Joe's Book Cafe Door 19
This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe Door 18.
This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe Door 20.
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My reading so far.
1. Artemis by Andy Weir
2. Bella Poldark by Winston Graham
3. Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros
4. God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell
5. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
6. The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie
7. The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
8. Bizarre Space A Kid's Guide by Jenn Dlugos and Charlie Hatton
9. Lessons on Expulsion by Erika L. Sanchez
10. Binti The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
11. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
12. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
13. Warcross by Marie Lu
14. Hardcore Twenty-Four by Janet Evanovich
15. The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
16. The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson
17. Neogenesis by Sharon Lee
18. The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri
19. Girl in a Plain Brown Wrapper by John D. MacDonald
20. A Tan and Sandy Silence by John D. MacDonald
21. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
22. Shock by Shock by Dean Young
23. A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
24. Lightning Blade by D.N. Erikson
25. Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami
26. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
27. The Power by Naomi Alderman
28. Light Boxes by Shane Jones
29. Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
30. In Pursuit of Memory by Joseph Jebelli
31. A Local Habitationby Seanan McGuire
32. For We Are Many by Dennis Taylor
33. All These Worlds by Dennis Taylor
34. One Goal: A Coach by Amy Bass
35. We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
36. Artificial Night by Seanan Macguire
37. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
38. Where Now New and Selected Poems by Laura Kasischke
39. Wires and Nerve* by Marissa Meyer
40. Wires and Nerve Volume 2* by Marissa Meyer
41. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
42. And the earth did not devour him by Tomas Rivera
43. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
44. Camp Austen by Ted Scheinman
45. The Beauty: Poems by Jane Hirschfield
46. Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
47. Hellbent by Gregg Horwitz
48. The Disappeared by C.J. Box
49. The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
50. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
51. Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser
52. Selected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes
53. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
54. Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Espenbeck
55. Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos
56. The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman
57. Sandman Omnibus Vol. 2* by Neil Gaiman
58. Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman
59. Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer
60. Brazen Rebel Ladies* by Penelope Bagieu
61. The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
62. Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith
63. It Happens in the Dark by Carroll O'Connell
64. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire
65. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
66. One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
67. Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg
68. One Robe, One Bowl by Ryokan
69. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
70. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
71. Worth Dying For by Lee Child (re-read)
72. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
73. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
74. The Book of Endings by Leslie Harrison
75. A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
76. Winter Long by Seanan McGuire
77. Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois McMaster Bujold
78. Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
79. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
80. The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths
81. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
82. The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths
83. After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (re-read)
84. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths
85. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie (re-read)
86. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
87. Red Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
88. Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie (re-read)
89. Mrs. McGinty's Dead by Agatha Christie (re-read)
90. The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
91. Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
92. What Would Jane Do from Potter Style
93. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
94. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
95. Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
96. Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire
97. Zen and Gone by Emily France
98. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
99. What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw by Agatha Christie (re-read)
100. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (re-read)
101. Case of the Missing Men* by Kris Bertin
102. Lord Peter Views the Body by Dorothy L. Sayers
103. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
104. Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
105. Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
106. Brown by Kevin Young
107. Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer
108. Selected Poems of Gwendolyn Brooks
109. House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
110. Circe by Madeline Miller
111. 4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie
112. The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill
113. Portugal* by Pedrosa
114. Broken Places by Tracy Clark
115. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
116. The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette
117. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
118. The Carrying by Ada Limon
119. Dictionary Stories by Jez Burrows
120. The Overstory by Richard Powers
121. Hell's Bottom, Colorado by Laura Pritchett
122. Full of Briars by Seanan McGuire
123. Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie (re-read)
124. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
125. Death at Sea by Andrea Camilleri
126. Buddha by Deepak Chopra
127. The Delight of Being Ordinary by Roland Merullo
128. Skeleton God by Eliot Pattison
129. Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire
130. Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson
131. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
132. Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames
133. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
134. The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
135. John Woman by Walter Mosley
136. Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Entrada
137. Changers: Drew by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
138. Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God by Tony Hoagland
139. Irish Country Love Story by Patrick Taylor
140. Changers Book Two by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
141. Changers Book Three by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
142. Changers Book Four by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
143. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
144. Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland
145. Murder in Retribution by Anne Cleeland
146. Murder in Hindsight by Anne Cleeland
147. Murder in Containment by Anne Cleeland
148. Murder in All Honour by Anne Cleeland
Illustrated Books 2018
1. Saga Volume 8 by Fiona Staples
2. Black Panther Avengers of the New World by Ta-Nehisi Coates
3. Black Panther Book Two by Ta-Nehisi Coates
4. Moon Knight by Jeff Lemire
5. Henchgirl by Rita Stradling
6. The Adventures of Dieter Lumpen by Jorge Zentner
7. Death The Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman
8. Going into Town by Roz Chast
9. Black Panther Book Three by Ta-Nehisi Coates
10. Black Panther World of Wakanda by Roxanne Gay
11. After the Rain by Andre Julliard
12. Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say
13. Leave it to Chance by James Robinson
14. Thornhill by Pam Smy
15. Lumberjanes Vol. 4 by Noelle Stevenson
16. The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux
17. Orphan Black Helsinki by Graeme Manson
18. Nemi by Lise Myrhe
19. Jane by Aline McKenna
20. Eye of the World Volume 5 by Robert Jordan
21. Andre the Giant by Box Brown
22. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
23. The Discworld Graphic Novels by Terry Pratchett
24. Starseeds by Charles Glaubitz
25. Why I Hate Saturn by Kyle Baker
26. Josephine The Dazzling Life by Patricia Hruby Powell
27. Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty
28. Paper Girls Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
29. Serenity No Power in the 'Verse by Chris Roberson
30. Hawkeye Kate Bishop Anchor Points by Kelly Thompson
31. Alpha Abidjan to Paris by Bessora
32. Drawing from Memory by Allen Say
33. Orphan Black Deviations by Heli Kennedy
34. Lazarus X+66 by Greg Rucka
35. How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis
36. Flight Volume 6 edited by Kazu Kabuishi
37. Feathers by Jorge Corona
38. Lady Killer Vol. 2 by Joelle Jones
39. Kill or Be Killed by Ed Brubaker
40. Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker
41. Royal City by Jeff Lemire
42. Runaways Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell
43. Wonder Woman Love and Murder by Jodi Picoult
44. American Gods Volume 1: Shadows by Neil Gaiman
45. Catwoman Final Jeopardy by Will Pfeifer
46. Batgirl Vol. 2: Son of Penguin by Hope Larson
47. Black Panther: Long Live the King by Nnedi Okorafor
48. Royal City Vol. 2 by Jeff Lemire
49. Orbital Vol. 1 by Sylvain Runberg
50. A History of Violence by John Wagner
51. All Summer Long by Hope Larson
52. Dr. Strange: The Way of the Weirdby Jason Aaron
53. Dr. Strange: The Last Days of Magicby Jason Aaron
54. Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan
55. Orphans Vol. 1 by Roberto Recchioni
56. Ms. Marvel Vol. 9 by G. Willow Wilson
57. Bitch Planet Vol. 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
58. New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 6 by Kazuo Koike
59. New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 1 by Kazuo Koke
60. The Golden Compass Graphic Novel by Philip Pullman
61. Strong Female Protagonist Book Two by Brennan Lee Mulligan
62. Hack/Slash Reanimation by Tim Seeley
63. Monstress Volume 3 by Marjorie Liu
*Also a graphic novel
2018 Favorites So Far
The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer
Circe by Madeline Miller
House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Where Now by Laura Kasischke
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith
The Carrying by Ada Limon
Priest Turns Therapist by Tony Hoagland
One Goal: A Coach, A Team by Amy Bass
Prairie Fires by Carolyn Fraser
Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Helligman
Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Binti The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Brief Cases by Jim Butcher
Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
Death at Sea by Andrea Camilleri
Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say
Sandman Omnibus Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman
Brazen Ladies by Penelope Baglieu
Alpha Abidjan to Paris by Bessora
Royal City by Jeff Lemire
American Gods Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman
Black Panther Long Live the King by Nnedi Okorafor
A History of Violence by John Wagner
Here's the obituary for my late father Lyndon:
Debbi and Darryl wresting for the check at Grand Cafe in Amsterdam Centraal train station
Debbi and Joe punting (think poling a boat, not American football) in Cambridge
An amazing poem from Yeats. Based on the discussions in the last cafe, is it timely?
The Second Coming
By William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
>9 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara. Kudos for your speed.
Coffee or tea? Pastry?
>13 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Don't those look nice, Caroline?
I can't wait to hear what you think of The Carrying. She is so good. (Touchstones are screwed up today).
I'm glad you love those colours. She's really talented, isn't she.
>18 Yummie, double espresso please and I help myself with the sweets. Thanks so much, Joe.
Happy new thread!
>10 jnwelch: I'll take a tea, and one of everything on that table!
Happy New Thread, Joe. Love the toppers and the Rafa photo. Sweet Thursday, indeed.
I am really enjoying Frankenstein. My debut voyage, believe it or not. Nothing, what I expected. Have you read it?
Also completely captivated with Praise Song for the Butterflies. This is Homegoing quality.
>17 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi!
Help yourself to the sweets, and here's that tea:
>18 msf59: Sweet Thursday, my friend!
Frankenstein! I loved it! So much more complex and interesting than what we've seen on film. We're going soon to see the the NT Film of the play that Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller did of it. I have hopes that it will be closer to the book than the films have been.
Great to hear re Praise for the Butterflies. I've been too busy reading Yeats to get far in the new Murakami, but I'm turning to that next. Don't miss that Yeats poem up in >8 jnwelch:. It's a stunner, and a whole lot of book titles have come from it.
I read Frankenstein last year for the first time since I was a teen. I did not really remember how different it was from all the film treatments.
And Happy new thread. I don't usually say that but it feels like a nice fresh start here after recent events. Other than the tiger, the topper made me think instantly of Green Mansions
>22 RBeffa: When I was a freshman in high school (that would be 67-68) Green Mansions rocked my world. It was one of the very first novels I read that could be called literature. It also keyed in to something of the times - to live gently on the earth - that resonated with me then as well as now. However ... when I re-read it last year, 50 years after the first time, it did not have the same impact at all. I can still recognize the strengths in it, but it is a novel of 1904, now 114 years removed. It has a gentle naive pace and sentiment to it. Is it worth a read? A qualified yes. Is it needed? probably not.
Happy New Thread, Joe! Great picture of you and Debbi punting along the river at Cambridge. My nephew - my sister's son, has been at Cambridge this past 3 years , getting his PhD in - errr , something to do with protein folding and genomes . It's a bit beyond me. I know my nephew has taken a lot of family visitors poling at Cambridge. My son and his wife, my brother and his rather large family ( 4 kids ) , and of course my sister and her husband. He lived in the Granary right on the water for his first year. He finished his Ph D sometime this fall or winter -not sure and where will he go after that for his " post -doc." He hopes Australia or New Zealand.
>27 RBeffa: Thanks, Ron. Fair enough. The old reads intrigue me. I may give it a go.
>28 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deborah. The punting was a fine way to end a day of touring Cambridge. We saw some people poling on their own - not easy! There was a lot of bumping into the bridges. Your nephew sounds multi-talented. It's a beautiful place to study. He must be some smart cookie.
>18 msf59: >21 jnwelch: Frankenstein! I’ve been watching the Great American Read on PBS and although I don’t get the whole “vote every day for your favorite” they have intrigued me with some of the titles and that’s one. Thanks to the program I read Lonesome Dove this summer and The Count of Monte Christo is on my list. I may do a re-read of A Separate Peace which I disliked in high school (the nuns most definitely missed the gay theme, as did I) so I might give that another look.
I really don’t care which one is voted “America’s favorite book” because that’s ridiculous but I do appreciate the program for jogging my memory about these titles.
Joe - Adam Mansbach will likely loan us the title of his graffiti novel, RAGE IS BACK, for November 6th.
>30 NarratorLady: How did I miss the Great American Read on PBS? I defintely have some items to add to my audio list. Joe and I are huge fans of The Count. I listened to the audio narrated by John Lee last year and fell in love. Such a great story. I have not gotten to Lonesome Dove and will likely put it off for a while. Giant tomes and long listens are cutting into my volume, if you get my meaning.
I read A Separate Peace in school as well, but I had the unique experience of attending a boarding school for my first two years of school. They certainly weren't teaching a gay them at the time as I recall. It certainly can be inferred and I don't know if they author confirmed it or not. oh well. Tragic story.
Happy new thread, Joe. I had not realized, until you posted >8 jnwelch: The Second Coming, how many book titles that poem inspired.
>30 NarratorLady: Hi, Anne. I did see that "Vote Every Day for Your Favorite" Great Read thing going on, and you've made me want to pay more attention. I understand folks saying that they can't pick one favorite, but I'd go with Pride and Prejudice.
You're going to have a great time with The Count of Monte Cristo! A classic that's so entertaining. Mark got me to read Lonesome Dove and I loved it. I had to read A Separate Peace in high school, too, and was impressed but didn't like it either. Your saying that there was a gay theme is news to me! I was so clueless back then. I realize now I had classmates who were gay, but the concept didn't register with me back then, and gay people understandably were surreptitious about it.
>31 m.belljackson: Ha! You got me, Marianne. I hope so!
>32 figsfromthistle: Thanks, figs!
>33 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I was just plugging The Count to Anne. I should listen to it on audio some time - great idea. You'll have quite a ride with Lonesome Dove when you get to it. What giant tomes are you working on?
A Separate Peace was a tragic story. I can understand why they assigned it in high school (I wonder whether they still do in some schools?), but I would've been happy with something else. Our daughter got assigned All the Pretty Horses, which I loved in later life, and she unfortunately hated it and won't go near Cormac McCarthy books now. It was assigned by her favorite English teacher, too.
>34 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I know, I had the same reaction when I realized that I was seeing book title after book title in The Second Coming. Probably because of that, I always mis-remember the poem title as Slouching Toward Bethlehem.
>35 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella!
Ha! I sense personal experience with punting involved here. :-) I sure wouldn't have wanted to try it. Maybe as a young hotblood, but at this stage we appreciated someone else doing all the work. Plus they (our guy and the punter next to us) told us stories of what we were passing on the river.
I thought Mark in particular would appreciate this one by our topper artist.
Hi Joe. Happy new thread. Such inviting toppers!
Just wanted to mention that on Darryl's thread, he posted some great (and important) links to some vital and timely reading suggestions by Barack Obama.
Happy New Thread, Joe! Your experience with punting on the River Cam appears to be far less nerve wracking than mine was, when Rachael (FlossieT) served as the punter for her three sprogs (who can no longer be called that), myself and Jenny (lunacat) in Cambridge back in 2011:
The first thing you'll notice is that punters normally hold their poles upright, whereas Rachael clearly is not. She kept misdirecting our overloaded craft from bank to bank, bumping in to other boats and occasionally the banks themselves, and causing ducks to flee for their lives:
Fortunately and miraculously Jenny was not beheaded by the pole, all three of her children survived the journey, and I didn't have a fatal heart attack...although I will undoubtedly lose my life if I were to remind her about the ordeal, which she probably still hasn't recovered from. The evening did end well, as I think that was the first time I met Fliss (flissp), as well as Jenny:
It looks as though I'll have most of Christmas Week off from work, and if that's the case I'll almost certainly return to London, as I need to make one more transatlantic trip to maintain my Gold Medallion status on Delta. Meeting up with Fliss, Rachael and her husband Rupert will be a high priority, especially since I missed seeing Rach in Cambridge last month.
ETA: Now that I think about it I met Fliss for the first time earlier in that 2011 visit to London. Neither she nor Rachael are active in this group any longer, but they remain amongst my dearest friends. Hopefully you & Debbi will get to meet them in the near future.
>41 jessibud2: and JOE -
I'd love to see a List of Suggested Readings (Reedings?) by d.trump, enlivened by sarcasm, irony, and humor, galore!
A GROPING MAN IN MOSCOW
>40 drneutron: Hiya, Jim! Thanks!
>41 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Thanks! I've become a Helena Perez Garcia fan.
I'm friends with Darry on Facebook, so I saw his post of Pres. Obama's comments and recommended reading there. I'm particularly interested in the Matthew Desmond article, as I thought Evicted was an amazing piece of work, and I admire Desmond.
Good afternoon, Joe!
>37 jnwelch: The giant tome I'm listening to is The Way of Kings by Brian Sanderson. I kept listening on the commute this morning and it possible that things are finally going to heat up. I'll stay the course as long as I can. The characters and story are interesting, but I'm not sure where it's leading. It is the first in a project series of 10 volumes, but I suspect I will be fine sticking with just the first.
>42 kidzdoc: Ha! That brings back memories, Darryl, and underscores the importance of having a professional punter pole the boat. Actually, I give Rachael major props for taking that on; she's a brave one. I'm envious you met lunacat/Jenny Butler. I hope to do that some day. I bet she's on the far right in your photo there? I know Fliss and Rachael have become good friends of yours. I hope we can work out a meetup with them on a future trip.
What did you think of Cambridge versus Oxford? Both are full of interesting history, but we enjoyed Oxford more. We'll probably go back there.
>43 m.belljackson: Nice, Marianne! Hmm. Miss Ogyny's Home for Peculiar Republicans?
>45 brodiew2: Good afternoon, Brodie!
Ah, I know a lot of folks like that Brandon Sanderson series. I liked his Elantris and the Mistborn books, and thought he did an excellent job of finishing off the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series. I'll look forward to your comments on this one. Ten books is a big commitment. I think the Jordan one ended up being 14 or 15 books, and they seemed to get longer and longer. Great storytelling, but I think the editors let him off the leash too much as the books became successful. A lot of the books' length after the first five seemed unnecessary.
" Mark got me to read Lonesome Dove and I loved it." Comments like this, make my incessant warbling worth every second.
Happy Friday, Joe. I am enjoying the day off. Went on a bird stroll, with a friend this morning. I do like having company. I have a few house chores to attend to but I should be able to squeeze in plenty of reading too. I have returned to Devotions, the Oliver collection. I should just buckle down and finish it. It goes down like a citrusy IPA, on a hot summer day.
>46 jnwelch: Absolutely, Joe. Rachael somewhat reluctantly agreed to be the punter, by default. Her eldest son offered to do so, but he was less experienced than she was, as she received her degrees from King's College, Cambridge and punted while she studied there. Since she is an alumna we were able to visit the Wren Library, King's College Chapel, and a few other university buildings that are normally off limits to the general public. IIRC the students hadn't returned to campus yet, so there were very few people around.
Yes, Jenny is on the far right, although thankfully not politically! I met her and her fiancé for dinner last month when we were there, which was the second or third time that I've met John, who is a very nice guy.
The best way to meet Fliss and Rachael together would be to have dinner and drinks with them in a pub in Cambridge, as we often do. I've met each of them numerous times in London, but never together IIRC. However, it wouldn't be too hard to meet Fliss for a play in the capital, and Rach for tea at the London Review Cake Shop, as she works two days a week in the nearby office of The London Review of Books on Little Russell Street.
Hmm. Cambridge vs Oxford...I'd probably choose Cambridge, thanks in large part to Rachael being an alumna, and because she, Rupert (a physician researcher who also studied at Cambridge) and Fliss (who is a research geneticist for the university) all live there. Claire was an excellent tour guide to Oxford when we went, but I've been to Cambridge far more often, at least a dozen times, I'm sure. Assuming that you & Debbi traveled by train you saw how easy and quick it is to travel from King's Cross to Cambridge, especially on the fast train that makes no stops and takes just under an hour to make the 65 mile journey.
>48 msf59: Ha! True story. How about, Mark convinced me to do a 75er thread, and here we are, all these years later? :-)
Happy Friday, buddy. I was just over on your thread, enthusing about you and your friend seeing those Great Horned Owls.
Ha! Oh man, you're going to be contacted by the publisher to blurb that Mary Oliver collection. It goes down like a citrusy IPA, on a hot summer day. Who can resist that?
>49 kidzdoc: The train to Cambridge was fast and easy, you're right. And it would make a difference I'm sure to have a friends like Rachael and Fliss and the others there. In our tour, we did get into the King College Chapel, which was indeed cool, and into some high end dining hall that doesn't usually admit tourists. I need to get back to Oxford to make a more informed comparison, but we sure enjoyed it, including the inspiration for the Hogwarts dining room.
Good to hear about Jenny's fiance. She deserves a very nice guy.
Oh, I want to get back to the London Review of Books store and that cake shop. We didn't make it this time, darn it.
>51 jnwelch: One big difference between Cambridge and Oxford is that the latter has far more independent and secondhand bookshops. I need to visit Oxford more often, especially since it takes roughly the same amount of time to travel there by train from Paddington or Marylebone.
I'll also have to visit Coimbra in Portugal when I return to Lisboa next spring, as it's supposed to be similar to Oxford, with a medieval university that was founded in Lisboa in 1290 and relocated there in 1537.
Agreed. Jenny deserves a nice guy, and based on how well we got on when we met this year and last John fits the bill nicely.
I also failed to visit the London Review Bookshop last month. Daunt Books has now become my go to bookshop in London, as its nonfiction section is nearly as good as the LRB's is, although the presence of the lovely Cake Shop means that the LRB remains my favorite one in the capital.
*avoids the Wrath of Rachael*
>51 jnwelch: Right re Oxford, and you may have come to realize what bookstore nerds we are. Perhaps you've even joined us in a bookstore one or a dozen times. I do remember the train ride as taking about the same amount of time as the Cambridge trip.
Yes, please scout out interesting places in Portugal like Coimbra for our future visit to see you there. :-)
We did get to Daunt, and bought a lot - I don't know what the threshold is, but for second time we got our books put gratis into one of their cool cloth bags. I treasure both. Ha! Stay in Rachael's good graces. We do love that cake shop.
Please let me know if you all get on Rafa overload. We loved these pics from the beach in Colombia.
OK, when we got together last Sunday, Mark reminded me that I hadn't posted any of my poetry in a long time. I have to admit, as I said to him, my dad dying threw me off. But I'm getting back into it. So here we go. This one is from a time in my youth - it ain't gonna be "over now" with Madame MBH until we both go to the big library in the sky.
Hmm. It's over now, isn't it.
More than once I've awoken
With no thought of you.
Your breast being freed from your blouse,
The falling, sinking inside you,
Is over now.
No smile over this coffee.
I drink and think of buckling down.
I've slept and dreamt as much as possible:
The raga music, knives thrown and received,
The intricate plots
Even better than TV.
I write about flying,
And don't know how any more.
Melody was entrancing, wasn't she,
Her voice like fingers tracing my arm.
I Ching says, "Coming to Meet."
Wait, let the fruit fall.
All these years of climbing ladders,
Waiting feels like pure scandal.
My lack of any interest is like the
Winter-stained cars outside my window,
Negotiating slowly the pot-holed street.
Happy new thread, Joe!
I like the girl with the tiger at the top, and there is no such thing as Rafa overload :-)
>54 jnwelch: No such thing as too much of that beautiful boy!
>33 brodiew2: The Great American Read has two more weeks to go. Here in Boston it airs Tuesdays but as they say "Check your local listings."
Their presentation of A Separate Peace mentioned the gay theme; I remembered very little about it. Sounds like those of us who were assigned it in high school didn't much like it. But however the producers formed their top 100 (they say it was a democratic survey), that one made the list.
Joe, I can't catch up, but I can assure you that if you put a Rafa picture in every post, it wouldn't be enough.
>54 jnwelch: Love the Rafa beach photos! Ellie likes to eat sand too LOL!
Hi Joe and happy new thread. Helena Perez Garcia is wonderful - we're all in favor of redheads and kitties at this house - and her other work is great, too.
Rafa is a cutie, and keep the photos coming. They make me smile.
All this talk of Frankenstein makes me want to go upstairs and fetch it downstairs. I have a beautiful Heritage slipcased edition, which will be a physical joy to read in addition to it sounding like a good read.
>7 jnwelch: Great pictures of the punting Joe! (Definitely ‘punting’ not ‘poling’ by the way). We used to go quite a lot, as Mr SandDune is pretty good at it - he can go in a straight line and has never hit anything or anyone else whilst doing it at least. We usually go the opposite way to most tourists - out of Cambridge into the countryside. It’s not so good from a tourist perspective - no medieval colleges to look at - but it’s lovely to find somewhere for a picnic. And it has the advantage of being quieter with fewer foreign students trying to sink each other.
Happy new thread, Joe!! Great pics! Rafa and the New Yorker! What a hoot. Great shots on the beach in Columbia too. This little guys getting around, isn't he?
>59 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! I'm glad you like the girl with the tiger. Thanks re Rafa!
>60 NarratorLady: Go Rafa! Thanks, Anne.
A book that so far no one here liked made the top 100 list for the Great American Read. Go figure. I wonder who voted it in for the democratic survey. The high school teachers union? :-)
I'm going to find the PBS Great American Read 100 via Googlizing for starters. Intriguing!: http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books/#/
P.S. What a bizarre collection! I guess that's democracy for you.
I'm surprised and happy to see Hatchet on there. I'm a bit queasy to see ones like Fifty Shades of Gray, the Twilight saga and Flowers in the Attic on there, although I haven't read any of them. I'm a pretty avid reader and former bookseller - how is it I've never heard of some of the top 100 here, like Swan Song, Mind Invaders, Doña Bárbara (bad Joe - apparently this one is a widely known Latin American classic), and This Present Darkness. And they didn't vote onto the list any of the James Baldwin books I've read, but instead Another Country.
>61 LizzieD: Thanks, Peggy. If you stay caught up on the Rafa photos, that's plenty. :-)
>62 Ameise1: Thanks re the cute Rafa, Barbara. Happy Weekend to you, too.
>63 ChelleBearss: I know, Rafa's sure enjoying eating that beach sand, isn't he, Chelle. Maybe he and Ellie can go on a date to a sand restaurant.
>64 karenmarie: Hi Karen and thanks. I'm glad Helena Perez Garcia hit home for you.
Good to hear re Rafa. He always makes me smile, too, but I wanted to make sure his grandpa wasn't overdoing it.
Oh, that sounds like a beautiful volume of Frankenstein. It really is a great read - like Dracula, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It's more smoothly written than Dracula, too.
>65 scaifea: Morning, Amber!
Ha! Good to hear. Okay, we'll keep the Rafa photos coming.
>66 SandDune: We enjoyed that punting in Cambridge, Rhian. I'm glad you like the photo.
You're lucky to have an adept punter in Mr. SandDune, and your idea to go the opposite way to the countryside sounds great to me. I'd love to try that some time.
And it has the advantage of being quieter with fewer foreign students trying to sink each other. LOL! We didn't see that happen, but I can imagine.
>67 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! Isn't Rafa a hoot with the New Yorker? That's probably my favorite of him. Word on the street is he not only likes to read it, he also likes to eat it.
He's apparently a very good traveler. His ma understandably was worried on the first plane and car trips, but he's done well. He's also sanguine while being passed around among new acquaintances, which makes life easier.
Clever Title! - a few more and they could start a Thread.
Mine are a bit more obvious: THE MIGRANT CUCKOOS or THE MIDTERM CUCKOOS or DOLLARS FROM MY DADDY.
The New Yorker is bigger than Rafa (so far)! LOL! And, while I agree that there is no such thing as Rafa overload, you can be commended for fulfilling your duties. It's your job as Grandpa to post/show pictures on a regular (ie daily) basis. If you didn't, well, that's the job of grandparents!! You know it is! :-) Keep 'em coming!
>58 jnwelch: poignant Joe.
>54 jnwelch: lovely. Taste everything.
Thought you'd enjoy this.
>73 m.belljackson: Hmm. Good ones, Marianne. The Con of Donnie Fiscal? (Is that too far from The Count of Monte Cristo?) A Confederacy of Dunces? (Oh wait, that's a real title).
To Kill a Mocking Dem
Inherit the Windbag
A F*ckwork Orange
One Hundred Years in Solitary (c'mon, Mueller!)
Adventures of Knuckledonnie Dim
An American Tragedy (oops, also a real book)
The Naked and The Putin
Paradise Lost (there I go again)
A House for Mr. Dimwit
I'm feeling better already. :-)
P.S. And of course there's that Hemingway one, A Farewell to Brains.
>74 jessibud2: Ha! Well, I just worry about folks running in terror, Shelley, when I roll out my hundred photos of Rafa (Madame MBH would beat that number by a lot). But a few here and there seems to work fine. He's just such a cute little guy - it's hard to resist. :-)
>75 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I appreciate hearing your reaction to the >58 jnwelch: poem. I know reading poetry takes that extra little bit of concentration, and it ain't easy whilst cruising the threads.
>54 jnwelch: Ha! Everything's new for the little tyke, and needs to be tasted.
Thanks for the link - you're right, that's right up my alley (groan). I'd not heard of Digbeth for street art. I particularly liked this one:
In the Changers series by T. Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper Ethan is an unexceptional skateboarding videogame-playing teenager about to enter high school. Then he wakes up as a girl. Cue the freakout. It turns out he's a special kind of person called a Changer, and that he will start each year of high school with a different type of outer form. At the end, he gets to choose which one to be for the rest of his/her life. The already-existing Changers hope to change the world by spreading their acquired empathy. Ethan mainly wants to mentally survive the viciousness and intolerance of high school.
What a fascinating premise! I received Changers Book Four as an ER copy. My wife had loved and recommended the series, so I proceeded to read the first three and then this one. I loved the series, too. This is a YA book, so you're not getting Richard Powers level writing, but you are getting a page-turning and thought-provoking story.
We get to experience gender and race and other changes through Ethan, and it's cleverly done by a husband and wife author team, one of whom is transgender. We get male perspectives on everyday female issues, female on male, and so on. Pretty addictive. Meanwhile, Ethan experiences romance each school year despite the changes. Since Changers are supposed to keep their nature hidden, this makes for some tricky maneuvers. Ethan in his manifestations is very likeable and (if you accept the premise) believable. He was fine with being Ethan, and at times resists the changes. But, as his mother says, "Who hasn't fantasized about being someone else?"
>76 jnwelch: - Oh my! These are terrific! Love them! Reminds me of that hashtag that was circulating right after the election. We could fill a library of these titles and gift it to trump on his way out, lol!
Okay, I'' try to start a Thread and type these out one-by-one to get it going =
ideas for a title?
>76 jnwelch: Hooray for "A Farewell to Brains"!!
Happy Saturday, Joe. We are going out to dinner with friends and then coming back here for drinks, so I am helping along with some of the house-chores. I also have plenty of time slotted for the books, which will mostly be reading The Overstory. This is a Big Boy, so I want to read as much of it, as I can.
I am so glad you enjoyed the Changers series. I am thinking of starting it, after the Powers.
How about those Brewers? Isn't that 12 in a row? And they knocked out Kershaw early. Wow!!
>79 jessibud2: Ha! I love the idea of gifting Trump with these books on his way out Shelley. He doesn't read books, of course, but he can see the titles and know we're thinking of him.
>80 m.belljackson: Jeez Louise, Marianne. I'm just a humble cafe proprietor. You're working me hard here!
Hmm. How about, Reimagined Book Titles in the Age of Trump? Trump-Inspired Book Re-Titling?
>81 msf59: LOL! I did enjoy thinking of "Farewell to Brains", Mark. :-)
Happy Saturday, my friend. That sounds like a fun evening. We were out last night at the Bulls game; tonight we're going "no-tech" (something we'd like to do more often), so I'm sure that'll involve some book-reading. Maybe we'll finally get back to the Little House on the Prairie series that we're reading together; I think we're on book 7 or so.
Looking forward to your reactions to The Overstory. I saw Nancy (alphaorder) was interested, and it sure seems like a natural for her.
I'm hoping the mini-review encourages more folks to try Changers. It also got positive reviews in the NYTimes, the Guardian and others, but I haven't seen it mentioned much on LT, other than by Debbi.
The Brewers sure picked the right time to catch fire, didn't they. With no Chicago team in it, I'm struggling to maintain interest. Our Red Sox fan relatives are having a fine time, I know that much.
Looking forward to the Bears game tomorrow, although we're doing a fundraiser walk for a friend who was just diagnosed with Parkinson's, so I'm going to tape the game.
P.S. I posted a new poem of mine up there, inspired by your asking at our get-together why the heck I'd stopped.
>76 jnwelch: - I'm partial to these, in particular:
To Kill a Mocking Dem
Inherit the Windbag
A F*ckwork Orange
One Hundred Years in Solitary (c'mon, Mueller!)
Truly inspired. :-)
Thread title suggestion:
New reading for the new age. Or not.
Alternative Literature for uninspired leaders
New Age Literature for Non-Readers
Hi Joe, I've finally caught up here and all I can say is that the political situation in the States makes me very sad and at times very angry. I have my fingers crossed that people get out and vote in November and start to make some changes. I am also very touched by how excellently people have expressed themselves here and how civil these conversations have remained. I wish all people on both sides could sit down together and really listen, but I don't think any measure of togetherness can happen until Trump and his reguime are put out of office. His gloating and dismissal of Dr. Ford just made me see red!
Anyway, here's hoping you are having a lovely weekend.
I have to tell you a funny story. Last night, I got together with a couple of friends for dinner. Both of them have dogs. My one friend told us about a new dog toy she was given for Daisy, her Dalmatian. It is a Donald doll. Huge shock of orange hair. Daisy loves it. She grabs it by the hair, shakes it back and forth vigorously, then flings it across the room (as dogs do), then runs to fetch it and starts all over. We were killing ourselves laughing at the image of this. Frankly, I think there might be a market for this; there are probably more than a few humans for whom this could be rather therapeutic!
(when not in use, it could be used as a bookend for the new library shelf of books Joe and Marianne are starting...;-)
>84 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I'm glad you liked those titles. Hmm, I wonder where the inspiration came from? :-)
I have to admit, along with "A Farewell to Brains", "A F*ckwork Orange" was my favorite!
Good, we're giving Marianne a lot to work with for the thread title. "Orange is the New Hack"?
>85 DeltaQueen50: Agreed, Judy. His post-hearing dismissal of Dr. Ford's testimony as a hoax, to great acclaim from his supporters, was disgusting. He degrades all of us. Oops, I'm in our house's weekly 24 hour political blackout. I forgot! Don't let Madame MBH know I've said any of this today.
She's behind in reading my thread, so by the time she reads all this I hope I've figured out a good excuse.
>86 jessibud2: The orange-haired Donald pet toy sounds destined to be a best-seller. I can see how therapeutic it might be. :-) Ah, the new thread may need a merchandise store with that as a leading toy/bookend.
Oops, I'm in our house's weekly 24 hour political blackout. I forgot! Don't let Madame MBH know I've said any of this today.
Just blame Canada, Joe....;-)
All great titles! but do we need to work something in so everyone knows what we are talking about?
Maybe... "A Farewell to Brains," D.Trump's Mysterious Bedside TBR
>54 jnwelch: Hi Joe...There is no such thing as Rafa overload. I love the innocence of children, the discovery of touching, and tasting sand, the sticky feeling of fingers as the waves go out to the great unknown and the baby is left with salty air and salty taste.
I took one of our little neighbors shopping for clothes. She is one of the many ones throughout the neighborhood. As she ate lunch of chicken fingers and ice cream, she talked about the service and funeral she and her family are attending for a wonderful 89 year old uncle. It was special to know Uncle buddy through her eyes. And as a few tears slid down her little face, she asked for simple things, the kind of clothes that Uncle buddy would wear.
Will and I simply love children. He raised three all on his own, aged two, five and seven, as his wife left for a carefree life.
I have two daughters, one biological, another adopted. These children have lives and children of their own. Their lives are busy, and we see them, but not as much as we would like. Thus, we relish these little ones who bring the chance of starting over, and perhaps reliving all the good memories and things we believe we did right. How we love the sound of doors opening, releasing the small bodies who rush down the concrete sidewalks and up the driveway to us.
The carpet is not the same without the little colored pieces of play dough that stubbornly stick. The kitchen floor is too clean when children are not here to bake cookies. Last week our neighbor's granddaughter visited. We found the American Girl dolls in the back of a closet. We took them outside, including the large plastic camper, the brown-colored horse and hands full of outfits. It was a pleasant hour of fun listening to the mind of a five year old girl filled with imagination.
May you have many years of very pleasant, unique and wonderful Rafa memories!
>42 kidzdoc: Darryl that sounds like an hilarious expedition ..... all made it back to dry land in one piece though :)
>78 jnwelch: Changers sounds a great series of books .... intriguing premise to go through those years experiencing gender expression as male & female & Hopefully in-between as well ( as we know gender is not binary) these types of books give me hope for the future.
>90 Whisper1: Beautiful post, Linda. Thanks for sharing that with us.
I bet the neighbor's granddaughter was thrilled when you pulled out the American Girl dolls and accoutrements. Debbi and I have fond memories of a sleepover party our daughter had when she was 8 or so. In our first house we could see our living room from the stairs to the next floor. When we came down to check, there were eight or so little girls fast asleep on the floor in their sleeping bags, each with an American Girl doll tucked in the crook of her arm. So cute.
>91 roundballnz: Hiya, Alex! What a nice surprise.
That Darryl, up to hijinks again.
You'd enjoy Changers, I'm sure, Alex. Thank you for the good reminder that gender is not binary. Agreed - these give me hope for the future. I hope they get widely read.
>94 jnwelch: oh yes, I agree.
I've just finished The Carrying by Ada Limón Joe. You won't be surprised to learn I loved it, and shall reread it through the week. It's rare to find a volume where you love every poem (Mark Doty's work comes to mind). I'll try and make time to write my review tomorrow.
Off to hear the Booker shortlist authors read from their work. Hope you and Debbi had a good weekend Joe.
>95 Carmenere:. Right, Lynda? Good Sunday to you, my friend. We were just out walking near the lake for a Parkinson’s fundraiser. Beautiful day here. 🌞🌝
>96 Caroline_McElwee:. Oh good, Caroline. You’re right, I’m not surprised, but I’m awfully happy to hear that you enjoyed The Carrying that much. If you haven’t read her Bright Dead Things, it’s just as good. She’s got such a knack!
I’ll look forward to hearing how it went with the Booker nominees. We’re having a most excellent weekend. We leave soon to see a friend in a play. Hope your weekend has been a good one, too.
>58 jnwelch: Good poem, Joe. I am so glad you posted it. I have read it a few times now and it comes a little more in focus, after each visit. I like the melancholic tone and kudos, on a strong finish.
Happy Sunday, Joe. I had another active morning. Left before 7 and returned just after 11. Whew! Now, it is football time. I might not get much done on The Overystory, (this one requires my full attention) but I should be able to squeeze in some GN & poetry reading.
Tough first half for the Bears. Just coughed it up in the red zone. I hope the offense comes roaring back in the 2nd half.
>98 msf59: Thanks, buddy. I thought there was a good chance you'd enjoy that poem. I appreciate the comments. I plan to keep them coming.
>99 msf59: Happy Sunday, my friend. I'm glad you got the whole weekend off. Leaving before 7 am - you are one dedicated birder! I'm sure you had a beautiful morning. We were walking by the lake for a Parkinson's fundraiser, and it was gorgeous out.
I'm taping the Bears game - we're home briefly, and then off to see a friend in a play.
I realized I need to finish Killing Commendatore before we leave this coming week for Tennessee; it's too hefty to take with us. So far I'm liking it a lot. It features an artist, and contains a lot about music - the latter is reminding me of his recent book on music with Ozawa. So far nothing bizarre, but I can feel it coming . . . :-)
Don't all of Murakami's books have something to do with music? Even the short stories.
All this reminds me that I need to read a Murakami book this year. Maybe I will take one with me for my Thanksgiving trip. I still haven't read Dance, Dance, Dance and think that sounds like fun. Or maybe Wild Sheep Chase. I haven't read that one either.
>97 jnwelch: I have Bright Dead Things on Kindle, but ordered a paper copy, I prefer to read poetry that way. I also ordered another of her volumes.
Of course, now I've heard the Booker authors read, I want to read them all. I'm still holding out for The Overstory, though I would say this is possibly the strongest shortlist for a few years.
I hope you enjoyed the play.
>101 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Wild Sheep Chase is the second in a loose trilogy, with Dance Dance Dance the third. Hear the Wind/Pinball is the first, but only became available in the U.S. in the last few years - Murakami was learning his way and didn’t think it was as good as the others. I agree, but it’s still worthwhile.
>102 Caroline_McElwee:. It’s funny, Caroline, I may have mentioned this, but I can’t read poetry on Kindle. Anything else, I can. I’m glad you’re getting a paper copy of Bright Dead Things; I think you’ll enjoy it more that way.
So, how were the Booker authors? How did Richard Powers do? I’m pulling for The Overstory to win it.
Hi Joe. I apologize for more politics. I will stop. I need a break, myself. I hope you didn't watch 60 Minutes tonight. Leslie Stahl interviewed trump and I could only stand about 60 seconds before I switched it off.
But a friend just shared something with me that I was quite impressed with, via email. Here it is, written, produced and performed by Barbra Streisand:
In other news, I am on a waiting list for The Overstory. It may be awhile. In the meantime, because I just finished 2 rather heavy books, and needed something lighter, I just started a funny book about London, England and the game of Monopoly. It's called Do Not Pass Go.
>1 jnwelch: I especially like the first one because, you know, feline.
>96 Caroline_McElwee: Yay! I also loved, loved The Carrying and am so glad to know Ada Limón's work.
Joe, I'm way behind and can't actually catch up but wanted to say that I thought about you when I saw some new street art in Seattle last weekend. There is a section in SoDo (South of Downtown) through which the Light Rail goes where there is lots of street art. Some new additions since I moved away early in the summer!
>104 jessibud2: I just watched that and posted it on FB. Very powerful. We must all keep speaking truth to power!!!!!
>76 jnwelch: "And of course there's that Hemingway one, A Farewell to Brains."
>103 jnwelch: I liked all the readings Joe. Richard Powell has a lovely soft voice and seems quite a gentle soul. Self-deprecating and funny. Rachel Kushner brooks no imprecision - she does not research, she experiences things in her life by choosing to volunteer in prisons for example, that she may subsequently use in her writing. Esi Edugyan has no problem in admitting extensive research. I think I will indulge in Robin Robertson's novel next as, being primarily a poet, the language is very poetical. He also watched 500 1940s/1950s film noir's while researching his novel set in LA. I enjoyed Daisy Johnson and Anna Burns's readings, but I suspect some folk will struggle with the Belfast language in her novel. Having recently been in Northern Ireland (and being at the event with my NI cousin) I enjoyed hearing her rich accent.
>104 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Yeah, I'm with you. I wouldn't have made it through the 60 seconds with the Trump interview. Not only cannot he not string two complete sentences together, but he can't get through two incomplete sentences without lying. And the self-aggrandizing, OMG.
The Streisand link: thanks! That is powerful. "Don't lie to me." I was saying to someone, it would be a relief to have a President who doesn't lie all the time. That's how bad this has gotten.
Good for you for getting in queue for The Overstory. I just saw something about Do Not Pass Go - I'll look forward to your reactions to it.
>105 EBT1002: Ha! Hi, Ellen. She does a good feline, doesn't she.
Yay for another fan of Limon and The Carrying; we just gave it to our poet/author DIL, so I hope she loves it as much as we all do.
Thanks for thinking of me with the street art. I miss our trips to Seattle. I get the feeling many cities are encouraging street art now, as it grows in popularity. I hope that's right. London sure does.
>106 EBT1002: Agreed, Ellen. I'm impressed that Streisand wrote and directed that. She nails it. We're going to be hearing it a lot, I imagine.
>107 EBT1002: Ha! Right? What a time we're in. We need some laughs.
>108 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, good to hear re our friend Mr. Powers, Caroline.
Rachel Kushner: I thought every author researched these days. I haven't read her, so I don't know what to make of that. I'll have to check out Robin Robertson - I don't know his poetry, and I generally love noir. It sounds like a mind- and heart-expanding experience - where was it held? What a lineup. Thanks for posting this.
It was held at the Festival Hall on the SouthBank Joe. In the main auditorium. I would say it was over 2/3rds full (I think it takes 2500 people) - which is good for a literary event. It was good to see a variety of age groups, but sadly still not enough of a racial diversity IMO.
>111 Caroline_McElwee: Hmm. Thanks, Caroline. I don't think we've been in Festival Hall. We've been in the NT on the South Bank and that London County Hall Courthouse. That does sound like a good turnout for a literary event; too bad it wasn't more diverse. I wonder whether that reflected the authors nominated.
We saw quite a play last night, "Caroline, or Change". I know Anne (NarratorLady) loved this when she saw it, I'm guessing in New York?
We had a friend in the cast, and expected a modest production in the 70 seat theater. No! The set was modest, but the cast was big and the voices were fantastic. It's about a black maid working in a Jewish household in Louisiana in 1963, the year JFK was assassinated. They can't pay her a lot, and she's scraping by and raising three young girls alone. When the wife tells Caroline to keep any change she finds in the laundry, left by the 8 year son who needs a lesson, it starts helping her get by but makes her uneasy. Tensions rise over the money, while Caroline's friend urges her to change her life and Caroline's eldest daughter shames her for not being more aggressive with her life and taking part in the civil rights movement.
Everyone in the cast had a superb voice. Usually in a small production you'll find a weak link or two, but this was the opposite. The music was a mix of gospel, Motown, R&B, classical, even klezmer. Caroline (Rashada Dawan) had a showstopper voice, as did the bus driver (Micheal Lovette ) who announces the news of JFK's death, and Caroline's eldest daughter Emmie, played by 19 year old Bre Jacobs, was phenomenal. I told Debbi that we're going to be telling people we saw Bre Jacobs when she was just starting out.
We'd seen our friend Michael Kingston in other plays, but this was the first time we'd heard him sing, and what a rich, powerful voice he has. Phew!
Anyway, we feel lucky to have seen it. It had gotten positive reviews, but we really had no idea going in how good it was going to be.
Rashada Dawan and Bre Jacobs
Our pal Michael Kingston second from right
Yes, there's a singer in the washer - and in the dryer
The four kids were great - we loved the little girl on the left!
>113 jnwelch: That looks like a wonderful evening Joe. And in such a small theatre! Too bad you can only show pictures, I like the musical mix you describe.
>114 EllaTim: 'Twas, Ella. The soundtrack is on Youtube. I don't know whether they'll connect you in Amsterdam, but here's the Broadway cast recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C1MqGKHr6o&list=PLCua8EGqA23RU1oyAI0e1cgtB9YlHbuEC
>112 jnwelch: Sadly Joe, theatre/literary events seem to be one aspect of London cultural life that lack's diversity in the audiences. I have been a number of times to productions with all non-white casts, and STILL there are very few non-white audience members. It frustrates me. Sometimes I think the ticket prices might be a problem, but even with more local productions, there isn't always the diversity in the audience. Sadlers Wells is perhaps one venue where the diversity is a bit better, but that is mostly dance.
Music however can offer a more diverse audience.
>116 Caroline_McElwee: Me, too, Caroline. It did get a bunch of Tony nominations when it was on Broadway, so there's hope.
>117 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks for reporting on that, Caroline. Too bad. I hope it begins to change toward more diversity. As you and I know, the experience can be so heart-opening.
We do get diverse audiences here, I'm glad to say, including last night. But non-diversity still can have an effect. We have a very liberal and inclusive independent bookstore here called Women and Children First, but it tends to draw non-racially-diverse audiences for author appearances and readings. A local black poet admitted she had mixed feelings about appearing there just as a police shooting case (white cop, black man walking away) was being decided by a jury. She said, "I don't know whether I can stand being in front of all those white faces after a bad verdict". It was hard to hear that, as she's a friend of our son's (and ours), and two of the white faces would have been ours. Luckily, the jury came through and rightly convicted the cop.
Hi Joe, hope you and Debbi had a good weekend mate, more Christmas cake baking for us but it is all nearly done now. Have a great week the pair of you and sending love and hugs to you both from the pair of us dear friends.
>119 johnsimpson: Many thanks, John. We had quite the good weekend. I'm impressed you're getting ahead of the game wit Christmas baking; that's probably very smart. In our house we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, so we normally wait until Hanukkah is done to get on with Christmas preparations.
We're heading mid-week to eastern Tennessee to visit Debbi's brothers and their brides and kids. It's a beautiful part of the country, and it should be a great week. We hope you and Karen have a great week yourselves; sending love and hugs back to you both.
>120 brodiew2: Hello Brodie -
Isn't >77 jnwelch: beautiful? Caroline is making it tempting to go to Birmingham and Digbeth and see more.
"Caroline, or Change" is one I'm sure you'd enjoy. We actually settled in Chicago in part because it's such a great theater town. Its small theater scene is, IMO, what makes it so remarkable. Some of the famous ones here started out very small - Steppenwolf put on plays in two churches before moving to a 134 seat theater and then a 211 seat one. It's now in a beautiful facility with three theaters, the biggest seating 515 people. Chicago Shakespeare Theater started out on the roof of a local bar (The Red Lion Pub), and now has one of my favorite theater venues anywhere, down on Navy Pier.
Hi, Joe. I hope you had a good Monday. Mine went fine, despite having to work. It was chilly though. I am only 130 pages into The Overstory but I am very impressed with it. Brimming with ambition, vision and plenty of tree love.
"Caroline, or Change" sounds great! Glad you guys got a chance to attend.
>113 jnwelch: - Wow, that sounds like a terrific production. I wonder if it would come here. Toronto has a vibrant theatre scene so who knows. I have a theatre subscription but it's to a larger production company. Think Come From Away (and next year, Hamilton. Our first one of this season is in a couple of weeks. It's *Ain't Too Proud*, the story of The Temptations.
Still, I love seeing newer, smaller productions. Many years ago, I had a subscription to a smaller theatre and loved it.
Enjoy your upcoming family trip, Joe.
Rafa looks like he enjoys the beach, Joe. The theatre pics are interesting too. I don't attend enough theatre but do take in a few literary events. This week is Vancouver Writers Festival which I am looking forward to.
Love the theatre pictures. I have found that the diversity of the cast changes the dynamic of the audience, but maybe that's because I don't go to the theatre as often as Caroline so have a less accurate picture. I do remember going to see a wonderful production of Death and The King's Horseman at the NT and being very impressed at the difference in the audience to the Alan Bennett production I had seen.
>122 msf59: Thanks, buddy. Oh good. If you're liking The Overstory now, it only gets better as the threads start tying together. I remember wondering at the beginning whether it was all going to be disconnected stories.
"Caroline, or Change" was quite an experience, thanks. I'm heading into work meself in a while, before we head off to eastern TN.
I'm not going to finish Killing Commendatore, darn it; it's just too much of a whopper to get done before we go. It is becoming more and more bizarre - what a surprise, eh? :-)
>123 jessibud2: "Carolina, or Change" has the Tony nomination cred and the entertainment value, Shelley, so there's a good chance some theater company in Toronto will give it a go. I hope so. Sounds like a good season lined up for you. We loved Come From Away in NYC, and Hamilton remains the best musical we've ever seen. So amazing. We want to see it again now. I hope the Temptations one is as good as it sounds.
Yeah, we're big fans of the smaller theaters. They often take chances the bigger theaters don't.
Thanks re the trip. I never enjoy the packing part (does anyone?), but it'll be good to see Madame MBH's side of the family, and to spend some time in beautiful eastern Tennessee.
>124 Familyhistorian: Rafa does seem to love the beach, doesn't he, Meg. Apparently it even tastes good.
You can tell, we love going to the theater. Literary events, too, with the right people. I hope the Vancouver Writers Festival goes well this year.
>125 charl08: I was thinking, in looking at those theater pictures, Charlotte, that the performers really give it their all, don't they. You can't really phone it in performing a play in front of a live audience; you've got to be fully invested.
I'm glad you've experienced some audience diversity. I don't know the London theater scene well enough either, but I can see what Caroline's saying. Just like everywhere else, the more minorities can see themselves portrayed up on stage (or screen, or whatever) the better. We still hear stories here about what a difference it made to black kids growing up to see Lieutenant Uhura on the Enterprise's bridge in Star Trek.
>113 jnwelch: Looks fantastic! I love theater, but I don't have the time or the money right now. Aaron and I ARE going to The Book of Mormon in November, though, and I am really looking forward to it. I feel a little bad because I don't think poorly of Mormons, but I've heard this play is really funny.
>129 The_Hibernator: Oh, we loved The Book of Mormon, Rachel. You'll have a great time. Don't worry too much about the Mormons; they've had the right reaction to it, as far as I know. A Mormon group actually had an ad In our Playbill at the play, saying, you've seen the play, now read the book. :-)
P.S. Here, I found an article that talks about that, and the Church's reaction to the play: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865667313/How-the-LDS-Churchs-response-to-The-Book-of-Mormon-musical-is-actually-working.html
>126 jnwelch: - I heard on the radio this morning that *Ain't Too Proud* is opening tonight and that the last surviving member of the original Temptations will be in the audience! He has seen the rehearsals and claimed he could learn a few moves! ha! Two local guys did the choreography so that's quite the compliment!
>128 jnwelch: - Love it! I am sending this to a friend who is a lawyer (and was an Eng. prof in a previous career!)
>131 jessibud2: Very cool, Shelley. Oh man, the last surviving member of the Temptations? Does this mean I'm old? I think so. I grew up about 45 minutes from Motown, and they were the voices of my youth, along with the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and so on. It sounds like it'll be a great show. Please let us know what you think of it.
Isn't >128 jnwelch: a hoot?
Hello Joe! I hope all is well with you.
I remember two plays most specifically from my youth. One was 'Oleanna' by David Mamet and other was 'Jelly's Last Jam', a biographical musical about Jelly Roll Morton. 'Oleanna' remains the single most evocative play I have ever seen. I was thankful to have seen it live. It was brilliantly produced by the Seattle Repertory Theater.
This may not be up your alley, but I have totally fallen for the Netflix series 'Anne, with An E'. It is another Anne of Green Gables adaptation. The acting is wonderful, especially by Amybeth McNulty, who play Anne. The way she is written and acted is exceptionally peculiar in tragi-optimistic amalgamation straight out of Shakespeare. It definitely worth a look.
>133 brodiew2: - Such a coincidence! I just watch *Anne With an E* the other night for the first time. I was also delighted to recognize that the opening theme song was by none other than Canada's own late, great Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip! I had no idea! I was equally happy to see my favourite Canadian stage actor, RH Thompson, playing Matthew! Thompson played a younger, secondary character (Jasper Dale) in the original Anne of Green Gables series on the CBC, many years ago. It was lovely to see him as Matthew. And, as another interesting aside, Thompson also played in a stage production of *Oleanna* that I saw (but sadly don't remember much of), also many years ago. I have seen him in many plays. He has always reminded me, both in features and in talent, of the American actor Sam Waterston.
>134 jessibud2: Very cool, jessi! I did not mention it in my previous post, but all three of the leads are fantastic. I love Matthew. The performance is an understated one and he nails it. Same with Marilla (sp?).
I can't wait to watch more. I am only through episode 5 of 7 in the first season.
How crazy that Thompson played in an 'Olenana' production. He must have been the professor. I'm sorry the play didn't resonate. For me, it was very powerful and thought provoking.
>133 brodiew2: Hiya, Brodie.
Those are memorable to have seen, and that Oleanna sounds terrific. I hope there's a revival around here at some point.
Good to hear about "Anne with an E". I loved the Megan Follows/Colleen Dewhurst series, and wondered whether this one was worthwhile. I'll give it a look.
>134 jessibud2: More enthusiasm for Anne with an E - thanks, Shelley. I'll listen for the music and look for Thompson as Matthew.
>135 brodiew2: :-)
Morning, Joe. Happy Wednesday! I am assuming you are waking up in TN. Have a great trip and I hope you get some hiking in.
I am loving The Overstory. I should hit the halfway point today. Things are beginning to take shape.
>137 msf59: Morning, Mark. We take off this morning, leaving for the airport in a few minutes.
Isn't The Overstory terrific?
We plan to do some hiking in the Smoky Mountain National Park. Can't wait!
I probably won't be on LT as much the next few days. We fly back on Monday.
Hope all goes well for you today, buddy.
Happy half-birthday, Rafa! Clever, getting his parents in there, too!
Enjoy the vaca!
There are always so many interesting things going on in the Café!
>76 jnwelch: Clever. They all crack me up in the tragic sort of way that we have a president who invites such things.
>104 jessibud2: Oh my, I hadn't heard this before. Brava, Barbra. Gave me shivers.
>113 jnwelch: It sounds absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing the pics. I do miss the variety and abundance of live theater in Los Angeles but at least I have the wonderful Playmakers Repertory in Chapel Hill. Friend Louise and I have season tickets and so get a bit of 'kultur' 6 times a year.
>138 jnwelch: Another sweet picture of The Grandson and the Parents.
>138 jnwelch: Happy half birthday, Rafa!
I didn't even notice the parents on the first glance lol
>138 jnwelch: great family photo, though I think they should suspend half birthdays by the age of 2, else no college for Rafa!
>140 jessibud2:. Ha! Good eye, Shelley. Yup, those are his proud parents in the mirror.
We’ve arrived in eastern TN, and will soon join Madame MBH’s brothers and families for dinner.
>33 brodiew2: et al. John Knowles specifically denied that there was any homosexual attachment between his characters. This is from an interview in 1987:
"Freud said any strong relationship between two men contains a homoerotic element...If so in this case, both characters are totally unaware of it. It would have changed everything, it wouldn’t have been the same story. In that time and place, my characters would have behaved totally differently."
>141 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Thanks- I’m glad you’re enjoying the new cafe.
I know, it is comic-tragic these days. The humor helps us all get through this horrible time period, doesn’t it. Marianne’s thinking about setting up a separate thread for more book title suggestions.
Los Angeles is another great theater town. I’m glad you have that wonderful theater in Chapel Hill. Theater has been such a big part of our lives for so long, it would be hard to go live somewhere without it.
Thanks re the sweet Rafa and parents photo.
>142 ChelleBearss:. Thanks, Chelle! Rafa has been having such a good time on his Colombian adventure. They’re so happy to have him and his parents visiting.
>143 Caroline_McElwee:. Ha! I think the half birthday idea will fall by the wayside, Caroline. Everybody’s so excited about this new arrival - first grandchild for her parents and for us.
>145 laytonwoman3rd:. Huh. Good info, Linda, thanks. As I mentioned, I was clueless as to that possibility when I read it in high school.
>146 EllaTim:. Oh good, Ella. I thought the U.S. YouTube probably wouldn’t be accessible for you. I wonder whether that’ll change over time. Anyway, I’m glad you found some of the Caroline, or Change music. I hope a production finds its way to Amsterdam.
>149 jnwelch: Great idea Joe. They'd have to translate the song texts, and that is usually a challenge, but I'd love to go and see it.
>150 EllaTim:. I hadn’t thought about the translation issue, Ella. So many locals in Amsterdam speak English! I do think the issues in the show are universal enough that it would resonate well there.
Good afternoon, Joe! I hope all is well with you.
>138 jnwelch: Belated Birthday wishes to Rafa! It looks like he had a grand time.
Alt Lit = ORANGE is the New Gasbag Hack!
Combined our title ideas...
>152 brodiew2:. Hiya, Brodie. All is well. We’re down in eastern TN, visiting family and taking it easy.
Thanks re Rafa’s birthday. He is a happy little guy, and is being celebrated by lots of relatives down in Colombia.
>153 m.belljackson:, >154 jessibud2:, >155 m.belljackson:. Cool , Marianne. Like Shelley, i’m Wondering where we find the new thread. Would you mind posting a link to it?
>160 jnwelch: A fun new series set in London? That sounds interesting. Have a great visit.
I have been meaning to share this with you: Banksey street art animated.
To quote the Tumblr post I borrowed these images from: "Serbian Tumblr gif artist ABVH has created animations based on some of Banksy’s iconic street art. These animations give life to Banksy’s poignant (but static) images by enlivening the experience of humor and absurdity that accompanies much of Banksy’s work. These gifs first began to appear in September 2012. Since then, ABVH has created a few more images."
>162 jnwelch: I looked them up and my library has the first one. Not that I need another series but it sounds good.
Just trying to catch up around here, Joe. Looks like your trip was fantastic!
Morning, Joe! Love the latest Rafa pic - so great that the parents are caught in the mirror.
Thanks, everyone. We’re traveling back to Chicago today, so I’ll catch up with you later on.
>134 jessibud2:, >135 brodiew2:, >136 jnwelch: Anne with an E caused a lot of 'controversy' with my coworkers. Two who loved the Megan Follows version refused to even watch it, one who never read the book or watched previous adaptations loved it, and I'm the only one who read all the books and watched the Megan Follows adaptation and the new one. This adaptation is really trying to add more than what is in the books, or rather perhaps to bring to the forefront those things that are subtext. I liked the first season up until the finale, and I wasn't thrilled with the first half of the second season because it dealt with the storyline brought up in the s1 finale. Now season 2 seems to be back to the book, more or less, but I've had a little less time to watch TV so I haven't finished it yet.
>145 laytonwoman3rd: Interesting that the author denies any homoeroticism in A Separate Peace. When I read it in high school (roughly 20 years ago), it was definitely taught as having those overtones. I'm also surprised that it broke the top 100 in PBS's Great American Read because I've never met a person who liked it.
>163 weird_O: Great! I was wondering how he got his images to move. Silly me.
>172 scaifea: Hey, that's good to hear! I don't recall anyone hating it per se, but I don't usually hear raves about it. Then again, since I didn't care much for it myself, I don't bring it up often enough to hear other people's opinions about it.
>163 weird_O: Very cool, Bill. Thanks! I bet even Banksy gets a kick out of those.
>164 EllaTim: I have, Ella! I just started the 6th Doyle and Acton mystery, after finishing Murder in All Honour. She's written eight so far, so I'd better slow down a little. Now that we're home, I can get back to Killing Commendatore. My sister-in-law is delighted, as she thoroughly enjoys it when one of her recommendations works that well.
>165 Familyhistorian: Oh good. Let us know what you think of the Doyle and Acton series start, Meg. There's a touch of the paranormal (an ability to tell who's lying) that sits well with me as she threads it in, but it may not work for more somber readers.
>166 MickyFine: Hi, Micky. Our trip to London and Amsterdam was fantastic, thanks. And we just got back from a good one to eastern TN to visit family. I'll post a photo or two from that one soon.
>167 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline? We're lucky that Bill posted that.
>168 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! (I may be off by a day or two, but it's morning!)
Like you, we loved that the proud parents show up in the mirror in that shot of Rafa. They're back home after lots of adventures in Colombia. I'll try to post another one of him today.
>170 sweetiegherkin: Hi, sweetieg. Thanks for the perspective on the new one from someone (like me) who also watched the Megan Follows Anne of Green Gables series that I loved. I want to give the new series a try.
Kudos to you for reading all the Anne books. I've only read the first, but I'd like to read the others at some point.
I was surprised that the author denied the homoeroticism aspect of A Separate Peace, too - mainly because, why not. It's another angle on it. But it's his book.
I've never met a person who liked it either, but we're about to meet at least two on this very thread! I love LT.
Morning, Joe. I am assuming you're back home, right? It looks like you had a nice time in TN. I loved The Overstory and now I am moving onto the Changers.
>171 ffortsa: It's a great trick to be able to animate those, Judy, isn't it.
>172 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. We're safely back home after a lovely trip. We're also two bushed buckaroos - weird how having a good time can tire one out.
Thanks for letting us know you liked A Separate Peace. You're the first person in my life to say that. It's worthy, for sure, just not, for me, likeable.
>173 sweetiegherkin: Yeah, I'm like you, sweetieg. A Separate Peace is not one I often bring up to people, as I can't enthuse about it. It's more, did you have to read that one, too? And I don't mean to slight it; it's one I respect. I would've rather been assigned a Cormac McCarthy, but as I mentioned, our daughter got assigned All the Pretty Horses in high school and hated it. So it goes. :-)
>174 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! You and Amber make a dynamic duo when it comes to A Separate Peace. If I hadn't tried it, I would, just because of you two.
>179 msf59: Yes, we're back home, Mark. Morning!
Oh, I'm so glad you loved The Overstory. The chances of your not loving it seemed nil, but you never know. I'll look for your comments over on your thread. I hope Changers works for you; that's a dicier proposition, but I'm sure it will at least entertain and intrigue you.
>181 jnwelch: Well I didn't have to read it, Joe; it was not assigned when I was in school, and perhaps that makes the difference. I came to it as an adult - read it with my children during their high school years, and we had some great conversations about it.
>182 Crazymamie: Maybe that would have helped, Mamie (to read A Separate Peace by choice rather than assignment), but my gut says that for me, it wouldn't have. I love that you had great conversations with your kids about it; that might've improved my perspective. Instead I had was a class of kids (including me) who were less than thrilled and disinclined to say much.
>182 Crazymamie: Same! I didn't *have* to read it for school, but I did read it when I was in high school. Honestly at this point I don't remember much about it (that's been a few years ago and a half), but I do remember loving it.
>180 jnwelch: That BFF of mine has such great taste - I can't seem to like McCarthy's stuff, either.
>184 scaifea: It's intriguing, isn't it, Amber, that both you and Mamie read A Separate Peace by choice, not assignment, and loved it. Maybe high schools should be banning it to get kids to appreciate it more. :-)
Your BFF does have great taste - it broke my heart to have her hate All the Pretty Horses, one of my favorite all-time books. I've re-read the ending of that one more times than I can count. Luckily she and I share the love of many other authors. She and my mother shared a deep love of true crime books that always made me smile, and just did.
From our eastern TN trip, at Great Smokey Mountains National Park:
>187 jnwelch: Oh, how I love the Smokies! My family lived in Asheville when I was very small, and I have many memories of backpacking there in my early years. Even now, driving through those mountains just feels right to me, though I have lived in many other places since.
>188 foggidawn: Hiya, foggi. We love it in the Smokies, too, as you can tell. That park is huge! We've only seen a small part of it, but we've sure enjoyed it.
We've yet to make it to Asheville. Our relatives want to get us there.
>189 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel. It is such a beautiful park. Here are a couple more of my bride there, and one of our walk near where we were staying in Sevierville.
Asheville is one of my favorite places (it's where I finally met Mark!) - you should definitely try to get there on your next trip to the area.
>191 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Good to have another Asheville endorsement. We're all aiming toward it. We'll likely be in the area next summer, so maybe then.
>192 brodiew2: It's a beautiful hike, Brodie. That stream accompanies it the whole way; we love that sound of rushing water.
Thanks for another thumbs up on Asheville.
I think that disliking/hating whatever book is assigned in a high school lit class is typical. I'm trying to remember what books were assigned in my high school years, but mostly I'm blank. I don't recall any of my classmates being fans of Thomas Hardy or Theodore Dreiser. Fenimore Cooper: blah. Part of your job as a high schooler is to disparage assigned reading.
>194 weird_O: I know what you mean, Bill. I would've eaten All the Pretty Horses up with a spoon if it were assigned, but no such luck (most likely because it hadn't yet been written). They seemed to pick books that went down like medicine.
I was just talking to Mark about Fenimore Cooper; I think I liked him more than many have, although I read him by choice, not assignment. I enjoyed reading about our country back then in The Last of the Mohicans and The Pathfinder, even though the writing itself was no big deal. He was the toast of Paris back then with his exotic tales.
The one assigned book I remember loving was Dandelion Wine, and I read it at just the right time.
I guess I'm the odd ball here (some might say weirdo - ha!); I can't recall any books read for high school English that I really hated. And I can recall some I loved - Beloved, Great Expectations, The Scarlet Letter, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Pride and Prejudice. Probably the hardest one I read was Crime and Punishment but I came away at least appreciating it. I also (mostly) had really good English teachers which probably helped.
>198 Oh my, Katie, I wish I'd been in your class. I'm no fan of The Scarlet Letter, but I've loved the rest of those - even Crime and Punishment. That one was assigned in high school, so I've got two now that were positive.
I read Pride and Prejudice late in life, and kicked myself for not trying Austen sooner. I quickly became a rip-roaring fan.
I also had some really good high school English teachers. One of them, Mrs. Lewis, brought us the film after every book we did. Remember, this was in the dark ages, before videos, when film meant 16 mm or whatever it was. When we did Hamlet, our assignment was to watch the Richard Chamberlain production on tv. I had a little crush on him and imagine telling your parents that your homework was to watch tv! After we read Irving Stone's Lust for Life, she brought in a coffee table book of Van Gogh's prints, then brought the Kirk Douglas film for us to watch. I can't remember but I think she may have also brought the film version of Lord of the Flies. And on and on. I LOVED that class. English class was probably the only class in high I liked at all, now that I think of it.
Love the Smoky MTN photos, Joe. I need to get there one of these days. I am enjoying the Changers, fast and fun and I also started Saga: Vol. 9. I appreciate you passing that one on to me.
I've never been to Tennessee Joe, but I am enjoying your pix. I feel like I live in Eastern Tenn in my mind at times. Both my wife and I have pretty deep family roots in Tenn, but esp my wife. Her mother spent many of her retirement years documenting family history there and in North C. Lately we have been expanding and adding/polishing her extensive research. I read the Mountain City "Tomahawk" all the time! I'd really enjoy a visit there one day.
Hi Joe, great discussion about assigned reading vs reading by choice. I was one of the lucky ones and mostly I loved what I was assigned to read, David Copperfield and A Christmas Carol gave me a lifelong respect for Dickens, The Scarlet Letter, The Lord of the Flies, To Kill A Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men were all favorites. If anything was missed by my teachers is was probably that there was a distinct lack of Canadian Literature. I expect it is different today.
Those are great pictures. The Smokey Mountains are on my bucket list.
>198 jessibud2: Now I'm starting to understand, Shelley. I went to the wrong high school. While I was reading boring ones and A Separate Peace, others were watching movies with the books and having a grand time. I actually got in trouble for skipping classes to go to the school library and read books of my choice. An obvious LT-er in the making if ever there was one.
That does sound like a great class. I never did read Lust for Life, and I'm a Van Gogh fan. Should I?
>199 msf59: Thanks, buddy. You'd be a natural for that part of the country. Lots of great hiking.
Oh, that's good news re Changers. Debbi and I got a kick out of it, but it's on the different side, isn't it. Saga Vol. 9 - there's a plot development I'm going to need your help with. You'll see.
>200 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. Glad to hear it. So many people, including our son, loved Lord of the Flies. I hated it. I'm an idealist, as you can tell, and that view of humanity was hard for me to stomach. Golding sure grabs you from the get-go, though.
I do vividly remember my favorite English teacher, Phillip Rusten. He was the one who got me to read Dandelion Wine and got me interested in school again.
>201 RBeffa: Oh good, Ron, I'm glad you're enjoying the pix. It's a beautiful part of the country. Sounds like you've got extensive roots there. I hope you do get back some time. Family history can be fascinating - one of my sisters and our son are both history-gatherers. One of my grandmothers was a Washington, Georgia girl, but the rest are Northerners. She got some flack from her family for marrying a damn Yankee!
>202 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I'm glad you're enjoying the discussion about assigned reading. Those assigned to you are all good ones (I'll even include Lord of the Flies, as tough a read as it was for me), but I'd leave off The Scarlet Letter. My BIL who taught Hawthorne for years would probably smack me one for that.
Yeah, I bet you'd find more Canadian literature in there now. There'd be a slew of good ones to pick from, but I bet they'd get some Atwood in there. Although Life of Pi would probably make for an interesting high school read? Alice Munro? Kim Thuy?
I'm so pleased that visiting Madame MBH's family got us into the Smokey Mountains. Good one to have on your bucket list.
>203 jnwelch: - Well, I loved Lust for Life so yes, I would recommend it. It was my first introduction to Van Gogh and it opened my eyes to the wider world of art as well as to his own story, as a human being. I went through a phase back then when I read through several authors: Irving Stone, Leon Uris, James Michener, because I loved historical fiction and felt that, even though the stories were fictionalized, I was learning history in a way that my history classes in school never managed to succeed in teaching me. Too bad history teachers (or, at least, the history curriculum) never thought to teach history through literature. Now, that would have been something!
I recently read Lord of the Flies for the first time and wasn't much of a fan.
I remember all my high school English teachers - Mr. Borden (ick), Mr. Simms (okay), Ms. Havard (fabulous), and Mr. Zeiser (fabulous). Mr. Zeiser had (still does, actually) a great handlebar mustache and walked around campus whistling 'Ode to Joy' every day.
>205 jnwelch: That's helpful; thanks, Shelley. I'll add Lust for Life to the WL. I recently read Vincent and Theo at Anne's (NarratorLady's) recommendation, and liked that one a lot. I read Michener for sure (Chesapeake was my favorite); I don't think I ever got around to Leon Uris. The James Clavell books like Shogun were at the top of my whopper historical fiction list back then.
Using historical fiction to help teach history - what an intriguing idea. It would've helped bring it all to life, wouldn't it.
>207 katiekrug: Good to have company on Lord of the Flies, Katie. Kudos to your memory for English teachers. I can remember mine pretty well, too, including their names, now that I think about it. It may be because we love reading? I'd have a harder time remembering my math and science teachers' names, although I do remember science teacher Mr. Quinlan, because I ticked him off so much. (I was good at taking tests, and a lazy jerk in class).
Mr. Zeiser sounds like my kind of guy. I'll still occasionally see a waxed, handlebar mustache. Now you'll have Ode to Joy playing in my head all day.:-)
Hey Joe! I read/listened A Separate Peace earlier this year and I thought it a very well written novel. Received a 4/5 from moi. I was drawn to it from The Great American Read series on PBS. Sadly, when I reflect upon it, the English dept. of the all girls catholic high school I attended played it too safe. Although, Shakespeare, Dickens and Hawthorne were excellent reads, I think they chose to stay away from timely, likely more controversial material.
>186 jnwelch: ha! Look at that darling little sack of potatoes! That's what I lovingly referred to my son when he was that age.
Glad you had a good time in the Smokies! It is a lovely area of our country. Great pics!
>210 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda!
A Separate Peace is a well-written book, isn't it? I agree with your rating, and might even rate it higher - which is weird for a book I didn't like. I watched a little bit of the Great American Read last night. It's a bizarre list, isn't it. It struck me that Ready Player One got the most cheers in the group that was announced while I was watching. People always enjoy a fun escape book.
I know what you mean about "safe" picks, although I was in a liberal, public high school in a college town. I'm excited to think that the controversial, thought-provoking The Hate U Give is being taught in a number of schools now - and, of course, banned in a number of others.
Isn't Rafa conked out a hoot? Out for the count, that lad.
Thanks re the pics. It is such a refreshing part of the country to visit. We always finding ourselves slowing down our pace and appreciating the scenery.
>208 jnwelch: Your mentioning Leon Uris reminded me of reading Trinity, an epic novel centered on the “troubles” in Ireland circa 1916. We were on a supposedly relaxing vacation and I couldn’t stop talking about the book. My British husband informed me that Uris was known to be anti British and perhaps that bias was reflected in his writing. This got my Irish up (3 of my grandparents were born there) and we finally agreed to disagree. That was 4 decades ago ... so Uris did no lasting damage to the marriage but I wonder how I (or The Huz) would react to Trinity now? It’s a great yarn but just as history is written by the winners, historical fiction must have a point of view.
>208 jnwelch: - Shogun was the only one by Clavell that I ever read and if I am honest, I can't really remember much of the story now.
>202 DeltaQueen50: - Judy, I also don't remember much (if any) Canadian literature being on any high school reading list. Maybe there just wasn't much decent CanLit back then. Certainly, it has exploded in recent decades but not when I was in school. The names Hugh MacLennan, Gabrielle Roy and Margaret Laurence were known to me (and maybe Richler), but I am honestly not sure if I read them on my own or if they were part of the Lit curriculum. I think back then, we were mostly meant to be exposed to the so-called classics: Shakespeare, Dickens, and those. Once I finished high school and went on to college, I began to take more Lit courses and expand my own horizons. Plus, we had a lot of those others I mentioned (Michener, Uris, and those) in the house.
These days, it's hard to keep up with the CanLit scene. I am still trying to increase my reading of Canadian authors.
>160 jnwelch: *averts eyes* I do not need another series!
(as I scurry off to investigate it :)
>212 jnwelch: LIKE. I wish I was there, right now, instead of pounding the pavement.
Morning, Joe. I have been meaning to read A Separate Piece for ages. I should just knock it out and see for myself.
Good luck with today's workout.
I'm not sure I had much exposure out here in California to Canadian Lit. I do feel like I had some pretty progressive teachers tho. Without thinking I can remember the names of my 8th grade and first year and 4th year high school English teachers because they were so excellent. I should be able to remember them all because I certainly remember the books they exposed me to. As for Canada books I doubt anyone saw anything beyond Farley Mowat's books like Never Cry Wolf. I do remember one other though - it was an historical fiction called Guns at Quebec which was, as I remember, an optional choice for us to read in 8th grade for a book report. I liked it so much that when I was home sick and in the hospital for appendix removal my mom bought me my own copy to read and I still have it - one of only 8 people on LT as it turns out so it was clearly not a classic.
>178 jnwelch: I'd recommend trying out the new Anne with an E series and seeing what you think. It might not be for everyone, but at least give it a shot.
Yes, when I was in upper elementary school and junior high I was a bit obsessed with Lucy Maud Montgomery and read A LOT of her books. I'd very much like to re-read some as an adult, but there are always so many new and interesting books to check out that I rarely have time for re-reads.
Also glad to hear more people chiming in with love for A Separate Peace ... now we know the PBS poll isn't rigged ;D
It is peculiar about the author adamantly denying a homoerotic theme in the book as it seemed very obvious. Reminds me of how the author Rene Magritte was against anyone trying to look at his artwork with a Freudian perspective, saying something to the effect of 'what I paint is exactly what it is' ... this being the same surrealist artist who painted this: http://www.diptyqueparis-memento.com/en/the-treachery-of-images/
>180 jnwelch:, 182 (and others in this thread) Maybe having to read a book makes the difference, but then again there were plenty of things I read in high school because it was assigned that I absolutely loved. For instance, I'm a Jane Austen fan today because Pride and Prejudice was required reading, and it just took off from there for me. :) My high school was biased very heavily towards American and British literature, which was unfortunate, so I've tried to read more from other cultures as an adult.
>186 jnwelch: Great picture of sleeping Rafa :)
All this talk of Canadian lit makes me want to head to the library and pick up some Robertson Davies novels!
For those who haven't been following PBS's The Great American Read, the "winner" of America's Favorite Novel is (drumroll!)....To Kill a Mockingbird.
Considering that Potter, Outlander and P&P fans are somewhat over the top (having conventions, dressing up as their favorite characters) I would have thought their enthusiasm for daily voting would have prevailed. They all came in the top five but apparently TKAM took over the #1 position from the beginning and maintained it through the weeks of voting. I loved all these books and although I've thought the whole idea of a competition was silly - its real and noble aim was to get people enthusuastic about good books - I feel a bit proud that the voters chose this masterpiece about racial injustice as their undisputed favorite. With all the cruel rhetoric swirling about us these days, it's a ray of hope.
>213 NarratorLady: Now you've got me thinking I need to add Trinity to the WL, Anne. If it caught your imagination that much, it's worth giving a go.
I'm woefully under-educated on the Troubles, so that would help.
>214 jessibud2: Shogun was the best of his, Shelley, but Tai-Pan was a close second for me. I also liked Noble House, and I think there was one more set in Asia?
I personally don't look for AmLit vs. BritLit vs. CanLit, or any other Lit, but I can see why you would. A lot of authors are coming up in this discussion that I hadn't really thought about as Canadian. When they write about the old country, or a different country, it can be particularly hard to tell - e.g. Kim Thuy. Rohinton Mistry comes to mind, too.
>215 ChelleBearss: You need this series, Chelle! LOL. I'm always on the lookout for new series. This Doyle and Acton one is like eating potato chips. I'm already halfway through the 6th, and I'm reading the new Murakami book at the same time.
>216 msf59: You and me both, brother. That park makes for great hiking. Debbi and I were talking about how soothing the sound of that water is.
I actually think you'd like A Separate Peace a lot. The dark aspects I remember would be just your cuppa. Do pick it up some time - it's really well-written.
The workout was fine. Poor Debbi couldn't join me because of a bad cold.
>217 RBeffa: Oh my, Farley Mowat. I didn't think of him, Ron. I loved Never Cry Wolf and Snow Walker.
Yeah, Guns at Quebec isn't one I know, but I like that it helped you get through being sick and in the hospital.
>222 NarratorLady: Yes! Great to hear re Transcription, Anne!
That quote is right on the money, isn't it. I have trouble believing this is happening in our country. Election soon. It's good we're learning more about Canada, since many of us may be packing our bags and trying to migrate there if this keeps going in the wrong direction.
>218 sweetiegherkin: I'll definitely give Anne with an E a go, sweetieg. I love the story. You're also reminding me that I'd like to read more of the Anne series.
I'd not heard that one about Magritte and Freud, but I can see it. Magritte likely wanted viewers to openly experience the painting, and not get caught up in rational analysis.
Maybe it's not so much that the book is assigned in high school, as it is the dreary context that can create. Reading becomes an obligation to check off the list and get done, and people in the class can be unenthused? Teachers have to overcome that, and some may be better at it than others. On the other hand, I take your point that a book like Pride and Prejudice is great regardless of whether it's assigned or not. I'd say the same for To Kill a Mockingbird, which won the Great American Read show.
>220 jnwelch: I don't know how it would be to read now Joe, but Trinity was a great book when I read it way back when and has remained on the short list of my favorite novels of all time, up there close to Shogun. One more note about Canada lit - I highly recommend Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road. I've intended to read more of his work but as always there is so much I want to read that I can't seem to get to everything ...
>219 NarratorLady: Oh, I loved that Deptford Trilogy of his, Anne. Right, I must've read your post first, because I was just saying to sweetieg that To Kill a Mockingbird won. That is one great book. Unforgettable. You're right, it's heartening that a book about racial prejudice won, in this day in which heartless, racist "nationalism" is getting such a platform.
>204 jnwelch: I can see how Lord of the Flies would rub some people the wrong way. It is intense and it does show a pessimistic view of a how civilization could descend into savagery. For, me I held with the protagonist and, even though he became an 'enemy of the state', he stood strong even to the end. He would not be bullied or persuaded to join the majority.
>224 RBeffa: Good to hear the added support for Trinity, Ron. Three Day Road looks excellent, too. Thanks for the tip on that one.
>226 brodiew2: Yeah, good point about the protagonist, Brodie, and our son raised that, too. It's a great book, but it rubbed me the wrong way like few others. Meaning, it got under my skin, and it's hard to criticize it for that. But I sure wouldn't want to re-read it.
>220 jnwelch: - Oh, I recognize all those Clavell titles. I'm sure they were in our house on the shelves and that my dad read them all!
>217 RBeffa: - Hehe, I will admit that I have never heard of that one, Ron! And I lived in Quebec! lol However, I did read Mowat and his wife, Claire Mowat, wrote a gorgeous little book called The Outport People, about their early years living in Newfoundland. I loved that book. The movie made from Never Cry Wolf, by the way, was very well done.
>219 NarratorLady: - I didn't get to Robertson Davies until after I was out of school. Much later, in fact. I was living in Germany for about a year, in my late 20s and took only a handful of books with me. Among them were 2 of Davies' trilogies: Deptford and Cornish. Brilliant stuff.
I read all the Clavell books very early on keeping a note of my reading so that would be the second half of 1995, I really enjoyed them all. The other one set in Asia is Gai-Jin.
>228 m.belljackson: Right, Marianne. I made a mental note to get over to your new thread for titles. Let's bring the link down here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/297680
>229 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. It was a great trip. Nice to be outside in some wildness.
I remember Woman in the Mist, but never read it. Thanks for the reminder.
>230 jessibud2: Those Clavell titles were fun adventure tales, Shelley. I'll bet lots of dads were like yours (and like me) and read them all.
I did see that Never Cry Wolf movie many years ago, with Charles Martin Smith doing a good job as Farley. I'll have to remember The Outport People; that's a new one for me.
That Deptford Trilogy was brilliant, for sure. I haven't read the Cornish one.
>233 jnwelch:, I also enjoyed the Richard Chamberlain Shogun TV mini-series. Hope all is well with you and Debbi mate, sending love and hugs to you both from both if us dear friends.
>235 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I got you, but mis-numbered it. Go up to >227 jnwelch:; I fixed it.
>234 johnsimpson: That was a fun one, John. Along with The Thorn Birds, he was the King of the Mini-Series back then.
All is well with us, thanks, although Debbi's fighting a lousy cold. We're heading out to a basketball game together tonight (Chicago Bulls), so we'll see. May have to leave early. We're both sending love and (cold-free) hugs to you and Karen, mate.
Just making sure my poetry-loving comrades know that we've lost one of the good ones...Tony Hoagland died yesterday.
>237 laytonwoman3rd: Oh no! Thanks for letting us know, but that's a big blow, Linda. He's one of the best. I thought he was too young to go now. Eesh.
Thanks for the link. Pancreatic cancer. Crap. Wait until brother Mark hears this one.
I was just in the process of reading all his books. Mark and I have been going back and forth about how good Hoagland is. 64 years old. What a big loss. RIP, Tony.
>237 laytonwoman3rd: Nooooooooooo!! I have been really enjoying Mr. Hoagland's poetry. How sad. And only 64!
One of his many fine poems:
A Color of the Sky
By Tony Hoagland
Windy today and I feel less than brilliant,
driving over the hills from work.
There are the dark parts on the road
when you pass through clumps of wood
and the bright spots where you have a view of the ocean,
but that doesn’t make the road an allegory.
I should call Marie and apologize
for being so boring at dinner last night,
but can I really promise not to be that way again?
And anyway, I’d rather watch the trees, tossing
in what certainly looks like sexual arousal.
Otherwise it’s spring, and everything looks frail;
the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves
are full of infant chlorophyll,
the very tint of inexperience.
Last summer’s song is making a comeback on the radio,
and on the highway overpass,
the only metaphysical vandal in America has written
MEMORY LOVES TIME
in big black spraypaint letters,
which makes us wonder if Time loves Memory back.
Last night I dreamed of X again.
She’s like a stain on my subconscious sheets.
Years ago she penetrated me
but though I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed,
I never got her out,
but now I’m glad.
What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.
What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel.
What I thought was an injustice
turned out to be a color of the sky.
Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;
overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,
dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,
so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
and throwing it away,
and making more.
>128 jnwelch: I have five more days before I retire from academia, where I spent 36 of my 66 years. This cartoon reminded me of some of the frustrations of teaching how to write. I may have mentioned this before, but it is my favorite, and it bears repeating. In the activities section of the yearbook, the Art Club noted the following in their description of events they did that academic year: "We took a bus and we went with Salvadore Dali to see his paintings!" I returned the page and asked how they were able to get Salvadore out of the ground, and how they managed to fit him into the bus.
Thankfully, there were instances when writing was crisp and clear. Those are the writings that far out shone the difficult sentences.
Hi Joe! Thought I'd just say Hi! before you start a new thread. Hopelessly behind on LT. : )
>242 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. What a loss. I thought we had many years more with him. He left behind some great poems. I'm glad you liked that one.
>243 Whisper1: You're almost there, Linda! I'll join the chorus of voices singing about how much you'll enjoy retirement.
I've seen on FB the many paeans to your many contributions and lasting effect at Lehigh. Congratulations! I love the Salvadore Dali story. How lucky they were to get him to bus there with them so many years after his death! His melted watch takes on new meaning for me.
>249 laytonwoman3rd: Kudos to your daughter with excellent taste, Linda. You're right - it ain't right. Too young. That's a tough cancer to beat - it usually spreads before it's diagnosed, as far as I know.
Here's one of Hoagland's from a few years ago, about the effect on a friend of prolonged exposure to death. I wonder whether the same might have been said of himself.
Prolonged exposure to death
Has made my friend quieter.
Now his nose is less like a hatchet
And more like a snuffler.
Flames don’t erupt from his mouth anymore
And life doesn’t crack his thermometer.
Instead of overthrowing the government
He reads fly-fishing catalogues
And takes photographs of water.
An aphorist would say
The horns of the steer have grown straighter.
He has an older heart
that beats younger.
His Attila the Hun imitation
Is not as good as it used to be.
Everything else is better.
Thanks so much, Joe, for paying tribute to Mr. Hoagland with these two wonderful poems. This guy was definitely the BOMB!
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