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karenmarie's eclectic reading - chapter 3

This is a continuation of the topic karenmarie's eclectic reading - chapter 2.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1karenmarie
Edited: Feb 6, 6:03pm Top

Welcome to my third thread of 2019.

There is no new way for me to say how much I love being retired, so here’s last year’s message, although I’ve changed the graphic.

Being retired is bonaroo! It’s the berries! It’s aces, snazzy, hot, smooth, sweet, swell, keen, and cool. It’s also the fox’s socks, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, the eel’s hips, the monkey’s eyebrows, the sardine’s whiskers, the gnat’s whistle. I do not miss working at all. I still do a happy dance every morning I don’t have to wake up to an alarm.



I read, am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, now in its 22nd year, am Treasurer for our local Friends of the Library (henceforth abbreviated FoL), and manage our home, finances and etc. as my husband heads off to work Monday – Friday. I love having the house to myself to recharge my batteries and have huge blocks of time to read.

I have been married to Bill for 27 years and am mother to Jenna, 25, living about 3 hours away and working on a 2-year business administration program at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington. We have two kitties, 18-year old Kitty William and 11-year old Inara Starbuck. We live in our own little corner of paradise on 8 acres in central North Carolina USA.

This year’s picture theme Children of the Family. Christmas 1961. I’m sad that my mom isn’t in this photo – only her skirt. I think my Aunt Joyce must have taken it. Doug (6), me (8), Dad (40!), Laura (4). I'm in my Blue Birds outfit - part of the Camp Fire Girls organization.




My goal is to read 100 books in 2019, down 5 from 2018. Of those 100, I’m going to try to read 45 that were on my shelves prior to January 1, 2019. I am only going to count pages, not strive for pages this year, so have set a counter for 30,000.







A few quotes from one of my favorite authors. I plan on reading all her fiction works in published order this year. I give you Dorothy Leigh Sayers, 1893-1957, one of the most intelligent and articulate writers I have ever been privileged to read.
The popular mind has grown so confused that it is no longer able to receive any statement of fact except as an expression of personal feeling.

Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.

A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, for such a society is a house built upon sand.

Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him – or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.


My theme for 2019 is eclecticism – picking and choosing what to read from a wide variety of genres, styles, centuries. I always try to do this, but last year ended up being mostly American writers and mostly mysteries. Within the scope of my goal of reading what is fun and challenging yet pleasurable, I want to read more from my shelves – books I have acquired by non-US writers and that I don’t automatically go to when looking for something new.

2karenmarie
Edited: Yesterday, 3:02pm Top

Books read

1. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam 1/1/19 1/3/19 ****1/2 233 pages trade paperback
2. Nerve by Dick Francis 1/3/19 1/5/19 ***1/2 313 pages mass market paperback
3. The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams 1/7/19 1/8/19 *** 1/2 206 pages mass market paperback
4. Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers 1/8/19 1/9/19 **** 137 pages hardcover
5. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers 1/9/19 1/14/19 **** 296 pages hardcover
6. Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston 1/13/19 1/16/19 ****1/2 121 of 176 pages Kindle
7. Kindred by Octavia Butler 1/16/19 1/18/19 ****1/2 306 pages hardcover **Kindle**
8. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann b. Ross 1/18/19 1/20/19 **** 273 pages hardcover
9. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett 1/20/19 1/22/19 **** 180 pages mass market paperback
10. Relic by Preston & Child 1/22/19 1/25/19 **** 468 pages mass market paperback
11. Reliquary by Preston & Child 1/27/19 1/30/18 ***1/2 464 pages mass market paperback
12. Last Friends by Jane Gardam 2/1/19 2/5/19 **** 1/2 205 pages trade paperback
13. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry 1/30/19 2/8/19 **** 420 pages hardcover
14. Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic by Mark Blake 1/5/19 2/9/19 ****1/2 206 pages hardcover
15. The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie 2/9/19 2/11/19 **** 207 pages hardcover
16. The Great Believers by Rebeca Makkai 2/11/19 2/13/19 ***** 2018 421 pages hardcover
**abandoned Octavia Butler's Kindred - a graphic novel adaption by Damian Duffy and John Jennings
17. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 2/13/19 2/15/19 **** 211 pages trade paperback
18. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle 2/15/19 2/16/19 ****1/2 211 pages trade paperback
19. The Arrival by Shaun Tan 2/19/19 2/19/19 **** hardcover

Currently Reading:
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle 2/16/19 278 pages trade paperback 1978
These Truths by Jill Lepore 1/5/19 960 pages hardcover 2018
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth 1/17/19 1349 pages trade paperback 1993
Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Slavery, Secession and the President's War Powers by James F. Simon 10/24/18
The Gospel in Dorothy L. Sayers edited by Carole Vanderhoof 11/10/18 235 pages trade paperbook 2018
Red:A History of the Redhead by Jacky Colliss Harvey 6/28/18 218 pages hardcover
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari 5/5/18 464 pages hardcover, Kindle

3karenmarie
Edited: Feb 6, 6:00pm Top

Books added - goal: Less than the 422 *winces* added last year. Note: Any books acquired before 1/1/19 but added now will be noted and not counted against this year's total.

January
1. Louise - Betrayed by Lisa Scottaline
2. Louise - If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin
3. Louise - Accused by Lisa Scottaline
4. BookMooch - Bookmooch - The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams by Jeanne M. Dams
5. Louise - The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn
6. Louise - Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
7. Jenna - Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic by Mark Blake
8. Amazon - These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore
9. Habitat - The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
00. Kindle - The Dry by Jane Harper - acquired 11/19/18 added to catalog 1/13/19
10. Louise - Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
11. Louise - Orchids For Dummies by Steven A. Frowine
12. BookMooch - The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
13. Habitat - The Day of Atonement by David Liss
14. FoL Sale - Winny de Puh (Winnie the Pooh in Spanish) by A.A. Milne
15. FoL Sale - Cattus Petasatus: The Cat in the Hat in Latin by Dr. Seuss
16. FoL Sale - Gilgamesh: A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell
17. FoL Sale - Intensive Latin First Year & Review: A User's Manual by Carl A.P. Ruck
18. FoL Sale - The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie
19. FoL Sale - 1492: The Year the World Began by Felipe Fernández-Armesto
20. FoL Sale - Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman
21. FoL Sale - Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter by Thomas Cahill
22. FoL Sale - How Language Works by David Crystall
23. FoL Sale - Latin Reader. First Part. by Friedrich Jacobs
24. Amazon - Last Friends by Jane Gardam

February
25. reconsidered from cull - The Red Breast by Jo Nesbo
26. Amazon - The Lost Man by Jane Harper

4karenmarie
Edited: Feb 6, 6:01pm Top

Books culled goal: More than the 84 from last year.

The Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo:
1. The Bat - hardcover
2. Cockroaches - paperback
3. Cockroaches - audiobook
4. Nemesis - hardcover
5. The Devil's Star - paperback
6. Redeemer - paperback
7. The Snowman - hardcover
8. The Leopard - paperback
9. Phantom - hardcover
10. Police - paperback
11. The Redbreast - paperback

12. White Noise by Don DeLillo - started it, didn't like it
13. The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams
14. The Shimmering Stones of Winter's Light by Constance Walker
15. A Man without Breath by Philip Kerr
16. Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear
17. Betty-Anne's Helpful Household Hints by
18. Billy Budd by Coxe and Chapman
19. Death of a Greedy Woman by M.C. Beaton
20. Death of a Bore by M.C. Beaton
21. Death of a Charming Man by M.C. Beaton
22. Death of a Dentist by M.C. Beaton
23. Death of a Dreamer by M.C. Beaton
24. Death of a Dustman by M.C. Beaton
25. Death of a Gentle Lady by M.C. Beaton
26. Death of a Hussy by M.C. Beaton
27. Death of a Perfect Wife by M.C. Beaton
28. Death of a Prankster by M.C. Beaton
29. Death of a Scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton
30. Death of a Snob by M.C. Beaton
31. Death of an Outsider by M.C. Beaton
32. Four in Hand by Stephanie Laurens
33. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
34. Hard Courts by John Feinstein
35. In the Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches
36. Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley
37. Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
38. Summerland by Michael Chabon
39. Summerland -audiobook by Michael Chabon
40. Teach Yourself Beginner's Dutch by Gerdi Quist and Leslie Gilbert
41. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
42. The Appeal by John Grisham
43. The Case of the Deadly Toy by Erle Stanley Gardner
44. The Case of the Fan-Dancer's Horse by Erle Stanley Gardner
45. The Case of the Howling Dog by Erle Stanley Gardner
46. The Case of the Substitute Face by Erle Stanley Gardner
47. The Case of the Troubled Trustee by Erle Stanley Gardner
48. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
49. The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
50. The New Yorker Album 1925-1950 by
51. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
52. The Royal Physician's Visit by Per Olov Enquist
53. You Can't Be Serious by John McEnroe
54. Fiddlers by Ed McBain
55. Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
56. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
57. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
58. With the Old Breed by E. B. Sledge
59. The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
60. The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
61. Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym
62. The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig
63. Kate Vaiden by Reynolds Price
64. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
65. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by Daviud Wroblewski
66. The Pink Irish Rose by Hazel Rash Fleming
67. Bliss, Remembered by Frank DeFord
68. Grafton Square by Alfred J. Batty
69. Dandy Dutch Recipes by Mina Baker-Roelofs
70. The Twelve by Justin Cronin
71. The Cherry Blossom Corpse by Robert Barnard
72. The List of Seven by Mark Frost
73. Pegasus Descending by James Lee Burke
74. Death of an Old Goat by Robert Barnard
75. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig
76. The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig
77. The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
78. The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig
79. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
80. The Skeleton in the Grass by Robert Branard
81. A City of Strangers by Robert Bernard

5karenmarie
Edited: Feb 6, 6:01pm Top

Statistics Through January 31

11 books read
0 books abandoned
2997 pages read
0 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 97
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 272

Author
Male 36%
Female 64%

Living 45%
Dead 55%

US Born 64%
Foreign Born 36%

Platform
Hardcover 27%
Trade Pback 9%
Mass Market 45%
Audiobook 0%
e-Book 18%

Source
My Library 91%
Other 9%

Misc
ARC/ER 0%
Re-read 27%
Series 73%

Fiction 91%
NonFiction 9%


Author Birth Country
England 36%
US 64%

Original Decade Published
1920-1929 18%
1930-1939 9%
1960-1969 9%
1970-1979 9%
1990-1999 36%
2000-2009 9%
2010-2018 9%

Genre
Fiction 18%
Historical Fiction 9%
History 9%
Mystery 45%
Thriller 18%

6karenmarie
Feb 6, 6:00pm Top

Next message is yours!

7msf59
Feb 6, 6:11pm Top

"There is no new way for me to say how much I love being retired." I can't wait to utter those same words!

Happy New Thread, Karen. I saw my first Barred Owl today. Hooray!!

8Berly
Edited: Feb 6, 6:15pm Top

Look at you getting rid of unwanted books! You go girl -- more room for new ones! : )

9richardderus
Feb 6, 6:16pm Top

^^^What Berly-boo said.

10FAMeulstee
Feb 6, 6:18pm Top

Happy new thread, Karen!

>4 karenmarie: I bet you get to your culling goal this year ;-)
(It is bedtime for me, I had to correct 4 words in those two sentences...)

11jessibud2
Feb 6, 6:34pm Top

Happy new thread Karen!

12karenmarie
Feb 6, 6:57pm Top

>7 msf59: Hi Mark! I wake up happy pretty much every day of the week, especially if I don’t have to get up to an alarm. Thanks, and hooray for the Barred Owl.

>8 Berly: Thanks, Kim! I’m rather proud of my efforts so far… I’ve been inventorying books I haven't read yet, and although not following the Marie Kondo model exactly, am really considering each book as I put a check mark by it to keep it. The ones I’m not keeping are getting piled up on the floor as I finish a section. I’m going to start inventorying the Library tomorrow, I think.

>9 richardderus: Thanks, RD! *smooch*

>10 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I’m sure I’ll get there tomorrow. Yes, this is late for you! I hope you sleep well.

>11 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!


I was listening to the Bohemian Rhapsody sound track while going through stacks of papers and found my car registration, due January 31. Oops. Called the Ford place to get it inspected, they had an opening, took it over and got it inspected. I have mixed feelings about our county not requiring emissions testing any more, but I did save $16.40. All I have to do now is wait for the safety check to show up online at the DMV and I can register my vehicle. I’m not going out tomorrow, and I hope it might be available in time for me to have proof of registration before I go out Friday.

13katiekrug
Feb 6, 7:14pm Top

Happy new thread, Karen!

14quondame
Feb 6, 8:47pm Top

Karen, happy new thread!

15EllaTim
Feb 6, 8:49pm Top

Happy new thread Karen!

No book culling taking place here, but I managed to cull a pile of old magazines, thanks to Marie Kondo. You know, you always think, "these are interesting I should try and read them". Now I thought "do they bring me joy, no they don't, they bring me stress, as I feel I should read them".
And then it was clear, away with that pile, suddenly easy:-)

I haven't culled her book yet:-)

16BLBera
Feb 6, 8:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Karen. When you're done with your books, maybe you can come and do mine!?

17EBT1002
Feb 6, 9:06pm Top

Back to your prior thread, how is the beta doing?

Happy New Thread

18karenmarie
Feb 6, 10:00pm Top

>13 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>14 quondame: Susan, thanks!

>15 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella. Old magazines count – no more stress.

I haven’t culled her book yet:-) Absolutely brilliant. I love it!!

>16 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! Okay. Maybe early summer when it’s not like, totally winter? *smile*

>17 EBT1002: Thanks re the new thread and thanks for asking, Ellen - Freddie just ate a food pellet. I’m going to heat the corn bag and place it behind the bowl – we don’t keep out house really warm so just a bit of warmth seems to be in order. We do keep the under-the-counter light on all day too. I probably need to either find the beta tanks we had that had heaters and water aerators, or quite possibly buy a new one. My ‘free’ fish might become expensive.

19figsfromthistle
Feb 6, 10:02pm Top

Happy new one!

20jnwelch
Feb 6, 11:45pm Top

Happy New Thread, Karen!

21ffortsa
Feb 7, 12:28am Top

I realized yesterday that I hadn't put the stacks of magazines back on the coffee table after the brunch two weeks ago. I do prefer the table sparse. So, since we hadn't missed the magazines, Jim and i threw most of them out. Hooray! And between us we culled about 20 books. Small print is my next target - no point keeping books I can't read.

22PawsforThought
Feb 7, 3:06am Top

Well done on the book culling, Karen! Getting rid of things you don't actually need/want is always a good thing. I don't really follow Marie Kondo's teachings but she does have some good points.
I spent quite a lot of time last year clearing out things that I didn't really want to keep anymore. Mostly clothes (about 5 bags!) but also quite a few books. I've always been pretty careful about buying books and stick to the library as much as I can, but I did get rid of about one shelf of books.

I love the Sayers quotes you posted - she was an amazing woman. No wonder I love her books so much.

23harrygbutler
Feb 7, 7:10am Top

Good morning, Karen, and happy new thread!

24alcottacre
Feb 7, 7:15am Top

Happy new thread, Karen! I cannot bring myself to cull books yet.

25msf59
Feb 7, 7:41am Top

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. This is my day off. It will be raining on and off, so it doesn't look like I will get out on any bird strolls. I am getting new tires put on my Explorer this afternoon. I want to be all set if, I make it up to upper MN next week. I am still buzzing a bit, abut the Barred Owl. Grins...

26karenmarie
Edited: Feb 7, 8:50am Top

>19 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

>20 jnwelch: Thank you, Joe.

>21 ffortsa: Hi Judy! Great way to get rid of things. Congrats. Good idea about the small print books - I'm in the same boat myself. And the yellowed ones that don't have sentimental value. I have quite a few regency romances that are small print and yellowed upstairs.

>22 PawsforThought: Hi Paws! Some things simply must wait for daughter to decide if she wants them. She’s in a small apartment now but will eventually have more space to fill with things.

Good for you, five bags! That’s another area to tackle – clothes that don’t fit or are out of style but not worth taking to a vintage clothing store.

One shelf of books. I am awestruck. I’m using the library more, but still have room for new books if I either cull or read and put them upstairs in the retreat.

Thanks re the quotes. I will be reading more of her fiction as the year progresses. Edited to add: And, having just gone over to your thread, I see that you've finished one of the short story collections. There's Sayers in the air!

>23 harrygbutler: Hi Harry and thank you.

>24 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. Thank you. Culling takes a particular mindset. I definitely don’t have it every day or even week. If or when you cull I hope it goes well. Of course 'well' could mean that you couldn't bear to get rid of a single one...

>25 msf59: Hi Mark. Sweet Thursday to you, too. New tires = reading time, right? *smile*

Your persistent pursuit of the Barred Owl makes it a special lifer for sure.

27richardderus
Feb 7, 9:25am Top



Donut with your coffee? *smooch*

28karenmarie
Feb 7, 9:27am Top

Yes, please, RD! I continue to be grateful that the closest donut shop is 7 miles away, otherwise I'd be in real trouble. Virtual donuts are wonderful. That coconut one is calling out to me...

It's time for brekkie and a second mug of coffee.

29richardderus
Feb 7, 9:43am Top

Good, you get the coconut one and I'll take the strawberry-iced bavarian creme-filled one.

*toasts Horrible with mug*

30drneutron
Feb 7, 10:45am Top

Happy new thread! I could seriously use a donut right now...

31thornton37814
Feb 7, 11:26am Top

In the town where I work, the donut food truck shows up every other week on Tuesday. Their donuts are wonderful and as big round as your face! They only sell glazed. For several months a building promises to become "In and Out Donuts," but so far, all we have is a sign and no real sign of any progress. I guess it's a good thing the options in my own town are not convenient for me. They are all out of my way on the morning commute so they don't really tempt me.

32streamsong
Feb 7, 11:27am Top

Happy New Thread!

I didn't get to see Bohemian Rhapsody in the theaters - glad it is coming out soon on Netflix (dvd's).

And hooray! for the book purging. Well done. I tell myself if I purge one or two books a day, it will make a difference in the long run.

0 degrees here today. I definitely need to get off the puter and go feed the horses as they require extra feed in this weather. Brrrrr!!!!!

33karenmarie
Feb 7, 12:28pm Top

>29 richardderus: Wait, can’t I have more than one? Like all 6 over the course of a couple of days?

>30 drneutron: Hi Jim! Oh yes. Sugar, fat, carbs. What’s not to like?

>31 thornton37814: Hi Lori! Avoiding temptation via convenience. Works for me.

>32 streamsong: Thanks, Janet! Ooh, soon on Netflix? Daughter Jenna shares her Netflix account with us. I’m not sure she’s seen the notice about the price increase appear when we go into it… she doesn’t use it much lately as she’s in a PS4 gaming world right now.

Thanks re my book purge. I seem to do better in high-intensity short-term purge efforts rather than a book or two a day, but if it works for you, then brava!

Zero degrees. It’s a disgusting 71F right now – just warm enough to confuse the plants (bad) and confuse the bugs (good). We’ll get another freeze or two for sure.

I remember the days of taking care of the horses in freezing or stultifying days without fondness. Of course they were Bill and Jenna’s horses; I was only an unwilling money provider.

34witchyrichy
Feb 7, 1:31pm Top

Happy new thread! Congrats on the culling. I do some deep dives when I know I'm going somewhere to donate but I also have an ongoing ready to go pile, too. Some get loaned, some get donated, some get crafted, and some, well, let's just say, they go to that great library in the sky.

35karenmarie
Feb 7, 3:26pm Top

Thanks twice, Karen. Deep dives are very satisfying. My ready-to-go pile usually gets put into BookMooch, where I send and receive books infrequently but with great satisfaction. Old Filth was bookmooched.

36karenmarie
Edited: Feb 7, 3:42pm Top

12. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
2/1/19 to 2/5/19





From Amazon:

Last Friends is the third and concluding novel in the highly praised trilogy that began with Old Filth and continued with The Man in the Wooden Hat.

The haunting first novel was the story of a decades-long marriage that stretched from the immediate post-World War II period into the opening of the twenty-first century. Sir Edward Feathers (Old Filth) was a captivating character: so clever, so triumphantly his own man, so wounded by his dreadful childhood.

The Man in the Wooden Hat was Betty's story. She and Sir Edward met and married in Hong Kong. She was surdy and dependable, the exemplary wife of an eminent lawyer. She owned two exceptional strands of pearls given to her by two men, who desired her and despised each other with equal authority. This second, equally witty, novel weighed the difference between marriage and romance with great subtlety and understanding.

Last Friends is Terence Veneering's turn. His beginnings were not those of the usual establishment grandee. Filth's hated rival in court and in love is the son of a Russian acrobat marooned in the English midlands and a local girl. He escapes the war and later emerges in the Far East as a man of panache and fame. The Bar treats his success with suspicion: where did this handsome, brilliant Slav come from? This exquisite story of Veneering, Filth, and their circle tells a bittersweet tale of friendship and grace and of the disappoinments and consolations of age. They are all, finally, each other's last friend as this magnificent series ends with the deep and abiding satisfaction that only great literature provides.


Why I wanted to read it: Third book of a wonderful trilogy and for our group read.

We learn about Terry Veneering’s childhood and parents, the determined decision he makes as a youngster that saves his life. It turns out that everybody mentioned is intertwined in one way or another although it is pretty much near the end that I, at least, began to connect the dots and understand the powerful emotions that drove Edward, Betty, Terry, and others.

You blink and your life is over, after a life-defining decision. These books all take a long view, never going into detail about work or politics, daily life unless it is used to show emotional bonds. Your friends and enemies are never far from you, and timing makes a hash of happiness and joy or allows a sliver or two of them before enfolding you in what becomes the defining nature of your life.

This novel reminds me of the quote – I had to look up who it is attributed to – “Put your iron hand in a velvet glove.” - Napoleon Buonaparte

The velvet glove is the slow almost meandering plot line, moving back and forth confidently among funerals, childhoods, an old lady’s wanderings, an old man’s determination. The iron hand is the unforgiving nature of luck, fate, irony, things said, things unsaid, and most of all, timing.

What if Terry hadn’t married Elsie young and seen Betty for the first time as a single man? What if Edward had not been unable to have children and had told Betty before they married? What if Betty hadn’t spent a single night with Terry on the eve of her wedding? It’s all quite maddening and absolutely in the nature of Life.

Part of another quote comes to mind, this time by Winston Churchill in a broadcast made in October of 1939 – “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.” The key in this case is patience, thinking about what Jane Gardam is really telling us, and taking those bits of information and putting them into one coherent whole. I’m not there yet and may never be, but I finished the third book content that I had at least penetrated the first level and happy to consider that there’s another level waiting for me.

I will need to re-read the Trilogy, perhaps next year, as if it was one book. I will need to make note of throw-away lines that aren’t really throw-away at all and the actions that become the basis for life choices.

37weird_O
Feb 7, 3:56pm Top

Bravo on your book report, Karen.

I recall that you've not read Little Women; I think you said so on a thread somewhere in the last few day. I read the first couple of chapters, and I am bailing. I know I could NOT deal with those adorable girlies.

38karenmarie
Feb 7, 4:17pm Top

Thank you, Bill!

It may have been your thread - I should probably cull it and Little Men.

39richardderus
Feb 7, 5:48pm Top

>36 karenmarie: Well said indeed, Horrible dear, and kudos for being so concise.

40SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 7, 8:02pm Top

>36 karenmarie:. Nice! I've often wondered what turns the wheel of Fortune. I mean, besides Pat Sajdak.

41Berly
Feb 7, 8:37pm Top

>36 karenmarie: Sounds like you really enjoyed this trilogy, I mean, you want to read it again so soon! Yay.

42karenmarie
Feb 7, 9:51pm Top

>39 richardderus: Thanks, RD!

>40 SomeGuyInVirginia: The little mice running underneath - everybody knows that, Larry! Thanks.

>41 Berly: I did indeed enjoy the trilogy, Kim. With some books the language just badgers you and forces you to come up for air against it - these books pulled me in and I just rode 'em out.

43Berly
Feb 7, 11:29pm Top

>42 karenmarie: Awesome! Also, I forgot to mention that I love Freddie the Fish from your last thread. : ) Did you find your old aquarium stuff?

44EBT1002
Feb 7, 11:44pm Top

>18 karenmarie: "My ‘free’ fish might become expensive." Ha. Made me smile.

45EBT1002
Feb 7, 11:45pm Top

>36 karenmarie: "I will need to re-read the Trilogy, perhaps next year, as if it was one book."
I want to do that, as well.

46karenmarie
Feb 8, 7:17am Top

>43 Berly: So glad you love Freddie the Fish. I looked in the closet behind the Retreat and the dormers in Jenna's bedroom. No go. Today I think I'll look in the storage behind the guest bedroom closet - probably not there but you never know. I'm pretty sure we took them - two of them because Jenna had one too - to the thrift shop.

>44 EBT1002: Nothing like spending tons of money on a $4 fish. *smile* Now Bill's gotten into the act - says we need to get him a little aquarium - they don't like moving water but he really should be warmer than he is. He ate 2 food pellets this morning.

>45 EBT1002: I already have questions, Ellen, about some of the people and events that I didn't pick up on the first go-round.

...
Coffee, reading, then a 10 a.m. meeting with the President and Membership Chair of the Friends of the Library to discuss, once again, Wild Apricot Membership software. We should have implemented it in December but Pete, the President, has been curiously reluctant to go live but also won't let Sue or me take over.

47alcottacre
Feb 8, 7:23am Top

Happy Friday, Karen!

>36 karenmarie: I really wish my local library would get that trilogy! I have only read Old Filth and I cannot remember how I got hold of it.

48karenmarie
Feb 8, 7:42am Top

Thanks, Stasia!

I got Old Filth via BookMooch - a perfect Europa Edition - in Sept. of 2017. I've had to buy the other two.

I'm trying very hard this year to use the library more and have THREE books currently checked out. Three is more than my combined paper book library activity in the last 15 or more years.

49SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 8, 7:56am Top

I don't know why I don't use the excellent Fairfax county library system more. I even have a branch about a mile from where I live. I'm more likely to check out ebooks than physical books and I've never spent any real time walking up and down the stacks.

Moving this weekend and yesterday I went home sick from work. I feel better today, but I was scared to death that I'd have to push the move back a few days. Looks like it's a go.

50karenmarie
Feb 8, 8:04am Top

'Morning, Larry!

I'm starting to use the library more for book club books and a few book bullets. I only end up reading 60% of the book club books and liking about 40%. I guess if I find a stunner I can buy a copy for myself after. I never walk up and down the stacks, frankly, because with my tbr at 2,023 currently, I've got my own stacks. And I don't commute any more so don't check out audiobooks like I used to. I would go through the audiobooks from A-Z.

I'm sorry you went home sick, glad you feel better today. Good luck with the move! Give Parker some skritches from me.

51harrygbutler
Feb 8, 8:56am Top

Good morning, Karen. There's not too much in our county library system for me, though I've gotten books from time to time, but I regularly make use of the interlibrary loan services to get older fiction (especially mysteries) or pricey academic works that I can't justify purchasing because my interest is modest. (For example, some books published by Brill or by Cambridge University Press run to two or three hundred dollars, and while I'll spend a lot on a book I truly want, I can't justify it where I only have a casual desire to read it once.) The older fiction is usually much more difficult to get than the academic books.

52karenmarie
Feb 8, 9:07am Top

'Morning, Harry!

Our library system has had a 'fixed' budget except for staffing for as long as I can remember, which is ridiculous. Our county is expanding rapidly but so far no more county $$. However, our Friends organization spends $40-80K per year for library resources (self-check out, OverDrive and other e-resources), facilities, training/conferences for librarians, and books ($10K per year). It's too bad the county is letting us be the cash cow.

Your being able to get expensive academic works is wonderful. I don't think we have inter-library loan, which is a shame since we're close to UNC Chapel Hill for both public and academic libraries and Duke ditto.

53richardderus
Feb 8, 12:50pm Top

Hi Horrible! *smooch*

54karenmarie
Feb 8, 1:54pm Top

Hallo, RD! *smooch* back

55karenmarie
Feb 8, 3:31pm Top

13. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
1/30/19 to 2/8/19





From Amazon:

An exquisitely talented young British author makes her American debut with this rapturously acclaimed historical novel, set in late nineteenth-century England, about an intellectually minded young widow, a pious vicar, and a rumored mythical serpent that explores questions about science and religion, skepticism, and faith, independence and love.

When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one. Wed at nineteen, this woman of exceptional intelligence and curiosity was ill-suited for the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space in the wake of the funeral, Cora leaves London for a visit to coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend.

While admiring the sites, Cora learns of an intriguing rumor that has arisen further up the estuary, of a fearsome creature said to roam the marshes claiming human lives. After nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent is said to have returned, taking the life of a young man on New Year’s Eve. A keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, Cora is immediately enthralled, and certain that what the local people think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to local vicar William Ransome. Will, too, is suspicious of the rumors. But unlike Cora, this man of faith is convinced the rumors are caused by moral panic, a flight from true belief.

These seeming opposites who agree on nothing soon find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart—an intense relationship that will change both of their lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Hailed by Sarah Waters as "a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author," The Essex Serpent is "irresistible . . . you can feel the influences of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, and Hilary Mantel channeled by Perry in some sort of Victorian séance. This is the best new novel I’ve read in years" (Daily Telegraph).


Why I wanted to read it: Book for March's book club discussion.

The writing is exquisite. Perry was born in 1979 and, seemingly impossible any more, was raised very strictly without access to contemporary culture. She read classics and the King James Bible, which shows in the lush and never-anachronistic language.

Every adult character is presented in both good and bad light, most particularly the two major characters Cora and Will. Each is selfless and selfish, does good and bad things. They are all the more lovable for that.

Here are a few quotes:
”You look dreadful,” said Luke, who would have liked to touch one by one the freckles newly arrived on her forehead. “Don’t you brush your hair out in the sticks? Your hands are dirty. And what are you wearing?”

“I’ve freed myself from the obligation to try and be beautiful,” said Cora: “And I was never more happy. I can’t remember when I last looked in the mirror-“

“Yesterday,” said Martha. “You were admiring your nose. Good evening, Dr. Garrett.” pp 105-106

In the last week of April, when all the Essex hedgerows were white with cow parsley and blackthorn flower, Cora moved with Martha and Francis into a gray house beside Aldwinter common. They’d grown tired of Colchester and the Red Lion: Francis had exhausted the landlord’s store of Sherlock Holmes (marking inaccuracies in red ink and improbabilities in green), and Cora had grown dissatisfied with the town’s civilized little river, which could certainly conceal nothing larger than a pike. p 144

“I’m not an unusual or interesting man. You’re mistaken if you think so. For a time I wanted to be an engineer, and revered Pritchard and Brunel, and once skipped school and traveled by train all the way to Ironbridge, and made drawings of the rivets and struts; I’d sit bored in class and make plans for box-girder bridges. But in the end it was purpose I wanted, not achievement – you see the difference?" p 166
I’m always a sucker for epistolary novels, and The Essex Serpent is told through letters and narration, each chapter after the New Year’s Eve preface a chapter – January through November. The narration is from every major character's viewpoint at one time or another – we get bits and pieces of the story from Cora, Will, Martha, Luke, Spencer, Stella, Francis and others.

This is a good solid novel, a pleasure to read. True, there is unhappiness and tragedy, but it’s a slice of life beautifully described and emotionally satisfying.

56jnwelch
Feb 9, 1:17am Top

Good review of Essex Serpent, Karen. Thanks - I have it on my tbr, and you've encouraged me to read it.

57msf59
Feb 9, 7:01am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. Some good reading going on over here. I will start Last Friends as soon as I finish the Mitchell. I have also been curious about The Essex Serpent. Good review.

58SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 9, 8:16am Top

Heya kiddo. Today's moving day Pt. 1. Tinykin Skywalker is going to phreak. I've been in bed for two days fighting this bug, and he's running like lightning strike from one end of the apartment to the other trying to burn off play energy. I think I've beat the wirus (sic), but on Thursday I really thought I'd have to postpone.

59karenmarie
Feb 9, 8:39am Top

>56 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! We aim to please. *smile*

57 'Morning Mark and happy Saturday to you. I'm very pleased with my reading so far this year. Nothing below a 3.5 and my average read is 4.03.

>58 SomeGuyInVirginia: Larry, good luck on MD P 1. Poor Parker. Moving the fluffies is always rough. And I'm so sorry you're still sick. Bad timing.

...
I just got up - if I can get back to sleep after I wake early morning, I frequently have weird dreams, which I did, and wake up 'late', which is Yay! No Alarm!

I've just barely started The Great Believers. Of course I could immediately dive into Remarkable Creatures, but that would mean juggling three fiction, which I don't usually do.

Coffee. First sip. Heaven.

60richardderus
Feb 9, 10:23am Top

>55 karenmarie: Lovely review! I asked for an ARC and got turned down, so it'll be a library borrow eventually.

Happy weekend-but-who-cares! *smooch*

61karenmarie
Feb 9, 12:52pm Top

Thank you, RD! It's a library book for me, too. I'll turn it on Monday when I go to the Friends board meeting.

Yes! Happy weekend-but-who-cares.

*smooch* back

62BLBera
Feb 9, 1:58pm Top

>55 karenmarie: Nice comments, Karen.

Never read Little Women? There are parts that are dated, but Alcott was remarkable.

63Familyhistorian
Feb 9, 2:03pm Top

I pulled The Essex Serpent off the shelf after I saw you were reading it and should get to it soonish. But, of course, there are the Gardam books to read. I picked up both The Man in the Wooden Hat and Last Friends at the library yesterday. Both have other people waiting for them. All of these books to be read are because of your thread. I think I can lay Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind at your door as well.

WATCH OUT FOR BOOK BULLETS ON THIS THREAD!

64Berly
Feb 9, 2:06pm Top

>55 karenmarie: I have been hearing so much about The Essex Serpent and had no clue what it was about--now I do! Excellent write-up and I have added it to the TBR Tower.

65richardderus
Feb 9, 2:47pm Top

>63 Familyhistorian: ...at last someone else knows why I call you "Horrible."

66FAMeulstee
Feb 9, 5:49pm Top

I used to dislike to read much from the library, as I always wanted my OWN copy when I liked a book. Now I am down to only wanting my own copy when I really LOVE a book, so I am doing better ;-)

67karenmarie
Feb 9, 6:38pm Top

>62 BLBera: Thank you, Beth.

I have 2 copies of Little Women, one of Little Men, the second in the series Eight Cousins – Rose in Bloom, Behind a Mask, and A Long Fatal Love Chase. Of them all I’d be inclined to read the last two. I honestly don’t know why I have such an irrational dislike of the idea of reading Little Women. I don’t mind ‘dated’, so it’s not that. Maybe because it’s something I “should” read?

>63 Familyhistorian: I do seem to have put a BB hurt on you this year, haven’t I Meg? And yes, Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, too.

Legit cave!

>64 Berly: Thank you, Kim. Trying to give people the essence and/or reading experience of a book has become my goal rather than speak about plot, theme, characters, etc. as places to put value on the quality of a book.

>65 richardderus: Aack! You have been calling me "Horrible" since at least 2010. I admit that I like it. And, for the sake of completeness, the additional sobriquet "Madame TVT" (Madame The Vile Temptress) as in

*smooch* from Madame TVT Horrible should be noted.

>66 FAMeulstee: Good for you, Anita! I feel the same way. I envision reading a book from the library, loving it beyond measure and then buying it later. I checked out 2 books from the library all last year, the first year in perhaps 15 years that I had checked out any at all, and so far this year I’ve already checked out 3!!

...
We've watched the first to episodes of The A.B.C. Murders with John Malkovich, Rupert Grint, and others. It's quite good. Of course now I'll have to go back and re-read The A.B.C. Murders by Dame Agatha. I haven't re-read it in at least 11 years.

68karenmarie
Feb 9, 8:24pm Top

14. Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic by Mark Blake
1/5/19 to 2/9/19





From Amazon:

Freddie Mercury was one of rock's most dazzling front men. When he died in 1991 the music world lost one of its most flamboyant characters as well as a supremely talented writer and vocalist. Best known as the lead singer of Queen his amazing four-octave voice was a distinctive element in the band's unique sound which resulted in more than a dozen million-selling albums through the 1970s '80s and early '90s. Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic charts his extraordinary career in the context of the life he led in the glare of rock stardom.

With expert understanding Mark Blake traces Freddie's astonishing achievements from his childhood in Zanzibar and India to his world-conquering performance at Live Aid in 1985 and beyond. Published just ahead of what would have been Freddie's 70th birthday this special book features a retrospective commentary on his studio and live albums a complete discography photographs and memorabilia throughout. Freddie Mercury: A Kind of Magic is an essential tribute to a truly innovative recording artist and an irreplaceable performer who rocked the world.


Why I wanted to read it: Still fan-girling over Freddie Mercury and Queen. Gift from my daughter for Christmas.

Timelines, quotes, pictures galore. This is a lush book, fun to read if you’re a fan, as I am. Informative, eye-opening, satisfying. I went back and forth between book and YouTube reading about a song or event then seeing it. A highly satisfying way of enhancing a biography, thanks to social media.

Things I learned
  1. Freddie was born in Africa
  2. Freddie did not graduate from Ealing Art Institute
  3. Freddie was in several bands before Smile became Queen
  4. Queen was never as popular in the US as in the UK and other countries
  5. the story behind Freddie performing with Montserrat Caballé
"Freddie was once asked if he thought his songs would stand the test of time. His reply was typically glib and, one suspects, disingenuous: ‘I don’t give a fuck. I won’t be around to worry about it. Are you mad?’ The reality is Queen and Freddie Mercury’s music still soundtracks our lives and Freddie, in death, has become a universally recognized icon." p 202

"... soundtracks our lives..." Oh yes. I hear Freddie Mercury and Queen music everywhere, I see images of him and Queen everywhere. It’s all good.

69Berly
Feb 9, 10:00pm Top

>68 karenmarie: Now there's a book I would enjoy. Sounds like I should read in actual print with all the pictures galore. Love him and Queen!

70vancouverdeb
Feb 9, 11:37pm Top

Thanks for the great review of The Essex Serpent. It's in my TBR pile.

71jessibud2
Feb 10, 6:12am Top

>68 karenmarie: - Thanks for this, Karen. I am going to seek it out. A close friend of mine is a rock and roll fiend and she even has a Rock and Roll library! I am going to ask her if she has this one and if so, I will borrow it. If not, I will see if the library has it.

72msf59
Feb 10, 8:05am Top

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Did I ever tell you, that I saw Queen twice: Once in the mid-70s, in Chicago after A Night at the Opera came out and then again in Munich, when I was stationed in Germany, during the early 80s. Both great shows.

73karenmarie
Edited: Feb 10, 8:11am Top

>69 Berly: I didn't realize you were a FM and Queen fan! The only thing I forgot to mention above is that the book was published in 2016 and Bohemian Rhapsody is mentioned as far as saying that Sacha Baron Cohen was considered and then rejected for the role of Freddie Mercury. Rami Malek isn't mentioned, but that's okay.

>70 vancouverdeb: You're welcome Deborah!

>71 jessibud2: You'll love it, Shelley! I certainly do. Our library doesn't have it - just checked, but they do have Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones. Someone's got it out - I may request it just to get a different perspective.

>72 msf59: 'Morning Mark! Wow, I'm envious. Great memories for you, for sure.

...
Today is lunch and Playmakers Repertory with my friend Louise. We're going to see Jump:
Jump

by Charly Evon Simpson
directed by Whitney White

An unexpected bridge between sorrow and hope

In the whimsically theatrical world of Jump, lights flicker, hearts heal, and you never know what surprises might literally fall from the sky. Discover the magic of hope in the midst of grief and the promise of human connection as two strangers find solace on a bridge.

Jump is produced at PlayMakers Repertory Company as a part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other partnering theaters are Milagro and Confrontation Theatres, Portland, OR; Shrewd Productions, Austin, TX; Actor’s Express, Atlanta, GA. For more information please visit nnpn.org

This production contains the smoking of herbal cigarettes and water-based vapes, plus the use of water-based haze.

CONTENT ADVISORY

This play contains some coarse language and deals with themes grief, depression, and suicidal ideation. We encourage all patrons to use their own discretion in determining the appropriateness of the material.
Yikes.

74richardderus
Feb 10, 10:44am Top

>68 karenmarie: The perfect book at the perfect moment. Such a happy occurrence.

>73 karenmarie: I am deeply intrigued...why on Earth are you going to see this grimdark thing?!

75lkernagh
Feb 10, 2:43pm Top

I am a little late but stopping by now with happy new thread wishes, Karen! Congrats on the book culling. I am slowly transitioning from paper to ebooks and have been finding new homes for the print books I have read that I won't be re-reading. You would think that would mean empty spaces on our existing book shelves but the other half has found the empty shelves are useful for storage of things like wireless keyboard and mouse we use with out tablet. ;-)

>36 karenmarie: - Excellent review! I am hoping to re-read Old Filth at some point this year (it is the only one I have read in the trilogy) and then dive right into Wooden Hat and Last Friends.

>55 karenmarie: - I purchased that one when it was a Daily Deal. Very happy to see that you found it to be a good, solid novel and a pleasure to read.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, Karen.

76johnsimpson
Feb 10, 3:53pm Top

Hi Karen, happy new thread my dear. I am little bit behind on the threads, missing a day or so at the moment and I am 50 or more posts behind on some threads ha ha.

I hope you and Bill are having a good weekend so far, ours has not been too bad.

Some good news, Amy had two interviews last week and got two job offers, one was with a car auctions firm and the other with York Pullman Bus Company, she is going to accept the Bus Company job as it suits her more and there are more prospects with them. She is going to contact them tomorrow to sort a couple of issues out and accept the offer, so pleased for her as she found this one out herself. She contacted Kerry at the agency to tell her about it and to thank her for all her help and to remain on their books just incase something were to happen.

We had a date day out to Ripon in North Yorkshire on Thursday, Karen picked up a nice antique brooch for only £7.50 and I spotted a nice pen but was a bit put off by the price. Once home I tried to find out a bit more about the pen and found that it is an Italian make from the 1930's or 40's and they mainly made them in celluloid blue but this is in red and a dealer in the US has one for sale at $250 so £54 wasn't too bad it turns out, I may go back and see if I can get him down to £40 but would get it if he would accept £45. I only held back because I thought that this would help Amy and Andy out if she remained unemployed but now it looks as if she will be working by the beginning of March I may get it.

I will try to keep more up to date on the threads from now on and not be too much of a stranger, sending love and hugs to you both from both of us dear friend.

77karenmarie
Feb 10, 5:26pm Top

>74 richardderus: Serendipity!

Louise and I have season tickets to the Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill. My MiL and a friend had season tickets for decades. Friend moved back to Indiana, I took over ‘her’ spot, Kay and I went until she passed away, Kay’s sister gave me her season tickets and Louise and I have been going together for the last 5 seasons. Playmakers Repertory

This season has been quite a mixed bag, as always. There are 6 plays:

Oct Sherwood – funny Robin Hood musical by Ken Ludwig music by Red Clay Ramblers’ Jack Herrick
Nov Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morriseau – Detroit line workers at the start of the Great Recession
Dec She Loves Me - Book by Joe Masteroff Music by Jerry Bock Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick – romantic musical comedy
Feb Jump – see above
Mar Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht adapted by Joseph Discher
Apr How I Learned to Drive - By Paula Vogel directed by Lee Sunday Evans – Pulitzer Prize winning play

Jump was hard and funny, sharp and poignant without being mushy. I gotta say that the ending brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful actors, brilliant set (as always).

>75 lkernagh: Thanks, Lori! Glad to hear that you’re converting to ebooks, although I love to have my paper books around. Bill will never get any of my shelves, as I don’t get any of HIS shelves.

Thanks re Last Friends. And I heartily recommend The Essex Serpent.

This week will be rather calm – tomorrow’s Friends Board meeting has been cancelled. Bill and I will be going out to dinner on the 13th, early Valentines Day dinner, and that’s about it so far.

>76 johnsimpson: I’m THRILLED that Amy has found a job, John! Congrats. And, I hope you can go back and get that pen, even at the ‘list’ price. Sounds like a deal.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

78richardderus
Feb 10, 7:15pm Top

>77 karenmarie: Ah, the beloved Southren tradition of Tradition. At least these are good shows! I'm pleased for you that the company is talented and the companion agreeable. *smooch* for a calm week ahead.

79Dianekeenoy
Feb 10, 8:02pm Top

>68 karenmarie: Just requested this from my library system! I love him and Queen. Great review.

80karenmarie
Feb 10, 9:59pm Top

>78 richardderus: Ah yes, Tradition. *smooch* back

>79 Dianekeenoy: Way cool, Diane! I hope you like it. Thank you.

81LizzieD
Feb 10, 10:43pm Top

Hmmm. I came last night, but I didn't speak? Well shoot. Hi, Karen for both visits!
I'm glad you're enjoying The Playmakers. *sigh* I love Chapel Hill.

82SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 11, 3:05am Top

Movies are like church to me, but plays, they are like High Mass.

Getting up sorry early to get a jump on the movers (who may be delayed by snow). Tonight I'll sleep in my new place!

83msf59
Feb 11, 7:06am Top

Morning, Karen. We got a couple inches of snow yesterday, but it shouldn't slow me down much. I am starting Last Friends today. Looking forward to this one. Thanks for giving me the excuse to finally pick it up.

84alcottacre
Feb 11, 7:39am Top

>55 karenmarie: I went to add that one to the BlackHole only to discover it is already there. Too bad my local library does not have a copy.

Happy Monday, Karen!

85karenmarie
Feb 11, 7:45am Top

>81 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! I can only think of one play that left me feeling 'meh' - can't even remember which one in which season, just that I left less than enthusiastic.

Bill was born in Mooresville but his family moved to Chapel Hill in 1961 when he was 5, so he considers it home. We used to live in North Chatham County with a Chapel Hill address and used to get into town via Carrboro. I should really take advantage of more of the cultural events there.

>82 SomeGuyInVirginia: There's nothing like the silence just before a play or a ballet starts, is there, Larry?

Get your jump on! Good luck today.

>83 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Yay for Last Friends. I'll be interested in your thoughts. And even though I set up the thread and all, we must thank weird_o for getting me to finally read Old Filth, which lead to lots of discussion on lots of threads, and etc.

...
It's overcast, 37F going to a high of 48F today. Rain. Inara came in dampish - she loves to go outside in the rain.

Coffee, The A.B.C. Murders.

86richardderus
Feb 11, 8:31am Top

Bong joor, madam. Happy Monday. Reading Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror...really enjoying it...*smooch*

87karenmarie
Feb 11, 8:46am Top

Bong joor à vous aussi estimé monsieur (thank goodness for the only thing I like about Google, the Translate feature).

WWI has fascinated me ever since reading Wilfred Owen's poetry when I was in 9th grade. On our family trip in 2010 we went to the absolutely stunning WWI Museum in Kansas City Missouri. We could have spent days there. National WWI Museum and Memorial

*smooch* from your own Horrible

88richardderus
Feb 11, 9:00am Top

>87 karenmarie: Oo! I wanted to go there on my trip to KC but couldn't...time was not on our side...and I'm sadly untravelable these days. But it's an amazing place, as I can see.

89karenmarie
Feb 11, 11:15am Top

Sorry you were so close and couldn't fit it in.

*smooch*

90harrygbutler
Feb 11, 11:30am Top

Good morning, Karen.

Though we have many local theater companies, including one right here in town, they never manage to schedule quite enough plays we want to see to justify our buying season tickets. The sad consequence is that we also then forget about the relatively few shows we would want to see at a particular theater and thus end up seeing none.

Over the weekend we had the aggravation of getting the schedule for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, which frankly puts on too few Shakespeare plays to warrant the name. If our schedule permits, we'll get up there (it's about 90 minutes or so away) for one or both of those plays, but again, we won't buy an all-production pass.

91Crazymamie
Feb 11, 11:43am Top

Morning, Karen! I am all caught up with you now - I had lost your thread somehow. Now I wonder who else I am missing.

Lovely review of The Essex Serpent - I have that one in the stacks and aim to get to it this year.

92karenmarie
Feb 11, 12:48pm Top

>90 harrygbutler: Hi Harry, good morning to you, too!

I'm sorry there isn't enough good local theater for you to buy season tickets. Louise and I go into each season blind - we never look at the schedule and simply renew our season tickets. Same seats, 6 plays, rock and roll. We've never been disappointed, only had one 'meh', and have had several totally outstanding productions. We particularly love the sets - they are always clever and facilitate the story. One season had two plays that used the same water set - real water - and the actors were in and out of it quite a bit.

>91 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Threads get lost. You can check the 2019 Threadbook to see if you've missed anybody. I do it early each year, several times usually, through at least mid-February. I caught a thread just today, as a matter of fact, by going there.

Thanks re my review. I do hope you can get to it this year!

93karenmarie
Edited: Feb 11, 1:23pm Top

A few points about the differences between The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie and the 3-part series The A.B.C. Murders starring John Malkovich.

We watched the series on Saturday afternoon and evening. I really liked it totally separate from the book and character it was based on. This surprised me, and I immediately pulled out my beautiful Bantam edition of the book and started reading. I just finished it. Here are some of the differences I can think of, although the following isn't exhaustive.

What the series has that the book doesn't.
  1. Flashbacks of Poirot as a priest, of all things, in a French-speaking country, possibly Belgium, during WWI.
  2. Japp dead early in the series. He's alive and kicking in this one from 1936 and makes the last of his seven appearances in 1940's An Overdose of Death.
  3. A made up reason for Franklin Clarke to fixate on Hercule Poirot- a dinner party at his brother's estate some years previous to the current action.
What the book has that the series doesn't.
  1. Hastings.
  2. Mention of the little grey cells - although Hastings mentions them and he's not in the series.
  3. The deliberate killing of just anybody at Doncaster, not a person whose last name starts with D.
Differences.
  1. Betty Barnard's sister is not living at home, is not 'dumpy' and was never engaged to Donald Fraser.
  2. Thora Grey doesn't come on to the murdered Sir Carmichael Clarke - their relationship is more of father-daughter.
  3. The fourth victim is killed in a different place than in the book - backstage vs at a movie theater.
Malkovich as Poirot is a stretch and he is much less fastidious in appearance than one would expect Poirot to be. He is also haunted by demons in the series, none of which is in the book. Poirot may be haunted by demons, but they are not personal and not relating to the flashbacks in the series. If anything, they are demons of cases he couldn't solve quickly or at all that resulted in a murderer escaping.

The differences make it appear that the series is close to the book, but it is not. No Hastings, a haunted Poirot, different atmosphere, and above all a hesitant, diffident, mild Poirot who doesn't seem as confident and arrogant as our own beloved book Poirot.

94katiekrug
Feb 11, 1:46pm Top

>93 karenmarie: - Good summary, Karen. I was also struck in the series by the total change in the nature of Cust's landlady and her daughter. I didn't see the need to make that whole thing so odd. Anyway, I much preferred the book but in talking to The Wayne last night, he was much more taken with the series than I was, and he thought it was probably because he knew nothing about the book or even Poirot as a character in general...

95karenmarie
Feb 11, 1:50pm Top

Thanks, Katie! You make a good point about Cust's landlady and her daughter. Absolutely too strange.

I also preferred the book, but didn't mind the series. Bill hasn't read the book either but liked the series well enough.

96msf59
Feb 12, 6:36am Top

Morning, Karen. Waking up to snow and ice. It will be a tricky commute. I will have to give myself a little extra time. Ugh. Glad this is a short work week.

97Crazymamie
Feb 12, 8:02am Top

Morning, Karen! Skipping all those spoiler comments about the series until Rae and I have a chance to watch it, but then I'll be back.

98karenmarie
Feb 12, 8:04am Top

Hi Mark! Sorry about the weather and your commute. How many miles do you commute each way? Yay for a short week.

99richardderus
Feb 12, 9:14am Top

Hey Horrible! I'm here, which is about what I'm capable of being today. I did errands yesterday and came back, put stuff away, and napped. Then had a lovely night's sleep. Now wondering if calling Rob to leave work, make me coffee, and bring me a couple Dunkin Donuts is pushing my luck....

100SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 12, 10:38am Top

Moved yesterday, stayed home today because until the Motrin kicks in I'm as drawn up as the tin man in a rain storm. I loved my old place, so until this new one sells itself to me I'm with the cat- ok but what the hell?

One thing I do like, at least in the winter, is that this is an end unit and the master bedroom is absolutely freezing in this cold weather. I love to sleep in a cold room.

101karenmarie
Feb 12, 10:47am Top

Hi Larry! Congrats on the move. Blech on the aches and pains. Yay for Motrin. My drug of choice. *smile*

You'll come to love the new abode, you know you will. How's Da Floof? Weirded out or okay 'cuz you're home with him?

I like sleeping in a 62F room. That may not be freezing by your definition...

...
I just spent an hour on two payment requests from the Library consolidated into one check. Sigh. It's making sure their addition is right, their request is correct (this time it wasn't, had an invoice that wasn't included in the total, had to confirm whether to include it or not), and all the dollars get put in all the correct budget categories (6 of 'em).

Off to run some errands.

102ChelleBearss
Feb 13, 8:51am Top

Happy new(ish) thread!

103richardderus
Feb 13, 9:57am Top

Welp, here it is Wednesday. Yeup. Sure nuff is. And a very Wednesday Wednesday it's shapin' up to be. Mm hmm.

104streamsong
Feb 13, 10:45am Top

Morning, Karen!

I admire all that you do for your library and all the amazing things your group purchases that you mentioned back in >52 karenmarie:.

I need to ask again about the FOL at our library. It seems to be a bit of an exclusive group. :(

105karenmarie
Edited: Feb 13, 12:04pm Top

>102 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! Thanks.

>103 richardderus: Hey RD! Welp, Wednesday. Laundry in the dryer, brekkie done, the last of the coffee swallowed. I have twenty pages to go of one of the saddest and most powerful books I've ever read. I'll post a review later.

>104 streamsong: Hi Janet! Thanks. I'm proud of our Friends group, even if I occasionally complain about the politics...

I wonder how a FoL can be exclusive? Shouldn't they want to expand membership, gain awareness and funds and DO things that the public knows about? You'll have to let me know more.

106BLBera
Feb 13, 11:48am Top

>67 karenmarie: Karen - I would never say anyone "should" read anything, you might want to give Little Women a try. It was certainly an important reading experience for me growing up.

107karenmarie
Feb 13, 11:50am Top

15. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
2/11/19 to 2/13/19





From Amazon:

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
WINNER OF THE STONEWALL BOOK AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

Soon to Be a Major Television Event, optioned by Amy Poehler

“A page turner... An absorbing and emotionally riveting story about what it’s like to live during times of crisis. "—The New York Times Book Review

A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.


Why I wanted to read it: I read brenzi’s review and added it to my wish list. Then I decided I had to read it RIGHT NOW so checked it out of the library.

I rarely give 5 stars. In fact, there are only 7 books on my shelves with a 5-star rating. This book, currently a library book but eventually to become a book on my shelves, is a 5-star book.

It is sad and powerful, devastating in its depiction of the emotional chaos of living gay in Chicago in the 1980s. Yale is the face of the epidemic in one gay man, Fiona the face of the devastation caused by the loss of her brother and the impact of the epidemic on her friends, herself, her daughter.

One funny and one devastating quote:
”So we got off the highway and got totally turned around and it’s this terrible neighborhood.” Yale remembered all of them slinking low in their seats, as if that would keep them safe. “But we went in a big circle and eventually we found all these streets named after presidents, which we thought was good, because they go in order, and they stretch all the way back downtown, to the lake. Charlie was always complaining he couldn’t find his way around downtown because he couldn’t remember the presidents. If they were named for the British monarchy, he’d be set. So we’re going back down through the president streets, you know Madison, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, and just in that one part of town, before Van Buren, the next thing was this tiny street called Gladys Avenue. And Charlie goes, ‘There was a President Gladys?’ He was serious. Terrence never let him forget that, oh my God. He used to make up facts about the Gladys administration.” p 380

He stepped onto the escalator first, and he rode backward to face them.

He said, “If we could just be on earth at the same place and same time as everyone we loved, if we could be born together and die together, it would be so simple. And it’s not. But listen: You two are on the planet at the same time. You’re in the same place now. That’s a miracle. I just want to say that.” p 401

108richardderus
Feb 13, 11:54am Top

>107 karenmarie: That was my lived reality, so I won't be partaking. But it surely sounds like a good story. Glad it earned 5 stars from you.

109BLBera
Feb 13, 11:56am Top

>107 karenmarie: Great comments, Karen. I'm waiting for my turn at the library. I think I'm up to # 3 or 4 now, so it shouldn't be too long.

110katiekrug
Feb 13, 11:59am Top

>107 karenmarie: - Bonnie's review put it on my list, and your review has moved it up. Thanks, Karen!

111karenmarie
Edited: Feb 13, 12:56pm Top

>106 BLBera: It’s still on my shelves, Beth, so nothing’s off the table, but honestly, I don’t see me running to it any time soon. I can appreciate that it was an important reading experience for you. How was it important, and what do you remember taking away from it when you read it then?

Offhand, the first important reading experience I had, off the top of my head, was Charlotte’s Web, which was read to me in 3rd grade (1961) by Mrs. Faye Shigeta. I then read it myself, soon after. I’m not quite sure what it says about me beyond the fact that the line that has always stuck with me is where Fern says “This is the most terrible case of injustice I ever heard of.”

The next book that I remember affecting me deeply was in high school – How the Other Half Lives by Jacob Riis. I still have that one on my shelves.

>108 richardderus: I understand why you won't be reading it, RD, I do. I rarely cry when reading a book. This one had tears flowing several times.

>109 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! I hope you get to read it soon.

>110 katiekrug: You’re welcome, Katie.

112weird_O
Feb 13, 12:44pm Top

Reading slowly for the last couple of days. Have you ever read Chuck Palahniuk? On a whim, I read Diary, and I was interested by it. May read another, since I have a couple in The TBR ClosetTM.

My current whimsey is reading various versions of the Faust tale. I'm almost done with Christopher Marlowe's play The Tragedy of Doctor Faustus. Then I have Goethe's Faust, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus. All of these are sequestered in The Closet. If I come upon a copy of Stephen Vincent Benet's The Devil and Daniel Webster, why I'll read that, too.

>106 BLBera: Don't listen to that (literary) temptress, Karen. Little Women doesn't need to be read by the likes of you and me.

113jessibud2
Feb 13, 1:02pm Top

>112 weird_O: - The Benet is the only one of those incarnations I have read. Eons ago, for a course I was taking.

114karenmarie
Feb 13, 1:26pm Top

>112 weird_O: Hi Bill! I have never read anything by him and don't have anything by him on my shelves, although I've heard of him.

It's nice to take a 'theme' and run with it! Good for you. I've never read any versions of the Faust tale.

>113 jessibud2: Hi Shelley!

115PawsforThought
Feb 13, 2:00pm Top

>112 weird_O: Ooh, cool reading project. How are you finding the Marlowe play? I read it a few years ago (5?) when I decided to read all of Marlowe's plays - audiobooks, actually. It was a great experience and I did like them all, but can't recall much of Doctor Faustus or what I thought of that one in particular.
And The Master and Margarita is one of my all-time favourite books, so I'm a bit envious of you for that one. It's been years since I read it.

116BLBera
Feb 13, 2:25pm Top

Karen - I think I appreciated Jo and the fact that she used her imagination and created stories. She didn't want to get married. I've read it so many times, it's hard to remember what first drew me to the story. I think the realistic portrayal of the sisters' relationships also drew me in.

117The_Hibernator
Feb 13, 4:02pm Top

>107 karenmarie: That's a book I've been meaning to get to. I am generally a fan of the choices for the National Book Award...more so than the Pulitzer.

118karenmarie
Feb 13, 4:06pm Top

>115 PawsforThought: Hi Paws!

>116 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!

>117 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! It's an absolute stunner, and I went through several Kleenex reading it.

119richardderus
Feb 14, 11:07am Top

Well, it's the Day of Condescension to Single People again. I hope it's a lovely day chez vous. I've already seen Rob for the day and been cooed over (made him banana-spice cake) and smooched on, so I'm set. Now to haul myself to the library.

120SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 14, 11:52am Top

Happy Valentine's day, Karen!

121karenmarie
Feb 14, 12:23pm Top

>119 richardderus: Sweet Rob, your YGC!

>120 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thanks, Larry, the same to you! And give Parker D smooches and skritches. Are you back at work or still working on settling in?

122ChelleBearss
Feb 14, 1:44pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day!! ❤️💚💗💙

123karenmarie
Feb 14, 1:56pm Top

Thanks, Chelle! The same to you and your family.

124richardderus
Feb 14, 4:22pm Top

Ix-nay on the ibrary-lay. My right knee bled too profusely to allow for walking outside. Leaving bloody footprints tends to make the neighbors tense, I've observed. Rob came hotfooting over when I grumbled about it, flustered and wondering if I should go to the hospital...I said "ooh mmhmm yes of course" while fishing around for the rock of tophus causing the problem with my forceps. When I pulled it out, the poor thing looked like he wanted to pass out! Now the bleeding's finally, after an hour, slowing down.

The fun of being disabled. *confetti toss*

125karenmarie
Feb 14, 4:30pm Top

Yuck, RD! Awful! Poor you! Poor Rob! I wish I could snap my fingers and make it all go away.

*smooches* and hugs

126richardderus
Feb 14, 4:47pm Top

It was unaesthetic, and I suppose it hurt (hard to tell with me), but I was not in favor of Rob coming here so he wouldn't get upset. I'm accustomed to things like this, not so much for him. He was so sweet to rush right over in order to be supportive, no? I got on the phone for V-Day calls not long after he left and he called twice to see if I needed to go to the hospital while I was doing my social duties!

127msf59
Feb 14, 5:11pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Karen. Great review of The Great Believers. I have to get to that one soon. You asked me up there, how far my commute was- about 13-14 miles. Not terrible.

128karenmarie
Feb 14, 5:16pm Top

Hi Mark! Thank you. I'm going to have trouble finding any other 5* reads this year - they are so rare for me that The Great Believers may end up being my best book of the year.

Ah. 13-14 miles is not bad at all. My commute was 28 miles, which would take me 40-45 minutes. That gave me some great audiobook time.

129richardderus
Feb 15, 7:56am Top


My plans for today. The Unknown Ajax is quite amusing and *replete* with wonderful new insults! You?

130karenmarie
Edited: Feb 15, 8:16am Top

Good morning, RDear! I literally just took my first sip of hot, black, no sugar coffee. Sigh.

I will be finishing up A Wrinkle in Time. I got a bee in my bonnet - somebody somewhere on some thread recently read/reread it, and I started it yesterday.

The Unknown Ajax is one of my top 8 Heyers. (this list is alphabetical)
Devil's Cub
Faro's Daughter
The Nonesuch
The Quiet Gentleman
The Talisman Ring
The Toll-Gate
The Unknown Ajax
These Old Shades

The Darracotts and the weaver's brat is a wonderful story. Have a lovely time.

131richardderus
Feb 15, 8:26am Top

The new insults I love:

  1. sackless hodgobbin.

  2. whopstraw

  3. Stiff-rumped

  4. knaggy

  5. thatchgallows


And I'm only on p105!

132jessibud2
Feb 15, 8:56am Top

>131 richardderus: - LOL! That reminds me of an Elizabethan insult website I once had a link to. Such fun!

http://www.renfaire.com/Language/insults.html

(Hi, Karen!! ;-)

133karenmarie
Edited: Feb 15, 8:57am Top

>131 richardderus: Heyer had a way with words, didn't she? And she reminds us that there can be a lot of creativity in insulting people beyond calling them a f***ing _______, which is what passes for cussing today.

I can't remember which book, but in one of the Peter Wimsey novels, Peter curses in French, bitterly and extensively, and someone admires him for his creativity and fluency.

>132 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! Off I go to look...

134karenmarie
Feb 15, 9:02am Top

>132 jessibud2: Strange - I can get to that website by searching and finding it directly, but that link, which appears to be the identical one I find searching, doesn't work.

Anyway, fun link and here are a couple of Elizabethan insults. So vivid and not a single cuss word.

You are fat. By my trowth, thou dost make the millstone seem as a feather what widst thy lard-bloated footfall!

You've got a big mouth. In sooth, thy dank cavernous tooth-hole consumes all truth and reason!

You are ugly. Thy vile canker-blossom'd countenance curdles milk and sours beer.

135karenmarie
Edited: Feb 15, 11:39am Top

16. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
2/13/19 to 2/15/19





From Amazon:

This is Book 1 of the Time Quintet Series

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.


Why I wanted to read it: It was mentioned on someone’s thread and I decided that I wanted to re-read it. Somewhere along the way I realized that A Wrinkle in Time was the start of a series, but I never realized there were 5 books. I’ve read the first three and acquired the last two over the years.

This is a YA book. I don't read that many of them, frankly, but the joy of the best YA books to me is that they pare things down to the most elemental explanation. If they can do this with beauty, poetry, and a visceral connection to the reader, then I’m in.

I’m in. Definitely in. Sometimes one needs to see the world through a simpler yet no less powerful lens. Especially now.

Reading this as an adult is as rewarding as it was when I was young, although for an entirely different reason. It’s scarier, more relevant to these horrible political times, and the hope it inspires so much more fragile and needed than other times in my life.
She burst into tears. She started beating at Aunt Beast like a small child having a tantrum. Her tears rained down her face and spattered Aunt Beat’s fur. Aunt Beast stood quietly against the assault.

“All right, I’ll go!” Meg sobbed. “I know you want me to go.”

“We want nothing from you that you do without grace,” Mrs. Whatsit said, “or that you do without understanding.” p 195
Something to live by - doing things with grace and understanding. Consistent throughout, A Wrinkle in Time is deeply spiritual, expressed through Christianity. I’m not Christian; however, this book stands on its own as a paean to the power of God and Love and Good versus Evil, all things I do believe in. Oh, and let's not forget quantum physics, too.

Besides, it’s fun. Guardian angels named Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which? Aunt Beast on a planet where the inhabitants don’t know what light is, can’t see, yet function at the same level as or perhaps even above humans? A glimpse of The Stepford Wives before Ira Levin wrote it?

This book stands up to my own personal test of time.

136harrygbutler
Feb 15, 11:40am Top

Good morning, Karen! I liked A Wrinkle in Time well enough to read it at least twice, but I've never really been drawn on into the rest of the extended, related world L'Engle creates in other books. I may have made it as far as the third book in this series once, but that's it.

137karenmarie
Feb 15, 11:43am Top

Hi Harry!

I'm going to see if I can get through the rest of the series - the only thing I remember about subsequent books is mitochondria. I guess I'll find out. *smile*

138jnwelch
Feb 15, 12:18pm Top

>131 richardderus: "Love!" Ah, I'm happy our friend RD is having a good time with The Unknown Ajax.

>130 karenmarie: Woo-hoo! Great list, and I haven't read Faro's Daughter or The Talisman Ring yet. I'm on it!

139richardderus
Feb 15, 12:19pm Top

>135 karenmarie: I agree with your assessment of the world, unsurprisingly, and that the read is worthwhile. I saw the film and quite liked it.

140karenmarie
Feb 15, 1:03pm Top

>138 jnwelch: Hi Joe! rosalita Julia is another super huge Heyer fan - she had rated the romances one time. I rated mine and put 'em into a spreadsheet along with her ratings - ours are different('natch).

Faro's Daughter is the first one I read, so a sentimental favorite. I still have my original ratty Bantam edition. The Talisman Ring is excellent - there's one particular scene I'm remembering that always makes me laugh out loud!

>139 richardderus: You saw the 2018 film RD? I watched the trailer and wasn't inspired. The movie apparently bombed financially. Of course now I can watch it for free somewhere so might do so just to see how close or far off it is. This is from Wikipedia:
The film received mixed reviews, with critics taking issue "with the film's heavy use of CGI and numerous plot holes," while others "celebrated its message of female empowerment and diversity."
As you saw from my review, I think it's more about good vs evil, God, and Love than female empowerment. Diversity, not so much, 1962 and all. I never thought of it as female empowerment even as a young girl because I always considered myself empowered. Of course I was smart! Of course I'd go to college! Of course I'd make my own choices! And I did. And I've never let anybody override my own sense of self and value and worth.

141richardderus
Feb 15, 1:11pm Top

>140 karenmarie: But for the average person those traits were and are outside their experience and therefore most often outside their ability to conceptualize let alone actualize.

My sisters were like you, very intelligent and never was it ever mooted that they *woudn't* go to college, the question was always "where?"

142karenmarie
Feb 15, 2:09pm Top

I suppose that any source of the concept of strength and empowerment is good, even if it's not the original intent of the story. Or my interpretation of the story.

Yes, it was always where for me, not if.

143vancouverdeb
Edited: Feb 15, 8:04pm Top

Oh, I quite loved A Wrinkle in Time when I was young. I'm thinking of doing a re -read of Little Women since apparently is more feminist than I remember and there is a new NF book about that. I barely recall reading Little Women, except that my mom urged me to read it as it was children classic and I was a very obedient child and teen. I recall it quite bored me. But now that I am older, perhaps I would read it in a different light?

As for caramels, like you , I usually prefer mine chocolate covered. Your link led to some very delicious caramels ! Here is the place my husband procured mine. It's fairly close to us - 2 miles away or so? It's in a little corner of the city, an older part that some real charm to it. http://www.sinfullythebest.com/

144alcottacre
Feb 15, 8:33pm Top

>107 karenmarie: Already in the BlackHole and it looks like my local library has a copy! Woot!

>135 karenmarie: I still love that book even after all these years.

145Berly
Feb 15, 8:53pm Top

All the creative insults have me laughing. Where has all the creativity gone? : )

Wishing you a happy weekend. Oh, also, I loved A Wrinkle in Time; the rest of them were just okay, but carry on.

146karenmarie
Feb 16, 7:15am Top

>143 vancouverdeb: I’ll leave Little Women to you, Deborah. Of course you’ll read it in a different light. You’ll see more and bring more life experience to it. Go for it!

I had to go to my browser to find Sinfully the Best – that link leads to a certificate error and when I said go ahead anyway it said it couldn’t find the website. But everything on the website looks delicious except for salted caramels – I’m one of the few people in the world who does not like them.

>144 alcottacre: Glad you’ll be reading The Great Believers, Stasia. A Wrinkle in Time held up surprisingly well for me too.

>145 Berly: Hey, Kim! People are mentally lazy, I think, and also there’s so much bombarding us from every which way that there seems to be less time to actually sit down and think of interesting uses of language. Writers are obviously different.

Happy weekend, aye! Errands and not much else.

I do think I want to try to read the whole quintet, even if they’re just okay.

It’s raining, gloomy. Kitty William woke me up and I grabbed him quickly to feed him and keep him from waking Bill up. Coffee in hand.

147karenmarie
Feb 16, 8:52am Top

Oh my goodness! I've either read and not commented, or commented on EVERY starred thread I have!

It won't last long.

But, EVERY starred thread!

Off to read.

148richardderus
Feb 16, 9:05am Top

>147 karenmarie: The times when that's happened to me, I've felt like I deserved a small commemorative plaque or something.

149Crazymamie
Feb 16, 9:09am Top

Morning, Karen! A Wrinkle in Time is one of Birdy's favorite books - we both reread it together last year. We did go to see that movie version in the theater, and we both hated it. Birdy said they ruined a perfectly good book.

Little Women I have read several times over the years, and I have always like it. I don't know if it would hold up for me now, so I probably won't attempt it again.

>147 karenmarie: Amazing! Nicely done!!

150katiekrug
Feb 16, 9:32am Top

A Wrinkle in Time was a big one for my sister growing up, but I don't think I ever picked it up. I did re-read Little Women a few times, but I don't think it would hold up for me now, so I will let it remain a happy memory from childhood.

151karenmarie
Feb 16, 10:34am Top

>148 richardderus: I'd prefer money or food RD...

>149 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! Okay. I won't bother, don't want the movie to ruin the book. Okay, no more Little Women. *smile*

Guilt about threads, but I've been plugging away all week and this morning decided to clear the slate, so to speak, although I'll look now and see lots of activity, I'm sure.

>150 katiekrug: Hi Katie! Yes, hold on to your happy memory.

Speaking of happy childhood memories - I have all my old Nancy Drew mysteries and even some of the blue cloth covered ones I've picked up over the years. I hesitate to re-read them, I think. Don't know what to do with them as I'm sure my daughter won't want them.

152PawsforThought
Feb 16, 12:12pm Top

>151 karenmarie: Did you hear that they're making a new Nancy Drew TV series? Might pique your daughter's interest in the book series.

(I inherited my mother's Nancy Drew books, and once I'd devoured them she found me a dozen more at various flea markets. I've read nearly 100 of them. I'm sure if I re-read them most wouldn't be that good, but I think especially the earlier ones might be okay.)

153karenmarie
Feb 16, 6:49pm Top

Hi Paws! No I haven't heard. Very cool. I'll have to check it out.

154karenmarie
Feb 16, 6:51pm Top

16. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle
2/15/19 to 2/16/19





From Amazon:

Meg Murry can't help but be worried when her six-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, announces there are dragons in the vegetable garden. He's so bright, and so different from other kids, he's getting bullied at school, and he is also strangely, seriously ill.

But Charles Wallace is right about the dragons--actually a friendly entity who has come to help Charles Wallace fight his sickness, and to take Meg and her friend Calvin O'Keefe on a terrifying, wonderful journey into galactic space--where they must battle the force of evil to save Charles Wallace, and themselves.


Why I wanted to read it: Second in the Time Quintet.

Cherubim, Teachers, Farandolae, Fara, Mitochondria. Dragons, talking snakes, three tasks. Charles Wallace, Meg, Calvin, Mr. Jenkins, the Echthroi. Instead of Aunt Beast, we have Proginokses. Instead of IT we have the Echthroi. There is a place/construct where everything is the same size. A mitochondrion is as large as a world, a child as large as a galaxy.

There are some heady ideas here, interesting logic and places and creatures. However, it all boils down to good versus evil. I think I like this book even more than the first, A Wrinkle in Time. Why? Because L’Engle convincingly writes of the frenzy of nothingness, the lure of what’s perceived of as freedom but is actually the childishness and fear of growing up, To grow up, ‘Deepening’ at the most basic level of existence, is the natural order of goodness, which must occur.

The nothingness is evil. There is a constant effort by evil, at all levels, from minuscule parts of mitochondria inside individual cells inside a human being on a planet around a sun in a galaxy in the universe to make good into nothing. In this case the battleground is Charles Wallace.

So I’ve been driven to the extreme of tears in the last three books I’ve read, two of them by L’Engle. The writing here is so deceptively powerful. With the exception of scientific names, it’s all easy words and only moderately more complex themes.

This is a beautiful continuation of A Wrinkle in Time. On to A Swiftly Tilting Plant.

155The_Hibernator
Feb 16, 9:44pm Top

>135 karenmarie: I loved this series when I was a kid - though I think Many Waters was my favorite for some reason. I just watched the movie A Wrinkle in Time - I'm not sure it followed the book very well, but maybe I'm just not remembering.

156karenmarie
Feb 16, 10:30pm Top

Hi Rachel! I don't want to see the movie - I watched the trailer and that's just not how I pictured Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which.

I've read the first 3 before, but never 4 or 5, so am looking forward to all of them.

157richardderus
Feb 17, 7:40am Top

*aaahhh* Sunday. Funday.

158karenmarie
Feb 17, 8:47am Top

'Morning, RD!

Just had my first sip of hot black java and filled two of the birdfeeders.

When we had the 56-gallon fish tank we had a cat 'condo' next to it. The kitties would watch the fish from the top carpet-covered shelf. We called it 'fish tv'.

So I just thought, 'bird tv'.

I know, not enough coffee.

159richardderus
Feb 17, 8:48am Top

I'm sure it's very entertaining to watch the not-seagulls gorging themselves at the avian-socialism free lunch bar.

160karenmarie
Feb 17, 9:12am Top

Oh yes. Right now I can see a Titmouse, a Carolina Chickadee and two male Cardinal. Ooh, also a Chipping Sparrow and a LBB. The word's gone out that the bar is open.

161Crazymamie
Feb 17, 9:54am Top

Morning, Karen! A Swiftly Tilting Planet is Birdy's favorite. Have you read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead? Birdy and I both loved that one, and it's an homage to A Wrinkle in Time.

162karenmarie
Edited: Feb 17, 12:43pm Top

Good morning, Mamie! I have not read When You Reach Me. I'll have to check it out.

I'll be reading all 5, I think, within the next week or so, and we'll see which my favorite is to compare with Birdy.

...
edited to add: There are few things as frustrating as spilling a mug of coffee all over the desk. I splattered my current read (A Swiftly Tilting Planet), ruined papers (fortunately throw-aways), and had to move the printer and clean up underneath it. And my Book Seat got a wet side, which is currently drying out. *sad face*

163jnwelch
Feb 17, 12:36pm Top

Oh, I liked When You Reach Me, too, Karen. That's a good 'un.

I have Julia's Heyer ratings, and read her top-rated ones first, then went down from 5 to 4 and 1/2 stars and so on.

164johnsimpson
Feb 17, 3:38pm Top

Hi Karen, hope you are having a good weekend my dear, we have had a nice relaxing day and Karen is off work this week so we hope to do a few things.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

165karenmarie
Edited: Feb 17, 9:56pm Top

>163 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Another vote for When You Reach Me.

All Heyers are better than most other Regencies. It turns out that her Georgian novels are my favorites, and I've also read all her 'other' fiction, even The Great Roxhythe. I haven't read what's considered her 'contemporary' fiction because I've never been able to find any and have read 2 or 3 of her mysteries and those were enough. Here's the Wikipedia List of her works: List of Works by Georgette Heyer

>164 johnsimpson: Hi John! It's been a mostly lazy weekend, with lots of The Office. Much more reading will occur during the week when Bill's at work. Sending love and hugs to you both.

166brenzi
Feb 17, 10:24pm Top

Whew I'm finally all caught up with you Karen. I'm glad you appreciated The Great Believers as much as I did. Great review! You've made me think (again) that I must get to Georgette Heyer this year for sure. Any suggestions on where to start or should I just dive in?

167Ameise1
Feb 18, 3:16am Top

Sending sunny greetings from Davos.

168karenmarie
Feb 18, 8:03am Top

>166 brenzi: Thank you, Bonnie! She's got two other books - The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House. They both sound interesting.

As regards Heyer - Looks like you've got The Grand Sophy in your library and two of her mysteries as e-books. You should read the romance you've got. It's not my favorite, but rosalita - Julia - gave it a 4 when she posted her Heyer ratings and the LT average rating is 4.5.

>167 Ameise1: Hi Barbara! I wish I had some of that sun - it's overcast and going to continue overcast all week.

169richardderus
Feb 18, 10:39am Top

Horrible! I am shaken to my core! My sister sent me an email with the most APPALLING news!! My family shares an ancestor with...with...*gag* Tom Cruise *retch*

How can I go on?! Out out damned spot!!

170BLBera
Feb 18, 10:40am Top

I'm also a Heyer fan, but I have yet to read some of your favorites, Karen. One of mine though is Frederica.

I've read The Wrinkle in Time a few times, but the others in the series I've only read once. You're making me want to go back and take another look at them.

171karenmarie
Edited: Feb 18, 11:27am Top

>169 richardderus: Keep breathing, you can rise above it!! Consider, instead that you're related to George Washington! Is that more palatable? We all still love you.

>170 BLBera: Heyer discussions wax and wane here on LT. I just might consider a re-read of her Regency, Georgian, and 'other' fiction next year. I'll pass on her mysteries, which I once characterized as "Agatha Christie wanna-bes", and her 'contemporary' fiction, which are quite rare. I've never ever seen one. The cheapest of the four on Abebooks is $45.

The Time Quartet are quick reads, and I'll definitely get through them by the end of the month.

172SomeGuyInVirginia
Feb 18, 12:38pm Top

I broke out the coffee maker this weekend! Which reminds me, I need to go buy Peet's brand tonight. It's pretty dark, but I like it. I grind the beans so had to give Parker a 'Big Noise!' before I started so he wouldn't go spinning out down the hallway which he thinks is cool and does at every opportunity.

>169 richardderus: Dude, also Tallulah Bankhead, Elvis, and Harper Lee! But yeah, that Tom Cruise thing is pretty bad.

173richardderus
Feb 18, 1:02pm Top

>171 karenmarie:, >172 SomeGuyInVirginia: ...I need a transfusion and gene therapy and dialysis to cleanse my blood...

174karenmarie
Feb 18, 1:15pm Top

>172 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Getting settled in, right? Yay for freshly ground beans. Sounds like Parker is still pretty frisky for a 5-year old!

>173 richardderus: He is pretty smarmy, isn't he? Sigh. I'd probably be unhappy, too.

175richardderus
Feb 18, 2:31pm Top

He's a Scientologist and all five foot seven of him attempted to portray Jack Reacher!! Inexcusable idiocy.

176karenmarie
Feb 18, 3:13pm Top

Scientology is bad, but his major crime, along with Lee Child's, is the absolutely ridiculous idea that he could be Jack Reacher. Except that he's past it now, I have always said that Liam Neeson should be Jack Reacher.

177quondame
Feb 18, 7:16pm Top

>169 richardderus: 1. You aren't responsible for your ancestors - or any family not your decendants.
2. TC does have good genes for looks, so go with that.

178thornton37814
Feb 18, 7:40pm Top

>169 richardderus: LOL, Richard - I share connections with plenty of persons I'd rather not claim as relatives.

179nittnut
Feb 18, 9:34pm Top

>166 brenzi: I'm chiming in because I can't help myself... My favorite is Cotillion. I also get a kick out of Frederica (>170 BLBera: yay!) and Bath Tangle.

Hi Karen! Just passing through. Probably about to disappear again. *Grin*

I fully agree that Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher.

I love the Wrinkle in Time series. I haven't seen the movie, and fortunately, Miss M saw the trailer and said no way was she going to see it because it would ruin the picture in her head.

180karenmarie
Feb 18, 11:21pm Top

>177 quondame: 1. I'm not even sure we're ultimately responsible for our descendants - we do the best we can, they're in therapy when they're 30 and forgive us, and then they're responsible for their own lives. *smile*

2. TC isn't even aging particularly well, IMO.

>178 thornton37814: Me, too, Lori!

>179 nittnut: Yay for more Heyer love! And Hi Jenn, as you pass through. I won't see the movie, watched the trailer, and said "Not only no but HELL no." I admit I was interested for a microsecond, but that was it.

...
I had a wonderful dinner with high school friend Jan - we try to meet about once a month but she's an accountant for a private company and between a daughter's wedding on January 5th in Texas and all the things needed for year end close, tax prep, and etc. for her company just came up for air this week. We talked for over 3 hours and were the last ones to leave the restaurant.

And the Blu-ray of Bohemian Rhapsody arrived in today's mail. *double smile*

181SomeGuyInVirginia
Yesterday, 4:57am Top

Insomnia, ugh. Have you ever read anything by Rose Macaulay? You may like her and some of her public domain books are free on Kindle.

Right now I'm reading Fire Will Freeze by Margaret Millar. I like it because it's ghastly and darker comic, and mayhaps a weensey bit precocious. But just a weensey. A group of strangers are stranded together in a decaying mansion during a snowstorm. One, maybe two, is a homicidal maniac, including the lady of the house, the very mad spinster Miss Rudd. Did she kill her nurse during the night? She it was who found Florian's foot sticking out of a snowbank and she doesn't seem at all disturbed when they bring her body inside to thaw in the foyer. It's great, campy fun.

182msf59
Yesterday, 6:55am Top

Morning, Karen. Back to the grind, but at least I have many fine memories to carry me along. Not surprising, I got way behind on the threads. I will gradually catch up. I hope all is well.

183karenmarie
Yesterday, 8:03am Top

>181 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hi Larry! Boo to insomnia. I have not read anything by her, but just got 3 of her works free on Kindle:

Dangerous Ages
What Not a Prophetic Comedy
Mystery at Geneva

There are more free ones, but since they are in the public domain I'll get 'em later.

Fire Will Freeze sounds right up your alley.

>182 msf59: Hi Mark! Sorry that the grind is still there for you to be back to. Your owl and lifer counts were impressive. All's well here.

...
Today is a busy one, at least 'til about 2 or so. Prepare deposit for Friends, write one check for Friends, go to Library to pick up The Arrival and drop the check off, Post Office, deposit for Friends, buy cards for Bill's birthday which is tomorrow, buy food to make his special requests - chicken pot pie and cheesecake. Makes me tired just to look at it. The reward is a deep tissue massage.

184ChelleBearss
Yesterday, 9:38am Top

Mmm chicken pot pie and cheesecake sounds like a great birthday meal! Enjoy your massage! I am overdue for one

185The_Hibernator
Yesterday, 9:43am Top

Sounds like you have a busy day coming up. Good luck!

186karenmarie
Yesterday, 2:23pm Top

>184 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! His favorite. He hasn't changed it up in a while. The massage was wonderful.

>185 The_Hibernator: Just got home about 10 minutes ago, Rachel. Whew. Food's put away, cards/candy are hidden away. I'd like to get the living room vacuumed and a few things put away, but that can wait a bit.

187karenmarie
Yesterday, 6:37pm Top

19. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
2/19/19 to 2/19/19





From Amazon:

"Tan's lovingly laid out and masterfully rendered tale about the immigrant experience is a documentary magically told." -- Art Spiegelman, author of Maus

"An absolute wonder." -- Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis

"A magical river of strangers and their stories!" -- Craig Thompson, author of Blankets

"A shockingly imaginative graphic novel that captures the sense of adventure and wonder that surrounds a new arrival on the shores of a shining new city. Wordless, but with perfect narrative flow, Tan gives us a story filled with cityscapes worthy of Winsor McCay." -- Jeff Smith, author of Bone

"Shaun Tan's artwork creates a fantastical, hauntingly familiar atmosphere... Strange, moving, and beautiful." -- Jon J. Muth, Caldecott Medal-winning author of Zen Shorts

"Bravo." -- Brian Selznick, Caldecott Medal-winning author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

"Magnificent." -- David Small, Caldecott Medalist


Why I wanted to read it: Recommended by jnwelch – Joe. I’ve had two meh experiences with GNs and wanted to either fall in love with the genre or say goodbye.



Bye bye Graphic Novels, even with a 4 star rating.

The artwork is beautiful, the concept wonderful, the creatures and scenes brilliantly conceived and scream “alien”, “other”, “different”, which is what they are supposed to do.

As I was looking at the pictures, I felt anxious. Was I missing something? What was this panel trying to say? What language is this? Should I be able to recognize it? What does the expression on that man's face mean? How do I interpret that hand gesture?

And then there were the questions, which are absolutely not necessary for someone who can ‘grok’ the genre without needing words. What is the man's name? His wife's name? His daughter's name? How old is she? What type of creatures has he met in this new land? What are they called?

So in the end I have come to the conclusion that this is not a genre for me. If it’s a book, I am a creature of words. Without words, I am uncomfortable and insecure.

I don't even consider this reading, but will count it as a book read. The pages aren't numbered, but Amazon says there are 128 pages, so I'll count 'em.

The stress of 'reading' this book reminds me of the time my boyfriend Mark and I saw the movie Koyaanisqatsi when it was first released in the theaters, 1982. We had no idea what we were getting in to, and both came out shaking our heads because although we sort of got it, we didn't enjoy the journey. Same here.

Sorry, Joe.

188brenzi
Yesterday, 6:39pm Top

>168 karenmarie: >179 nittnut:. Thanks for the Heyer recommendations. I do own The Grand Sophy but it's a a mass market paperback and I just can't read that format enymore. Most of her books are available as eBooks through the library so I'll probably go that route.

189karenmarie
Yesterday, 6:40pm Top

Good luck, Bonnie! Let us know which one you've chosen.

190jnwelch
Yesterday, 7:37pm Top

>187 karenmarie: Ha! No worries, Karen. Thanks very much for trying The Arrival. Your discomfort tells the tale. My understanding is that there are many good books out there with words in them, just waiting for us to find them.

It's kind of like Benita not liking free verse poetry - I wish I could help you "hear" what I hear with GNs, but we're all different, and that's a good thing.

191karenmarie
Yesterday, 10:29pm Top

You're welcome, Joe. I will continue with the books that have words in them. I bet if I look on my shelves I might find a few books with words in them that I haven't read yet. However, if we ever gt a chance to meet, I'd be glad to sit down and 'read' a GN with you and have you help me through it. *smile*

And, to add insult to injury, I'm with Benita - I don't particularly like free verse ... poetry. I prefer rhyming poetry always excepting e.e. cummings.

192Ameise1
Today, 3:39am Top

Happy Wednesday, Karen.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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