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Joe's Book Cafe Door 20

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe Door 19.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe Door 21.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Oct 25, 1:09pm Top

Art by Robert LaDuke

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Nov 14, 5:32pm Top

My reading so far.

January, 2018

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

February 2018

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
149. Murder in Shadows by Anne Cleeland
150. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
151. Murder in Misdirection by Anne Cleeland
152. Murder in Spite by Anne Cleeland
153. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami


154. You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day
155. Collected Poems W.B. Yeats
156. Guardian Angels and Other Monsters by Daniel H. Wilson
157. Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer
158. Past Tense by Lee Child

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
64. 100 Bullets Book 5 by Brian Azzarello
65. Human Target Living in Amerika by Peter Milligan
66. Saga Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughan
67. Super Mutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki (re-read)
68. Rat Queens Vol. 3 by Kurtis J. Wiebe

*Also a graphic novel

Edited: Oct 25, 12:55pm Top

Rafa reading his New Yorker

Edited: Nov 14, 5:38pm Top

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

House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami


Where Now by Laura Kasischke

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith

The Carrying by Ada Limon

Priest Turned 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

Young Adult

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


The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Murder in Thrall by Anne Cleeland

Illustrated Books

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

Edited: Nov 14, 5:39pm Top

Here's the obituary for my late father Lyndon:


He's missed.

Edited: Nov 14, 5:40pm Top

Debbi and Joe punting (think poling a boat, not American football) in Cambridge

Edited: Oct 25, 1:05pm Top

A favorite poet of mine and Mark's, Tony Hoagland, just died. May he rest in peace.

From the Poetry Foundation:

Tony Hoagland was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He earned a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Hoagland was the author of the poetry collections Sweet Ruin (1992), which was chosen for the Brittingham Prize in Poetry and won the Zacharis Award from Emerson College; Donkey Gospel (1998), winner of the James Laughlin Award; What Narcissism Means to Me (2003), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Rain (2005); Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010); Application for Release from the Dream (2015); Recent Changes in the Vernacular (2017); and Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God (2018). He has also published two collections of essays about poetry: Real Sofistakashun (2006) and Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays (2014). Hoagland’s poetry is known for its acerbic, witty take on contemporary life and “straight talk,” in the words of New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner: “At his frequent best … Hoagland is demonically in touch with the American demotic.”

Hoagland’s many honors and awards included fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He received the O.B. Hardison Prize for Poetry and Teaching from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Award, and the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers. Hoagland taught at the University of Houston and in the Warren Wilson MFA program. He died in October 2018.

Edited: Oct 25, 1:06pm Top

Edited: Oct 25, 1:24pm Top

>8 jnwelch: pffft.

>7 jnwelch: I just dropped a couple of Tony Hoagland's volumes in my shopping cart. Loved the poem on video in the NYTimes obit. Made me laugh.

Now, there must be some jam doughnuts/donuts somewhere round here...

OK, just nipped out for some. Help yourselves.

Oct 25, 2:17pm Top

Happy new thread!

>9 Caroline_McElwee: Wow, those look yummy!

Oct 25, 2:21pm Top

Happy new one, Joe!

>1 jnwelch: I love these topper images; especially the top most. It reminds me of my Pacific Northwest home!

>4 jnwelch: I'll have to look back on you Circe review. I've heard good things and might give it a go.

There is light at the end of my Way of Kings odyssey. I, now, have only 7 discs to go (of 36) and things that have been simmering are starting to heat up!

Oct 25, 2:41pm Top

>3 jnwelch: Joe--Love the Rafa picture!! Who staged that one, huh?

>4 jnwelch: Your favorites list is almost as long as your read list!! LOL You have been enjoying a fine year in books.

>6 jnwelch: And I must say, you two look good punting!

>9 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, don't mind if I do.

Oct 25, 3:32pm Top

>9 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Nice, Caroline. Nothing better than a customer who brings her own goodies. Thanks!

I'm glad you put a couple of Hoagland books in your shopping cart. I'll have to check out that NY Times obit.

>10 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi! That Caroline is a generous soul, isn't she.

Oct 25, 3:38pm Top

>11 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. Aren't those fun ones from Robert LaDuke? They've got a bit of that art deco feeling to them.

Circe was very good. If you haven't read her Song of Achilles, that's another standout.

Ha! Kudos to you for hanging in there with an obviously lengthy The Way of Kings. I'm glad it's heating up.

>12 Berly: Isn't that Rafa photo a hoot, Kim? No doubt his ma put that one together. When Rafa's done reading the New Yorker, he likes to eat it.

Ha! Yeah, that favorites list is getting long, isn't it. There have been a lot of good ones. The most recent addition is Murder in Thrall to the Mystery favorites - that's the series I'm currently addicted to.

Thank you for the kind words on our Cambridge adventure - I don't believe we've ever been told we look good punting! I'll let Debbi know. :-)

Thank goodness Caroline brought a lot today.

Oct 25, 3:45pm Top

Happy new thread! As usual, your topper artwork is great! I love the beach pic.

Oct 25, 3:52pm Top

Happy new thread Joe and great topper pictures, love the photo of Rafa mate. Sad to read that Debbi is under the weather mate, I have sent special healing hugs and kisses to her via Facebook but send them again in here to double up the healing from us both.

Oct 25, 4:43pm Top

>15 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I love the beach pic, too. Of course, my favorite is the coffee pot. No surprise from the cafe owner, right?

>16 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. Isn't Rafa a keeper? Yeah, poor Debbi got hit hard with a cold. As she says, at least it waited until our much enjoyed trip to Tennessee was over. We just got her more chicken soup, Cold-eeze and a magazine to help her get through it. I will let her know about the doubled up special healing hugs and kisses you sent. Thanks, buddy.

Oct 25, 4:58pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Joe. Happy New Thread! Love the toppers, especially the Rafa one.

>7 jnwelch: Also love the Hoagland tribute. I will have to slowly work my way through all his work.

What did you think of The Golden Compass GN? Worth my precious time?

Oct 25, 7:11pm Top

Happy new thread!

Oct 25, 7:51pm Top

Hey, Joe.

Edited: Oct 25, 9:21pm Top

>18 msf59:. Sweet Thursday, Mark! Thanks, buddy. That Rafa one always gets me smiling.

I’m glad you like the Hoagland tribute. Ditto re working my way through all his books. I wonder whether there were unpublished ones we’ll be seeing.

DIL Adriana took a class with him while she was at Rice, I just found out, and said he was one of her best professors. (He taught at U of Houston, so I’ll have to ask her more).

The Golden Compass Graphic Novel: yes, definitely worth your time. I really like the way they did it. My problem is waiting for them to do the rest of the story - I want it now.

Oct 25, 9:07pm Top

>19 figsfromthistle:. Thanks, figs!

>20 weird_O:. Hey, Bill. How’s the weirdness going?

Oct 25, 10:34pm Top

Add me to the list if people who think you should read Trinity by Leon Uris. Then when you finish it you can read the sequel - Redemption. Everybody who reads these books falls in love with Conner Larkin!

Then you can read the trilogy about Ireland by Thomas Flanagan. Those books are Year of the French, Tennants of Time, and End of the Hunt. These will take you through the Irish uprising of 1799, the Charles Parnell years, and the Civil War that followed independence that lead directly to the "Troubles." They are all wonderful books. I read some of them before my trip to Belfast and some after. They are a grape at way to learn history.

Oct 25, 10:37pm Top

All this talk about those great historical epics makes me wonder what has happened that people don't read these as much anymore?

Oct 26, 12:30am Top

Happy new one, Joe. Love the toppers. I am a sucker for art deco type art. If it is on book covers I have a tendency to buy them. Looks like Rafa is picking out his next ride in the New Yorker.

Oct 26, 5:18am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy new thread!

I hope MBH is feeling better this morning.

Oct 26, 8:16am Top

>23 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Good to hear the endorsements of Trinity and its sequel, and the Flanagan trilogy. I remember when Year of the French was a big seller, and I've thought about trying it many times.

>24 benitastrnad: I think people still read great historical epics - Hilary Mantel, Ken Follett and Edward Rutherford come to mind. Are there fewer being written than previously?

Oct 26, 8:26am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy new one! I'm so happy you brought over that photo of Rafa - makes me smile BIG every time.

As always, the toppers are great.

Edited: Oct 26, 8:29am Top

>25 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. It is art deco type art, isn't it. I'm a sucker for it, too. Great art for book covers. Here's a pretty good one:

Oct 26, 8:31am Top

>26 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Thanks!

Thanks for thinking of Madame MBH. She is still asleep, so that's a good sign. She had a mighty lousy day yesterday. For her, colds often turn into virally-induced asthma, and that's happened here, darn it.

>28 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Thanks, my friend.

I love that photo of Rafa, too, and I'm glad you like the toppers. It's going to be fun to watch this little boy as he grows - well, it already is.

Oct 26, 9:19am Top

Good morning Joe, and happy Friday to you.

Happy new thread, too. Love the toppers, especially the lifeguard station. My husband was amazed the first time he saw a lifeguard station in SoCal. To me, of course, having been born and raised there, they were the norm.

I enjoyed the discussion of assigned books from last thread.

I'm sorry to hear that Madame MBH is sick and that the cold turned into viral-induced asthma. My sister acquired asthma in her 30s and after a sinus infection/bronchitis/ear infection a month ago has been plagued by her asthma, too. I'm sending healing thoughts to her. Away, little asthma bugs!

Oct 26, 10:51am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Friday! Sorry, to hear about Debbi's illness. I hope it begins to get better from here. Are you making to your workout?

I'll be wrapping up the Changers today. A fun, diverting read.

Oct 26, 11:27am Top

Hi Joe! I noticed that your list of books doesn't include Transcription. Is that an oversight or did you not finish it? I loved it, read it in a day (unusual for this slow reader). Next up: the highly recommended The Heart's Invisible Furies but not til Monday. Babysitting the grandkids this weekend which we love but the only books I read will be for a 3-year-old ... And lots of then!

I hope Debbi is feeling better soon.

Oct 26, 11:44am Top

I hope Debbi is on the mend Joe. Give her a hug from me.

Oct 26, 11:46am Top

Happy Friday, Joe! I hope that the gentleman in >8 jnwelch: isn't in a rush; I suspect he'll be there for awhile.

I own a copy of The Teleportation Accident, but I haven't read it yet. I agree, the cover is outstanding.

Give my best wishes to Debbi; I hope that she's feeling better today.

Oct 26, 12:42pm Top

>31 karenmarie: Good morning, Karen. Happy Friday - we made it!

Thanks re the new thread, and I'm glad you like the toppers. Where is your husband from? I didn't grow up in Cal, but I was used to lifeguard stations before I lived there (in Santa Barbara).

Yeah, I enjoyed that assigned books discussion, too. I should try to find out what my hometown high school assigns these days. I wonder whether the thinking has changed much.

Sorry to hear your sister has been plagued by asthma. Thanks for the healing thoughts for Debbi; she's doing a bit better, seems to me, but it's a hard one to kick. I'm with you - away, little asthma bugs!

Oct 26, 12:55pm Top

>32 msf59: Morning, Mark. Happy Friday, buddy.

Thanks re Debbi. I'm seeing some improvement. We're going to take it easy this weekend - she just moved the date for a play we were going to tonight. Yes, I've been going to work out without her, which isn't half as much fun. I'm hoping she can get back to it on Monday.

Yay for Changers! I'm glad it's been a fun diverting, read. The rest in the series continue that, particularly as the romance aspect gets trickier.

>33 NarratorLady: Did I forget to list Transcription, Anne? I loved it, too, and talked about it here. I have it listed on my favorites up in >4 jnwelch:. I probably should've done a mini-review. Sometimes I miss getting them on the ones I've read list - all the traveling goofs me up sometimes. I'll add it after this. I'm glad you loved it, and not at all surprised. She's got the knack.

The Heart's Invisible Furies is new to me, so please let us know what you think of it. How great that you're babysitting the grandkids this weekend, and that you'll be reading lots of books to your 3 year old grandkid. One of life's great pleasures, and so good for him/her.

Thanks re Debbi. I'm hoping she starts feeling much improved over the weekend.

Oct 26, 1:01pm Top

>34 Caroline_McElwee: I will give Debbi a hug for you, Caroline, thanks. She'll appreciate your thinking of her.

>35 kidzdoc: Hiya, Darryl. Ha! Yeah, the gentleman in >8 jnwelch: may be waiting a while. Someone said they hoped he brought his lunch.

I remember The Teleportation Accident getting a fair amount of buzz way back when, but I don't know anyone who's read it. If you get to it, please let me know what you think. Great cover, intriguing title.

Debbi's not sure she's feeling better, but it seems to me she's improved since yesterday. I'll give her your best wishes. I'm hoping that resting over the weekend helps. She doesn't get hit often with this kind of thing, but when she does, it tends to be a wallop.

Oct 26, 1:51pm Top

>36 jnwelch: My husband was born near Charlotte, NC and raised in Chapel Hill, NC. We currently live south of Chapel Hill outside of a small town called Pittsboro. Bill's used to the Atlantic lake Ocean, not the mighty Pacific.

Edited: Oct 26, 2:41pm Top

>39 karenmarie: Ha! That's a pretty part of the country, Karen. I was used to Ocean Lake Michigan, and we'd go out every summer to Cape Cod to swim in the Atlantic. That's where I learned to body surf.

Oct 26, 3:51pm Top

I love the picture on the last thread of Rafa 'conked out' on his bed after a hard day of sand playing and milk drinking, no doubt :) So sweet!!!

Happy new thread, sorry I missed the last one....threads fly like time around here.

Oct 26, 3:54pm Top

>30 jnwelch: Oh, dang. I sympathize with her: nearly every illness I get turns into acute bronchitis. Yoicks.

Oct 26, 4:26pm Top

Happy New Thread Joe !

>8 jnwelch: made me snort

Yes - read Trinity. And The Hearts Invisible Furies too.

Hope Debbi feels better soon.

Oct 26, 4:45pm Top

Read Trinity earlier in the year and hope to read Redemption by the end of the year, I really enjoyed Trinity.

Oct 26, 5:05pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe!
I hope Debbi feels better soon.

>2 jnwelch: Congratulations on reaching 2 x 75!

Oct 26, 9:40pm Top

I hope the Mrs gets better. My brother suffered with asthma but I luckily didn't have that problem. Unfortunately tho I have gotten bronchitis the last few winters and I do NOT like it.

All this Trinity talk makes me want to re-read Trinity and the followup which I do not think I ever read. I have however already started on another Irish history which is going to keep me busy for 1700 pages, Edward Rutherford's two part Dublin Saga. Going back and forth between that and Murakami is very weird and I need to stop and just do the Haruki.

Edited: Oct 28, 6:11pm Top

There has been quite a discussion among YA authors about the demise of the historical fiction novel in YA. Authors like Libba Bray and Ruta Sepetys, who write historical fiction, say that it is getting harder and harder to get publishers to look at anything that doesn't fit into the fantasy genre.

Children's authors aren't having as much of a problem with historical fiction.

In the adult world all literary fiction is in a sales decline. Fantasy is stillll big but none romance historical fiction sales are slumping. There are exceptions but in general the ener is hurting.

Oct 27, 8:56am Top

>47 benitastrnad: Benita, Have you heard of When The Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (no touchstones yet), a YA novel about a young girl’s experience in the concentration camps whose ability to play the viol saved her life? I thought it was excellent. Also, the author is an artist and her drawings were lovely. Not a graphic novel but I’m sure she’ll produce one one day.

Oct 27, 10:47am Top

>41 LovingLit: Madame MBH adores that photo of the conked-out Rafa, too, Megan. A fun-filled day, a satisfying meal, and sound sleep. He's living the good life, that little guy.

Thanks re the new thread. That last one seemed to go by particularly fast.

>42 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. She's better today. She was determined to get outside, and is out with our daughter watching the little kids in their costumes trick or treat in our local retail area. That asthma cough annoys her like nothing else.

Oct 27, 10:52am Top

>43 SuziQoregon: Thanks Juli!

I'm pleased >8 jnwelch: was snort-worthy. :-) Poor guy may be there a long time.

Good to hear re Trinity and The Heart's Invisible Furies.

Debbi seems improved. I'll let her know you're thinking of her.

>44 johnsimpson: Oh good, John, thanks I appreciate the Trinity endorsement of such recent vintage. I'll watch for your comments on Redemption.

Oct 27, 10:56am Top

Morning, Joe. Not bad out here on the route and I have good books to keep me company.

I did warble quite loud about Invisible Furies, but it must not have been a high enough pitch to catch your attention. Grins...

I hope Debbi is feeling better today.

Oct 27, 11:00am Top

>45 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Debbi's feeling improved. I hope all is well where you are.

Thanks also re the 2x75. It's been another good reading year, for sure. Less nonfiction than usual for me; my brain hasn't been up to it.

>46 RBeffa: Thanks, Ron. Bronchitis is a nasty business. I hope you get to skip it this winter.

Yeah, the asthma missed me, but got Debbi and both our kids. Both Debbi and our daughter are virally-induced, so a cold can become much more major, unfortunately.

Ha! I can imagine going back and forth between Edward Rutherford and Mr. Bizarre, Murakami, would be disconcerting. I've enjoyed the two Rutherfords I've read - very plain vanilla writing, seems like, but good storytelling and history. I'll look forward to hearing what you think of the Dublin Saga. As I mentioned to Mark, I'm about 5/7 of the way through Killing Commendatore, and hope to make good progress on it today.

Edited: Oct 27, 11:13am Top

>47 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita.

There has been quite a discussion among YA authors about the demise of the historical fiction novel in YA. Authors like Libba Bray and Ruta Sepetys, who write historical fiction, say that it is getting harder and harder to get publishers to look at anything that doesn't like into the fantasy genre.

Children's authors aren't having as much of a problem with historical fiction.

Ah, gotcha. I have seen that YA discussion. I've particularly enjoyed Ruta Sepetys. I have a feeling (no data) that the YA fantasy genre is getting oversaturated. My eyes start to cross there's so many of them now. Maybe the wheel will turn.

Children's authors: there does seem to be an awful lot of quality historical fiction and nonfiction coming out now.

>48 NarratorLady: When the Night Sings - adding it to the WL. Good tip, Anne. Not sure why the touchstone for Vesper Stamper's book is absent.

>51 msf59: Morning, Mark. I'm glad it's going well today.

I was probably in my dazed and confused mode when you warbled about Invisible Furies. I'll take a look.

Debbi is feeling better today, and she's out with Becca checking out the kids in costumes - it's a neighborhood tradition for the stores to provide treats for the little ones.

Oct 27, 11:52am Top

That asthma cough annoys her like nothing else. Ouch, I know that one! Does she have, and use, a puffer? I was diagnosed with adult-onset asthma about 25 years ago (as were my mother and grandmother before me!), and every time I'd catch a cold (which was often, working with little kids), and it would settle in the chest, even the act of inhaling would trigger coughing spasms. When I finally got my puffer, it made a world of difference. Although I seldom need it these days, it's always with me in my bag.

Quick healing vibes out your way for Debbi

Oct 27, 11:58am Top

>54 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Yeah, she uses a puffer (inhaler). We're covered six ways to Sunday, as we've had an allergist specialist since our daughter was a wee lass. Unfortunately, there's no way (yet) to just plain get rid of it.

Thanks re the healing vibes. I just heard from her and she's having a good time with our daughter - sitting, she emphasizes - and not overdoing things.

Edited: Oct 27, 12:01pm Top

Fall comes to the city (on a walk near our house)

Oct 27, 12:28pm Top

>56 jnwelch: Nice fall shot, Joe. Great cover for The Teleportation Accident. That is an intriguing title.

As you got me with the Anne Cleeland books I wanted to put an event on your radar. It's called "Whale of a Crime" and is a mystery convention for readers and writers to rub shoulders - Cleeland is on the list of attendees. It is in Vancouver March 28 - 31, 2019. See http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2019/index.html for more info. It would be an excuse to visit Vancouver - just saying.

Oct 27, 2:24pm Top

happy new thread, Joe!

Edited: Oct 27, 4:55pm Top

>57 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Isn't that an intriguing title and great cover for The Teleportation Accident? Now we just need to have someone stop by who's actually read the darn thing.

Ah, excellent. I'm glad I got you with the Anne Cleeland books. I'm just about to end my run, as I'm on the last published so far. So addictive!

Ha! That's quite an enticement to visit Vancouver. Thanks for the invite. We were last there when the kids were wee, and the city had the Vancouver Grizzlies basketball team (we watched them play the Timberwolves). I'll check out the link.

P.S. Post-link-viewing: Oh, I'm a C.J. Box/Joe Pickett fan, too. That adds to the enticement!

>58 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda!

Edited: Oct 27, 3:44pm Top

Rafa and his traveling companions at the pumpkin patch

Edited: Oct 27, 4:45pm Top

Rafa and his pa at the pumpkin patch today

Edited: Oct 27, 4:46pm Top

Lovely tree, lovely cheeky chappy with mom and dad.

I saw a poster for 'Caroline, or Change' opening in London next month, so I will certainly be getting a ticket for that, after your recommendation Joe.

Hoping Madam MBH continues to improve. Asthma cough is no joke. I had it for three months a few years back (though that was aggravated by stress), I hope Debbi gets shot of hers in days.

Oct 27, 5:54pm Top

>61 jnwelch: Look at that little guy:-)

Best wishes to Debbi, hope she gets rid of that asthma cough soon.

Oct 27, 6:23pm Top

Fabulous pictures of Rafa and and his family , Joe! Thanks for sharing! My pictures of Melissa are mainly my daughter in law's Instagram. With all of their extreme hygiene rules. I was surprised to find that Melissa is taking " baby " swimming lessons, once a week. She seems to enjoy it quite a bit. She's even been to the pumpkin patch. Perhaps they will gradually loosen up?

I'm sorry to that Debbi has not been feeling well, but I'm glad to read that she is recovering. I have a friend who suffers with asthma, and you are right, it's no joke. I think that finally it's under control with a couple of inhalers. I used to hear from her, after an ambulance ride to the hospital , when the inhalers that she had failed to work. Scary stuff . I've not heard that from her in several years, so I assume that they have the medications sorted out for her.

And by the way, I loved The Heart's Invisible Furies. I'm sure you will too. It was very readable and pages flew by.

Oct 27, 8:58pm Top

>3 jnwelch: He will be a reader, growing up in your family! That is a wonderful thing.

>8 jnwelch: *snork*

I have The Heart's Invisible Furies sitting by my bedside. Hoping to get to it before the end of the year. I decided to read The Death's Head Chess Club to finish out October and, while the coincidences are perhaps a bit much, it's also an engaging read so far.

Hmm, I haven't tried CJ Box yet. But I probably need another series on which to fall behind (ha).

Sending along healing vibes to Debbi. I hope she feels better soon.

Oct 27, 10:30pm Top

I'll catch up tomorrow, but I just finished Killing Commendatore. Wow, what a book. It's got my mind zinging all over the place.

Oct 28, 10:45am Top

>62 Caroline_McElwee: Ha! Thanks, Caroline. That boy is a lovely cheeky chappy, isn't he.

Oh good! I was hoping "Caroline, or Change" would make it across the pond. I'm glad you're going to see it. Can't wait to hear what you think. I'm sure there'll be some amazing voices.

Three months! I think Debbi would've gone crazy if it had hung around that long. The asthma cough is the big remaining problem. If she could shoot it, she would.

>63 EllaTim: He's a sweet little guy, isn't he, Ella. His parents take such good care of him.

Thanks - Debbi appreciates the good wishes. You can imagine how aggravated she is by this cough.

Edited: Oct 28, 11:05am Top

>64 vancouverdeb: Thanks re the Rafa photos, Deborah. Woo, I don't envy you being the grandparent with overly-hygienic parents. That is good news though, with the swimming and pumpkin patch. Maybe they will loosen up.

Yeah, sorting out the medication is a big deal for asthmatics. Our daughter is a severe asthmatic, starting before she was 2 years old, so we went through a lot getting hers under control. The inhaler helps Debbi, but it takes time for an episode to go away. Luckily, she doesn't get them often.

Thanks for the endorsement of Heart's Invisible Furies. I didn't know there were so many 75er fans!

>65 EBT1002: Yeah, I can't imagine Rafa not reading, Ellen; he lives in a world of books in his parents' house. Plus he's such an engaged little fellow. You're right; that is a wonderful thing. I worried that ours might not be readers, but they sure took that worry away.

Ha! I'm glad that >8 jnwelch: got a snork. :-)

Good to have some company in not having read The Heart's Invisible Furies. I have no idea when I might get to it, but it sure has enthusiastic supporters. The Death's Head Chess Club is new to me; I'll look for your comments as you go along.

C.J. Box's Joe Pickett is a game warden in Wyoming who keeps getting caught up in solving mysteries, particularly once the governor scopes out that he's good at working his way through difficult ones. The books are page-turners, and as the NY Times says, ""Joe Pickett, the conscientious game warden in these rugged novels... shows the tough-and-tender qualities that make him such a great guy to have on your side."

Thanks re the healing vibes for Debbi. She's improved, but that cough is taking a while to get rid of.

Edited: Oct 28, 1:46pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. We have a family get-together today, to celebrate Sue's birthday, (she is a Halloween baby). I did manage to get some reading in this A.M. and now I am watching the Bears. This should be an easy win...rolls eyes a little.

I loved Saga volume 9. A lot of big things happen in those last dozen pages. Wow. Do you know, if is planning to wrap this up soon? My next GN, is Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. Marianne put this one on my radar. Sounds really good.

**I just ordered Killing Commendatore! Yah!!

Oct 28, 3:42pm Top

Thought the mystery convention would spark some interest, Joe. Great pumpkin patch photo with your star grandchild. I hope that Debbi is well enough to accompany you to your workouts this week.

Oct 28, 5:51pm Top

Trying to get caught up…again. I am another fan of Heart's Invisible Furies. I think I can blame Mark for that one! As always, love the Rafa pictures. He looks nice and cozy in his carrier.

I notice that The Odyssey tops your list of favorites for this year. My interest in reading it and The Iliad has been piqued by my most recent book, Bridge of Clay. I've read bits of both books but have never read them all the way through. My loss.

Edited: Oct 28, 6:26pm Top

I checked out Teleportation Accident from the library a few years ago - when it first came out. I just never got it read. Like you and others here on LT it remains on my TBR list. As I recall the reviews of it were good and I believe it was on the Booker Prize Longlist in 2012. I would have thought that would have brought some notice on LT. But it didn’t.

Oct 28, 9:01pm Top

>69 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. Please tell Sue Happy (early) Birthday from us. I'm sure it was great family get-together for her.

Satisfying Bears win, right? The Jets aren't much, but we'll take it. It's nice to have a quarterback who doesn't throw stupid interceptions.

Oh good. I loved Saga Vol. 9, too, but had a tough time with that development at the end. He's one of my favorite characters! Sure seems like he's done for.

Yah for Killing Commendatore! You have a wild ride ahead of you, my friend. I'll try to do a mini-review without spoilers tomorrow.

>70 Familyhistorian: Ha! You know me well, Meg. I'm glad you like our Pumpkin Patch Kid. (Remember Cabbage Patch Kids?)

Debbi is determined that she's going to work out tomorrow. It's a little hard for me to imagine right now, but I expect she will. She's a warrior, and knows herself well.

Edited: Oct 29, 5:58pm Top

>71 Donna828: Hiya, Donna. I know, LT moves pretty fast sometimes. Good to hear re Heart's Invisible Furies. I apparently fumbled Mark's warble about it, but I'm glad you were listening carefully. That Rafa; he's having a grand time, he is.

As you may have seen, I'm a sucker for The Odyssey and The Iliad, so I've read multiple translations. I liked this Odyssey translation by Emily Wilson a lot; it may be my favorite, although it's close with Fagles and Lombardo. She has the distinction of being the first woman to translate it into English, and she does a heck of a job. I have what I thought was her Iliad translation on my TBR, but it turns out the translation is by Caroline Alexander. I understand that Wilson is, however, working on one.

How did you like Bridge of Clay? Mr. Zusak's new one has been getting a lot of positive buzz. You probably say on your thread; I'll be over to visit.

>72 benitastrnad: That's weird, isn't it, Benita. And we have so many conscientious Booker list readers in the LT gang. Maybe one of our 75er pals will read The Teleportation Accident and break the ice.

Edited: Oct 29, 8:12am Top

Our newest Chicago Bears fan was quite pleased with the Bears win over the Jets yesterday.

Oct 29, 8:24am Top

'Morning, Joe! Sorry about Debbi's cough. I hope it goes away soon.

CJ Box - one of our FoL volunteers is always looking for his books and now, with your description, I realize this might be a series I'd like. Sigh. Another one. Open Season goes on the wish list.

>75 jnwelch: Cute boy, sweet photo.

Oct 29, 8:32am Top

>76 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Me, too - we head out soon to work out. Fingers crossed that it's okay for our Debbi.

Ha! I'm a series fiend, so I'm always happy when I find another one I like. The other thing I'd say about that C.J. Box/Joe Pickett series is that it gets better - the first one is good, and then the writing and plotting pick up even more.

You might want to try the Doyle and Acton series by Anne Cleeland sometime, too. :-) *ducks*

Thanks re our sweet boy. He cracks me up.

Edited: Oct 29, 8:39am Top

Jeez Louise, now we've lost Ntozake Shange, at age 70. Here's one of hers:


by Ntozake Shange

one thing i don't need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don't know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry

i am simply tired
of collectin
i didnt know
i was so important toyou
i'm gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries
i'm gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
'if you called
to say yr sorry
call somebody
i dont use em anymore'
i let sorry/ didnt meanta/ & how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i'm gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i'm gonna soothe mine

you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
i will not call
i'm not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
& i wont be sorry for none of it

i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i'm not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you're mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself

Oct 29, 1:55pm Top

>78 jnwelch: I saw this yesterday. Too bad. And that is some poem.

>78 jnwelch: I didn't know Wilson also translated the Iliad. I might look for it.

Oct 29, 5:57pm Top

>79 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Right? Her For Colored Girls was a big ground-breaker back in the day.

I screwed up in saying the Iliad translation on my TBR was Emily Wilson's. I understand she's working on one, but the one I have is translated by Caroline Alexander. I'll fix it up there.

Oct 29, 7:55pm Top

>75 jnwelch: So what's up with that kid's shirt, Joe? Isn't his home base Pittsburgh? Shouldn't he be rootin' for the Steelers? Gotta get him started right.

Apropos Nuttin': Now available in the UK; preorder for the November 14 US release at amazon.

Here's a sample postcard:

Edited: Oct 29, 8:31pm Top

>81 weird_O: - Oh! I bet those will be brilliant!

Oct 30, 5:04am Top

>78 jnwelch: another beautiful poem by Ntozake Shange! Rhonda posted one on her thread, as well. I need to order a copy of one of her collections.

Adding Open Season to the wish list along with karenmarie.

Oct 30, 5:29am Top

Morning, Joe!

Oct 30, 8:02am Top

>75 jnwelch: Yah, for Rafa! Go Bears!!

>78 jnwelch: I love the "Sorry" poem. Strong stuff. I was not familiar with Shange. Sad that she has passed.

Morning, Joe. I am enjoying the day off, with plans to hike the Arboretum a bit and then reserve the afternoon for the books.

Oct 30, 11:26am Top

>81 weird_O: Ha! Morning, Bill. His ma's a Steelers fan, and his father grew up with yours truly as a Bears fan. Rafa has plenty of Steelers gear, too. When it comes to basketball (what's the deal with no NBA team in Pittsburgh?), ma's a Houston Rockets fan, and pa's a Chicago Bulls fan. It's going to be an interesting house to grow up in.

A new Tom Gauld!! Thanks for tipping us off. I may have to pre-order that one. Great title - I want to browse at the Snooty Bookshop.

Love the cartoon at the bottom!

>82 jessibud2: Ditto, Shelley!

Oct 30, 11:37am Top

>83 EBT1002: Yes, I read that special Shange poem on Rhonda's thread, too, Ellen. I'm glad you like this one. She gave us a lot - take a look at her For Colored Girls book, too. I read it, but I never did see it performed, darn it.

Yay for C.J. Box and Joe Pickett!

>84 scaifea: Morning, Amber!

>85 msf59: Ha! Go Bears! Go Rafa!

Morning, Mark. Great - enjoy the day off, my friend. It's supposed to go up into the 60s F today.

Edited: Oct 30, 12:35pm Top

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

"I was simply following ideas that sprang up naturally inside me, with no plan or goal. Like a child, not watching his step, chasing some unusual butterfly fluttering across a field. After adding this color to the canvas I set my palette and brush down, again sat down on the stool six feet away, and studied the painting straight on. This is indeed the right color, I decided. The kind of green found in a forest wet by rain. I nodded several times to myself. This was the kind of feeling toward a painting I hadn't experienced in years."

"Even the darkest, thickest cloud shines silver when viewed from above."

"Nothing is painted there yet, but it’s more than a simple blank space. Hidden on that white canvas is what must eventually emerge. As I look more closely, I discover various possibilities, which congeal into a perfect clue as to how to proceed. That’s the moment I really enjoy. The moment when existence and nonexistence coalesce."

In Murakami's wonderful new book, he takes us on an artist's journey while at the same time exploring various relationships and big ideas. A suggestion: whenever he mentioned a musical piece in the book, I found it and played it on Youtube. In Absolutely on Music, his dialogue with Seiji Ozawa, Murakami confirmed what a discerning ear he has, and what a knowledgeable layman he is. Fans will recall that he ran a jazz club in Tokyo before he became a writer. By following along musically in this book, I experienced a lot of music I'd not heard before. A highlight was Richard Strauss's Oboe Concerto, and even though I'm not an opera buff, I liked Der Rosenkavalier much more than I expected. He also got me back to listening to early Springsteen, something I haven't done for a while.

The story features an unnamed middle-aged man experiencing a crisis in his 6 year marriage, and eventually retreating to a famous artist's home in the mountains (the artist is declining in a hospital) . Our protagonist is a talented painter who's been making a living doing corporate portraits, but the change re-ignites his passion for unrestricted work. He finds a mysterious wrapped painting in the home, and hears a bell in the middle of the night sounding from near a shrine. The surreal events begin. Yes, there are cats, a hole like a well, a young girl who seems adrift, and other familiar Murakami elements. They're woven into a remarkably sure-handed story that has one of my favorite endings of any of his books.

One notable flaw, for me: his obsession with breasts continues, with much more than I needed about the 13 year old girl's longing for her flat chest to bloom. If the point was that she wished the protagonist would take a romantic interest in her, or her longing to be an adult, or whatever, it could've been conveyed with a lot less. But that's a small quibble.

I love what one reviewer had to say about his writing in this book: “Murakami dancing along ‘the inky blackness of the Path of Metaphor’ is like Fred Astaire dancing across a floor, then up the walls and onto the ceiling.”

He's a comfortable, confident guide who takes us places we never expected to go. Four and a half stars.

Edited: Oct 30, 12:38pm Top

At the movie theater last night, we saw the National Theatre's Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Highly recommended if you get a chance.

What I particularly liked is it closely follows the book, which is so much more complex and interesting than the familiar movies. The monster learns to read and talk - and what a talker! Jonny Lee Miller was terrific as the monster. This is the one where they switched parts regularly at the theater - it would be fun to also see BC as the monster and JLM as the Dr.

Edited: Oct 30, 4:01pm Top

>89 jnwelch: I hope they show that again here Joe, I missed the original showing.

Oct 30, 4:11pm Top

>89 jnwelch: I saw that one last night as well. I've now seen both versions as I saw BC as the creature back in 2011 when it originally aired. They're both really compelling in either role.

Oct 30, 6:59pm Top

Great review of Killing Commendatore, Joe. Big Thumb! I have ordered my copy and should get it next week. I think I will kick off December, with it, since my November is pretty booked. I also like breasts, so this should be no problem for me. Grins...

The Frankenstein film looks really good. I hope I can see it. I really think you will love Guardian Angels and Other Monsters. What a terrific Sci-Fi story collection. I just finished it and will move on to Washington Black tomorrow.

Edited: Oct 30, 7:58pm Top

>90 Caroline_McElwee: I would've loved to see this in the theatre, Caroline, but this was the next best thing.

>91 MickyFine: Oh, you lucky one, Micky. Can you compare BC's creature with JLM's? I can't imagine bettering or equaling what JLM did playing the monster, but if anyone could, I'm sure it's BC.

>92 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I'm glad you liked the Killing Commendatore review, and thanks for the big thumb! I look forward to your reaction; I know you're okay with taking on the mega-sized ones. This is way easier than Infinite Jest. Well, just about anything is, right? :-)

I hope you get to see Frankenstein, too. It really answered a big gripe I've had for years - why bring a great, complex, thought-provoking story down to a simplistic cartoon in movies?

A terrific sci-fi story collection you say? Well, that got my attention! I'll take a look at Guardian Angels and Other Monsters.

I'm going to read the Felicia Day memoir next, and probably an ER.

Oct 31, 1:35am Top

Hope the workout went well, Joe, and that you are all ready for the trick or treaters on Wednesday.

Oct 31, 5:27am Top

Morning, Joe!

Gosh, I'd love to see the BC Frankenstein/monster, but I've seen neither (couldn't find a showing here). He's such a strong actor.

Edited: Oct 31, 8:17am Top

>94 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. The workout did go well, and we're back at it this morning. Madame MBH is finally feeling much improved.

You may remember - we get a lot of trick or treaters. We've loaded up on candy, and it'll kick off late afternoon with the littlest ones.

>95 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Wow, you're up early today!

BC is a strong actor, and you'd be impressed by Jonny Lee Miller. He's the one who plays Sherlock with Lucy Liu.

Edited: Oct 31, 8:19am Top

Happy Halloween!

Oct 31, 9:15am Top

>96 jnwelch: Yeah, I noticed that they seem to have double up on the Sherlocks for that production... 😀 Looks like a fantastic event!

Oct 31, 11:16am Top

Happy Halloween, Welch clan! Busy day at the P.O., so they got me hopping.

Oct 31, 12:45pm Top

>98 drneutron: Ha! I hadn't even thought of that, Jim - you're right, they doubled up on the Sherlocks for that Frankenstein production. It was fantastic.

>99 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Happy Halloween to the Freeburgs! I hope the day goes fast so you can get home and start collecting, I mean, giving away, candy.

Oct 31, 12:50pm Top

Rafa Bear ready for Halloween

Oct 31, 12:54pm Top

>101 jnwelch: OHmygoodness, look at all the cuteness!! That smile, though.

Oct 31, 1:17pm Top

>102 scaifea: I know, right, Amber? These had us smiling all morning.

Oct 31, 1:35pm Top

I missed a post (apparently) because I'm not certain this Frankenstein production you've been whooping up is a stage play and not some sort of video or tv thing. Sounds like a stage production, but comments sometimes have suggestions of it being in a more egalitarian format. I can't imagine the Cumberbatch/Miller team really touring widely enough to bring their show to even a fraction of the potential North American audience. Sad.

Oct 31, 1:43pm Top

>101 jnwelch: An adorable bear, nice and cozy for the cold Halloween 🎃 weather. Smart parents!

Oct 31, 2:38pm Top

>104 weird_O: It's a stage production at London's National Theatre, Bill. Lucky for us, they've been filming major ones like this and showing them in movie theaters around the country. Definitely worth your time if you find it showing near you. The Brits have a long tradition of the best actors appearing in plays; it happens here, but it seems more the norm there.

>105 NarratorLady: Right, Anne? I thought the same thing - what a smart costume for an inevitably cold October night. He's happy and warm. Perfect.

Oct 31, 2:51pm Top

>103 jnwelch:

Rafa Bear keeps us all smiling!

Thanks for comments on Alt Lit - ORANGE >
it would be really welcome to see more readers and contributors to both this book humor
and to the Poetry site.

Happy Halloween to the Whole Extended Family!

Oct 31, 3:03pm Top

Costumes to watch out for tonight, Joe.

Edited: Nov 1, 2:43pm Top

>107 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. He's a good little fellow. I'll post the Alt-Orange link again.

OK, here we go. This is the Alt Lit=Orange Gas Bag Hack thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/297680

We need creative people to re-title books to better fit the bizarre times we find ourselves in. Recent contributions, courtesy of Marianne:

Born a Creep

50 Shades of Greed

Travels with Stormy


A Brief History of Depravity

((Dear gods, please let it be brief))

Please come and post your titles!

Happy Halloween, Marianne, to you and yours!

Oct 31, 3:29pm Top

>108 weird_O: Ha! Those are most excellent, Bill. But what's pretentious about them? :-)

We're getting near showtime, here in the heartland. Becca as a minion and her dog Indy as a shark will arrive soon. The little Halloweeners tend to start early. I'll be reprising my role as Gru to Becca's minion (a bald head, black clothing and a name label are all Gru needs), and I'm not sure what Madame MBH will be wearing. Many times we've both worn "This is my costume" buttons.

Oct 31, 3:52pm Top

Love your giggling bear in >101 jnwelch: Joe.

Oct 31, 5:15pm Top

Hope you enjoy your Hallowe'en visitors today, Joe. Here in the vertical city, it's much more restricted. I think there's a sign-up sheet in the lobby so parents can usher their kids to the welcoming doors. Rather boring. But I did see a lot of people in parts of costumes as they made last minute trips to the greenmarket and CVS. All of them studiously ignored their own finery. It was pretty funny.

Jim and I saw both casts of Frankenstein when it was first shown in NYC. Do try to see the other version - all the same moves and yet very different affect in some scenes.

Oct 31, 5:15pm Top

>111 Caroline_McElwee:. Me, too, Caroline!

Edited: Oct 31, 8:43pm Top

Hello Joe!

>81 weird_O: Nice one, weird_O!

>89 jnwelch: Wow! To see that live is amazing. I would love to see these two on stage. I'm so glad it lived up to its billing.

>101 jnwelch: Rafa is the cutest!

I'm closing in on the end of both The House Without A Key and The Way of Kings. Both look to have satisfactory conclusions.

Nov 1, 12:27pm Top

>112 ffortsa: It was a good Halloween, Judy. I'll post a photo in a minute. Yeah, we have friends here who are in apartment/condo buildings; that's a very different experience, isn't it. We feel lucky to live in a big city that also has single family homes.

It's fun to see folks in their costumes out on the street. A friend wore his tall, plumed pink princess hat to the gym yesterday; he said he doesn't get to wear it often, so he was going to wear it all day. :-)

We'll keep an eye out for the other, switched-role version of Frankenstein. We wondered whether the moves would be the same; it's intriguing to think of the different affect. To us, JLM as the monster and BC as the doctor did seem like the natural alignment, based on their physicality and acting styles. It'd be fun to see it the other way.

>114 brodiew2: Hello Brodie!

It was great to see BC and JLM on stage together in the film. It definitely lived up to its billing.

Thanks re our photogenic grandbaby.

A Charlie Chan mystery! I remember the old movies, but never did read one. I'll look forward to your comments. Good for you for persevering with The Way of Kings.

Nov 1, 12:27pm Top

Decent weather last night, and lots of Halloweeners. Our neighbor Susan is handing out the candy.

Edited: Nov 1, 12:33pm Top

I'm really loving our Japanese Maple this year

Nov 1, 1:07pm Top

That is a stunning maple Joe. One of my favourite trees.

Nov 1, 2:45pm Top

>118 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't it, Caroline? What a beaut. It's one of my favourites trees, too. We just decided to put a different type of Japanese Maple in our back yard, that will grow along a fence there. Can't wait!

Edited: Nov 1, 4:49pm Top

>117 jnwelch: So what climate zone are you in? I have long wanted a Japanese Maple and the general consensus seems to be that Minnesota can't sustain them.

Nov 1, 4:57pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Joe. Finished work and made a quick stop at one of my favorite watering holes, for a pint or 2.

Glad you guys had a good Halloween. I put in my hour. Lol.

I am loving, both I am Malala and Washington Black. Solid duo.

Have you read any of Le Guin's poetry? I am enjoying her last collection. My first time.

Edited: Nov 1, 5:41pm Top

>120 Oberon: Hi, Erik. You may be too far north for Japanese maples? From the USDA, "Most of Illinois is classified zone 5. Plant material listed for this zone is able to survive the average minimum temperature between -10° and -20°F."

"The USDA plant hardiness map for 2012 indicates that Minnesota growing zones include 3a and 3b in the northerly regions, 4a in the middle of the state and 4b in the south. An extremely tiny pocket of warmer winter low temperatures exists in the most southerly location and is categorized as 5a."

So the winter low temps are probably the problem.

P.S. I found this on growing Japanese Maples in colder climates (zone 4 or lower): http://japanesemaplelovers.com/growing-japanese-maples-in-zone-4-or-lower/

Edited: Nov 1, 5:29pm Top

>121 msf59: Sweet Thursday, buddy. Ah, that post-work pinting sounds good to me.

As I've mentioned before, it gets cuckoo-birds in our area on Halloween. Ours was 3 hours, and we handed out over a 1000 pieces of candy. I will say, the kids were really polite this year.

Malala and Washington Black sound like a solid duo. I'm glad you're loving them.

My reading isn't as ambitious this year as in some others, particularly in NF, but I'm just going with it. The Felicia Day bio is a charmer (and kinda amazing, actually), and I'm going to start my Sara Paretsky ER book. Oh, I just finished the Collected Yeats! That one was a challenge. He wrote a ton of them. I'm still mulling "Under Ben Bulben", which has his famous epitaph, "Cast a cold eye on life, on death.// Horseman, pass by!" There are a lot of different interpretations out there.

I've read some of LeGuin's poetry on an ad hoc basis, but not any of her books of it. I'm a big fan of her sci-fi/fantasy, that's for sure.

Nov 1, 6:03pm Top

>122 jnwelch: >123 jnwelch:

Up here near Madison, Wisconsin, our Japanese Maple thrives, but peaks early. Red Fire Bushes are still going strong.

I'm still with "Maeve" toward the very end of Collected Yeats - even with triple Back Notes, he's a challenge.
The memorable quotes are welcome standouts.

Nov 1, 6:17pm Top

>120 Oberon:, >122 jnwelch: - Unfortunately, I don't have a Japanese Maple but I see them everywhere in the neighbourhood around here and they thrive. Toronto is considered zone 6 as well as zone 5 (closer to the lake, I think), if that means anything. I would love to have one, myself

Nov 2, 7:32am Top

>124 m.belljackson: Good for you for persevering with the collected Yeats, Marianne. Yes, he's got so many memorable quotes. Even when his poems aren't lifting off the page, he's a brilliant mind and a genius at the craft. I want to understand "Under Ben Bulben" better, so that's the one I'll be researching. I was surprised when there wasn't more of a reaction here to my posting "Second Coming"; that one's a knockout.

I remember the bright and dazzling autumn colors in the Madison area. Back at the start, I thought about working there. Madison has a lot of similarities to my hometown Ann Arbor.

>125 jessibud2: Japanese Maples are beautiful trees, aren't they, Shelley. Having one was on my wishlist when we started fixing up the house, and now we're going to add a second, different kind in the backyard, that'll hug the fence. We've got a fair number of them around us; I'm glad you see them everywhere in your neighborhood. That'll perk up any day.

Nov 2, 7:33am Top

I'll be at a seminar all day, but I'll try to catch up when I can. Enjoy the day!

Nov 2, 8:02am Top

Beautiful Japanese maples up there, Joe. Good link as well. My husband has always wanted one. Might have a look around for a nice one.

Holland doesn't have a Halloween tradition, but who knows, it might catch on. I saw some dressed-up kids at the tram stop. But handing out 1000 candies is a bit much!

Nov 2, 8:29am Top

Hi Joe!

>110 jnwelch: I'm way late to the party, but your Gru and "This is my costume" buttons reminded me of this: Wednesday's Costume

We have a Japanese Maple, but all the trees around here are rather confused this year because of the late-season hurricanes. The colors are rather faded.

Nov 2, 6:46pm Top

>117 jnwelch: Lovely Japanese Maple, Joe.
We have two, a red one (Acer palmatum 'Rubrum') in the front garden and a red/white/green one (Acer palmatum 'Beni-maiko') in the backgarden.

Nov 3, 8:13am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. I took the day off, so we could attend Xtreme Raptor Day, at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, north of Milwaukee. It should be a great day with the birds and there will be photo ops too! Yah! Unfortunately, Nancy is under the weather and will be not be able to attend. Sad face.

Have a great day, my friend.

Nov 3, 8:21am Top

Happy new thread, Joe!
>1 jnwelch: Diving into Autumn, huh. ;0) Great sampling of LaDuke! Awesome works!
Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Nov 3, 11:43am Top

>128 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Thanks - I hope you two can make a Japanese Maple work.

Halloween is a lot of fun; maybe it'll catch on in Amsterdam. Yeah, a 1000 candies is a bit crazy. A few years ago, we got written up as a good block on which to trick-or-treat, and the numbers zoomed up. It's a bit hectic, but we do enjoy it. Parents generally come along, and it's quite a night for everyone.

>129 karenmarie: Ha! I did enjoy the Wednesday Addams link, thanks, Karen. You inspired me, and I watched some of more of her --- quips? I particularly like the one where she asks the bratty girl whether her Girl Scout cookies "are made from real Girl Scouts."

Sorry to hear about the Japanese Maples being confused - hurricanes would do that to me, too. We need to get back to working on healing the climate, don't we.

Nov 3, 11:48am Top

>130 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. It's beautiful around our house right now. Fall colors really get me.

Oh, great to hear you have two Japanese Maples. You should let Ella know; she's thinking about getting one.

>131 msf59: Morning, Mark. Happy Day Off!

Xtreme Raptor Day! I didn't even know there was such a thing. Oh, what a shame Nancy's under the weather. I was just thinking you'd for sure see her at the Schlitz Audubon Center. Can't wait to hear how it goes. Have fun, buddy.

Nov 3, 11:52am Top

>132 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Thanks!

Ha! Yup, diving into Autumn up there. If she misses the water, I sure hope there's a big pile of leaves waiting.

I'm glad you're enjoying the sampling of LaDuke. I love his style.

The weekend has been lovely so far. Saw a good play (Nell Gwynn) last night, and I'm going to a basketball game tonight with Daughter #1. Our main project is to peel and core a bunch of apples for our annual tradition of making applesauce. I hope you have a lovely weekend, too.

Edited: Nov 3, 12:07pm Top

Saw a fun play last night, Nell Gwynn at Chicago Shakespeare. It's based on the real life actress who was one of the first women to appear on stage.

Scarlett Strallen as Nell Gwynn and Timothy Edward Kane as King Charles II led a fine cast. SS was in a Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder on Broadway, which we loved. We saw Nell Gwynn in London and loved it, but enjoyed this lighter production even more.

The one and a half year old puppy was a big hit, and we got to meet him and his very nice owner afterwards. He had a non-speaking part.

Nov 3, 11:18pm Top

You make the new Murakami sound pretty good, Joe. I'll get to more of his works eventually.

And the National Theater production of Frankenstein! It turns out that there is a theater in Moscow, Idaho (a town about 8 miles from here -- we are that close to the border) that shows some of the National Theater productions and some other less-available films. I'm pleased to know that we will still have some access to such theater even though we have left the urban milieu.

>136 jnwelch: Cute puppy. :-)

Nov 4, 3:17am Top

Coming back into the fold, Joe. I'm afraid I had to skip two whole threads.


Nov 4, 6:20am Top

I'm a bit late to the party. Happy new one, Joe. I love all your photos and the topper is strong and colourful. Wishing y

Nov 4, 8:16am Top

Hi Joe and happy Sunday to you.

>133 jnwelch: I love the Girl Scouts one too. I might have to watch the movie again soon. Another, and last favorite to clutter your thread:
Wednesday, to Uncle Fester: "Pass the salt."
Morticia: "What do we say?"
Wednesday: "Now."

Nov 4, 3:15pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. I hope you are enjoying the day. I had a busy morning but it has been books and Bears this afternoon. Both are just doing fine.

Nov 4, 3:52pm Top

Is a Madam MBH fully recovered Joe?

>136 jnwelch: the show looks fun. I like the bit part player, and he didn't need the wig!

Nov 4, 6:17pm Top

I hope Debbi is feeling better.

Nov 4, 7:03pm Top

Love Rafa's costume and the Link to the Gasbag book titles. I am so jealous that your got to see Frankenstien with those actors and, yes, seeing it twice with the roles reversed would be amazing!

Best wishes to Debbi from a fellow asthma sufferer.

Nov 4, 9:33pm Top

>137 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. You know, if this was Murakami's first book, people would be going out of their minds over it. It's an amazing piece of work, but some folks have, I guess, gotten used to his being amazing. I actually saw Hari Kunzru express disappointment in it in his NY Times review, and I'm thinking, are you nuts?! Killing Commendatore is a just plain a great book. We're lucky to have this guy writing in our time. Trying to overthink it in the context of his other books is a waste of time, IMO. Get on the ride, open up your mind, and experience something really special. It is so vivid and thought-provoking. I'm still in it, visually and emotionally, and I finished it a good while ago now.

Now, having said all that, not every one experiences Murakami's books the same way I do. But what he does in this one - I'd like to kick Kunzru in the tail and tell him to get off of whatever pedestal he's on, and read it again. I might make him stay after school, too.

Goodness gracious, I never thought of you as that close to Idaho. My mind is boggled. I'm glad you've got an artsy movie theater near you. Some of the best movies show up in that kind of theater. I'll cross my fingers that Frankenstein is one of them.

Nov 4, 9:36pm Top

>138 humouress: Ha! Good to see you here, Nina. Welcome back!

>139 Ameise1: Barbara? Barbara? Someone grabbed you before you could end your post. Are you okay?

Nov 4, 9:41pm Top

>140 karenmarie: Hiya, Karen. Happy Sunday.

Ha! Yes, our family loved the "Pass it . . . Now!" one from Wendy, too. We still say it when we're together passing food.

>141 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark. How bout them Bears? It was a weird game, without much rhythm to the offense, but the result sure was good. Who needs Khalil Mack? (Kidding - can't wait until he's back).

This was a day for trying to catch up with magazines. At least I'm back to current with the New Yorker. I'm sure I'll read some more tonight of the Daniel Wilson sci-fi-er you recommended.

Nov 4, 9:49pm Top

>142 Caroline_McElwee: Yes, Madame MBH is pretty much back to normal, thanks, Caroline. She's a much happier camper. She still coughs once in a while, but briefly - not like the extended hacking she was suffering through. She was able to go to the gym three times last week - lighter workouts than usual, but it improved her spirits greatly.

>143 EBT1002: She is, Ellen, thanks. She hasn't had a bad one like that in a long time, and I hope it's a long time before we see another. Never would be okay, too.

>144 Berly: Isn't that a pip of a costume for our Rafa. He got to experience swinging on a swingset (in one of those baby seats) for the first time today with his dad, and he enjoyed it, the little smirkface (son #1 sent us a short phone video).

Aren't those Gasbag titles funny? I'm glad you got a kick out of them.

I have to believe that the Frankenstein play will be shown at some theater in Portland. I hope you get to see it; you guys would love it, methinks.

Edited: Nov 5, 2:52am Top

>145 jnwelch: You know, I was in the same year as Mr. K at school. Not that he'd recognise me. Nor have I read any of his books.

Good to know Debbie is feeling better. Did you snaffle the New Yorker off Rafa, then? Wait until he's a bit bigger and you'll have a fight on your hands. Looks like Barbara was really catching up on the fly.

I see you have a picture of me (at the top) trying to teach our dog to chase a ball. Yes, really. If you throw a ball, he just watches it over his shoulder as it flies off into the distance and then asks you what's going on? I have to stuff it with dog treats to get him interested. Then I have to persuade him to bring it back again, but it only works for about six throws before he loses interest. Retriever, hah!

Nov 5, 6:19am Top

>148 jnwelch: - Glad to hear that Debbi is back to her old self. Never would be okay, too. That made me smile. On my coffee table in my living room, I have a book by Bob Mankoff, called How About Never - Is Never Good For You?. It's a memoir, of sorts, large format, coffee-table hardcover, and is hilarious, generously illustrated with cartoons from the New Yorker (not all his), which he edited for many years. I have been reading it, dipping in and out, whenever I am sitting on the couch, and loving it.

Incidentally, I added a couple of new titles to the Alt Title thread... ;-)

Nov 5, 1:18pm Top

>149 humouress: If I throw a ball or squeaky toy across the room, my dog looks nervously at it, then at me, as if to say, "Why did you throw that? Do you not want it anymore? Are you mad at it? Are you mad at me?"

Edited: Nov 5, 1:30pm Top

We’re at our polling place (we can vote early) and the line is huge! Big turnout - very heartening. I’m reading sci-fi short stories on my phone😀

Edited: Nov 5, 3:40pm Top

Joe, just finished The Heart's Invisible Furies. Wow. Loved it. >51 msf59: It was a great ride and I join Mark in encouraging you to grab this one and hang on!

The opening sentence is, I think, one of the best of recent literature:

"Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish if Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore."

Nov 5, 2:16pm Top

Hi, Joe. I'm reading Salman Rushdie's memoir, Joseph Anton, about his life under the Islamic fatwa. In light of that, I thought this Gauld observation completely appropriate:

Nov 5, 4:43pm Top

>154 weird_O: Ha! Thanks, Bill. I'm sure there's a story behind Salman Rushdie's memoir being called Joseph Anton.

>149 humouress: I haven't read Mr. K either, Nina. I have to admit, this has lowered the likelihood I ever will. It's like someone who doesn't like one of my kids - probably not going to get into my good graces any time soon.

Ha! Rafa has his own New Yorker subscription, from what I understand. It reminds me of our kids telling us when they were young, if we want the fights to stop. we needed to have more than one computer for the two of them. I had mixed feelings, as my sisters and I used to fight over the one TV in our house, and it seemed like a fine tradition to continue.

I know, what is it with dogs these days? When I was kid a dog would run miles to find a thrown ball, trot back, and ask to do it again. Nowadays they look at their humans like, "Why don't you go get it? Why should I?" I don't know what to make of it. What are they learning on the street? What happened to those good old days when we could relax and do very little, getting our exercise by watching them run around?

Nov 5, 4:50pm Top

>150 jessibud2: Ha! Hi, Shelley. Yes, I remember his wonderful cartoon with the guy on the phone saying, "How about never? Is never good for you?" Never would be more than okay for a return of Debbi's awful cold/asthma experience. She's doing way better now. As she said, it was one of those times where you ask yourself, is this it? Am I going to be like this for the rest of my life? It was a tough one for her to shake.

Ah, I starred that Alt title thread; thanks for adding a couple. I get over there and peruse.

>151 foggidawn: Ha! Oh, I love that, foggi. Your dog is worried about the exact meaning of that tossed toy. You've obviously got a deep thinker on your hands.

>153 NarratorLady: That seals the deal, Anne, thanks. I'll be sure to get a hold of The Heart's Invisible Furies. It makes me think of the old days, when Ellie would chime in. This sounds like one she would have enjoyed.

Oh my, what an opening line. OK, got it.

Nov 5, 4:51pm Top

>155 jnwelch: ruh roh I must be in the doghouse for quoting Mr K in my evaluation of the Commendatore the other day .... well, I think his review is more right than wrong and he doesn't exactly trash it. It is also possible, this being Murakami, that we each had copies printed in different realities.

Nov 5, 4:54pm Top

>157 RBeffa: Ha! No, you're not in the doghouse, Ron. But Mr. K sure is. I, of course, think Mr. K was more wrong than right. Hee-hee - you may be right our having read copies printed in different realities. I found my copy at the bottom of an unusual well, and I'm not sure how it got there.

Nov 5, 4:55pm Top

>158 jnwelch: A cat was probably involved.

Nov 5, 5:00pm Top

>158 jnwelch: Well there you go - I found my copy up in the attic when I heard this omnious scritch scritching noise and it wasn't rats but an all knowing owl. It was wrapped and bound with twine.

Nov 5, 5:31pm Top

Hello Joe! I hope all is well with you.

I am hear again to sing the praises of Michael Harvey! I have only just begun his latest, Pulse: A Novel, but the hook set me reading for over an hour and 75 pages gone. Wow. I was wracking my brain to determine a one word description of his style and I came up with 'seductive'. However, it is a seedy seduction, but not necessarily in a sexual way. Oily, foreboding, and dangerous. I know that Stephen King has a similar effect for some. I can take him or leave him. But Harvey has his hooks in me. I'll keep you posted and hope you will find your way to one of the two mentioned here.

Nov 5, 7:07pm Top

>156 jnwelch: Agreed! Ellie would have loved this one!

Edited: Nov 5, 7:45pm Top

>155 jnwelch: There IS a story behind the book title. Scotland Yard has a division that provides protection for citizens who are under specific kinds of threat. Government officials explicitly targeted by a IRA, for example. The fatwa on Rushdie qualified. In the first couple of weeks, Rushdie was told to assume a different name. He settled on a combine of two favorite authors: Joseph [Conrad] and Anton [Chekhov]. That became his everyday name for years.

Nov 5, 7:56pm Top

Love the Rafa costume, Joe, and that smile is a killer!

Nov 5, 8:32pm Top

>159 foggidawn: Ha! There was, foggi. How did you know?

>160 RBeffa: I hope it was your copy that was wrapped and bound with twine, Ron, and not the poor owl!

Nov 5, 8:37pm Top

>165 jnwelch: bad Ron bad Ron losing my subject like that! and here I claim Murakami was sloppy and I wallow in the slop.

Nov 5, 8:39pm Top

>161 brodiew2: Good to hear, Brodie. I read a couple of Michael Harvey's earlier ones; I'll look forward to your verdict on this one.

BTW, a new Orphan X is coming out in January, and it got a red star review in Publishers Weekly. :-)

>162 NarratorLady: :-) Oh, I miss her.

>163 weird_O: Thanks, Bill. I thought that might have been it. I guess the fatwa concerns have ebbed.

>165 jnwelch: Ha! That smile slays me, too, Meg. We see Rafa at Thanksgiving - can't wait!

Nov 5, 8:39pm Top

>166 RBeffa: Ha! No worries, Ron - it made for an intriguing image that I'm sure Murakami would appreciate.

Nov 5, 8:42pm Top

>167 jnwelch: Harvey's last two have been independent novels, not part of his Michael Kelly series. Excellent reads.

I am very excited ffor Out of the Dark! I had not heard about the Publishers weekly review. I'll check it out for sure.

Nov 5, 8:55pm Top

>169 brodiew2: Good to hear, Brodie. I'm excited, too. There's what looks like an Orphan X short story that comes out soon, too.

Nov 5, 11:10pm Top

Hi Joe! Now you have be curious for the latest Murakami. I am a fan, but I do think he can be uneven, and I was underwhelmed by Colorless.

Nov 6, 4:11am Top

Keeping fingers crossed for some good, sound results for you all today Joe.

Nov 6, 6:37am Top

Morning, Joe! Yay for long voting lines!! I've purposely waiting until today to vote because I've decided I really want to participate in the actual day. I'm hoping for longish lines, too.

If you're longing for a dog who will fetch all day long, you're welcome to come over anytime; our Border Collie, Tuppence, will oblige. All. Day. Long. Mario, the Golden Retriever, will sit with her head in your lap and snuggle all day, too. Best of both worlds.

*Awaits comments on how the retriever will do no retrieving work*

Nov 6, 7:06am Top

Morning Joe! Happy Voting Day! Glad to hear about the long lines. I will hit the polls, directly after work. Did mention, joining me on The Spirit Catches You. I am sure you are juggling a lot, like most of us, but I am finally starting it today.

Nov 6, 10:23am Top

>171 banjo123: Yeah, as you probably saw, Colorless wasn't one of my favorites either, Rhonda. In this one, Killing Commendatore, he's back to taking us on a vivid, wild journey that stretches the mind.

>172 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline! We're encouraged by the big early voting turn out, but today's the big day. The report here so far today is another huge turnout. I hope that's happening all over the country.

Nov 6, 10:36am Top

>173 scaifea: Morning, Amber! I join your Yay! for voting lines!

We thought about waiting until today for the reason you give, for sure. I'll look forward to hearing about the turnout where you are.

All right, Tuppence! That's what we're talking about. None of this looking at you and wondering when you'll go pick up that ball/toy you foolishly tossed. On the other hand, a snuggler is a wonderful thing, so you do have the best of both worlds with Mario.

*had noted the irony of the Retriever not retrieving*

You remind me that one of the funniest things we've seen is a caregiver's Australian Shepherd dog "herding"my sister's frenetic young pug in our Dad's living room. Young pugs are unbelievably full of energy, and Roxie was racing and gyrating every which way, while the Aussie gradually penned her in. Finally the Aussie calmly put her paw in the middle of the pug's forehead and she stopped completely, laying down and panting. Great!

Nov 6, 10:40am Top

>174 msf59: Morning, Mark! Happy Voting Day!

Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder on The Spirit Catches You. Is it November already? I'll have to trail you a bit, but I'll get on it.

I just finished Guardian Angels and Other Monsters, and had a good time with it. That one, "The Helmet" was the standout for me, but they were all well done.

On Kindle, I just started Hope Never Dies, the Biden/Obama mystery. Seemed appropriate on voting day. I miss those two! So far it's been amusing.

Nov 6, 10:50am Top

Oh my! The joys of city voting. We live in the county's largest township in land area with perhaps the smallest population. Two polling places, almost no waiting. We'll see how it goes today.

Nov 6, 11:34am Top

>178 weird_O: Right, Bill. We're on pins and needles here. Good for you for getting out there and voting. No waiting sounds great, but we were encouraged by the numbers here. They gave those on line free pizza to help sustain us. :-)

Nov 6, 11:37am Top

Edited: Nov 6, 11:43am Top

Having lots of fun can be exhausting

Nov 6, 3:11pm Top

>181 jnwelch: awwww! Cute!

>180 jnwelch: I voted AND talked a reluctant voter into voting!!!

Nov 6, 4:43pm Top

>182 The_Hibernator: Right, Rachel? I love that he fell asleep with his stuffed pal on top of his head.

Wow, good work on the voting front! I get concerned that the tales of long lines will discourage too many voters. I hope not!

Edited: Nov 6, 5:03pm Top

This probably won't work, but I'll give it a try. Last year Mark and I agreed to do a read of Infinite Jest, and we actually did it! This New Yorker "Shouts and Murmurs" piece on "How to Read 'Infinite Jest'" renewed my sense of accomplishment.

Arggh. Probably too hard to read. Here's the link: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/11/05/how-to-read-infinite-jest

Edited: Nov 6, 5:04pm Top

Love the cartoon, off to read the link.

Teee heee. I particularly liked 7.

I have one of his shorter books in the tbr mountain.

I wish you'd stop tantalising about the new Mirakami. I'm trying not to buy tomes in hardback (likely to fail miserably if that Welch fellow keeps at it).

Nov 6, 4:59pm Top

I have cast covetous eyes on Killing Commendatore for a couple of weeks - since it came out. I loved 1Q84 but frankly, the size of Commendatore has kept me from purchasing it. I will read it, but am thinking that I will tackle it when I go home for Christmas. I will have more time to devote to it, and won't be as distracted by other titles in my library that sing out to me for me to pick them up and read.

I do agree that Murakami is an extraordinary writer. Every year I wait for him to get the Nobel Literature Prize and am disappointed - so far. I am confident that he will get it someday, but that won't happen until the Nobel people straighten up and start acting like a committee that rewards people on their merits rather than on the swag that can be given to the members of the committee. I have read several of Murakami's books and find them amazing in different ways. He brings up so many things in his books, but he makes you think about cults, as he did in 1Q84 and about individuality as he did in Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I loved Kafka on the Shore and Windup Bird Chronicle was amazing in the way that it asked Japan to confront its historical past while telling a story that was all over the board regarding setting, context, and stylistic approach.

Gosh - I may have just convinced myself to go spring the money for Commendatore!

Nov 6, 8:56pm Top

>185 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't that fun, Caroline? Tuck book into public-radio tote and carry around town. Offer Kindle readers on subway opportunity to smell real paper, like orphans smelling fresh bread. Ha! I love #7, too.

And I have to let admirers of our books know that reading is "yoga for the mind". :-)

Mmm, a nice hardcover of Killing Commendatore. That sure sounds good, doesn't it.

I've got all of his books, many in paperback, but a lot in hardcover, including this one. It's lovely, I must say. *ducks*

Nov 6, 9:04pm Top

>186 benitastrnad: Ha! We're kindred spirits, Benita. This one from Murakami is more like 1Q84 than like Colorless. It also made me think of Kafka on the Shore and The Windup Bird Chronicle. I re-read the Kunzru review and feel he just goes off the rails in the last few paragraphs. Poor sod.

I know, every year I wonder whether he's going to get the Nobel Prize. Who knows. You've identified several of my favorites - I loved Kafka on the Shore, The Windup Bird Chronicle and 1Q84, and I'm chuffed to see you mention Hard-Boiled Wonderland - what an amazing piece of work that is.

Nov 6, 10:19pm Top

>151 foggidawn: >173 scaifea: Our dogs must be related. *sigh*

>155 jnwelch: Good tradition to continue with. :0)

re dogs: too much screen time? Our dog is a lot like his master (my eldest son). They both show evidence of owning fairly decent brains but, frustratingly, only opt to use them rarely.

>163 weird_O: If he was idiot enough to write the book knowing (and he must have) he was going to upset people, why did the tax payers have to stump up for his protection? Hmpfh.

>184 jnwelch: Oh; since the text was out of focus, I thought the illustration was the point. :0)

Edited: Nov 7, 6:17pm Top

>187 jnwelch: Your job is done...throw!

Nov 7, 4:06am Top

Phew re the mid-terms. With a few disappointments Joe!

Edited: Nov 7, 8:44am Top

>189 humouress: Our kids are very close, Nina, so the tradition of fighting over who gets the choice (for them, over the computer) must've helped. :-)

Ah, dogs watching computer and tv screens. Good thought - that may explain the reluctance to fetch. Thank goodness they don't have opposable thumbs, or it'd be videogames all the time.

Ha! That is a good illustration of "reading" Infinite Jest - using it as a footstool.

>190 Caroline_McElwee:, >191 Caroline_McElwee: I was hoping for more, Caroline (the Senate!), but there was a lot of good news. Much more diversity (Latin, Muslim, Black, Native American, young, gay), a record number of women elected (more than a hundred!), a lousy governor near us (in Wisconsin) beaten, and some key states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan) returning to their senses. And a guy we like, Beto O'Rourke lost narrowly to a real villain (Ted Cruz) in a Red state (Texas), but Beto looks to be a rising star in the Democratic party who's (gasp) a decent human being with the right priorities.

Our state, Illinois, went all blue all the way. And we got a bad judge ousted in Chicago.

Unfortunately, especially with lies, there's enough there for the Orange Gasbag to spin in his general favor. This will, however, screw up his agenda mightily, thank goodness. One of the two Houses of Congress is majority Democrat now. The fight is going to have to continue through 2020.

Nov 7, 9:16am Top

>192 jnwelch:

Not quite a Wave, but we'll take what we got with The House and the end of Walker's abysmal #%$$$*#! stupidity.

Sure wish that the women of Texas had gone for Beto O'Rourke and still hoping for a miracle count in Georgia.

Nov 7, 9:19am Top

>193 m.belljackson: I'm with you, Marianne. There may be lawsuits in GA, too. I hope Kemp and the Repubs don't get away with the voter suppression, but I'm concerned that they will.

Edited: Nov 7, 9:59am Top

>193 m.belljackson: I am also with Marianne on both of those counts.

Morning, Joe. Happy Wednesday. I am off today but instead of hiking I am going horseback riding with Bree and her friend. They are both co-owners of horses. It should be fun.

I think the election results went well but the future still looks disturbing to me. Unfortunately, the Gasbag's new enemy will be the Democratic congress. Just watch! Everything will be blamed on them. Sighs...

Nov 7, 10:38am Top

>189 humouress: Is it okay for an offended reader to kill an author? I think that's what you are asking, Nina. "I don't like what you wrote. I'm going to kill you." (How about the situation wherein the offended hasn't actually read the offensive text?)

Edited: Nov 7, 1:09pm Top

>189 humouress: >196 weird_O: I'm sure most of us have an author or two we would like to see 'removed' (you can interpret that as you please).

My problem with Rushdie is the whole thing went to his head, he revelled in the cloak and dagger for ten years. Which you might think was the only thing he could do.

I was frustrated one evening, having a ticket to hear Umberto Eco and Mario Vargas Llosa, that at half time it was announced that the doors were going to be locked, so if you had a problem with that, please leave, and then an extra lectern was brought in, and Rushdie appeared. On the one hand, yay, but on the other, the writers we had come to see had their set halved, and were pretty much ignored in the second half while Rushdie took the limelight.

Nov 7, 1:21pm Top

>192 jnwelch: I got the sense that there was some disappointment that the outcome wasn't even better. All the same 100 more women, and more diversity is impressive.

Of course the orange gasbag will spin it this way and that, no doubt even contradicting himself, which he is happy to do, but at the end of the day, he is not going to get his own way very often in the next couple of years.

What the Dems have to do IMO is sieve their party to find some powerful, credible candidates, and an inclusive manifesto for the next elections. I'm not hearing names. I knew about Obama as a Senator, he wasn't planning to put himself forward until 2012, which seemed sensible with his inexperience. He was persuaded to put himself forward earlier because the time was right. As I said, I'm not hearing any names.. beyond maybe Cory Booker, a fellow LTer mentioned a couple of years ago. Do you have thoughts on who might succeed with the right guidance Joe?

Nov 7, 1:25pm Top

>14 jnwelch: Thanks for the rec Joe! I'm in the middle of Murder in Thrall and I'm annoyed that I have to put it down to do some actual work.

>184 jnwelch: The audio book version of Infinite Jest was narrated by Sean Pratt who I met at a narrators' conference/retreat last month. It's a 56 hour recording plus another separate recording of the notes which is 12 hours long. From the reviews on audible.com he did an outstanding job. Not a surprise since he's hugely talented but what a monster of a project!

Nov 7, 1:35pm Top

Nice job, Joe, enumerating ways in which the Democratic party and the Congress are becoming more diverse. Plus, more voting rights in Texas, and Oregon pretty much voted the way I wanted. We defeated a nasty anti-immigrant bill. So good election overall, though not all of my dreams were fulfilled.

Scary that anyone still supports Trump and the R's after they have so clearly shown themselves to be deeply racist.

Nov 7, 2:04pm Top

Hello Joe. I see that you have some cause for celebration this morning as do I. But I'm sure we can both celebrate this:

Have a great day!

Nov 7, 3:31pm Top

>195 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Right? Lots of good developments across the country. Now we need to solve the Senate and get a decent human being in as Prez in 2020.

Riding horses - great! I'm sure you'll have a blast. I did a lot of that as a kid, and some after, but it's been years now. Can you birdwatch while riding?

I'm excited about the election changes, and I have some optimism - the younger folks are gradually going to have more and more effect, and they pretty thoroughly, as a group, reject Trumpism (thank goodness). And they turned out in good numbers for the midterms. Loved seeing that.

Edited: Nov 7, 3:38pm Top

>196 weird_O: Hi, Bill. I've had some authors that annoy the heck out of me (Ann Coulter comes to mind), but if we're going to have freedom of speech, we'd better not murder the ones we disagree with, don't you think? (Being facetious here).

>197 Caroline_McElwee: Interesting to hear re Rushdie, Caroline. I'm not a follower, so I didn't know about the head-swelling. It would have annoyed me to have Eco and Vargas Llosa unexpectedly lose time with the audience and be upstaged by him. I'd much rather hear from them, personally.

Nov 7, 3:49pm Top

>198 Caroline_McElwee: Yeah, I wanted the Senate to turn blue, Caroline, but that'll be a longer project. One thing that gets me is a large part of the Red voting is rural - and they're getting screwed by the people they're electing! Oh well. There's a lot to be happy about. We've generally taken a turn away from fascsim, racism, sexism and other isms, thank goodness, so we're starting to have a country worth believing in again.

Good candidates for Prez in 2020 - I'm a Kamala Harris fan; she's tough enough and charismatic enough to do it. A lot of folks are talking about Beto O'Rourke now. Elizabeth Warren has a lot of fans; I love her views, but worry that she may not have that leadership charisma. Corey Booker, as you mention, is another; he may be too young at this point.

That's the big Repub play for re-electing Trump - as abysmal as he is, who are the Dems going to put up against him? As you say, that needs to be successfully sorted.

Nov 7, 4:03pm Top

>199 NarratorLady: Oh good, Anne! Could you tell I love those Doyle and Acton mysteries? I was like you; I just didn't want to put any of them down.

Wow, 56 hours + 12 on audio for Infinite Jest. That's awe-inspiring. There's no way in the world I could've read it that way; I'm so much faster with print. Kudos to Sean the narrator for doing a good job with it. I'm sure you appreciate more than most how hard it must have been. You know, it was a big commitment to read it in print; I can't imagine making that commitment to listen that long. Are the footnotes mixed in, I wonder? That was one of the advantages of the print copy; we could flip to the footnotes.

>200 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. It's inspiring to see photos of that diversity that's coming into Congress and leadership positions around the country. I'm going to be catching up on state developments like what you describe; an awful lot of good things happened yesterday, even in Florida with re-enfranchising ex-felons.

I know, the number of racists and people in this country wanting (wanting!) to be conned is far larger than I ever guessed before this era. How anyone can support Trump is beyond me.

>201 brodiew2: I'm happy for you that you found something to be happy about, Brodie - I assume it's the Senate. I think the clock's ticking on that, too, but we'll see. Thank goodness Trump will be hobbled now.

That's a beautiful poster; thanks for posting it. I hope you have a great day, too.

Edited: Nov 7, 4:14pm Top

Here's a link to a cool NY Times visual analysis of the diverse candidates:


Here are a few of those elected:

Edited: Nov 7, 4:34pm Top

The investigations into Russian influence on Trump will be re-opened now, too - the Repubs in the House had shut down the investigations. Now they can't, and the Dems are re-opening them.

And a lot of folks think Mueller has been waiting until after the Midterms to release more of his investigation results (which have already resulted in a slew of indictments and convictions). I wouldn't mind a Presidential smackdown via either House investigations or Mueller. Given his behavior, it's hard to believe that the Russians don't have something with which they're blackmailing Trump.

Edited: Nov 7, 6:14pm Top

>204 jnwelch: just had a read of Kamala Harris's credentials, a very impressive potential candidate I'd say. I'd never heard of her Joe. I have heard of Elizabeth Warren, another fine possibility, though I heard she ruled herself out of putting herself forward last time.

In Europe, we have to have an interest in US political affairs, in away you in the US don't need to bother with ours so much!

Edited: Nov 7, 5:22pm Top

>208 Caroline_McElwee: Right, I know what you mean about Europeans needing to follow the US political affairs, Caroline. More folks here are taking an interest in politics in Europe and elsewhere, but it's hard to pick up in more than broad strokes, isn't it. I wonder how it'll be in 100 or 200 years. Much changed, I imagine (if humans are still around!), and at some point we're all going to be affecting each other so much that I think we're going to need a new governmental structure that spans the different geographies.

Kamala Harris is impressive in person as well. None of the Repub primary candidates could effectively deal with Trump's con job and name-calling, and Hilary unfortunately had baggage and bad luck (I wonder whether James Comey would take back his 11th hour announcement about her emails, which sounded bad but amounted to zero, if he could go back in time). I think Kamala Harris could take the gasbag apart and let all the air out.

Nov 7, 6:15pm Top

>206 jnwelch: - This is a great link, Joe. Thanks for posting it

Nov 7, 10:53pm Top

>197 Caroline_McElwee: According to Rushdie's memoir, Caroline, the fatwa and the ensuing decade of protection by the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police, nearly did go to his head. But it didn't inflate his ego. Rather it drove him crazy. For years, he was under house arrest. He was told by Special Branch officers what he would be allowed to do. He couldn't go out in his garden and sip a cup of tea. He couldn't stand at a window lest he been seen. He couldn't walk around the block. Couldn't have a meal with friends in a restaurant. His 10-year-old son wasn't permitted to drop by his father's residence; father-son meetings had to be carefully planned. The unspontaneous life. Not for a few weeks, but for years and years.

He was always reminded of the cost, by the media, by politicians, even by the police officials. And to the police, he'd say fine then, I'll be on my way. And they'd be on their feet, blocking the exit, and tut-tutting.

It's a big topic.

Nov 8, 6:31am Top

>211 weird_O: it's not a life any of us would like to experience I think Bill. And of course, what we see from the outside is always compromised. I do have his memoir, and will get to it in time.

Nov 8, 7:55am Top

>210 jessibud2: Isn't that a great link on the diversity, Shelley? You're welcome. Thank you for taking a look at it.

>211 weird_O: Good info, thanks, Bill.

>212 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline.

Edited: Nov 8, 8:00am Top

We're leaving this morning on another trip (!), this time to see Debbi's aunt in western Massachusetts. The plan is to meet up with bell7, Mary, while there. Fingers crossed!

It's for a long weekend - we'll fly back on Monday.

So have a grand time while the proprietor is out gallivanting. I'll check in, but not as often.

Nov 8, 8:28am Top

Good heavens, such travellers. Glad you leave us the keys though Joe. Have a fabulous time.

Nov 8, 9:15am Top

Hi Joe!

Have a great time. I just got the new Reacher yesterday (after sending back TWO noticeably wavy-paged copies) and can start it after finishing the last 90 pages of a Georgette Heyer Regency Romance. Yay for Reacher.

Nov 8, 9:42am Top

>214 jnwelch: Wishing you a safe trip, and looking forward to meeting you!

Nov 8, 5:31pm Top

>214 jnwelch: Have a good time in Massachusetts, Joe, and safe travels.

Nov 8, 9:00pm Top

>38 jnwelch: *tsk* Such a leaky memory, Joe! My review of The Teleportation Accident should be graven on your memory! I warbled its praises to the skies. *sigh* Sic transit Gloria Munday. (Who was she anyway?)

Have a delicious Diwali!

Nov 8, 9:05pm Top

Have fun! MA is another favorite state of mine, having lived there 5 separate times. : )

Edited: Nov 8, 10:04pm Top

I a surprised that you forgot little ‘ole Kansas in your list of victories on Tuesday. Kansans voted in a Democrat woman as governor. That in itself is good, but more importantly they got rid of that Trumped up lying nincompoop Chris Kobach. He is the Kansas Secretary of State who wrote those atrocious voter restriction laws that the Orange Gasbag has been trumpeting about. He and his party drove a state that had a surplus in the budget 8 years ago, almost into bankruptcy. I am so glad to see him go and now we get to see what Lura Gregory can do to remedy the situation.

Overall, I am pleased with the election. Now the Democrats have to start to work and get some things done.

Nov 8, 10:05pm Top

Wow! What a race in Georgia! I love it that the Orange Gasbag had to attack Oprah. I hope that this election in Georgia doesn’t discourage voters but instead gets them out to work harder than ever for good candidates.

Nov 9, 11:12am Top

>215 Caroline_McElwee:. Hi, Caroline. We’re safely arrived, and having a fab time. Debbi’s aunt’s home is in the Berkshire mountains (literally on a mountain side) and it’s beautiful here. I’ll post some photos when we get back.

Today we’re going to see a local play. Her aunt writes cookbooks (as well as articles for the Berkshire Eagle), so our meals have been fab, too.

>216 karenmarie:. Thanks, Karen. Oh, you are so my kind of reader - from a Georgette Heyer (whose books I love) to a Reacher - so great!

I’m loving the new Reacher - it’s hard to be away from it.

Nov 9, 11:15am Top

>217 bell7:. See you tomorrow, Mary! I forgot NarratorLady (Anne) is in MA, too, so I just invited her to join us, but I won’t be surprised if it’s too late of notice.

>218 FAMeulstee:. Thanks, Anita. Massachusetts is a lovely state in this country, and we’re catching the end of the leaf colors changing. Beautiful.

Nov 9, 11:23am Top

>219 richardderus:. Ha! Woo-hoo! There’s our guy! Hiya, RD!

I knew I had the Teleportation Accident on my radar for some reason. If it weren’t for that darn Gloria (I know, who the heck is she, anyway?) I’m sure I’d have read it by now. Good to have the reminder. That cover should’ve won some kind of award, too.

I forgot you were Hindu. (I know, you’re actually Pagan). Happy Diwali!

Nov 9, 11:27am Top

>220 Berly:. Thanks, Kim. MA is a favorite state of ours, too. I went to school here way back when, and the lovely Debbi grew up in western Mass, near where we are now. We’ve often said that the only other place we’d live besides Chicago is out here. Such a beautiful area, and always lots happening culturally.

I didn’t realize that you’d lived here so many times. Plus MN, right? You get around!

Edited: Nov 9, 11:44am Top

>221 benitastrnad:, >222 benitastrnad:. Hi, Benita. It’s wonderful what happened in Kansas. You’ve probably seen that Ann Coulter said now “Kansas is dead to me.” Always a good sign! (You may have seen some wit’s response to that: “Ann, admit it, Kansas has been dead to you since that house fell on your sister”).

Like you, I’m so glad that KS got rid of that Trumpish governor who had dragged the state’s economy into the gutter with foolish Repub economic ideas. One national proposal is to fund raises for teachers across the country by rescinding the Trump/Repub tax cut for the rich. I’d love to see that, although we also need to reduce the colossal debt he has/they have created. (Still a pipe dream, unfortunately, until we get more Repubs out of there).

Yeah, I’m pleased with the election, too - even more so as I learn even more about state developments. Go Stacey! I’m so glad she’s fighting on in Georgia.

I didn’t know about Trump attacking Oprah. I’ll look into that. Wonderful how they doctored that video to justify tossing Jim Acosta from the White House.

I believe that many Georgia voters are outraged by the voter suppression, and inspired more than ever to fight going forward.

Nov 9, 2:05pm Top

Hi Joe, I'm hijacking the top threads around here to spread the word. Its time to join the Christmas Swap festivities. Come on over...


Nov 9, 5:41pm Top

>224 jnwelch: Next time Joe! I love the Berkshires. We make the trip every summer, lured by one or more plays. Haven’t been to the refurbished Colonial yet but it looks handsome from the outside.

Nov 9, 6:04pm Top

Fun visit here Joe!

Nov 9, 6:10pm Top

>229 NarratorLady: ah, too bad! We really should plan a meetup of our own for the MA folks one of these days 😁

Nov 9, 6:46pm Top

Happy Friday, Joe. Have a great time in the Berkshires and don't hurry back. It was cold, snowy and windy today.

I am absolutely loving The Spirit Catches You. I should be close to finishing it tomorrow. It is easily shaping up to be a 5 star read.

Edited: Nov 10, 11:00am Top

>228 mahsdad:. Thanks, Jeff. Just pin it up by the front door.

>229 NarratorLady:. Next time, Anne! I’ll remember and let you know. Right now we’re thinking next October.

The refurbished Colonial was quite lovely. (You still enter under the Bank of Whatever sign, which was a bit weird). And what a play reading - it was “The Jewish Wife”, from a longer Berthold Brecht play. Set during WWII, it was a Jewish wife (surprise!) packing to leave her non-Jewish husband in Germany and flee to Amsterdam. Very moving. Followed by a fact-filled discussion of Kristallnacht. We learned a lot.

Edited: Nov 10, 11:29am Top

>230 mdoris:. Does “here” mean you’re now in western MA, Mary? We’re having a grand time. I’ll post some photos when we get back.

>232 msf59:. Happy Friday and Saturday, Mark. It’s snowing some flurries here, but it’s so pretty up on the mountain! I could probably watch the flurries all day.

I started The Spirit Catches while on vacation, man. You must be a good buddy. I’m not sure I’d start something that thinking-filled for anyone but you. It is awfully good so far. Like you, I’d only read her Ex Libris so far, which is one of the great books of all time, as far as I’m concerned.

Hope the day and weekend go well for you.

Nov 10, 11:19am Top

>231 bell7:. Did my post to you get lost, Mary? See you soon!

Nov 10, 1:03pm Top

>230 mdoris: HI Joe, the "here" meant being a wonderful visit to your thread. I'm still on the west side of British Columbia but it is a very nice day here and must get out and do some gardening today. My rhodos have decided to bloom. I think it's called "Christmas Cheer". Hope you're having a great day and happy travels. I'm trying to catch up on my New Yorker mags (way behind) but there sure are some great articles. Loved the one by Kathryn Schultz "Food Fight" (Oct. 1st.)

Nov 10, 5:09pm Top

>236 mdoris:. Oh, thanks, Mary. Right, I think of you in BC. Rhodos have decided to bloom? I like that. I love that part of Canada. I’m sure it’s lovely where you are.

That New Yorker article was about the Utah restaurant taking on (suing) Trump over his plans to screw up the landscape, right? That was a good one. Janet Malcolm just did one based on family photos that, improbably, I loved. She’s such a good writer.

Edited: Nov 10, 5:12pm Top

Just had a wonderful meetup with bell7 Mary. What a kindred spirit. I of course came away with some great book recommendations.

Photo when I get back - Mary may post one sooner.

Nov 10, 5:12pm Top

Oo, another meetup, how lovely Joe.

Nov 10, 5:13pm Top

>238 jnwelch:. ‘Twas, Caroline. You would’ve loved it. Great cafe, too.

Nov 10, 5:22pm Top

>238 jnwelch: LT meet-ups are always cause for celebration. You lucky guys get to have so many of 'em.

Edited: Nov 10, 6:22pm Top

>237 jnwelch: Yes, Joe that is the article. Have you read Schulz's book Being Wrong? I thought it was wonderful and looking forward to her new book about to be published Lost and Found. I don't know Janet Malcolm so will keep my eyes peeled for her article about family photos. Thanks for the tip!

Nov 10, 6:17pm Top

It was great to meet you in person today, Joe (it seems wrong to say "meet" because as with so many LT folks, I feel like we've already known each other). Fun to find out how many books we have in common, too! I'll have to wait to post a photo till after I get back home from dogsitting and have my laptop back, but will be sure to do so.

Nov 11, 10:50am Top

>243 bell7:. Great to meet you, Mary! What fun that was. The time just flew, didn’t it. Yes, lots of books in common, and I’ve got your tips that I emailed to myself. :-)

Debbi and her aunt enjoyed the photo, and her aunt does know Munson and Wilbraham (did I spell those right?)

Nov 11, 10:50am Top

We’ll be back later on today.

Nov 11, 11:35am Top

Well, shoot. I missed a whole thread! I'll keep an eye out for your new one soon!

Edited: Nov 11, 4:19pm Top

>241 laytonwoman3rd:. I know, Linda, you’re right. We’re lucky to have LT and lucky to be able to meet up in person so often. Such a beautiful part of the country, too.

>242 mdoris:. Oh good, Mary. That was an interesting article. I hope they give us an update on what happens.

I haven’t read any Schultz books. I’ll take a look at Being Wrong. You’re welcome re Janet Malcolm.

Nov 11, 4:21pm Top

>246 ChelleBearss:. Hiya, Chelle. What could possibly be distracting you from reading my thread? Except maybe going back to work and raising those two cool kids - and I hear husbands aren’t easy, either.

This one will have to go on for a while; I ain’t starting a new one while we’re visiting Debbi’s aunt.

Nov 11, 4:30pm Top

>238 jnwelch: Joe, I also was fortunate to meet Mary, awhile ago at Richard's 50th bd party on Long Island. She is such a kind soul!

Nov 11, 4:49pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. It sounds like you are having a fantastic time. Not surprised. I finished The Spirit Catches You. A 5 star read. I am glad you are enjoying it. I also started On a Sunbeam. A chunky GN that came out this year. Very interesting start. Had you heard of it?

Go Bears!! Another nice win!

Edited: Nov 11, 5:45pm Top

>249 Whisper1:. Well put, Linda. Mary is a kind soul. I’m glad you had a chance to meet her.

>250 msf59:. Happy Sunday, buddy. Yes, I have On a Sunbeam on my holiday wishlist. I’m envious that you’re reading it! It looked great to me.

Glad to hear 5 stars for The Spirit Catches You and congrats on finishing it. It will be a while for me. I did start an interesting one called Where the Crawdads Sing on a rec from Debbi’s aunt. So far, it’s very good.

Nice Bears win indeed! I just watched the highlights. I’m particularly happy for Trubisky, who of course gets lots of criticism while he learns. I think the guy’s done and is doing well - man, show a little patience, everyone.

Nov 11, 6:34pm Top

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down won’t take long to read. It is an excellent example of narrative non-fiction at its best.

I finally got around to counting and found out that I have read 79 books so far this year. This is a first for me. I usually get in 55 - 60 per year. I think it is because I am staying home more in the evenings and not running around to cultural events so much. I think it will be a long time before I hit 79 books in one year again, so I am going to enjoy this accomplishment in the here and now.

Nov 11, 7:59pm Top

>252 benitastrnad: Congratulations!

Nov 11, 8:05pm Top

>252 benitastrnad: adding my congratulations Benita.

Nov 11, 8:22pm Top

>252 benitastrnad: Excellent news, Benita!

Nov 11, 9:49pm Top

>252 benitastrnad:. I add my congratulations, Benita. Way to go!

What are some of your favorites from the year?

Good to hear re The Spirit Catches You. I’m glad I’m finally getting around to reading it. Mary also recommended Fadiman’s At Large and At Small.

Nov 12, 10:36am Top

>249 Whisper1: and >251 jnwelch: y'all are making me blush. It was lovely to meet both of you and all the LTers I've met. There's something really special about all of them, and whether it's our shared love of reading or the way we've already gotten to know each other over the years of filling each other's threads, it always feels like meeting an old friend rather than for the first time.

Nov 12, 11:29am Top

>145 jnwelch: "Get on the ride, open up your mind, and experience something really special." Such good advice for reading Murakami. I still have a couple of his on the shelves that i haven't yet gotten around to reading. I will wait for his latest to come out in paperback and then I'll acquire a copy.

I see that Mark got you to read The Spirit Catches You -- and on vacation! I started it a few years ago and abandoned it without giving it a fair shot. I just wasn't in that mood at that moment. I'll look forward to your thoughts.

By the way, it's pretty far out but I believe there is a conference in Chicago that I may be attending -- now I can't remember, fall 2019? 2020? I hope it's sooner rather than later as I'd love to share a beer and some conversation with you and some other Chicagoland buddies.

>257 bell7: I wholly agree.

Nov 12, 4:01pm Top

Hello Joe. Stan Lee has shuffled off his mortal coil at the age of 95. What a character. And, a brilliant creator of many comic book superheroes which are household names. I was not there in the beginning, but the early 80s through the late 90s, I was deep into comic collecting. Though I went through phases of many of Lee's creations, I was always partial to The Fantastic Four. Loved the family dynamic as well as the different personalities and how they worked as a team. 'Nuff said. RIP Stand Lee.

Edited: Nov 12, 8:06pm Top

Joe, I do remember Janet Malcolm after all. I remember reading her article about the 3 sisters keeping the oldest independent bookstore going in New York city, "The Book Refuge" (June 2014). It was a fascinating article especially the dynamics between the sisters as I recall.J I have 2 sisters so understand sister dynamics all too well! I remember too her writing about Eileen Fisher and what influenced her designs (her experiences in Japan). I looked Janet Malcolm up and she has written a lot for the New Yorker.

Nov 13, 6:59am Top

Morning, Joe! Happy Tuesday! Are you still in western Mass? Did you start Where the Crawdads Sing? I have that one saved on audio. I have heard good things.

Nov 13, 9:26am Top

>257 bell7: Well put, Mary. It is like meeting an old friend rather than meeting for the first time. I look forward to the next time I see my old friend Mary. :-)

>258 EBT1002: Hiya, Ellen. Ha! I'm glad you like my Murakami advice. He's trying to get at the act of artistic creation in this one, and I loved it.

I know what you mean about The Spirit Catches You. I'm not sure it's the ideal time for me, either. But having committed will push me through, and I'm sure I'll be glad to have read it when I'm done. It certainly is fascinating content, and well-written.

Yay for a Chicago conference! I wish it were sooner, but we'll take what we can get.

Nov 13, 9:31am Top

>259 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. RIP, Stan Lee. What an impact he had on all of us. I loved The Fantastic Four as a kid, too.

Nov 13, 9:36am Top

>260 mdoris: Ha! I thought as a New Yorker reader you'd probably read Janet Malcolm, Mary. I do remember the Eileen Fisher one, but I don't remember "The Book Refuge". I'll look for it! What a natural for the likes of us.

>261 msf59: Morning, Mark! We got back yesterday, safe and sound. I have started Where the Crawdads Sing, and it's really good so far.

Nov 13, 1:47pm Top

Oh jeez, I told Mark I'd start posting my poems again, and I meant to do one before this on this thread. Here goes. It plays with the haiku form sequentially.



Well met in water.
You took my hands and kissed them.
Asleep, I drifted.


Drowning, I hurt you.
Clouds of smoke along our bed,
Shouting and shouting.


Painful ignorance.
A tea cloud spreads in my cup.
Lost in thought, I drink.


There will be portents:
Blood and fire and drifting smoke;
The sun shall turn dark.


He turns from washing
The door, his hands in prayer.
Water drops in the light.


Sitting at the bar
They spin their coins, shiny dance
Without prediction.


Tongues of fire descend
To each: hubris awakens.
"They have been drinking."


Fire upon water.
Stillness at the heart of flame.
Permanence and flux.


We grow near. Sunlight
Beats between the bars, as we
Walk beside the fence.

Nov 13, 3:21pm Top

Sad to see the passing of Stan Lee. I started out with DC comics but those heros never could compare to the Marvel ones with their messed up lives - fascinating.

Edited: Nov 13, 3:24pm Top

Taking a page out of Jeff's book, and visiting some of the busiest threads to say:

The first and nearly final cut has been made for the 2019 American Authors Challenge, so if you're interested, pop over to the discussion thread and help choose the last couple names for next year.

Nov 13, 5:10pm Top

>265 jnwelch: very fine Joe. I love the capture of complexity in a relationship.

Nov 13, 5:15pm Top

Bringing something over from your entry in Ellen's thread, about your reading since your dad died Joe. For me, in the first two months after my dad died, I could only reread. Novels. I needed to trust in the quality, and wanted no surprises, comfort reading. But after that it was non-fiction I wanted most. New Fiction is drizzling back in a bit now.

Edited: Nov 14, 7:06am Top

>265 jnwelch: I like "Spirit", Joe. I will come back and read it again. It goes deep. Funny, for an affable guy, always quick with a grin or a quip, you can go pretty dark in your poetry. Is this more reflective of the times?

Morning, Joe. I hope we get some warmer temps back, otherwise it is going to be a looooooooong winter. Enjoy your day.

Nov 14, 8:15am Top

>266 Familyhistorian: the Marvel ones with their messed up lives - fascinating. Ha! Right, Meg? That was Stan Lee's key insight - make the superheroes relatable. Plus a lot of humor.

I'll put up one of his quotes about what he did after catching up.

>267 laytonwoman3rd: Oh, that sounds like fun, Linda. Popping over to help decide which authors are in the American Author Challenge - will do, maybe this afternoon.

Nov 14, 8:25am Top

>268 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I love the capture of complexity in a relationship. Nice!

>269 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, I can see it, Caroline - only re-reads for the first two months after your dad died. Then wanting nonfiction most - I'm going the other way, with nonfiction starting to drizzle in, after a lot of fiction, particularly mysteries and sci-fi. Getting my mind to dig into NF remains tough.

>270 msf59: Morning, Mark! I do go pretty dark in some of my poetry, don't I? I think about a lot of things, and that's where it comes out. It's always been that way. Ironically, I've been thinking about doing more humor poems. We'll see. I'm glad you liked this one.

It's a chilly one out there right now. Winter's a-comin', my friend. But I hope it holds off for a good while, too.

Nov 14, 8:31am Top

RIP Stan Lee

Edited: Nov 14, 5:56pm Top

Mary (bell7) and I at Six Depot cafe in West Stockbridge

Nov 14, 8:55am Top

Nice meet up pic! Glad you had a good time.

Nov 14, 9:58am Top

>273 jnwelch: Indeed. Ninety-five isn't young, goodness knows, but he was a force of nature and one never expects them to leave us.

>274 jnwelch: I want to boop y'all's snoots and schmuzzle yer ears, yer sa dadgummed adorable!

Nov 14, 10:05am Top

Nice meet-up pic :)

Nov 14, 10:38am Top

>274 jnwelch: Nice picture. Hiya, Mary! Haven't seen you in ages.

Nov 14, 1:32pm Top

>275 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! We did indeed. Nice cafe, too - Mary's pick. It had an art gallery as part of it.

>276 richardderus: Hey, Mr. D., good to see ya. He was a force of nature, that Staniel. I think we were all looking forward to seeing cameos by him in the movies for many years to come. Debbi thinks they must have a couple in the can.

Why am I feeling like a dadburned puppy right now? It must've been something you said.

Nov 14, 1:34pm Top

>277 figsfromthistle: Thanks, figs. Mary's a sweetheart, and she was nice enough to put up with that nerdy guy.

>278 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. I forgot you had met up with Mary. Wouldn't it be a treat if we could all get together some time?

Nov 14, 2:19pm Top

Lovely meet up picture Joe and Mary! I can recommend San Diego as an excellent location for a meet up, if you're looking for suggestions for your next one (!)

Edited: Nov 14, 2:23pm Top

Good afternoon, Joe!

>274 jnwelch:. Excellent picture of your meet up!

I can't remember if you read Darktown or its follow up Lightning Men. I have started the second on audio and it off to a great start. The writing is rich and intense, bristling with the racial tension and injustices of the time. as a crime novel it also gangbusters out of the gate.

Nov 14, 3:04pm Top

>274 jnwelch: lovely to see you both. I do like an LT meet up.

Nov 14, 3:06pm Top

Nice meet up Joe.

Nov 14, 4:58pm Top

>280 jnwelch: I was thinking of next summer, when Jim and I will probably go up to the Berkshires.

Nov 14, 5:11pm Top

>281 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. Did you meet up with folks in San Diego? I sure like that idea.

>282 brodiew2: Good afternoon, Brodie!

Thanks re the meetup photo. A nice waitperson took that.

I did read both Darktown and Lightning Men, and liked them both. I'm glad you're a fan, too. Have a good time with this second one.

Nov 14, 5:13pm Top

>283 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Right? Me, too.

>284 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. I hope all is well in your part of the world.

>285 ffortsa: All right, Judy. Let's stay in touch. We normally go to the Berkshires in the fall, but you never know.

Nov 14, 6:02pm Top

OK, the new cafe is open. See you there!

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe Door 21.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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