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Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #4 of 2018

This is a continuation of the topic Whisper1 (Linda) Thread #3 of 2018.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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1Whisper1
Edited: Oct 7, 2:05am Top


From our house to yours, Happy Fall To All!

2Whisper1
Oct 7, 2:16am Top

BOOK #64


The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyes

This is another good, pleasant read by an author who knows how to write about romance and love without over dramatizing and being sappy.

This is a story of a woman who lives in the lap of luxury, but is very unhappy because of her cold, harsh husband.
She meets a man, falls in love.. Has a difficult time making a decision to leave. When she awakes in a hospital bed, she cannot remember things that occurred in recent months or years.

When she arrives back home, she tries to fit into a group of friends of whom she has little recollection. And, she finds letters that are hidden in various places throughout her house. A lovely, and sad letter in a book. Then, more equally loving. Slowly she knows that she loved someone else but knows someone else died in the car accident that occurred before her hospital visit. Who died? Was it her lover?

While this isn't stellar, it picked up mid way and I was compelled to finish the book.

Easy to read.

Three Stars

3Ameise1
Oct 7, 3:07am Top

Happy new thread, Linda.

4Whisper1
Oct 7, 9:43am Top

Hi There, How are things in Switzerland?

5Ameise1
Oct 7, 10:14am Top

>4 Whisper1: Very good, thanks so much. I enjoy the lovely autumn colours. It's definitely my favourite season.

6Carmenere
Oct 7, 10:48am Top

Happy new thread, Linda!! Will this be your retirement thread? :0D

7Crazymamie
Oct 7, 10:54am Top

Happy new one, Linda!

8karenmarie
Oct 7, 10:57am Top

Hi Linda! Happy new thread, and happy retirement month.

I hope the discomfort from the cataract surgery is over.

I hope you're getting EXCITED about retiring.

The one thing people told me about retirement and that I followed religiously: Do not volunteer for anything the first 6 months of retirement. It feels like all the time in the world at first, but then as you dig deep and relax and find the lovely things you never thought you had time for you wouldn't want social/volunteer obligations to start seeming like a burden. The solution? Don't create any obligations for quite a while. In fact, I'd change the recommendation to a year. Don't volunteer for anything for a year. *smile*

9FAMeulstee
Oct 7, 4:28pm Top

Happy new thread and happy fall to you, Linda!

I hope the pain is bearable and you are going to enjoy your retirement at the end of this month.

10jnwelch
Oct 7, 8:33pm Top

What Anita said, Linda. Happy New Thread, and congratulations on retirement looming!

11Berly
Oct 7, 10:29pm Top

Happy new one, Linda!!! The official countdown has begun. Hope you are getting excited about the big R. : )

12LizzieD
Oct 7, 11:03pm Top

Happy days are on the way, I trust!
Your house is very welcoming and so it your thread, dear Linda.
Karen has it exactly right! Give yourself time to unwind and explore before you commit to anything unless you KNOW you have a volunteer job you're going to love.

13ronincats
Oct 8, 12:24am Top

Happy New Thread, Linda!

14drneutron
Oct 8, 8:14am Top

Happy new thread!

15johnsimpson
Oct 8, 3:52pm Top

Hi Linda my dear, Happy new thread and hope you are looking forward to retirement. As everyone seems to have said, don't commit to anything for at least a year and then you can decide what you would like to do rather than people trying to persuade you to do something just because you have time on your hands.

Hope you and Will have had a really nice weekend now the Fall is gathering pace, sending love and hugs to you both from the pair of us dear friend.

16Whisper1
Oct 8, 5:10pm Top

So many lovely people leaving such wonderful messages. I did change my mind about jumping into something soon after retirement. I was going to coordinate the children's program at my local library. I decided to step back and wait awhile. Thanks for all of you who recommended this way to ease into retirement.

I will not miss the politics of academia. I will miss some of the lovely students I've worked with on teaching publication design and writing. Fall is my favorite time, and a good time to retire. I navigated through social security -- surprised that I am receiving more than I thought -- medicare Park G is in place and paid for the next month, and today called regarding a prescription plan. Because I have 14 prescriptions, I will have to sign up for a plan that has a 415 amount before it kicks in to cover prescriptions. I'll wait until January to do that. Therre is no sense in covering a 415 deductible for two months, and then starting all over again in the new year.

It really was time consuming to get this all together. In addition, I am fortunate to have a pension with TIAA CREF. Navigating through that took time as well. It is one of the times when I am glad that I have an accounting degree and can plan according to current and future value.

Thanks again to all of you who stopped by. I am blessed, again and again

17Whisper1
Oct 8, 5:15pm Top

BOOK #65


The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

A group of first-time mothers get together and meet under a tree in the park. Members come in and out, leaving a core who share information. When some members decide to take a break from parenting and meet at a bar for a few drinks, one of the mother's returns home to an empty crib. Her baby boy was kidnapped.

From there on, the plot twists and turns and becomes way too convoluted. It was difficult to keep track of each member, their story and the fact that one of them may have been responsible.

It was a good plot. But, I give the book only three stars. It really was way too unnecessarily hard to keep track.

Three stars

18cyderry
Oct 8, 11:13pm Top

>16 Whisper1: So glad that it hears like everything is falling in place for your upcoming retirement! I definitely understand about appreciating an accounting degree when planning this out. I had my ideas and Tim had his but between the 2 accountants in the family we worked it out.

Hope you have something special planned for the first few months so that you will slide into retirement with happy thoughts!

19Whisper1
Oct 9, 1:08pm Top

>18 cyderry: Thank you dear friend! I anxiously await November 1st. Because there is an age gap between Will and I, I look forward to spending more time together and enjoying the adventures ahead.

20Whisper1
Edited: Today, 4:00pm Top

BOOK #66
LIBRARY BOOK




Small Fry by Lisa Brennan Jobs

Destined to be one of the top favorite books of 2018, this is truly such a great book that writing a review is difficult.

Told from the perspective of Lisa Brennan-Jobs, this is the story of her mercurial relationship with her famous father, Steve Jobs. While her father, the creator of the Mac Apple computer, and creative consultant of Pixar movie studios, became a mega millionaire, Lisa and her mother often lived without food and shelter. Roaming from one place to another, their existence was fraught with despair and longing.

Originally, when her father discovered her impending birth, he wanted nothing to do with her or her mother. When her mother finally was able to obtain support money, Jobs made sure that his lawyer drew up, and had the papers signed the day before his company went public, thus immediately rendering him a mega millionaire for the rest of his life, while keeping his illegitimate family always on the fringe.

Hauntingly beautiful, Lisa tells of the hippie style life her mother and father lived when they met. After years of abandonment, he sporadically showed up at the latest residence her mother could afford and took Lisa with him for short periods of time.

As the years progressed, her father decided to invite her to his luxurious mansion in the hills of California. Consistently referring to her as "Lis," his mood swings and temperamental behaviors left Lisa never knowing what way the wind would blow, or what small incidental event provided an opportunity for him to lash out with purposeful hate while spewing vile, exceedingly nasty, diatribe mental comments to any one in his path.

Always knowing she was on the outside, while desperately craving his attention, that attention came sporadically, and at times inappropriately crude. As Jobs married and had three other children, the hurt became more extreme; once she overheard one of her step sisters refer to her in public as "my father's mistake." Job's website mentioned a wife and three children. For all to see, Lisa his first of four, was not included.

When Jobs knew he was dying, he verbally tried to assuage his guilt while telling "Lis" that he knew that for many years, he wasn't there for her, and now it was too late. On his death bed he repeatedly told her "I owe you one." Lisa knew "One" would never be enough!

Exquisitely written, hauntingly told, this is a compelling story of a brilliant and very emotionally troubled man and the wake of grief left for those who tried to grapple with ambivalent and confusing feelings about him.

21laytonwoman3rd
Oct 10, 5:27pm Top

So you're on the home stretch to retirement....congratulations on getting everything in order. I'm sure a lot of people don't realize just how much there is to that, but planning ahead means you can really sigh and relax when the time comes. I had no intention of retiring when I did (I thought I'd have another six months) so there was some fast thinking done in about 30 days here, but my husband is very good at that stuff. And I didn't mean to take on any volunteer obligations right away, but one landed in my lap about a week after I was told I had to retire early, so I jumped at it....a seat on the library board of directors...too good to pass up, and I have not regretted it at all. But it did not actually start for six months. I think you're smart to give yourself a gap to get used to being in charge of your own time, to relax and enjoy Will's company, to just stay home when winter weather is wretched...

22figsfromthistle
Oct 10, 5:42pm Top

Happy new thread!

23Whisper1
Edited: Oct 12, 6:50pm Top

Hi Linda. I found navigating through medicare, a supplemental plan, a prescription plan, and then how much to keep in my pension, and how much to receive on a monthly basis was very daunting. Because I have a lot of prescriptions, one of the few plans that worked for me has a $415 up front payment until I receive the drugs discounted. I believe I will be in the infamous donut hole.

Lehigh held a retirement plan, including a panel of three who had retired and came back to give guidance. I found myself tightening as I listened to the three people talk about making 23 foreign trips, or buying a tesla car, and the third person said, she doesn't need to tap into her retirement, and was more than a tad full of herself in explaining just how much money she has.

I am an exempt employee who makes a decent salary after 36 years, but honestly, most of the people in attendance were support staff who certainly were not at the luxury level that those three. I knew then that it was time to get out of academia with its never- ending hierarchical levels of the haves and the have nots. I heard staff express how belittled they felt.

I want to get out before the negativity sets in. I've enjoyed working with hundreds of students throughout the years. I cherish the relationships I built with students and co workers and various marvelous people throughout the university.

The university will be implementing a new parking plan in January. Everyone must pay $500 per year...originally it was going to be $600. No one will be parking on campus, rather, employees will be bused to designated areas where we park our car. And, all handicap spaces will be eliminated. Thus, forcing me to retire even if I wasn't ready to do so. I'm not sure how they can get away with eliminated handicap spaces.

Again, I thought of the single woman who have children in day care and need their job, and cannot afford that much money out of their pay, nor do they have the luxury of working from home, or a flexible schedule. This plan means that in perfect conditions, it will take at least an additional hour per day to wait for the bus, to get to the far-away parking lots, to get their cars and then drive in the hope they get to the day care in time.

I really am more than ready to start a new life.

ah, thanks for listening to the rant. It is time to leave!

24Whisper1
Oct 10, 9:32pm Top

>22 figsfromthistle: Hello, and thanks for stopping by!

25ronincats
Oct 10, 9:38pm Top

How completely insensitive of them, Linda! I am very fortunate to have a good pension (funded by 8% of my salary for 30 years), and I put the maximum amount in my 401K as much as possible, and haven't had to touch that, but I know how very, very fortunate I am in this day and age. Even so, medical coverage and figuring out the details was a major undertaking. I'm glad that you seem to have worked it out and wish you much happiness in retirement.

26LizzieD
Oct 10, 10:56pm Top

I do remember the process of retiring - and not fondly. It's all worth it in the end. Meanwhile, it sounds as though they have somebody's hateful brother-in- law coming up with that parking plan. How insensitive! (To say the least) I'm glad that you will be out of it.

27cyderry
Oct 11, 12:03am Top

>23 Whisper1: I feel very fortunate that Tim says that he won't be ready to retire for another 14 years (when he's 80), I laugh because most of the time now (especially in spring, summer and fall) he is playing golf with the investors, bankers, and lawyers 2-3 days a week. Such a tough job! Since he is still "working" we still get health insurance as well as full salary. I haven't had to touch my retirement 401K and every time I say something about taking money out, his response is "why?" save it til wee need it. good advice I guess.

You will be very fortunate that you have Will with you when you retire and together you'll be able to spend time doing those things that you "never had time for" Enjoy!

28laytonwoman3rd
Oct 11, 12:56pm Top

>23 Whisper1: Having visited the Lehigh Campus, I was struck by how inhospitable it seemed to handicapped individuals generally. How DO employees and students with disabilities get around with all the steps and hills?

29jnwelch
Oct 12, 4:49pm Top

Terrific review of Small Fry, Linda. The touchstone seems to the wrong book. If you post the review on the book page, I'd be happy to thumb it.

My wife loves memoirs, and I'm going to mention this one to her.

30Whisper1
Oct 12, 7:06pm Top

>27 cyderry: Hi Cheli..It sounds like a great set of benefits.
>28 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda The campus is stunningly beautiful, but truly for the young students to navigate. Us older folk have a very difficult time. The notion that they can do away with handicap spaces is one that I think will bite them.
>29 jnwelch: Thanks very much Joe. I think I fixed the problem, and the title should reflect the correct link. I think your wife would really like this excellently written book.

31Whisper1
Oct 13, 9:32pm Top

BOOK 67

Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
BOOK OFF THE SHELF

Lainey and Jay have what appears to be a perfect marriage, until it all comes crashing down, literally! Jay left the house that morning for work and an ice cycle hanging over his head broke, rendering Jay immovable.
Lainey confides her fears that Jay may never come out of the coma to her dear friend and neighbor Alice, and it is their relationship that makes this book strong.

Alice is stable, predictable, someone to count on. She gladly watches Lainey's two young daughters as day after day Lainey visits Jay in the nursing home as he lies in a coma state. Gradually Lainey brings soft memories that might open his mind and heart to regain what they once had.

And, as Lainey shares her fears, and Alice outlines exactly why she believes her husband is cheating on her, the two laugh and cry.

This is very much what I've come to rely on regarding Berg's writing. There are soft images of difficult days handled the best one can possible know how to navigate. The love is real and solid, and the heartbreak of betrayal for Alice and uncertainty for Lainey create a very strong, unbreakable bond.

Thanks to my friend Diane Keenoy for bringing the books of Elizabeth Berg into my life!

32Whisper1
Edited: Oct 16, 8:23pm Top



Sending hello to all, wishing a peaceful evening.

33laytonwoman3rd
Oct 16, 10:37pm Top

>32 Whisper1: Oh, how lovely!

34souloftherose
Oct 17, 6:36am Top

Stopping by to say hello Linda and adding my good wishes for your retirement.

>32 Whisper1: That is a beautiful photo!

35brodiew2
Oct 18, 8:58pm Top

>32 Whisper1: Hello to you as well, Whisper1! A beautiful photo, indeed.

Happy new thread!

36rainpebble
Edited: Oct 19, 7:02pm Top

Just sneaking over to share this with you. I would bet good money that
A Prayer for Owen Meany has been your choice.

Top 40 Books on Great American Read List
(LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, NOT BY VOTE RANKING)

1984; have yet to complete
A Prayer for Owen Meany;* have yet to read
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Read numerous times
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer;* Read
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland;* Read
And Then There Were None;* Read
Anne of Green Gables; Read numerous times; one of my go to books when I am down
Atlas Shrugged; have attempted numerous times
The Book Thief; have yet to read
The Catcher in the Rye;* Read
Charlotte’s Web;* Read
The Chronicles of Narnia; Read
(Series)*
The Clan of the Cave Bear; Read
The Color Purple;* have read numerous times; a real American classic
The Count of Monte Cristo; love this book & have Read it numerous times.
Da Vinci Code; Read
Dune;* Read
Gone with the Wind;* have Read numerous times
The Grapes of Wrath; have yet to read
Great Expectations;* have Read several times
The Great Gatsby;* Read
The Handmaid’s Tale;* I seem to have a block when it comes to Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter; (Series)* Read
The Help; Read
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy;* Read
The Hunger Games; (Series) have yet to read
Jane Eyre; have Read numerous times
The Little Prince; * Read
Little Women; have Read many, many times
Lonesome Dove*
The Lord of the Rings; (Series)*; Read
Outlander; (Series); Read more than once
The Outsiders;* have yet to read
The Pillars of the Earth; Read with 75er's group read hosted with ms59, Mark
Pride and Prejudice;* Read
Rebecca; Read
The Stand; * have yet to read
To Kill a Mockingbird;* MY CHOICE FOR THE GREAT AMERICAN READ
Where the Red Fern Grows; have Read
Wuthering Heights; have Read

Congrats on your retirement, dear friend. I hope all is well with you and yours.

37Dianekeenoy
Oct 19, 9:22pm Top

>31 Whisper1: I'm so glad you're enjoying Elizabeth Berg's books, Linda! You have to follow her on Facebook, her writing on every day topics can make you smile or bring you to tears!

38foggidawn
Oct 22, 12:47pm Top

>32 Whisper1: What a beautiful picture!

It sounds like a good time to retire. My parents did so in July, and they are enjoying it very much. I'm sure you will, too!

39brodiew2
Oct 22, 1:59pm Top

Hello Whisper1!

>36 rainpebble: Wow! Quite a list. sadly, I think I've only read about 10-12.

40Whisper1
Oct 22, 4:46pm Top

>37 Dianekeenoy: Diane there is simplicity in her books. Nothing is dramatic or over the top. It is simply great images phrases in a beautiful, simple way. Thanks for recommending this author to me.
> 38 Hi Mitsi. I have vacation days to use of lose. I'm using them to have a time of long weekend from taking off Friday and Monday. This provides a snapshot of what retirement might be like. Thus far, I'm really enjoying time spent reading resting and baking.
>39 brodiew2: Hi Brodie. I noted A Prayer for Owen Meany at the top. It remains one of my top three books since I read it years ago.

41Whisper1
Oct 22, 4:49pm Top

BOOK #68

A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen


While some may note this as trite and corney, I liked the simplicity of it all. The suggestion of turning off all phones and enjoying silence spoke to me. I've grown to dislike the sound of the phone, and the sound of people talking on their phones in public places. Somehow life is simply way to busy, filled with the needs of others. This book reminded me that there is simplicity in being still and listening.

42Whisper1
Edited: Nov 3, 8:54pm Top

ILLUSTRATED BOOK #2


Eleanor by Barbara Cooney
BOOK OFF THE SHELF

Eleanor lived a very sad childhood. She was not pretty, and was reminded of that by her mother often. She was awkward and reminded of that by her mother and others often. While her family was wealthy, they were not without problems. Eleanor adored her father because he seemed to be the only one who paid attention to her and loved her.

Sadly, he was an alcoholic and was ostracized by her mother's side of the family. When her parents lived apart, she was incredibly lonely. Through a series of tragic events, her mother, father and brother died, leaving her an orphan. Summers were spent with her Aunts and Uncles in a lovely, large home up in the HUdson river valley of NY .

It was only when she was sent to Allenswood, a private school, and under the care of Mlle. Souvestre, she gained confidence and accepted that she was intelligent and became outgoing. Years later, she would marry Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As a wife of the President of the United States, she grew to accept the challenges necessary to speak in public. She became a stanch defender of the poor and disadvantaged. Fighting for the rights of minorities, she also reduced unemployment and improved housing conditions for those who were poor.

Compassionate, kind, intelligent and dedicated, she was an incredible person.

43ronincats
Oct 22, 7:26pm Top

>43 ronincats: You remind me of one of the pleasures of my childhood. Whenever anyone was home, the TV was on. I loved the rare times when I was home alone in the house and could have the TV off and silence in the house. Nowadays, I still often keep the tv (and radio and CD player and phone) off during the day, turning it on for the 4 o'clock news, in my part of the house. Which is far away enough from my husband's office that I can't hear his television. Lovely.

44LizzieD
Edited: Oct 23, 10:22pm Top

Hi, Linda! What lovely illustrations in *Eleanor*! Thanks for letting us see them.
>41 Whisper1: >43 ronincats: Maybe the hardest thing about being with my mother is her insistence on having the TV on all the time. She doesn't pay attention to it when she's reading, but it irritates me no end, and I have a hard time concentrating on my books. Oh well. I'm grateful for the time with her and won't give it up.

45FAMeulstee
Oct 23, 3:59pm Top

>41 Whisper1: I feel the same about phones, Linda. Silence can be so comforting.

46jnwelch
Oct 23, 4:00pm Top

I love those Eleanor illustrations, too, Linda. Thanks for posting them. She's new to me. Sounds like a great book, too. I'm adding it to the WL.

47Whisper1
Edited: Nov 3, 8:54pm Top

BOOK #69

A Bite In the Apple by Chrisann Brennan

Teen aged lovers Steve Jobs and Chrisann Brennan lived in California and as this book depicts, they embraced a hippie lifestyle. No meat (muscle), lots of living on the edge (some could say mooching off others), attending growth groups, finding "meaning" in The Primal Scream by Arthur Janov, and talking the far out lingo of life as they knew it.

This type of life may have been fine for teens, but all too soon, actually growing up and realizing that daisy flowers worn one day, all too soon wilt the next in the scorching rays of reality. Living on the edge when you are mid twenties with a baby to raise, is a totally different experience than singing Bob Dylan songs and absorbing his words as a poetic way to feel groovy. And, the all- the -way- out life style could not pay the rent, or the food, or clothing for baby Lisa, named by Steve and Chrisann, when the she was approximately one week old as they sat in a field.

Chrisann and baby Lisa were soon abandoned by the Infamous Steve Jobs. And, when the California welfare agency demanded a blood test, it was proven that, despite Steve's loud protestations, the baby was indeed his. And, thus, Steve worked out a deal, in fact, a measly deal of payments barely enough to eek out a living.

Timed so that Chrisann signed the agreement the day before Apple became public, thus rendering Steve Jobs a mega millionaire, while his daughter and former girlfriend hardly survived. Supposedly, he and his work mates celebrated this staggering deceit.

The culture of Apple, Inc. is painted as a selfish bunch of wizards who were indeed sociopathic, narsisisstic, cruel beings. Supposedly, while Steve bought a brand new car whenever a scratch was found, by the time Lisa was nine, and she naively asked for one of his cars, he nastily told her "You get nothing!" "Do you understand, NOTHING!"

This book was difficult to read, not only because of Steve Jobs incredible lack of social skills, and lack of ability to dain to comprehend those outside of his God-like image of himself, but Chrisann truly was not as together as she painted herself to be. She did say she wasn't prepared for parenthood and thought of giving the baby up for adoption, but in the end simply couldn't do this. Instead, she kept the baby while begging Jobs to find meaning in his life via the daughter he procreated.

I finished reading the book, but midway grew very tired of Chrisann's self absorption and never ending tales of her marvelous spiritual insights of those who came into her radar. Weary of her non-stop artsy way of expressing her life and her soul, in the end I didn't feel sorry for her. It was baby Lisa who was left to find solid ground when all around was sinking sand.

48Berly
Oct 24, 11:58pm Top

>36 rainpebble: I have rad all of those except Rebecca. Feeling pretty good. ; )

>41 Whisper1: That book sounds very refreshing.

Linda--Getting close to R-day--hang in there! I know you are going to enjoy your new status so much. Hugs.

49klobrien2
Oct 25, 6:35pm Top

>69 I'm reading Lisa Brennan Jobs' book, Small Fry right now. The daughter has come through all of the drama all in one piece, although I feel like crying for the little girl she was.

I may have to read The Bite in the Apple soon. It would be interesting to "contrast and compare" (just like in school!)

Karen O.

50johnsimpson
Oct 26, 3:10pm Top

Linda, thank you for your lovely comment on my thread regarding my lyrical writing, it brought a tear to my eye that you think this way dear friend.

51Oregonreader
Oct 26, 4:57pm Top

Linda, your friends are right to advise you to ease into retirement. But you're going to love it!

52karenmarie
Oct 27, 8:42am Top

Hi Linda!

Thinking about as you start the next phase of your life. Enjoy.

53Familyhistorian
Oct 28, 7:10pm Top

Almost there, Linda. Enjoy your last few working days. I found it was more a time to spend with coworkers than to get any work done.

54jnwelch
Oct 30, 3:33pm Top

Almost there, Linda!

55Whisper1
Nov 3, 8:53pm Top

Thanks to all for your kind wishes. While the first day of retirement was officially November 1, I needed to go in the office to clear up some things from my computer. An hour became four. I left at noon, mindful of why I so need to retire. It is so very difficult to leave on time. I have very good memories, positive memories of good times with good people. But looking back on all the years of working through lunch, staying late, coming in on Saturdays...was very foolish.

My first 1/2 day I went to the library after I left Lehigh. And, I was aware that I didn't need to rush to get back to the office.
Yesterday, it rained all day, and nighttime too. I slept and read, read and slept, slept and read all day. It was marvelous.

Now, I will have more time to visit the threads of those who have patiently visited here while I haven't had time to reciprocate.

THANK YOU DEAR FRIENDS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!!!!

56Whisper1
Nov 3, 9:12pm Top

BOOK #70

Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg

While I adore the writing of Elizabeth Berg, and appreciate her slow style of description writing, this book fell short in many ways. I liked the characters of four women who, in mid life, during a pivotal time in their lives lived together in a large house. Unlike college-dorm living, they got along very well.

But, the book lacked a plot. The description of each life and what they longed to find at the end of the rainbow, fell short. Taking a road trip, each of the characters chose a person to visit with whom they had unfinished business. Along the way, the adventures were cute, but not enough to make this an enjoyable read.

I didn't connect with the book, but that doesn't mean I won't continue to continue to read more of her writings.

57Whisper1
Nov 3, 9:43pm Top

BOOK #71

Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender

The third book I've read about Steve Jobs, the billionaire, reckless, nasty, sociopath technology guru, this one went more in depth about the personality of Jobs and his two-layered persona.

While most of the story of a man who left his first child behind, allowing her to live homeless and with a mother who tried, but just could not get her act together, this book was more in depth regarding the history behind the man.

Interestingly, the Pixar/Disney movie of The Toy Story, would not have been as good without Jobs changing the personalities of the characters. Disney needed Steve Jobs because the exceedingly great technology of Pixar is what brought the movie to one of the most money-making movies for Disney.

There is a story of the young Jobs as he is working his way through the technology world of California and realizing that he was brilliant but would never fit in. During a conference, Jobs in a menacing manner was screaming and yelling like a child. Made to leave the room and the conference, he was found outside crying in his car, interestingly telling the person who checked on him that he knew indeed that he didn't fit it and was really a dual person inside one body.

Next up, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, then I will have depleted my search to know the real man who was incredibly intelligent and equally as cruel and socially inept.

58foggidawn
Nov 3, 9:55pm Top

Congratulations on your retirement!

59Whisper1
Nov 3, 11:17pm Top

Thanks Misti. I hope to eventually help with either the children's program, or the YA reading group. I may look to you for guidance. I will volunteer.

60souloftherose
Nov 4, 7:28am Top

>55 Whisper1: Congratulations on your retirement Linda!i

61karenmarie
Nov 4, 7:40am Top

Hi Linda!

So glad you did two of the most important things right after retiring - reading and sleeping.

Remember to not set the alarm. Even after almost 3 years of being retired, I still revel in NOT having to get up to an alarm.

62msf59
Nov 4, 8:10am Top

Happy Sunday, Linda. Hooray for retirement and more reading time! Yah!!

I did find Small Fry on audio. I hope to bookhorn it in, before the end of the year.

63Berly
Nov 4, 5:15pm Top

Linda!! You have retired!!! Congratulations. And I am glad you have your priorities straight. Nice review of Steve Jobs--someday I would like to read about him. When you are done with you research, tell me which one was the best!

64Whisper1
Nov 4, 7:39pm Top

Hi to Heather, Karenmarie, Mark and Kim!

Already, there is much to do. I made a big mistake in forgetting to register for part B Medicare. I thought I had everything covered. This is a very cumbersome difficult process. Truly, I don't know how elderly people can understand it all.

I spent a lot of phone and meeting time with TIAA CREF, the Teachers annuity pension plan of Lehigh. As soon as I thought I had all that taken care of, I noted that I don't have cover for doctor visits, which is what plan B covers. Yikes. I have so many doctor appointments each month.

I was fortunate to speak with a very kind man at the social security office, instructing me how to move forward and have coverage this month. Lehigh HR personnel were wonderful at the end of the day on Friday. The person in the office, actually signed the paper work and sent the pdf to me at 5:45. This was a great sacrifice on a Friday at the end of a long week.

I have to deliver all the paperwork to the SS office early tomorrow morning, then on to my accupressure appointment, then lunch with a friend whose calendar is filled with patients and wanted to see me to congratulate me on retirement. I couldn't say no. Then, in the evening, Will and family are treating me to dinner at my favorite restaurant. All in all, I cannot complain. These are all good things.

I will miss all the excellent university benefits. My accupressure will no longer be covered. The university paid for this for three and 1/2 years, twice a week at $115 a pop! Because it is one of the only things that helps deal with the pain, I will skimp on other things and pay out of pocket for this twice a week, four weeks each month.

Life is good. It is wonderful not to have to get up early in the morning every day. It is the first Sunday in a long time (other than surgery recovery, or vacation) that I didn't have to think about heading out at 7:0- a.m.

Blessings to all.

On another note, Suzanne is so very much in my heart and mind. She is dealing with so much regarding her beloved cat Molly. Tomorrow will be a very difficult day for her.

65ronincats
Nov 5, 11:47pm Top

Welcome to retirement, Linda! I am so glad you were able to remedy your Medicare part B issue--that could have been disastrous. Good thing we're in the middle of open enrollment period.

66Whisper1
Nov 7, 2:56pm Top

Roni, I thought I had everything covered. I was quite surprised and upset that I didn't handle this part of medicare.

Day three of my first full week of retirement, and what everyone said, is true; the days go by very quickly. I took three books back to the library, came home with five to read, plus four I purchased off the sale table.

I hope all is well with you.

67LizzieD
Nov 7, 11:11pm Top

Bless you, Linda! Once all the paperwork is done correctly and submitted to the right place, retirement is WONDERFUL!!!!! I can't tell you how happy I am that you're finally there. Enjoy! Enjoy!
Your book intake sounds right on target. I'll tell you: every day is a gift!!!!!

68Berly
Nov 8, 1:56am Top

>66 Whisper1: Glad retirement is agreeing with you already. : )

69thornton37814
Nov 8, 2:06pm Top

>66 Whisper1: Hurray for having time to go to the library! I mostly rely on their ebook and audiobook collection. I really hate the way our local library is laid out. Such a convoluted way to get into the library. Rather than offering an elevator, they used this ramp that takes up so much space which could be used for more materials. If I could grade the architect, I'd give him a failing grade!

70FAMeulstee
Nov 8, 5:09pm Top

Hi Linda, I am glad retirement becomes well. Sorry your medical coverage needed adjustment at the last moment.
Indeed it is luxury to wake without an alarm :-)

71cyderry
Edited: Nov 8, 5:37pm Top

>69 thornton37814: I can sympathize. When my local library (which I used to visit 3-4 times a week) was renovated, they put the handicap ramp at the opposite side of the handicap parking, and the ramp wound around the entire building before it got to the door. There were numerous complaints from the handicapped users mainly because of the time and effort it took to get to the door (terrible in bad weather). I now "visit" only when I have to pick up a real book which I have put on hold. Mostly, like you I rely on their e-books and audio downloadable books. I don't think I've been past the circulation desk since the renovation.

72Whisper1
Nov 8, 6:26pm Top

>67 LizzieD: Peggy, I swear each day brings a new challenge. Now, I received a curt letter from the prescription place where I will obtain my coverage in January. They mentioned that I cannot be covered because I have not had prescription coverage since 1998! Yikes....I wanted to scream! Where do they make this stuff up? I decided to have a stress free day and deal with this tomorrow.

One week, and with the exception of the crazy paperwork, it is going well. All the time that I spent recovering at home after surgeries, has eased the stress of my being in the house that Will had to himself for many years. Though, the sound of the tv loudly coming down from the loft is a challenge. Will very much needs a hearing ad, which he can obtain from the VA for free, but refuses to do so....I bought him a very nice set of ear set, he uses it sometimes......grrrr.

>68 Berly: Kim, I hope you are well and staying out of the hospital. I will have more time to visit you now that I am not working.

>69 thornton37814: Lori, I think libraries should look old. One of my local libraries has window seats tucked away in back spaces. A ramp? nah, that doesn't sound like a library. By the way, thank you so much for reading my Goodreads reviews.

>70 FAMeulstee: Hello Dear Anita. I visited your thread a bit ago. I am so very impressed by all the books you read this year!

>71 cyderry: Hi Cheli. Will checked phone messages and told me you called. I will call you tomorrow in the hope you are home. Thanks! I haven't started to read books via e-books. Somehow, I love the look and feel of the hard copy.

73Whisper1
Edited: Nov 8, 6:36pm Top

BOOK #72
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


Similar to all other books I've read about this very complicated man, Isaacson does a very credible job writing about a highly intelligent, and exceedingly difficult man.

While others focused more on his complex personality, this author delved more into the technology, In the end, it is amazing to realize on a deep level how very much Steve Jobs, and those brave enough to put up with him, changed the world.

74thornton37814
Nov 8, 7:22pm Top

>72 Whisper1: Goodreads is growing on me. There are some aspects of it I really enjoy. They certainly have more giveaway books I might enjoy than Early Reviewers. I also really like the way it keeps track of annual reading stats.

75LizzieD
Nov 8, 11:36pm Top

OH, LInda. I'm sorry that I can commiserate with you on both counts. When we switched from the old health insurance to the new (preferred by the state teachers' retirement plan), the new company told me that I hadn't had any coverage for 6 years. It took days and days of phone calls to get it straightened out. But it did get straight, so COURAGE!
AND my mama has to have the television blaring from the moment she gets up. She can ignore it and read to her heart's content, but I can't concentrate on anything any more demanding than light entertainment. I'd really like to read something with some mental meat. I know I should get earphones or something, but that seems churlish since we do talk to each other when we're in the same room. So - oh well.
Good luck to us both!

76karenmarie
Nov 9, 8:53am Top

Hi Linda!

I had problems when I switched to Medicare - getting the old insurance removed from my doctor's office's system, getting BC Advantage added at the pharmacy, THEN getting approval for the muscle relaxant my doctor prescribes for my teeth-clenching at night because it's not on the Medicare formulary.

Now, however, 5 months in, things are under control and I'm going to stay with BC advantage for next year.

When my husband gets home, the TV comes on immediately. When he comes out of the bedroom on weekend mornings, the TV comes on immediately. Fortunately, he's not hard of hearing and keeps it down, mostly. If I'm in the Sunroom I can hear it but have learned to tune it out. If I really don't want to hear it I go upstairs to daughter's former rec room, my Retreat. Or, this might seem strange but may work - if the loft has a door, and even closed it's too loud for you, perhaps you could get a metal exterior door for up there. We did that with Bill's Media Room (when he still used it - sigh), and it really reduced the noise level downstairs.

77Whisper1
Nov 9, 9:40am Top

HI Peggy, Lori, and Karenmarie! Happy Friday. I very much like the openness of our house, but other than Will wearing the head set I bought him, the loud sound comes down from upstairs. Unlike me, when I know there is a solution, I seek it. He knows he has a severe hearing problem, but refuses to get a hearing aid. I think I will have to read in the downstairs bedroom. It is large, nice and has a comfortable chair. I think I will need to make it my space and rearrange things so it suites.

Peggy, God love you for opening your home to your mother. My grand mother lived with me for a while. She was ambulatory, but an extreme introvert who was afraid of making new friends. Sadly, she outlived every one of her friends. I found a wonderful place where there were people her age living independently, but checking on each other to be sure all was well. Soon after she moved, she told me to be sure to get her home because four o clock was coffee time with the group. I knew then that she had adjusted.

I miss her so much. She died 16 years ago. I always felt that she took care of me when I was little, and it was my turn to take care of her when she was older.

78Whisper1
Nov 9, 10:08am Top

BOOK #74

Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster by James Howe

Obtained through Library Thing ER, this is a delightful book about friendship. Houndsley and Catina are best friends. When his flamboyant, extra, extratrovert cousin Wagster comes for a visit, Houndsley becomes sad and threatened by Wagster's ability to charm Catina.

Appearing to do everything right, Houndsley feels threatened and jealous. Kind and sensitive Catina explains that the glow of Wagster will diminish and Houndsley will always keep that special place in her heart.

In addition to excellent images by Marie-Louis Gay, but this is a story of friendship that both young and old can relate.

I read this, then read it again. The small details in the illustrations are incredible. Watch for them carefully. This book is a joy to behold.


79jnwelch
Nov 9, 12:38pm Top

Hi, Linda. Congrats on retirement! It sounds like you’re adjusting fast, and, like you, one of the best parts for me is not getting up early in the morning! I used to get up before 5 am so I could do something physical (running, walking, exercise) before going to work. I don’t miss that.

It’s amazing how quickly the day goes by, isn’t it. Getting healthcare squared away was the biggest challenge for me, too. I still have ties to my workplace to keep the healthcare there going, but at some point I’ll be switching to Medicare, too.

80Whisper1
Nov 9, 5:23pm Top

Hi Joe

Happy Retirement. When, and where is your next trip?

81LizzieD
Nov 9, 11:32pm Top

>77 Whisper1: Dear Linda, I love you for caring for your grandmother! Just to be clear, my mom moved into her own little house across the street from us 35+ years ago and is still there. I'm with her there 12 hours a day except for my swims and 2 social ventures each month without her. I can't tell you how grateful I am that she can be at home rather than in a retirement facility. That will come but not soon, DV, but this is really easy on the three of us.

82Whisper1
Nov 10, 4:53pm Top

Thanks for the clairity Peggy. How much I respect you. I know personally how challenging taking care of an elderly loved one. I don't regret a single day or hours of experiences my grandmother and I had together. Sadly, my sisters did not assist in any way. I'm not biter about this. I know this is somehow common in families that one person takes charge. When my grandmother passed on, I felt sad that my sisters did not have the experiences I did.

I was in deep grief when my grandmother died of kidney cancer. I was by her side throughout hospice experience. She died knowing she was loved. In my sadness, after she died, she communicated with me three times in ways that could only be interrupted by a special memory. I have no doubt she is at peace. She had a very difficult life, but always rose above it and continued to be a loving, caring person throughout her entire life.

83Whisper1
Edited: Nov 10, 5:00pm Top

CURRENTLY READING
AND

84laytonwoman3rd
Nov 10, 6:43pm Top

I have found in retirement that it is absolutely necessary to have a "room of my own" that I can retire to, and be left alone. My husband has his space downstairs where his workbench is (he works on watches, builds model ships, etc.) and I have my "office" upstairs. So we can each absorb ourselves in our silence or music, or what-have-you, without disturbing the other.

85Whisper1
Nov 10, 8:55pm Top

Week one of retirement and I think things will work out. There is a large room downstairs with tv and nice chair. I also have a lot of books in there. My guess is that I will make this my space, as he also likes his alone time. I wish he would get a hearing aid, but I don't think that will happen.

Is it pretty in your area of PA? We had such a rainy summer and odd fall that the trees never really became the beautiful reds, oranges and yellows they usually have this time of year. Still, we are experiencing a lot of rain, and the leaves are coming off the trees and blowing down the streets.

All good wishes to you.

86Whisper1
Yesterday, 11:00am Top

BOOK #75


Eleanor and Hick by Susan Quinn

A good book that seemed to take a long time to get through. Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickock had a long-term relationship. Early in the marriage when Eleanor discovered Franklin's breakage of his marriage vows to woe Eleanor's private secretary, Eleanor knew that wanted to divorce him, but his running for the US Presidency precluded that option. She was by his side when necessary, but basically found her own options for closeness and love.

Different in personality, Hick was broad in both weight and in the way she expressed herself. Eleanor chose the middle ground in conflict. Formerly a highly acclaimed AP reporter, Hick gave this up in order to be by Eleanor when ever possible. Traveling throughout the mid west during American's terrible financial depression, she wrote to FDR of grown men crying while standing in line hoping for employment in order to feed his family.

There were interesting tidbits throughout the book, particularly how the Roosevelts freely used the White House as a stopping place for friends and relatives to stay long term.

Highly intelligent, both women pushed for jobs programs and personally fed people throughout their travels.

Hick seemed to want more than Eleanor could give. Theirs was a long lasting relationship that had tremendous range of feeling and compassion.

87Whisper1
Yesterday, 11:26am Top

BOOK #76
Library Book


A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

This is an emotional, well-rounded book regarding the difficult topic of abortion. Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, is called to the scene of a women's health service clinic where an out of control man is holding women and the staff who assist them hostage.

Called to the scene, Hugh did not know that his daughter is one of the hostages. In addition to providing reproductive counseling and means of birth control, this is first and foremost a clinic wherein women in Mississippi can obtain an abortion.

When Hugh learned his daughter was a hostage, he should have immediately stepped back and allowed another to take over. Instead, he remained in this emotion-laded scene. The man holding women and a male doctor hostage had already shot and killed someone inside by the time Hugh arrived.

Picoult told the tale of those inside, how they came to be in the center, and the story behind what led to their decisions.

As the out-of-control male, bent on harming those inside the facility, Hugh must remain even keeled while trying to save his daughter and those in the center, including his Aunt who came with his daughter that day.

It is obvious that a lot of research went into this book. It is heart-wrenching, and incredibly well written.

Once again, Picoult never fails to bring the reader into the story.

88Whisper1
Yesterday, 1:54pm Top

CHILDREN'S ILLUSTRATED BOOK #4


Little Frog and the Scary Autumn Thing by Jane Yolen with illustrations of Eleen Shi

Jane Yolen is one of my favorite authors. When I saw this illustrated book, I had to bring it home from the library.
It is a cute tale of a frog who is experiencing fall for the very first time. Afraid of any color but green, he gingerly, hesitantly hops from green to orange, to yellow, to read pads along the water.

Hearing the sound of his father in the distance is incentive to put fear aside and find where his papa is among the colors.

89drneutron
Yesterday, 3:18pm Top

Congrats on zipping past the goal!

90FAMeulstee
Yesterday, 5:30pm Top

>86 Whisper1: Congratulations on reaching 75, Linda!

91figsfromthistle
Yesterday, 5:32pm Top

You made it! Congrats! A spark Of Light looks to be a good read. On my wishlist it goes :)

92Whisper1
Yesterday, 8:22pm Top

>89 drneutron: Thanks for visiting Jim
>90 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita, I didn't think I would make it. I'm glad I did. I know you read many, many books than I do. I am always impressed with your reading abilities.
>91 figsfromthistle: Thanks. Yes, A Spark of Light is a good one, beware that it is quite emotional.

93jnwelch
Edited: Yesterday, 8:57pm Top

>80 Whisper1: We just had a great time visiting Madame MBH's aunt in western MA for a few days, Linda. Next up is Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, where our son, his wife and baby Rafa are.

94Deern
Today, 9:29am Top

Happy Retirement, Linda - oh, and Happy 75! :D

>32 Whisper1: This is SO beautiful and calming!

>20 Whisper1: Very touched by your review of Small Fry! I didn't know any of that, as I'm usually not interested in "the people behind brands and products" which also means I don't tend to idolize them. Still, it was surprising that he dared behaving that badly that openly instead of "just paying up" and let be.

>47 Whisper1:, >57 Whisper1:, >73 Whisper1:... Wow, that's a lot of Jobs books.

>85 Whisper1: that downstairs room sounds lovely and inviting!

95karenmarie
Today, 9:34am Top

Hi Linda!

>85 Whisper1: There is a large room downstairs with tv and nice chair. I also have a lot of books in there. Sounds perfect. You should name it - mine's The Retreat.

96streamsong
Today, 10:52am Top

Hi Linda! Happy retirement and congrats on reaching 75!

I hope your stress melts away and with it more of your pain.

I don't think it's a bad thing to look for a limited volunteer opportunity - an hour once a week or so -to see some new faces. I think you're wise, though, to decide not to take on a major volunteer assignment.

It will be a bit of a challenge, but I know you'll adjust and come to cherish your free time and more time with Will.

I'm loving your reviews.

97Donna828
Today, 12:30pm Top

It sounds like retirement is agreeing with you, Linda, except maybe for the loud television. I have a husband who must have the TV on whenever he is in the room. Luckily, we have a 3-story house so I have plenty of spaces where I can read in silence. My main objection is that his eyes keep straying to the TV when we are having a conversation. It's a wonder we've lasted 50+ years!

I've heard so many Medicare horror stories that I'm glad that DH still works and will continue to do so as long as he is breathing. Haha. We will keep the insurance that we are used to because change at our age is always difficult.

Congratulations on reading 75 books!

98msf59
Today, 6:40pm Top

Congrats on hitting 75, Linda! Good review of Eleanor and Hick too. It inched on to my list.

Ooh, sorry to hear about your mid-November snowstorm. What a bummer. We just got an inch or so and it did not stick around, which is fine with me.

99Whisper1
Today, 6:57pm Top

>93 jnwelch: Joe, we hope to travel after word of when my ninth spinal surgery will occur. For now, I am getting a second opinion, something I should have done a long time ago. Thanksgiving with baby Rafa...what a joy that will be!

>94 Deern: Natalie, It is wonderful to find you here. I heard a review of Small Fry on NPR. They were interviewing the author/daughter of Steve Jobs. As usual, NPR did a magnificent job of asking poignant questions which brought feelings to words. It was obvious that Jobs was mentally impaired, brilliant, but emotionally lacking basic social skills or the ability to understand how his intentional hurting caused deep pain in those he harmed. One of the things that stood out to me in the interview was that Lisa mentioned visiting her father's computer page, wherein he mentioned three children. The first, her, was not even listed. I'm amazed that she was able to continue a relationship with him after all the intentional harm and neglect.

I usually find one subject, or author and exhaust the topic or number of books written by or about the person or subject. I've done that since I was a child and discovered the joy of reading.

100Whisper1
Today, 6:58pm Top

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