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Mahsdad's (Jeff) 2019 Thread - Q3

This is a continuation of the topic Mahsdad's (Jeff) 2019 Thread - Q2.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Jul 1, 6:17pm Top

Welcome to thread #3 for 2019.

New Quarter = New Thread.

If you're new, my name is Jeff. I live in Southern California. I'm an avid reader. My wife might say I'm bordering on the obsessive. But then, I think that could apply to a lot of us in this group. I also enjoy photography, movies, hiking and playing games and hanging out with my family. Book-wise, I have a pretty eclectic taste in what I read and I hope to give you not so much reviews but my impressions about what I read.

What you will find here is mostly my rambling, way too many (according to some :) ) Wishlist and TBR pile temptations and a smattering of my photography. I don't really make a plan for what I'm going to read thru out the year. Its mostly what strikes my fancy from the TBR piles. Like last year, I received many wonderful books from our Christmas Swap and SantaThing, so I think that will provide me with a good list to start with.

This is my 7th year in the group, but my 6th after stepping out of the shadows and started being an active participant.

2013 Reading Thread
2014 Reading Thread
2015 Reading Thread
2016 Reading Thread
2017 Reading Thread
2018 Reading Thread

Come on in and sit a spell...

(BTW, if images aren't working try to switch to the non-secure address. HTTP, instead of HTTPS)


Edited: Yesterday, 11:22am Top

2018 Statistics - Q3

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
LL - Life's Library

55. We Are What We Pretend To Be - Kurt Vonnegut
54. A Brief History of Seven Killings - Marlon James
53. Mage Against the Machine - Shaun Barger (A)

52. Transcription - Kate Atkinson (A)
51. Mr. Adam - Pat Frank
50. Heaven Part 5 : War - Mur Lafferty (A)
Favorite: Mr. Adam

Edited: Jul 1, 6:23pm Top

2018 Statistics - Q2

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
LL - Life's Library

49. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon (LL)
48. Heaven Part 4: Wasteland - Mur Lafferty (A)
47. Heaven Part 3 : Earth - Mur Lafferty (A)
46. Heaven Part 2 : Hell - Mur Lafferty (A)
45. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
44. Heaven : - Mur Lafferty (A)
43. The Kitchen - Ollie Masters (GN)
42. The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende (LL)
41. What Dreams May Come - Richard Matheson (A)
Favorite: Things Fall Apart

40. Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly (A)
39. The Magic Order, Vol 1 - Mark Millar (GN)
38. The Outsider - Stephen King (A)
37. Tipping: A Short Story - Gregor Xane
36. Confederates in the Attic - Tony Horwitz
35. Farewell My Lovely - Raymond Chandler (A)
Favorite: Confederates in the Attic

34. The Boys Vol 1 - Garth Ennis (GN)
33. Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi - John Scalzi
32. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (A)
31. Eternals - Neil Gaiman (GN)
30. The Re-Births of Tao - Wesley Chu
29. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (A)
28. Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (A)
27. We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled - Wendy Pearlman (LL)
Favorite: We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled

Edited: Jul 1, 6:26pm Top

2018 Statistics - Q1

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
LL - Life's Library

26. Sacred Stone - Clive Cussler (A)
25. Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey
24. Daily Show: An Oral History - Chris Smith (A)
23. Cinnamon and Gunpowder - Eli Brown
22. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart (A)
Favorite: Cinnamon and Gunpowder

21. The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
20. Likely Stories - Neil Gaiman (GN)
19. Friday - Robert Heinlein (A)
18. Ex-Heroes - Peter Clines
17. A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit (LL)
16. A Gambler's Anatomy - Jonathan Lethem (A)
15. Friday Black - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
14. Umbrella Academy Vol 2 - Gerald Way (GN)
13. Johnstown Flood - David McCullough (A)
Favorite: Friday Black

12. Umbrella Academy Vol 1 - Gerald Way (GN)
11. The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie
10. Long Way Down - Jason Reyolds (A)
9. I'll Be Gone in the Dark - Michelle McNamara (A)
8. Uncommon Type - Tom Hanks (A)
7. Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey
6. Paper Girls 5 - Brian K. Vaughan (GN)
5. Hillbilly Elegy - J.D. Vance (A)
4. Captain America - Vol 1 - Ed Brubaker (GN)
3. Star Wars - Darth Vader - Kieron Gillen (GN)
2. From a Certain Point of View - Elizabeth Schaefer (A)
1. If You Come Softly - Jacqueline Woodson (LL)
Favorite: Long Way Down

Edited: Aug 10, 12:08pm Top

Audiobook Narrators

Jonathan Davis
Ashley Eckstein
Janina Gavankar
Jon Hamm
Neil Patrick Harris
January LaVoy
Saskia Maarleveld
Carol Monda
Daniel José Older
Marc Thompson - From A Certain Point of View
J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy
Tom Hanks - Uncommon Type (plus a few others for 1 story)
Gabra Zackman - I'll Be Gone in the Dark
Jason Reyolds - Long Way Down
Edward Hermann - Johnstown Flood
Mark Deakins - A Gambler's Anatomy
Hillary Huber - Friday
Ariadne Meyers - We Were Liars
Oliver Wyman - Daily Show An Oral History (Plus MANY others to read all the correspondents and guests)
J Charles - Sacred Stone
Carolyn McCormick - Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Elliott Gould - Farewell My Lovely
Will Patton - The Outsider
Robin Miles - Hidden Figures
Robertson Dean - What Dreams May Come
Mur Lafferty - Heaven Parts 1 - 5
Fenella Woolgar - Transcription
Robin Eller, Gibson Frazier - Mage Against the Machine

Edited: Aug 18, 2:50pm Top

Life's Library Book Club

Life’s Library was created by John Green and Rosianna Halse Rojas to celebrate two of their favourite things: good books and good communities. Every 6 weeks or so, they send out a new book. Hopefully, from authors that I've never heard of.

Season 1
1. If You Come Softly - Jacqueline Woodson -
2. A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit -
3. We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled - Wendy Pearlman -
4. The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende -
5. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon -
6. Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
7. Mountains Beyond Mountains (The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World) - Tracy Kidder

Edited: Aug 6, 7:17pm Top

Early Review Books

- 4
- 18
- 1
- 4
- 1
- 2 (DNF)

Total Won - 36
TBR - 3
Total Read - 28
Didn't Receive - 2
DNF - 2
Not received yet - 1

Top Down - Jim Lehrer -

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere - Julie T. Lamana -
Acts of God- Ellen Gilchrist -
Invisible Beasts - Sharona Muir -
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie (DNF) -
Dr. Mutter's Marvels - Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz -
The Future for Curious People - Gregory Sherl -
Furious Cool - David Henry -

Get in Trouble - Kelly Link -
He Wanted the Moon - Mimi Baird -
All The Days and Nights - Niven Govinden (Never Received)
Among the Ten Thousand Things - Julia Pierpont -
Tenacity - J.S. Law -
Slade House - David Mitchell -

God of Beer - Garret Keizer -
Dodgers - Bill Beverly -
The Invoice - Jonas Karlsson -
I Am No One - Patrick Flanery -
Souvenirs and Other Stories - Matt Tompkins -
The Sunlight Pilgrims - Jenni Fagan -
The Vegetarian - Han Kang -
Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood -
Human Acts - Han Kang -
Things We Lost in the Fire - Mariana Enriquez -

New Boy - Tracy Chevalier -
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker - Gregory Maguire (Never Received)
Strange Weather - Joe Hill -
The Feed - Nick Clark Windo (DNF) -
The Parking Lot Attendant - Nafkote Tamirat -

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) - Terri-Lynne DeFino -
Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything - Martin W. Sandler -
Agent of Utopia - Andy Duncan -
Amsterdam Noir - Rene Appel - TBR

Berlin Noir - Thomas Wortche - TBR
Country - Michael Hughes - Not received yet
Tiny Love - Larry Brown - TBR

Edited: Jul 1, 6:48pm Top

Pulitzer's Read

Ongoing bucket list to read all the Pulitzer winning novels. Santa was very good to me this year on this front, so I got plenty to work with

Bold : On the Shelf
Strikeout : Completed

Total Read - 28

2019 - The Overstory
2018 - Less
2017 - Underground Railroad
2016 - The Sympathizer
2015 - All the Light We Cannot See
2014 - The Goldfinch
2013 - The Orphan Master's Son
2012 - NO AWARD
- Swamplandia - Nominee
2011 - A Visit from the Goon Squad
2010 - Tinkers
2009 - Olive Kitterridge
2008 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2007 - The Road
2006 - March
2005 - Gilead
2004 - The Known World
2003 - Middlesex
2002 - Empire Falls
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
2000 - The Interpreter of Maladies
1999 - The Hours
1998 - American Pastoral
1997 - Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
1996 - Independence Day
1995 - The Stone Diaries
1994 - The Shipping News
1993 - A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
1992 - A Thousand Acres
- My Father Bleeds History (Maus) (Special Awards & Citations - Letters)
1991 - Rabbit at Rest
1990 - The Mambo Kings
1989 - Breathing Lessons
1988 - Beloved DNF
1987 - A Summons to Memphis
1986 - Lonesome Dove
1985 - Foreign Affairs
1984 - Ironweed
1983 - The Color Purple
1982 - Rabbit is Rich
1981 - A Confederacy of Dunces
1980 - The Executioner's Song
1979 - The Stories of John Cheever
1978 - Elbow Room
1977 - NO AWARD
1976 - Humboldt's Gift
1975 - The Killer Angels
1974 - NO AWARD
1973 - The Optimist's Daughter
1972 - Angle of Repose
1971 - NO AWARD
1970 - The collected Stories of Jean Stafford
1969 - House Made of Dawn : DNF
1968 - The Confessions of Nat Turner
1967 - The Fixer
1966 - The Collected Stories of katherine Anne Porter
1965 - The Keepers of the House
1964 - NO AWARD
1963 - The Reivers
1962 - The Edge of Sadness
1961 - To Kill a Mockingbird
1960 - Advise and Consent
1959 - The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
1958 - A Death in the Family
1957 - NO AWARD
1956 - Andersonville
1955 - A Fable
1954 - NO AWARD
1953 - The Old Man and the Sea
1952 - The Caine Mutiny
1951 - The Town
1950 - The Way West
1949 - Guard of Honor
1948 - Tales of the South Pacific
1947 - All the King's Men
1946 - NO AWARD
1945 - A Bell
1944 - Journey in the Dark
1943 - Dragon's Teeth
1942 - In This Our Life
1941 - NO AWARD
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath

Edited: Aug 19, 11:46am Top

Hugos Read

Ongoing bucket list to read all the Hugo winning novels.

Bold : On the Shelf
Strikeout : Completed

Total Read - 36

2019 - The Calculating Stars
2018 - The Stone Sky
2018 - All Systems Red - Novella
2017 - The Obelisk Gate
2016 - The Fifth Season
2015 - The Three-Body Problem
2014 - Ancillary Justice (DNF)
2013 - Redshirts
2012 - Among Others
2011 - Blackout/All Clear
2010 - The Windup Girl
The City & the City
2009 - The Graveyard Book
2008 - The Yiddish Policemen's Union
2007 - Rainbows End
2006 - Spin
2005 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2004 - Paladin of Souls
2003 - Hominids
2003 - Coraline (novella)
2002 - American Gods
2001 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2000 - A Deepness in the Sky
1999 - To Say Nothing of the Dog
1998 - Forever Peace
1997 - Blue Mars
1996 - The Diamond Age
1995 - Mirror Dance
1994 - Green Mars
1993 - A Fire Upon the Deep
Doomsday Book
1992 - Barrayar
1991 - The Vor Game
1990 - Hyperion
1989 - Cyteen
1988 - The Uplift War
1988 - Watchmen - category : Other forms
1987 - Speaker for the Dead
1986 - Ender's Game
1985 - Neuromancer
1985 - The Crystal Spheres - David Brin - Short Story
1984 - Startide Rising
1983 - Foundation's Edge
1982 - Downbelow Station
1981 - The Snow Queen
1980 - The Fountains of Paradise
1979 - Dreamsnake
1978 - Gateway
1977 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
1976 - The Forever War
1975 - The Dispossessed
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama
1973 - The Gods Themselves
1972 - To Your Scattered Bodies Go
1971 - Ringworld
1970 - Left Hand of Darkness
1969 - Stand on Zanzibar
1968 - Lord of Light
1967 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
1966 - Dune
This Immortal
1965 - The Wanderer
1964 - Way Station
1963 - The Man in the High Castle
1962 - Stranger in a Strange Land
1961 - A Canticle for Leibowitz
1960 - Starship Troopers
1959 - A Case of Conscience
1958 - The Big Time
1956 - Double Star
1955 - The Forever Machine
1953 - The Demolished Man

Retro Hugos - this are given for years when no award was given (more than 50 years ago). Of those...

1939 - The Sword in the Stone
1951 - Farmer in the Sky
1954 - Fahrenheit 451

Edited: Aug 16, 2:01am Top

National Book Award Winners

2015 - Fortune Smiles
2014 - Redeployment
2001 - The Corrections
1988 - Paris Trout
1985 - White Noise - Don Delillo
1983 - The Color Purple - hardback award
1981 - The Stories of John Cheever - paperback award
1980 - The World According to Garp - paperback award
1953 - Invisible Man

Man Booker Books
2002 - Life of Pi
2009 - Wolf Hall - sadly I never finished this, never hooked me.
2015 - A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016 - The Sellout

Edited: Jul 1, 7:04pm Top

2018 Recap

Total Read - 67

Didn't quite meet the goals for the year, but plenty of good reads were perused. The full list is still in my 2018 Thread (see above), but in no particular order, here are my 5 favorites from last year.

A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing - Hank Green
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Moonglow - Michael Chabon

Jul 1, 6:12pm Top

Okay that's all my placeholders, now to go back and see if all the touchstones will work. :)

Jul 1, 6:20pm Top

Happy New Thread, Jeff. I am enjoying my last day of vacation. It has been a good one. I just started The Nickel Boys and it is damn good. I am not surprised at all.

Jul 1, 7:06pm Top

>13 msf59: Hey Mark, thanks for swinging by. I just managed to get The Underground Railroad, Nickel Boys looks good as well. I got to speed up my reading. :)

BTW, putting in my recaps reminded me that we were just talking about Moonglow and I guess I liked it enough to put it in my top 5 for last year.

Jul 1, 11:30pm Top

Happy new thread, Jeff

Jul 2, 12:58am Top

Love the topper photo!! Happy new thread. I will endeavor to stay a little more up to date on this thread. : )

Jul 2, 2:17am Top

>15 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul!

>16 Berly: Thanks for the photo love. No worries if you don't keep up. This isn't a fast moving thread, you can jump on at anytime.

Jul 2, 5:26pm Top

New ER list is out. Nothing strikes my fancy, which is probably a good thing, cause I'm 3 behind on ER books alone.

Jul 2, 6:06pm Top

The one you might want to try, from ER, is "Tiny Love: Stories", by Larry Brown. I snagged this at ALA and it is a collection of his short fiction. I have not read him yet, but he sure seems like a good fit for me.

Jul 2, 6:26pm Top

>19 msf59: I did notice that one. Hey what's one more book on the list. I'll go request it. Thanks!

Jul 3, 2:26am Top

Hi Jeff. That is all.

Jul 3, 3:02am Top

Dude, what the hell are you doing up at 2:30 in the morning, cause I know you ain't in Long Beach CA! :)

Jul 3, 8:04am Top

Happy new thread, Jeff!

I rarely leave a note on your thread, but want you to know I always appriciate your Friday Foto's : )

Jul 3, 11:50am Top

>23 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! Don't worry about not posting. I am a big lurker and rare poster as well. But that's my general motif in real life as well. Oh well, that's why there's books. :)

Jul 3, 12:12pm Top

>22 mahsdad: If only I knew! I was all the way up for two hours. Yuck!! I did sleep in once I finally got back to sleep. It's no fun at all to be wide awake for no good (or bad) reason.

Jul 3, 12:38pm Top

>25 richardderus: I second your Yuck. I find once I'm awake and my brain starts doing that stupid thing it does - thinking about stuff - its hard to shut it down. That's why I listen to podcasts, the mindless drivel drives out my personal demons. :)

Glad you were able to shut it down and get some shuteye.

Jul 3, 7:39pm Top

>26 mahsdad: My version of your podcasts is Blue Planet or some other Attenborough-narrated thing. I get interested in some fish, the sameness of the lovely blue water and the silver darty things, the educated Britishness mellifluating through my earwax holders...well, lights out in 20 usually.

Jul 3, 8:46pm Top

+1 Have a great long weekend!

Jul 4, 9:42am Top

Happy new thread!

Jul 4, 12:12pm Top

Happy 4th July, Jeff

Jul 5, 1:00pm Top

I love your list of ER catches and how you've rated them. I should do that. My undocumented impression is that I've been very lucky with most of the books I've received from the program, but there were a few duds. And I haven't been requesting much lately, as nothing has reached out to grab me other than children's books, for some reason.

Edited: Jul 5, 1:28pm Top

>31 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks Linda. I don't think I can take full credit for coming up with my ER "ratings" post, I can't remember who I stole it from. But, I like keeping lists, and its a good one.

As you could see, I've been pretty lucky too. Only 2 DNFs, and 1 dud.

I've got another ER book coming from last month, but I won't put it on the list until I get it (or until I DON'T) like the 2 other books that never showed up. :)

I too, have been tapering off in my requests. I don't know if its just me, or the "quality" of the books being offered to LT. I'll keep looking and not feel bad if nothing jumps out. Its not like I don't have a ton of other books to read. :)

Jul 5, 8:30pm Top

Its mostly still Foto Friday Folks! My apologies for waiting all day to post, it was a day off and I was goofing around. Went to see the new Spiderman movie with the kid. It was a fun little movie.

Today's image is one that is yet another in my ongoing, never completely successful attempt at the slo-mo water blur shot. I need some more equipment to do this right.... Tripod, ND filter, LONG shutter exposure. Its an interesting shot nonetheless.

Happy Friday...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q3 books
>5 mahsdad: Audiobook Narrators

Reading :
Mr. Adam by Pat Frank. One of the first sci-fi morality tales after atomic bombs were used in WWII. What happens when all men (but 1) are rendered sterile after an "incident". Written in 1946, a little dated, but really fun read.
Listening : Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

Jul 5, 9:21pm Top

Nice waterfall! I like the nebulousness of the rushing water. Rather, umm, compromised by the styrofoam cup at the base....

Jul 5, 9:33pm Top

42. The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende : This was book 4 of the Life's Library Book club. I've known about Allende and her work for years, but this was my first opportunity to read any. I'm glad I did.

Its the story of Esteban and Clara Truela and their family in post-Colonial Chile. Esteban is a successful landowner who in the mirror of today's world is a completely unredeemable character. When I first read about some of the things he did, if I didn't know that it was a woman who wrote him, I might have been inclined to stop. Clara is bit of a mystic and their daughter and granddaughter both impress and disappoint their parents as they live their mostly upper crust lives in a country that is headed towards revolution. An excellent read. One of the interesting literary devices Allende uses, is that any chapter focusing on Esteban is told in the first person, everything else is in the third person by a narrator who is telling the family story from the future and knows what is going to happen. Several times she blatantly foreshadows things (mostly tragic) that will soon happen.
Quotes: I blamed Rosa for the years I had spent dreaming of her deep within the mine. I didn't tell her that I hadn't seen any other women all that time except for a handful of shriveled old prostitutes, who serviced the whole camp with more good will than ability.

He was the closest thing to a friend that Trueba had within a radius of fifty miles, but his monumental pride prevented him from recognizing in the man any virtues beyond those that marked him as a good peon. Trueba was not one to encourage intimacy with his subordinates. Pedro Segundo hated him, even though he had never given a name to the tortured feeling that gripped his soul and filled him with confusion. It was a mixture of fear and resentful admiration.

S: 5/8/19 - 6/3/19 (27 Days)

Jul 6, 1:31am Top

We're rocking and rollin in California

6.4 yesterday and a 7.1 today.

120+ miles away from me so nothing but slow rollers, but still...

Edited: Jul 6, 9:48am Top

>36 mahsdad: Just watched some of that video...terrifying. People on a roller coaster in Las Vegas felt it sway. Be safe, more is coming.

Jul 6, 10:35am Top

>37 laytonwoman3rd: - As a person who would never in a million years get within a mile of any roller coaster, my first thought is how can anyone on a roller coaster feel anything sway? Isn't that kind of counter-intuitive?

I have never experienced an earthquake either, so what do I know. Scary. Stay safe, Jeff and everyone there!

Jul 6, 10:42am Top

>38 jessibud2: Hmmm...well, I've never experienced an earthquake or a roller coaster either, so I guess that's a good question. And maybe I'm interpreting a report I saw...the swaying was certainly visible in video, but they didn't actually say the riders were aware of it.

Jul 6, 10:45am Top

>39 laytonwoman3rd: - Even thinking about it makes me dizzy!

Jul 6, 11:22am Top

Earthquake and roller coaster veteran sez glad you're safe.

Jul 6, 12:24pm Top

>37 laytonwoman3rd: Yeah, some of the video (especially people's pools) was pretty wild. Your brain just can't' fathom that its ground, but its moving. That just ain't right.

>38 jessibud2: >39 laytonwoman3rd: >40 jessibud2: I'm not sure you'd feel it too much if the roller coaster was moving thru the hills, but in the slow parts I'm sure you could. Depending on how the ground was moving. The slow rollers we felt were just like waves on a pond. But if it was more shaking, there's no mistaking it.

As I'm sure >41 richardderus: could attest, its a weird feeling when you experience an earthquake. On the smaller ones or the rollers, you get a sense of vertigo in your belly, then you start looking for hanging things drapes, lamps, etc to see if its real or not.

For my very first quake, I was standing at an ATM outside my work building and just after I put in my card, the machine started moving and I didn't understand why. Then a co-worker yelled at me to get away from the building, in case any windows popped out. "But my ATM card? I don't want the machine to eat it..." Ah how naive.

Now Northridge (a 6.7), that one I felt. It about knocked me out of bed.

Jul 12, 3:19pm Top

I come in, I look around, I don't see nothin'.

Jul 12, 10:44pm Top

Drove 250 miles today. Just now sitting down to an IPA and hotel Wifi. Fancy posts will have to wait, but am enjoying our vacation driving tour of Alaska.

Reading - A Brief History of Seven Killings - Marlon James. 100 pages in. Loving this immensely.

Lots of pictures to follow after we get back next week.

Follow me on instagram to see some preliminaries. (Mahsdad)

Jul 17, 1:18pm Top

Back from the Great White North. Well not so much white as green, it is summer after all.

Book-wise I was a bit ambitious. I took A Brief History of Seven Killings and Underground Railroad. Sure, I can read 1,000 pages in a week. Yeah, right.

I did get about 240 pages in, which was above my daily page count average, so I'll take it. :) I did take over 700 pictures, so I think I got some fodder for Foto Friday's for a while.

Jul 17, 1:57pm Top

>45 mahsdad: - Sadly, the great white north may be more green than white for the foreseeable future. Just last week, our news reported that the temperature in Nunavut, in the very north of Canada, was warmer than in Victoria, British Columbia, one day. I think that speaks volumes. Then, there are still those who think climate change is a hoax...

Looking forward to your photos

Jul 17, 3:01pm Top

>46 jessibud2: Yeah. We missed the big part of the heatwave they had, but even so, it was pretty much hotter in Anchorage and Fairbanks than it was in San Pedro. It didn't help that they are having a couple massive forest fires on the Kenai peninsula and up near Denali. Couple of the days were pretty smokey.

Jul 18, 12:22pm Top

And the most important thing to come out of Alaska is more Wishlist additions.

The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey
We Fought the Road - Christine McClure : The story of building the Alaska/Canada Highway during WWII
Alaska and Journey - James Michener

Jul 18, 9:04pm Top

Saw some of your pics on FB. Looked like a great trip!

Jul 18, 9:53pm Top

>45 mahsdad: 700 pictures! You and Hani would always get along!

Jul 18, 11:36pm Top

>49 drneutron: Thanks Doc. It was a great trip.

>50 PaulCranswick: With digital and 6 frames per second multi-shot its easy to take a bunch. I'm culling them down, getting rid of dupes and "what the heck was I thinking" shots. Plus, when I do panoramas, I take at least 10 or so that I stitch together into a single image.

We did a similar trip 20+ years ago and it was film back then. I was more judicial with the shots I took. Actually had to pay for privileged of seeing if I got a good shot or not. :)

Jul 19, 1:05pm Top

I'm back baby! Its Foto Friday.

Had a lovely time driving around Alaska last week. As I said above, plenty of source material for future FF's. Today's image is a panorama I shot at the Aialik glacier in Seward, down at the bottom of the Kenai peninsula. Size perspective is always tough on glaciers, there's nothing there to compare it too. Near as I can figure, you are looking at at least a mile wide chunk of ice.

Hope you all have a great weekend. I'll be traveling for work up to Seattle on Sunday for the week, so that will be fun.

Book Report
>2 mahsdad: Q3 books
>5 mahsdad: Audiobook Narrators

Reading :
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. Boy this is an ambitious and wonderful work. I love the different voices and techniques he's using to tell the story from different perspectives. Just finished section 1, which is about 40% thru.
Listening : Transcription by Kate Atkinson. A slow burn WWII spy story that reads like Downton Abbey at times. But in a good way. I'm a hair's breadth from being done with this. Will finish today.
eBook : Don't Panic by Neil Gaiman. Still my backup book, just about half-way thru.

Jul 19, 1:32pm Top

>52 mahsdad: *gobsmacked*

Happy Friday, settle in well, and enjoy the good reads.

Jul 19, 3:08pm Top

>53 richardderus: Thanks buddy!

Jul 19, 4:41pm Top

>52 mahsdad: - Perfect picture for today, where it's 34C (that's 93F), feeling, with the humidity like 41C (105.8F) up here in Toronto! That glacier looks awfully inviting right now! Great photo.

Jul 19, 4:44pm Top

>52 mahsdad: Beautiful photo, Jeff!

Jul 21, 12:33pm Top

>55 jessibud2: >56 brodiew2: Thanks Shelly (Sorry for you, and all my East Coast friends for your summer bake-fest, knock wood So Cal continues with a mildish summer). Thanks Brodie!

Jul 21, 6:53pm Top

*cue wildfires in 3...2...1...*

Jul 21, 7:59pm Top

Happy Sunday, Jeff. Your trip to Alaska, sounds amazing. Look forward to seeing more pics. I loved A Brief History of Seven Killings. I hope you are feeling the same way. I was less than thrilled with Transcription, though. I hope you feel more positive toward it.

Jul 23, 3:15pm Top

>58 richardderus: Ain't that the truth. In fact there was a small brush fire a couple miles down the road from my house on Saturday. We are getting into that season.

>59 msf59: Thanks Mark. More editing to do on the pictures before I share more. I am loving Seven Killings. I'd agree with you on Transcription, it was kinda m'eh. Interesting twist at the end but otherwise just okay.

Jul 25, 1:25am Top

I've been enjoying my time up here in Seattle this week. Back again next week as well. I spent the early evening wandering around. Visited a couple used book stores in Pioneer square, unfortunately the closed pretty early, so I might have to visit again. But I did get..

The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfield. In a future America that feels increasingly familar, you are your credit score. Extreme wealth inequality has created a class of have-nothings: Subprimes. This one I thought I had on the WL, but didn't.
Speak by Louisa Hall. Stunning and audacious - NPR. This one I thought I never heard of before, but its been on the WL for 4 years. Go figure.

Jul 25, 7:35pm Top

The Seattle bookstore scene is enviable. It's a right purty place, no?

Jul 26, 1:11am Top

>62 richardderus: Mos Def. :)

Jul 27, 3:35pm Top

Foto Friday, on Saturday. Was traveling home from Seattle yesterday afternoon, so couldn't squeeze in a Friday image, so you're getting it today.

This is another panorama I created from our Alaska trip. This one is of Denali National Park. And no, nothing you are looking at is actually Denali (the mountain). They say that only 30% of the people who come to Denali actually see the mountain. We've been there twice and seen it neither time. Maybe 3rd time would be the charm. :)

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q3 books
>5 mahsdad: Audiobook Narrators

Reading :
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. This one is a doorstop. A very enjoyable worthwhile doorstop, but its big nonetheless. Still going.
Listening : Mage Against the Machine by Shaun Barger. Post apocalyptic world, enhanced tech people are pitted against wizards and mages

Jul 27, 4:13pm Top

>64 mahsdad: Oh, how lovely!

I'm reading John Crow's Devil and liking it.

Jul 27, 4:51pm Top

>65 richardderus: Yeah I like way he writes.

From Brief History - "(To be a prophet) just know one or two hellfire and brimstone verse from the Bible. Or just claim it come from Leviticus since nobody ever read Leviticus. This is how you know. Nobody who get to the end of Leviticus can still take that book seriously"

Jul 27, 6:11pm Top

Heh. Yep, Leviticus isn't carefully parsed by the folks who luuuv them some hellfire. They fulminate against faggots while scarfin' the shrimp at Golden Corral in their poly-cotton pants.

Jul 27, 8:00pm Top

Oh their sense of hypocrisy is is only slightly more diminished than their sense of irony.

One of my favorite clips from West Wing (which I'm currently binging again on Netflix) is this one about the Bible and a Radio "Doctor". Classic Jed Bartlett


Jul 27, 8:40pm Top

>61 mahsdad: Wish I was trudging through those book stores with you, Jeff.

Have a great Sunday.

Aug 1, 12:39am Top

>69 PaulCranswick: I'm sorry for not replying Paul, thanks so much for stopping by.

Aug 1, 12:49am Top

A Brief History of Seven Killings - still not done and I'm loving it, but man, in the last chapter in the third section, a Sir Arthur George Jennings one, James shifted into a higher gear.

In words that affected me almost as profoundly as My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry (Fredrik Backman), he tells obliquely of the end (sorry, spoilers) of the "Singer's" life. And if you're familiar at all with the story, you know who the Singer is.

You collapse in Pittsburgh. It's never a good thing hearing doctors talk using a word that ends with oma. The oma has hopped, skipped and jumped from your foot to your liver, lungs and brain. In Manhattan they blast you with radium and your locks drop and scatter. You go to Miami, then Mexico to the clinic that couldn't save Steve McQueen.
All true, and palpably sad.

This chapter was a gut punch in a book of gut punches.

Aug 1, 10:02am Top

>71 mahsdad: Yes. I remember that paragraph, and The Singer.

Aug 4, 6:37pm Top

VERY Late book update. I was in Seattle and didn't get home until late Friday, and yesterday got away from me. So Sunday find's me setting at my desk contemplating the week ahead. No travel to Seattle this week, but will be taking the kid to College Orientation, oh my.

Today's image was taken on a lake in the Kenai Peninsula. It shows, Laura, Me, Michael, and one of our guides who paired up with him. Enjoy...

Book Update
Reading :
A Brief History of Seven Killings. Yeah I'm still reading this. Hopefully, I'll finish before the heat death of the universe. But I'm not complaining or anything.
Listening : Mage Against the Machine by Shaun Barger. AIs and enhanced people against the Magi, who all survivied the proverbial end of the world. Pretty interesting. I picked it because, obviously, the name is an excellent pun
Just started Reading : We Are What We Pretend to Be by Kurt Vonnegut. Needed a book that didn't weigh a ton to take to dinner. Picked this off the TBR pile. Its a duet of Vonnegut's first and last stories. Didn't get past the forward, written by his daughter.

Aug 4, 8:14pm Top

>73 mahsdad: A happy-looking bunch! Glad you're homebound for a while, it's wearing to live life on the road.

Aug 5, 1:10pm Top

>73 mahsdad: Glad you are all in good shape and happy Jeff because it looked initially like a still from Deliverance!

Aug 5, 2:13pm Top

>74 richardderus: Thanks RD. Yeah, at least this go-round, I'm enjoying what I'm doing, so its not "that" big a deal. However, eating out every night does wear on the scale :)

>75 PaulCranswick: Ha! Thanks for stopping by.

Aug 5, 8:59pm Top

49. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon : Book 5 of Life's Library (John Green's online communal book club). Chabon is one of my favorite authors so I can't really review his work (not that I really review anything), cause its very biased. Its a slightly alternative history/noir crime novel, that the book summary says; "In a world in which Alaska, rather than Israel, has become the homeland for the Jews following World War II, Detective Meyer Landsman and his half-Tlingit partner Berko investigate the death of a heroin-addicted chess prodigy." What's not to love. Here's some quotes that say it better than I ever could.
...he plays goalkeeper as a squad of unprofitable regrets mounts a steady attack on his ability to get through a day without feeling anything.

...Landsman has to wonder how he ever could have seen anything in the rebbe's eyes but ten thousand miles of frozen sea. Landsman is shocked, knocked overboard into that cold water. To keep himself afloat, he clings to the ballast of his cynicism.

The knot of his gold-and-green rep necktie presses its thumb against his larynx like a scruple pressing against a guilty conscience, a reminder that he is alive.

Every generation loses the messiah it has failed to deserve.

(About Judaism) "Every damn day of my life, I get up in the morning and put this shit on and pretend to be something I'm not. Something I'll never be. For you." "I never asked you to observe the religion," the old man says, not looking up. "I don't think I ever put any kind of --" "It has nothing to do with religion," Berko says. "It has everything to do, God damn it, with fathers."

S: 6/11/19 - 6/30/19 (20 Days)

Aug 5, 9:04pm Top

>73 mahsdad: Love the photo, Jeff. Looks like a gorgeous locale.

I also really enjoyed the Chabon. Nice thoughts and quotes.

Aug 5, 9:10pm Top

Thanks Mark!

Aug 5, 9:28pm Top

51. Mr. Adam - Pat Frank : Pat Frank only wrote 6 books, and this is the 2nd of his I've read. I first read Alas, Babylon (a post apocolyptic story of the ramifications of nuclear war) many years ago, so long ago, I probably should read it again. This book, is his first book and it was written in 1946. It tells the story of what happens when a nuclear accident occurs and releases an as yet unidentified radiation that renders all men sterile. It is told thru the eyes of an AP reporter that is tasked (thru an immense government bureaucracy) to support and watch over the only man who avoided the burst (he was down in a lead mine at the time, of course).

It is funny, and poignant, but perhaps a little dated in its social attitudes and mores, but that's okay it is almost 75 years old. It was considered one of the first books written about the concerns of the atomic age and how it might (and still could) affect all of us. A quick, worthwhile read.


S: 6/30/19 - 7/6/19 (7 Days)

Aug 5, 9:37pm Top

Whooo buddy, I'm all caught up with all the books I intend to comment on. Maybe I can actually keep up now, but TBH, I probably will fall behind again. Its what I do.

Happy Monday all!

Aug 5, 9:41pm Top

Boy I'm chatty tonight.... The new ER books are out. Nothing strikes my fancy, and because I've got 2 ER books sitting next to me and 2 more that haven't arrived yet, I think I've got my fill of ER books for the time being. (That's to say nothing of the 10 or so books that are surrounding those ER books in my immediately accessible TBR pile). :)

Aug 6, 7:22pm Top

Just received Larry Brown's story collection Tiny Love today from LT Early Review. Like I don't have another books to read. :)

Aug 7, 2:41pm Top

>80 mahsdad: Oh WOW! I'd sorta forgotten Pat Frank until lately. I'm positive I've never read that one. Thanks for hauling it up!

Aug 10, 12:17pm Top

>84 richardderus: Yeah, I picked it up on a discount table at B&N, I think. I had never heard of it previously. It was a good quick read.

Speaking of reads that AREN'T quick, that's my progress the last 2 months. Finially finished my first book in August. Mage Against the Machine on audio.

Just on the title alone, its a must read. Overall, it was a pretty good, worthwhile story. Humans, Mages and Synth's (AIs) battle it out in a post dystopian Earth. An inventive take on several genres that I'd like to revisit again, hopefully Barger will write more in the future, it was his first book, I think.

Did you ever love a book but couldn't wait for it to end? My feeling on Brief History of Seven Killings. Its great, but it seems like I've been reading it all year. 100 pages to go. :)

Aug 10, 1:47pm Top

>85 mahsdad: Jeesh. 100pp of slog but you still love the read? Marlon the Magician is his new name!

Aug 10, 3:13pm Top

Its not so much that its a slog, cause its really not, its just long. Part of it, I'm sure is my fault, I'm only averaging about 16 pages a day, so there's that. :)

Aug 10, 8:20pm Top

>86 richardderus:
That is pretty much the way I feel about uGoldfinch. I should like it, but I don’t. I also don’t ant to admit defeat and quit after reading 500 pages of the doggone thing.

Aug 11, 12:31am Top

>88 benitastrnad: My wife and I were just talking about the Goldfinch related to this "long" topic. We both liked it a lot, but agreed that it was LLLLOOOOONNNNNGGG.

Aug 11, 10:38am Top

>88 benitastrnad:, >89 mahsdad: I liked The Goldfinch fine, but I won't re-read it. Too much there there.

Aug 11, 12:42pm Top


Aug 13, 1:09pm Top

Short video of the solar wind streaming in front of the Parker Solar Probe from last year. This is our dear drneutron 's baby. Very cool stuff.


Aug 14, 9:21am Top

Yep! By the way, the big smear moving off to the right in the pic is the Milky Way, and the white spot coming in from the left is Mercury.

Aug 14, 2:13pm Top

>93 drneutron: I saw that in the description of the video. SOOO cool.

Aug 14, 6:54pm Top

I don't know if this was always here, but I just noticed or if its a new feature, but either way I love this...

If you hover over a touchstone, it will give you a pop-up about the book. Way to go LT-gurus, love it.

Aug 14, 6:54pm Top

Only the Book touchstones BTW

Aug 14, 9:00pm Top

>95 mahsdad: That is cool....but I tried it on the title in >90 richardderus:, and it came up in Spanish! I think it's showing the most recent review posted, actually.

Aug 15, 2:11pm Top

>97 laytonwoman3rd: Even more interesting. :)

Aug 15, 9:21pm Top

Now that I've tried it a few more times, it appears it's the book description that shows up, not a member review. But it is a nice feature.

Aug 16, 2:02am Top

A Brief History of Seven Killings - Yeah, finally finished it. A very satisfying ending, to a very interesting book. I loved it.

Aug 16, 2:38pm Top

I could have sworn I posted this, but oh well, lets try it again.

Happy Foto Friday Folks.

I'm actually going to post on Friday for once. I'm headed out to the airport in a little bit, flying back from Seattle again. Had a pretty good week, even got to hear a little bit of the Rolling Stone's concert that was going on on the other side of the road from my hotel (its right next to Seattle's football (where the concert was) and baseball stadiums.

This week's image is just a squirrel chillin' on a bridge at UC Riverside's botanic garden. We were there for the kid's college orientation. He starts at the end of September. (Just saw the first tuition bill, weee fun)

Book Update

Reading : We Are What We Pretend To Be by Kurt Vonnegut. Reading this collection of his first and last novellas as a palette cleanser from Brief History (which I just finished, yippeee)
Listening : IQ by Joe Ide. First book in an urban crime/mystery series. I had it listed as a favorite of Stephen King

Aug 16, 5:00pm Top

>101 mahsdad: Our permed-rat friends are so cute, aren't they.

Congratulations on finishing the weighty A Brief History of Seven Killings at last. Happy orientating weekend!

Aug 19, 11:44am Top

>102 richardderus: Forgot to reply, my apologies. Yeah I guess having a good hair-do (or tail-do as the case may be) gives you a better rep. I'm sure if it was a big-ass rat sitting there I wouldn't have taken the picture. :)

My thoughts on Brief History should be brief (cause I never write long "reviews) and forthcoming. :)

Aug 19, 4:45pm Top

>103 mahsdad: In your own time, then. We'll just hang here. Really. No one's got a single thing else to do.

Aug 19, 5:15pm Top

>104 richardderus: Okay then, as long as you have something to do, I won't feel guilty about getting back to you on the 5th Thursday in February.

After such a magnum opus, I'm going to read some short stories (somewhat thanks to your warbling over Black Light: Stories). Its on the WL.

I'm about to finish We Are What We Pretend To Be, the first and last novellas that Kurt Vonnegut wrote. Then for my Life's Library book club I'm going to read Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. Then I've got 2 noir collections (Berlin and Amsterdam) that I should read for ER.

Get a much better sense of accomplishment with the short stories. :)

Edited: Aug 19, 5:59pm Top

I hope you are having a terrific birthday, Jeff. I hope your evening, includes a couple of fine beverages.

Aug 19, 8:04pm Top

>105 mahsdad: Jeez, gotta wait until 2024?!? Yikes. (Next leap year when February starts on a Thursday.)

Enjoy your short-storying!

Today, 11:20am Top

I thought of the 5th Thursday because I thought it couldn't be real, but then I googled it and did use a calendar to keep looking to see when it happened.

I'm impressed that you checked as well. Or are you further off the charts and knew it off the top of your head. :)

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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