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Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 2

This is a continuation of the topic Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 1 .

This topic was continued by Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 3.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Jan 11, 12:02am Top

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


Edited: Jan 11, 12:04am Top

My Rating Scale:

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

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

Edited: Jan 11, 12:23am Top


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

Edited: Jan 22, 11:18pm Top


January="Ack! I've been hit!" ~ Negroland by Margo Jefferson (BB by kidzdoc) ~ COMPLETED
February="Laissez les bons temps rouler" ~ Restoration by Rose Tremain (Portland Rose Festival)

And Totally Random (aka planned shared reads)

January: Nicholas Nickleby (published 100+ years ago for BingoDOG) ~ currently reading
February: We Were Eight Years in Power (with Kim ~ # in title for BingoDOG)
March: Cloud Atlas Group Read (Category Challenge)
April: Far From the Madding Crowd (with Kim ~ Yellow for ColorCAT)
June? sooner?: Go, Went, Gone (with Kim ~ translated for BingoDOG)

Edited: Jan 24, 11:22am Top


Jan: V, M
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz ~ COMPLETED
Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli ~ COMPLETED
Feb : P, J
Mar: F, I
Apr: Y, U
May: Q, K
Jun: G, R
Jul: S, A
Aug: O, D
Sep: B, E
Oct: N, L
Nov: T, H
Dec: C, W

Yearlong: X, Z
Autobiography of Malcolm X
Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Edited: Jan 30, 1:59pm Top

Here is the list of BingoDOG squares for 2018.

1. Title contains a person’s rank, real or fictional
2. Story involves travel
3. A long-time TBR/TBR the longest
4. Poetry or plays
5. New-to-you author ~ God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell ~ COMPLETED
6. Autobiography/memoir ~ Negroland by Margo Jefferson ~ COMPLETED
7. Book with a beautiful cover (in your opinion)
8. Book that fits at least 2 KIT’s/CAT’s ~ Magpie Murders (January: Black and M) COMPLETED
9. Related to the Pacific Ocean
10. Title contains something you would see in the sky
11. Book bought in 2017 that hasn’t been read yet
12. Number in the title ~ We Were Eight Years in Power??
13. Book that is humorous
14. Book on the 1001 list ~ Far From the Madding Crowd??
15. LGBT central character
16. Book set during a holiday
17. Fat book - 500 plus pages
18. X somewhere in the title ~ Autobiography of Malcolm X
19. Money in the title - any form of currency, type of payment, etc...
20. Book published in 2018
21. Relative name in the title (aunt, niece, etc...)
22. Originally in a different language ~ Go, Went, Gone (German)
23. Published more than 100 years ago ~ Nicholas Nickleby ~ currently reading
24. Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional
25. Read a CAT (middle square) ~ Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli ~ January AlphaKIT ~ COMPLETED

Ideas for #14 (12 on the card):
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Jane Eyre
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
The God of Small Things
The Big Sleep
Cloud Atlas
East of Eden
The Secret History
Midnight's Children
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Maltese Falcon
Far From the Madding Crowd

Edited: Feb 1, 1:02pm Top

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

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

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

Already running off the rails....

Negroland by Margo Jefferson ~ currently reading

Edited: Jan 11, 12:13am Top

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

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

Edited: Jan 11, 12:14am Top

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

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

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

Edited: Jan 11, 12:37am Top

My five-star* reads from 2017:

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

4.5-star books read in 2017*:

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

*Think of these as Honorable Mentions

Edited: Jan 11, 11:12am Top

Currently reading:

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

Currently listening:

Any Other Name

Jan 11, 1:10am Top

Happy new one, Ellen. Beautiful topper.

Jan 11, 1:17am Top

Yay!! Another thread. Love all your challenges and your best books from last year. I have either read or plan to read most of those. : )

Edited: Jan 11, 5:12am Top

Yup, I can see you are already running off the rails in regard to downsizing your challenges this year Ellen, ha!

Jan 11, 5:21am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen dear.

>1 EBT1002: Looks a great place to spend a holiday weekend.

Jan 11, 6:38am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen! Lovely topper. What is the pic (and artist) in >3 EBT1002:?
I also love the graphic in >4 EBT1002: :-)

Jan 11, 6:39am Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen. Love the snowy toppers! Looks like a perfect getaway!

Jan 11, 7:55am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen! I love the look of that inn...

Jan 11, 8:03am Top

Happy new thread! Love that inn! Looks like a great place to unwind. Did I see you are taking snowshoes? That's one winter activity that I enjoy! (I'm not a winter person)

Jan 11, 8:05am Top

Happy new one, Ellen!

Jan 11, 9:13am Top

Well, here I am, caught up early! Oh...wait...there are over 200 messages on your last thread I haven't got to yet.

Jan 11, 10:05am Top

Happy new thread! We're trying to do more snowshoeing this winter - that looks like a great place for it!

Jan 11, 10:39am Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen! Beautiful toppers.

It makes me happy to see Why Buddhism is True and Nicholas Nickleby up there as your current reading. I hope Why Buddhism is continuing to deliver for you. I'm having a grand time with NN (go Brothers Cheeryble!), and hope you are, too.

Jan 11, 11:10am Top

In the car this morning, I finished listening to Any Other Name.
With breakfast, I started reading The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan.

Jan 11, 11:11am Top

May this represent your weekend.

Edited: Jan 11, 11:16am Top

Caroline, referencing your question on my prior thread, I have purchased many book lights and most of them fall short. The one that has worked well for me is the Mighty Bright Hammerhead LED. It stays put pretty well and provides a bright enough light for me to read.


Jan 11, 12:00pm Top

Howdy Ellen. Happy weekend travels.

Jan 11, 12:10pm Top

>27 EBT1002: Ooo! That's one I've never seen before. Looks like it'll address my switching-angles-to-read-opposite-pages annoyance.

Edited: Jan 11, 12:52pm Top

Happy New Thread!

Love your plan for the long weekend that my company ignores. At least I'll get a great spot at the park and ride and a seat on the train ;-) My next long weekend is Memorial Day.

I'm telling everyone to listen and/or read Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Short novel in verse (which is why I'm going to reread the print now that I've finished the audio). Powerful.

Jan 11, 1:57pm Top

Hi Ellen! Beautiful inn, wonderful plans. And Richard posted a perfect picture in >26 richardderus:! (So what books are you taking? Heehee)

I also love the art you added for your color challenge. What a perfect painting!

Jan 11, 3:30pm Top

>27 EBT1002: thanks Ellen, ordered.

>25 EBT1002: I love The Singing Bones, time for a reread soon.

Jan 11, 3:43pm Top

>25 EBT1002: With thanks, I wanted to read more of Shaun Tan after I read The Arrival and now I have a new title to look for.

Jan 11, 3:58pm Top

Just dropping by to say I loved the Andrew Wyeth paintings in your last thread. He's an artist I hadn't heard of before.

Jan 11, 4:47pm Top

>27 EBT1002: I have a little reading light that slides onto the top of the page, but, it sits flat and doesn't light the other side of the page (and changing it over for every side of every page is a hassle). But, if I place it carefully on my pillow in *just the right way* it works :)

And >26 richardderus: looks like a dream come true! Seriously, what more does one need!??!?

Jan 11, 5:03pm Top

>35 LovingLit: Room service.

Jan 11, 5:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Ellen, and have a wonderful weekend. If snow is what you like, I hope you have some. We are getting some today, and you can have it although I imagine Scout is enjoying it.

From the last thread, both mosquitoes and mosquitos are acceptable.

Yes, do read The Power. I'm sure you will love it.

Speaking of meet ups, I will be in Oregon the first week of July, so keep that in mind.

Jan 11, 6:45pm Top

Hi Ellen!

I'm happy to hear that extroverted you is excited about a front porch. Introverted me is happy that we built our house facing away from the road and my front porch faces down the hill towards the creek, away so that nobody can see us on our front porch.

Jan 12, 3:56pm Top

>13 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara!

>14 Berly: Thanks Kim. I realized that my third post, after the rating scale, should be my books completed post. As it is, it's rather buried among the challenges in which I am not participating. So the next thread will be reorganized. :-)

>15 Caroline_McElwee: Challenges, Caroline. Not commitments. That is the key.

>16 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. I am SO excited about our weekend at the inn! Of course, it may not be that snowy but my fingers are crossed. And even if there is not much snowshoeing happening, there will certainly be reading!

Jan 12, 4:00pm Top

>17 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! The pic in >3 EBT1002: is one I found by googling images for "Provence colors." I LOVE the colors associated with that region of France so I wanted to find something to use as an image for the ColorCAT Challenge in which I am not participating. It's from TrekEarth.com and can be found HERE

Jan 12, 4:06pm Top

>18 msf59: Thanks Mark. I'm hoping for a snowy getaway! There will be reading by the fire, regardless.

>19 scaifea: It's a pretty awesome old National Park Inn, Amber. We spent a long weekend there a couple of years ago but there was NO snow. We're hoping for some snowshoeing this time.

>20 ChelleBearss: Yes, taking snowshoes, Chelle. I have snowshoed a few times, most notably a couple of years ago in the Big Sky area of Montana. That was so amazing; I was there for a conference and it just kept snowing the whole time we were there. Two feet of powder (we don't get powder in our Washington or Oregon Cascades, it's too warm and wet so the snow is not that fluffy). I tried both downhill and cross country skiing a few times, as well, and I think if I had come to them earlier in my life I would have taken to them more avidly.

>21 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie!

>22 laytonwoman3rd: LOL. Skip the last thread, Linda. This is the one that matters. :-)

>23 drneutron: I'll definitely report back on our snowshoeing experience, Jim!

>24 jnwelch: Hiya Joe. I'm totally enjoying both Nicholas Nickleby and Why Buddhism is True. They are a great combo, too, as they are so completely different from one another.

Jan 12, 4:25pm Top

>41 EBT1002: If you starting reading about Wackford Squeers in Why Buddhism is True, something has gone seriously wrong.

Jan 12, 4:33pm Top

>26 richardderus: I totally hope for a weekend very much like that, Richard!

>28 luvamystery65: Thanks Ro! I'll report back. :-)

>29 richardderus: It's not perfect, Richard, as it does sometimes tend to flop. But the light covers more of the page than most mini- or travel lights do, in my experience.

>30 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli. When I was a public employee in Oregon, we got MLK Day but not Presidents' Day. We also did not get Veterans' Day in Oregon. I picked up those two extra holidays when I moved to Washington as a state employee. I like them but I still think we need a day in early April. Adding Long Way Down to my wish list. Thanks for the tip!

Jan 12, 4:37pm Top

>31 streamsong: Hi Janet. I agree, that picture in >26 richardderus: is perfect. I'm taking my Kindle on which I am reading Nicholas Nickleby. I'm also taking Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson and The Singing Bones. I might toss in one more, just in case....

>32 Caroline_McElwee: As I said above to Richard, the Mighty Bright Hammerhead LED is not perfect ~~ nothing is perfect except my very bright and very focused reading light from, wait for it, IKEA ~~ but it's the best I've found and it enables me to read in poorly lit venues like National Park Inns.

I've only started The Singing Bones but I plan to take it to Mt. Rainier this weekend. So far, I love it.

>33 mdoris: You're very welcome, of course, Mary. :-)

Jan 12, 4:39pm Top

>34 SandDune: I'm glad you liked the Andrew Wyeth paintings, Rhian. The exhibit was pretty amazing.

>35 LovingLit: Yeah, see, Megan, that sounds like all the little reading lights I have tried over the years. The Hammerhead works pretty well (as long as the book isn't too small) and I only have to adjust the arm page to page, rather than moving the whole thing.

>35 LovingLit: and >36 richardderus: Indeed.

Jan 12, 5:07pm Top

Yay for The Singing Bones! If you're loving it now, you will throughout.

Jan 13, 11:38am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen, and I hope you are enjoying your long weekend at the inn.

Jan 13, 6:12pm Top

Hope you're having a great time, Ellen!

Jan 13, 6:17pm Top

*sigh* Ellen's off having a snowy time in a rustical cabinlike place with room service and all I'm getting is wind and COLD. It's -2° windchill! I'm in shock.

Jan 13, 7:33pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen! I hope your holiday is going wonderfully!

Jan 13, 7:39pm Top

>1 EBT1002: The inn looks lovely. I hope you are enjoying your time away from home.

Jan 13, 7:42pm Top

>44 EBT1002: The Singing Bones looks interesting to me. Waiting for your final verdict on that one.

Have a lovely holiday!

Jan 13, 9:09pm Top

I don't know what the weather is like at Mt. Rainier, south of us by about an hour and a half, but it is clear and a beautiful sunset this evening. We did have quite a bit of snow in the Cascade Mts. last week, so there should be plenty on the ground at Mt. Rainier, I'm thinking.

Hope your weekend at the Lodge is great. There was an "old" lodge which I think was torn down and replaced, my Mom and Dad lived there in the WWII era. He trained to be a part of the 10th Mountain army group (I'm ignorant if it was a brigade or a division or a squad or whatever). She talked a bit about cooking big pots of bean soup while at Mt. Rainier.

I feel sentimental about the Lodge at Mt. Rainier.

Had a trip to the eye doctor and she found a hole in my retina, which she fixed with a laser; awesome! Avoiding a detached retina, which we do not want!!!! So, I am having eye problems and they are not all solved. Aging! Bah! Humbug!

See you soon.

Jan 13, 9:32pm Top

That looks like a really lovely spot to spend a weekend, Ellen, especially if you can stay by the fire inside!

Jan 13, 11:43pm Top

I hope the snow awaited you Ellen. And the open fire.

Jan 14, 2:38am Top

Ellen--I hope you had an absolutely wonderful time in the snow, by the fire, with your love. : )

Jan 15, 11:14am Top

Hope you had a great time at the lodge! That sounds like so much fun!

Jan 15, 1:50pm Top

Hope you had a great time! Since we had sunny and practically warm weather this weekend I'm thinking you didn't get much snow. Hope you had a wonderful getaway without it.

Jan 16, 7:25pm Top

Hi Ellen. Are you home yet? I hope the weekend was all you had hoped it was going to be.

Jan 17, 12:30pm Top

We missed you at the book group, yesterday. Next meeting is 2/20 and the book is The Big Sky by Guthrie.

Jan 17, 1:26pm Top

So. Ellen. The weekend? The lurgy letting go? All good?

Jan 17, 8:32pm Top

I hope you're not lost in the forest, Ellen. Or that your toes didn't get singed in the fire. That lodge is gorgeous. I hope your time there was as wonderful as it looks!

Jan 17, 9:05pm Top

Yellowstone remains at the top of the list of places I've visited. My memories of the Yellowstone lodge are that of sitting on the deck, overlooking Old Faithful, drinking wine with three of my favorite people. we spent ten days making the bend of Yellowstone up through the Hayden Valley. It is a lovely and haunting place. At times I was taken aback by how thin the earth's crust was. I really is necessary to pay attention to the signs.

Jan 17, 10:08pm Top

I believe we stayed at the Old Faithful Inn when we went there years ago. I'd like to go back sometime, but I probably would prefer to stay in one of the other facilities.

Jan 18, 3:09pm Top

Hi, all you friends of Ellen! I reached out to her via text message today, and she says she is just crazy busy, and she'll check in here soon. Yay!

Jan 18, 3:22pm Top

>65 maggie1944: Thanks, Karen. It's hard to imagine being crazy busy with something besides LT, but I've heard it happens.

Tell her she's missed!

Jan 18, 7:08pm Top

>46 jnwelch: Hey Joe. I have been neglecting The Singing Bones and it's due back at the library on Monday so I will need to spend some time with it this weekend.

>47 Familyhistorian: and >48 katiekrug: Thanks Meg and Katie!

>49 richardderus: Richard, what you were having.... all I can say is YUCK. Our time away was wonderful but I'm definitely not rubbing it in.

>50 vancouverdeb: and >51 thornton37814: Thanks Deb and Lori! The weekend at Mt. Rainier was pretty awesome. More about that soon. And I need to post some photos.

Jan 18, 7:15pm Top

>52 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. I am only a little bit into The Singing Bones but I think it's going to be a lovely read. I will chime in about it after a couple more days. Even the introduction is interesting, to learn about the Grimm brothers.

>53 maggie1944: Hey Karen. I LOVE Mt. Rainier. I thought about you while we were up there, as I call her "grandmother" now and I got that from you. We wanted it to snow on us but instead it was sunny and warm (in the 40s). It was actually rather perfect! More about it in a moment....

There is a lodge at Mt. Rainier which is not open during the winter, and there is the National Park Inn at Longmire (lower elevation and very near the southwest entrance to the Park) which is open year round. We have stayed at the Lodge but this time we were at the Inn.

I'm sorry to hear about the ongoing eye problems but glad she could do the laser treatment for the hole in your retina! What are the problems that remain unsolved?

Jan 18, 7:22pm Top

>54 ronincats: and >55 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Roni and Caroline. It was actually so warm at the Inn that they never lit the fire. Still, we had lots of quiet time with our books and it was nice to have sunshine.

>56 Berly: Thank you Kim! I did all of those things! Oh, except no fire (see ^ ).

>57 The_Hibernator: Thanks Rachel. It was awesome!

>58 SuziQoregon: You are absolutely correct, Juli. It wasn't snowing at all but there was snow on the ground at the higher elevations so we did get to snowshoe. It was awesome!

>59 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. We got home on Monday afternoon. I got so caught up in work this week (winter quarter can be a bear), and catching up on things like laundry and grocery shopping after my weekend away, that I didn't check in on LT until today.

>60 maggie1944: I really want to read The Big Sky, Karen. I have it on my shelves already and I think I was even the one who recommended it!

Jan 18, 7:29pm Top

>61 richardderus: Hey Richard. All is well but work kicked my butt this week. With a Monday holiday and today & tomorrow off, I had to squeeze five days of work into two days. (Okay, not really that bad but I gotta say that Tuesday and Wednesday were two of the busiest days I've had in a long time!)

>62 Donna828: Hi Donna. It's sweet that folks are checking up on me. Not lost in the forest, no singed toes, but a crazy busy week!

>63 Whisper1: Linda, I am with you about Yellowstone! I visited there many years ago, probably almost 20 years ago now, and I still have vivid memories. It is also very high on the list of places to which I want to return.

My favorite Yellowstone memory is lying in the tent one night hearing wolves howl in the distance. Incredible.

Oh, and coming around the bend to a spot called "Elk Park," and seeing a HUGE herd of elk, many with impressive racks, lounging about. I thought "well, the place is well-named" but the next couple of times we drove by there, no elk were to be seen.

>64 thornton37814: We camped when we stayed in Yellowstone but I would like to go back with a hard-sided camper so we could stay in the campgrounds that are tent-restricted. And I might want to get a night or two in a lodge or inn. :-)

Jan 18, 7:30pm Top

>65 maggie1944: Your text was so sweet, Karen. Thanks for wondering about me, worrying about me, caring enough to reach out. And thanks for posting so folks know I'm okay.

>66 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Work kicked my butt for the part of this week that I was there. It's winter quarter. Definitely crazy busy. :-)

Jan 18, 7:39pm Top

The weekend at Mt. Rainier was lovely. No snow around the inn but definitely snow up at the part of the Park called "Paradise." On Saturday afternoon we scoped it out and there were too many humans for our taste so we went back to the inn and settled in with our books. We went for a short walk that evening, and it was wonderful to see so many stars! One of the many things I do not like about living in a city (there are things I love about it, too, of course) is that we don't see the stars.

On Sunday morning we got up pretty early, breakfasted, and headed to Paradise. We went for a beautiful hike with our snowshoes. As so often happens when we hike, we had some good solitude and then, as we descended to the parking lot, we passed a lot of people just starting their hikes. In hiking, getting up early really does pay off.

After a respite back at the inn (reading and napping), we put our hiking boots back on and headed for a lowland trail. We hiked a few miles on just a trail and it was so beautiful. Again, since most visitors to the Park this holiday weekend were interested in snow activities, we experienced some peace and solitude.

Monday morning we packed up and then went to a trail head near Narada Falls. There were several feet of snow on the ground and the trail had been pretty well packed down by the snowshoers the day before. So we donned our Yak Trax and headed uphill. This was the most beautiful hike: picture a snowy landscape with fir trees poking their heads out of tree wells. And of course.... The Mountain.

I have photos which I will post later. It's a bit labor intensive to upload them into LT but I'll mess with it later tonight or tomorrow.

On our return drive, we stopped in Olympia for a visit with FIL who has moved into the convalescence center at his retirement community. He's doing alright for a 95+-year-old, but we learned that his caretaker was arrested in early December for possession of Meth and public drunkenness. Needless to say, she is no longer his caretaker but it means he can't stay in his apartment any longer. P and I, as well as P's siblings and siblings-in-law, have mistrusted the caregiver for a while but had nothing to go on and FIL kind of gets to make his own decisions. Anyway, it's complicated, but I predict we'll be driving down the freeway to visit him more frequently in the coming months.

Jan 18, 7:45pm Top

I am still making my way through Nicholas Nickleby ~ I'm on about chapter 30 of 65 chapters. I also read about half of Negroland: A Memoir over the weekend and it's a compelling work. I'm listening to Radical Candor: How to be a Kick-ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity and it's giving me some good things to think about as I anticipate some things I need to attend to at work.

I'm in Portland for a couple of days. I'm spending much of Friday providing consultation for a colleague who works at a college down here (totally flattering to be asked!), but Kim and I are going to hear Jesmyn Ward this evening. Yay! Then I think we'll connect at Powells before I have to head back to Seattle.

January 20 is my Thingaversary so I might buy a book or two at Powells. :-)

Jan 18, 8:19pm Top

>73 EBT1002: ...you of course meant to say "a book or eight" so we'll be hovering over our screens awaiting the drool-and-envy report.

Jan 18, 8:33pm Top

Sounds like a great trip!

Edited: Jan 19, 12:53am Top

>74 richardderus: Hmm, yes, well, I did mean that. It's true. I bought three of them tonight at the Jesmyn Ward talk: Where the Line Bleeds, which I have not yet read; a signed copy of Sing, Unburied, Sing; and Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado which Mark has warbled about and Jesmyn praised with great fervor. So. Five books tomorrow. :-)

>75 drneutron: Hi Jim! Yes indeed!

Jan 19, 1:21am Top

>73 EBT1002: January 20 is my Thingaversary so I might buy a book or two at Powells
Might? Might ;)
He he, good one.

Jan 19, 8:00am Top

Glad to see that your trip went well! Can't wait to see some pictures!

Sorry about your FIL and his shoddy caretaker. Do you use an agency to find caretakers?

Edited: Jan 19, 8:08am Top

Hi Ellen!

I'm on chapter XXXV of NN, reading several chapters a day but seriously behind. I am enjoying it, just reading other things, too.

Sorry about the untrustworthy and dangerous caregiver. My friend Louise had a caregiver coming 2 days a week for a while last year for her husband, and just read that this woman was arrested for drugs and thievery. Scary world trying to care for our elders.

Jan 19, 8:09am Top

Happy Friday!

Jan 19, 8:10am Top

Happy 2nd thread, Ellen! Your weekend at the Inn sounds absolutely heaven! I commend you and P for your overall fitness to snowshoe and hike in the same day.

What a shame about FIL's caretaker. My brain screams when I hear about the affects of meth and just home many people have come to depend on it. So sad and hits so many. :(

Jan 19, 8:48am Top

Welcome back, Ellen. And yes, YIKES about the caretaker. Very scary and thank goodness no harm came to your FIL

Jan 19, 9:41am Top

Can't wait to hear what you pick up at Powell's, Ellen. Lucky you to get to see Ward -- and Kim. :)

Your weekend sounds great.

What scary news about your FIL's caretaker.

I have Negroland on my list - I think I'll save it for February, Black History month. We're planning a Read In at school.

Happy Friday and safe travels. All my Fridays are happy because they are Scout days. :)

Jan 19, 10:11am Top

Glad you had a great getaway. Sorry I can't meet you at Powell's this afternoon - stoopid prior commitments.

Jan 19, 11:37am Top

>77 LovingLit: ;-)

>78 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle. This caretaker is the daughter of a friend of FIL. She is, like, my age. It's been a weird thing from the get-go. Now that he is moving into the C&R, as they call it, he won't need a specific caretaker (I don't think). He did also have a caretaker that was hired through an agency but he always preferred the company and assistance of this friend. It's all working out okay now that this next shift in his circumstances is occurring. He's remarkably with-it cognitively and that helps.

>79 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Yes, I am interspersing N2 with other things, as well. I am thoroughly enjoying the story -- it's a bit less dark than some of Dickens' later work, especially. His naming of characters is still one of my favorite things.

I think elder care is indeed a scary world. As our population ages (and this will be us too!), figuring out how to compassionately and wisely care for our elders is something I don't think we, as a society, have figured out at all. I think there are other cultures that attend to the later phases of life, including the dying process, much more thoughtfully and respectfully.

>80 maggie1944: Thanks Karen!

Jan 19, 11:44am Top

>81 Carmenere: Hi Lynda. Our snowshoe and "regular" hikes were paced accordingly. P is still getting her fitness back after the year-plus of severe anemia and the hip surgery.

Yes, I scream inside about the meth thing too. It is an evil drug.

>82 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. I, too, am very glad we figured the thing out about the caretaker when we did. As I said, the whole family was unhappy about FIL's dependency on her, but when the meth arrest came to light, he could no longer tell us we were wrong about her. I'm just glad it didn't go any further down the road than it did.

>83 BLBera: Yay for all your Fridays being Scout days!!!!!!! I'll post info about my Powells acquisitions later.

Jessmyn Ward was BRILLIANT! She talked about being the mother of a Black boy, in particular, and the fear and hope she feels about his young life. He is one year old and was with her at the after-event; he's such a cutie and was very patient with his mom having to schmooze with all the people. Anyway, her talk was poetic and profoundly moving. And the Q&A was terrific, as well. She is authentic and thoughtful and humble.

Jan 19, 11:45am Top

>84 SuziQoregon: Sorry you can't join us, Juli. But, as I said on your thread, I'll be back in June and I'll do a better job of planning for that visit.

Jan 19, 12:09pm Top

>87 EBT1002: Absolutely!!

Jan 19, 12:31pm Top

>86 EBT1002: - I heard a lovely interview on the radio here with Jessmyn Ward a few weeks ago. Although I haven't read her yet, she certainly came across as very candid and genuine. She talked a lot about her own upbringing, as well.

Jan 19, 1:24pm Top

>72 EBT1002: Sounds wonderful Ellen.

Happy Thingaversary.

>86 EBT1002: I do like a good literary event, I’ll be looking out for her when she comes is in the UK.

Jan 19, 1:27pm Top

>85 EBT1002: In addition to needing to figure out eldercare for our parents, we're going to be elders ourselves some day - and no doubt we'd like better options than what we see out there right now.

Jan 19, 1:30pm Top

>86 EBT1002: Oh, that's so cool that you got to meet her little boy in the after event. She made him sound so cute, I wanted to see him. And that talk, how intense was that? I am anxious to read more of her work now

Sorry that I can't meet up with you and Kim. Next time!

Jan 19, 1:44pm Top

Very cool that you got to hear Jessamyn West. I'm listening Sing Unburied Sing and following along on the FB PBS/NYT book club. Way too many posts to read them all, but I'm enjoying the author posts and interviews.

Portland in June, huh? When will you be there? Perhaps this is the meetup that I will make it to!

I am so sorry about your eldercare problems; that is so scary about the caretaker and the meth. The last few years with Mom & Dad were tough and yet I wish I could do them over again. :(

Jan 19, 2:23pm Top

>88 SuziQoregon: It's a date.

>89 jessibud2: One thing that touched me about Jesmyn Ward's talk was her description of wanting to write about the community in which she grew up ~ and she has moved back to that community. She talked about her early motivation, wanting the kids with whom she went to high school (a largely white and financially privileged milieu) to know her, her friends and family and community, wanting those kids to see the poor Black kids "as human beings just like they are human beings." Later, her motivation shifted a bit in that now she wants "everyone" to read her work. She was so honest and unpretentious. I've read Salvage the Bones, Sing, Unburied, Sing, and The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race (which she edited). I think she is a remarkable writer.

>90 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. I am looking forward to shopping for books to mark my seven years on LibraryThing.

I highly recommend Jesmyn Ward when the opportunity to hear her arises. I also keep telling myself I need to take more advantage of the numerous author events that happen in Seattle.

Jan 19, 2:35pm Top

>91 jnwelch: Exactly!

>92 banjo123: It sounds like you were there last evening, Rhonda! I wish we could have connected. It was indeed an excellent (and intense) talk. She brought tears to my eyes more than once.

June! We'll connect in June!

>93 streamsong: Hmm, I think I should check out that FB PBS/NYT thread. I would enjoy the author posts.

I'm not yet sure of the exact dates of the meeting in Portland, but it should be around June 20-22. I'll definitely post something once I know the dates. The meeting goes Weds - Friday and I will plan to stay over at least for Saturday so we can arrange a meet-up!

I lost my parents somewhat early in my life (I was 22 and 33 when mom and dad, respectively, died). It means I missed the eldercare issue with them and it's been odd to go through it with P's parents.

Edited: Jan 19, 8:08pm Top

Hi Elllen! Sounds like you had a wonderful meetup in Portland and a wonderful time on holiday too! So sorry to learn about your FIL's situation with the caretaker and now the convalescent home. I'd agree that elder care is a scary world. My dad passed away from cancer at the relatively young age of 66, 10 years ago. He wanted to die at home, so we all pitched in to make that happen. Of course he took all the treatment available , but it was not successful. My neighbour who is about 70 years old had a dad who is now living with her. He is in his mid nineties and cognitively very good, but cannot manage on his own anymore. He and his daughter put his name in for a supported living place last January, but still no place has opened up for him. Likewise a friend of mine had a dad who became very fragile owing to heart troubles and they too put his name into a supported care sort of place. But instead, her dad landed up in hospital and passed away of heart failure.

It seems like we are not ready for the " grey tsunami" that is us. ( And our parents). I'm fortunate that my mom , now aged 76 is doing well, plus one of my sister's lives with her. I think without my sister living ' at home" my mom would be very lonely and she is not one to drive, so she relies on my sister. That said, my mom has a big network of friends.

Edited: Jan 19, 10:09pm Top

Kim and I had a good excursion to Powell's. Here are my acquisitions:

The books in the stack I purchased:
Far From the Madding Crowd
The Neon Rain
The Fire Next Time
A Horse Walks into a Bar
Go, Went, Gone
Orphan Train

The Power is a gift from Kim and she also gave me her copy of Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
The coaster is just decoration.

Jan 19, 10:08pm Top

>96 vancouverdeb: That is definitely the territory we are in, Deb. I sometimes feel lucky (that is weird, I know) that I lost my parents so young, but of course that means I missed out on some things, too. I'm glad your dad was able to die at home as he wished and terribly sorry he went so young (66 is young!). Having your sister live with your mom is the sort of thing that I think folks used to do a lot. We were lucky with P's mom in that, as she was approaching her end, one of P's brothers was able to live with their parents for a couple of years. It was both hard on him and something of a blessing; it was certainly a blessing for dear Alice (my MIL) who was one of the loveliest people on earth and became very confused in her last few years.

Edited: Jan 19, 10:21pm Top

Some photos from our weekend at Mt. Rainier:

Me, snowshoeing

Edited: Jan 19, 10:22pm Top

Our view of Mt. Rainier from our snowshoe trail. You can see the tents in a winter campground in the foreground.

Edited: Jan 19, 10:23pm Top

The view of the mountain from the inn (although not from our room).

Jan 19, 10:22pm Top

>94 EBT1002: I'm looking forward to reading Sing, Unburied, Sing at some point.

>97 EBT1002: Nice haul!

Jan 19, 10:24pm Top

>101 EBT1002: Sing, Unburied, Sing is an excellent and memorable novel, Lori.

And I had fun choosing books (and trying to limit myself) at Powell's!

Jan 19, 10:30pm Top

>103 EBT1002: I can understand how hard it is to limit oneself there!

Jan 19, 10:34pm Top

I could easily have walked out of the store with a dozen or more books but I'm trying to read books I already own. Ha.

Jan 19, 10:45pm Top

Hi, Ellen. The Mt. Rainier photos are gorgeous. Sounds like a lovely getaway.

>97 EBT1002: Nice book haul! Yah, for Powells! I also have The Power lined up, for the very near future.

Jan 19, 10:46pm Top

>106 msf59: Hey Mark! The weekend getaway was indeed lovely.
I'm looking forward to The Power. I might read it in February.

Jan 19, 11:00pm Top

Hi Ellen, those are lovely pictures of Mount Rainer but who on earth would want to camp in the snow! Especially as there is a nice inn close by - give me warmth, comfort and a restaurant everytime! Snow is great if all one has to do is play in it so I love to see it where it belongs - on top of a mountain.

Jan 19, 11:20pm Top

Nice haul, Ellen. Thanks for sharing the photos. They are breathtaking.

Jan 19, 11:38pm Top

I can't catch up, but I can enjoy those pics and the idyllic sound of your long weekend, Ellen. Thank you for letting us have a part!
Oh my. As you know, I spend the best part of my days with my 96 year-old mother. I'm happy to have a good husband who supports me, and my mama is wonderful. I won't be happy if/when she has to move to assisted living or nursing care. As it is, she's across the street from us, and I don't have to wonder what's going on. Best wishes for your FIL's finding exactly the help he needs now.
>97 EBT1002: Very nice! I'm a Dave Robicheaux fan from way back, and I hope you stick with him for awhile and like him too. You remind me that I need to try Erpenbeck. Soon, I swear!

Jan 20, 1:52am Top

Happy ‘new’ thread! Trying to catch up with LT again. Looks like you had a good break.

Jan 20, 1:59am Top

Wow, from a weekend away at Mt Rainier to hanging out with Kim at Powells. You know how to pack a lot of fun into a short amount of time, Ellen.

Edited: Jan 20, 6:20am Top

>99 EBT1002: Great photos Ellen. Stunning landscape.

>97 EBT1002: Great haul too.

Jan 20, 6:24am Top

Those photos are spectacular! Nice book haul, too. Good to see Orphan Train there and I love the coaster!! At first I thought it was another book, lol!

Someday maybe I'll get to Powell's. Sounds like quite the experience.

Jan 20, 8:38am Top

What a great place to snowshoe! Mrsdrneutron and I have some and have done some local shoeing, but nothing like that!

Jan 20, 8:41am Top

OMG .. stunning photos of Mt Rainier, Ellen. Ditto what Jim said... it looks like a great place to snowshoe ... and crosscountry ski.

Sounds like you're having a marvelous time and I'm jealous of your book haul.

Jan 20, 11:24am Top

>110 LizzieD: Thanks, Peggy. I'm pretty sure FIL is exactly where he needs to be now. This circumstance just pushed him to move from the apartment to the convalescence home. He still has a lot of self-determination and the space is really rather lovely.

"...she's across the street from us, and I don't have to wonder what's going on." That is terrific. I hope she is able to stay in that house well into the future!

I read a review of James Lee Burke's most recent book and it made me want to read the Robicheaux series. I feel like I read The Neon Rain decades ago but I have no real memory of it so I'm starting at the beginning.

Jan 20, 11:33am Top

>111 humouress: Hi Nina. I totally understand "trying to catch up with LT again." I've been on a lot the past couple of days because Kim and I are sort of hanging out together and both on our laptops logging books, organizing our reading plans, comparing notes, etc. It has been fun! And I'm still not "caught up."

>112 Familyhistorian: It's been a couple of busy and fun weekends, Meg. This morning I'll drive back to Seattle where I will settle back into real life. :-)

>113 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. I love shopping at Powell's.

>114 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. I was excited to pick up a copy of Orphan Train at reduced price. Powell's always has a big table (among other big tables) out in the "lobby" with new books at used prices. Orphan Train was one of them. You've definitely introduced me to a new favorite author.

Oh, I do hope you get to visit Portland and Powell's some day. It's still my favorite city and my favorite bookstore (well, I love many cities but Portland would be my favorite city in which to live).

Jan 20, 11:35am Top

>115 drneutron: Mt. Rainier is a pretty spectacular place, Jim. I feel lucky to have the Cascade Mountains just a couple hours away. It's one reason it would be so hard to leave this region of the country.

>116 cameling: Oh yeah, it's a great place for XC skiing, too, Caro. And hiking for much of the year, as well.

It's been a nice couple of days off, visiting Portland and hanging out with Kim.
This morning I'll drive back to Seattle. I hope the drive isn't too rainy. I'll listen to more of Radical Candor while I drive.

Edited: Jan 20, 11:36am Top

>118 EBT1002: Wow, that's high praise for Portland from a well-traveled Seattlenarian (Seattleite?), Ellen. I'm further inspired to get myself there.

Jan 20, 11:42am Top

>97 EBT1002: Great haul! Isn't Kimmers the best?!

Beautiful Rainier photos.

>105 EBT1002: *bwaaahaaahaaa*wipes eyes*

Oh I needed that guffaw. Thanks!

Jan 20, 12:44pm Top

Those Rainier photos....oh my. But I'm with >108 DeltaQueen50: Judy...never was a camper, and certainly not in the snow.
I'm glad to see James Lee Burke in your stack too. Follow Dave Robicheaux for a while---it's good stuff. Up to a point. I think Burke took him too close to the edge too many times, but before he did that there's an awful lot of solid gritty reading in store.

Jan 20, 12:51pm Top

>95 EBT1002: Great! I've penciled the date in - well really I noted it on my phone calendar. :) I've been wanting to explore the Oregon coast for years, so here's hoping this will be the time.

Jan 20, 3:05pm Top

Wonderful photos! Looked like a great place to unwind in nature

Jan 20, 8:00pm Top

4. The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan

A series of sculptures, each representing an essence of a fairy tale from the Grimm Brothers' collected stories, this is a beautiful picture book. I learned a bit about the brothers, themselves, I learned about some of their collected fairy tales with which I was not familiar, and I gazed in appreciation at the small sculptures Shaun Tan has created. As Neil Gaiman said in the introduction, I wanted to hold the sculptures in my palm, I wanted to touch them and move them and feel them. Still, seeing them and reading the nugget of tale Tan had chosen to accompany each was a true pleasure.

Edited: Jan 20, 9:04pm Top

>120 jnwelch: You'll note that I said Portland would be my first choice of city in which to live, Joe. I have a long list of cities I want to visit or have visited and to which I want to return (Paris, London, Edinburgh, Montreal, Vancouver BC, Sydney, and others come immediately to mind). But for living, Portland would be my first choice. I'm honestly not really a city girl.

And YES, please come visit! I'll drive down the freeway again to meet you in the Rose City.

Jan 20, 8:38pm Top

Ellen--It was so much fun to hang out with you! I am glad that until our next get-together we can read some shared books. And you should retire to Portland. Just saying. : )

Jan 20, 9:11pm Top

>121 richardderus: Kimmers is, indeed, the best, Richard! I didn't realize that you two had met in person until this visit when, at some point as a break from talking about books, eating, talking about books, and buying books, we did an inventory of which LTers each of us has met. She thinks you're pretty awesome, too.

I'm happy to cheer your day, Richard. The reading of books off my shelves may be a lost cause but if I don't occasionally give the goal a nod, I won't even approach it!

>122 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda. And thanks for referencing Judy's comment in >108 DeltaQueen50: because I realize I missed a whole bunch of posts! I will have to backtrack.

I am definitely a camper but not a winter camper. Heck, I'm not much of an autumn or spring camper except on the very edges of those seasons. On the other hand, the weather had been lovely and it did look like they were having fun. Here is what got me: the thought of pitching my tent, laying out my sleeping pad, and then sleeping with only those two things between me and a six-foot deep mattress of snow. BRR.

Oh good, a couple of folks have encouraged the Robicheaux series. Since I've hardly finished any series and I have several of them going, I can just read this one until I lose interest. But I'll give him a fair bit of my attention.

Jan 20, 9:12pm Top

>125 EBT1002: - I just read about this on another thread and have already requested it from the library!

So, you might ask, how's it going for me, with my plan to read books I already own? HA!

Jan 20, 9:15pm Top

Okay, backtracking to attend to visitors I missed....

>108 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! Sorry I skipped you! As I said above to Linda, I'm not a snow camper either but it did look like they were having fun. Sometimes I wish I were more intrepid than I am.

>109 BLBera: Hi Beth. Sorry I skipped you, as well! I'm glad a couple of the photos turned out as well as they did. It was so beautiful up there that even as I take shots (with, let's face it, my iPhone), I am skeptical about how close they'll come to capturing the experience.

Jan 20, 9:17pm Top

>128 EBT1002: I just went back and reviewed my notes and posts about the Robicheaux series. I read many of them pre-LT, but I was right there with him until No. 16, when I started to have quibbles, and then he really jumped the shark as far as I'm concerned, and I quit. But man, the first 10 or so are dynamite.

Jan 20, 9:19pm Top

>123 streamsong: The Oregon Coast is not to be missed, Janet, so I do hope this is the time you can make it down. I would love to meet you!

>124 ChelleBearss: Unwind in nature is exactly what we did, Chelle. It was wonderful.

Jan 20, 9:22pm Top

>127 Berly: Kim, thank you so much for hosting me and even taking a day off from work to hang out. It was so relaxing: I enjoyed bopping around town with you but also the time we just companionably planned out reads for the year and compared notes on our various challenges for the year.

You know we are planning to retire to the Willamette Valley if at all possible. Hopefully that will be close enough. :-)

>129 jessibud2: Well, Shelley, the good news is that The Singing Bones is a fairly quick read. It's one to be savored, so I think you can spend a bit of time with it. But, you know, it's not Dickens. :-D

Jan 20, 9:26pm Top

What gorgeous scenery in those photos! And, yes, Powell's is on my bucket list. One of these days...

Jan 20, 9:28pm Top

>131 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks for checking your notes on the David Roicheaux series, Linda! (See? This is why LT is the BEST.) I cracked up at the jumping the shark comment and I'll plan to read the first 10-15 or so. It will take me a while to progress that far into the series.

I have 23 series entered into my FictFact account and I've only completed one of them (Peter May's Lewis Trilogy). It's a bit misleading since I read the complete Travis McGee series as well as the 87th precinct series eons ago, but since I was digging back into the McGee series, in particular, I wanted to keep track from the beginning again.

Jan 20, 9:29pm Top

>134 ronincats: It's right up the coast, Roni. Just saying.... Meet-up in June....

Jan 20, 10:18pm Top

I once dallied with a guy who preferred to camp in the winter because there were no bugs! But then again, he also liked ice-climbing.

Jan 20, 10:43pm Top

I’m glad your toes are intact, Ellen, and that you had such a lovely sojourn on Mt. Rainer. Fabulous pictures. Your trip to Portland sounds like a fun time. Just spending time with a fellow book lover like Kim would be so satisfying. Throw in a cool author talk and it gets even better. Now back to real life...at least you have some wonderful new books to retreat to.

Jan 21, 8:55am Top

Hi Ellen! I'm back from vacation with no hope of truly catching up on threads. But I'm glad to see you enjoyed your weekend at Mt Rainier, and I'm green with envy over the Jesmyn Ward event. Lucky you!

Jan 21, 9:01am Top

Happy Sunday, Ellen. Hooray for The Singing Bones. Tan is a treasure. I will definitely join you in reading The Power in Feb.

Jan 21, 9:27am Top

Happy Sunday, Ellen. I join Mark's Hooray for The Singing Bones. I'm glad you enjoyed it. As Mark says, Tan is a treasure. What a talented guy.

I've been reading about The Power. Hmm.

Jan 21, 10:42am Top

The Tan looks and sounds lovely, Ellen. Onto the list it goes.

Jan 21, 11:58am Top

Hawdja dew, Ellen, hoping yours will be an excellent Sunday.

Jan 21, 12:25pm Top

>132 EBT1002: It will actually be a re-meet since I met you and P and Karen at Booktopia a few years back. :)

Have a great Sunday!

Jan 21, 6:53pm Top

>72 EBT1002: Your trip sounds wonderful! I am intrigued with winter hiking after reading your description and Tom Ryan's book about hiking in New Hampshire.

Best of luck with your FIL. I'm blessed that my parents, who are both 83, chose their own retirement/continuing care community over 10 years ago. They are happy there and still independent in a condo but it is comforting to know someone is keeping track of them.

Jan 21, 8:22pm Top

>136 EBT1002: RIGHT up the coast, right. Only 1083 miles and through LA. Just a hop, skip and a jump. Still, some day!

Jan 21, 11:47pm Top

>137 ffortsa: Camping in the pacific northwest usually means no bugs even in the summer, Judy. It's one of my favorite things about this region.

And I have this vivid memory of a hike I took a few years ago, into the Cascade mountains up to above the snow line where I was immediately assaulted by a swarm of mosquitoes. As I stood on the snow! It was disorienting and terribly uncomfortable. It's one hike during which I did not stop to eat my PBJ. Heh.

I think snow camping probably has its rewards but I'm not persuaded that they outweigh the punishments. Still, it appeals to the part of my that strives toward toughness.

Jan 21, 11:51pm Top

>138 Donna828: In agreement about all, Donna. The time with Kim was super fun and our pacing (eat, read, buy books, talk about books, mess about on LT, eat some more, talk about books some more) is well matched.

>139 lauralkeet: Hi Laura and welcome back! Skimming is the only reasonable strategy when it comes to "catching up" after vacation. I hope you had a great time in the sunshine!

>140 msf59: Hi Mark! I need to start making a list to keep track of my reading plans for February. The Power will be on there.

>141 jnwelch: Hiya Joe. I think it was on your recommendation that I put The Singing Bones on hold at the library. Excellent suggestion, as usual.

You know you're always welcome, nay, encouraged! to join us in reading The Power in February.

>142 BLBera: I think you'll enjoy the Shaun Tan book, Beth!

Jan 21, 11:53pm Top

>143 richardderus: Hey there, Richard. My Sunday was pretty decent. A good run in the morning, excellent tuna salad (made by yours truly) for lunch, a basketball game in which my UW Huskies won their first game of the Pac-12 season (they are now 1-7 in conference play, a terrible 180 from last year's spectacular showing), beef stroganoff (made by P) for dinner, and some good reading time this evening. I finished Negroland: A Memoir. More about that in a bit.

Jan 21, 11:58pm Top

>144 streamsong: Oh my goodness, I had forgotten that, Janet! I was so focused on Portland meet-ups that I wasn't thinking about Booktopia in Bellingham. That was a great event.

>145 witchyrichy: Hi Karen. I need to remind myself how much I love snowshoeing so I don't wait another two years to try it again. P and I were saying this evening that we need to pay attention to the weather reports and head to the mountains next time there is significant snow. I would love to snowshoe on powder again like I did in Montana a couple years ago.

Thanks for the good wishes re FIL. It's nice to have some distance from it; he is not my father and I can let P and her brothers deal with it mostly.

>146 ronincats: Well, yes, okay, not exactly a hop, skip, or jump. But a relatively easy plane ride? Anyway, you know (I hope you know) I'd love to meet you one of these days, Roni!

Jan 22, 11:20am Top

Ellen, I could swear that I posted here since your return, but I see no signs of it. Anyway, your mini-vacation sounds wonderful even if they didn't light the fire. I have never been snowshoeing - I am betting you burn extra calories in those things.

And your time spent with Kim sounds full of fabulous.

Your post about the tuna salad is reminding me that I promised Rae I would make her some, heh.

Loved all the photos, and looks like you made an excellent haul. I have Far From the Madding Crowd in the stacks, I am thinking on audio.

Jan 22, 1:15pm Top

>151 Crazymamie: Mamie darling, whatever you do, DO NOT imbibe Far from the Madding Crowd in any form or fashion on any Monday! It will have terrible, terrible consequences!

Eagerly awaiting Negroland comments. It's on my Kindle awaiting my "spare reading time" *haw* to be absorbed.

Jan 22, 1:30pm Top

>152 richardderus: Duly noted.

Jan 22, 3:08pm Top

Ack, I practically missed your whole thread Ellen! Glad I caught up: the holiday pictures are stunning.

Jan 22, 9:58pm Top

5. Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson

"Negroland children were warned by their parents that few Negroes enjoyed their privilege or plenty; that most non-Negro Americans would be glad to see their kind of Negro returned to indigence, deference, and subservience."

Between the late 1940s and the early 1960s, Good Negro Girls mastered the rigorous vocabulary of femininity. Gloves, handkerchiefs, pocketbooks for each occasion. Good diction for all occasions; skin care (no ashy knees or elbows); hair cultivation (a ceaseless round of treatments to eradicate the bushy and the nappy). Manners to please grandparents and quell the doubts of any white strangers loitering to observe your behavior in schools, stores, and restaurants."

Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 to upper middle class African American parents. Living near (and later in) the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, Margo and her sister Denise had access to education, lessons, and social promotion. Her memoir examines the cost associated with living in this segment of society, knowing that her deportment reflected on far more than her family (though certainly that) and that the intersection of race and class provided for a dizzyingly complex social terrain in which to come of age.

Despite a bit of choppiness in the early going, this memoir is poignant and insightful. Jefferson's shifting sense of self in context as the civil rights, feminist, and gay rights movements of the late 1960s and 1970s is particularly evocative. She authentically shares her struggles with belonging, boys, thoughts of suicide, and finding her place as a writer and cultural critic. Definitely recommended.

Jan 22, 11:04pm Top

Currently reading:

. .

Currently listening:

Jan 22, 11:11pm Top

>151 Crazymamie: Hey Mamie, good to see you whenever you get around to visiting and posting! Snowshoeing is definitely more work than walking. People say "eh, it's just like walking" and that's true if you compare it to cross-country skiing, but it's not true if you compare it to, well, walking! But it's tons of fun, requires less technical skill than XC skiing, and enables you to see some fabulous views.

My time with Kim was indeed full of fabulous. We agreed that we'd very much like to meet you in person one of these days.

Did you make Rae's tuna salad for her? What do you put in your tuna salad? I use mayonnaise, sweet relish, celery, and sometimes some cucumber or a tiny bit of finely chopped red onion.

I thought the recent film version of Far From the Madding Crowd was quite good and it made me want to read the novel. I don't recall right now when Kim and I were thinking we'd do a shared read but we'll invite you and others to join in!

Jan 22, 11:12pm Top

>152 richardderus: Uh oh. I wonder what those consequences might be....

See my comments re: Negroland above, Richard. I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

>153 Crazymamie: Yeah, me too.

>154 charl08: Hi Charlotte!

Jan 23, 3:19am Top

>97 EBT1002: oooh, nice pile!!! I have Orphan Train awaiting my eyeballs.....sheesh, I just can't catch a break with these books all hounding me. It seems that as much as i read, there are always more banging my door down demanding to be next!

>155 EBT1002: and then there's this...*sigh*, I may as well chuck it on the WL.

Jan 23, 3:25am Top

Great review of Negroland - I preferred the early part of the memoir I think. I usually do find that on memoirs though: something about people remembering childhood (what they took for granted, how their school worked, how their family was behind closed doors) I just find endlessly fascinating.

I've never even seen someone snow shoe (except on tv travel programmes) but it does look like fun.

Jan 23, 7:08am Top

>155 EBT1002: I did start this book some while back, but there was something in the shifting tone that irritated. I’ll give it another go in time.

Jan 23, 9:10am Top

Hi Ellen!

>149 EBT1002: There's a lot to be said for good tuna salad.

>156 EBT1002: I just bought Why Buddhism is True but am reading 2 books now and want to read my ER copy of The Hounds of Spring before starting anything else new.

Jan 23, 9:24am Top

Happy Tuesday, Ellen!
>156 EBT1002: You've got quite a few books on the go! I lost the ability to do that

Jan 23, 9:31am Top

>157 EBT1002: I am deeply honored to have come up in conversation.

I did not make the tuna salad - I forgot again. I will make it today. Let's see...tuna, vidalia onion, celery, dill relish, boiled egg, a small squirt of yellow mustard, mayonnaise, sour cream. I sauté the onion and celery with some spices - just long enough to take the edge off the onion. I love the idea of the cucumber, so I might try that some time.

Jan 23, 8:53pm Top

>159 LovingLit: "...as much as i read, there are always more banging my door down demanding to be next!" That is the story of my life, Megan, especially since joining this group!

"I may as well chuck it on the WL." The good news is that putting something on the WL is free! If you're like many of us, you never actually get around to buying everything on your wish list! Or maybe I'm the only one who sometimes loses interest in something I put on the WL several months (or years) ago.

>160 charl08: That is so interesting, Charlotte, since I enjoyed the latter part of Jefferson's memoir. I really appreciated her description of navigating her relationship with James Baldwin as a representative of shifting consciousness as an upper middle class Black woman.

Oh, snowshoeing is great fun!

Edited: Jan 23, 8:59pm Top

>161 Caroline_McElwee: I think that is the choppiness to which I referred, Caroline. I pushed past it and her shifting voice became more tolerable although there were still times when I felt like she went overboard to give voice to her different selves. In the end, I felt like she had given me an authentic and non-defensive view into her life. And I appreciated her insights about the intersection of race and class, especially during the waning days (to the degree that they waned) of Jim Crow and through the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s.

>162 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Why Buddhism is True will keep. I have paused my own reading of it while I try to finish Nicholas Nickleby and Radical Candor ~ and now I've almost completed Tell Me How it Ends and I want to start God Stalk before the month expires! Gah!

By the way, Tell Me How it Ends is SO good. It may be my first five-star read of 2018.

Jan 23, 9:03pm Top

>163 ChelleBearss: Hey Chelle! Reading so many books at once is actually new for me. It sort of works but, to tell the truth, I have paused on Why Buddhism is True and N2. I will return to both of them forthwith but I'm focusing on the other two at present.

>164 Crazymamie: Kim and I talked about all our favorite people, Mamie. Of course you were on that list.

Hmm, I can see that I'm going to have to get on a plane and come down there to advocate on Rae's behalf. But I assume she found something else in the house to provide sustenance. Of course, as I read your recipe, I can see why you might put it off. Mine is a bit less labor intensive. I also sometimes use dill, rather than sweet relish. And I LOVE egg in my tuna salad but the post-stroke diet casts a skeptical eye toward eggs. *sigh*

Jan 23, 9:46pm Top

Hi Ellen - Negroland is on my list.

You have a lot of books going right now.

I am adding Tell Me How It Ends to my list!

Jan 23, 10:04pm Top

Go, God Stalk, go! Just saying!

Jan 23, 11:03pm Top

Found and starred of course!

I LOVED The Round House as well. There was another one of hers that I read that I really liked as well but by this point in the evening my brain is just mush haha! I just read her newest The Future Home of the Living God and that one was not a hit compared to other books for me.
I read Nutshell recently and thought it was such an interesting premise! McEwan can be hit and miss with me......

Jan 24, 11:33am Top

6. Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli

Luiselli served as a translator for children in immigration court in Long Island. This brief and powerful work describes her work interviewing children from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and other Central American countries who have fled violence and terror to seek asylum in the US. And it goes so much further than that. Written with pathos, compassion, remarkable objectivity, and clarity of vision, Luiselli's essay calls for a hemispheric approach to the immigration crisis. She cuts through stereotypes and ignorance, illuminating some (clearly not all) of the factors contributing to the huge number of children who have taken the unspeakably perilous journey from their home country, through inhospitable Mexico, to present themselves to the US Border Patrol in the past handful of years. Tell Me How it Ends is a timely work, beautifully written. Highly, even urgently recommended.

Edited: Jan 24, 11:46am Top

"The greatest block to really listening is not the noise of the world, but that voice inside that protects us, centers us, rattles with outrage or disbelief."

From an interesting essay by Erika Thorkelson in Electric Lit, entitled "Margaret Atwood’s Books Taught Me to Listen to Women—Now She Needs to Learn the Same Thing."

Jan 24, 12:49pm Top

>155 EBT1002: Enjoyed the review bigly.

>171 EBT1002: Another blood-pressure raiser for me that I can't bring myself to address. Too close to home.

Jan 24, 1:04pm Top

Hi Ellen - I got a bit behind while traveling but am now (sort of) caught up.

Not sure if I'm more envious of your seeing Jesmyn Ward speak or getting to hang out with Kim!

Edited: Jan 24, 2:19pm Top

>171 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, What a fabulous review of Tell Me How it Ends. i have thumbed it. I have been keeping an eye on our library system for this book and your review made me send an email urging them to order it. Fingers crossed! I do remember an amazing and heart breaking article in the New Yorker mag several years ago about unaccompanied children from Honduras making their way through Mexico to the U.S. border and I would dearly love to read this book. Sort of another topic but a daughter went to school in Spokane (many years ago), had tiny wonderful classes so I got to read many of the books on her course work. One I will never forget is Coyotes: A Journey through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens by Ted Conover about crossings at the border to Mexico.

Jan 24, 2:05pm Top

>167 EBT1002: *grin* I am honored. And I would love for you to come down here and boss me around advocate on Rae's behalf. The tuna salad has been made, and it is delicious if I do say so myself. I like the eggs in there because they are excellent protein and more calories for Rae - she really struggles with keeping weight on. She adores tuna salad - one of the few things she will eat where the ingredients are touching each other in random order.

>171 EBT1002: Excellent review - thumb from me.

Jan 24, 3:52pm Top

I'm with you on feeling weirdly lucky (lost my dad when I was 22 and my mom when I was 36) to not have to deal with aging parents.

Love the photos from your weekend. Sorry you didn't get any snow falling but that blue sky makes for spectacular photos.

>155 EBT1002: Great review of Negroland

Jan 24, 6:12pm Top

>168 BLBera: Hi Beth. I think you will appreciate Negroland and I want everyone to read Tell Me How it Ends!

I sort of have a lot of books going on right now but since one is an audiobook to which I only listen in the car, one is a nonfiction work that I'm savoring chapter by chapter, one is Dickens.... Of course, this afternoon I started reading God Stalk (finally) and I think it's going to be a fast and fun read.

>169 ronincats: I started it today, Roni. First chapter done. You'll appreciate this:

I'm home for the afternoon. We are converting our range to gas (I believe I have mentioned that previously) and the process has been complicated (also previously mentioned). Today was inspection, delivery of new range and moving of old range to garage for Craig's List activity, and connection of new range. Three separate worker sets all needing coordination. So I am working. Really, I am. I had a 90-minute phone conference with one of my direct reports, I'm going to work on a document that I've been needing to work on. BUT, I chose to treat myself to a little break and read the first chapter of God Stalk. I was reading along, caught up in the chase scene that opens the novel, and my phone beeped (P texting to say the inspector was 15 minutes away). I about leapt out of my skin! It made me laugh; it has been a long time since I was so caught up in a suspenseful read that a text tone would make me jump!

Jan 24, 6:18pm Top

>170 jolerie: Hi Valerie! I read a lot of Erdrich in 2017 and I still have many of her works to read or reread. I have several favorites. I saw an Olive Edition of Round House at Powell's last weekend and I almost bought it. I love those editions and that is absolutely a favorite Erdrich. I haven't yet read The Future Home of the Living God but you are not the first person to say it's a disappointment compared to most of her work.

Here is the cover of the Harper Perennial Olive Edition for The Round House:

Jan 24, 6:31pm Top

>179 EBT1002: That is beautiful Ellen! So simple. One day when I win the lottery, I will buy books just for the sake of their covers so I can stare at them. For now I guess I can just dream. :D

Edited: Jan 24, 6:40pm Top

>155 EBT1002: Good review of Negroland, Ellen. Thumb! It is on the list.

How is the Buddhism book coming along?

>171 EBT1002: Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions sounds excellent. Thumb! Thanks.

I am really enjoying The God of Small Things. It might be time to pull it off shelf.

Jan 24, 6:41pm Top

>173 richardderus: I'm glad you enjoyed my review of Negroland, Richard. And I totally understand your feeling about Tell Me How it Ends. Long Beach, NY, is one of the locations and she talks about the weird (to me) connection between Hempstead and the town in Guatemala where a couple of huge and violent gangs operate. While Los Angeles has the highest population of child refugees from the Northern Triangle countries, New York is surprisingly high.

>174 katiekrug: You should be equally jealous of those two opportunities, Katie. Jesmyn Ward was amazing and Kim is totally easy and fun to hang out with!

>175 mdoris: I hope your library gets a copy (or two!) of Tell Me How it Ends, Mary. I learned so much, some of which you probably learned from the book from your daughter's school days in Spokane (Gonzaga?). Luiselli herself is Mexican, working in the US as a writer on a green card. She doesn't let Mexico off the hook any more than she lets the US off the hook. I appreciated her steady focus on the children and their experience; she very effectively resisted falling into any partisan politics. It also made me want to read her novel, The Story of My Teeth.

>176 Crazymamie: Regarding dear Rae: "...one of the few things she will eat where the ingredients are touching each other in random order." This made me chuckle. I'm glad she likes tuna salad and you are a good mom for making it for her! xo

Thanks for the thumb, my dear.

>177 SuziQoregon: Hi Juli. Something we have in common ~ that early loss of parents. Thanks for the validating words, too. Feeling weirdly lucky captures it exactly.

Re the weekend: we certainly wanted falling snow but since we couldn't have that, we were delighted to have blue sky and sunshine!

*why doesn't autocorrect autocorrect "couldnt" when I fail to type the apostrophe?*

Edited: Jan 24, 6:44pm Top

>180 jolerie: Isn't that cover lovely, Valerie? I should have bought it when I saw it. I also had the Olive edition of The Bean Trees and Bel Canto. I just love these simple covers and the books feel good in one's hands.


What's sad is that I was in a "get books out of this house" phase and I let both of those go. The Olive Editions are published on a limited basis and those two are now out of print.

Jan 24, 6:46pm Top

Of course, one can find copies if one searches the internet. I just ordered this in "very good condition":

Jan 24, 6:47pm Top

>171 EBT1002: - That sounds like a great read, Ellen. How can I possibly focus on my reading when I am busy getting hit by book bullets all over the place?

I am one who often toggles between a few books at a time but sometimes (like now), I feel as if I am not making headway in any of them. I will definitely finish one of them in the next day or so, and another over the weekend. But I sometimes wish I could actually just do one at a time, and zip through it. Sigh, the *problem* of so many books, begging to be read... such a *first world* problem, I know!

Jan 24, 6:51pm Top

>181 msf59: Hi Mark! thanks for the thumb (and i apologize for the lowercase here but my left hand has been assertively co-opted by a cat who wants her tummy rubbed)....

the buddhism book is coming along nicely but slowly. i got stalled when i didnt take it with me to mt rainier but i'll get back to it soon.

tell me how it ends is just over 100 pages. what she packs into that much book is pretty amazing. the 40 questions in the title refers to the 40 questions on the interview list she had to use in interviewing the refugee children.

Jan 24, 6:56pm Top

>185 jessibud2: One of the things I've noticed about reading multiple books at once, Shelley, is just what you mention: it can feel like I'm not making any headway. But I know that in the long run it will amount to the same thing. If I read an average of 8 or 10 books per month, I'm going to do that whether I read them one at a time or toggle among a few of them at once. Still, while I have a few books going at once, I'm mostly focusing on one or two of them. Right now, N2 is on hiatus, Radical Candor is on audio-in-the-car-only, Why Buddhism is True is being read a chapter at a time, and I just started God Stalk.

Jan 24, 7:19pm Top

>187 EBT1002: - I also have an audio-in-the-car-only at the moment (Tom Hanks' Uncommon Type), and another book I feel like I've been reading for ages, Crow Lake which is a really good book but it's the one in my canvas bag that I take along when I am riding the subway. The 2 books by my bedside are the ones I've been mostly going back and forth with, one being a library book which should get priority standing (but isn't).

Jan 24, 7:22pm Top

I just added Tell Me How It Ends to my WL. I'm very interested in immigration-related lit. And I trust your recommendations.

>179 EBT1002: Lovely, all of those editions.

Jan 24, 7:33pm Top

Given Ursula K. Le Guin's passing, I should be posting this lovely image of the Olive Edition of one of her works.

Edited: Jan 24, 7:36pm Top

>188 jessibud2: I also have Uncommon Type queued up in audio format. Perhaps that will be my next in-the-car book.

>189 BLBera: Aw, shucks, Beth. Thank you for that. I think you will appreciate Tell Me How it Ends. I'm trying to decide whether I need to hold onto this edition or whether I can part with it.

Of course, I'm now getting this bee in my bonnet to own as many Olive Editions as I can obtain. Sigh. Such a sucker for lovely books.

Edited: Jan 24, 7:38pm Top

I mean, isn't this cover just perfect for this wonderful novel?

Edited: Jan 24, 8:53pm Top

Fun, I have never heard of the Olive editions books before so just had a good snoop. You could just set your sights on those for a TBR list I think. The covers are gorgeous. Yes, daughter#1 was at Gonzaga years ago and the lure was a basketball and then volleyball scholarship. GoZags!

Edited: Jan 24, 8:56pm Top

Loving all the book covers here! So pretty! Love the Bel Canto cover

Jan 24, 10:47pm Top

>191 EBT1002: Those are beautiful. I've never seen Olive editions around. I want them.

Jan 24, 11:00pm Top

>183 EBT1002: *resisting Olive editions!!!*
I'm not resisting Negroland though. It's on my wish list at PBS, and I wish myself good luck.
Keep reading and reporting!!!

Jan 24, 11:37pm Top

I've never heard of Olive editions and well frankly now I want OLIVE them!! :D

See this is the danger of LT! I could be reading, OR, I could just sit here and stare at those covers....

Jan 25, 4:02am Top

Gorgeous covers Ellen. I was in a bookshop yesterday and they had outdone themselves with beautiful displays. So tempting.

Edited: Jan 25, 5:11am Top

>171 EBT1002: do you get the feeling that *some* would describe that book as a fabricated series of made up fake news designed to ruin the loves of certain tiers of societies (hitherto) most esteemed individuals? (or some other such convoluted, wishy washy clap trap.)

Eta: oh oh oh, it's at my local library, soon to be removed from there by ME :)

>190 EBT1002: love that cover!

>197 jolerie: love it that my fellow cover-lover is back :)

Jan 25, 8:54am Top

Sweet Thursday, Ellen.

>190 EBT1002:, >191 EBT1002: Wow, I love those! I can see why getting them all is tempting.

Jan 25, 9:16am Top

>191 EBT1002: Oh wow! Gorgeous covers, Ellen! I've seen Uncommon Type at my library. I need to get in there for a look around.

Jan 25, 9:24am Top

>183 EBT1002: Kim is totally easy — Out-of-context quote that made me laugh out loud.

Those Olive editions, which I had never heard of before, are gorgeous. They really appeal to my minimalist side.

Jan 25, 11:19am Top

You are having too much fun with book covers! Well, maybe not too much -- just loads of it!

Edited: Jan 25, 11:32am Top

Oh WOW! I'm a newb to the world of Olive Editions!


Jan 25, 11:38am Top

>178 EBT1002: Tickled me pink, Ellen!

Jan 25, 12:52pm Top

>184 EBT1002: Oh, I read that ages and ages ago. I still remember the spiders, though.

Jan 25, 2:10pm Top

I've never heard of Olive Editions - they're gorgeous.

Jan 25, 3:47pm Top

>190 EBT1002: That is so lovely, and I really liked that story. Those Olive Editions are so lovely. Mamie want!

Jan 25, 4:04pm Top

>208 Crazymamie: ...you know they have deckled edges, right...

Jan 25, 4:45pm Top

>209 richardderus: No, I didn't. Oh, man! *swoon*

Jan 25, 5:23pm Top

>190 EBT1002: >192 EBT1002: >204 richardderus: LOVE!

Sweet Thursday, Ellen. Hope the work week is going well. We are down to just about 3 days before vacay. Yah!

I received your postcard, along with Kims. This put the biggest smile on my face. I love them. Thank you.

Jan 26, 12:11am Top

Re: Tell me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli. I got it. I read it. I (am about to) review it.
A very effective and quick-acting BB was that one!

Jan 26, 1:33am Top

>187 EBT1002: It feels like you aren't making progress until you finish a whole bunch of books at the same time and then you have to write reviews for them all at the same time.

>191 EBT1002: Ooh, nice but you would have to put them all together and move some other books. Won't they get jealous?

Jan 26, 2:19am Top

>182 EBT1002: >202 rosalita: Hey now!! Who is protecting my honor here! LOL

Jan 26, 4:40pm Top

I've never heard of Olive editions, either. Shiny!

Jan 26, 4:42pm Top

>214 Berly: It doesn't look like anyone is protecting your honor, Kim! You should have a word with your visitors ...

*wanders off, whistling innocently*

Jan 27, 10:28am Top

*catching up again* (if this were RL, I'd be far more fit & healthy than I actually am)

Jan 28, 6:23pm Top

It's quite a trip to skim through 161 unread messages, dating from Jan 15, Ellen. A retreat to a snowy national park, eldercare issues, excellent reading. I think I'm as caught up as I can be.

Your snowshoeing adventure reminded me that we have my wife's grandfather's wood-and-rawhide snowshoes. Judi used them 40 years ago when we had a colossal snowfall with drifting that blocked the roads wherever they passed through cuts. Directly in front of our house, the road had 3 feet of snow. But three doors down, the drift was about 5 to 6 feet deep. Took three or four days for the local road crew to get a turn with the size of snowblower to would grind through the really deep spots. So Judi had a grand time mushing through the drifts.

Edited: Jan 29, 10:13am Top

7. God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell

I'm not even going to try to summarize the plot of this old-school science fiction work. Rather, I want to capture my honest reactions. I enjoyed it and I understand why sci-fi is not my usual go-to fare. Early in the novel, during a context-establishing chase scene, I was sitting in my quiet house so caught up in the scene that I jumped when my phone pinged. It made me chuckle and gave me a preview of what the reading experience would be.

The plot is complicated, the characters slow to develop (or, more accurately, slow to develop into distinct beings), but the ride was fun. I felt like I was reading a video game (and I get that there is a strong relationship between SF and much of the modern video game territory), with one adventure leading to the next, discoveries of intrigue, deceit, and ancient secrets that illuminated one mystery only to lead to another.

The summary description at the end of the novel helped. Surprisingly, I was glad it is at the end of the book; at the beginning it would have been less meaningful. Will I read the next in the series? I'm undecided about that. If I do, Level Up!

Jan 29, 10:14am Top

>219 EBT1002: Terrific summary thoughts, Ellen. I like the description of feeling like you were reading a video game...I think that's a common response in us not-30s.

Jan 30, 2:16pm Top

8. Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright

Natural selection's goal is the deliverance of each organism's genes to the next generation. This process was outrageously successful over the millennia. It relied on and enhanced the emergence of reactions (thoughts and feelings) that promoted the end goal: my sense that my needs, perceptions, judgments, and dreams are not only the most important but, somehow, the most valid or "true," is rooted in adaptations that enabled my ancestors to pass their genes along. In the modern context, however, what was once adaptive is no longer very helpful at all. It's not helpful in living a happy life (that is a relatively easy argument to make) but it's also not very helpful in passing my genes along!

Exploring the intersection between modern psychological science and ancient Buddhist thought, Wright makes the case for mindful meditation. He illuminates some of the key Buddhist concepts in relatively accessible ways and provides a primer to the experience of meditation. His writing is both humble and humorous but he has also done his research. He uses psychological research to support his claims, using a common sense approach. His explanations sometimes skip a logical step. For example, his claim that his observation of his feelings during meditation - his observation of where in his body the feelings reside and what their texture is - his claim that this observation provides empirical evidence for the shape of feelings and his prediction that body scans in the future will confirm his observations seems a bit of a stretch for me. On the other hand, I have worked with many clients over the years and it's true that their descriptions of what feelings feel like are amazingly consistent. So, whatever.

Apart from the occasional lapse into sloppy logic, this book is truly excellent. I learned a lot and I want to try mindfulness meditation. I've long had an interest in it but have resisted giving up 20-50 minutes of each day to the endeavor. What would I give up? Reading? Not a chance. My runs? Nope. Sleep? Already too hard to come by.... So I don't know where this will lead but I definitely recommend the book!

Jan 30, 2:32pm Top

>221 EBT1002: this sounds interesting. I will add it to the list.

BTW - did you get your ER book yet? The Parking Lot Attendant? I've been anxiously watching the mailbox... Mine hasn't come yet.

Jan 30, 2:51pm Top

>219 EBT1002: Quick read, Ellen! I think the influence is more Fritz Lieber's classic sword and sorcery novels than video games--but a lot of video games also had those as in influence so there are some similarities. I am expounding on this in the God Stalk thread if you are interested.

Jan 30, 8:01pm Top

>221 EBT1002: Good review of Why Buddhism is True, Ellen. I've got a thumb ready if you post it on the book page.

I view meditation like working out. The benefits come with repetition and sticking with it. And it doesn't taking nearly as long as working out, or running (which my hips won't let me do any more). It's worth the time, I can say that much. I used to be a twitchy sidewalk hustler, and now I run a virtual book cafe.

Jan 30, 8:09pm Top

>221 EBT1002: +1 on what Joe said.

Jan 30, 9:05pm Top

>221 EBT1002: There has been a lot of warbling on the threads about Why Buddhism is True. This time the BB got me. Of course, I am number 50 in the hold line at the library. I am interested in mindfulness and want to take some steps to add it to my practices.

Jan 31, 12:40am Top

>216 rosalita: Not that you helped me out either! LOL

>221 EBT1002: And nope. You can't hit me with a book bullet either!

Jan 31, 6:42am Top

I'm seeing Why Buddhism is True quite a bit lately. I'm probably never going to read it because I have a long to-read list, and I'm trying to read the books I own, but it was wonderful reading your review.

Edited: Jan 31, 1:39pm Top

I've started to do basic breathing meditation again this year Ellen. I do twenty minutes at least 5-6 days a week, in different ways, sometimes silent, sometimes using an app, sometimes to a piece of music. It will take months of practice to reduce the mental distraction, but for me what sometimes happens is I find I've gone off into a deeper meditation at some other time of day, without intending it. I look at it as a bit of quality me time that I deserve. There is no way to fail at meditation, it is intention.

Jan 31, 10:36am Top

A couple of quick updates, mostly to explain my absence:

1. Work has been SOOOO busy!!!

2. Home life has been hectic and stressful (but FIL is now moved out of his apartment and into the convalescence center; our new range is installed but when we turned on the oven last night it smoked to the degree that we turned it off, opened windows, and cooked only using the gas cook top. *sigh*)

3. Our home internet has been unpredictably glitchy so even when I have had bit of time to catch up on LT, I haven't been able to do so. *bigger sigh*

4. I am in the news again, in case anyone wants to read a quote by me. Ha. UW Today article

Jan 31, 11:20am Top

>230 EBT1002: Very nice article and quote!

Jan 31, 11:32am Top

I have a few minutes before my next meeting so I'm going to try to catch up here. Assuming we have internet, I hope to set up my new thread tonight!

>193 mdoris: For those of us who love books as held objects as well as reading delights, the Olive Editions are pretty nice, Mary.
I am a huge women't basketball fan and, while the UW Huskies are of course my team, we have cheered heartily for the Zags (aka Bulldogs) when they have come to Seattle to play in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament. The crowd was always partisan for "local" teams!

>194 ChelleBearss: and >195 BLBera: Keep an eye out for Olive editions, Chelle and Beth. I think you'll see what I mean in person (in book?).

>196 LizzieD: I'm glad to have hit you with a good book bullet, Peggy. Darryl got me with Negroland so I'm happy to share! :-)

>197 jolerie: "...this is the danger of LT!" Indeed, Valerie. LT has paradoxically greatly increased both the quantity and quality of my reading, but it has also managed to consume a lot of my time just learning about and admiring books!

Jan 31, 11:36am Top

>198 charl08: Were there any Olive Editions in that bookshop's beautiful display, Charlotte?

>199 LovingLit: Well, they might just do that, Megan. I'm glad she included some first-person experiences to lend greater credibility to her story. I'll be interested in what you think since you're getting it from your local library!

>200 jnwelch: and >201 vancouverdeb: Hiya Joe and Deb. Glad I've introduced you to the Olive editions! :-D

>202 rosalita: Julia, you cracked me up! I don't know how Kim will feel about my carelessness.... Heh.
I agree totally about the Olive Editions appealing to my (your) minimalist side. In simplicity resides elegance.

Jan 31, 11:42am Top

>203 thornton37814: I was kind of having a little party with the Olive editions covers, Lori! It's a good thing some of them are out of print.....

>204 richardderus: Perfection indeed, Richard. I wholeheartedly agree. My Olive Edition of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek arrived and I'm thinking it will be perfect for the BingoDOG "beautiful cover" item.

>205 ronincats: I thought you would like that story, Roni. :-)

>206 ffortsa: I have never actually read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Judy, but I now have this lovely edition and plan to read it this year. But, um, spiders?

>207 karenmarie: Yep. :-)

>208 Crazymamie: and >209 richardderus: and >210 Crazymamie: Hahaha. But. Hold up! They actually don't have deckled edges! They are lovely nonetheless, though.... (Richard, you are almost evil ~ I had to go check one of my Olive editions just to be sure!)

Jan 31, 11:46am Top

>211 msf59: Hi Mark. I know by now you are lounging on a beach. I hope it's wonderful!

>212 LovingLit: Yay! I will have to come check out your review of Tell Me How it Ends, Megan!

>213 Familyhistorian: "...and then you have to write reviews for them all at the same time." Um, yes, Meg, I am finding that to be one of the interesting dynamics of reading multiple books at once! LOL

I was thinking about that display/storage dilemma last night, Meg. If I had ALL of the Olive Editions, they would absolutely have to sit together on the shelves. That might mess up my otherwise completely and obsessively organized book collection. (read: only somewhat organized but I can usually find what I'm looking for)

>214 Berly: Your what? ;-)

Jan 31, 11:47am Top

>215 The_Hibernator: I'm glad to have introduced you to the Olive editions, Rachel. Enjoy!

>216 rosalita:

Jan 31, 11:50am Top

>217 humouress: Keeping caught up on LT is simply impossible, Nina. Not if one wants to do any actual reading!!!!

>218 weird_O: Hi Bill! Thanks for swinging by! "...we have my wife's grandfather's wood-and-rawhide snowshoes..." I love seeing examples of the old style snow shoes. They worked, I am sure, but I think the new high-tech ones are perhaps a bit easier.
"...Judi had a grand time mushing through the drifts." That would have been me, too!!!!

Jan 31, 11:51am Top

Not caught up, not even with my own thread. But work calls so I will have to return at a later hour.

Jan 31, 2:39pm Top

Count me in on having never heard of Olive editions but now I want them.

Good to hear the FIL move is done. Yikes on the smoky new oven. Thanks for the link to the article.

Jan 31, 2:46pm Top

>230 EBT1002: What Roni said, Ellen. Good article and quotes from you. I'm glad the universities are paying this kind of attention. What a critical time of life, and so difficult for so many.

Jan 31, 3:07pm Top

>191 EBT1002: Olive Editions -- they look so pretty and so enticing. I've never heard of them.

Jan 31, 3:21pm Top

>234 EBT1002: Heh...I was tormenting Mamie...because I am eeeeeeeevilllllllllll

Edited: Jan 31, 4:14pm Top

>220 richardderus: Thanks Richard!

>222 BLBera: Hi Beth. No, I have not yet received my ER copy of The Parking Lot Attendant. It's taking longer than I think it usually does....

>223 ronincats: Hi Roni. I want to spend some quality time on the God Stalk group read thread; haven't had a chance to do that yet. I think it will help consolidate my reading experience to read comments from more seasoned readers of fantasy!

>224 jnwelch: You're so good for/to me, Joe. I will write a review and think "nope, this one is not worthy of the main book page" and then you come along and offer to give me the thumbs up if I post it.
My "review" of Why Buddhism is True is now posted and available for thumbing! :-)

Jan 31, 4:17pm Top

Those Olive editions are pretty nifty. But having perused the list of them, there aren't many that I have not already read, or that I want to read.

>242 richardderus: Maybe you are evil, RD. But to be sure, we must confirm your political affiliation.

Jan 31, 4:19pm Top

>225 richardderus: You are good for/to me, as well, Richard. xo

>226 Familyhistorian: I think Why Buddhism is True will be especially compelling if you're a mediator, Meg. I have an appointment with my shrink later today and she has agreed to talk with me a bit more about meditation. I'm determined to give it a try (Joe!?!? are you seeing this, you sidewalk hustler, you??) and I need some idea of how to get started. This book does not really provide that.

>227 Berly: We're definitely ganging up on you, Kim!! But only out of fondness and affection (I wonder if that will get me in trouble, too!).

Regarding your protection from BBs, I'm unimpressed. It's a charming outfit but I fear it's not as impermeable as you may think.

>228 The_Hibernator: I'm glad you enjoyed my review of Why Buddhism is True, Rachel. I took a pretty long while to read it. I'd read a couple of chapters in an evening, then take three evenings to read the next chapter, then take a week off, then read another couple of chapters in an evening again. It lends itself to intermittent immersion. I think my next bedside table book to be read a chapter at a time and over several weeks will be We Were Eight Years in Power. I want to savor that one.

Edited: Jan 31, 4:22pm Top

>229 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks for that comment, encouragement, and something of a guide to getting started, Caroline. I do little bits of meditation (breath focus, 2 or 3 minutes at a time) at times here and there but have not developed an intentional practice. I'll need to think about where and when and how to fit in some first attempts. Wright does talk about the way a meditation practice leaks into the rest of one's life along the lines of what you're describing. He described his experience with mindfulness meditation arising unbidden in response to stressful moments.

Jan 31, 4:23pm Top

>231 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

Jan 31, 4:29pm Top

>239 SuziQoregon: I now have four Olive Editions, Juli: Bel Canto, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, How to Be Black, and Bad Feminist. I let my copy of The Bean Trees go several months ago. Now I'm going to put these in the "keep even after you finish reading them" category. It flies in the face of my commitment to get some books out of the house but what are ya gonna do? :-)

>240 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I fully agree that this is critical terrain for colleges and universities to address. As a former counseling center director, it is a bit weird to find myself in the administrative position of challenging the profession to think differently. Simply adding counselors to the staff until we reach the level of "adequately staffed" is not sustainable for the long run. We have got to think about how to engage students in learning coping skills and distress tolerance without promising one-on-one counseling for all. Truly, I think that goes for society as a whole. I love my therapist and I think everyone should have one. But I don't see how (or that) colleges and universities can fill this need for our society.

Some of it is that I believe we need to build the resilience of our whole communities. We hear from faculty who send a student to the counseling center because they are tearful. Tears don't always indicate a need for therapy! Sometimes tears indicate a need for a caring ear. But our faculty don't always know how to respond and higher ed has become so fraught with fears of legal liability that human beings are paralyzed and unable to provide basic human compassion.

Okay, I'm overstating the issue but this soapbox just slid in under my feet and I was helpless.....

Edited: Jan 31, 4:32pm Top

>241 Whisper1: and >242 richardderus: I'm thinking Harper-Perennial owes me some royalties or something.... Just sayin'.

>244 weird_O: Yeah, I had that same experience, Bill. It saved my bank account. I felt like sending them a whole list of books I think they "should" print in this series. Ha!

Edited: Jan 31, 4:36pm Top

Here's the next one I need to find because I have been wanting to reread this delightful series anyway:

Jan 31, 4:42pm Top

>243 EBT1002: You write such good reviews! Thumb applied.

>245 EBT1002: Ah, you caught the twitchy sidewalk hustler comment. I thought that might help inspire you. :-)

It's good the therapist is going to talk to you about meditation. I was lucky; a professor in college taught us, and had us keep a journal about it.

Jan 31, 6:35pm Top

>244 weird_O: Green. As in, "How far is it possible to get away from red?"

Tales of the City! Oh how I loved those books as a young fag-about-town.

Jan 31, 6:39pm Top

>230 EBT1002: Nice article. One of my colleagues and I were just discussing mental health and students.

>243 EBT1002: I'm so glad I'm not the only one who hasn't received it. I hope it's not going to be a no-show. I was hoping to read it for Black History month.

>250 EBT1002: Pretty. I have never seen Olive editions, which is probably just as well, but I love them!

Jan 31, 10:57pm Top

>248 EBT1002: I agree completely, Ellen. One of the things I did at the elementary school level was skills building--coping skills, anger management, problem solving--in groups rather than "counseling". My rationale was that developing a sense of competence in those areas would be the key to developing self-worth. One has to have something to build that sense of self on, after all. Yes, there were more troubled youngsters who needed counseling, but so many just needed to develop the skills to cope in order to feel good about themselves. I was strongly influenced early on, btw, by the Richard Abidin Parenting program books which stress two components to be developed to have a healthy individual, competence and self-esteem. Too many programs, I think, stress self-esteem when there may not be any competence to build upon, and that cannot be sustained.

*Removing my soapbox*

Jan 31, 11:23pm Top

Ahem. SO they don't have deckled edge pages? *looks over top of glasses at Richard* Um...

Hello, Ellen, dear!

Feb 1, 11:30am Top

*peeks into thread*

...is SHE gone yet?...

Feb 1, 11:49am Top

Hello Ellen! Finally getting around to dropping my star. I hope all is well with you.

The Olive Edition covers are fantastic, though these novels have never been on my radar. I've heard of them, of course. ;-)

>97 EBT1002: The Neon Rain is good stuff. I loved it back in the day. Sadly, I fell off of Robicheaux after about book six. I absolutely loved In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. Brilliant.

Feb 1, 12:31pm Top

*prays Ellen will start a new therefore safe thread soon*

Feb 1, 12:42pm Top

>251 jnwelch: I think a college course with a required journal would be a great way to lead into meditation, Joe. I did a 5-minute meditation during my session yesterday and then we talked about it. I downloaded the HeadSpace app and I'll definitely be squeezing this into my life.

>252 richardderus: I like that definition of green!
And yes, the Maupin books were great during a certain period of time, were they not? I LOVED them and devoured them straight (well...) through without hardly breathing.

>253 BLBera: I hope it's not a no-show, either, Beth! I don't think I've had an ER not turn up.... which is why I am behind on reading and reviewing them.
Next time you and I are in a bookshop together, I may hand you an Olive edition. You may not buy it but I know you'll enjoy holding it for a few minutes.

>254 ronincats: Spot on, down the line, Roni. We (and I do mean all of us!) have created a generation of humans with limited ability to tolerate distress, manage disappointment, delay gratification, or soothe themselves through problems of daily living. I love that the stigma attached to help-seeking is being reduced but I also think we have pathologized some pretty ordinary human experiences.

Edited: Feb 1, 12:45pm Top

>255 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! I'm glad you and Richard are having fun on my thread! You KNOW I love it when folks throw a party at my place!

>256 richardderus: She is still here, Richard.

>257 brodiew2: Hiya Brodie! Thanks for dropping off a star. I need to swing by your digs soon, too. I look forward to reading the first in the Dave Robicheaux series as I keep hearing good things.

>258 Crazymamie: That is one of the all-time best movie moments.

>259 richardderus: WELL, Richard, our home internet is out and won't be back until Sunday (grr) so I did stop by here this morning to start a new thread. And then I got caught up in getting caught up! Sneaking in some LT time only at work is a bit of a challenge. SO, you'll be glad to know that a new thread is indeed immanent...

Feb 3, 12:44am Top

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Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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