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jessibud2 Makes No Promises in 2018 - page 4

This is a continuation of the topic jessibud2 Makes No Promises in 2018 - page 4.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Jul 28, 7:04pm Top

Jul 28, 7:05pm Top

Well, well. I do believe I have a topper! It's a page from my *I'd Rather Be Reading* calendar.

Edited: Aug 17, 8:53am Top

Books read:

Jul 28, 11:09pm Top

Happy new thread Shelley. Great topper!

Jul 29, 9:15am Top

Happy new thread! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Jul 29, 9:22am Top

Happy new thread, Shelley!

From your previous thread, sorry about the goldfinch and your baby drumpf.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday and wish you all good things for the coming week.

Jul 29, 10:06am Top

Starred! :D

Jul 29, 12:07pm Top

Happy new thread!

Jul 29, 3:49pm Top

Happy new thread Shelley my dear.

Edited: Jul 30, 9:18am Top

Thanks, Mary, Chelle, Karen, Madeline, Jim and John.

I have no specific plans for this week, other than the usual: try to read, regular chores, talk to my mum daily. She has lost 3 kilos since last Monday. Not a good thing. I have a previous commitment and therefore can't go back to Montreal to be there next week for her next chemo but at least my brother will take a few days off work and go there to be with her. At this point, we don't have any dates or know if further chemo will be in the picture but if it is, I will go again, each time.

I am so behind on my challenge readings that I don't even know if I should pretend to still be participating. I have downloaded 2 audiobooks, neither of which is holding my interest. The only thing I seem capable of lately is lighter fare. I read a small book from my shelf yesterday, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me by Charles M. Schulz. It was actually quite interesting, if not very in-depth (only 119 pages). He wrote of his early years, how he got started in cartooning and the book had quite a nice selection of early cartoons as well as photos of Schulz. The book was published in 1980, a full 20 years before he died.

Touchstones don't seem to be working for this one.

Jul 30, 9:18am Top

A little retail therapy from the other day. I don't know why one of the pics is sideways. It isn't, on my computer, which is where it's uploaded from.

Jul 30, 9:59am Top

Retail therapy is good-
If I am not in the mood for reading but want to read- I go back to Pride and Prejudice- I also have the photo version featuring guinea pigs.

Jul 30, 2:38pm Top

Happy new thread, Shelley!
>1 jessibud2: But the trouble is in time you run out of space where you can put those shelves ;-)

Jul 30, 7:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Shelley. Love the topper. More shelves was going to be my solution to my overflow problem but I don't think that will work now. *sigh* I hope you getting your reading mojo back. Sounds like you need the escape that a good book can bring.

Jul 30, 7:05pm Top

>12 torontoc: - Oh, Cyrel, this I have to see! Guinea pigs! We had 2 as class pets for nearly 6 years! I loved them.

>13 FAMeulstee: - Thanks, Anita. I will ignore your last sentence.... ;-)

>14 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg. Well, it's not for lack of choice that's for sure. It will come back. It always does.

Edited: Aug 4, 2:18pm Top

And now for something a little different. I am an avid follower of an osprey cam site out of Missoula, Montana. The female osprey had 3 chicks hatch a couple of months ago but only one survived. The survivor is doing spectacularly well. She is 56 days old and days away from fledging. I love this site not only for the cam but also for the info I learn from it. They also post youtube videos and since I don't know how to do a screen cap on this laptop of mine (I used to know, on my old computer but not this one), I love when they post the links. Here is one from today. If you watch it full screen, it is magnificent. The male (Louis) has solid white chest, female (Iris) has *necklace* on upper chest, chick (Lele) has the white tipped wings. Since she seems to be developing the darker markings of a necklace, we are assuming that she is a she!


edited to add the link to the live cam: http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/27/Hellgate_Ospreys/

Edited: Jul 30, 8:58pm Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley. This is my Great Blue Heron from today. I wish he was a bit more in focus, but it was quite a distance.

Edited: Jul 30, 9:06pm Top

>15 jessibud2: A Guinea Pig Pride & Prejudice- I'll bring to our next get-together! Very cute although the guinea pigs don't show any emotion- the best part is their hats- in fact the hats are fabulous!

Jul 31, 2:27pm Top

Happy New Thread, Shelley.

>1 jessibud2: Yes!

>17 msf59: Lovely one from Mark.

Jul 31, 3:16pm Top

>17 msf59: - Great shot of the heron, Mark. The first (and actually, only) time I managed to capture one, was before I had a camera with a decent zoom so basically, only *I* can see it clearly... ;-)

>18 torontoc: - Looking forward to it, Cyrel! :-)

>19 jnwelch: - Hi Joe! Thanks and yes! ;-)

Jul 31, 4:44pm Top

I'm sorry to hear about your mother, Shelley. I pray that her condition improves soon.

Jul 31, 5:51pm Top

>21 kidzdoc: - Thanks, Darryl. I know you can commiserate about being far away when stuff like this happens. Glad to hear (from your thread) that your parents are doing so much better.

Aug 1, 8:48am Top

Hi Shelley!

Thank you for restarting my interest in the Osprey Cam - I got so depressed after the first chick died that I stopped watching. I didn't even know the name of the new chick - Lele. (S)he's gorgeous.

Sometimes lighter fare is the best thing when stressed. Cartoons, YA, favorite authors usually do the trick for me.

Your mom is in my thoughts and prayers.

Aug 1, 9:10am Top

>23 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen.

Yes, Lele, the osprey chick is pretty much full grown now but the white tipped wings and orange eyes are the telling signs that she is still a baby. She has been flapping like crazy lately at she exercises and strengthens her wing muscles and she is even *lifting off* the nest sometimes. It makes me very nervous when she does that and it's windy. I worry the wind will carry her off the nest and she won't be able to get back. But in truth, she should be fledging any minute....

Aug 1, 10:12am Top

>16 jessibud2: Cute osprey! It's so sad that her/his view is of a parking lot and a highway. Well, I guess that bird will have the option of flying away to where he/she would rather be! :)

Aug 1, 11:34am Top

>25 SqueakyChu: - The nest is actually on the site of University of Montana. Sometimes, the camera pans left, right, and all around. The view you see is with the mountains in the distance. The university buildings and baseball field are on the left, the building on the right is a health care centre, and when the camera pans further right, you see the river behind it where Louis does most of his fishing. It's really very cool. Last year, when they were building the new building for the university, they fenced off a large portion of the parking lot so that the heavy machinery would not get too close to the nest site, until they migrated. Once the birds left in the fall, they completed the construction. The university is very involved in this nest as part of one of their study disciplines.

Edited: Aug 1, 3:20pm Top

>26 jessibud2: That's pretty cool, although I think that the ospreys that live on buoys on the Chesapeake Bay have a prettier environment. :)

Aug 1, 7:24pm Top

I finished Tina Fey's Bossypants today, on audio, read by the author. I am sure it says more about my state of mind lately than about her or her talent, but I didn't find it as funny as I had expected to. Oh, she is funny, and talented, but the truth is, I have never followed her career, never watched her on 30 Rock or even on SNL. I have only seen youtube clips of her impersonation of Sarah Palin and thought those were brilliant. So maybe if I was more of a fan and more familiar with her body of work, it might have been better for me. Or maybe if I was in a lighter headspace, it would have been better. It was ok but not as stellar as I expected from all the hype. Oh well.

Aug 2, 9:04am Top

Sorry to see your mom isn't doing that well. Hope things start to improve for her!

Edited: Aug 4, 5:12pm Top

We all know how a book can transport you, unlock doors or release emotions unexpectedly. Catch you off guard.
This happened to me today.

It's been a rough couple of months (weeks? Feels like months), what with my mum's decline in health and all. I live over 550 km away from her and since I can't be there permanently, I have been going back and forth a fair bit. I have been trying to stay strong, focussed and practical about her care and especially, about dealing with her husband. I have held a lot in.

So today, I went to the library to return an audiobook and look for the next one. I walked out with 4. One of them is by Fredrik Backman (he of A Man Called Ove fame). It is actually a novella, only one disc long so while I sat in line at the gas pump at Costco, I listened to it. It hit me in the gut, opened the floodgates. It is a quiet little thing, called And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. It is a story about old age, memory, and family love. A short book that packs a huge punch.

You know how to braid? There are three strands and one goes over another then the third gets interwoven through the first. Or something like that. The directions sound more complicated than the actual act itself. This story is like that. There are several strands but they are all interwoven, folding through and over one another, and all fitting together perfectly, right to the end. Backman says in the intro that he never actually meant for this to be published; it was just something he wrote to work through some emotions he was dealing with at the time. I'm glad he changed his mind.

Aug 3, 8:08pm Top

Wow, great review. I love how Backman’s books open up all the feels!

Aug 3, 8:37pm Top

Aug 3, 9:02pm Top

>30 jessibud2: Sounds like it hit a raw nerve and was well worth the read. Glad you found it.

Aug 3, 11:41pm Top

Shelley, I haven't read any of Backman's books but your heartfelt review sure makes me want to now.
I'm sorry for you hard times right now.

Edited: Aug 4, 10:13am Top

>33 SqueakyChu: - Yes, Madeline, it did hit a nerve and was well worth it. I almost didn't pick it up because, even though I did read A Man Called Ove, and ended up liking it, I didn't, when I started it. So I nearly passed over this one, until I saw it was only one disc and I knew I was going to Costco and would have to sit and wait. I figured, what the heck.

>34 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary. You know, I have already put the next audiobook into my car CD player but I am just not quite ready to begin a new one yet. This Backman one is still sitting with me.

Aug 4, 3:42pm Top

>30 jessibud2: It's can be hard to keep in touch with your emotions when going through stressful time especially when they involve family. We try to hold it all in check so that we can navigate our everyday lives. But sometimes those emotions can be brought to the surface in spite of ourselves. It is good when there is hope or a message attached to the thing that triggered the emotions. It sounds like the novella did that for you, Shelley. Sometimes it helps just to get it out so that you can keep your strength through a trying time.

Aug 4, 7:42pm Top

>36 Familyhistorian: - You are right, Meg. There has to be a release sometimes or I'd probably explode. I just had no idea that book would trigger it. At least I was alone in my car and not blubbering on the subway or something!

Aug 5, 7:49am Top

>30 jessibud2: Thumbed you review, Shelley. The book didn't punch me in that way, but it sure touched me emotionally.

Edited: Aug 5, 2:04pm Top

It's 39C outside right now (actually, *only* 34 but with the humidex, 39 is what it feels like, though, to me, it feels a hell of a lot hotter than that). 39C = 102F. And the sun is beating down. Europe is suffering from this heat terribly, too, as are many other places. It's what I call *can't breathe* weather.

The planet is doomed. You now that, right? And some people still don't *believe* in climate change.... :-(

Aug 5, 1:46pm Top

>38 FAMeulstee: - Thanks, Anita. I suspect it had more to do with timing than with content but that's the way it goes, sometimes.

Edited: Aug 5, 3:26pm Top

>40 jessibud2: Here in Maryland, climate change weather patterns became very pronounced this spring and summer. Instead of sunny days with blue skies and an occasional afternoon thunderstorm, we have been getting days upon days of overcast skies plus day after day of rain...flooding rain. The rains are adversely affecting Maryland produce. Nectarines and peaches, freshly picked, don’t keep. They rot after a day or two. The yellow summer squash was deformed. This was from local farmers. This will adversely affect food prices and the ability to supply my nation with healthy food. I started buying most of my produce other than what I get from my CSA at a local organic food store.

Sunny days here are so terribly hot, no one wants to be outside. I used to love summer evenings. Now we rarely have a nice summer evening.

At the beach we used to visit in previous years in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, they had rip tides for 11 straight days, and no one was allowed in the water! This is a beach known for calm waters most of the time. North Carolina had multiple beach drownings already this year. We noticed over the past few years, a severe decline in the number and kind of fish to be caught.

I could go on and on with examples but I won’t. I will try to do my part as one person to treat my environment with love and respect.

Aug 5, 8:06pm Top

Why We Write About Ourselves edited by Meredith Maran. This was an interesting look at how and why 20 writers have written memoirs, usually in addition to other works of fiction or non-fiction. Of the 20, I had heard of 9 of them before and of those 9, I have read at least some of the works of 5 of them. I thought I might skip those I had not heard of but in the end, I read the entire book and was intrigued enough to seek out the work of some of the others.

Each section began with Maran giving a short intro, then a table of Vital Statistics (birthdate, place, home now, family, notable notes and website and twitter contact info). A list of their collected works followed and then, the featured memoirist in his or her own words on how and why they wrote, and finally, a few points of advice. Each section was short enough to read quickly but long enough to be informative and interesting.

The 20 authors included in this collection were: Ishmael Beah, Kate Christenson, Kelly Corrigan, Pat Conroy, Edwidge Danticat, David Sheff, Dani Shapiro, Pearl Cleage, Darin Strauss, Nick Flynn, James McBride, Cheryl Strayed, Anne Lamott, Sue Monk Kidd, Jesmyn Ward, Ayelet Waldman, A.M. Homes, Meghan Daum, Edmund White and Sandra Tsing Loh.

I know some of these authors through all the warbling here on LT. For example, Jesmyn Ward has received a lot of love here and I have yet to read her books. I plan to remedy that sooner rather than later. Others in this collection, not so much. For example, I had heard of Ayelet Waldman (and knew she was the wife of Michael Chabon) but reading her section made me NOT want to read her work. She just doesn't sound to me like someone I want to read. Which, of course, may be the very reason I should. You know, go outside my comfort zone a bit.

I may cheat and use this book for the October portion of the non-fiction challenge: First person singular. We'll see. I am still trying to catch up with my July and August picks.

Aug 6, 2:19am Top

Oh yeah, that topper is spot on.

And Why We Write About Ourselves sounds interesting!

I'm sorry to hear that things are rough with your mum, Shelley. It's hard being far away.....

Aug 6, 8:26am Top

Hope you are finding a way to stay cool. It's pretty gross out already!
Nate worked the beer tent and foot patrol yesterday at the Kincardine reunion.. He had a dehydration headache when he went to bed as he was so hot he couldn't get enough water in. Poor guy. I am hiding the AC as much as possible!

Aug 6, 10:20am Top

>44 ChelleBearss: - One of my neighbours was supposed to be at my house yesterday morning for a meeting (there are 3 of us on this committee). He slept right through his alarm and also had a dehydration headache from helping a friend move the day before in this heat. I was out at 9 am this morning and already it's unbreathable. I don't know how people without A/C survive

Aug 6, 10:22am Top

>43 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen. Thanks. She actually sounded good yesterday, almost like her old self. I think she is just thrilled not to have to have chemo today. It was cancelled and they will reassess next week. Plus, my brother visited on the weekend.

Good to see you making the rounds here again!

Edited: Aug 6, 3:22pm Top

>45 jessibud2: Remember when we were kids? We never had air conditioning! We used fans and cold washcloths to our foreheads and bodies. We ate creamsicles, fudgsicles, and snowballs. We threw water balloons at each other. We sprayed each other with hoses. We played in open fire hydrants. We sat outside in the shade of trees in the evening. We often had cooling thunderstorms after a brutally hot day. We spent the days at a swimming pool. Our weather patterns have been permanently altered, it seems.

Edited: Aug 6, 1:00pm Top

>46 jessibud2: I think she is just thrilled not to have to have chemo today. It was cancelled and they will reassess next week

I'd be thrilled, too! I hope your mom continues improving. It was great that your brother had the chance to come up for a visit. I'm sure that cheered her up as well.

Aug 6, 1:22pm Top

And we have lift-off! At 62 days old, the osprey chick, L'ele has fledged!


You can read more of the comments in the right sidebar at the nest cam site: http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/27/Hellgate_Ospreys/

It truly is miraculous to watch this cam.

Aug 6, 1:23pm Top

>47 SqueakyChu: - Exactly.

Aug 9, 7:03pm Top

I finished Brazen Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu today and returned it to the library. I have already put in a request for another GN by her, California Dreamin' about Cass Elliot of The Mamas and Papas. This was a fun read. There were, among the women she wrote about, several I had never heard of. But there were 2, Sonita Alizadeh, the young rapper from Afghanistan, and Hedy Lamarr, who were both subjects of documentary films I have seen in the past year at my local Doc Cinema. The films were both excellent and it was nice to see them included in this eclectic group of strong women.

I really need to get back to my NF challenge reads from June, July and August and finish them up! I keep getting sidetracked!

Aug 10, 2:43am Top

Just keeping up here Shelley! : )

Aug 10, 8:43am Top

I'm glad you enjoyed Brazen Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, Shelley. Me, too. I thought she did a great job of condensing a lot of research and making it entertaining. And there were several that were new to me.

Aug 11, 1:24am Top

I hope that your weather has cooled down some after that rain, Shelley. Did it do some good even though it caused wide spread flooding? We are supposed to have rain tomorrow (Saturday) and cooler temps but the last two times they promised rain it didn't happen. We will see.

Aug 11, 8:30am Top

Hi Meg. Actually, immediately after the rain, the humidity hadn't disappeared at all. It was gross. But yesterday and today are as perfect as it can get - sunny, a bit of a breeze and NO HUMIDITY! It felt so good to be outside - for a change! I have a friend visiting from the States right now and we did a fair bit of walking yesterday and have more of the same planned for today and tomorrow.

I was lucky that the rainstorm of the other day didn't do any damage in my area. It sure did, though, in other areas of the city.

Aug 11, 8:33am Top

Brazen Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World sounds interesting. I'll be on the lookout for it.

Aug 12, 5:19pm Top

>49 jessibud2: Yay!

I'm glad you enjoyed Brazen, Shelley!

Aug 16, 7:39am Top

Hi Shelley!

Yay for L'ele fledging!

I'm sorry about the ups-and-downs with your mother's health and dealing with her husband. And I'm sorry about the horrible heat. We have that here in central NC USA all summer although this summer has had some surprisingly mild days.

>47 SqueakyChu: Remember when we were kids? We never had air conditioning! We used fans and cold washcloths to our foreheads and bodies. We ate creamsicles, fudgsicles, and snowballs. We threw water balloons at each other. We sprayed each other with hoses. We played in open fire hydrants. We sat outside in the shade of trees in the evening. We often had cooling thunderstorms after a brutally hot day. We spent the days at a swimming pool. Our weather patterns have been permanently altered, it seems. Yup. We did the same. I was raised in Southern California and it was at least a dry heat. I remember September 1963 when I was in 5th grade, the forecast was for 113F one day. My mother called the school to ask if I could wear shorts to school and was told no. Dress and slip, therefore, yuck.

Edited: Aug 16, 1:18pm Top

So very sad. A true legend, and a real force. RIP, Aretha, your legacy will live forever.

Scroll down in this article to see and hear some of her performances. I loved the duet with Smokey Robinson and the one with Annie Lennox of The Eurythmics.


Aug 17, 3:34pm Top

>59 jessibud2: Somehow you think such legends should live forever. Sad to see that announcement yesterday.

It has cooled off a bit here too, Shelley, and it looks as though we have a relatively smoke free day today for a change. Is your weather still good?

Edited: Aug 17, 6:20pm Top

>58 karenmarie: - Hi Karen. Thanks for the kind words. The latest update is that the doctor, for the time being, has decided not to schedule any more chemo and my mother is feeling very happy about that. We shall see what plan she (the doctor) comes up with, going forward, next Monday, the next appointment.

>60 Familyhistorian: - As for the heat here, it's gross. With the humidity factored in, it was 32C at 7 a.m. and hasn't got much better throughout the day. It had rained all night and did again, during the afternoon. But it doesn't feel any cooler. I really can't wait for autumn. The news out of BC sounds awful.

Edited: Aug 17, 9:22pm Top

I read 2 quick books in the last days:

#Never Again - Doesn't seem to be a touchstone for this one. It's written by siblings David and Lauren Hogg, survivors of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Florida earlier this year. It was a small book (same size format as On Tyranny). It was told initially in alternating chapters by each of them, though David wrote the bulk of it. David is the older sibling (18 years old) and more articulate. His sister is 15-years-old. It's a story that must be told and David was very focussed and *out there* in the media in the days immediately following the tragedy. It was he and his friends who coordinated the movement that became #Never Again.

They both go a bit into their background and childhood (not sure it was really all that necessary to this story) and call me a grammar snob or just plain too anal but it just annoyed the heck out of me that Lauren's parts seemed to totally lack any editorial oversight. I know that most 15-year-olds use the word *like* excessively. I am aware that many people over that age do, too (and don't even get me started on hearing new immigrants inserting this idiotic word into every sentence in an attempt to feel *integrated*; it's what they hear so of course they will try to imitate. I am fairly certain no ESL teacher would deliberately be teaching them to say *like* all the time). But I digress. Are there simply no editors any more? Is that job obsolete? It would not have detracted one iota from the powerful impact of the story, had an editor changed "I'm like...", and "He was like..." to "I said" or "he said". I just found it distracting. David, incidentally, did not once do this. All that said, the story was a powerful one and these kids are amazing in their focus and their mission and their ability to be realistic about next steps. I can't wait for them to be able to vote. I was fairly pessimistic that if nothing got done after Sandy Hook, then nothing would ever get done. But these kids are speaking for themselves, no one is speaking for them and maybe that is what's different here. The books ended with a tribute to those who have been cut down in previous school shootings. Chilling. The list is 21 pages long. I was also shocked to learn in this book that *live shooter* drills are as routine in schools in the States as fire drills were for us growing up. Yikes. I was an elementary school teacher for many years and am not a big proponent of home schooling. But if anything would change my mind, this would.

Aug 17, 6:30pm Top

California Dreamin', a graphic novel by Penelope Bagieu, the woman who wrote the very cool Brazen Ladies Who Rocked the World. This one was all in black and white and told the story of Cass Elliott before she was a Mama. I read it last night in one sitting. I don't think I ever really knew her back story. So, today, I spent over an hour watching a youtube doc film about the Mamas and Papas as well as reading more about Cass. 3 of the 4 of them are gone now but the doc was full of interviews and performance pieces. I grew up in the 60s and was very much a folkie, but also loved Motown, soul, rock and pop. I have a few of the M&P albums and am so glad that I kept all my vinyl albums of that era. The doc film was really excellent.

And since the last few days have transported me back to the sixties (this book, this doc, Aretha), it's probably a good place to mention that I am very excited about my afternoon tomorrow. A friend and I are going to see a one-man multi-media stage show called BOOM. I will report back tomorrow, but here is a preview:


Scroll down a bit for a quick peek at what to expect. It really does look pretty amazing.

Aug 19, 1:51pm Top

How was BOOM???

I need to get my hands on a copy of California Dreamin'. I loved Brazen Ladies Who Rocked the World and I think reading about the life of Cass Elliott would be worthwhile.

Listening to lots of Aretha on the radio these past few days. So sad to lose her.

Aug 20, 12:03pm Top

I hope everything goes well for your Mum's plan, Shelley. BOOM looks like it was a fun show. I hope you enjoyed it. My library has California Dreamin' and I plan on going there today to pick up some more holds. Not that I need something else to read!

Aug 20, 1:56pm Top

Hi Ellen, Meg. The multi-media show we saw yesterday was excellent. It was such a creative piece that it's almost hard to describe. It's a one-man show, by a guy called Rick Miller, who isn't even a baby boomer, himself! Yet the story of the years of the *official* baby boom (1945 - 1969) is more a collection or a collage of stories of a time, and of individuals, some famous, some not famous. It was really very cleverly put together. The stage set looked a bit like a top hat. The tube of it was the *screen* on which a lot of video clips were projected as the tales unfolded. It also was like a capsule (a time capsule, as Rick said). The rim of the hat was angled with the front end dipping forward so if he had stepped on it, you'd think he'd slip forward and off. He didn't, of course, but the circular form of the rim was a cleverly orchestrated bit because a lot of his premise, as he explained in the Q&A after the show, is that history is not linear at all but rather, circular and *what goes around comes around*, in a way. There were also video clips that lent themselves to that visual and that worked really well (the viewing of the earth from space, for example).

The story was told through 3 individuals that Rick knew: his mom (Canadian), his father (Austrian) and another guy, Lawrence (American), whose lives intersected at University of Toronto in the 60s. Interspersed in their stories were, of course, historical events of those years. It really was a terrific experience. More than a few times, the audience were singing, clapping or nodding along!

And by pure coincidence, I also have tickets to a movie this evening, The Jazz Ambassadors. (scroll right to watch the clip)

It seems a good follow-up to the show we saw yesterday, if perhaps a more sober one.

One thing that I noticed yesterday (and feel I might, tonight, as well), is how history truly seems to repeat itself. In the paper program we received upon entry to yesterday's show, the writers notes open with this quote:

"That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."

-- Aldous Huxley (1959).

Aug 21, 1:16pm Top

I am currently reading/listening to the audiobook of Nadia Hashimi's When the Moon is Low. It is a story of a woman of Afghanistan as she and her 3 children attempt to flee from the Taliban. The audiobook is in my car at the moment and I can't recall the name of the narrator but she is excellent. The story is gripping and although I am not quite at the halfway point, I am thinking about it constantly. It is a timely book as I am sure that so many refugees from Syria and that part of the world face similar situations on a daily basis in their search for survival and refuge, and *home*. It makes me shake my head and want to scream, what is wrong with people (governments, that is) that innocent people are treated so badly? Sometimes, humans can be such scumbags.

I tried to find more info about this author (I own, but have not yet read, her first book, The Pearl That Broke its Shell). Turns out, she is American-born of Afghani background, and is a pediatrician. Also, ran for Congress as a Democrat.


What an accomplished woman!

This is one of those audiobooks that I may end up bringing into the house to finish.

Aug 21, 1:38pm Top

>67 jessibud2: The quicksands of Shelley's reviews!! Sounds great. : )

Aug 22, 12:11pm Top

The Jazz Ambassadors looks good, Shelley. I hope you enjoyed it.

Edited: Aug 25, 8:34pm Top

>69 Familyhistorian: - The Jazz Ambassadors was really good, Meg. I always feel I learn so much from documentaries. I had no idea that there really was such a thing as jazz ambassadors, during the Cold War. There was! The government used to send jazz bands and performers to places such as Africa, and even Russia, to *bridge* diplomacy in a cultural way that politics simply could not touch. Not all the musicians were thrilled. There were clips of Dizzy Gillespie and even Louis Armstrong talking about what they would say if asked about racial unrest at home (this was in the pre- and early civil rights days and Alabama unrest, etc). Armstrong said it depended on what day it was. "Don't ask me today," he said, after one particularly bad riot (I can't remember just now which one he was referring to).

In talking about the politics of the day, late 50s, early and mid-60s, it was eerie to see so many parallels to politics today. Some things truly never change. History continues to manage to repeat itself and not learn anything new. Just tonight on the Global News (tv), there was someone showing and talking about the uncanny parallels between trump today and Nixon in the Watergate years. The only difference being the support base trump amazingly continues to have.

What a crazy world we live in.

Aug 22, 8:45pm Top

A friend just sent me this link, from a travel company she has travelled with before:

10 best indie bookstores around the world

Aug 22, 11:40pm Top

Just had a peek at the above link. Munro's in Victoria is wonderful.

Aug 25, 9:17am Top

>71 jessibud2: Fun to see Powell's on there, Shelley. I was surprised there are no London Bookshops on it - we like Daunt, Foyle's and the London Book Review bookshop, and I'm sure other people would add to that.

As a sci-fi reader, I'll need to find my way to White Dwarf Books in Vancouver.

Aug 25, 8:33pm Top

Dear Madam President by Jennifer Palmieri

She worked in the (Bill) Clinton White House, the Obama White House and was director of communications for the Hillary Clinton campaign. Not being American, I had not known or heard of her prior to reading this book, but the title and the premise caught my eye and I felt it was worth reading.

She designs this book as a letter to the future women who will run the world one day, sharing her advice and her experiences from what she has learned in her career, not least of which was the devastating 2016 election. I found the book to be both optimistic (if a bit idealistic) and uplifting, yet honest and realistic in its tone. The quotes I liked best were those in which she tries to remind women that change is not a bad thing and that there is always something to learn from every experience. Here are a few:

"I have always thought that I could do any job a man can do just as well as him. Only recently have I come to realize that I don't want to. I want to do the job the best ay I can do it, not the way he would. That's what this letter is about - how women can lead in a new way. How we can create a new model of leadership in our own image, not a man's."

(from her time on Obama's staff) "The president isn't being nice when he asks your view; he needs it. None of us who were entrusted to be part of the president's senior staff was there just to do the job assigned to us. We were in the room because of the experience, perspective, and judgment we brought with us, and the president needed to hear from each of us. What's hard to accept in that moment is that you are that person whose views are worthy of being heard by the president of the United States." (how quickly things change! That last comment is mine!)

"...But we aren't in a man's world anymore. Now it's our world. And shame on us women if we don't do something to change the way this game is played so that everybody is able to bring their best to the effort. Let's embrace a new way of working that is equally geared toward our own qualities and skills."

"You are going to need to keep both a cool head and a warm heart to steer your ship through the storm...You have to lead by example and keep your team calm and focussed in a crisis. I have learned from watching President Obama and Hillary Clinton that the best leaders also listen with their hearts in times of crisis. They make sure the people serving them have the moral support they need to get the job done, and they make sure the people they serve are getting the leadership they need, too."

"Madam President....like all of us, you will face moments of tragedy and loss and be tested by them. When you fall short or the country gets discouraged, look beyond the loss before you to see what else is possible. You may need to set your sights farther in the future, dig a little deeper, and find the strength to keep going. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that any cause or battle you take on must be won in order to have been worth doing. Believe that the effort you put into something that really matters to you is its own reward, whether your efforts succeed or not. If your cause is right, you will eventually prevail. Till then, stay true to your principles; if you will yourself to fight on, you will never be defeated."

and finally,

"I have accepted that the days of being able to predict how our politics will play out are over...A small number of people in Washington shouldn't be able to predict - let alone orchestrate - what our entire democracy is going to do. That paradigm had to topple....That's not how this is going down. The rebirth will come from the ground up or it won't come at all."


Overall, a quick read and if I were young and inclined to public office, I might treasure it as a bit of a bible. But I'm not; still, a good and interesting insider's perspective.

Edited: Sep 4, 4:36pm Top

Did anyone else used to love the Murphy Brown show as much as I did? I heard great news today:

Murphy Brown returns to the air at the end of September!!



Having her return to the world of 2018 *news* can only be a good thing. Remember what she did to Dan Quayle? One can only imagine the tweets she will elicit from trump!! LOL! I can't wait!


Aug 29, 1:01am Top

>75 jessibud2: It will be interesting to see Murphy Brown updated but unfortunately "the trailer is not available in your country". Does that mean that we won't get the show either?

Aug 29, 6:57am Top

Hi Meg. I also got that *not available* thing. That seems to happen a lot on the internet. I am sure it's an internet thing, which, frankly, never made sense to me. Isn't it a *world wide* web? Whatever. The show is on CBS on tv so I am sure we will get it. I can't wait.

Yesterday, I bought a *People* magazine, something I usually never do but the cover story was about Aretha and I just wanted to read more about her. A bonus was a small item about Murphy Brown. The original actors who are returning to their roles all barely look like they have aged at all since we last saw them. Only Candice Bergen does. She has become much heavier than she was 20 years ago. And the thing that I love about this is that she seems perfectly ok with that. She is still beautiful and I'm sure, just as sassy and sharp. I really can't wait to see what she does to trump. He will surely be having twit fits!! :-) He is no match for Murphy!

Aug 29, 10:08pm Top

>77 jessibud2: I looked up my local CBS station and they had an article about the first Murphy Brown show being about the Me Too movement. It also looks like it will be on my local CBS station. I wonder if her renos are done yet?

Aug 30, 6:52am Top

>78 Familyhistorian: - Well, sadly, the actor who played Eldon, her house painter/reno guy, died several years ago so he is one character who won't be returning. We'll see if/how they deal with that factor. Also, remember how much Aretha's music played a part in Murphy's life? How she always used to belt out *You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman* at home (off-key)? I wonder if there will be any subtle nod to her....

Edited: Aug 30, 7:55am Top

They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson.

This feels like an odd choice for me to be reading at this moment. It's either the worst thing or the best thing, I think. This is the story of the author and her relationships with her parents, who have both recently passed away. She and 3 her brothers are left to clear out their enormous home to prepare it for sale. As she does so, the layers are peeled away and reveal much about her relationships with both of her parents. As with most (all?) families, there were the usual strains and pains, through the years. But she was also her parents' caretakers in their final years and that opens a whole different level of stress. She has close ties to her siblings, though, and that helps a lot. My brother and I are dealing with some of the same issues right now, ourselves.

My mum is still alive though not well. The family dynamics are very different for me than for Johnson. But I think the reason I picked this book up now is to try to learn from how others dealt with this end-stage and hopefully take something from it that will help me. I am not quite finished the book yet but close.

Edited to add: I am confused. I did a quick search of this book, in the upper right corner and found it. So I clicked on it to add it to my shelf. Yet when I copied and pasted my review there, mine was the only review and the page of reviews I found in my search was not there. I tried deleting and trying again, same thing. Now I click on the title here in my thread, and it takes me to the page with all the reviews and mine is not there at all, even when I expand to see all the reviews. So where did it go?

Technology makes my head hurt.

Edited: Aug 30, 8:07am Top

>80 jessibud2: Your edition got together with By Plum Johnson - They Left Us Everything: A Memoir (2014-04-02) Paperback, there is your review. You might want to change the title on your book before combining.

ETA: I can help with combining the books, if you don't know how.

Edited: Aug 30, 8:17am Top

>81 FAMeulstee: - Oh, I see what you mean. I must have just copied and pasted it all from my review here. Ok, so I now deleted it from the link in your post. How do I add it to the one with other reviews? When I do the search for the title, I get the page with all the reviews. But when I click on that one to add to my books, the messed up one comes up for me to click on, not the good one.

Edited: Aug 30, 9:27am Top

>82 jessibud2: You can add the messed up one and then manually change the title with edit book at the add books page. With deleting your book, you deleted your review :-(
ETA: Or you try to add the book from an other source than the one you used before.

Aug 30, 4:40pm Top

>79 jessibud2: Oh too bad that the actor who played Eldon died. I think I have a vague recollection of that. It will be interesting to see what they do with her home life.

Good luck with your tech issues.

Aug 30, 7:06pm Top

>84 Familyhistorian: - I am leaving for Montreal in the morning so have been busy today with all manner of preparations, including vet stuff for one of my cats, among other things. I will not bother stressing myself over the tech stuff right now. I am taking my laptop so maybe if I have time in Montreal, I will see if I can fix it. If not, the review is here on my thread and that will have to be enough.

After several days of blast furnace heat and humidity, we woke up to a deliciously cool day today. We never even hit 20C!! That hasn't happened since last June! It won't last, though, as the temps and humidity will begin to climb back up tomorrow. When will autumn arrive??!!

Aug 30, 7:21pm Top

Shelley, wishing you a safe trip to Montreal and hoping your visit goes well with your mom.

Picked up the Miriam Toews new novel Women Talking from the library today which is a sure sign of autumn for me as fewer books come off the home shelf and I get more from the library. We are allowed 50 holds and I have topped out but the wait can sometimes feel like forever until it's my turn.

Aug 30, 9:22pm Top

Thanks, Mary. My mum had a fall today inside the house but she only bruised her knee. I can see a visit to the store to purchase a walker happening on Saturday. I had asked them to do it ages ago but both she and her husband procrastinated. Seems if I don't tend to these things myself, they don't get done. In happier news, we have a family wedding on Sunday.

I had wanted to download a specific book to my phone so I could listen on the train ride. But there are 33 people waiting ahead of me. I completely don't get technology, apparently. I hadn't realized that even digital copies can be in limited supply. I'm so not techy!!! So I am taking 3 actual books with me. That should be more than enough.

Aug 31, 3:05am Top

I hope that you have an enjoyable and rejuvenating weekend in Montreal, Shelley.

Aug 31, 8:13am Top

Thanks, Darryl.

Aug 31, 9:06am Top

>87 jessibud2: Hope you have a fun time at the wedding
Sorry to see your mom had a fall. Hope the walker helps!

When you log onto overdrive to download ebooks there is a spot that you can check off that shows you only books available right now, with no holds. Won't help with the one you want but you could find something else for your trip.

Aug 31, 2:56pm Top

Have a good visit in Montreal, Shelley, and enjoy the family wedding.

Aug 31, 7:39pm Top

>90 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle. I am slowly learning my way around Overdrive. One of the librarians at my library spent a good half hour teaching me awhile ago and that was helpful. I even managed to remember enough when I got home to download one without her! But this time, I forgot to look at the availables because I was looking for a specific title. No worries, though. I brought 3 books with me and read half of the first one on the train this afternoon. I had a migraine so I ended up sleeping fair bit, too. I also discovered, once I got here, that I forgot to put the mouse in my computer bag! Thankfully, I was able to use the mouse from my mother's computer. My head was clearly not firing on all cylinders when I left my house!

>91 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg. It is hot here in Montreal and getting hotter over the next few days. Summer is not over yet!

Aug 31, 9:38pm Top

Hi Shelley!

I hope things go well with your mom and her husband and that she doesn't fight the walker. Have a joyous time at the wedding.

Edited: Sep 6, 11:45am Top

Just a quick pop-in this morning. Last night we were at the wedding of my cousin's daughter, Stephanie. It was a beautiful wedding. The ceremony was held outdoors at a hotel overlooking a lake. The skies had opened up earlier in the day but held for the entire ceremony. Big PHEW!!

One of the little touches that made this wedding so sweet, was that Stephanie, a librarian, and her husband Michael, a film animator, are both book lovers. They met at her library when he walked in one day to do work. And the rest, as they say, is history. Typical of them was what they chose as centrepieces for each table. In the middle of every single table was a book, some hard cover, some trade paper. On top of each book, in a little stand, was a short review signed by one or the other of them. These were among their favourite books. In their speeches later, Stephanie said that if someone from each table walked away with the book (or went to a quiet corner to have a better look), her work was done. I claimed dibs on the book on my table right away! It's a book and author I was not familiar with, called Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton. It's a graphic novel (hardback, though, and large, so I am afraid I will leave it here at my mum's until the next time I come back) and said to be a delightful literary, social and historic commentary mixed with humour. Apparently, Kate Beaton is a cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine. Michael gave it a glowing review. Anyhow, I just thought it was such a clever and creative touch to the evening.

I am heading home tomorrow. I really hope this stinking, stifling heat and humidity breaks soon. It's making me (and everyone else) pretty cranky

Sep 3, 12:15pm Top

I love Kate Beaton and Hark a Vagrant! Enjoy- her take on Heathcliff is hilarious

Sep 3, 8:50pm Top

>95 torontoc: - Thanks, Cyrel. Good to know. I see she is also Canadian and has many great reviews here on LT, too!

Sep 3, 11:40pm Top

>94 jessibud2: What an absolutely beautiful idea for a centerpiece! We did that last year at our Literary Arts Fundraiser, but that is an event made for booklovers, so no big surprise. To do it at a wedding...I love it!!

Also thanks for the Murphy Brown heads up--I will try to find it.

Sep 4, 10:03am Top

>66 jessibud2: "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history."

-- Aldous Huxley (1959).

Sigh. Too terribly true.

>94 jessibud2: That sounds like a wonderful wedding reception and such an awesome thing they did. And the book you acquired, Hark! A Vagrant sounds very interesting. I'll look forward to your comments after you return and are able to read it. By the way, I did obtain a copy of California Dreamin' and will read it in the coming weeks.

>75 jessibud2: Oh My goodness, I had not thought of Murphy Brown in ages!! I loved that show. I will be looking out for that and setting the DVR!

Sep 4, 10:04am Top

By the way, I am totally engrossed in Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. Wonderful novel so far.

Edited: Sep 5, 3:31pm Top

It is currently 34C (93.2F) outside with the blast-furnace humidity making it the equivalent of 43C (109.4F). This has broken a record set 43 years ago. Have I mentioned lately how much I HATE THIS WEATHER? It will break by tomorrow then much cooler temps but honestly, it's enough already. I can't wait for the drop.

I did end up finding a way to squeeze the wedding book *gift* into my suitcase after all. Also, I have made the decision to go buy a tablet. Lugging my quite heavy laptop back and forth to Montreal is just too much. I spoke to my wonderful computer guy this morning and he offered to come with me to find just the right one. Hopefully, in the next few days. I am slowly sliding into the 21st century of technology, kicking and screaming all the way but it's of necessity. I foresee the commute getting more frequent over the next few months and I just can't do the laptop thing anymore.

Edited: Sep 12, 2:30pm Top

>97 Berly: - Yes, these kids are as book crazy as I am. I think Stephanie is on Goodreads (I'm not, only here). But I loved that they wanted to share their favourite books with friends and family. I wonder how much time went into placing a book on the table and trying to match it to the people sitting there or if they just did a random placement. I have to ask them!

I am also really looking forward to Murphy's return. I adored that show!

>98 EBT1002: - Hi Ellen. I am slowly unpacking and so far, can't find the article I cut out of the paper about Esi Edugyan. It's somewhere..... Good to hear that you are enjoying her new book.

Sep 5, 3:55pm Top

>100 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley, the weather this year has been weird, on Sunday here it got back up to 26C but the last couple of days it shot back down to 13 to 15C and then today we crept up to 18C, I don't know where we are with it. 34C and with humidity taking it to 43C is bad my dear especially at this time of year.

A few weeks ago the Met Office were warning councils that the warm weather could continue until November, obviously not the 30C+ but low to mid Twenties, now it seems as if that is changing and the weather for next week when we are on holiday could be changeable. Karen has now had to re-jig the packing, out go the shorts and a sweater or two has entered the suitcase, I give up.

Hope you are well my dear, after a hit and miss July and August I am back online on a regular basis and I will have the laptop with me on holiday so I can update how the holiday is going.

Sep 5, 4:41pm Top

Good luck with your computer shopping, Shelley. I don't have a tablet but it is good to have something small to travel with. I my case I have a netbook. Very interesting choice for the wedding centre pieces and good for you for nabbing it!

Sep 5, 5:29pm Top

Too scorched to scamper today...

Edited: Sep 5, 8:16pm Top

>100 jessibud2: About the laptop, I gave up the laptop over the past few years when I travel for my smart phone. It's a lot easier to carry, and I do mostly the same things on both. I carry real books to read.

>104 jessibud2: Yep. Squirrels do the same thing here when they get too hot. They lay flat against the concrete sidewalks. They look weird, though. Today it's 93 here in Maryland. Tomorrow it will be 95. I can't believe this is September.

Sep 5, 8:27pm Top

>105 SqueakyChu: - I find a phone too small a screen to do anything other than phone, text and read my email. I can't read anything that opens in a link. I need a larger screen though it doesn't have to be as large as a laptop. My computer guy says a tablet will be good. I hope he can find a time in the next few days to come with me so I can buy it and practice before I have to go back.

Sep 5, 8:47pm Top

>106 jessibud2: I think you'll enjoy having a tablet. My son gave me an i-pad he no longer uses. I learned how to use it and then never used it again once I got my smart phone. Basically what I learned from it was how to navigate the screen of icons before I got my smart phone! :D

Sep 8, 11:28pm Top

>100 jessibud2: That sounds dreadful and I would be totally with you. I don't much care for anything above 80F but when it gets above 90F I get grumpy and above 100F is intolerable. I hope it breaks soon (as it may have done by now)!

>104 jessibud2: Poor squirrel.

I have a tablet, a Windows Surface, at work (I use a MacBook Air at home) and I think I may find the tablet to be the right middle-of-the-road size for some things. It serves as the hard drive for my desktop work but I can disconnect it and take it along with me to meetings or home for work. I'm still getting used to it since I'm mostly a Mac person in my off-work hours. P loves her iPad.

Edited: Sep 9, 4:21pm Top

I saw a terrific documentary film the other day. It is based on the book of the same name (which I have but haven't read yet), by Andrew Solomon, called Far From the Tree. It's his extremely honest, candid and well-researched look into how people on the margins are accepted (or often, not) by families, society and themselves, and how they manage to find their own identities. Here is a clip (scroll once to the right to see the trailer):

Far From the Tree

I had lent the book to my friend who said that everyone in the film was in the book but obviously, the book had much more than could be put into the film. She also said it was very well-written which is easy to believe as Solomon narrates the film and is very articulate and genuine. I will get to that book now.

I had a hairy woodpecker at my feeder yesterday, That's the larger one of the 2 (hairy and downy) that otherwise look alike. Once I download my pics, I will edit one in here.

And I started the book I acquired from my cousin's wedding, Hark! A Vagrant (see >94 jessibud2:), and so far, it is a hoot! Even her intro is hilarious.

In other news, the disgusting tropical heat of earlier this week is gone, hopefully for good. Yesterday and today truly felt like autumn (I don't think we hit 20C) and it felt terrific to open the windows and not have to turn on the A/C at all. If it stayed this way from now on, I'd be one happy camper. I could even have worn a jacket but I didn't as it felt so good to actually feel the chill. :-)

Sep 10, 12:49am Top

>109 jessibud2: Hurray for cooler temps!! So, you scored a good book at the wedding, did you? Nice!

Sep 10, 9:31pm Top

The hairy woodpecker, at my feeder (yesterday, before the rain)

Sep 10, 9:53pm Top

>104 jessibud2: LOL. I see squirrels do this on my shed too. Looks like they are exhausted after harassing my feeders all day.

Love the Hairy Woodpecker. No question, with the longer beak. I do not think I have ever seen them at my feeders. Only Downys.

Sep 10, 10:15pm Top

>111 jessibud2: I love woodpeckers. I used to get hairys and downys, but I took down my suet feeders because other birds were literally chowing down one suet cake each day. Now I mostly enjoy the hummingbirds and one blue jay who comes to get peanuts.

Very cute picture, Shelley!

Edited: Sep 12, 8:59am Top

Well. I just listened to the only Canadian interview Bob Woodward is giving about his new book. Here is a link, if anyone is interested. Scroll down a bit and click *listen*:

Woodward interview

Then I went to my library's website to see if I could snag a copy or at least get on a waiting list. Um, yes. A waiting list:

1793 holds / 355 copies

With any luck, trump will be gone before the book gets to me... (one can only wish)

Sep 12, 11:31am Top

Hi Shelley!

I love the books-with-reviews-as-centerpieces at the wedding, and think your pictures of the hairy woodpecker photos are excellent.

>114 jessibud2: With any luck, trump will be gone before the book gets to me... (one can only wish) Yup.

If you don't already know about him, google "plaid shirt guy" - a 17-year old at drumpf's Billings rally who was making skeptical faces directly behind drumpf and was quickly replaced.

Sep 12, 12:24pm Top

>155 #plaidshirtguy is my hero. Someone at the drumpf rally who wasn't acting like one of the Stepford wives!

Sep 12, 10:34pm Top

>114 jessibud2: Well, at least they have 355 copies!

Interesting clip of "plaid shirt guy".

Sep 13, 4:24pm Top

The Stamp Collector by Jennifer Lanthier, illustrated by Francois Thisdale

This is a children's book that works on many levels. It is the story of 2 boys, one who loves books and one who loves stamps. They grow up separated by background, status and barriers, yet even those can't stop the power of *stories*. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is stark yet gripping.

After the story, the author writes a page, informing the reader that this book was inspired by 2 real Chinese writers, one a journalist, the other, an author of short stories. Both were imprisoned for their craft. She explains that not all countries have freedom of speech or expression and she explains how the beginnings of PEN International began, setting up its first Writers in Prison Committee in 1960. She lets the readers know that one of those writers, Nurmuhemmet Yasin is still in prison today, not allowed to see anyone. But that the journalist, Jiang Weiping, is free, thanks to PEN Canada, and now lives in Toronto. It was he who first told Jennifer Lanthier of the importance of stamps.

I had first heard of this book when the author was interviewed on the radio a few years ago. I got this from my library.

Sep 13, 6:31pm Top

>118 jessibud2: Oooh! That sounds like an interesting book! I'm so glad that you, too, read children's books. I had stopped doing so before I had grandchildren. Now I read them simply because of my Little Free Library and my TIOLI challenges. Sometimes they fit a current challenge...and they can be read quickly. :)

Sep 13, 6:45pm Top

>119 SqueakyChu: - This one was a good one to read now, as a reminder of how lucky we are to have basic human rights and such freedoms. At least, so far. In this age of trump and Ontario's baby trump, it is a reminder that can't be reinforced enough. And also, the importance of standing up and fighting for those rights. I don't know how much, if any, news you get of our politics but my city is in turmoil. As of yesterday, our disgusting premier has used a little-used clause to override our constitutional rights in order to push through an agenda of his that is hardly important enough to warrant such drastic action. In fact, it went to court, a judge of experience and high regard ruled that ford had acted against the constitution, then mr. baby trump (in true trump-style) put down the judge and over rode his judgment, stating that he (ford) was *elected* and the judge was merely appointed. There were huge protests in the legislature yesterday, and this is far from over. In fact, there is such turmoil, that our municipal election, set to happen next month, is now in jeopardy. All because of a power hungry bully.

Scary stuff.

Sep 13, 6:53pm Top

And, because there has to be balance, beauty over ugliness:

Bird photos of the year

Keep scrolling and be awed

Edited: Sep 13, 7:32pm Top

>120 jessibud2: Indeed scary. I don’t hear much of your local news here, but I would like to be kept informed of what’s happening in Ontario. Ultimately, we’re all in this together.

>121 jessibud2: Great photos!!

Sep 16, 8:09pm Top

When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi. This was an audiobook, told in two voices, Fereiba and her teenaged son, Saleem. Both readers were very good, especially Sneha Mathan, who voiced Fereiba's character. The story is about a family from Afghanistan before and after the Taliban came to power. It is the story of every refugee who tries to find a safer home and comes up against obstacles at every turn. We have seen this played out on the evening news, on the big screen and in literature. This book is fiction but it is fiction based on the truth of the times we live in. Fereiba's son Saleem is separated from his mother and 2 younger siblings early on and it is only the goal of reuniting that keeps them both moving forward as they strive to reach England where her sister and her family are living. This is also a story about the depths of strength and courage in the human spirit, resources we can only hope never to have to draw on, ourselves, to such a degree.

Towards the end of this 11-disc audiobook, I found myself feeling that perhaps it was being drawn out a bit too long. But I reminded myself that in reality, for people on the run, any amount of time is too long, when it comes to seeking asylum and safety. And home.

I don't want to say more than this, for spoiler alert reasons. But this was a gripping and heart-rending story, well-written and I think it will stay with me awhile.

Edited: Sep 16, 8:21pm Top

>123 jessibud2: Sounds like a sad story. It’s too much like what is happening in the news today for me to want to read such a books at this time. Fiction, though, to me anyway, sometimes gives a clearer picture of emotional fact than does nonfiction.

I’m now reading a sad family saga. It really helps to read those less depressing kids’ books in between!

Sep 16, 9:12pm Top

>124 SqueakyChu: - It is a sad story, Madeline, but it wasn't as graphic or horrific as it surely could have been. I can't do those types of books and wouldn't have made it through if it had been. But it was well-written and really well-read. The author is of Afghani background though she was raised (and born? not sure) in the States. She is also a pediatrician. I googled her a bit. I also have another book by her, called The Pearl That Broke its Shell but haven't read it yet.

And yes, I agree that it helps to balance things out to read lighter things in between. I am also currently reading a bio of 2 of my favourite figure skaters from the 80s/90s, Isabelle Brasseur and her skating partner Lloyd Eisler. The book is dated but it's still a fun read.

In my purse, I tote along a very small book to read on the subway. The other day, I went downtown around 10 a.m. I was reading it. Around 12:30, 1 pm, I was on my way home and at my last transfer, I sat down on the bench to wait for the train. A lady with white hair who had to have been in her 80s, easily, came to sit next to me. She said, "Weren't you the one going downtown earlier, reading a book called Why I Write? I said yes! She had noticed the title while I was reading on the train. I showed her the book (it is by George Orwell!). So funny how that happens sometimes, isn't it? We had a little chat then the train came and she went to sit somewhere else (maybe to let me read!) :-)

Edited: Sep 16, 9:52pm Top

>125 jessibud2:. I remember traveling to work by Metro in years past and always looking to see what others were reading. Then came the days of the ebook, and I could no longer tell what they were reading. Then came the days of the smart phone, and everyone was scrolling instead of reading. Then my office site was changed and I could no longer take the train to work! :(

I was thinking of those train rides today as Jose and I took the Metro to the new Audi stadium to see a soccer game. Now people do all sorts of things on the train again, and are no longer just glued to their smart phones. Someone was actually reading a newspaper! :)

Edited: Sep 17, 11:35am Top

>125 jessibud2: Interesting book to be reading, Shelley. Maybe that's why the lady was intrigued and noticed you on the train coming and going. Most people on transit here are still on their phones. It is very rare to see someone reading a book. That is more likely to happen on a train or plane.

I don't hear as much about Toronto's political shenanigans as those in the US but that could be because there are so many in the US and they affect us more closely than happenings in Toronto. It seems hard to understand why people who are elected straight away disrupt things so that nothing gets done unless that is their strategy all along.

Sep 17, 1:15pm Top

>127 Familyhistorian: - Oh, most people here are also on their phones, everywhere. I guess it is rather rare to see anyone reading an actual book. I do see it, and notice, but it's very much the exception, not the rule.

As for politics, this past week has been a week like no other. I cannot stand to see ford's ugly face or hear his high-pitched whiny voice. Even hard-core conservatives are coming out of the woodwork to condemn his grudgefest against Toronto. Yet, like his idol, trump, he still has his core support group of extremist right-wingers, and he is openly defiant and openly stating that he will basically do what he wants because he can. A statement only true bullies feel *proud* to make. Over and over. I really hope the other provinces are paying attention because this is the tip of the iceberg and doesn't bode well for our country if they don't.

Edited: Sep 17, 9:56pm Top

>128 jessibud2:

How is Trudeau handling the rise of this new dictator?

Sep 17, 10:22pm Top

>129 m.belljackson: - He isn't impressed at all but will not interfere (at this point, anyhow) as this is a provincial issue and I think that would probably set a bad precedent. At least, for now. But if ford follows through on his threat to use this *notwithstanding* clause (the *override* bill) for anything he wants to, which is what he said, point-blank, then things and federal attitudes may change. It's all very ugly.

Edited: Sep 18, 7:37am Top

The long-list of 12 books was just announced for the Giller Prize. Here they are:


I have only heard of a few of them but will be looking for at least a few to read before the short list is announced on Oct. 1, and the winner in November.

Sep 18, 8:13am Top

Hi Shelley! Just a quick hello. I forgot to mention above that your >111 jessibud2: Hairy Woodpecker photos are amazing. Great job!

Sep 18, 8:45pm Top

Thanks Shelley for posting the link to the Giller long list. i'll have to read about them all.

Edited: Sep 20, 6:19am Top

Thanks for posting the Giller Long list. I did enjoy Patrick dewitt previous novel, The Sisters Brothers . It was a violent but hilarious look at the Wild Wild West - which usually has zero interest for me, but this was an exception. I'll consider his book, but we'll see.

I've read a couple of books by Nadia Hashimi and really enjoyed them. Glad you did too.

I've read The Pearl that Broke its Shell and as well as The Moon is Low . Really enjoyed both of them.
So sorry about Doug Ford. Yikes!!!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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