RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 2
This is a continuation of the topic RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 1.
This topic was continued by RebaRelishesReading 2018 chapter 3.
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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
22. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory **** (audio)
23. Eden's Outcasts by John Matteson ****
24. A Daring Life by Carolyn J. Brown ***1/2 (audio)
25. The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin *****
26. In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen (audio) ****
27. Henry James: A Life by Leon Edel ***1/2
28. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev ****
29. Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker (audio) ****1.2
30. To Say Nothing of the Dog ***1/2
31. Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai by Sigmund Tobias ***
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.
Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory**** (audio)
This historical novel is told from the perspective of the main character, Margaret Tudor, the older sister of King Henry VIII. The other two "sisters" are her biological little sister, Mary, and Henry's first wife Katherine of Aragon. I enjoy biography and historical fiction from this time period forward but knew little about Margaret so this was a fun choice for audio "walking book". Margaret had a very complicated life and suffered greatly from the total lack of power that was common even for female royalty of the time. From my quick check of Wikipedia and what I already knew about the Tudor times the book was accurate in its outline and the unknowns the author filled in were well written and plausible.
We're deep in the reorganization for the office move/new bookcases. Great news is that Hubby has started seriously cleaning and re-organizing his (soon to be "our") office and said this morning that he's glad he's doing it and that is was well overdue. I'm really glad he's doing it and really glad he's happy about it. Meanwhile I've pulled all of the books from the shelves in our bedroom, purged, dusted and replaced the remaining books there along with scrapbooks that needed a new home because of the move. This morning I pulled all of the fiction, biography, history, political and general non-fiction and dusted those shelves. As soon as my back rests a bit I'm going to put the fiction back into that space all by itself which will give me a nice amount of room for it to grow. When the new bookshelves come on Thursday the biography, history, political and general non-fiction will go into them.
I find it all very exciting but my back thinks otherwise :( It will recover though and the lovely, clean bookshelves will still be here making me smile.
Savor it Reba. There’s no need to rush is there? I remember when I moved the best part about settling into my new home was getting my books all back onto their shelves.
Reba, it sounds as though you're having quite the sort out :-) I got rid of textbooks a while ago too. The law has moved on since I was at University (and I am now in a different country...) so I was never going to look at them again. I did keep my New Zealand law dictionary, though, for sentimental reasons. Don't wreck your back!
>86 brenzi:, >97 Morning Bonnie and Susan! We are indeed having a good sort out plus a spring clean. It feels really nice but it is taxing my back I'm afraid. I take frequent breaks for ice or heat though. Here are some "in progress" photos:
I have removed all of the books from the bedroom and living room bookcases and separated out the fiction -- shown here on the dining room table
Here is the fiction back in the living room bookcase with room to grow now :)
Reba, sadly I cannot see either of those photos. Be careful with your back - don't do too much.
I can't see the photos, either, even when I change devices (sometimes doing that allows me to see pictures I can't otherwise)...
No photos--check your quotation marks, etc. Small typos can do that. I want to see them!
Sort out and spring clean sounds good. Make sure you give your back an occasional rest.
Bummer -- well I was trying to see if I could post them without going via Facebook on the way so I tried emailing them to myself. Guess that doesn't work except on my own computer. I'll go back to the Facebook route and try again.
Yes! I can see them now! I am completely jealous of the living room bookcase.
>96 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie. That bookcase is hands-down my favorite piece of furniture -- if you can call it that, we had it built in.
Best part is there are three new ones coming tomorrow :) I do believe they will be the last ones, however, because even my devious mind can't imagine where we could put more (out in the common hallway maybe? lol)
Here are the non-fiction books that are waiting for the new bookcases -
I love a good clean/purge/sort. New bookcases are exciting too!!
I'm glad the surgery was a success and the fog is clearing. :)
SO glad your hubby's eyes are better. And those bookshelves are yummy! Good thing you are both cleaning out the office together--so much easier. And more bookshelves on the way...happiness. : )
Hi Jenn and Kim -- thanks for your good thoughts regarding Hubby's eyes and, yes of course, new bookcases are worth all the upheaval they're causing :)
Eden's Outcasts by John Matteson****
This Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Louisa May Alcott and her father, Amos Bronson Alcott is not only an interesting story of their lives but also the lives of her three sisters and their mother plus the amazing people who lived in Concord, MA when they did and the people with whom they were friends: Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman, Henry James Sr., John Brown, Thomas Carlyle.
(Amos) Bronson was a progressive, a philosopher, a utopian and wanted to be an educator. He had many failed attempts in his early life and really only reached something that could be called success on Louisa's coattails late in his life. Louisa was an active, outspoken child and quite a contrast to her more "girly" sisters. She volunteered as a nurse in the Civil War and her treatment for illness contracted there left her dealing with mercury poisoning the rest of her life.
Interesting lives and interesting times made this an interesting book.
>107 ronincats: >108 brenzi: >109 FAMeulstee: Thank you Roni, Bonnie and Anita. New bookcases are due between 10:30 and 12:30 today. Yes, I'm certainly noticing all of the lifting I've been doing in my back but I try to stop every now and then and put alternately ice and heat on it and that does a good job of calming things down when I'm not actually lifting/bending/etc. At least we're in the "putting back" phase now (as opposed to the "taking out/sorting/cleaning" phase).
Gorgeous bookcase pictures - and >106 RebaRelishesReading: reminds me that this is on the wishlist. I have had it on my Xmas list for a while, maybe it is time to just buy it myself!!
Except for your back giving you fits, it sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for all the pics and good luck when the new bookcases come.
>111 ChelleBearss: Thank you Chelle
>112 charl08: It's quite interesting, Char. I always advise "just buy it" (which is why I needed more bookcases lol)
>113 karenmarie: My back got a fair amount of much needed rest today. I couldn't do anything but rest this morning while the delivery and "set up" was taking place then Hubby and I went out to lunch. When we got home the "loading" of the new bookshelves when smoothly as did putting my "stuff" into my new desk and reloading my office storage cupboard. We badly need to get the bookcases attached to the wall so for the time being I have heavy chairs pushed up against them. Tomorrow I hope we can move the rest of the furniture (dining table and a "secretary" I use for glassware and linens. There are some pictures that have to be rehung, dining room lamp to be moved and some more cleaning to do in the office but, really we're really making progress. When everything is done I'll post the photos of the new bookcases and our office.
The photos so far have been great, Reba. I love seeing other LTers book set ups. I am glad that your husband's eyes gradually cleared up from the surgery. Good thing that he had you around. Myself, I would prefer to have one eye done at a time in case anything like that happened. Not having a significant other to take over for temporary loss of sight, I have to think about how I would cope.
>115 Familyhistorian: I had mine done one at a time a year ago and had no problem at all so we didn't think about it but with hindsight (pun intended) I think he would have asked for one eye at a time too. But all is well now.
I'll try to get a photo of the new set up and post it later today. We don't have an electrician to move the lamp to the new dining room location yet but otherwise we're done. Whew!!
OK, final photos. Here is what the corner of our great room that was supposed to be the dining room, but actually was mostly my office, looked like before the reshuffle of the past two weeks.
And here is what it looks like now. The dining room lamp still needs to be moved but otherwise it's finished.
We took Roni's advice today and went to the San Dieguito farmer's market for paella. Roni described it as the best she's had outside of Barcelona and we agree. Thanks for the tip Roni!! (The woman in the photo is a friend, not me).
Hi Roni, Katie and Chelle -- thanks for stopping by and, thanks :)
Yay! It's done and it looks great! And paella...yum. What a great weekend. Now, rest your back some more and read a book. : )
Thanks Kim! It was a good weekend and my back is back to its normal (somewhat cranky) self. I did read a bit yesterday and probably will today although I hope to take a walk (haven't done that while the "move" was going on), start taxes and do some other desk chores. Hope you have a good day, full of health and reading!!
Thanks Mamie (I see we're following each other around the threads again -- hope your morning is going well)
WooHoo!! My Lucy book just came!! Out for a walk and then I'll sit down and start reading.
A Daring Life by Carolyn J. Brown***1/2 (audio)
This brief biography of Eudora Welty describes a woman who lived her life in Jackson, Mississippi and yet was an outspoken civil rights advocate, even through the worst of the KKK days. It was interesting and well written as far as it went but I felt like there was so much more I could have learned about Ms. Welty. Perhaps a good starting point and I guess it's not bad to be left wanting more.
Reba, since you were left wanting more of Eudora, you might think about reading What There is to Say We Have Said - it's the correspondence between Eudora Welty and William Maxwell, who was her editor for the New Yorker but also a personal friend. I loved dipping in and out of it, and I learned a lot. The letters are charming and they corresponded for many years, sharing a love of roses and recipes and life.
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin*****
My copy arrived yesterday afternoon and I finished reading it first thing this morning. I truly loved it. The characters are delightful and following Poppy through a day that takes on a life of its own while she is trying to make big decisions about her future was totally engaging. Really, I enjoyed every minute of reading it and hope you're going to write more, Lucy!!
>117 RebaRelishesReading: The new bookcases look great, Reba! So much room for new things...
>137 RebaRelishesReading: That post of mine would make more sense if I'd linked to the encouragement to buy books! (Paella looks wonderful)
I walked by the zoo today to see the new sculpture that was unveiled this past weekend. There had been a huge wooden box/structure there for quite a while and I’d been wondering what it was about. Now I know that a big lion was being installed inside. It’s most impressive!
Thanks, Jenn. I'm quite happy with the room and very glad to have some empty space on bookshelves (so I can fill them right up lol). The lion is pretty amazing. I'm sorry I was there in the afternoon so the angle of the sun wasn't good. I'll need to walk earlier one of these days and get a better photo.
Thank goodness you stopped by my thread -- somehow you fell out of my "starred". It's terrible how dependent I have gotten on that, so I don't even think, "who's missing?"
Thank you for your kind words up above! I am working hard on book 2 and I have a 3rd in a partially written condition. I am a slow worker though and it took me a long time to figure out even HOW to write a novel properly. But I promise to work hard.
I love your bookshelves!
>144 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita - You're right, we worked really hard for the past two weeks but I'm so happy to have extra space on the bookshelves (you're right, only for a while) and I'm very pleased with how the room looks now.
>145 sibyx: I'm so excited to hear you're working on more novels, Lucy. I did love The Hounds of Spring and can't wait for more.
Happy Easter weekend everyone!
With no little children around ours will not be a busy as they once were but it will be fun. Tomorrow we're going to a birthday party given by friends to celebrate their 90th birthdays. These two are such models of living the good life. At 90 they still travel the world. Sunday I will be singing at two services with church choir (6:30 and 10:00) with pot luck breakfast between and then we're going to brunch with my son's fiancee (he's deployed to Kosovo). Sadly, Easter Monday isn't celebrated at all in the U.S. so it will be back to life as usual then.
Sounds like the weekend will be plenty busy, Reba, even if it is a slower pace than past years. We have weird work schedules here, so we are just taking it as it comes. But there will be feasting, so there is that.
I will keep you son in my thoughts.
So happy feasting, Mamie and thank you for the thoughts for my son. He's career and this is his 4th or 5th deployment so we're somewhat used to it but, still, good thoughts are always most welcome.
>117 RebaRelishesReading: I love before and after photos. After definitely wins, especially the waiting-to-be-filled shelves. Congrats.
>150 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen! I'm very happy with it too -- especially the extra space on shelves.
Happy Easter everyone!!
It's a busy day here, at least at the start. We were up at 5:30 to get ready to sing at 6:30 sunrise service. Then choir had a pot luck breakfast (very nice and fun), now we're quickly home before back to sing at 10:00 a.m. Meeting son's fiancee for lunch at 1:15. Then I think I'll come home and crash!!
The new room and empty spaces in the book shelf are impressive, Reba. Hope you had a happy Easter.
Thanks you Meg and Chelle. It was busy but fun. We had a lovely brunch out yesterday at which I ate my year's ration of sugar (but also part of a delicious kale salad, the rest of which will be lunch today). I hope yours were lovely too!!
We're going to take the older (13 and 15) grandkids out to lunch today. They're bright, caring, delightful young people and it's always fun catching up with them.
Thanks, Chelle, we did :) We ended up going to a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant where we had fun watching the cook do tricks and had a leisurely, fun lunch. Then we stopped by an aquarium store for granddaughter to check out the fish and then to the Boy Scout store for grandson to check out the camping gear. A low-key fun time.
Later in the afternoon I tried out Mamie's potato soup recipe and loved it!! We have a standing date with my BFF for movie night on Tuesdays and I often make soup for dinner so tonight it was Gone With the Wind (first half) and potato soup. Success all around :)
Okay. I love that you made and served my soup the first time paired with watching the first half of Gone With the Wind. "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungry again." Look at you making that Georgia connection!
Hi there - I'm catching up with the LT world after a way too busy week last week. Glad you're happy with all the results of moving furniture and books. Love the lion sculpture.
In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen**** (audio)
In WWII England, a man falls to his death in a field at Farleigh (a country manor) when his parachute fails to open. Who is he? What was he doing jumping out of an airplane over the English countryside? The mystery unfolds along with the daily lives of the main characters who are just trying to "do their bit" and survive the war.
I mostly use audio books for entertainment (and enticement) for my walks but this one so engaged me that I finished it up this afternoon by listening while knitting for an hour or so. I found it to me a better "read" than average.
Henry James: A Life by Leon Edel ***1/2
I recently read a biography of Eudora Welty and found it too sparse now I have read the direct opposite. This 717 page tome felt like a day-by-day description of James' life including every person he met and every thought he had. There was also considerable discussion of each of his works James is one of my favorite authors and I was happy to learn more about his life but this one went too far for me. All of that said, I have ordered two of his major books that I have never read and plan to read them and re-read at least two more and I will be revisiting the biography for background on the books before I start reading.
It's certainly worth a read if you are interested in James but it can be a bit of a slog.
Stimulated to all of Susan's recent talk about cosmetics, I walked into a Bare Minerals store day before yesterday and came out with new foundation, powder and blush plus a new brush to apply the foundation with (I guess one's hands just don't do it correctly). My BFF and I were going to the theater last night so I tried it all out and went out the door with new confidence. Thanks Susan, you're a good influence as usual. :)
I don't wear make-up, Reba, but I did use Bare Minerals for my wedding, and if I had to wear make-up, that would be my choice. So light and natural-feeling and -looking!
>165 katiekrug: I often don't wear makeup either because (a) I'm lazy and (b) I don't like the way it feels but I must say excuse (b) goes right out the window with this. I couldn't feel it at all and I think my aging (aged?) skin looked much better.
>166 thornton37814: Hi Lori. It does require a certain level of interest. I was helped by the fact that several books I have recently read were about people in the late 19th century many of whom knew each other (including James) so I kept bumping into old friends.
>162 RebaRelishesReading: I have a copy of that on my Kindle, Reba. And I have to get caught up on her Georgie mysteries too.
How did you deal with the heat Monday and Tuesday? Oh, you have air conditioning, don't you? !!
>164 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, I am thrilled to be a good influence :-) And I'm pleased that you like it so much. I always used to apply foundation with my fingers, but recently I tried a foundation brush and it makes *such* a difference.
>168 ronincats: Ummmm, I didn't really notice it was hot. We do have air conditioning but actually rarely use it. Our place is on the NE corner of the building (which we did on purpose because our last place had a SW exposure and was always hot) and is very well insulated. I did open some windows and noticed it was warmer than usual but it never really got hot and I didn't use the A/C.
>169 susanj67: I'm pretty sure I will still only wear makeup for social occasions (rather than for "every day") but I was actually quite pleased with both how it felt and how it looked -- so thanks :)
>171 Copperskye: Thank you, Joanne!! Nice to see you and nice of you to comment :)
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev****
I will admit I had never heard of Turgenev before I read the biography of Henry James but Turgenev and James were close friends so he was an important character in the biography and my interest was piqued. Fathers and Sons reminds me of the few other Russian novels I have read in that it calmly introduces characters and takes the reader through their daily lives before finally getting to the action late in the story.
Written in the mid-19th century, the book has a backdrop of the emancipation of the serfs and the waining power of the nobility while the story is primarily about relationships between the young and the old(er), between friends and between men and women. I good, gentle read.
>162 RebaRelishesReading: I have In Farleigh Field somewhere in the stacks, Reba. I am encouraged by your review and hope to get to it soon. I picked it up after attending one of Rhys Bowen's writing workshops at the Surrey International Writers' Conference last year. They get some interesting authors.
Look at you enjoying wearing makeup. LT continues to be a positive influence in surprising ways.
Hi Meg. I'm not sure me wearing makeup is "positive" but my hubby did say I looked nice yesterday :)
We're off on our road trip to Portland (OR) first thing tomorrow morning. I'm finalizing my list of books to buy "for sure" at Powell's (I also know there will be others that leap into my arms while I'm there) and will be packing this afternoon. I'm really looking forward to the meet-up on Sunday :)
I've read or listened to a few of Rhys Bowen's books - the some of the Molly Murphy series and some of the Royal Spyness series. In Farleigh Field sounds like one I need to add to my list.
Hi Juli -- I've listed to a couple of Royal Spyness ones and liked them but I thought In Farleigh Field was much better.
Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker (audio) ****1/2
The Civil War stopped the supply of cotton from the south to northern mill hitting Lowell, Massachusetts hard. Many mills closed causing lost jobs for workers and lost fortunes for mill owners. At the same time Seattle was growing and many of its leading citizens were trying to tame the rowdy frontier by attracting "nice" women to attract the men into marriage and a "proper" family life. Asa Mercer, a member of one of Seattle's founding families, decided to go to Lowell to recruit young single women to move to Seattle. This book is a fictionalize version of that history.
This was one of the most engaging audio books I've listened to recently. Since I mostly listen while walking I tend to be more tolerant of audio books and also seek out "lighter" books for audio. Mercer Girls is well written and engaging. I took some very long walks this last week because I wanted to keep listening. I was also very pleased at the end when the author talks about the historic Mercer parties (he went twice) and about some of the real women she incorporated into the characters of her book.
We're on our way, Rhonda :) Long drive today--12 hours from San Diego to Redding. But tomorrow should be shorter and we can recover by Sunday.
Happy travels. A Powell's spree sounds lovely. I really need to visit my parents... not just for Powell's mind. *grin*
I am curious about which of the Henry James books you're reading. He's a little hit and miss for me. As in I LOVED Washington Square and The American and hated Wings of the Dove. But I think WoftheD suffered from the same issue as the biography you just read. Too many words, way too much detail about what people were thinking and why.
>187 nittnut: I read a biography of him. I've read several of his books but I'm planning to do a reread with the background/critique in the biography by my side. The American was an early one and he used the same ideas for The Ambassadors later so I want to read those in that order. There are two others that are linked like that, I've read both of them but don't remember which they were. Anyway, I plan to reread those in order too.
I don't remember because I'm exhausted. Yesterday was a long drive and then I hardly slept last night. I went to bed about 10:30 but couldn't fall asleep until around 2 a.m. Then at 4:30 Hubby decided that our white noise machine was making a funny "drop" sound and decided to turn it off. He pushed every button on the dang thing until he had be totally awake and I never went back to sleep.
We made it to Portland today though. We got to the metro area before 3:00 p.m. but the traffic was already awful. Took about 2 hours to get to hotel. Now we're going to head back out, pick up some Chinese take-out and go meet Quinn :)
We had a fun time with the new grandson last night. Of course we had a few presents with us. One was a rattle that lights up in different colors when shaken which Chelle recommended when I asked her what her girls' favorite toys were at 3 months. He smiled and reached for it right away -- biggest hit of the evening. Thanks Chelle!!!
We're having a little computer time in the hotel this morning but will head out in about 30 minutes to spend some more time with him.
Reba, it sounds like the visit was a great success! So lovely that he smiled for you :-) I hope your next visit goes well, and you have a great time with booky activities too.
Reba--Welcome to Portland!! Can't wait to see you on Sunday. : ) I have yet to make my list for Powell's -- uh oh! I am sure something or two or three will call to me though, so no worries. Have fun in the meantime. (Nice job on the rattle!)
Good times visiting, eh? Glad the rattle was a hit, too.
Have fun today.
Hi Reba, I heard you are going to an LT meetup today in Portland. One of these days I hope to be able to make one of those. I have a visit to Powel's on my bucket list!
>88 RebaRelishesReading: Your books are so beautifully arranged. It looks like a Happy Place in your library.
>117 RebaRelishesReading: More Book Porn. Very nice!
>135 RebaRelishesReading: I'm looking forward to reading Lucy's book. I've heard lots of encouraging words about it, but I'm going to wait until my life settles down a bit so I can enjoy it without distractions.
I'm sure we'll get some Baby Quinn pictures soon to ooh and aah over. So glad the light-up rattle was a hit. Enjoy the time with your new litlle one.
It was great to meet you Reba! I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip, and safe travels!
Reba--I had fun hanging out with you yesterday. Hope you found some good buys at Powell's, now have fun with Quinn!
>193 Donna828: I hope you get to visit Portland someday soon and that I am part of the bucket list! ; )
I just got connected to LT on my iPad 😃. I’ve missed you all while I couldn’t get on here. The meet-up was loads of fun. Really enjoyed meeting you Kim, Jan, Rhonda and Juli and I was quite pleased with my books.
We’ve been having a great time with Quinn too.I’ll get some pictures up when we get home and I get the issue with my computer worked out.
Woohoo! We had time this morning and I got to the Apple store so my computer is now working again and I can report my Powell's purchases as well as the two books I have finished. Here are the purchases:
Picture of the meet-up are on Kim's thread at http://www.librarything.com/topic/290356#6457004
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis***1/2
I'm not sure I was able to do this book justice since I'm not a sci fi reader and have never read a book involving time travel. I also know nothing at all about chaos theory. At about 50 pages I was tempted to use the "rule" and give up on it but decided to press on and ended up enjoying it but on a more superficial level than it probably deserves.
It's the year 2057 in England. Ned Henry is a very tired time traveler who has been back and forth between the 1940's and 2057 many time recently and is suffering from serious "time-lag" and really needs some time to sleep and get reoriented. Nevertheless, he is sent back to 1888 to look for a missing ornament from Coventry Cathedral.
I imagine this book would be very funny for folks more versed in the genre than I am but even for me it was a pleasant read.
>198 RebaRelishesReading: I'm not a fan of sci fi either. It's why I've never tried that one.
Strange Haven: A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai by Sigmund Tobias***
This memoir is written by a psychologist who is probably more used to writing research papers than memoirs and I'm afraid it shows. The grammar is all fine but the story really doesn't flow. That said, it's about the several thousand European Jews who found sanctuary in Shanghai prior to and during World War II. Many of them were able to reach there because a Japanese assistant consul in Lithuania granted them transit visas through the Japanese-occupied port of Shanghai. They arrived "in transit" but never left because they really had no place else to go. Others made their way to the eastern side of the Soviet lines and then traveled across Siberia to reach Shanghai. While life there was difficult because they were poor (as were the Chinese) they were not harassed and were able to find enough food and fuel to survive. It's an amazing story which makes the book well worth reading.
>199 thornton37814: Hi Lori! Perhaps you should try it. I really did enjoy it once I got 70 or so pages into it.
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