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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Four

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-Three.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Nov 7, 7:21am Top

^My favorite fall photo, taken at the Arboretum.

^ Orion. The Barred Owl. I love this guy.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:51pm Top



Books Read So Far...

OTS- Off the Shelf


95) The Good People by Hannah Kent 4 stars (audio) OTS
96) The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Aldred 4.2 stars (E)
97) The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner 4.5 stars Booker List
98) Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence by Brian Clements 4.5 stars Poetry
99) The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour 4.2 stars (audio) AAC OTS
100) The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories by Yukiko Motoya 3.7 stars
101) Sackett's Land by Louis L'Amour 3.8 stars (audio) AAC OTS
102) Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez 3.7 stars E
103) What is the What by Dave Eggers 4 stars (audio) OTS
104) Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh 4.2 stars E OTS
105) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 4 stars (audio) OTS


106) Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman 3.3 stars (audio) OTS
107) Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison 4.5 stars ALA
108) Certain American States: Stories by Catherine Lacey 4 stars
109) The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy 4 stars (audio) AAC
110) The Princess Bride by William Goldman 4.6 stars
111) Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig 3.7 stars (audio) OTS
112) The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov 3.8 stars
113) The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel 4.2 stars (audio) OTS
114) Fight No More: Stories by Lydia Millet 4.6 stars
115) Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye 4 stars (audio) OTS
116) The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin 4 stars OTS


117) As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of Princess Bride by Cary Elwes 4.4 stars (audio) OTS
118) The Searchers by Alan Le May 4.2 stars
119) French Exit by Patrick deWitt 3.8 stars ALA OTS
120) The Fireman by Joe Hill 3.5 stars (audio) OTS G.R.
121) I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell 3.7 stars (audio) OTS
122) Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden 4.5 stars ER
123) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 4.2 stars (audio) OTS
124) Tin Man by Sarah Winman 4.3 stars (audio)
125) The Overstory by Richard Powers 5 stars
126) The Outsider by Stephen King 4 stars (audio) AAC OTS
127) No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin 3.6 stars (audio)
128) Changers Book One: Drew by T Cooper 3.8 stars
129) Cherry by Nico Walker 3.2 stars (audio)
130) Guardian Angels and Other Monsters by Daniel H. Wilson 4.4 stars OTS
131) In Pieces by Sally Field 4.2 stars (audio)


132) I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 4.2 stars (audio)
133) Washington Black by Esi Edugyan 4.4 stars
134) Tool of War (Ship Breaker) by Paolo Bacigalupi 4-2 stars (audio)
135) The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman 5 stars AAC
136) One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad 4.3 stars (audio) AAC
137) Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer 3.7 stars

Edited: Nov 14, 6:02pm Top

Welcome to the AAC V!

2018 AAC

January- Joan Didion Completed The White Album
February- Colson Whitehead Completed Sag Harbor
March- Tobias Wolff Completed The Night in Question: Stories
April- Alice Walker Completed In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens
May- Peter Hamill Completed Tabloid City
June- Walter Mosley Completed Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
July- Amy Tan Completed The Bonesetter's Daughter
August- Louis L'Amour Completed The Walking Drum, Sackett's Land
September- Pat Conroy Completed The Lords of Discipline
October- Stephen King Completed The Outsider
November- Narrative Nonfiction Completed The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here is a link to the General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279501#

Edited: Nov 6, 7:41pm Top

The World That the Shooter Left Us

(Stand Your Ground)

In this one, ladies and gentlemen,
Beware, be clear: the brown man,

The able lawyer, the paterfamilias,
Never makes it out of the poem alive:

The rash, all-too-daily report,
The out of the blue bullet

Blithely shatters our treasured
Legal eagle’s bones and flesh—

In the brusque spectacle of point-blank force,
On a crimsoned street,

Where a revered immigrant plummets
Over a contested parking spot,

And the far-seeing sages insist,
Amid strident maenads

Of at-the-ready patrol car sirens,
Clockwork salvos,

The charismatic Latino lawyer’s soul
Is banished, elsewhere, without a shred

Of eloquence in the matter—
And the brute, churning

Surfaces of the world,
They bear our beloved citizen away—

Which means, austere saints
And all-seeing masters,

If I grasp your bracing challenge:
At our lives’ most brackish hour,

Our highest mission isn’t just to bawl,
But to turn the soul-shaking planet

Of the desecrated parking lot
(The anti-miracle),

The blunt, irascible white man’s
Unnecessary weapon,

And the ruse of self-defense
Into justice-cries and ballots?

Into newfound pledges and particles of light?

-Cyrus Cassells

Edited: Nov 6, 7:43pm Top

^I know The Spirit Catches You has been popular with many of my LT pals, over the years, and despite having a copy on shelf forever, I never got around to it. Well, this month's AAC is bailing me out and I will start it today. The only Fadiman that I have read, was Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, which was quite a few years ago.

**I am just over 50 pages in. Quite impressive. NNF for sure.

Edited: Nov 6, 7:47pm Top

The Hunt for Blue November

Nov 6, 9:11pm Top

>2 msf59:

So glad you found the GN Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein! I read it again last night - and keep finding new weird and inspiring messages in the paintings.

Nov 6, 9:35pm Top

Happy new thread!

Nov 6, 9:39pm Top

happy new thread!

Nov 6, 10:41pm Top

The poem that you posted up top reminded me of something sad. My sister (who lives in Montana now) called last weekend and it turns out she knew the shooter at Yoga Studio in Tallahassee, Florida. She was a school teacher at a high school in Fort Meade, Marylandfor four years. The first year she was there this shooter was teaching 10th grade English in the room next to hers. It was his first teaching job and she was busy adjusting to a new environment herself, so they talked sometimes. She told me that he was a troubled young man even then. She thought he was autistic because he had so much trouble relating to the students and the parents as well as his fellow teachers. She said that she thought he was maladjusted then - and this was 12 years ago. She told me that he was the kind of person who should never own a gun. She taught in that school 4 years. He taught in the district but he was not in the room next to hers after that first year.

My sister told me that she never thought that this kind of gun violence would ever strike close to her. She told me that she is still processing this event and that it would take her some time to figure out how and what she was going to do about gun ownerships and gun violence.

Nov 7, 1:19am Top

Happy new thread, Mark.

Nov 7, 6:17am Top

>10 benitastrnad: that is a sad story Benita. It is so hard for someone to catch those people before they do harm.

Nov 7, 7:19am Top

Hi Mark! Happy Wednesday, and happy new thread.

Nov 7, 7:25am Top

>7 m.belljackson: I really enjoyed Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, Mary. Thanks for the nudge on that one.

>8 figsfromthistle: >9 banjo123: Thanks, Figs & Rhonda!

>10 benitastrnad: Thanks for sharing the story about your sister and the Yoga Studio shooter, Benita. That is scary. If things keep going, in the same direction, most of us, will probably know someone killed in a mass shooting. Sad face.

Nov 7, 7:30am Top

>11 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg.

>12 Caroline_McElwee: There were red flags all over the place for this guy, Caroline.

>13 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. I am enjoying a day off. Yah!!

Nov 7, 8:54am Top

Happy New Thread, Mark! Love the toppers.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein - I've been meaning to get to that one. I'll follow your lead.

I wish we'd done better in the Senate, but it was quite the fine Blue day yesterday. I love all the diversity coming into Congress, and getting control of the House. Lots of good state developments, too. Good riddance to Rauner and Scott Walker.

Nov 7, 9:01am Top

Happy new thread, Mark.

Not a late night of election watching but lots of
local happiness. Got rid of Rauner and our very conservative member of Congress. Glad Wisconsin got rid of Walker and love that Dems retook the Congress and can start some oversight on Trump’s shenanigans. Disappointed by some others but, in all, a pretty good night.

Not surprisingly, very unhappy about Coach Q’s firing though not surprised. They needed a scapegoat and hired someone with the potential to take them to the bottom so that they can ultimately get some top draft choices. After all if Q’s successes, this likely long cold spell will be rough to take.

Nov 7, 9:07am Top

Though baby Walker still won't concede, waking up to a Democrat Governor in Wisconsin is a major great blue victory!

Nov 7, 9:09am Top

Nice looking new thread, Mark! Beautiful fall pics! Orion is worth the love. Quite a wise one!

Edited: Nov 7, 9:54am Top

>16 jnwelch: Morning, Joe and thank you. I finished Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein a few days ago. It is a very quick read. You will finish it, in a snap. They do an excellent job.

I am glad Rauner and Walker are gone but I sure wish Cruz had been sent packing too. I can't stand that guy. Did you like the poem up there?

>17 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Great to see you stop by. Illinois had a good day yesterday, other than the "Q" debacle. Also glad to see Rauner and Walker gone. I wish they could have taken Cruz with them.

Nov 7, 9:54am Top

>18 m.belljackson: I heard about Baby Walker. They had to do a recount last time too, right? I hope the great blue victory holds.

>19 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Glad you like the pics. And hooray for Orion, the Old Wise One.

Nov 7, 11:03am Top

Post-election letdown over here, Mark. I wanted more. And while I didn't expect more, I'm still somewhat down. I guess I'm still unhappy that soooo many of my fellow 'Muricans favor the dark side. Pathetic fears of The Other.

Gotta find some rollicking good read to settle my stomach.

Nov 7, 11:04am Top

>6 msf59: lol, I kept seeing the phrase "The Hunt for Blue November" everywhere (maybe just on LT) and only just got it now.

Nov 7, 11:20am Top

>22 weird_O: - I agree, Bill. I find the sheer number of Americans who are still supporting trump to be the scariest prospect of all. It truly boggles the mind

Edited: Nov 7, 1:19pm Top

>24 jessibud2: What also boggles my mind is how the system is set up so that the Dems, even when they get what, 10 million more votes nationwide, have only a modest victory. I need to check the exact number but it was something like that. Gerrymandering, to be sure, for the House but we can't do much about the Senate. Small states would never agree to any change in the rules.

The fact that the Dems retook the House despite the gerrymandering is incredible. Plus, the Dem gains at the state levels will help equalize the voting rules in those states. Very disappointed with Georgia, in particular, for allowing the guy to run the polls for his own election. I've worked as an election judge and know how how much impartiality at the top matters in elections.

btw, I did not see the press conference this morning but I understand that there was a complete presidential meltdown. Even Trump, as clueless as he is, must realize that the Dems retaking the House is a horrible development for him. Plus the press seems newly emboldened and pressed him more than ever before, which is a great development.

Nov 7, 1:53pm Top

One of the stats that I heard on the news last night was that there was a 700% increase in the youth vote. That sounds like cause for hope.

Nov 7, 2:23pm Top

>26 Familyhistorian: I hadn't heard that but it is good to hear. I know that my niece turns 18 next month and was disappointed that she couldn't vote. She is very aware, politically.

Anyhow, with no more political ads and dwindling political talk, maybe I can return to the books.

Edited: Nov 7, 3:01pm Top

Good afternoon and happy new thread, Mark. I hope you are enjoying your day off! It appears we both have something to be happy about today. But, we can also both appreciate this:

Have a great day!

Nov 7, 2:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Love the toppers.

Blue November indeed.

Nov 7, 5:02pm Top

>22 weird_O: I love the owl ice cream shop, Bill. I am with you about your melancholy feelings, Bill. I am right there with you.

>23 The_Hibernator: I was hoping for even more blue this November, Rachel. We fell a bit short.

>24 jessibud2: >25 lindapanzo: Trump supporters are not going anywhere, unfortunately. They will be with this guy until the end.

I agree with you, Linda on the gerrymandering. With enough people voting, we managed to skirt around it.

Nov 7, 5:05pm Top

>26 Familyhistorian: That is very encouraging, Meg. There is hope, as long as we can keep the young voters engaged.

>27 lindapanzo: Get back to those books, Linda. I have...

>28 brodiew2: Love the owl, Brodie and I appreciate we can have civil discourse around here. It seems to be rare, on social media, these days.

>29 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Happy Wednesday.

Edited: Nov 7, 5:13pm Top

^It looks like I was able to get out and bird, on my day off, after all. My daughter is a co-owner of a horse and her friend owns this one, Chance. She was very kind to me, despite my inexperience. It is not easy holding binocs with one hand, so most of my birding was just with my peepers. Lots of woodpecker activity and we also saw several deer, including a young buck.

Nov 7, 6:39pm Top

Happy new thread! I’m halfway through part 2 of Washington Black and am astonished at the writing.

Nov 7, 6:50pm Top

>33 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. And hooray for Washington Black! Glad you are loving it.

Nov 7, 7:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

>32 msf59: Some horses are kind to inexperienced riders. When I was young a friend had a horse that I could borrow a few times a week. He was always kind to inexperienced riders, but if someone thought he was a good rider, he would try every trick to get him off :-)

Nov 7, 7:36pm Top

>32 msf59: If you are having this much fun before retirement, I can only imagine what you will be doing when you are retired! Perhaps jumping from tall buildings? Perhaps swimming down the Colorado river full speed going over the falls? Perhaps parachuting from a plane? You make me smile with your adventuresome life.

Nov 7, 7:46pm Top

Hey! You could deliver mail on horseback. :)

Nov 7, 9:48pm Top

>35 FAMeulstee: My daughter mentioned that about horses and inexperienced riders too, Anita. They seem to tone it down, when a beginner rider is a board. I was glad for this. LOL.

>36 Whisper1: LOL. No daredevil stunts, for this Old Warbler, Linda. Just my usual low-key self. And I am definitely not jumping out of a perfectly good plane.

>37 BLBera: There's an idea, Beth. I wonder if that is done anywhere?

Edited: Nov 8, 7:16am Top

>37 BLBera: - Pony express! >38 msf59: - I think Canada could make good use of this these days. Our postal workers are on work-to-rule and there are rotating labour disruptions in various cities across the country. It's been a few weeks already. Pony Express would be a great solution here; it couldn't get worse!

Nov 8, 6:33am Top

>39 jessibud2: It seems like Canada has had postal woes at different times, Shelley. I hope they can get this resolved. Pony Express definitely has it's charms.

Nov 8, 7:19am Top

>40 msf59: - Yep, it's practically an annual pastime here, those postal issues. Sigh...

Nov 8, 7:50am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you!

>32 msf59: Very nice pic.

My state of NC had a bunch of blue - enough to eliminate the super-majority in BOTH chambers of the legislature. Two Republican-benefiting power-grabbing amendments to the constitution failed, too.

Nov 8, 8:08am Top

Good morning, Mark. Sweet Thursday!

We're off this morning to western MA for a long weekend. I'm enjoying the new Jack Reacher and Hope Never Dies (Biden and Obama), and I'm taking The Spirit Catches You with me.

I did like the poem up there - I remember it appearing on Poem-a-Day.

Have a good one, buddy.

Nov 8, 11:28am Top

>41 jessibud2: Boo, to postal issues. I am glad I don't have any. Grins...

>42 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yah, to the blue advances in NC. We did pretty well too.

>43 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Busy A.M. at the P.O. Have a great and safe trip to Western Mass. I am glad you are taking along the Fadiman. Terrific book.

Nov 8, 11:43am Top

Love the horse riding bird watching photo and the Fadiman enthusiasm. I just read this recently and my copy had a fascinating afterword talking about how much has changed in the community since she wrote the book, and how widely students of medicine are reading it too. I couldn't find it separately published though, so hope your version has it.

Nov 8, 1:54pm Top

Morning Mark and Sweet Thursday! I love the pic of you on horseback. I'm impressed that you were able even once to do the binoculars while holding those reins. Yay for gentle horses.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein looks great. Adding it to the wish list based on the cover alone. :-)

Edited: Nov 8, 4:01pm Top

Oh my, scandal almost in my backyard but in a neighboring county, not mine. The Republican county clerk of McHenry County forgot to count all the votes. Didn't count any early votes. Have to wonder if this was intentional or an accident. Even an early look has already changed the results of one race there. Incredible.

Oh, and she'd have people believe that almost a quarter of the population didn't choose anyone for governor, whereas in Lake, Kane, Cook, and Will, that number was about one percent. Can't believe that McHenry, with similar demographics, would be so different from Lake and Kane.

I couldn't believe that my new Congresswoman won in all 7 of the counties (portions of) that she'll represent, except for McHenry. Nothing could explain that. Turns out she won in McHenry, too.

Good thing the statewide races weren't close or this would've affected those races, too.

Nov 8, 4:44pm Top

Love the horse back photos!

Edited: Nov 8, 6:09pm Top

>45 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Yep, I am loving The Spirit Catches You. It is a slower read but at least I am able to really focus on it. Her writing is amazing. My copy is an original trade paperback, from '97, so sadly, no afterword. I will see if I can track one down. Thanks.

>46 EBT1002: Sweet Thursday, Ellen. Always good to see you. It is not easy to look through binoculars, while holding on to the reins. LOL. But, this was my first time, so maybe it will get easier.

I am sure you will enjoy Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, plus it is a very quick read- 30-40 min tops.

Nov 8, 6:13pm Top

>47 lindapanzo: Ooh, scandal in McHenry County! You should write a book, Linda! Maybe add a molasses flood. LOL. It definitely is puzzling how mistakes like this could be made. And hooray for your new congresswoman!! I hope she does a terrific job.

>48 banjo123: Glad you enjoyed them, Rhonda. It was a fun couple of hours.

Edited: Nov 8, 8:27pm Top

"A harrowing and thorough account of the massacre that upended Norway, and the trial that helped put the country back together

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside government buildings in central Oslo, killing eight people. He then proceeded to a youth camp on the island of Utøya, where he killed sixty-nine more, most of them teenage members of Norway’s governing Labour Party."

^Yep, I sure like reading heart-warming, uplifting books, don't I? Actually, I have wanted to read One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway, since it was published in 2015 and remember glowing reviews. I started it today on audio, a couple of hours in and it is very good, painstakingly detailed, with a horrifying opening chapter.

And yes, teamed up with The Spirit Catches You, I am reading a pair of NNF titles. That doesn't happen often.

Nov 8, 9:24pm Top

Mark--how fun looking for birds from horseback! Glad you had a nice horsie. Not sure I am up for >51 msf59:. I watched a lot of that one on the news and I think I'll leave it at that. You must be braver than I am!

Nov 8, 9:34pm Top

Still chortling at the notion of Mark doing his rounds on horseback...heh...

Nov 8, 9:43pm Top

>51 msf59: I'm going to have to read/listen to that one. Sounds interesting, Netflix is playing the movie that was based on the book.

Here's the trailer - https://youtu.be/ZVpUZGmHJB8

Nov 9, 7:03am Top

I was having log-in issues this morning, so it sucked up my goof off time...Ugh!

>52 Berly: Hooray for birding from horseback! I wonder if that is a thing, Kimmers? One of Us is going to be a tough read but it is very well written.

>53 richardderus: RD made it! RD made it! This just made my day.

>54 mahsdad: Thanks, for the link, Jeff. The Netflix film was one of the reasons, I wanted to finally get to the book. The audio is working very well.

Nov 9, 8:20am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Friday, regardless of the snow.

My Panthers went down in flames last night, losing 52-21 to the Steelers. Ugh. I went to bed at the half. They don't play again 'til the 18th, so they have time to regroup. Big sigh.

Two nonfiction reads. Horrifying opening chapters and the clash of cultures. Have some Tom Gauld or Bill Watterson handy as an antidote.

Nov 9, 9:46am Top

It is snowing, as I head out to the route. It is November 9th. Nooooooooooooooo!!

Nov 9, 11:00am Top

>56 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Boo to snow! Sorry, to hear about your Panthers. The Steelers have been tough. Honestly, I forgot the game was on.

Yes, I need to balance my reads, with a few joyful ones.

Nov 9, 12:59pm Top

Happy Friday, Mark. All is well out here in the Berkshires.

The new Reacher is a good ‘un. We’re off soon to see a play here. We love this part of the country. I’ll post some photos when we get back.

We saw footage of snow in Chicago! We got a couple of flurries here, but that was it. Hope your day goes okay.

Nov 9, 1:58pm Top

Well as along as its snowing, its time to think about Christmas. I'm hijacking your thread to spread the word. Its time to join the Christmas Swap festivities. Come on over...


Nov 9, 6:40pm Top

>59 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. Thanks for the report from the Berkshires. I am sure it is beautiful there. Enjoy! Cold, windy and snowy here today here. Ugh! and it looks like we will stay cold until sometime next week. Oh, joy! Don't rush back.

>60 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Hijack away, my friend. Especially for a good cause. I'll stop by in a jiffy.

Nov 9, 7:04pm Top

^This was our official photo from Extreme Raptor Day, posing with Athena, the Barn Owl. Ain't she a beauty!

Nov 10, 6:32am Top

That is a great photograph Mark. It will be much treasured I know.

Nov 10, 7:01am Top

>63 Caroline_McElwee: Glad you like the photo, Caroline. We had a great time at the Raptor Event.

Nov 10, 7:06am Top

"In 2015, FSG published A Manual for Cleaning Women, a posthumous story collection by a relatively unknown writer, to wild, widespread acclaim...

Evening in Paradise is a careful selection from the remaining Berlin stories--a jewel box follow-up for Lucia Berlin's hungry fans."

^This is very exciting news. I know there is a Cleaning Women fan club over here, and I know I warbled incessantly about it. It was published earlier this week. It is now on my Christmas Wishlist!

Nov 10, 7:44am Top

Only 19F on the way to work and only getting up to 31F. Brrrrrrr & WTH?

Edited: Nov 10, 7:45am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you. Edited to add: 19F. Blech.

>62 msf59: Thanks for sharing!

Nov 10, 7:48am Top

>67 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Getting ready to head into the office. At least there will be clear skies and no snow. This help a bit.

Nov 10, 9:39am Top

>65 msf59: I don't think I can wait for Christmas to get this collection....

Quiet day at home for me here. Planning on finishing Climate Justice today. Will probably or ly start Bird Cottage or Friday Black.

Also in the stack in front of me are Virgil Wander, Unsheltered and The Library Book.

I am a lucky gal. Wish I had a whole week off to read.

Nov 10, 9:54am Top

Hey there, Icicle-for-a-nose, stay toasty today.

Nov 10, 11:02am Top

>69 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Great to see you. Hooray for Lucia Berlin!! It looks like you have some promising reads lined up. I have several of these, in the stacks too. I hope to get to the Kingsolver by month's end. I want to get my mitts on the audio of The Library Book.

>70 richardderus: Morning, Richard. No icicle nose yet but I am bundled up pretty good. Enjoy your day.

Edited: Nov 10, 4:34pm Top

Hi Marc. Loved your pictures up there, beautiful owl, and all of you having a nice day with her.

Started reading The spirit catches you and you fall down. Very good!

Nov 10, 5:14pm Top

>51 msf59: What an interesting, and difficult book to read. I've never known about this subject. I'll put this one on the tbr pile. Thanks, as always!

Nov 10, 8:04pm Top

>72 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Glad you like the photos. We had a great time at Raptor Day. Hooray for The Spirit Catches You! I am almost done with it and it is excellent, right through the end.

>73 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. One of Us is a very difficult read and I am at the part in the book, at the youth camp, which is horrific. This monster was the terminator. But the book is expertly written and perfectly researched. If you can stomach the atrocities, then I recommend it.

Nov 10, 8:12pm Top

>74 msf59: Ah, Mark, I think I will pass on this one. I want to rest, relax and read happy things these first weeks of retirement. Usually I read all that you recommend or like. One out of hundred times isn't bad right? All good wishes.

Nov 11, 7:14am Top

Happy Sunday Mark! Day off, right? Any special plans, or just the 3Bs?

Nov 11, 7:39am Top

>75 Whisper1: That is not a bad idea, Linda. It is a tough read, but I do recommend The Spirit Catches You!, if you haven't all ready read it. It is heart-breaking moments too but plenty of life affirming ones also.

>76 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, I have the next 2 days off. Unfortunately, I am cutting way back on the beer consumption, for the next couple of weeks, while I work on my beach bod, (LOL) to prepare for our trip to Mexico , in the beginning of December. I probably won't get out to bird today but I will try to pop out tomorrow. Well, that leaves the books, and football, for today, of course.

Edited: Nov 11, 8:15am Top

At a Window

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

-Carl Sandburg

^I read very little old school poetry but I was quite moved by this Sandburg poem, from 1916. This is from Poem-A-Day.

Nov 11, 8:30am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark! Love the bird watching photos! That little owl has the sweetest face!

Nov 11, 8:33am Top

Happy two-in-a-row, Mark.

Nov 11, 9:02am Top

>79 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. Glad you like the photos. You can tell we had a great time. I love my owls.

>80 richardderus: Morning, RD! I have a lazy one planned for today. Books & some football viewing. I have not scheduled tomorrow yet...

Edited: Nov 11, 9:07am Top

133) Washington Black by Esi Edugyan 4.4 stars

“We must all take on faith the stories of our birth, for though we are in them, we are not yet present.”

The story begins, with a young slave, named Washington Black, living on a sugar plantation in Barbados. He is eleven years old and an orphan. There are many interesting left turns here and the first is, that the Master's younger brother, “Titch”, a naturalist and inventor, takes the boy under his wing, to help him with his eccentric experiments. This fortunate move, opens up many different worlds for Wash, until he is suspected of murdering a white man and is forced to flee the island, with the assistance of Titch. They end up in America, for awhile and then the Arctic, and then...
This novel goes in many unexpected directions, and I am not going to divulge much, but I will say this is a terrific book. It is well-written and intelligently researched. This is my first, by this author and I came away, quite dazzled.

Nov 11, 9:06am Top

Birding followed by dining followed by reading. There. You're welcome.


Nov 11, 9:14am Top

>83 richardderus: Wow! You could be my event manager! That is a perfect plan. Thanks! Smiles...

Nov 11, 9:17am Top

>82 msf59: I'm looking forward to this Mark, probably next month. I heard her read from, and discuss her novel, along with the rest of the Booker shortlist, last month.

Nov 11, 12:44pm Top

>85 Caroline_McElwee: It is a terrific read, Caroline. Glad my warbling paid off.

Edited: Nov 11, 1:30pm Top

134) Tool of War (Ship Breaker) by Paolo Bacigalupi 4.2 stars

I am so glad I returned to wrap up this Ship Breaker trilogy. I read the second volume, The Drowned Cities, over five years ago. There are plenty of reviews available on these books, so I will just give my quick two cents worth: If you like smart, beefy and rousing Sci-Fi, with terrific characters, give this one a try.

It also worked great on audio. Just sayin'...


Nov 11, 1:10pm Top

Paul Haggis, who directed Crash a while back, announced he'd write and direct a $100MM movie based on the first one of these books back in 2016. Silence has fallen since. I hope it makes the leap!

Nov 11, 2:00pm Top

>77 msf59: I own a copy of The Spirit Catches You, I simply have to find it. That is my main goal as I begin retirement...getting books in order so that I can easily find what I want to read.

Happy Sunday. I am currently reading Eleanor and Hick. I'm learning a lot about the Roosevelt's.

Nov 11, 2:28pm Top

>88 richardderus: I hope somebody picks up the option, for the Ship Breaker series, RD! It could be a great one.

>89 Whisper1: I hope you find your copy of the Fadiman. Eleanor and Hick sounds very good too.

Edited: Nov 11, 2:29pm Top

-Keith Taylor

Nov 11, 2:56pm Top

>91 msf59: *snerk*

Nov 11, 2:58pm Top

>91 msf59: - Double *snerk*

Edited: Nov 11, 6:09pm Top

>92 richardderus: >93 katiekrug: Could you imagine the backlash, if Obama pulled some crap like this? Or Hillary?

Nov 11, 6:11pm Top

The racists would be out with pitchforks and torches, there would be thunderations from the Blondzilla Brigade on Fux, someone would poke Limbaugh awake and let him bloviate for a while...pretty standard stuff.

Isn't that the most horrible thing.

Edited: Nov 11, 6:20pm Top

"Len Howard was forty years old when she decided to leave her London life and loves behind, retire to the English countryside and devote the rest of her days to her one true passion: birds."

"Gwendolen Howard was a British naturalist and musician. She is known for the unique amateur bird studies that were published in various periodicals and two books under her pseudonym, Len Howard."

^Bird Cottage takes a fictional look at Howard's life. Eva Meijer is Dutch. She is an artist, writer, philosopher and singer-songwriter. I started the book today and I like her easy, narrative style.

Once again, I want to thank Nancy for putting this one on my radar.

Edited: Nov 11, 6:41pm Top

Spirit Catches You is a great read. I can’t believe that I didn’t read it sooner. But, better late than never.

I am deep into reading the Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker. This is to remind myself that it is the 100th anniversary of The Armistice that ended WWI. I am about half done with the Booker prize winning Ghost Road the third book in the trilogy. Grim stuff in here, but great writing.

Nov 11, 8:11pm Top

>91 msf59: - or much of anything else

Nov 11, 8:31pm Top

I fully intended on making decent reading progress this weekend, but that didn't happen. :) Ah well, I guess it just means I have more good reading ahead! Glad you are enjoying Bird Cottage!

Nov 11, 8:31pm Top

>96 msf59: Found it in my library! Going to have a look at it, thanks Nancy (and Marc, of course).

Nov 11, 10:08pm Top

>97 benitastrnad: I agree, that the Fadiman is excellent. I am glad I finally pulled it off shelf.

I read Regeneration many years ago but never got to the other ones. I may reread the first and finally finish out the trilogy.

>98 jessibud2: Amen, to that, Shelley.

Nov 11, 10:11pm Top

>99 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. Sorry, to hear your reading objectives were squashed. I had a good book day, including a chunk of GN and poetry reading. Looking forward to exploring more of Bird Cottage tomorrow.

>100 EllaTim: That is good news, Ella. Bird Cottage was very hard to find here.

Nov 12, 1:12am Top

Yay for a good book day, Mark. Hopefully your weather will warm up soon. Good review of Washington Black. I finished it but haven't had time to review it yet. It was good. You would probably appreciate her Half Blood Blues.

Nov 12, 7:28am Top

>103 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Yep, I had a good book day. You might like Bird Cottage. I went ahead and put Half Blood Blues on my Christmas WL. I don't remember much LT buzz on that one.

Nov 12, 8:35am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy day off.

Nov 12, 8:59am Top

>104 msf59: - I read Half Blood Blues a few years ago and found it fascinating. But I seem to remember the ending being a bit of a head-scratcher. She is a great writer, though, and I am on a very long waiting list for Washington Black at the library.

Nov 12, 9:02am Top

>82 msf59: I'm hoping to get around to Washington Black in the new year. I don't think I'll be able to fit it in before the end of this one.

Nov 12, 9:10am Top

Good morning, Mark. A good photo up in >62 msf59:.

I didn't get over while the thread was new because I was traveling, but you do seem to be moving along.

Nov 12, 9:36am Top

>105 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. I LOVE having back to back days off.

>106 jessibud2: I am glad to hear you chime in on, Half Blood Blues, Shelley. Like I mentioned to Meg, I don't remember much LT chatter on that one, when it came out, but Washington Black convinced me, to keep a watch on this author. I hope your copy comes in promptly. Fingers crossed.

Nov 12, 9:37am Top

Whew, just caught up on a lotta unreads. Enjoy your day off, Mark!

Nov 12, 9:38am Top

>107 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. I hope our warbling paid off on, Washington Black. It is such a good read. Did you read Half Blood Blues?

>108 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Good to see you and yes, I am moving along just fine. Glad you like the Athena photo. She is a cutie!

Nov 12, 9:40am Top

>111 msf59: No. I didn't read that one.

Nov 12, 9:44am Top

>110 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. Great to see you and thanks for catching up. No BBs struck home? Grins...

>112 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori.

Nov 12, 12:32pm Top

Edugyan was at Vancouver Writers Fest for Half Blood Blues the year that it came out which was why I read it. I think she was more of a local author at that time but has since become Booker worthy.

Nov 12, 4:00pm Top

>114 Familyhistorian: I did see that she resides in Canada, so that makes sense. Did you hear her speak?

Nov 12, 4:05pm Top

-Sand Hill Cranes (NMP)

On my walk today, I saw and heard my first Sand Hills of the migration season. Several flocks, flying high in the sky, heading due south. I also heard a couple of red-tailed hawks screeching, which is one of my favorite bird sounds. It was chilly out, low 30s, but it was still nice to stroll in the woods and meadows.

Nov 12, 4:08pm Top

Hello Mark! I hope all is well with you!

>82 msf59: Excellent review of Washington Black. I've seen other reviews about as well. It's like a good one. I think I'll be taking it up in early 2019.

Nov 12, 6:28pm Top

>117 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. Yes, my week is off to a fine start, especially considering I had the day off, for the holiday. All gravy from here. Grins...

Glad my warbling on Washington Black paid off.

Nov 13, 6:26am Top

'Morning, Mark!

I'm so envious of your seeing flocks of migrating Sand Hill Cranes. I saw only saw one juvenile while in Montana. :(

Happy day off.

Nov 13, 6:32am Top

Morning, Karen. The Sand Hills must not migrate through the eastern part of the country. I always love hearing that garbling, sound and looking up to try to see them. They rarely touch down in the city/suburb limits though, but can be seen out in the outskirts, now and then.

Nov 13, 7:03am Top

They only migrate through the extreme western portion of NC, alas. Any sightings here would be Accidental.

Nov 13, 7:17am Top

>116 msf59: Congrats on seeing the cranes, Mark! I don't know that I've ever seen them in flight.

Edited: Nov 13, 7:42am Top

Morning Mark!

Just downloaded the new Jonathan Franzen essay collection: The End of the End of the Earth, which was released today. Can't wait for my commute! I am sure you are familiar with it, but just in case you missed it, this is from the description: Franzen’s great loves are literature and birds, and The End of the End of the Earth is a passionate argument for both. Sounds like a book for both of us.

Sorry about the winter weather!

Nov 13, 8:00am Top

>113 msf59: No BBs struck home? Grins...
Oh well, yeah, I can't get out of here without at least one! Like Washington Black, which has been getting a lot of love around here but now has the Mark Seal of Approval.

And then there are the birds, I haven't been birding at all lately so I'm enjoying your sightings.

Nov 13, 8:57am Top

Hi Mark! First day back light-bag whammys heading your way.

Nov 13, 9:07am Top

I finished Washington Black last weekend. Thoughts to come on my thread, but wow!

Nov 13, 9:45am Top

Morning, Mark!

Love that photo in >62 msf59:, and Keith's cartoon dedicated to you and your postal clan in >91 msf59:. Isn't that a good Sandburg poem? I saved that one, too. Sounds like you had a most excellent walk yesterday.

I've had Washington Black lined up for a while. Good to hear you're a fan.

We're getting reorganized today, and I hope to get in some time on The Spirit Catches You and Where the Crawdads Sing.

Nov 13, 10:19am Top

Very cold out here. Feels more like January. Brrrr....And the mail is heavy with the holiday yesterday. Oh, joy...Good off time will be at a minimum.

>121 karenmarie: >122 harrygbutler: You never know, you may get a stray flock of Sandies, one of these days.

>123 alphaorder: Thanks for the heads-up on the Franzen essay collection, Nancy. Sounds promising. I have heard that he is a birder. I have not read any of his essay work.

Nov 13, 11:53am Top

>124 lauralkeet: Whew! I am glad I got you with at least one BB. I was worried I may have to sharpen my warbing skills.

And hooray for Mark's Seal of Approval.

>125 richardderus: Thanks for the whammies, RD, but I ended up with a heavy bag anyway.

>126 drneutron: Glad we felt the same way about Wasington Black, Jim. Yah!

Nov 13, 12:19pm Top

>128 msf59:

17 up here in Token Creek...there was no smooth and sweet transition this year.

Usually we've heard and seen the beautiful haunting Sandhills by now,
but maybe since the corn all came down only last night, they will again return.

A perfect way to measure the seasons.

Nov 13, 3:29pm Top

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

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

Edited: Nov 13, 4:00pm Top

Hello Mark!

>128 msf59: Isn't that always the case. We can enjoy a day off for a holiday, but there is that much more work to be done when we get back. The temp has dropped out here in greater Seattle as well. Time to start wearing my coat again.

I have now started Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen on audio. Good start.

Edited: Nov 13, 6:01pm Top

>127 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Very chilly one in Chicagoland. It feels like we just jumped to January. Ugh! I think you will really like Washington Black, so I am glad it is on your TBR. Looking forward to your thoughts on both, The Spirit Catches You and Where the Crawdads Sing. I have the latter saved on audio.

>130 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. It was only 28, on the way home from work. That is more than 20 degrees cooler than our normal temp. I am sure you will be seeing and hearing Sand Hills. I am surprised I didn't see any today, with all the blue sky.

>131 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Thanks for the notification. I'll drop by later on.

>132 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. Bummer, about having to don a coat again. I feel your pain. I really enjoyed Lightning Men. Good pick for an audio.

Nov 14, 7:39am Top

'Morning, Mark. Yeesh, 20F in Chicagoland. Stay safe and warm!

So far today I've only seen Cardinals. The Crepe Myrtle lost its leaves this weekend and they stand out quite nicely. They particularly love the black oil sunflower seeds, but will occasionally sit in the tray of the wild bird seed feeder and chow down.

Edited: Nov 14, 8:46am Top

Hey, buddy. Yeah, stay as warm as you can out there today. I guess we've had Indian Summer already - Buffalo Summer?

We're glad to be back home for a few days. Then we head out to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving with Jesse and Adri and little Mr. Rafa.

I've started re-reading Britten and Brulightly - what great artwork. I wish Hannah Berry would do another one.

P.S. She does have a new one! It's called Livestock. I know nada about it.

Nov 14, 10:24am Top

It's HUMPDAY!! The downslide to YouTime has commenced. Enjoy the chill while it lasts.

Nov 14, 11:13am Top

It is still chilly but much better than yesterday. The light winds help a great deal...

>134 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Always like hearing a bird report. I hope to hear and see some Sandhills today. Nothing yesterday...

>135 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. You'll be heading back out of town, before you know it. I am sure you have a great time visiting with them.

Hooray for rereading Britten Brulightly. I have a copy on my "keeper" shelves.

Nov 14, 11:14am Top

>Morning, Richard. Even better, I am off tomorrow. Yah!!

Nov 14, 12:12pm Top

>96 msf59: I had not come across this one, so I've just now reserved this at the library - sounds good. I'm in denial about how many of my own new books I have brought home from holiday to read!

Nov 14, 3:38pm Top

I'm so glad you read and liked The Spirit Catches You. I read it several years ago and loved it. It should be required reading for health care professionals.

Nov 14, 6:04pm Top

>139 charl08: I just finished Bird Cottage, Charlotte. A good little book. Len Howard is an interesting figure. Glad you found it at the library.

>140 SuziQoregon: Amen, to that, Juli! The Spirit Catches You is quite the eye-opener. Have you read any other Fadiman?

Edited: Nov 14, 6:38pm Top

^Third time's a charm...On a tip from a friend, I have been stopping at a certain location, on the way home from work, to spot a GHO. Today, I hit pay dirt. She was quite a distance away, in the bare branches, perfectly camouflaged but I tracked her down. I did not have my camera along, but I am not sure how good of a photo, I could have got.

FYI- This is in the same general area, that my GHO family was located. About a few hundred yards away, so I am assuming this is one of the members.

Nov 14, 6:45pm Top

I’ve been totally out of commission for a few days and finally went to the doctor today. Too sick to read, even.

Nov 14, 6:46pm Top

Owls amaze me. So incredibly perfectly adapted to their niche, so sleek and silent and bizarre.

Nov 14, 7:05pm Top

>143 lindapanzo: Oh, I am sorry to hear this, Linda. What did the Doc say?

>144 richardderus: Me too, RD! It has been a great year for owls. I have never seen them in the wild previously, other than a few fly-aways. I have seen 4 different species, including a family of GHOs and the year is not over yet.

" so sleek and silent and bizarre." Amen to that!

Nov 14, 7:08pm Top

>145 msf59: A bad chest cold but since I’ve had pneumonia before, they’re aggressively treating it as though it’s already pneumonia.

At first, I thought it was just laryngitis from the swim meet but no. My voice is fine. I was kinda delirious yesterday, I’m told.

Edited: Nov 15, 2:30pm Top

>142 msf59: there something majestic about owls for sure, menacing and regal as well.

This picture has to be bigger to get the full effect of the of the eye color contrast to the rest of this Snowy Owl.

Nov 14, 10:40pm Top

>147 brodiew2: I love Snowy Owls, Brodie! I was fortunate enough, to see my first one, at the beginning of the year. Of course, it wasn't this close up.

Nov 14, 10:53pm Top

>65 msf59: I loved A Manual for Cleaning Women. I will look forward to the follow up (such as it can be called that...)

Love the horseback birding too!

Edited: Nov 15, 7:01am Top

>149 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Great to see you! Hooray for Cleaning Women! Like you, I can't wait to read the new one.

Nov 15, 7:04am Top

>142 msf59: Good morning, Mark! Congrats on the GHO sighting.

Nov 15, 7:05am Top

>151 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry! It has been a great year for owls and I hope it continues. I would sure like to check off a Barred Owl before year's end.

Edited: Nov 15, 7:09am Top

The Hastily Assembled Angel Considers the Kingdoms of Dogs and of People

The hastily assembled angel wanders

And has through cities centuries of  cities

And countries and millennia of  cities

And countries and of  women and of men there’s

No hurry now though he was hurriedly

Once brought to being and bears the scars of  that

Though slowly in the Earth though slowly he

Eventually began to wonder what

The hurry had been for and if  he could

Have been a better angel or have done

Better the job he did if once

They’d made him the other angels had allowed

Him to meet God for he has been uncertain

As people are uncertain he has nev-

er been as certain as dogs are who sniff

The wind that moves the curtain and see behind the curtain


Edited: Nov 15, 7:28am Top

^Why haven't I read more Ron Rash? Why haven't I read his short fiction? This South Carolina author seems to be tailor-made for me. I have only read The Cove, which I thought was okay but I heard his short stories are his strength. Well, all that said, I am starting Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories today.

I don't hear him mentioned around these parts much. Any Rash fans out there?

Edited: Nov 15, 8:32am Top

>116 msf59: Mark This post reminded me of my all-time favorite artist/singer/poet/musician Joni Mitchell. Truly, in my opinion, there is no one like her.

Her little known song title Urge For Going contained the words, "see the geese in chevron style." I had no idea what the word chevron meant. I quickly discovered it indicated the v shape formation of birds flying. It is an appropriate song for today, as it is about summer leaving and fall beginning:



Nov 15, 8:55am Top

'Morning, Mark! Glad you've got the day off even if you may not get any birding in.

>154 msf59: I have The Cove on my shelves, as yet unread, but read and loved Serena.

Edited: Nov 15, 9:55am Top

Good morning, Mark.

Snow? At least it doesn't look like it'll stick.

Hope it's a decent one for you. I'm off to work; I need to do better with this retirement stuff. :-)

P.S. I like that Shane Macrae angel poem.

Nov 15, 9:51am Top

>154 msf59: new to me too Mark. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. It's a while since I read a volume of short stories. One of those things I love, but don't do as often as I should.

Nov 15, 11:13am Top

>154 msf59: I wouldn't call myself a "fan" of Ron Rash, exactly, although he should hit all my buttons. I have appreciated his short fiction more than his novels, that is certain. I gave up on Serena because I simply could not stomach the title character. His collection of short stories Burning Bright impressed me, and it was the first book I ever read in electronic format. I put him on the original list for consideration for 2019's AAC, but I don't think anyone chimed in on his behalf, so he didn't make the cut. I do mean to read more of his stuff, though.

Nov 15, 11:41am Top

>149 LovingLit: ...shouldn't one leave women to clean themselves...? Sounds a bit sexist to me, writing a guide for us to clean our women...

>154 msf59: Serena is the best of his novels I've read, and Burning Bright is a terrific collection of Ron Rash's short fiction. He is undoubtedly best at the short-fiction end of writing. The longer form seems to enable him to get lost up his own tailpipe.

Nov 15, 12:02pm Top

>155 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. I am glad the poem inspired thoughts of Joni Mitchell. I am a fan of hers too, especially her first few albums. "Blue" is amazing.

>156 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. It was snowing here, so I am not in the mood, to trudge trails. Relaxing in my favorite reading spot, is much more desirable.

It looks like I need to snag a copy of Serena.

>157 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It was snowing pretty good here, but it looks like it has stopped. I am glad I am off today. I will spend the afternoon, hunkered down with the books. Good luck with your work duties.

Nov 15, 12:08pm Top

>158 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. My love for short fiction, increases all the time and I try to read, at least one or two collections a month. Watch for my thoughts on the Rash.

>159 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Thanks for chiming in on Mr. Rash. If I like him enough, I'll probably start advocating for him for future AAC inclusion. I want to get my mitts on Burning Bright.

>160 richardderus: Hi, RD! Did you ever read the Cleaning Women collection? If not, it is fantastic. We have a bit of a Fan Club around here, for the late Ms. Berlin.

I appreciate your thoughts on Rash. I will keep my peepers open for a copy of Serena & Burning Bright.

Edited: Nov 15, 12:50pm Top

Hiya, Mark. Just checking in for a dose of bird pictures and book love. I came to the right place! Alas, we have decided to give up on feeding the birds because of the growing squirrel population. Maybe they will find another food source and we can go back to feeding the cardinals et al. that brighten up our dark winter days. I decided not to cut back the perennials that have seed heads so we will still get some birds, just not the throngs we are used to.

Nov 15, 1:04pm Top

The only book by Ron Rash that I've read is One Foot in Eden which I loved loved loved! And promptly forced both The Hubster and my SIL to read it ( and they also loved it). I've got both Serena and The Cove but haven't read them yet. (probably becuase I fear that I won't love them as much as One Foot in Eden).

Nov 15, 2:05pm Top

>162 msf59: No, I haven't any women to clean so I felt it wasn't really speaking to me. Should I?

>164 SuziQoregon: Oho! A mystery solved. I have a copy of One Foot in Eden staring wistfully at me from one or another pile and now I know why. I must have gotten in the path of one of your book-warbles and gone to get it.

Nov 15, 2:44pm Top

>163 Donna828: Hi, Donna. I am glad this is a little refuge of birds and books. I try to keep my company happy. Squirrels have been bothersome here too. We are trying to get used to it.

>164 SuziQoregon: Hi, Juli! I was not familiar with One Foot in Eden but now I am. I am adding it to the list. Thanks for chiming in on the Rash.

>165 richardderus: Yes, I do highly recommend it, Richard. I have a copy on my "Keeper" shelf too. Hallowed ground. Request it from the library, if you can.

Nov 15, 3:00pm Top

>166 msf59: Oh well, who needs a life, I've duly requested same.

Nov 15, 3:51pm Top

I finished up the Regeneration trilogy. In my opinion the best book of the trilogy was the second Eye in the Door. The weakest was Ghost Road which won the Booker prize in 1995. It is often the case that the best book an author writes is not the one that wins the prizes. Wonder why?

I started reading another Brunetti book by Donna Leon - sort of as mind candy for the time being. I am going to start Golden Spruce this weekend. I have had that one on my TBR list for a long time. It is an environmental mystery.

Nov 15, 4:49pm Top

>167 richardderus: You are such a pushover! Grins...

>168 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. The Regeneration is definitely on my TBR list. Thanks for the update. I am definitely interested in your thoughts on The Golden Spruce. Sounds really good.

Edited: Nov 15, 5:22pm Top

135) The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman 5 stars

“I have always felt that the action most worth watching is not at the center of things but where edges meet. I like shorelines, weather fronts, international borders. There are interesting frictions and incongruities in these places, and often, if you stand at the point of tangency, you can see both sides better than if you were in the middle of either one.”

“It is well known that involuntary migrants, no matter what pot they are thrown into, tend not to melt.”

In 1981, after relocating to Merced, California, Lia Lee was born to a Hmong refugee family, from Laos.. She quickly developed severe epilepsy. By 1988, she was living at home, brain-dead. The events that led up to this tragedy: the misunderstandings, the culture clashes and flawed decisions, are the backbone of this story. Of course, the book goes much deeper, as Fadiman becomes involved with this family, exploring all angles for some answers. This is a demanding and an emotional read, but the narrative flows with strength and confidence. It is a real eye-opener and a must read, especially for all medical students.

Nov 15, 5:47pm Top

>170 msf59: An amazing, deeply moving story. I'm glad I read it; I'll never, ever read it again.

Edited: Nov 15, 10:15pm Top

>171 richardderus: Yes, it is RD and I completely understand.

Nov 15, 11:39pm Top

>142 msf59: Nice! I was talking to a neighbor over the weekend who mentioned that a GHO lives near his house (and the park), just a few blocks away from me. I keep looking but, so far, no luck of late.

Yesterday, 6:33am Top

>173 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Good to see you. Owls are incredibly difficult to see, even in a tree without any foliage. They do like hanging in certain areas, so if they are spotted in a place, keep looking. I get a real kick out of spotting them.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:00am Top

The Loon

Not quite four a.m., when the rapture of being alive
strikes me from sleep, and I rise
from the comfortable bed and go
to another room, where my books are lined up
in their neat and colorful rows. How

magical they are! I choose one
and open it. Soon
I have wandered in over the waves of the words
to the temple of thought.

And then I hear
outside, over the actual waves, the small,
perfect voice of the loon. He is also awake,
and with his heavy head uplifted he calls out
to the fading moon, to the pink flush
swelling in the east that, soon,
will become the long, reasonable day.

Inside the house
it is still dark, except for the pool of lamplight
in which I am sitting.

I do not close the book.

Neither, for a long while, do I read on.

-Mary Oliver

^Still slowly making my through Devotions: Poems. I should finish it soon. If you want to own a single volume of Oliver's work, this one should qualify.

Yesterday, 8:01am Top

Such a lovely poem! I am glad that you are savoring Devotions!

Looks like a good weekend for me to stay in and read. Hoping to start Bird Cottage.

Yesterday, 8:06am Top

‘Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you.

>170 msf59: I’m glad you rated it so highly. Demanding and emotional read are absolutely right. Eye-opening, too. I didn’t like it per se, but appreciated and was moved by it.

>171 richardderus: Me either. I’m hoping daughter will want it when she inherits my library or even before then if it ever comes up in a discussion.

Edited: Yesterday, 8:59am Top

Happy Friday, Mark!

That's a lovely Mary Oliver poem. We can all imagine her there, with the book in her lap. Thanks for posting it.

I finished The Spirit Catches You. No surprise, that's a mighty fine book. I thought you'd enjoy this NY Times article on it from 15 years after publication (those who haven't read the book will want to avoid this): https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/us/life-went-on-around-her-redefining-care-by-bridging-a-divide.html The book's ending made me want to know more.

Hope the weather treats you okay - it's been pretty bad with snow elsewhere, including over in Ann Arbor.

Yesterday, 11:03am Top

>176 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Yep, loving Devotions. Only about 80 pages left. I am interested in your thoughts on Bird Cottage. I liked it but did not love it.

>177 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Have you read any other Fadiman?

Edited: Yesterday, 11:07am Top

>178 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. We can't really get enough Oliver, can we? What a terrific collection to own.

Thank you so much for the Fadiman link. I will circle back to it, this evening. Looking forward to reading the updates to this story.

It isn't too bad out here, at the moment, but sunshine would help. Yes, fortunately we didn't get hit like the eastern part of the country.

Yesterday, 12:04pm Top

We got some snow here in the great Northeast. Then dolts that we are, we all chose that period to get in our cars and drive around. So I drove my wife to an appointment, taking the usual half-hour to get there, even though the roads were snow-covered all the way. Returning home took more than two hours. Trucks stuck blocking the road, suv run up onto a guard rail, car driven into a pole. Lots of victims of terrain: eight cars and trucks lined up on a hill, stalled behind someone whose car's wheels are spinning and spinning. Nothing plowed. The one plow we saw was stalled behind a wheel-spinner.


Yesterday, 2:45pm Top

Hello Mark! I hope you have a lovely weekend. The Seahawks beat the Packers in a much needed victory.

>181 weird_O: Hello weird_O! Sounds very much like Seattle drivers. The rainy season is annual and expected. However, the moment these season local drivers enter their cars, they forget how to drive in the rain. Madness, I tell you.

Yesterday, 6:30pm Top

>181 weird_O: That sounds nasty, Bill. I just think it caught everyone by surprise. A snowstorm like that, in mid-November? I am glad you came out of it unscathed, only a bit rattled. We dodged this storm completely.

>182 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. I did not see the game but I am glad that the Seahawks hung in there to beat the Pack. Hey, it did the Bears a favor too. Big game against the Vikings on Sunday night.

Yesterday, 6:40pm Top

>175 msf59: That was a wonderful loon poem. Thanks for sharing. We have loons visiting all the time and can see why they are so captivating.

Yesterday, 7:06pm Top

>184 mdoris: Hi, Mary. Oliver rocks, doesn't she? I wish I saw more loons. They are very brief visitors in northern Illinois. I am glad to hear, that you get to see them regularly.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:20pm Top

137) Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer 3.7 stars

“I want to find out how they behave when they're free.”

Gwendolen “Len” Howard, born in 1894, was a British naturalist and musician. She wrote two popular books, about her own unique observations of birds. In the late 1930s, she purchased a plot of land, with a small house on it and named it the “Bird Cottage”.

This novel, fictionalizes Howard's life. Examining her childhood, a successful career as a violinist and what led her to devote her later years to her passion of birds. I liked this book. It is solidly written and the author deserves credit for her deep research. It never reached quite the heights I was hoping for, but through my love for birds and nature, I found enough to be satisfied with.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:18pm Top

^ Great Tits, ( Yes, what a terrific name. Snickers a little...) are featured prominently in Bird Cottage. They actually lived in her cottage with her and Howard was able to train them. These lovely birds are common in Europe but sadly are not see here in the U.S. I wanna see some...oh, never mind.

Yesterday, 7:20pm Top

Go Vikes, Mark! :)

Yesterday, 8:22pm Top

Yesterday, 9:16pm Top

You’ve been doing some great reading Mark. I’m in the Lucia Berlin fan club and loved A Manual for Cleaning Women so I’ll definitely be reading the new one.

Edited: Yesterday, 10:12pm Top

>188 BLBera: >189 Oberon: I try to be kind and considerate to my wonderful visitors, so I will just say, that this will be a big game for both of our teams, on Sunday night and may the best team win. And oh yeah- Go Bears!!

Yesterday, 10:13pm Top

>190 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Yes, I have been on a nice book roll lately. May it continue. And hooray for the Lucia Berlin Fan Club!

Edited: Today, 7:01am Top

"In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie travelled the 1,125 miles of the immense river in Canada that now bears his name, in search of the fabled Northwest Passage, only to confront impassable pack ice. In 2016, the acclaimed
memoirist Brian Castner retraced Mackenzie's route by canoe in a grueling journey..."

^On audio, I started and I am nearly finished with Winter's Bone, (more on that one later. Sneak peek: WOW!). Next up, is Disappointment River. I was in the mood for a great outdoors story and this one should fit nicely with the NNF, AAC. This was published earlier, this year.

And continuing to love Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories, in print. Rash rocks short fiction.

Today, 7:36am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you.

To answer your question in >179 msf59:, no, I have not read anything else by Fadiman. From a quick perusal of online info, it appears that she's not written any other novels. She's described as an essayist and reporter. In 2017 she published a memoir about her father, Clifton Fadiman called The Wine Lover's Daughter.

The birds are eating me out of sunflower seed all of a sudden.

Today, 7:47am Top

>194 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Thanks for filling me in on Fadiman. I have only read her Ex Libris, which I recommend.

It sounds like the birds are fattening up. I will have to check my own feeders when I get home.

Today, 11:41am Top

>193 msf59: Looks to be an informative and interesting read.

Edited: Today, 1:56pm Top

Morning, Mark.

I posted mini-reviews - so far I'm keeping up pretty well on our pledge! Now I'm back to reading a pretty good V.I. Warshawski mystery by Sarah Paretsky, Shell Game, and I started the second in a sci-fi series called Raven Stratagem. For a GN I'm still working through the chunkster Ghost in the Shell (the basis for that Scarlett Johansson movie) and I've got more Tony Hoagland poetry lined up.

Kinda crummy weather; I hope it goes okay for you today. We're heading to the Bulls game tonight; they're so short-handed with the injuries, it could be a tough one.

Today, 2:53pm Top

>187 msf59: I always giggle a little when I see their English name ;-)
If you ever can travel to the Netherlands, I am sure you can see at least 3 kinds of tits: Great Tit, Eurasian Blue Tit and the Long-tailed Tit, all three common in our small country.

Today, 5:01pm Top

So sad that the weather has you stuck inside with the books, Mark. From the posts of your reads it looks like you have been consoling yourself well. I especially liked the poem about the loon.

It may be November but it is sunny here. We'll take it! I have been slowly making my way around the threads, somehow writing for the month of November is taking more time that I thought. Interesting process though.

>115 msf59: Yes, I have heard Edugyan speak twice, once for each of the books that I have read by her.

Edited: Today, 6:00pm Top

Anne Fadiman has spent most of her life as a working editor for magazines. SHe has only written works of non-fiction. I have had The Wine Lover’s Daughter, her memoir about her father, on my TBR list since it came out. Our library has At Large and At Small and I have checked it out. I just haven’t read it - yet. I did read Ex Libris. That wa the book that lead me to Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Spirit Catches You is a powerful book and makes the reader think, or rethink, so many things about culture and truth. WHen I read it this fall, it made me think of immigration and the problems associated with that. Fadiman doesn’t shy away from some of the hard facts of truth about how dependent on the social welfare systems we have in place, immigrants can be, when they come to this country with no skills they can use. It is just an eye opening book in so many ways. It is clear that more people need to read it.

Today, 6:15pm Top

What a cruddy day. A light snow fell for most of the working day. Not much accumulation, but enough to make everything damp. My Gortex shoes aren't working very well, so I ended up with wet socks. Ugh...

>196 figsfromthistle: Hi, Figs! Disappointment River is an interesting read. The historical background is quite engrossing too.

>197 jnwelch: Happy Saturday, Joe. Glad that day is over with. Hooray for sticking with our pledge. I have been keeping up to date too. I will drop by later and check out your reviews. Thanks for your current read update. Have a good time at the Bulls game.

Today, 6:21pm Top

>198 FAMeulstee: Hooray for the Great Tits, Anita. I hope to get back to the Netherlands one of these days and I will definitely keep my eye out for those "Tits"! Cool looking birds.

>199 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Glad you are enjoying more milder weather. I worked today so there was no cuddling with the books, although they did offer me some comfort and distraction on the route today. Are you on target for your writing for the month?

>200 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Thanks for supplying more info on Fadiman. I would like to read more of her NF. Nice thoughts on The Spirit Catches You. A very important read.

Today, 6:33pm Top

Hi Mark! Hope you enjoy the weekend despite the weather. I am curious about Nothing Gold Can Stay. I love that poem!

Today, 7:00pm Top

Hi there, Mark. After almost a week, I'm finally feeling better and also up to reading again, though I suspect it'll be mostly cozies for awhile.

I love reading the Mary Oliver poems. Thanks for posting.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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