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Mdoris (Mary) 2018 #1

This topic was continued by Mdoris (Mary) 2018 #2.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 2:16pm Top

Welcome to my thread and Happy New Year and happy reading to all!

I am now in my 7th year with LT and sing the praises of it to anyone who will listen. I love looking at the group read threads but I do not join or plan my reading in advance but like all of you I have a list of future reads as long as many arms! I am reading more non fiction than I ever have but still have a good balance with fiction too.

While I am a very committed member of the 75 ers, it is unlikely that I will ever achieve reading that many books per year as I am a slow reader. I hover around 50 but have yet to be "kicked out" of this amazing group.. In 2017, I got close, up to 70 but sort of cheated by counting childrens' Christmas books and some cookbooks. I love this group for its kindness, its patience, its diversity and its vast knowldege and love of books and the international locations/countries of it's members too.

I guess I am an old fashioned girl as most reads are hand held paper ones. I ❤️ the library and buy few books. I do buy cookbooks though.

I live in beautiful British Columbia on Vancouver Island.

Dec 31, 2017, 1:58pm Top

Welcome back!

Dec 31, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>3 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

Dec 31, 2017, 3:00pm Top

Third thread, Mary, was Talk acting up again?

I guess this is the one you are going to use, so happy reading in 2018!

Dec 31, 2017, 3:08pm Top

>5 FAMeulstee:, Yes Anita. That was just "talk" about a very full thread and why bother starting a new one in 2017 when 2018 is just around the corner. Very happy reading to you in 2018. I will come and visit your thread!

Edited: Dec 31, 2017, 3:13pm Top

>6 mdoris: No Mary, I ment you started 3 #1 treads in 2018 ;-)

Besides this one there are Mdoris (Mary) 2018 #1 and Mdoris (Mary0 2018 #1

Dec 31, 2017, 3:28pm Top

>7 FAMeulstee: Thanks for getting back to me about that Anita. I made a typing boo boo and thought I had corrected it but in fact I had duplicated the thread. Oh dear!

Dec 31, 2017, 3:36pm Top

>8 mdoris: That was why I said "Talk" might be acting up, Mary.
It is no problem, you can make a link to this one. I can help if you have trouble making a link.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:38pm Top

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

Dec 31, 2017, 7:08pm Top

>9 FAMeulstee: I've also linked to this one in the Threadbook.

Dec 31, 2017, 9:22pm Top

Hi Mary!

I'm dropping off my star and sending you wishes for all the very best in 2018!

Dec 31, 2017, 9:47pm Top

>11 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

Jan 1, 12:28am Top

Happy 2018 reading!

Jan 1, 4:08am 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, 3:50pm Top

Happy new thread, and happy new year, Mary!

Jan 1, 9:34pm Top

Thanks Ellen, Lori, Paul and Shelley for the good wishes.

Edited: Jan 7, 8:57pm Top

The Secret History by Donna Tartt-Gulf Island Library

This was a "hump' book for me as I started it in 2017 and finished it today in 2018. I was a fan of The Goldfinch and had been waiting to read this one and I was not disappointed. It is a BIG book in so many ways ....559 pages so physically big but full of plot and a multitude of characters and exposure to literature, philosophy and history and darn good writing that was riveting and engaging and hard to put down. Characters are drawn together around a life changing incident and the repercussions that it has for them. It is at a time of college attendance so all are young, impressionable and needing to belong. The book is referred to as a "mystery" There is a murder in the first few pages (also referred to as a "psychological thriller".)

I kept thinking of ...."oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

It is interesting to do some research about Tartt. She was identified at her local uni (Mississippi) at 18 as having incredible writing talent. Not surprisingly she has a Classics background (present plot). Several people have made a run at the movie rights but nothing has happened so far. According to Wikipedia....."A number of recurring literary themes occur in Tartt's novels, including those related to social class and social stratification, guilt, and aesthetic beauty." Yes indeed!

Edited: Jan 1, 10:13pm Top

Happy Reading in 2018, Mary! I like your Best of the Year lists. Glad to see Days Without End on there. I am a big fan of that one too. My first Barry.

I am also an evangelist for The Worst Hard Time. One of my very favorite NNF reads.

Funny, I read The Secret History many years ago but do not remember it at all. I will have to revisit it, at some point.

Jan 2, 5:31am Top

Happy reading year, Mary. I see you've had a good start.

Great review of The Secret History, it sounds very interesting (and meaty).

Glad you're continuing with the "hygge" books - you are quite ready to jump on a plane and visit our little spot of the world.

i also have some "jump" or "crossover" books that I have to finish. Several in fact that I stopped reading when december was just watching movies month for me.

Jan 2, 4:37pm Top

Happy New Year, Mary. I really liked The Secret History when I read it years ago. It earned permanent status on the shelves in my snuggery.

Jan 2, 7:26pm Top

>21 Donna828: What a wonderful name...."the snuggery" where your books considered gems live.

Jan 2, 9:17pm Top

Happy New Year, Mary. I look forward to following your reading in 2018.

Jan 2, 11:57pm Top

>20 ctpress: Carsten what was your favourite movie in December?

Jan 3, 12:05am Top

>23 BLBera: Beth, welcome to my thread! Happy reading in 2018.

Jan 3, 12:25pm Top

Favourites in december:
In Cinema: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
At home: The new "Beauty and the Beast" and "Their Finest" - Danish director Lone Scherfig :)

Edited: Jan 7, 8:57pm Top

5 ingredients by Jamie Oliver-VI library system

This guy is a MARVEL! HIs first cookbook was in 1999 and not quite 20 years later he has had 20 cookbooks published. Jamie what happened in 2003 that you didn't spin a cookbook out? Well, you made up for it when in 2010 and 2016 you published 2 of them each of those years. WOW! So this one is no less impressive. What is amazing about this guy is his accomplishments. He is determined to teach people how to cook, people whose families have been out of the kitchen for up to 3 generations (chronic take out!). He is determined to teach people how to eat properly. He is big on the nutrition angle. He is determined to teach people to be professional chefs, people who have not been dealt a good hand in life, perhaps people newly released from prison or from the prison of drugs/alcohol and teaching them the skills to get going in life independently. He dedicates this book to his children with the dazzling names of Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Buddy Bear Maurice, and River Rocket Blue Dallas. If asked " Who would you like to have to dinner?". I think I would choose Jamie Oliver (especially if he cooked!). He grew up in a pub and loves his pub food. And I think you would get lots of good laughs and stories. Did I mention that he is a MARVEL?

So the book is divided into 12 sections (salad, pasta, eggs, etc.) with each recipe only taking 5 ingredients. Simple cooking! The photographs of the ingredients and the finished product are outstanding and beautiful.

Jan 3, 5:19pm Top

Mary, have you ever read any of the Podleski sisters' cookbooks? The Looneyspoons series? Great recipes, and they are an absolute, laugh out loud hoot to read!

Jan 3, 5:26pm Top

>26 ctpress: Thanks Carsten. We are members of Film Circuit and it does some a bit off kilter films and many BBC produced ones. i am greatly looking forward to the new season.

Jan 3, 5:30pm Top

>27 mdoris: Yes Shelley I have seen their cookbooks. They are good! I am not counting my cookbooks in the grand total but i know that I will continue to read them religiously. My SIL found an old M.F.K. Fisher book (one of the original food writers) in the great aunt's belongings that she inherited and passed in on to me for my birthday (what a BIG treasure that is). For sure it is on my TBR pile for 2018.

Jan 4, 1:04am Top

That’s the right way to start your new reading year, Mary :)

Difficult not to get inspired whenever Jamie Oliver pops up on my telly. I have very few cookbooks but one of them is actually one by Jamie Oliver. Specially remember a tv series where he tried to change school food. Amazing show.

Jan 4, 9:48pm Top

Looks like you are reading up a storm, Mary. I am dropping my star to follow along.

Jan 4, 10:54pm Top

>32 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg, I'm following you too!

Edited: Jan 7, 8:57pm Top

Stitched Up by Tansy E. Hoskins VI library system

2014 books previously read.....
A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy
Wear No Evil: How to Change the World with Your Wardrobe
To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

This was a refresher course for me. In 2014 I delved into reading about the fashion industry, (really the horrors of it) and I saw this on the shelf at the library for current interests and I grabbed it. Hoskins describes the many evils from the point of view of capitalism and often refers to Karl Marx and she does make many valid points. She gives insight into the Tom's shoes "give-a-ways"! While I am not interested in being a fashion plate myself (too old, too big, too removed from any temptations-small town living), I am interested in systems and what goes on behind the scenes, how the pieces fit together. Her chapters reflect the horrors/dangers/abysmal pay of sweatshop workers, the massive profits in the hands of few, the abuse and the starvation of models (rampant anorexia) to achieve that size 0 dress size and also racism in the fashion world and also media manipulation, that is advertising, conditioning our choices. She does give suggestions for change. For me this book was not a barn burner, no subtlety at all. It was pretty intense!

Okay, back to my gardening pants!

Edited: Jan 5, 1:23pm Top

The Toronto library has just posted this list of the most borrowed books for 2017.


and Vancouver Library most borrowed books for 2017


and Vancouver Library most borrowed for 2016


Oh boy, more titles for the towering TBR..........

Jan 5, 2:11pm Top

>34 mdoris: You got me with a BB for Stitched Up and Vancouver library has it, yay, not that I need any more library books now as I am busy trying to read all the holds that came in at once. *sigh*

Jan 5, 4:35pm Top

>36 Familyhistorian: Meg I do understand your library sigh". Big "sigh" going on here too and just got a notice that about 4 beauties are waiting for me.

Edited: Jan 6, 1:27am Top

Mary, I confess I'm a very poor cook. I do have the old Best of Bridge Collection from long ago, but they are very Canadian and not at all healthy ! I also have the LooneySpoons that Shelley mentioned. I do have one fun cookbook that I think Shelley might envy ! Great Canadian Cookies , Bars and Squares, compiled from CBC readers family favourites. I'm a pretty simple , quick cook. Now that it is just Dave and I at home, , our meals feature boneless, skinless chicken breast, often raw veggies and a slice of heavy brown bread with lot of seeds. ( That is supper, usually ) . When our two sons were young, I cooked a lot more. With the two of us, we mostly keep it simple and quick.

I hope you enjoy Home Fires, Mary! When I saw my son and daughter in law last, I told them I know mentally think of the new baby as " Sparrow" or" little Wren" due to our online conversation and that in fact I'd come to like the name " Sparrow". They both nodded slowly , and I really have no idea what the name will be. No idea at all. Since Serenade's name is Serenade , I suggested that the name " Song" might be lovely . Another slow nod and look that said - "my mom might be crazier than we thought" LOL!!!!! :-)

Jan 5, 6:51pm Top

Hi MARY, I’ve dropped a star here. I also loved The Secret History when I read it several years ago.but I bogged down in her second book (can’t think of the name of it)and although The Goldfinch has been on my Kindle for some time now, I haven’t felt the urge to read it. 😕

Jan 5, 6:57pm Top

Hi, Mary. Thanks for the heads-up on the upcoming National Geographic article. Sounds really interesting.

Edited: Jan 6, 12:10am Top

>39 brenzi: Bonnie there has been lots of difference of opinion about The Goldfinch on LT but I for one really liked it. She can get "wordy" delving deep into her characters and their lives and delving deep into her philosophies and I think for some that might have been tiresome but I liked it and relaxed with it. Anyway I will take a break again and wait a bit until I read her third novel The Little Friend.

Jan 6, 12:21am Top

>38 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah. Yes I had many of the Best of Bridge (maybe gifts to me??) but I passed them on when we moved. I agree the recipes were too rich and used canned goods but when I had a recipe at a friend's house made from the books, I always thought they were very yummy. I don't belive at all that you are a BAD cook. After years and years of family cooking I think my interest in cookbooks is just to try and keep the interest up. I do love to follow trends and am very interested in nutrition so like to see how cookbooks reflect that too i.e. low sugar, vegetarian. Anyway "monsieur" who I call Mr. 12:01 (lunchtime) and Mr 6:01 (dinnertime) must have his food. I think if I was living on my own I would be stick thin.

Loving the names talk. I'm sure our kids do shake their heads after visits with us! Three cheers for "Little Wren". I'm getting rather fond of the name myself!

Edited: Jan 7, 8:58pm Top

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton VI Library system

I loved this book. I found it captivating.
I am a swimmer. I am the mother of a former competitive swimmer (distance). I love swimming in pools, lakes, the ocean, hot springs. I like water, A LOT! Don't even mind doing the dishes! So this book was written as a meditative, contemplative series of sensory vignettes by someone who is also captivated by water. Shapton trained for Olympic trials as a teenager in Etobicoke, Ontario but was caught by the influence of water and the way it pulls her through her life, influencing her art and her writing and her relationships I found very interesting!

It was winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award 2012, (autobiography).

Edited: Jan 7, 6:55pm Top

I think it's always fun to follow the Tournament of Books (FICTION) in March.
Here is a link to a spreadsheet giving all sorts of info about the long list books.
For sure there are some big temptations there.

Here is the LT link to the the 18 selected short list books.

Edited: Jan 7, 9:08pm Top

Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell VI library system

This is quite the cookbook with a strong focus on sustainable fish. Bell grew up on the west coast Canada and was the head chef at the Four Seasons Vancouver ( the YEW restaurant) then became the Ocean Wise Executive Chef. The recipes are meant for the home cook and he sure knows what he's doing!

Edited: Jan 8, 4:05pm Top

Bake from Scratch Artisan Recipes for the Home Baker by Brian Hart Hoffman VI library system

Fantastic book. I don't need it but if I did I would buy it!
Hoffman has started a magazine. Here the link.
Also a 2nd. volume of the cookbook is about to be released.
Oh his website is a link to 13 bakers (the bakers dozen). I didn't know any of them!

Jan 7, 7:34pm Top

Wonderful review of Swimming Studies by Leanne Sharp. So your daughter was a competitive swimmer! Wow! " Back in the day" I used to belong to a swim team and I remember the early mornings in freezing cold water swimming laps! BRRRR! A 86F private pool and now we're talking! :-) That is my takeaway. I'm so glad that you love the water!

Edited: Jan 7, 9:10pm Top

>47 vancouverdeb: Thank you Deborah! What was your favourite race/stroke? How long did you swim for....ages? Yes, I clearly remember those morning practises. i think I drove our daughter to practises mostly asleep, sort of a horrifying notion but we were only about 5 blocks from the pool. After dropping her I went right back to bed. Really it is such an intense sport, too much for kids I think. At 15 she was swimming over 300 lengths (25 m) daily. They sacrifice a lot socially, it's painful and such huge caloric demands that the food thing can get weird too. I remember how you love to have the water WARM! Monsieur did the polar bear swim Jan 1st, not me for sure!

Jan 7, 9:24pm Top

Oh, mine was much less than your daughter. I think by grade 8 I'd decided I was only going to swim for leisure. No more 3x a week cold swimming for me. I only did it for about 1 1/2 years. I liked freestyle and the breast stroke best and still do. I'm glad I learned to be very comfortable around the water, but early morning swimming was not going to be for me. I much preferred jogging and skiing! I have a couple of nieces that are big swimmers. The one who is 15 swam from Keats' Camp to Sechelt this past summer, with a boat beside here. The other niece went to a three week sport camp that was mainly swimming - somewhere in Ontario. When I read up about the Camp and realized you had to swim for 1/2 hour in the lake prior to breakfast - and that was just the start of the swimming day I felt so sorry for my niece. My brother and his wife met at the pool at SFU because both of them worked as Life guards. I only hope that their kids "sports' activities are something they actually like and not a pleasing the parents thing.

I don't mean to suggest that was the case for your daughter at all, but my brother's kids are" potential Olympian's" in the parents eyes . Gymnastics for one, swimming for the the other two - as well as piano lessons and plans for Harvard/ Oxford/ Cambridge etc for the kids. They also have son, aged 8, but as of yet I'm not sure they have plugged him into a definite sport.

I just mean my niece went to Math Camp at Cornell for 2 weeks this past summer, as well as the swimming from Keats to Sechelt and she is only 15. I only hope my nieces and nephew know what they enjoy, rather than taking on their parents dreams. I am all for giving your kids the best chance in life, but I only hope my ambitious brother and wife give their kids a chance to socialize and grow as people, aside from " accomplishments"

Jan 7, 11:44pm Top

Mary, I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound so negative. My brother and his wife are very well intended , I'm sure, but they don't have TV in the house, no mirrors, so the girls don't become vain etc etc and sometimes I think it's a bit too much . I think kids should grow up exposed to more so that they can become sort of self regulating.

Jan 7, 11:54pm Top

>49 vancouverdeb:, >50 vancouverdeb: I know exactly what you're saying. Really I am just so glad that my time being resonsible for little ones is over as the world seems to be just getting more complex and there are just so many choices and ways to go off the rails too. I always thought it was important to keep our girls physically active in sports and was more of a generalist, exposing them to all sorts of things but then they could choose later on, but then they would know what they are choosing. Parenting is not an easy gig!

Jan 8, 2:15am Top

Just the right book for you, Mary. A contemplative book about swimming and art. Fascinating combination. Did swim for about two years regularly some years ago, but now it's mostly walking and a bit of bicycling that keep me in shape (sort of).

Jan 8, 10:26am Top

>46 mdoris: Oh! A cookbook! Sounds like a good one too.

>35 mdoris: Thanks for the links to the top circulating books. I enjoy seeing what books are tops in different regions.

Edited: Jan 8, 2:51pm Top

David Tanis Market Cooking VI library system

This is divided into veg sections so recipes for each vegetable but he does include meat/fish/poultry in some. It's good! HIs previous book A Platter of Figs got a lot of recognition at the time it was publshed and I have had it from the library too in the past.

Edited: Jan 8, 9:28pm Top

Real Nordic Living by Dorothea Gundtoft VI library

So continuing with my" hygge" fascination and interest in the Nordic countries I got this book from the library. I think I got the first crack at it and what a gem it is. So it does sections of design, food, art and travel and the photographs are stunning. So what caught my eye? Well what didn't catch my eye? First an interest in the Danish painter Villehelm Hammershoi who painted early 1900's.

and another of his...for those of us who LOVE books.

So Michael Palin got very interested in Hammershoi and did a BBC doc programme about him and that is what I will watch tonight.

Jan 8, 11:56pm Top

Happy belated new year, Mary! Love that News of the World made your list of Bests. It was on my list in 2016.

I’m interested in hygge too, and you inspire me with your active reading about it. Hammershoi’s work really appeals to me, what I have seen of it.

Jan 10, 11:07am Top

Hi Mary! I'm late making the rounds, but there is lots of New Year left so Happy New Year!

Love all your cooking and cookbook comments. I need to check out the Five Ingredient Cookbook. I haven't read any of the Jamie Oliver cookbooks, so it sounds like a good place to start.

I've signed up for some Sicilian cooking classes in March.

Thanks also for the most checked out lists - interesting that they vary from city to city.

I've been talking to a councilor friend about hygge. She uses it as a concept for people fighting SAD in the short daylight months.

What did you think of the Hammershoi program? I'll be interested to hear.

Jan 10, 12:10pm Top

>57 streamsong: Hi Janet, The Hammershoi/Michael Palin was fascinating and well done. He is such a good commentator...... real, feet on the ground, likeable and asks the questions that I would want answered. I liked it so much that I investigated what else has he has done and then watched the Andrew Wyeth doc. that he did and that was VERY interesting too. I will look for more!

I have already read maybe 5 or 6 hygge books now and I do love the concept. Really, I am very interested in the Nordic countries successes in contrast to the North American challenges. There is a very good one "Lykke" by the head guy of the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen. It is a lovely book and sets the mind in the right direction (imho). Very fun to sign up for some cooking classes! The "Hygge" is very big on yummy, lovely treats and in this gloomy west coast weather I am a firm believer! Today I will make raspberry/oat squares.

Jan 10, 12:47pm Top

>43 mdoris: Adding Swimming Studies to the wish list. It sounds wonderful. I'm also a swimmer although not doing it much at present. But I also love water. I love to be on the water, in the water, near the water. I love running in the rain. And so on.

Jan 11, 10:30am Top

Yum, raspberry oat squares! Will you post the recipe, please Mary? (I know this is your reading thread, LOL, but ...)

Jan 11, 12:45pm Top

>60 lit_chick: Nancy, happy to. They were scrummy! I have sent you a PM.

Edited: Jan 13, 6:00pm Top

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie VI library

This book has had a lot of press and glowing reviews on LT. I'm afraid i wasn't as enthusiastic as others have been about it. I found it a bit difficult to read, for me it didn't flow easily and I found it on the melodramatic side and yes, a little bit predictable. Just saying..... It was an interesting plot (the Muslim beliefs and pressures) and i did look up the plot of the Sophocles play Antigone to get that background plot figured out (as this book has a similar plot). What I thought was interesting was the intersecting dilemmas of professional and personal (family) choices and how that, in life, can spin you such a curve ball. The heart has a lot to do with choices too and makes things complicated.

Jan 13, 12:42pm Top

Hi Mary - The swimming memoir sounds fascinating. Onto the list it goes. Interesting comments on Home Fire as well; I will read it in a couple of months for my book club.

The son of a good friend was a champion swimmer in high school and was offered all kinds of scholarships for college. He decided not to accept and quit competitive swimming. While I was hoping to know an Olympian swimmer, I admire his maturity in deciding that he wanted to experience college, something that would be hard if he were swimming/training several hours per day.

I love the comments on the cook books. I don't "need" any more either, but I am tempted by these.

>55 mdoris: Lovely.

Edited: Jan 13, 6:01pm Top

>63 BLBera: HI Beth, Wonderful to have you visit and thank you for the kind words. I will go and find your thread and have a visit too! Your friends' son sounds like he made a very wise choice about his swimming career. #1 daughter persued the pro volleyball route so I have had a glimpse at the other side. Really I guess "All good choices" as a good friend says! Daughter #4 made it to youth nationals swimming and quit just before her 16th birthday (when she could have done some of the driving....!!!). Anyway she loves swimming now and blows through the water and for her mom it is a delight to watch.

Edited: Jan 13, 8:51pm Top

>62 mdoris: Mary, I'm sorry that Home Fire didn't live up to it's hype for you. Perhaps I was fortunate to read it back when it was just one of the Booker Long List? I really enjoyed it. But you know, different strokes for different folks - even with swimming and parenting! :-) Wishing you a happy weekend! Oh, wow! Daughter number #1 pursued the pro volleyball route and daughter #4 still loves to swim. I'd say that is success with all of your parenting efforts!

Jan 13, 7:38pm Top

>43 mdoris: Swimming Studies sounds like a must read for me. I will have to see if my local library has it. Thanks for the recommendation, Mary!

Jan 13, 7:49pm Top

>65 vancouverdeb: No worries Deborah. I liked it for sure, just not blown away by it. You know how this works when something gets such glowing remarks, you get out the old pedestal!

Jan 13, 7:50pm Top

>66 alcottacre: Stasia. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you can find it!

Jan 14, 11:51am Top

Appreciate your comments on Home Fire, Mary. I've got this one on request at the library, so good to have another point of view. I've also found occasionally, as I'm sure we all have, that I just don't connect with a novel that has been highly praised.

Jan 14, 12:26pm Top

>69 lit_chick: Thanks Nancy. I look forward to hearing your experience with the book.

Jan 15, 11:37am Top

>62 mdoris: Interesting thoughts on Home Fire. It seems to be getting mixed thoughts. I tend to avoid books that are melodramatic, myself, so I imagine I'll feel similarly to you on the topic.

Jan 15, 1:34pm Top

>71 The_Hibernator: Thanks for you visit and thoughts Rachel.

Edited: Jan 17, 4:14pm Top

Here is another beautiful painting by Abbey Ryan.
Still Life with Copper Pot and Pears (the light, the shade) will be on view in a juried museum exhibition "Perspectives of the American Experience" at the Rockwell Museum, Corning, NY. The exhibition runs from January 19 - April 22, 2018. How fun it would be to see this painting in person along with the others in the exhibit!

i hadn't posted an Abbey painting for a while......

Jan 17, 5:57pm Top

>73 mdoris: Beautiful still life, Mary, thanks for sharing!

Jan 17, 8:53pm Top

>62 mdoris: I agree with everything you said about Home Fire but I still ended up loving it. Go figure. Sometimes I go overboard on a book if I've had a long dry spell. I will have to see if this was the case with HF.

Your year is off to a good reading start, Mary. I've read a few books on Hygge and find them such calming experiences even if I don't adopt any of the "hints". I am inspired to light a candle now for my evening reading. Thank you.

Jan 18, 12:12am Top

>75 Donna828: Oh Donna, for me the hygge makes justifying the yummy treat a little bit easier to do!

Edited: Jan 19, 4:22pm Top

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman VI library

This was in ways a sad book but in ways an uplifting book about a quirky person. We see her life peeled back one layer at a time to reveal the tragedy of her early life that has shaped her. It was full of heart especially showing how relationships and caring can make healing possible. I liked it!

Edited: Jan 18, 12:38am Top

My next door neighbour has a free library in front of her house. Guess what I spyed with my little eye today!!! THe Mapping of Love and Death a Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear Needless to say I grabbed it, having heard about it on LT.....okay, okay I put lots of books in it too (not quilty as charged....).
I put Commonwealth by Ann Patchett and it lasted a VERY short time. Fun!

Jan 18, 1:18am Top

>77 mdoris: Ooh I really enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman. It was one of my unexpected finds of 2017 . So glad that you enjoyed it, Mary.

And so perfect! Finding The Mapping of Love and Death in your little free library! I trust you are reading the series in order, because there is so much character development that Maisie Dobbs really must be read in order. :-) How perfect to have a LFL so close by!

Jan 18, 12:07pm Top

>79 vancouverdeb: Deborah, so glad that you liked EO too.

Okay, I must read the Maisie Dobbs books in order! I knew it was from my pals on LT that I had heard about them. With thanks to you and Nancy.

Edited: Jan 19, 4:21pm Top

The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan VI library

Wow, this book is FANTASTIC! Years ago I read the wordless book The Arrival by Tan who perfectly describes in pictures the experience of being an immigrant to a new country. He is brilliant! I must have heard about this book on LT so thought it's time to have another visit with this amazing Australian artist/writer. This time he has taken the Brothers Grimm stories and made stunning sculptures to represent the drama. Sculptures are the size of an orange and made of papier mache or clay, carved or painted with acrylics, wax, shoe polish and oxidized metal powder. There is a written forward by Neil Gaiman and an introduction by Jack Zipes a contemporary expert on Grimms fairy tales with a little bit of info about the brothers themselves. Tan also explained the huge influence and inspiration for him of Inuit stone carvings (Canada) and pre-Columbian clay figures (Mexico). I must get out my Grimms collection and have a re-read!

In 2011 Tan won an Academy Award for the animated short film of his picture book the Lost Thing. Here it is....I watched and it was so imaginative and creative and such a good story!


Edited: Jan 19, 4:25pm Top

All the Sweet Things Baked Goods and Stories from the Kitchen of Sweetsugarbean by Renee Kohlman VI library

After all the "hygge" reading I've done, one must have some backup for sweet thing recipes and this book does the trick. Kohlman writes a food article in Saskatoon and knows her stuff! And she has a sign up website to get ongoing recipes (sweetsugarbean).

p. 40 buttermilk scones with raspberrry butter......I think i have the ingredients.......

Jan 19, 7:28pm Top

>82 mdoris: Looks delightful! My sister is a big Disney fan and she is currently baking up Walt's Tea cakes today and having a mint julep, however, she called me to tell me that she forget to purchase the mint ;-) My sister knows how to create her own sort of winter Hygge! I have to chuckle at the picture she sends me of her Disney Teacakes and Mint Julep without the Mint .

Jan 21, 7:18pm Top

Hello Mary. I am slowly poking my head into some threads over here. Love all the cooking book reviews happening here! I like to consider food to be one of my hobbies. ;-)

>73 mdoris: - Happy to see the Abbey Ryan picture!

>78 mdoris: - Love LFTs and that they seem to be popping up everywhere! I read about a different twist on the LFT idea happening in places like parts of Calgary where an “Take what you need, leave what you can!” community cupboards have popped up for everything from nonperishable food to clothing and personal hygiene items:


I love the idea!

Wishing you a fabulous week.

Edited: Jan 21, 7:27pm Top

Hooray for Eleanor Oliphant & The Singing Bones! I also loved both.

Happy Sunday, Mary. Hope you had a lovely weekend.

Glad someone snagged your copy of Commonwealth. One of my top reads of '17.

Jan 21, 7:35pm Top

Oh my, pass the buttermilk scones and the raspberry butter, please! Yum!

Edited: Jan 22, 12:45pm Top

>83 vancouverdeb: Deborah, Disney tea cakes and mint julip without the mint.....hmmmm! Fun to have the baking along your loved themes especially if your sister will share.

>84 lkernagh: HI Lori, I will keep up with the cookbook reviews but I don't count them in the grand total. But reallyI should as I read most cover to cover or perhaps drool to drool is a better description.

>85 msf59: Hi Mark Glad that you liked those books too. There sure are some great gems out there.

>86 lit_chick: HI Nancy. Miss you around here. Hope all's is going well in your world! For sure I will save you a scone. I'm still working on a soda/buttermilk loaf that is a bit of a door stopper!

Jan 22, 1:29pm Top

Oh bliss....... what is this thing i see before me?

Edited: Jan 22, 10:16pm Top

Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller VI library

Wow this was such an interesting and good book. It was a selection from my previous bookclub and thought I would give it a whirl. How do you categorize it? Not sure! There are streams of the Vietnam war, the Korean war, it is mystery, it is personal story, it is Jewish history, anyway there are lots of elements. It is gripping to the end! It is the first novel of an American writer living in Norway who is also an academic and international affairs specialist. The Economist in 2013 said it was one of the best 6 fiction books written that year! Cover description..... " A luminous novel, a police thriller and the funniest book about war crimes and dementia that you are likely to read".

He has written a 2nd book published in 2017 that sounds very interesting and onto the list it goes. The Girl in Green a thriller that takes place in Iraq. A third book will be published in 2018 American by Day.

Edited: Jan 22, 4:10pm Top

>89 mdoris: Sounds good! (ETA: I've read it! I'd comletely forgotten!)

I love the art here Mary, especially those beautiful pictures of women. Such quiet elegance.

I also loved Swimming Studies, although never competed the way she did. Mine was a library book but I rather wish I could have my own copy. Such a lovely looking book.

Edited: Jan 29, 3:03pm Top

>90 charl08: Hi Charlotte, My local library has a copy of Miller's new 2017 book so I will have to get it and the 2018 one on order. Yippee!

So I got more of Leanne Shapton 's books The Native Trees of Canada. It is interesting too as she does a close up of the leaves of probably 30 trees with each page representing a tree. There are no words and almost a folk art type quality to her paintings. She also has a piece in a publication of Women in Clothes (she's an editor) which I am very interested in as I have done lots of reading in this area. It is waiting for me at the library right now! I just really liked her sensory approach, from many angles, about her water life in Swimming Studies. Glad you liked it too!

V.I. Library

Edited: Jan 22, 4:44pm Top

Oh wow. That sounds like something I'd like. Too many books!

Edited: Jan 23, 8:09pm Top

Too many books, yes I agree. I had a swoop into the library today to pick up 8 books waiting patiently for me. Has anyone answered the question....."Why do they all come in at once?" to their satisfaction?. Anyway at least I have 3 weeks with these gems so now the question is ...."Which one to begin with?". The sun yesterday was a brief tease and I got out my broom. I am a card carrying sweeper! But back to RAIN and WIND today which is perfect for the books!

Jan 23, 7:59pm Top

Why do they all come in at once?

Mystery of the universe. The world may never know...

Jan 23, 8:10pm Top

>94 drneutron: Thanks Jim for considering the question. Let me know if you ever get an answer!

Edited: Jan 23, 8:22pm Top

Mary, my sister is the big Walt Disney fan and creates concoctions from Eat Like Walt. She is so much fun. Not exactly healthy recipes, but she has a lot of fun with them, and I'm happy to sample the concoctions and celebrate with her. I'm not exactly sure what went in the Mint Julep without the mint, but she mentioned lemonade and lime and carbonated soda. Well, I'm curious as to what 8 books were waiting for you at the library! I was so lucky today - it was Poppy's day out with the dog walker and Poppy's buddies. But Poppy came so full of sand and mud that I had to bathe her and then wash all the towels that went with that. I tend to keep Poppy out of the sand and mud as much as possible on days like today, but not so much our dog walker. But I am sure Poppy had lots of fun.
I can't wait to see what book you read first.

The Native Trees of Of Canada interests me. I'll have to have look for that at my library.

Edited: Jan 25, 2:51pm Top

There was some "talk" on vancouverdeb's thread about hot spots. So here is the picture about HOT SPOT management for Maggie. I know she looks none to pleased but it seems to working to heal. Anyone want to put in an order?

Jan 25, 3:02pm Top

Oh, Mary! I am so sorry, I just can't stop chuckling. Poor thing, poor Maggie!

See, that's the difference between cats and dogs. A cat would punish you for the rest of your life if you did something like that to a cat! Whereas a dog, well, I am reminded of my brother, who made me a *book* (foolscap paper and a duo-tang folder; he was in late primary or maybe early high school at the time) for my birthday one year. It featured our dog. Every page had a different photo of him, in some get-up or another. My brother dressed him in tuque, sunglasses and scarf, in another, he had on a derby hat and tie. You get the picture. The dog was such a ham, I am sure he loved every minute of it. The *storyline* such as it was, involved the dog, and *the bitch across the street* (my brother's words, not mine), a female dog my dog liked. I still crack up every time I think about it.

Jan 25, 3:56pm Top

Oh Shelley, what a gem of a memory. I can picture it and what a treasure that book must have been. Do you still have it?

I know, poor Mags! Can you see the tail firmly between the legs on the first photo? She is NOT a happy camper! But it must be done. Poor thing! And no worries about the chuckling. We do it too, but of course behind closed doors or out of range.......

Maggie is a Hurricane Katrina pup who came from Mississippi to a famliy in the Toronto area. They meant to keep her but then changed their minds and meanwhile sent us pictures of her all dolled up and scooting around in a baby carriage and then we got her. She has been the best dog EVER! Everyone who meets her loves her.

Jan 25, 4:45pm Top

Yes, I actually do have my brother's *book*. it really is a treasure (so was our sweet pooch).

Wow, it always amazes me that animals can travel so far and how lucky she is to have found you!! How old is she?

Jan 25, 5:32pm Top

Shelley, your book sounds like a keeper. A treasure!

Maggie is 12 1/2 . We got her when she was 4 mths (she flew out to Vancovuer). She came up to Ontario when she was 3 mths. when Katrina hit. Seems impossible that Katrina could have been that long ago. She is our 4th standard and she has outlived the other ones but I think now we are on borrowed time.

Jan 25, 6:39pm Top

Wow, yes, that's a lot of years ago! I have a cousin and a friend who always have standard poodles. They love them. Our dog was a Heinz 57, you know, a mutt. :-). We got him at 5 weeks of age and he lived to almost 15 years. The book was written in the first person, in the dog's *voice*. My brother was quite imaginative, back then.

Jan 28, 4:48am Top

Somehow I did not get around to your thread yesterday, but I'm up late, so I'm going to peek in! Oh so cute for Maggie - but I know she does not feel the same way. But so much better than the cone. We have a small donut shaped collar by Kong. However, for some things Poppy can reach around that Kong inflatable collar. Fortunately what Dave and I worried was a hot spot turned out just to be just a bit of a scratch.

Maggie is such a cutie!! I'm going to have to look at my library and see how long the reserve queue for new Flavia is.

Jan 28, 4:53am Top

Just checked my library online - 22 people waiting on 1 copy of The Grave's a Fine and Private Place. So glad I " splashed " out for it!

Edited: Jan 29, 3:04pm Top

Well there is no denying it, I am a BIG Helen Humphreys fan! I just finished The Ghost Orchard and it is non fiction about apples with a particular interest in the White Winter Pearmain. The book is a small one (always a favourite for me), very easy to fit in the hands and reflective of a treasure. While the book is about apples it is also so much more. It is about friendship, creativity, curiosity and research, history, and nature. It is divided into 5 sections with a very interesting (and sometimes upsetting) focus for each one (Indian orchard destruction, life of a female apple illustrator, Robert Frost, grief for a friend, family art history-grandfather). Humphreys writing is so captivating. How does she do this? It is like poetry in prose form for me, meditative, relaxing and natural and insightful.

I have read other bits about apples and one I particularly remember is a big chapter in Michael Pollan's book The Botany of Desire. That book was a "goody" too!

My SIL has inherited an old house and a very old orchard of apples and pears near to where we have relocated. I think The Ghost Orchard will be a perfect book for her.

As the cover says "With her signature insight and exquisite prose, Humphreys illuminates the intricate link between agriculture, settlement and human relationships. "

V.I. Library

Edited: Jan 28, 1:13pm Top

>103 vancouverdeb: Glad Deborah that you don't have to wait for the Flavia book especially when you are the birthday girl. i know, I'm not much of a "splasher". I guess I have just moved too much to accululate books and as I am such a slow reader, the idea of a re-read is not in the cards. Oh dear, just checked and I'm #108 of 114 but they have ordered 10 more copies. I'd betteer take good care of myself to live that long!

I'm a big fan of the Mma Ramotswe books by McCall Smith and he has a new one coming out and I'm #77 of one copy for that one. Yikes. The House of Unexpected Sisters

So glad that Poppy does not have the hot spot situation. Maggie's wearing of the pants is doing the job thankfully. She is sleeping so much these days.

Jan 28, 10:47pm Top

You are wise, Mary. I'm gradually getting better at not accumulating a lot of stuff. We've lived in our current place for about 18 years, the longest of the various we've homes since we married 34 year ago. I did a pretty big purge last summer, but I always like to have a variety of books on hand , because I never know what " reading mood' I'll be in. Whoa - #77 on for The House of Unexpected Sisters.

I'd never heard of a White Winter Pearmain apple until reading your excellent review. Have you had one? I do like Helen Humphreys, so I'll put it on the wish-list. I think I've seen The Ghost Orchard in the library.

Happy Monday to you, Mary.

Its' difficult when our dogs age , I think Mary. I recall our last dog, Daisy, really slowing down after she got to be about 10 or years old. On the other hand, I recall all the work when Poppy was a young puppy and we were training her to do her business to in the back yard and trying to stop her from chewing up the house. As one of my sons said at the time, the dog got younger and we got older. Wise words.

Edited: Jan 29, 3:06pm Top

First We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman V.I. Library

Now I want to eat brunch 3 times a day and I want to live in Victoria, B;.C.!
This books tells all about the great brunch spots. It includes recipes and includes where to shop for yummy goodies. There are wonderful photos showing Victoria's blessed landscapes, beauttful old buildings and delicious gourmet treats. Do you think if I sent this to my daughters living in Denver I could woo them back to B.C.?

Sorry, no touchstones...(I think its' too Canadian!)

Jan 30, 10:24am Top

I hope Maggie is doing better!

I understand borrowed time and elderly dogs. My golden retriever Ginny is starting to have some bad days. So far, she continues to bounce back, but it's a sad thing when our elderly friends are no longer 'fixable'.

Book bullet with The Ghost Orchard. It doesn't look easily available - I'll have to keep my eyes open for it.

Jan 30, 9:44pm Top

Well, I come racing over to check out the brunch cookbook in >108 mdoris: and I end up coming away with two BB's. Of course, I will be hunting down a copy of First We Brunch, because I just have to know if there are any new brunch spots to check out (besides the new "Shanzee's Biscuit Cafe", which might - or might not - have been mentioned in the book as "Bitchin' Biscuits" but they have had to rebrand as being too similar to the Seattle-based "Biscuit Bitch"). The other BB is for The Ghost Orchard. Helen Humphreys has never let me down. ;-)

Jan 31, 1:54pm Top

Going into Town A love Letter to New York by Roz Chast V.I. Library

Roz Chast is an often published cartoonist/artist for the New Yorker magagazine and I love her sense of humour and her fantastic drawings. This book is a tribute to New York city and she does a good job enticing! She is marvel.

Edited: Jan 31, 1:58pm Top

>109 streamsong: Janet we can do some mutual hand holding with our concerns for our wonderful elderly pets.

>110 lkernagh: Kind of fun Lori to deliver some bb(s) as you know LT is a dangerous place for them and I have received more than my fair share!

Feb 5, 12:22pm Top

A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw V I. Library

I have vancouverdeb to thank for this B.C. read! Oopps an exclamation point. There has been some discussion on LT about !!! but I love them so I will use them. Anyway, thank you Deborah for your recommendation. It was a fun, delightful read with great character development and wonderful descriptions of our gorgeous B.C. interior. There was a good old murder mystery and a strong female lead character so all good.

Feb 5, 6:11pm Top

Mary, I'm delighted that your read A Killer in King's Cove. I hope you actually enjoyed it! I also love exclamation points, and what's a life without a little excitement! I just loved the three books in the Lane Winslow series and I am so looking forward to the fourth that is coming out later this spring. Perhaps not " high literature" but as you say, a good old murder mystery and some fabulous, interesting characters.

Feb 5, 10:24pm Top

Yes Deborah, you are the source for many great bb(s)! Love the Canadian book reading and reccommending that you do.

Edited: Feb 10, 12:11pm Top

On Island Life among the Coast Dwellers by Pat Carney local gulf island library

There are 20 short stories in this wonderful collection that tell the perfect story of living on a B.C. Gulf Island. The stories are told through the various seasons and weather conditions and the various characters who dot the island and make it interesting and unique. Carney is a good writer to boot! She lives on Saturna Island so draws richly from experience! She is a former Canadian Senator and Cabinet minister, a person of many talents!

Feb 10, 7:48am Top

>116 mdoris: - Sounds lovely, Mary, and what a pretty cover!

Feb 10, 7:50pm Top

>116 mdoris: Lovely cover on On Island Life among the Coast Dwellers. That's a book I should keep my eye out for . I have friend and her husband who moved to Saturna in their retirement. They also have a condo here in Richmond, but they love their life on Saturna. Jeanette's has become a bee keeper among other things. I'm a bit of a citified person myself. I think Saturna would be a little isolated for me, but they sure love it there.

Edited: Feb 13, 1:03am Top

I saw the film last night Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool as part of my Film Circuit membership. It is based on a book by Peter Turner about the movie star Gloria Grahame who won a best supporting actress Oscar in a 1952 performance. She acted in the era of Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas and Lana Turner. The plot was of her romance with a younger man and their connection through many years but of a final challenge when she was suffering from an illness. Annette Bening and Jamie Bell were outstanding in their performances and it was an intense viewing experience!

Edited: Feb 13, 12:57am Top

>117 jessibud2:, >118 vancouverdeb: Hello Shelley and Deborah....wonderful to see you visit! Ths sun is shining today and it is glorious.

Feb 12, 6:56pm Top

Yes, this is the third day of sun here! Quite lovely to have the sun for the long weekend. I am so glad you are enjoying your new home and the Film Circuit membership. Dave and I have not been out to a film in long time. We used to go quite frequently as a date night back when the kids were younger, but now it seems we don't get out to the cinema as often. Glad you enjoyed it.

Edited: Feb 13, 4:14pm Top

200 Women who will change the way you see the world V.I. Library

It would be cheating to say that I read this book. Really I did not read it from cover to cover but was greatly impressed by the quality of the book, the amazing photographs and interviews with these incredible women.

So this is a coffee table type book (large and heavy) and with a shamed face I admit that I did not know the lion's share of these very accomplished women. So the women I was most familiar with are authors or related to the world of food (Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl). I must get cracking and know MORE about MORE of them!

Questions asked of them.

What brings you happiness?
What would you change if you could?
Which single word do you most identify with?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

This is a very interesting book!

Feb 14, 12:35pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day to ALL! ❤️

Edited: Feb 15, 1:03am Top

Beautiful thoughts (poems) about dogs.....dogs are the best!

Feb 15, 2:29pm Top

>124 mdoris: I became a fan of Mary Oliver's poetry a couple of years ago.

Feb 15, 6:00pm Top

>125 thornton37814: HI Lori, For sure I will look for more of Oliver's poems, but the dog theme greatly appealed to me and thought that was a good start..

Feb 16, 3:43pm Top

>126 mdoris: I'm sure I'll get to that one at some point.

Feb 16, 5:31pm Top

Thanks for the beautiful Valentine, Mary! A belated Happy Valentines to you. Dog Songs sounds lovely. Poppy awaits her afternoon walk at my feet.

Feb 17, 1:09am Top

Deborah, we are in Denver for a long weekend vsiitng with the grandsons 5 and 1. It is so great to spend time with them. Denver weather is supposed to be warm and sunny the next few days. Sounds good to me! Went to the Denver main library today and hung out in the kiddy section that is fabulous.

Feb 17, 6:32am Top

>105 mdoris: This sounds great. My gran gave my parents an apple tree when I was born. I've been quite sad that we left the house where it was planted over the years, but not sure what else they could have done!

>129 mdoris: Sounds lovely. I do hope the weather continues to cooperate. Happy weekend!

Feb 19, 10:09am Top

>122 mdoris:, >124 mdoris: Both look great, Mary. Both go on my WL.

Feb 19, 10:31am Top

Dog Songs sounds wonderful, Mary. It's mentioned here on LT previously but this time I was able to read the first few poems on the Amazon preview. I've requested it from the library. :) What should I call it - not a book bullet; not a warble; maybe a wag of a tail?

Feb 20, 4:06pm Top

>131 BLBera: Hi Beth, Great to see you visit. I see you live in Minnesota. That is where my new son-in-law is from so I am hearing lots of stories about it. I will try to see if I can find your thread!

>132 streamsong: Hi Janet Great to see you visit. Do you still have lots of winter? We got some coastal snow again, just when I was wanting to get out in the garden and plant my new gorgeous hellebore. Oh well.....

Edited: Feb 20, 5:09pm Top

Lovely visit to the Tattered Cover in Denver on Saturday. It was like being a kid in a candy store. It is a GREAT bookstore. The only thing better would have been a meet up opportunity with LT pals. Perhaps next time! Grandson(5) is all about sharks right now so there was a good selection. We had visited the downtown wonderful library (childrens section) the day before and loaded up with shark books. He is afraid and fascinated all at the same time. I get it! I was once stalked by a cougar and then became fascinated by them.

p.s. On Sunday we all had a picnic at a local park where everyone was wearing shorts and t shirts and sandals because of the 70F hot and sunny weather. Then on Monday when it was time to leave Denver at 6 a.m. we had to scrape ice off the car in the very snowy conditons. Go figure!

Feb 20, 8:51pm Top

Mary, I'm glad you you are having such a great time in Denver! The bookstore looks really fabulous. Enjoy your grands! Friends of my son and his wife had a shower for the upcoming baby daughter, and it was a shower for books in particular. I sent William home with books for my grand daughter to be yesterday and they seemed very pleased with the books. That's exciting for me to know :-)

What a great time at the Tattered Cover.
Oh, I see you are home at the mention of " coastal snow." Poppy at the vet's yesterday for her " dental" and had to have one small tooth pulled as it had a crack in it. She is much more herself today. Yesterday she was not feeling well at all.

Feb 20, 11:00pm Top

It's so much fun to visit bookstores when one is on the road. Glad you got to visit the famous "Tattered Cover."

Feb 22, 12:05am Top

Hi Mary!

We have several Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood and I'm a significant contributor.

>97 mdoris: Aww, sweet Maggie.

>113 mdoris: Oh good. I bought A Killer in King's Cove after Deb warbled about it, too. I haven't gotten to it yet but I'm glad to see another thumbs up.

>134 mdoris: I visited The Tattered Cover in the early 1990s and I remember loving it!

Edited: Feb 22, 12:40am Top

A lot of of snow here today, Mary. Likely worse where you are? Thanks for your kind support re our impending granddaughter. I'll be asking you plenty of question as far as books for baby. I know you are quite the expert. Interestingly to me, I had a baby book given to me by the proprietor of small, mainly second hand bookstore. It's a First Nations themed book of colours board book for baby. I mentioned to William that it was a gift from the lady who owns the bookstore. He told me he wanted their daughter to understand about Canada's aboriginal people and the shame of Canada putting aboriginal people into residential schools. I'm sure they will wait until the appropriate time for that, but I think because my DIL teaches grades K , 1 and 2, that is part of the curriculum. It's interesting what kids surprise you with.

Feb 22, 1:49am Top

>138 vancouverdeb: Interesting Deborah because I had done a good snoop in the local wonderful bookstore, a really old fashioned independent one as I had been shopping for books to take to grandsons 1 and 5 years of age in Denver. I too purchased a First Nations themed book, an ABC one with fabulous pictures in a board book. Also purchased a book about B.C. ferry travel to try and lure them back for a visit. Thinking of you with Little Wren around the corner. All very exciting.....! Yes we had lots of snow here too today.

Edited: Feb 24, 4:48pm Top

>137 EBT1002: Nice to see you visit Ellen. Hope all is well in your world and you are no doubt doing some amazing reading. I will come and visit your thread and see what you are up to!

Feb 25, 2:58pm Top

Your lovely book on 200 Women looks interesting. I love the questions they had to answer. Very thought-provoking.

>134 mdoris: Our paths will cross in Denver someday and we WILL do that meetup! Now that I've discovered the ease of using the Light Rail system, I don't hesitate about going to downtown Denver anymore. My son moved out near the airport so you know what a long drive that would be.

Feb 25, 5:11pm Top

>141 Donna828: Donna, how fun that would be to have a meet up in Denver. I would love that! It is such a cool city!

Edited: Mar 1, 7:38pm Top

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

February has been a slow reading month for me with the Olympics viewing and visits to Denver but I did finish this one in the nick of time by month end. It is an interesting memoir about growing up on the brink of apartheid change in S.A. with Noah trying to figure out where he belongs, It is also quite the loving tribute to and about his mother who, while feisty and independent, was also trapped by a patriarchal and racially challenged society. Good writing, good book! It will be fun to do some further research about this talented man as he has now moved to the U.S., does stand up comedy (Netflix) and the Daily Show (television) since Jon Stewart's departure in 2015. He has 2 nights coming up soon in Vancouver (stand-up at Q. E) as part of a very busy North American schedule.

Feb 28, 8:38pm Top

>136 thornton37814: Hi Lori, Yes, visiting book stores is the best! We moved a year ago and am very lucky that there is a very good book store in our new small city. I ❤️ the library but of course bookstores rule too!

Edited: Mar 7, 6:16pm Top

We saw a WONDERFUL film as part of Film Circuit on Sunday night The Divine Order a Swiss 2017 film and this was the description..... "With women's voices at the centre of the narrative and behind the lens, this light-hearted suffrage story offers important commentaary on the rights we take for granted in our daily lives."
So increculous as it seems the Swiss women did not get the vote until the 1970's. Wow!
This film was fabulous!

Mar 1, 10:10pm Top

>139 mdoris: I'm quite certain I've seen the B.C Ferry book as well. I decided I'd wait a while before getting that for Baby B, as my son and DIL call the baby to be. Or, Little Wren as I call the baby. I've also seen a board book about" I love Vancouver" . But again I decided to wait on that. I think just now , baby B will not be quite up to understanding those concepts. Born A Crime is on my mental to read list. I sometimes watch the Daily Show late at night. Great review. All our snow is gone , and Poppy is feeling 100 % again. No baby yet, but she is not due until March 19th. Anytime now I suppose.

I'll be back on my own thread soon - later tonight or tomorrow.

I really have no idea what the Baby will named. They certainly have not dropped any hints.

Mar 1, 10:31pm Top

>145 mdoris: - That sounds terrific, Mary. Was it a documentary or fiction?

Edited: Mar 3, 1:41pm Top

>146 vancouverdeb: Deborah, I am getting VERY excited for you and a little envious that you will have Little Wren/Baby B close by. Very nice! Thank you for mentioning the due date as I have been wondering about that. Predictable and yet great fun that you have had a good time exploring the board books and the critical "literature" for baby!

Oh boy the wind and rain continue, what a day, what a week! I thought we were going to get blown away and often refer to the house as "the little pigs' house" (especially after a BIG dinner!).

We have exciting news too. Daughter #2, the last of the four girls to get hitched is to be married on the Easter weekend so there is a bit of a flurry about it. I mailed my old wool wedding dress to her and she is having some changes made to it. I was quite pleased that after 44 years there were not any moth holes and no stains either. It will be a tiny wedding up in the mountains and we are VERY happy for her and happy for us to get a wonderful SIL in the family.

Maggie sends her best to Poppy and she is curled up beside me. Spring is coming......

Mar 2, 8:44pm Top

>147 jessibud2: Hi Shelley, Yes the movie was fantastic. I think you would love it! It is fiction but based on fact. It was portrayed perfectly!

Mar 2, 10:37pm Top

Yes, I just got in from a walk with Poppy. I had thought the weather was much better, and it is. But I was surprised that Poppy got as wet as she did with her rain coat on. Brr - twas colder than I thought. How exciting! Daughter #3 getting married on the Easter Weekend! That's not long away at all. How wonderful that your wedding dress has survived the 44 years and your daughter wants to wear it! So exciting indeed! Congratulations to all. I don't think my nearly 35 year old wedding dress has survived as well as yours and though I kept it, of course my DIL had a very different idea than I had for a wedding dress. Oh well. No problem.

Poppy also sends her best to Maggie and she is currently gobbling up her dinner ( we are late people most of the time).

Edited: Mar 6, 11:28am Top

Was she pretty? by Leanne Shapton V.I library

I had read Shapton's book Swimming Studies and was very taken with it so have tried her other books. This one I just didn't "get"! She posts 44 questions that people ask about old girlfriends (who wants to know about these nagging thoughts anyway????). She has some what I would call some pretty rough drawings to go along with the responses. Quick quick read but not my cuppa. Past has passed.

Edited: Mar 6, 11:33am Top

The Power by Naomi Alderman V.I.library

Dystopian..... battle of the sexes.....winner of Bailey's Women's prize for fiction 2017....... NOT my cuppa. I would have "Pearled" this one if had not had so much press but hung in there until the bitter end.

Mar 7, 1:39am Top

>152 mdoris: Thanks for taking one for the team, Mary. I knew that The Power would not be my cuppa and you have certainly confirmed that. Dystopian, battle of the sexes etc . I can safely miss that one, prize winner or not.

Mar 7, 3:09am Top

>145 mdoris: Adding this one to the wishlist, looks like fun.

Sorry The Power didn't work for you. At least you can say you finished it!

Mar 7, 10:20am Top

Hi Mary, despite lots of activity, you are getting a lot of reading done. I also loved Born a Crime; it was much better than I expected.

I loved The Power but I can see why it wouldn't work for everyone. And you stuck with it! I just finished one that I was tempted to not finish also, for many of the reasons you mentioned.

Mar 7, 10:44am Top

Hi Mary! I loved Trevor Noah's memoir of growing up and I also love him on The Daily Show. Do you have tickets to see him? Lucky you!

Congrats on your daughter's wedding. It sounds lovely. I hope you'll have some pictures to share. It sounds like a lovely time ahead.

Edited: Mar 9, 11:03pm Top

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths V.I. Library

This was a good galloping read and I first heard about it on L.T. I will read more of the Ruth Galloway mysteries! This took me to the saltflats and marshes, archeological digs and murder and mahem and a bit of romance in desolate Norfolk.

Mar 10, 11:16am Top

I love Ruth Galloway! I am caught up and have to wait for the new one to come out.

Mar 12, 11:52pm Top

Saw Back to Burgandy at our local Film Circuit last night and it was WONDERFUL!

Mar 12, 11:54pm Top

>158 BLBera: Beth I probably got the idea of reading it from your thread!

Edited: Mar 14, 8:37pm Top

Mary, Little Wren has arrived! Yesterday evening. Name is actually Melissa - not sure if she had a middle name as yet. Please do not mention it if you know me on facebook - my son and DIL are very private people. I quite like the name Melissa. It was not a name I was expecting at all. But then I don't know what I was expecting name wise :-) Very cute baby, of course.

Mar 14, 11:16pm Top

>161 vancouverdeb: So, so pleased with your news Deborah. Safe arrival of a new baby in the world is always such a happy occasion!

Mar 17, 1:44pm Top

>160 mdoris: Well, Mary, I am always happy to add to other's piles of books. :)

Edited: Mar 18, 10:51pm Top

Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson V.I. Library

I enjoyed this Icelandic atmospheric mystery taking me to the far north in mid winter, while a novice policeman, far from home, unravels the clues to glimpse at a complex murder. There are lots of characters with unusual Icelandic names (for me) but it was a good read! I will look for more of his books. It is interesting that Jonasson translated 14 of Agatha Christie mysteries into the Icelandic language and that's perhaps were he gained his expertise.

Edited: Mar 18, 11:17pm Top

The tournament of books has started! Round one began on March 8th. I always think it's fun to follow this book elimination and the discussions about current books. I'm way behind on the discussions so must go and catch up.

Mar 18, 11:21pm Top

I just finished Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson tonight and was wishing my library had Snowblind. I also just wrote a blog post on the first round of the Tournament of Books because it is so fun to follow along the discussions. We were on the same wavelengths tonight Mary!

Mar 18, 11:25pm Top

>166 raidergirl3: Hi Elizabeth, Oh boy are we ever! I have a BIG pile of library books giving me pressure. I bet you do too!

Mar 18, 11:27pm Top

>167 mdoris: lol, how did you know?

Mar 18, 11:36pm Top

>168 raidergirl3: Elizabeth, how do I find your blog? I've just been hunting to see if you have a thread on LT and can't find one. HELP!

Mar 19, 8:02am Top

>169 mdoris: I haven't got a thread on LT. Orange July is where I had one last year and would be my most likely spot to leave messages. My blog is http://raidergirl3-anadventureinreading.blogspot.ca/ if you want to stop by.

Mar 19, 5:46pm Top

Mary, I managed to post a picture of my new granddaughter on my thread! I am delighted I sorted that out. I'm glad you are enjoying your books about " Dark Iceland." I enjoyed those two , especially in light of my mom, niece and my son and DIL having traveled there. I can't imagine living in one of those small town outposts, but perhaps Reykjavik could suit me? My son and DIL said it was there favourite place next to Canada. The simple life.

Mar 22, 12:20pm Top

Just had fun exploring the stats/mem area in L.T. and looked at the female/male split. So i guess I am a 50/50 reader.

Percent male: 49.54% : Percent female: 50.46%

Edited: Mar 23, 7:35pm Top

Watched Loving Vincent (the film) last night. It was stupendous/spectacular in plot and design. WOW!!!

Some things just don't get to Netflix and this is one but in my new little city there is still a DVD rental store. YES!!!!

Edited: Mar 24, 5:28pm Top

Finished Women and Power by Mary Beard. It was 2 essays in a tiny book. I have wanted to read a Beard book for ages as I find her delightful and interesting. This one did not fail although it was very disheartening to read confirmation of the entrenched anti female culture that is our long, long, long history.

"That's an excellent suggestion, Miss Triggs. Perhaps one of the men here wold like to make it." (if print is too small!)

Mar 23, 8:28pm Top

I am so happy that you got to see Loving Vincent. I gushed about it over on my thread (maybe my last thread). I googled a lot afterwards and found some amazing links to how it was made, as well as to Lianne La Havas, who sang the song *Starry Night*. What a voice!


Mar 23, 8:33pm Top

>175 jessibud2: Yes Shelley it was a film on our Film Circuit in the fall but one we couldn't get to with our schedule but there were such great raves about it that I felt deprived!!! and searched out the local DVD store and was favourably impressed that they had it.

Mar 29, 12:00pm Top

Hi Mary! Snowblind sounds wonderful! I've added it to my evergrowing wishlist.

I really enjoyed Loving Vincent, too. I saw it at a theater which is a rare event for me. It's one DVD I think I'd like to own.

Women & Power also sounds excellent.

Edited: Apr 4, 2:34pm Top

Edited: Apr 4, 2:41pm Top

So the deed is done. Four daughters now married to their soul mates. Fantastic. If you look above you will see bride and dad skiing to the secluded spot prepared the day before by the bride and groom by stomping down snow and making an aisle and snow benches. We had stunning weather and not much reading was done! Here are my beauties with one missing. She is waiting for her green card and could not leave the U.S. Sad face!

Edited: Apr 4, 2:57pm Top

Entry Island by Peter May V.I. Library

I have always wanted to visit the Magdalen Islands near Quebec and this book was the next best thing. The book is written by May, a Scottish author and the mystery includes the horrible and violent relocation of villages and communities from Scotland (and Ireland) in the 1700's with details of great hardship and suffering that occurred. May tells a good story and writes so descriptively that the reader can well imagine being there.

Apr 4, 2:54pm Top

>179 mdoris:

That looks like a REALLY FUN Wedding!

Apr 4, 2:56pm Top

>178 mdoris:, >179 mdoris: - Wow!!! Mary, it looks so lovely but how did she manage to keep bare shoulders?!!! Several years ago, I visited the Ice Hotel near Quebec City. it was a magical and stunningly beautiful place. There is a chapel there where weddings are held (you could see photos of those on the site's website) but wow, I'm freezing, just looking at your pics! But you all look great!

Apr 4, 5:29pm Top

>178 mdoris: Congratulations!

>179 mdoris: Peter May is a very good writer, very much enjoyed his Lewis trilogy.

Apr 4, 5:44pm Top

Oh, fantastic, Mary! What wonderful picture of your beauties and you and your husband! Such adventurers. How exciting! Your beauties take take right after you. Such great genes!

Apr 5, 11:16am Top

Wow, what an amazing and memorable wedding! Stunning scenery and a wonderful group photo!

How far did you have to ski/snowshoe into the site?

The US green card rules can really seem unfair. I'm sorry your 4th daughter wasn't able to be there.

I really need to read something by Peter May. What would you recommend for a first book by him?

Apr 5, 11:48am Top

Great pictures, Mary. Congrats. Wasn't the bride cold? I'm cold looking at her!

Entry Island sounds great; I'm a sucker for books with a keen sense of place. Onto the list it goes.

Edited: Apr 5, 4:17pm Top

>181 m.belljackson:, >182 jessibud2:, >183 FAMeulstee:, >184 vancouverdeb:, >185 streamsong:, >186 BLBera: Thank you Marianne, Shelley, Anita, Deborah, Janet and Beth for your kind words about the wedding. It really was spectacular! The ski in is about 4 hours (14K) gaining a 2000 foot elevation so not for the faint of heart! I did it about 10 years ago and funny that when people refer to the ski in it is described as a SLOG! Oh dear! The snowmobile was about 45 minutes and gorgeous. It is a lodge at the top (off the grid) that is in a huge bowl surrounded by mountain peaks. The lodge has accomodations and meals so it was ideal for a small wedding party. Ideal and perfect!

No worries about the COLD. There was no wind, jackets were nearby and our hearts were fired up!

Janet, like Anita I very much enjoyed and started with the Lewis trilogy for the Peter May books.

Apr 5, 6:57pm Top

>178 mdoris: >179 mdoris: Congrats, Mary! Hooray, for four daughters now married to their soul mates! How perfect is that? Love the photos. A beautiful family. And the scenery is gorgeous too.

I hope you have floated down to earth, and can get back to the books.

Edited: Apr 6, 12:19pm Top

>188 msf59: Mark thanks for the kind words. Yes right back to the books, back to reading Dark Star Safari plus a HUGE load of books from the library. Don't you LOVE the library?

Apr 5, 9:37pm Top

>189 mdoris: I sure do, Mary. I go at least once or twice a week. They know me well. Grins...

Apr 6, 2:30pm Top

>180 mdoris: You got me with the Peter May book. Unfortunately our library doesn't own it--yet. I'll add it to my wish list, but I'll also suggest it as a purchase.

Apr 6, 2:48pm Top

>191 thornton37814: Lori, hope you can track the May book down. I think I sitll need to get to the Magdalen Islands though.

Apr 6, 3:08pm Top

>192 mdoris: Sounds like a plan!

Edited: Apr 11, 12:36am Top

Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux V.I. Library

What a very wonderful book this was for me. I have been meaning to read it for a long time as my P. suggested it for me years ago as a good look at Africa, it's stunning beauty and it's stunning woes. Theroux walked, rode buses, trains, tiny buses, hitched rides, paddled dugout canoes (whatever it took), to get from Cairo to Cape Town, north to south. What a fabulous writer he is. I am a slow reader and I read it slower than slow to get a sense of what he was experiencing. He has lots to say as he had been a Peace Corp teacher in Africa previously in his youth (to escape the draft) and was able to make informed comparisons of the then and the now. So while this is part travelogue, part essays, part autobiography it is a good look at the various countries' challenges and in his opinion the massive perpetuation of challenges brought on by the AID INDUSTRY. Theroux makes so many amazing book references that you could easily spend a year doing jump off reading from his suggestions. Interestingly when I was in the library today I saw a book for grabs Canada in Africa : 300 years of aid and exploitation by Yves Engler. I am very tempted to follow up on this one as well as reading more by Nadine Gordimer and V.S. Naipaul A House for Mr. Biswas. So many ideas from this book.....so little time!

Apr 10, 8:51pm Top

I'm so glad the wedding went so well, Mary! So lovely! Dark Safari Star sounds interesting, especially the "AID INDUSTRY." Interesting way to term it. You have me interested in A House for Mr. Biswas. I've been trying to read what I can from the Women's Literature Longlist and making some progress there. I have not created any comments or reviews, but Sing, Unburied, Sing was really quite dark. I'm on the hunt for something lighter to soothe my brain. :-)

Apr 10, 9:50pm Top

Deborah, Rick Mercer has an hour program tonight 8-9 p.m. looking back at his career. That should be lighter stuff for your brain. He is such a good sport and such a character, a real Canadian gem! I think it must be his Newfoundland roots that make him so special. At our little island library I swooped in for a copy of Sing, Unburied, Sing so thanks for the heads up about its darkness. Reading about Africa can get you into some pretty dark places too!

Apr 10, 10:07pm Top

>196 mdoris: - I watched the RMR finale tonight, Mary. He is a hoot! And that very final scene is priceless. I'll miss him

Apr 10, 11:27pm Top

Mary - >194 mdoris: Isn't this a great book? I have loved most of his travel books.

Apr 12, 10:35pm Top

I watched Rick Mercer last night , as I had PVR'ed it, or as I say, " taped it" I think you'll enjoy Sing, Unburied, Sing, but it is dark. You can handle it, no problem, Mary. Yesterday I had to see a new GP, as mine has retired! Awk!! Nerve wracking, but it went okay. I had my same family doctor for 37 years, so change is hard. My retired GP moved to a " clinic" set up a couple of years ago, and so at least the replacement doctor sort of takes over from my previous doctor. This new guy is about 50 or so, and hails from Winnipeg. I hope he can take the rain, though today was nice and sunny. Then later on in the evening I thought I'd lost my distance glasses!!! A mad search ensued, and my husband looked in crazy places like the fridge etc , while I searched sofa cushions, laundry and so on. My distance glasses aren't that strong, so I only need them for driving or watching TV etc, so I tend to take them off as soon as I get into the house. After an full hour of searching I found them on a side table by the couch in my one of many glasses cases. Dave and I got a lot of exercise and there they were, in plain sight ;-)

Apr 15, 4:16pm Top

Wow. Fantastic photos, Mary. Congrats to “Four daughters now married to their soul mates.”. What an idea to marry in ice and snow. Have not seen that before.

Edited: Apr 15, 11:29pm Top

>200 ctpress: Thank you Carsten for your wonderfully positive words about the recent wedding. It was a stunning place, off the grid and perfect weather. It was also a perfect match to these two adventurous souls who had done winter camping and ski traversing a few nights before the wedding close to Whistler, B.C.

Edited: Apr 15, 11:47pm Top

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz V.I. Library

What a clever and fun read! I galloped through this one.

Apr 15, 11:35pm Top

>202 mdoris: I agree, Mary! Magpie Murders was a wonderful read. A great tonic for these rainy , wet days.

Edited: Apr 15, 11:48pm Top

For sure Deborah, RAINY, WET and COLD days!

Edited: Apr 23, 12:49pm Top

women's prize for fiction shortlist 2018

Edited: Apr 24, 1:30am Top

I know! Don't waste your time with The Idiot because I already did, and there is nothing to it but tedium. I thought Sing, Unburied, Sing was a powerful read and I really loved Home Fire. I splashed out today for When I Hit You from amazon - all Charlotte's fault :-) I'd really like to read The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, but since it seems to take 2- 3 months for books to arrive from the UK, I'm just going to leave that for now.

May 6, 8:07am Top

I am not going to make any of the shortlisted books in the foreseeable future except possibly Home Fire as none of the others are yet available locally.

I am enjoying Rachel Seiffert's book though and am surprised that it didn't make the cut.

Have a lovely weekend.

May 6, 9:39am Top

>179 mdoris: What wonderful photos. Such a really neat idea-having a wedding in the snow!

May 6, 7:47pm Top

I hope all is well, Mary and that you are enjoying the lovely warm weather. Digging up my shorts. Shorts appropriate to my age, of course. And my " status" as a grandma. Nothing too wild ;-)

May 8, 5:46pm Top

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward Independent Gulf Island Library

So I struggled with this one and might have "pearled it" if it hadn't been such a prize winner and lots of LT warbling about it but I did finish it was glad that I had. I think partly it was how I read it was to blame as RL has been busy and I only read it in snatches and found it hard to get into. Reading in snatches is not the best approach I think! But for me the plot was kind of predicable and very slow to develop and not a lot of complexity. It was a disappointment that the parents were not committed parents but good that love was found in some way for the children involved. I thought the writing was superb and I did like the "seeing" and feeling of the connection to the family members who had passed. I thought that was marvelously done.

May 8, 5:52pm Top

HI Paul, Anita and Deborah. Lovely to see you visit!

Glorious spring has sprung here but with it lots of jobs to do. We have started a new garden in our new place and while I LOVE the research and the planning it has been WORK too. So there has not been as much reading as I would like to do. Always fun though to follow the threads!

Edited: May 8, 7:55pm Top

I felt that the same about Sing Unburied, Sing, Mary. I don't think I would have read it had it not been on the Women's Prize List, but I'm glad that I did. It was not an easy read in terms of subject matter and I felt I would have liked more depth of character. But overall I'm glad that I read it. It's is lovely that spring has arrived and that you are enjoying your garden.

May 8, 6:19pm Top

Nice review of Sing, Unburied Sing. I liked it more than you (and Deborah) but I listened to it on audio. I wonder if that made a difference as the southern accent was done so well it really immersed me in the story. I’m not always a fan of magical realism and ghosts, but the sense of history was so well done.

May 8, 6:40pm Top

Mindullness and Sleep by Anna Black V.I. library system

Argh...I'm at the age that sleep can be tricky and I do remember this happening with my mom too at the same stage. BUT......here are some great ideas in this wonderful book. It gives some practical ideas that are all a variation on a theme (breath!) but I will try some. It is well illustrated and thorough and I think hot off the presses!

May 8, 6:43pm Top

>213 raidergirl3: Elizabeth I can really imagine how listening to the accent could sweep you into the culture of the experience and greatly enhance the story. I never do audio books and I think i must be missing out!

Edited: May 10, 12:44am Top

We have been busy putting in a garden and love that I had such trusty books from the library to help plan.
Glorious Shade, The New Shade Garden, Japanese Maples.

May 10, 6:54am Top

I LOVE Japanese maples! They are truly stunning trees

Edited: May 10, 12:41pm Top

>217 jessibud2: I LOVE them too. I have had fun snooping at the nurseries and drooling at the books. The Japanese Maple book is particularly wonderful. I love Japanese gardens the care, the "apparent" simplicity, the greenness. I guess I am not a big flower person Have you read any of Thomas Hobbs books? He is a Vancouver florist/amazing gardener and I read his books years ago and they had such an influence for me as to how to look at gardens. Anyway I have had fun. So in my new garden I have a maple called Bloodgood (red) and a Shiraswawaum Autumn (chartreuse). They are babies right now but hope I can take care of them!

The Jewel Box Garden
Shocking Beauty

May 11, 1:47am Top

I'm so glad you saw and enjoyed Loving Vincent. I thought it was spectacular.

And thanks for posting the photos of the snow wedding! How lovely!

We have two Japanese Maples in our front yard in Seattle. They have grown a lot in the ten years we've lived there and they are just lovely trees.

May 11, 2:02am Top

Go, Went ,Gone is in my TBR pile. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. Japanese Maples. They are lovely trees and so many of them in this part of the lower mainland. I think if I have a favourite tree, it is the tulip Magnolia. I just love them during the brief time that they are in flower. Best wishes taking care of your new baby trees. It takes a fair bit of work to establish roots for a new trees. Lots of watering.

Edited: May 15, 11:27am Top

The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Grower's Guide by Steve Sando V.I. Library

In the April 23rd issue of the New Yorker mag there was a fascinating article about Steve Sando and his bean world, his links between California and Mexico in his pursuit of heritage bean varieties. I must admit I didn't know much about beans although I do cook them regularly and must snoop the grocery shelves for more interesting varieties now and try some of his recipe ideas. Mexico is a fascinating country with the possiblity of endless exploring and discovery.

Edited: May 15, 11:22am Top

>220 vancouverdeb: Deborah, I think my current favouirte is Robinia. It has a green that knocks my socks off.
Good suggestion about the constant watering for the new babies!

Edited: May 27, 10:35pm Top

Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston V.I. Library

I was following the "talk" about the PBS "best" novels and decided to watch the program. I had not heard of Hurston and have not read the book that is on that list Their Eyes Were Watching God. And low and behold Barracoon landed in for my library holds. I must have read about it here on L.T. some time ago! What an interesting book it is. It follows the interview conversations between Hurston and Lewis a man who spent 5 1/2 years as a slave and his life story having been captured at 19 in a horrible raid on his village in Western Africa, marched to the coast, transported on a ship to America. His ship was the Clotilde, the last slave ship to come to America. What a life he had full of hard work and tragedy! The best part of the book was the direct use of his speech style (vernacular) in written form so you felt you were in the same room hearing his stories too. The stories show the very dark side of human nature but the story teller shows his great humanity and spirit. This was research that Hurston did in the 1930s as an anthropologist but it was never published until recently. I thought this was a great book!


May 28, 6:11am Top

>223 mdoris: - Mary, do you listen to The Sunday Edition on CBC radio? Not yesterday but last week, there was a terrific piece on Hurston and this book. I want to find the book now!

Here is a link: www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/dismissed-in-her-lifetime-african-american-writer-zora-neale-hurston-is-considered-a-legend-in-ours-1.4668643

May 31, 11:18pm Top

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith V.I. Library

I waited about 6 months for this one from the library but as usual it was worth the wait. I was aware while I was reading this book that I was smiling the whole time! I think this is #18 in this series and like a junkie I wait until the next one is published and get ready to devour it. WhY? This is a curiosity as they are very similar with the characters and the situations but they are full of wisdom and understanding of human nature and forgiveness. This one did not disappoint!

Jun 1, 10:06am Top

Happy Friday, Mary!!

Jun 9, 8:43am Top

Hi Mary: I haven't read the Hurston; it sounds great. I loved Their Eyes Were Watching God and I like her short stories as well. She was an interesting person.

Jun 9, 6:31pm Top

>224 jessibud2: >227 BLBera: HI Beth and Shelley, Nice to see you both visit! There was a very interesting book review in the New Yorker mag. May 14th about Barracoon. I will be reading more of her work!

Jun 9, 6:38pm Top

The Chessmen by Peter May personal collection

This is the third of three in the Lewis trilogy by Peter May. Each book is based in the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis. There are many subplots, wonderfully descriptive writing of the environment and of relationships and each book is based on a bit of local history. It was another great story!

Jun 10, 4:05pm Top

>229 mdoris: I loved the Lewis trilogy, Mary, glad you enjoyed them too.

Jun 10, 9:33pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mary. Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo sounds really good. I am a fan of Hurston, so this one goes on the list.

Edited: Jun 18, 2:29pm Top

Educated by Tara Westover personal collection

What a courageous, interesting and well written book about intense personal and family experiences. It was a very thoughtful book to show the development of identity, personhood in extremely challenging circumstances.

Jun 18, 7:43am Top

Some great reading here, Mary, I am not sure why I have not been here more often. Apologies.

I am taking note of the book about shady gardening - I have a corner that just bugs me. It would be really good if I could make it a bit more interesting. I fall back on hostas a lot. (Well, a lot for a tiny garden).

>223 mdoris: sounds particularly interesting - I picked up an academic book about a similar topic by Sylviane Diouf, Dreams of Africa in Alabama - would be good to compare them maybe.

Jun 18, 2:41pm Top

>233 charl08: Oh boy...Charlotte. I love shade gardens and have more lists that could sink a ship! Dry shade is my sub specilaty because where we live, while it is a "rain forest', it is startling dry for months on end between the rain torrents. Let me know what you love and I might be able to advise.....i am a big fan of small blue flowers.

Edited: Jun 19, 12:32am Top

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley V.I. Library

What a fun romp with Flavia, the 12 year old solver of mysteries. The book is playful and it's almost like watching a play unfold with the various scenes of detection and adventure and focus on family reliationships. What I love about these books is their wonderful use of vocabulary, their English "sets" and references to literature and oh I almost forgot....their lessons in chemistry!

Jun 19, 2:24am Top

Don't get me started! It's a sixties style rockery planted as closely as possible, overshadowed by a beech tree plus a beech hedge. The soil is clay although I try and put down compost each year, it never seems to be enough! We get a lot of rain over the winter (usually) and then the bits nearest the beech dry out over the summer. I love blue, pale yellows and white flowers, but stuff just seems to need to be very hardy to survive my plot, so I've ended up with pink foxgloves, ferns, cornflowers and hostas. Had some success with alium this year. Plus others that I forget!

Jun 19, 6:32am Top

Hi, Mary. Glad you enjoyed Educated. I also thought it was an excellent memoir. I hope you are having a good week.

Jun 19, 12:04pm Top

Hi Mary, I just finished Educated: A Memoir and your comments sum it up perfectly. What a terrible choice to have to make. It sounds, though, that she has made peace with her choice.

Jun 19, 4:31pm Top

>237 msf59:, >238 BLBera: Mark and Beth.......Educated: A Memoir was certainly warble worthy! I had seen a review about it in the NYer mag and it sounded compelling. I could get my head around the father (sort of) because of the reference to mental illness but I could not get my head around Tara's mom and how she blindly accepted injuries and abuse of her children even when she was financialy independent and could make some different choices. The status of women in that culture is shocking.

Edited: Jun 19, 5:13pm Top

>233 charl08:

Toad Lilies have worked well in the shade, along with our reliable hostas and stunning hellebores.

Edited: Jun 19, 8:25pm Top

>236 charl08: Hmmm Charlotte, we are two peas in a pod in regards to gardens. I too love blues, pale yellow and whites with a smatter of pink. The soil that I'm dealing with is HORRIBLE, clay like yours, heavy , drains way too quickly and while I try to amend it is still tough. So i will tell you some favourites for this dry shade situation (mostly perennials).

bergenia=pink(very tough) but it gets big=takes up lots of real estate!
heuchera the original ones seem to be tougher
epimedium= pink or yellow
brunnera= blue
the tough primula (not the supermarket annuals) =white, yellow, purple
solomon's seal =white
dicentra bleeding heart
euphorbia (wood spurge) tough as nails
some sedums oreganum and ternatum
some grasses-black and green mondo grass (love those!)
bulbs cyclamen
oh I love corydalis=blue!!!!! and "blue eyed Mary" (Omphalodes) this last one needs a bit of sun.

I have planted thalictrum (meadow rue) and Japanese Kerria so we shall see how they do......We are dealing with deer too!
There's a great dry shade list in The New SHade Garden by Ken Druse p. 61

Good luck!

Jun 24, 12:16pm Top

Shame on me for not checking in sooner with you, Mary. It looks like I missed a wedding. Thank you for sharing those stunning photos. And congratulations on getting all four girls married!

On the book front, Péter May is a new author fo me. I’ll be sure to take a look at his books. I’m definitely adding Educated to the list due to the LT buzz and your endorsement.

Jun 24, 1:46pm Top

>242 Donna828: Hi Donna, Great to see you visit. I visit your thread quite regularly but stay a bit silent but love readiing about your reading and of course love seeing the pics of your beautiful grandies. Wishing you a great summer!

Jun 25, 2:14am Top

>241 mdoris: Thank you! Not just for the recommendations (which are much appreciated), but also for the nudge re garden books. Hoping some will arrive soon from the library.

Edited: Jul 2, 2:46am Top

Calypso by David Sedaris V.I. Library

I must have received this one hot off the presses as it has just been published. I think I might have cracked the cover and been the first to read this copy so I must have put an early reserve when I first heard about it. Yes, I do like Sedaris very much and have read some these stories (there are 21 of them) before in the New Yorker mag but who cares. It is great to read them again! He is a pretty unique writer making keen observations about society, relatives, friends, politics and revealing some pretty personal and intense tidbits. GULP! He is intensely funny at times and searingly critical at times too. He hits stuff head on (frank!) but his observations are often spot on. Yes, I like Sedaris very much! But for me best read in small doses. He is a character!

Edited: Jul 2, 1:08am Top

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne V.I. Library

I have had this book on my list for a long time but it quickly made it up the tbr pile when I read the Guardian article he wrote about the tremendous value of women writers. Three cheers for Boyne!


This book did not disappoint! It is a whopper 580 pages, a bit of an epic telling the story of a an Irish man's life (Cyril) form birth to death. He is a gay man with many stories to tell through out his long life about family, about the turmoil of finding love, about life's losses and about life's secrets in a country ruled by the church and hypocrisy. I loved the characters in the book, the light touch of humour and the caring. The only thing that was a stretch for me were the many unlikely coincidences that kept occurring but I turned a blind eye. Boyne is a good writer and tells a good story. I looked up his personal website and there is listed the current books that he has read. Always good to snoop at what a good writer is reading!


Jul 2, 8:46pm Top

I was way behind in your thread but have now caught up, Mary. What wonderful wedding photos and an impressive amount of good books.

Edited: Jul 3, 8:13pm Top

>247 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. The wedding was spectacular. Have you ever been to the cross country area near Whistler? It is breathtakingly gorgeous.

Edited: Jul 5, 4:12pm Top

Hi Mary! Wow - it's been a while since I commented, although I lurk regularly. :)

I'd love to see some photos of your shady places gardens.

I'm still on the library waiting list for both Calypso and Educated. I'm looking forward to them both.

I've never read anything by John Boyne - but based on your comments and review (and the books he's reading!), I guess I need to put him on the never-ending list.

I really liked what he had to say about women authors. Thanks! There is a lot to think about in that one.

I have several books signed by well-known male authors in whose presence I have felt stupid and tongue tied. However, the memorable book conversations that I've had with well known authors have always been with women authors. I hadn't ever thought about that until now.

Edited: Jul 6, 9:48pm Top

>249 streamsong: Hi Janet, There might be a wait before I take any pictures of the shade garden! We have moved and completely redone the house and garden and so it is now a baby garden waiting for growth so not so picture worthy. But it is coming along and what fun I had planning and planting some of my favourites. We are still not settled in and doing some further work in the kitchen which did not have a good original outcome so eating in a cobbled together kitchen in the basement.The joys! But this moring I spied a flock of herons (huge, huge birds), about 6 of them, landing in tall trees in the local park beside us Wow, that was a treat to see. When a heron lands on a branch you know about it!

not my picture!

height 3 to 4.5 feet
wing span 5.5 to 6.6 feet
weight 5 lbs.
can cruise 20 to 30 mph

Edited: Jul 6, 9:49pm Top

>247 Familyhistorian: Meg don't worry. Summer is coming despite a few recent blips.
We canoed, 23 foot, (with motor and camping) the coast every summer in P's home made BIG canoe in different trips from Alaska to Vancovuer and we always scheduled any trips after July 17th, that's when the highs come in and stay. Can hardly wait.

Jul 6, 10:28pm Top

>246 mdoris: I share your thoughts on the Boyne book. I'll look for some more of his to read. Coincidences are so common in books these days that I try not to let them bother me. Try is the operative word! I am no writer and can see how they make a plot flow more smoothly. I can overlook them when the writing and characterization are as excellent as they were in The Heart's Invisible Furies.

We have a Great Blue Heron that likes to stop by our backyard pond occasionally. I have only seen one at a time and thought they were solitary creatures. One of our swans died this spring (natural causes I hope) and the mate is now also a solo swimmer. I've noticed he/she (?) has been hanging out with some of the geese. Life must be lonely for the poor thing.

Ah, I see it's new thread time for you too, Mary. I may hitch a ride on that lovely red canoe over to the new place tomorrow.

Jul 7, 12:54am Top

Hi Donna, Just looked about about herons and there are 5,000 to 6000 of them in B.C. They nest as a colony and so that's probably what they were up to when I saw them this morning as you said they are usually quite solitray creatures. They don't like humans and will abandon a nest if there is human activity nearby within 200 metres.

This topic was continued by Mdoris (Mary) 2018 #2.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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