Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Six
This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Five.
This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Seven.
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^Me, at the Sax-Zim Bog. This was on a snow-covered boardwalk. There were a group of birders there from Indianapolis and I asked one guy to snap my photo. Yes, it was cold, but a beautiful setting. I saw my last lifer of the weekend here. Number 9. A Black-Backed Woodpecker. Cool bird.
-Northern Hawk Owl
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)
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)
30) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 4.5 stars (audio)
31) The Fall of Wisconsin by Dan Kaufman 4.6 stars (audio)
32) The Dry by Jane Harper 4 stars (audio)
33) Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James 3.7 stars
34) The Blue Hour by Laura Pritchett 5 stars
35) The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf 5 stars (audio)
36) The Thief of Auschwitz by Jon Clinch 4.5 stars (audio)
^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 3/12
13) American Robin 3/13
(F)- First time seen at the feeders.
Nice pics, Mark.
Happy new thread!!
Oops, I bet I jumped in too fast.
And on the first day
Then everything came along:
seconds, sex and
beasts and breaths and rabies;
lust and lust’s rejections;
swarming things that swarm
inside the dirt;
girth and grind
and grit and shit and all shit’s functions;
rings inside the treetrunk
and branches broken by the snow;
pigs’ hearts and stars,
mystery, suspense and stingrays;
and interests and death;
with all our viruses, laments and curiosities;
all our songs and made-up stories;
and our songs about the stories we’ve forgotten;
and all that we’ve forgotten we’ve forgotten;
and to hold it all together god made time
and those rhyming seasons
that display decay.
-Pádraig Ó Tuama
"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 it. I started the audio today and I am just over a third of the way in. Yes, Paul Ryan and Scott Walker are major scumbags.
>4 lindapanzo: No worries, Linda. You just got excited. Smiles...thanks, my friend. I am getting ready to head out soon, so I was making it quick.
>1 msf59: You certainly needed to be bundled up in that snow Mark, but it looks beautiful there, and you had so many sightings.
Happy new thread!
>1 msf59: Love that little owl. Looks like it is wearing a fuzzy little helmet!
Happy new thread, Mark. To answer your question from your last thread about if I had any regrets at leaving Halifax, not really because it was the second time I left and I was going to BC for a second time, never could make up my mind which side of the country I wanted to live on.
Lovely photo of you in the snow. We have snow so rarely that I would really like a bit of that snow from your part of the world to fine its way over to our part of the world. We are due storms with strong winds this afternoon. But definitely no snow.
Happy new thread, Mark! The Fall of Wisconsin sounds interesting, especially since my best friend from medical school and his family live just west of Madison and are in despair about the damage that former governor Scott Walker and his followers did to that state. I look forward to your comments about it, as I may buy it for him and his wife later this year.
Happy new thread, Mark. Other than increasing daylight, it doesn't feel like spring is anywhere on the horizon here! I will be shovelling again this afternoon.
>8 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. That photo was taken later in the day. It was probably about 20F. About as warm as it got, while I was up there.
>9 katiekrug: >10 drneutron: Thanks, Katie & Jim.
>11 laytonwoman3rd: No objection at all, Linda. I have it starred and will comment later.
>12 figsfromthistle: >13 mdoris: >14 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Figs, Mary & Chelle.
>15 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I am sure Halifax is beautiful. It is on my bucket list but I would think any sane person would prefer B.C., just for the weather alone.
>16 Ameise1: Thanks, Barb. We have a kid's birthday party to attend to later this afternoon, but I should get in plenty of R & R before then.
>17 SandDune: Thanks, Rhian. Great to see you. We are above normal on our snowfall for the season, but fortunately there is nothing on the ground at the moment. We are getting windier and colder today too. Boo!!
>18 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. Good to see you. The Fall of Wisconsin has been excellent so far and, not surprisingly Madison plays a role here. It was a good reminder, on how progressive Wisconsin was, and led the way on many key movements. Your friend should really appreciate it.
>19 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Our weather is shifting today too, although we are not supposed to get much snow, (Whew!) but much colder temps for the next 3 days. WTH? Hope you don't get slammed too bad.
-Black-Backed Woodpecker. (NMP) This was my last lifer of that weekend. I only saw it for less than a minute. It was hard to spot and I missed it the first day. Many people did not see it at all. Got lucky.
30) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 4.5 stars
“MY MOTHER USED TO SAY,
I know you're young,
gotta get it out,
but just remember, when
you're walking in the nighttime,
make sure the nighttime
ain't walking into you.”
Will is fifteen. His brother was recently killed. He wants revenge. That is the rules. This excellent novel, told in verse, all happens in one minute, as Will rides an elevator, to avenge his brother's death. This is my first experience with Reynolds and it will not be my last. I am glad to see how prolific he is. This also worked wonderfully on audio, with the author nailing the delivery.
"I FELT LIKE CRYING
which felt like
trapped behind my face
tiny fists punching
the backs of my eyes
my throat at the spot
where the swallow
Stay put, I whispered to him,
Stay strong, I whispered to me.
Happy new thread, Mark! Great topper!
I saw a sight yesterday! I was driving down my street and something was in the road. As I got closer I saw that it was a red-tailed hawk attempting to pick up a bunny (deceased) from the road. My car scared him as he was about to fly away with it but only got as far as the ditch beside the road. where he dropped it. Wow, nature in action!
Have a restful Sunday!
Morning Mark! Love the Hawk Owl! Also, you now have me wanting to find my copy of The Fall of Wisconsin.
>25 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda and I appreciate you sharing the RTH story. Always fun to see nature in action, especially when the "killing" is done off camera. Grins...
>26 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. The Fall of Wisconsin has also been working fine on audio, so keep that in mind. You might also like Long Way Down. A very quick read. ^See my mini-review.
Good morning Mark. The Fall Of Wisconsin sounds like an important book. We need to figure out what went wrong and try to turn that around.
Happy new thread and happy Sunday to you, Mark!
You look very happy in the topper photo. Vacation snow is much better than work snow, isn't it?
>28 richardderus: Thanks, RD! I was definitely a Chilly Happy Birder! What a great weekend that was.
>29 brenzi: Morning, Bonnie. The Fall Of Wisconsin has been an informative read. Hopefully, with their new democratic leadership, Wisconsin can turn things back around. Walker was a disaster.
>30 karenmarie: "Vacation snow is much better than work snow, isn't it?" You sure have that right, Karen. Happy Sunday, my friend.
Happy New Thread, buddy. I like that "Mr. Winter" photo of you up top.
Long Way Down sounds good; thanks for the excerpts. I can imagine that being excellent on audio.
Just purchased the audio of Long Way Down. Thanks! (I was happy to find that it was already on my wishlist, but you gave me the appropriate nudge.)
>34 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda.
>35 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Hooray for Mr. Winter, although I prefer it in very small doses, like I did at the Bog. Jason Reynolds should be a very good fit for you.
>36 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Your Black Woodpecker also sounds like a beauty.
>37 alphaorder: You will not be disappointed, Nancy. If you can snag a print copy, from the library, I recommend following along. It is less than 2 hours on audio.
Mark, as far as the white ducks go, I am reminded of your fun post on facebook - what people describe a bird to look like to a birder - and what the bird actually looks like to a birder :-) But I am sure it was two white ducks, with orange beaks, and webbed orange feet. Domestic duck or American Pekin - I could not say. But definitely not the sort of duck I am used to seeing around here. Canada Geese, Mallards, Snowgeese, Wood Ducks, Swans, those are always around. Actually, those dreaded snowgeese are beginning to head out. The snow geese are lovely in their way, but they are really fearless creatures and can destroy a field in a single crapping session. They take over parks, school grounds and peck away for whatever it is that they eat and of course, do their business.
Happy New Thread, Lone Ranger!
Not that Canada Geese are ducks, nor are snowgeese nor swans, but they are all plentiful and I toss them into the duck category. Careless Deborah!
>39 vancouverdeb: >40 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Oh, I completely believe you saw 2 white ducks. They are a thing, but just bred to be domesticated. I know Snow Geese are a pain for you, in your area but I would like to see one, so I could add it to my Life List. We get plenty of Canadas here and they do their share of pooping too.
>42 scaifea: Morning, Amber and thanks. I wish I could stay right here, instead of going out there...sighs.
Upon the Mountain’s Distant Head
Upon the mountain’s distant head,
With trackless snows for ever white,
Where all is still, and cold, and dead,
Late shines the day’s departing light.
But far below those icy rocks,
The vales, in summer bloom arrayed,
Woods full of birds, and fields of flocks,
Are dim with mist and dark with shade.
’Tis thus, from warm and kindly hearts,
And eyes where generous meanings burn,
Earliest the light of life departs,
But lingers with the cold and stern.
-William Cullen Bryant (I have never read any of his poetry before.)
^This is an appropriate one for the bone-chilling day, ahead of me. It is March 4th, right?
This was posted in today's LIt Hub suggested for 13 books to read in March. Thought you might be interested.
Tim Dee, Landfill: Notes on Gull Watching and Trash Picking in the Anthropocene
(Chelsea Green Publishing)
Buffalo has Lake Erie and the Niagara River as well as mountainous landfills in the outlying areas: Gulls are no strangers here. However, Landfill both astonished and surprised me. Initially addressing the anthropocentric nature of gulls and human waste disposal, it becomes much more than the subtitle promises. Dee writes like a charismatic literature professor lecturing in front of a room of environmentalists and birders auditing a class. Culling from the works of Beckett, Borges, Chekhov, Larkin, and so many others, he explains and illuminates both purposeful and forced adaptation. There is much to be learned about planetary destruction from studying birds.
–Lucy Kogler, Lit Hub contributor
>45 alphaorder: That does sound like a perfect read for you, Mark. I hope you can source it!
Morning, Mark! Stay warm today if you are working. It's a chilly one here!
It is currently, 6F with a bitter westerly wind blowing. I am about to add on, another layer. Can you say, Gortex? I knew you could...
Thanks for stopping in. I will catch up, with my visitors later.
Hi Mark! I hope you are able to stay warm-ish today. I skimmed your last thread and loved all the bird pictures. Thanks for posting them.
I hope your extra layer worked Mark.
Left you a message: http://www.librarything.com/topic/303498#6758434
I went trotting around to do the very few urgent things outside. It's about 38° but the breeze made it feel about 30°...which won't even be the high tomorrow! Oh nay nay nay. So every urgent thing done and I'm hunkered and toasty until Friday! So of course, but naturally!, I had to come and share with my outdoorsy friend Mark as he tromps through ice-rimed snowdrifts.
Ooo I am *evil*!
It is cold down here in Alabama as well. On the radio today the rescue workers for the tornado sites were commenting on how the cold is making their rescue work that much harder. Tonight it will get to the low 20's . That's cold for Alabama.
>45 alphaorder: Thanks, for thinking of me, Nancy. Landfill: Notes on Gull Watching and Trash Picking in the Anthropocene definitely sounds like my cuppa. I am nearly done with Fall of Wisconsin. Terrific book but also sad and a bit horrifying. Much of it, you know all ready.
>46 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. It was a tough one but I survived.
>47 richardderus: You guys know me well. Grins...
>48 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. It was ridiculously cold, but I persevered, once again.
>49 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Sorry to hear, you are both not feeling well. I hope this is last of it. Fingers crossed...
>51 ffortsa: Hi, Judy. Always good to see you. Glad you like the bird photos. I know it isn't everyone's "thing", but I like sharing that my other passion.
>52 Caroline_McElwee: Hooray for the Lord of the Butterflies, Caroline. Glad you loved it and all the credit goes to Joe, for not only turning her onto me, but sharing his copy with me. I will have to get my own "Keeper" copy. And yes, the second layer definitely helped.
>53 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. I survived the elements once again. I sure hope we are done with the extreme stuff.
>54 richardderus: Very smart to get out today and take care of those errands, RD. Now, you can kick back and let the nasty stuff barrel through. I am sure everyone imagines Marky tromping through " ice-rimed snowdrifts", but we have no snow at all, which, of course, I am completely happy with. It was a brutal day, though, with or without the snow.
>55 benitastrnad: Keep warm down there, Benita. I am assuming the tornadoes hit the eastern part of the state? How sad and tragic!
Hi Mark, we're getting your bitter cold and wind tomorrow but all week is going to be in the teens. It's March for gods sake.
>59 brenzi: Good luck, Bonnie. Keep warm & snug. I see the east coast got slammed with snow too. Ugh. It is supposed to get to the 40s here, by the weekend. Looking forward to it.
^I have the day off! Yah! Since, it is currently single digits, breezy and the high will still be 20 degrees below normal, I am more than happy to spend the day, in the warmth of the Marky-Mark Man-Cave, hunkered down with the books. Despite, having an itch to stroll in the woods, I think I will prefer staying right here and occasionally checking on my feeders.
Morning, Mark! I am late to your newest thread. Hooray for a day off - it's cold here, too, believe it or not. *grin*
>24 msf59: Love this - I know you mentioned this over on my thread, and I have added it to The list. I gave your review my thumb.
Hoping your Tuesday is full of fabulous!
Good morning, Mark, and happy Marky-Mark-in-the-Man-Cave day! Yay for coffee and books.
>62 Crazymamie: Mamie made it! Mamie made it! Hooray. Good to see you, my friend. Sorry to hear you are also suffering through the "cold". Smiles...
Were you referring to Long Way Down? If so, I highly recommend it and it can be read in one sitting. A very talented guy. Black Leopard has been slow-going, but still plenty to enjoy. I should hit the halfway point and beyond today.
Oops! Yep - Long Way Down. I posted the book number instead of the post number - I fixed it now.
Black Leopard should pick up now that you are halfway, but it will slow down again at the end. Just saying...
>61 msf59: Aaaah, does that look good. It's 5 degrees this morning, probs lower with the wind. I am done, completely done with winter. Have a cozy kind of day!
>68 Crazymamie: No problem, Mamie. I had a feeling that was the one you were referring to. Thanks for the thoughts and heads-up on Black Leopard. They have just escaped the Darklands.
>69 Carmenere: Morning, Lynda. I think there are many of us, that feel the same way about this cruel, ongoing winter. Glad we didn't get hit as hard as the upper-east coast, with all that snow. Yikes.
what they say about the gays
being so fashionable--
our ghosts never go
out of style,
even life, is like funeral practice:
half of us already dead
to our families before we die
half of us still on our knees
trying to crawl
into the family photo."
Excerpt from Orlando
"Your vote for a man promising to build a wall between the thirst and the river.
A firing squad is a firing squad. In the history of the US it was never
more clear that a vote would be a bullet. There is no distance between you
and the blood. The truth will not give an inch to the lie of innocence,
to the governable denial of anyone who continues to aim for the head
while calling it making something great again."
Excerpt from Dear Trump Voter
"I know Facebook is a lousy mortician
desperately trying to make us all look more alive."
^Line from Boomerang Valentine
^I hope those sell it!
Enjoy your day off! It's very cold here and I had a before school battle with the wee one about the need for a sweater. Oy!
Hope your man cave is warm and the books are great!
Enjoy your day off, Mark. It's a chilly one here, too.
Here is an article I got in one of my newsletters yesterday. Interesting and I learned a few new things:
feeding the birds
And here is an even more fascinating article. Hard to imagine!!
Scroll down after the article and watch the nest. I think there are 3 eggs in it. I have been watching on and off for a few days and have only seen 2 adults so far, not 3, but the 2 I saw are quite affectionate with each other. Amazing that eagles have eggs in the nest in such weather!
Enjoy your warm day off! I keep thinking that spring can't be too far away .... (-15 F here today)
Lovely poems - Lord of the Butterflies looks outstanding. Unfortunately no Andrea Gibson at all in my library system. I'll have to keep an eye out!
>75 jessibud2: >76 jessibud2: Morning, Shelley. Winter keeps on dragging along. Ugh! Thanks for the links. The bird feeding article is interesting. Much of it I know and much of it, is just plain common-sense, which, of course, certain people lack. Love the eagle trio. How cool is this? One of the parents is on the nest. Boy, it sure looks windy and cold. Brrrrrrr...
>77 streamsong: Morning, Janet. -15? Yikes! That is brutal. It is supposed to be warmer this weekend. I hope you are getting some relief too.
Lord of the Butterflies is outstanding. I had a hard time finding a copy too. It would be one, worth buying. I am planning on it.
>71 msf59: I love that title. A darn good thing Joe warbles poetry...anyone relying on me to do it would be depressed and disappointed.
>80 richardderus: Joe is more seasoned on the poetry front, but I try to discover things, he would also like. It is a good relationship. Gibson was a true find, though.
>81 Caroline_McElwee: Joe recently read another of her collections, but I forget the title. Have you seen any of her videos, of her spoken word poetry? Great stuff.
Hi Mark! Hope you enjoy your day off! I decided to take a day off too.
Hooray for Lord of the Butterflies and the Andrea Gibson enthusiasm! Oh yeah, you’ve given me plenty of good poet tips. That’s what LT and a good friendship are all about, right?
I’m still feeling crummy, so I’m reading mysteries until I come out from under. Just finished a Dick Francis re-read, Decider, and now I’m reading an ER Bryant & May mystery by Christopher Fowler.
I hope you’re making it through the frigid weather okay.
>83 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. I hope you enjoyed your day off. I definitely and I especially liked spending most of it, indoors.
>84 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Sorry, you are still feeling cruddy. I hope this is the last of it. Hooray for Ms. Gibson. What a treasure she is. Is there anything else, you have read by her, that you can recommend?
I was off today, so I did not have to deal with the frigid temps. Whew!
^How could I resist, a Snowy Owl? This is a red rye ale, made by birders from Sketchbook Brewery. They are out of Evanston, IL. It is in honor of the Snowy Owls seen in Chicagoland, these past couple of years. Of most of my visitors know, I did see one on the lakefront, last February.
I had a great day of reading today and knocked out over a 100 pages of Black Leopard. I am into the second half. It is not a smooth, fast-paced narrative but there is still plenty to keep my attention.
28) The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen 4.4 stars
“In a country where possessions counted for everything, we had no belongings except our stories.”
“Stories are just things we fabricate, nothing more. We search for them in a world besides our own, then leave them here to be found, garments shed by ghosts.”
“I came to understand that in the United States, land of the fabled dream, it is un-American to be a refugee.”
This is an excellent story collection, that deals with the Vietnamese refugee experience, loosely based on the author's own life. It also focuses on parent-child relationships. I read and enjoyed his Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, The Sympathizer and I am glad to see, he is equally adept at short fiction.
Hey, buddy. Ha! I loved that you found that Snowy Owl Ale.
I just finished the Becoming Unbecoming GN. Harrowing, but good. Becca kept pushing me to read it, and rightly so. Right now I'm reading Woman World, a humorous GN about our world, but with all men gone. It's interesting, and has its moments, but isn't quite at the level I hoped.
We're heading toward the plus side of 30 degrees, finally. I hope the day is going well for you.
Mark - if you haven't already seen "Magnificent Animal Sculpture Made with Scrap Metal by Matt Wilson" on YouTube,
the BIRDS are really incredible! You & Joe might want to start your own scrap metal collection for retirement with cans of Snowy Owl.
>93 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Hooray, for Snowy Owl Red Ale! I am so glad you got to Becoming Unbecoming. Becca was spot on. This GN didn't get the recognition it deserved. If you remember, I passed my copy on to her and I recieved it from Charlotte, across the pond.
>94 streamsong: We can never get enough Snowy Owls, Janet. Do they ever winter in Montana?
>95 m.belljackson: LOL. You are funny, Marianne. I will seek out the You-Tube video. Thanks. Have you heard or seen any Sandies? I know it has been cold and windy, these past few days.
"A small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper."
After finishing the dark, disturbing reality of Fall of Wisconsin, I decided to turn to dark fiction, with The Dry, a bit easier to swallow, than dealing with the evil GOP and it's sinister henchmen. I have been skirting away from crime series fiction these days, (although not completely) but a murder mystery set in the Outback of Australia was just to intriguing to pass up, plus the series has received rave reviews, including some warbling from a few prominent LTers. I started the audio today and it is off to very good start.
There are now 3 books in the series. Anyone caught up?
>97 msf59: I have that one on hand courtesy of an LT'er who was formerly employed at an independent bookstore and had access to a lot of promotional copies of new releases. It needs to work its way up the stack, I think. Have you read any Gary Disher? Also Australian, and quite good. His Inspector Challis series is set in a coastal area, rather than in the outback.
I have not read any of the series by Jane Harper but the reviews have been very good with only Book 2 getting less than stellar reviews. The reviews say that book 3 is as good as the first in the series.
>98 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Thanks for chiming in on Jane Harper. It took me forever to get to this series, so I hope you can also eventually get to it. I have not heard of Gary Disher. Thanks, sounds interesting.
>99 benitastrnad: So far The Dry is working very well on audio, Benita. Keep this in mind for your next road trip. I love the Australian accent. I have also heard glowing reports on the 3rd book.
'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you!
>97 msf59: The Dry and Force of Nature are two books in the Aaron Falk series, but The Lost Man is a standalone novel. I read Force of Nature before The Dry, not realizing it was the second in a series until after I started it. The Lost Man came out in February and it's on my shelves, patiently waiting for its turn. Still haven't read The Dry either.
Morning Mark! I am going to start The Fall of Wisconsin as my new commute book today. Preparing to be depressed, but I know it is an important book. As I said before, I purchased it when it was first published, but I found I couldn't read it until after Evers was elected. There had to be a light at the end of the tunnel for me - hope that we will get back to our progressive roots.
>101 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Thanks for the reminder about Force of Nature being a stand-alone. It has been getting strong reviews. Really enjoying The Dry in the early going.
>102 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Listening to The Fall of Wisconsin in small chunks, will hopefully maintain your sanity. It is tough stuff. I didn't know much about all the labor issues, with Kohler or the pipeline and mining battles. The author doesn't get to Evers but mentions certain democrats, making strategic moves, to take back the state.
So this post on LitHub this am. Thought you and Joe (and others) might like to read it and discuss.
The 32 Most Iconic Poems of the English Language
Happy World Book Day, Mark, and enjoy Jane Harper's series. It's awaiting my attention.
Rather late to the party this time, but a belated happy new thread, Mark.
With the diminishing winds, there is more bird activity on the route and I heard my first, (and definitely not my last) Red-Winged Blackbird singing. Hooray! Come on springtime!
>104 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I appreciate the poetry list. I will check it out later. Always can use recommendations.
>105 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura. The Dry is off to a good start and it looks like the others are available on audio, so I will be getting to them.
>109 msf59: D was thrilled to see a robin yesterday. She said "That means Spring is here!" I answered: "There's going to be a big snowstorm this weekend."
I'm a bummer, aren't I?
>111 The_Hibernator: Sweet Thursday, Rachel. Don't torture poor D. Are you supposed to get snow this weekend? It is supposed to be more mild here.
>112 streamsong: Hi, Janet. I hope you can track down a Snowy Owl one of these days. Amazing experience.
I have cut way back on crime series fiction, so I had room for The Dry. Glad I got to it.
>113 msf59: Well, I was going for realism rather than torture, Mark. We're expecting a foot of snow on Saturday.
>114 The_Hibernator: A foot? Noooooooooo! That is ridiculous! We are supposed to be nearly 50 on Saturday.
Hey there Mark! I think of you often as birds cross my path so often. The poor dreaded Snowgeese had taken over a field yesterday while I was out on my dogwalk. Then the mallards. I do wish you could see snow geese for your list. There was sleet coming down yesterday during our dogwalk. What manner of weather is this for Vancouver, I ask you? Today looks okay.
>97 msf59: I can recommend all three Harper books - the third standalone one was probably the strongest, I think. I love the way she describes the outback - it feels as if she knows it intimately, both the physical environment and how people adapt to living in it.
I've just finished Bird Cottage, which I think I must have picked up because you read it. From your review I liked it more than you did though! Of course, completely different setting to Harper, but again, that feeling that the author has placed you in the setting, this time surrounded by birds.
>116 alphaorder: Keep the harbingers coming, Nancy. We NEED 'em. Snow flurries coming down at the moment but it is supposed to hit 40F! Yah!!
>117 vancouverdeb: Hooray for the Tonto Bird Report! Always enjoy reading them, even the evil snow geese sightings. I spooked 3 mallards at my Birding Break Spot yesterday. Boo, to the sleet. Hope things begin to warm up for you.
>118 PaulCranswick: Happy Friday, Paul. Great to see you, stranger. I miss seeing you around. Thanks for chiming in on The Dry. I have heard her sophomore effort isn't as solid. I am glad to hear she came strong with the stand-alone.
>119 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Good to see you too. I am enjoying The Dry and will most likely continue with Harper. Glad you had a good time with Bird Cottage. Nancy recommended it to me. I liked it but it never really soared, if you will. Interesting character, though.
'Morning, Mark, and a very happy Friday to you!
Yesterday Jenna and I saw a female Red-Bellied Woodpecker on the wild bird seed feeder. I don't normally see RBWs on this side of the house - normally they eat the suet in the squirrel-proof feeder stand. She'd pick out a sunflower seed, sit in the Crepe Myrtle for a bit, dive bomb to the ground, then come back for another seed. She must have done this 7 or 8 times.
>122 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for seeing a RBW. We get them, at our feeders too, but not regularly. With our warm-up coming, I hope to see more bird activity.
^A birthday shout-out to Bree, my first born! It is extra special since she just bought her first house. We are going over there tonight. This is her horse, Sweetheart.
Happy Birthday to Bree, and enjoy the double celebration with the new house tonight too.
Bree was born the same day as my niece Maddie! How cool. Happy birthday to her.
Happy Friday to Dad.
Happy Birthday to Bree! Please give her our best. Dinner at Her new house - that’s the way to celebrate!
Happy Friday, buddy. I hope you like The Dry more than I did. Someone up there asked, “Do I need another crime series”? For me, the answer’s always, “Yes”. :-) I remember Roberta used to call me the Series Pusher.
Right now I’m reading an Eve Dallas, and I’ve got some Travis McGees waiting in the wings.
Hope it goes well today. At least we’ve got semi-normal temperatures.
Do you want Becoming Unbecoming back? I’d forgotten you gave it to Becca.
>128 richardderus: Hooray, for Bree and Maddie, Richard. It is definitely a fine day.
>129 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I will pass on the good word to Bree. We are leaving shortly. I am nearly finished with The Dry. Yep, I am enjoying it. Enjoy those current reads.
You can pass along, Becoming Unbecoming. Keep the joy going.
^I first heard and then saw, my first Sandhill Cranes of the year. There were 2 large flocks, flying high and heading north by northwest. I love their distinctive, garbling sounds. This was about 1 pm, on the route. More signs of spring. B.A.G.
>131 msf59: Wow! Those are some cool not-seagulls. They look so elegant in flight.
Congratulations to Bree! Purchasing a house is big deal . Happy Birthday to Bree too. Oh the sandhill cranes - I get to see them around my area too. Sunny day here today!
>131 msf59: Congrats on springtime! Our robin will be very unhappy tomorrow, but he seems pleased now.
Happy Birthday, Bree, and congrats on the new house! : )
Mark--I am glad to know you enjoyed The Sympathizer because I am about to start reading it with Beth and Ellen. That should be enough to get me excited, but it also, it helps to know that it won the Nobel prize and that I should be on the lookout for humor. I was not very excited to read it, but now.....!
Happy weekend, Mark.
>132 richardderus: One of my favorites, RD and I have seen them on the ground a few times too. Strangely elegant is a good way to put it.
>133 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. We had a nice time last night. Bree and her boyfriend busted their butts getting the house in order, for the party. It looks really nice. We like his family too. Yah, for the Sandhill Cranes!
>134 The_Hibernator: It looks like it will be a cool March, Rachel, looking at the long term forecast, but if we can stay about normal or just under, I would be happy with it.
>135 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! Great to see you. You have had the opportunity to meet Bree, so you know how special she is, so thanks. I hope The Sympathizer works for your group read. I really liked the book, but not everyone does.
Good morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you.
Happy Birthday to Bree and congrats on her new house. Glad you had a nice time last night, too.
We don't get Sandhill Cranes here in central NC. They only migrate through the very western tip of NC, alas. :(
>138 karenmarie: Morning, Karen and thanks. We had a good time. Another big family birthday get-together tonight, this time with my BIL.
I hope you get to see some Sandhill Cranes one of these days. Always a joyous sight.
Happened upon this book in the Indie Next listings and it seemed like something both you and Joe would like. Let me know if you check it out. I am intigued.
You too, Mark! I am immersed in The Atlas of Reds and Blues. Can't recall where I read about it first, but I already know I am going to tell everyone to read it, including you. In some ways, it reminds me of Heavy: An American Memoir. Have you read that yet?
>143 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. I had not heard anything about The Atlas of Reds and Blues, but I have now. I loved Heavy: An American Memoir. Another one, I read, due to your warbling. You remain on the cutting edge, my friend. Thank you.
>144 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks for sharing, Linda. Looks like some very special people were born on March 8th, including your lovely niece, Nora. Puzzle, is a good looking horse too.
>145 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. It was a very nice party last night. It was great having all four of us together, along with some special friends.
>146 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I will definitely be reading more Harper. I am especially interested in this latest stand-alone.
>147 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am very slow on the draw this A.M. but I will make some rounds. Thanks for the book update.
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories is available on Kindle today for 4 bucks! If you have not read this excellent story collection, do yourself a big favor and snag this baby! Sadly, I have still not read her latest collection, which came out in November.
Hi Mark. I guess I'm in the other camp. I wish we'd have daylight savings time year round. It's finally light enough at 5:00 to be outside doing something. And since yesterday was a gorgeous day here I am looking forward to riding my bike in the evenings. Yay!
I don't care whether it's an hour earlier or later. I just wish it wouldn't change.
Our winter storm only brought 1 inch in the end! Maybe, just maybe it'll be the last snow storm of the season? One can hope. I haven't looked at our long-term forecast. Part of me doesn't want to know.
>152 brenzi: Morning, Bonnie. Okay, I can easily agree with just leaving it at DST. I also like the light evenings. Hooray for the upcoming bike rides.
>153 The_Hibernator: "I don't care whether it's an hour earlier or later. I just wish it wouldn't change." Perfectly expressed, Rachel. No snow here but lots of rain yesterday. March can still produce snow but lets hope it will be very small amounts, if any. Fingers crossed.
I am on my way to the winter wonderland of Kansas! My sister says that there is 15 inches of snow on the ground and more expected this week. So, I am taking it easy getting there. 9I have to ease into winter). I stopped in Paducah, Kentucky to take time to see the National Quilt Museum. I have been driving past it long enough and decided that this year it was time to see it. It was 75 degrees when I left Tuscaloosa yesterday and it is still winter in Paducah.
I am listening to lots of books during this road trip. I finished listening to the YA DC Icons series book Wonder Woman: Warbringer and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this book. This one was written by the well regarded YA author Leigh Bardugo. I liked Bardugo’s series Shaow and Bone and I like Wonder Woman, so picked this book as a starting point into this new series. There are four titles in the series, and I had ordered them for the library. Even though the reviews were positive I was curious to know if they were worth the time. This recorded version had an excellent narrator. I liked her voice and the plot of the book was typical action hero stuff - but there was a plot twist that I didn’t think would happen that made the book build to an exciting climax.
I just keep adding to my book list. Now I have to listen to another in the series to see if this one was a fluke.
>153 The_Hibernator: I agree!! "I don't care whether it's an hour earlier or later. I just wish it wouldn't change."
Happy Sunday, Mark. : )
I just got to the Leopold section in The Fall of Wisconsin. I am sure this book will end up on my best of nonfiction list at the end of the year.
>155 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Have a great and very safe trip to Kansas. Looks like you have some good books to keep you company. Enjoy. Let us know how that Quilt Museum is. Grins...
>156 Berly: Hi, Kim. I hope you had a great weekend.
>157 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. I am so glad you are enjoying The Fall of Wisconsin. I was afraid you might have found it redundant, since you follow the political environment there. I thought Kaufman did a superb job.
"The tight-knit residents of Blue Moon Mountain, nestled high in the Colorado Mountains, form an interconnected community of those living off the land, stunned by the beauty and isolation all around them."
^Nearly 4 years ago, I read a nifty little story collection called Hell's Bottom, Colorado and fully intended to read everything Pritchett had wrote. Of course, like many bookish goals around here, that failed to happen. That said, I am finally getting to The Blue Hour and will start it tomorrow. I hope this gives me the kick-start I need to read more of her work.
I know there are a few Pritchard fans around here. What should I track down, after finishing this one?
>158 msf59: Some of it is redundant, but that is ok. The early history is making me proud. The newer stuff is bringing back memories, like the day my boss and I showed up at work and decided we weren't going to be productive anyway - we needed to be in Madison so we went. It is also a reminder that we need to make sure to push forward and not let this happen again.
>159 msf59: - I think you and Joanne got me to read HB,CO, Mark, which started my love affair with Pritchett. The follow-up to that one - Stars Go Blue - is really good. A novel, rather than linked stories. I've also read Sky Bridge which was okay (it's an early one and not quite as polished as some of her other stuff, but still worth reading for a fan), and the sequel to SB, Red Lightning which was pretty good. I have The Blue Hour on my shelf - I'm saving it for some unknown occasion :)
I also support no more time changes. Permanent DST would be great. I like the light in the evenings. Apparently our province and the states that we border agree but our federal government would also have to get involved. I am not sure if that is what happened with Saskatchewan but they don't change their clocks which is funny since I though DST was for farmers. Wasn't that the excuse?
>160 alphaorder: "It is also a reminder that we need to make sure to push forward and not let this happen again." Amen, to that, Nancy. I am so glad you are enjoying The Fall of Wisconsin.
>161 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. Thanks for chiming in on Pritchett. I am not positive who turned me on to Hell's Bottom, but it may have been Joanne, since that is just her cuppa. I appreciate the other suggestions, I will most likely try them all, at some point.
>162 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I remembered you being a fan of Pritchett and I am looking forward to The Blue Hour. I need to read something more down-home after the dark, fantastical world of Black Leopard. I appreciate the birthday wishes for Bree.
>163 Familyhistorian: Hooray for " Permanent DST"! And yes, as far as I know it was created for the farmers, but that hasn't really been an issue for a century or so, right?
Morning, Mark! Belated Happy Birthday wishes to Bree - what a lovely photo!
I am also reading The Dry - it had been on my list since Charlotte reviewed it, and then you mentioned it last week. When Birdy and I went to the book store on Friday, there it was sitting on the discount table - it felt like a sign, so I snagged it.
Happy Monday, Mark! Pritchett's passed me by before now, so I'll go look around for her.
Mark, I heartily approve of your latest choices of books. Joanne is responsible for turning me on to Laura Pritchett. Her books remind me of Kent Haruf. There’s just something about those Colorado authors... I have the new Peter Heller book reserved at the library.
I have read and enjoyed the two Aaron Falk books by Jane Harper. Love the Australia setting. I hope to get to Force of Nature fairly soon.
Re: Sandhills Cranes. They feature heavily in Richard Powers’ The Echo Maker. Just saying. The book isn’t as powerful as The Overstory but still a good read.
>168 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. You will enjoy The Dry when you get to it. Boo, to the time change. Poor kids.
>169 richardderus: Morning, RD. Still damp and chilly today, but it is supposed to get much warmer tomorrow. I am glad we got your attention with Pritchett. Start with Hell's Bottom, if you can track it down.
>171 Donna828: Morning, Donna. Great to see you, my friend. Glad to see the Pritchett love and I agree with you on the Haruf comparison. I have a copy of the new Heller, waiting for the right moment. I have heard good things. Hooray for those Colorado writers.
Ooh, The Echo Maker sounds good. Thanks.
Hey, buddy. Better day out there. We did work out today, so maybe we're finally on the far side of that bug going around.
I watched "Russian Doll" on Netflix over the weekend and really enjoyed it. Now Debbi's doing the same. Have you heard about this one? Natasha Lyonne (not sure I spelled that right) is really good in it.
Ah two book bullets - I'll be interested to see what you think of The Blue Hour (can't get the right touchstone - ugh!) and Donna's rec of The Echo Maker. The Overstory was one of my favorite books last year.
>79 msf59: I caved and bought a copy of The Lord of the Butterflies from Ammy. It should be winging its way here any day now. :)
Honestagawd, I thunk the "snipe" wuz a madeup thing. This is "Snipe in the Rain"
Ohara Koson (1877-1945)
>174 jnwelch: I'll add my warbling to Russian Doll. Fun watch. Bad side of binging a new series...Have to wait a year for a new season.
>174 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Good to see you. Hope you are feeling better. I have heard of Russian Doll and I have Netflix. I am trying to restrain myself, from starting another series, but this does sound good, so maybe I will give it a try.
>175 streamsong: Hi, Janet. I am 50 pages into The Blue Hour and it has me in it's grip. She is such a good writer and the comparisons with Haruf are worthy ones.
I am so glad the warbling paid off, with Lord of the Butterflies. It is a 5 star collection and I have no doubt you will love it. I NEED to order my own "keeper" copy.
>177 mahsdad: Your encouragement on Russian Doll, Jeff, has me a bot more on board. Thanks.
>176 richardderus: LOL. Honestly, Richard, just a few years ago, I wasn't sure if a snipe was a real bird either. The whole "Snipe Hunt" thing, but sure enough they are real and I have been fortunate to see Wilson's Snipe a couple of times. They are very hard to spot. Perfect camouflage.
I like that painting too.
Add me to the fan list for Russian Doll Mark I loved Natasha Lyonne as Nicki in OITNB so I wanted to watch RD from the minute it as released. There are other OITNB stars in it too.
"Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia..." "Among Humboldt’s most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone."
^A friend of Nancy's recommended The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World, while we were chatting books over a couple of beers. I had not heard of it but promptly tracked down the audio, which then sat in my iTunes, for many, many moons. Well, folks, I dug it out of the archives and started it today. I had heard of Humboldt but had no idea he had this kind of history. I think it will be a keeper.
I was not familiar with the author, Andrea Wulf, but she has my attention now. Anyone else come across her before? She has an impressive amount of NF out.
Hi, Mark. I put up a link on my thread this afternoon of the work of an incredible Canadian artist whose paper sculptures will knock your socks off. Truly.
>180 brenzi: Well, it looks like I better check out Russian Doll, Bonnie. Yep, I remember Lyonne from OITNB, although I only watched 2 seasons.
>182 jessibud2: That was amazing, Shelley. Thanks for directing me over to your place. One of those sculptures would look beautiful in the Marky-Mark Man-Cave!
"Running. That's all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race -- and wins -- the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent..."
34) Ghost (Track #1) by Jason Reynolds 4 stars
Just last week I finished and loved Long Way Down and decided to go with another one of his books. This one is part of a trilogy, involving a teenage boy joining a track team. They are fast, funny and smart, with just the right amount of depth. They are also perfect on audio. I do not read much YA, but when they are done this well, I will try to make time.
>185 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Good to see you. Hooray for the snipes. They also look very similar to our American Woodcocks, which are more ground foragers.
Glad you like the poem up there. Strong stuff.
>181 msf59:. Thanks for reminding me to read this too! I shared your comments with Zoe. I remember feeling a little intimidated with the print version, given my so what limited time for reading paper books. Now that you got me into audio, I am thinking that is the way to go!
Hey Mark, I just read this NYT article and thought of you:
She Invented a Board Game With Scientific Integrity. It’s Taking Off
A board game about birds! Yes please! My hubby's b-day is in May and this would make a fun gift. It's currently sold out but I've signed up for alerts with both the manufacturer and Amazon.
'Morning, Mark! I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday.
Another Russian Doll fan. It's amazing. Neither Bill nor I want to see OitNB, however.
edited to add: Just saw a male White-Throated Sparrow on my Crepe Myrtle.
Happy belated birthday to Bree and happy home ownership as well!
Ready for the warm up? It may be brief but certainly lifts the spirits.
Ooh, blue skies and light winds, it should be a good birdy day on the route. So far, mostly juncos and sparrows...
>187 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. The Invention of Nature is a big book, so I recommend the audio. I may even split it up, take a short break with something else and then return. All that said, it is definitely keeping interest.
>188 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Is this Wingspan? If so, it has been on my radar. I am just not sure who will play it with me. LOL.
>191 msf59: oops, yeah it's Wingspan. Sorry for leaving out that little detail!
>184 msf59: Easy BB for me. Given that I enjoy running (tho "enjoy" is a relative term, its my chosen form of exercise :) ), I will definitely give it a go.
Sand Hill Cranes migrating through in large numbers. It has to be a record day for me. I just saw 7 circle together and head northwest...
I'm so envious of your getting to see Sand Hill Cranes. I've only ever seen one juvenile in Montana. Friend Karen tells me she sees dozens and dozens at a time.
I'm enjoying seeing the Lord of the Butterflies enthusiasm. Good warbling, bro! Hopefully the bird song about it will spread.
I've got to get back to Tony Hoagland; my brain cells went on a walkabout with that cold, but they're back now. I'm reading a GN I may end up recommending to you, called Lulu Anew, by a French author.
Better weather! Hurrah! I hope it was pleasant out your way. We were de-layering today, and it's supposed to be even better tomorrow.
>193 lauralkeet: I will have to order Wingspan, Laura, even if I play it alone. Smiles...
>194 mahsdad: You will have a good time with Ghost, Jeff. I am looking forward to the next one in the trilogy. Great palate cleansers.
>196 karenmarie: It truly was awesome, Karen. I wish I could have watched the Sandies more closely. Reportedly, there were stray Whooping Cranes, in a few of the flocks. This is common.
Hi Mark, I came by to thank you for the book bullet on I'll Be Gone in the Dark which I just finished - very chilling and very informative.
Last week I read my first Laura Pritchett - Hell's Bottom, Colorado and I am now a fan. I also made that bookish promise to read everything she's written. For sure, since I have it on my Kindle, I will be reading Stars Go Blue in the near future.
>197 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. You know when we love something around here, we run with it and Lord of the Butterflies certainly qualifies. Looking forward to your final thoughts on the Hoagland and the GN.
>199 weird_O: Hooray for Washington Black, Bill. It's good 'un!
>200 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Great to see you. I'll Be Gone in the Dark is an amazing read. I am so glad it worked for you. Hooray for Hell's Bottom, Colorado & Ms. Pritchett! It made me an instant fan and I am currently loving The Blue Hour, so this time I will have to make sure I read everything, she has written.
Happy Wednesday, Mark! Enjoy your day off with the Three B's - birding, books, and beer.
I hope you have a great day off! Busy one for me, but I will check in tonight.
"A story is like a coral reef,
You live inside of it
You add something,
You take something away
Eventually you die,
Becoming part of the story yourself."
Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir by Liana Finck 4.2 stars
"A visually arresting graphic memoir about a young artist struggling against what’s expected of her as a woman, and learning to accept her true self."
I liked this graphic memoir. Spare illustrations, teamed up with an insightful narrative. There is also a magical element to it, as well.
>205 msf59:. Ooo, a GN review! I’m in. Passing Human sounds intriguing.
We had fun last night at the Bulls game, but unfortunately they lost to the Lakers and LeBron (we’re not LeBron fans, but there were a lot of them there!)
Not much to report on the book front. I’m enjoying A Gentlewoman’s Guide to Murder; it’s set right in the area where we stay in London (Clerkenwell/Islington), but in the early 1800s.
Should be a pretty good day out there. 60s? We’ll see.
>206 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I have the day off, but I plan on getting out a bit to enjoy the milder temps. I think you will like Passing For Human. I just started another, Home After Dark, which reminds me of Lemire. Enough said, right?
It has been a tough season with your Bulls. I hope they come roaring back next season.
27) The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker 4 stars
“Some dreamed of their youth. Some dreamed of old age. Some dreamed of days that might have been—all the lives they did not live. Or the lives that, in some other world, they did. Many dreamed of lovers, former and continuing. Some dreamed of the dead.”
“This is how the sickness travels best: through all the same channels as do fondness and friendship and love.”
In a quiet southern California town, a sleeping sickness strikes, causing the residents to fall into a deep, dream-laden slumber. How this outbreak affects this community, is the key element to the story. I was a bit underwhelmed by Walker's last novel, The Age of Miracles, although I was impressed by the clever premise. Her latest, is an improvement. Better written and more focused.
**Another ALA gift from Benita. She is the best!
>184 msf59: That looks good, but then I like YA. I'm excited for when M gets old enough to enjoy YA (he's in first grade and is reading comfortably at the second grade level, but there's not anything with depth published for kids that age). D IS old enough to enjoy YA books, but she likes the girly romantic books that I think are drivel. lol
>208 msf59: That also looks good. I've always loved books about plague and illness for some reason. Maybe it's the biologist in me?
>208 msf59: An interesting premise well done? How amazing! Glad that it gave you the impressed vibe.
Sorry your bulls lost last night
Enjoy your warm weather walk today! It's supposed to be very mild here tomorrow :)
^I paid a visit to Sue's work, received a neck and back adjustment, teamed up with a full, deep-tissue massage. I FEEL GOOD!! The weather is slowly warming up at the moment but still damp. I am hoping to get out on the trails later, toward evening for a little owling...In the meantime, back to the books: The Blue Hour has been amazing. More warbling to follow...
>209 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. I do not read much YA anymore but every once in awhile, it is refreshing, especially when well-crafted like the Reynolds books. I also think you would enjoy The Dreamers.
>210 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. The Dreamers is not perfect but definitely an improvement over her last one.
>211 richardderus: It is a good read, RD, but don't expect a lot of depth. A nice, diverting, story.
>212 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. I hope you heard or saw the Sandhills yesterday. They were migrating through in vast numbers. I have only checked Amazon for Wingspan and they are currently out. They do feature a couple other outlets but they are asking over a 100 bucks. Yikes!
>213 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle. I am not much of a basketball fan, like Joe, who is a Bulls fanatic. I still like to see them do well and this has been a bad year for them.
No walking trails for me, yet today, but I hope to get out later.
^I am currently listening to The Invention of Nature, which is a bio on Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859). He is a fascinating figure. This book has also introduced me to Simon Bolivar, who was friends with Humboldt. Sure, I had heard of Boliver, (1783–1830) but I didn't realize he was such a towering figure. A a Venezuelan military leader who was instrumental in the revolutions against the Spanish empire. See? This is why we read like crazy people. I will have to track down a bio, that focuses on him.
>217 msf59: I read it last year and liked it very much, I learned a lot from this book. Alexander von Humbolt lead a very interesting life!
The Invention of Nature sounds interesting! That's not an area of history that I'm very familiar with - I may need to look this one up.
^On my evening jaunt, yesterday, I was hoping to spot a Short-Eared Owl. I did get a glimpse of one, perched on a fence stake, but can't confirm it, due to distance and encroaching darkness. The ranger was closing up the lot for the night too. I want to thank a woman, a fellow birder, for helping me at least to look in the right direction. This is a big, prairie/wetland. I wish this area was closer, but it is a 30 mile trek. I did see and hear lots and lots of Red-Winged Blackbirds.
On other bird fronts, I saw my first American Robin at our feeders, for the year. Making the species total 13. I have seen robins on the route though.
It is nice to hear the birds when I have my morning coffee now. Spring is in the air! I haven't seen a Red-winged Blackbird at the Center yet, but others have.
>218 charl08: I've added the dreamers to my reservation list, Mark - hope it comes in soon.
Love the bird pictures!
Your having a robin show up means spring is really coming, right?
The Invention of Nature sounds interesting. What got you reading that one?
All is well on our front. I'm off to the dentist soon. Oh joy.
High 60s F today, but windy and maybe stormy? I hope it goes okay for you. We're planning to catch a late afternoon view of the Captain Marvel movie.
'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you!
Yay for back/neck adjustments and deep-tissue massage. If I could go to a chiropractor and massage therapist every week I would, but I'd have to win the lottery to do that. And since I don't play the lottery...
Yay for the Robin at your feeders, too. I've got the usual suspects but forgot to report about 6 male Cowbirds the other day.
>228 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I hope the dentist is going smoothly, if that is possible. You asked about The Invention of Nature- On one of my visits to Milwaukee, Nancy's friend, Zoe, recommended it and I had it firmly on my radar, since then. It is really a terrific bio.
Have a great time at the movies. I have heard good things.
>229 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. There are definitely benefits to my wife working at a chiropractic office and my insurance covers most of the treatments.
Hooray for the cowbirds! I hope to see some, through the summer months.
>232 richardderus: Sweet Thursday, Richard. Thanks for the suggestion on Bolivar: American Liberator. I immediately placed it on my Wishlist in Audible. It does sound like the perfect bio, if you are interested in Bolivar. The Invention of Nature is shaping up to be a 5 star read. Just sayin'...
Crazy weather day here. Rain, wind, sunshine, wind, hail, rain, sunshine, more wind. Nutso!! Glad it was mild.
>233 weird_O: Howdy, Bill! I did not realize it was PI Day. I did not celebrate with pie. Boo! Did you?
>234 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Pritchett really upped her game with The Blue Hour. I would be hard-pressed to give it less than 5 stars. She kicks butt here! I wish I would have paid better attention to the warbling and got to it sooner.
Mark, way behind, but yes, snipes are real thing. We have plenty of them out my way. I never really thought that I lived near marshland, but I guess that I do. Ours are apparently "Common Snipes" and "Wilson's Snipe aka Wilson's Phalarope. But I would be lying if I told you I could tell them apart from our many shorebirds. Maybe now if look more carefully.
I've read at least two books by Laura Pritchettand really enjoyed them.
Morning, Mark! It actually made it into the low 70s here yesterday, can you believe it?! So. Nice.
Also, I have a lovely mail story for you: I was expecting a VIP (Very Important Package (read: new teas that I wanted to try from Harney & Sons)) and signed up for the text tracking notifications. I got a text yesterday at 130 - an hour before our mail person even came to our house - saying that my package had been delivered and left at my front door. Um, nope. So I waited until the mail guy actually came to our box (I can see him through the front window) and he didn't deliver a package. At this point I was near panic at not having the tea that I'd been waiting for ALL WEEK LONG (I don't have much in the way of patience, really). I called the PO and explained what had happened and that I suspected he'd accidentally delivered it to a wrong door earlier in his route; the person I talked to was so nice and said they'd call him on the route and see what was up. 30 minutes later the doorbell rang - it was our mail guy with my package! I love that he didn't just ring the bell and leave the package, but instead actually hand delivered it and apologized! So nice and really not necessary (the apology, I mean - mistakes happen!) and I apologized for making him backtrack for my tea. I love the post office (and its fabulous mail carriers)!
>237 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. Happy Friday! I couldn't tell the difference between the snipes either. Cool birds though. Which Pritchett books have you read? I am now, completely crazy about her.
>238 scaifea: Morning, Amber. It was mild here yesterday too, closer to 60 but with all the rain showers, wind and hail, it kind of put a damper on it.
Thanks for sharing the P.O. story and I am glad it had a happy ending. I wonder where the package was delivered? Grins... With the GPS tracking they have, they could pin-point right where the package was scanned last. That is why we are instructed to never scan anything, until we get to the house.
Also, I always check the packages I see on porches, just to make sure they are at the right address. You would not believe how many times I find errors and most of the time it is other delivery services.
"Written by a beginner-birdwatcher with the freshness and passion of a convert, WAITING FOR THE ALBINO DUNNOCK explores the world of birds through the seasons of a single year. "
Joe and Debbi presented this book to me a few months back. For some reason, they thought it would be of interest to me...grins. With migration season, just beginning to take off, I thought I would work a couple of birdy type books into the mix. I will start it today.
I also should wrap up The Invention of Nature today. I am sure it will be a 5 star read!
>240 msf59: He admitted that he'd delivered it to the wrong house and had to go back there to pick it up. It's crazy that you find so many mis-delivered packages! At least the GPS should help to track them down, eh?
>242 scaifea: Well, if it is a different delivery service, I don't have much choice, but to leave it, unless the wrong address is on my route and I could notify the correct addressee, if they are home. I have waved down a UPS or Fed EX driver before too. Grins...
Good morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you.
I need to put a book about birds/birding into my rotation... I'll tag a couple, and after I get through a few group reads probably pull one in. I hope you like Waiting for the Albino Dunnock.
I'm so over The World today, except my tiny glimmer of hope when the Irish Prime Minister shows up at Mother and Daddy Pence's house with his husband, and makes a surprisingly pointed speech about how much Religion has changed. Daddy's tweet about it never even hinted at the husband's existence.
I was thrilled to realize how miserable Mother and Daddy must've been. Such an evil old man.
>247 richardderus: Happy Friday, RD! I am glad the Mother and Daddy Pence situation, made your day! Like you, Pence scares the hell out of me. Evil, like Cheney Evil!
And hooray for the Irish Prime Minister! I hope he is doing his country right!
"The camp at Auschwitz took one year of my life, and of my own free will I gave it another four."
"In The Thief of Auschwitz, Clinch steps for the first time beyond the deeply American roots of his earlier books to explore one of the darkest moments in mankind’s history—and to do so with the sympathy, vision, and heart that are the hallmarks of his work."
I have been a big fan of Jon Clinch for many years now but it took Linda and the AAC, to nudge me into reading another of his books. I chose The Thief of Auschwitz and I started the audio today. It grabbed me immediately. Clinch Rules!!
Happy Friday, Mark. One of these days I'll get to Clinch.
Think spring is finally on its way?
70° F. at the front door today. Boy, did I take it. Sat on the deck in jeans and T-shirt and read a long chapter in Finn.
>236 msf59: We did have pie for Pi Day, Mark. Pizza Pi. :-)
>250 BLBera: Hi, Beth. Good to see you. Please give Clinch a try and start with Finn. It is a stunner!
>251 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Yep, March is been a solid reading month, so far and I don't see it letting up. Albino Dunnock is off to a good start too. She is a better writer, that I expected.
>252 weird_O: Ooh, I want to luxuriate in 70 degree temps, Bill. My day will come...I am sure you are loving Finn. How could you not?
'Morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you. I don't have any new birds to report, but did juts see a Cardinal, Red-Bellied Woodpecker, and Titmouse either on the feeders or in the Crepe Myrtle. Birds make me happy.
>254 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Birds make me happy too. Yah! With the clear, sunny skies and the light winds, I have been seeing some bird activity on the route too. I may have seen a song sparrow, which would be a FOY, (first of the year) sighting.
Hey, buddy. Blues skies today - we’ll take it? It’s not Bill’s 70 F, darn it.
I finished the Hoagland book, and did a quick review on my thread. You’ll like it. I also finished the GN Lulu Anew by Etienne Davodeau, which was excellent. The GN The Invisibles is more complex and interesting than I expected. Jury’s still out.
Yay for spring robins! Glad you are seeing them, Mark. They are not a sign of spring around here as they are here all year round but I do remember being happy to see them when I lived in the east.
>256 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It turned out to be a pretty nice day. I loved the sun and blue skies. Another 10-15 degrees would have been perfect. I will stop by and check out the Hoagland review. I am sure I will request that one, along with Lulu Anew. I always appreciate GN and poetry recs.
>257 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. We have wintering robins too, but very rarely see them at our feeders, until spring. They will be everywhere, very soon.
“Waiting for birds is like waiting for God, but I don't think I 'd wait three hours for God.”
- R.S. Thomas
“The soul finds itself in beautiful things.”
“I came to birdwatching late, and immediately loved being away from the noise and busyness of the world. Waiting for birds became a favourite pastime. Not that it has much to do with the passing of time, because the clock stops in the silences of wild places, and when they come, encounters with birds can be timeless.”
^Those last few lines, is how Waiting for the Albino Dunnock opens. Her writing is lovely. It is also smart and very informative. She is British, so some of the birds she references, have different American names, which can be confusing. I will be sharing more quotes and bird images...
"The yellowhammer is a passerine bird in the bunting family that is native to Eurasia and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia."
^I would love to see one!!
29) The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist by Radley Balko 4.5 stars
“A study of Mississippi death investigations from 1981 through 1984 showed staggeringly high rates of deaths classified as “undetermined causes.” In DeSoto County, for example, the rate was 53 percent. In Benton County, it was 70 percent. The average across the country is around 3 percent.”
“The Mississippi system was run by the triumvirate for years,” says one long-serving former coroner. “Imagine that. A pathologist, a small-town dentist, and a funeral director.… The state provided an audience of adoring idiots.”
“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.
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist chronicles how the courts and Mississippi's death investigation system--a relic of the Jim Crow era--failed to deliver justice for its citizens .”
^This is a very disturbing look, at the justice system in the south, zeroing in on Mississippi. It is a jaw-dropping read and I kept hoping that this was just fiction and not this jarring reality check. It is also recent history, which makes it even more terrifying. The authors do a fantastic job here, bringing this untold story, from the shadows, to the light.
>262 msf59: That is so you, Mark. Glad you had a good time.
Happy Sunday, buddy.
Beautiful quote from Waiting for the Albino Dunnock. I hadn't thought about there being different bird names in Britain - we're so similar, but so different sometimes.
Love the photo of the yellowhammer.
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist does sound like a tough one. Angie Thomas grew up in Jackson, Mississippi; that state seems so frustratingly slow to progress.
Enjoy the day off, man.
P.S. LT is a bit weird on images right now; Karen and Caroline obviously can see >262 msf59: - I wish I could. All the others come through for me.
>266 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. We just back from a short stroll in the woods. The paths were still a bit mucky and little bird activity, but it was nice to be outside. The afternoon will be reserved for the books.
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist is excellent and packs quite a punch. I need to get to the new Angie Thomas novel. Sorry, you can't see the image. It is a good Harry Bliss cartoon from yesterday. You may have seen it.
>267 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Thanks, I will check it out. Everyone seems to be raving...
Andrea Wulf is a darn good author and well known in the world of natural world writing. Up until this book her best known was one on the gardens of the founding fathers. Founding Gardeners She is well known in gardening circles as a result. Brother Gardeners is another of her books that gardners read. She may not be as well known as some authors because she is German. She has had several appearances on BookTV. That is where I first saw her.
Humbolt and his brother don't get their due - in my opinion - because they aren't British. Or French. In Germany he is a big hero/explorer/naturalist. In fact there is a big university in Berlin named for him. My German friends are very surprised that his botanical work is not talked about, or taught, in the U.S. Humbolt even made an appearance in the PBS Victoria series, but I think you would have had to know who he was in order to catch his appearance as a character in the show. Prince Albert was a big fan of him and his brother.
I have several of her books on my TBR lis.
>270 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. It looks like I missed The Invention of Nature back in 2017 but I am glad to have found it now. What an amazing book, about an amazing individual.
>271 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Good to see you. I am glad Wulf landed on my radar, especially with The Invention of Nature, which is right in my wheelhouse. She mentions several times in the book, how overlooked and under-appreciated Humboldt was. He is like a god in Latin America. Funny, how many places he is named after, and no one knows who is. I hope this is one her books, that you have on shelf.
^Happy St. Patrick's Day! I am not big on parades but I do like kicking back with the books and a fine stout. Looking forward to digging into both of these titles, especially the gorgeously adorned Bibliophile, which a couple of my LT pals have recently warbled about. Your Duck is My Duck, (another lovely cover) is a story collection, which I will be starting shortly. I have not read Eisenberg.
Hi Mark! I am still waiting to purchase Bibliophile. I hope you enjoy it! It looks so lovely.
>249 msf59: I'll be anxious to hear how you like The Thief of Auschwitz when you've read it all. I also think Clinch is an excellent author and I'm curious about his treatment of a difficult subject. I hope you get to see another Short-eared Owl, a confirmed sighting next time. You are developing quite a life list!
Spring has sprung on the Palouse. It has been sunny and 45F both days this weekend and I'm loving that. The snow is slowly melting....
I'm currently reading The Sympathizer. So far it's pretty amazing.
>274 jessibud2: Looking forward to digging into Bibliophile, Shelley. A beautiful volume.
>275 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Great to see you. I am sure Bibliophile will be worth buying. It will look gorgeous on shelf. The Thief of Auschwitz has been terrific. Clinch has done it again. Batting a 1,000 for me.
Glad things are warming up there. We will slowly get there. It should be about 60 by the end of the week.
>273 msf59: Looks like you celebrated St Patrick's Day in the right way, Mark!
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A loverly day here, Mark. When I took the dog out to use her privy, I waltzed down the hill to fetch the bird feeder that blew away last month. I had spotted it in the brambles and bushes near the bottom of the hill several weeks ago, but wasn't up for the trek. Well, I skipped down today, took up the feeder, turned, looked up the hill and moaned, "Oh Lord, what have I done?"
I made it.
We had about 53 F here today, Mark. Quite lovely and sunny! Some sort of woodpecker is back drumming on our gas fireplace flue and my favourite cooing Eurasion Collared Doves is back in the neighbourhood cooing away. I saw plenty of empty nest in the trees over the past couple of days. I have no idea what sort of birds will nest in them, but they are pretty big and obvious in the trees that do not yet have leaves. I had to dodge a far bit of goose poop on my dog walk, but let's hope those guys find a new place soon. :-)
>277 Familyhistorian: It was a fine day off, Meg and even got a short hike in, with my wife.
>278 yuihim: I get all the weirdos!
>279 weird_O: See? Another one. Howdy, Bill. Glad you were able to retrieve the errant bird feeder and get some exercise to boot. Let me know what you see, once, you fill them again.
>280 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. I hope you had a good weekend. Love the bird reports. My son has also heard a woodpecker, drilling the siding or gutter, near his room. I think it is a territorial thing. If you are seeing bigger nests, made of sticks, it could be a hawk of some sort. I would sure like to see an Eurasian Collared Dove. We mainly see Mourning Doves, which are regular visitors to our feeders.
-Eurasion Collared Dove
"Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000 ft high El Capitan wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock-climbing history."
We watched Free Solo last night. An excellent film, that just won an Oscar for best documentary. It is like watching a very intense suspense film, but with breath-taking scenery and Honnold makes a slightly geeky, but engaging lead.
^I NEED to get to Yosemite one of these days. Very high on my bucket list.
'Morning, Mark, and happy Monday to you!
>282 msf59: I heard Eurasian Collard Doves in SoCal when I was cleaning out Mom's house in 2017. Their calls are distinctly different than Mourning Doves. I finally got to see several in Montana last summer.
Unfortunately I had a 'sighting' on my wild bird seed feeder this morning - forgot to bring it in last night and a raccoon was enjoying his breakfast until I scared him off. Many Cardinals this morning, and one White-Throated Sparrow on the Crepe Myrtle.
Had to come by and report:
D and I were driving over by the Chesapeake Bay to visit a quilt shop (another story for another day...) and got to watch a couple of crows chase off a bald eagle that was trying to get at something in the field next to the road. Really fun to watch the little guys team up! Eagle was an awesome sight, though.
Oh, Debbi really wants to see Free Solo - and I do, too. Good to see your positive reaction. I was in Yosemite as a teen and loved it.
Bibliophile looks great, doesn't it. I've got that one on the WL.
Have a good one today, buddy.
>283 msf59: - Ha, why am I not surprised you enjoyed that film, you wild guy, you! I got dizzy just watching the trailer (it's playing at my doc cinema)!! There is another, milder sort of film coming soon called Far about a couple of German travellers, traveling to distant, far, remote places around the world, all without taking a plane. It looks very cool and full of adventure. I plan to see it next month. Here is a link for you. Scroll once to the right to watch the trailer.
No birds to report Mark but I did finish three books over the weekend.
Have a great week, buddy.
>284 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I hope to see a ECD, next time I am out west. I hope your visitor, did not leave any destruction in its wake.
>285 drneutron: Hi, Jim. Thanks for sharing the bird report. An eagle and crow mix up, must have been a sight to see.
>286 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Free Solo is amazing but be prepared to freak out a bit. I am really enjoying Albino Dunnock, thanks to you.
Spring birds showing up here, too, but the snow is barely starting to melt. ECD, mourning doves, some sort of woodpeckers (only heard), magpies, robins etc. I really need to get my bird feeder out since there is still 18 inches of compacted snow on the ground everywhere.
Tuesday evening I'll think I'll head to Missoula to hear the Wilderness Society's presenattion on preserving harlequin ducks in Montana.
Movie bullet with Free Solo and National Park bullet with Yosemite. :)
Hi Mark, I don't spring for many books in the bookstore as I am such a library "girl" but I did spring for Bibliophile and I love it. I look at it all the time and for sure you could plan years of reading but just following her recommendations. It is such a clever idea. Enjoy!
>282 msf59: We have a pair of collared doves in our garden quite regularly. Yesterday, I was having a look at a wood pigeon, which is also a regular visitor. It had perched on the honeysuckle outside our bedroom window while I was looking out the window. It just didn’t seem to register that I was there so I got a really close-up view from about two feet away at most!
I can report and Eagle sighting. I was driving to Lincoln, Nebraska last week and one of those scavengers was eating roadkill. At first I thought it was a vulture of some kind, but when he flew off I saw his white head and then the spread of the white tail feathers.
I laughed about my trip. I went from the Land of Squish to the Land of Squash. Alabama was dealing with flooding due to the 15 inches of rain they got in the first week of March and walking across my lawn was squishy. Then I went to North Central Kansas where all the snow they had this winter was melting and then they had rain the weekend of March 9 - 11. Walking anywhere there as a matter of squashing your way through mud. My car will be easily recognizable in the parking deck as it is the only one that is covered (and I mean covered) in dirt. I did throw a glass of water on the license tag so I wouldn't get stopped for having a non-visible tag as my sister was two weeks ago on her way to Dallas, Texas. But I am back in Alabama and the temperatures will be in the 60's and 70's all this next week. And it will be sunny.
>291 streamsong: Hi, Janet. Thanks, for the weather and bird report. I sure hope we have turned the corner, spring-wise, my friend and warm enough to melt all that snow you have. I also hope you got out to the feeder. Let me know if you make the duck presentation.
It looks like I got you with a pair of worthy BBs. Yah!!
>292 mdoris: Hi, Mary. Good to know buying Bibliophile was well worth the cash. I hope to dip into it, sometime this week.
>293 SandDune: Hi, Rhian. Good to see you. I appreciate the bird report. I have never seen a wood pigeon either. I do not think they come across the Big Pond. I will have to check.
>294 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. I hope you had a nice trip to Kansas. I hope the family is doing well. Hooray, for the eagle sighting. Eagles may scavenge but they sure look mighty majestic doing so.
It has been pretty squishy here too, but it is supposed to be a mostly dry, somewhat warmer week, so I hope things dry out.
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