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Joe's Book Cafe 12

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe 11.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 13.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Jun 29, 11:50am Top

Pride and Prejudice book covers by various artists

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Jul 24, 2:00pm Top

Books Read in 2019


1. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (re-read on audio)
2. Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
3. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
4. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
5. One Hundred Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth
6. Happiness by Aminatta Forna
7. Milkman by Anna Burns
8. Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
9. The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
10. Nerve by Dick Francis
11. Killer Collective by Barry Eisler
12. Little Oceans by Tony Hoagland
13. Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan
14. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
15. The Promise by Chaim Potok
16. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano


17. Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
18. Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz
19. Forfeit by Dick Francis
20. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
21. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
22. Educated by Tara Westover
23. The Madness Vaseby Andrea Gibson
24. The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri
22. Amelia Cole Omnibus by D.J. Kirkbride*
23. American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes
24. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
25. The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock


26. Battle Angel Alita by Yukiko Kishiro*
27. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
28. Decider by Dick Francis (re-read)
29. Bryant & May Hall of Mirrors by Christopher Fowler
30. Darker Than Amber by John D. MacDonald
31. One Fearful Yellow Eye by John D. MacDonald
32. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
33. A Gentlewoman’s Guide To Murder by Victoria Hamilton
34. Recent Changes in the Vernacular by Tony Hoagland
35. Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield
36. Wolf Pack A Joe Pickett Novel by C.J. Box
37. Murder in Just Cause by Anne Cleeland
38. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
39. Trial Run by Dick Francis
40. When My Brother Was An Aztec by Natalie Diaz
41. Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
42. How Long Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin


43. Tap Out by Edward Kunz
44. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
45. Passing for Human by Jody Scott*
46. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
47. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
48. Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed
49. Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse*
50. The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
51. Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz
52. Number9Dream by David Mitchell
53. When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
54. An Elegant Defense by Matt Richdel
55. Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
56. Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer


57. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simision
58. The Truth as Told By Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
59. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
60. Sharks in the Rivers by Ada Limon
61. Sync by K.P. Kyle
62. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
63. Reflex by Dick Francis
64. Museum of Mistakes by Julia Wertz*
65. Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli
66. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
67. With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
68. Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy
69. Dress Her in Indigo by John D. MacDonald
70. Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer
71. Drive Here and Devastate Me by Megan Falley


72. Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz
73. The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker BradleHow
74. How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry
75. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths
76. The Heavens by Sandra Newman
77. The Long Take by Robin Robertson
78. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
79. The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason
80. Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing
81. How to Love a Country by Richard Blanco
82. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
83. The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer
84. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
85. Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell
86. Rat Race by Dick Francis
87. Malice A Mystery by Keigo Higashino
88. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo


89. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
90. Time of Death by J.D. Robb
91. A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell
92. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
93. False Colours by Georgette Heyer
94. X-23 The Complete Collection Volume 2 by Marjorie M. Liu*
95. Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey
96. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
97. Jazz by Toni Morison
98. For Everyone by Jason Reynolds

Illustrated Books

1. Jane Austen's Emma by Nancy Butler
2. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley
3. Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak
4. On a Sunbeam by Ti llie Walden
5. Livestock by Hannah Berry
6. Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce and Edith
7. Anne of Green Gables A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden
8. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung
9. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 4 by Nagabe
10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Reckoning by Joss Whedon
11. Space Boy Vol. 1 by Stephen Macranie
12. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 by Nagabe
13. New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 2 by Kazuo Koike
14. Book Love by Debbie Tung
15. Royal City Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire
16. The Snooty Bookshop by Tom Gauld
17. The Day the Buddha Woke Up by Andrea Miller
18. A Bride's Story Vol. 10 by Kaoru Mori
19. Jane Austen Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuela Santoni
20. Legacy: House of Night by Daniel Krall
21. The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez
22. Stumptown by Greg Rucka (re-read)
23. Becoming Unbecoming by Una
24. Velvet Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker (re-read)
25. Mina vs. the Monsoon by Rukhsanna Guidroz
26. Woman World by Aminder Dahliwal
27. Samaris by Benoit Peeters
28. Velvet Volume 2 by Ed Brubaker (re-read)
29. Stumptown Volume 2 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
30. Lulu Anew by Etienne Davodeau
31. Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin
32. Captain Marvel Alien Nation by Margaret Stohl
33. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
34. Trish Trash Roller Girl of Mars by Jessica Abel
35. Weatherman by Jody LeHeup
36. Death or Glory Volume 1 by Rick Remender
37. Berlin by Jason Lutes
38. The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
39. Is This How You See Me by Jaime Hernandez
40. Good Talk by Mira Jacob
41. Brody's Ghost by Mark Krilley
42. Out of This World: Leonora Carrington by Amanda Hall
43. X-23 The Complete Collection by David Lafuente
44. The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
45. Black Hammer Vol. 2 by Jeff Lemire
46. Black Hammer Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire
47. American Gods Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman
48. Road to Riverdale Volume 1 by Fiona Staples
49. Road to Riverdale Volume 2 by Fional Staples
50. Gideon Falls Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
51. Gideon Falls Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
52. Upgrade Soul by Ezra Clatan
53. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley
54. What a Wonderful World by Inio Asano
55. Black Hammer Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire
56. The Dark Tower: Gunslinger by Stephen King
57. Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse
58. Witchblade Volume 1 by Caitlyn Kittredge
59. New Kid by Jerry Craft
60. Tales Designed to Thrizzle by Michael Kupperman
61. Stumptown Vol. 3 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
62. Blackbird Volume 1 by Sam Humphries
63. Thor: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aron
64. All New Hawkeye by Jeff Lemire
65. Isola by Brendan Fletcher
66. Archie by Mark Waid
67. The Wisdom of Wonder Woman (collected)
68. 47 Ronin by Stan Saka
69. Firefly: The Unification War by Greg Pak
70. Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 by Nagabe
71. Nancy Drew Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson
72. The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
73, The Score by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
74. Flight of the Raven by Jean-Pierre Gibrat
75. Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
76. Icaro Book 2 by Moebius and Taniguchi
77. Criminal: Lawless by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (re-read)
78. Joyride by Jackson Lanzing
79. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 6 by Nagabe
80. Philip K. Dick NBM Comics by Laurent Queyssi
81. Stumptown Volume 4 by Greg Rucka

Edited: Jun 29, 11:29am Top

Zundert, Amsterdam Van Gogh Parade

Edited: Jul 24, 2:03pm Top

Favorite Illustrated Books So Far

The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
Lulu Anew by Etienne Davodeau
Berlin by Jason Lutes
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung
The Snooty Bookshop by Tom Gauld
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Out of This World: Leonora Carrington by Amanda Hall
Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse

Edited: Jul 24, 2:05pm Top

Favorite Books First Half of 2019

The Long Take by Robin Robertson
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
Tap Out by Edgar Kunz
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz
The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Edited: Jun 29, 11:29am Top

Part of our backyard garden

Edited: Jun 29, 11:32am Top

Our recent walk along the Chicago River, near Becca's place. Debbi and Becca, and a low-to-the-ground Indy, are in the photo.

Jun 29, 11:18am Top

*Peeks in* Are you open yet?

Jun 29, 11:37am Top

>8 laytonwoman3rd: We is, Linda!


Edited: Jun 29, 12:00pm Top

Happy new one!!

>3 jnwelch: I want ot go to the Van Gogh parade!! Wow.

Jun 29, 12:19pm Top

I about busted something laughing at "Lock up your daughters...Darcy's in town"

Happy new thread.

Jun 29, 12:28pm Top

>10 Berly: Thanks, Kim! Me, too! There are more pics from the Van Gogh parade on the last cafe thread.

>11 richardderus: LOL! Isn't that Darcy one great, Richard? It gets me every time.

Thanks re the new thread.

Jun 29, 12:56pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe!

Jun 29, 1:07pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe. Happy Saturday. I like those Austen book cover toppers. I just got back from a long, guided bird walk. Yes, it got hot, but I am glad I got out. Now, the rest of the afternoon, will be books and the Cubs game.

Jun 29, 1:17pm Top

>13 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl!

>14 msf59: Thank, Mark. Happy Saturday. It's fun to see how many different cover designs P & P has had. Those, of course, are just a small sample.

Good for you - lovely day for a guided bird walk. I'll check your thread for what birds you came across. We did some exciting errands in advance of the car trip tomorrow; at least it's a pretty day out there. Enjoy the books and the Cubs game, buddy. I just finished The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, recommended by Debbi, and it was a sweet one.

Jun 29, 1:24pm Top

Happy new thread! I just got in from mowing part of my backyard (my battery-powered lawnmower doesn’t have enough juice to do the whole thing in one go) and the idea of paving large portions with brick, like your photo above, has merit!

Jun 29, 3:14pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe. Your pics of the Chicago River reminded me of when I visited for a genealogy conference a while back. (It must have been in 2013 because I was on LT but hadn't discovered Chicago LT threads yet.) Have a safe trip tomorrow.

Jun 29, 3:21pm Top

Happy new 'un, Joe!

>7 jnwelch: Lovely photo! Unfortunately, my first thought, living in NC, is ticks. Do you get ticks up North?We sure do, and I wouldn't walk through that lovely scenery for anything. :(

Jun 29, 4:32pm Top

>16 foggidawn: Thanks, foggi! Yeah, our backyard was grass for many years, so the kids (and I) could play in it. Mowing - I was happy to put that in the rear view mirror once they'd grown up. Our front had grass, too. No more - patio, deck, gardens. No grass! I recommend it highly. :-)

>17 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I hope you have another genealogy conference here in the near future. I used to be downtown every day; not so much now that I'm mostly retired. Thanks re the trip - it'll be about a 10 hour drive, and a new one for us.

>18 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen!

We do have to think about ticks, but probably not as much as you do, particularly here in the city. We'll be more concerned down in TN, where we'll be hiking in the Smoky Mountain National Park. We still walk through lovely scenery, but we check carefully afterward.

Jun 29, 6:58pm Top

>1 jnwelch: OMG, that "pulp" cover. Truly awful!

Edited: Jun 29, 7:53pm Top

>1 jnwelch: Happy new thread, Joe! Love those covers, especially the last one!

>3 jnwelch: Spectacular. I'd never even heard of it, so I looked it up. The floats are made with dahlia flowers. This is a tradition that has lasted for 80 years. Twenty floats, one from each neighbourhood of Zundert. Can be up to half a million flowers in each float, and all of it is volunteer work.

Jun 29, 9:19pm Top

Your garden picture is lovely, Joe. I also liked your roof garden on the last thread. You can cook and garden…any other hidden talents?

Jun 29, 9:33pm Top

>20 lauralkeet:. But did it make you laugh, Laura?

>21 EllaTim:. Thanks, Ella. Isn’t that last P & P cover funny?

Thanks for the info on the Zundert parade. Composed of flowers, and all volunteer. The quality is amazing. If you want to see more of this year’s Van Gogh parade, there are photos on the last thread.

>22 Donna828:. Thanks, Donna. I wish I could take credit for the cooking and gardening - for both, the majority share goes to Madame MBH. My main hidden talent is I know how to marry well.😄

Jun 29, 9:36pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe. My favorite of the Austen covers is the black and white one, but the Darcy one is hilarious! Your garden is glorious. I have a picture of my tomato plants on my thread; green ones are growing but nothing ripening yet, which is pretty usual for coastal San Diego.

Jun 29, 10:24pm Top

Happy New Thread, Joe...love the P&P toppers. I've got a jigsaw puzzle of Austen covers, and it includes two of those, plus many more.
Also love the Garden Walk and your River walk pics. Many years ago my kids took tennis lessons at McFetridge, but I don't remember the river quite like that ;) But they're working on it. We have a tiny little portion over in our neck of the woods along the river near Von Steuben and North Park...need to go check it out.

Jun 29, 10:38pm Top

>1 jnwelch:

There's an African American remix of Pride and Prejudice: Pride by Ibi Zoboi, with an intriguing cover.

Jun 29, 11:05pm Top

Happy new one, Joe.

Have a great weekend, buddy.

Jun 29, 11:48pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jun 30, 12:10am Top

Back to your prior thread, your gardens look lovely! Thanks for sharing! I'm still hoping I might be able to talk my boss into letting me attend a conference in Chicago this fall (I think it's in September). If so, I hope we can arrange for a meet-up!

Jun 30, 12:10am Top

Oh, and Happy New Thread!!!

Jun 30, 7:12am Top

>24 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. Isn't that Darcy one hilarious? I have a hard copy; I couldn't resist. The publisher has others, but this one is m y favorite.

Thanks re the garden. I'll have to check out your tomato plants. We're growing some yellow cherry tomatoes, but nothing has appeared yet.

>25 kac522: Thanks, Kathy. Oooh, a jigsaw puzzle with Jane Austen covers. I'll have to look for that one.

Yeah, take a look at the river near you. They've been doing a lot near Irving Park and Western (Horner Park), and I know it's been a priority for the city. The Prairie Garden is in honor of someone I didn't recognize (Bill McBride? something like that) and it's really well done.

>26 m.belljackson:

Thanks for mentioning this one, Marianne. The book looks intriguing. I'll add it to the WL.

Jun 30, 7:16am Top

>27 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. We're off to Tennessee momentarily. Hope you've been having a good weekend, mate.

>28 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

>29 EBT1002:, >30 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! I'm glad you like our garden. It'd be lovely if we could see you in September. We're gone to London in the first half, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that the timing works out.

Jun 30, 7:18am Top

We're off to Tennessee. I'll check in periodically. Have a good week, and feel free to use the cafe and its seemingly endless kitchen.

Jun 30, 8:09am Top

>23 jnwelch: But did it make you laugh, Laura?
Of course it did!

Have a great trip Joe!

Jun 30, 9:53am Top

>33 jnwelch: Safe travels, enjoyable vacation time, and happy homecomings to you and Debbi!

Jun 30, 11:37am Top

Have a safe trip to and a great time in Tennessee, Joe!

Jun 30, 1:33pm Top

Happy Travels, Joe! Have a great time visiting family and friends!

Jun 30, 3:52pm Top

Happy new thread Joe, hope you and Debbi are having a good weekend mate, sending love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friends.

Jun 30, 5:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe. You made my heart happy when I saw all those covers for Pride and Prejudice, one of my all time favorite books. Enjoy your trip to Tennessee.

BTW - I found these in the back of the cafe - you must have forgotten to put them out for us before you left:

Jun 30, 6:11pm Top

Happy new thread, Joe, and have a good trip!

Jun 30, 7:13pm Top

>39 DeltaQueen50: *crams all the swirly arlettes into his gob*

ffangks joodee

Edited: Jul 1, 7:50am Top

>15 jnwelch: Joe, I narrated The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane for the Library of Congress years ago and had great fun with it. Your mention brought back nice memories.

Congratulations on your poems being published! What a thrill!

Jul 1, 12:47am Top

happy new thread and love the garden photos!

Jul 1, 10:28am Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Jul 2, 11:04am Top

>34 lauralkeet:, >35 richardderus:, >36 kidzdoc:, >37 msf59:, >38 johnsimpson:. Thanks Laura, Richard, Darryl, Mark and John!

We’ve arrived, it’s beautiful here, and Rafa is funnier than ever. We’ve got a nice cabin on Misty Hollow Way, right by Rafa and his parents. Lots of family visiting so far, and a short bike by the Pigeon Forge River.

Off to a late breakfast. I’ll catch up more later.

Jul 2, 3:26pm Top

Run with Frida Kahlo? Vans is partnering with a shoe company to create art shoes in her honor.

Glad you are happily settled in East Tennessee, land of my ancestors - let me know if you are heading past Unicoi,
for a tiny, yet memorable, Civil War Monument to compliment Mark's grandiose battlefield exploits.

Jul 2, 10:56pm Top

>45 jnwelch: Good to see you safely arrived.

Have a sip or three of Tennessee bourbon for me, Joe.

Jul 3, 11:54am Top

Oh yes, bourbon! A great idea for the lamb tenderloin I'm suddenly craving:

Roasted with whiskey and maple syrup glaze. Sounds delightful as a way to use up some bourbon, eh what?

Jul 3, 1:55pm Top

Have a great time with the family, Joe. The cafe is in good hands while you are gone (I think).

Jul 3, 2:08pm Top

Happy new one , Joe!

>1 jnwelch: Toppers are excellent! I love them.

>45 jnwelch: Enjoy your holiday!

Jul 3, 7:16pm Top

>39 DeltaQueen50:. Hi, Judy. Aren’t those P&P covers fun? One of my all- time favorite books, too.

Nice find in the kitchen! Amazing what’s back there when you take the time to look, isn’t it. I’ll gladly while away the hours sampling those. 😄

>40 FAMeulstee:. Thanks, Anita! Great trip so far.

>41 richardderus:. Love them swirly arlettes, RD. Not sure what you’re saying in French there.

>42 NarratorLady:. How great, Anne. What a treat and an honor it must have been to be asked to narrate The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. We’d been skeptical, because neither of us liked her Winn-Dixie one that much, but Edgar Tulane was a sweet one, wasn’t it.

Thanks re the poems! That was a nice surprise.

Jul 3, 7:39pm Top

>43 banjo123:. Thanks, Rhonda!

>44 drneutron:. Thanks, Jim!

>46 m.belljackson:. Hmm, Frida Kahlo-inspired shoes? Intriguing, Marianne. We’ll have to see how they turn out.

We’re loving the beauty of eastern TN, although this city boy would go crazy living here. No Unicoi in the plans, although I’m sure a Civil War enthusiast could find a lot to visit around here.

>47 PaulCranswick:. Ha! We have been sampling the local beer here, Paul, but no Tennessee bourbon yet. We traveled through Kentucky getting here, so we’ve been near a whole lot of distilleries.

>49 Familyhistorian:. Ha! Thanks, Meg. I know the cafe’s in good hands; it’s always fun to see what folks come up with.

>50 brodiew2:. Thanks, Brodie!

I’m glad you like the toppers. I enjoy seeing the different cover interpretations for popular books.

We’re having a great time on our holiday, thanks. Besides seeing the grandson and catching up with family here, we wanted to give our hard-working son and DIL a chance to relax, and that seems to be working.

Today we went to Dollywood for the first time for all of us, and had a lot of fun. Our favorite was pretty modest - Rafa joyfully playing in the kids’ water park. There also were some good rides and an impressive birds of prey presentation, with live ones who can’t live in the wild for various reasons. The organization rebuilds faltering populations, and has, for example, had 174 bald eagles born into the program and released into the wild in the state in the past few years. Very cool.

Tomorrow we’re hiking in the morning in Smoky Mountain National Park, and then heading into town in the afternoon.

Jul 3, 7:44pm Top

Happy belated new thread, Joe! Enjoy your vacation!!

Jul 3, 7:46pm Top

>53 Carmenere:. Thanks, Lynda!

Jul 3, 8:16pm Top

Hi, Joe. Glad you had a good time at Dollywood. And hooray for a joyful Rafa and a birds of prey presentation.

Jul 3, 8:28pm Top

Just catching up here. Your backyard garden looks terrific!

Happy new thread and enjoy the rest of your holiday :)

Jul 3, 8:59pm Top

I made a lovely bourbon glaze for the salmon filets we had tonight...good old Kentucky stuff, though.

>52 jnwelch: When you say "town", do you mean Gatlinburg? We used to love the other side of the park...the "quiet" side, as it were. Usually stayed in Townsend. We visited Gatlinburg, but never Dollywood.

Edited: Jul 3, 9:35pm Top

>55 msf59:. Thanks, Mark. It was a good time at Dollywood for sure. The best part, of course, is having all of us together. I’ll try to post some pics while we’re here. I know you’re following along on Facebook - wasn’t that bear by our cabin unbelievable?

>56 figsfromthistle:. Hi, Anita. Thanks re our backyard garden, the new thread, and our trip. Pretty hard to complain right now!

>57 laytonwoman3rd:. Mmm. Salmon fillets with bourbon glaze, yum. My BIL and SIL made grilled salmon with a wonderful marinade last night. Madame MBH and I agree that we have to ask her what the heck was in that marinade.

Yeah, when I say town, Linda, I mean Gatlinburg. We’re staying up in a wild, hilly area (hence the bear!) kinda near Pigeon Forge. I haven’t been to Townsend. I was resisting going to Dollywood (I’m not a country music fan), but I have a lot of respect for her, and a family adventure is always a good thing. Turned out country music wasn’t that big of a factor anyway (although we did listen to some - not bad). It’s more of a theme park, and worked well with young Rafa.

Jul 3, 9:47pm Top

I have a lot of respect for Dolly too. She gives away truckloads of books to kids.

Jul 3, 10:12pm Top

Happy 4th of July to you and your family, Joe - as well as all your American patrons:

That big one at the back is just for you, Richard!

Jul 4, 5:48am Top

>59 laytonwoman3rd: Ain't that cool. Go Dolly. She's an astute business woman too, I understand.

>52 jnwelch: Glad you had fun in Dollyland Joe.

Jul 4, 6:35am Top

Great P & P covers. I've seen the 'Lock Up your daughters' before, but, as you say it always makes me laugh.

Have a wonderful vacay!

Jul 4, 7:45am Top

Hi Joe!

Your vacation sounds wonderful so far, keep up the good work.

Jul 4, 10:22am Top

>60 DeltaQueen50: *crams pretty cupcake into piehole*

ffangk oo joodee

Jul 4, 10:53am Top

What a swell new thread you've got hummin' here. You weren't involved in that Jim Beam event, were you?

Jul 4, 11:30am Top

>65 weird_O: I think that happened in Kentucky.

Jul 4, 11:43am Top

Did I hear the name Jim Beam?

Happy 4th July, Joe.

Edited: Jul 4, 4:33pm Top

>59 laytonwoman3rd: Exactly, Linda. Her giving away books and literacy support is my number one reason for thinking highly of Dolly Parton. How she managed to climb up to the stars from where she started is also impressive. Plus she seems like a genuinely nice person.

>60 DeltaQueen50: Oh yeah - thank you, Judy. Nothing better than patriotic cupcakes, I say. Good idea to save one for RD; he can get a bit frosty if culinarily stymied.

>61 Caroline_McElwee: Go Dolly! I've also heard that she's an astute businesswoman, Caroline. We got to hear a niece of hers sing at Dollywood, and she had a gifted voice, too.

>62 streamsong: Right, Janet? That "Lock up your daughters" one isn't new (we've even got the hard copy of it), but it gets me every time - and I love the Colin Firth Darcy with the cigarette dangling. I'm glad you enjoyed the P & P covers.

>63 karenmarie: Hi Karen! We kept up the good vacation work (is that an oxymoron?) today - we hiked in the Smoky Mountain national park, visited with family, and went to downtown Gatlinburg to make sure our daughter got in some essential shopping. Next up is dinner out with more family.

We may take it a bit easier tomorrow!

>64 richardderus: Aren't you supposed to cram a cupcake into the cupcake hole, Richard? I'm still struggling with your French, although I'm pretty sure "joodee" is French for "Judy".

Jul 4, 4:45pm Top

>65 weird_O: Thanks, Bill. It's that much sweller here now that you done showed up.

Are you talking about the big fire at the Jim Beam facility? They estimate 45,000 barrels of precious Kentucky bourbon went up in flames. No one hurt, other than a lot of heartbreak among bourbon drinkers. I have a rock solid alibi, and 1000 barrels of premium Jim Beam bourbon I didn't have before. (That's all we could fit into the trucks).

>66 laytonwoman3rd: You are correct, Linda. !00 points to Gryffindor.

>67 PaulCranswick: You heard the name Jim Beam amidst the loud weeping, Paul. See above.

Thanks - it's been quite an enjoyable, if untraditional 4th of July. No barbecue, but plenty of fun. Many of us are trying to see whether the Queen will take us back as a colony. It's got to be better than you-know-who.

Edited: Jul 4, 5:36pm Top

Happy 4th, Joe. Sounds like you are having a fantastic day. I am having a lazy day in the Man-Cave, hoping the Cubs avoid the sweep. They have been struggling.

Jul 4, 8:14pm Top

>70 msf59: Hiya, Mark. It has been a fantastic day. I suspect some of it has made it to Facebook, courtesy of Debbi.

I'm glad you got a lazy day in the Man-Cave. Seems like you don't often get those. Last I knew the Cubs were up 9-3 over the Pirates. That's a little controversial here, as we're vacationing with some Pittsburgonians. :-)

Jul 8, 7:00am Top

Morning, Joe. Welcome back! It sounds like you guys had a wonderful trip. I am not surprised at all. Plus, you came back to much more comfortable temps. I hope it lasts. Like, I mentioned to you, by text, I am loving The Great Believers.

Jul 8, 7:55am Top

>72 msf59: Morning, Mark. Thanks! It's good to be back. That was a heckuva drive back with the 4th of July weekend crowd, but we're here.

That was a wonderful trip, for sure. We already miss Jesse and Adri and young Rafa. You're right, great temps to come back to. I'm even more psyched about Great Believers now that I've heard your reaction; maybe Debbi will let me jump the queue now. We'll see. As I said over on your thread, I'm happy you liked The Long Take as much as I did, and that's a good review of it.

Jul 8, 7:57am Top

Rafa on the motorcycle rocker Debbi's brother Mark made him. It has more than six kinds of wood. That's Rafa's dad Jesse in back.

Jul 8, 8:22am Top

>74 jnwelch: Wow, lucky Rafa, that's a great new toy to have. I bet he won't be separated from that easily.

Glad you had a good time Joe. I plan to nudge Great Believers up the pile to read this month.

Jul 8, 10:24am Top

>74 jnwelch: That's an amazing rocking-horse motorcycle. Amazing! Uncle Mark will be The Man for quite a while.

Jul 8, 11:15am Top

>74 jnwelch: What a unique treasure. I imagine this rocking horse will be a family heirloom for years to come.

Each day I am slowly visiting a few threads. I'm trying to get back to "normal." I've painted the outside deck with two coats of a lovely tan color. I've worked for hours and hours in the various gardens surrounding the house. I've painted all inside doors of the first floor, and I painted one of the downstairs bathrooms. Keeping busy helps somewhat with the emotional loss of Will, but it isn't great for the pain level. I am trying to find a middle ground.

It is great to visit here and, as always, find such stunning opening images.

Happy Day To You!

Jul 8, 11:24am Top

>74 jnwelch: Love Rafa's new ride. *cue Leader of the Pack*

Jul 8, 2:14pm Top

>74 jnwelch: Nice ride, kid!

Jul 8, 2:28pm Top

The picture of the future family heirloom motorcycle fits in nicely with my latest book. Riding With Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books by Ted Bishop has been on my TBR list for a long long time - maybe since I joined LT. I started reading this one for my real life book discussion group. Each summer we do a round robin book talk of a travel book and this summer I chose this title. I wanted to read something about transportation not in a car, and wasn't in the mood for another snippy Paul Theroux train book. I remembered we had this book in the library and so went and got it. It turned out to be a fun read.

The author is an English Professor at the University of Edmonton whose specialty is early modern English literature. He is also a motorcycle rider. The book is about a literary trip he took by motorcycle from his home in Edmonton to Austin, Texas to do some work in the Stirling Archives. He had purchased a Ducati motorcycle and it was his inaugural trip with that machine. Along the way he stopped at other literary places of interest -like the New Mexico ranch of D. H. Lawrence. In the course of the book, he took a trip to Europe for a literary conference and visited the Ducati factory and museum. The book was full of side trips and lots of motorcycle stories. It was also full of thoughts about archives, books, and the art of reading. It was quite philosophical - even about motorcycling and motorcycles. This book was an unexpected pleasure to read. Who would have thought motorcycles, archives, and books? But it does work.

Maybe Rafa will read this one?

Jul 8, 2:53pm Top

>74 jnwelch: - Wow, that is some amazing craftsmanship! Beautiful!

Jul 8, 2:56pm Top

>58 jnwelch: We’re staying up in a wild, hilly area (hence the bear!) We have bears bathing in the fountains of local apartment buildings so the wild and hilly doesn't necessarily follow, Joe.

Love Rafa's rocking motorcycle! Looks like you had an adventurous holiday but I bet its good to be back home.

Jul 8, 3:41pm Top

>74 jnwelch:

Motorcycle is a real treasure.

Did Uncle Mark have a pattern? or create one?

Rafa might now enjoy the opening bars of the film LA BAMBA.

Jul 8, 5:59pm Top

>75 Caroline_McElwee: That is such a great new toy for Rafa, Caroline. He loved it. His parents figured out how to fit it into their car for the drive back, so he'll have it at home in Pittsburgh, lucky guy.

I plan to nudge up Great Believers, too. This will require delicate negotiations with its current possessor, Debbi. Wish me luck.

>76 richardderus: Isn't that an amazing motorcycle rocker, Richard? Uncle Mark is a talented guy with a heart of gold. He wowed Rafa and Rafa's parents with that one.

>77 Whisper1: How good to hear from you, Linda. Thank you for stopping by.

I've no doubt you're right. That rocking motorcycle is going to be a family heirloom for many years to come. Mark's wife Mary is a professional level quilter (those on Facebook can see two of them, posted by Madame MBH), and Rafa's parents got quilts and table runners from her, too.

Good for you for keeping busy beautifying the house and your garden, and returning to normal as much as you can. It's got to be hard not having Will there. But you have lots of folks who love and admire you, I know, including all your LT pals.

Happy Day to you, too! I'm glad you like the toppers. I love it when publishers and artists get creative with book covers.

>78 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! Thanks, Linda. Mark's going to have to get busy if he's going to create a pack for Rafa to lead. :-) Wouldn't that be a sight to see, a pack of little gremlins on rocking motorcycles.

>79 weird_O: Right, Bill? He's one lucky kid.

Edited: Jul 8, 6:17pm Top

>80 benitastrnad: That sounds like quite a book, Benita. Good for you for giving it a go.

It may be in Rafa's future, but that's a ways away. His most recent book that I know of is The Pigeon Needs a Bath Book! by Mo WIllems, which I read to him after his own bath. He liked it so much he stayed up until the end, and then fell asleep.

>81 jessibud2: Isn't that beautiful craftsmanship, Shelley? Mark is really talented. We have a big wooden kaleidoscope he made us that gets comments all the time. He normally makes furniture, but he's got quite a creative side.

>82 Familyhistorian: Ha! I know you're right about bears showing up in non-wild places, Meg. We've had coyotes and a bobcat near us here (they come into the city along the river), but no bears. I have a sister who gets bears (and other critters) in Helena, Montana, but her cabin/house is in a fairly wild area outside of town.

That rocking motorcycle is something else, isn't it. We did have an adventurous vacation, and you're right, we're glad to be back home. The drive back yesterday was so darn long, over 12 hours, I assume because of 4th of July weekend traffic. (It had been 3 hours shorter going to TN). Arggh. At least we were greeted with beautiful weather in Chicago.

>83 m.belljackson: That rocking motorcycle is a treasure, for sure, Marianne. Mark rode a real one for years, so I think that factored into the details. He said he did find something on the internet that helped.

I can't remember the opening bars of the film LA BAMBA. What would resonate with Rafa now?

Edited: Jul 8, 6:32pm Top

These are from our group hike in Smoky Mountain National Park. So beautiful there.

These are from our ski lift trip up to the top of one of the mountains, where the views were spectacular and they had a bluegrass band to greet us. The first one has son Jesse and Adri, with Jesse looking back, and the second, taken by the ski lift company, has yours truly with Becca (seasonoflove), as we neared the top. Becca and Jesse raced "Alpine sleds" all the way down those tracks (a long ways down!) you see below Jesse and Adri, and had a blast.

Edited: Jul 8, 7:02pm Top

>86 jnwelch: I love the photos, Joe! Just my jam! I have passed through the Smokies but have never actually hiked there. That NEEDS to change.

Jul 8, 7:24pm Top

>74 jnwelch: Such fabulousness! The boy and his ride! Congratulations to Uncle Mark.

Jul 8, 7:36pm Top

Hi Joe, boy, that Rafa looks good on his motorcycle - now he just needs a leather jacket!

Jul 8, 8:58pm Top

>86 jnwelch: Great photos Joe, but the ski lift chairs look a tad scary.

Jul 9, 2:15am Top

What a fun vacation! Thanks for sharing all the great photos. Of course, Rafa's is the cutest. As to the Great Believers, I didn't think the writing was amazing, but it brought back so many memories and it was a great book for my RL bookclub discussion. Enjoy!!

Jul 9, 8:12am Top

Hi Joe and happy Tuesday to you.

That rocking motorcycle of Rafa's is so cool. Debbi's brother did an amazing job.

Excellent photos, as always, too.

Jul 9, 8:17am Top

So glad to hear you had a great time in the Smoky Mountains, and what a great photo of Rafa on the motorcycle rocker! Hope you're enjoying The Sentence is Death.

Jul 9, 8:55am Top

Great vacation photos, Joe!

Jul 9, 9:50am Top

>74 jnwelch: is it me or does that Motorbike have a little bit of a Flintstones vibe to it?

Love the Smokey Mountains photos - the view from the ski lift must have been amazing

Jul 9, 11:28am Top

>85 jnwelch:

LA BAMBA? Seeing the intro Motorcycle and hearing the accompanying beat...

Jul 9, 2:59pm Top

>87 msf59: Hi, Mark. You would LOVE hiking in Smoky Mountain National Park. It's HUGE; we've only been in a small part of it. So pretty, and lots of running water (creeks and rivers, with small waterfalls), which I always like. I didn't take any bird photos, but there were plenty to be had.

We did go to a Birds of Prey presentation at Dollywood that you would've appreciated. There were a number of owls, including a Great Horned Owl, Screech Owls, and one from the mideast with orange eyes, whose name I forget. Also a golden eagle and a bald eagle, among others.

>88 quondame: Thanks, Susan! Such fabulousness, yup. Madame MBH is going to make sure Uncle Mark hears about all the positive reactions here and on Facebook.

>89 DeltaQueen50: Ha! Doesn't Rafa look good on his motorcycle, Judy? We did jokingly talk about finding him a leather jacket. Wait until the other toddlers get a load of this. :-)

>90 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. The ski lift looked a tad scary to Debbi, too, so she took a pass. While we went way high into the mountains on them, we were always within 20 or 30 feet of the ground, so it actually wasn't as bad as it might look.

>91 Berly: Thanks, Kim. That was indeed a fun vacation. Rafa continues to be quite the cute fellow; he makes friends everywhere he goes. Any time we went to a restaurant, the wait staff and neighboring tables got a big kick out of him.

I'm looking forward to reading The Great Believers. Thanks for your comments. From all I've heard, I can imagine it made for a great book club discussion.

Jul 9, 3:13pm Top

>92 karenmarie: Hi Karen - Happy Tuesday, my friend.

Didn't Debbi's brother do an amazing job on that rocking motorcycle? Rafa's a lucky kiddo.

Thanks re the photos. I'll post some more as we go along.

>93 bell7: Hi, Mary. We did indeed have a great time in the Smoky Mountains, thanks. And isn't that some photo of Rafa on his rocking motorcycle? Somewhere I've got one from behind the motorcycle, where you can see that Mark gave it a "RAFA" license plate!

I'm about 3/4 of the way through The Sentence is Death, and I'll be returning to it right after this. It's hard not to be reading it all the time!

>94 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl! There will be a few more photos soon.

>95 magicians_nephew: I can see the little bit of Flintstone vibe, Jim. Take off the rocker runners and he could use his feet to propel the motorcycle around Bedrock. I guess he'd have to pick it up between his legs, since the wheels don't turn, but he'd still look cool.

The view from the ski lift was amazing - beautiful going up, up, up, panoramic at the top, and especially amazing coming back down, with all of the area beneath us.

>96 m.belljackson: Jeez Louise, Marianne, you sure have a better memory about that movie than I do. Debbi and I joke that we suffer from that old-timer's disease, CRS - Can't Remember . . . Stuff.

Jul 9, 3:28pm Top

Our future President, in 2050 or so, explaining his platform

Rafa with his Bubbe on the carousel in Dollywood

Jul 9, 4:10pm Top

>99 jnwelch: Adorbs. Totes adorbs.

Aren't the Smokies gorgeous?

Jul 9, 4:46pm Top

>99 jnwelch: What Richard ssid. Lovely.

Jul 9, 5:04pm Top

>98 jnwelch:

Memory of LA BAMBA is easier served when the elderly VHS sits between Back to the Future,
Margaret Cho,
Best of SNL, & Waiting to Exhale on one side

Jurassic Park,
Thelma and Louise,
Love Actually,
The Lorax,
Full Monty, and The Elephant Man on the other...

Jul 9, 5:59pm Top

>100 richardderus: Adora-totes that little guy is. Thanks, RD.

Yes - them Smokies are gorgeous. I feel so lucky every time we're in them. I'd go crazy living down there, but man are they beautiful.

>101 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. He's a lovely boy, that Rafa.

>102 m.belljackson: Ha! A bit eclectic, maybe, Marianne?

Jul 10, 6:07am Top

>99 jnwelch: Oh, Joe, that smile on Rafa is a little bit of heaven. What a sweetheart he is.

Jul 10, 6:35am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Wednsday! No time yesterday, for LT. I was too busy with birds and books. I had a good day off. Back to the heat and humidity today. Ugh.

Deep into The Great Believers and it continues to be excellent, although it also is a heart-breaker.

Jul 10, 8:34am Top

>104 scaifea: That little boy sure enjoys life, Amber. He is a sweetheart. We already miss him.

>105 msf59: Happy Wednesday, amigo. Being too busy with birds and books sounds pretty darn good. Don't forget the third "B" though - beer. I'm glad you had yesterday off to enjoy. Sounds like we're facing a tough weather day today.

I'm glad that The Great Believers continues to be excellent, if heart-breaking. I finished The Sentence is Death, and it was a fun ride with Horowitz. If you decide to read this one by the Magpie Murders author, I suggest you read its predecessor, The Word is Murder first. It's the first to feature Hawthorne and the author as a team, and The Sentence is Death will work better if you read TWIM before it.

Jul 10, 8:46am Top

Jul 10, 11:39am Top

>74 jnwelch: Wow! That motorcycle is a piece of art. And Rafa looks wonderful on it!

Of course, I think he looks even better on the carousel horse.

Hooray! Rafa for President!

Thanks for sharing the photos of the Great Smokey Mountains. Beautiful country - I'm glad you had a great time.

Jul 10, 1:32pm Top

>107 jnwelch: What a lovely idea!

Jul 10, 4:06pm Top

>107 jnwelch: Great little reading nook there Joe. Not sure I could be comfy with the feet on the wall now though. A shabby chaise might be nice.

Once the laundry is put away....

Jul 11, 10:10am Top

>108 streamsong: Hi, Janet! Isn't that motorcycle a work of art? As is that little boy, methinks.

Rafa had a lot of fun with his bubbe on the carousel, and enjoyed other rides at Dollywood. Including one that whipped around at a pretty good clip. Nothing much seems to faze him. Oh, and at their water playground. I'll try to get a few more pics up today or tomorrow.

Can't wait until he runs for President. We may need subtitles, if he keeps speaking Rafanian.

You're welcome re the Smoky photos. We had a great time in that beautiful part of the country. And now we're enjoying being back home!

>109 richardderus: Right, Richard? I love the look of >107 jnwelch:, and her enjoyment of her reading nook.

>110 Caroline_McElwee: LOL! Yeah, I'm not much of a feet on the wall guy meself at this stage, Caroline. I like your shabby chaise, although that laundry is contrary to the principles of chaise-ing. A few books instead (maybe on a side table), and we're all set.

Edited: Jul 11, 2:26pm Top

Edited: Jul 11, 2:51pm Top

Our first day in our cabins on Misty Hollow Road this resident showed up. Our DIL saw him/her first, and calmly said in a soft voice, "Someone should take Rafa inside." Then we all saw why.

Edited: Jul 11, 3:39pm Top

>103 jnwelch:

Eclectic, eh?

Well, as promised, the chives fresh from our front garden chopped on top of a tiny pickled beet

turned out VERY interesting.

(Daughter refused even to taste it, preferring instead the first Blackcap of the season spared by the birds.)

Glad the Bear was seen before Rafa decided to befriend Smoky.

Jul 11, 3:51pm Top

Later this month, Canada Post is coming out with a series of bear stamps: 4 designs, black bear, polar bear, brown bear and I forget the fourth. I saw them advertised at the post office today. On a stamp, they are just fine. I would not want to get much closer than that!

Jul 11, 4:38pm Top

>113 jnwelch: we don't get bears round these parts... exciting and scary at the same time Joe. I guess the bear must be used to humans in a place like that.

Jul 11, 5:32pm Top

>114 m.belljackson: I'm with your daughter, Marianne - pickled beets are just good chives spoiled (I'm trying to crib off of "golf is just a good walk spoiled", but it's not a neat fit). I'd've gone for the Blackcap, too.

Rafa was in my arms, and both of us were intrigued by the bear, maybe too much. My daughter fiercely whispered, "Dad! Get inside the cabin!" After walking several paces up that paved road, the bear took a right turn up into the extensive woody hillside, never to be seen by us again.

>115 jessibud2: Those bear stamps sound good, Shelley. That's my second close encounter with a bear - some buddies and I had one close behind us in Yosemite many years ago, up on its hind legs with a can of tuna between its paws. No photo of that one, as we all found ourselves 50 yards away in an instant, with no clear memory of how we got there. We did all have some memory of fervent yelling. There have been other not-close encounters in national parks, but this relaxed amble near us was special.

>116 Caroline_McElwee: The wildness here is one of my favorite things about this country, Caroline. Exciting and scary at the same time, yup. We won't go into the tourists that don't pay sufficient attention to the scary part; our DIL sure did. I think you're right about "used to humans"; those that run the cabins were adamant about no one leaving food or garbage out. I have a cousin who camped in a tent and forgot a candy bar in his back pocket; a bear trashed the tent and raked off a hunk of his butt along with the candy bar. He was lucky it wasn't worse, as he'd be the first to tell you.

Jul 11, 6:51pm Top

>115 jessibud2: >116 Caroline_McElwee: >117 jnwelch:

Waterton-Glacier National Park is a great Canadian/American site for fairly safely close encounters with both black bears
(having a grand old time in Many Glaciers 'forgotten' garbage cans in the middle of the day,
with big tall rangers quickly blocking us sightseers)

and - from a further distance - Grizzly Moms and babies, combined power and cute.

How can we order a small block of 4 assorted Bears?

Jul 11, 6:56pm Top

>112 jnwelch: LIKE!

>113 jnwelch: You know I love the bear!

Sweet Thursday, Joe. They walked with me on the route today. The supervisor was from another office, on detail with us and a nice guy, but it cramped my style today and totally wrecked my reading plans. Get out the tiny violins, right? I am limiting my time on LT tonight, so I can make up some of my lost reading time.

Jul 11, 7:05pm Top

>118 m.belljackson: - Here is a link I found, Marianne: https://www.canadapost.ca/shop/stamps/canada.jsf?execution=e1s1

There is also a new double stamp for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It's a beauty. I already have those. The bears come out near the end of the month.

>119 msf59: - Mark, lol!!

Jul 11, 8:29pm Top

Hi Joe, and welcome home. I think Rafa’s motorcycle will become a family heirloom. He can park it in a special corner of the Oval Office. Your trip to the Smokies looks fantastic. Did you take the bear picture before or after Rafa was safely transported to the cabin?

Jul 11, 8:29pm Top

>118 m.belljackson: We love Glacier National Park, Marianne. One of my sisters lives not far from it. Mmm, garbage cans. Such cornucopias of delight for our ursine friends.

>119 msf59: Hiya, Mark. I know, I thought of you with the bear photo! If everyone here was also on Facebook, it'd make some things easier, but FB is not for everyone.

Sweet Thursday. Arggh, having a supervisor shadowing you all day sounds lousy. Too bad, as at least the weather was decent. Relax and enjoy your reading time tonight.

>120 jessibud2: Good info for stamp collectors, Shelley. I might go for some Jane Austens, but I'd probably have to look across the pond.

Poor Mark!

Jul 11, 8:38pm Top

>121 Donna828: Thanks, Donna. We were all blown away by the rocking motorcycle. He can park it in a special corner of the Oval Office. LOL - love it!

It was a fantastic trip in the Smokies. thanks. That photo was taken from our ground level cabin porch, I think by Debbi, before we got Rafa inside the cabin. His grandfather was agog and gaping, until our daughter reminded him to get Rafa inside. The bear was ambling and took no interest in us, so I was feeling more relaxed about it than I might have otherwise.

Jul 11, 8:55pm Top

>113 jnwelch: Love the photo...but I'm glad Grandpa and Rafa and everyone else showed sense and went inside. We've had bears on our yard, and my in-laws frequently did as well but no one ever encountered them while outside. One did put its paws and snout on the breakfast room window and look my FIL in the face through the glass once. AND, we're pretty sure one took a chomp on the back bumper of my red Corolla when it was parked in their driveway many years ago. There were marks on the upper and lower side of it that can't be explained any other way.

Jul 12, 8:19am Top

>124 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. Yeah, bears need to be taken seriously. (Please ignore the fact that I almost said that they're lousy at telling jokes anyway). My sister in Helena, MT has had experiences similar to yours, with bears right by the house and peering in the windows. She had a very brave dachshund who would've been a mouthful - I didn't hear about her being outside and trying to scare off a bear, but she reportedly did scare off a big moose. I wonder whether your red Corolla looked like it might be good eating, like an apple or something.

Edited: Jul 12, 8:28am Top

Little Man

Rocking motorcycle from the back, with "Rafa" license plate and cat butt

Jul 12, 8:46am Top

Hi Joe! Happy Friday to you.

>113 jnwelch: Yup, bears deserve respect and distance. We had a sighting of a black bear about 5 miles from our house about 4 years ago or so. That's close enough for me.

Ha. Cat butt and RAFA plate.

And I hope you've been able to move The Great Believers up in the queue. I found it an absolute stunner.

Edited: Jul 12, 11:02am Top

>126 jnwelch: This kid is so photogenic. I especially like the top one.

Morning, Joe. Happy Friday. Nearly finished with The Great Believers. Like Karen said, it is a "stunner". You will love it.

Not bad out here. The low humidity always helps.

Jul 12, 12:13pm Top

>112 jnwelch: That's me all too frequently!

Jul 12, 3:10pm Top

The cuteness, the cuteness! Oh, the humanity!

Happy weekend ahead. Make it a readalicious one!

Edited: Jul 12, 6:59pm Top

Oh, darn. Other Rafa lost to Federer. I'm a Rafa guy. Great match, what I saw of it, and Federer played really well. I assume he'll play Djokovic in the final (we'll see). That should be another great one.

>127 karenmarie: Happy Friday to you, Karen. Ha! There's probably something wrong with me and the rest of the family, but we loved having the bear that close. It was really special.

Cat butt! And his own personalized license plate. He's got style, that little guy.

I'm going to talk to my much better half about The Great Believers. She's got dibs, but maybe she'd hand it over for a promise not to annoy her for an hour or two. (Not sure I can pull that off for that long, but it sounds worth it for this book).

>128 msf59: Man, we just Facetimed with that photogenic kid, and he's still a hoot. He recognizes us over the phone, and that adds to the fun. He's living the good life, and had just returned home from swim class. He LOVES the water. I've got a couple of photos of him playing in the little kids' water park in Dollywood that I'll try to remember to post.

So much positivity about the stunning The Great Believers! It's great to hear - it's a rare book that garners that much 75er acclaim.

It's better out than I thought it was going to be. I'm glad you weren't dragging around in steam today. I know you've got one more work day, but Fridays still have some cachet, right? Happy Friday!

>129 RBeffa: You and me both, Ron. I'm sometimes a bit too much "Mr. Clean Enough" (let's not bother doing more) for that fastidious and lovely wife of mine, but the books are calling - it's not my fault. :-)

>130 richardderus: Ha! I'm the same way, RD. We just got more of that cuteness over Facetime, and we're walking around smiling.

Happy weekend! I'll visit and find out what you're reading. I'm near the end of Heyer's satisfying if far-fetched False Colours, the one with the twin brothers, with Toni Morrison and Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors teed up.

Jul 12, 7:38pm Top

>131 jnwelch: - "I assume he'll play Djokovic in the final (we'll see). "

Not sure what you mean, unless you didn't realize Djokovich had already won his semi by the time of the Nadal-Federer match?

Yes, it'll be a good final.

Jul 12, 8:43pm Top

Add me to the list of those who were knocked out flat by The Great Believers Joe. Just a brilliant book full of heart.

Also really love the incredible motorcycle. What a work of art! Family heirloom for sure. So is Rafa for that matter lol.

Jul 12, 10:29pm Top

>131 jnwelch: Well, I'm pleased that Federer won the semi. I watched the first 2 1/2 sets, but had to go out and run errands with flamingrabbit. It was over when we got back. It was incredible play by both of them up to the point where I had to turn it off.

Jul 13, 2:18am Top

>126 jnwelch: Great Rafa photos, Joe.

I recently finished Magpie Murders and have The Word is Murder in the stacks. Glad to know from your post up thread that it is the first in a series. Somehow I usually end up with a middle book in a series when I start one.

Jul 13, 10:04am Top

>132 katiekrug:. You got it, Katie. We’d been out and I didn’t know. I’m not a Djokovic fan, but it’s hard to argue with his success. Should be a great battle with Federer.

>133 brenzi:. Ha! I love the idea of Rafa as a family heirloom, too, Bonnie. That he is, a precious one. We’re still talking about how much fun it was to FaceTime with him yesterday. Somehow these little ones recognize people (us) on the phone. Our slightly older nephew does, too. What flexible minds they have.

Isn’t that motorcycle something else? Mark is happy to hear about all the positive reactions.

Madame MBH has graciously consented to my reading The Great Believers after Jazz, so we’re getting closer.

Jul 13, 10:09am Top

>134 laytonwoman3rd: It was incredible to watch Nadal and Federer go at it, wasn’t it, Linda. So many amazing points. I thought Federer was just one step ahead of Nadal on some of the important ones, especially at the net.

Unfortunately, I guess, I think Serena is just going to run over Halep. But maybe Halep will surprise me. I’m all in for Serena, but a closer match would’ve been nice, if it goes the way I expect.

Jul 13, 10:59am Top

Happy Saturday, Joe. I took the day off. Matt snagged us a couple of Cubs tickets, so we are heading to the Friendly Confines. I know this is your neighborhood, so I will wave in your general direction.

Have a great day!

Jul 13, 11:08am Top

Wow, Halep beat Serena badly. Shows what a good prognosticator I am. It sounds like Serena was hitting errors all over the place. Jeesh.

>135 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Thanks re the Rafa photos.

Oh yeah. I had fun with Magpie Murders and The World is Murder, too. You'll have more fun when you get to The Sentence is Death. He's on a roll.

>138 msf59: Happy Saturday, Mark. Day off! Way to go. Good idea. Cubs - great! Take water, man. We'll look for your wave if we're back. We're heading down to that ICE raid protest now. Bless Mayor Lori Lightfoot - you probably saw it, but she ordered the Chicago police to supply NO assistance in any way to the ICE personnel.

Have a great day off!

Edited: Jul 13, 11:53am Top

>136 jnwelch: well I should be ready to start The Great Believers Weds/Thurs next week Joe, so. Will read along with you.

More great Rafa photos, how quickly he has grown.

Jul 13, 2:42pm Top

>86 jnwelch: You are a brave soul. I am very afraid of heights. I would never have never have the courage you do.

Jul 13, 6:42pm Top

>140 Caroline_McElwee: That timing should work, Caroline. Maybe Thurs for me; we'll see. It'll be good to have a read-along partner for The Great Believers.

Thanks re the Rafa photos. He has grown quickly! He's still tiny compared to the grownups, although that big head of his makes up for a lot.

>141 Whisper1: Oh, you're kind, Linda. It actually wasn't as height-fearsome as it looks; as I mentioned to someone, we did go very high up to the top of a mountain, but the lift was within a reasonable distance of the ground the whole way.

Jul 13, 9:27pm Top

>131 jnwelch:

Maybe Tennis Rafa is still suffering from that ball deliberately hit to his abdomen.

Tennis is not supposed to be a violent sport - I still don't understand why that hit was not illegal
and the guy thrown out.
When he admitted he did it on purpose, that was beyond bad sportsmanship.

Jul 14, 4:36am Top

I am more of a Federer fan than a Rafa one but I admire all of the top players immensely. Will be a great final I'm sure.

>143 m.belljackson: Unfortunately it is not a foul shot, Marianne although certainly "ungentlemanly conduct". Perhaps it was the only way Kyrgios could think of stopping Nadal making that God awful grunting noise every time he hits the ball!

Have a great weekend, Joe.

Jul 14, 5:53am Top

Phew, found the Cafè. Looks like there's been a lot going on in my absence.

>1 jnwelch: Nice toppers. P&P is one of my favourites. That Darcy one though - does it tell the same story inside?

>74 jnwelch: Beautiful woodwork. That Rafa is growing apace. Somehow I thought he was a brunet, but looks like he's going blond.

Thanks for all the cakes, but that Richard geezer seems to have scarfed them all.

I like the holiday snaps.

>139 jnwelch: Serena looked like me playing tennis, which is to say tired and just hoping it would end soon.

Jul 14, 10:55am Top

>143 m.belljackson:. That was terrible, wasn’t it, Marianne, that ball purposefully smashed right at Nadal’s stomach. No apology from Krygios. You can tactically hit the ball at a player’s center to try to tie him up, particularly in doubles (it can be hard to effectively return), but that one looked malicious and intended to harm to me.

>144 PaulCranswick:. I admire Federer, too, Paul, as a player and a person. I just prefer Nadal’s swashbuckling style.

I’m so used to so many players making noise when they hit the ball that I don’t even notice it with Nadal. I love his tenacity and shot-making.

Thanks re the weekend. We were at a protest downtown yesterday over Drumpf’s horrific immigration policies, including the concentration camps, family separations, and now ICE raids looking for undocumented people. I never thought I’d live under such an anti-American racist and Fascist regime. We fought WWII to stop this kind of horror, and now we’ve got our own government aggressively effectuating it.

Off the soapbox! I hope you’re having a great weekend yourownself.

Edited: Jul 14, 11:00am Top

Bargain: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is available on e-readers today for $2.99. Great book about a boy who miraculously figured out a way to generate electricity for his small Malawi village.

Jul 14, 11:18am Top

>146 jnwelch:

Stay on The Soapbox, Joe - you will recruit more people who actually care!

Like your new Mayor!!!

We need a Nellie Bly to infiltrate the concentration camps -
We need REAL Democrats to lead a REAL movement to end these atrocities
(and not just jabber on attacking each other for spurious nonsense) -
We need Martin Luther King!!!

Jul 14, 12:01pm Top

Happy, peaceful Sunday, Joe.

Edited: Jul 14, 12:20pm Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. Have you had a chance to see the film adaptation of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind on Netflix? If not, it is a good one, but of course, the book is better.

I had to go food shopping this morning but the rest of the day, will be books and the Cubs game. Going for the sweep. I am really enjoying If You Want to Make God Laugh, (expect more warbling). This is the author I am seeing at the Book Cellar, this week.

Edited: Jul 14, 12:52pm Top

>146 jnwelch: - I don't usually insert photos into the threads of others but I thought this might be appropriate, given your comments. A friend sent this to me, said it's a new t-shirt a friend of his got. ;-). My response was: "If only!"

Jul 14, 2:12pm Top

I’ll come back later and post responses, but congratulations to Novak Djokovic for winning Wimbledon in its first tiebreaker after the two tied 12-12. Great fight from Roger Federer. What a 5th set!

Jul 14, 2:22pm Top

>152 jnwelch: What a game, Joe. I feel for Federer because for most of the game he was the slightly better of the two but what guts from Novak. I also have to say that the crowd was very partisan and he prevailed against them too so kudos to him.

Jul 14, 8:33pm Top

>152 jnwelch: I saw the last two sets on this afternoon's replay. What a match! I'm a Federer fan all the way, but absolutely had to admire Djokovic's heart. The interviews after were very good as well, kudos to both players for their high level of sportsmanship. I can't believe that in their very first year of having a fifth set tie break that it happened in the men's final!

Edited: Jul 14, 10:58pm Top

>148 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I hope we have enough people who really care. Is it really possible that we don't? What a nightmare time this is.

I don't know if we've got an MLK out there, a leader like that. It may be the time when we collectively need to lead ourselves. We need someone up top who's tough enough and who understands American values and priorities and can make them happen - no racism, no concentration camps, no separating families, no screwing the less fortunate to benefit the rich, no putting the country in unimaginable debt, no trying to deprive everyone but the rich of decent healthcare, no ignoring and undermining the importance of education, no selling off our parklands, no putting heads in the sand to ignore climate change, no being against science and in favor of Trumped up b.s., and on and on.

I've been a Kamala Harris fan for quite a while, but we'll see how it sorts out. We need Drumpf out, and we need to take over the Senate and undo a lot of crap and reassert what our country's really all about. We need to get Mitch McConnell out of there, who's an even bigger traitor to our democracy than Russian agent Drumpf. If we don't have enough people voting and resisting so as to make these things happen, then I'm afraid we're talking about the end of the Great American Experiment. Drumpf may finally succeed in discouraging immigration, and encouraging emigration, because he'll have made this country so awful for all but his white supremacist acolytes and cronies.

I never thought we'd get to where we are right now. Can we fix it? I hope so.

>149 richardderus: Ha! Despite my ranting, RD, Madame MBH and I actually did have a happy, peaceful Sunday. Our young houseguests went on their way to Nashville after a fine couple of days in Chi-town, and the house was quiet and well=atmosphered for reading, catching the Wimbledon Men's Final, and finishing the new, excellent Stranger Things season.

How we square that with our disgust with what our government is doing to so many people who deserve protection and help, I can't tell you. It's hard. I guess we all try to find those things which make our lives worthwhile - and peaceful and happy - while continuing to fight and resist. It's a tough balance. And as someone of the Buddhist persuasion, I'm supposed to be focused on kindness, peace, happiness, all that good stuff. Compassion - I guess that's where the "fix it" need comes in.

>150 msf59: Hiya, Mark. I knew Netflix (or someone) had done a Boy Who Harnessed the Wind movie, but I haven't seen it. I'm glad to hear it's good. I don't think we watch near as many movies as you do; I'd like to see this one, but our tbv list is probably longer than our tbr list.

It's looking better for that If You Want to Make God Laugh author appearance this week, but I'll have to talk to you about timing, as I'm going into the office that day.

Jul 14, 11:08pm Top

>151 jessibud2: Ha! I love the t-shirt, Shelley. I hope it works to get that orange out.

>153 PaulCranswick: That was some match and game, Paul. Yeah, I've got to give Novak credit, too. He just kept coming, despite Federer, despite the crowd, despite those on-the-line points Federer got that might have sunk a lesser man. I was a dubious three-for-three: I was pulling for Serena, and Rafa, and Roger when Rafa went out. You might not want to send me out to buy your lottery tickets.

>154 bell7: Right, Mary? I'm not a Djokovic fan, but I had to admire his heart, too. I didn't stick around for Djokovic's remarks, but I thought Roger was remarkably funny ("How do you feel?" "I will try to forget this") and, as always, gracious and thoughtful.

You probably heard McEnroe hoping for 12-12 and the tiebreaker. It was the best way to end that epic match. Thank goodness they put it into place.

Jul 15, 12:58am Top

>155 jnwelch: I hope you, all of you, can fix it too, Joe. The bad news seems to be never ending!

Jul 15, 8:11am Top

>157 Familyhistorian: Right, Meg? Every day this jackass at the top comes up with something awful. Now he's told four elected minority women to "go back to their own countries". Can you believe it? All U.S. citizens, elected by U.S. citizens.

Jul 15, 8:17am Top

Jul 15, 8:47am Top

>159 jnwelch: Thanks for the early morning giggle Joe! I've got to get Roz Chast's new book Why Don't You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? She has another coming out next year too!

As for the insanity of the "real" (surreal?) world: I have one friend who is a Drumpf fan. We never talk politics, both of us trying to preserve a long friendship. But after this latest Twitter tirade, I really don't think I can stomach any hint of approval of this man. How did we get here? No American should ever again take their right to vote for granted. The Democrats better stop this infighting quick and get that message out or we're doomed to another four years.

Jul 15, 8:50am Top

Jul 15, 8:50am Top

'Morning, Joe! Happy mumble-mumble day to you.

Halep played her heart out and Serena was definitely not on her A game. Kudos to Halep.

I'm a serious Federer fan and was therefore very sad that he lost. Damn those tie breaks. He just didn't play them well at all. But, he beat Rafa in the semis, which pleased me. And my final tennis comment until the US Open (which I've already downloaded the app for on my cell phone!) is that I hate all the grunting and shrieking and moaning. Regardless of who does it, if they do it every point I am disgusted.

drumpf has scared me from day one and continues to scare me. I hope the Dems are putting the final touches on impeachment plans and just haven't told us. Of course, then we'd get the #fakechristian Pence...

Edited: Jul 15, 9:17am Top

>160 NarratorLady: Ha! You're welcome, Anne. Roz Chast always gets me. I didn't know she had that new one out. I'll have to look for it, too.

Too right about not taking the right to vote for granted - if I ever hear another person say "my vote doesn't matter, so I didn't vote", I'm going to go bonkers. Stop the infighting, yup - we have an important job to do, and have to rise about the "I'm right, you're wrong" to get it done.

I have an old friend and also a relative who support Drumpf. It's a hard topic to avoid, isn't it. He's dividing this country like no one before him.

>161 jessibud2: :-)

>162 karenmarie: Happy mumble-mumble day back atcha. We'll make it to an even better, mumbleless day, just wait.

Yes, kudos to Halep. She's very likable, isn't she. I watched her win an earlier match, but never expected that she'd outplay Serena like that.

It was sad to see Federer lose after playing so well. As he said, he had his chances. But Djokovic fought back every time it seemed like Roger was going to put it away.

Yeah, I'm sure you've got plenty of company on the grunting and shrieking and moaning. I'd be happy to do without it, too, although it doesn't bother me to the same extent. I do appreciate the ones who don't do it.

Drumpf is a big test for our democracy. I don't see impeachment happening - I believe the Dems view that as too risky at this point - it might strengthen his support - and are waiting for the 2020 elections. I am looking forward to Mueller's testimony, and I hope they legally go after those in the White House refusing to testify.

Drumpf has emboldened the worst among us. I would not want to have to explain him, as a parent, to young children. You're right, Pence is almost as bad. Mr. Christian Boot-licker at the concentration camps with nothing to say . . .

Jul 15, 12:51pm Top

>155 jnwelch: Compassion...literally "shared pain"...should govern all peoples' lives. It WILL be you in need of help one day....

>159 jnwelch: Haw!! Aunt Edna, Aunt Edna, come home.

>163 jnwelch: FDR divided the country almost exactly like this. Mama spoke of her New Deal cousins with contempt and outrage in the 1970s!

"Drumpf has emboldened the worst among us. I would not want to have to explain him, as a parent, to young children. You're right, Pence is almost as bad. Mr. Christian Boot-licker at the concentration camps with nothing to say . . ."

The last thing I ever want to see is Pence in any form or species of authority over the nation. If Indiana wants that kind of shitty human being to govern it, he should do so. My country? NO HELL NO AND so on and so on.

Edited: Jul 15, 1:24pm Top

>164 richardderus: I agree with you on all of that, Richard, except you know more about the FDR effect than I do.

Dear Aunt Edna. We need her now more than ever.

Edited: Jul 15, 1:40pm Top

Bargain: I loved The Rosie Result, and thought it was a great culmination of the first two Rosie books. It’s available on e-readers for $1.99 today.

Jul 15, 1:35pm Top

>164 richardderus: I'm not sure if it was prior to FDR or during his administration, but some of the implementations of government policies to limit erosion were carried out in such a way as to ensure generations of mistrust of federal rule by those who felt the effects. And having, along with most of my siblings, worked for one Federal bureaucracy or another, I can understand concerns about their efficient use of funds. I'm still a flaming radical, but I do relate to some concerns.

Jul 15, 2:58pm Top

>165 jnwelch: My sister's first husband hated FDR, too: "Mr. Roosevelt killed my calf!" was a punchline for him in his libertarian ravings.

How did I escape that milieu sane? Or as sane as I am, which ain't too terrible much?

>167 quondame: I'm far more hysterical over the obscene profits of giant corporations than I am over fraud, waste, and abuse by bureaucrats. Where do people imagine those profits come from, Heaven? It's directly out of your personal pocket, goofball!!


Never mind. I'm a testy old party.

Jul 15, 3:11pm Top

>168 richardderus: But we are under the impression that we choose to buy at the going price whereas taxes are imposed on us and used for them. I've never seen the yes, you keep only $7 out of $10 but your expenses are $6 rather than $8.50 work on any avoid tax at all costs mentality.

Jul 15, 3:56pm Top

>169 quondame: And that mentality is carefully, nay assiduously, cultivated by our powerbrokers. The *actual* theft of the money made by the ignorant is called "profit" and is made A Sacred Thing to prevent the penny from dropping and the scales falling from the eyes of the fleeced.

Jul 15, 5:14pm Top

>168 richardderus:. It does remind me of the famous “Thanks, Obama”, which the Republicans used to blame him for everything. (I’m sure someone’s calf was included). I loved O’s video spoof of it - he goes to dunk a whole donut into a glass of milk, and it won’t fit. He sadly says, “Thanks, Obama”.

>167 quondame:, >168 richardderus:, >169 quondame:, >170 richardderus:. :-)

Jul 15, 6:34pm Top

Hi, Joe. It was hot out there today but at least there was a breeze. It looks like we are in for a pretty tough stretch, especially later in the week. I just hit the halfway point in If You Want to Make God Laugh and it continues to be a terrific read. I might just finish it before the event on Thursday. I am glad you are leaning toward joining me. B.A.G.

Jul 15, 8:02pm Top

>147 jnwelch: I need to read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Joe. I own a hardcover copy which shows you how long I've owned it. And now Mark tells us there's a movie. I need to get with the times.

Jul 15, 8:33pm Top

I really enjoy author talks. I wish I could join you guys for the Marais one!

Jul 16, 8:19am Top

>169 quondame:, >170 richardderus: Someone described America as "the country where most of the money goes to the 1%, and the rest fight zealously for the 1%'s right to have it."

>172 msf59: Woo, it's a gloomy weather start today, isn't it, Mark. At least it's not supposed to get as hot as they were predicting.

I'm glad If You Want to Make God Laugh is continuing to be a terrific read. Yes, I'm figuring out logistics, but I'm planning to join you on Thursday. I don't think I'll have her book finished by then - or in the Casa Welch inventory - but what the heck.

We went to an abortion rights fundraiser last night hosted by Eve Ewing, with performances by a host of local and not-so-local poets. It was excellent. I finished Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey, and certainly can recommend that one to you.

>173 Donna828: Yes! Please do read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Donna. It's a story you'll appreciate, and well-told.

>174 Familyhistorian: We wish you could join us for the Marais talk, too, Meg. I'll be a blank slate for her to write on, as she's new to me.

Edited: Jul 16, 8:27am Top

Rafa on a Dollywood ride with his Aunt Becca. He was unfazed by the rides. We still remember when his aunt got scared on a ride in Disneyworld, and yours truly had to distract her (as much as possible) with Sesame Street stories until it stopped.

Rafa hanging out at the playground near our cabin in TN

Jul 16, 9:58am Top

>176 jnwelch: What a punkin precious that child is!

Happy Tuesday. I've got today to finish Maggie Brown & Others before its unrecheckable spine must go back from whence it came. Luckily it's not a tough assignment!

Edited: Jul 16, 10:55am Top

Morning, Joe. I hope the check ups are going smoothly. Glad you will be joining me on Thursday. Great having another LTer aboard.

Not bad out here at the moment. I am just hoping the humidity levels stay low. Fingers crossed.

ETA: I have Monument home from the library. Looking forward to it.

Edited: Jul 16, 11:26am Top

>177 richardderus: Isn't that punkin precious, Richard? We had so much fun with him on that vacation.

You have a knack for reading good 'uns I haven't heard of. I'll look for your comments on Maggie Brown & Others. Luckily, I know that you're a racehorse reader, so I'm sure there'll be no problem with that unreacheckable spine return.

>178 msf59: Morning, Mark.

Well, the check up was smooth for Debbi, and not so much for this guy. I've got to back on the statin, darn it, although it's the smallest dose, and I need to cut down on carbs (those oh so delicious carbs). Could've been worse. On the better side, he thinks I'm good to go for at least another 100 years or so. Well, I think that's what he was implying.

Man, it's gotten steamy by us. I hope it doesn't get out your way.

You'll have a good time with Monument: Poems when you get to it.

Jul 16, 12:34pm Top

Bargain: A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers, is available on e-readers today for $1.99. It's excellent sci-fi by an emerging author.

Jul 16, 2:25pm Top

Coming back from a weekend away and catching up on your thread , Joe

>133 brenzi: when we were in Alaska we got the "bear Lecture" over and over - run or walk make noise or be quiet - we never saw any bears - we were disappointed

>139 jnwelch: so where are they going with this? The word is murder - the sentence is death. May we look forward to the paragraph and the chapter and the book???

>148 m.belljackson: note that when they wanted to discredit Martin Luther King they called him a "communist" too.. I kind of like your idea Joe - waiting for someone to rescue us isn't my style.Let's all pull up our socks and rescue ourselves.

Jul 16, 4:42pm Top

>179 jnwelch: Glad the checkups, on the whole were not too painful Joe. It seems to be their habit not always to be as consistent as we would wish. Here's to your next hundred, I hadn't realised you'd achieved your first *chuckle*.

Nice to see the little guy enjoying himself too.

Edited: Jul 16, 4:52pm Top

>179 jnwelch: Good to hear that the results of the checkups went relatively well, Joe.

>176 jnwelch: I’m guessing the tactic worked, since (I assume) she’s not screaming in terror :0) Rafa looks pretty cool and collected about it all.

Jul 17, 8:20am Top

>181 magicians_nephew: I hope you had a good weekend away, Jim.

I know, so many of the bear lectures seem contradictory. I still remember, in one national park, the ranger sarcastically? cynically? saying that we could try wearing bells while hiking to scare the bears away, but that in the park they'd found an awful lot of bells in bear scat (!)

"The Paragraph is Full of Death Sentences" is next I think. "The Chapter Punctuated His Life"? "Reading This Book is Fatal"?

I remember "communist" MLK. Yeah, let's all pull up our socks and rescue ourselves. Please!

>182 Caroline_McElwee: Yeah, I wish the checkup had been a frolic in the fields, Caroline, but all in all it could've been worse. That darn Madame MBH aced her exam. I'm supposed to (gasp!) eat more fruits and veggies, and less carbs. Why, one might ask, did the gods make carbs taste so much better than f's and v's? Chips, cookies, pizza crust, crackers, pretzels, the list goes on and on. Oh well, with little Miss Health Brainiac watching over me, I'm going to have to grow to love more fruits and veggies and less - *sob* Please give me a moment here to recover my composure.

It'll be worth it to have a second one hundred years or so. The first 100 were great.

That little guy - we miss him!

>183 humouress: It's tough not to be able to study up and get better "numbers" on the health checkup, Nina, but otherwise it did go relatively well. He seemed to think that my age had something to do with the need for adjustments. Have you ever? The gall of the man.

Yes, now Rafa's aunt has to calm down little kids and teach them, for goodness' sake. Now I look to her when I get scared. She obviously had Rafa feeling just fine about it all.

Edited: Jul 17, 8:24am Top

Jul 17, 8:26am Top

Hi Joe!

Glad to hear the mostly good news about your check ups - as long as you don't have any negative reactions to the statins they're pretty marvelous.

Jul 17, 8:50am Top

>186 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

Yeah, you're right about statins - the doc said the same thing. Madame MBH can't take them because of strong adverse reactions, but she's gotten her cholesterol numbers down naturally, the darn apple polisher. I know from before that I have no problem with taking them.

Edited: Jul 17, 8:56am Top

Aww, I'm sorry to report that the author of the Montalbano mysteries, Andrea Camilleri, has died at age 93: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jul/17/andrea-camilleri-beloved-creator-o...

He had an amazing ability to still turn out snappy, fun mysteries right up to the end. He was 70 when he published his first Montalbano book!

Jul 17, 10:28am Top

>184 jnwelch: So the bells don't work then? ;0)

You and me both, mate. I have to be a good girl and then go for a follow up re cholesterol etc. Of course my hubby, despite being addicted to health checks, doesn't actually listen to the results so it's awfully hard to stay on the straight and narrow.

Jul 17, 10:46am Top

I tried to avoid statins, too, but wasn't as good as my best intentions, when it came to diet and exercise. I have been taking Crestor now for about 6 months and so far, so good. No side effects at all and my last blood check (a couple of weeks ago) said my cholesterol was improved. So be it. Whatever works... Which, of course, doesn't let me off the hook for diet and exercise....

Jul 17, 11:12am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Wednesday. I am enjoying the day off and will spend most of it, in the cool, Man-Cave. I will make a quick run to the library. It looks like they have that PKD, GN bio, on shelf. Sweet. Did you say you read Drinking at the Movies? If not, I recommend it. She has a dark and snarky sense of humor, that I like. I will have to try more of her work.

Jul 17, 11:36am Top

>188 jnwelch: Isn't that sad...but it's not a surprise, since at 93 that kind of cardiac event is pretty much guaranteed to be fatal. We'll miss Salvo, but not for a while, since there are seven or so more yet to be translated.

Jul 17, 11:52am Top

>184 jnwelch:

Did doctors mention alcohol? The University of Wisconsin recently released a comprehensive life-changer study.

Jul 17, 12:41pm Top

>188 jnwelch: That makes me very sad! 93 is a pretty long life though. I'm really looking forward to the next translation that is due out (I think later this year?)

Jul 17, 1:33pm Top

Hello Joe! I hope all is well with you.

>176 jnwelch: great Rafa pics throughout. He's getting bigger!

>188 jnwelch: I am sorry to her about Andrea Camilleri. My dad has enjoyed his books.

I am presently enjoying Jefferey Deaver's new thriller The Never Game on audio. He introduces a new character that has fascinating background and fresh take on the 'private investigator' genre.

Jul 17, 1:46pm Top

>189 humouress: Ha! Yes, my takeaway from the ranger's story was that the bells don't work. :-) I think they were sold in the shops in/near the park, strings of little bells you could wear, and I suspect he was telling us not to rely on that kind of noisemaker.

It's good to have a comrade in arms for dispiriting healthy life habits, mate. I have a lot of sympathy with your hubby paying no attention to the health check results, but I'd avoid health checks altogether if I could.

We just had a nightmare wonderful grocery store trip featuring, you guessed it, fruits and veggies, and no chips or cookies whatsoever. It's a cruel world sometimes, isn't it.

>190 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Statins do indisputably work well, don't they. I had great cholesterol numbers in last year's checkup, and he took me off the Atorvastatin. But as he pointed out, although my other numbers were good, too, it may well have been the Atorvastatin that made my c. numbers great. Hard to argue. It's the smallest possible dose, so I take some solace in that. I just don't like introducing the possibility of screwy side effects if I can avoid it.

In the law, it's called the risk of unintended consequences. With all good intentions, you made a change, but didn't foresee the damaging consequences of doing it. Or, more basically, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Unfortunately, my c. numbers got broken.

>191 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Great day to spend in the Man-Cave. It's already getting unappealing out there.

Oh, good. I think you'll appreciate the Philip K. Dick GN. It's amazing now to see how much he had to scramble for money and decent living conditions, given how popular his work is today.

To your credit, I'm thinking about Drinking at the Movies. I have a hard time reading addiction books, including alcohol addiction. But I did like her Museum of Mistakes a lot.

Becca just finished Blake Crouch's Recursion, and loved it. Her copy is due back at the library soon, so I'm going to have to queue-hop it over The Great Believers once I finish Jazz. I need to remember to let Caroline know. It shouldn't take me long to read Recursion.

Jul 17, 2:00pm Top

>192 richardderus: Hi, Richard. Are there really 7 or so Salvo's still waiting to be translated? Oh, you've made my day. I don't know how Andrea Camilleri did it; I would've been impressed if a young author was able to produce like that over a period of many years with such high quality. Starting at age 70 - this was some kind of literary miracle, IMO. I also am impressed every time with Stephen Sarterelli's translations.

He's going to be missed big time, but that was a full and admirable literary life he had.

>193 m.belljackson: The doctor asked about alcohol, Marianne, but I'm just an occasional beer or wine guy, so for me it wasn't a factor. I kinda wish it was; that would be easy to change compared to my favorite foods.

>194 ChelleBearss: Me, too, Chelle. I was hoping that Camilleri would continue at his sharp best for more years, but 93 is a long life, you're right. Look at >192 richardderus: to feel a bit better about the books; RD says several more are in the translation pipeline.

>195 brodiew2: Hello Brodie!

All is well on my end. I hope you and your family are in a good stretch.

Hats-off to your Camilleri-enjoying dad. I've spent many happy hours thanks to those books.

I have never read Deaver, can you believe it? My wife and daughter enjoy his books. Have fun with The Never Game; I'll look for your comments on it.

Jul 17, 2:41pm Top

>197 jnwelch: There are three more published novels, and five short story collections, not translated yet...as I understand it, the English Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories took in parts of one of the untranslated collections but my thought is they'll be publishing his cocktail napkin notes before long. His three daughters are all about sixty, so the gravy train's gotta move quick.

Jul 17, 2:54pm Top

In 2006 Andrea Camilleri wrote the final Montalbano book and it was placed in the safe of his publisher with instructions that it be published on his death or when he could no longer write. I wonder if it will be out before the year end.

Jul 17, 3:02pm Top

>197 jnwelch:

You guys often rave about Beer, Books, and - what was that other B?
Babes? = nah!
Beets, right?! = egad, nope.
So, Birds it was.

Anyway, lotsa mention over time and threads of various Beers, the occasional whiskey, and many consuming locales, so good to hear
about your infrequent imbibing. One less favorite to miss...

Migraines and a family history of alcoholics keep daughter and I from most all the fun except a rare holiday Veuve.

Jul 17, 4:59pm Top

Hi Joe, I enjoyed catching up here - love all the vacation pictures. Rafa is adorable and if only I was American he'd have my vote for President! It is a shame to hear about Andrea Camilleri but considering what a late start he had with his Montalbano series he certainly was prolific!

Edited: Jul 17, 7:20pm Top

>198 richardderus: Oh my goodness, that's great news, Richard. Thanks. What a gift he's left us. Yes, I'll be first in line to buy his cocktail napkin notes. I wonder if he has "Juvenalia" that he wrote in his 50s and 60s? :-)

>199 johnsimpson: Wowsers, John. That's some news there. Please someone tell me he doesn't kill Montalbano off like Agatha did Poirot.

>200 m.belljackson: Ha! Definitely not beets, Marianne. We'll stick with books, beers and birds.

>201 DeltaQueen50: Hiya, Judy. I'm glad you had a good time catching up, and enjoyed the vacation pictures. Isn't Rafa an adorable one? He's got my vote, and maybe he'll be as good as Trudeau.

It is a shame with Camilleri; he's a tough one to lose. But, as you say, he sure was prolific, and it sounds like we'll have more of his gems to appreciate.

Edited: Jul 18, 7:48am Top

>184 jnwelch: To cheer you up a little, Joe, Frank was the same before we changed our diet, he LOVED carbs. Within 6 months he started to like his veggies (I know that sounds long, but what is 6 months on a lifetime?) and now he loves them. And as a bonus he could quit with his diabetes pills after a year.

Edited: Jul 18, 8:53am Top

>203 FAMeulstee: That is encouraging to hear, Anita, thanks. Frank looked great when we saw you two.

I have to admit, my first thought was whether there was some way to have Frank also eat my extra veggies and me to get the health benefits (!) I don't think it works that way. :-)

Edited: Jul 18, 8:52am Top

Jul 18, 9:16am Top

We got some cool news. Our niece Amy Landecker and Bradley Whitford eloped and got married. Most recently they've been on The Handmaid's Tale.

We're all very happy - great guy that she deserves big time.

Edited: Jul 18, 9:20am Top

>204 jnwelch: If that would work, Joe, I am sure Debbi would have done that for you ;-)
I have noticed the odd effect myself, the longer you are on a changed diet, the more your taste changes.

ETA: >206 jnwelch: Congratulations to the happy couple!

Jul 18, 10:26am Top

>206 jnwelch: Happy days! That's terrific news.

Have a lovely Thursday.

Edited: Jul 18, 10:28am Top

>205 jnwelch: You're taking this hard, Joe.

>206 jnwelch: 'Great news, they eloped' is not usually grounds for congratulations, but I know what you mean.


Jul 18, 11:18am Top

>206 jnwelch: Aww...sweet. Congratulations to all. I love that they eloped. Who needs all the hoopla if you're serious about one another?

Edited: Jul 18, 11:21am Top

>207 FAMeulstee: That does sound like Debbi, Anita. I have to work hard to once in a while have her not put everybody else, including me, first. You make a good point about the longer you're on a changed diet, the more your taste changes. I've done this before (the last checkup was great), and I can do it again.

Thanks re the happy couple.

>208 richardderus: Thanks, buddy. She's lovely, and has gone through so much, it is indeed terrific news.

Thursday is stormy but good here. I hope you have a lovely one, too.

>209 humouress: Ha! Aren't I though, Nina? I get mad at those darn numbers - I'm working hard out here, and they don't care. My intentions are meaningless; I must do what's good for me. Who wants to listen to that? Anybody who wants to happily live another 100 years, I guess.

I do feel better when I get everything lined up right, but don't tell those numbers that. I don't want to encourage them.

Thanks re the elopers. "Elope" - I hadn't thought about the way that might sound. They told us all a long time ago that's what they were going to do. They wanted to be by themselves for it. I just got the "we eloped" message from Amy this morning. They're going to throw a big celebration party later.

ETA: >210 laytonwoman3rd: You got it 100%, Linda. Thanks. They're really good - and funny! - together.

Jul 18, 11:56am Top

Nice, Joe. Nice, nice, nice.

But we're all doomed anyway.

Jul 18, 11:57am Top

>206 jnwelch:

Ties! Hair! Smiles! They look like a VERY happy and truly fun couple - long may they flourish!

Jul 18, 1:35pm Top

>202 jnwelch: LOL! Thanks, Bill. It's important to keep perspective. :-)

>203 FAMeulstee: Hear, hear, Marianne! They are very happy and truly fun together, and deserve it. Long may they flourish!

Jul 18, 3:01pm Top

>206 jnwelch: How lovely, and what fun Joe.

>142 jnwelch: It is probably going to be Monday before I can start on The Great Believers as I need to read a short novel for my RL book group (Muriel Spark's Momento Mori, a reread), last Friday of the month is earlier this month!

Jul 18, 4:33pm Top

>215 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't that great, Caroline?

Oh good, that works out well. I just finished Jazz (I admired it more than enjoyed it), and I'm a ways into Recursion, which looks to be a much faster read. So I'll be in good shape for The Great Believers by Monday if not sooner. I've never read Mureil Spark. I'll look for your comments on the reread and the book club.

Jul 18, 5:10pm Top

One more on Happy Couple -

since I only watch television when Barack Obama wins an election or I'm stuck at a car repair,
only Bradley's name was distantly familiar.

He was born in Madison and worked hard in Wisconsin to elect Mary Burke against loathsome Scott Walker!

They both chose well!

Jul 19, 5:25am Top

Morning, Joe!

Congrats to the niece and her new husband! Eloping is such a good idea; we had a very small, very unassuming wedding, but I still could have gone for an Even Less approach, to be honest.

Jul 19, 6:57am Top

Hi Joe!

Congrats to Amy and Bradley.

Glad to see you'll be starting The Great Believers soon.

Edited: Jul 19, 8:40am Top

>217 m.belljackson: Bradley's a really good actor, Marianne. He's in a lot of movies. Last year Madame MBH and I were seeing a weekend binge of Oscar-nominated movies, and he had major parts in both "Get Out" (horror/racial relations) and "The Post"(publishing the Pentagon Papers) - talk about range. Amy's been in a lot, too - her most noted movie role so far was playing an eccentric, if that's the word, neighbor in "A Serious Man". Both are all over the place on that TV thing you rarely see. Most women sigh when Bradley's role as Josh on West Wing comes up. She's gotten acclaim for her way out there TV role as Sarah on Transparent, which is in its last season.

I didn't know he was a Wisconsin guy until we met. He's got that Midwestern straightforwardness and friendliness. They're both very politically active; Amy particularly in LGBT causes. They did choose well. They're very funny together. We're thrilled for her. That's a rough profession to try to succeed in, and life has given her some major challenges.

>218 scaifea: I'm so sorry, Amber. She nabbed Josh - of course, you were already married, so it wouldn't have worked out anyway. :-) Yeah, our wedding was fairly small, too; in our case, we did not have beaucoup bucks and we were paying. I suspect that A & B were not wanting to do something splashy in LA. They've been planning to do it this way for quite a while.

BTW, Bradley was with Amy at our niece's wedding a year and a half ago, and at the wedding reception the ladies were all starry-eyed and giggly around him. When I commented on it, Amy said, just wait until they get a few drinks in them. Woo, that's a different way of living.

He's a great dancer, too, it turns out.

>219 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Yes, I'm one fast-read book away from The Great Believers. Have you read her earlier one? It was on display at the bookstore last night, and looked pretty good. I guess she has some others, but the Hundred-Year House was the one on display.


This is a wedding photo from earlier this week. The dog you see and one out of this photo were the wedding party.

Edited: Jul 19, 8:41am Top

Had a great time with pal Mark last night. The occasion was Bianca Marais's author appearance at the Book Cellar bookstore to promote If You Want to Make God Laugh, her newest. Mark and I had some delectable craft beers at Jerry's beforehand (now I'm an Alarmist Brewery fan) before we met up with a bunch of his Booktopia friends at Garcia's Mexican restaurant. Great food, great company - yes, lots of book talk. Marais was charming, and very thoughtful about her books, her experiences in South Africa, and the writing process. Her first published book got 100 rejections before an agent took it on, and the editing process was extensive. She said that wasn't really her first book - there were two before it that were "crap" and never got accepted. But she hopes to resurrect parts of them in subsequent books.

There should be a photo of her and Mark on his thread. I'm heading over there now.

Jul 19, 9:42am Top

>221 jnwelch: How cool! I'm hoping there's photographic evidence of this.

Jul 19, 3:01pm Top

>222 richardderus: Hey, RD. A groovy time it was. Unfortunately, we were all too busy chatting to take photos. BUT, Mark has one of him with the author that he's posting tonight.

Jul 19, 4:05pm Top

>197 jnwelch: I have not read a Deaver in almost 20 years. I have stayed away from he and John Sanford, having listened to a couple of their early ones and finding them a too graphic for me. The new Deaver is not that way at all. Good missing persons fun; if such a thing exists. :-P

>206 jnwelch: How cool is that? Great news for the family! I enjoyed Whitford when I watched WW early on. I have enjoyed some of his other roles in past, but have not kept track of him recently. Congrats!

Jul 19, 8:12pm Top

Hey Joe - in case you saw Madison on this morning's news, the terrifying fires have ended , but still no reasons given
other than "mechanical" and no one has explained the connection between the two locations.

Jul 20, 7:03am Top

Happy Saturday, Joe. One more scorcher to deal with and then we get some relief tomorrow. I am so glad you joined us for the author event on Thursday and I hope Marais convinced you to give one of her books a try. If not, I hope I can.

Enjoy your day!

Jul 20, 10:30am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark. Woo, we just finished our errands, and we're holing up in the a/c now. It's already lousy out there. I hope you can swiftly complete those appointed rounds and get the heck back to the Man-Cave.

I'm glad I joined you and the Booktopia gang, too. My favorite part may have been craft beers at Jerry's. Well, Garcia's was great, too. Well, Bianca and Book Cellar were great, too. Fun night.

I'm moving along one page at a time right now. Recursion, Great Believers, and a soupçon of Inspector Shan for Tibetan variety. But you and Bianca are both convincing. She was impressive.

Good photo!

Jul 20, 10:55am Top

Morning, Joe. Brutal out here, at the moment. I want more cloud cover. The sun is intense.

I also enjoyed Jerrys. I love a good brewpub. Many can be just as good, if not better than a brewery.

Glad to hear you started The Great Believers. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I did.

Edited: Jul 20, 11:01am Top

>228 msf59: Oops, no, haven't started The Great Believers. I need to finish Recursion (which I'm enjoying) first. But TGB is next.

Jerry's was better than I even expected. That knowledgeable bartender took it up a notch, too. Alarmist Brewery - I'll be looking for their beers, and the brewery, now.

Man, get through it and get out of it. How are the Cubs going to play this afternoon? They said it was tough yesterday, and this is worse.

ETA: I'm going to try to get some mini-reviews done today. I'm way behind.

Edited: Jul 20, 11:29am Top

Sarah Dessen (Along for the Ride) is a YA author I've enjoyed, and this new one from her is another solid one. Teen Emma Saylor hasn't been in small but economically divided North Lake since she was a little girl, although she remembers the stories her late mother told of growing up there. One summer Emma has to go back and stay with her mother's family, which she barely remembers. It's an involving story of what she learns about family, life, attraction and love, and herself.

I enjoyed and got a lot out of The Alice Network, which has been acclaimed on LT and in the media. Set after WWII, with flashbacks, Charlie is pregnant and being taken to England for an abortion. Charlie isn't sure about the abortion, and uses the trip as a chance to look for her childhood friend Rose, who disappeared during the war. In doing so, Charlie befriends an older woman named Eve and Eve's driver, who are connected to Rose's story by a French restauranteur who cooperated with the Nazis and had a profound effect on Eve. It turns out Eve has had quite an adventurous life, and the three of them grow closer as they search for Rose. The book intimately covers critical spywork in both World Wars (the Alice Network), and I had some skepticism about some developments, as I know other readers did. An afterword put that to rest - the novel is heavily researched and factually-based.

Edited: Jul 20, 11:39am Top

>230 jnwelch: Love your capsule reviews, Joe. Since you enjoyed The Alice Network, I'll take the hold off "freeze" at the library.

Stay indoors today!

PS the library's spiffy new hold system allows me to select which branch's copy I'd like to hold out for, giving me the date the current check-out is due back and the number of holds before me for that specific copy. I'll get the one I asked for no earlier than the 24th of August. Makes it easier for me to plan my reading, and is the first time I've used the new system.

Edited: Jul 20, 3:01pm Top

Author Shaun Bythell has an appealing, understated sense of humor that kept me chuckling throughout Diary of a Bookseller. He runs a used books bookstore in Wigtown, Scotland. The town has become a book center, and now tempts me for a visit maybe more than Hay-on-Wye (the latter seems to have become such a big, crowded event -correct me if I'm wrong). His ongoing battle with the wonderfully eccentric clerk Nicky - e.g, if I remember it right, she shelves Darwin in fiction, and he responds by doing the same with the Bible - is worth the price of the book all by itself. I wasn't all that familiar with the underpinnings of the used book business, and liked learning about that, too. Bythell, who is called something like "a big ginger goof" along the way, is excellent company.

Having not been that big a fan of Because of Winn-Dixie, I had steered clear of Dicamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. But then my esteemed wife, who had not liked Winn-Dixie at all, read this one and recommended it highly. As usual, she was right. Edward begins "life" as a somewhat full-of-himself china Rabbit, with not much empathy for the adoring little girl who owns him, or her family. But misadventure leads him to experience a much different life, meeting many new people, including a fisherman, a hobo, and an ailing child, and he eventually travels to the city of Memphis. As it says on Amazon, "even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again."

The Big Sky by Kate Atkinson reunites us with Jackson Brodie. Need I say anything more? And Reggie Case, probably my second favorite character in these, reappears. Hurrah! Jackson has moved to a seaside village, and is trying to improve his family situation while carrying out routine investigations. Until he stumbles (literally) upon a connection to a grim criminal network. More please, Ms. Atkinson!

Jul 20, 12:17pm Top

>231 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! I think you'll be happy with The Alice Network when you get to it. Your library system is much more sophisticated than ours; I hope our folks are paying attention. I'm a mood reader, so if a requested book shows up at an arbitrary time, and needs to be read quickly and returned, it doesn't work well for me. Your system would be a big help with that.

I hope you're reasonably comfortable today indoors. We started early with errands (8 am), and it was bad already when we finished later in the morning. We're hunkered down in the a/c and feeling fine. We do not expect to venture out until tomorrow morning when the temp is supposed to be dramatically lower.

>224 brodiew2:, >225 m.belljackson: Sorry, Brodie and Marianne. I got carried away with doing reviews.

>224 brodiew2: Thanks re the family, and Amy and BW, Brodie. The actor part is fun with BW, but what matters the most to us, as you can imagine, is that he's a good guy and loves Amy, and she him, and they're great together.

You actually have me looking at that Deaver book as a possible read. I never thought that would happen. Well done! I've looked at John Sandford's books and have not been drawn to them.

>225 m.belljackson: I did see that about the Madison electrical fires, Marianne, and the "emergency status" ordered. We have a friend who went to Madison for the weekend, and he texted us that it's hot already. I'll have to catch up on the fires story; I was so glad to see that no one was injured.

Stay cool!

Jul 20, 12:24pm Top

Bargain Everyone should read Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, and it's available for $2.99 today on e-readers. I picked up Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner for $1.99; I haven't read it, but it sure looks good.

Jul 20, 12:33pm Top

>234 jnwelch: Ragtime was one of my favorite - very favorite - books of the late 70's. I fear re-reading it because I can't imagine it being as good as I remember. But I'll go with your "Everyone should read Ragtime" line!

Edited: Jul 20, 12:50pm Top

“If you like dystopian future narratives, queer romance, and Sherlock Holmes, you’ll adore A Study in Honor.” (LitHub) I've mused about what this book would be like if the main characters were not named Janet Watson and Sara Holmes. This is not a pastiche, but those names bring a certain extra oomph to the characters that otherwise would be missing - we bring our fond memories of the Doctor and Sherlock to bear, and it adds to the experience. Janet and Sarah are black lesbians (but not/maybe not a romantic pair) operating in a pretty much like ours but science fictional U.S. This means racism lurks as they try to find out why certain soldiers who have survived the ongoing "New Civil War", as Janet has, are dying in suspicious ways. A fun summer read.

Anthony Horowitz is in a groove after Magpie Murders, The Word is Murder and now The Sentence is Death. The latter two feature the author as a self-deprecating version of himself, being pulled into investigations by former cop and now private eye Hawthorne, who wants Horowitz to do his biography. A stumbling block: Hawthorne almost never shares personal information. He's acerbic, brilliant, and often obnoxious; the author tries to solve the mysteries himself, but usually is comically wrong, and Hawthorne puts together the pieces Horowitz misses, or misses the significance of. The victim in this one is a celebrity-divorce lawyer who gets fatally conked at home with a ridiculously expensive Chateau Lafitte wine, even though he's not a drinker. Secrets start getting exposed every which-way, including Hawthorne's. Another good one for the beach or favorite summer resting spot.

Edited: Jul 20, 1:22pm Top

I'm a Pride and Prejudice fan, and I've read some pretty bad P & P takeoffs in my time. This ain't one. I loved Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors. It's the tale of an Indian immigrant family that has isolated daughter Trisha Raje because of a mistake she made when 17. That mistake allowed her roommate at the time to disrupt the life of Trisha's beloved and headed-for-greatness brother. Trisha is a brilliant neurosurgeon who has spent years developing a robotic surgery tool that will allow her to (maybe) save the life of, among others, artist Emma. Emma's brain tumor has been deigned inoperable by all doctors before Trisha. Emma is the sister of DJ, a handsome and talented chef who gave up his prestigious, well-paying Michelin star restaurant job to help Emma. Trisha is seemingly, but not actually, arrogant, and is inept with social niceties. She's the Darcy and DJ's the Lizzie in this tale (they're really the only ones inspired by P & P, as far as I can tell, although a nefarious Wickham does show up). They are both strong-willed, and keep bumping heads, even as Trisha finds herself wanting to be around DJ more and more. As in P & P, both have a lot to learn regarding pride and prejudice. Potential surgery patient Emma's situation is complicated by her being an intensely devoted artist, and there are other intriguing plot elements, including conflicts within the Raje family as its star son runs for Governor. There are some brilliant moments directly tied to famous passages in P & P. A bonus: those culinarily-inclined will love the descriptions of DJ's dishes and how they're made. If I remember correctly, the author even provides a recipe for one.

Jazz by Toni Morrison: beautiful writing. It features a love triangle, with Violet and Joe moving to "the City", and Joe falling in love with a teen girl. The storytelling style is what relates the most to the title; there are riffs and unexpected diversions and excursions, and through it all, a compelling flow. I can see why some readers love this book. For me, it didn't work the way Beloved did. There is not a lot of dialogue, and I missed that. The story, for me, wasn't as gripping either. But what a writer she is. The Bluest Eye is the next of hers for me.

Jul 20, 1:32pm Top

I also loved Ragtime when I first read it. A very long time ago. I also saw it as a stage show/musical many years ago and was impressed at how good the adaptation to the stage was. I have The Alice Network on my shelf and in fact, it's already in my suitcase for my next train trip to Montreal. I am still reading Diary of a Bookseller and am chuckling my way through, too. I had set it aside when other books were due sooner at the library but I should finish it in a few days, on time to return it without having to renew it. I like your cover pic better than the cover of the one I have in my hands!

Edited: Jul 20, 3:38pm Top

>235 RBeffa: Hi, Ron. As you can tell, I loved Ragtime, too. I haven't tried re-reading it, and probably should. I don't know whether it's the elusive "Great American Novel", but from my POV it sure would be in the discussion. (Probably To Kill a Mockingbird would be the frontrunner, and I think Lonesome Dove would be in there, too. Plainsong would be a sentimental favorite for me).

>238 jessibud2:. Good to have another fellow Ragtime appreciator, Shelley. I never did see the stage adaptation; maybe someone will revive it some day. The Alice Network will grab you, methinks; excellent train fare choice. Isn't that a great book cover for Diary of a Bookseller? Ours doesn't look like that either! I may have to track down a copy with this cover for a used book price.

Jul 20, 2:17pm Top

Hi Joe, you liked The Alice Network more than I did, but I have noticed that the last handful of WW II thrillers that I have read, I have not particularly cared for. I have read a lot of books set during WW II and now I fear that I have burned myself out on this setting. I am going to try to take a break and stay away from this time period for awhile.

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors sounds good, I see my library has a copy so when it is not quite so popular (huge wait-list), I will treat myself. :)

Jul 20, 2:39pm Top

Oh heavy heavy sigh. I should know better than to come here when you're encapsulating books.

On a completely unrelated topic, my librarian wants your address so she can send you a thank-you card.

Jul 20, 4:37pm Top

Hi Joe, hope you and Debbi are having a good start to the weekend mate, and wish you a great weekend, Sending love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friends.

Edited: Jul 20, 5:20pm Top

>195 brodiew2:, >197 jnwelch:, >224 brodiew2: I read several of Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme novels, and enjoyed them very much. I did sort of quit on that series at some point myself. Interesting to hear that his newest takes a slightly different approach.

>234 jnwelch:, >235 RBeffa: I agree that Ragtime is wonderful...and definitely in my top 10 list of Great American Novels.

>232 jnwelch: I'm well into Big Sky (right about where Brodie does that stumbling you mention) and I'm enjoying it very much...with one small quibble. What's with all the cliches and quotes? It's like nobody ever speaks an original sentence. Brodie seems to be having a bit of private fun with it, but I think it's overdone. If it continues throughout the book, it may become a rather large quibble.

Edited: Jul 20, 7:43pm Top

>240 DeltaQueen50: I did like The Alice Network, Judy, as did my bride. It does sound like you may have WWII book burnout.

I'll look forward to hearing what you think of Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors when you get to it. Trisha is a great character.

>241 richardderus: Ha! Have your librarian PM me; I'd love to get a thank-you card or anything else from someone in her exalted profession, but mine was just recognition of a job well done. :-)

We try to break out as many different kinds of delectables here as possible. I'm glad the literary treats are giving you pause.

>242 johnsimpson: Hiya, John. The ridiculous heat has broken here, and Debbi and I have come out of air-conditioned hibernation to enjoy a good rainstorm from our front porch and read together some Laura Ingalls Wilder. The LGW is an ongoing project, with Debbi doing most of the reading aloud (she's a professional storyteller, after all). Thanks for the love and hugs, and we're sending the same across the pond to you and Karen.

>243 laytonwoman3rd: I'd probably need ex's of the quibble-worthy un-originality, Linda; that didn't stick out for me. I do remember some of the sly humor you mention. I hope the quiblble-quabble doesn't dampen the rest of your read.

Great to hear that Ragtime would be in your GAN Top Ten, too. What a remarkable book.

I've got to check with wife and daughter on this Deaver; Brodie certainly has me intrigued. I know they've liked the Lincoln Rhyme novels, too.

Jul 21, 6:35am Top

I haven't read Jazz, so I'll have to get to it, one of these days...

Jul 21, 7:34am Top

Happy Sunday, Joe. I love all the Rafa pjotos.

Edited: Jul 21, 8:53am Top

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday. I love the flurry of mini-reviews. You have been on a nice reading roll. I have a copy of The Alice Network on shelf and I will try to bookhorn it in. We discussed the Morrison novel all ready and like I mentioned, I want to do a reread of it. She is such a treasure. I am starting Big Sky tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

I have food shopping and a few chores to attend to today but a big chunk of it, will be chillin' with the books and the Cubs. Going for the sweep.

Edited: Jul 21, 9:05am Top

>245 kidzdoc: Jazz is a good 'un, Darryl. If I had my druthers, I'd infuse it with more dialogue. But I'm sure fans would say I'm crazy.

>246 Ameise1: Morning, Barbara. Thanks - he's a sweet one, that Rafa. His mother won a huge stuffed panda on Friday at a local amusement park, and we just got a very funny video of Rafa trying to move it around at home, and finally collapsing on it.

>246 Ameise1: Morning, Mark, and Happy Sunday. Great timing - I was just posting over at your place!

You'll like The Alice Network when you get to it. Morrison is indeed a treasure. Jackson Brodie - what a guy. I think I mentioned it before; I read somewhere that even Kate Atkinson thinks of the actor Jason Isaacs now when she thinks of Brodie.

Yeah, we're doing some last minute grocery shopping for a get-together we're having mid-day for Debbi's writing group. But I'll be chillin' otherwise, and pulling for the Cubs (I don't often watch baseball on TV - I need more speed. Live is different, of course). As I mentioned at your place, I finished Recursion (pretty good), and will be starting The Great Believers, finally. Caroline has started, too, according to her thread.

Edited: Jul 21, 9:26am Top

>248 jnwelch: even Kate Atkinson thinks of the actor Jason Isaacs now when she thinks of Brodie.
I just finished Big Sky this morning (loved it!), and yes, Jason=Jackson in my imagination now, too.

And I'll be reading The Alice Network for book club later this year (we just chose our next several books). Interesting to see the comments on it here.

You're in for a treat reading The Great Believers, as I'm sure you know. It's a terrific book.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Jul 21, 9:24am Top

Morning, Joe! Nice reviews up there - I may have to put A Study in Honor on my list...

Jul 21, 9:57am Top

>249 lauralkeet: Right, Laura? Wasn't it fun to be back spending time with Jason, I mean, Jackson, in The Big Sky?

Ooo, The Alice Network sure seems like a great choice for a book club discussion. I'll watch for yours.

It's a rare book that gets an across-the-board endorsement from LTers; The Great Believers is one of those. I'm looking forward to it.

It should be a good Sunday, including an afternoon walk to the library to pick up some GNs that came in. I hope you enjoy yours, too.

>250 scaifea: Oh, you'll have fun with A Study in Honor, Amber. It's the first in the Janet Watson Chronicles, and the next one comes out later this year, if I remember correctly. I'll be reading it.

Edited: Jul 21, 10:10am Top

Jul 21, 10:10am Top

Jul 21, 11:17am Top

>244 jnwelch: It's been so long since I read it that I had forgotten, but that excessive literary allusion habit annoyed me in When Will There Be Good News too. I re-read my review to refresh myself on Reggie's origins, and there it was "TOO many quotes and literary/cultural allusions. Darned near one to a page. A few of those scattered about are fun. This level of saturation is a distraction." It comes and goes in Big Sky, and hasn't been bothering me too much from the midway point to where I am now, about 2/3 through.

Jul 21, 11:21am Top

>254 laytonwoman3rd: I agree Linda, and Atkinson seemed to back off of it at some point in the novel. Thank goodness.

Jul 21, 11:32am Top

>253 jnwelch: ...always did say youse was a wise mug...

Jul 21, 11:51am Top

>254 laytonwoman3rd:, >255 lauralkeet: Thanks, Linda and Laura. Now I'll be looking for that, assuming she writes another some day. (Please!)

>256 richardderus: Ha! I've always thought your cup runneth over with wiseness, Richard. Or is it wiseassness for the two of us?

Jul 21, 12:26pm Top

>155 jnwelch: Speak it, my friend.

I don't know whether this image will work but I saw a guy with this on a t-shirt last time I was in the Seattle airport. I like it.

Jul 21, 12:28pm Top

>237 jnwelch: I have avoided all P&P "knockoffs" but this one sounds like fun!

Jul 21, 1:54pm Top

>258 EBT1002:. Thanks, Ellen. It’s hard not to rant these days, isn’t it. We were just talking to some other folks about how active we all need to be as the 2020 elections approach. Let’s get the scoundrels out of there, and turn the presidency and Senate Democrat.

That image did work, and I like that t-shirt, too. What bothers me most right now is the widespread pro-cruelty, anti-kindness rhetoric and actions, which take a lot of different forms.

>259 EBT1002:. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors definitely is fun, Ellen. Trisha is a great character in the Darcy role, with a lot to learn.

My favorite of these so far is Longbourn by Jo Baker, which is so clever in providing the Downstairs to P & P’s Upstairs. Including an ending that makes the reader think some more about P & P’s ending.

I haven’t read Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible yet, but I expect to give it a go at some point.

Jul 21, 2:22pm Top

Hi Joe, I loved Amy in Transparent which has now gone to hell because of the Jeffrey Tamboor allegations but I'll still enjoy seeing her in the last season, whenever it airs.

I loved Ragtime, The Great Believers and Big Sky. I love just about anything that Atkinson writes.

My problem right now is there are so many good books I want to read that there's just not enough hours in the day. Help! As I say that I received notification that The Nickel Boys is waiting for me at the library. Did I mention Help!?

Jul 21, 2:27pm Top

>258 EBT1002: Perfect. Needn't add a syllable to that message.

>260 jnwelch: I want the elections to be over already! I'm ready for the scum of the earth to slither back under their rocks and quit acting like the world should listen to their hateful nonsense. My mother, not an enlightened soul, was never once guilty of hurling nastiness (as my father was wont to do) because: "is that something you'd want to hear someone say about you?" was her test.

The times I have the reddest face are the times I have failed that one.

Jul 21, 5:32pm Top

Ha, you missed me with all those BBs up thread, Joe. I am on my phone going to the library in Vancouver. Looks like you guys had a great time at the author event. Keep eating those fruits and veggies now.

Edited: Jul 24, 2:24pm Top

>263 Familyhistorian: Confound you, Meg Historian! I posted enough reviews up there to sink a flotilla of professors, and you batted them away like Dwayne Johnson having potato chips thrown at him. Do you have any idea what kind of idiot it takes to write that many reviews all at once?

When I think of your mother and me working night and day to put clothes on the backs of you children, I just want to weep. And why do you both wear all the darn clothes on your backs, rather than spreading them around, like you're supposed to?

Sorry, I got my tirades mixed up.

Some day, Meg Historian, you'll come here, and there'll be a review so irresistible that you'll find yourself racing to the library or store of your choice, finding the reviewed book, and immediately beginning to read it. When that happens, I'm going laugh myself silly, the laugh of the just, a silly, just laugh that you'll be able to hear all the way from Chicago. Just you wait!

And I'm doing just fine with the fruits and veggies, thank you very much.

Edited: Jul 22, 8:49am Top

>261 brenzi: Oh, that's great to hear, Bonnie, thanks. We're completely unbiased and big fans of Amy in Transparent, too. Wasn't that a shame about Jeffrey Tamboor? (I guess it's "Tambor"). On FB it's said that one of the new episodes is a musical. Judith Light has some chops, and it should be fun.

Yeah, I liked all three of those, too. I need to read more Atkinson. I thought Life After Life was terrific. The one I'd like to do next is that Museum one, Behind the Scenes at the Museum (just checked).

I know, I join you in your plea for Help! I finally got to The Great Believers, and I still have people all over 75er land wanting me to read other great ones. Help!

>262 richardderus: Agreed on Ellen's message, Richard.

I'm with you on the elections - I wish they were next month. "is that something you'd want to hear someone say about you?" is a lovely test from your mother. I try to abide by it, too, and I've also had red-faced times failing it. We don't count Drumpf or McConnell or Lindsay Graham, right? I'd hate to miss out on venting about those three. The other one I try to follow is in every major religion and common decency - do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. The above three "men" don't spend any time in the vicinity of that one.

Edited: Jul 22, 8:50am Top

Jul 22, 9:08am Top

I'm totally in Edna's camp. *happy sigh*

Jul 22, 9:16am Top

Jul 22, 9:16am Top

>266 jnwelch: That is the dream!

Jul 22, 9:33am Top

>264 jnwelch: OMG, this is so funny, Joe. You made me laugh out loud!

Jul 22, 10:39am Top

>264 jnwelch: - ROFLMAO!

>266 jnwelch: - Ha! Me too!

Jul 22, 12:30pm Top

>266 jnwelch: I do wish I could find a dentist who'd say this to me. Actually, I'm just glad I found a dentist.

Jul 22, 12:45pm Top

Thanks for the info on Ragtime, Joe. I deemed my old copy foxed and fragile, and will replace it with the electronic version. P&P and Other Flavors sounds great. I'll put it on the list.

And I'm glad to hear your heat broke. We are still suffering a little, but tomorrow should be a treat.

All your books sound great, but I'm reading A Gentleman in Moscow, and that will come first.

Edited: Jul 22, 6:51pm Top

Hi, Joe. You have not started a new thread, so you must be deeply immersed in The Great Believers. Have you sobbed yet? If not, you will later. Big Sky is off to a good start for me. I like her smooth narrative but keeping these characters straight, is taking a little extra concentration. Knocked out a nice chunk today.

For what its worth, I also loved Ragtime.

Jul 23, 12:43am Top

>266 jnwelch: Hmph. What kind of doctor is that?! He can't say that unless he's ordered lab work and a full body MRI, and referred her to at least three subspecialists. 🤬 quack.

Jul 23, 7:40am Top

'Morning, Joe!

Okay, I broke down and got Ragtime on my Kindle just now - it's $2.99 if anybody else is interested.

We had some very powerful thunderstorms roll through last night. When I came downstairs this morning, the breaker had flipped in the kitchen and I had to wait for the water in my Bunn coffeemaker to warm up - horrors. The benefit is that it's cooler with less humidity today, so I'll take the delay in coffee. *smile*

Jul 23, 8:44am Top

>269 foggidawn:. Right, foggi? Maybe when I was a teen and bulletproof, but oh so unlikely now.

>270 lauralkeet:. Ha! Thanks, Laura! That Meg, I tell you.😄

>271 jessibud2:. Hee-hee! I’m glad you got a kick out of >264 jnwelch:, Shelley.😄

After I posted it and was away from home, I thought, I hope that’s ridiculous enough that people know I’m kidding!

>272 weird_O:. A Good Dentist is Hard to Find, Bill, according to Flannery O’Connor. It took us a while to find one here that we like.

Edited: Jul 23, 9:21am Top

>273 ffortsa:. Good to see you in the cafe, Judy. Yeah, Ragtime is a keeper, isn’t it. You remind me to check on whether we have a decent hard copy; that’s one I’d like to have on the shelves. Do you ever e-read one, and then like it so much you get a hard copy? I sure do. I’ve started looking in LFFs, and book fairs, and used books stores.

Yes, it turned lovely here, and I hope the same happened for you. The eastern Midwest tends to get our weather a day later (my Dad in Michigan always wanted to know what ours was, so he’d know what was coming), but NYC is hit and miss.

I LOVED A Gentleman in Moscow! I envy you giving it a go for the first time.

P.S. You’ll appreciate Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors when you get to it.

Jul 23, 9:15am Top

>274 msf59:. Would you please look at >264 jnwelch: and let me know if I got it right, Mark? That Meg.

Enjoy Big Sky, buddy.

>275 kidzdoc:. Ha! It’s good to have your expertise for this, Darryl; I just assumed it was perfectly plausible, and was going to suggest that my doctor follow its example.

>276 karenmarie:. Hi Karen. Yay for Ragtime! I’m glad you picked it up.

Jeez, I’m sorry about the coffee delay; I know how upsetting that can be. I can take schedule impingements for just about anything else, but coffee delays, nope, that’s just not fair.

We’ve had powerful storms, too. This weather has been a real variety show lately.

Jul 23, 9:49am Top

Another vote for Ragtime We've seen the musical play a few times once totally overblown and bloated and inert, once small and tight an intimate and beautiful.

Jul 23, 10:16am Top

>280 magicians_nephew: Oh, I'd love to see a small and tight and intimate and beautiful Ragtime musical adaptation, Jim. It seems like one that'll keep getting revived - do you think it will?

Edited: Jul 23, 10:18am Top

I know our kids would be able to relate to this. It's even worse when Dads dance.

Jul 23, 11:21am Top

I have to admit that I have never read Ragtime. (I know - horrors!!!!) My sister read it when it first came out in paperback and loved it, so it has been on my TBR list for at least 30 years - maybe more. I just haven't heard it calling to me. However, I can faintly hear the siren call of Great Believers.

Right now I am deeply engrossed in a biography of Patience Gray. She was one of the founding members of the Slow Food movement in Italy. Actually, I think it was more of a back to the land kind of movement. The biography is Fasting and Feasting and it is good reading about a couple who threw convention to the wind and lived the artsy fartsy life-style to the max - traveling around Europe in a converted British Army truck. The couple finally settled down in Puglia where she started writing about food and Norman Mommens became a world renowned sculpture. Good stuff. Right now the author is explaining how Patience started gardening and her thoughts on canning tomatoes to make that special Italian tomato paste. This section reminded me of home and all the canning and preserving of tomatoes that we did when I was a kid.

Jul 23, 11:24am Top

Bargain: How to Find Love in a Bookshop is $1.99 on e-readers today. I enjoyed it. Some may find it too romance-y, but others will probably like that aspect.

Jul 23, 11:26am Top

Oh and I forgot to mention that I just finished reading a YA fantasy novel We Hunt the Flame by a debut author Hafsah Faizal. This was the July book for the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club, so I thought I would read it. (I didn't go to the discussion.) It was a good debut novel, but rough. I applaud the publishers efforts to diversify their authorship of YA books, but this book could have used some editing. It was full of the kind of prose you find in Harlequin Romances - all those quivering bodies and long lingering looks, sort of thing - that I found boring and that didn't add to the story. I suspect that teens will like it. I also think that it might be hard to understand since we don't teach much about Middle Eastern mythology and folklore in our schools. But I will read the second book when it comes out.

Jul 23, 1:17pm Top

>283 benitastrnad:, >285 benitastrnad: Ragtime and Great Believers are two good ones to have on your radar, Benita. Patience Gray sounds like a engrossing read for foodies.

Too bad We Hunt the Flame is a bit of a rough debut, but I join you in applauding this publisher and others for diversifying their author base (and content).

Jul 23, 2:40pm Top

JOE AND MARK - do either of you read the DAEDALUS BOOKS catalogue?

It features new, discounted books & is available online also,

The latest one has THREE BIRD books:

1. one Mark has read & reviewed = Mozart's Starling @ $6.98 (they charge a flat shipping fee)
3. Warbler Wave @ $4.98 - sounds like a GREAT kid's book! 4 STAR LT review - and a title to fall in love with

Also has 4 Edward Rutherford histories and a bunch of mysteries.

Books often go fast.

Jul 24, 12:27am Top

Hi Joe! That Rafa is adorable!

I hope you are liking The Great Believers. THat's one that lived up to it's hype for me.

Jul 24, 1:05am Top

OMG. SOOOOO far behind here. Love all the Rafa photos, and the funny comics. I am sure you will enjoy The great Believers. I can't believe that Andrea Camilleri didn't start writing the Montalbano series until he was 70!. Congrats to your niece on the elopement. And Amor Towles of A Gentleman in Moscow fame, is coming to Porltand in the fall as part of Literary Arts--yay!

Happy Wednesday. : )

Jul 24, 8:09am Top

>288 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda! Thanks re the Rafadoodle. He's a sweet one, isn't he.

I am liking The Great Believers, thanks. I've yet to hear anyone knock it - very unusual!

>289 Berly: Ha! Good to see you, Kim. No worries. You got here before we opened a new cafe.

That little Rafa is a crackup. Isn't that something with Camilleri's late-in-life start with the Montalbano books? And he managed to write so many good ones, once started. Thanks re our niece. We're trying to hook up to talk this week. Oh, I'll be waiting to hear what you think of Amor Towles - does he have a new one coming out in the fall? What a keeper A Gentleman in Moscow is. I wasn't nearly as taken with The Rules of Civility, but his writer's chops in that one were impressive in that one, too.

Jul 24, 8:14am Top

Edited: Jul 24, 8:29am Top

Wow, My Sister, the Serial Killer made the Booker longlist! Here's the longlist, courtesy of Darryl and Charlotte:

Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments
Kevin Barry (Ireland), Night Boat to Tangier
Oyinkan Braithwaite (UK/Nigeria), My Sister, The Serial Killer
Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport
Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other
John Lanchester (UK), The Wall
Deborah Levy (UK), The Man Who Saw Everything
Valeria Luiselli (Mexico/Italy), Lost Children Archive
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities
Max Porter (UK), Lanny
Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte
Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
Jeanette Winterson (UK), Frankissstein

Jul 24, 8:48am Top

Doonesbury, July 19, 1974

Jul 24, 11:18am Top

Hi, Joe, the longlist is weird this year, no? I mean, an outright lift of Cervantes, explicitly stated to be so, on the BOOKER PRIZE LIST is...well...unexpected, at least by me. And the ghastliness of a light entertainment about serial killing on this list...! I can not even.

>293 weird_O: *sigh* The good old days.

Edited: Jul 24, 2:28pm Top

>293 weird_O: Ha! Still timely, isn't it, Bill. We were out and didn't hear the Mueller testimony, but it sounds like the Repubs were trying to play the same song.

>294 richardderus: It does seem like a weird Booker longlist this year, Richard. I'm shackled a bit by not having read so many of them. It'll be interesting to see, as folks here read the list, whether one becomes viewed as worthy - or more than one. My Sister, the Serial Killer is "a light entertainment about serial killing", as you say, and I would never have guessed it would make the list.

Jul 24, 2:19pm Top

OK, the new cafe is open. See you there!

Jul 27, 1:24pm Top

>264 jnwelch: If you want kids who strew their clothes around the room instead of wearing them, I've got a couple here you could use.

Jul 27, 1:26pm Top

>264 jnwelch: LOL! Thanks, Nina. Very generous of you. Turns out our kids are nostalgic and willing to pitch in on that as needed - and young Rafa is learning. :-)

Aug 13, 4:40pm Top

Cuteness! so much cuteness!

I lovee the boots~

Aug 13, 4:42pm Top

Happy news!

Aug 13, 4:48pm Top

I absolutely love that mug so much

Aug 14, 8:11am Top

>299 mckait:, >300 mckait:, >301 mckait: Ha! Thanks, Kath.

I was just saying how much I like Rafa's boots. What a little guy.

I love that mug in >253 jnwelch:, too. Let's just be happy today!

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Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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