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jessibud2 reads off her own shelves in 2019 - chapter 2

This is a continuation of the topic jessibud2 reads off her own shelves in 2019.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Feb 6, 9:30pm Top

To counter the miserable February cold and wet, let me start this chapter with thoughts of spring:

In the space of 10 days, from this:

to this:

The first time I have ever had an amaryllis produce 3 stems. I think there were 11 or 12 blooms in all!

Feb 6, 9:31pm Top

Edited: Feb 7, 6:07am Top

Well, I managed to have success with my pics in the first post but I can't get my ticker to update. It seems stuck at 12, though it should read 13. I finished 2 books today.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, an old classic, and one I've had on my shelf for years. I have a vague memory of being in the back seat of the family car at a drive-in, watching this movie, as a kid. Clearly not a movie for young kids but I guess my parents wanted to see it. All I remember of it was that it starred Maggie Smith. I figured this was one I should finally read. I wanted to like it but frankly, I just didn't. At under 200 pages, it should have been a breeze but I found it a slog. Oh well. Maybe, if my library has the dvd of the movie, I will borrow and watch it again.

In Pieces, Sally Field's memoir. I listened to her read it to me on audio, and I have to say, she writes very well. I have always loved her as an actress and admired her skill and talent. I had no idea of her background and her insecurities. In fact, I found the early years difficult to listen to, with the abuse by her step-father. And the situation with Burt Reynolds, well, I found it hard to understand, why, by that point in her life, she didn't just tell him where to go. What a super jerk he was!

I am still in the middle of 2 other books but hoping to catch up quickly, even as more holds are coming in at the library.

Feb 6, 9:49pm Top

Just copying from my last thread: As for my house issues, I found more water downstairs today. I am not a happy camper. I have emailed the property manager twice already and if I don't hear from him by first thing tomorrow morning, I will start calling him on his cell phone, as well. Something I had not wanted to do until now. But if he thinks I am just going to sit by and hope the water goes away, he is mistaken. He will have to call (and no doubt pay for) the guy with the fans and dehumidifier to come back and we are right back at square one. Grrrrr

Feb 6, 10:00pm Top

Happy new thread! Sorry to hear that you are still having water issues.

Feb 6, 10:00pm Top

>1 jessibud2: How lucky to get that many blooms!
>2 jessibud2: My ticker often takes hours to update. How can it take that long?
>3 jessibud2: I enjoyed In Pieces a lot and I loved hearing it read in her voice. I had no idea her life was as hard as all that and I was bummed to hear that her romance with Burt was far less than perfect. I had always kinda liked the guy, but not after reading this.
>4 jessibud2: Oh no!!! Dang it. Good luck getting a hold of the property manager.

Happy second thread. : )

Feb 6, 10:24pm Top

Beautiful blooms, happy new thread and hope you get rid of the water soon!

Feb 6, 10:57pm Top

I am so impressed with your three-stemmed amaryllis! I have one that just started to grow. It bloomed every year but last year. We’ll see what happens in a few weeks. If it blooms, I’ll post a pic. Otherwise, my only remaining orchid (I’ve already killed a few of them) has flower buds. I’m pretty happy about that!

Feb 7, 8:45am Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Feb 7, 5:12pm Top

>5 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Anita. Yes, the nightmare basement continues

>6 Berly: - Hi Kim. Yes, I grow an amaryllis bulb every year, have been for ages, I just love them. The standard is 2 stems, 4 flowers on each. The one I grew over Christmas had 2 stems but, shockingly, one stem produced 5 flowers and the other, 6!! Then I bought this bulb at the garden centre and it produced 3 stems. I actually bought it because it was on 40% off sale (having originally been more expensive than I would normally pay for an amaryllis). I was amazed.
And yes, I also knew nothing about Sally Field's background, but then I think no one did, to be honest, until she wrote this book. Good for her! And yes, the ticker sorted itself out.

>7 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary!

>8 SqueakyChu: - I have never had any luck getting my amaryllis bulbs to bloom again. I have never tried to plant them in the ground, mind you, but they just seem to go mushy when I store them in the garage after they are done. With this last one, the one in the photo, I also had a gorgeous Christmas cactus is full bloom and a flowering orchid that a friend gave me, all sitting on that tray on the kitchen counter by the window, all at the same time. I have to see if I can find a picture of them. It was truly a bright and beautiful corner of the kitchen.

>9 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!

Feb 7, 5:12pm Top

Well, we are back at square one. This morning, the guys returned with the 3 industrial fans and the big dehumidifier. They removed all the remaining underpadding (which was soaked) and rolled back the carpet. They are trying not to cut the carpet so it can be steam cleaned when all is said and done and hopefully not have to be replaced. I have my doubts but kept my thoughts to myself. They are the experts, not me. After they return to collect the equipment on Monday, the waterproofing should begin in short order. My property manager also was over this morning to see for himself. I only had to phone once. ;-p

After everyone left, I headed out to the library to return a few things. I still have some holds pending but nothing has arrived yet so I browsed the audiobook section for the first time in ages, it seems. I came home with 3! Two of them though, are books I actually have on the shelves so that's good because it means 2 books I can physically cull right away. Those 2 are The German Girl and Longbourn. Both look good so my fingers are crossed. The third one is the shortest of the 3 and I have already begun listening. The Other Einstein sounds fascinating and I am enjoying it so far.

I am still reading 2 other books in the meantime and hope to finish at least one of them by the weekend so I can do a review. All day I kept thinking today was Friday. Very weird.

Feb 7, 5:27pm Top

What a faff that all is for you Shelley. And drying it all out and cleaning the carpet takes so long.

How rigorous are you at culling books you've read? What % do you think you keep. I guess I keep 60% of what I've read of my own books (I'm better at letting go of fiction rather than non-fiction), but would only, maybe, buy a copy of one in seven books from the library. I have to own a book I love. But I'm not as good at using the library as I should be, you have to rush to read newer books, so I use it mostly for out of print books. I probably only read 5% of books on Kindle.

Feb 7, 5:33pm Top

>12 Caroline_McElwee: - I am terrible at culling. I wouldn't even want to try to put a percentage on it. I am making a determined effort, though and I do use the library a lot. I always try to see if there is an audiobook version of a book I have a physical copy of because I tend to get through audios more quickly and then I have no problem culling the physical book. Unless it's one I fall in love with and want to keep. I also don't often buy brand new books, usually waiting for them to show up on sale tables or in used book stores (or Little Free Libraries!)

I can do better, though and I need to!

Feb 7, 7:17pm Top

>10 jessibud2: I keep my amaryllis outside during the summer (because I don't have to care for it). I bring it inside in the fall but I don't water it. The leaves die. The bulb stays in the pot of dry soil. I start watering the soil at the end of January. The plant begins to grow again. It's bloomed every year except last year (for some reason. I wonder if that's because I started putting it outside for the summer. We shall see what happens.

Feb 7, 7:21pm Top

Happy new thread and I am sorry to read that you are still having problems with your water issues. I read Longbourn some years ago and really enjoyed it . I hope you will too. I put a hold on By Chance Alone. It's one of the Canada Reads finalists and it looks interesting. Not too bad in the hold department , but it will be some weeks until I get it.

Edited: Feb 7, 8:11pm Top

>4 jessibud2:

Manager may respond quicker if you tell him you think you are seeing black mold...
which is not exactly a lie since that may be next.

Edited: Feb 9, 6:50pm Top

>14 SqueakyChu: - Madeline, I have always cut back the leaves after they die and also keep the bulbs in the pot with the dried soil. I put the pots in the garage, mainly because I don't know where else to store them over the winter. I have tried watering them but maybe I wait too late, usually late spring. I have never put them outside, possibly not wanting to tempt the voracious squirrels. I usually end up tossing them if they don't come back to life. I would love for these last two bulbs to have a second season. I think I will ask at the garden centre. You just seem to have a greener thumb than I do!

>15 vancouverdeb: - Oh, I want to read that one, Deb. Let me know how you like it. I should have a look at the wait list at our library. If it isn't too long, I will add my name.

>16 m.belljackson: - Actually, Marianne, he did come this morning, and I was surprised that he responded as quickly as he did. I worried I'd be chasing him down all week. So far, no mould but they really need to find the source of the leak. They will still waterproof the inside until they can do a proper inspection outside after the snow is gone. It's just such a disruption. everything from downstairs is now upstairs, spread out between the living room and other rooms.

Feb 7, 10:34pm Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley!

From your prior thread: that cardinal was amazing and beautiful!!

I am SO sorry that the problems are continuing with the water seepage. Sigh. So discouraging! I'm glad no mold so far but I know you just want the problem resolved so you can move on to other things!

Feb 8, 7:59am Top

‘Morning, Shelley!

Happy new thread. Your amaryllis is gorgeous. I’ve had them over the years and loved them – didn’t get one this year but should have. Next year!

Glad your call to the property manager was productive. I’d be leery of the carpet being steam cleaned, too. At least they're waterproofing until they can find the source.

I read Longbourn last May and liked it very much.

Feb 8, 4:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Shelley. Another positive vote for Longbourn here. I had never read Pride and Prejudice and read both books at the same time, they were both very good but I thought the modern one better but that is probably as it is a more contemporary style of writing.

Good to hear that they are actually doing something about your water woes this time. Too bad they didn't do anything the first time. The adjuster from my insurance company is actually coming to have a look at my place on Tuesday. It only took them two months! Funny how there is no hurry when it is someone else's problem.

Feb 9, 12:46am Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley.

I'll weigh in for Longbourn, too. Besides being a great read, I thought it was really clever in how it developed what was unsaid or unaddressed or otherwise undeveloped in P & P, and the ending of Longbourn, for me, was brilliant in its comparison to the ending of P & P.

Feb 9, 6:04pm Top

Happy new thread, Shelley!
Sorry your water problem isn't over yet, I hope they find the cause soon.

Your Amaryllis is beautiful, I used to have some in my previous house, but they didn't do so well here.

Feb 9, 6:12pm Top

It looks as if my amaryllis will be all leaves and no flowers this year. It already had leaves and no stems with buds. Oh, well.

Edited: Feb 11, 8:33pm Top

>18 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen. Yes, it is sure a headache I didn't need right now. I dread what's coming..

>19 karenmarie: - Yes, I was a bit surprised when they suggested that the carpet may only need to be cleaned and not replaced. I'd prefer to replace it with something fresh and clean. Good to hear your thumbs up for Longbourn. I look forward to it.

>20 Familyhistorian: - You are right about that, Meg! But since I have had a major water issue some years ago when the sewer backup happened (and that was MUCH worse than this, I think), I am, sadly, somewhat experienced and I will not let them ignore the issue this time.

>21 jnwelch: - Hi, Joe. You are making me think that perhaps I should do what Meg did and read P&P alongside Longbourn. It has truly been eons since I last read P&P

>23 SqueakyChu: - Hi Madeline. Well, that lovely bulb in my topper is now history. The flowers are all done, and I should cut back the leaves.

And oops! We had our bookcrossing meetup this afternoon and I forgot until just now, seeing your name, that I forgot to take a photo! Sorry. We were a small gathering: me, Madeleine, her mom, Tony, Steph and Lee. I can't remember if you met Stephanie and Lee when you were here. Anyhow, I only brought home 2 books, so that was good.

Feb 9, 7:20pm Top

I am far behind in my reading. I hope to remedy that tomorrow. I should be able to finish The Massey Murder, which should have been done for the January NF Challenge. My current audiobook, The Other Einstein is pretty good so far. I knew nothing about Einstein's first wife so I did a little googling to see if I could tell where fact and fiction diverge but I decided to just listen and enjoy and maybe google later.

I also picked up the copy I ordered of Tom Gauld's new one, a book of postcards called The Snooty Bookshop. I am a member of postcrossing so I am always looking for cool and unusual postcards. But I think I may have to send some of these to myself! :-)

Edited: Feb 9, 10:38pm Top

>24 jessibud2: I don't know the names of anyone in your group except Tony and Madeline. The others I only know from their usernames! :D

Feb 9, 11:25pm Top

Feb 10, 1:34am Top

>25 jessibud2: >27 jnwelch: Bookish postcards...fun!! I will have to look for that when I go to my local bookstore to pick up a book next week.

Edited: Feb 10, 6:04am Top

>26 SqueakyChu: - Stephanie is MissEfficiency and Lee is Leester. I thought Steph might have been at our meetup when you were here. Not sure about Lee. We had a pretty good turnout then.

>27 jnwelch:, >28 Berly: - Yes, it sure is! I love his weird humour! I may not be able to part with some of these postcards!

Edited: Feb 10, 7:43am Top

^Happy Sunday, Shelley. Happy New Thread. It has been quiet on the bird front this past week but adding a Barred Owl to the list, was a major highlight. They seem to roost in this certain area, so I hope to see another one again. B.A.G.

Feb 10, 8:34am Top

Hi, Mark. I have a Canadian Geographic Birds wall calendar on my wall this year and February's picture is a gorgeous Snowy Owl.

Feb 10, 9:20am Top

Happy Sunday Shelley.

Loved the Amaryllis picture on top. Those multi-bloomed ones seem to be a new variety. Really nice.

I have a number of them as well. I don't do anything special with them, just let them be on the window sill, give them some water on and off, when I remember, and they still flower each year.

I am sorry about the water woes in your cellar. Hope they get that water proofing done fast and well.

Feb 10, 11:25am Top

>29 jessibud2: I remember the name MissEfficiency but am not sure about Leester.

Feb 10, 3:31pm Top

Hi Shelley my dear, happy new thread and great photos of the Amaryllis, spring is on its way. We have snowdrops out and my Camellia is out in bloom with lots more buds to open, one or two crocus are out with the rest just waiting for it to get a couple of degrees warmer.

Hope you are having a good weekend my dear and send love and hugs to you.

Edited: Feb 10, 6:47pm Top

>32 EllaTim: - Hi, Ella. You could be right about that amaryllis. I usually buy the ones that comes as a kit, in a box that includes the bulb, a plastic pot and the soil mix in a bag. They are relatively inexpensive and sold everywhere, in supermarkets, etc. They reliably produce 2 stems which usually produce 4 flowers each. I started buying a kit each December when I was still teaching as they are great for kids to see the progression. They grow fast, and we would chart and graph the growth and of course, the kids get to see the end result right before their eyes. They loved it and even though I retired 3 years ago, I have no plans to break my tradition!

The one I bought in December produced the usual 2 stems but 6 and 5 flowers, respectively, a first for me. This one in my topper picture, I bought at the garden centre. It was too expensive when I first saw it so I didn't buy it but just after Christmas, when everything seasonal was on sale, it was almost half price. Just the bulb, no pot, nothing else. I bought it and you can see the result. Next time I go to the garden centre, I will ask them if it is a new variety.

As for the basement water issues, they come to collect the fans and dehumidifier tomorrow. You better believe I will be on the phone with our property manager first thing, to ask when to expect the waterproofers to arrive!

Edited: Feb 10, 6:48pm Top

>33 SqueakyChu: - Madeline, I will have to dig up the photos we took at that meetup to see if I can see who else was there.

>34 johnsimpson: - Hi, John. It's my *spring*, indoors, because outdoor spring is a long way off yet, in these parts! ;-) It's what I do to keep myself sane over these long dark months. That corner of my kitchen countertop is right by the window where I get the most sun and I keep a lovely ceramic tray there and every plant or vase of flowers I place on that tray does really well. In summer, I even grow what's called tabletop tomatoes, a variety of small cherry tomatoes in a pot. I can't grow them outside as I don't have enough sun in the back yard and our stupid condo rules permit only flowers not veggies, in front-facing gardens. Dumb, as I have full sun in the front. But I was delighted to discover these tomatoes and it works for me!

Feb 10, 6:51pm Top

Beautiful Amarylis Shelley. It's years since I had one.

>25 jessibud2: I always have to buy two books of postcards so I can keep one for myself, but I like your idea of sending your favourites to yourself anyway.

Feb 11, 12:18am Top

Best of luck with the property manager, Shelley. I'm glad that you keep a little spring indoors! Way to go! I string white lights on my outside back balcony and turn them on when I am watching TV and leave the vertical blinds part way open and that's how I cope with the dark in the winter. A little light outdoors, even in the winter.

Edited: Feb 11, 11:10am Top

One of the magnets on my fridge. I believe today (and possibly the rest of the week) is going to be a cookie day. I may bake this afternoon.

Feb 11, 11:26am Top

I am staying at home on Tuesday- sounds like a nasty storm is heading to Toronto. I have spent more time at home in the past three weeks because of winter storms, bad ice on the roads and..should be a good time to read more. I did clean out a closet during the worst storm.

Edited: Feb 11, 4:25pm Top

>40 torontoc: - No kidding. My theatre day is this Wednesday and I called today to request a ticket change to the following Wed as this Wed, the snow may not yet be finished and I don't relish trucking downtown on public transit and possibly uncleared sidewalks just to go to a show. Though in all truth, I have not enjoyed any of this year's subscription offerings. However, this next one is the musical that is written by, and stars, Sting: The Last Ship and I really don't want to miss this one!

I will also finish one book tonight and another tomorrow, so there's that!

Feb 11, 4:25pm Top

It sounds familiar and someone probably posted this already but I found this article pretty interesting (and justifying! ;-). As I am sure most LTers will!

Owning More Books than You Can Read

My favourite line, referring to the personal library of author Umberto Eco: But a few savvy visitors realized the truth: Eco's library wasn't voluminous because he had read so much; it was voluminous because he desired to read so much more.

Yes, that's it! Right? Right!!

Feb 11, 5:08pm Top

>42 jessibud2: Nodding along Shelley.

>41 jessibud2: Glad you could wpswitch your ticket.

Feb 11, 7:57pm Top

>42 jessibud2: How is it I haven't posted here before? I thought I said something fatuously pleasant about that amaryllis...hm...well anyway I liked The Other Einstein well enough to give it 3.5*. Mileva is one of the figures in the world whose absence from the record makes me frothingly angry. As with the way Albert treated her I feel she should get a lot more airplay than she does.

Feb 11, 8:46pm Top

>43 Caroline_McElwee: - Subscribers to the season can switch tickets to another day as long as they do it at least 48 hours before the show the original ticket is for so I was lucky. I have done it once before too, with no problems. There isn't any charge for switching. I only hope that next week we aren't dealing with the same snow issues. We are expecting up to 20 cm tomorrow, of snow, ice, freezing rain mix. In other words, a holy mess!

>44 richardderus: - Hi, Richard. I have only 2 discs left in the audiobook and will definitely finish it tomorrow. I agree with you about her absence from the record, and also, about the way she was treated. Though, the latter, while aggravating as all hell, doesn't actually surprise me, sad to say. I wonder how many other brilliant, accomplished women out there have never been given their due.

Feb 11, 9:45pm Top

Sorry for all of your troubles, Shelley. I hope you've laid in a good store of yummy cookies. Like you, I have no plans of going anywhere until this mess of snow sorts itself out. Fortunately I own more books than I can read , so I'll be okay in the snow. I'll let Dave battle out the snow to the stores ;-) And just in case, I had the " foresight" to order In the Woods which amazon delivered to my mailbox today. Really, can one go wrong with owning too many books? One needs choice and I'm not keen to take my all season tires out to the library or the small bookstore which is fairly close to us.

Feb 12, 8:31am Top

Not that it matters to me anymore, being retired and all, but the TDSB (Toronto District School Board) just called a snow day. All schools closed due to this weather. Even when buses cancel (which happens often), schools always remain open (meaning that teachers are expected to be there). I had forgotten, but they also just announced that the last time the TDSB called a snow day was in 2011.

I LOVE being retired! :-)

Feb 12, 9:10am Top

Me too! However York Region schools are open today with the buses cancelled- it is so bad outside that I suspect that many teachers will call in - can't get to school. Students would be wise not to come because of the terrible driving conditions.

Feb 12, 10:27am Top

Rare bird sighting but I worry about if it will survive the harsh winter?


Feb 12, 4:00pm Top

Happy new thread!!

Feb 12, 5:20pm Top

>50 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle. hope all is settling down, health-wise at your place!

Feb 12, 5:38pm Top

>49 jessibud2: Shelley that is what i have been worried about with our huge snowfall, the poor birds...how will they manage?

Edited: Feb 12, 9:11pm Top

I finished 2 books today:
The Massey Murder by Charlotte Gray, about a murder and trial that occurred here in Toronto in 1915. An 18-year-old British maid shot and killed her employer, because he had been sexually harassing her (though that language wasn't yet coined back then). Bert Massey was from a famous and wealthy Canadian family, and this should have and could have been an easy open-and-shut case. But it wasn't. It was a highly sensational trial and there were many sub-plots behind it. But almost as soon as it was over, Carrie Davies was quickly forgotten and faded into obscurity as the war took over the headlines. I thought it was very poignant that when a Toronto Star journalist, Frank Jones (I recognized his name!) went looking to speak to Carrie's daughter, in the 1980s, decades after Carrie's death, he was astounded to discover that she knew nothing of her mother's past. Carrie had never told her family about it.

In the preface, author Charlotte Gray wrote, referencing her previous books:

"I was able to understand my subjects from the inside, because he or she had left personal papers in which I could read what they thought and hear their voice. Yet after finishing each one of these books, I found myself wondering about forgotten lives, the long-dead individuals who left no record behind them. What happens to anonymous, powerless individuals who are swept up by events and currents completely beyond their control?"

Gray also listed the sources she used to reconstruct this story since Carrie herself left nothing, no letters, journals or diaries.


In a rather odd coincidence, the audiobook I also finished today paralleled the Gray book. The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict, tells the story of Mileva Maric, Albert Einstein's first wife. Most people would not recognize her name, despite the fact that she was a brilliant mathematician and scientist in her own right, and was married to him and was the mother of his 3 children. This story, though fictionalized, is the story of another woman lost to history, swept up by events of the time, out of her control. I appreciated the author notes at the end, telling how she herself had never heard of Mileva until her son was doing a project where her name came up, and how she chose to write her story as a fiction so that she could flesh out what was known and imagine the *between the lines* aspects of her life based on the facts that are known. I liked how Benedict, like Gray, listed her sources and the research she did, and recommended further reading to learn more about Mileva, including websites.

So interesting to finish both these books today. They left me thinking a lot. And by the way, Einstein was not a very nice man. Not at all. I happen to own the book Einstein by Walter Isaacson and am tempted to dive right into that one while this is still fresh in my mind, just for comparison's sake and to see what and how Mileva is presented. I won't as I have too many others pressing at the moment. But I may skim...

Feb 13, 11:14am Top

About Mileva...her life was opera-ized by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. Two hours-ish of Slavic-folk-sounding pathos. I liked it.

I understand Carrie Davies's unwillingness to discuss her life with anyone. She was a survivor of horrible trauma and that, at least in my experience, leads to silence as a means of defending against the pain of remembering and retraumatizing one's self.

Feb 13, 11:43am Top

>54 richardderus: - Hi, Richard. I am not a fan of opera (hurts my ears, if I am honest) so I won't be exploring that one. But I do plan to find and read more about Mileva. As for Carrie, two more different women could not be imagined yet both were lost to history. I do understand why she would never talk about it. And since, as Gray explained, there was no judicial decision, there was very little in the way of official records. Most of what Gray gleaned was from the exhaustive newspaper reports and the interpretations of the laws of the day. That book was less about a murder and much more about a trial and judicial process and I found it fascinating. Gray also did a great job of peeling back the layers of the other players involved in this story, giving texture and context to what eventually unfolded in that courtroom. I also really liked how I recognized many of the city landmarks. The court that was City Hall is still there but is now called Old City Hall, a truly gorgeous and majestic building. I walk by Walmer Road (the home of Bert Massey and scene of the crime) frequently when I am downtown. Out of curiosity, I may saunter up the street to have a gander at number 169 one of these days...

Edited: Feb 13, 2:57pm Top

>53 jessibud2: I loved the Walter Isaacson biog of Einstein, Shelley, but if I'm honest, I don't remember much about his wife. I was sunk in his work, and felt the book helped me understand more of that (now mostly forgotten I own). I'm planning a reread near the end of the year, after I've read Isaacson's biog of Leonardo.

Adding The Other Einstein to my list though.

Feb 13, 3:28pm Top

Ditto from me re the Walter Isaacson bio of Einstein, Shelley - I liked it a lot, and don't remember Mileva much in it. Like Caroline, I want to read his Leonardo da Vinci bio.

Feb 13, 10:22pm Top

Even we had a snow day yesterday here in Vancouver and environs, Shelley. Charlotte Grey is such an excellent author. Glad you enjoyed The Massey Murder. I've only read Gold Diggers about the Klondike Gold Rush. I'll have to get to some here other books. I hope that your basement is getting sorted out.

Feb 14, 9:37am Top

Catching up, Shelley. It is divine to be retired and not have to worry about going out in the wretched weather, isn't it? So far this winter we haven't had long enough stretches of it to give me that "housebound" restricted feeling...that I don't really care for. Your amaryllis is amazing. I had one red one once that did bloom nicely, but I don't have a lot of luck with flowering plants as a general rule. My African violet and Christmas cactus are occasional exceptions, and both of them get their light from a window with that the sun hits in the mornng. I hope your water leakage woes are well on the way to being conquered now.

Feb 14, 10:28am Top

>56 Caroline_McElwee:, >57 jnwelch: - I have only read one other Isaacson, his bio of Steve Jobs which was outstanding. You know, I think I am going to take Einstein down from the shelf and dive into it now, after all. Why not?

>58 vancouverdeb: - Yes, Deb, Gray is a really excellent quality writer. I have read her Sisters in the Wilderness and CBC did a wonderful tv adaptation of it many years ago which was also excellent. I am about to start another by her, Reluctant Genius, about Alexander Graham Bell. That was going to be my book for the February non fiction challenge but I know I won't finish it on time. But a few years ago, I read another NF book for that challenge that had Bell as a central figure. It was a history of the National Geographic, Explorer's House, and I learned so much from it. Bell married into the Hubbard family and was one of the founders of the NG.

Edited: Feb 17, 4:44pm Top

>59 laytonwoman3rd: - Hi, Linda. Thanks, re the amaryllis. I love indoor plants and what surfaces in my house that aren't filled with books are filled with plants! :-)

As for the basement, I check daily and so far, it is still dry. I am still waiting for some decision re waterproofing. We had our AGM (annual general meeting) of our condo last night and our property manager was there. He told me the contractor's price was very high but that he would email an update to me today. We shall see. If I don't hear from him by this afternoon, I will be on his back again. It's getting old, fast.

I started The German Girl on audio yesterday but after about half an hour, I ditched it. I seem to have had a deja vu moment and I think I know why. I must have tried it once before on audio and ditched it for the same reason: the narrator's voice irritated the heck out of me. An adult, using a *baby* voice. The narrator of the story is ostensibly a 12-year old girl. But when it is so obvious that the reader is forcing a voice to be what it isn't, well, it didn't work for me at all. Both times! ;-).

Will pop Longbourn into the machine today when I head out to the library to pick up 2 more holds that have come in! Including the audiobook of Where the Crawdads Sing

Feb 14, 1:49pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day!! ❤️💚💗💙

Feb 15, 6:41pm Top

Still dealing with your basement woes, Shelley? I thought there might be some headway. I am better able to empathize with your weather woes because we have winter here now. Still lots of the white stuff around. I am not impressed!

Feb 16, 9:18am Top

I have 4 library books (2 of which are audiobooks) at home currently and 5 more holds waiting to arrive at my library branch, hopefully, not too soon or all at once. I am returning one book today and I MUST stop requesting more so that I can finally get back to raiding my own shelves!! Sheesh...

Feb 16, 10:25am Top

>64 jessibud2: Good luck with that. Signed, 16 holds came in today.

Feb 16, 11:12am Top

>65 richardderus: - LOL! I hear ya.... (we must be related, we have the same name, ;-)

Feb 16, 4:48pm Top

>42 jessibud2: Oh oh! The Black Swan. I have that. My brother's wife got it for me at her local library's book sale. Now I have to read it.

Feb 16, 5:07pm Top

I finally got my brain linked up to my on-line surfing and said: "YouTube"! There's a very long listing of Don Shirley recordings. I listened to some of it while the read through your second thread here. A lot of the vids used the cover of the album that I have (somewhere) but I have to search elsewhere to get a list of tracks on it, then see what I can find on YouTube. He's very good, I must say.

Feb 16, 5:45pm Top

Hi, Bill. Yes, I should probably check youtube and have a listen, myself. Let me know if you ever find that album!!

>62 ChelleBearss: - Hi, Chelle. Cute stuff, that cupid!

>63 Familyhistorian: - Hi, Meg. 2 more contractors are coming next week (Wed and Thursday) to assess the basement and give their estimates. Meaning, another week with nothing being done. All I can say is there better not be another return of the water, while we are waiting. Meg, I subscribe to a lovely gardening blog my a gal in your area. Her comment in today's edition was something to the effect of h ow you guys have finally joined Canada, with the snow you've had! Made me chuckle....

Edited: Feb 16, 8:15pm Top

Not too long ago, I read the Debbie Tung GN about introverts, called Quiet Girl in a Noisy World. I very much wanted to read her newest book called Book Love so I requested it through the library. When I was making the request, online, I noticed another book by the same name, a compilation of quotes about books, readers and writers. So I requested that one, too, because, well, why not? I am still waiting for the Tung, but I just finished the compilation. Some of the quotes were meh, some made no sense to me, 2 aggravated me (one by George W. Bush, the other by Albert Einstein!), but there were several I really loved. Sorry if this is long but these are the ones I copied, for my own satisfaction, from Book Love. Hmm, seems I can't have the two different touchstones for the same title. One overrides the other. Oh well:

- Anatole France: Never lend books. For no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.

- Desiderius Erasmus: When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.

- Ross Macdonald: The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters.

- Cicero: A room without books is like a body without a soul.

- Jorge Luis Borges: I believe books will never disappear. It is impossible for it to happen. Of all mankind's diverse tools, undoubtedly the most astonishing are his books...If books were to disappear, history would disappear. So would men.

- Cyril Connolly: A book collector is like a lighthouse keeper who offers sanctuary to buffeted and exhausted migrants as they home towards the friendly beam. Once behind glass they are safe from pollution.

Christopher Morley: The bookstore is one of humanity's great engines, one of the greatest instruments of civilization.

Helene Hanff: I don't browse in bookshops, I browse in libraries, where you can take a book home and read it, and if you like it, you go to a bookshop and buy it.

- George Carlin: I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

- W. Somerset Maugham: To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

- Jorge Luis Borges: I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

- Jim Fiebig: There is a wonder in reading Braille that the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back.

Harper Lee: Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

Elizabeth Hardwick: The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.

- Lily Tomlin: If you read a lot of books you are considered well-read. But if you watch a lot of tv, you're not considered well-viewed.

- Dr. Seuss: The more that you read
the more things you'll know.
The more that you learn
the more places you'll go.

Hilaire Belloc: When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
"His sins were scarlet, but his books were read."

- Annette Macnair: The uniqueness of the library is the joy of discovery. You find material that you were never looking for.

- Elmore Leonard: I try to leave out the parts that people skip.

- Robert Graves (on writing novels to support his love of poetry): Prose books are the show dogs I breed and sell to support my cat.

- Samuel Johnson: Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.

The two annoying ones:

- Albert Einstein: Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.

- George W. Bush: You can teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.

Albert is not impressing me much these days.

Feb 17, 6:53am Top

>70 jessibud2: Thanks for sharing those, Shelley!
I feel the same as Ross Macdonald, having the books around as an insulation.

Feb 17, 7:54am Top

Yikes. That Bush quote! Borges on the other hand. There is a beautiful bag on one of those lit gift websites with his quote about heaven and I am sorely tempted.

I've missed your thread so far, apologies. I hope that the water situation is now well on the way to being sorted. That sort of thing worries me: I went away for the weekend in very blowy weather and was anxious about a drippy outside pipe and a big puddle on the patio, but fortunately the house seems to have survived without leakage.

My bulbs are not playing ball this year. I put in snowdrops under the roses and they have yet to materialise, despite some lovely ones down the road. Bulbs in pots have come up headless and kind of stuck (you can just see the flower, but that's it!).

You've reminded me I've not refilled the bird feeder and it's still hungry season. Must get on with that!

I don't remember coming across The Massey Murder, but sounds good, particularly as I just read Murder by the Book - true crime about a servant killing his titled British employer. Really well done.

Feb 17, 12:50pm Top

And may I just say that the narrator of the audiobook Longbourn is WONDERFUL!! Her name is Emma Fielding.

Feb 17, 1:19pm Top

>70 jessibud2:

Today's online NEW YORKER mentions a classic Lily Tomlin TV short, "Juke and Opal," which features her with Richard Pryor.

Feb 17, 4:41pm Top

>70 jessibud2: Lovely! (Albert has gone down steadily in my estimation for many reasons. 43 started low and has dug a trench to rival the one in the Marianas Islands.)

Feb 18, 10:21am Top

>71 FAMeulstee: - I think that one resonates for a lot of us, Anita.

>72 charl08: - I have noticed an alarming lack of birds in the past week or so, and when I went to put the feeder out this morning, I noticed that the lower ports seem clogged though the upper ones are fine. I think I will empty, and clean the feeder out completely later on, then refill it. I feel terrible if I have been the cause of some birds not eating! As for the book, author Charlotte Gray is originally British though she has been here in Canada for some time. I do like her writing a lot.

>74 m.belljackson: - I have only limited access to New Yorker articles online, Marianne, as I am not a subscriber.

>75 richardderus: - I agree about Albert, Richard. But even 43 could not possibly dig a trench deep enough to contain 45, IMHO. Did you watch 60 Minutes last night? Fascinating. Not being American, I don't follow such things in such details, but McCabe came across, at least to me, as genuine and believable. If anyone ought to be heading for the slammer, it's the one at the top. I just can't understand why it hasn't happened yet.

Feb 18, 10:23pm Top

Aren't these fun? The 5 coolest libraries in the world:


Though, I have to wonder how the books are protected from the elements at the Beach Library. I love that tree one. A cool variation on the LFL theme!

Yesterday, 6:48am Top

I liked the tree library especially Shelley, here's more:


Edited: Yesterday, 7:00am Top

^Evening Grosbeak were also a major highlight this weekend. What stunning birds. NMP, but I did get a couple of decent shots. Their cousin, the Pine Grosbeak is also beautiful. Have you ever seen either one? They summer in Canada.

Morning, Shelley! Back to the grind, for Marky-Mark.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:20am Top

>78 Caroline_McElwee: - Thanks for that, Caroline! I am a member of Bookcrossing, so that is very cool to see that plaque!

>79 msf59: - I have never seen this grosbeak but I did once see a rose breasted grosbeak on my feeder for a few minutes. Never got a photo of it but it was highly identifiable: www.discover-southern-ontario.com/rose-breasted-grosbeak.html

So cool that you saw both the Evening Grosbeak and Pine. Welcome home!

Yesterday, 7:36am Top

>42 jessibud2: Oh, yeah!

>53 jessibud2: I bought The Massey Murder but have not gotten it read yet. Soon, I hope.

>64 jessibud2: I am having this issue too, Shelley - I currently have 20+ books out and 3 more holds waiting to arrive - but cannot seem to get my books read. . .

I hope at some point your basement issues get resolved!

Yesterday, 7:53am Top

Hi Stasia. 2 more contractors are coming this week, one tomorrow, one on Thursday and they will present their assessments (and cost, of course) to our property manager and hopefully, work on waterproofing will begin shortly after that. If I hear nothing from the property manager by Thursday evening with some update, I will be on the horn Friday a.m. and won't let up till I have some answers. So far, so good, the basement remains dry. It also remains a mess from the carpet having been pulled up, furniture removed (some in the living room, some upstairs in my spare room. I feel like I am in the middle of moving when in fact, nothing seems to be moving! I never thought I'd be happy for cold weather but as long as it remains cold, there won't be much melting in the backyard. But it's getting old fast.

Stasia, I looked at your profile page and love all the quotes. Did you see my mention of a book I recently finished? >70 jessibud2:? Fun stuff!

Yesterday, 9:17am Top

Sorry for the continued basement hassle, Shelley. At least it's staying dry while you wait...

Yesterday, 1:40pm Top

>76 jessibud2:

Hi - I'm not a NEW YORKER subscriber either - it comes free with a list of articles to click on.

Yesterday, 9:54pm Top

>83 katiekrug: - So far, so good. First (actually second, but first this week) contractor arrives tomorrow morning.

>84 m.belljackson: - When I click on it, they usually say how many free articles I have left (I forget now how many I get per month) but I can zip through them quickly.

Yesterday, 10:15pm Top

I am somewhat of a language nerd. I love books about language, whether they are funny or serious. I have an eclectic collection of dictionaries and books about language. So when I came across this one recently, I could not resist. It's from the library and it has me laughing out loud. It's called The African Svelte, written by Daniel Menaker, of The New Yorker, and illustrated by Roz Chast. How can you possibly go wrong with that? Subtitled "Ingenious Misspellings That Make Surprising Sense". What Menaker does here is collect unintentional errors that actually sort-of work. Like those misheard lyrics (Mondegreens) he briefly, usually in a couple of pages at most, explains how and why. He calls them *sveltes* after the first one he found (thus the title of the book). I read on the subway today and will be heading downtown again tomorrow so I will probably finish it then. Here is just a smattering that particularly tickled my funnybone:

- I am sobbing wet
- a furled brow
- a feta com plea
- undo stress
- Aztech ruins
- self of steam
- eek out a living

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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