
Jan 1, 12:22pm Top

>61 Whisper1: There are few people on earth with whom I'd rather be confused than Katie, Linda, but Katie might take offense. ;-)

Regardless, Happy New Year, my friend!

66Berly
Jan 1, 2:08pm Top



Happy 2018!! >63 EBT1002: Happy munching! And feel better would ya? : )

67jnwelch
Jan 1, 2:11pm Top

Happy 2018, Ellen!

I love that list of your five star 2017 reads.

Have you seen the movie The Big Sick? We finally watched it last night, and loved it.

68EBT1002
Jan 1, 2:19pm Top

>66 Berly: Thank you, Kim. I had such big plans for today -- a run, maybe a trip to the Seattle Art Museum to see the Andrew Wyeth exhibit..... We did get the tree taken down but other than that I am still feeling so lousy that I don't think much else will happen (other than reading and watching another episode of "The Crown"). I guess I'm calling the doc again tomorrow....

>67 jnwelch: Hi Joe and Happy New Year! I have "The Big Sick" on my watch-list. The writer for the Seattle Times included it in her top-ten list for 2017 and I think it's available on Netflix now, so....

69karenmarie
Jan 1, 2:22pm Top

Hi Ellen!

Virus be gone! I hope you are finally over it soon.

Glad to see you in the Nicholas Nickleby read, and Mark already got me with Why Buddhism is True.

70richardderus
Jan 1, 2:26pm Top

Jeebus...my *whammy*er is really crap this year, I couldn't zap your virus or get 45 impeached. Dayum!

*smooch* for a better, healthier 2018.

71SuziQoregon
Jan 1, 3:42pm Top



Here's to good books, good conversation and good friends!

Hope you're feeling better soon!

72lauralkeet
Jan 1, 6:01pm Top

I can't believe you're still fighting that virus, Ellen. YUCK! I hope the doc can provide relief, stat.

73alcottacre
Jan 1, 6:04pm Top

Happy New Year and feel better soon, Ellen! I look forward to seeing what you read in 2018.

74katiekrug
Jan 1, 7:42pm Top

Not at all offended to be confused with you, my friend!

The Big Sick is on Amazon prime. It is excellent.

75arubabookwoman
Jan 1, 9:57pm Top

Hi Ellen--Hope you feel better soon.

Best wishes for the New Year! I have one request for you--can you make your thread move more slowly so I can keep up this year?

Just kidding--there's always interesting talk going on here.

76EBT1002
Edited: Jan 2, 12:29am Top

1. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz




I'm feeling a bit stingy in giving this popular whodunit only 2.5 stars but it just felt average to me. It was clever but it went on too long and it just wasn't very interesting. Cute and clever are worthy qualities, I suppose, but I want more than that.

77Berly
Jan 2, 12:31am Top

Ellen! Still sick?! You SHOULD go see the doc tomorrow. Man.

78thornton37814
Jan 2, 12:31am Top

>76 EBT1002: Hmmm - will I like it or not? I guess I'll have to see since so many people think highly of it. But your review gives me pause.

79LovingLit
Jan 2, 4:42am Top

>37 EBT1002: Megan, my dear, it would never occur to me to make my own Bingo card!
He he. My bad ;) As I have already explained, the only ones I do (now) are on cardboard for the back of the kitchen door!

>76 EBT1002: Unlucky start. Onwards and upwards! Also, get thee to a doctor, or on immediate R&R - as long as you need, I said it's OK and can write a note for work if you want :)

80katiekrug
Jan 2, 8:04am Top

>76 EBT1002: - Oooh, you rebel, you!

I love hearing divergent opinions of a book :)

81BLBera
Jan 2, 9:18am Top

Happy 2018, Ellen! I hope for all the best for you this year. I will join you in your African American autobiography reading - at least the ones I haven't read. Thanks for the link to 46 books by women of color. I will definitely check some of those out.

82SuziQoregon
Jan 2, 11:59am Top

>76 EBT1002: Yep clever that goes on too long doesn't really work for me.
Hope the next one is better.

83richardderus
Jan 2, 12:38pm Top

>76 EBT1002: *strikes Magpie Murders from library holds*

That's a relief. Artemis was enough of a disappointment for my thriller year.

84LauraBrook
Jan 2, 1:02pm Top

Happy New Year, Ellen! Love your thread topper. :)

85Familyhistorian
Jan 2, 4:02pm Top

I saw you back on the Fitbit stats so hoped you got in your New Year's run, Ellen. I hope you get over the sickness soon.

86banjo123
Jan 2, 8:54pm Top

Happy new year, Ellen! Looking forward to following your reading in 2018.

87jessibud2
Jan 2, 9:18pm Top

Hi Ellen, how are you doing these days? Improvement?

88Berly
Jan 3, 2:01am Top

On my daily check-in...how ya doing?

89streamsong
Jan 3, 5:40am Top

Happy New Year and love your Canadian artists. I'll be watching for more.

Meetup in June? Perhaps I'll finally make it over the hill to join in. :-)

I've joined the drat-this-head-cold club which explains my lurking at 3 am while I wait for meds to once more kick in. Hope you are doing better!

90EBT1002
Jan 3, 10:42am Top

Yay! I've been selected to receive an Early Reviewers copy of The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat. This was on the list of 46 books by women of color coming out in 2018. Or should that be the list of 46 books coming out in 2018 by women of color.

In any case, I wanted this one and I'm excited to get it, read it, and review it!

91richardderus
Jan 3, 10:43am Top

Excellent news! Congratulations.

92EBT1002
Edited: Jan 3, 10:45am Top

Thanks for checking in, everyone. I am still a wee bit sick but I do believe I finally turned the corner and I am now confident that I will in fact not have this virus for the rest of my life.

Last night we watched one episode of "The Crown" and I went to bed by 8:30pm. I read one and a half chapters of Nicholas Nickleby before falling sound asleep. I did not stir until my alarm went off at 5:27 this morning. Perhaps that is what I most needed.

So, I would love to be joining in all the shenanigans around here (the usual threads have taken off like lightening in early January!) but I will probably be a slow starter this year.

More soon.

93Crazymamie
Jan 3, 10:53am Top

Ellen, hooray for winning the ER book that you wanted! And I was glad to read that you are feeling confident that you will not have the virus for the rest of your life. When you are feeling better, we shall have to throw some shenanigans just for you.

94EBT1002
Jan 3, 10:55am Top

A couple more things to share:

Yesterday I was interviewed by two local news stations, one on video and one via telephone. They were following up on a story released by the AP about how many colleges/universities in the country do not track data regarding student suicides. We do, so they were asking about that. I was on the news last night -- one sentence from a 15-minute interview -- and it wasn't bad.

Second bit of news: we got tickets to see the Andrew Wyeth exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum this Saturday. It departs January 15 and I did not want to miss it! So yay!!

95richardderus
Jan 3, 10:57am Top

More YAY for Ellen and for P, she must be kvelling over your TV fame.

96EBT1002
Jan 3, 10:58am Top

Really. I just need to retire.

97richardderus
Jan 3, 11:04am Top

Days like today make that more appealing than ever, don't they, the ones where you're not *quite* sick, not *quite* well, and in no mood to do any-damn-thing.

98EBT1002
Jan 3, 11:05am Top

>77 Berly: I'm better, Kim. Really I am. *cough cough*

>78 thornton37814: I will be interested to see how it lands on you, Lori. For true whodunit aficionados, this may be one of the best books published in recent years. The mystery-novel-within-a-mystery-novel thing was very well constructed but I still had to read both novels and I actually got bored.

>79 LovingLit: I think my nine hours of solid, deep sleep last night may have done the final trick, Megan. As a friend of mine was saying this morning, when you're that sick, resting doesn't actually mean sleeping because of the coughing and sneezing and aching and such.... so I think I have turned the proverbial corner at last!

As for the unfortunate start with a 2.5-star read, I am confident that the year will get better. I usually have waaaaaay more 4- or 5-star reads than 2-star reads!

>80 katiekrug: Have you read Magpie Murders, Katie? (I think no?) I would be interested in your take on it. You know I struggled with giving such a low rating to such a popular book. I always worry that it's a sign that I'm a total idiot and completely missed the brilliance therein.

99EBT1002
Jan 3, 11:06am Top

Out of order ~~~~ just because ~~~~

>97 richardderus: EXACTLY!! And if I am in the mood for anything, it's reading and LT, and I have a full day of work ahead of me.... oh well.

100EBT1002
Jan 3, 11:10am Top

>81 BLBera: Thanks Beth! Good to see you here. I'm glad you'll join me on the African American Autobiography adventure!

>82 SuziQoregon: "clever that goes on too long" is the best summary, Juli. And I am confident that the next book will be in the more typical 3.5 - 5.0 range. :-)

>83 richardderus: I'm in the minority on panning Magpie Murders, Richard. And I didn't grow up on Agatha Christie (although, as you know, I have more recently read and absolutely loved some of her works!) so maybe I'm just weird!

>84 LauraBrook: Thanks Laura and happy new year to you, as well!

101EBT1002
Edited: Jan 3, 11:16am Top

>85 Familyhistorian: No run yet, Meg, but at least I'm wearing my Fitbit again! I plan to get back into it this weekend because I am convinced (and determined) that by Saturday I will be all well!!!!

>86 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. Happy New Year!

>87 jessibud2: and >88 Berly: Hey Shelley and Kim. See my various comments above. Finally turned that corner, actually confident that I will recover from this virus from hell!!!!!!

>88 Berly: Daily check-in? That is sweet.

102EBT1002
Jan 3, 11:15am Top

>91 richardderus: Thanks, RD! I have more rarely requested ER books of late but I really wanted this one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

My first meeting of the day is about to start. I will try to check in, catch up (ha!) later!
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

103maggie1944
Edited: Jan 3, 11:24am Top

Yes! >96 EBT1002:, That's a great idea, Ellen. You just have so much to do.

I'm glad if this means you are feeling a little bit more normal. Your battle with the bug went on just too long, and I'm hoping you are well and truly over it.

I'm still struggling with reading, so I may not have much of interest to say when we get together to talk about Bad Land, but I hope to be there.

104katiekrug
Jan 3, 11:58am Top

Nope, I haven't read Magpie Murders though I have it on my Kindle. TBH, I get suspicious when every.single.person seems to love the same book. Group think at work? asks my cynical self. I am more likely to avoid such books, if only out of pure contrariness.

105richardderus
Jan 3, 12:36pm Top

>104 katiekrug: I swear I don't know how it happened, but I am morally certain you are my child.

106BLBera
Jan 3, 2:04pm Top

Great minds... I also got a copy of The Parking Lot Attendant!

I'm glad you're feeling better. This thing has stuck around for awhile.

107katiekrug
Jan 3, 2:41pm Top

>105 richardderus: - Ha! I wouldn't wish me on anyone :)

108Familyhistorian
Jan 3, 2:44pm Top

Good to see that you have turned the corner and are right back at it. I have Magpie Murders somewhere in the stacks and hope that I enjoy it more than you did, Ellen. Maybe because I was weaned on Agatha Christie it will hit me the right way?

109EBT1002
Jan 3, 7:55pm Top

>93 Crazymamie: I'm more excited about this ER book than I have been about any in a long time, Mamie.

>95 richardderus: Well, as we know, fame can be fleeting. I have heard from a few colleagues who happened to catch my brief glory on NPR radio. :-)

110EBT1002
Jan 3, 7:58pm Top

>103 maggie1944: Well, Prudence just texted me that she "bought our retirement" --- a lottery ticket for tonight's $440M jackpot. If we win, I'll next be posting from a villa in Tuscany.

>104 katiekrug: I sometimes avoid books like that, too, Katie, and for the very same reason. I'll be interested in how you like MM!

>105 richardderus: It's possible, no?
(maybe not)

111richardderus
Jan 3, 7:59pm Top

>110 EBT1002: Oh, it's possible, just unlikely. I already fathered two.

112EBT1002
Jan 3, 8:01pm Top

>106 BLBera: Yay! Maybe once we receive our copies of The Parking Lot Attendant we can coordinate our reading, Beth!

>107 katiekrug: I'll have to ask The Wayne about that next time I see him.

>108 Familyhistorian: I think you might like Magpie Murders more than I did, Meg, especially if you have a long history with the Queen of Crime.

113EBT1002
Jan 3, 8:02pm Top

>111 richardderus: It seems like a lot of things would have needed to fall into place for Katie to be your third. It's the makings of a very bad mystery novel.

114msf59
Jan 3, 8:22pm Top

Hi, Ellen! Sorry, Magpie Murders was a dud for you! I don't read a lot of mysteries, or classic cozies, but I loved this book.

Fingers crossed, that your next read or two, make up for it.

115ffortsa
Edited: Jan 8, 1:49pm Top

Hi, Ellen. I hope you're finally rid of that bug.

I also have Magpie Murders on my Kindle. As I cut my eyeteeth (ouch) on Dame Agatha, I might like it more than you did. OTOH, more of the same would be, well, you know...

Jim and I might be in San Francisco in June. Hm. I know it's not next door, but after 3000 miles, it might be doable to pop up to Portland.

Oh, or should that be Seattle? We met in Portland, but they are, after all, different cities!

116banjo123
Jan 4, 12:36am Top

Hi Ellen! I am happy that you and Beth are going to read The Parking Lot Attendant I just finished it, and liked it a lot, but it IS peculiar. It will be nice to get your take on it.

117Berly
Jan 4, 1:12am Top

Ellen--Hooray for kicking that bug out and inching back to health!! And on getting an ER that you so wanted. I had a bust this time and was not granted any book at all and I asked for more than one. Sadness. That means my odds should be better for January, right?

118BLBera
Jan 4, 1:40am Top

>112 EBT1002: Sounds like a plan, Ellen.

>117 Berly: :(

119lauralkeet
Jan 4, 6:52am Top

Health, ER win, lottery ticket & Wyeth -- it's all good around here!

120Caroline_McElwee
Jan 4, 7:41am Top

So glad you are on the mend Ellen.

Great you will get to see the Wyeth too.

121The_Hibernator
Jan 4, 8:31am Top

Morning Ellen!

122richardderus
Jan 4, 10:40am Top

Hi Ellen, just please tell me you're not out running at 7.40.

123BLBera
Jan 4, 10:48am Top

I hope the start of your semester is going smoothly, Ellen. Have fun at the Wyeth exhibit.

124EBT1002
Jan 4, 10:59am Top

At the risk of self-aggrandizement, I thought I'd try to share the links for the radio and tv spots in which I played a minor role.

KUOW (aka NPR)

KOMO

125EBT1002
Edited: Jan 4, 11:09am Top

I'm continuing to recover, still bone tired so I fall asleep before much reading gets done in the evening.

Still, I'm quite enjoying both Nicholas Nickleby and Why Buddhism is True (an odd combination if ever there was one).

126EBT1002
Edited: Jan 4, 11:19am Top

I also started reading A Piece of the World last night. Okay, I read the Author note to get a sense of the background. Inspired by Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, "Christina's World," it looks to be a great companion read to our Wyeth excursion this weekend.


127EBT1002
Edited: Jan 4, 11:10am Top



"Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth

128jessibud2
Edited: Jan 4, 11:12am Top

>124 EBT1002: - Good on you and congrats for being the one they turn to for info!

>126 EBT1002: - Yay. I really enjoyed this book (I listened to it on audio and though I forget now who the narrator was, she was very good). I did a fair amount of googling after finishing the book, to see how much fact was known and where imagination stepped in. Dialogue, obviously, but Kline does her homework. I also enjoyed her first book, Orphan Train.

BTW, your touchstone to A Piece of the World goes to the wrong book.

129EBT1002
Jan 4, 11:21am Top

>128 jessibud2: I really appreciate you recommending A Piece of the World to me, Shelley (and the touchstone in >126 EBT1002: is now fixed -- thank you for that, as well!). I can see how this kind of novel could lead one down a bunny trail of googling and researching. I think it will enhance my experience at SAM this weekend!

I never read Orphan Train but it might make it's way to my wish list if this one goes well. :-)

130EBT1002
Jan 4, 11:27am Top

>114 msf59: Interesting that as a rare reader of cozies or whodunits Magpie Murders landed well for you, Mark. I can appreciate the cleverness, especially of the overall structure, but I was just too bored during too many sections. My reading experience in 2018 has already improved with Nicholas Nickleby, Why Buddhism is True, and A Piece of the World!

>115 ffortsa: Judy, I am so much in the minority on Magpie Murders that I am confident that someone who cut their teeth on the Queen of Crime will appreciate it more than I did.
And if your June travels bring you to Portland, that would be awesome!

>116 banjo123: Ooh, "peculiar" sounds intriguing, Rhonda. Now I'm even more excited about The Parking Lot Attendant. :-)

>117 Berly: I predict an ER windfall for you in January, Kim!

131EBT1002
Jan 4, 11:30am Top

>118 BLBera: Great. We can communicate when our copies arrive and see where The Parking Lot Attendant fits into our reading non-plans.

>119 lauralkeet: It turns out that I did not win the lottery, Laura, so I am not on a plane bound for Tuscany. Who'd have predicted that? ;-)

>120 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. I get sick so rarely but when I get sick it seems to hit me like a ton of bricks. Still, this was one of the more memorable ones.

>121 The_Hibernator: Morning Rachel! Happy Thursday!

132EBT1002
Jan 4, 11:33am Top

>122 richardderus: "...please tell me you're not out running at 7.40." I was not.
But next week the 6.30 departures, warm gear and headlamp included, will recommence!

>123 BLBera: Hi Beth! So far, so good. Yesterday was the first day of classes and I would describe it as an interesting day. I can't say much about one matter we are navigating, but since I'm in the business of managing odd situations, interesting days that are not also bad days are to be appreciated (by me).

133richardderus
Jan 4, 11:49am Top

>132 EBT1002: Whew. So long as the coughing and schnerkling are all done and gone beforehand, all should be well. Y'all runners can be so obtuse when it comes to time off that I was concerned.

134EBT1002
Jan 4, 11:55am Top

>133 richardderus: You have accurately diagnosed me, Richard.

135BLBera
Jan 4, 12:12pm Top

Yes, to reading The Parking Lot Attendant together. I vote for soon after it arrives. If ER books sit on my shelves for too long, they tend to stay there. I have four or five OLD ones that I want to read this year to get them off my desk.

136EBT1002
Jan 4, 12:28pm Top

>135 BLBera: It's a date!

137Donna828
Jan 4, 12:32pm Top

Ellen, I’m glad you are on the mend. I am visiting a sick grandchild. It will be a miracle if I don’t go home with a barking cough but at least I will be able to sleep it off in my own bed. Four more days.

You got me with a Bingo Bullet! Like you, I am just going to play along and plug in titles of books as I read them. Not striving for a Blackout. Certainly not!

138brodiew2
Jan 4, 12:34pm Top

Good morning, Ellen and happy new year! I hope all is well with you!

139EBT1002
Edited: Jan 4, 12:35pm Top

>137 Donna828: I hope you don't get it, Donna. Mine started with a cough about four weeks ago.....

A new kind of LT Bullet! Yay!

I'm already envisioning the restructuring of my 2018 thread template. I had big plans for developing an elaborate one but the virus made it hard to even engage in that much cognitive activity. Thank goodness for "The Crown" on Netflix!

140EBT1002
Jan 4, 12:35pm Top

>138 brodiew2: Good morning, Brodie, and Happy New Year to you, as well!

141DeltaQueen50
Jan 4, 12:45pm Top

Happy New Year, Ellen. I am dropping off my star and I am happy to see that you will be over at the Category Challenge - not doing challenges - during the year. I should be reading Magpie Murders next month as I am nearing the top of the library wait list, can't wait to see how this book hits me.

142maggie1944
Jan 4, 12:56pm Top

Hi! Hope you are looking forward to a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend.

143humouress
Jan 4, 1:46pm Top

Happy New Year, Ellen!

144cameling
Jan 4, 1:51pm Top

Ellen, the BingoDog challenge looks interesting .. where do you get the link for that? I might just join you in it.

145witchyrichy
Jan 4, 1:58pm Top

>94 EBT1002: I lived in Chester County, PA, for some years, and we made many treks to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. The museum features Wyeth family paintings as well as others from the Brandywine School. More recently, we signed up for a tour conducted by Victoria Wyeth, Andrew's granddaughter. She was wonderful with great stories about her grandfather and living in a family of artists.

146lauralkeet
Jan 4, 3:27pm Top

>126 EBT1002: good choice. I liked that book.

>145 witchyrichy: I lived in & around Chester County for years (although just moved to Philly). That's a wonderful museum. Ellen, I doubt you'll have the free time on your Philly trip to drive an hour into the suburbs, but if you are seized by the Wyeth bug it's a nice place to visit.

147SuziQoregon
Jan 4, 3:32pm Top

I'm glad to hear you've turned the corner with this illness.
Very cool about the Wyeth exhibit.
Thanks for the links. It's always fun to listen or watch something and be inwardly screaming "I KNOW HER!! I KNOW HER!!!"

148ChelleBearss
Jan 4, 4:43pm Top

Hope you are having a wonderful start to 2018!

149jnwelch
Jan 4, 4:57pm Top

>94 EBT1002: Good for the local news stations, good for the University (for tracking student suicides), and good for you for articulating it. I'm sure it was a relief that the sound bite from the much longer interview came out all right.

I can't imagine the sadness of a parent who sends their child off to college, an exciting time in life, only to have this happen.

150lauralkeet
Jan 4, 6:13pm Top

>94 EBT1002: Nice job with the interviews, Ellen. That's a skill all its own, especially when dealing with sensitive topics.

151msf59
Jan 4, 7:09pm Top

Hi, Ellen. Glad you are feeling a bit better. Hope this trend continues and I am glad you are enjoying the books. I am tickled pink, that you are having such a good time with NN. I hope to dip into it tomorrow.

I'll watch for your thoughts on A Piece of the World. Sounds interesting, plus I really enjoyed Orphan Train.

152msf59
Jan 4, 7:12pm Top

I should also wrap up Why Buddhism is True tomorrow. It is such an interesting read. If I meditated, like Joe, I probably would have got a lot more out of it. Never too late, right?

Here is a short interview, with Wright, discussing the book:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Why+Buddhism+is+True%3a+The+Science+and+Philosophy+of+Enlightenment+by+Robert+Wright&&view=detail&mid=F1D0143AC7C4BA535ED7F1D0143AC7C4BA535ED7&&FORM=VDRVRV

153Berly
Jan 4, 7:23pm Top

>124 EBT1002: I know a celebrity! Thanks for posting your interview and nicely done.

154Copperskye
Jan 4, 7:50pm Top

Good job with the interview, Ellen. Not an easy feat.

155ronincats
Jan 4, 11:29pm Top

So glad you are on the road to recovery, Ellen!

156LovingLit
Jan 5, 4:10am Top

>94 EBT1002: yay! A news appearance, as an expert no less...which is better than being a talking head, or the victim of some terrible mishap/drama.
I saw my friend on the national news on Christmas eve, as her parents house had burnt to the ground. They lost everything. I am hoping to go help her sift through the collected ashes for some of the precious jewels that may have survived.

>126 EBT1002: >127 EBT1002: a familiar scene...I guess farm houses on plains must represent a lot, and appeal to many!

157karenmarie
Jan 5, 9:05am Top

Hi Ellen!

I'm glad to hear that you're finally getting over this virus.

>98 EBT1002: You know I struggled with giving such a low rating to such a popular book. I always worry that it's a sign that I'm a total idiot and completely missed the brilliance therein.

Nah. Just keep posting honest reviews since not every book works for everybody. If we don't post honest reviews, the rating system is worthless.

158jnwelch
Jan 5, 9:09am Top

Yeah, what Karen said, Ellen. Plus it's good to have different perspectives. Although I can't believe you missed its brilliance. Which book was it again? :-)

160benitastrnad
Jan 5, 1:40pm Top

I'm back from Kansas and had to skip almost all of your last thread of 2017 and most of this one.

In the last month I have read the first two of the Cara Black Aimee LeDuc mysteries. I found them to be OK, but not great, and hope that they get better as the author and the story matures. At this point, I am really having a hard time understanding why the series is so popular.

161Familyhistorian
Jan 5, 4:59pm Top

I hope you have waterproof running shoes for when you get back out running, Ellen. Looks like it will be raining for a while up here and I would imagine your weather will be similar.

162Caroline_McElwee
Jan 6, 8:36am Top

Just in case you haven’t seen it Ellen, there is a new Louise Erdrich out, Future Home of the Living God

163luvamystery65
Jan 6, 10:33am Top

Howdy Ellen and Happy New Year to you!

>3 EBT1002: Of theses books I absolutely loved Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin. I recently read The Fire Next Time and it was fantastic as well. Have you read it? I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X and I'm due for a reread. I also LOVE February 1965: The Final Speeches. So incredible.

I have The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois to read as well. Let me know if you want to do a shared read later in the second half of the year.

164Familyhistorian
Jan 6, 3:38pm Top

So can sickness be passed through the interwebs? I think I have what you had, Ellen.

165EBT1002
Jan 6, 9:02pm Top

Hi everyone! I have some catching up to do!

But first, I wanted to report on today's trip to the Seattle Art Museum to see the Andrew Wyeth retrospective. The exhibit included over 100 paintings by Wyeth and it was magnificent. I'm going to try to post some photos of some of my favorites. Which paintings intrigued me most was definitely affected by one of my current reads, A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. It's a fictionalized story of the life of Christina Olson. She was one of Wyeth's friends, a muse and a model for his work. The novel is lovely.

I may get interrupted here because Prudence is in the kitchen making Coq Au Vin (I kid you not). When she calls that it's ready, I'll have to muster up some enthusiasm and make my way to the table. Ha.

166EBT1002
Edited: Jan 6, 10:33pm Top



Wind from the Sea
Andrew Wyeth, 1947

167EBT1002
Edited: Jan 6, 10:33pm Top



168humouress
Jan 6, 10:29pm Top

169EBT1002
Edited: Jan 6, 10:40pm Top



I didn't make note of this painting's title or the year but the subject is Christina Olsen later in her life. The hair is amazing.

170EBT1002
Edited: Jan 6, 10:34pm Top



171EBT1002
Jan 6, 10:32pm Top



Detail on the right of "Wood Stove"

172EBT1002
Edited: Jan 6, 10:33pm Top



Detail on the left of "Wood Stove"

173EBT1002
Jan 6, 10:39pm Top

None of these images do any kind of justice to the exhibit, of course. I wish I had gone earlier in its tenure here in Seattle; we're members so we can go free of additional charge any time we want. But entrance to this exhibit is somewhat controlled and it ends January 15. We're spending next weekend at Mt. Rainier using the snow shoes we bought two Christmases ago (finally! - the first winter we had them, there was NO snow, and last winter P was so anemic - undiagnosed - that snowshoeing was simply out of the question). Anyway, this is an exhibit to be visited again and again.

174EBT1002
Edited: Jan 7, 1:18am Top



Again, I failed to make note of the name or date but this was very early in his career just as he was starting to use tempera as his primary medium.

175EBT1002
Jan 6, 10:45pm Top



Airborne
Andrew Wyeth, 1996

One of the narrators of the video thing at the exhibit talked about Wyeth's ability to paint grass. He said that no one before Andrew had figured out how to paint grass; Andrew mastered it.

176EBT1002
Jan 6, 10:50pm Top

>141 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! I think I'm going to enjoy the Category Challenges as a way to put some structure to my reading but leave me lots of latitude for what I'm in the mood for and what I have out from the library. I predict that I'll still struggle with having books come available from the library and getting overwhelmed but maybe this will help that a little bit!

>142 maggie1944: Hi Karen. So far the weekend has been quite relaxing and rejuvenating. Tomorrow I will get up at a reasonable hour and go for my first run in about three weeks. Then I have to go spend a few hours at the office. I don't know what I was thinking back in October when I agreed to co-author a chapter for a book but the deadline looms and I must get it done.

177EBT1002
Jan 6, 10:55pm Top

>143 humouress: Thanks Nina!

>144 cameling: Hey Caro. There are two BingoDOG cards available on the planning thread. LShelby also gives instructions on how to place the markers (and you can choose from several colors, which is cool).

178EBT1002
Jan 6, 11:03pm Top

>145 witchyrichy: Karen, that sounds terrific. It was interesting how often the history of the area comes into Wyeth's paintings. The Revolutionary War battle at Brandywine emerged in the narrative accompanying several paintings. I would love to go the Brandywine River Museum!

>146 lauralkeet: I am quite enjoying A Piece of the World, Laura. It's just my cup of tea.

I don't think a trip into the burbs is in the cards for this trip to Philly but perhaps I'll return! :-) I am sort of wishing I had added a couple of vacation days to this conference trip....

>147 SuziQoregon: I'm so healthy I'm going to go for a run tomorrow, Juli! This is momentous.

I cracked up at the thought of you internally screaming "I know her!" It was kind of cool how widely the NPR piece was heard; I got emails from friends as far south as Portland who heard it on the local affiliate. I know my voice is quite distinctive and recognizable so it makes sense that, even with only a couple of sentences, friends and colleagues immediately knew it was me. I've been told that I should consider a career of radio so maybe this will be a start! Ha.

>148 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle!

>149 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. You're spot on; it's one of the most heartbreaking parts of my work, supporting a family who is experiencing this kind of loss.

>150 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. It helped that both interviewers were kind; neither of them was trying to trip me up (I've experienced that and it is no fun).

179EBT1002
Jan 6, 11:07pm Top

>151 msf59: Hiya Mark! I am surprised at how much I'm enjoying Nicholas Nickleby. On the other hand, I've stalled on it while I immerse myself in A Piece of the World and all things Andrew Wyeth. I think you would like this novel but I'll give you my final word on that when I actually finish it.

>152 msf59: I'm not a meditator, either, and I have had that exact same thought -- I'm finding Why Buddhism is True very interesting but I keep thinking I would get more out of it, it would resonate more deeply, if I actually meditated. I often say that my running is meditative (I don't listen to music or anything when I run) but it's not the same thing as the kind of focus that Wright describes. Thanks for the link to the interview. I'll listen to that tomorrow on my way to the office.

180EBT1002
Jan 6, 11:12pm Top

>153 Berly: :-) and xo

>154 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne.

>155 ronincats: I'm so pleased to be human again, Roni!

>156 LovingLit: Yikes, Megan, I am so sorry to hear about your friend's house fire! That sounds so incredibly heartbreaking and traumatic. I hope she is able to recover a few precious items.

>157 karenmarie: Thanks for the encouragement to continue posting honest reviews, Karen. I wholly agree that not every book works for every reader and I also like your point that the rating system is useless if we don't use it with integrity. There are so many great books out there that I know my ratings skew toward the upper end of the scale, but I have to remind myself that I'm glad to be reading books that earn my praise rather than books that felt like a waste of time!

>158 jnwelch: Stop making me laugh, Joe. It just makes me (still) have a coughing attack. xo

>159 richardderus: See there, Richard, you're so prone to just going along with the crowd. :-)

181EBT1002
Jan 6, 11:15pm Top

>160 benitastrnad: Hey Benita and welcome back! I still haven't read any of the Cara Black mysteries and I'm not sure I'll get to The Black Marais this month after all. You know, I overcommitted while I was in the midst of not making commitments. P read it and had much the same reaction as you, that it was just okay.

>161 Familyhistorian: I LOVE running in the rain, Meg! I like 60F and raining better than 45F and raining, but still. It's one reason I love this region; I would not be nearly the runner if I still lived in a drier place, especially one that got terribly warm.

>162 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. I just downloaded that latest Erdrich from the library yesterday. I hope I can get to it this month but I may have to return it and acquire it again at a later date.

182EBT1002
Jan 6, 11:22pm Top

>163 luvamystery65: Howdy Ro! So good to see you here. (I'm still listening to Any Other Name and every time Walt says "boy howdy" I think of you with a smile).

I'm also a fan of Go Tell it on the Mountain and The Fire Next Time. I'm looking forward to reading The Souls of Black Folk as it seems like one of the most seminal works within the civil rights library. I'm not sure when I'll read it; I was thinking I would read it earlier in the year, rather than later, since it feels so central to the project.

>164 Familyhistorian: Oh Meg. I. Am. SO. Sorry. I hope hope hope your version of this bug is tame in comparison.

>168 humouress: I'm with you, Nina. I LOVED that painting, "Wind from the Sea." The way he captured the lace curtains, both their transparency and the weight of the lace.... it was one of the most breathtaking paintings I have seen in a long time.

183BLBera
Jan 6, 11:49pm Top

>124 EBT1002: Can I have your autograph? Nicely done.

Love the Wyeths. I went to his museum in Maine many years ago, and it was one of the highlights of my stay.

I'll have to look for the Kline; I liked Orphan Train quite a lot.

I'll look for your comments on the newest Erdrich when you get to it.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

184LovingLit
Jan 7, 1:06am Top

Mmmm. Nice art!

And I have had Orphan Train for ages, and have even picked it up to start before...I must get on to that one!

185humouress
Edited: Jan 7, 8:41am Top

>182 EBT1002: I know. It doesn't really show anything, subject-wise, but it really appeals to me. It's my favourite of the ones you've posted.

ETA I mean, it doesn't show anything outside the window. But I love how light the lace looks, too.

186Ameise1
Jan 7, 5:35am Top

Great paintings. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Happy Sunday.

187lauralkeet
Jan 7, 7:31am Top

I'm so glad you enjoyed the Wyeth exhibit, Ellen. It does indeed look magnificent.

188ChelleBearss
Jan 7, 9:40am Top

Love the Wyeth paintings especially Wood Stove. Lovely

189richardderus
Jan 7, 9:48am Top

Wyeth art = spectacular
Running tomorrow = mildly concerning
Ellen's common sense = considerable; after all, you snagged P who makes you coq au vin, but you *will* strain your recovering person by running....

190Crazymamie
Jan 7, 10:30am Top

Morning, Ellen! Thanks for sharing the Wyeth exhibit with us - so beautiful. The detail in >171 EBT1002: especially speaks to me - it's so hopeful. And red geraniums are my favorite. Here's hoping that your Sunday is full of fabulous.

191SuziQoregon
Jan 7, 11:55am Top

Thanks for sharing the photos from the exhibit. Very cool.

>166 EBT1002: is my favorite.

Wahoo for feeling well enough to go for a run!!!

192jnwelch
Jan 7, 12:44pm Top

Hi, Ellen. Debbi loved A Piece of the World, and was very intrigued by the news of the Wyeth retrospective at the Seattle Art Museum. I didn't have any luck trying to convince her to fly out with me to see it, though.

When I showed her the painting of the older Christina in >169 EBT1002:, she said, "That's how I thought she'd look."

Fun to see all the art, thanks.

193Familyhistorian
Jan 7, 4:24pm Top

I love the picture of the kitchen, Ellen, or Woodstove as it is called. Yep, the bug is not fun and will wreck havoc with my steps this month. On the other hand, that leaves more time for reading, so there is that.

194vancouverdeb
Jan 7, 8:41pm Top

Glad you are feeling better, Ellen! Enjoy the Coq au Vin!

195Caroline_McElwee
Jan 8, 7:13am Top

Glad you enjoyed the Wyeth exhibit Ellen. I’ve just ordered A Piece of the World, first book bullet of the year.

196EBT1002
Jan 8, 1:24pm Top

>183 BLBera: I remember when Orphan Train was making the LT rounds, Beth. I am now thinking I'd like to go back and read it.

>184 LovingLit: Glad you like the art, Megan. P was commenting that Wyeth's paintings are not beautiful, per se, or not of beautiful people or landscapes. But they are breathtaking in their own way. I am drawn to them more than she is but I do see her point.

I am thinking I'll add Orphan Train to the wish list given how much I am appreciating A Piece of the World.

>185 humouress: It was perhaps my favorite in the exhibit, Nina. I am also realizing that I did a very poor job of taking photos of selections in the exhibit. Oh well.

>186 Ameise1: Glad you're enjoying, Barbara. I wish they did more justice to his amazing work.

>187 lauralkeet: Thanks Laura. I do think my enjoyment of the Wyeth exhibit was enhanced by the fact that I'm currently reading A Piece of the World. After seeing the exhibit, I read a chapter of the novel in which she very clearly references a couple of his paintings, both of which were included in the exhibit. Sadly, I didn't take a photo of either of them.

197EBT1002
Edited: Jan 8, 1:28pm Top

This is one of them:



Christina Olson
Andrew Wyeth, 1947

198EBT1002
Edited: Jan 8, 1:28pm Top

This is the other:



Oil Lamp
Andrew Wyeth, 1945

The subject is Alvaro Olson, Christina's brother.

199katiekrug
Jan 8, 1:27pm Top

>197 EBT1002: - I love that. It might be my favorite of the ones you've posted.

200EBT1002
Jan 8, 1:33pm Top

>188 ChelleBearss: Wood Stove was one of my favorites in the exhibit, too, Chelle.

>189 richardderus: I did run, Richard, but I took it easy. It felt wonderful to be out there but I took it really slow. I feel pretty good today so I'm hoping my recovery is not delayed. I feel like I'm 95% myself.
The coq au vin was delicious!!!!!!

>190 Crazymamie: I wish that detail even did the painting justice, Mamie. The paintings are so amazing to be viewed up close and personal. But I'm glad folks are appreciating them.

>191 SuziQoregon: "Wind from the Sea" was definitely one of the most remarkable paintings in the exhibit, Juli! And yes, it was such a relief to finally feel up for a run. My quads are a bit tight today and that is a very good thing.

201EBT1002
Jan 8, 1:37pm Top

>192 jnwelch: Hi Joe. "I didn't have any luck trying to convince her to fly out with me to see it, though." More's the pity. I would have loved to have seen you both.
I'm quite enjoying A Piece of the World and, while I think my enjoyment is being enhanced by the concurrent Wyeth viewing, I can see that it would certainly not be necessary. I like Kline's writing a lot.

>193 Familyhistorian: That kitchen painting is pretty amazing "in person," Meg. And I am SO sorry you caught this virus. It will indeed wreak havoc with your steps (I just stopped even wearing my Fitbit for about two weeks) but I hope you feel well enough to read.

>194 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb. The coq au vin was wonderful. And there are leftovers! :-)

>195 Caroline_McElwee: Yay! My first book bullet to successfully land on someone in 2018. I hope you enjoy A Piece of the World when you get to it, Caroline. I'm almost done with it and wishing I didn't have to work today because I would very happily have stayed home and just read.

202EBT1002
Edited: Jan 8, 1:39pm Top

>199 katiekrug: It's cool to see the various paintings Wyeth did with Christina Olson as the subject, Katie. This one (>197 EBT1002:) was very impressive. His depiction of light and shadow is a remarkable aspect of his work, imo.

203richardderus
Jan 8, 1:43pm Top

>200 EBT1002: It might just be that you're at the moment in recovery where it's beneficial to move around and stir stuff up. I'm hoping so. *smooch*

Which I'll now take right back in jealous envy of your scrummy coq au vin.

204ffortsa
Edited: Jan 8, 2:08pm Top

Thank you for the Wyeth pictures! I know it's always better up close, but it's great to be reminded of the work he did.

I did get to the Brandywine ages ago, when my brother lived in PA and my folks were still around. Quite wonderful. Wyeth always fills me with a kind of stillness that I very much appreciate.

I can relate to your relief at being able to run again. This walking brace isn't exactly something that promotes actual walking, and I suspect I will be more or less off my feet for a few more months. An hour at the American Museum of Natural History just wiped me out this weekend. It will be great to be able to stride out again.

eta: it was great to hear your contributions to the radio and TV broadcasts, and to see you! That's when I really wanted to shout 'I know her!'

205luvamystery65
Jan 8, 2:10pm Top

>182 EBT1002: Ellen the thought of every time Walt says "boy howdy" I think of you with a smile makes me so happy.

If I see you've started The Souls of Black Folk and I'm able to listen to it, then I will. It's always an incentive for me when someone else is reading/listening along with me.

206EBT1002
Edited: Jan 8, 5:25pm Top

>203 richardderus: The coq au vin was truly divine, Richard. You would have loved it. Except that, in a nod to my heart health, she left out the bacon. :-)

>204 ffortsa: I'm glad you enjoyed the little Wyeth tour, Judy! I'm definitely adding the Brandywine museum to my bucket list for someday.
I can empathize with your frustration at being less mobile than usual. I hope it heals quickly so you can be out there walking again, especially after spring arrives!
"That's when I really wanted to shout 'I know her!'" Aww.

>205 luvamystery65: Mutual affection society, Ro. :-) xo
And I do hope our timing works for The Souls of Black Folk as I will appreciate a co-reader. I do know that lots of folks in this group have read it but it's always best to be reading along with someone in the same time frame.

207richardderus
Jan 8, 6:06pm Top

>206 EBT1002: No bacon. Hmmm. I'm trying that out in my mind...hmmm...well, it's health related not taste related, so it's understandable.

208BLBera
Jan 8, 10:52pm Top

I'm glad you're able to start running again. I hope you continue to improve and that the nasty bug is gone for good.

Any leftovers?

209mdoris
Jan 8, 11:32pm Top

Hi Ellen, I ventured today into the world of stunning paintings by Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershoi and while researching this I found a BBC doc. programme about him by Michael Palin which I just finished and it was outstanding. At the end of the programme i saw that Palin has done one on Wyeth and I thought of you and perhaps you might already know about it but if not, you might like to see it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNuGbKIoUds

210LovingLit
Jan 9, 2:12am Top

>196 EBT1002: I am thinking I'll add Orphan Train to the wish list given how much I am appreciating A Piece of the World.
You know, I hadn't realised they were 'related'! Not so much more appealing, with that and the art connection.

211karenmarie
Jan 9, 7:52am Top

Hi Ellen!

I love the Wyeth pictures, especially the one in >169 EBT1002: with the hair and the kitten.

I'm glad to hear that you're running again too.

212EBT1002
Jan 9, 3:33pm Top

>207 richardderus: The original plan was to use half the bacon but then we forgot to buy any and I was too comfortably ensconced in our comfy house with comfy clothes to go to the store to rectify the problem. It worked out okay but I will admit that it would have been better with at least some bacon.

>208 BLBera: Seriously leftovers!

213EBT1002
Jan 9, 3:37pm Top

>209 mdoris: Thank you, Mary! I will definitely watch that (I went to it now but I'm on a short lunch break so it will have to wait until I have a wee bit more time).

>210 LovingLit: I love when things are connected, Megan. Connectedness. Given my work, it's kind of a thing for me. :-)

>211 karenmarie: That painting of her with the kitten really touched me, Karen. She was not a beautiful woman in any traditional sense but he captured her humanity and her vulnerability. A Piece of the World, which I just finished this morning, captures that, as well.

214Carmenere
Jan 9, 3:43pm Top

Hey Ellen! When I saw you were reading Magpie Murders, I purchased really inexpensively on Kindle. But oh, oh! Hope it works a little better for me.
The Wyeth paintings are really striking, thanks for sharing.

215charl08
Jan 9, 4:03pm Top

Glad you're feeling better Ellen. Enjoying the art and discussion on the thread. I'd not come across Wyeth before - did he paint the same people throughout his career?

216richardderus
Jan 9, 5:28pm Top

>212 EBT1002: Yes, I can totally comprehend the way the situation arose. It's still a yummy chicken dish.

Happy homecoming from your first day back!

217msf59
Jan 9, 5:37pm Top

>198 EBT1002: LOVE!

Hi, Ellen. I hope the work week is off to a good start for you. I am starting The White Album tomorrow.

218EBT1002
Edited: Jan 10, 12:15pm Top

>214 Carmenere: Hi Lynda! I predict that Magpie Murders will work better for you than it did for me. I'm very much in the minority on this and, honestly, I think it's more a matter of it not being my cup of tea rather than being poorly done.

>215 charl08: Thanks Charlotte! I went for another run this morning and, while my muscles are a bit sore from several weeks off, I can tell that I'm still pretty fit. Yay!

Wyeth had a few muses/models. Christina Olson was one of them. Helga Testorf was another. Christina was a neighbor in the part of Maine where Andy and his wife Betsy summered (and the narrator/protagonist in A Piece of the World); Helga was a neighbor in their primary home of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. There was some scandal surrounding his paintings of Helga. From Wikipedia: "Wyeth asked Testorf to model for him in 1971, and from then until 1985 he made 45 paintings and 200 drawings of her, many of which depicted her nude. The sessions were a secret even to their spouses."

Here is perhaps the most famous Helga painting, called "Braids":



And one called "Lovers":



Both of these paintings were included in the exhibit at SAM.

219mdoris
Jan 10, 12:15pm Top

Hi Ellen, There is a one-and-only interview with Helga in the Michael Palin doc. (the link that I sent) that is very interesting. Well the whole doc. was very interesting!

220EBT1002
Jan 10, 12:20pm Top

>216 richardderus: Thanks Richard! Last night we met with the contractor who is going to build us a new front deck/porch. We gave him the down payment and construction will start in the next few weeks. It will provide me with a place in front of our house to sit with my book and glass of wine during the summer months. I can hardly wait.

>217 msf59: Hi Mark. I'm really enjoying my immersion in all things Andrew Wyeth. P saw in the paper that the Portland Art Museum is going to have an exhibit that covers three generations of Wyeths: N.C., Andrew, and Jamie. I am hoping I can see it while it's in PDX.

I hope you enjoy The White Album. I have not read Didion and I know this is a gap in my reading that should be filled, but I don't think it's going to happen this month.

I think it's funny that the first touchstone for The White Album is the Beatles' album by that name. It's a classic, no doubt! ~~ but this is a book website..... I don't get that.

221EBT1002
Jan 10, 12:24pm Top

>219 mdoris: I need to listen to that Michael Palin doc, Mary. I wonder if I can download it enough to listen without internet access. This weekend we are headed into the mountains to do some snowshoeing and reading, will not have wifi....

222EBT1002
Edited: Jan 10, 12:27pm Top

This is the inn at which we'll be staying for MLK weekend. I hope it's this snowy!

...

223Crazymamie
Jan 10, 12:45pm Top

That inn looks lovely, Ellen. Crossing my fingers for you that there will be snow.

224Caroline_McElwee
Jan 10, 1:11pm Top

That looks wonderful Ellen. As well as your snow shoes, I hope you have a good book to read sitting on some window seat looking out at the view, a hot toddy to hand as required.

225richardderus
Jan 10, 3:22pm Top

>220 EBT1002: That's great, Ellen! A real honest-to-Pete front porch for porching and sipping and reading.

>222 EBT1002: How lovely. How simply lovely. I hope it's everything you expect it to be.

226BLBera
Jan 10, 3:42pm Top

>220 EBT1002: Hooray for a new porch. No mosquitoes in the summer? I like to sit on mine, but after about mid June, I get bitten.

>222 EBT1002: Nice. Enjoy. Even after one week of class, I enjoy a long weekend.

227Chatterbox
Jan 10, 4:30pm Top

I saw a fascinating exhibit of work by the three generations of the Wyeths out on Cape Cod with my ex-bf, David, back in 2014? 2015? They combined work by Andrew with the more illustrative work by his father (a lot of patriotic themes) and some by his son, Jamie, which seemed to push the development further forward into impressionistic territory -- it was intriguing to see them altogether in that way. I hadn't fully appreciated the way that each father had served as a teacher to his son, at least partly. But there also is a reaction there -- fascinating.

Magpie Murders -- I had trouble getting into the book, but once I did, had fun with it. You're certainly not missing any hidden brilliance, however! It is what it is, and if you like it, great; if you don't, you don't. There are books that I would wonder at you not liking or appreciating; I suppose I'm curious that this didn't break three stars for you, but it didn't. For me, it was a fun, twisty read in which I could completely immerse myself, and that was just what I needed. I tend to become frustrated when there is no middle ground between worthy and intense books, and lightweight reading that is of no lasting value whatsoever and that I can put down without much of a qualm while reading it. I want that book that -- even if it isn't brilliant -- is going to keep me entertained. And happily that is where this one fit in, for me. As did The Terranauts and some others I read last year. They didn't pretend to be more than they were, either -- another of my biggest pet peeves. I loathe popular fiction masquerading as Great Literature. Sigh.

Glad you get time off for MLK and congrats on the media spotlight!

228jessibud2
Jan 10, 4:49pm Top

>219 mdoris: - Mary, I missed that mention of a doc about the Wyeths. Is it online somewhere?

His use of light, Ellen, is amazing, isn't it? Almost photographic.

229mdoris
Jan 10, 6:44pm Top

>238 Shelley and Ellen the doc. is a "watch" so you would have to have internet access but well worth it as it takes you to the places where Wyeth painted and his incredible paintings. so the link is in >209 mdoris:. It's a you tube and the others of Palin's are wonderful too

230jessibud2
Jan 10, 6:59pm Top

Thanks, Mary. I will watch it!

231vancouverdeb
Jan 10, 7:20pm Top

Ohh ,lovely Inn that you are headed too, Ellen! Have a great time! In Canada, there are no long weekends in January.

232Familyhistorian
Jan 10, 9:57pm Top

No long weekends here until February, which has only been in effect for the last few years, before that we had to wait until Easter. I hope you enjoy your weekend away, Ellen.

233banjo123
Jan 10, 10:14pm Top

Hi Ellen! I will have to get to the Wyeth exhibit when it's in town. I keep missing exhibits that I mean to see, but then get too busy.

And when are you coming for Arts and Lectures? Any meet up possibilities?

234LovingLit
Jan 10, 10:15pm Top

>222 EBT1002: WOW!
That looks very conducive to the reading and the drinking of the cocoa :)

235EBT1002
Jan 10, 11:25pm Top

>223 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. We're taking our snowshoes so I really hope there is snow!

>224 Caroline_McElwee: Oh yeah, Caroline, there will be books along with the snowshoes. The inn has a nice lounge with a large fireplace, no wifi, and I will be sure to remember to take my powerful mighty light reading light. I hate when I forget it and go to a rustic inn and forget my reading lamp! We're also planning to take a couple bottles of wine although the restaurant in the inn has a pretty good restaurant, too. The rooms are rustic but we won't suffer.

>225 richardderus: I have wanted a front porch forever, Richard! I think they are the essence of romanticism, leisure, and comfort. I am extroverted so, while I'm a heavy reader, being on a front porch rather than a back patio (which we already have and is also a nice place to sit and read) will help me feel connected to the neighborhood while doing my reading. I'm super excited.

Thanks for the weekend wishes, Richard. The inn is a lovely combination of rustic and luxurious. The luxury is in the rustic: a large fireplace, no wifi, a decent restaurant, and an amazing setting.

236Berly
Jan 10, 11:28pm Top

Ellen--Well, after all those wonderful pictures of Wyeth's work, I am determined now to see the Portland exhibit. It's here until 1/28. My favorite of the ones you posted is 197 although 218 is a close second. He's not only good at grass, but hair!! Glad you got to go for a run. Yay!! Oh, and here's hoping for snow so you can try out the snowshoes. : )

237EBT1002
Jan 10, 11:29pm Top

>226 BLBera: One thing I LOVE about this region, Beth, is NO MOSQUITOES. When Prudence and I bought our first house in Oregon, I said that I wanted a screened in front porch. P, who grew up in Seattle, asked "why would we screen it in?" I said, "well, so we can sit out there in the evening without donating half our blood supply to the local mosquito union." She laughed and said, "Um, we don't have mosquitoes." It's true! In this part of the world, one can sit outside well into the night in the summer. It's not that there are NO mosquitos, but they are a rarity.

Mosquitoes. Mosquitos. Are both correct?

The MLK weekend comes before we "need" it, but I appreciate it nonetheless! We also get President's Day in February. Then it's a long haul until Memorial Day...

238EBT1002
Jan 10, 11:36pm Top

>227 Chatterbox: Suzanne, that sounds like the exhibit that is at the Portland Art Museum. I'm really hoping to see it.

Your comments about Magpie Murders really resonate for me, Suz. And I know you're not trying to get me to change my rating, but for me three stars is "A solid read, with a few things done particularly well" and the honest truth is that this description probably fits the novel perfectly. I think I was partially reacting to the hype. I'm reminded of an old bf of mine who prided himself on being a nonconformist and I pointed out that he was so intent on going against the norm that he was actually as controlled by fads as if the followed them with enthusiasm. He was an anti-conformist rather than a nonconformist. I may have fallen into this my own self. I also really appreciate your comments about books that are what they are -- an entertaining tale not pretending to be Great Literature. Magpie Murders was honest, I will give it that.

239EBT1002
Jan 10, 11:44pm Top

>228 jessibud2: and >229 mdoris: and >230 jessibud2: I think I'll watch the doc Friday evening before we head into the mountains. Thanks Mary!

>231 vancouverdeb: Well, Deb, MLK weekend comes before I need it, in all honestly, but I'll enjoy it nonetheless. I actually sort of wish it fell in April since the stretch between President's Day (mid February) to Memorial Day (end of May) is a long one.

>232 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. We don't get any days off for Easter since I work at a state institution. Spring break occurs in March but I'm a 12-month employee so I work when classes are not in session. On the other hand, the vacation-day allocation is very generous so I am absolutely not complaining!

>233 banjo123: "I keep missing exhibits that I mean to see, but then get too busy." Oh yeah, that happens to me, too, Rhonda! I just snuck in to the Wyeth exhibit as this weekend is its last.

I'm in town in a couple of weeks. I have a couple of obligations (I'm actually rather flattered as a colleague at a college down there asked to consult with me so even though I'm using "vacation" days, I will do some work with her as she considers some reorganization of health care and wellness-related programs at her institution) but maybe we can do dinner on the Friday or breakfast on the Saturday I'm in town? The 19th or 20th.

>234 LovingLit: Yep, it's an inn for reading, snowshoeing, and drinking cocoa in the afternoon and wine in the evening. :-)

240EBT1002
Jan 10, 11:47pm Top

>236 Berly: Which one in >218 EBT1002: is your second favorite, Kim?

241Berly
Jan 11, 12:00am Top

>240 EBT1002: Sorry, the clothed one on top--love the hair!!

242EBT1002
Jan 11, 12:01am Top

243Caroline_McElwee
Jan 11, 5:10am Top

>235 EBT1002: I’d be interested to know what light you take Ellen. That was the main problem with travels last year, the lighting for reading at night baaah,

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