RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 2
This is a continuation of the topic RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 1.
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Facebook brought this up as my "memory from 5 years ago". I posted it here then but I still love it so decided to use it again :)
I'm a retired city planner who loves to travel. We live in San Diego but have a little townhouse at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state where we spend much of the summer and some of the fall. In October this year we plan to fly from Chautuqua to Scotland, spend two weeks in the western highlands, then train down to London for a week before flying to Ireland for two weeks. I lived in Ireland for two years back in the early 80's and haven't been back since that should be fun. Actually I'm really looking forward to the whole trip.
I had challenged myself to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction and finished that last year. I plan to continue by reading the Pulitzer Prize winning biographies, but at a slower pace than I did the fiction (which took me several years). I'm pretty eclectic in my reading so there will be a lot of fiction, ranging from new books to classics, history, current topics and the occasional "beach read" (even though I don't ever actually read at the beach).
I enjoy LT meet-ups and hope to have at least one this year.
1. The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone****1/2
2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman*****
3. Love and Friendship by Alison Lurie** (audio)
4. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan****
5. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder****
6. The Ladies' Room by Carolyn Brown (audio) ****
7. Melbourne by Lord David Cecil ***
8. Inferior by Angela Saini****
9. How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry***1/2
10.Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen (audio) ***
11. The Return by Hisham Matar****
12. My Reading Life by Pat Conroy*****
13. If I Were Going The Alice and Jerry Books
14. When We Were Sisters by Emilie Richards****1/2 (audio)
15. 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie (audio) ***
16. City of Women by David R. Gilliam*****
17. P. S. from Paris by Marc Levy****(audio)
18. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman*****
19. Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt ***
20. Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan ***1/2
21. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman ****1/2
P. S. from Paris by Marc Levy****(audio)
This was a perfect "walking" book. It is light but got me interested so I kept wanting to know "what next" which inspires me to go for my walk each day. A love story with some twists and turns set in Paris.
Hi Rhonda!! I was just about to close and there popped up a message. It's wonderful to have a visitor so soon :)
Thank you Roni, Jim and Chelle -- I love having company stop by :)
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Beckman*****
I have been raving about A Man Called Ove to everyone I know so a friend brought me two of his other books. This little novella is the perfect description of dementia, family and love. It's beautiful too and I love it just like I loved Ove. It's a short, quick read so don't miss it!
>12 RebaRelishesReading: I'm adding that one to the list. :)
Happy New Thread!
>16 FAMeulstee: It is great, isn't it Anita? Glad you enjoyed it.
>17 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul.
>18 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie -- thanks :)
>19 nittnut: Hi Jenn. I'm sure you'll like it and it only takes a couple of hours to read.
>20 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Britt-Marie Was Here is the other one my friend gave (loaned?) me so I'll be reading it soon too.
My desk is in the "L" of the great room that is intended to be the dining area which leaves the table sort of stranded out in the big part (which bugs me aesthetically) and makes my desk area subject to all of the noise of the kitchen and the television (only one in the house). Hubby suggested some time ago that we get rid of the single bed in his "office" and move me in there but I've been hesitant to do it because (1) it's the only guest space we have, (2) moving stuff would be a big pain, and (3) it's been "his" space for 8 years now. I started giving it serious thought a few weeks ago, worked and worked to find a way the room could be configured to fit us both and changed my mind about whether it was a good idea or not every other day. Yesterday I bit the bullet and ordered a modification to my desk to make it fit AND ordered three 36" by 84" bookcases to fill the big blank wall in the dining room that will be left when my office moves in about 3 weeks. If I'm honest, it was the space for new bookcases that pushed me over the threshold...now to clean, sort, etc. and get ready for the big change.
Reba--Happy new thread and new bookcases!! Love that topper. Good luck getting ready for the makeover. Sounds like it will be worth it. Take some before/after pictures...
Happy new thread, Reba! I also love the topper, and the plans for the desk move and new bookcases sound good. I hope you get on with your new office roomie and don't spend the whole day gossiping :-)
>23 Berly: Thanks Kim. I'll try to get some photos that show what happens.
>24 susanj67: Hi Susan. Before we moved here we shared an office and it worked fine but it was a bigger space and he's had this one to himself for 8 1/2 years now. He tends to be more "relaxed" about his space than I am and I've just let him do his thing in there for all that time. That is going to be the issue I fear. I'm going to try to carve out enough space for my "stuff" and then ignore what happens in the rest of the room...I'll try.
Happy new thread, Reba. New bookcases are the perfect reason to move your desk. I'm sure you have a book or two that you could fit in the bookcases.
How exciting to make space changes and get new book cases too. Have fun Reba!
Hi Meg, Chelle and Karen -- thanks. It's going to be a big job but I'm excited...especially about the book cases. The current ones are chock full and have as many horizontal ones on top as I can stuff in. Now everything will fit and there will be room for expansion, delaying when I have to make awful choices about which ones I can't keep (I shudder to think about it but the day will almost certainly come).
How exciting to be preparing this new space Reba. Anything that involves new book shelves is exciting, I realize, but still it’s always good to have something to look forward to.
>12 RebaRelishesReading: I just added this one to my library list. I loved Ove. Have you seen the movie? Really well done even in Swedish with subtitles.
Hi Bonnie -- I am excited about the rearrangement to the house...a little anxious about it too, I'm afraid but I LOVE the idea of new bookshelves :)
No, I haven't seen the movie Ove. Good to hear it's well done so I will see it if I get a chance.
Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt ***
A friend's bookclub is reading this book and it fit so well into my recent group of books about under-recognized women that I had to read it. It's about the women who worked at JPL, especially in the early years (40's, 50's and 60's). Another group of women who made major contributions. For me one of the best parts was that I grew up just a few miles from JPL so much of what the book talks about was happening on my childhood doorstep (so to speak). A worthwhile, if not great, read.
Hubby is having cataract surgery this afternoon. He was so good about putting drops in my eyes when I had it done last year so now I can return the favor. I'm excited to see his reaction when he can see better. He's always been terribly near-sighted and in recent years clouded by the cataracts so it should be quite a revelation for him -- especially on this wonderfully sunny day :)
Good luck to your husband, Reba! I, too, know how wonderful cataract surgery is, so I hope it is a revelation for him like you hope.
Can I still say happy new thread? Happy new thread!
New book shelves, such fun!
My sister had cataract surgery last fall and she has 20/20 vision now. I’m a bit jealous. Hope all went well with your husband’s surgery today!
Thanks Karen and Anne. I had cataracts removed a year ago and also ended with 20/20 vision. Pretty much right after I got home I could see clearly. I didn't like the put-em-on/take-em-off with reading glasses so I got progressive lenses that go from clear glass to my reading prescription and I wear them much of the time and I LOVE, love my new eyes.
Jury is still out on hubby though. When he took his eye guards off at home yesterday he said everything looked like there was a heavy fog. I hoped he would wake up with that gone this morning but it's still there. He has a post-op appointment with ophthalmologist this afternoon and I really hope they can tell us this is normal or, better yet, that it clears up by then. We weren't prepared for this at all and it is a bit worrisome.
Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan***1/2
When I grabbed this at The Book Passage I thought I was buying a new Amy Tan novel but when I got home I saw the small print at the bottom of the cover which reads "a writer's memoir". I found it a bit jumbled but at the same time it provided some interesting background on Tan's family and her own life. It wasn't bad but it was far from the most riveting memoir/biography I've ever read.
Whew! Poor San Diego commuters yesterday!! In the late morning a construction crew bored through a gas distribution (20" high pressure) line near the intersection of two major freeways and two major shopping centers. I walked to the post office about 11:30 and noticed that one of those freeways was totally backed up in one direction so I knew something was afoot but when I got home we had to leave immediately for hubby's post-op appointment so I didn't find out what had happened until later. I knew enough from what I had seen to stay off of that freeway but the alternate route I chose took me right through the heart of the mess. Took nearly an hour to go 15 minutes from home but, since we had planned to have lunch on the way, we made it in time (but hungry). I checked my phone while at the doctor's office and was able to take a wide arch around the mess on the way home and we didn't leave again once we got here. As of 7:00 p.m. one freeway and one shopping center were closed down and everything was one unholy mess.
The upside of the day was that the doctor said the "fog" in hubby's eyes was normal and a result of him still being dilated (he has dark brown eyes so it's hard to see what his pupil is doing) and still being swollen from surgery. By bedtime last night he said things were improving. Hope he'll be even better this morning.
>37 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, so sorry to hear about your husband's eyes. Hoping that it clears up quickly. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.
We cross-posted! SO glad to read that the doctor is not concerned, and that it should clear up on its own.
Reba, I hope MrReba is feeling better today. I'm sure the surgeon saying it was normal will have helped - sometimes the worry is the worst part.
Hi Mamie and Susan -- thanks for your concern. Indeed the worry is the worst part. He looked so relieved when he came out from the surgeon yesterday. He's still foggy this morning but I think his mind is easy about it. He's awfully light sensitive still so I think he must still be really dilated (and as far as I can tell from looking, he is). Wish there were drops they could use to reverse that process as readily as they induce it :)
11:00 a.m. update -- Shopping Center, Doubletree Hotel and several very large apartment complexes still have no gas (and there's no estimated time for restoration). I imagine the center is open but not the restaurants and Hubby is dying to go to CPK for lunch (aching since yesterday morning). Poor boy is having a very rough week!!
Glad hubby's eyes seem to be getting there - hoping it speeds up and gives him some relief.
Hoping you get a spectacular 5star read next.
Reba, I think doctors could and should do more to tell people about what to expect after surgery. I remember when my father had his heart bypass they gave him a little booklet listing all the things that he might expect, and some of them were not obvious (e.g. temporary sight deterioration, being too weak to hold a pen), and he read the whole thing cover to cover and was prepared. When he mentioned that he could hardly see I freaked out, but he said "No, they said in the book that this could happen and it should be fine in x days" and it was. But someone's father over here had the same surgery, no preparation in terms of what to expect, and the whole family spent his recovery in perpetual worry that something terrible had gone wrong. All it would take is a photocopied sheet of paper...I hope Mr Reba continues to improve, and gets a nice lunch somewhere :-)
>45 BekkaJo: Thanks, BekkaJo. I wish there would be some real improvement though. Every morning I awake with "...and?" and the answer is "still foggy" :(
>46 susanj67: I agree Susan. We were told "there could be variations in vision day to day for a while" but no one said "you may live in a fog for days". He was given a little booklet that explained the procedure, after care, etc. that said about the same thing but it no where near led us to expect this. Our provider also changed to doing both eyes at the same time as of the first of the year and I would suggest they re-think that because if you at least had one good eye while the other recovered it would make life a lot easier. I understand the gas-leak affected shopping center has gas again so I plan to take him to CPK for lunch. I'll also go on a walk with him in a bit. Otherwise he just sits and tries to "watch" watch TV from a few feet away because that really all he can do. Like I said...really tough time for him.
HI there - Happy Friday. That topper photo always makes me laugh.
>22 RebaRelishesReading: Space for bookcases is a good reason to move stuff.
Good to hear the 'fog' is normal for your husband. Hope things clear up for him soon.
>48 SuziQoregon: Thanks Juli. It's still cloudy today. I took him for a walk this morning. It was strange since I was basically being a "talking guide dog" (at least that's what we decided as we walked. Man I hope this gets better soon!!
I was just over at your place talking about puzzles. I was trying to find Jim's puzzle pack and spent quite a while at the app store to no avail. Just occurred to me, maybe it isn't available for Apples.
I, too, always smile when I see that impatient kitty.
Congratulations on your second thread, Reba. I am moving at a snail’s pace this year. I’m glad it isn’t a race!
>12 RebaRelishesReading: I loved this Backman book, too. I think he is coming out with a sequel to Beartown late this spring. BT was a different kind of story, but I liked it enough to read more about it.
It looks like you have a big project in your future. Organizing the new bookcases sounds like fun! Sorry to hear your DH is still in a fog as far as his eyes are concerned. I hope it clears up pronto!
>50 Donna828: Hi Donna -- I'm reading Britt-Marie now and liking it a lot too. I don't know anything about Bear Town though.
Actually I don't think organizing the books is going to be too hard. They're organized where they are now and I'm planning to move the fiction category to the new book cases to give it some growing room and then move other categories to fill in where it was. Getting the furniture moved around is going to take some logistics, however. I have a couple of weeks yet before the new pieces come so I hope to start on the shifting around next week...assuming Hubby's eye are recovered by then.
Speaking of which, as of shortly before noon his pupils are looking pretty normal and I can even detect a fair band of dark brown iris around them. He says everything is still foggy though. I assume that's from swelling in the eye. At least it's a bit of progress.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman****1/2
Another gripping, charming story from Fredrik Backman. Britt-Marie is a repressed woman in her 60's with OCD who leaves her cheating husband and moves to a tiny roadside town that is dying and full of people at the edges of society. The characters are very human and very sympathetic. A great read.
Happy weekend, Reba! Hope your husband's vision is improving day by day!
Hi Char, Karen and Chelle. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Update: between him afternoon nap and bedtime yesterday there was great improvement, to the point he said the fog was gone by bedtime. Unfortunately, it's back this morning. But now that we have seen the pupils constrict and the fog lift we know there's hope :) We will surely be glad when this is over though!
I love the moments, like this morning, when I have finished a book and go over to Mt.TBR to select the next one. I picked Eden's Outcasts this morning and am looking forward to getting my chores done so I can go and dive into it.
Glad to see there has been some improvement. Does he have eye drops that he is using or supposed to use?
When I had Lasik on my eyes years ago I woke one morning a couple days after the surgery and was very freaked out that I suddenly couldn't see anything. Turns out I hadn't used enough of the eye drops and my eyes were dry. It cleared up after I used the drops but I made sure to use the maximum every day.
>57 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle. Yes, he has three eye drops which I administer four times per day. We haven't missed a drop yet (and I watch carefully to be sure the drop actually hits the eye ball). He provided the same service for me last year when mine were done. The protocol for the drops is different this time around though. Mine continued for six weeks and, since my surgeries were a month apart, that meant I was tied to drops for 10 weeks. I was thoroughly tired of it by the time we finished but never missed even once. He had both eyes done at the same time and is only required to do them for five weeks.
>56 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, that's great news about the fog lifting, even if it came back. I hope MrReba continues to improve today and the fog is just something he can warn friends about when they have it done.
Thank you Susan. I'll pass your message on. I think the worst is over (although we have been warned vision can "vary" for the first several days). Now to get him some reading glasses and I think he'll be in working order :)
What Susan said, Reba! Sounds like you are moving in the right direction.
Glad to hear your hubby is improving Reba. Britt Marie seems like another good one from Backman
Good luck to your husband in his recovery. I have cataract surgery scheduled in a couple of weeks, so it's good to know the range of recovery.
Hi Reba! Hope your husband continues to recover. My mom had cataract surgery last year and is happy with the results. She has a weird light in her eyes like a cat at night, so that was hard for me to get used to:)
A colleague has been urging me to read Britt-Marie for a couple of years, but the wait for the audio has always been very long. Maybe it's time to try again. Thanks for the nudge.
>63 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. Thank you, we're really glad too :) He sees the doctor this morning but I'm not sure there will be a lot to say. Yes Britt Marie is good. My favorite is still A Man Called Ove, however.
>64 banjo123: Thank you, too, Rhonda. I guess this "fog" issue is fairly rare but it will be less frightening to know it happens and it's OK. I hope, though, that you have a process more like mine. I could see really clearly pretty much immediately.
>65 AMQS: Hi Anne. I think Hubby's results are going to be fine too.
I've now read three of Backman's and I recommend them all. I plan to get My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry when I'm at Powell's next month.
We had a lovely weekend -- all rainy and cozy. Yep!!! Actual water fell out of the sky for the second time this month!! Hooray for March!!! We may get more in a couple of days. Still way under average for rainfall but it's some at least.
I'm glad to hear that your husband's vision is improving and that he's ready to 'graduate' to reading glasses.
It's interesting how much cataract surgery has changed so quickly - mine was 3 years ago and I had one eye done on a Monday and the other one done the following Monday. Lots of drops on different schedules. I like the new way better.
Hi Karen -- yes, lots of changes. Mine were done last year -- one eye on Feb. 28 and one on March 28. Drops for 6 weeks each eye, so total of 10 weeks. His were done by same group, both eyes together, drops for 5 weeks. Except for the scare when he could barely see for 4 days, I would take the second way too.
Yesterday I started getting ready for the office move/bookshelf arrival by purging books on the shelves in our bedroom. There were a lot of very old professional/college books in there and I decided they just weren't worth the space any more so I recycled 40 or so of them. Even knowing I'll never look into them again and that they are of no use to anyone, it was very difficult for me to toss them into the recycling bin. That said, I do feel a bit lighter this morning especially as I keep reminding myself that gives me more room for wonderful new books :)
>70 RebaRelishesReading: I got rid of quite a few of my college textbooks several years back. I brought most of them to the booksale room here at the library so the remnants could just go in the book recycling dumpster we get after the sale.
Good to hear things are improving for your Husband. Good luck with the office project.
Always checking online to be sure none of your texts are rare and desired! I'm trying to get the husband to liberate the bookshelves of some of his ancient math and Russian textbooks but it's slow going. The shared-office thingy wouldn't work here--the hubby watches tv constantly in his office and I am glad to be the length of the house away in my own. Plus, as an introvert I need my "alone" time! But I hope it works well for you, and the incentive of new bookshelves is indeed powerful!
Blue sky between the clouds now--think the rain is over for the time being?
>70 RebaRelishesReading: Impressive stuff. I have lost count of the books I have kept "just in case" they are useful in the future!
Furniture store called. Furniture is in and they were prepared to deliver today. Yikes! That's about 2 weeks earlier than I expected. Ended up scheduling for next Thursday. Now I have to finish getting the spaces ready plus getting permission from the HOA (they want to put blankets up in the elevator).
>71 thornton37814: Hi Lori. They were so old and really useless that I didn't think any book resale program would want them so I put them in the recycle bin downstairs. I never thought about the possibility of a dedicated book recycle dumpster.
>72 SuziQoregon: Thanks Juli.
>73 ronincats: I'm quite sure none of these would be wanted by anyone. They were pretty common in their day and are very outdated now. We have shared an office in the past and it worked (although the arrangement was different and the room was bigger). There is no TV in there. In fact, one reason for moving is that my desk is in the "great room" now and that's where the TV is. In the "office" i'll be able to shut the door and escape. I wouldn't mind "alone" space either but the condo just isn't big enough for that and, of course, I'm in the "great room" now. My alone time is when he goes to bed in the afternoon :)
Channel 7 said it would rain during the night last night but I wasn't awake to check. Also forecast two more storms on the way. We may just get our Miracle March (hoping, hoping, hoping)
>74 charl08: Exactly why I still had all of these (not to mention those I still have) :)
>75 RebaRelishesReading: We get one each spring after the book sale. The year we weeded a lot of bound (and unbound) periodicals, we ended up filling one, getting another, and so forth for quite awhile. I'm guessing we filled 8-10 that year.
>76 thornton37814: If I ever decide to get rid of some books I don't think are worth donating I'll ask our library if they ever do that. Thanks for the tip.
>75 RebaRelishesReading: I cannot tell you the great delight I felt when the title of a book I recognised popped up online. I was searching for references for a project on women's campaign for the vote. The book was one that I had bought YEARS ago thinking "someday this will come in handy". Finally. The time has come for me to read a book about early Labour party women politicians :-)
(Let us not speak of the books I have bought which have yet to have this moment!)
Hope the moving of the furniture goes smoothly.
Congrats on getting rid of so many old textbooks. I still have a few around, but I sold most of them back to the school after each semester to get some money for the new ones I'd need.
>75 RebaRelishesReading: In fact, one reason for moving is that my desk is in the "great room" now and that's where the TV is. In the "office" i'll be able to shut the door and escape. I wouldn't mind "alone" space either but the condo just isn't big enough for that and, of course, I'm in the "great room" now. My alone time is when he goes to bed in the afternoon I love having a room without the when-husband's-home-it's-on TV. I'm glad you're getting your "office".
Thanks Char and Karen. We're making some progress. I have the "move" scheduled with the hoa and I've shifted some of the books around. Hubby is doing a great job of cleaning up/out "his" office to make room for it to become "ours". There will definitely be more physical labor this week than most but I think it's going to be well worth it.
BTW, it's raining again today. I'm worried this is the day for Roni's show (which I think may be outside) and sad about that if so, but so glad we're getting some more much-needed rain.
Craft show is tomorrow, not today! Yes, I know I said it was today, but it was a brain fart.
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