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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Two

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

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Jan 10, 7:54pm Top

I am hoping to make it up to northern Minnesota next month, where I would love to see a Great Gray Owl. I think it is one of the most awesome owls in North America.

Edited: Yesterday, 5:44pm Top




1) Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs 4 stars (audio)
2) Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken 4.3 stars
3) Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver by Mary Oliver 5 stars Poetry OTS
4) Becoming by Michelle Obama 5 stars (audio)
5) My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok 5 stars AAC
6) Asymmetry: A Novel by Lisa Halliday 4 stars (audio)
7) The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 4.5 stars (audio/print)

Jan 10, 7:55pm Top

I am sure this goes without saying, but I had an amazing reading year. I will end up with 158 books, (just shy of last year's total). 78 of those are print books, which I am pretty sure is a record. When I started LT, I was reading about 40. Of course, the 158 number, only includes a fraction of the poetry and GN titles I devoured, through the year.
Honestly, I do not read, just to rack up numbers. It is not a race. I just read as much as I can, dog-paddling in this never-ending sea of books. Of course, loving every minute of it too.

It is tough to narrow these books down to my favorites, especially with scores of quality titles, but we do love our lists. Like the last few years, NF seems to dominate my favorites. We are definitely in a golden age of NF. I also want to give a shout-out to short fiction, which is also going through a golden age. So many terrific collections in '18, with a big stack, all ready reserved for '19. Here we go:

Edited: Jan 14, 7:28pm Top

^Someone, mentioned starting a "Birding" thread. Honestly, I was not up for hosting another thread but I thought it would be cool, if a few of us started a birdfeeder watch and kept it updated on the participant's own thread. I know there are several of my pals over here, that have feeders. I hope I can get you to join. I am only going to log in each species I see, for the year, along with the dates. The only species changes, I expect to find, are during the various seasons. Hopefully, this will inspire me to keep a better watch on my own feeders. As of now, the Feeder report will be in post # 6. Here is what I have so far:

1) Northern Cardinal 1/1/19
2) American Goldfinch 1/1/19
3) Downy Woodpecker 1/1/19
4) Black-Capped Chickadee 1/1/19
5) White-Breasted Nuthatch 1/1/19
6) Mourning Dove 1/1/19
7) Dark-Eyed Junco 1/1/19
8) House Sparrow 1/1/19
9) Pine Siskens 1/4/19 (F)
10) Red-Tailed Hawk

^These are mostly my winter regulars, but I hope to add a few more. There is a bird at the finch feeder but not sure if it is a goldfinch or junco.

(F)- First time seen at the feeders.

Jan 10, 7:58pm Top

Jan 10, 7:58pm Top

"In the most ambitious one-volume American history in decades, award-winning historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation, an urgently needed reckoning with the beauty and tragedy of American history."

^I finished the wonderful Obama memoir and decided to tag along with the Group Read of These Truths. Typically, I read/listen to a book straight through, before moving on, but since this Chunkster clocks in at over 900 pages, I am going to dip in and out. I will be doing this one on audio. I have only read one other Lepore and that was The Secret History of Wonder Woman, which I thought was excellent.

Jan 10, 7:59pm Top

Happy new thread!

Edited: Jan 10, 8:08pm Top

^I am adding a Red-Tailed Hawk to my Bird Feeder Watch Thread. They are the most common raptor we have, in this area. He was not at the feeder, but I clearly saw him fly in the background. The Juncos fled the scene immediately.

Jan 10, 8:12pm Top

Happy new thread! The great gray owl is quite striking!

Jan 10, 8:14pm Top

Nice owl topper, Mark!

And happy new thread.

Jan 10, 8:15pm Top

>1 msf59: Love the owl Marc! Those eyes, he must be a hypnotist.

>7 msf59: I'm considering reading this, if I can find it. I know next to nothing of American history so it should be interesting. What do you think, would I need a background?

>9 msf59: Beautiful bird! More hawks than buzzards in your area? And it would prey on other birds? Nice addition to your list.

Jan 10, 8:27pm Top

Great topper! Good luck spotting one.

And happy new thread, Mark

Jan 10, 10:00pm Top

Wow, that Grey Grey Owl is spectacular! What a wonderful picture. Sounds like your reading is going well so far, Mark. I am chugging away, totally involved in my current read, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Jan 10, 10:01pm Top

>8 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

>10 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs. Love that Great Grey Owl.

>11 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

>12 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. I think These Truths is a good way to get a snap-shot of American history. I recommend it.

I definitely see more hawks, than vultures/buzzards, in our area.

>13 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I sure hope to see a Great Grey Owl next month.

Jan 11, 12:57am Top

Happy new one, Mark. What a beautiful topper.

Jan 11, 3:02am Top

Happy New one- you've moved so quickly I think I missed the last one (hope I have now caught up, at least for now!).

>9 msf59: Wow, how great to see one in/near the garden. We had a hawk turn up last week (too briefly to be fully identified), similarly all the small birds disappeared immediately.

I loved the Mary Oliver poetry posted on the last thread. I must read more by her.

Jan 11, 6:31am Top

>14 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Hooray for the Grey Owl. Is this your first time reading Their Eyes Were Watching God? I featured her on the AAC, some years back. Great novel.

>16 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb.

>17 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. We have also seen a Coopers Hawk in the backyard too, diving into the shrubbery, chasing birds. Hope I inspired you to read more Oliver. She is a treasure.

Jan 11, 7:14am Top

Morning Mark! Congrats on thread #2 for 2019!
We have a couple of red-tailed hawks living in a nest in our back yard. They don't seem to need a feeder to eat, anything is fair game to them.
Have a good one!

Jan 11, 8:10am Top

Morning Mark - happy new thread! Looking at your first four reads and the stars, I'd say you are off to an incredible start!

Jan 11, 8:54am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy new thread.

>1 msf59: That is a wonderful picture of the GGO.

>9 msf59: Your mentioning the hawk reminded me – I saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk on the drive home the other day – I saw him flying away and got a clear view of him from below. He was by the little rainwater creek we have going through our subdivision.

Jan 11, 9:04am Top

Happy new thread!

>1 msf59: What a beautiful bird! I just love owls. I made the mistake of telling Nate's grandma that I loved owls one year at Christmas when she gave me an owl figurine and now every year I get something else owl related! This year was a very difficult owl cross stitch kit lol

Jan 11, 9:58am Top

I'm unblocked, Mark. The Count of Monte Cristo is working very well. Good story that I never read before.

Jan 11, 10:02am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new one! Your topper is stunning.

Jan 11, 10:39am Top

That guy at the top is scary and impressive Mark.

Jan 11, 10:45am Top

>19 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. Happy Friday. Yah, for the RTH! How much snow did you guys get?

>20 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Yep, off to a stellar start, plus Asher Lev is shaping up to be another 5 star read and I am sure These Truths, will also be right up there. B.A.G.

>21 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. Hooray for the GGO! I don't think I have ever seen a red-shouldered hawk. I know they are seen around here, now and then. Raptors can be tough to identify, or at least for me.

Jan 11, 11:06am Top

>22 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. Do you know if Grey Owls are seen in your area? I know they live mostly in Canada.

Sorry, about that owl cross stitch. LOL.

>23 weird_O: Hooray, for getting unblocked, Bill and I am sure you are talking about books and not bowels. Grins...

Sadly, I have also not read Monte Cristo. I hope to finally get to it this year.

>24 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie and Good Morning!

>25 Caroline_McElwee: I sure hope to see one of these beauties, one of these days, Caroline.

Jan 11, 11:36am Top

Happy new thread Mark! Spectacular photo up top!!

Edited: Jan 11, 11:53am Top

Just finished Becoming... Sad face that it is over.

Next audio for me is 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

Edited: Jan 11, 12:17pm Top

Hi Mark, We were recently in Victoria B.C. and I thought of you as we went to Robert Bateman's gallery. His paintings are stunning but oh my his bird paintings are out of this world. I think you would love them. There was one I found particularly good it was a cardinal camouflaged by sumac.

Bird is perched on the lower left branch.

Jan 11, 1:06pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I really admire your passion for birding. And it teaches me so much! I know there are birders here in NYC, and during migration seasons they are very active. It must be lovely to hear all the chirps on your walks in the woods.

Edited: Jan 11, 1:12pm Top

Great photo at the top, Mark.

Sounds like we are dodging a bullet perhaps. A foot of snow in southern IL but not much more than a trace up my way.

That Lepore book sounds like my cuppa. Will have to scrounge around for a copy, and also the group read of it.

Jan 11, 1:14pm Top

Happy New Thread, and Happy Friday, buddy!

Beautiful topper photo. I hope your dream of seeing one comes true.

All is well on my end. I reviewed Sooner or Later Everything Falls, so you can see what I thought of it. The Poet X was excellent, and one I'd recommend to you.

Jan 11, 2:01pm Top

>30 mdoris: - I would love to see an entire gallery devoted just to Bateman's art. I own enough of his coffee table books, and calendars from years past, to have seen a lot of his work, and the McMichael Gallery, near Toronto, had a wonderful exhibit for him a few years ago. My favourite artist, for sure!!

Edited: Jan 11, 2:20pm Top

I'm glad you told us where to look Mary, it would have taken me an age otherwise. Off to look at more of his work.

ETA: just ordered two books of his work. Stunning.

Edited: Jan 11, 2:10pm Top

Jan 11, 2:23pm Top

Thanks Shelley. I've now done some damage ordering a couple of books of his work.

Jan 11, 3:17pm Top

>37 Caroline_McElwee: - Just don't send me the bill!! ;-)

Jan 11, 3:23pm Top

Jan 11, 3:47pm Top

The other fun thing we did in Victoria was to go to Munro's bookstore. It was originally set up by Alice Munro and her husband Jim in 1963. Yes THE Alice Munro, the amazing short story writer! It is immense and full of wonderful books. We managed to find some older Paul Theroux books that we have been hunting for for some time.. Don't you love a great book store?

Jan 11, 4:07pm Top

Checking in on the new thread. I love the owl up top!

Jan 11, 4:22pm Top

>40 mdoris:
I have only been to Victoria once but loved it. Munro's is a gem! Curious if you visited Butchart Gardens.

Edited: Jan 11, 6:01pm Top

>28 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli! Glad you like the GGO.

>29 alphaorder: Congrats on finishing Becoming, Nancy. After a couple of days, I am still missing it too. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century sounds interesting. you know how to pick those NF titles. I have started Unsheltered. Are you a fan of Kingsolver?

>30 mdoris: Hi, Mary. Some of my LT pals steered me into Robert Bateman, a couple of years ago. I love his artwork. I like the cardinal painting too.

-Robert Bateman. I love loons.

Jan 11, 6:09pm Top

>31 ffortsa: Thanks, Judy. Have you ever though of joining an organized bird walk? I think a Central Park trip would be excellent. You should think about it, come springtime.

>32 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Yep, it looks like we will dodge that snow bullet. We are only supposed to get an inch or so. You will love These Truths. I am glad it caught your attention.

>33 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Happy Friday. I did see your review of Sooner or Later Everything Falls. I hope I like it better, since I will be starting it soon. I have requested the audio of Poet X.

>34 jessibud2: I am sure you were one of the first ones, to recommend Robert Bateman, Shelley. I really like this guy.

>35 Caroline_McElwee: You never safe from BBs, are you, Caroline! Grins... Let me know which of Bateman's books you ordered.

Jan 11, 6:25pm Top

>40 mdoris: Victoria is on my bucket list, Mary. I am also a big fan of Alice Munro, which reminds me, I need to get to one of her collections in the coming months.

>41 alcottacre: Nice to see you checking in, Stasia. All is well here. Hooray for the GGO!!

>42 alphaorder: Did you ever get to meet Ms. Munro, during your bookselling days?

Edited: Jan 11, 6:42pm Top

^I received an ARC of Unsheltered last summer, thanks to Benita and was expecting to have had this one finished by year's end. Well, like many of our bookish intentions, it withered on the vine. I started it today. Reviews seem to be mixed, here and elsewhere, so I am hoping to come down on the favorable side. Only 30 pages in, but I like it so far. This will be my 5th Kingsolver book. I still have a few of her earlier books to get to.

Jan 11, 6:42pm Top

Belated happy new thread, Mark!

That is a beautiful owl at the top, it would be awesome if you got to see it IRL some day!

Jan 11, 6:57pm Top

>1 msf59: That is one sexy beast of an owl!

>30 mdoris: Oooh, I'd never seen that Bateman, Mary! Thanks. Didn't ever waste a stroke, did he, such gorgeous technical fireworks.

Happy Not-Quite-Over Day.

Jan 11, 7:51pm Top

>42 alphaorder: Hi Nancy, I visited Butchart Garden a long time ago but there are many fabulous gardens to visit in Victoria. One of my favourites is the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is very natural garden divided into rooms and they do research there. There is an area of many stunning bonsai plants. It is my favourite to go to!

>43 msf59: Mark, I saw that one in the exhibit. I think it was painted as a gift to Charles and Diana when they got married. It is a very beautiful painting. I think he got very interested in birds when he was eight and he has painted a lot of bird paintings.

Edited: Jan 11, 9:23pm Top

>44 msf59: I ordered An Artist in Nature and Canada Robert Bateman Mark.

>46 msf59: I have this in the pile, will look forward to your thoughts.

Jan 11, 9:27pm Top

>49 mdoris: Sounds like a return visit is in order!

>45 msf59: Yes. I hosted Alice Munro in 1991 for the publication of Friends of My Youth. She was already a favorite and I remember being speechless when I met her.

>46 msf59: You asked me earlier if I had read much Kingsolver. We hosted her many times over my 20 years at the bookstore. Most of her books that I read were from my early years - Bean Trees, Animal Dreams - but Alina just read Poisonwood Bible for her AP English class and I started Unsheltered a while ago. Need to get back to it.

Jan 11, 9:41pm Top

Robert Bateman also wrote a short book of essays. I think it was called Ideas, or something like that (I can't put my hands on it at the moment; it's not where I thought it was on my shelf and I am too lazy to go looking downstairs right now).

I told you, didn't I, about the day I played hooky from school (I was still teaching then), several years ago, saying I had *an appointment*, so I could go to a special event in Toronto honouring Bateman? The city dedicated a small parkette, two doors down from his childhood home and he was there with his 2 brothers. He regaled us with stories about their childhood and how his times playing and exploring nature in the ravine behind the house helped feed and nurture his passion for art and nature. He then took whoever in the crowd wanted to join him on a hike through the ravine, pointing out his bedroom window, and even did a bit of bird-spotting. I hid behind tall people when the tv cameras arrived. Last thing I wanted was to be outed on the evening news about the true nature of my *appointment*! :-)

Jan 11, 10:18pm Top

>47 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Hooray for the Great Grey Owl. She is a beauty.

>48 richardderus: Hey, RD. I hope you have a better day tomorrow. Happy weekend.

>49 mdoris: I would love to see an exhibit of Bateman's work.

>50 Caroline_McElwee: Look forward to your thoughts on those Bateman books, Caroline.

Edited: Jan 12, 5:29am Top

>52 jessibud2: that 'appointment' was great Shelley, very special. I'll look out for the essays too. I love essays.

>53 msf59: I will Mark.

Jan 12, 6:42am Top

>51 alphaorder: Ooh, I bet seeing Munro at an author event was amazing, Nancy. She sure doesn't seem to do many of those events anymore, or at least state-side. Thanks for chiming in on Kingsolver. I also want to get to Animal Dreams.

>52 jessibud2: That Bateman event sounds incredible, Shelley and well worth playing hooky for. You did the right thing. LOL.

Jan 12, 7:02am Top

Happy 2019, Lone Ranger! Gorgeous Robert Bateman pictures on your thread. The snow geese are back, ruining the fields with err - poop.

Edited: Jan 12, 7:03am Top


Yoked to what? To whom?
Calibration. Checkmate.

Thunderous blowhard,
tiny tea kettle. Boom.

Bastion at the market,
flashlight mimicry.

Look at my phrase
making, batting eyes.

Whose hand do you hold?
Whose hand do you want?

Enough of this, ruiner.
What’s the gift of talk,

talk, talk. Where’re your
minions, battle stations.

Take out your troubled
photocopies and burn

the Pilgrim’s kiss. There’s only
one story. It always ends.

-Ada Limón

About This Poem

“The poem came out of a sort of commentary on the social media echo chamber but also serves as a reminder to myself that all art comes out of an honoring of death and what might live beyond the self.”

Ada Limón

Jan 12, 7:38am Top

Good morning, Mark! And happy new thread. I see I'm already far behind, so I'll just mention that I quite liked the great gray owl photo up top.

Jan 12, 7:38am Top

>55 msf59: - Hehe, when I booked off that day for my *appointment*, I just neglected to mention that it was an appointment with greatness, vital to the health of my artistic soul. Absolutely no guilt whatsoever. ;-)

Jan 12, 7:45am Top

>56 vancouverdeb: Happy New Year, Tonto. Great to see you, my friend. Hooray for the pooping Snow Geese. I hope to see one, one of these days.

>58 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry and thanks. Isn't that GGO a beauty? I sure hope to see one this year.

>59 jessibud2: Hooray for no-guilt and the nourishment of the artistic soul, Shelley. Both are very important.

Jan 12, 8:34am Top

I received Hey Kiddo for Christmas. I'll be a graphic novel I read soon. Though right now I'm working on Vote Loki, which is pretty funny. I'm going to start collecting Loki comics for IL. Hopefully he'll end up as nerdy as I am and appreciate the collection.

Jan 12, 9:07am Top

>57 msf59:

Thanks for sharing.

Have you heard of Tracy K. Smith's podcast The Slowdown? From what I gather, it is a topic from a poem a day and is about 5 minutes. Recent podcast included Limon's The Raincoat, which I had just read and it had made an impression on me.


Jan 12, 9:08am Top

>55 msf59: Well that Munro visit was 1991, almost 30 years ago, so I can understand why she was doing more events then. :)

Edited: Jan 12, 9:35am Top

Light snow falling, as I begin the route. Not much accumulation expected. Whew. Looking forward to the next 2 days off...

>61 The_Hibernator: Morning, Rachel. I am really enjoying Hey, Kiddo, but it is a dark memoir, so keep that in mind. Hooray for starting a comic collection for IL.

>62 alphaorder: >63 alphaorder: I had not heard of the Smith podcast, Nancy, so thanks for putting it on my radar. I will check it out.

I need to dig out a Munro collection, for the near future. I think I have at least 2 or 3 on shelf.

Jan 12, 11:00am Top

Morning, Mark! I am jealous of your snow. Hoping the route goes smoothly and quickly for you today.

Jan 12, 11:06am Top

>1 msf59: What an incredible image. The stately owl. When observing nature, I can't help but believe in God. What a wonderful world filled with simply lovely creatures.

Jan 12, 11:27am Top

Mark, I may look for a bird walk nearer to Spring. Right now we are in a bit of a freeze, and I don't go out of the apartment until cabin fever hits.

Jan 12, 11:46am Top

Commenting on #231 on your last thread: Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver is one of the books I plan to read this year.

Jan 12, 12:41pm Top

Happy Weekend, Mark.

We're just getting flurries in our neck of the woods so far. I hope it's okay on your route.

On a Sunbeam is weird, but I'm liking it so far. We'll see. I'm just about done with Happiness; it's been very good. I'm glad you're picking up the Poet X audio. That should be a great way to read that one.

Jan 12, 3:57pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I hope the route is going well and there is an audio book to keep you company.

Jan 12, 5:03pm Top

I was in the bookshop today Mark and was torn: they had a selected Mary Oliver and her latest collection. I ended up getting the new one as it would travel better. I like having a poetry book in my bag. Although I want to go back and get the big one too.

Jan 12, 5:09pm Top

Mark - sure hope you see that beautiful and compelling Owl on your Northern Minnesota trip!

Winter around Madison keeps getting stranger - yesterday, flocks of geese were flying NORTH.

Edited: Jan 12, 6:20pm Top

Well, that light accumulation they predicted turned into a few inches of snow and it is still snowing out there. Roads were pretty slippery, but I am home. We are heading out for dinner but I expect an early night. Not much print reading got done today but I plan on making up for it, over the next couple of days. Just sayin'...

>65 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie. I think you would appreciated the snowfall we had today. Enough to be pretty, without being ridiculous.

>66 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. "A stately owl" is a perfect way to describe that bird. I sure hope to see one, possibly even next month. Fingers crossed.

>67 ffortsa: Good plan, Judy. Spring migration is one of the most exciting times for any birder. Please, report back.

>68 thornton37814: Hi, Lori! You made a fine choice there. Do you own a copy or are you borrowing it? Be forewarned, it is a chunkster, and will take awhile.

Jan 12, 6:23pm Top

Hi Mark. Just wanted to add a note here that I found the name of Robert Bateman's book of essays: Thinking Like a Mountain. I read it back in 2010

Jan 12, 7:14pm Top

I wish we would get a bit of snow, Mark. Although... not this week since we fly out on Thursday for a long weekend in Tucson. The Pullman airport is tiny (can you say one gate?) so snow, ice, fog.... they can wreak havoc on getting out of here.

I'm reading These Truths and wondering how it would be on audio. It's early yet but I think it's going to be a worthwhile project for the next couple of months.

I'm also reading and quite enjoying Well-Read Black Girl and thinking about what my next fiction book is going to be.

Have a great couple of days off, Mark!

Jan 12, 7:56pm Top

>73 msf59: I've owned a copy several months. It's sitting in a box beside my couch just waiting for me to pick it up!

Jan 12, 8:51pm Top

Snow, you can have it, Mark. I'll take the rain any day - though I tire of rain. Hey, we have a bunch of Bald Eagles around. They are always around, but I think I read that there are about 30,000 hanging around the Fraser Valley, which is about??? an hour and half drive from where I am. Perhaps they are escaping number 45? https://www.kamloopsmatters.com/bc-news/video-shows-huge-gathering-of-bald-eagles-in-bc-1191242

By the look of it, the eagles have formed their own wall .

Jan 13, 7:28am Top

>69 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Sorry, it took awhile to get back to you. We got 2-3 inches of snow, enough to shovel and hassle with, but we have been pretty lucky these past few weeks. Glad you are enjoying On a Sunbeam. I found it more of a chore to read. I have my audio copy of Poet X. Yah!!

>70 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I survived my long work week, now I am enjoying a couple of peaceful days off. Ahhhh....

>71 charl08: i like your idea of toting around a poetry collection. Of course, I don't carry a purse, but I usually have a copy, along with me, in my work bag. Was the Oliver collection the same one I mentioned?

>72 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Great to see you. Yes. it has been an odd winter, but mostly mild so far, which I don't mind. I sure hope those geese, weren't just confused.

Edited: Jan 13, 7:41am Top

>74 jessibud2: Thanks for the title of the Bateman essay collection, Shelley. I may have to seek it out.

>75 EBT1002: Happy Sunday, Ellen. A trip to Tucson sounds really good this time of year. Will you be able to do any hiking, on this trip? Lots of cool places to go there. I am really enjoying These Truths on audio. It is a great way to knock through large chunks quickly. I am all ready into Part 2. Lepore narrates it herself.

I am definitely having an R & R day today.

>76 thornton37814: That is perfect, Lori. Now, you can take your time with Ms. Oliver.

>77 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. How has your winter been so far? Just wet? And hooray for the Bald Eagles. Here they converge, around rivers during the winter, to have a ready food source. That is an awesome eagle video. It would be worth taking a trip there, to see that spectacle. Thanks for sharing.

Jan 13, 7:41am Top

>69 jnwelch:
Mark - I suggest you move your audio copy of The Poet X to the top of your list. It will keep you warm on the cold winter work days.

About 100 pages in Asymmetry. Keeping judgment until further along. Did you say you have this in audio or paper?

Jan 13, 7:59am Top

>80 alphaorder: There's my fellow early-riser. Morning, Nancy. Slowly making my way through my second cup. I will copy the library CDs of Poet X to my Nano today and have it for next week. I have Asymmetry on audio. I hope it works in that format. I really prefer NF or genre fiction on audio, but I am willing to give it a go.

Have you read Winter, yet? I am disappointed I didn't get to it last year, but I have requested it, so should get to it soon.

Jan 13, 8:05am Top

>81 msf59:

re: Winter
No! I was so eager to read it I bought it on release date and then I was in the middle of something else and ended up putting it on my shelf. Thanks for the reminder.

Edited: Jan 13, 8:13am Top

^After going out for a nice dinner with the wife, we came home and watched a Beautiful Boy on Prime. The film is based on the book, which I read and loved back in 2011. It is also based on Nic Sheff's memoir, about his own experiences with drug addiction, which I did not read. It is a decent film, with a good performance by Steve Carrel and an excellent performance by Timothée Chalamet, as the son. This kid is a helluva actor. He could end up being, one of the best of his generation. Be prepared to shed a few tears. Sue did.

Oh yeah- Don't try crystal meth! What a horrifying drug.

Jan 13, 8:13am Top

>78 msf59: Not even a man bag? (!)

The one I nearly got was this one. Gorgeous cover.

Edited: Jan 13, 10:27am Top

>80 alphaorder:, >81 msf59: - Interesting. I borrowed the audiobook of Asymmetry from the library shortly after my morning radio guy raved about it. But in looking at the reviews here on LT, I think I am going to return it unread. For one thing, it seems that it is 2 novellas and a third section attempting to connect them. I just finished Old Men at Midnight for the AAC, and that was three novellas. I am not a fan of short stories or novellas-as-a-novel format and since I have a whack of library holds all arriving at once, including 2 other audiobooks I REALLY want to get to (Becoming and In Pieces), I think passing on the Halliday one will not be difficult for me. Besides, I don't know what I was thinking: my morning guy on the radio is a big reader but I have often followed his recommendations and I already know that he and I don't always have the same taste in books. At all. Oh well...

Still, I will be interested to hear your reviews of Asymmetry when you are done.

Jan 13, 8:30am Top

Good Sunday to you, Mark! Hope it's a warm and cozy one. I've also seen mixed reviews of Unsheltered so I will await your review with great interest.
May favorite Kingsolver is The Bean Trees. Have you read it?

Jan 13, 8:32am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you!

I made some good headway in These Truths yesterday and am on pace to have the first section well before month end.

Just before I woke up I had a dream that a hawk was slowly flying over my bird feeders looking for prey. Fortunately the birds scattered. I've never dreamed about birds before that I can remember!

Edited: Jan 13, 8:41am Top

>83 msf59: I haven't seen Beautiful Boy yet, Mark, but the trailer sure looked good. It's great to see your thoughts on it. I agree Chalamet is an amazing new talent. I've also been impressed with the dramatic roles Steve Carrell has taken on, beginning with Little Miss Sunshine which is one of my favorite movies. He was exceptional in Foxcatcher, which was of added interest since we lived in the general area where the events took place, so it was all over the news at the time.

Jan 13, 9:08am Top

>82 alphaorder: Maybe, I will inspire you to pick up Winter a bit quicker, Nancy. I loved Autumn. Unfortunately, I am having issues with my CD/DVD drive on my laptop, so I don't think I'll be able to copy The Poet X CDs. Bummer. I think the problem is, when I switched to Windows 10, the drivers needed to be updated. It is such a hassle.

>84 charl08: No, man bag, for the Warbler. LOL. I do have a work bag, that I keep my books, snacks and binocs in, but that is just for work.

That Oliver collection is from 2004 and I am sure it is perfectly fine. Devotions is just more updated and much longer.

>85 jessibud2: I have a feeling that Asymmetry is not for everyone, so I am sure you have made the right decision, plus there is always so many books to get to.

Jan 13, 9:11am Top

Happy newish one, Mark and a wonderful weekend to the Postie-with-the-Mostie

Jan 13, 9:17am Top

>86 Carmenere: I also loved The Bean Trees, along with the follow-up, Pigs in Heaven. Not far into Unsheltered but I like it, in the early going.

>87 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Ooh, hawk dreams. I love it. I can't recall if I have had any bird dreams. Maybe, I think about them enough during the day? Grins...

I am into Part 2 of These Truths, but now I will take a break for a week or so.

>88 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. I also recommend reading Beautiful Boy first, if you can. He is a very good writer. I first saw Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name and was impressed immediately. I like Carrell too. I have not seen Foxcatcher yet, though.

Jan 13, 9:44am Top

Hi Mark, I knew there was a new Prime movie I wanted to see. Beautiful Boy is it. last night I watched The Kindergarten Teacher on Netflix last night. Unsettling is the word for it. I love anything with Maggie Gyllenhal so that was why I watched it and she was terrific of course. Very thought provoking.

Jan 13, 11:50am Top

I've read most of Kingsolver's novels, haven't got to Flight Behavior or Unsheltered yet. But The Bean Trees is still my favorite.

>77 vancouverdeb: That video is incredible. My MIL often talks about Kamloops; she was born and raised in Vancouver. However, she says she has never in her 90 years seen a bald eagle. We hope to remedy that for her one day.

Jan 13, 12:45pm Top

Our daughter is just moving from Kamloops and heading to Iceland with her new baby. I will have to send her the link to the eagles video. That was amazing to see the eagle wall!

Jan 13, 1:12pm Top

>90 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Good to see you, stranger.

>92 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Thanks for the rec on The Kindergarten Teacher. I will put it on my watchlist. You may have to pay a few bucks for it, on Prime, but I highly recommend "The Rider". It will probably be my favorite film experience of 2018. Perfect in every way.

>93 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. I can't believe I never got to Flight Behavior and that one was well-received too. Maybe, I can finally bookhorn it in this year.

>94 mdoris: Hi, Mary. Your daughter is moving to Iceland? If so...Wow!!

Jan 13, 4:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

Jan 13, 6:23pm Top

Hi Mark. We do plan to do some hiking while in Tucson. I don't believe the Saguaro National Park will be open but there are other places around there to explore. I also have some reading-by-the-pool time planned. :-)

You are going to finish These Truths well ahead of the group. It's compelling, though, so I can completely understand following Ms. Lepore right along!

Jan 13, 6:31pm Top

>46 msf59: I will be curious to see what you think about that one, Mark. I have read several of Kingsolver's books and enjoyed them all, but have not even heard about that one!

Jan 13, 6:39pm Top

>83 msf59: I too found Beautiful Boy a deeply satisfying film from the performances-delivered standpoint, but I wasn't a fan of the source material. The YGC and I watched it because he wants to be Timothée Chalamet when he grows up.

I shall do all in my power to support this ambition coming to fruition.

Jan 13, 6:58pm Top

>96 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. Happy Sunday!

>97 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. There are a few places in this area, where wild horses can be found but I can not recall the name of the place(s). We did not see any that time, but my friend, who lives in Good Year, saw several the next time she went.

Jan 13, 7:06pm Top

>98 alcottacre: Unsheltered came out in October, Stasia. I am only 140 pages in. I am enjoying it so far, but the warbling, will have to wait.

>99 richardderus: Hey, RD. I am glad you both enjoyed Beautiful Boy. It didn't work perfectly for me, there were flaws, but the performances, especially from the two leads, was flawless. Chalamet has a very shiny future, ahead of him.

Jan 13, 7:15pm Top

>101 msf59: Major stardom unless he wads it up and throws it away with both hands.

Jan 13, 7:32pm Top

>102 richardderus: His trajectory reminds me of River Phoenix, in the late 80s and early 90s, before his star sputtered out, far to soon. Let's hope Chalamet continues to shine.

Edited: Jan 14, 7:01am Top

Finished Bright Dead Things, which I thought was terrific. Citizen Illegal is my next poetry.

Jan 14, 6:16am Top

Morning, Mark! I'll have to add Beautiful Boy to the watch list - Tomm and I are both big fans of Steve Carrell.

Jan 14, 7:08am Top

>104 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Hooray for Bright Dead Things! Limon Rules! And you are going to love Citizen Illegal.

>105 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Beautiful Boy is a good film but as a parent, it can be a tough one to watch, so be prepared.

Jan 14, 7:11am Top

Morning, Mark! Making a note of your movie recommendation to Bonnie - I'm going to track that one down.

Jan 14, 7:50am Top

>101 msf59: What?! Wait? Wait for what? Get on with it, man!

Happy Monday, Mark!

Edited: Jan 14, 7:57am Top

>107 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! I can not recommend The Rider high enough. Beautiful and heart-breaking in every imaginable way. And what this film-maker does with mostly non-actors, playing versions of themselves, is remarkable.

^This is currently on Amazon Prime, but check On Demand too. If you have to pay a few bucks, it is worth every cent.

Edited: Jan 14, 8:59am Top

>108 alcottacre: LOL. If it is any consolation, Unsheltered is keeping my attention, and both timelines too.

Morning, Stasia! It is Happy Monday, since I have the day off. Yah!!

Jan 14, 8:05am Top

'Morning Mark and happy day off. Have fun.

Jan 14, 8:12am Top

What are you doing on your day off?

Jan 14, 9:00am Top

Good morning, Mark. Happy Day Off!

On a Sunbeam was okay. It wasn't a chore for me, but it wasn't the standout I was hoping, either. I liked her Spinning, and was hoping for . . . more.

The Shaun Tan book is a weird hoot so far. Surreal stories combined with surreal painting. Sounds like him, right? I've started the new Hannah Berry GN, Livestock, and I think it's going to be a head trip, too.

Jan 14, 9:08am Top

>83 msf59: Good Morning Mark. I checked and found that my local library has a copy of Beautiful Boy. I placed a hold on it and should be able to obtain it this afternoon. A cold day, but the sun is shining and I'm going to the library later...Retirement is certainly wonderful!!!!

Jan 14, 9:33am Top

I'll add my hearty approval to The Rider, too. I was happy to see it made Obama's list of favorite movies for 2018.

I received a copy of it for Christmas, but have not rewatched it yet.

Jan 14, 10:09am Top

>111 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. Love being off on a Monday.

>112 alphaorder: Our clothes dryer went on the fritz yesterday, so I am at the laundromat, drying some clothes. Almost done and then heading to the Arboretum for a stroll. Most of the afternoon will be reserved for the books.

Jan 14, 10:15am Top

Enjoy your outing to the Arboretum today, Mark.

Jan 14, 11:08am Top

Enjoy your fresh air and books today!

Jan 14, 11:23am Top

Arboretum? IN JANUARY?! Oh, birds. Of course...how silly of me.

Crudbuckets on the dryer. Yay on the bookish afternoon. What have you got your eye on?

Jan 14, 2:10pm Top

>113 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It has been a busy morning, but I hope to huddle down with the books for the rest of the afternoon. I hope you got a little bit more out of On a Sunbeam than I did. It may have worked better at half the length. IMHO. The Tan collection sounds really interesting. Ooh, Livestock...

>114 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. I think you will really enjoy Beautiful boy, but be prepared to have your heart broken. I am very jealous about your retirement.

>115 streamsong: Hi, Janet. After seeing The Rider, I immediately thought of you, but failed to mention to you, on your thread. Bad Mark. I am so glad you have a copy and enjoyed it. I am not an expert but I don't think I have ever seen a film capture the relationship between man and a horse, better than this one.

Jan 14, 2:14pm Top

>117 harrygbutler: >118 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Harry and Chelle. I only strolled around about an hour or so, (the walking is more difficult on packed snow) but I enjoy the woods and the quiet.

>119 richardderus: "Arboretum? IN JANUARY?" Yep, as you have known for awhile, I am a kook, but this kook is back in his warm & cozy Man-Cave for the rest of the afternoon.

"What have you got your eye on?" Bird or book? LOL. I am reading Unsheltered at the moment. I like it so far.

Edited: Jan 14, 2:42pm Top

^Not many birds to take photos of, at the Arb, but plenty of scenery to chew on. This is the Spruce Plot, where I took Joe and Debbi, last year. The silence in the winter feels so much different than any other season. I think the snow acts like a baffle. Mostly I heard my own footfalls, and the occasional honking of geese flying overhead.

I also just missed, what I believe was a Barred Owl. I saw it fly, land for a few seconds and then fly away again. I could not get the glasses on it, long enough for a positive ID. A fellow birder recommended this location, for the B.O. so I am getting close.

Jan 14, 2:36pm Top

Hi Mark!
I had a Two Lemire Sunday yesterday. Read the third Royal City and the first of a newer series called Gideon Falls. Loved Royal City so much. Gideon Falls is different - supernatural/horror and while good, it's not my preferred fare.

Edited: Jan 14, 2:44pm Top

So Unsheltered, which I've seen , and barred owls, which I haven't. Owls are spiffy-lookin' birds!

Jan 14, 6:37pm Top

>123 SuziQoregon: Hi, Juli. Hooray for a Two Lemire Sunday! I need to get back to the Royal City books and I had not heard of Gideon Falls. Wow! This guy is prolific. Hard to keep up.

>124 richardderus: Now, I see exactly what you are talking about, RD! Grins..and what is quite coincidental is that, there is a section in Unsheltered, where the main characters take a day trip to Cape May, NJ, during the fall migration festival and are bumping into "birders", with all their geeky gear.

Those owlets are adorable and look exactly like the ones I saw early last year and hope to see again in the very near future.

Jan 14, 6:44pm Top

>125 msf59: *chuckle*

Edited: Jan 14, 7:27pm Top

^My wife took this photo of a male Northern Cardinal, hanging in the snowy thickets, directly behind our feeders. I would not be surprised if Mama cardinal was at the feeders. They take turns.

Jan 14, 7:38pm Top

Hello Mark! I hope you had a great weekend. I see more films mentioned on this page than usual, which is fine by me.

>1 msf59: >124 richardderus: excellent owl pictures.

>83 msf59: I heard about this film and have stayed away from it for the very reason you mentioned; dramatic tears.
Sometimes, I fears emotional manipulation and will stay away. However, you praised the performances, which may have me taking a closer look.

>109 msf59: I have not heard of this film. The image you posted is compelling. I'll be looking for it. In fact, the image reminds me of very emotion scene in the texas rising mini-series. The scene features Harry Dean Morgan, a Texas Ranger, who is dying of consumption, wakes up after a battle to find his horse, whom he loves, wounded beyond any aid that could be given. He has to put the horse. down. Such a touching scene and a great overall performance by Morgan. I know it has nothing to with the film you mentioned, but image evokes a memory.

Jan 14, 8:00pm Top

>122 msf59:

Looks beautiful - still no snow our way. Reading what you had to say about the sounds at the Arboretum in winter reminded me about this piece one of our naturalists wrote about the beauty of winter sounds.

Jan 14, 8:04pm Top

>127 msf59: The cardinal photo is nice! Such a contrast in colors!

Edited: Jan 15, 12:09am Top

i liked the cardinal picdture too. They are gorgeous birds.

Edited: Jan 14, 9:08pm Top

>128 brodiew2: Hi, Brodie. Good to see you. Glad you like the owls. Obviously, I am a big owl fan.

I like good movies and this time of year, I am catching up with the best films of the previous year. I am not into many mainstream films, with a few exceptions and I like the smaller, edgier works. A film like The Rider fits perfectly in my Marky-Mark wheelhouse.

Jan 14, 9:14pm Top

>129 alphaorder: I loved the Symphony of Sound piece, Nancy. That Naturalist nailed it. I enjoy my winter strolls. I just wish I could have got a solid look at that owl.

>130 thornton37814: >131 mdoris: Glad you like the cardinal, Lori and Mary. Such a welcome splash of color, in a normally drab season.

Jan 14, 9:54pm Top

Oh thanks Mark. I will look for The Rider.

Jan 14, 11:58pm Top

>127 msf59: That's a great shot, Mark. Looks like something you would see on a Christmas card! I hope it warms up for you soon. I you see geese heading north they might be heading west too as western temperatures are above seasonal.

Jan 15, 12:55am Top

Hiya Mark! I can hardly keep up with you. : ) Love the BBs here, as in birding and books.

Jan 15, 6:31am Top

Love the cardinal photo, Mark!

As you may remember, I'm not much of an outdoorsy person, but I do love how a nice snow can muffle sounds. So lovely.

Edited: Jan 15, 6:35am Top

>134 brenzi: Let me know if you track it down, Bonnie.

>135 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Glad you like the cardinal portrait. These Canada geese are flying in all directions here. I am sure most of them are wintering here.

>136 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! Yes, it gets a little crazy on the Marky-Mark thread, but nice to see a few BBs hit the mark.

>137 scaifea: Morning, Amber! I try to find joy in all the seasons, since I live in the Midwest and that winter blanket of silence is definitely a highlight.

Edited: Jan 15, 6:42am Top

^I am taking a break from These Truths, (which has been terrific) and I will focus on a couple other audio choices, starting with Asymmetry. I prefer NF and genre fiction on audio and usually save literary fiction and short fiction, for print. That said, I found this one on audio and will give it a go. It has been getting mixed reviews, here and elsewhere, so we will see which side I land on.

I am also just about at the halfway point in Unsheltered. It may not be one her smoothest narratives, but it is smart and definitely ambitious. So far, so good.

Jan 15, 6:43am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you.

>122 msf59: The silence in the winter feels so much different than any other season. I think the snow acts like a baffle. You're right.

>127 msf59: Yay Sue - excellent pic of the male Cardinal.

Jan 15, 7:05am Top

>140 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Only seeing the usual suspects at the feeders, but they have been busy. Heading out to work...

Jan 15, 7:16am Top

Another blog post you might enjoy. These photos are from the hike Zoe and I took down to Lake Michigan last Friday. Her photos are much better than the ones I shared on FB: https://www.schlitzaudubon.org/2019/01/14/icicles-at-the-lake-michigan-shoreline/

Jan 15, 7:43am Top

Happy Tuesday, Mark! Did you finish the Kingsolver book while you were off yesterday? :)

Jan 15, 7:59am Top

>139 msf59: Mark, I seem to be following in your reading footsteps. One of my book groups selected Asymmetry for our February meeting, and I plan to start read it just as soon as I finish Becoming. I, too, have seen the mixed reviews and Mrs. Obama will be a very tough act to follow. However, I noticed Asymmetry was on Barack's end-of-year book list so there's that.

Jan 15, 8:57am Top

Good morning, Mark! That's an excellent wintry photo in >127 msf59:.

Jan 15, 9:04am Top

>121 msf59: Perhaps some snowshoes for your winter birding adventures?

Edited: Jan 15, 9:39am Top

>142 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I will have to circle back to take a gander at Zoe's photos. I am sure they are wonderful.

>143 alcottacre: LOL, Stasia. No, I did not. I still have 230 pages left. I am actually not a fast print reader and if I ever hit a 100 pages or so, that is a big reading day for me. Of course, that does not include any poetry or GN reading, that may also be done.

Jan 15, 10:24am Top

Morning, Mark! Love the cardinal photo. You are a tough guy to keep up with, but I am determined not to lose you this year.

Jan 15, 11:07am Top

>144 lauralkeet: Hooray for reading footsteps, Laura. I can immediately see why Asymmetry is not for everyone. It is very offbeat, with an odd tone to the characters, but I like this stuff, if it is done well. Hoping for the best.

>145 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. Hooray for the colorful Cardinal.

>146 ChelleBearss: Thanks for the suggestion, Chelle, but snowshoes sound like more work, although I have actually never wore them. The packed snow is only a couple of inches, so it isn't about depth.

>148 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. I love seeing your visits. I hope your health stays on a steady course.

Jan 15, 5:25pm Top

Hi Mark. Long day for you, eh what? Our local weather will be good for the postie up until Friday when the dreaded wintry-mix-at-40° arrives.

I'm in a foul, pain-wracked humor so I'll take myself off and have some dinner.

Jan 15, 6:37pm Top

>149 msf59:

Snowshoes are great fun even just for short hikes around my 3.3 acres - all that's needed now is SNOW!

Maybe that's why the geese have been flying north...wondering where it all is.

Jan 15, 6:46pm Top

>150 richardderus: Hey, Richard. Not a bad work day at all. Just a cold one. I did not read as much as I would have liked, during breaks and lunch, so I tried catching up a bit after work and maybe some more later, before I get sleepy.

Sorry, to hear you are having a tough day. I wish things would ease up for you.

>151 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I may try snowshoes, one of these days. I have also never tried cross-country skiing either. That also looks like work. Still plenty of winter left for snow, so we will see what happens.

Edited: Jan 15, 6:54pm Top

-Dark-Eyed Junco

-Shoreline, Lake Michigan

>142 alphaorder: Thanks for sharing Zoe's lovely photos, Nancy. She has an artist's eye. Always good to see a Junco too. They rarely stay still, for me to snap a photo.

Jan 15, 7:05pm Top

>153 msf59: What a lovely bird. And a good photo. It must be difficult to get close enough to take a shot like that.

Have a nice day or evening Marc.

Jan 15, 7:49pm Top

>152 msf59: Mrsdrneutron and I have snowshoes and love to get out with them when we get more than about 6 inches. It’s actually pretty easy to tromp around in the, once you get used to it.

Jan 15, 10:09pm Top

>154 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Taking bird photos is not easy. This photographer is very good and has an excellent camera. I lack both.

>155 drneutron: Thanks for the snowshoe input, Jim. I am sure I will give it a try, one of these days.

Jan 16, 5:28am Top

Morning, Mark!

I've kind of always wanted to try snowshoes, but I bet I'd be a mess in them!

Jan 16, 6:33am Top

>157 scaifea: If you get any photos of you doing that, let me know. Grins...Morning, Amber. Happy Wednesday.

Jan 16, 6:43am Top

>158 msf59: Hahaha! NOPE.

Jan 16, 9:06am Top

Happy Mid-Week, Mark.

Snowshoes - man, those were a lot of work when I tried them. Experienced folks probably zip along. Snowmobiles - way easier.

I have to figure out where I put the Shaun Tan book! It's in the house somewhere. I just finished a disappointing conclusion to a sci-fi trilogy, Revenant Gun. Too bad. You'll get a kick out of Livestock when you get to it.

Jan 16, 9:53am Top

>64 msf59: Hey Kiddo can't be any darker than The Hate U Give, right?

Jan 16, 10:54am Top

Hi Mark - I didn't love Asymmetry but it was one of my book group's best discussions in a long time. Everyone had varying opinions and there was a lot to talk about. I'll be curious what you think.

Right now I'm enjoying The Italian Teacher - haven't heard much LT buzz about it yet.

Jan 16, 11:02am Top

I'm such a klutz that I'd probably kill myself and several onlookers if I tried to walk in snowshoes. That not-seagull in >153 msf59: is so gray and tiny that I'd never even register its presence. Birder eyes are amazing.

As to the Lake Michigan photo:

Jan 16, 11:04am Top

>159 scaifea: Chuckling...

>160 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I will have to try snowshoes one of these days, just to try it. Were you satisfied with the Tan collection? I will request Livestock.

>161 The_Hibernator: Hey, Rachel. Yep, both are pretty dark but in different ways.

>162 vivians: Hi, Vivian. I am really enjoying Asymmetry. I am nearly done with part one. Alice is at jury duty. Glad it was a good book discussion. Not familiar with The Italian Teacher. I will watch for your warbling.

Jan 16, 11:08am Top

Morning, Mark! Love the photos - that Junco is amazing.

Jan 16, 11:11am Top

Hi Mark. I don't buy ebooks but I subscribe to some ebook site, just to see titles (yeah, I'm weird that way)

Here is one from today's sale offerings that I thought might catch your attention:

Neither Snow Nor Rain by Devin Leonard. Its subtitle: A History of the United States Postal Service.

A rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system—and the country—to a halt in the 1970s... “Delectably readable” (Chicago Tribune).
The book makes you care what happens to its main protagonist, the U.S. Postal Service itself. And, as such, it leaves you at the end in suspense.” —USA Today

It's on for $1.99 today at Early Bird Books.


Jan 16, 11:14am Top

>166 jessibud2: *owowow* Book bulleted...Ammy is now $2 richer.

Jan 16, 4:10pm Top

Hi Mark, just cruisin' through, I hope your day is going well. We are having a lovely day today, blue sky and sunshine. Went for a short walk this morning and I may just go for another one this afternoon, as apparently the rain is arriving tomorrow.

Jan 16, 6:34pm Top

ALA in Seattle is coming up. Loreanne and Tim (the LT god) will be there. LT is offering the free passes to the exhibit hall. So far I have had no takers on a meetup. Is that still the case? If there is interest I am willing to make plans. Saturday night works best for Tim as he has meetings he has to go to on Sunday night. Here is the url for the free passes to the exhibits and all that swag.

Hi Benita,

Thanks for reaching out and offering to set up a meetup! I'm happy to report that we do, indeed, have free, exhibit hall-only badges for ALA Midwinter.

Please direct anyone who'd like a badge here: https://www.compusystems.com/servlet/ar?evt_uid=313&oi=MuXZMs%2BGlqrHoIiGjo9vog%3D%3D&company_code=V059.

That should automatically fill in the exhibitor invitation code. I just tested it out myself and was able to register successfully without any trouble.

If there's anything else I can do to help, please let me know. Definitely keep me posted as details get hammered out, so I can publicize the meetup in the State of the Thing this month!

Thanks again,

Loranne Nasir
Member Support & Social Media Librarian, LibraryThing
LibraryThing | Facebook | Twitter

Jan 16, 6:52pm Top

>163 richardderus: I am still chuckling over the Kramer video, RD. I can relate.

>165 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie. I get the juncos at my feeders but they are tough to photograph. They like to endlessly flit about.

>166 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Neither Snow Nor Rain has been on my radar, but that ebook deal definitely got me attention. Thank you. I went ahead and grabbed the audio version too, for an extra 7 bucks. Duh! Walking the route and listening to this, will be perfect.

Jan 16, 6:57pm Top

>167 richardderus: Glad that one got you interested, Richard. I snagged it too.

>168 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. You weather sounds perfect. Enjoy. We are stuck in a winter pattern, which is completely understandable in January. Snow storm arriving on Saturday. Ugh.

>169 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. I hope you get some takers. ALA is always an awesome event for book lovers. What day do you leave?

Edited: Jan 16, 7:02pm Top

^The birds were a bit more active today on the route. All 3 of our local woodpeckers were attendance and all in the span of a few minutes, including the Red-bellied, ^(image) and the Hairy and Downy W.P. Always nice to see these guys.

Edited: Jan 16, 7:14pm Top

I am leaving on Thursday, January 24 a 5:30 a.m. That means I have to be at the Birmingham airport at 4:00 a.m. Then it is all day to get to Seattle. I hope to have a good nights sleep on Thursday at the home of a cousin. My sister and I will meet at the hotel on Friday afternoon and head to the opening speach. That will be given by Melinda Gates at 4:00 p.m. then it will be free books in the exhibit hall until 7:00 p.m.

Tim and Loreanne will be the LT reps this year and they will be in the ProQuest booth. LT does some programming and other work for ProQuest, so that is the booth they work out of during ALA. If there is any interest we have reserved Saturday evening for a meetup. So far nobody has indicated that they are going to be in Seattle or that they want to meet Tim and Loreanne. If there is interest I will plan something, but otherwise it will just be us.

I am going to attend a cocktail hour at the Kaulhaus on Saturday evening. That is the downtown Public Library building in Seattle and it is such and interesting building. Then it will be out for supper - or supper with the LT Gods.

Jan 16, 7:10pm Top

>173 benitastrnad: July 24th? Grins...I sure wish I could attend this, Benita, but I am seriously thinking about the D.C. ALA. Fingers crossed.

Jan 16, 7:14pm Top

OK. I changed the month. It is January.

Jan 16, 8:00pm Top

>152 msf59: >155 drneutron: >157 scaifea:

Snowshoes no "work" at all > !!!

Years ago, we would take our three classes of city raised 4th graders to The MacKenzie Center (near Portage, Wisconsin),

help clip the snowshoes on,

and the kids just took off!

Maybe there's a local place for renting...?

Yesterday, 6:30am Top

>176 m.belljackson: That is the Badger State, Marianne. Those kids are born to it. Grins...We may need those snowshoes this weekend.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:07am Top

^Thanks to Shelley, I snagged an ebook copy of Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service and for an extra 7 bucks, grabbed the audio. I hope to bookhorn this one in, for next month.

Yesterday, 7:24am Top

>178 msf59: - :-) Glad to be of service, Mark. Let me know if it's a good one. I will see if my library has it in audio. I like this sort of history NF. If I did ebooks, I'd have ordered it myself!

Yesterday, 7:37am Top

>178 msf59: I am interested in that one too, so Shelley hit me with a BB without even trying :)

Mark, I cannot remember if I told you or not, but there is a board game coming out in March called Wingspan. One of the features of the game are 180 cards all with different North American birds on them. The artwork in the game is gobsmacking gorgeous. I wish I knew how to post the pictures, but you can check out the artwork here if you like: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/266192/wingspan

Yesterday, 7:44am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you.

>172 msf59: I love seeing woodpeckers! All three have visited here at the house, and I have even seen Pileated here, but not in several years.

Yesterday, 7:53am Top

>180 alcottacre: - It's what we do, isn't it, Stasia? ;-)

And that board game looks amazing! GB!!! (game bullet?)

Edited: Yesterday, 8:42am Top

Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday!

>180 alcottacre: Wow! Thanks for sharing, Stasia - those cards are indeed gorgeous.

*back to add an image:

Yesterday, 8:52am Top

>178 msf59:, >179 jessibud2:, >180 alcottacre: That settles it: Ammy owes Shelley a commission! They made $14 on the strength of her mention.

Thrilling Thursday, Mr. Postman, and may the winter storm be less lion than cub.

Yesterday, 9:06am Top

>184 richardderus: - Ha! If only it worked that way, ay, Richard? ;-)

Edited: Yesterday, 9:35am Top

Good morning, Mark!

I just re-found the Shaun Tan book! It was under some others in a room I wouldn't have guessed - Debbi said, oh yeah, I saw it, and there it was. So I've a ways to go. It's been surreal fun so far.

I'm also reading the last one out in the Invisible Library series, The Mortal Word, and an acclaimed graphic of Tom's Midnight Garden. I read the latter to our kids when they were little. My current Hoagland is Little Oceans.

>172 msf59: Like that woodpecker photo!

Yesterday, 9:40am Top

>185 jessibud2: If only! Gracious, we'd all be richer than Croesus around here.

Yesterday, 9:41am Top

>179 jessibud2: It looks like you sparked something, Shelley. BBs and GBs flying.

>180 alcottacre: Morning, Stasia. Wingspan sounds and looks awesome. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone that would play it with me. LOL. I may buy it anyway.

>181 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the woodpecker love. I doubt I will ever see a Pileated at my feeders. We are a bit to urban but fortunately they can be spotted in the outlying areas, although they can still be quite elusive.

Yesterday, 11:03am Top

>183 Crazymamie: Sweet Thursday, Mamie. Those game cards look beautiful. Thanks for sharing the image. I just wish I had someone to play it with, although that might not stop me, from picking up a copy. Grins...

>184 richardderus: Morning, RD. Yep, Shelley is causing quite a stir over here. Not bad day on the route. Could use more sunshine but the light winds are a benefit.

Yesterday, 11:05am Top

>186 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Glad you located the Tan collection. Not familiar with the Invisible Library series or Toms Midnight Garden. Call me a slacker, if you will.

And hooray for another Hoagland. I am sure it is another gem.

Yesterday, 12:45pm Top

That is sad.

Yesterday, 12:50pm Top

>177 msf59:

Lucky you! - we're getting NEITHER SNOW NOR RAIN, with drought in the back of many minds.

Yesterday, 1:04pm Top

>183 Crazymamie: I want those cards...

Yesterday, 1:05pm Top

Hi Mark, I stopped by to say hi and catch up and now am thoroughly saddened to see the news of Mary Oliver’s death. Such a loss.

Yesterday, 1:42pm Top

Just passing by to say thanks (to you and Ellen) for warbling about Where the Crawdads Sing. We chose it as our book group pick for next month - now if only the library queue wasn't so long...

Yesterday, 5:50pm Top

>191 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. Very sad news about Ms. Oliver. We lost a treasure.

>193 m.belljackson: It looks like we are getting two snowstorms, in the next 5 days, Marianne. Winter has arrived!

>195 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Good to see you, Yes, many of us our mourning the loss of one of our favorite poets.

>196 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Glad our warbling paid off, on Crawdads Sing. FYI- It also worked very well on audio. Just sayin'...

Yesterday, 6:45pm Top

Looks like it is dangerous over here on the BB and GB front. Two snowstorms, Mark? I hope they don't hit too hard.

Yesterday, 7:00pm Top

>182 jessibud2: Ha! You are right, Shelley - it is what we do!

>183 Crazymamie: Thank you for posting the picture, Mamie. One of these days I will learn how to do it.

>188 msf59: If either I get to Chicago or you get to Texas/Oklahoma we could play it together :)

Yesterday, 8:11pm Top

Gorgeous photos on your thread, Mark. I had started Where The Crawdads Sing , and then Dave had his fall and the book had to go back to the library. Shelley has picked out the perfect book for you, by the look of it. Enjoy, Mark!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:40pm Top

Mark - thinking a lot about Mary Oliver today and what she has meant to me. Found some audio online of her reading her poetry and thinking about picking a few of her collections off my shelf. Also reading online about her impact. As you said, A treasure, for sure.

My co-workers and I had a book club luncheon today. It is me, Zoe, and two women you may not have heard about before: Melanie and Carrie. Our club looks like this (at least based on 2018, our first year): We each come up with an individual goal of books to read, which we combine for a group goal. This is with the understanding that if for some reason one person can't reach their goal, others will pick up the slack.

Our communal goal for 2018 was 200 books and we came in at 207! You were mentioned a number of times at the lunch, given some contributions you made to our reading lists, notably the books you sent me and I shared: The Feather Thief and Guide to the Birds of East Africa.

Next year, our group goal is 230.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

213 members

13,636 messages


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