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Joe's Book Cafe 15

This is a continuation of the topic Joe's Book Cafe 14.

This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 16.

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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Jun 15, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Oh, I want to be in that picture, leaning my back against another tree, perhaps. Definitely, reading with a lovely comfortable place in the perfect climate! Yes! That is heaven.

I am first to find your 15th thread!

Jun 15, 2012, 5:41pm Top

Oh, I do love that painting! It's a cool day here in San Diego, so a hot chai tea with some buttered scones, please.

Jun 15, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Fluffing pillows in back booth!

Edited: Jun 15, 2012, 5:59pm Top

>2 maggie1944: Way to go, Karen! You win a free beverage of your choice. Doesn't that look like heaven? I'll be looking for a spot like that this weekend.

>3 ronincats: Hi, Roni! It's a beaut, isn't it?

Cool day in San Diego, got it - hot chai with butter scones coming up:

Edited: Jun 15, 2012, 6:02pm Top

>4 mckait: Hah! Hi, Kath. Get comfy and enjoy.

OK, pies on the counter, the chef's in back fixing up the new kitchen. Give a holler if you need anything.

Off to see Pride and Prejudice in the theater - can never get enough of this Austen story!

Jun 15, 2012, 6:02pm Top

P&P in the theater? Is this a new one?

Jun 15, 2012, 6:42pm Top

Nice new thread, Joe! Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorites! I love the Monet.

Jun 15, 2012, 6:51pm Top

From last thread: I'll be reviewing The Radetzky March in about ten days.

What I want to know about the little missie in the painting is, HOWINAHELL DID SHE STAND UP?! Six cubits of skirt and six more of falderol! She probably pitched forward onto that improbably snubbed nose.

Jun 15, 2012, 6:56pm Top

>can't wait to hear the review, Joe.

my only problem with the Monet, which is truly gorgeous, is that i can't conceive of having to try to read while wearing those clothes. egad!

off to prepare myself for the WNBA matchup between Atlanta and the LA Sparks and Candace Parker. girl got game.

Edited: Jun 15, 2012, 7:29pm Top

>9 richardderus: indeed, RD. and even if she did stand up, how in the name of all that's holy did women ever perform the necessary bodily functions?

really looking fwd to your review of The Radetzky March, Richard. it sounds like a book i'd like.

Jun 15, 2012, 10:19pm Top

Squatting is an art form

mirrordrum, I'm a big WNBA fan, too. Seattle Storm is my team, and hopefully they are winning tonight! They need another win. But they do love to hustle.

Love your picture!

Jun 15, 2012, 11:58pm Top

>12 maggie1944: *chuckle* but my dear, if i tried to squat in all those cubits of folderol (thank you, RD), i'd collapse into my own, er, bodily functions.

Seattle Storm, eh. humph! battle at the bottom tonight and the storm did beat the winless Shock. i'm an LA and Indiana fan (Lady Vols, ya know) but i expect it's Minnesota's to lose this year.

the photo's from a piece Time did on CP3 when she was still at UT, iirc.

i guess we should now return to regular programming. in aid of which, may i say that i'm nearly through with disco for the departed though i've gotten a bit lost and will have to listen to the last couple of chapters again.

am also listening to Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Found the Hidden Gospels. it's a marvelous, and true, story about twin sisters in the 19th century who, among other things, crossed the Sinai to visit St. Catherine's monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai to look for early Biblical texts. i'm thoroughly enjoying it, and i'm a heathern (sic) of the deepest dye! what intrepid, and learned, women they were. it may well be one of the best non-fiction books of the year for me.

Jun 16, 2012, 4:38am Top

Waves ..... passing thru - should be a more regular visitor again now

Jun 16, 2012, 7:19am Top

Joe - congratulations on thread #15 mate and here's wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Jun 16, 2012, 9:40am Top

I know, I know. The Storm is not at the top, but you know every team needs its fans, and I'm happy to be a season ticket holder. Feel like I am one of a small group of very loyal folks.

Edited: Jun 16, 2012, 11:31am Top

>7 NarratorLady: It was a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Lifeline Theater here, Anne. We've really liked their adaptations of the Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane stories, including Busman's Honeymoon, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This one was competently done, with a couple of standout comic performances by the actors playing Mrs. Bennet (thank goodness, as that character can be so annoying) and Mr. Collins (unparalleled enthusiasm for Lady Catherine de Bourgh). It's always a thrill to hear Austen's sharp dialogue.

>8 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. Yeah, me, too. When I commented last night that I wasn't fond of some of Lizzie's periodic added musings in the play about what was happening with Darcy, etc., my wife said she liked them and thought they were helpful for those in the audience who hadn't "read it twelve times and seen it twelve times." Like her curmudgeon husband.

Glad you like the Monet. It took some doing to get it for the cafe wall, but it was worth it.

>9 richardderus: Good point, Richard. Maybe part of the fun back then was having someone like Monet help you get back up. It does evidence a slower time - imagine how long it must have taken to get all of that on and all of it off. Would what we do in our workaday lives look like a high speed film to them?

>>10 mirrordrum:, 11 The good part, Ellie, is once you got positioned to read like that, you weren't going anywhere for a while. Of course, we can make that happen here with a comfortable booth and no need for all those clothes.

Cool photo!

Candace Parker is really something. She's fun to watch play, too. Our Chicago Sky actually are doing well so far, for the first time in forever. Epiphanny Prince (how about that for a name?) is off to quite a start.

>12 maggie1944: I imagine Son #1 is going to become a Seattle Storm fan, Karen. In Chi-town the one thing that gets booed for sure is poor effort. Hustle can overcome a lot of shortcomings.

>13 mirrordrum: Seems like you'd have to plan pretty far ahead for heeding nature's call in that outfit, Ellie. Maybe back then they lived on light and air.

Let us know when you finish Disco for the Departed, so we can hear your reaction to one key development in particular.

I had read somewhere about Sisters of Sinai and thought it sounded interesting, but your strong reaction gives it a big boost for me. Onto the tbr it goes.

>14 roundballnz: Glad you could stop by, Alex! Look forward to seeing you more here.

>15 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Always good to see you. I've got to work this a.m., but then it'll be a lazy day on our back deck as, thanks to Walklover's keen eye for beauty, we're on a garden walk that lasts for 6 hours. Fun to have folks come through and enjoy what we have now. An excellent side benefit is there's no lawn for me to mow any more.

Jun 16, 2012, 10:13am Top

well that's kind of cool that your house is included in a garden walk! Must be a lot of work to maintain but I bet it's gorgeous!

Jun 16, 2012, 10:24am Top

I think, for the True Gardener, the work is actually the point. The results are merely evidence of the work the True Gardener put in.

Jun 16, 2012, 10:41am Top

>18 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle! It is a gorgeous garden, and all kudos go to Walklover. I'm no good at taking pictures and transferring them here so you could see it. Maybe I can get seasonsoflove to help me. It's a city lot, with neighbors close beside on either side, so those of you with acreage have to miniaturize your thinking.

>19 richardderus: I'm definitely an Untrue Gardener, Richard, although I actually enjoy it when there's time. At a younger age I used to do a lot of the muscle work (including clearing an overgrown, wild backyard for our first home, a three flat in Bucktown), but now I'm more of a conceptual advisor. And a little bit of that role goes a long way with Walklover. :-)

Jun 16, 2012, 10:54am Top

Love the thread picture, Joe. I'd like to be under a nice sprawling tree myself with a book, but in a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt as opposed to that bonnet and petticoated dress. A nice pitcher of cold lemonade, some dainty sandwiches ..and fried chicken would not go amiss either. :-)

Jun 16, 2012, 11:36am Top

>21 cameling: Good to see you, Caro! That seems to be the consensus - idyllic, but no thanks on the clothes, pretty as they are. A picnic to go with it - great idea.

Jun 16, 2012, 11:37am Top

Un déjeuner sur l'herbe for Caro, please chef! I'll have the same, only please put some sicky-sweet prosecco in the lemonade for me.

Edited: Jun 16, 2012, 11:49am Top

OK, Manet for Caro:

And lemonade with prosecco for RD:

Jun 16, 2012, 12:11pm Top

that is an awesome looking picnic basket, Joe. Many thanks. As for the Manet, I like that picture too but why are the men clothed?

Edited: Jun 16, 2012, 12:56pm Top

Hah! It's a whole different concept than the painting at the top, that's for sure, Caro. It was a shocker in its day.

Edited: Jun 16, 2012, 1:00pm Top

By MEN-net. Equal time nudity.

Edited: Jun 16, 2012, 1:35pm Top

LOL! There you go, Caro!

Jun 16, 2012, 1:50pm Top

And she's reading a book. Got her priorities right, eh?

Jun 16, 2012, 2:42pm Top

Hey Joe! Congrats on #15! To think you didn't have a thread at all before... your niche market was obviously just waiting for you to start operating your own business! :-)

I love at those 19th century paintings of people out in nature. I can't help but think that the world was such a difference place then. Sure, the industrial revolution was going full steam already (pun intended), but there were still such vast areas of unmolested nature in all it's glory. Sure, now we women don't have to wear corsets, but I'm not which which is the better tradeoff. Corsets... unmolested nature... corsets... unmolested nature.... corsets... un...

Hm. I'll ponder over that for a while and get back to you. :-)

Jun 16, 2012, 2:42pm Top

>29 maggie1944: She sure does, Karen! Impressive concentration, too.

OK, the proprietor is going to leave the cafe in the hands of the chef for a bit. Pies on the counter.

Jun 16, 2012, 2:51pm Top

>30 Smiler69: Oops, I was posting just as you walked in, Ilana. Thanks! It's been quite a start-up all right. It's surprised the heck out of me, but oh what a lot of fun!

I look forward to hearing the winner of the corsets/unmolested nature debate. I read somewhere that most people say they would not like to go back to an earlier time period because of our advancements in healthcare.

I was thinking today (for some reason) that I probably never would have reached this age in earlier times. I had a bad bone infection (osteomyelitis) as a teen, and more recently I would've succumbed to skin cancer just from time in the sun as a youngster (as would my sisters). If we can work out time travel so we can keep today's health benefits, I'd love to go back and enjoy some unmolested nature.

Jun 16, 2012, 2:55pm Top

This really is one of the most fun threads to visit, one just never knows what will be going on.

Edited: Jun 16, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Wait for me!!! I would love a Mike's Lemonade, Advil, and a bowl of gazpacho. I was rear ended by a hit and run driver so I have read very little in the last 10 days. I am wading through 11/22/63. This is my first Stephen King book. I am enjoying it, but he is wordy!


Jun 16, 2012, 7:18pm Top

I'm with Kath. I love the cafe. Nice Monet at the top, and nice variety of, um, other paintings (and just 34 posts so far).

Son #1 will be in good company if he chooses to become a Seattle Storm fan. They are a fun team to watch (although I so agree with mirrordrum about Candace Parker ---- and of course Brittney Griner's dunks in the tournament this past March created quite the buzz!).

I'm full from my post-hike burrito, but now I'm craving some chocolate chip ice cream.....

Jun 16, 2012, 8:55pm Top

Hi Joe, how is The Radetzky March coming along? I really enjoyed it and may read more of his work someday.

I see all this fine art...and no pictures of the beauty of your backyard? Walkover deserves to have her hard work applauded. I love to work in the yard...but I love reading more!

Jun 16, 2012, 9:15pm Top

-33. Thanks, Kath!
-34 Good to see you, Jenn! Your unusual combo of Mike's Lemonade, Advil and a bowl of gazpacho is coming up. (I can't do pics on this keyboard, unfortunately.

A lot of LTers have loved that Stephen King book.

-35. Thanks, Ellen! Nothing better than a good cafe to hang out at. Glad you like the Monet, Manet and Men-et.

I'll let Jesse know that the Storm are fun. He's a bit bummed to have no NBA team, so that'll help.

Chocolate ice cream coming your way.

Jun 16, 2012, 9:29pm Top

-36. Hi, Donna! It's RD who's reading the Joseph Roth, although it's intriguing to know you really enjoyed it.

I'm working with Becca and Ellie to get some garden pics on here, but it may be a while. I got back late because of a work crush, but apparently we got some "wow"s, especially for a huge, thriving butterfly bush we've got.

Yeah, I'm much more of a reader than a gardener. But I do like reading on our deck and looking out at the garden!

Jun 16, 2012, 11:07pm Top

"It's RD who's reading the Joseph Roth"...I give up, I'm going to bed. Five days with three grandkids has turned my brain to mush. ;-(

Jun 17, 2012, 12:14am Top

I finished Something Wicked This Way Comes and am glad to have closed the covers on that book. I liked much of it, but also found it hard to read. Next is Woman in Black which I was able to get from the library and successfully avoided spending money. Yea! I'm reading it largely due to all the cheering it rec'd here. Off to bed, now, and we'll start it tomorrow in between mowing the lawn.

Jun 17, 2012, 7:34am Top

Thanks Joe,

It it delicious! It is an unusual combo, not sure how I came up with gazpacho and Mike's lemonade. It has been years since I have had either and I never mix the two. Who knows?

I would love a mornng cup of coffee and a scone.

Hope you all are well. Off to catch up on the thread and see what I missed.

Jun 17, 2012, 8:06am Top

If only I had just come here for coffee yesterday morning, it might have saved a lot of irritation ! lol
I have coffee today, but an almond croissant sounds lovely, doesn't it?

Jun 17, 2012, 8:44am Top

Oh! Now I don't know if I want an almond croissant (Kath, you have good taste!) or a scone (Jennifer, your idea for breakfast is excellent, too)! I am so glad the latte is good and strong. Much easier to decide once I am awake!

Jun 17, 2012, 10:35am Top

The chef is whipping up lattes, scones, Sumatra blue Batak coffee, and almond croissants, and will get them to you pronto. My Chicago clan is taking me out for a Pa's Day breakfast and bookstore trip.

Jun 17, 2012, 10:40am Top

Happy Father's Day, Joe! Hope you have a good one and get to relax and enjoy it.

Jun 17, 2012, 10:44am Top

Happy Father's Day, Joe! What a great treat ... bookstore trip to celebrate Dad's Day... good clan!

Jun 17, 2012, 12:39pm Top

Happy Father's Day!

Jun 17, 2012, 1:18pm Top

Happy Father's Day!

Since so many people visit here, it's a good place to share that Amazon has all 14 Oz books written by Frank Baum on sale today in Kindle edition for 95¢ total. That is an outstanding bargain, not to mention I've always wanted to read the ones I missed as a child. Here's the link.


Jun 17, 2012, 2:11pm Top

Happy Father's day Joe.

I think I finally opted for unmolested nature. My reasoning is that if I had to wear a corset, I could probably loosen it or take it off altogether when I was sitting in a patch of greenery away from prying eyes while reading my favourite books. You have a point about our medical advancements, but for all that, human nature hasn't changed any, so it's all the same to me.

Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 5:25pm Top

>49 Smiler69: thank goodness i don't have make a decision. well, except that we try not to molest the nature that lives on our 3/4 acre: no pesticides, fertilizer, as much habitat as we can stuff in given a drain field, little mowing and all like that.

>Fun Home is brilliant. thanks, Anne, for telling me about Alison Bechdel. can't believe i missed her all these years except that i'm so audio-oriented. i wish i could read right through and start again. instead. i'm savouring.

oh, and indeed, Happy Dad's Day to all to who celebrate it happily.

Jun 17, 2012, 5:52pm Top

Happy Father's Day, Joe! I hope the kids are spoiling you rotten! You deserve it. I have not see my offspring yet. Bree is in Oregon, will not be seeing her and Matt is working, might see him a little later.
Okay, loved your review of Wild: From Lost to Found. I hope you get a whole mess of LT folk interested. I also enjoyed your GN list, (Like, Duh!). No Sandman though, huh?
Congrats on #15 and the beautiful Monet!

Jun 17, 2012, 6:16pm Top

>44 jnwelch: Thanks, Mamie! It's been great. Breakfast out (chilaquiles at my favorite place), buying our son his graduation gift camera at Best Buy, browsing and buying at Myopic books (including Ngaio Marsh and Terry Pratchett, neither of whom i've read much, and a trip to a cool toystore called Rotofugi. Now we're playing Apples to Apples, break's over. I'll be back.

Jun 17, 2012, 7:35pm Top

Joe - a rocking start to the cafe's 15th installment. Also want to wish you a happy father's day mate.

Jun 17, 2012, 7:39pm Top

All the best to you, Joe, on Father's Day. We are having a family get together and BBQ. My contribution is Teriyaki Pork Kabobs, Cornmeal Muffins and Banana Cream Pie, hopefully the girls will bring an assortment of salads.

Jun 17, 2012, 7:51pm Top

>46 cameling: Thanks, Caro! Love this bookstore. Used books, kind of a warren to work your way through, and bookreaders to banter with and point out favorite. Doesn't get much better than that!

>47 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! You, too!

>48 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I loved those Oz books as a kid. We actually have all of them (including the post-Baum, which aren't as good, but some aren't bad). The Baums, in particular, are worth a fortune now, as we've learned at book fairs.

Anyway, that's a great deal.

>49 Smiler69: Nice choice, Ilana. Unmolested nature, with a small piece of greenery in which to read a book, sounds good to me. It sure looks peaceful in the painting, doesn't it?

>50 mirrordrum: Your 3/4 acres sounds mighty good, Ellie. You could probably find a corset-less piece of greenery there for reading?

I don't know why I didn't take more to Fun Home. The dad annoyed me some, so that was part of it.

It's been a great dad's day over here in Chi-town. Nice to have the whole gaggle together.

>51 msf59: Thanks, Mark! How was the camping trip?

Sorry Bree and Matt aren't around; I'm going to face some of that with Jesse gone next year. I hope you had a good Father's Day anyway.

The kids figure this is the one day they have to be nice to me all day, but they never make it very far before they start giving me a hard time. (In fairness, I start giving them a hard time earlier than that).

I checked Sandman, and like Persepolis it goes too far back in time. Otherwise you know it'd be on my faves list. An amazing piece of work.

Glad you like the Monet. I love the feeling of it.

Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 7:55pm Top

>53 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! Happy Father's Day to you, too. You probably don't have that on your calendar for today, but I always enjoy the tales of the Cranswick clan on your thread.

>54 DeltaQueen50: Thanks a lot, Judy! A family get-together BBQ sounds great to me. Sounds like a tasty one, too. Hope it's been a fun weekend for you.

Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 8:31am Top

Good morning, all! I'm a happy camper this morning as the Seattle Storm won their basketball game, yesterday, and the Great Nephew had a good time making NOISE.

I'm going to camp out at my corner table, in the back, and drink my latte. What's on the counter for breakfast?

Jun 18, 2012, 9:12am Top

>57 maggie1944: Good morning, Karen! Go Storm! And what could be better than making noise! You've got a lucky grandnephew.

The chef's got French toast with powdered sugar, cinnamon and whipped cream (made here) going, or a pesto and tomato omelet, or whatever else might suit your fancy.

Here's your latte while you're pondering:

Jun 18, 2012, 9:18am Top

Morning Joe! You know, I haven't ate yet this morning, pounding the Java though. What would you recommend?
It looks like a good day to hibernate.

Jun 18, 2012, 9:28am Top

That omlete sounds purrrrrfect. I see Google thinks maybe an omelette aux champignons could suit this morning, in honor of the downpouring rain, and chill outside my door. (You can see my working, dedicatedly, on brushing up my French. I hope it is not too irritating.)

Jun 18, 2012, 9:33am Top

Good morning! I walked most of the way to work this morning (probably about 2.5 miles) to expiate an entire bucket of soggy popcorn I ate while watching 'The Avengers' yesterday. Good if you like bang bang, because that's pretty much all there was, except for a standout performance by Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner. I ate the popcorn in self-defense.

What would be anti-popcorn, I wonder? Just some coffee please, Joe, maybe with a little vanilla flavor to it. I think Seattle's Best has a pretty good vanilla blend.

Jun 18, 2012, 10:01am Top

Oh, omelette! Yes! I want a pesto and mozzarella one, please, and a glass of sparkling white wine...a Freixenet? don't care...I'm getting pretty excited about my no-Queen-Victoria book!

Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 11:36am Top

>59 msf59: I'm pounding Peet's Sumatra Blue Batak, Mark, and loving it, so that's the one I'd recommend. Hope you enjoy a relaxing day - I agree, hibernate and avoid the heat.

>60 maggie1944: The chef loved the Google suggestion, and we got your omelette aux champignons for you:

Personally, I like it when people brush up on their languages here. Particularly when it comes to food!

>61 ffortsa: Good morning, Judy! We enjoyed the Avengers, and stuck with the non-soggy Twizzlers. Sorry you got soggified. I agree, Mark Ruffalo was a standout, and that was the part that worried me the most going into it - the Hulk can be a big CGI bore.

The chef wasn't sure how you take your Seattle's Best vanilla blend, so here are some possibilities:

>62 richardderus: Pesto and mozarella omelette coming up, Richard:

Freixenet sounds good:

Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 12:34pm Top

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt is an amiable YA title. I wasn't as taken by it as some have been, mostly because it wasn't particularly believable for me. Coming off of ones like The Fault in Our Stars and Wonder, this was hard to overcome, even though the 7th grade narrator Holling Hoodhood has charm and there are some nice moments as he bonds with his initial nemesis Mrs. Baker over Shakespeare's plays. Hard not to like a YA that features insights into plays like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing in its plot. And part of the fun is the enjoyment Holling gets out of using Shakespearean insults and exclamations.

The story occurs during the Vietnam War, and various current events, including the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., affect the characters. Holling grows during the book, and shows he'll be a better man than his insensitive, mercenary architect father. If only the events in the book were as convincing as the historical events in which the story is set. Nonetheless, if you're willing to suspend disbelief and follow a likeable character - and have some Shakespeare fun along the way - you can have a good time with this book.

Jun 18, 2012, 2:14pm Top

Sounds like it'd give me colic! Still, thumbs-upped your review for warning me off.

Jun 18, 2012, 2:27pm Top

Hah! You're very gracious, Richard. And this is one I have no doubt you'll want to avoid. :-)

Jun 18, 2012, 2:38pm Top

>58 jnwelch: gasp-makingly kewl latte!

>64 jnwelch: i just downloaded Wednesday wars from NLS and nothing in your review is off-putting. thumb-printed it largely b/c you wrote that it's "amiable." it's queued after Dandelion Wine on my NLS player.

thanks to this place, btw, for causing me to start DW. wow! how'd i miss that one? makes my brain happy.

Jun 18, 2012, 3:34pm Top

Thanks for the choices. The whipped cream looks lovely, but I'll stick with the plain, thanks. Am trying to recoup my girlish figure, and besides, the coffee is good enough without.

Jun 18, 2012, 4:04pm Top

>67 mirrordrum: Major kewl latte from the chef, isn't it, Ellie?

The Wednesday Wars is amiable, and Holling is a fine fellow to spend some time with.

Dandelion Wine is superb, and it makes my brain happy, too. Can't wait to hear what you think of it.

>68 ffortsa: You got it, Judy, straight up it'll be.

Jun 18, 2012, 4:05pm Top

Hi Joe- It looks like you are on a YA roll, although I think I'll take a pass on The Wednesday Wars. Make sure you have Between Shades of Gray on your YA WL. I received my copy of shadow and Bone today, the 1st of a YA fantasy series, that has been getting some strong buzz.

Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 4:20pm Top

That's the one where she's suffering from confusion with the mommy porn trilogy, right, Mark?

Yeah, work is getting all bunched up as we get ready to depart for the Land Down Under. So YA on the Kindle is the flavor of choice right now.

Jun 18, 2012, 5:15pm Top

I enjoyed Wednesday Wars when I got it from the library a few years back.

Some cherub had slipped a note into the plastic-lined flyleaf, giving away a plot point re: Mrs. Baker. Can't tell you how pleased I was that I was the next one to get the book so I could throw the note away and a kid didn't have the story marred by this practical joker.

Jun 18, 2012, 6:30pm Top

Hmm, and here we all work hard to avoid spoilers. I'm glad you were the one, too, Anne. I'm also glad you enjoyed it.

Jun 18, 2012, 6:37pm Top

AAAAAAAAACK!!!! What a terrible thing to do>72 NarratorLady:
Good grief!

Jun 18, 2012, 6:55pm Top

Hi Joe, just another attempt to keep up in this very busy cafe. Mamie's thread made me crave bacon and since it's just about time for a light supper a BLT sounds like just the ticket. I passed up The Wednesday Wars a couple of years ago and I don't think it's my kind of book.

Edited: Jun 18, 2012, 8:12pm Top

Hey Joe,

Thanks for getting me over to the new cafe. Having a hard time keeping up here!

While I catch up (if I ever can), I invite all to sit a while over the strudel and coffee I was daydreaming about over at Joe's Cafe 14 (with management's permission of course).

Jun 18, 2012, 9:26pm Top


Jun 18, 2012, 10:57pm Top

I'm feeling badly for The Wednesday Wars, so I'll speak up and say that I absolutely loved that book.I don't think the plot always has to be 100% believable, that's the beauty of fiction. It might not be as magical as Dandelion Wine or as breath-taking as Garden Spells, but it is a lovely story that speaks to the human spirit. At least it did to mine.

Jun 18, 2012, 11:05pm Top

Joe - I have Wednesday Wars already in my TBR Tower, but given that I've just re-read the wonderful Dandelion Wine, I'm keeping away from YA novels for a little while because I'm sure there aren't going to be many who will be able to beat the glow from that book.

Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 7:51am Top

Oh, I'm so behind here... I hope you're not yet in Australia, Joe!!

Bookshops in Sydney.

In the city/CBD itself. These are all within pretty easy walking distance of each other (a few blocks, at most, either side of Town Hall):

* Kings Comics (http://www.kingscomics.com/)
More comics than you can poke a stick at, plus lots of collectibles.
310 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000
TEL: (02) 9267 5615

* Elizabeth's Books (http://www.elizabethsbookshop.com.au/)
Originally from Western Australia, there are two branches in Sydney now too. Nice selection of second hand and remaindered books. Luckily there's a branch just opposite Kings Comics. :)
Address: 343 Pitt Street (between Liverpool and Bathurst), Sydney CBD 2000
Phone: (02) 9267 2533

* Kinokuniya
I prefer to shop in locally owned bookshops (call me fussy), but this is a gorgeous place, crammed with lots of goodies. Hard to leave empty handed. It's kitty-corner from Town Hall.
Lvl 2, The Galleries/500 George Street Sydney NSW 2000
(02)9262 7996

* Abbey's & Galaxy (http://www.abbeys.com.au/ & http://www.galaxybooks.com.au/)
Yay! An old favourite of mine. Not glossy or anything, but crammed with good books. Galaxy is their sci-fi/fantasy spin off, currently housed upstairs from the main shop.
They're having 15% off everything store wide for the rest of the month. I may have to pop in sometime rsn...
131 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9264 3111

* Dymocks (http://www.dymocks.com.au/)
Probably the last of the Australian big bookshop chains. This is their flagship store and is nice and big, cheerful.
424 George Street, (between King & Market Street), Sydney, 2000
Phone: (02) 9235 0155

* ABC Shop (http://shop.abc.net.au/)
Okay, not just books per se. The ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or Aunty) is the government run TV and radio stations (ad free!). They've got a small but good range of books (and Doctor Who merchandise), DVDs, toys, etc. If you're into shopping, you'll be in the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) at some stage, and even if you don't like shopping, just wander through and enjoy the stained glass and splurge on high tea at the QVB Tea Rooms. And pop into the ABC shop. :)
Shop 48, The Albert Walk, Queen Victoria Building, SYDNEY NSW 2000
PH: 02 9286 3726

2) And outside of the CBD are:

* Ariel Books (http://www.arielbooks.com.au/)
At the Rocks, so you'll probably be there for touristy stuff (and some excellent old pubs with their own brews), so pop in and enjoy. Been years since I actually stuck my nose inside, but Ariel used to be excellent and still looks good from the outside now.
103 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
+ 61 2 9241 5622

Ariel also has a branch in Paddington, along with Alice & Gertrude's (second hand books, I haven't been, but my parents love it and its cafe), and a branch of Berkelouw's (another excellent second hand/antiquarian shop with a good cafe).

Berkelouw's also has a branch in Leichhardt (our Little Italy) along with Shearer's (good independent bookshop).

And yet another branch in Newtown, which is close to me, and I even created a Google map of Newtown bookshops for a BookCrossing (Un)Convention a few years ago. (Sadly, I had to take two bookshops off the list tonight.) This should be the right URL: https://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?msid=201046535462601032533.00049302c32fc5e56075a&msa=0

My highlights in Newtown would be Elizabeth's (yep, the other Sydney branch of the Elizabeth's in the CBD), Better Read Than Dead, and Berkelouw's, if you get out to Newtown. It's fairly bohemian, but with lots of prams. :) Good cafes, too. Newtown is a short train trip (or middling bus trip) from the city. Apologies for the scruffiness of Newtown just by the train station, it really is nicer one block either side.

Berkelouw's: http://berkelouw.com.au/
Better Read Than Dead: http://www.betterread.com.au

A little shout-out for the small but lovely Bray's Books in Balmain (which I used to work nearby, and I shelled out a lot of money to them over the years). You're unlikely to reach Balmain, but if you do want to, you catch the ferry from Circular Quay to East Balmain and then the bus (442 or 444/445) up the hill to Gladstone Park and it's just the next block along. It's a lovely little suburb, good cafes and shopping.

And the best bookshop in Sydney would be Gleebooks in Glebe. I only mention them last because they're not in Newtown and I'm jealous. ;) Glebe is an easy bus ride from the city, or a longish walk (via the Fish Markets for some fresh sushi or fish and chips).

* Gleebooks (http://www.gleebooks.com.au/)
49 Glebe Point Road Glebe NSW 2037
Phone: +61 2 9660 2333

Phew. Hope something there appeals! :)

ETA: A couple of URLs, and OMG, I did get carried away. *blush*

Jun 19, 2012, 7:58am Top

And pubs in Sydney. I'm a little rusty (don't get out so much), but I would recommend:

* Hart's Pub (http://www.hartspub.com/)
Scene of the infamous Beer and Cheese Tasting night from the other week. Honestly, who serves up FULL glasses of beer on a school night when there are 10 on the tasting list? I was very quiet the next day at work, had to prop up a wall or two. Beer brings pain.
176 Cumberland Street The Rocks NSW 2000
(02) 9251 6030

* Belgian Beer Cafe (http://www.belgian-beer-cafe.com.au/)
Imported beer, but a good night out pretty much guaranteed. There was a branch briefly in Balmain (good place for a work lunch!), but the easiest to get to is the one in the Rocks now. The mussels are excellent, apparently (I'm not a fan of mussels).
135 Harrington Street, The Rocks
(02) 9241 1775.

* Lord Nelson (http://lordnelsonbrewery.com/)
Arguably Sydney's oldest pub. Brews its own beer, across the road from the Observatory.
19 Kent Street The Rocks NSW 2000
(02)9251 4044

There are plenty more old pubs in The Rocks, and I'm sure some of them also brew excellent beers. But that's the limit of my knowledge at the moment!!

Jun 19, 2012, 8:03am Top

Now, excuse me while I get back to my asp.net MVC3 tutorial... Hopefully I'll be able to pop in again sometime in a month or two!

Joe, have a great time in Australia! Sydney is currently experiencing some lovely winter weather. Cold (10C - 20C, well, that's cold for us), but crisp blue skies. (Although last week it poured with rain.) I'll keep my fingers crossed for nice weather for your visit, Sydney in winter isn't much fun if it's wet. But there are plenty of pubs and bookshops listed above to keep you busy indoors in case of miserably weather. :)

Jun 19, 2012, 9:07am Top

Tania - you're an absolute gem - if I go to Sydney soon - all I need do is keep Joe starred! Joe, when is it bon voyage?

Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 12:30pm Top

>74 mckait: Agreed, Kath. Hopefully this kid will learn better. S/he's a reader, so maybe.

>75 brenzi: BLT coming up, Bonnie. If you'll bear with us, we'll come back later and give you a visual of it.

>>76 plt:, 77 Nice to have you here, Peg! And thanks for the pic! I'm having trouble seeing it on this tech, but I'll be back on my usual. I'm sure Kath's right. ETA: I can see it now and it indeed looks delicious.

>78 Crazymamie: I was thinking of you when I reviewed it, Mamie. I agree with all you say. Your enthusiasm got me to read it, and I'm sure it's had the same effect on others. Mine isn't a dissuader, I don't think.

>79 cameling: Yes, Caro, I know what you mean. Dandelion Wine is just a very special book, and I'm still glowing from it all these years later. It's my next re-read.

Jun 19, 2012, 9:40am Top

Wow, talk about a trip planner! that's great! Now if only I could go to Australia, too!

Jun 19, 2012, 9:43am Top

Morning Joe! It looks like it's going to be a scorcher. I'm going to try to do a couple things outside while it's still somewhat decent.
I finally completed my mini-review of Dandelion wine. What a treasure.

Jun 19, 2012, 9:44am Top

>80 wookiebender: That should take care of the first day, Tania, but what about the second?

Wow! What a great list. Thanks so much for putting that together. Can't wait to take that particular tour, although some may have to wait for the trip back. (A woman helping us plan it said that the most common comment she's heard from those who traveled to Australia is they wish they had more time there).

>81 wookiebender: Thank, thanks, thanks! You definitely get a beverage of your choice on the house, Tania.

Got to run to the dentist. (Really? Rather head in the opposite direction). I'll be back.

Jun 19, 2012, 10:45am Top

*has severe attack of Sydney-envy*

10C cold! *snort* You'd *expire* here in the Northeastern winter, Tania. 10C is a treat of warmth in January (average 2-3C)!

While you're off at the joyous dentistry emporium, Joe, I'm having key lime pie and coffee. Put it on the tab.

Jun 19, 2012, 12:09pm Top

I want to read Dandelion Wine. I do wish my copy would come available from the library.

Joe, I'm sorry you didn't "take" to Fun Home. I liked it a great deal, but I was a fan of Bechdel's old comic strip for years and years.

I'm at jury duty today, waiting, waiting..... I have my laptop for LT-ing and my copy of River of Smoke but I fear I'm going to get hungry and all there is in the vending machine is, well, vending machine "food." What's on the specials menu at the cafe today?

Jun 19, 2012, 12:40pm Top

>85 mckait: I'm all for a big LT get-together in Australia, Kath. We've really got to get to work on developing transporters that eliminate all the travel time.

>86 msf59: Morning, Mark! Yeah, pretty scorching out there. We were at the Sox-Cubs game last night, and were saved by a pretty strong breeze coming through on a hot night. Poor Sox got crushed; happiness reigned in Wrigleyville.

>88 richardderus: Wish you could join us, RD! Yes, we're all looking forward to the cooler weather. It's going to be a welcome change-up from the heat here.

Glad you were able to wrangle some key lime pie and coffee. I met my missus as I was leaving the joyous dentistry emporium and she was entering. We're all getting our oil changed and our tires rotated (or the dental equivalent) before the trip.

>89 EBT1002: You'll love Dandelion Wine, Ellen.

I'm sure it's me, not the quality of the work, when it comes to Fun Home. I've got a lot of respect for it, just less enjoyment than others like you.

Jury duty is a great opportunity to read. I go, I don't get picked, I go home.

Specials today: apparently key lime pie and Sumatra Blue Batak coffee, strudel and Viennese coffee, and BLTs. Did I miss any? I know, it's a bit of an oddball day.

Jun 19, 2012, 3:48pm Top

Key Lime Pie! Woo Hoo

Bon Voyage, mes amis!

Jun 19, 2012, 3:57pm Top

>>82 wookiebender:, 83 I think I missed these in the running around. Thanks again, Tania! I'll p-m you, probably tomorrow. Paul, we leave this Saturday. Can't wait!

>91 maggie1944: I know, Karen, I'm the same way when it comes to key lime pie. If you're bon voyaging us, thank you! We're sure looking forward to it. The big planning right now is books for the long plane trip.

Jun 19, 2012, 4:00pm Top

Don't you love your eReader machines? Have fun!

Jun 19, 2012, 4:06pm Top

Yes, Karen, the Kindles are going to be a major assist on this trip. I do love mine. We're loading up on the Kindles (including a lot of freebies, like Dickens and Philip K. Dick for me), and then taking backpacks full of regular books that we feel we can leave in Australia for others. (Recognizing that, with Tania's assist, we undoubtedly are going to pick up ones in Australia to return home with).

Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 4:26pm Top

I'm recommending here the book The Incal: Classic Collection by Alexandro Jodorowsky and Moebius. The story is okay sci-fi, with interplanetary subterfuge centered around a high level battle between light and darkness. There are a variety of fun characters, including our hero, selfish, self-centered, reluctant John Difool.

But the reason to read it is the wonderful illustrations by Moebius, a master who just passed away. As the intro to the book says, the look of so many subsequent sci-fi movies derived from this book. You'll see it right away. A number of times I was reminded of the wonderful work of Winsor McCay in Little Nemo in Slumberland (boy, was that one ahead of its time!)

Anyway, these will give you some idea:

It's a wonderful collection of Moebius's work, with an entertaining, if not ground-breaking, story.

Jun 19, 2012, 4:41pm Top

Wonderful art!

Jun 19, 2012, 5:00pm Top

Joe, you know that I adore Key Lime Pie!!!!! I'll definitely have a slice of that.
No skimping, if you please.
And thank you.

Edited: Jun 19, 2012, 5:05pm Top

>96 maggie1944: Isn't it, Karen? He (real name Jean Giraud) was so talented.

>97 EBT1002: Unskimped key lime pie for you, Ellen:

Jun 19, 2012, 5:11pm Top

>98 jnwelch: *wipes the drool from her chin*

Jun 19, 2012, 6:11pm Top

>99 Morphidae: Me, too, Morphy. This chef is good!

Off to the train. Key lime pie on the counter.

Jun 20, 2012, 7:09am Top

No problems for the lists above! :)

I did forget to mention the State Library, which is a nice old building - the Mitchell Library - (with a nice modern wing as well). It's got a good shop, and is a short walk from the Art Gallery of NSW through the Domain (along the southern end of the Botanical Gardens). All are worth a visit - the Art Gallery also has a nice bookshop, although art books are so expensive! (I believe the Gardens also have a shop, but it's been so long since I've been there!)

And, apologies, I'm not sure where you're staying. I did assume somewhere close to the city, and that's where I'm mostly focussed anyhow. If you're off further west (near Parramatta or the like), I'd be quite lost. :)

And while I have mentioned public transport up above, and I think it's actually pretty good (although the trains all stop working when it rains, sigh), the whole ticket situation is highly confusing to anyone who hasn't grown up with the system. Good luck, if you choose to negotiate that.

I'm not sure what your plans are for when you're here. I think I mentioned a few good restaurants earlier (let me know if you want a re-posting). I think Sydney does food very well, although I should warn you that Australian coffee is nothing like American coffee and you may not like it. :) We also do excellent Asian food (IMO, I haven't actually been to Asia to find out what it's like there!), and I'd highly recommend doing yum cha (aka "dim sum" to you Americans) in Chinatown one morning. (Kicks off about 11am, oodles of dumplings etc and pots of jasmine tea. Absolute madhouse on a Sunday, as it seems the entire Chinese community in Sydney heads to yum cha after church then.)

For tourist things, the Harbour is beautiful, you must visit the Opera House (the tours are good), you'll probably want to see a beach (Bondi is the most popular, but Coogee is less crowded and Bronte is small and crowded but my favourite, and the ferry to Manly is very popular). The Blue Mountains would be a day trip (west of Sydney, a couple of hours by train/car), but on a clear day the views are spectacular.

Museum-wise, I mentioned the Art Gallery above. The Australian Museum is a bit dusty, but I'm fond of it (the highlights would be the skeleton room, and the newish dinosaur exhibit upstairs). The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is across the Quay from the Opera House, it's recently reopened after major refurbishment and I've heard good things. The Powerhouse Museum is very popular, all science and technology and more hands-on than other places. The Museum of Sydney is small, but nicely done (and the cafe is excellent).

And, while I mentioned the lovely QVB above, I forgot The Strand Arcade, a gorgeous little shopping arcade that's worth wandering through. (And buy the chocolate frogs from Haigh's at the George St end. Yum.)

(Oh, and a "mall" isn't a shopping mall like you have, it's a street that's pedestrian access only. Your "mall" is what we call a "shopping centre". FYI, it gets confusing!)

Oh, and weekend markets are worth checking out. There are markets in Glebe, Balmain, Rozelle, and The Rocks. Arts & crafts, that sort of thing. I'd need to Google details. Farmer's markets are also big at the moment, first Saturday of the month is the big one in the city: http://www.farmersmarkets.org.au/markets/good-living-growers-market but they're all over the place, really.

Jeez, I need a week or two off to rediscover Sydney! I've been a shut-in for a bit too long, methinks!

Jun 20, 2012, 9:08am Top

Thanks, Tania! We're going to be on Kent Street at the Medina Grand? We'll arrive from other travels on the 5th.

A re-posting on the restaurants would be welcome. Thanks so much for giving us all this good info!

Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 9:20am Top

80: Love the idea of going to a good comic book store in Sydney.

Used to be in foreign climes all you would see were poorly packaged reprints of American books, sometimes with locally drawn new covers on them. But nowadays there are vibrant exciting comics coming out of - well, everywhere.

Just finished reading a nice profile of Phillip K Dick in the New Yorker. Reluctantly agree that he was only a pedestrian writer as a writer but Lord was he a great Idea Man.

I guess that's why so many good thoughful movies have come out of his work.

The Library of America PKD edition is a nice one for travelling, though they leave out my favorite Dick book The Game Players of Titan

Jun 20, 2012, 9:21am Top

Morning Joe- Wow, Tania's really laying it out for you! What a lovely person. Hope you guys can connect.
What's the coffee special of the day?

Jun 20, 2012, 9:30am Top

>103 magicians_nephew: Yes, I agree, James. I think we'll make a point of seeking out that comic book store.

I love the internationalization of comics. My son and I were just talking about PKD last night - you're right, what a great Idea Man! Now I have to seek out The Game Players of Titan. I've read a lot of his stories, but there always seems to be more quality ones from him!

>104 msf59: Yes, great tips from Tania, Mark. We're featuring some Julius Meinl Viennese coffee this a.m. if that suits. Are you still on time off from work? We'll keep the coffee coming.

Jun 20, 2012, 9:39am Top

The Julius Meinl Viennese sounds fantastic! Yes, please. I'm off until Tuesday. Yah! We're going up to Michigan on Friday for a long weekend.

Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 9:57am Top

>106 msf59: Good for you, Mark. We love it over in Michigan.

Julius Meinl Viennese coming up:

If you'd prefer it black, just let us know.

I finished Starters by Lissa Price, but won't be reviewing it. I loved the premise (old folks hoarding the jobs and wealth, impoverishing the youngsters, and then "renting" younger bodies via technology), and enjoyed the first 3/4, but not the wrap-up.

Jun 20, 2012, 10:50am Top

I ran 30 minutes this morning. Does that mean I can have seconds on the pie? :-/

Ha. Starters will not go onto the list. Love having a blue bullet not even aimed!

Jun 20, 2012, 11:15am Top

Two key lime pies, please, no not pieces whole pies.

I'm peckish.

And I don't want to write my review of The Bookman. Maybe a sugar coma will help.

Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 11:51am Top

>>108 EBT1002: Whew, the chef is working hard. Here you go, Ellen and Richard:

Yes, seconds and more, Ellen, for running 30 minutes this a.m. Good for you!

Richard, sugar up and then let that review fly. Looking forward to the latest.

Jun 20, 2012, 4:35pm Top

I've finally written my three-star review of The Bookman. It's in my thread...post #39.

I so wanted to like this book more than I did.

Jun 20, 2012, 4:36pm Top

wookiebender: Thanks for the tour of Sydney. It made me relive some of the highlights when we visited a few years back .... Manley and the lovely ferry ride .... the Blue Mountains even though there was fog .... the Strand Arcade.

We only spent a few days before we went on to spend three weeks in New Zealand where our daughter was living at the time. Just a taste of Australia that left us hankering for more.

If only I had known about the chocolate frogs from Haigh's!

Have a great time Joe!!!!

Jun 20, 2012, 4:57pm Top

>111 richardderus: I enjoyed your even-handed and entertaining review, Richard. Sorry the darn book wasn't better.

>112 NarratorLady: Well said, Anne. We're only going to be in Sydney a few days, too, but it should be great fun. New Zealand will have to be a destination on another trip. We're ready and raring to go - thanks for the good wishes. I'm just trying to get work squared away so all goes smoothly in my absence - and I don't get calls and emails!

Jun 20, 2012, 5:03pm Top

All this bacon talk, has me jonesing for a BLT Club. And add a Two Brother's Long Haul too! Thank you kindly.

Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 5:23pm Top

Hope they hit the spot, Mark!

Jun 20, 2012, 5:41pm Top





Edited: Jun 20, 2012, 5:43pm Top

Jun 20, 2012, 5:44pm Top

You, Joseph Welch, are a MEAN OLD MAN!!!

Jun 20, 2012, 5:51pm Top

Why? I query. You asked, and there it be. Nonetheless, you're right.

This mean old man is leaving for the train. Pies on the counter.

Jun 20, 2012, 10:57pm Top

Joe, after finishing jury duty for the day (I must go back tomorrow as we are not done deliberating yet), I went out and had two wonderful things: a cocktail called a Red Hook and a really excellent grilled halibut. I will still come to your cafe for the odd piece of pie (and River of Smoke is really making me crave Chai and Samosas!), but I'm just putting you on notice that you have a bit of competition..... :-/

Jun 20, 2012, 10:57pm Top

To where is this train taking you?

Jun 20, 2012, 11:36pm Top

Commuter train home, Ellen. He's leavin' on a jet plane for Oz on Saturday.

Jun 21, 2012, 10:08am Top

>>120 EBT1002:, 121 Hah! Red Hook and a really excellent grilled halibut sound great, Ellen. We understand there's attractive competition out there, and we even visit them ourselves. We're just glad you make the cafe a regular stop.

Every day the train (the L here in Chicago) takes me to and from work.

>122 richardderus: Exactically, RD.

Jun 21, 2012, 10:11am Top

Morning Joe! Things are going to start cooling off today. Yah! We need a little break. BTW- Loved the BLT & Long Haul. Really hit the spot, sir!

Jun 21, 2012, 10:12am Top

See? I pay attention.

Remember all my carryin' on about majgicqk and how it pollutes a perfectly decent story? Tell chef to start the grill for some crow, I'm enjoying a book that's all about majgicqk in the London Police. Midnight Riot. So far, so good!

Jun 21, 2012, 10:39am Top

Ah, the L in Chicago. I remember riding that a few times when I visited Chicago.
I imagine the daily commute is good reading time for you.

Speaking of which, I'd better pack my messenger bag (gotta be sure RoS is in there) and head off to finish my jury duty.


Jun 21, 2012, 10:46am Top

Morning, Joe, just checking in over here. I could use a latte with an extra shot of espresso.

Jun 21, 2012, 12:26pm Top

>124 msf59: Glad the vittles worked for you, Mark. We're ready for some cooler weather, aren't we? Right now it looks like we might get some rain with it, which would be fine with me.

>125 richardderus: I enjoyed Midnight Riot, Richard, and I'm glad so far you are, too. I think in the UK it's called Rivers of London.

>126 EBT1002: You're right, Ellen, my L commute is good reading time. It's the Brown line, which weaves through various Northside neighborhoods and is no bullet train. Good luck with the jury duty! Glad you're liking River of Smoke.

>127 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! It's on us!

Still shaking my head over that tree crashing on your house. Those pictures on your thread are hair-raisers (well, the few I still have up there). So glad everyone's fine. Wish we had a RL cafe so we could send some food over.

Jun 21, 2012, 1:10pm Top

Just keeping up... very Smoky in here, lately

Jun 21, 2012, 1:31pm Top

Seems like a river of it, doesn't it, Kath?

Jun 21, 2012, 2:00pm Top

When I lived in Chicago, I experienced no torture worse than riding the L when it was hot, hot, hot, and the train wheels squealed and cried and made unreasonable noises. OMG. The L all by itself was one of the major reasons I knew I had to get out of Chicago as fast as I could afford to do it. Even going "home" to my bitchy mother was not unattractive enough to keep in in Chi-town.

I know my experiences are not "representative" shall we say, but Chicago was not a happy place for me. (1968-70)

Jun 21, 2012, 2:30pm Top

Sounds crummy, Karen. I suspect much of it is better today (certainly the cars are cool), but there are still those who don't like it much. Our crew ain't among them; we use it all the time. Because of the escalated price of gas, it's getting a lot more passengers than in the past.

Better than Boston, worse than DC (what isn't?), and better than NYC used to be, but I've been out of touch with the NY subway for some time now.

Jun 21, 2012, 4:16pm Top

NYC subways were really great for a while, but recent cutbacks have extended wait times noticably. However, the cars (air conditioned) and stations are cleaner, some stations are even cool (so far this year), and they are still the fastest way to get around town, by far. A one-month unlimited pass has gotten a little more expensive, but considering what it gives me, along with a chance to buy it pre-tax, I'm glad to have one.

Jun 21, 2012, 4:20pm Top


Also sorry to hear. I got the second book of the Bookman series for a buck on Kindle then went out and bought the first book of the series, and then never read it.


Jun 21, 2012, 4:30pm Top

totally OT, but i just had to post this for those of us who are basketball fans. it's hyperlinked to the larger image and article for anyone who cares. for them as doesn't know, that's reigning NBA MVP LeBron James on the left and reigning WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings (aka "Catch") on the right. one of the girls of summer, she'll be in London playing for the US. thank you, Title IX for making this image possible.

Jun 21, 2012, 4:48pm Top

>133 ffortsa: Sounds good to me, Judy. It sure was the fastest way around when I lived there and when I used to come often for work reasons. The air conditioning and even some cool stations (!) sound like major improvements.

>134 magicians_nephew: I'll let RD respond to that one, James.

>135 mirrordrum: Nice, Ellie! I'm no LeBron fan, but I am a Tamara fan. I'll be pulling for both in London, of course.

I'm afraid OKC is toast in the NBA finals, but maybe they'll have one last hurrah tonight.

Jun 21, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Love the basketball pictures! Yea for Title IX!!! Going to a Seattle Storm game on Friday and Sunday. Love it that girls are taught that sports are for them, too. When I was in high school my gym classes were: golf, archery, volleyball, and exercises. Only volleyball ever asked much of a girl physically.

Jun 21, 2012, 6:01pm Top

>134 magicians_nephew: Jim, you might love it, you never know until you try. I got worn out with the Victorian clever-clever. That might not irk you at all. It is one of my biggest disappointments of the year, though.

Jun 21, 2012, 9:32pm Top

Sorry for bringing more smoke in your cafe, Joe, but I am really enjoying River of Smoke and can't seem to put it down for long. I'll just tuck myself away in a corner, sip away on a nice iced tea (no sugar), and read for awhile.

Jun 21, 2012, 10:10pm Top

Finished Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye. I enjoy her writing and her quiet yet ultimately powerful and moving way of telling a small story with universal themes. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I think she is a master of her craft.

Edited: Jun 22, 2012, 3:24am Top

did you narrate it for NLS, Anne? i hope so. says it's 'in process.' the narrator of audible.com's version isn't very appealing. :(

Jun 22, 2012, 7:17am Top

Ah, Lebron James. I'm far from a sports fan of any kind, but I do enjoy dropping Lebron's name into the snakepit that is my in-law's house in Cleveland during holidays. Entertaining, to say the least...

Jun 22, 2012, 7:45am Top

Morning Joe- Coffee, please! Are you working a full day today? Once again, have a wonderful & safe trip. Try to check in with us, on occasion. We'll all be anxiously waiting word from our favorite cafe owner.

Anne- Glad you liked the Tyler book too! I listened to it on audio and the narrator did a fine job.

Jun 22, 2012, 8:47am Top

Ah, you're in a good bit of Sydney, close to the bookshops mentioned above. Excellent! :)

Restaurants... I'd recommend Quay, although I haven't been, it's the current Best Restaurant in Sydney and I think has good views. And Bennelong at the Opera House is well, in the *Opera House* and that's got to rock.

I'd very much recommend Rockpool Bar & Grill (http://www.rockpool.com/sydney/bar-and-grill/) which is in a fabulous old art deco building and great food. There's a Rockpool in the Rocks too which is very grand too.

My mum, a great foodie, would also recommend Becasse (http://www.becasse.com.au/). Yes, I know they're in a shopping centre, but I've been to a previous Becasse and it was awesome.

You're not far for chinatown, so do try yum cha one morning. My favourite place is the Marigold on George st (http://www.marigold.com.au/) but I reckon anywhere on Dixon St is probably worth a go.

You may not have time for it, but a ferry ride to Watson's Bay from Circular Quay and fish and chips there (takeaway from the Doyle's on the wharf) is a great little outing. There is a grander Doyle's there (and one at the Quay too) but I think takeaway in the park is the best experience.

The bigger restaurants tend to be closed on Monday, so you'd want to book for a lunch on a different day.

And pretty much any small cafe is worth popping into for a sandwich and coffee. :)

Edited: Jun 22, 2012, 9:24am Top

>137 maggie1944: I'm a big Title IX fan, too, Karen. It only makes sense. My daughter wasn't super-interested in playing sports (although she's a huge basketball fan), but she had plenty of opportunities. Right, Becca?

>138 richardderus: Not one for me, I can tell, RD.

>139 DeltaQueen50: No problem, Judy. We're working on getting some Canoes of Smoke and Inner Tubes of Smoke in here for the many fans and affected denizens. Iced tea, don't need no sugar, coming up.

>140 NarratorLady: I have yet to read Anne Tyler, Anne, but I find you and Mark encouraging on that. Is there one you'd recommend in particular to start on?

>141 mirrordrum: Hi, Ellie!

>142 scaifea: Yes, Lebron is vilified in Cleveland, Amber. I'm sure there's a lot of heartache there today after the Heat won the last one last night. In our house we're just going to pretend it never happened. Very mature of us, seems to me. I have sympathy for your in-laws, but also for the irresistible attraction of stirring the pot.

>143 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Yes, full day of work. I'm going to dive across the finish line and into the airplane. It's been a tough couple of weeks.

I should be able to visit the cafe from time to time and report on our escapades. Thanks for the good wishes.

Which Tyler would you recommend for starters?

>144 wookiebender: You're a godsend, Tania! We're printing these off and taking them with us. I'm already wishing we had a couple of weeks in Sydney, but we'll get a good sampling, with your help.

Jun 22, 2012, 9:29am Top

Since The Accidental Tourist is my favorite, start there. Good luck today!

Edited: Jun 22, 2012, 10:21am Top

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts is a fun, weightless diversion featuring a bang-up main character in police lieutenant Eve Dallas. I have to admit I've steered clear of Nora Roberts in the past, finding her omnipresence in drugstores, grocery stores, tire repair shops, bodegas, canoe rentals and every retail outlet ever created frightening. How many people does she have on staff to count her money?

Faced with a perversely clever serial killer who precisely identifies the first prostitute victim as "1 of 6", and taunts Dallas with videotapes of the murders, Eve indefatigably digs deeper and deeper as the tendrils of the murders seem to reach higher and higher in the political world of New York and the nation. Meanwhile (who'd a thunk it) she starts falling for rich, successful Irishman Roarke, who may be the villain himself. As a cafe proprietor in LT life, I nodded in approbation as Roarke woos Eve with her weakness, good coffee. It turns out that he also is a parkour master of sex, wouldn't you know it. There's a good tension between her tough cop reluctance to get involved, and his master of the universe reluctance to let someone else call the shots.

The resolution of the mystey is sordid and ironic, and this author knows how to keep the reader flipping the pages. This, recommended to me by Caro, is the first in this "In Death" series featuring Eve Dallas. I'm taking a long plane trip tomorrow, and the next three are traveling with me.

Jun 22, 2012, 10:04am Top

>146 msf59: Thanks for the rec, Mark!

Jun 22, 2012, 10:22am Top

Good review Joe! I also have ignore the many Nora Roberts book sightings in the past. I'll add this one to my WL!

Jun 22, 2012, 10:55am Top

Nora Roberts is one of the very few authors who write book after book which I have tried. And liked.

Jun 22, 2012, 10:56am Top

>147 jnwelch: Thumbs-upped it!

Have a terrific time in Aus. I've got a houseguest this weekend, so like you, won't be around much.

Photos! We'll all want photos!

Jun 22, 2012, 11:32am Top

>149 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! I know, I know. This one has me hooked, as you can tell. Definitely worth trying when you're in the mood.

>150 maggie1944: I can see why, Karen. RL has been pretty demanding, and this was a welcome break.

>151 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! I expect we'll post periodic reports, and we're taking multiple cameras (the kids are all growed up now), so we should have some visuals for you, too. Hope you have a good visit with your houseguest.

Jun 22, 2012, 2:07pm Top

hi, Joe. my HSO is a great fan of JD Robb. i've sampled but not been hooked.

have a wonderfully book-filled trip. missing you will be tempered by knowing you and yours will be having an excellent time in Oz. looking forward to travelers tales and photos of book stores, especially Berkelouw.

books and noshes, just like Joe's. :)

enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Jun 22, 2012, 4:22pm Top

Judy always recommends Nora Robb to me - I've been put off like you by her omnipresence and the fact that i suspect like Nancy Drew she has a house full of writer-slave-elves chained up in the basement doing the actual work.

But your recommendation give ms heart.

Edited: Jun 22, 2012, 5:35pm Top

>153 mirrordrum: Have you tried the "in Death" ones, Ellie? Caro convinced me they were different than her others. What's HSO's take on that?

Berkelouw's presents spelling problems, but otherwise looks and sounds great. Maybe we'll get some ideas for the Book Cafe. You know, "Books and Noshes" ain't a bad name for a bookstore.

We promise to do our utmost to enjoy the trip many times over. Thank you for the good wishes!

>154 magicians_nephew: She may have that house you describe, James, in which case we'll have to support the uprising of the Dobbies. (What does that involve? A sock?)

Seasonsoflove and I read a whole lot of Nancy Drew together when she was growing up, and now we're the fine citizens you've come to know so well. So at least delving into a few pages of a Nora Robb in Death book should be safe, although I admit I had my moments of trepidation before trying it.

Jun 22, 2012, 7:55pm Top

Hi Joe! Looking forward to all of your Aussie adventures!

Hey, fellow Cafe patrons - how do I use the new "continue thread" feature? I searched on the site, but can't seem to find the right place.

Edited: Jun 22, 2012, 8:14pm Top

Ellie: Sadly, I'm not the NLS narrator for Tyler's A Beginner's Goodbye. As I've often said, it would be the perfect job if only I could choose all the books.

Joe: Tyler won the Pulitzer for Breathing Lessons which I thought was wonderful. Some other favorites were Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Digging to America. If you like her style of writing, you'll know right away to try others. One of my darling daughters insists that nothing "happens" in these books but I disagree. Tyler is able to get under the skin of her characters and reveal truths that have you nodding in agreement because you've felt these things or witnessed them yourself.
Also, I love her wry sense of humor.

Jun 22, 2012, 10:18pm Top

Also got Naked in Death (the book of course) recently and will get to it soon. Unfortunately my "soon" is fairly hard to quantify.

What a shame Joe that you couldn't have scheduled a short stopover in Kuala Lumpur on your way to or from Sydney.

Have a great weekend over there mate.

Jun 22, 2012, 10:55pm Top

Oh, it would be nice if you could get to Berkelouw's, but, having had fun putting the list of things to do in Sydney, I think you've got plenty to do without ever leaving the CBD. :)

It was nice to be reminded of all the great things we have here, I've been a shut in with work-and-kids for too long!

Saturday here, enjoying a cup of tea after Miss Boo's soccer game. And planning a coffee/cake/bookshop raid up in newtown this afternoon with my Mum. And then she'll babysit the kids while Don & I have a nice dinner out. There's a new restaurant up the road that I want to try.

Hm maybe I'm not so much of a shut in. :)

Jun 23, 2012, 4:31am Top

# 156 - Laura . The "continue thread" feature appears when there are 200 posts on a thread. There is a link - click on it, edit the title (if you want) and that's it.

Jun 23, 2012, 8:52am Top

*sigh* No Joe, and I need a cuppa joe bad.

Jun 23, 2012, 10:46am Top

me, too, out of milk for my latte. Drinking Zen tea. Need to go get coffee.

Jun 23, 2012, 11:11am Top

Is Joe on a plane yet or is that tomorrow?

I think I'll help myself to a cuppa. I'll just leave my toonie on the counter.

Jun 23, 2012, 11:34am Top

Today. Gone Joe. Flying.

see what happens when I get no cofeee?

Jun 23, 2012, 12:26pm Top

155: Read a good book a few years back about the woman (and the man) behind the Nancy Drew "Syndicate".

It's why they were able to crank out so many books, and why some of them are good and some not so much.

I had two older sisters so I read a lot of the "Girl Books" like Nancy Drew and even (shudder) The Bobbsey Twins before graduating to Tom Swift and the Hardy Boys and then with a elegant op and a jump into Sherlock Holmes and "Lit'ra-chure"

Jun 23, 2012, 4:35pm Top

Thanks, calm!

Jun 23, 2012, 7:53pm Top

So! It's a little bit of do it yourself coffee and pastries, here, eh? Well, how about a little bit of Zen tea, and some sharp cheddar cheese with rice crackers? And a good book, at the table, in the back, in the corner, not in the dark. There are really good reading lamps here.

Edited: Jun 25, 2012, 5:10pm Top

gosh! it's so quiet. i've made a pitcher each of iced Lapsang Souchong and iced red bush tea. mint sprigs and lemon are in the fridge for the rooibos. also brought in some Walker's shortbread. it's on the counter.

i'm taking some of the lapsang with a nice crisp en zed Fuji apple and a chunk of NY white cheddar back to my ferny corner to listen to more of The summer isles. terribly dreary book. i hope it doesn't all come to naught. i've put my trust in RD and am soldiering on. the narrator is good and sounds just like the protagonist probably ought to: depressed.

Jun 25, 2012, 5:19pm Top

Hi Joe, I've also noticed some thread fatigue this week, my own thread has slowed immeasurably too (but I suppose it at least allows us to draw breath!)
Lapsang Souchong will be great - I will gladly share a pot with you mate.

Jun 25, 2012, 5:55pm Top

Oh, and me three - doesn't that sound refreshing?!

Jun 25, 2012, 6:17pm Top

...now where are those filters...ah...and that batik bleu stuff he talks about is...oh Blue Batak...oh, good coffee is a-brewin'!

Hi Joe, having fun in Oz?

Jun 25, 2012, 7:44pm Top

Thanks, Richard for getting some excellent coffee brewing! I need a cup. Fell down today during a visit to a big pet store. Walked into a darkened room full of fish tanks, and tripped over some rocks used to create a display. Fell flat on my face! Luckily did not break glasses, but I sure knocked the breath out of me and bruised those ribs. I think may very well have broken one, or two. Dang

Coffee will taste very good, right now. And I can go to bed late tonight, no work tomorrow. I'll stay up and read.

Jun 26, 2012, 5:03pm Top

Hi Joe,
Gosh, it's been a while since my last visit. I hope I'm still welcome here :)
How about a pick-me-up of a large and strong milky coffee....and a mini pavlova with whipped cream. That should test the chef?

Jun 26, 2012, 6:27pm Top

Hi Joe, just drifting through to pick up an iced coffe to go. Hope you are having a wonderful time on your trip to Oz.

Jun 26, 2012, 7:00pm Top

Don't forget to try some of their meat pies. Pie Face is my absolute favorite Aussie pie outlet. There's one just by Circular Quay.

Jun 26, 2012, 7:03pm Top

Joe - you should take heed, Caro should write her memoirs based around all the great places she has found to eat in her travels around the globe. Trust you are having a great time over there.

Jun 26, 2012, 7:41pm Top

Hi, everybody!

Glad you're all finding your way and what you need here. We're having a grand time. We're in Cairns, and spent yesterday at the Great Barrier Reef. Amazing! Highlights were a lovely graceful tranquil sea turtle, and what my son named a Big Ass Reef Fish, which was green, squarish, and mighty . . . big.

The hotel clerk apologized for Cairns being behind on wireless, as getting on the Internet can cost your retirment savings for 5 minutes. However, in case you were worried about my retirement, we found a cafe with wireless named Byblos (the cafe, not the wireless).

Read two more J.D. Robbs on the plane flight, and now reading Mort by Terry Pratchett, and a re-read of Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Beautiful Esplanade here by the water. This afternoon we're off to the rainforest, well into the evening, as they want us to see the glow worms and no doubt a fairy glen or two.

I'll check in again. Seasonsoflove, Walklover and Formidable Jesse all say hi. The chef is ready to cover while I'm gone - thanks for your patience, and to those who know where to find the goodies in the cafe.

Jun 26, 2012, 8:00pm Top

Joe- Thanks for checking in, my friend! And great to hear you guys are having such a wonderful time. Great Barrier Reef. Yes, I'm drooling.

Jun 26, 2012, 8:16pm Top

It all sounds fabulous Joe. When we went to NZ we had our adult kids with us too and it was so great traveling together and discovering such new and unusual sights.

I know you're just the sort of guy to cherish all you see and the people you're seeing it with.

Jun 26, 2012, 9:21pm Top

I'm green. And I've heard that it is not easy being green! (with envy, of course) We will want plenty of pictures and more words on return!

Meanwhile, I'm hanging out at the reading corner and having a fine ole time.

Jun 26, 2012, 10:47pm Top

The oddest things are expensive in Oz. Internet access is costly? How do they live? Is Tania plated in platinum?

I'm mauve with loathing and the color of that weird-ass slimefest y'all in the Midwest think of a key lime pie with envy, so now you can *really* enjoy your vacation!

Hugs all around

Jun 27, 2012, 1:16am Top

Um, got any Breathe Easy tea with a little honey?

*sniff* *snort* *sneeze*

Jun 27, 2012, 1:54am Top

Great to see you all safe and well and loving it.

Jun 27, 2012, 2:00am Top

Oh ! Youre in Australia! Fantastic, have a great time. (NZ is just a hop skip and a jump away if you fancy a side trip...)

Jun 27, 2012, 7:37am Top

Joe - Sounds like you're having a great time! To celebrate, I'm just going to slip behind the counter to access the espresso machine. I'm feeling like a latte.

Jun 27, 2012, 9:24am Top

Have a great time in Australia, Joe!

Jun 27, 2012, 9:37am Top

Oh, don't get me started on Internet access in Australia. Most households can get a decent plan, but not if you're remote. (Being urban, I've got ADSL into the house and wifi within from that, and I didn't have to sell a single child for scientific experimentation to afford it.) And not a single hotel offers free wifi.

You get pretty good at sussing out where the good cafes with free wifi are after a while. :)

Yay for the Great Barrier Reef! It is glorious up there.

Jun 27, 2012, 10:48am Top

Glad you are having a great time! Enjoy the rainforest!

Jun 27, 2012, 11:25am Top

Tania, not even one! Well!

It's a similar situation, I suppose, in rural America. One of our fellow LTers lives back of the beyond in one of those flyover states and has *dial-up*! Whee dawggee.

Jun 27, 2012, 12:40pm Top

Wow.. very interesting updates here... I am a little green myownself.

Jun 28, 2012, 7:16am Top

Oh, I'm so happy to hear that you're having such a lovely time. I'm both jealous and not (I'd love to get there someday, but I'm such a homebody that I can't really imagine traveling that far!). Eagerly awaiting more updates!

Jun 28, 2012, 11:12am Top

For all the US citizens who might not have heard, the US Supreme Court UPHELD the health care reform law, including the mandate. Some little restrictions on the Medicaid expansion, but otherwise, thumbs up.

I didn't expect it.

Jun 28, 2012, 11:25am Top

I didn't either, but am overwhelmingly delighted that the law remains the law!

Jun 28, 2012, 12:34pm Top

I heard one interesting explanation: the Chief Justice is an Institutionalist, wants to preserve the institution of the Supreme Court and felt the number of decisions which appeared partisan were too many; and that the Court must reassert its role as an impartial arbiter of differing points of view. Might explain a little bit.

Jun 28, 2012, 12:46pm Top

I'm glad if he feels that way. It may steer the court back to a more non-partisan path.

Jun 28, 2012, 1:08pm Top

One can always hope.

Jun 28, 2012, 1:52pm Top

It seems likely that the Chief Justice saw the bidness proposition here: The incentives and so on will go to where? Why, they'll go to the greedy disgusting insurance bastards!

It's far from a perfect system, but it beats what's there now, and eventually someone will challenge the law on some technical grounds, strike it down, and either return us to the 18th century (Romney elected) or get us into the single-payer system (Obama elected).

Edited: Jun 28, 2012, 2:16pm Top

mmmm. according to the NYT article, what the Chief Justice said is "the decision offers no endorsement of the law’s wisdom, and that letting it survive reflects 'a general reticence to invalidate the acts of the nation’s elected leaders.'"

he sez "It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices." snarky, snarky, snarky. that doesn't mean you're not right, Karen.

i've put on a pot of the 'Blue Batik' (sic) and have set a couple of key lime pies on the counter. i hope the color of the pie is satisfactory even to Joe's most persnickety discriminating customers.

Jun 28, 2012, 3:35pm Top


a bit on the ague-ridden side...sorta anemic...more gamboge needed.

Jun 28, 2012, 4:48pm Top

I'll eat it, nevetheless, with a fine cuppa. Going off to my corner table to read.

Jun 28, 2012, 5:21pm Top

pining for Joe, off wallowing in the bookpots of Oz and their 60 degree winter temps. truly do give you joy, Joe et al.

Jun 28, 2012, 7:34pm Top

Joe, I'm so so so jealous of your travels. I spent 3 weeks in Australia and vowed I'd go live there someday. Please send my regards...
I'm sure you're having an absolute blast.

I'm way behind as usual, but I saw recently that you'd mentioned reading and liking a Nora Roberts book on Caro's thread, and now have seen the evidence with your review. I was most reassured to read

I have to admit I've steered clear of Nora Roberts in the past, finding her omnipresence in drugstores, grocery stores, tire repair shops, bodegas, canoe rentals and every retail outlet ever created frightening.

Precisely the reason I've stayed away. Though I have been known to buy a bestseller or two while in transit... they're what I call "airport books". :-)

Jun 28, 2012, 8:01pm Top

Hmmm, Joes Cafe goes on in his absence, excellent.
And intelligent conversation with my pie, what a great place.

Jun 29, 2012, 7:35pm Top

Wow I thought the cafe would be closed down in Joe's absence but at least there's pie:)

Jun 29, 2012, 7:46pm Top

I think pie would be super...hmmm...coconut cream! With a giant schooner of cheap "champagne" to wash it down! I'm reading Predator Nation and I need sustenance and sweetness to reduce the horror and misery I am experiencing.

Jun 29, 2012, 7:58pm Top

ooooh. coconut cream pie. oh, look. the chef just happened to make some. tell me if it's not right. naturally, the entire pie is yours. chef says she'll make another if anyone else wants some. i hope the schooner's okay.


Edited: Jun 29, 2012, 9:37pm Top

Sounds perfect to me. Please, may I have some? Great way to end the week. Looking forward to a quiet weekend... get to do things I need to do, and dinner with friends Sunday night. Will be reading..... of course. Could not help myself, grabbed and started reading (even though I have several other books started) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. (Totally not the wrong touch stone, movie and book have two diff. names, who knew?) The idea of a bunch of oldsters going to India to have their own retirement home... well, just could not resist. So, far, it is fun, funny, and easy to read. Good for a Friday night.

Jun 29, 2012, 9:57pm Top

we'll share the pie, shall we? the chef will make another in case RD shows up so he'll not get in a pet. ;)

i can't wait for the movie. it's like a who's who of my favorite actors: Dench, Wilkinson, Wilton, Smith, Nighy, Imrie. these people have all worked together for years and years on and off the boards. what tremendous fun. and isn't Dev Patel in it as well?

hey, Joe. *waving furiously* miss you.

Jun 29, 2012, 10:16pm Top

Ellie - great of you to step into the breach at the cafe - Asian breakfast is normally nasi lemak or roti canai - any chance?

Joe trust that your holiday continues to be fabulous and am looking forward to photos and updates.

Jun 29, 2012, 10:42pm Top

the chef got so excited about the challenge that she did both. and perhaps some pulled tea?

the chef's stab at nasi lemak:

and here's the roti canai:

Jun 29, 2012, 10:46pm Top

Wow Ellie, you are doing such a great job! Watch out, Joe will be looking to hire you on a full time basis!

If there's any of that coconut cream pie left, a piece of that and a cup of excellent coffe would go down a treat. I am starting a vampire book, The Strain and may be staying up late tonight and reading.

Jun 29, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Ellie - brilliant! Joe can stay in Oz (only kidding Joe!). The roti has even been torn properly in the bite sized pieces I so enjoy.

Jun 30, 2012, 12:25am Top

Yeah yeah back off the coconut cream an' wait for the chef to bring another one *gobblegobble* Oooo wondermous, thanks Ellie and chef, now maybe another one....

Jun 30, 2012, 12:28am Top

>211 DeltaQueen50: thanks, Judy. blush sadly, i can't do Joe and, thankfully, don't have to try. as we all know, the man is irreplaceable and inimitable. yes on the CC pie.

as for coffee, we're featuring Peet's Espresso Forte, a very full and balanced blend, and Sulawesi-Kalosi.

>212 PaulCranswick: cheers, Paul. roti looks kinda like chapati, which i love. is it similar? and Joe cannot stay in Oz! if he isn't back soon, i shall go fetch him.

Jun 30, 2012, 12:31am Top

>213 richardderus: thank goodness she got another one made just in time, RD. gobble 'er up. she says she'll whip one up to go if you'd like.

well, i'm crashing. pie's on the counter, coffee's in the pot, Joe's in Australia and i'm making a noise like a hoop and rolling away.

night all. thanks for letting me sub in.

Jun 30, 2012, 8:12am Top

OOOH! pie !

Just trying to keep up with all the neighborhood news...

*sets out plates of scones, sweet and savory*

*wanders out*

Jun 30, 2012, 9:04am Top

This place is soooooo great! Just wander in and there on the counter international foods worthy of fine eating experience.

*pours cup of coffee, grabs a scone, and wanders back to the corner table*

Jun 30, 2012, 10:01am Top

Ellie - it is not really like chapati which are quite dry (I also love them ) - roti canai or paratha is griddled on a hot tray with a touch of oil and is best really well done. Normally eaten with curry in the morning and sometimes an egg is thrown into the mixture to make ROTI TELUR which is literally Egg Bread.

Edited: Jun 30, 2012, 6:42pm Top

Ooh, I love Indian cuisine. I can't claim to be hungry, since I just finished a massive carnitas burrito from my favorite San Francisco taquería, but can I request a plate of palak gosht (with lamb, if you have it) with aloo paratha for dinner, and ras malai for dessert? TYIA.

Jun 30, 2012, 8:15pm Top

oh Darryl--how i miss the City and Bezerkeley. blow the Campanile a kiss for me, wouldja?

sorry for the delay, btw. the chef went into an overwhelm of delight. she's so easy. i asked her to add 3 of my favorite daily chutneys: cashew, cilantro and raisin. the cashew's wonderfully hot! and also my favorite dessert for blistering summer days (105 degrees here): shrikhand or srikhand. i never found any of the latter in the City so used to make them myself. i have been hovering over the Chef like a cloud. plenty of yogurt plain or with cucumber, as well, if you wish it.

your palak gosht

aloo parathas

cashew chutney--great with parathas

ras malai

and finally, srikhand

remember, it's nice to share. *pulling up a chair* :)

Jun 30, 2012, 8:51pm Top

A quick hello from Oz! I'm glad the good times and good food continue at the cafe! Kudos to the chef and all you DIYers.

We just returned from a wonderful sunrise camel ride near Uluru and Kata Tjuta (Ayers Rock). Whoever said Aussies drink good coffee had it right, BTW. We're off to catch our flight to Sydney soon. Superb time so far, saw wild platypi thanks to a savvy guide, which we were told would be big news for an Australian. Last night had dinner under the stars, and oh my, what stars. Last time I was in the thick of them like that was as a kid in the back of a pickup truck, hitchhiking across Arizona. First time for the kids - they were blown away. Made sense why we call it the Milky Way when you see it without city light and pollution interference. The Southern Cross - no Polaris down here.

OK, off we go. In Sydney we may be able to be in better touch, as here the wallabies have to carry emails to the Internet Depot before they can be sent on, and Sydney lies on the fast tech track.

Jun 30, 2012, 9:12pm Top

turning green again! love the real night sky! and the quiet which often goes with a lack of light pollution. Sigh

*wanders off with a book under her arm*

Jun 30, 2012, 9:17pm Top

oh my, Joe. oh my. platypi. give you joy!

Jun 30, 2012, 11:44pm Top

>220 mirrordrum: Ooh...

*shrieks with delight*
*gladly shares dinner with Ellie*

Jul 1, 2012, 7:36am Top

WOW! to seeing a platypus in the wild! I consider myself incredibly lucky if they're not hiding under a rock when I'm at the zoo...

School holidays have started , and we took the kids to the Biennale of Sydney today, which is a wonderful modern art show. One of the venues is in the harbour, on Cockatoo Island, an old part of our "working" harbour, so we got to scurry around decaying industrial buildings while marveling at art. Or not marveling, modern art can be glorious but also can be crap, frankly. :)

Highlights included a shipping container cut into what looked like a fairy tale castle; an installation that poured fog everywhere and the kids kept on getting lost in; a courtyard filled with cut out paper letters that kept on being blown by the wind as people tried to write their names with the letters; a large hanging reflective plastic sheet that the kids had a great time pulling faces in; a room filled with the buzzing of angry bees; a paper sculpture that you walked inside; and a giant tangle of chains made out of polystyrene.

Feeling very tired now! Time for bed, but a nightcap would be nice. Let's say a glass of port, and a nice warm ginger pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla iceream. My thanks to the chef!

Jul 1, 2012, 8:08am Top

Nice to see that the cafe is going ful steam ahead while the owner vacations..
Says a lot for our little corner of LT :)

Jul 1, 2012, 9:32am Top

Good morning, everyone. Wow! People are even cleaning up after themselves; and there's coffee at the ready!

Jul 1, 2012, 11:10am Top

Can't leave a man's castle in a mess for him to deal with! Chef very kindly manufactured some mamacado eggs with perfectly poached eggs! *throws empty avocado rinds on floor*

Oooh, good stuff.

*saunters from cafe*

Edited: Jul 1, 2012, 1:16pm Top

>225 wookiebender: gidday, Tania. the chef apologizes for the delay. she's leading multiple lives what w/ the owner away frolicking under the Southern Cross. here's your belated ginger pudd with butterscotch sauce and ice cream and your port. hope it's not untimely.

>228 richardderus: ahhh, Richard. a flung avocado rind installation. ever the artist, you. always making a creative statement.

Jul 1, 2012, 1:25pm Top

Glad to see you're a whale of a time down under , Joe. Ellie's doing a great job keeping up with the cafe in your absence ....although I've learned to visit your thread only AFTER I've eaten because the pictures would make me drool and stomach growl otherwise.

Jul 1, 2012, 1:38pm Top

Thanks for the update, Joe! Love hearing about your adventures. Safe travels, and looking forward to more stories and photos when you get the chance:)

Jul 1, 2012, 1:49pm Top

So Joe, you're in Sydney by now where it's, what, Wednesday June the Eleventy-first, 15884? I don't pretend to understand the time thing and the International Date Line is a vicious plot on the part of sinister forces of bewilderment and confusion to make me feel inadequate, but the travelogue of one of Earth's most interesting cities is keeping me awake nights awaiting this installment!

Jul 1, 2012, 5:53pm Top

For those who keep up with weejane's thread...Brit has asked me to let everyone know that Whit is now in the hospital and the are in the home stretch of waiting for this baby. So yay!!

Edited: Jul 1, 2012, 6:56pm Top

Experimenting with posting images on the iPad. That's a golden wattle, if I got it right, the national flower of Australia. The green and gold colors on Australian uniforms come from this, we're told.

We're off for the day . . .

Jul 1, 2012, 11:25pm Top

gidday, mate. thank goodness. now i know why the opals women's hoops team wears those, to me, unusual colors. wonder why the team isn't called "the golden wattles." ;)

rock on, Welches all.

i'm off for at least 2 days unfortunately.

Edited: Jul 2, 2012, 12:59am Top

Joe barely here.

Cafe hopping.

Gotta love that.

Jul 2, 2012, 2:11pm Top

The colors look pretty good to me. The name "golden wattle" has zero appeal on any level.

Jul 2, 2012, 5:02pm Top

Glad to see you are having a great time Joe and Family! I am jealous of the platypus viewing! Very cool!

I think I'll help myself to some tea and pie while Joe is gone! We made Blueberry pies while camping (two slices of bread and blueberry filling in the pie-iron and cooked in the firepit) but I think a real piece of pie is in order!

Jul 2, 2012, 7:07pm Top

Gidday, everybody!

Wonderful time at a festival in Hyde Park honoring the aborigines (singing, dancing, etc.) and the Australian Museum of Natural History (fascinating). Also toured Sydney and went to Berkolouw's (sp.?) and Ariel's bookstores in the Paddington area.

Great stores! But wow, are books expensive here (about $10-$20 or $25 more for paperbacks and hardcovers). We've restricted ourselves so far to relatively inexpensive books about aboriginal stories and art that wouldn't be easily available in the U.S.

The whole concept and content of the Songlines and Creation Time (aka Dream Time) is fascinating. My storyteller wife is overflowing with inspiration, as are her not-so-storyteller hubbie and kids. The remarkable parallels with the American civil rights movement are moving. I'm glad we're here at this point in time in terms of progress and respect, although of course, as in the U.S., much, much remains to be done.

OK, brekkie time and then we hit the streets. Hope all of you are finding what you need in Ellie's absence and are having a good time!

Jul 2, 2012, 7:18pm Top

Joe - So glad to hear what a wonderful time you are having. And how nice of you to take the time to check in and let us know what you are up to.

Jul 2, 2012, 7:18pm Top

Joe- Thanks for checking in! Sounds like you are having a fantastic time and no worries, the cafe staff are taking care of things just fine.

Jul 2, 2012, 7:40pm Top

*leaning off the western edge of N. Am continent and waving in direction of down under*

Hi! Glad you are having such a great time!

Jul 2, 2012, 7:57pm Top

Joe - nice to see you are having a ball. I also got a shock at the prices in NZ recently which are even higher than those you quoted.

Jul 2, 2012, 8:40pm Top

So happy to see the updates... good fun!

Jul 2, 2012, 9:24pm Top

Have you had kangaroo pizza or wallaby pie yet, Joe? If you're still in Sydney, try and get a reservation at Sean's Panorama. It's a little restaurant across from Bondi Beach. The food is absolutely amazing, especially the School Prawns (a starter that you must absolutely order). Everything is sourced from local farms. The owner is the brother of the owner of Aria, a very upscale restaurant across from the Sydney Opera House ...also great food and a fabulous wine cellar.

Jul 2, 2012, 9:49pm Top


no joe and he's he's he's in AUSTRALIA waaaaah no fair it's it's WINTER there waaaaah

Jul 2, 2012, 11:12pm Top

Joe, I remember book prices being equally outrageous in NZ which was the reason for the many second hand book stores all over the place. I assume the same is true in Oz.

Jul 3, 2012, 6:53pm Top

Great day yesterday, and a chance to see Tania (wookiebender) last night. We had some good English breakfast tea and caught up on things.

We've managed to find most of the top bookstores she's recommended. The ginourmous Kinokuniya store out of Japan blew us away with the breadth of its offerings. Its comics/graphic novels "section" would be an exceptional store on its own, as would its art section. Our son found an Australian street art (graffit) book for a reasonable price and was effusive about the store.

At Dymock's Becca found The Song of Achilles on sale at $10 for me, so I picked that up. (We're having to be careful about what we pick up, because we have limited luggage space - it's probably a good thing the book prices are generally daunting!)

We took a tour at the fascinating Rocks area down by the Harbor where the convicts and sailors lived (the convicts originally were told to build homes, rather than put in prison, until the rowdies eventually caused them to be shifted to a prison). Little alleys and out-of-the-way places for drugs, sex and gambling - we never would've found the places the tour went on our own, and as Jesse said, if we did, we wouldn't have known whether it was okay to go through/in them.

Then a wind-down at Lord Nelson's pub.

Loved it! They brew their own. Trafalgar ale for me, Three Sheets for Jesse. Becca had their hard cider, and non-beery Debbi had a white wine she liked.

Then English breakfast tea with Tania back near the hotel. On her suggestion, we're off across the Harbor to Cockatoo Island today for the biennale, a wild art exhibit sprawled across what was once an industrial park.

We're off to a rainforest resort called O'Reilly's tomorrow for a couple of days, so we may be back to low tech for a while.

Hope all is well with all of you!

Jul 3, 2012, 7:20pm Top

Joe- I'm so glad you hooked up with Tania! That is so cool! We've been missing her around here. Lord Nelson's pub sounds like my kind of joint. Yah!
When do you guys head back?

Jul 4, 2012, 12:00am Top

Oh Mark, if you ever come to Sydney, I'll make sure you make it to Lord Nelson's! So glad that Joe and family got there, it's a great old pub. (Arguably the oldest in Sydney, depending on how you define "oldest". One has the oldest license, another has the oldest building. I can't remember which one Lord Nelson's is!) You can get the Three Sheets in bottle shops now, which has been rather dangerous for me. :)

I can see the clouds rolling in today, I do hope you don't get rained on at Cockatoo Island! But at least you've had pretty perfect winter weather so far, even if we're complaining bitterly about the "cold". (Sorry, Richard.)

And it was lovely catching up, and putting some faces to names!

And I've finally gotten my encryption code working, so am feeling wonderfully virtuous. (I did have several heads turn in my direction when I said YESSSS! and pumped the air a bit when it finally worked.) So I'm goofing off briefly in here.

May I supply some people who are undergoing winter with some leek and potato soup? I made a bucketful on the weekend. I'll heat it up and add a dash of butter. Those undergoing summer may prefer it cold with a swirl of cream. Either way, it's pretty nomnomnom. (Many thanks to Julia Child! Only I did have to get Don to Google what a pint was in "real" measurements.)

Jul 4, 2012, 12:15am Top

A pint in real measurements is "not enough."

Cold oh hollow laugh cold how I miss thee my angel of coldth

Jul 4, 2012, 12:52am Top

What a lovely vacation! Thanks for taking time to communicate while you are away and to post incredible photos.

Safe travels.

Jul 4, 2012, 3:54am Top

Crikey, we're having fun in Oz! Please amble over to the new cafe and we'll see you there.

Jul 4, 2012, 7:36am Top

Tania- Glad you guys had a nice visit! Maybe we can make it there one of these days. I know the wife would love it.

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