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RebaRelishesReading in 2019 - 2nd quarter

This is a continuation of the topic RebaRelishesReading in 2019 - 2nd quarter.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Sep 6, 3:15pm Top

It's a bit blurry but hopefully you can read it :)

Edited: Jun 28, 1:38pm Top

DRAT!! I did it again! I posted my header photo before changing the title of this thread!!! Dear operators of LT, it would be lovely if it was possible to change the thread title after it's posted...please?

Welcome to my third thread for 2019! I've been a member of Library Thing for 12 years and this is my 8th year in 75er's. Checking the threads is still a joy as is meeting friends from the thread in real life. Book people are generally really good people I have found :)

I read mostly fiction with a large helping of biography thrown in. A couple of years ago I finished a personal challenge to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction and earlier this year I finished another to read the entire Harry Potter series (with encouragement from Chelle, thank you Chelle). I've also challenged myself to read the Pulitzer wining biographies but I don't seem to be making much progress on that score.

Hubby and I love to travel and do a great bit of it (according to our friends). We spend our summers at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state where we especially enjoy the music presented and the authors who visit.

Right now I'm working hard to get in shape because a friend and I are planning to walk from Reading to Bristol (95 miles point to point) in September. I've been wanting to do a cross-country walk in the U.K. for 20 years or more so I'm most excited.

Now the thread is open for visitors! (I just love having visitors to my thread)

Edited: Sep 2, 2:55pm Top

What I've read this year:

1. Georgia by Dawn Tripp****1/2
2. The Library Book by Susan Orlean****
3. Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai****
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling****
5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (audio)****
6. Snobs by Julian Fellowes ***1/2
7. Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes**** (audio)
8. The Chosen by Chaim Potok****

9. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda***1/2 (audio)
10. Night in Bombay by Louis Bromfield****
11. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley***
12. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter****(audio)
13. The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons*** (audio)
14. The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand** (audio)
15. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton****1/2 (audio)
16. Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor** (audio)
17. A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton**** (audio)
18. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley** (audio)
19. Feeding the Dragon by Sharon Washington*****(audio)

20. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman****1/2 (audio)
21. A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain**** (audio)
22. That Month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper**** (audio)
23. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton****
24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling****1/2
25. Elephant Company by Vicki Constantine Croke*****(audio)
26. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling****1/2
27. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling*****
28. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday**

29. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn **** (audio)
30. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert ****1/2
31. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai ***1/2
32. A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett ***1/2
33. Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns *

34. Book Towns: Forty-five Paradises of the Printed Word****
35. Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount****1/2
36. Tin Man by Sarah Winman ****1/2
37. In the Distance by Hernan Diaz ****1/2
38. The Pioneers by David McCullough ****1/2
39. A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith ****(audio)
40. The Mango Bride by Marvin Soliven ****
41. A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker **** (audio)
42. Honolulu by Alan Brennert *****

43. White Banners by Lloyd C. Douglas ****
44. Doc by Mary Doria Russell *****
45. Invitation to Live by Lloyd C. Douglas ***1/2
46. The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan****
47. Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell*****
48. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler*****

49. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent ****
50. In the Shadow of Death: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery by Deb Pines ***1/2
51. Art as a Way: A Return to the Spiritual Roots by Frederick Franck ***
52. Selected Prose of Robert Frost edited by Hyde Cox and Edward Connery Lathem ***
53. The Ensemble by Aja Gabel ***1/2
54. Geographic Influences in American History by Albert Perry Brigham***
55. A World Lost by Wendell Berry****
56. Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan****(audio)

57. Brookland by Emily Barton****
58. Andrew's Brain by E. L. Doctorow***1/2
59. Mother Tongue by Demetria Martinez ****
60. If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar *****
61. The Fourth Man by Howard Moody ***1/2
62. Among English Hedgerows by Clifton Johnson****
64. The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani***** (audio)
65. A Place in the Sun by Lois and Louis Darling ***

66. The Middle Heart by Bette Bao Lord****
67. A Women's Life by Susan Cheever****

Jun 28, 1:39pm Top

And now, welcome to my thread. I hope you'll visit often and leave lots of comments:)

Jun 28, 2:00pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba! You can change the title of your thread for a short period of time, probably less than 30 minutes.

Jun 28, 2:19pm Top

>5 kidzdoc: Hi Darry! Nice to see you and to have a message right away.

Do you know how to change the title? I tried everything I could think of within a seconds of posting but couldn't find any way to do it ;(

Jun 28, 3:33pm Top

Just edit your first message and you can also edit the title. But only up to 10 minutes after it's created, I think.

Happy new thread!

Jun 28, 8:45pm Top

>7 drneutron: Thank you Jim!! I'll try to remember that for next time.

Jun 28, 10:14pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba. I love the photo topper. How cute.

I can't wait to hear about your walk. How exciting. I would love to do something like that.

Jun 28, 11:12pm Top

Happy new thread!!

Jun 29, 6:36am Top

Thank you Beth and Kim!

Jun 29, 6:51am Top

Happy new thread, Reba! I love the tutus :-)

Jun 29, 8:30am Top

The tutus are just so so charming!

Your walk does sound great -- how many miles per day? Are you with an outfit that will move all your stuff from place to place? Does it have a theme? Roman stuff, literature, etc.

I've become a Time Team addict from reading first the Medicus books and now the Galloway mysteries (though I suppose it began when I was a young 'un with Rosemary Sutcliffe).

It is annoying indeed that the top header becomes fixed in superglue after a very short time -- I've never been quick enough to fix either, never notice a problem until it's too late.

Jun 29, 3:03pm Top

>12 susanj67: Thanks you Susan. Yes, I love the tutu's too. They're there for a week every year and I always smile when I see them but this is the first time I've thought to stop and take a photo.

>13 sibyx: Glad you like them Lucy :) We booked the walk through a company called Contours Ltd. They book the hotels and arrange to have the luggage moved (I would not be doing this if I had to have all my stuff on my back!!) We will walk 10 to 101/2 miles most days but there are a couple of days that are shorter and one that is 14 1/2 miles. There's no theme but the route is mostly along a canal tow path and then along the Avon. You can opt for rest days when ever you want and we've done two of those, not to rest but to sight-see. The first one was aimed to be able to visit Highclere Castle but it turns out it is closed the day we'll be there :(. Second one is just because the town looked interesting.

The top header was really annoying because I had been aware that it needed to change but didn't think about posting a message changing it. As soon as I hit the post button and saw what happened I tried to change it but I didn't know how. I've done this before and ... will probably do it again ... just hope I can remember how to fix it when I do.

Jun 29, 9:08pm Top

Happy New Thread, Reba. It's been overcast and muggy today but temps were only in the upper 70s so it wasn't unbearable--it's all the moisture from Alvin streaming over us.

Are there events upcoming this next week?

Jun 29, 11:06pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba.

Jun 30, 6:25am Top

Love the tutus too. I always wanted to do dance when I was a little girl, and it was totally the outfits that sold it to me - friends whose kids perform amaze me with the amount if hours the children (and their parents) spend involved. Although I still like the fancy outfits!

Will you be seeing many authors this year? I had a quick look on wikipedia not really knowing anything about Chatauqua and it sounds wonderful (and busy!)

Jun 30, 8:12am Top

Happy new thread, Reba! I *love* the tutu photo! So adorable.

Jun 30, 8:54am Top

>15 ronincats: Hi Roni. Sorry about the muggy...I hate that kind of weather. This week the highlights for me will be a play on Wednesday evening (The Christians) and the 4th of July when we will have a "pops" concert in the evening which ends with the 1812 Overture with the audience providing the canons by blowing-up and popping brown paper bags. Pure kitsch and I love it. There are fireworks all around the lake after that. Oh yes, and the student piano concerto competition finals at 4:00 this afternoon.

>16 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul.

>17 charl08: I'm glad you enjoyed the tutu's Charlotte. My Mom thought I should have dance lessons as a child so she took me to one each ballet, tap and modern. I didn't like any of them and she didn't make me continue. The only book that really called to me this year was Kindred but it's 40 years old and the author has died. We got a new person in charge of that program last year and I haven't been impressed so far. As to the rest of the program, yes, Chautauqua is wonderful and busy :) Did Wikipedia take you to CHQ.org -- that's the institution website and you can really see everything that's going on there.

>18 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. As a ballet mom you see (and make) a lot of cool costumes though.

Jun 30, 8:59am Top

>19 RebaRelishesReading: I've never made a tutu, but they always look so adorable on the wee little dancers. I did love helping out with the Nutcracker costumes last year, because they're all so beautiful, and it was fun to watch the production and be able to say, "Hey, I helped with that costume!"

Jun 30, 9:01am Top

>20 scaifea: I'll be that was fun :) (and then all of the very intricate costumes you make for Charlie for plays/dances/holidays, etc.)

Jun 30, 5:13pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba!

>14 RebaRelishesReading: Your walking holiday plan sounds good.

Jul 1, 12:59am Top

Happy new thread!

Jul 1, 2:38pm Top

Hi Anita and Rhonda! Thanks for stopping by :)

Edited: Jul 1, 2:42pm Top

We had a full house at the amphitheater this morning for our main speaker, (ex)Governor John Kasich. He's a most entertaining speaker and his main point was one I agree with. He said "all power comes from below" (not so sure that's always true but I would like to think so) so if you care about something work/fight for it (like that part for sure).

Jul 3, 8:55am Top

There was an ad in the Chautauqua Daily yesterday for a series of mysteries set here on the grounds. I think I'm going to have to try one of those. Quite honestly I'm not expecting much but just the setting should make it fun.

Jul 3, 9:59pm Top

>26 RebaRelishesReading: oh that sounds like great fun for you Reba.

If only John Kasich would run in the Republican primaries but that's too much to hope for or expect from a normal thinking Republican like him. Sigh.

Jul 5, 9:45am Top

>27 brenzi: Yes, I think it's "been there done that" for him. Flake is another one I think is a thoughtful, sane man. Even though I don't agree with either of them on many things I can respect them.

Edited: Jul 6, 9:22am Top

David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom was on the grounds yesterday. Appropriately he centered his remarks on Douglass' 4th of July speech. I have the book (at home) but haven't read it yet. Need to rescue that from Mt. TBR when I get home and get it read.

Jul 5, 2:49pm Top

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent****

Set in Iceland in 1829, Burial Rites is a fictionalized account of a woman sentenced to death for murdering her employer. I found it difficult to get into this book to begin with but it grew on me and will stay with me for a long while I think. It not only portrays the harsh life of rural Iceland in the 19th century but raises questions about guilt, murder, and the death sentence. A worthwhile read.

Jul 6, 12:52am Top

Happy new thread, Reba. That mystery series on the grounds sounds interesting.

Jul 6, 9:24am Top

>31 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg! I started it this morning but only got a few pages in before the laundry called. I think it's going to be fun, especially for those who know Chautauqua well.

Jul 6, 5:01pm Top

Happy new thread, Reba! I need to make time to read my copy of Burial Rites.

Jul 7, 3:37pm Top

>30 RebaRelishesReading: That one was definitely a good one!

Jul 7, 3:58pm Top

In the Shadow of Death: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery by Deb Pines***1/2

I couldn't resist when I found out there is a series of mysteries written by a Chautauqua and set at Chautauqua. It was a fun read, especially since I know the grounds and surroundings of Chautauqua so well and could easily see the action in my mind's eye (although toward the end one character is running from danger and chooses a route I don't think anyone who knew the grounds would take). I think there are four more in the series and I may try another but I'm not sure I'll read all four. A good beach read.

Jul 7, 3:59pm Top

Hi Darryl and Jim. Thanks for stopping by :) Glad you liked the book Jim. I found it hard to get into (but may just have been my mood) but ended up liking it a lot too.

Jul 7, 11:18pm Top

Hi Reba! Oh my gosh, I LOVE the tutus! Great thread topper.

Jul 8, 5:32pm Top

>37 AMQS: Thanks Anne :)

Edited: Jul 9, 9:33am Top

I generally don't wear t-shirts with slogans on them but this one keeps popping up and it's so apt and now it's on sale....

Jul 10, 10:33am Top

I like that t-shirt!

Jul 10, 4:25pm Top

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty***1/2

Nine people go to a spa for a "transformative experience" and get a bit more than they bargained for. The background stories of the individuals and their reactions to the programs at the spa are interesting. The "more than they bargained for" is an interesting twist. The end, however, was a bit too much in my opinion. I would have preferred it if the story had ended at the end of the spa stay, instead it followed the nine through the next few years. Up until the end, however, it kept me interested enough to keep me walking -- and that's actually the goal :)

Edited: Jul 10, 4:52pm Top

Happy Third Thread, Reba. I think we've all made that mistake at one time or another. I know I have. Ten minutes editing time is not enough.

>30 RebaRelishesReading: Yup, Burial Rites will be in your head a long time. I like Hannah Kent's books despite their gloomy subject matter. The Good People is another worthwhile book.

Jul 10, 8:42pm Top

>35 RebaRelishesReading: I really enjoy knowing the place where a book is set so that I can follow the action in the places that I remember.

Jul 11, 9:11am Top

>42 Donna828: Thanks Donna. I'll keep The Good People in mind.

>43 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I like to read books set in places I know and also in places where I'm traveling. It does bring them more to life.

Jul 11, 9:27am Top

>35 RebaRelishesReading: That does sound like fun, Reba. I do like mysteries that are set in familiar places.

>39 RebaRelishesReading: Yes, that is a must-have.

Jul 11, 4:18pm Top

>45 BLBera: Hi Beth! It was a fun read. No I'm not going to buy it but if it came as a post card I might frame it on my desk :)

Jul 11, 8:09pm Top

>39 RebaRelishesReading: Hmmmm, that's my job too Reba lol.

I also like Hannah Kent's dark nature.

Jul 12, 8:06am Top

>47 brenzi: Hi Bonnie!

Jul 16, 3:59pm Top

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel***1/2

The Van Ness is a string quartet composed of first violin Jana ("flinty, resilient leader", second violin Brit ("beautiful, quiet orphan"), violist Henry ("prodigy who's always had it easy") and cellist Daniel ("oldest, an angry skeptic who sleeps around"). We follow them from leaving the graduate school to mid-life through "failure and success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty". It's an interesting look at the life of professional musicians, of a group and of individuals growing into adulthood. I enjoyed it but wasn't riveted.

Jul 21, 3:31pm Top

A World Lost by Wendell Berry****

Andy Catlett is a 9 year-old boy enjoying summer on the family farm in Kentucky when disaster strikes. We follow him through a generally pleasant life until he is in late middle-age when he decides to learn more about the events of that long-ago time. Other than the tragedy lurking in the background this is a pleasant story of a content life well-lived and is a lovely, short read.

Jul 24, 1:33pm Top

Are you enjoying the time at your summer retreat, Reba? I hope the weather there is more pleasant than the heat dome we have been hearing about on the news.

Jul 24, 2:19pm Top

>51 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. Yes, we're having a good summer. Last week was a particularly good week from a programming point of view but the weather was horrible!! We had thunderstorms on Sunday night though and this week is lovely so far.

I'd been planning to post some phots and info about last week but haven't been able to get the photos together. Highlights were Richard Rohr who spoke 10 times during the week and was most interesting. We also had talks by Stacey Abrams and Astronaut Scott Kelly -- both great. One night the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Music School Festival Orchestra combined to form an amazing 164 piece orchestra to perform the Rites of Spring. Excellent.

There are fewer programs calling to me this week so I'm catching up on reading and enjoying the weather. Hope your summer is going well!

Edited: Jul 28, 5:00pm Top

Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan**** (audio)

This is another in a series of books set on Mur off the west coast of Ireland. I'm finding them particularly fun to read because we were on Mur last fall but the stories are also entertaining. In this one Flora finds she is pregnant but the timing is very poor. Her bakery/cafe is just getting off the ground and her relationship with Joel is better but he is still frightened of committal. Christmas is coming and things are hectic. A fun book for listening to while walking.

No idea why this cover is so big. I used my usual "150" with and then tried to tone it down by changing that to "50" -- it's still just as big!!

Jul 28, 6:04pm Top

At least I can see the image Reba ( really see it lol) not like on some threads where no images show at all. LT problems. Sounds like a fun audio.

Jul 29, 6:44pm Top

>52 RebaRelishesReading: Probably good timing if the programming was so good it kept you busy while the weather was poor. Enjoy your reading in the good weather, Reba.

Jul 31, 10:36am Top

>49 RebaRelishesReading: Hmm. I've been wondering about this one, Reba. I'll put it on the "maybe at some point" list.

Jul 31, 4:05pm Top

>54 brenzi: It was fun, Bonnie.

>55 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg -- It's hard not to stay busy here I'm afraid :)

>56 BLBera: "Maybe at some point" sound just about right, Beth.

Aug 2, 11:22pm Top

Brookland by Emily Barton****1/2

In the late 18th century a successful distiller of gin in Brooklyn decides that since he doesn't have a son and is unlikely to have one he will train his eldest daughter to take over the business. The story follows Prudence and her sisters Pearl and Temperance until 1822 as they cope with an unusual life of strong businesswomen. I selected the book because it is on the list of reading for the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

Aug 4, 12:02am Top

Andrew's Brain by E. L. Doctorow***1/2

Andrew is a scientist who studies brain function and who is also prone to accidents that cause harm to others or to his own life. In this book he is describing his past to someone he calls "doc" who seems to be his psychiatrist. The story is somewhat interesting but didn't really grab me like I thought it might. It does have an interesting twist at the end though.

Aug 4, 11:46am Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 4, 5:23pm Top

Thank you Chelle!

Aug 4, 11:10pm Top

Brookland sounds like something my book group might like.

Happy new thread, Reba!

Aug 5, 7:12pm Top

Ohhhh Brookland sounds like something I'd love Reba. Onto the list it goes.

Aug 5, 8:50pm Top

>58 RebaRelishesReading: That's cute - that a gin distiller calls his kid Temperance!

Aug 6, 8:26pm Top

>62 banjo123: I think there would be a lot for a group to discuss.

>63 brenzi: Ah yes, that ever growing list :)

>64 PaulCranswick: Yep and she goes on to help manage it :)

Aug 7, 2:29am Top

>39 RebaRelishesReading: Yay for the T-shirt and 9 Perfect Strangers!! And Brookland! I always come away with new books to find when I visit here. : )

Aug 7, 12:09pm Top

>58 RebaRelishesReading: This one has been on my shelf for years. Good to know it's a good one.

The Doctorow also sounds interesting.

Aug 7, 4:41pm Top

> 66 Hi Kim. I didn't buy the t-shirt, just wanted to share the sentiment :) Hope you're feeling better.

>67 BLBera: Hi Beth. Doctorow was interesting but I liked Brookland much better. Look forward to hearing how you think about it once it finds its way off your shelf :)

Aug 7, 4:46pm Top

Mother Tongue by Demetria Martinez****

A charming little book about a Mexican-American woman who helps to shelter a refugee from El Salvador. Written in 1994, this book is still very relevant and a very good read.

Aug 9, 4:54pm Top

Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya*****

A lovely but sad book about a woman from a family of modest means who is marries a kind young man who is a tenant farmer. The story follows their life together until he dies. They a experience heart-breaking level of poverty unknown in America and somehow manage to fight on and to hope. A difficult but lovely story.

Aug 10, 9:19pm Top

Reba, I'm always surprised by how much reading you are able to do while in Chautauqua. There always seems to be so many activities going on. I love hearing about the speakers that you've heard. How much longer will you be there?

Aug 13, 10:27am Top

Hi Donna -- "season" ends a week from Friday but we'll be around here (more or less) until Nov. 4. "More or less" because I'm going to England with a friend to do a walking trip from Sept. 7 to 26 and Hubby and I are going to New England, Quebec and Ontario for a couple of weeks after I get back but Chautauqua will be home base until we head west in November.

Aug 14, 8:45pm Top

>70 RebaRelishesReading: This one sounds good even if very sad Reba.Im adding it to my list.

Aug 15, 10:09am Top

>73 brenzi: Good morning Bonnie -- it is sad but excellent

Aug 16, 9:17am Top

Always intrigued by your reading when you are at Chatauqua. -- This last one reminds me of a novel I read long ago, set in Malaysia where a happy, but poor, little farm family (rice) are completely crushed when the father steps on a stick, gets an infection because there is no antibiotic (and even if there was he has to keep going in the water to work) and so he dies and so does pretty much everyone else -- maybe one young child, a boy, is taken by another family as he might be useful to them when he gets big enough. The girls? The mother? Done for.

Aug 16, 12:12pm Top

>75 sibyx: Hi Lucy. Good to see you. Your book sounds like a similarly sad story but the cause of the disaster that befalls the parents isn't the same. Mine were tenant farmers who lose the land.

My CHQ reading has taken a turn this year because they have created two new levels in the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle's Guide of the Seven Seals. That means I have to read a LOT more books from the CLSC list to be promoted and I can't resist new challenges/honors :) I've read most of the books from recent years' lists so I'm having to go back and find some (hopefully) good ones from 20th century lists.

Aug 17, 11:36pm Top

If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar*****

For some reason I've been reading a string of books set in India or about Indian people but this one is definitely the best of them. Tehmina is a 66 year-old Parsi Indian woman whose husband recently died unexpectedly. She has come to Ohio to stay with her son and daughter-in-law. They have asked her to move in with them but she is conflicted. She loves them and would like to be near them (and their young son) but she also misses "Bombay" and is hesitant to give up her apartment there and there are some stresses in the household that also make the decision difficult. I found this to be a lovely story of human relationships, changes, stresses and decision. Five star read for me.

Aug 18, 10:06am Top

Hi Reba!

Just a quick hello - congrats on so much good reading and attending cultural events.

Aug 18, 5:07pm Top

>78 karenmarie: Thank you Karen. It's been a good summer :)

Aug 18, 5:13pm Top

Reba, Benita, Bonnie, Sharon (with Roni's vase joining in)

It's been a good weekend. First Benita was in town and joined me in the Chautauqua choir then this afternoon Bonnie came down from Buffalo and Benita's friend, Sharon, came over and we all had lunch and much talk at our Chautauqua house. LTer's are such good people :)

Aug 18, 11:04pm Top

Ooh, meet-up picture, and my vase got to participate!!!

Aug 19, 5:19pm Top

We had a great lunch. Wonderful quiche, salad, and desert- all washed down by good western New York sparkling wine. Thanks to Bonnie, Reba, and Emory for a great afternoon of books and book talking - along with lots of other conversational topics - but mostly books.

Along with Librarything talk, Reba told me about the CLSC of which she is a member. CLSC = Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. This is one of America’s oldest continuous book clubs and I think that along with LT I want to be a member of this group. If you are interested in what it is you can check it out on their web site.

Edited: Aug 19, 5:32pm Top

>77 RebaRelishesReading:
I added If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar to by ever growing TBR list. I was surprised to see that it wasnt’t on there because I know I have read a review of it. I have Umrigar’s book Space Between Us on my shelves but have not read it yet. I will have to move it up on the list.

I also added Nectar in a Sieve because it sounds good.

Have you read the Ibis Trilogy by Amativ Gosh? Those are great books about India. I have read two of the three and have the third one on my book shelves and there it has languished.

Aug 19, 8:48pm Top

>80 RebaRelishesReading: Great meet-up pic. Looks like you all had a great time!

Aug 20, 4:29pm Top

>82 benitastrnad: It was great meeting you, Benita, and we thoroughly enjoyed the meet-up. I'm glad you're interested in joining CLSC. If you do, I'll come to your graduation :)

I'll be interested to hear what you think of Space Between if you read it before I do (no current plans but it does sound interesting). Nectar in a Sieve is good, but sad. I read Sea of Poppies many years ago but haven't read any others from Ghosh. Perhaps I should get back to him one of these days.

>84 figsfromthistle: It was a fun day!!

Aug 20, 8:30pm Top

Hi Reba, after some time has passed and you haven't read any books set in India for awhile, I highly recommend Paul Scott's four book series The Jewel in the Crown. I read it last year and loved every bit of it.

I actually met and talked to Amitav Ghosh when he was at UB a few years ago. It was a very informal setting with only about twenty people and I found him to be charming. He has a new book coming out soon but do read the rest of the Ibis Trilogy. I thought it was excellent.

Aug 20, 9:21pm Top

>86 brenzi:
I read the Paul Scott quartet when I was in library school. It took me months to read the first one. About 2 months to read the second. Two weeks to read the third and I think I stayed up all night a couple nights to read the last one in a few days.

I rarely keep the books I have read, but I kept all four of them. They are wonderful!

Aug 21, 9:57am Top

>86 brenzi:, >87 benitastrnad: OK, I'm sold. The Jewel in the Crown (was there a movie made from that?) and the rest of the trilogy are on the wish list. :)

Aug 21, 4:04pm Top

>88 RebaRelishesReading: There was a (rather good, I'm told) TV miniseries of The Jewel in the Crown - my parents watched and enjoyed it. I'm not much of one for TV, so I haven't. It's a Masterpiece Theater series, and it's on DVD.

There's also the movie The Jewel of the Nile - not at all the same thing! Fun, but not related. Silly adventure.

Aug 22, 9:35am Top

>89 jjmcgaffey: Right, I though I watched much of The Jewel in the Crown when it was originally broadcast

Aug 22, 9:48am Top

The Fourth Man by Howard Moody***1/2

Though written in 1964, this book still has some interesting thoughts on modern society. The "fourth man" comes from a 1952 book by Dutch historian, Hoekendijk who suggested the "fourth man" supersedes "Christian Man, the Renaissance individualist and the bourgeois moralist".

Aug 22, 11:01am Top

I watched the PBS series Jewel in the Crown before I read the books. They are what prompted me to read the books. Sort of like me trying to read the Poldark books after I started watching the series. The PBS Jewel in the Crown was actually a BBC production and it has some great performances in it. It is wonderful to watch.

I often think that the Booker Prize went to the wrong Paul Scott book and the committee knew it. It seems to me that the Booker prize he got was a reward for this body-of-work as those four books are really a fictionalized history of India from 1939 to 1948. The book for which he won the Booker Staying On is one I have not read. I have it on my TBR list, but haven't gotten there yet.

Aug 22, 7:42pm Top

I read Staying On and you're right Benita. It was weak in comparison to the Raj Quartet.

Aug 23, 1:56pm Top

When I get finished with my CLSC reading (50 books from now!!) I'll get back to my wish list and see about these two :)

Aug 23, 1:58pm Top

We saw the documentary Toni Morrison last night and recommend it for readers everywhere :)

Aug 24, 11:45am Top

Among English Hedgerows by Clifton Johnson*****

Written in 1899 this absolutely charming book is a report by an American about his travels in England. It includes many photos of village life and buildings taken on his trip.

Aug 24, 12:03pm Top

>80 RebaRelishesReading: Nice meet-up photo, Reba. I agree; LTers are good people. I've never had a bad meet up.

Aug 24, 9:55pm Top

Chautauqua winds down this weekend and I am sure that things will be much quieter around there. Maybe you can devote more time to reading now that the signing will be over.

Aug 26, 8:18am Top

>97 BLBera: I agree totally, Beth.

>98 benitastrnad: Hi Benita. Yep, the three gavels were tapped last night so it's officially over for 2019. We sang some beautiful pieces of music last night too. I've been getting a fair amount of CLSC reading done but hope to do more, as soon as our next house guest (arriving tomorrow) goes and before I leave for England :)

Edited: Aug 26, 3:06pm Top

The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani***** (audio)

Jaya, the daughter of Indian immigrants, is a successful journalist in New York City. Once happily married, her marriage is ending because of her inability to deal with her grief after having three miscarriages. When she learns that her mother's father is dying but neither her mother nor her mother's brothers are going to pay him a last visit, Jaya decides to go herself and ends up learning secrets about her family that help her better understand her troubled relationship with her mother and to better understand her self and deal with her grief. My favorite "India book" so far.

Aug 26, 9:39pm Top

>100 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba, well I guess you haven't really gotten tired of Indian literature after all. And this one sounds really good. Adding it to my Overdrive list.

Aug 27, 6:06pm Top

>100 RebaRelishesReading: Sounds good - I'll have a look for it here.

Aug 28, 8:48am Top

>101 brenzi: Hi Bonnie. I had been listening to this one for a while but, no, you're right I'm not tired yet :)

>102 charl08: Enjoy!

Aug 29, 10:05pm Top

I got a phone call from Sharon yesterday about Jared so went back and found the e-mail and read it. What a tragedy. Are you going to the memorial service?

Aug 30, 7:35am Top

>104 benitastrnad: Yes, we'll be there at 11 today. He was a lovely man and will be sorely missed both here and in San Diego.

For those who don't know what we're talking about, Jared Jacobson died in a car accident Tuesday afternoon. He was Chautauqua's Director of Music for 25 years, directing the choir and planning and executing the musical part of religious services at Chautauqua. He was also a virtuoso on the organ, master of the two largest outdoor organs in the world, the Massey at Chautauqua and the Sprekels in San Diego (where he was Civic Organist before he came to Chautauqua). He also taught music at Bishop's School in La Jolla, CA. Most importantly, however, he was just a super nice man! I am comforted though by remembering how happy he was Sunday evening at our last "performance" for this season. The Massy had a tough year in 2018 starting with water damage from leaking pipes over the winter and ending with a fire in the control board on the final Sunday. This year the organ was restored and working perfectly and the choir was singing well. He told the choir staff that it had been his best season EVER at Chautauqua -- and given that he had been here every summer for 65 years (since he was 5) that says quite a lot!

RIP Jared. We will miss you.

Aug 30, 10:52am Top

That is so sad. He sounds as though he was a great person.

So happy you had a great LT meet-up. How I wish I had been there!

Aug 30, 3:49pm Top

>105 RebaRelishesReading: How terribly sad Reba. What a loss.

Aug 31, 11:32am Top

>106 sibyx: and >107 brenzi: Thanks for your words. It is pretty sad around here right now.

Sep 1, 3:56pm Top

The Middle Heart by Bette Bao Lord****

This is the story of three childhood friends, the second son of an aristocrat, his servant/"book mate" and the son of a grave digger. We follow them, and China's history, from 1919 to 1989 as they experience Japanese occupation, civil war, and the Cultural Revolution. It's a rather complicated story, of course, but engaging and worthwhile.

Sep 2, 3:09pm Top

A Woman's Life: the story of an Ordinary American and Her Extraordinary Generation by Susan Cheever****

Quoting the book jacket: "Turning the idea of celebrity biography inside out, Susan Cheever explores the heart and mind of her generation with this powerful true story of the life of an ordinary woman whose experiences as a wife, mother, lover, teacher, and friend are a fascinating prism for readers of any generation."

Written in 1994, this book explores the changes experienced in the role and lives of women of the early baby-boom years as they reach middle-age. Her main character was born in 1947 and since I was born in late-1946 I could easily identify with the story. No surprises here but an interesting walk through the world of the first half of my life.

Sep 3, 12:48pm Top

Bette Bao Lord is famous among children's authors. She wrote Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson and it is a book kids love to read. Glad to see that somebody is still reading her works. Anyway, that title is book bullet for me.

Sep 3, 12:56pm Top

Please tell Imre that I looked up his dissertation this morning in ProQuest's Dissertations and Theses. (That is the old Dissertations Abstracts) I found AMERICAN IMAGES OF CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE, 1800-1890 listed there. Unfortunately, it is not in full text, so I would have to request the dissertation through Inter-Library Loan. It is always good to see Kansas alumni work.

Sep 3, 3:01pm Top

>111 benitastrnad:
I'm reading things from the CLSC list now, madly working on the new levels they've added. I've finished the first (which will be awarded next summer) and have made a start on the second. Because of that I'm reading a lot of things from the past.

>112 benitastrnad:
I passed your message on :)

Sep 3, 6:58pm Top

What is involved in this CLSC Reba? Do you just read the books or is there, idk, an evaluation of some sort. And when do you go for your long walk?

Sep 4, 9:06am Top

>114 brenzi: In the early 20th century when CLSC began there were tests on the books but that ended fairly early and no you just read them and report that you did (totally honor system). I just completed the 5th level but still have 40+ to go for the final one. Until this year there were only 4 levels and I finished that a few years ago. They had talked about adding levels for a long time but in such a joking way I didn't think it would happen so was taken by surprise when they actually did it. I don't really know why I get so involved in this sort of thing but there's just something about lists and challenges (and patches :>) that I have a hard time resisting.

I leave for London on Saturday and we will starting walking on Tuesday. I'm not as ready has I had planned/hoped to be but I keep telling myself I can do it. I'll try to post our progress.

Sep 4, 4:27pm Top

I also want to see your progress - when you get around to doing so. I imagine that it may be hard to get to your laptop everyday. Pictures would be appreciated as well.

Daryl and Joe & Debi have already gone and should be in London by now.

Sep 4, 5:22pm Top

>116 benitastrnad: Yes, I think so. Too bad our visits don't overlap. I'll do my best with reporting. I won't hav my laptop with me but I will have my iPad and phone and hope I can do something that way.

Sep 4, 5:40pm Top

Hi Reba, I also love books set in India, my favorite being A Fine Balance. You got me with two book bullets: If Today Be Sweet and The Storyteller’s Secret.

I’m so sorry about the loss of your choir director friend. I hope his family and friends take comfort in his completion of the Chautauqua season.

I hope you get to post your progress on your walking tour of England. I’ll be with you in spirit as I walk my daily 10,000 steps, though I suspect you will be doing many more. Have fun!

Sep 5, 10:22am Top

>118 Donna828: Hi Donna! I think you'll enjoy the two BB's (hope so!)

I'm going to change the tutu's to a map of the walk tomorrow and I think I'll be able to post most days as we go. I've been a total sloth the past week or so, however, and I'm starting to worry that I may regret it on Tuesday when we actually start the walk.

Sep 5, 6:54pm Top

I think you will have a great time! The UK is a great place for walkers and apparently they take their walking seriously. Sharon and a friend of hers walked along the South West Coastal Way back in the middle 1990's. It proved to be much more hilly than she thought it would be. However, she said that she couldn't believe how cooperative landowners were in allowing people to hike across their land.

I read somewhere that England has more National Walking Paths than any other country in Europe. I find that hard to believe as France and Germany have these kinds of trails as well. I know that the Germans are passionate about their walking, hiking, and biking trails. I do think that the Europeans know how to do this kind of trip and that they do it very well. I am sure that you will get along fine.

Sep 5, 8:39pm Top

I have a friend who is originally from the UK and goes back there from October to April every year and talks about walking the National Walking Paths. You'll do fine Reba. It's not a race or anything so just set a pace you can maintain and have fun, above all. I'm rooting for you.

Sep 6, 3:18pm Top

Thank you Benita and Bonnie!! i need that encouragement :) We booked this trip over a year ago and it's hard to believe it's finally here but my flight is tomorrow afternoon so that is getting pretty real!

I've posted a blurry map of our route above and I hope to post photos/reports as we go along.


Sep 7, 1:24am Top

Safe travels, Reba. Enjoy your walking trip!

Sep 7, 6:48am Top

Have a good flight, Reba! See you soon :-)

Sep 7, 9:09am Top

>123 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg!

>124 susanj67: and you too, Susan. Looking forward to seeing you :)

Sep 7, 11:05am Top

Safe travels, Reba.

The Storyteller's Secret sounds like a good one. I also like books set in and about India.

Sep 7, 11:27am Top

Hope the walk goes well, Reba. I like Bristol, hope you have some time to check out the sights (although thinking about it, you are far more used to being on the sea than me , so maybe will seem quite small compared to SD).

Sep 8, 5:02am Top

Have a great time in Blighty, Reba! I'm sorry that Debbi, Joe and I will have left by the time you arrive in London.

Sep 8, 12:08pm Top

Have a wonderful trip!!!!

Edited: Sep 11, 3:09pm Top

Thank you Beth, Charlotte, Darryl and Lucy. I’m also sorry you’re leaving before we get to London, Darryl. We actually spend two nights in Bristol, walking from the north,eastern edge, ( I think) to the center on our last day but we decided to head into London once the walk is finished.

We’ve been in Reading since we arrived on Sunday. Today we took the bus to Henley, which is a lovely town. Visited the river museum there enjoying the lovely display of boats and a nicely done Wind and Willows exhibit.

Tomorrow is the big day! After breakfast we will set out on the Kennet Avon Canal for our first, 10-mile leg. Reality time 😬

Sep 10, 6:10pm Top

Good luck Reba! You'll do great. Keep us posted.

Sep 11, 3:08pm Top

Thank you Bonnie. I appreciate the support🙂

We knew it would be a challenge! Our walk today was scheduled to be 10.5 miles not counting the walks from last nights hotel to the path and from the path to tonight’s hotel— hotel to hotel the walk was 13.75 miles! (Or 34,920 steps). I was too tired to have anything but soup for dinner but now I’ve had a long hot shower and am propped up in a very comfortable bed. Tomorrow is 9 miles on the path plus we’ll see how much more.

Sep 12, 10:28am Top

I took the time today to look up the Kennet Avon Canal and was surprised to find out that there are lots of these kinds of walking paths. Some of them are rated as strenuous and others are easy. There is even a government trust to administer these paths and maintain them. How wonderful for the residents and tourists of England. In my Internet wanderings I did notice that the mileage posted for segments did not include the walking to and from the hotels each day. Sounds like that adds some steps to the trip.

Was your luggage waiting for you? Sounds like the B&B is great.

Sep 12, 10:32am Top

Safe and fun travels, Reba!

Sep 12, 2:26pm Top

>133 benitastrnad:. It sure does! Today’s 9 miles turned into over 12. Y feet hurt and I’m tired. We’re in a pleasant guest house Newbury tonight and tomorrow night (rest day tomorrow and I really need it):

>134 karenmarie: Thanks Karen.

I tried to post a photo and got it into my photo gallery ok but can’t figure out how to copy the image address on my iPad. Help anyone?

Sep 12, 7:22pm Top

>135 RebaRelishesReading: I've been trying to figure that out for a couple of years Reba with no success..I'll go look at your gallery.

Sep 12, 9:27pm Top

Tim Spaulding told me a year ago that they were going to have to start cracking down on the use of photographs due to copyright violations. That was why they created Litzy. It is much easier to upload photographs into that than on LT.

Over on one of the other threads somebody said that they couldn’t upload book covers either.

I have never figured out how to get photographs into LT so I am not sure how it works.

Sep 13, 6:18am Top

>136 brenzi: that will take care of it Bonnie

>137 benitastrnad: It’s not that important, Benita and I don’t do Litzy.

We’re having a well-earned rest day today. Plan to take a taxi to a pub for liner and let our sore feet rest.

Sep 13, 7:22pm Top

>135 RebaRelishesReading: I never got the hang of posting pics from my ipad either
I can only do it from my computer

Sep 13, 9:37pm Top

>139 ChelleBearss:
All I have is an iPad, so maybe that is why I couldn’t get it to work. Glad to know it is the stupid machine and not me that is the problem.

Edited: Sep 16, 2:20pm Top

We've walked 66.5 miles so far and are in Devizes tonight. This was day 5 of 10 days walking but the day after tomorrow is a rest day ( whew) so we won’t get to the end of the canal until Saturday afternoon.

Sep 16, 5:05pm Top

>141 RebaRelishesReading: That is a vast amout of walking, Reba!
I hope your feet are coping ;-)

Edited: Sep 18, 2:56am Top

>142 FAMeulstee:. They’re sore but my walking partner and good friend packs them up for me each morning so they’re OK. Rest day today in beautiful Bradford-on-Avon where, for the first time in a week, I have a comfortable chair! I sat and read for hours last evening—bliss.

75 3/4 miles now. Six walking days done, three to go.

Sep 18, 2:41pm Top

Good luck with the rest of the walk, Reba. You've been at it a long time. I thought that your walk was about as long as my trip to NY but you are there a lot longer than I was away. We though 26,000 plus steps was a great achievement in a day. 34,000 would be so much harder. Good on you!

Today, 2:26am Top

>144 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg, Thanks for the encouragement! We’re almost there! Tomorrow afternoon we will reach the end of the canal having walked about 100 miles. It will be 11 days since we started - 9 walking and 2 resting - then we’re off to London to play for a few days before we fly home on Thursday. It’s been a fun challenge.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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