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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Three

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

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Four.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1msf59
Edited: Jan 21, 9:27am Top



-Tom Thomson



-Robert Bateman

2msf59
Edited: Jan 31, 3:33pm Top





Audiobook:



Graphic/Comic:



January:

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)
8) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 3.7 stars
9) Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells 4 stars (audio)
10) Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories by Sarah Pinsker 4.2 stars ER
11) Winter by Ali Smith 4.5 stars
12) Golden Child by Claire Adam 4 stars
13) Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels 4.4 stars GN
14) Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson 3.8 stars (audio)

3msf59
Edited: Jan 31, 3:34pm 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 Siskins 1/4/19 (F)
10) Red-Tailed Hawk
11) House Finch
12) Red-Bellied Woodpecker

^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.

4msf59
Edited: Jan 21, 9:32am Top

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver (1935-2019) RIP

^I know this is one of her most popular poems but it is always worth sharing.

5jessibud2
Jan 21, 9:38am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Hope it's not too soon to jump in. Love your nod to Canadian artists, as your toppers. Great choices! :-)

6figsfromthistle
Jan 21, 9:44am Top

Happy new thread!

7Crazymamie
Jan 21, 9:48am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new one! Great minds think alike - I also started a new thread this morning. I love that topper that you chose.

8Caroline_McElwee
Jan 21, 10:00am Top

Loving the toppers Mark. I only recently came to both artists. You learn about so much from fellow LTers.

9drneutron
Jan 21, 10:12am Top

Happy new thread!

10Carmenere
Jan 21, 10:19am Top

Happy 3rd thread, Mark! Our bird feeders are busy this morning, mainly juncos. They amaze me! Bearing up to these temps for a little food. Hopping on snow covered holly bushes makes me want to cringe. How do they do it?! I want to open my door and invite them all inside.

11msf59
Jan 21, 10:40am Top

>5 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Hooray for the Canadian artists! They fit perfectly in, over here.

>6 figsfromthistle: >9 drneutron: Thanks, Figs & Jim.

>7 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. I will be by shortly.

>8 Caroline_McElwee: LT is the place that keeps on giving. Right, Caroline?

>10 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I appreciate the bird report. I am mostly seeing juncos too, with a few cardinals, chickadees and a lone Downy, so far. They are all tough little buggers!

12katiekrug
Jan 21, 10:44am Top

Happy new one, Mark!

I feel like I'm in Chicagoland this morning. It's 7F here, even without the wind chill...

13jnwelch
Jan 21, 10:58am Top

Happy New Thread, Mark!

I loved the "Coffee, you're on the bendh. Alcohol, suit up!" on the last thread.

I've dipped into The Calculating Stars, rec'd by Mamie, and I'm going to get back to the Shaun Tan collection. I've also got The Promise started for Chaim Potok month. It looks like you're having another good reading month.

Cold out there! I warmed up the car, but that may be as much outside work as I do today. Glad you're not out in it.

Hey, great playoff football yesterday, wasn't it? Two overtime games! I wanted KC and the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl, so of course it's going to be the Rams and the Patriots instead.

14BLBera
Jan 21, 11:21am Top

Happy new one, Mark! Love the topper. Stay warm.

15benitastrnad
Jan 21, 11:37am Top

I am surprised that there was no football talk on this thread. The weekend was full of great football.

HOW ‘BOUT THOSE CHIEFS!!!!!!

(I gotta love any sports team with the name Kansas in it)

16benitastrnad
Jan 21, 11:43am Top

RIght now I am in Starbucks just waiting for 11:00 a.m. so that I can go get a throwaway cell phone to take with me to Seattle.

I have learned so much about cell phones this weekend. I have an ATT plan that covers my house and my cell phone. When I went to the ATT store all they wanted me to do was dish out between $400.00 and $700.00 for a phone and internet. I just want a phone I can call people one. How simple is that? But no go. I eventually walked out.

I found out that Target has lots of phone options for people like me who just want a phone. There are phones and plans from Verizon, T-Mobile, Cricket, TracPhone, etc. etc. It looks like it will cost me around $100.00 to get what I want just to cover the week in Seattle, but I have to wait until 11:00 a.m. today because the phone center at my local target is only open from !! - 6 p.m. Fortunatley, for me the Starbucks is right across the street from Target.

It looks like ATT has a plan for people who just want a simple phone. Why didn’t the guy at the ATT store tell me that?

17lindapanzo
Jan 21, 12:38pm Top

Love the thread toppers, Mark. I hate to say it but, after just a couple days of cold weather, it feels like we're getting used to it.

>16 benitastrnad: Interesting you should say that. My elderly parents just wanted cellphones to keep with them to make an occasional call and have on hand in case of emergency. We had a hard time finding such a thing and got a phone with xxx minutes to use for a year. Much cheaper than a monthly plan but, if they use 10 minutes a month, that's a lot. AT&T actually had such a plan for them. It was very frustrating dealing with Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and the like.

18msf59
Jan 21, 12:56pm Top

>12 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Looks like we are having the same weather. It is currently 15 and that will be our high. Lots of sunshine though.

>13 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. The coffee meme was perfect, right? I appreciate the book update. I am really interested in that Tan collection. Do you own it?

It was a terrific football day. I just wish the Chiefs could have eked it out. Hey, no work out today??

>14 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I ran a couple of errands, filled the feeders and I am in for the rest of the day.

19msf59
Jan 21, 1:01pm Top

>15 benitastrnad: >16 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Great to see you. We chatted a little about football yesterday, but mostly I texted Joe during the game. I was rootin' for the Chiefs all the way. They just missed it.

Sorry, you had to hassle with this cell phone deal. Hopefully, you get the one you want. Getting excited about ALA?

>17 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Actually it is a saving grace, for me anyway, to acclimate to the weather. Makes it a bit easier. I will need it on Friday, that is for sure. Brrrrrrr...

20harrygbutler
Jan 21, 1:13pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

21m.belljackson
Jan 21, 2:58pm Top

>16 benitastrnad:

Consumer Cellular has a selection of different priced phones.
I got a basic Motorola and, since it's rarely used, pay only around $13/month with the AARP discount.

Tracfone and Jitterbug may also have lower cost options.

22weird_O
Jan 21, 3:15pm Top

Hey, Mark.

23msf59
Jan 21, 3:40pm Top

>20 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry!

>21 m.belljackson: >22 weird_O: Howdy, Marianne & Bill!

24scaifea
Jan 21, 3:53pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! I hope you're enjoying a cozy day indoors!

25msf59
Jan 21, 3:58pm Top

>24 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! I definitely am. I just took a break from the books, for a little laptop time and then I will be returning.

26msf59
Edited: Jan 21, 4:05pm Top



6) Asymmetry: A Novel by Lisa Halliday 4 stars

"Some of us wage wars. Others write books. The most delusional ones write books. We have very little choice other than to spend our waking hours trying to sort out and make sense of the perennial pandemonium. To forge patterns and proportions where they don’t actually exist..."

This is an inventive, offbeat novel, that is broken up into 3 sections. The first is a quirky, May-September romance and the second focuses on an Iraqi-American man , being unfairly detained at Heathrow Airport. The similarities slowly begin to reveal themselves, as the narrative advances and it becomes even more interesting, during the unexpected coda.
Obviously this one, is not for everyone, and that is reflected in the mixed reviews it has received. It did work for me and I did admire this author's ambition and craftsmanship. A talent to watch.

**This actually worked very well on audio and with several different narrators. I did not expect it to.

27FAMeulstee
Jan 21, 4:31pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!
Love the Tom Thomson painting at the top :-)

28scaifea
Jan 21, 5:02pm Top

Tomm just told me today that he has a conference in Naperville in July, so the three of us will be in the area for a few days. It may be a little early in the planning stage, but I'd love a meetup with you and Joe et al., if you're interested, so maybe keep it in mind?

29lauralkeet
Edited: Jan 21, 5:20pm Top

>26 msf59: Mark, I just finished Asymmetry two minutes ago and came here straightaway. I enjoyed the two stories, the "coda" less so. But there's clearly something I didn't get, because I kept waiting for the similarities between the first two stories, and the "new implications ... revealed in an unexpected coda."

I'm guessing it was all fairly subtle, but would love to hear more about what you took away from it.

30msf59
Jan 21, 6:11pm Top

>27 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Thomson is an artist worth exploring, if you are not familiar with him.

>28 scaifea: Hi, Amber. I only live 15-20 minutes from Naperville, so keep in touch about the dates, and maybe we can make a Meet up happen.

31lindapanzo
Jan 21, 6:17pm Top

>30 msf59: Naperville is something I can get to. I saw Louise Penny at North Central College a couple of years back. Nice downtown with lots of restaurants etc, plus that terrific Anderson's Bookstore.

32msf59
Edited: Jan 21, 6:56pm Top

>29 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. I am glad you enjoyed most of Asymmetry. It is a tough book to explain and I am still not sure I have my head, around it all. It is obviously a book about "imbalances" on many levels, especially between Ezra and Amar. I think the coda, especially emphasizes that theme, where Ezra comes across as pompous, shallow and lecherous. This is a guy who won the Nobel for Literature Prize? It may be a clumsy explanation, but that's what I have.

33lauralkeet
Jan 21, 6:21pm Top

That helps Mark, I was looking for more direct connections between the characters. Also, Ezra won the Nobel for Literature, not peace, but yeah, he’s a creep.

I’m looking forward to our book club discussion.

34scaifea
Jan 21, 6:35pm Top

>30 msf59: Woot!!

>31 lindapanzo: Yay!! Tomm's conference is being hosted by North Central College, so we'll be right there!

35Familyhistorian
Jan 21, 7:47pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I see you made good use of your time off by setting up a new one. Love the toppers, particularly the Thomson. I hope your weather warms up by the time you have to get out in it again.

36vancouverdeb
Edited: Jan 21, 10:45pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark. I'm not sure if this book of short stories is any good, but I thought of you when I heard the book's title. Mouthful of Birds: Stories . That is quite the title

37msf59
Jan 21, 10:56pm Top

>33 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I corrected the Nobel For Literature. LOL. I don't think everything is easily explained is that book, but I still found it satisfying.

>34 scaifea: Yep, that is 20 minutes away.

>35 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I have had two very good days off and I see no reason why tomorrow, will not be a third. Grins...It gets bone-chilling here, at the end of the week, so I will to store some extra warmth.

>36 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. Funny, I just requested Mouthful of Birds: Stories from the library, about a week ago. It is a story collection and it is dark and twisted. I should love it. LOL.

38Berly
Jan 22, 4:25am Top

>37 msf59: I saw Mouthful of Birds at Powell's this weekend and immediately thought of you! LOL Hope you enjoy it.

Enjoy your third day off.

39alphaorder
Jan 22, 7:25am Top

Morning Mark -

Stopping by to make another plug for 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. I have about 5 hours to go in the audio. It has really broadened my thinking.

I see you didn't end up loving Unsheltered. I have so many other books in my stacks, I think I will wait a while on this one.

40msf59
Edited: Jan 22, 7:37am Top

>38 Berly: Yah, everybody is thinking of me! This author has a creepy little book out called Fever Dream that also got some attention. It is on my list.

>39 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Did you finish Asymmetry? I have 21 Lessons for the 21st Century on my audio list. Sounds like a winner. I still really enjoyed Unsheltered, I just think it could have been tightened up. It nearly made 4 stars.

41karenmarie
Jan 22, 7:42am Top

Happy Tuesday, Mark!

>26 msf59: inventive, offbeat novel Hmmm. I think I dodged a BB.

42msf59
Jan 22, 7:58am Top

>41 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I don't think Asymmetry is your cuppa. Hooray for the BB dodge.

43alphaorder
Jan 22, 8:03am Top

>40 msf59:

I haven't had the opportunity to read more of Asymmetry. Hopefully, soon. Still enjoying it.

Not that I won't read Unsheltered sometime. Just not in a hurry. Still have Virgil Wander, There, There and Great Believers in my stack, so they will go ahead of Unsheltered.

44msf59
Edited: Jan 22, 8:05am Top



"Roma is a 2018 drama film written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Set in 1970 and 1971, the film is a semi-autobiographical take on Cuarón's upbringing in Mexico City, and follows the life of a live-in housekeeper to a middle-class family. The title refers to Colonia Roma, a neighborhood in the city."

^I watched Roma last night. It is currently streaming on Netflix. It is an absolutely beautiful film. The imagery is stunning and it beats with a true heart. Along with The Rider, these are two of my favorite films of 2018...so far.

45msf59
Jan 22, 8:07am Top

>43 alphaorder: Wow, you got some nice books ahead of you, Nancy. I NEED to get my greedy mitts on The Great Believers.

46Crazymamie
Jan 22, 8:11am Top

Morning, Mark! Adding Roma to the Netflix queue - thanks for that. Here's hoping Tuesday is kind to you.

47msf59
Jan 22, 8:27am Top

>46 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie! Of course, most viewers would find Roma a drag- it is in B & W, subtitled, and slowly paced, but if you have the patience and appreciation for great film-making, you should love this.

48Crazymamie
Jan 22, 8:30am Top

I'm weird - I love B & W and subtitles.

49msf59
Jan 22, 8:33am Top

>48 Crazymamie: Hooray for being weird! This is our Tribe! Yah!!

50lindapanzo
Jan 22, 9:09am Top

>44 msf59: I think Roma got some Oscar nominations this morning.

I don't often get out to the movies but Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born were two that I did see and both received lots of nominations.

Finally finished Educated. Very disappointing to me. Not sure what's up next but maybe the first Louis L'Amour. Sackett's Land.

51harrygbutler
Jan 22, 9:14am Top

Good morning, Mark. After a couple quiet days, the feeders were fairly busy this morning, so it looks like I'll be heading out to refill them sometime today.

52jnwelch
Jan 22, 9:59am Top

Good morning, buddy.

Roma sounds good. We do that Oscars weekend of films at River East, so I'm hoping that'll be part of it. If not, we get NetFlix.

Little Oceans was good, of course, with some nice highlights, but probably was the weakest of the ones I've read.

Woo, it's ridiculous out there. I hope you get through it okay.

I've got Educated from a friend. I've heard others like Linda who were less than overwhelmed, including Debbi. But everyone agrees it's quite a story.

53msf59
Edited: Jan 22, 10:03am Top

>50 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I adored Roma, but I don't see it winning best picture, but it should nail best foreign film. Sorry, you didn't care for Educated. I really liked that book.

>51 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry. My feeders seem quiet, so far this A.M, but I have not been able to check very often.

54The_Hibernator
Jan 22, 10:15am Top

Still reading Hey Kiddo, eh? Hopefully you're enjoying it, even if it IS dark.

55Caroline_McElwee
Jan 22, 11:29am Top

>44 msf59: I have that on my list to view Mark.

56vivians
Jan 22, 11:40am Top

I Loved Roma, Mark! My cousins lived in Mexico in the early 60s as children -their father was an executive with a mining company, so they had a similar middle-class lifestyle. They said the furniture, the duplex, the gates - everything was totally genuine and as they remembered it, and their relationship with the household help was as close as depicted in the movie. It really was beautifully done and I hope it wins some awards!

57lindapanzo
Jan 22, 11:41am Top

>52 jnwelch: I was determined to continue with it to see how she managed to get where she's gotten to (don't mean to be cryptic but also don't want to give anything away). If it had been a print book, I would've thrown it at the wall a few times but I read it on Kindle so I disgustedly put it aside a few times.

Joe, what's up with Carmelo Anthony? Is he on the Bulls or not? I've heard differing views.

We've picked up our tickets for our annual Oscar Shorts get-together in Barrington. One of these years, I'll go to those "see all the nominees" packages. I haven't seen many of these.

Stay safe out there. I'm working from home today but ran out to buy gas. It was 23 degrees and freezing drizzle a little while ago.

58m.belljackson
Jan 22, 11:55am Top

Mark - here's your Mary Oliver inspiration for today -

THE STORM

Now through the white orchard my little dog
romps, breaking the new snow
with wild feet

Running here running there, excited,
hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins

until the white snow is written upon
in large exuberant letters,

a long sentence, expressing
the pleasures of the body in this world.

Oh, I could not have said it better
myself.

(Won't your patrons be surprised at your leaping and spinning!)

59Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Jan 22, 1:49pm Top

>58 m.belljackson: another lovely poem, thank you.

Wouldn't you just love to have 'Wild feet' Marianne?

60m.belljackson
Jan 22, 2:31pm Top

>59 Caroline_McElwee:

'Wild feet' > so many memories and images!

From sneaking under the playground fence after hours with my little dog, Curly -
all our feet going wildly and quickly so as not to get seen -
to trying to imitate Michael Jackson's Moon steps -
to keeping up with my latest dog, Chee, by "leaping" into his snowy foot prints -
!!!

61lindapanzo
Jan 22, 2:33pm Top

Mary Schmich, my favorite Trib columnist, had a terrific column on Mary Oliver the other day.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/schmich/ct-met-mary-schmich-mary-...

62Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Jan 22, 3:00pm Top

>60 m.belljackson: lovely memories Marianne. Bet Mark can add his own wild feet memories...

63Caroline_McElwee
Jan 22, 3:01pm Top

>61 lindapanzo: harrumph, we can't view it in Europe. I hate when they do that, so much for the 'world wide' intention.

64richardderus
Jan 22, 5:09pm Top

Hi Mark, Tuesday thrills and chills be unto you. Asymmetry is unexpectedly popular in my county so I'm on hold (#22) for a copy.

I love the Tom Thomsen painting! I have a DRC of Who Killed Tom Thomson? I need to bookhorn into my reading plans somehow. It never seems to get easier to arrange things in some sort of order. Thank goodness, I suppose, since that means there's so much joy to read!

65msf59
Edited: Jan 22, 6:01pm Top

>54 The_Hibernator: Hi. Rachel. I did finish Hey, Kiddo. It was very good. A dark and edgy memoir, which is a good fit for me.

>55 Caroline_McElwee: I hope you can find time for Roma, Caroline. It will be worth your time.

>56 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Good to see you. Glad you loved Roma and I really enjoyed the backstory you provided, from your cousins. It definitely had a genuine feel for time and place.

>57 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I was off today and it looks like I was very lucky too. It was a nasty one out there, with the sleet and freezing rain. I can understand your frustration with Educated, but it was a memoir that worked for me.

66jnwelch
Edited: Jan 22, 9:21pm Top

>58 m.belljackson: Good one, Marianne! You're right, that Mary Olver poem makes me think of Becca's dog Indy, from Alabama, frolicking in the snow.

>61 lindapanzo: That's a lovely article by Mary Smich about Mary Oliver, Linda. Now I have to find that "I Worried" poem that MS had pinned above her desk.

67msf59
Jan 22, 6:12pm Top

>58 m.belljackson: I like the Oliver poem, Marianne. Thanks for sharing. I do not do much leaping and spinning this days, unless it is by accident. These "Wild Feet" are a bit more subdued. Grins...

>61 lindapanzo: I did read that Mary Schmich tribute to Oliver, Linda. Thanks for sharing it over here.

>62 Caroline_McElwee: The only "wild feet" memories I could share, Caroline, would be the comical ones and I would rather forget those.

>64 richardderus: Hi, Richard! Good to see you. Who Killed Tom Thomson? sounds really interesting. I had heard nothing about that one and it sure sounds like my cuppa. Looking forward to your thoughts.

68EllaTim
Jan 22, 6:42pm Top

I saw a few shots from Roma on TV, it looks like a good one for us. So with your recommendation, we really have to see it.

Love your toppers, Marc! Happy newish thread.

69msf59
Jan 22, 6:55pm Top

>68 EllaTim: I highly recommend it, Ella.

70benitastrnad
Jan 22, 7:05pm Top

OK. I finally got the meetup in Seattle settled. We are meeting on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at the Tap House Grill at 6:45 p.m. I made reservations for 8. This beer joint says it has 160 kinds of beer. Guess we will see. The address for the place is, 1506 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. Phone number is (206) 816-3314.

See you there!

71msf59
Edited: Jan 22, 7:10pm Top



"The Favourite is set in the early 18th century, the story examines the relationship between two cousins vying to be court favourites of Queen Anne. It stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz."

I managed to slip over to the theater, earlier today, while a freezing rain was falling and saw this highly entertaining film. It is dark, profane and wickedly funny, with the best acting ensemble, from 2018. I might give the slight edge to Weisz but Colman and Stone are also excellent. If you were a fan of Dangerous Liasons from the late 80s, you will certainly enjoy this one.

72benitastrnad
Jan 22, 7:13pm Top

The best movie I have seen this year was actually done last year - I think. It is "The Wife" starring Glenn Close.

73lindapanzo
Jan 22, 8:00pm Top

>71 msf59: Mark, do you ever go to that old timey theater in downtown DG? My friend and I saw one of those Blackhawks Stanley Cup films there. Love those theaters. Next month, we’ll see the Oscar Shorts at the old time placein Barrington.

74Copperskye
Jan 22, 8:15pm Top

I’ve got both Roma and The Rider on my to be watched list and we’ll get to them soon. I’m glad to hear The Favourite was fun - the commercials made it look very entertaining! We finally saw both Blackkklansman and Eighth-Grade recently and loved them both. We just watched Game Night over the weekend and laughed out loud. So stupid!!

75vancouverdeb
Jan 22, 8:25pm Top

What a coincidence that you have a hold on A Mouthful of Birds. It does sound dark and twisted. Enjoy, Mark!

76msf59
Jan 22, 9:38pm Top

>70 benitastrnad: >72 benitastrnad: I hope a few LTers can make it, Benita. Fingers crossed. I want to see "The Wife". Glenn Close was nominated.

>73 lindapanzo: Yes, we do, Linda. It is called The Tivoli. Great theater. They have become a first run theater, instead of a second-run, so we don't make it there as often.

>74 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I think you will love both of those films. Try to catch The Favourite at the theater, if you can. I am not familiar with Eighth-Grade. Is is streaming? I also had a good time with Game Night. What a hoot!

>75 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. A Mouthful of Birds is available for pick-up. I hope to get over there, later in the week.

77msf59
Edited: Jan 22, 9:46pm Top



^ I made a library run today. I picked up Winter, which I was hoping to get to last year but will have to settle on for early 2019. I should start it tomorrow. Great Dream of Heaven is a story collection, from the late actor/playwright Sam Shepard. I have never tried his fiction. Has anyone else?

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life, is a chunky graphic bio. I hope I can bookhorn it in.

**FYI- My little postal truck came up missing, after one of my son's parties and we can not find it. Sad face. I have ordered another one.

78Caroline_McElwee
Jan 23, 4:41am Top

>77 msf59: I'm a big fan of Sam Shepard's work Mark. I think I read that collection years ago.

79msf59
Jan 23, 6:26am Top

>78 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, that is great, Caroline. Do you remember a favorite of yours?

80lauralkeet
Jan 23, 7:13am Top

>71 msf59: I'm glad you enjoyed The Favourite, Mark. I agree the acting was superb. The historic aspect was fascinating, as I didn't know much about that period. But the story itself was, well, icky I guess. Everyone was so awful to one another. It left me feeling sort of sick to my stomach. Your comparison to Dangerous Liaisons is spot on, I hadn't thought of that. I really liked that movie.

I'm looking forward to seeing Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in the next season of The Crown.

>72 benitastrnad: The Wife is excellent, and Glenn Close deserves her Oscar nomination (and Golden Globe win).

81karenmarie
Edited: Jan 23, 8:35am Top

'Morning, Mark!

>71 msf59: Okay, ya got me with a movie bullet! I just saw the trailer and might go see it on Friday at a theater in Chapel Hill. I loved Dangerous Liaisons and Valmont and loved the book they were both based on, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. In fact, I may need to watch them both again soon and perhaps even read the book again.

I also want to see The Wife.

Stay safe in the nasty weather, good friend.

82alphaorder
Jan 23, 8:40am Top

Snow day for me! I am going to get some reading done, and might even watch The Wife.

83jnwelch
Jan 23, 8:54am Top

Good morning, Mark!

It turns out "Roma" won't be part of the Oscar weekend movie blitz at River East, so we'll watch it on Netflix. We can also finally watch "A Quiet Place", as we thought it might be nominated. Did any film you liked get stiffed?

The Shaun Tan collection in Tales from the Inner City is a good 'un. I look forward to hearing your reaction.

Stay warm today - it should be decent for this time of year. The weekend sounds brutal. We'll see.

84Carmenere
Edited: Jan 23, 9:00am Top

Oh no! the postal truck is missing!! It wouldn't be you without it......but then there's the frothy beer and, yes, it is indeed Mark.
Glad a new truck is on the way! Hope there are no delivery issues ;0)
Are you still enjoying a long weekend?

ETA: We say Roma on Netflix and I loved it! I'm going to check out what other nominees I can find online.

85msf59
Jan 23, 9:46am Top

Winter in the Midwest- Snow, sleet, freezing rain and falling temps. Ain't life grand?

86weird_O
Jan 23, 10:00am Top

>77 msf59: Isn't highjacking a postal service vehicle a federal crime? Don't guess the (unpaid) FBI investigators will jump on the case. Too bad.

87msf59
Edited: Jan 23, 11:06am Top

Due to weather conditions, I only have a couple minutes to spare...

>80 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. The Favourite had plenty of "icky" moments, but I think it fit the narrative. I am also looking forward to Colman in The Crown. Helluva actress.

>81 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yah, for a movie bullet. I also want to see The Wife. I wonder if it is on TV anywhere?

>82 alphaorder: Hooray for a snow day, Nancy. Enjoy. What format are you watching The Wife? I am looking forward to seeing it too.

I will be back after work, to catch up. Bill definitely cracks me up...

88alphaorder
Jan 23, 11:25am Top

Just finished Citizen Illegal. Passing it along to Zoe next.

I think The Wife is available in iTunes and we have apple tv.

89ChelleBearss
Jan 23, 11:28am Top

Your weather sounds like ours today! Drive safe and stay warm!

90jnwelch
Jan 23, 1:10pm Top

>88 alphaorder: How did you like Citizen Illegal, Nancy?

91alphaorder
Jan 23, 1:29pm Top

I liked it quite a bit - both the language and the insight it gave me into an experience different than my own. I appreciate the recommendation and hope to get more people to read it.

92m.belljackson
Jan 23, 1:33pm Top

>77 msf59:

What about a No Questions Asked reward?

Sure hope it turns up in some forgotten corner...

93richardderus
Jan 23, 3:14pm Top

Happy happy, joy joy! The man's back at his deeply beloved job! Whee!

(One more year. You're free then!)

94SuziQoregon
Jan 23, 3:49pm Top

Happy relatively new thread! Sounds like you had a nice few days off. Sorry to hear it's going to be so cold later this week. Good luck!

Sorry about your little mail truck The photo just doesn't seem complete without one. Glad you've got another on order.

95jessibud2
Jan 23, 3:54pm Top

Here in Canada, you can buy those little mail trucks over the counter at the post office. Well, Canada Post little mail trucks. Just saying....

Hope you aren't a soggy mess by the time you get home, Mark!

96EBT1002
Jan 23, 4:43pm Top

Glad you enjoyed "The Favorite," Mark. I thought it was excellent.

I forgot to tell you about a cardinal we saw in Tucson. We were hiking into the Ventana Canyon and the landscape is so beautiful -- all shades of sage and ochre. There was a male cardinal flitting about and he was SO red, especially against that background. It was breathtaking.

97jnwelch
Jan 23, 5:21pm Top

>91 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy - good! Citizen Illegal was my #1 poetry book last year, even surpassing Ada Limon's terrific The Carrying.

98msf59
Jan 23, 5:28pm Top

>83 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I have heard seeing Roma on the big screen, is an incredible experience but I completely enjoyed seeing it on Netflix, so I am glad you have that available. You are getting me excited about the Tan collection.

>84 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. I think the mail truck I ordered is more matchbox size than, the preferable size I previously had. A bit of a bummer, but at least I will have one.
I am glad to hear you loved Roma. A gorgeous film.

>86 weird_O: LOL. My son may be an accomplice to this particular crime, so I don't want to involve him, Bill, but he can pay for the new one.

>88 alphaorder: Hooray for Citizen Illegal! Zoe reads poetry too? I admire this young woman more and more.

>89 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. It was sloppy out there, but at least it wasn't slippery. The coating of snow, gave me some traction. It is going to get very COLD here, starting later tomorrow. Ugh!

99msf59
Jan 23, 5:38pm Top

>92 m.belljackson: We cleaned pretty extensively down here, before the holidays, Marianne. I am sure it would have surfaced. I am going to miss that little truck, which a past customer had given me. I have a repalcement coming but it won't be the same.

>93 richardderus: Hey, RD. I only deeply love the job during certain weather conditions and this wasn't one of 'em. Yep, a year and a half before retirement. I have been thinking about it a lot lately.

>94 SuziQoregon: Thanks, Juli. I did enjoy those 3 days off, my friend. I wish I had more coming up. Low single digit high on Friday. I should get the postal truck replacement any day now.

>95 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. I don't think they sell the postal trucks at our location but you can buy them online, through the P.O.

>96 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Hooray for The Favourite and seeing a cardinal. Always a pleasure to see.

100Whisper1
Jan 23, 5:48pm Top

>4 msf59: What an incredible poem. I believe you posted of Mary Oliver' passing. Now, I want to read a book of her poems. You are quite the lure. Rarely do I visit here without adding another book or author to my tbr pile. I'm not complaining...I'm simply acknowledging what a major contributor you are to this wonderful group. And, I say Thank You!!!!

101weird_O
Jan 23, 5:50pm Top

>98 msf59: You know, Mark, you oughtn't to let him off on this, even if he is your son. Next thing you know, he'll be making off with a real postal truck. Just sayin'.

102alphaorder
Jan 23, 6:12pm Top

>97 jnwelch: I loved The Carrying, which was one of my top three poetry collections of 2018. Have you read Bullets into Bells? Do me a favor and pick that one up.

103alphaorder
Jan 23, 6:13pm Top

Mark, Didn't end up watching a movie today. I worked more from home than I expected, but did read a bit more of Asymmetry.

104msf59
Jan 23, 6:44pm Top

>100 Whisper1: That is one her most famous poems, Linda, so I can't take to much credit. I am glad this enticed you to trying one of her collections. Thanks, to Joe's guidance, she was one of the very first poets I tried and we clicked immediately. Please let me know if you try one.

>101 weird_O: It definitely crossed my mind, Bill, throwing him to the dogs, but my paternal instincts won out...this time anyway.

>102 alphaorder: >103 alphaorder: I also loved Bullets into Bells, Nancy. I think Joe has read it, but we will have to see, to be sure. I might put on a movie tonight.

105msf59
Edited: Jan 23, 7:01pm Top



^This is Ali Smith's second volume in her Seasonal Quartet. I really enjoyed Autumn and I am hoping this is as good, or better. I think Winter is an appropriate title to start, as we are bracing for an arctic blast Friday, (low single digits) and through the weekend. Smith seems to get a mixed response over here on LT, but based on the other two books I have read by her, I like her style.

106benitastrnad
Jan 23, 7:36pm Top

I am just about to leave for home and some sleep. I have to leave at 3:00 a.m. to get to the airport and begin the jaunt to ALA Mid-Winter. It will be fun. I like Seattle.

107alphaorder
Jan 23, 8:00pm Top

>105 msf59: I need to find my copy of Winter. I was blindsided by Autumn.

108DeltaQueen50
Jan 23, 10:22pm Top

Hi Mark, I need to give Ali Smith another try as I really didn't like the one book of hers that I have read - The Accidental. I am optimistic as I hated my first Virginia Woolf - Jacob's Room, and then fell in love with the second one of hers that I read - Mrs. Dalloway. I hope your little postal truck arrives soon as I miss it from your pictures.

109vancouverdeb
Jan 23, 11:00pm Top

I miss your little postal truck, Lone Ranger. I hope you soon get a replacement!

110Familyhistorian
Jan 24, 1:35am Top

>64 richardderus: >67 msf59: I'm interested in Who Killed Tom Thomson too.

I hope your postal truck replacement shows up soon, Mark. Stay warm out there!

111msf59
Jan 24, 6:34am Top

>106 benitastrnad: Have a great trip, Benita. Looking forward to hearing about those ALA highlights.

>107 alphaorder: I loved Autumn too, Nancy. I hope you find Winter. I want to go back and read some of her earlier books too.

>108 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Funny, The Accidental was my first Smith, as well, but I liked it. If you are going to start with one, I would suggest Autumn.

>109 vancouverdeb: >110 Familyhistorian: Hi, Deb & Meg! The postal truck should be here today or tomorrow. B.A.G.

112msf59
Jan 24, 6:55am Top



^Not sure I will read this upcoming middle-grade book, but I love the title and cover. Smiles...

113alphaorder
Jan 24, 6:59am Top

Morning Mark -

I know you are a fan of Elizabeth McCracken, so I thought I would share her By The Book that ran in the NYT today: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/24/books/review/elizabeth-mccracken-by-the-book....

I am glad to hear she is enjoying my first read of the year The Word Pretty. It needs more attention.

114scaifea
Jan 24, 6:59am Top

Morning, Mark!

That makes me sad that the postal truck is lost. I hope you love your replacement one, too.

115alphaorder
Jan 24, 7:01am Top

>111 msf59: I know Winter is here somewhere...

And then this popped in my blog reader: A Big Year Reading List: 6 Books for Bird Lovers
https://offtheshelf.com/2019/01/a-big-year-reading-list-6-books-for-bird-lovers/

116msf59
Jan 24, 7:06am Top

>113 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Thanks for the article. I was able to snag an advanced copy of Bowlaway. Yah! Not familiar with The Word Pretty.

>114 scaifea: Morning, Amber. We were sad about the postal truck too.

117lindapanzo
Jan 24, 8:51am Top

Sorry to hear about the postal truck, Mark. Maybe it’ll turn up?

I didn’t care for Autumn though I do usually like your NF suggestions.

Stay warm!!

118karenmarie
Jan 24, 9:04am Top

'Morning, Mark. I'm sad about your Postal Truck, too. Boo hiss to light fingers.

Stay safe and warm.

119Crazymamie
Jan 24, 9:28am Top

Morning, Mark! I am saddened about the missing postal truck. So sorry that happened, my friend.

I cannot wait to see The Favorite - glad you got to squeeze it in.

I hope your Thursday is Sweet!

120jnwelch
Jan 24, 10:33am Top

>102 alphaorder:, >104 msf59: Thanks, Nancy and Mark. I have not read Bullets into Bells, so I'll get on it.

Sweet Thursday, Mark! Polar vortex time? Arggh.

I'm really liking Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung, a GN about her being an introvert. Funny and on-target.

Hope it goes okay for you, buddy.

121weird_O
Jan 24, 10:49am Top

>111 msf59: Re: that postal truck. It's in the mail, right?

*snerk*

122msf59
Jan 24, 11:12am Top

>115 alphaorder: Thanks for thinking of me, Nancy. I will check it out tonight.

>117 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I think the postal touch will be M.I.A. forever, but I guess you never know.

>118 karenmarie: >119 Crazymamie: Morning, Karen & Mamie. Great to see the postal truck love. We searched high & low.

123msf59
Jan 24, 11:34am Top

>120 jnwelch: Sweet Thursday, Joe. I am sure you will love Bullets into Bells. I thought you had read it. Looks like I should request Quiet Girl. Thanks.

>121 weird_O: LOL. Not sure who is going to deliver my truck, but it should arrive today. Yah!!

124lindapanzo
Jan 24, 12:00pm Top

>122 msf59: Who would take such a treasured keepsake?

Glad to hear the new one is arriving today.

125m.belljackson
Jan 24, 1:42pm Top

Mark - Wild geese are at last heading south from Madison in your direction!

What happens if a parent says something like:
"Well, I guess if your friends think it's okay to steal from us,
then they will want to host future parties...?"

The missing little truck is a bummer enough, but "light fingers" (as noted above)
could keep moving.

126LovingLit
Jan 24, 3:24pm Top

Just caught up on your last thread, glad to hear you are powering through with the snow (on peoples' steps) and These Truths! I am slow on that one actually. I have been side-tracked with a YA novel (free from a little library) and Wuthering Heights. But I intend to finish part 1 before it is due back at the library.

>105 msf59: it is shameful that I have never read Ali Smith! I want to read the quartet at some point. Are they best read in the order they were published?

127msf59
Jan 24, 4:52pm Top

>124 lindapanzo: It has arrived, Linda. Yippee. It was a bitter cold one today, but I know tomorrow will be worse. Sad face.

>125 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Those geese better get a move on. We are in a deep freeze. My son is going to be 27 in March, so these are not kids. It is not a real big deal, but we are just puzzled, at WHY???

128richardderus
Jan 24, 5:05pm Top

How can you resist The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away? I mean, really! A more in-Mark's-wheelhouse book I can't imagine. Unreliable relationship to reality, struggle to make an identity that fits...no?

My YGC dropped off a pound of butter this morning. In exchange for half the banana bread. How'd I get another kid?

The King's Evil is making me go "hmm" a lot, and that's a good sign. I've even been able to read it straight through instead of book-hopping like I usually do. A rare thing.

FabOO Friday whammys beaming at you.

129SandDune
Jan 24, 5:24pm Top

We’re planning to watch The Favourite soon as well. We went to the cinema at the weekend and we were choosing between The Favourite and Stan and Ollie which won out in the end because it was on at more convenient times. Definitely worth seeing too.

130lindapanzo
Jan 24, 5:37pm Top

>127 msf59: I am taking off on Friday and staying home. About my only plans to go anywhere in the next few days involve Sunday brunch and that will be open to debate til that morning.

I suspect I'll get cabin fever as I'll likely be working at home whenever possible. I'm hearing 8 to 12 inches of snow on Sunday night/all day Monday, for instance.

131msf59
Jan 24, 7:01pm Top

>126 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Always good to see you. Thanks for the book report. I am very deep into These Truths, just started Part 4. I am not an expert on Ali Smith but I see no reason why you couldn't start with Autumn. I do not think they need to be read in order, since the characters and the setting seem to be different for each.

>128 richardderus: Sweet Thursday, Richard. The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away is a great cover but the content looks a bit "lite" for me. I might change my mind. You never know. Ooh. I bet that banana bread is awesome. That YGC seems like a helluava guy.

132msf59
Jan 24, 7:04pm Top

>129 SandDune: Hi, Rhian. Good to see you over here. I loved The Favourite and just before the film started I saw a film trailer for Stan & Ollie. It does look very good. Love the leads.

>130 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I wish I could work from home tomorrow. I am glad to hear that you can get that choice. Another big snow storm coming? I did not hear this. Sighs, dramatically. I won't be off until Wednesday.

133brodiew2
Edited: Jan 25, 3:41pm Top

Hello Mark! Happy relative new one! I hope all is well with you.

>1 msf59: beautiful toppers, both.

>112 msf59: Wow! You are not kidding. What wonderfully foreboding and visually stimulating cover. I think I'll look into this one.

134brenzi
Jan 24, 8:26pm Top

Hi Mark, I also loved Roma. I thought the b&w filming made it much more atmospheric. And I’d like to see The Favourite mostly because I’m the worlds biggest Olivia Colman fan. I don’t even care about the movies content lol.

135mahsdad
Jan 24, 8:29pm Top

>132 msf59: Hey Mark, I must concur that working from is pretty nice. My last job I was commuting 80 miles a day ( 3 hours plus in the car everyday), down to walking from my bedroom to my office in my PJs every morning. :) Sorry I couldn't resist.

Maybe you could get all the mail, take it back to your house and have all the people on your route come to you to get their mail. :p

Speaking of the mail, I must say that since I started getting the Informed Delivery emails, it just goes to show you how much junk we get every day. I look at the emails and I'll bet 80% of the stuff listed I know will go right in the bin.

Stay warm!

136lindapanzo
Jan 24, 8:52pm Top

>132 msf59: Friday will be a day off. Monday working at home if we get the big snow and the same for Wed, if we get the 10 below high. I am not going outside when it's 20 below or whatever.

137jessibud2
Jan 24, 9:01pm Top

>132 msf59: - Sick days, Mark, sick days Surely, you have a few banked that you could spare?

138Whisper1
Edited: Jan 24, 9:38pm Top

>111 msf59: and >115 alphaorder: " I know Winter is somewhere." I found winter, it is here in PA. Grey skies, cold winds, the feeling of wanting to stay inside!

>78 Caroline_McElwee: What? Your little postal truck that we all grew to love...is gone! Shame on whoever took it!

> Mark, the first image posted on this thread looks a bit like a Van Gogh painting.

139karenmarie
Jan 25, 5:22am Top

'Morning, Mark! The National Weather Service says it's -2F with a wind chill of -21F in your part of Chicagoland. I'm sorry you'll have to be out in it. Stay safe today.

140msf59
Jan 25, 6:28am Top

>133 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. Great to see you. Were you referring to the cover in #112? If so, I agree with you.

>134 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Hooray for Roma! It is a gorgeous film. Colman is terrific in The Favourite but so our the other two leads, IMHO.

>135 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Good to see you. So, do you work mostly from home? If so, nice. I have never looked into the Informed Delivery Listings, although I know most of the stuff I receive is bulk mail. Hey, it helps pay my income, right?

>136 lindapanzo: Hooray, for a long weekend, Linda. It looks like another major arctic blast, arrives next week. Oh joy!

141msf59
Jan 25, 6:32am Top

>137 jessibud2: You got it, Shelley. I have over 2,000 hours saved up and I should use more of them, over the next 18 months. I just won't call in, because the weather is bad. It is just an integrity thing. Grins...

>138 Whisper1: Hi, Linda. Winter is definitely here, my friend and we have a tough stretch coming up, which may last about a week. Ugh. I do have my new postal truck, although this one is more matchbox size.

>139 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It is going to be a tough one, but I will be prepared. Hoping the mail is light and there are plenty of skips.

142msf59
Edited: Jan 25, 7:04am Top



"In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif..."

For some baffling reason, I never got around to reading Alif, the Unseen, which came out in 2012. Well, I am remedying that oversight and I started it yesterday. Wilson's follow-up, The Bird King will be published very soon, so my timing is good. A good fantasy listen, will hopefully distract me on the frigid rounds today.

143alcottacre
Jan 25, 6:56am Top

>26 msf59: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Mark!

>142 msf59: I already have that one in the BlackHole, so I get to dodge that BB!

Hope you stay warm, Mark! Good luck out there!

144msf59
Jan 25, 7:00am Top

>143 alcottacre: Morning, Stasia. Happy Friday. I would think Alif the Unseen would be just your cuppa. Yes, it will be a tough one today but I will persevere.

145msf59
Edited: Jan 25, 7:05am Top



^This will be the high today and it is currently below zero out there, as I head off to work. Lots of layering today and I hope the books distract and I hope the mail is light and there are plenty of skips.

I am leaving my iPad at home, so I will not be able to respond, until after work.

146ChelleBearss
Jan 25, 7:37am Top

>145 msf59: Sorry to see that you've got a cold yucky day ahead of you! It's warmer here, though not by much -8c (17f)
Chloe's school has a snow day for the busses today but we live so close that she has to go. She isn't old enough yet to realize what she is missing out on lol. Most of her little friends live walking distance and will be there too.

147Crazymamie
Jan 25, 8:48am Top

Morning, Mark! BRRRRrrrrrrr to those temps. Hoping it goes quickly and smoothly for you.

148BLBera
Jan 25, 9:03am Top

Stay warm, Mark. I would hate to have to work outside for the next few days. :(

149Carmenere
Jan 25, 9:23am Top

Hey Mark! We are a balmy 12 degrees but tomorrow the bottom falls out! Hope you have fur lines gotchies for the route!
Keep warm, be safe!

150msf59
Jan 25, 9:35am Top

Thanks, everyone, for the warm thoughts. It is still below zero, as I make my way out. Fortunately, the mail is light and there are no "lists" to deliver. I will be taking plenty of warm-up breaks, along the way...

151mahsdad
Jan 25, 12:39pm Top

>140 msf59: Junk Mail - Yeah, I guess that's the silver lining in the clutter (keeping people gainfully employed). Heck value-pak must be making money if they keep sending us coupons every week. :)

Informed Delivery - its really cool, everyone should sign up for it. The email shows images of the majority of the mail coming that day. There is also an online dashboard that shows all the mail and packages you are expecting or that have been delivered.

Then if you were expecting something that USPS says they delivered, but you didn't get, you can flag it as not being delivered. (or perhaps stolen)

152jnwelch
Jan 25, 1:38pm Top

Morning, Mark!

Woo, stay warm out there, as much as you can. Ouch. I guess we're in for it for a week.

I finished The Calculating Stars, and liked it a lot. I think this might be the rare sci-fi book that you'd also enjoy. Brilliant and pilot-experienced Elma wants to be an astronaut, but is up against the 1950s patriarchy. Black female pilots are up against more than that. And we need to get off the planet, which has been hit by a meteorite. Ha! I may just copy that as my mini-review.

You're going to like Quiet Girl in a Noisy World when you get to it. Good to the very last drop.

I'm reading an Andrea Gibson poetry collection, The Madness Vase. Have you heard of her? Best performance (slam) poet I've ever seen, and she's great on the page, too. I've got her newest one, Lord of the Butterflies, coming my way soon.

I'm glad Alif the Unseen is working for you. Are you doing it on audio? I can imagine that being a great one for that.

153richardderus
Jan 25, 3:18pm Top

Wow, I thought our current 24° was cold...since the wind's howling at 30mph steady...but 6° makes me want to curl into a ball and sob in sympathy for your poor ol' bod! I'm thrilled, as I'm sure you are too, that 45 caved (even if only for three lousy weeks) since it means I can eat next month...but phew am I fatigued. I posted a TL;DR teaser for my review of The King's Evil. I'm still wrestling that bad boy to the ground. It was an intense read and I want to get all the way into it, wrench open the cupboard doors and saw the green logs into what *I* see as their proper form...but I know how MEGO-inducing that is for others.

So I'm taking an hour off the romp among the threads, see if a natural and organic "oh dry UP already Richard" point makes itself known.

154lindapanzo
Jan 25, 5:10pm Top

Just saw a video of a rolling mail truck that was a ball of fire. Yikes!!

155weird_O
Jan 25, 5:37pm Top

I'm going to join the read of These Truths. My mailman left a copy in the mailbox today. I have two books to wrap up on the weekend, then US history!

156msf59
Edited: Jan 25, 6:06pm Top

>146 ChelleBearss: Happy Friday, Chelle. It was a tough one but I survived. Hooray for Chloe! Sometimes, ignorance is pure bliss, right?

>147 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. It went smooth enough but it sure could have went faster. LOL.

>148 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. It looks like we are locked in to some bad weather for the next week. Boo!!

>149 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. I do not own "fur lined gotchies", but I had everything else on. Grins...

>151 mahsdad: Happy Friday, Jeff. I am glad you are having a good time with Informed Delivery. I don't care as much, what I get in the mail, unless it is books, of course...

157msf59
Jan 25, 6:16pm Top

>152 jnwelch: Happy Friday, Joe. Looks like a very rough week ahead and another possible snowstorm on Monday? WTH? Okay, I will add The Calculating Stars to the list and I will request Quiet Girl in a Noisy World from the library.

I had not heard of Andrea Gibson. Looks like I better do some more requesting. Thanks, my friend.

>153 richardderus: Hi, Richard. It was a tough one today but I prevailed. It was still only 5 degrees on my way home from work and it was snowing. WTH? Good to hear about the shutdown. Let's get these folks paid.

>154 lindapanzo: Where was this, Linda? I did not see any flaming postal vehicles in Westchester. LOL.

>155 weird_O: Hi, Bill. These Truths is a BIG BOY, but I really think you are going to appreciate it. She really ties it in, with what is happening in America today.

158msf59
Edited: Jan 25, 6:50pm Top



^House finch, F & M. (NMP)

Despite the awful weather, my feeders were hopping when I got home and I spotted a pair of house finch, which will be a first at the feeders, for this year. This brings my total to eleven. Anyone have me beat? There were also juncos, sparrows, cardinals, a lone downy and a lone mourning dove. Go birdies!!

159mdoris
Jan 25, 6:50pm Top

Stay well bundled up Mark! Those sound like some pretty frosty temperatures.

160lindapanzo
Edited: Jan 25, 6:57pm Top

> 157 Channel 7 has shown it 3 or 4 times already. It was in Kansas City. The mailman was trying to get up a snow covered hill and kept revving the engine and it caught on fire. Looked like he jumped out and the mail truck slid down the hill and almost hit a house.

https://6abc.com/mail-truck-explodes-into-rolling-ball-of-fire/5106798/

161bell7
Jan 25, 6:56pm Top

>158 msf59: I always have a heck of a time trying to tell house finches and purple finches apart. Both (I think) like the feeders my landlords have so I see them frequently.

162msf59
Edited: Jan 25, 10:26pm Top

>159 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. Another cold one tomorrow, but I will handle it.

>160 lindapanzo: Wow, that is crazy, Linda. I will definitely not over-rev the engine on my postal truck. LOL.

>161 bell7: Hi, Mary. Telling the difference between a house finch and a purple finch, isn't always easy but the purple, definitely have more reddish coloring, throughout:



^Purple Finch. I have seen these birds, albeit not often, but not at my feeders.

163vancouverdeb
Jan 26, 1:41am Top

Evening for me, good morning for you, Mark. I hope Friday is not too bad, out in the cold . Great pictures of the finches.

164msf59
Jan 26, 6:29am Top

>163 vancouverdeb: Happy Saturday, Deb. Yesterday was a tough one and it will probably be about the same today. Sub-zero weather. Ugh! Enjoy your weekend.

165msf59
Edited: Jan 26, 6:52am Top



^We watched Green Book last night. It is a real crowd-pleaser, anchored by solid performances from Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. It won't be one of my top films of the year but it was a fun time and I am sure it will do well Oscar night, since it pushes all the right buttons. Not really familiar with the artist, Don Shirley. Intriguing guy.

166SandDune
Jan 26, 7:08am Top

>165 msf59: That’s another film that I want to get around to seeing - we saw the trailer last week when we went to see Stan & Ollie.

>145 msf59: I can’t imagine it being that cold. Literally at first, as I have no idea how cold 0F actually is (I can do hot temperatures in Fahrenheit, but not cold). But I’ve looked it up in Celsius and I still can’t imagine it ... It never gets that cold here!

167karenmarie
Jan 26, 7:27am Top

'Morning, Mark. -7F is absolutely ridiculous. Stay safe.

I have no real urge to see Green Book, but I will see The Favourite next week.

168msf59
Jan 26, 7:45am Top

It is about -6, as I arrive at work. It is supposed to creep up to 11, later on, but I have a feeling it is going to take awhile, before it reaches that high...

169Crazymamie
Jan 26, 9:09am Top

Morning, Mark! Ouch to those temps.

>162 msf59: We get loads of purple finches at our feeders!

170katiekrug
Jan 26, 9:21am Top

Ooof about the temperature, Mark. Hang in there.

Hard pass on 'Green Book' for a number of reasons. But I really want to see The Favourite...

171richardderus
Jan 26, 11:10am Top

>165 msf59: It was okay, but the star of the show was the 1962 Sedan de Ville! *swoon*

Getting. UP. TO. Eleven.

Oh nay nay nay. It's 24° now on the way to 33° and that's juuuuuust fine. Normal winter temps. Warm-truck (without becoming fiery) whammys!

172m.belljackson
Edited: Jan 26, 1:23pm Top

>168 msf59:

I'm heading out to snowshoe with my thickest face mask - will be brief, but fun.

And, for those of us retirees who don't get daily workouts like postal workers or teachers with recess duty,
we need more exercise!

Enjoy the warm degrees - minus 23 is now predicted up here.

BIRDS?

Mostly Chickadees, a woodpecker and mate, one friendly Robin,
many cawing crows, and three circling hawks - too high to tell what kind.

My daughter's BIG Owl was back to greet her during the Full Moon.

173jnwelch
Jan 26, 1:05pm Top

Hi, Mark.

We'll be seeing Green Book in that Oscar-nominated films fiesta in February. I thought last year's nominee's were so good - this year's nominees seem unfortunately to have some not-that-greats. Oh well. I'm glad to hear we'll at least enjoy seeing GB.

We leave soon to hear a political debate for our Chicago ward (47th)'s upcoming alderman election. Our current one is great, but kept to his election promise of only serving two terms. So now we have a dozen or so candidates running. Jeesh. Eight are invited to this debate, and it's only supposed to be an hour and a half, but I can't imagine they'll be able to stick to that. We'll see. We know our top 3, but this sure is going to take a lot of sorting.

We were going to go out to breakfast, but put the kibosh on that due to this dratted weather. I hope it goes okay for you today.

174msf59
Jan 26, 6:34pm Top

I am home. It was a cold one but not terrible. I am more bummed about dealing with another week of this crap. I took a short nap and now we are heading out, for dinner and drinks with friends. I will be back to respond and visit, in the A.M...

175lindapanzo
Jan 26, 6:48pm Top

Hope you're thawing out, Mark. They've really scaled back on the snow forecast, except for up here, where we're expecting 10 inches. Maybe only 3 inches down your way.

Wed/Thurs might be historic, brutal cold. Possibly the coldest days ever in Chicagoland.

176Familyhistorian
Jan 26, 8:28pm Top

Those temps sound brutal, Mark. Do you have any time off while the freeze is on?

177EBT1002
Jan 26, 11:41pm Top

Hi Mark. The weather sounds frightful. I'm actually flying to Columbus on Wednesday for work, returning on Friday. I think they are predicting highs around 6F and lows of -10F. Yikes. I guess it's the same arctic blast you're dealing with.

We get lots of house finches at our feeders. Today we had the nuthatches and chickadees and juncos, all favorites.

I can't remember whether I liked Autumn or Winter better. My plan is to reread them when she has the complete quartet available. I love her writing.

178Ameise1
Jan 27, 4:03am Top

Big waves from over the pond. Wishing you a relaxed Sunday.

179msf59
Jan 27, 7:25am Top

>166 SandDune: Hi, Rhian. I am sure you will enjoy Green Book, when you get to it. Yes, it has been ridiculously cold and next week may even be colder. Brrrrrrr....

>167 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am a day late responding but very little spare time yesterday. Looking forward to your thoughts on The Favourite.

>169 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. I have never seen purple finch at my feeders, although I have seen them in the area. Cool birds.

>170 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Green Book is fairly lightweight but an entertaining 2 hours. I am sure you will love The Favourite.

>171 richardderus: Yep, that Sedan de Ville was beautiful, Richard. We are sure getting slammed with an arctic blast. It may be record-breaking this week. Yikes!!

180msf59
Jan 27, 7:32am Top

>172 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Thanks for the snowshoe/bird report. Good for you, for getting out there. It looks like we are going to have another brutal week. Ugh.

And hooray for BIG owls and full moons. How cool is that?

>173 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Sorry, for the delay in responding. I agree with you about the recent nominations. If you want to see some of the best films of the year, I think you have to go deeper than that list. How was the debate?

>175 lindapanzo: It was a tough few days, Linda and I am not looking forward to next week. I am off Wednesday, which is good but I am thinking of adding another day. If there is a time to use those "sick" days, this is it.

181msf59
Jan 27, 7:39am Top

>176 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I am off Wednesday this week and it looks like it may stay below zero all day. I am seriously considering adding another day off.

>177 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Have a safe trip to OH. Thanks for the bird report. I always love those. Despite the frigid weather, our feeders have been busy. I am really enjoying Winter, (the book, that is). She is such a smart writer and really draws you in.

>178 Ameise1: Happy Sunday, Barb. I plan on having a very lazy day with the books.

182karenmarie
Jan 27, 8:19am Top

'Morning, Mark! Yay for a lazy day with books. Especially with your brutal weather.

I'm feeling puny today - sore throat and possibly the beginning of a cold - and am staying inside with coffee, books, and naps in the picture.

183alphaorder
Jan 27, 8:32am Top

Morning Mark -

Saw this in my blog reader and thought you might like it.
Angie Thomas answers questions from readers and famous fans on activism, social media and coping with rejection.
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/27/angie-thomas-the-hate-u-give-inter...

184msf59
Jan 27, 8:54am Top

>182 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Sorry, you are not feeling well. Hopefully, having a low-key day will help. Sounds ideal.

>183 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Thanks for the Angie Thomas link. I will check it out. I plan on having a very lazy day with the books today and mentally prepare for another brutal week ahead.

185msf59
Jan 27, 8:57am Top



"H Is for Hawk meets Grief Is the Thing with Feathers in this evocative debut novel about a pill-popping anesthesiologist and avid birder who embarks on a quest to find one of the world’s rarest species, allowing nothing to get in his way—until he’s forced to confront his obsessions and what they’ve cost him."

^Well, The Life List of Adrian Mandrick sounds like my cuppa and what a great cover to boot. I think this one was on the bird book list that Nancy shared with me.

186msf59
Edited: Jan 27, 12:44pm Top

187Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Jan 27, 12:46pm Top

>186 msf59: Like. It's wonderful how much can be caught in so few words sometimes Mark.

188msf59
Edited: Jan 27, 12:55pm Top

"He wants a real winter where woods are sheathed in snow, trees emphatic with its white, their bareness shining and enhanced because of it, the ground underfoot snow-covered as if with frozen feathers or shredded cloud but streaked with gold through the trees from a low winter sun..."

"What there was instead was the winter sound of crows with the birdsong above it, like two weatherfronts meeting, like the coming season getting ready midway through the old one to make itself heard."

^I only have 40 pages left in Winter. She is such an impressive author, always taking sharp left turns, flashes of beauty and harshness waiting around every corner.

189Caroline_McElwee
Jan 27, 12:57pm Top

>188 msf59: the third volume is due out this year Mark. I really must pull the first two off the shelf.

190msf59
Edited: Jan 27, 1:06pm Top

>187 Caroline_McElwee: Amen to that, Caroline.

>189 Caroline_McElwee: I think this is going to be a hallmark achievement for Ms. Smith. Have you read any of her earlier work? I am curious about her short fiction.

191Caroline_McElwee
Jan 27, 1:09pm Top

I>190 msf59: I've read a couple of her earlier novels (Hotel World and How to be Both), both I liked, 3.5*s I'd say, but not the short fiction.

192msf59
Jan 27, 3:48pm Top

>191 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I have both of them on my WL.

193msf59
Edited: Jan 27, 3:51pm Top



^Happy Sunday! Just kicking back with the books today. I have been hearing good things about Mouthful of Birds, a story collection with a great title. I will start it soon, after I finish the Golden Child, which also looks promising.

**Of course a new postal truck is making it's debut too. it is like a little brother.

194alphaorder
Jan 27, 4:19pm Top

Looks like a great Sunday, Mark! Glad to hear you are enjoying Winter - the book, not the season this year.

195lindapanzo
Edited: Jan 27, 4:23pm Top

Cute new postal truck, Mark.

After brunch with friends, I’m staying in, reading and watching golf on TV.

Did you see that Mary Doria Russell has a new book due out in August, I think. The Women of the Copper Country.

196m.belljackson
Jan 27, 5:51pm Top

The Sentinel online just noted that Milwaukee will be pretty much closed down tomorrow -
will big tough Chicago and Westchester follow?!

197msf59
Jan 27, 6:59pm Top

>196 m.belljackson: I think north of Chicago, right into Wisconsin are going to get hit the hardest, Marianne. We are supposed to get closer to 3-6 inches. Not fun, but not horrible.

198richardderus
Jan 27, 7:35pm Top

>193 msf59: Mouthful of Birds indeed! Just had chicken for dinner. The new teenytruck is adorable. I'm sure you'd prefer to have the old one back, but this is a worthy second choice.


I left this for Joe's threadwarming, but it's really the fundamental truth of reading and readers. I'm dog-sick again thanks to Old Stuff's slapdash hygiene and habit of leaving lung cookies in the sink, the wastebasket, the bowl....

That was gross, I know, but my filter's broken by this awful throat pain and hacking. The YGC wanted me to spend the night with him but I don't see the point of making *him* sick too. I do wish I wasn't so thoughtful. *snort*

199banjo123
Jan 27, 7:43pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mark! I love your new truck.

200msf59
Jan 27, 10:00pm Top

>198 richardderus: Hey, Richard. Love the appropriate poster. It sure fits. Sorry, you are sick. Hope you are doing better tomorrow. Boo to Old Stuff and his yucky hygiene.

>199 banjo123: Happy Sunday, Rhonda. Hooray for the new postal truck.

201msf59
Edited: Jan 27, 10:14pm Top



^We watched A Star is Born tonight. A solid, 3-star film. Fine performances by Cooper and Lady Gaga, along with a few good, musical numbers. Cooper also did a fine job, on his directorial debut. My favorite A Star is Born film, remains the Judy Garland/James Mason version from 1954.

202vancouverdeb
Jan 27, 10:18pm Top

I'm so glad life is back to normal. The postal truck is there with the books and the beer. Perfect!

203msf59
Jan 28, 6:26am Top

>202 vancouverdeb: Yep, it is nice to have the postal truck back, even if it is the little brother. Yes, it is snowing here again too, most likely making the commute difficult. Sighs...

204msf59
Edited: Jan 28, 6:38am Top



"A deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and love."

^I snagged an advanced copy of Golden Child a few months back, and decided to start that today, after finishing Winter yesterday, (I wish I could be done with the season, as well). On audio, I will continue Alif the Unseen, which has been a fun distraction, as I cross the bitter tundra.

205harrygbutler
Jan 28, 7:19am Top

Good morning, Mark. I hope you had a good weekend. Our feeders were fairly active, with nuthatch and red-bellied woodpecker in evidence yesterday, among others.

206Caroline_McElwee
Jan 28, 7:33am Top

>201 msf59: I enjoyed this version too Mark. I have a theory that whatever version is the first you see, it will likely remain your favourite. Mine is the Streisand/Kristopherson one. I love those songs. I have to say that with the latest version I didn't really find the songs standout, though I enjoyed the duets, and as you say fine performances, and directorial debut.

207karenmarie
Jan 28, 8:28am Top

‘Morning, Mark, happy Monday to you. Sorry you have to be out in Chicagoland nastiness. Safe and warm are the words of the day!

>185 msf59: I’ve added it to my wish list.

>193 msf59: Yay for little brother postal truck.

208EllaTim
Jan 28, 11:15am Top

Hi Marc, you've got the book bullets flying as usual.

Loved that quote from Winter, I really have to find it. Sorry about your winter over there! You seem to have all the cold, while we are getting the rain. Can you believe blue tits singing already? Hopping feeders I can believe, they have to eat to stay warm, poor birds. Loved that house finch.

We're finally due to see Roma, this evening, yippee! and will skip A Star is born, I think. Why do they do these remakes?

Have a nice safe day!

209msf59
Jan 28, 11:40am Top

Happy Monday, everyone! I am dealing with the aftermath of another snowstorm, about 5-6 inches dumped on what we all ready had. I nearly got my postal truck stuck a few times in these unplowed parking lots. It has stopped snowing now and the roads are looking better. At least, it is in the upper 20s- low 30s, so it feels balmy. Now, let's see how the residential goes...

I will check back in after work.

210EBT1002
Jan 28, 12:00pm Top

Hi Mark. I hope your day at work is/was relatively uneventful. It sounds like Chicagoland has just been iceberg-like.

Your comments about Ali Smith's Winter make me look forward to reading it again. I think her way with language is pretty special.

And I love that poem, "In the Between."

I've been sick all weekend and the only good thing about that is I did a fair bit of reading in between blowing my nose and lying in misery. I'm almost done with The Elected Member which won the 1970 Booker Prize. It's quite interesting!

Stay warm, my friend. I will wave at you as I fly into and out of O'Hare on Wednesday.

211m.belljackson
Jan 28, 1:03pm Top

>209 msf59:

Small consolations:

at least you don't have an early morning newspaper delivery route
and
you aren't facing the drive from Portage to De Forest every working day as our mailman does.

We think he is great - and he enjoys most things about us except that long drive...

212SuziQoregon
Jan 28, 1:22pm Top

Looks like the brutal weather is going to stick around for a bit. Sorry. Good luck and stay warm!!!

>153 richardderus: I like the new truck!

213jnwelch
Jan 28, 2:02pm Top

Morning, Mark!

>183 alphaorder: Many thanks to Nancy for posting the link to that article about Angie Thomas and The Hate U Give. I particularly enjoyed the Q & A. She's wise for such a young one!

A little reprieve on the temps today. We got out and about before the worst sets in. Debbie Tung, the author of Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, put out a new one this month called Book Love, and I can already tell it's going to resonate with LTers. Cartoons about the love of books and reading - that's right in our sweet spot.

Alif the Unseen should be great audio company for you. I'm glad you have Wednesday off; it looks to be awful.

214The_Hibernator
Jan 28, 4:28pm Top

>209 msf59: Good luck with that! I've been stuck at home with the kids all day for the same reason. Not that I mind the kids so much, but with the new rules on TV, and what with them thinking I am their personal entertainment system, It's not been a productive day. Looks like there won't be school for most of the week due to cold weather, too!

215vivians
Jan 28, 5:29pm Top

Hi Mark - sorry to hear about all that snow. We've been spared so far but it's still early days. I just finished a fabulous memoir called Inheritance: A memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love by Dani Shapiro. I finished it in one sitting - just couldn't put it down. Great writing, amazing subject.

216BLBera
Jan 28, 5:51pm Top

I feel for you this week, Mark.

217msf59
Edited: Jan 28, 7:01pm Top



^First off, I would like to applaud my thoughtful customers, for clearing the sidewalks and stairs today. My guess is about 70-80 per cent shoveled, but even if that is a bit high, I am still impressed. It still puzzles me why some customers will shovel up to the stairs but not do the stairs? WTH? The snow was heavier to walk through, today, so I am feeling it in my legs. It got much windier later in the afternoon and the temps dropped 15-20 degrees. Now, for the insane arctic blast that will be arriving later tomorrow and stay until Friday.

Joke for the day: I did end up getting stuck in a parking lot, and I went back in to the locksmith business, that is there and asked the owner, if he and his co-worker could give me a quick push. He asked me if I had Triple AAA and he was dead, damn serious. I smirked at him- "Ah, no." He seemed disappointed.

218msf59
Jan 28, 7:10pm Top

>205 harrygbutler: Hi, Harry. Our feeders have been hopping too, but with this polar vortex, getting ready to slam us, I am sure the birds will be scarce.

>206 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. Thanks for chiming in on A Star is Born. I just thought the Streisand/Kristopherson version was just okay but I know it has many fans.

>207 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I survived another one, but now the really bad stuff is on the way. It will be a very tough two weeks.

>208 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Hooray for Book Bullets flying and blue tits singing! Stop back and let me know what you think of "Roma". It such a wonderful film.

>210 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Sorry you have been under the weather. Wednesday is supposed to be horrific, a possible record-breaker, so I hope it does not interfere with your flight(s). Fingers crossed.

219msf59
Jan 28, 7:24pm Top

>211 m.belljackson: I will always take those small consolations, Marianne. I have just a 14 mile commute, that usually takes me 25-35 minutes, depending on traffic. I could not imagine doing what your carrier does.

>212 SuziQoregon: Hi, Juli. Thanks. I am glad I am off Wednesday, which sounds like it might be a record-breaker, for the cold. Supremely crazy.

>213 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I survived, to carry another day, but I am seriously considering adding another day off this week. I am looking forward to trying Debbie Tung.
You rarely steer me wrong.

>214 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. How many days off will the kids have? We are supposed to be record-breaking cold Wednesday. I would assume there will be massive school closings.

>215 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Funny, I just heard the author of "Inheritance" on the latest NYT Books Podcast. Check it out if you can. The memoir sounds really good.

>216 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I am lucky to be off Wednesday but I am thinking of adding a sick day.

220m.belljackson
Jan 28, 8:12pm Top

>217 msf59:

If the locksmith ever complains about his mail delivery, ask him if he has AAA.

He won't get it, but it will keep you smiling...

221msf59
Jan 29, 7:10am Top

>220 m.belljackson: I will keep that one in mind, Marianne. Grins...

222msf59
Edited: Jan 29, 7:17am Top



^Yep, I decided to take the day off. Some guilt but it is quickly diminishing. Fortunately, my regular day is off tomorrow. They are talking -12, for a high. A possible record-breaker. I am still making my way through my first cup of of coffee.

223lauralkeet
Jan 29, 8:00am Top

Hi Mark, I'm happy to see your new baby postal truck has arrived. It's an essential part of your book posts.

But oh my, I'm so sorry to hear you are sick. *snort* Have a warm and restful day.

224karenmarie
Jan 29, 8:02am Top

Hi Mark! I'm glad you're taking today off and even more glad that the guilt is quickly diminishing.

Coffee, books, warmth - sounds like a wonderful day to me.

225msf59
Jan 29, 8:16am Top

It is barely above zero here, at the moment and the feeders are all ready hopping. Mostly juncos and goldfinch but I did see a chickadee swing by. I am also very glad I finally have a heated birdbath.

>223 lauralkeet: Morning, (cough, cough) Laura! Good to see you. Hooray for the postal truck replacement and getting another day off!

>224 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. Can you believe they asked if I wanted to work tomorrow? The nerve. Honestly, I was hoping to work several of my off days and I volunteered too, over the past six months and they said no. Now, it is my turn. Grins...

226msf59
Edited: Jan 29, 8:22am Top



8) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 3.7 stars

“Unsheltered, I live in daylight. And the wandering bird I rest in thee.”

Kingsolver's latest novel, is told in dueling narratives. The first focuses on Willa Knox, in modern day New Jersey, living precariously in a ramshackle old house, she inherited. She is struggling to keep her life and family together, but like the house, it keeps threatening to fall to apart. The second narrative, set in the 1880s, deals with a science teacher and his friendship with an eccentric and brilliant naturalist, (a real-life figure) named Mary Treat.
It is a well-written, deeply researched book. It is a bit rambling at times, and I would have liked it a bit tighter but it is still a solid read and takes a couple of shots at the current administration, which of course I admire.



227karenmarie
Jan 29, 8:26am Top

>225 msf59: What goes around comes around. Yay for tomorrow off, too.

228katiekrug
Jan 29, 9:16am Top

Hiya Mark! Enjoy that "sick" day :)

229jessibud2
Jan 29, 10:02am Top

>222 msf59: - Well, as a person who used to be a teacher and almost never, in 26 years of teaching, used a sick day (and ours were cumulative, year to year), I can say: forget the guilt. You have worked for and earned those days and in my last few years, when I did start to take a day here, a day there, once in a while, I came to think of them as mental health days, or as one of Canada's great singer/songwriter treasures, Jann Arden, once said when I saw her speak, call it a *wellness day*. As in *I am too well to come to work today*. You need to do what's good and right for YOU, and given the nature of your job, day to day, THIS sounds exactly what's good and right for you today!

Smart man. :-)

230msf59
Jan 29, 10:16am Top

>227 karenmarie: B.A.G.

>228 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I have a few errands to run, (I don't want to have to leave the house at all tomorrow) and then the rest of the afternoon is reserved for the books.

>229 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley and thanks. I have saved up over 2,200 hours of sick leave, so I don't think I am exactly abusing the system. Grins...I will have start taking a couple of days off at a time. I am trying to bank my vacation time, something I haven't done as well at and we will get a check for the balance, when I retire.

231msf59
Edited: Jan 29, 10:25am Top

THE AYES HAVE IT


When I think of Trayvon Martin, I think of Emmett Till,

when I think of Emmett Till, I think of young black men in the South,

then I think of young, white men in the South.

I think of my husband, who is white, born and raised in Franklin, TN.

I think of how when he tries to hold my hand,

sometimes I pull away and not because I don’t love him,

but because I’m conscious, I think of other people,

other people who are born in the South,

that remember the old South and in fact long for it.

I think about the nooses that hung on our back porch when I was little:

one for me and one for my mom,

I think about how people say,

It’s not about race, don’t make it about race,

I wish Black people would stop talking about race!

When all I‘ve ever known is being defined by my race.

What are you? Where are you from?

I say, California,

but that’s not what they are looking for-

they are asking about my parents, what they want to know

is that my mother is black and my dad is white. I’m mixed.

So when I think about a post-racial America, I don’t-

because the trees in the South have strange fruit histories,

the roots are deep red, tangled and gnarled, so again-

when I think of Trayvon, I think of hoodies, then I think

of stereotypes, I think of skittles and high fructose corn syrup,

tasting the rainbow, and then I think of gay marriage,

then just marriage in general and I’m back to my husband

and he’s trying to hold my hand again, but the truth is- I’m scared,

because I have to love him differently in the South,

just like young black men have to think differently in the South,

they can’t just wink at any woman, Mr. Till,

just walk through any neighborhood, Mr. Martin.

Just wear any hoodie, buy any iced tea.

Someone is watching, always watching us, so when I think about

justice, I think about eyeballs, the first impression,

the action that follows, George Zimmerman stepping out of his car.

I think,

what would have happened if he had just given him a ride home?

-Tiana Clark

^This is from her collection I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood. Not every poem clicked for me, but there were enough gems to recommend it.

232katiekrug
Jan 29, 10:33am Top

>231 msf59: - Thanks for sharing that one, Mark.

233Copperskye
Jan 29, 10:37am Top

>222 msf59: Good for you! I bet that guilt has completely disappeared by now!

And goodness, I thought I gave back a lot of sick time when I left work but no where near 2000 hours. It’s there to be used. Especially when it’s cold and snowy!

234jnwelch
Jan 29, 12:33pm Top

>231 msf59: That one's awesome, Mark. Thanks for posting it.

I'm trying to think of when I've steered you wrong. I don't think you liked Sum as much as others we've given it to have. And Changers was a lukewarm experience, seemed like. Others?

I'm liking The Promise, which continues the adventures of Reuven and Danny, but so far it's not at the level of The Chosen. Of course, the latter is an exceptionally high level. I'm enjoying Book Love, her one after Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, Can't wait to hear what you think of QGIANW.

Great to hear that you're taking the day off! Get those errands done and warm up the Man Cave, buddy.

235scaifea
Jan 29, 1:04pm Top

Hi, Mark! I'm *so* glad you've taken the day off today! You definitely deserve to stay in the warm with the books!

236m.belljackson
Jan 29, 1:13pm Top

>231 msf59:

And we've only had 400 years to work it out since the Dutch, English, and Portugal gave us Jamestown.

237msf59
Jan 29, 1:20pm Top

>232 katiekrug: Glad you liked it, Katie. She has a strong voice.

>233 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. The guilt is still hanging around on the fringes, but I was out running errands and I was quickly reminded, that it is COLD. About 5 degrees and with those winds, probably more like -15.

238msf59
Jan 29, 1:25pm Top

>234 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. All errands accomplished. Time to get cozy. Yep, we can not always agree, that is the way of the world and I would have it no other way. Actually, I did enjoy Changers and may get the second one from you. Looking forward to QGIANW and I hope I can bookhorn in, The Chosen, later this year.

>235 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. My wife did not want to go to work. She just left. It is especially going to be tough tomorrow, unless her employer closes the clinic.

>236 m.belljackson: Amen, Marianne. Well, said.

239Carmenere
Jan 29, 1:37pm Top

>193 msf59: Welcome new postal truck!

Good for you, Mark! You've had your share of frigid temps. Time to let the newbies have their chance.

Our bird feeders were really hopping this morning too! Juncos, female cardinal and a downy woodpecker. Squirrel's nibbling om the crumbs. I wonder if they sense the weather is just gonna get worse. Keep toasty, my friend.

240SuziQoregon
Jan 29, 3:23pm Top

>222 msf59: Smart move! Good to hear you have tomorrow off too. Stay warm!

241lindapanzo
Jan 29, 3:40pm Top

Hope you’re enjoying your day off today, Mark. I’m working at home for the duration. Thursday won’t be good either so I’ll probably go back in on Friday.

242msf59
Jan 29, 4:16pm Top

>239 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I am having a good afternoon at home. I appreciate the bird feeder report. I am seeing the same species, but I will add goldfinch and housefinch. I also think I saw a nuthatch land and take off.

>240 SuziQoregon: Hi, Juli. Not regretting much at the moment. Grins...

>241 lindapanzo: Hooray for working from home. I wish I had that option, Linda. Hey, in another 18 months, I can do the same.

243weird_O
Jan 29, 5:27pm Top

Mark, it is good to learn you are partaking of the warmth of the homeplace. Good on you. And, my God, you're actually reading. Good going.

I am basking in silence. It's been snowing all day, though the accumulation isn't what one would think. A few inches only. The only sound is that of the poochie snoring. I'm reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time ever. In Narnia, the witch is keeping it snowing and cold, 24/7. Sad.

244msf59
Jan 29, 6:45pm Top

>243 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Yep, I was home today and spent a nice chunk of it reading. I loved it. I have also never read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Bad Mark?

245brenzi
Edited: Jan 29, 7:00pm Top

Hi Mark, it's been snowing steadily here all tonight. Later this evening the temps will drop, the winds kick up and the snow fall at about two inches an hour. I'm hunkered down absolutely loving my audio of Started Early, Took My Dog which I'll finish tomorrow with the wind howling I guess. I'm glad you got to take a couple of days off.

246Oberon
Jan 29, 8:17pm Top

So apparently they have cancelled mail service in Minnesota for tomorrow. That might be a bad sign.

247msf59
Jan 30, 7:22am Top

>245 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Good luck with all that snow. We are just dealing with bitter cold. I am so glad you are enjoying Started Early, Took My Dog. Aren't the Jackson Brodie books a lot of fun. And hooray for a new one coming down the pipe.

>246 Oberon: Hi, Erik. I heard this. Wow! Has this happened before? I know MN gets hit a lot harder, than we do.

248msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 7:38am Top



^I am sure glad this isn't going to me today. Whew! I have not heard anything yet, but I am assuming the post office is open, so my guess, is that the carriers that make it in, will be told to go out an make an attempt. I am sure not many will last long. It is currently -20 degrees out there and with the wind chill factor- YIKES!!

I am wishing all the mail-carriers out there the very best and BE SAFE!!

249karenmarie
Jan 30, 8:04am Top

‘Morning, Mark and happy stay-at-home-Wednesday. I’m very glad you’re not out in it.

We’re basking in 18F right now. The birds have been relentless all week. I thought I saw a male Purple Finch the other day – he didn’t look red, more the raspberry color described – but am not 100% sure. But either way I saw a male and female Finch hanging out on a branch and occasionally going to get seeds. I’ve got a lot of Titmice and Carolina Chickadees in addition to the many Cardinals.

250msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 8:22am Top

>249 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am glad to be sitting this one out. Thanks for the bird feeder report. Believe it or not, I just saw a pair of goldfinch. Wow. There were several house finch at my feeders yesterday, looking quite red in their chests. I though they might be purple finch. Keep in mind house finch, have streaky chests and purple finch do not.

251msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 8:20am Top



-Barbara Vance I was not familiar with Vance, but she is a children's author and illustrator.

252Carmenere
Edited: Jan 30, 8:28am Top

Hey Mark, I've been hearing there will be no postal delivery in Cleveland and surrounding zip codes. Also, many cities are forgoing garbage pick up. Totally makes sense. It's inhuman for people who spend a considerable amount of time outside to endure these temps.
Enjoy snuggling with the books today. I know I will!

253karenmarie
Jan 30, 8:30am Top

>250 msf59: Yay for goldfinches. My friend Louise always depresses me with her bird report - she sees all the non-feeder birds because of the way her breakfast room window faces her back yard and she keeps her binoculars at the ready. She's been seeing goldfinches for weeks and I haven't. My setup isn't as good as hers. My feeders are in the shade most of the day and even though I keep the binoculars handy AND have my scope on a tripod, rarely see a variety because by the time I grab and focus the bird's gone. Although right now I have three Titmice all banging seeds on branches at once - it's amusing to watch.

254alcottacre
Jan 30, 8:35am Top

>201 msf59: I love A Star is Born with Judy Garland and James Mason!

>226 msf59: I am going to have to get to that one soon.

Is today your day off? I hope so!!

255Crazymamie
Jan 30, 8:42am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm happy that you don't have to be out in those temps today delivering mail. Take it easy, my friend, and enjoy your day off.

256alphaorder
Jan 30, 8:45am Top

No postal delivery here in Milwaukee. Shawn went to work, but Alina and I are home. I will be working a little later but taking it easy getting going. Thinking I might start God of Small Things to take me back to warm Kerala.

257msf59
Jan 30, 9:04am Top



^I just heard from a fellow-carrier at the P.O. and it looks like they are just casing all the mail in and then going home. Whew! It will be a very heavy day tomorrow but I guess we will have to deal with that one then.

I heard on the radio that six states have cancelled mail delivery. Smart thinking.

258jessibud2
Jan 30, 9:04am Top

Hi Mark. I am glad you are home today. We are so cold here, too, that we are very close to the Fahrenheit and Celcius numbers converging. You know it's cold when THAT happens!! Yet, they say that by Sunday, we will be above zero C. I absolutely dread what that will do to the snow - I am already dealing this week with water in my basement and no idea (yet) where it's coming from. If you see me floating by, you will know it's gotten worse! EEK

259msf59
Jan 30, 9:12am Top

>252 Carmenere: " It's inhuman for people who spend a considerable amount of time outside to endure these temps." True dat, Lynda. Good morning, my friend. I am glad I ran my errands yesterday. No plans to step outside today. Me and the books!

>253 karenmarie: I have a pretty good set-up in the yard and it is only about 20-25 feet from our back window, so I get some solid looks. I would love to see a Tufted Titmouse again. They are in the area but normally stay further south.

>254 alcottacre: Morning, Stasia. Yes, it is my day off and even though my fellow carriers are not carrying, I do not have to leave the house. Yah!

>255 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie and thanks. My wife was definitely not happy, that she had to go to work. LOL. But, at least she will be in a warm office.

>256 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Sounds like a good day for you. I will mostly be kicking back with the books too.

260scaifea
Jan 30, 9:51am Top

Morning, Mark! Good for the post office for looking out for their carriers! The Columbus area has canceled delivery today and I'm glad!

261msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 9:56am Top

>258 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. Yes, a big warm up coming this weekend. A 50 degree swing, with rain. Good luck up there. We could get flooding issues too.

>260 scaifea: Morning, Amber. I think this was the first time in my 32-plus years, that they cancelled delivery because of the cold. Very smart move. We did not need people getting hurt out there.

262msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 10:02am Top



10) Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea: Stories by Sarah Pinsker 4.2 stars

This is an impressive collection of stories, many set in the near-future or an alternate universe, but also grounded in real human dilemmas, including loss and isolation. The last story, "And Then There Were None", possibly the best in the collection, is a tribute to Agatha Christie, about a conference of hundreds of Sarah Pinskers, (the author) on a remote island in a storm--and one of them is murdered. The writing here is strong and deft and I am definitely looking forward to read more of Pinsker.



^Early Reviewers

263lindapanzo
Edited: Jan 30, 11:30am Top

>248 msf59: Just heard that there'll be no mail delivery for the 600 zip code people but the post offices are open. Our postal substation is closed today though.

Glad you're home today.

Are you sitting down? I heard that, in a few places in Wisconsin, it's too cold to deliver beer. They're afraid it'll freeze in the trucks. I've never heard of this before.

264jnwelch
Jan 30, 10:36am Top

Hiya, Mark. Yeah, they suspended mail delivery in our area, too. Smart! We woke up to -53 wind chill. Yikes!

The Promise was pretty good; the second half really picked up. It was interesting to follow Reuven and Danny at older ages. I actually found the Talmud discussions interesting; that shows what a good author he is!

I need to get back to poetry reading today. I had the new Terrance Hayes come in, so I'll move to that after Andrea Gibson.

Good day for hot bevs and reading.

265Oberon
Edited: Jan 30, 11:38am Top

>257 msf59: I have never heard of mail service being suspended due to cold before and we have had a few times that this has happened though not in a decade or two. Pretty extraordinary. The freeways in Minneapolis are comparatively empty today. I came in to work but I think a lot of people stayed home. A lot of the state has just kind of shut down.

266Caroline_McElwee
Jan 30, 11:57am Top

>231 msf59: very moving Mark.

>248 msf59: so glad you are staying close to the hearth.

>257 msf59: Phew. Seemed bizarre that postal workers weren't included in the instruction to stay home. I can understand the need to get as many emergency service workers to their work locations, but otherwise folk should stay home, and not potentially create emergencies!

267msf59
Jan 30, 1:51pm Top

>263 lindapanzo: " it's too cold to deliver beer." Don't even joke around about that, Linda. LOL. Now, we are wondering if we will be able to deliver mail tomorrow. It might still be 10-15 below zero on the way to work. I know it is supposed to right around zero but that could be later in the day.

>264 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I am sure glad I am sitting at home. I am reading and monitoring the bird feeders. This is taking all my attention. Thanks for the book report. I am well into, Golden Child, which has been a solid read and I will wrap up Upgrade Soul.

>265 Oberon: It is "Pretty extraordinary", Erik. In the past 32 years, we have been prevented from delivering because of flooding and deep snow but never just from sheer cold. Record-breaking.

>266 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. It is comfy here by the hearth. Grins...This is the first time, in my career that mail delivery was completely canceled. Crazy, huh?

268lindapanzo
Jan 30, 1:57pm Top

>267 msf59: They just said on the channel 9 news that the Thursday high of around 0 will be at 11 o'clock at night. We were thinking that maybe we'd get out and grab some lunch tomorrow around noon but looked and saw it'll still be about 12 below then. Hardly any wind so the wind chills won't be as bad as they've been.

I've been working since 8 am, looking out the front window, and have not seen a single car go by on our street. I saw one person walking. Walking very fast. One co-worker wanted to get her car warmed up and so drove around. Said the only places that are open are Walgreens, Starbucks, and Burger King. Maybe others but she didn't see them.

269msf59
Jan 30, 2:11pm Top

>268 lindapanzo: That is insane, Linda. I am curious to see, what they have us do tomorrow. Unfortunately, the mail will keep stacking up. I have not seen a soul since Sue left for work. Just me and Riley and the birds.

270msf59
Edited: Jan 31, 3:29pm Top



^Despite the 20 below temps there has been quite a bit of activity at the feeders. These are some hardy damn birds! I am so glad I finally invested in a heated birdbath too. The birdies appreciate it. I was able to get some photos too:



^A male cardinal giving me the stink eye. His wife was in the vicinity too. They are inseparable.

271msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 5:55pm Top



^Goldfinch and a junco. Most of the juncos have been feeding off the ground.



-A male Downy Woodpecker. There was also a female visitor.

^I also saw house finch, house sparrows and a nuthatch.

272m.belljackson
Edited: Jan 30, 2:22pm Top

>269 msf59:

Madison's banks, Penzeys, and De Forest Post Office thankfully cancelled for today - tomorrow's garbage pickup may be next.

Somehow, this morning's early newspaper made it through, though we all would have been happy to wait.

Have you taken a Goldfinch photo? I'm 3/4 through the book.

Good Timing = your Goldfinch just appeared!

273jnwelch
Jan 30, 2:32pm Top

I don't know about others, but the newest images unfortunately aren't showing up for me.

Nice review of Sooner or Later Everything Falls. You captured it concisely.

I am reading and monitoring the bird feeders. This is taking all my attention. LOL! That sounds like a good day!

274alcottacre
Jan 30, 2:36pm Top

>262 msf59: Adding that one to the BlackHole!

Glad you can stay in and read. . .

275richardderus
Jan 30, 2:43pm Top


I'm crawling around the threads to say I'm not dead but woefully unread, both books and threads. Happy polar vortex.

276Familyhistorian
Jan 30, 2:45pm Top

>273 jnwelch: The images are showing up for me, Joe, but the latest book covers aren't.

>258 jessibud2: We are so cold here, too, that we are very close to the Fahrenheit and Celcius numbers converging. Now that is cold, Shelley, as Celsius and Fahrenheit converge at -40. I know that because I lived in Calgary one winter and it did just that. I hope they find where the water in your basement is coming from.

I can't believe how much sick time you have, Mark. I used to work for Canada Post as an inside worker many, many moons ago and our culture was to use all the sick time you could - hmm, I wonder if that is why mail moves slowly here. Glad to hear you are staying warm at home with the books today but it looks like tomorrow will be a chilly one as well. Good to see the mini postal truck.

277ChelleBearss
Jan 30, 2:58pm Top

Sorry to see you were home sick. We had a run of stomach flu here and I ended up home sick Monday. Nate caught it today and has made himself a couch bed for the day
Glad to see your mail service cancelled home delivery for the day. It's a chilly one! We don't have home delivery in our town, just the community post boxes so I don't think mail service got cancelled since they drive box to box and not walk.

278alphaorder
Jan 30, 4:06pm Top

Ok, so I didn't start God of Small Things after all. I worked longer than I planned and am thinking I will stay in the cold winter with Wanderer. We'll see. Was also looking at Great Believers, but I have to work on Saturday, so I won't have as much reading time this weekend as I would need to dig into a novel like that.

279msf59
Jan 30, 6:00pm Top

>272 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. We had newspaper delivery too. Our garbage pick up, will be delayed a day. It looks like postal delivery may be suspended another day, but I will probably go in and see what is happening.

>273 jnwelch: I hope you can see the bird images now, Joe. Images have been a bit funky lately on LT. I had a great day with the books and the birds and even had a beer or two.

>274 alcottacre: It was a great day indoors, with the books, Stasia. Thanks.

>275 richardderus: I am sorry, you are feeling so poorly, Richard. I hope this is the last day of the worst stuff.

280msf59
Edited: Jan 30, 6:08pm Top

>276 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Glad you can see the birdies. The LT images have been wonky lately. For many years, I averaged only 2-3 sick days a year, without any major injury or illness. The hours stacked up.

>277 ChelleBearss: Actually I was not sick, Chelle but used a sick day. Grins...I have a huge amount of sick leave accrued, so I am using a day here and there. It looks like mail delivery will be suspended again tomorrow. Yikes.

Sorry, to hear Nate is sick. Hope it is brief.

>278 alphaorder: Thanks for the book update, Nancy. I still have The Great Believers on my TBR.

281DeltaQueen50
Jan 30, 6:38pm Top

Glad to hear that you staying inside and out of the cold, Mark. I sure hope you don't have to be out in it tomorrow. Stay warm and enjoy your books.

282msf59
Jan 30, 7:14pm Top

>281 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. Good to see you. It looks like we will be working inside tomorrow, for one more day. It is the safe move.

283EBT1002
Jan 30, 7:27pm Top

>231 msf59: Oh my, that is a powerful poem. Thank you for posting.

Hi Mark! I know you were out sick yesterday, today was a usual day off, and tomorrow mail delivery is suspended. I hope you're getting in some good reading!

I love the Downy woodpeckers. I love all woodpeckers, now that I think of it.

>270 msf59: I think the birds have to eat no matter how cold it is, so good for you for taking care of them! I'm sure they would be grateful if they understood.... I love all the photos and I'm sure they are loving the heated birdbath! I know ours gets lots of activity. The other day a squirrel was drinking out of it. I didn't begrudge him the water. :-)

284EllaTim
Jan 30, 9:04pm Top

Good for you, taking a day off Marc.

We loved Roma! Beautiful black and white images, and a very interesting story. Did you notice how Cleo, the maid, was never really part of the family.? Not sitting on the couch, but next to it. Things like that, very well done. I thought it must have been a book, something autobiographical, those details, like the knife sharpener who comes along with his whistling song. But I couldn't find anything more about it. Anyway, very good recommendation!

285msf59
Jan 30, 9:47pm Top

>283 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. I am still going in to work tomorrow, but just won't have to deliver on the street. I am not complaining.

Hooray for the woodpeckers. I saw my first red-bellied of the year, today. Always a good one to see.

>284 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Today was my regular scheduled day off. I am glad you enjoyed Roma. This was based on the director's childhood and the maid that helped raise them. I think it was a wonderful tribute.

286msf59
Edited: Jan 31, 6:34am Top



^Well, it looks like mail delivery has been suspended for 2 days in a row. This is historic, but with it only being -12 out there at the moment, it will take most of the day before it reaches zero. We are going into the P.O. though, this morning and working in the office, casing up mail and other duties. Not sure if it will be a full day or not. Tomorrow is going to be crazy with mail volume. Yikes!

287msf59
Edited: Jan 31, 4:06pm Top



"Unearthly and unexpected, the stories in Mouthful of Birds burrow their way into your psyche and don't let go. Samanta Schweblin haunts and mesmerizes in this extraordinary, masterful collection."

"Samanta Schweblin was chosen as one of the 22 best writers in Spanish under the age of 35 by Granta. Originally from Buenos Aires, she lives in Berlin."

^I had a great couple of days of reading, so I finished up Golden Child quickly and now I am going to start Mouthful of Birds. With a title like that, how can I resist? My audio time will be limited today, but I should be able to finish up Alif the Unseen.

288Carmenere
Jan 31, 6:43am Top

Morning, Mark! It is -5 here and I dread stepping outside today. Great that you won't have to deliver today but brrrr for even having to go to the PO just the same.

289alcottacre
Jan 31, 6:47am Top

I am glad to hear that you are not going to be working outdoors today at least!

290msf59
Jan 31, 7:44am Top

I stand corrected- it was -20F on the way to work. I am pretty sure this is a 32 year record for me. Brrrrrr...

291lauralkeet
Jan 31, 8:09am Top

I'm so glad you don't have to walk your route today, Mark. Going into the office is not as good as a day off, but at least you should be able to stay warm.

292Crazymamie
Jan 31, 8:43am Top

Morning, Mark! Glad to hear you don't have to venture out in those temps to deliver the mail.

293karenmarie
Jan 31, 8:49am Top

'Morning, Mark! -20 going to a high of -1. I'm so glad you're working inside today. Your forecast for tomorrow looks balmy in comparison at a high of 22.

294jnwelch
Jan 31, 10:33am Top

Crazy temps, my friend. Glad you're inside!

Yes, I can see the bird images now. Nice! You're right, images have been wonky lately on LT.

I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on Mouthful of Birds. What a title! Thanks for the tip on Upgrade Soul. I'll move it up the GN list, and see whether our library has it.

295richardderus
Jan 31, 11:44am Top

>287 msf59: What a gorgeous title, and jacket! Intrigued to learn your thoughts on its merits.

I hope the first day back is not that onerous.

296lindapanzo
Jan 31, 11:47am Top

At least you're inside today, Mark. Glad to hear that. It's improving but still bitterly cold.

They keep talking about no mail delivery for 606 zip codes but didn't say a peep about ours so I called the post office. She said back delivering tomorrow.

btw, I recently became aware of the USPS Informed Delivery. What an excellent idea. I had no idea about this til a friend told me. Plus, I guess I already had access to it and didn't know it.

297m.belljackson
Jan 31, 11:56am Top

>286 msf59: >294 jnwelch:

My online POPULAR MECHANICS today shows a video of Chicago's train tracks on fire!

And Spring temperatures are forecast for this week - can this Winter get any stranger?!?

298Familyhistorian
Edited: Jan 31, 2:02pm Top

They showed the Chicago train tracks on fire on our news as well. It was explained it was a way of keeping the tracks clear of ice and snow so the trains could run.

Enjoy your day in the warmth, Mark. Good call for them to suspend deliveries in such freezing temperatures.

I took a look up thread and can see the covers now. So strange.

299Ameise1
Jan 31, 2:27pm Top

Stay warm, Mark. On the news here in Switzerland we've got news and updates about Chicago on a regular base during the last 24 hours. It must definitely be terribly cold at your place. Thinking of you and hope it's getting better soon.

300msf59
Jan 31, 3:04pm Top

>288 Carmenere: It was a chilly ride in this morning, Lynda. And it was still only -4, on my way home. Tomorrow morning should feel much better but we are supposed to get a couple more inches of snow. Sighs...

>289 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia. It was a pretty lazy morning at the P.O. We had most of the mail cased in, around 9:30. I even read a little bit.

>291 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. We all had the choice of using vacation time, instead of coming in. I thought I would save it for another day. I still ended up using 2 hours. I was getting very bored.

>292 Crazymamie: Hi, Mamie. I am happy about it too and it would have been dangerous.

>293 karenmarie: 22F is going to feel downright balmy tomorrow, Karen. That is over a 30-35 degree swing.

301msf59
Jan 31, 3:14pm Top

>294 jnwelch: Sweet Thursday, Joe. I am home and ready to kick back. I am glad you can see the bird photos. I did read the first story in Mouthful of Birds and liked it but like "Sooner or Later..." it might be more my cuppa than yours.

>295 richardderus: Hi, RD. I think this is going to another special story collection and that COVER!!

>296 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Yep, this has been a crazy cold stretch. I hope we are done with this kind of arctic blast, for the season. I just learned about the "Informed Delivery" a few months ago. Neat idea, for people that love getting mail. Other than book packages, I could less. LOL.

>297 m.belljackson: The tracks on fire was a pretty cool images, right, Marianne? Yep, talking low 50s on Monday. Yep, pretty crazy, but then it gets right back to normal.

>298 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. We are going to have heavy volume for the next few days, to catch up, but we do not have much choice, right? Glad you can see the book covers.

>299 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. We are famous in Switzerland now, eh? I just wish it could have been for something else. Grins...

302weird_O
Jan 31, 3:28pm Top

303Caroline_McElwee
Jan 31, 5:01pm Top

>302 weird_O: hehehe..

304msf59
Jan 31, 7:32pm Top

>302 weird_O: LOL. Do you think we could get him to come back, Bill?

305The_Hibernator
Feb 1, 12:23pm Top

>219 msf59: The kids had off Monday through Thursday. They're back in school now, thankfully.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Four.

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