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Streamsong #1 Winter Dreaming

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Jan 4, 1:16pm Top

Better than fireworks! The Chihuly sculptures at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. I enjoyed them during my recent trip to Tempe to spend Christmas with my brother's family, and my son and his fiance.


Edited: Jan 4, 1:08pm Top

Hi and welcome - I'm Janet and I've been a member of LT since 2006.

I retired in the fall of 2016 from my career as a technician in an NIH research lab. I'm now enjoying all the things I never had time to do.

I live in the mountains of western Montana along Skalkaho Creek. I'm about half way between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks - so if you're travelling or vacationing in the area, I'd love to meet you.

What do I read? A bit of everything. I enjoy literary fiction, mysteries and the occasional feel good cozy. I'm slowly working my way through 1001 Books to Read Before You Die (actually 1300 + books since I use the combined version spreadsheet). I'm also working my way around the world in a global reading challenge. About half the books I read are non-fiction.

I have Appaloosa horses and raise a foal or two each year.

New Year's Resolutions (These are the same as last year - and the same every year):
- More books! especially focusing on reading more that I already own.
- More adventures! - especially in the mountains! Hiking, snowshoeing, horses; perhaps a bit more travel this year
-Work on my healthier lifestyle - which will include healthy recipes and more activity in order to Lose Weight (sigh) and Do More (Yay!)

Final thread of 2018: http://www.librarything.com/topic/298610

Edited: Yesterday, 2:18pm Top


- The Poet X -Elizabeth Acevedo - 2018; library
- Vinegar Girl - Anne Tyler - 2016; Root acq'd 2017 (2 points) - listening to audio
- Democracy in Chains - Nancy K. MacLean - 2017 - Real Life Book Club - acq'd 2019
- Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter - 2018 - LTER - acq'd 2018 = 1 ROOT point
- These Truths: A History of the United States - Jill Lepore - 2018 - acquired 2019
- Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott - 1994; ROOT acq'd 2013 = 6 ROOT points

Edited: Yesterday, 2:11pm Top


- Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson - 2017 - 75'ers Feb NF challenge: science - library
- Becoming - Michelle Obama - 2018 - library
- The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante - SeriesCat - translated series - library

Edited: Yesterday, 2:12pm Top



1. Secondhand Time - Svetlana Alexievich - 2013- Lit seminar; Global Reading: Russia (additional book); book acquired 2018 = ROOT #1/50 = 1 point/225
2. The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" - Alan Light - 2012 - library
3. Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurty - Real Life Book Club selection January 2019 (book acq'd 2018= ROOT #2/50 - 1 ROOT point =2/225
4. The Whole Town's Talking - Fannie Flagg - 2016; acq'd 2017 = ROOT #3/50 - 2 points 4/225 audiobook in the car;
5. My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok - 1972 - January American Author Challenge - ROOT #4/50; Acq'd 2016 = 3 ROOT points - 7/225)
6. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt - 1994 - 75'ers NF Challenge- Award winner; acq'd 2018 - ROOT #5/50 - acq'e 2018 =1 ROOT point (8/225)
7. The Burgess Boys - Elizabeth Strout - 2013 - RandomCat - Your Name in Print - acq'd 2014 = ROOT #6/50 /5 ROOT points=13/225


8. The Expedition to the Baobab Tree: A Novel - Wilma Stockenstrom - 1981; Lit Seminar; Global Reading Challenge: South Africa; acq'd 2019
9. Well-Read Black Girl - Glory Edim - 2018 - library
10. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil deGrasse Tyson - 2017; 75'ers Feb NF challenge: science; audiobook; library
11. Becoming - Michelle Obama - 2018 - library
12. The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante - 2012; SeriesCat - translated series; library

Edited: Yesterday, 2:20pm Top

****12 BOOKS COMPLETED IN 2019 ****

Of the books I've read this year:

- cataloged into LT 2006
- cataloged into LT 2007
- cataloged into LT 2008
- cataloged into LT 2009
- cataloged into LT 2010
- cataloged into LT 2011
- cataloged into LT 2012
- cataloged into LT 2013
1 - cataloged into LT 2014
- cataloged into LT 2015
1 - acquired 2016
1 - acquired 2017
3 - acquired 2018
1 - acquired 2019
- acquired previously but not cataloged until 2019
5 - borrowed from library & elsewhere

3 - Audiobook
9 - Print
- Kindle App


- 6 - Fiction (may fit into more than one category)

5 - general fiction
1 - literary fiction
1- western

- 6 - Non-Fiction (may fit into more than one category)

1 - arts
1 - history
2 - memoir
1 - politics
1 - science
1 - true crime

- cartoons
1 - essays
- poetry
- plays


5 - Male Authors
7 - Female Authors
- Combination of male and female

8 - Authors who are new to me
4 - Authors read before
- Rereads:

Multiple books read in 2019 by same author:

Nationality of Author:
1 - Italian
1 - Russia
1 - South African
9 - USA

Birthplace or residence of Author if different from nationality:

Language Book Originally Published in:
1 - Italian
1 - Africaans
8 - English
1 - Russian

Original Publication Date

1 - 1972
1 - 1981
1 - 1985
1 - 1994
3 - 2012
1 - 2013
1 - 2016
1 - 2017
2 - 2018

Edited: Feb 4, 9:46am Top

The Global Challenge: Read five books from each of the 193 UN members plus a few additional areas.

Thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/188308


visited 3 states (1.33%)
Create your own visited map of The World

CUMULATIVE : 86 countries visited: 19 countries completed with minimum of five books

visited 86 states (38.2%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Edited: Yesterday, 2:21pm Top

More Challenge reads:

1001 Books to Read Before You Die Total books read: 165
- Thread here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/163173

Library Brown Bag Book Club/ Real Life Book Club
January: Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurty
Reading February 28: Democracy in Chains by Nancy Maclean
March 28: Educated by Tara Westover
April 25: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold
May 30: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
June 27: Fear by Bob Woodward
July 25: Red Notice by Bill Browder
August 29: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
September 26: We Were Eight Years in Power: an American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
October 31: Two Sisters: a Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad by Asne Seierstad
November 21: The Traitor and the Spy by Ben Macintrye

January: Heart: A History - Sandeep Jauhar
February: The Wife -

RL Literature Seminar
January 8: The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector - 1001 books - Brazil
February 5: The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by Wilma Stockenstrom - South Africa
March 5: The Tongue's Blood Does Not Run Dry by Assia Djebar - Algeria
April 2: Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli - Mexico

Edited: Yesterday, 2:23pm Top

More Challenges to Dip In and Out - to encourage me to read more off my shelves-

75'ers American Authors Challenge:
January: Chaim Potok - My Name is Asher Lev - 1972 - Acquired 2016
February: Louisa May Alcott - Eight Cousins

75'ers Non-Fiction Challenge:
January: Prize Winner: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil -
February: Science and Technology: Innovations and Innovators. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
March: True Crime, Misdemeanors and Justice, Past and Present Day:
April: Comfort Reads:
May: History.
June: The Pictures Have It!
July: Biography & First Person yarns
August: Raw Materials: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
September: Books by Journalists
October: Other Worlds: From Spiritual to Fantastical
November: Creators and Creativity
December: I’ve Always Been Curious about...

SeriesCat Category Challenge: https://www.librarything.com/topic/298613#
Reading January: Not Written in English: Story of a New Name- Elena Ferrante (Italian) - library
February: YA/Children's: Song of the Quarkbeast - Jasper Fforde - library
March: Series by a favorite author
April: Series You've Been Meaning to Get Back To
May: Newest book in a favorite series
June: Series that are definitely complete
July: Genre: fantasy
August: Series set in a country/region where you do not live
September: Genre: Mystery
October: Historical Series
November: Series with a female protagonist
December: Series that's new to you

Random Cat Challenge
January: A Book with your Name: The Burgess Boys - Elizabeth Strout -
February: Travel: Expedition to the Baobab Tree

TBR Challenge https://www.librarything.com/topic/298605

January: First in, last out - read one of the oldest members of your tbr: (for me cataloged 2006)
February: A book you borrowed to read and still haven't got to
March: Book acquired on/for trips or for a special occasion
April: Book originally acquired for an LT group read or challenge
May: Book that I keep looking at, but never manage to open
June: Book bullet (i.e. book suggested by someone else, not necessarily on LT)
July: Book by an author with more than one book on your TBR shelf
August: Book purchased with great excitement and with plans to read right away that is somehow still on my tbr a year later
September: Classics I feel I should read
October: Book purchased because of its visual appeal (striking cover or colors, beautiful edition, etc.)
November: Book given to me as a gift
December: A book I bought because it was so cheap (library sale, remainder table, etc)

Edited: Feb 2, 12:56pm Top

The most difficult challenge of all is to read books already on my shelves:

My biggest challenge is that I keep hauling books home faster than I can read them and the piles keep growing larger. These numbers include the library books that I have at home.

As of 02/01/2019: 513 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2019: 510 books on physical Mt TBR

As of 01/01/2018: 510 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2017: 481 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2016: 459 books on physical Mt TBR

Reading Our My Own Tomes - ROOTS - Challenge

I want to read fifty books acquired before 01/01/2018. That was my same goal as last year, and I achieved only about half of it.

To Encourage myself to read older books on MT TBR, I also give myself points based on how old they are:

Here's how it works:

1. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2006 -- 13 points
2. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2007-- 12 points
3. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2008-- 11 points
4. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2009-- 10 points
5. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2010-- 9 points
6 .ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2011 -- 8 points
7. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2012 -- 7 points
8. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2013 -- 6 points
9. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2014 -- 5 points
10. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2015 -- 4 points
11. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2016 -- 3 points
12. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2017 -- 2 points
12. ROOTS not previously entered into LT but which have been around the house pre-2019 - 1 point
13. ROOTS cataloged into LT in 2018 - 1 point

Point Goal: The proposed 50 books off my shelves should add up to 225 ROOT points this year.

Edited: Feb 13, 12:47pm Top

Books Acquired 2019

9 - Total
1- Read
1 - Reading
1 - Reference/Cookbook (not on tbr list)

1. Heart: A History - Sandeep Jauhar - 2018 - Jan PBS/NYT Now Read This
**Reading** 2. These Truths: A History of the United States - 2018 LT group read
3. The Expedition to the Baobab Tree - Wilma Stockenstrom - Feb lit seminar
4. Red Eagles of the Northwest - Francis Haines - 1939 - collectible 1/26/2019
5. Dick Francis Omnibus Seven - Dick Francis - Nerve/Blood Sport/ In the Frame - group read
6. Shallow Diggin's: Tales from Montana's ghost Towns by Jean Davis - FOL rack 2/5/2019
7. Democracy in Chains by Nancy Maclean - Feb RLBC - 2/5/2019
Reference 8. Indian Instant Pot Cookbook - Urvashi Pitre - Darryl mad me do it! 2/12/2019
9. City of Jasmine - Olga Grjasnowa - LTER - 2/13/2019 (Syria)

List of books acquired in 2018:

Edited: Jan 4, 4:08pm Top

And Here We go:

Jan 4, 12:40pm Top

Welcome back!

Edited: Jan 4, 12:53pm Top

Hi Janet! Happy New Year!

>Wonderful sight, those sculptures, and they fit in so well with surrounding nature. We are going to visit a Chihuly exhibition this month, i am looking forward to it.

>2 streamsong: Love those pictures. And the horses. Would like to visit but you are a bit out of my way;-)

>3 streamsong: Reading some good stuff there.

Wishing you good health, so that you will get to do more of those fun things.

Jan 4, 1:59pm Top

Dropping off my star, Janet!

If I get ambitious, I may borrow your listing of when books were catalogued or acquired. That would be interesting but would require me to access 10 years worth of spread sheets. We shall see...

Jan 4, 3:51pm Top

Happy New Year, Janet!

Jan 4, 3:51pm Top

Happy reading in 2019, Janet!

>1 streamsong: Lovely picture of the Chihuly sculptures, Janet. I am going to see my first Chihuly's soon. There is an exposition in Groningen that we will visit January 18th :-)

Jan 4, 7:59pm Top

Happy 2019
A year full of books
A year full of friends
A year full of all your wishes realised

I look forward to keeping up with you, Janet, this year.

Jan 4, 8:33pm Top

HI Janet, Happy New Year. I look forward to following your reading this year. I have not set up a thread as yet but no doubt get arouond to it eventurally. Your time in Arizona sounded wonderful.

Edited: Jan 6, 10:52am Top

>13 drneutron: Thank you, Jim! And Happy New Year!.

>14 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella! I hope to go to the Chihuly Museum in Seattle sometime, too. I love his sculptures. .

>15 ronincats: Hi Roni! Happy New Year. The dates cataloged are on the LT pages - I don't think I could manage otherwise. You probably noticed that I don't break down the books before I started on LT. .

Edited: Jan 6, 1:26pm Top

>16 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! Happy New Year to you! .

>17 FAMeulstee: Happy New Year, Anita! I hope you get some good photos of the Chuhily's. I'd love to see more of his work than I have. One day I hope to make it out to the Seattle Museum.

>18 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul - Happy New Year! That's a great list of New Year's blessings. Thank you. I hope to keep up better this year, too.

>19 mdoris: Hi Mary! Happy New Year! I'll definitely look for your thread when you get a chance to do it. The New Year thread and the new challenges are always time consuming.

I had a great time in Arizona. Here are a few more photos from our jeep trip into the back country around Sedona.

Jan 5, 9:30am Top

Welcome back! I was glad to drop my star.

And...when I get home on Monday, my journey towards better eating begins. I'm going to follow a DASH/Mediterranean diet strictly for the first week or two just to start breaking bad habits and then see how I feel. My husband and I both could use some more intention around our eating. I'd love to lose weight, too.

Jan 5, 10:19am Top

>22 witchyrichy: Hi Karen - and Happy New Year! I look forward to following your thread again this year!

I'm trying to eat low carb. I'm familiar with the Mediterranean Diet but not the DASH diet - I'll be sure to check out. I'm beginning to believe that diets per se don't work for me. Instead, I'm going to work on intentional lifestyle changes and hope the weight follows. :)

Jan 5, 10:23am Top

The UPS driver beat down my door yesterday and insisted on leaving two new books from Amazon.

These Truths by Jill Lepore for the group read here on the 75.

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar for the NYT/PBS Now Read This book club. Comments on the FB page from people reading this book say it is very inspirational for encouraging one's wellness resolutions ....

Jan 5, 11:25am Top

Happy New Year, Janet. I'm glad to see you back.

I LOVE your photos at the top.

Jan 5, 11:56am Top

>1 streamsong: The Chihuly sculptures at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. are amazing! A friend loves his glassworks. A few years ago, I was in Seattle Washington for a conference and saw an exhibit there!

He really is a wonderful artist.

Thanks for posting this image!

All good wishes for a wonderful 2019 Janet!

Jan 5, 1:08pm Top

Hi Janet, thread is starred!

Edited: Jan 5, 5:33pm Top

I asked the library to purchase the Sandeep Jauhar book about Heart: A History several months ago and so far no luck. I will follow what you think about it and perhaps purchase it on my own. About to have heart surgery on Wednesday so I really I should know more about the heart and how it works rather than just knowing how it breaks! Thanks heavens that hasn't happened too often.

Edited: Jan 6, 1:32am Top

>25 BLBera: Hi Beth! Thanks, and Happy New Year to you, too.

>26 Whisper1: Hi Linda! Happy new Year and thanks for stopping in! I wonder if the Chihuly Seattle exhibit that you saw is the museum that I would love to visit. I totally agree that he is a wonderful artist and worth seeking out his pieces.

>27 fuzzi: Welcome Lor! It's nice to see you. I'll definitely seek out your thread.

>28 mdoris: Oh shoot, Mary! I can see why you don't have your thread set up yet! You will be in my thoughts on Wednesday and the following days. Please give your DH your LT password and let him know that your friends here will want him to check in pronto with us. (((Hugs))))

Edited: Jan 6, 1:22am Top

Today I went to a winter storytelling at Traveler's Rest State Park, one of the few actual campsites used by the Lewis and Clark expedition that has been historically verified - partially by the presence of Mercury, a cure-all for many ailments, but especially VD, in the excavated latrine area.

Anyhow, the storyteller/musician was a Nez Perce tribal member, JR Spencer. He played two different flutes and used a drum to accompany several songs. He had a wonderful sense of humor.

I'd certainly recommend his performances to anyone (although, Ellen, you may be the only person to actually come into his sphere of influence. :) )

The winter storytelling series continues each Saturday during January and February, so I'm sure to mention it again.

Jan 6, 10:31am Top

>28 mdoris: I'll pray for a good result and healing for your surgery.

>30 streamsong: I would love to experience that event. I've been to central northern Montana, but want to check out the western areas especially the Rocky Mountains.

Jan 6, 1:22pm Top

>31 fuzzi: You are very right about the western mountainous part of Montana being very different than the central and eastern plains of the state. It was definitely a strange division of land when the boundaries of Montana were set. I hope you do get the chance to visit one day!

The next speaker in the storytelling series is Tony Incashola, a Salish Pend D'Oreille elder. I have heard him speak before. However the last time I heard him, he could not tell the creation stories since there were signs of early spring. Their tradition is to only tell creation stories during the winter.

Jan 6, 1:39pm Top

Even though I swore to read fewer books at a time this year, I must admit I have the following two started also:

For the group read: - These Truths: A History of the United States - Jill Lepore - 2018 - acquired 2019

And this one which was a book bullet and is due back at the library:

- The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah - Alan Light - 2012 - library

Jan 6, 1:47pm Top

Morning Janet. Happy new year and happy new thread!

You mentioned on my thread that you're thinking of going to see The Lion King when the national touring company comes to Spokane. You mentioned the costumes. YES!! I SO recommend it! We saw it in Seattle a few years ago and the costumes were so beautiful they Made. Me. Weep. If you can get a seat near the aisle, I recommend that. But just go if there is any way you can make it happen.

I love the image of the UPS driver banging on your door, "insisting" on leaving a couple of books for you. :-)
I'm also glad you're joining in the group read of These Truths. I have read the introduction, need to set aside some time to start the first chapter.

Edited: Jan 7, 8:43am Top

>34 EBT1002: Hi Ellen and happy new year to you, too!

Wow - with that recommendation for The Lion King, how can I not see it? As I said on your thread, I saw a short TV commercial and the costumes looked amazing (the giraffes!)

I hate to commit to driving over Lookout Pass in February - it can be really bad! But I suppose if the roads are iffy, I could do the short hop flight from Missoula to Spokane. The best thing about that flight is that with the time change between the two cities, you land in Spokane before you take off in Missoula. :)

Jan 7, 12:00pm Top

I finished my first book of the year last night Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich. I know quite a few people here read her book Voices From Chernobyl. This one is every bit as good (but less gruesome).

I had hoped it would be my 100th book last year, but I fell short. The review will come later today - really want to keep up better with reviews this year!.

I'm reading about 15 pages a day of These Truths for the group read.. She has an absolutely beautiful way with words.

"To write something down doesn't make it true. But the history of truth is lashed to the history of writing like a mast to a sail." p 12.

Jan 7, 12:17pm Top

Hi Janet! Happy new year, and happy first thread of 2019.

>1 streamsong: The Chihuly sculptures are beautiful. I hope you had a wonderful time with your brother’s family and son/fiancé.

>3 streamsong: I’m glad you’re participating in the These Truths group read, too. I’m on page 47 and hope to get some more read today.

>12 streamsong: I love this.

Jan 7, 1:25pm Top

>12 streamsong: Yes I love it too! It has such a cozy feel.

Jan 7, 6:09pm Top

Happy New Year, Janet!

I thought that had to be a Chihuly up top. I love it when he does those in-nature sculptures.

That winter storytelling series sounds wonderful.

Edited: Jan 10, 12:03pm Top

>37 karenmarie: Hi Karen and Happy New Year!

I'm reading about 15 pages per day of These Truths and so finished page 45 today. Disturbing factoid from today's reading: the first 20 African slaves were landed in the Carolinas in 1619, a year before the Pilgrims established Plymouth in 1620. p. 38

You asked on your thread about the books my Real Life Library Book Club has chosen for the year. Here they are (I also added them to >8 streamsong: ): Lots of Serious Non-Fiction this year.

January: Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurty
February 28: Democracy in Chains by Nancy Maclean
March 28: Educated by Tara Westover
April 25: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold
May 30: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
June 27: Fear by Bob Woodward
July 25: Red Notice by Bill Browder
August 29: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
September 26: We Were Eight Years in Power: an American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
October 31: Two Sisters: a Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad by Asne Seierstad
November 21: The Traitor and the Spy by Ben Macintrye

I'm glad both you and >38 mdoris: Mary like the image in >12 streamsong:. It was a real tossup whether to use it or the Chihuly on the top.

Edited: Jan 9, 10:13am Top

>39 jnwelch: Hi Joe - I'm glad you like the Chihuly photo. My sister-in-law took the picture.

The winter story telling series promises to be wonderful. I'm really looking forward to several of the storytellers. The last one in January, also sounds very interesting to me. The speaker is Mariah Gladstone, founder of Indigikitchen talking about 'native foodways'. (Not quite sure what that phrase means)

ETA: A little googling and I found her TedX talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N6e0DnGq38

as well as her cooking videos on her website: https://indigikitchen.com/videos%2Frecipes

Jan 8, 10:00pm Top

>29 streamsong: Janet, A few years ago Will and I and his cousin and partner visited the Corning Glass Museum. What an incredible time. There are huge, lovely Chihuy art works in the lobby!

Jan 9, 9:18am Top

>23 streamsong: I spent Monday evening chopping vegies and putting them in individual containers. I have a big box of greens. I take my salad bowl to the fridge and fill it, add a hard boiled egg, maybe a sprinkling of cheese and voila: salad! It's working for now and I think, if I keep topping off the containers, I can keep it going.

We visited Traveler's Rest on our Lewis and Clark trip many years ago. I live vicariously through you but am ready to spend quality time in Montana and northern Idaho when our schedule allows it. I remember the beauty of the Lochsa River and climbing over the Lemhi Pass.

Jan 9, 10:19am Top

>42 Whisper1: That sounds like a wonderful trip, Linda!

>43 witchyrichy: Good idea, Karen - I need to get back to that!

I hope you make it back to this area. The Lochsa is absolutely amazing!

I love hearing about everyone's local experiences. I love hearing about all the museums and concerts and trips that I don't have access to.

But yesterday I heard one of my resident bald eagles singing along the creek! Not the harsh call in parts of this video, but the melodious singing that starts it out and again at 17 seconds.


Jan 9, 10:32am Top

First review of the year! This book a selection last fall in my lit seminar. Although fascinatating, I had to take it in short chunks.

1. Secondhand Time - Svetlana Alexievich - 2013
- Lit seminar;
- Global Reading: Russia (additional book);
- book acquired 2018 = ROOT #1/50 = 1 point/225

This book is written in a similar style to the only other book of Nobel laureate Alexievich's that I have read: Voices From Chernobyl. Both volumes feature recollections of people who have lived through the events. In this case , these are people who lived through the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The dissolution of the USSR was much more chaotic and violent than I imagined. While older people struggled that the ideology they had based their lives on was no longer relevant, they also faced the dissolution of their work places and the loss of their pensions. Professional people ended up on the street selling small goods for whatever tiny sums they could get.

Many people longed for their previous lives and felt they had traded a lifetime of idealism for salami in the shops.

The USSR satellite countries saw violence. Russians and other minorities were purged, and killed in the streets by citizens who had formerly shared the status of USSR citizens. The reverse also happened with Russian citizens in Russia purging those from former member countries.

The crumbling of the social and economic left huge holes which led to the rise of the Russian oligarchs and Vladimir Putin.

Those who lived through this era tell their accounts vividly. As with the Chernobyl book, I came away with a much better understanding of both the events and the way individual lives were upturned.

A fascinating and highly recommended read.

Edited: Jan 9, 11:05am Top

>45 streamsong: Good review Janet. I have this one on my TBR list, but will move it up a bit.

>40 streamsong: A very serious list! But interesting. But reading together can make for interesting discussion of course.

Jan 9, 3:45pm Top

>45 streamsong: Great comments, Janet. I would like to read more nonfiction this year, so this is high on my list.

>30 streamsong: That performance sounds great.

>40 streamsong: You have wonderful book club selections.I hope to read The Hate U Give and Where the Crawdads Sing this year.

Jan 9, 3:52pm Top

>35 streamsong: Thought I would drop in and reiterate the advice of getting seats on the aisle. Worth it.

Jan 9, 5:13pm Top

>45 streamsong: Very good review, Janet.
The book made me understand better the huge changes the Russians went through.

Jan 9, 7:52pm Top

>40 streamsong: Love seeing what your book group is reading, and what a variety of books you're reading! My book group is reading Educated too, but not 'til September in hopes that it's not quite as popular and we can easily get library copies for our meeting.

Jan 10, 9:14am Top

Wow, I don't know how I managed to miss your thread Janet! You're starred now. You know, the Category challenge is reading Secondhand time next month, if you'd like to watch the thread.

Edited: Jan 10, 11:43am Top

>46 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Thanks for stopping by! The bookclub list is definitely a bit on the SERIOUS side this year. I've read Educated, We Were Eight Years in Power and the The Hate U Give - which was my nomination which means I will have to lead the discussion.

>47 BLBera: Hi Beth! Good to See You! It will be interesting to discuss even the books that I've already read with the RLBC. Right now, I'm enjoying the first selection, Lonesome Dove although it's length may limit the number of other books I read this month.

>48 Oberon: Thank you Erik and Happy New Year to you. I will try to buy tickets today.

Edited: Jan 10, 7:07pm Top

>49 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita and thanks for your comment. I agree totally. I had no idea how chaotic the situation was.

>50 bell7: Hi Mary - That's a good reason to put off reading Educated until later in the year. I read it last year as part of the NYT/PBS Now Read This bookclub and enjoyed all the discussions. It will be interesting to see what the RLBC makes of it, since we are very close to Idaho and have a population of off-the-gridders/survivalists in Montana.

>51 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel and Happiest of New Years to all the members of your wonderful family!

No, I hadn't seen that about Secondhand Time being a group read on the category challenge. I will definitely look for it. Thanks for mentioning it. >46 EllaTim: >47 BLBera: >49 FAMeulstee: Did you know that Beth, Ella, and Anita? I think it will be fun to look in.

Edited: Jan 10, 6:05pm Top

Janet, thanks about the tip on the entry date. I didn't have my page set up to include that, so I immediately did so! My oldest books were catalogued in October of 2007, and I pulled out one of those that was a tbr for this month's TBR category challenge.

Jan 11, 1:20pm Top

>54 ronincats: I'm glad it helped you, Roni. I use it to sort my library quite often - you can sort by either date entered going down or going up. It is discouraging to see the books that I first entered in 2006 and have not yet read ... but don't quite want to give up on.

Edited: Jan 11, 5:17pm Top

I read this book at the end of last year for the lit seminar discussion I attended January 8, 2019.

98. (2018) The Hour of the StarClarice Lispector – 1977
- Lit Seminar January 2019
– 1001 Books
- Global Reading Challenge: Brazil
- acquired 2018

Comments on the author from the presenter: Clarice Lispector is one of Brazil's iconic writers. Born in 1920 in the Ukraine, she moved at an early age with her family to Brazil. She was only the third women to go to law school in Brazil and the first Jew. This book is the last published before her death in 1977.

Her style is unique, taking much freedom with syntax and grammar. This can make it quite hard to translate; previous translators have often given in to the urge to 'clean' up her writing.

From Wikipedia: “While in law school in Rio, she began publishing her first journalistic work and short stories, catapulting to fame at the age of 23 with the publication of her first novel, Near The Wild Heart (Perto do Coração Selvagem), written as an interior monologue in a style and language that was considered revolutionary in Brazil.”

My note: She has one other book listed in the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die: The Passion According to G. H..

This is an unusually styled book. The first character is an unnamed male narrator who is writing the story of a young impoverished woman in Rio de Janero; a woman not only living in physical poverty, but in spiritual and emotional poverty. She ekes out a daily living, living almost anonymously in the huge city and so beset by each day that she cannot imagine a future.

The male narrator steps out of his character several times to chide himself that he must not become sentimental and 'write like a woman'. There's a bit of humor, a large measure of pathos and a story line that will stick with me.

Edited: Jan 11, 1:44pm Top

>45 streamsong: I read Voices From Chernobyl. Well written, and so very sad, she really depicted the horror of those brave souls who paid a very high price -- their lives!

Your review of Secondhand Time is excellent. This is on the TBR pile. Now I will find a copy and read it.

If you haven't read

I highly recommend it!

Edited: Jan 12, 8:51am Top

>44 streamsong: Wonderful! We are in the middle of farm land in an area filled with wetlands and near rivers, all part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We see and hear bald eagles fairly regularly, and we have a resident marsh hawk that hunts the field and occasionally terrorizes the little birds on the feeders. One year, an immature green heron hung out in the woods by the silo for a week or so, not seeming to mind the pigs we had at the time or us when we walked the dogs. The big cities aren't far away with their various lures, but we find our little plot of land to be quite entertaining and ever changing.

Jan 12, 9:08am Top

>57 Whisper1: Hi Linda! I hope you like Secondhand Time. It actually took me a while to read as I did short spurts over the course of several months. Fascinating stuff - but very sobering.

I've added The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko to my 'rec by LT'ers' list that I keep on my Home page. Thanks, as always. It sounds very interesting since I read Alexievitch's Chernobyl book. One our coouples in my RLBC lived fairly close to that area about ten years after the disaster. Several times they had to take a train through the closed area enroute from one city to another.

Jan 12, 9:08am Top

>51 The_Hibernator: >53 streamsong: Good idea, thanks for mentioning it. I have been wanting to read it, and a group read is just a nice extra motivation!

Have a nice weekend, Janet.

Jan 12, 9:15am Top

>58 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! It sounds like we live in similar enivronments on opposite sides of the country.

While I knew that movies usually have a hawk cry when they show an eagle, I was very startled to hear that melodious sound, look up and see a bald eagle with his head thrown back and 'singing'. Now that I'm aware of it, I've heard it several times since. I think I just didn't recognize it before.

There are red-tailed hawks along the road close to me, but none in residence since the baldies decided to winter here.

I am overrun with wild turkeys right now, attracted no doubt by the grain scattered by the horses. As long as they keep out of the garage I am happy! And I take it that their presence means there are no largish predators along the creek.

Jan 12, 9:18am Top

>60 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Happy Saturday to you, too. I'm looking forward to the read-along, too. The book was part of the lit seminar i sporadically attend - the theme this year is 6 women authors from 5 continents. But I missed the lecture on it, so it will be great to hear what others say.

Edited: Jan 12, 9:41am Top

I did buy a Lion King ticket (aisle seat! thanks for the rec Erik and Ellen) for the performance in Spokane in two weeks. It looks like I'll be doing this by myself, so think good thoughts about the four hour drive which includes the nasty-when-stormy Lookout Pass between here and there.

Today is the second storytelling session at Travellers' Rest with Salish storyteller Tony Incashola. I'm going with friends and having a bit of lunch afterward.

This evening I am very happy to be attending a singing bowl soundbath to welcome in the New Year.

Jan 12, 2:02pm Top

Nice review of Secondhand Time, Janet. I hope to get to it over the summer.

Jan 12, 4:20pm Top

>45 streamsong: I need to get to that one soon. Mark sent it to me last year, I believe, and I have started and stopped it several times. Thanks for the reminder!

Jan 13, 7:08am Top

>64 kidzdoc: Hi Darryl - Thanks for stopping by. You read Chernobyl, didn't you? I think you'll enjoy Secondhand Time.

>65 alcottacre: Hi Stasia - Definitely not an easy read - it took me several months of dipping in and out to finish it.

Has anyone read her book on Russa in Afghanistan or women in WWII?

Jan 13, 9:40am Top

>66 streamsong: You're welcome, Janet. I started reading but didn't finish Voices from Chernobyl, although I enjoyed what little I did read in it.

Jan 13, 8:06pm Top

Hi Janet, lovely thread toppers. You live in a beautiful setting. I saw the Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens a few years ago and agree that the lighted ones at night are better than fireworks.

I like your point systems for ROOTs. I joined the group this year to keep myself somewhat more accountable for reading more of my own books, but I'm not giving myself points. Too complicated for my non-mathematical mind but I'm glad it works for you.

Enjoy the Lion King! We have tickets for the Broadway production in March. We have aisle seats as well. We're going with my youngest son and family and bought 3 tickets in two rows so we could let the two granddaughters sit in the aisle seats. We will rotate the grands so I get to sit with each of them for half of the show. I've seen a condensed version at Disney World and thought it was phenomenal.

Edited: Jan 14, 9:54am Top

>67 kidzdoc: That one is a tough read, Darryl. When my book club chose it for a selection last year, I did not reread it. It's hugely informative, but I can see where it would not appeal after a tough day at work.

>68 Donna828: Hi Donna! I'm glad you liked the topper. Chihuly rocks!

I haven't joined the ROOTS group for several years now. I have enough trouble keeping up with one thread - but I am always working on being mindful of all the unreads on my shelves. Since I call anything purchased before January 1st of the durrent year a ROOT, January is an easy month for me to read ROOTs.

Yay for the Lion King! Going with your grands sounds like it will be amazing. Right now the extended forecast for next week is making me nervous. I hope I make it! Lookout Pass in winter is not to be sneezed at.

Edited: Jan 16, 11:31pm Top

2. The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" - Alan Light - 2012 - library

I had picked this title up as a book bullet from the NF challenge last year. And while the reader didn't especially like the book, like millions of others, I love Cohen's song Hallelujah so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Some of the early chapters were interesting - Cohen originally released this more than 30 years ago and wrote some 80 verses before deciding on the three or four usually sung. It was unknown in the popular community until it was used in the movie Shrek, and then later as background music for some of the disturbing 9/11 video montages.

It exploded into popular culture and is now a 'universal' song joining others such as 'Imagine' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.'

I started out enjoying some of the earlier versions available on Youtube (Buckley, Cohen, the strangest rap version ever by Bono) - but there just isn't enough story here to fill a book and it devolves into almost tabloid accounts of lawsuits and the million-dozens who have recorded it.

Barely skimmed the last half of the book looking for nuggets. There weren't any.


Jan 14, 9:24am Top

>59 streamsong: Hi Janet, I would find it very interesting that someone in my book club lived somewhat near the Chernobyl disaster zone. After reading The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko, I read as many books as I could find on the subject. What a terrible accident. And those who were the jumpers, including the husband of Svetlana Alexievich had brutal consequences. She writes of this in Voices from Chernobyl.

I was able to obtain a second-hand copy of Second-Hand Time from Amazon. I look forward to reading it. Though, it is very hard to digest such sad, sad material.

Jan 14, 10:06am Top

Hi Janet!

>40 streamsong: Thanks for sharing your book club choices. I never read Educated when I got it from the library – too busy – and so I had to turn it back in. However, our book club will be discussing it in August so I’ll be reading it in July anyway. I always keep some no-fiction going, but must say that you’re right – Lots of Serious Non-Fiction.

>70 streamsong: I love the song and have listened to many versions over the years since I first heard it in Shrek. I’m sorry there wasn’t enough material for a book.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Edited: Jan 15, 1:08am Top

>71 Whisper1: Hi Linda! My book club friend and her husband lived in the area quite a few years after the Chernobyl diaster. The train routes still went through the closed area, but they were not able to look out the train windows while passing through ... can't remember if there were shutters or what. She also recalled stopping in a farmers' market outside the disaster zone and only being allowed to purchase 'special' produce from under the counter and not the produce the locals bought.

>72 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I'm sure you'll get to Educated eventually. I thought it interesting enough that I plan on rereading when it rolls around for my bookclub. But earthshaking - no.

Yeah, I really thought I would enjoy the Hallelujah book. And I did enjoy the first half and liked searching out and listening to the many versions and artists that the author discussed. The first half of the book is worth reading IMHO. And then I was just done with it when I was reading the details of Cohen's manager/ special friend running off with his money. Cohen himself was *not* involved in the writing of the book. Apparently he has made it a special point to never comment on the song itself.

The author felt that k d lang's version is the defining version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NpxTWbovE

Jan 15, 1:13am Top

Lest I sound too grumpy:

Finished Lonesome Dove - 5 stars. I'm feeling a bit bereft that is over.

And I watched BlackkKlansman on DVD which was funny and sad and moving. Also

Jan 15, 1:40am Top

>1 streamsong: What a beautiful topper! Love Chihuly.

>10 streamsong: Oooh! I like your point system to help read older books. Awesome. I have three different ways to try and read my own books: Alphabet, Colors (not following the monthly suggestions, just random) and 10 books from my INDEpsensable collection. I think that is pretty ambitious!

Happy new thread and I am glad we have found each other this year!

Jan 15, 5:37pm Top

Hi Janet!

I've listened to several versions of Hallelujah, but not k.d. lang's until just now - wow. So powerful. Thanks for sharing the info and link.

Jan 15, 11:11pm Top

Hi, Janet. Thanks for setting me straight about Inkdeath--I actually need to read Inkspell first.

Jan 16, 10:59am Top

>75 Berly: Hi Kim - Thanks for stopping in!

The points system for older books doesn't do me a lot of good, since I have missed my points goal every year I have tried using it. HOWEVER, it does keep me a bit mindful to 'choose older books' besides choosing ROOTS which I define as books purchased before Jan 1 of the current year.

Sounds like you have a very good plan in place to read some of your older books!

Jan 16, 11:06am Top

>76 karenmarie: Hi Karen - I think I was a bit harsh on The Holy or the Broken since I was interested in the first part of the book - and did seek out a lot of the covers mentioned. Hmmmm first half 3+; second half - just barely made it through. I'll think about my rating a bit. I'm glad you enjoyed the kd lang cover, though.

>77 ronincats: Hi Roni - I just wish I had thought of Inkdeath for the series in translation thread. As I said on your thread I liked Inkheart but wasn't as crazy about Inkspell which is probably why I put the series aside.

Instead for the translated series challenge, I chose the second Elena Ferrante novel, The Story of a New Name.

Edited: Jan 16, 3:43pm Top

This was the last book I read last year. Since it was an Early Reviewer book and I didn't put the book on either last year's or this year's thread, I'll do it now.

#99-2018 One Man's Wilderness - Sam Keith - 2018 edition - LTER - acqd 2018

From the cover” Celebrating the 50th anniversary of when Richard Proenneke first broke ground and made his mark in the Alaska wilds in 1968, this special edition of the best-selling memoir features an all-new foreword plus color photographs not seen in print for over twenty years.

“To live in a pristine land unchanged by man .. to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed … to choose an idyllic site, cut trees, and build a log cabin … to be a self sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available … to be not at odds with the world, but content with one's own thoughts and company ….. and the constant chain of nature's events which kept him company.”

This book is in the form of Dick Proenneke's journals and photographs, telling the fascinating story of building a log cabin by hand with native materials and living sixteen months by himself with only the occasional outside contact. His skilled craftmanship made his cabin and its furnishings a thing of beauty; it's now part of the National Park Service.

“The themes of self-sufficiency, thrift, and a kindred love of wilderness and wildlife give this book an enduring audience.” p 270

Over the years, I've read several of the 'making a home in the remote wilderness' genre books. This one is by far the best I've read. It absolutely pulled me along. The full color photographs are a treat to the eyes.

This is highly recommended to anyone who loves the wild places and dreams of living there.

I received a copy of this 50th anniversary edition through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's program in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Jan 16, 4:39pm Top

>10 streamsong: >78 streamsong: Love the points system but I started using LT to catalog books I've read. My strategy for now is to read books that I know I won't want to reread and they can then be culled unless they are part of an actual collection (history, nature writing, books about books). It is kind of working with the fiction I've collected.

Jan 17, 9:38am Top

>81 witchyrichy: I like that strategy, Karen. I try to do that with each book as I read it - do I think I would want to reread it or should I find it a new home? Another question I ask myself is how easy would it be to replace this book? Are there thousands of copies out there, or is this one harder to find?

Of course my crystal ball doesn't always work. Sometimes I wish I had saved something - but that happens to me all the time with non-book stuff, too.

Jan 17, 12:43pm Top

>82 streamsong: I do the same here, rehome based upon whether I want to read it again, and if it can be easily replaced/acquired for a reread. I've rehomed classics such as Sense and Sensibility because I know I can find a copy, but have held on to volumes that would be hard to find such as Amberwell.

Jan 18, 9:44am Top

>83 fuzzi: Hi fuzzi - Yes, exactly.

We might vary a bit on keepers - I'd love to acquire nice copies of some of my favorites, no matter how common they are. Jane Austin would probably fall into that category, even though not all of them are favorites.

I have the most copies of The Lord of the Rings which I fell in love with back in high school in the 70's. I have a really nice hardback limited edition I acquired in the 70's; the paperbacks from the 70's that I first fell in love with, and a reading set of paperbacks.

Jan 18, 9:50am Top

3. Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurty - 1985
- Real Life Book Club selection January 2019
- book acq'd 2018= ROOT #2/50 - 1 ROOT point 2/225

Former Texas Rangers, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call had a place of honor in cleaning the bandits and Indians out of Texas. Even in retirement, the are still renowned for their deeds. But Texas has become civilized and life has gotten boring on their ranch just north of the Mexican border.

So when they hear a casual suggestion about how good it could be to establish the first cattle outfit in Montana, it sounds downright interesting. They head south of the border and round up three thousand cattle and the requisite number of horses from a dead bandit so they can make the drive north.

This is an epic novel. Gus and Call are more than just well rounded – they play off each other well, and are the crux of the story. But they also have an entire entourage of interesting characters going along with them on the drive and traveling through the empty areas in between.

The plot is full of twists and turns; unexpected death happens swiftly in a land full of danger. There are scenes you will never forget – including a nest of water moccasins that I remembered from watching the mini series 30 years ago.

A great story, a sweeping canvas. I was sorry when it ended.

Jan 18, 10:41am Top

Hi Janet!

>82 streamsong: This might not surprise you - I have a specific set of rules I keep in mind when acquiring and getting rid of books. Having unearthed them from the bowels of my Documents folder, I need to keep them in sight and do some active culling this year. *smile*
  1. Will I ever read or re-read it?
  2. Does this book contribute to a well-rounded library?
  3. Will my daughter want or need this book when my library eventually goes to her?
  4. Does this book have sentimental value (personal, inherited from a family member, given by a family member or friend, etc.)?
  5. Does this book have intrinsic value (first edition, rare, etc.)?
>85 streamsong: It sounds like I need to acquire and re-read Lonesome Dove - your review makes it sound irresistible.

Jan 18, 11:30am Top

Hi Janet! Lonesome Dove looks good.

Jan 18, 11:41am Top

>66 streamsong: I haven't read any of her books, but Secondhand Time is currently being read. I will have to track down her others. Thanks for the mention, Janet!

>80 streamsong: Adding that one to the BlackHole!

Jan 18, 12:54pm Top

Janet, My copy of Secondhand Time purchased second hand from an Amazon vendor arrived yesterday. I hope to start it this weekend. Thanks for your great comments about it. How exciting to be with someone who had experience with transportation into the waste land of Chernobyl. I'm not sure why, but I really am touched by the event and the books as a result.

What a terrible, terrible accident!

Edited: Jan 18, 6:19pm Top

>84 streamsong: I've collected several copies of The Call of the Wild and The Jungle Book just for the illustrations.

My sister had The Lord of the Rings paperbacks with the weird flamingo birds and other strange creatures on the covers, are those the ones you have? I kept my set from the 70s that used Tolkien's own illustrations.

I'm not collecting hardcovers anymore as I have arthritis in my hands, and can hold a paperback so much more easily than a heavier tome.

Jan 18, 6:18pm Top

>85 streamsong: oh, I watched the series too, remember that scene with the snakes.

And then I read the book. Hard to believe it's been 30 years?!?!

Jan 19, 11:44am Top

>86 karenmarie: Wow, Karen, That's an amazingly organized list!

Sadly, I don't think either of my kids will be interested in my book collection. Somehow I need to mark the ones that are rare/valuable or may have family connections that they may be interested in.
Another reason to winnow out extras now instead of creating a burden for them in 40 years (I plan to live until I'm 102).

>86 karenmarie: >87 The_Hibernator: I had put off reading Lonesome Dove far too long due to its length. Silly me, I didn't think I could stay interested in an 880 page western.

Jan 19, 11:51am Top

>88 alcottacre: Hi Stasia - I hope you find Secondhand Time interesting and worthwhile. Hmm, that sounds quite awkward, but I'm not sure of the right word; 'enjoy it' is definitely wrong.

I had no idea you were interested in the homesteading in the wilderness type books. Cool! If you would like this one, I'll be happy to pass it along. PM me.

>89 Whisper1: I'll be interested to see what you think of Secondhand Time, too, Linda.

I agree that her Chernobyl book was amazing and heart-rending. I don't think we've seen the end of the consequences for either Chernobyl or the Japanese reactor.

Terrible terrible accident(s), indeed.

Jan 19, 11:59am Top

>90 fuzzi: Hi fuzzi! Yes, the odd covers with flamingos and such that don't have anything to do with the The Lord of the Rings are the originals that I fell in love with.

My brother, also in high school, gave me a HUGE poster of the entire painting of those covers.

I'm sorry to hear about the arthritis in your hands. Paperbacks are much more convenient, lighter and most importantly, you can fit more on the shelf. I just like the way my small collection of cool bindings look.

I am beginning to have just a smidgin of arthritis in my hands. I'll blame my bad typing er keyboarding .. on that.

>91 fuzzi: Yes, the snakes! Everyone I've talked to remembers that scene in Lonesome Dove even if they don't remember anything else.

I just looked it up on Wikipedia. The original mini series came out in 1989 so exactly 30 years.

Edited: Jan 19, 12:09pm Top

I stayed up way too late last night finishing My Name is Asher Lev. I had to almost force myself to read the last chapter, since from the first few pages, the reader knows how wrong it goes. But what a wonderful read! Review to come shortly.

People in the American Author Challenge have mentioned its sequel, The Gift of Asher Lev. I definitely want to read it; but I'll put it off for a bit. I've added it to FictFact so I can remember that I want to read the sequel. :)

I've started another ROOT, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for the 75'ers Non-Fiction challenge. I had to look up on a US map to convince myself that east coast city Savannah, Georgia is indeed due south of Columbus, Ohio.

I've also started listening to The Burgess Boys for the RandomCat challenge 'Your Name in Print'. This is another one off my shelves.

Edited: Jan 20, 3:08pm Top

Tom Gauld's response to Marie Kondo from The Guardian.

ETA this quote stolen from Beth's thread:

"Unread books are imagined reading futures, not an indication of failure."

Edited: Jan 20, 3:09pm Top

I'm excited that this is the week I'll be going to see the Broadway touring company of The Lion King in Spokane.

I plunked down my money for an orchestra aisle seat for Thursday afternoon.

Unfortunately, there is a large storm coming this week and lasting through Wednesday. There is a really nasty mountain pass, Lookout Pass, on the interstate highway between here and there, so think good thoughts that the storm will end early. A second option would be driving over early on Thursday.

It's debatable which option would be safer - driving at the end of the storm when at least the snow plows will have been out - or having it all freeze and then drive over early Thursday morning.

If the storm is too bad, I'll just have to eat this first non-refundable ticket and try to get a ticket a few days later.

I certainly don't want to miss a show that Ellen >34 EBT1002: said the costumes Made. Her. Weep!

Jan 20, 4:47pm Top

>40 streamsong: My RL mostly-fiction (with occasional lapses) book group will be reading Educated in March also. And the mostly-nonfiction book group read A Mother's Reckoning... hmm, thought it was last year but checking my lists it was the year before. Time flies. I've had your thread starred for two weeks too. :-)

Jan 20, 9:23pm Top

Lonesome Dove was such a great book, wasn't it, Janet. When I finally read it, I loved it.

Jan 20, 9:48pm Top

>93 streamsong: - I agree that 'enjoy' does not fit Secondhand Time. 'Appreciate,' maybe?

>97 streamsong: Sending good thoughts that the storm misses you entirely :)

Jan 20, 10:17pm Top

How in the heck did I not have your new thread starred? Shoot!!

Happy New Thread, Janet. It looks like you are off to a terrific start. Hooray for Lonesome Dove. One of my all-time favorite reads.

Jan 20, 11:49pm Top

Keeping my fingers crossed that you'll make it to Spokane, Janet!

Jan 21, 5:14am Top

>96 streamsong: LOL!

Hope the weather won't be too much of a problem!

Edited: Jan 21, 9:08am Top

>80 streamsong: This looks interesting, Janet. I'll look for it for my dad. He lived in Alaska for many years and loves it. He might like this.

>96 streamsong: Love it! You can quote from my thread at any time -- and I think someone else actually did the quoting.

I'm also reading about Russia right now with an ER book, Zuleikha. I've only read the first 100 pages of 500, but so far it is capturing my attention.

Edited: Jan 21, 11:34am Top

>98 qebo: Katherine, it's good to see you! I miss that you no longer have a thread in this group, but I understand the switch. I always love your NF recs.

Educated will be a reread for me since I read it last year. I do plan to reread it, although I don't often do that when the RLBC chooses a book I have already read.

What did you think of A Mother's Reckoning? Mental health is such a complicated subject, and the Columbine shooting was so incredibly shocking. I wonder if we've made much progress since then.

>99 jnwelch: LOL, Joe! Yup, committing to an almost 900 page western was the tough part. Reading it was the easy part. 5 stars from me.

Jan 21, 11:36am Top

>100 alcottacre: >102 ronincats: >103 EllaTim: Stasia, Roni and Ella - thanks for stopping in and for the good thoughts on the storm. I'm still debating which day will be the best driving.

>101 msf59: Hi Mark - No problem - I was late starting my thread and it's been nuts on the group. I know there are still people that I have missed, too.

>104 BLBera: Hi Beth! One Man's Wilderness is actually a 50th anniversary edition, so your Dad may already be familiar with it or have a copy. The photographs in this edition are pretty darn great, though.

Zuleikha looks interesting. Your reading lists are always dangerous for my TBR piles and lists.

Jan 21, 11:46am Top

4. The Whole Town's Talking - Fannie Flagg - 2016
- ROOT #3/50 - acq'd 2017 =2 points 4/225
audiobook in the car

I've previously read two of Fannie Flagg's books: the iconic Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe and the enjoyable Redbird Christmas.

So when I saw this audiobook at a FOL sale, I picked it up.

This follows the townspeople of a Elmwood Springs, Missouri, from it's first settling in 1889 by homesteader Lordor Nordstrom and his mail-order bride.

The original group of settlers grows, marries, has children, becomes elderly and die. We then see their offspring and their offspring's offspring through several generations.

'The Whole Town's Talking' is a gossipy column in the local newspaper. It also refers to those buried in the cemetery who continue to observe and comment on events; until one by one, the dead mysteriously disappear.

I enjoyed the pioneer section of this novel. And I also liked the moments of humor, especially with the wonderful Elner Shimfissle.

But as this novel progressed through the generations, there became dozens of inhabitants living ordinary lives. And while the day to day can be certainly beautiful, unfortunately, these characters and their brief appearances in the novel did not really catch my attention. I thought most of them had little depth due to their very numbers.

I listened to the audiobook while driving and it worked well for that. But it's not on my recommended list. I will, however, try Fannie Flagg again.

3 stars

Jan 21, 2:38pm Top

I'm always happen to add to others' lists, Janet.

I'll ask my dad about the Sam Keith book. He may be familiar with it. In fact, he may know Keith. Alaska is not a very populated place.

Edited: Jan 22, 12:54pm Top

>108 BLBera: The odd thing about the book, Beth, is that although the author is Sam Keith, it's the story of Richard Proenneke, told entirely by Proenneke's journal entries and photographs. Proenneke's name may be the one your dad recognizes since there have been several books and videos by and about Proenneke and his cabin is a National Historic site.


Jan 23, 1:18pm Top

I'll be braving the snow storm and heading off for Spokane this afternoon to see The Lion King on Thursday.

The snow isn't quite as bad as expected, but instead of going over Lookout Pass today, I'm going to stay in a place called the 50000 Silver Dollar Inn at the foot of the pass tonight. They advertise themselves as the biggest gift shop in Montana and are always a fun place to poke around in. Casino, restaurant, bar - the type of place that always has lots of truckers stopped there.

Tomorrow the storm is expected to have passed and I'll do the pass in the morning daylight.

Karenmarie, I'll probably also stop in at the Alberton bookstore since I'll have lots of time today. What did you think of it when you and Karen went there?

Books I'm taking along: Audio: The Burgess Boys and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.
Print books: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and an ER book: Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.

Jan 23, 6:10pm Top

Janet good luck in your driving through the pass and have fun in the casino/gift shop but especially have a great time at The Lion King.

Jan 24, 8:27pm Top

>96 streamsong: Love the Kondo flow chart with books. I am fascinated by the whole phenomenon!

Jan 25, 8:36am Top

Hi Janet!

>110 streamsong: I was absolutely and totally overwhelmed by the Alberton book store. They advertise 100,000 books, and I don't doubt it for a second. Mostly hardcovers on the main floor, paperbacks in the basement. Some shelves so high up that I couldn't read the titles even with my cataract-free 20-25 distance vision. They thoughtfully put a ladder out, but I wasn't going to risk it, especially on the first row on the right with floor-to-ceiling windows. Books everywhere, a reader's dream. Books everywhere, a reader's despair. I think I bought one or two - Karen, of course, bought 10-15 in specialized subjects and was ecstatic with a couple of her finds.

What did you think?

Jan 25, 9:08am Top

Thanks Janet. I will check it out with him.

Jan 25, 7:25pm Top

>105 streamsong: A Mother's Reckoning
I don't remember the details, but was left with a generally positive impression. A psychologist friend had crossed paths with Sue Klebold at a suicide prevention conference several years ago, so I read it partly in that light. Of course Columbine was not only suicide but also mass homicide, and this is not her focus.

Edited: Jan 29, 10:33am Top

Back from Spokane and back to real life.

I survived both the storm the the cowboy/trucker/tourist bar at the bottom off the pass.

It was actually a beautiful drive over with snow piled deeply on the pine trees, making it like driving through a Christmas card. At the bottom of the pass, it was clouded in - like very thick fog, but actually a low lying cloud and visibility dropped to zero. The truck stop parking lot was full of trucks whose drivers also declined to do the pass in the dark.

I did a quick tour through the gift shop (didn't buy anything), retired to my room and read. :)

Jan 27, 8:58am Top

The Lion King was lovely. The costumes and puppets were absolutely amazing. The dancing was spectacular.

Brief video on the making of the costumes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYAph4qI4sg

and the costumes in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NbR6hDXblU

Jan 27, 9:04am Top

>111 mdoris: Hi Mary! I did have a wonderful time. I'm glad I braved the elements and went.

The Disney movie came out when the kids were at the age to watch it over and over andoverandoverandover, so, being thoroughly Lion-Kinged out, I hadn't paid much attention. I'm so glad I finally went.

>112 witchyrichy: Hi Karen: I started decluttering several years ago with the Flylady http://www.flylady.net/ so I know how badly I need to keep after it. Kondo has a bit of a different take; though some of her hints are helpful, I like Flylady better.

Jan 27, 9:16am Top

>113 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I did stop at the Alberton bookstore. Overwhelming is right!

I love your description:
"Some shelves so high up that I couldn't read the titles even with my cataract-free 20-25 distance vision. They thoughtfully put a ladder out, but I wasn't going to risk it, especially on the first row on the right with floor-to-ceiling windows. Books everywhere, a reader's dream. Books everywhere, a reader's despair."

Piles and piles and piles of books. A lot of very common paperbacks in not-very-good-condition. The basement had a musty smell that made me sneeze.

Back when we were doing internet bookselling, a bookseller I knew had a saying: "the bad drives out the good; the good drives out the very good; the very good drives out the fine."

In other words, it's easy to have a shop full of junk (taped together self-help from the 70's) - and then you don't have room for the good stuff.

I think she would do better if she did a thorough Kondo-esque cleaning of the shelves!

But I did buy a nice out of print book: Red Eagles of the Northwest: The Story of Chief Joseph and His People for my collection.

Edited: Jan 27, 9:24am Top

>114 BLBera: Always good to see you, Beth!

>115 qebo: Hi Katherine! A Mother's Reckoning has been on my mental tbr shelf for years. I'm looking forward to finally reading it with the RLBC.

Suicide/mass homicide is a hard to fathom. The mother's story should be interesting. I remember the press vilifying the families of the shooters.

Jan 27, 11:10am Top

>119 streamsong: That bookstore sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you got to see "The Lion King." Yesterday I did my normal walk to the library, even though it was only 5 degrees. I decided I can't hibernate -- there's too much winter left and things to do.

Jan 27, 11:31am Top

Hi Beth - The bookstore was wonderful and terrible at the same time if that makes any sense. I may stop again, but it won't be a priority.

5 degrees - ouch!

I've signed up with a group of women to go to Yellowstone for a long weekend in mid-February. Snowshoeing, XC skiing, yoga, the snow-coach to Old Faithful and then a guided snowshoe/ski around the geyser basin; a snowshoe with gourmet food stops along the way ....

Yellowstone in winter has been on my bucket list. But I'm not looking forward to the weather!

Jan 27, 1:11pm Top

>116 streamsong: so glad everything went well on your trip and you're home safely. I've driven in wintry conditions, don't miss it one jot or tittle!

Jan 27, 6:51pm Top

Janet good that you are back safe and sound and had such a good time. Wow, a winter trip to Yellowstone sounds fantastic!

Jan 28, 10:41am Top

>123 fuzzi: Hi fuzzi - Winter driving, especially in the dark, is definitely not my cup of tea. One of the nicest things about being retired, is that I can choose to stay home when I want to!

The morning news is that there was a major semi crash on part of the road I traveled to Spokane - traffic blocked on the interstate both ways.

>124 mdoris: Hi Mary - I am looking forward to this trip! But ... I have three weeks to significantly work on how far I can walk/ski/snowshoe. I think I will be both the oldest and the most out of shape ... and I don't want to be the one to hold the group back!

Jan 28, 10:48am Top

5. My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok - 1972
- January American Author Challenge
- ROOT Acq'd 2016 = 3 ROOT points

“ So—little Asher Lev-- born in 1943 to Rivkeh and Aryeh Lev, in the section of Brooklyn known as Crown Heights – little Asher Lev was the juncture point of two significant family lines, the apex, as it were of a triangle seminal with Jewish potentiality and freighted with Jewish responsibility. But he was also born with a gift.” p 11

To the Hasidic Jews, drawing is at best a foolish waste of time, and at worst sinful; not a talent from God, but an evil from the Other Side.

However, little Asher Lev, was born with a gift – an eye, a hand, a brain that leaves him drawing obsessively and can lead him to greatness.

His father wants him only to follow in his own footsteps to help the Hasidic people who have escaped and need to escape from Eastern Europe and Russia.

But with the counseling of the Rebbe, Asher is not only allowed, but encouraged to use his gift and develops into a renowned artist.

There is a price to be paid for greatness; not just by Asher, but by his family, and the entire community.

Wonderful book! I found it a brilliant portrayal of the expectations of family, religion and community when they clash with one's own personal vision. Its story and characters will stay with me for a long time to come. I'm glad there is a sequel.

Jan 28, 11:10am Top

>126 streamsong: Chaim Potok is so good, isn't he? I like The Chosen better, but Asher Lev runs a close second.

Jan 28, 11:26am Top

Monday reading update:

I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil while in Spokane - review pending. I read this for the 75'ers NF challenge to read an award winning (or finalist) NF. This was a finalist for the Pulitzer.

I almost finished listening to The Burgess Boys while in the car on my trip. This is my first Elizabeth Strout. I definitely need to read Olive Kitteridge, which I know I have on Planet TBR.

Next up on audio will be Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson for the 75'ers NF challenge.

The book I am currently focusing on is an LTER Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster. This is a fascinating story of a prominent black activist family, starting in the early 1900's. The daughter of the family, Eunice Hunton Carter, became an activist and lawyer, and was responsible for taking down Lucky Luciano's crime family in 1933 as the only woman and only black on the task force.

A forgotten bit of black history.

RLBC this Thursday discussing Lonesome Dove, our first book of the year.

Two books to pick up at library today, including The Poet X - lots of LT recs on this one.

Jan 28, 11:27am Top

>127 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! This was my first Chaim Potok but won't be my last. I definitely want to read The Chosen as well as the sequel to Asher Lev.

Jan 28, 3:46pm Top

Oh, you've just read or are about to read a bunch of books I've loved, Janet. Hooray for the Poet X! Wasn't Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil mesmerizing? I LOVED My Name is Asher Lev, and didn't know about the sequel until Caroline mentioned it. I've started the sequel to The Chosen, The Promise. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry was another one of my top books. Don't worry if you're a bit at sea in the first chapter (I was); it gets simpler right away and stays that way.

Jan 28, 4:16pm Top

>96 streamsong: LOL! That's fantastic.

Jan 28, 7:37pm Top

>118 streamsong: Thanks for the tip about Fly lady...just browsed her site and I like her scheduling ideas. I'm trying to be more intentional about each day.

Glad your trip was uneventful but fun! Yellowstone sound wonderful as well.

Jan 28, 8:01pm Top

So glad your traveling was beautiful and non-eventful and that you enjoyed the show thoroughly, Janet! The Yellowstone trip sounds both fantastic and scary, but I bet you'll have a ball.

Jan 29, 8:22am Top

Hi Janet!

>118 streamsong: A friend of mine recommended flylady late last year – I had forgotten about that recommendation and will go back to her website. I looked at it briefly and remember being impressed at her practical baby steps.

>119 streamsong: Even finding one book at the Alberton Book Store was fantastic. I was too scattered mentally to take it all in and didn’t even have my wish list with me, couldn’t even focus on a category. And my cell phone was crapping out (got it replaced 3 days later) so couldn’t really use my flashlight for the dark corners.

>126 streamsong: I read My Name is Asher Lev and several others by Potok when in college and immediately after. I don’t have any on my shelves these days, but remember how much I liked them. I’ve always been fascinated with the history of the Jews and Jewish culture – I think it started in 5th grade when my best friend was Michael Berger. He started teaching me Hebrew but moved away the next year. My interest in Things Jewish didn’t stop, although my learning Hebrew did.

>128 streamsong: Olive Kitteridge was a 2017 read for me and it was excellent. So was Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I remember the first chapter scaring me to pieces (>130 jnwelch: and I both remember chapter 1 as difficult), but I persevered and was rewarded. Not quite 4 stars, but still a very informative and lively read.

Yellowstone in February. Good for you. Snowshoeing and skiing are two things I’ve never done, but they aren’t on my bucket list. *smile*

Edited: Jan 29, 10:46am Top

>130 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I get a lot of my book recs from a handful of people, and you are definitely one of them.

My library website is down and I couldn't remember what other book I needed to pick up yesterday. It turned out to be the Well-Read Black Girl to go along with The Poet X. Michelle Obama's book is on the way. How is it that books requested over several months all arrive in just a day or two?

>131 The_Hibernator: I'm glad it brought a smile to your face, Rachel!

Edited: Jan 29, 10:45am Top

>132 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! I've kinda sortof used Flylady for years - so you'd think my house would be much cleaner and more organized than it is. But the parts of Flylady that I use, do help me a lot. I just need to do more. Sigh.

I use part of her morning routine - quick swish of the bathroom, make bed and do the next step in the laundry. I also keep my kitchen sink uncluttered (although it's not quite shiny!) and work on things, especially things I'm not wild about doing, for 15 minutes at a time. I need to commit to decluttering 15 minutes a day.

"I'm trying to be more intentional about each day. I like that phrase a lot!

>133 ronincats: Hi Roni! The Yellowstone trip is being put together by the leader of the hiking group I belong to. It's been one of her dreams to put together long outdoor weekends for women and this is the first one. So everything is planned out, condo rented, guides and excursions booked.

I just need to walk, walk walk between now and then.

Living out in the country, my street 'block' is a mile square on each side. I live halfway down one side. So it's fairly easy to know how far I'm walking and to increase it incrementally each day. There are two 2.5 mile loops at Old Faithful. I'll do one of them, but would love to do both.

The next day is a 5K (3.2 mi) ski/snowshoe with 4 gourmet snack stops along the route.

And then with 3 trips within 3 months, it will time for stay-at-home me to stay at home.

Jan 29, 7:00pm Top

>135 streamsong: It's a law, Janet, that all reserves come at once. :)

I hope you're staying warm. I can hear the wind howling around my house and am glad I'm inside.

Jan 30, 9:55am Top

>134 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I can't imagine your house needing more organization - the organization you use for your books and your lists are wonderful. My house, on the other hand ....

I had no luck at all with the books on my list at the Alberton bookstore. I did see a couple I would have possibly bought (including one Potok), but at half the cover price, they weren't an outstanding bargain, and I was afraid of the musty smell.

I'm impressed that you learned a bit of Hebrew and a lot more of Jewish cultlure.

I used to xc ski and snowshoe more than I do now (which is almost never). Riding the snow coach into Old Faithful is more my thing, although my chiropracter just did an amazing guided snowmobile tour to Old Faithful which also sounded like fun.

It's nice to know I have good reading ahead!

Edited: Jan 30, 10:17am Top

>137 BLBera: Beth, you're right about the law of All Library Holds Coming in At Once. I've just been notified that Michelle Obama's Beoming has also arrived.

It's not too bad here - we're supposed to be outside the western edge of the vortex. It's a chilly +9 this morning but we're supposed to get above freezing as the day goes on.

Edited: Jan 30, 10:17am Top

Well, popping in and out of all the threads of people with colds, I've managed to acquire one myself.

I can almost pinpoint where I got it, since at a restaurant in Spokane on Friday, a lady at the table next to me was sneezing and coughing and complaining about her friend who gave it to her. I wasn't sure about the table etiquette about picking my stuff up and choosing another table, so I stayed put. I should have moved.

I'll be missing a luncheon at a friend's today. :( She, her husband and the new pastor (whom the luncheon is for) all have pre-existing health conditions and I'm sure they don't need a cold.

After the horses are fed, I'll curl up and alternate between Well-Read Black Girl and Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who ....

Hopefully, I'll make it to the RLBC tomorrow and the discussion of Lonesome Dove.

Jan 30, 10:26am Top

Hi Janet!

>138 streamsong: Books and lists are easy and have high priority. Other things, not so much. We still have two dressers upstairs from Bill's Mama that haven't been properly cleaned out in 9 years. They're not hurting anything, not being cleaned out, but still. That's only one example. Sigh.

Jan 30, 11:17am Top

Curling up and reading sounds like a good plan, Janet.

Jan 30, 9:14pm Top

>140 streamsong: Rats. Sorry we seem to have shared our germs. Or maybe it really was that lady in the restaurant in Spokane. ;-)

>138 streamsong: "...guided snowmobile tour to Old Faithful..." That does sound amazing! I really want to visit Yellowstone in the winter. I've only been there once, mid-90s, in summer. It was amazing and oh so memorable, but I would love to see it in the snow. How far are you from the park? We think we're about 8 hours away now, but if we were pulling our cute little trailer (which we would be), it would probably take longer. I think our truck is barely big enough to pull the r-Pod....

>135 streamsong: "How is it that books requested over several months all arrive in just a day or two?" I have no idea, but it is clearly a law of physics.
I have Michelle Obama's book on my bedside table and I so want to read it. I keep getting distracted by other things. I need to make a list(!) of what I want to read in February....

Feel better soon, Janet.

Edited: Jan 31, 10:11am Top

>141 karenmarie: Hi Karen! I need to get into the habit of 15 minutes a day of decluttering. Right now that has to take the form of organizing last year's receipts for taxes.

Sometimes, when a task feels extra nasty (like taxes!), I even break it down further and do 5 minute intervals.

>142 BLBera: Hi Beth! Yup, I read quite a bit yesterday. Well-Read Black Girl is an absolute treat. I'll need to buy my own copy for all the lists. I live in a Wonder Bread white MAGA section of the country, so these books are always a revelation for me.

Not only do library books requested over several months come in all at the same time, topics occur at the same time, too. Right now, it seems to be Black History/Experience books, since I'm reading my LTER book about a black woman lawyer in the 30's called Invisible; Well-Read Black Girl, and Michelle Obama's book, Becoming which I requested in October, is also waiting for me at the library.

Jan 31, 10:10am Top

>143 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! I hope you're feeling better! My cold is hanging on, but I'm not terribly sick. I walked about 40 minutes yesterday. Two weeks until the Yellowstone trip, so I need to walk daily, cold or no cold.

The snowmobile trip into Old Faithful that my chiro described did sound like fun. She had no snowmobile experience at all and loved it. But ... they had a fairly mild day. Temps can routinely get in the -20 to -40 range in Yellowstone, (think of the wind chill on a snowmobile!), although I think she said they were able to rent all their snowmobile suits and gear. Brrrrrr!

I'm about five hours from Yellowstone. It really is nasty crowded in the summer. When I went through there after the total eclipse, it was jam-packed bumper to bumper the whole 40 miles.

Feb 1, 9:18am Top

>144 streamsong: Ugh. Taxes. 15 minutes a day of decluttering sounds like a manageable goal. I should try it.

The Group Read thread for Last Friends by Jane Gardam is up. Here’s the link: Group Read: Last Friends by Jane Gardam. I hope you can participate.

Edited: Feb 2, 12:57pm Top


Read: 7
Fiction: 4
Nonfiction: 3
In translation: 1
Short story collections:
Memoir: 1
Graphic novels:
Men: 4
Women: 3
Combo of Men & women:

Off My Shelf (ROOTS): 6

Best of the Best: two 5 star reads:
Lonesome Dove
My Name is Asher Lev

Physical Books on Mt TBR:
As of 02/01/2019: 513 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2019: 510 books on physical Mt TBR

Edited: Feb 1, 1:36pm Top

>146 karenmarie: Thanks for letting me know, Karen! I've requested Last Friends from the library and hope to be able to start it soon.

Reading update: I finished The Burgess Boys late last night (well actually a bit past midnight) to count it with my January reads. I read seven books in January; six were off my shelves (which I count as anything acquired before Jan 1 of the current year).

My next-up fiction book is The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by South African author Wilma Stockenstrom for my lit seminar on Tuesday.

I'll start Astrophysics for People in a Hurry in the car today.

And I've started the second section of These Truths for the group read.

I've also ordered a copy of Democracy in Chains which is our next RLBC pick. This one will be a toughy for me so i need to start early and read in bits and pieces.

Feb 1, 6:56pm Top

>147 streamsong: I agree with your five stars ratings!

Feb 1, 8:10pm Top

I know, Janet, I loved the lists in Well-Read Black Girl. I'm keeping my copy for them.

Feb 1, 9:04pm Top

Wonderful how you analyze your monthly reads and report. And so great that you read so many off your shelves. I must do that too but when, the holds from the library keep rolling in.

Feb 1, 10:41pm Top

Great numbers off your shelves, Janet! I only managed two of my 10--too many shiny new objects!!

Feb 2, 11:46am Top

>149 fuzzi: Thanks, fuzzi! I'm pretty stingy with my 5 star ratings, so to have two in one month was amazing.

>150 BLBera: Hi Beth! The essays in Well-Read Black Girl just sing for me! I anticipate another 5 star rating.

Edited: Feb 4, 12:10pm Top

>151 mdoris: Hi Mary! The monthly analysis was an idea I borrowed from Beth's thread. The analysis itself is also bordered from hers, with just a few small changes.

>151 mdoris: >152 ronincats: Mary and Roni, I count anything acquired before January 1st of the current year as qualifying as a ROOT - so my January numbers are usually good. :)

A largish bunch of library holds just showed up and need to be read quickly, so my ROOT numbers will take a dive in February.

Feb 2, 11:57am Top

Our library does a 4 week winter series of independent films.

The first one this week was a Hungarian film called 1945.

Description from Rotten Tomatoes:

"On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled "fragrances." The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back, originally lost during the second World War. Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own."

It was intense and very thought provoking.

Feb 2, 12:24pm Top

At my RLBC, the person suggesting the book is the moderator for the session.

This long time member decided to dress the part, and brought a few props as well.

Western clothes and boots, carrots needed for a poke! , a Blue Duck, and, although you can't see them, Celtic earrings to memorialize one character's horrific death.

We had a very lively (and fun!) discussion. Go Sally!

I won't post the book name, but you can find it easily in earlier posts.

Feb 2, 12:59pm Top

Whoops - missed one statistic that I meant to add in >147 streamsong:: the number of physical books in MT TBR:

Trying to hold down the unread book upwards creep. My statistics since I've been keeping track of this look like this:

As of 02/01/2019: 513 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2019: 510 books on physical Mt TBR

As of 01/01/2018: 510 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2017: 481 books on physical Mt TBR
As of 01/01/2016: 459 books on physical Mt TBR

Feb 2, 7:55pm Top

>157 streamsong: Yikes, Janet you are brave to count!

Edited: Feb 3, 12:14pm Top

Hi Mary!

Well, actually, the numbers reflect the books in my 'To Read' collection. I'm pretty compulsive about adding books as soon as they come in the door. But I know there are books in the house not yet cataloged.

For instance, I'm pretty sure I have a copy of Eight Cousins for the American author read, but it's not listed in my library.

Edited: Feb 3, 10:47am Top

6. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt - 1994
- 75'ers NF Challenge- Award winner - Pulitzer finalist
- acq'd 2018 - ROOT #5/50 - acq'd 2018 =1 ROOT point (8/225)

While randomly exploring cities in the US, author Joe Verendt arrived in Savannah and fell in love. At first he was drawn by the beautiful open squares surrounded by historical mansions and Southern society. After he deciding to split his residence between New York and Savannah, he found much more to love.

He introduces an unusual bevy of entertaining characters. Not just the proper uppercrust society of Savannah, but also those quirky enough to catch his eye. There's a man who could poison all of Savannah; a beloved resident who lives happily without permission in vacant mansions while their owners are away; a flamboyant drag queen, and my favorite of all – a voodoo witch who is certain she can alter trials with help from those in their graves.

Most of the story revolves around Jim Williams, a 'new-money' dealer of priceless antiques whose gay lover is found shot to death in Jim's study. Jim doesn't deny he did it, but the police theory of how it happened and Jim's explanation vary wildly.

I would not give this Pulitzer Prize finalist the 'true crime' label it often wears. But it is fun and entertaining and I'm glad to have finally read it.

3.7 stars

Edited: Feb 3, 12:13pm Top

I'm loving this short novel, The Expedition to the Baobab Tree: A Novel by South African Wilma Stockenstrom, and translated by J. M. Coetzee.

It's for the lit seminar on Tuesday. Usually I don't enjoy the moderator's picks (although I learn something from them), but this is stellar.

Edited: Feb 5, 11:11am Top

I've finally started my January SeriesCat challenge book to read a book from a series in translation. I'm reading The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante, the second book in the Neapolitan Novels series.

My Real Life Book Club read the first in series, My Brilliant Friend several years ago.

For the February SeriesCat challenge to read a YA/Children's series, I've requested the second in Jasper Fforde's Chronicles of Kazam series, The Song of the Quarkbeast. I read the first one, The Last Dragonslayer late last year, but, although I really enjoyed it, I never did get it reviewed.

Feb 4, 9:51pm Top

Hi Janet, I'm so glad the trip to Spokane turned out well: The Lion King, driving through a Christmas card world, AND a fabulous bookstore. I would say the trip was worth it!

And now you have Yellowstone on your horizon. You are one Lucky Lady!

Feb 5, 9:01am Top

Hi Donna! I know you're heading to the Lion King, too. Enjoy!

Yellowstone - Hmmmm. Our weather wasn't bad last week when the rest of the nation was fighting the frigid temps.

But now, we're locked into single digits and it looks like it will last for the next ten days. It makes the horse chores extremely hard - and things go wrong in this sort of cold (I need to figure out why one waterer is frozen ...) Unless it warms up, I may have to pass on the Yellowstone trip.

Not to mention that Yellowstone is quite a bit colder than here .....

Feb 5, 12:26pm Top

>164 streamsong: you might enjoy a book about a woman living alone on a farm in the mountains of Vermont, by herself for the entire winter: The Lone Winter by Anne Bosworth Greene. She has a lovely way of telling her stories, and I wish more people knew about her books. They're available fairly cheaply online.

Feb 6, 8:46am Top

>165 fuzzi: - Hi fuzzi! Believe it or not, in our rural library system of 30 or so small libraries, there is actually one copy of this available. Hooray for rural libraries that don't purge books in the same way that the bigger libraries do!

So I requested it ....

Edited: Feb 7, 11:31am Top

Still single digits here, and not expected to get above freezing for at least the next ten days.

For some reason, the hot water heater has decided this is the proper time to die (poor thing was twenty years old), so I need to call a plumber today.

I finished Well-Read Black Girl last night. Another five star read!

Feb 6, 2:41pm Top

>162 streamsong: Are you enjoying The Story of a New Name so far? I read it and book 3 in January, and I hope to get to book 4 later this year.

Feb 6, 9:30pm Top

>161 streamsong: I am going to have to give that one a try!

Feb 7, 1:39pm Top

Mostly stopping by to say hello! Some good reading going on and I hope you enjoy your Yellowstone trip.

Edited: Feb 13, 12:40pm Top

7. The Burgess Boys - Elizabeth Strout - 2013
- RandomCat : Your Name in Print
- acq'd 2014 = ROOT/5 points

Families have secrets and secrets within secrets that live on to cast shadows in the present.

While the Burgess kids were playing in the family car, the car is accidentally put into gear. Their father run over and killed. Blame goes to four year old Bob Burgess, who, from that point onward is made a target of his older brother Jim's sarcasm and passive aggressive wrath.

Both boys became lawyers; both chose to leave the small town in Maine where the accident happened and have practices in New York.

But that's where the similarities end. Jim is handsome (once voted sexiest man of the year), a partner in a high profile legal practice and the father of a picture perfect family. Bob does low paying legal aid work and is divorced. Jim disdains Bob. Bob persists in maintaining the unhappy relationship with his brother.

Their sister Susan, decided to stay in their small hometown in Maine.

But the dynamics in the town are changing. Somali refugees have been resettled into the town and the small town is reeling at this very different population with limited English.

When Susan's isolated and withdrawn teenage son throws a pig's head into a Somali mosque, the state does not consider it a mere prank, but a hate crime with serious legal consequences.

Susan reaches out to her lawyer brothers whom she has not seen for years.

I found this a sympathetic look at the refugees. The reader sees relationships within the Somali community as well as their relationships with the small town. white community.

The focus of the book does not stay with the problem with the refugees. The pig's head incident is almost pushed to the background, as the case winds on, we see the Burgess siblings come to terms with who they were and who they are.

4 stars. I think I'll remember this one.

Edited: Feb 8, 9:17am Top

>168 fuzzi: Hi fuzzi! Have you read any other of Anne Bosworth Greene's books?

>169 Cait86: Hi Cait! I'm enjoying The Story of a New Name, but since it's been a few years since I read My Brilliant Friend, I am struggling a bit with all the names and relationships. I need to make myself a cheat sheet of who is related to whom!

But I love the characters and how they interact; they are so well drawn.

I'll have to check our your thread to see what you said about books 2 &3.

Edited: Feb 8, 9:35am Top

>170 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I'll be working on my review of Expedition to the Baobab Tree later today. The class on Tuesday was good, but I think the moderator has a hard time inserting himself into a women's point of view - even though this series is focused on women from different continents.

>171 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! You are absolutely right. I am reading some great books so far this year. Three five-star books out of nine read, is unprecedented for me - Lonesome Dove, My Name is Asher Lev and Well-Read Black Girl.

Feb 8, 9:28am Top

The temps are still brutal here. 11 degrees again this morning, with it expected to warm up to mid 20's today.

Tomorrow morning another snow storm is predicted followed by a temperature plunge of a predicted 0 -10 degrees all day tomorrow.

My Yellowstone trip is still in the balance. We'll have to see how things progress this next week. So far, I'm tending toward not going, even if Old Faithful in winter is on my bucket list.

Yesterday the heating and cooling guys were here, declared both my hot water heater and a small bathroom wall heater as dead. They removed the 25 year old water tank and will hopefully be installing the new one today. Highly anticipating a nice hot shower.

Edited: Feb 8, 9:34am Top

I watched The Wife on DVD last night. It's an excellent choice for a book-loving crowd like the 75'ers and touches on aspects of male vs female authors that we've discussed here.

The book that the film is based on is the February selection for the PBS/NYT Now Read This book club. I've requested it from the library; it may be a while before it arrives.

Feb 8, 11:35am Top

>173 streamsong: yes, I have, three or four I think, though I have a couple more on my shelves, unread.

I discovered her as a child, reading one of her more juvenile books, The White Pony in the Hills. Here is a passage from that book that I included in my LT review:

"There was another mountain to go over today; a charming road, leading up through golden woods flecked with sunlight, while a clear brook dashed along, dodging great mossy boulders and giving silver leaps down its many waterfalls. Sometimes you find a brook that seems dull and out of humor, lurking swampily behind muddy-footed alders, or making its sullen way through a bog, but this one was specially filled with mountain joy and raced along, laughing and splashing, while families of golden ferns lighted its brown pools."

Love her prose, and she's never boring.

Feb 8, 2:56pm Top

>175 streamsong: Glad you are getting that hot water things fixed. Hope you enjoy the shower. ;)

I'd love to see Old Faithful in the winter; i have seen it in the summer and it was amazing. Hope the weather cooperates and you get to go.

>172 streamsong: Nice recap of The Burgess Boys. I like Strout and will have to get to this one.

Stay warm!

Feb 9, 9:02am Top

>177 fuzzi: Very descriptive! Thanks for posting that.

>178 Berly: Hi Kim! Old Faithful is awesome. My favorite memory of it was when we stayed overnight at OF Lodge. I sneaked out in the middle of the night (everyone else was asleep) and saw it erupt by moonlight. And ... I had it entirely to myself, which given the National Park Crowds, added to the magic.

Thanks for the complement. That was my first Strout although I do have Olive Kitteridge on Planet TBR.

Feb 9, 9:05am Top

Hi Janet!

Yay for new hot water heater. Are you going to get a new wall heater too? We had one in the house I grew up in in Southern California (!).

Edited: Feb 9, 9:27am Top

Hot water tank and heater in bathroom replaced.

Last night I watched the old movie The Day After on TV while waiting for the blizzard to hit. Has anyone watched this one lately? Climate change hits in a hurry and the entire northern hemisphere is pretty well wiped out. Mexico shuts its gates to stem the tide of US refugees, but then decides to graciously open them ....

But hooray! While the real life newscasters kept showing video as the storm headed south, after it hit Missoula which is just to the north of me, it veered off to the east and missed me.

Eastern Montana is having wind chills in the -50 to -70 range.

I'm in the deep freeze with 7 above, but no wind. I feel like I dodged a bullet.

Edited: Feb 9, 9:26am Top

Hi Karen - I think we just cross posted.

I have a propane heater which heats my entire small ground floor - a very efficient brand called Rinnai for the heater affectionados. I have back up electric wall heaters in the bathrooms and bedrooms. All the wall heaters should probably be replaced since they are 25 years old and showing their age by sounding like an airplane is taking off when they fire up ... But the heating and cooling company is overwhelmed with emergency calls right now, so I'll wait until the weather is a bit warmer to contemplate doing this. All the bedrooms need to be painted, so replacing heaters pre-painting is a good idea.

We gutted and remodeled this old farm house 25 years ago and the mechanicals we put in at that time are starting to show their age.

Edited: Feb 13, 12:39pm Top

8. The Expedition to the Baobab Tree: A Novel - Wilma Stockenstrom - 1981
- February Lit Seminar
- Global Reading Challenge: South Africa
- acq'd 2019

This stream of consciousness novel opens with our narrator living in a baobab tree, utterly alone, and ignorant in the ways of fending for herself in the middle of the African veld.

Living in Africa just before the coming of the white man, she has been a slave her entire life and schooled in the art of pleasing men.

Now she reflects back on her life. She is devoid of human contact but fills her life with bits and pieces of memory, just as she arranges and rearranges three small beads into a variety of patterns.

“And I fill my thoughts with all sorts of objects to obliterate everything, endless row upon row, not to be counted, I thank providence, I can think of enough objects to obliterate everything, and in addition I can make up objects if the remembered ones run out. I have good remedies against being empty.” p 14

“If I could write, I would take up a porcupine quill and scratch your (the baobab tree's) enormous belly full from top to bottom. I would clamber up as far as your branches and carve notches in your armpits to make you laugh. Big letters. Small letters. In a script full of lobes and curls, in circumambient lines I write round and round you, for I have so much to tell you of a new horizon that became an expedition to a tree. “ p 34

This is a beautiful novel.

Translated by J. M. Coetzee.

Feb 11, 8:17pm Top

>183 streamsong: Sounds like an interesting book, Janet!

My husband has been to Africa, Zimbabwe, and has seen those immense baobab trees. They are said to house ghosts, and people are afraid of them.

Glad the worst cold has passed you by.

Feb 12, 12:55pm Top

>184 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Wow, I'd love to see a baobab tree.

The narrator in the book, who is living in the baobab tree, is thought to be a spirit by the tribe of 'little people' who live in the surrounding area. They take care of her with their offerings.

Edited: Feb 13, 12:16pm Top

Currently I have 10 books home from the library with another few waiting to be picked up. Aaaahghh! I've never had so many.

And my progress is awfully slow! I'm absolutely loving both Michelle Obama's book Becoming, as well as my fiction read Elena Ferrante's second in the Neopolitan series, The Story of a New Name.

I can't believe how few I am finishing things this month!

Friday I leave the snowy, cold Bitterroot Valley and head for my winter adventure in even snowier and colder Yellowstone. I know I'm in much poorer physical condition than many of the women going, so I plan to lounge around the condo and read instead of doing some of the longer treks on snowshoes and skis.

Taking the snow coach to Old Faithful is a bucket list item for me.

Edited: Feb 13, 12:38pm Top

9. Well-Read Black Girl - Glory Edim - 2018
- library

This is an outstanding collection of essays from successful black women including many black women authors. They reflect on the pain and isolation of growing up and not seeing themselves represented in books, films, television and real life models.

All of them express sheer joy of finding themselves in a variety of black writers and characters – whether it was a children's book with a black girl pretending to be a witch, or one of the very small but growing canon of well known and lesser known black authors.

I loved each and every essay. I'm neither black nor a girl, and yet my eyes are reopened to the importance of seeing oneself and one's experience in what you read.

The lists of books in this book will add immensely to my reading in the years to come.

A well-deserved 5 star read.

Feb 13, 12:04pm Top

Have a fabulous time away in Yellowstone Janet. Eager to hear of your adventures!

Feb 13, 4:03pm Top

Yellowstone sounds amazing! I hope you manage a good balance of snuggling indoors and playing outside :) And I had to double check how close to your home I rode last year - not that close it turns out. I cycled a big 1000km-ish loop through British Columbia/Montana/Idaho/Washington - it was lovely country, although a bit more on fire than I would have liked. (The loop is here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29252761 if you're curious).

Glad to have found your thread again and left a star. And you enjoyed My Name is Asher Lev! It was one of my favourite books for a while, I think I'm long overdue for a re-read.

Feb 13, 6:25pm Top

>186 streamsong: I also seem to accumulate library books at the moment, Janet. I have 9 e-books and 6 physical books... I think that is a record.

Feb 13, 6:49pm Top

Have a wonderful time in Yellowstone!!! Wish I were going (someday, maybe)...

Feb 13, 6:55pm Top

Happy Wednesday, Janet. I hope everything is going fine for you and I hope you are surviving this cruel winter weather. Good review of Well-Read Black Girl. sounds like a terrific and timely read.

Have a fantastic time in Yellowstone. I sure hope to make it back there, one of these days. A majestic place.

Feb 13, 9:39pm Top

Hope you have a great time in Yellowstone! Sitting in the condo reading sounds like a good plan, too. I'd love to be in the lodge at Old Faithful in this type of weather with a book.

Feb 13, 9:57pm Top

Oh, enjoy Yellowstone, Janet. So beautiful. You're smart to do it at your own pace.

Feb 13, 10:03pm Top

I've been hearing good things about Well-Read Black Girl. I guess I'll just have to go with the flow and read it! I do love a book-about-books.

I'm so glad you didn't give up on your Yellowstone trip. I hope the condo has a fireplace so you can keep warm while the rest of your group is on those long treks. Enjoy!

Edited: Feb 14, 1:00pm Top

>188 mdoris: Mary, >189 evilmoose: Megan, >191 fuzzi: Lor, >192 msf59: Mark >193 ronincats: Roni >194 jnwelch: Joe and >195 Donna828: Donna

Thanks for the good wishes for Yellowstone! They are having a storm/blizzard there now according to my friend who lives in West Yellowstone. The highway in one direction was closed last night, but the storm is supposed to taper off through tomorrow.

We will be staying in West Yellowstone in a condo. I don't think it has a fireplace, but it does have a hot tub. We'll be taking the snow coach to Old Faithful, but returning later in the day.

>189 evilmoose: Megan, I was so interested to see your snow biking adventures on your thread. It's one of the options to rent a bike, but I couldn't quite imagine it. Now I can! :) I may have to give it a whirl, just so I can say I tried it!

Feb 14, 1:01pm Top

>189 evilmoose: Wow, Megan, that was quite a bike ride! I love Glacier Park country - were you with others? Did you see any grizzlies?

>190 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Isn't that true about the books arriving in heaps! Squirrels gather nuts for the winter; I wonder if bibliophiles hoard books!

Two more arrived at my doorstep yesterday:

Indian Instant Pot Cookbook - Darryl, I blame you for this one!
City of Jasmine by Olga Grjasnowa an Early Reviewer book.

>192 msf59: Mark, >195 Donna828: Donna Well-Read Black Girl was superb and deserves all the love it is getting! I hope you both enjoy it!

Feb 14, 4:35pm Top

Hi Janet - Is winter over yet? We have had more snow days this year than in the last ten years combined.

Glad you now have hot water.

Great comments on The Burgess Boys, which I also loved. Well-Read Black Girl is a winner, isn't it? It added a few books to my WL.

Feb 15, 10:05am Top

>196 streamsong: There's a "snow coach" in Yellowstone? I've never been there in the winter, I guess.

Feb 15, 11:46am Top

I hope you have a wonderful trip to Yellowstone, Janet. Karen's been telling me about the snow near Bozeman/Yellowstone. I hope you stay safe and warm and have a wonderful time on the snow coach!

Feb 17, 9:04am Top

I have always wanted to go to Yellowstone - have so much fun!

Edited: Feb 19, 10:37am Top

Yellowstone in winter was amazing. I've said it was on my bucket list and it was truly bucket-list worthy!

I'll try to get a new thread started with some photos as soon as I get a bit caught up around here.

If anyone want to see the most amazing photos of the trip, and you'd like to friend me on FB, PM me. One of the women I met is a truly gifted photographer.

Edited: Feb 19, 11:05am Top

>198 BLBera: Hi Beth! Winter continues here, too. Weatherunderground doesn't show any days above freezing for the next ten days of its forecast. I loved playing in the snow in Yellowstone, but it makes my outside chores hard around here. Hope it breaks soon!

>199 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel - Yes there are several types of snow coaches in Yellowstone. We were in a small vintage one with a wooden dashboard and hatches in the top so you could pop up and take pictures. She (the coach) was named Rosebud. We had an absolutely wonderful guide who had been a ranger in Yellowstone for 28 years and then retired from the Federal service.

There are also larger ones that look more like a bus, but with huge tires. I'll post pics soon.

Feb 19, 10:51am Top

>200 karenmarie: >201 Cait86: It was a perfect trip, Karen and Cait. Pics and details to follow.

I didn't get much reading done, but I have finished listening to Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, which, as Joe and others have said in this group, is amazing.

I also need to finish Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming today as it it needs to go back to the library this afternoon.

Edited: Feb 19, 11:01am Top

Yay for Astrophysics for People in a Hurry! What a great job he did of distilling it for the rest of us. We have Becoming, and I can’t wait to get to it.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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