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Mark's Reading Place #9: A Dialogue of Books

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place #8: A Dialogue of Books.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place #10: A Dialogue of Books.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 7:59pm Top

Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 7:59pm Top

Currently Reading:



Books Read So Far...


12) Grave Peril by Jim Butcher 3.5 stars (audio)
13) The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen 3.7 stars (OTS)
14) Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick 4.8 stars (audio)
15) The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín 3.7 stars (audio)
16) The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck 4.7 stars (GR)
17) Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis 3.5 stars (OTS)
18) Blood Red Road by Moira Young 4 stars (OTS)
19) Iron and Silk by Mark Salzman 4.5 stars (OTS)
20) Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie 3.8 stars (audio)
21) Stay Awake: Stories by Dan Chaon 4.6 stars (OTS)
22) Feynman by Jim Ottaviani 4.2 stars (GN)


23) Raylan by Elmore Leonard 3.6 (audio)
24) What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes 4.7 stars (audio)
25) The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach 4.4 stars (OTS)
26) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King 4.5 stars (audio)
27) The Betrayal: A Novel by Helen Dunmore 3.5 stars
28) The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck 3.8 stars (Group Read)
29) The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson 4.7 stars (audio)
30) Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo 5 stars
31) Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell 4.5 stars (OTS)
32) Below Stairs by Margaret Powell 3.8 stars
33) The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss 3.7 stars (audio)
34) In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin 4.5 stars


35) Priceless: How I Went Undercover by Robert K. Wittman 3.8 stars
36) The Expats by Chris Pavone 3.7 stars (audio)
37) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 4.7 stars (audio)
38) Dancing After Hours: Stories by Andre Dubus 3.7 stars (OTS)
39) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 4.2 stars (OTS) (Group Read)
40) Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 4.3 stars (audio) (OTS)
41) Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson 4.8 stars
42) Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed 4.5 stars (AB)
43) Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander 4 stars (ER)
44) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 3.4 stars (audio)
45) Under the Skin by Michel Faber 4.5 stars (OTS)

Cream of the Crop '12:

1) Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick 4.8 stars (audio)
2) The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson 4.7 stars (audio)
3) Stay Awake: Stories by Dan Chaon 4.6 stars
4) What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes 4.7 stars
5) Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo 5 stars
6) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 4.7 stars (audio)
7) Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson 4.8 stars

Group Reads 2012: (I am shamelessly stealing this from Ilana. She loves me, so it doesn't matter)

May: Murder & Mayhem, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (12/12)
June: River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (75ers) Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (12/12, tutored read), Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
July: East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon), Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks (12/12), Angel by Elizabeth Taylor (Virago Modern Classics)
August: The Red Pony by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon), Middlemarch by George Eliot (12/12)
September: In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon), Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (12/12)
October: Blindness by José Saramago (12/12), Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
November: Travels With Charley and The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)
December: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (Steinbeckathon)

Apr 19, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Ooh.am I first? Am I first?

Apr 19, 2012, 7:33pm Top

I copied this from my last thread: Okay I had to abandon Edwin Drood. It turned out the audio I had was an old radio show production, not a reading of the book, and the sound was crappy too. WTF? Good news is, I jumped right into another memoir, (I prefer spacing them but it just worked out that way) and it's a good 'un too. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which I've been dying to get to. Fans of A Walk in the Woods will love it but this is less humorous and grittier, just my cuppa. I must like reading about tough ballsy women.

Check out the B & W photo at the top of the Thread and see if you can answer those 2 questions.

Caro- You are always Number One in my book! Good to see you.

Apr 19, 2012, 7:43pm Top


I hope I'll do better during M&M month than I did during Mystery March, Marky-Mark. haha...

btw, any chance you'll be going to the DC Meet Up?

Apr 19, 2012, 8:13pm Top

Yay! I'm picking up Downton Abbey, Season 2 at the library tomorrow. (Just thought I would throw that in!)

Hi Mark! After several days of RL business, I now have so much to catch up.
Rock on!

Apr 19, 2012, 8:14pm Top

Hi Mark, I am very intrigued by Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail which I first heard about through BOTNS. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.

I have a question about Lone Wolf and Cub - do you know are these books connected in any way to the Babycart movies? My brother and I went through a phase a few years ago where we watched these Japanese movies about a lone samurai who wheeled his son around in a baby cart. The two of them had all kinds of adventures.

I don't have a clue about the black and white picture at the top of your thread - could the actor be Brodwick Crawford?

Apr 19, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Mark - congrats on the latest thread.
Also intrigued I thought the lady looked like Agnes Moorehead and the guy either Orson Welles or William Conrad. I know they were both in Citizen Kane but that was much earlier. Won't be at peace now until I know!

Edited: Apr 19, 2012, 9:01pm Top

Caro- I wish I could make the DC Meet-up! I would also like to join you guys in one of the NYC Meet-ups. Hey, a guy can dream. I think the BOTNS Manchester Retreat is this weekend.

Claudia- You guys will love DA Season 2. I hope you find some quiet time to enjoy them.

Judy- I listened to the 1st 2 hours of "Wild" and I can tell it's going to be a winner. She really has a strong voice.
I know there are a series of Japanese movies/TV serials, based on the Lone Wolf books but I'm not sure that's the same ones you were referring to. Your description reminds me of the "Shogun Assassin" film(s).
**You were right! "Shogun Assassin was edited and compiled from the first two films in the Lone Wolf and Cub series". I also did not know there were 4 sequels. I loved the 1st one.

Judy & Paul- No, it's not Broderick Crawford, Agnes Moorehead or William Conrad. It is from a classic noir film from the late 50s, one of the best.

Apr 19, 2012, 9:30pm Top

Touch of Evil?

Apr 19, 2012, 9:33pm Top

Orson Wells and Marlene Deitrich?

Edited: Apr 19, 2012, 9:46pm Top

You Rule, my friend! Touch of Evil it is! Charlton Heston as a Mexican cop, Welles as a scummy cop and of course the lovely Janet Leigh.

Apr 19, 2012, 9:45pm Top

Marky-Mark - I did get see the notice on BOTNS for the Manchester retreat but I'm off to Miami on Sunday so wouldn't be able to make it.

I WILL make it to a Chicago MeetUp one of these days .. I must! ;-)

Apr 19, 2012, 9:46pm Top

My Dad and I used to watch old movies together - those old black and white ones were my favorites. I especially adore Humphrey Bogart.

Apr 19, 2012, 10:35pm Top

Mark I am so pleased that at least I spotted Orson Welles. 1000 plaudits to Mamie! Great fun Mark your teaser - should do a few more mate.

Apr 19, 2012, 11:38pm Top

I didn't recognize the movie, but I thought I recognized Welles's girth.

Happy New Thread Mark!

Thanks for the reminder about May Murder & Mayhem, I hope I do better than I did with Mystery March too. What qualifies as mayhem by the way? If I start planning now I might fit in more books to my total? I always do wish that were so!

Apr 20, 2012, 6:48am Top

This is my last inspection day! Hooray. It's been a LONG week. Unfortunately the team will be in our office and doing surprise visits on the street, for another week. But I'll be officially done.

Caro- I'm hoping BOTNS includes the Midwest next year and we can get a large crew together. Fingers crossed.

Mamie- I love the old films too, but since books are such bullies, I haven't watched or re-watched many in the past few years. I love Bogie too. I should do a mini-marathon.

Paul- Yes, you spotted Mr. Welles. Funny, you mentioned Agnes Moorehead, who appeared in a couple of his earlier films, notably The Magnificent Ambersons, one of my favorites.

Ilana- "I recognized Welles's girth." LOL. I know he wore a lot of make-up in this film, but it is amazing how big he got in a decade or so.
Hope you'll be joining us for M & M. I have a dozen lined up, easy. Mayhem can be whatever you want it to be, opens a few more doors.

Apr 20, 2012, 7:03am Top

Err, The Murderer Vine looks interesting, Mark!;)

Say , I picked up Stay Awake: Stories - do you think I will enjoy it Mark, or is it really creepy?

Have a good last day with your Inspector/ Escort. What a bother!

Apr 20, 2012, 7:36am Top

Your opening post is a real eyepopper, Mark. Certainly an attention grabber.
Anywho, I may be joining you for some murder and mayhem next month. I've already chosen some books for my Merry Merry Fluff of May month which may fit the bill.

Apr 20, 2012, 8:55am Top

I will be curious to see what you think of Hope; A Tragedy, Mark. I plan to attend a Writers Institute talk with Auslander next week, but haven't read any of his books.

Apr 20, 2012, 9:42am Top

Mark - I also got Hope: A Tragedy as an ER but have not been at all inspired to pick it up. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it...

Apr 20, 2012, 10:11am Top

Fun new thread, Mark ---- and congrats on making it through inspection week!
I also recognized Welles, but could not have told you the name of the movie.

Apr 20, 2012, 10:16am Top

Ilana - Orson must have had the same dietician as I. The amount I piled on in a decade Mr. Welles would have been well impressed.

Apr 20, 2012, 3:38pm Top

RE: Anoushka Shankar...her mother was Ravi's Wife....Norah Jones' mother was Ravi's Groupie

Hope is usually a Tragedy


Apr 20, 2012, 6:07pm Top

Whew! I'm glad that's over. And I did good too and got back on-time, or close to it anyway. It will be nice to get back to semi-normal tomorrow, (the team is in our office for another week). It'll be nice to pay more attention to my books too! Poor things!

Deb- The book cover at the top, the Murderer Vine, (where "in the deep south the days can be lovely but the nights are murder") is a title I picked for the look. I have not heard of it or the author.
I loved Stay Awake. And I think you might like it too! The stories are dark but not really creepy or horror-filled.

Lynda- Attention grabbing is what I try to excel at. Sometimes it works and sometimes it falls flat. Thems the breaks. Glad you are joining us for M & M. Everyone can come up with a title or 2.

Linda- I'm just 50 pages into Hope: A tragedy. Hopefully I can knock out a bunch over the weekend. So far it's good. Darkly comic, with some very interesting ideas.

Katie- It being an ER book, is one of the reasons I got to it sooner, than later, plus I heard it mentioned on a podcast, as they were discussing books about Anne Frank. It definitely caught my interest.

Ellen- Do yourself a favor and watch "Touch of Evil" sometime. Noir at it's best. Welles is such a great film-maker, even when he's doing pulp fiction, much like Hitchcock doing "Psycho".

Paul- LOL! I've seen your pictures, you don't come close to Mr. Welles, in his later years.

Jude- Thanks for the Norah Jones family tree info! That must have been one hot groupie! Sorry to hear about Levon Helm. One of the greats!

Apr 20, 2012, 7:16pm Top

Glad you survived your mail escort, Mark! I did not get the memo that "in the deep south the days can be lovely but the nights are murder", and now it's too late because we are definitely moving to Georgia. Funny, that information was not in any of the packages that we got from the realtor.

"Touch of Evil" is really good - a classic. And I love anything Hitchcock; time for a movie marathon, I think. Both those movies you mention star Janet Leigh, anything you want to tell us Mark?

Apr 20, 2012, 7:18pm Top

Hi Mark, fly by waves on this Friday evening. I'm glad your ordeal with the postal inspector is over. I'm sure you did very well. I wish you were our mailman. Actually, we have a mailwoman or whatever they are called.

Apr 20, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Hi Mark, nice brain teaser up top. All totally lost on me of course, wouldn't have a clue who they were!
Love in the Time of Cholera fits into murder /mayhem? It seems the title belies the content.

>27 brenzi: postie, that's what we call the mail-person :)

Apr 20, 2012, 8:48pm Top

Hmm. I don't usually join in too many group reads, but I got a book for Christmas called Mobs, Mayhem, and Murder: Tales From the St. Louis Police Beat. What better book to pull out for May's Mayhem & Murder?

Apr 20, 2012, 9:01pm Top

Mamie- Sorry you got the memo late! My bad. Where in Georgia are you moving? I was stationed at Ft. Stewart for 2 years. It was built on a swamp 40 miles from Savannah. Have some good memories.
Yes, I'm crazy about Janet Leigh. You found me out. That opening scene, at the hotel, in "Pyscho". Yowza. She wasn't a great actress but she sure had a screen presence.
I need a movie marathon, just to get me back into it. Books, LT and a little TV take up most of my free-time.

Bonnie- Some of the carriers are resigned to the fact that management is going to do what it's going to do regardless of the outcome of these evaluations, so their not trying very hard in these inspections. Hey, I'm not making it easy for them. I don't want an hour plus added to my route.

Megan- We'll have to send you to film school. I grew up with a lot of these films, thanks to my Mom and then I began pursuing many of them on my own. The years between the 30s-50s, heck right into the mid-70s, are filled with so many gems, it's like looking at the stars.
A Postie, huh? I like it.

Apr 20, 2012, 9:09pm Top

Mark - Mamie and yourself would be ideal pals for Kyran who adores what he calls "old movies". Amazingly a boy of 12 nodding knowingly when I responded "Hitchcock" to his question as to my favourite director!

Apr 20, 2012, 9:17pm Top

*waving* at Mark

Apr 20, 2012, 9:19pm Top

Paul- My kids grew up watching old & new movies with me. They would even sit and watch Chaplin & Keaton films with me. But now, as young adults, there is a disconnect when it comes to B & W films. I don't understand it. You did something right with Kyran, that's for sure.
BTW- I agree, Hitchcock rules!

Terri- Glad you are considering joining us for M & M and yes, that's a perfect choice. But this is really not a Group Read. We read whatever crime/mystery books we want. I think it's perfect that way.

Apr 20, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Albany, Georgia. And my kids all love those old black and white movies, I think because they grew up watching them and because I am such a big fan. They especially adore To Have and Have Not, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep. They can quote any dialogue from those movies so I have definitely warped them!

"...You do know how to whistle, don't you..."

Apr 20, 2012, 9:37pm Top

#34: To Have and Have Not - one of my all-time favorite movies. I am a Bogie fan too! I used to have a 6' poster of him hanging on the wall.

Apr 20, 2012, 9:40pm Top

I want that poster!

Apr 20, 2012, 9:45pm Top

The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The African Queen, The Caine Mutiny. Shall I go on?

Apr 20, 2012, 9:50pm Top

I was going to say Tony Curtis and Walter Matthau up top, but that's all wrong...

Apr 20, 2012, 9:51pm Top

Liked Bogie too - The African Queen and Casablanca probably my favourite of his.
B/W I loved Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd and I defy anyone even now not to chuckle along.
Hitchcock - Psycho & Rebecca are my favourites.

Apr 20, 2012, 9:52pm Top

Mark is the film Strangers on a Train?

Apr 20, 2012, 9:53pm Top

John Huston!

Apr 20, 2012, 9:53pm Top

Farley Grainger and Robert Walker

Apr 20, 2012, 9:54pm Top

Yes, Mark, go on - Dark Passage, They Drive by Night, Knock on Any Door...

Apr 20, 2012, 9:54pm Top

I'm just throwing out names but I have no idea what's going on here! lol

put that down to a night of insomnia. That does a number on my brain.

Apr 20, 2012, 10:00pm Top

Paul- Mamie beat you to it! She PMed me, but you got that one quick. I'm impressed. I forgot about Harold Lloyd. He was classic silent era.
I agree with Casablanca but choosing a 2nd for Bogie is tough. Maybe Sierra Madre?
And Hitchcock? He's tough too. Vertigo & Pyscho?

Edited: Apr 20, 2012, 10:04pm Top

Ilana- "I was going to say Tony Curtis and Walter Matthau up top" Are you wearing your contacts? You threw in John Huston, (great director BTW). For any particular reason, other than he directed Bogie in some great movies?
You crack me up! Nothing like going to bed with a grin on my face.

Mamie- That list is jaw-dropping, isn't it? Once you start thinking of quality titles. It doesn't stop.

Apr 20, 2012, 10:03pm Top

Mark - to be fair I would not beat Mamie with the movies but I did know it on sight and have seen it at least four times.

Edited: Apr 20, 2012, 10:08pm Top

Paul- What was the Lloyd film, with him hanging from the clock?...Safety First?
Back to "Strangers". Have you read Patricia Highsmith? Sadly, I never have.

I NEED to take a typing class. My clumsy fingers are numb.

Apr 20, 2012, 10:08pm Top

No mate it was the opposite...Safety Last!

Apr 20, 2012, 10:10pm Top

John Huston: yes, because of Bogie. Also, everyone agrees he was an amazing director, so I figured throwing out his name at random in a film discussion couldn't do any harm. lol

Apr 20, 2012, 10:11pm Top

Speaking of raising children who like old movies: Imagine my surprise at a Trivia Night once when the category was "Last Lines of Movies" and the line was "Well, nobody's perfect" and my 20-something son popped right out with "Some Like It Hot." None of us old folks would have pulled it off. His favorite director? Kurosawa.


Apr 21, 2012, 6:50am Top

FREEDOM! Yes, I'm a fan of Braveheart too! Another cool day, barely 50. I want the 80s of March back.
I had a lot of fun with the movie chatter. Yes, it would be nice to do a Film Night, maybe once a month, bi-weekly? We all have busy lives, so I'm not sure it would work. Any suggestions?

Paul- Yes, Safety Last, that makes better sense. I remember seeing a Harry Lloyd documentary that was fascinating. He's under-appreciated.

Ilana- Bogie & Huston was the Deniro & Scorsese of that era. Every one was a memorable film.

Terri- Great story. We were just talking about Some Like it Hot, during our visit to Coronado Island. My daughter remembered watching it with me.
I love Kurosawa too! I am very impressed your son is a huge fan. You'll have to ask him what a couple of his favorites are.

Apr 21, 2012, 9:12am Top

Good Morning Mark! Glad your walk along is over with - my mail lady just had hers too, and we had a little laugh about how much she's annoyed by it. Count me in as a B&W movie fan too! The very first one I watched, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", was the first movie my parents let me stay up late to watch. It's one of those memories that's never going to budge. Yesterday I watched "Another Thin Man", Powell and Loy are fantastic - as is Asta, their dog. :) I'm sadly lacking in a lot of the "must see" titles - any suggestions? I've never seen a John Wayne movie, for example (just parts of "The Quiet Man" - even my parents are horrified that The Duke is still missing from my movie list), and only 1 or 2 Hitchcocks. I was watching comedies and dramas growing up, and then I got sucked into musicals in college. Any titles you throw out there, I'll add to my Netflix list! Okay, back to the readathon - only a little over an hour in, and I'm tired. I don't think I'll make it the full 24 hours this time around! :)

Apr 21, 2012, 11:16am Top

Hi Mark! Glad that your "walk along" is finished, I'm sure your poor books missed you!

Apr 21, 2012, 12:58pm Top

Even tho I am not a big movie fan - stopping in to say "Hi!"

Have a great weekend, Mark :)

Apr 21, 2012, 1:51pm Top

I finished listening to the recorded version of After the Quake by Haruki Murakami. After your discussion earlier about short stories I decided to hunt down some recorded versions of Murakami. Took a couple of weeks to get them here (by mail) so immediately put this one in the car. I also have Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman but will wait a little to listen to that one. after the quake, (I read that Murakami says it should NOT be capitalized), was published soon after the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, but the earthquake is not the object or the center of the stories. Each of the stories is connected by some mention or connection, and mention is the optimum word in this case, as the connections are literally sometimes, just a mention of the quake so the earthquake is by no means the subject of the stories. The stories themselves are classic Murakami. There are six of them and they vary in length. Some of them are bizarre and some of them not, but they all contain some of the elements that have become associated with Murakami. In particular they deal with people who have to make major decisions about the direction of their life. I really enjoyed the stories Super-Frog Saves Tokyo, All God's Children Can Dance, and Thailand.

I listened to these stories while driving and found them a great way to pass the time. I have read Murakami before but have never read any of his short stories. I like his writing style so I knew what to expect. These stories are not a departure from his usual and while there was nothing unexpected in the technique I enjoyed the stories and found myself listening for familiar elements. The story "Thailand" brings in jazz music and, while it was not a surprise since Murakami almost always includes lots of music in his writing, I was happy to hear particular songs and musicians spoken of in the story. If you can find this one in a recorded version I am sure you would like it.

I am still working on David Copperfield but am only 150 pages into the first volume. My goodness that author is wordy. 150 pages and David is still a school boy. Good grief - get on with the story already! But I am determined to finish this one. It may take me a year, but I will eventually get through it. (Remember I joined you for Jane Eyre and it took me a year to finish, while you buzzed through it like it was butter?)

I read a review on the Barnes and Noble web site of a new Scandi crime novel. Between Summers Longing and Winter's End. Have you heard of it? I couldn't resist after reading about it so Nooked it. This is going to be a series with the first one starting out with a raid in Stockholm by the Baider Meinhoff Gang back in the 1970's. I am not going to read this one until I get done with Davy and his, in my opinion, overly long chronicle. And I won't read it for the May readings either as I have Murderous Procession, Dark Star, Blood of Victory, and Angel of Darkness lined up for that month.

So many books so little time.

Apr 21, 2012, 2:01pm Top

Benita - I also have the Leif Persson on the shelves. If you get to it before me I would be interested to see what you think. Apparently this fellow was one of Henning Mankell's chief influences. It is supposed to be a tad heavy but that's not always a bad thing.

Apr 21, 2012, 2:01pm Top

I'm way behind on the treads..cannot even attempt to catch up, so I'm starting a new. Happy Saturday Mark.

Apr 21, 2012, 2:28pm Top

Another film buff here, I love the old black and whites with Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, William Powell and James Cagney among my favorites!

I was sorry to see that I missed your second movie picture, I actually would have known that one!

#53 - Laura, I don't know how you feel about westerns, but John Wayne in The Searchers is a real classic. Directed by the great John Ford, it's John Wayne at his best.

Hope you are having a great weekend Mark!

Apr 21, 2012, 2:31pm Top

Judy - The Searchers would definitely be in my top ten movies of all time. Fantastic movie.

Apr 21, 2012, 2:31pm Top

Oh, there's no question what his favorite is, Mark. "Seven Samurai: The Criterion Collection" has its own spot on an easel on top of his desk. He also has a boxed set called "Kurosawa: The Film of Akira Kurosawa" (those are the only English words on the box besides "DVD") that contains about 25 DVDs. When I say "fan," I mean totally obsessed fan. I even got into one of his websites once because I could answer the security question of who is your favorite director.
However, I can't say I've ever watched a Kurosawa movie. Subtitles aren't really my thing...

Apr 21, 2012, 5:28pm Top

Cool day but not bad and I didn't get lonesome out there, since I had Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail to keep me company. This is such a good book. I would love to sit and have a beer with her and chat although she doesn't like beer, maybe she can have an Hawaiian Screwdriver, (which she mentions in the memoir).
Speaking of the mighty brew, I picked up a 4-pack of Boddingtons on the way home and I'm sipping one right now, as I awkwardly type away.

BTW- I received a couple books, the past couple days from BM:
How to Breathe Underwater Yah, more short stories!
Stoner by John Williams This one has been on my WL forever. Has anyone here, read this? It sounds great.

Laura- Thanks so much for chiming in on the movie talk. Girl, we are going to have to send you to classic movie school. I think we talked about "Laura" in the past. That's a wonderful film. I also loved ""The Ghost and Mrs. Muir". I think it's one of the great romance films.
John Wayne has been in so many terrific films, (and of course some stinkers) but I agree with the folks above on The Searchers, but Red River is excellent too, along with Stagecoach, The Quiet Man and of course The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
Almost every Hitchcock is worth seeing. Start from the beginning, with his British releases, The Lady Vanishes and The Thirty-Nine Steps and then his 1st American feature, Rebecca. I could go on for days....

Edited: Apr 21, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Chelle- Yes, my poor books were upset with me. A lot of pouting but they're starting to come around. I definitively getting pumped about M & M. Hope you'll be on that train.

Claudia- "I am not a big movie fan". You are supposed to stop by and put a smile on my face not sadden me. So why haven't you enjoyed the classic films? If you say, it's because you were to busy reading, that might work.

Benita- As usual, thanks for the literary update. I also loved after the quake, (see the small caps!) and I have Blind Willow on the shelf. I noticed 1Q84 is being released in softcover the middle of next month. I plan on ordering it, since I did not get it in softcover. I'll soon be in Murakami withdrawals.
No I have not heard of Between Summers Longing and Winter's End, but boy what a hefty title! I'll be watching for your thoughts.

Paul- You have not read a Scandi-Crime author? What is the world coming to? And I agree with your assessment on The Searchers. Mr. John Ford at his best. Don't you love Ward Bond?

Linda- Good to see you! Hope you are enjoying your weekend too!

Judy- I don't know if you saw my reply, in msg #9, in reference to your Lone Cub comments, but as usual you were right on the money.
I love those actors too! Sergeant York, The Thin Man, Yankee Doodle Dandy & White Heat. And yes, I love the Searchers too!

Terri- Once again, I'm very impressed by your son's love of Kurosawa. I also love The Seven Samurai but I'm a big fan of Ikiru and Yojimbo. He has so many terrific films to choose from. Wow, 25 dvds! Now, that's a FAN!

Apr 21, 2012, 6:10pm Top

John Wayne! Okay I love The Searchers, too, but there are so many here to choose from. We love how Rio Bravo and El Dorado are practically the same movie, but El Dorado has a young James Caan! True Grit and Rooster Cogburn are wonderful although I think Kim Darby should not have been cast as Mattie Ross. My Dad loved Big Jake and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

Apr 21, 2012, 8:27pm Top

Oh! A thread for the misbegotten! Those least and last who feign appreciation for the lowest and meanest (eg, Chuckles the Dick, Bob Dylan as "singer") of content producers.

Hi Mark!

Apr 21, 2012, 9:06pm Top

Stopping by to say hello, Mark. Lots going on here. I loved She Wore a Yellow Ribbon too -- it was the first western that blew me away as a young adult (in college) watching classic movies.

Apr 21, 2012, 9:10pm Top

Mark - the darned Swedes and Norwegians especially keep writing em faster than I can polish em off!
Cannot see your question today as the picture hasn't appeared on my side of the water mate?

Apr 21, 2012, 9:12pm Top

I thought maybe it was a trick question!!

Apr 21, 2012, 10:00pm Top

Paul & Mamie- There was no trick. The picture was coming up, at the top, when I open it. That is really strange. I copied a different image. I hope that works. Please let me know.

Mamie- It was odd that they remade Rio Bravo, into El Dorado, with a different supporting cast. Although, I like the Robert Mitchum/ Dean Martin comparison. Both did a good job.
What did you think of the Coen Brother's version of True Grit?

RD- I did not expect to ever see you! You are always full of surprises and that's why we love you. Smooches!

Lucy- It was so nice you stopped by and chimed in on the classic film gush-fest. I liked She Wore a Yellow Ribbon too. I liked all 3 of the Cavalry Trilogy, including that one, Fort Apache and Rio Grande. Ford & Wayne. Great combo!

Apr 21, 2012, 10:04pm Top

I didn't want to see the newer version at first because I LOVE John Wayne, but my niece talked me into it. I thought it was really well done and liked the girl who played Mattie sooo much better than Kim Darby. The book is excellent - have you read it?

Apr 21, 2012, 10:11pm Top

Mark - have PM'd you already - second still received and I think I know!

Apr 21, 2012, 10:23pm Top

Mark I understand that Mamie beat me to it again!

Apr 21, 2012, 10:26pm Top

Mamie & Paul- You guys are my heroes! It is so nice to have pals as sharp as you two! I might have to pick a tough one next time. LOL.

Mamie- I read True Grit in November '10 and loved it. I've always enjoyed westerns (book-wise), so I'm surprised I had never read it. I agree that the young actress who played Mattie in the new version, smoked it all the way!

Apr 21, 2012, 10:36pm Top

Have you read anything else by Charles Portis?

Paul - To be fair, if Mark picked anything filmed after 1960, you would probably smoke me. Um...except for the James Bond films. Love those. Sean Connery is my favorite Bond.

Apr 21, 2012, 10:42pm Top

Connery, Craig, Lazenby, Moore, Brosnan, Dalton in that order for me.
Favourite Bond movie From Russia With Love. The worst are the last few Moore ones. Dalton and Brosnan almost a tie and run of the mill but Daniel Craig rescued the franchise. Lazenby was wooden but On Her Majesty's Secret Service is a top notch Bond movie.....Bond who?

Apr 21, 2012, 11:13pm Top


Apr 21, 2012, 11:19pm Top

>62 msf59: Mark, I read Stoner last year and loved it. My review is here, I hope:


Nice new thread!

Edited: Apr 22, 2012, 7:51am Top

Happy Sunday! I need to get cracking on a review and then I should get the M & M Thread launched for the mystery masses and then there are a couple house chores and of course the books...I better say my good mornings quick.

Mamie- No, I have not read anything else by Portis. I know he wrote Norwood. I think they made a film of that one as well...also with Kim Darby?
The 60s were a transitional time in film, old school meeting the new wave! A bunch of films from that decade are my absolute favorites. The Hustler, Bonnie & Clyde, 2001, the Wild Bunch, Butch & Sundance. Yes, don't get me started on Paul Newman...

Paul- I agree with your thoughts on Bond, the order of actors and the best one being FRWL. I know the Moore ones began to get sillier and more cartoony but I still love The Spy Who Loved Me & For Your Eyes Only. I also loved Casino Royale but the next one was a stinker.

Anne- Great to see you! Wow, that's a lovely review of Stoner. I thought someone here had read it. I'll have to place that one on the Must Read Now Shelf.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Apr 22, 2012, 7:57am Top

Morning Mark, when Craig was chosen to be the new Bond I had my doubts. But man, he rocks. I also place him second best to Connery kicking Moore to a respectable third place.

For me, the spagetti westerns scream the 60's. I especaily love the ones featuring Clint Eastwood.

Have a great Sunday!!

Apr 22, 2012, 8:04am Top

Stopping by just to keep you in line! :)

All of these old movies -sorry, I never developed an appreciation for them.

This evening ( I feel asleep in the evening with my cold ) I woke up at 1:30 am to the start of "Planet of the Apes" It was so silly and I was laughing. I was only able to watch 20 - 30 minutes of the ridiculousness of it. My husband pointed out Charles Heston to me -and I thought - people thought he was a good actor? What a good lot of fun!

Edited: Apr 22, 2012, 9:11am Top

41) Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson 4.8 stars

“I was born in Manchester in 1959. It was a good place to be born.”

The author was only a few weeks old, when she was adopted by a Pentecostal couple. Her adopted father was meek and indifferent and her mother tyrannical. Here’s an early description: “She was a flamboyant depressive; a woman who kept a revolver in the duster drawer, and the bullets in a tin of Pledge. A woman who stayed up all night baking cakes to avoid sleeping in the same bed as my father.”
Mrs. Winterson was a big looming woman, casting her shadow over young Jeanette’s every move. She forbade books in the house but secretly devoured mysteries, which she made her daughter retrieve from the library. The Bible was read aloud every day. Her favorite hymn was “God Has Blotted Them Out”, which she regularly sang at high volume.
This potent mixture did not turn Jeanette into a cowering mess, but quite the opposite, she evolved into a tough, rebellious kid, who escaped into books and later into writing. She fled home at sixteen.
This is a strong memoir, beautifully written in brutal prose. It’s a search for love, identity and happiness. Jeanette became an acclaimed author. I had not heard of her before reading this but I will definitely go back and read her novels.
Lastly, the title comes from a statement, her mother made, when she realized her daughter might be gay. Yes, she was a piece of work.

Apr 22, 2012, 11:17am Top

Good morning, Mark. I'm way behind but will chime in a wee bit here. I love most Hitchcock films (North by Northwest, Rear Window, The Birds, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps). I have to say, though, that Psycho came out the year I was born and I saw it, much by accident, on late-night television when I was about 11 years old. It scared the Dickens out of me (maybe that's why I'm reading him so slowly...) and I couldn't take a shower if no one else was in the house until I left for college. I've never re-watched the film because it was so traumatic (not meaning to be dramatic here, but try getting through high school without being able to take a shower until someone gets home). Maybe I should see it again now that it's been a while. Heh.

I'm perusing your thread(s) for recommendations for an audiobook.

Apr 22, 2012, 11:22am Top

Thumbs-upped your review! How typical Mrs. Winterson sounds. *shudder*

Apr 22, 2012, 11:33am Top

>81 msf59: 4.8 stars is pretty hard to ignore Mark. As is a review that says This is a strong memoir, beautifully written in brutal prose.

So onto the teetering tower it goes.

Apr 22, 2012, 3:16pm Top

I'm hopelessly behind, but Murder and Mayhem sounds like it's just up my alley. Is there are GR thread for all the books, or are we just posting our individual reads on our own thread and mentioning the m&M?

Apr 22, 2012, 3:18pm Top

>81 msf59: uh oh, I dont need another book right now....but this one might just have to go on the asap list!

Edited: Apr 22, 2012, 3:50pm Top

Wow, it's a fine time to be a memoir lover, (I know there are detractors out there, but a good memoir offers every thing you would want in a book, IMHO). I heard Frank Langella on the NYT Book Podcast talking about Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, which sounds really good. Also Carol King has one out too!
Of course I'm nearly finished with "Wild", which also might make my favorite list.

Ellen- I loved your Psycho story. Wow, that really got to you, didn't it? You should re-watch it. Brilliant film-making. There are not many stinkers in the Hitchcock canon, that's for sure and he was quite prolific. There are so many great audios to choose from. you won't have a problem.

RD- You should write your own memoir, (unless you would rather not go there). With your writing chops and your past, you could pull off a winner.

Bonnie- Winterson is not an easy person to like, but you have to admire her moxy. I can't wait to read her novels.

Tina- Hi ya stranger! M & M will have it's own Thread. It needs it's own home. I plan on putting it up, very shortly. Love to have you along.

Megan- Now, whenever I see, "Ireadthereforeiam", I think of your nice smile. Yes, put Why Be Happy on the List. It deserves it.

Apr 22, 2012, 4:09pm Top

Mark - your other picture has suddenly appeared on my side of the waters.....and has me stumped somewhat - looks like Richard Widmark and it could be Thelma Ritter. Is it Pick up on South Street?

Apr 22, 2012, 4:24pm Top

Paul- I don't know who is sharper, you or Mamie! You guys kick ass. What a sweaty intense little thriller. I need to post a pic of Jean Peters. She was gorgeous.

Okay, kids, as promised M & M is up:

Join the fun & games. It will be the place to be!

Apr 22, 2012, 8:31pm Top

Okay, getting ready for my weekly Game of Thrones fix. I did pre-order Insurgent, the follow-up to Divergent and yes it's $10.95 on Amazon. I also pre-ordered a softcover edition of 1Q84. This is a very cool 3 book set with a trippy slipcover. I think it was $15. That one comes out on the 15th. Yipee!

Apr 22, 2012, 9:14pm Top

Thanks for posting the M&M thread! I'll be joining in for a few

Edited: Apr 22, 2012, 9:51pm Top

Hi, Mark! I found the M&M thread and am getting my May reading list organized, and thanks for setting it up. Sorry to say I'm not a movie buff, but one old film I always enjoy when I happen to see it is Casablanca, so I'm not completely hopeless.

Edited to correct misspelling.

Apr 22, 2012, 10:54pm Top

Oh, I love old films. They're a bit tricky to track down in Australia, we don't have a lot of demand for them, I guess. I did go to the Sydney Cinematheque before the kids were born and saw all sorts of great stuff, but last time I looked into it, it looked as if it had moved to Adelaide now. (Bother.) Saw "Seven Samurai" twice there, it's an awesome flick. And every Billy Wilder I could see.

And as a teenager, I'd spend my Saturday nights watching "Bill Collins", who showed all sorts of old movies and *gushed* over them. A great education, especially when he'd bag them out after he'd shown them.

I still love musicals. Bollywood is my musical producer now, Hollywood dropped the ball there badly, although they do seem to be having a renaissance.

Oh, I think there was something else I was going to say, but I'm too tired and it's all fallen out of my head now...

Apr 22, 2012, 11:14pm Top

>87 msf59: aw thanks Mark. That's nice.

Murder and Mayhem doesn't sound so nice, so might not wont be joining you there :)

Apr 23, 2012, 12:12am Top

Is Murder and Mayhem different from Mystery March?

Apr 23, 2012, 6:47am Top

Morning Mark! Even if you loved Why Be Happy When You Could be Normal , I'll wait to see IRL before I consider reading it. I so disliked Oranges Are the Only Fruit....

In general though, I very much enjoy memoirs. Have a great day!

Apr 23, 2012, 6:47am Top

Another terrific Game of Thrones episode. Once again, little King Joffrey is proving to be quite the monster. And Tyrion kicks-butt in every scene he's in. My wife couldn't watch the torture, where a rat is forced to burrow into your chest. Yikes.

Chelle- Glad you'll be joining us for a little M & M!

Mary- You are welcome. May is one of my favorite reading months. Lots to catch up with. And yes Casablanca is one of the best films ever.

Tania- I've built a pretty decent collection of classic movies on DVD, so I always have some at hand. We have an excellent "old" movie cable station called TCM, which shows uncut, uninterrupted films. I rarely have time to watch it though.
Billy Wilder is one of my favorites too, along with Frank Capra.

Megan- See, that's why we call it M & M, it has a lighter bouncier sound. Do you not read many mysteries?

Ellen- Pretty much the same thing, just a different show-runner. We have another similar one in September. Any excuse to make a dent.

Apr 23, 2012, 11:55am Top

Didn't watch Game of Thrones but did watch Birdsong on PBS last night. Very interesting movie. And it had enough blood for me, thank you very much. Quite graphic for TV, so I will happily leave Game of Thrones for you more jaded types. I understand that this is part of a trilogy written by Faulks. I have not read the trilogy by Sebastian Faulks but have had them on my wish list for some time. Will have to move them up, as they seem to be the kind of book I enjoy very much.

I have a hardback copy of IQ84 I couldn't resist it when it first came out. It was calling to me from the shelves of the bookstore. I think it likes being stacked on the floor of my living room with the other books that don't fit on the bookshelves, because it hasn't shouted at me in some time. But that may change.

I started reading Finding George Orwell in Burma yesterday. This is a book that came out in 2005 and I want to read because Burma is in the news so much lately. I have to admit that I have never read a book by Orwell, (they just never appealed to me) so think that reading about Orwell will be better.

Apr 23, 2012, 12:28pm Top

Hi, Mark! Wow, I'm way behind.

Did you like Lone Wolf & Cub? You probably said it somewhere I've missed. Those baby cart movies definitely are based on it. You'll see the little guy in a baby cart if you continue the graphic series.

I'm a big Seven Samurai fan, too. Beautifully filmed. And I'm glad you and Benita liked after the quake. That was my first Murakami and got me off and running with him. I must've read 4 or 5 in a row of his novels after that.

Nice review of the Jeanette Winterson Normal book. It's amazing she managed to overcome what was she was given at the start.

Hope all is well. Thanks for starting the M & M thread. I'll find my way over there shortly.

Apr 23, 2012, 2:59pm Top

drive-by hug

Apr 23, 2012, 2:59pm Top

I finished reading The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier over the weekend. I won't repeat my review of it here, as you can see my review of it on the books page if you are interested. However, I will say that this is one book that lived up to its title and does just what the title says it will do. And no more than that. For that alone, the author deserves a positive review.

I wrote my review and posted it, but then started reading the other reviews. It is amazing that so many of the reviewers had the same things to say about the book. That could be coincidence, the people writing reviews might have read the previous reviews and picked up on the same things, or it could be that readers sometimes do have converging opinions. I know that I didn't read the reviews previously, so mine is a genuine what-I-thought review. But it did make me wonder about reviews and their validity.

Apr 23, 2012, 5:39pm Top

Benita- I'm not familiar with Faulks or that war trilogy. They sound interesting. I had planned to order the hardback of 1Q84 too but just never got around to it. I think this 3 book softcover set will be pretty cool. At least you don't have to drag around that monster where ever you go. I haven't decided when I will tackle this baby. Maybe later in the fall? Another G.R.?
I loved the Orwell books I have read but have not heard of Finding George Orwell in Burma.

Joe- Good to see you back here. No, I just barely started Lone Cub, but I plan to knock it out in the next couple of days. I also have Book 2 waiting nearby.
That is so cool about the Shogun Assassin connection. I probably would have realized it as I read on.
I'm getting that Murakami itch. I might try another story collection and then tackle 1Q84 later in the year.
Thanks on the Winterson memoir. I hope your wife enjoys it. Now, I'm looking forward to reading her novels.
The countdown has begun for The Meet-up! Yah!

RD- Big wave back!

Apr 23, 2012, 7:57pm Top

I too watched the TV version of Birdsong but found it very difficult to follow..couldn't decide if the problem was the language and audio (very muddled in several points) or the constant shifting from two seemingly disparate stories, or the look-alikeness of the characters = I could never tell who was who on the battle field, and there were three (I think) women who looked so much alike I had difficulty discerning who was who.

Apr 23, 2012, 8:04pm Top

Mark / Benita - I have read two of the three books in Faulks so-called French trilogy and have to say you were the first to point out they were supposed be linked. Don't see anything linking the books at all except they are set in France.

Apr 23, 2012, 9:23pm Top

Agree with you Paul, and Birdsong is the best of them. I read it probably 10 years ago, and loved it.

Apr 23, 2012, 10:12pm Top

I enjoyed Finding George Orwell in Burma - I'll be interested to see what you think of it.

Apr 24, 2012, 4:21am Top

Stopping by to say hi! I was in the bookstore earlier today and had a gander at Why Be Normal When You Could Be Normal? . It looked very inviting, so though I found Oranges are the Only Fruit not my cuppa, I'll look for the memoir at my library.

Edited: Apr 24, 2012, 6:45am Top

Okay, book wrap up day. I'll be finishing Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, another terrific memoir and Hope: A Tragedy. Wickedly funny but WILL not, repeat WILL not be for everyone.
I might start a short YA audio Thirteen Reasons Why before kicking off an M & M read.

Tina, Paul & Laura- since I have not read Faulks, not much to add here, other than I'll put Birdsong on the WL. Are there any other titles from this author you would recommend?

Lucy- I read your review of Finding George Orwell in Burma. Good job. It sounds good and the author sounds very promising too!

Deb- That's what I love about my Tonto, she's willing to step out on the edge, preferably before me. I have not read Oranges, so I can only base it on the memoir. Did you pick up a copy of Battlefield Earth or do you have enough copies?

Apr 24, 2012, 6:51am Top

I will be hearing Auslander speak this afternoon, Mark. Can't wait for your review of Hope: A Tragedy. My gut feeling is that I will fall in the NOT camp, but I am still very curious about him.

Apr 24, 2012, 7:01am Top

Linda- There are mixed reviews on this one and I completely understand why. It's very audacious and brutal in it's humor and subject matter. But the author is talented and has brought up some very interesting issues.
I'll be watching for your thoughts on the author talk. It should be very lively.

Apr 24, 2012, 8:59am Top

Didn't want to clutter up Suzanne's thread - I couldn't get into Little Bee either, tried several times.

Apr 24, 2012, 9:35am Top

Morning Mark, just stopping by to see what's new. I also fall into the no Little Bee for me camp.

What I am liking is Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman. It is a collection of her short stories, some old and some new. Very well written and while there are a few that are not quite as good as the others, the ones that are good are exquisite. My favorite so far is Homeschooled. Very highly recommended.

Apr 24, 2012, 10:05am Top

Mark - I enjoyed Charlotte Gray more than Birdsong by Faulks although that wouldn't be a majority view I'm sure.

Apr 24, 2012, 10:33am Top

*wanders through, catches up, waves hello*

Apr 24, 2012, 11:33am Top

Mark, just to clarify - I haven't read the Faulks books either, just happened to catch the PBS Monsterpiece ....can't say that I'm rushing out to buy them, but if they show up in a book sale some place maybe.........

Apr 24, 2012, 12:40pm Top

Has anyone read A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks? I think it's his latest novel. I purchased it last year, but haven't read it yet.

Apr 24, 2012, 1:55pm Top

Faulks was a new author for me, but I had heard of Birdsong I just didn't put it with Faulks until I saw the movie. Then I did a little research on him, and heard an interview somewhere. (If I get time today I will see if I can track down that interview.) It was the interview in which somebody said that the books were a trilogy.

#103 Tututhefirst
I agree that the action was somewhat hard to keep up with. I think it is very hard to do flashbacks in a visual medium like a movie. I think the movie that mastered that technique the best was Atonement. In the battle scenes it was hard to figure out who was who, but then it would be in battle. However, for watching in a movie it makes the action difficult to process. I was confused because I thought how could he be dead and still be the center of the story? Then the plot twist happened. I think that there are some significant parts of the novel that must not have made it into the movie. For instance the symbolism. Both the hero, (I admit I am not sure what his name is) and the other man who is the miner (I have no clue what his name is) both held the hands of dying men and told them to think of the same thing. There must be some clue in that, but I will have to watch more of it to make sense of it. For me the worst thing was that the accents. There were some interesting sounding English words in there, and I am not sure what they were. I had the same problem with the Jackson Brodie movies last year. However, I had read two of the books so knew where the story was headed and felt that I didn't miss much if I couldn't understand something. Since I have not read Birdsong I did not have that same crutch so found my inability to figure out the conversations to detract from the viewing experience. In short I had to concentrate too much and therefore didn't get as much out of the movie.

All this reminds me that adapting a novel into a movie format is very different from writing a movie script. The difference between Birdsong and Downtown Abbey is very clear in that one is an adaptation and one is an original script. I am intrigued enough by Birdsong to try to find the book at the library and add it to my stash.

Apr 24, 2012, 2:09pm Top

I probably already said it, Mark, but I thought Birdsong was really good.

Walklover just started the Winterson memoir and so far likes it.

Apr 24, 2012, 3:00pm Top

I'm another Birdsong fan (book, haven't watched the PBS yet)...

Apr 24, 2012, 5:57pm Top

Darryl I'm in the same boat as you - bought it but not read it yet. Would also recommend his Engleby which I did read last year as well as his James Bond effort (this one not for you Darryl methinks) Devil May Care. He caught the tone and atmosphere of the Fleming books exceptionally a la Kingsley Amis but the movie makers were disgusted that he placed it (quite properly) in the 1960's.

Apr 24, 2012, 6:03pm Top

Benita (#117) I think you're spot on - I would probably have gotten a lot more out of the TV show had I read the book first. I too only followed the Jackson Brodie story successfully on TV because I had already read the books.

Edited: Apr 24, 2012, 6:22pm Top

One of my elderly customers passed away yesterday. I've mentioned him here before. He was a World War II vet. He was in the Navy in the Pacific. I've been passing books to him for a couple of years, after seeing him reading on his front porch. He loved nonfiction, especially war related material. I gave him Unbroken and he went nuts over it. Sad to see him go, but I hope I'm still plucky and avidly reading at age 98.

Lucy- Yes, there was something that turned me off about Little Bee. I really enjoyed the first part but then it went off the rails.

Mamie- I put Binocular Vision on my WL after Bonnie raved about it. And now you are enjoying it too! It will have to move up the List.
Did you see my new film photo at the top? I posted it a couple days ago and Paul pounced on it right away.

Paul- It looks like I'll have to put Mr. Faulks on the WL. Our little LT Universe is so good at presenting new authors and with such strong credentials.

Caty- Big wave! How are you, stranger?

Tina- "PBS Monsterpiece"? Ooh, that sounds good. birdsong came up on my DVR but I might wait until I read the book.

Apr 24, 2012, 6:18pm Top

Birdsong, yes. Little Bee, no. Just thought I'd say howdy, Mark, and throw in my two cents. Golly, I wish I could come to your meetup, but there is no way I can do it this year. One of these days...or years...

Edited: Apr 24, 2012, 6:40pm Top

Hi Darryl- Good to see you, sir!

Benita- Thanks for the birdsong info! I think I'll wait for the book. I know you are a fan of Furst, I heard they are adapting Spies of Warsaw. Could be interesting.
I liked the Jackson Brodie TV mysteries and I hope they continue them.

Joe- Another Birdsong? Gosh, where was I, when everyone was reading it? Looking forward to talking to your wife about Winterson at the Meet-Up.

Katie- Good to see you! Wow, the Birdsong fans keep rolling in.

Apr 24, 2012, 8:01pm Top

you were lost :( sorry

Apr 24, 2012, 9:54pm Top

Sorry to hear about the loss of your customer. I can only hope to live to 98

Apr 24, 2012, 10:50pm Top

Hi Mark, Sorry to hear about the loss of your book sharing customer. That must have been a wonderful connection for you both.

Mail escort - LOL. They messed around with routes in our area a few years ago. The carriers were pissed about whatever was going on. Some routes they wanted the carrier to park the truck and walk, others drive instead of walk. Our wonderful carrier even made the news, filmed on our street. She disappeared soon after. We've had multiple carriers since then, and seem to be (hopefully) at the tail-end of the route now as our mail oftentimes comes after 5.

I keep hearing great things about the Winterson memoir. Did you audio it? I may give it a try when I get a chance. I read her The Passion long ago but remember little about it.

Apr 24, 2012, 11:11pm Top

I hope I'm still plucky and avidly reading at age 98. I hope so, too! For both of us!

Must. Keep. Reading. David. Copperfield.

Apr 24, 2012, 11:21pm Top

Sad your friends passing Mark. Reminds me of a story from a visit of ours to my mother's house in UK maybe a half dozen years ago. Kyran was playing in the rear garden and threw something over the fence onto the neighbour's property. The following morning it had been thrown back - this was presumably by the council helper as the old lady next door was then 98. Concerned not to upset the old lady I decided to take Kyran next door to apologise (he was 6 years old). The old lady kindly said it was nothing and proceeded to proudly inform Kyran that she was indeed 98. His countenance resembled shock and awe as he exclaimed "my God you'll soon be dead - 98, 99, 100 poof!" . Now with hasty apologies of my own we beat a retreat before he could upset her further. Unfortunately he was accurate as she passed away within a month or so of our visit!

Apr 25, 2012, 6:09am Top

I just read in the New York Times that my second most favorite costume drama, the new Upstairs, Downstairs, has not been renewed by the BBC. Dang and drat. I liked that show. I thought it had interesting characters. It was set in the 1930's just before WWII and showed all the different political things that were going on at the time, including the Nazi sympathizers. Even in this show the butler and the housekeeper stole the show, but the Indian secretary and the dowager were great as well. The NYT gave the viewing ratings for the UK. The first season had high ratings but the second second season's were very low so the BBC canceled it at the end of season two. I wonder if it is a case of Downton Abbey overload?

Apr 25, 2012, 7:25am Top

I've got both Birdsong and Finding Orwell in Burma on the shelves. Somewhere. I'm thinking I should be bumping Birdsong up a bit... I've been holding onto the Orwell one, thinking I should read his book on Burma first. But that doesn't seem to be happening very fast.

Today was a public holiday - Anzac Day. I was going to cook Anzac biscuits with the kids, but tonsillitis got the best of me, and I had a four hour nap instead. Damn, can you imagine if I'd spent that time more wisely, reading, for instance?

Sorry to hear about the loss of your customer, Mark. I can only hope that I'm still reading at 98.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:33am Top

I did start the YA Thirteen Reasons Why. It's about teen suicide. The format is a little gimmicky but it's nicely written. I decided to FINALLY read Under the Skin before M & M kicks in. Looking forward to it.

I know there are not to many of you watching the current Game of Thrones on HBO but someone came up with a funny GOT Drinking Game:
I would be hammered at the halfway mark!

Donna- The Birdsong fans keep chiming (or is it cheeping) in. I wish you could make the Meet-Up too, but I realize that's a very far distance.

Kath,Chelle & Ellen- Thanks! It looked like he had a wonderful life.

Joanne- Congress is currently trying to pass more bills to further dismantle the Post Office. We are in trouble. I was hoping for at least 5 more years, I hope I get it.
I read the Winterson memoir but with the right narrator, it should make a terrific audio.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:37am Top

How kind of you to share books with your older friend...
I a sure that you will miss him :(

Apr 25, 2012, 7:38am Top

Hey Mark, just zipping through to catch up abit. Sorry to read about your postal customer. It was so nice of you to share your books with him. It was probably difficult for him to go out and about so I'm sure your books were warmly welcomed.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:41am Top

Adding my sympathies about the loss of your friend. It must be one of the lovely parts of your job, though, getting to know the people on your route.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:43am Top

Paul-Thanks for your thoughts. I wish I could have chatted with him more in the past few months. I even had another book and book recommendation ready for him.
I liked your Kyran story. The things that come out of their mouths. LOL.

Benita- I've been meaning to watch the original Upstairs, Downstairs, which I've never seen. It's to bad they cancelled the new one but there's always DA. BTW- Zoo Station will be my first M & M read.

Tania- That's another great thing about LT, is that it's gets you thinking about the books in your stacks. Many times I've moved them up, into the "Must Read Now" shelf, although that doesn't mean I will get to it immediately but it's a step closer.
Have fun on Anzac Day. Eat a biscuit for me. Sorry to hear about the tonsillitis. Bummer. I had mine removed while a wee lad.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:48am Top

Condolences from me, too, Mark. Also loved Paul's Kyran story.

Apr 25, 2012, 8:09am Top

So sorry about the passing of your elderly friend. You are such a wonderful person! Just think how you enriched his life.

BTW - yes , indeed, I've a stockpile of Battlefield Earth . Actually I had to look it up to see what it was! ;)

Apr 25, 2012, 9:49am Top

Mark, sorry to hear about your postal customer. He probably really looked forward to talking with you when the two of you got the chance. My Dad also served in WWII in the Navy in the Pacific - did your customer ever mention the name or what type of ship he served on?

*Paul, loved your Kyran story!

Apr 25, 2012, 10:08am Top

LTers cheeping in about Birdsong? Love it!

Debbi may not make the meet-up - we've got a neighborhood party going on at the same time, so we may have to split up, and she's concerned about our trip to Washingon, D.C. that starts the next day. I'm still hoping she'll make it, but right now it looks unlikely. Becca is coming though, and you'll want to get her take on Thirteen Reasons Why. This is another one where she read it before anyone else seemed to even know about it, and she's the one who got me to read it. I know what you mean about the central (and now dated) gimmick, but the story is good. It has had amazing staying power on the YA bestseller list.

Apr 25, 2012, 1:47pm Top

Kath, Lynda, Amber and Laura- Thanks! He was a very nice man, sharp as a whip. Also a Cubs fan (poor guy) so we chatted about that too. I probably turned him onto 4 or 5 titles and I wrote down 2 or 3 others for him. His daughter lived with him and she would shuttle back and forth from the library.
Funny, I saw another customer sitting on his front stoop yesterday reading. He's about my age I guess, so I asked him what he was reading and he showed me the cover: Game of Thrones. A new buddy? He's been out of work from an injury and just finished The Hunger Games trilogy.

Deb- I thought you were aware of Battlefield Earth! Isn't that their bible or something?

Mamie- Thanks! I think he was on the USS Carolina. He's name was Grippo. He stayed in touch with his remaining crewmates with reunions and such. Couldn't have been many more left.
Did you see the film photo at the top?

Joe- Sorry, Debbie won't be able to attend. I would have liked to meet her. She could have read us a story. You mentioned she has a wonderful voice.
I am enjoying Thirteen Reasons Why. It's an audio and there is a male reader for Clay and a female for Hannah, which makes it a little choppy in the beginning.
BTW- Lone cub is taking me forever. I don't know what kind of format you read it in but this is a small book, at 300 pages. Tiny print. I'm really enjoying it though. Little tough to keep track of some of these characters.

Hey, Jennifer Lawrence fans! I heard she just snagged the lead in The Glass Castle. This talented young actress is going to have a hell of a career.

Apr 25, 2012, 1:47pm Top

Hey Mark, adding to the condolence pile, and the praise for your thoughtfulness.

Congress, controlled by the "people" who control it, could not possibly do more damage to our country unless the Senate goes more conservative in this election cycle. In which case, Canada here I come.

Apr 25, 2012, 1:58pm Top

RD- We've been calling our representatives like crazy about this damaging bill #1789, which is currently working it's way through congress. Schumer, Udall & Akaka, tried to push amendments through, (which would help us considerably) but each one was voted down. I think our future is SOL.
Do you guys realize that this bill is trying to eliminate door-to-door delivery?

Apr 25, 2012, 2:04pm Top

We-the-People won't care until the cable's cut off because the bill isn't delivered to the door anymore.

Apr 25, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Mark, I've been researching and what I found is the State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability, and Due Process Act of 2011. That's not the one, is it?

Apr 25, 2012, 4:01pm Top

This is the official bill, sponsored by so-called Democrat Joe Lieberman:

D&summ2=m&amp" rel="nofollow" target="_top">http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:SN01789:@@D&summ2=m&

Also in this bill is the end of six day delivery (which we are completely against) and messing with our workman's compensation.

Edited: Apr 25, 2012, 7:00pm Top

So sorry about all of possible changes at work, Mark. I know how discouraging those can be.

I had to tell you thanks for the hilarious picture that you put on my thread!!! It's the best laugh I've had all day! :) I can always count on you, Lone Ranger :)

Apr 25, 2012, 7:42pm Top

I heard that Olympia Snow put up quite a fuss today in the Senate about the postal service bill. You Go Girl! Dismantaling the postal service will be devastating to the really rural areas of this country. It might make a difference if Congress would improve the infrastructure so that the Internet would be a viable option for people, but since the won't do that, the old reliable mail service is the way to go.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:42pm Top

I thought they passed some emergency funding today? They want to close the regional sorting center here (700+ jobs) and combine it with the one in Rochester. That doesn't make sense to anyone in Buffalo. Buffalo metro area is much bigger than Rochester.

Condolences on the loss of your friend Mark.

Apr 25, 2012, 7:48pm Top

In answer to your post on my thread:

Mark...i saw you were reading Under the Skin...and I smiled. Of course, i read that one "before LT"...and loved it! Funny, the next one of his I read was The Crimson Petal and the White....as different as night from day

I think some bill regarding USPS was passed, today......but, i have no link right now....

Apr 25, 2012, 8:26pm Top

Okay, one of the bills passed today but some of the other important parts have been delayed:
I'm not sure yet what everything means but Harry Reid liked it and Senator Issa, (what a scumbag this guy is!) hated it. He has wanted to privatize the P.O. for years. So those are both pluses.

Apr 25, 2012, 9:11pm Top

Hi Mark, just catching up after being off of LT for a few days (too busy these days in RL). I'm another huge fan of Birdsong the book and remember agreeing with your assessment of Little Bee.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your book reading friend.

Edited: Apr 25, 2012, 9:36pm Top

42) Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed 4.5 stars

In early 1996, Cheryl Strayed was adrift. She was twenty-six, and still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, a few years earlier. She was in a shaky marriage, experimenting with hard drugs and sleeping around. Something needed to give.
Enter the PCT: The Pacific Crest Trail. Spotting this in a travel guide, while living in Minnesota, Cheryl decides this is her crossroads, her sea change moment and armed with “Monster” her hellishly large backpack, sets out on an eleven-hundred mile hike, from the Mojave desert to Washington State. She was a complete novice and had only done the occasional day hike.
This is simply a wonderful memoir, full of adventure and self-enlightenment. She is one scrappy young lady and I found myself slack-jawed at her toughness and tenacity. This is the perfect female companion to A Walk in the Woods, although this has the grittier edge.
She tells this story in a strong vivid voice and I felt like I was walking alongside her, from the comfort of my favorite chair. Highly recommended.

Edited: Apr 25, 2012, 9:31pm Top

Hi Mark, I've missed too much here to do anything but glance at the 100+ messages I missed in the last few days. Great review of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? I just love that title. I have Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit in my tbr and will get to it someday...

eta: wow, great review above too. I was typing my message when you posted, so hadn't seen it yet.

Apr 25, 2012, 9:42pm Top

I've only had time to skim, not really caught up, but . . .

Sorry to hear about the death of your friendly postal customer. He sounds like he was quite a guy.

Glad to see the link for MM&M!

Apr 25, 2012, 9:51pm Top

>151 msf59: Oh Issa, what a slimey guy. All they want to do is destroy the union and then privatize the whole thing. (The country's cure-all - hah.) If that happens, what are the odds of dropping a letter in a mailbox (or handing it to a carrier at your house!) and having it delivered to an address across the country within a few days for less than $0.50? Slim, very slim.

Apr 25, 2012, 10:00pm Top

Sorry, I got a little behind on my responses. The review took me a little longer than expected.

Ellen- I hope you saw both links to the Post Office bill.

Deb- I'm glad you liked the scary Travolta pic. Once again, I wasn't sure if it was appropriate making the "package" comment, but I'm glad it was. I should have known Tonto could handle it.

Benita- Thanks for the P.O. comments. Snow seems to be one of the last Republican moderates. She retires this year, right?

Bonnie- According to the article it looks like they are holding off closing any post offices, at least for the time being. Hope that gives you some breathing room.

Jude- Good to see you! I will be back with MANY more thoughts on Under the Skin. OMG! Don't you love an author with that kind of range? I also have Crimson Petal waiting in the stacks.

Pat- You've been missed. I always enjoy your visits and another fan of Birdsong. Yah. They are really stacking up. Where was I when everyone was reading this? I must have been immersed in the Twilight series.

Apr 25, 2012, 10:31pm Top

I love your review of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

one memoir i hesitate to read

I had a good friend who, for several reasons, decided to hike the Appalachian Trail....with a male friend...they did it...but it was a harrowing experience ........my friend survived...

I am not a Nature Girl...but, maybe, I should read this book....my boyfriend Mark is a serious Nature boy...but he would never "get" the point of this book...but, he doesn't "read"


Apr 25, 2012, 11:01pm Top

>153 msf59: WL.....on it goes. I found a Walk in the Woods to be a little contrived and certainly light hearted, but this one looks like a personal growth story too. Like.

Apr 25, 2012, 11:05pm Top

Hi Mark, a big Thumbs Up for your review of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. See, I knew that book sounded good!

You are probably sick of hearing about it, but I liked Birdsong as well. ;)

Apr 26, 2012, 12:24am Top

Mark - A Thumb for your review of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. I am so not a nature girl, but I love memoirs and life journeys, so I might have to add it to the TBR. Also, thanks for posting the links about the bills concerning the USPS - I LOVE my post office and do not want to see it privatized or done away with.

To catch up, I did see the newer movie challenge above, but not until Paul had already guessed it. To be fair, I knew who the actors were right away, but I did not know the film. (I love Thelma Ritter and laugh at her bit part in the original Miracle on 34th Street each year - one of my favorite Holiday movies along with Christmas in Connecticut). And about Birdsong - I have never heard of this book, so I am off to look it up now. Should I just add it to my TBR on merit without knowing anything about it because so many LTers have sung its praises? That's what I thought, so I am adding it!

Apr 26, 2012, 12:45am Top

>153 msf59: Thumbs up!

And just to be contrary, I didn't like Birdsong.

Apr 26, 2012, 7:08am Top

I'm sorry to hear about the potential USPS woes. I don't pretend to know what's best for this country, and I couldn't begin to understand enough to be a part of government and running the place (I'm certain I would only make things worse, good intentions and all that), but surely we can do better than this, no? Sigh.

Apr 26, 2012, 7:57am Top

Under the Skin is quickly becoming the creepiest book I've read since Never Let Me Go. There is also a strong sense of foreboding, which kind of gets...well under your skin. I cannot believe this was a debut novel. Actually, I should include Kevin too, although it's all about tone and nothing about subject matter.

Ilana- Thanks! That is 2 memoirs about powerhouse women, both overcoming obstacles and blossoming into fine writers. I immediately picked up Oranges and hope to get to it soon, I don't want it to fade on a shelf.

Terri- Thanks! Glad you can join us for a little M & M. Should be a blast.

Joanne- Have you seen Sen Issa? He's like a wormy villain in a B-movie, but much more dangerous. Sure, the P.O.'s not perfect but wait until you have a temp employee delivering your mail for 9-10 bucks an hour or you have to go down to the corner and pick up your mail from a community box.

Jude- Thanks for sharing your friend's AT story. Sounds scary. As you know I like the outdoors and I like to hike but on a much smaller scale. I'm not as much of a fan of camping in the rough. Getting to old for that crap.

Apr 26, 2012, 8:10am Top

Hey, I picked up an audio copy of What We Talk about When We talk About Anne Frank. Man, this sounds good! A dark story collection. Just my cuppa! Anyone else heard about these stories?
I also snagged an audio of The Scorpio Races, for one of those lighter days.

Megan- I agree with your comments on A Walk in the Woods but really enjoyed it, never the less. "Wild" is not very light-hearted, although there are lovely moments.

Judy- Thanks for the big Thumb! Always appreciate it. This is a great time for memoirs! Another Birdsong fan...they keep rolling in.

Mamie- Thanks! If you love memoirs, this is one for you! Have you read A Walk in the Woods? And thanks for letting me know about the Richard Widmark pic, I wanted to make sure you saw it before I added a new one. That's an excellent little thriller, BTW!

RD- Finally someone who didn't like birdsong. I can always count on you for coming through, my friend.

Amber- Dismantling the P.O. has been on the boards for awhile and they are slowly doing it. It's sad that most of the public is unaware of whats happening. It will take an out-cry from the people to prevent anything, if it's not to late.

Apr 26, 2012, 8:57am Top

Good review.. sounds like a good book.
Sorry about the Post Office troubles.
Having seen Steel and Airline jobs become
nearly nonexistent, I have an idea about how it feels.
It is only a matter of time before our lives and services become no better than
any third world country. First the jobs go, then the retirement. Our generation
is just going to have to die younger. This will be no problem since they are also
taking away medicare so it's a given...

Apr 26, 2012, 9:29am Top

Re: The postal service legislation - hopefully they're gonna double your salary and put you on a two day week whilst doing so.

Re: Birdsong I thought it was OK but Charlotte Gray much better. Richard being contrary - surely not?!

Apr 26, 2012, 9:53am Top

43) Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander 4 stars

“Toys in the Attic”

Solomon Kugel wants a fresh start. He moves his family, consisting of his wife, young son and ailing mother, to a small town in upstate New York. They settle into a big old country house. Unfortunately, things begin to go south in a hurry. First, there is a bad smell emanating from the vents and then there is news that a serial-arsonist is setting fire to local farmhouses. And to top it off, Kugel makes a discovery in his attic. There is an old, feeble but fiercely bitter woman living there and she claims to be Anne Frank.
Okay, this book will not be for everyone. Let’s make that clear right now. Some will find it outrageously funny and insightful (I‘m in this group), others will find it vulgar and offensive. Yes, it is both of these too, but for me, it works. A twisted little gem, that I laughed out loud to, on several occasions, something I rarely do while reading.
Here is some of that coal-black humor, as Kugel recalls visiting a Death Camp, with his mother, as a boy:
“ I hope you’re happy, she said once they had taken their seats. You ruined the whole concentration camp for me, you know that? You ruined the whole damn camp.
Kugel felt bad. She had been looking forward to it.”

Apr 26, 2012, 11:19am Top

Another thumb for your Wild: From Lost to Found review, Mark! Walklover and I have been talking about that book, thinking it looked like a good one, and your review confirms that. Onto the tbr it goes.

BTW, we both liked A Walk in the Woods. I've got his In A Sunburned Country on a table at home.

Apr 26, 2012, 12:03pm Top

Hey there!
Going back to when I was somewhat healthy and able to post #55, I can't say I have not "enjoyed" classic movies. I just never watched them... ya know... deprived childhood (thank gawd for books!)
* no movie money
* not allowed to go to the movies
* no interest at home (parents)

Might be a good thing to do with Mom in the evenings. If you would indulge me, pls give me a list of 5 really good classic movies to get me started. You know I am open to new things... even if they are old - LOL!

Wild: From Lost to Found looks pretty good!
Will have to check out Faulks and hope he is nothing like Faulkner! Trying not to hold his name against him ;-}

Apr 26, 2012, 12:53pm Top

Hi Mark. I thumbed both your reviews--for Wild: From Lost to Found and Hope: A Tragedy. The Wild memoir I may just buy because I've been hearing so many good things about it. I'll look for Hope: A Tragedy at the library. I liked the quote you posted from the book.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank at the library for my SiL and read the first story (which is WWTAWWTAAF) before giving it to her and really liked it. I have an earlier book by Englander of his short stories (For the Relief of Unbearable Urges) which I still need to get to but I think you'll like his writing.

And Paul, thanks for the recommendation for Charlotte Gray. I never hear anyone mention that book and therefore have never picked it up but if it's better than Birdsong I'm sure I'll love it.

Apr 26, 2012, 1:11pm Top

Kath- Yes, things are looking pretty bleak for the US. I'm sure the unions are gone or very close to leaving. They are hiring auto workers for 15 bucks an hour. Try raising a family on that wage.

Paul- I might be one of those they offer an early out. Unless, it was to sweet to pass up (which is doubtful), I'm not ready.
Did you see the film Charlotte Gray? I haven't, although it stars one of my favorites, Cate Blanchett.

Joe- "Wild" is really a terrific read. It also fits in real well with Born to Run, which I went gaga over last year.
I like Bryson too, but have not heard of In A Sunburned Country.

Claudia- Good to see you, my friend and thanks for the blinks & wiggles. When I have a few minutes later, I'll come back with some film titles.

Pat- Thanks for the Thumbs! I just wanted to make sure I was clear about Hope: A Tragedy. Some readers WILL not like it. I'm really looking forward to What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. I have it on audio, so I might try to get to it later next week. I'm glad you've heard of him.

Apr 26, 2012, 1:14pm Top

Skimmed through your thread to catch up. Some nice reviews! I've been considering Wild: From Lost to Found since it was mentioned on BOTNS, and your review is very enticing. I may pass on the Auslander book though. I read Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir and didn't enjoy his anger and vitriol. Perhaps his fiction is different. You'll have to let me know.

Thumbs up for Charlotte Gray. I'm trying to TIVO Birdsong. Do you know how many episodes there were?

Apr 26, 2012, 1:24pm Top

Mark, I hear you about Hope: A Tragedy that's why I'm going to look for it at the library. I'm reminded of your comments on Mr. Peanut which you so generously passed on to me. I started that book but couldn't finish it unfortunately.

Apr 26, 2012, 2:47pm Top

Hope: A Tragedy sounds good, Mark. Your quote from it reminded me of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry was in disgrace with all his relatives because he was seen making out with his girlfriend at a screening of Schindler's List.

Apr 26, 2012, 2:57pm Top

I remember that episode Judy! I haven't watched any Seinfeld reruns in ages and I'm thinking I need to do that.

Apr 26, 2012, 3:45pm Top

Lisa- Wow, it's great to see you! I'm honored. Yes, the last 2 memoirs were fantastic. I didn't realize Foreskin's Lament was a memoir. I'll have to check that one out but I can easily see why this guy could grate a reader. He's a literary volcano.
Only one Birdsong episode recorded so far, so I'm not sure. I'm going to delete it anyway and read the book first.

Pat- The only difference is, I was disappointed with Mr. Peanut and ended up really liking Hope: A Tragedy. I'm not surprised you couldn't finish Mr. Peanut. It's amazing how many people loved that book.

Judy- I am a Seinfeld fan but don't remember that episode. I wonder if it was one of the later ones. That is really funny though!

Apr 26, 2012, 5:46pm Top

Hi Mark: I wish the weather would warm up. I'm getting tired of this chilly spring.

Are you reading The Grapes of Wrath next month? I read in a long, long time ago but hope to do a re-read next month.

Apr 26, 2012, 6:03pm Top

Oh darn! I just picked up Mr. Peanut at the library and thought I would give it a try. Maybe I should just return the book at the earliest opportunity?

Edited: Apr 27, 2012, 5:43pm Top

There are some interesting titles coming up, in the next few months:
Talulla Rising the sequel to the Last Werewolf June
The Twelve the sequel to the Passage
Live By Night the follow-up to the Given Day, which sadly I have not read. Very Bad Mark!
Telegraph Avenue I have a lot of catching up to do with Chabon, but this one sounds really good!
The Prisoner of Heaven the follow-up to the Shadow of the Wind
NW by Zadie Smith
This Is How You Lose Her Another story collection by Junot Diaz
In One Person by John Irving
Anyone else have anything to add?

Apr 26, 2012, 8:28pm Top

Mark - I have seen the film of Charlotte Gray - also not bad. I have had a go at your teaser but TBH not positive on it at all.

Apr 26, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Mark, I got the two links. Thanks for posting them. I hope the movement gets sidetracked, as I am a huge fan of the USPO. I've been buying these postcards, you know, as part of my personal campaign to resume sending real mail to people whom I love. I've been sending 2-3 a week.

Apr 26, 2012, 8:44pm Top

Linda- Not a bad day today. a little cool. Funny, it looks like April will be cooler than March. Go Figure. Grapes is one of my favorite books of all time but I don't think I'll be able to squeeze it in. Are you?

Benita- I thought Mr. Peanut was a big let-down but others found it brilliant. You'll have to make the call.

Paul- You were right on the teaser. You have a perfect record so far. I am so impressed.

Ellen- I'm glad you saw the postings. Our Union is not pleased with the bill, but will keep on fighting. It's my livelihood.

Apr 26, 2012, 9:15pm Top

#177 let's just say Auslander has unresolved issues with his family...

Apr 26, 2012, 9:35pm Top

Hi Mark, excellent reviews here; especially interesting is Wild: From Lost to Found. But the most interesting to me are your comments about Under the Skin which I have on my shelf and could start reading anytime at all. But actually, your comments are kind of, uh, IDK...frightening. Is this going to be too much for even me, who actually liked Mr. Peanut?

Apr 27, 2012, 6:42am Top

Low 50s, high 40s through the weekend, with possible rain each day. 'Sup with that? I want March back and my walking shorts.

Lisa- Yes, Auslander sounds like a very dark guy.

Bonnie- Under the Skin is such a trip! It begins one way and evolves into something else. This is one I'll be forced to say very little about because that's the creepy, fascinating joy of it.
The other one you might be interested in too, is What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. Have you heard anything about this collection? I'm going to try to get to it later next week.

Apr 27, 2012, 7:30am Top

Thanks for the list of upcoming books, Mark. I'll add Home (no touchstone?) for the Toni Morrison fans out there. It's about a returning Korean War vet, and will be released on May 8 which is right around the corner.

I'm also a big fan of the post office and its employees. I'm terribly spoiled by home delivery. The only thing that could be better would be to have you as my mailman! I don't know what the solution should be, but I hope you keep your job. We live in tense times.

Apr 27, 2012, 7:44am Top

The Cheryl Strayed (what a perfect name!) sounds terrific, I love hearing about a book I probably would have missed.

Apr 27, 2012, 8:26am Top

Mark, I enjoyed your review of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and plan to look for it. Did you know that Auslander also has a short story collection? Beware of God: Stories

Edited: Apr 27, 2012, 8:35am Top

confused .. so
The Passage by Justin Cronin has a sequel
The Twelve by William Gladstone


Edited: Apr 27, 2012, 8:38am Top

ok, sorry... just a bad touchstone

The Twelve is the one by Cronin..

Well.. I might read that, but I really want to read the one by Gladstone!
nice! thank you :)

Apr 27, 2012, 9:50am Top

Mark, you're having our weather! Meanwhile, we're to have decreasing showers, some sun breaks, and a high near 60. I'll take it, thank you very much.

I hope you have a good weekend.

Apr 27, 2012, 10:25am Top

Thanks for the list of upcoming books. I forgot about Glen Duncan writing a sequel so I will be keeping my eyes out for that one in June. I'm a little sad that The Twelve isn't coming out until October

I placed a Chapters order the other day with two preorders (I don't usually preorder things)
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King, it's the new Dark Tower book. I can't remember if you read King at all?
11th Hour by James Patterson, new sequel in his Women's Murder Club series. Hopefully I get it in time to join your M&M read
and Insurgent! yay!

Apr 27, 2012, 10:47am Top

Good morning, Mr. Mark. I'm enjoying the simpler life in Botswana described in The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection right now, with the first volume in Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time teed up for our trip to NYC.

Hope you're enjoying this cool but pretty day.

Apr 27, 2012, 10:52am Top

I am excited about the Carlos Ruis Zafon book. Have you read Angel's Game yet? Many were disappointed in it, but I thought it was good. He really knows how to make a city into a character. I would seriously think about spending some vacation money in Barcelona thanks to him and his writing. A friend of mine recently listened to the recording of Shadow of the Wind and told me that it was accompanied by music that the author wrote. She wondered if he did the same for the recorded version of Angel's Game. I don't know as I read the book, but it will be interesting to see if he does something like that for this new one.

I couldn't resist and started Lehrter Station last night. I only read 30 pages of it before I fell asleep.

I am going to keep working on David Copperfield. The last classic you talked me into reading with you was Jane Eyre and it took me a year to get that one read. I think that the same will happen to David Copperfield. This time I intend to keep posting to the thread, just to keep it active and see if there are other lingering readers of this book. Keep us starred and maybe you can make some comments from time-to-time, since this was your baby.

Apr 27, 2012, 1:00pm Top

#177 Well, I'm glad to hear that distinction between Mr. Peanut and Hope: A Tragedy Mark. I'll definitely look for H:AT at the library. And thanks for the heads up about the new Zadie Smith and Junot Diaz books.

Apr 27, 2012, 4:03pm Top

Hi Mark. Just stopping by to let you know that I've posted my thoughts on the Auslander talk. I'll be interested in how they line up with your thoughts on Hope: A Tragedy.

Apr 27, 2012, 6:17pm Top

I finished up the audio of Thirteen Reasons Why. It was an okay YA, it sure wasn't in the same league as The Fault in Our Stars. And I'm on the homestretch of Under the Skin. What a friggin' trip this book is!

Donna- Yes, I forgot about Ms. Morrison. My plan is to go back and re-read her books from the beginning. I know it would take awhile but I would love to do that.
I wish I was your mailman too. I could take my breaks on that nice deck of yours!

Lucy- Funny you mentioned, Cheryl Strayed's name. It is a cool and fitting name but it is a name she made up, when she began to reinvent herself. I can't remember her original one. There is an amusing section in the book, when she receives a necklace from a friend, spelling out her last name but the Y looked like a V, so everyone kept thinking it said Starved.

Linda- Yes, it looks like Auslander has both a memoir and a story collection out. I may have to take him in small doses but I would like to try both.
I'll be by to check out your Auslander experience.

Kath- Sorry for the flub! I usually double check. I know you were a big fan of the Passage. So does the Gladstone version sound good too? LOL.

Ellen- Not bad today, more sunshine that expected but cool. Crappy tomorrow though, in the 40s, with rain. Ewwwwww...
Enjoy your weekend too!

Apr 27, 2012, 6:35pm Top

I've been busy today with the new TIOLI Challenges being posted, lining up my M & M reads and my 12 in 12 Categories as well. As usual I have a huge pile of books I would like to get through in May.

All those new sequels that are coming out sound good, Mark, unfortunately I have yet to get going and read the first ones! I really want to get to The Last Werewolf and The Passage.

And #178 & #185 - Benita and Bonnie, I hate to sound negative, but I didn't think much of Mr. Peanut either.

Apr 27, 2012, 6:57pm Top

Chelle- Yes, The Twelve isn't coming out until October, but look at how many books we can read until then? I wonder if it's going to be another chunkster.
You know, I think I read the 1st Dark Tower book ,way back when, but never continued the series. I know there are legions of fans. Maybe one of these days. Yes, I love Mr. King. I plan on trying to tackle 11/22/63 at the very end of May.

Joe- I've been hearing about Dance to the Music of Time lately but I am completely unfamiliar with it. You'll have to set me straight. I finally finished Lone Wolf and ended up liking it. Some terrific illustrations. Very cinematic. Next up, I was going to try Alice in Sunderland, thanks again to you.
When are you going to NY?

Benita- No, I have not got to the Angel's Game, although I have a nice copy waiting for me. Should I read that one before the new one? Dumb question?
I still can't believe it took you a year to read JE! I flew through that one. Now, I can understand DC being more of a chore. Yes, I will try to still monitor the comments over there. I'll try not to abandon ship.

Pat- I REALLY need to get back into Zadie Smith. I've only read her debut and loved it too. Also looking forward to the Diaz collection. Did you read Drown?

Judy- Yes, LT is a time bully that's for sure! And yes, try to make time for both the Passage & the Last Werewolf. See, if we lived in a LT community, I could lend you both of my copies. I need to swing by and see your "Tiger" review. What a terrific book.

Apr 27, 2012, 7:06pm Top

Mark - Zadie Smith is a funny one. Most people I know and whose opinion I value read her first novel and loved it, but I know few who have read any of her other works. Don't really understand why?

Apr 27, 2012, 9:05pm Top

Hi Mark!
Reading your thread gives me "the blues" - literally...
and it's all so fascinating.
You tire me out - but I'll still be your good friend ;-)

Apr 27, 2012, 9:18pm Top

Mark, I have read Drown and really liked it. What I haven't read yet is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and I really have no excuse for that considering I own a copy.

Paul, the only thing I've read by Zadie Smith is On Beauty. I know alot of people didn't like that book but I loved it and have always meant to read more of her books.

Edited: Apr 27, 2012, 10:23pm Top

Paul- Maybe, I'll read Smith's new one and see if it kick-starts my interest in her.

Claudia- Am I giving my buddy the "blues"? That is an occupational hazard on LT. We all catch it now and then.

Pat- I'd be curious at your take on Oscar Wao. I really enjoyed it but it's not for everyone.

Good night, LT Family...Good Night John Boy...

Apr 27, 2012, 10:29pm Top

I've actually read White Teeth, On Beauty and I'll be reading her essay collection Changing My Mind in May.

Apr 28, 2012, 6:45am Top

I'm gearing up for May Murder and Mayhen, Mark! Life has been interfering with LT!! I've been trying to read a bit of murder and mayhem in the way of The Outlander but I am finding it to be slow moving......

Apr 28, 2012, 7:01am Top

Does anyone watch "Community"? A friend lent me the 1st 2 seasons. It's about life at a community college. I've watched 4. It's breezy & fun.

I'm starting Started Early, Took My Dog. FINALLY. This will be the 1st Atkinson I try on audio, I'll see how it goes. It's also my official launch of M & M, a couple days early. Who's going to say anything? Hell, I'm in charge!

Rain today, mid-40s! Can I stay home with you guys?

Bonnie- I remembered you liked a couple of Smith's other books. And you know I always follow your lead.

Deb- Tonto on M & M! Yah! It should be a lot of fun. I really liked The Outlander. I hope it picks up for you.

Apr 28, 2012, 8:50am Top

Hi Mark - I found your thread and it's a busy one! I'll be participating in the Murder and Mayhem business this month (I'm a newcomer to thrillers and mysteries), and it looks like I'll get plenty of ideas here.

And I'm currently listening to The Warmth of Other Suns and agree that it's excellent. I recently came to the part about the Cicero riots and was shocked and sickened, because I was unaware of that bit of history so close to home.

Apr 28, 2012, 9:28am Top

>198 msf59: Flub? heavens, it was more like a gift :)
Just what I need, another good book. I try to hard to avoid
blue text and here you go and sneak one in on me. Gfff


Apr 28, 2012, 9:59am Top

Glad the gns are hitting the spot, Mark! Ellie recommended Dance to the Music of Time, so I'll let you know.

We're off to NY this afternoon. I've got to get packed and get ready for something work-related, and all I want to do is goof off!

We're going to visit the Strand while we're there. Can't wait!

Apr 28, 2012, 10:17am Top

Morning, Mark! Here's a bit of alliteration that will make you smile: Mamie moves must-read mysteries to mantle for Mark's Murder and Mayhem month of May. Good to know that you're in charge AND that you're aware of the fact. I often find myself in charge of things that I am pretty sure I did not sign up for and it's disturbing. So good that you have prior knowledge of your elevated status for the month of May. Remember, "With great power comes great responsibility."

Apr 28, 2012, 5:01pm Top

Hi Mark! Scary-bad news on the PO front, here's hoping that nothing awful happens. *fingers crossed* I'm really looking forward to the meet-up next week! It'll be so great to see all of you guys again. :)

Apr 28, 2012, 5:47pm Top

Grrrrrrrr...I listened to the 1st disc of Started Early, (Boy, I love her characters) and then realized I didn't have the 2nd disc loaded on my iPod. If anyone saw a letter-carrier stomping & swearing...well just get over it! Fortunately I still have the 2nd disc saved on my itunes. Whew. Oh, and I stayed dry...Yahoo!

Kerri- It's great to see you! Another Chicago area LTer in the house! Yah! I'm glad you'll be participating in M & M with us. Always a good time and you'll add heavily to your Wishlist, that's guaranteed.
I listened to The Warmth of Other Suns too. Great audio, masterfully done.

Kath- I'm glad my flub turned into gold, better than the alternative.

Joe- Have a great time in NY! Are you going to see Sir Richard?

Mamie- Yes, that is an amazing "alliteration". Mamie Moves! M & M will be a blast. I have such a long list. "With great power comes great responsibility." Awwww...I can handle it.

Laura- I'm looking forward to the Meet-Up too!! I can't believe it's next week. Wow. It will be great to see you too!

Apr 28, 2012, 6:09pm Top

Next week at this time, we'll be meeting. Yay!!!

Apr 28, 2012, 6:54pm Top

>214 lindapanzo: cool! LTers are such a friendly bunch. I will need to see photographic evidence please :)

Apr 28, 2012, 7:24pm Top

Hope: A Tragedy has been in my sights for a while......thank god you read it first!

Of course, I'm not expecting anything regarding Under the Skin...but, I will say, to everyone...If you're the least bit curious, seek it out...you'll know soon enough if it's not "right" for you....or else you'll be hopelessly sucked in...and blame me, or Mark, for even mentioning the "foul" thing...once you escape its grasp.....

***How's that?***


Apr 28, 2012, 7:27pm Top

Hi Mark, I was just over at the M&M thread listing my planned reads. I have also decided I can and will squeeze in The Last Werewolf this month. May is shaping up to be a fun reading month!

Apr 28, 2012, 11:34pm Top

Mark obviously murder and mayhem are just the ticket for me. Will get my reads planned and sure to join you.

Apr 28, 2012, 11:37pm Top

jeebus goddle mitey damn I fail to read the thread the 27th and 28th, and it's about fifty posts too much!!

Apr 29, 2012, 5:41am Top

Welll, Mark, what have you not read! :) The Outlander is picking up for me. I'm looking forward to a little M and M... I've got to find some good Mystery and Mayhem books!

Apr 29, 2012, 7:29am Top

"Reality is not enough; we need nonsense too. Drifting into a world of fantasy is not an escape from reality but a significant education about the nature of life. And reality is not an escape from nonsense. Our education goes on everywhere."

Edmund Miller "Lewis Carroll Observed"

This epigraph is from my current GN Alice in Sunderland

Apr 29, 2012, 7:43am Top

Linda- Yes, 6 days! The countdown has begun. And the warm weather is back next week. Hooray!

Megan- There will be "photographic evidence", don't you worry!

Jude- Perfect, my friend. I'm still processing Under the Skin, which I finished yesterday. I'm not sure if I ever read a book quite like it and of course I mean that in the best way. WOW!
This is from the back cover: "Michel Faber's work has been described as a combination of Roald Dahl and Franz Kafka, as Somerset Maugham shacking up with Ian McEwan."
Once again, WOW!

Judy- I'm so glad you can book-horn The Last Werewolf in. It's a fairly quick read and is one of the rare newer books that clocks in at around 300 pages. I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Paul- M & M is ready to launch. I'll be starting Zoo Station today.

RD- "jeebus goddle mitey damn"! You said it sir, you said it!

Deb- "Well, Mark, what have you not read!" I'm sure there is tons of crap out there I haven't read but of course that's by choice. Smugly smirking...

Apr 29, 2012, 8:05am Top

I think I tried Murder and Mayhem last year? Not sure.. but I doubt I will this year, unless that is what lands on my short stack :) I might pop in and visit..

Edited: Apr 29, 2012, 9:03am Top

44) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 3.4 stars

Clay Jensen, a high school student, receives a package. In it are seven cassette tapes, recorded by Hannah Baker, who had committed suicide two weeks earlier. On these tapes she mentions thirteen kids and gives her reasons why she decided to end her life.
Other readers have loved this book but it didn’t quite work for me. The gimmicky set-up and the various contrivances worked against it. It does have some important things to say about bullying and being responsible for your actions, but kids do stupid and cruel things. I’m not sure that will ever change.

Apr 29, 2012, 9:38am Top

#224: Sorry you did not like that one more, Mark. I hope your next read is a better one for you!

Apr 29, 2012, 9:43am Top

Sorry Thirteen Reasons didn't grab you more, Mark, but your reasons are understandable. I agree it's not on the level of The Fault in Our Stars. Wonder provides an interesting take on bullying problems. I hope it changes - it's scary bad for a lot of kids these days, particularly with the addition of the online component.

Sir Richard can't meet, unfortunately. I may be able to meet up with Judy (ffortsa). I'm still getting used to LT in the world. If I had thought about it I could've tried to organize some meetups earlier.

Apr 29, 2012, 10:12am Top

kids do stupid and cruel things. I’m not sure that will ever change.
I agree. It's been that way forever, kids do stupid things while growing and learning how to become adults. We as adults just need to learn to be more observant in our kids/students and watch for when stupidity becomes violence or bullying.

Apr 29, 2012, 10:23am Top

Agree with Chelle. Adults, esp parents, need to be more in touch with their kids.

Day off for Mark!
I had to chuckle when I read somewhere you mentioned M&M was a way to work on the backlog of murder & mayhem books. LOL I don't know if I have a book that would qualify.
Well, I did just get a book by Agatha Christie incls 5 classic murder mysteries. Perhaps I should give one of them a go!

Apr 29, 2012, 10:43am Top

I probably shouldn't have started another book, on top of everything else I got going, (bookitis I guess), but I cracked open You Are Not a Stranger Here: Stories. It's going to be a good one. The 1st story is a real heartbreaker. At least I can squeeze these in between the other reads. This is my 3rd story collection since we talked about short stories a couple months ago. I'm happy with that. Is anyone else having any luck?

Kath- I hope you can pop in for some M & M. I'm sure you have a title or 2 that would qualify.

Stasia- I wanted to like it more but it just didn't happen. Don't worry, I've moved on...

Joe- I couldn't help but compare it to The Fault in Our Stars and it just wasn't at that level. Speaking of YA, I heard Rebecca Stead has a new one coming out. Did you read her last one?
Have a great day today. When do you fly back?

Chelle- That's why I'm not sure the book worked for me. This stuff happens and the things that happen to this girl, however bad it was, happen dozens of times every day.

Claudia- Always love my Sundays! We might even go shopping for bookshelves this afternoon. Yippee! I know I have a ton of reading to get to, so I might have to pull myself away from the mighty LT Magnet, that keeps dragging me back across the room to my PC.

Apr 29, 2012, 11:39am Top

Hi Mark, there's a lot of "bookitis" going around these days. At least here on LT! I think shopping for bookshelves is a fine way to spend Sunday afternoon, second only to reading, which is what I'm getting ready to do. Gillespie and I is a powerful magnet sucking me into my library on an overcast day with no hubby around to distract me. *Sigh* I am so outta here!

Edited: Apr 29, 2012, 1:47pm Top

No can do ... 215 posts to catch up with? .......... starting afresh here, Marky-Mark.

*waves limply*

Oh, I picked up Asterios Polyp .. have you read that GN yet?

Apr 29, 2012, 2:23pm Top

>229 msf59: Haslett's stories look very interesting, Mark. I read ten stories from Colum McCann's Fishing the Sloe-Black River and James Joyce's Dubliners for the Club Read April challenge. They were wonderful and I fully intend to finish both books in the next few weeks. And you might find the challenge thread to be a great source of recommendations for more short stories!

Apr 29, 2012, 2:31pm Top

Hi Mark, anxiously awaiting your thoughts on Under the Skin.

Apr 29, 2012, 2:44pm Top

Thirteen Reasons Why got a thumbs-up from me! Your review, that is.

Apr 29, 2012, 4:12pm Top

We thought we had the bookshelves all picked out and a plan was starting to blossom but when we got back home, we re-measured and now we don't think the shelves will fit, height-wise. Major bummer. We'll have to go back in a week or 2. I was really looking forward to playing with my books! Pouts!

Donna- Everyone seems to love Gillespie and I. I hope it's working for you too. Enjoy your quiet afternoon.

Caro- Do you have any idea all the good stuff you missed by starting there? Crikey! I LOVED Asterios Polyp and I'm pretty sure you will too.

Linda- Thanks for your short story thoughts. I've had Fishing the Sloe-Black River on my WL and I NEED to read more of McCann. Are they continuing the S.S. challenge through May? I haven't been over there.
BTW- I read the 2nd story in You Are Not a Stranger Here: Stories. This is potent stuff.

Bonnie- I'm still processing Under the Skin. Short version: OMG! This will definitely not be for everyone but if you lock in, it's quite a treat.

RD- Thanks for the Thumb! It was a fairly scant review. I wasn't very thrilled with the book. Hope you are feeling better this P.M.

Apr 29, 2012, 4:25pm Top

Just delurking to say that I hope you are enjoying the last bit of your weekend. I agree with your thoughts on Thirteen Reasons Why - I abandoned the audio version of it last year after making it a bit more than half-way through. Looking forward to some fun reads for May including The Postman Always Rings Twice - I have seen the movie, but have never read the book. SO do you - always ring twice?

Apr 29, 2012, 7:31pm Top

Mamie- I listened to Thirteen Reasons Why and also found it choppy and abrupt with the constant shift of reader. Hey, I expected more from of it but no worries I've moved on. No, I don't always ring twice, especially if I know no one is home. I always wonder what that title meant? I wonder if anyone ever asked Mr. Cain?

Apr 29, 2012, 8:29pm Top

Our mailman doesn't ring at all - he sits in the driveway and honks! We live on a county road, so the mailboxes are across the street from the house, however, if something is too large to fit into the mailbox, he must bring it to the door. Now I know that this is not convenient, but we at least have a large u-shaped driveway making access to the house and back out onto the road really easy (the UPS and FedEX...um...USPS competitors love us, but I guess they are used to having to come to the door). Our mailman, however, will not be won over. I have been killing him with kindness for thirteen years, but it was not meant to be. He leaves us notes in our mailbox all the time - when we first moved in, the mailbox was 2 inches too high (I did not realize that there was a regulation height), and the mailbox was here before we were. So, we lowered the mailbox, which was then 1/2 inch too low. No mail to be delivered until the box is regulation height. Over the years, we have received many notes: "crop encroaching, please trim back" (um...trim the crop...in the field that does not belong to us?), "S. in address not clearly visible", and our very favorite "mail cannot be left in prostrate box" (this from when a car took out our mailbox because it slipped on the icy road and the box was left lying dented in the field). Don't get me wrong, he is neither angry nor unfriendly, but he is also not looking to win friends or to chit chat; he is willing to accept small bribes such as Hershey bars left in the mailbox in the winter, but this will not sway him from his civic duty to leave notes in our mailbox if we fail to comply with proper postal behavior. To be fair, he has also left us the occasional note that has left us speechless, such as: "Nice flowers around mailbox" or "Stones around post of box are both functional and aesthetic". He is the Frank Burns of the USPS. When we move, oddly enough I think I will miss him - and his lovely use of adjectives.

Apr 29, 2012, 8:31pm Top

I didn't know about the new Rebecca Stead, Mark. She's talented. I read When You Reach Me, very good, and First Light, good.

We fly back Tuesday afternoon. Tomorrow is a bit of a free day, with the Strand #1 on the agenda.

Apr 29, 2012, 8:32pm Top

Hi Mark. I'm on a real downer today, so won't try to catch up, but I did just realize that Game of Thrones is on in just half an hour. Something to look forward to.

Apr 29, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Mark - I don't know how I've missed your entertaining threads all this time. I'll definitely be participating in Murder & Mayhem May - and I'm an old movie buff, too. I'm glad I found you!

Apr 29, 2012, 9:01pm Top

Sorry about the bookcases, Mark.
You'll find the right ones and then - oh! happy day for you :)
I just got 2 new ones to match some I had. All organized now and I am ecstatic :))))

Another long walk around Chicago tomorrow?

Apr 29, 2012, 9:10pm Top

Joe - I am glad you commented about the Rebecca Stead book, because I missed that before. I loved When You Reach me, and so did my thirteen year old who is a big fan of A Wrinkle in Time.

Apr 29, 2012, 10:15pm Top

Mamie- That is a great story about your quirky mailman. I'm not that unusual, although I have left notes at times, just nothing like that. This guy could have been in a Dickens novel.

Joe & Mamie- Stead's new book Liar & Spy comes out in August. It looks cute. BTW- I also loved When You Reach me.

Ilana- Sorry to hear you are having a rough day. I hope Game of Thrones cheered you up a little. Boy, I LOVE this show. Demon Monkey? Priceless.

Dejah- Thanks for finding me and dropping by. I love new visitors, especially "old movie buffs". Do you know the film at the top of the page? This is your first big test...just kidding.

Claudia- Back to walking around tomorrow. The temps are rising through the week and it's supposed to reach near 80. Walking shorts time! Get to show off those power legs.

Apr 29, 2012, 10:26pm Top

The Postman Always Rings Twice...long, boring story about the title, direct from Mr. Cain. *yawn*

Apr 29, 2012, 10:45pm Top

You're right, Richard, that is boring. That's great...that's JUST great. ***throws book down and stomps off***

Apr 30, 2012, 4:11am Top

Hahahahahah! Mark! You are such cut - up!

Woot ! That is some postman that Mamie has! I can't imagine! Wish I was there to see your power legs in action! ;) Sweet dreams - for me! :)

Apr 30, 2012, 6:44am Top

Let the warm up begin. Mid 60s today and mid-80s by mid-week. How about them apples? Everyone have a good day and see you on the other side.

RD- You are truly priceless. It was probably better not to know anything.

Mamie- Please come back. It's okay. RD gets like this sometimes.

Deb- We aim to please. Hope The Outlander has picked up for you.

Apr 30, 2012, 7:04am Top

Mamie - your postman does sound like Frank Burns! V funny!

Apr 30, 2012, 8:10am Top

All right, I'm back to pick up my book because after all, I haven't read it yet. But, nope, Richard is completely correct - follow his link and you will find a completely boring story about how the book goes its title. I mean, really, isn't Mr. Cain an author? Couldn't he um.. gee...I don't know...MAKE UP a story about where the title came from?!!!

Apr 30, 2012, 8:19am Top

Do you guys realize that this bill is trying to eliminate door-to-door delivery?
Oh great! self serve mail!!! I swear, it's going to be self serve surgery one of these days!
Any who........have a great week, mark and enjoy the great weather!!

Edited: Apr 30, 2012, 8:28am Top

Mamie... I am glad that is your mailman, not mine. We had a terrible carrier for YEARS!
I told stories many times. Finally he went away... We now have a young, friendly mailman
who actually delivers my mail to my own house and never throws items from the curb. I call,
& I email his supervisors.. and I gift him at Christmas. I offer him hot or cold beverages Yes...
he is just doing his job as it should be done. But I appreciate it, especially after the Donnie from Hell.

He used to be on the phone a lot, which I heard was not allowed? That never bothered me..
it didn't stop him from doing his job... but lately I never see that so maybe someone complained?
Or maybe he got a bluetooth :)

Not sure what i will read after my current book... I had planeed for it to be Gillespie and I, but it might end up being a vine book?

Apr 30, 2012, 11:39am Top

*Cruising through sixty posts*

Mark, I hope you have a great week with wonderful weather.

Apr 30, 2012, 12:51pm Top

I tried to watch the second episode of Birdsong last night and got interrupted - twice. The last time was right at the end of the show by a phone call, so I missed the last fifteen minutes. I guess that means that when I read the book I will not know the ending. That should make the book much more interesting to read. For some reason last night I had real trouble with the accents on the show. A friend of mine who is a Masterpiece watcher told me that she and her husband were disappointed with the movie. Their assessment was that the actor playing the lead character was not cast well. I tend to agree. He spent a great deal of time looking off into space and was cool and cold throughout the movie. I think I was disappointed that he survived.

I did make out that the supporting characters name was Jack Fergus. That was an accomplishment.

I also managed to start and finish the new John Russell book Lehrter Station by David Downing. Not the best book in this series. However, I didn't intend to start the book or finish it this weekend, so it was interesting enough to keep me reading most of the weekend. As a result - not much progress on David Copperfield.

Apr 30, 2012, 2:19pm Top

Mark, I finally wrote my review of one of your fave-rave books, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. I know now what I didn't like about it was the writing style, because that New Journalism faux-objective nonsense is anathema to me. I am so so glad that I read the book, though, because the story it tells is extremely important. The review is in my thread, post #131.

Apr 30, 2012, 5:16pm Top

Hiya, Mark. Good job bringing in the warmer weather. We've lucked out here in NY - around 60 and clear, poifect for roaming the streets. The rain comes in tomorrow as we get ready to leave.

Hope Bryan Talbot is treating you well.

Apr 30, 2012, 5:21pm Top

Mark, as one who read Troubles, have you seen the film "Michael Collins" from 1996? It was coincidentally on our Netflix list and it was interesting to watch it so soon after reading Troubles.

Apr 30, 2012, 6:12pm Top

I got rained on a little today, but not bad. Actually we can use the rain. 75 tomorrow. Yahoo. I am enjoying both Started Early, (which is turning out to work quite well on audio) & Zoo Station, a nicely paced thriller. My M&Ms.

Mamie- I'm glad you came back to pick it up, because I was considering keeping it. Actually I own it in a Cain three-book compilation. you should read it for M & M. It's a quick read. "I don't know...MAKE UP a story about where the title came from?!!!" LOL. Good point.

Lynda- I think they would like to see everyone go to curb-side, (which we have in our neighborhood) or have those community boxes, like they have in Canada, where you go down to fetch your mail.

Kath- Yes, it looks like you've experienced the good, the bad and the ugly with your postal service. No, we are not allowed to be on our phone, unless it's on break or at lunch. I'm glad you have a good one now!

Apr 30, 2012, 6:24pm Top

Ellen- I hope you did some sight-seeing during your 60 post cruise! No, I am one of the last people on the LT Planet, who have not read Troubles, although it is high on my WL, if that counts for anything. And yes, I did see "Michael Collins", but it's been quite a few years ago. I remember liking it.

Benita- I deleted "Birdsong" from my DVR and plan to read the book first, whenever that will be. Did you watch "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"? I have about 30 minutes left but it was quite good.
I am really enjoying Zoo Station. I like his fast & lean writing style.

RD- The Boo book sounded like a painful experience for you. A literary root canal. Hey, you gave it a try and you ended up giving it 4 stars, which ain't bad. Hope your next book choice will be a smoothie.

Joe- Hope you had a great day today in NY. There is still rain in the forecast for tomorrow but mid-70s. You'll be returning to weather we haven't had all month.
And yes, the Talbot is treating me very well. I hope I can squeeze in a few pages tonight.

Apr 30, 2012, 7:04pm Top

>235 msf59: No indications yet that they are going to continue into May, Mark, although those that participated seem to have really enjoyed it.

Apr 30, 2012, 7:17pm Top

Rats, sorry about that Mark. I'd have sworn you were one of the Troubles readers. Must have been one of the other debonaire souls here on LT...... well, anyway.....

Zoo Station is literally sitting on my bedside table. Not the figurative Mount TBR, but literally sitting there watching me as I read Gillespie and I, reminding me that it will be due back at the library soon, you know......

Apr 30, 2012, 7:40pm Top

Linda- I'm seriously considering starting a Short Story Challenge, like the NF we currently have. My story collections are starting to stack up and this would keep me focused.
I just received Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser, which I've heard great things about. Have you heard of him or the book?

Ellen- I don't know how Troubles keeps getting by me. It was one of my first LT additions, at least 3 years ago. Gillespie and I is high on my WL too! I'm starting to get bookitis again.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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