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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Five

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

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

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1msf59
Edited: Feb 13, 9:31pm Top



-Great Grey Owl



^ I am travelling up to this area, in Upper MN, the weekend of Feb. 16-17th. It is supposed to be amazing.



^Grey Fox. Yes, there will be plenty of cool birds but amazing mammals, as well.

2msf59
Edited: Mar 2, 6:24pm 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)

February:

15) The End of the End of the Earth: Essays by Jonathan Franzen 4 stars (audio)
16) Mouthful of Birds: Stories by Samanta Schweblin 3.2 stars
17) The Calculating Stars: A Lady Astronaut Novel by Mary Robinette Kowal 3.8 stars (audio)
18) Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell 3.7 stars
19) These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore 5 stars (audio)
20) Red Clocks by Leni Zumas 3.6 stars (audio)
21) Last Friends (Old Filth Trilogy) by Jane Gardam 4.4 stars G.R.
22) Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the USPS by Devin Leonard 4.2 stars (audio)
23) Great Dream of Heaven: Stories by Sam Shepard 4.3 stars
24) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 3.7 stars (audio) AAC
25) Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro 4.3 stars (audio)
26) Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson 5 stars (Poetry)
27) The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker 4 stars ALA
28) The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen 4.4 stars ALA
29) The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko 4.5 stars (audio)

March:

30) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 4.5 stars (audio)

3msf59
Edited: Mar 2, 6:25pm 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

(F)- First time seen at the feeders.

4msf59
Edited: Feb 13, 8:41pm Top



^I have been excited about Black Leopard, Red Wolf for months now. I am glad to have a copy at hand. A Game of Thrones, set in Africa? I am sold. I know Joe and Mamie are currently reading it and I am considering kicking off March with this potential gem. I also picked up a couple of very promising story collections, including Homesick For Another World & The Rainbow Stories.

The beverage is Surly Furious, one of my longtime favorites. I am planning to visit Surly Brewery Friday night, along with a couple of LTers. Yeah, baby!!

**Sorry, the photo is a bit blurry.

5richardderus
Feb 13, 8:38pm Top

So here I am, all ready for birds, books, 'n beer.

6figsfromthistle
Feb 13, 9:30pm Top

Happy new thread! Have fun at the brewery :)

7katiekrug
Feb 13, 9:34pm Top

Happy new one, Mark!

8msf59
Edited: Feb 13, 9:44pm Top



>5 richardderus: How about a single malt, for being Number One, RD?

9msf59
Feb 13, 9:44pm Top

>6 figsfromthistle: >7 katiekrug: Thanks, Figs & Katie!

10jnwelch
Feb 13, 9:46pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark. Some of the visuals are blanking for me - seems to be a problem all over LT right now. But I sure like that gray fox.

If you can get your hands on Gauld's Snooty Bookshop, it's another really funny one.

11msf59
Feb 13, 10:01pm Top

>10 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I hope you can see the Grey Owl. It is a beaut. I know my Sax-Zim Bog Welcome sign is not coming up. Very strange. Ooh, a new Gauld. I will have to request that one.

12vancouverdeb
Feb 13, 10:07pm Top

Happy New Thread, Mark. Some dark reads you've got going on! Can you handle it? :-) Going up north to bird, are you? Have you had your head examined? LOL

13jessibud2
Edited: Feb 13, 10:09pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I hope you don't freeze up there in MN, but yes, you surely will see great critters!

14brodiew2
Feb 13, 11:37pm Top

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

Excellent toppers. I got in on the ground floor of this thread.

15mdoris
Feb 13, 11:41pm Top

Happy new thread Mark and safe and fun travels on your weekend.

16Berly
Feb 14, 12:31am Top

Happy new one, Mark! I anticipate good books, cool birds, and a beer or two thrown in for good measure. Say Hi to my family while you're in MN.

17mahsdad
Feb 14, 1:57am Top

Happy New Thread! The Moshfegh sounds really interesting. I'm also looking forward to Black Leopard, Red Wolf (though, I guess I should read A Brief History of Seven Killings first, its been on my shelf for a year)

18scaifea
Feb 14, 6:16am Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

19msf59
Feb 14, 6:38am Top

>12 vancouverdeb: "Going up north to bird, are you? Have you had your head examined?" I have been asked that a lot lately, Deb. LOL. Actually there is a bird festival happening up there this weekend, so I am not alone in my wackiness.

>13 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. The temps won't be that much different from here and I hope to add about 10 birds to the Life List, if all goes well.

>14 brodiew2: Thanks, Brodie. Good to see you. Everything is rosy here.

20msf59
Feb 14, 6:44am Top

>15 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. Looking forward to it.

>16 Berly: Thanks, Kim. Not sure, a lot of book print book reading will happen this weekend, but I should get in a nice amount of audio time. What town does your family live in?

>17 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff. I am also intrigued by the Moshfegh collection. I liked her dark novel Eileen. You should pull Seven Killings down off the shelf. It is a good one!

>18 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

21msf59
Edited: Feb 14, 7:03am Top



^After finishing the somewhat underwhelming Red Clocks, I decided to go with the audio of Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service. I think it would be an appropriate title, as we struggle through a tough winter, plus it should keep me good company on my trip to MN.

I will also wrap up Last Friends, which I will dearly miss.

22Carmenere
Feb 14, 7:18am Top

Happy 5th thread, Mark! Enjoy MN.... in February.... none the less. Hope the birdies come out to play!

23alcottacre
Feb 14, 7:45am Top

Checking in on the new thread, Mark! I am hopeful that you will see tons of owls (and other birds) in Minnesota this weekend!

24alphaorder
Feb 14, 7:48am Top

Have a great trip Mark! Can't wait to hear about what you see.

25karenmarie
Feb 14, 8:28am Top

'Morning, Mark!

I'm looking forward to birding vicariously on your MN trip. In the meantime, I hope you have a great day.

26harrygbutler
Feb 14, 8:38am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Enjoy your trip, and good luck on the bird-spotting!

27Caroline_McElwee
Feb 14, 9:17am Top

>1 msf59: can't see the photo of where you will be travelling Mark. This is an annoying new thing in LT. I always upload to my junk draw to avoid it now.

28jnwelch
Feb 14, 9:21am Top

Have a good one today, Mark, and then we'll look forward to hearing about your trek to the arctic north. Well, the warmer south from some perspectives.

I'm off to work today, and should be able to finish Educated on the train. Then I'll dig into Black Leopard - can't wait!

29msf59
Edited: Feb 14, 9:40am Top

Mild out here, as I head out to the route. It is pushing 40. Now, why can't we enjoy a long stretch of this? Back to the low 20s tomorrow...sighs.

>22 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda and thanks. I am hoping the birds come out to play too. I want this to be a worthy trip.

>23 alcottacre: Morning, Stasia. I appreciate your optimism. I have been following the daily bird sightings, from up there and birds have definitely been present.

>24 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. You know I'll be giving updates, when I can. Getting excited...

30msf59
Feb 14, 10:47am Top

>25 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. My last work day of the week is going smoothly. The mild temps sure help.

>26 harrygbutler: Thanks, Harry. I am hoping to add a bunch to my Life List. Fingers crossed.

>27 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. Yep, continuing to have issues with our posted images. It gets frustrating.

>28 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Good luck at work today. Everything is going smoothly here. Looking forward to your early thoughts on Black Leopard.

31drneutron
Feb 14, 10:55am Top

Happy new thread!

I've just put Black Leopard, Red Wolf on reserve at the library!

32benitastrnad
Feb 14, 11:00am Top

I am currently listening to Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge and like the book. However, the narrator (the author) is hard to understand and I don't think the recording was engineered the best to take advantage of his unique voice and accent. (Edge is from Georgia and is now living in Oxford, Mississippi where he is head of the Southern Foodways Alliance.) It is a shame as his voice and accent could be an asset to the recorded version of this book. Instead it is diminished by the lack of production quality. It seems the more I listen to recorded books the more critical I am becoming of production and narration. It amazes me how much impact this has on how well I like the book.

33lindapanzo
Feb 14, 12:06pm Top

>29 msf59: Spring is in the air, at least for today. I bet it hits 50.

Four-day weekend ahead!!

34richardderus
Feb 14, 1:02pm Top

Minnesnowta in the winter...Mark, you are *bonkers* to do that. Good reading choice, however. Soak up the 50° while it lasts.

35ChelleBearss
Feb 14, 1:44pm Top

Happy Valentine's Day!! ❤️💚💗💙

36Oberon
Feb 14, 2:35pm Top

>34 richardderus: Come on now - you all are making it sound like Mark is off to the high arctic.

37jnwelch
Feb 14, 2:45pm Top

^Ha! Says one who knows. :-)

38richardderus
Feb 14, 4:02pm Top

>36 Oberon: ...he isn't...? Lemme see here...between 8 and 10 feet of snow per winter, between 8 and 10 billion mosquitoes in summer, cold mud season, coolish mud season, year-round ice skating and igloo building...yep, Minnesnowta is as arctic as one needs to get.

39BLBera
Feb 14, 4:18pm Top

Happy new one, Mark. Enjoy your weekend. I hope the weather cooperates.

40msf59
Feb 14, 4:55pm Top

Well, I am off work and stopping at one of my favorite watering holes, to celebrate the next four days off. They have a terrific beer list today. Decisions, decisions...

>31 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. I am sure Black Leopard will be just your cuppa.

>32 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Sorry, your foodie NF is not cutting it on audio. I ended up buying the new Marlon James. I could not resist. I am still trying to decide which of the new ALA batch, I will start.

>33 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. It was very nice today but why can't it last a bit longer? Back to COLD tomorrow. Enjoy your long weekend.

41msf59
Feb 14, 5:02pm Top

>34 richardderus: No question, I am "bonkers" and not just because I am heading to the Great White North. At least I will get in a Meet Up tomorrow night.

>35 ChelleBearss: Aw, thanks, Chelle. Back at you.

>36 Oberon: I am definitely looking forward to the High Arctic, Erik. Grins. A polar bear sighting, perhaps?

>38 richardderus: It doesn't sound like you will be visiting the Upper Midwest, anytime soon, RD? Grins...

>39 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I just wish I had a couple of extra days. Maybe, once I retire...

42FAMeulstee
Feb 14, 6:17pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

I hope you get to see a lot of birds in the weekend.

43richardderus
Feb 14, 6:57pm Top

>41 msf59: It seems unlikely, I confess.

44msf59
Feb 14, 7:26pm Top

>42 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I am hoping for a productive weekend. Fingers crossed.

>43 richardderus: Just what I figured, RD!

45msf59
Edited: Feb 14, 9:50pm Top



^I am so glad to hear that Dave Cullen has a new book out. Just released on Feb. 12th. Parkland: Birth of a Movement is completely in his wheelhouse. He did an extraordinary job, with Columbine, back in 2009, (my favorite book of that year). I am sure this will also be a very difficult book to read but you can be assured than Cullen will have researched the hell out of it and capture the right tone.

46weird_O
Feb 14, 9:31pm Top

One thing leads to another...

In Educated, which I've been reading, Tara Westover writes about her father's obsession with standoff between the Weaver family and Federal agents. I remembered the episode generally, but I googled it. Ruby Ridge! Oh yeah. Near the end of the Wiki entry on Ruby Ridge, mention was made of the best account of the tragedy is Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family, written by a Spokane, Wash. reporter named Jess Walter.

And that name rang a bell. Beautiful Ruins.

47msf59
Feb 14, 9:53pm Top

>46 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Good to see you. I hope you are enjoying Educated. It seems to be getting a mixed response from our LT pals, although I was a big fan. I love Jess Walter but have not read Ruby Ridge. I admire the fact that he has written NF.

48benitastrnad
Feb 14, 10:06pm Top

Shouldn’t most books get a mixed response?

I mean - we don’t all think alike so why would we like the same books?

49charl08
Feb 15, 2:47am Top

Hope you have a great weekend Mark, with plenty of bird sightings. I'm hoping to get my hands on the Marlon James soon.

50vancouverdeb
Feb 15, 2:55am Top

I enjoyed Educated very much, but I would not have given it a second thought if my sister had not gotten on my case to read it. But of course, Benita is correct, we are all different as to our likes. Me, ugh to The Handmaid's Tale. And everyone likes that.

Just kidding about you needing get your head examined about going up north to see the birds. I know you'll have lots of fun.

51scaifea
Feb 15, 7:03am Top

Morning, Mark! Safe travels and have a great trip this weekend! Charlie and I are headed to Indiana, finally!

52jessibud2
Edited: Feb 15, 7:07am Top

>Hi, Mark. I just heard an interview with Cullen yesterday on this new book. I would like to read it. I read a book last year written by 2 of the kids from Parkland, sister and brother, and it was the brother, David Hogg, who spearheaded the movement.

Have a great weekend and I hope the birds cooperate for you!

53msf59
Feb 15, 7:15am Top

>48 benitastrnad: Honestly, I have no problem with "mixed responses". This is part of our reading life. I was just curious which side of the fence, that particular reader would come down on. I agree, it would be awful boring if we all felt the same way about books.

>49 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. Getting ready to leave in a couple of hours. It is a bit of an intimidating trip but I hope to reap the feathery rewards.

>50 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. And we have always remained pals and sidekicks, despite your hatred of The Handmaid's Tale. Grins...I should still get my head examined, but I will wait until I return.

54msf59
Feb 15, 7:23am Top

>51 scaifea: Morning, Amber and thank you. It should be an exciting trip. Enjoy your visit to Indiana. At least the weather looks decent for the weekend.

>52 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. Did you ever read Columbine? If not, I highly recommend it. Cullen has made it, his life's work, to fight the cause of mass school shootings and it looks like he is continuing it with Parkland. He is also an LT author, who has chatted with me before, years ago.

55richardderus
Feb 15, 7:49am Top

Have...fun in--ya know, the only things I can say without lecturing: "remember the signs of frostbite" and "may your life list burgeon."

Bring all 20 extremities back with you, preferably attached.

56jessibud2
Feb 15, 7:56am Top

>54 msf59: - I haven't read Columbine, Mark. Cullen did talk a bit about the fact that he has suffered from a sort of PTSD due to his work but that he was very blown away by the kids of Parkland and really felt compelled to write this one. He sounds like a rather excitable guy, himself, from the interview. Still, I want to read it. I have just requested it from the library, 30 copies in the system, 36 ahead of me so maybe it won't be too long.

57katiekrug
Feb 15, 7:59am Top

Have a great trip, Mark!

58Caroline_McElwee
Feb 15, 7:59am Top

Happy travels Mark.

59Crazymamie
Feb 15, 8:13am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new one! Wishing you safe travels and a trip full of fabulous.

60karenmarie
Feb 15, 8:23am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy 4-day weekend, safe travels.

>50 vancouverdeb: You’re not alone, Deborah – I started it and abandoned it in June of 2002. Haven’t watched the series, don’t want to.

61msf59
Edited: Mar 2, 6:22pm Top



-Northern Hawk Owl

Happy Friday. The NHO is one of my target birds, for my trip. It may be a bit tougher to spot one of these guys. Small and reclusive.

My target list is 11! Go Marky-Mark!

62msf59
Feb 15, 8:30am Top

>55 richardderus: "may your life list burgeon." Ooh, I like the sound of that, RD. It looks like I won't have to trudge around too much, in the woods, so I should be able to keep plenty warm. I am Midwestern mail-carrier after all.

>56 jessibud2: I am so glad you requested Columbine, Shelley. There is so much to learn from this book. I just wish it would be studied by our US congress. It has been shameful.

>57 katiekrug: >58 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Katie & Caroline!

63jessibud2
Edited: Feb 15, 9:03am Top

>62 msf59: - Actually, it is Parkland: Birth of a Movement that I requested, not Columbine. Not sure I could read 2 of those, at least not close together.

If congress (or their ultimate leader) read or studied anything at all, it might help. Just my humble opinion. Sadly, until one of their own kids becomes a victim, the message won't matter to them. It will always *only* happen to someone else.

64Carmenere
Feb 15, 9:03am Top

Good Friday to you, Mark! Good luck finding your target birds!!

65msf59
Edited: Feb 15, 9:27am Top

>59 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie and thanks.

>60 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Looking forward to the trip. Thanks.

>63 jessibud2: Thanks for the clarification. You will probably get to Parkland before I do. I will most likely listen to it on audio. I agree with you on our ineffective leadership. Pathetic.

>64 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. I sure hope to see most of them.

66msf59
Feb 15, 9:29am Top

I am getting ready to shove off. I will check in when I can. Mostly, just in the evenings. Looking forward to meeting up with Rachel and Erick, later on today. Yah!!

67The_Hibernator
Feb 15, 9:38am Top

Yay! Mark's getting ready to shove off! Looking forward to seeing you.

68ChelleBearss
Feb 15, 9:45am Top

Have a great trip! Stay warm!

69jnwelch
Feb 15, 10:24am Top

Happy Friday, Mark! Almost there, buddy - the big, chilly adventure awaits. (Is this where The Big Chill movie title came from?)

Oh man, I couldn't read Columbine back in the day. Like you, Becca thought it was terrific. I may have to read Parkland. Aye yi yi, what a world we live in.

I finished Educated and thought it was good. As I said to Anne, if it were a little-known book I'd be pushing it. But its enormous popularity - it's not, for me anyway, at the level of Born a Crime or When Breath Becomes Air. I guess it's enough that it's an amazing story with solid writing, and it doesn't really need to be ranked like that. I would like to hear Westover speak about it.

70DeltaQueen50
Feb 15, 4:36pm Top

Hi Mark, I haven't been around much as my computer gave up the ghost a week or so ago. I am now happily typing away at my new computer and trying to catch up here at LT. I am eager to here what you, Joe and Mamie will think of Black Leopard, Red Wolf as I put it on my wish list the minute I first heard about it.

71Familyhistorian
Feb 15, 5:57pm Top

Have a safe trip and fun meet up, Mark. We expect pictures!

72lindapanzo
Feb 15, 6:47pm Top

Safe travels, Mark.

Horrific news out of Aurora today. My sister thought we were going to Aurora today and was quite worried. Now we’ve learned it was a workplace shooting. Five dead so far.

73msf59
Edited: Feb 15, 10:22pm Top

I made it to the Twin Cities and had a great Meet up with Erik and Rachel. Still batting a 1,000. I have a bit of a buzz going. I will check in when I can.

74Caroline_McElwee
Feb 16, 6:12am Top

Ooo, meet up, look forward to more on that.

Happy bird spotting Mark.

75karenmarie
Feb 16, 7:18am Top

'Morning, Mark! Meet ups, buzzes. Yay.

I hope you have a great day full of birds and etc.

76alphaorder
Feb 16, 10:18am Top

Looking forward to details of your trip!

This poetry piece is for you and Joe, as well as the other poetry lovers who follow your thread:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/16/rise-new-poets

77richardderus
Feb 16, 10:27am Top

>73 msf59: Excellent! I'm not surprised, I admit. Bookish folk are excellent folk.

78msf59
Edited: Feb 16, 5:36pm Top



^What a great first day. I saw 7 of my target, (life) birds in the first four hours, including the Great Grey Owl and the Northern Hawk Owl. Lots of long looks at the NHO and a fellow birder had a scope too, so I got an incredible view. That one, involved a bit of a hike, on a snow-packed trail. Not bad, as long as you didn't slip off the trail. It was mostly in the low teens, with sunshine. No complaints.

79msf59
Edited: Feb 16, 5:44pm Top



^Many other highlights, but the Evening Grosbeak, pictured above was a stunner and I saw many. I did take many of my own photos, so once I sort them out, when I get home, I will share them. Obviously, they won't be as good as these.

80msf59
Edited: Feb 16, 5:50pm Top

It has been a very long day and it isn't even 5pm yet here, in upper MN. I was up before 5 and on the road 40 minutes later. It was about -10F. It took me 3 hours, from St. Paul. Since I saw my GGO early, I decided to head back to the hotel, check in and crack open a beer. Now, I need to find somewhere to grab a bite to eat, that might also have a good beer list.

Thanks for the visits, my friends. I hope to catch up later.

81jessibud2
Feb 16, 5:55pm Top

Wow, Mark, what a day!! Keep up the good work!! Congrats on the lifers.

82mdoris
Edited: Feb 16, 7:47pm Top

Looking forward to seeing your photos! Fun that you got to see some target life birds!

83drneutron
Feb 16, 8:14pm Top

Wow, 7 lifers. That’s great!

84laytonwoman3rd
Feb 16, 8:24pm Top

Congratulations on your successful bird-spotting. I wish I enjoyed being outside in the winter...there are some birds you're unlikely to see here at other times.

85The_Hibernator
Feb 16, 9:19pm Top



Hi Mark! It was great meeting you and Erik! Here's the picture (a little cropped to get rid of the glare of those bright lights above us).

86banjo123
Feb 16, 11:31pm Top

Happy weekend, Mark! Looks like a fun meet-up

87alphaorder
Feb 16, 11:50pm Top

Nice sightings Mark! And great meet-up too!

88FAMeulstee
Feb 17, 8:11am Top

>78 msf59: Wow, Mark, seven lifers, that was well worth the trip :-)
>85 The_Hibernator: And a LT meet-up, you lucky man.

89richardderus
Feb 17, 8:33am Top

Owl sightings, an Evening Grosbeak (snazzy plumage!), and a meet-up. Yeah, this is a great weekend for ol' Mark. So happy!

90karenmarie
Feb 17, 12:46pm Top

I'm happy that you're having such a wonderful trip! And yay for all the lifers!

91m.belljackson
Feb 17, 1:08pm Top

Mark - so good to read that someone else is actually enjoying our February Winter!

Go slow if you are driving home through Wisconsin today - the 1 to 3 seems to be veering slowly into 3 to 5 -
as The Weather Channel makes every new winter storm into the latest Krakatoa.

92msf59
Edited: Feb 17, 4:53pm Top



-Sharp-Tailed Grouse

My second and last day was much slower but I did add 2 more lifers, including the grouse and a Black-Backed Woodpecker. This will make my total lifers for the weekend a whopping nine.

93richardderus
Feb 17, 4:56pm Top

>92 msf59: What a snazzy winter outfit that dude's got on! The leggings are just a widge de trop, but then again one can see they would be useful for snowshoeing.

94msf59
Edited: Feb 17, 5:14pm Top



I did not see another Great Gray Owl, but I did get another terrific look at the Northern Hawk Owl, (I actually got some amazing photos, which I hope to share this week). I also saw a Snowy Owl, perched on a deer blind, without a care in the world. I believe it was a male, since it was solid white. Not a lifer but awesome just the same. It was a 3 owl weekend. Yeah, baby!

BTW- I am sitting in a bar in Cloquet, MN, celebrating. Of course, I am having a beer and a shot and fitting right in. I like folks from MN. They do not think I am crazy, just a bit weird. Duh!

95msf59
Feb 17, 5:13pm Top

>93 richardderus: Hey, Richard. I have not been responding to anyone yet, but you are special. The grouse were super cool. I even witnessed a little mating ritual, where they wiggle and flash their tails, like white-tailed deer. Pretty amazing, considering it was just above Zero.

96mahsdad
Feb 17, 5:24pm Top

Afternoon kind sir!

If you want to attract some more owls to you back yard, it looks like you need to get some parakeets and put their cage next to your window. Check this out...

https://youtu.be/JjZhCqVmlp8

97lauralkeet
Feb 17, 6:17pm Top

Looks like you had a great weekend of birding, Mark. Glad you were able to add so many to your life list!

98brenzi
Edited: Feb 17, 7:17pm Top

I also loved Columbine Mark. His detailed descriptions of each of the characters as well as the events leading up to and following the tragedy were incredibly well done. I'll be reading Parkland that's for sure.

99jnwelch
Feb 17, 8:31pm Top

Hey, Mr. Mark. Great to hear the birding has gone so well. And cool meetup photo - if I'd realized you'd be seeing Rachel, I'd have had you tell her why The Arrival is a special book. She asked me over on my thread.

That snowy owl photo in >94 msf59: is a knockout!

>76 alphaorder: Thanks for the link to the poetry article, Nancy. Rupi Kaur's poetry doesn't grab me, but I'm a big fan of Danez Smith, and I like Ocean Vuong, too. We've really enjoyed seeing all the performance poets start to have success with their books, and seeing the old academic elitism break down. The positive and more diverse and inclusive changes at Poetry magazine and the Poetry Foundation have been striking and welcome.

I love seeing sales taking off for poetry generally. How cool is that?!

100Ameise1
Feb 18, 3:41am Top

Happy new thread, Mark. I love the topper.
Sending sunny greetings from Davos.

101karenmarie
Feb 18, 8:07am Top

Whoo yah on so many owls and lifers!

102Carmenere
Feb 18, 9:06am Top

Hey Mark! Great sightings, both feathered and the LT kind. Nice photo >85 The_Hibernator:!

103Copperskye
Feb 18, 1:59pm Top

Congratulations on a successful birding trip and lucky you to get to meet up with some LTers!

104msf59
Edited: Feb 18, 4:32pm Top

Hey, gang! The Birder/Book Geek is home, safe & sound. Crazy amount of driving. I think I put nearly 1,400 miles on my aging Explorer, but he worked through it, like a true champ. I am taking care of a few things here and then I will stop back and try to catch up, a little later, but it might take me a couple of days to make the rounds.

Thanks to everyone, for keeping my thread warm & cozy.

105msf59
Feb 18, 8:18pm Top

>96 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. That is a very cool video. Wow. I think it is a Barn Owl, but not positive.

>97 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. It was a great trip. Nice adding those lifers. It gets harder and harder to add any, unless you venture out.

>98 brenzi: I am with you on Columbine, Bonnie.

>99 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Always tough catching up on LT, when you are away for a few days, so I may have to resort to some skipping. Grins...

Ain't that Snowy a beaut? I just wish I could have a got a closer look.

106msf59
Edited: Feb 18, 8:20pm Top

Thanks, Barb, Karen, Lynda, and Joanne! Hooray for bird trips and Meet Ups!!

And thanks to everyone else that dropped in over the weekend.

107msf59
Edited: Feb 18, 8:28pm Top



^ I did not read one page of my print book over the weekend, which is very unusual but it is proof that I stayed busy and was a bit wiped in the evenings, to stay focused. I did finish my post office audio and I started Little Women on the way home. I had never read LW before and I appreciate Linda, for giving me the opportunity with this month's AAC.

108laytonwoman3rd
Edited: Feb 18, 8:52pm Top

>107 msf59: I'll be very interested in how Little Women lands on you, Mark. Alcott's not getting the love that Potok did...

109jessibud2
Feb 18, 9:13pm Top

Welcome home, Mark. Sounds like you had a most successful weekend.

Was the post office book good? I should see if my library has it. Though, I am still trying to catch up on holds coming in!

110msf59
Edited: Feb 19, 6:31am Top

>108 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. I did see some of the earlier comments on Little Women. I'll have to stop by. I am enjoying it so far. Obviously, it shows it's age in spots, but that isn't as surprising.

>109 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. It was an awesome weekend. Thanks. Neither Snow nor Rain was a solid read. I learned a lot too. A true American institution. You might enjoy it.

111msf59
Edited: Feb 19, 6:41am Top



^A Great Gray Owl was at the top of my target list and I was very fortunate to see one, in less than 2 hours, after arriving. I wish I could have got a clearer shot. He was quite a distance away, but I am still tickled and proud to have a memory like this one. I returned to this general area a couple of times, on Sunday, but did not see him again.

112Caroline_McElwee
Feb 19, 6:57am Top

>111 msf59: it is still nice to have your own shot Mark. The perfect shots .... they spend hours waiting for them. How lucky you were last weekend with all your sightings.

113scaifea
Feb 19, 7:17am Top

Morning, Mark! I'm so glad to see that you had a great weekend away, too!

114alcottacre
Feb 19, 7:29am Top

>45 msf59: Adding that one to the BlackHole. I thought Cullen did a great job on Columbine.

>78 msf59: Yes!!

>94 msf59: A 3 owl weekend has got to be good!

115karenmarie
Feb 19, 8:06am Top

Good morning, Mark, welcome back!

1,400 miles is an amazing amount of driving just to see a few birds and meet a few LT friends.... just kidding of course.

I hope your day goes well.

116jnwelch
Edited: Feb 19, 9:05am Top

Welcome back, Mark!

1,400 miles of driving? Wow. You are dedicated. How great that you met a bunch of your tribe members, and had such a successful birding trip.

I first read Little Women just a few years ago. You've got to put up with some preachiness (at least I did), but I really enjoyed it.

I finished another Andrea Gibson (The Madness Vase), and wouldn't put it quite at the level of Lord of the Butterflies, but it was full of more good poems. Now I'm on Terrance Hayes, and then I've got another Tony Hoagland teed up.

117ChelleBearss
Feb 19, 9:34am Top

Great pics, Mark! Looks like you had a great time and a good meetup!

118msf59
Feb 19, 12:04pm Top

We were slammed today, with the holiday mail, so I have been swamped. Thanks for the visits and I will respond tonight.

119msf59
Feb 19, 12:36pm Top

I just heard a cardinal singing. Come on springtime. We need you bad!!

120m.belljackson
Feb 19, 2:02pm Top

>111 msf59:

Birds and Blooms online site has featured a new Owl Shirt featuring 11 different Owls!

121The_Hibernator
Feb 19, 3:53pm Top

I've never read Little Women either. Just wasn't my type of book when I was younger.

122benitastrnad
Feb 19, 5:20pm Top

I am not reading Little Women but today during my lunch I started Girl From Yamhill: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary. You might remember her as the author of those childhood classics like Ramona and Her Mother and Henry and Beezus. A few weeks ago I went to a wine tasting party and the man who did the program did it on Oregon Pinot Noir wines from the Willamette Valley. The wines were from the area around McMinnville. McMinnville is 80 miles south of Portland, so perhaps you are familiar with it. He told us that McMinnville is the center of the wine growing region there, but that other small towns like Yamhill were also important growing areas in the Willamette Valley with their own appellations. That name rang a bell and it was several hours later when I realized that Yamhill was the home of Beverly Cleary. I want to go there! I checked out the plane tickets because Spring Break is coming up and I yelled Yikes! very loudly. Tickets from Birmingham to Portland are $657.00. That is too rich for my blood. Instead I am taking a trip to Yamhill by reading the Beverly Cleary's memoir of her growing up years in Yamhill in the 1930's. Now if I do go there the place will not only be a wine place, but a book place as well.

I had read Little Women years ago and liked it (along with Little Men and Eight Cousins) but the book never really came alive for me until before an ALA conference in Boston (before I knew Marianne and Suzanne) a couple of us librarians pooled our money, rented a car, and drove out to Concord to tour the home of Louisa May Alcott. It was a fantastic trip and I gained a new appreciation for Alcott, her talent, and her books.

I hope that someday a visit to Yamhill will do the same for Cleary.

123msf59
Feb 19, 6:42pm Top

>112 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. I need to get more acquainted with my camera, so I can do some editing to these photos, especially the one with the Great Gray. I might be able to lighten it up, which could add more focus and clarity to it. I need to experiment.

>113 scaifea: Hi, Amber. Yep, it was a great trip. Glad to hear you had a good time too.

>114 alcottacre: Hooray for those 3 owl weekends, Stasia. That may not happen again, for a long time.

>115 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. My wife probably feels the same way about my birding hobby, but this was the first time, I went all out.

124msf59
Feb 19, 6:53pm Top

>116 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Busy day at work, so I am bit bushed. It will be nice once I retire and then I can enjoy my hobbies, full throttle. It was quite a trip up north, but at least I got a wonderful Meet Up in and saw some amazing birds.

I am enjoying Little Women, although I am glad I am listening to the audio version. It speeds up the pace. I am absloutely loving Lord of the Butterflies. About 20 pages left. I am taking it slow.

>117 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle and thanks. An epic weekend.

>120 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I'll check out the owl shirt, but not sure I would be geeky enough to wear it. Grins...

>121 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. Little Women always seem to get by me over the years, for various reasons, but I am glad I finally found the right time to read it. I don't think it will be one of my all-time classic reads but it is still quite enjoyable.

125Familyhistorian
Feb 20, 1:05am Top

>85 The_Hibernator: Great meet up photo!

Looks like you had a jam packed weekend, Mark, what with the birds and the LTers.

126Ameise1
Feb 20, 2:17am Top

Happy Wednesday, Mark. I'm glad you had such a splendid time. I'm still skiing but the temperature are like in spring. Far too warm for the season.

127msf59
Feb 20, 6:30am Top

>125 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Hooray for the birds & LTers!

>126 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. Good to see you. I hope you are enjoying your ski trip, despite the warm temps. We could definitely use some warming up around here.

128msf59
Edited: Feb 20, 6:42am Top



^The Evening Grosbeak was another major highlight, from my trip. Gorgeous coloration. My only regret is, I should taken many more photos, at the feeders, where many of the birds were congregating. I missed photos of the Canada Jay and many Red-breasted Nuthatches.



^The birds in the middle and on the right are Pine Grosbeaks, (the female has the yellow coloring). They are also gorgeous and the one guy on the left is a Common Redpoll. I saw many of both of these.

129jessibud2
Edited: Feb 20, 6:25pm Top

Th redpoll looks so tiny by comparison! I saw a bunch of redpolls at my friend's house once. She lives about 2 hours from Toronto, on a lake

130alcottacre
Feb 20, 7:37am Top

>128 msf59: I do not care if it is common or not, I love the coloring of the Common Redpoll. Of course, I love the color red, so I might be a bit biased.

Happy Wednesday, Mark!

131karenmarie
Feb 20, 8:04am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you! I hope there isn't much freezing rain for you today.

Excellent photos - thanks.

132jnwelch
Feb 20, 8:54am Top

Happy Mid-week, Mark!

I'm happy you're loving Lord of the Butterflies! Isn't that a terrific volume? She's so good.

I'll report back on the Terrance Hayes. I've got another Hoagland after that one - I'll let you know which one.

Black Leopard is outstanding so far. I hope you get to jump into it soon.

133richardderus
Feb 20, 10:54am Top

Happy homecoming, Bird dude. Lots of pretty not-seagulls around here.

134msf59
Edited: Feb 20, 11:10am Top

A light, freezing rain falling, so walking will be slow and tricky...wish me upright.

>129 jessibud2: The Redpoll were lifers, for me, Shelley. They can be see in the Lower Midwest but are much more difficult to find.

>130 alcottacre: Morning, Stasia. The Redpolls are sparrow-sized and I like the coloring too. The Pine Grosbeaks were a gorgeous red too.

>131 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am hoping the temp rises and melts this slushy, icy mix.

135bell7
Feb 20, 11:15am Top

Glad your trip was so successful, Mark!

I was hoping to see some new birds while in Mexico, but the only ones besides seagulls at the resort were a brown pelican, pigeons and large-tailed grackles.

136msf59
Edited: Feb 20, 5:58pm Top

>132 jnwelch: Happy Wednesday, Joe. Yep, it looks like I may pick up my own copy of Lord of the Butterflies. It is remarkably consistent, much like Ada Limon. I am definitely curious about which Hoagland you are you reading. And you are getting me pretty stoked about Black Leopard. I plan on starting it, right around the first of the month, which is quite soon.

>133 richardderus: Thanks, RD. Always good to see you.

>135 bell7: Thanks, Mary. I hope you had a fine time in Mexico. We saw scores of Great-tailed grackles, when we were down there, along with plenty of Brown Pelicans. Did you see any Frigatebirds? They were also ubiquitous, when we were in Mazatlan.

137msf59
Edited: Feb 21, 6:32am Top



"An epidemic of perpetual sleep strikes a small town.

Many are "trapped" not by a captor, but by their own slumber."

^Okay, I did not love The Age of Miracles, when I read it back in 2012 but I did really admire the premise and I think the author showed potential. Those factors, teamed up with some encouraging reviews and the fact I have a copy, are good enough for me to give The Dreamers a shot. I hope to dip into tonight.

138bell7
Feb 20, 9:00pm Top

>136 msf59: I had to Google frigate birds to be sure but no, unfortunately not. I think there was someone at the resort with a golden eagle on a perch one day, but am I right that it doesn't "count" towards a life list if not seen in the wild? The grackles were all over the place, as fearless as pigeons.

139msf59
Edited: Feb 21, 6:30am Top

>138 bell7: I remember seeing frigatebirds in the Rivera Maya and on the Pacific side. Cool birds. A golden eagle would have been wonderful. Yes, I am pretty sure, a bird has to be seen in it's natural environment, before it can be counted. Otherwise, I am heading to the zoo. Grins...

140msf59
Edited: Feb 21, 6:41am Top



^This beautiful Snowy Owl, was perched on a deer-blind, way out in a field. My zoom-lens was maxed out. I had a hard time keeping steady, but I still think it was a decent capture. Like most of my owl sightings, this was based on a tip and it was a few miles outside of the Bog. Females and immature Snowys have black markings on their plumage, so I am thinking this would be a male. Mostly white. Cool.



^Female. (NMP)

141lauralkeet
Feb 21, 7:20am Top

Loving your birding pics, Mark! The Snowy Owl is gorgeous.

142alphaorder
Feb 21, 7:30am Top

Mark - Glad your trip was so successful!

I found this post from LitHub this am and thought it might start some spirited conversation on your thread.
IF THEY GAVE OSCARS TO BOOKS, YOUR 2018 NOMINEES
https://lithub.com/if-they-gave-oscars-to-books-our-2018-nominees

Shawn and I are heading up to Egg Harber for a 4 day weekend tomorrow. We rented a cabin with a fireplace so I am hoping for a lot of reading time. I have my bag of books. Packed in there are The Great Believers and Overstory, two big ones I have been waiting for some concentrated reading time to dig into. I suspect you would recommend I start with Overstory.

143jessibud2
Feb 21, 7:40am Top

>140 msf59: - WOW!!!

144harrygbutler
Feb 21, 8:10am Top

Good morning, Mark. Congratulations on the successful birding weekend — some quite impressive sightings!

145karenmarie
Feb 21, 8:12am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Thursday to you.

>140 msf59: Wonderful photo. Pretty fancy deer blind.

146msf59
Feb 21, 9:40am Top

Not bad out here. Cold, but the light volume and some sunshine, should make it a decent day. More cardinals singing, perhaps?

>141 lauralkeet: It was an epic trip, Laura. Still buzzing a bit.

>142 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I will check out the book link, when I get home. Thanks. I love Door County and we have also stayed in Egg Harbor. Sounds like a lovely and book heavy weekend. Enjoy.

And yep, The Overstory would be a perfect starting point.

147The_Hibernator
Feb 21, 9:48am Top

>140 msf59: That is a beautiful owl. And a really good shot. I'm impressed you were able to get something that clear when you were zoomed at full capacity.

148msf59
Edited: Feb 21, 11:01am Top

>143 jessibud2: That is what I said, Shelley. Grins...

>144 harrygbutler: Morning, Harry and thanks. It was an epic weekend and easily worth the time and the expense.

>145 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. The Snowy was seen perched on a telephone pole or line, earlier. I wish I could have seen it then.

>147 The_Hibernator: Morning, Rachel. The key to full zoom, at least with my camera, is to hold steady. It is tough and takes me a few tries. It helps when owls, like other raptors, stay still for awhile.

149Caroline_McElwee
Feb 21, 11:42am Top

>140 msf59: great photo Mark.

150karenmarie
Feb 21, 12:03pm Top

Hi again! Bird report - I saw a female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak and a Carolina Wren at my feeders this morning, and the other day I saw a male Great Blue Heron swoop in front of me as I was driving to town.

151benitastrnad
Feb 21, 1:39pm Top

I started looking at the Edgar Award nominees for 2019 and was surprised to find that Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin has been nominated for the 2019 Best First Novel by an American Author award. This is one you read earlier in the year and liked. I heard the author speak at one of the ALA conferences and thought him an interesting speaker. I confess I have not read the book, but am sure that you did. Was it dark enough for you?

152msf59
Feb 21, 6:19pm Top

>149 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. It was a special moment.

>150 karenmarie: Oh, thanks for the bird report, Karen. I love those Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks. I have never seen them at our feeders but they can be seen in other places. Not sure I have ever seen a Carolina Wren. They are around, but harder to spot.

>151 benitastrnad: I read and enjoyed Bearskin and yes, it was dark enough for Marky-Mark. Jim liked it too.

153msf59
Edited: Feb 21, 6:26pm Top



^Marlantes burst on the scene, in 2009, with his epic Vietnam novel, Matterhorn. I read it the following year and it was my favorite read of 2010. I know many LTers felt the same way. That book took him 35 years to write. His latest novel, Deep River, took a mere 10 years. It does not come out until early July but I am fortunate to have landed an advanced copy. I'll drink to that. Prost!!

Anyone else interested?

154brenzi
Feb 21, 8:35pm Top

Loved loved loved Matterhorn Mark. Lucky you to have an advance copy. I'll look forward to your thoughts.

155mahsdad
Feb 21, 8:44pm Top

Oooo, I am definitely one of those Matterhorn fans. Sight unseen, I'm adding this new one to the WL. :)

156PaulCranswick
Feb 21, 9:26pm Top

>153 msf59: Both the book and the beer caught my attention, Mark.

Great to see you still "plodding along" so famously.

157msf59
Feb 21, 10:24pm Top

>154 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie! I knew there were many Matterhorn lovers on LT! Glad to have you remind me, that you were one of them. Yah!

>155 mahsdad: Hooray for Deep River, Jeff. It will probably be awhile before I get to it, but I will definitely make some noise, when I do.

>156 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Great to see you. I figured books and beer would lure you out of hiding. Grins...

Did you ever read Matterhorn?

158DeltaQueen50
Feb 21, 11:06pm Top

Hi Mark, I am another huge fan of Matterhorn! I will be watching for your thoughts on this book as well.

159EllaTim
Feb 22, 3:03am Top

>140 msf59: Beautiful bird, and good shot, Marc! Wow, snowy owls in the wild! I have seen them, the zoo here has a pair. With young. Definitely a male, your bird. But mine don't count as lifers of course.

Have a nice day, light volume, bit of sunshine, maybe a singing bird?

160Ameise1
Feb 22, 4:05am Top

I like your owl photos. Happy Friday, Mark.

161charl08
Feb 22, 5:00am Top

Love the owl pictures (both yours and the NMP ones of the birds you saw) - what a great collection for one trip. The garden is full of pigeons here, hoovering up the seed the finches drop on the floor, not quite so exciting. As Barbara says, happy Friday!

162msf59
Feb 22, 6:41am Top

>158 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Great to see you. I probably won't get to Deep River for a month or two but will hear about it. Grins...

>159 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. that was my second Snowy Owl. The first was on the Chicago lakefront, early last year. Awesome birds. I should hear some birdsong today, with a bit of a warm-up coming up.

163PaulCranswick
Feb 22, 6:56am Top

>157 msf59: I haven't read it yet Mark but it is very much on my to do list.

164msf59
Edited: Feb 22, 7:01am Top

>160 Ameise1: Happy Friday, Barb. Hooray for the owls!

>161 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Good to seen you. Glad you like the owls. It was an epic weekend. I need to replenish and clean up my feeders, as well.

>163 PaulCranswick: Hey, Paul. I highly recommend you get to Matterhorn, sooner than later. In that massive TBR library, you own, you have to have a copy, right?

165alphaorder
Feb 22, 7:57am Top

>153 msf59:. Shawn was a big fan of Matterhorn. I hadn't heard he had a new one coming out, but thanks to you, I have my friend at Grove sending a copy my way for Shawn.

166jnwelch
Feb 22, 8:11am Top

>40 msf59: Nice! You're on a roll finding owls now, Mark, seems like. Snowy owls are so cool.

I'm looking forward to your reaction to the ARC of the new Marlantes book. He seems to be the opposite of Nora Roberts, who seems to write three or more books a year.

I'm still motoring along with Black Leopard, and I plan to start the new one by Angie Thomas, the author of The Hate U Give.

I'm glad you're loving Lord of the Butterflies. I totally agree with your comment about her consistently high level in it. The Terrance Hayes Future Assassin collection so far is well worthy of respect, but I'm not as engaged by it.

Have a good one today, buddy.

167alphaorder
Feb 22, 8:17am Top

> 166 Thanks to you, Joe, Lord of the Butterflies is in my book bag for our weekend away!

168karenmarie
Feb 22, 8:54am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you!

I think it was Richard who raved about Matterhorn. It's been on my shelves since December of 2010 just waiting for the right time. I just added it to the stacks of books tagged '2019 read'.

169msf59
Feb 22, 9:39am Top

>165 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Have a great trip to Door County. I love the fact that you still have publisher connections and I am sure Shawn appreciates it too. I won't get to Deep River for awhile, but at least it is on shelf.

>166 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Hooray for Snowy Owls and Black Leopards. I plan on starting the latter soon. I have heard good things about the new Angie Thomas book. Hope it lives up to the hype.

You know, I did try the Hayes collection. It did not click and I did not finish it. It happens.

170msf59
Feb 22, 10:43am Top

>167 alphaorder: I am so glad you picked up a copy of Lord of the Butterflies, Nancy. I am almost done with it and it is fantastic. Let us know what you think.

>168 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, Richard warbled about Matterhorn extensively, as did many others over here. Glad you tagged it for this year.

171vivians
Feb 22, 11:35am Top

Hi Mark - I love your owl photos! I've never seen one in the wild but hear them regularly on my early morning walks. Little Women is one of my all-time favorites. My daughter's name is Johanna but I've always called her Jo :)!!!

172richardderus
Feb 22, 1:30pm Top

>153 msf59: I've asked Atlantic Monthly for a DRC, so I'll hope to have good news to report.

Happy Friday.

173Familyhistorian
Feb 22, 1:56pm Top

You're getting much better at the bird photography, Mark. Great shot of the snowy owl for the distance. Good thing he was in a cooperative mood. lol. Hope your Friday is going well and that you have time for the beer and books this weekend.

174msf59
Edited: Feb 22, 5:52pm Top

>171 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Good to see you. Hooray for the owls. I wish we were a bit more rural, so we could hear the owls hooting too. I liked Little Women but did not love it. I do love the fact you have a Jo in the house.

>172 richardderus: I hope you get a copy, Richard. Fingers crossed.

>173 Familyhistorian: Well, thanks, Meg. I still need to practice more patience and be willing to be more experimental. I should have taken many more photos, when I was up north. Bad Mark. I work tomorrow but beer and books, will definitely be on the menu, for the weekend.

175Copperskye
Feb 22, 5:57pm Top

I love your snowy owl photo, Mark! I’d love to see one of those beauties someday.

I saw this this morning on my Shelf-Awareness email and know you’re a big fan of Larry Watson and Let Him Go was a very good read:

“Kevin Costner and Diane Lane will star as a husband and wife in Focus Features' suspense thriller Let Him Go, based on Larry Watson's novel, Deadline reported. Costner and Lane previously collaborated on Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Superman's parents.”

176msf59
Edited: Feb 22, 6:03pm Top



^"The acclaimed and beloved author of Hourglass now gives us a new memoir about identity, paternity, and family secrets—a real-time exploration of the staggering discovery she recently made about her father, and her struggle to piece together the hidden story of her own life."

Bonnie and Nancy recently warbled about Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love and I heard the author interviewed on the NYT Books Podcast, so I quickly tracked the audio down, (narrated by the author) and started it today. It is quite excellent. Shapiro is a strong writer. It looks like she has written many books, but I was not aware of her, up until now. Any Shapiro fans out there?

177msf59
Feb 22, 6:24pm Top

>175 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Great to see you. Hooray for the Snowy! I loved Let Him Go and I am a fan of Costner & Lane. I hope they do the book justice.

178Copperskye
Feb 22, 6:32pm Top

>177 msf59: No, Mark, they are doing Let Him Go, not Justice... ;)

179richardderus
Feb 22, 7:11pm Top

Oooh...Kostner as George and Lane as Margaret...excellent! Though I never thought of the story as a thriller I guess I can see how one would get that idea. I don't know what that bodes for the film.

180LovingLit
Feb 23, 3:12am Top

>153 msf59: I have Matterhorn, and *meant* to read it years ago....sheesh, the books have to work hard to get our attention, right!? I have 4 vying for pole position right now. (fyi, they are Stephen Florida, Anything is Possible, Asymmetry and a parenting book to boot!)

>176 msf59: her book sounds intriguing!

181msf59
Edited: Feb 23, 6:41am Top

>178 Copperskye: LOL. I thought of that afterwards. I liked Justice too.

>179 richardderus: Lets just hope they have good writers on board, RD. That is always the key.

>180 LovingLit: Hi, Megan. Great to see you. I hope you can bookhorn in Matterhorn one of these days. You will not regret it. You got some good reads lined up. I LOVED Anything is Possible. A 5 star read for me. Asymmetry was an interesting novel too.

182karenmarie
Feb 23, 7:50am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

183msf59
Feb 23, 10:58am Top

Light rain falling. A damp and dreary day ahead, but at least it isn't snowing or bitter cold. Silver linings, I guess...

>182 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Back at you, my friend.

184richardderus
Feb 23, 11:26am Top

>181 msf59: The writer/director of the Let Him Go adaptation is Thomas Bezucha. He wrote the screenplay for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and wrote and directed a gay romcom called Big Eden at the turn of the century (which I liked a lot). I don't know if that's quite what I'd select in a resume for this book...but at least he's got some good stuff under his belt.

185msf59
Feb 23, 6:32pm Top

>184 richardderus: Oh, thanks for doing the research, RD. We all know it starts and ends with the writing. All the rest follows after that. I have still not seen The Guernsey Literary adaptation. I liked the book.

186msf59
Edited: Feb 23, 6:37pm Top



^Pine Grosbeak. I wish I would have taken more photos of these guys at Sax-Zim Bog. Such great looking birds. I am seriously considering getting back up there, next winter. Hopefully, with another birding buddy.

187alphaorder
Feb 23, 6:39pm Top

Wow - that is quite an endorsement if you are already thinking of going again. Beautiful photo.

188msf59
Feb 23, 6:46pm Top

>187 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. I am continuing to follow the sightings and the photos, that are posted daily and it continues to be amazing. Stop over at the Sax-Zim Bog FB page and be prepared to be astounded.

I hope you are having a great and relaxing time in Door County. We are getting ready to head out to a new local brewery. Yum!! Are you guys making it up to Bailey's Harbor? If so, great brewery there.

189alphaorder
Feb 23, 7:10pm Top

Ha! We were at Door County Brewery this afternoon. Loved the atmosphere. Lucky for us, our local liquor store carries their beer. We regularly stock Pallet Jack in our fridge.

190msf59
Feb 24, 7:30am Top

>189 alphaorder: LOL. We are sure in sync, Nancy, aren't we? I would sure like to get back up to DCB, one of these days.

191karenmarie
Feb 24, 8:40am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy weekend to you!

192msf59
Feb 24, 9:38am Top

>191 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Thanks and enjoy your day.

193richardderus
Feb 24, 10:38am Top

Work tomorrow! That's no fun at all. I hope there's some excellent reading today to counterbalance it.

194jnwelch
Feb 24, 10:53am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark!

THe wind is whipping where we are! It almost took our storm door, and didn’t want to let me close it. Hey, the Bulls are on a bit of a tear - they made a trade that made them much better, and beat a good team last night (the Celtics). We see them tomorrow night.

The Oscar-nominated-movies day was a blast. My #1 remains Blackkklansman. What a good movie.

195msf59
Feb 24, 4:37pm Top

>193 richardderus: Not looking forward to working my day off tomorrow, Richard. It is supposed to be 20F, for a high and I won't be off again, until next Sunday. Hey, it was my choice and the money is good. My books should keep me distracted.

>194 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I was helping Bree move into her new house in Lemont and it was cold and blustery. I am home now and having a beer. I am also trying to finish off The Dreamers.

I am glad the Bulls are showing some life. I am sure it has been a very frustrating season for the fans. I also really liked Blackkklansman. Nice comeback for Spike!

196alphaorder
Feb 24, 6:15pm Top

Mark - Happy with my find of a cabin in Door County. We stopped to visit Shawn's sister who recently moved to Sturgeon Bay on the way up. Otherwise, we have only ventured out to Door County Brewing and for firewood. Halfway through The Great Believers. Would ike to finish it before we head home tomorrow. There were some crazy road conditions just going to the store today - hoping the conditions improve for our drive.

197msf59
Feb 24, 7:31pm Top

>196 alphaorder: Hooray for a cabin in Door County. Sounds like a perfect getaway weekend. There was a distillery I wanted to visit in Sturgeon Bay. Have a safe return tomorrow. What has Shawn been reading?

198msf59
Edited: Feb 24, 7:50pm Top



^Roma seems to be the front-runner for Best Picture, on tonight's Oscars. I think it is in the wrong category. It is a foreign language film, but that said, it is easily my favorite of the films nominated, followed by The Favourite. Of course, I would have no problem if Black Panter or Blackklansman won, but they are more long shots. Thoughts?

199msf59
Edited: Feb 24, 8:38pm Top



^Before starting Black Leopard, I thought I would squeeze in another story collection, with The Refugees. I enjoyed this author's novel, The Sympathizer a couple of years ago and this one also sounds promising. I do not think I have seen any LT activity on this one. (It came out in 2017). I will have to change that.

200alphaorder
Feb 24, 8:43pm Top

>196 alphaorder:. Shawn is re-reading Affliction (touchstones not working). He read an ARC of it in October of 1989!

201msf59
Edited: Feb 24, 9:27pm Top

>200 alphaorder: Is this the Banks novel? If so, I have not read the book but did see the film.

202msf59
Edited: Feb 25, 6:56am Top



"After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free."

^Yep, grim stuff. I decided to go with The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South, as my next audio. I remember hearing some buzz on this one, when it came out, about a year ago but I can not recall any LT activity on it. I am also not familiar with the author but it looks like he has written a few hard-hitting books.

203ChelleBearss
Feb 25, 8:49am Top

>140 msf59: Cute owl shot! :) Happy Monday

204jnwelch
Edited: Feb 25, 9:04am Top

Hey, Mark.

I meant to mention before - I’m not surprised that you Pearl-ruled Terrance HayesFuture Assassin book. I made it through, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped. My new TonyHoagland is Recent Changes in the Vernacular.

Another crappy cold front came in. Stay warm out there. Hey, Olivia Colman won! She was so charming in her acceptance speech.

205karenmarie
Feb 25, 9:03am Top

Good morning, Mark! Sorry about the 20F high for today. Stay warm!

206The_Hibernator
Feb 25, 9:31am Top

Glad you enjoyed your trip well enough to come out again, possibly. I'm eager to see your review of Black Leopard, Red Wolf when you get around to it.

207msf59
Feb 25, 11:01am Top

Still only 13F out here and breezy. Why didn't I just stay home? Money was too good, I guess. Sighs...

>203 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. Hooray for cute owls!

>204 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Getting ready to pull on another layer. WTH? I will have to request the Hoagland. My library only has his latest.

I was happy for Colman, but I heard Close really deserved it. Did not see The Wife.

208msf59
Feb 25, 11:04am Top

>205 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Looks to be a cold week, but with just a spattering of snow. Thank God!

>206 The_Hibernator: Morning, Rachel. I will definitely be returning to the Bog. I plan on starting Black Leopard in just a few days. Stay tuned...

209jnwelch
Feb 25, 11:09am Top

>207 msf59:. You probably saw that Olivia Colman graciously indicated in her acceptance speech that she wanted Close to win, too. Like you, I haven’t seen The Wife. I love OC.

210richardderus
Feb 25, 11:14am Top

More layers! More layers! It's bloody freezing out there.

211Berly
Feb 25, 1:00pm Top

Hi Mark! Finally starting to make the rounds again on LT. Congrats on seeing 9 lifers! And I am so glad you enjoyed your time in MN. Stay warm!

212benitastrnad
Feb 25, 1:53pm Top

I heard Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington (authors of Cadaver King and the Country Dentist) speak at Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee about a year ago. They gave a very interesting talk. So interesting, in fact, that I bought the book. I haven't read it yet, as I have had other books call out to me louder than this one, but I do want to read it. Carrington is a lawyer who heads up the Mississippi Innocence Project. Balko was a reporter for the Washington Post who writes about civil liberties and criminal justice.

This book is about the lingering effects of Jim Crow laws and attitudes. It is also about bad science and how incompetent and downright unqualified people have managed to hold onto their jobs for 50 years, and even hoodwink huge detective and prosecutor departments around the country. This should be a book that is right up your alley.

213benitastrnad
Feb 25, 2:00pm Top

I also have a copy of Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen that I have not gotten to as of yet. I also have a copy of Sympathizer that I have not read. That one is a good one, and I need to get to both of these - the novel and the story collection.

214alphaorder
Feb 25, 2:16pm Top

Mark - Book arrived while we were gone - thank you!

Yep, it is the Banks novel Shawn is reading.

Made it home. Sure glad we stayed an extra night. Surely would not have been able to drive yesterday. We counted 38 cars and one semi in the ditch between Green Bay and Sheboygan. Sorry that the weather isn't better for you. I am sure you are so ready for this winter to be over.

Have 100 pages to go in The Great Believers. Good reading. Going to try to finish it today.

215karenmarie
Feb 25, 2:23pm Top

Major excitement, Mark! I saw a Peregrine Falcon on my bird feeder today!!! A lifer. Got quite a few good looks before he flew off. I am so pumped!

216weird_O
Feb 25, 3:20pm Top

Hi, Mark. Congrats on spotting all those rarely seen birds. Driving 1,400 miles for a (relatively) few hours scanning the woods and skies for birds: INSANE. That's why everyone loves you, Mark. No, not insanity. Rather passion and commitment and dedication and enthusiasm.

I spent part of my weekend adding to my book trove. Family obligation. My brother's wife is a member of the Library Friends in the town in which they live. When I saw her at Thanksgiving, she urged me to hit their book sale. So I did. Relatively small selection, "but what's there is cherce," to quote Spencer Tracy. I got some choice books: Isaacson's bio of da Vinci, Emperor of All Maladies, hardcover copy of Faulkner's The Town (second book in the Snopes trilogy), Vinegar Girl, Jesmyn Ward, Krakauer, Gaiman, Tana French, and one of your favorites, Candice Millard.

Yeah, a good weekend.

217msf59
Feb 25, 5:43pm Top

>209 jnwelch: I did not see the Colman acceptance speech, but I heard about it. I am a fan of her too. I still want to see The Wife.

>210 richardderus: It was another cold day, RD. It probably stayed in the single digits, with the wind chill. It doesn't look like much is going to change for the next 2 weeks. WTH?

>211 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. Great to see you. I was very happy for my 9 lifers. That does not happen very often, plus they were all such special birds.

218msf59
Feb 25, 5:54pm Top

>212 benitastrnad: >213 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist is off to an excellent start. Primo NF. Glad to hear, you got to hear the authors speak. You can tell they are passionate and well-informed on the subject matter. The child crimes were horrendous but the injustices to the innocent, is nearly just as bad. There is so much ugliness, in our country and this was in the 1990s.

I am really enjoying The Refugees. Glad you have a copy, otherwise, I was going to offer you mine.

>214 alphaorder: Thanks for letting me know about receiving the book, Nancy. Enjoy. I am so glad you didn't have to drive back yesterday. 38 vehicles, in the ditch? Wow! Pretty scary. It was very cold today and yes, I am quite sick of winter.

>215 karenmarie: Hooray for the Peregrine Falcon, Karen. How cool is that? Any photos? They are seen around here on occasion and I think spotted one, once, but never at my feeders. I did get a really good look at one, while in Mexico.

219msf59
Edited: Feb 25, 5:57pm Top



^Peregrine Falcon. Such a cool bird. (NMP, but what an awesome capture)

220karenmarie
Feb 25, 6:16pm Top

By the time I got back there with my cell phone, he was gone. It didn't occur to me that I might need to take a photo of a bird when going to the kitchen for a glass of water. So now do I have to take binoculars and cell phone to all rooms just in case? (not)

221msf59
Edited: Feb 25, 7:09pm Top

>216 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Yep, many people thought I was nuts for going up to upper-MN for a weekend in February. Birders are a crazy and a loyal bunch, much like readers. I had plenty of company too. There were dozens of fellow bird geeks there, all soaking it up. No regrets for me.

Nice book haul, you got there. Some prime authors.

>220 karenmarie: Yep, capturing a bird on camera is not easy, especially when they are at the feeders, but it would have been a nice shot, right?

222brenzi
Feb 25, 8:48pm Top

The schools here were all closed because of the wind. That's got to be a first. I'm so sick of this weather. I like to walk outside (not so much as you, Mar, I admit lol) and it's a real hindrance, wind more so than snow.

223benitastrnad
Edited: Feb 25, 10:53pm Top

I know I have Refugees in my collections because I saw it the other day and thought I had Sympathizer as well, but it is not showing up in LT. I will have to look on the shelves because I was sure I got it as an ARC when I attended the Great Chicago Blizzard ALA off 2015. I remember seeing it. Now I have to find it.

224msf59
Edited: Feb 26, 6:28am Top

>222 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie! Schools were closed because of wind? I am not sure I have heard about that before. Wow! That must have been pretty rough. Hope you can get back to your walks.

>223 benitastrnad: I am really enjoying The Refugees, Benita. He is such a solid writer and I always enjoy reading about the immigrant experience.

225karenmarie
Feb 26, 8:32am Top

'Morning, Mark! I hope your Tuesday is a good'un.

>221 msf59: It would have been a once-in-a-lifetime shot for me. Sigh.

226msf59
Feb 26, 11:04am Top

>225 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am buzzing right along, but it is another cold one, with light flurries swirling around.

227Familyhistorian
Feb 26, 12:35pm Top

Sometimes it is difficult to get a photo at the spur of the moment, Mark. I thought that yesterday when I was walking to the park and heard the flapping of wings coming from my right side, then a heron crossed right in front of me almost at eye level. They are huge close up! And no, there was not enough time to get a picture.

228richardderus
Feb 26, 4:23pm Top

Someone explain to me how this isn't Friday. It's the Fridayest Tuesday of my life to date. That's 3,100 of each...seems to me I should get a say in the matter with all that life, no?

229msf59
Feb 26, 6:00pm Top

>227 Familyhistorian: "Sometimes it is difficult to get a photo at the spur of the moment..." You got that right, Meg. That goes for birding and every day life. Glad you saw the heron. On my route about 3 years ago, I saw a Great Blue Heron being hotly pursued by a Red-Winged Blackbird. What a great photo, that would have been?

>>228 richardderus: Hi, Richard! I would have no problem if this was a Friday, at least I would have Sunday on the horizon. It has been very cold here, with no sign of a let up. Sighs...

230jnwelch
Edited: Feb 26, 6:20pm Top

Hiya, Mark.

Ha! I'm with RD; this is the Fridayest Tuesday I've ever experienced. Why? I dunno.

I also don't ever remember hearing before of schools being closed because of wind. I wonder whether there might be some kind of climate change going on around the world? I wonder what scientists think. Oh yeah, I guess we know what they think.

We voted today, but it sure seemed like a low turnout. Which is weird, since these were for Mayor of Chicago and alderman for many wards. I think there were 14 candidates for Mayor, and 8 for alderman of our ward. Trump times seem to have gotten people involved - in both instances, several of the candidates are very high quality.

I finished Black Leopard, Red Wolf, and gave a mini-review over on my thread. Thumbs up for Mr. Imagination, Marlon James.

231msf59
Feb 26, 6:53pm Top

>230 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It definitely does not feel like a Friday to me, especially since I am looking at four more work days ahead of me. Ugh!

Any idea, how the voting totals are going? I am especially curious about the mayoral race. I can't wait to start Black Leopard. I am on the homestretch of my story collection, The Refugees, which has been excellent, so I will be starting the James epic very soon.

232msf59
Edited: Feb 26, 7:26pm Top



22) Neither Snow nor Rain: A History of the United States Postal Service by Devin Leonard 4.2 stars

"The United States Postal Service is a wondrous American creation. Seven days a week, its army of 300,000 letter carriers delivers 513 million pieces of mail, forty percent of the world’s volume. It is far more efficient than any other mail service—."

"...A rich, multifaceted history, full of remarkable characters, from the stamp-collecting FDR, to the revolutionaries who challenged USPS’s monopoly on mail, to the renegade union members who brought the system—and the country—to a halt in the 1970s."

Of course, I have a biased connection to this historical and remarkable organization, since I have been a mail-carrier for over 32 years. I am still glad I read it and actually learned a lot, from this well-researched single volume. I salute Benjamin Franklin, our postal Godfather. The postal service also developed some game-changing technology over the years, that it rarely gets credit for. If you have any interest in the U.S.P.S or just curious what the Warbler does, day in, day out, give this book a shot. I also got a kick out of this new to me factoid:

"In February 1914, the Pierstorffs of Grangeville, Idaho, sent their five-year-old daughter to visit her grandmother 75 miles away in Lewiston via parcel post, because it was cheaper than buying her a train ticket. Little May Pierstorff weighed 48 pounds, which meant that she was just under the Post Office Department’s 50-pound limit for parcels. The Grangeville postmaster charged her parents 53 cents, attaching the appropriate stamps to the front of her coat. May traveled all the way to Lewiston in a railway baggage car under the watchful eye of a railway mail clerk. When she arrived, a mail clerk on duty drove her to her grandmother’s house rather than leaving her at the post office for morning delivery. Soon there were more incidents of “child mailing,” and finally the Post Office Department outlawed the practice.”

233msf59
Edited: Feb 26, 7:55pm Top



23) Great Dream of Heaven: Stories by Sam Shepard 4.3 stars

"In eighteen stories unlike any in our contemporary literature, Sam Shepard explores the vast and rugged American West with the same parched intensity that has made him “the great playwright of his generation”

I have been a fan of the actor Sam Shepard for decades. He died in 2017, at the age of 73. I loved his work in Days of Heaven and The Right Stuff, among many other films. I knew he was also a playwright but I had never seen any of his plays. So, I was very excited to learn that he had also written short fiction and really wanted to give one of his story collections a try. It did not disappoint and really grew on me, as I read along. I LOVE literary surprises and this one ranks right up there.

234vancouverdeb
Feb 26, 8:12pm Top

Hey, Warbler, just stopping by to say hi. How's the non- drinking days of February 29, 30 and 31st going? :-) You had me thinking it was a real thing for a moment there. Doh!

235PaulCranswick
Feb 26, 8:41pm Top

Mark, I would, of course as a Brit, have wanted "The Favourite" to take home the Oscar. Looks like "The Green Book" hurt the sensibilities of many by sugar coating or rather misrepresenting issues of race. Not seen it so I can't comment further but what was wrong with Good Old Queen Anne?

The film I enjoyed the most last year was A Star is Born and I thought Cooper and Ga Ga were both revelations and, for me, surprisingly so.

btw I do have a copy of Matterhorn.


236mahsdad
Feb 26, 9:02pm Top

I think come spring you need to ask for a new mail "truck"

237jessibud2
Edited: Feb 26, 9:30pm Top

>232 msf59: - Oh, I want to read this one! Glad you enjoyed it! And lol about that little girl! Canada Post would still probably charge way too much! :-)

238msf59
Feb 26, 10:16pm Top

>234 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Wish me luck, for the latter part of the week. This is going to be quite challenging. LOL.

>235 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Great to see you. I loved The Favourite. The only film nominated, that slightly edged it out, was Roma, which was incredible.

239msf59
Feb 26, 10:21pm Top

>236 mahsdad: Hey, Jeff. I love the snazzy postal vehicle. It may not be practical for mail delivery but I would sure like cruising around in it.

>237 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. I think you would enjoy the postal service book. Lots of great postal history here. I even found plenty of information to revel in here.

240Caroline_McElwee
Feb 27, 4:39am Top

>233 msf59: Yay Mark. So glad you enjoyed the Sam Shepard. You have a few more ahead of you, as there are several volumes of short fiction/essay/a few poems. Hawk Moon and Motel Chronicles are books I love, one darker than the other perhaps, forgotten which way round. I also like the small last volume Spy of the First Person. There are several volumes of letters too, between him and one or other of his creative partners, he was a big collaborator. And then there are the plays... I was lucky enough to see a version of True West on stage last December, powerful stuff.

241scaifea
Feb 27, 5:29am Top

Morning, Mark!

>232 msf59: Ha! I love the anecdote about May Pierstorff!

242streamsong
Feb 27, 5:36am Top

Hi Mark - Like you, I am so over this winter weather. We've been enduring blizzard conditions for the last three days, breaking all sorts of snow records. Not fun at all.

I loved your review of Neither Snow Nor Rain. That's hilarious that small children could be send to Grandma's via post - I can certainly see why the option was outlawed. Thumbs up from me!

243msf59
Edited: Feb 27, 6:32am Top

>240 Caroline_McElwee: Hooray for being a Sam Shepard fan, Caroline and thanks for the additional titles. I also have Cruising Paradise: Tales on my list. I also found it very interesting, that he had quite a relationship with Patti Smith, the poet and rocker. Was that the collaborator, you were referring to?

>241 scaifea: Morning, Amber! I got a kick out of that anecdote too. Smiles...

>242 streamsong: Happy Wednesday, Janet. Good to see you. Sorry, you are having to deal with such nasty weather. It looks like we are not out of the woods for at least 2 more weeks. Sighs... And thanks for the Thumb. It was good, informative book.

244Caroline_McElwee
Feb 27, 7:22am Top

>243 msf59: Patti was an early lover Mark, and they stayed friends throughout his life. She helped him put together that last book of stories. This is a nice piece: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/my-buddy-sam-shepard . He collaborated all his life with the actors and directors he worked with. The volume of letters I particularly liked was Letters and Texts for his theatre colaboration with Joseph Chaikin.

I really enjoyed a little biography of him by Ellen Oumano, but that was back in the 80s, I've just bought Sam Shepard: A Life by John J Winters, the most recent bio, which I will take with me on holiday in May.

245karenmarie
Feb 27, 8:16am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you.

I forgot to report that on Monday I saw a male Purple Finch at my feeders. *smile*

>232 msf59: Very interesting, especially the anecdote about May Pierstorff.

246Carmenere
Feb 27, 8:32am Top

Hey Mark, Catching up on your thread and admiring the birding photos! Congrats on capturing the snowy owl! I had to take a double take, at first looked like just a little pile of snow. LOL
Thanks for the heads up on the forthcoming Marlantes!!! Like you, I was blown away by Matterhorn.

247Crazymamie
Feb 27, 9:16am Top

Morning, Mark! I have finally caught up with you. Mailing children - I don't know whether to laugh or be horrified. Only five years old - I wonder if it was scary for her or a grand adventure.

I agree with Richard that yesterday was the Fridayist Tuesday ever - what's up with that because now we have to go back to the middle of the week?!

>233 msf59: Adding this to The List. I do have that last small volume Spy of the First Person of his work that Caroline mentioned in the stacks.

248richardderus
Feb 27, 10:03am Top

Happy Saturday!

250benitastrnad
Feb 27, 10:12am Top

Our Art House movie theater showed "Colette" last night and I missed it! I have wanted to see this movie for a long time and I missed it! I guess it will have to go on an ever growing list of movies I want to see on Netflix when I retire.

I have heard good things about this movie, but it did not get wide circulation here in the U. S. The story of Colette's life is amazing, and I would have liked to see it translated to the silver screen. I like to see cultural figures stories on film.

251msf59
Feb 27, 10:43am Top

>244 Caroline_McElwee: Wow! You must be Shepard's number one fan, over here on LT. I will check out the link and the other book titles. A bio, would especially be interesting.

>245 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the purple finch sighting! Sadly, we do not see them at our feeders. They are in the area but you have to venture out.

252msf59
Feb 27, 10:46am Top

>246 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. Hooray for the snowy owl and the new Marlantes. I hope to get to the latter, in the next 2 months.

>247 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. I hope I never find a kid in the mail. I am sure he or she would be bar-coded too. Poor thing.

Glad I got you with a Shepard BB. It is a good collection and a fast read.

253msf59
Feb 27, 11:04am Top

>248 richardderus: >249 Crazymamie: I wish it was. Long work week...At least I can still chuckle about it.

>250 benitastrnad: I have Colette on my list too, Benita. I finally saw The Wife and I think you would like it. Good literary angle too.

254Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Feb 27, 4:20pm Top

>251 msf59: Ha Mark, maybe. I've loved his work for a long time, though most of the productions I saw were in the 80s/90s until last December. I did go to a 'Celebration' of his life at the Royal Court last year, it was where he worked a lot in the 60s when he lived here for 3 years (I was too young to see those productions). It was a bringing together of his friends and people who had worked with him, or were in his work, which included his first wife Olan Jones, and many British actors who he had worked with over the years. They performed bits of his work, and told stories of their experiences with him. It was a very moving event. He challenged his collaborators to run with his work, wasn't precious and clearly was a real creative spirit. If you are a GoT fan (I haven't seen it, all Greek to me) Kit Harrington was one of the performers that afternoon, and in True West.

255mdoris
Edited: Feb 27, 3:10pm Top

I remember seeing a Sam Shepard film "Voyager" a very long time ago and man oh man it was a powerful film, never to be forgotten. I just looked it up and it was made in 1991. What a very interesting and greatly talented person he was.

256jnwelch
Edited: Feb 27, 3:25pm Top

>232 msf59: Great! I love the "child-mailing" story. British postal trivia: who was responsible for the first public mailboxes {"pillar boxes") being installed on the streets of London and elsewhere? Anthony Trollope! He started out in the post office at age 19 and rose through the ranks before becoming an acclaimed author.

Better weather out there. Let's hope it sticks around or gets even better.

I'm reading The Book of Boy at Amber's suggestion, a quite excellent YA novel, and I should finally be able to start On the Come Up. That lengthy Marlon James book demanded some serious time investment!

P.S. We were pretty happy with the election results, although there's more to come. I wanted Lori Lightfoot, and she's favored in a run-off with Toni Preckwinkle ( and the latter as mayor wouldn't be terrible). Our former alderman, Ameya Pawar, is in a run-off for city treasurer, and he's as honest as the day is long. Debbi and I voted for different people for our ward alderman, and we both bombed out. But it was a stellar field of candidates, and the two in the run-off (Negron and Marten) are both well-qualified.

257Caroline_McElwee
Edited: Feb 27, 4:26pm Top

>255 mdoris: Adding that to my viewing list Mary. Interestingly I've seen fewer of his movies. Though The Right Stuff and August Osage County are up there.

ETA: I have seen 'Voyager', it was put out as 'Homo Faber' here.

258msf59
Edited: Feb 27, 5:43pm Top

>254 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, that "Celebration" of Shepard's life sounds wonderful, Caroline. Glad you had a chance to attend. I am a GOT fan and a fan of Harrington. Very cool.

>255 mdoris: Hi, Mary. I never saw or heard of "Voyager". I will have to look into that one.

>256 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Thanks for sharing the British postal trivia, (I would have had no idea). Hooray for Trollope! I think it was still, pretty damn chilly today and it looks like it will continue, well into next week. Ugh!

Not familiar with The Book of Boy, so I will be watching for your thoughts. I start Black Leopard tomorrow. Yah! Thanks for filling me in on the mayoral race.
I don't follow it as close, living out in Dupage. Lightfoot looks to be a promising choice.

260msf59
Feb 28, 6:30am Top

>259 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, for the links, Caroline. I will check them out.

261msf59
Edited: Feb 28, 6:58am Top



^Black Leopard, Red Wolf does not need any introduction, although I have been excited about reading it, since James announced this project. Mamie and Joe recently read it and warbled stridently about it, which has pumped me up, even more. I will start it today in print. I loved his last novel, Seven Killings, so I know he is a kick-ass writer.

I should be close to finishing The Cadaver King, which has been quite excellent and has me shaking my head, in astonishment, almost as much as I did while reading the jaw-dropping Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup.

262Ameise1
Feb 28, 7:41am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark. Here is hope that the weather at your place improves soon. In the meantime sending lots of springlike greetings over the pond.

263alphaorder
Feb 28, 7:44am Top

>261 msf59: Wishilisting The Cadaver King. Thanks for the rec.

264karenmarie
Feb 28, 7:56am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Thursday to you.

>261 msf59: I've heard the warbling about Black Leopard, Red Wolf and it's already on my wish list.

265Crazymamie
Feb 28, 8:26am Top

Morning, Mark! Hooray for Black Leopard, Red Wolf - I think you will love it.

266jnwelch
Edited: Feb 28, 8:54am Top

Go Black Leopard!

Sweet Thursday, Mark.

Oof. Arctic weather coming in?! Haven’t we had enough of that? Crap. Bundle up, buddy.

267msf59
Feb 28, 9:41am Top

I saw a red fox on the way to work today! I saw a red fox on the way to work today! Yah! It wasn't a red wolf, but still...

>262 Ameise1: Sweet Thursday, Barb. Thanks for the springlike greetings. We could sure use them.

>263 alphaorder: It is very good, Nancy, but since this one deals with many lives, it can be a tough and brutal read.

268msf59
Feb 28, 10:40am Top

>264 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I should be cracking open Black Leopard, very soon.

>265 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. I am sure glad to see you and Joe enthusiastic about Black Leopard. I am starting it soon.

>266 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Light winds today, which will help. Still overcast and cold, though. It has been a long week.

And yes, Go Black Leopard!

269richardderus
Feb 28, 11:34am Top

Yet more Arcticity coming your way?! No! Not fair, not in March. Yuck.

Soldier on, Mr. Mail Carrier.

270benitastrnad
Feb 28, 2:04pm Top

The Cadaver King story is astonishing. It is hard to believe that one of those guys (I can't remember which one) still has his job in Mississippi. Thank goodness for investigative reporters who can take on this kind of long-term reporting. Radley Balko deserves lots of praise for his work.

I did see the movie the Wife. I thought it was excellent. Close was fantastic.

Where you aware that Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Ron Stallworth was a book? I found the recorded version of it in my public library and intend to make that one of my spring break road trip listens.

271msf59
Feb 28, 4:30pm Top

>269 richardderus: Hey, RD! Yep, another mini-polar vortex arrives, later on Sunday. 11F high for Monday. March 4th? WTF?

>270 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Nearly done with The Cadaver King. Why this so-called coroner and his dental sidekick were not jailed, is completely mind-boggling. You can not make this crap up. These authors did a fantastic job. This didn't get as much attention as Bad Blood, but it should have,

272benitastrnad
Feb 28, 5:03pm Top

The Cadaver King is shocking. When I heard the authors speak in Nashville, like you I couldn't believe that this was happening. Not in the Jim Crow South, but in the 1990's!

I wonder if the reason why Bad Blood got so much attention is that it affects rich white people, and what the Cadaver King was doing affected only poor blacks in the South?

273The_Hibernator
Feb 28, 5:31pm Top

I'll keep an eye out for Cadaver King. Looks interesting.

274msf59
Feb 28, 9:59pm Top

>272 benitastrnad: "I wonder if the reason why Bad Blood got so much attention is that it affects rich white people," I think you may have nailed it there, Benita.

>273 The_Hibernator: If you are looking for a true crime/ social justice book, you can't beat The Cadaver King, Rachel.

275Familyhistorian
Mar 1, 1:56am Top

Great story about mailing the little girl to her grand parents. Even in Canada the post used to be the cheapest way to send things. In the '80s we moved from Halifax to Vancouver only my significant other came out to BC first and I sent our stuff through the post, parcel by parcel. It was the most economical way to do it.

276Ameise1
Mar 1, 3:16am Top

Happy Friday, Mark.

277scaifea
Mar 1, 6:17am Top

Morning, Mark! I *need* to read the James book soon!

278msf59
Mar 1, 6:27am Top

>275 Familyhistorian: Another heart-warming postal service story. LOL. Hey, whatever works, right, Meg? Any regrets moving from Halifax?

>276 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. Happy weekend ahead!

>277 scaifea: Morning, Amber. Looking forward to spending more time with Black Leopard, especially on my days off. Off to a strong start.

279msf59
Edited: Mar 1, 7:01am Top



^We NEED a break! It has been a LONG, bitter winter. And I am hoping March brings some relief, although it won't be for at least another week. I want to hear the cardinals singing and the cranes, honking and flying north. I also miss my woods meanderings.

280karenmarie
Mar 1, 7:55am Top

Good morning, Mark, happy Friday to you!

I've seen two Vs of Canada Geese flying north in the last week, so spring is definitely coming!

281jnwelch
Mar 1, 8:25am Top

>279 msf59: Amen to that, Mark.

Happy Friday, buddy. I'm glad Black Leopard is off to a good start for you.

We went to a thought-provoking play last night, Doll's House 2, which picks up with Nora 15 years after Ibsen's classic. It was at Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf's Laurie Metcalf played Nora on Broadway, and I would've loved to see her in this part. Tonight we go to An Inspector Calls at Chicago Shakespeare, which is a National Theatre (Britain) production of it. It's gotten raves, so we're psyched. We saw it in London many years ago, and got a kick out of it, but it sounds like this is a superior production. Can't wait!

282msf59
Mar 1, 9:36am Top

>280 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We see plenty of Canada Geese flying through. A fellow carrier heard and saw a 100 or so Sandhill Cranes flying over his route yesterday. I have my co-workers trained now. Lol.

>281 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Thanks for the play report. I wish I could do that more often. Maybe, after retirement?

I heard that Carrie Coon is going to be in Bug, at Steppenwolf. Now, that would be cool.

283ChelleBearss
Mar 1, 7:01pm Top

>279 msf59: Agreed! Although Chloe and Nate are enjoying the snow now that it's actually snow and not ice!

284msf59
Mar 1, 9:48pm Top

>283 ChelleBearss: I have a visitor! I have a visitor! Yah! Glad Chloe and Nate are enjoying the snow, Chelle. We have not been getting any lately, and I am completely okay with it.

285msf59
Edited: Mar 2, 6:26pm Top



"The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics is a deeply reported, searing account of how the state’s progressive tradition was undone and turned into a model for national conservatives bent on remaking the country."

^Benita sent me a copy of this one, from ALA, earlier last year. It is a subject I am very interested in, but, as usual it has taken me awhile to get to. I am starting the audio tomorrow.

286benitastrnad
Edited: Mar 1, 10:26pm Top

I hope you enjoy this one. I kept a copy for myself so I will read it soon.

Last night I started reading Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. I am 50 pages in and this one is already a winner. The author is in the process of telling readers how the con man fabricated the provenance for the people who would authenticate his forged paintings at the same time we are learning about "pseudologia phantastica." This is a psychosis that involves serial and compulsive liars who engage in serial war fibbing. It is fascinating.

I am reading it for the March category in Suzanne's Non-Fiction Challenge. I didn't think I liked True Crime as a genre, but to my surprise I easily came up with 8 titles that fit the category.

287vancouverdeb
Mar 1, 11:08pm Top

I'm hoping true spring will arrive here soon, Mark. It's been sunny and no snow for ?? 2 weeks? We are rolling up to temps like 39 F ( I always have to check C to F) but that is still cold for here. Hey, thought of you as two white ducks crossed a busy road last night. Not sure what those guys were up too - transferring from one field to another? Fortunately the people around me also stopped for safe passage of the ducks. I'm not entirely sure what kind of ducks they were, but they were all white with orange bills. Maybe an American Pekin? Anyway, it looked just like these guys. Not the sort of duck I am used to seeing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pekin

288msf59
Mar 2, 6:35am Top

>286 benitastrnad: I am starting The Fall of Wisconsin today. It isn't a long read and I should be done with it, in a few days. Provenance sounds interesting. Have you read Jason Reynolds? He seems to be mostly a YA writer and I just listened to Long Way Down and it was excellent. He looks quite prolific.

>287 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Good to see you. Yep, we are impatiently waiting for spring here, as well. Ugh. 39F is pretty chilly for you guys. That is our normal temp for this time of year.

It looks like the white ducks are primarily domesticates, or at least that is what the Pekins are. I wonder if they have escaped from somewhere and now live in the wild. Interesting.

289lauralkeet
Mar 2, 7:03am Top

>288 msf59: There's a park near us which is right on the Delaware River in Philly, which is a fairly industrial stretch of the river with lots of shipping traffic. A domestic duck, possibly a Pekin, hangs out in the river along the edge of the park, usually with a few mallards. Recently in a neighborhood Facebook group someone got very concerned about its welfare especially during the winter, but those who have lived here longer said the duck has been hanging around that spot for years and doing just fine. It's definitely unusual.

290msf59
Mar 2, 7:09am Top

>289 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. Good to see you. I think these white ducks are escapees and have adapted to the wild. It appears they have all been bred to be domesticated. I have seen a mallard/pekin mix now and then. Interesting looking duck.

291Carmenere
Mar 2, 7:12am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark! Hope it's a book friendly weekend!

292msf59
Mar 2, 7:45am Top

>291 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. Yep, I have a couple of very good books going. Thanks. We have flurries coming down here but it shouldn't amount to much. Still cold though...sighs.

293karenmarie
Mar 2, 8:02am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

100 Sandhill Cranes. Wow. And I'm glad you've got your coworkers trained.

294richardderus
Mar 2, 8:58am Top

Sandhill cranes are amazing birds. All those stilt-y birds amaze me. We had roseate spoonbills in Texas and they were a sight to see.

Happy One-More-Day.

295m.belljackson
Mar 2, 10:09am Top

>285 msf59:

Thank the hearts and souls of the folks up here for Wisconsin's turnaround with Tony Evers!
I wonder what he's doing in 2020...

Snow showers were predicted in Token Creek last night, then woke up to a new landfall:

"I say, says I, we get a fine day,
and then down comes a snapper at night."

- Henery Fray in Far From the Madding Crowd

296BLBera
Mar 2, 10:34am Top

I imagine you're tired of wading through snow to deliver the mail, Mark. I think we are all ready for spring.

297msf59
Mar 2, 10:59am Top

>293 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. My co-worker heard the Sandies yesterday too. It has been mostly overcast, so seeing them is tough. I will have to turn my audiobook down, so I can hear better.

>294 richardderus: Morning, Richard. Hooray for the cranes and other wading birds. I am still buzzing over that oyster-catcher I saw in Mexico. I know you see them regularly but we do not. I wish I could have seen a spoonbill.

298lindapanzo
Mar 2, 4:11pm Top

>285 msf59: Hello there, Mr Mark. Happy Saturday!! Now that one sounds like something I'd like. Lately, I'm trying to catch up on all the Net Galley books I've managed to accumulate.

299alphaorder
Mar 2, 5:56pm Top

Mark - I am so sorry that this winter has been such a long one... with no end in sight. It better be a spectacular spring!

I finished The Great Believers today. A really great read.

I own The Fall of Wisconsin in hardcover, but wonder if the audio would be better. Let me know what you think. I was very excited to get it but put off reading it. I wonder if was because I couldn't stomach reading it while Walker was in office, but now I might be able to. Evers is trying to do great things. Even if he doesn't have the ability to do much of what he wants, it at least feels like we are moving in the correct direction.

300msf59
Mar 2, 6:15pm Top

>295 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. The Fall of Wisconsin has been very good. I hope Evers and Co. can turn things around.

>296 BLBera: Hi, Beth. We have been fortunate. No snow to wade through. The bulk of it has been gone, for at least a week. Whew. Just dealing with the cold.

>298 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Thanks for stopping by. I also think you might like The Fall of Wisconsin. A good, political snapshot of our neighbors to the north.

>299 alphaorder: Happy Saturday, Nancy. The Fall of Wisconsin has been excellent. The audio is working just fine too. I am sure you will even find more to relate to, than I can, since you are a native. Paul Ryan & Scott Walker! What a despicable duo!

I sure hope Evers can turn that ship around!

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

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