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Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 11

This is a continuation of the topic Ellen reads freely in 2018 - Thread 10.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Nov 4, 12:57am Top

Photograph by NITIN VAYAS, 2017 National Geographic

In honor of the Earth, and in acknowledgement of my fear for its demise, my 2018 threads will be topped with nature photos. This regal lion gets to stick around.

Edited: Nov 4, 1:32am Top


Edited: Nov 4, 1:08am Top

My Rating Scale:

= Breathtaking. This book touched me in a way that only a perfect book can do.
= A wonderful read, among my favorites of the year.
= A great read; truly enjoyable.
= Not quite great but I'm absolutely glad I read this.
= A solid read, with a few things done particularly well.
= Average. Remember, most of us are, by definition, average.
= Pretty much a waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.

Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

Edited: Nov 4, 3:01pm Top

I've actually done a lousy job of reading African American Autobiographies but I'm going to keep this mini-thread alive.

Here is the reading list that inspired this personal challenge; it's from a course being taught at the Asheville OLLI. I'm not saying these are exactly the books I will choose but this is the list from which I'm starting.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass √√
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B. DuBois
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
A Voice from the South By a Black Woman of the South by Anna Julia Cooper
Crusade for Justice by Ida B. Wells
Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neal Hurston - read in 2017
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin - read in 2013
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - read twice already
Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family by Pauli Murray
Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

Negroland by Margo Jefferson
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Edited: Nov 10, 2:51pm Top


January/Black - Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
February/Brown - The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie Jr
March/Green - Turtles All the Way Down by John Green and Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos
April/Yellow - The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
May/Blue - The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald and Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
June/Purple - A Purple Place for Dying by John D. MacDonald
July/Pink - Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
August/Grey - Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
September/Metallic - Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
October/Orange - Milkman by Anna Burns
November/Red - The Red Collar by Jean-Christophe Rufin

December/White -

Edited: Yesterday, 1:43pm Top


January="Ack! I've been hit!" ~ Negroland by Margo Jefferson (BB by kidzdoc)
February="Laissez les bons temps rouler" ~ The Way I Found Her by Rose Tremain
March="Ripped From the Headlines" ~ The Power by Naomi Alderman
April="April Loves Books!" ~ Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
May="a flower ... in the title ..." ~ The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
June="Unusual Narrators" ~ Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spenser Quinn
July="Getting to Know You" (reading from/about a different generation) ~ The Overstory (multigenerational!)
August="Let's Go to the Mountains" ~ Above All Things by Tanis Rideout
September="Happy Birthday" ~ Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
October="Playing Cards" ~ The Death's Head Chess Club by John Donoghue

November="It's all about money" Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin ~currently reading

December="Secret Santa" (book received as gift)

Edited: Nov 13, 10:37am Top

BingoDOG Completed

1. Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional ~ Saving Mozart by Raphaël Jérusalmy
2. Published more than 100 years ago ~ Nicholas Nickleby
3. Originally in a different language ~ Go, Went, Gone (German)
4. New-to-you author ~ God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell
5. Relative name in title ~ Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
6. Money in title ~ Sugar Money by Jane Harris
7. Published in 2018 ~ An American Marriage: A Novel by Tayari Jones
9. Fat book - 500 plus pages ~ The Overstory by Richard Powers (502 pp.)
10. Set during a holiday ~ Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
11. LGBTQ central character ~ Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
12. Book on the 1001 list ~ The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré
13. Read a CAT (middle square) ~ Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli
14. Number in title ~ We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
15. Book that is humorous ~ Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos
16. Book bought in 2017 that hasn’t been read yet ~ Bad Feminist
17. Title contains something you would see in the sky ~ Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
19. Book that fits at least 2 KIT’s/CAT’s ~ Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
20. Book with a beautiful cover (in your opinion) ~ Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
21. Autobiography/memoir ~ Negroland by Margo Jefferson
22. Poetry or plays ~ Heartbeat by Sharon Creech (novel in verse)
23. A long-time TBR ~ The Long Song by Andrea Levy
24. Story involves travel ~ The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie
25. Title contains a person’s rank, real or fictional ~ Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw

BingoDOG ideas

8. X somewhere in the title ~ Autobiography of Malcolm X
18. Related to the Pacific Ocean ~ Pacific by Simon Winchester ~ currently listening

Edited: Nov 13, 10:39am Top

PopSugar Challenge 2018

1. A book made into a movie you've already seen ~ Tales of the City
2. True crime
The next book in a series you started ~ Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
4. A book involving a heist
5. Nordic noir ~ Snare (Reykjavik Noir) by Lilja Sigurdardóttir
6. A novel based on a real person
A book set in a country that fascinates you ~ Blind Goddess by Anne Holt (Norway)
8. A book with a time of day in the title
9. A book about a villain or antihero
A book about death or grief ~ How to Paint a Dead Man by Sarah Hall
11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym ~ James Tiptree Jr?
A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist ~ Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
13. A book that is also a stage play or musical
A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you ~ Negroland: A Memoir
A book about feminism ~ Bad Feminist
A book about mental health ~ Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift ~ Sugar Money (Mark)
18. A book by two authors ~ Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman ??
19. A book about or involving a sport
A book by a local author ~ So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
A book with your favorite color in the title ~ A Purple Place for Dying
22. A book with alliteration in the title
23. A book about time travel
24. A book with a weather element in the title
25. A book set at sea
A book with an animal in the title ~ Magpie Murders
27. A book set on a different planet
A book with song lyrics in the title ~ So Lucky by Nicola Griffith
A book about or set on Halloween ~ Something Wicked This Way Comes
A book with characters who are twins ~ Godstalk
A book mentioned in another book ~ Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson (The Mars Room)
32. A book from a celebrity book club
A childhood classic you've never read ~ A Wrinkle in Time
A book that's published in 2018 ~ An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
A book set in the decade you were born ~ California Dreamin' by Pénélope Bagieu
A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to ~ The Death's Head Chess Club by John Donoghue
38. A book with an ugly cover
39. A book that involves a bookstore or library
40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges ~ A book set in your home state (2016)

Edited: Nov 4, 1:14am Top

2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

1. A book published posthumously
2. A book of true crime
3. A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance)
A comic written and illustrated by the same person ~ Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu
5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
A book about nature ~ The Overstory by Richard Powers
A western ~ The Big Sky by A.B. Guthrie
A comic graphic novel written or illustrated by a person of color ~ Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
9. A book of colonial or postcolonial literature
A romance novel by or about a person of color ~ The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
A children’s classic published before 1980 ~ A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
12. A celebrity memoir
An Oprah Book Club selection ~ An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
14. A book of social science
A one-sitting book ~ Alpha: Abidjan to Paris
16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author ~ The Power by Naomi Alderman
18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
19. A book of genre fiction in translation
20. A book with a cover you hate
A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author ~ Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
22. An essay anthology
A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 ~ Evensong by Kate Southwood
24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished) Just no.

Edited: Yesterday, 1:44pm Top

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty - I may pass on this one.
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
2018: Anna Burns, Milkman

Edited: Nov 4, 1:07am Top

Here is a list of 46 books by women of color, to be published in 2018. I haven't really kept up with this list but I'm copying it here anyway.

Electric Literature 46 Books by Women of Color to Read in 2018

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins
Halsey Street by Naima Coster ~ COMPLETED
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo ~ COMPLETED
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory ~ COMPLETED

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones COMPLETED
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu
The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik
Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad by Krystal Sital
Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot
The House of Erzulie by Kirsten Imani Kasai

Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen
The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat (I was supposed to get this as an ER)
Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
Go Home!, edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
My Old Faithful by Yang Huang
The Beekeeper by Dunya Mikhail
Happiness by Aminatta Forna
Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar by Kavita Das
Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Disoriental by Négar Djavadi, translated by Tina Kover (I purchased this one)

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
Not that Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay

Sick by Porochista Khakpour
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
Tiny Crimes, edited by Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Old in Art School by Nell Irvin Painter

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
Love War Stories by Ivelisse Rodriguez
What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan

Edited: Nov 4, 3:24pm Top

Currently reading:

Edited: Nov 4, 1:07am Top

Edited: Nov 4, 1:11am Top

The Giller Prize Long List:

Zolitude by Paige Cooper
French Exit by Patrick deWitt
Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont, translated by Peter McCambridge
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan - COMPLETED
Beirut Hellfire Society by Rawi Hage
Motherhood by Sheila Heti
Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim
Something for Everyone by Lisa Moore
Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
Vi by Kim Thúy, translated by Sheila Fischman
Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

Nov 4, 6:21am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen!

A couple of suggestions, if you can: listen to Barack Obama read his own book, Dreams From My Father, on audio. I could listen to him read a phone book.

For your Pacific-related, I can recommend Simon Winchester, reading (again on audio - he is a great reader!) his book, Pacific. I love Winchester and this one is a good one. I know you don't listen to audio as much as you used to but both of these are excellent in this format.

Nov 4, 6:22am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. Wishing you a relaxed Sunday.

Nov 4, 6:59am Top

Hi Ellen, thought I'd pipe up and say hi. I've been lurking and following your thread, just haven't had much to say. It's nice to set you settling into your new job and new town, and your reading isn't too bad, either. 😀

Have a great day!

Nov 4, 7:34am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. I love new threads because they give me a chance to look at lists, reading, etc., again. You have some great lists. There are some interesting books on the Giller Prize list...

I like bananas, but I find that their flavor overpowers everything else when I add them to something.

Have a great Sunday.

Nov 4, 7:39am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen! I've been quite but I lurk :D

Nov 4, 8:15am Top

Happy Sunday, Ellen. Happy New Thread! I am thoroughly enjoying Washington Black. I did not expect it to take such an interesting detour. I also loved I am Malala. Glad I finally got to that memoir.

The Spirit Catches You, is in the wings, for this month's AAC. Have you read that one?

Nov 4, 11:36am Top

Happy new one, Ellen!

Nov 4, 11:49am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen!

Nov 4, 3:05pm Top

73. A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

This was an engaging police procedural set in Calcutta in 1919. Sam Wyndham is fresh in country from Scotland Yard when a high-ranking sahib is found murdered in the alley behind a brothel. Sam and his sergeant follow the trails of clues through the administrative halls of the colonial government. They find treachery, corruption, and one beautiful woman. Quite enjoyable.

Nov 4, 3:05pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Nov 4, 3:16pm Top

>19 jessibud2: Thanks for both of those suggestions, Shelley. As I look ahead to winter and think about how I'm going to get exercise when running outside in the mornings is just not realistic, I am thinking I might listen to more audiobooks. Whether I'm on my stationary bike downstairs or on the elliptical at the student recreation center, I'll need something to help pass the time!

For the Pacific-related book, I acquired a copy of The People in the Trees but it's a chunkster. I might try Winchester's Pacific (can't find touchstone) on audio instead.

Nov 4, 3:20pm Top

>20 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara!

>21 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Thanks for de-lurking. I'm enjoying my reading of late but I'm still not resigned to the fact that this new job and living situation reduces my overall reading time. Still, retirement is but a few years away....

>22 BLBera: The lists are fun, aren't they, Beth? I agree that the Giller Prize list looks interesting. I haven't really pursued it with any focus but I may use it to build out some of my early 2019 reading plans. You know, when I start the year with no plans and no commitments. Heh.

>23 Carmenere: Hi Lynda! I'm glad to know you lurk around my neighborhood some. :-)

Nov 4, 3:23pm Top

>24 msf59: Hi Mark! I'm glad you're enjoying Washington Black. It does have a plot turn or two. :-)

I started but didn't finish The Spirit Catches You a few years ago. I probably just wasn't in the mood at that particular moment in time. I'll see how it lands on you and perhaps I'll give it another try.

>25 katiekrug: and >26 figsfromthistle: and >28 drneutron: Thank you kindly for the new thread greetings!

Nov 4, 3:27pm Top

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. I have The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer and All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg on my kindle, both from the library. So I have to get to them sooner rather than later. I also have The Red Collar sitting on my bedside table and I want to read it for the November ColorCAT challenge. I've been meandering my way through California Dreamin', a graphic biography of Mama Cass.

So. We'll see.

Nov 4, 4:17pm Top

I read the Attenberg recently and really liked it...

Nov 4, 5:15pm Top

>29 EBT1002: - Ellen, I think for the touchstone for Pacific, you need to scroll down past what pops up automatically. It actually has a longer title.... :-)

I also read the Anne Fadiman book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down a few years ago and thought it was excellent.

Nov 4, 5:22pm Top

Happy new one, Ellen!! Glad to see you have several options for your next read. As I mentioned on my thread, I have dutifully entered Washington Black in my WL and it says "Ellen's Fault" in the tag line. : )

Nov 4, 6:06pm Top

>33 katiekrug: It was your thread that turned me on to the Attenberg, Katie. I had never heard of her. It looks like a pretty quick read.

>34 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. For some reason, sometimes when I'm in the touchstones text box, my computer won't let me scroll down within that box. Instead, when I scroll, the main window beneath the text box rolls. Sometimes I just give up. :-)

>35 Berly: I love that tag line, Kim! xo

Nov 4, 6:10pm Top

>36 EBT1002: - Oh, well. Yay for that!

This was my 3rd of Attenberg's novels and I've liked them all.

Nov 4, 6:28pm Top

>37 katiekrug: Cool beans.

Nov 4, 6:29pm Top

>30 EBT1002: retirement is but a few years away ...

Funnily enough, I'm on track to read fewer books this year than when I was working! I haven't quite figured out why, but my extensive LT stats do not lie.

Nov 4, 7:30pm Top

I loved The Female Persuasion, but I know many didn't. Still, pick it up and see whether it grabs you. Working on a college campus, it may resonate with you.

Nov 4, 11:28pm Top

I confess I'm not too excited about the Giller Prize this year, Ellen. I'm hoping that Washington Black takes the prize. A Rising Man sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.

Nov 5, 4:25pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen!

For me, my book intake increased when I retired. Particularly poetry.

Nov 6, 12:03am Top

Thanks for the Giller list, Ellen. I don't know whether I'll read any of it, but I've favorited it, so it's easily available.

Nov 6, 12:10am Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen. So, does the new place feel like home yet? And have you got a chair?

Nov 6, 1:34am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. I'm currently reading Washington Black as well, it is good so far and I am sure my LT friends wouldn't steer me wrong.

Nov 6, 2:25am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. I've been doing a fair amount of lurking lately, mostly I have been trying to finish my 2018 Category Challenge and get ready for 2019.

Nov 6, 9:27am Top

74. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Thanks to Katie for bringing this novel to my attention. It was an engaging read about relationships (especially mother-daughter relationships) and family and choices and what it means to be "all grown up." Attenberg writes with humor, compassion, sensuality, and a bit of grit. I'll definitely read more of her work.

Nov 6, 9:28am Top

My next completed work will be number 75!

Nov 6, 9:33am Top

>39 lauralkeet: Laura, I interpret this fact as an indication that you are living a good life there in Philly, all retired and with lots to do!

>40 BLBera: Thanks for the nudge, Beth. I will certainly give The Female Persuasion a go.

>41 vancouverdeb: What is disappointing about the Giller Prize list for you, Deb? I admit I haven't really paid much attention to most of the books on it, so I don't have a "feel" for it yet. Have the books just not looked particularly interesting as you've looked at them in bookshops?

>42 jnwelch: I expect my book intake to increase when I retire, Joe, but I could also see myself getting involved in an assortment of other things that will occupy my time. I know P's reading has skyrocketed as she has so much time on her hands while I'm at work.... It's interesting that poetry has particularly taken off for you in this stage of life. Do you have a sense of why that is?

Nov 6, 9:36am Top

>43 LizzieD: Hmm, Peggy, you say you have favorited the list I posted. Does that mean you've favorited that particular post? I may need to learn how to do that.

>44 ronincats: LOL, Roni, I don't yet have a new chair in my office. I did get a desk lamp for it, though. It's not very pretty but is full-spectrum so perhaps it will help my mood and energy in the midst of winter. We're in the east part of the time zone so it gets dark very early at the end of the day!

It is starting to feel like home in many ways. That has happened surprisingly quickly, I think. Perhaps it takes less time to get to know one's way around a small town so it feels like home. Also, this is a community with a strong sense of, well, community, so that has helped. Still, we continue to plan to retire to the west side of the Cascades in either Oregon or Washington.

Nov 6, 9:39am Top

>45 Familyhistorian: I hope you continue to enjoy Washington Black, Meg. If you haven't yet read The Overstory, I also recommend that. I gave it five stars and my personal nod for the Booker Prize.

>46 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! Thanks for de-lurking to say hello. I love that you're starting to plan for 2019. I've voted for next year's CATs and I suggested some squares for the BingoDOG but, you know, I don't plan to make any commitments next year. Hahahahaha.

Nov 6, 9:39am Top

Time to get ready for work!

Nov 6, 10:45am Top

>49 EBT1002: that must be it, Ellen. I do have several things on my plate, but it doesn't feel as time consuming as work did. But it's must be more than I realize!

Nov 6, 11:55am Top

One thing I've learned in my almost 20 years of retirement is that the choices I make for where I spend time and energy are just not that different from those I chose while working. I do certainly enjoy more freedom, and have indulged in some behaviors which are easier in a greater freedom of time, but generally I am the same person with lots of energy to stay busy.

Reading is harder in part due to some aging in my eyes which make it harder to do long stretches of reading, but I still am always picking up something to read.

Nov 6, 1:53pm Top

Hi Ellen! Glad you are settling into your new home.

Nov 6, 3:35pm Top

>50 EBT1002: Oregon and Washington are such beautiful states! That's a good place to retire. Aaron and I keep saying that after my parents pass, we may need to move to Oregon to help his sister take care of his parents when THEY are ailing (which hopefully will be a long time from now). Right now, his mom is sprightly enough to come help me when I give birth, so....

Nov 7, 1:29pm Top

>19 jessibud2:, >29 EBT1002: Thought I would chime in and agree with Winchester's Pacific which I did as an audiobook and really enjoyed.

Nov 7, 2:53pm Top

I'm chuckling about your lack of planning for 2019...

What are you reading for # 75?

Nov 8, 1:28pm Top

For # 75 I am reading The Red Collar by Jean-Christophe Rufin, a lovely Europa Edition translated from the French.

Nov 8, 1:34pm Top

>53 lauralkeet: Lots of things on your plate, keeping you busy, but without the stress and press of work, I hope!

>54 maggie1944: I look forward to discovering how I will navigate the freedom of retirement, Karen. Today I have had a moment of thinking I wanted it to be NOW and then a longer moment of feeling like I'm making a difference and I want to stay working long enough to see some of that come to fruition.

>55 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda!

Nov 8, 1:36pm Top

>56 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel. I fully agree, Oregon and Washington are beautiful states. I feel lucky to have lived most of my adult life in this part of the world. Every place has its own beauty and I've always said I could be happy living almost anywhere as long as I have my family and my health. And books. :-)

>57 Oberon: Thanks Erik. I will note that. I think more listening is on the horizon as the weather gets colder and I'll need to exercise indoors. It was 25F when I got up this morning.

>58 BLBera: You should well chuckle, Beth, because you know me well enough to know that I won't be able to resist various challenges for the new year. :-)

Edited: Nov 8, 2:06pm Top

I am SOOOO excited. Some of you may know that I collect bookmarks as well as books. Among my favorites are those produced by Persephone Books of London. For each book they publish, they create a lovely card-stock bookmark with the same pattern as the inside cover. I have been known to purchase a book -- or a few -- from them just to get the bookmarks. :-)

I have now ordered the entire collection of 130 bookmarks from them. Yay!!!! I can hardly wait to get them.

Here is an image from the internet of some of their books and a few stacks of bookmarks. There are also some postcards in there which also make lovely bookmarks.
When I next travel to London, I'm going to this shop.

Nov 8, 2:09pm Top

Here's another photo of the inside of the shop. It is so appealing.

Nov 8, 3:34pm Top

>63 EBT1002:, >64 EBT1002: I would be up for a trip to London. I also like bookmarks, and these are wonderful.

Nov 8, 4:45pm Top

Oh, I am excited that you are going to read Parable of the Sower.

Nov 8, 5:07pm Top

>63 EBT1002: you will love the shop Ellen. I usually stop by a couple of times a year, and never leave empty handed.

Nov 8, 8:39pm Top

Okay, I love London, Parable of the Sower, all books, bookmarks and that shop! When are we going?

Nov 8, 8:44pm Top

Those bookmarks are somethin' else! You'll be posting photeaux of the collection when received, naturally.


Nov 8, 8:51pm Top

>63 EBT1002:, >64 EBT1002: adding to Caro's recommendation -- it's a lovely shop. I've only been once, but I loved that they sold the bookmarks separately. I picked up a few , but it never occurred to me to order more. What a cool idea!

Nov 9, 8:40am Top

oh, gosh, my travel buddy and I were talking about a return to France trip, but I must think seriously about a trip to England. My maternal grandfather immigrated from England to the US and I have his birth certificate around somewhere. I need to find it and make a trip to his birth place, I think. (or maybe I'm just fantasizing)

The book shop looks lovely, and I can see being addicted to the book marks.

Nov 9, 12:00pm Top

Happy Weekend, Ellen.

You know, with all our trips to London, we haven’t been to the Persephone bookshop. We’ll fix that. Good for you for getting those books marks. I love bookmarks, too.

Why I’m reading more poetry in retirement: poetry often takes more concentration for me, and whilst I was working, my concentration went a lot to that, and it was harder to concentrate in my (not often occurring) off time.

Nov 9, 2:03pm Top

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


Nov 9, 7:50pm Top

Happy Friday, Ellen. I hope you had a good week.

Edited: Nov 10, 12:54am Top

You can share some of your bookmarks on the Cool Bookmarks! thread:


Nov 10, 2:58pm Top

75. The Red Collar by Jean-Christophe Rufin translated from the French by Adriana Hunter

This charming short novel is set in France in 1919. The war has ended and a decorated war hero sits in prison refusing to defend himself even while the military investigator gives him opportunity after opportunity. In the square, in the blistering summer heat, a ragged dog sits, barking and wailing until he has exhausted himself nearly to death. A poignant exploration of loyalty -- to ideals, to another human, to a human by a dog -- the story unfolds slowly and sweetly, exposing the mystery of the soldier and the dog bit by bit and with deep humility and compassion. And I loved the ending.

Nov 10, 3:11pm Top

What a great 75th, Ellen. It sounds wonderful and immediately goes on the list. I hope you're having a relaxing Saturday. Do you have Monday off?

What's next?

Edited: Nov 10, 3:14pm Top

>77 BLBera: How about if I send you my copy, Beth? It's a lovely Europa Edition.

I do have Monday off and I am SOOO glad. I need this break. My experience of my job continues to be such a roller-coaster. Luckily, yesterday was a pretty good day.

Not sure what is next. I need to finish California Dreamin' and I have a few others sitting on my bedside table.

Nov 10, 3:22pm Top

>65 BLBera: I really want to take another trip to London, Beth. I've only been there once, in 2002, on our way to our first Scotland trip with P's parents. Our next trips are Palau (May 2019) and Machu Picchu, Peru (sometime in 2020).

>66 banjo123: Parable of the Sower has been getting lots of love around here, Rhonda, so I finally gave in. I've liked everything I've read by Octavia E. Butler even though science fiction is not usually my thing.

>67 Caroline_McElwee: Caroline! You've been to Persephone Bookshop! I am envious. It just looks like a place that would be good for a reader's soul.

>68 Berly: Ha ha. I would love to plan a trip to London with you, Kim. And why not? It's an easy flight, right?

>69 richardderus: Richard dear, so nice to see you! I will indeed post photeaux of the bookmarks when I get them. I'm sometimes a mucket about posting photos but these will be so lovely it will be a must.

>70 lauralkeet: I am envious of you, too, now, Laura. Honestly, ordering the entire collection of 130 bookmarks is a bit silly but I just love them.

Nov 10, 3:28pm Top

>76 EBT1002: Ooo aaah I must reads it, Precioussssss

Luckily one of the county's libraries has it so I shall be able to do so within a week.


Edited: Nov 10, 3:30pm Top

>71 maggie1944: As I said above, I really want to return to London, Karen. I'd also like to travel more throughout England: Yorkshire, Devonshire, the Lake country (I only vaguely know what I'm talking about but it all seems so beautiful). My heritage is also very English, along with my one quarter Scottish.

>72 jnwelch: Joe, I hope you do visit Persephone Books next time you're in London. You can take a photo and send it to me. :-)

Your experience with reading more poetry after retirement makes lots of sense to me. Right now, with my new job and its demanding dynamics, I feel like my concentration is lower than it was for the past several years at my job at UW and with my Light Rail commute. I can still read poetry a little bit in the early morning but mostly my reading is suffering. I know it's not a permanent state of affairs.

>73 mahsdad: Thank you for hijacking my thread, Jeff! I'll toodle over to the Christmas swap thread and check out the doings.

>74 BLBera: Thank you, Beth. It was a difficult week capped off by a pretty good Friday. My boss is back in the office and that really changes the energy. I'm struggling with that. She is a good person and a well-intentioned leader but her style challenges me. I am realizing that I need to set some boundaries around my evening and weekend hours. I don't mind being on call 24/7, available for urgent matters, but I resent texts at (for example) 9:30pm on something that could have waited until the next morning. I need to be okay with her sending the text and I need to tell her that, unless it's urgent, I'm not going to respond until the next day.

Nov 10, 3:30pm Top

>75 kac522: Thanks for the link, Kathy! I've visited and starred the fun bookmark thread.

Nov 10, 4:43pm Top

>78 EBT1002: I would love your copy if you can part with it, Ellen. I also have Monday off, but I will be trying to catch up on grading. It seemed like I was caught up until suddenly I wasn't.

I've only read Kindred and Parable of the Sower by Butler, both of which I loved. I am also not a big SF reader, so I think you will be good with Parable. I'm reading Parable of the Talents right now and that is excellent as well.

It sounds like your boss does need some limits. I just tell people I turn my cell off when I'm at home -- but I am one of the rare people with a landline.

You have some wonderful travel planned. My sister and I are doing a Danube River cruise next summer, but beyond that I have nothing planned. I suspect my daughter and her family, including Scout, might be ready for a Spain trip the next year. It would be good for Scout to meet her Spanish cousins, and she'll be old enough to enjoy it.

Nov 10, 5:10pm Top

>76 EBT1002: Congratulations on reaching the 75 challenge goal.
>63 EBT1002: and >64 EBT1002: Thanks for this information. I had no idea. I'll surely search for more information.

Nov 10, 5:11pm Top

Congratulations on 75 Ellen. I hope to make mine this weekend too.

Nov 10, 6:40pm Top

>76 EBT1002: Delurking to congratulate on reaching 75, Ellen.
Nice review, I really liked The red collar too.

Nov 10, 7:59pm Top

I can't read books where animals are harmed. Is this book ok regarding that?

Nov 10, 8:26pm Top


Nov 11, 3:22pm Top

I decided to pick up a long-time TBR and dig into it: The Long Song by Andrea Levy. I'm a bit more than halfway through already and, while it took a little bit to get into it, I'm now totally captivated!

Nov 11, 3:30pm Top

>83 BLBera: As long as you're okay with a bit of a wait, Beth, The Red Collar is yours. I don't have a post office just a quick walk away from my office any longer but I will get it in the mail to you soon.

I'm also going to mail Sugar Money to Karen as P has decided she doesn't want to read it.

I loved Kindred and liked Lilith's Brood.

I can't turn my cell off because I do need to be available 24/7 (and that was true at my last job too). Where I need to set limits is on the non-urgent communications after hours. Last evening she texted me something that was truly just an FYI -- one of our students won an award at a conference and acknowledged our support -- but then I lay awake worrying that I was supposed to "engage" more. I just said to P: "if boss is disappointed in me after my first two years on this job, so be it." Trying to convince myself.....

Oh, I would LOVE to take a Danube River cruise!!!!! I have looked at those. Is there a particular company with which you are going?

Edited: Nov 11, 3:33pm Top

>84 Whisper1: Thanks Linda. And I do encourage you to check out Persephone Books. Here is their self-description:
Persephone Books reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century (mostly) women writers. All of our 130 books are intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written and are chosen to appeal to busy people wanting titles that are neither too literary nor too commercial. We publish novels, short stories, diaries, memoirs and cookery books; each has an elegant grey jacket, a ‘fabric’ endpaper with matching bookmark, and a preface by writers such as Jilly Cooper, David Kynaston and Elaine Showalter.

Nov 11, 3:36pm Top

>85 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. I will go to your thread later today (after we get back from the women's basketball game) to see if you made it! :-)

>86 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita. I'm glad you also liked The Red Collar. I hadn't seen any other comments about it.

>87 Whisper1: Hi Linda. No animals are harmed in The Red Collar. I have a similar sensitivity. This story, while it has sadness embedded and the dog weathers some hardships, did not activate my waterworks (I'm more likely to sob when an animal is harmed than when a human is -- go figure). I recommend it.

>88 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

Nov 11, 3:59pm Top

>89 EBT1002: - I've had that one on my shelves for a while, too. Good to hear it's worth the wait!

Nov 11, 4:07pm Top

Congrats on reaching 75 books! That shop in London looks awesome :)

Nov 11, 4:09pm Top

I guess the 24/7 availability is why you make the big bucks, right? :)

I have a couple by Levy on my shelves. Sounds like I need to move them to the desk.

No hurry with The Red Collar, Ellen. I do have a couple of books in the house.

Nov 11, 4:53pm Top

Happy Sunday, Ellen. Hooray for hitting #75!! Our magical number. I finished The Spirit Catches You. Easily a 5 star read. I also delivered a mini-review of Washington Black, which was another big thumbs up!

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Edited: Nov 11, 6:25pm Top

I took a book bullet. Red Collar goes on the TBR list.

I am finishing the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker. I finished Eye in the Door and am about half done with Ghost Road. Ghost Road won the Booker Prize in 1995 and I have to wonder at the wisdom of giving the prize the third book in trilogy. This one will definitely make more sense if read as book 3 in a trilogy than as a stand-alone. But ... what do I know.

I am reading these books as a memorial to the ending of World War I.

Nov 11, 6:39pm Top

>92 EBT1002: I found The red collar on Kerry's 2nd thread (avatiakh) in 2016 and did read it myself a month later.

Nov 11, 9:47pm Top

Adding my congratulations on hitting the 75 book mark, Ellen!

Nov 11, 10:14pm Top

I was just about to lose a credit with Audible so I downloaded Winchester's Pacific. It looks really interesting!

Nov 11, 10:18pm Top

>93 katiekrug: I'm glad I finally got around to it, Katie (and thank you, BingoDOG, for the nudge!).

>94 figsfromthistle: Thank you for the congrats! And yes, that London bookshop is on my bucket list.

>95 BLBera: LOL, yes, Beth, that is undoubtedly the case. (Honestly, I am well-compensated so I don't mind being on call 24/7; I just don't want to work 24/7!)

I'm quite enjoying The Long Song and I'm going to recommend it with enthusiasm.

I'm glad you have other things to read so I can take my time getting The Red Collar in the mail. Heh.

Nov 11, 10:21pm Top

>96 msf59: Hi Mark and Happy almost-Monday to you! I'm having a good weekend and I'll mosey over to your digs to see your comments about Washington Black and The Spirit Catches You. Five stars... that is compelling.

>97 benitastrnad: Benita, I fully agree that it was weird the the third in the trilogy won the Booker that year. I think the whole trilogy is excellent and would like to reread it someday. I think it's a great tribute to the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI.

>98 FAMeulstee: Ah, so The Red Collar has made a bit of a circuit around the threads. I have a shelf full of Europa Editions that I need to get around to reading....

>99 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

Nov 11, 10:25pm Top

It has been a good Sunday. Lots of reading in The Long Song, a long run in gray 33F weather, a women's basketball game (we lost), and a fun evening making fresh pasta ravioli with butternut squash filling. We opened a bottle of Brunello to accompany. I have tomorrow off so I'm hoping I can finish The Long Song. I'm simply not going to make it to 100 books this year and I'm okay with that but I want to get to as many as possible.

We're traveling to Asheville and Nashville for Thanksgiving week. It will be lots of family time but also some reading time. Yay!

Nov 12, 6:59am Top

>89 EBT1002: I loved The Long Song, a quick peek at my catalogue tells me I rated it 4.5 stars back in 2015. I love going back and reading my reviews of books I enjoyed, it brings all the joy back.

>103 EBT1002: that ravioli sounds pretty tasty. Butternut squash is the best.

Nov 12, 1:44pm Top

I agree that your boss needs some limits. Maybe she can send messages to your office email if the topic is not urgent? That way, you would see them first thing in the morning. (At least she's not calling you on the phone!)

And congratulations on 75. So many interesting titles! I'll make it to 75 this year, but I wish I could read faster or longer. So much out there.

Nov 12, 3:20pm Top

That is a tough one; obviously your boss is OK with a lot more interruption than you are. But you can't ignore all of her texts, because if they are important, you need to know. It sounds like you will need to talk about it with her and come up with a solution that works for both of you. The tricky thing is to have that discussion without her thinking that you are a slacker; my experience is that people without boundaries have a hard time understanding why other people need them.

Nov 12, 3:25pm Top

>91 EBT1002: Thanks for this link Ellen It is a black hole of enticement.
>93 katiekrug: Great, I've added this book to the tbr pile.

I hope your day is a good one.

Nov 12, 5:34pm Top

It must be about time you got yourself that new desk chair Ellen.

Nov 12, 11:06pm Top

Ok, book bullet hit me, too. I'm off to find Red Collar and am sure I'll love it. I went to work at my little part time, just for the Christmas season, job at Bel Square and of course there is an Amazon store just across the way... a bought a book, of course I did. But in the chaos of unpacking, and getting back at being the leader of the Board here at Silver Glen, I've misplaced it.

Went to see Pete Souza (Obama photographer) at Seattle Arts and Lectures last night (for my birthday) and loved his presentation. The book is Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents in which he notes a Trump tweet on the left page and answers it with a photograph from Obama's term, and commentary on how Obama was just the opposite. A wonderful, humor and pathos filled book. Tears and laughter. A great show.

I predict you will do well once you learn to take those messages for what they are, just a comment she thought you'd like to know, no response needed. Maybe you could ask her to put that in her messages... no response needed: bla bla bla. I'm pretty sure she can understand your saying that you'll save your comment, if any, until the next morning.

Nov 13, 10:34am Top

I finished The Long Song by Andrea Levy last night. Four stars.

I finished California Dreamin' by Pénélope Bagieu, a graphic biography of Cass Elliott, this morning. Four stars.

I started listening to Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester yesterday while riding the stationary bike. So far, it's off to a great start!

More about all at a later time.

Nov 13, 2:01pm Top

Hiya, Ellen.

I'm working my way through The Spirit Catches You, and Mark's 5 stars makes sense to me. I'm a dullard when it comes to nonfiction this year (I'm pretty sure it has to do with my Dad's passing), but this is a mighty good one. I'm also liking the novel Where the Crawdads Sing, which Debbi's aunt recommended to me.

Nov 15, 12:47pm Top

I started reading Lincoln in the Bardo. Oh my. This is an excellent novel!

Nov 15, 12:48pm Top

>111 jnwelch: Hi Joe! P recommended Where the Crawdads Sing and I need to get a copy. If you and Debbi's aunt like it, as well, it's an even stronger recommendation!

Nov 15, 12:51pm Top

>104 lauralkeet: I'm glad I finally got around to reading The Long Song, Laura. I gave it 4 enthusiastic stars and recommended it to a friend who has a long trans-Pacific flight ahead of her tomorrow.

>105 ffortsa: You know, even giving myself permission to set limits has eased the stress I feel, Judy! I don't know how this will unfold but I feel more centered, more empowered, and more sure of my ability to occupy the space I need to. I'm a hard worker with a strong commitment to being responsive and available --- and I need some separation between work and home.

I'm pleased to have made it to 75 (and beyond with California Dreamin'!).

Nov 15, 12:53pm Top

>106 banjo123: So well put, Rhonda. My boss also is a single person who is very -- very -- engaged in her work. I am an engaged worker too, but I do need that home time without feeling tethered to work. I do think some direct conversation is called for and, as I noted above, I'm feeling better just by having affirmed for myself that I'm entitled to my boundaries.

Lessons we learn over and over and over again in life.....

Nov 15, 12:58pm Top

>107 Whisper1: Linda, if you love books as held objects, as well as for their contents, you simply must order one -- just one -- Persephone edition. They are lovely.
And you won't regret adding The Long Song to your list. It was a stellar read.

>108 Caroline_McElwee: LOL

>109 maggie1944: Oh dear, a job across from a bookstore... is that heaven or hell? *grin*
Karen, I miss working just up the street from The Magus and The U Bookstore -- two excellent bookshops for used and new editions, respectively. It's probably good for my spending to have less easy access but I do miss that as my office escape about once a week or so.

Oh, that book Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents sounds wonderful. I will look for it.

Nov 15, 12:59pm Top

Nov 15, 1:04pm Top

Currently reading:

Currently listening:

Nov 15, 1:32pm Top

>109 maggie1944: Happy Belated Birthday Karen

Nov 15, 1:36pm Top

Ellen, After I finished Lincoln in the Bardo I wasn't sure how I felt about it. As time went by, I realized that it was a book that stayed with me. I am anxious to hear what you think about it. Actually, I didn't know what a Bardo was until I finished the book and someone on the threads mentioned it. I'm 66 and still learning.

I've always tried to make a point of stopping when I didn't know a word and looking it up. I think I should get back to that. I love words, their sounds, their meanings, their power!

>77 BLBera: What did you think about California Dreaming? Is it a book to be read and enjoyed?

Nov 15, 9:29pm Top

Go Seattle!

Nov 15, 10:19pm Top

I also recently enjoyed California Dreamin. I just wish it would have went on longer.

Hooray for Lincoln in the Bardo! I hope you love it, as much as I did.

Nov 16, 1:36am Top

Congrats on reading 75 and beyond, Ellen. I loved the Cass Elliott book. Hope you have real time off (no cell phone contact) for your Thanksgiving.

Nov 16, 6:41pm Top

I was underwhelmed by Lincoln in the Bardo. It wasn't that I didn't get it. I never cared about the characters enough to want to get it. But, I do get it that other people like it. I recall that I was one of the few who didn't like Hunger Games. Who wants to read a book about kids killing kids for entertainment? Many people did, so that is the beauty of books - there are plenty of them so there is one for everybody.

Nov 17, 5:03pm Top

>111 jnwelch: I was just over visiting your thread and saw that you gave both The Spirit Catches You and Where the Crawdads Sing five stars. I've got the latter on my Xmas wish list but am holding off on the first one. I don't know why I don't feel like reading it.

>120 Whisper1: :-)

>121 Whisper1: "I'm 66 and still learning." That is a wonderful thing, Linda. I'm not yet 66 but I feel the same way! I also realize I'm not sure what a Bardo is.... I guess I assumed it had to do with the graveyard/crypt. Time to google.

Having googled it, I see that a Bardo is (in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person's conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death. That makes total sense.

Edited: Nov 17, 8:28pm Top

>122 BLBera: That was a fun football game on Thursday evening, Beth. I am watching college football today.

>123 msf59: Hi Mark. I think California Dreamin' was an excellent graphic biography. Have you read her collection, Brazen? If not, I highly recommend it. I think I will read anything Pénélope Bagieu creates.

I'm mostly loving Lincoln in the Bardo, certainly more than I expected to!

Nov 17, 5:10pm Top

>124 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. I am now an avowed Pénélope Bagieu fan. And I do expect to have a real vacation. I left work around 5:30pm yesterday and I don't return to the office until the morning of Wednesday, November 28. I expect to have real disconnect time. Yay!

>125 benitastrnad: I'm landing in the camp of fans of Lincoln in the Bardo, Benita. I don't know that I "care" about the characters but I am finding them interesting and amusing. The narrative style took some getting used to, that is for sure. Regarding Hunger Games, I'm in the small minority of folks who never read it. But I enjoyed the movie. I'm going to participate in the BingoDOG again next year and one of the prompts is to read a book that has been made into a movie. Maybe I'll give Hunger Games a try. Or maybe I'll reread the marvelous Tales of the City. Heh.

Nov 17, 5:15pm Top

Weekend update:

P and I are camped out in our basement (it's a very nice daylight basement) while a guy is upstairs sanding our wood floors. We fly to Tennessee/North Carolina on Monday and the floors are being refinished while we're away. It's a bit noisy but perfect for us to just sit here watching college football. P is playing her game on her iPad and I'm using the opportunity to catch up on LT.

The past couple of days haven't been as productive as I would have liked in terms of reading but I'm still quite enjoying Lincoln in the Bardo.

I'm on vacation until November 28. This past week was pretty good -- busy (which I don't mind) but good. I think my VP is starting to trust me a bit more.

Nov 17, 6:21pm Top

>125 benitastrnad: I am with you on Lincoln in the Bardo Benita. I expected to love it, and threw it aside half way through.

Nov 17, 6:34pm Top

Hooray for vacation!

Nov 17, 6:54pm Top

>130 Caroline_McElwee: So interesting, Caroline. I expected to dislike Lincoln in the Bardo and I'm liking it instead!

>131 banjo123: "Hooray for vacation!" YES!

Nov 17, 6:55pm Top

I have just killed an hour looking for a book to read for the November RandomCAT: "All about the money." I've done tag-mash after tag-mash. The main problem is that most of my books are in rooms upstairs inaccessible to me at present. And I'm feeling uninspired by this particular prompt. The most appealing one I could come up with is Mistress of the Art of Death but I'm not sure I can get to it with the furniture all piled up in my study.

First World Problems.

Nov 17, 8:05pm Top

Well, I was able to get to some but not all of the books upstairs.
I'm deciding between
American Tabloid
Power of the Dog
for the "it's all about money" prompt.
Both are long, 500+ pages, but both look like they might be relatively quick reads for all that.

Nov 17, 8:23pm Top

Enjoy your vacation, Ellen. It is deserved, and I know you always enjoy time with your sister. Please share her book recommendations!

>127 EBT1002: I guess you confused me with my Twin. 😁

"All about the money" - Or you could read Treasure Island.

Nov 17, 8:29pm Top

>135 BLBera: I did confuse you with your Twin!! My apologies. I really do know the two of you apart from one another.

I don't know whether this will surprise you but I have absolutely no interest in reading Treasure Island. Maybe I'm missing something. I mean, it is a classic and I might just love it.

Nov 17, 8:36pm Top

It was the only book I could think of about money, which I guess explains why I am an English teacher. :) Although RLS is very entertaining, probably more if you are a teen boy.

Nov 17, 8:55pm Top

Nov 18, 8:03am Top

Hi Ellen!
Belated happy new thread. Also, congrats on reaching 75 books read this year. You’ve had such a busy and life-changing year that I’m more impressed than I would be anyway.

>90 EBT1002: I’ve never read any of Octavia Butler's books, but a couple of weeks ago tagged Kindred as a possible choice for my RL book club for 2019. I’m glad to hear you loved it.

>102 EBT1002: Asheville and Nashville – a rhyming Thanksgiving for you for sure. In Asheville you’ll be about 4 hours from me – I’m here in central NC south of Chapel Hill. Have a wonderful time!

>110 EBT1002: I love Simon Winchester’s books, and thought Pacific a doozy.

>119 EBT1002: AND Lincoln in the Bardo. I just reread/listened on audio at the same time for RL book club and was once again stunned by it.

>134 EBT1002: American Tabloid was fantastic. I haven’t read any of the rest of the series yet, but may try to get to it in 2019.

I hope you can have a positive discussion with your boss about boundaries.

And last - yay for newly refinished hardwood floors. I had two houses in California that had gorgeous hardwood floors hiding under old varnish or carpet. They looked gorgeous when done. Are you having a stain applied or leaving them the natural wood color?

Nov 18, 8:10am Top

Hi Ellen,

Trying to catch up here after being out of town for awhile.

>110 EBT1002: - I am happy that you are enjoying Pacific on audio. Doesn't he have a great voice for this? When I was listening to it, I often felt he was going off on tangents but, master storyteller that he is, he always manages to bring every one of them back to centre and ties things up perfectly. Ever since the first of his books I found on audio, I have always tried to find his books in this format. He really adds another dimension to the experience.

Nov 18, 9:10am Top

>134 EBT1002: Personal experience of The Power of the Dog and Don Winslow in general plump me on its side. A propulsive read and pretty near perfect for a vacation, IMO. Story isn't complicated, but contains surprises; characters are developed, but lack burdensome angsty facets that demand deeper focus and unwelcome amounts of focus.

New floors when y'all get home = bliss. It's noisy and smelly work, refinishing floors. Caillebotte's Raboteurs de Parquet didn't have pleasant jobs.

They had great abs, though.

Nov 18, 1:31pm Top

Hiya, Ellen. I understand about The Spirit Catches You - it would have been a while before I read it if not for committing with Mark to read it this month. If there'd been a group read, I would've joined that for motivation. As you can tell from what everyone says, it's well worth it once you read it. It reminded me of Being Mortal in emphasizing the importance of kindness and listening, rather than assuming or following "traditional" thinking.

You'll eat up Crawdads. So good.

Have fun in Asheville and Nashville!

Nov 18, 1:59pm Top

>137 BLBera: Well, I'm using the tag-mash feature to find something that has a connection with money and I have to say that some of them seem a bit far-fetched.

In any case, I was able to get to the bookcase that had upon it my copy of The Mistress of the Art of Death so that is what I plan to take with me and read next.

>138 banjo123: Both of those would absolutely qualify, Rhonda, but I'm trying to read something off my shelves (you know, that eternal goal we all have to read the books we already own rather than acquiring more - ha!). I saw Crazy Rich Asians at the cinema and quite enjoyed it but haven't been terribly inclined to read the book.

Nov 18, 2:07pm Top

>139 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Thank you for the congratulations. I was looking back and I've read more than 100 books in each of the past three years. I certainly won't make that century mark again this year and I'm giving myself a pat on the back regardless.

When I mentioned in an ice-breaker at some meeting at work recently that I read "about 100 books a year," people looked at me like I was an alien from another planet. I just smiled inwardly. If they only knew that there is a whole tribe of us!

I do highly recommend Kindred. It qualifies as speculative fiction, I suppose, but it's also a really good exploration of the experience of being an enslaved woman. Very poignant.

I will wave to you from the western part of the state! My sister and her partner are leaving the day after Thanksgiving to visit partner's family in Chapel Hill while P and I head east to Nashville (actually, a small town a bit west of Nashville) to visit with my aunt and cousins.

Hmm, your praise for American Tabloid has me thinking. It's a long one and the truth is that tackling a longer book makes more sense during a vacation when I can more easily give it sustained attention. So, I am still undecided about which book I'll take with me to read during vacation and count for the November RandomCAT. I just have to decide by 3:45AM when we leave the house for the airport (5:00AM flight -- *shudder*).

We're leaving our floors the natural oak color. We can already see how lovely they are going to be because of the sanding he has done on some of them. We're not having him refinish the floors in either of our studies (aka the two other bedrooms on the main floor of the house) because they are in pretty good shape and it was just too overwhelming to try to get all the furniture completely out of that level of the house. I'm interested to see how the transition from hallway to room looks after this.

Nov 18, 2:15pm Top

Have a lovely holiday Ellen. Then back to the newly refurbished floors.

Edited: Nov 18, 2:17pm Top

>140 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! Yes, Simon Winchester's voice is exquisite for narrating Pacific. I just checked that it's all downloaded appropriately so I can listen some on the plane tomorrow. I'll mix up my time between reading and listening. I think it's about a 5-hour flight, or maybe a bit less than that.

>141 richardderus: Hi Richard! My sister has sung about Don Winslow's work in much the same tune as yours. So now I continue undecided.

Mistress of the Art of Death - lots of praise and only 413 pages
Power of the Dog - warbled about by Richard and my sister, 500+ pages
American Tabloid - warbled about by Karen, 500+ pages

It's not really a competition. I own all of them and want to read all of them! I'll probably carry at least two of them, in any case, because one never wants to run out of reading material. I also brought The Essex Serpent home from my at-work book stash this week, thinking it might travel with me.

Decisions, decisions.

Richard, you have shared that painting with me before and I absolutely love it. I think it was when I was in my Wyeth phase after reading A Piece of the World by Christina Baker. Let me assure you that the guy who is doing our floors may have amazing abs but he is otherwise an odd person. I suppose when one spends most of one's time all alone with a heavy sander and toxic floor refinishing stuff, one develops an odd way of being in the world. He is very amiable and certainly competent, both of which matter most in the end.

Nov 18, 2:20pm Top

>142 jnwelch: I shall put The Spirit Catches You on my list for 2019, Joe. Perhaps it will fit one of my challenges (you know, those challenges to which I am putting up tremendous resistance - ha!) and I can entice a few others to read it along with me. I absolutely loved Being Mortal and put it on my list of books that I think every person should read. I'm still trying to get P to read it....

I'm looking forward to Asheville and Nashville! My rhyming Thanksgiving break. :-)

Nov 18, 2:23pm Top

>145 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you, Caroline!

We're entering a good time of year. I have this whole week off. Then we return to refinished floors. Then I work two 3-day weeks because we're going to Seattle December 6-9 to see "Annie" and visit family. Then I come back to work for a couple of weeks. WSU closes the week between Christmas and New Year's so I'll be off work from December 22 - January 1. That will be a nice break during which we will again visit Seattle. We're considering a quick 1-night excursion to Victoria, BC, around Boxing Day. And when we're home here in Pullman, we won't be relegated to the basement as we are now! :-D

Nov 18, 2:26pm Top


Hanging about the basement, reading and messing about on LT.
1:00PM women's basketball game, after which I'm going to run home. I need some exercise!
Then more hanging about the basement reading, watching "Pride & Prejudice," probably ordering pizza for dinner, spending more time on LT.

I love vacation.

Nov 18, 2:42pm Top

>146 EBT1002: I remembered having shared one version or another of that Caillebotte, and picked the wrong one this time!

This one's lovely as well.

I think modern floor-refinishers probably run more to biceps and forearms that abs, given modern technology.

Further complicating your vacation-reading dilemma...Mistress of the Art of Death got 4 stars from me quite some time back; I liked The Essex Serpent just fine; and have American Tabloid smothered somewhere in my TBRs after setting it aside on p23.

Nov 18, 2:56pm Top

>150 richardderus: Yep, that one is indeed lovely. I love the mood in both of those paintings.

The upshot is that I need to retire so I can read ALL of them! :-)

Nov 18, 3:03pm Top


Thirty-seven degrees, clear skies
vast vistas of dormant wheat fields.
A family of deer, white tails flashing at the nearness of another
sunrise runner.
A swath of bulldozed earth, more road and human
habitat to come.
As my body settles into its rhythm I see a black cat
meowing to be let in (it's cold out!)
(and it's almost Halloween).
That all of it makes me want
to write poetry speaks
to the state of my mind or to the power of
one who can.

-Ellen Taylor


I'm rather sheepish about sharing this but I wrote it in my mind while on a run back in October. Others have shared their poetry so I'm taking the leap.

I have a morning routine of reading while sipping on my mug of coffee and then going for a run before work. At that point in time I was reading Ada Limón's The Carrying, a beautifully powerful collection of poetry. It had this effect on me.

Nov 18, 3:14pm Top

>152 EBT1002: Lovely, Ellen.

Nov 18, 3:22pm Top

>152 EBT1002: Like, Ellen.

Edited: Nov 18, 7:32pm Top

I will be in Nashville for Thanksgiving as well. My niece lives up there. My sister is going to be there to spend the week with her daughter, so I will make the 4 hour trip on THanksgiving Day and spend THursday and Friday with them. I will return to Tuscaloosa on Saturday before the Auburn/Alabama game and hope that I miss the traffic.

I wanted to spend Thanksgiving in Bozeman, but couldn’t find a plane ticket I could afford even though I started looking around October 1. (Next year I will start looking in September.) I am very disappointed, but sometimes that happens.

For my vacations reading I am taking Golden Spruce. One book and I hope to have a long enough coffee time that I can get plenty of it read over the break.

Edited: Nov 18, 8:02pm Top

>152 EBT1002: Hooray for "AFTER COFFEE WITH ADA LIMÓN"! Thanks for sharing, Ellen. No need to be "sheepish", it is lovely. Have you wrote poetry before?

And hooray for Ada Limon. I have a serious crush on her, but don't tell Sue.

I hope you are still enjoying Lincoln in the Bardo.

Nov 18, 7:59pm Top

Just catching up on all things Ellen! Glad you are enjoying delineating your personal space (away from work) and that you had a good week.

Hurray for vacation! And lots of it. : ) I bet your floors will be beautiful when you return.

And don't forget about your next visit to Portland in 2019! Happy reading, money or otherwise. I really do have to get to Lincoln in the Bardo....

Nov 18, 8:01pm Top

Tomorrow's the beginning of the Week of Delights! Have a stellar travel, arrival, and visit.

Nov 18, 8:15pm Top

Have a relaxing and happy vacation, Ellen

Nov 18, 9:20pm Top

Ellen, I might as well post this here for you, too, as I just posted it on a couple of other threads. There was a great interview on CBC radio this morning, talking about Washington Black, among many other things. I think you will enjoy it:

Interview with Esi Edugyan

I am still on the waiting list from the library, moving slowly up the list...

Edited: Nov 19, 8:22am Top

Safe travels.

>144 EBT1002: One book on this trip? I always take 2 or 3, regardless of how long a trip is, and always take my Kindle because if I'm not in the mood for what I brought or finish all of them there are Options.

I am happy that you said natural oak although I would have politely congratulated you if you were staining them. We have natural red oak in this house, different board lengths, not stained. We love the variety and rich colors of the wood.

Nov 19, 9:38am Top

Regarding "real wood" floors - the thing I like the most about them is the variations which are not repeated, as they are in the synthetic versions. Something about the wood being "real" is very attractive.

Oh, it is an odd world in which we live.

Happy vacations!

I am enjoying reading The Red Collar although I feel as if I have to suspend my experience with dogs because I can't believe this dog would do all that in the midst of WWI. I think I can avoid worrying about all that, and enjoy the book for its worth, which is great.

Nov 19, 12:18pm Top

>152 EBT1002:

We enjoyed your morning poem and hope it inspires more people to share theirs, old and new.

Also hope that your neighbors with the black cat kept it in around Halloween - advice from two vets!

Nov 19, 9:42pm Top

Just in case you are checking in while you are away:

Winner of the Giller Prize

Nov 19, 11:45pm Top

I really like the imagery in your poem, Ellen; I can totally imagine you out on your run. Safe travels and have some great family time this week!

Nov 20, 12:59pm Top

Were you looking for a book of fiction related to money? or would non-fiction do? Many of Michael Lewis's books would fit that category, including Liar's Poker and The Big Short. They aren't that long, and very accessible to the non-Wall Street crowd.

Have fun on your trip!

Edited: Nov 20, 2:14pm Top

>152 EBT1002: Love it, Ellen! And how great that it was inspired by Ada Limon.

Maybe we can get a rhyming poem with Asheville and Nashville? :-)

I just posted this great Kurt Vonnegut quote on Facebook:

"Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

Nov 20, 3:47pm Top

Congrats on reaching 75!! Hope you're having a great trip.

>75 kac522: and you got me with The Red Collar - another one for the "Ellen's Fault" tag. Luckily my library has it and coincidentally I'm stopping there on my way home from work today.

Yesterday, 9:33am Top

>152 EBT1002: you're always welcome to share your poetry! Very nice!

Yesterday, 3:38pm Top

>153 BLBera: and >154 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you, Beth and Caroline. Of course, later I did some mental reworking of the poem. I haven't made my new thoughts manifest but when I do, I'll share the edited version, too.

>155 benitastrnad: Enjoy your Thanksgiving in Nashville, Benita! We'll actually be in Asheville until Friday, the drive over to a small town about an hour west of Nashville for the weekend. We fly home on Monday.

I finished Lincoln in the Bardo on the plane. Listened to a bit more of Simon Winchester's Pacific (still loving it), and started Mistress of the Art of Death for my first holiday read. Mistress of the Art of Death took about 40-50 pages to get rolling for me but I'm now loving it, as well!

Yesterday, 3:42pm Top

>156 msf59: Thank you, Mark, for the cheer for my poem. I wrote poetry some as a teenager but gave it up for most of my adult life. I was pleasantly surprised when I felt inspired to pen this one. It reflects well on the notion that one must read in order to write. Since I have only recently started digging into poetry (thanks in no small part to you, Joe, and others hereabouts), it's interesting that reading it in the past year or so resulted in this small creation.

I very much enjoyed Lincoln in the Bardo. I gave it four stars. I understand folks' complaint of "too much Bardo, not enough Lincoln" but once I decided that the book was simply not about Lincoln but that he was a springboard for an exploration of grief and philosophical musings about fate, faith, and human nature, I just loved it.

Edited: Yesterday, 3:54pm Top

>157 Berly: I am glad you reminded me about my visit to Portland in 2019, Kim! We should do some specific planning for that as I will want to take a couple days off work. I know we talked about which weekend would work best for me; can you please remind me? I think it was in April?

>158 richardderus: and >159 jessibud2: Thank you for the vacation and travel well wishes, Richard and Shelley. It feels good to be away from work for a few days and I think I've adjusted to this time zone now. We're going out to dinner at a really fine restaurant here in Asheville tonight and I'm looking forward to that.

>160 jessibud2: Thank you for posting that link here, Shelley. I really appreciate it. I brought my copy of Washington Black to give to my sister and I will share the link with her, as well. I had the book out in my Little Free Library for at least two weeks and no one took it. I haven't worked to raise awareness about my LFL but still.... it's a Booker short-listed novel, people! That book would not have lasted one hour in a LFL in my old Seattle neighborhood.

Yesterday, 3:58pm Top

>161 karenmarie: Oh, Karen, yes indeed to taking more than one book on any trip! I definitely planned to bring at least two of the books with me, in addition to the one I was already reading. My kindle is currently inaccessible because I forgot about the fact that all our furniture had to be moved from living room and master bedroom and left it on the shelf which in now behind all that furniture! Anyway, I brought Lincoln in the Bardo, which I finished on the plane, and I also brought Mistress of the Art of Death which I'm reading and loving, and Power of the Dog, which I'll read next. And, of course, there is a really great bookstore here in Asheville if I get desperate. *grin*

Yesterday, 4:03pm Top

>162 maggie1944: Yes, Karen, I agree with you and Karen about real wood floors and leaving them as natural as possible. We had beautiful oak floors in our house in Oregon -- they were oak with varied lengths of boards and mahogany pegs in the ends of the boards. It sounds weird but they were drop dead gorgeous. No one ever entered our house without commenting on the floors almost immediately. In Seattle, we had rather mundane oak floors without much interest. Our floors in Pullman are oak with boards of varying lengths. I can't wait to see how they look after being refinished.

I do hope you enjoy the story in The Red Collar. I also found the dog's, um, adventures to be somewhat less than fully believable but I loved it nonetheless. Remember, it's fiction. :-)

>163 m.belljackson: Thank you, my friends. I'm glad you enjoyed my poem. And yes, I hope they kept the cat inside, as well! I know Halloween can be dangerous for cats, especially black ones.

Yesterday, 4:07pm Top

>164 jessibud2: Hooray! I'm glad for Edugyan. She also won the Giller Prize for Half-Blood Blues, did she not? I have that on the shelves but haven't yet read it.

>165 ronincats: Thank you, Roni! I am reworking the ending of the poem a bit, but I'm glad the imagery "travels" well.

>166 ffortsa: Thanks for the suggestions, Judy. I admit that I was focusing pretty much on fiction, just not being in the mood for nonfiction at present. Of course, that said, I'm going to purchase and read Michelle Obama's memoir, Becoming, which my sister recently read and has been warbling about.

Yesterday, 4:10pm Top

>167 jnwelch: Thank you for the quote, Joe! I love love love it. I have been having strong urges to create art -- either to draw or paint or find some way to get back into pottery. The latter pulls me the strongest but I haven't yet found a place to get into that in Pullman. I will not give up. :-)

>168 SuziQoregon: I love that you have an "Ellen's fault" tag, Juli! And I think you'll enjoy The Red Collar. It's a sweet short novel.

>169 The_Hibernator: Thank you, Rachel!

Edited: Yesterday, 4:14pm Top

I am so thankful for the LibraryThing community. You have all enriched my reading life, certainly, but I also count myself lucky to have you in my life as friends, acquaintances, and lovers of literature.

Yesterday, 4:23pm Top

>171 EBT1002: you hit the spot Ellen, I was expecting, wanting, more Lincoln.

>177 EBT1002: back at you.

Yesterday, 5:42pm Top

Ellen--Hurray for poems!! >177 EBT1002: And Thanksgiving! I am busy in the kitchen today getting ready. : )

Love your advice on how to read Lincoln i the Bardo. I will keep it in mind when I get to it.

Oh, and you had picked out Literary Arts speaker Jacqueline Woodson on April 4th. Still work for you?

Have a nice, realizing weekend. With lots of reading. Hugs.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:22pm Top

>178 Caroline_McElwee: So were you among those disappointed by Lincoln at the Bardo, Caroline?

>179 Berly: Have fun in the kitchen, Kim. My sister is not cooking a traditional thanksgiving dinner and, at first, that was hard for P. But we had a lovely dinner tonight at a local restaurant -- Cúrate, a Spanish tapas place. Four of us, lots of delicious food, a bottle of Cava, a bottle of Priorat.... Life IS good.

I will look at the calendar when I get back to Pullman but I think April 4 will work just fine. I have loved what I've read by Jacqueline Woodson but will read more before that weekend.

Yesterday, 7:22pm Top

Our dinner at Cúrate in Asheville was delightful.
Here is how the restaurant describes themselves:

"Cúrate is a celebration of authentic Spanish cuisine. For those who have visited Spain, the Cúrate menu will bring back memories of the country's best jamón Ibérico, vermuterías, and lively tapas culture. In recognition of the restaurant’s all-Spanish wine list, Cúrate was listed as one of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2018. Cúrate means ‘cure yourself’ in Spanish, reflecting the belief held by chef Katie Button and her family that there are curative effects in sharing good food and wine with family and friends. Experience the essence of Spain in downtown Asheville… one plate at a time."

Edited: Yesterday, 7:36pm Top

I am signing up to host months on CAT challenges for 2019. I've lost my mind.

June: RandomCAT (create thread on or about May 15)
August: Series set in a country/region where you do not live (create thread on or about July 15)

Yesterday, 8:37pm Top

I'm pleased that Esi Edugyan won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Washington Black but I also want to read the other short-listed finalists:

French Exit by Patrick deWitt
Songs for the Cold of Heart by Eric Dupont, translated by Peter McCambridge
Motherhood by Sheila Heti
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

Yesterday, 9:52pm Top

>181 EBT1002: oh yum, that sounds so good.

>184 EBT1002: I just submitted a library hold request for Washington Black yesterday. I've seen so much great LT love for it, and the Giller Prize announcement made me get off the stick.

Happy Thanksgiving Ellen!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:57pm Top

^Happy Thanksgiving, Ellen. Have a great time in Asheville. I have wanted to read Mistress of the Art of Death for years. Should I rectify that?

I liked French Exit, but it is not in the same league as Washington Black, IMHO.

Edited: Yesterday, 10:02pm Top

Asheville is like the mother lode for pottery--enjoy!!!

ETA And take pictures if you see any really neat stuff--always good for inspiration.

Yesterday, 10:02pm Top

Dropping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. May you have a wonderful time with your family :)

Yesterday, 11:32pm Top

Happy Thanksgiving, Ellen. I, too, am grateful for my LT friends.

Yesterday, 11:37pm Top

>172 EBT1002: Are there other LFLs in town or are you starting the trend? If the latter, work up a deal on the movement...Todd died this year, so it's still fresh...and pitch it to the student media. They'll get it out to the wider community.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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