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Weird_O (Bill)'s ADD Bookbin (pile three)

This is a continuation of the topic Weird_O (Bill)'s ADD Bookyard (cubical two).

This topic was continued by Weird_O (Bill)'s ADD Bookbin (four).

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1weird_O
Edited: Aug 1, 2017, 12:01am Top

  

2weird_O
Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 1:50am Top

# 68

# 67# 66# 65# 64

# 63# 62# 61# 60

# 59# 58# 57# 56

# 55# 54# 53# 52# 51

3weird_O
Edited: Aug 1, 2017, 12:09am Top

Books Read: First Quarter 2017

January (8 read)
1. Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard (1/3/17) ROOT®
2. Kindred by Octavia Butler (1/9/17) AAC4 ROOT
3. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (1/11/17) ROOT®
4. Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre (1/16/17) ROOT
5. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey (1/19/17) (borrowed)®
6. The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner (1/22/17) NFC January ROOT®
7. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer (1/30/17) ROOT
8. On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (1/31/17) ROOT®

February (5 read)
9. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (2/5/17) ROOT
10. A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz (2/10/17) NFC--February ROOT
11. Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan (2/15/17) AAC4--February ROOT
12. Hold Still by Sally Mann (2/20/17) (borrowed)
13. The Crucible by Arthur Miller (2/23/17) ROOT

March (9 read)
14. The Bear by William Faulkner (3/1/17) ROOT (re-read)®
15. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (3/2/17) ROOT
16. Sophie's Choice by William Styron (3/12/17) AAC4 ROOT®
17. The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh (3/18/17) NFC ROOT®
18. Spotted Horses by William Faulkner (3/19/17) ROOT®
19. The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander (3/21/17) NFC ROOT®
20. A Tidewater Morning by William Styron (3/23/17) AAC4®
21. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (3/24/17)®
22. The Counterlife by Philip Roth (3/29/17) ROOT

4weird_O
Edited: Aug 1, 2017, 12:16am Top

Books Read: Second Quarter 2017

April (6 read)
23. Dispatches by Michael Herr (4/2/17) ROOT
24. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (4/5/17) ROOT®
25. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (4/8/17) ROOT®
26. William Faulkner: The Man and the Artist by Stephen B. Oates (4/13/17)
27. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (4/24/17) ROOT®
28. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (4/26/17)

May (7 read)
29. Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (5/2/17)
30. Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild (5/7/17)®
31. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (5/8/17)®
32. White Butterfly by Walter Mosley (5/14/17)®
33. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (5/24/17)
34. L. A. Confidential by James Ellroy (5/28/17)®
35. White Jazz by James Ellroy (5/31/17)

June (8 read)
36. A Separate Peace by John Knowles (6/2/17)
37. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (6/4/17)
38. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (6/5/17)
39. Sleeping Beauty by Ross Macdonald (6/9/17)®
40. The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O'Connor (6/11/17)®
41. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (6/14/17)®
42. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (6/18/17)
43. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (6/26/17)

5weird_O
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 2:37pm Top

Books Read: Third Quarter 2017

July (11 read)
44. Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson (7/1/17)
45. The Color of Water by James McBride (7/6/17)
46. Ironweed by William Kennedy (7/8/17)
47. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (7/14/17)
48. Good Will Hunting: A Screenplay by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (7/14/17)®
49. The Ugly American by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick (7/16/17)®
50. Old Man by William Faulkner (7/18/17)
51. Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride (7/20/17)
52. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (7/26/17)
53. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (7/31/17)
54. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (7/31/17)

August (6 read)
55. The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose (8/2/17)®
56. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (8/13/17)
57. Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow (8/21/17)
58. Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph by Diane Arbus (8/21/17)
59. Raven Rock by Garrett M. Graff (8/24/17)®
60. Great Expectations by Charles "Chuck" Dickens (8/31/19)

September (6 read)
61. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (9/8/17)
62. Moonglow by Michael Chabon (9/15/17)
63. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (9/17/17)
64. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (9/22/17)®
65. Longitude by Dava Sobel (9/25/17)®
66. Zero History by William Gibson (9/30/17)

6weird_O
Edited: Oct 5, 2017, 1:45am Top



Yes, yes. There's more to come.

Books Read: Fourth Quarter 2017

October (1 read)
67. Black Humor, Bruce Jay Friedman, ed. (10/2/17)
68. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (10/4/17)

7weird_O
Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 12:01pm Top

          

The year's more than half gone. Here's an update on my "Best Books" reading. Perhaps you'll recall that in January, I posted a list of 24 TBRs that appear on an amalgamated table of "Best Books Lists" published by eight different (self-appointed) book-picking authorities. "If I average two reads a month," I said then, "I'll read them all by the end of the year."

Hubris.

By the end of June, I was two books behind. I did read two books in July, but I'm still two behind the pace necessary for success. My fantasy agenda for August has me completing Great Expectations and something else, something relatively short (maybe To a Lighthouse, The Assistant, or The Ginger Man).

Here's my list of 24, alphabetized by author names, with a 25th tucked into place. Although it IS on my overall (10-year plan, maybe) Best Books TBR chart, I didn't plan to read L.A. Confidential in 2017. But since I did read it, I'm taking the credit against my 24 for 2017. The same is now (as of 8/3/18) true of Charlotte's Web: It IS on my overall (10-year plan, maybe) Best Books TBR chart, I didn't plan to read it in 2017, but I did read it, and so I'm taking the credit against my 24 for 2017.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (pub. 1868-9)
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen (pub. 1958)
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (pub. 1949) (4/8/17)
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs (pub. 1959)
The Awakening by Kate Chopin (pub. 1899) (1/11/17)
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (pub. 1719) (2/5/17)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (pub. 1861)
The Ginger Man by J. P. Donleavy (pub. 1955)
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (pub. 1880)
L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy (pub. 1990) (5/29/17)
I, Claudius by Robert Graves (pub. 1934)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (pub. 1850) (7/31/17)
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (pub. 1929)
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (pub. 1940) (5/24/17)
The Known World by Edward P. Jones (pub. 2003)
Ironweed by William Kennedy (pub. 1983)
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer (pub. 1948) (1/30/17)
The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (pub. 1957)
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (pub. 1915)
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (pub. 1990) (3/2/17)
The Counterlife by Philip Roth (pub. 1986) (3/29/17)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne (pub. 1759)
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (pub. 1886) (4/5/17)
Sophie's Choice by William Styron (pub. 1979) (3/12/17)
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White (pub. 1952) (7/31/17)
To a Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (pub. 1927)

There it is. At the end of July, I should have 14 books read. I've fallen a month behind. I've read 12 13, still have 12 11 to read (in five months. I can still do it...I think.)

8weird_O
Jul 31, 2017, 11:56pm Top

# 8 Yes, yes, yes. Opening soon!

Who will be first??

9PaulCranswick
Jul 31, 2017, 11:57pm Top

It might well be I, Bill

10PaulCranswick
Jul 31, 2017, 11:57pm Top

Happy new thread, dear chap.

11weird_O
Aug 1, 2017, 12:27am Top

I might've known you'd be up at this hour, Paul. Welcome. It's midnight here in the bookbin, so there won't be coffee for hours. In the meantime, find a comfy corner and read something.

12Berly
Aug 1, 2017, 12:56am Top

So close and yet...second. : (

13weird_O
Aug 1, 2017, 1:02am Top

Oh, Kim. I'm so sorry. Second. But a strong second. It's a good showing. You did oh so good. You know, it's not like you were third. Or even, God forbid, tenth.

14Berly
Aug 1, 2017, 1:13am Top

LOL. Thanks. I feel so much better. ; )

15rosalita
Aug 1, 2017, 6:26am Top

I have no idea what's happening in that GIF at the top but I can't stop watching it. Happy new thread, Bill!

16jessibud2
Aug 1, 2017, 6:51am Top

>6 weird_O: - Awwww :-) Happy new thread, Bill

17Ameise1
Aug 1, 2017, 7:09am Top

Happy new thread, Bill.

18harrygbutler
Aug 1, 2017, 8:08am Top

Happy new thread, Bill.

19drneutron
Aug 1, 2017, 11:34am Top

Happy new thread!

20weird_O
Aug 1, 2017, 11:37am Top

> 15 So you've never seen Back to the Future? This shows Doc Brown's DeLorean launching itself into time. At 88 mph, P*O*W, time travel.

21jnwelch
Aug 1, 2017, 2:57pm Top

Happy New Thread, Bill.

That's one heck of a topper. I feel like I've seen it before, or I'm going to see it in the future, or I'm going to see it when I go back to the future . . .

22m.belljackson
Aug 1, 2017, 3:21pm Top

>15 rosalita:

Back to the Future is one of those never-fails-to-deliver Old Classics like
LA BAMBA
and THE FULL MONTY, and more recently, the first Harry Potter.

23FAMeulstee
Aug 1, 2017, 6:10pm Top

Happy new thread, Bill!

>6 weird_O: Cute puppy :-)

24drneutron
Aug 1, 2017, 9:20pm Top

1.21 Gigawatts?!

25msf59
Aug 1, 2017, 9:25pm Top

Happy New Thread, Bill. And Happy Reading in August! I know I have a full slate.

26weird_O
Aug 1, 2017, 9:39pm Top

>24 drneutron: It's the Libyans!!

>23 FAMeulstee: We had a Bulldog a dozen years ago. We loved her, but when she died, our son bought a hypoallergenic Wheaten Terrier puppy for his mom.

>22 m.belljackson: My wife likes The Full Monty.

>21 jnwelch: It's a blast, Joe. :-)

>16 jessibud2: >17 Ameise1: >18 harrygbutler: >19 drneutron: Thank you one and all. Return often to keep the Happiness Quotient high.

27weird_O
Edited: Aug 22, 2017, 12:40am Top

Reading Agenda for August 2017
Special Fantasy Edition
Hahaha...

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lebow—NFC for July
Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph by Diane Arbus—NFC for July
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami—GroupRead
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens—BB2017
Raven Rock by Garrett Graff—NFC for Aug
The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose—NFC for Aug
Moonglow by Michael Chabon—because...
Nora Webster by Colm Toibin—BHO for Aug
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan——BHO for Aug
Somethin' something' by Patricia Highsmith—AAC for Aug
The Ginger Man by J. P. Donleavy—BB2017

By the way, I edited post 7, above, to explain and give a current update on my "Best Books" foolishness.

EDITED 8/21/17: Checkin' off books read.

28weird_O
Aug 1, 2017, 10:12pm Top

from Roddy Doyle...

-Did you ever see The Righ’ Stuff?
-Brilliant fillum.
-Your man from it died.
-Chuck Yeager.
-Sam Shepard – yeah.
-He was brilliant.
-I mean – I didn’t know he was in so many things. But one o’ the granddaughters is doin’ a thing in college abou’ fillums. Watchin’ them, like.
-Can yeh do tha’?
-Yeah – she loves her fillums. A great young one, by the way. Anyway, she was in the house an’ she tells us abou’ this one. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I think that’s the name of it, an’ anyway.
-An’ Sam Shepard’s in it?
-Jesse’s brother, yeah.
-Frank.
-Exactly. So we watched it.
-Good?
-Brilliant. Like, he was just brilliant in everythin’, wasn’t he? An’ then she tells us abou’ this one. Paris, Texas.
-Seen tha’ one years ago. He’s not in it, but.
-He wrote it.
-Fuckin’ wrote it?
-Yeah.
-Jesus. He was married to Jessica Lange as well.
-There was no end to his fuckin’ talents. So, we watched it.
-Paris, Texas.
-Brilliant again. They were bawlin’ at the end. The wife an’ the granddaughter.
-My wife says he was one o’ the great handsome men.
-Same here.
-Bastard.
-Yeah.

29karenmarie
Aug 2, 2017, 8:10am Top

Hi Bill and happy new thread. Good luck on your Special Fantasy Edition August reading agenda.

30BLBera
Aug 2, 2017, 9:10am Top

Happy new thread, Bill. You have great reading planned for August. Good luck.

31weird_O
Aug 3, 2017, 2:35pm Top

# 54. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White Finished 7/31/17

The Weird ReportTM

Early summer days are a jubilee time for the birds. In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the swamp—everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs. From the edge of the woods, the white-throated sparrow (which must come all the way from Boston) calls, "Oh, Peabody, Peabody, Peabody!" On an apple bough, the phoebe teeters and wags its tail and says, "Phoebe, phoe-bee!" The song sparrow, who knows how brief and lovely life is, says, "Sweet, sweet, sweet interlude, sweet, sweet, sweet interlude." If you enter the barn, the swallows swoop down from their nests and scold. "Cheeky, cheeky!" they say.

Charlotte's Web was published in 1952. I was 8 years old. I completely missed the event and the book. As an devoted follower of "Best Books of All time and in All Languages" kinds of lists—yes, an often slow-witted follower—I know Charlotte's Web is one of only a handful of children's books that appear on such lists. Having finally read it, I understand why it is so honored.

It's a sweet story but not a saccharine one. It's bucolic story told in a measured, quiet way; no rowdiness or bombast. The characters are commonplace farm animals: sheep, geese, pigs, and yes, a rat and a spider; no dragons, no magical or malevolent creatures. I recognize and delight in the people, too: Fern and her brother Avery, their parents, Uncle Homer and his wife, Lurvey the farmhand, and Dr. Dorian.

Beyond the story, the characters, and the pace, the writing is superb.

32weird_O
Aug 3, 2017, 2:42pm Top

>31 weird_O: By the bye, I have realized that since Charlotte's Web IS on my own amalgamated "Best Books" list, mentioned above in post 7 (>7 weird_O:), I've amended the Best Books to read in 2017 (for the second time) to give myself credit. So I've read 13 BB2017 books so far; 11 more to read.

33katiekrug
Aug 3, 2017, 7:12pm Top

Hi Bill! I've created a thread about a NYC meet-up:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/266680

34scaifea
Aug 4, 2017, 6:54am Top

De-cloaking to say that I'm so glad that you enjoyed Charlotte's Web. It's definitely a treasure.

35Berly
Aug 4, 2017, 7:07pm Top

Yes, Charlotte is a favorite. Tears and all. : )

11 to go -- you can do it!!

36PaulCranswick
Aug 5, 2017, 7:35am Top

>27 weird_O: Ah! you sneaked The Ginger Man onto your list, Bill. I will join you for that one for sure. Let me know when we are all set, buddy.

Have a great weekend.

37arubabookwoman
Aug 6, 2017, 6:05pm Top

>27 weird_O: Delurking to ask where the Roddy Doyle quote is from--it's perfect, both for Doyle and for Sam Shepherd. I love how so much of Doyle's books are pure dialogue that sounds so real. Favorites are Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha and The Guts.

Also a Charlotte's Web fan--my 4th grade teacher read it to our class, and then I read it on my own a few times as a child, and then I read it to my own kids a few times. But it's been a while, since the youngest of them is now 27.

38swynn
Edited: Aug 6, 2017, 6:35pm Top

"Me too" on Charlotte's Web. One of the joys of sharing it with my own son was discovering that scene between Fern's mother and the psychiatrist, which had never made an impression on me as a kid, despite reading it several times. As an adult, though, he was one of the book's high points.

39weird_O
Aug 7, 2017, 9:25pm Top



Just back from a swell long weekend at my sister's place just outside Lexington, VA. Even borrowed two books to read. It is soooo quiet there. Lots of birds, especially hummingbirds. Spent time everyday, sitting on the deep porch and just visiting.

40weird_O
Aug 7, 2017, 9:39pm Top

>33 katiekrug: Thanks for the warning, Katie. I'll keep an eye on it.

>34 scaifea: >35 Berly: >37 arubabookwoman: >38 swynn: It deservedly is a classic, isn't it?

Wow, Amber, it is great to see you de-cloaked!

Thanks for the Best Books encouragement, Kim.

The Roddy Doyle dialogue is from his Facebook page, Deborah. I just copied and pasted it here. He's created similar dialogues about other notable artists; Alan Rickman comes to mind. I've read his Barrytown trilogy and Paddy Clark; I'll squeeze in one or two more in the future.

41weird_O
Aug 7, 2017, 9:45pm Top

>36 PaulCranswick: Shoot, almost forgot Paul. I did sneak that Ginger Man thingie on the list there, Paul, but my doubts about getting to it this month are simmering. That list o' mine is damn aggressive, I think (fear?). Really, I will let you know when I'm sure.

42jessibud2
Aug 7, 2017, 10:11pm Top

>39 weird_O: - What a peaceful and beautiful picture you've framed there, Bill. My kind of relaxation.....

43rosalita
Aug 8, 2017, 6:33am Top

>39 weird_O: oh, that porch view is so inviting! I want to go to there.

44drneutron
Aug 8, 2017, 1:05pm Top

Wow, that's a great porch!

45LovingLit
Aug 9, 2017, 1:25am Top

I heard there was a Back to the Future gif here so had to come and enjoy :)
Happy newest thread!

46karenmarie
Aug 10, 2017, 5:11am Top

Hi Bill!

Ah, the joys of a Southern porch. Lots of chairs, looking out at grass and trees, white columns, gray boards. I'm glad you had such a good time.

47PaulCranswick
Aug 13, 2017, 8:41pm Top

>41 weird_O: I'll wait for you, buddy. I am as behind as I always am anyway. Enjoying Kafka on the Shore but then picking up The King's Revenge which had somehow fallen off the shelves and suggested itself to me and I got lost in it last night.

Enjoy the remainder of your Sunday.

48weird_O
Aug 16, 2017, 12:08pm Top

With Kafka on the Shore wrapped up, I'm back to Diane Arbus, her photos and her life. But I've also started Raven Rock. Nonfiction, subtitled: The Story of the U. S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself—While the Rest of Us Die. Both books are quite interesting.

Right now, I need to run out for sweet corn.

49weird_O
Aug 16, 2017, 12:11pm Top

Food for Thought



Carl Sagan, 1996

50Oberon
Aug 16, 2017, 1:58pm Top

>50 Oberon: Wow. Pretty prescient.

51swynn
Aug 16, 2017, 2:07pm Top

>50 Oberon: Yes. This.

52brodiew2
Aug 16, 2017, 2:12pm Top

>50 Oberon: Makes sense. And, amazingly, it could be used by supporters of any political ideology.

53m.belljackson
Aug 16, 2017, 2:16pm Top

>50 Oberon:

Carl Sagan would have had no hesitation in denouncing the deadly racism in Charlottesville.

54jessibud2
Aug 16, 2017, 2:18pm Top

>50 Oberon: - Yikes! And I wonder what he would say today, given the current *reality*... :-(

I just googled him to remind myself when he died (1996!) and see that he was only 62 when he passed away. Wow.

55msf59
Aug 16, 2017, 8:21pm Top



^The Centurion is making an appearance. Everything seems to be in order here. Carry on...

56msf59
Aug 16, 2017, 8:25pm Top

>31 weird_O: I just finished Charlotte's Web too, Bill. Thanks to my LT pals, for putting this in the rotation. It was a joy to revisit.

>39 weird_O: I LOVE this photo. I wish I had a porch like this to sit on.

57karenmarie
Aug 17, 2017, 7:37am Top

Hi Bill!

>50 Oberon: Sad but true. He nailed it with his opinion that we would abandon manufacturing and become a service and information economy. However, the anti-intellectual nature of American politics and culture, with the Native American Party ("Know-Nothings") and the 1950s Leave-it-to-Beaver lifestyle portrayed on TV as examples, have always reared their ugly heads. The KKK, white supremacists, racists, and religious bigots have always been lurking, just waiting for fertile ground and now with a morally corrupt and emotionally bankrupt president feel safe in coming out.

58laytonwoman3rd
Aug 17, 2017, 8:23am Top

>50 Oberon: I really, really miss Carl Sagan.

59weird_O
Edited: Aug 18, 2017, 2:29pm Top

>51 swynn: >52 brodiew2: >53 m.belljackson: >54 jessibud2: >55 msf59: >58 laytonwoman3rd: >59 weird_O: I just realized that I own a copy of this book. Have to upgrade its priority. Carl Sagan is a guy I neglected to follow on the telly or through his books.

I should get busy reading me some Neil deGrasse Tyson.

I'm sort of interested in a book titled Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. I have the impression that it is dry, academic. But that title is spot on. We do love our entertainments, don't we?

60weird_O
Aug 18, 2017, 2:25pm Top

>57 karenmarie: Good for reading/re-reading Charlotte's Web, Mark. I finally wrapped Liv's books and have to get them in the mail. When we got together at my sister's a couple of weekends ago, I discovered my DIL was re-reading A Wrinkle in Time, which I had just finished reading for the first time. (I wrapped it today for Liv too)

The Porch: I love that porch too. It actually runs along three sides of the house. We have a deck running the full length of our house, but it faces south and has no shades, etc. I've got to remedy that before I croak.

61weird_O
Aug 18, 2017, 2:41pm Top

My reading pace has slowed considerably. I'm spending much more time following our nation's perils on line, but I think it is important to pay attention to what is going on. It seems to me that we readers ignore or segregate ourselves from the state of our society at everyone's peril.

           

62jessibud2
Aug 18, 2017, 2:52pm Top

>62 jessibud2: - Food for thought, for sure..... might be too late, though...

63weird_O
Aug 18, 2017, 3:35pm Top

>63 weird_O: Oh Shelley. It is NEVER too late to THINK.

64jnwelch
Aug 18, 2017, 6:05pm Top

>62 jessibud2: Thumbs up for that from me, Bill.

65weird_O
Aug 20, 2017, 8:57pm Top

I've been away from my thread for too long. Too, my reading is off. I've passed the halfway mark in both Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer and Raven Rock, and I don't feel either one driving me to a prompt completion. Well, I'm getting there anyway.

So I've started Great Expectations. Only 50 pages in, Dickens has delivered a many choice phrases, among them:

  Mrs. Joe...had an exquisite art of making her cleanliness more uncomfortable and unacceptable than dirt itself.

  ...[I]n his holiday clothes, he was more like a scarecrow in good circumstances, than anything else.

  ...[S]he had wished me in my grave, and I had contumaciously refused to go there.

I guess I'll like it, if only for the writing. I know the general story; blame movies and TV.

Progress on my August Reading Agenda (>27 weird_O:) is nil.

So how's your reading going?

66Copperskye
Aug 20, 2017, 10:50pm Top

>62 jessibud2: Couldn't agree more.

67karenmarie
Aug 21, 2017, 8:21am Top

Hi Bill! I agree with >62 jessibud2:, too, but have still been reading some easy-to-read mysteries, one toughie Kafka on the Shore, and one audiobook, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in the car.

I hope you can find an exciting book, even in these perilous times.

68m.belljackson
Aug 21, 2017, 12:09pm Top

>66 Copperskye:

Also reading Great Expectations - online DailyLit.com -
in London with two too trying characters = Pumblechoot & Mrs. Pocket
vs the good and fun ones = Wemmick, Joe, Biddy, and the Aged.

Pip's description of learning the alphabet and numbers is
a treasure:

"I struggled through the alphabet as if it had been a bramble bush..."

"After that I fell among those thieves, the nine figures,
who seemed every evening to do something new to disguise themselves
and baffle recognition."

69weird_O
Aug 22, 2017, 12:30am Top

I've completed my reading about Diane Arbus and reviewing 80 of her best known photos. I'll get around to posting something about the two books soon.

I'm going to head back down into the bunkers our government built in the 1950s, through 1970s, so elected and appointed leaders could, in the interest of Continuity of Government (COG), could hide deep underground from nuclear annihilation. Not their wives, mind you. Raven Rock the book is called. I'm half way through it.

70weird_O
Aug 22, 2017, 12:46am Top

Hey hey hey. It's a perfect day for bananafish.

71Berly
Aug 22, 2017, 1:11am Top

>71 Berly: How do you find these!! LOL

72msf59
Aug 22, 2017, 6:54am Top

Hi, Bill. Just checking in. Really liking The Master and Margarita. Glad my LT pals gave me the nudge I needed, to start this classic.

Hooray for bananafish!!

73karenmarie
Aug 22, 2017, 7:57am Top

>71 Berly: Yay JD! Yay Glass Family! *smile*

Sounds like you've got some good reading mojo happening.

74jnwelch
Aug 22, 2017, 2:48pm Top

>71 Berly: That looks like banana dolphins to me, Bill. They're supposed to be a lot smarter than us, right?

75jessibud2
Aug 22, 2017, 2:57pm Top

>71 Berly:, >75 jessibud2: - Lol! Reminds me of the brilliant and creative mind of Saxton Freyman:

https://www.pinterest.com/robynjipp/saxton-freymann-s-food-art/

I own 3 of their books: How Are You Peeling, Dog Food and Fast Food. I used to buy their wall calendars for my kitchen but haven't seen them in recent years. So playful and funny

76msf59
Aug 22, 2017, 8:42pm Top

Hi, hello & howdy, Bill. No copying and pasting here just a big friendly wave!

77weird_O
Aug 25, 2017, 12:08pm Top

>72 msf59: Tumblr.

>73 karenmarie: I am harboring a swelling desire to give The Master and Margarita a try, Mark. Have to get a copy first, of course. My radar picked up a recommendation for Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog quite some time ago, but I've failed to pursue a copy. That one is supposed to be short.

Bulgakov: what a dude!  When my older son was in high school, he got the part of Max in the school presentation of The Sound of Music. The character wore a monocle, and Jeremy drove everyone nuts wearing that monocle. In school, at home, hangin' out. He eventually got tired of it.

>74 jnwelch: I don't think I ever got a handle on the Glasses, Karen. But the story title came to me instantly when I saw the picture.

>75 jessibud2: Even the bananas are smarter than us, Joe. :-)

>76 msf59: I checked 'em out, Shelley. Thanks for the link. Cute cute cute.

78weird_O
Aug 25, 2017, 12:24pm Top

Finished Raven Rock last night. It's about all the planning and scheming and spending and failures involved in trying to ensure that if nothing else will, at least The Government will survive a nuclear holocaust. From World War II to the present day, an entire army of imagineers and planners and doozers have run through enough dough to liquidate the national debt.

Now reading Great Expectations, which I started a couple of weeks ago.

August has turned out to be a low-numbers month. GE will bring my month's literary noshing to 6 books; not altogether bad, but fewer than I planned.

79weird_O
Edited: Aug 25, 2017, 2:53pm Top

I been pretty derelict in reporting on books I've read this summer. Here's one; others to follow.

# 55. The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose Finished 8/2/17

The Weird ReportTM

Seventy-five years ago the U. S. and a few allies fought and defeated German, Italian, and Japanese aggressors in World War II. Air power was a critical element. The Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose is a survey of the bombing missions flown by B-24 Liberators over targets in Germany, Austria, and other enemy-held territories. The bomber pilot around whom the story coalesces is George McGovern, then a young man from South Dakota who left college to enlist. Less than 30 years later, he would be a Democratic nominee for the Presidency, the anti-war candidate.

What we learn is that, despite having thousands of volunteers, the military had no airplanes. The enlistees were sent home to wait for bombers to be manufactured by the arsenal of democracy. As the planes materialized, the young men (meaning 18- to 21-year-olds) were called up and sent into training. Few had any experience—they were kids after all. Training was tiered; men who washed out as pilots were diverted into training for navigators and bombardiers. Over time, crews were assembled under individual pilots—co-pilot, navigator, bombardier (all commissioned officers), and a radio operator, a flight engineer, and 3 or 4 gunners (all non-coms). Barring casualties, a crew would fly 35 missions together.

B-24s flew out of airfields in Italy; McGovern's plane was based at a field on the Adriatic side, near the boot's heel. A mission might comprise more than 100 aircraft; getting them into the air and into formation could take a hour. A 4-hour flight to the target transitioned abruptly into a sprint through hell; formations were very tight, altitude constant, and flak murderous. A hit could blow one plane out of control, and it might take out one or two others. If the plane and crew survived, they still had a 4-hour return flight to make.

If you are interested in such stuff, The Wild Blue is a good read: 246 text pages, 8 pages of photos, workmanlike writing, good organization, great anecdotes. I give it a thumb up.


80m.belljackson
Aug 25, 2017, 7:21pm Top

>79 weird_O:

Can't we just send The Government to Mars now?

For a lighter treatment of this same survival tactic, you might enjoy Lawrence De Marino's THE ODYSSEY PROJECT written in 1989.

81weird_O
Aug 25, 2017, 9:50pm Top

>81 weird_O: But what if the shuttle should explode, Marianne? There needs to be a backup plan. Redundancy is always critical.

I'll keep an eye out for The Odyssey Project.

82weird_O
Aug 28, 2017, 3:32pm Top

School has started for three of the Grands. Helen and Claire in eleventh grade, Gracie in 7th.

83msf59
Aug 28, 2017, 5:24pm Top

Lovely photo of the Grands, Bill. We are anxiously waiting for our turn, but my kids need to find the proper mates first.

84Berly
Aug 28, 2017, 7:57pm Top

Awesome photo. School starts Wednesday for my last High Schooler. : )

85jnwelch
Aug 28, 2017, 8:38pm Top

>83 msf59: Great photo, buddy. They look like a happy crew.

86weird_O
Edited: Aug 28, 2017, 9:12pm Top

>84 Berly: >85 jnwelch: >86 weird_O: Aren't they lovely? I'm so baffled that my kids turned out sooo great. That their kids have (so far) been wonderful seems natural. But...but...where did my three come from? Must be their mother's doing.

87weird_O
Edited: Aug 29, 2017, 12:37am Top

When Stanley Kubrick filmed his version of Stephen King's The Shining (which I believe King loathed), he inserted an homage to photographer Diane Arbus. (I bring this up, by the way, because I recently finished reading a recent biography of Arbus.) Kubrick began his career in film while in his teens, producing stills, which led to a stint as a photographer for Look.

The Shining tells of a struggling novelist who gets a winter caretaker job at a remote resort hotel that is closed and snowbound all winter. The novelist is alone there with his wife and their young son. It's King, you know, so lots of weird stuff happens and the novelist goes bonkers. Who could have known?

In one short scene, Danny, the novelist's son, pedals his tricycle around the endless corridors. Wheeling around a corner, he encounters...



...twin girls, dressed identically, standing side by side. As in Arbus's famous image—"Identical twins, Roselle, N.J." Wooooo, weird.

88karenmarie
Aug 30, 2017, 7:47am Top

Hi Bill!

I'm not saying I've gotten a handle on the Glass family exactly. I have re-read the stories about them endlessly though. They are intellectual, full of life, tortured.

Great catch about The Shining and Arbus.

89laytonwoman3rd
Aug 30, 2017, 7:56am Top

>83 msf59: Lovely young women, ready to take on a new year!

90charl08
Aug 30, 2017, 2:55pm Top

>87 weird_O: Aw.

>88 karenmarie: Still too nervous at this advanced age, to see the film. But that shot is spooky similar to Arbus, as you say.

91weird_O
Aug 30, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>89 laytonwoman3rd: I think I've read all the Glass family stories once, and Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters I reread several years ago. I don't get them Glass folks. Nope, I don't.

Anyway, how could I pass up a pic of bananafish in their natural habitat?

>90 charl08: :-)

>91 weird_O: Well, it's Kubrick.

92msf59
Aug 30, 2017, 9:04pm Top

>88 karenmarie: That is very cool. Thanks for sharing. I am a huge Kubrick fan but that one wasn't his best. The imagery is haunting though.

93msf59
Aug 30, 2017, 9:06pm Top

The new AAC thread is up and running, Bill. Just sayin'...

94weird_O
Edited: Aug 30, 2017, 10:12pm Top

Though I put this up on Joe's thread, I want to post a version of it here. Terry Pratchett died of Altzheimer's a few years ago. Are you one of his fans? I haven't read him yet, thought I got one of his books last year. I ran across the news that his last wish was carried out last weekend at the Great Dorset Steam Fair.



Pratchett didn't want his unfinished writings (as many as ten novels) published or leaking onto the Internet. So he asked that the hard drive with all his work-in-progress be destroyed like it was steamrollered. The executor of Pratchett's estate, Rob Wilkins (shown above), arranged for his wish to be fulfilled. At the steam fair, the massive steamroller named "Lord Jericho" built up a head of steam and crushed the hard drive between its steel roller and rugged gravel.



95karenmarie
Aug 31, 2017, 5:14am Top

I read about Pratchett's wish. Very cool.

96sirfurboy
Edited: Aug 31, 2017, 5:29am Top

I find two things suspicious about the Pratchett story:

1. That is an IDE hard disk. Those are hard to come by now, and was the author's computer so old that he was still using IDE? He was known for keeping his equipment up to date.

2. Are we to believe that he held no backups? That there was exactly one copy of his most precious work, and that was on his old hard disk?

It is plausible that the destruction of that disk was also the destruction of all his unpublished work, but it is equally plausible that there are copies knocking about somewhere else.

97rosalita
Aug 31, 2017, 10:20am Top

Or he deleted the other copies before he died, and left the final deletion to after his death? That doesn't seem unlikely. I'll defer to you on the computer disk info, though. How old would the computer have to be to have an IDE hard disk?

98sirfurboy
Aug 31, 2017, 11:40am Top

>98 sirfurboy: Well SATA was introduced in 2003, but IDE persisted for some time after that. I was still able to buy IDE drives in 2007, but already by then it was becoming hard to find motherboards with the ATA bus to plug them into. It was almost impossible to buy a disk like that when I last tried about 5 years ago.

So... hard to say how old that disk is. It looks like it could easily be 10 years old or more, but at a push, maybe 5 or 6 years?

99weird_O
Aug 31, 2017, 12:20pm Top

So. Was Pratchett given to pranks? Or this is a conspiracy? I just regurgitated what I read and saw on line, Twitter via Tumblr, then the LA Times, the Register UK, the Guardian, CNN, WaPo, etc. etc. All pretty much the same story, including Wilkins' Tweets.

From the Guardian: "After his death, fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchett’s close friend and collaborator , told the Times that Pratchett had wanted 'whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all.'”

The crushed drive is supposed to go on display at a museum in Salisbury, England. Perhaps you could fly to England, and question the museum staff about the seeming dated hardware. Or Tweet or email Wilkins. I'm not competent to do that.

:-)

100sirfurboy
Sep 1, 2017, 5:24am Top

>100 sirfurboy: Well I could probably drive to England, no need to fly ;)

There will be no way to prove the destruction of the work. Maybe one day in the future the lost stories will be discovered on some long forgotten backup somewhere, or maybe Neil Gaiman ensured all copies were destroyed and only symbolically had the hard drive destroyed (and it may or may not have been the correct drive).

Of course, all the news sources carry more or less the same story for the simple reason that journalists are often lazy, and given a press release, they refactor the press release for their publication, but don't add anything themselves.

101PaulCranswick
Sep 1, 2017, 6:59am Top

I am sure that there remains plenty of Discworld stuff to go at and re-read. Hope if that was genuinely his wishes that they are carried out genuinely rather than symbolically.

Bill are you up for a start on the Brothers K this weekend - Caroline is champing at the bit by all accounts?

102weird_O
Sep 1, 2017, 2:34pm Top

Re: Terry and the Steamroller. I keep seeing K-k-ken (Michael Palin) piloting a very large—but not steam-powered—roller over Otto (Kevin Kline) in A Fish Called Wanda.

103weird_O
Sep 1, 2017, 2:36pm Top

>102 weird_O: I. Am. Ready. Maybe this is the time. I will get through the whole &%#@$* book. Thanks, Paul.

By the way, I still have some good dental tips. Ah ha ha ha. :-)

104weird_O
Sep 1, 2017, 2:45pm Top

In a final-day-o'-the-month push, I finished Great Expectations. Good story, writing, all that stuff. Still digesting.

On to the September lineup.

105charl08
Sep 2, 2017, 3:13am Top

>103 weird_O: From the Daily Mash

THE steamroller that crushed Terry Pratchett’s hard drive should also do Jeffrey Archer’s, it has been claimed.

After the massive steam engine crushed the late Discworld author’s hard drive in accordance with his wishes, book fans suggested former Tory MP Archer’s computer could also be flattened even though he is still alive.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/arts-entertainment/pratchett-steamroller-shou...

106jnwelch
Sep 2, 2017, 9:44am Top

>105 charl08: Great Expectations is one of my favorites of his, Bill. I'm glad it was a good read for you.

107karenmarie
Sep 3, 2017, 11:01am Top

Hi Bill!

>103 weird_O: A Fish Called Wanda is one of my favorite comedies of all time. Thanks for the reminder! I think we have it on DVD somewhere around here...

Congratulations on finishing Great Expectations.

108Familyhistorian
Sep 3, 2017, 8:59pm Top

Looks like you are reading lots of quality tomes, Bill. Love the reviews but did choke a bit on >80 m.belljackson: Seventy-five years ago the U. S. and a few allies fought and defeated German, Italian, and Japanese aggressors in World War II.

109LovingLit
Sep 4, 2017, 4:35am Top

>50 Oberon: Oh. My Holy. Moly. Carl Sagan had it all in his head- 20 years ago!!! That is an incredible foresight.

>95 karenmarie: I have never read Terry Pratchett, but others seem to speak very fondly. It is nice that his family respected his wishes.

110weird_O
Sep 4, 2017, 10:56am Top

>106 jnwelch: Haven't read any of Archer's books, Charlotte; I'll take your word that his digital devices deserve destruction. Ha. I think there are many writers the world over that we need to be saved from. And real steamrollers are soooo hot; they'd be cool, but STEAM!

>107 karenmarie: >108 Familyhistorian: I liked GE a lot. I don't think the classic David Lean film did it justice. Too much excised, as Billy Joel sang, "to cut it down to two oh five."

A Fish Called Wanda is a highly quotable film, Karen. Back when it was in theaters, my youngest son was prone to blurt out lines from it. My wife was fearful he'd scandalize my mother.

>109 LovingLit: Did "and a few allies" not go down easily, Meg? Too exclusive a phrasing, for which I owe apologies.

111Berly
Sep 4, 2017, 11:14am Top

Loving the debate about the crushed computer disk and the fond memories of A Fish Called Wanda. Carry on...

112benitastrnad
Sep 4, 2017, 2:37pm Top

When Pritchett announced that he had Alzehiemer's he also announced that he was going to keep writing as long as possible. However, since he had a disease that would impair his mental facilities he had turned over control of his estate to his executor. It was his wish that any unfinished work, at the time of his death be destroyed, because he had a disease that would impair his mental facilities. He did not think that much of anything he wrote as the disease progressed would be worth reading. It might be worth printing, but not worth reading. He knew that there would always be a temptation to keep trying to make more and more money from his work, and he did not want that. He abhorred what has happened to the estates of other best selling authors.

I don't know anything about the age of the hard drive, but Pratchett made no secret of his desires and his intentions. No matter the showmanship the intention was clear. No more Pratchett work after his death.

113weird_O
Edited: Sep 6, 2017, 4:06pm Top

Courtesy of Strand Books, NYC

114weird_O
Sep 8, 2017, 12:56pm Top

I finished a book today! Holy Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!

115weird_O
Sep 8, 2017, 10:24pm Top

A brief afternoon shower. And THIS.



Looking southeast from our deck. Shot with a 55mm lens.

See? The weekend with be great.

116drneutron
Sep 9, 2017, 6:33pm Top

Oh, nice!

117Familyhistorian
Sep 9, 2017, 7:24pm Top

>116 drneutron: Nice rainbow, Bill. Interesting how it divides the sky into two different shades of grey.

118Berly
Sep 9, 2017, 7:28pm Top

Love the rainbow. What a great shot. And glad to know how to spell "Jehoshaphat"!

119weird_O
Sep 9, 2017, 10:50pm Top

>117 Familyhistorian:
>118 Berly:
>119 weird_O:

Glad you like our rainbow. It was just wonderful. For a time, it was double, but I didn't move quickly enough to get my camera. And the full arc was visible for a time. By the time we got down our hill and up into the woods, the gold was vanished.

And by the way, Kim, I had to google Jehoshaphat to get the spelling.

120weird_O
Sep 10, 2017, 12:01pm Top

Alright, I missed the meet-up. To assuage my feelings, I shopped at Goodwill, where all books are $0.97 all the time. So I got these:

Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter (Modern Library hc)
The Sweeping Wind: A Memoir by Paul de Kruif (hc)
Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (hc)
Run by Ann Patchett (hc)
Snowbound by Blake Crouch (hc)
The Lost Continent by Bill Bryson (hc) an upgrade
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw (hc)
The Foucault Reader by Michel Foucault (pb)
CliffsNotes on Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (pb) by Robert Bruce
Postcards by Annie Proulx (pb)
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand (hc)
Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design by Michael Shermer (hc)
The Hours by Michael Cunningham (hc) an upgrade
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb (pb)
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre (pb) an upgrade
Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh (mmp)
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny (pb)

I feel better already. :-)

121karenmarie
Sep 10, 2017, 1:10pm Top

Book therapy is almost successful, IMO.

Congratulations on some good'uns!

122BLBera
Sep 10, 2017, 1:59pm Top

Nice haul, Bill. Lovely rainbow.

123weird_O
Sep 10, 2017, 3:22pm Top

>122 BLBera: Glad you agree that book shopping is good therapy, Karen. And as the stars navigate into alignment, the bi-month Bethlehem library book comes up. I'll be going for therapy on Saturday.

>123 weird_O: I am pretty satisfied, Beth; the last two on the list will feed my wife's habit. It was a lovely rainbow.

124msf59
Sep 10, 2017, 6:37pm Top

>121 karenmarie: Another great book haul, Bill!

Happy Sunday! Hope you are enjoying those short stories.

BTW- LOVE the rainbow up there.

125kac522
Sep 11, 2017, 2:54pm Top

Bill, I love shopping for books at Goodwill. I was just there a couple of days ago and several on your list were at the store I visited, too...but I didn't walk away with any....THIS time....at THIS store...may need to take a drive...

126karenmarie
Sep 11, 2017, 6:40pm Top

>124 msf59: I hope your therapy session on Saturday provides a breakthrough!

I've made it a condition of my being Treasurer for the Friends of the Chatham Community Library that I get to spend the first two hours of every sale being a customer. I keep reminding them, and on October 5th I'll be in line. Of course for the next 8 hours on Thursday, 11 hours on Friday, and 7 hours on Saturday I'll be Treasurer.....

127Berly
Sep 15, 2017, 12:54am Top

>120 weird_O: Ha! That makes me feel better that you had to look up the spelling. Thanks for fessing up! LOL Nice book haul and glad it made you feel better.

128weird_O
Sep 16, 2017, 1:43am Top

>128 weird_O: Kim, I'm going to feel even better because I'm going to the book sale in Bethlehem in just 7 hours. Hoo hoo.

129Berly
Sep 16, 2017, 2:11am Top

>129 Berly: Another book haul?! Color me jealous! (That's green ya know.)

130weird_O
Sep 16, 2017, 9:15pm Top




The week just ending has been great for The Bargain Hunting Weird_O. As you can see above. Wednesday I just happened by a Goodwill store; the list of what I got I posted above >121 karenmarie:. Today (Saturday) I happened by the Bethlehem Library's book sale. (And by a fluke, I was the very first customer through the door. Didn't win anything. Just personal pride.)

Here's what I got:

The Pyramid by Henning Mankell (pbk)
The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell (pbk)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery (pbk)
The Black Tower by P. D. James (pbk)
Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer (pbk)
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (pbk)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (pbk)
The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (an upgrade) (pbk)
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (pbk)
The Daybooks of Edward Weston: volume I Mexico edited by Nancy Newhall (pbk)
The Daybooks of Edward Weston: volume II California edited by Nancy Newhall (pbk)

The Art and Life of Georgia O'Keeffe by Jan Garden Castro (hc)
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (hc)
A Journey to the Center of a Earth by Jules Verne (hc)
From the Earth to the Moon & Round the Moon by Jules Verne (hc)
By-Line: Ernest Hemingway edited by William White (hc)
Gentleman's Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson (hc)
Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (hc)
Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen (hc)
Let Me Be Frank with You by Richard Ford (hc)
Benediction by Kent Haruf (hc)
Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker (hc)
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (hc)
Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo (hc)
The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever (hc)
Everyone But Thee and Me by Ogden Nash (hc)
Longitude by Dava Sobel (hc)

Oh, oh. I'm so happy.

Hm. Think I'll read now.

131msf59
Sep 17, 2017, 8:36am Top

>131 msf59: WOWZA, Bill! Another mighty book haul! I think you may have to build a new addition to your home. The Book Wing.

Some excellent titles on here. Impressive.

132rosalita
Sep 17, 2017, 10:33am Top

That is a very impressive week of book acquisition, Bill! Well done. Which one are you hankering to read first?

133BLBera
Sep 17, 2017, 10:33am Top

>131 msf59: What Mark said.

134m.belljackson
Sep 17, 2017, 11:41am Top

>131 msf59:

You could start a new following with The Bethlehem Library Book List!

135weird_O
Sep 17, 2017, 11:50am Top

>132 rosalita: The last thing we need is an addition to the house, Mark. What we need is a large dumpster bin. There's lots of room in the basement if we clear out a lifetime accumulation of...ah...STUFF. Shelves I need; a priority.

>133 BLBera: I'm halfway through The Little Prince, Julia. It's short. I truly had no idea what it is about; big surprise, pleasant surprise. Very good.

Quite a few of the books I got for my wife. Our daughter suggested some authors to her in the Spring, and I found a Louise Penny, one of recommended authors, at the July sale, #9 of the Three Pines series. She liked it, she liked it! For her birthday a couple of weeks ago, Judi got numbers 1, 2, and 3 of that series. This week, I added numbers 5 and 12. Plus two Wallander mysteries, a P. D. James, and a Heyer. I think she's set for the rest of the month. :-)

I may read the Verne books, the Sobel, Atkinson, Hobson. Gotta put titles in a hat and have my wife pull out a couple.

>134 m.belljackson: :-)

136jnwelch
Sep 17, 2017, 12:12pm Top

>131 msf59:. I'll bet you're happy, Bill! So many good ones in that huge book haul. Two of them are favorites of mine: Longitude and Benediction.

137jessibud2
Sep 17, 2017, 1:07pm Top

>131 msf59: - For what it's worth, I read and enjoyed the Sobel, last year. Learned a lot I never knew and if I ever get back to England, I'd love to visit that Old Royal Observatory

(last 2 sentences of my review:
Sobel is a good storyteller. Her description, at the beginning of the final chapter, of standing on the prime meridian of the world and how it is lit up these days in Greenwich, at the Old Royal Observatory, makes me want to see it for myself.)

138benitastrnad
Sep 17, 2017, 2:46pm Top

Your book hauls are approaching Cranswickian sized portions. Impressive - and impressive titles.

139weird_O
Edited: Sep 17, 2017, 3:57pm Top

>139 weird_O: Is Cranswickian anything like Dickensian? Asking for a friend...

I am surprised at my luck. You can't go to these sales with a list, 'cause what you want isn't there. All serendipity; I just skim the spines for author names or titles that ring dem bells. The Bethlehem Library sales are in a large, dedicated room with most books shelved in categories--hardcover novels, hardcover thrillers, trade paper fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, etc. etc. A lot more books can be crammed into the available space, and they're more accessible and easier to scan than stuff spread out on tables.

>137 jessibud2: That's a good bet, Joe. Longitude is already short-listed, not sure when I'll read the Haruf.

>138 benitastrnad: As I mentioned to Julia and to Joe, Longitude is already short-listed. I read Galileo's Daughter several years ago and was impressed with Sobel's research and writing.

140katiekrug
Sep 17, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>131 msf59: - A nice morning's work, Bill!

141weird_O
Sep 17, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>141 weird_O: No work involved, Katie. I enjoyed myself immensely.

142weird_O
Sep 17, 2017, 5:31pm Top

P.S.

I've finished The Little Prince, and despite having already started Zealot and Stegner's Great American Short Stories (Stegner is the editor; he wrote none of them), I've dived into Jules Verne and his Journey to the Center of the Earth.



Keeping an eye out for book bargains. Heh heh.

143benitastrnad
Edited: Sep 17, 2017, 8:03pm Top

#140
Cranswickian is all about our LT friend Paul Cranswick. (My iPad even thinks Carnswickian is a real word because I have used it so many times!) He was, and may, someday again, be famous for his prodigious book hauls, as well as his wit and vigor in hiding said purchases from his watchful wife who was trying desperately to keep the number of books in the dwelling down to what would be for non-LT'ers a reasonable level.

144PaulCranswick
Sep 17, 2017, 8:33pm Top

>140 katiekrug: >144 PaulCranswick: I thought I heard my name mentioned! Next year I shall be back to my worst I am sure.

Enjoy what is left of your Sunday, Bill (and Benita).

145karenmarie
Sep 18, 2017, 9:48am Top

Lovely books, Bill, and I agree with how to approach a Library Sale: You can't go to these sales with a list, 'cause what you want isn't there. All serendipity; I just skim the spines for author names or titles that ring dem bells.

The only thing that I have done the last sale or two is check to make sure I don't already have a book on my shelves by checking here on LT - I'm very excited about the Android app because it's very quick to check a title even though it was still worth it to bring up LT on my browser and look that way.

Another vote for Longitude! I was absolutely fascinated with it. It still resonates with me, 13 years later.

146Oberon
Sep 18, 2017, 5:44pm Top

>143 benitastrnad: Netflix has an original film based on The Little Prince. It is very charming.

147weird_O
Sep 18, 2017, 10:02pm Top

>145 karenmarie: Thanks, Paul, for being Cranswickian.

>144 PaulCranswick: Thanks to you, Benita, for pointing out just how Cranswickian Paul Cranswick is.

>146 Oberon: All that's needed for me to act on your LT apt tip is for you or some other fine, upstanding, generous, gracious person (or agency or charity) to underwrite for me a cell phone account. One more thing and one more thing.

>147 weird_O: The Little Prince is indeed charming, Erik. Have to look for it on Netflix (just another of those 21st century wonders we have avoided, so far.) :-)

148weird_O
Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 7:40pm Top

I've been prompted to generate a list of books that I've read and liked (for one reason or another), one book for each year of my life (so far). The book is listed beside the year it was published, one book for each year. It is unlikely that I read the book in its year of publication.

How I came by this list. Using Wikipedia, I started with the entry "1944 in literature". Yes, there is one, and one for every year since, too. Among other data, the each year's entry lists "notable" fiction, nonfiction, drama, children's lit, and poetry published that year. I scanned the lists, jotted down books I've read and liked. Bingo! A short list for each year. I'm going to post the short lists by decades. Whether or not I winow each short list to a single book remains to be seen. I am decidedly indecisive.

1944: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
    Dangling Man by Saul Bellow
    The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary
    The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

1945: Loving by Henry Green
    Animal Farm by George Orwell
    Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
    Tootle by Gertrude Crampton

1946: The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
    Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
    All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
    Hiroshima by John Hersey

1947: The Plague by Albert Camus
    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
    Blue City by Ross Macdonald

1948: The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
    Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
    The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey
    The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh

1949: A Rage to Live by John O'Hara
    The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
    The Third Man by Graham Greene
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

ETAdd: Hiroshima (1946) and Blue City (1947)

149charl08
Sep 19, 2017, 3:00am Top

>131 msf59: Wow. That's quite a haul! Hope you and your wife have a good time reading them.

150weird_O
Edited: Sep 20, 2017, 9:43am Top

The 1950s...

1950: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
    The Town by Conrad Richter
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
    The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
    Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

1951: From Here to Eternity by James Jones
    Spartacus by Howard Fast
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
    Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron
    The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

1952: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

1953: Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
    Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
    Battle Cry by Leon Uris

1954: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
    Under the Net by Iris Murdock

1955: The Quiet American by Graham Greene
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
    Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor

1956: Seize the Day by Saul Bellow

1957: The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean
    A Death in the Family by James Agee

1958: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
    Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg
    Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
    The Civil War, vol. 1 by Shelby Foote

1959: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
    A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Angier
    The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan
    The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White

151karenmarie
Sep 19, 2017, 10:35am Top

Hey Bill!

Great lists, great books.

1956 was a rough year for me to find something too. I had to fall back to one of my favorite books of childhood, The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth.

152jnwelch
Sep 19, 2017, 4:49pm Top

>149 charl08:, >151 karenmarie: What a great idea, Bill. So many there I've loved, but I've got, for some reason, a particular soft spot for Cannery Row. Doc and Dora and all the other colorful characters, jeez louise.

153weird_O
Sep 20, 2017, 10:29am Top

>153 weird_O: Credit where it's due, Joe. I believe the idea of making a list of books read, one book for each year of your life, started in the fevered brain of Paul Cranswick. (The idea is Cranswickian, don't you agree?) Anyway, I read of the idea on Karenmarie's thread. My "contribution" stems from my weakness. Can't whittle the possibilities down to a single choice for each year. Ha ha.

But what the hell? Why should I have to do that. It's a wonderful smorgasbord of reading. I'm having a grand time pulling it together. I am dismayed at how many books, published during my lifetime (so far), that I regard highly but haven't read.

154weird_O
Sep 20, 2017, 10:33am Top

>152 jnwelch: Well, I confess that The Enormous Egg is one I've not heard of. Until now, of course.

155weird_O
Sep 20, 2017, 10:40am Top

Here's my list for the 1960s. (I know. Another stinkin' book list? Who thinks this is interesting? Well, I for one do. I'm having a lot of fun compiling it.)

1960: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Rabbit, Run by John Updike
    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
    Night by Elie Wiesel

1961: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
    Revolutionary Road by Robert Yates

1962: Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    The Thin Red Line by James Jones
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

1963: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
    Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    The Civil War vol. 2 by Shelby Foote

1964: Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
    Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg
    Funeral in Berlin by Len Deighton
    A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

1965: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

1966: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry
    Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thompson
    The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

1967: The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
    Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massey

1968: Couples by John Updike
    2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
    Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer

1969: Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
    Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene
    The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
    The Godfather by Mario Puzo
    Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

156jnwelch
Sep 20, 2017, 1:04pm Top

I'm enjoying this, Bill. Fun to see the Vonneguts, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The latter has some significant differences from Blade Runner, right?

157FAMeulstee
Sep 20, 2017, 5:02pm Top

It is fun to make lists, this one is doing well in the group!

I have read 4 of your 1940s, only one of your 1950s (but many on mount TBR), and 2 in the 1960s (one is also on my list, as I just finished mine).

158karenmarie
Sep 21, 2017, 3:06pm Top

Hi Bill! You're really coming along on your list, aren't you?

I've read 5 from your 40s list, 8 from your 50s list, and 13 from your 60s list.

>155 weird_O: I still have the copy I bought in elementary school from Scholastic Books. I love the story of Nate Twitchell and the hen's egg hatching into a triceratops named Uncle Beazley.

159msf59
Sep 21, 2017, 4:28pm Top

>156 jnwelch: Love the '60s list, Bill. I have read 20 of them. I have always wanted to read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

160msf59
Sep 21, 2017, 4:31pm Top

Have you read Raymond Carver, Bill? If not, I think you would like him. I just finished What We Talk About When We Talk About Love and it is a stellar collection.

I am fast approaching the halfway point in In the Lake of the Woods. And yes, it does have a strong Vietnam connection, since the main character is a vet haunted by his wartime experiences. If you would h\be interested in this book, I would gladly pass it on to you. A nice hardback.

161weird_O
Sep 21, 2017, 4:50pm Top

>157 FAMeulstee: Glad you like my little amble into the past. You know, somewhere I saw Vonnegut's self-graded list of his own books. Ah! I found it.

In "The Sexual Revolution", Chapter 18 of his book Palm Sunday, Vonnegut grades his own works. He states that the grades "do not place me in literary history" and that he is comparing "myself with myself." The grades are as follows:

   Cat's Cradle: A-plus
   Slaughterhouse-Five: A-plus
   The Sirens of Titan: A
   Mother Night: A
   God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A
   Jailbird: A
   Player Piano: B
   Welcome to the Monkey House: B-minus
   Breakfast of Champions: C
   Palm Sunday: C
   Slapstick: D
   Happy Birthday, Wanda June: D

I know I've read the top six, though I can't recall anything about Mother Night and Jailbird though I read 'em in 2010 or more recently.

The PKD. Yeah, the filmmakers did mess with the novel some, but again, I can't remember how.

So kill me.

162weird_O
Sep 21, 2017, 5:11pm Top

>158 karenmarie: >159 msf59: It is fun. So many of the books listed are relatively recent reads for me, regardless of their pub dates. Quite a few date back to college days. I'll bet the numbers of books we've both read will rise as we get into the '70s, '80s, and more recent decades.

It is cool, Karen, that you have that egg book from your youth. I can't match that.

>160 msf59: You should read Shirer's huge tome on the Third Reich. It really is mammoth, all in one volume. Heck, didn't you just reveal that you spend a couple of years in Nuremberg? Home of those epic Nazi rallies as well as the trials.

163weird_O
Sep 21, 2017, 5:19pm Top

>161 weird_O: I have not read Carver. I know of that book, but I don't have it and haven't read it. Somethin' else to put on a list.

As for In the Lake of the Woods, I'd welcome the chance to read it. (Even if it is Minnesota; har har har.) Coincidentally, I just yesterday bought a copy of July, July by Tim O'Brien. The flap copy says it's set in Minnesota (it's a lovely state, I believe). A college class reunion. A "damaged war veteran." I you want to part with the book you are reading, I'll provide a warm and lovely home for it.

164msf59
Edited: Sep 21, 2017, 6:53pm Top

I hope you can track down some Carver, Bill. Most of them are shorties too.

Glad you are interested in In the Lake of the Woods. Hope to send it out, later next week. I want to get my greedy mitts on Going After Cacciato. I can't believe I haven't read that yet.

165weird_O
Edited: Sep 22, 2017, 4:22pm Top

The List for the 1970s

1970: The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight by Jimmy Breslin
    Deliverance by James Dickey
    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
    Inside the Third Reich by Albert Speer

1971: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
    The Book of Daniel by E. L. Doctorow
    The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
    Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
    Rabbit Redux by John Updike

1972: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
    The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
    Luce and His Empire by W. A. Swanberg
    The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
    The Great Bridge by David McCullough

1973: The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    Sula by Toni Morrison
    Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter S. Thompson
    Burr by Gore Vidal

1974: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
    Carrie by Stephen King
    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
    Working by Studs Terkel
    All the President's Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
    Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
    The Civil War: A Narrative – Vol 3: Red River to Appomattox by Shelby Foote
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
    The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

1975: Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
    Black Sunday by Thomas Harris
    The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell
    From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe

1976: The Face of Battle by John Keegan
    The Amazing Bone by William Stieg
    The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner

1977: The Public Burning by Robert Coover
    Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    Dispatches by Michael Herr
    The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan
    Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry Allard
    Coming into the Country by John McPhee

1978: The World According to Garp by John Irving
    The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough

1979: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    Kindred by Octavia Butler
    Smiley's People by John le Carré
    The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
    Sophie's Choice by William Styron
    The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

ETAdd The Great Bridge in the correct decade and year of publication.

166PaulCranswick
Sep 21, 2017, 9:24pm Top

Awesome lists Bill. Puts my own agonising over picking one per year into perspective - why miss out mentioning books you love! ?

There are only four years 1959, 1970, 1972 and 1976 when I haven't yet read at least one of the books on your lists.

167jnwelch
Edited: Sep 22, 2017, 3:21pm Top

Nice to see Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in there, Bill. That's one I want to re-read.

P.S. Dispatches! What a great book.

168karenmarie
Sep 22, 2017, 3:32pm Top

>166 PaulCranswick: Eleven, Bill! Exciting. 1974 is the best year - I've read 5 of them (#s 4,5,6,8, and 9, being lazy and not wanting to write them all out)

We adore William Stieg. We've still got Doctor Desoto , Amos & Boris, Solomon the Rusty Nail, and The Amazing Bone.

169weird_O
Sep 22, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>167 jnwelch: Thanks, Paul. I was planning to check one book for each year,. But the heck with that. As you said, "Why miss out mentioning books you love?"

>168 karenmarie: So YOU are the one who pushed the literary world into slobbery love over Mr. Persig's musings. I struggled through that %!!*$@ book; took several tries over the years. I anoint you to reread it in my place. Have a blast! Hahaha.

Now Dispatches is a different matter. I just read it this year. 'Twas excellent.

>169 weird_O: Excellent, Karen. The Amazing Bone in particular I read over and over to my daughter, who liked Stieg's books. In the same vein, I read and read Miss Nelson Is Missing to my younger son in the mid-1980s.

170jnwelch
Sep 22, 2017, 5:01pm Top

>170 jnwelch: What a guy you are, Bill. I can't believe you're letting me reread Zen and the Art in your place. Musings are my favorite. :-)

Wasn't Dispatches great? I'm heartened to hear your confirmation that it holds up well in 2017.

171jessibud2
Sep 22, 2017, 6:18pm Top

>169 weird_O: - Dr. Desoto.... great big smile for that one!

172weird_O
Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 10:11pm Top

The List for the 1980s

1980: Thy Neighbor's Wife by Gay Talese
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach
    Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
    The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski

1981: Midnight's Children by Salmon Rushdie
    Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
    Mary Chesnut's Civil War by Mary Chesnut, edited by C. Vann Woodward
    From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe
    Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
    Danse Macabre by Stephen King
    The One-Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

1982: Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
    In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters
    Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

1983: Heartburn by Nora Ephron
    Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
    Ironwood by William Kennedy
    La Brava by Elmore Leonard
    Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman

1984: Money by Martin Amis
    Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard
    Neuromancer by William Gibson
    Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
    Lincoln by Gore Vidal
    Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy
    Iacocca: An Autobiography by Lee Iacocca
    Babies and Other Hazards of Sex by Dave Barry, illus. By Jerry O'Brien
    English Creek by Ivan Doig
    Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard Feynman

1985: White Noise By Don DeLillo
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
    The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

1986: The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
    Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
    Count Zero by William Gibson
    Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner
    The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
    The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker
    The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes
    The Counterlife by Philip Roth

1987: The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
    The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
    Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, William H. Hylton and Claire Kowalchik, eds.

1988: Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
    Libra by Don DeLillo
    The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
    Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
    Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson
    The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
    Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson

1989: Billy Bathgate by E. L Doctorow
    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
    Self-Consciousness by John Updike

173Berly
Sep 22, 2017, 11:18pm Top

Hi William. This Beth Kim.

: P

174weird_O
Sep 23, 2017, 10:19am Top

Bwahahahaha! I love it.

Keep smilin'.

175ChelleBearss
Sep 23, 2017, 10:38am Top

Hi Bill! First time visitor :)
I am enjoying your lists (and the lists that many have compiled so far!) There are many on your list that are on my TBR list.
I also enjoyed the Rabbit books by Updike

176BLBera
Sep 23, 2017, 10:58am Top

Hi Bill - This is Kim, I mean Beth.

I love the lists.

I agree with Vonnegut in his grading. His A+ books are my two favorites.

Have a great weekend.

177jnwelch
Sep 23, 2017, 11:13am Top

Love seeing the William Gibson books!

178benitastrnad
Sep 23, 2017, 9:24pm Top

Your kids must have grown up and left the house because there are no more children's books in your best of the best lists. So sad! There were some good ones in the 1980's.

179PaulCranswick
Sep 23, 2017, 10:28pm Top

>179 PaulCranswick: War Horse would qualify surely, Benita?

Great lists Bill!

Have a great weekend.

180weird_O
Sep 23, 2017, 10:39pm Top


# 64. A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne Finished 9/22/17

The Weird ReportTM

A Journey to the Center of the Earth is an adventure story written by Jules Verne, first published in 1864. The title tells you exactly what the story is about. Three primary characters: a German "professor of philosophy, chemistry, geology, mineralogy, and many other ologies" named Hardwigg; Harry, the professor's nephew and assistant; and a taciturn and unflappable Icelander named Hans. We know at least Harry will survive, since he's telling the tale.

The story begins with Hardwigg's acquisition of an old book that he's ecstatic about. A scrap of parchment has fallen out of it. Deciphering the Runic characters on it launches a grand expedition to follow in the ancient footsteps of the book's author. Professor and nephew collect the latest scientific gear, lots of food, ropes, and tools. Off to Iceland they sail. There they hire Hans and set off to scale an extinct volcano. From the volcano's crater, the three, each carrying an enormous load, enter a tunnel and begin a descent into the earth. Two lamps, each powered by some sort of battery, illuminate their trek.

I can't say it was engrossing, gripping, or in any way believable. The professor is an insufferable know-it-all (throughout my reading, the late Robert Hardy voiced all the prof's dialog). Harry, the nephew, ricochets from calm to hysteria and back; he's the only character to suffer exhaustion, make any missteps, suffer any injuries. He's usually wrong (while the Prof is invariably right). Hans has a dozen words of dialog, if that, but he carries their baggage, solves any problems that involve serious labor, and displays neither elation or depression. Though he's there, he isn't there.

The subterranean realm isn't simply geologic, isn't a spelunker's delight. There is an underground sea, complete with tides, hurricane-like storms, and scary monsters. This realm is brightly lighted, apparently by some sort of naturally occurring gas fired by electricity. The "land" supports toadstools as tall as pines and firs, along with some unidentified trees.

It's a curio. It's science is wrong, of course. Moreover, I think that elements of the premise, even given the its age, are daffy. Viz: Two guys head off on this expedition without telling anyone, especially not scientific colleagues. They stumble on a hired hand who has strength, smarts, manual skills, and saves their tushies again and again. They lug WAY more stuff than any three men possibly can. Upon their return, they are hailed as brave, brilliant heros. Hey, if you don't have photos, it didn't happen.

181weird_O
Sep 23, 2017, 11:05pm Top

>179 PaulCranswick: You are right, Benita, about kids leaving home, as the Pa Dutch say, "long already." The oldest left for college in 1990. The second in 1992. The third in 2001. None really came home.

My daughter (in the middle) went from Stieg's bones and stones to Madeline l'Engle's magical stuff to Anne Rice's vampires. Now she's a fan of John le Carre, Ian Rankin, I don't know what all. But she borrows from me and I from her. Our oldest was into sci-fi and fantasy, now reads ancient Roman history. I've borrowed all sorts of great books from him and from his wife. The youngest was the guy who liked Miss Nelson.

A lot of the kids books we accumulated were passed along to relatives, friends, and neighbors for their children.

Just recently, I read Charlotte's Web and A Wrinkle in Time because we bought them for a grandchild's birthday, and I read 'em before I wrapped 'em.

The list, after all, is mine and it is not at all all inclusive.

182weird_O
Sep 23, 2017, 11:15pm Top

>176 BLBera: Welcome, Chelle. Don't be a stranger now that you've found the place.

Glad to hear you like the Rabbit quartet. Updike was a local. My wife and her siblings graduated from the same high school as he did. My wife had Wesley Updike as a study hall monitor, her oldest sister had him for math one year.

>177 jnwelch: Glad you like the lists, Beth. I do agree with you about Vonnegut.

>178 benitastrnad: Well of course. William Gibson!

183weird_O
Sep 23, 2017, 11:32pm Top

>180 weird_O: Almost forgot you, Paul. I would have regretted it. Glad you like the lists. War Horse was a book my wife and I got for ourselves. We saw some program on the Tee Vee about the stage version of the book, which involved sophisticated puppet horses. Got the book, saw the film.

>179 PaulCranswick: I do note, Benita, to presence of The 13 Clocks and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and In the Night Kitchen. Often, it's a matter of coming across a trigger that brings a book to mind.

184karenmarie
Sep 24, 2017, 8:31am Top

Hi Bill!

>173 Berly: Only 5 on that list, I'm afraid. A good list, with quite a few that I have in my stacks.

>181 weird_O: I'll pass, thank you kindly. A similar concept is the Pellucidar series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and I still have the ratty Ace Science Fiction classics on my shelves. I'm sure quite a few of the same criticisms hold, but for some reason I really loved reading them.

185msf59
Edited: Sep 24, 2017, 10:01am Top

Fantastic job on your decade reads, Bill. I can't wait until I retire...grins.

I will wrap up In the Lake of the Woods today. Boy, did this one get dark. It flashes back to the horrors of the Mai Lai massacre. I did not realize the depth of the atrocities that happened there. This was not just a couple of soldiers becoming unhinged and gunning down a few civilians. Absolutely shameful and horrifying.

186weird_O
Sep 25, 2017, 12:35pm Top

The List for the 1990s

1990: The Snapper by Roddy Doyle
    L. A. Confidential by James Ellroy
    Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
    The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
    Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

1991: The Van by Roddy Doyle
    A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
    U and I: A True Story by Nicholson Baker
    Maximum Bob by Elmore Leonard
    The Devil's Candy: "The Bonfire of the Vanities" Goes to Hollywood by Julie Salamon

1992: Jazz by Toni Morrison
    The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
    Fatherland by Robert Harris
    Truman by David McCullough
    Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
    Clockers by Richard Price
    Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick

1993: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle
    The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
    Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
    Strip Tease by Carl Hiaasen

1994: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
    No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    The Waterworks by E. L. Doctorow
    The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner

1995: Independence Day by Richard Ford
    The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
    The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
    Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
    Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon
    Moo by Jane Smiley

1996: Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier by Stephen E. Ambrose
    Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
    The Tailor of Panama by John le Carre
    The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams

1997: Underworld by Don DeLillo
    American Pastoral by Philip Roth
    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
    The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother by James McBride
    Personal History by Katharine Graham

1998: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
    King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild
    I Married a Communist by Philip Roth
    Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
    Rodale's Illustrated Cabinetmaking by Bill Hylton

1999: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
    Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Single & Single by John le Carre
    Uncommon Grounds; The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World by Mark Pendergrast
    Plainsong by Kent Haruf
    Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love by Dava Sobel
    White Teeth by Zadie Smith

187karenmarie
Sep 25, 2017, 3:28pm Top

Hi Bill!

Great list! I've read 14 of them and have at least 5 more on my shelves. How did you like Uncommon Grounds? For some reason the touchstones aren't working for me right now. I love coffee and can't imagine a day without it.

188LovingLit
Sep 26, 2017, 2:56am Top

>1312 that is a very appealing stack! I see the Foucault one, and it reminds me I should be reading more of his work just lately, as am using some if his ideas in my Masters thesis (hopefully). And while collecting interview data I have slacked off academic readings. Giving the old brain a break will hopefully not come back to bite me!

>181 weird_O: I wonder if my 9 year old reluctant reader son would like that. He might find the language a little too - old? I thought that when I read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

189weird_O
Sep 26, 2017, 11:30am Top

Beginning a New Century

2000: The Human Stain by Philip Roth
    The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
    Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen

2001: Empire Falls by Richard Russo
    Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Nothing Like It in the World by Stephen E. Ambrose

2002: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
    Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande
    Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan
    A Thread Across the Ocean by John Steele Gordon
    Tishomingo Blues by By Elmore Leonard
    Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

2003: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
    Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester
    The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Caroline Alexander
    Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

2004: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
    Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
    Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
    March by Geraldine Brooks

2005: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
    On Beauty by Zadie Smith
    Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
    The Hot Kid By Elmore Leonard
    A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman

190weird_O
Sep 26, 2017, 11:49am Top

>188 LovingLit: Geez Louise...Karen. Uncommon Grounds is a decent book all about coffee—where it's grown, the impact of climate and diseases, markets, etc. We (almost) all drink it. An interesting course covering a commonplace topic and doing it well.

So you've read 14 and have 5 more on the shelves somewhere. That's 19. Geez Karen. There's 65 on the list. Come-on! Chop-chop! You got a lot of reading to do! :-)

>189 weird_O: Good luck with your Master's thesis. Foucault is someone I've heard of—didn't he have a pendulum of some kind?—but I've read not at all. The things you find in thrift shops.

My bet, based on the reading habits of my three oldest granddaughters, is to skip Verne. We've given them books like Verne that we hoped they'd read. But Rick Riordan gets their attention.

191FAMeulstee
Sep 26, 2017, 3:51pm Top

Hi Bill, I only have read one of your 1970s and one of your 1980s list... In the 1990s I have read more, since you included Happy Potter and a a Bill Bryson ;-)
The 21th centure gives more common ground with 6 read of those!

192nittnut
Sep 26, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Time to admit I just lurk and read, but don't comment. These lists are so great! I can claim to have read 25 on your pre-1970's list, only 4 of the 1970's and 5 of the 1980's. Things look up in the 1990's where I have 15 read in common. So far for the first decade of the 2000's, I have read 9. I have a bunch of your favorites in my TBR pile though. Maybe I will get to them in the next decade or so. :)

193LovingLit
Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 6:21pm Top

>191 FAMeulstee: Foucault had a panopticon (theory... about how surveillance, even the illusion of, can make us all 'behave'). He had a lot of ideas about power relationships, but my interest in him for my thesis is for his ideas on discourses- the big ones that society has that often go unnoticed and are generally unchallenged.

I will check out Rick Riordan for my son! The reluctant reader said something last night that was music to my ears, "Finally I've found a book that I like!". It is a Bear Grylls adventure about kids that go on a camp.

Re: lists, I have read 7 from the 2000s list. And about the same for the 1990s one, unless Independence Day is the last in the Bascombe trilogy, then less, I have only read the first two from that trilogy. Saving the best for last hopefully!

Eta: 8 from the 1990s list as just remembered I can add the Harry Potter first- I think it is called something else in the UK and NZ, so I missed it first time I scanned the list. It is the only one I have read of hers, and yes- Independence Day is only the 2nd in the series for that one, so I have read it.

194msf59
Edited: Sep 26, 2017, 8:33pm Top

I read 20 of the '60s.

I read 19 of the '70s.

I read 28 of the '80s.

I read 29 of the '90s picks.

Not shabby, but far from perfect.

195LovingLit
Sep 26, 2017, 8:59pm Top

My record is 12, from the 1950s!! Who would have thought...the 50s were 20 years before I was even born.

196charl08
Sep 27, 2017, 8:00am Top

This is quite embarrassing, but

2000s 10
1990s 17 (mostly because of Harry Potter, but Hurray for Roddy Doyle!)
1980s 13 (no Harry Potter)
1970s 5 (ouch!)
1960s 8
1950s 4
1940s 3

I think that probably is an accurate reflection of how much new fiction I read in the late 90s, as well as the Harry Potter. (I hope!)

197ChelleBearss
Sep 27, 2017, 8:19am Top

Looks like my highest is 8 from the 50's (which surprises me!)
I've read:
40's: 3
50's: 8
60's: 7
70's: 4
80's: 7
90's: 7
2000's: 5

198karenmarie
Sep 27, 2017, 8:43am Top

Hi Bill!

>190 weird_O: I've read ten and abandoned two (On Beauty and March). I have also started but need to re-start and finish Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

Lists are so much fun!

199jnwelch
Sep 27, 2017, 9:03am Top

Fun stuff, Bill. I'll bet there are other 75ers who have read it, but you're the first other person I've known who also read A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine. One of the best titles ever!

Lots of ones I loved on your list(s), but I particularly enjoyed seeing Gilead (what a book), and Pattern Recognition (our friend the other Bill).

200weird_O
Sep 27, 2017, 2:26pm Top

>192 nittnut: My wife read all the Potter books as they were published. I waited until all were in print, then read them, one right after another. As for Bill Bryson, I seem to have more of his books than I have actually read. Wonder why that is?

This entertaining, isn't it?

>193 LovingLit: I have your list open in a separate tab, Jenn, and I can see mutual picks. I also see a fair number of books that are on my TBR shelves. We both have reading to do, don't we?

>194 msf59: I have two Umberto Eco books on my TRB shelves, one of which is Foucault's Pendulum. Don't know if that will help or hinder grasping Foucault. But, yes, I do have his own writings, don't I?

Ford's done four Bascombe novels, Independence Day being the second. I've read the first two, have the others on the shelf.

Good luck with your son. I can recall disliking many of the books that were required reading for school. But reading them more recently, well, I see them differently.

201FAMeulstee
Sep 27, 2017, 3:54pm Top

>201 FAMeulstee: I refused to read the Harry Potter books for years, Bill. So many people were telling me I had to read them, that I started to dislike them in advance. When I joined LT and this group I gave in and loved them :-)
I don't physicly own any Bill Bryson book, I read them from the library. I have read 8 of the 11 books that are available in Dutch translation.

202weird_O
Sep 27, 2017, 3:56pm Top

>195 LovingLit: Wow. Our readings over the decades have had a lot in common. We don't want perfection, Mark. If you'd have read everything I have on my list, you'd be me. I don't think this place needs two of me, and it absolute that the place could do without you.

>196 charl08: Lot of good books published in the '50s, Megan. Thanks for giving the list a look.

>197 ChelleBearss: Why is it embarrassing, Charlotte? I am quite sure you've got the edge on me for reading accomplishments. Different folks... You know.

>198 karenmarie: Just all coincidental, right? We've all read some popular books, some of the basics of literature. The basics are scattered across the decades.

>199 jnwelch: Sorry you had to dnf On Beauty and March. If you couldn't like Geraldine Brooks' March, you could try E. L. Doctorow's March (I don't know how to force Touchstones to come up with two different books with the same title). Same war, but very different stories. Doctorow pulled some characters from his earlier work, The Waterworks, to people his March, thus fleshing them out to the benefit of both books.

And get back to Susanna Clarke's hefty novel. I liked it a lot. (Of course, I liked On Beauty and both Marches. No guarantees, what?)

>200 weird_O: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was assigned reading my younger son had in college. He bequeathed it, more of less, to me. Perhaps I liked it more than he did.

Haha, I'll be dipping back into Pattern Recognition very shortly. I started Zero History last night, and I have to refresh my memory on characters who strutted their stuff in PP. Are Hollis Henry and Hubertus Bigend the only carryovers?

203charl08
Sep 27, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>203 charl08: I think I'd like to think my reading is more comprehensive than it is - clearly not in the 1950s! You are right of course.

204LovingLit
Sep 27, 2017, 11:04pm Top

>201 FAMeulstee: aaah, Foucault's Pendulum- that's where it came from. Pendulum/panopticon, to-may-toe/to-mah-toe ;)
And I'd forgotten about the 4th Frank Bascombe novel! I have read the first two too, and loved them both. He's not for everyone...but I like that meandering style of his.

Re: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, I read something else of hers, didn't like it, so gave this one away! Perhaps too hastily?

205Oberon
Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 11:05am Top

>201 FAMeulstee: Foucault's Pendulum was Eco's second best behind only The Name of the Rose in my opinion.

206benitastrnad
Sep 28, 2017, 4:11pm Top

#200
I have A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian in my collection. I just haven't read it yet.

207SandDune
Edited: Sep 28, 2017, 4:35pm Top

>203 charl08: I've also read A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian which I enjoyed a lot. It's just as well I did, as Mr SandDune had chosen it for our RL book group, and then had to pull out at the last minute as he had a job interview the next day, so I had to lead the discussion with about 24 hours notice. I've also read Two Caravans (I think it's called Strawberry Fields in the US), which I still enjoyed but not as much as her first one.

208weird_O
Sep 28, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>194 msf59: et al:


Michel Foucault

209weird_O
Sep 29, 2017, 2:56pm Top

# 65. Longitude by Dava Sobel Finished 9/25/17

The Weird ReportTM

The story of clockmaking's leap into high tech in the 18th century, driven by the world's desire (need?) to make global navigation comprehensible and practical. Seafarers had a good grasp of latitude—knowing where they were between the poles, that north-south thing. But longitude—establishing the east-west track—proved very difficult. The British, determined to settle this navigation problem, established a reward for the genius who could solve the problem, along with a committee to review and test offered solutions and to pay the reward if a solution was proven.

Longitude is Dava Sobel's story of this important episode in history. She traces the astronomers dedication to mapping the stars, their development of instruments to measure positions and proximities of astral bodies, their publication and dissemination of charts. Their method does work.

But the best, most simple technique turned out to be timing distance from a mean position. To do it required absolutely robust, reliable clocks, and in early 18th century, such clocks didn't exist. John Harrison spent decades of his life designing and making several one-of-a-kind clocks that proved to fit the need. But getting any of the clocks tested, and getting paid the prize consumed the remainder of his life. It's an engaging story and Sobel's telling was an early example of her storytelling mastery.



Harrison's first navigational clock (above), dubbed H-1, weighed 75 pounds and was housed in a cabinet 4-feet high, wide, and deep. It required no lubrication, thanks of the maker's ingenious frictionless "grasshopper escapement." Sobel: "It was of its age, but ahead of its time…"



H-4 is the fourth timepiece Harrison made. Looking like a pocket watch, H-4 is 5 inches in diameter and weighs 3 pounds. It runs 30 hours on a single winding. Sobel: "And under the plate, among the spinning wheels, diamonds and rubies do battle against friction. These tiny jewels, exquisitely cut, take over the work that was relegated to antifriction wheels and mechanical grasshoppers in all of Harrison's big clocks."


210weird_O
Sep 29, 2017, 3:06pm Top

The film of The Princess Bride opened 30 years ago today (apparently). It's on the viewing agenda for tonight at our house. "As you wish," I said to my bride.

211jessibud2
Sep 29, 2017, 4:10pm Top

I really enjoyed Longitude when I read it last year. It made me furious, the way Harrison was treated!

And, >211 jessibud2:, as luck would have it, I recently picked up a copy of a book called As You Wish by Cary Elwes which I am eager to dive into. I wonder if I should attempt to see the film again first, though. It's been many many moons since my first viewing.

212jnwelch
Sep 29, 2017, 5:32pm Top

>210 weird_O: Good review of Longitude, Bill. Fun to see those photos of the clocks/timepieces!

BTW, I don't know whether you heard of the documentary with William Gibson riding in a car, yakking about all sorts of stuff, but it's really good: https://smile.amazon.com/William-Gibson-Maps-These-Territories/dp/B0000D0YT5/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506720444&sr=8-1&keywords=william+gibson+map+of

It's called "No Maps for These Territories".

213karenmarie
Edited: Sep 29, 2017, 6:03pm Top

Hi Bill!

>203 charl08: To get the correct touchstone, click on (others) under the book that is selected. A window of potential matches comes up, select the book you want. You may have to scroll down to find it.



>210 weird_O: I loved Longitude. What I remember most about the book, besides the science, is that he had to wait so long for compensation. They are beautiful time pieces, all of them, and thanks for your review.

And I just found a neat YouTube video of a lock made in 1680 - the beauty and intricacy remind me of Harrison's timepieces. Wilkes' Lock

214brodiew2
Sep 29, 2017, 6:47pm Top

Hello weird_O! I hope all is well.

>210 weird_O: is getting a lot of chatter of late. One user even said she was better than Candice Millard. Was that you? Millard weaves a good and compelling narrative. If Sobel does so as well, I'll get on board. It sounds interesting. The Harrison time pieces are beautiful. Reminds me a bit of a certain Doctor's special time piece.

215weird_O
Sep 30, 2017, 11:42am Top

>212 jnwelch: Societies continue to treat people like dirt. Viz: Drumpf and Puerto Rico. Harrison wasn't the first to be ill-treated and of course wasn't the last. I love the episode in which George III took an interest in Harrison's case, yet even the king could't pry the prize out of the committee.

Princess Bride? Just watch the movie. It is chock-a-block with memorable lines, shtick, hokum. Watched it last night.

>213 karenmarie: Gotta listen to the interview, Joe. Gibson builds stories out of paranoia. A segment of the garment industry following each other around, tracking every move. Nuts. Half through and we've just heard the name of someone who is actually a danger to others, not just a perceived danger.

>214 brodiew2: Thanks for the tip, Karen. But my stumper was that HAL would report only that there were no matches for the title. I couldn't get a list of options, just a flat rejection. I think it was a bad nacho.

>215 weird_O: Nice to hear from you, Brodie. I haven't tangled with the Doctor since Tom Baker's tenure. Just the other day, I think it was.

216weird_O
Oct 1, 2017, 2:27pm Top

Having fallen way behind on reading reports, I want to post at least a few—favorites, notables, whatever you want to call them. First up is a book I read at the end of August.

# 59. Raven Rock: The Story of the U. S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself—While the Rest of Us Die by Garrett M. Graff Finished 8/24/17

The Weird ReportTM

Raven Rock is a detailed history of "Continuity of Government," as embraced by concerned government officials late in World War II and carried forward into the 21st century. The book's title is taken from a vast bunker complex built in Pennsylvania to house the President and selected government officials and functionaries. For the author, it represents the extremes to which elements of government will go—secretly, of course—to ensure the nation's leadership could survive a catastrophic attack on the seat of government.

The design, construction, and endless expansions of Raven Rock and its ilk cost hundreds of millions of dollars, every cent approved by no more than a half-dozen senate and congressional leaders, all allocated off the books. Technological advances of all kinds demand continual upgrades to equipment and procedures. From the Presidential yacht to a U. S. Navy warship to various Presidential aircraft, the challenge has always been keep the President out of harm's way but in continual contact and command. When communications were carried by landlines, experience demonstrated the need for prioritizing calls, and that called for a coding system to allow key officials to get their calls through. New and ever-changing encryption became vital.

Like kudzu, the complex system kept spreading and growing and smothering, just overwhelming common sense. Here's the plan! Officials A through K will gather at point 1, from where a helicopter will whisk them to the particular bunker for their government departments. Sorry! No room for spouses, children, or other dependents. Technical and administrative functionaries? Just carpool; drive to your assigned bunker. Stay calm, nothing can go wrong. Events that tested this vast system include the Cuban Missile Crisis and the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.

Author Garrett Graff is nothing if not through and detailed. The book is history. The bunkers are built and paid for and now are mostly mothballed. The book's subtitle is the elephant in the room, and it doesn't appear that anyone in government is grappling with the issue of whether there's any point to preserving the lives of the President, the department secretaries, Supreme Court justices, congresspeople and senators if virtually every other man, woman, and child is obliterated.

Paging Dr. Strangelove! Dr. Strangelove?

Distant view of Raven Rock:


Inside RR during construction:




217weird_O
Edited: Oct 1, 2017, 2:40pm Top

I did finish William Gibson's Zero History before the stroke of midnight, so it's slotted as a September read, sixth of the month, sixty-sixth of the year. But only one turkey among those six. Already, October reading is underway.

ETA: Going to finish the last story in Black Humor for the September AAC—Short Stories. Do that today. Then on to October. Ann Patchett, Barack Obama recoms, yah yah.

218msf59
Oct 1, 2017, 2:45pm Top

>210 weird_O: Good review of Longitude. It looks like I better read Sobel. I have Galileo's Daughter on shelf. Have you read this one?

Happy Sunday, Bill. Glad you have a Patchett lined up for the AAC. Are you batting a thousand on the AAC?

219Berly
Oct 1, 2017, 2:51pm Top

I have read 10 of your books from the 50s
13 of the 60s
6 of the 70s
16 of the 80s
13 of the 90s
10 of the New Century list

An after how long it took me to figure this out, there ain't no way I am making up my own list!! LOL

>217 weird_O: The Subtitle of Raven Rock is depressing, especially after your last thought about the elephant in the room. In fact, the whole book is sad.

220rosalita
Oct 1, 2017, 8:10pm Top

>215 weird_O: My two cents, Brodie: I think both Sobel and Millard are excellent and if you like one you'd probably enjoy the other. Sobel has a knack for making scientific subjects quite understandable for a non-scientific mind like mine, which is one reason I enjoy her books. I think Millard is a bit stronger in terms of overall narrative, but really they are both excellent. And since they are writing about very different subjects, you don't have to choose!

221weird_O
Edited: Oct 2, 2017, 10:10am Top

More List, all you lucky lucky readers...

2006: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
    Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford
    Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
    Uncommon Carriers by John McPhee
    Woodworking With the Router by Bill Hylton
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
    The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

2007: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
    The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
    Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
    The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
    Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
    The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

2008: Indignation by Philip Roth
    The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
    Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt
    Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris
    A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
    Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker

2009: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
    Fordlandia by Greg Grandin
    The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt History by Robert Edsel
    Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford
    True Compass by Edward Kennedy

2010: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent
    The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain
    Zero History by William Gibson

222karenmarie
Oct 2, 2017, 8:02am Top

Hi Bill! Happy Monday to you.

Alas, only four out of your latest list!

223jnwelch
Oct 2, 2017, 9:00am Top

Hiya, Bill.

I'm glad Zero History worked for you. The Monuments Men jumped out at me in your latest list. Engaging book, disappointing movie.

224Berly
Oct 2, 2017, 10:51am Top

Morning! 8 of the latest list....

225weird_O
Oct 2, 2017, 10:58am Top

>219 Berly: I have read Galileo's Daughter; very good. I think I'd heard of Longitude before seeing it on the sale shelf. Instant buy, and I read it within the week..

>220 rosalita: Were any of those you've read favorites, Kim? I'd be interested in knowing the titles of the books we've both read.

Compiling the list has gotten more difficult as I get closer to 2017. I'm not inclined to grab current works, thus I'm a few years behind. So scanning lists of "best books of 20__" prompts a lot of "that's one I want to read" responses, but not many additions to the List.

>221 weird_O: Thanks for jumping in there, Julia. Very excellent take on the two writers. I couldn't have said that.

226weird_O
Oct 2, 2017, 11:21am Top

>223 jnwelch: Only four?! Any BBs? (Just based on titles...oh, and my implicit recommendations...heh heh heh.)

>224 Berly: Got a little crazy at the end, didn't it, Joe? The cavalry arrives to round up the baddies. Also the "Hi, Mom" at the end. Paranoia.

I have the same judgment as you about The Monuments Men—good book, weak movie. I've got a picture book that Edsel produced called Rescuing Da Vinci, which shows artworks pilfered, some still missing. Plus the huge stashes. And the endeavors of museum officials to move their treasures to safer locations and, especially in Italy, the measures taken to sandbag things that couldn't be moved.

>225 weird_O: Eight. Well, what, for instance? What have you read that was published in those years? Hmmmm? Just asking for a friend. :-)

227msf59
Oct 2, 2017, 11:35am Top

Morning, Bill. Wanted to let you know the O'Brien book is in the mail. Another one for the stacks.

228brodiew2
Oct 2, 2017, 11:36am Top

Good morning, weird_O!

I too enjoyed Monuments Men. It was a unique lens with which to view the war. It also had interesting characters.

229karenmarie
Oct 2, 2017, 2:23pm Top

>227 msf59: Woodworking with the Router.

Wait. I don't have a router.

I don't do woodworking.

But I do have A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz on my shelves and might try to fit it in this year.

*smile*

230Oberon
Oct 2, 2017, 5:00pm Top

>227 msf59: Is Rescuing Da Vinci worth it? I loved The Monuments Men and highly recommend The Rape of the Europa if you are interested in the subject. Rescuing Da Vinci has been on my wish list for awhile.

231weird_O
Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 12:59am Top

>228 brodiew2: Thanks, Mark.

>229 karenmarie: Yo, Brodie!

>230 Oberon: No woodworking?! You surely can do it if you try. My granddaughter Helen took a woodworking class last year and is taking it again this year. I could set you up with a copy of Woodworking with the Router if you want. Maybe even get the author to inscribe it for you. Good place to start.

Horwitz's journey is pretty good. All those European explorers were loathsome brutes. That's what you learn from his book.

>231 weird_O: I'll have to look into The Rape of Europa. I seem to recall you reviewing it on your thread, maybe a year or so ago. Or am I making that up?

Rescuing Da Vinci is worth it to me. I don't regret having bought it.

232weird_O
Oct 3, 2017, 1:08am Top

The last episode of The Weird_O Life List

2011: 11.22.63 by Stephen King
    The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
    The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
    Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
    Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss
    A World On Fire: Britain's Crucial Role In The American Civil War by Amanda Foreman,
    Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn

2012: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
    The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
    Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
    Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King

2013: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
    The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
    The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
    The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
    Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
    One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson

2014: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
    The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
    American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon
    Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

2015: Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann
    The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
    Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
    Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
    Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

2016: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
    Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon
    Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
    Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard
    Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild

233Berly
Oct 3, 2017, 2:40am Top

>226 weird_O: >227 msf59: We actually overlap a lot!! I don't have all of these enterred in LT. I am more an enter as I read person, but...

From before my time... I have read these from the 1950s...

1950: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
    Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

1951: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

1952: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

1953: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
    Battle Cry by Leon Uris

1954: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

1959: A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White

and then skipping to more recent...

2006: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

2007: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
    The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
    The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

2008: The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

It's actually 9 not 8. And Half of them would be favorites for me. : )

And then from the next decade, another 9 and every one except The Underground Railroad would be a favorite of mine:

2011: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

2012:

2013: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
    The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
    The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

2014: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
    The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

2015: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

2016: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
    Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
   

See? I like what you read!!! : )

Wow. I almost have the list done now. LOL

234FAMeulstee
Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 10:43am Top

>222 karenmarie: Only four I have read, and only two I liked: Harry Potter and Bill Bryson.

>233 Berly: And four of the last list, the three Cormoran Strike books, and finally a book we have both on our list: Between the World and Me.

235karenmarie
Edited: Oct 3, 2017, 10:02am Top

Hi Bill and happy Tuesday to you.

>233 Berly: Eight. Three are the Cormoran Strike series by J.K. ... er Robert Galbraith.

edited to change Wednesday to Tuesday. Sheesh.

236Oberon
Oct 3, 2017, 10:48am Top

>232 weird_O: I think I talked about Rape of Europa extensively when I reviewed The Monuments Men. It is one of my favorite books.

237weird_O
Oct 3, 2017, 12:39pm Top

# 67. Black Humor edited by Bruce Jay Friedman Finished 10/1/17

The Weird ReportTM

Black Humor is a relic of the 1960s. Thirteen lucky writers had short stories or excerpts of novels included in the collection. In his foreword, Bruce Jay Friedman the book's editor, explains what he means by "black humor".

What has happened is that the satirist has had his ground usurped by the newspaper reporter...The novelist-satirist, with no real territory of his own to roam, has had to discover new land, invent a new currency, a new set of filters, has had to sail into darker waters somewhere out beyond satire and I think this is what is meant by black humor.
  So you have Mrs. Liuzzo dead with a bullet in her brain, the federal government swinging into action because her "civil rights have been violated"...It may be said that the Black Humorist is a kind of literary Paul Revere, a fellow who unfreezes his mind, if only for a moment and says, "For Christ's sake, what in hell is going on here? What do you mean, 35,000 Vietnam
advisors?"

Hmmm. Maybe it IS a humor for our times.

Here are the contributors:

Thomas Pynchon:In Which Esther Gets a Nose Job

Bruce Jay Friedman:Black Angels

Joseph Heller:Milo

J. P. Donleavy: from The Ginger Man

Vladimir Nabokov:Scenes from the Life of a Double Monster

Charles Simmons: from Powdered Eggs

John Rechy:Miss Destiny: The Fabulous Wedding

Edward Albee:The Sandbox

John Barth: from The Sot-Weed Factor

Terry Southern:Twirling at Ole Miss

James Purdy:Don't Call Me by my Right Name

Conrad Knickerbocker:Pay Day

Louis-Ferdinand Celine: from Journey to the End of the Night

238weird_O
Oct 4, 2017, 9:29pm Top

>238 weird_O: The report on Black Humor was a big nothing. Sorry.

239nittnut
Oct 4, 2017, 10:26pm Top

>222 karenmarie: I scored 8 read in common in this series. Not too bad.
>233 Berly: 7, I believe. There's one I have to check because I can't remember if I read it or just thought about reading it. *blushes*

240weird_O
Oct 5, 2017, 1:59am Top

Finished Bel Canto by Ann Patchett an hour or so ago. The first of her books that I've read, and I am mightily impressed. I going to move on to another author, but I may be back to Patchett before the month is out.

>240 weird_O: I am betting those 15 or 16 you read are the real cream of the list.

>234 FAMeulstee: Really great list of books you have there, Kim. Each one is familiar. I may have read some of those too. My compliments to you.

241LovingLit
Oct 6, 2017, 4:55am Top

>241 LovingLit: I remember reading Bel Canto, on holiday in an alpine town, on a sunny deck...lovely memories :)

242weird_O
Oct 8, 2017, 12:21pm Top



(L to R) Dr. Tongue; Bowler Bully; The Look.

243laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Oct 8, 2017, 1:12pm Top

>131 msf59: Wow! The Daybooks of Edward Weston caught my eye---my father-in-law would have loved those. Or maybe he had copies -- after he died my MIL gave a whole lot of his photography books to a neighbor whom he had helped to develop an interest in the subject. (Yes, I know what I did there.)

From your lists, I've read 9 from the '40's; 17 from the '50's; 16 from the '60's; 19 from the '70's; 15 from the '80's; 23 from the '90's; 13 from the oughts and 10 from the '10's. A good many of your more recent reads are on my tbr piles.

Did anyone see the movie made from Longitude? It was quite good, with Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon.

244RBeffa
Oct 8, 2017, 6:20pm Top

I think I lost count somewhere or two but something around 48 books I'm sure I have read from your lists. You have more books to choose from and 8 of my matches are from 9 of the years I couldn't include. Several of your books I read part of - all non-fictions such as Shelby Foote's, Battle Cry of Freedom, Carl Sagan, the Mary Chestnutt and others - ones I know I read in but don't recall finishing. Then there were several I just can't be sure of after all these years.

Like with other lists I have enjoyed looking at, a great number of the books listed are in my monstrous TBR books. Maybe I should redirect my reading focus a slight bit ...

245PaulCranswick
Oct 8, 2017, 8:18pm Top

>245 PaulCranswick: Me too Ron. I guess a lot of the ones not read or on the shelves will soon be.

Hope your weekend has been kind to you, Bill.

246karenmarie
Oct 10, 2017, 8:31am Top

Hi Bill and happy Tuesday to you!

>243 laytonwoman3rd: Very cute video, The Look.

This topic was continued by Weird_O (Bill)'s ADD Bookbin (four).

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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