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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Two

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-One.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Three.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1msf59
Edited: Oct 3, 7:47pm Top



-Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. One of my favorite haunts...



-Red-Tailed Hawk. I am not able to get very many usable bird photos, due to inexperience but this guy cooperated long enough.

2msf59
Edited: Oct 20, 7:31pm Top





Audiobook:



Graphic/Comic:


Books Read So Far...

OTS- Off the Shelf

July:

78) The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley 4 stars (audio) AAC OTS
79) The Locals by Jonathan Dee 4.3 stars OTS
80) Dry Bones (Longmire) by Craig Johnson 4 stars (audio) OTS
81) The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan 4 stars (audio) AAC
82) Florida by Lauren Groff 4.2 stars
83) Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan 4.4 stars (audio) OTS
84) Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary by Christian Perrissin 4 stars GN
85) Sugar Money by Jane Harris 4.2 stars ALA OTS
86) Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman 4 stars (audio) OTS
87) Calypso by David Sedaris 4.4 stars (audio)
88) Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian 4.3 stars
89) Six and a Half Deadly Sins (Dr. Siri Paiboun) by Colin Cotterill 3.6 stars (audio)
90) The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson 4.2 stars OTS
91) Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou 4.7 stars (audio)
92) November Road by Lou Berney 4 stars ALA
93) Sabrina by Nick Drnaso 4.2 stars GN Booker List
94) The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan 3.7 stars (audio) OTS

August:

95) The Good People by Hannah Kent 4 stars (audio) OTS
96) The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Aldred 4.2 stars (E)
97) The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner 4.5 stars Booker List
98) Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence by Brian Clements 4.5 stars Poetry
99) The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour 4.2 stars (audio) AAC OTS
100) The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories by Yukiko Motoya 3.7 stars
101) Sackett's Land by Louis L'Amour 3.8 stars (audio) AAC OTS
102) Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez 3.7 stars E
103) What is the What by Dave Eggers 4 stars (audio) OTS
104) Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh 4.2 stars E OTS
105) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 4 stars (audio) OTS

September:

106) Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman 3.3 stars (audio) OTS
107) Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison 4.5 stars ALA
108) Certain American States: Stories by Catherine Lacey 4 stars
109) The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy 4 stars (audio) AAC
110) The Princess Bride by William Goldman 4.6 stars
111) Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig 3.7 stars (audio) OTS
112) The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov 3.8 stars
113) The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel 4.2 stars (audio) OTS
114) Fight No More: Stories by Lydia Millet 4.6 stars
115) Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye 4 stars (audio) OTS
116) The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin 4 stars OTS

October:

117) As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of Princess Bride by Cary Elwes 4.4 stars (audio) OTS
118) The Searchers by Alan Le May 4.2 stars
119) French Exit by Patrick deWitt 3.8 stars ALA OTS
120) The Fireman by Joe Hill 3.5 stars (audio) OTS G.R.
121) I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell 3.7 stars (audio) OTS
122) Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden 4.5 stars ER
123) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 4.2 stars (audio) OTS
124) Tin Man by Sarah Winman 4.3 stars (audio)

3msf59
Edited: Oct 20, 7:32pm Top



Welcome to the AAC V!

2018 AAC

January- Joan Didion Completed The White Album
February- Colson Whitehead Completed Sag Harbor
March- Tobias Wolff Completed The Night in Question: Stories
April- Alice Walker Completed In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens
May- Peter Hamill Completed Tabloid City
June- Walter Mosley Completed Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
July- Amy Tan Completed The Bonesetter's Daughter
August- Louis L'Amour Completed The Walking Drum, Sackett's Land
September- Pat Conroy Completed The Lords of Discipline
October- Stephen King
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here is a link to the General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279501#

4msf59
Edited: Oct 3, 7:54pm Top

My Autumn Leaves

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves

they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.

- BRUCE WEIGL

5msf59
Edited: Oct 3, 8:17pm Top



September was another good reading month for me, despite only reading eleven books, (below average for me), but I managed to read a nice mix anyway. I read a terrific western, Whiskey When We're Dry, (I hope I warbled about it, loud enough). I read a couple of story collections, Certain American States: Stories & Fight No More: Stories, both were very good, although I give the latter a bigger thumbs up. I am glad I finally read The Lords of Discipline , for the AAC, and Dancing at the Rascal Fair for the S & S. One of my true highlights for the month was finally reading The Princess Bride. What an absolute gem and I will keep my this one on shelf too. I did squeeze in a pair of nonfiction titles, The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend & The Children's Blizzard. Both solid NF.

I am sure October will bring much joy too. It is all ready off to a promising start.

Once again, I am far behind on my Marky-Mark Mini-Reviews, (something that has plagued me, off and on this year) but I hope to catch up on a few.

6weird_O
Oct 3, 7:54pm Top

Hey, can I reserve a spot too? That wouldn't be too weird, would it?

Be sure to check the last post on your previous thread.

7brenzi
Oct 3, 8:14pm Top

Hey Mark, did you know Hampton Sides has a new book out? On Desperate Ground may be a good choice for your NNF theme next month. Or maybe the other two Sides books I have on my shelf lol.

8msf59
Edited: Oct 3, 8:21pm Top

>6 weird_O: The Weird Folks are always welcome over here, Bill. You should know this. I definitely have a soft spot for them, especially since I share some of their characteristics.

>7 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I did know that Hampton Sides has a new book out. Yah! Like you, I am a big fan. Not sure, I will get to it for next month, but I will get to it. Which 2 of his, do you have on shelf?

9benitastrnad
Oct 3, 8:21pm Top

I had a good month for Non-fiction as well. I finally read Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman for the Non-fiction Challenge. This one really surprised me with how very readable it was. I read several others, but they didn't catch me as much as did the Fadiman book. It may be 20 years old but it is very relevant in today's anti-immigrant world, as well as for what it has to say about the way we practice medicine.

10brenzi
Oct 3, 8:37pm Top

>8 msf59: Ghost Soldiers and Blood and Thunder. If you’ve read them, which was your favorite?

11lindapanzo
Oct 3, 8:53pm Top

Nice thread topping pics, Mark. Always nice to see your photos.

12msf59
Oct 3, 9:08pm Top

>9 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. I think you just gave me a perfect idea for my November AAC NNF pick: The Spirit Catches You, which I have had on shelf for years. Thanks for the nudge.

>10 brenzi: Both are very good, Bonnie, but I think I would lean toward Ghost Soldiers, which had such a fresh feel to it. It looks like Sides returns to this theater of war, in the new one.

>11 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Glad you like the photos. I need to get out and start practicing more. I am also considering taking a photography class over the winter.

13jessibud2
Oct 3, 9:13pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Gorgeous toppers!

The Fadiman book was excellent. I read it a couple of years ago and wrote a rather long review. Really well-researched and well-written.

14jnwelch
Oct 3, 9:16pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark!

The Springbrook Prairie Forest preserve looks like a good 'un. Is that your photo of the Red-Tailed Hawk? It is most excellent, my friend.

Like you, I've had The Spirit Catches You staring at me from my tbr shelf for a long time. Maybe I'll join you in November. I've also got Ghost Soldiers somewhere, and haven't read it yet.

15BLBera
Oct 3, 9:27pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Love the topper. The hawk is lovely.

16katiekrug
Oct 3, 9:52pm Top

Happy new one, Mark!

The Searchers was a Kindle deal today, so I snapped it up, thanks to you :)

17msf59
Oct 3, 9:56pm Top

>13 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I know my LT pals have been singing the praises for The Spirit Catches You for many years. I will have to correct this glaring oversight and read it next month.

>14 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Springbrook is one of my very favorite places in the western 'burbs. Yes, this was my photo of the RTH. Not at Springbrook, but another forest preserve.

I just added my copy of The Spirit Catches You to my Must Read Now Shelf. I hope you join me on it.

>15 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I love my raptors.

18msf59
Oct 3, 10:38pm Top

>16 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Yah, for snagging The Searchers on the Kindle deal. It is a good western. Much deeper than most books of it's type.

Go Yankees! They were still up, last time I checked.

19charl08
Edited: Oct 4, 2:40am Top

Another fan of the Fadiman here - I finally pulled it off the (digital) shelf last month as part of the non-fiction challenge. My copy included an afterword describing what happened to both doctors and patients after the book was published - fascinating stuff.

ETA: (and happy new thread! - love the flowers in the topper)

20Ameise1
Oct 4, 3:43am Top

Happy new one, Mark. Beautiful topper.

21scaifea
Oct 4, 5:27am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

22msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 7:19am Top

>19 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. That photo was on a perfect late summer day. Lots of sunshine and flowers were putting on a glorious show.

I am looking forward to the Fadiman. I know there are many fan of her and this book, around here. I did read Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader many years ago and remember enjoying it.

23msf59
Oct 4, 7:20am Top

>20 Ameise1: >21 scaifea: Thanks, Barb & Amber!

24kidzdoc
Oct 4, 7:33am Top

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is an easy choice for inclusion in my list of all time favorite nonfiction books, and it's one of a very small number of books I've read at least twice as an adult. Numerous medical, nursing and physician assistant schools in the US include it in books that are recommended or required for their students to read, and it would be the first book that I would suggest to these students as well.

25msf59
Oct 4, 7:43am Top

>24 kidzdoc: Morning, Darryl. Now, that is a mighty endorsement for The Spirit Catches You. It looks like I have no choice but to finally read this beloved book in November. Yah!

26alphaorder
Oct 4, 8:11am Top

Morning Mark! I love Fadiman's books on books. I can't remember if I actually read The Spirit Catches You, or if I just talked about and sold a lot of copies. I will need to find the one on my shelves.

The next two books I am most excited to read are Virgil Wander and The Library Book.

By the way, I still haven't received The Bird Cottage.

27Carmenere
Oct 4, 8:38am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Great toppers!
The NY - Boston match up will be good television.

28msf59
Oct 4, 8:49am Top

>26 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I hope you find a copy of The Spirit Catches You, so you can join us. Hey, I have a copy of Virgil Wander. Maybe, I can join you when you decide to start it. I am also definitely interested in The Library Book. Sadly, I have not read her before.

>27 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Not as interested, in the postseason, since the Cubs are out of it, but I will be keeping an eye on things. Go Indians!

29harrygbutler
Oct 4, 9:02am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

30vivians
Oct 4, 9:23am Top

I just picked up Virgil Wander from the library so will try to get to it soon. I loved Leif Enger's earlier novels (although I can't remember them too clearly....that seems to be an unfortunate pattern for me). I'm reading the new Patrick deWitt now - so far, so good!

31figsfromthistle
Oct 4, 9:51am Top

Happy new thread! Nice photo of the Red-Tailed Hawk.

32The_Hibernator
Oct 4, 10:38am Top

Happy new thread Mark!

33karenmarie
Oct 4, 1:44pm Top

Hi Mark. Happy new thread, and happy Thursday to you.

I love your photo of the Red-Tailed Hawk. Well done.

I read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down in 2007 and it was very powerful. Y'all will love it, I think.

34msf59
Oct 4, 2:13pm Top

>29 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry.

>30 vivians: Hi, Vivan. Ooh, it looks like a few of us will be reading Virgil Wander in the near future. Yah! Glad you are enjoying French Exit. I, too, have that one lined up. Double Yah!!

>31 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs. I was very lucky with the RTH. He was quite cooperative.

35msf59
Oct 4, 2:18pm Top

>32 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel. I hope you are having a lovely birthday.

>33 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. I took some good bird photos today too, which I will share later. I am very happy with them. Looking forward to The Spirit Catches You. Sounds great.

36jnwelch
Oct 4, 2:57pm Top

>24 kidzdoc:, >25 msf59: What Mark said, Darryl.

37drneutron
Oct 4, 3:18pm Top

Happy new thread!

38m.belljackson
Oct 4, 3:48pm Top

>5 msf59:

Now that you have finished Dancing at the Rascal Fair, here are comments I set long ago on Barnes and Noble site.

"This is the best pitch-fork perfect book I've ever read!
The only thing holding it back from a 5 STAR rating is lackluster Adair talking about herself in the third person.
This was awful, eye-rolling, and cringe inducing.

Hard to believe that schoolmaster Angus would not find it a deal breaker."

The Whistling Season is still my favorite Doig. And, a Border Collie my favorite dog.

39EllaTim
Oct 4, 3:51pm Top

Happy new thread, Marc. I love both top pictures!

And the poem in >4 msf59: "orchards stained with fallen apples' scent," I can almost smell those apples.

Thanks for the reminder about the non-fiction challenge. The Fadiman book was on my TBR-list as well, and when Darryl is praising it like that...

40msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 5:38pm Top

>36 jnwelch: Yeah, baby! Looks like a mini-Group-Read, Joe!!

>37 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

>38 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Thanks, for your comments on Rascal Fair. I think you liked the book much more than I did. If Doig would have scaled back on the longing, over-the-top-romantic side of things, I would have liked it much more. I really want to read The Whistling Season though.

>39 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. I am glad you like the toppers. I liked that autumn poem too. I hope you can join us on the NNF Challenge next month.

41msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 6:59pm Top



-Lyman Woods Forest Preserve. One of my favorite bird walking spots. Strolled around for two hours, just over 2.5 miles.



-Eastern Bluebird. I am very happy with the way this photo came out. Bluebirds have a tendency to perch for awhile, so I had a good look. This was very close to the spot, in the first photo.

42EllaTim
Oct 4, 6:54pm Top

>40 msf59: Good idea, Marc!

>41 msf59: Nice! Like the combination of the two photos.

43msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 7:00pm Top



- This is usually a very productive spot, for waterfowl. For example...



-I hit a trifecta with this shot: A Great Blue Heron, a Great Egret, (the white one) and a Double-breasted Cormorant. This was directly across the pond, in the photo up above.

44jnwelch
Oct 4, 7:07pm Top

Nice photos! And it looks like a beautiful location.

45msf59
Oct 4, 7:25pm Top

>42 EllaTim: >44 jnwelch: Thanks, Ella & Joe. It is a great spot and only fifteen minutes from home.

46msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 7:31pm Top



110) The Princess Bride by William Goldman 4.6 stars

“What's The Princess Bride about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it's about everything.”

I have no idea what took me so long to read this modern-day classic. Yes, I had seen and enjoyed the film a couple of times over the years, but the book really sings and even made me appreciate the film more. If you have not read the book yet, get off your duff and give it a shot and then see the film again. You can save your many thanks for later.

117) As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of Princess Bride by Cary Elwes 4.4 stars

Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, delivers an absolutely wonderful memoir here, describing in fine detail, the making of this classic fairy-tale. The novel was written in 1973 and there had been many attempts to adapt this book, but it took a perfect storm of a dedicated film-maker, an outstanding script, (by the author) and an absolutely pitch-perfect cast, to create a film, that has only grown better with time.
It is also a fantastic audio, so go with that format if you can.

47klobrien2
Oct 4, 7:57pm Top

>46 msf59: What a great idea, to read Princess Bride and then As You Wish! I loved them both (as I do the movie!). Now I want to go watch the movie again.

Karen O.

p.s. I recently read a biography of Andre the Giant -- Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown. It was pretty good, but a little sad.

48jessibud2
Oct 4, 8:35pm Top

>41 msf59:, >43 msf59: - Isn't the zoom lens a miraculous invention? Great shots!

49jessibud2
Edited: Oct 4, 8:39pm Top

>46 msf59: - I have had this book on my shelf for some time. I also have the dvd of the movie/ But you have convinced me to seek out the audio so I just checked and my library system has 6 copies and no one but me has requested it! :-)

50weird_O
Oct 4, 8:51pm Top

Here's something you never want to see:



Birds stuck to a sticky band wrapped around a tree in an attempt to capture tree-harming pests. (The photographer freed the two birds with warm soap water, then posted the photo on Facebook.) Here in southeastern PA, we've been invaded by a second variety of bugs shipped into the country from China with a load of lumber. Spotted lantern flies are actually kind of pretty, with vivid red wings. But they lay masses, I say MASSES, of eggs that in the spring lead to stripped foliage and dead trees.

The flies arrived at the airport in Reading and in just a few months have spread

51msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 10:37pm Top

>47 klobrien2: Hi, Karen. Good to see you. Yes, I enjoyed all 3 and it was nice seeing the film again. I am doing a similar thing with The Searchers.

I did read the Andre the Giant GN too. Really interesting guy.

>48 jessibud2: >49 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I NEED to get out and keep practicing with the camera. I am also considering taking a basic photography class. I could really use it.

Are you referring to As You Wish? Because, The Princess Bride was not available on audio, only in an abridged version. Ewwwwww...

>50 weird_O: Oh my! That is horrifying. I am glad the birds were released safely. Yep, these invasive species can really wreak havoc.

52Copperskye
Oct 4, 11:51pm Top

Your photos are great, Mark!

53msf59
Oct 5, 6:32am Top

>52 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. If the birds cooperate, I can sometimes get a decent photo. Grins...

54jessibud2
Oct 5, 6:41am Top

>51 msf59: - Yes, I was referring to the As You Wish book. I wasn't clear, sorry. Looking forward to it.

55msf59
Oct 5, 7:05am Top

>54 jessibud2: It is a lot of fun, Shelley. Try to re-watch the film first, though.

56kidzdoc
Oct 5, 7:34am Top

Nice wildlife photos, Mark!

57Caroline_McElwee
Oct 5, 8:05am Top

Lovely photo's Mark.

>50 weird_O: glad those two were released.

58Crazymamie
Oct 5, 8:17am Top

Morning, Mark! I have completely caught up with your thread, which should count as a book for me, I am thinking. Anyway, the topper on your previous thread is gorgeous - what a great photo.

Loved your review of The Princess Bride - Birdy recently bought a beautiful hardback edition of that, so I am looking forward to reading it with her.

59jnwelch
Oct 5, 8:23am Top

Great combo for reading, Mark. As I mentioned, Becca also is a fan of As You Wish - and the movie, and book!

Good morning! Pretty wet out there. I hope it eases up when you get going.

Keith said yes, and Becca probably will join us for lunch. Looking forward to it!

60msf59
Oct 5, 9:37am Top

"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is...working..."

>56 kidzdoc: >57 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Darryl & Caroline.

>58 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Catching up on my long-winded thread, definitely counts as reading a book. Grins...I am sure you and Birdy will love The Princess Bride.

61msf59
Oct 5, 9:39am Top

>59 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Happy Friday. Yes, it is raining at the moment. It is supposed to move out, a little later this A.M. Fingers crossed.

Hooray for Becca and Keith joining us on Sunday. How about Debbi dear?

62karenmarie
Oct 5, 9:44am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

>43 msf59: A trifecta! Great photo.

63msf59
Oct 5, 11:04am Top

>62 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the trifecta! A couple of minutes either way and I would have missed it.

64m.belljackson
Oct 5, 12:03pm Top

>43 msf59:

Three-in-one would make a beautiful Holiday card!

65Familyhistorian
Oct 5, 3:09pm Top

Happy Friday and happy new thread, Mark. I agree with Mamie, we should count reading your threads the same as reading a book!

66FAMeulstee
Oct 5, 4:03pm Top

Belated happy new thread, Mark!

I love the Red-Tailed Hawk at the top, glad it cooperated, so you could share :-)
>43 msf59: And thanks for including a cormorant with the Egret and Heron. Both Egret and Heron are called "Reiger" in Dutch, so I always struggle with their American names.

67msf59
Oct 5, 4:58pm Top

>64 m.belljackson: Happy Friday, Marianne. I like the idea of a 3 in 1, holiday card, but I am leaning toward the bluebird one.

>65 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Happy Friday, yourself. Hey, I think catching up on my threads, should count as reading a book. I am all for it. Anything to beef up those numbers.

>66 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I hope to get more RTH photos. Interesting, that herons and egrets are considered the same species there.

68FAMeulstee
Oct 5, 5:06pm Top

>67 msf59: Not the same species, we have them in White, Blue and Purple. But all the same family.
Wikipedia: "Egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons and have the same build".

69msf59
Oct 5, 6:36pm Top

>68 FAMeulstee: Thanks for the clarification, Anita.

70msf59
Edited: Oct 5, 7:29pm Top



"... a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration."

^I like taking hard left turns, especially in my reading life. So, after finishing The Searchers, a classic western, I decided to go with French Exit, the latest from Mr. deWitt. I loved The Sisters Brothers and felt so-so about Undermajordomo Minor, so I am hoping for another gem here. It is off to a good start. Reviews seem to be mixed, which seems to be on target with most of his work. Stay tuned, boys and girls.

**Thanks again to Benita, for picking me up a copy of this one from ALA.

71jessibud2
Oct 5, 8:28pm Top

>70 msf59: - Hi Mark. I have not read anything by deWitt but as CBC radio host Tom Power said yesterday, he sure is having a good week! His new novel (the one you just read) is a short list finalist for the prestigious Canadian Giller Prize and the film of his The Sisters Brothers opens in theatres this week.

Here is a link to the interview with him from yesterday's show:

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/thursday-october-4-2018-patrick-dewitt-jodie-picoult-and-more-1.4848814

72brenzi
Oct 5, 9:28pm Top

Oh I really loved Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers so I’ll look for your comments on this one Mark. And add me to those who love The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Have a great weekend.

73brodiew2
Edited: Oct 5, 9:42pm Top

Hello Mark! I hope all is well with you.

>70 msf59: I enjoyed reading The Sisters Brothers a couple of years back and was really enamored of the cover. Oddly, I am not looking forward to the film. That said, I await your thought on French Exit. Here's hoping the dialogue shines as well as its Sisters'. :-P

74weird_O
Oct 5, 10:00pm Top

As you know, Mark, Linda has opened a thread about the 2019 American Author Challenge, which you started five years ago. Before my time. She urged each of us who've participated in the msf59 challenges to thank you. So...

THANK YOU, MARK

I missed the first two years of the challenge 'cause I was unaware of LT. But because I engaged the AAC almost as soon as I enlisted, I got in three solid years, missing only a half-dozen of the writer's selected. The following writers are those I read for the first time because of your challenge. Some I would have gotten around to, but definitely not all. So I thank you for introducing me to some good writers, many good reads. (I won't blame you for those I didn't like—or didn't even try.)

Sherman Alexie
Octavia Butler
Pat Conroy
Ivan Doig
Louise Erdrich
Richard Ford
Pete Hamill
Kent Haruf
Barbara Kingsolver
Louis L’Amour
Ursula LeGuin
James McBride
Larry McMurtry
Joyce Carol Oates
Stewart O’Nan
Ann Patchett
Annie Proulx
Richard Russo
Jane Smiley
Wallace Stegner
Amy Tan
Anne Tyler
Eudora Welty
Colson Whitehead
Tobias Wolff

Be seeing you around, of course. Have a beer on me, Pard.

75msf59
Edited: Oct 5, 10:23pm Top

>71 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Thanks for the link to the deWitt interview. I will check it out. It has been a good stretch for him. I would like to see The Sisters Brothers film.

>72 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I will let you know about French Exit and I am really looking forward to The Spirit Catches You.

>73 brodiew2: Happy Friday, Brodie. Everything is going swell here. Hooray, for The Sisters Brothers. There are many fans of that one, around here. I am interested in seeing the film version but I may wait until DVD.

76Ameise1
Oct 6, 2:00am Top

Great photos! Happy weekend, Mark.

77msf59
Oct 6, 6:38am Top

>74 weird_O: I Love this, Bill. You are more than welcome. I had a great time hosting the AAC. I loved discovering new authors or mining deeper into their works and of course, sharing it with a fantastic group. That is a wonderful list of authors and I am pumped to see what Linda has up her bookish sleeve.

>76 Ameise1: Happy Saturday, Barb. I work today but I have the next 2 off. Yah!

78jessibud2
Oct 6, 6:44am Top

>74 weird_O: - Bill can you provide a link to that new thread so I can star it? Thanks

79msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 7:10am Top

>78 jessibud2: Here is the link for the AAC 2019, "Planning thread": http://www.librarything.com/topic/297103#



**Please stop by and drop a star and give Linda a big vote of confidence.

80ChelleBearss
Oct 6, 8:53am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Hope you are having a great weekend

81msf59
Oct 6, 9:37am Top

>80 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. Working today but off the next 2. Yah!!

82karenmarie
Edited: Oct 6, 10:14am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope your work day goes quickly and uneventfully. Then, beer, books, birds, and R&R.

83jnwelch
Oct 6, 11:03am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark. What Karen said. BBB and R & R, once that work day is done.

84laytonwoman3rd
Oct 6, 4:14pm Top

>79 msf59: Thanks for the support, Mark. I can see it's going to be a challenge just to narrow down the list for the AAC! Lots of good suggestions already.

85msf59
Oct 6, 5:40pm Top

>82 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Yep, the word day went smoothly. Now I can enjoy those BBBs for a couple of days.

>83 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Hooray for BBB and R & R! I plan to do plenty. I am heading out to meet friends for dinner and brews.

>84 laytonwoman3rd: I will offer any support you need, Linda. Yes, making the picks is never easy. I just have to decide and then go with it.

86Whisper1
Oct 6, 9:37pm Top

Hello Friend Mark! I'm simply stopping by to see what books you are reading. As always, I love your images on the first message of each thread!

I'm currently reading Small Fry written by Steve Jobs daughter born before he grew so very rich, and truly mistreated by him throughout his life. While Steve Jobs was a very wealthy man, his daughter and mother of his child were put aside. As a small child, she and her mother lived in extreme poverty all the while Steve collected more and more millions. I heard about this book on an NPR review. It is sad, but so well written it takes my breath away! If you have read it, I think you might like it.

87Familyhistorian
Oct 7, 1:43am Top

I hope you are enjoying French Exit, Mark. It is good so far and I am about half way through.

88msf59
Oct 7, 7:34am Top

>86 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Great to see you, as usual. Thanks for the book rec on Small Fry. I have heard good things.

>87 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I am enjoying French Exit. Just about 100 pages in. I like his writing.

89msf59
Edited: Oct 7, 8:52am Top



118) The Searchers by Alan Le May 4.2 stars

I fell in love with the film version of The Searchers, the very first time I saw it, but I never did read the original novel. Well, I have corrected that oversight and I was not disappointed. This is not a western pulp read. It is dark and edgy, as it follows Amos Edwards, (Ethan in the film) and Martin Pauley as they doggedly search the Texas territory. for a little girl, kidnapped by the Comanches. This was based on an actual event. A good, solid read.

90msf59
Edited: Oct 7, 9:01am Top



113) The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel 4.2 stars

“In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity”

This excellent book is broken up into 3 parts: it meticulously examines the kidnapping of Parker and the rise of her half-breed son, Quanah as he becomes an infamous war chief. It then looks at the origin and inspiration of the novel The Searchers, based on the Parker tale and then finally a very close peek at the making of the John Ford film classic, starring John Wayne.

I finished this all up, with a viewing of the 1956 film, which is still one of the best westerns ever made.

91Crazymamie
Oct 7, 8:55am Top

Morning, Mark! Good comments on The Searchers - I really liked that one, too. I have not read anything else by him, but I have The Unforgiven in the stacks.

92msf59
Oct 7, 9:12am Top

>91 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Thanks again for sending me a copy of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, which inspired me to read the original novel and then view the film again. I may have to read The Unforgiven at some point. I don't remember the film.

93msf59
Edited: Oct 7, 9:39am Top

Reasons to Survive November

November like a train wreck -
as if a locomotive made of cold
had hurtled out of Canada
and crashed into a million trees,
flaming the leaves, setting the woods on fire.

The sky is a thick, cold gauze -
but there's a soup special at the Waffle House downtown,
and the Jack Parsons show is up at the museum,
full of luminous red barns.

- Or maybe I'll visit beautiful Donna,
the kickboxing queen from Santa Fe,
and roll around in her foldout bed.

I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself

with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.

But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,

and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over

and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.

-Tony Hoagland

-From the collection What Narcissism Means to Me, which I recently read and adored.

94msf59
Oct 7, 10:00am Top

"If gratuitous suffering paid even minimum wage,
and Carrie kept track of her hours,
she could be behind the wheel of a late-model car by now,

driving through life with low mileage and a smooth suspension.
Instead, she's walking by the side of the road, getting more and more mud on her boots,
just like the rest of us."

-From Hoagland's poem Leaving Yourself Behind

^Joe and I were discussing that Tony Hoagland is a master at ending poems with a bang and that is a perfect example of that.

95karenmarie
Oct 7, 10:51am Top

Happy Sunday to you, Mark, and I hope you enjoy your lunch with Joe.

96Carmenere
Oct 7, 11:03am Top

Happy Day Off, Mark!
>90 msf59: Your review of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend reminds me of News of the World. Not exact but similar situation.
Sounds like a movie, I'll have to watch.

97msf59
Oct 7, 11:23am Top

>95 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Looking forward to the Meet Up. Leaving shortly...

>96 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. And I am off tomorrow too. Yah!!

I definitely thought of News of the World while reading American Legend and the novel, The Searchers. I highly recommend the film.

98benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 7, 7:39pm Top

Those of us from Kansas are very aware of the Cynthia Ann Parker and Quanah Parker stories. Southwest Kansas is home territory of the Comanche and Kiowa tribes, so the story of what happened to them is part of Kansas history. Empire of the Summer Moon is another great book about this chapter in American history.

99benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 7, 7:43pm Top

Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down was required reading by the people in the University of Alabama’s Teacher Education Program back in the late 1990’s and early ott’s. Since it is twenty years old I think it has fallen off the many readers radar. That is a shame as I found the discussions in it about how Middle Class American views immigrants to be very relevant to what is going on today. The chapter titled “Why Merced” was particularly enlightening about what happens to many people who face forced immigration due to wars or famine. This book certainly deserved the national prize it won.

100msf59
Oct 7, 7:50pm Top

>98 benitastrnad: >99 benitastrnad: You know I am a huge fan of Empire of the Summer Moon, Benita. I should search out more of Gwynne's work.

Well, thanks to you, The Spirit Catches You has caught fire around here and several of us, will be reading it next month. Yah!!

101jnwelch
Oct 7, 7:51pm Top

Hiya, Mark. Great to see you today!

Nice min--reviews, and I (of course) love the Tony Hoagland poem and his poem ending - as discussed, what a master he is of it. I'll keep you posted on the others of his I picked up - after I finish that Yeats collection.

102msf59
Edited: Oct 7, 7:53pm Top



^I had a fine Meet Up with Joe, today. Becca joined us for lunch and then we hit a couple favorite local breweries. We were also joined by Joe's good friend, Keith, who is a terrific guy and a perfect DD.

103Donna828
Oct 7, 7:53pm Top

Mark, I know things move fast on your thread, but seriously, talk about Christmas cards and a November poem? I still feel like its summer here as the A/C hums along making these too-warm sticky days more bearable.

I was tempted to buy the kindle version of The Searchers but that is my least-favorite method of reading a book so I'm not adding more to the hundred or so that I've been sucked into purchasing. When the dog dies and we can go to Florida for a month or so in the winter, I plan to read some of them. Btw, I'm not wishing Lucky any will will, although he just turned 15 (or thereabouts - he's a rescue dog). We've had him 14 years as of today and the vet thought he was 12-18 months old when he was dumped in our neighborhood. He has unpredictable bathroom habits so one of us has to stay close by most of the time.

You have done a wonderful job with the AAC, my friend. I kind of fell off the bandwagon this year, but I always like to see what others are reading each month. My goodness, what are you going to do with your "extra" time? I would definitely spend more time in Lyman Woods if I were you.

104msf59
Oct 7, 7:54pm Top

>101 jnwelch: Looks like we posted at the same time, Joe. Great visit. I can not wait to read deeper into Hoagland's work. This guy is the real deal.

105Berly
Oct 7, 10:33pm Top

Hi Mark! I just finished The Fireman. How are you liking it? Let me know when you finish--love to talk about the ending with you.

>102 msf59: Very jealous that you two live so close to each other. : )

106Ameise1
Oct 8, 3:20am Top

Beautiful meet-up photo. Wishing you a wonderful start into the new week.

BTW Chimming in and saying thank you for the AAC. I couldn't find all authors but learned a lot.

107karenmarie
Oct 8, 4:26am Top

'Morning, Mark. Excellent pic of you and Joe.

108msf59
Edited: Oct 8, 7:23am Top

>103 Donna828: Hi, Donna.I don't like to rush the year along any faster, either. I posted the November poem because I would never have remembered to post it later next month. LOL. Actually I don't mind reading on my Kindle, but seldom do. Probably less than 5% of my reading. I acquire A LOT of print books.

I had great time hosting the AAC and I am glad you were able to join us here and there. I am sure Linda will do a fine jog, taking over. I will not have any problem filling my "newly" discovered time, including trips to Lyman Woods. Smiles...

>105 Berly: Hi, Kim. I won't be finishing The Fireman until tomorrow. I have been finding it a bit of a slog. And yes, it is nice having Joe & Co. less than an hour away.

109msf59
Oct 8, 7:24am Top

>106 Ameise1: Hi. Barb. Glad you like the photo. It was a good time. I appreciate your comments on the AAC. It was a good run.

>107 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yes, it was a good Meet Up. Plenty of chatter.

110figsfromthistle
Oct 8, 7:58am Top

Looks like you had a great meet up! French exit looks to be an interesting read. Have a great week :)

111harrygbutler
Edited: Oct 8, 8:25am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope your week is off to a good start despite the uncooperative weather.

112jnwelch
Edited: Oct 8, 8:58am Top

Happy Day Off, Mark!

Enjoy it, my friend. I found a photo of the three of us from yesterday and posted it over on my thread. You know what, I'll post it here so you have it.



Joe, Keith (not an LTer, but a reader), and Mark

You can tell Keith's a cartoonist - note what he's toasting with

113msf59
Oct 8, 9:18am Top

>110 figsfromthistle: Hi, Figs. Yep, great Meet Up and I am really enjoying French Exit. I hope to spend plenty of time with it today.

>111 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Overcast and warm at the moment. I will probably not venture out for a walk.

>112 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Great photo of the 3 amigos! Yep, Keith sure looks handy with that ketchup bottle. Grins...

114benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 8, 10:19am Top

I finished my first book for this month. Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia by Chris Stewart. This was a memoir of the first 5 years Stewart and his wife owned and operated a small sheep farm just south of Granada Spain. Stewart was one of the founding members of the rock band Genius. He left the band and became a certified sheep shearer and then found this small run down farm in Andalusia. He purchased it and spent the first summer starting on its rehabilitation. After the first 6 months his wife moved and they stayed, eventually starting a flock of sheep and a family. The reviews of this one were really good, but I found the book to be mostly average. However, I like reading this kind of travel memoir and learned much about the region. I also learned why the residents of the small villages are moving in droves to the cities in Andalusia. The rustic life is nice, but so too is reliable electricity, roads, and running water. I have to say that this picture of Spain is not what a person would see in Barcelona, Granada, or Madrid. This was a very different picture of modern Spain. The book was written in 1999, so what is in it is 20 years old. But this was a good way to spend a weeks worth of reading in the evenings.

115jessibud2
Oct 8, 10:35am Top

>114 benitastrnad: - There is also a sequel to this book, called A Parrot in the Pepper Tree. I enjoyed both.

116Familyhistorian
Oct 8, 12:07pm Top

Morning Mark. Looks like you are celebrating Thanksgiving along with us, since you have the day off and all. I was checking to see if you finished French Exit yet.

>112 jnwelch: Great photo of three happy faces. Looks like it was a fun meet up.

117msf59
Oct 8, 1:17pm Top

>114 benitastrnad: Driving Over Lemons does sound like a good memoir. I had never heard of it. I should be close to finishing French Exit today. Another ALA gem, you cleverly selected.

>115 jessibud2: Good endorsement, Shelley.

>116 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Happy Thanksgiving. We are celebrating that genocidal maniac, Christopher Columbus today. Grins...

I might be close to finishing French Exit today.

118lindapanzo
Edited: Oct 8, 5:55pm Top

Hi Mark, looks like a fun meet up.

So you read two books with the same title?

In these troubled days, I'm reading comfort books. Cozies. Books on sports. Books that take my mind off things.

But I am reading them on my brand new Kindle Paperwhite. My 8-year old Kindle Fire isn't downloading well and needs to be recharged every day or so. I'll keep it to read my e-newspaper but probably not for book reading.

119msf59
Oct 8, 6:42pm Top

>118 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Yes, we always enjoy our Meet Ups, don't we? I know we are over due. I loved both The Searchers books and combining it with the film too, which I also just did with The Princess Bride.

I understand you needing to read cozies. As long, as I am reading anything good, is just the comfort I need. We are definitely living in trying times.

120msf59
Edited: Oct 9, 6:46am Top



^I had a good book day yesterday, as I enjoyed the holiday off. I finished French Exit and I am moving onto Praise Song for the Butterflies. This is a E.R. book. The E.R. has been very quiet this year, (this is only my 2nd win WTH?) which I do not understand, with the amazing amount of good books being published through out the year. I had not heard of McFadden before but she seems to have an interesting body of work and all well-received. I may be making a new discovery here, folks.

I also read some poetry. I finished a GN, Royal City: Volume 2, (I adore Lemire, but he is a bleak dude) and I even read a few pages of my birding book. All in a days work...

I will also wrap up The Fireman today and I think I will start I am I am I am for my next audio. My first O'Farrell, if you can believe it.

121karenmarie
Oct 9, 7:45am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you.

I've only read The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by O'Farrell, but it was a very good read. I have two more on my shelves as yet unread - This Must Be the Place and The Distance Between Us.

122Caroline_McElwee
Oct 9, 8:45am Top

>120 msf59: I hadn't heard of her either Mark. I shall look forward to your review.

123vivians
Oct 9, 10:04am Top

>120 msf59: I was disappointed in French Exit, especially since I've really DeWitt in the past. I'll be curious to hear what you thought. And I 've loved reading Maggie O'Farrell but wasn't enthused about I Am I Am. Hope you'll have better luck!

I am loving Virgil Wander and I'm also listening to Southernmost on my morning walk and commute.

124msf59
Oct 9, 11:52am Top

Very busy work day, after the holiday, plus it is a warm one too- 82 and humid...Glad there will be a cold one waiting for me on the other side.

>121 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I have one or two of O'Farrell's novels on shelf too.

>122 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. I hope to start the novel at lunch.

>123 vivians: Hi, Vivian. I liked French Exit more than you, but it is definitely not a perfect read. I hope I enjoy the O'Farrell a bit better too.

Hooray, for Virgil Wander. I hope to get to it, in the next couple of weeks.

125jnwelch
Edited: Oct 9, 1:56pm Top

Hey, buddy.

I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of Praise Song for Butterflies - that’s a new one for me.

I’m enjoying Transcription, and hoping to clear the decks for the new Murakami. Ain’t the reading life grand?

126msf59
Oct 9, 5:55pm Top

>125 jnwelch: "Ain’t the reading life grand?" You sure got that right, bud!!

Hi, Joe. I didn't get very far into Praise Song for Butterflies, but I am impressed with this African immigrant story. She reminds me of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, at least in the early going. There is so much amazing talent of there.

I am glad you are enjoying Transcription. Looking forward to that one, along with the new Murakami. If you give me the go ahead, I will go ahead and order my own copy. Agreed?

127benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 9, 6:34pm Top

It has been hot and humid here in Tuscaloosa for days. Last night the wind came up, and today it is blowing quite strong from the South. We don't expect to get much from Hurricane Michael, but a little rain would be welcome. Lower temperatures would be greatly appreciated. Some folks have started to complain that it is too hot for football. Heat stroke in the stadium is not much fun.

It is Homecoming here in T-town, and I have been very busy in the library. I thought the students would be partying, but it seems they are doing lots of library work early this week so that they can party later in the week. Who would have thought that they would be that dedicated?

I finished reading Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu. This one was fun! Her selection of subjects was wide ranging and very different from what I expected. The selection was very non-traditional. This was a good one, and one that I am going to push students to read.

128msf59
Oct 9, 7:14pm Top

>127 benitastrnad: I hope it cools off a bit for you, Benita and you get some needed rain, from Michael. Glad you enjoyed Brazen. I loved that one too. I just picked up California Dreamin' from the library. I hope to dip into it tonight.

129msf59
Edited: Oct 9, 7:26pm Top

Break Spot Birding Report



^Okay, I have seen, at least 2 warblers, for this fall migration, at my break spot, but failed to ID them. Today, I was able it identify a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. They are one of the last warblers to migrate through, (and one of the first to arrive in the spring). Yah!

I am also pretty sure I spotted a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, first on a tree and then scaling a telephone pole. It was either a female or juvenile. This would be a first for this location. I am going to count it. Neither are my photos. I don't bring my camera with me.



130brenzi
Oct 9, 8:29pm Top

Hi Mark, love your meet up photos and the Hoagland poems. Very hot here today. Tomorrow too.

131msf59
Oct 9, 9:08pm Top

>130 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. If you like the Hoagland poems, try to track down one of his collections. Great stuff.

We had a couple of very warm days here too but things are more moderate tomorrow and then a big cool down, starts Thursday.

132Ameise1
Oct 10, 2:20am Top

Happy Wednesday, Mark.

133msf59
Oct 10, 6:22am Top

>132 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. I hope your week is going well.

134scaifea
Oct 10, 6:25am Top

Morning, Mark!

135msf59
Oct 10, 6:40am Top

Morning, Amber! Just 2 more work days this week and then I have the weekend off. Yah!!

136scaifea
Oct 10, 6:52am Top

137lauralkeet
Oct 10, 7:18am Top

>129 msf59: excellent bird sightings, Mark! We haven't been birding during the fall migration, sorry to say. But we recently watched the documentary, The Central Park Effect, about a year of birding in NYC. Worth a watch if you can track it down (we found it on Kanopy, which is available to us through our local library)

138Crazymamie
Oct 10, 7:44am Top

Morning, Mark! Hooray for the weekend off.

139karenmarie
Oct 10, 8:26am Top

'Morning Mark, and congrats on the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.

140msf59
Oct 10, 11:05am Top

>137 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. Good to see you. Looks like I need to track down The Central Park Effect. Just my cuppa, right?

>138 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. If the weather would have been better this coming weekend, we would have camped with Bree, but it looks like it may only be in the 50s. No, thanks.

>139 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the yellow-bellied!

141jnwelch
Oct 10, 1:48pm Top

Hiya, Mark.

I hope it's going well and hasn't been too rainy where you are. I actually walked out of the gym and stood in the rain today - I get mighty hot, and the rain helped cool me down.

>126 msf59: If you give me the go ahead, I will go ahead and order my own copy. Agreed? Ha! If you're talking about the new Murakami, I agree. I buy every one of his, so that's an easy one. :-)

I know nothing about Killing Commendatore, but I can't wait to get started. I finished Transcription - lots of twists at the end! - so the decks are cleared. I also started a YA book called All the Bright Places. Somehow I missed it when it came out, but it showed up on a "best of the decade" list and has a ton of five star fans on Amazon.

142msf59
Edited: Oct 10, 5:57pm Top

>141 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Yes, I did get wet today. It really came down, with about 45 minutes to go on the route. As usual I survived just fine, but, of course it stopped raining right after I punched out and was heading home.

Are you starting the Murakami today? I will anxiously watch for your thoughts. Hooray for Transcription. I remember seeing All the Bright Places around when it first came out, but never picked it up, due to lack of LT warbling. Let me know.

143msf59
Edited: Oct 10, 10:27pm Top



^^Most of these gems have landed in my lap recently, so I thought I would share a long overdue photo,book post. I know many of us are fired up about the new Atkinson and thanks to Bonnie, I now have a copy. Codex 1962 sounds like good trippy fun. The Overstory has garnered all kinds of attention, plus many of my book pals have loved it. It will be my next print book.
Joe, kindly gave me a copy of the latest Saga GN and Nancy gave me A Carnival of Losses, the final essay collection, by Mr. Hall, who passed away in June, at 89. This should keep me out of trouble for a few days, or not...

144brenzi
Oct 10, 8:43pm Top

Nice book display Mark.

I know many of us are fired up about the new Atkinson and thanks to Bonnie, I now have a copy.

Of course I only had it thanks to Vivian.

145Whisper1
Oct 10, 9:44pm Top

>93 msf59: What a lovely poem. I've added this book to the TBR pile.

146alphaorder
Oct 10, 10:01pm Top

Just a heads up: The Hall is essays, not poetry. Don't want you to be surprised when you are ready to dig in!

147msf59
Oct 10, 10:27pm Top

>144 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. Book friends are the best. Love spreading the joy.

>145 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. I hope you can track the collection down. He is an amazing talent.

>146 alphaorder: Thanks, for the heads-up, Nancy. I just got mixed up along the way. I am still looking forward to reading it.

148msf59
Edited: Oct 11, 6:44am Top



^I am embarrassed to say, I have never read Frankenstein. I have had an old classic edition on shelf for a number of years, along with an audio version too. I finally read Dracula a few years back and I loved it. Regardless of my procrastination issues, I am finally starting the audio today. I was hoping to bookhorn it in, for October.

I am also loving Praise Song for the Butterflies. Waves of warbling to come on that one...

149scaifea
Oct 11, 6:47am Top

>148 msf59: Oh, I hope you love Frankenstein - such a great read!

150msf59
Oct 11, 7:06am Top

>149 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Looking forward to diving in. I will start it, as I head into work.

151m.belljackson
Oct 11, 7:40am Top

>148 msf59:

After Mary Shelley's book, there's a fun YA one: MARY, WHO WROTE FRANKENSTEIN to look forward to. Great illustrations!

152Ameise1
Oct 11, 7:45am Top

>143 msf59: Nice book haul. Sweet Thursday.

153karenmarie
Oct 11, 8:13am Top

'Morning, Mark!

We haven't had any 'weather' yet from Hurricane Michael, but it looks like it's going to arrive soon. We should be fine here - lots of rain and some wind.

>143 msf59: Very nice Still Life With Books. I always love seeing the little postal truck and a beer.

154Carmenere
Oct 11, 8:55am Top

Howdy, Mark!! Great meet up pic! I'm just drooling over your upcoming reads pic.
Enjoy the comfortable temps!

155The_Hibernator
Oct 11, 8:55am Top

I hope you enjoy Frankenstein. I read that many years ago, when I was a teen. I probably should read it again as an adult. October is the perfect season for it!

156msf59
Oct 11, 10:55am Top

>151 m.belljackson: Morning, Marianne. The YA Frankenstein sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks.

>152 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. I like the book haul too.

>153 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. "Still Life With Books". I like the sound of that. Good luck with the preceding winds. I hope it is kind.

157msf59
Oct 11, 11:16am Top

>154 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. Yep, lots of God upcoming reads to look forward to. You are not the only one drooling. Wipes chin...

>155 The_Hibernator: Morning, Rachel. Frankenstein is off to a good start. I think this will make a perfect October read.

158brodiew2
Oct 11, 11:34am Top

Hello Mark. You've almost inspired me to try and shoe horn in the Stephen King by the end of the month. but I fear that if I stop the Juggernaut of an audio book that I'm listening to right now I won't come back to it. I'll have to push the king back Beyond October.

159benitastrnad
Oct 11, 11:39am Top

#142
I have a copy of All the Bright Places here in the library. I have looked at it several times but just have never picked it up to start reading it. When it was published it had great reviews and it was on the ALA's Best YA Fiction list. It might be good one to get to listen to. The sound recording of the book was produced by Listening Library and they do a great job with recorded books. All the Bright Places has two narrators, one male, and one female, that might make it great work-time listening.

160benitastrnad
Oct 11, 11:42am Top

Frankenstein is one of my all-time best books ever! The book is not what people think it is - it is much more philosophy than anything else. I think this one will surprise and delight you.

161Copperskye
Oct 11, 3:53pm Top

I loved Frankenstein when I read it in college (I expected to hate it). I plan on rereading it at some point. I hope you love it, too!

I’ve got a collection of creepy short stories by Daphne duMaurier going at the moment. It’s excellent and perfect for October and these cold, dark days we’ve been having!

162msf59
Oct 11, 5:09pm Top

>158 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. Hey, if you can fit in a Stephen King anytime, would be fine with me. I will be reading his latest, The Outsider.

>159 benitastrnad: >160 benitastrnad: I will have to see if I saved All the Bright Places on audio and if not, I will keep my peepers open.

I am loving Frankenstein. It is a definite delight and nothing like the films. I am currently at the Monster narrative. It might be my favorite section, so far...

163msf59
Edited: Oct 11, 5:13pm Top

>161 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I am really enjoying Frankenstein. It is nothing like I expected. The writing is very good too.

Much cooler here in Chicagoland. Only 50, with a gusty wind. It looks like it will remain cool well into next week.

What is the name of the duMaurier collection?

164jnwelch
Oct 11, 6:32pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark!

I've started Killing Commendatore, but made no progress at all today. I did get a lot of Yeats read. I'm maybe halfway through (!) his collected poems. Woo, this is a reading challenge. But he has a bunch of good ones in it.

I'm glad you're digging into Frankenstein. I think you're going to love it.

Hope the day went well.

165msf59
Oct 11, 7:13pm Top

>164 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Yes, my work day went well and now I have the next 3 days off. Yah!! Looking forward to your thoughts on the new Murakami, once you dig in deeper.

I am loving Frankenstein. I knew it was a classic but it still caught me by surprise...

166msf59
Edited: Oct 11, 7:18pm Top



“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth."

"If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”

^ I am all ready into the second half of Frankenstein and I am thoroughly loving it. Nothing like I expected and far different from the numerous film versions. I am currently at the point, with the first Monster narrative and it is perfect. This was written in 1818? Wowza!!

167m.belljackson
Oct 11, 9:13pm Top

>166 msf59:

Yep, and by a young woman...

168Caroline_McElwee
Oct 12, 4:55am Top

>166 msf59: and I think she was only 19 when she wrote it Mark. Her mentors were of course Shelley and Byron, not to mention her parents Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin.

169msf59
Edited: Oct 12, 7:15am Top

>167 m.belljackson: >168 Caroline_McElwee: Her age makes it even more impressive and her influences are impressive as well. Has anyone read any of Shelley's other work?

>168 Caroline_McElwee: Happy Friday, Caroline!!

170harrygbutler
Oct 12, 7:25am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope your week has been going well.

171msf59
Oct 12, 7:39am Top

>170 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. The shortened work week went fine and now I am enjoying my 3-day weekend. Much cooler here though. High 40s, low 50s, through Sunday.

172Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Oct 12, 12:40pm Top

>169 msf59: she didn't write very much more of repute Mark, but I have her The Last Man on the shelf, still to be read.

Frankenstein evolved out of a challenge Byron threw down one wet and stormy night at the Villa Diodati in Geneva, to write a ghost story.

173karenmarie
Oct 12, 8:29am Top

Hi Mark, and happy first-of-three days off. Yay for 50F.

I'm glad you're enjoying Frankenstein - I've got it on my shelves but haven't read it yet. I'm finishing Lisey's Story sooner than anticipated, so might see if it would work for me.

174msf59
Edited: Oct 12, 1:39pm Top

>172 Caroline_McElwee: I love the Byron challenge, Caroline. I did not know that story. It led to a true classic.

>173 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Only 38F out there, as I took my dog to the groomer, (He did not like the drive.) I am waiting an hour or so, and then going on a solo bird stroll.

Yep, loving Frankenstein and I hope you are enjoying Lisey's Story.

175benitastrnad
Oct 12, 12:27pm Top

The story of the challenge was told in a movie I saw some years back. According to Wikipedia the title of that movie is "Haunted Summer." I have seen it and it is pretty good.

176m.belljackson
Oct 12, 1:36pm Top

>174 msf59:

Again, MARY WHO WROTE FRANKENSTEIN illustrates this beautifully!

177msf59
Edited: Oct 12, 1:46pm Top

>175 benitastrnad: Thanks for that, Benita. Not sure I had heard of Haunted Summer. I might have to check it out.

>176 m.belljackson: Thanks, again, Marianne. My library has it. I just requested it.

178msf59
Edited: Oct 12, 1:54pm Top



^How did I not know that, Mary Oliver had written a collection called Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays?? And with the coolest cover too? Some of the poems from this collection are featured in Devotions, which I have returned to, after a long hiatus. Looks like I NEED to track this collection down.

And speaking of owls, a friend and I saw a pair of Great Horneds, flapping away, on our walk this morning. B.A.G.

179jnwelch
Oct 12, 2:00pm Top

Ha! Love the Mary Oliver title and cover. How cool that you and your friend saw the Great Horned's. I'd love to do that someday.

All is well for us. Bulls pre-season game tonight. I'm enjoying the YA book All the Bright Places, and should be able to dig into Killing Commendatore more today. RL gets too busy sometimes, when reading really needs to take precedence.

Did I hear you have the weekend off? Congratulations, and enjoy, buddy.

180msf59
Oct 12, 4:57pm Top

>179 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I am going to request the Oliver owl collection. I wish I could have seen the GHO's perched today, but a flying pair is always exciting too.

Glad to hear you are enjoying All the Bright Places. That one is back on my radar too. Have a good time at the Bulls game. And yes, this is my weekend off, so I am making the best of it, despite the chilly temps.

181benitastrnad
Oct 12, 9:15pm Top

It is chilly here as well. Finally. It is also Homecoming weekend. I am heading up to Nashville in the morning for the Southern Festival of Books. I was supposed to leave tonight, but a computer glitch kept me at work long enough that I figured I would just go home and leave in the morning.

182msf59
Oct 13, 7:20am Top

>181 benitastrnad: Have a great time in Nashville, Benita. The Southern Festival of Books sounds excellent. Enjoy and I hope you snag some promising gems.

183msf59
Edited: Oct 13, 7:31am Top



^During my bird walk yesterday, I spotted a large hole in a tree and guess what little face I saw peering out? A raccoon. This is my first time I have seen one in a tree like this. I had my camera with me, but I could have never got it into position, before it ducked back down. An internet photo, will have to do, but this captures it close enough.

I am heading out on an organized walk, here shortly, on this brisk Saturday morning.

184msf59
Edited: Oct 13, 7:48am Top



"In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world."

^The Overstory has been garnering a lot of attention, here and elsewhere. I want to join the fan club, plus I like reading about the outdoors, trees and the environment. I will start it today, after my trek in the woods. This will be my first book by Mr. Powers.

185ChelleBearss
Oct 13, 8:05am Top

Did I see above somewhere that you have finished The Fireman? What did you think?

186karenmarie
Oct 13, 8:11am Top

'Morning, Mark!

Even though it's not your photo, I love the raccoon-in-the-tree pic. Made me smile. Now, as long as they stay away from my feeders, I'm happy!

187scaifea
Oct 13, 8:36am Top

Morning, Mark!

Aw, raccoon in a tree = adorable.

188Familyhistorian
Oct 13, 10:24am Top

Hope you having a relaxing weekend off, Mark.

189alphaorder
Oct 13, 11:08am Top

Love the raccoon picture, Mark! What a game last night, don't you think?! I am heading up to Green Bay today for a wedding, so I suspect I, as well as many of the other guests, will be following along today's game by phone.

Overstory is in my stack. I also have heard great things. Life has been busy this month, so I am not getting much reading done, although I have a short stack of books I am really excited about and wish I had more time to devote to.

190jnwelch
Oct 13, 11:14am Top

Happy Saturday, buddy.

Enjoy your trek in the woods, and The Overstory. I'm going to start with coffee and more Yeats.

191msf59
Oct 13, 1:58pm Top

>185 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. Yes, I finished The Fireman. I did not completely dislike it but found much of it underwhelming. I did like Harper's character though. I have trying to do a mini-review these past few day. I am hoping soon.

>186 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Hooray for the "raccoon-in-the-tree pic"! Always a joy, to see any wildlife, out there on my walks. The raccoons do not bother our feeders. Knock wood...

>187 scaifea: Hi, Amber! Yah, for the raccoon sighting.

>188 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. The weekend off is shaping up to be a good one. I am glad we decided to not go camping though. The weather has been chilly.

192msf59
Oct 13, 2:02pm Top

>189 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. I did not see the last couple of innings of the game. It looks like the Dodgers came back strong but the Brew-Crew held them at bay. Great win. It would sure be nice, if they can take the first 2, but the Dodgers are tough.

Hope to spend a couple of hours with The Overstory this afternoon.

>190 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I had a very nice bird walk this morning, with a large, friendly group. It was a very chilly start, (low 30s) but it turned out to be pretty decent as the A.M. progressed. Report to follow...

193msf59
Oct 13, 2:12pm Top



^White-Throated Sparrow (NMP. I didn't even bring my camera along.)

About 20 of us, battled the chilly temps this morning, (low 30s) to stroll around, to look for birds. It took a little while, but things got productive. A flock of bluebirds in a tree, the most I have even seen in one spot. There were also goldfinch and kinglets in the same tree, as well. Robins and cedar waxwings were also bountiful. Along with the white-throated, we also saw a white-crowned sparrow. A couple different, late fall warblers. There were also red-bellied and hairy woodpeckers, along with a brown creeper, which I was able to spot for the group. B.A.G.

194DeltaQueen50
Oct 13, 4:58pm Top

Hi Mark, I remember how surprised I was when I read both Dracula and Frankenstein for the first time at how different they each were from the many films that have beeen based on them. I loved them both as well.

195Ameise1
Oct 14, 4:30am Top

Happy Sunday.

196msf59
Edited: Oct 14, 7:22am Top

>194 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I agree with you about Dracula and Frankenstein. Both, classic and enjoyable reads, no matter how familiar you are with the films.

>195 Ameise1: Happy Sunday, Barb!

197msf59
Oct 14, 7:45am Top



^Heading out on another organized bird walk. I went to this same forest preserve last fall, with a group and it was an excellent location. Another chilly start to the morning, but I will be dressed warm.

Once I return, it will be books and football. Go Bears!!

198karenmarie
Oct 14, 8:00am Top

'Morning Mark! Yesterday's walk sounds wonderful with so many different sightings. And look at you, Group Spotter.

Have another wonderful walk this a.m.

My day is shaping up like yours except for the walk - books and football. Except I'm cheering for kitties - The Panthers!

199Carmenere
Oct 14, 9:41am Top

Sounds like a delightful Sunday is in store for you! Go Bears and Go Browns! Hoping Mayfield continues to impress.

200jnwelch
Oct 14, 9:44am Top

Good morning, Mark. Have fun on the bird walk, buddy.

Go Bears!

201msf59
Oct 14, 1:25pm Top

>198 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Had another good bird outing. Still chilly but the early sunshine made it very nice. Go Bears! Go Panthers!

>199 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. It was another early start for me, but it sure helps I am an early riser. I pack in a lot before 10-11. Home, now, with the Bears game on. Good luck to your Browns.

>200 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I had an enjoyable morning and now it is time for football. The offense isn't looking as strong, in the opening quarter. Come on, guys. Turn it on!!

202msf59
Edited: Oct 14, 1:38pm Top



-Pied-Billed Grebe

^My bird walk went very well. 33 species seen, although I saw a few less. I do not count it, unless, I get a good look. We started at the small lake, and it was beautiful, with the fog hanging low over the water and the water fowl swimming in and out of view. This included a few grebes and about a dozed American Coots. Canada Geese were hanging around too. Cool spot. On the wooded trails and the meadow openings, we saw plenty of warblers, robins, sparrows, an Eastern Tow-Hee and several different woodpeckers. A Great-Horned Owl was also seen darting away, after a warning cry from a blue-jay. This was verified by the group leader. I prefer to see them perched but you take what you can get, but that was 2 sightings in 3 days. Yah!!



^Nashville Warbler. I always like seeing these guys.

203lindapanzo
Oct 14, 4:39pm Top

Quite a Bears game today, Mark. Now it’s time for books.

204benitastrnad
Oct 14, 5:37pm Top

I had a great time in Nashville. I have wanted to go to this book festival for years and just kept putting it off. With retirement looming I decided this was the year to make the trip. I left about 7:00 a.m. and arrived in Nashville almost exactly 4 hours later. I got a little mixed up in the downtown area and ended up on Broadway, were I didn't want to be. It is the main tourist drag in Nashville. The downtown public library was the place were the most of the events for the festival were held and that building is very nice. It has an attached parking deck so I parked there. I attended the following author talks.

1. House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea - his talk was very interesting and full of background about his life and his writing up to this point in time. It is clear that he has many more stories in him. The crowd was very enthusiastic about his book and his stories and he was greeted warmly with the organizers of the event shoving people out of the lecture hall so that the next author could do their talk. I purchased an autographed copy of his book - for full price.

2. For-Profit Democracy: Why the Government is Losing the Trust of Rural America by Loka Ashwood - this author is in her third year at Auburn University in Alabama and is a professor in the College of Agriculture. She studies rural populations. The book is about the Vogtle (pronounced Voogle) Nuclear Power plant on the Savannah River. This river forms the border between Georgia and South Carolina. This power plant is currently the only nuclear power plant under construction in the U. S. and it is projected to go 9 billion dollars over budget. The land for the two new reactors was confiscated using the Rights of Eminent Domain claimed by the Federal Government and therein lies the rub. The residents did not want to sell their land. Turns out that black land owners got less money for their land than did white owners, and other injustices abound. The author talked about the Right of Eminent Domain and how all over the country this right is being abused in the name of doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people and never-mind those low numbers in the way.

3. Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks - This book and author were recently featured on NPR. This is the woman who left her child strapped in the car seat with the car running while she ran into a pharmacy to pick up a prescription. When she moved to Chicago she was surprised to learn that she was denied registration to vote because she had an outstanding arrest warrant in the state of Virginia. She didn't even know what the warrant was for. She was shocked to find out that somebody had seen her and reported the incident to the police. By the time they got there she had left the pharmacy. Within a few weeks she and her family had moved and then four years later had moved to Chicago. The arrest papers didn't catch up with her until she went to register in Chicago. The book is about the author's research about such "poor parenting practices" and where these laws come from. She points the finger at the spate of "Stranger Danger" laws passed in the late 1970's and in the 1980's that were meant to keep children from being kidnapped. The interesting thing about this is that the statistics show that a parent would have to leave a child unattended at a Walmart for 7, 580 years before a stranger would kidnap the child. 99.5% of children kidnapped are stolen by a parent or a relative. This was also an interesting session with many questions from the audience. Nashville has an active Mother's Support group and they came with many questions. They were on the side of the author. Lots of talk here about the pressure to be perfect parents.

4. My last event of the day was when I heard Craig Johnson talk about the Longmire series that he has written. He spoke at length about how he created the series and how he was surprised at how the television version of the stories turned the books into best sellers. He also had the audience in stitches when he said that the spinoff wealth from the TV series didn't only apply to the books, but extended to other products as well. Rainier beer has been a big beneficiary of the Longmire success. In the weeks after the first couple of episodes of the TV show were aired, the Rainier beer plant had to go to round the clock production in order to meet the demand for the beer. The company was completely taken by surprise and couldn't figure out what had happened to create this sudden demand. It was only when Johnson called and was able to talk to the company that the mystery was cleared up. (Johnson was unable to get the beer in his home town county seat of Buffalo, Wyoming due to the shortage.) And yes - I did ask a question. I asked if Johnson had ever been to the Brookville Hotel. He had. Both the old location and the new. Turns out that his parents lived in Lawrence, Kansas (the home of the University of Kansas) for many years, and so he had been to the original location of the Brookville Hotel and the new location in Abilene, Kansas.

The event was well organized, and I was happy to visit the Nashville Public Library. Even if it is in downtown Nashville. I hope to get my real life book discussion group to go to this even next year. It is held every year on the second weekend of October in downtown Nashville.

205msf59
Oct 14, 5:47pm Top

>203 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda! Yes, it was an exciting Bears game but I wish the Bears could have kicked that last field goal. It would have been a much more satisfying finale.

206msf59
Oct 14, 5:53pm Top

>204 benitastrnad: Happy Sunday, Benita. Thanks for the Nashville Book Festival update. Looks like you had a wonderful time and all the author events you attended, sound great. The only one I was not familiar with is For-Profit Democracy. I heard the author of Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear on a recent book podcast. If I can find the book on audio, I may give it a go.

I have seen and heard, both Urrea and Johnson in the past and both are really interesting and entertaining guys. Have you read Urrea?

207benitastrnad
Oct 14, 7:15pm Top

I have not read Urrea, so I had to purchase the book.

I forgot to say that the books were all for sale by Parnasseus Books. They had a big tent set up right in front of the Old State Capital building so it was a really nice setting. They had all of the books that were featured at the Festival - no discounts. I paid full price, so now I have to read them.

Somewhere between Tuscaloosa and Nashville I crossed a line. On one side of the line it was warm - even though it was cooler than it had been it was still warm. Nashville had a high of around 60 and the wind was blowing, so it was noticeably cooler. Lots of people had on winter coats and hats. I should have at least had on a fleece as it was cool outside. Regular fall weather, but much cooler than it was in T-Town.

208msf59
Oct 14, 10:23pm Top

>207 benitastrnad: Hooray for Parnasseus Books! And I am glad you enjoyed some cooler temps. We have been chilly the last few days, high 40s, low 50s. More of the same this coming week...sighs.

209Whisper1
Oct 14, 10:52pm Top

Mark, In an earlier post you mentioned Praise Song For the Butterflies. I checked on this one to find it received a solie 4.5 stars. I've added it to the tbr pile.

I always trust your books recommendations and praises.

210EBT1002
Oct 14, 11:58pm Top

Mark, your organized bird walks are so wonderful to read about. I know this is a relatively new hobby (is that the right word?) for you but you have certainly embraced it. And with delightful results!

The Overstory was my first by Powers, as well. I loved it. Gave it five stars and have it as my top choice for the Booker Prize, followed closely by Washington Black and with a couple of other very strong contenders.

I hope you are doing well, my friend!

211EllaTim
Oct 15, 5:34am Top

>202 msf59: Sounds like a lovely walk, Marc. And lots of birds! That grebe, and the owl, great.

Here in Holland lots of birds are passing through, migration time. The Robins have arrived, lots of them, so we hear them calling and even singing. My husband and I did a walk in the woods, admiring the autumn colours, we saw lots and lots of small birds, sparrows and robins, but it's hard to recognise all those small birds, and you hear many more than you see, or recognise.

I'll be starting The Overstory as well.

212msf59
Oct 15, 6:31am Top

>209 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Good to see you. I loved Praise Song For the Butterflies and will be writing up a mini-review very soon. Glad my early warbling paid off.

>210 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. I would guess that birding is my hobby but like reading it has been ingrained in my every day life. I really enjoyed getting out, all three days this weekend.

The Overstory is a book not to be rushed, so I am reading it slowly. Impressive so far. And I have Washington Black requested from the library.

213msf59
Oct 15, 6:34am Top

>211 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. I was glad to get out bird walking, all 3 days, with 2 being organized. Those are like being in a classroom. Our migration season will be wrapping up soon, especially with all this cool weather. I will miss it.

I am glad to hear you and your husband got out for a stroll and heard and saw plenty of birds.

214karenmarie
Oct 15, 9:45am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you. I do not count it, unless, I get a good look. Me, too.

215jnwelch
Oct 15, 10:00am Top

Oof, the Bears should've won that game, right? The defense got exposed; makes me wonder now how good it really is.

I'm loving Killing Commendatore and yes, there have been some cats already, and what seems to be a well. :-) I'm trying out playing on Youtube the classical music he identifies when he identifies it; kinda a fun way to do it.

Our workout fell through today, so I'll be taking a long walk in a nearby park. It won't have the bird life you come across, but I'll keep an eye out for urban avians.

Hope it goes all right for you today; it's a nippy one out there.

216msf59
Oct 15, 10:15am Top

The truck, bringing us our mail, from the plant, was delayed, nearly an hour, causing extreme idleness. Finally getting out...frustrating way to start a Monday, plus it is pretty damn chilly out here to boot. Hoping Frankenstein warms and cheers me up...

217weird_O
Oct 15, 10:26am Top

Howdy, Mark.

I finished The Book Thief last night. Marvelous book. I was surprised (yeah, but why?) that the author is an Australian. As usual, my book snobbery got me smacked in the nose. It's been on our shelves for quite a few years, but I never even cataloged it 'cause it was "YA". Right there with Charlotte's Web and The Little Prince and those other "kid's books" that are nourishing for all ages of readers. I'm pretty old to have not grasped this.

I am planning to read a few more chapters in The Shining, but I ordered a copy of Sinclair Lewis's It Can't Happen Here and USPS tracking informs me that the book is at the Kempton P. O., so I assume the book will be at the mailbox about noontime. (Mailed at Rancho Mirage, CA on October 9. Arrived in Philly yesterday and at Kempton at 8:20 this A.M. You postal workers are the best!) So perhaps I won't get much King read before I read Lewis.

218msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 11:45am Top

>214 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am so glad I can go on organized walks, because my ID numbers would be in serious decline. I am getting better at identifying but it is going to take me some time, to get good at it.

>215 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. It is chilly out here and breezy too. I am waiting for the sunshine to arrive. Hooray for the new Murakami! I plan on ordering my copy soon.

Sorry, your Monday workout fell through, but I am sure you are taking full advantage of your free time.

219msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 11:47am Top

>217 weird_O: Hi, Bill. I am so glad you loved The Book Thief. It has been a favorite around here, for years. They have always had a hard time, classifying it too, which is a shame.

I have been interested in the Sinclair Lewis book for some time. Maybe, you will supply me with the nudge I need.

220msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 7:09pm Top

The Loon

Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
to another room, where my books are lined up
in their neat and colorful rows. How

magical they are! I choose one
and open it. Soon
I have wandered in over the waves of the words
to the temple of thought.

And then I hear
outside, over the actual waves, the small,
perfect voice of the loon. He is also awake,
and with his heavy head uplifted he calls out
to the fading moon, to the pink flush
swelling in the east that, soon,
will become the long, reasonable day.

Inside the house
it is still dark, except for the pool of lamplight
in which I am sitting.

I do not close the book.

Neither, for a long while, do I read on.

-Mary Oliver

221msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 8:25pm Top

“A tree is a passage between earth and sky.”

“Hoels were farmers, feed store owners, and farm equipment salesmen like his father, violently practical people grounded in the logic of land and driven to work long, relentless days, year after year, without ever asking why.”

“A great truth comes over him: Trees fall with spectacular crashes. But planting is silent and growth is invisible.”

^^I am really enjoying The Overstory. 130 pages in and I am still being introduced to the many characters, who make up the core of the novel. Highly literate, super-smart and beautifully written.



-Linden Tree

222Copperskye
Oct 15, 10:30pm Top

>220 msf59: Love it - thanks for that!

Trouble at our bird feeders this past week - We’ve had a hawk (Coopers or Sharp Shinned) marauding. A few days ago, it was on the fence with a small bird in its talons. :( And yesterday, I saw it swoop in out of the corner of my eye, but I’m not sure if it got anything. It looked like it was going after a dove but they are so awkward and there were so many other birds around, it was hard to tell. I’m thinking of taking the feeders down for a few days but it’s been so cold, I may wait a day or two to do that.

223LovingLit
Oct 16, 4:09am Top

>46 msf59: I recently watched this with the kids for the first time, I got them past the "princess" in the title by advising that Andre the Giant was also in it :) They liked it!!

>184 msf59: I love that book cover, it is gorgeous. I haven't even head f the author, let alone read him! Looks like i have some catching up to do.

224msf59
Oct 16, 6:38am Top

>222 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Reading, Oliver makes the world a brighter place, right? Sorry, to hear about the marauding hawks, but they have to eat too. I have seen a Cooper's and a RTH, near the feeders, but not very often when I am around. Glad you decided to leave the feeders up.

>223 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Great to see you. I am so glad the boys enjoyed The Princess Bride. It has become a generational film. I wish I would have introduced my kids to it.

I am pretty sure you would LOVE The Overstory, just the kind of smart and deep writing, you admire, plus it has nature at it's core.

225alphaorder
Oct 16, 7:50am Top

What a sports night for Wisconsinites! Obviously, no reading here for me!

But I did start Heavy: An American Memoir on my dog walk this morning, and I can already tell it is likely to be a Best of contender. The author reads it, so it is good for an audio choice, Mark. It released today.

226karenmarie
Oct 16, 8:11am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope you have a good day.

Bill and I just watched the Mark Twain episodes of American Lives by Ken Burns. It makes me want to read all the Mark Twain books on my shelves!

227The_Hibernator
Oct 16, 9:40am Top

Glad you're still getting in some bird watching, Mark! It's starting to get a bit cold.

228msf59
Oct 16, 11:09am Top

>225 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Hooray for the Wisconsinites! The Brew-Crew remains red-hot. Glad you are enjoying Heavy. I will watch for your final thoughts.

>226 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I can't remember if I saw the Twain doc. I may have to check it out again.

>227 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. Good to see you. Yes, it was a great birding weekend. Not many more of those left, for the season. Breezy and chilly, here again today.

229jnwelch
Oct 16, 2:20pm Top

Hooray for The Overstory! Highly literate, super-smart and beautifully written. I couldn't agree more!

Lovely Mary Oliver poem up there. I can just see her sitting there, listening to the loon and being peaceful.

I saw pigeons and robins on my urban avian walk yesterday. Not quite as much fun as the birds we saw in Morton Arboretum with you.

I'm engrossed in Killing Commendatore, but I'll have to leave it unfinished, looks like, until we get back from the trip. I can get through a lot of pages in a short amount of time, but this one has more than a lot of pages! It's going to be tough to wait to get back to it. Oh well.

230alphaorder
Oct 16, 4:35pm Top

>225 alphaorder:. Heavy falls into this camp: not easy to read (difficult topics), but important and well-written.

231msf59
Oct 16, 5:50pm Top

>229 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It seems like I am getting close, in The Overstory where the narratives begin to intertwine. Looking forward to seeing what Powers does with the rest of the novel.

Isn't Mary Oliver a treasure? Devotions, is such a perfect compilation. Bummer, about not finishing Killing Commendatore, before your trip. I did not realize it was nearly 700 pages. Wow! But, as long as it is good, who cares, right?

>230 alphaorder: It is now firmly on the list, Nancy.

232benitastrnad
Oct 16, 7:57pm Top

Heavy: An American Memoir has been getting some good press lately. The author Kiese Laymon was at the Southern Festival of the Book in Nashville last weekend. He did his reading and presentation on Sunday, so I didn't get to see him. However, he was at the ALA conference in New Orleans last summer and I saw him and heard him talk because he was on a panel of first time authors. His book sounded interesting, but by the time I got there all the ARC's were gone. This one should be a good one.

233DeltaQueen50
Oct 16, 10:12pm Top

Hi Mark, you seem to be firing on all cylinders with your book choices these days - I love it when that happens. I am just starting a couple of new ones and I have high hopes for Orphan Train, a Joe recommendation. :)

234msf59
Oct 17, 6:40am Top

>232 benitastrnad: Another melodic warble about Heavy: An American Memoir. I will have to keep my peepers open, Benita.

>233 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Yep, I love firing on all cylinders with the books and I see nothing changing for awhile. I really enjoyed Orphan Train. I hope you feel the same way.

235jessibud2
Oct 17, 7:19am Top

Good morning, Mark.

>233 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, I loved Orphan Train. It's a sad story but very well-researched and very well-written. Another by the author, Christina Baker Kline, A Piece of the World, is also really excellent. Just saying...

236karenmarie
Oct 17, 8:08am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy chilly Wednesday to you.

237Carmenere
Oct 17, 10:33am Top

Howdy, Mark! I just finished Washington Black. It's a good one. Have you finished The Fireman? I'm just about done. Wow, what a long one it is!

238msf59
Oct 17, 11:01am Top

>235 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. Good to see more Orphan Train love. I have A Piece of the World on the list.

>236 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Blustery and cool at the moment. It is supposed get sunnier later and I hope that will help.

239msf59
Oct 17, 11:03am Top

>237 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I should be picking up my library copy of Washington Black this week. Glad you liked it.

I finished The Fireman, about a week ago. A bit underwhelmed and yes, far too long, for that storyline.

240ChelleBearss
Oct 17, 11:15am Top

Sorry to see that the Fireman didn't knock your socks off. I liked it a touch more than you but it didn't blow me away, either.

241harrygbutler
Oct 17, 3:42pm Top

Hi, Mark! Good birding reports. I don't know whether we're going to make it down to the hawk watch in Cape May this year to see some of the migrating raptors, but we'll see.

We don't seem to have raccoons around our neighborhood, as there's better habitat not too far away.

242EllaTim
Oct 17, 3:43pm Top

>221 msf59: Glad you like The Overstory Marc. I'm struggling a bit, language, I need a dictionary! And I really need to lower my expectations for reading speed here. But easy does it, I will get there.

243msf59
Oct 17, 6:39pm Top

>240 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. No worries, about The Fireman. Joe Hill had a terrific track record and sadly, this one fell short for me. I hope he comes roaring back on the next one and I pray he starts to scale back on the length of his books. It is one of the issues i have with his old man.

>241 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. We have plenty of raccoon around here but they very seldom give us any problems. Skunks are definitely more troublesome. I hope you can make the Cape may Hawk Watch! Fingers crossed.

>242 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. I am LOVING The Overstory. I just hit the halfway point. Good luck getting through it. I am sure there will be plenty of rewards at the end.

244msf59
Edited: Oct 17, 6:52pm Top



^I am featuring Stephen King on this month's AAC and I decided to go with his latest book, The Outsider, which has received solid reviews and I have to say it is off to a nifty start. He definitely knows how to hook the reader early. Like King's Bill Hodges trilogy, this has more of a crime/mystery feel to it than straight horror.



^Will Patton has been narrating many of King's audiobooks, of late, and he usually does a stellar job. This is no exception.

245msf59
Oct 17, 7:35pm Top

“There are no individuals in a forest, no separable events. The bird and the branch it sits on are a joint thing. A third or more of the food a big tree makes may go to feed other organisms. Even different kinds of trees form partnerships. Cut down a birch, and a nearby Douglas-fir may suffer...”

“The air around her resounds with the noise of life getting on with it. Cheebee of invisible winter wrens. Industrial pock from jackhammering woodpeckers. Warbler buzz. Thrush flutter. The scatterings of beeping grouse across the forest floor. At night, the cool hoot of owls chills her blood. And, always, the tree frogs' song of eternity.”

^I just hit the halfway point in The Overstory and it is a breath-taking read, especially as the various characters, introduced in the first hundred or so pages, start to connect with one another, with trees being the catalyst. This is shaping up to be a Best Read of the Year...Just sayin'...



-Douglas Fir

246msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 6:42am Top



124) Tin Man by Sarah Winman 4.3 stars

“Ellis and Michael are twelve when they first become friends, and for a long time it is just the two of them, cycling the streets of Oxford, teaching themselves how to swim, discovering poetry, and dodging the fists of an overbearing father. And then one day this closest of friendships grows into something more.”

^This is a love story, just out of reach. The boys, as they grow into young men drift, fatefully apart, trying to discover another love, to match the one they shared. The writing is achingly beautiful and what this author expresses in a short novel, is truly impressive. It also worked beautifully on audio, although reading it in print, will give you the added benefit of savoring her prose. Highly recommended.

**I want to thank Nancy for supplying just the right nudge.

247vivians
Oct 17, 8:27pm Top

Oh I loved Tin Man Mark - so glad you enjoyed it too. And I have to rave about Virgil Wander - just finished it tonight and it's magnificent. You're needed to get the word out to LT on this one!

248msf59
Oct 17, 8:41pm Top

>247 vivians: Hi, Vivian. I hope my warbling on Tin Man gets a few more people interested. This is an absolute gem. Hooray, for Virgil Wander! I hope to get to it soon.

249Copperskye
Oct 17, 10:11pm Top

>246 msf59: I’m glad you loved Tin Man too, Mark. A charming story. And I love the cover on that edition (it’s the one I have).

250LovingLit
Oct 18, 12:13am Top

The Overstory has 14 holds on 4 copies at my library, so I think I will have to wait it out! But I have WLd it :)

251DeltaQueen50
Oct 18, 1:17am Top

>235 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley, I have added A Piece of the World to my list.

>243 msf59: Mark, I have issues with both Joe Hill and Stephen King with the length of their books. Surely they could edit them down a little.

252charl08
Oct 18, 2:12am Top

>245 msf59: Looking forward to reading this on my holiday: not far to go now!

253Caroline_McElwee
Oct 18, 5:10am Top

>245 msf59: Clapping hands Mark. I've not come across anyone so far who doesn't come under the spell of The Overstory, I was disappointed it didn't win the Booker this year.

254scaifea
Oct 18, 5:21am Top

Morning, Mark! Adding Tin Man to the list...

255msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 6:38am Top

>249 Copperskye: Hooray, for the Tin Man fan club, Joanne. It was definitely charming and so well written.

>250 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. The Overstory is a big book too, so I am sure it will take each of those readers awhile to get through. Bummer! But, it will be waiting for you on the other side, like a pot of gold.

>251 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Joe Hill started out, writing average length books, but started going long on his last 2 novels. I hope he is over that now.

256msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 6:42am Top

>252 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. I am trying to get as much warbling in, as I can, on The Overstory. It will be perfect holiday reading for you.

>253 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. I am definitely under the spell of The Overstory. Looking forward to seeing how the second half unfurls.

>254 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Tin Man also worked beautifully on audio, although reading it in print, gives you the added benefit of savoring her prose.

257msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 7:03am Top



^I saw my first Dark-Eyed Junco of the fall season, actually about 6 of them, all feeding on the ground, around my feeders. They winter here. I am going to start keeping records, to see when they first arrive and then when I last see them, in early spring.

This is not my photo, but I did take a couple of shots, which I will try to share later.

258jessibud2
Oct 18, 7:32am Top

Hi Mark. I haven't seen any juncos yet but I had 3 blue jays on my lawn for over an hour yesterday! I was pretty excited as I rarely see them (even when I hear them) and have never seen 3 together. It's probably because I am so used to seeing the tiny songbirds but those jays are HUGE!! And gorgeous.

I like your idea of starting records. I participate every year in Bird Studies Canada Project Feeder Watch. We note who comes to the feeders from November to April. You should check it out (there is, of course, an American version).

259alphaorder
Oct 18, 7:43am Top

So glad you enjoyed Tin Man. I still find myself thinking about it.

Ok, just finished Heavy: An American Memoir. I know you are planning on reading it. But I still need to make a case for others. It is such an insightful and important book. So well written. For those who read on audio, I highly recommend, as the author reads it and it gives an added dimension to the book. Will definitely be on my Best of list.

Now to decide what is next. I am in need of both a paper book and an audio, although I am not likely to get much paper reading done with baseball as distracting as it is. Virgil Wander is sitting in front of me. As is the new and final poetry collection by Ursula LeGuin, So Far So Good.

260katiekrug
Oct 18, 8:00am Top

I was resisting The Overstory but I think you've won me over, you warbler you...

I have a copy of Tin Man sitting on my shelf and will get to it soon(ish). I loved her earlier novel, When God Was a Rabbit.

>259 alphaorder: - Noted, Nancy, and added to my WL. Thanks!

261alphaorder
Oct 18, 8:06am Top

>260 katiekrug:. Tin man was my first Winman. Now I need to hunt down When God Was a Rabbit. Thanks for the rec.

262karenmarie
Oct 18, 10:14am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you.

One of these days I'll have to buy The Outsider. In the meantime, Lisey's Story was a great AAC read for me and I thank you again for your 5 years of AAC hosting duty.

263msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 11:18am Top

>258 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Hooray for the blue jays. I see them regularly on my route and on my walks, but rarely around my feeders. I like the idea of a Feeder Watch. I will check in to it, but I really should save it for my retirement, when I have much more time.

>259 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. Thanks again for the nudge on Tin Man. And I will track an audio copy of Heavy down. I have moved Virgil Wander up in the stacks, so I hope to get to it soon. I have the LeGuin collection home from the library. Like minds...

264msf59
Oct 18, 11:22am Top

>260 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Glad my warbling paid off on The Overstory. Expect much more, as I work my way through the second half. Good news on When God Was a Rabbit. I will have to track that one down.

>262 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am really enjoying The Outsider. I am sure you will too. You are more than welcome on the AAC gratitude. It was a terrific run.

265jnwelch
Oct 18, 12:20pm Top

Greetings from Tennessee, my friend. Very pretty down here. Is it snowing yet in Chicago?

We’re spending time with family, and otherwise being lazy. I’m trying a second “best” YA I missed, called Along for the Ride, and enjoying it.

Hope all’s going well for you.

266benitastrnad
Oct 18, 12:21pm Top

I have been having an issue with the length of all books for some time. I suspect that many authors desire to give their readers more and that often comes in the form of more verbiage instead of more story. having a good editor would take care of that problem. However, publishers have gutted their editing departments and depend on authors to do that editing for them.

A few weeks ago I was doing a book talk on historical mystery series at an elder care facility. I made the remark that mysteries have increased in length. For instance Agatha Christie put together a darn good mystery in around 200 pages - often less than that. Now it is impossible for an author to get publishers to look at mysteries that short. I figure the average is about 250 pages. One of the women in the audience started laughing. She said that for many years she thought that the books were getting heavier and it wasn't until recently that she noticed that the number of pages was much higher than it had been in the past.

There is also a desire to write more pages coming from authors because in that attempt to give the reader "more" they are really thinking of when the book will be turned into a movie or TV series. Why read the book when you can wait for the TV or movie to come out? So authors write more knowing that much of that won't get put into a movie.

Then there is the author who has become so engrossed in their research and so enchanted by it that they want to pass on that stuff to the reader. My case in point for that is Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series. The first book in that series was right around 400 pages. The last one I read Fiery Cross clocked in at 979 pages and the next one in the series Breath of Snow and Ashes was even bigger at 1147 pages. It hasn't seemed to hurt sales, but come on? Really? If I want to read about the medicinal purposes of plants surely there are books on that subject? Why include all of that in a novel?

Some of this I call the Harry Potter phenomena. Those books also grew and grew from first book to last. Why? Surely a 750 page novel could be divided up into two? But because those novels were so popular people became accustomed to out sized novels and accepted them - and most people accepted them gladly.

Then there is George R. R. Martin whose books have become so huge that even he can't finish them.

I don't read Stephen King (Salem's Lot scared me so bad I couldn't sleep for weeks and didn't finish the novel) or Joe Hill but find the size alone would deter me.

Some novels remind me of academic writing where the motto seems to be "Why say something with one word, when you can use ten?" It seems that in the end, for some authors and publishers, size matters.

267msf59
Oct 18, 4:51pm Top

>265 jnwelch: Hi, Joe, I am sure Tennessee is gorgeous this time of year. Enjoy. It is actually a nice day here. Around 60, with sun and bluebird skies. Glad you are enjoying your YA. I am still entranced by The Overstory.

268msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 4:59pm Top

>266 benitastrnad: Thanks, for your thoughts on LOOOOOOOONG books, Benita. Yes, there are many great long books but genre and series fiction, does not NEED to be 700- 1100 pages, IMHO. Even the Cormoran Strike books have got unnecessarily windy. I love the early books in the Song of Fire and Ice, but I don't think, I will even read the new one, whenever it comes out.

269jessibud2
Oct 18, 5:19pm Top

>263 msf59: - Hi Mark. Feeder Watch doesn't require a lot of time. Only 2 days in a week; I think they have to be consecutive. I started it when I was still working and used to do weekends. You can opt for as many or as few hours as you are able and you can switch your days at your leisure. Google it to find the American version and check it out

270brenzi
Oct 18, 8:18pm Top

I’m looking forward to The Overstory Mark. Seems like everyone who reads it loves it.

271Copperskye
Oct 18, 10:08pm Top

>257 msf59: Our Juncos came back just this last week, too! The cat loves to watch them since they hop around on the ground and I’m sure she thinks they’d be easy pickings if only she wasn’t on the other side of the slider. We also had a large flock of robins enjoying our remaining crabapples today - and a couple of blue jays. A busy day.

>260 katiekrug: I have a copy now, of When God Was A Rabbit. Just need to squeeze it in!

272Familyhistorian
Oct 18, 11:30pm Top

Love the discussion about overlong books. I find it such a treat to read a short book these days.

273msf59
Oct 19, 6:35am Top

>269 jessibud2: Thanks for the encouragement, Shelley. I will seek out my into on the feeder watch. Have you seen or heard any Sandhill Cranes, migrating south?
I have not.

>270 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. The Overstory is amazing. I am looking forward to hearing what you think.

>271 Copperskye: I like seeing the juncos back, Joanne but it also a sign of winter on the horizon. Sighs...And yes, still seeing plenty of robins around here too. I am looking forward to your thoughts on When God Was A Rabbit.

>272 Familyhistorian: Funny, for such an avid, die-hard reader, I still groan, when a book is over 600 pages. The Overstory is a big, ambitious and complex book and at 500 pages, it is a perfect length.

274msf59
Edited: Oct 19, 7:06am Top



^John Muir is mentioned several times in The Overstory, including this lovely quote. I am just over 300 pages in.

275jessibud2
Edited: Oct 19, 11:08am Top

>273 msf59: - I have never seen cranes here, Mark I think I am in too urban an area, though Toronto has lots of ravines and park lands, including not far from here. I have seen herons at the ravine and botanical gardens trails, both less than 10 minutes from my house.

>274 msf59: - Excellent!

276karenmarie
Oct 19, 9:05am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you.

Long books - I have found that when I'm really enamored of a series the longer the book the happier I am. HP, Cormoran Strike, and Outlander are good examples of this. Interestingly, The Alphabet series by Sue Grafton follows the same pattern. The first was 209 pages, but the next 5 were in the 180s. They gradually crept up and the one I just read, Q is for Quarry clocked in at 385 pages.

The Fireman was way too long and in thinking back on it it was really just a rehash of plague, dystopia, and power lust books, all rolled up into one. In fact, in the spirit of culling, I might just pull it off my shelves and make it available for the next book sale. I need to do something to offset the 377 books that have come into the house this year.

277harrygbutler
Oct 19, 9:51am Top

>257 msf59: Good morning, Mark! We've seen no juncos yet, but with the cold weather this week I wouldn't be surprised to look outside and find them there. Erika does usually try to note when they show up and leave, and keeps an informal list of backyard birds.

I think I prefer shorter novels on the whole, but it does depend greatly on the quality of the writing and the needs of the story.

278alphaorder
Oct 19, 10:02am Top

Mark - The Overstory sounds wonderful. I am holding off until I have a large chunk of free time to read it - perhaps on my flight to India in December. In the meantime, I loaned it to Zoe.

Shawn and I took the day off today and are going to hike in the Kettle Moraine and stay overnight in West Bend. Short break, but much needed.

279msf59
Oct 19, 11:05am Top

>275 jessibud2: Sand Hill Cranes, pretty much shun the populated urban areas, but can be seen in the far outskirts, in marshy meadows. But, they do fly overhead, as they migrate and they are quite often seen and heard, just not yet, for this fall season.

>276 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I know die-hard fans of series fiction will gobble up big books, but I am not quite in that group. Interesting about the Alphabet series. I remember those first few books, being barely 200 pages.

I agree with your thoughts on The Fireman. I think it may have worked better, at 300 pages max.

280msf59
Edited: Oct 19, 11:10am Top

>277 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. I want to keep better notes on my backyard sightings. For some odd reason, I do not. I am also on the lookout for the different sparrows that migrate through and stop at my feeders.

>278 alphaorder: We are eerily on then same bookish wavelength, in most cases, Nancy. I was going to suggest that you offer Zoe, The Overstory. I think she will love it. This will easily be in contention for best book of the year, for me.

Enjoy your day off today and have a good time hiking. Let me know what you see.

281ChelleBearss
Oct 19, 11:45am Top

Hope you love The Outsider! I enjoyed that one and loved that it wasn't quite as long as some have been lately!

282klobrien2
Oct 19, 2:51pm Top

The talk about the l-o-n-g books reminds me of one of my favorite college professors, whose tests were always take-home essays. Your essay had to fit into a standard blue book. The professor said that one student had tried to wow him with his erudition to the tune of 20-some pages, and got an "F" for his effort.

Writing shortly and succinctly is a real talent, right? It's a lot harder than just doing a dump, I think.

I'm starting The Outsider, too. I really like the later King books, so I'm looking forward to it.

Happy autumn!

Karen O.

283msf59
Oct 19, 6:29pm Top

>281 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. I am fast approaching the final third of The Outsider and I have to say, I am enjoying it quite a bit. It is nice to have Holly back too. She is a fun, character.

>282 klobrien2: Hi, Karen. Good to see you. I love your college professor story. So true. I think about that a lot, when I read a book, that packs everything into 300 pages, so perfectly and automatically wonder- Why Can't They do This??

I am sure you will have a very good time with The Outsider. I know, I am...

284jnwelch
Oct 19, 6:38pm Top

Hey, buddy. You would’ve enjoyed the hiking today in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. Beautiful day here.

At my SIL’s recommendation, I’ve started a new mystery series by Anne Cleeland, and I’m already hooked. Great characters.

Go Bears and Bulls!

285msf59
Oct 19, 8:02pm Top

>284 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. I saw your photos from the Great Smokies! It looks beautiful. I wish I could have hiked with you guys. Glad you are enjoying a new mystery series. I am still loving The Overstory. I should finish it, in a couple more days.

286msf59
Edited: Oct 19, 8:05pm Top



119) French Exit by Patrick deWitt 3.8 stars

Frances Price has been a rich New York City widow for twenty years, but suddenly finds herself broke, after letting her inherited funds trickle away. She receives an eviction notice and is forced to sell everything she owns. Her thirty-two year old son, lives with her, but has never worked and is reeling from a broken relationship. A friend offers her to stay at her vacation apartment in Paris, so Frances and her son son decide to take her up on the offer. The rest of the story, is Frances adapting to this new chapter in her life. The writing is smart, sharp and witty. I loved deWitt's novel, The Sisters Brothers and this doesn't quite reach those heights but it is a good, solid read.

**I want to thank Benita, ONCE AGAIN, for picking up a copy of this for me. She has perfect taste.

287msf59
Edited: Oct 20, 6:43am Top



^I saw a turkey vulture, on the ground, at one of my break spots yesterday. I have seen a couple pairs flying around, the past couple of weeks, (which, was a first on my route) but seeing one like this was special. I did not have my camera but I did take a couple of shots with my cell, but due to distance, (I didn't want to spook her) they cam out blurry.

288figsfromthistle
Oct 20, 8:03am Top

>287 msf59: Lucky you! Great photo

289karenmarie
Oct 20, 8:36am Top

'Morning, Mark and happy Saturday to you.

I just ordered The Outsider. Sigh. I've got 5 books ordered with Amazon now. One's a birthday present for a friend, but we're looking at #s 378-381 acquired this year for moi.

>287 msf59: Very nice. Looks like she's giving you the stink eye, even though I realize it's just her markings.

290msf59
Oct 20, 9:43am Top

>288 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs. It isn't my photo, but it is pretty close to what I saw through my binocs.

>289 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the stink eye! I do not think you will regret purchasing The Outsider. It is as good, if not better than the Bill Hodges trology.

291msf59
Edited: Oct 20, 11:00am Top

Break Spot Bird Report: Warbler alert! Warbler alert! I spotted a couple of warblers, both chowing down in the foliage. For October 20th, this may be the latest I have seen them on the route. I believe they were Nashville Warblers.

292weird_O
Oct 20, 1:22pm Top

>291 msf59: Oooo! Nashville Warblers. Was one of them Taylor Swift? Oh, wait...

293Familyhistorian
Oct 20, 4:33pm Top

Good to see you liked The French Exit, Mark, but especially that you liked The Sisters Brothers better as I picked that one up at the writers fest after seeking deWitt with 2 other writers talking about having their works translated into film.

294msf59
Edited: Oct 20, 7:48pm Top

>292 weird_O:



I am sorry, Bill, I'll go with with the bird!

295msf59
Oct 20, 7:50pm Top

>293 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Opinion seems to be mixed on French Exit, but I highly recommend The Sisters Brothers. This was an LT favorite.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Three.

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