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kidzdoc "Stays Woke" in 2018, Chapter 5

This is a continuation of the topic kidzdoc "Stays Woke" in 2018, Chapter 4.

This topic was continued by kidzdoc "Stays Woke" in 2018, Chapter 6.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Sep 17, 3:23am Top

These photos are meant to represent the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which I attended for the first time last year. I'll leave for Edinburgh next week, and meet up with two LTers, one of the nurses I work with, and her husband. I'll do a better job taking my own photos this year than I did in 2017.

Currently reading:


Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy
The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke

Completed Books:


1. Red Star Over Russia: Revolution in Visual Culture 1905-55 by Sidlina Natalia
2. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
3. Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
4. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

5. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
6. Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker
7. In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's by Joseph Jebelli
8. Mayhem: A Memoir by Sigrid Rausing
9. I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell
10. The Devil Finds Work by James Baldwin
11. Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

12. Coltrane: The Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff
13. Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
14. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
15. Winter by Karl Ove Knausgaard
16. Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz
17. The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman

18. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
19. The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris
20. With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix
21. Miró: The Life of a Passion by Lluís Permanyer
22. Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
23. To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell

24. Lisbon: A Cultural and Literary Companion by Paul Buck
25. A Man: Klaus Klump by Gonçalo M. Tavares
26. Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa
27. The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
28. The Impostor by Javier Cercas

29. Everybody Loves Kamau! by W. Kamau Bell
30. Rick Steves Snapshot Lisbon by Rick Steves
31. The Poor by Raul Brandão
32. City of Ulysses by Teolinda Gersão
33. The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton

34. Act of the Damned by António Lobo Antunes
35. The Struggle for Catalonia: Rebel Politics in Spain by Raphael Minder
36. Kader Attia: Architecure of Memory by Beate Reifenscheid
37. Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon by Gijs van Hensbergen

38. Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland
39. Where Pain Fears to Pass by L. Burton
40. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
41. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
42. The Prisoner by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne

43. Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
44. In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne

Edited: Aug 8, 8:45am Top

Classic 20th Century Novels from the African Diaspora

Blind Man with a Pistol by Chester Himes
The Emigrants by George Lamming
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (re-read)
Maps by Nuruddin Farah
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
Native Son by Richard Wright
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Sozaboy by Ken Saro-Wiwa
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau

Notable 21st Century Literature from the African Diaspora

Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa
Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett
Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
The Drift Latitudes by Jamal Mahjoub
Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
Foreign Gods, Inc. by Okey Ndibe
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Juice!: A Novel by Ishmael Reed
Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Pym by Mat Johnson
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans by Rosalyn Story
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Nonfiction from the African Diaspora

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Beyond Black and White: From Civil Rights to Barack Obama by Manning Marable
Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith
Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil by W.E.B. Du Bois
Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin
If They Come in the Morning … : Voices of Resistance, edited by Angela Y. Davis
In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture by K. Anthony Appiah
Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole
Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou
The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou
Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr.
More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon

Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs from the African Diaspora

Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey
I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson
The Last Holiday: A Memoir by Gil Scott-Heron
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Mingus Speaks by John F. Goodman
Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim by Justin Gifford
Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson by Wil Haygood
Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire

Edited: Aug 8, 8:49am Top

The Man Booker International Prize 2018 Longlist:

Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language
Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor
*Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1
Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone
*Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book
Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love
*László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On
*Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow
Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain
*Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad
+*Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights
Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle
Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest

*shortlisted title
+prize winner

The Man Booker Prize 2018 Longlist:

Snap by Belinda Bauer (UK)
Milkman by Anna Burns (UK)
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (USA)
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Canada)
In Our Mad And Furious City by Guy Gunaratne (UK)
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (UK)
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (USA)
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (UK)
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Canada)
The Overstory by Richard Powers (USA)
The Long Take by Robin Robertson (UK)
Normal People by Sally Rooney (Ireland)
From A Low And Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (Ireland)

Edited: Aug 8, 8:53am Top

Iberian Literature and Nonfiction

Act of the Damned by António Lobo Antunes
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective by Simon Harris
The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
City of Ulysses by Teolinda Gersão
The Dolls' Room by Llorenç Villalonga
Fado Alexandrino by António Lobo Antunes
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
The Inquisitors' Manual by António Lobo Antunes
Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina
The Moor's Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End by Elizabeth Drayson
The New Spaniards by John Hooper
Obabakoak by Bernardo Atxaga
The Poor by Raul Brandão
The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
The Struggle for Catalonia: Rebel Politics in Spain by Raphael Minder
Things Look Different in the Light by Medardo Fraile
What's Up with Catalonia? by Liz Castro
The Yellow Rain by Julio Llamazares

Edited: Aug 8, 8:55am Top

Many of us who are long time members of Club Read and 75 Books were friends of rebeccanyc, who died last summer. I had the pleasure of meeting my "book sister" once, and she was both one of my first friends on LibraryThing, and a huge influence on my reading. We were both huge fans of Mario Vargas Llosa and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and we share just over 400 books in our LT libraries.

I intend to honor her in 2018 by reading at least six books that we share in common.

In Memory of RebeccaNYC

1984 by George Orwell
The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa
Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou
The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the CIty of Light by Gregor Dallas
Of Africa by Wole Soyinka
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

Edited: Aug 8, 9:01am Top

Voices of Color/Social Justice

Al' America: Travels Through America's Arab and Islamic Roots by Jonathan Curiel
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner
Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America by Tiny, aka Lisa Gray-Garcia
To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War by John Gibler
Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid by Joseph Nevins
The Ethics of Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America, edited by Rubén G. Rumbaut and Alejandro Portes
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
For the Muslims: Islamophobia in France by Edwy Plenel
The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla
A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America by Óscar Martínez
The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah
How Does it Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi
Howard Zinn on Race by Howard Zinn
Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation by Ray Suarez
Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South by Mary E. Odem
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
The Mosaic of Islam: A Conversation with Perry Anderson by Suleiman Mourad
The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror by Arun Kundnani
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture by Hisham D. Aidi
Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties by Karen L. Ishizuka
Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques
Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness by Alice Walker
What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam by John L. Esposito
Who Are We: And Should It Matter in the Twenty-First Century? by Gary Younge

Edited: Aug 8, 9:10am Top

2018 Wellcome Book Prize longlist:

*Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
*The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris
In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s by Joseph Jebelli
Plot 29: A Memoir by Allan Jenkins
The White Book by Han Kang translated by Deborah Smith
*With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix
Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty
+*To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death by Mark O’Connell
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell
*Mayhem: A Memoir by Sigrid Rausing
Behave: The Biology of humans at our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky
*The Vaccine Race: How Scientists Used Human Cells to Combat Killer Viruses by Meredith Wadman

2017 Wellcome Book Prize longlist:

*How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
*When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
+*Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (alternate title: The Heart: A Novel)
The Golden Age by Joan London
Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant
*The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
*The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes by Adam Rutherford
Miss Jane by Brad Watson
*I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong

*shortlisted title
+prize winner

Edited: Aug 8, 9:17am Top

Planned reads for August (which will undoubtedly change after I arrive in Edinburgh on the 16th):

The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Novel by Javier Cercas
Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland
Deepstep Come Shining by C.D. Wright
From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole
Milkman by Anna Burns
Olio by Tyehimba Jones
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Taller When Prone: Poems by Les Murray
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Where Pain Fears to Pass by L. Burton

Edited: Aug 8, 8:33am Top

Aug 8, 8:47am Top

Happy new thread, Darryl!
Looking forward to meet you again in September :-)

Edited: Aug 8, 8:56am Top

>11 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! I'm glad that I'll be able to return to Amsterdam this year, and even happier to see you and Frank again.

Aug 8, 8:59am Top

Happy new one, Darryl. You sure are logging air miles!!

Edited: Aug 8, 9:12am Top

>13 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I have three more trips planned to visit Europe this year, which is in keeping with the past few years, in which I made four or five trips abroad.

Aug 8, 9:21am Top

When in Edinburgh, please visit my namesake pub.

Aug 8, 9:22am Top

Wait....aren't you supposed to be at Edinburgh Festival?

Aug 8, 9:37am Top

Happy new thread! Have fun with your travels!

Aug 8, 9:52am Top


Edited: Aug 8, 11:32am Top

>15 katiekrug: Ha! I shall do my best, Katie. I'm staying in a B&B in the Newington section of Edinburgh, a bit south of The Meadows and Summerhall, so I won't be all that close. I may be able to go to the Boozy Cow on a day that I spend in Charlotte Square Gardens attending the book festival, though.

>16 tangledthread: Yes...but I don't leave until next Wednesday. I'll be in Edinburgh from 16-28 August, spend barely a week in Atlanta, and fly to London on 5 September. I'll make a side trip to Amsterdam from 14-17 September, and meet up plans with Anita & Frank, Connie (connie53), Sanne (ennas), Jacqueline (zjakkelien) and a well known dashing young American couple are currently underway.

>17 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I'll be watching the launch on the 11th.

>18 SqueakyChu: Hi, Madeline! Paul Harris and I have tentatively made plans to meet in London on 13 September. We'll have to get you out (t)here in the near future.

Aug 8, 10:23am Top

I'm looking forward, as always, to tales of your next expeditions on land and in print.

Aug 8, 10:27am Top

>20 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. We'll have to get together one of these days, either in Philadelphia, NYC or elsewhere.

Aug 8, 10:29am Top

Happy new thread! Hope you enjoy all your upcoming trips!

Aug 8, 10:34am Top

Your trips sound great!
I loved Edinburgh when I was there a number of years ago.

Aug 8, 10:37am Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 8, 11:06am Top

Happy New Thread, Darryl. Hooray for Olio. I thought it was outstanding and so did Joe. Wow!

I am well into The Mars Room. It is very tough and gritty but also quite excellent.

Aug 8, 11:12am Top

Happy new thread! Thank you for your facebook message, I will answer it soon. Looking forward to seeing you when you are back in London. Have a safe and wonderful time in Edinburgh!

Edited: Aug 9, 8:00am Top

>22 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! I need to book tickets for Edinburgh Festival Fringe performances, especially now that the season is underway. I'll spend an hour or two reading Fringe reviews and touching base with Fliss and Margaret from LT, and my friend Kelsey from Atlanta. Another local friend is in Edinburgh now, and I'll ask her what else she has seen and liked, besides the Brexit drag musical that she told me about yesterday.

>23 torontoc: Thanks, Cyrel. The week I spent in Edinburgh during the festivals last year was the most enjoyable week of vacation I've ever had, so I'm even more excited to return this year.

>24 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

Edited: Aug 8, 11:28am Top

>25 msf59: Thanks, Mark! You and Joe encouraged me to read Olio, along with its selection as the Pulitzer Prize winner in Poetry this year or last, so I look forward to reading it.

I'm glad that you're also enjoying The Mars Room; I'll read it early next month.

>26 Sakerfalcon: Hi, Claire! I look forward to your reply, and seeing you again in London next month. Bianca will be around then, and she's interested in seeing the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A, as am I.

Aug 8, 11:51am Top

>21 kidzdoc: Yes, yes indeed.

Aug 8, 12:56pm Top

>19 kidzdoc: I hope to catch up with you sometime during your visit Darryl, but I'm in Northern Ireland 5-10 September. Would certainly enjoy joining the V&A trip if the dates work, one of my favourite places.

Aug 8, 1:45pm Top

Happy New Thread, Darryl!

Oh, we envy you going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We loved it in what is becoming too many years ago.

How are you liking Olio so far? We got to see Tyehimba Jess perform a lot of it, and he was really impressive. He does some pretty amazing things stylistically - including cross-sonnets that can be read in different ways (which he did for us).

Edited: Aug 8, 6:33pm Top

>29 laytonwoman3rd: 👍🏽

>30 Caroline_McElwee: Sounds good, Caroline. I'll also create a group meet up thread via Facebook Messenger once plans start to take shape.

>31 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Hopefully we can meet up in Edinburgh in a future year, but I'm glad that we'll see each other in London and Amsterdam.

I'll start Olio very shortly, along with From a Low and Quiet Sea, now that I've awakened from another long and refreshing afternoon nap. I would love to see Tyehimba Jess in person; I'll look for his Facebook or web page to see if he is performing in Atlanta or elsewhere in the near future. It would be great if he performed at the upcoming AJC Decatur Book Festival, which will take place from August 31 to September 2 in the city of Decatur, located just east of Atlanta. Off to check...

Aug 8, 6:20pm Top

Happy new thread, Darryl. I look forward to hearing about your up coming travels and seeing the photos. Enjoy!

Aug 8, 6:30pm Top

...no. Tyehimba Jess won't appear at this year's AJC Decatur Book Festival, although he did appear there in 2016 and read from Olio, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry last year.

The festival is held on Labor Day weekend every year, and I normally always work or am out of town then. I'll be off and in town for it this year, though, and Kay, a member of Club Read who I haven't met before, will come into town for it; several of my bookish colleagues will be going as well. It's the largest independent book festival in the country, which features over 600 local, regional and national authors, with plenty of authors of color and women writers, which is set in one of my favorite areas of metro Atlanta, with plenty of great shops and restaurants. Fortunately there is a metro stop in downtown Decatur, with access to the rest of the city, so there is no need to drive or find parking, which is difficult at any time. This year's featured authors include Madeline Miller, Tayari Jones, Rick Bragg, Robert Olen Butler, James Forman, Jr. (the author of Locking Up Our Own, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction in 2017), Charles Frazier, Melissa Fay Greene, Kenny Leon (the Tony Award winning theatre producer), Armistead Maupin, Bernice McFadden, Nathaniel Rich, Karin Slaughter and Beverly Daniel Tatum. Best of all the festival is free, save for the keynote address IIRC.

I'll go through the festival lineup later this week and post a thread in the LibraryThing Gatherings and Meetups group to see who else might be able to make it.

Aug 8, 6:32pm Top

Aug 8, 8:52pm Top

"DB" (deebee1), who I met twice in Lisbon in June as you probably remember, asked me to spread the word about a fundraiser she has started for her brother, who is seriously ill with lymphoma in the Phillipines, where she is originally from, and needs to raise money for chemotherapy in order to save his life. I just submitted a donation, and, per her request, I'll post the link to her GoFundMe page, for anyone who is interested in supporting him.


Aug 8, 9:07pm Top

Happy new thread, Darryl. Safe travels.

Aug 8, 9:11pm Top

>37 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!

Aug 8, 9:32pm Top

Happy new thread, Darryl!! The Festival sounds awesome. Very jealous. ; )

Aug 8, 11:26pm Top

>39 Berly: Thanks, Kim (and apologies)!

Aug 8, 11:41pm Top

>19 kidzdoc: Have some great middle eastern food for me! :D

Edited: Aug 9, 12:33am Top

>41 SqueakyChu: Will do, Madeline!

I just downloaded the Kindle version of my Early Reviewers win for July, Green Smoothie Recipe Book by Stephanie Shaw, a registered nurse from the UK. I quickly glanced at the recipes, and they all look enticing. I'll choose two or three smoothies to try, and go shopping around noon to buy ingredients for them. There is already one 5 star review on LT, not counting the one from the author, and I suspect that my rating will match that one.

Aug 9, 12:56pm Top

I just read this article from The Guardian (via my e-mail newsletter from Publisher's Weekly) about the Book Festival in Edinburgh. You might find it of interest. Seems that the UK is joining the US in its war against "The Other" - no matter who that might be.


Aug 9, 2:22pm Top

>34 kidzdoc: How wonderful that you'll be in town for the festival AND be able to have a Meetup! Have fun!

>8 kidzdoc: Oooo! The longlist! I will have to check them out. Are there any you plan on reading right away? Or is that what the checkmarks are for? I started reading Behave in the library one day, but I was in the middle of so many books that I didn't really want to continue. However, I love Sapolsky. He's so funny! So I will certainly read it at some point.

Edited: Aug 9, 3:14pm Top

>43 benitastrnad: Wow...thanks for letting me know about that story, Benita; I hadn't heard that. I have tickets for 17 talks at the book festival, and as far as I can tell all of the authors, save for one, who appears to be British, will be able to make it.

>44 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel! I'll probably wait util I return to Atlanta on the 28th to choose which author talks I'll attend at the AJC Decatur Book Festival, since it doesn't start until August 31st.

I have read 10 of the 12 books chosen for this year's Wellcome Book Prize longlist, which are indicated by the red check marks, and I should be able to get to the other two by year's end, as I own both of them.

Edited: Aug 11, 8:55am Top

I had to work a long call (8 am to nearly 10 pm) yesterday in place of one of my partners, who is pregnant and had a bit of a scare about her baby's condition on Thursday that required her to have an urgent visit to her OB on Friday. Fortunately she and the baby are doing well.

I was blessed to meet several adorable kids yesterday, particularly the 3 year old sister of a baby I admitted to hospital who kept interrupting when I was gathering information from her mother and finally held my hand to be sure that she had my attention, and a 12 year old severely autistic boy who bonded with me right away and asked me to stay with him instead of seeing other patients. Regardless of how busy and stressful the hospital service can be there is never a day that I'm not entertained and inspired by at least one child.

That was my last shift of the month, and I'll now start preparing for my trip to Edinburgh that begins on Wednesday. I've also been making plans for next month's trip to London and Amsterdam, and I'll be in touch with my British friends who I haven't yet communicated with later today.

I'm a little more than a quarter through From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan, my first book from this year's Booker Prize longlist, and it's great so far. I'll finish it no later than tomorrow, and I'll start reading Warlight by Michael Ondaatje next.

Aug 11, 8:59am Top

I'm also reading From a Low and Quiet Sea right now, Darryl. Ryan's writing is lovely; I suspect I will be reading more by him.

Aug 11, 9:08am Top

>47 BLBera: Agreed, Beth. I have read one other book by him, The Spinning Heart, which was also longlisted for the Booker Prize. I wasn't fond of it, but nearly everyone else liked it.

Aug 11, 12:07pm Top

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on both books after finishing them.

Happy travels!!

Edited: Aug 11, 12:56pm Top

Yes enjoy your festival Darryl.

Aug 12, 8:33am Top

>46 kidzdoc: eagerly awaiting pictures and festival reviews!

Aug 12, 9:33am Top

Morning, Darryl. Happy Sunday. I want to recommend another poetry collection: Bullets into Bells. Many fine poets contributed to this work. Strong, hard-hitting prose, about our current times.

Aug 12, 9:36am Top

Look forward to your thoughts about From a Low and Quiet Sea Darryl. I’m one of those who loved The Spinning Heart.

Edited: Aug 12, 10:13am Top

>49 tangledthread: Will do, tangledthread. I was completely exhausted yesterday after a poor night of sleep on Thursday night, so I slept nearly all of Saturday (14-16 hours!) and didn't read anything. I hope to finish From a Low and Quiet Sea by this evening.

>50 Caroline_McElwee:, >51 ELiz_M: Thanks, Caroline and Liz! I awoke just before 3:30 am EDT, about five minutes before the Polar Space Probe launch, and after I watched it live I went on an Edinburgh Festival Fringe buying frenzy, although I'm far from done. I'll hit the ground running after I arrive on Thursday, as I'll check in to Ashdene House, a charming bed & breakfast set in an Edwardian townhouse just south of The Meadows and Summerhall, somewhere around 2-3 pm. I have tickets to two Book Festival events that are relevant to me as a physician, so I'll have to unpack, shower, change, and head to Charlotte Square Gardens shortly after I arrive:

Being Kind in the Caring Industry: "Peter Dorward and Christie Watson both have tales to tell about the ethical and practical demands that are laid on doctors and nurses. Dorward has worked as a doctor across the globe and concludes that no matter how dedicated and skilled medics might be, problems are never far away. After working as a nurse for 20 years, Watson argues that empathy and compassion are essential elements of her profession. Chaired by Gavin Francis." Doward's book is titled The Human Kind: A Doctor's Stories from the Heart of Medicine, and Watson's is The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story. Both books were published this spring.

Doctor in the House? "Working a 97 hour week doesn’t sound much fun for anyone, but when we’re talking about an NHS doctor, such a schedule could become a matter of life and death. In This is Going to Hurt, comedian and ex-junior doctor Adam Kay reflects on the often horrific conditions he was working under and what finally happened to make him hang up the white coat. Chaired by Lee Randall." Kay's book is This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor. I'll almost certainly buy all three books from the Book Festival bookshop.

I have very full days on Friday and Saturday, as I'll see at least five events on Friday and six events on Saturday. Margaret (wandering_star) and I are seeing two Fringe performances starting just before 11 am, and I have tickets for two Book Festival readings and an Edinburgh International Festival dance performance featuring the Akram Khan Company (he is pictured at the top of my opening post in this thread). I'll see six Fringe events on Saturday, but I've only scheduled two Book Festival events on Sunday, as I may need that day to rest!

Aug 12, 10:18am Top

>46 kidzdoc: I think Hani may well make it to the UK and the Edinburgh festival this month

Aug 12, 10:27am Top

>52 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark, and have a great time in Colorado! Thanks for your recommendation of Bullets into Bells, which I will undoubtedly buy and read. I and my partners almost never take care of GSW (gun shot wound) victims any more, as those poor kids that come to our ED are either sent home (or to a juvenile detention facility) if they have superficial wounds, are dead on arrival, or are admitted to the Trauma Surgery service. On very rare occasions I've consulted on a patient who has medical complications from a GSW, with the last one being a teenage boy who was paralyzed from the waist down and had a large pressure ulcer over his sacrum. I'll buy a print copy of this book, and mention it to my partners and to the wife of one of the gastroenterologists I work with, who is involved in a gun safety campaign and gave my group a talk last year.

Speaking of book recommendations I recently purchased the Kindle editions of two books that received glowing reviews by Erik and Deborah, The Vanishing Velázquez by Laura Cumming and Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson. Both books are currently being sold for $1.99.

>53 brenzi: Will do, Bonnie. I'll resume reading From a Low and Quiet Sea shortly. I also need to write reviews of the two books I read last week, which I'll do before I leave town on Wednesday.

Aug 12, 10:41am Top

As usual I went to Publix shortly after it opened and bought supplies to cook meals for the rest of this short week. I just realized that I haven't posted any recipes for a while, so I'll do that today and early next week.

>55 PaulCranswick: Sounds good, Paul. Please tell her that I'll be there from 16-28 August, and that I would be happy to meet up, with your approval. I became a Friend of the Fringe this year, which allows me to purchase two tickets for the price of one, so if she and Yasmyne want to attend any events together I can use my discount. Fliss (flissp) will also be in Edinburgh for a portion of my stay as well.

Aug 12, 11:17am Top

>54 kidzdoc: I'm a big fan of Akram Khan and his company, I hope you enjoy the show Darryl. And all the other shows you have planned.

Kathryn Mannix's book just came into land, which I ordered after your fine recommendation. I'll get to that in the next few weeks.

Aug 12, 11:21am Top

>58 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. IIRC this is or may be his last performance on stage, so I'm glad that I'll be able to see him.

Kathryn Mannix will appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 25th, and I have a ticket to her talk. We were briefly in touch via Goodreads, so I'll have to let her know that I'll be in the audience.

Aug 12, 4:25pm Top

Have a great time in Edinburgh, Darryl.

You were mentioning on someone else's thread that Javier Cercas is your favorite living author. I'm remembering Outlaws, which I loved. I'll look for others of his.

Edited: Aug 13, 7:36am Top

>60 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen! Edinburgh, as you know, is a magical place at any time of the year, due to its charm and the very friendly and welcoming people who live there, but the Festivals make going there in August almost indescribably special. It will also be nice to experience temperatures that are 25-30 F cooler than they are in Atlanta and most of the United States. In years past I would visit San Francisco for a week or two in August, in what I called my "Beat the Heat Vacation", but I intend to go to Edinburgh as often as I can that month for the foreseeable future. I'll mentally kick myself for the rest of my life for not listening to Fliss years ago when she first said that I should go to Edinburgh for the Festivals, since she thought I would love it. As I may have mentioned my first visit there last year was probably the best week of vacation I've ever had, including my fabulous stays in other European capitals.

If I can qualify my comment about Javier Cercas I should have said that he is my favorite writer of new novels, as he seems to get better with time, and even his earlier novels, particularly Soldiers of Salamis and The Anatomy of a Moment were very good. Based on an overall body of work I would rank him behind Mario Vargas Llosa, but after reading Outlaws and The Impostor, his two latest novels, I would now put him alongside Amos Oz and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, my two preferred candidates for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Oz and Ngũgĩ are still writing, but they are 79 and 80 years old, respectively, and are nearing the end of their literary careers, whereas Cercas is only 56 and is still writing prolifically. I saw his most recent novel, El monarca de las sombras, in a bookshop in Barcelona last month, but it hasn't been published in English translation yet, so I didn't buy it. The Spanish edition was published early last year, so hopefully the English translation will be released no later than next year.

Edited: Aug 25, 8:27pm Top

I appreciate that qualification. All of those are authors I want to read more of. I've read a couple by Llosa and he's amazing, but Oz and Ngũgĩ are authors whose works I have purchased but not yet read. I've added Soldiers of Salamis to my wish list.

I have visited Edinburgh only once, in 2002, but I have wonderful memories of it. Prudence and I didn't include it in our Scotland adventure of four years ago (when we walked the West Highland Way and made our way - by car - as far north on the mainland as one can go) but it will be included in our next Scotland trip. It's a country to which I plan to return as many times as possible.

Aug 13, 5:37am Top

Happy newish thread and safe travels, Darryl!

Aug 13, 7:36am Top

>62 EBT1002: I agree; Mario Vargas Llosa is an amazing writer, and I think I've given more 5 star ratings to his books than anyone other than James Baldwin. Oz and Ngũgĩ are superb nonfiction writers, and although I haven't read his last two or three books, Ngũgĩ's series of memoirs have been superb so far. If I was asked to choose one book by each author I would choose A Tale of Love and Darkness by Oz, his outstanding autobiography, and Wizard of the Crow by Ngũgĩ, his latest novel; both books earned 5 stars from me.

Javier Cercas's new novel, titled The Monarch of the Shadows, will be published in English translation in the UK by Quercus Books on April 4th of next year. Here's a description of it from the publisher's website:

Monarch of the Shadows is a courageous journey into Javier Cercas' family history and that of a country collapsing from a fratricidal war.

The Monarch of the Shadows is a courageous journey into Javier Cercas' family history and that of a country collapsing from a fratricidal war. The author revisits Ibahernando, his parents' village in southern Spain, to research the life of Manuel Mena. This ancestor, dearly loved by Cercas' mother, died in combat at the age of nineteen during the battle of the Ebro, the bloodiest episode in Spain's history.

Who was Manuel Mena? A fascist hero whose memory is an embarrassment to the author, or a young idealist who happened to fight on the wrong side? And how should we judge him, as grandchildren and great-grandchildren of that generation, interpreting history from our supposed omniscience and the misleading perspective of a present full of automatic answers, that fails to consider the particularities of each personal and family drama?

Wartime epics, heroism and death are some of the underlying themes of this unclassifiable novel that combines road trips, personal confessions, war stories and historical scholarship, finally becoming an incomparable tribute to the author's mother and the incurable scars of an entire generation.

If I didn't say so already I'll see Javier Cercas at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 25th. Unfortunately I missed seeing Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, who appeared there last week.

I would love to travel outside of Edinburgh, but I suspect that it won't happen anytime soon. Edinburgh is at the top of my list of favorite major European cities, just behind London and Barcelona, and I'm anxiously awaiting my arrival there on Thursday.

>63 Deern: Thanks, Nathalie! Delta Air Lines, which is based in Atlanta, doesn't offer direct flights from here to Edinburgh (and I doubt that any other carrier does), so I'll fly from ATL to AMS (as Amsterdam Schiphol is one of Delta's primary Western European hubs, along with Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle in Paris) overnight on Wednesday, then take a KLM Cityhopper flight to EDI late Thursday morning. I took that same route in 2017, so hopefully this trip will be as smooth as last year's was.

Edited: Aug 13, 9:40am Top

I like today's Poem-a-Day from Poets.org, which was written by the puertorriqueño poet Urayoán Noel and is an ode to his abuela (grandmother) María, who shares the same name as last year's hurricane which decimated his homeland:

No Longer Ode
Urayoán Noel
para mi abuela en la isla

A hurricane destroyed your sense of home
and all you wanted was to pack your bags
in dead of night, still waving mental flags,
forgetting the nation is a syndrome.
All that’s left of the sea in you is foam,
the coastline's broken voice and all its crags.
You hear the governor admit some snags
were hit, nada, mere blips in the biome,
nothing that private equity can’t fix
once speculators pour into San Juan
to harvest the bad seed of an idea.
She tells you Santa Clara in ’56
had nothing on the brutal San Ciprián,
and yes, your abuela’s named María.

Thoughts of Katrina and the Superdome,
el Caribe mapped with blood and sandbags,
displaced, diasporic, Spanglish hashtags,
a phantom tab you keep on Google Chrome,
days of hunger and dreams of honeycomb.
Are souls reborn or worn thin like old rags?
The locust tree still stands although it sags,
austere sharks sequence the island’s genome
and parrots squawk survival politics
whose only power grid is the damp dawn.
There is no other way, no panacea.
Throw stuff at empire’s walls and see what sticks
or tear down the walls you were standing on?
Why don’t you run that question by María?

Beyond the indigenous chromosome,
your gut genealogy’s in chains and gags,
paraded through the colonies’ main drags
and left to die. So when you write your tome
please note: each word must be a catacomb,
must be a sepulcher and must be a
cradle in some sort of aporía
where bodies draw on song as guns are drawn,
resilient, silent h in huracán.
Your ache-song booms ashore. Ashé, María.

Aug 13, 9:50am Top

I just saw that the Kindle version of Hi-Density Politics, a poetry collection by Urayoán Noel, is on sale for 99 cents, so I purchased a copy of it. Kindle Unlimited members can read it for free.

Edited: Aug 13, 11:09am Top

It is embarrassing for me to say, but I haven't read any of the three authors you have been talking about. Mario Vargas Llosa, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, or Amos Oz. And I hadn't read any of V. S. Naipul either. I have plenty of books by these authors on my reading lists, and wishlists, but they keep getting pushed back by other titles and reading interests. One of these days ...

I have tried to read one Huraki Murakami and Margaret Atwood per year as I am a great fan of their work and hope that they might get a Noble Prize - but wait - they don't write music so that probably puts them at a disadvantage.

Aug 13, 1:20pm Top

Hope you have a great trip to Edinburgh!

Aug 13, 7:38pm Top

Sounds like a very rewarding last shift before your time off. I hope you enjoy Edinburgh and the book festival.

Edited: Aug 13, 8:02pm Top

>65 kidzdoc: "Like!" I had to look up "aporia".

Looking forward to your tales of Edinburgh and the book festival, buddy. Have a great time!

P.S. I'm another fan of Wizard of Crow, based originally on your nudge.

Aug 13, 9:41pm Top

Have a safe and fun trip to Edinburgh, Darryl!

Aug 14, 8:02am Top

>67 benitastrnad: I think you're far from alone in not reading anything by those authors, Benita, even in this well read group. Similarly I haven't read anything by Alice Munro or Margaret Atwood, although I own at least one book by each of them. Too many books...

>68 The_Hibernator: Thanks, Rachel! I'm nervously excited about the trip, maybe a bit more than usual, although I don't know why. I'm sure that I'll settle down by the time I board the plane tomorrow night. I usually get anxious about taking long trips, which have nothing to do with the flight itself, as I'm a very comfortable flier and once I'm seated I'm as cool as a cucumber.

>69 libraryperilous: Thanks, Diana. I have tickets to see 17 author events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, along with two Edinburgh International Festival performances and a dozen or so Edinburgh Festival Fringe performances. I still have a lot of dead time in my schedule, though, and I'll book more EIF and EFF tickets today, tomorrow, and after I arrive on Thursday.

Aug 14, 8:12am Top

>70 jnwelch: I had to look up aporía as well, Joe!

I should have much more down time during this trip to Edinburgh than I did last year, as I'll be there for twice as many full days (12) and almost certainly won't have as jam packed a schedule. Having said that I probably won't be online much between the time I arrive on Thursday and sometime on Sunday or Monday, as I have a full schedule of events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I'll take more photos this time as well, especially of street performers on the Royal Mile and other major Fringe venues.

I didn't realize that you had read Wizard of the Crow! I'm glad that you also enjoyed it.

>71 SqueakyChu: Thanks, Madeline! I'm looking forward to it, despite my current anxiety fit.

Aug 14, 8:51am Top

Safe travels, Darryl and I hope the weather cooperates to allow you maximum outdoor fun!

Edited: Aug 14, 10:58am Top

>72 kidzdoc: I have an extra copy of The Handmaid's Tale which everyone should read. Should I save it until I see you? :D (Shelley would concur as Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author!)

>73 kidzdoc: I'm a bit anxious about traveling now myself. I think it has more to do with my age and declining vision and hearing than anything else. Once I'm on the road, though I find traveling very much fun. That's one reason I encourage my kids to travel now while they're still young. My older son is headed for Japan again this winter, and my daughter is going to Italy for the first time with her fiancé next month. She said the only way I'll get any pictures from her is if I download Instagram...so I did that, as you know. :)

Aug 14, 12:07pm Top

>74 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley; I don't associate Edinburgh with "outdoor fun", though. According to the latest 10 day forecast the weather there will be very typical for early August, with highs mainly in the low 60s F (16-17 C), lows in the upper 40s to low 50s F (8-12 C), and a slight to moderate risk of rain most days. I may have mentioned last year that I attended the Book Festival on a warm and sunny Sunday last August, and overheard several people comment about the unusually warm weather, which seemed fine to me. It reached 72 F (22 C) that day, which is practically a heat wave for Edinburgh. The highest temperature ever recorded in the city is 88.5 F (about 31.5 C), which would be a normal temperature for this time of the year in Atlanta (we'll reach 32 C today).I'll bring turtlenecks and a rain jacket, as I did last year, and leave my shorts and sandals at home!

>75 SqueakyChu: Thanks for the kind offer, Madeline; however, I have a copy of The Handmaid's Tale on my Kindle, along with a paperback copy of The Blind Assassin. I just have to make time to read them.

I agree with you about the importance of traveling while young, especially for newly married couples who plan to have children. I'm happy that I partially influenced two of the nurses I work with to travel to the UK this month with their husbands; one just returned from a "babymoon", as she is pregnant with their first child, and the other will be leaving very soon, if she hasn't done so already. She and her husband will be in Edinburgh while I'm there, and we'll probably meet up at least once. Far too many people I work with had kids shortly after marriage, possibly to satisfy their parents who pushed them to give them grandchildren ASAP, and many of them regret not traveling abroad, especially when they ask me and others about our vacations.

BTW I'll see Paul Harris on September 13th in London, during one of several group LT meet ups that we've planned that month in the UK and the Netherlands. One of these days we'll have to get you over there, or encourage Paul to come here

Aug 14, 3:03pm Top

>76 kidzdoc: traveling while young, especially for newly married couples

Our next-door neighbors are surgeons, in their mid/late 30s with no children. When one of them finished school last June, they spent the next 10 weeks traveling all over Europe. They still give travel a priority and seem to go and do fun things anytime they aren't on call.

Edited: Aug 14, 7:33pm Top

>77 lauralkeet: Good for them, Laura! They are doing it right, IMO. One day last month I was having lunch in our Doctors' Lounge, watching a replay of a Wimbledon semifinal match, when three surgeons from different subspecialties (orthopaedics, neurosurgery and otorhinolaryngology (ENT)) and the nurse practitioner who works with the neurosurgeon sat alongside me. I had come back from Iberia recently, and since we work closely together they asked about my recent trip. In return I asked them what their travel plans were for the summer, with the expectation that the surgeons would have spectacular trips that made mine look like a vacation in Indiana, and they all said that they were going to work through the entire summer and not go anywhere; all of them looked a bit sad and embarrassed while saying so. Except for the NP I'm sure that all of them earn two or more times what I do, so I seriously doubt that any of them are strapped for funds to travel.

Aug 14, 9:16pm Top

>78 kidzdoc: waiting for Amber to comment on vacationing in the Hoosier State ... 😮

Interesting perspective on your colleagues, Darryl. Our neighbors told us there were some who thought they were crazy for taking so much time off, as if it would be career damaging.

Edited: Aug 14, 10:38pm Top

>79 lauralkeet: Oops. I meant to type Iowa. Or Nebraska. Such a butterfingers I am.

ETA: Two of my physician friends trained at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, and they love Indiana. They would probably flay me alive if they saw that comment, or hopefully just shake me off as being a Eurosnob, although that term rightly applies to soccer fans who prefer to support a top notch European club like FC Barcelona, Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain rather than their local MLS team. I do enjoy watching Barça, but my loyalty lies with Atlanta United FC. Now if I could only find friends who would go to matches with me...

Our neighbors told us there were some who thought they were crazy for taking so much time off, as if it would be career damaging.

That is absolutely a legitimate concern, and it may still be very valid, depending on what their specialties are. Pediatrics is far more tolerant of women surgeons than adult medicine is, in general, and I would assume that it's much more acceptable for them to bear children and take maternity leave as well. We have female surgeons in nearly all of the specialties (General, ENT, Orthopaedics, Urology, GYN (of course), Craniofacial, Ophthalmology, and Maxillofacial), save for the highly competitive fields of Neurosurgery, Transplant Surgery, and Cardiothoracic Surgery. When I joined Children's 18 years ago there were only three female surgeons on staff, two from ENT and one from Urology, but there are at least 15 now. It's far from equitable, but it's also much better than it used to be, and their presence has helped diminish the macho good old boy culture that used to exist within and outside of the OR.

Aug 15, 8:28am Top

Don't forget that travel takes forethought and planning as well as $$. If one doesn't have the inclination, time, or energy to do the planning the money goes to something else. I should also add curiosity in those requisite ingredients.

Aug 15, 11:28am Top

>81 tangledthread: Absolutely. I do realize that I am very fortunate to be able to travel as often as I do, and that very few people, including physicians within and outside of my group, can do this. At least two other partners of mine travel as often as I do, though, especially Nisha, who has already been to South America (Peru and Chile) and Scandinavia this year, and will leave for Italy next week, and Nadeen, who is also a travel blogger and is always off somewhere (I think she's been to southern Africa, Thailand and Jamaica, with twice as many short trips within the US), and two emergency medicine friends of mine have also taken multiple trips abroad. It's far easier for hospitalists and ED physicians to be able to travel extensively, as we can bunch our shifts and take extended time off from work. Nurses can conceivably do the same thing, including but not limited to my two friends who are traveling to England and Scotland this month with their husbands.

Many people I work with would love to travel abroad but can't or don't want to do so at the present time, most often due to having young children. Others, as you rightly said, have no interest in international travel, and would much rather spend their vacations at the beach, especially on the Alabama or Florida Gulf Coast. I'm happy to describe my trips to my work friends, but I'm equally pleased that several of them have been inspired by my travels and have vacationed in Europe, and hearing their accounts and seeing the enjoyment on their faces gives me joy, as my father is fond of saying.

Edited: Aug 15, 11:41am Top

Inspired by a Facebook post by Fliss (flissp), who posted a photo of the books she was considering taking with her to Edinburgh on her Facebook timeline, I took a photo of the books I'll bring and posted it to her thread as well.

And the Land Lay Still, the winner of the 2010 Scottish Book of the Year, is a highly acclaimed novel which portrays modern Scotland from the vantage point of native born Scots and immigrants to that wonderful country. I bought a copy of it during my first visit to Edinburgh in 2014 or 2015, and I thought that it would be only proper to read at least one book by a Scottish author while I was there. (Has anyone read it?) I'll attend Book Festival appearances by Javier Cercas and Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Known and Strange Things is the book I'm reading for Suz's Nonfiction Challenge this month. I have five of this year's Booker Prize longlisted books on my Kindle, so I'll read at least some of them as well.

I'd better finish packing, as I have a few errands to run before I need to leave for the airport this afternoon. I'll check in when I can, and take and post photos from the Festivals, and hopefully a meet up photo or two (Fliss hates to be photographed, though.)

Aug 15, 11:46am Top

Safe travels, Darryl! Have a great time (as if that were in doubt...)

That Robertson book sounds excellent. I'll look forward to your thoughts on it.

Aug 15, 12:13pm Top

>83 kidzdoc: I have the Teju Cole on my shelves Darryl. I have several of his books including his photo book with mini-essays, which I am enjoying. Dipping.

Aug 15, 7:28pm Top

one additional thought: My 32 y.o. (unmarried) son subscribes to the theory of "you should travel with someone before you consider marrying them". Probably not a bad idea for a lot of reasons.

Aug 15, 11:30pm Top

I am taking my son to the World Premiere of The Oregon Symphony's "The Emergency Shelter Intake Form," complete with a chorus. I managed to get a copy of the words and they are so powerful!! Check out my thread for an excerpt.

>83 kidzdoc: They look good!! : )

Edited: Aug 16, 5:44pm Top

Hello from Edinburgh! I arrived safely early this afternoon, and have been holed up in my bed & breakfast since I arrived. I slept poorly on the flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam despite having an ideal seat mate, as several passengers with honey thick Southern accents for some reason decided to have loud conversations, All.Night.Long. The KLM Cityhopper flight from Amsterdam to Edinburgh was far more enjoyable, as I was upgraded to first class and had a very nice and satisfying lunch as a benefit. The flight time was only 65 minutes, and for a flight of less than two hours Delta only offers its first class customers a wider selection of snacks, and possibly free wine and mixed drinks.

I decided to skip the two book festival events I had tickets for this afternoon and evening, as I was exhausted and needed sleep more than anything else. I was also too spacey to figure out how to get from the B&B to Newington Street, which eventually turns into the South and North Bridges that are bisected by The Royal Mile, and which bus would be the best one to go to Charlotte Square Gardens in New Town, where the book festival is held.

Margaret and Fliss are here as well. I'll meet Margaret tomorrow morning, see one Fringe performance with her, and hopefully Fliss will join us for another one. Two book festival events follow in the afternoon, and in the evening I'll see the acclaimed modern dancer Akram Khan perform at Festival Theatre as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

On the book front I finished From a Low and Quiet Sea halfway across the Atlantic Ocean last night, which was very good, although it I don't expect that it will win the Booker Prize. I'm nearly a quarter of the way through Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, which is also great so far.

Aug 16, 5:47pm Top

>84 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! I'll read And the Land Lay Still alongside the Booker Prize novels I'm working on, and hopefully finish it before I leave.

>85 Caroline_McElwee: I'm glad that you're enjoying Teju Cole's photo essay book, Caroline. I'm interested in it, but I'll look at it before I decide to buy it.

>86 tangledthread: That's a very wise statement by your son, tangledthread! I agree completely.

>87 Berly: Very nice, Kim!

Aug 16, 9:08pm Top

>89 kidzdoc:
I’ve a nephew who’s also in Edinburgh for the “Fringe” right now. He and some schoolmates in London developed a show called “Born on a Monday” that’s playing August 17-18 and 20-25.

Sounds like there’s no shortage of exciting things to see and do. Have a great time!

Aug 16, 9:30pm Top

I hope you like Warlight as much as I did Darryl. I won’t say have a great time because I think in your case it goes without saying😉

Aug 16, 9:45pm Top

If you skipped out on a book festival, we know you really were exhausted. Hope you get "rested" and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Aug 17, 5:19am Top

Your initial posts contain such a wealth of book choices! I read through them all just now and have noted at least four to look into....I will keep my eyes open for your opinions as you get through them :)

Enjoy Edinburg! I am thinking in a Scottish accent lately as have been watching Outlander on Lightbox (like Netflix, but less movies, more series), which is set in Scotland. I love that accent :)

Aug 17, 10:22am Top

Yay for the upgrade, what a great start to your stay in Edinburgh!

Edited: Aug 19, 5:33am Top

Happy Sunday, everyone! I've had a great first two full days in Edinburgh so far, as I've seen eight events and met with Margaret for two Fringe performances on Friday and another with Fliss yesterday. Margaret has left town, and Fliss will be there through at least Wednesday, and we'll see at least one more Fringe performance together.

I'm pretty beat this morning, after I saw four Fringe plays in the morning and afternoon and an amazing solo performance by the award winning dancer Akram Khan last night. Aminatta Forna is speaking now, but I couldn't make myself get out of bed in time, especially on a rainy morning with my window partially opened. Fortunately most of the Book Festival events are taped and ultimately shown on YouTube, so I should be able to watch anything I've missed.

I have one Edinburgh International Festival play and two Book Festival events to see this afternoon and evening, provided that I haven't fallen into a stupor over the next couple of hours. I have absolutely nothing planned for Monday and Tuesday, but that will undoubtely change, and I'll use this morning to book tickets. I have nine full days remaining here, including today, so I should be able to see the majority of what I'd like to, except apparently for Heidi vs Sharks, the Fringe comedy routine by Heidi Regan about bad shark movies. A good friend of mine and fellow physicians at Children's mentioned on Facebook that he was going to watch Sharknado 6: The Last Movie on SYFY tonight. On a lark, and knowing that almost anything goes during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I searched the word "shark" to see if I would get any hits, and sure enough there was one (or at least one!). Even though I haven't watched any of the Sharknado movies the description of the comedy was interesting, and I was going to buy a ticket to see it, but all of her performances, including two ones that were added for next weekend, are sold out. With any luck I'll be able to get a ticket at the Half Price Hut later this week.

Aug 19, 5:41am Top

>90 dypaloh: Thanks for mentioning Born on a Monday, Steve. I've added it to my Favourites list in my Fringe account, and I should be able to see it next week.

>91 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. The Festivals have been great so far, and the best should be yet to come. I haven't done any significant reading since I arrived on Friday afternoon, but hopefully I can finish Warlight by mid week.

>92 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori. It takes me a few days to recover from jet lag, especially when I cross multiple time zones while traveling eastward on transatlantic flights. I'm only back in the States for eight days between my return to Atlanta on 8/28 and my departure for London on 9/5, so I'll try to keep my internal clock on British Summer Time during that week.

Edited: Aug 19, 5:59am Top

>93 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan! Now if I could only read those books instead of only posting them in my LT threads...

Ha! I agree about the beauty of both the Scottish accent, and the Scottish people. Nearly everyone here is friendly, easy to chat with, and pleased at punch to have visitors (provided that they are also friendly and respectable, of course).

Speaking of books, I did make an initial purchase of four books from the bookshop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Friday, three from the top of my wish list, and one that Margaret recommended:

Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch: The author is a mixed race British barrister, broadcaster and journalist who spoke at the Book Festival on Thursday; Margaret saw her, I think, and I didn't arrive in time to see her talk.

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan: Booker Prize longlist
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saddawi: Man Booker International Prize longlist
Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes: Man Booker International Prize longlist

>94 Deern: Thanks, Nathalie!

Aug 19, 9:57am Top

Your trip sounds great- i will have to put the Edinburgh festivals on my " future travel" list!

Edited: Aug 19, 6:57pm Top

>98 torontoc: Thanks, Cyrel. Do put the Edinburgh Festivals on your future travel list!

I did fall into a stupor this afternoon, as a four hour nap was soon followed by a nearly four hour second one that extended well into the evening. I did book tickets for five Fringe events for Monday and one for Tuesday, along with an Edinburgh International Festival ticket to watch the Bamberger Symphoniker (Bamberg Symphony), conducted by Jakub Hrůšam, perform Dvořák’s Requiem on Tuesday night at Usher Hall, which I'll see with Fliss. We'll meet up at least once more on Wednesday to see a Fringe performance by Le Gateau Chocolat before she leaves town.

Edited: Aug 19, 7:33pm Top

Barack Obama posted the following on his Facebook timeline earllier today:

"One of my favorite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon. This summer I've been absorbed by new novels, revisited an old classic, and reaffirmed my faith in our ability to move forward together when we seek the truth. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

"Tara Westover’s Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.

"Set after WWII, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a meditation on the lingering effects of war on family.

"With the recent passing of V.S. Naipaul, I reread A House for Mr Biswas, the Nobel Prize winner's first great novel about growing up in Trinidad and the challenge of post-colonial identity.

"An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a moving portrayal of the effects of a wrongful conviction on a young African-American couple.

"Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases."

Brilliant. I'm reading Warlight now; A House for Mr Biswas is my favorite comic novel, and one of the few books I've read twice as an adult; I plan to read An American Marriage later this year; and Educated, which I've heard of from some of you, and Factfulness, which I hadn't heard of, are now added to my wish list.

ETA: The Kindle version of An American Marriage is currently on sale for $4.99.

Aug 19, 7:21pm Top

Yikes; it's already past midnight here. I was going to start writing mini reviews of the Festival performances I've seen, along with a few photos, but that will have to wait until sometime next week. If I have sufficient down time and can find a café with a WiFi signal I'll do that this afternoon or early evening.

Aug 19, 7:52pm Top

>100 kidzdoc: I love this. I really miss this man. He would make a great LTer.

Happy Sunday, Darryl. I got far behind on the threads, so I am trying to tick them off, a little at a time. I hope you are enjoying Warlight. I hope to get to that one soon.

Aug 19, 8:56pm Top

Darryl I am having fun following your adventures in Edinburgh. We visited there a few years ago when our 2nd. daughter was doing graduate work and had a wonderful time. I must always visit the plant world so went to the Botanic Garden but P. visited the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Museum and he found it very fascinating. We then had a fabulous time in the Orkney Islands. Hope you enjoy your time in Scotland!

Edited: Aug 20, 7:35am Top

Glad you are having a great time Darryl. Glad Obama liked Warlight. There was a piece in Saturday's Guardian review about how he read 10 letters a day (of the 10,000 a day received in the White House post room) and occasionally responded personally, they are publishing a selection of those he read, and some of his replies next month.

I'm not surprised you were impressed by Akram Khan. As this is his final full length show, I will be keeping my eye out to get a ticket when it comes to London. I've seen about five or six of his shows, including those with Juliette Binoche and with the Canadian Robert Lepage. Brilliant pieces. Khan is a great collaborator.

Aug 20, 8:21am Top

Looks like you are having a great time! Love all your awesome adventures!

Aug 21, 11:43am Top

I am not sure if you are going to be in Brussels when you go to Amsterdam in September, but I ran across this story in Publishers Weekly about a bookstore cafe and thought it looked like a fun place to go. I certainly wouldn't mind eating there.


Aug 21, 12:08pm Top

Just keeping up here...love the Obama suggestions....!

Aug 23, 6:00am Top

Happy Thursday, everyone! I'm a little over halfway through my stay in Edinburgh, as I have five full days remaining and will leave on Tuesday morning. The Festivals have been great so far, and I was able to meet with Margaret for two Fringe plays, and with Fliss each of the past three days for two Fringe performances and one International Festival symphony concert. Fliss left Edinburgh after the Fringe performance we saw last night, so I'll be on my own for the rest of this holiday.

I'll have a quiet morning and afternoon (although I'll need to do laundry later today), and I have a ticket to see The Last Poets perform at the Book Festival this evening. The remaining four days will be well packed with Book Festival, Fringe and International Festival events, though.

Aug 23, 6:01am Top

Enjoy the rest of the festival Darryl.

Edited: Aug 23, 6:19am Top

The first Fringe event I saw yesterday was The Fishermen, a play based on the book with the same name by Chigozie Obioma, which is set in a town in Nigeria and was centered on two of the five boys of a respected and prosperous family. The father, a prominent member of the Bank of Nigeria and a strict disciplinarian, is transferred to a better position in a distant city, and the older boys, freed from his closely watchful eye, decide to take up fishing after school in a river that the town's residents avoid fishing or swimming in. They are cursed by a man who lives alongside the river after they taunt him, which leads to a series of connected and worsening events that destroys the family's harmony and structure. Although I was only lukewarm about the book, which seemed simplistic to me at the time, the play was superb, and it gave me a greater appreciation for the book. The performance will move to the Arcola Theatre from September 17-22, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who can make it.

Aug 23, 6:05am Top

Noted it's Arcola move Darryl. Thanks.

Aug 23, 6:40am Top


After the play concluded I rushed (by foot and bus) to Charlotte Square, where the Book Festival is being held, and arrived just in time to attend a talk given by Jackie Kay, the current poet laureate of Scotland, who was born to a white Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, and the Pakistani born British writer Kamila Shamsie, one of my favorite writers, who latest novel Home Fire was longlisted for last year's Booker Prize, shortlisted for last year's Costa Novel of the Year, and won the Women's Prize for Fiction this year. They spoke about the second version of a book that they each contributed to, titled Refugee Tales, which tells the stories of several immigrants who are under indefinite detention in the UK, as told by poets and novelists who interviewed them. Kay and Shamsie began the moderated talk by quoting several very troubling statistics about the treatment and detention of refugees in Great Britain, after which they talked about the policy that allows refugees to be detained indefinitely, then each read her story about the person that they interviewed, and continued the discussion with the moderator, followed by a 15 minute Q&A session with members of the audience. I couldn't find the book at the bookshop, probably because all of the copies were brought to the signing tent, but I'll plan to buy it later this week.

Although I couldn't find that book I did buy four others, all of which were on the top of my wishlist:

Happiness by Aminatta Forna
Summer by Karl Ove Knausgaard
The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

Edited: Aug 23, 7:02am Top

After the talk I headed back to George Square, located in the heart of the campus of the University of Edinburgh, to have dinner and to meet Fliss for a quick drink before we saw our last Fringe event of the evening. There are a number of food and drink stands on the square, the best of which was this coffee stand:

We both saw a drag burlesque performance by Le Gateau Chocolat that was titled Icons, which was unforgettable and immensely entertaining. Le Gateau Chocolat, who is a Nigerian born British citizen, is a nearly larger than life figure, as he is at least 6 ft 2 in tall, with huge arm and leg muscles and a booming and rich baritone voice that could alternatively knock you off of your feet or envelop you in its warmth. He sang a variety of songs during his hourlong performance, ranging from 1980s pop to an opera number to a touching tribute to a dear friend that he sang at his funeral. The audience laughed uproariously, clapped, sang and danced along with Le Gateau, and he received a standing ovation from those of us who were fortunate to see this amazing performance, which could have gone on all night as far as we were concerned.

In retrospect it was interesting to me that all three events featured at least one person of Nigerian descent.

Aug 23, 7:04am Top

Getting sleepy...I think I'll take a short nap, and catch up here later this afternoon.

Aug 23, 9:25am Top

Great reviews and other posts, Darryl. What a trip!

Covfefe - such a clever idea to do that. Good for them.

Le Gateau Chocolat's performance sounds like a blast.

Aug 24, 3:30am Top

>113 kidzdoc: Sounds like a great day Darryl - love the diversity possible in a short time at the festival.

Edited: Aug 24, 4:44am Top

All wonderful, thank you for sharing! :D

I’ll look out for the refugee book! Wasn’t aware of that indefinite detention either!
edit: just bought it, 4,89eur on kindle! The one from your link, hope it’s the right one :)

Aug 25, 8:40pm Top

Hello Darryl. I love that post about Obama's summer reading. I am currently reading Warlight but I'm not deeply enough into it to have much of an opinion. I plan to spend a couple of hours with it this evening. I loved Happiness by Aminatta Forna as well as We Were Eight Years in Power, my two most recent reads. I gave each of them 4.5 stars.

It sounds like you are having a great time in Edinburgh, roaring from one interesting event to the next. And collecting items for that extra empty suitcase you take with you on your travels.

Also, thanks for being so gentle with my confusing Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's surname for his given name. I've corrected the error.

I hope your trip continues to be delightful! Have fun and safe travels ~~

Edited: Aug 26, 1:29pm Top

Happy Sunday, everyone! After a sunny and very pleasant day in Edinburgh yesterday the rain and cooler than usual weather returned today, as the maximum temperature was only 55 F (13 C). I had another very enjoyable day, which was spent entirely in New Town and featured three author events at the Book Festival in the morning and afternoon, and an exceptional International Festival play at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in the evening.

The highlight of the day, though, was spending a good two hours in the company of Dr Kathryn Mannix, the British palliative care physician whose book With the End in Mind: Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial, one of my favorite books of 2018, was shortlisted for this year's Wellcome Book Prize. She originally contacted me shortly after I posted a review of the book on Goodreads in April, and we've been in touch sporadically since then. I was thrilled when I saw that she would appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival during my visit, booked a ticket for her talk on the day that it was available, and messaged her on Friday to let her know that I would be going. After her excellent talk before a near capacity audience at the Garden Theatre I went to her book signing in the main bookshop, but decided to get coffee and dessert first before I joined the queue. That worked out perfectly, as there was only person in front of me and one behind, not counting a former colleague of hers who also attended her talk. She recognized me immediately from my Goodreads photo, and after we all finished chatting Kathryn and she signed a copy of my book, her colleague and I continued the conversation over tea. She and I then proceeded to the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre to attend Karl Ove Knausgaard's talk about his two new books (more on that in a bit), and continued our conversation before his talk and afterward. We said a warm goodbye, as she had to take a train back to England and I was headed to The Lyceum to see the play, and promised to keep in touch with the future. She was an absolutely lovely person, as I expected from her book and especially her talk, and I look forward to seeing what she plans to do next, now that she has retired from clinical practice.

Aug 26, 1:54pm Top

Wow! What a special experience.

Aug 26, 2:16pm Top

Before I attended Dr Mannix's talk I went to the Translation Duel: Spanish Fiction at the Spiegeltent; Fliss attended the French fiction duel earlier this week. In the duel, a short and difficult unpublished work written by Javier Cercas was provided to two noted translators, Margaret Jull Costa and Rosalind Harvey (who takes over first place in my ranking of World's Cutest Translators). Costa and Harvey provided their translations to the moderator, Daniel Hahn, who is also a noted translator, and the audience was provided a handout of Cercas's original text and the two translations. Hahn, Costa and Harvey appeared on stage, as expected, but so did Cercas, to the surprise and delight of audience members like myself. The four then discussed the translations, as Cercas read from one or two paragraphs at a time in Spanish, the translators read their similar but not identical English intepretations, and the four analyzed the differences between the two. Costa tended to intepret each word in a more exact manner, while adding words that were not in the original Spanish, in order to make it sound more natural in English, whereas Harvey "stuck to the script" a bit more, but used a richer vocabulary of words that gave her translation a more musical feel that was a bit less stiff than Costa's was, which also seemed to fit their personalities. For example:

Cercas: "Por quinta vez en las últimas dos semanas, el coche no arranca, pero, como soy un optimista incurable, en vez de é harms a llorar sobre el volante llamo a un taxi."

Costa: "For the fifth time in the past two weeks, the car won't start, but, since I am an incurable optimist, instead of collapsing onto the steering wheel and sobbing my heart out, I call a taxi."

Harvey: "For the fifth time in the past two weeks now, the car won't start, but, since I'm an incurable optimist, instead of slumping over the steering wheel and crying, I call a taxi."

I found the discussion fascinating, and it gave me a much greater appreciation of the challenges of translating literature, both to express the author's intent and to inject one's own "personality" into the process. The older Costa was very pleasant and engaging, but a bit more formal, whereas Harvey was younger, freer, playful, and laughed more readily, both at a mistake that she made in one of her translations and in teasing the other three participants, including Cercas. Those personality differences were reflected in their translations, at least in my opinion. I was familiar with Costa, from her translations of Don Quixote and many of the works of José Saramago, but I hadn't heard of Harvey before, although I own two books that she has translated, both by Juan Pablo Villalobos, Down the Rabbit Hole, which I've read, and Quesadillas, which I will soon.

Interestingly, on the first day that I met deebee1 in Lisbon in June she told me that she didn't like Costa's translations of Portuguese literature; she translates Spanish and Portuguese works, whereas Harvey translates only in Spanish, and Hahn translates in Portuguese. I can't remember exactly why she said that, but I'll send her an email to let her know about this duet, and find out why she isn't a fan of Costa's translations. I wanted to chat with Costa and Hahn after the session, to get their thoughts on the reasons that very few books are translated from Portuguese into English (DB thinks that it's due to the difficulty of expressing the fluidity and rhythm of the works of some Portuguese authors, particularly Gonçalo M. Tavares, into English), but I was ravenously hungry and wanted to eat lunch before I attended Kathryn Mannix's talk.

Edited: Aug 26, 2:44pm Top

After Dr Mannix's excellent talk, which was titled Being Mortal, she and I attend Karl Ove Knausgaard's talk, which was titled At the End of the Struggle. He read from his latest two books, Summer, the last book of his "Seasons Cycle" series, and The End, the sixth and last book of his acclaimed "My Struggle" series; if I understood correctly the book was released yesterday, to coincide with this talk. The latter book, which is nearly 1200 pages in length, starts just after the release of A Death in the Family, the first book in the "My Struggle" series, and begins with the reaction of his family's response to the largely autobiographical work, particularly his uncle, who is outraged by Karl Ove's description of his father's last days and his death. I didn't enjoy the moderator nearly as much as I did the moderator who guided the talk Knausgaard gave during last year's Book Festival, but Karl Ove was just as engaging and warm as he was in 2017. I bought a copy of Summer on Friday, and I'll definitely read The End, but I'll wait until the Archipelago Books version is published in the US, as all of the other books in the series I own were published by Archipelago and have a similar design (I think I have four of them), whereas all of the four "Seasons Cycle" books I now own were published by Harvill Secker in the UK and are also designed similarly. (I assume that I'm not the only person who thinks this way.)

Edited: Aug 26, 3:48pm Top


My splendid day ended with an Edinburgh International Festival performance of the play The Prisoner, which was written and directed by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne, performed by the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, and appeared at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, one of Edinburgh's most historical theatres, which is adjacent to Usher Hall, Edinburgh's primary concert hall. The set of this existential drama was quite stark, with only a few stones, larger rocks and branches on stage, and the play centered on a young man in an unnamed country, who killed his father after he caught him in the middle of a monstrous act. He survived a traditional punishment that was meted out by his father's brother, and was ultimately given a sentence of 20 years, in which he was to spend his days gazing at the town's prison from the outside, while fending for himself and living mainly in solitude, as he read from his father's book in an effort to "repair" the damage he has caused. I enjoyed the performance, and the questions that the play raised but did not answer. It will move to the National Theatre in London next month, and I recommend it to anyone who can see it there, or in the cinema via NT Live.

Aug 26, 4:35pm Top

Sounds like a great day Darryl. Glad you got to meet someone whose work you respect so much.

The translation Duel sounds great. Translation is one of my fascinations.

And a good play to finish with.

Aug 26, 5:25pm Top

>119 kidzdoc: the maximum temperature was only 55 F (13 C). I saw your post on Facebook about the temperature Darryl, but I had no idea how cold 55 F was, so didn’t comment. But 13 C isn’t great for August is it? A few weeks ago I was complaining that the heat was unbearable - today I turned the central heating on. I’ve got a vague idea about hot temperatures in Fahrenheit, but cold temperatures are a bit of a mystery.

Aug 26, 6:32pm Top

>119 kidzdoc: What a very special experience! I'll look out for a copy of her book.

>122 kidzdoc: You are absolutely not the only person who thinks that way, Darryl. Of course you would want all copies of a series to be from the same publisher.

I had the first two in Knausgaard's My Struggle series but never got around to reading them. I think they may have been among the books that didn't make the move across the state with me.

>121 kidzdoc: That sounds like a great event. I bought the Ties by Domenico Starnone based on Jhumpa Lahiri's introduction about her experience translating it. And while you are certainly not the only person who thinks that way^ you may be the only one with a ranking list of world's cutest translators. :-)

Aug 26, 6:49pm Top

>122 kidzdoc: The Dutch translation of The End was published in 2015, so I already finished the My Struggle books last year.
You are definitly not alone in wanting books in a series in the same design. I hate it when a publisher changes it halfway. The best on this was a publisher here, they changed the design of a series, but offered free new covers in the new design for the earlier books!

Aug 26, 7:36pm Top

Catching up...

>102 msf59: Happy (next) Sunday, Mark! I agree...all of the Obamas would make great LTers, although their threads would be flooded with messages every day!

I have done very little reading over the past two weeks, so I'm still reading Warlight. I'm a little less than 2/3 through, so I suspect that I won't finish it until Tuesday, when I return to Atlanta from Edinburgh.

>103 mdoris: Thanks, Mary! Edinburgh is a magical place, although I'm sure that it's far calmer the other 11 months of the year. I haven't been to the Royal Botanic Garden or the Surgeons' Hall Museums yet, so I'll have to put that on my list for a future visit.

>104 Caroline_McElwee: I'm glad that I was able to see Akram Khan perform last weekend, especially since "Xenos" may be the last set he performs on stage.

>105 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle!

>106 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita! We will have to change trains in Brussels on the way back to London from Amsterdam, but we won't have time to explore the capital, and my plans for that weekend are already set. I'll eventually make it to Brussels, although it's relatively low on my wish list, and I'll keep this bookstore in mind.

>107 Berly: Hi, Kim!

Edited: Aug 26, 8:13pm Top

>119 kidzdoc: What a wonderful connection to have made, Darryl. I'm so glad you could meet Dr. Mannix, and I'm sure she enjoyed meeting you as well. I'll be looking for her book too.

Aug 26, 8:35pm Top

>119 kidzdoc: Wonderful to read the story behind the book and meeting with the author of With the End in Mind. My library system has it and I have put it on reserve. Sending good wishes for your travel homeward.

Aug 26, 10:19pm Top

>122 kidzdoc: "but I'll wait until the Archipelago Books version is published in the US, as all of the other books in the series I own were published by Archipelago and have a similar design..."

Due out Sept. 18th. I am seriously thinking of picking up all 6 (if they have copies of the sixth) at the Brooklyn Book Festival on the 17th. They were offering a substantial discount last year, but I was waiting for the series to be complete, just in case they changed the design or something between books.

Aug 27, 1:28am Top

>109 Caroline_McElwee:, >111 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, and you're welcome, Caroline.

>115 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I've written about less than half of the performances and author events I've attended, so I'll catch up later this week after I return to Atlanta.

Did you & Debbi see The Threepenny Opera with Rory Kinnear at the National Theatre in 2016? Le Gateau Chocolat sung "Mack the Knife" in that production, which was the first time I had heard about him or seen him perform. Similar to last year, Fliss encouraged me to see something with her that was outside of my usual comfort zone of serious plays and modern dance, and since I had already seen and was impressed by Le Gateau Chocolat it was a pretty easy sell. We saw the New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo together last year, but her performance, at least that night, was a flop, so she would have been hard pressed to convince me to go to another comedy act this year. Seeing Le Gateau Chocolat was a perfect way to end the evening, especially since it was the last show that Fliss saw in Edinburgh.

Aug 27, 2:36am Top

>116 charl08: Right, Charlotte, and you bring up an excellent point. Fliss had been encouraging me to go to Edinburgh for the festivals for years, but I didn't know anything about them and was under the misguided impression that I wouldn't find much to my liking. Last year Margaret and Fliss combined to nudge me more firmly toward going, and after Margaret announced in late 2016 or early 2017 the dates that she would be there I quickly fell into line. After the Fringe, International Festival and Book Festival lineups were announced I realized how much diversity there was, as there were several performances and appearances by artists and authors of color, as well as ones from countries outside of the UK. The week I spent in Edinburgh last year was the best holiday I've ever been on, and although this year didn't quite live up to 2017, I have still had a great time here.

I haven't planned much for today, the last day of the festivals and my last full day in Edinburgh, so I'll look to see what else is on that still has ticket availability. So far I've booked a ticket for a Fringe play ("Freeman") from 5-6 pm, followed by a book festival appearance by the Chinese author Yan Lianke from 8:30-9:30 pm, but that's it so far.

>117 Deern: You're welcome, Nathalie! I haven't been able to find Refugee Tales in the main bookshop at the festival, so I'll look for it again today. I have one £5 Book Festival voucher to use by this evening, so I'll definitely purchase at least one book there. I've already purchased a baker's dozen number of books, so one or two (or five) more shouldn't make a difference...

I double checked, and that link is the correct one, as it is volume 2 and includes essays by Jackie Kay and Kamila Shamsie. Hmm...the US Kindle version is only $8.47, so unless I find a signed copy of the print version today I may get the e-book instead.

>118 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! I'm enjoying Warlight, but it isn't knocking my socks off, possibly because I've been reading it very sporadically over the past two weeks, mainly in cafes, on buses, and prior to festival events. I'll be able to dedicate time to it tomorrow, and possibly later today depending on what I decide to do. I look forward to your thoughts about it.

I bought a copy of Happiness last week, and I hope to get to it in the next month or two. Based on comments about it and the lack of glowing reviews of the books that made this year's Booker Prize longlist I'm disappointed that it wasn't chosen.

The festivals in Edinburgh are amazing, and overwhelming. There are hundreds of events taking place simultaneously, and it's hard to fight the temptation to pack as much in every day as possible instead of pacing one's self, which is ultimately exhausting for old dudes like myself. I've had to incorporate some lazy days to catch up on sleep and rest, as I did yesterday, even though that meant missing events that I would have ideally liked to have gone to.

Ha! I wasn't trying to correct your spelling or designation of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's name, and I can't remember if that took place on your thread or mine in my current precaffeinated state (it's nearly 7:30 am here, and breakfast at the B&B I'm staying in will be served at 8:15 am). His is a difficult name to write correctly, given the tildes in two of the vowels, and IIRC he changed his name from James Ngũgĩ to Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o after he established himself as a writer, so his last name is Ngũgĩ, rather than Thiong'o. And, however I say his name is assuredly laughable compared to the actual pronunciation!

Thanks for your kind travel wish for tomorrow. I'll catch a KLM Cityhopper flight from here to Amsterdam tomorrow morning, then take a Delta flight from there to Atlanta that will arrive mid afternoon. I won't be in the ATL for long, though, as I'll head back to London on Wednesday of next week for another two week vacation, including a weekend stay in the Netherlands. I'm not working this upcoming Labor Day weekend, which is very unusual for me, and I'll attend the AJC Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA, a lovely town immediately east of Atlanta, and am making plans with Kay (RidgewayGirl) and Lisa (labfs39), who will also be there. More on this later...

Edited: Aug 27, 2:55am Top

>120 katiekrug: Right, Katie! I'd say that we equally enjoyed meeting each other.

>124 Caroline_McElwee: Yep; Saturday was a great day overall, Caroline.

Now that the festival is nearly over I'll be able to focus more on London, although meet up plans for this weekend's book festival just outside of Atlanta will need to come first. The current group thread on Facebook Messenger has more details about plans that have been made so far.

>125 SandDune: 13 C isn’t great for August is it?

From the standpoint of someone who lives in Atlanta I would say definitely not; it would be unheard of for that to be the low temperature there, nonetheless the high one! I still find it mind boggling that the highest ever recorded temperature in Edinburgh is 31.4 C (88.5 F), which would be a normal summer day throughout most of the US. I like cool weather, though, especially in the middle of summer, and until recently I would always visit San Francisco in August to get away from the heat in Atlanta, Philadelphia and elsewhere. Most of my Southern friends would strongly disagree with me, though!

Today's maximum temperatures are expected to be 16 C in Edinburgh, 32 C in Atlanta, and 34 C in Philadelphia, which seems to be normal weather for all three cities.

Breakfast will be served in 20 minutes, so I'd better get dressed. I'll finish catching up afterward.

Aug 27, 4:33am Top

Mmm...breakfast was fabulous. I had Finnian Haddie as a main dish, which was served over rice and a perfectly cooked boiled egg. The fish (haddock) and rice were seasoned with parsley, yellow curry and another spice, and it was very tasty; I'll have to give that a try myself.

If I haven't said so already I've been staying in Ashdene House, a B&B in a lovely Edwardian townhouse in the Newington section of Edinburgh, a quiet residential neighborhood south of all but possibly three of the Fringe festival venues. Although it's a bit off the beaten path it's also easily reached by public transportation, as numerous Lothian Bus routes (at least six) pass within 1-1/2 blocks to the west and north and 2-1/2 blocks to the east, with frequent service from morning until at least late evening, and it takes no more than 15 minutes to reach the Royal Mile, and 20 minutes or less to reach Charlotte Square Gardens, where the Book Festival is held. The rooms are comfortable, the hosts (the Daulbys) are very friendly and accommodating, and the breakfasts, as I mentioned, are superb, with the main options being smoked fish, a variety of sausages, and a vegetarian haggis. Mrs Daulby can cook, which is not always a given! Best of all, staying in this 4 star B&B was far cheaper than staying in a comparable guest house in Old Town or New Town during the Festivals; I paid £122 ($149) per night, not including taxes and fees, which came to just over $164/night, and I easily could spent twice that much if I wanted to be in the heart of the action. For the comfort, value, convenience and hospitality I will give Ashdene House a 5 star rating, and I would gladly stay here again on future visits to Edinburgh.

Bonus: For those who need a quick book fix on a rainy day the Newington Library is immediately next to Ashdene House.

These photos aren't mine, but they show the front of the house, a room identical to the one I stayed in, and the conservatory, where breakfast is served.

Edited: Aug 27, 5:35am Top

>125 SandDune: I’ve got a vague idea about hot temperatures in Fahrenheit, but cold temperatures are a bit of a mystery.

My engineering, biomedical science and medical backgrounds make it relatively easy to do these conversions, as they relate to temperatures between 0-40 C (my undergraduate major was Chemical Engineering before I switched to Microbiology, so I've had a frightening amount of advanced math, chemistry and physics courses...but nowhere near as much as Jim, our Fearless Leader, has). You'll remember that degrees F is 9/5 x degrees C + 32. So 0 C equals 32 F, and every increase of 5 C corresponds to an increase of 9 F. Therefore 5 C equals 41 F, 10 C equals 50 F, 20 C is 68 F, 30 C is 86 F, etc. The math is easier to convert C to F than the other way around, at least for me, so I'll make an estimate when I convert F to C. For example, I know that 55 F is rougly midway between 10 C (50 F) and 15 C (59 F), and since it's slightly closer to the larger number I guessed that it's approximately 13 C. Checking...55 F is 12.8 C, which is close enough IMO, especially since it rounds up to 13 C.

It has to be awfully cold for me to want to turn on the heat, after spending four years in Pittsburgh when below zero temperatures (F, not C) were not unheard of in the middle of winter and single digit or low doube digit temperatures (again in F) were the norm. I became even more acclimated to subzero temperatures during the years I visited my best friends in Madison, Wisconsin, where there were quite a few days that the high temperature did not even reach 0 F. Let's see...-10 C is 14 F, -15 C is 5 F, and -20 C is -4 F, so 0 F is roughly -18 C. Even Atlanta can get into the mid teens to low twenties F, so temperatures that get down to -5 to -10 C in the coldest part of winter (mid January to early February) are common, although our temps rebound very quickly toward the end of February.

Apologies to anyone who finds discussion of math on a Monday morning appalling.

>126 EBT1002: Similar to Being Mortal by Atul Gawande I would highly recommend With the End in Mind to everyone, Ellen. Although my original copy and obviously the one I purchased on Monday are UK editions Kathryn did say that her book is available for purchase in the US, and presumably in other English speaking countries. It's mainly written for a lay audience, and it mainly consists of chapters of stories of past patients of hers, whose anonymity has been preserved, along with her mentors and colleagues, who have all taught her lessons about the practice of palliative care, medicine in general, and life. Most of the chapters end with a brief summary of what was learned, which helped cement the story and made it more applicable to the reader. Several members of the audience picked up on that in the concluding Q&A session, and Kathryn confirmed that it was intentional on her part to do that. I had thought about getting a second copy of With the End in Mind, as I wanted to pass my original copy on to the members of the Palliative Advanced Care Team at Children's, whose two workspaces are immediately adjacent to mine, but I also wanted to keep a copy of it handy for future reference, for both my parents and myself. I couldn't find my original copy when I looked for it before I left Atlanta, so it's possible that I may have already given it to one of them.

Of course you would want all copies of a series to be from the same publisher.

Great. I assumed that y'all would back me up on that opinion, but I wanted to be sure.

I own the first four books in the My Struggle series, according to my LT library, but I've only read the first two of them. A Death in the Family, the first book, was brilliant and unputdownable, and although A Man in Love was also superb I didn't like it as much, probably because in that book he had an affair and ultimately left his wife and young daughter (that isn't a spoiler, BTW). I want to read his last book in the series ASAP, which means that I need to get to Books Three, Four and Five even sooner.

And while you are certainly not the only person who thinks that way^ you may be the only one with a ranking list of world's cutest translators. :-)

Ha! I'll now have to come up with my list of World's Cutest Translators, now that Rosalind Harvey has replaced Deborah Smith, the translator of Han Kang's books, at the top of my list. I'll get working on that later this week.

Aug 27, 6:05am Top

>135 kidzdoc: making a note of the recommendation Darryl.

Aug 27, 6:45am Top

>127 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita; I didn't know that it's been roughly five years since Knausgaard finished Book Six in the My Struggle series. I suppose that he wrote the Seasons Quartet afterward.

I would also find it highly annoying if publishers changed covers of their series, including longstanding ones like the Library of America or Everyman's Library.

>129 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. I think it's fair to say that Kathryn and I both wished we could have extended our conversation, but we both had places to be after Karl Ove Knausgaard's talk. She is thinking of continuing her writing career, due in part to the success of her first effort, so hopefully we'll be able to meet in the future when she goes on another speaking tour.

BTW I should mention that Karl Ove Knausgaard is a very warm and engaging speaker, which for some reason I didn't expect. Although I haven't spoken to many authors in person not all of them are easy to chat with, even for a brief minute or two conversation at a book signing. Clearly Kathryn Mannix is now at the top of my list of authors I've spoken with, and she's taken over that spot from Atul Gawande, who I chatted with for roughly five minutes after I attended his talk several years ago at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco about his book Better. There was a long queue behind me of people who also wanted to chat with him, so our conversation was a truncated one.

>130 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. Meeting Kathryn Mannix in person was definitely the highlight of this very special holiday. She recognized me by face and name when I stood in the queue, greeted me warmly, and introduced me to her colleague, a clinical psychologist who also works in palliative care. We hit it off immediately, and chatted very comfortably as if we were longstanding colleagues or friends...or LTers! Similar to Barack Obama she would also fit in well here.

>131 ELiz_M: Thanks for the information about the US publication date for The End, Liz. That's a great idea to look for the entire series at the Brooklyn Book Festival; I assume that Archipelago Books is still located in the borough. I had an Archipelago subscription for several years, but I have a stack of several dozen Archipelagos that I haven't read yet, so I cancelled my annual subscription several years ago. I haven't paid much attention to their offerings over the past two or three years, so I should see what books are currently available, and order Books Five and Six of the My Struggle series.

>137 Caroline_McElwee: Excellent, Caroline. I think you would enjoy staying at Ashdene House.

Edited: Aug 27, 9:07am Top


I mentioned this year's AJC Decatur Book Festival earlier in this thread, and I created a thread in the LibraryThing Gatherings and Meetups group last night:


I was in touch with Kay (RidgewayGirl) and Lisa (labfs39), both members of Club Read, about the festival this weekend, and late last night I looked at the schedule of events. Wow...the author lineup is very impressive, and there is at least one event I want to go to for every possible slot on Saturday and Sunday. I plan to go to seven readings on Saturday, and five more on Sunday, and I suspect that I'll come away with a massive number of books once again. Kay made reservations for the three of us to have dinner on Friday night at The Iberian Pig, one of my favorite restaurants in Decatur and metro Atlanta, and we'll probably meet for dinner on Saturday and possibly Sunday as well. If anyone is thinking of joining us please let us know via the meetup thread ASAP.

ETA: Kay, Lisa & I will actually have dinner at The Iberian Pig on Saturday at 6:30 pm, rather than Friday. Kay & I may meet for dinner on Friday as well.

Edited: Aug 27, 1:34pm Top

Here's a photo of my 2018 Edinburgh Book Haul. I think all the book titles with author names should be easily visible.

I'll read In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne after I finish Warlight, so I'll bring it on the plane with me, along with Picasso: An Intimate Portrait by Olivier Widmaier Picasso, his grandson, which I would ideally like to finish before I see the Picasso exhibition with Bianca at Tate Modern next week.

Aug 27, 9:27am Top

>140 kidzdoc: that's an outstanding book haul, Darryl. Did you bring extra luggage with you or do you just make sure you have a roomy suitcase?

Aug 27, 9:29am Top

What a nice book haul- I am taking notes for my own wish list!

Aug 27, 10:28am Top

>132 kidzdoc: Oh, you're right, Darryl. Debbi and I did see that production of The Threepenny Opera with Rory Kinnear. I didn't make the connection with Le Chocolat Gateau - that was quite a number! Good for Fliss for pushing you out of your usual kind of fare.

Edited: Aug 27, 11:37am Top

Nice haul Darryl. I have With the End in Mind and Washington Black, both in the 'to be read soon' pile.

Aug 27, 2:43pm Top

I would be one of the people to attend the Decatur Book Festival, but I will heading to Kansas this weekend. My mother is now out of Rehab - 4 days early - and I am going home to help her get her home health services lined up. The result is that I will miss the Book Festival. But, there is always next year.

Aug 28, 2:47pm Top

I'm on my way back to Atlanta, on a Delta flight from Amsterdam, after I took a KLM Cityhopper from Edinburgh to AMS. It's been a smooth and very enjoyable flight so far, as I have an exit row seat with unlimited leg room, my usual seat, but the plane is only half full, and the seat next to me is empty. We're approaching NYC, and will touch down at ATL in a little less than two hours.

>141 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura! I had a £5 book voucher left over, so I used it to purchase two more books just before I attended Yan Lianke's talk, which I think was the last event of the Book Festival.

I use a Travelpro tote bag as a weekend bag, and as a book bag. It flattens out nicely in my suitcase, and it can carry 20 to 25 books easily. I'll take a photo of it after I get home; it has all but two of the books I bought, along with the ones I brought with me to Edinburgh, and there is plenty of room for more book loot.

>142 torontoc: Thanks, Cyrel!

>143 jnwelch: Did I see The Threepenny Opera with you & Debbi, Joe? I think we did, but I'm not sure.

Hmm...I don't think that Fliss got out of her comfort zone and saw a play with me this time. I'll have to compare notes later. I'll also post the selfie that Margaret took of the two of us in Edinburgh two weeks ago.

>144 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

>145 benitastrnad: I definitely had you in mind when I thought about other LTers that might attend the Decatur Book Festival, Benita. However, since I hadn't heard from you ahead of time I assumed that you wouldn't be going. This year's author lineup is very impressive; there is someone I want to see in every slot on Saturday and Sunday, and on several occasions there are multiple events occurring simultaneously that I want to go to, but can't.

Aug 28, 5:44pm Top

>113 kidzdoc: Oh, that's a hoot. Great photo, too.

I have to say that Happiness is a rare bird: a book with a much better US than UK cover. It's a beautiful novel. I look forward to your review of it.

Aug 28, 6:31pm Top

>143 jnwelch: I think you might well have seen the The Threepenny Opera with us, Darryl. A National Theater show - I feel like you did.

Some good news: LTer Ella Tim is going to join us at the pre-Bimphius dinner in Amsterdam on the 14th. I let Anita know for the reservation.

Edited: Aug 28, 6:48pm Top

>148 jnwelch: We will change the reservation tomorrow, Joe.

Edited: Aug 29, 2:00am Top

>147 libraryperilous: Thanks, Diana. TBH I haven't looked at either cover of Happiness closely, but I agree with you than UK book covers are almost always preferable to US ones.

>148 jnwelch:, >149 FAMeulstee: Great! I'll probably have lunch in Amsterdam Centraal, possibly at the Grand Café Restaurant 1e klas, take a NS (Dutch Railways) train to Utrecht, check in to my hotel there, then return to Amsterdam and meet y'all for dinner, and see the jazz performance with Frank at Bimhuis that evening.

BTW I'm back in Atlanta after a very enjoyable and peaceful flight from Amsterdam; clearing US Border Control and Customs was a breeze, which took less than 10 minutes for both steps, versus well over an hour when I returned from Barcelona in June.

I'll finish Warlight shortly, then start In Our Mad and Furious City, my third book from this year's Booker Prize longlist (I took an overly long nap on Sunday and missed seeing the book's author, Guy Gunaratne, speak at the book festival). I crashed and went to sleep around 6:30 PM yesterday, slept for 6+ hours, and am now wide awake at nearly 2 am, which feels like 7 am in Edinburgh. I won't make breakfast now, but I'll miss having Finnan haddie at Ashdene House this morning.

Aug 29, 7:06am Top

>140 kidzdoc: Great book haul, Darryl. Looking forward to you discussing many of these titles, since I am unfamiliar with them.

Your Edinburgh trip looks and sounds fantastic. Enjoy your remaining time there.

Aug 29, 7:19am Top

>151 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'll start reading some of them today, starting with Ghost Wall, the new novel by Sarah Moss, which was available in the Book Festival bookshop ahead of its UK publication date next week.

I'm now back in Atlanta, but I'll leave next Wednesday for a two week trip to London, which will include a weekend in Amsterdam. LT individual and group meetups have been planned in London, Birmingham, Amsterdam and 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), so there will be more photos to come next month.

Edited: Aug 29, 8:11am Top

I did buy two more books on Monday night, as I had a £5 voucher that expired that day:

The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke: two novellas written by Yan over 20 years ago, which was published in English translation last year
Barber Shop Chronicles by Inua Ellams: The author of this acclaimed play spoke at the Book Festival before I arrived, and I bought a signed copy of the script. I missed seeing it at the National Theatre in London, due to screwups on my part, but it's touring the US this year, so hopefully I'll see it live here, or in the cinema via NT Live.

>141 lauralkeet: Laura, these are photos of my Travelpro tote bag, which doubles as my weekend travel bag:

Aug 29, 9:36am Top

>153 kidzdoc: that's a great bag, Darryl!

Aug 29, 9:40am Top

>154 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. This is my second version of this bag. I overstuffed it with books on several past vacations, which caused it to fail at the seams. It's otherwise very sturdy and durable, and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you can purchase it on sale, as I did.

Edited: Aug 29, 4:32pm Top

>148 jnwelch: I thought that it was you & Debbi that I saw The Threepenny Opera with, Joe, especially since Fliss said that she didn't see it with me.

Have you met Fliss yet? I assume not, and I'm pretty sure you've not met Rachael.

ETA: Safe travels to Blighty! See you soon.

Aug 29, 9:20pm Top

>152 kidzdoc: So, you'll be back in the states well before the last weekend in Sept? I just found out work is sending me to London for 72 hours and I might have an evening free for theater-going. So, I'll look forward to your theater reviews, mining them for ideas.

Edited: Aug 29, 10:26pm Top

>157 ELiz_M: Correct, Liz; I'll be in London from 6-21 September. Several of the plays I saw in Edinburgh will be performed there next month, so I'll start posting reviews of those plays first. So far I have tickets to see "The Burning Tower" at Bush Theatre, "King Lear" with Ian McKellen at the Duke of York's Theatre, and "Eyam" at Globe Theatre...and I need to buy a ticket for "Losing Venice" at Orange Tree Theatre, which I'll do now.

Aug 30, 9:26am Top

Looks like you are having a great time! Love the book stack!
13c is pretty chilly! We had temps around that, and lower, while we were in Alberta and we wished that we had of brought jackets!

Aug 30, 10:34am Top

>159 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! I had a blast at the Festivals in Edinburgh again this year, and I intend to go next year, and every year that I can.

That 13 C temperature was the high for the day; when I left that morning (I think it was that morning) at half nine it was 9 C (48 F). Based on my two past visits to Edinburgh I expected that it would be cool there, so I brought a light nylon jacket, which I wore nearly every da, a slightly heavier one, which I didn't use at all, a raincoat with a hood, which I used twice, and a sportcoat for evening performances when I wanted to dress a bit more nicely, particularly for the Edinburgh International Festival concert, dance performance and play that I saw.

I didn't meet up with the nurse that I'm friends with at work, who was in Edinburgh for a day or two last week. She and her husband climbed Arthur's Seat on that particularly cold day, and from her photos on Instagram you could tell that they were freezing up there!

Aug 30, 10:51am Top

Some photos from Edinburgh. First, the entrance to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is mainly held in Charlotte Square, at the end of George Street and close to Princes Street, the main street in New Town:

Charlotte Square Gardens, a small private park that has several tents, a main theatre, two bookshops, the Spiegeltent, and a couple of cafes for Book Festival attendees. There are plenty of events during the day for children of all ages as well as ones for adults:

Festival Theatre, one of the prime locations for Edinburgh International Festival events, located on Nicolson Street just south of Old Town; I saw the Akram Khan Dance Company perform "Xenos" here:

Nearly directly across Nicolson Street from Festival Theatre is Surgeons' Hall, home of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, which hosted several Edinburgh Festival Fringe events. It contains the city's main medical museum, which I still haven't visited, as it was closed for renovations during my first visit to the city in 2015, and I think it's also closed during the Festivals. The nearby University of Edinburgh was key to the history of medicine in the United States, as many of the founding fathers of medicine at the oldest medical schools here, especially Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania, were trained at Edinburgh and based the schools in the new country on that model:

Edited: Aug 30, 11:21am Top

Usher Hall, Edinburgh's main concert hall. Fliss and I saw a stirring intepretation of Dvořák's Requiem by the Bamberger Symphoniker, the second of three Edinburgh International Performances I saw while I was there:

The Royal Lyceum Theatre, where I saw another Edinburgh International Festival performance, "The Prisoner", a play co-written and co-directed by Peter Brook and his long time collaborator Marie-Hélène Estienne, and performed by Paris's Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord:

Summerhall, the arts complex that is one of the main venues of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which hosts roughly 200 Fringe performances every year. It was formerly the home of the University of Edinburgh's veterinary school, and many of the Fringe events are held in current or former university buildings:

The Pleasance Dome, one of the university's student unions, and home to dozens of Fringe performances:

CanadaHub at King's Hall, a minor Fringe venue:

I didn't take a photos of Assembly George Square, Assembly George Street, ZOO Southside, the Pleasance Courtyard, or other major Fringe venues where I've seen performances this year and last, but I couldn't pass on photographing and visiting this bigly coffee stand at the food court that surrounds Assembly George Square on the university's main campus:

Edited: Aug 30, 1:19pm Top

>157 ELiz_M: Liz, I just checked, and two of the plays I saw in Edinburgh will be on stage in London during the last weekend in September. "The Prisoner" will be at the Dorfman Theatre, the smallest of the three National Theatre venues, and "Freeman" will be at the Canada Water Culture Space. I enjoyed both performances.

I bought a £15 ticket for Exit the King by Eugene Ionesco for September 7th at the National Theatre, but it won't be on between September 10th and October 2nd, IIRC.

Aug 30, 2:35pm Top

Learned somehow I missed the London showing of Akram Khan's last full production. Sad face. He is going to still do cameos, and some collaborations that don't keep him away from his family for so long.

I'm a bit behind with theatre at the moment Darryl. Too exhausted after work, and don't want to commute at the weekends. Bit of a catch 22 at the moment. I need to get back to at least one a month.

Great photos of Festive Edinburgh. Must visit the city sometime.

Aug 30, 4:31pm Top

>164 Caroline_McElwee: I'll admit that I hadn't heard of Akram Khan before I received this year's Edinburgh International Festival program in the mail a few months ago. I'm glad that I was able to see this performance, as it seems likely that I won't have that chance in the future.

I need to pay more attention to the dance performances at Sadler's Wells; I'll look to see what's on there now.

I completely understand your sentiment about not going to the theatre as much as you would like. I don't do as much in Atlanta as I should, both because I'm often tired after work or on weekends, and because getting my friends together to go to a concert, play, etc. is a chore. Often times it's only when friends or family come from out of town that I do something here, such as tomorrow, when Kay from Club Read, a friend of hers and I will visit the High Museum of Art, the city's most prominent art museum, and have dinner afterwards.

It was interesting and a bit surreal to be in Edinburgh on Monday, the last day of the Festivals, as posters were being taken down, streets were opening, and the street performers and crowds were heading out of town. After I had dinner in an Indian restaurant directly across Nicolson Street from the Festival Theatre I passed by Surgeons' Hall, which hosted several Fringe events. A young woman passing in the opposite direction with a friend was shocked to see that the posters you can see in my photo above were taken down. She said something like "OMG! Where are the posters?! The Festival must be over. Oh, f***!" She may have been a bit crude, but I think she spoke for thousands of festival goers, including myself.

Aug 30, 4:44pm Top

Great photos from Edinburgh Darryl mate, looks like you had a really good time and got a nice book haul. I have been chuckling at your Facebook chat with Karen's comments, you two seem to get on like a house on fire and it would be really good to meet up with you sometime.

Edited: Aug 30, 5:39pm Top

As always, your thread is a cornucopia of delights. Your Edinburgh book haul is wonderful. I recently received my copy of Washington Black and may read it next in my Booker long list efforts. In Our Mad and Furious City is one of the long listed books I haven't yet acquired.

I'm almost done with Warlight; I'm liking it but it has not (as I believe you said above) knocked my socks off. It has many wonderful elements and his prose is lovely but the layers aren't quite pulling together for me. I'm open to ending up barefooted after reading the last 40 pages or so.

Keep having fun, Darryl!

Edited: Aug 30, 6:15pm Top

>166 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. Yes, I had a blast at all three festivals, and being in that city with its lovely and welcoming people is always a delight.

I assume that you're referring to my Facebook post about babies' extreme dislike of broccoli, which is shared by at least one adult! Fortunately I'll eat nearly anything else that's well prepared.

I would love to meet you & Karen in person! Unfortunately I won't be able to do so on this upcoming trip, as I have something planned for at least part of every day, and all four weekend days and evenings are booked solid. It's very possible that I may return to London in November, though; I had requested a week off to attend the EFG London Jazz Festival that month, and I'm now torn between staying there, making a return visit to Lisbon, or possibly visiting both cities. Once my group's November schedule comes out I'll look at the jazz festival schedule, touch base with my other British and Portuguese friends, and determine where and when I'll go. Once I've figured it out I'll be in touch with you & Karen.

>167 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! I'm currently reading Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss's new novel, as I bought a copy of it at the Book Festival bookshop even though it isn't supposed to be published in the UK until September 20th. Claire wants to read it, so I'd like to finish it before I see her next weekend. After I finish I'll start reading In Our Mad and Furious City, followed by Washington Black. I'll bring those books with me to London, along with Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala, and Picasso: An Intimate Portrait by Olivier Widmaier Picasso, both of whom I saw at the Book Festival.

I'll post a review of Warlight soon. It was a solid 4 sta read, and I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see it make the Booker Prize shortlist, but I don't think it will win the award.

Aug 30, 9:36pm Top

I'm enjoying the UK photos!

Edited: Aug 31, 3:24am Top

>169 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori. There will be more UK photos to come, as I'm headed back across the Atlantic to spend another two week vacation in Blighty, which will include a long weekend in the Netherlands. Day trips with other LTers to Birmingham next Saturday and 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) the following Sunday are set, along with group and individual meet ups in London.

First, though, is this weekend's meet up. Kay, a friend of hers, and I will meet at the High Museum of Art late this afternoon, and we'll have dinner at Rose & Rye, a relatively new restaurant that I've wanted to try, afterward. The three of us will meet Lisa and her husband and daughter in Decatur for the book festival Saturday and Sunday, and have dinner there at least tomorrow, at The Iberian Pig.

Aug 31, 6:39am Top

>165 kidzdoc: I think I have seen 5 or 6 of Akram Khan's productions over the past few years. He was a director of Sadler's Wells, and has recently stood down from that.

I generally get the Sadlers Wells brochures twice/three times a year, and do a block booking for 5 performances (you get the 5th free if you book 4 together), and that is me done for the year. I didn't find enough that tempted me this year, so I think I've only been once. There is a new brochure due soon.

Yes, I can imagine seeing everything being broken down was odd Darryl. Like striking a theatre set.

Aug 31, 9:41am Top

I look forward to your reaction to Sarah Moss' new novel, Darryl. She is an author to whom you introduced me and I want to read more of her work.

Aug 31, 12:05pm Top

>171 Caroline_McElwee: Nice that you were able to see Akram Khan so often, Caroline.

There is an interesting performance taking place at Sadler's Wells next month; the English National Ballet will appear in a program dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. I could go on the evening of the 20th, but that's my last full day and I may want to meet one of my partners and his wife for dinner that night, so I'll wait until closer to the date before I book a ticket.

It was a bit sad and strange to be in Edinburgh on Monday. Many venues were still hosting Fringe events and didn't look any different, particularly Pleasance Courtyard, but all of the events on George Street had ended, and vehicle traffic was no longer blocked on it. That was necessary, as a portion of Princes Street was closed for the closing ceremony and fireworks that night. I posted a short video of the fireworks on my Facebook timeline, which I watched after I left Charlotte Square Gardens after Yan Lianke's talk that ended the Book Festival.

>172 EBT1002: Unfortunately Ghost Wall isn't grabbing me so far, Ellen. Rachael (FlossieT), who is a huge Sarah Moss fan, warned me that it wasn't her best book last week. Rachael is possibly my most reliable source of opinions about books, as our tastes in novels we both read lines up exactly well over 90% of the time, and although I intend to give this book a fair chance I suspect that she and I will agree once again. Fortunately it's a short read, and it isn't a bad book by any means, but so far it's nowhere near as good as The Tidal Zone and Bodies of Light were. I'll put off reading it until sometime next week, and start reading The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke, which I may be able to finish as early as this afternoon.

Aug 31, 4:56pm Top

Planned reads for September:

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Picasso: An Intimate Portrait by Olivier Widmaier Picasso
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke

Sep 1, 10:10am Top

Hi Daryl....welcome home, sounds like you had a great time at the festivals.

Just finished reading a book with a medical tie in that you might like: Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. It's nonfiction about a disturbing young woman who tried to emulate Steve Jobs in the arena of blood testing and managed to go under the radar of all the regulating agencies for almost 15 years, while duping the likes of George Schultz, Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger and more.

It's written by the investigative journalist who broke the story....so the writing moves right along.

Edited: Sep 3, 12:15am Top

Hi Darryl, Sorry about your team's loss to DC United tonight, but I really, really want my team to qualify for the playoffs. Your team is already in it so we're just trying to catch up. Forgive us. I was at a family party today, and I sort of had to sneak inside to see the game which I'm glad I didn't miss. I'll be happy to cheer for Atlanta United when they're not playing against DC United. :D

Sep 3, 12:53am Top

Sounds like a great time at the Festival. Did you manage to read And the land lay still? I've had it on my tbr pile for several years and never seem to get round to reading it. Might try to before the year ends.

Sep 3, 9:13am Top

>175 tangledthread: Thanks, tangledthread. I did have a splendid time at the Festivals in Edinburgh last month, but the weekend I just had here was just as good, and probably a bit better. More to come...

Bad Blood is very high on my wish list, as Mark read and reviewed it recently. I looked for it at the book festival I attended this weekend, but I didn't see it. I'll probably get to it later this year, but I bought several books and will order three more that will leapfrog over it.

>176 SqueakyChu: How dare you, Madeline! The nerve of your upstart DC United squad to be such poor hosts and thrash mighty Atlanta United. So rude.

I saw the score late last night, as I got back home after 10 pm, and I thought of you immediately, and was happy for you. I was going to send you a message, but after I updated our doings on Facebook last night I crashed like a rock and fell dead asleep.

>178 kidzdoc: I didn't get to the first page of And the Land Lay Still, Kerry! I do want to read it sooner rather than later, though. If you do decide to get to it later this year please let me know, as I may read it along with you.

Edited: Sep 4, 10:07am Top

I'm still on Cloud 9 after the past three days, which was easily the best weekend I've had in Atlanta since I moved here 21 years ago. As I mentioned previously several LTers and I met to attend this year's AJC Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the United States, which is held from Friday through Sunday of Labor Day weekend. It's a relatively new event, as the first one was held in Decatur, the city immediately east of Atlanta, in 2006. Even though I've obviously lived here for the entire existence of the festival this is the first year that I fully participated in it, as I essentially always have to work on Labor Day weekend (and I am again this year, although I'm only on backup call today and haven't been called in to work yet) and by the time I arrived after seeing patients in the hospital the author readings had all ended.

The festival kicked off on Friday, although the only author events that day were the Keynote and Kidnote Addresses, which were the only ones that required a paid ticket to attend. The meat of the festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, with 600 local and nationally prominent authors giving talks in 16 different venues.

On Friday Kay (RidgewayGirl) from Club Read, who I hadn't met in person but have been friends with for several years, drove to Atlanta for the festival, and her close friend Pattie (sophroniaborgia) flew into town. There wasn't anything to do in Decatur, so we met at the High Museum of Art, the city's main art museum and arguably the most prominent one in the Deep South, late that afternoon to see the exhibition Outliers of Vanguard American Art, which featured the works by 80 American artists, most of whom were self taught, who were influential in the development of Modernism in this country. I live within walking distance from the museum and am a member of it, so Kay and Patty were able to see it for free. We were also fortunate that a museum volunteer gave us and others an impromptu tour of the exhibition, which lasted about an hour and gave us further insight into the artists and their works. Afterward we had a lovely dinner at Rose & Rye, a nearby restaurant that I pass every day that I take the metro to and from work and had wanted to try since it opened last year, which was the first of four splendid meals we had this weekend.

Sep 3, 5:50pm Top

Hi Darryl - just getting caught up on your thread. I love the Edinburgh book haul! I'm frustrated about the lack of US availability of many Booker longlist titles.

Sep 3, 6:44pm Top

Hi Darryl--Okay, I am caught up again on travel, plays, books, eating, meet-ups, F/C math conversions, and book festivals. Phew!! Sounds like so much fun. Take it easy until you leave again on the 6th. ; )

Edited: Sep 4, 12:32am Top

>178 kidzdoc: Haha! I was so sure that poor little DC United was going to lose to Atlanta United by a lot. I was so happy to see my team playing with such skill that I hope your team wins all future games except those it's playing against us! I don't think there are any more this year, are there?

Rooney has sure brought some team cohesiveness to DC United. I see that my team is soon going to lose a few more key players (including Paul Arriola and Zoltan Strieber) because they are being called away now to play for international teams.

I might actually get to go to a live game soon. I really hope I get the chance to do so.

Edited: Sep 4, 11:21am Top

I crashed like a rock thrown into a lake after mid morning yesterday, and spent most of the afternoon and evening sleeping, although I did manage to finish Ghost Wall, the new novel by Sarah Moss that won't be published until September 20th but was available at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last month.


On Saturday I picked up Kay and Pattie from the Buckhead hotel they were staying in, and drove to a metro station on the Green Line east of Downtown and Midtown, in order to avoid the hundreds of thousands of people who attended Dragon Con, the massive sci fi, fantasy and gaming convention, and the Kickoff Classic college football game between Auburn and the University of Washington. We rode from there to Decatur station, which is stragetically situated in the heart of downtown Decatur, which was where the festival took place. Decatur is a very nice town, which is home to two prominent schools of higher education: Emory University, my residency alma mater and one of the "Southern Ivies", a group of prestigious private colleges in the South that are comparable to Ivy League schools, which includes Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice and Tulane, amongst others; and Agnes Scott College, a small but exceptional women's college that is within walking distance of downtown Decatur. Decatur is a sprawling and sizable city, but the downtown area is compact and livable, with a diverse and well educated population, and it contains numerous superb restaurants, cafés and small shops.

The festival's impressive author lineup reflected the diversity of Decatur and nearby Atlanta, with numerous events that included local and national authors of color in over 20 venues, all within walking distance of each other. All three of us struggled to determine which ones we wanted to go to, as on several occasions over the two days there were multiple authors appearing at the same time that we wanted to see, but couldn't. There were essentially a dozen slots for major author readings that one could go to over the two days; I went to 11 of them, missing one that I was only mildly interested in on Saturday because I was starving and needed to eat lunch, and Kay and Pattie went to all 12! (More on the authors I saw shortly.)

The last author talk ended a little after 6 pm, so the three of us met two other LTers, Lisa (labfs39) and David (F15Fester), who also attended the festival that day, on the Historic Square in Decatur to have dinner at The Iberian Pig, my favorite restaurant in metro Atlanta.

From left to right, Kay, Lisa, David and Pattie:

Sep 4, 10:08am Top

Okay, I'm making a note of that festival and thinking about building it into a Labor Day visit to my sister next year or the year after.... It sounds great and your meet-up with long time friend Kay sounds like a treat, as well. I loved being a member of the Seattle Art Museum and being able to enable visitors to get in for free (or at least to access special exhibits without as long a wait).

I'm about a third into Washington Black and I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Sep 4, 1:40pm Top

On Sunday Kay, Pattie and I met for brunch at Café Alsace, a lovely French bistro in downtown Decatur owned and operated by an Alsatian woman, then resumed attending author events at the book festival. There weren't nearly as many people as there were on Saturday, but the overall turnout was still good.

More festival photos:


Freelance reporter Sonam Vashi interviews fellow journalist and author Isaac J. Bailey about his book My Brother Moochie: Regaining Dignity in the Face of Crime, Poverty, and Racism in the American South:

Former Birmingham, Alabama and current San Sebastián resident Marti Buckley speaks about and prepares three recipes from her book Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise:

Tamika Newhouse interviews fellow author Ijeoma Oluo, who discussed her book So You Want to Talk About Race:

Dr Janet Dewart Bell signs a copy of her book Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement:

Edited: Sep 4, 2:13pm Top

After the three of us attended Ijeoma Oluo's talk during the last set of sessions on Sunday we had dinner at Revival, one of renowned chef Kevin Gillespie's restaurants, which was a short walk from the Historic Square in Decatur. The Iberian Pig, run by the equally renowned and beloved Castelluci Group, was my favorite Atlanta area restaurant, but that meal may have been the best one I've had in Atlanta in the 21 years I've lived here. I posted photos of the food we had there, and the three other restaurants where we dined, on my Facebook timeline.

Photos of the happy but full and sleepy festival crew taken after we left Revival:


We schlepped by foot back to the nearby Decatur MARTA (metro) station, and said goodbye at Inman Park station, where I parked my SUV.

I loved the Edinburgh International Book Festival, but I enjoyed going to the Decatur Book Festival considerably more. There were more authors I was interested in seeing, as I attended nearly as many events there in two days as I did in Edinburgh in two weeks; there were more authors from the African diaspora; the book topics were very timely, given the current troubled political and racial climate in trump's Amerika; the presence of talented local authors was inspiring; the audiences were diverse, intelligent, friendly and asked great questions; the company of Kay, Pattie, Lisa and David was very welcome; the three nearby restaurants we dined in were all outstanding; and, best of all, all of the events on Saturday and Sunday were free! As I may have mentioned earlier this was the best weekend I've ever spent in Atlanta, and I will make it my business to attend this festival every year that I can.

Edited: Sep 4, 2:38pm Top

We all purchased plenty of books at the festival, from authors who were there. Here's my tally:

An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden by Mary Schmidt Campbell
Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise by Marti Buckley
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and The Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy
Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Janet Dewart Bell
Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams
My Brother Moochie: Regaining Dignity in the Face of Crime, Poverty and Racism in the American South by Isaac J. Bailey
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

I also downloaded the ebook edition of Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Dr Lydia Kang, as the available copies of her book were sold out by the time I looked for it. I'll also buy copies of two books recently written by Dr William Foege, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is based in Atlanta, and professor emeritus at the Emory University School of Medicine, my residency alma mater, which also were sold out on Saturday, The Fears of the Rich, The Needs of the Poor: My Years at the CDC and The Task Force for Child Survival: Secrets of Successful Coalitions.

Sep 4, 2:58pm Top

I'll probably write brief summaries of at least some of the talks I attended later this week, but I need to start preparing for tomorrow's trip to London.

>180 vivians: Hi, Vivian! I loved seeing your photos from South Africa, although the one of your children sitting on the edge of that waterfall made me nervous!

I'll have to check on the availability of the Booker Prize longlisted books in the US. I did buy copies of In Our Mad and Furious City and Washington Black when I was in Edinburgh, and I'll bring those with me tomorrow to read while I'm there.

>181 Berly: Will do, Kim. I leave tomorrow, and arrive in London on the 6th, as will Debbi & Joe.

>182 SqueakyChu: Atlanta United's loss to DC United did knock them out of first place, although they are only one point behind the New York Red Bulls and have played one fewer match. DC United has moved into seventh place, and if they remain as hot as they have been they have a great chance of making the playoffs. Considering where they were in the first half of the season that is a major accomplishment!

I haven't gone to an Atlanta United match so far this season, mainly because I can't get anyone here to go with me. I bought four tickets to a match last year, thinking that I could easily entice three people to join me, but no one did. Two of my closest friends, and the son of one of them, want to attend a match, so hopefully we'll be able to attend a match in September or October, but I'll wait until they confirm that they can and want to go before I purchase a block of tickets again.

>184 EBT1002: That would be great, Ellen! Kay and Pattie are very interested in returning for next year's book festival, so hopefully we can have another LT group meet up there. I plan to request Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend off for the foreseeable future, so I should be able to make it as well.

I'm glad that you're enjoying Washington Black; I'll probably read it next week.

Edited: Sep 4, 9:42pm Top

>188 kidzdoc: I would so go to a game with you were I in Atlanta! I’m so proud of my guys, but I like your three strikers as well. I’d be proud to cheer for Atlanta. I do hope they move ahead of the Red Bulls again.

ETA: I’m going to the DC United/NY Red Bull’s game on September 16. I’m so excited! I haven’t been to a professional soccer game in about 40 years. The last game I attended was to see the Washington Diplomats at RFK Stadium. That was in the 1970s!!!! LOL! I’m going with my husband, his brother-in-law, and his niece. Both of the men used to play soccer (my husband in El Salvador, his brother-in-law in Iran and here in Maryland) when they were younger. I also finally figured out what an offside is...after forty years!

P.S. The book festivals sound fabulous!

Sep 4, 6:45pm Top

Whew, caught up with your adventures so far, Darryl. You have been having a fun and bookish time of it. Thanks for posting about the Edinburgh B&B. That sounds good.

Sep 4, 10:05pm Top

Wow! Things are sure hopping around here. Book festivals and Meet-ups are always special. You have become quite the LT ambassador, Darryl.

Good luck with those September reads. And have a safe trip to London. I am assuming you are meeting with Joe & Debbi, among others?

Sep 5, 2:29am Top

>189 SqueakyChu: Thanks, Madeline! Hopefully one of my local friends will accompany to one of the two remaining home ATL UTD matches I can attend in the regular season.

Congratulations on being able to go to a DC United match! It will be an important one for both clubs, as the Red Bulls will be playing for one of the top seeds, and DC United may need a win to ensure a spot in the MLS playoffs.

Wow...I remember the Washington Diplomats, who played in the old North American Soccer League. I was a very casual fan of the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, mainly because the great Pelé played with them for several seasons.

Both book festivals were superb, but if I had to choose one it would definitely be the Decatur Book Festival, as it was larger, featured local talent that I wasn't aware of, and, best of all, the author appearances were free, a stark comparison to the £8 to £12 I spent for most of the events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Hopefully we can have an even larger turnout of LTers in upcoming years, and I'll go as often as I can.

>190 Familyhistorian: You're welcome, Meg. I loved my stay at Ashdene House, and our host, Mrs Daulby, was warm, friendly and a great cook. I have to remember to rate the B&B on Hotels.com and TripAdvisor, and it will receive the highest marks from me, as it's also a great bargain compared to the far pricer hotels and B&Bs close to the Royal Mile.

>191 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'm almost always happy when I'm in the company of old LT friends that I've met, and meeting LTers who are new to me in person is equally almost always enjoyable, as it was this weekend. I met Lisa and David for lunch when they were in Atlanta two years ago, but this was the first time that I met Kay and Pattie, and we had a blast together.

I'll have to modify the list of books I plan to read this month, thanks to the compelling books I purchased this weekend. I'll definitely bring Dopesick and My Brother Moochie with me, and since I didn't finish it I'll leave Picasso: An Intimate Portrait behind. Four books that I purchased in Edinburgh will also make the trip:

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
The Years, Months, Days by Yan Lianke

I'll also bring my copy of Ghost Wall with me, so that Claire can read it. I'll write a review of it after I arrive in London, probably on Thursday.

Yes, I'll definitely be meeting up with Debbi & Joe, in London and in Amsterdam. I'll be in the UK and NL for 14 full days, and so far I'm meeting at least one LTer on 12 of them, by my count 20 members in all. Sizable group meet ups are set for London and Birmingham in the UK, and Amsterdam and 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in the Netherlands. Hopefully I'll find time to do some reading in between meet ups, plays, museum exhibitions, etc.

Sep 5, 8:31am Top

The Decatur Book Festival sounds amazing, and how convenient that it's right on your doorstep! Glad you've had such a good bookish month!

Sep 5, 9:15am Top

Decatur is (now, thanks to you!) definitely on my wishlist of bookfestivals. Sounds like a brilliant time, and how amazing they are able to offer it for free!
I really want to get to the Jaipur one at some point, and closer to home, the Wigtown and Gladstone ones.

Sep 5, 10:16am Top

>193 Sakerfalcon: Right, Claire! Downtown Decatur is no more than seven miles from home, and it's a few miles closer to me than is the hospital I work at. MARTA doesn't serve much of metro Atlanta outside of the city very well, but the decision to build the station right on the Historic Square in the heart of the city, and the center of the book festival, was a brilliant move. Kay and Pattie used MARTA all three days, as Kay picked a hotel in Buckhead that was a short walk from the station with the same name.

>194 charl08: That the festival was free was the most amazing thing about the Decatur Book Festival, Charlotte. Attendees didn't need to order tickets in advance, and they simply showed up to the venue where the event they were interested in took place. The wealth of interesting authors was also impressive, and I could have gone to nearly twice as many talks if the festival lasted for four days instead of two (not counting the Keynote and Kidnote addresses on Friday). Case in point: On Sunday afternoon I had intended to see Beth Macy talk about Dopesick, as her very timely book was on my wish list; all Georgia physicians had to register with the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program last year, and check the program's registry for information about their patients' history of prescribed controlled substance use before they write a prescription for more than three days of such medications, and register these prescriptions with the program to avoid getting into trouble with the Georgia Composite Board of Medical Examiners, and the national Drug Enforcement Administration. (One of my medical school classmates, who was married with two teenage kids and worked as a primary care pediatrician in her small home town in Pennsylvania, got into huge trouble last year after she wrote illegal controlled substance prescriptions for her boyfriend and was caught by Pennsylvania's drug monitoring program. She was fired from her job, subsequently arrested, and her family, friends and townspeople had to deal with the horrible embarrassment of reading about her crimes in local and statewide media. There's a chance that she'll receive a significant prison sentence, and her career as a practicing physician is almost certainly over.) Unfortunately I picked the wrong conference room in the Marriott Conference Center, and by the time I realized my mistake and moved next door I was unable to enter, as every seat was taken. However, I was able to walk two blocks to the First Baptist Church of Decatur to see Tayari Jones talk about her acclaimed and best selling novel An American Marriage, whose sales were boosted after Oprah Winfrey named it a Book of the Month. Fortunately I arrived just in time to get one of the last seats in the last row of the church:

In this photo, Ms Jones, an Atlanta native, is on the left, and she is being interviewed by another Atlantan, the acclaimed author, playwright, director and professor Pearl Cleage (I was struggling with the zoom feature of my mobile phone and couldn't zoom in any more closely).

For me one of the best things about the Decatur Book Festival is that I was surrounded by a signficant number of progressive, like minded and highly intelligent book loving local people, who I typically don't run into on a regular basis. Atlanta has a number of highly regarded colleges and universities, and a significant percentage of people with undergraduate and graduate degrees, and I'm far more likely to encounter them at this book festivals, and, more importantly, the frequent author events that take place in Atlanta and Decatur, on and off college campuses, that I often fail to go to. I'll make it my business to attend far more of these events in the future, and hopefully make some local friends who share my literary and intellectual interests.

Sep 5, 11:17am Top

Hey, buddy. See you soon! We head to the airport mid-afternoon.

Edited: Sep 5, 3:36pm Top

>196 jnwelch: Likewise, mate! My Delta flight from ATL to JFK leaves at 7:19 PM EDT, arrives there at 9:45 PM, and the flight from JFK to LHR leaves at 10:45 pm, arriving at 10:15 10:50 am BST tomorrow.

I doubt that I'll do anything tomorrow, except to pick up food from a local Sainsbury's so that I can cook breakfast and some meals. Bianca and I will spend a private afternoon together on Friday; we'll see the "Picasso 1932" exhibition at Tate Modern at noon, catch up over coffee and dinner, and that evening I'll see Exit the King at the National Theatre. I may return to Tate Modern early on Sunday to see that exhibition again.

Sep 5, 3:16pm Top

Safe travels, Darryl, see you in Amsterdam!

Sep 5, 3:35pm Top

>198 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. See you soon!

Sep 5, 3:47pm Top

>198 FAMeulstee: Debbi, Joe & I will be on the same train, the Eurostar that is scheduled to arrive at Amsterdam Centraal at 13:12. I'll almost certainly have lunch at the station, take a train from there to Utrecht Centraal, check in to my hotel (the NH Hotel Utrecht, which is a short walk from the station), change, and return to Amsterdam to meet y'all for dinner at Bimhuis.

Sep 5, 4:23pm Top

Safe travels Darryl, hope it all goes smoothly.

Sep 5, 7:31pm Top

>200 kidzdoc: I loved the concerts I saw at Bimhuis, including the amazing Misha Mengelberg, the year the concert hall opened. Look forward to hearing about your visit Darryl and Anita.

Sep 5, 10:26pm Top

>201 lunacat: Thanks, Jenny. I normally take a direct flight from ATL to LHR, but I flew to JFK first and had a tight connection from there. Fortunately the ATL flight arrived early, and even though I had to take a jitney from Terminal 2 to Terminal 4 I arrived at the departure gate just as pre-boarding was beginning.

>202 Caroline_McElwee: Nice, Caroline. I haven't been to Bimhuia yet; I had a ticket to see Brad Mehldau, one of my favorite jazz pianists, perform with his Dutch wife, who is a singer. However, Bianca suggested a day trip to Cologne, and that was far better than only seeing the concert at Bimhuis.

Frank, Anita's husband, who I've met several times in NL,and I will see a performance piece based on the life and career of Muhammad Ali. Anita, Debbi, Joe and EllaTim will join us for dinner there before the performance.

Sep 6, 8:05am Top

Oh boy...a new Sarah Moss novel!! She is one of my favorites. Just pre-ordered through Amazon who say it won't be released in US until Jan. 9.

Edited: Sep 7, 10:06am Top

Darryl, say hi to Anita from me when you see her. I've been having so much fun with her on my TIOLI challenges. I wish I would be in Europe so I could meet her in person. Have a great time with everyone!

P.S. Don't forget to write back to my friend Barbara (...in all of your free time!). Try to convince her to write to all of us here on this thread instead. It took me years to get her to join LT so it would be fun to chat with her on your thread as well as in person :D

Sep 6, 11:30am Top

>195 kidzdoc: The book festival sounds really good, I like that they made it free and so open to everybody who would be interested. And good to find something like that in your own backyard.

>203 kidzdoc: I saw the program at the Bimhuis site, it sounds really interesting!

Safe travels, and see you there.

Sep 6, 3:44pm Top

Enjoy your trip Darryl and all the lovely LT meet-ups mate.

Sep 6, 3:57pm Top

Just popping by to note that while you were at the event of the author whose book I was reading, I was chatting to the director of the literary festival based in the place where you were.
I met the director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival last weekend! (He was a guest at our local book festival where I was volunteering.) It was only a brief chat, but I liked him so looked up his bio in the programme and only retrospectively found out who he was. I know you are also a fan of the International Booker, and Nick Barley was the chair of the judging panel for that last year too.

I hope you enjoy The Years, Months, Days by Yan Linake, it shouldn't take you too long to read ;)

Edited: Sep 7, 4:00am Top

Happy Friday, everyone! I crashed shortly after I checked in to my lovely serviced studio apartment, the Notting Hill Apartments by BridgeStreet in West London, which is in a nice neighborhood close to the Bayswater and Queensway Underground stations. It's considerably cheaper to stay here than in a comparable 4 star hotel in central London, and it's considerably roomier and much better equipped, as you can see from the following photos:



There's even a combined washer and dryer underneath the sink!

My only mild critique is that the Internet service so far is a bit sluggish.

I loved the freedom to be able to cook when I stayed in a similar serviced apartment in Porto in June, and given the roominess here and the low daily rate this may become my go to place to stay for my future visits to London. Fortunately I'll have plenty of time during this trip to determine if my first impressions of this apartment and the neighborhood are accurate ones.

I'll leave here in about two hours, to have a late breakfast (as I didn't wake up from my "afternoon" nap until 11 pm, too late to go grocery shopping) and meet Bianca at Tate Modern to see the Picasso 1932 exhibition that Debbi & Joe saw yesterday. We'll catch up over coffee and dinner, and tonight I'll see Eugène Ionesco's play Exit the King at the National Theatre.

Sep 7, 4:20am Top

>204 tangledthread: Ghost Wall isn't available here until the 20th. Advance date copies were available in the bookshops at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last month, as Sarah Moss appeared there just before I arrived. Rachael (FlossieT) obtained an even earlier copy of it, and said that it wasn't as good as her most recent novels. I read it, and I have to agree with her, although it was still a good read.

>205 SqueakyChu: Will do, Madeline! We're going to have to get you over here in the near future, so that you can meet Paul Harris in London and Anita in Amsterdam. I'll see both of them during this trip.

Thanks for the reminder to reply to Barbara's email; I completely forgot to do so! I'll contact her early next week.

Wow...I just realized that I'll meet LTers in three different countries on three consecutive weekends: this past weekend's meet up in Atlanta and Decatur, this coming weekend in London, Birmingham and Bishop's Stortford, and next weekend in Amsterdam and 's-Hertogenbosch. LT has enriched my life more than possibly anything else has, outside of my family.

>206 EllaTim: Exactly. The Decatur Book Festival was free to the public, easily accessible via public transportation to residents of the city, and had a lineup of excellent local, regional and national authors. I didn't mention that there were also several hundred local authors who gave 15 minute presentations and signed their works, poetry and short story readings by budding authors, including high school and college students, and a section dedicated to children's books and tents for kids' activities and book purchases. There were plenty of kids out and about, as there were during the Edinburgh International Book Festival, who were clearly as excited to be there as the adults, if not more so. The Decatur Book Festival relies on individual and corporate donations, and a portion of there books that were purchased there also support the festival, so I'll plan to submit a donation after I return to the US.

I look forward to meeting you and seeing Anita & Frank again next weekend!

Sep 7, 4:26am Top

>207 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. I'm now leaning toward spending my last weekend of vacation, in mid November, here as opposed to Lisbon. Hopefully we can meet up then, and once I get my dates confirmed I'll be in touch with you and Karen.

>208 LovingLit: That's very cool that you met Nick Barley in Edinburgh, Megan! I'm glad that he was a nice guy as well.

I'll bring a book with me while I ride Underground and National Rail trains this weekend, so I'm sure that I'll finish The Years, Months, Days this weekend.

Sep 7, 4:56am Top

Wow, that is a great-looking flat! Hope it is as comfortable and convenient as it appears. Have a great time with Bianca today - please give her my best wishes and say I'm looking forward to seeing her soon!

Sep 7, 7:18am Top

We've become real fans of renting apartments when we travel as a family of four adults, in order to have more living space, separate bedrooms, and a second bathroom. We always have good intentions of cooking but in reality tend to use the kitchen mostly for coffee and light snacks, not full meals. These stays have been short, though. We took a couple of family vacations years ago where we rented a house for a week or two, and made more of our own meals. I love the creature comforts of a hotel, but for long stays the apartment/house is definitely the way to go.

Sep 7, 11:59am Top

>209 kidzdoc: That looks really nice! Seems like a good way to go.

Also, I noted your earlier comment about not being able to find anyone to go to an Atlanta United game with much dismay. I will have to find an excuse to make it to Atlanta to visit my uncle and remedy this. Of course if you ever make it to the great white north I would be happy to take you to see a more authentic soccer team (if perhaps a bit less adept than Atlanta).

Sep 7, 12:59pm Top

I am loving following along on all your travels! You're such a busy guy right now!
Enjoy your trip and meet-ups with Joe, Debbie and Anita!

Edited: Sep 7, 1:28pm Top

And there you are - off on another amazing adventure.

Your apartment looks great. I'm also a fan of B & B's in the States that have cooking opportunities and more room. Like >213 lauralkeet:, I've never actually cooked in one, but somehow I like that the option is there.

The Decatur Book Festival sounds absolutely wonderful. I hope you (eventually!) have time to comment on more of the authors you heard speak.

Sep 7, 4:04pm Top

>211 kidzdoc:, That would be great if we could meet up in November, if not we will have to see if we can link up sometime next year mate. Have a great time while in London and the Netherlands, we set off for Tenby in West Wales in the morning at around 8am.

Edited: Sep 7, 8:47pm Top

>209 kidzdoc: that looks ideal Darryl.

I rent apartments for five days or more usually. The odd b&b for less. I'm staying with my sibs in a townhouse in Belfast. We do breakfast ourselves, and either lunch or dinner, then eat out for the other meal. It's interesting how quickly the 'home' becomes your own.

Sep 8, 5:54pm Top

Hi Darryl! It's great to read about your adventures. Renting apartments is nice; especially if it means staying in a real neighborhood. We did that in Barcelona, and loved it.

Sep 8, 8:37pm Top

I hope you enjoyed your day in London! The apartment looks lovely.
Also, rest assured that if I was in Edinburgh I sure would have arranged a meet up with you! I met the Director of the Edinburgh Book Festival here in my home town, for your book fest. They sure do get around those literary types!!!

Sep 8, 9:12pm Top

Hi Darryl -enjoy your time in London. We also stay in apartments when we can, having a washing machine is just wonderful when you're travelling light.
My daughter is doing a paper on creativity at uni and she came across the British theatre company, Complicite. Wonder if you've heard of them, in the past they have adapted some interesting books into theatre."The Company's inimitable style of visual and devised theatre has an emphasis on strong, corporeal, poetic and surrealist image supporting text" https://www.facebook.com/TheatredeComplicite

Sep 8, 11:21pm Top

>209 kidzdoc: That looks lovely and, of course, I'm a fan of the movie "Notting Hill" so next time I'm in London I might stay in that part of the city.

Edited: Sep 9, 3:36am Top

Happy Sunday, everyone! I've had a full and very enjoyable first two full days in London, and I look forward to another very pleasant day today with Rhian and her family. Bianca and I saw the excellent Picasso 1932 exhibition at Tate Modern at noon on Friday, and afterwards we had lunch at a nearby pub with outdoor seating along the Thames, followed by coffee in the museum café, and a lovely dinner in Tibits, a nearby self serve vegetarian restaurant that neither she, nor I, nor anyone else I know here has been to. It seems to be a chain of Swiss restaurants, with at least two locations in Zürich, so Barbara may be familiar with it.

The restaurant features well over a dozen different vegan and vegetarian entrées that you can choose yourself, buffet style, along with a variety of breads grains and desserts. You take your place to the cashier, where it is weighed, order your drinks, and take your items to your table.

This isn't my photo, but it shows the very attractive serving area:

As we entered Tibits, our host told us how the restaurant worked, and counseled us to not put too much food on our plate, as we could always go back for more. Bianca heeded her advice; I did not, as there were far too many appealing entrées:

Bianca returned to London from Germany on Tuesday, and as she knew I was staying in a serviced apartment with a full kitchen she gave me a variety of German sausages, breads, wines, sauerkraut and schmalz, for me to cook:

She will send me a recipe for a traditional German dish, made with black pudding, apples, onions, sauerkraut and schmalz. I'll make it early next week, probably for dinner on Tuesday.

Sep 9, 4:01am Top

Yesterday a group of us met in Birmingham, the UK's second largest city, to spend a day together. Claire (Sakerfalcon) and I rode together on a Virgin East Coast Main Line semi-fast train from London Euston to Birmingham New Street, Heather (souloftherose) arrived there on a stopping train, and we met Genny (gennyt), who lives there. We visited the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, which is set in the old Smith & Pepper Jewellery Shop that operated from 1899-1981, had a very nice lunch at a nearby small café, then Genny led us on the first part of a walking tour through central Birmingham.

The four of us entered the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and met Liz (LyzzyBee) and Ali (Heaven-Ali), who also live in Birmingham, in the museum's tea room. We chatted there for an hour or so, then Claire, Genny, Heather and I took a quick tour of one of the museum's exhibitions before closing time.

A selfie of the six of us, taken by Genny. From front to back, left to right: Liz, Heather, Genny, Ali, Claire and me (wearing a Basque beret, and not a baseball cap, as Heather suggested):

After we left the museum we continued our walk through central Birmingham in the rain, and returned to Grand Central, the new and attractive installation above Birmingham New Street station. We had a very nice dinner at Comptoir Libanais, a chain of Lebanese restaurants that is probably the place I've dined the most during my trips to England, in Heathrow Terminal 4, Covent Garden and elsewhere. Afterward a tired and soggy but very fulfilled crew said our goodbyes, and Claire and I returned to London by train.

More photos to come today after I return from visiting Rhian and her family, or sometime tomorrow.

Sep 9, 4:25am Top

>212 Sakerfalcon: After three nights here I can say that my apartment is as comfortable, convenient and as roomy as it looks. That, combined with the unusually low price and close proximity to numerous shops, restaurants and three Underground stations, all within a 10 minute walk, has encouraged me to make this my go to place to stay in London from now on.

As I mentioned I probably will return to London in November, instead of going to Lisbon, and I'll definitely stay here again.

>213 lauralkeet: I agree with you, Laura, and after staying in serviced apartments in Porto and now London this summer I've become a huge fan of them. This apartment is even roomier than the one in which I stayed in Porto, and it's considerably cheaper to stay here than in far smaller and less comfortable hotel rooms in South Kensington, Bloomsbury and elsewhere. I took a quick glance at room prices here for November on Hotels.com, and for a similar non refundable double bed the price was $133 (£103) per night, which is considerably less than any place I've ever stayed in London, IIRC, with fare more room and amenities.

>214 Oberon: Yep This flat is fabulous, and it would be even more so for a couple or a family in a two bedroom space. Four people could easily sit and dine here comfortably, and it would be very pleasant to stay here on a rainy or lazy day. The building is very quiet, and although I can hear cars on the street and the occasional person in the building across from this one it wasn't the least bit bothersome.

I haven't attended an Atlanta United match so far this season, despite their so far superb season and continued popularity, as I'm loathe to go by myself, and won't purchase a block of tickets as I did last year and have to eat all of them save for mine because no one wanted to go. There are two remaining regular season matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that i could attend, and it looks as though at least one person may be free for both of them.

There is a significant contrast between getting together with LT friends in London, Amsterdam and the Netherlands and elsewhere, versus doing so in Atlanta. Unless it's a formal affair within my work group I'm the one who almost always reaches out to try to get people to do things socially, without success at least 75% of the time, whereas in London it's very easy to find friends to meet up with, and my biggest problem is trying to see everyone I can and do everything I want to during my visits. Next weekend's visit to the Netherlands will be more of the same.

Sep 9, 4:34am Top

>215 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! I won't see Debbi & Joe until Wednesday, when we see King Lear together, and the three of us will travel by train to Amsterdam on Friday and meet Anita, Frank and EllaTim for dinner there. I'll meet Claire for lunch tomorrow, and Jenny & her fiancé John for dinner that evening.

>216 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I did stay in a lovely extended stay hotel on Poydras Street in New Orleans during a medical conference several years ago, but I didn't do any cooking, and it wasn't until I stayed in the apartment in Porto that I first did so. It's been nice to have breakfast here the past two days, thanks to Bianca, and I'll go shopping later today, after I return to London, and tomorrow and Tuesday. I'm staying in a regular hotel room in Utrecht next weekend, as I have a full schedule and wouldn't have time to make anything more than breakfast on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

>217 johnsimpson: Sounds good, John; I'll be in touch. I hope that you and Karen have a great (and dry!) holiday in Wales.

Sep 9, 4:39am Top

>218 Caroline_McElwee: That's a good plan, Caroline. I'll have breakfast here most if not all days, and most afternoon and evening meals when I'm not meeting anyone, although I think most days I am rather than not. Have a great time in Belfast!

>219 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. I think I would have enjoyed Barcelona more if I stayed in a neighborhood, so I'll look to do that the next time I go there.

>220 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan! Yes, I had a great time with Bianca in London on Friday, and with the group in Birmingham yesterday.

Cool. As you said, these literary types, whether authors or avid readers, do get around!

Sep 9, 4:44am Top

>221 avatiakh: Thanks, Kerry. Having a washer & dryer in the apartment means that I can bring far fewer clothes and pack even lighter than I usually do. I dislike using laundromats when I travel, and have loved the rare convenience of having laundry facilities in the hotels in which I've stayed in the past.

>222 EBT1002: From what little I've seen so far I would recommend staying in Notting Hill, Ellen, and especially in this building!

Sep 9, 12:00pm Top

>223 kidzdoc: Your visit to the Picasso exhibit reminds me I was prompted by your recent review to add Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-century Icon to the expanding list of books to read I’ve discovered here on LT.

Sep 10, 12:40am Top

>224 kidzdoc: What a happy group!! And I love your apartment (and the washer/dryer). Go have some more fun!

Edited: Sep 10, 4:35am Top

>230 Berly: I would recommend Guernica: The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon to you, Steve. I've purchased three other books about Picasso in the past two weeks, Guernica: Painting the End of the World by James Attlee and Picasso: An Intimate Portrait by Olivier Widmaier Picasso, one of his grandsons, after I saw them speak about their books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival two Mondays ago, and Picasso 1932 at Tate Modern on Friday, after Bianca and I saw the exhibition of the same name, which unfortunately closed yesterday. I plan to read the latter book while I'm here.

>231 kidzdoc: Will do, Kim! I spent a lovely afternoon yesterday with Rhian, Mr Sand Dune and their son J. in their home town of Bishop's Stortford yesterday, starting with a non-traditional Sunday roast in their home, which was followed by a nice conversation over pastries and tea/coffee, and a walk through the center of town. Photos can be found on my Facebook timeline.

I'll probably stay inside for the morning and most of the afternoon, as I didn't sleep well, need to do laundry, and hope to cook a traditional German dish that Bianca will send to me, which contains sausages, apples, onions and sauerkraut, which is cooked in gänse schmalz (rendered goose fat, what we call schmaltz in the US). I'll meet Jenny and her fiancé John for dinner in a Mediterranean restaurant close to Liverpool Street station, and since I'll meet Claire for lunch tomorrow I'll meet at least one LTer for at least 13 consecutive days; my last full day, the 20th, is the only one that I haven't made plans to meet anyone...yet.

Sep 10, 4:47am Top

I haven't done much reading on this trip yet, but I plan to make a significant dent in In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne, which was chosen for the Booker Prize longlist and is set in a council estate in present day London, shortly after a British soldier was brutally murdered by a young radicalized man. I'm nearly a quarter of the way through it, and it's very good so far. There's no way that I'll finish the entire longlist before next month's prize ceremony, but I might be able to finish the shortlist in time, and since this book is currently ranked fourth in the Goodreads group that focuses on the Booker Prize, The Mookse and the Gripes, I'll read the books they rank most highly until the shortlist is announced on the 20th of this month.

Sep 10, 8:22am Top

Thanks for sharing the pictures of your stay in London, Darryl, so nice to see your meetings with many LTers :-)

>223 kidzdoc: We planned a meet up with Bianca in August, but it sadly fell through. I hope we can set up a meeting again soon.

Edited: Sep 10, 9:27am Top

>233 FAMeulstee: You're welcome, Anita. I'll probably post photos from Birmingham and Bishop's Stortford in my new thread, which I'll create either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Yes, I do hope that you're able to meet up with Bianca in the near future. She is one of my dearest friends, within or outside of LT, and I have no doubt that you'll enjoy her company as much as I do.

Edited: Sep 10, 9:27am Top

I'm currently attempting to do laundry in the combined Caple washer and dryer in the kitchen of my apartment, which has proven to be a nerve wracking experience. There are more buttons on it than a Navy fighter jet, and it's about as easy to operate. Fortunately I found an online manual for it. The clothes washed successfully, although the machine was spinning faster than an airplane engine at the end, and I was half convinced that my would be impaled by flying socks expelled at warp speed. It's now drying my clothes...or at least that's what I think is happening.

Dang. It's spinning like mad again. Please say a prayer for me, and if you don't hear from me later this week I would appreciate it if someone told my parents what happened to me.

Sep 10, 10:04am Top

>235 kidzdoc: - London sounds like quite the adventure, Darryl. :-)

I hope everything still fits when it comes out of that machine..... ;-)

Sep 10, 10:10am Top

>235 kidzdoc: - Socks - The Not-So-Silent Killer.

Edited: Sep 10, 7:19pm Top

>224 kidzdoc: What a fun meet-up that looks like! I am so glad that Bookcrossers are now intersecting with LTers. I know the names of Liz and Ali from BookCrossing! I didn't even know they were here on LT. That's great!

My husband and I bought tickets to a DC United game, but I think that weekend Hurricane Florence is going to rain us out of attending. I don't want to be washed away in a hurricane. If we don't go, I don't mind forfeiting the ticket price I paid because I've gotten so much entertainment value from watching my team on TV recently. Great entertainment!!

>225 kidzdoc: By the way, BookCrossers are notorious for getting together at a moment's notice when someone from out of town (or out of country) comes to visit.

>231 kidzdoc: I'll meet at least one LTer for at least 13 consecutive days;

Wow! That must be some kind of record! :O

>235 kidzdoc: *looks around for Darryl, but doesn't see him anywhere*

Should we call the police about the socks?

Sep 10, 6:13pm Top

235 haha, very common in UK washing machines of age. I hope you survived Darryl.

Edited: Sep 11, 12:42am Top

>231 kidzdoc: "...I'll meet at least one LTer for at least 13 consecutive days..." I agree with Madeline -- that has to be an LT record!

I think In our Mad and Furious City is one of the Booker nominees that I haven't ordered so I'm going to focus on those I have acquired and see what happens with the short list. So far I am enjoying this year's selection.

Your visits to London always make me want to put a return to that city higher on my bucket list. I've been there only once, in 2002, and only for about four days on our way to Scotland with P's then-aging parents. Still, I have wonderful memories and definitely plan to return when we can.

Next year our big trip is likely to be to Palau since we have family there and I've not yet seen that part of the world. But it's time to start planning for my 60th birthday and I'm thinking I'd like to do another walking tour (we did the West Highland Way for Prudence's 60th). Scotland again? Italy? Southern Spain? Provence? The Loire Valley? Switzerland?

Happy continued travels, Darryl!

Sep 11, 2:17pm Top

The German food looks fabulous! I hope you got the laundry "sorted out."

Sep 11, 6:12pm Top

>236 jessibud2: Ha! The clothes never did dry, even though I used the dryer for roughly six hours last night and early this morning. Fortunately my flat has a clothes airer, so they should still fit.

>237 katiekrug: Ha! I've heard of death during consensual sex, but fortunately I wasn't a victim of death by socks.

>238 SqueakyChu: The Birmingham meet up was a very enjoyable one, Madeline. We only spent an hour or so with Liz and Ali in the Edwardian Tea Room of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, but that time was filled with lively conversation.

I saw Ali at the tail end of a Virago meet up in London in 2015, when Laura (lauralkeet) was also in town, which I was invited to by Luci. We didn't have the opportunity to introduce ourselves, IIRC, but I did meet Claire and Caroline for the first time there. That was my first time meeting Liz, and I found her to be warm, engaging, and quite funny.

Dang. I'm sorry that your first DC United match may be ruined by Hurricane Florence. I hope that you're still able to make it.

By the way, BookCrossers are notorious for getting together at a moment's notice when someone from out of town (or out of country) comes to visit.

I think the same can be said for LTers! A sizable number of them have become dear personal friends, especially here in the UK, and as a result my frequent trips to London have become reunions rather than vacations. I now have plans to meet someone for all 14 full days of this trip, in the UK and the Netherlands; Jenny, her fiancé John and I had a lovely dinner in Shoreditch last night, Claire and I met for lunch in Marylebone today during my shopping spree, and Debbi, Joe & I will have dinner and see King Lear together tomorrow night.

Should we call the police about the socks?

Ha! Fortunately the socks and their owner is safe and sound, so calls to the Metropolitan Police and the US Embassy in London won't be necessary.

Sep 11, 6:34pm Top

>239 Caroline_McElwee: Yes! I survived yesterday's Laundry Madness, as did my clothes.

>240 EBT1002: Before today there were only two days out of 14 that I didn't have plans to meet someone. Claire and I met for lunch today, and we'll likely do so again on my last full day here. I haven't seen Debbi & Joe yet, but starting tomorrow I'll see them at least four of the next six days, in London and Amsterdam.

I'm halfway through In Our Mad and Furious City, and so far I'm enjoying it more than the other Booker Prize longlisted books I've read, Warlight and From a Low and Quiet Sea. I went to Daunt Books in Marylebone prior to meeting Claire for lunch today, and bought a copy of Normal People by Sally Rooney while I was there, as it isn't available stateside, IIRC.

It would be enjoyable enough to be in London on my own, due to all there is to do here, but having dear friends here and in nearby towns and cities, and being able to see Debbi & Joe, makes these visits almost indescribably special. I have one more week of vacation after this trip, in early to mid November, and I'll return to London then, as being here once a year is nowhere near enough.

Hopefully your next visit to London will conincide with one of mine!

I had to look up Palau; I thought that it was an island in the Pacific, but the only Palau that I'm familiar with is the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. That sounds like a great trip; I look forward to hearing about it and seeing photos when you do go.

60th birthday?! I thought that you were younger than me! All of those potential locales sound great.

>241 thornton37814: The German food that Bianca gave me on Friday is very tasty so far! I've finished most of the bread, the link sausages and beef tongue, and nearly all of the wine. I'll use the black pudding, sauerkraut and gänse schmalz tomorrow afternoon to make a recipe that Bianca gave me, which also includes apples and onions. I'll post a photo of it here after it's done.

Sep 16, 2:09am Top

Haha, Bianca should have given you apple cider (but that's not from her region) to add to the German food challenge. Dark whole meal rye bread, black pudding, lard and sauerkraut... okay, the apples are softening the experience. I loved black pudding with apple sauce and mashed potatoes in my meat-eating days, but it can be a challenge if you haven't grown up with it. Ah, so it was gänseschmalz for the bread? Lovely as well, and a classic stomach liner on a wine fest of which there are many many all over Germany. And where there are no wine fests, there are beer fests in fall.

Haven't been here in a while and am now soaking up all the culture, love and friendship that's radiating from this thread. I must get out of my little corner in the mountains again. It's cosy here, but things are happening elsewhere.

Wishing you a lovely time and I hope to be here more regularly again. Stupid office firewall.

Sep 16, 10:21am Top

Sounds like one big LT meet-up! Awesome
Hope you are having a blast

Edited: Sep 16, 6:24pm Top

>242 kidzdoc: I did make it to the DC United versus NY Red Bull’s game today, and it was sooooo much fun! I adored being there and seeing my heroes in person. The game ended on a 3:3 draw, but each time we scored first, and I was able to jump up and down and scream with delight. I think I’m their best fan. The drums and flags kept Audi Field rockin’ and festive. I can see why players love a home field advantage. It was just as exciting to be there as I thought it would be. The day turned out to be beautiful after all - no rain...and even a bit of sunshine. I got to see Arriola (my fave), Rooney, and Acosta score. Soooo worth it! :D

Sep 17, 3:53am Top

Good morning, everyone! I've had a great first 10 days of my latest vacation in Europe, and am at the end of a splendid long weekend in the Netherlands. Debbi, Joe & I traveled together on a Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Amsterdam Centraal on Friday morning/early afternoon, and we'll return to London by train this afternoon.

I'm eager to get back to London, but I'm also a bit sad to leave NL, as I had great meet ups with LTers in Amsterdam on Friday, Utrecht on Saturday, and 's-Hertogenbosch on Sunday. Since I'm nearly at the 250 messages mark I'll create a new thread later today, either on the train or, more likely, after I return to my flat, and post descriptions and photos there. As usual there are plenty of photos on my Facebook thread, especially ones I took yesterday.

My hotel in Utrecht is just across the street from Utrecht Centraal, the largest and busiest station in the Netherlands, and my 11th floor room overlooks the station tracks heading towards Amsterdam and other points to the north. It's amazing to me to see how many trains have entered and left the station; if I had to guess I would say that I've seen at least one passenger train every minute, and within the past minute three have caught my eye. The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) system is the best and most efficient one I've ever taken, and the frequency of the services at Amsterdam Centraal and Utrecht Centraal is astonishing, especially in comparison to train service in the US. Wow...within the past half minute four trains headed northbound out of the station, and two southbound trains approached it. I've also seen a handful of cars, along with several dozen buses and hundreds of cyclists, and there is a tram station between my hotel and Utrecht Centraal that is opposite from my room.

Sep 17, 4:03am Top

A brief catch up before I get dressed and leave for Amsterdam...

>244 Deern: Hi, Nathalie! Yes, I would highly encourage you to visit LTers in the UK and NL, at least. This weekend's trip has also inspired me to visit NL more often, as I'm quite fond of Anita, Frank, Connie and Sanne, all of whom I saw at least once in the past three days.

>245 ChelleBearss: Yes, there have been group meet ups in London, Birmingham, Amsterdam and 's-Hertogenbosch so far, I'll have dinner with Fliss and Rachael in Cambridge tomorrow night, and there will be another group meet up in London on Wednesday. No wonder I've hardly done any reading in the past two weeks!

>246 SqueakyChu: Yay! I'm glad that you were able to attend your first DC United match, Madeline. It sounds as though it was an entertaining one, and hopefully that match and the club's improved play has inspired you to see them in person more often.

I'll go to my first Atlanta United match of the year next month, as one of my favorite colleagues, his young son, and hopefully at least one more colleague are planning to join me.

Sep 17, 4:06am Top

I almost forgot to mention that I finally finished In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne, which was chosen for this year's Booker Prize longlist. Although I've only read three longlisted books so far it was definitely the best of the three, and I would be surprised, and very disappointed, if it wasn't chosen for the shortlist.

Next up will be Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, which I'll start reading on the train from Utrecht to Amsterdam shortly.

Sep 17, 6:43am Top

Hi, Darryl! It has been great following you along on your European adventures. Your FB photos have been wonderful, as usual. And you know I am crazy about all the Meet Ups. Safe travels back to London.

Edited: Sep 17, 10:13am Top

>248 kidzdoc: It's probably a lots more fun to go to soccer with games with people you know. I attended this past game with my husband, his brother-in-law, and his niece. I'm always looking for more fans for DC United as most of my friends only follow baseball (the Nats) and football (many different favorite teams - Ravens, Eagles, Buccaneers) . I only get to talk about soccer with you, Erik and Paul! :/

So, now that I've attended a DC United game, next up on my bucket list is for me and my friend Barbara to meet you in person! :D

Sep 17, 2:22pm Top

I hope you enjoy Washington Black, Darryl. I think it deserves to make the short list and I expect it to do so. So far it and The Overstory are my favorites. I think I liked From a Low and Quiet Sea better than you did but I don't expect it to make the short list. And I was less impressed with Warlight than many. I thought it was very good but not as outstanding as the hype.

I think I'll go ahead and order a copy of In Our Mad and Furious City although I have a couple more already on the shelves to read.
By the way, I don't think of you as reading short stories all that much (am I making that up?) but I'm almost finished reading What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah. It is SO good. I'm not a huge fan of short stories but this collection is one I could imaging purchasing just to have a copy on hand.

Safe continuing travels!

Sep 17, 2:56pm Top

Hi Darryl, found your thread and starred it!

Sep 18, 1:58am Top

We're all safely back in London, after a pleasant and uneventful train journey from Amsterdam. Eurostar now offers direct services from London to Amsterdam; however, due to border control regulations passengers wishing to make the return journey must take a Thalys train to Brussels or Lille, go through a security checkpoint, and board a London bound Eurostar train from there. It was only a minor nuisance for me, as I only brought the small travel bag that I normally use as a spare book bag, along with my rucksack, but there were plenty of passengers, most notably the couple traveling to Paris that sat next to Debbi at Amsterdam Centraal, who had massive amounts of luggage that they would have had to drag unassisted from the Thalys train, through Border Control at Bruxelles Midi, back onto the Eurostar train there, and off again at London St Pancras. Oof.

We went our separate ways after we arrived at St Pancras, and returned to our flats. Fortunately I had one serving of the black pudding dish that I made last week left over in my refrigerator, which made a lovely dinner, and I crashed shortly afterward.

Today will be a mostly quiet day, as the only thing I have planned is a late dinner with Fliss and Rachael in Cambridge. The housekeeper will clean my apartment sometime this afternoon, so I'll do laundry this morning (but no machine drying after last week's debacle), and probably return to Tate Modern to see the exhibition Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art, which is only on view until October 14th.

But first, a new thread, after I catch up on yesterday's messages.

Sep 18, 2:20am Top

>250 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I need to catch up on my doings here, especially since nearly everything of significance has been in the presence of at least one LTer. Assuming that I do join Fliss and Rachael for dinner tonight I will have seen one current or former LTer on all of the 14 full days I have or will spend here, although I only saw Debbi and Joe briefly at Amsterdam Centraal and Bruxelles Midi yesterday.

>251 SqueakyChu: Exactly, Madeline. I bought four tickets to an Atlanta United match last season on a whim, assuming that I wouldn't have any problem finding three friends to go with me. Wrong. Fortunately this time it seems almost certain that two or three other people will join me, most notably the incredibly adorable two year old son of one of my friends. Rushabh will probably want to run on the pitch and play with the home team, though.

>252 EBT1002: I only read 27 pages of Washington Black yesterday, as I was also reading Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire, and slept for most of the train journeys, as I lucked out and had a seat to myself on the Thalys and Eurostar trains (I sleep better when no one is sitting next to me, but I tend to become distracted and don't read as well). I would ideally like to finish it by Thursday, when the shortlist will be announced, and purchase any remaining books that are not available in the US before I return to Atlanta on Friday.

I found Warlight and From a Low and Quiet Sea to be solid reads, in the 3.5 to 4 star category, but neither was worthy of the Booker longlist, IMO. In Our Mad and Glorious City definitely has a shot to win, or at least should.

I don't usually read short stories, although I do like well written ones, especially those written by two of my favorite American authors, Carson McCullers and Flannery O'Connor. Thanks for mentioning What It Means When a Man Falls Out of the Sky; I'll put it on my radar screen.

>253 connie53: Hi, Connie! I had a great time with you and Sanne in 's-Hertogenbosch on Sunday, and I look forward to seeing you again next year.

Sep 18, 6:13am Top

Hi Darryl! I happened to see a presentation on TV about the show you saw about Muhammad Ali in the Bimhuis. They showed some fragments of the show and the music, talked with the composer, and showed video material of Muhammad Ali himself. Very interesting!

I'm glad you had such a good time watching with Frank, and in Holland generally, it was nice to meet you in person.

Sep 18, 12:24pm Top

When I traveled to Germany last year I stayed in an apartment in the small German city of Lubeck. It was wonderful! When I went to Northern Ireland ten years ago I stayed in bed and breakfasts and had a wonderful time with the various hosts. I am sold on staying in the places where you get out and meet people. The apartment in Lubeck made me get out to the farmer's market and to the local supermarket. The view from that window was fantastic and the place came complete with the washer/dryer. I found this apartment on Travelocity and would recommend that kind of accommodation to everybody. We did the same thing as somebody up-thread said: We ate in the apartment for breakfast and one other meal and ate out at local restaurants only once a day. My food costs for the trip were very low and later in the summer some friends of mine who also traveled to Berlin complained mightily about the cost of food in Berlin. They ate out at every meal and I believe that is the difference. There was also a difference in satisfaction in the trip as well. I loved my trip while my friends thought Germany was only so-so.

Back in the 1980's I owned a combination washer/dryer for my small apartment out in the wilds of Southwest Kansas (thirty miles west of Dodge City) and I loved that machine. Unfortunately, during my move back from there, I left it because it was simply too heavy for me to move it by myself. It did a great job of both washing and drying - and the socks didn't kill me!

Edited: Sep 19, 5:47am Top

>256 EllaTim: Nice, Ella! Thanks for letting me know about the television show about Muhammad. Frank and I were very impressed by the very unique and compelling performance by Ikaran, which I'll describe in my new thread.

It was great to meet you on Friday! I had a blast this weekend, and I'll plan to return there next year, and let you know when I do come.

>257 benitastrnad: I hope that you decide to create your own thread in the near future, Benita, as it would have been great to read about and see photos from your recent trip to Germany!

This topic was continued by kidzdoc "Stays Woke" in 2018, Chapter 6.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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