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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Nineteen.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-One.

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Edited: Aug 22, 7:45pm Top

-This is just outside of Grand Lake CO, on one of our hikes. There is some haze here, from the fires down south.

-Yours truly on Rabbit Mountain, just outside of Lyons, CO.

Edited: Sep 12, 7:09pm Top



Books Read So Far...

OTS- Off the Shelf


54) Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover 4.6 stars (audio)
55) The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss 4.2 stars OTS
56) Black Swans: Stories by Eve Babitz 4.4 stars OTS
57) A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne 3.6 stars (audio) OTS
58) The Beekeeper's Lament by Hannah Nordhaus 4 stars (audio)
59) Tabloid City: A Novel by Pete Hamill 4 stars AAC
60) The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey 3.8 stars (audio)
61) The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat 4 stars OTS
62) The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya 4.3 stars (audio)
63) Whispers in Dust and Bone by Andrew Geye 4.2 stars OTS
64) End of Watch by Stephen King 3.6 stars (audio) OTS
65) Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison 4 stars Good Reads
66) A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey 4.2 stars (audio)


67) Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer 4 stars (audio)
68) Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley 4.2 stars (audio) AAC
69) Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year by Kenn Kaufman 4.3 stars
70) The Night of the Gun (Memoir) by David Carr 5 stars (audio) OTS
71) Bearskin: A Novel by James A McLaughlin 4.2 stars ALA
72) CIRCE by Madeline Miller 4.5 stars (audio)
73) Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck 4.4 stars
74) The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea 4 stars (audio)
75) Cathedral by Raymond Carver 4.3 stars
76) Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan 3.8 stars (audio)
77) There There: A novel by Tommy Orange 4.5 stars


78) The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley 4 stars (audio) AAC OTS
79) The Locals by Jonathan Dee 4.3 stars OTS
80) Dry Bones (Longmire) by Craig Johnson 4 stars (audio) OTS
81) The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan 4 stars (audio) AAC
82) Florida by Lauren Groff 4.2 stars
83) Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan 4.4 stars (audio) OTS
84) Calamity Jane: The Calamitous Life of Martha Jane Cannary by Christian Perrissin 4 stars GN
85) Sugar Money by Jane Harris 4.2 stars ALA OTS
86) Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman 4 stars (audio) OTS
87) Calypso by David Sedaris 4.4 stars (audio)
88) Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian 4.3 stars
89) Six and a Half Deadly Sins (Dr. Siri Paiboun) by Colin Cotterill 3.6 stars (audio)
90) The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson 4.2 stars OTS
91) Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou 4.7 stars (audio)
92) November Road by Lou Berney 4 stars ALA
93) Sabrina by Nick Drnaso 4.2 stars GN Booker List
94) The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan 3.7 stars (audio) OTS


95) The Good People by Hannah Kent 4 stars (audio) OTS
96) The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Aldred 4.2 stars (E)
97) The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner 4.5 stars Booker List
98) Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence by Brian Clements 4.5 stars Poetry
99) The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour 4.2 stars (audio) AAC
100) The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories by Yukiko Motoya 3.7 stars
101) Sackett's Land by Louis L'Amour 3.8 stars (audio) AAC
102) Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez 3.7 stars E
103) What is the What by Dave Eggers 4 stars (audio)
104) Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh 4.2 stars E
105) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer 4 stars (audio)


106) Black Mad Wheel by Josh Malerman 3.3 stars (audio)
107) Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison 4.5 stars ALA
108) Certain American States: Stories by Catherine Lacey 4 stars
109) The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy 4 stars (audio) AAC

Edited: Sep 12, 7:11pm Top

Welcome to the AAC V!

2018 AAC

January- Joan Didion Completed The White Album
February- Colson Whitehead Completed Sag Harbor
March- Tobias Wolff Completed The Night in Question: Stories
April- Alice Walker Completed In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens
May- Peter Hamill Completed Tabloid City
June- Walter Mosley Completed Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
July- Amy Tan Completed The Bonesetter's Daughter
August- Louis L'Amour Completed The Walking Drum, Sackett's Land
September- Pat Conroy Completed The Lords of Discipline
October- Stephen King
November- Narrative Nonfiction
December- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here is a link to the General Discussion Thread: http://www.librarything.com/topic/279501#

Edited: Aug 22, 8:08pm Top

101) Sackett's Land by Louis L'Amour 3.8 stars

"We are all us, it has been said, the children of immigrants and foreigners - even the American Indian, although he arrived a little earlier."

This is the first story, in L'Amour's beloved Sackett family saga. It is set in 1599, England and follows Barnabas Sackett, in his various adventures, as he flees to America, and lands on the Carolina coast. It is a good solid story, with a mix of action, historical detail and romance.

I read this for the AAC. I have read many of the Sackett books. There are 16. I am sure I have read this one before but I might just read a couple more.

Aug 22, 8:23pm Top

Happy new one, Mark! Excellent pics in the last thread. Looks like you had an great trip.

>I need to finish my L'Amour, The Lonely Men. I will NOT let it get away from me.

Edited: Aug 22, 8:25pm Top

99) The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour 4.2 stars

The Walking Drum is not set in the frontier era of the American West, but rather is an historical novel set in the Middle Ages—12th century Europe and the Middle East. It follows Mathurin Kerbouchard, a young celtic, as he wanders the land looking for his father and looking to avenge the murder of his mother. Yes, he is a bit of a superman, (which may cause a little eye-rolling), in all his various, swash-buckling, death-defying, adventures but it is good clean, fun. It is a rousing story and L'Amour has definitely done his homework. Sadly, it was one of his last books.

**I read this for the AAC.

Aug 22, 8:48pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Great toppers

Aug 22, 8:55pm Top

>4 msf59: I gotta say I think you hit it out of the park when you chose L'Amour for this month's AAC author, Mark. I can't remember when there has been such universal enthusiasm for a given author, and I've found a new personal "go-to" when I want some good clean fun and adventure. Thanks, buddy.

Aug 22, 8:58pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. It is nice to see the blue skies in your topper photos. We have more than a little haze here.

Aug 22, 9:00pm Top

>5 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. Good to see you. Glad you like the photos. We had a terrific trip. I think The Lonely Men was, not only my first Sackett it may have been my first L'Amour. I hope you get back to it.

Aug 22, 9:05pm Top

>7 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley.

>8 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Honestly, I did not realize L'Amour would be such a hit on the AAC. I am glad folks are enjoying him. I may put one of his into my rotation, now and then. I love Tell Sackett.

>9 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I am so sorry to hear about your wildfires. Is this common or very unusual?

Aug 22, 11:25pm Top

Ooh! Louis L'Amour?! How did I miss that? Maybe I can sneak one in. He is a fave.

And happy new one, Mark!

Aug 22, 11:43pm Top

Happy new thread Mark.

Aug 23, 1:53am Top

Happy new one, Mark. Beautiful topper.

Aug 23, 5:10am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

Love the picture of you on the hill :-)

Edited: Aug 23, 5:49am Top

Nice topper Mark. And you playing 'I'm the King of the Castle' too.

Still to get to L'Amour.

Aug 23, 7:00am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread!

Aug 23, 7:12am Top

Just stopping by to say good morning!

I finished The Death of Truth in audio this morning on my dog walk. Not sure what is up next in that medium.

Need a new paper book too. Thinking about Fight No More or Dopesick. Not sure I am ready for Dopesick so soon after The Death of Truth, though.

Aug 23, 7:17am Top

>12 Berly: Thanks, Kim. I did not know you were L'Amour fan. You should join us for one. They are generally quick reads.

>13 mdoris: >14 Ameise1: Thanks, Mary & Barb.

>15 FAMeulstee: >16 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Anita & Caroline. I needed to get a photo of the Warbler on the Mountaintop. Grins...

Aug 23, 7:24am Top

>17 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

>18 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Did you see the long review of The Death of Truth, on the review page? Yikes! It looks like we have a Trumper Troll on LT somewhere.

I now have a copy of Fight No More, so I might join you, at some point. I want to read Dopesick. Hope to find it on audio.

Aug 23, 7:35am Top

>20 msf59: I hadn't seen the review. Going to check it out. Shawn read Dopesick and highly recommends it, even though it is dark. It really is an issue of our time that everyone should understand, I believe.

Aug 23, 8:10am Top

'Morning Mark, and I hope you have a wonderful day off. It's a lovely brisk 64F here right now, and it's only supposed to get to about 80F for about 3 days or so. I even have a window open.

Aug 23, 8:27am Top

>21 alphaorder: I heard the author discuss Dopesick on one of my book podcasts. It does sound like an important read.

>22 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I got my workout done and I am now eating a fortifying breakfast. I hope to be out birding in just a little while.

Glad you are enjoying some cooler weather. It has been nice here, the past couple of days, with cool nights but it will get HOT again over the weekend. Ugh!

Edited: Aug 23, 9:18am Top

Happy New One, buddy! Nice pics up top.

I finished the Ada Limon and loved it. Good to the last drop. I posted another one of hers over on my thread.

I'm also reading The Overstory and thought of you - it might be an interesting complement to The Man Who Climbs Trees. The stories all relate in some way to trees - I'm not sure yet whether they tie together in some way beyond that or not. I'm also having a fun time with an ER book called Dictionary Stories, where the author strings together example sentences from dictionary definitions into short (sometimes very short!) stories.

Looks like another beaut out there today. I'm off to visit a laid-up friend - the lame meeting the immobile. :-) I hope the day goes well for you.

Aug 23, 10:18am Top

Happy new one! Bearskin is really good! Thanks for sending it.

Aug 23, 10:50am Top

Thinking I better jump in here, whilst your thread has few posts. I am hopelessly behind on surfing through the LT. But the reading I'd doing is both enlightening and entertaining. I admit to being Ove-like in approaching L'Amour, but the shorty I read was good. But I think I mentioned that.

Right now I'm reading The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers. First published in 1903 (I think), it is regarded as the progenitor of stories of spies and international intrigue.

Plaudits on your trip. Did you happen to spot one of these? They are pretty. And pretty elusive.

Aug 23, 12:42pm Top

>11 msf59:

Recently read my first Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage,
and wonder if he and L'Amour write in a similar style?

Aug 23, 1:32pm Top

Nice pics, as usual, Mark.

I've started the annual September Series & Sequels thread and hope you'll stop by. It's over at:


Aug 23, 2:19pm Top

>24 jnwelch: Sweet Thursday, Joe. I am enjoying a day off, so that means I was out of the house early, to take advantage of another beautiful day. I was gone nearly 4 hours, birding and strolling.

Hooray for Limon collection. I can't wait to get my mitts on that one. The Overstory is on my TBR list, but you might nudge me into reading it sooner.

I hope you had a good visit with your immobile friend.

>25 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. Glad you are enjoying Bearskin. I figured it was a good fit for you.

Aug 23, 2:25pm Top

>26 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Good to see you, stranger. I always enjoy your visits. L'Amour seems to have been well-received on the AAC, so I think he is a pretty good bet and the good thing is, most of his books are pretty short.

I do not recognize that bird, although it would be pretty cool to see one, in a Sci-Fish way...

>27 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I am not a specialist on Zane Grey, but I think L'Amour is the better writer of the 2. IMHO, of course.

>28 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Not sure what I'll be reading next month, but I will stop by the S & S.

Aug 23, 2:30pm Top

>1 msf59: Nice toppers Marc! Beautiful and impressive country. And you on top of the world:-)

Happy new thread!

Edited: Aug 23, 2:36pm Top

-Nashville Warbler (NMP)

^On my day off, I had to take full advantage of this beautiful day, to get out early to bird. It was lovely walking through the woods. I saw my first warblers, of the migration season, including the Nashville, Black and White and I think a Tennessee or 2. I also saw a Belted Kingfisher flying, along a river bank and just as I was wrapping it up, I spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker. They had been spotted here before, so I was glad to have seen one of my favorite birds.


Aug 23, 3:20pm Top

>30 msf59:

What are some of your favorite L'Amours?

Aug 23, 4:15pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Nice to see you're enjoying the last of the summer reads.

Aug 23, 5:24pm Top

Happy New Thread Mark!

Just got caught up with your vacation stories and photos. Looks like you had a fabulous time.Great photos!

>4 msf59: I've never read any L'Amour but I just might give Sackett's Land a try. (Tagging it "Mark's Fault", of course)

Aug 23, 6:47pm Top

>33 m.belljackson: It has been a long time since I read L'Amour's westerns, Marianne, but I recommend the Sackett books: Sackett, The Daybreakers and The Lonely Men. I also remember enjoying Hanging Woman Creek, Reilly's Luck & Chancy. Most, are easy, fast reads.

>34 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky. Good to see you.

>35 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. Glad you like the photos. Sackett's Land is not one of his vintage westerns, (because of it's European setting) but I don't think you could go wrong, plus it is a fast, easy read.

Aug 23, 7:04pm Top

Just read the troll review on Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump and I think you are right. I am not sure what the definition of a troll is, but what was written there was not a review. It was a rant. Big difference.

Aug 23, 8:39pm Top

>37 benitastrnad: It makes me wonder if these troll-like figures, just respond to all these anti-Trump books, the same way. How about all the lies that Obama and Hillary told? Huh?

Aug 23, 8:50pm Top

As an antidote to my last audio, I decided to start Ben Rhodes's memoir The World as It Is. Nice to be back in the Obama era.

Aug 24, 12:19am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Great pictures at the top. I LOVED What Is the What; I look forward to your comments.

Aug 24, 3:23am Top

>32 msf59: Sounds like a wonderful birding day, Mark. I met a birder this week who told me a about a baby cuckoo in the area. So tempting!

Aug 24, 3:51am Top

Happy Friday, Mark. Glad to hear that you spent a wonderful day off work.

Aug 24, 5:39am Top

I haven't heard of Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez, surely that isn't a new one? My ex-boyfried counted Barry Lopez as his all time favourite person on earth. I have read a couple of his books and do enjoy him.

>32 msf59: a beautiful redhead!

Aug 24, 6:36am Top

>39 alphaorder: I'll be watching for your thoughts on the Rhodes book, Nancy. Is this audio too?

>40 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I am enjoying What Is the What. I am approaching the halfway point. Quite a life.

>41 charl08: It was a good birding day, Charlotte. Nice to see the warblers back, for at least a short stay. I want to see a cuckoo!!

>42 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb.

>43 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Good to see you. I had heard of Lopez for several years but never pulled the trigger. "Wolves" is not a perfect read but it sure bolstered my interest in him. And yah, for the redheads!!

Aug 24, 7:50am Top

Hi Mark and happy Friday to you. I'm glad you had a good bird walk yesterday. I've never seen a Red-Headed Woodpecker although they breed and winter over in NC according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. Lots of good warbler sightings, too, yay.

Aug 24, 8:32am Top

Happy Friday, Mark!

The Limon collection was great, and now I'll try the new Hoagland collection that you liked so much. I'm continuing to enjoy The Overstory and Dictionary Stories.

I'm going to work out for the first time in a week today. Fingers crossed.

Hey, nice Cubs win last night. I'm really happy for Cole Hamels.

Edited: Aug 24, 10:17am Top

>36 msf59:

Thank you for L'Amour suggestions.
I ordered Sackett's Land from abe.com,
as well as Word by word, POND,
and Remembering Christmas, about a bookseller and the holiday.

Given this morning's cold spell, stocking up for winter reading seems like a good plan.

)Zero Touchstones this am(

Aug 24, 11:03am Top

>45 karenmarie: Happy Friday, Karen. It seems red-headed woodpeckers like old growth forests, so this would be your best bet, if you want to tick one off your list.

>46 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I am picking up an earlier Hoagland collection from the library. I hope you enjoy the new one, as much as I did.

Good luck with the workout. I hope it goes smoothly.

Edited: Aug 24, 11:05am Top

>47 m.belljackson: Happy Friday, Marianne. I hope L'Amour is a good fit for you. It is mostly escapism reading.

Raining here at the moment and getting very hot again over the weekend. Looking forward to a cooler fall.

Any interesting bird sightings?

Aug 24, 12:14pm Top

>49 msf59:

We've seen only Wild turkey families and a few hawks;
birds completely stopped visiting our feeders since early this month
and even the winter residents are hiding.

Hope YOUR rain is light - we're getting flood warnings again.
After the 4 inches out here and the terrifying 10-15 inches on Madison's west side
(my brother said his street in Middleton was like a river), everyone is more than wary.

And Hawaii? - what a year!

Aug 24, 12:50pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Congrats on the warblers yesterday, and on the red-headed woodpecker.

I agree with Linda up in >8 laytonwoman3rd:; L'Amour was an excellent choice for the AAC. I'm looking forward to picking up with the Sackett reading challenge with To the Far Blue Mountains.

Aug 24, 2:53pm Top

>18 alphaorder: >20 msf59: >37 benitastrnad: >38 msf59: That review. Wow! I got soaked from the spit-shower. I looked at the comments on amazon.com (clicking on the one-stars) and note that the foamers represented 15% of the overall ratings. A common theme is that one is obliged, for some reason, to meet The Opposition half way. Bothsiderism is also a common theme.

So hell, I guess I should read the book. I've read that it is short.

Thanks for the alert. I'll tag it "Trump's Fault."

Aug 24, 6:32pm Top

>50 m.belljackson: I wish we got more turkeys in our immediate area, Marianne. We have to venture a little further west. Always cool to see them. sorry, to hear your feeders have been so quiet. Ours continue to be busy. Mainly sparrows and goldfinch. Hummingbirds have been coming around a lot too, stocking up on that nectar.

>51 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. Glad so many people are happy with the L' Amour pick. I hope to get the same kind of reception with Stephen King, in October.

>52 weird_O: Glad you read that so-called review, Bill. When you were looking through the Ammy comments, I bet many of the negative ones, were structured the same way. This seems to be a cookie-cutter response.

I think the "Trump's Fault" tag would be a popular one around here.

Edited: Aug 24, 6:59pm Top

^ I have wanted to read Eileen since it came out and snagged an ebook copy, a couple of years ago. Honestly, I don't remember a lot of LT activity on this one but I know it received a mixed response from plenty of other places, despite it's Booker Short-List nod. I am sure this is why I kept putting it off.

Well, her new novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation had caught my attention, so I thought I would try out her last one first.

I am less than 40 pages in and I really like it so far. Her narrative style, reminds me quite a bit of The Mars Room, which I recently loved.

Also her story collection, Homesick for Another World, which came out last year, sounds really good. Has anyone read it?

Edited: Aug 25, 6:17pm Top

96) The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Aldred 4.2 stars

“I climbed my first big tree with ropes when I was sixteen. The intervening years have raced past in a tangle of branches and foliage, and I must have climbed enough trees to fill an entire forest by now. But although many have blurred together, there are others that rise above the fog of memory.”

James Aldred is a professional British tree climber and cameraman, who has worked for the BBC and National Geographic. He is also a heck of a writer and storyteller. As he take the reader around the world, facing challenge after challenge, scaling, monolithic tree after monolithic tree, the reader is breathless with wonder and suspense. Aldred is also smart and informative, with a deep love of nature and conservation.
This is a world, I knew very little about: Life, high in the canopy of these massive trees, where a family of gorillas are feasting, over a 150 ft in the air, barely glancing at the author, as he tethered to the trunk.
I love the outdoors and I love trees, but I have no interest in climbing them. I will leave this to others and will continue to enjoy the stories they tell.

Highly recommended.

^This is the hammock he sleeps in, when he spends the night, on top of the world.


Aug 24, 8:46pm Top

>52 weird_O:

Eugene Sue would likely be extremely upset that the name of his book is associated with such a heap of wandering drivel.

Aug 24, 10:52pm Top

>55 msf59: oh wow, that is COOL. That would have been my dream job as a kid :)

Aug 25, 6:38am Top

>56 m.belljackson: Great point, Marianne.

>57 LovingLit: I think you would really like this book, Megan. It opens up a whole new world.

Aug 25, 6:43am Top

>55 msf59: oops that gets tagged 'Marks Fault'.

Aug 25, 7:49am Top

>59 Caroline_McElwee: Hooray for the Mark's Fault tag! My badge of honor.

Happy Saturday, Caroline.

Aug 25, 8:51am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark.

Nice review of The Man Who Climbs Trees! I'm even more tempted to pick it up at some point as I enjoy The Overstory.

Becca and I are headed to Comic Con soon. I'll be looking for deals on graphic novels; she'll be looking for Funkopops. Plus enjoying the craziness.

Aug 25, 9:12am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

>55 msf59: Nope nope and nope - lovely pictures, gives me vertigo just looking at 'em. I'm sure it's a lovely book. I'd have to get a plain brown wrapper to have it in the house. *smile*

Aug 25, 9:31am Top

>61 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Did you recommend the Aldred book to Jesse? It would definitely be his cuppa.

I hope to bookhorn in The Overstory next month. Have a great time at ComicCon.

>62 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am afraid of heights also, but I can easily read about it. This was a good book and a learned a lot.

Aug 25, 1:25pm Top

>56 m.belljackson: Had to resort to amazon to ferret out the identity of Eugene Sue and why he'd be upset by the foamer rant about The Death of Truth, Marianne. So he wrote The Wandering Jew. Nothing on LT about the book, but one "review" on amazon explained the story. Ah. Is this the base of the username? I'm guessing yes. I don't think the various plants bearing the name are the source of this user's name.

Aug 25, 1:45pm Top

>64 weird_O:

WIKI has a lot of information on the convoluted, yet intriguing, historical plot of The Wandering Jew and Eugene Sue.

I read it in college decades ago and, while following the strange story was challenging, I did enjoy that the fatal meeting date,
like the Fire Bombing of Dresden, was projected to be on my birthday, February 13th.

For very old time's sake, I'll revisit it when book arrives from Abe.

Aug 25, 4:54pm Top

Hi Mark, I read Eileen last year and had mixed feelings about it but, believe me, the author can write. I would certainly read her again. I did post a review on the book's main page if you are interested in checking it out. I finished the first in the Murderbot Diaries last night and loved it - have you read this series?

Aug 25, 8:18pm Top

>54 msf59: Funny, I was just chatting with Chris and he mentioned he’d picked up Eileen at B&N yesterday (educators week -how could he resist picking up a couple books?). I know he read Homesick for Another World so he must have liked it.

Aug 25, 8:34pm Top

>66 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I am not surprised by your feelings about Eileen. It was a polarizing read. I am liking it quite a bit. Rebecca has finally entered the picture. Turning point? I have not read the MurderBot Diaries. I wonder if that is my cuppa?

>67 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I will have to message Chris. I did see that he really liked Homesick for Another World. I now want to get my hands on a copy of that collection.

Aug 25, 9:31pm Top

My book group's September read is My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I haven't decided if I'll read it or not. I tried to read Eileen and couldn't get on with it - I'm not sure why since dark and twisted don't usually bother me much. *shrug*

I'm glad you are enjoying it!

Aug 25, 11:13pm Top

Hey Mark-
Just to ket you know, I am seeing Courtney Barnett next week. And ever grateful to you I will be for introducing her to me!! (I think your exact words were "she's the real deal"- I agree, btw.)
Have you heard the new album yet?

Aug 26, 7:37am Top

>69 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Thanks, for chiming in on Moshfegh. I think the mixed opinions on Eileen, had kept me from reading it, so I am not surprised it didn't work for you. But much like Rachel Kushner, I am really getting into it. I thought My Year of Rest and Relaxation sounded really good. Your club picks challenging choices.

>70 LovingLit: Have a great time at the Barnett show, Megan. I only sampled the new one, once or twice. I need to spend more time with it.

These past few years, have seen a sharp decline in my music listening. Books have overshadowed everything else. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I do miss hunkering down and getting into an album.

Edited: Aug 26, 8:01am Top


This time of year the birds fly in elegant mobs,
tragic and sinister against gathering clouds.
It always made me sad to see the one trailing at the end, who I thought was
falling behind, tripping like a head of a musical note;
dark dots making swirls over and around the obscene billboards,
gathering in the empty trees like relentless matching ornaments—
no distinction between them from this distance,
their eyes kept from me, their hearts blue-red compasses
leading to Florida—
I watch them like a child might watch a father love
another child better—they smash into commuter planes or into a sky-blue tower
(the greatest trick of humans, making the sky into matter—),
those little feathery dinosaurs stopping at the mall ponds
to drink, calling to one another, sensing the change
in the wind, working as a team—it makes me want
to get stoned on the front steps, lit from within—seeing
these migrating jewels, elegant survivors, feathered delicacies,
musical geniuses, flinging themselves like a ballerina
made of smaller ballerinas;
these small dwindling barrettes of Nature—
there’s simply nothing more important than them making it.
I want to haul my mattress onto the roof.
I want to compare them to the stars, to light, to pepper.
I want to follow them. Want to do something
other than take this exit off the freeway
and leave them in my rearview mirror:
fumbling clear black angels, backup dancers, flawless cheerleading squad
from some more transcendent universe
piling up on one another, perfectly—swallowing the sky like a silk scarf,
above, silent, powerful, better than me, in every way,
hustling over the shipwrecked world.

-Bianca Stone

Aug 26, 9:03am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you.

Aug 26, 9:24am Top

>73 karenmarie: Morning, Karen.

Aug 26, 9:28am Top

97) The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner 4.5 stars

“It’s hard to live on the streets. In prison, you can be someone. Life has order if you know how to do time, and I know. I’m an expert. Living in a tent is a temporary thing. You do it until you go back to prison. That’s just how it works.”

It is 2003, Romy Hall is serving 2 consecutive life sentences, at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, in California. This story follows, her daily prison life, with impressive detail, it also looks back at her life, before the conviction, working at a strip club called The Mars Room, and glimpses at what led to her crime, which involves a particularly creepy, stalker.
The author really seems to have done her research here, diving deep, into the dark, psychological, complexities, of these convicted women, without the usual stereotypical tropes. The writing is deft, and uniformly strong.
This was my first novel, by Kushner, and reviews, seems to be mixed, but I was very impressed with it, throughout and look forward to reading more of her work.

*This made the current Booker Long List

Edited: Aug 26, 12:30pm Top

I am loving Lasso the Wind by Timothy Egan, one of your favorite authors. This book is a book of his early essays written when he was a reporter for the NYT. Right now I am reading about the created (by corporate interests. The town of Highland Ranch was created by RJR - the former RJ Reynolds and designed to make a huge profit for RJR) megalopolis of Denver and the 100 mile stretch of created towns and subdivisions that spread down the Front Range of the Rockies from Fort Collins all the way to Colorado Spings. Since this book was written in 1999 I would make that megalopolis stretch even farther - from Cheyenne, WY to Pueblo, CO. That would make it stretch for almost 200 miles along the dry side of the Rockies. It has always been one of my great questions why are all the people in Colorado on the side of the mountains that receives 20 inches of rain or less per year and the West slope of the Rockies receives 30 inches or more per year? In short this is a very interesting book for anybody interested in The West. It might be hard to find since it is old, but if you can find it it will enlighten the readers about the politics and history of The West.

Edited: Aug 26, 12:54pm Top

I think you would like the Murderbot Diaries. The reviews of them have been very good. They are full of humor and lots of action. They are novellas so are under 200 pages. For you they would be quick reads. Right now they are only available as paperbacks or recorded books, but there is going to be an omnibus hardback released later in the fall that will have the two already released novellas in it with the addition of the third novella that is being released this fall.

Edited: Aug 26, 1:14pm Top

I started listening to Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon by Robert Kurson. He is the guy who wrote Shadow Divers and Pirate Hunters. I had the ARC from the ALA in Denver last spring and when I went to the public library last week they had the sound recording of it available for check out. So far I have listened to two of the CD’s and it is good. I like the narrator. It might be one that you could listen to while ou work.

Aug 26, 2:17pm Top

>11 msf59: Hi Mark, I have been away from LT for a few days. It doesn't take long to get behind here as well as in RL. Yesterday it rained and it is raining today as well. We haven't had any real rain since June or July (the days of sunshine blend into each other at this point). It seems like the drought is creeping up from California. And no, wildfire seasons like this were not normal but this has been our new reality for the last two years.

Looks like you are enjoying your reads. I am trying to finish a bunch of library holds (why do they all come in at the same time) and work on my library. Seems like I will have to move in the next few years so I am rearranging and culling my book stash.

Aug 26, 2:41pm Top

>76 benitastrnad: >77 benitastrnad: The Egan collection sounds really interesting, Benita. Some food for thought, about the front range. I never realized the business end of it. It makes sense, when you think about it.

I will look for the MurderBot books. It sounds like a good diversion.

Aug 26, 2:46pm Top

>78 benitastrnad: I really like Kurson. I have loved 3 of his books. I have Rocket Men on the list. Glad you are enjoying it.

>79 Familyhistorian: Happy Sunday, Meg. Glad to hear about the rain, sorry to hear about the fires. I hope it is over for the season.

Good luck with catching up with the those library books. It can be daunting.

Aug 26, 3:34pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mark.

>72 msf59: LOVE! "little feathery dinosaurs" - such a cool truth.

Believe it or not, I'm working today - I coauthor a textbook, and we're doing the newest edition. I'd procrastinate, but we're traveling a lot soon, so I need to get my part done. Oh well. It's a good day to be in air conditioning.

Aug 26, 4:14pm Top

Great comments on The Mars Room, Mark. I'm waiting for my turn at the library. I think I'm # 5.

Aug 26, 6:00pm Top

>82 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I love the "Migration" poem and have requested the collection, that it is featured in. Sorry, to hear about the work assignment. I hope it went smoothly and you were able to enjoy some R & R afterwards.

>83 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. Opinion on the Kushner has been mixed. I hope it is a winner for you.

Aug 26, 6:34pm Top

I’m glad to see you and I are on the same page with The Mars Room Mark. I think it’s an important book, especially at this time in our country.

>55 msf59: I climbed lots of trees when I was a kid. Does that count? Lol

Edited: Aug 26, 6:45pm Top

>85 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Glad to see we are on the same page with The Mars Room. There seems to be similarities in style, with my current read Eileen,
(another very divisive book over here). Have you read it? I am really enjoying it.

I liked climbing around on trees as a kid too, but, mostly, just the little stuff. Grins...

Edited: Aug 26, 6:56pm Top

>85 brenzi: >86 msf59: One early memory of mine is that I climbed a fairly easy, but high tree, and I didn't dare to go down, my brother had to come to the rescue. I think I was 4. It didn't scare me off, have been climbing trees all through my youth :-)

Aug 26, 7:10pm Top

Hiya Mark! I love the photo of you on top of Rabbit Mountain. Clearly you had a great vacation in Colorado.

Great comments about The Mars Room. Thumb from me. It's one of the Booker long list books that I haven't ordered or purchased yet so now I will take care of that.

>72 msf59: That is a beautiful and heartbreaking poem. That is the sign of a wonderful poem: it made me feel intensely as I read it.

I know that Eileen was controversial around here but I really liked it.

Edited: Aug 26, 9:27pm Top

In the essay by uTimothy Egan that I read this afternoon at the pool, he mentioned and discussed Of Wolves and Men. His essay was about the lack of top predators in Yellowstone and other wilderness areas of Montana and Idaho, as well as Colorado and Wyoming.

Terry Tempest Williams was another author who’s work Egan mentioned in the same essay.

Aug 26, 9:30pm Top

Whew, I am finally cooled off. I think I got somewhat dehyrdrated sitting out at Wrigley today. Met a friend for dinner and drank about 5 or 6 glasses of iced tea and just had a big bottle of Gatorade when I got home. Plus the AC was on in the restaurant, in my car, and at home, so I am definitely feeling better. I knew it was going to be hot but it was also one of the more humid days this year, I'd say.

Not sure if you ever read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but the year I read it, I think it was my favorite book of the year. Anyway, I saw the movie on Netflix last night. Excellent movie.

Aug 26, 9:42pm Top

>90 lindapanzo: Thanks for reminding me about that movie. I need to put it on my Netflix list so I don't pass it by.

Aug 26, 9:42pm Top

>90 lindapanzo: - Linda, is that movie only on Netflix or will it be in theatres, do you know? I also really enjoyed the book and it's good to hear the movie was good.

Hi Mark! :-)

Aug 26, 9:48pm Top

>92 jessibud2: Early on, it sounded like it was to be a theater release but then in spring, I think they said Netflix only. The star is that Downton Abbey Girl who was also in Mamma Mia 2. There was at least one other Downton Abbey actress in it. Can't remember the character's name but she was Matthew's mother, I think it was, who stayed on and became Maggie Smith's friend

Aug 26, 10:28pm Top

>87 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. Thanks for sharing your childhood tree climbing experience. And I am glad it did not prevent you from continuing to climb trees. Smiles...

>88 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Glad you like the Rabbit Mountain topper! It was a nice hiking spot. I hope you enjoy The Mars Room as much as I did. And I am so glad to hear you are a fellow-lover of Eileen. There doesn't seem to be a lot of us around here.

Isn't that a great poem? I requested the collection, it was included in.

Aug 26, 10:35pm Top

>89 benitastrnad: I would like to hear what Egan had to say about Of Wolves and Men. I hope to draw up a review of it this week. And you know I am big fan of TTW too! Swoons, a bit...

>90 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Glad you survived the game and saw a win and a sweep. Yah! Always keep hydrated, my friend. It seems like you drank plenty afterwards.

Sadly, I have yet to read The Guernsey Literary. I have no excuse either, especially since I have it in print and on audio. Maybe, I will bookhorn it in, and catch the film.

Aug 26, 11:10pm Top

>75 msf59: That looks like one I will have to find--thanks! We finally got a little rain today and the air quality is back to normal. Phew!! And we are back to normal summer temperatures. I am a happy camper. : )

Aug 27, 4:57am Top

>71 msf59: There's no crime in reading too much :) I hardly ever sink my teeth into a new, or old, recording artist, but Courtney Barnett just grabbed me.

Also, I got The Road to Jonestown from the library based on your recommendation, and the lovely other is powering through it! You may recall, its pretty dense. He is loving it though. A win!

Aug 27, 5:25am Top

Morning, Mark!

>75 msf59: That one looks a bit grim for me, but I'm glad it worked for you!

Aug 27, 6:39am Top

>92 jessibud2: It sure looks like Guernsey Literary will only be released on Netflix, Shelley.

>96 Berly: Hi, Kim. I highly recommend The Mars Room, but keep in mind she is a divisive author. Glad it is cooling off for you. We have a couple more HOT days to struggle through and then it gets more moderate on Wednesday. Whew.

>97 LovingLit: I think Courtney Barnett grabbed a lot of folks, Megan. Grins...Glad you picked up The Road to Jonestown and I am tickled that it earned the Mark's Fault tag. I am proud of that badge of honor.

>98 scaifea: Morning, Amber. I wish I could stay right here, for the rest of the day. It looks like a rough one. Sighs...

Aug 27, 8:07am Top

'Morning, Mark. I wish I could stay right here, for the rest of the day. It looks like a rough one. Yikes. 94F and a heat advisory. Stay safe.

>95 msf59: Bookhorn away! I'll add my recommendation for you to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I adore epistolary novels, this one is quite excellent.

Aug 27, 9:43am Top

HOT one here in Chicagoland. Low 90s, high humidity. Send cool thoughts for the Warbler...

>100 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am prepared for the heat, but there is only so much one can do...sighs.

You will be glad to know I added Guernsey Literary to my audio queue and will start it soon.

Aug 27, 10:24am Top

Happy Mmmphmumbleday, Mark. I hope you do okay in this heat!

I got a lot done yesterday, and should be able to get some R & R today. How about them Cubs? I guess it helps that Cincinnati is pathetic right now - some friends went to yesterday's game and said the Reds' defense was terrible. Not to mention getting shut out. :-)

Aug 27, 11:04am Top

>102 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Yep, it is steamy out here. Ugh...I hope my books keep me distracted.

Our Cubbies are on a nice roll. I hope it continues. Linda P was at the game yesterday too. It was a HOT one, but at least she witnessed the joy of a sweep.

Aug 27, 12:46pm Top

Hi, Mark! I hope you had a pleasant weekend. Mine was good but rather quiet. I got some new shelving units to hold my pulp magazines and shifted them onto shelves yesterday, but I've yet to tackle the more challenging task of cataloging them all.

Aug 27, 2:27pm Top

I went to Barnes & Noble last night (that is a dangerous thing, but I only walked out with one book- Olympus Bound last one in a series of books I want to get read this year) and I noticed that Bearskin is up for the Barnes & Noble New Authors award. You must not have been the only reader who liked it.

Edited: Aug 27, 4:45pm Top

>104 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. I worked Saturday but had a fine Sunday. I stayed inside with the books and avoided the heat. Good luck with your cataloging. Sounds like quite a task.

>105 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Glad to hear you showed restraint at B & N. I rarely go to our locations.

Good to hear about the Bearskin award. Jim is also enjoying the book. I hope our warbling gets more attention.

Aug 28, 6:29am Top

Morning, Mark!

Aug 28, 6:32am Top

>107 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Send me cool thoughts for the day...

Edited: Aug 28, 6:39am Top

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers."

^I must be the last person who has not read, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I have had it on shelf for years. I know many of my LT pals have adored it. Well, I am finally getting on board and starting the audio today. I heard the Netflix adaptation is pretty darn good too. Anyone see it yet?

Edited: Aug 28, 7:03am Top

"In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home."

^I am in the mood for a good western. So, thanks to Benita and ALA, I have a copy of Whiskey When We're Dry, which I am starting today. This sounds a bit like True Grit. Not a bad thing, right?

Aug 28, 7:14am Top

>109 msf59: - I haven't read it yet! I've also had a copy for ages...

>110 msf59: - I have this one from NetGalley. Look forward to your thoughts on it.

Stay cool, Mark!

Aug 28, 7:44am Top

>109 msf59: - Hi Mark. I read this when it first came out and loved it. I am bummed that the film is only on Netflix as I don't get Netflix. Maybe someday, I will somehow find it elsewhere. Enjoy the book. I have always loved epistolary books. Let me know how the audio is. I would imagine that there might be more than one narrator?

Aug 28, 7:54am Top

Good morning, Mark and happy Tuesday to you.

Stay as cool as you can. Looks like your heat index of 98F is going to be nasty.

Edited: Aug 28, 11:28am Top

Good morning, Mark. Another steamy one? When's the cool-off supposed to arrive?

You're not the last one to read Guernsey Literary, as I haven't read it either. I look forward to hearing what you think.

I'm going to start the newest Walter Mosley, John Woman, which I got courtesy of Benita from her ALA adventure.

Six in a row for them Cubbies! They're sure picking a good time for a win streak.

Aug 28, 8:53am Top

>106 msf59: Finished up Bearskin last night. It deserves plenty of awards! Quite a ride.

Aug 28, 9:42am Top

>111 katiekrug: Morning, Katie. Guernsey is working well on audio, too, in the early going.

I am hoping Whiskey will be a good western. Fingers crossed.

>112 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. I am enjoying Guernsey. Nice, easy, style. I hope you can see the film version on a different platform.

>113 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Heavily overcast at the moment, so it actually feels pretty good. I am sure it won't last...

Aug 28, 10:58am Top

>114 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Another steamy one out here but I appreciate the cloud cover.

Actually, it was 6 in a row, for our Cubbies. Nice, little stretch and we have Hamels going tonight. Yah!

I am enjoying Guernsey, in the early going. Nice, light fun.

>115 drneutron: Glad you enjoyed Bearskin, Jim. Hope you warble a bit, about it, on your thread.

Aug 28, 11:29am Top

>117 msf59: Six! Right. I corrected it. Hamels has been amazing. I hope he keeps it up. *knocks on wood*

Aug 28, 11:39am Top

Hi, Mark! Lovely pics of your Colorado adventure up top. So glad you had a good time while here and sorry I couldn't be here to join the meetup. Glad you were able to get together with Joanne and John - they're the best!!

So, I took some pics while in NYC of things that made me think of you specifically. Here are a couple.

The Met, Roman Art, Augustine Period Wall Fresco

Poem by Charles Simic, seen on a NYC subway car

Aug 28, 1:23pm Top

Hey Mark. Stopping by to catch up and load up on the BBs

First, I think you will like the Murderbot series. I just read the first one All Systems Red on Kindle. I think I got it free from TOR's eBook Club. It was a fun read, just giving a taste of a larger world that I want to read more about. Got to get the others.

Secondly, I too haven't read Guernsey. I only heard about it when I saw the trailer on Netflix. Going to add it, as well as Bearskin and Whiskey When We're Dry to the WL. The warbling has struck home.

Aug 28, 4:37pm Top

I just read Guernsey this month too, Mark, so you're not the only one who was slow to join this one. I have watched the Netflix adaptation and it's almost as lovely as the book.

Aug 28, 4:38pm Top

Hi Mark, I am glad that you are going to give The Murderbot series a try, I think you will enjoy it. I'm excited to hear what you think of Whiskey When We're Dry as I added it my wishlist recently. I liked The Guernsey Literary book when I read it and have just added the film to my Netflix playlist.

Aug 28, 5:43pm Top

Hey Mark, didja notice the Northern Flicker on the bird calendar today? I loooove those birds, possibly even more than the Pileated Woodpecker.

Edited: Aug 28, 5:56pm Top

>118 jnwelch: We are up against a very tough pitcher tonight, Joe. Curious to see how we handle them. And I am glad we have Hamels starting. Whew!

>119 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary, Great to see you. Yes, it was a very nice visit with Joanne and John. Even, Sue connected with them right away. I just wish we could have visited with Anne for a bit longer.

Glad you thought of me, while in NY. LOL. I like the Fresco and the poem. Thanks for sharing.

>120 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Sorry, about the BBs. That is the price, for stopping by. LOL. Well, you'll be glad to know I snagged All Systems Red, for my Kindle. Just 4 bucks. No worries, I catch plenty of BBs myself.

I think you will love both Bearskin and Whiskey When We're Dry. BBs worth taking.

Aug 28, 6:41pm Top

>121 MickyFine: Hi, Micky! Glad to see I am not the only procrastinator. Yah! Now, I am looking forward to the Netflix movie.

>122 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I just snagged a copy of All Systems Red, so I am set there. If I get a few of my LT pals, warbling about a book/series, I just can't resist. I know you like your westerns, so Whiskey When We're Dry should be a perfect fit for you. I am really enjoying it.

>123 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. Funny, just a little while ago, I was getting ready to start dinner and I checked my feeders, like usual, before heading into the kitchen and there were a pair of Northern Flickers feeding on the ground, just outside my window. One flew away immediately, but the other stuck around. I tried taking a photo, but nothing was clear enough. I like flickers too, but I see them much more than Pileated or Red-Heads, so they are slightly behind those two. Good-looking birds though.

Aug 28, 7:40pm Top

That's a great bird story, Mark. We used to see Flickers all the time at our old house, but they don't hang out in the city unfortunately.

Aug 28, 10:06pm Top

Just dropping by to say hello, Mark!

Aug 29, 1:13am Top

I hope you are enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mark. I thought it was really good. WWII was terrible for the people of the Channel Islands.

Aug 29, 1:32am Top

Hi Mark,

I recently reread Guernsey and liked it just as much the second time around. The Netflix movie is also very good - John and I both loved it. It seems like such a forgotten story of WWII.

I see Benita recommending Lasso the Wind and I’ll second it. I’ve been dipping into it for months now and it’s pretty good. You’d like it.

Aug 29, 5:29am Top

Morning, Mark!

Oh, I LOVED the Guernsey book! I hope you do, too.

Aug 29, 5:54am Top

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Aug 29, 6:40am Top

A storm knocked our power out last night, just before 10pm. Luckily it came back on, just before 5 this morning. I did not want to get ready for work in the dark and not have coffee at hand. Dodged that bullet...Behind this front, is much cooler weather too. Grins...

>126 lauralkeet: Never see the flickers at the feeders, I think they prefer insects, but I am glad they stop by now and then, anyway.

>127 tymfos: Hi, Terri! Good to see you.

Aug 29, 6:44am Top

>128 Familyhistorian: I am enjoying Guernsey, Meg and I knew very little about the channel islands and the occupation during WWII. Interesting stuff.

>129 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I am having a good time with Guernsey and look forward to the Netflix movie. Glad I finally got to it. I will also keep a lookout for Lasso the Wind. You know I love Egan.

>130 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Very stormy here. It is supposed to move out early. Whew.

Aug 29, 7:00am Top

I've heard good things about the Netflix version of Guerney but my dilemma is I haven't read the book (which I own) and probs won't be able to squeeze it in soooooo in this instance I may have to see the movie first.
We will get those storms later today and hopefully bring an end to this oppressive humidity. :P

Aug 29, 7:02am Top

>132 msf59: they were seasonal visitors for us, Mark. Sometimes we'd see them flying around during the summer, but fall and winter brought them to our feeders, presumably because other food sources became more scarce.

Edited: Aug 29, 7:20am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope your week is going well. Nice to see the flickers; I don't think I've ever seen them in or about our yard (though I may have done so just once).

Aug 29, 8:51am Top

Happy Mid-Week, buddy. I hope the stormy weather goes easy on you today. It's supposed to be cooler, thank goodness.

What a pitching battle for the Cubs. I think they resume mid-day today.

I'm closing in on the end of the longish The Overstory. He's such a good writer. I wish his characters came to life for me more; there are a couple that are pretty 3D, but it's one of those with many characters and no main character. He does a remarkable job of weaving lots of tree lore and science seamlessly into the narrative.

Did I ask you before about whether you'd read any of the 100 Bullets GNs? Very noir, very good.

Aug 29, 9:24am Top

'Morning, Mark. I'm reading The Bridge, fiction by Doug Marlette of Kudzu fame. It takes place right near where I live, and goes into the textile mill union busting of the 1930s. Present day action is a riot, and the 1930s action is informative and sad.

Aug 29, 10:58am Top

>134 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I am enjoying Guernsey, much more than I thought I would. Looking forward to the film. Let me know what you think.

>135 lauralkeet: I am pretty sure flickers migrate. I do not think I have seen them here in the winter. I am still learning all the migration stuff. There is a lot to it.

>136 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Seeing any special birds?

Edited: Aug 29, 11:03am Top

>137 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. The temps ar low but the humidity is still high. I am hoping that moves out soon.

Yep, quite a pitching duel last night. I hope we can come back and win that first game.

The Overstory sounds very interesting. I appreciate your observations. I will have to check it out. I have read the first one or two volumes of 100 Bullets. I don't remember much of it.

>138 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. The Bridge sounds interesting. Thanks.

Edited: Aug 29, 3:50pm Top

Hi Mark. Like Shelley I read Guernsey soon after it was published and just recently saw the movie on Netflix. From my memory the book has more a leaning as a war story and the movie more of a love story but both were good! I loved that it took place in Guernsey as a wonderful woman who was a babysitter but really was more a "gramma" to our children grew up there so the book helped me picture the island.

Aug 29, 2:39pm Top

Hello Mark! I hope all is going well.

>55 msf59: Excellent review. It sounds fascinating and you lay to rest one concerns which would potential dryness. Sounds exciting.

>109 msf59: I've hear a lot about Guernsey, but have not read it or seen in the film yet either. It looks to be a good one.

>110 msf59: Whiskey, when we're dry sounds good. I may have to look into that one sooner than later.

The Lonely Men getting good. There is something about L'Amour's style that does not lend itself to fluidity; at least, for me. That is not to say that the story isn't good. The style just isn't as accessible as others.

Aug 29, 6:49pm Top

>141 mdoris: Hi, Mary. thanks for chiming in on Guernsey. I should wrap it up tomorrow. I am enjoying it and learning some things about the Channel Islands and the occupation.

>142 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. All is well here. One more work day and then I have a 4 day weekend. Yah! I appreciate your praise for my review of The Man Who Climbs Trees. Glad my warbling paid off. If you get an itch for some nature/adventure story-telling, keep this one in mind.

Only a 100 pages into Whiskey, When We're Dry, but I can tell it is just my cuppa. New, worthy, westerns are hard to come by these days.

I have not read The Lonely Men in decades, so it is hard for me to comment on it, but I am glad you are coming around to it and I hope it continues.

Edited: Aug 29, 8:51pm Top

Common Nighthawk, (NMP).

There have been many reports of nighthawks migrating south through our area, mainly in the evening hours. So, last night I sat out on my patio, for about 40 minutes and ended up seeing 5 or 6, mostly solo. This was a lifer for me. It turns out dragonflies are also on the move, and I saw a lot of activity with them too. The nighthawks feed on the dragonflies too, so this is a bonus for them.

I am taking my book, binocs and a beer, out on the patio again and see what I can drum up...

It was a beautiful evening here, but the bird activity was quiet. I did spot 2 more nighthawks though.

Aug 29, 8:50pm Top

^The Pat Conroy thread is up. Stop by and let us know what you are reading: http://www.librarything.com/topic/295559#

Aug 29, 10:15pm Top

I'll say Sweet Thursday a little early, buddy. We have an early plane to LA tomorrow morning. The wedding's on Saturday, and we'll fly back on Sunday.

You'll be glad to hear I just started Hell's Bottom Colorado; I'm pretty sure that's one you liked a lot.

Aug 30, 5:26am Top

Morning, Mark!

Have you read The Killer Inside Me? I wasn't really to my taste, but I do think you'd enjoy its dark nature.

Aug 30, 6:31am Top

>146 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Have a great trip to LA, my friend. I am so glad you picked up Hell's Bottom Colorado. I did love that one and I have been meaning to read more of her. The story of my bookish life.

>147 scaifea: Morning, Amber! I did read The Killer Inside Me. Yep, he is more my cuppa. I have not read him in many years though.

Aug 30, 7:03am Top

>144 msf59: Good morning, Mark! A definite congrats on the nighthawks! I've yet to (knowingly) see one.

We haven't spotted any unusual birds around here, but next month we may be able to fit in a trip to the Cape May Hawk Watch, or perhaps up to the Hawk Mountain preserve northwest of Allentown, to catch a look at migrating raptors.

Aug 30, 7:06am Top

>149 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. It was cool to see the nighthawks, but there were only a couple last night. I WANT to go to Cape May one of these days. It is on my birding bucket list. The hawk watch sounds fantastic. Can't wait to hear your report.

Aug 30, 8:12am Top

'Morning, Mark!

Yay for Nighthawks and Dragonflys.

I'm with Harry - I've yet to (knowingly) see one..

Aug 30, 11:03am Top

Happy new thread, sorry I missed most of it! :-(

Aug 30, 11:05am Top

>151 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I believe nighthawks are very hard to see perched, so spotting them in the air, seems to be the best bet. Cool birds.

Aug 30, 11:08am Top

>152 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I loved all your Alberta photos. Gorgeous place.

Aug 30, 2:05pm Top

I have not read Bearskin yet, but just to add to Mark's and others warbling about this book - Howard Pyle was one of the authors I got to hear speak at the Denver ALA conference back in February. He is a very impressive speaker. He is about 6'5" and he had trouble with the microphone because he is so tall and soft-spoken. Most authors at these conferences are shorter and at this panel discussion there were 5 authors, one of whom was a very short woman. The microphone didn't handle the difference between them very well. Pyle told about how the idea for the book came to him when he was reading about the ginseng hunters in the Appalachians. He assured the audience that the book wasn't about ginseng, but that was how he got the idea. He did not talk about it being his first novel when I heard him, so it was a surprise to see this book on the shelves with the other "New Authors Award" titles. It appears that there are other readers of this is a novel that think it deserves some more warbling.

Aug 30, 4:21pm Top

>133 msf59: Sweet Thursday, Mark. Good to hear that you are finding the history of the German occupation of Guernsey interesting. I knew about the occupation of the Channel Islands before I read the book because that is one of the areas that I research for family history. Some of my maternal ancestors lived on Jersey for a while and a couple are buried there, so I guess they are permanent residents. Interestingly, my Dad was holidaying on Jersey when WWII was declared. He had to make his way back home to London tout suite.

I hope you are enjoying cooler weather. Our weather is back to normal temperatures and drizzly at the moment.

Aug 30, 5:47pm Top

>155 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Thanks for the info on Howard Pyle and Bearskin. Sounds like an interesting guy. It is good book and I hope it reaches a wide audience. I am also really enjoying Whiskey When We're Dry, another of your perfect picks. You are on a roll.

>156 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Glad to know you have a Channel Islands family connection. How very cool. Sounds like a beautiful place. "tout suite"??

I finished Guernsey today. Solid read. Nice here today but it will heat back up, for the weekend.

Aug 30, 6:02pm Top

>157 msf59: "tout suite" or quickly (sometimes the French comes to mind because of my time in Montreal) LOL. Do you have to work any of the weekend in the heat?

Aug 30, 9:32pm Top

While my bird feeders have been pretty ignored here north of Madison,
further south, my daughter has had many lively and friendly visits from Cardinals, Nuthatches,
Mourning Doves, some tiny birds, and, last night,
two owls hoot-hooting nearly all night. She sent a 60 second recording from her phone!

Aug 31, 3:13am Top

Thanks to your Cubs for beating the Cobb County Braves last night; the Phillies are trying to regain first place after an awful month of August.

Oh, crud. The Cubbies come to Philadelphia for the weekend. Be gentle with us, wouldja?

Aug 31, 5:29am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm happy to see that you liked Guernsey!

Aug 31, 7:12am Top

Aug 31, 7:17am Top

>158 Familyhistorian: Now, I know what " "tout suite" is! Merci, Meg!

>159 m.belljackson: Thanks for the bird feeder report, Marianne. Our feeders have been hopping, but mostly house sparrows, with a few of the other usual visitors. I can't keep up with my suet feeder and I am currently out of suet.

I want to hear owls " hoot-hooting" all night! Where does your daughter live?

We are heading up your way for the weekend. We are visiting my cousin in Monroe.

Aug 31, 7:34am Top

>160 kidzdoc: Hi, Darryl. Good to see you. Our Cubbies came through last night and against a very tough pitcher. This is going to be a grueling road trip, with many of those teams in the hunt, so it is nice to start off with a win. The series against the Phillies should be a good one. I am glad we don't have to face Arrieta but I think we face another one or two of your aces.

>161 scaifea: Morning, Amber! We are heading up to Monroe WI, early afternoon and spend the weekend with my cousin. Your old stomping grounds. It should be a good time.

Aug 31, 7:50am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you.

I'm glad you liked Guernsey. I didn't realize until just now that Mary Shaffer died before the book was finished and her niece Annie Barrows finished it. I thought they wrote it together.

Aug 31, 8:24am Top

>165 karenmarie: Huh, I didn't know that either. I'm glad her niece was able to finish it!

Aug 31, 9:16am Top

Good morning, Mark! Enjoy your extra-long weekend!

Edited: Aug 31, 11:48am Top

>163 msf59:

My daughter is a little further north of Monroe in Fitchburg.

She's not in a rural place like my home,
but has maybe a 1/4 acre of woods behind her Father's house.

The owl pairs are infrequent back woods visitors -
very welcome as long as they stay away from her feeder and bird bath in front.

Daughter is lucky = even with my wild acreage, I hear owls only a few times a year.

Aug 31, 1:10pm Top

>165 karenmarie: Happy Friday, Karen. I think I remember hearing about Shaffer's death, when the book came out, but I had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder. Good book.

>167 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. Looking forward to it.

>168 m.belljackson: Thanks for the details, Marianne. We sure love our owls!

Aug 31, 1:47pm Top

We are heading up to WI for the weekend and will be back late Sunday afternoon. I will check in when I can...

Aug 31, 6:50pm Top

Have a great, long, weekend Mark.

Edited: Aug 31, 8:42pm Top

Glad you liked Guernsey, Mark. The Netflix movie is the one we watched the other day.

Had a nice lunch with LauraBrook today. It was good to see her!!

Enjoy your long weekend. I'll be down in your neck of the woods next Saturday, hoping to squeeze in a visit to the Home Run Inn while there.

Sep 2, 4:18am Top

>109 msf59: I haven't read it either! But I did see the film ...kind of against my will....but it turned out to be a great film! I rarely go against my protocol of book first, movie second :)

Sep 2, 6:14am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark. Enjoy your long weekend.

Sep 2, 8:58am Top

Happy Sunday and long weekend. We've had a hawks nest in our backyard all summer. Yesterday, for the first time, one landed on our patio. I think he may have been hunting chipmunks. I was so shocked, so impressed by its size that I froze to my spot and didn't even think about snapping a pic. But what an experience!

Sep 2, 9:39am Top

Hi Mark! I hope you've been having a good time in WI. Safe travels home.

Sep 2, 10:00am Top

Hope you are enjoying your long weekend away!

Sep 2, 5:42pm Top

Safe travels, Mark!

Sep 2, 6:56pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Sep 2, 7:06pm Top

>171 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. We had a great time in Wisconsin. We are home now and getting the house in order, so we can have friends over for our Labor Day holiday, tomorrow.

>172 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Glad to hear you were able to visit with Laura. I have not been in touch with her, in more than six months, maybe longer. I hope she is doing well.

Oh yeah: Go Cubs! They are on a roll.

>173 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Glad you enjoyed the film version of Guernsey. I hope to see it soon.

>174 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. It has been great.

Sep 2, 7:12pm Top

>175 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. And Happy Sunday to you. I am assuming this was a red-tailed hawk? Glad you got to enjoy it so close. Like all raptors, I love these guys.

>176 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Happy Sunday. We have been home for a couple of hours. It was a terrific visit. I wouldn't like doing all the work, involved in running a farm, but I sure like watching and learning all about it.

>177 ChelleBearss: >178 banjo123: Thanks, Chelle & Rhonda. I am glad I can enjoy another day off tomorrow.

I did not get much reading in, the past 3 days, we were busy, but I hope to read some tonight.

Edited: Sep 2, 7:27pm Top


^The top photo is very similar to the trails we traversed. The bottom photo are my cousin's 2 ATVs. Sue and I rode the red, larger one. This is at one of our pit-stops, to have a snack and quick beer.

This is the Cheese Country Recreation Trail, which was built on an old railroad bed and runs 47 miles. It begins in Monroe WI, a few miles from where we were staying. We ended up riding nearly 65 miles, round-trip. I never knew this was such a big thing. There were even ATV campgrounds, along the way. In the winter, they snowmobile the same trails. This was a blast. Not bad for an old birder and Warbler, right?

Sep 2, 9:51pm Top

>55 msf59: You got me again, Mark. I don't plan on climbing any trees, either, but it does sound like a fun read.
Good luck bookhorning The Overstory in. It is a doorstopper so I suggest a heavy duty bh.

Several family members rented ATVs when we were in CO and had a great time. I chose to stay at the cabin and read my book by the river. ;-) It must be hard to see birds, though, when you are making so much noise. I got Bird Bingo for my birthday. I'm looking forward to playing it with the grandkids. The pictures are awesome.

Sep 3, 7:46am Top

>183 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Good to see you. Yes, The Overstory is high on my list. Sounds really good. And yes, no birding on the ATV trails but there was plenty at my cousin's place. A very bucolic setting, with great views.

Hooray for Bird Bingo! Let me know how it goes.

Edited: Sep 3, 8:00am Top

Sep 3, 8:20am Top

Boy, you really were close to where we used to live! Did you seriously have to wait until we had moved?! Yoicks.

Sep 3, 10:06am Top

'Morning, Mark, and Happy Labor Day to you! I hope you have fun with your friends today.

Sep 3, 10:08am Top

Happy Labor Day to you, Mark.

>182 msf59: That looks like fun.

Sep 3, 10:29am Top

>186 scaifea: Morning, Amber! We had not been up there in 12 years, which is ridiculous. We are planning on visiting, at least a couple times a year, from now on, and if you had still lived there, we would definitely meet. I want to attend the Cheese Days Festival, in Monroe, which is next weekend and we can't go, so hoping to make it there next year.

Edited: Sep 3, 10:32am Top

>187 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. We are hustling to get the house in order before our friends arrive this afternoon. Hot & sticky here, so it looks to be indoors.

I sure would like to bookhorn in some reading too. I am woefully behind.

>188 BLBera: Morning, Beth and thanks.

Sep 3, 10:38am Top

Happy Labor Day, Mark. What a long stretch of miserable weather. A nice day to stay in and read. Good thing the Cubs are playing under the roof in Milwaukee today.

Edited: Sep 3, 12:16pm Top

>182 msf59: Mark--Glad to hear you are having fun on the ATV trails! Enjoy your day off today as well. : ) I am headed to the (internet) library to see if I can find a Pat Conroy to read.

The Great Santini it is!! ; )

Sep 3, 4:53pm Top

>55 msf59: The Man Who Climbs Trees by James Aldred is a book that I think would like. And, like you, I would enjoy reading about it, but not actually doing it.

It has been awhile since I visited. I hope all is well with you. I see you are still hiking, reading and birding. Life is good!

Sep 3, 5:24pm Top

Cubs game = disgusting. I think the lesson to be learned is "don't tick off the ump" because he won't call a strike in your favor the rest of the way.

Sep 3, 8:24pm Top

>191 lindapanzo: >194 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. It was a hot muggy day. Glad I spent most of it, indoors. We had friends over for dinner.

I did not see much of the final innings of the Cubs game, due to company being over. Sounded a bit frustrating.

>192 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! We had a fun trip to WI. We do not own or ever plan on buying ATVs but it is sure fun when friends or family own them.

Glad you are joining us on a Conroy read.

>193 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Great to see you. I am back to work tomorrow, but I bird/hike when I can. And you know I read at every opportunity. B.A.G.

Edited: Sep 4, 7:03am Top

"The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once again have a number one hit. That is, until an agent from the US Army approaches them. Will they travel to an African desert and track down the source of a mysterious and malevolent sound?"

^Malerman's last book, Bird Box was deliciously creepy and downright scary. His latest, Black Mad Wheel has received mixed reviews but I have to at least give it a shot and see if he is just a one trick pony. I will kick off my work week, with this one on audio.

I am also still reading Whiskey When We're Dry, which continues to be an excellent western.

Sep 4, 8:31am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you!

Not saying that I'll actually read it, but I've pulled out My Reading Life by Pat Conroy and may join the group read this month. *smile*

Sep 4, 11:42am Top

>197 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Very hot and sultry out here.

I think My Reading Life is a perfect choice. I hope you get to it.

Sep 4, 11:03pm Top

Hi Mark, I will be interested in what you think of Josh Malerman's Black Mad Wheel. I have Bird Box on my shelves and will mostly likely pull it down for a Halloween read this year.

If my memory serves me right, you are a fan of Donald Ray Pollock. Being in the mood for a western, I picked up The Heavenly Table by him the other day. Have you read this one?

Sep 5, 6:36am Top

>199 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Great to see you. I am sure Black Mad Wheel will not interest everyone. It is a creepy, oddball little book but I am enjoying it. I highly recommend Bird Box though. A perfect October read.

I think you will love The Heavenly Table. A good solid western, it reminds me a bit of my current read, Whiskey When We're Dry, which has been excellent.

Sep 5, 8:01am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope your week is going well.

Sep 5, 8:05am Top

Morning Mark! I haven't been around in a while and need to catch up with your thread. For the moment I am stopping by to post the September poetry recommendations:


American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time looks interesting.

I have yet to finish the Donald Hall - sorry! Soon, very soon. But am captivated by What the Eyes Don't See, my audio.

Sep 5, 8:12am Top

And because I know you love a good memoir, here are 10 to look forward to this fall:


Sep 5, 9:36am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you.

Sep 5, 10:45am Top

Hey, buddy. We leave today. Hope all goes well for you. Thanks for the texts. I'm sure you'll enjoy the Limon and Hoagland collections. I've got vacation reading with me - the new Camilleri, in Death, Longmire, and October Daye, and I'm reading Deepak Chopra's Buddha at the recommendation of a friend. Plus we'll of course be stopping in at some of those wonderful London bookstores (we brought duffel bags for the book loot).

I'll try to touch base while we're gone. Make sure those Cubbies win and then keep winning. ;-)

Sep 5, 10:59am Top

>201 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. My work week is going fine, but I could do without this heat and humidity. Much nicer tomorrow.

>202 alphaorder: >203 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Good to see you. Thanks so much for the bookish links. They both sound great. I will check them out while watching the Cubs/Brewers game tonight.

Sep 5, 11:02am Top

>204 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. One more HOT one to deal with and then we get relief tomorrow.

>205 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Glad to see you posting and giving me a current reads report. Looks like ideal vacation reading. Have a great time in London. Can't wait to hear updates.

The Cubs lost an embarrassing one last night but I hope they come roaring back tonight, to avoid the sweep.

Sep 5, 11:22am Top

Hi Mark - I thought of you when we were in South Africa - so many birds! We had some great sightings, my favorite of which was the "oxpecker" which sits on the backs of rhinos, impalas, kudus, etc. in order to graze on ticks and other insects. Your threads have certainly increased my awareness of birds in general, in addition to your book warbling!

Sep 5, 11:27am Top

Mark--We are having another hot one today, too. Ugh. But maybe some rain in the forecast later in the week. I hope so!! Stay cool.

Sep 5, 6:18pm Top

>205 jnwelch: duffle bags! For books! So good.

Hi Mark, when you come to NZ you wont find too may cheap books, but you may need a wheelbarrow for craft beer ;)

Sep 5, 7:36pm Top

>210 LovingLit: "but you may need a wheelbarrow for craft beer..." That would be a perfect trade-off, Megan. I always have plenty of books! Hiking, drinking craft beer and talking books, is something I am really looking forward to doing with you, my friend.

Edited: Sep 5, 8:02pm Top

^ I started The Lords of Discipline on audio today, for the AAC. I saw the film version many moons ago but, of course I don't remember much of it. It begins well, although some of the dialogue is a bit ripe. I think this is just his style. It has been a couple of decades since I read his fiction.

Sep 6, 5:49am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you!

>212 msf59: "Ripe" here and "flowery"on my thread. Hmm. I think I'm glad I'm going to try My Reading Life instead of his fiction for the AAC.

Sep 6, 6:37am Top

>213 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I don't mean to diss Conroy this early on. The writing is good but the dialogue seems a little overblown. Maybe it is just his style.

Edited: Sep 6, 6:56am Top

^After finishing the excellent Whiskey When We're Dry, I decided to go with Certain American States: Stories, a story collection, I read about, in the Chicago Tribune. It looks like my cuppa. Has anyone read Lacey? This will be my first.

Sep 6, 10:39am Top

Morning, Mark! Hope your temps have dropped like ours did! It's quite a nice, comfortable day out here, finally!

Sep 6, 11:00am Top

>216 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. We have cooled off here, but now it is raining and it looks like it will continue through the day. Sighs...

Enjoy your milder one. These feel good after the hot stretches.

Sep 6, 5:08pm Top

^Hey Mark you missed my bird warbling up there >208 vivians:!

Sep 6, 6:35pm Top

>208 vivians: Damn! I am sorry about that, Vivian. I try to be vigilant and still one or 2, slip through. I read your post too and was planning on circling back to respond and dropped the ball.

I am sure your South Africa trip was fantastic. I can only imagine the amount of birds and other wildlife that you saw. Wowza! I will have to stop by your thread and see if you posted any other info.

Sep 7, 12:56am Top

Happy end of the week, Mark. I hope your weather is cooperating and that you have at least a couple of days of rest and relaxation this weekend.

Sep 7, 6:32am Top

>220 Familyhistorian: Happy Friday, Meg. Yes, it has cooled off here but now we are getting rain again. It is in the forecast right through the weekend. I am off sunday and Monday. Looking forward to it.

Edited: Sep 7, 6:58am Top

Nightstick (A Mural for Michael Brown)

There are gods
of fertility,
corn, childbirth,

& police
brutality—this last
is offered praise

& sacrifice
near weekly
& still cannot

be sated—many-limbed,
its colors are blue

& black, a cross-
hatch of bruise
& bulletholes

punched out
like my son’s
three-hole notebooks—

pages torn
like lungs, excised
or autopsied, splayed

open on a cold table
or left in the street
for hours to stew.

A finger
is a gun—
a wallet

is a gun, skin
a shiny pistol,
a demon, a barrel

already ready—
hands up
don’t shoot—

not to bear
but bare. Don’t

dare take
a left
into the wrong

skin. Death
is not dark
but a red siren

who will not blow
breath into your open
mouth, arrested

like a heart. Because
I can see
I believe in you, god

of police brutality—
of corn liquor
& late fertility, of birth

pain & blood
like the sun setting,
dispersing its giant

crowd of light.

Kevin Young

^This is from his latest collection Brown: Poems. Thanks to Joe for turning me on to this one.

Sep 7, 8:28am Top

Good morning, Mark! If you needed the rain yay, if not blech; either way, I can't imagine that it's fun being out in it all day. Stay as dry as you can!

Sep 7, 9:33am Top

>223 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It looks like it will be mostly rain-free today, with temps in the low 70s. So, no complaints.

Sep 7, 10:15am Top

Good morning, Mark! Glad to hear you'll likely have some pleasant weather today. We're supposed to get storms, but despite the threatening clouds the sun is shining at the moment.

Sep 7, 10:27am Top

>222 msf59: - Powerful. Thanks for sharing, Mark.

Sep 7, 10:31am Top

>203 alphaorder: Thanks for posting these Nancy. I heard an excellent NPR review regarding the book Small Fry! Lisa Brennan-Jobs was so articulate and spot on in mentioning how it felt to be abandoned by her father. I think the saddest thing she said was that she checked her father's web page to find he listed he had three children. Actually, he had four, but somehow this genius forgot to mention Lisa.

Sep 7, 10:58am Top

>225 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Unfortunately, it is drizzling at the moment. I hope it lets up soon. I do not want to wear my rain gear.

>226 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. I think that was the best poem in the collection. Glad you liked it.

>227 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. I like Nancy's bookish links too. Always good for some BBs.

Edited: Sep 8, 6:34am Top

^Just a quick update: I should wrap up Certain American States: Stories today. It has been a solid collection. I am also deep into the audio of The Lords of Discipline, which I am really enjoying. It is a Big Boy, though, so I won't finish that until early next week.

On the GN front, I am enjoying The Strange, another strong immigrant tale and my current poetry collection is The Mobius Strip Club of Grief, by another smart and talented young poet.

Happy Saturday, everyone! Off to work I go...

Sep 8, 8:03am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy last-day-of-your-work-week!

Sep 8, 9:36am Top

>230 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Cool and overcast but no rain, in the forecast. Yah! Plus, after I finish the route I will be off the next 2 days. Double Yah!!

Sep 8, 1:15pm Top

Mark--I've started in on Lords of Discipline; so far so good! Hurray for days off and cooler weather!! Is beer in the forecast?

Sep 8, 4:48pm Top

Happy weekend, Mark!

Edited: Sep 8, 6:19pm Top

Sep 8, 6:24pm Top

>232 Berly: Happy Saturday, Kimmers. ^^ Yes, we are heading to Noon Whistle Brewery, one of our favorite watering holes, and Bree and her boyfriend, Sean are joining us too. Of course we are picking up a pizza long the way.

Glad you started and are enjoying The Lords of Discipline. I only have about 2 hours left on audio.

>233 banjo123: Happy Saturday, Rhonda. You remember Noon Whistle, don't you? Grins...

Sep 8, 7:23pm Top

The beers look great!

Sep 8, 7:23pm Top

Finally finished the Donald Hall - hope to get to the PO this week so you can have it soon...

Sep 9, 1:00am Top

>90 lindapanzo: I really enjoyed the film of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I loved the book, as well.

>222 msf59: That is wonderful! I recently purchased The Carrying, poems by Ada Limón based on Joe's warbling and I'm quite liking it.

In birds, the onset of autumn has changed the identities of our visitors. Last week we got to see some young Cedar Waxwings at the water bubbler. :-)

>215 msf59: Catherine Lacey is unknown to me. You're enjoying?

Edited: Sep 9, 7:28am Top

>236 alphaorder: >237 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy! Yep, the beers were great, along with the company. Looking forward to the Hall collection. I much appreciate it, my friend. I hope you are having a good weekend.

>238 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Great to see you. Looking forward to the film version of Guernsey and I am glad I finally read and enjoyed the book. I have The Carrying: Poems home from the library. I would not be surprised if I don't end up purchasing a copy myself. I finished Certain American States: Stories yesterday. A good, solid collection.

And hooray for the migrants and the visiting waxwings. I did not see as many this summer.

Edited: Sep 9, 7:35am Top

^I can't believe The Princess Bride was written in 1973 and even more perplexing, is that I had never read it. I have seen the classic film version, a couple of times and always wanted to read the book. A couple weeks ago, I grabbed it on audio, narrated by Rob Reiner, so I was settling into listening to it, when I sadly discovered it was a grossly abridged edition. I immediately shucked it aside, and ordered a copy of the print book, since there is not a full-length audio version available, (WTH?). I will start it today. Better late, than...right?

Sep 9, 9:19am Top

Forgot to mention the audio I just finished - What the Eyes Don't See. Highly recommend. It is written and narrated by the Flint pediatrician who fought researched and fought to get the lead in the water crisis recognized. She nicely weaves in her own family history.

Sep 9, 9:33am Top

Hi Mark, just getting caught up on your thread. I loved the Guernsey book and want to see the movie. Maybe tonight? Maybe.

I’ve had an unfortunate string of mediocre books lately. The Mobius Strip Club Of Grief is the best title I’ve heard in a long time.

Sep 9, 9:54am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark! Yay for two days off.

I have The Princess Bride but haven't read it yet. I love the movie, of course.

Sep 9, 1:02pm Top

Hi Mark, I hope you are having a nice weekend. I also have never read The Princess Bride and should correct that. Too bad that there isn't a proper audio version. :(

Sep 9, 3:13pm Top

>241 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. What the Eyes Don't See sounds like solid NF. It is now firmly on the list. You do find some good ones.

>242 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I hope we can find time to watch Guernsey soon. Hopefully this week. Sorry to hear that you have read a stretch of sub-par books. I hope that improves. Yes, The Mobius Strip Club Of Grief is an amazing title and the Strip Club is a theme that runs through many of these poems.

Sep 9, 3:18pm Top

>243 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I LOVE having Mondays off and since the weather looks to be good tomorrow, I will be birding in the A.M. I hope I can inspire a few other holdouts to finally pick up The Princess Bride.

>244 DeltaQueen50: Happy Sunday, Judy. I worked yesterday but I am enjoying this half of my weekend, plus I am off tomorrow. Yah!

Funny, just when you think you are the last one to a read a certain book, other holdouts chime in. Grins...I hope to finally crack it, in just a little while.

Edited: Sep 9, 3:28pm Top

-Female American Redstart

I have had an unusually busy Sunday. I was out of the house before 730, to join a friend on a bird walk. I got home about 3 hours later and cut my lawn which was looking pretty shaggy. And then my daughter had an equestrian event, with the horse she is a co-owner with, (they were sorting cattle), so I took a drive out there and now I am finally getting home. I plan on reading, watching some football, (it looks like my Cubbies are getting rained out again in D.C.) and doing plenty of relaxing, the rest of the day.

On the bird walk, we went to a place where many fall warblers, have been spotted but we did not have as much luck, even after being joined by another seasoned birder. We did see several Redstarts though, mostly females. A few other warblers were spotted but I had a hard time getting a good look at them. It was still a very nice walk and hanging with birders, (like readers or beer drinkers) is always a pleasure.

Sep 9, 4:18pm Top

>240 msf59: abridged? EEEEEW ;)

>211 msf59: I am looking forward to it too, Mark!!

Sep 9, 6:02pm Top

>247 msf59: WoW, what a cute bird, but where is it's red start?
American warblers seem to be more colourful than ours, but apparently just as good at hiding in the bushes;-)

Sep 9, 6:18pm Top

>248 LovingLit: The Princess Bride is 400 pages and the audiobook I had was less than 3 hours. It was great having Rob Reiner narrate but why did it have to be abridged? Bad move on the publisher's part.

Edited: Sep 9, 6:23pm Top

>249 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. This is the male Redstart. I think this is more fitting of it's name and more easily recognizable. Our warblers come in an amazing variety of colors, which makes them a birding favorite here in North America. Unfortunately we only see them in spring and fall, as they migrate through.

Sep 9, 7:53pm Top

Have fun with The Princess Bride, Mark. I liked it a lot.

I also liked the first two books of Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series. I got the second book at the LexLib (VA) and the fifth at my hometown library about a month later. On the advice of happy readers, I borrowed the first book. Now I have to get books 3 and 4. Meanwhile, I've begun reading Mr. Conroy's My Reading Life. On the bedside table, Curtain: Poirot's Last Case and Benediction.

Sep 9, 8:53pm Top

>252 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Great to see you. I am enjoying The Princess Bride in the early going. Not far in, due to a very long foreward, in this edition, by Goldman.

I read and enjoyed the first 2 Thursday Next but not quite enough to finish out the series.

I loved My Reading Life. I hope you feel the same way.

Sep 9, 9:58pm Top

Hooray for Noon Whistle!

Sep 9, 11:34pm Top

Even I never dreamt that my Packers would come back.

Sep 10, 12:02am Top

HI, Mark! Abridged Princess Bride is just not going to cut it!! Glad you tossed it aside. Eagerly awaiting your thoughts on The lords of Discipline--I am only about 50 pages in so far...

Thursday Next and I are still best buds. We've been hanging out over the years. I am eagerly awaiting her next visit. ; )

Sep 10, 8:09am Top

>254 banjo123: It is also my daughter's favorite place, so we go there whenever we have a chance. B.A.G.

>255 lindapanzo: Great win for you, Linda. Major disappointment for us. Rodgers is absolutely amazing.

>256 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. Not far into The Princess Bride but I am liking it. I will finish The Lords of Discipline tomorrow.

Edited: Sep 10, 8:14am Top

^Heading out shortly, for a solo bird walk. It is nice to have an experienced birder with me, especially during warbler season but I have to take advantage of a cool, beautiful morning. I will have to go food shopping afterwards, since I skipped it yesterday, but a large chunk of the afternoon will be reserved for the books.

Sep 10, 8:27am Top

Have a great day, Mark!

That game was one for the ages, as they say. I was ready to go to bed at halftime but decided to stay to see if Rodgers would come back - even though it seemed unlikely. I was prepared to be happy that he wasn't out for the season...

Sep 10, 8:33am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope the bird walk goes/went well. We had a rainy weekend so didn't really do anything outdoors, but I did receive a couple more books to add to my upcoming reading.

Sep 10, 12:15pm Top

Hi Mark! I hope you're enjoying your weekend and see lots of exciting birds today.

Sep 10, 2:36pm Top

>259 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. The Bears looked great in the first half: Poised and confident. The Pack looked dazed, especially after losing Rodgers but being the consummate pro that he is, Rodgers came roaring back. He is a magician. No question. Bears looked dazed in the 2nd half. Sighs...

>260 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. Both bird walks went just fine. No big numbers but just enough to keep it interesting. After a lousy weather week last week, it looks like we have a very nice week ahead. Yah!

>261 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. It was a gorgeous morning for a walk. I was reveling in the beauty. Not many warblers, they were as elusive as ever but I did see some activity, just couldn't ID any. More info to follow...

Sep 10, 6:46pm Top

I haven't read The Princess Bride or watched the movie either, so you aren't the only one, Mark.

Sep 10, 6:55pm Top

>263 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Not sure if The Princess Bride is your cuppa or not, the same with the film version but I am really enjoying it. Goldman has a dry, witty sense of humor, which really makes this one sing.

Well, so much for thinking I was the only one who had not read this. It looks like I have plenty of company, until I finish it, of course. Grins...

Edited: Sep 10, 7:01pm Top

^I hiked a bit at Springbrook Prairie this A.M. and it was a breath-taking morning. Not sure what these yellow flowers are, but they were out in abundance.

^As usual, I had a tough time getting any bird photos, but when this little guy showed up on the path ahead of me, I snapped it.

^My only bird shot. I believe these were starlings, sitting in a dead tree.

Sep 10, 7:11pm Top

Looks like a beautiful day for a nature walk. I love the time year we are going into. Hubby and I are planning a road trip for the end of the month and I can hardly wait!

Sep 10, 7:19pm Top

We had a rainy day here all day, Mark. But the other day I saw and was able to photograph a hairy woodpecker at my feeder. As soon as I download it, I will edit it into my thread.

Sep 10, 7:20pm Top

>265 msf59: Hi Marc! Looks like a wonderful day out there. No idea what that yellow flower is, but there were a lot of them. Very nice.

Edited: Sep 10, 8:50pm Top

>266 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I love the fall too and after several weeks of hot and wet weather, we need a nice stretch.

Hooray for your upcoming road trip.

>267 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Good to see you. Most of our rain, is out east now. Good riddance. I will have to stop by and see the Hairy.

>268 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. It was a beautiful morning here. I will have to find out what these flowers are.

Edited: Sep 11, 7:01am Top

^This is Bree and Sweetheart. She is co-owner of this horse. The boy is her boyfriend's nephew. This was taken on Sunday, at the riding event, Bree was participating in.

Sep 11, 7:08am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you.

>265 msf59: and >270 msf59: Very nice photos. Thanks for sharing!

Sep 11, 10:58am Top

>270 msf59: Love it.

Sep 11, 12:03pm Top

>271 karenmarie: >272 laytonwoman3rd: Happy Tuesday, Karen & Linda. Glad you like the photos.

Sep 11, 2:56pm Top

Lovely photos Mark.

Sep 11, 5:32pm Top

>274 Caroline_McElwee: Glad you like them, Caroline.

Edited: Sep 11, 5:45pm Top

"The central volume in Ivan Doig's acclaimed Montana trilogy, Dancing at the Rascal Fair is an authentic saga of the American experience at the turn of this century and a passionate, portrayal of the immigrants who dared to try new lives in the imposing Rocky Mountains."

I am shocked to see that it has been 8 years since I read English Creek, the first volume in this trilogy. WTH? And I loved it too and to make matters worse, I featured Doig in the 2016 AAC, with full intentions to read this book. Best laid plans, right? The continuing struggles of a book nut!

All that said, I started it today on audio and I have to give Linda P. credit, for the nudge, since she set up S & S and planted the seed, in my fuzzy little mind.

It begins very well and reminds me a bit of Sackett's Land, at least in the early going.

Sep 11, 7:54pm Top

>265 msf59: Love, love, love the first one. Great composition. Nice leading lines that take you pass the yellow flowers that I too can't identify. :)

Princess Bride - Probably one of my favorite movies and books. I've read the book several times. It has much more detail than the movie (obviously), but it is irreverent and funny and well worth anyone's time. And it is a travesty that there isn't an unabridged audio version. There should NEVER be anything other than UNABRIDGED audio versions. :)

Sep 11, 10:42pm Top

>277 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Glad you like the prairie photo. Since, it has been so tough to zero in on birds, (at least with my camera, anyway) I want to start to experiment with other nature shots.

I am loving The Princess Bride. I plan on a re-watch of the film soon after and then I have As You Wish, lined up on audio, after that. Have you read that one yet, since you are such a fan?

Sep 12, 5:21am Top

Morning, Mark! What a great photo of Bree et al.!

The Princess Bride: I'm one who likes the movie much better than the book, but I think you'll really enjoy As You Wish - I did.

Sep 12, 6:37am Top

>279 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Nice shot of Bree on the horse, right? I have not seen the film version of The Princess Bride in quite some time but I am really loving the book and I am also looking forward to the audio of the memoir.

Edited: Sep 12, 6:59am Top

-Belted Kingfisher (NMP)

Break Spot Report:

I am still trying to spot my first warbler here, for the fall season. A no show again. I did see a red-tailed hawk fly into a dead tree along the railroad embankment, about 30 yards away. I wish I would have had my camera. Blue Jays started screeching nearby and ended up chasing him away. I then spotted a kingfisher fly up onto a power-line, from the creek. I only got a very quick glimpse of him, last year but this time I got a good look. Yah!

Sep 12, 7:26am Top

Morning Mark - Good for you on the kingfisher!

Guardian had a piece about Catherine Lacey today. I see you have read Certain American States. Do you think I would enjoy it?

I am almost finished with the audio of Call Them By Their True Names. HIGHLY recommend.

Sep 12, 8:14am Top

Good morning, Mark! Kingfishers are so cool. Glad you got a good look.

Sep 12, 9:43am Top

>282 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Love my kingfishers. I liked the Lacey collection but not sure if it is your cuppa. If you were to try it, I would suggest you try a library copy. Glad your audio is such a good read. It is on my list.

>283 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yah, for kingfishers. I love these guys.

Sep 12, 12:46pm Top

Morning, Mark!

Add me to the list of those who love the movie The Princess Bride but have never read the book.

Woot for Ivan Doig. I have never read any of the Montana trilogy. It's nice to know that I have more enjoyable Doig books to look forward to.

Also woot! on the kingfisher. I don't think I've seen one.

Sep 12, 1:52pm Top

Hi, Mark! I hope your week is going well. Nice photos from your walk, and a good photo of your daughter, too. Kingfishers are cool-looking birds.

Sep 12, 2:44pm Top

>285 streamsong: Hi, Janet. It looks like there are a lot folks who have not read The Princess Bride. Well, I can attest it has been very good, through the first half. Plus, it is currently a Kindle deal.

I think you would enjoy the Doig trilogy.

Sep 12, 2:46pm Top

>286 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. Glad you like the photos, and yes, kingfishers are very cool. Usually found along rivers or ponds.

Sep 12, 4:21pm Top

Hi Mark - I loved As You Wish on audio, read by Cary Elwes himself. But then again, I'm a huge fan.....

The Doig trilogy is on my (very long) list too.

Sep 12, 4:32pm Top

Hi Mark, it looks like your books are treating you well. :) I am currently enjoying a vintage Ethel Lina White mystery and have just started a fantasy by Alex Marshall which is full of swords and treachery. I need to recover from my last read - The Day of the Dolphin was a struggle for me, far too dated.

Sep 12, 5:54pm Top

>289 vivians: Hi, Vivian. I am looking forward to the audio of As You Wish. I might get to it next week. Glad the Doig trilogy is on your list. He is a good writer and I need to catch up on more of his work.

>290 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. As usual you have a variety of books going. I admire that about you. I have never read The Day of the Dolphin but I did see the film many, many years ago.

Sep 13, 6:34am Top

>276 msf59: Ivan Doig was new to me last year, or the year before. I'll have to nudge another up the pile Mark. I don't have that trilogy.

>292 msf59: I was gifted that earlier this year. I'd heard of it of course, but not read it. Maybe this year.

Sep 13, 8:36am Top

>293 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. Doig is a good author, who specializes in the American west. I am glad you discovered him. I still have a lot of his books to read.

If your are looking for a perfect change of pace, The Princess Bride fits that bill.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Twenty-One.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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