jessibud2 Makes No Promises in 2018 - page 5
This is a continuation of the topic jessibud2 Makes No Promises in 2018 - page 4.
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Bringing a couple of links forward, from my last thread:
I came across this tribute to the creator of the Little Free Libraries. It links to a TED Talk he gave (don't know when) and is worth the 11 minutes to listen to him.
More lovely bounty from my favourite blog:
The mid-week version of Brain Pickings
Celebrating 10 years of her best 10 offerings.
I am somewhat reluctant to voice in print what I am really feeling about the recent events in the United States. I have spoken to a number of friends and family who live in the States and have said more privately in email than I am comfortable posting here. Suffice it to say, I am worried and scared for them and for all Americans.
I have never watched CNN as much in my life as I have this week. What has gone on in the States this past week (and including the synagogue shootings yesterday) is beyond belief. And the idiot in chief blames the synagogue for not having an armed guard. His day would not be complete unless he has someone to blame for something.
If Americans don't vote in the election next week and take over some control, I have no idea what will become of your country. I hate to be so pessimistic, but it's hard not to be. His words ring so hollow and so insincere, it would be almost laughable if it weren't so horrific to bear witness to this. He reads the script that someone writes for him, so it will sound like he is being sympathetic, then, before he can draw a breath, he turns and continues to incite violence and crap. I heard a sound bite of him saying (and you could hear the mirth in his voice, undisguised) that he was *toning it down. Isn't that nice of me* or something to that effect. As if it were a stand-up comedic gag. I can't even say here what I truly think this man deserves. Except that I have a vivid imagination and can only wish the absolute very worst on him.
I fear for democracy. If he doesn't win next week, I fear things will get much worse (I mean, as far as violence goes). And if he does win, things will definitely be worse for everyone. I wish I were more of a glass-half-full person, but unfortunately, I am not.
I think it would spell the end of democracy.
(I have reposted here some of the thoughts I posted on Madeline's thread yesterday)
In other news, does anyone have any tried and true suggestions for getting Gorilla Glue unstuck from finger tips? I tried to be careful but apparently, it didn't work.... (and neither did the glue, by the way) Pfft...
I just ditched an audiobook I had been listening to. It is called The Ice-Cream Makers by Ernest van der Kwast and sounded like a delightful story. A third or fourth generation son of an Italian ice cream making family living in Rotterdam, decides to break away from tradition and pursue an academic career in poetry. It goes back and forth a bit to give some historic context. I will say that I was mesmerized by the narrator's voice; lovely, easy to listen to. But suddenly, 3 discs in (that's nearly half way), it occurred to me that the story itself seemed to be going nowhere, or everywhere. and I really wasn't getting a feeling of a plot at all. There seems to be only one review here on LT and it is written in Dutch so I can't really tell what others have thought of this. But I am feeling rather impatient these days so I brought it back to the library and loaded up As You Wish. Tonight, instead of watching 3 hours of CNN, I will watch (for the second time) my dvd of the original Princess Bride movie, then start the audiobook tomorrow.
I'm so thankful to live in Canada, but what happens in the US affects us all. I do watch and read the news each day,but I don't watch CNN. Just CTV and Global and sometimes CBC. I'm looking forward to Anne with an E tonight!
>8 vancouverdeb: - I don't think I have ever watched more than 10, maybe 15 minutes of CNN before this past week, Deb. I have always found Anderson Cooper to be annoying, far too intense, takes himself soooo seriously. But the guy who comes on after him, Chris Cuomo, well, I am liking him and his personality. But tonight could be the final game of the world series in baseball and I am rooting for Boston so that, and my dvd, is where I will be! As for tv, I am a devotee of CBC and Global, mainly.
>9 FAMeulstee: - Thanks, Anita. Maybe I should have been a bit more patient with the book. Oh well. And oops, sorry about mistaking the language. I just knew it was a language I could not understand or read. Apologies
Hi Shelley! Happy new thread.
I started The ice-Cream makers some time ago, and got halfway through. And then I stalled on it. Had to return it to the library, but didn't feel much need to finish it. I didn't feel it was bad, but maybe it dragged a bit?
>10 jessibud2: No apologies needed, Shelley! German and Duch are rather close languages, that probably look the same for someone who doesn't speak/read either of them. The book was originally written is Dutch, so just natural you assumed the reviews were Dutch :-)
Happy New Thread, Shelley!
>6 jessibud2: No idea. Nail polish remover?
I'm feeling very sick at heart for all the things you mentioned in message #5. The only note of joy was that today Barbara, Jose, and I got to babysit for my 9-month-old granddaughter. It's such fun to take care of a baby (although she gave me a definite NO to an afternoon nap).
I helped Barbara write postcards directed to Democrats in Maryland to encourage them to VOTE. I will be early voting this Tuesday. There is some chicanery (voter suppression. ballot selection changes) going on with the elections in some states other than mine. My state has paper ballots so they cannot be hacked. I'm not even sure I'll trust the outcome of the elections in some other states.
We are living in terrible times here in the United States. I have just about given up hope that I will live long enough to see our political situation turn around to what it used to be. Am I too pessimistic? I don't know. It's heartbreaking to live in a country like this where so much of our leadership has no scruples and no compassion. My heart goes out to those devoted leaders who are trying to keep the principles of my country intact. I don't envy them their jobs.
I recently heard that here in my province, in some rural areas (or maybe it was just areas that had people otherwise unable to easily get to voting stations), some places had organized voting buses to bring mobile voting stations to the people rather than expect them to have to find a way to get to the polling stations. A rather brilliant idea, I thought and it must be something new if they were talking about it on the news. We recently had municipal elections throughout the province.
I , too, watched CNN for the horrible news about the tragedy at the Pittsburgh synagogue- I will be speaking to my brother who lives near Philadelphia about his thoughts.
>11 EllaTim: - I agree, Ella. It wasn't bad, just kind-of dragging. I thought by the half-way point, there should have been some indication of a plot or something. Pity, because I usually love those kind of generational stories that include history of a region or of something (like the ice-cream industry). Oh well. :-)
>13 EBT1002: - I don't have any nail polish remover in the house, Ellen, but this morning, the finger tips (and a spot on my palm, too, I noticed after the fact) feel almost normal so maybe by tomorrow, everything will be fine. So weird.
>14 SqueakyChu: - It is, indeed, a horrible and frightening time, Madeline. I guess we can all be grateful we didn't wake up in Brazil this morning. Still, that is hardly a reason for hope, here in North America. Deb is right, what happens in the States DOES affect us all.
Hi Shelley my dear, Happy new thread and you are getting real close to your target of 80 books read, hope you had a really good weekend and we send love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.
Happy New Thread, Shelley.
You know I share your concerns in >5 jessibud2:. We'll see. Will enough people stand up and say no to this; will enough people vote.
>16 torontoc: - I can only imagine how your brother and family are digesting all this, Cyrel. There is a vigil tonight at Mel Lastman Square but I won't be going even though it isn't that far from me. I don't do crowds at the best of times and after such an incident, well, I will honour the victims in my own way. I didn't go last spring, either, after the Yonge Street van attack. It is just something that scares me.
>18 johnsimpson: - Thanks, John. Yes, I think I might actually reach that goal, which might be a first for me. I have 2 full months left so it should be doable.
>19 jnwelch: - Hi, Joe. After hearing just now on our local tv news that trump has, yet again, somehow made this tragedy about him, blaming the media yet again for going against him, it almost seems to me that he is dangerously close to being a hate crime, himself. My biggest fear, as I mentioned up there, is the day after the vote. I am becoming filled with dread that no matter the outcome, there will be violence. And he will be behind it, in some capacity or another. There is really no question in my mind. There has to be some lawyer, some very smart person out there, who can find a way to legally get rid of this unhinged maniac.
I have decided to keep my thoughts and worries contained to my own thread.
Happy new thread, Shelley. We are gearing up for trick or treaters here with the weather people on Global trying to predict a dry evening - we will see what comes. Do you get many trick or treaters?
>17 jessibud2: Well, I have close family (cousins) who live in Sao Paolo so that what happens in Brazil does indeed affect me.
I just found out this past evening that one of the synagogue attendees who was murdered in Pittsburgh is a relative of a high school friend of mine. I’m hurting so much now, and I am afraid of living in the United States in this time of rage.
The events of the past week have been so distressing. I join you and Madeline and Joe and others in my fear for our country. I'm currently reading The Death's Head Chess Club, a novel set largely in Auschwitz and a footnote got my attention:
Speaking of the Weimar years, "Nazi tactics included attempts to discredit every element of the Weimar government, including the police, who would often try to prevent Nazi actions against their political rivals." Our current president and his cronies are so clearly attempting to discredit the press, and their tactics in smearing any political rival, especially anyone who might have a chance at successfully running for president in 2020. It is chilling how similar the landscape is to that of Germany in the years leading up to Hitler's ascent to power.
Honestly, in my most cynical moments, I figure humans aren't long for this world and our current policies are sending us hurtling ever more quickly toward our own extinction. May as many other species as possible survive our recklessness.
I'm not really a groupie but I do admire some actors and enjoy reading bios of them (or autobios). I recently saw a really fun and interesting documentary about the 60s, narrated by Michael Caine. It was called My Generation
So today, on a pop culture radio program on CBC, the host Tom Power interviewed Michael Caine, about his new book, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off. I am hoping it's on audiobook, narrated by him because it seems to me that, like Billy Crystal reading his book, or Trevor Noah reading his, this book seems to be one that must be listened to.
Here is the interview. It's great! :
Interview with Michael Caine
I actually listened to him read his first bio, The Elephant to Hollywood and enjoyed that one a lot.
>23 EBT1002: - Yikes Ellen. I am not sure I could read that one at this time. But I doubt things will get better any time soon. Have I mentioned that Steve Bannon is coming to Toronto this Friday to engage in a debate with none other than David Frum? There is a huge backlash and outcry here as various groups are trying to get the event cancelled. As of this morning, when I heard an interview with someone from a civil liberties group, it won't be cancelled (it is sold out though I don't think that's the reason). In truth, if anyone can cut Bannon to shreds, it will be Frum. The debate will be recorded and (hopefully) broadcast on CBC at a later date. The taping is a given but the broadcasting of it, I think, depends on what actually happens. Eek. I am not sure I agree with it going ahead but on the other hand, the free speech angle is one that is hard to argue, especially as it is a formal debate, not just him, spewing verbal diahrea (I can never spell that word and am trying to refrain from using an easier, more colloquial replacement).
>24 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Figs!
Shelley" there's nothing like a bad spell of diarrhea!" Someone said that once to us while we were at a riding resort playing scrabble and I've never forgotten it.
>4 jessibud2: Thanks for posting that link to the founder of Little Free Libraries--I loved it! We need more people like him.
And less like Trump. I hope we swing things around soon and he proves to be a wake up call to many.
I'd been reading about Steve Bannon coming to Toronto to debate with David Frum. You have it bad in Toronto. I felt a backlash to it , even here in Vancouver. With your crazy premier, Doug Ford, it's not good. I'm so glad that I live here in Leftcouver ;-) (((hugs))))
Leftcouver! I love it! LOL
I was initially against Bannon coming here and felt strongly that he should have been uninvited. But The Munk Institute (which sponsored the debate) is a very well-known and established institution and a formal debate usually must follow strict rules and a defined format. And David Frum is the right person to bring Bannon down a notch or two. It isn't as if Bannon was just going to talk and spew garbage. So, the free speech aspect of it felt somewhat justified.. Still, there were a ton of protesters and quite a few of them were arrested outside the venue. I haven't bothered to check today to see how it went or who *won*, if that's the right terminology. It was live-streamed on facebook, apparently, but I am not on facebook so that was out, as far as following it. The Globe & Mail online also said it would be aired on CPAC but when I turned on CPAC, there was a hockey game so I have no idea what happened with that. Anyhow, I could check online but to be honest, I can't be bothered.
And don't get me started on Ford. Can we spell JACKASS?
Happy Belated New Thread, Shelley. Love the fall toppers. It has been especially colorful this season.
>5 jessibud2: Yes, you are very correct in your observations from afar. I am recently retired from academia -- 36 years of teaching publications in the Journalism Department. Every day co workers gather in the kitchen area, drinking very dark, strong coffee and trying how to find answers to the questions of students who are wondering who is reporting things correctly...CNN, MSNBC, Fox??? And, should we have a course on the fakeness of "fake news?"
I swear I will go crazy if I continue to watch any of these stations. The sound of a voice that repeats ugly phrases over and over and over and over again...the same phrase in the same sentence. Is he thinking that if he repeats something consistently, it will then be true? Let's take him to OZ to try to find a heart as he walks along the yellow brick road ..as we wonder, is he the character looking for a heart? Or, does he need some thing to make him sane?
Courage? A brain? As he walks along heading to the empty headed do nothing Wizard of Oz?
>33 Whisper1: - Hi Linda, welcome to my tread! Over on Suzanne's Non-fiction challenge thread, I suggested a theme for one of the months for next year, and it is to read around the topic of real journalism, good journalism, most especially in this time of attacks on this very thing. I know there are many good books out there written by journalists about the craft, about their experiences, about free speech and about how important journalism is to this, and to democracy. I really believe that journalists are so often the eyes, and souls of people and they are truly on the front line, everywhere.
I don't think I ever watched more than 10 or 15 minutes of CNN before last week, and while I was intrigued and even surprised at being impressed with some of the coverage, I know I could never watch news 24/7. For one thing, I am not a big tv watcher to begin with. But also, just watching news all the time would probably make me want to jump off the nearest bridge. I am a person who needs more balance in my life, quite frankly. Books, music, my pets, being outside in nature, being with friends, LT, all those things have to round out the clock for me, in order to stay sane!!
>32 msf59: - Hi Mark. I was out taking photos yesterday of the colours. It was the first days in ages that we didn't have rain so I had to take advantage. I will try to upload a few today.
Hope you are enjoying the day. Did you guys set your clocks back an hour, as we did? Unfortunately, my cats didn't get the memo so my *extra hour* of sleep was not to be....
>34 jessibud2: I dated a reporter while I was in college and for some time after. I remember the electric atmosphere at the time - it was in the early 1970s so.... Watergate. I remember standing in line to see All the President's Men with Michael and how proud he was to be a journalist.
And the friend I visited in Montana this summer is a journalist, too. I met her at Pepperdine, same as Michael, in 1971. They are a fine breed, true journalists are, interested in the story and communicating The Truth.
>35 jessibud2: I was up at what my cell phone said was 7, when both kitties jumping on the bed. Came downstairs and the clock said 8. I was confused, thought that I'd dozed until I finally remembered "Fall Back". I agree about balance. I listen to a bit of NPR and look at a few things online but only watch TV news when my husband tells me something interesting is on, and since he knows me pretty well after 27 years (41, actually, since we knew each other for 14 years before we got married), I get alerted infrequently. I get away, back to books and quiet, as soon as I can after.
Hope you have a lovely day.
>36 karenmarie: - Hi Karen. Before I decided on teaching as a career, I seriously considered journalism. I wrote the high school sports column (really!) for a local newspaper while I was still in high school, but that gave me a taste of *writing to a deadline* and I was beginning to see that maybe that wasn't for me, after all. Plus, the thought of having to start with crappy assignments, such as chasing ambulances, for example, really did not appeal at all. And to this day, I cringe whenever I hear that horrible question so-called journalists still seem to feel necessary asking victims of anything awful: "How do you feel about....?" Seriously? That line ought to get them kicked out of the profession!
Of course, I learned in due time that a large component of teaching involved deadlines, too, but I have never regretted my career choice. I feel that it provided me with a lot more satisfaction and making-a-difference moments than journalism would have, for me, anyhow. I also don't think I am brave enough to have been a good journalist, and I have a lot of admiration for those who do their job as a calling, and not just a paycheque.
^This is Athena, the resident Barn Owl, from yesterday. She is only a year and a half and what a beauty she is.
Morning, Shelley. Yep, we turned our clocks back. It is nice to get that hour extra reading time, but boy, was I up early.
>38 msf59: - Yes, she is a beauty. Thanks for the pic, Mark. I used to follow a barn owl cam but the owner dismantled the cam after a few years.
Jose has a niece who is a journalist for MSNBC. We are really proud of her. She is leaving that profession, however, to go to law school (...for less stress! Ha!).
Your suggestion of a theme of good journalism for one of the NF months is great, Shelley. I have only minimally participated in Suzanne's ongoing challenge but if that one makes the cut I'll participate that month. I guess if it doesn't make the cut, I could still follow up on the excellent suggestion. I feel like freedom of the press is so critical to saving our democracy.
I'll be interested in how Frum handles Bannon....
Oooh, Barn owls are so cute, Mark and Shelley! My favourite kind of owl ! We had a family birthday party for my sister this evening, and my nephew got started on proportional representation which we have a referendum on here in BC. I think my blood pressure got knocked up a few points as began talking about the Orange Gasbag. It was fun, but I think I could have left behind the political aspect of the party. I must be getting very old. I used to love a good political discussion. Less so now.
A friend just sent me this quote and it blew me away:
"Reading and writing cannot be separated. Reading is breathing in; writing is breathing out."
Of course, I immediately had to google, to see if I could discover the source. The source is a woman named Pam Allyn. I found a short youtube clip of her talking about this on the Scholastic website. For those who are not familiar, Scholastic Books is an educational publishing company that publishes books for educators, schools, kids, and much more. I grew up living for the day that the teacher would distribute the latest Scholastic book club flyer so I could make my choices. And, as a teacher, I spent a healthy portion of my meager class budget (and plenty, out of pocket, too!) on purchasing books for my students.
What she has to say in this short clip is so true!
Jacqueline Woodson first came onto my radar from someone (I can't remember who) here on LT. I loved Brown Girl Dreaming and today, I picked up another by her from my library: Show Way. This is a gorgeous children's picture book, with exquisite and powerful illustrations by Hudson Talbott. Woodson traces her own roots through the strength of her matriarchal lineage, using the image and theme of quilting, and the age-old, timeless oral tradition of storytelling, passing the family history down from one generation to the next, from the times of slavery up through to modern days and up to herself and her own daughter. The text is lyrical and the images are truly stunning. The illustrations alone show and tell a lot more history than the words reveal but they are woven together seamlessly.
This could easily be a stand-alone beautiful storybook but, as a former teacher, I can't help but see this book as an excellent door to learning about history, social struggles and family structures, especially during the times of slavery. I loved this book.
>30 vancouverdeb:, >31 jessibud2: - Deb, I just found out the results. There was an interview on the radio with Frum the other night and he was pretty articulate about the confusion of the results. There was, apparently, some computer glitch on tabulating the audience votes (I sure hope that doesn't happen in the States today! Yikes. Another reason I treasure our paper ballots).
Here is the interview, if you are interested. It's not long:
Controversial debate and its controversial results
I have 5 books waiting for me to pick up at the library but it's raining and big winds are coming, starting this afternoon so I am actually not planning on leaving the house today, unless necessary. I will hunker down with a cat, a blanket and my current book and hopefully, make good headway. I just started Haven by Ruth Gruber, subtitled The Dramatic Story of 1000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America. I am reading this for the November non-fiction challenge, as immigration is such a hot button topic these days. I was surprised and delighted to read the introduction by none other than Dava Sobel (who wrote Longitude, among other books). I discovered that she just happens to be Ruth's niece!
I actually have 3 books to read this month on this topic of immigration. I hope I can get to all of them. One thing that is so apparent to me is how, no matter who they are, where they are running from and when in history they embark on their journeys, the very definition of a refugee is someone who is desperately trying to escape an intolerable and often dangerous life in the hope of a better one somewhere else. The hope for compassion and safety and *home* is always the impetus. (edited to correct my error; replacing *immigrant* with what I actually meant: *refugee*)
And the tragic truth, the sad reality is that there seems to be so few countries in the world that are willing to open their hearts. And shamefully, this hasn't changed much through history, either.
>47 jessibud2: Hi Shelley, I hope you are warm and safe during the storm I think have a bit of reading material to tide you over without making a trip to the library. I do have an issue with your definition: the very definition of an immigrant is someone who is desperately trying to escape an intolerable and often dangerous life in the hope of a better one somewhere else. The hope for compassion and safety and *home* is always the impetus. I think that you are describing a refuge. I am an immigrant myself and I don't think there was desperation to get out of a dangerous life involved.
>44 jessibud2: I love that comment about writing - "Reading is breathing in; writing is breathing out." I think I better get back to breathing out so that I can make my word count for today.
>48 Familyhistorian: - Oops, yes, you are right, Meg. I was describing a refugee and that is what I meant. That confusion was unintentional. I guess that a lot of refugees are hoping to become (legal) immigrants and that's often where the problems lie. Sorry about that, and thanks for correcting that.
I did manage to get to the library to pick up some books. The sun broke through and I ran some errands before the sky got dark and the winds picked up.
>49 jessibud2: I thought that was what you meant. Nice that the sun came out for you to make a trip to the library, Shelley. I hope you picked up some good books.
There seems to be hope for the US after all. Not as good as it could have been, better than it could have been. A lot of us here ‘down south’ are breathing a sigh of relief that at least we’ve taken the House back.
>37 jessibud2: Sports reporter! Good for you. Michael and I used to get into fights, because I would say “leave the lady watching her 5 children still trapped inside the burning building ALONE” and him going for the emotional bang and journalistic kudos that type of interview brings. Writing to deadline was even more deadly then than now because you couldn’t just sit at home, write the story online, and be done. I spent many hours waiting around the newsroom with Michael in the evenings while he wrote and turned in a story. He was the maritime editor for a paper at a major Los Angeles port, which was fascinating to me. (We also got lots of comp tickets to cultural events that his friend, an entertainment reporter, didn't want.)
>44 jessibud2: I grew up living for the day that the teacher would distribute the latest Scholastic book club flyer so I could make my choices. Me, too. I saved my allowance for those times, poured over the flyer, agonizingly choose, and was thrilled at new books in hand. I still have 2 of the books I bought when I was 8 or 9 (The Enormous Egg and Escape from Warsaw).
>49 jessibud2: I’m glad you were able to get out to the Library. For me it’s an 8-mile and 12-minute journey, and I undertake it 2-3 times a week because of my duties on the board of the Friends of the Library. I suppose it’s ironic that I have only checked out one book from the library in more than a dozen years, but I plan on using it more this coming year since my RL book club success rate is only 60%. This means that with my current method of buying the book and then abandoning it 40% of the time I waste money. I am resolved for next year to Use the Library!
>51 karenmarie: - Karen, I am so lucky to live almost equidistance from 4 library branches, 3 of which are easily walkable and my home branch is in a mall and in summer weather, if I wanted a good long walk, I could walk to that one, too. I set my goal this year to reach 80 books and am close enough that I am not worried but I decided to check out some kids' books that I have wanted to look at for awhile, just to nudge the pace a bit. The Jacqueline Woodson's book I mentioned in >45 jessibud2: was one of those and yesterday, I picked up 3 others that are equally beautiful. I will catch up on those here later on today.
This afternoon is the first show in my theatre subscription. I am on a Wed matinee subscription, along with some friends/colleagues who I used to teach with. The show is one I am really looking forward to: Ain't Too Proud -THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS. Here's the blurb: "Before The Temptations became “the greatest R&B group of all time” (Billboard, 2017), they were just five young guys on the streets of Detroit. After getting discovered by Berry Gordy and signed to his brand-new label, Motown Records, it took them 24 tries before they finally had a hit song. The rest is history — how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more."
The last surviving original member of the Temptations saw a preview and was impressed. That has to be a good sign! Full review later tonight.
The first show of my theatre subscription season was today and it was fantastic.
Ain't Too Proud
Although this youtube clip is from when it opened in New York a couple of years ago, it seems that some of the cast is the same and what you see in this clip was exactly what we saw today. And wow, these guys are energetic and terrific. I did not know any of their back story and was surprised to learn that they are still performing as a group, though only one of the originals, the founder, in fact, Otis Williams, is still alive. Since they became a group, there have been 24 *Temptations* cycling in and out of the group, over the years. Who knew? Anyhow, this was just a fun and polished show and I'd highly recommend it, for the nostalgia of the music, if nothing else. But it really was much more. It was adapted from a book Williams wrote, about the group. It was produced here in Toronto by a local guy, whose own credentials include directing The Jersey Boys, Tommy, and other productions.
>45 jessibud2: I discovered Jacqueline Woodson through my YA readings. Since the first book of hers that I read, I've never stopped following her.
Here is a list of the excellent books I've read that she wrote.
>54 Whisper1: - Wow, Linda! I had no idea she wrote so many! I have only read Brown Girl Dreaming before this one, and I know about but have not yet read Another Brooklyn. Thank you for the link to your catalogue of her other books! And, lol, all this time, I had never noticed that column titled *comments* where you link to your reviews. Ha! Live and learn. When it comes to anything techy, I am very slow to notice or catch on. I will have to see if I can figure out how to do that.
I have borrowed and enjoyed some beautiful picture books from the library lately. I mentioned the Jacqueline Woodson book earlier (>45 jessibud2:). A few others include these:
The Night Gardener by the Fan Brothers (Terry and Eric). The text is sparse and understated and the illustrations are, as to be expected from the Fan Brothers, lovely. The book follows a young orphan boy as he seeks to discover the magic behind the topiary that keeps appearing in his town. The Fan Brothers also did the gorgeous illustrations for the wonderful book by Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, called The Darkest Dark.
Julia, Child by Canadians, author Kyo Maclear and illustrator Julie Morstad. Not at all a bio, but rather a charming story about 2 young friends, Julia and Simca (taking their names from the real Julia Child and her friend). These girls love to cook and decide to use their hobby and talents to solve the *problem* of adults: "The problem is that too many grownups don't have the proper ingredients.....So, for their last recipe, the two friends fixed a few things, adding a pinch of this and a dash of that. They made smaller portions - not too little, not too big, just enough to feed the sensible children from whom these senseless grownups grew." It's really a sweet story with whimsical illustrations.
Cloth Lullaby - The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois. This one is a bio, of sorts, of a famous (though I had not known of her before) artist and sculptor, Louise Bourgeois. I always love learning about the back stories of artists, what their influences were, who inspired them. The illustrations in this book did not grab me as much as those of the other books did but that's ok.
This last one was book #75 for me, though my goal for this year is 80. I think I may pass that goal before this month is over! I have a couple of other kids' picture books to pick up from the library today and one more disc left in my current audiobook, as well, As You Wish, the back story of the making of the classic/cult film, The Princess Bride. It was written and is wonderfully narrated by Cary Elwes, who played Westley. I am loving it. Plus, I am currently reading 2 non-fiction books.
>57 FAMeulstee:, >58 figsfromthistle:, >59 vancouverdeb: - Thanks, Anita, figs, Deb! I may even surpass my goal of 80, which would definitely be a first, I think. :-)
I am not a fast reader but that has never bothered me. I still sometimes feel that children's books is somehow cheating although, logically, that thought makes no sense at all and I know it. In fact, sometimes, those books linger in my mind (and heart) far longer than other books, and so, have more value for me. I'll get over it, lol!
Love that you read 75 books this year, Shelley. I may or may not make it to 75 by year's end, but I have done so in the past. Congratulations!
Thanks, Madeline, Bill, John, and Jim. And There are still nearly 2 months left to go!
2 more kids' books from the library: They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki, with lovely large format illustrations, is about a young girl who wonders about the intangibles in life around her. For example, why does water in the lake or ocean look blue, but not the water in her hands? Many things in nature are explored in wonder, through the eyes and mind of this little girl. A sweet book.
Park Bench by Chaboute (I didn't know his first name until I googled; if it was printed anywhere inside the book, I must have missed it). This is a graphic novel, and one without words. I was a bit stunned when I picked it up as it is a thick and heavy book but in fact, I read it in one sitting. I was drawn in immediately. The illustrations are excellent; what emotions Chaboute can convey on just one page, are shown on the face of just one character (pages 2 and 3), and are wonderful. And he does this over and over, throughout the book.
The central character in the book is, obviously, a single park bench. The drama is of the life around it, the people (and a dog!) who pass by, seeing the bench (or not), using it (or not), over a period of time. As a reader, I grew to feel I knew the characters, looked forward to seeing them, and followed their *stories* with anticipation and a range of emotions of my own (love, sadness, anger, hope, to name a few). A picture is worth a thousand words, indeed! This book is a little miracle, if you think about it. No translations needed, as it speaks the universal language of emotion.
This was my first introduction to this author but I am going to seek out his other works.
Seventy-five books read in a year is a notable achievement, Shelley. I've long since stopped counting "books" and started counting "reads." It's a more accurate measure of my style of consumption.
Happy Saturday to you, Madam.
Canada-centric post here: I just finished listening to a radio interview from earlier this week, with Rick Mercer, on the launch of his new book, Final Report (too new for accurate touchstone), a compilation of his favourite rants from the last 15 years. Great interview and I really want to read this book! I have both his previous books and loved them!
Here it is, if you are interested. There is a hilarious clip of how he got the late Pierre Berton to come on his show (many years ago) for the *Celebrity Tips* segment, and teach the audience how to roll a joint! Yes!
And another interview, from Shelagh Rogers: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thenextchapter/rick-mercer-on-the-bittersweet-memories-of-filing-his-final-report-1.4888282
>71 jnwelch: - Hi Joe. I am trying to finish up some multiple readings I am currently juggling. After these are done, I will seek out some more Woodson from the library, thanks to Linda's list.
Not sure if you caught my note up there but earlier this week, I saw the musical *Ain't Too Proud*, about The Temptations. If it comes to Chicago, go see it! You will love it. The energy is amazing and the back story was one I hadn't known. And the music, of course, was, well it was Motown! 'Nuff said! :-)
A very thoughtful - and very sane - conversation this morning on my radio program, with host Michael Enright and the great writer Adam Gopnik, on the events of this past week in American politics, among other things:
And, in case you want an earworm that's a bit happier, this past week, Joni Mitchell turned 75. This is a song she wrote over 50 years ago (in 1967), and has said she never imagined it becoming as popular as it has.
Both Sides Now
I am also currently taking a 6-week *course* of sorts at our local documentary cinema. It isn't actually a course but rather a speaker series. The one I am engaged in is all about Joni Mitchell and so far, is excellent. Tomorrow, after the session (Mondays, 10 a.m. to noon), there is also a doc about her:
Speaker Series - Joni Mitchell
film: Woman of Heart and Mind
Ma Mitchell's music still happys me when I hear it. You Turn Me On (I Am A Radio) is one of my all-time favorites of hers. Imagine, seventy-five years of life jam packed with writing her truths, singing the soul of a generation or two or maybe three, and no obvious signs of fading into irrelevance.
How that must feel.
Not performing and still very much with us...I suspect she has as much influence now as when she was still making new music because, well, there's decades of work that musically literate people still seek out.
River is indeed lovely.
I love Joni Mitchell songs! i must get out some of my old records. Yes River could be a favourite of mine too.
As it turns out, I won't be attending today's speaker session or the film that follows. Too much running around to get things ready as I am heading back to Montreal tomorrow for a bit. My mum is back in hospital, as of yesterday afternoon. I am hoping to be back home by the weekend but I'll take it one day at a time, as things unfold.
Unfortunately, I have not reached a level of comfort on the new tablet that I purchased specifically for the purpose of travelling lighter. There are still too many things I am not finding intuitive and not able to do or find when I want to (and yes, I have been forcing myself to try to use it nearly every day in order to make it more familiar). So, I am lugging the damned laptop with me once again.
Not sure how much reading I'll get done but - no surprise - I have packed books. I tried to select lighter fare but we shall see. I will finish up my audiobook today and return it to the library: Cary Elwes reading his book, As You Wish, the back story of the making of the classic film The Princess Bride. I really loved it and although I rewatched the film just before starting the book, I now need/want to watch it again so I can pick up on some of the back stories he talked about. It was fun!
>79 mdoris: - Hi, Mary!
Morning, Shelley. Congrats on hitting 75! I am sorry to hear about your Mom being back in the hospital. I hope everything goes well, my friend.
I loved reading The Princess Bride, As You Wish and watching the film back to back. A joyous experience.
I'm so sorry to learn of your mother's hospitalization, Shelley, and I hope it's brief and simple.
I'm sorry to hear that your mum is back in the hospital, Shelley, I hope what put her back there resolves quickly.
I'm back on laptop now, too, because my desktop crashed. I'm not liking it much, but I think you'll have better luck with your laptop as you learn more about it because it's newer than mine. I totally forgot how to use this thing! I have to wait until my son has time to reconfigure my hard drive before I can use my desktop again. He's too busy having fun traveling on this holiday weekend. Good for him, though!
I just added my name to the hold list for Michelle Obama's new book, Becoming. I am #86 waiting for 36 copies (the audiobook version) at my library. Hopefully, it won't be too long.
>89 jessibud2: I just read the review of it. It sounds great. Now she can say the things that she was unable to say previously because it won't affect her husband's career.
So my desktop has been repaired. but the joke's on me because now I can't find and do things on this new Windows 10 version. My son said it would be quite different. It is! :(
Thanks for the tip, Shelley - "Ain't Too Proud" sounds like a great night of theater.
>56 jessibud2: Congrats on reaching 75. Good luck getting to your goal of 80.
>75 jessibud2: I never even realized that Joni Mitchell wrote Both Sides Now - I heard the Judy Collins cover and that’s how I think of the song. My favorite song by her is Big Yellow Taxi. My favorite album by her is Court and Spark.
>80 jessibud2: I’m sorry to hear about your mum being back in the hospital.
>89 jessibud2: I have no willpower. I ordered Becoming. Sigh.
>44 jessibud2: I LOVE that quote!!!!
Hi Shelley. Sorry your mum is back in the hospital. It has been so up and down.
I love Joni Mitchell. Her late, smokey-voice cover of Both Sides Now is wonderful.
I haven't ordered Becoming yet but I know I will. I would read anything by Michelle Obama.
Hang in there, Shelley.
>92 karenmarie: - Karen, I think the Judy Collins cover of Both Sides Now was the one most people know. But Joni definitely wrote it. I once used Big Yellow Taxi to teach a lesson (can't remember if it was an English class or social studies or what) when I was in my last year of student teaching. It was a grade 6 class and I brought my record and printed out the words and it was a great lesson. I can't remember the details now but when you are a student teacher, the *good* lessons usually remain as stand-outs in memory, as you try to forget the *bombs*… ;-)
>93 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen. Yes, that quote really resonated with me. It is almost a visual thing, isn't it, the way she describes reading as the inhaling process and writing as the exhaling. I love it.
Someone on one of the other threads mentioned another book that I think I am going to buy, if it isn't exorbitantly expensive (I rarely buy brand new hard cover books), by Obama's former photographer, Pete Souza, It's called Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents and it sounds amazing. The one bookstore I managed to dip into this past week did not yet have it.
And thanks, both of you, re my mum.
I am home in Toronto now after having been in Montreal since last Tuesday. My mum is still in hospital and I don't know when she will be allowed to go home. She passed out again yesterday and they are going to do a CT scan to see if that will give them any more clues. Her issues are long and complex and sadly, it also appears that she may be sliding into dementia. It's still sporadic but I see a definite increase in the gaps in memory. My brother and cousin and I were talking and it boggles our mind. My mum and my cousin's mum are sisters. My aunt is only 18 months older than my mum and she too is having memory issues, though hers are likely due to the meds she takes. My mother actually turned 85 yesterday and my aunt is 86. Our grandmother (their mother) lived to age 90 and never lost a single marble. She was all there, mentally, until the day she died. And other than losing her vision to macular degeneration, she was otherwise physically in pretty good shape. She had a cane but only used it once her vision diminished. Yet, both my mother and my aunt have mobility issues. Where does this come from? It's a tough one to wrap our heads around. As my cousin said, it's hard to accept this new reality. Especially when they both live in Montreal and the three of us kids all live far away (my brother, in Vermont and my cousin in Alabama).
Whoever said growing older wasn't for sissies sure got that right.
I am also in the middle of 2 books, Haven by Ruth Gruber and Beyond the Pale by Emily Urquhart, both non-fiction and both really good so far. I had hoped to finish at least one over this past week as there sure was a lot of sitting around time. But I have no plans to go out tomorrow so maybe I will accomplish one completion at least. I only need 2 more to hit 80 and that will definitely be done by the end of next week, I am fairly sure.
Oh, I also saw something about Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents on someone else's thread and it sounds wonderful.
>95 jessibud2: I am very sad for your mom-news, Shelley. It's a blow to our sense of self when our parents slide into the problems of sedentary old age. They're the ones who modeled active adulthood to us, after all.
Sending empathetic hugs to you.
>99 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard. When we are young and healthy, we think we will live forever. The older we get, the harder the reality of our mortality hits us. Having worked almost exclusively with physically, developmentally and medically fragile kids through my whole career, in some respects that has helped me understand and accept the concept of adapting surroundings to fit the needs, especially as needs change. And I wasn't so impartial to the emotional connection, even with my students. But when it hits home, parents are another whole dimension and nothing can really prepare you for that. I wasn't in Montreal a lot during my father's illness, 23 years ago. But his was a heart condition, fairly cut and dry, not nearly as complex as my mother's current situation. And he had her there.
Interesting, your comment about how our parents model active adulthood for us. My mother drilled it into my head from as far back as I can remember that *knowledge is power*. If you don't know something, you look it up or you ask questions. You find out. That certainly served me well in my career and my life. Her husband, on the other hand, copes by plowing ahead with blinders on. He is a great gopher: makes and takes her to appointments, does the grocery shopping, cooks, goes to the pharmacy, etc. And for all that, we are very grateful. It's no small thing. And, thankfully, money is no object for him (good thing or my brother and I would really have a big problem on our hands). But emotionally, he doesn't cope well and that has been a bone of contention between us from the day she got sick. I see a problem and want to solve it or address it head on. He resists change and (I believe) resents any suggestions that come from me. In the end, he comes to the same solutions, but (it appears to me) he needs to believe the decisions are his. We have had words over this and I have taken a huge step back, to try to lessen the stress and to keep my own sanity. But it sure isn't easy. I have done a lot behind his back, such as being in touch with my mu's doctors who in turn have been wonderful about taking my calls and returning calls to me. It's the only way I feel kept up-to-date and in the loop with her care. I am trying hard not to come across as an insensitive bitch because I do see how all this is so hard on him. I have talked to him and told him we are a team and that he needs to allow others to help, but till now, he hasn't wanted to hear it. That is changing now, though.
Sigh. We will muddle through as best we can.
So sorry to hear about the rough time and medical issues with your mum. When each of my parents was ill, I spent much time traveling between the DC area and Baltimore, but that was a lot closer than Montreal is to Toronto. It is so hard when you're not right there in person. I'm glad your mum's husband is starting to change in how he relates to you. After all, you're all in this together. At least you have your cousin and your brother for support. I hope it helps to talk to them.
Sorry to hear about the medical issues with your mom. May things go more smoothly from here on :)
>100 jessibud2: Sorry to read about your mothers health issues, Shelley.
Good you took steps back from her husband, as he has clearly a hard time coping.
>106 richardderus: - Have you read it yet, Richard? I haven't but I am on the waiting list from the library. Maybe now that she has won, they will order more copies! I haven't actually read any of the 5 finalist's books but I was rooting for Edugyan, partly because of all the rave reviews here on LT, plus I had read her first novel (which also won the Giller, back in 2011, I think it was, making her the first to win twice, I think), called Half-Blood Blues. It was a good one, too. Touchstones don't appear to be working at the moment.
107 No, haven't had the pleasure yet but I'm only 33rd on the list for the 11 copies in our library system so it shouldn't be long.
>44 jessibud2: Love that quote and I was a big Scholastic fan. : )
So sorry to hear about your Mom and the difficulty coordinating care with her husband. Good luck. It's hard to see our loved ones decline and especially if we are far away.
Belated congrats on reaching the magic 75! And I want to get my hands on Becoming (Touchstone not working).
>108 richardderus: - Lucky you, Richard. I am #858 of 1305 hold requests for 198 copies in my library system. Maybe it will be out in paperback before my turn rolls around. I just don't like to buy hardcovers, especially brand new; they take up so much space on the shelf and realistically, by the time I'd get to it, it would likely be out in paper anyhow. But I WILL read it, eventually. When she won last night, she said she didn't even prepare a speech because she never expected to win. So, what she said was all impromptu. Her final line was powerful:
"I just have to say that in a climate in which so many forms of truth telling are under siege, this feels like a wonderful and important celebration of words"
>109 Berly: - Thanks, Kim. She may be going home tomorrow. I hope so.
Eight hundred fifty-eighth! Ye goddesses. I don't think there are 858 people in this county who'd want to read Washington Black.
>111 richardderus: - Yeah well, Toronto ain't no county! ;-) . Maybe, once upon a time, back in the days when it was known as Hogtown, but no more! :-)
>112 jessibud2: The county's about 1.4 million people, and it's smaller than New York City geographically...in fact we're made up of the other half of Queens County/Borough of Queens pre-1901. Snobby rich Manhattan people had their country houses on the North Shore and didn't want to be part of the grubby immigrant-ridden City that sprang into existence in 1898.
>90 SqueakyChu: Ha, I have issues with Windows 10 - it totally did in one of my computers which now has a Linux operating system - take that Windows! But I have a laptop and it came with, you guessed it, Windows 10. The best way to find things is to go to the box in the lower left that says "Type here to search" and start typing the first letters of the app you are looking for and it will pop up with a list (like 'sn' will bring up snipping tool).
Congrats on reading 75 and being well on your way to reaching 80, Shelley. Sorry to hear about your mum's health issues and the difficulties dealing with her husband. It's hard but you are both on the same time as you say.
It was serendipity that I tuned in to CBC just as the Gillers were starting last night. I didn't think Edugyan had much of a chance either but I don't think I was quite as surprised as she was LOL. I hope those 857 people in front of you read and return the book quickly!
>114 Familyhistorian:, >115 EBT1002: - Hi Meg and Ellen.
I will beg forgiveness for not going thread to thread to say this but I wish all my American friends a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with the blessings of good food, good friends and family (and maybe a few good books, too!). That big, bad outside world doesn't give us much to be thankful for these days so I think we all need to hug those close and be thankful for what keeps us sane and together. LT is a big part of that!
>116 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley, for being my long time friend and BookCrossing buddy! I’m also thankful that you’re a special part of LT. :)
Hi Ellen and Madeline.
Someone over on my bookcrossing site posted this game this morning. It's a bit too difficult for my knowledge but I did get 3 correct (and 2 incorrect) when I guess the hidden book titles. I also don't know the game site and don't know what is meant by book tokens. I wonder if that is like a coupon. May be UK-specific. Still, it's a clever game and I enjoy the concept of hidden clues even if I can't guess very many of them.
If anyone wants a clue to get started, I will pass along the one given to us by the bookcrosser. He said to click on the grim reaper near the pyramids, then in the box below type *Death on the Nile*. Clicking on the second box, below where you typed will show if you are correct or not. So, apart from that one, I got 2 more correct on my own, and 2 incorrect guesses. I honestly had no idea of any more beyond that.
I have 2 correct so far in this one: http://caboodle.nationalbooktokens.com/hiddenbooks/?competition=10#.W_hQpPZFzIU
I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. My mom's situation was similar to your mum's in that she started declining about 10 years earlier than either her mother or grandmother. In her case it was the dratted paternal heart genes.
It sounds like you're doing the best you can given her husband's different personality type and coping mechanisms. You acknowledge the good he does for her and that his being there takes quite a burden off you and your cousin, so at least there's that.
Hang in there.
Happy newish thread, Shelley
Sorry to see that your mom is in hospital. Hang in there!
>120 karenmarie:, >121 PaulCranswick:, >122 ChelleBearss: - Thanks Karen, Paul, and Chelle. My mum is home and seems to be quite happy to be so. She is quite weak but she tells me that she is still getting dressed each day - something I was happy to hear, and had asked her about. I think the minute she stops bothering is the minute I really worry. Her friends and sister and cousins either call or visit daily and there is a caregiver at the house each day, too so that is good. I call her once or twice a day and though our conversations are short and light, it's good enough for me, for now..
I am trying to finish up 3 books at the moment (one of which is audio) and have several on reserve at the library. Tomorrow is my second theatre event of the season, the musical School of Rock. Review to follow.
Hi Shelly...Good news that your mum is home. It is wonderful that there is a strong support base off people calling and/or visiting each day.
Happy reading to you. A friend asked how in the world I can read when I am in severe pain. I replied that it is the one thing that helps me relax and meditate on the words of the book.
All good wishes for the continuation of good health for your mum.
>124 Whisper1: - Thanks, Linda, for your kind words. Though my mum's lymphoma is a rare type, she isn't in any pain and for that I am truly grateful. I hope yours is controlled and continues to be tolerable.
I just got my weekly (email) newsletter from CBC Books. Here is the winter reading list of Canadian fiction and non-fiction books. I doubt I will get to all of them but some certainly look enticing!
The winter reading list from CBC Books
I'm relieved to hear that your mum is home from the hospital, and it's easy to stay in touch with her. Here's hoping she stabilizes quickly.
Hi, Shelley. I haven't been by in awhile, but I am glad to se that your Mom is home from the hospital. That is great news.
Seeing anything interesting at your feeders?
What 3 books are you reading? Yes, I am full of questions...
>128 msf59: - Hi Mark. Nothing out of the ordinary at the feeders except the usual suspects. Haven't seen any juncos except the one, a few weeks back. But I did have an unusual visitor on the lawn under and around the feeder recently. A *blond* squirrel. Not an albino, I am fairly sure but probably just a black or gray (which are actually the same species) with a pigment disorder. He otherwise looked pretty healthy. I am going to try to add a couple of photos here:
There is an area of Toronto in the SW end of the city, that has a colony of albino squirrels. I have never gone to see them but have seen pictures and they are really white. This one looks blonder.
The books I am reading are: The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi. She is the aunt of the little boy in that heartbreaking photo that went viral a couple of years back of the Syrian refugee child who drowned while his family was attempting to flee to safety. I honestly don't understand how people survive in situations such as these. And the refugee situation never seems to end. Only gets harder and harder.
Beyond the Pale by Emily Urquhart (daughter of Canadian author Jane Urquhart). It's about her search for understanding in her own DNA, after she gave birth to an albino child.
On audio: I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi. It's actually a really well-written story about a family, after the mom commits suicide, and is read by 3 readers, from the points of view of the husband, the 17-year-old daughter, and the mom (from beyond the grave). Sounds a bit hokey when describing it but the narrators are excellent and it is surprisingly compelling.
I am also making my way slowly through a coffee table book by New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff that is sort of his autobio, called How About Never? Is Never Good For You? It's downstairs on the coffee table so I only go through it when I am watching tv (during commercials). It's pretty engaging!
Hey, I love the blond squirrel. Unfortunately, it gets dark early here, so don't see much at my feeders, but they are eating the seed. I am sure it is mostly the usual suspects.
Hi Shelley, Thinking of you and your mom and glad that she is back home.
Thank you for the CBC book link. I have now subscribed. I already had the Hay and the Penny books on reserve but just put the Doug tree book on too. There are some great books there! Which ones are you thinking about? I picked up the new John Boyne book Ladder to the Sky today so will start that soon.
I had a look at the CBC list. Had to laugh and Eden Robinson's photo because it is so her, when I saw her at the writer's fest she most of what she said was with a laugh.
>130 jessibud2: Tima Kurdi lives in BC and spoke at the museum I volunteer for. I hadn't realized that she wrote a book about her nephew's story.
>126 jessibud2: An excellent list indeed. The CBC is a terrific resource for things bookish.
Hi, Shelley. Good news re your mom.
I just started Washington Black. It's rare to see almost universal LT love for a book, isn't it.
>132 mdoris: - Hi Mary. Actually, on second look, most of the books on the CBC list appeal to me. Especially the one about the tree.
>133 Familyhistorian: - Tima Kurdi lives in Coquitlam, Meg. At least she did when the book jacket blurb was written, and since the book was published just earlier this year, I am assuming the info is fairly current. The story of what happened to her brother's family (he was the only one of the 4 of them to survive) is truly heartbreaking but she goes into a lot of detail about their early life in Syria, before the civil war broke out, when they were a very close, happy middle class family living in Damascus, never imagining such a fate for themselves or their country. Tima was the only one of her (5) sibling to emigrate to Canada, at age 22 (she is in her late 40s now) and she has worked incredibly hard to try to get them to safety and to support those who can't get out.
I also finished another book today, the one by Emily Urquhart, and I bet you'd find it fascinating. I will write up a review later, but it involves a lot of geneology and DNA and I really found that part of the book (the latter half) particulary interesting.
>134 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard. CBC also has 2 radio programs devoted to books, writers and readers, one called Writers & Company (on the website, you will find a whack of terrific interviews), and The Next Chapter, which focuses on Canadian writers and books. Both hosts are excellent.
>135 jnwelch: - Hi, Joe. I am still on a long waiting list from the library for Washington Black. Looks like it will be awhile. You know she won the Giller Prize a couple of weeks ago for it, her second, making her the first author to win it twice. Quite an accomplishment. Her first novel, Half-Blood Blues also won it some years back. I liked that one, too.
As for my mum, it's sort of mixed blessing good news. She is home and happy to be so, but as she slides into dementia, it's just so sad (for me). I call her every day, sometimes twice, and she sounds good, if tired, and answers all my questions. But she doesn't initiate conversation, herself. Saddest of all for me was that she completely missed my birthday. I didn't want to mention this to my brother or cousin because I didn't want them to prompt her. I think she would feel terrible if she realized that she had forgotten and I don't want to make her feel bad. Who knows, maybe she wouldn't feel badly at all, if she is that unaware. But I didn't want to chance it by bringing it to her attention. Maybe that's the biggest blessing in all this sadness, that she is blissfully unaware of how much she isn't there. She would truly be mortified if she knew. She used to tell me, years ago, that if she ever got to this to please shoot her. Half in jest but still. The other important thing, for now, is that she is not experiencing any pain.
Oh, I also just picked up One Goal from the library today!
>137 jessibud2: Yeah, I know what you mean about your mum. It was very similar with my late dad. I'd just talk to the guy I knew was somewhere in there, and sometimes he'd show up. It's tough. I can imagine the missed birthday was painful after all these years. I'm around if you ever want to pm.
Yay for One Goal: A Coach, A Team! Mark just finished it and loved it. It's starting to pick up "Best Books of the Year" recognitions, most recently from Library Journal. It's so good! And uplifting, too, which we can all use these days.
>137 jessibud2: It is sad to witness someone falling into dementia, Shelley, of course you don't her feel bad.
Latest visit to my mother was harsh on my dad, he didn't believe my mom doesn't recognise me anymore. So this time he didn't tell her we would come just before we arrived. And indeed she doesn't know anymore. I don't have a problem with it, I am the youngest, so likely the first to go from memory. But my father has a hard time coping...
>138 jnwelch: - Thanks for your kind words, Joe. Yes, it is tough but I think mostly it is just disorienting. My brother did *mention* it to her apparently, because this afternoon, she called and said that she had missed my birthday and that we should go out for dinner. I said no problem though it might be difficult. She asked why and I said well, she is in Montreal. She then asked where I was. When I told her I was in Toronto, she said ok, next time I was in Mtl we'd go. Totally unfazed by the fact that she had to ask where I lived. I said, sounds good, it's a date. Yep, disorienting, for sure. She sounds normal until things like this slip into the conversation.
>139 FAMeulstee: - My brother and I talked about that very thing this evening Anita. About the possibility that one day, she may not know us, either. Personally, I believe her lymphoma will get her before she reaches that point. She has a rare form of lymphoma and currently, her doctor has stopped the chemo as she feels my mom is too weak to tolerate it. She is being monitored and will treat symptoms as they arise but I can't see her getting strong enough to get back to chemo. So, it's one day at a time.
Beyond the Pale by Emily Urquhart. Urquhart is a journalist and a folklorist when her first child was born in 2010. Little Sadie's shock of white hair caused quite a stir in the Newfoundland hospital where she was born. As Emily was soon to learn, Sadie was born with a genetic condition called Albinism, something Emily and her husband knew nothing about. This book chronicles Emily's search for knowledge, so that she and her husband can ensure that Sadie's life be as safe and as *normal* as possible but also, Urquhart wanted to learn as much about the culture of Albinism from the folklorist perspective as well. What she learned took her to Tanzania, where people with this condition are often tortured and targeted. There she discovered an organization that provides support, schools, soccer teams and help for the victims of such terrorism. Back home, Emily becomes involved in the communities of Albinism in North America and learns as much as she can to support and provide for Sadie. People with this condition often have low vision, among other medical issues.
Along the way, Emily learns that Albinism is an inherited condition and so she begins to research her family tree, to try to discover where the latent genes came from. I found this part of her search and her story particularly interesting. Living in this millennium certainly helps a lot, what with DNA testing and geneology sites. There are also photos in the book and as she unravels the strands of the stories of her father's family, bits of wisdom and insight emerge.
"It's a little like learning the wonder and the intricacies of genetic science, accepting that you don't know why this happened but you do know how, and then moving on."
"You said that life then and life now is like walking in the woods before and after studying biology, right?" I ask. "Yes, before you know about plants, you can walk into a forest and see it all looks green," Andrew says. "It can still be moving and beautiful, or at least enjoyable, but a million stories go untold. Maybe you notice different shades, or that some plants are tall and others are small, but you don't differentiate species. In a sense, learning the plants - their names their habits, their needs, and their dependents - is like learning how to read. And once you learn the plants, you can't return to seeing them as nameless greenery."
"In the beginning, it had been impossible to see the outline of our daughter's future because it in no way resembled our pasts. We wanted to be the best parents for her but, startled, and with no map, we didn't know how. In his book Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon uses the term *horizontal identity* when referring to children who are different from their parents. In these instances, mothers and fathers are forced to rewire their default versions of the world. When our daughter was born, Andrew and I needed to relearn how to see. Like my dad's art students, we needed to understand perspective in order to make sense of the view."
Anyhow, I just really enjoyed going on this journey with Emily and Andrew and Sadie. As an aside, Emily's mother is Canadian author Jane Urquhart, and I have read a few of her books (fiction) and really liked them, too.
Edited to add that Urquhart makes a reference to the Andrew Solomon book, Far From the Tree. I own that book and while I have not read it all the way through yet, I did see, earlier this year, the documentary film of the same name that he made based on his book. It was outstanding.
Hi Shelley, Great review of Beyond the Pale. Makes me want to read it!
Thinking of you and your mom. My mom lived until she was 95 and I can relate to what you are going through. It is not easy.
>142 mdoris: - Hi Mary. It was a good read. I am hoping to finish the Tima Kurdi book this weekend (The Boy on the Beach, a much sadder tale). I have reached my reading goal already for the year, a first for me, so anything from this point on is bonus. I also have 2 other library books waiting up next.
Thanks, re my mum. It sure isn't easy especially from a distance.
Beyond the Pale sounds like a good one, Shelley. It is interesting to know the genetic reason behind something like Albinism. It adds to the scientific knowledge but learning how to deal with such an alternate future for a child is where the real story would lie and, from your review, it sounds like it does.
Sorry to hear about your mom dealing with dementia as well as her other health problems. It is sad to deal with. Hugs to you.
Not sure if it's too early to be thinking about this but I noticed on some threads, people are starting to think about next year's reading plans. So, I have decided that for myself, for next year, I will only commit to one challenge, the Non-Fiction, and perhaps dip in and out of a few others, as they coincide with my reading whims. Also, I have 24 bookcrossing TBR books that I have been far too delinquent in moving along so those will be my main priority. I plan on reading those 24 first (if any of them fit the challenges, that's a bonus). Also, I still have 3 LT ER books that I want and need to get to so I will add those to the 24 priority books. After those are read, my next main priority will be to try to read through the hardcover books in my house so I can move them out and clear shelf space. I might even be able to relocate one floor pile to a shelf next year! (providing I don't *acquire* more books. Always a danger...;-)
I love the planning stage....
>145 jessibud2: Heh! My reading plan for 2019 is simply NOT to plan my reading! Whatever I plan ahead of time to read almost always never gets read!!
>145 jessibud2: My plan for 2019 is similar, Shelley. I really need to get the books that are already here read and out the door if that is where they are going. I do have this problem with library holds, though which doesn't help me to get to my own tomes. I also keep a thread on the ROOTs group where you have to declare a goal of how many of your own tomes you will read in the year. That is helpful for getting to my own books.
The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi. This was a tough one to get through. There was one night where I actually could not get to sleep, just thinking about the desperate situation of so many refugees fleeing for their lives, from places of danger in such proportion that those of us who live here in our safe homes cannot even begin to imagine. It is, on the one hand, an eternal story, repeated throughout history, and throughout the world. But it is also as current as today's headlines, and no less horrific. I kept hearing echoes of my own grandmother's story as I read. She and her siblings fled Nazi Europe, one sibling at a time, 6 of them, most coming to Canada or the States, one to South America, then Mexico. The youngest sibling was left behind to perish with her parents.
Tima Kurdi was one of 6 siblings and the only one to emigrate to Canada when she was still in her early 20s (she is now in her late 40s). They grew up in Damascus, Syria, in a loving, happy middle class family, owned their own home and had a lively and active social life. In 2011 the war in Syria began and one by one, her siblings had to flee their beloved home, some to Turkey, some to Germany, all in danger with very little in the way of money or possessions. Tima did what she could from where she was: she sent money, she tried to set the wheels in motion to sponsor her older brother with his family to come to Canada. The bureaucracy, as she discovered, seemed to be designed to make it as impossible as it could be to accomplish anything.
The horrors of her youngest brother and his young family led to a desperate move, taken by thousands of others, many with the same fate, but none as public as what happened to Tima's brother. They boarded an overcrowded rubber dinghy in stormy waters in the dead of night to try to cross to safety. The vessel capsized; his wife and 2 young sons (along with many others) drowned. It wasn't until the next day when a photographer snapped the photo that went viral, of little Alan Kurdi, barely 2 years old, washed up on a beach, that the world became witness to the tragedy of the refugees. It now had a face and a name.
Consumed by grief and guilt, Tima Kurdi did the only thing she felt capable of doing: personalizing her family's tragedy and speaking to the world, in order to try to open the eyes of humanity and end the violence in Syria. She went on speaking tours, to cities, university campuses, to political leaders, to talk shows, even a TED Talk. I can understand that compulsion, to make sense of something senseless, to want to do something, anything, to turn the tide of indifference in order to end the war, which is the root cause of it all. After all, if there was no war, there would not be people fleeing for their lives. But the sad truth about human nature (this is the pessimist in me speaking), is that it's like wave; the world sees, is in shock, responds, then some other news item hits the headlines and the urgency of the previous one fades back. It is truly heartbreaking.
From the final pages of this book, some quotes from Tima:
-"I still find it strange that the public and the media want me, a nobody hairdresser, to answer the same very big questions that I continue to ask the world, all the grandparents and parents and aunties and uncles and kids, who continue to say, "Enough is enough," and continue to open their hearts and their doors to needy refugees and victims of war. If I thanked them - you - a thousand times, it wouldn't be enough to convey my gratitude."
- "But I don't think that photograph of Alan woke up the politicians and heads of state. I think many of those giants are still sleeping. I think their hearts are still blind. I will do my best to keep helping my family and refugees everywhere - to be a voice for the people who can't speak. I am constantly reminded of something that many of them have said to me: "The world is talking about us. But no one talks to us."
>148 jessibud2: A noble and worthy use of her personal agony. No one on Earth could have blamed her for isolating herself and/or thundering angry and tearful denunciations of the PTB. I admire her.
>148 jessibud2: It is heartbreaking, Shelley. The people with big hearts and empathy are struck by the ongoing drownings on the Mediterranian, while most of the people who could and should make the change keep their coldhearted distance :'(
Sadly the book isn't translated yet, I hope it will be soon.
Great review of The Boy on the Beach, Shelley. Those of us with consciences won't forget the photo of this boy's dead body, and it would certainly be worth my time to read the story behind this horrible tragedy. I'll add this book to my wishlist.
>149 richardderus:, >150 FAMeulstee:, >151 kidzdoc: - Hi Richard, Anita and Darryl. Yes, this was a sad book but a truly important one. Little Alan Kurdi was Tima's nephew, the son of her youngest brother, but they were an extremely close-knit family and she felt the tragedy as if he were her own son (as an aside, little Alan was in fact named for Tima's own son, named Alan, now in his 20s). She lives in Coquitlam, British Columbia, and had her own salon. At the end of the book she had decided to close her salon and do speaking, writing and advocating full time. It has become a life's mission for her. I also admire that kind of strength, a task I'm sure she never wanted or imagined taking on but feels compelled to, for all the right reasons. I only wish I could be more optimistic about her passion and her message reaching the right ears.
>152 jessibud2: ...are there right ears? Isn't this problem systemic and therefore intractable?
>153 richardderus: - You are right, of course. That was my attempt at optimism. I need to practise more; optimism is not my default outlook. I think I am a natural grump but my mother always told me that that is not an attractive look and if I practice optimism, it might become more natural. I do try, honestly, but I am not her and she is not me. I have never been a very good actor. And that is one of the reasons I like to read about strong people, people who have had the worst life can throw at them and somehow, manage to find the strength to overcome and shine. I am always looking for those role models, that inspiration. Maybe one day, it will rub off on me. (though, considering my age, maybe *one day* is a bit of a euphemism...;-)
What is life with no hope?
While not generally an optimist - who can be with monsters in charge? -
I STILL keep writing letters, sending emails, making calls,
and marching in protests.
We got rid of Wisconsin's Governor Walker at last
(Gun laws may be changed! Wolves again protected!
CWD cleared up! Schools saved! = new Governor is our
former State School Superintendent!
and hopefully a lot more
in the direction of Real Change now that Progressives and Democrats
have decided that Action is better than Complaining or Hand-wringing)
and three street lights got installed at dangerous intersections.
Other ideas welcome.
I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi
I just finished another audiobook that I really loved. It's read by 3 readers. It kept me engaged and riveted till the very end. It's the story of a family: mom, dad, 17-year old daughter, and what happens to them and their lives in the year following the mother's death. The chapters alternate between each character, told and unveiled, a layer at a time, in the first person, including mom, from the great beyond. That premise might sound hokey, but honestly, it's a very well-crafted and creatively told story, multi-layered and the perfectly cast readers made it stay-in-the-car listening, for me. The language, the emotions, the depth and complexity of the characters were all very real and made this a gripping story, despite the construct of a character speaking from beyond the grave.
I have never heard of this author before but I will be looking to see what else she has done.
>154 jessibud2: Yep, I am so down with that "born a curmudgeon" thing. Oh yes indeed. If I say something perceivable as optimistic, you can bank on it being spoken with a dryly raised eyebrow.
I had a bad car karma week. Sheesh.
On Tuesday, I went into my garage to get into the car, heading to the subway downtown to go see a film. I got no further than a couple of blocks, hearing a very loud noise all the way. I pulled over, did a walk-around and even looked under the car, half-expecting the bottom to be dragging or something. Nada. So I got back in but the noise continued. Suddenly, someone on the sidewalk pointed to my tire. Totally flat. I managed to get myself home (only a couple of blocks) and called CAA. Thankfully, they came rather quickly, with a huge flatbed truck to tow me and the car to the Nissan dealership.
I still don't understand exactly what happened or when or how. Just one week before, I had these snow tires put on and all was well. The day before, on Monday, I was out doing errands and had no problems, no noise, nothing. It must have been something that caused a slow leak though, because the roads are clear, my garage is self-contained and clear but that tire was very dead. And of course, I missed the film. And, of course, when you replace a tire, they always recommend that you replace 2, something to do with balance and the alignment. So, ka-ching, ka-ching, $400+ later, I drove home. That was Tuesday.
On Friday night, I was at a friend's house for dinner. I go to this friend's house often. I always park on the street, across from her house. There are no signs at all on the street, restricting parking. Not a single sign. We had a lovely dinner and 4 hours later, 2 of us left the house (my other friend was parked directly in front of me). I had a ticket tucked under my wiper. Reason? Parked longer than 3 hours. My friend had no ticket. It was only $15, but even if it had been $1, I would not have been happy. I have been parking across that street for years. We have had long dinners there many times. So, yesterday, I phoned the police non-emergency number to ask what the heck this was all about. I have lived in Toronto since 1980 and yesterday, I learned something new. Apparently, it is some sort of ridiculous bylaw that, on every street in the city of Toronto, you cannot park for longer than 3 hours. I asked how exactly, I was expected to know this if there is no signage. The cop was sympathetic, and said it was a dumb rule but it is just expected that people know.
Personally, I think the parking guy had a quota he had to fill. I was the unlucky one Friday night. It pisses me off, just on principle, but if I don't pay it, I won't be able to renew my license sticker next year, apparently. It's not worth the aggravation so I will pay it. Next time, I park in my friend's driveway.
This was the film I missed. I am not sure if it will come back (it's my Doc Cinema) but I really hope it does. We need heroes like him today, more than ever. Scroll once to the right to watch a clip, or down to read the synopsis:
>110 jessibud2: I love that quote from Edugyan's acceptance speech.
Excellent review of Boy on the Beach, Shelley. I was not familiar with that one. It sounds important and painful.
Sorry about the bad karma week! Too many random bad luck things. I hope the next week balances it out with random moments of delight. xo
Argh. Sorry to hear about those two incidents this week, Shelley. That parking rule seems unfair, and highly annoying. Where are drivers supposed to park their cars if they don't have driveways or garages?!
>160 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen. I hope so, too, re next week. I have 2 events coming up that ought to do the trick. More on those later.
>161 kidzdoc: - No kidding, Darryl. It boggles the mind, how many useless or just plain dumb bylaws there are. Maybe the police could be chasing down real *offenders*, like people who are on cellphones while driving, or otherwise distracted, instead of looking to give tickets to people who would like to enjoy an evening of good company without having to move their cars every few hours. As for those without garages or driveways, I believe that they apply for (and pay for) street parking permits. But still...!
Shade - A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza. This is a fairly new book, published just this year by Barack Obama's official photographer (Souza had also been Reagan's official photographer). Easy to read in a single sitting, I took 2 days to go through it. I had not heard of the term *throwing shade* before and neither, apparently, had Souza. But he googled and learned that it meant "a subtle, sneering expression of contempt for or disgust with someone - sometimes verbal, and sometimes not."
And so Souza agreed that that was what he had been doing; in the first few days of the new presidency, he would post a photo on his own Instagram account, often accompanied by a caption. It was in the comments and responses to this that he first heard the term *throwing shade*. This book was born from that:
"Yup, that's what I was doing - throwing shade. And I kept it up for the first 500 days of the new administration, and I plan to keep going long after you've read this book. My comments are often humourous, and I'd even say they are more or less respectful. They are certainly more respectful than the tweets coming from the president...I also try to make subtle comments with my Instagram posts without directly revealing what the current president has said or done....In this book, I take a turn to full transparency and let it all hang out. In the pages that follow, you will see adaptations of my original posts matched up directly with what inspired them - a presidential tweet and/or the news that caught my attention in the first place. You can call it shade. I just call it truth."
Some are really funny: tweet: "...I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius...and a very stable genius at that!" on the left side page, then, on the right, a photo of Obama riding a horse on the beach with this caption: "Heading to the stable (noun. 1: a building for the lodging and feeding of horses, etc")
Others are heartbreaking: News headline: "Trump Announces US Will Exit Paris Climate Deal, Sparking Criticism at Home and Abroad". The photo on the opposite page shows the actual page of the Paris Climate Agreement signed by Obama, with the caption : I'm thinking of the poignant words of Woody Guthrie: 'This land is your land, this land is my land...this land was made for you and me.'" (each line on a separate page, accompanied by photos of Obama and his family enjoying the land, and water and nature. Every page's entries and photos are dated.
This was a good one. Good to see Souza taking action and continuing to call out the lies and bullshit. In his Acknowledgments at the end, he thanks the usual suspects, including journalists and ends with this: "But most of all, thank you to all of you who have mobilized to let your voices be heard. A special thanks to the kids from Parkland..for standing up and speaking out. You have inspired me and millions of others."
>162 jessibud2: Agreed. It's now against the law here in Georgia to drive and operate a mobile phone by hand, unless your vehicle is in the Park position, although you're allowed to make one touch on the phone. One of my cars was totaled by a distracted driver shortly after I moved to Atlanta, when she didn't see me on a sunny day as I sat behind a car waiting to make a left turn on Peachtree Street, the city's main north-south thoroughfare, in Midtown Atlanta, and several years ago one of my former partners totaled her SUV and the car of another physician shortly after they left the hospital, after she was using her mobile phone while driving and plowed into the back of his car. I'd much rather see the police prosecute moving violations by unsafe drivers than write parking tickets that don't impede traffic.
>164 jessibud2: Great review of Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. I'll add that to my wishlist. The noose seems to be tightening quickly around the neck of "Individual-1", and it seems certain that he'll be indicted for his numerous crimes once he leaves office, which hopefully will take place before January 2021.
>165 kidzdoc: - Re the *noose*. One can only hope, Darryl, one can only hope. What I don't understand, though, is why he couldn't be indicted before he leaves office. Is it really true that a sitting president cannot be held accountable for crimes while in office? If he is a citizen and he commits a crime, he should be treated the same as every other citizen. Being above the law seems to be one of the very definitions of trump. If this is, indeed, true, then it's a law that seriously needs to be changed. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
I may have posted this link before as they often showcase some hilarious *creations*. But this time, the cakes are mostly amazing. I especially love the last one. The site is called Cake Wrecks and this time, 'tis the season.
The site is definitely worth exploring ;-)
>159 jessibud2: I had the same parking experience- I parked in a spot on a street with signs that said "no parking at night" starting at 12 am-but I got a $15 ticket as well for parking more than 3 hours. I never had that experience before
>168 torontoc: - I can understand signs that indicate a restriction such as the one you mention, or no parking on certain days, or between certain hours, or even 1 or 2 hour parking only. But this street, this block, had NO SIGNS at all. The only sign on that entire block was a speed sign (40 km maximum). And I have parked on that very spot for years, every time I go to this friend's house. I mean, are we supposed to be mind-readers? The cop I spoke to admitted that it was a dumb bylaw and when I asked him how come in all my years of living here I had never heard of this or been ticketed, he said I was just lucky. Sheesh. From now on, I park behind my friend's car in her driveway.
I’m sorry to hear about your mum’s dementia. It’s never easy.
>145 jessibud2: Planning for next year is fun. I’ve started thinking about next year’s reading, too, although I only have 4 plans so far – 40 books for my ROOT challenge, 100 books total, 11 books for RL book club and probably an LT group read of Last Friend by Jane Gardam. So I’m only committed to 12 specific books all year long, which is a good thing for me personally. I’ve also given a bit of thought about my threads theme for next year but haven’t come up with anything.
>159 jessibud2: Flat tires and tickets. Sorry to her it. In 2017 all three of us had to replace 2 tires each, all within about a 2 month period.
>170 karenmarie: - Hi Karen.
See? There, I had such a firm mindset re my reading plans for next year and there you go and hit me with a BB! How did that happen?? ( … so, when is the group read?)
Ouch, that must have been a costly couple of months for you all back in 2017!
My mum is holding her own, for the moment. I call her daily and she sounds good, if tired. One day at a time...
>171 richardderus: - Hey, what happened.? I wrote a reply and it's gone. I suspect I may have forgotten to hit post. Ooops!
What I was saying was, thanks for the good *Carma* and hugs - accepted!! :-)
Also, your comment is true but *Them* would likely not get it at all. Which is no surprise, actually. And if it should happen to cross trump's path, I'm sure he'd go ballistic and call it FAKE NEWS. Instead of, say, focusing on the far more serious and dire issues that face him these days. Every day.
The book was so new that when I put my name on the reserve list at the library, there were zero copies in the system and it was on order. So I was quite pleased that I got the call so quickly. Definitely worth being on a list for.
>173 jessibud2: Oh, you know, it's fine, just...ignore...me...*chinwobble*
I think I'm #281 on the list for it in our system, and there are 30 copies. Gonna be a while....
Aren't hold lists wonderful things? I talked to the director of my local library and was encouraged to reserve not-yet-published books like crazy so the county will know how many to order.
*I* have Washington Black already. Nyah!
From AWAD (A Word A Day):
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (11 Dec 1918-2008)
>172 jessibud2: You're #11 on the list of folks interested in a group read of Last Friends next year. I'm going to put a message on my first thread of 2019 (yikes! 2019!!) soliciting input on what is good. We'll go with what works for most people. If someone who is on my list doesn't see the post, I'll PM them for input. We aim to please. *smile*
I'm glad your Mum is holding her own. Sending positive energy to both of you.
>178 karenmarie: - I just had another peek at the book, Karen, and I noticed (clearly missed that the first time) that this book is the third of a trilogy. Is it a stand-alone of do I need to read the first two first? If so, I will vote for a *later* group read and if that isn't possible, I may bail. I hate coming to a series mid-way or at the end. I will see if my library has any of them and try to catch up. Have you read the first 2?
Well, lucky me. I have had not one but 2 bookstore gift cards come my way in the last few weeks. Always the best gift ever. I always feel a little thrill when I walk into the bookstore to spend them, as if they need to be used for something extra special, a book I would normally not buy for myself on any given day. Something hard cover, and/or brand-spanking-new. So, I go through my BB and wishlists, make a tentative list to take with me, and off I go. Today was a gray, damp (though warm) day, so where better to go and what better to do....
I keep vowing not to bring hardcovers into the house, They take up too much space on the shelf and many used bookstores won't take them in trade (if that's what I want to do with them at some point). That is the intention. Best of intentions, you understand. Well, long story short: those gift cards helped me bring home 5 brand new books. Three of which are hardcovers. Oh well...;-)
Here is the haul:
A new bio of singer-songwriter, Paul Simon, a long-time fave of mine. Paul Simon - the Life
Rick Mercer Final Report. Canadians will know who Mercer is. The funniest, smartest guy in Canada. Can't wait to dive into this one.
Big Lonely Doug by Harley Rustad. I was actually looking to find The Overstory but saw this one first and just had to grab it. It's also on one of the most recent CBC book lists and looks to be a good one.
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver Sacks and Me by Bill Hayes. This one has been on my wishlist for awhile.
And finally, the piece de resistance: Bibliophile An Illustrated Miscellany. This one first came onto my radar on Mary's thread (mdoris). It is gorgeous and looks to offer hours and hours of delight. This is not a carry-in-your-bag-on-the-subway kind of book. It's more a savour-in-bed or coffee table book. My only problem with it at the moment is that I am currently reading another book that will need to be returned to the library soon, but I want to start THIS ONE NOW! Maybe I should have saved the gift cards for after I finished the current book....
Wow, you got some goodies! Enjoy.
Isn't Bibliophile An Illustrated Miscellany fantastic? I put Big Lonely Doug on reserve and will have to do the same with Insomniac City. And i so miss Rick Mercer. I would love to know the story behind his leaving such a popular show. I think there must be a subplot. He was the best!
>180 jessibud2: Looks like you put your gift cards to good use, Shelley. They must have been heavy to lug home. I hope you enjoy Washington Black when it comes in for you. It was a good one which I read not long after seeing her at the Vancouver Writers Festival. It was also my book club pick for December so I was ahead of the game on that one. As for Becoming I am #888 on 69 copies at the library. That might take a while.
>180 jessibud2: Impressive, Shelley. Impressive indeed. You've made me nauseated with jealousy, intimidated by erudition, excluded by chauvinism, and delighted with schadenfreude at your inability to trade in used hardcovers! In one post! You GO Miss Lady.
>165 kidzdoc: "I'd much rather see the police prosecute moving violations by unsafe drivers that write parking tickets that don't impede traffic."
Amen to that!!
>180 jessibud2: That is an excellent book haul, Shelley, and I love your description of going into a bookshop with gift cards in hand. I resonate with that feeling of deliciousness when I have a gift card for books. I only want to spend them on something special.
>181 torontoc: - Thanks, Cyrel
>182 mdoris: - Yes, Mary, it IS!! As for Rick Mercer, Somewhere up there in this thread (unless it was in my last one), I posted a couple of interviews with Mercer on cbc radio when he was about to do the last show, and was promoting the book, at the same time. He actually said that nothing specific precipitated his leaving the show, just that he felt it was time. Going out on a high, I guess. I feel confident that we haven't seen the last of him, for sure.
>183 Familyhistorian: - Meg, My trunk has room for lots of books, lol! As for my holds at the library, as of today, I am #44 of 270 requests
(for 36 copies) for Becoming and #391 of 1767 requests (for 388 copies) for Washington Black. It will still be quite awhile before they get to me.
>184 richardderus: - You crack me up Richard. As for the hardcovers, thank goodness for Little Free Libraries! But I think the newest additions won't be going anywhere any time soon! And the Bibliophile one is definitely a *permanent collection book.
>185 EBT1002: - It's true, Ellen. Oddly, I don't get gift cards all that often so when I do, I practically wiggle with excitement! (but only inwardly ;-)
>186 jessibud2: I always love to get bookshop gift cards, Exactly because of what you describe. I love book shopping. But I often hear people say they don't want to give a gift card, because it's not nice enough, gives an impression of not having thought about someone's wishes etc.
>187 EllaTim: - It's true what you say, Ella; I have heard that, too. Yet to me, it's almost the opposite. If someone knows you like something (such as books, for example), I think it shows a lot of generosity and respect to allow the recipient to make the ultimate choice of what they want to do with the card. Better than purchasing something they either don't want or already have! Plus, it ensures the receiver gets exactly what they want! What could be better?
When I was still teaching, one year I had a student whose both parents were author/illustrators. They generously gave me copies of several of their books (they write for kids) and at Christmas, gave me a gift card for the bookstore. Because they just *knew*. Best gift I ever received in all my years of teaching.
Just heard that Washington Black is waiting for me at the library. I must have put it on reserve a long time ago. Lucky me!
Has anyone here heard of this new book, Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday? My morning radio host just raved about it and I have just put in a hold request for the audio version from the library. It sounds intriguing:
Summary/Review: "Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, "Folly," tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, "Folly" also suggests an aspiring novelist's coming-of-age. By contrast, "Madness" is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself. A debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from 2017 Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday" --
Hmm, just clicked through to see if there were any reviews here. VERY mixed reviews. So, we shall see....
>190 jessibud2: First-published-book caution is in order. Also, beware of "one story in three parts" marketing: It means it's a short-fiction collection with connections of some sort, so go in without novel expectations. Lastly, vagueness warning: Which Iraq War, when during it, and why is that relevant to a story set in New York again?
And that's from reading the synopsis.
>191 richardderus: - Thanks, Richard, you are probably very right. And I am not a fan of short stories so I don't even know why I pounced on it. I don't even always like the same books this radio host recommends. But it's available in audio so will take less of my time, I think. If I am not hooked by the end of the first disc, I usually return it to the library! :-)
>192 jessibud2: I hope you're pleasantly surprised and utterly enchanted.
Hi Shelley, glad you liked your little surprise my dear. I though you would appreciate a little bit of Yorkshire and this is something I always pick up at this time of year, next year they celebrate their Eightieth year so there should be some special issues throughout the year.
I hope you are having a good week so far and send love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.
>198 figsfromthistle: - Thanks figs! What a delightful (and creative) image!
>188 jessibud2: Good story about those parents Shelley. Yes, they must have known.
I'm going bookshopping as well today, got a gift card. I've already been looking through the website of my favourite bookstore, but i'm still looking forward to the visit, and some browsing, and the choosing.
>179 jessibud2: It's the third book of a trilogy - but it appears to be the same time period, told from the point of view of three different people about their lives. I haven't read the second one yet but want to do it first thing in 2019. I don't know anybody who's read all three books - they could give an opinion on whether they need to be read in order. Searching online I've seen both opinions expressed - read 'em in order, or read 'em essentially as related standalones. I don't know what else to say.
Hi Shelley, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and festive season and send seasonal love and hugs from both of us dear friend.
HI Shelley, Wishing you a a very happy holiday season. Hope it's full of fun and relaxation and of course reading too.
I finished One Goal by Amy Bass. It was about a group of Somali refugees (among others) in the working class town of Lewiston, Maine, who, through hard work, unfailing dedication and sheer love of the game, revitalized their school and brought a divided town together to achieve the first soccer championship in 20 years. But it is really so much more than that. Bass writes really well, and she goes into the history, both of the town and its residents, as well as the personal backgrounds of some of the coaches, the kids and their families; how they got there, what they left behind, and how change really happened. I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would, given that I know next to nothing about soccer. It's not just about soccer, though, but more about soccer as a means to an end. And hope. Let's not forget hope. This is a feel-good read about something that really happened, and, given half a chance, could, again. And who doesn't need that these days? It also exposes the haters, the *trumps* in small-town America (and that can easily be extrapolated to small-town everywhere), for the ignorant, small-minded people they truly are. I will never understand what they are so afraid of. And I honestly believe it is fear and ignorance that feeds hate. These kids, these coaches, this community, rose above it all and proved themselves to be upstanding and outstanding citizens.
A great read.
>205 jessibud2: That looks wonderful.
Wishing you all the best this holiday season, Shelley!
Thanks for your recommendation of The Cowkeeper's Wish, Shelley. The authors really know how to write a history that is relevant to more than members of their own family line. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
Yay for One Goal! I’m glad you enjoyed it, Shelley. I thought it was really well done.
I am just starting 2 new (to me) books: Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers and Exit West. The first one is a chunkster of a hard cover, from the library, so that won't be my riding-on-the-subway book this week! But I started it last night and while I am eager to read and learn more about them, so far, in the first couple of chapters, the writing isn't impressing me all that much. I will, however, finish it because I have always been obsessed with Vincent and want to learn more. Exit West is the January pick for my library's book club discussion, and since I already own it and there is time for me to get it read, I will try to do so and go to the discussion, to see if this is a group I may enjoy being part of. I am not a big RL book club person, since I am very much a whim reader and have trouble forcing myself to read to a deadline as well as reading something that doesn't catch my fancy at a particular moment. But the library discussion book club seems to be open and very much has a *drop-in* sort of format, so I will give it a try.
>211 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle, and to you!
>212 richardderus: - You most likely heard Joe and Mark warbling about it, Richard.
Months ago, when it first came out, I had requested Bob Woodward's book on trump from the library. It just came in so I went to the library. I told the librarian that I changed my mind and decided I did not want to waste a single minute on this toxic moron or see his ugly face on my nighttable. I said that although I realized Woodward was a good writer, I had better ways to end my reading year. He cracked up and said: Wise decision!
After all, what more could I possibly learn about the orange gasbag that I don't already know, which is already more than I need or want to know. I feel better already! :-)
(that's a lot of *already*s I used in that sentence. Oh well...)
>210 jessibud2: I hope that you enjoy the library book club. They will probably discuss the book more than most book clubs do but have much less wine! Have a wonderful Christmas, Shelley.
Thanks, Madeline, Ella, Meg and Paul.
If anyone is looking for some down time in a dark movie theatre, I saw a film yesterday that I am going to highly recommend: Green Book. The film was based on a true story of a Black concert pianist (Dr. Don Shirley) and the NY Italian former bouncer he hires to be his driver, as he decides to do a tour in the deep south. In 1962. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in the lead roles. In my humble opinion, definitely Oscar material. I spent a good hour or more googling when I got home, listening to interviews, etc. I had never heard of Dr. Don Shirley before and more's the pity. What a story! I also learned something about Viggo Mortensen that I never knew: he speaks a ton of languages, fluently. I could post some links, but I know people don't have a lot of time at this time of year. Just go see the film.
But here is a quickie of Mortensen clips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxtGp4R9Kw4&vl=en
I saw "Green Book"- what a good film!
( I also went to the Hot Docs theatre and saw the documentary about puppies training to be seeing eye dogs for the blind-"Pick of the Litter"- terrific if you like dogs - I do)
I missed that one, Cyrel though the trailer tugs at the heartstrings!
Tomorrow, I am going to Hot Docs to see You Are Here, the story of the making of Come From Away. Can't wait.
I really need to take advantage of the great assistive device they have at my Regal theater and attend more movies. They have LED closed captioned glasses which are fantastic for me to understand all kinds of movies(even those in English!). Thanks for the rec about Green Book.
>221 SqueakyChu: - If you can, do it! This is a film that, like Hidden Figures of a few years ago, tells a largely unknown true story in American history (fairly recent history, not ancient) that still resonates today. A story that needs to be much more widely known. And is so well done.
Hi Shelley my dear, thank you for the lovely card which we received today, sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.
Hi Shelley my dear, we would like to wish you a very happy new year and hope that 2019 is a good one, sending love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.
Wishing you a new year filled with joy, happiness, laughter, and all the wonderful books you could wish for.
Hi Shelley, thanks for the Christmas Card and I hope you have a Happy New Year!
Happy new year to everyone! May it be a better one for all.
I finished off this year with 87 books, a new record for me. I deliberately ended my year with a short but lovely book by the late Oliver Sacks, called Gratitude, published just weeks before his death in 2015. I wanted to end my reading year on a positive and grateful note.
Wishing all the best to one and all.
My new thread is here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/301434
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.