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Joe's Book Cafe Door 7

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe Door 6.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe Door 8.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Feb 27, 1:12pm Top

Art by Christian Robinson

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Feb 27, 12:58pm Top

Belief in Magic

By Dean Young

How could I not?
Have seen a man walk up to a piano
and both survive.
Have turned the exterminator away.
Seen lipstick on a wine glass not shatter the wine.
Seen rainbows in puddles.
Been recognized by stray dogs.
I believe reality is approximately 65% if.
All rivers are full of sky.
Waterfalls are in the mind.
We all come from slime.
Even alpacas.
I believe we’re surrounded by crystals.
Not just Alexander Vvedensky.
Maybe dysentery, maybe a guard’s bullet did him in.
I believe there are many kingdoms left.
The Declaration of Independence was written with a feather.
A single gem has throbbed in my chest my whole life
even though
even though this is my second heart.
Because the first failed,
such was its opportunity.
Was cut out in pieces and incinerated.
I asked.
And so was denied the chance to regard my own heart
in a jar.
Strange tangled imp.
Wee sleekit in red brambles.
You know what it feels like to hold
a burning piece of paper, maybe even
trying to read it as the flames get close
to your fingers until all you’re holding
is a curl of ash by its white ear tip
yet the words still hover in the air?
That’s how I feel now.

Edited: Mar 14, 2:01pm Top

January, 2018

1. Artemis by Andy Weir
2. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham
3. Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros
4. God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell
5. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
6. The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie
7. The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
8. Bizarre Space A Kid's Guide by Jenn Dlugos and Charlie Hatton
9. Lessons on Expulsion by Erika L. Sanchez
10. Binti The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
11. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
12. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
13. Warcross by Marie Lu
14. Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich
15. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

February 2018

16. The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson
17. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee
18. The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri
19. Girl in a Plain Brown Wrapper by John D. MacDonald
20. A Tan and Sandy Silence by John D. MacDonald
21. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
22. Shock by Shock by Dean Young
23. A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
24. Lightning Blade by D.N. Erikson
25. Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami
26. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
27. The Power by Naomi Alderman
28. Light Boxes by Shane Jones


29. Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
30. In Pursuit of Memory by Joseph Jebelli
31. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire
32. For We Are Many by Dennis Taylor
33. All These Worlds by Dennis Taylor
34. One Goal: A Coach by Amy Bass
35. We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

Illustrated Books 2018

1. Saga Volume 8 by Fiona Staples
2. Black Panther Avengers of the New World by Ta-Nehisi Coates
3. Black Panther Book Two by Ta-Nehisi Coates
4. Moon Knight by Jeff Lemire
5. Henchgirl by Rita Stradling
6. The Adventures of Dieter Lumpen by Jorge Zentner
7. Death The Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman
8. Going into Town by Roz Chast
9. Black Panther Book Three by Ta-Nehisi Coates
10. Black Panther World of Wakanda by Roxanne Gay
11. After the Rain by Andre Julliard
12. Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say
13. Leave it to Chance by James Robinson
14. Thornhill by Pam Smy
15. Lumberjanes Vol. 4 by Noelle Stevenson
16. The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux
17. Orphan Black Helsinki by Graeme Manson
18. Nemi by Lise Myrhe
19. Jane by Aline McKenna
20. Eye of the World Volume 5 by Robert Jordan
21. Andre the Giant by Box Brown
22. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
23. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
24. Wires and Nerve Volume 2 by Marissa Meyer

Edited: Mar 14, 2:36pm Top

2017 Favorites


News of the World by Paulette Jiles


Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith


Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright

Young Adult

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Science Fiction

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemison (conclusion of a trilogy)


Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Graphic Novels

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris


The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan (amazing - featuring short fairy tales and related photos of his sculptures)

Edited: Feb 27, 12:56pm Top

Feb 27, 12:54pm Top

*peeks around the corner... safe to enter?

Happy new thread, Joe!

Edited: Feb 27, 12:57pm Top

Can I be first? Happy new one, Joe!

Edit: Nope! waited too long.

>1 jnwelch: The Josephine artwork is fantastic as is the book. My daughter got the picture book from the library and loves it.

Feb 27, 1:01pm Top

Happy new thread Joe! I love the illustrations. For some reason, graphic illustrations speak to me more than realistic ones. Maybe I just like bright colors. I’ll be looking for his picture book.

Edited: Feb 27, 1:03pm Top

>5 jnwelch: Ha! It's safe, Chelle. Thanks!

First one in the door . . . I bet you could use a nice playground for Chloe, and Ellie can watch her enjoy it.

Feb 27, 1:10pm Top

>6 ChelleBearss: That Chelle is just too quick, Brodie. She's been training with two future Olympians of the daughter type.

Oh, good to hear re your daughter. I'd like to see that Josephine: The Dazzling Life book. He also illustrated Last Stop on Market Street and a bunch of other good ones.

>7 brodiew2: Hi, Anne. Thanks!

I'm glad you love those illustrations. He's an illustrator worth exploring, with a lot of good ones. Those bright colors are so appealing, aren't they.

Feb 27, 1:13pm Top

I am ignoring all posts above >6 ChelleBearss:. It's safer that way.

Edited: Feb 27, 1:16pm Top

>10 jnwelch: One of these times we'll feature Allen Say. I know that'll get you, RD. :-)

P.S. And an Allen Ginsburg poem.

Feb 27, 1:17pm Top

Since you are doing children's picture book authors and illustrators have you read or heard about the "Me Too" thing in the children's picture world? Here is the link to the New York Times article on it.

Apparently much of this happened while I was in Denver at the ALA meeting, so I missed it completely. That's what happens when you spend an entire Sunday afternoon at the ProQuest booth talking about RefWorks with the Techies. I do have to say that the allegations about David Diaz don't surprise me. Many years ago I had a graduate student working for me who was an usher at a children's book festival in Hattisburg, MS. Diaz was one of the featured author/illustrators. When she got back she told me that she had a great time, but that Diaz was like the Uncle that every family wants to hide in the closet. She told me he was very "handy," but nothing that she couldn't handle. Of course, she was a bit older (late twenties) when this happened with a stint in the military behind her, so she probably could handle herself pretty well in these situations. Still, it is bothersome for everybody not only the industry.

Feb 27, 1:25pm Top

We have both of the Josephine Baker books in our collection and they are dazzling and so much fun. However, only one of them deals with the idea of discrimination in depth, the other glosses over it. The problem of controversy in a children's biography is a real problem. People don't seem to want the truth. They want a pretty picture.

During Black History Month last year, I encouraged one of the student teacher's to step out of the King/Parks box and do something with some of the Alabama natives that had a part in the Civil Rights movement. I suggested Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Dinah Washington, and Satchel Paige. She checked out books about each one of these and started to work on her lesson plans. About a week later she came back and told me that she couldn't do any of those people as they were controversial. I couldn't believe it! Here were the reasons she was given. Washington was a drug addict. Aaron, Mays, and Paige were known to be "Players." I then moved her to Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price. That went over much better, but neither of these two were from Alabama.

Feb 27, 1:32pm Top

>13 benitastrnad: Yikes. No, I hadn't, Benita. Good article. What a shame. I don't know Diaz's work, but I enjoyed both Maze Runner and Thirteen Reasons Why (the latter at our daughter's recommendation).

As with other industries, I'm glad this is being brought to light and addressed. Makes me wonder about how these guys were raised. I think (hope) we're in a watershed time where it's understood that not only is this kind of behavior unacceptable, but you'll pay a price if you engage in it. And I hope all the outpouring of support helps victims.

It makes me think of the Olympic gymnasts and the disgraced and imprisoned doctor who was abusing them. I thought the judge was terrific and encouraging to the victims, and that the testifying gymnasts were awesome.

Feb 27, 1:38pm Top

>14 benitastrnad: Huh. I don't get that either, with Aaron, Mays, Washington, and Paige. Many (most)? of our heroes and noteworthies have feet of clay, particularly when it comes to playing around.

I have to admit, there are times, IMO, when it's perfectly fine to only provide pretty pictures, and for all of us to enjoy them. We've got to enjoy life's beauty while at the same time trying to make this a better place. That beauty is a big part of what makes the fight worth it.

Feb 27, 2:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe! I love the illustrations up top - I'm not familiar with Christian Robinson.

Feb 27, 2:27pm Top

I missed the entire previous thread so I'm getting in on this one now to say Happy New Thread and as usual - the artwork up top is spectacular!

Feb 27, 2:52pm Top

Happy new thread Joe.

Feb 27, 3:04pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe. Wonderful topper, as usual.

Catching up on your last thread and got hit with a warble for Wires and Nerve which I promptly requested from the library. I enjoyed the Cinder series, so this should be fun. :)

Wow- outstanding play castle. Methinks it needs a dragon on top, though. And a bench with lots of cushions and blankies to curl up and read.

Feb 27, 4:26pm Top

Happy new thread Joe!

Feb 27, 4:26pm Top

I'll drop off a wave on this thread since I'm here so early. :)

Feb 27, 4:28pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Feb 27, 4:39pm Top

>17 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! Christian Robinson is worth becoming familiar with. And he sure looks young, doesn't he.

>18 SuziQoregon: Ha! Thanks, Juli. I wondered where you were last thread. You were missed! I hope real life is treating you okay. Aren't those illustrations cool? He's got many more good 'uns, this guy.

Feb 27, 4:54pm Top

>19 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. Remind me to make you a pot of tea here some day. I know that's a favorite.

>20 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I'm glad the topper works for you.

I really enjoyed Wires and Nerve, and I'm already after the second one. To me, the character drawing was a little too similar in some places, but I got used to it. Iko, who's a favorite for me, gets lots of page time. Let me know what you think when you get your hands on it.

I like both those additions to the playground, particularly the bench with cushions and blankies.

Maybe we can find an even bigger one?

Feb 27, 4:56pm Top

>21 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

>22 MickyFine: Yay! Good to see you, Micky. Come early and often, my friend.

>23 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

Feb 27, 5:02pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe!

Feb 27, 5:14pm Top

>9 jnwelch: Wowza!! Chloe already thinks she is a princess so she would love that castle! I wonder how I could bribe Nate to build that?

Feb 27, 5:18pm Top

Hi Joe and Happy New Thread! I love the art of Christian Robinson.

I see that you are still making your way through the Travis McGee series again. So fun.

How did you like The Power?

Feb 27, 5:44pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe. I like those Robinson toppers. I will come back and check out the Young poem. Matt and I are heading out to see Black Panther. Yeah, baby!

Feb 27, 5:57pm Top

>27 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

>28 ChelleBearss: Ha! I thought that would work for Chloe, Chelle. Stuffed pizza bribes work well for me, but I don't know with your Nate. I do get the feeling he kind of likes that Chloe.

Feb 27, 6:06pm Top

>29 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, and thanks! Isn't Christian Robinson's art a happymaker?

I liked The Power a lot, and I wish I could say more. Debbi's reading it now and liking it, but she's got me worried. As you probably know, women get the upper hand in it, and she says it's giving her lots of good ideas. Seriously, it's a very clever story that provokes a lot of thinking about . . . yup, you've got it. Power.

Yeah, I went back to fill in a gap in the progression, so I think Darker Than Amber is next for me in the Travis McGee series. I hadn't realized he'd managed to write as many as he did. I've got a fair amount of good reading ahead. Nice!

>30 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Thanks. I'm glad those Christian Robinson toppers grab you.

I think it's a really good Dean Young poem. See what you think.

Have a great time at the Black Panther movie! You and Matt are going to love it.

Feb 27, 6:12pm Top

Good to hear that you liked The Power, Joe. I have it on tap for March.

Feb 27, 6:47pm Top

>33 EBT1002: Can't wait to hear what you think of it, Ellen. It's tough to talk about except under spoiler cover. It's a fast-moving read, btw.

Feb 27, 6:54pm Top

Happy new one, Joe.

Love your best of 2017 list despite only having heard of one of them. I guess the stores here are a little behind!

Feb 27, 7:05pm Top

>35 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. I'm happy that you love that best of '17 list. If I was going to pick one for you, it would be News of the World. I suspect you'd get a kick out of that one.

Feb 27, 7:13pm Top

>31 jnwelch: Stuffed pizza for life maybe! He loves his girls but that is quite the elaborate castle. :) I'll work on him

Feb 27, 7:21pm Top

Hey Joe! Happy new thread! Josephine Baker! There's a success story!

Feb 27, 8:00pm Top

>37 ChelleBearss: Good luck, Chelle!

Stuffed pizza for life . . . oh, what a lovely dream.

>38 Carmenere: Hey Lynda! Thanks!

I'm woefully under-knowledged (woo, sorry, English language) about Josephine Baker, other than the superficial. I'm glad to hear she was a success story.

Feb 28, 6:29am Top

Morning, Joe! Darker Than Amber, eh? Wouldn't take much, to be honest...

Feb 28, 7:11am Top

Happy new one, Joe.

Feb 28, 8:03am Top

>40 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Ha! I hear you, sister! I have to wear sunscreen when I turn a lamp on.

>41 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. I hope things are going well. Do you still have a few days before you're back at work, or have you started already?

Feb 28, 8:11am Top

Morning, Joe. I am enjoying the day off, but I am running out to Rockford, to visit an ailing Aunt. My Dad's only sister. I hope to get some book time in to.

BTW- I did get a library copy of Where Now: New and Selected Poems again, so I'll be able to finish that one.

Feb 28, 8:13am Top

We've got breakfast with the DIL's parents, who are in town, and then various other things, so I'll catch you all later in the day.

Edited: Feb 28, 8:14am Top

So that's where I put it

Feb 28, 8:14am Top

>2 jnwelch: "All rivers are full of sky." I like the Young poem. Boy, he jams a lot in, doesn't he? That is one to ponder.

Feb 28, 10:30am Top

Okay, I have a million books to read but I'm now deciding to take The Power to be my travel book when I fly to Philly on Saturday. Your description makes it sound like the perfect airplane read.

Feb 28, 10:48am Top

>42 jnwelch: I start next Monday.

Feb 28, 1:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe!

>1 jnwelch: Reading through your thread it was confirmed I was right recognising Josephine Baker in those nice pictures up there.
>24 jnwelch: Like!

Feb 28, 2:05pm Top

Happy new thread Joe! The cafe is happily hopping a long. :)

Feb 28, 3:01pm Top

>46 msf59: Thanks for checking out the Dean Young poem, Mark. I like that burning piece of paper image at the end, too. He does jam a lot in - his are normally filled with unusual imagery. This is another one that refers to his heart transplant.

>47 EBT1002: The Power should be a perfect airplane read, Ellen. Debbi just said, "it grabs you and doesn't let go."

Feb 28, 3:04pm Top

>48 Ameise1: Oh good, Barbara. I'm glad you have a few more days of R & R before you head back to work.

>49 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita!

Yes, those illustrations are referring to Josephine Baker. She's someone I should learn more about.

Isn't >24 jnwelch: a good one? It's another one by Christian Robinson, the guy who did the topper art.

>50 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie! We're off at a comfortable gallop in the new cafe, aren't we.

Feb 28, 3:57pm Top

Hmmm, I've been lurking but it occurred to me that I don't think I've posted *Happy new thread*. So, before it isn't new any more: happy new thread Joe!

The toppers remind me of the illustration style of books from when I was little. Soft spot for those!

Feb 28, 10:21pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe. You're off and running again seems a lot of new threads start up at the end of the month. *sigh*

Mar 1, 2:40am Top

>55 Familyhistorian: its the first of the month where i am! ;)

Hi Joe, love those illustrations up top, I just tried to find a cool old book I have, but seem to have misplaced it (>45 jnwelch: !!). I will report back if I find it!

Mar 1, 3:06am Top

Sweet Thursday, Joe. We are back to snow and it looks like it won't stop snowing.

Mar 1, 10:28am Top

>53 jessibud2: Ha! Thanks, Shelley!

I know, those bright, flat colors take me back, too. How does he inject so much life into them?

>54 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. I'll circle back for the article.

Edited: Mar 1, 1:32pm Top

>55 Familyhistorian: Hiya, Meg. Thanks!

It seems like it's been quite a busy year for the 75ers. I wonder whether we're gabbing with each other more than usual? Paul may tell us at some point. It's been fun, I'll say that.

>56 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Aren't those illustrations up top charming? I want to find more books illustrated by this guy. I've got Last Stop on Market Street waiting at the library.

You've intrigued me - >45 jnwelch: reminded you of an old book you had? Now I'm curious. :-)

>57 Ameise1: Sweet Thursday, Barbara. You're in a snowy part of the world, aren't you. What month does it usually stop for you?

Edited: Mar 1, 10:42am Top

Currently reading

On deck

This one just came out. Amy Bass is our cousin. Lots of positive reviews and buzz so far.

Mar 1, 10:42am Top

>59 jnwelch: It depends. Sometimes we still get snow in the first half of April. There are also years when in March the temps go up like early summer. So, spring is always unpredictable and therefore our winter clothes stay out until the end of April.

Mar 1, 10:46am Top

>60 jnwelch: Ah, okay. Thanks, Barbara. It's more similar to us than I thought. Here in Chicago we usually get some snow in March, and every once in a while we'll get a snowstorm in April. I hadn't thought about it, but we probably keep warm clothes available at least through mid-April.

Mar 1, 10:50am Top

And the pig's thinking, who's this guy in a weird costume?

Edited: Mar 1, 1:37pm Top

I highly recommend getting over to Megan's thread to enjoy the grammar jokes she posted: http://www.librarything.com/topic/285273#6398512 If your computer is like mine, you'll have to wait a beat for it to link up with the right post, which is #249.

No, "grammar jokes" is not an oxymoron.

Mar 1, 1:45pm Top

>2 jnwelch:

Belief in Magic echoes Fintan in Deirdre Madden's Time Present and Time Past - truly evocative in so many ways.

Mar 1, 1:48pm Top

>14 benitastrnad:

You might alert her to MLK, JFK, and Clinton also being major players.

Mar 1, 2:33pm Top

Hi Joe!

Happy (belated) new thread.

Well, I think I'm going to be the only one around here who is not WOWed by The Power. Just finished it this morning, and my review is on my thread. I only gave it 3 stars - "good" in my rating system, just a nudge above 2.5 "average".

Edited: Mar 1, 7:24pm Top

>64 jnwelch: - Oh, those are priceless! Thanks, Joe. As you know, I have a whole file full of such language fun. I love stuff like this

edited to correct idiotic typos

Mar 1, 5:57pm Top

Happy newish thread Joe.

>1 jnwelch: The style reminds me of older illustrations as well. Simple lines and colours, the playing with planes and lines. Nice.

Edited: Mar 1, 6:05pm Top

>54 benitastrnad: Very sad and disheartened about this. He is one of my literary heroes!

Sweet Thursday, Joe. I am so glad that rain moved out early, because it turned out to be a decent day. Thanks for the advice on Wendell Berry. I requested that volume from the library.

Mar 1, 6:24pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe - I actually posted the same date you started this thread, but it has disappeared into the ether. So weird when that happens.

Mar 1, 6:25pm Top

>65 m.belljackson: That sounds intriguing, Marianne. I haven't read Time Present and Time Past. Can you describe the echo?

>66 m.belljackson: :-)

Mar 1, 6:29pm Top

>67 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Thanks!

Yeah, I saw over on your thread that The Power didn't pop your buttons. It's a rarity when a book is loved by virtually everyone. A Gentleman in Moscow is a recent one that comes to mind, but even it had its detractors. As I mentioned on your thread, I enjoyed the power reversal, was intrigued that the same power issues seemed to arise for both genders, and for me, the pages flew.

My wife said it grabs you and doesn't let go, and that was my experience.

Mar 1, 6:36pm Top

>68 jessibud2: Oh good, Shelley. I thought that would be right up your alley. You may have seen that I got a big kick out of the malapropism one.

>69 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella.

I'm glad you like the illustrations. Yes, well said. There is a old-timey joy there that really gets me.

>70 msf59: I know, Mark. Arggh re the Sherman Alexie claims in that article that Benita linked. A lot of people are going to be very disappointed.

Sweet Thursday, buddy. I'm glad it cleared up and turned into a decent one. I had planned to put off a library trip because of the rain, but went ahead went it moved on.

You're welcome re Wendell Berry. His poetry has many fans. Let me know what you think.

Mar 1, 6:38pm Top

>71 Crazymamie: Ah, and unfortunately, Mamie, trying to recall lost posts from the ether doesn't work as well as retrieving info from the cloud.

It's good to hear from you anyway. Thanks for swinging back by. Sorry to hear the top of your foot is still a problem.

Mar 1, 6:48pm Top

>75 jnwelch: It's better than it was, Joe, just not moving along as quickly as i want it to. I am not good with patience. Luckily, I am very good with happy.

Mar 1, 11:53pm Top

One Goal looks interesting! My daughter is into soccer, right now, I might look for it for her.

Mar 2, 2:08am Top

>59 jnwelch: Well Joe, Paul may let us know but he has slowed down in the posting while everybody else has sped up. It was easier to keep up when there was only one thread in hyperdrive.

Mar 2, 5:35am Top

'Morning, Joe!

Congrats to your cousin for her new book.

Mar 2, 8:18am Top

>76 Crazymamie: Ha! Being very good with happy is much more important than patience, seems to me, Mamie. I'm glad the foot is a bit better. I'm sure resting it is key, and I know that's hard. I hope there's a good book or two on hand to divert you.

>77 banjo123: I can't wait to start One Goal, Rhonda. It should be a good fit for your daughter. Amy writes really well.

Mar 2, 8:20am Top

>78 Familyhistorian: Ha! It was easier to keep up when there was only one thread in hyperdrive, Meg, you're right. We're just an enthusiastic, interesting bunch, I guess. And you know Paul will pick up at some point.

>79 karenmarie: Morning, Karen!

Thanks re our cousin's book. It's exciting. She's been on NPR and the Today Show and I don't know what-all. Good thing she likes to talk!

Edited: Mar 2, 8:48am Top

Photo by Pilar Azaña Talán

I just liked this a lot

Mar 2, 8:53am Top

Happy friday, Joe!

>82 jnwelch: Beautiful! So green!

Mar 2, 2:02pm Top

>82 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Chelle!

Isn't that beautiful in >82 jnwelch:? The green days are coming . . .

Mar 2, 2:04pm Top

>82 jnwelch: LOVE this!

Happy Friday, Joe!

Mar 2, 2:27pm Top

>86 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Mamie!

Yay for >82 jnwelch:!

Mar 2, 2:52pm Top

Have a great Friday, Joe! About that reading pig...did you encounter the ancient Freddy the Pig series of kids' books? I was enchanted by them as a young'un. Mama had them all and I found them at her parents' house. Whimsical and amusing and fun.

Mar 2, 3:58pm Top

>25 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, I would love to get over to see you and other LT friends mate and share a pot of tea with you and then get a beer and take in a ball game. There are one or two places in the States that both Karen and I would like to visit and hopefully we will be able to do this in the near future.

Mar 2, 5:15pm Top

>87 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I hope you have a great Friday, too. I saw that doctor done you wrong; I hope it gets straightened out.

Freddy the Pig, hmm. I didn't know that one as a kid. Wish I had - they sound like fun.

>88 johnsimpson: Sounds like a plan, John! We'd love to have you and Karen visit. We've got tea, beer and ball games aplenty. :-)

Mar 2, 6:35pm Top

>89 jnwelch: I sure hope you'll try them out now, Joe, and possibly read them to your newest family member. They're fun!

Mar 2, 11:35pm Top

Morning Joe! Or rather, good afternoon!

>81 jnwelch: What’s this about your cousin writing a book? I seem to have missed something while whizzing through the threads.

Mar 3, 12:17am Top

Happy Saturday!! I admit it. I am hopelessly behind here. But I love >82 jnwelch:! And you.

Mar 3, 7:10am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. Getting ready to head out. It looks like it will be another nice day. Hope you have an R & R weekend planned.

Mar 3, 7:37am Top

Just stopping by to say hi and read your thread. Enjoy the nice weekend weather.

Mar 3, 7:48am Top

Morning, Joe! Looks like you had a fun night out with the fam!

Edited: Mar 3, 8:12am Top

>90 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. Good to have the strong endorsement. We do have a new reader (listener to start) coming along, don't we. :-)

>91 humouress: It's back to morning for me, Nina. Good morning!

Amy Bass is our cousin, and her new book, One Goal: A Coach, A Team, just got released this week. She's a sweetheart, and smart as a whip, and the book has been getting lots of positive buzz: https://www.amazon.com/One-Goal-Brought-Divided-Together/dp/0316396540/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520082227&sr=1-1&keywords=amy+bass+one+goal

I need to finish my Walter Mosley and then it's next. Madame MBH read it in pre-pub form, and loved it. She also helped Amy pick the audio voice, so I hope that those cafe patrons who read it in audio report back on the narrator. He's a young guy, and it should be good - I got to hear him, too. (She decided against using a more established narrator who sounded too generic).

Mar 3, 8:18am Top

>92 Berly: Aww, thanks, Kim. Back atcha! Isn't >82 jnwelch: beautiful?

Happy Saturday! Even I have trouble keeping up, and I work here. :-)

>93 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Enjoy the improving weather!

This is our second Oscar-nominated movie day, so we'll be entertaining our brain cells all day. We start with "Dunkirk" and end with "Get Out". The others are that Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill one, The Post, and Call Me By Your Name.

We're going to end up seeing every nominated lead actor except Denzel Washington, who played what looked to be a lawyer on the spectrum in a movie we didn't see.

Edited: Mar 3, 8:35am Top

>94 alphaorder: Oh, that's very nice of you, Nancy. Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you get to enjoy this excellent weather. I just said to your friend Mark that we'll be in the movie theater all day, watching our second (and last) slate of Oscar-nominated movies.

>95 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle!

We had so much fun last night. As you may have seen, we're season ticket holders for the Chicago Bulls games, but our seats are in the 300 section, a fair way up in the United Center. Last night, as you probably saw on Facebook, we had a Bulls rep come and give us tickets for seats down in the 100s, at midcourt, eleven rows up - best seats I've ever had. Wow! Our daughter was with me, and she said, "I don't want this game to ever end". Ha! When it did, the Bulls had mounted a big comeback and beat the Dallas Mavericks. Woo-hoo! Very exciting.

After the game. The hats were free handouts last night, designed by the artist J. Rivera.

Mar 3, 8:37am Top

That does sound like an awesome night! I saw your FB post about being upgraded and that's very exciting!
I keep trying to talk Nate into letting me buy season tickets to the Blue Jays but with the two hour drive and small kids it just isn't going to happen. Perhaps when I retire :)

Mar 3, 8:39am Top

Hi Joe!

Major excitement to get moved to midcourt 11 rows up. Free hats, too. You both look as pleased as can be.

Enjoy your movie day.

Edited: Mar 3, 8:58am Top

>97 jnwelch: - I have only seen *The Post* and it was excellent!! I do want to see the Gary Oldman pic, too. Not sure I'll get to the others. Have a terrific day!

>98 jnwelch: - Great pic! And what fun!!

Mar 3, 9:17am Top

Off to the movies. I’ll try to check in later, but it may end up being tomorrow. Have a good one!

Edited: Mar 3, 9:51am Top

>97 jnwelch: Hi Joe, enjoy your movie marathon. I've seen 'Dunkirk' and 'The Darkest Hour' (Churchill film), both very good. I aim to go and see 'Lady Bird' tomorrow.

>98 jnwelch: two very happy campers, and a treat to get the upgrade too.

A bit from Gary zoldman on the Churchill film:


Mar 3, 10:29am Top

>96 jnwelch: Best of luck to Amy. I’m afraid, though, if it’s about American football, it’s unlikely to be read in this house. If it’s football, it’d stand a pretty good chance.

PS: the touchstone in >80 jnwelch: is wrong.

Mar 3, 11:06am Top

>98 jnwelch: A lovely evening in good company, obviously. So glad these moments come so regularly for all y'all!

Mar 3, 1:19pm Top

Joe - Sounds like a nice way to spend the day, even if you are inside. Wish I had seen more of the films.

Mar 3, 4:00pm Top

Soccer=Amy’s book

Mar 3, 4:07pm Top

>98 jnwelch: Good to see you had a splended evening with your daughter, Joe!

Mar 3, 4:34pm Top

Hi Joe, hope your weekend is going great. I am very disappointed to read the article that Benita posted. Alexie Sherman is one of my favorite authors. Also The Absolutely True Diary of a A Part-Time Indian is the book that my thirteen year old granddaughter is taking in English right now and I have been encouraging her to enjoy it.

Edited: Mar 3, 4:59pm Top

>54 benitastrnad: >109 DeltaQueen50: I am concerned about accusations that are unsubstantiated, baring in mind the capacity for lies and maliciousness that the internet offers as a tool. I'm certainly behind those women and men pursuing justice for damaged lives by sexual predators in the public domain, but process needs to be followed, and I feel identity should be protected until then because wrong accusations in the digital age cannot be undone, and the wrongly accused are victims too.

Mar 3, 5:47pm Top

>107 jnwelch: You mean football, the beautiful game ;0)

I’ll tell the boys to look out for it.

Edited: Mar 3, 6:35pm Top

Hi Joe...stopping by to say howdy...love the pic and hats in >98 jnwelch:, and topped off with a win! Now you have to cheer for the Ramblers...and want to add that I loved your review of Absolutely on Music a couple of threads back. It was my favorite book of last year; just so much to think about in that book.

Mar 3, 9:31pm Top

Naming names concerns me as well. I was very surprised to see that School Library Journal put the names in the article. The original research article did not have names. The fact that the names were in SLJ probably means that those accusations can be substantiated. SLJ is “The” journal in the school library world so they have their reputation to uphold as well. That would tend to make them very wary of what they publish. Their vetting process would be on par with that of the Washington Post and the stories they published about the Senatorial candidate in Alabama - Roy Moore. SLJ may not be a referred academic journal but as the journal found in hundreds of thousands of school and public libraries around the country they would be very careful about who they named.

The accusations about Sherman Alexie fall into a little different category. These are harder to prove and are more nebulous. Right now I think of them as accusations. When a author admits that he went through counseling for his conduct (like Diaz did) that is a different story.

Mar 3, 9:35pm Top

I should also add that School Library Journal lights up from time to time with some kind of controversy. One time it was when Lois Duncan wrote in to distance herself from the movie version of I Know What You Did Last Summeri and told people not to go see the movie as the movie industry had turned her book into a horrible slasher movie. One other time it was to call Accelerated Reader to task for making false claims for being solely responsible for increased reading test scores.

The world of Children’s and YA books - Isn’t it fun!

Mar 3, 10:34pm Top

>87 richardderus: My brother has been a serious fan of Freddy the Pig most of his life. I think he has all but one of the stories. The impression I have—I've never read a single Freddy story—is that every problem known to man has been addressed and solved by this pig. Hmm. My brother made a pilgrimage to the gravesite of the author Walter R. Brooks in upstate New York. In checking Wikipedia to see if his grave location was listed, I learned that Brooks was the creator of Mr. Ed, the talking horse.

Mar 3, 10:59pm Top

>115 weird_O: - Hehe. I never heard of Freddy the Pig but I did love Mr. Ed. As a totally irrelevant and useless bit of sidetrack, my grade 6 teacher was named Mr. Ed (pronounced EED, though, when he wasn't around, we never pronounced it EED)

Mar 3, 11:24pm Top

>59 jnwelch: You've intrigued me - >45 jnwelch: jnwelch: reminded you of an old book you had? Now I'm curious.
Well, sorry to disappoint, but I can't find the book. What is with that! The lovely other has also misplaced a book that I wanted to refer to for my uni work, it is perplexing, and unsettling.

Go the Bulls!

Mar 4, 12:00am Top

Joe--Congrats on the upgrade!! I used to work for the MN Timberwolves and I had great seats. I think my husband married because of them. ; )

Edited: Mar 4, 12:56am Top

>116 jessibud2: You remind me of a story that my parents tell of an acquaintance of theirs from the ‘60s/‘70s. The poor lady was so embarrassed by her surname, foisted on her by marriage, that she insisted on being known as Mrs Sidaybot-ham (instead of Sidebottom).

And then there’s the one about another expatriate friend of theirs with a complicated surname who was booking a hotel room (also back in the ‘70s).
“My name is long. Shall I spell it?” he asked.
“No, that’s not a problem”.
But when he got to the hotel, there was no room booked for him. He eventually found it booked under ‘Mr Long’.

Mar 4, 8:10am Top

>119 humouress: - Oh my. LOL!

Mar 4, 9:48am Top

>99 ChelleBearss: It was an awesome night, Chelle. The lovely Miss Becca was so stoked!

A two hour commute to the games with two small kids does sound like too much for season tickets to the Jays. I will say, taking the kids to ballgames when they were young (and now, too!) made for great memories for all of us.

>100 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We were as pleased as can be with the move to great seats and the hats. What you can't see with the hats is the artist also put a cool skyline on the underbrim. What a fun night it was.

Mar 4, 9:56am Top

>101 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Thanks re the pic for our Bulls game.

The Post was excellent. It of course made me think of Spotlight and All the President's Men. Thank goodness we have a free press, and thank goodness for the Supreme Court. That was a close one in the name of "security."

>102 jnwelch: You, too, Joe.

>103 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. I'll have to circle back to the link to the Gary Oldman video. He was terrific in the Darkest Hour, wasn't he? And the makeup artist deserves major recognition. Wow. He looked Churchillian in the closest closeup.

I hope you get to Lady Bird. Still our favorite.

We were so lucky to see Dunkirk and The Darkest Hour back to back. I'd recommend that to anyone. The former gets you in the middle of the actual saving of most of the soldiers stranded on the beach, and the latter gets you in the middle of Churchill being made Prime Minister and the decisions that led to the Dunkirk operation and the UK refusing to negotiate with Hitler. The two movies paired made for a remarkable experience.

Mar 4, 10:01am Top

>122 jnwelch: I've seen the trailers for Dunkirk and I don't think I could manage to watch the actual film.

Mar 4, 10:02am Top

>104 humouress:, >111 humouress: Oh good, I'm glad you understood my cryptic note in >107 jnwelch:, Nina. Yeah, our football is not really "foot-ball", is it. I don't know how it got that name. It's closer to rugby. I can't wait to start Amy's book.

>105 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. It was a lovely evening in good company. We always enjoy going to Bulls games together, but that was a special one.

>106 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. 'Twas. I normally like being outside on a decent day, too, but that (watching the nominated movies) was quite an experience. We'll do at least one day of it next year, and probably both.

Mar 4, 10:08am Top

>108 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! She's a good sort, that Becca. We've been pal-ing it up at Bulls games (and other sports) since she was a wee lass.

>109 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Thanks. Yeah, Sherman Alexie - what a disappointment that would be. He's esteemed by a whole lot of folks. Like you, he's a favorite author of mine. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is such a good book. (Touchstones not working so far). What a shame if the accusations turn out to be true.

>110 Caroline_McElwee: Well said, Caroline. Agreed.

Mar 4, 10:27am Top

>112 kac522: Howdy, Kathy. Good to hear from you. I hope the Ramblers make it into the NCAAs!

Thanks so much re the Absolutely on Music review (touchstones still not working). I love classical music, but my knowledge level isn't high. I'm glad that worked for you. It was a terrific book, and it does give us so much to think about.

>113 benitastrnad:, >114 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. I wish the YA and children's literature world could be scandal-free, but unfortunately it's full of humans, isn't it.

I didn't know that the I Know What You Did Last Summer movie was based on a Lois Duncan book. It did well - still shows up a lot on our cable tv - but I can understand her reaction if it was so different from what she wrote.

Fingers crossed re Sherman Alexie. What a disappointment that would be.

Mar 4, 10:36am Top

>115 weird_O: Maybe some day your brother and RD can have a Freddy the Pig meetup, Bill. I do love the idea of Freddy solving all our problems. As RD has suggested, I'm going to try one at some point (wow, am I booked to the gills right now).

The creator of Mr. Ed - great trivia (is that an oxymoron?) Your brother making a pilgrimage to Brooks' website - wow, I haven't even done that for Jane Austen. True dedication.

>116 jessibud2: I can't believe you were taught grade 6 by a talking horse, Shelley. So lucky.

Mar 4, 10:44am Top

>117 LovingLit: Inability to get our hands on books we were wanting or talking about is what got us to alphabetize a big swatch of our books, Megan. Our son suggested it after the umpteenth time we said we thought he'd love such-and-such a book, and then couldn't find it. We've got bookshelves all over the place, so there are some that aren't alphabetized, but still . . .

>118 Berly: Ha! Your husband sounds like my kind of guy, Kim. Season tickets to the T-wolves would be a powerful attraction. They're the Chicago Bulls North these days - our old coach, Thibodeau, our star player Jimmy Butler, plus Taj and (I think) one other former Bull. Meanwhile our Baby Bulls are trying to develop a new championship team.

How cool that you used to work for the Timberwolves. We have a friend who's now GC for the Bulls. I imagine I'd be smiling every day if that was my work destination. Did you enjoy it?

Mar 4, 11:01am Top

>119 humouress: Ha! I love that "Mr. Long" story, Nina. No need to spell that one.

Poor Mrs. Sidebottom was fighting a losing battle, methinks.

>120 jessibud2: Hee-hee. Me, too, Shelley.

>123 humouress: Watching Dunkirk was physically tough for me, Nina. There is a lot of camera motion with planes and boats and so on, and it actually got me queasy. I had that happen once before, a long time ago, with a car racing movie starring Elvis - lots of camera motion in it. (Our mom was a big Elvis fan and took us).

Edited: Mar 4, 11:41am Top

It was a good second day at the movies, but our rankings from the first day didn't change much.

We'd still put Lady Bird at the top, with The Shape of Water and Three Billboards tied for second. Others there would've put The Shape of Water or Three Billboards at the top, but those were pretty consistently the top three, as far as I could tell. Some would add Dunkirk in there.

We felt very lucky to have seen Dunkirk and The Darkest Hour (Oldman as Churchill) back-to-back, as they centered on the same time and events from two very different and important perspectives. Oldman was amazing, and should win the best actor in our opinion. I'd go for Sally Hawkins in Shape of Water for best actress, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Frances McDormand get it for Three Billboards.

Madame MBH and I differed over two movies: Get Out and Call Me By Your Name. I found Call Me By Your Name only mildly interesting and too long, with pedestrian Euromusic. Madame MBH LOVED Call Me By Your Name, "each and every minute of it", and loved the music, too. It's set in northern Italy, and we both did agree that it's a beautiful-looking movie. We also agreed that the lead young actor, Timothée Chalamet, was phenomenal. He got nominated. I don't think Armie Hammer got nominated, but he was awfully good. There were two scenes toward the end that were so good that they elevated the movie for me: The first is when the father comforts the Chalamet character Elios after his beloved Oliver has left. He is truly sympathetic and understanding and wise and honest. I think that's Michael Stuhlbarg playing him. The second is at the very end of the movie when Elios sits gazing into a fire for a long time, and we get to see all the complicated emotions play across his face - happy, sad, loving, grieving, young, old, on and on. As young as he is, Chalamet deserves that nomination..

Get Out - I liked it a lot. Daniel Kaluuya is excellent as central character Chris, who gradually realizes the situation he's gotten himself into, and we both enjoyed his TSA agent buddy played by Lil Rel Howery. I thought Allison Williams was fine as Chris's girlfriend, but Madame MBH thought her acting faltered in the latter part of the movie. I got a kick out of the film's premise; she thought it was okay. So she'd give it a "good movie", and I'd give it a "very good movie".

So I think we'd rate them something like this:

1. Lady Bird
2. Shape of Water and Three Billboards
3. The Post
4. Dunkirk and Darkest Hour back-to-back
5. Get Out (me) and Call Me By Your Name (Madame MBH - she might put it even higher)
6. Phantom Thread (great acting all around, but not the world's most fascinating story)

Edited: Mar 4, 12:33pm Top

>72 jnwelch:

Fintan's shifting reality feels like he could have authored Belief in Magic.

Those Bulls hats are GREAT! Can they be ordered?

I'll also be looking for your cousin's GREAT book around Christmas
for my favorite sports fan. Any chance it will be an LT Early Reviewer?

Mar 4, 12:36pm Top

>128 jnwelch: I had a great time working at the Timberwolves! I was the Executive Director of the Foundation and also the Community Relations Director, which means I did all the player appearances. Duh, it was fun! : ) It was also tons of hours, since we were also the game night staff. I was responsible for the half-time shows and helped out in the VIP boxes.

Mar 4, 12:43pm Top

>132 Berly: Sounds fabulous - but exhausting.

Mar 4, 12:57pm Top

>115 weird_O: Heh, I loved the fact that Freddy was omnicompetent. He flew planes! To far-away Oswego! *happy nostalgic sigh* My fave-rave still has to be Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars with four-armed Martians and a visit from the ABI (Animal Bureau of Investigation). I was reading these in the 1960s, after we'd already learned that there was no possibility of complex life on Mars, but who cares! Fun fun fun.

Also loved the later-life easter eggs of town names near Freddy: Gomorrah Falls, West Ninevah are two I remember.

>130 jnwelch: Oh am I glad to hear you say that about CMBYN's dull score! It was positively soporific to me. One song that got lots of praise was so dull I napped for long stretches of its 4 minutes. I remember that Sufjan Stevens murmured the name Hephaistion for the first time in pop-music history and possibly the first musical mention of Alexander's one true love in an honest context since the Hellenistic Era.

Mar 4, 3:19pm Top

>131 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. Intriguing re Fintan.

Aren't those JC Rivera hats great? I don't think they're for sale at this point, although you can find them to look at here (his is Hat 5). The positive reaction may well cause them to start selling them.

One Goal: How a Coach (gosh darn touchstones today!) is published by Hachette, so it's possible they'd make it an ER book, but I just don't know, unfortunately. I'm glad it sounds GREAT to you! I finished the one in front of it, so I'm just about to start it. My wife read it pre-pub, and our daughter is starting it today, too.

>132 Berly: Oh, that does sound like a great time, Kim. Community relations, player appearances, halftime appearances and more. Executive Director - impressive! What memories you must have.

Mar 4, 3:28pm Top

>133 alphaorder: Agreed, Nancy. Fabulous, but exhausting. I can see why Kim says they worked tons of hours.

>134 richardderus: Fred sounds like quite a guy pig, Richard. "Some pig!"

And he lived among biblical towns. What's not to like?

Oh, that was such soporific music in CMBYN. Every time he started tuning that darn radio I wanted to reach into the screen and smack it into pieces. And the lyrical bucolic interludes as they bicycled or swam or romped, usually filled with some syrupy sincere musical delight - I just wanted to GET OUT. Oops, mixing my movies there.

Mar 4, 4:00pm Top

>136 jnwelch: It was a pretty, pretty movie about pretty, pretty people living in a pretty, pretty world. I wanted insulin along about day four. I mean, I mean, the half-hour mark, heh silly me. Timothée Chalamet is a good actor and I hope to see more (!) of him, and Armie Hammer...devout christian that he apparently is...deserves kudos for playing his role. But gawd. How do I fight my way out of this blancmange?!

Edited: Mar 4, 4:35pm Top

>137 richardderus: Ha! blancmange. Yup.

I will say it was refreshing to see two kind men (one young but advanced) in a thoughtful, positive relationship, with Chalamet's parents being forward-thinking and happy for him in it, and understanding about developments. Some really good acting, too. Otherwise . . . yeah, for me, too pretty, pretty, creating that need for insulin. Madame MBH, on the other hand, was quite happy with it. She's got more of a sweet tooth than I do.

Mar 4, 4:43pm Top

>138 jnwelch: I will say it was refreshing to see two kind men (one young but advanced) in a thoughtful, positive relationship, with Chalamet's parents being forward-thinking and happy for him in it, and understanding.

That's the saddest, most disheartening thing I've read this year. Because it's true.

Mar 4, 4:53pm Top

>139 richardderus: Right? Sorry about the sad part. It's here, and will become more common in movies, etc., I'm sure. All the accolades about the Black Panther movie have a similar sad thread in them, but at least both are here and successful and the door is open to do more.

Edited: Mar 4, 5:02pm Top

>130 jnwelch: I love your movie marathon comments. I was fortunate enough to see all the nominated films without doing a marathon. My list is:

Ladybird (we all agree on this one)
Get Out (Come on, Debbi)
Shape of Water
Call Me By Your Name (Come on, Joe!)

Not sure 3 Billboards, The Post or Dunkirk should have been nominated. Yes, I can be a curmudgeon at times...

I wish Mudbound would have been nominated. That would have been a contender.

Mar 4, 5:03pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. I had a very busy day. Now, I want to kick back with the books, before the Awards later on.

Mar 4, 5:19pm Top

>141 msf59: Hiya, Mark. The only one that surprises me is your unsureness about 3 Billboards. It's plenty dark - what more do you want? ;-) A lot of folks have picked that one to win Best Picture.

I can better see Dunkirk on the list if packaged with Darkest Hour. But a lot of people love it.

I remember you loved Mudbound. I bet a lot of folks would agree with you.

I'm not a big Meryl Streep fan, but I will say I thought her turn as Katherine Graham in The Post was really good.

>142 msf59: I saw you had a busy day when I was over on your thread. Congrats on spotting that Snowy Owl! And for brightening that young lady's day by pointing it out.

Enjoy some reading now, before the Oscars. We declined going to an Oscar-watching party because we knew we'd be feeling mighty mellow and disinclined to go out. I just finished the solid Mosley, Down the River Unto the Sea, so now I'm starting One Goal: A Coach.

Edited: Mar 4, 5:39pm Top

>143 jnwelch: Yes, I like dark and edgy and I really liked the first half of 3 Billboards for that reason, but I felt it got too heavy-handed in the 2nd half. I really liked Sam Rockwell though. And I agree with you about Meryl Streep. The best thing in The Post. I am shooting for Sally Hawkins for an upset. I love McDormand but I think Hawkins gets the edge in my book. Oldman should be a shoo-in!

Mar 4, 5:48pm Top

>144 msf59: Great comments, Mark. The only one I'm not totally on board with is for 3 Billboards, but I know you're not alone on that. In particular, some people feel the fire-bombing of the police station was too heavy-handed, and I can understand that. Although it did give Peter Dinklage a chance to be chivalrous and wrangle a date with McDormand's character..

Mar 4, 10:18pm Top

Were your ears burning today, Joe? Several of us talked about meeting you today during the Philly meetup. Apparently, you get Around! 😀

Mar 4, 10:25pm Top

>145 jnwelch: I like Dinklage, but I thought those scenes were a bit awkward. Maybe, intentionally?

Mar 4, 11:29pm Top

>146 drneutron: Hi, Jim. Ha! Wish I was there with all of you. I did recognize some familiar faces in the Philly meetup photos. :-) I'm hoping to get around more. It looks like Portland may work out this summer. What a great group of LTers you had in Philly!

>147 msf59: Hmm. I don't know, Mark. The situations were awkward, for sure. I bought into the movie, so his scenes were okay by me. It was fun to see Dinklage and Frances McDormand together.

Mar 5, 6:46am Top

Happy Monday, Joe!
Glad that you both enjoy your movie experience! Sounds like some great movies there

Edited: Mar 5, 9:03am Top

>149 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. Happy Whatever Day This Might Be But I Suspect It's Mmphmumbleday! (Old work week habits die hard!)

That movie experience we had made watching the Oscars last night a lot more fun, say both of us. We enjoyed knowing so many of the movies that were up for awards. Very cool that Shape of Water won; we would have gone for Lady Bird, but Shape of Water was wonderful. Gary Oldman deserved the lead actor award, and Frances McDormand lead actress, although we were pulling for Sally Hawkins from Shape of Water. McDormand gave a strong acceptance speech. I saw somewhere she said she'd been practicing not swearing for two months. :-)

We were pulling for Laurie Metcalf for supporting actress, but everyone says Alison Janney was remarkable in I, Tonya.

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph were a hoot, and Jimmy Kimmel did another good job of hosting. He seems so relaxed doing it; kudos to him.

Edited: Mar 10, 9:24am Top

Spring is coming

Edited: Mar 5, 8:55am Top

Hey, on the red carpet last night Bradley Whitford announced the news we've known about for a while now - he and our niece Amy Landecker are engaged! We hope to meet him on this week's to LA.

Edited: Mar 5, 9:04am Top

>152 jnwelch: That's so nice that they announced it on the red carpet! How cool! Congrats to your niece and her new fiancé!

Mar 5, 9:05am Top

>153 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! By family reports, he's a regular guy who'll fit right in with the clan.

Mar 5, 9:12am Top

>152 jnwelch: Yay and congratulations to Amy and Bradley!

Mar 5, 9:44am Top

Morning, Joe! Congratulations to your niece! The girls and I are huge fans of his Josh Lyman character, so Birdy is sitting here with her mouth open, grinning madly. I wish you could see her!

Mar 5, 9:53am Top

Hi Joe!

(I have been known to get vertigo when watching certain types of movie scenes. Stinks, doesn't it?)

Congratulations to your niece!

Mar 5, 11:03am Top

Adding to the congratulations for pending nuptials.

Glad you enjoyed watching the Oscars after your glut of movie-going Joe. Such a hard choice between Frances and Sally. I'm sure Sally's time will come.

Mar 5, 12:20pm Top

>151 jnwelch: Like! Wish!

>152 jnwelch: Like!

Hi, Joe. Back to a winter feel today and it looks like it will be around for most of the week. Sighs...

Glad you had a good time with the Oscars.

Mar 5, 12:46pm Top

>155 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. They seem like a really good couple from what I know. They've been seeing each other since 2015.

>156 Crazymamie: Ha! Yeah, I understand that Birdy's in a large club of people who loved him as Josh Lyman, Mamie. We saw him on screen twice last Saturday; he was in Get Out (as the father) and The Post (as the difficult guy on the Board of the Washington Post).

Mar 5, 12:50pm Top

>157 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. That vertigo while watching movies does stink. It made it harder to experience the Dunkirk movie. Eating something afterwards helped.

>158 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. You'd like Amy. She's very down to earth.

Sally's time will come, won't it. She's so good. And Frances McDormand was a powerhouse in 3 Billboards, no doubt about it.

It was fun to see the 23 year old kid nominated for Call Me By Your Name; he was there with his mom and was just so excited to be part of it all.

Mar 5, 12:54pm Top

>159 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Right? The flowers will come . . .

We're really happy for Amy. She deserves a good guy, and by all accounts he is one.

Yeah, it's nippy and wintery out there again. At least we're not getting blasted like our poor New England friends. Power outages all over the place, and another nor'easter is expected this week.

We did enjoy the Oscars. Jimmy Kimmel did another great job. There's a lot of sentiment not to have a white male host next year, despite his doing well, so we'll see what happens. I like how relaxed he seems to be.

Mar 5, 1:19pm Top

>152 jnwelch: Congratulations!

Mar 5, 1:54pm Top

>163 humouress: Thanks, Nina!

Edited: Mar 5, 2:20pm Top

>103 Caroline_McElwee: A belated thank you to Caroline, for posting that link to the Gary Oldman interview about playing Churchill. I'm still amazed how convincingly they changed his looks to those of Churchill. And he got the voice, too. A performance well worthy of the Oscar.

Here Gary O. is as Churchill, dancing to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing"(!):


Mar 5, 2:37pm Top

Wonderful choices all! Frances McDormand especially.

Mar 5, 3:03pm Top

>166 richardderus: Agreed, RD. She's such a strong woman, and plays that character beautifully.

Mar 5, 3:14pm Top

>165 jnwelch: that's so funny.

Edited: Mar 5, 4:13pm Top

>168 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Isn't it, Caroline? He's a good dancer for a prime minister.

Mar 6, 1:30am Top

The posts are flying on your thread, Joe, what with basketball, movies, the Oscars and an engagement announcement in the family. Keep up the good work.

Mar 6, 6:22am Top

Morning, Joe! Congrats to your niece! How fun to have Lemon Lymon in the family!

Mar 6, 7:21am Top

>154 jnwelch: That's great Joe! I always wonder what some celebrities would be like. I'm sure the majority of them are just regular people once you get to know them.

Mar 6, 7:56am Top

Glad you enjoyed the Oscars. I really want to see Shape of Water. I'm sure it's fantastic!

Mar 6, 11:34am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy Tuesday!

Mar 6, 12:27pm Top

>170 Familyhistorian:. Thanks, Meg. There’s been a lot going on, hasn’t there. We’re off to LA this weekend to visit nieces, and one niece’s new baby, and one of my sisters and her hubby will be there, too.

>171 scaifea:. Morning, Amber! Thanks. We’re drawing a blank on the “Lemon” Lyman nickname. From whence cometh that one?

Mar 6, 12:34pm Top

>172 ChelleBearss:. Thanks, Chelle. I should ask our niece that one. I know some celebs are infamous for being cuckoo, like Nicholas Cage. It may well be that most are regular folks. I’m sure glad BW apparently is.

>173 The_Hibernator:. Hi, Rachel. Thanks - yes, go see Shape of Water. It’s a charmer, and worthy of the win. My only warning is there are a couple of cringeworthy scenes of violence involving Michael Shannon. Sally Hawkins is terrific, and Richard Jenkins deserved his nomination.

>174 Crazymamie:. Morning, Mamie - Happy Tuesday!

Mar 6, 1:02pm Top

Hi Joe. I appreciate the warnings of violence. As I said somewhere else (possibly not here, more likely in an email to a friend), my tolerance of violence has diminished as I grow older. It's bad enough reading about it but I prefer not to watch/see it with my eyes as those visuals tend to stick in my brain. Yes, I like my head firmly in the sand, when it comes to violence. If I ever feel a real need, I can just watch the news. I don't like it as entertainment. Which is not to say I like only fluff - I absolutely don't. Hard as it might be to find, there are still movies and books out there that tell compelling stories and have real depth and worth, that don't have to have the graphic violence that our society seems to thrive on.

Yeah, I have always marched to my own drummer, or something like that. Often alone, I might add, but what the heck ;-p

Mar 6, 2:18pm Top

Checking in as another Freddy the Pig fan.

The Martians landing and learning to play baseball is my favorite.

And the evil animals trying to "fix" an election.

Mar 6, 6:24pm Top

Hi, Joe. Late check in. Goofy weather day, huh? Snow, rain, sunshine. At least it didn't add up to much. Love the Oldman/Churchill dance. LOL.

Mar 6, 8:20pm Top

>152 jnwelch: Well, how cool is that! Congrats to all!!

Mar 6, 9:11pm Top

Amy Landecker is your niece??? I love her in Transparent Joe.

I just saw Lady Bird on Saturday and I was fairly disappointed. Maybe it was all the hype about it although I’m a huge Laurie Metcalf fan. I’m not sure. I thought Dunkirk was brilliant. The cinematography and lack of dialogue was absolutely genius I thought. And I’m so glad Frances McDormand won because she was great in that role. I thought the fire bombing was in keeping with her character and so was the awkwardness of the scene with Peter Dinklage.

Amy Landecker. Wow

Mar 6, 9:23pm Top

>177 jessibud2: No, I'm with you too. I hate violence, but the guys in my family are fine with it. I think they take it as a surface thing, but the kids get inured to it. And then their rough-housing ends in tears, but they still don't get it. *sigh*

Mar 6, 9:55pm Top


Saw The Post today. Loved the movie. Did NOT recognize Bradley Whitford, although when I looked up photos of him in the character, yes, I could see him. (Heck, I could hardly recognize Tom Hanks, although he has matured awesomely.) Still picture Whitford as Josh in West Wing. Congrats to your niece and also to him for hooking up with such an awesome family. We aren't much in the way of movie going. This is the only one of the nominees we've seen.

Double awesome for the seat upgrades and caps at the Bulls game--what a fun experience for you! And your cousin's book--hope it is a huge success.

Mar 7, 1:09am Top

I hadn't realised Frances McDormand won the oscar- I'm so glad for her :) She's amazing.

Mar 7, 1:17am Top

Happy Wednesday , Joe . Not long before you become " Tampa " and your wife" Bubbe." Quite the ride! Enjoy your trip the LA and congratulations on your niece's engagement.

Mar 7, 6:24am Top

Morning, Joe!

>175 jnwelch: There's an episode of The West Wing in which Josh discovers that he has an online fan club called Lemonlymon.com. He decides to comment on one of their threads and it doesn't go well. Pretty funny stuff.

Mar 7, 8:06am Top

>177 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Unless you like what the drummer's drumming, you're better off marching to a different one. You're welcome re the violence alert. Our daughter is similar - years ago, we'd just come out of seeing "Sin City" (which has gross violence) and managed to catch her just before she went to it. We're so glad we did. She went to a different movie instead.

>178 magicians_nephew: I don't know what was going on in my neck of the woods, Jim, but I knew nada of Freddy the Pig. Good to hear from another fan. I may try one at my advanced age just to get an idea of what you guys are talking about.

Mar 7, 8:19am Top

>179 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Thanks for stopping by. It was a crummy day, and it looks like we've got another one. We head to LA for a few days tomorrow, and we're looking forward to the warmer temps.

>180 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Mighty cool, it is. She's a sweetheart, and deserves a good guy.

>181 brenzi: Oh, good, Bonnie. Yup, she plays Sarah on Transparent. She'd be happy to hear your enthusiasm.

Sorry you didn't like Lady Bird more. We didn't hear much hype before seeing it, and loved it. That young lead actor, Soiarse Rohan (I probably misspelled it - I learned her first name is pronounced "Sir-shee") was so good. She's Irish, and who'd have known? We love Laurie Metcalf, too. And that was one of two movies we saw with Tracy Letts in it - he was in The Post, too.

Dunkirk was well done. As I mentioned, the motion camera got to me for some reason, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have if I hadn't been feeling queasy.

Mar 7, 8:26am Top

>182 humouress: Yeah, for me the violence normally is okay - I always know it's a movie. But I understand different reactions. So much of the time it really isn't necessary. Seems to me there could be a lot less of the graphic violence in movies. I wouldn't miss it.

>183 ronincats: The Post was a good movie, wasn't it, Roni. Supposedly Tom Hanks said of Bradley Whitford's red bowtie get-up, "I didn't know we were having Orville Redenbacher in the movie." Ha! The difference between his appearance in that movie and as the bearded father in Get Out is remarkable.

Thanks for those nice comments about his joining the family.

The seat upgrades at the Bulls game, and the caps - what a fun night that was. And they even managed to come back and win.

Mar 7, 8:29am Top

>188 jnwelch: - That Irish actress with the unpronounceable name was also in a lovely little sleeper of a film a few years ago, called Brooklyn.

Hope better weather greets you out west. It sure seems to have abandoned the east side of the continent!

Mar 7, 8:35am Top

>184 LovingLit: Frances McDormand is amazing, isn't she, Megan. That's two Oscars (she won for Fargo, too), and she's won Emmys and a Tony. Such a strong woman. It's worth seeing 3 Billboards to see her and Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson (all nominated). It's a good movie, too.

>185 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. Yeah, we're looking forward to becoming Bubbe and Tampa at the end of next month. It's getting close!

Thanks for the congrats. We're off to LA tomorrow, and it's about 30 F - 40 F warmer there. There's a new baby waiting on that trip, too - our niece Meg just had a baby boy named Sam.

Edited: Mar 7, 8:44am Top

>186 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

Thanks for the lemonlymon.com explanation. My West Wing fan wife doesn't remember that one. If I ever do get around to watching it (big time commitment!) I'll look for that.

>190 jessibud2: Good to know re Brooklyn, Shelley, thanks. Saoirse (I think that's the right spelling) was also in "Loving Vincent", which was such a cool movie. We're going to see her getting nominated soon, I imagine.

Yeah, I was just saying to Madame MBH, we're flying in the right direction tomorrow - west. The northeast is a mess, isn't it. Our poor cousin Amy Bass (the author up above) has had no power for about a week, and Con Ed just had the chutzpah to tell her (and I'm sure many others) to "look into other arrangements". Are you kidding me?

Mar 7, 8:46am Top

At least we have our coffee and tea and books

Mar 7, 9:15am Top

>193 jnwelch: Yup, that is what it has looked like recently. And snow. But today there is some sunshine through the cloud.

Enjoy meeting new family members and family members to be Joe. You certainly are going in the right direction on the weather front.

I've nearly finished New Collected Poems: Wendell Berry which I loved. Last year his volume of essays was one of my favourite books, one of those books I hug. I've just started Distant Neighbors: Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder. Berry is a sound example of someone who lives in the now.

Happy travels.

Mar 7, 9:16am Top

Saoirse Ronan was also in Atonement, and I believe was nominated for an Oscar for that. She was around 13 at the time, I think.

The film of Brooklyn is excellent, but the book is better of course (same with Atonement, IMO).

We have been lucky and not lost power at all. When I was growing up in the middle of nowhere on a hillside, it used to be a regular winter occurrence. Makes one feel even worse about the situation in Puerto Rico. A few days is bad enough, but months?!?!

Have fun in LA, soaking up the sun!

Mar 7, 9:23am Top

>192 jnwelch: - Right, Joe. I forgot she was in Loving Vincent. I was disappointed that it did not win at the Oscars. They seem to have forgotten just how unique it was, in terms of the way it was animated. Oh well. *We* know it was a winner!

Mar 7, 11:21am Top

>192 jnwelch: Oh, Joe. You haven't watched TWW!? This man is soon to be family! Plus, it's one of the very best shows ever and you'll LOVE it. Here's the clip:


Mar 7, 12:57pm Top

>194 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I don't usually go on this LA trip (Debbi makes it alone), but this year we figured there was so much going on that I should come, too.

Mark asked me about Wendell Berry, and I said what I'd read was a bit staid for me. But that I thought of him as a nature poet, and that Mark might like that. He's trying him right now. Your enthusiasm makes me think I'll take another look.

I'm in the last third or so of the large collection of Laura Kasischke poems.

>195 katiekrug: No wonder Saoirse has that naturalness on the screen, Katie. I didn't realize she'd been acting in movies since she was 13.

I'm glad you still have power. Yeah, I mentioned the northeast power outage to a friend, and he said the same thing - that there are people in Puerto Rico who've been without power for months. Another reason to be disgusted with this administration.

Thanks re LA - we're ready for a warm-up!

Mar 7, 1:03pm Top

>196 jessibud2: I know, Shelley. We were pulling for "Loving Vincent" in the animation category, too. I will say a pal has said we need to see "Coco", the winner, as it's really good, and apparently true to Mexico's traditions.

We've been recommending "Loving Vincent" to people all over the place. I hope word of mouth gets it even more widely viewed.

>197 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. I figure BW will be glad to finally meet someone who doesn't think of him as Josh Lyman. :-) Honestly, I doubt I'll ever make that big time commitment to TWW. I'd rather read. But Debbi and your BFF loved it. I have seen parts of it that Debbi's shown me, and I agree, it's topnotch. Thanks for the link - I'll come back later and give it a go.

Mar 7, 1:11pm Top

Joe, I have been hearing Laura Kasischke's name all over your and Mark's threads and although I don't gravitate toward poetry as a genre, as a rule, I was browsing my own shelves yesterday looking to cull some books to bring to a new used bookstore I found, for trade in. I saw a book on my shelf I do not remember buying or putting there (!!), by this same author, although it's a novel, not poetry. It's called The Life Before Her Eyes. I haven't read it yet but will. Have you?

Mar 7, 1:33pm Top

>200 jessibud2: I haven't read it, Shelley. Laura Kasischke was brand new to me when Mark recommended her. I'm liking her poetry a lot.

Mar 7, 1:42pm Top

Safe travels tomorrow, Joe!

Mar 7, 1:44pm Top

Hi Joe!

>60 jnwelch: Very cool but not surprising that you have a literary cousin with a book out.

And many congrats on your niece's engagement. What fun to announce it on the red carpet. He sounds like a stand up guy. And yes, I'm a little star struck by you having him in your family. Do watch the WW. You won't regret it.

I was also sad that Loving Vincent didn't win, but I haven't seen Coco. Bad Janet.

I haven't seen many of the Oscar nominated movies, but I did see Three Billboards and was thrilled that Frances McDormand won the Oscar. It looks like I Tonya, The Shape of Water, Coco and Lady Bird are either out or coming out on DVD very soon, so perhaps I'll get caught up.

Mar 7, 2:49pm Top

>202 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl!

Glad you're finally feeling a bit rested, buddy.

>203 streamsong: Hi, Janet!

Thanks re the literary cousin. I married into it - that whole part of Madame MBH's family is full of writers and journalists. Amy's brilliant, and so well-spoken.

And thanks re the engagement. We've known for months, but kept mum until they announced it. I'm looking forward to meeting him at some point. We talked to him via our niece's phone, but that isn't the same.

It would've been so cool if Loving Vincent had won. Like you, we're going to need to see Coco.

I was happy about Frances McDormand winning, too, although she won one for Fargo, so I was hoping Sally Hawkins would sneak in there for her amazing performance in The Shape of Water. Frances McDormand is so strong! When she was going up to the stage to get the Oscar, she looked like she might beat somebody up. That was a rousing speech she gave.

We haven't seen I, Tonya, but friends have raved about Alison Janney, who won for Supporting Actress, and Margot Robbie, who I'm pretty sure was nominated for Leading Actress. I'm glad you got to see 3 Billboards and will get a chance to see some of the others.

Mar 7, 6:26pm Top

>191 jnwelch: I like your niece's choice for her son's name. My son's name is also Sam. Have a great trip to LA.

Edited: Mar 7, 7:07pm Top

>205 Familyhistorian: I like the name Sam, too, Meg; nice pick for your son. Should be a good trip to LA; looks like we'll be able to see all three nieces and my sister and various SO's and kids.

Mar 7, 7:25pm Top

Belated congrats to your niece and her fiancé Joe. What exciting news!!
Have a safe and wonderful trip to LA as well. Should be warmer right? :)

Mar 7, 9:08pm Top

>198 jnwelch: What Wendell Berry are you reading, Joe? (Forgive me if I missed a reference up-thread; I've had to skim again.) I'm just getting acquainted with his short fiction, and so far I love him to bits. He's funny on occasion. I haven't read much of his poetry, but I have read some of his essays. He has an awful lot to offer.

Congratulations and continued happiness to your niece and Mr. Whitford. It took us a long time to get around to The West Wing, but we're well into Season 3 now, watching an episode (sometimes two!) most every Friday night. It's almost as good as reading, honestly.

Mar 7, 9:14pm Top

>208 laytonwoman3rd: Hiya, Linda. I've only read Wendell Berry's poetry. Solid, but for me, unexciting.

Thanks re the engagement. Yeah, I've yet to have anyone speak less than highly about The West Wing. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Mar 7, 9:28pm Top

Happy Wednesday, Joe. Long day for me today. We left at 7 am for Rockford, for my aunt's funeral. It all went well and it was nice to see family I haven't seen in awhile. We were back in the early afternoon, but Bree wanted to go to lunch and that led to a couple of beers and then a nap...LOL.

And then I just wanted to catch up on some reading. Not much LT time.

So glad to hear you are going to LA. Good timing. How long are you there for? Great news about your niece Amy and her engagement. How cool is that?
I saw your post of the couple, on FB, but did not realize what it meant. Hope you guys are going to the wedding.

Mar 7, 10:03pm Top

Safe travels tomorrow, Joe and enjoy all the family! Congrats on all the various celebrations

Mar 7, 10:18pm Top

>210 msf59: Hey, buddy. Happy Wednesday. Sorry it was a long one. I'm glad your aunt's funeral went well and you got to catch up with family.

Ha! Yeah, I can see it - Bree, lunch, couple of beers, nap.

We'll be back next Tuesday. Isn't that cool re Amy's engagement? We've known for a while, but didn't know when they were going to announce it. We're going to see Amy on this trip, and maybe her beau.

>211 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Yeah, lots of family happenings and celebrations. We're looking forward to seeing everyone, and to warming up!

Mar 7, 10:42pm Top

I guess I'm just an old poop, Joe. Haven't seen a one of the Oscar-y movies, didn't watch the Oscar hullaballoo. But I know who Wendell Berry is and also Freddy the Pig. I'm thinking I should borrow a book or two from my brother. Except he'll probably insist I read them at his house. Not part of the circulating collection.

But I am getting some reading done.

Mar 8, 7:22am Top

Have a great trip, Joe!

Mar 8, 7:43am Top

>213 weird_O: I'm sure there's an old poop club somewhere, Bill, and I'd be happy to join you in it. Better to be well-read than well-movied, seems to me. I am glad we saw all the nominated movies this year, and can recommend that experience if you ever get a chance.

Ha! I can just imagine your brother hovering over your shoulder as you read one of his Freddy the Pig books under his close watch.

At some point, I plan to give Freddy the Detective a go.

>214 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! We're leaving soon - it's a long flight, so there'll be lots of time for reading.

Mar 8, 10:58am Top

Morning, Joe! Sweet Thursday! I have some of those Freddy the Pig books.

Wishing you safe travels today, my friend!

Mar 8, 11:04am Top

Sweet Thursday, Joe. Safe travels. And enjoy the warmth.

Mar 8, 2:38pm Top

> Very cool on the seat upgrade at the game!!

>151 jnwelch: Oh that's just beautiful (as I look out the window at the rain and wind)

Congrats to your niece and her fiancé.

Have a great trip!

Mar 8, 2:59pm Top

Hi Joe, I hope you have a great trip! I haven't been around in awhile but I want to thank >110 Caroline_McElwee: for her comments, it is important to remember accusations are not confirmed guilt and I agree it would be better if the public wasn't aware of these accusations until guilt has been proven one way or another. I guess I have to join the "old poop" club as I haven't seen any of the Oscar award films either, although there are a few that I am hoping to get around to at some point.

Mar 8, 3:23pm Top

Safe travels and happy arrivals, Joe and Debbi, enjoy the warmth of not-Chicago.

Mar 8, 4:17pm Top

Happy and safe travels, Joe! I'm here to endorse Amber's comment. The dialog, on The West Wing, especially between Josh and Donna is top notch. It's Hepburn and Tracey, it's Bogie and Bacall. It's legendary! Best not to watch before you meet your future nephew, you just may start to gush superlatives ;0)

Mar 8, 5:07pm Top

>220 richardderus: I hear not-Chicago is very nice this time of year ;)

Mar 8, 6:18pm Top

Hi everyone! My dad very kindly said I could share this on his thread, it's a post I put up this morning on my blog:

Why Turtles All the Way Down Means So Much to Me

There are times when you pick up a book at the exact time you need it. This was one of those times, and this was one of those books.

In John Green's Turtles All the Way Down, we meet Aza, a sixteen year old consumed by anxiety and obsessive compulsive thoughts, feeling forced by her own brain to focus on the bacteria that surround her and the bacteria she knows are inside her, an absolute all-consuming compulsion that compels her to reopen a cut on her fingerpad over and over to make sure it is clean and not infected.

When a billionaire goes missing, on the run because of shady things he's done with his money, Aza finds herself and her best friend drawn into the mystery, because of the reward, but also because of Aza's past connection with the fugitive's son, Davis. As Aza is drawn into the seemingly infinite and and completely overwhelming spirals of her own mind, she struggles to hold onto herself and the relationships she has formed.

Aza is so so painfully and amazingly real. Green has done a masterful and important thing by making her the first person narrator of her own story. I needed and need Aza, as I am sure so many readers did and do. I picked this book up not only because of glowing recommendations from people I care about, but also because I needed it. I am in the midst of my own work on my own anxiety disorder and depression, especially following the loss of my beloved dog, and while it is nowhere near where Aza finds herself, there is still so much in the book I could relate to, so much I needed to hear put into words. Green understands it so well because he's been there, and is still there, and this allows him to write with such honesty. He tells a story that needs to be told, because it makes all of us out there who can relate feel and know we are not alone. And that there is nothing to be ashamed of, no need to hide--a best-selling author has put out a best-selling book that tells our truth--and who we are is important, and valid, and makes us no less than anyone around us.

It is so rare to find a book that you keep nodding your head along to, that you feel every word in your heart, that resonates so strongly, and that makes you feel uplifted in your soul. This was one of those books for me. I recommend it with my whole heart, and with my spiraling, but beautiful, mind.

If you'd like to see the original on my blog, it can be found here: http://thebookkeepersapprentice.blogspot.com/2018/03/review-turtles-all-way-down...

Mar 8, 6:47pm Top

I love books that find you when you need them Becca. A great recommendation for the book, which I downloaded onto Kindle recently. I'll nudge it up the pile.

Mar 8, 9:09pm Top

>223 seasonsoflove: Several years ago I read John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, a book I so actively disliked that despite the author’s more recent successes, I swore I would never crack open another of his books. What would make me change my mind?

This. Up goes Turtles All the Way Down onto my list, not only to be read but to be greatly looked forward to. Thank you for such an honest, heart-felt review Becca. It’s a gift to find a book that helps us to better understand ourselves and others.

Edited: Mar 8, 9:31pm Top

>223 seasonsoflove: Hooray for Turtles All the Way Down! Great review, Becca. Big Thumb, (I hope that is the first of many). That should spark more interest. I loved the book too.

Mar 8, 10:03pm Top

>223 seasonsoflove: Thumb from me too, Becca. Great review and a book that has now gone on my wishlist.

Edited: Mar 8, 11:20pm Top

Have a wonderful trip, Joe and Debbie! Hmm- I'm loving the review of Turtles All the Way Down. Maybe that is one I should read. Thumb!

Edited: Mar 9, 9:47am Top

>223 seasonsoflove:. Such a great review, Becca. Thank you for sharing it! Thumb from me, too. :-)

We’re safely arrived, and having a great time with niece Meg and her 9 week old son Sam. Her husband Jeroen had to work late, so we’ll see him later today. We’ll be meeting up with our niece Tracy later this morning, and then Amy tomorrow.

I probably won’t be on LT a lot. Happy Friday! Enjoy the day.

Mar 9, 9:44am Top

>207 jolerie:. Oops, I missed Valerie up there. Hi, Valerie! We’ve got beautiful, warm weather here.

Mar 9, 10:07am Top

>223 seasonsoflove: - Lovely review, Becca. I agree, it's rare to find such a gem that connects in that special way. I think we all look for that, every time we open a new book to page one. I can't think of any specific titles off the top of my head at the moment that have resonated with me in this way, though I am pretty sure there have been some, over the years.

Mar 9, 12:15pm Top

Great review Becca!
If that one wasn't already on my library list, it would be now. :D

Awww..I'm tiny. Easy to miss..hehe

Mar 9, 3:17pm Top

^^^What she said, Becca.

I see that Joe got to California and decided not to visit LT. But of course we're all Above Feeling Hurt, aren't we.

Of course. We are. Above it, that is.

Mar 9, 6:17pm Top

Oh good, Richard. Phew. I was hoping it would work out okay. 🌞😎

Mar 9, 7:18pm Top

Say, remember to visit the LaBrea Tar Pits!

Mar 10, 12:44am Top

Are people celebrating the Day of the Dead in the cafe? It seems like the wrong month for it. 💀💀💀

Mar 10, 6:39am Top

Glad to see you are enjoying yourself and have some warm weather!
Have a cold drink in the sun for some of us that are stuck in snow :)

Mar 10, 9:21am Top

>238 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. It is mighty nice to spend some time in warm weather! We ate outside yesterday with our niece Tracy at Paty's in Toluca Lake, and spent quality time with young Sam and his mom on the back veranda in 70F or so.

We will tip a glass in your honor and the honor of the other snowbirds. We'll be rejoining you all soon in snowy splendor, but this is nice while it lasts.

>216 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. Did anyone in your clan read the Freddy the Pig books? Any fans?

>217 msf59: Thanks, buddy. We're enjoying the warmth, for sure. Our niece and her husband are such nice people. He's Dutch, and they'll be raising Sam to speak both Dutch and English. Smart. Little ones pick up languages so easily. Our impending grandson will be raised speaking Spanish and English.

Edited: Mar 10, 10:06am Top

>218 SuziQoregon: That was a thrill to have our Bulls seats upgraded, Juli. My favorite daughter was so happy!

Isn't >151 jnwelch: pretty? We're seeing colorful flowers all over the place here. I couldn't live here (they spend so much time driving from place to place!), but it sure is reviving to spend time here.

Thanks re the niece and her fiance. We see her and maybe him today.

>219 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Agreed. Accusations are not confirmed guilt, and we have folks, including this country's president, who like to use false ones to benefit themselves, so we need to be very careful.

I'm hoping Bill will let me into the old poop club even though I have seen all the Oscar-nominated films. I'm a legitimate old poop in so many other important ways.

>220 richardderus: Thanks, RD. This is a mighty nice not-Chicago here. We haven't had to get out snow shovels and ice scrapers even once.

Mar 10, 9:37am Top

>239 jnwelch: - It's terrific that both the young nephew and the impending grandson will be raised with 2 languages. So important, and you are right that, from an early age, it's just so much easier. It is no surprise that in Europe, for example, where countries are so close together and exposure, so much more prevalent, most people are fluent in at least a few languages. And what a wonderful advantage these little ones will have with this, in their future.

Enjoy the sun!

Edited: Mar 10, 10:08am Top

>221 Carmenere: Thanks, Linda. Yeah, good advice. I really don't want to gush superlatives or anything else over poor BW. Luckily, I'm pretty much an oaf, so I don't gush much. As long as he treats our niece well, and her sister just re-confirmed that he does, then he's okay by me.

>222 LovingLit: Ha! It's a perfect time of year to be in this not-Chicago, Megan. So nice to walk around in a t-shirt instead of several layers.

>223 seasonsoflove: Lovely review, Miss Becca.

>224 Caroline_McElwee: Agreed, Caroline. Debbi and I thought Turtles All the Way Down was excellent, too, particularly in the OCD portrayal.

>225 NarratorLady: What a fine compliment for Becca's review, Anne. I'll look forward to hearing what you think of Turtles All the Way Down.

Mar 10, 9:49am Top

>226 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Your big thumb and others helped make that a Hot Review of Turtles All the Way Down. Well-deserved (I'm totally unbiased), and that should help spread the word.

>227 DeltaQueen50: Me, too, Judy. I do think parents should be allowed to post two or three thumbs, but Tim and his gang probably have bigger issues to address.

>228 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. That young lady can write a review, can't she. I hope to meet her someday. Yes, do give a go to Turtles All the Way Down. As Becca says, it portrays with knowledge and honesty a young woman doing her utmost to manage her way with a mind disorder - the kind of disorder so many have to deal with on a daily basis. Plus he's a good storyteller.

Mar 10, 9:56am Top

>229 jnwelch:, >230 jnwelch: Always good to hear from you, proprietor.

>231 jessibud2: Thanks for the good comments, Shelley. That would be interesting - to hear about books that resonated with cafe patrons like Turtles All the Way Down did with Becca.

The one I think of is Dandelion Wine, which a now-favorite English teacher assigned in 9th grade. I was disillusioned and heading the wrong way, and it turned me upside down and reminded me of the joy to be had in books, and in learning.

>232 jolerie: Ha! Your big heart makes you hard to miss, Valerie. I'm glad Becca's review hit the spot for you.

>233 richardderus: - >237 jnwelch: These two are always causing trouble in here, aren't they.

Mar 10, 10:04am Top

>241 jessibud2: Isn't it, Shelley? I wish I'd been raised with two languages. I love that double access, or more than double, as some of our cafe patrons have.

Yeah, exactly. I've often thought about how the many proximate countries in Europe encourage people to learn different languages. If each of our states here spoke a different language, we'd all be much more language-proficient. It's such a luxury to take a 4 hour flight and have everyone in LA speak what I was speaking back in Chicago.

Mar 10, 10:05am Top

>244 jnwelch: - You know, now that you mention it, I also encountered Dandelion Wine in my teens and it blew open the world for me in a way that previous reads hadn't. I will have to sit and have a good long think about others, now. I know there have been plenty, over the years

Mar 10, 10:13am Top

>245 jnwelch: Glad to hear Dandelion Wine had a big impact on you, too, Shelley. Such a fine book. I'd love to hear about others that have.

Mar 10, 10:21am Top

Happy Saturday, Joe. You are up early and chatting away. It is still chilly here in Chicagoland but we are getting lots of sunshine. I am sure you are loving the warmth there. Enjoy, my friend.

Mar 10, 10:36am Top

>248 msf59: Happy Saturday, Mark. Yeah, I thought I'd take advantage of our hosts sleeping in and catch up a bit. This has been a welcome break from the long winter.

Edited: Mar 10, 6:13pm Top

One of my favorite games

Mar 10, 8:24pm Top


Mar 11, 2:01pm Top

Well, we had a bit of a wrench thrown into the works. Madame MBH, Who doesn’t get headaches, had a bad one for two days. Urgent care visit turned up clinical dehydration. Never would’ve guessed, since she hydrates all the time. A shot to help ease the headache, and lots of fluids (Gatorade on the way). So this will be a rest day. The diagnosis was a big relief.

Mar 11, 2:20pm Top

Sorry to see that madame MBH was ill! Hope the Gatorade and rest helps

Edited: Mar 11, 3:47pm Top

Glad there was a straightforward solution to the bad heads for Madam MBH Joe, I hope the rest day helps, and plans can recommence tomorrow.

Mar 11, 4:09pm Top

>252 jnwelch: - Glad that was all it was. Headaches can be, well, a real headache. For those not used to having or getting them, it can also be plenty scary. Good that you were able to get the appropriate help in a timely fashion.

Mar 11, 5:06pm Top

>253 ChelleBearss:, >254 Caroline_McElwee:, >255 jessibud2: Thanks Chelle, Caroline and Shelley. She's already feeling better. After a nap, she just downed 3 glasses of Gatorade (our host had it delivered by Amazon). All should be right with the world by evening or so. What a weird one. We never would've identified the problem without the doctor at Urgent Care. It's about the last thing I would've guessed. She hydrates more than most people I know. But travel plus the warmer, dryer climate apparently caused it.

Mar 11, 6:03pm Top

>252 jnwelch: Sorry to read madame MBH had headaches.
Glad the problem is detected, hope she recovers soon!

Edited: Mar 12, 12:08am Top

Hi Joe! I have been away for too long.

>223 seasonsoflove: What a wonderful review. I happened to pick up a copy of Turtles All the Way Down at the library yesterday. It was one of several new-ish novels they have out on a table -- they cannot be reserved and they cannot be renewed so they stay in circulation more effectively. They call it Peak Picks. I nabbed An American Marriage, which I'm currently reading and loving, and Turtles All the Way Down which I shall read next.

>152 jnwelch: That is so cool!!! I loved The West Wing and he was excellent in it.
But wait, you've never watched it? Start with season one, episode one and go from there. It's stellar television.

Mar 12, 2:04am Top

Good to hear that Madam MBH's headache was an easy fix, Joe. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay.

Mar 12, 7:01am Top

Thank you all so much for your kind words about my Turtles All the Way Down review, it means so much to me!

Edited: Mar 12, 1:27pm Top

>260 seasonsoflove:. I know I rarely say anything nice to you, so you’d better appreciate my comments about your review.

Your ma is back to herself, singing to young Sam. She woke up this morning and enthusiastically said, “I feel really good!” Phew!

We’re off in a couple of minutes to have lunch (blunch) with your Aunt Judy and Uncle Charles, and cousin Tracy plans to join us. Unfortunately, Amy continues to have a horrible cold, so we won’t see her and Bradley.

Sorry about the slime-disrespecting duo. Oh, I finished Amy Bass’s book. Did you? Really good!

Mar 12, 2:13pm Top

Glad to hear Madam MBH is fully recovered Joe. Shame you won't get to see Amy and her beau this time. Hope she recovers soon.

Mar 12, 3:06pm Top

Hi Joe. Just wanted to shout out for the Canadian Screen Awards last night. A fave of yours, Sally Hawkins, won best actress for her role in Maudie, the excellent film about Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, that I had mentioned somewhere on your thread. In fact, that film took home 6 awards! Sally is having a really good year, I'd say!

Mar 12, 3:18pm Top

Oh so glad MBH's headaches wasn't something serious! Always scary when things happen out of the blue and is not the norm.

Happy Monday Joe!

Edited: Mar 12, 3:56pm Top

By the way, I picked up a copy of Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker at the library but I haven't read it yet. I do love the illustrations.

Mar 12, 4:08pm Top

>263 jessibud2: I just bought that movie on your recommendation Shelley, and plan to watch it tonight. Great news on Sally's award.

Mar 12, 4:19pm Top

>266 Caroline_McElwee: - It's a sad story, Caroline, but it so well done. She is really good. It was my first exposure to Sally Hawkins. I look forward to your impressions. I posted this on my thread but here is a link to last night's awards: http://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/csa-gala-lookahead-1.4570105

Sorry for the hijack, Joe

Edited: Mar 12, 6:03pm Top

>257 FAMeulstee:. Thanks, Anita. I’m so glad Madame MBH’s dehydation problem was detected. We never would’ve guessed, since she normally hydrates all the time. Traveling broke up her routines, and this is warm, dry desert country.

She’s feeling great now.

>258 EBT1002:. Hi, Ellen. Isn’t that an excellent review of Turtles All the Way Down from Ms. Becca? With your educational counseling background, I suspect you’ll really appreciate the book when you get to it.

I’m trying to remain the one guy in America who doesn’t immediately think of Josh Lyman when he sees Bradley Whitford, but I’ll put your endorsement of WW in my back pocket for later.

My sister (Amy’s mother) confirmed that he’s a really good guy and treats Amy beautifully, so that was good to hear. She said he’s actually really nutty, like the rest of our family. Yay!

Edited: Mar 12, 6:12pm Top

>259 Familyhistorian:. Thanks, Meg. It was an easy fix for Madame MBH’s condition, thank goodness. You can imagine the worries I was having with a 2 day headache for someone who doesn’t get headaches.

We’re having a really good last day. The temp will be 30F lower than now when we get to Chicago tomorrow, dang it. We need Spring to get a move on in that part of the country.

>262 Caroline_McElwee:. Thanks, Caroline. You know Debbi a bit, so you can imagine how unusual this was.

We don’t get to see Amy often enough. Missing her here is a real bummer. Arggh.

>263 jessibud2:. Ah, excellent, Shelley. Thanks for letting us know. 6 awards for Maudie, wow. We’ll look for it. And go Sally! That’s great.

Edited: Mar 12, 6:24pm Top

>264 jolerie:. Yeah, exactly, Valerie. Her situation was not the norm, and scared us both. Life can throw some curveballs. What a relief.

Happy Mmphmumbleday to you. :-)

>265 EBT1002:. Oh, cool, Ellen. Let me know what you think of the Josephine Baker book. As I mentioned, my knowledge of her is not what it should be.

BTW, I loved One Goal: A Coach. It’s a true story of a Maine town struggling with integrating Somali immigrants, and then unifying behind a Somali-led high school soccer team fighting to win a state championship. Really well done.

P.S. In the Trump era! This just happened. Trump even came to town and lied (surprise), saying they shouldn’t allow any more Somalis because they drove the crime rate up. The police chief immediately called him out on it, saying crime actually had gone down since they arrived. What an ass Trump is.

Mar 12, 6:26pm Top

>266 Caroline_McElwee:. Good for you, Caroline. Please let us know what you think of Maudie.

>267 jessibud2:. Cool beans, Shelley.

Mar 12, 6:59pm Top

Unfortunately I seem to have acquired a copy of Maudie dubbed into German grr. Fortunately I have a German friend to pass it on to! Off to find an English speaking copy.

Mar 12, 7:20pm Top

>272 Caroline_McElwee: - Oh no. Where did you buy it from? Would they do an exchange for you?

Mar 12, 7:27pm Top

>272 Caroline_McElwee:. The beauties of where you live, Caroline. I’d have to work hard to find a German copy here.

>273 jessibud2:. She may just have to give up and invest in learning German, Shelley.

Wait, that doesn’t sound at all sympathetic. My bad. Let’s go with your Q’s.

Mar 12, 10:06pm Top

Hi, Joe. Sounds like you had a very nice trip, despite Debbi's health woes. Glad she is feeling better. Have a safe return home tomorrow. Bundle up, it is supposed to be chilly.

Edited: Mar 12, 11:10pm Top

Hi, Mark. It’s been a swell time, even with the health woes. Had a wonderful lunch with my sister and her hubby in Santa Monica today. We rarely get time with just them - usually it’s the whole clan gathering. It’s going to be tough, especially for Debbi, to leave the 9 week old little boy behind. His mom, for some reason, won’t give him up.

Good practice for the impending grandson. It’s an early plane tomorrow, as we lose the two hours coming back.

Mar 13, 1:20am Top

Safe travels home, Joe.

Edited: Mar 13, 7:05am Top

>274 jnwelch: Amazon Joe. It said English/German, German subtitles, but it was German dubbed. Frustrating. Based on what's on offer I'll wait a while for another attempt.

Mar 13, 8:55am Top

Hope you had an uneventful trip home!

Mar 13, 12:25pm Top

Thanks Meg, Caroline and Chelle. We’re on the plane and heading home.

Right, Amazon, Caroline. Too bad. I have found their Help service helpful, particularly if you’re Prime.

Mar 13, 2:47pm Top

>223 seasonsoflove: Wonderful review, Becca! I'm glad you shared it on your dad's thread! I've added another thumb to your almost double handful.

>270 jnwelch: And interesting comments on One Goal: A Coach. I'm interested in refugee-help organizations in the area and have been taking some Teaching English as a Second Language classes.

I've added both to the list I keep on my home page. Struggling, struggling, struggling to get a few off my overburdened shelves before I launch too joyfully into ordering more.

Wow - dehydration would not have occurred to me either, but I bet it's a not-uncommon diagnosis with tourists traveling to LA. I'm glad it turned out so well!

Mar 13, 3:06pm Top

If you do chance to meet Bradford Whifordt, don't ask him about "West Wing" ask him about "Three Days of Rain" a wonderful play we saw him in Off Broadway in New York back in the day'

Also in the cast was John Slattery and Patricia Clarkson - wonder what ever happened to them?

Mar 13, 4:18pm Top

>252 jnwelch: what a pain! Glad it was diagnosed and sorted, who would have thought...
Happy holidaying!

Mar 13, 5:26pm Top

>276 jnwelch:

So good that health worked out so smoothly > Online WEBMD
had a slideshow feature yesterday on Dehydration which included
mention of a hospital stay.

Mar 14, 11:36am Top

Thanks, Janet, Jim, Megan and Marianne. I'll be back later to respond some more.

We're home safe and sound. Now it's time to run errands. Catch you later in the day.

Mar 14, 1:39pm Top

>281 streamsong: Isn't that a great Becca review, Janet? Lotsa thumbs for that lass.

Madre de Dios, I loved One Goal: A Coach. The number of people she talked to and got to know well, her use of dialogue, the background she sets it in, everything. She was just back in Lewiston, Maine in author appearances, and on Facebook there are lots of photos of her and Coach McGaw and the players and their families. So cool. (I can't transfer Facebook photos here because of the security system).

Good for you for taking classes and pitching in on refugee help.

Yeah, dehydration in LA - it's not uncommon. As we were reminded, it's desert country. But Madame MBH is normally such a conscientious hydrator, I'd have never guessed. We got out of our routines away from home, and various factors conspired to hit her hard with it.

>282 magicians_nephew: Hi, Jim. I believe we saw Three Days of Rain here, and liked it a lot. That sounds like quite a cast. Despite my Josh Lymon comments, I actually don't plan to bring anything up with BW other than Amy and this and that - including books. He's apparently a reader. I imagine he gets enough of the movie, tv and play reactions in his life.

Mar 14, 1:41pm Top

>283 LovingLit: Whuda thunk it, Megan. Madame MBH is always full of surprises, but this was a bit of a scary one.

>284 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. Yeah, clinical dehydration can be a serious business. An IV would've been the next step, but we caught it early enough.

Edited: Mar 14, 1:45pm Top

A purty garden to help Spring get here

Mar 14, 1:57pm Top

>288 jnwelch: What a purty garden! A nor'easter came today, the wind's howling like fury outside with nary a cloud to be seen. 50mph gusts are pretty noisy.

Just thought you should know.

PS my computer was on strike over the weekend so I'm not even playing at catch-up.

Edited: Mar 14, 2:07pm Top

>282 magicians_nephew: I really enjoyed Patricia Clarkson as Sadie Burke in the re-make of All the King's Men, which otherwise was mostly disappointing.

Mar 14, 2:41pm Top

>289 richardderus: Sorry about the nor'easter. Perhaps that one makes enough already? What tough weather in your part of the country!

I wondered at your empty seat here. I'm glad your computer's demands were met and it's not on strike any more.

>290 laytonwoman3rd: Patricia Clarkson is one of those actresses who's immediately recognizable, and I've seen in a ton of parts, like most of us, although not on stage. Maze Runner and Easy A come to mind.

Mar 14, 2:41pm Top

OK, the new cafe is open. See you there!

Mar 14, 9:43pm Top

>291 jnwelch: " Perhaps that one makes enough already? What tough weather in your part of the country!" Would that it were true...apparently there's another one revving up for next week.

Edited: Mar 15, 2:13pm Top

>293 laytonwoman3rd: Some are liking all this more than others, Linda.

Mar 15, 3:34pm Top

>294 jnwelch: - Not to rub it in, but I got my snow tires off this morning. Just saying...


Mar 15, 4:05pm Top

>295 jessibud2: Ha! Well, I'm just happy for you, Shelley. And that's a better indicator of spring than the groundhog's shadow.

We never put any snow tires on, so I'm glad we can get the signal from you.

Mar 16, 1:58am Top

>223 seasonsoflove: Nice review! Tempting .... but I like my books safe and comfortable.

>235 richardderus: Is it just me or does anyone else get the vague impression that Richard is upset about something? Probably just me, then.

Mar 16, 1:54pm Top

>297 humouress: Isn't that a nice review, Nina? It's been up there in LT's hot reviews for a lot of days now.

You may have some sixth sense when it comes to Richard. You sure can pick up on subtle clues that he's upset. I look at >235 richardderus: and think, is this guy nuts?

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