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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter One

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

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 6:48pm Top

-Chicago Lakefront

Edited: Jan 6, 7:24pm Top



Books Read So Far...


1) The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher 4 stars (audio)
2) The Fact of a Body: A Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich 5 stars (audio)
3) Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright 4.2 stars

Edited: Jan 6, 7:25pm Top

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

2018 AAC

January- Joan Didion
February- Colson Whitehead
March- Tobias Wolff
April- Alice Walker
May- Peter Hamill
June- Walter Mosley
July- Amy Tan
August- Louis L'Amour
September- Pat Conroy
October- Stephen King
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Edited: Jan 6, 7:26pm Top

Edited: Jan 6, 7:40pm Top


1) Anything is Possible
2) News of the World
3) Commonwealth
4)Infinite Jest
5) Lincoln in the Bardo


1) The Color of Water
2) Just Mercy
3) Death and the Life of the Great Lakes
4) Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
5) Secondhand Time

Best 5 of the Year:

1) The Color Water
2) Anything is Possible
3) Just Mercy
4) Commonwealth
5) Lincoln in the Bardo


1) My Favorite Things is Monsters
2) The Best We Could Do
3) The One Hundred Nights of Hero


1) Olio
2) Lessons on Expulsion
3) Incendiary Art: Poems

Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 7:48pm Top

Welcome everyone! Looking to sharing another reading year, with all my faithful visitors. Next June, will mark my 10th year on LT. I can't believe it. This place is not an oddball fluke, after all. This bookish oasis has become a big part of our lives and I see no reason not to take this to infinity and beyond...

Dec 28, 2017, 7:04pm Top

Oh no ya don't! Yer not sneakin' away that easy. I found ya!

Dec 28, 2017, 7:05pm Top

Hiya, Mark!

Dec 28, 2017, 7:24pm Top

Dropping my star Mark.

>4 msf59: - Yes! :-)

Dec 28, 2017, 7:30pm Top

...to infinity and beyond... Okay. I'm in.

Dec 28, 2017, 7:36pm Top

Welcome into 2018! That lakefront pic looks coooooold.

Dec 28, 2017, 8:03pm Top

Love the branch of birds Mark. Stay warm. Looking forward to keeping up with your New Years Reading.

Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 8:13pm Top

>7 richardderus: I figured you would track me down, RD. The pugnacious sleuth. Smiles...

>8 katiekrug: >9 jessibud2: >10 Crazymamie: Big, loving waves to Katie, Shelley & Mamie!

>11 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. And yes, I think that topper sums up a Chicago winter.

>12 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Looking forward to next year's reading.

Dec 28, 2017, 8:14pm Top

Happy New Year Mark !

Dec 28, 2017, 9:31pm Top

Welcome back, Mark, to another year of fun and reading. Eager to see what books you've got up your sleeve in 2018.

Edited: Dec 28, 2017, 9:40pm Top

Hi, Mark! The topper reminds me of my years in Rochester, N.Y.

Dec 28, 2017, 10:10pm Top

Your top is sending a chill through me. Hope your year is filled with good books!

Dec 28, 2017, 10:28pm Top

>14 cindysprocket: Hi, Cindy! Great to see you, stranger.

>15 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Love sharing my reading life, with good pals.

>16 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry! I have been to Rochester. Looks cold. Smiles...

>17 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. That was the objective with that particular topper.

Dec 29, 2017, 12:12am Top

Starred as per usual!!

Dec 29, 2017, 12:56am Top

Planting a star and wishing you great reading in 2018!

Dec 29, 2017, 1:00am Top

Great toppers, Mark... nothing like that gorgeous Chicago skyline...I never get tired if it. Dropping my star... and hoping to keep up with all your reading. You amaze me.

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 4:22am Top

Found you! That topper is beautiful - and yet another friend approaching their ten-year Thingaversary, hooray! I'm so glad we all found this place; life wouldn't be the same without LibraryThing and everyone here! :)

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 5:21am Top

Happy reading 2018, Mark. Dropped a .

Dec 29, 2017, 6:40am Top

>19 Berly: Thanks, Kim. Lovely image.

>20 SuziQoregon: Good to see you, Juli.

>21 kac522: I have posted this lakefront scene before. I think it fits perfectly. Good to see you, Kathy.

>22 elliepotten: Hi, Ellie. How are you, stranger? It has been a long, long time.

>23 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. Looking forward to '18.

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 7:44am Top

>24 msf59: It has! I've been around, but not really around - just pottering about in my library once in a while - and I've barely read a thing this year, since the earliest months anyway. Time to write off 2017 and start afresh! New thread, old friends, what better way to kick off the New Year? :)

Looking forward to lots of catching up over the next few months!

Dec 29, 2017, 10:17am Top

Dropping off a star, Mark. I look forward to keeping up with your reading (or trying to) in the New Year. :)

Dec 29, 2017, 12:34pm Top

I hope I have better luck keeping up with you in 2018 than I have this last year...but I'm not sanguine about it. Too much action!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:17pm Top

Where's the beer and the USPS truck? Or have you not been acquiring books?? That would be odd & unusual behavior!

Dec 29, 2017, 3:43pm Top

Wouldn't be the same round here, with out you. Happy New Year.

Star dropped.

Dec 29, 2017, 6:59pm Top

>25 elliepotten: It would a pleasure to see more of Ellie, in 2018 and I hope this place can give you a boost, in the reading department. I think it encourages us all to read more. I sure had another banner year.

>26 MickyFine: >27 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Micky & Linda. I know it isn't easy keeping up with these threads, (especially the bonker ones) but just stopping by now and then, is completely fine with me.

>28 Chatterbox: I usually save the honor of the beer, the books and the USPS truck, for new acquisitions. It has become a kind of signature. I did get a couple more Christmas items, I want to share. Stay tuned...

>29 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff. I have no plans, to go anywhere, so you guys are stuck with the Old Warbler!

Dec 30, 2017, 3:44am Top

>30 msf59: I'll drink to that! *clinks mugs* I have my first books all picked out, I just have to finish this editing project and I then can dive in headfirst in the New Year! *coughs and blushes* So I should probably get off the threads and go do that, right?!

Dec 30, 2017, 3:47am Top

I'm here too and tuned in for the new books! Looking forward to a year full of warbling.

Dec 30, 2017, 4:23am Top

Hey Mark- I see you made the move to the 2018 group. I am usually the one who waits til the last minute to do that, yet, here I am all comfy and settled already :)
Happy New Year (we are only 90 minutes away from it being new years eve here, already!).

Dec 30, 2017, 6:36am Top

>31 elliepotten: Glad you have your books picked out, Ellie. That is a promising start.

>32 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Yep, the Warbler should be in full singing mode for 2018.

>33 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. I don't like setting up things too early over here but I have to get to it, when I can. Glad to hear you are up and running yourself.

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 7:13am Top

^Really?? Sighs...

Dec 30, 2017, 8:32am Top

Happy New Year's thread, Mark! The temp is a bear but if anyone has it covered, it's you! Hope the day goes quickly!

Dec 30, 2017, 9:11am Top

Hi Mark! I see you are reading Fools Crow - I loved that when I read it several years ago. Really liked Welch. Wish he was still around.

Dec 31, 2017, 1:20am Top

I only very reluctantly opened the door to Mike-the-mail-guy and to UPS on Friday. I haven't willingly set a toe outdoor since. Just... no.

Dec 31, 2017, 8:50am Top

>36 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda.

>37 Fourpawz2: Hi, Charlotte. Great to see you. I finished Fools Crow yesterday and was quite impressed. It is great to see a Native American story, set in the West, by a Native American. I will have to read more of his work.

>38 Chatterbox: Did you catch Mike? I wish I didn't have to step outside yesterday. Smiles...

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 8:52am Top

^I posted my Best of the Year Lists in post #5! Just sayin'...

Dec 31, 2017, 12:29pm Top

Happy reading in 2018, Mark!
That topper looks very cold, over here records are broken as in WARMEST days ever at the end of December...

Dec 31, 2017, 12:51pm Top

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

Dec 31, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>40 msf59: I somehow missed those. High praise indeed for these books. I'll have to add a couple to my list.

Dec 31, 2017, 2:42pm Top

Happy New Year fabulous people ....

Dec 31, 2017, 2:50pm Top

Happy New Year Mark!

Dec 31, 2017, 2:58pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark! Starred you. Looking forward to doing more than lurk on your thread this year. But it's not a resolution... no, it's not ..... because I always fail to keep my resolutions so I resolve not to make any for 2018 .. except that one.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:48pm Top

Happy New Year Mark!

Dec 31, 2017, 5:19pm Top

view from Zürich's landmark mountain Üetliberg

Dec 31, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>41 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Glad you are enjoying milder days. I hope we can enjoy some, in the near future.

>42 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel. Cheers!

>43 lindapanzo: Those are only some of the highlights, Linda. It was truly a banner year.

>44 roundballnz: Thanks, Alex. Great to see you.

Dec 31, 2017, 5:21pm Top

>45 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian.

>46 cameling: Thanks, Caro. I sure hope to see you around more often in '18 but we won't call it a resolution, okay?

>47 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff. Cheers, my friend.

>48 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. Love the image.

Dec 31, 2017, 5:22pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark! In about an hour and a half, anyway. I'm just sitting on my bedroom floor eating pizza like the socialite I am, waiting for the fireworks - so I thought I'd come wish all my favourite people a healthy, happy and hopeful 2018. :)

Dec 31, 2017, 5:30pm Top

"Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a better Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever you already are."

-Dalai Lama

^This is the second time I have had Why Buddhism is True home from the library and I was determined to bookhorn it in, this time, especially after all the warbling Joe has done about this book. He even included it in his Best Books of the Year. Well, I am over 50 pages in. I like it! And I also think this is a perfect book to kick off the new year with.

Dec 31, 2017, 9:18pm Top

I'm reading Why Buddhism Is True along with you, Mark. It's quite good!

Dropping off my star and wishing you all the best in the New Year!

Dec 31, 2017, 9:55pm Top

>52 msf59: Rather intrigued by this one ....

Dec 31, 2017, 11:27pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark!

Jan 1, 12:47am Top

Happy New Year, Mark!

Jan 1, 2:48am Top

Happy New Year, Mark. Ten years in June, you say. Ain't LT a great place? I hit ten years in February.

Jan 1, 4:10am 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.

Jan 1, 7:16am Top

Jan 1, 7:33am Top

Good morning Mark, and happy first thread of 2018!

I love the images in your first message, so much, in fact, that I have ‘stolen’ addictively turning pages into my theme for this year.

>52 msf59: I like ‘bookhorn’. Another BB from you, way too early in the year!

Jan 1, 7:36am Top

>51 elliepotten: Happy New Year, Ellie! I hope you enjoyed the pizza and fireworks.

>53 EBT1002: Happy New Year, Ellen. Why Buddhism Is True is off to a good start and I like his sense of humor too.

>54 roundballnz: I think you would like it, Alex.

>55 rosalita: >56 harrygbutler: Thanks, Julia & Harry!

Jan 1, 7:40am Top

>57 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg and hooray for "ten years in February." I still can't believe this place is still so vibrant after all this time.

>58 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul and I love the sentiment.

>59 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda.

>60 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Happy New Year. Glad you like those topper images and hooray for "addictively turning pages"!

Sorry, about the BB, but this is just the tip of the bookish iceberg.

Edited: Jan 1, 7:56am Top

^Happy New Year, everyone! Looking forward to sharing my reading life, (among other things) for another year, with the best group of people, EVER!

I had such a great reading year in '17. 163 read and 86 of those were in print, (this does not include most of the GNs and poetry collections I read). This smashes all records for Marky-Mark and this will be hard to beat in '18, but I am up for the Challenge, like the bookish trooper I am.

Like most of my pals here, the only thing I would like to change- is read More Books Off the Shelf!! I hope to really focus on that.

Jan 1, 8:04am Top

Happy first day of the new reading year, Mark.

Jan 1, 8:10am Top

Happy new year, Mark! May it be filled with lots of great reads!

Jan 1, 9:13am Top

>64 Ameise1: >65 jessibud2: Thanks, Barb & Shelley! Hugs to you both.

Jan 1, 9:23am Top

Happy new Year Mark! Hope it's treating you well so far :)

Jan 1, 9:47am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy New Year! And congrats on the new books read in one year record - way to go.

Jan 1, 9:50am Top

Happy New Year Mark. Glad you are enjoying Why Buddhism is True, I thought it had a lot to say, and will probably reread it this year.

Wishing you some great reading in 2018, and preparing to be hit by some book bullets.

Jan 1, 10:21am Top

>68 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! I still can't believe I read 86 print books. I usually hover around the 70-75 mark. But why do the TBR shelves still look completely unchanged?

>69 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Looking forward to jumping back into Why Buddhism is True this morning. Do you meditate? I tried it a couple of years ago but it fizzled out. I may try it again.

Jan 1, 10:26am Top

Hi Mark, I’ve meditated on and off (mostly off) since I learned aged 13. I know I feel a lot better when I meditate - just basic breathing meditation, so don’t know why I haven’t been able to sustain it. I started again a couple of days ago, with the intention of 20 minutes a day. Which may, if I’m lucky, mean 30 seconds of good meditation at the start of new practice.

Edited: Jan 1, 10:26am Top

-Tom Gauld

^I am just about done with Baking With Kafka. What a wonderful collection it is.

Jan 1, 10:27am Top

Funny, I dropped it in my basket when Joe recommended it, guess I’m going to have to press send!

Jan 1, 10:35am Top

>71 Caroline_McElwee: I hope you can get back on track, especially since you benefit from meditation. I am still deciding if I will start again. I lead a pretty mild lifestyle, with minimal stress, but I like clearing my mind of clutter.

>73 Caroline_McElwee: I am sure you will have a great time with Mr. Gauld. You can not help but grin through them all.

Jan 1, 12:42pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark!

I am really enjoying Lillian Boxfish. I have a bit to go, but expect to spend the majority of my day with it, since I don't plan on heading outside.

I certainly plan on reading books I already own this year, but couldn't help myself from pre-ordering Ali Smith's Winter, and The Immortalists, a novel that has been getting raves from indie booksellers across the country.

Jan 1, 12:45pm Top

Hi There! I found your thread. I hope to visit more frequently in 2018. It is bitter cold these last few days. I think of you and wonder how you navigate through the snow with your mail truck.

Jan 1, 1:37pm Top

Happy 2018!!

Jan 1, 1:43pm Top

Happy 2018, Mark!

Here's to lots of good reading and fine beverages in the year ahead, my friend. This is my traditional day to watch lots of football, and I've got a couple of holiday books to go with it.

Jan 1, 1:54pm Top

>75 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. Glad you are having a good time with Lillian Boxfish. I want to get my mitts on Winter too. I have seen some buzz on The Immortalists but not here on LT. You might change that.

>76 Whisper1: Happy New Year, Linda. It is currently zero here and maybe 6 tomorrow. Not looking forward to going back to work.

>77 Berly: Thanks, Kimmers!

>78 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Sounds like a perfect day. We are getting ready to head out and see The Shape of Water. I have heard very good things about this film.

Jan 1, 2:12pm Top

>79 msf59: Jesse and Adri LOVED The Shape of Water, and really want us to see it. Have fun, buddy.

Jan 1, 2:21pm Top

Ah, another wonderful Gauld! Heh. Glad you're indoors today since it's so freaking COLD!!

Jan 1, 3:55pm Top

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

Hmmm Why Buddhism is True sounds interesting.

Jan 1, 5:41pm Top

>80 jnwelch: Sue wasn't crazy about The Shape of Water, but Matt and I loved it. Del Toro is a one of kind film-maker. Love to hear your thoughts on it.

>81 richardderus: Hooray, for Mr. Gauld and I was only out briefly. It is ZERO at the moment.

>82 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli! Happy New Year. Why Buddhism is True has been very good.

Jan 1, 5:55pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark! Glad it's a day off for you - the cold weather out your way is unreal.

Damn. First visit to your 2018 thread(s) and already hit with a couple of BBs: Why Buddhism Is True and Baking with Kafka.

BTW, love the Lakefront topper. I've never seen a skyline as beautiful as Chicago's, especially in winter when the lake is iced over. Almost worth the cold. Almost.

Jan 1, 5:57pm Top

Hi, Mark! Happy new year!!

Jan 1, 6:00pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark!

I am joining you in reading more books off the shelf - but primarily because my local library remains closed :(

Jan 1, 6:05pm Top

>84 Storeetllr: Happy New Year, Mary! We have really been hit with an arctic blast and it continues through this week. Sighs...

Those are worthy BBs, so you will hardly feel the pain. Gauld is amazing. You haven't read him yet?

>85 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

>86 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. Great to see you. Books OTS! Books OTS! Why is your library closed?

Edited: Jan 1, 6:08pm Top

Nope, not yet. I haven't gotten to the library much over the past nine months so haven't done much in the way of GN reading. Hope to change that this year.

Jan 1, 6:13pm Top

>88 Storeetllr: You'll enjoy Gauld, Mary. Great sense of humor and he LOVES literature, of all types.

Do you have a thread going yet?

Jan 1, 6:23pm Top

No. Working on it now. :)

Jan 1, 6:25pm Top

Happy New year, Mark! Wishing you a great year of reading :)

Jan 1, 7:23pm Top

Dropping off a
And wishing you

Jan 1, 7:46pm Top

Yo, Mark. Cold enough for ya? Heh heh heh.

On Friday, my brother drove me to the ortho shop for to get my ankle looked at. When we emerged from the building, Tom gave the parking stub to the valet parker, then turned to go back inside. I sat on one of the benches outside. Tom roared, "You are going to sit out here?!" And I replied, "I haven't been outside for almost two weeks. THIS is great!" Turned out to be both easy to say and easy to do, 'cause the car was delivered lickety-split.

Jan 1, 8:08pm Top

>90 Storeetllr: Great. I will be stopping by.

>91 bell7: Thanks, Mary. Good to see you.

>92 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. Love that image.

>93 weird_O: Happy New Year, Bill. Good doctor visit story. Pretty soon, you'll be able to get out for a stroll.

Jan 1, 8:17pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark, and happy reading.

I love those toppers, the Chicago lake front, and the blue birdies (so cute)

Will go looking for Why Buddhism is true

Jan 1, 8:19pm Top

I'm glad to hear you're liking Why Buddhism is True, Mark. He gets right to the heart of things, doesn't he.

Jan 1, 8:24pm Top

>93 weird_O: I felt the same way when I went outside to take the trash to the bin. It was wonderful! For 1.75 minutes.

Jan 1, 8:36pm Top

I think we set a record here last night as far as cold goes. And we have until the upcoming weekend before it inches up to the twenties which will feel absolutely balmy. Anyway I like your list of 2017 favorites Mark. I want to read News of the World because it seems to have a lot of fans. I read her book Enemy Women and liked it.

Jan 1, 9:27pm Top

Just finished Lillian Boxfish. My best of 2018 - so far... :)

Jan 1, 9:57pm Top

>95 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. Glad you like the toppers!And yes, Chicago is this COLD at the moment.

>96 jnwelch: I am enjoying Why Buddhism is True. It may not all be clicking, in my narrow mind, but I am absorbing enough. I do like his sense of humor too.

>97 richardderus: 2 minutes or less, is the best time frame to be out in this ridiculous weather, RD.

Jan 1, 10:01pm Top

>98 brenzi: Bonnie stopped by! Bonnie stopped by! Hooray! Great to see you, my friend. I am praying we get back into the 20s. It will feel GREAT. No end in sight, though.
You will love News of the World.

>99 alphaorder: Hooray for the best book of the year, Nancy and I am glad it is Lillian. Are you back to your regular work schedule tomorrow?

Jan 2, 3:50am Top

Good morning, Mark.

Jan 2, 6:09am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope the day goes well despite the cold. Too dark to check the feeders at the moment.

Jan 2, 6:30am Top

>102 Ameise1: Big waves to Barb. Are you back to work today?

>103 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. It is going to be about 6 today. We are stuck in an arctic pattern, for at least the rest of the week. Sighs...

Jan 2, 6:32am Top

Morning, Mark! I'll be thinking of you today - stay warm out there, friend.

Jan 2, 6:45am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you.

What Harry said about the feeders. *smile*

Your cold beats our cold, but ours is still ridiculous for central NC. 8F now, going to a high of 31F.

Jan 2, 6:47am Top

>101 msf59: Yes, I too return to work. I will be heading down to the lake, but not likely first thing in the am. I will be thinking of you. Stay warm. Curious, is this the longest cold snap you can remember? I hope it comes to a close more quickly than they are predicting.

On the book front, I think next up is Dan Rather's What Unites Us. I am going to get back to Everybody Lies on audio too.

Jan 2, 6:51am Top

>106 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I can not see my feeders clearly either, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a junco or two out there all ready.

>107 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Glad you are continuing your walks. Just bundle up tight. And you are right, this has been one of the longest "Cold" snaps, I can remember. This is will be going on 2 weeks. Sighs...

Enjoy your books!

Jan 2, 6:54am Top

>108 msf59: I saw a junco yesterday, fighting for some seed on the ground against some cardinals and jays. He was winning a few seeds here and there.

Edited: Jan 2, 6:55am Top

^I have wanted to read this memoir since it came out and since I recently saw and enjoyed the last Star Wars film, (Fisher's last role too) I thought it would be the perfect audio, to kick the year off with. This will also be my first of Fisher's works.

Jan 2, 6:56am Top

>109 karenmarie: They are easily the hardiest visitors we get and they start early and finish late too. Scrappy little dudes.

Edited: Jan 2, 7:01am Top

^Heading to work. 10 degrees, but the wind chill factor will keep it below zero. Our normal temp for this time of year is 31. WTH? Hope the mail is lighter than last Tuesday. That was brutal.

Edited: Jan 2, 7:41am Top

Wait - it is 10 degrees by you? We're still at -4. Not so bad, though, since I only need to be outside for a few minutes. Hoping for a lighter load for you too today, my friend.

Edited: Jan 2, 8:08am Top

>112 msf59: what an apropos pic, Mark! Our weather person was kind enough to inform us that the air temp in CLE this morning is colder than that of North Pole, Alaska. What joy!
Keep safe out there!
ETA: I read Fisher's book last year, right after her untimely passing, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Edited: Jan 2, 6:17pm Top

>110 msf59: that is near the top of the of my tbr mountain Mark. I read two of her earlier books which were excellent, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I’ve still to get to the Star Wars movie, maybe tomorrow.

>112 msf59: my dad was a postman (mailman) for the last 15 years of his working life, although he didn't often contend with the temperatures you get, working as he was in London. Though we got more snow back then than we do now.

Jan 2, 8:55am Top

>104 msf59: MarK, I'll be back to work on the 8th. Stay warm and safe.

Jan 2, 9:00am Top

Hand warmers. Toe warmers. Long undies. Wool socks. Layers and layers.

And a good audiobook. That ought to do it!

Jan 2, 9:45am Top

drneutron recommended you as a follow for nonfiction book bullets. You've hit me already with Why Buddhism Is True.

Jan 2, 9:48am Top

>118 libraryperilous: Cool, you found him!

Jan 2, 10:06am Top

Happy new year of reading, Mark. Maybe I'll make it to Chicago this year. :)

Jan 2, 10:17am Top

It was -11 on my way to work and it is -7 as I begin the route. Will it reach 10, as predicted? Will I freeze solid, long before that? Stay tuned, fellow bibliophiles and send warm vibes.

Jan 2, 10:26am Top

Jan 2, 10:46am Top

Our mailman drives a truck and hasn't shown up since last Thursday. What a baby. Amazon even refunded on my order. Stay warm.

Edited: Jan 2, 10:53am Top

Oh man, I was hoping you had today off, Mark. What a lousy day to be out there. Sending sympathy and warm vibes, brother.

Jan 2, 10:58am Top

Morning, Mark! Sending you warm thoughts. It is even cold in southern Georgia - just 25 right now, which probably sounds downright balmy to you.

Jan 2, 11:57am Top

You need a warming brick. Too. Friggin. COLD! STILL!!!

Edited: Jan 2, 12:02pm Top

Starting the dreaded residential part of the route, so I wanted to thank you for the warm wishes and thoughts. I will put them to good use and will reply to everyone this evening.

I am really enjoying The Princess Diarist. It is nice having the late Carrie Fisher stroll beside me.

Jan 2, 12:13pm Top

>110 msf59: I listened to Wishful Drinking shortly after Carrie Fisher died. I have The Princess Diarist on my list.

Good luck staying warm!

Jan 2, 12:20pm Top

Just let me know if we need to send Fred to find you.

Jan 2, 12:52pm Top

Good morning, Mark and Happy New Year!

Jan 2, 1:22pm Top

Howdy do, Mark! Hope you're staying warm today! It's supposed to be in the teens tomorrow in my neck of the woods - a heatwave! Hope it travels down to you too. :)

Jan 2, 1:44pm Top

Think warm thoughts, Mark. Think Mexico, sitting on the beach with a cool beverage.

You didn't get me with a BB for Baking with Kafka 'cause someone already did. Was it Joe? Anyway, it was one of the last books that followed me home in December. I hope that our mail delivery will start up again today. They don't have snow or cold temperatures to contend with (well, at least compared to the rest of the continent). Maybe, just maybe, I might get my Santa Thing books. *fingers crossed*

Jan 2, 4:58pm Top

Sending warm thoughts, Mark. Hopefully your cold snap breaks shortly like ours did today. :)

Jan 2, 5:07pm Top

Oh I'm looking forward to reading Baking with Kafka. Thanks for sharing those 2 clips. I particularly like the politicians speech clip.

I hope you have good boots on and good woolen socks ... it's frigid out there. It's bitingly cold my way too and snow is a-coming on Thursday and Friday .. the 2 days I actually have to drive into the office which means my usual hour and a half commute is likely to be.... 2+ hours?! oh joy.

Jan 2, 5:27pm Top

Hope you're inside with a toddy by now. Dang this cold is getting old.

Jan 2, 5:32pm Top

Mark, we could have done with your mail delivery talents over the Christmas period. We had a Christmas card delivered to us with an address that’s similar to ours but a couple of miles away. We put it back in the post box and it came back again two days later. We wrote a polite little note on it pointing out that it was not our address, and put it back in the postbox for a second time, and it came back again two days after that. I have to confess that third time around I wrote a slightly more sarcastic note on it which seems to have done the trick, at least it hasn’t reappeared as yet!

Edited: Jan 2, 5:55pm Top

^No one would ever confuse me with Ward Cleaver, (I'd like to see him walking the tundra), but I will be in my favorite reading chair this evening, with a book, near our cozy (gas) fireplace, getting warm, and possibly sleepy.

First off, I have a lot of replies to get to, from my kind and faithful visitors...

Jan 2, 6:02pm Top

>113 alphaorder: 10 degrees was supposed to be the high for today but it never got there. It was 5 on the way home.

>114 Carmenere: That North Pole comparison is crazy, right? We may break a record, of longest consecutive days below 20 degrees. I think the record is 12.

I am really enjoying The Princess Diarist and I am nearly done with it. I will have to read her earlier stuff.

>115 Caroline_McElwee: If you liked Fisher's earlier work, I am sure you will enjoy The Princess Diarist. I hope you get out to see the new film, while it is still in theaters.

Hooray for your Dad being a mailman. Doing it for 15 years, is not bad. This will be my 32nd.

>116 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. I should get a hat like that.

Jan 2, 6:21pm Top

>117 jessibud2: Definitely had the long-undies on and layers too. Did not need the hand-warmers but the audiobook sure came in handy.

>118 libraryperilous: Hi, Diana. Thanks for stopping by. I love NF, especially NNF, so you came to the right place. I will have to stop over and see what you have been reading.

>119 drneutron: Your job is done. Grins...

>120 BLBera: Thanks Beth! And hooray for a possible Chicago visit!

>122 Carmenere: The vibes helped, Lynda. Thank you.

Jan 2, 6:31pm Top

>123 cindysprocket: Hi, Cindy! Good to see you. So, you haven't received mail since Thursday? If so, that is ridiculous. There has only been 2-3 times in over 30 years, that I couldn't deliver all the mail. A heavy snowfall can be a factor, that can't be helped and we had major flooding issues one year too.

>124 jnwelch: Thanks for the cozy image, Joe. I definitely was daydreaming about Mexico, as I trudged along today.

>125 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie. 25 is pretty darn cold for you guys, keep warm, but I am looking forward to 20s again here. Some relief.

>126 richardderus: Hooray for the warming brick. Thanks, RD. Does this thing plug in?

>128 SuziQoregon: Hi, Juli! It looks like I will have to track down Wishful Drinking. I am so glad she narrates her own audiobooks too. The Princess Diarist has been a lot of fun.

Edited: Jan 2, 6:51pm Top

Mark, if your forecast is anything like ours, they are saying that Thursday is going to be brutal. Might I suggest that instead of being a good boy, perhaps it's time for a little payback? Why not call in on Thursday and let one of those coworkers pick up the slack that you have always done for them?

Shelley, not usually such a bad influence, but looking out for my friend... ;-)

Jan 2, 6:40pm Top

>129 jnwelch: Hooray for Fred, but I am glad I didn't need his assistance today. I will have to keep him in reserve. Thanks, Joe, for making me smile.

>130 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie!

>131 LauraBrook: Hi, Laura! Great to see you. They are predicting 15 tomorrow. I hope they are right but back to frigid Thurs & Fri. Sighs...

>132 Familyhistorian: That is a great image, Meg and I hope to be in that exact position, in 4 weeks time. Sorry, to hear about the mail issues. Bummer. You will have a good time with Baking With Kafka, though.

>133 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky and hooray for breakin' cold snaps. May it continue.

Jan 2, 6:43pm Top

>141 jessibud2: TOTALLY what she said!! TOTALLY.

Edited: Jan 3, 2:15am Top

Surely (like with closing schools) there are some weather conditions that shut down non-essential work. Post is important for sure, but on the whole a couple of days without it is sustainable.

I’m with Shelley and RD.

I hope you are settled with your book and a hot-toddy now Mark.

Jan 2, 7:03pm Top

>134 cameling: Hi, Caro! Have you read Gauld? If not, you are in for a real treat with. Fingers crossed, you will not get hit badly with the snow. That is one of the only bright spots here, not a lot of snow yet. I can handle a few inches here and there.

>135 laytonwoman3rd: "Dang this cold is getting old." Amen, to that, Linda. I do not have a hot toddy going, but I just ate a warm and filling dinner. It truly hit the spot.

>136 SandDune: Hi, Rhian. Mistakes happen but there is no excuse for the same error happening over and over. Our mail-carrier, is not very good either and I find mistakes regularly.

>141 jessibud2: You are really watching out for me, Shelley. I love it! Actually, (keep this under your hat), I am planning on taking Monday off, to tie in with my Tuesday, day off. This is not a revenge thing, because I don't play that but I seriously need to start using up some of the vast amount of sick leave I have accrued. I am planning on retiring in Sept 2020.

Jan 2, 7:16pm Top

>145 msf59: - I know that feeling. For the first 20 years or so of my career, I rarely took a sick day unless I was really sick, and I seldom was. Toward the end, when the school board suddenly decided that our sick days would no longer be carried over from year to year, I took a Friday here, and a Monday there, still not very often. I just never felt right doing it and I enjoyed my work, but I can tell you that in my last 2 years, when the stress was really getting to me, I actually took a short term leave, not even realizing I could do that! With accrued days to spare.

I don't see why this Thursday can't fit that plan, as well as your Monday. My lips are sealed. :-)

Jan 2, 7:29pm Top

>146 jessibud2: Yes, what she said, all the way.

Jan 2, 7:47pm Top

Warmer days ahead, Mark. If you consider mid-teens warm, that is. Still saying close to 30 on Sun/Mon.

My friend leaves for 2.5 months in Arizona on Thurs. I've been saying that we have to squeeze the worst of winter in before she leaves.

Edited: Jan 2, 8:19pm Top

>143 richardderus: >147 richardderus: Shelley is getting quite a fan club. Grins...

>144 Caroline_McElwee: The problem of withholding the mail is, and I speak from experience, is that it really backs up and it takes awhile to clear the decks. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence. Not hot toddies for me but I did squeeze in a little reading.

>146 jessibud2: I will have to discipline myself to use this sick leave, Shelley. LOL. Like you, it won't be easy but like anything else, it might go easier, the more I make a habit of it. I plan on banking more of my vacation leave too, over the next 2 and a half years. They will cut us a check for any unused leave time, up to eleven weeks. That could come in handy.

>148 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I can't believe we are getting hit this hard, this early. Sighs...Let's hope next week is much better. 2 months in AR, sounds pretty good to me.

Jan 2, 8:33pm Top

Oh, Mark! I hope you get a reprieve from this cold. Happy new year!

Jan 2, 9:02pm Top

>150 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda. It does not look like any reprieves, until next week. Sighs...

Jan 3, 7:00am Top

^ I will be wrapping up the delightful The Princess Diarist this morning and then moving onto The Fact of a Body, a true crime memoir. It sounds like powerful stuff. This is my third NF in a row, since I am still reading and enjoying Why Buddhism is True.

Nicholas Nickelby is in the wings. Go, Chuckles!

Jan 3, 7:56am Top

Feels a little warmer out there today, Mark. Hope that is true for you too!

Jan 3, 8:01am Top

Hi Mark!

So cold. We actually might get a few flakes this afternoon, but daughter Jenna in Wilmington NC might get freezing rain, sleet, AND snow before the night's through.

Stay warm and safe.

Jan 3, 8:07am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm glad you made it through yesterday okay.
I need to get round to Carrie Fisher's stuff *and* Why Buddhism Is True.

Jan 3, 8:27am Top

Morning, Mark! I am also wanting to read the Carrie Fisher book.

Jan 3, 9:05am Top

Good morning, Mark! All quiet on the feeder front today.

Jan 3, 9:06am Top

Morning, Mark!

The Fact of a Body was a Kindle deal a day or two ago, so Becca happily picked it up. I'm glad Why Buddhism is True is working well for you. I'm zipping along through that Emily Wilson translation of The Odyssey.

I did not have a copy of Nicholas Nickleby on the shelves, so one is winging its way toward me - I should own a copy.

Fred understands that he may be called upon today to give you a paw and a cask. Stay as warm as you can, buddy.

Edited: Jan 3, 9:08am Top

What the big dogs drink

Jan 3, 9:49am Top

Hi Mark! I hope you enjoy Fisher's work. I haven't read any of her books, but I know many people loved them. Stay warm!

Jan 3, 9:50am Top

Stay warm today Mark.

Never read Nicholas Nickleby, my fave to date is David Copperfield, which is due a reread this year. I also plan to read a Dickens I haven’t read yet, not sure which right now.

Jan 3, 10:01am Top

>119 drneutron: I blame you. :)

>158 jnwelch: I'm taking my time with Wilson's translation, even though I want to just read it all in one go. It's amazing and everything I hoped it would be when I saw that it was being published.

Edited: Jan 3, 10:03am Top

We have snow flurries at the moment and it is 16F. No, I did not stutter. It is 16. It will not get any warmer and the temps will slowly begin to drop through the day. So, I better enjoy this tiny, microscopic, heat wave.

Back in a few...

Jan 3, 10:34am Top

>153 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. A bit better out today. Did you the lake walk?

>154 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Good luck, to Jenna. Hope she stays safe.

>155 scaifea: Morning, Amber. You would have a good time with Carrie Fisher.

>156 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie. You would also enjoy the former princess.

Jan 3, 10:41am Top

Hey there Mark. I tagged you on Facebook. Heh, he said evilly.

Jan 3, 11:38am Top

>157 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Not a bird on the route, yet, either.

>158 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Yah, for Fred. I am glad he is on stand-by. He may be needed tomorrow.
Glad Becca grabbed the Kindle deal. I am sure she will love this one.
Nice, to kick off the year with a Dickens...once again.

Jan 3, 11:58am Top

I am back on LT. And back where it is WARM!!! It is going to 40 degrees here in Alabama. Positively balmy compared to Kansas. I managed to force myself to listen to Hour I First Believed on the trip to and back. Boy was that book a slog! Get this author an editor! This was one long boring ride with one long boring book. This one simply had too many rabbit trails that, while connected, didn't really enhance the novel in any way. Most of it should have been chopped out and the novel should have concentrated on the parts that were relevant to Columbine and what happened to the many kinds of victims of that tragedy. The last 5 CD's were the most interesting of the entire novel.

The sound recording was narrated by George Guidall and he did a superb job with this narration. At last I can understand why people like him. It is unfortunate that his latest Longmire narrations are not of the same quality as this one. A good narrator wasted on a bloated novel.

I am now listening to Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. This one is a YA fantasy novel. Mind candy after that mind numbing novel chunkster.

Jan 3, 3:47pm Top

Enjoy your balmy day, Mark!

Jan 3, 4:30pm Top

A late Happy New Year, Mark. I hope you're managing to keep warm.

We're about the same temperature as you but it looks like we may warm up sooner here in balmy, banana belt Montana.

A friend in Alberta Canada had -42 F on her thermometer earlier this week, with the wind chill at -50 something. OMG, we now live in the North Pole.

Edited: Jan 3, 4:44pm Top

Mark, I attended a panel session at the Boston Book Festival last year in which Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich participated. She was incredible. Soft spoken and yet so strong. She gave the background of why she wrote the book, how her research and writing it changed how she felt about convicted murderer Rick Langley and also how some of her own suppressed memories emerged in the course of her work. Powerful stuff indeed and the book is amazing. You are going to really enjoy The Fact of a Body.

Edited: Jan 3, 5:23pm Top

>160 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. I will definitely be looking for more of Carrie Fisher's work.

>161 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline! Why don't you join us on Nicholas Nickleby? And then you can join the crowd.

>162 libraryperilous: Looks like I should track down that translation of The Odyssey, Diana.

>165 richardderus: Are you referring to your tantalizing FB post about GNs? I did comment on that and you better be treating the read RD, with love and compassion. Grins...

Edited: Jan 3, 5:24pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Jan 3, 6:17pm Top

Mark, I’m sorry your new year is starting out on the frigid side. You might consider listening to a book set in a warm clime as you make your rounds. Looking forward to following along on another year of books with you.

Edited: Jan 3, 6:24pm Top

>172 msf59: - LOL! Not sure who mom is supposed to be, but I recognize the dad. As a former teacher, I will admit to secretly wanting to utter those words on more than one occasion. But I always behaved. ;-)

Jan 3, 6:21pm Top

>162 libraryperilous: Agreed, Diana. This Emily Wilson translation might be even better than I hoped. Odysseus is telling the tales of his journey to Alcinous and Arete right now - he's in Hades.

Edited: Jan 3, 6:44pm Top

>167 benitastrnad: Welcome back, Benita. Good to see you. I am sure 40 degrees feels better than zero or single digits.

Sorry, to hear that Hour I First Believed was such a slog. I liked the book but agree that it could have used some serious editing. I did not realize Guidall did the audio narration. I must have read it in print. I hope your next couple of reads are winners.

>168 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg but it ended up being nearly as cold, (to me, anyway) as it has been. Sighs...

>169 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. Good to see you. I sure hope you guys get a reprieve. You started the arctic crunch before we did. Fingers crossed.

Edited: Jan 4, 4:45am Top

>161 Caroline_McElwee: I thought no it’s too much of a chunkster for the next few weeks, I’ve a few on the go, and a couple in line. Maybe later in the year Mark. Which reminds me I have to find Lessings Shikasta for my RL Book Group and read by the end of the month, I have a copy somewhere.... unlike you Mark, I have far from read all the books I own.

Jan 3, 6:53pm Top

>170 cameling: Hi, Caro. I did not realize you had read The Fact of the Body and I am so glad you got to hear the author discuss the book. It is such a horrifying tale, on so many levels. It helps that her writing is so strong. Yes, it is only the beginning of January, but this will surely make my NF Best List, for the year.

>173 Donna828: Hi, Donna. My last couple of audios have been weather/climate neutral, being memoirs and I have Nicholas Nickelby lined up next. Maybe, I could try a tropical-themed print book. Grins...

>174 jessibud2: LOL. Sorry, I drummed up those horrific memories, Shelley, but I am glad you were steadfast in your behavior.

Jan 3, 7:03pm Top

>172 msf59: HA!!

>174 jessibud2: She's the Bride of Frankenstein.

The ineffable Elsa Lanchester in the original incarnation of the role.

Jan 3, 7:36pm Top

>179 richardderus: I didn't mention it here, RD, (Bad Mark) but we had a classic horror movie day on Christmas, with the Freeburg clan. Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein. It was a complete joy! Go Elsa Lanchester!

Jan 3, 7:44pm Top

>177 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, I liked Shikasta, Caroline. What an interesting pick. I'll watch for your comments on it.

Jan 3, 7:56pm Top

>180 msf59: Horror for Xmas...hmm...seems a propos.

Jan 3, 8:25pm Top

>182 richardderus: We try to do a certain theme each year and went with the horror. It worked.

Jan 3, 8:47pm Top

The Fact of a Body sounds like a good book. It is now on the TBR pile. This is the first book this year that I've added because of you. My stacks are filled with your recommendations. I do hope that warmer weather is on the way. We are slated for some snow.

Jan 3, 9:16pm Top

>179 richardderus: - Ah, yes, but of course. Thanks, Richard. The only thing even remotely close to Frankenstein that I have seen is Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Loved it

Jan 3, 9:22pm Top

Ah, yes... Young Frankenstein...

Jan 3, 9:28pm Top

>186 drneutron: - Yeah, and she doesn't look anything like mama up in >172 msf59:. That could be why I didn't recognize her.


Edited: Jan 3, 9:34pm Top

>184 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. The Fact of a Body could easily end up being a great book, but it is not for the faint of heart. Glad to hear you have a Marky-Mark BB Shelf! I am so proud.

>185 jessibud2: >186 drneutron: Ooh, Teri Karr. Always had a bit of a crush on her. I loved her accent in the film too. Great cast! Great movie!

Jan 3, 9:34pm Top

Wasn't as bad today. Looks like we just need to hang on til Sunday and the temps will be more normal.

Jan 3, 10:03pm Top

LOVE Young Frankenstein! Funny about you crushing on Teri Garr; I've always had a crush on Gene Wilder...

Jan 3, 10:16pm Top

>190 scaifea: This was Gene Wilder's best performance and he co-wrote it too. You like those crazy geniuses, eh?

Jan 4, 3:14am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark.

Jan 4, 5:46am Top

A bit of insomnia, so I pop around and say hi to my sidekick, the not so Lonely Ranger! Speaking of horror movies, last night a new episode of the X Files was on, if you remember Mulder and Scully? Unfortunately I feel asleep! Gah! I'll try again to watch in the next few days - I have to go out Thursday evening. I'll let you know if it's worth watching. I understand they have several new episodes to the series. That might not be horror to you, but it scared me to death back in the 1990's! Dave used to often working til midnight or so, and I be terrified after I watched the X -Files. Even the Cigarette Man scared me! :-)

,Here's bit about the " shocking premiere" of the new X Files but don't look at if you want it to be a surprise! http://ew.com/tv/2018/01/03/x-files-creator-season-11-premiere-interview/

Jan 4, 6:24am Top

Morning, Mark!

>191 msf59: I *do* like crazy geniuses, and if they own a chocolate factory, so much the better.

Jan 4, 6:25am Top

>192 Ameise1: Sweet Thursday, Barb.

>193 vancouverdeb: I hope you were able to get back to sleep, Deb. I really liked the original X-Files series and I think I saw most of those seasons, but I really didn't have much interest in the reboot. There is so much more original programming that I would rather watch. Thanks, for supplying the link. I will check it out.

Jan 4, 7:00am Top

Morning, Mark! Now I'll have to consider putting the Frankenstein films into my planning for the year.

Edited: Jan 4, 7:08am Top

>196 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry! The Frankenstein films are a lot of fun and they are very short. I adore these classic horror films.

Getting ready to head out. About zero out there at the moment...

Jan 4, 7:33am Top

>197 msf59: Oh, I like them fine, but I actually prefer the monster rallies of the mid-1940s (e.g., House of Frankenstein) for casual repeat viewing. My favorite of the early Universal horror films is certainly The Mummy; Karloff is very effective in that one.

Hope the day goes well.

Jan 4, 7:47am Top

Good morning, Mark! Your weather is so ridiculously cold! Stay safe and warm.

Jan 4, 8:08am Top

Stay warm, Mark. Here's a little something for you:

from Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Jan 4, 9:32am Top

There is sunshine but it is still hovering about zero, as I head out to the route. It could be worse- I could be in the Northeast. Shudders...

Jan 4, 9:38am Top

>198 harrygbutler: I like both of those films too, Harry but it has been awhile.

>199 karenmarie: Morning Karen and thanks for the warm wishes. I will need them.

>200 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. Thanks for the bird link. I will check it out a bit later.

Jan 4, 10:28am Top

Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday to you! All of us here love Young Frankenstein. We just watched that not so long ago.

Jan 4, 10:49am Top

Sending warm thoughts your way. It's brutal out there.

The Fact of a Body sounds interesting.

Jan 4, 11:09am Top

Thinking of you as you head out in the cold, cold, cold. We are having quite a snow storm here. It is lovely to see, but I am very glad I can stay inside.

Be safe.

Edited: Jan 4, 12:03pm Top

>203 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! Hooray for Young Frankenstein! A comedy classic.

>204 SuziQoregon: Morning, Juli. Thanks for the warm wishes. I will put them to good use. The Fact of a Body has been outstanding. Just passing the halfway point.

>205 Whisper1: Thanks, Linda. Good luck with the snowstorm.

Jan 4, 12:15pm Top

I think you'll need this when you return from your rounds today.

Edited: Jan 4, 12:17pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark!

I'm also still enjoying Why Buddhism is True, taking it rather slowly, though.

Nicholas Nickleby is a fun one! I'm only on chapter six but as I set it aside last night to go to sleep, I commented out loud that I'm enjoying it (so far) as much as any Dickens I have read. It's quite funny.

Jan 4, 2:05pm Top

Young Frankenstein is great. We went to a screening of it last year at the NJ Performing Arts Center, followed by a Q&A with Mel Brooks himself. It was awesome.

Jan 4, 2:17pm Top

>209 katiekrug: MEL BROOKS IS STILL ALIVE?!? Wow.

Mark, it's so cold outside that the mail service isn't delivering! 12° and windchill of 10 below. The snow drifts are a good three feet tall.

Wimpy-ass Atlantic mail carriers! You'd be out there scaling the heights and laughing a merry tune.

Jan 4, 2:52pm Top

Horrific though it is, I'm glad you are enjoying The Fact of a Body. I attended the panel session actually because of another author, Danielle Allen, but Ms Marzano-Lesnevich's story of how she came to write the book, how her family members reacted to some of her memories about her grandfather and most of all, how she's become the survivor she is today, strong, intelligent and compassionate.

Jan 4, 4:38pm Top

Happy New Year, Mark! Love your icy Chicago pictures!

Jan 4, 5:06pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark!

Man, I've been slow getting over here. Luckily there've been plenty of folks, as usual, to keep your thread warm.

Yay for Nicholas Nickleby being funny! I know the story, but that's still heartening to hear. I may have to break away from The Odyssey to join in - it's got some length to it, and it's not as if I haven't read it before - we'll see. I'm also going to read God Stalk for that group read.

Edited: Jan 4, 5:47pm Top

>207 EBT1002: Ooh, thanks for the fire, Ellen. Perfect. Still 2 more days of frigid temps and then it creeps back up to near normal, on Sunday. That will be a relief.

I am almost done with Why Buddhism is True. I am sure I missed some key stuff, especially since I don't meditate, (although, I still want to give it a go...once again), but I found it a very interesting read and much more readable, than I expected. I hope you stick with it. It is rewarding.

I am so glad to hear you are having such a good time with Nicholas Nickleby. Yah! I might even be able to start it, later tomorrow.

>209 katiekrug: I remember the Mel Brooks event, you attended, Katie. How very cool, that must have been.

>210 richardderus: "Wimpy-ass Atlantic mail carriers! You'd be out there scaling the heights and laughing a merry tune." Not sure about all that, RD, especially the merry tune part of it. LOL.

Deep snow is the absolute worst though, so 3ft drifts is pretty damn horrible.

Jan 4, 5:54pm Top

>211 cameling: Hi, Caro! The Fact of a Body is a stunning achievement. I will wrap it up tomorrow. I am so glad you were able to hear the author speak. This must have been such a painful book to write and to talk about afterwards. What a courageous woman.

This might end up being the NF book, to beat, for the rest of the year. It is that good.

>212 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. Great to see you. Glad you like the toppers. I wanted something realistic. Smiles...

>213 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Not sure about the Sweet part, today. This string of frigid days are beginning to take their toll on the Old Warbler.

I was not as familiar with Nicholas Nickleby, so I am glad to hear folks are enjoying it. I hope to dip into it tomorrow.

Jan 4, 7:08pm Top

>210 richardderus: Yikes! I haven't heard from my NYC daughter for a few days. I better call her and make sure she's okay and not buried in a snow drift. She might want to come stay with me for awhile in Colorado where it was sunny and around 50F today. *sorrynotsorry*

>214 msf59: I'm next up for Why Buddhism Is True from the library. Yay!

Jan 4, 7:29pm Top

>216 Storeetllr: I hope your daughter is okay, Mary. Let us know.

Why Buddhism Is True has been very good. I think I would appreciate even more, if I meditated. I might try to take it up again. Do you imbibe?

Jan 4, 7:37pm Top

>216 Storeetllr: The City's not having any snow problems, gratefully. It's really slamming the coast, so she's probably wondering where the footage of snow is coming from!

I looked outside a while ago, Mark, and lemme tell ya it is delivery HELL out there. The crosswalk in front of the building is a seven-foot-high mound of frozen snudge. Ew!

Jan 4, 7:49pm Top

>218 richardderus: That sounds terrible, RD! How much snow has fallen so far? Do you know?

Jan 4, 7:53pm Top

>219 msf59: About a foot. Looks like the snowing part is done, but WOW is the wind not over!

Jan 4, 7:56pm Top

>217 msf59: >218 richardderus: Thanks, guys. My daughter called me and said that, other than freezing, she's fine. She said it was blizzarding earlier, but now it's just really really cold. And tomorrow's supposed to be colder.

Jan 4, 7:58pm Top

>217 msf59: No, I'm afraid I am not very good at meditating, Mark. I know I could use it - it would probably help with my anxiety - but I just never seem to remember to find a time to do it.

Jan 4, 8:01pm Top

How have I missed stopping by here this year? Sheesh...I almost missed an entire thread. Happy 2018!

I have family in NH and along the coast. It’s pretty bad up there apparently and they’re just hoping the power doesn’t go out.

Stay warm, Mark...spring will be here soonish! I won’t mention the temps we had today....

Jan 4, 8:13pm Top

>223 Copperskye: Haha, Jo, I already mentioned it. (We're sure to have some weather before winter's over. I just hope it won't be on Jan. 20/21.)

Jan 4, 8:21pm Top

>220 richardderus: A foot is a lot, especially with all that wind. Yikes!

>221 Storeetllr: Glad your daughter is doing fine. Whew!

>222 Storeetllr: I think the best way to approach meditating, (I am sure not an expert), is set up a daily routine. I think if you do it the same time every day, it will become habit. I think I will just start again, doing ten minutes.

Jan 4, 8:22pm Top

Hey there, buddy! The mail person was good to us today. Delivered Dave a fancy whiskey tasting glass ( sigh ) that I ordered for him, and some art supplies for me. Apparently Amazon is so busy here, that they are using Canada Post as well as the Amazon vehicles . It's always great to get mail. No wonder you are so popular. We even got a nice rebate on our " energy smart'" furnace that we put in last summer. That's a governemt programme, but we needed a new furnace anyway. Happy mail always welcome!

Edited: Jan 4, 10:22pm Top

>226 vancouverdeb: Hooray, for efficient mail-carriers, Amazon packages, whiskey glasses, rebate checks and new furnaces.

We deliver Ammy packages too and I see the Ammy drivers throughout the day.

Jan 4, 10:24pm Top

>223 Copperskye: You snuck in there, on me, Joanne. Good to see you.

Hope your family is safe in NH. I can't believe the flooding I saw in Boston. Is that crazy or what?

Jan 5, 12:36am Top

Happy New Year, Mark. I am still catching up after being away for a bit but I wanted to come and give you the link to my 2018 thread. You can find me at: http://www.librarything.com/topic/271216

Happy reading!

Jan 5, 4:05am Top

>72 msf59: I love those Tom Gauld illustrations, hilarious.

>126 richardderus: the warming brick looks like a leather cassette tape- it could work?!?!

I hope you are braving the cold Mark! We had had rain all day here, over 16 hours with no respite. I decided against the bike ride to work this morning (and got the family to drive me!), but I guess you have no option for that in your line of work. Warm up! The beer/warm drink after a hard round must be lovely.

Jan 5, 6:18am Top

Good morning, Mark! A fair amount of snow yesterday, with wind and drifting. The birds were certainly busy around the feeders.

Edited: Jan 5, 6:38am Top

>229 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. Happy New Year! Great to see you. I will be over to drop a star.

>230 LovingLit: We LOVE Tom Gauld around here. Just about finished with the new one. Sorry, to hear about the rain deluge. Yikes! I hope it lets up. We are finally getting a reprieve, with our weather, on Sunday. Whew!

>231 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Sounds like the eastern part of the country got hit pretty bad. Hope it wasn't terrible, by you. Glad the birds were busy. I didn't see much yesterday.

Jan 5, 7:47am Top

Hi Mark. I hope you can stay warm today. Toronto has no new snow yet (though the Maritimes got hit very hard, a ton of snow and the second time in 2 weeks they are without power). However, my city has broken a 59 year low temp record. It is currently -22C (-7.6F), feeling like -36C (-32.8) with the windchill.

Not fit for warm-blooded creatures of any type!

Jan 5, 8:06am Top

Morning, Mark! Two more days - you can do it!

Jan 5, 8:18am Top

Morning, Mark! Stay warm, stay safe.

Looking forward to you on the NN thread!

Jan 5, 8:18am Top

Morning, Mark! Yesterday I saw giant wing shadows in our bedroom window out of the corner of my eye, and so I got up and went over to the window to investigate, and guess what I saw? A hawk! Perched on the bush right there beside our birdfeeder! I looked at him and he slowly swiveled his head and looked directly in at me, and then he was off, with that incredible wingspan making me gasp at his glory.

Jan 5, 8:22am Top

Chilly greetings, Mark! Take heart, I hear a warm up is on the way. 30's will look down right tropical to what we've got now. Be safe, my friend

Edited: Jan 5, 9:47am Top

Just like yesterday, plenty of sunshine, but hovering just above zero. Can someone wake me up from this polar daymare?

>233 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. That is some serious cold. I have never worked in temps like that. Not sure I could. Careful, if you go out.

>234 scaifea: >235 karenmarie: Morning, Amber and Karen. I will persevere. Thanks.

Jan 5, 10:30am Top

>230 LovingLit: The warming brick is a great old-fashioned idea that I think we could easily revive...a glazed ceramic brick that gets heated in a fire, wrapped in clean old sheets, and left in one's bed before nighty-night.

Happy cold-as-a-female-satanist's-mammary-in-a-brass-bra day.

Jan 5, 10:38am Top

>238 msf59: - Not to worry. I have no plans to even crack open my front door, except to take in the mail.
Stay warm, you!

Jan 5, 11:04am Top

Stay warm today! Do you have days off coming soon that you can thaw out?

Edited: Jan 5, 11:39am Top

>236 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Great hawk story. It is all about timing, right? Thanks for sharing.

>237 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I am looking forward to the warm up. It should feel wonderful, after this nonsense.

>239 richardderus: Ooh, I could use one of those warming bricks right now, RD.

Jan 5, 12:07pm Top

Reading Godstalk and N2. Love all the Frankenstein movies, book bullet on The Princess Diarist and we have rain. That's my summary and I am sticking to it! Stay warm. Hugs.

Jan 5, 1:19pm Top

I wanted to let everybody that reads your thread that the American Library Association Mid-Winter meeting will be in Denver, Colorado, February 9 -13, 2018. I am not sure if LT is going to offer free passes to the exhibit hall, but I have already contacted Abby regarding them. As soon as I know I will put the word out on the threads.

Abby did tell me that either she, or Tim will be in the ProQuest booth for this conference. She is not sure which of them will travel to Denver, but at least one of the LT Gods will be there. I would say that bodes well for free passes to the exhibits.

I plan on being there, and I believe that Suzanne is also going to travel there for the meeting. I will keep everybody posted when I get information as I would like to have a meet-up out there. Most likely it would be on Saturday evening February 10, but we will see what transpires.

Jan 5, 1:53pm Top

Sorry to hear that your temperatures are still in the frigid zone, Mark. Mexico can't come soon enough! I'm moving The Fact of a Body up in the stacks. Good to hear that it is an impressive work.

Jan 5, 2:19pm Top

Happy Friday, Mark.

Jan 5, 4:26pm Top

This morning someone posted a graphic showing the temperatures in Anchorage and in Knoxville, Tennessee. Anchorage was more than two times warmer than Knoxville. We're still in the deep freeze down here!

Jan 5, 4:45pm Top

>244 benitastrnad: Oh! I may have to gear up to drive up to Denver for that. Keep us posted on your plans!

Jan 5, 4:51pm Top

Oh good heavens, I've been gone three minutes and here we are! Did you finish Carrie? Did I miss it?

Edited: Jan 5, 5:06pm Top

Hi Mark, i am trying to get my mitts on this to read and thought you might be interested too. It is the Nat. Geo mag Jan 2018 issue and has a big article about birds by Jonathan Franzen. I look forward to reading what he has to say about birds.

Jan 5, 5:40pm Top

>240 jessibud2: You sound like you had a perfect day, Shelley. Did you get any good mail? Grins...

>241 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I work tomorrow but there is a plan in place to take the next 3 days off, after that. Return to work on Wednesday. It will be nearly 30 degrees warmer. Yeah, baby!

>243 Berly: Thanks for the book & movie update, along with the warm hug, Kimmers. You would have a good time with The Princess Diarist.

Jan 5, 5:44pm Top

>244 benitastrnad: Thanks for the Winter ALA update, Benita. I wish I could attend, but we will just be getting back from Mexico. Smiles...

Could I give you a few titles, to keep an eye out for?

>245 Familyhistorian: One more day of this frigid misery, Meg. Can't wait to put it in my rear-view. I finished The Fact of a Body. It is a 5 star read. Haunting and gripping, right to the end.

>246 Ameise1: Big, Friday Waves to Barb!

Jan 5, 5:51pm Top

>247 thornton37814: Sorry, to hear this, Lori. Of course, we expect difficult winter weather but folks in TN, do not. It must be uncomfortable and jarring. Good luck and keep warm & snug.

>248 Storeetllr: We are planning on a Colorado trip in early August, Mary. I will keep you updated.

>249 elliepotten: Hi, Ellie! This is what happens in 3 minutes around here. You blink and a million posts go by. I really enjoyed The Princess Diarist. I plan on doing a mini-review.

>250 mdoris: Wow, Mary! That sounds like a really interesting article. I had no idea Franzen was into birds. I hope that article is online somewhere. Thanks for sharing!

Edited: Jan 5, 5:56pm Top

^Nick Offerman has the perfect idea. I think I will follow his lead tonight. Of course, I will have my slippers, long-sleeved shirt and warm lounge pants on. And most likely I will be drinking a beer. I know- Shocking!

Jan 5, 7:01pm Top

>254 msf59: Isn't that a vision of Paradise?

Jan 5, 7:23pm Top

>255 richardderus: Offerman knows how to "chill", RD! I am following his lead.

Edited: Jan 5, 7:45pm Top

^I started Nicholas Nickelby, for the Group Read and I am happy to report, it begins swimmingly. I am just starting Chapter 5. I love kicking off the year with a Dickens, (sorry, RD) and I still have several of his books to catch up on.

I think I will just stick with the audio. It is narrated by the well-respected Simon Vance and he is doing a stellar job.

Jan 5, 7:45pm Top

>257 msf59: ...how odd...a void where one would expect a post...

Jan 5, 8:05pm Top

Cool image of the eagle, but ever since someone mentioned that an eagle could swoop down on my then little white puppy, now Poppy , and eat her for breakfast, my love of eagles and other large prey birds has lessened. Be careful who you love, Lone Ranger. Birds of prey - not so sure anymore...... ;-)

Jan 5, 8:11pm Top

I hope your week is over now--do you have to work tomorrow? Then you will at least have three days to stay warm before back on the route.

Jan 5, 8:32pm Top

I haven’t read Dickens in a few years Mark so if you give this one a good rating I might try to pick it up later in the year. Stay warm Buddy

Jan 5, 8:41pm Top

>258 richardderus: I thought you would like this one. Grins...

>259 vancouverdeb: There are bald eagles in our area, but they stay out of the more populated sections. Our pets are safe. Coyotes seem to be more of a threat, especially with smaller dogs. There have been sightings and attacks in our area. We use tie-outs for our dogs, so we have to keep an eye on them.

>260 ronincats: I work tomorrow, Roni. One more bone-chilling day to get through. I am planning on taking an unscheduled day off Monday and make it a 3-fer. I am way overdue for this.

>261 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I am sure you will like NN. I would to read another Dickens later in the year, but every time I say that...

Jan 5, 8:52pm Top

Almost 50 on Thursday, Mark. I can't wait. I've started NN but not enjoying it as much as you, yet. The same with the Joan Didion I started. Cranky reader these days, I guess.

Jan 5, 9:17pm Top

Jan 5, 9:29pm Top

Boy, Mark with your daily walks in the cold and snow you are the perfect candidate for a trip to Mexico. You can soak up plenty of sunshine and heat that will hopefully get you through the rest of the winter!

Jan 5, 10:14pm Top

>263 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Good to see you. I am getting burned out on this weather. Looking forward to a warm up.

Sorry, your Dickens and Didion, aren't ringing your bells. I hope you hang in there.

>265 DeltaQueen50: Happy Friday, Judy. 3 weeks from Monday, we will be in Mexico. I can't wait.

Jan 6, 2:18am Top

>258 richardderus: *snicker*

Hey Mark!
Love the Nat Geo cover (>250 mdoris:). I heard it was day of the bird :)

Jan 6, 3:36am Top

Big Saturday waves over the pond, Mark.

Jan 6, 6:33am Top

>267 LovingLit: Hooray for eagles, Megan. We are getting more and more bald eagles, wintering in our area and many have been staying.

>268 Ameise1: Happy Weekend, Barb. Enjoy your time off before heading back to work.

Edited: Jan 6, 6:43am Top

Love Story

"To read in books
of love well told, leaves nothing
in the meaning.

For the love we have
is barely held,
between pages
of our reading."


"Put your hands on my knees, she said, and think of me as a book you've been dying to read."

-Michael Faudet

These are from a poetry collection, I recently finished called Dirty Pretty Things. He is a talented poet but there is definitely more "dirty" than "pretty" in these poems and the graphic sex in many of these, most between him and his wife, poet Lang Leav became very tiresome. Maybe, I am just an old fuddy-duddy. Who knows...

Edited: Jan 15, 7:25pm Top

^I was listening to a book podcast a few weeks ago and one of the participants was gushing about a story collection called What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky and then I noticed that RD gave it a very enthusiastic warble, so I knew I was firmly hooked. I will start this today, my first collection of the year.

I may alternate, with essays from The White Album. We will see...

Jan 6, 7:18am Top

Morning, Mark! I've not read Nickleby yet, but someday.

Jan 6, 7:46am Top

I remember, years back, watching this on PBS. It was superb! Just thinking about it tempts me to search the library system for it and view/enjoy it all again.

Jan 6, 8:44am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you, even if it's still ridiculously cold. Stay safe and warm!It was 7F at our house last night. It's a nice bright 7F now.

Re the warming brick - I have the equivalent with a 12" x 12" sewn bag filled with 10 cups of deer corn. I have several, as a matter of fact, courtesy of my sister. Heat them for 3-4 minutes in the microwave, and they stay warm for hours and hours. They're also good for cold hands, cold feet if sitting on the couch, and etc.

>258 richardderus: Clever, Richard Dear!

Jan 6, 9:01am Top

>271 msf59: Oh boy oh boy can't wait to hear what you think of this one.

Jan 6, 9:56am Top

>272 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Another wicked start for me out here but at least I will have Nicholas along for company.

>273 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I will have to look for that adaptation. I was hoping someone would give me a good recommendation.

Jan 6, 10:15am Top

>267 LovingLit:. Yes, yesterday was National Bird Day. But 2018 is also The Year of the Bird!

Edited: Jan 6, 10:33am Top

>274 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, still ridiculously cold here too, but the last day of it for awhile. I wish I had a warming brick, right now.

>275 richardderus: Morning, RD. You have me stoked. I hope to start it at lunch.

>277 alphaorder: Why didn't anyone remind me that yesterday was National Bird Day. Sad face. .

But, hooray for Year of the Bird. Happy face. 😀

Jan 6, 10:40am Top

>277 alphaorder: I didn't see it until late in the day yesterday. Need to mark my calendar for next year so we can celebrate. But like you said - we can celebrate all year long!

Jan 6, 11:19am Top

Good morning, Mark!

The last frigid day for a while - it's supposed to be back up in the 30s tomorrow. Nickleby on audio sounds perfect.

Saga Volume 8 was another crazy good one. Now I'm returning to the Coates' Black Panther books, and a colorful one called The Adventures of Dieter Lumpen.

Jan 6, 12:11pm Top

I cannot *wait* for Monday and the return of sane wintertime temps. It's -18° today! YUCK.

Jan 6, 4:36pm Top

30 degrees warmer sounds wonderful! How do I sign up for that?! It was -21c when I got up this morning

Glad to see you are enjoying Nicholas Nickleby! I have quite a few Dickens on my shelves that are being neglected.

Edited: Jan 6, 5:38pm Top

...or three. I am home, showered and just poured a beer. No plans for tonight, but thawing out, relaxing and watching a movie, a later on, with the dear wife.

Jan 6, 5:45pm Top

>279 alphaorder: Good idea. Is it always January 6th?

>280 jnwelch: Happy Saturday, Joe! Yah, for warming temps! We could use a break. Nickleby has been great on audio. I am glad I went with that format. You are enjoying the 2nd volume of Black Panther better than the first, right?

>281 richardderus: It stayed below zero all day, RD? Say it ain't so? It crept up to 15F here. 30 tomorrow.

>282 ChelleBearss: Happy Saturday, Chelle. A big warm up is coming next week. We are looking forward to it. I hope some of that comes your way.

I always intend to read one or two, of Dickens' work, each year, but it never works out that way. The Group Reads sure help with that.

Jan 6, 5:49pm Top

Welcome home, Mark! Enjoy your days off.

Edited: Jan 6, 5:55pm Top

>285 katiekrug:

^^Fake Books??

This one is for you, Katie! Add a slap if you want. Thanks!

Jan 6, 5:57pm Top

Mark, glad you made it home again safe and sound. Hope your days off are full of fabulous.

Jan 6, 6:03pm Top

>287 Crazymamie: Funny, I just stopped over at your place. Thanks, Mamie. Glad to have that week in the rear-view.

Jan 6, 6:10pm Top

>286 msf59: - I'm loving the whole thing. I wish they'd all just spontaneously combust... *sigh*

Jan 6, 6:30pm Top

>289 katiekrug: I saw Wolff interviewed. He looks like a geeky gnome, but he definitely sounds intelligent. He was being interviewed by Katy Tur and she was not surprised by anything in the book. LOL.

Jan 6, 6:45pm Top

>286 msf59: - There sure is a lot of fire and fury over this one. The only reason I'd want to read it is precisely because trump wants so badly for it NOT to be read. The only thing about it that should be banned is his ugly mug on the cover. Very off-putting.

Besides, how does he even know what's been written? It's not as if he *reads* or anything....And today's tweets just confirm the obvious. As I mentioned on my thread, if I roll my eyes any more, they will fall out the back of my head

Edited: Jan 6, 6:56pm Top

>291 jessibud2:

"Trump early Saturday had fired off a series of tweets in which he called himself a "a very stable genius" and named his two greatest assets as "mental stability and being, like, really smart."

^I thought I would brighten your evening, Shelley!

You cracked me up with- "It's not as if he *reads* or anything." Amen, to that. Even George "W" was a voracious reader! (According to him, anyway)

Jan 6, 6:55pm Top

>292 msf59: If he wasn't such an embarrassment I'd be howling with laughter.

Jan 6, 6:55pm Top

Wolff is well known for writing that kind of book, so the mere fact that he was granted access to The White House and so many staff is just mind boggling and, all the other salacious stuff aside, evidence of the complete incompetence of the entire operation.

Edited: Jan 6, 7:00pm Top

>293 richardderus: Who else would refer themself, as a "a very stable genius"?

>294 katiekrug: I was not familiar with Wolff at all, until this book came out.

Jan 6, 7:01pm Top

Yes, I'm liking the newer Coates' Black Panther volumes much more. He's got more of the hang of doing a GN now.

Edited: Jan 6, 7:03pm Top

>296 jnwelch: Good to know, Joe. No comment on the "very stable genius"? We may not recognize this fact, for years to come.

Jan 6, 7:06pm Top

>292 msf59: - Yep those are the *brilliant* quotes to which I was referring.
And "like, really smart".

Has any other president (or leader, anywhere, at any time in history) tried to *prove* how intelligent he is (or isn't).

I rest my case.

Jan 6, 7:10pm Top

>298 jessibud2: Nixon was a neurotic mess but he was also a very intelligent man. He never spouted this kind of nonsense.

I bet Kim Jong Un is better read than Drumph!

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

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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