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vancouverdeb(Deborah) reads in 2019 #2

This is a continuation of the topic vancouverdeb(Deborah) reads in 2019.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Mar 22, 8:07am Top

Edited: Mar 22, 8:09am Top

Edited: Apr 27, 7:34am Top

1)Broken Girls by Simon St James (Canadian) 4 stars
2)The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St James (Canadian) 3.8 stars
3)Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine by Dr. James Maskalyk ( Canadian) 3 stars
4)The Darkness (Hidden Iceland)by Ragnar Jónasson (Icelandic) 4.5 stars

5)Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield ( UK) 4.5 stars
6)The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley 4 stars( Canadian)
7)Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page (Canadian) 4 stars
8)I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel ( American) 3 stars
9)A Woman in Black by Susan Hill ( UK) 3.5 stars

10)The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin (UK) 4.3 stars
11)Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden (USA) 4 stars
12)American Marriage, An: A Novel by Tayari Jones (USA) 4.5 stars
13)My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Nigerian)
14)The Quintland Sisters: A Novel by Shelley Wood ( Canada) 4 stars

Edited: Jul 18, 4:45am Top

15) Ghost Wall: A Novel by Sarah Moss ( UK) 4.5
16)The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths ( UK) 4.5 stars
17)The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama( Canada) by Pierre Berton 3.5 stars
18)The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear (US) 4 stars

19)Henry, Himself: A Novel by Stewart O'Nan (US) 4 stars
20)A Deceptive Devotion by Iona Whishaw ( Canada) 3.75 stars
21)The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea ( UK) 4.25 stars
22)Old Baggage by Lissa Evans (UK) 3.25 stars

23)The Island: A Thriller by Ragnar Jónasson (Iceland) 3.5
24Heat Wave by Maureen Jennings ( Canada) 3.5 stars
25) The Widows: A Novel by Jess Montgomery ( USA) 4 stars

26)Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (UK) 3.75 stars
27)Marilla of Green Gables O/S by Sarah McCoy

Edited: Jul 18, 4:45am Top

Author stats

F 21

Authors nationality

Canadian 9
Icelandic 2
UK 8
American 7
Nigerian 1

Where the story took place

Canada 6
Iceland 3
UK 10
Africa 1
Nigeria 1

Edited: Jul 18, 4:46am Top

Just for fun, pages read in 2019

8040 pages

Edited: Mar 22, 8:43am Top

The Women's Literature Prize Longlist

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite
The Pisces Melissa Broder
Milkman Anna Burns
Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi
Ordinary People Diana Evans
Swan Song Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An American Marriage Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant Lillian Li
Bottled Goods Sophie van Llewyn
Lost Children Archive Valeria Luiselli
Praise Song for the Butterflies Bernice L. McFadden
Circe Madeline Miller
Ghost Wall Sarah Moss
Normal People by Sally Rooney

Mar 22, 7:51am Top


Mar 22, 7:52am Top

Welcome to my new thread! Please drop a star or stop by and say hello!

I come back later on to fill in my thread. But I thought I'd get a start here.

Mar 22, 7:54am Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 22, 8:27am Top

> 10 Thanks , Anita! I hope the image that I used will stay in place :-)

Edited: Mar 22, 8:41am Top

I have a couple of reviews/ comments on An American Marriage to make , as well as for Praise Song for Butterflies .

I tried about 150 pages of Milkman, but I found it so dense, that it was a DNF for me.

On the other hand, Number One Chinese Restaurant was so silly , that I also DNF.

I plan to read Ghost Wall, Ordinary People and I am currently reading My Sister the Serial Killer, which is quite a lot of fun, much to my surprise. However, I am only about 1/2 way through the short novel.

I'll see what else I can find that suits me within the Women's Fiction Long list.

Edited: Mar 22, 8:43am Top

Currently reading My Sister The Serial Killer. I had heard good things about it. Nonetheless, I was concerned it might be to heavy/graphic , but not at all so far.

Mar 22, 8:47am Top

Happy New Thread, Deb!

I don't know whether it helps you with Milkman, but Charlotte let me know it's set during the Troubles in Ireland, and what was hard for me to make sense of fell into place.

Mar 22, 8:56am Top

Happy new thread, Deborah.

Mar 22, 9:02am Top

My now 12 month old grandaughter Melissa. Such long legs for a little girl. Such a cutie!!! :-)

Mar 22, 9:04am Top

>14 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I did understand that it was about the Troubles, but perhaps even so the narrative style was not for me. I may try again.

>15 BLBera: Thanks Beth!

Mar 22, 9:06am Top

>16 vancouverdeb: What a doll! She is have long legs.

Edited: Mar 22, 9:20am Top

One more picture of my granddaughter and my son and his wife. Since I figured this out for the moment, here we go! This was taken in Hong Kong this past February. They went to visit my DIL's sister and family and enjoyed themselves.

Edited: Mar 22, 9:16am Top

>18 BLBera: Thanks for your kind words, Beth. Grandchildren are the best!

Mar 22, 9:17am Top

Beautiful photos, Deb! Next, we need one of you and Melissa together! ;-)

Mar 22, 12:07pm Top

Deborah, lovely to see photos of Melissa and her adventures. She is gorgeous! Happy new thread!

Mar 22, 1:16pm Top

Happy new thread! And what a photogenic family you have.

Mar 22, 4:44pm Top

Hi, Deborah. I’m another one enjoying the photos of Melissa and her folks. What a cutie is right!

Mar 23, 12:44am Top

Happy new thread, Deborah. Great pictures of Melissa. Looks like she is going to be tall.

Mar 23, 12:44am Top

>16 vancouverdeb: Yup. Those are going to be long, model legs!! And a cute face to go with them! Thanks for sharing the photos. : )

>7 vancouverdeb: I just started Lost Children Archive and 50 pages in, it is very good. An unusual style, of almost paragraphs or short entries on different subjects which together make up the family story interwoven with observations about lots of things: Native American history, the history between America and Mexico, immigrants, family, road trips, what keeps families together and what pulls them apart, and the need for compassion.

Happy new thread!!

Edited: Mar 23, 1:51am Top

>21 jessibud2: I'll have to try to get my hair in order, Shelley. You know my hair troubles. I let it go curly and then I can't stand it, so I start trying to blow dry and product it straight, and then it's too flat. It's an ongoing problem. I have few good hair days. :-)

>22 mdoris: Mary, I know your grandchildren are having all manner of adventures. I recall that Anouk was starting swimming lessons very early in life. Melissa has been taking swimming lessons once a week since she was 6 months old - but that is nothing compared to your granddaughter. After my DIL's initial extreme anxiety about germs etc, I am so pleased that they seem to have relaxed. Melissa is off to some sort of class once a week, where the little ones paint, sing, play games, free play etc. I think it is great for her .

>23 charl08: Thanks Charlotte. Whether my family is photogenic well - I suppose, but I'm got going to post the really weird faces that my granddaughter can pull, or people's bad hair days. lol . I think we all have them.

Mar 23, 2:00am Top

>24 jnwelch: Thanks Joe. I know you have a some darling photos of Rafa and his folks. Babies are darling!I really like this older age, when their personality starts to show through more and communication is much more possible.

>25 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg, She is a big girl for her age at 25 lbs, but she is quite tall as well. I had not noticed her long legs until I saw her in the swing. My son is just over 6 feet tall, and my DIL is about 5' 5', so I guess time will tell. But she does seem to be on the tall side , yes.

>26 Berly: Kim, I have real trouble importing photos onto LT, due my lack on computer skills, so it is with some excitement that I can post a picture or two. I'm not sure about Melissa being a model ;-) Her mom clips a little bow on top of her hair so that people know that she is girl, but about an hour after, Melissa pulls the bow off her head and tosses it away.

Thanks for the info re Lost Children Archive. It's a book I've not been able to find as yet and I'm very interested in the Women's Fiction Longlist.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:40pm Top

A few quick comments. I finished Praise Song for Butterflies about 2 weeks ago.

Abeo Kato is a nine year old girl, living in West Africa. She is nine years old and lives a privileged life with her loving father and mother . Her father does well working as a government employee. When Abeo's family takes a big turn for the worse, her father follows his mother's advice and takes young Abeo to religious shrine as a sacrifice to appease the gods. I had never heard of " trokosi" - or female slave, but this is how young Abeo is to spend her life atoning for the crimes of her ancestors.

It was a moving story and exposed me to a practice I had not been aware of. It's not all that dark and I'd encourage anyone to read it. It's written in plain prose, and is a fairly quick read at 243 pages.

Highly recommended .

4 stars.

Edited: Mar 23, 2:43am Top

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Celestial and Roy are newlyweds in the southern USA. They appear to have it all - Roy is an aspiring businessman and Celestial is working to be a successful artist. But after a year and half, suddenly Roy is arrested and imprisoned for 12 years. Both Celestial and Roy know that he is not guilty of the crime. They are an African -American couple . The injustice that African Americans experience in the USA is touched on here, but I thought this was more of a character driven novel. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, Celestial, Roy, Roy's father, and a friend named Andre. All of the characters are flawed and complex, and very believable. How do you cope when your spouse is in prison? Can you maintain your love for each other ? It's a fascinating tale, and one that plays out for so many people in real life.

Highly recommended

4. 5 stars.

Mar 23, 9:49am Top

Hi Deborah!

Happy new thread and thanks for sharing the photos of Melissa, your son, and DiL. Not a bad hair day amongst them! *smile*

Mar 23, 11:07am Top

Nice comments on Praise Song for the Butterflies and American Marriage, Deborah.

Mar 23, 2:10pm Top

Very good book reviews Deborah. Your review of American Marriage reminded me of the plot of If Beale Street Could Talk based on a James Baldwin book. It was a very good film. Good to be inspired by the Women's Prize long list books!

Mar 23, 4:37pm Top

Happy new thread! Melissa is adorable.

Mar 23, 6:16pm Top

Happy new thread, Deborah!
Lovely pictures of Melissa and her parents.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:47pm Top

>31 karenmarie: Thanks Karen! It's me that has the bad hair days! :-)

>32 BLBera: I think I could have seemed more enthused when I wrote the reviews , Beth. I really enjoyed both books very much. Thanks though.

>33 mdoris: Thanks Mary. You know, I clicked on If Beale Street Could Talk and another person has recommended American Marriage as similar book/ story, so you are not the only one that thinks that. I'm not familiar with If Beale Street Could Talk. But both books were very good reads. And yes, I am inspired by the Women's Long list .

Mar 23, 6:51pm Top

>34 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda! Of course I think that Melissa is adorable! She really is! and her sparkling personality! Strange thing, me being so keen about my granddaughter ;-)

>35 FAMeulstee: Good to see you, Anita! Thanks for your kind words. They seem to be so much more relaxed than they did during Melissa's first 6 months or so.

Mar 23, 8:25pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 23, 9:17pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Mar 24, 3:07pm Top

Hi Deb and Happy New Thread! I adore that image in >1 vancouverdeb:. So whimsical and cute. And, well, books and cats.... I mean.

>29 vancouverdeb: I have not heard of that one before but it sounds very interesting.

>30 vancouverdeb: Yep, that was a good one.

Your grand-daughter Melissa is a cutie! And I'll be interested in your thoughts about My Sister The Serial Killer. It sounds like quite a read!

Mar 24, 5:58pm Top

Hi Deborah my dear, a belated happy new thread , hope you and Dave are having a good weekend dear friend and send love and hugs to you both from both of us.

Mar 24, 6:38pm Top

>38 thornton37814: Thanks Lori!

>39 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>40 EBT1002: Praise Song for Butterflies is indeed excellent, Ellen. I'm certain you would enjoy it. Yes, I think my granddaughter is a cute, but then again, I am rather partial to her :-) I've finished My Sister the Serial Killer and it is brilliant, and I'd highly recommend it, Ellen. I'll create some comments perhaps later today.

>41 johnsimpson: Thanks John. Likewise, I hope that you and Karen have a lovely week ahead of you. Love and hugs to you too!

Edited: Mar 24, 6:45pm Top

>16 vancouverdeb: Melissa is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

Happy Sunday, Deb. Happy New Thread! I also really enjoyed Praise Song for Butterflies. I thought less of An American Marriage but I am glad you felt as highly about it.

Mar 24, 10:48pm Top

Thanks, Lone Ranger! It's is hard to decide sometimes what is the better book, or so I find at times . The topic covered in Praise Song for Butterflies was fascinating and something I had never been aware of - the concept of a trokosi - tro meaning deity or fetish, and kosi, meaning female slave. I really enjoyed the story. Initially I did not think I would care for An American Marriage, but once I got into it, I thought the complex and flawed characters and the concept of how does one cope when you have a loved on in prison , what is that like? So I was a little conflicted as to what was the better book.

Edited: Mar 25, 6:23pm Top

My Sister , The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. This another book from the Womens Fiction Prize Longlist. I'll admit that the title and the cover image were off - putting for me. I imagined a gruesome story and one that I really was not sure that I would enjoy. Sure, the book jacket described it as " A darkly comic , hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends ". Another brief review on the back on the book jacket, billed the story as " A rapidly paced thriller that pleasurably subverts serial killer and sisterhood tropes for a guaranteed afternoon of fun ' - Huffington Post.

Most often " darkly comic " means just plain dark to me. But I was very surprised. Though the book was dark as promised, it really was humourous as well. It was not to gruesome at all. The plot was clever and well done, the characters fascinating and the ending a complete surprise to me. I thought it was brilliantly written little book of 223 pages.

Highly recommend to most anyone. I'm going to wait until I read Ghost Wall before I decide whether this is a 4. 5 star or 5 star read.

Edited: Apr 1, 8:06pm Top

Currently reading The Quintland Sisters: A Novel by Shelley Wood. I found this in my local bookstore for $15 and I thought - why not? It's a fictional story about Canada Dionne Quintuplets who were born back in 1934. The author researched the topic very well and adds in samples of real newspaper clippings from the time.

Here is a link about the Dionne Quintuplets from wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionne_quintuplets

Edited: Mar 25, 2:19am Top

Deborah my dad was an intern at Sick Kids' Hospital in Toronto when the quints were born and helped with their early management. I have a photo from those times if you are interested with my dad and Dr. Dafoe who was the prime pediatrician. (I will post it over on my thread!) There is a Pierre Berton book The Dionne Years about this. It is such a sad story.

Mar 25, 2:21am Top

>47 mdoris: What a lot of of information you must have about the Dionne Quints, Mary. In the book so far, which I think is trying to stay true to the real story, Dr Dafoe seems very controlling of the quints, though at least initially Dr Dafoe seemed to doing his best. That is fascinating about your dad, and I've already popped over to your thread.

Mar 25, 6:13am Top

>46 vancouverdeb: - I wondered about this book. Let me know if it's a worthy read. It seems odd to make a fictionalized version. Does she use the real names of real people? I have read the Pierre Burton NF book about them and it was indeed, so sad. I have always had a fascination with their story, appalled at the treatment they (and their family) endured.

>47 mdoris: - Mary, wow, your dad must have had some stories to tell! I saw the photo on your thread, wow!

Edited: Mar 25, 2:14pm Top

Not too many stories to tell I'm afraid and wish of course that I had asked more questions when I could have. But I do know from a newspaper clipping that my dad was responsible for the quints some time when Dr. Dafoe was away and presenting at a conference in New York city. This is reported in the Times Evening Herald Newspaper Archives, Dec 8, 1934. So my dad must not have been a an intern at the time but on a graduate fellowship. I know my dad sure loved babies and when we lived in Toronto he would come over and play with our little ones.

Mar 25, 2:29pm Top

Happy new thread, Deborah and Happy Spring as well!
>19 vancouverdeb: Aweeee, your granddaughter is a precious cutie!

I have My Sister , The Serial Killer. The question is, can I squeeze it in before it's due. By your review, I think I should!
I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on Ghost Wall as I read it last month.

Edited: Mar 25, 6:54pm Top

>49 jessibud2: Shelley, until I've finished the book, I won't be able to say whether it's a worthwhile read. For me it is, because I really knew very little about the Dionne Quintuplets prior to this book . I knew that they were a part of Canadian History and has been exploited, but I did know a lot more than that. The author explains that she decided to write a fiction book for two reasons - it has been covered in non- fiction before and quite thoroughly, and she wanted to create a book for fiction readers. She also mentions that nothing has been written since the 1990's about the Dionne Quints and she wanted to be sure that their story was remembered by generations that weren't around in the Dionne Days. She use real names, yes, and uses brief news paper archives throughout the book - from The Toronto Star, The Globe, Ottawa Citizen and others and a very local newspaper called the " North Bay Nugget" and a part of a New York Times article. She lists her bibliography in the back - Pierre Berton, Lillian Barker , We Were Five : The Dionne Quintuplets Story from Birth , The Dionnes as well as quite a few other sources, William Blatz and other sources. She only tells their story until they are about 21 years old.

>50 mdoris: Mary , it's so exciting that your dad had responsibility for the quints when Dr Defoe was away in New York presenting a conference. While the book does not cite that news paper clipping, it cites quite a few others. The book does mention that Dr Dafoe did leave Quintland to do conferences etc. I'm sure your dad was a positive force int the Quints lives. I think we all have questions we wished we'd asked our dad's prior to their passing. I know I do.

Mar 25, 6:52pm Top

>51 Carmenere: Thanks Lynda - I think she's a cutie too! As I mentioned on your thread, I think that if you have time, read My Sister The Serial Killer. It's a very unique tale and not too gruesome at all - at least not for me and I was a bit anxious about that.

I'm looking forward to getting my hands on Ghost Wall and I think won't be long until I'm up for it at the library. I'm currently in the hold queue. I'll let you know what I think .

Mar 25, 7:08pm Top

Good spell of reading on the Women's Prize.

Melissa is a cutie.

Mar 25, 10:36pm Top

>52 vancouverdeb: - Thanks for that info, Deb. I read Pierre Burton's book many years ago and have read other works about them, too. But I know that as recently as 2017, 2 of them were still alive and pretty much destitute. It was really such a sad, really tragic situation. I googled and tried to find more current info but I am just too tired now to go through everything I found.


Mar 26, 1:02am Top

I was eyeing Quintland at Chapters the other day, Deborah. I didn't pick it up though. I think I would prefer to read a nonfiction account about them although a lot can be gathered from a fiction rendering of a story if it is done right.

Edited: Mar 26, 6:41pm Top

>56 Familyhistorian: I did request the non- fiction book by Pierre Berton re the Dionne Quints via an inter-library loan. But I feel I'm really learning a lot via Quintland. It seems to be well done and well researched.

Mar 27, 1:51pm Top

Hi Deb! Glad you liked An American Marriage. If I recall correctly, I enjoyed it as well.

Mar 27, 6:36pm Top

>58 figsfromthistle: Good to see you, Anita! I'm glad to find a fellow reader that enjoyed An American Marriage. It seems that people are people are somewhat divided on it. But somehow it really resonated with me, despite the fact that I not thought that I'd enjoy it.

Mar 27, 6:38pm Top

I'm nearly finished Quintland and I've found it really enjoyable and interesting. I'm looking forward to Ghost Wall which is next up - I think - from the Womens Long List Fiction Prize.

Mar 28, 10:59am Top

Happy new thread! Love the pictures of your family. Melissa is so cute!

Mar 29, 4:49pm Top

>61 ChelleBearss: Thanks so much , Chelle! I'm heading out to see Melissa shortly. So fun! :-)

Mar 29, 4:56pm Top

Bonus day in the mail today - The Long Shadow and The Trouble Makers both arrived from Blackwell's in the UK. Books in the mail are always a cause for celebration! And a hold of Dave's came in at the library. I've finished Quintland and I found it very interesting. My mom is keen to borrow Quintland and I'm waiting for an inter library loan by Pierre Berton to arrive so as to read a non -fiction book about the Dionne Quints. I'll write up a little about Quintland later.

Mar 30, 8:16am Top

>63 vancouverdeb: Sounds like fun Deborah. Hope you have a good weekend of reading :-)

Edited: Mar 30, 11:17am Top

Oh, new books arriving. What fun! It's been such a good book week with Canada Reads and following the Tournament of Books.

Mar 31, 3:13pm Top

>45 vancouverdeb: I was so intrigued by the comments on The Tournament of Books website that I thought I'd better try this one. Your comments cinched the deal! It doesn't seem like my type of book, but I'll read it with an open mind. I have it on reserve at the library.

Melissa is a real cutie. I'm so glad her parents have gotten over the germ phobia. That means more time with Grandma I hope. What will she call you or will you let the name evolve? She's at the age where the changes come fast and furiously. Enjoy!

Mar 31, 8:44pm Top

>64 charl08: I have not had much time to read at all this weekend, Charlotte. I had lots of fun playing with Melissa and then my mom, who lives in our once family home with one of my sisters is having trouble sorting out how to pay some bills as she a new Visa card. My mom is quite hard of hearing and I realize perhaps needing a little more help with things. So I've been in touch with her quite a bit, and my older son is going over there tonight to help her sort out her billing issues. However, if he is not successful, that is what I'll be doing tomorrow.

>65 mdoris: Yes, I do love new books, Mary! Another of my holds came in from the library, this one the new stand alone novel from Elly Griffiths. I can't remember the name off hand. I slowing getting into Ghost Wall right now and I hope that I can fit in the The Stone Circle somewhere in my reading plans. I suppose it is better to have more books that you are eager to read than go into a reading funk, but too many books due at the library affects my" read at whim reading" schedule :-) Thought I am in a bit of read from the Women's Longlist mode, so Ghost Wall it is .

Mar 31, 8:55pm Top

>66 Donna828: I am very glad that Melissa's parents are over their germ phobia too, Donna! It was quite a challenge for many months. I had a lot of fun doing puzzles and playing silly make believe Ice Cream shop etc with Melissa when I was visiting her on Friday. She just babbles for now, but she really loves her little books, especially those with flaps to open, and she is keen on " serving up " plastic ice cream cones of various flavours." I call myself grandma and I suspect that she will also call me grandma, but I'll take whatever she can offer up to me as a " name." Grandma seems to be the" thing" in my family. It's what I called my own grandparents and what my mom's 10 grandchildren call her, and just lately my sister has become a brand new grandma . So I suspect I will be grandma as I would prefer. Melissa's maternal grandma prefers the Cantonese por por , so I don't have to worry about there being two " grandmas" as far as " names" go.

I really hope that you enjoy My Sister the Serial Killer. I thought it was brilliant. I'll look forward to your thoughts.

Apr 1, 3:21am Top

>45 vancouverdeb: Now I really want to read My Sister, The Serial Killer!

>68 vancouverdeb: My mom didn't want tot be there second grandma, so she opted for Nana, which was fine until the other grandma became Nama. LOL

Happy Monday.

Apr 1, 7:29pm Top

>69 Berly: My Sister , The Serial Killer is so much fun, Kim, that you simply must read it. I think you will enjoy it.

I have no worries about what Melissa eventually calls me. I suspect it will be grandma, but right now her favourite thing to say when she points to something of interest is " dodo" - well, if I end up being called dodo , I can live with that :-)

Edited: Apr 1, 8:05pm Top

The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood. I mentioned quite a bit about this book in my post >52 vancouverdeb:

I quite enjoyed the story. It may be of particular interest to other Canadians. It is based on the non - fictional historical story of a rather amazing birth of quintuplets to a poor farmer and his family in the 1934. As one might imagine, in 1934 to have Quints that were born and survived was quite a miracle. Most Canadians will be familiar at least in passing with the Dionne Quints. The story is based on fact and there is a bibliography. The narrator in The Quintland Sisters is fictional, a young teen who is pressed into assisting a midwife with the birth of the quints. She stays on as a helper and observer of the quints until 1939. There is an epilogue that mentions some of the further sorrows of the quints in 1954. The book does use the actual names of the Quint family, as well Dr. Dafoe , Dr Blatz and others who figured in the raising and situation of the Quints. The author also intersperses the book with actual clippings from various newspapers of the time.

The author's purpose in writing this book was for non -fiction readers, and for younger generations who may have forgotten about the Dionne Quints, to raise awareness of this sad time in Canadian History. I think the author succeeded in this mission.

I noted in this weekend's Globe and Mail newspaper that The Quintland Sisters is among the top 10 bestsellers in Canada.

It's fairly light read, despite the sad situation that befell the quints. I have known a little about the The Dionne Quints, but really not much. I feel much more informed about the Quints, and I've requested the non- fiction book The Dionne Years by Pierre Bertion as an interlibrary loan. I've also watched some old film footage online regarding the quints.

Highly recommended for those who prefer non-fiction and those who have an interest in the Quints. For me, this has served as jumping off point to learn more about Canadian history. I mentioned this book to my mom, and she is keen to borrow it.

4 stars

Edited: Apr 2, 2:38am Top

Currently reading Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss from the Women's Fiction Longlist.

Apr 2, 9:52am Top

Hi Deborah!

I went through a phase with being fascinated with The Dionne Quintuplets, read at least one book about them and since it was in the dinosaur days of card catalogs and real magazines in libraries, read quite a few magazine articles, too.

Apr 2, 9:27pm Top

>16 vancouverdeb: >19 vancouverdeb:. I'm late getting here Deborah but What a little cutie you've got there. If there's something better than being a grandparent, I've yet to discover what it is lol.

Glad to see you liked My Sister the Serial Killer. I've got it on my Overdrive holds list.

Apr 2, 9:42pm Top

>73 karenmarie: That's interesting, Karen. I'm not sure how many people outside ( and even within Canada ) know much about the Dionne Quints. I had heard a little about them, but really knew nothing about them until I read this book. Two of them are still alive. Apparently one of them lives in relative poverty and the other one helps out the impoverished quint. I certainly remember the good old days of card catalogues . My local library still carries real magazines, though I really never take advantage of that.

>74 brenzi: Thanks Bonnie. I think she is a real cutie too and such a fun little personality. I really enjoyed My Sister the Serial Killer, yes. I hope you do too.

Edited: Apr 2, 10:01pm Top

I finished Ghost Wall, but I have to ponder on the book a little before I make any comments. It certainly was a powerful and intense read. I'd recommend for certain, though.

Edited: Apr 3, 12:55am Top

Womens Longlist from my perspective , so far.

Ghost Wall
My Sister the Serial Killer
American Marriage would be next
Praise Song for the Butterflies

Number One Chinese Restaurant was a DNF for me. It just seemed fluffy and not worth my time.
The style of writing in Milkman was not I could really penetrate ,despite knowing that the book was about the Troubles in Ireland, which I don't know a great deal about. Another DNF.

I plan to get to Ordinary People as it is easily available . I'd like to read Remembered, but it's not available in North America, so I'm not quite sure what to do about that.

I do think that both Ghost Wall and My Sister the Serial Killer will advance to the shortlist, but purely a guess on my part.

Apr 4, 10:50pm Top

Deborah you are doing so well with the Women's longlist reads!
I picked up Quintland tonight after your glowing reviews. With thanks!

Apr 5, 8:57am Top

I'm still waiting for Praise Song for the Butterflies to turn up at the library - but it is on order! I've still not read Ordinary People, although I do have a copy. Maybe this weekend?

Apr 5, 11:43pm Top

>78 mdoris: Thanks Mary! I'm enjoying the Women's longlist. It's proves to be a great jumping off spot to new books and books I've seen but disregarded. I've sure loved the four that I completed. I hope you enjoy Quintland as I did. The Dionne Years came in on an ILL loan, so I hope to get to it this round. I had several holds come in at once, you know how challenging that can be.

>79 charl08: I really enjoyed Praise Song for Butterflies, Charlotte. It's an easy read , dark yes, but not too bad. I had never heard of the practice of placing children- girls in particular into a religious shrine to atone the gods for the sins of ancestors. That was very enlightening.

Edited: Apr 5, 11:46pm Top

Currently reading The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. I read several books in her Ruth Galloway series and kind of tired of them, but this standalone is proving to be excellent.

Apr 6, 11:27am Top

>81 vancouverdeb: I've heard good things about this one, Deborah. I'm waiting for my turn at it.

Apr 6, 4:26pm Top

Hi Deborah my dear, I hope all is well with you, Dave and the family and that you are having a good weekend and send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Apr 6, 6:31pm Top

>82 BLBera: Stranger Diaries is definitely worth the read, Beth. I can hardly put the book down. But unfortunately RL calls!I was a bit uncertain about Stranger Diaries as I was a bit lukewarm about her Ruth Galloway series, but this is definitely a much better read - at least for me.

>83 johnsimpson: Hi John. Things are well enough with me and the family. Unfortunately, Dave is working all weekend, as is so often the case, but I am used to that by now. Love and hugs to you too, John. I hope all is well in your world - love and hugs to you too.

Apr 7, 11:19am Top

Deb! I am listening to CBC radio right now and there is a segment on The Sunday Edition now, an in-depth interview with the author of Quintland!

interview with author of Quintland

I think I may actually want to read it now!

Apr 7, 1:11pm Top

Pleased to see that Ghost Wall made a good impression, Deb. I have it on the shelves and I can't imagine it gathering much dust.

Have a lovely Sunday.

Edited: Apr 7, 6:10pm Top

>85 jessibud2: Thanks for the link, Shelley. I'll have listen a little later. I think I'm going to read The Dionne Quintuplets by Pierre Berton just to compare it with Quintland

>86 PaulCranswick: Indeed, yes, Ghost Wall I've not commented on as yet , but yes, Paul, it an intense and fascinating read! It's very short, so I should think it would be a quick read for you.

Apr 7, 6:52pm Top

^I had a very nice organized bird walk this morning and many Golden-Crowned and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets were spotted. They have arrived. I even saw my first Great Horned Owl of the year.

Happy Sunday, Deb. Ghost Wall looks like something I would like. I have it tagged.

Apr 9, 10:33am Top

>88 msf59: Mark, a gorgeous little bird. Lucky you, seeing Ruby Crowned Kinglets. I'm still pleased that I saw a couple of them! :-) It doesn't take much. I suspect the other little wee birds that I saw were house finches, rather than purple finches, but I'm still uncertain.

Apr 9, 12:39pm Top

Deborah, I know what you mean about hard choices with the books. I always feel library book pressure and neglect those books crying to be read from the home book shleves. Aren't we lucky with this glorious weather? Poppy and Maggie will be wagging their tails!

Apr 9, 8:55pm Top

>90 mdoris: Sometimes a person has to splash out with a purchase or two, owing to library book pressure, Mary. You are quite right, it has been glorious if somewhat changeable weather. Poppy is an all weather dog, but she does prefer to go without a rain jacket for certain, so we are pleased with the nice sunny weather. I'm glad not to have to wipe off paws and dogs and rain jackets!

Edited: Apr 12, 12:00am Top

I finished Ghost Wall and really loved it. I suspect it will go forward on the Women's Fiction Short List. It's the story of a teenaged girl, Silvie, who goes on a holiday of sorts with her parents. They are joining a university anthropology class to live for 2 weeks as those who lived in the Iron Age. While the university group is content to live just the flavour of the life in the Iron Age, sneaking off to shops and wearing socks, Silvie's father has had a life long obsession to live as people in the Iron Age. Within the short story of about 133 pages , topics like nationalism, class warfare , misogyny and male violence are covered here. As Silvie interacts with the young college students, she sees that there is life outside of her controlling father and her abused mother.

An excellent and tense story. Highly recommended.

4.5 stars ( and maybe 5 )

Edited: Apr 9, 9:41pm Top

I also finished The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths. Most people will be aware of her Ruth Galloway series. I had read three in the series, but I got a bit weary of the series. This stand alone novel by Elly Griffiths was a very enjoyable read. If you read The Magpie Murders and enjoyed that, you might enjoy The Stranger Diaries as well.

Clare Cassidy is a high school teacher who teaches English. She also teaches creative writing classes to adults. Clare's own favourite bit of literature is a ghost story, The Stranger by R.M.Holland . When her real life and The Stranger collide, Clare is horrified. The body of a close friend and colleague is found murdered. Clare and her her close friends are all possible suspects, and Clare does not know where to turn. The story is told from multiple viewpoints, Clare Cassidy, her teenaged daughter, Georgie, as well as Detective Harbinder Kaur, and Clare's diary. All of the characters are well developed and fascinating, and the story itself really had me turning the pages. Spooky, sometimes humourous and very atmospheric.

4. 5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Edited: Apr 9, 9:42pm Top

Currently reading The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama by Pierre Berton. After reading Quintland by Shelley Wood, which is fictional take on the Dionne Quints, I was curious to read the a non -fiction account of the Quints life.

Apr 9, 9:59pm Top

I still love the Ruth Galloway series, Deborah (waiting on the newest!), and you make The Stranger Diaries sound really good. I'll add it to the WL.

Apr 9, 10:16pm Top

Hi, Deb. Lots of birdsong on the route today, celebrating the warmer weather. I want to get better at identifying birdsong. I find it very difficult, because many sound very similar. I will slowly keep working at it.

I have Ghost Wall on my list. Thanks.

Apr 9, 11:37pm Top

Your little grand baby is adorable, Deborah!

Wasn’t The Stranger Diaries fun!? I didn’t want it to end!

I picked up My Sister, The Serial Killer from the library today and have the same reservations about it that you did. I’m glad you liked it!

Apr 10, 12:22am Top

>92 vancouverdeb: Ohhh! Now I really want to read Ghost Wall! Zing. And Stranger Diaries. Zing, zing!

Apr 10, 2:08am Top

Some great reads Deborah. Hope the Quints book is an interesting one.

I did (eventually) get all the library cards on the hunt!

Apr 10, 7:56am Top

I read the Berton book on the quints years ago and loved it. Sad and tragic but Berton is a great writer.

Apr 11, 12:13am Top

>95 jnwelch: The Stranger Diaries was much better than I was able to describe, Joe, I am sure that you and many others would enjoy it very much. I was sad that story has to end, I was so invested in the characters and the plot. Pure enjoyment.

>96 msf59: Mark, you will definitely enjoy reading Ghost Wall. It packs a powerful punch in a very slim volume. You would be the expert on birdsong, Mark, I can look at birds and I am still puzzled as to what they are. They are a few birdsongs I recognize, but not very many.

>97 Copperskye: Thanks Joanne! I think Melissa is rather a cute too. Agreed, Stranger Diaries was lots of fun! Initially I actually found it a bit scary, but it soon turned into just enjoyment. I sure hope you enjoy My Sister, The Serial Killer. It's much different than the title and cover image would suggest.

Apr 11, 12:18am Top

>98 Berly: Kim, more book on the WL or the TBR pile for you. My job here is done! ;-)

>99 charl08: Hooray, Charlotte, for finding all of the library cards on the treasure hunt. I have so much fun with the LT hunts.

>100 jessibud2: This is the first book I've read by Pierre Berton Shelley. I'm enjoying it, but I'm glad I reading just after I read Quintland. While both books tell the same story, both have a different focus. They go well together. The two books together give me a better over all picture of the Dionne Quints. And to think that prior to this I really had barely heard of Dionne Quints. I mean I had heard of them, but I really did not know the story.

Apr 11, 1:23pm Top

Hi Deborah!

>93 vancouverdeb: Definitely a book bullet! Sounds wonderful.

Apr 11, 6:49pm Top

Hi Karen!

Yes, The Stranger Diaries is definitely a great deal of fun and escape from the real world. I really got caught up in it.

Apr 11, 9:44pm Top

Gah too many book bullets Deborah. Ghost Wall, Quintland and The Dionne Years. Stop reading so many good books lol

Apr 13, 6:35pm Top

>105 brenzi: Sorry, Bonnie! I might say the same about you - too many book bullets! :-)

Edited: Apr 13, 7:23pm Top

The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama by Pierre Berton . After reading the new fiction book, Quintland by Shelley Wood, I decided I'd like to read the older non - fiction take on the Dionne Quints by Pierre Berton . It was an interesting read, and for me, worth reading both of the books to get a good feel of what life was like for the Dionne Quints, their parents, Oliva and Elizire , and Doctor Defoe and others involved with their care and guardianship . I think both books gave a fair look what life was like and the two books complemented each other. The fiction book Quintland focused more on what life might have been like day to day for the Quints, though it did also include the many doctors and the Ontario governments involvement in the Quints . The Dionne Years A Thirties Melodrama filled in many of the details of what life was like in Callander Northern Ontario , in 1934 and onward. I was fascinated by the interesting details about Dr Allan Defoe and his type 1 diabetes, his reclusive life as widowed man , and had a son with whom he barely communicated. William Blatz was the controversial psychologist who set up a minute by minute schedule for the Quints. Dr Alan Brown was the head of Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital and also part inventor of Pablum. These little tidbits interested me, thought the book was about the overall picture of the the people involved in the care of the Quints. It seems to me that many of the people to whom the care of the Quints was entrusted initially had good intentions, but created sorrow and tragedy for the Quints. For many , including Dr Defoe and the Quints father and the Province of Ontario, the Quints became money makers .

Though I am far from obsessed with the Dionne Quints , I am glad to have learned a great deal about a part of Canadian history that I knew very little about prior to reading both of these books.

3.7 stars

Edited: Apr 13, 7:22pm Top

Currently reading one of my favorite series, The American Agent: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear .

Apr 13, 7:22pm Top

I also think the tragedy extended to the rest of their family, too and wonder what happened to them. I am quite sure they didn't benefit much from the $$ the spectacle of the quints generated.

Apr 13, 7:30pm Top

>108 vancouverdeb: Yes, Shelley, that is true. Two of the Quints are still living. The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama does speak to where the money went - in part, the Quints were not good money managers due to the way they were brought up without the usual life experiences. The book does address the various marriages of the Quints and how those worked or failed. It also mentions the schism created between the Quints and their siblings and parents, and the book that the Quints themselves wrote. I really don't think anyone came out of the mess a winner. Another thing that I understood better was the way of the Catholic Church of the time. Certainly Pierre Berton book added a lot to the picture.

Apr 13, 7:44pm Top

Yes. I think it's been a good 30 years since I read his book so I didn't remember many of the details but I do remember being fascinated and sad, all at the same time, for them.

Apr 13, 8:52pm Top

>107 vancouverdeb: Very good reviews of the books about the quintuplets Deborah. I have the Berton one coming on ILL. And I have to tell you that you are amazing at the the book treasure hunt getting all the clues. You amaze!

Apr 14, 8:21am Top

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Happy Sunday, Deb. I saw my first Red-Headed Woodpecker of the year, on a bird walk yesterday. One of my favorites. The coloring is stunning. They seem to prefer old growth forest. I am not sure what their range is, but if you ever see one, you will not forget it.

I hope you are having a good weekend.

Apr 14, 6:52pm Top

>111 jessibud2: Wow.! 30 years ago that you read the book. I would not remember the details either, Shelley.

>112 mdoris: Well, Mary, the book is back in the system as of today. It will be interesting to see how long it takes from my city to yours, assuming we are both borrowing from the same ILL . The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama has the town of Kaslo on the cover - I guess that is where the book was pulled from and put into the ILL system. You'll have to see if it is the same book . Fortunately I did not spill a glass of milk or anything on it ;-) As for the LT treasure hunt, I accidentally stumbled upon a clue for a pirate treasure hunt a few years ago. Then I decided to give the hunts a try. I was really surprised that between google and talk and just my own ideas that I could actually be successful at the treasure hunts. Now I look really forward to them. But they are always a big challenge for me. I'm sure you could catch onto them easily.

>113 msf59: He's a cute guy, Mark, I'd love to see such a colourful woodpecker. Yesterday Poppy and I took a different route on our walk. It was really quite windy outside, though sunny. We saw a Great Blue Heron and the usual suspects, Canada Geese, red winged blackbirds, seagulls, crows etc. It was a nice walk, but really quite windy. Poppy tries hard to drag me down to the sand and let her dig into the sand, which she does with Dave, but not with me! Too messy for the likes of me.

Apr 14, 9:55pm Top

>114 vancouverdeb: Nice of you to say Deborah but i am quite impulsive and want to know answers right away. Even peek at the end of a book to see what will happen and then go happily back to my reading. I have been know (recently even!!) to look up the vile murderer on a murder series on T.V. I have been quite intrigued with Unforgotten and do now know the wretched murderer on the new series on PBS as I looked up the episode descriptions on line ( but I won't tell). Yes, I looked it up! For the book treasure hunt I could only get 2 and then gave up. I am very impressed with your results.

Apr 21, 4:06am Top

Happy Easter weekend, Deb.

Apr 22, 4:34pm Top

Hi Deb. I am taking advantage of a rainy Easter Monday to get caught up with threads. Happy newish thread! Melissa is a adorable!

>93 vancouverdeb: - The Stranger Diaries sounds like my kind of read! BB taken.

Apr 23, 3:38am Top

Hi Deborah, hope you are enjoying spring weather: lots of life in the garden, fingers crossed here for home grown lettuce. Only a few days until the short list for the women's prize is announced, are you rooting for any in particular?

Apr 23, 7:02am Top

Hi, Deb. I loved the family photos you shared on FB. What a lovely family and that baby is gorgeous.

I saw a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet on my route yesterday, for the first time this year, and saw a flash of ruby on it's dear little head.

Apr 23, 8:40am Top

Hi Deborah! I love your pictures of Melissa - she is so cute, and she does have long legs! I'm glad her parents are over the germ issue. It must be so hard with a first child, knowing what to do and what not to worry about.

Apr 24, 12:43pm Top

Just dropping by to say hello. Hope you are having a great week so far :)

Apr 24, 3:06pm Top

Hi Deborah my dear, I loved the photos of Melissa and of your Son and Daughter-in-law. Melissa is so cute and no doubt will wrap Dave around her little finger as Hannah has done with me.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter and are having a good week so far, we had a good Easter Sunday and Saturday night out with good friends but Karen has been working all of it. Have a good rest of the week and send love and hugs to you and the family from both of us dear friend.

Apr 25, 9:55am Top

>113 msf59: We have a (greater spotted) woodpecker in the woods that run behind and around my house. It is a beautiful bird, but sometimes it would be nice if it could shut up for a while! :)

Apr 29, 2:29am Top

>115 mdoris: You are fair to kind about the treasure hunt, Mary. Sometimes I'll look back and wonder how I found the answers myself. Determination and wasting time! I've also been known to peek ahead in a book because I cannot wait to get to the end , and then I'll go back to read the book. I try not to do so, but it happens.

>116 Ameise1: Thanks so much Barbara, and I think you on a lovely holiday right now! I hope you are enjoying yourself!

>117 lkernagh: Thanks Lori. I really enjoyed The Stranger Diaries and I was not sure that I would. I enjoyed it more than the series that she writes.

>118 charl08: Charlotte, I caught the Women's Short List earlier today. I am quite disappointed that Ghost Wall did not make it!

Apr 29, 2:36am Top

>119 msf59: Thanks Mark! Of course I am a little predisposed towards the idea that my granddaughter is among the cutest little 13 month olds out there, but that is the peril of being a grandma, I think. So smart too! :-) Glad that you saw a ruby crowned kinglet on your route. Like you, I am quite taken with them. It's just the two times that I have seen them earlier this year.

>120 susanj67: Hi Susan! Thanks for popping by. I very glad that my son and DIL are over the germ issue. It's great relief to me and the rest of the family. It makes life a lot easier for everybody. Melissa is out at swimming lessons, baby music and drawing classes , the playground etc, so I am very glad she has joined the world with the rest of us. I guess the pressures on new parents are ever more challenging and each of us is different.

Apr 29, 2:51am Top

>121 figsfromthistle: I'm afraid I let time get away from me. I been shopping for a new phone and looking at reviews and how to use the new Iphone XS and that has eaten into my reading time. How much memory to get , can I cope without a home button and facial recognition? So anyway, I've ordered a new XS and let's hope that I can use it. I went into the Apple Store and I think that I can get along with it. However, I am waiting for it to arrive in the next week or two. I dread setting the whole thing up. The memory in my I phone 6 was full and so that forced me to consider a new Iphone.

>122 johnsimpson: You are so kind, John. Melissa does have us wrapped around her little finger and it's videos and pictures of her that filled up my Iphone. :-) Thank you, we did have a nice Easter weekend. We had dinner at my son and DIL with Melissa and had take in Vietnamese food , their favourite. Love and hugs to you too, John and Karen.

Edited: May 3, 4:45am Top

I finished The American Agent: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear about a week ago. It's the 15 th in the series and I continue to love the series. It's a wonderful world to escape to and enjoy the now well known characters. The story takes place in the UK during the Blitz in London. I'll let you look on the the main page for what the book is about, but I was pleased that the American Agent to place in cozy London . The American Agent is a fellow that Maisie met in a previous book and is an American Agent.

I can't wait for the next in this wonderful series. 4 stars.

Edited: May 5, 7:11pm Top

Currently reading Henry, Himself by Stewart O'Nan. I read Emily Alone some years ago and really enjoyed it. This is a " prequel " to Emily, Alone. A quiet book about a man aged 72 or so and how he and his wife cope with aging, regret and happiness over how they have raised their children and their relationships with their grandchildren. I'm about 1/3 of the way in and I really appreciate quiet books about older people . I like a thoughtful book , with just the "ordinary" life that we all live with . Stewart O'Nan does that so well.

Apr 29, 8:51pm Top

>128 vancouverdeb: I ordered that one for the library. It should be in next week.
>127 vancouverdeb: I ordered that one too.

Apr 29, 9:53pm Top

>45 vancouverdeb: That was one of my suggestions for this month's bookclub (there are three of us - my husband, my best friend, and me - and we take turns suggesting three books). Sadly, it was not chosen, but that's not because they didn't find it interesting. I'll suggest it again when my next turn comes around. It made the shortlist for the Women's Prize, didn't it?

Apr 30, 6:39am Top

>123 sirfurboy: Ooh, I want to see a Greater Spotted Woodpecker. I would not mind the noise. Smiles...

Hi, Deb. I did not realize O' Nan had a new book out. Yah! Henry, Himself sounds lovely. Looking forward to it.

Apr 30, 4:59pm Top

Good to know the latest in the Maisie Dobbs series is a good one, Deb. I am a couple behind, I think.

Apr 30, 10:33pm Top

>129 thornton37814: What a dream job you have, Lori! Ordering books for your library! I'm sure it's a difficult job in deciding how best to spend the allotted amount on books , while purchasing the ones that will be most used by patrons etc, but oh, it sounds fun!

>130 The_Hibernator: Yes, Rachel, My Sister the Serial Killer did make the Women's Literature Shortlist. I was a little uncertain as to whether I would enjoy it, but I really did! Yes, suggest it next time round for your book club.

>131 msf59: Mark, you were the one who introduced me to Stewart O"Nan and I read Emily, Alone and really loved it. I'm not sure how I discovered that Stewart O'Nan had a new book out, but luckily my library actually had it! Yay!

>132 BLBera: I love being immersed in Maisie's world. Always a great comfort read and so reliably wonderful. I'm sure you will enjoy it, Beth.

Apr 30, 10:42pm Top

I've read An American Marriage and My Sister , the Serial Killer.

I DNF Milkman , even after reading about 110 pages. Maybe I will have to double down on myself.

I have Ordinary People which I hope to get to reading.

I'm not much for mythology retellings, but I might try The Silence of the Girls.

I was really rooting for Ghost Wall, but I'll carry on! :-)

May 1, 6:20pm Top

Hi Deborah! I am so behind on reading threads!

Your granddaughter is a cutie, and I am glad her parents have relaxed, and are less anxious.

You have convinced me, My sister the serial killer is on my wish list.

May 1, 11:00pm Top

>136 EllaTim: Ellla, I am so glad that my son and DIL have relaxed with little Melissa. It makes life so much easier for everyone. I think you will enjoy My Sister , The Serial Killer . It's a bit dark ,but it is definitely fun too.

Edited: May 5, 7:12pm Top

Henry, Himself by Stewart O'Nan . A quiet , character driven story about Henry Maxwell, a man just turning 75 years of age. He has been married to Emily for 49 years. They have two adult children and a few grandchildren. The story is about the mundane, and thus likely about our own lives. He and Emily are happy, but he has also learned to adapt to her ways. Their two adult children are doing okay, but Henry looks both back and forward with a mix of fondness and regret. The story was perhaps all too real. I enjoyed it, but at times it was a wee bit depressing. I have read Emily , Alone, which I really enjoyed. This book won't be for everyone, but what book is? Perhaps it would appeal more to older people who identify more with what can be the reality of older age and those who like quiet , character driven books.

4 stars

May 5, 7:13pm Top

Deborah good review of Henry Himself.
Hope that you are getting the same glorious day that we are.

Edited: May 5, 7:19pm Top

Currently A Deceptive Devotion by Iona Whishaw. This is the sixth installment in the author's Lane Wishaw series. It's written by a retired Vancouver school principal. The first in the series is A Killer in King's Cove.

Edited: May 5, 10:55pm Top

>139 mdoris: Thanks Mary. Yes, indeed, I'm enjoying the lovely weather! Nearly time to break out the shorts, if I dare put my white legs on display. Poppy and I our off on are usual afternoon walk and Dave is at the end of his 11 hour / 5 day work week. I'm looking forward to seeing Dave for more than a few hours a day. His work days are so long.

May 5, 7:44pm Top

>138 vancouverdeb: That one arrived at the library just before I left. I knew I wouldn't have time to read it so I will let someone else check it out first.

>140 vancouverdeb: The first is on my TBR list.

Edited: May 5, 11:20pm Top

>143 vancouverdeb: Lori, I have to warn you that I had a challenging time tracking down a copy of A Deceptive Devotion. I hope you have a easier time than I did. Amazon ca showed it for pre-order and than all of a sudden it was only available from a second party on amazon. So I tried my local bookstore, Chapter's / Indigo. Iona Wishaw is local author, but Indigo/ Chapter's was not carrying it in the stores but only online by order. So I ordered it online from Canada's " Flagship" bookstore.

May 6, 8:13am Top

Hi Deborah!

I, too, loved My Sister, the Serial Killer.

Dave works 11/5? Wow, that's a lot of hours.

May 6, 9:41am Top

>143 vancouverdeb: Sounds like quite a hunt! Hope that it's a good read.

May 6, 11:44am Top

>146 susanj67: - It would be wonderful if they named him Spencer, after Diana (her maiden name). They have already broken with tradition on so many other things, why not this. The list of *royal* names to choose from is so dull and old-fashioned, a new and more modern name, one that has so much meaning, would be excellent! (they haven't consulted with me, though, so who knows...;-)

May 6, 1:30pm Top

>138 vancouverdeb: This one sounds good, Deborah. I have to get some O'Nan reading done!

>140 vancouverdeb: There are six in the series!? I recently read the first one, which I enjoyed. Are they maintaining the high quality?

May 7, 9:04pm Top

>144 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Yes, I agree, Dave certainly works far too many hours, but that is how the company has set it up. He works for a major airline here in Canada as a aircraft mechanic. I understand that planes fly 24 /7 , and so they need aircraft mechanics all the time, but why they work such long hours I don't know. He used to work 5 days a week, 7.5 -8 hour each day and that was more bearable. He even had weekends off. But the airline business is very competitive and that is how it is. He does not get any stat holidays off - not even Christmas etc. Somehow it is all built into his days on and off . They are unionized, so somehow it must be fair, but it is hard for me to tell at times. Last year he worked 11.5 hours 4 day on, 4 days off and that was much more bearable.

>145 charl08: Indeed Charlotte it was quite the hunt. Had I some patience, I could have been number 13 on one copy at the library but.... And after I ordered the book , I noticed that my library got in a second copy. Oh well, I like to support a small press and author.

May 7, 9:11pm Top

>146 susanj67: Thanks for all the fabulous links, Susan! I've been following the big story closely, as you know. I be very interested in the name.

>147 jessibud2: Shelley, I am of two minds about the name Spencer, but it is a good guess and good possibility. Just from my own point of view I think the tragic life and end that Diana had might be ( to me ) sort of a bad luck name for the wee one, and a lot of weight for the child to carry as he grows older. But that is just me. I am sure curious. I'd like Alexander, I suppose. Or James - I'm not sure what I'd like Now, if it was my own son I could find a name no problem. Alexander is a very well loved name in my family and has been passed down for many generations. In fact I have a niece named Alexandra and a nephew named Alexander. Meghan and Harry surprisingly have not consulted with me either! ;-) I'm not overly fond of Arthur or Albert, but that is just me.

Edited: May 7, 9:17pm Top

Beth, I hope you enjoy Henry, Himself . And yes indeed, there are six books in the Lane Winslow series. She is a Canadian author and lives in the Vancouver area. I've been very pleased with her books. I was very surprised to have so much trouble finding a copy of her new book, A Deceptive Devotion. I nearly finished the book and I've really enjoyed the great escape of Kings Cove and cozy mystery. But the fact that I could not find her new book easily suggests to me that perhaps she is less popular as time goes on? Maybe only so many plots can be to considered to take place in tiny Kings Cove for Lane Winslow?

May 7, 9:18pm Top

And with that I am off to baby sit Melissa and rummage through my TBR and new library books to decide what to read while looking after Melissa. She will be asleep.

May 7, 9:51pm Top

>138 vancouverdeb: I will have to request this one. Sounds good.

Hi, Deb. I have seen lots of cool birds this past week, as migration season is in full throttle. 3 Baltimore Orioles, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, bluebirds, white-crowned sparrows, and today, hanging around my feeders, was a Hermit Thrush. First time I have ever seen one in my yard.

May 8, 2:16am Top

Hope you had fun babysitting (and that she was asleep as she was supposed to be!)

May 8, 9:03pm Top

I hope you're enjoying the babysitting Deborah. I must read some Stewart O'Nan and since I own Wish You Were Here I may as well start there.

May 8, 9:59pm Top

Deb, I read that Meghan and Harry named their baby. And it isn't Spencer:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced the name of the royal baby: Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

That's quite a mouthful for the little one. I still think Spencer would have been best. ;-)

May 9, 7:40pm Top

>153 msf59: Mark, I think you would enjoy Henry, Himself. I know I did. Sounds like a lot of great birds you have seen! I'll have to pop over to your thread and see what pictures you have on your thread.

>154 charl08: Yes, I did have fun babysitting Melissa, Charlotte. Not much work to it as she was asleep and stayed asleep. I had taken a book with me and while I read a bit, I mostly checked out Melissa's latest new toys :-) A new castle / house with several characters and a zoo spread of animals. They all made some noise when I touched them , and since Melissa is a light sleeper, I had to curtail my toy adventures. It does not take much to amuse me. I had to keep my hands some of her other toys because so many of them sing a song or make noises. I am always keen on toys. Most of her books are upstairs in her bedroom or else I would have been checking on Melissa's books too! LOL, but it is true.

May 9, 7:51pm Top

>155 brenzi: Indeed, yes, Bonnie, as in my post above, I had a lovely time baby sitting Melissa. I've not read Wish You Were Here by Stewart O'Nan but since it is the first in the so called series, that makes sense to me. I've read Emily, Alone and then Henry , Himself. I did not realize that they were a series, but certainly I think they can be read as stand alones . Had I realized, I would have read them in order too. I hope you enjoy it.

>156 jessibud2: Ohh, Shelley, I have been so engrossed in the Royal Family and the names, it is embarrassing. I chatted with a friend of mine and we bemoaned the new name of Archie Harrison, as did my mom and I. I suppose Archie is more popular in the UK. Right away I thought of Archie of the comic book fame and that long ago non PC TV program with Archie Bunker. My dad was big fan of Archie Bunker back in the day. I was too young to pay any attention to it, but my mom would frown at my dad for watching the show. Yesterday when I was chatting with my mom and I mentioned Archie Bunker , she said, I never liked that show. However I will get used to it. Initially I was uncertain about Prince Louis, but one gets used to any name. I know many people were keen on the Spencer name, but I felt it might be a lot of weight for the child to carry. Diana had such a tragic life and death, that perhaps it was best not to use that as a first name, but of course the Royal Family did not consult with me. ;-)

Edited: May 9, 8:10pm Top

Deceptive Devotion by Iona Wishaw. This is number 6 in the series by a local author who is a retired school principal here in Vancouver. I first learned of her books via the Globe and Mail news paper and rushed to read the series, which I have very much enjoyed. Lane Winslow was a part of the British Spy Service in the UK during WW11. Afterwards, she retired to a small hamlet in BC, King's Cove, outside of Nelson , BC. She lives among a small number of eclectic villagers. In Nelson BC, Lane gets to know Inspector Darling and Constable Ames. This time round, an elderly Russian lady arrives in Nelson , seeking her lost brother. Since Lane is proficient in Russian, she is asked to be a translator for the elderly lady, Countess Orlova. As the old lady has no where to stay, Lane offers to take her in as Orlova searches for her brother. Shortly afterwards, a hunter is found dead near King's Cove. But is everything as it seems? Lane begins to suspect that Orlova is can understand English after all, and Lane has her suspicions about Orlova.

An enjoyable , cozy mystery that I enjoyed. I felt a bit that perhaps the author has exhausted plot lines for the area of King's Cove . I had a difficult time obtaining a copy of this book, so it will be interesting to see if the author will have another in the series, or if this could be a satisfying end to the series? I will be keen to read another in the series if she writes another book, but I will also be content if this is the end of the series.

3.75 stars

Edited: May 9, 9:04pm Top

Currently reading The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea. I'm not sure where I heard about this book , possibly by watching Simon Savidge's Youtube book videos. I was in first in the queue at the library for the book . While I have not finished the book, I am at about page 187 and I would say put a hold on the book at your library if you think this book would interest you. It is dark, but not too dark. A real page turner for me. The story takes place in 1686 Iceland, and it is very atmospheric. I can hardly put it down.

Edited: May 9, 8:53pm Top

>160 vancouverdeb: Oh Iceland Deborah, you have me hooked. Right to the library site I will go.

Drats, the library system does not have it!

May 9, 10:09pm Top

>161 mdoris: Mary, I checked the Vancouver Library site as well and they don't have it either. I can't remember for certain, but it might have been me that put in the puchase request for the book here at the Richmond Branch. You might like to try the same thing at your library ?

May 10, 10:43am Top

Just dropping by to wish you a great weekend!
The Glass Woman sounds fantastic!

May 10, 3:02pm Top

Hello Deb! Long time. I am really enamored of the Bird Box and was wondering if you had read it. I hope all is well.

May 10, 3:07pm Top

>160 vancouverdeb: Deborah, I asked the library system to purchase it. Fingers crossed. With thanks!

Edited: May 12, 7:32pm Top

>163 figsfromthistle: Anita, The Glass Woman was an excellent read! Atmospheric, a page turner, quite complex and I really loved it. It was dark though, but I sure was turning the pages! I'll do a little review later on. But I recommend it!

>164 brodiew2: Indeed, long time, Brodie. Thanks for the recommendation of Bird Box, but I fear it will be too scary for me. Post apocalyptic and sucides etc. I am not sure I'm up to the task! :-)

>165 mdoris: I hope they can get The Glass Woman for you, Mary. After finishing the book, I'm wondering what to read that will measure up to The Glass Woman. It was very good! I think I've sold my sister on it. She can get it from the library when I take it back in a couple of days. But everyone is different in what they like.

May 17, 11:13am Top

Hope you have a great weekend, Deb!

May 20, 6:16pm Top

Stopping by and hoping your Victoria Day Monday is not as rain-soaked as ours is here on the island.

May 23, 8:16am Top

Hi Deborah!

I always loved babysitting when kids were asleep, but that's when I was a teenager and earning 50¢/hour. I bet you would have been happier had Melissa been awake. Then you could have both played with her toys. *smile*

Edited: May 25, 7:22pm Top

Hi Deb. I want to track the Women's Literature Prize more closely next year. I am pretty good at knowing when the Booker Long List will come out but I don't tend to catch this one. So I'm looking at the short list now:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker -- 3.5 stars
Circe by Madeline Miller -- I'm reading this one now and am LOVING it. Possibly 5 stars!
Ordinary People by Diana Evans -- haven't read
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite -- in the library queue
Milkman by Anna Burns -- read and thought it was oddly brilliant; it took hanging in there but I was glad I did - 4 stars
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones -- 4 stars

If it's any consolation, you've hit me with Ghost Wall, selection committee notwithstanding.
Prudence read The Stranger Diaries and could hardly put it down. That is saying something. I have it on my kindle and am thinking it may be next. That, or If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O by Sharyn McCrumb.
And, as Mark would say, I NEED to get back to Iona Whishaw! I'm on number 3 in the series.

May 29, 5:09am Top

Like you I was impressed by The Ghost Wall, Deborah. I was surprised when it didn't make the short list. I'm just catching on to the Lane Winslow series. Maybe it will be easier to find the newest book later?

May 29, 11:49am Top

Deborah, hope you are enjoying this glorious weather. Maybe you are having lots of great Poppy walks. Hope the books are treating you well too.

May 30, 3:18pm Top

Hi Deborah my dear, just stopping by to see how you are and hope that the family are all well, I saw the photo of Melissa that you posted, she is a cutie that's for sure and will have Dave wrapped around her little finger, no doubt. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jun 12, 10:54pm Top

>167 ChelleBearss: That weekend was so long ago, I forget what happened, Chelle! :-) Thanks for the good wishes!

>168 lkernagh: Lori, once again, I've forgotten what we did over the Victoria Weekend. I think we might have visited with our granddaughter and son and DIL - but I am not certain.

>169 karenmarie: Karen, I recall those days of babysitting for 50 cents an hour! Dreadful, and it was not that often that the kids were asleep. As soon as I turned 16, I got a part time job at a book store.Much nicer than babysitting wild little ones. But babysitting Melissa is pleasure, of course! :-)

>170 EBT1002: Ellen, so kind of you - and the others to stop by. Well, as luck would have it, at least I had read the Women's Fiction Prize, An American Marriage. I did not expect it to win and I am still sorry that Ghost Wall was not short listed. But who knows how they decide. Like Prudence, I really enjoyed The Stranger Diaries. It was a great escape and very absorbing for me.

Jun 12, 11:05pm Top

>171 Familyhistorian: Meg, I'm glad you are back from your trip. Yes, I was sorry that Ghost Wall did not make the shortlist too. I'm not sure what to make of the Lane Winslow series. As I mentioned, I had order it from Chapters. I concerned that perhaps the series is not as popular as time goes by?

>172 mdoris: Mary, lovely to see you. Well, yes, I have a lot of Poppy walks. She has been a bit dog and people reactive lately, so I've been walking on the dyke across from the airport. It's a little less busy - quite a bit less busy , so less dogs and people for Poppy to bark at and less embarrassment for me. But it's been a pleasant change in some ways. We ran across a beaver dam and a beaver, as well as quite a few different species of birds. We had one " scary day " when I spotted a coyote staring at us from a marshy area. I sat down on a bench to google " what to do if you see a coyote while you walk you dog!" LOL! Iphones. Meanwhile, another couple walking their baby alerted me to the coyote . I just walked away with them. I've always heard about coyotes in areas of Richmond, but I have never previously run across one.

>173 johnsimpson: Thanks John, for stopping by. Yes indeed, darling Melissa does have both Dave and I wound around our little fingers. Lately we have not been able to see her much. Mom has gone back to work full time , as has dad and Melissa has not been sleeping through the night, likely due to teething problems. So I hope that mom and dad can find a bit more time for us to visit at the end of June, when mom's job as teacher ends for the summer.

Edited: Jun 12, 11:13pm Top

Quick catch up on book I've read. The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea As I mentioned above , this was fabulous read. It won't be for everyone, but I think that many people would be fascinated with it , as I was.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.
But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.
The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here - Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers - or the land itself?
Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim .

I really loved it. Perhaps one of my favourite books this year? Sarah Moss of Ghost Wall fame says " memorable and compelling."

4.5 stars.

Edited: Jun 12, 11:23pm Top

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans . I expected to be enthralled by this book. I had read her previous book, Crooked Hearts which was Long Listed for the Women's Fiction Prize a year or two ago. However, it never really engaged me that much. The story was a bit disjointed and really not that interesting , at least to me. The characters, likewise, did not really engage me. Perhaps I should blame it on a bit of a book funk? Maybe I was expecting to0 much, having loved Crooked Hearts?

From the book jacket
It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club – an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.
Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.
Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea – but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.
Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never, never given up the fight

It sounds so promising and I believe it got good reviews, but it was a miss for me.

3 stars.

Edited: Jun 12, 11:49pm Top

The Island by Ragnar Jonasson. I really loved the first in the series, that is told in backwards order. The first in the series was The Darkness, which I loved and gave 4. 5 stars. While I enjoyed The Island it did not work that well for me. It did not have the same surprise element that The Darkness did. That said, I'm looking forward to the 3rd and last in this Icelandic " mystery / thriller series.

3.5 stars

Edited: Jun 12, 11:59pm Top

Heat Waveby Maureen Jennings. This is the author of the Murdoch Mysteries books and TV series - none of which I've ever watched or read. I picked this up on a whim, hoping for a nice , easy , cozy mystery. It is a new series started by the author featuring a female detective, Charlotte Frayne. The story takes place in the summer of 1936, in Toronto, in the midst ( obviously ) a heat wave. An antisemitic hate letter is delivered anonymously to the firm of Private Detectives , T. Gilmore and Charlotte Frayne. It was a gentle and interesting cozy mystery and just perfect for my book funk. I'll gladly look for the next in the series. However, it is nothing outstanding, though I enjoyed it.

3. 5 stars.

Edited: Jun 13, 12:01am Top

Currently reading a book I picked up at the library and it seems to be working out well for me.

The Widows by Jess Montgomery.

Jun 13, 1:04am Top

>175 vancouverdeb: Deborah, great to see you! Wow, a coyote viewing. Once while gardening in our former place in Vancouver a coyote walked boldly down the street mid day. I tried to track down The Glass Woman without success. It sounds good.

Jun 13, 3:15am Top

>177 vancouverdeb: A book funk? Oh no! Sorry this one didn't work for you. I really liked how she thought about what happened to suffrage campaigners after the fighting and protesting was over.

Edited: Jun 13, 6:57am Top

Welcome back, Deb. Always good to see you. Good review of The Glass Woman and I LOVE that cover.

Thanks for the bird report, over on my thread. You know I LOVE those. Hope to see you around more often.

Jun 13, 10:37am Top

Hi Deborah!

Scary about the coyote. We have a pack of them about a mile or more from the house - I hear them yipping in the night sometimes, but they aren't close to the house.

Sorry about the book funk.

Jun 13, 12:40pm Top

>175 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah, I don't think you have to worry about the Lane Winslow series. There were quite a few copies of A Deceptive Devotion on the shelves at Chapters when I went looking. I think you were just looking ahead of their supply.

I liked Old Baggage a lot more than you did but I was probably in the mood for it. Thanks for the heads up about the new series by Maureen Jennings. That sounds like one I would like.

We have coyotes around here a lot and I used to see them early in the morning when I walked the dog that we had back in the day. It was a bit concerning but I would give the coyote a look so it knew I was aware of him and he would stay on his side of the street.

Jun 13, 9:05pm Top

>181 mdoris: Great to see you too, Mary. My coyote encounter sounds quite tame compared to yours, and on your thread I read that you were once stalked by a cougar. That's true courage, Mary. I've always been aware that there are coyotes around Richmond and Vancouver , but I thought they were mainly a problem at dusk and later . I mentioned my coyote encounter to my mom , and she said she had encountered a coyote right in the middle of a subdivision next to her about 20 years ago. She was also walking a dog , and fellow that was outside on the street urged to her and the dog to take shelter at his house and so she did. The coyote ran off quite soon afterwards. I guess you can find them anywhere, and yet in my many years of owning and walking dogs, I've never actually spotted one . I'm sorry that you have been unable to find a copy of The Glass Woman. I'm not sure how I got so lucky at my library. I am trying to remember if I made a book request for The Glass Woman?

>182 charl08: Charlotte, I'm not sure why Old Baggage did not work for me . I really loved her other book, Crooked Heart. Perhaps a book funk, or the fact that I read it in snippets over about 2 weeks. Or maybe since I don't know a lot about the sufferage movement, that created a problem for me?

>183 msf59: Mark, I'm really enjoying my bit of bird watching that I do while out with Poppy. She is actually quite well behaved around most birds. She even sit quietly while I watch a few houses finches on the ground in front of us. But Poppy has it in for the crows . Those she will chase and bark at. But I guess the crows make a lot of noise. She's quite a good dog with stopping to watch the birds.

Jun 13, 9:57pm Top

>184 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Great to see you! I hear coyotes over on a small island when I walk the dog in the evening, but I have never encountered one, but perhaps I've just been lucky. I guess they are everywhere, those urban coyotes :-)

>185 Familyhistorian: Meg, I looked around on line and yes, you are correct. A Deceptive Devotion is available at Indigo, though not at my closest location and it's also available on amazon ca. I guess I just expected that the stores and amazon would have them available at the release date. Interesting. Meg, you are brave , living amongst the bears and coyotes around your area. I am bit of a chicken. Yes, I think you'll enjoy the new series by Maureen Jennings. It had good sense of place and the era and I it was a great , light read. Too many heavy reads can be a bit depressing at times.

Jun 14, 8:14am Top

Hi Deborah - Great comments. I am sorry Old Baggage didn't work for you. I am really looking forward to it. I have loved her other work.

Jun 16, 4:08pm Top

Hi Deborah! First, you got me with the Caroline Lea. It's on my library wishlist.

Secondly, I actually popped over to share the latest theory from the haters - Archie is not a real baby, but a doll. Well, I suppose it's not *that* surprising as he was formerly a pillow, but still. You have to give them points for...something.

Jun 16, 4:09pm Top

>187 vancouverdeb: Not so much brave as adaptable out of necessity, Deborah. Dealing with wildlife is just part of life living here close to the river and the mountains. I tend toward the light or quirky in my reads too much heavy stuff gets me down in a hurry and I prefer to keep optimistic.

Jun 16, 4:16pm Top

Hi Deborah my dear, it looks like you have read some good books recently apart from one that you did not really get on with. I hope life is treating you and Dave ok and that you are having a good weekend dear friend.

Edited: Jun 16, 8:45pm Top

>188 BLBera: I loved Lissa Evans book, Crooked Heart, Beth, but for some reason Old Baggage just did not work for me. I hope you enjoy Old Baggage !

>189 susanj67: Susan, I really did love The Glass Woman and I hope you can find it and enjoy it too. Yes, I have read so much about Harry and Meghan and baby Archie. I had not heard that the latest " theory " was that Archie is a doll. Seriously! Maybe when they christen Archie, Harry and Meghan will put out a decent picture of young Archie and that might help to quell the rumours. That first photo did not reveal much of Archie . He was all wrapped up and had a little baby hat on. Since then all we've seen is foot and today a photograph of Archie with Harry's fingers partially obscuring Archie's face. I'd like to see what the little guy actually looks like.

Jun 16, 8:50pm Top

>190 Familyhistorian: Meg, today on a Richmond Dog Park website someone said that a cougar had been spotted by the McArthur Glen Outlet Mall near the airport. I really have my doubts as I think we would hear it on the news. Cougars are not present in Richmond as far as I have ever heard. A few years ago a bear was actually spotted near the airport and it was thought the bear came in on a log boom on the Fraser River. The coyotes are all I can handle, thanks :-) I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that can't just read heavy stuff without feeling a little down. Most of the time I am fine with it, but too much dark reading does get to me.

>191 johnsimpson: Thanks John. I have read some very good books lately and yes, it has been a lovely weekend , with nice sunny weather and Dave has been at home. My best to you and Karen also .

Jun 17, 12:07pm Top

Deborah, I was skimming and had a bit of a surprise when I thought I read that Archie had been spotted by the McArthur Glen Outlet Mall. Note to self - slow down!

Glad to hear that you are having some good reads and a nice weekend with Dave at home.

Jun 20, 1:51pm Top

Catching up with you, Deborah, glad to see you more active on your thread.
No coyotes around here, but the great news on wildlife this week was that the couple of wolves that came to de Veluwe last year had offspring. Opinions are very divided about it, I think the return of wolves (after 200 years!) is better for wildlife. But I do understand the concerns of farmers about their livestock.

Jun 22, 9:30pm Top

>194 charl08: That would be quite something if Prince Archie was spotted near Vancouver Airport, Charlotte! :-) Thanks at least for skimming my thread! Dave is home again this weekend , so that is nice.

>195 FAMeulstee: Well, I've been out since with the dog, of course and not sighted any further coyotes. But I was out one night at about 10 pm or so, with Dave and we could hear the coyotes howling from a small island in the river that we walk beside. It's small island called " Shady Island' by the locals and it is known to have coyotes. It becomes accessible by foot at low tide , as it near to the Fraser River opening to the Pacific Ocean. But when I am walking with Dave , the coyotes don't worry me. I'm not sure exactly what he would do, but I figure there are enough people around to keep the coyotes away. I hope that you and Frank are doing well.

Edited: Jun 22, 9:44pm Top

The Widows: A Novel by Jess Montgomery was good find at the library. It is the story of a young woman, Lily Ross, who is the wife of the sheriff in a small town. The year is 1924 and the small town is Kinship, Ohio. Lily's husband, Daniel, is called early one morning to transport a prisoner. In doing so , he is killed in an apparent accident. Lily, the mother to two young children vows to find out seek out the truth about what happened to her husband. Shortly after Daniel's funeral, a stranger shows up to Lily's door. It is slightly older woman named Marvena who lives in a hamlet not far from Kinship. Unaware Sheriff Daniel has just been buried, she arrives hoping for help finding her missing daughter. It would seem that Daniel kept secrets from both women , and both women wonder whether Daniel was the man they thought he was. This all takes place with the backdrop of the poverty in the Appalachians at the time. It's both the personal story of two women and their families, but also that of the plight of coal miners of the time and their efforts to unionize vs the actions of the corrupt Pinkerton Guards who sought to prevent the unionization of coal miners.

Both a compelling story and a look at social justice .

4 stars.

Jun 22, 9:50pm Top

I'm just heading out for the evening with Dave, so I'll try to get around the threads fairly soon. Over the past few days I had several books come into the library for me.

Big Sky is waiting for pickup at the library,

Diary of a Dead Man on Leave by David Downing and Grace , a book recommended by a friend both arrived on holds from the library a couple of days ago.

I'll never read all three in 3 weeks, but I think Big Sky will take priority. Touch stones don't appear to be working, but I have to run for the moment.

Jun 22, 11:09pm Top

>197 vancouverdeb: - This sounds like a good one, Deb

Edited: Jun 23, 3:03am Top

>200 vancouverdeb: It was a lucky find at the library, Shelley. Wiley Cash, of some LT fame blurbed about The Widows, saying in part " This is a powerful novel : a tale of loss and greed, and violence , and the story of two women who won't stand down ." I found it interesting on many levels - the coal miners vs the Pinkertons. And apparently the story was inspired by a Ohio's first female sheriff, Maude Collins who was the first sheriff in the USA back in 1925. It is a mystery, but one with a lot other levels to it.

Jun 23, 2:33am Top

>197 vancouverdeb: I've added this one to the wishlist- sounds really good.

Jun 26, 11:13am Top

I just got The Dionne Years on ILL so thank you Deborah for mentioning those books on your thread. I bet it's the same book that you read and it has floated its time to me now.

Jun 26, 1:50pm Top

>193 vancouverdeb: Did you see the photo a few years ago of two cougars at the Inlet Skytrain Station, Deborah? They were on the track in the wee hours of the morning before the trains started running for the day. Maybe wildlife uses the tracks to get around? Could that be a way they are getting to Richmond?

I had a closer encounter with two black bears yesterday but fortunately they passed a few yards behind me.

Edited: Jun 27, 1:25am Top


Deborah you might be interested in this link. It is a list of the recent books by those authors attending the Vancouver Writers Festival in the fall.

Jun 26, 11:54pm Top

>204 mdoris: Have a look at the authors, Deborah. I think there is at least one that you are interested in. I'm hoping that her session(s) will be timed so that I can see it/them.

Jun 29, 8:36pm Top

>201 charl08: I hope you can find the book over your way, Charlotte!

>202 mdoris: Wow! It took a while for the Dionne Years to find it's way to you, Mary. I hope you enjoy it . I am sure it must the same book too. I wonder where the province headquarters ILL books ? Or do they just float around?

>203 Familyhistorian: Anything is possible, Meg, but I suspect that person that thought they spotted a cougar mixed it up with a coyote or a fox. I am not how one would do that, but since we've not heard anything in Richmond about a cougar warning, nor a a cougar having to be relocated here in Richmond, I suspect that the person was not so sure about the species of the animal she spotted. I'm really glad that you did not get to close to black bears , Meg! That's much to close for comfort.

Jun 29, 8:39pm Top

>204 mdoris: Thanks for the link, Mary! A lot of well known authors on the list and even authors that I have read. I'll keep that in mind.

>205 Familyhistorian: Iona Wishaw is there, Meg! So yes, at least one author that I am interested in, and maybe more. Many of the authors are familiar.

Jun 29, 8:42pm Top

Despite getting three on hold titles in from the library, including Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, I appear to be in a book funk. It's so frustrating when nothing seems to grab , especially the new Kate Atkinson which I have been waiting for. I guess I just have to wait and eventually something will catch me properly. I guess a book funk can happen to anyone.

Jun 29, 9:10pm Top

Book funks are so awful, Deb, aren't they? I sure hope something hits you (in the right way, I mean!) soon!

Jun 30, 1:13am Top

I'm in a bit of a book funk too so I understand.

Edited: Jul 1, 8:41pm Top

>209 jessibud2:
>210 mdoris: Thanks Shelley and Mary for understanding book funks. It seems I have made my way into a book - Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. It has a fairly slow introduction of all the characters and different strands of the story and now on page 150 of about 375 pages, it seems to be all coming together. It's a slow builder, but the characters are interesting.

Happy Canada Day!

Jul 1, 8:49pm Top

Happy Canada Day to you, too, Deb.

Jul 1, 9:11pm Top

^Hi, Deb. Do you do anything special to celebrate the holiday? Sorry, to hear about the book funk. I hope it is short-lived. Fortunately, I rarely experience those. Our LT friends have been reading The Big Sky and the consensus has been a positive one.

Jul 2, 12:16am Top

Deborah, Happy Canada Day. We will you have fireworks in Richmond?

Jul 2, 3:21pm Top

Hi Deborah my dear, Happy Canada Day. Sorry to see that you are in a book funk and hope this will soon pass, hope all is well with you and Dave and the family and send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Edited: Jul 2, 11:28pm Top

>212 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley!

>213 msf59: I'm enjoying Big Sky, Mark. I am hoping that the book funk is nearly over. As for Canada, we usually get together with family , but this year that did not happen. We went out to Steveston where they have a big celebration for Canada Day. Music, food, fireworks set off by the city etc. Fireworks are illegal in my city unless the city itself sets off the fireworks. I don't mind the no fireworks law as before teens and young adults would get really crazy with fireworks and firecrackers.

>214 mdoris: Yes, Mary, Richmond does have fireworks for Canada Day as I mentioned above to Mark. But the Poppy is so anxious about the fireworks, that we missed them. We did have a nice stroll in Steveston prior to the fireworks though.

>215 johnsimpson: Thanks John for the good wishes! I still in a bit of a book funk, but at least maybe it is passing ? We are doing well, I hope all is well with you and Karen and family. Love and hugs to you!

Jul 2, 11:29pm Top

Currently reading Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Jul 4, 12:44pm Top

I do love this cover! So much fancier than the UK version...

Edited: Jul 4, 7:29pm Top

>218 charl08: Thanks Charlotte! The irony! I thought that the UK cover was fancier! :-) Who knows what decision making goes into the what country gets what cover?

Edited to add - yes, maybe you are correct. Perhaps we do have the fancier cover! It's a mystery, Charlotte.

Jul 4, 7:31pm Top

Hi Deborah, I'm only 100 pages into Big Sky but I'm really liking it so far. She's still setting things up so I'm sure at some point the connection will be made. She's just so good at character development that I already find the book to be compelling.

Jul 4, 8:26pm Top

>207 vancouverdeb: So do you think you will try to go to the Vancouver Writer's Festival this year, Deborah?

Jul 5, 5:54pm Top

>220 brenzi: I'm nearing the end of Big Sky and every thing is pulling together, Bonnie. I might just be in a book funk. Or maybe I had had such sky high expectations after reading the previous Jackson Brodie series some time ago, that while I am enjoying it. it's not grabbing the way I expected it to do.

>211 vancouverdeb: I am really not sure, Meg, but thanks for the link. I'll keep it all under consideration.

Jul 6, 1:08pm Top

Hi Deborah! I thought you might like this link to the christening photos :-)


It's a nice photo, but What On Earth is Harry's aunt doing in that ridiculous hat? She could have worn a proper one.

Jul 6, 6:15pm Top

>233 Thanks Susan! I really enjoyed the entire article and pictures. My question is what is Kate doing in pink and red? I really love Kate and usually love what she wears, but somehow that those red shoes and hat seemed wrong with the pink dress . Or maybe it's just the way the picture looks ? Yes, I agree about Harry's aunt. A surprising choice for a hat. I am glad to finally see baby Archie. I think he is too young to say which parent he looks most like. A cutie, though.

Jul 6, 6:37pm Top

Happy Saturday, Deb. Glad to hear you are enjoying Big Sky and I am glad to hear your sister puts up bird feeders. Does she know her birds? If so, ask her what type of hummingbirds she gets?

I am loving The Great Believers. You might like this one too.

Jul 7, 1:16am Top

>225 msf59: I'd say my sister is a keen observer of birds to her bird feeder and likely can identify most if not all of the birds that land at her feeder. She has a couple of books and has had her bird feeders for quite a few years. She even has quite a few extra perches for the birds. She likes the smaller song birds. Next time I see her, I'll ask her what kind of humming birds that she sees. I know that Anna's Hummingbird and the Rufous hummingbirds are really common in the Vancouver area. I'll ask her if she gets any different kinds of hummingbirds beyond those two.

Jul 7, 1:23am Top

Just dropping by to wish you a lovely Sunday, Deb

Jul 7, 6:44am Top

Hi Deborah. I'm sorry for your book funk, hope you will find some books you enjoy, anyway. I agree with needing something lighter sometimes, and even a not so memorable book can be just the ticket somehow:-)

Have a nice day.

Jul 7, 10:28am Top

I'm also reading Big Sky, Deborah, and loving it so far. I love her style.

Jul 7, 10:51pm Top

>227 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! Wishing a good week ahead, Paul. Best to you!

>228 EllaTim: Ella, yes I think my book funk continues. It's so frustrating! I agree, sometimes it is a light hearted book that you have no real expectations of that help with a book funk,.

>229 BLBera: Hi Beth! I'm nearly finished Big Sky. It's a been a good read, but some how I have not enjoyed it as much as I had expected. I think it's owing to the " book funk." It's frustrating. I really love Kate Atkinson. What to do!

Jul 8, 8:49am Top

Hi, Deb. I really liked Big Sky, too. I thought she made the organization a little more convoluted than she needed to, but it all sorted out. It was great to be back spending time with Jackson Brodie, and I was happy that she brought back Reggie Case, one of my favorite characters.

Edited: Jul 13, 8:06pm Top

>231 jnwelch: Hi Joe. I enjoyed Big Sky , but like you I felt the plot was a little to convoluted , as you say. But yes, it all sorted itself out in th end. I was a very pleased to spend time with Jackson Brodie too, but I had forgotten a lot about him during the many years between the 4 th Jackson Brodie and this, the 5 in the series. I enjoyed last years book, Transcription more than Big Sky.

Edited: Jul 13, 8:34pm Top

I finished Big Sky a few days ago. It is the 5th in the Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson, an author I really enjoy. I've read all of the previous books in the Jackson Brodie series. Though I enjoyed Big Sky, I felt that the plot was a bit too convoluted and perhaps there were too many characters to get a real feel for many of them. Perhaps too much time has passed between the last Jackson Brodie detective novel and this new book. Maybe my expectations were to high ? At any rate, while I enjoyed the story, it did not knock out of the park. It was a solid read, but overall I was disappointed .I enjoyed Kate Atkinson's previous Jackson Brodie books much more, as well Life After Life and her novel from last year, Transcription .

I know a lot of of people here on LT have love Big Sky but I felt it was just okay. That said, I'll look forward to whatever else Kate Atkinson publishes in the future.

3. 75 stars.

Edited: Jul 13, 8:21pm Top

Currently reading Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy. I am a big fan of Anne of Green Gable and read all of her books when I was young, as well as very much enjoying the new TV series. So I picked this up for a nice quiet , easy read. It's the supposed story of Marilla , the woman , who along with her brother, adopted Anne of Green Gables.

Jul 13, 8:22pm Top

I heard lately on a book tube channel that Booker Longlist comes out in late July , and the fellow made a huge number of possible predictions. I'll look forward to that. I always love a prize list! :-)

Jul 13, 8:22pm Top

Good take on the review Deborah of Big Sky. I have frozen all my library requests and reading off the shelf this summer so it will be a bit before I get to it. Seems like summer is back today. It is nice and warm!

Jul 14, 12:21am Top

Too bad that Big Sky wasn't the book to end your book funk, Deborah. I just discovered the Jackson Brodie books last year and have only read 2 so far. Hopefully by the time I get to the 4th Atkinson will be working on a 5th.

Jul 15, 7:05pm Top

Deb, I really enjoyed your comments on Big Sky. I think if there had been less time between the Jackson Brodie books it would have been more enjoyable. Nine years is too long to wait between books in a series. I wonder why she waited so long. I must say I've enjoyed everything she wrote in the interim so I shouldn't complain.

I'm like you in looking forward to the Booker longlist. Were you familiar with any of the titles on the list of predictions?

Edited: Jul 15, 8:37pm Top

>236 mdoris: Thanks Mary. I wish I had enjoyed Big Sky more than I did, but it was an okay read. Summer has a been a odd thing this year. Cooler than normal, though I don't love the heat. Good for you, reading off the shelf!

>237 Familyhistorian: Yes,Meg, unfortunately Big Sky did not end my book funk. You have a lot of reading treats ahead of you. I really enjoyed the Jackson Brodie series when I discovered it. I'm enjoying the gentle, easy read of Marilla of Green Gables, so that is pleasant. Only for die hard Anne enthusiasts. :-)

>238 Donna828: I agree, Donna, nine years is too long to wait before continuing a series.I think that affected my enjoyment of Big Sky. I hardly remembered Jackson Brodie's character. As you say, I also have enjoyed all that Kate Atkinson wrote in between. As for the Booker long list predictions, yes, I was familiar with several of the titles mentioned , though I've not read any of them, as far as I can remember.

here is link to one book tubers possible Booker Long List contenders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfUU2X3H3CU

It's a very long list - over 100 titles are mentioned. Actually I guess I have a read a couple of the books. For the moment, I must rush and get some dinner on the go. I hope to be back later.

Jul 15, 9:18pm Top

Sorry you didn't enjoy Big Sky more Deborah. I really liked it but I only read Started Early, Took My Dog just a few months ago. I don't know if that mattered. I'm looking forward to the Booker long list too although I usually wait for the shortlist to really dig in.

Jul 15, 9:43pm Top

Hi, Deb. Sorry to hear that Big Sky didn't ring all your bells. I hope to get to the audio next month, so I can see for myself.

I am really enjoying If You Want to Make God Laugh. Keep this one in mind. It might be your cuppa.

Jul 16, 11:48pm Top

>240 brenzi: I bet that made a difference, Bonnie, reading Started Early, Took My Dog just a few months ago. I did enjoy Big Sky, but for some reason it didn't seem as good as the previous Jackson Brodie novels. But then again, I read them so long ago. Yes, I am looking forward to the Booker Long List. I just use it as a guideline for books that I might enjoy/ benefit from reading.

>241 msf59: I had a look at If You Want to Make God Laugh on the main page as well as amazon ca, Mark. It does look good!I'll have to check and see if my library has it . Thanks for the suggestion!

Edited: Jul 19, 8:59pm Top

I finished Marilla of Green Gables and really enjoyed it. I suppose it's the sort of book that is only going to appeal to old fans of Anne Of Green Gables, which I am. I enjoyed the new TV series of Anne of Green Gables ( which is still continuing in the autumn ) . Reading author Sarah McCoy's take on Marilla and Matthew and their family was quite interesting to me. The author of Marilla of Green Gables was clearly also a fan and did her research as far political and race issues of the time. A gentle, interesting read, and true to the Anne of Green Gables story.

4 stars

Jul 19, 8:59pm Top

>243 vancouverdeb: - I have that one in the stacks, Deb. Just haven't got to it yet. Good to hear you enjoyed it.

Jul 20, 4:16pm Top

Hi Deb, hope you are having a good start to the weekend my dear and that your reading is going well despite the fact that you did not enjoy the latest Jackson Brodie. Hope all the family are well and send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Jul 21, 7:18pm Top

>244 jessibud2: I pulled my copy of Marilla of Green Gables from the stacks too, Shelley . I did enjoy it, yes. I hope you do to0 !

>245 johnsimpson: Hi John . The reading is going okay, but sadly yes, the latest Jackson Brodie somehow just didn't measure up. Love and hugs to your family too!

Edited: Jul 21, 7:20pm Top

Currently reading An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena . A find at the library. I can't seem to find anything really inspiring to read right now, but I think mystery will do okay.

Edited: Jul 21, 10:21pm Top

Hi Deb, I've been lurking around... I see you are in a the reading doldrums.
That was me about a month ago and then I checked out some of those Ruth Galloways from the library (by Elly Griffiths) and good bye reading funk!

Of course not everybody "needs" to be in the RGFC, because tastes vary, yeah? Like Richard D, for example. I totally get why he wasn't a fan (he posted on my thread).


Edited: Jul 21, 10:09pm Top

Hi Deb! I am waiting anxiously for Wednesday's release of the long list, but I am too impatient to listen to the 34+ minute piece you linked to in >239 vancouverdeb:. I may listen to part of it; I don't feel like I have any idea what books might be nominated. But that is par for the course.

Sorry Big Sky fell a bit short for you. I still have to read Started Early, Took My Dog, then I'll get to the latest. I am a fan but probably not as avid as many around here.

I hope your book funk lifts and that you have a great week!

Jul 22, 12:44am Top

Hi Deborah - hope something inspiring turns up soon. I will look for the Marilla book.

Jul 22, 3:14am Top

Wishing you a good start into the new week, Deb.

Jul 23, 1:34am Top

>248 SandyAMcPherson: lol at the idea of a RGFC , Sandy! I'm not that keen on the Ruth Galloway series, but I really loved her stand alone , The Stranger Diaries. That was really excellent and a great escape from real life. So true, Sandy, that we all have different tastes and not only that, my taste in books can vary . Thanks for stopping by, Sandy!

>249 EBT1002: Great to see you, Ellen! I know what you mean about watching that 34 minute video. It is long. You have to be in the mood for it. I guess we'll know the long- list soon enough. I'm not sure why Big Sky felt short for me. Too great of expectations on my part, my reading funk, or if the story was actually to convulated and full of characters that I did not care enough about? I enjoyed her stand alone, Transcription quite a bit more last year when I read it. I hope you enjoy it.

Jul 23, 1:37am Top

>250 charl08: Do look around for Marilla of Green Gables, Charlotte, but I suspect it is really just for hard core Anne fans like me. So I am hesitant to recommend to people who are not Anne fans :-)

>251 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara. So far it's been lovely. It cooled down a little today and was more enjoyable than yesterday, which wash quite warm.

Jul 23, 2:14am Top

I am an Anne fan, but my mum is even more keen, so I think she will be interested!

I have no idea about the Booker. Will be interesting to find out.

Jul 23, 9:33am Top

>252 vancouverdeb: The Stranger Diaries sounds like a BB for me. Thanks.

Jul 24, 6:36pm Top

Deborah, I sprung for some books at the great downtown bookstore in Denver and have picked up some ideas for future reading too. Hope all's well with you!

Jul 24, 7:35pm Top

>254 charl08: I'm a bit disappointed in the Booker Long List, Charlotte. Nothing looks that interesting. I'm glad your mom is a fan of Anne. She certainly might enjoy Marilla of Green Gables.

>255 SandyAMcPherson: You are welcome, Sandy! I am always happy to pass along a Book Bullet.

>256 mdoris: You splashed out for some new books? I'll have to pop over to your thread and see what you picked up. I hope you are enjoying your family and new granddaughter in Denver!

Jul 27, 9:02pm Top

Nothing in the Booker Long List looked that interesting to me either, Deborah, and I'm not coming out of a book funk. I hope it is fading somewhat.

Edited: Jul 28, 7:03pm Top

HI Deborah. How do you like these gorgeous days? Sounds like a very fun tea party that you had with Melissa. Hope you got some pics. I have just started Big Sky and gulp after the first chapter I'm worried about those poor sisters.

Aug 4, 9:38am Top

Happy Sunday! Hope all is well with you!

Aug 5, 10:30pm Top

Hope you had a wonderful long weekend!

Aug 5, 10:51pm Top

Deborah, is it hot where you are? Summer has hit here!

Aug 20, 12:38am Top

Just checking in to say that I hope you're doing well, Deb.

Aug 21, 12:07am Top

I hope that you are doing fun summer things, Deborah.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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