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Mark's Reading Place #13

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place #12.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: A Dialogue #14.

75 Books Challenge for 2014

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Edited: May 23, 2014, 9:23pm Top

-Kenton Nelson (b. 1954) LA artist

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 7:19pm Top



Books Read So Far...


26) In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming 3.7 stars (audio)
27) Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman 4.8 stars
28) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt 4.5 stars (audio)
29) Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto 4 stars (audio)
30) Suttree by Cormac McCarthy 4.5 stars AAC
31) An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris 4.7 stars (audio)
32) Kids These Days by Drew Perry 3.8 stars
33) The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon 4.3 stars (audio)
34) Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan 4.2 stars
35) One More Thing: Stories & Other Stories by B. J. Novak 4 stars (audio)
36) A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny 3.8 stars (audio)
37) This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett 4.7 stars (audio)
38) Independent People by Halldor Laxness 5 stars
39) The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion 4.2 stars (audio)


40) Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn 4.7 stars
41) Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre 4.6 stars (audio)
42) Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood 3.6 stars
43) The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes 3.7 stars (audio)
44) The Burning Air by Erin Kelly 4 stars
45) Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack by Haruki Murakami 4.2 stars (audio)
46) Tar Baby by Toni Morrison 4.2 stars AAC
47) Brilliance by Marcus Sakey 4.4 stars (audio)
48) Dare Mel by Megan Abbott 3.7 stars (audio)
49) The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock 4.5 stars
50) Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig 4 stars
51) Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan 4.3 stars (audio)
52) This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash 3.8 stars (audio)
53) Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor 3.8 stars (E)
54) Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood 4 stars (audio)
55) Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler 3.8 stars


56) Annihilation (Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer 4 stars (audio)
57) The Dark Horse: (A Longmire Mystery) by Craig Johnson 3.8 stars (audio)
58) The Accident by Chris Pavone 3.7 stars
59) Mad Mouse: A John Ceepak Mystery by Chris Grabenstein 3.6 stars (audio)
60) The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks 4.4 stars GN
61) Hammered: Book Three by Kevin Hearne 4 stars (audio)
62) Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov 4.5 stars
63) The Purity of Vengeance: Dept. Q by Jussi Adler-Olsen 3.7 stars (audio)
64) The Farm by Tom Rob Smith 4.5 stars
65) Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson 3.6 stars (audio)
66) The Confabulist by Steven Galloway 3.5 stars E.R.
67) Slash and Burn: A Dr. Siri Mystery by Colin Cotterill 4 stars (audio)
68) The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty 3.8 stars (Read the 1st 2 collections)
69) Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst 4.2 stars (E)
70) When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood 4.6 stars
71) Burial Rites by Hannah Kent 4.4 stars (audio)


72) Finn: A Novel by Jon Clinch 5 stars
73) A Symphony of Echoes (Chronicles of St Mary's) by Jodi Taylor 3.8 stars (audio)

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 7:20pm Top

American Author Challenge 2014

Willa Cather- January
William Faulkner- February
Cormac McCarthy- March
Toni Morrison- April
Eudora Welty- May
Kurt Vonnegut- June
Mark Twain- July
Philip Roth- August
James Baldwin- September
Edith Wharton- October
John Updike- November
Larry Watson- December

Mark's picks:

Willa Cather- Death Comes for the Archbishop * Completed
William Faulkner- Light in August Completed
Cormac McCarthy- Suttree * Completed
Toni Morrison- Tar Baby * Completed
Eudora Welty- The Collected Stories * Completed Read the first 2 collections
Kurt Vonnegut- Mother Night* Breakfast of Champions
Mark Twain- Life on the Mississippi- Thanks to RD *
Philip Roth- The Plot Against America *
James Baldwin- Giovanni's Room- Thanks to Kerri *
Edith Wharton- The Custom of the Country
John Updike- Rabbit Run *
Larry Watson- Orchard or White Crosses or both. *

* On shelf

**If you are interested in the American Author Challenge, check out the main thread. This is shaping up to be a highlight of the year, IMHO:


Edited: May 23, 2014, 9:20pm Top

I thought this would be a good idea, to keep track of what is coming up and to supply links when they are available.


Eudora Welty- American Author Challenge: http://www.librarything.com/topic/173048#

May- Murder & Mayhem- http://www.librarything.com/topic/173133


Kurt Vonnegut- American Author Challenge: http://www.librarything.com/topic/174613

Edited: May 23, 2014, 9:18pm Top

Hey ho! I love Kenton's use of red...and you've managed to find three stunners without any!

May 23, 2014, 9:17pm Top

Hi, not coming in too early I hope? Alan Furst's is another series I want to jump into eventually, sooner than later hopefully.

May 23, 2014, 9:22pm Top

New thread for Mr. Mark. Just going to make myself comfy and enjoy all your book loving ways. ;)

Edited: May 23, 2014, 9:41pm Top

^Like this one, Linda? LOL. And yah, for being #1!!

May 23, 2014, 9:36pm Top

Lovely topper images as always!!

Comixology has been good so far. The app is free and prices for comics vary but I don't think they're unreasonable. I've got a few I subscribe to so I get an email alert that a new issue is due to be released so I have time to unsubscribe before they charge my cc.

They were just bought out by Amazon a couple of weeks ago so there's some trepidation of course about changes that may or may not be in store. That said, my new issue of Saga came through just fine this week.

I actually like reading GNs on my ipad because I can view panel by panel if I want or by page. The ability to zoom in on some of the artwork is really nice.

Edited: May 23, 2014, 9:41pm Top

Welcome to my Lucky 13 thread! Kicking it off, just before the Memorial Day weekend. My vacation has been great and I have got a lot of reading in, which is always such a bonus. Pull up a stool, grab a refreshing drink and soak up the bookish atmosphere...

>6 Smiler69:- Hi Ilana! You made the second spot, which is also pretty damn good. Congrats! This is my 3rd, Furst read and it's another good one. He seems to be very consistent and very prolific, so I still have many of his to get to.

Valerie- Yes, my friend we sure revel in our book loving ways, don't we? Sighs...

May 23, 2014, 10:27pm Top

Happy New thread, Mark!!!

I loved your review of The Farm on the last thread, and added my thumbs up! Onto the wish list she goes!! :)

May 23, 2014, 11:16pm Top

hi mark, here i am.

May 23, 2014, 11:57pm Top

Are you enjoying Mr. Furst?? I really liked this book, and there are echoes of one of his earlier books, too, in some familiar characters.

Apparently, Amazon is playing hardball with Hachette, yanking the ability to pre-order hot books, like the followup by "Robert Galbraith" aka JK Rowling to The Cuckoo's Calling. Not quite sure what the bone of contention is -- I'm sure it has something to do with pricing -- but it looks like round two of the epic battle between the publishing giants and Amazon is taking shape.

Hope the weather has been less, ahem, variable (read, unpleasantly drippy) for you out there than it has been here. On the good news front, I note that BookExpo is moving to Chicago in 2016. So, if you want to turn yourself into a blogger by then, you can indulge yourself in 2 1/2 days of bibliomaniacal bliss (as I plan to do next week in NYC, for as long as the show is within striking distance...)

Edited: May 24, 2014, 7:55am Top

Happy Saturday, to all my amigas and amigos! Looks like another beauty today: Lots of glorious sunshine, mid-70s. Ahhhhhh...For a little anniversary celebration, we are heading into the city to attend a craft beer fest. This was my wife's idea, I am just tagging along. LOL. We are going to take the train down, so we don't have to worry about driving. Should be a blast.

>9 SuziQoregon:- Hi Juli! I am going to try Comixology over the weekend. I would like to try more GNs on the iPad. Do you use NetGalley? I read 2 GNs from there, on my iPad and it worked pretty good.
It Looks like Ammy is buying everything...

>11 TinaV95:- Great to see you, Tina! I hope you can find a copy of the Farm. It was intense and a page-turner.

Howdy, RD! I've missed you around these parts.

Hi Suz! Good to see you! I am really enjoying the new Furst and it's a reminder I need to read more of his work. He has such a clean and lean style. This is my first NetGalley novel. Any advice?
And yes, the nice weather has finally arrived. The last few days have been gorgeous.

May 24, 2014, 9:52am Top

Morning Mark! Nice shiny new thread you got here, and I LOVE the thread toppers! Wishing for you a day full of fabulous!

May 24, 2014, 10:02am Top

Happy new thread!

May 24, 2014, 10:10am Top

Mark, as always, your opening images are stunning!

Happy Saturday!

May 24, 2014, 10:14am Top

Happy weekend, Mark!

Edited: May 24, 2014, 10:52am Top

Big loving hugs to Mamie, Katie, Linda & Julia! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

May 24, 2014, 11:26am Top

Mark, I wish you a gorgeous weekend.

May 24, 2014, 11:28am Top

Happy weekend, Mark. I might try The Farm one of these days. I really liked Child 44 but I was less impressed with The Secret Speech.

May 24, 2014, 11:51am Top

I really like your thread-topper!

May 24, 2014, 12:34pm Top

Great thread toppers, Mark! Congrats on the new thread.

This seemed like a good fit for your hacienda:

May 24, 2014, 1:11pm Top

Lucky 13! Here's to good weather, good books, and good beer! (wine for me, please)

Did you add Eudora Welty to your list of completed books? I was looking for a rating. Just curious.

May 24, 2014, 3:30pm Top

Hi Mark, I just can't keep up with you and since I have nothing much to say, I just popped in to say HI.

I like the fair ladies in the posts above.

Edited: May 24, 2014, 6:00pm Top

>8 msf59: Yes, or this:

May 24, 2014, 7:49pm Top

I trust you're enjoying the long weekend Mark. Happy reading and whateverelse-ing!

May 24, 2014, 8:13pm Top

I have written three very, very short comments on the last three books I've read over on my thread, you might want to skim through them. It has been a very bad year for me, so far, in the reading department. Sigh.

May 24, 2014, 8:21pm Top

Well, Mark, looks like you've doubled up on me, reading wise, this year. Yikes. It's been a slow reading year.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the Hawks have a better game tonight.

Edited: May 24, 2014, 9:28pm Top

^We had a great time at the beerfest! So many good beers. We ran out of gas, long before we could sample everything. My wife went to bed as soon as we got home. Light-weight!

Edited: May 24, 2014, 9:39pm Top

Joanne- Give The Farm a try. It's completely different from Child 44. I think the reason I've dragged my feet on The Secret Speech was the lackluster LT response.

Rhonda- Big wave!

Joe- Love the bookshelf and the beer. Great combo!

Claudia- Good to see you! I did not completely finish the Welty collection. I only made it about halfway, maybe less. I would give the collections I read, about 3.5- 4 stars.

Connie- Big wave!!

>26 laytonwoman3rd:- You are right about his use of the color red, Linda. No question about it.

Ilana- It has been a good weekend. More socializing in store tomorrow.

Karen- I will check out your mini- mini reviews! It's not even June yet, so you have a lot of time to turn your reading life around.

>29 lindapanzo:- I am sure you will catch up with me, Linda! There is plenty of time left. Go Hawks! It looks like it will be a tough game.

May 24, 2014, 10:47pm Top

Oh yay for a fun time at the beer fest. What was your favorite??

May 25, 2014, 7:24am Top

Mark, I certainly hope you are right about turning my "reading life" around. I know for one thing - I have created three excellent places for long summer days of reading on my home turf. I'm well into my Alan Furst book for starters.

May 25, 2014, 7:25am Top

"I hope he had a moment of purity, a clearing of all thought and memory, a beautiful surrender. Dad was a Catholic who believed in the saints. I hope he saw the face of God."

-When We Were the Kennedys

^I started this lovely memoir yesterday and her prose is gorgeous. This one was recommended by one of the authors at Petoskey Booktopia. I have not read Wood, but I know a couple LTers have enjoyed her work. I also have Ernie's Ark in the stacks.

May 25, 2014, 7:35am Top

Juli- There were many good beers tasted. I am a big fan of double IPAs, so I loved NINJA VS. UNICORN, from Pipeworks Brewery and Galactic Double Daisy Cutter, by Half Acre brewery. Both are in Chicago. I also tried a couple fine bourbon-barrel aged stouts. Are you a fan of these?

Karen- It sounds like your "reading life" is beginning to take shape. Yah! Glad you are enjoying the Furst. His books are lean and fast.

May 25, 2014, 7:35am Top

Hey Mark, Looks like you and your wife kicked off the weekend in the right manner!

I've got to say, you've really got a good eye for art. Every thread, you never cease to amaze me with artists I've not heard of before.

I'm putting When We Were the Kennedys on the wishlist. "Lovely memoir" and gorgeous prose are good enough for me.

Have a spectacular weekend!

May 25, 2014, 8:05am Top

Morning Lynda! I still consider myself a novice, in regards to art but I do know what I like when I see it. Pinterest has pointed me towards some great stuff, this past year.
I hope you are also enjoying a perfectly long weekend.

May 25, 2014, 8:39am Top

Hi Mark, a bit of insomnia today, so I was up with the crows. Wishing you a great Sunday!

May 25, 2014, 8:56am Top

Nice new thread you have here, Mark!

>30 msf59: So I guess you are carrying on with having a great time? Good job :)

Edited: May 25, 2014, 9:05am Top

I have a Thingaversary coming up, June 10th, so I thought I better start acquiring my allotted books. I stopped by Half Price Books on Thursday, (it's a very good store) and picked up:

Arcadia by Lauren Groff- I've had this one on my WL, since it came out. I also have her first book, sitting in the stacks.

Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III- I've heard nothing but good things about this story collection.

The Rabbit Novels: Volume Two by Updike- I already have volume one, which I will be cracking for AAC.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace- I now have this on both audio and in print, so I am ready to go one of these days.

May 25, 2014, 10:21am Top

Ah, my Thingaversary is June 14.... been a member since 2007, so I count that to be an opportunity to purchase 8 books. Right? One for each year and one to keep going.....

Edited: May 25, 2014, 10:24am Top

Nice haul, my friend. Lauren Groff is new to me, so I'll check her out.

>30 msf59: Love the photo! A good time obviously is being had. Finally we're getting the city out of the snow and into the swing of things.

Have a great Sunday!

P.S. Wow, I just checked, and my Thingaversary is June 3. I've been my usual oblivious self on that one. The tradition is you get to buy yourself some books? I can get to that!

May 25, 2014, 10:39am Top

>38 Smiler69:- Not used to seeing you at the crack of dawn, Ilana! LOL. Well, I hope you can get a nap or 2 in, during the day.

Kath- The good times are slowly grinding to a halt. Not much planned for tomorrow though, I'll just be trying to get into a work-frame of mind.

Karen- I was 2008. You have me beat by a year. Yep, 8 books. Yah!

Joe- We had a good time in the West Loop yesterday. Cooler, than we expected though, but with all those beer-loving bodies, we stayed comfortable enough. Most of these attending breweries were Chicago-based and I think we are very close to being the best craft beer city in the nation. Raises fist...
Yah, another June Thingaversary and we have Lit-Fest coming up too, right?

May 25, 2014, 11:15am Top

>43 msf59: I like vying for best craft beer city, Mark - that's one we'll fully support the pursuit of, right?

You betcha on the Lit-Fest. We've set aside Sunday (rather than Saturday) to make sure you can make it. No Debbi this year, as she'll still be recuperating, but Becca and I are looking forward to it.

May 25, 2014, 12:06pm Top

Looks like you had a fantabulous time Mr. Mark. I know absolutely zero about beer so definitely don't know what is considered good or not.
Any excuse to buy books is a good one to me. :D

May 25, 2014, 12:47pm Top

"The shape of our family has been upended and rearranged, its roof flattened, its gateposts ripped from the earth by God's own brutal hand, and only the animals know enough to make a run for it."

-When We Were the Kennedys

Joe- That is a game-plan for Lit-Fest. Looking forward to it. Wow, what a beautiful day!

Valerie- If you ever want to know anything about beer, just ask. This is Brew Central! LOL.

May 25, 2014, 2:01pm Top

Another spectacular day, Mark. Enjoy!!

I think I'll sit out in the yard and read.

May 25, 2014, 2:36pm Top

"This is what was bequeathed us"

This is what was bequeathed us:
This earth the beloved left
And, leaving,
Left to us.

No other world
But this one:
Willows and the river
And the factory
With its black smokestacks.

No other shore, only this bank
On which the living gather.

No meaning but what we find here.
No purpose but what we make.

That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:
Turn me into song; sing me awake.

-Gregory Orr, 1947

-This poem opens When We Were the Kennedys

May 25, 2014, 2:55pm Top

"Turn me into a song; sing me awake." Beautiful!

Also love the creative beer names! "Ninja vs. Unicorn" and "Galactic Double Daisy Cutter" ~ fantastic! Makes me want to start checking out breweries in Colorado, see what fun beer names there are to find.

Have a wonderful Sunday, Mark!

May 25, 2014, 6:05pm Top

Oh that is a beautiful poem and that's coming from somebody who usually doesn't read poems. Really like that one. Thanks for sharing Mark! :)

May 25, 2014, 7:38pm Top

No advice, in particular, on NetGalley. Just be diligent on posting reviews, and you will be in good odor with the publisher!

Am about to tune into the Canadiens/Rangers game, amidst trepidation and anxiety...

Quite like that poem, but may need to ponder it.

Soooo much noise here from neighbors all day; impossible to read, so I have been doing laundry. Scary.

May 25, 2014, 7:55pm Top

I am thrilled to see how much you are enjoying When We Were the Kennedys. And you'll love Ernie's Ark when you get to it.

Both of them were year end favorites for me and under appreciated gems.

Edited: May 25, 2014, 9:29pm Top

~ “Daddy’s Little Girl”- Karin Jurick

May 25, 2014, 9:31pm Top

Hi Mark. I'm sooooo disappointed there's no GOT tonight. I always look forward to my weekly dose. Do you know why they took a break this week?

Edited: May 25, 2014, 9:40pm Top

>47 lindapanzo:- It was a gorgeous one, Linda! We had a cookout in the far northern suburbs and it was perfect sitting outdoors.

>49 Storeetllr:- The great beer names are endless and fortunately many of them are tasty too! Win, Win, Mary! Glad you liked the poem.

>50 jolerie:- I am a poetry novice myself, Valerie but once in a while, they really hook me, like that one, up there.

Suz- Thanks for the NetGalley advice. I am trying to request sparingly, so I don't get swamped. I did request the new Michael Faber that comes out later in the year. I also have the new Tom Rachman, which I hope to get to in a couple weeks.
Sorry, to hear about all the noise. I hope things have quieted down.

Joanne- I was going to stop by your homestead and mention, that I started When We Were the Kennedys. She writes beautifully. I also have Ernie's Ark saved on ebook. Good call on Wood!! Hugs!

May 25, 2014, 9:57pm Top

Mark, you are quite the social butterfly these days attending beer fests, cookouts, etc. you will probably be glad to go to work on Tuesday so you can get some good listening in. Enjoy another day off tomorrow!

May 25, 2014, 10:56pm Top

Ilana- I miss GOT too! It is a big holiday weekend here, so I think that is why they skipped it. It'll be back next week, so you can get that fix.

Donna- I did do a bit of socializing this past week but I did manage to get quite a bit of reading in too, just not much of the audio variety. I will probably hang at the house tomorrow and do a little yard work.
Hope you had a fine weekend, yourself!

May 26, 2014, 12:07am Top

>30 msf59: fun! Booktopias, beerfests, I like your style Mark.

And those booky arty thread toppers, how do you find them all. The current batch are lovely. Particularly the toppest thread topper :)

May 26, 2014, 7:25am Top

"All gave some...some gave all. Remember..."

May 26, 2014, 7:35am Top

Last day of vacation. I had a great time off. Of course, I didn't get to a couple projects I wanted to but I did get a couple others done. I did get plenty of reading in, despite the lack of audio listening.
Not much on the agenda today, which is the way I hoped it went. I have to cut the grass and then reading time...I hope to read a healthy chunk of When We Were the Kennedys and I might wrap up my current GN, American Widow, which has also been very good.

>58 LovingLit:- Thanks Megan, my friend. Lately, I've been finding some of this artwork on Pinterest. Are you familiar with this site? It's been around a long time and people share some wonderful art over there.

May 26, 2014, 7:49am Top

Hi, Mark. I am doing better with reading and hanging out here but I still am so far behind in keeping up with people. But am here to wish you a great week. Hopefully, things will be more normal and you'll be able to do all the "reading" you are accustomed to doing.

May 26, 2014, 9:01am Top

68) Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst 4.2 stars

Paris, 1938. War looms. Tensions are rising. Christián Ferrar is a Spanish émigré, working for a successful, international law firm. He is bright and well-connected. A civil war in Spain is raging and Ferrar is approached by a representative of an anti-fascist group, needing assistance for the struggling Republic army. He decides to help, despite the many dangers.
Along with a motley, band of gangsters, idealists, aristocrats, gun-runners and the occasional spy, Ferrar begins to assist the cause, obtaining weapons and ammunition, mainly from Russia and transporting them, through hazardous waters, to the little beleaguered army in his homeland.

Pre-WWII Europe is this author's specialty. He paints a stark, tense landscape, populated with a wide array of colorful characters. His writing is fast and lean and always remains fresh, even though, he has covered this particular period of time, through many other novels. Highly recommended.

May 26, 2014, 9:16am Top

As you know, I love Alan Furst's books. Last night I finished Mission to Paris which follows an American movie star in Paris to make a movie. His family origin is in Austria and so the German Nazi people in Paris assume he would be favorably disposed to Hitler and the growing German threat to peace. I like Furst's style and agree that it is tight and his creation of tension is very smooth. The other thing I like is the exploration of how the growing threat of war and of the Nazi influence all through Europe affected ordinary people, people who did not like politics and who tried to stay "out of it".

I think I might have to consider buying Midnight in Europe in hard back to add to my Furst collection. I think I have all of his books except that one now. Thank you for the interesting comments, and it does whet my appetite.

May 26, 2014, 9:23am Top

Morning Karen- This was only my third Furst novel. I started with the Spies of Warsaw, which I loved. I really NEED to go back and start reading all of his work. Mission to Paris sounds good. Maybe I will start with that. Did I read somewhere, that his next book, will focus on WWI?

BTW- I am loving When We Were the Kennedys. This is a memoir you might really like. Hope you have a great holiday, my friend.

May 26, 2014, 9:30am Top

I do love memoirs but dang it all I have over three bookcases full of To Be Read real "dead tree" books and I don't know how many TBR on my Kindle and my Nook. I'm trying really hard to not buy more.... but Midnight in Europe is calling me.... calling..... calling....

May 26, 2014, 9:49am Top

So, I just double checked my collection of Furst paperbacks and find I have duplicates. Send me a PM if you are interested....

May 26, 2014, 10:44am Top

Just toppoing by to say hello! Hope you are able to get some reading in on this last day before work.

May 26, 2014, 11:52am Top

Hi, Mark! I missed your entire last thread, so I figured I'd better visit this one now. I love your thread topper! Glad you had a good vacation.

May 26, 2014, 12:22pm Top

Happy Memorial Day, Mark! Have a great day.

May 26, 2014, 12:50pm Top

I definitely want to read some Alan Furst but not sure where to start. I assumed I was best off starting with his Night Soldiers series, but maybe Midnight in Europe is just as good a place to begin with? Especially since I don't really want to be reading another WWII series while I've got the Phillip Kerr one going, plus David Downing's, which I've got to keep up with...

May 26, 2014, 12:51pm Top

>65 maggie1944:- Yes, Karen, those TBR shelves are always calling or glaring...one or the other, so I completely understand. I did get your PM, thanks!

Nancy made it! Nancy made it! Hooray! Hope you had a great holiday weekend.

Terri made it! Terri made it! Yippee! Hope you had a lovely holiday weekend.

Hi Joe! Happy Memorial Day! Getting ready to go out and cut the grass. I'll just be hanging out the rest of the day.

May 26, 2014, 1:04pm Top

Hope you are having a great Memorial day Mr. Mark. Enjoy your last day of vacation. Going back to work is never any fun, but hey before you know you will be boarding a plan on your way to the Big Island. :D

Edited: May 26, 2014, 3:55pm Top

"I have always loved books for their reassuring heft, for their promise of new words, for their air of mystery, for their characters who lived in them, for the sublime pleasure of disappearing. But not until now, at the threshold of this perilous summer, have I ever turned to storybooks for instruction."

-When We Were the Kennedys

>70 Smiler69:- Hi, Ilana! I haven't read enough Furst to answer that but I started with Spies of Warsaw and it was a perfect launching point for me. I can see starting with Night Soldiers but I also see no reason why you couldn't start with his latest. See, how easy I am?

Valerie- My last day of vacation is going just fine. I worked outside for awhile, it's pretty humid out there but now I am showered and ready to relax.
Yes, I am looking forward to heading to that Big Island but I also have Booktopia, Asheville coming up in August! Double Yah!

May 26, 2014, 4:36pm Top

Let me jump in on the first Furst (blush) question. I don't think his books are strictly speaking a series and really I think you could jump in any where. All that I have read have stood on their own quite well.

I think he does have a few which repeat a character, or more, but still they are stand alone books.

I just ordered a used copy of Spies of Warsaw and I think when I receive it, and when I spring for this latest one, I will have all of his books. I am not a "collector" usually, but in his case I've made an exception.

May 26, 2014, 4:57pm Top

The last day of vacation is always a bittersweet one, eh? Seems as if you've filled your days off with lots of fun and great reading.

Had some fun beer from a local brewery at a cook out yesterday. Was thinking of you!

Missing CTM -- all out of sorts yesterday.

Edited: May 26, 2014, 6:45pm Top

^I've been hearing some buzz about this new Showtime series, Penny Dreadful and a good friend of mine said it was a Must Watch. We currently do not have Showtime but they must be running some promotional deal because it came up and we were able to watch the first 2 episodes. It is set in 1891 London and it is a nifty mash-up of vampires, Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein and a special appearance by Dorian Gray. I actually think the writing is pretty smart in the early going...

May 26, 2014, 7:04pm Top

Hi Mark, came by to help close out your vacation time. Back to the salt mines tomorrow. :(

I finished Room today and absolutely loved it. Next up for me is The Siege by Helen Dunmore which seems to get very high marks here on LT. Although after hearing Alan Furst get a few mentions, I sort of feel like picking up on of his.

May 26, 2014, 7:10pm Top

Another vote for Midnight in Europe and a fine review Mark. I think I would like that one so I will see how long the library queue is for it.

May 26, 2014, 7:25pm Top

Oh man, I loved that third Longmire, Mark. It's the one set in Philadelphia, when he goes out to see Cady and everything goes cock-eyed. It really worked for me.

May 26, 2014, 7:26pm Top

Happy Memorial Day Mark! ; )

May 26, 2014, 7:27pm Top

Happy end of vacation, Mark! It sounds like you made the most of it, so good for you!

May 26, 2014, 7:28pm Top

Glad you liked Penny Dreadful, Mark!

May 26, 2014, 7:35pm Top

>60 msf59: I fear that if I got to know Pinterest I would never leave the computer. Luckily my computer is slow and plodding so the pictures barely load, this keeps my potential addiction at bay!

>76 msf59: is the "penny" part if it a woman's name or a reference to the price of the newspapers or serials, or however stories were told then? I like the name, maybe it means both. Clever (and scary looking).

May 26, 2014, 7:38pm Top

Cheap books like bodice rippers, and detective stories, were sold for $.01 and were called Penny Novels or something like that. When I cleaned out the library at the Clubhouse we had some. Published in the 20s and 30s I think.

Edited: May 26, 2014, 8:05pm Top

>74 maggie1944:- Thanks for the useful, Furst info, Karen! I am going to try and read at least one of his every other month or so. I NEED to catch up with these.

>75 michigantrumpet:- The vacation was great, Marianne. I should have done a few other things around here but...whatever! LOL. It will be nice to get back to my audios tomorrow.

Yep, Judy, back to the salt-mines! At least the weather seems to have finally locked in. We have a chance of rain through the week but the temps are just fine. I LOVED The Siege. I wasn't as much of a fan of her follow-up but this one is Must Read!

Bonnie- Thanks! Have you read Furst? I think he would be right up your alley and most of his books are on the lean side, which is a plus.

Joe- I also enjoyed Kindness Goes Unpunished. I am so glad you got back into reading this series. Watching the TV show doesn't make much difference, either, even though they add a few things from the books, here and there.

Kim- Happy Memorial Day, my friend. I hope you are on the mend.

Julia- Thanks! I am enjoying my last day, trying not to think about the holiday volume tomorrow. LOL. Hey, I'll have my audiobooks to distract me.

RD- I think you would like Penny Dreadful. Nice atmosphere, good writing.

>83 LovingLit:- Megan, when I mentioned to my wife that I was using Pinterest. She laughed. "That is for old ladies! Are you swapping recipes?" LOL. No, I wasn't but I love the art and book love over there. She rolled her eyes.

May 26, 2014, 7:56pm Top

>84 maggie1944: thanks! I thought it sounded familiar.

May 26, 2014, 8:09pm Top

Karen- You are correct about the definition of Penny dreadful:

A penny dreadful (also called penny horrible) was a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing one (old) penny. The term, however, soon came to encompass a variety of publications that featured cheap sensational fiction, such as story papers and booklet "libraries". The penny dreadfuls were printed on cheap pulp paper and were aimed primarily at working class adolescents.

May 26, 2014, 9:15pm Top

>85 msf59: Yeah, the Longmire TV series has been quite different from the books, although very good in its own right. We're looking forward to its return.

May 26, 2014, 9:18pm Top

I started watching the first episode of Penny Dreadful when the premiere was aired, but wasn't in the mood that night for more blood and gore after watching GOT. I've been meaning to watch it with the 'on demand' feature, just haven't gotten round to it yet.

May 26, 2014, 9:38pm Top

BTW, we've been watching the "Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries" from Down Under, rec'd by RD and others, and we've really been getting a kick out of them. Great fun.

Edited: May 26, 2014, 9:45pm Top

>90 jnwelch: Thanks for alerting me to this series Joe. I read the first 3 books from the Kerry Greenwood Phrine Fisher series, and thought they were good fun. I see the library has a disk of season 1, so I'll be sure to get my hands on it!

May 26, 2014, 9:48pm Top

Mark, stopping by to say hello. BTW, We just watched the second episode of Penny Dreadful. We are enjoying it, thus far. :)

May 26, 2014, 9:50pm Top

>90 jnwelch: Joe, I've read 9 or 10 of the Phryne Fisher books. After I've read them all, I would like to see all the TV episodes. I saw one and it was excellent. PBS from Milwaukee broadcasts these.

May 26, 2014, 9:54pm Top

I don't know if it was you or Joe that recommended The Rosie Project but I absolutely adored it. It gets one of my rare 9 out of 10 stars!

May 26, 2014, 10:10pm Top

Just catching up once again. A couple of Alan Furst BBs for me, I've read one of his set in Poland and like his style.
OK, back to lurk mode.

Edited: May 26, 2014, 10:16pm Top

OMG, our Blackhawks are getting thrashed! Come on, Hawks!!

Joe- I'll have to find out when the new Longmire TV show returns. I've heard others talk about the "Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries". I'll have to check it out. Do you watch it through Netflix?

>89 Smiler69:- If Penny Dreadful was all gore and action, I would probably not watch it. There was a little in the debut but I thought most of it was smart, atmospheric and well-crafted. I am curious to see where it goes.

Tam- Great to see you! Hope you had a terrific holiday weekend. I am glad we are trying Penny Dreadful. Like you, we are 2 in and really enjoying it.

>93 lindapanzo:- How are you holding up, Linda? I don't think we expected the Hawks to come out like this.

Morphy- Joe and I both read and loved the Rosie Project. I am glad you are joining the ranks. Now, spread the word. LOL.

Kerry- Good to see you! I haven't visited you in awhile either. I'll have to stop by and see what you are reading.

May 26, 2014, 10:16pm Top

I'm beside myself. I finished a book right before the game started and might pick up another. I can barely watch this.

Edited: May 26, 2014, 10:20pm Top

^I am sure you are not alone, in your feelings, Linda! Lots of tears tonight, if they can't come back. What a let-down.

May 27, 2014, 6:56am Top

^Back to the grind, Tuesday! Oh, joy! Hey, I had a terrific vacation and it looks like our late spring weather has finally caught up with us. One thing good about returning to work, is jumping back into my audios. I've missed it and I'll be kicking off with Burial Rites. Valerie gave me the last nudge on that one but I know several of my other LT pals have liked this one too.
I should wrap up When We Were the Kennedys today. Boy, what a good memoir!

May 27, 2014, 7:08am Top

Have a great day!

May 27, 2014, 8:13am Top

>96 msf59: We've been watching ads for Penny Dreadful, and I'm glad you liked it. Fortunately, it's on OnDemand, so we can catch up!

May 27, 2014, 8:20am Top

Morning, Mark!

May 27, 2014, 8:42am Top

rd mentioned Penny Dreadful to me... I haven't had much time to check it out, but I hope to.
Wishing you a good day!

May 27, 2014, 9:20am Top

Good morning, Mark! I have Burial Rites waiting for me on my Kobo but I haven't tackled it yet. I've heard some good things, though.

May 27, 2014, 9:54am Top

Good morning, Mark. Yes, we're watching the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries on Netflix. She's a stitch.

Good to see more love for The Rosie Project from Morphy. >94 Morphidae: Great, fun book. I think word is starting to get around.

Man, this is why it's so hard to repeat in hockey. The Hawks have to get hungrier, and maybe they don't have it in them. They were down 3-1 to the Red Wings before winning it all, so there's precedent, but woo, they looked lost in that first period last night, didn't they?

I'm working to finish my ER book, and started the next Longmire. The Cady storyline has me turning the pages, among other things.

Hope it's a decent first day back for you. Looks like the chances of snow are zero.

May 27, 2014, 12:02pm Top

Good thoughts for your first day back at work and I'm sure your audiobooks missed you as much as you missed them! :)

May 27, 2014, 12:44pm Top

Hi Mark, I hope your first day back to work isn't a too busy one. waves

May 27, 2014, 5:25pm Top

Thinking about you trudging along, but they are happy thoughts cause I know you are listening to a new audio book!

I am loving The Siege - another Mark endorsed book!

Edited: May 27, 2014, 7:28pm Top

^I guess when you can't afford to do it properly, you have to get creative. I wouldn't like the idea of snagging one of those titles, especially on the outside supports.

Edited: May 27, 2014, 7:41pm Top

>100 maggie1944:- The work day went well, Karen! It was nice having that inspection team gone. The stress levels go way down.

>101 drneutron:- The 3rd episode of Penny Dreadful just came out, so you are getting in early. We hope to watch that one soon.

>102 scaifea:- Big waves to Amber!

>103 mckait:- Penny Dreadful is on Showtime, Kath. Do you get that channel?

Julia- I am LOVING Burial Rites. Once again, my LT pals are my perfect source for recommendations. We should copyright that!

Joe- You were right, my friend. No snow! Yah! It actually got quite warm. I was breaking a pretty good sweat on my neighborhood strolls.

I will look for Miss Fisher on Netflix. Thanks! Glad the Longmire books have you hooked. You'll catch up with me in no time.

Valerie- You'll be glad to know, that Burial Rites was my first audio, after vacation and it grabbed me quickly. I LOVE it so far.

Barbara- The work day went just fine. A bit heavy after the holiday but not bad.

Judy- If you haven't read Burial Rites, you'll have to add it to your WL. My first audio, is a real gem. I am so happy you are loving The Siege. Dunmore kicked butt on that one.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 7:05am Top

It's our 25th! Yah! We did it! We are holding off any other celebration for September, for the BIG TRIP! Double Yah!

I am really enjoying Burial Rites. Once again, my LT pals pointing me in the right direction. In print, I am FINALLY starting Finn. I picked up a copy and got it signed at my first Booktopia. I was also able to chat with Mr. Clinch and he is a very good guy. I really liked his Kings of the Earth, but for some unfathomable reason, dragged my heels on this one.

May 28, 2014, 7:30am Top

Morning Mark! Happy Anniversary to you and Sue! Hoping that your Wednesday is full of fabulous!

May 28, 2014, 7:48am Top

Congratulations, to you and to your partner in life! I am very impressed at your skill and tolerance and whatever else it has taken the two of you to keep this going for 25 years. That is something to feel proud about!

Edited: May 28, 2014, 8:02am Top

>111 msf59: I hope you like Finn...I was mightily impressed with it. Loved Kings of the Earth too. I haven't met Clinch, but did exchange e-mails with him (I asked for a photo for his author page here, and he obliged cheerfully.) He expressed what seemed like sincere gratitude for my positive review of Finn. I, too, got the impression that he's a "good guy". I hope he's writing something else. I have a copy of his The Thief of Auschwitz, but haven't read that one yet.

May 28, 2014, 8:06am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Anniversary!

May 28, 2014, 8:26am Top

Happy anniversary, Mark and Sue! That's really something to be proud of.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 11:54am Top

Congratulations to you and Sue on your 25th, Mark! I know a lot goes into big numbers like that! :-) Celebrating with a Hawaii trip is perfect.

I just finished a book that riffs on the Huck Finn story, called The Boy in His Winter, so I'll look forward to hearing your reaction to Finn. Mine was disappointing, unfortunately - I reviewed it over at the cafe.

Finishing it allowed me to start one I'm enjoying much more: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, by Chris Hadfield. Very likeable guy, a Canadian who aced the USA astronaut program.

May 28, 2014, 12:13pm Top

A nice, pleasantly cool day out here. Only about 70.

Mamie, Karen, Terri & Julia- Thank you all very much. Hugs to all!

>114 laytonwoman3rd:- Finn grabbed me immediately. This is so my cuppa. I should be rereading this one, not reading it for the first time. LOL. I haven't heard much buzz on his Auschwitz book, so I never added it to my WL.

Joe- Thanks for the anniversary wishes. Yes, I think Finn we be a keeper. The writing is amazing, echoes of Faulkner and McCarthy.

May 28, 2014, 12:32pm Top

25 years is an inspiration indeed, especially in these times. :)
Congrats to you and the wifey, Mr. Mark!

May 28, 2014, 12:43pm Top

Faulkner? I may leave this one for others to read. :-)

Edited: May 30, 2014, 4:46pm Top

Happy anniversary to you and Sue! 25 years of wedded bliss! That deserves a trip to Hawaii at the very least.

I saw this book on offer today for $1.99 (multiple e-reading devices) and thought of you. I haven't looked into it so can't recommend it, but it does sound interesting.

The Ball by John Fox: Anthropologist John Fox sets off on a worldwide adventure to the farthest reaches of the globe and the deepest recesses of our ancient past to answer a question inspired by his sports-loving son: "Why do we play ball?" From Mexican jungles to the small-town gridirons of Ohio, from medieval villages and royal courts to modern soccer pitches and baseball parks, The Ball explores the little-known origins of our favorite sports across the centuries, and traces how a simple invention like the ball has come to stake an unrivaled claim on our passions, our money, and our lives. Equal parts history and travelogue, The Ball removes us from the scandals and commercialism of today's sports world to uncover the true reasons we play ball, helping us reclaim our universal connection to the games we love. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00655EI70/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=bookperk-20

May 28, 2014, 2:04pm Top

Happy anniversary Mark and Sue.

May 28, 2014, 2:07pm Top

Happy Anniversary to you and Sue, Mark!

And thanks for the reminder that I want to give Clinch a try...

Edited: May 28, 2014, 2:41pm Top

>120 jnwelch: There may be tone and characterization reminiscent of Faulkner, but not the writing style, although it isn't 100% straightforward. Please don't let that scare you away. Seriously, now that Clinch has written Finn, Huckleberry Finn isn't complete without this book. Here's my review

May 28, 2014, 2:34pm Top

I am writing this from a Starbucks in Hopkinsville, KY. on my way back to T-town.

Alan Furst's books are not necessarily a series. Each of his novels is a stand-alone. However, if you read more than one of them characters from a previous novel will make a minor appearance in other novels. They will never be major characters but they do show up. Sometimes an incident from a previous novel will show up in a minor way in one of the other novels, but they are not meant to be read as a series.

That being said - taken together they form a picture of the swirling milieu that was Europe during the 1930's before it exploded into war. The war did not suddenly happen, but had been brewing for some time. Creating this atmosphere of anticipation is one of the things that Furst does really really well. The reader knows what is coming but the people in his novels do not. They may think that a war is coming, but they don't KNOW it is coming and are doing their best to keep the continent on a even keel so that it doesn't come. We know that they are doomed to failure but they don't.

One of the purposes of the series is to show that espionage is not James Bond. It is slower and often part of other military, and, often humanitarian, operations. These books are more like the anti-spy novel. Bottom line - Jump in anywhere. The water is fine.

May 28, 2014, 2:38pm Top

Happy Anniversary -- Wishing you MANY days of celabration!

May 28, 2014, 2:43pm Top

Happy Anniversary!

May 28, 2014, 3:33pm Top

>125 benitastrnad: totally agree.

May 28, 2014, 4:17pm Top

May 28, 2014, 4:40pm Top

Happy Anniversary to you and yours Mark!

And, to answer your question regarding my daughter Breanna, yes, like your family, we do indeed call her Bre. When she was little, she was a ball of energy. We called her Breezy. Sadly, when she was approximately 10-11 she asked that we no longer call her Breezy in front of her friends, or in public.

Still, now that she is 31, once in awhile I'll call her Breezy in a very affectionate manner, which then puts a great big smile on her face.

May 28, 2014, 5:31pm Top

Happy 25th anniversary to you and Sue. Many more years of happiness together.

May 28, 2014, 6:14pm Top

Happy Anniversary to you and your honey Mark! I loved Kings of the Earth so I will be waiting for your thoughts on Finn. Maybe I should read it this summer when I read Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

May 28, 2014, 6:39pm Top

Happy Anniversary!!!!

Edited: May 28, 2014, 7:05pm Top

"You declare you see me dimly
through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly,
trim in rank and making time.

You do own to hear me faintly
as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message
and the rhythms never change.

Equality, and I will be free.
Equality, and I will be free."


R.I.P- Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

Edited: May 28, 2014, 7:47pm Top

Thank you for all the wonderful anniversary wishes! My LT pals are the absolute best! Big Hugs, to: Valerie, Mary, Barbara, Katie, Marianne, Connie, Richard, Linda (Whisper), Linda P, Bonnie and Juli!!

>120 jnwelch:- What was I thinking Joe! LOL. Actually he reminds me much more of McCarthy, particularly Suttree. Echoes of Faulkner, but by default. Finn has been outstanding! I think it will be one of my top reads of the year.

>121 Storeetllr:- "The Ball" sounds good, Mary. Not sure, I can pinpoint the touchstone down. Thanks for thinking of me.

>123 katiekrug:- Finn is shaping up to be a Must Read, Katie!!

>124 laytonwoman3rd:- I will be checking out your review, Linda! This is an EXCELLENT book. I was not prepared for this level of writing.

Benita- Thanks for all the terrific Furst comments. I will definitely be reading A LOT more of his work.

>130 Whisper1:- Funny, we called Bree, Breezer. That is what is on her Christmas stocking. LOL.

Bonnie- You will LOVE Finn and reading it for the Twain AAC is an excellent idea. I thought of it too, but my momentum was taking control...LOL.

May 28, 2014, 7:35pm Top

Mark, I've finished We Were Liars (meh). Let me know if you want me to pop it in the mail to you. Didn't know if you were planning for it on audio rather than print...

May 28, 2014, 7:40pm Top

hey, Marky. long time no visit. just popped in to say "hi" and wish you very well! can't read thread so it's really just "hi."

oh, love your topmost thread-topper!

May 28, 2014, 7:42pm Top

Happy Anniversary, Mark!

May 28, 2014, 8:33pm Top

Happy Anniversary to you and Sue! Enjoy the day and even more, the big celebration later in the year!

May 28, 2014, 8:40pm Top

Happy 25th Anniversary to you and your wife, Mark! What a fantastic accomplishment. Here's to 25 more!

May 28, 2014, 8:43pm Top

Happy Anniversary to the blessed couple and may you have at least another 25 more!

I'll need to add some Maya Angelou to the tbr.

May 28, 2014, 9:01pm Top

Happy Anniversary Mark! 25 years is nothing to sneeze at. My younger (by 4 years) brother and his wife just celebrated 25 years too!

May 28, 2014, 9:02pm Top

First off: Go Blackhawks! It's Do or Die for my Chicago team. They lead this one 3-2 in the 1st period.

>136 katiekrug:- Katie, we hooked up already!

>137 mirrordrum:- Great to see you, Ms. Ellie! Hope all is well.

Amber- Thanks, my friend.

Nancy- Thank you! Good to see you!

Heidi- Yah, for 25 more. Thanks!

Ilana- Thanks! The only Angelou I have read, is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings but that was many years ago.

Edited: May 29, 2014, 6:58am Top

Sweet Thursday! It is especially sweet, since the weather is beautiful and both my current reads, Burial Rites & Finn are absolute gems. Don't you love it, when that happens? Actually, my current GN, Sex Criminals has been pretty damn good too. Hey, it's the Triple Crown!

Stephanie- Thanks for the anniversary wishes! And congrats to your little brother!

**I thought I would share this:

The 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards go to:

General Fiction Book of the Year: THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion (Text Publishing)
Literary Fiction Book of the Year: BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent (Macmillan)
General Non-fiction Book of the Year: THE STALKING OF JULIA GILLARD by Kerry-Anne Walsh (Allen & Unwin)
Illustrated Book of the Year: I QUIT SUGAR by Sarah Wilson (Macmillan)
Biography of the Year: THE CROSSROAD by Mark Donaldson, VC (Macmillan)

^Of course, I am reading and loving Burial Rites and the Rosie Project was a joy!

May 29, 2014, 6:55am Top

Morning, Mark! The weather does promise to be lovely today, although the gnats are awful again this year already. I need to get my vanilla out...

May 29, 2014, 7:13am Top

Oops, I'm a little late for anniversary wishes but I've brought bubbly for you and Sue.

May 29, 2014, 10:50am Top

Sweet Thursday! Hope it's a good one for you, Mark.

I'll re-open my mind on Finn given your and Linda's comments. I'm having a good time with An Astronaut's Guide. What a guy! I'd already watched the Youtube video of him singing Bowie's Space Oddity while floating in a tin can space station, high above the world - wonderful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_RB1ENTayU

Edited: May 29, 2014, 6:37pm Top

^Is this a slice of heaven or what? Why can't I be there right now? Friends, a fire, the great outdoors and of course....beer. And before everyone arrives...a few hours of quiet reading. Sorry, I drooled a little...I should wear a bib.

May 29, 2014, 6:10pm Top

Love the rosy late afternoon sun melting its color onto the water. I'll be along shortly ...

May 29, 2014, 6:20pm Top

I would join you. Looks like a lovely evening. Of course, it would soon be too dark to read, but then that's when the good conversation kicks in.

Edited: May 29, 2014, 6:48pm Top

>145 scaifea:-Amber, it was a gorgeous, gorgeous day. I will take a 150 more days, just like this. And no gnats! Yah!

>146 Carmenere:- Thanks for the bubbly, Lynda. Much appreciated! Now...where is the beer?

Joe- I am glad you are back on board with Finn. It's an amazing read but Pap, is not a very nice man.

An Astronaut's Guide sounds good. A good companion piece to the marvelous the Martian?

Marianne & Benita- I am a FOOL for an outdoor fire. Of course good friends & beverages are part of the mix. It might be my favorite thing about camping. And having it alongside a lake is...truly dreamy.
We attended a family wedding in the Northwoods, a few years ago and the setting was very similar to that one! OMG!

May 29, 2014, 7:06pm Top

Oh, I love a nice outdoor fire, too! So nice :)

Camping? not so much...

May 29, 2014, 7:12pm Top

Hi Mark! I like rich man's version of camping meaning four walls, a door, and running water included. I'm such a princess. ;)

May 29, 2014, 7:16pm Top

I'm in: I've been looking at those fire pit thingies one can buy for a yard. But really, I don't need one. I need to move into that Retirement Community. I'm trying to renew my commitment to avoiding spending money, except on books, of course.

Edited: May 29, 2014, 10:48pm Top

^reading by moonlight...

Kath- I like a fire on a cool night. Right now is perfect.

Valerie- You sound like my wife. LOL. She doesn't mind a well-equipped camper.

Karen- Those fire-pits are not very expensive. I wished we used ours more, especially on these cool nights.

May 29, 2014, 10:55pm Top

Mark how did I get so behind on your thread? Aack!

May 30, 2014, 6:32am Top

Morning, Mark!

May 30, 2014, 7:56am Top

Happy weekend! I thought they might need me, today or tomorrow, to work but never said a thing. Sure, the extra money would be nice, but a 3 day weekend, couldn't hurt either, right? The weather continues to be gorgeous!

I did finish Burial Rites, which was very impressive. Her style reminds me of Geraldine Brooks and, lo and behold, she thanked her in the acknowledgements. There are also shades of Alias Grace.
On audio, I am returning to St. Marys, for A Symphony of Echoes and this one looks like it will be a lot of fun. I am also starting the 2nd half of Finn, which continues to amaze. What a stunning first novel!!

Roberta- What? How can this be? Stares off, in complete bewilderment...

Morning Amber!!

May 30, 2014, 7:59am Top

Mark, in this case I wish you a gorgeous long weekend.

Edited: May 30, 2014, 8:09am Top

^"Most people ignored the outrageous reports on the news. But they became too frequent, they became too real. And soon, they began happening down the street. Then the Internet died. The television and radio went silent. The phones stopped ringing. And we couldn't look outside anymore. Malorie raises the children the only way she can; indoors. The house is quiet. The doors are locked, the curtains are closed, mattresses are nailed over the windows. They are out there. She might let them in. The children sleep in the bedroom across the hall. Soon she will have to wake them. Soon she will have to blindfold them. Today they must leave the house. Today they will risk everything."

The buzz on Bird Box is building...on the most recent BOTNS, Michael raved about it. A good horror book, like a good horror film, is a rare thing. I hope this one soars.

Here is the creepy book-trailer:


May 30, 2014, 8:29am Top

>160 msf59: Wow, that sounds amazing!

May 30, 2014, 9:15am Top

70) When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine by Monica Wood 4.6 stars

“What happened to my family in April is now happening to the Kennedys; what happened to the Kennedys is now happening to the whole country; and the whole country cannot stop crying.”

Mexico, Maine, is a small working class town, dependent on the Oxford Paper Company. The Wood family is no different and one morning when the father is on his way to the mill, he dies suddenly, setting the mother and her four daughters adrift,.
Set in 1963, this is a wonderful memoir, beautifully written, about a family coping with loss and survival. How neighbors and friends come together, to shield and comfort and it's about a grieving mother, trying to pull it together and raise her girls, against difficult odds.
I have not read any of Wood's acclaimed fiction, but now I am looking forward to exploring all over her work. Highly recommended.

May 30, 2014, 9:55am Top

Hey Mark, getting caught up and here to wish you a fabulous weekend.

May 30, 2014, 10:11am Top

Ding dang it, Mark - you got me with another one this morning!

May 30, 2014, 10:12am Top

Dang, Bird Box sounds right up my alley. Thanks, thanks a whole bunch Mark. ;)

May 30, 2014, 10:31am Top

>164 scaifea:- I got you twice in one morning, Amber? That is pretty good shooting, I must say. LOL.

>159 Ameise1:- Thanks, Barbara! I hope you have a lovely weekend yourself.

>163 Thebookdiva:- Big, loving waves to Abby!

Valerie- Sorry for the book bullet but doesn't that one sound good? Creepy and scary, are hard to find...for me anyway.

May 30, 2014, 10:57am Top

You sound like a person who could do with a week's safari in a tent in Tanzania. Those things are posh! And yet you have wildlife outside the door. Just my kind of safari. High tea at 4:00 p.m. and then hop in the Land Rover and go look at lions at dusk. Then return to a hot bath. Lovely.

May 30, 2014, 11:11am Top

I finished Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne and I think it was a good standard history. I think that becuase I lived out in Southwest Kansas and the Comanches and Comanche lore are such a part of the scenary that I expected more from this book and didn't get it. I also thought it would be more of a biography of Quanah Parker instead I got three chapter about Cynthia Parker. What's with that? Aside from being the mother of Quanah I can't see that she did much. I guess I don't get the whole infatuation with the Cynthia Parker story in the first place. To me it is one of those interesting sidelights of history that got blown out of proportion. I really don't think it deserves to have all those words written about it that it has gotten over the years.

What I think this book does well is tell the story of what really defeated the Indians. Good tactics and a strong leader in Randal MacKenzie, but most of all the destruction of the buffalo. All of which makes me think perhaps I should go dig out my copy of Buffalo for the Broken Heart and start reading about modern day ranching.

I also think that this book does a great job of telling how the topography of the land and the climate did so much to slow the white mans advance. The High Plains really is a hostile environment just as was told in Timothy Egan's Worst Hard Time. Climate is something that often gets short shrift in more romantic tellings of Native American history. I have been to the Palo Duro Canyon and it is beautiful. Who needs to see the overly touristy Grand Canyon with its dammed up river when you can go to Amarillo, Texas and twenty miles south find this huge hole in the ground that is hundreds of feet deep with the most beautiful orange, red, purple, black and ochre rock walls. It is a perfect place for hiking and camping. When you get ready to leave you can go to Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico and on to Raton and the beautiful Raton Pass. That country out there is simply beautiful and so few people go there that it may not be exactly the same as it was in 1870 but it is as close as any part of the U. S. is likely to be to that time in history.

May 30, 2014, 12:56pm Top

>160 msf59: That one does sound intriguing, Mark. I am behind on my BotNS podcasts, so I haven't heard Michael's comments yet. But the quote is compelling, for sure.

Enjoy your three-day weekend!

May 30, 2014, 1:55pm Top

Good instincts, Mark - yes, An Astronaut's Guide would be a perfect accompaniment to The Martian. Lot of real-life problem-solving, and behind the scenes in the space program. This guy (Hadfield) would have been just like Watney if he got stranded on Mars.

Three day weekend? Perfect! Love this weather we're getting. We're still housebound as Debbi recovers, but we'll get her out into the garden and so on. I'm sure a few brews will be involved for yours truly. I can't complain - people keep showing up with food, knowing Debbi probably needs better than what I might come up with. Had some great chili and cornbread last night.

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 7:09pm Top

^Rules of Summer- (I may have found my next topper!)

I just started this lovely GN, thanks to Joe. I love Tan's artwork.

May 30, 2014, 4:13pm Top

You sir need to stop sending off all these darn BBs everytime I check your thread. Stop it! :D

May 30, 2014, 4:14pm Top

Benita- I would love to go on a safari to Tanzania! Count me in!

I think we have some differing opinions on Empire of the Summer Moon but I am glad you read it. I think it all worked well for me and is right up there with The Worst Hard Time. As usual, i enjoyed are informative thoughts on the Gwynne.

Julia- I love listening to BOTNS and rarely miss it and nearly every week I come away with a good book rec.

Joe- It sounds like you have a nice relaxing weekend planned. I'll be kicking back, for most of it too. Hope to get in plenty of reading.

May 30, 2014, 4:47pm Top

>121 Storeetllr:, >135 msf59: Sorry, you're right, the Touchstone was wrong. Here's the link to the Amazon.com page for The Ball by John Fox: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00655EI70/ref=cm_sw_su_dp?tag=bookperk-20

May 30, 2014, 4:49pm Top

Have a great weekend, Mark!

May 30, 2014, 4:54pm Top

>162 msf59: I loved Monica Wood's collection Ernie's Ark and novel Any Bitter Thing! I'm book-bulleted good and proper.

May 30, 2014, 7:52pm Top

Well, I really liked both Empire of the Summer Moon AND The Worst Hard Time. Have you, by the way, read The Wilderness Warrior ? I really liked that book, and for some reason it seems to go with the other two.

May 30, 2014, 8:00pm Top

#171 Have you read The Arrival by Shaun Tan? I really liked it! Now I will look for Rules of Summer.

May 30, 2014, 10:00pm Top

I didn't dislike Empire of Summer Moon. I just expected more. I think that is because I lived in that country and went to every historical society lecture and old ladies clubs with speakers that I could, so much of what was in the book I already knew. It is one of the few newer books out there on the Comanches and it did show publishers that there is interest in books on this subject. There is hope that this author will do another on the same subject. The bottom line is that I was disappointed because I had different expectations - not because it was a bad book.

Edited: May 30, 2014, 10:32pm Top

^ The wife and I went out for dinner and had a couple beers and then stopped at the little brewery, where Bree works and had a couple more. Life is good. Now, watching the Blackhawks, trying to stay alive.

Work called, so it looks like I am working tomorrow. It's all about the Benjamins, my friends!

>174 Storeetllr:- Thanks, Mary! I will check it out.

>175 connie53:- Big waves to Connie!

Richard- Another Wood fan! Yah! I did not realize Ernie's Ark was a story collection. I have that one saved as an ebook. Cool!

Rhonda- You have great taste in books. I have not heard of The Wilderness Warrior. It sounds like, I better. I LOVE T.R.!

Mary- Wow! It is great to see you, stranger! Yes, The Arrival was one of my very first GNs and remains one of my favorites. Absolutely gorgeous.

Benita- It didn't sound like you were disappointed in Empire of the Summer Moon, but it didn't sound like you were very impressed either. I WANT to read the Searchers: The Making of an American Legend, which is a different angle on the same story and I have a copy at hand.

GO Hawks!!!

Edited: May 30, 2014, 11:13pm Top

I have Searchers: The making of an American Legend on my wishlist. I also want to read that new biography of John Wayne. Oh well - so many books and not enough time.

I didn't have any beer tonight but I did have a glass of ice tea made with my homegrown mint. It was very tasty but I over did it on the mint. Apparently homegrown is strong stuff.

May 30, 2014, 11:30pm Top

#180 I suggested GN for book club and then read about 30 of them to get a good smattering. Wow, what a great area. All the "ladies" thought it was a great night as we all took on different books to present. The 2 really memorable ones were Art Spiegelman In the Shadow of No Towers and 9-11 A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Sid Jacobson. I presented Alison Bechdel Fun Home and Are you My Mother. Then got sucked down the tubes of info about the Bechdel Test. Great stuff. All this talk about beer is making me thirsty.

May 31, 2014, 12:06am Top

Mark, hope you saw that spectacular Hawks comeback. What a finish!!

Game 7 is Sunday night.

May 31, 2014, 1:50am Top

>162 msf59: yum

>180 msf59: yum

*leaves thread satisfied intellectually and with thirst quenched*

May 31, 2014, 3:59am Top

>171 msf59: Great - a new Shaun Tan book! I love his artwork. I must add Rules of Summer to the wish list.

Edited: May 31, 2014, 6:44am Top

^Hawks win 4-3! We are going to game 7! Yahoo!

May 31, 2014, 6:48am Top

This is a Charcoal Lab! I never heard of this shade in a lab, until recently. A guy we know, has a puppy and we saw it last night. What great eyes! The big drawback: COST!

May 31, 2014, 7:00am Top

Semi-Happy Saturday! Yes, I am going into work but it will be a warm, nice day, the volume should be light and the money is good and let's not forget St. Marys, will be keeping me company. Okay...Happy Saturday!
I am also on the homestretch of Finn. What a great boat ride...

Benita- I am a fan of John Wayne too and read an excellent bio on him, many years ago.

Mary- I have never heard of the Sid Jacobson GN. I'll have to look into that. I am a huge fan of Fun Home. the follow-up...not so much. I will always take a good GN rec!

Linda- I only made it to 10, since I had to work today but I did wake up and race downstairs to check the final. Hooray! Let's do it again, tomorrow night!

Megan- Good to see you, my A+ student and I am glad you were quenched.

Rhian- Tan is one of the best illustrators out there. I NEED to buy the Arrival for my keeper GN shelf.

May 31, 2014, 7:20am Top

Hit by two BBs, the cost of visiting your thread. Finn and Bird Box will both be investigated. Luckily I read The Rosie Project last year and have Burial Rites on my tbr pile.

Love the charcoal lab.

May 31, 2014, 8:44am Top

Mark - wishing the Postie with the Mostie the very best of weekends.

You and Joe and Amber are substantially out-posting RD and myself at the moment by the way.

May 31, 2014, 9:26am Top

What a comeback!

Hope you're set up for a good Saturday, buddy.

May 31, 2014, 10:55am Top

>187 msf59: - Super Awe picture! I just want to scoop that puppy up in my arms.

Happy Weekend Mark!

May 31, 2014, 10:58am Top

Perfect weather today.

Everybody was going nuts after that Hawks comeback last night. A neighbor was shooting off firecrackers. A co-worker who's not a sportsfan texted and asked if something had just happened with the Hawks since her neighbors were going similarly crazy. What a game!!

Resting up today. Maybe some reading and ballgame watching. With the West Coast swing and the Blackhawks on every other night, I haven't seen many Cubs games lately.

May 31, 2014, 11:28am Top

Aww, lab puppies are the cutest, and chocolate labs are gorgeous. I've known a few over the years. Labs are my favorite of all dogs :)

May 31, 2014, 12:33pm Top

>194 katiekrug: me too, Katie. We have a chocolate female (and she's fat, but gorgeous) and a yellow male.

Edited: May 31, 2014, 12:45pm Top

Warming up out here! I cracked out the sun helmet. But all this warmth still feels good.

>189 avatiakh:- I was going to ask you about Burial Rites. It sure feels like your kind of book.

Paul- If you and Richard stopped posting the rest of the year, I couldn't catch up. LOL. Hope you are having a great weekend, mate.

Joe- I ended up working today but it is going along fine. Hope you are enjoying your Saturday.

May 31, 2014, 1:48pm Top

The one to watch is Amber! She's poised to take #1 this year. Go Amber! Go Amber!

May 31, 2014, 1:59pm Top

>197 richardderus: *snork!* I still can't figure out what's wrong with you people for finding my threads so visit-worthy. Besides the Charlie posts, of course. Ha!

Gorgeous day for working outside, Mark - hope you have a good one!

May 31, 2014, 4:10pm Top

Happy weekend, Mark! And good luck to the Blackhawks tomorrow night.

May 31, 2014, 4:43pm Top

I hope your bag was light and your audiobook takes you straight through to the end of your shift. Do you ever finish a book partway through a shift? What do you do then? I don't know why, but now that I've thought of that possibility I'm very concerned about it. :-)

May 31, 2014, 5:38pm Top

>200 rosalita: Julia, that is a disconcerting thought.

Edited: May 31, 2014, 6:48pm Top

^Sorry, can't get enough of these Charcoal Labs! And NO, I am not looking for a new dog...

My wife is out messing around with friends. I think I will hang tight tonight. Have a beer or 2, read a little, watch a film...

>192 lkernagh:- Glad you like the lab, Lori. The puppy we saw last night, was about 5 or 6 months old. Such a laid back little guy. Awwwww...

>193 lindapanzo:- This is going to be a BIG, BIG, Hawks game, my friend. They win, this town is going NUTS! It got very warm today, (not complaining) about 90 on the way home.

Katie & Laura- We lost our Bailey, about a year and a half ago. She was the sweetest Chocolate Lab. Everyone loved her.

RD- I am not at all surprised by Amber's explosive takeover. She was just waiting for the right moment, to attack and boy, did she! LOL!

Amber- Don't play coy, with us, my friend. LOL.

Darryl- Good to see you, stranger! Hope all is well and GO HAWKS!

Julia- Never underestimate Marky-Mark. My nano iPod, always has at least 5 or 6 audiobooks on it and I usually know, what I plan to listen to next, so that's also locked and loaded. Same thing, with my print books. If it looks like I am getting close to the end, I bring my next book along. I usually have my iPad along too and that has several ebooks stored on it, as well. I would have been a helluva good Boy Scout! LOL.

Stephanie- Fear not...see my comments to Julia! You can breathe easy.

Edited: May 31, 2014, 6:58pm Top

I'm a dolt. I missed the whole "charcoal" thing and thought you were talking about "chocolate" labs. Both are adorable, of course! I don't think I've ever seen a charcoal lab before. Very handsome. I'm not allowed to look too long at pictures of dogs because Louis gets jealous ;-)

Have a good evening, Mark! Oh, I am continuing to enjoy Byrd. I think you'll like this one, too!

May 31, 2014, 9:13pm Top

Mark, I'm so glad you are liking Finn. Jon Clinch is a very good writer to make me a fan after the grittiness of his books. Of course, I like Daniel Woodrell, too, who is no slouch in the gritty department.

That Charcoal Lab is a beauty. It almost has a blue cast to it…maybe it's the eyes. I have a new grand dog in Kansas City that I haven't met in person yet. Moses is an Australian Labradoodle and is cute as a bug (a rather large bug) in his picture.

Enjoy your Sunday tomorrow. Can you believe it's already June the 1st?

May 31, 2014, 10:18pm Top

>202 msf59: That's a relief, Mark! I had a terrible vision of you having to finish your route in silence! *shudder*

May 31, 2014, 11:00pm Top

Oh, those charcoal labs (both pictures actually) are gorgeous! That first picture you posted just melted my insides... his/her eyes just made my heart melt. Not getting a puppy! Especially not a costly puppy!!

Happy belated anniversary, Mark!! I hope it was wonderful!!! :)

Jun 1, 2014, 3:56am Top

Mark the charcoal lab puppy is a very similar colour to Daisy, although in staffy terms she is called 'blue'. Here she is as a little puppy.

Jun 1, 2014, 5:59am Top

I am a total fan of sleek, shiny dog fur. This blue puppy is gorgeous. Just think of what a "chick magnet" she could be if walking her about in a popular area of town. I think "blue" is a lovely description of her, although charcoal is probably more accurate.

Not getting a new puppy any time soon. And if and when I do get a new puppy, it will not be as big a labradors. Sigh.

Hope your Sunday is a sweet one.

Edited: Jun 1, 2014, 7:01am Top

Aweeee, what cute pups! I want one too if only to run my hand down their sleek charcoal backs. Precious.

I just brought an armful of GN's home from the library yesterday. Unfortunately, I didn't know about Shaun Tan. It's ok, love a reason to go back.

Have a relaxing Sunday, Mark!

Edited: Jun 1, 2014, 7:52am Top

Happy Sunday morning! And yes, it is June. This time of year seems to fly by and the next thing you know it is September, but since that month contains our BIG TRIP, no complaints there.

We have another family birthday party to attend this afternoon, lots of little kids, smallish house...Ugh! I want to hang at home, chill & read, and get prepared for my six day work week.

>203 katiekrug:- Glad you got that sorted out about the charcoal vs. the chocolate, Katie. And you are not a dolt, you are KAK!

>204 Donna828:- Good to see you, Donna! I am blown away by Finn. What a debut and yes, he also reminds me of Woodrell, at least here. Have a great Sunday.

>205 rosalita:- I am sure I am not alone but it is funny how panicky we get, being caught without reading material. Shutters, describe it well.

Tina- Good to see you. Hope you are feeling better. I adore dogs and babies, but at this time in my life, I prefer them both to be someone else's problem.

Rhian- Daisy is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Is she a lab?

Morning Karen- Most puppies are chick or guy magnets, but I think my dog days are over, once Riley moves on, anyway. My wife may have other ideas, though. Could be a battle...

Morning Lynda- The coats on these labs is luxurious, of course it is still a puppy coat. Please let me know what GNS you are enjoying. I am always interested. And do yourself a BIG, favor and pick up the Arrival. You will fall immediately in love.

Jun 1, 2014, 8:05am Top

Mark! I just recovered from my Senior moment! The brain's nerve endings just wiggled to life and I recalled reading Shaun Tan before. And yes, it was in The Arrival that I met him and the fabulous art work.

I brought home the following GN's: Pride and Prejudice I think Valerie mentioned this one, The Alchemist, Templar, Best Shot in the West and Game of Thrones the graphic novel vols 1 & 2

Jun 1, 2014, 8:24am Top

Lynda- Glad you are over your senior moment. LOL. All of Tan's work is worth checking out. All very short and gorgeously rendered. I especially liked "Lost & Found", can't find the right touchstone.
I would like to try the Pride and Prejudice GN and Best Shot in the West sounds good.

Jun 1, 2014, 8:35am Top

>210 msf59: . Is she a lab? No, she's a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but it is quite difficult to tell from those photos as she was very little. I think they were taken in her first day with us, so she'd have been eight weeks old. She still does have a very shiny coat though, people frequently comment on how shiny it is.

Jun 1, 2014, 9:26am Top

Checking in to wish you a Happy Sunday, Mark! I'm sorry you have to attend a party when all you want to do is stay at home to read. Tell you what ... I'll stay home and read on your behalf this morning and you can relax vicariously through me. Ahh... the things I do for pals.... ;-)

Jun 1, 2014, 9:30am Top

Puppies!! >207 SandDune: That pose in the second shot is so perfect, and the coat so gorgeous, it looks like a sculpture in some highly burnished metal. Definitely a blue tinge...I love that. My niece had an Australian Blue Heeler, and his coat fascinated me.

Jun 1, 2014, 10:23am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark! We won't say anything if you decide to skip the birthday party because your plantar fasciitis is acting up.

Jun 1, 2014, 11:55am Top

Hi Mark, happy Sunday. Too bad about the party. I'm hoping to read this afternoon and rest up for the big Hawks game tonight.

Edited: Jun 1, 2014, 12:24pm Top

"Under a low sun, pursued by fish and mounted by crows and veiled in a loud swarm of bluebottle flies, the body comes down the river like a deadfall stripped clean.”

^I finished Finn. OMG!! 5 stars...

>213 SandDune:- Now, I remember you mentioning your bull terrier. Do you have a current photo?

Caro- You are such a kind, thoughtful, friend. Great to see you and I hope you have a fine Sunday, with all that reading, going on. LOL.

>215 laytonwoman3rd:- Waves to Linda!

Darryl- Funny, my wife asked me earlier this morning how my foot was doing and I told her fine. Sh*t!! Foiled again. A sudden relapse? I better not...

Linda- It sounds like you have a perfect afternoon planned. Yes, I am extremely jealous. There will be fireworks tonight, my friend. Go Hawks!

Jun 1, 2014, 12:54pm Top

>218 msf59: Here she is looking as if butter wouldn't melt in her mouth after having destroyed a toilet roll while I was out:

and here she is again very proud of a new ball:

Edited: Jun 1, 2014, 1:36pm Top

"Your heart is like a great river after a long spell of rain, spilling over its banks. All signposts that once stood on the ground are gone, inundated and carried away by that rush of water. And still the rain beats down on the surface of the river. Every time you see a flood like that on the news you tell yourself: That's it. That's my heart."

-- Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Edited: Jun 1, 2014, 1:56pm Top

Are you reading Kafka on the Shore? It is an amazing book.

I started listening to The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin a couple of days ago, and am liking it so far. It is a series of mysteries set in 1830's Constantinople. Goodwin is a noted historian of the Ottoman Empire. I read his short history of the Ottoman Empire Lords of the Horizons years ago and was surprised to learn that he is the author of this series of mysteries. So far it is a good mystery and I am learning lots about the last years of the Ottoman Empire. And about Turkish food. One of the chapters in this book reminded me of a chapter in one of the Mantalbano mysteries. All of these detectives in love with food? What's up with that?

I finished listening to the Meg Wolitzer book Uncoupling and thought it average. I knew going in that it was a retelling of Lysistrada (the Aristophanes play from ancient Greece) and this novel didn't really do much for me. Of course, I was still coming down from the high produced by the Graceling novels. It would be hard to beat a YA Fantasy novel for action with anything except another YA fantasy. And there are plenty of those around.

Jun 1, 2014, 2:49pm Top

Hi Mark! Cute pups!

I have to run off and hang up some laundry and go grocery shopping. :-|

Enjoy your Sunday!! Sorry you have to work six consecutive days this week.....

More about books when I return.

Jun 1, 2014, 5:07pm Top

Hi Mark. I love those puppies that are all over your thread.

Have a happy week!

Jun 1, 2014, 8:45pm Top

Hawks game is like a pinball game today. Yikes. Not sure what's happened to the defense.

Jun 1, 2014, 9:08pm Top

Hi Mark! Happy belated Anniversary. Bird Box sounds great, and I need a book that scares you for my Book Bingo. SO, thanks!!

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 6:54am Top

^Hawks lead 3-2. Just started the 2nd period.

>219 SandDune:- Now, I remember her. LOL. She is a good looking pup.

Benita- No, I am not reading Kafka but just sharing the quote. This one does remain my favorite Murakami and I am due a reread. I really liked the Interestings and was thinking of reading her other work...?

Ellen- My Sunday is going fine. I WISH I could have spent more time reading but Oh Well! Hope you are having a good one.

Connie- Glad you like the cute pups. LOL.

Linda- Lots of action. Let's tighten things up a bit...Go Hawks!

>225 Berly:- Thanks, Kim! Good to see you. I have Bird Box high on my wishlist. Of course, I'll be watching for it to pop up on audio.

Jun 2, 2014, 5:55am Top

Damned Kings. Sorry about last night's heartbreaking loss; hopefully the Rangers will make quick work of them in the finals.

Jun 2, 2014, 6:28am Top

Morning, Mark!
Thought fondly of you as we here at Scaife Manor got as close to watching a sporting event as we ever do last night: we watched The Mighty Ducks. Ha!

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 6:50am Top

^The Hawks lost in OT, 5-4. Bummer. But it was a great game, a great series and a great run.

Jun 2, 2014, 7:03am Top

Okay, this is my 6 day week and I will try not to think about it much, I'll just do one day at a time...I have Lit-Fest, (with Joe & Becca) on Sunday and next Monday I am off, so that is the tasty carrot leading the stick.

I am starting Airships, a story collection. I've heard very good things about Hannah but he has a scant presence on LT. Let's hope I can change that. And on audio, I will be walking with Max & the St. Mary's crew.

Darryl- The Kings were TOUGH! It is difficult to lose but it was an amazing run.

Amber- Yah, for the Mighty Ducks! LOL.

Jun 2, 2014, 8:30am Top

Very disappointing, heartbreaking even.

On the bright side, way more time to read and I'm saving a lot of money not buying finals tickets today.

Stay cool today!!

Jun 2, 2014, 10:25am Top

Good morning Mark, wishing you a fabulous new week.

Jun 2, 2014, 10:53am Top

>229 msf59: Totally agree, great game, great series, great run. Jeez, so close to going back to the finals - and I think whichever team won this series was going to take the Stanley Cup. I expect the Kings to beat the Rangers now.

I liked that Pride and Prejudice GN, so I'll be interested to hear what you think.

I'm near the end of This One Summer, which is a well done slice of life. I can see why you liked it. I'm also reading the newest Harry Dresden, after finishing Chris Hadfield's An Astronaut's Guide. You will enjoy the Hadfield book when you have a chance to get to it. I reviewed it over on my thread.

Jun 2, 2014, 11:45am Top

Sorry about your Hawks Mark! It was such a great game to watch nonetheless. So much back and forth.

Have a wonderful start to your week my friend. :)

Jun 2, 2014, 12:27pm Top

I have got rained on, it is humid and more dark clouds are building, other wise I am doing just fine.
Love the first Hannah story...

Linda- I was sure you are feeling a bit shell-shocked but like you mentioned, you now have plenty of reading time on your hands. Silver linings, my friend.

Barbara- Big Waves!

Joe- I will check out your review. Hope your Monday is going well.

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 12:57pm Top

Have you read any of the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher?

On my trip home I found a copy of Last Argument of Kings on a pile of used books. It was priced at 75 cents so I purchased it. Now I will have to read the first two in that series. I checked out trying to purchase the first two in the series as used books and they aren't cheap. Must be lots of fans out there. Are you a Joe Abercrombie fan?

Do you think I am looking for more books to purchase?

Jun 2, 2014, 4:27pm Top

>221 benitastrnad: The Baklava Club, the last Yashim novel, comes out shortly. I had hopes the series would go on a little longer...

Jun 2, 2014, 4:41pm Top

>151 msf59: Catching up on your thread, and I read "no gnats" as "no goats". Don't even ask what mental images THAT conjured up about your daily routine in Chicagoland...

>237 richardderus: Yup, it's out at the end of the month. I've got my Kindle pre-order placed. I suspect he has other things he wants to write; the intervals between books have grown longer.

Sad about the Hawks. Would have loved a Habs/Hawks final -- dream Stanley Cup matchup. 'Twas not to be, alas.

Jun 2, 2014, 5:44pm Top

#237 & 238
Darn - and I was just getting started in the series. But so far it has been a good one. I was surprised to learn he is the same author as the non-fiction historical author whose book on this subject I read long ago. I don't care much for the reader but I like the story. And this one has food in the title? strange that detectives love to eat so much.

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 7:16pm Top

-David Hettinger

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 7:44pm Top

"When I am run down and flocked around by the world, I go down to Farte cove off the Yazoo River and take my beer to the end of the pier where the old liars are still snapping and wheezing at each other."

-the opening words of "Water Liars", the first story, from Airships. Yes, I think I picked another good one...

>234 jolerie:- Hi Valerie! I am not even a big hockey fan but I sure love watching a great Chicago team in the post season.

Hi Benita- Yes, I have read Harry Dresden or at least the first 3 books in the series. They were good but something must be missing, because I don't really feel like returning to those books, especially since there are so many top-notch fantasy series books floating about.

And yes I have read Joe Abercrombie and I did read the first 2 books in his First Law series, which Last Argument of Kings is the 3rd. This is a good solid series but haven't had a chance to get back into them. They are also very good on audio!

>237 richardderus:- I am not familiar with The Baklava Club or that author. Good stuff, RD?

BTW- Have you read Barry Hannah? I think he might be your cuppa. Another Southern writer, with fine chops...

>238 Chatterbox:- Good to see you, Suz! Thanks for catching up. No rampant goats, in Chicago, as far as I know...Some have horns, right?

Jun 2, 2014, 7:49pm Top

Hi Mark, I've been in lurking mode lately, but thought I'd give a sign of life. Trust you're doing well. xx

Jun 2, 2014, 7:51pm Top

Since you are talking lab puppies I thought I would put up a picture of our new puppy. I like the charcoal coloring a lot but that wasn't an option for us.

Jun 2, 2014, 7:56pm Top

Oh, my, goodness. Another sweet puppy. With puppy breath, I'll bet. I've never had a lab but my good friend Robin, and her duck hunting husband Tom, have labs one after another. They always have at least two, and sometimes three. Before I was spending so much time taking care of my niece's kids I would house sit for them and keep their labs happy, happy. The miniature schnauzers got along just fine with them, but I did have to schnauzer proof the fence. A schnauzer can go where no Lab can fit! I love the yellow, the chocolate, and the black labs but dang those Charcoal labs look really handsome, too.

Jun 2, 2014, 8:26pm Top

>242 Smiler69:- Hi Ilana- Yes, all is good in Marky-Mark land. If you give me good weather, good books and good beer, I am a happy camper. I just started Dust and Shadows. Have you read that one? I know you were a fan of the Gods of Gotham.

>243 Oberon:- Wow! Is this a perfect looking lab or what! Congrats, Erik! And thanks for sharing. Boy or girl? I appreciate you stopping by. Every time, I see you post somewhere I immediately think of the Iron Druid series. LOL.

Karen- Labs are great dogs but will not work if you want or need a smaller breed! Isn't that puppy in #243, adorable?

Jun 2, 2014, 8:30pm Top

>243 Oberon: I believe it has been scientifically proven that having too many cute puppy pictures is a mathematical impossibility. What's his name?

Jun 2, 2014, 8:43pm Top

OMG, adorable puppies abound on this thread!

Edited: Jun 2, 2014, 9:00pm Top

^For you Longmire fans out there, Season 3 starts tonight. Be there or....just leave the TV off and keep reading.

Jun 2, 2014, 9:08pm Top

Yes, yes, puppies are cute...

But my cats are lovely, too. And they are so happy to have me back after a few days in NYC. They follow me around, purring steadily.

Jun 2, 2014, 9:09pm Top

Looking at the list of Barry Hannah books, the only one that rings a dim and distant bell is Geronimo Rex. Nothing tells me that it's been read, though, nothing makes me remember anything about it.


Jun 2, 2014, 9:14pm Top

>249 Chatterbox: Suz, there will never be a shortage of cats on the Internet! But now I'm trying to remember if I've seen pics of your kitties. I'll have to wander over to your thread in hopes of spotting a cameo.

Jun 2, 2014, 10:29pm Top

Lori- I am trying to catch up with Amber, so I am shamelessly posting puppies. Maybe, I'll try babies next... How about babies holding puppies? LOL!

Suz- I like cats. My wife is allergic, so we have never had one. We are dog people, at heart, though.

RD- This is my first Hannah. I think Geronimo Rex was is first novel. Richard Ford writes an excellent introduction to this collection. Along with Welty, they are all Mississippi authors. I think you would like this guy. A bit more animated, with a sharp sense of humor.

Jun 2, 2014, 10:43pm Top

Puppy pictures! Glad I stopped in...

Jun 2, 2014, 10:44pm Top

>245 msf59: >246 rosalita: The puppy is a boy and is named Pele. We are a soccer family so we named the dog after the Brazilian great.

>245 msf59: I haven't read the Iron Druid series but I read good things about it so I might have to give it a try. I meant to stop earlier when you were talking about Empire of the Summer Moon but the discussion moved on before I posted.

Jun 2, 2014, 10:53pm Top

>252 msf59: - We are a divided house vis a vis cats and dogs. Well, the hubs likes both. I can tolerate a cat or two if they aren't in permanent residence with me. Have I mentioned we have two cats? They came with the husband - package deal. He wants to get another dog. I told him one dog=two cats, so he could get another dog if he found new homes for his cats! He said I was mean...

Jun 2, 2014, 11:01pm Top

It's not true! Tell him my knee feels much better and its all because of you. : )

Jun 3, 2014, 12:23am Top

>251 rosalita: There are a few snaps of the late great Jasper-cat on my home page, one alongside his adoptive twin sister Molly, who is curled up beside me, purring at full volume right now. When she gets going like this, my mother -- who is legally deaf and requires two hearing aids to hear me talk -- can hear Molly purr.

No menagerie pics on my thread, though.

Jun 3, 2014, 5:53am Top

Ack to the 6 day week (how did that/is that going btw?).

Lovely puppy postings, how do dogs know how to tilt their head just so to display optimal cuteness? haha, sweet now, but toilet roll destroyers later!

Hope you have a good week, Mark! I am trawling through my 6 current reads, hoping to at least finish one in the next few days. Of course it would help if I stuck to reading one at a time....

Jun 3, 2014, 5:53am Top

Loving all the puppy photos and chat! That lab puppy is too cute for words,

Edited: Jun 3, 2014, 7:23am Top

^I hope I qualify as one of these but what a clunky-ass word.

I finished the 2nd St. Mary time-travel adventure and it was a lot of fun. On audio, I started Dust and shadows, which is Sherlock vs. Jack the Ripper. Lots of Ripper lately. He made a creepy appearance in A Symphony of Echoes and he is featured on the fringes of Showtime's Penny Dreadful. Lots of Jack.
I will also continue Airships, which has been wonderful...

>253 Berly:- If puppies get you to drop by, Kim, I will be posting many more. Deal?

>254 Oberon:- I don't know if fantasy is your thing, Erik, but if you can, just give Hounded a peek. I read Empire of the Summer Moon a couple years ago and can not recommend it higher. I love narrative non-fiction and this was tops. So was, the Worst Hard time, which I also can't say enough about.

>255 katiekrug:- I don't think I could handle both dogs and cats. I think once our little Riley has moved on to Doggy Heaven, or the other place for bad dogs, my dog days may be over.

Megan- We always have a six day work week after our long weekend. Because, we have mail delivery six days a week, our week starts on Saturday. So, my day off this week was last Saturday. Was that clear enough or did I mangle it?

>259 lauralkeet:- See, puppies got you to post, Laura! It worked. LOL.

Jun 3, 2014, 7:10am Top

>252 msf59: *SNORK!* Maybe I need to dig up a couple of photos of Tuppence with Charlie when he was a baby...
Sadly, we lost all of our photos of Tuppence as a pup when our old laptop went kaput on us a few years ago. And border collie puppies are so cute it should be illegal!

Edited: Jun 3, 2014, 7:29am Top

^For Amber!

Jun 3, 2014, 9:23am Top

I really liked Airships, Mark, and you know I don't read a lot of short story collections. I think it will be your cuppa.

Have you heard about Redeployment? It finally came in at the library, so I'll be picking it up.

What a gorgeous day out there! It's been a long time coming, but it sure feels good.

Jun 3, 2014, 9:48am Top

I'm a cat person. Bad luck is that I'm severely allergic. As in ambulance ride under oxygen asthma attack allergic. I can pet other people's cats, I just can't live with them. So... now we are dog people.

Maia came from a neighbor's litter. We have pictures from the day of her birth.

Jun 3, 2014, 11:52am Top

Only 200 posts behind... ooof! I'm not so much catching up as dropping in :) Hope you are well (amidst all these seriously CUTE puppies, how could you not be!).

I keep looking at my Vonnegut and feeling guilty... need to actually crack that open!

Jun 3, 2014, 12:50pm Top

It is gorgeous out here. The ideal late spring day. Bountiful sunshine and not a cloud anywhere. Sighs...

Joe- Yes, I have heard great things about Redeployment, looking forward to your thoughts.

Morphy- Maia is adorable. I like bigger dogs but can see the cuddle factor there.

Bekka- Great to see you! It is only June 3rd, plenty of time to pick up the Vonnegut. I plan on starting mine in a couple days.

Jun 3, 2014, 1:20pm Top

>262 msf59: Ha! Love it!

Jun 3, 2014, 1:22pm Top

LOL. Mark, never thought your thread would be one filled with cute little puppies...ahhh..so cute!!

That is a clunky word. Let's just shorten it to Bib. Yes, you are very Bib-ly guy. ;)

Jun 3, 2014, 3:36pm Top

Longmire? Last night? When? Where?

I missed it. Dang and drat. Why didn't you warn me? I thought it would start later this summer. I thought I could depend on my friends. (I know I am whining - but there was NOTHING on TV last night and Longmire would have been perfect.) So sad.

Jun 3, 2014, 4:24pm Top

Awww.... love all the puppy pics!

I'm considering a re-read of Slaughterhouse Five for this month's AAC, Mark .. I read it such a long time ago I don't remember if I liked it or not.

Jun 3, 2014, 4:43pm Top

So sorry about the 'Hawks. It was a great series to watch, that's for sure. A friend in Chicago said he was sad because now he has nothing left except to follow the Cubs ...

Jun 3, 2014, 4:45pm Top

Mark, I was just perusing the June ER list, and the Lee Smith book Guests on Earth is on offer. This is the book for the "One Book, One Booktopia" thing they are doing in Asheville. Just FYI....

Edited: Jun 3, 2014, 5:56pm Top

>266 msf59: Maia's puppyhood is long gone. She'll be eight years old in September. She's maybe 3-4 weeks old in that picture, I think.

Jun 3, 2014, 6:00pm Top

Hi Mark. We've had a great big thunderstorm this afternoon, which cooled everything off, and I'm very grateful for it because it was getting too muggy for comfort. It's still raining now; perfect background soundtrack for reading, wouldn't you say? :-)

Edited: Jun 3, 2014, 6:47pm Top

What a glorious day in the Midwest! And my daughter is taking me to a food/beer pairing tonight, at a local restaurant, for an early father's day gift. Awwwwww....she knows her Pop!

>267 scaifea:- I knew you would. Smirks...

>268 jolerie:- Yah, for the "Bib-ly Guy"! Yah, for the "Bib-ly Guy"! Thanks, Valerie!

>269 benitastrnad:- You sound pissed, Benita! LOL. Actually, I just heard about it yesterday morning, from my daily newspaper. Longmire is on A & E, so I am sure they will be repeating a few times during the week. We cool now?

Caro- I've read Slaughterhouse Five a couple times but it's been a LONG time, since I last read it. Glad you are joining us on AAC.

>271 michigantrumpet:- "he was sad because now he has nothing left except to follow the Cubs ..." You nailed it there, my friend. What a BAD team. Hey, more reading time for me. Silver linings...

>272 katiekrug:- Thanks, Katie! That could get tight for us (time-wise) but I will request it from E.R. and I will also see if it is available through my library system. Did you request it?

Morphy- You've had ongoing issues with Maia, right?

Ilana- Our storms will be hitting early tomorrow morning and our temps plunge into the mid-60s, but at least it will be back to the low-70s by Thursday. Sweet!

Jun 3, 2014, 8:37pm Top

Mark!!! Could your thread get any cuter with all these puppy pictures??!!

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 6:58am Top

^ Bree and I had a great time at the beer/food pairing. The food was excellent and the brew was mighty tasty. Bree did not post the photo of us both, so I will have to remind her.
The beer in the photo is a Belgium-style IPA, a bit on the lighter side. A nice starter.

Tina- ^Can I compete with the puppy photos? Bats eyes...

Jun 3, 2014, 10:36pm Top

You need to work on your cute-puppy head tilt, Mark. :-D

Jun 4, 2014, 6:43am Top

It is true, the head tilt might improve the Cuteness Quotient just a wee bit, but even without your mug is mighty cute.

Happy Days, Mark.

Jun 4, 2014, 6:54am Top

>277 msf59: Although puppy photos are great, I think this one takes the cake - you look so happy! The picture just needs a book sitting on the table to be complete.

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 6:59am Top

It looks to be a stormy Wednesday. Rain through the morning and the temps drop to the low 60s. Oh well, I have my books and we rebound tomorrow, to the mid-70s. No complaints.
Enjoying both my current reads, Airships & Dust and Shadows.

>276 TinaV95:- Call me shameless, Tina! Good to see you!

Julia & Karen- I will work on the "cute puppy head-tilt". Actually, Bree should be in the photo, she is much more adorable than I am.

**ETA- The June E.R. list is pretty slim. I did request one, for Asheville but otherwise...meh!

Jun 4, 2014, 10:08am Top

I agree with you about the meh June E.R. list, Mark. I asked for the Furst, but so did a bazillion others.

I'm having a good time with Skin Games and Scaramouche. The latter was a little slow at the start, but has picked up. My next GNs are going to be Parker: Slayground (love these!) and Solanin. I'm also working on the second volume of The Graphic Canon.

Hope you're able to stay relatively dry today. Better weather is on the way.

Jun 4, 2014, 10:35am Top

>243 Oberon: CUTENESS OVERLOAD. No one can compete with cute puppy photos. Mark, you're a handsome devil but that puppy wins all ribbons.


I actually requested about half a dozen books from ER this month, unusual for me (and unlikely to be honored because I have a zero percent track record for writing reviews). I'm another who requested the Alan Furst. I wonder who will get it. :-|

Happy Wednesday!

Jun 4, 2014, 12:28pm Top

Deal? If one of the three of us gets it, we'll pass it on to another, and then that person does the same. Three of us could read it that way. What do you think?

Jun 4, 2014, 12:32pm Top

I feel like I should be contributing a pic of Coco to this lovely puppy collection. Technically he's no longer a puppy of course, at around age 10, but he'll always look like one. I'll take pics as soon as a photo op presents itself, which shouldn't take too long!

Have a great day Mark!

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 12:50pm Top

Light rain but persistent. Should be letting up soon...

>280 scaifea:- Thanks, Amber, although I can just see my wife rolling her eyes. LOL!

Joe & Ellen- I failed to mention the new Furst. I did not request it, since I recently read it and want others to get a chance. It is a worthy title.

Ellen- I completely agree with you about Oberon's puppy. He wins hands down.

Karen- I think passing around ER books is a grand idea and one I try to do, whenever possible.

>285 Smiler69:- Coco! Coco! Coco!

Jun 4, 2014, 3:01pm Top

More cute puppies and a cute Mark as well! I have to go check out he ER list -- I have never heard so many dismal reviews of the offerings....

Jun 4, 2014, 5:15pm Top

>275 msf59: No, actually. Tawnie, our cockapoo, was our "ears and rears" dog. She was in constantly for skin, ear and anal gland issues.

Maia has been in the best of physical health except for needing her glands expressed on a regular basis. That's why this was a bit of a shock. Any issues she's had have been behavioral.

Sara, our first dog, was, I guess you could call it "incident prone." Gastric distress because she'd eaten the wrong thing, stitches because of a dog fight, things like that. She was never ill until she was old and near the end. It was very quick, a matter of a couple of days.

Jun 4, 2014, 5:29pm Top

I checked my TV listings for Longmire as soon as I got home yesterday. Longmire is shown twice on Monday night and that is it. The end. Duck Dynasty, on-the-other-hand, is on every hour for one entire night. Now I am pissed.

Jun 4, 2014, 6:07pm Top

Jun 4, 2014, 6:08pm Top

I watched the first episode of Longmire last night Mark and it was very intense.

Jun 4, 2014, 6:31pm Top

A couple of baseball books in ER this month so I'm a happy camper, though I need to read the ones I already received, too.

Kind of chilly today but it felt nice.

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 7:03pm Top

>287 Berly:- Puppies and Marky-Mark. Do you need anything more, Kim? Okay, don't answer that. I hope you find something on E.R. I can recommend the latest Furst.

>288 Morphidae:- I might have got the fur-kids mixed up. That can happen, Morphy.

Benita- I would be pissed too! They repeat all the other crap over and over. Did you check online, at A & E? I have never checked the A & E website but it is worth checking.
Do you have a DVR? I had a season pass for Longmire so it automatically recorded the new season.

Bonnie- Good to know. I'll try to check it out sometime this week.

Linda- Glad you found a couple baseball books on E.R. and I am glad you are a happy camper. It was cool and damp until lunch-time but then it cleared up and was quite comfortable in the afternoon.

Edited: Jun 29, 2014, 9:05am Top

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: A Dialogue #14.

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