Weird_O Bill's 2018 Rubber Room & Library #2
This is a continuation of the topic Weird_O Bill's 2018 Rubber Room & Library #1.
This topic was continued by Weird_O Bill's 2018 Rubber Room & Library #3.
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Books Read: Third Quarter 2018
September (5 read)
74. Benediction by Kent Haruf (9/13/18)
73. My Reading Life by Pat Conroy (9/11/18)
72. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (9/9/18)
71. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (9/7/18)
70. Laughing Gas by P. G. Wodehouse (9/2/18)
August (11 read)
69. The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter by Ambrose Bierce (8/31/18)
68. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (8/30/18)
67. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (8/28/18)
66. Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (8/21/18)
65. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman (8/17/18)
64. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (8/15/19)
63. France Is a Feast by Alex Prud'homme and Katie Pratt (8/13/18)
62. The Quick and the Dead by Louis L'Amour (8/11/18)
61. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck (8/8/18)
60. A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle (8/7/18)
59. Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York by Paul Gallico (8/2/18)
July (7 read)
58. Thurber on Crime by James Thurber (7/31/18)
57. The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (7/30/18)
56. The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon (7/24/18)
55. On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder (7/12/18)
54. Chinaman's Chance by Ross Thomas (7/11/18)
53. Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin (7/5/18)
52. Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie (7/2/18)
Books Read: Second Quarter 2018
June (13 read)
51. Michael Chabon's The Escapist: Pulse-Pounding Thrills by Michael Chabon (6/25/18)
50. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene (6/24/18)
49. The Sense of a Ending by Julia Barnes (6/22/18)
48. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (6/20/18)
47. Eventide by Kent Haruf (6/19/18)
46. The Private World of Pablo Picasso and Picasso's Picassos by David Douglas Duncan (6/17/18)
45. Crooked House by Agatha Christie (6/14/18)
44. Through Irish Eyes: A Visual Companion to Angela McCourt's Ireland by Malachy McCourt (6/11/18)
43. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (6/10/18)
42. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan (6/8/18)
41. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton (6/5/18)
40. The Man in My Basement by Walter Mosley (6/3/18)
39. The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy (6/1/18)
May (9 read)
38. A River Runs Through it and other stories by Norman Maclean (5/30/18)
37. TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (5/21/18)
36. Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis by Peter Kuper (5/21/18) GN
35. Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo (5/20/18)
34. I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson (5/13/18)
33. Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process by John McPhee (5/12/18)
32. News Is a Verb: Journalism at the End of the Twentieth Century by Pete Hamill (5/6/18)
31. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey (5/6/18)
30. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (5/1/18)
April (8 read)
29. The Crofter and the Laird by John McPhee (4/30/18)
28. The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan (4/26/18)
27. Duane Michals: Portraits by Duane Michals (4/22/18)
26. Tales from Grimm by Wanda Gag (4/21/18)
25. The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm by Lore Segal and Maurice Sendak (4/15/18)
24. A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (4/14/18)
23. The Nazis Next Door by Eric Lichtblau (4/5/18)
22. Peril at End House by Agatha Christie (4/2/18)
Books Read: First Quarter 2018
March (9 read)
21. The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty (3/31/18)
20. Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen (3/30/18)
19. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (3/23/18)
18. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (3/18/18)
17. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (3/17/18)
16. The Twits by Roald Dahl (3/11/18)
15. Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande (3/8/18)
14. This Boy's Life by Tobius Wolff (3/5/18)
13. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (3/2/18)
February (8 read)
12. Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (2/26/18)
11. On William Faulkner by Eudora Welty (2/22/18)
10. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (2/21/18)
9. A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie (2/15/18)
8. Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead (2/12/18)
7. The Hilliker Curse by James Ellroy (2/10/18)
6. Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre (2/8/18)
5. Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley (2/1/18)
January (4 read)
4. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (1/30/18)
3. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (1/17/18)
2. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1/13/18)
1. Lucky You by Carl Hiassen (1/11/18)
In January 2017, 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." As time passed, I had opportunities to read two books on the amalgamated "Best Books" table that I hadn't selected for my 2017 reading subset. So I read them and added them. By year's end, I had read 15 of the 26 books on the final list.
Eleven books remain in their niche, not yet read. Five have bookmarks in them, indicating that I started reading but stalled for one reason or another. I'll just read them in 2018. I'm adding The Joy Luck Club because that's what I have for Amy Tan month of the 2018 AAC. And it also gives me 12 books. That makes this a one-book-a-month challenge.
As you can see, I didn't read a single one. Yet...
Got the Christie bug. Not serious, but I don't want to ignore it. I caught it while watching Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express. Having seen three cinematic versions, I wanted to read Dame Agatha's original. At about the same time, Christmas wish lists started circulating, and two grands, who also saw the latest movie, asked for Christie books. Christie wrote a LOT of books. Which were the best?
An acceptable list I found at The Guardian, contributed by John Curran. His selections listed in order of publication:
The check following the title designates a book I've read, four of them in all. I have a copy of Curtain but haven't read it. Five to shop for. I think I want to read them before summer.
Young Hercule Poirot
I saw you gallivanting around on other threads, Bill, so I figured it was safe, to say- Happy New Thread, my friend.
Yep I popped in too and popped out again at your direction!
Glad Shelley took the plunge.
Happy new thread, Bill. Have a great weekend.
Love those (fake?) book titles: "Well, that didn't work" is a favourite, i think.
I once heard a comedian who had written a whole routine for a comedy festival about the weird trashy paperbacks he'd picked up in second hand shops. It was amazing what someone could find in weird titles /covers when they set out to look.
Strange weekend, wasn't it?
I'm reading about the plague and also the plague wrought by the Brothers Grimm. The plague book is A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, written 50 or 60 years after the event. It's a novel. In February I read Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders, also based on the plague in England in 1665. The Plague by Albert Camus, set in North Africa in the 20th century I read several years ago.
>17 weird_O: Drat. I have A Journal of the Plague Year by Defoe on my shelves, a nice Heritage Slipcased edition. I have been fascinated by The Black Death for decades. Year of Wonders is the only book by Geraldine Brooks that I have liked. I haven't read the Camus yet. I also really liked The Plague Tales by Ann Benson.
Seems like you have your on little thematic unit going with your reading. Thematic units are what teachers call it when they carry over the same topic to several different books and activities. There are lots of books out there on plagues of different kinds, but one I recommend to people is Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky. If you find it at one of your library book sales - nab it. It is worth the money.
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm drawn by their brother Ludwig.
I recently steered through Grimm country, having gotten off the Reading Interstate in Eudora Welty's Mississippi for some refreshment. Turns out, I was in the realm of The Robber Bridegroom, a short novel published by Welty in 1942. In looking for some background on the story, I spied reference to a story of the same name by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the 19th century folklore scholars who published more than 200 folk stories that they transcribed and edited from European oral tradition. When I didn't find "The Robber Bridegroom" in the two collections of Grimm stories on our shelves, I looked online.
At Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org)1, I found the story, downloadable in a half-dozen formats. It's short and steeped in the ancient, Middle European broth: There's a miller with a daughter he wants to marry off, a mysterious cottage deep in the forest, a crone, a gang of blood-thirsty thugs. Runs only two pages. And it's a good jumping off point for appreciating what Miss Welty wrote.
My primary source of Grimm stories is a small two-volume set, published in 1973, that presents 27 stories selected by Lore Segal, a translator and editor, and Maurice Sendak, author or illustrator. I also have a 16-story collection, "freely translated and illustrated" by Wanda Gag in 1936; it is marked with the name of a local elementary school library, and I can't account for its presence on our home shelves.
Anyway, I've read the Segal/Sendak collection and Welty's take on the genre. The Gag collection I'll read soon. Reports on all follow.
1 By all means, check out this website. According to the site's intro of itself, "Project Gutenberg offers over 56,000 free eBooks: Choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, especially older works for which copyright has expired." There's no fee for membership or for downloading any of the books. A donation, of course, is welcomed and appreciated.
A fun feature of Project Gutenberg is the page listing the top 100. Top 100 books, top 100 authors. Updated daily. Cool, Huh?
What is listed are the top 100 books and authors yesterday. Then you see the lists from 7 days ago, and from 30 days ago.
Here are the top 10 from yesterday (which would be Wednesday, 4-18-2018):
1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1474)
2. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1051)
3. Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (915)
4. The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People by Oscar Wilde (893)
5. Et dukkehjem. English by Henrik Ibsen (798)
6. Moby Dick; Or, The Whale by Herman Melville (601)
7. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (552)
8. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (536)
9. Dracula by Bram Stoker (531)
10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (530)
The number in parentheses is the number of downloads yesterday. Here are some others in the top 100, starting with the Brothers Grimm at 13th place.
13. Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (439)
27. The Romance of Lust: A Classic Victorian erotic novel by Anonymous (278)
30. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein (262)
47. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (200)
78. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare (135)
86. Korean—English Dictionary by Leon Kuperman (128)
89. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (123)
90. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (121)
98. Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, Vol 1, Issue 11 by Various (113)
And rounding out the Top 100: Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson (111). I don't believe that'll be a priority download for me, but I am gladdened to know it is available 24/7.
By the bye, I did finish A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe.
>19 karenmarie: I have A Journal of the Plague Year by Defoe on my shelves, a nice Heritage Slipcased edition. Me too. That's what I read.
>20 jessibud2: Oh yes. All my shots are up to date, Shelley. :-)
>22 benitastrnad: >23 charl08: and also >19 karenmarie: Thanks for the reading suggestions. The Gawande book I read a couple of months ago included a piece on the battle to eradicate polio, focusing on a public health response to an outbreak in India. Was or wasn't the child inoculated? Who else didn't get the Sabin? Etc.
So I kinda took a week or more off from LT. Reading slowed, too. I've got a stack of books—well, maybe five or six—that have bookmarks in them. Books that I do intend to finish. Soon. Within days (weeks, perhaps). (One of my bookmarks is a paper scrap with 12 titles jotted on it, the 12 titles that I've started and fantasize about completing.) (Actually, there are 14 titles on the list, but I did finish 2 of them. So those titles are lined out. On a roll!!)
Love your topper! How do they do that? : )
>25 weird_O: "And rounding out the Top 100: Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson (111)...it is available 24/7."
Phew! I was really worried about that. Now I feel better.
I keep forgetting about Project Gutenberg. I need to bookmark it and look at it frequently.
Yay for Heritage slipcased editions. They are pleasing to the eye and a joy to read.
I haven’t been able to get to LT much this last week either. It is the end of the semester and there is lots to do.
By god, I am going to rise up from this reading slump. Working on Alice Walker and several Weird ReportsTM.
Nothing like a library book sale to make me sit up. Went to the butcher's and saw a flier in the window. Kutztown Public Library. $5-a-bag, meaning of course all the books you can fit into a standard paper grocery bag for 5 bucks. My kinda sale!
Here's what I fit into my bag. (Plus one other paperback, The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, which my wife started reading before I even had a chance to snap a "Welcome to MY Library!" photo.) Here's the list:
Yes, yes. Just over two bits per book.
Ooo, I want to read that one about Jim Henson!! I read the Frederick Douglass one earlier this year, and of course, I have read and loved the Bryson one. Nice haul. I am truly grateful that I don't find library sales very often....
>32 weird_O: Quite a haul, Bill! Did you hit the AAUW sale in Bethlehem this week, too, or are you planning to go tomorrow (which is their bag sale day)? I went yesterday but found it disappointing: fewer books than last year overall, and I ended up walking out empty-handed (perhaps because I had just bought several at the Hunterdon County (NJ) library sale earlier in the morning. I also skipped the Friends of the Emmaus Public Library sale yesterday for time reasons; I thought I'd get there just at the time they closed briefly to get set up for the bag sale, and I thought there'd be an hour-long wait (I was wrong and will know better next year, as it's just a 15-minute interruption).
>32 weird_O: You may need an intervention, Wild Bill! Grins...You are a book buying son of a gun! But I have to admit, you have impeccable taste.
Happy Sunday, my friend.
>33 jessibud2: >34 harrygbutler: >35 msf59: When it rains, y'all, it pours. I didn't get to the AAUW sale, Harry, because we headed in the opposite direction, to West Reading for hair styling and Wyomissing for a little retail. Hairs' all good, and I had time, while my wife was being coiffed, to hit My Hometown Library to scan the availables on the book-sale balcony. Bugger! Spent twice the money for fewer than half the books. Still...
Not so bad. Already I have stuck an eyeball into the opening pages of a couple of the books.
The retail business was a huge bust. Got nothing but tired.
Finished The Crofter and the Laird by my long-form journalistic idol John McPhee. This was an early book, written in the late sixties. I got this copy Saturday in the $5 bag o' books. Very good read.
Congrats on all the new books, Bill! I love Miss Pym Disposes (and actually everything by Josephine Tey) and lots of the other titles.
Now you just gotta read 'em, right?
>36 weird_O: - I've read the Wagner and the Bryson, from this short list. Loved the Bryson
>39 benitastrnad: Oh oh, Benita. How did you get into my head?
I read your comment to my wife. She snorked. Ice cream rules my life; gotta have some every evening. It is the substance I...I...no it isn't abuse...it is love. Oh, gotta have it.
As for Bryson, I am reading a few columns each day from I'm a Stranger Here Myself. But not binging. The collection I'm reading is nice because you can down a couple of pieces and put it aside. (Not like ice cream, where you just have to down it ALL. Heh heh.)
I'm also reading a Josephine Tey, McPhee's latest, a longish essay by Pete Hamill, that lobster thing by DFW, a novel by Alice Walker. Probably one or two others I'm pretending to forget.
In preparation for an overseas frolic, my wife and I have to get new passports. Had them last century, but...
So we collected the forms and filled them out, collected birth certificates and made the required photocopies (in black and white, not color), photocopied drivers licenses. Made an appointment at the post office and, checkbook in hand, showed up right on time. Uh...uh...uh. The birth certificates we have aren't suitable now, because our parents names aren't on them. (The p.o. clerk seemed to enjoy telling us this.) Recommended we go to our state rep. for new ones because the rep. can expedite the application.
So we drove directly to the rep's office, 15 miles away, only to find it "temporarily closed". Go to a fire company (about 15 miles away). The bagel place beside the rep's office had a fire that cause smoke and water damage to the office, hence the temporary location. But the rep's assistant, once we found her, was helpful. Gave us the necessary forms and photocopies. Thursday's shot. And so are we.
Yesterday, as directed by said rep's assistant, we raced up the NE extension of the PA Tpk to Scranton to get same day issues. Have to be there before 11:30 a.m. or you won't get 'em same day.
Here's a cap of me zooming up the tpk.
So it worked. We got spankin' new birth certificates. Back to a selected P.O. for photos and processing and the writing of high-dollar checks. But we get the weekend off so I can mow.
Hooray for the weekend off! I got tired just reading through all of your jumping through hoops - nicely done. Hoping that your weekend is full of fabulous!
i hope your trip is worth all that rigmarole, Bill! When do you leave and where are you going?
My father never did get a passport. He was born at home and didn’t have a doctor’s signature on it. He would have had to get one through his state representative as well, so he just said forget it. He didn’t like to go anywhere anyway. He always told me that his goal in life was to get so he didn’t have to leave Republic County Kansas, and that preferably any travel he needed to do was not conditional on using anything with an internal combustion engine or a horse. Given that he didn’t need no stinkin’ passport! So there US government!
>41 weird_O: I feel myself speeding along like that most of the time.
Have a great Sunday, Bill.
>41 weird_O: And are there specific places included in this overseas frolic or is that still to be decided?
Congrats on getting all the passport stuff done. BTW, you look great in your roadster.
Since you asked, the destination is Ireland. Son the Elder and his family are taking my wife to Ireland for her
We'll be there about a week, leaving June 26. Son the Elder and his bestest gf spent a semester in Ireland back in the 1990s, and they've been back several times since, taking their three girls. They are setting the agenda and handling all the details. I know we'll be in Dublin and Connemara (near where "The Quiet Man" was filmed) and Donegal.
We were going in August, I thought, but our benefactors have too many different and overlapping commitments over the summer. The twins will be seniors and want to look at colleges. Tara (our DiL) is going to prison in Michigan at some point. So the trip's been moved up, and suddenly, we've got to expedite our passport applications.
>44 benitastrnad: My grandmother was the last of 12, born on the family farm, and no one got around to listing her appearance on earth in the church records. In the early 1950s, she was invited by her younger daughter to spend several months with her and her family in Venezuela. Not having any record of her birth was an obstacle to getting a passport. I think the solution had to do with having one of her late husband's brothers testify before the DA that he had been present when my grandmother married his brother. Ergo, she existed! They did have a proper marriage license. (And I've got her passport.)
Edited to Correct: I just checked my ancestral records (ha ha): According to my mother's verbal history, recorded by my brother, a passport could be issued on the basis of a spouse's birth certificate. So my grandmother could have gotten a passport without her own birth certificate if she had my grandfather's. But he was dead and no one could find his b.c. So an older surviving brother, Frank, in the words of my mother, "went to the District Attorney and he swore that he was present at the birth of his brother, John, and with the evidence of that, a birth certificate was granted to John and because my mother was married to John before a certain year, that meant that she could get a birth certificate." See. I had it easy.
>48 weird_O: A P.M. from Marianne alerted me to a reluctance (on you all's part) to ask why I said that my DiL Tara was going to prison. She's taking part in a literature program for prison inmates. I can't tell you the details because I don't know them. I think Tara has been assisting the developer of a curriculum for Northampton County, PA, prison. This is an off-shoot. I imagine she'll be at a prison in Michigan for a week or so.
All is well.
PS: We hit the Hamburg, PA, post office, got photos taken (no smiling. And take off your glasses!), applications reviewed, new birth certificates appropriated, and checks written. Holy moley! Almost 450 bucks! For two passports. Well, we'll be able to visit Canada now (or soon, anyway).
Howdy, Bill. Hooray for your Ireland trip. I was there, in the early 80s, while stationed in Germany. I visited family there over Christmas. I saw very little of the country but had wonderful time. I stayed in a suburb of Dublin.
>50 weird_O: think how many bags of books you could have gotten for that $450. 90 bags. At least 1000 books.
Our $5 bag of books sale is next Saturday. They do it twice a year. I am seriously thinking of skipping it for the first time in many years. I know I will likely go ...
>50 weird_O: Yeah that explanation is a lot less concerning than the ones my fevered imagination conjured up.
>51 msf59: My wife was skimming through guidebooks just this morning, Mark, and expressing her doubts about how far we could go outside of Dublin. I reminded her that we don't have to fret about that. Our benefactors have some experience in the country and are contriving the schedule and map. Sounds like they'll be able to rent a van, so all 7 of us can travel together.
>52 RBeffa: My obsession isn't that crippling, Ron. :D Yes, I like the shopping, but I haven't yet accumulated at these library sales 1000 books that I think I might read (given the longevity)
I think the passports will be a better investment.
>53 Oberon: Sorry about that, Erik. I thought it would be a fun teaser. Not, as I discovered.
So with all the sexual misconduct being exposed, I guess I'm not surprised to read that David Foster Wallace was in that brotherhood. I ran across this item on a blog I visit pretty regularly called Eschaton. The blogger is Duncan Black, an economist.
That final line was a link to a web article about the trials DFW subjected an object of his obsession to. Here it is:
It's starting to look like President Obama is the only male writer who hasn't abused his power.
>54 weird_O: You know I was teasing about 90 bags of books. I got my expired passport renewed and then my wife did hers - just got it a few weeks ago. Have not been out of the country in forever.
I look at my likely remaining lifetime and know there isn't a chance of my reading all the books that appeal to me - I'm pretty sure I don't need to accumulate more - and a friend of my wife has been downsizing and routing science fiction books an magazines my way. But book sales, just like a book shop, are a form of entertainment for me even if I only buy one. I love looking and sometimes I find a pleasant surprise ...
In >24 weird_O:, I mentioned the Brothers Grimm and the folk tales they collected and published in the 19th century. I mentioned too the two-volume selection of tales, translated by Lore Segal and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, called The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm. Several tales are quite short. Here's one, and new to me it was.
>50 weird_O: I thought it was something like that (DIL going to prison). I thought I saw a little wink in your eye. So glad that this was the case!
Just finished John McPhee's latest book, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. What a great read! Stuff I wish I'd learned 50 years ago. Both thumbs up.
Next to finish the Bryson collection I'm three-quarters through, and then on to some Irish writers I've plucked from The TBR Colossus. Just this afternoon I noted Paul C. listed Irish writers as a category from which to read, one a month. And I'm going to Ireland in about six weeks.
>60 karenmarie: This one is for you. Another short tale by the Brothers Grimm from the Segal/Sendak collection The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm.
There suddenly came a lot of little goblins.
>41 weird_O: Ha, you need a vehicle like that to take you through the hoops of officialdom, Bill.
# 32. News Is a Verb: Journalism at the End of the Twentieth Century by Pete Hamill Finished 5/6/18
The Weird ReportTM
To me, this is a fairly forgettable small book published in 1998. As the twentieth century drew to a close, in other words. Hamill begins with his account of working as a reporter and editor for several big-city newspapers, prominently the New York Daily News. He gives his view of the decline of newspapers and his thoughts on how a resurrection might be achieved. Focus on serious news, devoting more space to serious news, and eschewing vapid celebrity and entertainment piece. Give meaningful roles to women. But all is built on newspapering in 1998, 20 years ago.
I sat up and took notice in the final chapter, when Hamill addressed "the celebrity virus." I quote:
Best passage in the book. Now you don't have to read the entire 100 pages.
The Moravians are going to transmogrify their historic bookstore—the oldest continuously operated book store in America—into a Barnes & Noble-run college bookstore. The shop was established in 1745 and has been in different locations, but it has been operating continuously. Ownership is transferring to Moravian College, and the college is going to give management over to B&N. Sad.
The truth is, it's a pretty crappy bookstore. If you go in looking for a specific title, they won't have it. Judi and I stopped in to get information about the pub date of a Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling book that was due out (this a couple of years ago) and the clerk never heard of the book. Then we were told that two copies had been ordered, but one of them arrived with a damaged jacket. Two copies?!!
Instead of B&N, the Moravians need to seek tutoring from those successful independent book stores—the Strand, Powell's, those backed by Ann Patchett, Garrison Keillor, Louise Erdrich. It needs to be a BOOK store.
>69 karenmarie: >70 benitastrnad: Oh, I'm glad you liked it.
I see that Tom Wolfe, long a favorite author, has died. His early stuff was wonderful; I remember reading articles of his in the Sunday Herald Tribune, back when I was in college. I did reread The Right Stuff just a few years ago, but I've not read any of his novels after The Bonfire of the Vanities.
Having just finished John McPhee's Draft No. 4, his disdain for authors who alleged total recall of interviews and conversations without taking notes. McPhee named Truman Capote in particular, but I wonder how assiduous Wolfe was about his note taking and fact-checking.
He certainly was flamboyant, wasn't he? He was an alum of Washington & Lee in Lexington, VA, where my sister lives, and she'd roll her eyes when recounting his grand visits to his alma mater. I don't care what she says or thinks about him, I am going to miss him.
>67 weird_O: Pete Hamill was on the money there wasn't he?
"No offense against taste is beyond Trump" indeed and twenty years ago he was the same.
>67 weird_O: I am reminded of Al Wilson's song "The Snake". We knew what he was when we picked him up... (Interestingly, I just found that Trump has used that song himself in the context of immigration. I love the irony.)
>68 weird_O: I visited the Moravian Bookshop a few weeks ago, and I have to say I was underwhelmed. It's not set up for comfortable browsing. As you noted, the inventory was not impressive, the clerks were not helpful. I asked them if they didn't have any bookmarks with the shop's name on them, after seeing several piles of bookmarks promoting new releases and such. They looked at each other and agreed that there was a "box of them here somewhere". They rustled them up, asked me how many I wanted and gave me a handful, putting the box back under the counter where they found it. If you were managing the "oldest continuously operating bookstore in the country", wouldn't you be SELLING things (refrigerator magnets, bookmarks, totebags) that SAID that? Sad, indeed.
>55 weird_O: Another sad and disturbing revelation. Thanks for sharing it, Bill. Why does this happen only with super-talented authors, and not crappy ones? The power-trip, thing? i am quite bothered by the Diaz accusations too. I love this guy's work!
>67 weird_O: Sorry, your Hamill pick was not more satisfying. I am really enjoying Tabloid City. He is a talented story-teller.
>72 PaulCranswick: Hamill certainly had Trump pegged. And I'm sitting here speculating about bookhorning A Drinking Life into the remaining days of May. I recalled that you liked it.
>73 laytonwoman3rd: I wish we could like that book shop, but it isn't to be. Ownership currently is vested in a pension fund for Moravian ministers. On June 1, I think, ownership goes to Moravian College. Yes, sad.
>74 msf59: No good answers to gropers (and worse). I pretty much knew what I was getting into with the Hamill I chose, Mark. Note that Paul C. commented favorably on A Drinking Life, which I have, and I will try to fit it in before Memorial Day. A lotta lotta books competing for my attention. With more arriving every week.
>75 RBeffa: I kinda wanted to tackle Infinite Jest, but I never wanted to commit the necessary time to it. And don't own a copy. Now there's another reason to put it off.
>76 weird_O: I saved an email that an old friend wrote me almost 7 years ago - it piqued my interest enough to have a look at Infinite Jest. But as i said I did not get far. Here is what my friend wrote:
Me? I've been reading the same book for over 6 months now and I'm
barely halfway through, which might be a little more understandable
when I tell you it has over 400 footnotes.. If anyone has actually
made it to the end of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, without
his or her head exploding, lemme know, i got a few (hundred) questions
I loved Tom Wolfe's social commentary - Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. I also loved The Bonfire of the Vanities even though for some reason I didn't keep it on my shelves.
A lotta lotta books competing for my attention. Oh yes, way too many good recommendations and reviews in our lovely group.
>77 RBeffa: Gee, Ron. Mark liked it. Funny thing about footnotes. Nicholson Baker used footnote, loong ones, in his novella The Mezzanine, and they worked fine for me. DFW's use of them in his pieces collected in Consider the Lobster just didn't work for me. Just the technical issue of the point-size of the type making them difficult to read worked against them.
>78 karenmarie: The obituary in the NYTimes brought back Wolfe's over-the-top word salads in his early writing. I haven't read anything more recent than The Bonfire..., but I do have Charlotte Simmons and A Man in Full making my TBR Great Still. Ought to dash through one of them. Hahaha.
The "lotta lotta books" owe less to LT recommendations and reviews and way more to library book sales. :D
Just finished Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo, which I bought for a buck on Wednesday.
The "lotta lotta books" owes less to LT recommendations and reviews and way more to library book sales.
And so, once again I hit the Bethlehem Area Public Library book sale. Twice. Built The Colossus TBR up another three-and-a-half feet. Just what I needed; I feel so much better now.
On Wednesday, I went by myself and discovered the facility overrun by those scurvy pickers, building inventory for used book sellers. Nevertheless, I did find some first-rate books, including two Man-Booker winners, a National Book Award winner, and an almost Pulitzer winner. I went on Saturday with my book-shopping pal Gig, a mostly retired elementary-school librarian, whose daughter married my son. She went with a list, and actually found a couple of books she wanted. She pointed out Elmet to me, a Man-Booker finalist last year. I saw one scurvy picker/scanner, but the aisles weren't obstructed, as they had been Wednesday. So here's what I got:
Yay. You got some good'uns, Bill.
I particularly like seeing Erik Larson and George Saunders. Plus, I read Agatha Christie’s Autobiography exactly 10 years ago, in May of 2008, and was fascinated.
Nice haul! I have read 3 titles from Wednesday's pile and 2 from Saturday's though I own a few of them as yet unread as well.
You got some good titles in that Cranswickian book haul! Now you just have to read them.
What great book hauls, Bill. A River Runs Through It is one of my favorite books ever.
Things Are Queer (1972)
# 27. Duane Michals: Portraits by Duane Michals Finished 4/22/18
The Weird ReportTM
Duane Michals is a photographer whose work has fascinated me for a long time. Mention Michals to me and what pops into my mind is the enigmatic kinds of series he creates, typified by the nine-shot "story" at the top. For Christmas, I got copy of Michals' newest book, Duane Michals: Portraits. There's not a whole lot to read in it. But what a lot to ponder.
Michals' images are thoughtful, whimsical, playful, uninhibited, provocative, intelligent, innovative, ethereal, spiritual without being religious, challenging. His subjects included in Duane Michals: Portraits include:
"The easiest kind of portraiture is making stars look beautiful," he writes.
A Letter from My Father, 1975 (below)
"Brother and sister humorists David and Amy Sedaris, with complementary injuries, 2000s."
"Gravelly voiced singer and composer Tom Waits, 1980s."
"Chuck Close, celebrated portrait artist, 2016"
"Portrait of Electroman and Parents, 20124; Electroman is an unsuccessful writer of children's stories."
>89 weird_O: - Oh, I love this!! It is as if each picture in this series pulls back the zoom lens a little bit more in each pic of the sequence. Very clever, and mind-bending. I have not heard of Duane Michals before. Thanks for this!
FWIW, I've started reading A River Runs Through It. How could I not with recoms from both Joe and Linda.
I'm pleased to have introduced a few of you, Shelley, Joe, and Mark, to Duane Michals.
Good morning, Bill!
>89 weird_O: Thanks for a wonderful and interesting review. I'm another person who has never even heard of Duane Michals. Things are Queer 1972 is amazing, and I didn't recognize David Sedaris, much less his sister Amy until I read the caption.
>95 weird_O: Even though I didn't care for his fiction, and am fairly sure I would have strongly disliked him as a person, I am nevertheless saddened to have lost an unquestionable giant of the American literature scene.
The Weird ReportTM
Reading that a Hogarth Shakespeare take on Macbeth had been published caught my interest. But who was this Jo Nesbø who authored it? Wiki informed me that Nesbø is a Norwegian author of crime/mystery novels. Blood on Snow revealed to me just how skilled an inventor and writer of such material he is.
Olav Johansen, Nesbø's narrator, tells us he's a "fixer," by which he means a killer. An Oslo drug lord took Olav on and tried him in several capacities before realizing that the one task Olav is good at is killing, mostly competitors. But Olav struggles with the greater context of every murder. Tormented by knowing that one of his victims had a wife and several small children, he gives her the payment the killing earned him. Assigned to wring money from an addict, Olav learns that the girlfriend has offered to work as a prostitute to liquidate the debt. He extricates her from her bargain and tries to hide her from both her addict boyfriend and the drug lord's debt collector. Moreover, though she's plain looking and has a limp, he's drawn to her.
Olav's torment ratchets up when the boss commissions him to fix his (the boss's) wife; she's having an affair. Renting a hotel room directly across from the boss's apartment (yeah, convenient, isn't it?) he spends several days observing the unfaithful wife. Her lover shows up and beats her and then fucks her. (Sorry, but that's what he does.) What to make of this? Is the wife really unfaithful? Or is she a victim of this brute?
Olav's considered response to what he's witnessed releases a blizzard (it's Norway) of unpleasant violence and woe. A masterful creation, a masterful conclusion. I give 'er both thumbs up.
Now I must find a copy of Nesbø's Macbeth.
>101 msf59: >102 laytonwoman3rd: I haven't read a Hogarth Shakespeare, though I recall a lot of chatter about the Anne Tyler and Margaret Atwood books. I've read several books by both. But other than those two, and now Nesbø, the writers of the series are unknown to me. I did just acquire a novel, Zoo Time, by Howard Jacobson.
Linda, I thought maybe you'd enjoy this dismissal of one of your least-favorite writers. Duncan Black, who blogs as Atrios on the blog Eschaton, commented yesterday on Philip Roth:
"I think the books I read weren't his more dick lit-ish ones, for which many great white men authors of a certain generation have received an overdue backlash due to their creepiness and cluelessness about women (charitably). I don't know how anybody can read Updike, and not just because of that."
The Weird ReportTM
Who has not at least heard of the plight of Gregor Samsa, though probably not knowing the name, who awakens one morning to slowly realize he's turned into a cockroach. There is a problem around which to construct a plot! This story was written by Franz Kafka and published in 1915. The characters and settings and conflicts all had to be mentally visualized by the reader. Kafka created the story with words. Just words.
But The Metamorphosis is extremely visual, so it is only natural it would be embellished with illustrations by some publisher. Storyteller and cartoonist R. Crumb published an illustrated biography of Kafka, and he included in it a version of The Metamorphosis in a comic format.
Illustrator Peter Kuper adapted the story as a graphic novel. Very effective, with shifting framing and viewpoints. Kuper has a heavily inked style and packs a lot of emotion—mostly angry emotion—into his drawings. I don't particularly like his style, but that didn't keep me from reading/viewing the entire book. It is, of course, consumed more quickly than Kafka's text, but it leaves less to the imagination. It's okay.
One of the early pages:
While I was scanning the shelves in the sale room of the Bethlehem Library, my twin granddaughters, Helen and Claire, were at the DMV taking—and passing—their driving tests. A piece of the afternoon, they spent getting dolled up for the Junior Prom.
Helen on the left, Claire on the right.
I know, I'm only the granddad. But WOW!
>105 weird_O: It's OK, Granddad....your opinion is worth more than most, unless I miss my guess. And they are both gorgeous young women. My daughter and my niece were my Dad's only granddaughters, and they thought he hung the moon. What he thought of them was fairly well summed up by "WOW!" as well.
The Weird ReportTM
After a rapid decline, Molly Lane dies, leaving behind a husband and many past lovers. Two in particular, classical composer Clive Linley and newspaper editor Vernon Halliday, are miffed about her passing and especially about the way it transpired.
Outside the funeral chapel, Clive and Vernon, vent quietly to each other; they avoid George and Molly's other friends and lovers, including the foreign secretary. Says Clive:
The foreign secretary, Julian Garmony, stirs animosity because he is one of Molly's former lovers, because he's success and powerful, and because he doesn't let Clive or Vernon—or George—quite forget it. Clive is beholden to Garmony for a commission to compose a symphony celebrating the millennium, which he is struggling to complete on time. Vernon, as he gets back to work at the sensationalist—and failing—newspaper he edits, is served with a court injunction directing him to NOT publish, distribute, disseminate, etc. etc,. any photos of John Julius Garmony.
In short order, both Clive and Vernon recognize that the same slow death could take them. Clive approaches Vernon, asking him to be his representative to execute his desired end when the time comes. A day later, Vernon asks the same of Clive. Two like-minded souls.
Clive is almost finished with his symphony but for the signature melody. He's just can't come up with anything. Back at Vernon's newspaper, the editor must decide whether or not to publish sensational, scandalous material that's been brought to him by, of all people, George Lane. Vernon shares his dilemma with Clive, who argues vehemently that it would be immoral for him to publish. Then Clive heads off for a hike in the Lake District, hoping it will inspire him. It does. But it also exposes him to a potentially dangerous confrontation between a man and woman. Suddenly the moral dilemma is his. Hearing several days later about Clive's choice to sneak away rather than intervene—he had the melody in his head; he had to get it written down—Vernon is horrified.
The denouement comes in Amsterdam, where Clive's symphony will be performed for the first time. And I liked it. (Nooo! Not the symphony, the denouement.) The entire book brought Evelyn Waugh to my mind. A Handful of Dust. Scoop. The Loved One.
Amsterdam won the 1998 Booker Prize.
>105 weird_O: - Well, they are certainly lovely young ladies, and there is nothing like a prom to point that out and make one feel old! Wow, indeed!! :-)
Great review of Amsterdam, Bill. I enjoyed it as well.
Your granddaughters are lovely!
>108 jessibud2: Yep. These photos, and ones of my friends' children graduating from high school and college reminded me that next month marks my 40th year of graduation from high school. Many of the physicians and nurses I work with, and all of the residents and medical students, weren't alive when I received my high school diploma. Yikes.
>109 kidzdoc: - I know that feeling, Darryl. Most of my friends have grandchildren already yet I always feel *younger* because I don't! How's that for warped (or delusional) thinking! ;-)
And I am older than you!
>109 kidzdoc: Ahh, Darryl, you are such a kid. I went to my 50th class reunion several years ago. Got a school bulletin just today and saw that one of my best friends at that time has died. He and his wife were married 48 years. Judi and I will be married 48 years at the end of July. I think 2/3 of my classmates have died. Morbid.
Hey, I'm still here!
>110 jessibud2: My wife has a friend, a younger friend, who has great-grandchildren.
I finished a book last night. How about that!
>111 weird_O: - My mother was only a week past her 20th birthday when I was born so if I had followed that trend, I'd be in that league by now too. But I didn't. Ha!
But yes, morbid. I have recently found myself reading obituaries. And even knowing some of the names there. Sigh...
On the subject of generations and age and what-not, my daughter was home for a week recently, and her best friend from college visited. The friend is a college professor (they are both in their late 30's),and noted that the incoming freshmen will have been born in the 21st century. This freaks them out. Imagine how WE feel, I said. My high school graduation was 50 years ago as well. Nobody seems to be gearing up for any kind of reunion, and I know they're not ALL dead...
>113 laytonwoman3rd: John McPhee has a chapter called "Frame of Reference" in his book Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. Writers need to ensure that examples they provide are meaningful are known, to the target readership. As a sort of continuing education project, he visited a granddaughter's senior English class at Brookline (MA) High School and polled the 19 students.
# 31. Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey Finished 5/6/18
The Weird ReportTM
Lucy Prim is invited to talk to students—all girls— at the Leys Physical Training College. A former French teacher, Miss Pym was delivered from the classroom when she received a modest legacy upon the deaths of her parents. Pursuing an interest in psychology, she researched and wrote a psychology book, which became a best-seller. It's through her book and her friendship with the college's head, Henrietta Hodge, that she gets the invitation.
She's put up in a spartan room in a dormitory, and she's introduced to the college's routine and students when an alarm bell rings at 5 a.m. She hears girls calling to one another, exchanging gossip and rumors, getting washed up and dressed for a new day. Then she actually meets several girls face to face. She's drawn in, and when the students urge her to stay for several days, she agrees. She gets to know more of the students and to know more about individuals. She mixes with the faculty. Increasingly impressed, Miss Pym finds herself willingly staying through finals and graduation.
At one point, Miss Pym has a chance encounter with the parents of a star student, sharing tea with them in a picturesque tea room. (Well, it's picturesque in my mind.) The girl doesn't know her parents are so close by but not contacting her; they don't want to distract her during finals. Miss Pym develops impressions of the parents, but also fleshes out her impression of the girl.
Interesting, to me, is that only three men play significant roles in this novel. One is the star-student's father, a country doctor of modest means who is greatly loved and respected by his daughter. Another is the janitor in the gym, who opens and closes the much-used facility and who keeps it clean and all its equipment in top shape. The third is a once famous, now fading stage actor, who serves to cast light on a particular faculty member, his cousin as it turns out, who routinely avoids and disparages him.
The vast majority of the story is used to introduce the characters, allowing them to reveal themselves, and be observed and (privately, in her own mind) assessed by Miss Pym. Conflict is introduced quite early in the story with the revelation that Miss Hodge has been asked by officials of Arlinghurst (only the best girls' school in England) if there is a Leys student suitable for a post at the school. Everyone—students and teachers alike—is astonished. Weirdly, to me, this highly selective school seems to have delegated all authority over filling their vacancy to Henrietta Hodge. ("Just send over your best girl, and she's got the job.") Naturally, students and faculty and Miss Pym alike really chew over this appointment. Who will it be?
The choice is revealed as the book is running out of pages. Naturally, Miss Hodge bungles the opportunity by naming the least felicitous candidate, then stonewalling dissent from faculty and, ultimately, the students. It does end, and it is left to the reader to decide if a crime has been committed, if justice is served for all parties, if all's well that ends well.
Both of my thumbs are up. Well, actually it's only my left thumb, but it is up twice.
Nary a spoiler! Good review, interesting point about Arlinghurst allowing Miss Hodge to fill the vacancy. The ending really is a shocker.
>81 weird_O: Nice haul, Bill. Our library sale is in a couple of weeks. We'll see what happens...
Your granddaughters are lovely. What fun grandkids are!
>114 weird_O: I always think about this when I'm teaching. I gave the students a choice to argue that Bob Dylan deserved the Nobel Prize for literature, and someone asked, "Who is Bob Dylan?" When my kids were younger, I was more in touch with concerns of students, but now I frequently have to ask them about their references.
7 June 1971
This one got past me 'cause I wasn't paying attention. But...
I had, on this June day many years ago, spent the afternoon being introduced to a new job that I'd accepted. In the evening, I showed up for work at the local newspaper, gave my two-week notice, then absented myself from the newsroom. Several hours later I returned and observed a fellow reporter sorting through clippings about J.I. Rodale. Rodale had started the publishing company whose job offered I'd accepted.
"What's up, Dan?" I asked.
"He just died," Dan replied, meaning of course J.I. Rodale.
"Ah, come on," I said.
"No, it's true. He was on the Dick Cavett show and just died right there." So that confirmed to me that he was making it up.
Except, well, he wasn't. As is the norm in network television, Cavett's program was broadcast after the 11 p.m. news, but was taped earlier in the day. J.I. had been featured in a cover story in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, and this "organic gardening" thing was catching people's interest. So Cavett had him on his show, allowed him to make his ill-timed assertions, and rotated to his next guest, newspaperman and writer Pete Hamill. J.I. had moved from the guest chair to the couch, but then made what was described as a snoring noise. And Cavett got to ask if there was a doctor in the audience.
Despite being asked repeatedly if I knew what I was doing, I did leave the paper and I worked at Rodale Press for the next 27 years. And 7 June was my so-called anniversary date, from which years-of-service benefits were calculated.
Quite a day.
Trying to sort out competing reading interests; too many things I want to read right now.
On Thursday last (7 June 2018) photographer David Douglas Duncan died. He was 102. He photographed combat in the Pacific theater in WW II, in Korea, and in Vietnam. Yet he survived to a very ripe old age.
I've got five of the many books he produced. This Is War! A Photo Narrative in Three Parts, about the Korean War, and I Protest!, about Vietnam. Picasso's Picassos and The Private World of Pablo Picasso about THAT Spanish artist. And Self-Portrait USA about the 1968 political conventions. Not a lot of words in any other them, but I'm shifting attention from one to another to another, reading what words there are and studying the photos.
I sifted through a photographic impression of Limerick, Ireland called Through Irish Eyes, which tosses around references to Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. Prepping for a week in Ireland. But nowhere near Limerick. Hmmm.
In addition, I'm tasting various "chapter books", looking for a compelling read. In the mix: Christie's Crooked House and Doyle's A Star Called Henry.
>124 m.belljackson: The job was usually interesting, Marianne. Good times and bad. And now that company is gone. Just keep that pension check coming!
Monday was (minor) coincidence day. Had a secondary cataract removed in a laser treatment. An hour of form-signing before a 2-minute procedure. But I had along The Private World of Pablo Picasso, and it caught the eye of the doctor. He snatched it up and looked through it, questioning me about which of Picasso's amours was "best". Oh boy.
So a doctor interested in Picasso. And I'm interested (now) in Picasso.
On the way home from the treatment, I snuck into the Goodwill store to see if I could get a comforting fix of used books. Very poor selection. BUT—coincidence number two—I found a clean copy of Kitchen Confidential by the recently deceased Anthony Bourdain.
Hey Cataract Buddy! I had one removed on Monday as well. You are exactly right, more time doing prep and waiting around after to make sure I didn't pass out than the actual procedure. Mine was a full on removal and insert of implant, so it took a whole 10 minutes. Now a month's worth of drops.
I was reading a Philip K Dick novel, no one was sophisticated enough to ask me about it. :)
I had the lens-replacement cataract surgery more than 15 years ago. This was a laser procedure, by the same doctor, to erase a film forming on the right eye's replacement lens.
I might have asked about a PKD novel.
I revisited The Private World of Pablo Picasso because the author/photographer died on 7 June. David Douglas Duncan. I'm realizing that I've had the book roughly 50 years. Holy smokes! A paperback edition for $1.95. Holy smokes!
It only took just under three years for me to need that laser surgery. I asked my doctor as he was zapping my eyes if he liked doing this part of his job and he said it was his favorite part - he likened it to a video game.
>130 mahsdad: Well okay. I'll take that as a caution and maybe pass on The Maze of Death. Imagining And Then There Were None, which I have read, on acid is disconcerting, never mind the alien planet. Hahaha.
>131 karenmarie: See, that's why I didn't take up eye surgery. Never good at video games.
But I'm surprise what a difference that two minutes has made. When I got my eyes checked in March, the doc said a prescription change in the right eye wouldn't improve its vision; left eye pretty much does it all. But I do believe my right eye is seeing much more better.
Finished Christie's Crooked House. Real good.
Happy Father's Day, Bill. I hope you are having a great day and getting some reading in to boot.
Annalise, sixth and final granddaughter, on the day of her coming out, 6.16.18
>134 weird_O: Oh, my gosh, is she beautiful! Hooray for Annalise. They could not have picked a better grandchild for the finale.
>134 weird_O: What a sweetie! You are so lucky in your grandkids, Bill.
Hi Bill! Definitely a cutie. Happy Tuesday to you.
Starting to pack for your trip yet?
>135 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Other than getting Annie's father conceived, I had nothing to do with picking her to be the final grand. She just is (grand) and I am just very very lucky.
>136 weird_O: Hmmm. Is that IT, Bill. Another empty promise.
>137 Berly: She is, she is, Kim. And meeting her and holding her and smooching her made Father's Day all the more better.
>138 Familyhistorian: I am that, Meg. I think it all is my wife's doing. Our kids are The Best, and now their kids are The Best.
>139 jessibud2: Annie is nothing if not sweet and content. In 5 hours, she didn't cry or squawk, but she did make steady eye contact and smile, a lot.
>140 laytonwoman3rd: We did give her a book for her older sister Olivia to read to her. Liv is finishing the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia, which we gave her for Christmas. She's not quite eight.
>141 BLBera: :-)
>142 karenmarie: Yet again, :-). We haven't yet got the luggage off the shelf, Karen, but we're getting our costumes set. It was 94F here yesterday, about 84F today; in Ireland, the daytime temps are in the low to mid 60s. We're also getting the eyes dotted and the tees crossed for the kennel. Bridie will hate us for a week after we return.
>143 m.belljackson: She does, doesn't she?
WoW! We're back on line (and with a landline that has a dial tone) after 2 1/2 days. Dump truck with the bed tipped up snagged the Verizon cable, ripped down about 200 feet of it, and snapped the pole in two, launching a substantial chuck across the road. I drove by the spot four times today and still can't imagine what the truck driver was doing.
Dealing with Verizon on the (cell) phone Tuesday night was maddening (gosh, what a surprise!) First, Rosie the Robot offered to have a tech come to my home on...oh...let's see, Monday is the earliest availability. After 45 minutes in the queue, I spoke to a person who checked this and that, then promised a tech would be out the next day (Wednesday) between 8 am and 12 noon. At noon, the guy shows and tells us what's happened and promises service will be restored Thursday late afternoon. And so it was.
Our first call was a spammer.
I don't understand why Verizon didn't know the line was cut as soon as it happened. I don't understand why Verizon didn't know, six hours after the mishap, that that was why I didn't have dial tone or Internet. Bozos. %#$...
In the down time, I raced through Kate Atkinson's Case Histories, apparently the first Jackson Brodie novel. Good but not great. Now alternating between Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending and Michael Chabon's The Escapist (a graphic short-story collection).
Is this guy walking or bicycling? Wouldn't two bicycle tires be cheaper than 6 pairs of Adidas shoes?
Asking for a friend.
>146 weird_O: - LOL! You mean 7 pairs..... ;-)
>145 weird_O: - Something similar happened to me last week. After being in Montreal for 5 days, I came home to no landline, no tv and no internet. Apparently someone down the road was digging and broke the line. I used my cell to call and was told it would be 3 days for a tech to come out. Called 3 times, got 3 different people and the last one sent a tech out the next day. But sheesh!! 15 minutes and all was restored.
Verizon is pooh. I've been struggling with their service for my Mom lately. They really discourage you from holding on the line when you call. They want you to leave your name and number for a call-back. The one time I did that it was six hours later before they called me, and I was no longer at my mother's, so couldn't implement their suggestions. I've had the automaton tell me wait time to speak to a representative was 45 minutes to an hour and 12 minutes; waited 5 minutes and got a person. Not a person who could solve anything, but still.
I have read all of the Jackson Brodie novels by Kate Atkinsoni and really like them. I am sorry that she hasn’t written more about him and his tops turvy life, but I understand the need for a writer to move on to other topics and characters that they want to explore. I feel that the series is not finished, but know that I will have to wait for the author to get back to it.
The books were made into a BBC TV series. I saw it on Masterpiece and that’s how I found out about the books and was inspired to read them.
Have fun in Ireland - I love that place. Of course, I was only in Ulster but it was great. I came home and finished reading the Leon Uris on Norhern Ireland and the IRA and then read the Irish trilogy by Thomas Flanagan.
Talked to the most senior neighbor, the most senior in the sense of having lived here longer than anyone else, who, as I knew he would, had the straight poop on the phone/internet mishap. The dump truck was towing a backhoe on a flatbed trailer and the backhoe was high enough to snag the cable. The resident opposite the splintered pole called 911, Verizon, and the State Police, but none were inclined to do anything. Ho hum.
Finished the 2011 Man-Booker Prize recipient, The Sense of a Ending by Julian Barnes. Short but savory. Excellent novel.
Gotta finish Michael Chabon's The Escapist next. End June at 50 books read.
Just finished Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene. Number 50 for the year. Makes completing 100 this year almost doable. Huzzah!
For Father's Day, my daughter sent me Michael Chabon's The Escapist: Pulse-Pounding Thrills. Amazon delivered it last Tuesday (the 19th), which is the day it was published. So new that LT doesn't have a Touchstone for it. What comes up, without alternatives, is the first volume. Anyway, I'm half-way through it. It purports to be a collection of tales of the Escapist's exploits from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The character was originated by Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, back in "the Golden Age of comics".
A van's coming for Judi and me on Tuesday afternoon, and we're assured that it'll take us to Easton, where our son and his family will board. Then off to Newark. Followed by Dublin.
Happy Monday, Bill. I am sure this will be a packing day for you. I am sure you are getting excited about your Ireland trip.
Congrats on hitting #50! And hooray for the new Chabon.
I did finish The Escapist, a graphic novel. The Touchstone for this newly published book is not yet to be found; dozens of publications feature "The Escapist" in their titles, and I could find this particular one. Go figure.
Signing off until late next week. We're off to our own adventures in Ireland. See y'all when we return.
Being without internet is frustrating, especially the way that it happened for you, Bill. Sounds like you made good use of your time. Your time in Ireland is getting closer. Safe travels.
My oldest did a semester of college in Dublin and LOVED it! I am sure you will have a great time.
We're baa-ack. Up at 4:45 a.m. Dublin time, home in Pennsylvania by 2 p.m. EDT. I have lots of photos to process. And more due next week when photos from five other photographers in the party become available.
And I even finished two books. And only bought two books, one by Edna O'Brien, one by Colum McCann.
We had a great time, although I sure wish there had been a port-key between Easton and Dublin.
Welcome back home, Bill! I am sure you had a fantastic time in Ireland. Looking forward to hearing about it and enjoying those upcoming photos.
Photos will be coming, but I've got a fair bit of sorting and editing to do. More than 1,200 images. Plus photos my son is sharing via Google Photos. Soon enough, I'm sure Helen, Claire, Tara, and Gracie will be uploading their photos to Google Photos too.
What was the one place that you will remember from this trip? I loved Ireland, but spent my entire trip on the Antrim coast and Belfast.
There must have been lots to see if you have 1,200 images, Bill. I will be going to Ireland for my first visit next year. What would you say would be the sights I shouldn't miss?
Bill and Judi at Grianan of Aileach, County Donegal, on July 3, 2018.
American tourists. From the top: Helen and Gracie, Jeremy and Tara, Claire with locks of blue, Judi and Bill. Taken inside the ringfort, Grianan of Aileach, by an anonymous Bostonian.
Aw, so lovely. I've never been there but as I look at your pictures, this song comes to my mind instantly. Connie Kaldor is one of my favourite Canadian folksingers. The particular CD that this song is from is one of her best. I've also seen her perform live many times and she is a delight:
Sounds like a great trip, Bill. Love those two photos! What a beautiful part of the world.
How large a part of Clan Weirdo is the group in >164 weird_O:? What a treasure.
Glad to hear you had a good trip, Bill! I look forward to seeing more of your photos from the visit at some point.
Hooray for the first couple of photos, Bill. Looking forward to seeing more.
Thanks to you, I am starting Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher tomorrow, on audio. I can't believe this came out in '12. I thought it was newer than that.
Out final evening in Dublin, we walked to Merrion Square, across Merrion Street from the Irish government buildings and several Irish Museums—Archeology, Natural History, the National Gallery. At the northwest corner of the park is the statue of Oscar Wilde lounging on a rock. I took several photos of the installation, then got an offer from our tour host to photograph me, lounging against the rock too.
The cameraperson might have said something like, “Hey, Dad, you ought to move a little to your right. So it doesn’t look like you’re going to get kicked in the head by Mr. Wilde.”
But no. Click goes the shutter. “Thanks, son.”
>165 Berly:, >166 jessibud2:, >167 charl08:, >168 jnwelch:, >169 harrygbutler:, >170 msf59:, >171 BLBera:
Aw, we had a marvelous time. Not only did we get squired through a portion of a foreign land, we got to mix with family that we don't see as often as we'd like.
I'm still plodding through my photos. My camera seems to have a slight misalignment, since all the photos seem to tilt 1 to 3 degrees to the right. (Oh, wait! Maybe it was the Guinness. Nahhh, couldn't be.) So while I'm correcting that, I figure I might as well tweak the color and light and stuff. Takes a while.
On the way over, I read most of Agatha Christie's Five Little Pigs, one of her ten best. Once I finished that, I read the first in Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series, finishing it shortly after we got home. Knots and Crosses. It was written as a standalone novel and the Inspector was resurrected some time later to lead a series.
I read during the trip about the angry white gunner who killed five employees of the Baltimore Sun's Capital Gazette, based in Annapolis, MD. Googling the incident after we got home, I learned that one of murdered reporters was Ron Hiaasen, brother of Carl, a newsman in Miami and one of my favorite crime novelists. Crap.
Read On Tyranny yesterday (the day before?) and paged back through it this afternoon, highlighting sentences. A very valuable message; excellent lessons.
I also heard that Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient was awarded the Golden Man-Booker Prize, signifying its selection as the best of the 50 Booker and Man-Booker Prize winners. So, having never read it (though I've inattentively watched the film made from it a couple f times), I got it off the shelf and have started it.
>8 weird_O: I love them and want them ALL!!!
Hope I haven't got the reference wrong
I read that about the English Patient and thought it was a good choice, but I would have voted for Penelope Lively’s book Moon Tiger. I think that the English Patient steals some of its ideas from Moon Tiger. I don’t think it plagiarizes I just don’t think it is that original. But it is a good book.
"One novel known by millions of young Americans that offers an account of tyranny and resistance is J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If you or your friends or your children did not read it that way the first time, then it bears reading again."
I have enjoyed the pictures of your Ireland trip that you posted here. I don't do Facebook for reasons of principle and as time goes on am more and more glad that I don't. However, that means that I miss out on lots of pictures from lots of people. Thanks for posting a select few here for those old stick in the muds like me.
I can't believe what happened today in Helsinki. How long are people going to put up with this? For the first time in my life I have been actively sending e-mails to my Senator's about everything from Internet access to Supreme Court appointees. I don't think that either of them will listen to me, as they are both Republicans, but I am trying.
>168 jnwelch: Joe, I neglected to answer your question about our clan. The photo shows about one-half of us. Our younger son is also married with three daughters. Between the sons is our daughter.
>175 roomsofbooks: Halloo. You can't go wrong here with the 75ers. As for the books in >8 weird_O:, I must admit I have failed to catalog any of them. Would it be weird if I did? It might be kinda fun.
>176 Berly: >180 Oberon: How can you two be so wrong?
>179 jessibud2: >180 Oberon: How could you two be so right?
>177 benitastrnad: Not having ANY knowledge of the Lively book, I'll take your word for it.
>182 weird_O: I can't face recording my books, so if you can't either, I can hardly complain.
I haven't the time!
Plus I couldn't, as I would have to pay for excess and I am such a ditz with computers\smartphones that I won't buy anything or pay anything on it, so there are no accounts etc for hackers to find, so I could only partially list my books..
I pay someone $5 to order me an item. It's worth it, to have a fairly useless phone for the bad guys. I tend to buy from opshops and garage sales and fetes and have no facilities for reading ebooks, so apart from losing access to some things, and having someone I would not choose as a friend, know everything I buy online, I get by. I don't have a lot of chums left alive and most of them are as bad or worse in the realms of computers Happily, my tastes are mainly chasing WW2 books I have nearly no chance to find 2nd hand and a few similar Brit comedy series and a hard to get washing machine - and chasing kitten/cat harnesses, means that I have no really awkward interests to explain.
The books I WOULD probably put up, every so often, are the joyously mad titles that caused me a wheeze or 2 of laughs in my initial contact with you.
I remember thinking I should start such a collection, probably nearer 40 years than 30 years ago, but I was always fighting for space just for books I WANTED to read. Plus half the joy of those books is sneaking them into the eyeline of a bookie person. I daresay you could make some assumptions on how well you would get along with people, by their reactions.
PS I see you like the odd Agatha Christie, are you acquainted with Colin Watson?
The Flaxborough Chronicles?
He writes with humour - I think he described Inspector Pirbright's sergeant as not adept at placing people under surveillance - his extravagant air of nonchalance making members of the public follow him in the expectation of him suddenly throwing fivers into the air...
It's been a few decades since I read them
I THINK it was Private Eye that reviewed one of his books as P G Wodehouse without the jokes - and I THINK CW was the first to successfully win a case against them, on that claim. Very sadly, he died in the 80s.
He looked like a mature age Bletchley Park escapee.
As usual, Roddy Doyle is spot on... This from his Facebook page this morning.
>187 laytonwoman3rd: Yes. But I haven't a road map to get to it. I'm sort of in avoidance of Facebook. "Sort of" meaning I have maybe a couple dozen "friends" and check it out about once a day. But I haven't added anyone in a year or two. I think I got Roddy Doyle through a friend (likely Son the Elder).
As I'm writing this, I'm thinking you've clicked a few keys and already have the page.
Hahahaha on me.
Quoting Dr. Yen Lo, the sinister Asian controlling the brainwashing of a squad of U.S. soldiers captured during the Korea War:
"Although the paranoiacs make the great leaders, it is the resenters who make their best instruments because the resenters, those men with cancer of the psyche, make the best assassins."
>186 weird_O: " I'm thinking you've clicked a few keys and already have the page." Oh, yeah. Nothing to it.
I saw on one of the other threads that you asked about non-fiction graphic novels. Yes. there are lots of non-fiction graphi novels. For all age levels. Some for children and some for adults. There are a ton of memoirs in the graphic novel category.
If you look on the frontispiece of the book (every book has one of those - it is the page right behind the title page) there will be lots of information for you. There will be a section called Library of Congress Cataloging-in-publications data. This is usually located below the ISBN but sometimes the ISBN is included in that data. There will be a number with letters in it. Sometimes the publisher will have this labeled as LC call number sometimes not - most of the time not. If the number begins with the letter “P” or any combination of letters beginning with a “P” that book is probably a work of fiction. If that number starts with any other letter of the alphabet that book is non-fiction.
An example of a fiction call number in LC nomenclature is PS3618.E5474 Y33 2012
This is a call number for fiction because the sequence starts with a P. There are some exceptions to this rule. For instance works of literary criticism have P call numbers, but as a general rule this is an easy way to tell if a book is fiction or nonfiction. You can find that information on the frontispiece of any book, regardless of genre.
TRIGGER ALERT!! Book Porn below. Continue at your own risk. You have been warned.
The Bethlehem (PA) Area Public Library had its bimonthly book sale last week. As I've mentioned on several threads already, I was forced...FORCED, I say...to attend on Saturday and actually to buy a few books. Only prime books, most assuredly.
And so I did. I believe I did pretty well. Here's the list:
The Quick and the Dead by Louis L'Amour (mmp)
Travels with Charley… by John Steinbeck (mmp)
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett (pbk)
Nemesis by Jo Nesbo (pbk)
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (pbk)
Across the River and into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway (pbk)
You Can't Get There from Here by Ogden Nash. illustrations by Maurice Sendak (pbk)
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers (pbk)
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett (pbk)
Legs by William Kennedy (pbk)
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (pbk)
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (pbk)
Women by Charles Bukowski (pbk)
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane (pbk) DUPE, actually.
The Great Shame by Thomas Keneally (pbk)
A Sligo Miscellany by John McTernan (pbk)
A Traveller's History of Ireland by Peter Neville (pbk)
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (pbk)
Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge (pbk)
Family Man by Calvin Trillin (pbk)
The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell (pbk)
The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell (pbk)
The Pyramid by Henning Mankell (pbk) DUPE, apparently.
Sidetracked by Henning Mankell (pbk)
Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni (GNF)
Bettmann Moments: Celebrating the Bettmann Archive by Otto Bettmann (hc)
The Secrets of Ireland by Kevin Eyres (hc)
Ireland by Simona Tarchetti, photos by Guilio Veggi (hc)
An Autobiography by Anthony Trollope (hc)
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (hc)
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (hc)
Wouldn't Take Nothing for my Journey Now by Maya Angelou (hc)
Forrest Gump by Winston Groom (hc)
My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout (hc) DUPE
The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin, read by Edward Herrmann (CDs)
>194 weird_O: Wowza, Bill. You might be surpassing Paul in the book haul department! Looks like many promising reads there.
You are right, Mark. I really DO want to read them all, but it's unlikely to happen, I know. I just keep thinking, "Well, it's only a buck." But this time I spent more than I have at any library sale I can think of. Manahatta cost extra, as did The Thirst. And you may not believe this, but I swear it is true: The sale room was still packed with books when I left.
Oh, I want to explain that audio book I got, The Bully Pulpit. I was given the book the year it was published, and it is such a brick, and I figured that Mrs. Goodwin knows more about Roosevelt and Taft than I want to know. So it has languished on the shelf. But when I saw the box of CDs, I had to take it. Edward Herrmann. The late Ed Herrmann. Herrmann performed in a play about Galileo and the Pope, written by Richard Goodwin (DKG's husband) and presented at the Huntington Theater in Boston. My daughter "built" costumes for Herrmann and she had the chance to chat with him during fittings and the like. Now both Goodwin and Herrmann are dead. Alas.
I just may listen to it. (And Becky too.)
>194 weird_O: So sorry you were forced to go there, Bill ;-)
I see you got some books I enjoyed like Travels with Charley and the Kurt Wallander books by Henning Mankell. I hope you like them as much as I did!
No. 2 and No. 10 in the Modern Library series! Score. But I'm puzzled, because all the lists I have (they used to be printed on the inside of the dust jackets) list the Buck as No. 15. (You'll look inside those DJ's now, I know you will.)
>198 laytonwoman3rd: I did look, Linda. Interesting. The jacket of the Buck novel of course lists it as #2. Clarissa doesn't appear at all amongst the 274 books in ML catalog. The Clarissa jacket puts that novel at #10 (of course), and bumps The Good Earth to #15.
[Touchstones can't get results.]
>194 weird_O: Quite a haul, Bill! I made it there on Saturday as well, but I only managed a couple books from the sale — not nearly so impressive.
>195 msf59: Ha, Mark. Can Mr. Cranswick ever be outdone? I think not. Although I understand that with so many awesome projects he's overseeing, he doesn't have as much reading time. But I don't think that should limit his acquisitions.
>197 FAMeulstee: The copy I got of Travels with Charley is exactly the version I bought and read way back in the mid-60s. Then it cost me 75 cents. And since then, I lost it or tossed it. So replacing it cost me 100 cents.
As for the Wallander books, I knew I had at least two but didn't know the titles. So I called home, told my wife (who is the only person to read them) where I thought they were, but she could only find one. Naturally, I bought a dupe; already had a copy of The Pyramid. So I guess I better read them all. We watched quite a few episodes of the Wallander TV series with Ken Branagh.
>198 laytonwoman3rd: >199 weird_O: I do have some other Modern Library editions with jackets, and some have the catalog listed on the jacket back. Now I'm interested in checking out the listings. (Not interested enough to do it RIGHT NOW, but interested nonetheless.)
>200 harrygbutler: Sorry I missed you, Harry. Of course, I don't know what you look like, so for all I know, you could have been right beside me.
I've posted this before, but in light of the pile o' books I picked up on Saturday, I think I'd reaffirm the message.
>202 weird_O: I can relate to that! I have a lot of possibilities at my house, bet you do to by the look of your last book haul, Bill!
Congrats on the haul you were forced to purchase.
If you have a smart phone I strongly suggest downloading the LibraryThing app - you can search for a book or author and see if you already have it. I've start saving money on NOT getting duplicates this year.
Wow wow wow. Been away, kinda sorta. But reading steadily, if not quickly. I did read an Amy Tan, which I started with trepidation, and finished with admiration. The Bonesetter's Daughter was what I read, and I am glad I did. Then I enjoyed some light reading: a collection called Thurber on Crime, a short novel by Paul Gallico called Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York, and a memoir written by a French mongrel dog owned by Peter Mayle titled A Dog's Life. Last night, I completed a return trip around the country with John Steinbeck and his French poodle Charley: Travels with Charley.
Now I'm reading L'Amour. The shortest L'Amour novel available at the last library book sale. The Quick and the Dead. It's going okay, but I remain tepid about the western master's oeuvre
Drove south to Lexington, VA, to spend the weekend with my sister and her husband. Went through some very intense rainstorms, and barely averted calamity in one. The car in front of us bashed the car in front of it and caromed to the right into a guard rail. Antilock brakes stopped us shy of contact. Curiously, the car that got back-ended didn't stop. No injuries.
Saturday was another of those days. My sister took me to the LexLib and the library just happened to be having a book sale. And we arrived just 15 minutes ahead of the hour-long $2 bag sale. Surprisingly, I managed to find a few books. Then we stopped by The Bookery, a shop selling new and used books, and I acquired an autographed copy of Sally Mann's memoir, Hold Still.
Loafed on Sunday. Made a quickish trip home on Monday. No rain. Hurray!
Dr. Frederick Lepore, professor of neurology and ophthalmology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has written a book called Finding Einstein's Brain. The owner of a used and antiquarian book shop near me posted a photo of the author in his office/library, commenting:
“A...tantalizing photograph. Finally, it seems, we have a worthy competitor in the arcane science of structural book-stacking.”
Lepore is way ahead of me.
Good to see you back! And safely. Lexington is a very pretty part of the country and it seems it even has books! I love those stacks. I think they are better than mine. At least there are more of them.
>207 weird_O: This makes me feel much better about the stacks in my (shared) office. Clearly I am not trying hard enough...
Hi Bill! Happy Saturday to you.
Another book sale, an averted accident, and a great photo of a book stacker. Fun times.
>207 weird_O: Book stacking.... my favorite decorating technique. Much to the chagrin of my wife.
BB on the Einstein book.
I am so sorry that you have been forced to go to all these book sales. What are people thinking? You poor, poor man.
You have been silent since your return. Are you at another book sale?
I finished up my very good summer read Seeing in the Dark. I was inspired to pick up this book because of Suzanne's Non-Fiction Challenge for the month of June. That challenge was outdoor activities. What could be more outdoor than stargazing? The book was really good and I spent many an enjoyable lunch hour reading it. Indoors of course, since the summer has been so beastly hot and the doors to the patio were locked most of the time. Somehow a change in housekeeping staff resulted in unlocking the patio doors getting overlooked. Oh well - it was cooler inside.
>216 benitastrnad: Well, it's like this, Benita. One of the books I got at the library sale interested me, and I raced through it. Then I tried applying what I learned, and then I wasn't here. Or, I was, but...
>218 drneutron: I'd loan it to you, Jim, but it seems to have disappeared.
>219 jessibud2: Aw shucks.
Feeling pretty good about the reading in the last two weeks. Just now finished with A Man Called Ove; it was excellent. Well deserving of all the complimentary reports I've read here. Before Ove, I enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm.
What's next? I don't know. I have to view my non-structural TBR stacks and see what catches my eye.
>217 weird_O: Love it! And Ove. You should Fforde in order. Just saying. : )
Stats, yr 2 date, 9/2/17
Author Birth Country
Sri Lanka: 1
Dead or alive
Currently breathing: 39
Mass-market paperback: 7
Off my shelves/stacks: 69
NOTE: The numbers don't always add up; don't make yourself nuts or rag on me, please. One book, for example, had no listed author or editor. Two had two authors. I counted two GPA books on Picasso as one in my overall for-the-year tally, but counted the author of each in the authorial stats. What are you going to do?
Of what I read so far in 2018, my ten faves are:
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
Draft No. 4 by John McPhee
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Nice stats! Mine often don’t add up either - one of the books from this year was a composite work with 10 authors and I counted them all. 😀
Excellent stats, Bill! I like the 'currently breathing' and 'Platform" where I use 'Medium'. I just changed over, so next month's stats will show Platform. No going nuts or ragging, either, promise. *smile* I might start including 'ten faves', too. You da bomb!
Great stats, Bill! Yes, of course I add the numbers, when my adding numbers are different I put (x books by 2 authors) next to it ;-)
I like your top ten, I loved The Sense of an Ending, On Tyranny and A Man Called Ove.
Glad you all liked my stats. I feel better about them now.
We had a splendid long weekend, beginning with a birthday clam bake on Saturday, a rather exclusive pizza party Sunday, and a birthday roast on Labor Day. Our three kids, two daughters-in-law, and six granddaughters feted Judi for her 70th birthday. Sadly, several lobsters died so we could enjoy lobster rolls. Sadly, clams died too; but they were really good. Fresh corn on the cob. Homemade cole slaw. Pound cake hot from the oven with strawberries and home-whipped cream. Cool beverages.
Annie was passed from lap to lap. Lia charged around like a hyperbot. Helen shared her mammoth Lego constructions with Olivia. Gracie and Claire stayed calm throughout. And Judi basked in the attention.
Judi was gobsmacked to get an Irish tweed cape that she had looked at (longingly) in the gift shop at Kylemore Abbey in Ireland. The look was noted, and when Jeremy took Judi and me to Cong, where scenes in John Ford's The Quiet Man were filmed, Tara said the girls wanted to go to the beach instead. They did go to a beach, but first they went back to Kylemore and got that cape.
In the photo above, Judi is paging through a book of 100 photos taken during our vacation trip to Ireland. A service of Google and Google Photos.
I'm up to 70 for the year. Memorializing my wife's 70th year. My magic number is now 30. I want to get 100 books read this year. Four months in which to complete those 30.
After putzing around with preliminary reads of three or four books, I settled on The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fford. Borrowed it from granddaughter Helen on Saturday. I have a copy of Lost in a Good Book, the second in the Thursday Next series (a library-sale pickup). I'm liking the first book in the series, (The Eyre Affair) so I'll surely follow it up with the second book. [Edited to Ask: Does this qualify as a Series and Sequel entry?]
Prospects beyond those two include Endless Night, one of Dame Agatha's top 10, The Name of the Rose, Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust, and perhaps some other selection on my multitude of TBRs. I expect to read Pat Conroy's My Reading Life for September's AAC.
I really dropped the camera, so to speak, to putting up some Ireland photos from our trip. Here's one that Google produced from two or three shots my son took of me at Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Weird_o EDITORIAL NOTE: The solution to the "gray circles with a white horizontal line through them" is for y'all to just switch to Google Chrome, a stellar—and FREE—browser.
>228 weird_O: - Sounds like a wonderful celebratory long weekend. For some reason, though, the 2 pics in that post are not showing up, only as gray circles with a white horizontal line through them.
Hi, Bill. Thanks for the updates. I have not been by in awhile, so it is nice to see what you have been up to. I can't see the photos in, #228.
Glad you had a nice Labor Day weekend and I am happy your are going to read My Reading Life. Nice choice.
You should hit #100, with no problem.
>228 weird_O: >230 weird_O: Getting some of my photos into my LT thread is problematic. I have a lot of photos in Google Photos, which allows me to access my photos from both my Mac and my PC without having to load them onto each device's hard drive. GP doesn't have size limits, has a decent photo editor, and allows me to share albums with selected people—family and close friends. I can link to Google Photos from Tumblr without problems. LT sometimes chokes on links from Google Photos, and not every browser, it seems, will display them. In the past, I've downloaded an image from Google Photos to my computer hard drive and then uploaded it to my LT junk drawer. Then link from the post to the junk drawer image.
But a secondary problem I have with LT is that it sometimes rotates an image. I think it's isolated to images taken with cell phones. In #228, I linked to cell phone shots on Google Photos. I see them fine, but others can't see them at all. So I downloaded the two photos to my computer, then uploaded them to my LT junk drawer. One shows up there rotated 90 degrees left. I tried rotating the image 90 degrees right on my computer, and then uploading it to LT. Still shows up rotated to the left. LT doesn't seem to enable one to rotate photos.
So here they are:
SUGGESTIONS anyone? Anyone... Anyone...
The only solution I've found, Bill, to the rotation issue, is to slightly crop the image in GP before uploading to LT junk drawer. I've never managed to get an image link from GP to work in an LT post- wish I could! Tips?
I have had the same rotation problems, Bill. I rotated them on my computer but on my gallery, they still are sideways. And that's as much technology talk as you will get from me. Sorry! ;-)
Nice photos, rotated or not. *smile* Unlike quite a few people, I've never had problems with photo rotation. I have an android smartphone. I usually send a photo to my email (which I only have on my PC laptop. I never use e-mail on my smartphone). If it comes in rotated, which is rare, I use Photo Gallery to save it to my computer after rotating back, then upload to LT Junk Drawer or Gallery.
>229 weird_O: I've picked My Reading Life, too. It's staring reproachfully at me from the left side of my desk, just waiting for me to open it. Perhaps today...
>235 charl08: Yipeeeee!!! Thanks for that tip, Charlotte. I cropped the photo ever so slight—bottom and sides—and loaded it once again to my LT Junk Drawer.
Bingo! It works. Thanks again for the tip.
Great photos, Bill, lovely baby, and perhaps after yesterday college students will know who Bob Woodward is? So glad you are enjoying The Eyre Affair. I love that series. And yes, they count!
>238 weird_O: I think almost anything you do as an "edit" will eliminate the rotation issue. Can't imagine why, but it seems to be true. I've loaded a few photos for a friend who e-mails them to me after someone else took them with a phone (don't know whether it's an Iphone or Android). I always have the rotation problem with those, but if I resize them, or crop them, they come up fine on LT.
Love the photos...that cape is gorgeous, and the baby, well, perfect. Happy Birthday, Judi!
'Morning, Bill! Glad you've got a method for unrotated photos now.
Happy Friday to you.
>239 ronincats: >240 laytonwoman3rd: >241 Berly: >242 karenmarie: Thanks. Who knew how simple it could be to correct this photo rotating business? Glad some of you did and could pass the trick along.
Finished The Eyre Affair very early this morning. I think I'll chug right into Lost in a Good Book. Although...although maybe I should actually read Jane Eyre, if only to learn what the true ending is.
Love Fforde, read just about everything by him. I totally agree with you about Jane Eyre. I never read it.
>243 weird_O: >245 Berly: Ha ha. My wife confirmed the true ending to Jane Eyre. So I don't have to read it. But I might just read it anyway.
>244 mahsdad: >245 Berly: I definitely enjoyed the two Ffordes I've read. Coincidence: I checked the shelves at Goodwin this afternoon and discovered a clean hardcover of The Eyre Affair. That paperback edition I read last week can go back to Helen without hesitation. Gotta keep an eye out (I know. Eeewwww!) for more of his Thursday Next novels.
Finished with Pat Conroy, maybe forever. I read My Reading Life and to me it was above "meh!" but well below a thumb up.
I think Benediction is next.
Book sale on Saturday. Heh heh heh.
Benediction is done. A three-book series wrapped up. Dad Lewis died. (So too the Touchstone.)
The next book will be No. 75, so I want to choose wisely. Why? I don't know. Maybe I should select something goofy. Perched on atop the TBR peak: Christie, Doyle, Ecco, Edna O'Brien, Faulkner. Faulkner merits a notable slot, me thinks. How about you?
>247 weird_O: - Well done! You want goofy? How about closing your eyes, turning around three times carefully!), and reaching out. Whatever your hand touches, that what you read.
Just a thought...
A facebook friend posted this link, and since the product relates to reading...
"Need a book recommendation? How about 100? Scratch that literary itch with this stunning scratch-off chart of essential novels from 1605 to present. Each timeless work is represented by an evocative, hand-drawn cover design—gently scratch the gold foil off each novel you’ve read and reveal an additional, narrative-specific design detail hidden underneath!"
THE SECOND LINK is for a list of 60 books recommended by Bill Gates. Not surprising, he does not include any novels, poetry, or short stories. I've read one or two books on this list, and I have maybe a half-dozen others on The TBR. Several others look good.
Um, pardon this non-techy question, but how does one do scratch (even without the sniff) on a computer screen...?
Curious minds want to know.....
>248 jessibud2: Ha ha, Shelley. That spinning around and reaching out could be just awful. I could end up condemned to Grant by Ron Chernow (1068 pages). Or James Joyce by Richard Ellmann (888 pages). Or Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett Fischer (946 pages). Any of those would terminate my reading for the year. Maybe for ALL time. Just toooooo risky.
I think Intruder in the Dust by Faulkner is next.
>250 jessibud2: The answer to your question is found at the link I provided. It's a poster! You hang it in your reading place to keep track of Your Essential Reading. And the website has dozens and dozens of other posters of architecture, beer, coffee, birds, plants, and oh so much more.
>251 msf59: I knew you'd want to review that conclusion of mine. Consider it under review. The Umpire is looking at the tape, replaying every angle. I'm standing by and reconsidering my call. I think it'll stand, but I will (any day now) tell why.
My book riches are getting embarrassing. Early in the week, while my wife was at an appointment, I strolled a few doors down the sidewalk to a thrift shop, where I got clean paperback copies of Timothy Snyder's Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning and Sarah Helm's Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women.
A couple days later, I dropped by Goodwill and picked up nearly a dozen interesting (interesting to me, at least) titles.
Today, my brother and his wife stopped by. I had a box of dupes for Frances' library to sell, but I wasn't expecting to get a box of books from her library's sale.
That isn't enough, of course. The Bethlehem library is having their bi-monthly book sale on Saturday. Yes, I will be there.
'Tis the season for the books sales. SPL's 3rd quarterly sale is ongoing, and I went yesterday. The Abington Community Library will have their twice-yearly sale in about 3 weeks. We do what we must do.
Get going on that Faulkner, though...don't let the new stuff distract you!
What a great fun idea the Scratch Off 100 Essential is!
Yet, why do the authors still think the horrifically racist GONE WITH THE WIND is "Essential" reading?
Books that followed me know from Saturday's Bethlehem Public Library sale.
>254 laytonwoman3rd: Why yes, Linda, it is the season of book sales.
Fear not; I AM reading Faulkner. About halfway through.
>255 m.belljackson: I kind of like the poster. Put it in my private reading room. Of course, I've read about 70 of the books on the poster. On the other hand, it includes a number of works that aren't on other "100 books" lists.
Can't say anything about Gone with the Wind, since I haven't read it. (I did buy a hardcover copy on Saturday). I've seen most of the movie. It is a record of the time, of the Southern mindset. It's doubtful that reading it will make you a racist. The Pat Conroy I read (My Reading Life) devoted the second chapter to Conroy's mother's devotion to the book. Did make me a bit ill-at-ease.
>256 charl08: The footnotes stem from a reading of some of David Foster Wallace's articles. But also from Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine, which some pretty zany footnotes.
>257 BLBera: Giant's Causeway was indeed amazing. I had seen photos of it in books, and now that I've been there, I wonder what all was involved in shooing all the tourists off the site.
Isn't that office spectacular? Have to be a brainiac to successfully stack books, I think. I've got a few such stacks going in my private reading room; the books in them are accessible only with great effort.
>258 benitastrnad: I probably won't read Jane Eyre soon, Benita. Sounds like you did read it. I did get the third and fourth books in the Thursday Next series (just on Saturday), and I already had the fifth. So I'm good for a while.
This topic was continued by Weird_O Bill's 2018 Rubber Room & Library #3.
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