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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fourteen

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Thirteen.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fifteen.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1msf59
Edited: Jul 17, 10:03pm Top



^The Warbler in his element. Thanks to Nancy, for helping me, with the emoji.



^A partial look at my keepers shelves. These are the classics. Yes, I have shown remarkable restraint.

2msf59
Edited: Aug 4, 8:20pm Top





Audiobook:



Graphic/Comic:



May:

58) Code Girls by Liza Mundy 4 stars (audio)
59) The Big Year by Mark Obmascik 4.6 stars
60) Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea 3.2 stars (audio)
61) Good Talk by Mira Jacob 4.7 stars GN
62) Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe 5 stars (audio)
63) Huck Out West by Robert Coover 3.7 stars (audio)
64) The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason 4 stars ALA
65) Dear Darkness: Poems by Kevin Young 4 stars (Poetry)
66) Pachinko by Min Jin Lee 3.7 stars (audio)
67) Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini 4.5 stars
68) Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells 4 stars (audio)
69) One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner by Jay Parini 5 stars AAC
70) Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer 4 stars (audio)
71) My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite 3.8 stars (audio)
72) How to Love a Country: Poems by Richard Blanco 4.5 stars (Poetry)

June:

73) The Unfinished World: And Other Stories by Amber Sparks 4.2 stars
74) Furious Hours: The Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep 4.7 stars (audio)
75) My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix 3 stars (audio)
76) Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli 4.5 stars (audio)
77) Emma by Jane Austen 3.6 stars (E)
78) The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal by Mary Pilon 3.8 stars (audio)
79) The Unvanquished by William Faulkner 4 stars
80) Milkman by Anna Burns 4.3 stars (audio)
81) West: A Novel by Carys Davies 4.2 stars
82) Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by María Hesse 4.5 stars GN
83) Flowers of Mold & Other Stories by Seong-Nan Ha 4 stars
84) The Long Take: A noir narrative by Robin Robertson 4.3 stars (poetry)

July:

85) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead 4.7 stars ALA
86) Bernie by Ted Rall 4.2 stars GN
87) Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera 3.8 stars
88) Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography by Jack Hurst 3.3 stars (audio)
89) Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey 4.4 stars (audio)
90) The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 5 stars
91) Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz 4.2 stars GN
92) If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais 4.7 stars
93) Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson 3.8 stars (audio)
94) Big Sky (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson 3.8 stars (audio)
95) Mohawk by Richard Russo 4.2 stars
96) Instructions for a Funeral: Stories by David Means 4.7 stars
97) Moonbound: Apollo 11 by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm 4.2 stars GN

3msf59
Edited: Aug 4, 8:24pm Top



^Someone, mentioned starting a "Birding" thread. Honestly, I was not up for hosting another thread but I thought it would be cool, if a few of us started a birdfeeder watch and kept it updated on the participant's own thread. I know there are several of my pals over here, that have feeders. I hope I can get you to join. I am only going to log in each species I see, for the year, along with the dates. The only species changes, I expect to find, are during the various seasons. Hopefully, this will inspire me to keep a better watch on my own feeders. As of now, the Feeder report will be in post # 6. Here is what I have so far:



1) Northern Cardinal 1/1/19
2) American Goldfinch 1/1/19
3) Downy Woodpecker 1/1/19
4) Black-Capped Chickadee 1/1/19
5) White-Breasted Nuthatch 1/1/19
6) Mourning Dove 1/1/19
7) Dark-Eyed Junco 1/1/19
8) House Sparrow 1/1/19
9) Pine Siskins 1/4/19 (F)
10) Red-Tailed Hawk
11) House Finch
12) Red-Bellied Woodpecker 3/12
13) American Robin 3/13
14) Starling 3/19
15) Northern Flicker
16) Mallards
17) Brown-Headed Cowbird 4/22
18) Chipping Sparrow 5/1
19) White-Crowned Sparrow 5/2
20) Red-Winged Blackbird 5/5
21) Ruby-Throated Hummingbird 5/5
22) Hermit Thrush 5/7 (F)
23) Gray Catbird 5/16 (F)
24) Baltimore Oriole 5/20 (F)
25) Blue Jay 6/7
26) Hairy Woodpecker

(F)- First time seen at the feeders.

4msf59
Edited: Jul 17, 6:43pm Top

"Only the Indian people are the original people of America. Our roots are buried deep in the soils of America. We are the only people who have continued with the oldest religion in this country. We are the people who still yet speak the languages given to us by the Creator.

This is our homeland. We came from no other country.

We have always looked at ourselves as human beings...

Every tribe has a trail of tears. We wonder when its going to end."

Phillip Deere (1929-1985)

^This opens a Joy Harjo collection, I just started.

5benitastrnad
Jul 17, 7:05pm Top

yes, your keeper shelves show remarkable restraint. I have much more on my shelves, but like you, I don't keep many of them. Once I read them - they are out the door and into some other happy readers hands. I donate books to our public library used book store, and I "gift" my relatives (and now the home town) with books that I have read. If I find a Little Free Library and I have a book in my car that needs a home - I just stuff it in. It does help with keeping the turnover on my shelves going.

That Simon Winchester book Crack in the Edge of the World I had that one on my shelves since I joined LT. May of 2008. (I actually joined in March of 2008, but it is close.) Glad to have gotten it off my recorded book shelf.

6msf59
Edited: Jul 17, 7:20pm Top



89) Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey 4.4 stars

“How do you think humans got so cruel?” I asked Makili. He gazed at the ocean, then back at Turner and me. “We forgot,” he said, letting the words linger. “We forgot our responsibility. And we forgot that we are as equal as any living thing within the chain. There’s no hierarchy in this. Nah. We are part of the same family: living things. All the rest of it is just totally fucking bullshit.”

Dolphins have to be the coolest creatures, on earth and that includes human beings. Dolphins are not vicious, dishonest, vindictive or blood-thirsty. They are smart, family orientated and generally kind. We kill them and exploit them. This is what we do.
I really enjoyed Casey's book, The Wave, about monster waves and the surfer community. In this one, she sets her sights on dolphins and other sea mammals, like killer whales, which are also kick-ass. She traveled thousands of miles, to research, protest and swim with these blissful creatures. She also connected with many fine people, along the way, who have made it their life mission, to protect these wonderful animals.
Fair warning- This book is not for the faint of heart. Cruelty abounds here and Casey hammers it home, like a pile-driver. She does not mince words, but if you can stomach it, it is a very well-written, heartfelt look at nature's best.

*Also, the audiobook is excellent. Just sayin'...

**If you have not seen The Cove, an excellent but gut-wrenching documentary about dolphin slaughter, check it out. It makes a perfect companion piece and is discussed at length in this book.

7SandyAMcPherson
Edited: Jul 17, 8:17pm Top

>5 benitastrnad: I note he doesn't show the whole of the shelf... I wonder what's on the lower ones? *evil grin*

PS, >1 msf59: Love the graphic at the top and _so glad_ you have a new thread. The old one did a lot of spooling for me to get to the bottom. Of course that might be my browser.

8karenmarie
Jul 17, 9:05pm Top

Happy new one, Mark! I love the pic of your classics shelf.

9weird_O
Jul 17, 9:31pm Top

Heh-low, Mark. Hope this new thread works out for you. Just sayin'...

10Carmenere
Jul 17, 10:06pm Top

>1 msf59: Awe, isn't that cute! Happy new thread, Mark!

11msf59
Jul 17, 10:07pm Top

>5 benitastrnad: My classic shelves, have changed little over the years. I add very little and that goes for the rest of the shelves too. Mostly it is space, but I just don't reread much anymore.

>7 SandyAMcPherson: Hi, Sandy. Glad you like the topper. I will have to take more photos of my shelves. I love sharing what I have. That photo I had saved, from a couple years ago.

12msf59
Jul 17, 10:11pm Top

>8 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Hooray for the classic shelves. I have had many of these for 20-30 years.

>9 weird_O: Most of these threads work out pretty good for me, Bill, however long-winded they can get. Grins...

>10 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I am not quite that skinny, but I think I got the hair right.

13richardderus
Jul 18, 12:05am Top

>6 msf59: What a wonderful-sounding book that I'll never read because the mere notion makes me want to scream and barf.

14quondame
Jul 18, 12:43am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

15Familyhistorian
Jul 18, 1:11am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I hope you enjoy Instructions for a Funeral.

16scaifea
Jul 18, 5:29am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! I love the looks of that classics shelf!

17msf59
Jul 18, 6:30am Top

>13 richardderus: It is indeed a tough one, RD. She pulls no punches.

>14 quondame: Thanks, Susan.

>15 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I may try to bookhorn in Funeral next month.

>16 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. That shelf reminds, to make sure I fit in a classic now and then. It doesn't always work.

18karenmarie
Jul 18, 8:06am Top

'Morning, Mark! Stay safe in the nasty heat and have fun at the author's event tonight.

19FAMeulstee
Jul 18, 8:35am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

20jessibud2
Jul 18, 8:42am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Stay cool. I hope you are using that forehead wrap thingy. Drink lots of water, too!

21BLBera
Jul 18, 8:53am Top

Happy new thread, Mark.

22alphaorder
Jul 18, 8:56am Top

Love that topper. Good luck today.

23jnwelch
Jul 18, 9:21am Top

Happy New Thread, Mark!

I love that topper with you joining your avian friends.

It's pouring where we are. It looks like that'll help keep the heat down until mid-afternoon? I hope so. Be careful out there, buddy.

24msf59
Jul 18, 9:36am Top

It is raining at the moment but once it moves out, the humidity will roll out like a tsunami...

>18 karenmarie: >19 FAMeulstee: >21 BLBera: Thanks, Karen, Anita & Beth.

>20 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I have my cooling towel along. Just got a fresh one and will be putting it into use.

25richardderus
Jul 18, 10:27am Top

Have a great time tonight. Sad about that horrifying heat we're expecting.

26msf59
Edited: Jul 18, 10:40am Top

>22 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy.

>23 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I hope the rain is moving out soon, despite the incoming humidity. Wearing the rain gear is very uncomfortable. Look forward to seeing you later today.

>25 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. It looks like a big chunk of the US is suffering in this heat, so we are not alone.

27weird_O
Jul 18, 10:57am Top

I'm convinced that this heat and the violent storms are The New Normal, actually that they foreshadow more dreadful weather patterns to come.

28laytonwoman3rd
Jul 18, 11:58am Top

Wishing you lots of shady breaks today, Mark. This heat is no joke when you have to work in it.

29msf59
Jul 18, 3:42pm Top

I am heading into the city, right after work, for the author event and a meet up with, Joe, so I will be back in the morning. Adios...

30EllaTim
Jul 18, 6:13pm Top

Have a nice evening Marc! Or should I ask Did you have a nice evening? Time difference is confusing.

31drneutron
Jul 18, 9:19pm Top

Happy new thread!

32PaulCranswick
Jul 18, 9:26pm Top

Happy new thread mate. Hope your dinner and meet up with Joe is going well/ has gone well.

33msf59
Jul 19, 6:30am Top

>27 weird_O: Boo to the New Normal, Bill. I sure hope you are wrong, sir. Sad face.

>28 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. It rained quite steady yesterday morning, and it kept the temps down until later in the day, so we caught a break. Today and tomorrow will be the tough ones.

>30 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Yes, I had a very nice evening. Nothing like spending time with book folks.

>31 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

>32 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. It was a great evening and, as always, it was nice hanging with Joe.

34msf59
Edited: Jul 19, 6:41am Top



^ "A first novel with all the assurance of a mature writer at the peak of form and ambition, Mohawk is set in upstate New York and chronicles over a dozen lives in a leather town, long after the tanneries have started closing down."

Donna reminded me that we made a deal, to read Mohawk together and since she started it, I thought I better pluck it down off the shelf and dig in. I am a big fan of Russo and had forgotten that this was his debut. I also have a copy of his new one, Chances Are (it comes out next month), that I also hope to get to.

35karenmarie
Jul 19, 6:50am Top

'Morning, Mark! Nothing like spending time with book folks. Ain't it the truth!

Hang in there with the weather nastiness.

36alphaorder
Jul 19, 8:42am Top

I can't wat to read Chances Are...

37jnwelch
Jul 19, 8:44am Top

Great time last night, Mark!

We've got to take off, but I wrote about it over on my thread. I expected to see the photo of you and Bianca Marais here - you'd better stop everything else you're doing, including work, and post it, don't you think?

Take good care of yourself today, my friend; it's already too hot out.

38msf59
Jul 19, 9:35am Top

Humid out here, as I start the route, but it is also partly cloudy and breezy, making it tolerable, at least for now. It is supposed to hit 98, but I hope I am done before the worst of it sets in. Fingers crossed.

>35 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for book folks. My tribe.

>36 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Do you have a copy of Russo's new one?

39msf59
Jul 19, 10:40am Top

>37 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. I am glad you had a good time. Thanks for joining me. I had no time to post the author photo. I will do it tonight. It came out pretty good.

40weird_O
Jul 19, 10:42am Top

Russo. Roooo-so. I've only read Empire Falls. It prompted me to collect a lot of his books, including Mohawk. Just haven't read any of them. Yet. Maybe I should dive into Mohawk to get that Rooo-so thing going.

Eh?

41Caroline_McElwee
Jul 19, 10:47am Top

>34 msf59: Russo has a new novel due soon too. The only one of his books I read was That Old Cape Magic for AAC a few years back Mark, which I enjoyed.

42DeltaQueen50
Jul 19, 11:01am Top

I hope you are finding ways to stay cool, Mark. That's quite a heat wave you are experiencing. Drink lots of water during your work hours and then reward yourself with an icy beer when you get home.

43ffortsa
Jul 19, 6:07pm Top

Hi, Mark. I've missed a whole slew of your threads, so thought I'd better jump in here and say hello. I trust you are done for the day and cooling down. 98. Sheesh.

44msf59
Jul 19, 6:18pm Top

>40 weird_O: I am 60-70 pages into Mohawk and can safely suggest that you read this one, Bill. It may be his debut but it has just the right tone, as his best stuff. I also highly recommend Nobody's Fool, which I also hope you have on shelf.

>41 Caroline_McElwee: I have Russo's new one, Chances Are on shelf. I never did get to That Old Cape Magic. I hope to remedy that.

>42 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, for your concern, Judy. I survived and drank lots of water. Unfortunately, I have to do this again tomorrow.

>43 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Great to see you. I need to stop by your thread too and see what you are reading. It did not pass 95, as far as I know, but it was a HOT one, indeed.

45msf59
Edited: Jul 20, 7:00am Top





^These are a couple photos from the author event last night, featuring the very talented and very engaging author, Bianca Marais. Her flight was delayed from Toronto, so she was not able to make dinner, which was a bummer, but Joe made it and fit right in with my other Booktopia buddies. The margaritas were flowing, as well as some choice book talk.

I finished her excellent book, If You Want to Make God Laugh, a Big Thumbs up, (mini-review upcoming) and I picked up her debut Hum If You Don’t Know the Words, which I have heard nothing but great things about. Please, track her books down.

46alphaorder
Jul 19, 6:36pm Top

38. I did not happen to snag an ARC on that one. I have to wait until pub day. :(

47alphaorder
Jul 19, 6:37pm Top

45. Sounds like a terrific night!

48msf59
Edited: Jul 19, 6:42pm Top

>47 alphaorder: She is at Boswell, tonight, Nancy. Just sayin'...

I can pass my copy of the new Russo onto you, just let me know. Save you some bucks.

49alphaorder
Jul 19, 6:50pm Top

>48 msf59:. Oh, right! Daniel is a BIG fan. I just got home and am not going out again, unfortunately.

No, keep your Russo! I am ok with the bucks. It's the waiting that is hard, but I am learning to become more patent. Plus I have hundreds of other books to choose from.

:)

50msf59
Jul 19, 7:14pm Top

>49 alphaorder: Tell, Daniel, I am a big fan too. Will he be attending? Is he the owner? No problem, on the Russo. You are so good, about buying books and supporting the authors. I just warble.

51Donna828
Jul 19, 8:34pm Top

Mark, you and your bird buddies are lookin’ good up there. I hope there’s a breeze blowing for you.

I have made a brief foray into Mohawk. I should get some quality reading time in this weekend as it’s too hot to do my usual yard work.

>45 msf59: I love the pic of you and Ms. Marais. I got a pleasant surprise at the library yesterday when her new book was waiting for me. I must have been No. 1 on the reserve list.

52vancouverdeb
Jul 19, 8:48pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark! Great topper - it looks just like you! Boy, you are sure suffering in the heat there.

53msf59
Jul 19, 10:02pm Top

>51 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Yep, like a big part of the country, we are dealing with a killer heat wave. I am just over 60 pages into Mohawk and I am enjoying it.

Hooray for getting your copy of If You Want to Make God Laugh. You will love it.

>52 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. It will be a tough couple of days. It is supposed to get better Sunday.

54msf59
Jul 20, 6:56am Top

55msf59
Jul 20, 7:00am Top



^Another scorcher. Send cool thoughts. Hoping for cloud cover and a breeze. Much better tomorrow.

56karenmarie
Jul 20, 8:18am Top

A snowstorm, an early spring day, a late fall day, cool breezes and shade, lots of cold beverages, and Books and Beer at the end of it!

Stay safe out there.

57scaifea
Jul 20, 8:37am Top

Morning, Mark! I hope you manage to stay cool(ish) out there today!

58alphaorder
Jul 20, 9:07am Top

Hang in there, Mark! Seems a little cooler up here today.

59msf59
Jul 20, 9:39am Top

>56 karenmarie: Those are definite cool thoughts. Thanks, Karen. We have some cloud cover and a little breeze, plus I am packing plenty of water, as I head out.

>57 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. I appreciate it.

>58 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. I hope it doesn't feel as intense, as yesterday afternoon.

60BLBera
Jul 20, 10:42am Top

>54 msf59: Yes!

I hope you get some cooler weather, Mark. I imagine the last few days have been miserable.

61msf59
Jul 20, 10:57am Top

>60 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. It has been a tough stretch. Just getting ready to start my residential. Come on, cloud cover!!

62richardderus
Jul 20, 11:29am Top

>45 msf59: A terrific evening! Glad to see you in your natural element.

>55 msf59: YECH

63klobrien2
Edited: Jul 20, 12:21pm Top

>54 msf59: I love the "I am an American" post! Such truth! Such common sense. True patriotism.

Karen O.

64jnwelch
Jul 20, 2:38pm Top

>54 msf59: Amen, buddy.

>62 richardderus: Ha! Right on the money, RD.

Happy Saturday, Mark. Get done, get home, and get out of this blasted heat!

65msf59
Edited: Jul 20, 6:30pm Top



^ I stumbled through the heat wave and came out victorious on the other side. It was 96 on the way home and it felt well over a 100. I am wiped but I did stop for a beer and watched an inning or two of the Cubs game, (they won again). Sue is in San Diego for a long weekend with her BFF, (lucky woman). I am staying in, having a beer or two, watching a film and retiring early.

66alphaorder
Jul 20, 6:34pm Top

>65 msf59:.

YAY! What are you planning on watching?

We're taking it easy here too. Going to pick up a few pizzas and likely read tonight. I just started Ask Again, Yes. It is captivating.

67msf59
Jul 20, 6:35pm Top

>62 richardderus: LOL. That meme was completely appropriate for today, RD, (closer to WTF) but I never fell into the prone position. I feel like Rocky!

>63 klobrien2: I also love that post, Karen. It is a keeper.

>64 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I am home now, comfortably ensconced in the Man-Cave and it feels damn good.

68jnwelch
Edited: Jul 20, 6:37pm Top

>65 msf59:. 😀👍

Great to hear, Mark!

I thought they might cancel that Cubs game. Nice win. We’re on our front porch. It’s raining hard, the temp has already dropped a lot, and all’s much better in the world. Enjoy the beer, the film and the rest. Whew! What a day.

69msf59
Edited: Jul 20, 6:40pm Top

>66 alphaorder: I love older films, Nancy and I have been leaning in that direction lately. I may go with the epic French film, Children of Paradise, which I have not seen in many years. Do you like foreign film? Yep, I am an artsy-fartsy guy.

70msf59
Jul 20, 6:40pm Top

>68 jnwelch: They were talking about the dropping temps, while I was listening/watching the Cubs game, Joe. It is still hot & sunny out here in the southwest suburbs. Enjoy your evening too. I hope I can make it past 9pm. LOL.

71weird_O
Jul 20, 7:32pm Top

Book sale today, Mark. Lookit what I found.

72alphaorder
Jul 20, 8:25pm Top

>69 msf59: Yes, I like artsy-fartsy films.

>71 weird_O: Woot!

73quondame
Jul 20, 9:11pm Top

>67 msf59: That's supine. Prone is harder on the nose. Stay as cool as you can!

74msf59
Jul 20, 10:09pm Top

>71 weird_O: That is fantastic, Bill. Let me know when you already for Hum, If You and I will join you. I have heard nothing but good things.

>72 alphaorder: Hooray for the artsy-fartys people!

>73 quondame: Thanks for the clarification, Susan. Grins...

75Familyhistorian
Jul 21, 1:56am Top

I hope your evening was much better than your day, Mark. Do you get to chill out on Sunday?

76Ameise1
Jul 21, 3:51am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark. I love your topper. The next heat wave here has started too. It looks like it will last for the next seven days.

77msf59
Jul 21, 7:40am Top

>75 Familyhistorian: It was much better, Meg. Thanks. Turned the a/c off this morning and opened up the house. It feels good. Yep, chill day here. Some house chores and reading.

>76 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. Great to see you. Sorry, about the heat wave arriving. I hope it is very short-lived.

78Ameise1
Jul 21, 7:43am Top

>77 msf59: Actually, I should not complain, because it is summer and only natural that it can be very hot. But somehow I'm more of a 'northern light' and can handle the heat very badly.

79Carmenere
Jul 21, 7:51am Top

Hey Mark! Looks like you'll be getting a reprieve from the heat....at least for a few days! Enjoy it while it lasts!!

80msf59
Edited: Jul 21, 7:55am Top

>78 Ameise1: It will be more comfortable here, the next few days. Yes, it gets hot in the summer but the extremes can still be exhausting. Keep cool, Barb.

>79 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. A/C is off and the house is open. Begins to warm up again later in the week. I can deal with that.

81kidzdoc
Edited: Jul 21, 8:03am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark! I'm glad that the heat wave has broken in Chicagoland. The weather in Atlanta has been normal this weekend, after a very hot start to the week; we were in the mid 90s until Friday, and yesterday we hit 90 F, which is one degree above the mean temperature for this time of the year. Hopefully we'll all get a long break from unusually warm weather.

I almost forgot to mention that I'll start reading The Nickel Boys today. I was too brain dead to get past the first page yesterday.

82msf59
Jul 21, 8:13am Top

>81 kidzdoc: Morning, Darryl. Great to see you. It was a brutal couple of days. Glad we are getting a reprieve for a few days. And speaking of brutal, I am sure you will love The Nickel Boys. Lean and heart-breaking. If you get a chance, Whitehead was on this week's NYT Books Podcast. It is worth listening to, as he discusses the new book and his earlier stuff.

83kidzdoc
Jul 21, 8:15am Top

>82 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'll listen to that podcast after I finish the novel, hopefully no later than tomorrow.

84karenmarie
Jul 21, 8:28am Top

Hi Mark! Happy Sunday to you. I hope you get to relax and get some reading in in addition to your chores.

Glad you're getting a reprieve from the nastiest weather soon.

We've got two more days until it gets down into the 80s.

85msf59
Jul 21, 8:34am Top

>83 kidzdoc: It is only about 15 or 20 minutes long. He is always an interesting guy to listen to.

>84 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It is nice having the house opened up. I don't think I am even going for a bird stroll today. Just chillin' and recovering. I am glad you got a cool down coming.

86msf59
Edited: Jul 21, 8:47am Top

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 5 stars

This amazing novel has received a boatload of praise and glowing reviews, so all I am going to say is, that the accolades are well-deserved. Yes, the story will continuously break your heart and leave you in tears, (keep a tissue box handy) but you can not stop turning the pages. 5 stars

87jnwelch
Jul 21, 8:53am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark.

Relax and recuperate, my friend. You made it through a tough one yesterday. We're opening up the house, too. Thank goodness. Debbi has a gathering of writer folks today, and I'm glad the temps have improved so much.

I did finish Recursion - pretty good. I wonder what I would've thought if I hadn't read the better Dark Matter first. I probably would've been more wowed by it - he makes a good story out of some difficult time travel concepts.

Anyway, I finally get started on The Great Believers today.

I'm about halfway through a Van Gogh GN bio. Not on the level of the Frida Kahlo one (Frida Kahlo An Illustrated Life), but interesting. It does quote several of his letters to brother Theo - what a mind VVG had.

88brenzi
Jul 21, 9:18am Top

>88 brenzi: yay for The Great Believers Mark. I was pretty sure you'd like it. You mentioned that you had an ARC The Long and Faraway Gone and I'd suggest you tee it up. I really enjoyed the audio which I just finished as well as his November Road. Hope you have yourself a cool Sunday.

89scaifea
Jul 21, 9:20am Top

Woot for making through the heat! I hope you have a restful Sunday, friend.

90msf59
Jul 21, 9:33am Top

>87 jnwelch: "Relax and recuperate." That is exactly my plan, Joe. It is so nice to have the house open and have that fresh air pour in. Where do you hide out, when the women folk arrive? Good to know about Recursion. If I can find it on audio, I may give it a shot. I did love Dark Matter. Hooray for starting The Great Believers. Keep Kleenex handy. That Van Gogh GN does sound interesting.

>88 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I can not locate my copy of The Long and Faraway Gone. I am bummed, but I will see if I can find it on audio. I enjoyed November Road.

>89 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. Looking forward to a quiet day.

91msf59
Edited: Jul 21, 9:37am Top



92) If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais 4.7 stars

“As women, we're told our worth and our value, and the many ways in which we fall short of others' expectations; we're told why we're whores and why society can't tolerate whores. We're reminded of the ways we dishonor the unwritten contract we didn't know we signed on the day of our birth: a contract in which we agreed to toe the line and know our place simply because we are the fairer sex.”

“'Oh, please. Stop being a racist apologist. If you can't recognize blatant racism when you see it, then I can't help you.'”

“I'd often wondered since then if a child could be inoculated in the womb against the horror of the world through the power of its mother's love; if that love could infuse joy into a child even when her presence couldn’t.”

This is a story of three women. Set in South Africa, in the mid 1990s, while that country was in the midst of social and governmental change. There is Zodwa, who is seventeen, living with her mother, in abject poverty and shamefully finding herself pregnant. We are then introduced to a pair of sisters, one a wealthy ex-stripper and the other a disgraced nun, living nearby on their parents farm. How these stories come together, drastically altering all of their lives, is the meat of this novel. Beautifully written, with rich, fully realized characters, that you will not soon forget. Highly recommended.

Now, I want to read her first novel, Hum If You Don't Know the Words, which I have in hand.

**The racist quote is for my GOP friends and family.

92jnwelch
Edited: Jul 21, 11:21am Top

Where do you hide out, when the women folk arrive?

It's actually about 50-50 - a mixed gender group of storytellers/writers. I join them for the pre-meeting coffee and brunchly treats, then head up to that backroom office once they start reading/performing/critiquing. I know them all pretty well by now. Great group of folks. Becca and Indy come for the pre-meeting, too, then head home.

93lauralkeet
Jul 21, 11:36am Top

>86 msf59: yes, tissues are a necessity. But what a great book. I'm glad you liked it.

>91 msf59: and you got me with that one, my friend.

Stay cool (and supine! ha ha)

94richardderus
Jul 21, 11:37am Top

>91 msf59: Marais is a terrific discovery, it sounds like. And how like you to warble her praises from the rooftops.

*trudges off to library site*

95msf59
Jul 21, 11:51am Top

>92 jnwelch: It sounds like a good mix, Joe and so does the "brunchly treats". Enjoy. I was going to head out and cut the grass, but there is thunder and the threat of rain. I will hold off a bit...

>93 lauralkeet: It sounds like my warbling paid off, Laura. B.A.G. I won't be in much of a supine position, through the day but definitely in a reading posture.

>94 richardderus: She is a really good writer and deserves the rooftop warbling. The book only came out on Tuesday, so I hope it is available.

96richardderus
Jul 21, 11:57am Top

>95 msf59: My county system FTW...thirty-seven copies, one hold ahead of me.

97msf59
Jul 21, 11:59am Top

>96 richardderus: That is perfect! I hope the book hits you, like it did me.

>91 msf59: I appreciate the Thumbs, guys! As you can tell, I am trying to spread the word on this gem.

98EBT1002
Jul 21, 12:20pm Top

I am so glad The Great Believers was a 5-star read for you, as well. For those of us with connections in Chicagoland, it had a wee bit of extra appeal (just for familiar setting).

You've got me with If You Want to Make God Laugh, both here and on my own thread.

Happy Sunday, Mark!

99EBT1002
Jul 21, 12:21pm Top

Added my thumb to your review, too, by the way.

100m.belljackson
Jul 21, 1:30pm Top

Saw an alternate name for Man Cave = Philosopher's Hut.

101msf59
Jul 21, 1:31pm Top

>98 EBT1002: >99 EBT1002: Happy Sunday, ellen. Great to see you. Hooray for The Great Believers & If You Want to Make God Laugh. It is shaping up to be a good year for fiction and I still have the new MDR, Strout and Patchett to get to, over the next 2 months.

I appreciate the Thumb! It looks like I have a pair of HOT Reviews going. Both, such worthy books.

102msf59
Edited: Jul 21, 4:29pm Top



^Well, it looks like I will be joining the LT gang by jumping on board with Big Sky. Another big Jackson Brodie fan here. I was waiting on the audio to come in, and I am glad I decided on this format, with Jason Issacs, supplying the narration:



Does anyone know if they will do any more film adaptations with Issacs? The handful they did were really good.

103weird_O
Jul 21, 5:15pm Top

You want me to read Richard Russo’s first novel, Mohawk. And so I shall. :-)

In Bill's Weird LibraryTM, most books are stacked alphabetically. Russo underpins the entire P-Q-R stack. But taking down the stack allowed me to slide Russo’s Bridge of Sighs into place, as well as a couple of Rushdie works, a hardcover Operation Shylock, a couple of books by Jay Parini. And I didn’t fail to extract Mohawk.

104msf59
Jul 21, 5:28pm Top

>103 weird_O: Man, that is a killer stack, Bill. I still have to read Everybody's Fool. I have a signed copy and I have still not read Cape Magic or Bridge. Straight Man is fantastic.

105richardderus
Jul 21, 5:41pm Top

>103 weird_O: I am *gobsmacked* and unspeakably, violently jealous of the stacks in Bill's Weird LibraryTM, if that one's representative of the whole.

106jnwelch
Jul 21, 6:10pm Top

I used to do anything I could to avoid going out and cutting the grass. If a storm was expected in a week or so, that was enough for me. Then the kids grew up and a simple solution presented itself: we got rid of all the grass. Plants, trees, brick, deck. None of it needs to get cut. Peace reigns supreme.

Beautiful day out there. I just grabbed a bunch of GNs at the library, some Brubakers among them.

>103 weird_O: Ooo la la!

107EllaTim
Edited: Jul 21, 6:25pm Top

Hi Marc I've added The Great Believers to mount TBR. Your review is so good.

>102 msf59: Great cover! Audio seems like a good idea. I'm reading Life After Life at the moment, and might follow up wit a Jackson Brodie.

>103 weird_O: Oh My!

108Berly
Jul 21, 6:52pm Top

Hiya, Mark! I've missed a few threads of the Warbler, but here I am. LOVE your emoji topper and glad you liked The Great Believers, too. Thanks for hitting me with a book bullet on my own thread, troublemaker, you. : ) Glad the heat wave is over. Phew!

109vancouverdeb
Jul 21, 7:26pm Top

>102 msf59: I'm sure you will enjoy Big Sky, Mark. I think I'm just partly in a reading funk. Drat!

110msf59
Jul 21, 7:56pm Top

>107 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. My mini-review of The Great Believers was pretty spare on any details but I am glad you appreciated it. I hope you are enjoying Life After Life. I also liked that one, but her follow-up A God in Ruins is stunning. Looking forward to starting Big Sky.

>108 Berly: You missed a few Warbler Threads? So it ain't so, Kimmers? Since you won't visit I have no choice but to hit you with BBs on your own thread. Grins...

>109 vancouverdeb: Boo, to reading funks, Deb. I must wear some type of Teflon, that wards off those dreaded funks. I hope you get over it soon.

111charl08
Jul 22, 12:48am Top

>91 msf59: Not come across this one: added to the WL.

Glad to see you are spreading the word about The Great Believers - fantastic book. So powerful. The characters have stayed with me.

112Ameise1
Jul 22, 3:16am Top

Good morning, Mark.

113msf59
Jul 22, 6:32am Top

>111 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. I think you would love If You Want to Make God Laugh and if you have a tough time finding it, try Hum if You Don't Know the Words, her debut, which is supposed to be equally as good. And yep, The Great Believers deserves all the praise it gets.

>112 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. Great to see you 2 days in a row. Grins...

114karenmarie
Jul 22, 7:12am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you.

>85 msf59: It is nice having the house opened up. Lucky you. Even at night we can't open the house up because it may get into the 70s but the humidity is always there. We're prisoners of the AC.

Glad you read The Great Believers and gave it 5 stars. It was definitely one of my best for the year so far.

115richardderus
Jul 22, 9:33am Top

Happy Monday, Mark, and enjoy the cool-down. I'm still trapped inside as it's approx. 566% humidity outside.

116msf59
Jul 22, 10:38am Top

>114 karenmarie: >115 richardderus: Morning, Karen & Richard. Gorgeous day in Chicagoland, with a cool, northerly breeze. It makes working, much easier.

You guys keep cool today.

117m.belljackson
Jul 22, 10:40am Top

>110 msf59: >109 vancouverdeb:

Try BRAZEN or the lighter YA FRANKLY IN LOVE - both with fun short chapters - to re-inspire reading.

118jnwelch
Jul 22, 3:18pm Top

It wasn't any great shakes, Mark, but I think you missed me up in >106 jnwelch: - unless I missed you not missing me!

Lovely day out there, isn't it. I'm going to have to fit in some porch time. We just got back from a very hard workout. Food first!

The Great Believers is off to a good start. I'm also reading the Wakanda/Black Panther GN Shuri by Nnedi Okorafor. I love that Marvel is getting good writers to contribute on some of these.

119msf59
Jul 22, 6:40pm Top

>117 m.belljackson: That is an excellent suggestion, Marianne, for guiding you out of a book slump. I loved Brazen and can also see that working. I had heard of Frankly in Love, but have not read it yet. Sounds like a light, fun read.

120msf59
Edited: Jul 22, 6:47pm Top

>118 jnwelch: Great shakes or not, I definitely missed you up there, Joe. I remember reading the post too, about your disdain for cutting the lawn. I must have got sidetracked, and came back and started with dear Ella. It happens to the best of us, right?

Speaking of the grass cutting- I planned to cut mine yesterday and it rained pretty steady late morning to early afternoon, so I skipped it. I went ahead and cut it after work today, so at least it is done. If I do the whole thing, it takes about an hour. I don't mind doing it, but once a week, gets to be a bit much.

I am so glad The Great Believers grabbed you right away. It never really lets up.

121msf59
Edited: Jul 23, 6:25am Top



-Harry Bliss (Not side-splitting but it is cute and has birds in it.)

122richardderus
Jul 22, 8:12pm Top

>121 msf59: *snort* Cute!

123Copperskye
Jul 22, 9:31pm Top

I’m too far behind to catch up! I really do have to crack The Great Believers and I’m looking forward to checking out Marais!

Have fun with Big Sky! I want to reread the Jackson books now.

>121 msf59: Annie’s mac & cheese is the only boxed mac & cheese I’ll eat. No grubs for me though.... :)

Glad to hear the cooler weather has arrived!

124weird_O
Jul 22, 11:14pm Top

With merely 30 pages to go in What the Dog Knows by Cat...Warren, I'm dipping into Mohawk. Gotta get through Common Sense before the end of the month. If I had any, I'd've finished for the 4th of July. (Heh heh. I see the Touchstones ain't got none neither.)

Got that package today, Mark. Afraid I'm not planning to drop everything to read about NBF. But thanks much anyway.

125DeltaQueen50
Jul 23, 12:18am Top

Oh, I didn't know that Jason Issacs narrates Big Sky! I have a kindle copy but I might just have to get myself an audio copy as well!

126msf59
Jul 23, 6:31am Top

>123 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I am sure you will love The Great Believers once you get to it. Rereading the Jackson Brodie series sounds perfect. I love them on audio.

I have never heard of Annie's Mac & Cheese. I have to get out more. Grins...

>124 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Thanks for letting me know you got the package. I hope you like the bonus one too. I am sure you will fly through and enjoy Mohawk. Another winner by Mr. Russo.

>125 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Issacs does a great job on the narration of Big Sky, so I say, go for it!

127karenmarie
Jul 23, 7:20am Top

'Morning, Mark! I hope you have a great day.

>121 msf59: Cute.

128lauralkeet
Jul 23, 7:51am Top

>126 msf59: I have never heard of Annie's Mac & Cheese



It's boxed stuff, like Kraft, a staple of our generation. Annie's mission is around organic, sustainable food. Still, it's boxed mac and cheese, not exactly gourmet.

129msf59
Jul 23, 9:33am Top

>127 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Looks to another beauty today, so it should be another good one, for a work day, anyway. Grins...

>128 lauralkeet: Thanks, for chiming in on Annie's, Laura. I wonder if it is an east coast product? I don't recall seeing it here.

130richardderus
Jul 23, 9:37am Top

>129 msf59: They're not regional, Mark, just ghettoized by price. A box of Kraft is $1 or less...a box of Annie's Homegrown is minimum $2.79.

The Whole Paycheck crowd buys it.

131jnwelch
Edited: Jul 23, 9:55am Top

Good morning, Mark!

We've finally got an open day, so I'm going to work on some writing I've got going.

Did you read Brubaker's Kill or Be Killed GN series? Dark, but awfully good. I'm on the 4th and last one. I'm going to start Tracy K. Smith's Eternity: Selected Poems as my poetry book.

Have a good one today, buddy. Looks like another nice one.

132msf59
Jul 23, 10:59am Top

>130 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I may have to try it one of these days. Trying to avoid the carbs, these past few weeks.

>131 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Enjoy your free day. I hope it includes a stroll. It is beautiful out here. I did read some of the Brubaker series. I don't remember, where I left off, though.

I am sure the Smith poetry collection will be wonderful.

134Ameise1
Jul 23, 12:32pm Top

>113 msf59: LOL would you like to have the third day ;-)?
Today we visited the Peugeot factory. It was impressive.

135msf59
Jul 23, 5:20pm Top

>133 Caroline_McElwee: I love the owl in the paddling pool, Caroline. Definitely, put a smile on my face. Thanks, for sharing.

>134 Ameise1: Hooray for a 3rd day of visiting, Barb. Always a treat. Glad you had a good visit to the Peugeot factory.

136banjo123
Jul 24, 12:20am Top

Hi Mark! I just finished The Great Believers also. What a great book! Wendy is reading it now.

137msf59
Jul 24, 6:25am Top

>136 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda. Hooray for The Great Believers. I had a feeling you would love it and I am sure Wendy will too.

138msf59
Edited: Jul 24, 6:39am Top



Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments
Kevin Barry (Ireland), Night Boat to Tangier
Oyinkan Braithwaite (UK/Nigeria), My Sister, The Serial Killer Read *
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 Read *
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities
Max Porter (UK), Lanny Own*
Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte
Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
Jeanette Winterson (UK), Frankissstein Own*

^I normally do not get a chance to read many of the Longlisted books, and the same will happen this time, although several sound really promising. Fortunately, I have read 2 all ready and own another two. I know I will be reading the Atwood at some point too. I am also long overdue to read a Rushdie, so maybe I'll choose his latest.

139karenmarie
Jul 24, 7:20am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you! Thanks for posting the Longlisted Booker List. I've only read My Sister, the Serial Killer. I'd like to read some Rushdie and Winterson, but frankly haven't heard of the other authors except Atwood, Philistine that I am.

140jnwelch
Jul 24, 8:49am Top

Morning, Mark!

I was so surprised to see My Sister, the Serial Killer on the list. I enjoyed the heck out of it, but I guess I didn't think it . . . carried that kind of weight. I just gave it to my BIL as a birthday present. I want to get to Lanny sooner rather than later. Darryl thought highly of it, if I remember correctly. I wasn't the biggest fan of Porter's Grief is the Thing with Feathers, but I admired its inventiveness.

Heat? What heat? Looks like another gorgeous day. Enjoy, buddy.

141weird_O
Jul 24, 9:01am Top

I've started Mohawk, Mark. Quite a cast of characters.

I saw a squib on the forthcoming Rushdie book that's been longlisted, and it sounded good. I'm certainly interested in reading it.

142msf59
Jul 24, 10:38am Top

>139 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. A big chunk of those long list books are unfamiliar to me too, but I guess that is a good thing, right?

>140 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I completely agree with you on Serial Killer. Light and fun but award worthy? I am curious- What didn't you like about Grief? I really loved that one and Nancy sent me a copy of Lanny. Bless her heart.

143msf59
Jul 24, 10:40am Top

>141 weird_O: Hi, Bill. I hope you are enjoying Mohawk as much as I am. I might even finish it today. I will have to look up the new Rushdie. I know nothing about it.

144richardderus
Jul 24, 11:06am Top

Quichotte and My Sister, the Serial Killer on the Booker Long List.

Truly the End of Days is upon us.

I hope it's pleasant weather for it there in Chicagoland.

145Familyhistorian
Jul 24, 1:17pm Top

>138 msf59: I haven't heard of most of the books on the longlist but I do know that My Sister, the Serial Killer has been up for several awards. Not that I have read it.

146jnwelch
Jul 24, 1:40pm Top

>142 msf59: There wasn't anything in particular I didn't like about Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Mark; I just didn't love it the way you and others have. I did like Crow and the Ted Hughes connection.

147benitastrnad
Jul 24, 5:19pm Top

I just looked at Ducks Newburyport and Amazon says it is 1040 pages. Yikes! Who has that much time to spend on one book?

148msf59
Jul 24, 6:13pm Top

>144 richardderus: Hey, RD. Have you heard something slight about Quichotte? I know Rushdie can go deep if he wants too.

>145 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. My awards comment about Serial Killer was strictly my own. Once again, I liked it but would not consider it high literature.

>146 jnwelch: Thanks, for confirming your thoughts on Grief, Joe. It sounds like Lanny will be a very divisive read also.

>147 benitastrnad: NOT ME, Benita! LOL. Unless my LT pals tell me differently.

149vancouverdeb
Jul 24, 7:48pm Top

You've done quite well with the Booker Longlist, Mark. All I've read is My Sister the Serial Killer and I'm not sure what appeals to me on the list. It seems a bit disappointing to me. I'll have to check my library for Lanny.

151msf59
Edited: Jul 24, 10:45pm Top

>149 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. I am not familiar with many on the Longlist, so it is hard to get a feel for it. I do like Atwood and Winterson. I don't think you do. What is neat about these lists, is being introduced to new authors.

>150 alphaorder: This looks like a terrific article, Nancy. I will check it out in the morning. Thanks.

152weird_O
Jul 24, 11:13pm Top

>148 msf59: Amazon's Quichotte pitch:

Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where “Anything-Can-Happen.” Meanwhile, his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.

Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Rushdie takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. And with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of Rushdie’s work, the fully realized lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.

153msf59
Jul 25, 6:55am Top

>152 weird_O: Thanks, for the pitch, Bill. It sounds like something I would like, although, believe it or not, I have not read Don Quixote. Bad Mark?

154msf59
Edited: Jul 25, 7:13am Top



"Means has won himself an international reputation as one of the most innovative short fiction writers working today. This collection, finds Means branching out beyond the explorations of violence and trauma with which he is often identified, prominently displaying his sly humor and his inimitable way of telling tales that deliciously wind up to punch the reader in the heart."

^After knocking out Mohawk, I am switching to short fiction, with Instructions for a Funeral: Stories. As much as I love this form, I am unfamiliar with Means. Has anyone read him before? I know Meg recently read and enjoyed this collection.

155lauralkeet
Jul 25, 7:21am Top

Hey there Mark, Facebook says it's YOUR BIRTHDAY today! Here's a little something I whipped up for the occasion:



Have a wonderful day!!

156Carmenere
Jul 25, 7:43am Top

Yeah, I got the memo too! Happy Birthday, Mark! Have a spectacular day!!

157FAMeulstee
Edited: Jul 25, 9:26am Top

So did I, happy birthday, Mark, may your day be filled with birds and books.

edited to correct misspellings.

158karenmarie
Jul 25, 8:28am Top

Happy Birthday Mark! Glad you have the day off to go birding, etc.

159jessibud2
Edited: Jul 25, 8:50am Top

Happy Bird Day, Mark! ;-) Is it a *big* one?

As you near retirement, perhaps consider what I used to do with my many accumulated sick days: I always booked off work on my birthday, informing the office that I *had an appointment*. No one had to know it was with myself. Happy birthday to me. Pity I didn't think of it years earlier but for the last several years of working, anyhow, it was my present to myself. :-)

160richardderus
Jul 25, 9:15am Top

>154 msf59: I've read his stuff over the years when it's been in The New Yorker, but those all seemed to me to be pretty much the epitome of commuter-train tales. I'll wait to see if you die of boredom before I dip my toe in.

And happy birthday here, too!

161jnwelch
Jul 25, 9:41am Top



Have a great birthday, Mark!

162BLBera
Jul 25, 9:44am Top

Happy Birthday Mark!

163Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Jul 25, 4:57pm Top

Happy Birthday Mark. I hope you have some good plans for a celebration. Looks like there is plenty of cake, so hoping the books and beer turn up later.

164mahsdad
Jul 25, 11:44am Top

I said it over on FB, but I'll say it here...

Hippo Birdies, Two Ewes!

165DeltaQueen50
Jul 25, 11:57am Top

Happy Birthday, Mark!

166msf59
Edited: Jul 25, 4:19pm Top



^This is Springbrook Prairie, where I did my bird stroll this morning. It was beautiful. Birds were plentiful, all summer residents and a virtual Song Sparrow Symphony, going on all around me.

I then met Bree for lunch and brews, so I am feeling no pain and getting ready for round two, for dinner later with family and friends. Nice day off, so far.



-NMP

167quondame
Jul 25, 4:56pm Top

Happy Birthday! And a classic delight.

168lindapanzo
Jul 25, 5:01pm Top

Happy Birthday, Mark!!

169benitastrnad
Jul 25, 5:14pm Top

Since you like the graphic novel format I am going to warble about the 435 page Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science. This one was a whopper and a very worthy read by Philippe Squarzoni. It was originally published in France. The English translation is by Ivanka Hahnenberger.

This is the kind of science book that most people want to read. Short and clear. It may seem long at 435 pages, but that is because it is a graphic novel, so it has pictures on the pages and only short text. This graphic novel was chocked full of information about the science of climate change. The author stated early on in the book that he was trying to make the science of climate change accessible. In that he succeeded. He broke down all the different parts of the problem into drawings and text that got straight to the point and was written in very plain language. No long formulas. No long explanations. Nobody can say that they can't understand this book as they are reading it. It is very clear and very plain. The author deals with the causes of climate change and the results of climate change, including political, economic, and the philosophical upheaval that climate change is going to cause. He also takes the time to point out that all of us in the developed countries need to cut our energy consumption and that little things we do make a difference.

This book is not alarmist - but it is. The experts the author interviews for this book, lead the author to come to the conclusion that climate change is here. It is already irreversible. That means that all societies in the world have to deal with that simple fact. And the fact is, that they aren't.
The countries that he holds to blame for the most damage are the ones who are least effected by the changing climate, and the ones that can have the most impact on the changing climate and do nothing about changing their ways. Reading this book ought to scare everybody.

The author also brings economics and politics into the picture and explains why these two entities are NOT going to fix the problem of global warming or even deal with the causes. This book was written in 2014 and it already pointed to increasing problems with human migration and economic immigration.

170Donna828
Jul 25, 5:47pm Top

Mark, it sounds like your birthday has been a good one so far. I like the quiet celebrations. Birds, brew, and family sounds like perfection. 🎂🎉 📚

171richardderus
Jul 25, 5:51pm Top

>166 msf59: How lovely and peaceful it looks! The symphony of ruby-throated sparrows must've been a delight.

172weird_O
Edited: Jul 25, 5:54pm Top

>169 benitastrnad: Oh, the shame. I bought that at a library sale at least a year ago and failed to give it more than a cursory page-through. I'm ashamed of myself. I guess I don't need to know the science because the scientists do and I see no reason for them to make it up. And of course the current weather is what we were warned it would become thirty or more years ago.

I'd say we humans are doomed, simply because accepting doom is the path of least resistance.

ETA: Happy B-day, Mark. Birdday. Beerday. Bookday. Birthday. Let's all stand up and cheer.

173benitastrnad
Jul 25, 6:01pm Top

I love it when books parallel each other, or build on what you learned in other books. Climate Changed tagged onto a book I read back in February of this year. A good section of the book was devoted to dealing with climate change deniers. I have been interested in the subject of science deniers and why the public doesn't listen to, or learn from, the science and scientists, so I have been doing some reading in that area.

The tie-in to climate change came from the book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming that I read back in February. In that book Naomi Oreskes said that the media is one of the reasons that the public doubts scientists and science. The media confuses the public by telling both sides of a story - even when one side of the story is wrong. In this case climate change deniers are simply wrong and they are totally misreading the science and misleading the public. The author of Climate Changed points out that from a sampling of 636 articles written by journalists and distributed through various forms of media, more than half (53%) questioned global warming. Contrast that with the scientific journal writing where climate change is an uncontested fact - it is happening and human activity is the cause. In this case our media is not serving us well.

174benitastrnad
Jul 25, 6:04pm Top

I just now noticed the birthday greetings from others so I will add to them. Happy birthday Mark!

175Copperskye
Jul 25, 6:06pm Top

Sounds like you’re having a good one, Mark! Sending more birthday good wishes! 🎉🎈🍺

176msf59
Edited: Jul 25, 6:07pm Top

Thanks for the visits and lovely greetings, everyone! Took a quick nap, freshened up and now heading out for round two! Celebrating, full-throttle! I will check in with everyone, later.

177LovingLit
Jul 26, 12:11am Top

Hi there Mark!
Long time no visit....I have been doing the life thing lately. :) Presently I am prepping for Little Len's 8th birthday party, cake etc. He is having a sleepover tomorrow night, 4 of them will cause havoc into the night. would be fun(ny)

Happy reading and warbling!

178scaifea
Jul 26, 5:29am Top

Morning, Mark! I hope you had a fabulous birthday yesterday!

179karenmarie
Jul 26, 5:52am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

I hope the 'celebrating, full throttle' was a wild success.

180msf59
Jul 26, 6:25am Top

>155 lauralkeet: I LOVE the birthday cake, Laura. Thank you.

>156 Carmenere: >157 FAMeulstee: >158 karenmarie: Thanks, Lynda, Anita & Karen !

>159 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I have been taking sick days here and there, definitely more than usual. I am taking back to back ones, in mid-august. Grins...

>160 richardderus: Thanks, Richard and I appreciate you chiming in on Means. I will start it today.

>161 jnwelch: >162 BLBera: >163 Caroline_McElwee: >164 mahsdad: >165 DeltaQueen50: Joe, Beth, Caroline, Jeff & Judy.

181msf59
Jul 26, 6:33am Top

>167 quondame: >168 lindapanzo: >170 Donna828: >172 weird_O: Thanks, Susan, Linda, Donna & Bill.

>169 benitastrnad: >174 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. And I appreciate the GN rec. The Climate book. I will have to track it down.

>175 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne.

>177 LovingLit: Great to see you, Megan. I hope you have a wonderful time at Lenny's party.

>178 scaifea: Morning, Amber. It was a fine day. No reading, though, but I will make it up.

>179 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It was a good birthday. Nice to share it with friends and family over brews.

182msf59
Edited: Jul 26, 6:56am Top



"This richly imagined novel, set in Hawai'i more than a century ago, is an extraordinary epic of a little-known time and place---and a deeply moving testament to the resiliency of the human spirit."

It looks like several of my pals here and over on Good Reads have enjoyed, Moloka'i over the years, but it had never appeared on my radar, until I saw it pop up as an audio deal. I am going to start it today.

183jessibud2
Jul 26, 7:53am Top

>182 msf59: - This has been on my shelf for years. I have loved everything else I have read by this author so I really should get on it sooner, shouldn't I?

184bell7
Jul 26, 8:25am Top

Happy belated birthday, Mark! Hope you're enjoying Moloka'i. It's been a regular on my local book clubs' lists, and when the sequel came out recently I took the opportunity to buy both for the library. I have yet to read it, though if you give it a thumbs up I may have to move it up the list.

185jnwelch
Jul 26, 8:30am Top

Happy Friday, Mark. Looks and sounds like you had a great birthday.

I'm continuing my Brubaker/Phillips Noir GN spree at the library, with Sleeper Season Two being my most recent. I'm also trying a new Catgirl/Catwoman called Under the Moon, and liking it so far.

Should be decent again today. Have a good one, buddy.

186msf59
Jul 26, 10:22am Top

>183 jessibud2: This is a new author to me, Shelley, so looking forward to trying him out. I didn't realize he was prolific.

>184 bell7: Thanks, Mary. I have barely started Molokai, but I like the easy, narrative flow.

>185 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It was definitely a Sweet Thursday. Had some good beers, as well. Glad you are continuing to enjoy the Brubaker books.

187benitastrnad
Jul 26, 10:24am Top

I read Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman several years (at least) ago and liked it. It is a great example of narrative nonfiction at its best. Nonfiction that reads like a novel. I had seen reviews of Moloka'i when it came out. It went on the TBR list but, like you, I have never gotten to it.

>184 bell7: I didn't know there was a sequel, but there is - Daughter of Moloka'i. Thanks for pointing that out.

188benitastrnad
Jul 26, 10:31am Top

>181 msf59:
I really got alot out of Climate Changed and even though the illustrations are spare (all in black and white) and much less graphic than what I think a graphic novel should be, I learned a great deal. It took me almost a month to get through it, but I only read it during my lunch hour at work, so it would take longer. And of course, this summer, we have had many lunch meetings. (I hate those.)

189richardderus
Jul 26, 2:30pm Top

>182 msf59: Ooohhh, wonderful choice! An ear-vacation among deeply interesting people. I hope the reader does the material justice.

190weird_O
Jul 26, 4:50pm Top

Finished Mohawk, Mark. Good. Yeah, that's what it was. Good. Russo certainly threw in every evil known to man, didn't he? The story just charged right along. I think I have four more Russo books in the stack.

I seem to have several books going at the same time.

Benita kicked me in the shins (figuratively) with her warble about Climate Changed. I got a copy a while back, but didn't give it much of a look. At her recommendation, I got it off the shelf and I'll put it into the reading rotation.

191msf59
Jul 26, 5:33pm Top

>187 benitastrnad: >188 benitastrnad: Well, I am really enjoying Moloka'i, (I think you will too) so I would definitely be interested in Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai. It sounds good. Thanks. I am sure I will also be seeking out the sequel, Daughter of Moloka'i.

You also got me with Climate Changed. I pick it up tomorrow.

>189 richardderus: Hey, Richard. I did see you were also a fan of Moloka'i. It is off to a very good start and the female narrator is doing a solid job. Did you read the follow-up?

192msf59
Jul 26, 5:36pm Top

>190 weird_O: I am so glad you also enjoyed the Russo. He is such a consistently good writer. I also snagged a copy of his upcoming novel, Chances Are, that I can share with you.

Like you, I caught a BB with Climate Changed. I am happy to hear you had a copy on shelf. I pick my copy up from the library tomorrow.

193msf59
Jul 26, 5:38pm Top



-Harry Bliss

194richardderus
Jul 26, 6:30pm Top

>191 msf59: I haven't read the follow-up, no, and wasn't exactly eager to. I'm not sure why but it wasn't calling out to me.

Bliss gets it on animal jokes!

195msf59
Jul 26, 9:06pm Top

>194 richardderus: I found it interesting that Molakai was published, at the end of 2003 and it took 16 years before he wrote the sequel. If this one continues to sail along, I will probably read that one too.

196msf59
Edited: Jul 27, 6:33am Top



-Hairy Woodpecker (NMP)

^I have not given a bird feeder report in sometime. They have been bustling but mostly summer residents. I did see a Hairy W.P. a couple days in a row. First time this year, bringing my total feeder species to 26. Nearly neck to neck with my BBS, where nothing new has been showing up, other than the Great Blue Heron.

197msf59
Edited: Jul 27, 7:05am Top



^Our LT pal Pru shared this on FB, so I thought I would share it here. It is a beauty.

198lauralkeet
Edited: Jul 27, 7:36am Top

>196 msf59: Mark, your bird feeder report reminded me to mention that we now have a copy of the board game Wingspan, which has received so much critical acclaim. We aren't huge board game aficionados, but we like a good game and of course we like birds. Wingspan is beautifully made and fun to play. I ordered mine directly from the manufacturer. Amazon is also taking preorders (it will be back in stock on August 2).

199EllaTim
Jul 27, 7:54am Top

>196 msf59: I receive a daily nature report by email, today they said that for the birds autumn is already starting. Swifts have finished breeding and are starting to return south. The young birds will follow.

>197 msf59: Love it.

201karenmarie
Jul 27, 9:03am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

Congrats on the Hairy Woodpecker. I love seeing woodpeckers. I've start seeing male Goldfinches again - they're here year round but don't always show up at the feeders.

202charl08
Jul 27, 10:13am Top

Lovely woodpecker sighting Mark.

203msf59
Jul 27, 10:36am Top

>198 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Wingspan has been on my radar for months. I was planning on getting it around Father's Day and it did not happen. Maybe, I'll grab it, with some of my birthday cash. Glad you guys are enjoying it.

>199 EllaTim: Migration begins this time of year, a slow process, but it is happening, if you pay close attention.

204msf59
Jul 27, 10:39am Top

>200 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. I have only sampled a little of Berry's poetry. I will have to seek more of his work out.

>201 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I love the woodpeckers too. Usually it is Downys, with the occasional red-bellied, so it is nice to have a couple of the others show up.

>202 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. Do you get many woodpeckers in your area?

205Familyhistorian
Jul 27, 3:59pm Top

A belated Happy Birthday, Mark. Looks like you had a very busy day celebrating. Nice!

>197 msf59: Exactly, maybe we should take the time to appreciate what we have in the moment while it is still here.

206Caroline_McElwee
Jul 27, 5:48pm Top

>197 msf59: If only I lived somewhere that that could be the cure for the fustering about the ills of the world Mark.

207msf59
Jul 27, 6:34pm Top

>205 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. It will be a nice birthday weekend. Good beer. Good food. Good people.

"maybe we should take the time to appreciate what we have in the moment while it is still here." Well, said.

>206 Caroline_McElwee: Amen, Caroline.

208msf59
Jul 27, 6:36pm Top



-Harry Bliss

209richardderus
Jul 27, 6:56pm Top

>208 msf59: Ha! Good for him. Start 'em young.

210weird_O
Jul 27, 11:48pm Top

>208 msf59: Wait... Isn't your name Mark, Mark? Your granddad did good to introduce you to Mrs. Warbler at such a young age. :-)

211PaulCranswick
Jul 27, 11:57pm Top

>208 msf59: Similar principle, Mark, but I get inordinate joy seeing any of my three kids reading a book and especially when they share something of it with me.

Have a great Sunday.

212banjo123
Jul 28, 12:30am Top

Glad that you are having a good birthday weekend!

213charl08
Jul 28, 5:11am Top

>204 msf59: Not so much: not much local woodland. Further afield in the wooded bits that survive I have sometimes heard them but very hard to spot. Tends to be more garden / farmland birds. I saw some Lapwings from the train last week and was very pleased.

214msf59
Jul 28, 7:40am Top

>209 richardderus: I completely agree, Richard.

>210 weird_O: Actually, my grandfather lived on a farm for a large portion of his life, and did show me an appreciation of nature. He also liked guns, but that is another story. Grins...

215msf59
Edited: Jul 28, 7:45am Top

>211 PaulCranswick: I am with you on the reading angle too, Paul. I LOVE seeing young people read. Sadly, it doesn't happen a lot, or at least to me.

>212 banjo123: I sure am, Rhonda. My daughter is hosting a party for me, at her place today, which should be a lot of fun. A mix of family and friends.

>213 charl08: That makes sense, Charlotte. Woodpeckers like trees. Hooray for the lapwings. I would love to check those off my list, one of these days.

216karenmarie
Jul 28, 8:30am Top

Hi Mark! Happy Sunday. Have fun at the party today.

217msf59
Jul 28, 8:34am Top

>216 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. It should be a good day, despite another warm one.

218Carmenere
Jul 28, 8:47am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark! The birds seem to have found other means of nourishment these days. We sometimes get a visitor looking for fast food but otherwise.....quiet. I'll pay more attention as migration season kicks off.

219msf59
Jul 28, 9:06am Top

>218 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. My feeders have been hopping pretty good. I had to tie some loose fishing line on my main feeder, to prevent the house sparrows from gobbling up all the feed. It actually works too. Squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks have all been stopping by too. I hope yours gets busier.

220msf59
Edited: Jul 28, 9:11am Top



93) Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson 3.8 stars

Franklin has always fascinated me and has always been my favorite Founding Father, just ahead of Jefferson, so I am glad I finally pulled this bio off the shelf and dug in. It is quite mind-blowing what Franklin jammed into his eighty-four years- as a scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer and practical/political thinker. He was also the Forrest Gump of his time, inserting himself into many historical milestones, in America and abroad. The author also shines a light on Franklin's flaws, which make him even more human. He was not a very good father or husband, which I found very surprising and his adoration for young girls was borderline creepy.
I like the tone of this jaunty narrative, but, for me, it bogged down a bit in the details, especially in the use of extensive quotes, which can be overwhelming. It is still a very solid biography.

**I read this for the AAC. It also worked very well on audio.

221richardderus
Jul 28, 10:03am Top

>220 msf59: Big people have big flaws. Plaster saints like we're taught Washington was (he wasn't) are uninspiring to me. Glad the bio worked in audio as well!

Sunday orisons.

222Ameise1
Jul 28, 10:05am Top

Happy Sunday, Mak. I hope it's filled with lots of R&R.

223jessibud2
Jul 28, 10:05am Top

>220 msf59: - I really want to read this one, Mark. He has also fascinated me. What you say about how much he has crammed into his lifetime, reminds me of the life of Alexander Graham Bell. I recently read an excellent bio of him, called Reluctant Genius by Canadian author, Charlotte Gray. She is a terrific writer and I appreciated the overlap of info from another NF book I read a few years ago, about the history of The National Geographic magazine. I am blanking on the title at the moment but Bell was one of the first presidents of it and one of his daughters married into the Grosvenor family (the founders). I really recommend the Gray book, if you get a chance. I think you'd enjoy it.

224msf59
Jul 28, 11:24am Top

>221 richardderus: Great point, RD and the good he did, sure outweighed the bad, IMHO.

>222 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. We are helping out with this party, so just a little R & R.

>223 jessibud2: I know very little of AGB, Shelley, so this bio would give me a chance to get better acquainted with him. Thanks.

225Ameise1
Jul 28, 11:33am Top

Enjoy your party.

226m.belljackson
Jul 28, 11:48am Top

Mark - Piping Plovers revive in The Windy City in time to celebrate with you!

227alphaorder
Jul 28, 12:00pm Top

Happy Sunday Mark!

Spent a bit of time with bird lovers the last few days, as the National Audubon Society held its convention in Milwaukee. I picked up a treat for you there - hope to get it out to you this week.

I finished Ask Again, Yes yesterday, which I really enjoyed. This morning I read They Called Us Enemy. I think you and Joe would appreciate it. This is my fourth graphic memoir of the year!

I have the day to myself without much planned, besides lunch with my sister and the Brewers-Cubs game. So I am thinking of taking it easy and spending time with The Last Book Party.

228msf59
Edited: Jul 28, 1:04pm Top

>225 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. It should be a good party.

>226 m.belljackson: Hooray for the Piping Plovers, nesting at Montrose beach, in Chicago. I think they have had 3 chicks so far. How cute is this:



^I have been down there and seen the plovers, but not the chicks.

229msf59
Jul 28, 1:04pm Top

>227 alphaorder: Happy Sunday, Nancy. Thanks for the great book report. I would love to attend one of the Audubon conventions. Maybe post-retirement. I NEED to request They Called Us Enemy, ASAP. Sounds great.

Brewers going for the sweep today. The Cubbies bullpen has really been choking, this past week. Very frustrating.

230jnwelch
Jul 28, 1:04pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mark.

That Benjamin Franklin bio sounds good (solid, as you say). The only Isaacson bio I've read is that Einstein: His Life and Universe one, which I liked a lot. I'd like to read more about BF.

I finished the very good The Great Believers; as I said to Caroline, I can see why people rave about it. I'm now seguing to Lanny, which Darryl loved, and Anatomy of a Murder, which I've never read, despite the excellent movie.

We had a delish breakfast out and walked the Roscoe Village area before the heat set in; now we're cooling off at the house. Hope your Sunday is a good one.

231msf59
Edited: Jul 28, 1:28pm Top

>230 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I have the Einstein bio on my list. I know very little about him. Glad to hear you enjoyed The Great Believers. Since, I have a copy of Lanny, thanks to Nancy, I will join you soon. I have also never read Anatomy of a Murder but loved the film.

Enjoy your day. We are heading out shortly.

232alphaorder
Jul 28, 4:51pm Top

Nice win, Mark!

233mdoris
Jul 28, 9:26pm Top

234Familyhistorian
Jul 29, 12:59am Top

A whole weekend for your birthday? You are a lucky guy, Mark!

235Ameise1
Jul 29, 2:52am Top

Good morning, Mark. I hope your party was a success.

236msf59
Jul 29, 6:32am Top

>232 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. At least the Cubs salvaged one game. What a tight race that division is. Wow!

>233 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. Love the owl.

>234 Familyhistorian: It was a good weekend, that is for sure, Meg. Feeling a little rough today.

>235 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. It was a great party, with friends and family.

237karenmarie
Jul 29, 7:04am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you.

>220 msf59: Good review! I'm listening to the bio of John Adams by McCullough right now, and there are quite a few mentions of Franklin. I've got the Isaacson on my shelves just waiting for the right time. Perhaps soon?

238richardderus
Jul 29, 10:32am Top

Happy Monday, Mark, and may the weather settle into a long, cool, dry spell for your elderly self to cripple along comfortably through.

239msf59
Jul 29, 10:56am Top

>237 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I have read a different Adams bio but I would like to get the McCullough, at some point. I am sure you will enjoy the Franklin bio.

>238 richardderus: Morning, RD. Yep, feeling elderly today, after partying a bit too much yesterday. Cloudy and humid at the moment but most of the week should be pretty nice.

240benitastrnad
Jul 29, 12:26pm Top

I am so sorry you took a book bullet with Climate Changed. I hope you learn lots from it. It can be sort of dry in some places, but then sometimes science is, as well.

I went on a reading binge this last week and finished up a bunch of books. I think it was 4 in four days. I don't think I have ever done that before. Now I will be devoting myself to reading the Luminaries - I was trying to read along with Ellen and friends, but dropped the ball on that one. However, so far I like the book, so will continue to read it. I also have vowed to finish The Goldfinch this summer. It has been sitting in my living room long enough. Time to finish it.

241jnwelch
Jul 29, 1:47pm Top

Hiya, Mark.

“Feeling elderly today, after a little too much partying yesterday.” Ha! I sympathize. Debbi and I still shake our heads remembering our youthful adventures together, partying all night, and then handling the next day just fine.

I’m at a cafe reading that Tracy K. Smith collection. This is a bit of all right.

I hope the pour lets up so you can finish work and get back to the important stuff.😀

242msf59
Jul 29, 6:38pm Top

>240 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Hooray for knocking out some books! I loved The Luminaries and I hope you feel the same. I also really liked The Goldfinch. Not perfect, but still plenty to enjoy. Glad you are getting to it. It might be awhile before I crack, Climate Changed, but it is at hand.

>241 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Yep, a bit rough around the edges this morning, but once I started walking the route, I was able to shake off the dregs. I will be taking it easy for the next few days but we have a camping trip coming up this weekend, and there is a fair amount of indulging, when we do.

So glad you are enjoying the Smith collection. I will have to request that one.

243karenmarie
Jul 30, 5:15am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you! I hope that you're recovered from your wild Sunday. *smile*

244msf59
Jul 30, 6:31am Top

>243 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, full recovery. Funny, once I start walking the route, I shake it off pretty quickly. Short work week too, with a camping excursion at the end of it.

245msf59
Edited: Jul 30, 6:39am Top



^We finished HBO's Chernobyl last night and it an outstanding mini-series. One of the best I have seen in years. Great writing, acting and production, plus an inside look at what happened at this catastrophic event and the aftermath. If you have access to HBO, I highly recommend checking this out. I now, want to read more about this disaster and have requested Midnight in Chernobyl.

246charl08
Jul 30, 7:51am Top

>245 msf59: I couldn't bear the "no, don't step in the nuclear waste" side of this series - watched the first one, could appreciate it was well done, but too much for me. I can't pass up a chance to mention the amazing Chernobyl Prayer (originally translated with a slightly different title), which I think you have also already read Mark. I'll wait to hear what you make of Midnight in Chernobyl too.

247richardderus
Jul 30, 9:57am Top

>245 msf59: Like a punch in the gut, that series.

Happy short week!

248msf59
Jul 30, 10:37am Top

>246 charl08: I am completely understand you not being able to watch Chernobyl, Charlotte. It is like watching a horror film. Not familiar with the Prayer book, but I will look into it. I also have had Voices of Chernobyl on my list for awhile. I heard it is also excellent.

>247 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I can't warble enough about that series and yes, it was like a gut punch. Horrifying and disturbing, but so well done.

249Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Jul 30, 6:35pm Top

>245 msf59: I want to see that Mark, I'd heard it was excellent.

ETA: Just ordered it from you know where.

250msf59
Jul 30, 9:03pm Top

>249 Caroline_McElwee: I can not recommend it high enough, Caroline. What format did you order it in?

251brenzi
Jul 30, 9:15pm Top

Ok Mark if you're finished with that one I have another one for you. Years and Years, also on HBO. Emma Thompson plays a Trump like politician in the U.K. a few years into the future. Mind blowing and scared as hell.

252msf59
Edited: Jul 30, 9:27pm Top



“It is just like man's vanity and impertinence
to call an animal dumb because it is dumb
to his dull perceptions.”

-Mark Twain

“One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author.”

“So, the truth- my name is Shit Turd (S.T. for short) and I'm a domesticated crow. Crows aren't well-liked, you see. We're judged because we are black...”

Yes, Hollow Kingdom is an odd bird and yes, it is narrated by a snarky foul-mouthed crow. I am not far in, but I have to say, it takes a fresh and unique approach, is smartly crafted and wickedly funny. I hope this continues.

Footnote: This is my first of my recent ALA book haul. It will be released on Aug 6th.

253msf59
Edited: Jul 30, 9:29pm Top

>251 brenzi: Wow! That sounds good, Bonnie. Why have I not heard of it?

254brenzi
Jul 30, 9:34pm Top

I'm not sure why. I mentioned it on my thread a couple of weeks ago but I use some obscure sources for my tv suggestions mainly The NY Times newsletter, Watching.

255scaifea
Jul 31, 5:30am Top

Morning, Mark! Hollow Kingdom sounds like a hoot! Adding it to the list...

256charl08
Jul 31, 5:55am Top

>248 msf59: Hi Mark. Voices from Chernobyl and Chernobyl Prayer are the same book - 'Prayer' is a newer (Penguin) translation. Happened to mention to friend who translates Russian and she says 'Prayer' is a more accurate version of the Russian original. Which I thought was interesting!

257msf59
Jul 31, 6:28am Top

>254 brenzi: I think I remember seeing a quick review of "Years & Years", Bonnie, but promptly forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.

>255 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Looking forward to digging deeper into Hollow Kingdom. I like that cover too.

>256 charl08: Funny, I thought Prayer might be the same book, but never clicked on the touchstone. Duh! Very interesting about the translation. I loved her book, Secondhand Time.

258karenmarie
Jul 31, 7:03am Top

'Morning, Mark!

Yay for only two more work days before vay-cay.

259richardderus
Jul 31, 8:55am Top

Vaycay hurray! Happy Hump Day meanwhile.

260jnwelch
Edited: Jul 31, 9:09am Top

Hey, buddy.

Back to non-birthday today, darn it. So far Lanny is weird and good, and Anatomy of a Murder has that folksy small town charm that shows up in the movie. I'm maybe halfway through that Tracy K. Smith collection and liking it very much. Is it still going well with Trethewey?

261msf59
Edited: Jul 31, 10:42am Top

>258 karenmarie: >259 richardderus: Thanks, Karen & Richard. Not a vacay, just a long weekend, but looking forward to it.

>260 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Suffering through the post- birthday boy blues? I am sure you will recover quickly. Good to know about Lanny. I will queue it up for August. Not far into Monument but loving what I have read.

262laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Jul 31, 3:27pm Top

>245 msf59:, >246 charl08: The woman who cuts my hair was talking about that doc yesterday; she said her husband watched some of it and warned her off, telling her "you won't be able to take it". I'm afraid I may be in that camp too.

Just popping in to drop your gold star for finishing the July AAC Challenge and to point you to the August thread for Ernest J. Gaines, which is up and running here.

263msf59
Jul 31, 6:24pm Top

>262 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Chernobyl is a fictionalized mini-series on HBO, not a doc. It is based on the actual event and on many of the actual participants. Of course, that is not to say, that it isn't a tough, stomach-churning experience.

I will stop by the new AAC thread and drop my star. Thanks.

264msf59
Edited: Jul 31, 8:18pm Top



^No, this not about Baltimore. Okay, bad joke, but American Dirt has been getting an amazing amount of buzz. Early reviews have been calling it a "Grapes of Wrath for our times." As many of you know, the Steinbeck book is one of my all-time favorites, so that is high praise indeed. A Booktopia friend, at the author event dinner, had recently read it and said it was the best book she had read this year. It does not come out until January and I snagged a copy from Good Reads. Cheers, book friends!

265msf59
Edited: Jul 31, 8:23pm Top



"Kevin Wilson’s best book yet—a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities."

^I also just snagged an advanced copy of Wilson's upcoming book, Nothing to See Here, from Netgally, (It comes out in November). I tried acquiring an ARC at ALA, but struck out. I loved The Family Fang and one of his story collections. I have not seen much LT activity on him. Maybe, I am not warbling loud enough. That will have to change.

266laytonwoman3rd
Jul 31, 9:49pm Top

>262 laytonwoman3rd: She may have been confused, then, Mark. She thought it was a documentary (or maybe doesn't quite get the difference). I thought some of what she was telling me about it was unlikely to have been filmed as it happened.

267Ameise1
Aug 1, 6:17am Top

For years we had children from Chernobil during our summer holidays in our quarters. It is tragic how people were treated there. Many children from there spent their summer holidays in Switzerland to get away once out of their places.
Sweet Thursday, Mark.

268msf59
Aug 1, 6:35am Top

>266 laytonwoman3rd: I hope you can at least give the mini-series a try at some point, Linda.

>267 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. Thanks for sharing your Chernobyl story. Glad you were able to put those kids up. Those poor children and adults.

269msf59
Edited: Aug 1, 7:06am Top





^Sweet Thursday! We are camping at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana, this weekend. We have camped here a few times before, but this will be the first time with our own camper. We will be joining a fun group of friends. We leave after work today, so I will not be online much. We return on Sunday.

270Ameise1
Aug 1, 7:21am Top

>268 msf59: Thank you, Mark. Yes, it is definitely good if you could help these children.
Enjoy your camping weekend.

271karenmarie
Aug 1, 7:38am Top

Hi Mark! I hope your work day is uneventful. Have a wonderful weekend. I'm looking forward to hearing about any exciting first of year or lifer birds.

272jessibud2
Edited: Aug 1, 9:13am Top

Have a great weekend, Mark! I hope the weather stays good for you.

273jnwelch
Aug 1, 9:11am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark! Almost to vacation time . . .

Max Porter certainly knows his way around bold concepts. You're going to like Lanny.

We're running errands this morning, and then should have the afternoon free. Yeah! Free is the best. Hope it's a good one for you today; the weather sure has been cooperating.

274msf59
Aug 1, 10:41am Top

Just spotted an American Crow at my BBS, fitting perfectly with my current print book, Hollow Kingdom, that features a wise-cracking and profane crow. It also stars a bloodhound and an octopus, but I doubt I will see either of those...

>270 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb.

275msf59
Aug 1, 10:44am Top

>271 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. I am hoping to get some birding in. I know we will be doing plenty of hiking, so that normally goes hand in hand. There is an owl walk Saturday night too. B.A.G.

>272 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. It looks like the weather should be very nice. It begins to heat up again on Sunday.

>273 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. No vacation, just my long weekend.
Looking forward to Lanny. I should be able to bookhorn it in soon.

276richardderus
Aug 1, 11:53am Top

>269 msf59: How lovely that is. Have a wonderful camping trip.

277m.belljackson
Edited: Aug 1, 12:02pm Top

>274 msf59:

You never know about seeing a talking crow, hound, and octopus =
on my 5 mile route into Madison this morning,
I saw a Bison and Donkey
happily chomping on tall grass together...

ps. re: Mr. Gaines on AOC = given your stated preferences for the darker side,
you may want A Gathering of Old Men more than Miss Jane.

278Caroline_McElwee
Aug 1, 12:41pm Top

Have a great weekend Mark.

279bell7
Aug 1, 6:52pm Top

Hope you have a great long weekend, Mark, and get a chance to spot some birds.

280alphaorder
Aug 1, 8:27pm Top

>273 jnwelch: I am looking forward to hearing what Mark thinks about Lanny.

281scaifea
Aug 2, 5:26am Top

>269 msf59: !! You're going to be close to where I grew up!! I even spent the day after prom at Turkey Run!

Have a great camping trip!

282drneutron
Aug 3, 7:59am Top

Nice looking trail!

283msf59
Edited: Aug 3, 8:28am Top

Greetings from Indiana. Still working on my first cup of coffee, outside our camper. A bit cool in the trees but pleasantly so. Active day yesterday, with a 3 hour kayak trip in the morning and a five mile hike in the afternoon. The hike was beautiful but over rugged terrain. Of course, we spent the evening sitting around a campfire, drinking and carousing. Not many birds being seen but hear some interesting bird song as I sit here.

Thanks for stopping by and I will try to catch up tomorrow.

284kidzdoc
Aug 3, 9:31am Top

Enjoy your weekend, Mark!

285jnwelch
Aug 3, 11:44am Top

Hope you're enjoying your camping weekend, buddy. I suspect you're getting some mighty fine weather for it.

286katiekrug
Aug 3, 11:49am Top

157 unread messages is just too many to catch-up on after my vacation, Mark! But do let me know if I missed news of a big lottery win or something :)

287ChelleBearss
Aug 4, 11:54am Top

Sounds like you are having a great trip!

288richardderus
Aug 4, 2:48pm Top

You'll be upping a new thread when you get back and rested, so I'll just say "fun times!" and jog on.

289msf59
Aug 4, 7:35pm Top



^We are back home safe and sound. Now, to catch up. The camping details, I will save for the new thread. And yes, an owl was seen, B.A.G....

290msf59
Edited: Aug 4, 7:52pm Top

>276 richardderus: It was a great time, RD. Thanks.

>277 m.belljackson: Your bison and donkey quip made me smile, Marianne and thanks for the Gaines recommendation.

>278 Caroline_McElwee: >279 bell7: Thanks, Caroline and Mary. It was an awesome time.

>280 alphaorder: Me too, Nancy. Grins...

>281 scaifea: Hooray for post-prom at Turkey Run, Amber. It is, at least our 4th time there. It is a beautiful place.

>282 drneutron: You would have loved the trails, Jim, but they were rugged. Kicked my butt.

291msf59
Aug 4, 8:00pm Top

>284 kidzdoc: >285 jnwelch: Thanks, Darryl & Joe. It was a beautiful weekend. Lots of nature and good friends.

>286 katiekrug: Hey, Katie. If I would have won the lottery, I would have let you know, otherwise, it is the same old story: books, birds and beer. The life I have chosen...

>287 ChelleBearss: >288 richardderus: Thanks, Chelle & Richard. Great trip. I will get the new thread going, very soon.

292msf59
Aug 4, 8:04pm Top



^A teaser for the new thread- a Eastern Screech Owl may have been seen, on my camping trip. Stay tuned...

293banjo123
Aug 4, 8:12pm Top

I am glad you had a good trip! Waiting for the owl details....

294msf59
Edited: Aug 4, 9:00pm Top

>293 banjo123: It was a very good time, Rhonda. Thanks. Stop by the new thread and share the details.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Fifteen.

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