Mark's Reading Place: Chapter 29
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-5 degrees in Chicagoland, at high noon and I know exactly how this sorry little snowman feels.
^(I took this photo at lunch. It captured my day pretty well.)
^A Great Horned Owl. Photo taken recently in the western suburbs.
Books Read So Far...
125) Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan Wink 4.3 stars
126) The Grass Is Singing by Doris Lessing 4 stars BAC
127) Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon 4.2 stars (audio) AAC
128) A Whole Life: A Novel by Robert Seethaler 4 stars
129) Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir by J. D. Vance 4.2 stars (audio)
130) The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney 4.3 stars E.R.
131) I am No One by Patrick Flanery 2.7 stars (audio)
132) Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson 4.2 stars (audio)
133) The Hike by Drew Magary 3.8 stars (audio)
134) The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan 3.8 stars (audio)
135) Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill 5 stars CAC
136) The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman 3.7 stars (audio)
137) To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey 4 stars (audio)
138) Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson 3.7 stars BAC
139) Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir by Carrie Brownstein 4 stars (audio)
140) The Maytrees by Annie Dillard 3.6 stars (audio) AAC
141) Glaciers by Alexis M. Smith 4 stars (audio)
142) Jimmy Bluefeather by Kim Heacox 4.3 stars
143) His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet 3.8 stars (audio)
144) Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard 4.4 stars
146) March: Books 1-3 by John Lewis/Nate Powell 5 stars GN
147) The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings 4.3 stars (audio)
148) Truevine by Beth Macy 4.5 stars (audio)
149) Darktown by Thomas Mullen 4 stars
150) The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church 3.6 stars (audio)
151) The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West 4.4 stars BAC
152) Spirit of Steamboat (A Longmire Novella) by Craig Johnson 4 stars (audio)
153) The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman 3.7 stars (audio)
154) Tao Te Ching by Laozi (S. Mitchell) 4 stars
155) An American Childhood by Annie Dillard 4.5 stars (E) AAC
156) Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood 4.2 stars (audio)
157) The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life by John Le Carré 4.7 stars (audio)
158) The Shell Collector: Stories by Anthony Doerr 4 stars (E)
159) Zero K by Don DeLillo 3.2 stars (audio) AAC
160) The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje 3.3 stars (audio) CAC
161) A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles 4.8 stars
162) The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan 4.2 stars
163) A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre 4.4 stars (audio)
164) Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories by Alice Munro 4 stars (audio) CAC
165) Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez 4.3 stars ER
166) The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester 4.2 stars (audio)
167) The Mothers: A Novel by Brit Bennett 3.2 stars (audio)
168) White Noise by Don DeLillo 4.2 stars AAC
169) Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 4.2 stars (audio)
170) As Good as Gone by Larry Watson 4 stars ER
171) Finders Keepers by Stephen King 3.8 stars (audio)
172) Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo 4 stars
American Author Challenge 2016
January- Anne Tyler
February- Richard Russo
March- Jane Smiley
April- Poetry Month
May- Ivan Doig
June- Annie Proulx
July- John Steinbeck
August-Joyce Carol Oates
September- John Irving
October- Michael Chabon
November- Annie Dillard
December- Don DeLillo
Mark's Picks for the AACIII: (under construction)
January- Anne Tyler- Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant Completed
February- Richard Russo- Straight Man Completed
March- Jane Smiley- Some Luck Completed
April- Poetry Month The Dream of a Common Language Completed
New and Selected Poems, Vol. One Completed
May- Ivan Doig This House of Sky Completed
June- Annie Proulx Heart Songs and Other Stories, Bird Cloud Completed
July- John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men Completed
August-Joyce Carol Oates Blonde Completed
September- John Irving The World According to Garp Completed
October- Michael Chabon Telegraph Avenue Completed
November- Annie Dillard The Maytrees, An American Childhood Completed
December- Don DeLillo Zero K, White Noise Completed
The General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/209611
The Poetry Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/220301#
Part 2: http://www.librarything.com/topic/230813#
BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE/CANADIAN AUTHOR CHALLENGE
There is no way, I'll be able to read all 4 of these Challenge authors, per month but I will select one each and try my best to bookhorn them in. There are other various Challenges going on, in '16 and I would like the chance to give one or 2 of those a chance too.
January - SUSAN HILL & BARRY UNSWORTH -Morality Play Completed
February : Agatha Christie & William Dalrymple The Murder on the Orient Express Completed
March : Ali Smith & Thomas Hardy The Accidental Completed
April : George Eliot & Hanif Kureishi Silas Marner Completed
May : Jane Gardam & Robert Goddard The Man in the Wooden Hat Completed
June : Lady Antonia Fraser & Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness Completed
July : Bernice Rubens & H.G. Wells The Island of Dr. Moreau Completed
August : Diana Wynne-Jones & Ian McEwan Atonement Completed
September : Doris Lessing & Laurie Lee The Grass is Singing Completed
October : Kate Atkinson & William Golding Behind the Scenes at the Museum Completed
November : Rebecca West & Len Deighton The Return of the Soldier Completed
December : WEST YORKSHIRE writers Paper Aeroplane: Poems 1989–2014 Completed
Wildcard : Rumer Godden and George Orwell
January: Robertson Davies, Kim Thúy- The Manticore Completed Ru Completed
February: Helen Humphreys, Stephen Leacock The Lost Garden Completed
March: Farley Mowat, Anita Rau Badami Never Cry Wolf Completed
April: Margaret Atwood, Michael Crummey The Heart Goes Last Completed
May: Michel Tremblay, Emily St. John Mandel Last Night in Montreal Completed
June: Timothy Findley, Joseph Boyden Through Black Spruce Completed
July: LM Montgomery, Pierre Berton Anne of Green Gables Completed
August: Mordechai Richler, Gabrielle Roy
September: Miriam Toews, Dany Laferrière All My Puny Sorrows Completed
October: Lawrence Hill, Jane Urquhart Someone Knows My Name Completed
November: Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Laurence The Cat's Table Completed
December: Alice Munro, Rawi Hage Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories Completed
Nice new thread, Mark. Love the snow scene!!
Uh oh. Did I jump in too soon?
>5 lindapanzo: Not too soon at all, my friend! You are number one, Linda! Happy Vacation to you! I am seriously jealous!
Happy New Thread, Mark! Brrr that is cold! We are having our own cold snap, with temps between 28 F and down to 18 F overnight! Dreadful! This is very unusual for Vancouver and I think I need to purchase some long underwear, or at least maybe proper winter jacket! So far I've been layering some clothes beneath my gortex shell. Take care and wrap up well.
>7 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb! Wow! You are getting a nasty taste of winter! How much snow have you got? And yes, buy those long underwear! I never leave home with out them...this time of year, anyway.
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping..."
^ I think this is a perfect night, to listen to Neil Gaiman read "The Raven" by candlelight and firelight. He should narrate all of Poe's work.
Get cozy, relax and listen. It is less than 10 minutes: http://www.avclub.com/article/kick-back-relax-and-listen-neil-gaiman-read-raven-...
I'm in my jammies, reading and watching the Blackhawks game, when the doorbell rang and rang insistently. Our recluse neighbor locked himself out of his house. Fortunately, his daughter is an old friend and I have her number so she's on her way. Poor guy would've been frozen as I don't think a lot of other neighbors are around.
Happy new thread buddy. Impressive performance in the challenges this year I must say.
>10 lindapanzo: Nice night for jammies and the Blackhawks, Linda. enjoy! Glad your neighbor was saved. Wicked night to be outdoors.
>11 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I am pleased with the challenges and I am happy to have discovered a few new authors.
>12 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! Should feel balmy tomorrow, although more snow on it's way.
Peace and quiet have returned to the Panzo household. The neighbor had a sweatshirt on when he ran to get the mail. He would've frozen to death, I think. Crotchety guy but I just tried to tune out his views on the election (argh!!), the neighbors, and just about everything else.
Whew finally found one of your threads not in 200+ mode (drowning status )
Good to see you are well & that topper looks rather enticing to one on the brink of Summer ....
Thank you for Neil! Listened, enjoyed, shared. Ain't that what the holidays and friendships are all about?
>17 roundballnz: Hi, Alex! Great to see you stranger! Glad your summer is right around the corner. I will have to stop by your thread and see what you are reading.
>18 streamsong: You are most welcome, Janet. Now, if we can just get Mr. Gaiman to read one a week, that would be fantastic. Hope you are surviving this early winter blast.
^I can't remember which LT pal mentioned this but they released three Department Q movies, Danish imports, on Netflix, starting with The Keeper of Lost Causes. I watched the 2nd, The Absent One last night. These are well done, but of course dark and violent. They only lack the humor of the books, which I thought is really important, to help balance out the grim, sometimes ugly subject matter. The actor playing Assad is fine but I much prefer the character from the book.
Check it out if you can.
Happy new thread, Mark!
I saw that Gaiman bit on FB a couple of days ago and really enjoying listening - he's pretty amazing, eh?
>20 msf59: Howdy Mark! Adler-Olsen said the same as you. Without the humor the films lacked what made the Dept Q stand out.
Good morning, Mark!
Happy New Thread! The forlorn snowman up top says it all about our recent weather. At least it's a bit better today.
Thanks for the Gaiman/Poe link; I'll try to find a good time to listen to that. What a shame they decided to leave out the humor in the Dept. Q movies.
Roll of Thunder was gripping from beginning to end, and I'm near the end of the enlightening Create Dangerously. I've got Talk to the Dead going now; can't remember who rec'd it, but it's excellent so far.
>24 luvamystery65: Howdy, Ro! I should have known you had heard about the Dept Q films. Did you watch them?
And yes, they really neutralized Assad and Rode but they are still worth watching.
>25 The_Hibernator: Sweet!
>26 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. The Gaiman piece is only 9 minutes but a joy to hear. Looks like you have been enjoying some fine reads.
Good morning, Mark! Happy new thread. I am glad to hear the cold is not a bad today.
>20 msf59: This is not a ringing endorsement, Mark. However, I was immediately enamored of the poster. I'm not sure it's my cuppa, even though I like mystery/suspense.
Happy new thread, Mark. From your topper picture it looks like there is about the same amount of snow at my place and yours. I am not appreciating this weather and it isn't even winter yet!
>32 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! We have had about 14 inches of snow so far. There is about 4-5 inches in that photo. We are getting 2-4 more, over the weekend.
Sorry, you guys are getting hit this bad and this early. Bummer.
^ Okay, I started The Professor and the Madman on audio, and I was immediately drawn in. Once again, my LT pals have steered me right. I am finding Dr. William Chester Minor, (the madman) particularly interesting. Unfortunately, the audio edition, I snagged does not have Winchester narrating, (bummer!) but the guy is doing a serviceable job, so no complaints.
>34 msf59: - How odd, Mark. I wonder why it's a different narrator. Why they would bother recording a story twice, with 2 different readers. Who is the narrator, do you know? I also love listening to Bill Bryson narrate most of his own books, as well, but his most recent was narrated by someone else and I did not like his voice at all. It's amazing how quickly we can get spoiled by great narrators! Anyhow, the story is compelling enough and I am glad you are enjoying it so far. Winchester is a great storyteller.
Most likely it's a British vs. American contract. Like whether you get Stephen Fry (British) or Jim Dale (American) as the reader for Harry Potter.
>35 jessibud2: Okay, my copy of The Professor and the Madman is narrated by David Case. I had not heard of him but he is doing a fine job. This audiobook, (CDs) was made in the late 90s. There is also another edition, narrated by Simon Jones. WTH?
I really wanted to hear Winchester's own version, but my copy was free. Smiles..
I like Bill Bryson's narration too, although I know others do not.
>36 The_Hibernator: Good point, Rachel! Although, it is unusual for a later book, (late '90s) to have this many audio narrators.
Different narrators is just about ok but when we get different titles for the UK and North America that really gets me. In Malaysia where we get both it can be really confusing.
Have a great weekend, Buddy.
>37 msf59: - I thought, at first, that your copy was from audible (from your pic in your post) and I have no idea what that is. I thought that was maybe a download or something. I also listened to a CD audiobook, from my library. I don't know when it was made. Anyhow, good that Case is doing a good job. The reader can sometimes make or break it, for me, anyhow.
>39 jessibud2: I just snagged that image from the web. I liked the ear-buds. I got the audiobook from the library, in the good old fashioned CD format. Not my favorite way to get audios, but it was only 6 discs.
>38 PaulCranswick: Sorry, I missed you up there, Paul. Yes, different titles can be very irritating. Fortunately, we do not have as many of those problems here.
>38 PaulCranswick: - Yes, ain't that the truth. Winchester wrote 2 books about the OED. This one, The Professor and the madman and The Meaning of Everything. As you can see by the touchstone for the first one I link to, it goes to the alternate title, The Surgeon of Crowthorne. Here in Canada, we tend to find both British and American versions of books so I actually started reading the alternate title book and was several pages in when I realized it was one and the same as Professor. I had to google to confirm that. The Meaning of Everything, on the other hand, is a separate book and equally as good as Professor.
Clear as mud? ;-)
Not much snow on the roads at all, and maybe ? 1 inch in my little townhouse backyard, but we are supposed to get a little more snow over the weekend. Drat! Enough of the "Winter Treat". I enjoyed the reading by Neil Gaiman even though I'm not a fan of his . Thanks for the link.
Okay, 5 - 15 cm more of snow over the weekend ( hmm what is that in inches) ? But on Sunday the " arctic outflow will be replaced by Pacific Air from the Ocean, resulting in RAIN by Monday and temps of about 45 C! OH yeah baby! I'm ready for that! Rain for Christmas, all being well! :)
New thread, and....snow? What the? Oh yeah...it's winter there in the lead up to Christmas. And here... Tis the opposite. Still. After all these years of LTing, it seems weird ;)
>42 jessibud2: "Clear as mud?" Amen, to that!
>43 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb! Glad you liked the Gaiman reading and BOO to snow. Fortunately, we only got an inch or so overnight. Whew! At least your rain will wipe the slate clean. Wish we could get it. enjoy your weekend.
>45 LovingLit: Hi, Megan! Yes, winter hit us pretty hard, especially after such a mild fall. Oh well, it is the Midwest after all. Enjoy your summer, my friend.
^Whew! Last work day. It has been, (pardon my French) a long-ass week. The good news is, I will be off the next 2 days and they are forecasting both of those days, (Sun-Mon) to be brutally cold.
Really enjoying The Professor and the Madman. Just sayin'...
**Not me in the photo, but easily could be.
Happy new thread, Mark!
I would like to have a bit of that snow, snow always makes Ari happy and he could use that now ;-)
Here it is above freezing and dry, so that isn't bad.
Winter storm Decima hasn't been too hard on us so far. We got a few inches of accumulation last night, but nothing I couldn't frive my mile to work in. Roads will be cleared by the time I get off work. So *shrug. They made it sound like it was going to be much worse.
I loved The Professor and the Madman, and have loved every other Winchester book that I've read. And he's seems right up your alley, too. I'm glad you're enjoying him!
>20 msf59: - I think it was me, Mark. I've only watched the first one. I was thinking of looking at the second one this evening.
Stay warm - great that you have the next two days off. I think it's supposed to get a little warmer next week.
Hi Mark, it's good you've got off on the two frigid days. I'm staying in today and tomorrow. You know me...reading and watching sports. But first, going through clothes and books and putting together a donation package.
Snow from this first part of the storm wasn't as much as expected, I'd say.
>48 FAMeulstee: Happy Saturday, Anita! We need snow for Ari. Come on snow!
>49 The_Hibernator: Happy Saturday, Rachel. You sound like you are from Minnesota. Ain't nothin'! Grins...
>50 scaifea: Morning Amber. I like The Professor and I LOVE The Madman. Looking forward to reading more of Winchester's work.
>51 BLBera: Morning Beth. I appreciate the nudge on the Dept Q Netflix series but boy, is it bleak, especially the 2nd one. Shudders...
>Good morning, Mark. I just came in from shoveling our latest overnight dump of snow. It's warmer outside than it has been in days and the snow is fluffy but at the same time, heavy. But I had to do it now or I'd pay. Later today we are expecting rain/freezing rain and ice mix. Yuk.
But know what I love best about fresh snow? All those little dance step footprints all over the place, courtesy of the birdies around the feeder and onto the driveway! So cute, almost didn't want to shovel them away. :-)
>52 lindapanzo: Morning Linda. Not as bitter out here today but some slippery spots. Enjoy those books!
>55 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Hooray for getting the snow shoveled. We didn't get much but I still hope my son cleared the driveway for me.
And hooray for the birdies. I filled the feeders yesterday, before the cold snap.
*waving* Feeling the shivers for the mail carriers during this last frigid stretch. But it didn't prevent me from registering a complaint with my P.O. when a substitute carrier left a package on my porch step with my first class mail simply laid on top of it exposed to wind and weather. Particularly irritating since she had to access my mailbox (across the road from the house) first, to remove my outgoing items. She also left the door of the box hanging open, and the flag only half-way retracted. I'm not a griper, usually, but this was a bit much. Luckily we were home, and heard the truck come in the driveway, so went out to retrieve the parcel immediately. And to top it off, the next morning I had a call from my neighbor down the road (who IS a griper) telling me that the carrier had attempted to deliver MY mail to HER breezeway in the same fashion before leaving it here. We are the only two houses on our "street"; her house number is 124; ours is 313. So where was the confusion? Our regular carrier is so wonderful; she would never have done any of these things. Sorry for the rant. Maybe she was just cold.
I know the picture is not of you, @47, but it looks very picturesque. However, I'll not be fooled, I know it's is very cold! Yes, I hope by Monday our snow will be gone and replaced by warmer temps. BRRRR!
Hope you are wrapped up warm Mark and have two good days off. I'm in my usual muddle with books waiting on the library hold shelf and Netgalley books on the digital one. Ha! Good problems to have.
>57 BLBera: Hi, Beth! You have read the Dept Q books, right? The humor in the books is quite necessary, to undercut the grim, ugly crimes. I like the films but wish they would have maintained the more comic moments and Asad and Rose are much more subdued.
>58 jnwelch: Happy Saturday, Joe! Done with work for a couple days! Yah! I also enjoyed Talking to the Dead but did not follow through. Keeping up with series fiction is a bigger task for me.
>59 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda! I always feel cruddy, when "other" carriers make us look bad. Just make a proper effort! Sheesh! Of course, mistakes can happen. I make them too but keep it to minimum. I visually scan packages, when I see them on porches, just to watch for misdeliveries and I find them on on occasion and not only our stuff but items from UPS, FedEx and Amazon delivery too.
>60 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb! Glad that week is behind me. We are supposed to get back to normal temps mid-week and stay there for awhile. It will feel balmy. Sounds like your weather is improving too.
>61 charl08: Hi, Charlotte! Hooray for your usual "muddle" of books! I stopped requesting anything from Netgalley or Edelweiss. It's too hard to keep up and then I feel bad, although it is still tempting. I still have 2 ER books to get to.
>64 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda! Did I make a threat, I was not aware of? I sure hope not...
Happy new thread, Mark! I hope you enjoy your three day weekend, which I assume will be mainly spent indoors.
I popped in last evening when it looked like you were still in process of starting this thread, and now you already have 60+ posts on it! No wonder I get so far behind . . .
>1 msf59: Love the snowman, hate the weather...
Hi Mark! Enjoy your well-deserved days off. Between you USPS guys and the UPS guys, a lot of hard work is going on these days. Hats off to you! How you guys can manage through all that ice and snow and jerks that don't clear the sidewalks, I'll never know--I can barely make it to my car parked down the block without falling on my tush.
Lots of Winchester love at this end. I read The Professor and the Madman and I listened to 2 others: A Crack in the Edge of the World and The Map that Changed The World. I think I liked the San Fran earthquake book the best--he made the science of earthquakes almost understandable for this very non-scientific gal. Both audiobooks were read by Winchester, and his enthusiasm for his topics comes through in the narration.
I was very interested to see the talk about Simon Winchester because I remember reading something he wrote about the Ascension Island and loved it many years ago. I must read more of his books.
I did some detective work and here it is..
Welcome to Nowhere
Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday! It's very humid here, and already 68F outside. It's making me grumpy. Luckily, there is coffee brewing, which should at least help my mood. Stupid weather.
>59 laytonwoman3rd: That happens to us all the time, Linda! When we lived in Indiana, the carrier would never leave paper mail with packages, but here in Georgia, they always do that - not sure if it is widespread or just our carrier, but she always leaves the paper mail with the packages, which makes no sense to me. At least our carrier leaves the mail under the package instead of on top of it, but still...
>63 msf59: This made me laugh!
>66 kidzdoc: Morning, Darryl! And thanks! Just two days off for me. I return on Tuesday, but I do expect to get a lot of reading in.
>67 tymfos: Hi, Terry! Good to see you. Yes, things get a little fast-paced around here. Hope you are well.
>68 Familyhistorian: Happy Sunday, Meg! Reading is the plan but we did get a few more inches over night, so shoveling will have to be done too. Sighs...
>69 kac522: Hi, Kathy! Great to see you. Yes, the P.O. has been hopping, although it is all about the parcels. We have exploded, in that regard. Fortunately we have been getting some assistance.
Fortunately,my postal customers keep their stairways and sidewalks cleared, the best they can. Right now, I just have one house, that refuses to shovel and I know there are young folks living there.
Thanks for chiming in on Mr. Winchester. It looks like I have quite a few of his books, to put on the T.R.
>70 mdoris: Hi, Mary! Thanks for the Winchester link. I will check it out. I was very happy with The Professor and the Madman, so I see many more of his books in my future.
>71 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! We have curbside delivery too and normally the carriers do not leave the letter mail with the parcels on our porch, which I really don't have a problem with, although it does bug me when they jam a parcel in the box and I have to pry it out.
I woke to a few more inches of fresh snow, although it does look beautiful out there. This may be our coldest day of the season. Hovering around zero. WTH?
Glad you like the squirrel. It does put a smile on my face.
>63 msf59: - LOL!! I actually have a squirrel-proof feeder and even though I've seen them try (and try and try), it seem to really work. Raccoons, though, are another story altogether. They simply remove the damn thing from the hook and drop it to the ground....
Good morning, Mark. Enjoy the freezing weather from the right side of the window! Happy reading today
>74 jessibud2: "Enjoy the freezing weather from the right side of the window!" That is the game plan, Shelley!
Squirrels have not messed with our main bird feeder. It has a hood on it. I put up a make-shift baffle, (an old frisbee) on the other shepard's pole, to protect the suet feeder. It is not perfect but has discouraged our furry friends.
>76 alphaorder: Morning Nancy! Good to see you. Reading any good books? I am always up for a poetry rec too.
I have to run out and do the food shopping and I may have to shovel too, but most of the day will be spent with the books.
I am in the midst of Hillbilly Elegy. I wanted some more insight into what is going on this country. Well-done.
Re: Poetry. I did pick-up Anne Carson's Float. The package is interesting, but I haven't really dug into it yet.
Likely to have the game on later. (edited: not nearly as cold as they said it would be. :) )
I am hoping to hit 50 books for the year, a bit down for me. I think the election had something to do with it. My favorite reads published in 2016. Categorized by nonfiction and fiction, listed in the order I read them.
When Breath Becomes Air
The Hour of Land
Grief is the Thing with Feathers
I loved reading the poetry, but none made the cut onto my best-of list. Mary Oliver is still represented...
161) A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles 4.8 stars
“Fate would not have the reputation it has, if it simply did what it seemed it would do.”
“If patience wasn’t so easily tested, then it would hardly be a virtue...”
In 1922, at thirty years of age, Count Alexander Rostov, is placed under house arrest, for being a unrepentant aristocrat. He is to spend the next thirty years at the Metropol, a grand hotel, across the street from the Kremlin. This wonderful, beautifully written novel, chronicles the count's life, over these decades, inside this enclosed interior. As history unfolds outside, life remains insulated, although the Count learns to evolve with the times, in quiet, subtle ways.
I am going to be vague on the details of this story, so the reader may experience it, the way I did, with glorious ignorance, but there is so much to admire, between these pages but the biggest joy is seeing this world, through the eyes of the Count, one of the best fictional characters, I have ever encountered and it sure helps, that the Count is an obsessive reader, which we can all relate to.
**A shout-out to Linda P, for placing this book in my grateful hands.
^The Metropol is an actual hotel in Moscow. It was built between 1899-1907. It has a long, storied history and is almost a mini-city, in itself, featuring restaurants, salons, shops, and a concert hall.
>80 msf59: Nice review, Mark! I just got that one out from the library on Friday.
>82 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! It is a very special book. Easily one of my top reads of the year. I will also be passing on my copy to Lynda and hopefully she will keep the joy going...
Hi Mark! Glad you enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow. I've been seeing it around a lot lately.
>87 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. I hope my warbling for A Gentleman is being heard loud and clear. I want everyone to read this one. Thumbs are welcome too. Grins...
Hi Mark and happy new thread! We have snow falling outside but, like Deb above, I have my fingers crossed that it will turn to rain later and get washed away. Of course my grandkids are so excited and have high hopes for a white Christmas. Looks like I will have to add A Gentleman in Moscow to my wishlist! I just finished Last Night At The Lobster which is really liked.
>80 msf59: Glad you liked it, Mark. I'll be returning to it shortly.
Good Packers/Bears game today. Surprisingly, not as cold as expected.
>89 DeltaQueen50: Happy Sunday, Judy! We had snow yesterday but just clear and cold today.
Another Lobster fan! Yah! Such a good little book.
>90 lindapanzo: I am so glad I decided to watch this Bears/Packers game. It is a good one. I thoughts the Pack had it in the bag, up 17 points but the Bears came roaring back to tie it in the 4th.
I hope you enjoy A Gentleman as much as I did. Great book.
ETA- The Pack pulled it off, beating the Bears 30-27. Back to the books...
^Okay, I decided to abandon, Swallows and Amazons, which I was reading for this month's BAC. Yes, it had a certain, childish charm, but not enough to keep me interested for 375 pages. So sayonara, Mr. Ransome. Maybe, our paths will cross again. Has anyone read and enjoyed this British children's classic? If so, let me know if I am making a dreadful mistake, meanwhile, I have started White Noise, which seems to be a much better fit...
^I will admit, I was a bit intimidated by White Noise. I thought it might be a bit too challenging. A bit dense, a bit baffling. Well, 30 pages in, I am hooked and I am surprised, at least this early on, how fast and smart the narrative flows. Let's hope it continues in this impressive fashion...
A Gentleman in Moscow is going on the list. Tis the season for book bullets. :)
More snow! More than I would like. It is supposed to turn to rain by Monday. Crosses fingers and toes.
Might have to cave on A Gentleman in Moscow, I've heard so many good things about it.
Happy Sunday, Mark!
I did cave on A Gentleman in Moscow, and I'm enjoying it.
>94 mahsdad: "Tis the season for book bullets," Fa La La La... Spreading that book joy, Jeff.
>95 vancouverdeb: Wow! It's still snowing there, Tonto? How much is on the ground, may I ask?
>96 lauralkeet: A Gentleman in Moscow, is such a good read. I am still buzzing about it, Laura!
>97 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I just stopped over at your place. I had a fine lazy day, my friend. I am so glad you started A Gentleman in Moscow. It sure seems like your cuppa and it never flags.
BTW, everyone- Thumbs are Welcome, even Encouraged for A Gentleman in Moscow. Just sayin'...
>80 msf59:, >81 msf59: - I actually wrote this response earlier but obviously didn't hit the *post* button, as I thought I had. Anyhow, I love historical fiction and especially when it manages to overlap with some real life stuff, such as the building you mention in this book. It looks like something I'd love. You know, I might actually be better at getting through more of the books in my house if I wasn't being hit with book bullets every time I read someone's threads here...;-)
>99 jessibud2: Being riddled with book bullets, is a way of life on the 75. Kevlar is of no use. It has been tried.
That said, you should really like this book.
>100 lindapanzo: Thanks, for the Thumb, Linda. Like getting that Hot Review on a favorite book.
Your Pack pulled out a win today. Nice final pass by Rodgers.
Nice review of A Gentleman in Moscow, Mark. I might succumb to your call about it as well.
>1 msf59: The snowman pic made me smile as I thought it looked like something that could have been taken here in the Cities then found out it was taken there in Chicago. You freezing your tochus off? It got to at least -18 below this morning here. Brrrrrrrr. It's actually warming up here tonight. It's warmer now at 9pm than it was at 6pm.
Hi Mark. I hope you enjoy White Noise more than I did. It started out alright but definitely took some stamina to hang in there with it (for me).
I sent a copy of A Gentleman in Moscow to my sister for Christmas and I have it firmly ensconced on my wish list.
I hope it warms up a bit for you this week!
>99 jessibud2: I am with you on historical fiction, Shelley! And you could tell the author did his immense homework here.
>102 kidzdoc: Glad I may have stirred you that Siren's Warble, Darryl! It's a helluva book.
>103 Morphidae: Hi, Morph! Bitter cold here at the moment, but it looks like we are inching back to normal, for most of this week, so that is a holiday blessing.
>104 EBT1002: Howdy, Ellen! I really like the tone and voice of White Noise, in the early going. He is such a smart, craftsman and I am surprised it reads as quickly as it does. Let's hope all this continues, for the duration.
Hooray for A Gentleman in Moscow! Mr. Joe is reading it now too! B.A.G.
>63 msf59: The squirrels are driving me crazy, Mark! My Vaseline method is not working!! So I've resorted to opening the door and barking like a dog to scare them off. Will says I sound like a crazy woman and there should be another way to scare them off. I told him when you have a better way, let me know.
My cousin told me there is a hot pepper seed that birds eat because they don't have salivary glands but since squirrels do, they won't eat it. Must check into this!
I just did a little research and discovered I own The Professor and the Madman under the name of The Surgeon of Crowthorne. A tale of murder, madness and the love of Words. I purchased it at a used bookstore in Virigina. Hope to read it very soon.
>106 jessibud2: There is so much great historical fiction out there. Someone Knows My Name will also be a top read of the year for me.
The Gilded Hour sounds like a good one. Thanks!
>107 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda! I tried Vaseline briefly. It did not work and then my wife read somewhere that it can be harmful to the squirrel's fur, so that is done with. Fortunately, they cannot get to the main feeder but they like attacking the suet feeder, by hanging upside down and they chew away the plastic container. Knuckle-heads!
Hooray for finding a copy of The Professor and the Madman. Such a good read a shorty too.
Did you see my review up there, of A Gentleman?
>108 msf59: Saw it and scanned it quickly because I want to keep my "glorious ignorance' in tact ;0)
Good morning, Mark!
Added my thumb for A Gentleman in Moscow. I'm having a good time with the Count and Nina.
I've looked at Swallows and Amazons a jillion times, and never been tempted enough to read it. I'll be interested to see whether anyone speaks up for it. Otherwise, I'm happy to give it a miss.
Just started Darktown, too - woo, baby, I can see already that this is going to be quite a ride.
Stay as warm as you can, buddy. At least it's supposed to keep warming up, little by little, as the day goes on.
Another nice Blackhawks win last night. They're on a tear - and without Crawford. Darling is doing a nice job. Even when he wore out for a couple, they managed to outscore the other team.
^Feeders are hopping this morning. This is a mix of house sparrows and Juncos and there is a female downy woodpecker, at the suet feeder.
No squirrels in sight either...for now.
You can see my makeshift squirrel baffle, (an old frisbee) attached above the suet feeder. It is not a complete deterrent but it does discourage them a bit.
Good morning, Mark!
>34 msf59: I'm glad you enjoyed The Professor and the Madman. I liked it quite a bit when I read it.
>80 msf59: What an inspiring review of A Gentleman in Moscow. It would not have hit my radar much less garner any interest without LT warbling and yours specifically. I'll be looking into it at some point.
>114 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! Hope you had a good weekend. I am looking forward to reading more Winchester!
And yes, I hope my warbling resonates, with A Gentleman in Moscow. It is such a wonderful read. Mr. Joe is enjoying it at the moment.
Look forward to your thoughts on the audio of Darktown. Another gem from '16.
Perfect day to have off, Mark.
Debbi just loved Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier, as did I. Did you read that GN? If not, you might want to give it a go.
>116 jnwelch: Had to take my annual physical, (flying colors, of course). Now it is time to hunker down with the books.
"Ghosts" sounds good. I will request it immediately. Thanks Joe & Debbi!
>117 The_Hibernator: Hooray for The Handmaid's Tale! The new Hulu series based on the book, has been getting some very good buzz and it stars the wonderful, Elizabeth Moss, so your timing is perfect.
>118 msf59: :-)
You must have done a good job studying for the physical exam.
Sounds like you are enjoying your day off, Mark. I could have used one of those today. We now have rain on top of our snow or a sloppy mess in other words.
Hey there Mark! I thumbed your review of A Gentleman in Moscow at least 24 hours ago, but did not make it onto your thread. Great job! Our snow is practically gone and we've got sun and temps around 4 C or /39 F, supposed to go up to 43 F today! Yes for sun and even more so, higher temps!
>119 jnwelch: I studied my butt off, Mr. Joe! Grins...
>120 Familyhistorian: Had a great day off, Meg! And I am really enjoying White Noise. I am fast approaching the halfway point too. This one caught me by surprise.
>121 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb! I appreciate the Thumb for A Gentleman in Moscow. More Thumbs the merrier! And hooray for warmer temps and diminishing snow. Our snow is not going anywhere but at least our temps will be back to normal and hopefully above normal for the rest of the week.
>122 The_Hibernator: Now, I will have to check and see if I have Hulu. Oh, boy...
165) Things We Lost in the Fire: Stories by Mariana Enriquez 4.3 stars
“The stench of resignation was in the air and seeped from the twisted mouths of embittered people, including the whiny parents we scorned now more than ever.”
This is an impressive collection of twelve stories, mostly set in Argentina. Many of the tales take place in impoverished areas and there is murder, self-immolation, drug use, black magic and other ghostly leanings, all told in a strong, strikingly, original voice. I like my books and stories dark, but this one continues to give me the creeps. A bold debut and I will forward to seeing what this young author does next.
Sorry to see that Swallows and Amazons failed to pass muster. I haven't read it either and you've drawn me no closer to it.
>121 vancouverdeb: Ah, Deb, I wish I had been in your part of the city today. Here it was miserable wading through deep puddles and piles of slush and trying to dodge the spray from the vehicles going by. The morning commute was a nightmare. Many of us were late by an hour or so.
>127 Familyhistorian: So I heard from my husband who worked today. He said that people coming to work from Vancouver had a big mess to contend with. Apparently the salt and snow clearing trucks had not been out in Vancouver. Here in Richmond, it was fabulous! So glad to be rid of the snow.
>118 msf59: id love to get my eyeballs on The Handmaid's Tale series, I loved the book. I get the feeling the story would take on a whole new significance now.
We have had some nice days lately, but tomorrow is forecast to be a stonker. 28degC. So, me and el kiddos are heading up river from the river of my childhood, to the gorge. It'll be cool, treed and there will be a blanket and cushions for me to chill on while the kids go crazy. Hopefully my strategy will pay dividends.
>127 Familyhistorian: >128 vancouverdeb: Lots of winterish adventure, for my BC pals! Hopefully, you can now get back to normal.
>129 LovingLit: Hi, Megan! I am not sure when The Handmaid's Tale series, will be released. Early next year? I will have to check. It holds much promise.
Have a good time with the kids and the river. Sounds fun.
BTW- I am really enjoying White Noise. Just sayin'...
>123 msf59: Ha!
Oh, I'll look forward to your reaction to The Mothers. I've wondered about that one, too.
I'm still enjoying A Gentleman in Moscow, with the Count and Nina and the others, and Darktown. The Singing Bones is something very new for Shaun Tan - excerpts of Grimm fairy tales illustrated with his sculptures. The sculptures are amazing.
Mark, it's good to see all the warbling about A Gentleman in Moscow which is looking like it will be my No. 1 book of the year. I also have to look into Simon Winchester. I have been aware of his books but just haven't gotten around to reading any of them. As we love to say...So many books, so little time...
Try to stay warm in these arctic temperatures!
Stopping by a few busy thread to let folks know there's a new party starting!
I am back in Kansas for Christmas. I had to pay the property taxes today. Property taxes in Kansas have been a real mess. The state didn't get the notices sent out at the end of November and some people only got their notices a few days ago. There is a major dispute in our family about some property, and who pays for what, and if the person in possession of the property is actually the one who is paying the taxes, etc. etc. Gotta love small towns. Anyway, I got my part paid and that is all I care about.
At the moment I am sitting in my favorite local coffee shop and enjoying the coffee and the ambiance.
I listened to two books on the way back. I am about half-way through Inheritance by Christopher Paolini and I finished the young adult fantasy Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. The second on is a by a new author, and even though the plot and writing was a bit rough in places this series shows promise, so I will try to find the recorded version of the second book in the series when I get back. That one is Rose and the Dagger.
I just read your discussion up-thread about the narrator of the Professor and the Madman. That book is Simon Winchester's break-out book, so it is the only one that didn't have Winchester as the narrator. After they discovered that Winchester was a talented reader he has done all of his books. The later went back and recorded that one with Winchester as the narrator.
Happy Holiday! May 2017 be filled with light and happiness, and of course, plenty of books to read. All good wishes to you. I look forward to learning about the books you read. I always get such wonderful suggestions from you.
>134 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! The Mothers has been a solid listen so far. Nothing earth-shattering at this point, but she is a capable story-teller. Approaching the halfway point all ready.
Hope you continue to enjoy the Count & Co, along with Darktown.
>135 Donna828: Hi, Donna! It seems like the people that have read A Gentleman in Moscow have been crazy about it. I hope that trend continues. It may not take the number one spot, but it will easily be in the top 5.
I have only read the one Winchester, but I can tell it is an author you would admire. I am looking forward to reading more of his.
>136 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie! I survived the day. It was actually a bit warmer than it has been, so that helps.
>137 drneutron: A B.A.G. for the Creator!!
>139 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita! Have a great time in Kansas, with your family. Boo about property taxes and yah, about audiobooks. I have been steering clear of fantasy of late, but have not given up. There is just so much great literary and NF titles out there, that that seems to take up the bulk of my reading time.
>140 benitastrnad: Thanks for shedding light on Winchester and his narration. Very cool story.
>141 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! We really like our woodpeckers around here! So glad I decided to hang a suet feeder. And yes, Things We Lost in the Fire is a terrific debut collection. I am enjoying The Mothers, but I am not it will be a top read, although there is still plenty more reading time left.
>142 Whisper1: Thank you so much, Linda! I plan on keeping your T.R. list hopping in '17! It is my nature.
Mark, I zipped through The Mothers, finishing it this afternoon. I look forward to comparing notes with you.
I had requested Things We Lost in the Fire in this current batch of LTER books, but after reading your review, I thought 'Hm maybe not' and unrequested it. Now I see your review made Ellen want to read it. I'm dithering like a rabbit caught on a road.
I'm reading another group of noir short stories also offered this month in LTER: Mexico: Stories by Josh Barkan. I decided if your book was noir-ier than my book, then you have outnoired me and I should skip Things. I just looked at the ratings for the book I'm reading and the reviews are cracking me up. There are several defending Mexico and wanting happy, normal stories about the rest of Mexico. I bet they are making the author do a head desk. Wonder who decided to give a noir collection the rather cheerful grade-schoolish title of Mexico: Stories
>145 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura! I should be close to finished The Mothers late today or early tomorrow. I am liking it but I am not sure I will end up loving it.
>146 streamsong: Hi, Janet! Obviously, I recommend Things We Lost in the Fire, (she is a talent) but I also like the sound of Mexico: Stories, so I have added it to the list. Of course, I like "dark".
>148 msf59: - Good morning, Mark. You sure are right about that but think of it this way: we are on our way to spring now! :-)
Morning, Mark! I think I can give Things We Lost in the Fire a pass - I like dark, but creepy that stays with me, not so much. Hoping your Wednesday is full of happy, my friend!
>147 msf59: I'm with you, Mark. I've posted thoughts on my thread so you can check that out when you're ready.
Good morning, Mark!
Not too bad out there. The Count has just met Sophia, and it's pretty darn funny (just finished the clever hide-the-thimble game). Poor Boggs and Smith have just found the body. Jeez Louise, it may not be great these days, but it sure is better here than back then.
>151 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley! Great point about the winter. Longer days are starting. Grins...
>152 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! The story collection didn't cross into the horrifically creepy, just into reasonable creepiness.
>153 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. I will finish it and then stop by. Thanks.
>154 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Glad you are enjoying the books. Such, rich characters.
Good point about the racism.
Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well with you. Merry Christmas!
Do you do Star Wars? I'm asking everyone, this morning. I'm a hug SW fan and have been since I saw that original film in '77. This newest one is something else.
Happy First Day of Winter, Mark!! Glad it's not so winterlike today. Heard we might have some t-storms on Christmas Day. Whoever heard of that??
Got my Christmas Swap books today from Ellen. One is about Nazi plundering of European art. The other is about the 2004 Boston Red Sox and is by Stewart O'Nan so I'll be sure to finish at least one AAC author in 2017.
Today, we're going to a restaurant we've long since hoped to try one day. It isn't even that far away--just never got there. It's called The Chocolate Sanctuary and it's in Gurnee. As the name indicates, we must be sure to save room for dessert.
Hi Mark, just dropping by to say thank you for a fabulous, HOT, review of A Gentleman in Moscow. Looking very forward to this one.
>1 msf59: hi Mark. that looks like faux snow, but i know it's wretched. thank you again for your service! did you take that horned owl pic? it's gorgeous!!!
i can't get through your thread. too much with the scrolling. i've got Jussi Adler-Olson (sp?) on my iPod awaiting my pleasure. Keeper of lost causes, iirc.
>132 msf59: looks intriguing but i have no space. aaargh.
glad you've got days off coming.
>156 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! The day went well. Thanks! Yes, I am a Stars Wars fan. I am a devotee of the original 3. I hope to see this latest film. It sounds really good.
>157 vivians: Hi, Vivian! Great to see you! I am liking The Mothers less and less. I should finish it early tomorrow. Sorry to hear, that The North Water is not tooting your horn. I LOVED it on audio!
>158 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda! Not bad today, weather-wise. Chilly, but tolerable. I just want some of this snow to melt off, so I can maneuver a bit easier.
Glad you like your Swap books. I will wait until Christmas morning. Yah, for a O'Nan!
>159 lit_chick: Hi, Nancy! Great to see you, stranger! I am so glad that I have a Hot Review on A Gentleman in Moscow. It is such a worthy title. Warble, Warble! I hope you have a chance to snag a copy.
>160 mirrordrum: Hi, Ellie! Always a pleasure to see you! I have not seen an owl in the wild, so I did take the pic of the GHO, but that photo was taken, just a few miles from my location. I want to see an OWL!!
The Department Q books are so good on audio. I hope you enjoy The Keeper of Lost Causes!
Hope it warms up for you enough to melt, Mark. Do you get a good stretch off at Christmas?
>163 weird_O: Yo, to yourself, Weirdo Bill!! Smiles!!
>164 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. We will be in the mid-30s the next few days, which is not bad but I am not sure it will melt much snow. Maybe, we will get some blazing sunshine, to help things along.
>165 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb! Do not expect any warbling on The Mothers. It will probably end up being a 3.5 star read for me. A decent read, but nothing to warble home about. I hope Dave continues to enjoy The Keeper of Lost Causes. At least he is trying some international crime.
Morning Amber! Hooray for Life of Pi. Actually, the film version ended up being pretty good, as well.
Morning Mark! I've got Mothers home from the library as part of the NBCC (National Book Critics Circle) 2016 John Leonard Prize finalists. I'd be happy with a 3.5 read.
I had 3 THREE squirrels at the bird feeder yesterday! They cleaned my out!!
Morning Lynda. The Mothers will end up being closer to a 3 star read, for me, which, in my goofy rating system is just okay.
Oh, those chubby, tenacious squirrels. They managed to knock my suet feeder down yesterday too. They are fattening up.
Sweet Thursday, buddy!
Pretty darn nice out there for December. Loved that poem you posted over on Ellen's thread. Last work day this week for me. I'm looking forward to the holiday. I'll be listening to some Montalbano on the drive to Ann Arbor.
Happy Thursday, Mark. Enjoy these 30-degree days. The Enriquez stories sound good; I'll have to check her out. Next year.
Agree on The Mothers, a little disappointing after all the hype but still ok. I'm racing to the end of The North Water and have gotten hooked. Audio has been great for me lately but I'm in a bit of a slump with actual reading. Just can't keep my eyes open at night! So sad that work gets in the way. ;)
>171 jnwelch: Morning, Joe! Last work day? Extra Sweet Thursday, indeed. Yes, pretty darn nice out here. Glad you liked the poem.
>172 BLBera: Morning Beth. Currently, 35, with sunshine. I will gladly take it and yes the story collection is a keeper.
>173 vivians: Morning, Vivian. I began liking The Mothers less and less. These angsty family dramas are really beginning to bore me.
So glad you came around on The North Water. Such a terrific book and listen.
Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday! I would like your "35 with sunshine", please.
>146 streamsong: Janet, you're cracking me up. I love and totally resonate with the expression of ambivalence in the face of LT recommendations and expressions of interest..... Maybe I should go request Things We Lost in the Fire for ER!
Oh, and I love that you coined a new term: outnoired. Excellent.
*waves at Mark*
^On audio, I started Hidden Figures. I give thanks to Joe, for this warble. It has been such a strong year for NF and this looks like it will be another bold entry. As a bonus, I am so glad this was written by an African American writer. Fits perfectly.
Hey yeah, Mark, Dave has read The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler- Olsen . He is one of those people who does not mind reading out of order. ?????????????????????????????????????? . I think he is enjoying the author and I think he will enjoy Ian Rankin like I am. Too bad about The Mothers: A Novel. Merry Christmas, Lone Ranger! ( I'll likely get to your thread before Christmas but just in case) . Dave has to work over Christmas.
>180 vancouverdeb: Yes, I think that series should definitely be read in order but the man is READING and that is all that matters. Right, Tonto?
Sorry, Dave has to work over Christmas. I work tomorrow but then I am off for 3. Grins...
^I have had, As Good as Gone, an ER book, since May, so I thought it might be a good time to drag it off the Must Read Now Shelf. I love Mr. Watson, who was also a AAC selection, a couple years ago. I think he was a December pick. Plus, I love that pickup and that cover.
**I am also enjoying the audio of Hidden Figures.
Curious to hear your thoughts on As Good as Gone. You know I am a Watson fan. I own this one, but haven't read it yet. I think maybe my husband did.
Saw this list of Best of Poetry Books and thought you might like it. I haven't read any on here. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/books/review/the-best-poetry-of-2016.html
Happy Friday, Mark! I know you have one more day of trudging around carrying mail and packages before your 3-day respite. Has it warmed up a bit in Chicagoland, at least?
Hi Mark! In case I'm not on threads in the next couple of days, I'm dropping off my wish for the season.
>187 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! Yes, it has warmed up a bit but now there is a rain/snow mix falling right now. Glad I am in for the night. And, yes, one more work day and off for 3. Sweet!
>188 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie! Not far into the Watson, but it looks to be another gem. He has been very consistent.
>189 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! We may have to shore each other up, in the coming months. Things are not looking very hopeful.
Hope the last day at work goes quickly Mark. I've not read any Watson - look forward to your comments.
>191 charl08: Hi, Charlotte! The mail has suddenly got very light, so tomorrow should be a piece of cake. We will have a household full of people, about 90 minutes after I get home, so I need a light work load.
Please track down some Watson. Montana 1948 was my first and may still be my favorite. He captures the western U.S. very adroitly.
Merry Christmas, you old curmudgeon, Lone Ranger :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxo Yeah, Dave works Dec 25 to the 28. Airplanes never stop landing and taking off. One of my brothers will be in Tel Aviv for Christmas and his young family is travelling to Berlin to meet up with his wife's family.
>193 vancouverdeb: Yes, but hopefully I am your favorite curmudgeon, Deb! Thanks for the Christmas wishes! Have a nice holiday, my friend.
>179 msf59: Hi Mark, I'm about halfway through Hidden Figures and am enjoying it. I want to finish it before I go see the movie, which is due out soon. It's reminding me a bit of The Girls of Atomic City. A friend, who is a black woman mathematician, is her (large) company's spokesperson on the book and I'm hoping to get a chance to sit down with her soon and talk about it.
Wouldn't it be nice if 2017 was a year of peace and goodwill.
A year where people set aside their religious and racial differences.
A year where intolerance is given short shrift.
A year where hatred is replaced by, at the very least, respect.
A year where those in need are not looked upon as a burden but as a blessing.
A year where the commonality of man and woman rises up against those who would seek to subvert and divide.
A year without bombs, or shootings, or beheadings, or rape, or abuse, or spite.
Festive Greetings and a few wishes from Malaysia!
>195 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley! I have really enjoyed your visits over here. Let's keep it up.
>196 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda! I am about halfway done with Hidden Figures too. Good stuff. The film came out today. It got a lukewarm review in the Trib.
Look forward to hearing about your talk, with your mathematician friend.
Making any headway in A Gentleman in Moscow?
>197 PaulCranswick: "Wouldn't it be nice." It definitely would be, Paul. Thanks for the festive greetings, my friend.
>197 PaulCranswick: - Paul, what a beautiful image and wonderful (if wistful) wishes for the new year...
Morning Amber. Nope, just working. We got slammed today and I have to go back and pick up more parcels. Sighs...
We are hosting tonight too.
Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, Mark. I will be back in the New Year and will look for you on the 2017 threads.
This is the Christmas tree at the end of the Pacific Beach Pier here in San Diego, a Christmas tradition.
To all my friends here at Library Thing, I want you to know how much I value you and how much I wish you a very happy holiday, whatever one you celebrate, and the very best of New Years!
I hope you have a Happy Christmas, Mark. Enjoy your time off!
>208 Cariola: Thanks, Deborah. Good to see you.
>209 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary! LOVE that image and sentiment.
>210 Crazymamie: LOVE IT, Mamie! What a perfect image! Thanks, my friend.
>211 DeltaQueen50: Thank you, Judy!
>212 laytonwoman3rd: Love the 'Coon, Linda.
>213 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! Good to see you. I wish I was in San Diego for the holidays.
>214 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Looking forward to the next 3 days.
>215 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. Love the image.
Hope all my friends are having a wonderful holiday! After a busy night "hosting", the Freeburgs are laying low today.
^Hooray, for Christmas morning Swap books! Yeah, baby! Nice variety too.
The Gathering Storm- This makes me wonder if my Santa was Paul...hmmmmm?
The Good War- Ditto!
Battleborn: Stories- I have wanted to read this collection forever!
Man Walks into a Room- I loved The History of Love and I have wanted to read this one too.
Bernie- Not sure this should be included but I did receive it, from Amazon, unidentified. It sure looks like a promising GN.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Mark to you and family.
This is a picture of a 20 foot tree cut to fit in/out of the house. NOT my house though!
Great book haul, Mark. I love the cover of Bernie, reminds me of the Simpsons.
"I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman. Blood is a big expense."
^ Call us heathens, but we usually do not watch "Christmas" films, on Christmas, but classics. And The Godfather remains one of my all time favorite films. It might only be edged out by Godfather II, for the top spot. My daughter recommended it, so if you are having yuletide upheavals- Blame her!
Our go-to Christmas marathon is Lord of the Rings. This year, mrsdrneutron got me all three Hobbit movies, so we're gonna do them all!
One year we did zombies...
>229 Crazymamie: We are true mates, Mamie! Wish we could have watched Godfather II, right after. That one is my favorite.
>230 drneutron: Lord of the Rings Marathon is a great idea. I have all the director cuts, so that can take some time. Last Christmas, we did the first 3 original Star Wars films.
>231 mirrordrum: Ooh, I love Bookmas! Thank you, Ellie!
>232 Carmenere: Morning Lynda! That was me yesterday, although I had more beer than milk. Today, we should have a quiet A.M. but we have friends coming over in the afternoon.
"Revenge is never a straight line. It's a forest, and like a forest it's easy to lose your way …"
"I am gonna ask you questions. And every time you don't give me answers, I'm gonna cut something off. And I promise you, they will be things you will miss."
We ended our day yesterday, watching both Kill Bill films. I love these movies and they hold up very well. I have not liked Tarantino's last couple of films but I hope he still plans on doing a Kill Bill 3.
>228 msf59: ha ha Mark, we don't have a Christmas movie tradition but if we did, it would be along similar lines. My hubs loves The Godfather movies; I recognize good film-making but am not quite as obsessed. Have you seen the "epic" version that puts all three movies in chronological order?
>235 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura! Yes, I have seen the "epic" version of the first 2 Godfather films and they edited it together seamlessly. Very impressive.
Funny, how much I love the first two, I can not stand the third. That one is an embarrassment.
>236 msf59: I'm with you --that third Godfather movie was pathetic. We were just talking about watching the original again soon...one of our all-time favorites. We also love The Lord of the Rings. Cannot say the same for the Kill Bill movies, though. Couldn't get very far into the first one at all.
Good morning, Mark! Merry day after Christmas. I hope you had a fabulous day.
>228 msf59: Ah, The Godfather. Good stuff, ineed. It may be time to review them.
>234 msf59: I did not care for Kill Bill Vol. 1. The anime section and blood fest that followed in the conference room were over the top for me. However, I had a lot more fun with Vol. 2. It seemed more 'traditionally Tarantino'.
We used to do movies, Mark, in the previous century ;-)
Our national Radio 2 started in 1999 with TOP 2000, voted by listeners, they start on Chrismas day and the last song is played on New Years Eve, so it is all listening to the radio here.
>237 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda! Why Coppola thought, making a third Godfather was a good idea, is so beyond me. It wraps up so perfectly, after II, that anything else would be completely unnecessary and anti-climactic. Plus, the script is so laughably bad...sighs.
And I agree, the Kill Bill films are a matter of taste. They sure work for me.
>227 luvamystery65: >238 luvamystery65: Sorry, Ro! Somehow you were lost in the shuffle. Apologetic Hugs to my pal.
>239 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! We had a very nice Christmas Day. I hope you did, as well. Revisiting The Godfather films, (the first 2 of course) every 5 years or so, is perfect for me.
I also liked Kill Bill 2 better but I am still a fan of the first one too. The first paid homage to '70 martial arts films and the second paid homage to westerns, particularly Sergio Leone films, with a bit of John Ford tossed in. There might still be a third one in the works. I just hope he still has the chops.
>240 FAMeulstee: I like the idea of listening to music, Anita but I think I would be outvoted by my other family members. Movies or board games on Christmas.
Oh the epic is only two films? To be honest they all run together in my mind so I didn't know. :)
Trying to do a catchup on threads ( an impossible task but hey I like pain) .....
Looks like winter has hit hard your way, funny My cousins etc in UK had a sunny xmas which was very weird to hear .....
Hi Mark, hope you had a nice Christmas and are enjoying your "postal holiday." We were debating whether there'd be mail today and finally just looked it up. After being off since 12/15, it's back to work for me tomorrow.
I'm getting back into A Gentleman in Moscow and enjoying it, once again.
I went to see Vol 2 with my brother, without seeing the first Kill Bill. He was worried I wouldn't follow the plot. Ha!
Reading Second-hand Time- still feels amazing to read individual stories about living in Russia - and she writes so beautifully, compiling all the stories into one narrative. I wasn't sure if this one would be as good as the Chernobyl book, but I think it will be.
Merry Day-After Christmas!! Hope you are staying warm in all the weather you have been having. Hugs!
>234 msf59: Ho! Whoa! Just a minute here. I feel completely qualified to speak for Bill. He does NOT need to be killed. So he's a little weird. Get over it. Put the weapons down. These are the days of peace and love.
>219 msf59: I may have missed it, but is the GN "Bernie" about Bernie Sanders?
Kill Bill freaked me out a little bit back in the day, but I'm tougher now. Maybe I'll revisit.
Merry Christmas Mark!! 📚 🎁 🎄
>243 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura! Yes, the Godfather Epic, should only involve the first 2 films. The 3rd stinks, plus it takes place 30-40 years after the 2nd one. Just sayin'...
>244 roundballnz: Hi, Alex. Great to see you. We did have a white Christmas but it has also been very mild and most of the snow has now departed. I am sure winter will come roaring back.
>245 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda! Yesterday was a federal holiday and it will be the same next Monday. Luckily, I have my regular day off today.
I hope you continue to enjoy A Gentleman in Moscow and good luck getting back to work.
>246 charl08: Hi, Charlotte! Did you ever end up seeing Kill Bill I? If not, they are fun to watch in order.
I am not familiar with Second-hand Time, but this sounds really good.
>247 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! Hope you had a great holiday. It was in the 50s here yesterday. Crazy, but back to normal temps today. Hugs back!
>248 weird_O: "Put the weapons down. These are the days of peace and love." Amen, Bill. I think we will go with Hug Bill. How does that sound?
>249 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Yes, Bernie is a GN about "Bernie. (Why does Frankenstein come up first in the touchstones? LOL.)
I would think you would have a good time with the Kill Bill films, although they are bloody, violent, profane and over the top.
>250 Ameise1: Hi, Barb! I hope you are enjoying your time off.
>251 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! I have the day off. Hope to spend a chunk of it with the books.
Hi Mark! A Belated Merry Christmas to you. I'm venturing out into the LT world again today, baby steps at first, and am going to draw another line in the sand and go forward on all the threads and friends I haven't had the heart to engage in and with lately. Appropriate oohs and aahs, and congratulations and so sorrys,..... but here's an Early Happy New Year to you and best wishes for all good things in 2017.
>253 msf59: Over the top? Dear lord, they open up a fire hose of blood. Sheesh.
Morning, Mark! I had a busy holiday and was not able to check in here at LT. I wanted to say THANK YOU for the books you sent as my not-so-secret Santa! I'm very excited about all three of them. Have a photo I plan to post on my own thread.
I hope your Christmas was bright and I'm wishing you all the best in 2017.
>254 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen! So good to see you. Take your time catching up. I know it can be overwhelming, my friend.
>255 Morphidae: A "fire hose of blood", is a good way to describe those films, Morph. Not for all tastes. No doubt about it.
>256 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! So glad you like the books. I was crazy about that poetry collection and bought one for myself too. I may also join you on reading The Book of Night Women. I WANT to read that one.
>252 msf59: tbh, I can take or leave Mr Tarantino. I'd rather be watching some French or German actors examining their navels...
You'd recognise the author of Second hand Time as the Nobel winner before Bob. If I got the touchstones to work, that is...
Available in audio (full cast, 1378 mins!! Wow) http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/541184/secondhand-time-by-svetlana-alexi...
Just, y'know, in case you were interested....
>257 msf59: The only reason I could watch Kill Bill 1 is because the gore was SO over the top it was ridiculous. I used the words "fire hose" on purpose. I remember thinking during one scene that they must be using hoses to splash the blood around because there was so much of it spraying. I actually laughed (uneasily but still laughed.)
>258 charl08: Not even a fan of Pulp Fiction, Charlotte? I think that is his master-work. I am a big fan of his but I did NOT like his last 2 films.
Thanks for the link. 1378 minutes? Say what? That sounds hefty.
>259 Morphidae: Much of Tarantino's violence is shocking but very broad. I guess that helps in the digestion department.
Do you have a favorite of his, Morph?
>261 msf59: I haven't seen that many that he's directed - Pulp Fiction (3/5 stars), Four Rooms (so long ago I don't remember it), Kill Bill 1 (3/5). Of those, I'd have to say Pulp Fiction is my favorite.
However, he wrote The Rock which I loved as well as From Dusk to Dawn (also produced and acted in.)
>262 Morphidae: Pulp Fiction remains my favorite too, although I would give it the full boat: 5 stars!!
First off- I had a fantastic reading year. One gem or near gem after another. All year long. The problem is- Narrowing these terrific reads down to a few titles. Not easy folks, but this is what I came up with, (no real surprises here):
2) The Underground Railroad
3) A Gentleman in Moscow
4) The North Water
5) Someone Knows My Name
2) The Hour of Land
3) The Oregon Trail
5) The House of Sky
March Vol. 3
Bright Dead Things
Short Fiction, (this was tough):
The Paper Menagerie: Stories
I finally picked up The Book of Negroes again to try and finish my challenge books for the year. I am glad to see you rated it so highly, Mark.
>267 msf59: I am hoping to finish it before the year is out, Mark. It is going well so far.
How's my favourite postie with the mostie? Glad you had such a wonderful reading year, Mark, you old curmudgeon, you! ;)
Good morning, Mark!
Looks like your high today of 45F is a heat wave compared to the next 4 of 5 days. It is too warm here, with the high today getting to 58F. It might wake the bugs up.
Have a wonderful day.
(I won't even pretend to have been reading your threads - have you been able to get any bird watching in or have they all fled the cold?)
>272 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! A chilly start here but otherwise, all good. Did you see my best of list? Just askin'...
>273 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We had that warm weather on Monday. Colder yesterday. Warmer today.
The only bird watching I am doing, is at my home feeders and a little on my route, when I see something interesting.
Good morning, Mark!
I started Darktown today. Very interesting. The narrator is pretty good. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you as I progress.
>275 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie! I hope you continue to enjoy Darktown. Joe just finished it and liked it, as well. Glad the narrator is solid.
>276 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel! Hooray for snagging Evicted. There has been some terrific ebook titles on sale, of late. Happy Campers!
>277 jnwelch: Welcome home, Joe! Hope the drive was uneventful. I really enjoyed Hidden Figures and I appreciate the nudge, otherwise I may not have got to it so soon.
I know you were also a big fan of both Homegoing and Evicted! What complete gems!
I've got Lonesome Dove and The Underground Railraod on my top 10 list. If I finish A Gentleman in Moscow, that might go on the list as well but I find I'm savoring it and reading it in small doses and so probably not likely to finish by year's end, though maybe.
One mystery, the newest Louise Penny. Probably one or two nonfiction books as well.
>279 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda! I am so glad to see Lonesome Dove & Underground Railroad on your best of the year list. And I hope Gentleman makes the cut too, for you. It is such a terrific read. I hope you finish it before Sunday. Go Linda! Go Linda!
I really enjoyed Hidden Figures and decided to take a sharp left turn, on my next audio, and started Finders Keepers, the second in King's Bill Hodges trilogy. I liked the first one and want to see where he goes this time. Once again, it is narrated by Will Patton. He is so good. Perfect fit for King.
The new General Discussion Thread for 2017 is up. Stop by drop a star and or a comment, hopefully both:
>280 msf59: I made no progress so far tonight, since I watched CTM again.
Wow! you certainly are accomplishing a lot during your staycation, Mark! Enjoy!!
>287 msf59: Ha! All the more remarkable!!
I have not but may do so eventually.
Good morning, Mark! Happy Thursday to you.
>285 msf59: We went to the Harry S. Truman Museum and Library on our 2010 family vacation, and it was fascinating.
Morning, Mark! I did see your favorites list - the only one of those I have read is Homegoing, which will probably also make my favorites list.
>289 karenmarie: Morning, Karen! Sweet Thursday! I would LOVE to go to the Truman Museum. It is on the Bucket List.
>290 streamsong: Morning Janet! Glad you like the Besties List. It was such a great year for reading.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Evicted. What Butler will you be reading?
>291 Crazymamie: Morning Mamie! Only Homegoing? Look like you have some work to do, my friend. Grins, slyly...
Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well with you.
>281 msf59: I put this on the wishlist a couple of months ago. we'll see if I get to this in 2017. Speaking of Presidential bios, have you seen or read Coolidge? It's been on my radar for a couple of years now and popped up on an Amazon special this week.
>285 msf59: I look forward to your thoughts on Finders Keepers as I've heard it's bit of a departure from Mr. Mercedes.
>293 Crazymamie: Of course, there will be absolutely no pressure. Grins slyly, once again...
>294 brodiew2: Morning, Brodie! All is well here. Thanks. I have not read Coolidge or any other bio on him. I have read about 20 presidential bios and I hope to eventually read every one.
That can be another challenge for me in '17: Read at least 2 more.
>295 katiekrug: Morning, KAK. Waves and Hugs to my pal.
The year I read it, the Harry Truman book was top 5 for me. I absolutely loved it. Enjoy.
I'm still puzzling over my top 5 for 2016.
I didn't have a top ten title list this year. My top read of the year was River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. Behind it was the first two books in the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I was impressed by the Jenny Craig trilogy by Elizabeth Bear. All of these were either Sci/Fi or fantasy. Right after that was the first three books in the Poldark series.
I didn't have any non-fiction titles make it into the top ten and no literary novels. I think it was just my reading patterns in the last year but so few works of non-fiction turned me on. Those that did were old copyrights.
I finished reading Queen of the Tearling this last week and I loved it. As soon as I get back I am going to get the second book in that series.
I also finished the second book in the Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan. It is titled Broken Angels and it was hard-boiled Sci/Fi detective reading at its best. So action packed that I kept reading far into the night.
^I am having an entertaining ride with Harry & Bess, in Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure. It is also a nice reminder, why I admire Truman as a man and a president.
>301 lindapanzo: This definitely feels like a Linda book, (although, it so far disaster free. Grins...). I am having a good time with it.
Looking forward to your Best of List!
>302 Ameise1: Hi, Barb! I did have a good day but it did get cold and blustery in the afternoon. Brrrr....
>303 benitastrnad: It looks like it is all fantasy and YA for you, Benita. I have been steering away from it and I seem to be more locked into literary fiction and NF, which I am rarely disappointed in.
I am so glad you liked The Queen of the Tearling. We are all fans of the first two, here at the Freeburg household. Looking forward to book 3, which recently came out.
>305 EBT1002: Waves and Hugs, to Ellen!
Morning, Mark! We are getting some cold here today, and I am very excited about it. Happy Friday to you!
Good Friday, Mark! I'm enjoying a lovely morning beside the glow of my new Himalayan Salt Lamp, a near blizzard outside and A Gentleman in Moscow to keep me company. Have a good one!
Good morning, Mark! Best wishes for a wonderful Friday.
Harrumph. No real winter for us - I don't want much, don't want a blizzard, mind you, but some really cold weather would be nice and I wouldn't even say no to a bit of snow. But it's 39F here at 10 a.m. Lots of wind, blue skies with a few white puffy clouds. Pretty, but definitely fall-like, not winter-like.
>314 karenmarie: Morning Karen. Happy Friday! Sorry about your lack of winter. We have sunshine and about 30. No snow, so that is good.
Good morning, Mark! I hope all is well with you.
2 more days of 2016...
Darktown is very good. Very noir as shown in the book's cover art.
>316 Crazymamie: Lol. Do you believe I corrected it twice and it still came up Jaime. Snickers...
>306 msf59: My best of list has two books you're well acquainted with, Mark. Both on my threads and also on the LT Top 5 board.
thanks for all your warbling in 2016, Marky. wishing you a new year full of the bounty of birds, books and delectable brews.
Happy Friday, Mark! I know you get Sunday and Monday off; do you work tomorrow?
>321 mirrordrum: "wishing you a new year full of the bounty of birds, books and delectable brews." You know me so well, Ellie! Thank you!
I really like the LT New Year image too. It is perfect.
>322 EBT1002: Happy Friday, Ellen! Yes, I work tomorrow. Hoping for a light load and a quick exit.
>323 Crazymamie: My daughter has my iPad. She is spending the New Year's weekend, in Ft. Myers, FLA. Lucky Duck! So, I posted on my phone today. Hi-jinks, ensue...
^I spotted, (yes, I bring an old pair of binoculars along. Such a geek) several house-finches, on the route today. Maybe 6 or 7. It brightened my day.
170) As Good as Gone by Larry Watson 4 stars
Calvin Sidey is a cowboy relic. He is seventy years old, stuck in an “Old West” mythical code. Since he does not fit in, with current society, he lives a hermit existence, entrenched in a tiny trailer, deep in the Montana woods. His adult son, wants a favor. Watch his teenage children, while his wife has surgery, in a distant city. Calvin reluctantly agrees. Will trouble follow? I think it is a safe bet...
Watson knows the modern west intimately. He also draws intricate characters, warts and all and like Kent Haruf, has a deep understanding and love, of his elder creations. This is not as strong as his last novel, Let Him Go, but Watson is still producing, solid, western-based literature.
**I will share this on the new thread too...
Looking forward to your continued company in 2017.
Happy New Year, Mark
Morning, Mark! Our last one of 2016. A very nice review of the Watson book - I really need to get to that one, as i also have it as an ER. Bad Mamie!
I did spend most of my reading time of the last year in fantasy and sci/fi land. I needed the escape time. I also listened to some mystery spy thrillers as well, but I wanted to escape. So I did.
Our college of education reading group will be starting after the first of the year and one of the books on the list is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I want to read this book, but I have been putting it off. Just as I have put off Evicted and Nickel and Dimed. It takes some mental fortitude to read books like that and I haven't had much of that left over after work during this last year.
I also have the Watson to read, courtesy of the ER program... Bad Katie!
Happy New Year, Mark, though I know that you have some hours to go yet. It is nearly 3 pm here - so not yet New Years.
>334 Cariola: Thank you, Deborah! I love the image.
>335 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita! Our reading moods are all a bit different, aren't they? Not much stress in my life at the moment, so I can handle all the serious, grim stuff. I really want to read Just Mercy. I might join you with that one.
I still highly recommend Evicted.
>336 katiekrug: It will be worth the wait, KAK. No "Bad"about it!
>337 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Worked today and getting ready to head out to dinner with friends. Thread visiting will have to wait...
>338 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte! It will hard to top '16 in the reading department but I plan on giving it a shot.
>339 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. We are going out for the evening, so I will make my rounds in the A.M.
Woo Hoo, Mark! Congrats on your amazing achievement! Not shabby at all!
Happy New Year to you and yours!
Happy New Year, Mark! One of my New Year's Resolutions is to keep up with your threads!
Happy New Year, Mark! I've really enjoyed your reviews and seems we share a lot of reads! I finished up at, I think, 171 books and there's only about an hour left...
Big Hugs and thanks to Lynda, Karen, Brodie, Diane and Mary! Read and Warble on, everyone!!
Mark well done on clocking up the most posts on your thread this year.
Since I started logging the stats in 2012 you have been a constant in the top few so it is both overdue and well deserved. For the record. (Not final because posts still chugging in)
1 Mark 8,764 posts
2 Amber 7,642
3 Mamie 7,486
4 Paul 7,433
5 Joe 6,995
6 Charlotte 4,911
7 Katie 4,551
8 Darryl 4,283
9 Ellen 3,547
10 Deb 2,480
Marky-Mark the Rock Star! Don't tell Sue. She will laugh her butt off!
>348 PaulCranswick: I am in some mighty fine company up there!
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