Katie’s In For Another Year of Reading. And Snarking. And Shenanigans. Part 13
This is a continuation of the topic Katie’s In For Another Year of Reading. And Snarking. And Shenanigans. Part 12.
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End of Summer
Hi All! I’m Katie and I’ve been with the 75ers since 2011. I live just outside New York City with my husband, The Wayne, and our cat, Leonard. In addition to reading, I enjoy eating my way through New York, drinking my way through the wine store, and attending bookish events, plays, the opera, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I also enjoy traveling (which I mostly do for work, on someone else’s dime), bad jokes, shenanigans, and the occasional indulgence in snark. I do not enjoy the misuse of apostrophe’s (ha!), the current President, or stressing about reading. As far as that last goes, I enjoy literary fiction, genre fiction (mysteries and romances primarily but some speculative stuff as well), classics, and not-dry (moist?) nonfiction.
My favorite reads of 2017 in no particular order:
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Everyday People by Stewart O’Nan
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (re-read)
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (re-read)
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
Taft by Ann Patchett
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan (re-read)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
2018 BOOKS COMPLETED
69. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (3 stars)
68. Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley (4.5 stars)
67. Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben (3 stars)
66. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer (audio) (4.5 stars)
65. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (4.5 stars)
64. I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn (audio) (4 stars)
63. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (4.5 stars)
62. Pax by Sara Pennypacker (audio) (4 stars)
61. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (audio) (3 stars)
2018 BOOKS COMPLETED
60. Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis (4 stars)
59. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (3.75 stars)
58. Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons (audio) (4 stars)
57. Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor (audio) (4 stars)
56. Snap by Belinda Bauer (4.5 stars)
55. Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy (audio) (3 stars)
54. From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (4 stars)
53. Cowboy Pride by Lacy Williams (2.5 stars)
52. A Pemberley Medley by Abigail Reynolds (3.5 stars)
51. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (4 stars)
50. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza (3.5 stars)
49. Matilda by Roald Dahl (audio) (4.5 stars)
48. A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders (3.5 stars)
47. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (audio) (3.5 stars)
46. A Kid for Two Farthings by Wolf Mankowitz (3.5 stars)
45. The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy (3 stars)
44. Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman (4.5 stars)
43. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley (audio) (3.5 stars)
42. Come Hell or Highball by Maia Chance (3.5 stars)
41. The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks (audio) (3 stars)
40. Destiny's Surrender by Beverly Jenkins (audio) (2.5 stars)
39. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (4 stars)
38. Fiesta San Antonio by Janet Dailey (2.5 stars)
37. Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly (audio) (3.5 stars)
36. Midsummer Delights by Eloise James (3.5 stars)
35. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (3 stars)
34. How to Twist a Dragon's Tale by Cressida Cowell (audio) (3.5 stars)
33. The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (audio) (3 stars)
32. In a Dark House by Deborah Crombie (4 stars)
31. Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue (audio) (3 stars)
2018 BOOKS COMPLETED
30. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (4.5 stars)
29. The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley (audio) (4 stars)
28. London Calling by Clare Lydon (3 stars)
27. The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan (audio) (4 stars)
26. The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin (3.5 stars)
25. The Completionist by Siobhan Adcock (4 stars)
24. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (audio) (2.5 stars)
23. A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie (3.5 stars)
22. Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch (3 stars)
21. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace (3.5 stars)
20. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck (audio) (4 stars)
19. Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat (5 stars)
18. Pistols for Two by Georgette Heyer (3 stars)
17. The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (3.5 stars)
16. Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie (audio) (4 stars)
15. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (5 stars)
14. Big Guns by Steve Israel (3 stars)
13. Red Lightning by Laura Pritchett (3 stars)
12. The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley (3 stars)
11. The Power by Naomi Alderman (4 stars)
10. True Grit by Charles Portis (4.5 stars)
9. One Fine Day by Cindy Kirk (2.5 stars)
8. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (audio) (4 stars)
7. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (4.5 stars)
6. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (4 stars)
5. How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (audio) (4 stars)
4. Running Back by Allison Parr (3 stars)
3. The North Water by Ian McGuire (4.5 stars)
2. He Who Fears the Wolf by Karin Fossum (4 stars)
1. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (4 stars)
Did Not Finish
1. The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper (clunky writing)
2. My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris (too gimmicky)
3. Two Across by Jeff Bartsch (not in the mood for over-the-top quirky; might try again sometime)
4. A Separation by Katie Kitamora (book club pick; did not hold my interest)
5. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (book club pick didn't finish in time; might try to read again another time)
6. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (just terrible)
My ratings (based on how the book landed on me, not necessarily on literary merit or anything more worthy than personal opinion):
5 stars - O.M.G.
4 stars - Bravo!
3 stars - Comme ci comme ça
2 stars - Not for me
1 stars - A big ol’ NOPE!
I will be participating in, but likely not completing, several challenges – the American Author Challenge, the Nonfiction Reading Challenge, and various fun ones over in the Category Challenge group. I also plan to continue participating in the Take It or Leave It challenges but only to the extent of checking to see if a completed book fits into one of the challenges that month. Also also, I will follow along with a few non-LT reading challenges such as Book Riot’s Read Harder and the Pop Sugar challenges.
My other “plan” is to try to ensure that the books I read come from a variety of sources – my shelves, my Kindle, my Overdrive wish lists, and my library wish list. We’ll see how that goes, but with over 3000 books in my home/on my Kindle, I need to stop getting so easily distracted!
2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge
6. A novel based on a real person
7. A book set in a country that fascinates you
8. A book with a time of day in the title
11. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym
17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift
21. A book with your favorite color in the title
25. A book set at sea
29. A book about or set on Halloween
40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges (you can easily Google these)
x 1. A book made into a movie you've already seen - True Grit by Charles Portis
x 2. True crime - Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
x 3. The next book in a series you started - The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
x 4. A book involving a heist - The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
x 5. Nordic noir - He Who Fears the Wolf by Karin Fossum
x 9. A book about a villain or antihero - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
x 10. A book about death or grief - The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
x 12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist - London Calling by Clare Lydon
x 13. A book that is also a stage play or musical - A Kid for Two Farthings by Wolf Mankowitz
x 14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you - Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
x 15. A book about feminism - How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
x 16. A book about mental health - Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue
x 18. A book by two authors - Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly
x 19. A book about or involving a sport - Running Back by Allison Parr
x 20. A book by a local author - Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
x 22. A book with alliteration in the title - The Grave's a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
x 23. A book about time travel - Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
x 24. A book with a weather element in the title - Red Lightning by Laura Pritchett
x 26. A book with an animal in the title - The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
x 27. A book set on a different planet - The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
x 28. A book with song lyrics in the title - Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
x 38. A book with an ugly cover - Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley
x 30. A book with characters who are twins - A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
x 31. A book mentioned in another book - Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
x 32. A book from a celebrity book club - Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
x 33. A childhood classic you've never read - Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
x 34. A book that's published in 2018 - The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley
x 35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner - The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
x 36. A book set in the decade you were born - Fiesta San Antonio by Janet Dailey
x 37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to - Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
x 39. A book that involves a bookstore or library - The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Advanced Reading Challenge
x 1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school - I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn
x 2. A cyberpunk book - The Completionist by Siobhan Adcock
x 3. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place - Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben
x 4. A book tied to your ancestry - From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan
x 5. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title - Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library - Chris Grabenstein
x 6. An allegory - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
x 7. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you - Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch
x 8. A microhistory - The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin
x 9. A book about a problem facing society today - Big Guns by Steve Israel
x 10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge - Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
2018 BingoDOG Challenge
1. Title contains a person’s rank, real or fictional
4. Poetry or plays
16. Book set during a holiday
24. Title contains name of a famous person, real or fictional
x 2. Story involves travel - The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths
x 3. A long-time TBR/TBR the longest - Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley (2004)
x 5. New-to-you author - Men and Dogs by Katie Crouch
x 6. Autobiography/memoir - The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
x 7. Book with a beautiful cover (in your opinion) - The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
x 8. Book that fits at least 2 KIT’s/CAT’s - A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
x 9. Related to the Pacific Ocean - I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn
x 10. Title contains something you would see in the sky - Red Lightning by Laura Pritchett
x 11. Book bought in 2017 that hasn’t been read yet - Fiesta San Antonio by Janet Dailey
x 12. Number in the title - Pistols for Two by Georgette Heyer
x 13. Book that is humorous - How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
x 14. Book on the 1001 list - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
x 15. LGBT central character - London Calling by Clare Lydon
x 17. Fat book - 500 plus pages - Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
x 18. X somewhere in the title - Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
x 19. Money in the title - any form of currency, type of payment, etc... - A Kid for Two Farthings by Wolf Mankowitz
x 20. Book published in 2018 - The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley
x 21. Relative name in the title (aunt, niece, etc...) - Brother, I'm Dying by Edwidge Danticat
x 22. Originally in a different language - He Who Fears the Wolf by Karin Fossum
x 23. Published more than 100 years ago - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
x 25. Read a CAT (middle square) - Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (ColorCAT - January - Black)
Wow, first one. Long time no visit. Line in the sand, and etc.
I'll be interested in hearing what you think of The Sparrow.
Hi Karen! I haven't been great about visiting threads, so I need to pop over to yours and see what you've been up to. I assume some reading? Heh.
Of course some reading, although less than I'd like. However, fun trips and daughter visits were to blame, so I'm content.
Hi Katie! Happy new thread! It's a Bank Holiday here so I am tidying up and reading Texas.
>11 karenmarie: - Two good reasons for decreased reading time!
>12 susanj67: - We have a holiday next Monday, Susan, and I am very much looking forward to it. Well, actually, I'm also taking Thursday and Friday off, as well as half of Wednesday, so I'm looking forward to a lot!
ETA: Are you enjoying the Michener?
>13 katiekrug: I also took Thursday and Friday off - nothing beats five days in a row. Unless it's more than five days in a row, I suppose. The Michener is super-interesting, although it doesn't really work as a novel. It's more of a history of Texas with fictional characters to illustrate people typical of the times, and take part in the events of the times. There is no character development, really. But it is easier reading than just endless troop movements and official edicts and high-level political stuff, which so much history can be. It's premised on the narrator being part of a task force deciding how Texas history should be taught in schools, so each chapter ends with the deliberations of the task force about what is and isn't important. It's pretty clunky as a device. However, I am finding the actual history incredibly interesting. I read the chapter on the Alamo and San Jacinto this morning.
>14 susanj67: - I think that's how Michener did a lot of those epic novels - similar, as I understand it, to Rutherfurd who wrote Sarum and others. I've only read Chesapeake by Michener and remember finding it very interesting.
>15 jnwelch: - Hi Joe! I am really liking The Sparrow so far - I'm about 100 pages in.
Happy New Thread, Katie. Glad to hear you are enjoying The Sparrow. Hooray!! I told you, that I had a drink with MDR and her husband in, Petoskey, didn't I? Special, biblio-moment...
>7 katiekrug: Lovely quote Katie. Happy new one. We seem to have skipped Autumn and gone straight to winter. Boo!
Happy new thread, Katie! Glad to see on your last thread that you loved Bad Feminist.
>17 msf59: - Yes, Mark, I think you may have mentioned that once or twice ;-)
>18 charl08: - Boo to no autumn indeed! It's my favorite season. I expect it will come back for you at some point.
>19 figsfromthistle: - Thanks, Anita.
>20 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky! Yep, I'm officially a Roxane Gay fangirl, I guess :)
I read Bad Feminist over the course of most of this month, trying to give it the time and attention I knew it deserved. I would read an essay here, a couple there, in between other books or when I had a spare 10 minutes. It is a collection to savor and to ponder. Gay’s greatest skill is not necessarily in her writing (which is fine, often powerful, but only occasionally really soars) but in the depth and nuance of her thoughts, opinions, critiques, and criticisms. She takes on everything from Tyler Perry movies to competitive Scrabble to abortion. She has a lot to say, and her perspective as a woman, a person of color, a woman of color, a rape survivor, a professor, and a first generation American is important and timely. Her takes on certain aspects of popular culture are cogent and funny and wince-inducing (I hereby vow to never read The Help or watch the film!). Her takedown of Quentin Tarantino and ‘Django Unchained’ is one for the ages, too.
I’ve included some quotes below that illustrate the power of her writing and the range of her subject matter. I look forward to reading a lot more of her work.
“There are books written by women. There are books written by men. Somehow, though, it is only books by women, or books about certain topics, that require this special “women’s fiction” designation, particularly when those books have the audacity to explore, in some manner, the female experience, which, apparently, includes the topics of marriage, suburban existence, and parenthood, as if women act alone in these endeavors, wedding themselves, immaculately conceiving children, and the like… As Ruth Franklin notes, ‘The underlying problem is that while women read books by male writers about male characters, men tend not to do the reverse. Men’s novels about suburbia (Franzen) are about society; women’s novels about suburbia (Wolitzer) are about women.’” (page 173)
“If readers discount certain topics as unworthy of their attention, if readers are going to judge a book by its cover or feel excluded from a certain kind of book because the cover is, say, pink, the failure is with the reader, not the writer. To read narrowly and shallowly is to read from a place of ignorance, and women writers can’t fix that ignorance no matter what kind of books we write or how those books are marketed. This is where we should start focusing this conversation: how men (as readers, critics, and editors) can start to bear the responsibility for becoming better, broader readers.” (page 175)
“What struck me most was how ‘Django Unchained’ is a white man’s slavery revenge fantasy, one where white people figure heavily and where black people are, largely, incidental. Tarantino’s arrogance, as always, is impressive. Django is allowed to regain his dignity because he is freed by a white man. He reunites with his wife, again, with the help of a white man. ‘Django Unchained’ isn’t about a black man reclaiming his freedom. It’s about a white man working through his own racial demons and white guilt. There is no collective slavery revenge fantasy among black people, but I am certain, if there was one, it would not be about white people, not at all.” (page 225)
“I struggle to accept that my body is a legislative matter. The truth of this fact makes it difficult for me to breathe. I don’t feel like I have inalienable rights. I don’t feel free. I don’t feel like my body is my own. There is no freedom in any circumstance where the body is legislated, none at all.” (page 273-4)
“Trayvon Martin is neither the first nor the last young black man who will be murdered because of the color of his skin. If there is such a thing as justice for a young man whose life was taken too soon, I hope justice comes from all of us learning from what happened. I hope we can rise to the occasion of greatness, where greatness is nothing more than trying to overcome our lesser selves by seeing a young man like Trayvon Martin for what he is: a young man, a boy without a cape, one who couldn’t even walk home from the store unharmed, let alone fly.” (page 284)
“I have never considered compassion a finite resource. I would not want to live in a world where such was the case.” (page 300)
Great quotes, Katie! I want to read it all over again. I especially love the ones about women writers.
I listened to Gary's book last month and promised myself a reading copy. It's worth it.
A lovely audio, read by Blair Brown, this is an imagining of what might have happened to Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, when they disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. It's dreamy and surreal, and moves smoothly between a first person narration by Earhart and a third person omniscient narrator. At times, it's difficult to know what is "real" and what's fantasy or hallucination. Mendelsohn's writing is, by turns, spare and lush, and it's often ambiguous, much like Earhart's story.
"The story was incredible to her, and for a moment it seemed as if everyone's story was fictional, as if all that was real were the bystanders, the people who told and retold the stories, not the characters themselves."
>30 katiekrug: I'm sure I read this one pre-LT because I recognize the cover. But as usual I remember almost nothing about it. At least for books I've read in the LT Era I've got blurbs to jog my memory!
Happy new one, Katie!
>30 katiekrug: I remember this book from my years at Half Price Books. I never read it, but your review is causing me to consider an audio excursion. :-)
>30 katiekrug: That does sound lovely, Katie.
Like Julia, I need blurbs to refresh my memory if it's a book I read more than a couple of years ago -- or last month! ;)
Happy new thread, Katie.
I love having the blurbs available to refresh my memory about what I have read. A short memory does help, though, when rereading Agatha Christie and the like!
Right now I am slowly reading Bad Feminist but there are currently 17 people waiting for me to take it back to the library so I can't be too slow. The quotes that you pulled out are really good, Katie, and I am happy to have those essays to look forward to.
>31 rosalita: Like you, I read it in the years before I joined LT, and don't have a review, alas. But I do remember it. Sweet and painful.
I need to read some Roxane Gay. I have a new management role at work and the more I learn about how things work in my male-dominated workspace, the more I feel the need to ponder these issues myself. Even working with men who are largely fair, open-minded, and supportive some of these ingrained cultural ideas are hard to break.
>34 DeltaQueen50: - Do read some more Gay, Judy! I may tackle An Untamed State next.
>35 BLBera: - I need blurbs, too. I have a terrible memory for books. And movies. And grocery lists... :)
>36 Familyhistorian: - Meg, I agree the short memory is good for re-reads! I look forward to your final thoughts on the Gay collection.
>37 ffortsa: - Interesting, Judy. I didn't find it painful - more bittersweet, I guess.
>38 japaul22: - "Even working with men who are largely fair, open-minded, and supportive some of these ingrained cultural ideas are hard to break." Amen, sister. And the men I work with of that type are few and far between. Most of them are good ol' Texas boys *eye roll*
>39 charl08: - How far did you get, Charlotte? The really meaty stuff was farther in, so maybe skip around a bit?
Why, yes, tonight I *am* going to see 'Hamilton', thanks for asking ;-)
I'm going with my best friend and her parents - her sister won 8 tickets and, uncharacteristically, shared them with her family, so I am Eileen's "date."
Tomorrow, Eileen, The Wayne, and I are going to the US Open, which I am also really excited about, though it's going to be disgustingly hot. Last year, the weather was perfect and I got spoiled. Still, it is sure to be a fun day.
I've booked a hotel in the city for tonight and tomorrow night so I can really enjoy myself without having to stress about train schedules and delays. And then it's Labor Day weekend, so I am off until Tuesday!
A good end to the summer, I think.
Also, The Sparrow is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year - it's that perfect combination of strong story + great characters + page-turning plot. I didn't want to put it down last night while reading before bed...
>42 katiekrug: Hmm ... did you ever listen to the Books on the Nightstand podcast? The Sparrow was one of the host's all-time favorite books. I often thought about reading it, but then the blurb sounded too sci-fi for me. But now that you are praising it ... hmm ...
ETA: insanely jealous that you're seeing Hamilton!!
>43 lauralkeet: - I did occasionally listen to BOTNS, and I went to two of their Booktopia weekends, but I didn't know The Sparrow was one of their favorites. I had kind of put off reading it for the same reason as you, but it's really good!
>44 katiekrug: Yeah, every so often, Anne would gush about The Sparrow. So, um, did you know it's book 1 in a series?LT tells me there are only two books in the series so I guess that's not too bad.
Yeah, I knew there was a sequel. I haven't heard much about it, though. I wonder if hard-core Sparrow fans like Mark and Joe have read it!?!?
>41 katiekrug: Lucky you!
Yesterday's and today's performances of Hamilton at the Kennedy Center have been cancelled due to lack of sufficient air conditioning. Can you imagine!! *dies*
Have fun, Katie! I have no idea how hard it is to come by tickets for it here, but there is a velvet rope on the pavement outside the theatre (in Victoria) for orderly queuing.
Enjoy Hamilton! The show is coming to Charlotte in November. I asked my daughter if she wanted tickets (she listens to the soundtrack obsessively) and she said no. She wants to see the original cast. I explained that the odds were not in her favor, but she is sticking by her decision. I'm not otherwise sufficiently motivated to buy tickets, get a hotel, drive to Charlotte, find someone to watch the kids, drag a truly uninterested spouse along...
>52 katiekrug: Looks like they're adding an additional performance in September, or letting people exchange their tickets for a different night when available, or giving full refunds.
Wow! Hamilton, the U.S. Open, four days off, two days in the City. Sounds wonderful! Hope you have a great time.
Hamilton is so fantastic! I'm sure you'll have a great time. I have always been very pleased with my decision to go to Chicago just to see it. :)
Enjoy your early weekend start!
What Micky said, Katie. We loved Hamilton!
I've been reading about the heat this year at the U.S. Open. I hope it cools a bit for you tomorrow. How great that you're going (again). Do you know who you'll see playing?
I've always been partial to Rafa, but now that our grandson has that nickname, it's Rafa all the way for me.
Oh, enjoy Hamilton (which I've never seen) and the U.S. Open (I've been, and *almost* had tickets for tomorrow, but my friend canceled and I had to sell them). Hope it's a great long weekend! I can't believe it's almost football season :D
Okay, seriously. 59 messages in two days?!?! I can not keep up here! And you are at the US Open. Hope you are surviving the heat. And Hamilton?! Totally jealous you are there. Good thing I like you or I wouldn't. : )
Happy new thread!
Sounds like you have a great weekend planned! Hope Hamilton was awesome and enjoy the US open today!
>54 nittnut: You might explain to your daughter that the original cast is no longer playing the parts on Broadway, which is normal for a long run. There have been a lot of replacements in the Broadway cast; when we saw it in March, everyone was marvelous. However, I hear the road companies are not as sharp, so if she wants to get a ticket up here and travel to New York, she would probably have a more authentic experience.
I love the quotes you posted from Bad Feminist, Katie. I'll read it soon, after I finish Hunger.
How did you like "Hamilton"? I saw it last year in Chicago, and although I'm not a fan of musicals I absolutely loved it.
One of these days I'll have to go to the U.S. Open; it's been on my wish list for years.
>53 susanj67: - The rope for orderly queuing must be for the tourists going to see it. Natives (and longtime ex-pats ;-) ) surely don't need any such prompting!
>54 nittnut: - Interesting, Jenn. My niece would be thrilled to see it, touring company or no. Does your daughter realize the original cast isn't even still in the Broadway production?
>55 norabelle414: - That's good, but I feel like there are probably people who came into town for it and might not be able to make it back for an alternative performance. That makes me sad :(
>56 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba! Hamilton was great, as was the tennis :)
>57 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky. It was fantastic.
>58 jnwelch: - It was stupidly hot, Joe. Like, y best friend almost passed out hot (luckily, she didn't). We had grounds passes, so floated between a lot of different courts and matches. Last year we had tickets for Arthur Ashe (the main stadium) but ended up having more fun in the smaller venues, so we decided to focus on that this year. My favorite match was probably Naomi Osaka's. She was profiled int he NYT on Sunday, and I was excited to get to see her. She's a great player.
I know I'm in the minority, but I am really not a Rafa fan. I find him incredibly annoying. But I'm sure your Rafa is lovely :)
>59 bell7: - How funny if we had been there at the same time, Mary! Maybe next year. And hooray for football :D
>60 Berly: - I survived the heat - barely. Got some odd patches of sunburn but nothing too bad. Hamilton was great!
>61 ChelleBearss: - Thanks, Chelle. Everything was fantastic.
>62 ffortsa: - I hadn't heard that about the touring companies, though I'm not surprised. When I lived in the hinterlands of Dallas (*wink*), the touring productions I'd see were always fine, but couldn't hold a match to anything I saw in NY. And now I'm just a spoiled NYer (sort of)!
>63 kidzdoc: - Hamilton was, unsurprisingly, great. I thought it fell off a bit after the intermission, but overall, it was definitely worth seeing. I was not familiar with most of the music and I'm glad, as it all was so much fun and surprising (especially the King George interludes, which I had not heard about and which were hilarious).
I'm thinking of going to the US Open two days next year. I really enjoy the atmosphere, and the grounds passes are a really good deal.
The US Open has looked miserable the past couple of days. I hope it is going to cool off, for the players' sakes. Sorry, we'll disagree; I love Rafa. And he looks to be in great form. We'll see how he does today.
I like Osaka as well. I can see her becoming a future champion. I also like both Madison Keyes and Sloane Stephens. Although my favs are Venus and Serena.
Beth, it's ony in the 70s today, so much better, if a little overcast and occasionally drizzly. They had to close the roof on Ashe during Sloane Stephens' match with Azarenka.
I love Serena and Venus, too. But Rafa - just no.
Hope the start of school is going okay!
Blacklands by Belinda Bauer is on sale for Kindle for $2.99 - part of the monthly deals.
This was my first Bauer and made me a fan. Highly recommended for people who enjoy smart, taut suspense novels.
Sounds like you had a terrific weekend! I still enter the lottery every day for Hamilton and would love to see it again.
Our trip was amazing - now just trying to get laundry done, mail opened etc. I was up at 4AM because of time change but I'm so wilted now!
>64 katiekrug: I told her, but I don't think she understands. This is the first musical she has been interested in, so she has much to learn. I even tried explaining that I usually like the live cast better than the soundtrack, because it's live. Also, it isn't as though they recruit just anyone for the parts.
I'm not really a tennis fangirl, but I have been mildly fascinated by the wardrobe drama. Sheesh!
>72 nittnut: - Hi Jenn! I'd get the tickets and force her to go :) It's great fun. My niece is coming to stay with us for part of her spring break next year, and I am toying with getting tickets so she can see it. That would solidify my title as Best "Aunt" Ever (we are technically cousins...) :)
I've been watching A LOT of tennis - I was a big fan in my early teens and then stopped following it, but have climbed back on the wagon the past couple of years. I've even dusted off my racket - though that's as far as I've gotten!
I'm still reading The Sparrow which is excellent. I would have finished it ages ago except I've been watching a lot of tennis. Oh well. My current audio is The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, which is typically funny and ribald and probably not for everyone.
We are going to see Trevor Noah on Saturday night, which is sure to be fun. Big night out in beautiful... Newark. Heh.
Glad your long weekend was so fabulous (I've been ridiculously slow on catching up on threads after my long weekend).
Have fun in Newark!
Enjoy Trevor Noah. I've been even more of a fan since I've read Born a Crime. My reading has suffered because of tennis as well, Katie.
Go Serena and Madison. And tomorrow, Rafa! ;)
>75 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky!
>76 BLBera: - Born a Crime was so good, wasn't it, Beth?
I like Keys but Osaka was my dark horse - we saw her play last week, and she is fun to watch. The Sunday before the Open started, The (Failing) New York Times did a story on her, so I decided to follow and see how she did. Didn't really expect her to make the finals! Wow. I also love Serena so it's probably good I can't watch the final :) Did you see Osaka's on-court interview after the match? She was so funny and obviously is also a big Serena fan.
ETA: I respect your love for Nadal, I just can't muster any up myself :) And I do like Del Po a lot. Overall, though, I'm rooting for Nishikori because I like an underdog.
Katie, you definitely have more energy than I have! I wish I had the enthusiasm to do half the things you do in MY OWN CITY.
We went to see the NTLive presentation of 'Julie', an adaptation of Strindberg's 'Miss Julie' from the National in Britain. Below meh, alas.
Flying to Dallas on Sunday for a short trip. Anything you would strongly advise me to do or see while I'm there? I've got several days free.
Katie's List of Top Three Things To Do in Dallas:
1. Eat Tex-Mex
2. Visit the Arts District (Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Nasher Sculpture Garden...)
3. Eat Tex-Mex
I'll be in Dallas about a week after you...
Where are you staying? You may be able to take the Light Rail (DART) to downtown and the Arts District. If the weather is nice, get lunch at a food truck at Klyde Warren Park while you're down there.
Anyone who has an Audible subscription - you now get 2 free Audible Originals each month in addition to your usual 1 credit. I just picked up an adaptation of Emma, performed by Emma Thompson and Joanna Froggett (among others), and an original piece by Michael Lewis about weather, climate change, and forecasting. And I added a few others to my wish list.
ETA: It looks like they make about six available for free each month, so it's not their entire catalogue of Originals, but still a nice benefit.
Happy Friday, Katie! Your Dallas plans sound excellent. I am so glad you are still loving The Sparrow!
Not really my plans, Mark - just suggestions for Judy :) I'll be working 14-16 hours day while I'm there :-/
Almost done with The Sparrow!
>74 katiekrug: I loved The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo--so funny! And so was Trevor Noah. You are having fun! I hope Serena wins, becuase she is Serena and like Osaka, I love her! ButI think Osaka has played really well and I am psyched for her. Watching Nadal and DelPo right now (I am a little behind)...shhh! Don't tell me who wins!
>85 Berly: - I am going to miss tonight's women's final because I'll be at the Trevor Noah show - a good reason to miss it, but I am still bummed!
I like Osaka as well, Katie, and if she continues, she'll definitely be a champion. I would love for Serena to win this one.
The men's I don't really care about, but it would be wonderful for delPo to win... I've never warmed up too much to Djokovic.
Beth, I'm not super interested in the men's final, either. The Wayne likes both Del Po and Djokovich, but has a slight preference for the former, I think.
I finished The Sparrow last night - 4.5 stars! It would have been a full 5 but it lost something for me at the end a bit.
I am now reading Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben, which fills the PopSugar Challenge prompt to read a book you saw a stranger reading in public. Technically, I didn't see a person reading it, but it was sitting on an airplane seat on my flight from Bucharest in June, so I figure that's pretty close. I mean, someone must have been reading it - or planning to start soon - right?
Well, by now we know what happened at the Women's Final, and also at the match between Nadal and DePotro. Disappointment and drama in each. I'll be flying tomorrow when the Men's Final is played, which is a pity, unless of course it's another downer.
>79 katiekrug: Thanks for the recs, Katie. I'll be staying at the Element in Irving on I635. The concierge is sure to be able to help me out, at at the worst I can call an Uber to the area or to transportation, or maybe my friend Karen will be amenable to going that way. She lives in Plano, I think.
Oooh! The drama on the Grand Court. It made me sad in so many ways. For Serena, for Osaka. I think Serena could have held her temper a little better and I think the Umpire could have given her another warning before taking a game away.
Be glad you were watching Trevor!!! Laughter instead of tears. Much better.
>89 katiekrug: Totally Katie. I'm counting the work 'joint read' book, because lots of people (it's a big place) expressed the intention they were going to read it by taking a free one when offered, so I figure at least one of them must have read it?!
>90 ffortsa: - I hope you have a good visit, Judy.
Yes, so much drama and disappointment...
>91 Berly: - I actually saw all of the second set, Kim, as we were having dinner. I think Serena handled it pretty well, considering. Men rant and rave all the time. The third offense call was bullshit. Sally Jenkins wrote an exellent piece in The Washington Post about what happened.
Travor Noah was brilliant (of course), and even touched on the tennis - basically calling out the hypocrisy in how men and women are judged.
>92 charl08: - Exactly right, Charlotte!
Trevor Noah was fantastic, and I almost died during his riff on if men got periods instead of women. Just brilliant.
Before the show, we headed for a Spanish restaurant that sounded good, but got sidetracked by a great Southern/comfort food place, where we watched the second set of the US Open women's final. Utter bullshit, and that's all I'll say because it infuriates me.
Today is rainy and cool - a perfect day for pancakes, so we are headed out. I'm looking forward to watching the Giants opener this afternoon, and then Mary (bell7) and I are getting together for dinner - yay!
Wow. Another connection in LT.
The tennis yesterday was extremely upsetting, wasn't it?
I'd watch the men's game, but I'll probably be in the air at the time of play - or at least in the airport. Maybe it will be broadcast there.
It was ridiculous, Judy. And if I hear one more person talk about how Serena should have conducted herself better, I will not be responsible for my actions. The double standard - quadruple if we look at both gender and race - is outrageous.
Thanks for the heads-up re the Audible originals, Katie. I picked up The Coming Storm - just what i need more books to add to the pile!
>93 katiekrug: I agree. She never should have gotten the third penalty and I don't see why the judges didn't reverse the umps call. AND I thinks she is right that guys have gotten away with much worse language and never been called on it. AND I think that all the coaches coach all the time so she never should have gotten the first warning. Okay, she did break the racquet, but don't get me started on the fines.
>97 DeltaQueen50: - It's a terrible problem to have, Judy *grin*
>98 nittnut: - And Kyrgios and Djokovich and I even saw video of Federer going after the same ump and not being called for it. GRRRRRRR.
>99 Berly: - The whole thing was a shambles. Osaka was going to win - I truly believe that - but now her victory is tainted a bit and that is so unfair. And Serena is once again painted as the out of countrol, angry black woman. GAH!
>100 Berly: - He was terrific, Kim :)
I met-up last night with Mary (bell7) who was in town for the Giants game. Despite some crummy weather and the Giants losing, we enjoyed a nice dinner and great conversation. I'd like to thank Mary for putting up with my bad driving and being willing to come out after sitting in the rain for 3+ hours!
Just catching up here, and I see you are raving about The Sparrow. This is so weird, because I was having an attack of insomnia in the middle of the night---went to sleep, dreamed vividly, woke up feeling it must be nearly time to get up, and found it was only a little after 1:00 a.m. Could. not. recapture. sleep. So I went next door to the spare room/slash library, perused the shelves (having finished the book I was reading before falling asleep), and decided to finally give The Sparrow a go. It didn't exactly put me to sleep, I must say, and I believe I will carry on, although I'm not much for sci-fi these days. It's just been so highly recommended by so many people, and now I must add you to the list.
Hi Linda! Sorry about the insomnia. That's The Worst.
I don't read much sci-fi and was surprised how much I liked The Sparrow. It seems to be a pretty common reaction. I hope it works as well for you.
>102 katiekrug: I had such a blast! (Despite the Giants loss) Thanks for driving and coming up with a restaurant to go to. It was really fun to meet you & get to talk in person.
I’m not a sci-fi reader under normal circumstances but I did enjoy The Sparrow when I read it a few years ago Katie.
I loved The Sparrow and would even consider a reread if I didn't already have a towering pile to get through! Great that you enjoyed Trevor Noah in person.
I would love to see Trevor Noah. I posted a link from a good article on Serena on my thread, Katie. If you can, you should read the Claudia Rankin essay on Serena. She has suffered from bias through her entire career.
>105 bell7: - It was great to meet you in person, Mary!
>106 brenzi: - It seems to be a common thread, Bonnie, that even non-sci-fi readers enjoy The Sparrow.
>107 vivians: - Too. Many. Books. (!)
Trevor Noah was fab :)
>108 BLBera: - IF you get the chance, Beth, I highly recommend seeing his stand-up. I'll look up that essay. I really liked Sally Jenkins' piece in The Washington Post, that she posted right after the match.
>40 katiekrug: I am glad I read Bad Feminist and got a lot out of it. I found some of it hard to relate to (different background due to age and country, mostly) but there were some really good essays in there that caught my attention. I didn't realize that regressive legislation about women's autonomy over their own bodies was already being enacted in lots of places in the US until I read the book. It was also interesting to read her take on some of popular culture and, although The Help is in my TBR stacks I don't know that I will pick it up after reading what Gay had to say about it.
Lucky you getting to see Hamilton and the US Open. Sounds like you had a good time.
>110 Familyhistorian: - Reproductive freedom is hanging on by a thread here in the US, it seems, Meg. It's shameful.
I also have a copy (unread) of The Help which currently resides in the Goodwill donation box I am slowly filling up :)
I just saw a short article on Vanity Fair's Facebook feed that Viola Davis regrets doing the film, mostly for reasons that echo Gay's problem with the work.
I finished Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben last night and started on Jumping the Queue. This is my 4th book by Mary Wesley, who I think is under-appreciated. I really enjoy her work. I"m counting this one towards the PopSugar Challenge prompt to read a book with an ugly cover. It definitely qualifies...
I am listening to Anne of Green Gables on audio, read by the actress Rachel McAdams. It is nice to re-visit an old favorite of my childhood.
Hey, Katie: I read the Post article. It was very good.
I have some Mary Wesley books on my shelf that a friend gave me. I loved Camomile Lawn, but that is the only one I've read. Which others would you recommend?
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
An excellent speculative novel about a Jesuit-led mission to make contact with life on another planet. Less a sci-fi adventure than a moving exploration of faith, doubt, love, and humanity, Russell creates wonderful characters and subtly builds a world of the "future" (published in 1996, much of the story is set in 2019 so was kind of fun to read now). I understand people's doubts about it because of the sci-fi label, but it's less about aliens, space, and future tech than about the timeless human need to seek and to know and to connect.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
This won't be for everyone. Writer Amy is much like comedian Amy - frank, brutally honest, unafraid to share, and delighted to "go there." She covers everything from her dysfunctional childhood to her sex life to gun reform, and neither loses her sense of humor nor her ability to make fun of herself. A good audio, read by the author.
Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben
Coben has written better suspense novels; this one strains credulity to too much of a degree. But he can write and knows how to keep the plot moving and the reader turning pages.
Jumping the Queue by Mary Wesley
Mary Wesley writes odd little novels, firmly grounded in her very British-ness, but often with twists and ambiguities that set them apart. Her characters can be unlikeable but never unsympathetic, which is something of a feat in my opinion. This one is about an older woman whose plan to kill herself is thrown into disarray when she meets a younger man hiding from the police after killing his mother. It's about aging and family and how much we really know those closest to us. In these two characters, Wesley explores the misunderstandings and misperceptions of life, as well as its disappointments and quiet joys. This was my fourth novel by this underappreciated author, and I am glad I have several more sitting on my shelves.
Thanks, Chelle! Back at ya!
I am going to my first NFL (American football) game today; ufortunately, I won't be seeing my beloved, if bumbling, Giants. The Wayne is a Miami Dolphins fan, and the NYC DolPHANS club always gets a giant group together to go see them when they play the NY Jets, so that's where I'll be. Beautiful day today - sunny and around 80F. I am looking forward to having a stadium hot dog but that's about it. Thank goodness for the Kindle app on my phone.
Hi Katie! I hope the hot dog is excellent and that the Kindle app works flawlessly :-)
>120 katiekrug: You should have let the Wayne enjoy his game with his buddies and gone to the Brooklyn Book Festival instead. :P
>126 bell7: - It was actually a lot of fun because we were in a section with a few hundred Miami fans. Less fun was the exodus out after the game, and the heat. The Wayne got a little overcome on the train, and had to sit down on the floor and put his head between his knees. But he didn't pass out or throw up, so I count it as a win ;-)
>127 nittnut: - I ended up not reading at all. It was a good game!
>128 ELiz_M: - Was the BBF awesome? I really want to go - maybe next year... I am a sports fan and ended up having a good time, though I got a bit sunburned.
Indeed! I hadn't really thought about it until you said something, though :)
Sort of "children are either monsters or annoyingly precocious" - heh. I kid! I kid!
I"m glad to be in good company with Miss M! My Kindle says I have 30 more minutes of reading in LotF, and I am most ready for it to be over.
I have never read Fahrenheit 451 *hangs head in shame*
Marillas of the World Unite!
I fly to Dallas this afternoon for 4 days of Board meetings starting Thursday, and then our annual conference, so I likely won't be around much - mostly lurking (what else is new?) if anything.
Bye Katie! I thought of you yesterday when I was reading Texas - someone was quoted as saying "If I owned hell and Texas I would rent out Texas and live in hell" :-) But then that was before air-conditioning...
>135 katiekrug: Hope you get out on time, Katie. The downpour has just started (it's a little before 1PM).
The BFF experience was very dependent on the sessions one got into. I liked some of them, left a couple of them, and then my brain filled up, as did Jim's, and we went home. I did spend some lovely time with Liz, including lunch at a salad bowl style restaurant on Montague Street where the dressing was really HOT. No books bought. I've got too long a list as it is. But I have the festival booklet, so I can look up all the writers I heard and didn't hear, in case that list ever shrinks. Do cone out with us next year.
>115 katiekrug: I had completely forgot, that The Sparrow is set in 2019. Trying to escape the Trump presidency? I could understand that. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Katie. Children of God is a good read too, but does not pack the punch of it's predecessor, IMHO.
Is this your first time reading Lord of the Flies? I haven't read it in decades, but I remember being quite fond of it.
You made me very happy Katie, with your review of MARY Wesley’s Jumping the Queue because I have three of her books on my shelf. I’ll have to push them up the pile.
Safe travels, Katie. I hope you get to do something besides work when you are in Dallas.
>130 katiekrug: I laughed when I saw the two books you are reading -- a bit of a contrast there. At least you won't get them confused.
Hi Katie, both the books you are currently reading are favorites of mine. I grew up with Anne of Green Gables and have read it a number of times while Lord of the Flies was a book I studied while in school, but I remember loving it. It's not one that I intend to re-read as I might feel differently about it today!
Hope the work trip went well. The football game sounded like it was fun...maybe even worth skipping book stuff for! But just this once. ; )
Just a quick check-in. My Board meetings are over, so now I'm slightly less busy and a lot less stressed :)
Thanks to my visitors for keeping my thread warm!
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