TalkKidzdoc Reads Black Male Writers for Our Time in 2019, Chapter 6
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Jericho Brown, one of The New York Times's Black Male Writers for Our Time, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1976. He earned a bachelor's degree at Dillard University, a historically black university in New Orleans, a MFA at the University of New Orleans, and a PhD at the University of Houston. He has taught at the University of Houston, San Diego State University, and the University of Houston, along with the Iowa Summer Writing Festival at the University of Iowa. Since 2012 he has taught at Emory University in Atlanta, where he is the Winship Distinguished Research Professor in Creative Writing and the director of the Creative Writing Program.
Dr Brown was the recipient of a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2009-10, a fellowship for poetry by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2011, and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2016. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. His poetry collection Please won the American Book Award in 2009, and The New Testament won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2015.
His latest book is The Tradition, which was published earlier this year:
Beauty abounds in Jericho Brown’s daring new poetry collection, despite and inside of the evil that pollutes the everyday. The Tradition questions why and how we’ve become accustomed to terror: in the bedroom, the classroom, the workplace, and the movie theater. From mass shootings to rape to the murder of unarmed people by police, Brown interrupts complacency by locating each emergency in the garden of the body, where living things grow and wither—or survive. In the urgency born of real danger, Brown’s work is at its most innovative. His invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is an all-out exhibition of formal skill, and his lyrics move through elegy and memory with a breathless cadence. Jericho Brown is a poet of eros: here he wields this power as never before, touching the very heart of our cultural crisis.
Jericho Brown will appear at this year's Decatur Book Festival just east of Atlanta on September 1st, and I will attend his talk and buy his newest book.
Lisbon Tales, edited by Helen Constantine
Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson
The Tradition by Jericho Brown
1. Happiness by Aminatta Forna
2. The Queen of Harlem by Brian Keith Jackson
3. My Struggle: Book Three by Karl Ove Knausgaard
4. The Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World, Part 1 by Livraria Lello
5. The Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World, Part 2 by Livraria Lello
6. An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden by Mary Schmidt Campbell
7. Survive FBT: Skills Manual for Parents Undertaking Family Based Treatment (FBT) for Child and Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa by Maria Ganci
8. Spring by Karl Ove Knausgaard
9. Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar
10. Hardheaded Weather by Cornelius Eady
11. Mind on Fire: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery by Arnold Thomas Fanning
12. Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee
13. Juice! by Ishmael Reed
14. The Face: Strangers on a Pier by Tash Aw
15. Indian Instant Pot Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre
16. The Moor’s Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End by Elizabeth Drayson
17. Second Lives, Second Chances: A Surgeon's Stories of Transformation by Donald R. Laub
18. The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
19. The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán
20. Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney
21. Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi
22. The Face: Cartography of the Void by Chris Abani
23. Queen of the Sea: A History of Lisbon by Barry Hatton
24. Small Island (NHB Modern Plays) by Andrea Levy
25. The Firm by Roy Williams
26. Lanny by Max Porter
27. Lord of All the Dead by Javier Cercas
28. Picasso: An Intimate Portrait by Olivier Widmaier Picasso
29. True Remarkable Occurrences by John Train
30. Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
31. Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey by Robert G. O'Meally
32. Now and at the Hour of Our Death by Susana Moreira Marques
33. My Struggle: Book Four by Karl Ove Knausgaard
34. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
35. Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
36. The Secret River (NHB Modern Plays) by Kate Grenville
37. Typical (Oberon Modern Plays) by Ryan Calais Cameron
38. Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
39. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
40. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
41. The Doctor by Robert Icke
42. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
43. Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler
44. An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
45. Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate Our Shared Humanity by Barbara Abdeni Massaad
46. Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson
Black Male Writers for Our Time
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black✅
Jeffery Renard Allen: Song of the Shank
Jamel Brinkley: A Lucky Man
Jericho Brown: The Tradition
Marcus Burke: Team Seven
Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflections
Cornelius Eady: Hardheaded Weather✅
Percival Everett: Wounded
Nelson George: City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success
James Hannaham: Delicious Foods
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Brian Keith Jackson: The Queen of Harlem✅
Major Jackson: Roll Deep
Mitchell S. Jackson: Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
Tyehimba Jess: Olio
Robert Jones, Jr.: The Prophets
Randall Kenan: A Visitation of Spirits
*Yusef Komunyakaa: The Chameleon Couch
Rickey Laurentiis: Boy with Thorn
*Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom
*James McBride: The Good Lord Bird
Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor
Reginald McKnight: He Sleeps
*Dinaw Mengestu: All Our Names
Fred Moten: The Service Porch
Gregory Pardlo: Digest
Rowan Ricardo Phillips: Heaven
*Darryl Pinckney: Black Deutschland✅
Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down✅
*Ishmael Reed: Juice!✅
Roger Reeves: King Me
Maurice Carlos Ruffin: We Cast a Shadow
Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead
Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys✅
Phillip B. Williams: Thief in the Interior
De'Shawn Charles Winslow: In West Mills
George C. Wolfe: The Colored Museum
*Kevin Young: Book of Hours
Literature from the African Diaspora
Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa
Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett
The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah
That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
The Drift Latitudes by Jamal Mahjoub
The Emigrants by George Lamming
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
Foreign Gods, Inc. by Okey Ndibe
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
Happiness by Aminatta Forna ✅
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ladivine by Marie NDiaye
Maps by Nuruddin Farah
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Rotten Row by Petina Gappah
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
Nonfiction from the African Diaspora
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Beyond Black and White: From Civil Rights to Barack Obama by Manning Marable
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
BRIT(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch
Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith
Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil by W.E.B. Du Bois
Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
Going to Meet the Man by James Baldwin
If They Come in the Morning … : Voices of Resistance, edited by Angela Y. Davis
In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture by K. Anthony Appiah
Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole
Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou
The Lights of Pointe-Noire by Alain Mabanckou
More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs from the African Diaspora
Aké: The Years of Childhood by Wole Soyinka
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey
I Never Had it Made by Jackie Robinson
The Last Holiday: A Memoir by Gil Scott-Heron
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Mingus Speaks by John F. Goodman
Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim by Justin Gifford
Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson by Wil Haygood
Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire
Recommended Black American Women Authors
Toni Cade Bambara
Octavia E. Butler
Bridgett M. Davis
Zora Neal Hurston
Tracy K. Smith
Iberian Literature and Nonfiction
The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective by Simon Harris
The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
The Dolls' Room by Llorenç Villalonga
Fado Alexandrino by António Lobo Antunes
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago
The Inquisitors' Manual by António Lobo Antunes
Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina
Lord of All the Dead by Javier Cercas✅
The Moor's Last Stand: How Seven Centuries of Muslim Rule in Spain Came to an End by Elizabeth Drayson✅
The New Spaniards by John Hooper
Now and at the Hour of Our Death by Susana Moreira Marques
Obabakoak by Bernardo Atxaga
Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra
Queen of the Sea: A History of Lisbon by Barry Hatton✅
Things Look Different in the Light by Medardo Fraile
What's Up with Catalonia? by Liz Castro
The Word Tree by Teolinda Gersão
The Yellow Rain by Julio Llamazares
2019 Booker Prize Longlist:
Margaret Atwood (Canada), The Testaments
Kevin Barry (Ireland), Night Boat to Tangier
Oyinkan Braithwaite (UK/Nigeria), My Sister, The Serial Killer
Lucy Ellmann (USA/UK), Ducks, Newburyport
Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Girl, Woman, Other
John Lanchester (UK), The Wall
Deborah Levy (UK), The Man Who Saw Everything
Valeria Luiselli (Mexico/Italy), Lost Children Archive
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), An Orchestra of Minorities
Max Porter (UK), Lanny
Salman Rushdie (UK/India), Quichotte
Elif Shafak (UK/Turkey), 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
Jeanette Winterson (UK), Frankissstein
2019 Man Booker International Prize Longlist:
+Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi (Oman), translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth (Sandstone Press) ✅
Love in the New Millennium by Can Xue (China), translated by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen (Yale University Press)
*The Years by Annie Ernaux (France), translated by Alison Strayer (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
At Dusk by Hwang Sok-yong (South Korea), translated by Sora Kim-Russell (Scribe)
Jokes for the Gunmen by Mazen Maarouf (Iceland and Palestine), translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Granta)
Four Soldiers by Hubert Mingarelli (France), translated from French by Sam Taylor (Granta)
*The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann (Germany), translated by Jen Calleja (Serpent’s Tail)
Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina and Italy), translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell (Oneworld)
The Faculty of Dreams by Sara Stridsberg (Sweden), translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner (Quercus)
*Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
*The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia), translated from Spanish by Anne McLean (MacLehose Press) ✅
The Death of Murat Idrissi by Tommy Wieringa (Netherlands), translated by Sam Garrett (Scribe)
*The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán (Chile and Italy), translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes (And Other Stories) ✅
Medicine, Illness and Public Health
AIDS at 30: A History by Victoria A. Harden
An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine by Howard Markel
Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains One of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries by Molly Caldwell Crosby
Bedlam: London and Its Mad by Katharine Arnold
Death in a Small Package: A Short History of Anthrax by Susan D. Jones
Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders by Dan Bortolotti
Jonas Salk: A Life by Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr
The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor
Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine by Andrew Scull
Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors & Lunatics by Roy Porter
The Man Who Closed the Asylums: Franco Basaglia and the Revolution in Mental Health Care by John Foot
Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder by David Healy
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern Plagues by Martin J. Blaser, MD
The Price of Silence: A Mom's Perspective on Mental Illness by Liza Long
Proper Doctoring: A Book for Patients and Their Doctors by David Mendel
States of Mind: Experiences at the Edge of Consciousness by Wellcome Collection
Voices of Color/Social Justice
Al' America: Travels Through America's Arab and Islamic Roots by Jonathan Curiel
Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones
A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery by E. Benjamin Skinner
Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America by Tiny, aka Lisa Gray-Garcia
To Die in Mexico: Dispatches from Inside the Drug War by John Gibler
Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid by Joseph Nevins
The Ethics of Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America, edited by Rubén G. Rumbaut and Alejandro Portes
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
For the Muslims: Islamophobia in France by Edwy Plenel
A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America by Óscar Martínez
The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah
How Does it Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi
Howard Zinn on Race by Howard Zinn
Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation by Ray Suarez
Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of the U.S. South by Mary E. Odem
The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror by Arun Kundnani
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture by Hisham D. Aidi
Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties by Karen L. Ishizuka
Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques
Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones
What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam by John L. Esposito
Who Are We: And Should It Matter in the Twenty-First Century? by Gary Younge
2019 Wellcome Book Prize longlist:
*Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee ✅
Astroturf by Matthew Sperling
Educated by Tara Westover
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
*Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar ✅
*Mind on Fire by Arnold Thomas Fanning ✅
*+Murmur by Will Eaves
*My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Polio: The Odyssey of Eradication by Thomas Abraham
Sight by Jessie Greengrass
*The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein
This Really Isn’t About You by Jean Hannah Edelstein
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Book of Hours: Poems by Kevin Young
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
A Lucky Man: Stories by Jamel Brinkley
Medieval Bodies by Jack Hartnell
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry✅
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
The Wall by John Lanchester
Happy New Thread!
>14 Ameise1: Thanks, Barbara! It's currently 95 F (35 C) at half five in the afternoon, and it's supposed to be at least that warm the next two days. Fortunately I have a robust A/C system, which is essential for those of us who live in the Deep South of the US, so I'm very comfortable at home.
I'm busy moving house and trying to establish where all the books are going to go so I may not be so active for a few days. Hani will come back to a new home and will then promptly rearrange all the furniture.
>21 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda! I was too pooped to go to the supermarket this morning, so I'll go early tomorrow, after my biweekly appointment with my barber. I haven't decided what to make yet, although I'll probably use the chicken thighs in my freezer to make either Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad or Avocado Chicken Salad. I'll probably make another tortilla as well, to have as a side when I cook fish with avocado or Brussels sprouts during the work week. I wouldn't rule out trying a new recipe, but since I slept most of this day away that probably won't happen.
>24 ronincats: Thanks, Roni!
>25 PaulCranswick: Ha! Breast meat is, in general, too dry for my liking, and given a choice I'll always select thighs or drumsticks. However, I did run across an easy recipe for cooking chicken breasts several years ago that makes them much more palatable to me:
1. Preheat over to 450 F (230 C).
2. Lighly coat breasts with salt, pepper and olive oil.
3. Place breasts on cooking tray lined with aluminum foil.
4. Cook for 10 minutes on each side, 1-2 minutes more for larger breasts.
Jeez Louise, how did I not know about Jericho Brown? Even for an enthusiast, it's hard to keep up with all the good new poets out there. I must have read him along the way, with all the places he's been published. Anyway, I'll fix my ignorance. Thanks for highlighting him.
>31 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! The chicken breasts prepared by most individuals and restaurants are too dry for my liking, and I prefer the ones I make with that very simple recipe (I should have mentioned that the breasts I cook are skinless and boneless ones).
I returned home from my hair cut and visits to Publix, Walgreen's and Whole Foods about 45 minutes ago, so I'm all set. My barber and I talked about what each of us was going to cook today; his wife is working, so he has the cooking duties. He liked my idea of having Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes with the salmon that he planned to cook for him and his son. I thought that I would do the same this week, but I forgot to add sweet potatoes to my shopping list, so I'll make a tortilla de patatas con cebollas, along with the two cold soups, this afternoon. I'll post photos and recipes of the soups when they are ready, and I should probably do so for the Avocado Chicken Salad. Now that I've finished breakfast I'll read the Sunday NYT and AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), and start cooking within the next hour or two.
ETA: I'm proud that, possibly for the first time, I bought a full load of groceries and other items during one of my typical Sunday morning supermarket runs, and didn't purchase any meats!
Don't feel bad about not knowing about Jericho Brown. He's been a professor at Emory for the past seven years, and considering that it's my residency alma mater (even though medical residents and fellows don't earn degrees we are still considered alumni of the universities if the programs are affiliated with them) and the campus is at most a 15 minute drive from home you'd think I would have already heard of him, but I don't think I did until the NYT article "Black Male Writers for Our Time" came out last year. I'm certain that I've not read anything by him, as it would be hard to forget his fabulous first name! One of my best buddies from my years studying (Creole women) at Tulane, Karl Doss (who was much more studious than I), is also from Shreveport, so I'll have to ask him if he's heard of him.
It is always a pleasure to browse though your lists at the top of your thread.
My reading output has been zilch since I left Philadelphia 1-1/2 weeks ago, and with a seven day work week coming up I'll be fortunate to finish one book by next Sunday. Fortunately I'll have plenty of down time after my last shift next Sunday, as I only have one back up shift over a 3-1/2 week stretch starting the Monday after next, and I'll spend a good chunk of that time in the company of LTers, in Atlanta and Decatur for the Decatur Book Festival during Labor Day weekend, and in London for two weeks in early August. It looks as though I'll also be off from work from October 1-13, and if that holds I'll return to Lisbon then, especially if D. (deebee1) is in town.
I suppose that I could write a review of Soup for Syria, now that I've tried (and loved) four soups contained in it, and will make a fifth one (Pea Soup with Mint) very shortly. Besides supporting a worthy cause, aid for Syrian refugees in humanitarian camps, and being filled with amazing soups by leading chefs and cookbook authors, it's a visually stimulating book, with color photos of Syrian children and adults in the camps. It easily earns 5 stars from me, and it will likely be the cookbook that I get the most use out of, as I'm terminally addicted to soup. I'll write a formal review of it later today, with photos of the soups I've made, including Red Beet Gazpacho last Sunday, Avocado, Mint & Cucumber Soup on Wednesday, both of which are chilled soups and are therefore perfect for summer, and the Pea Soup with Mint I'll start making after I catch up here.
>39 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!
>40 FAMeulstee: Ooh, I wish that was so, Anita! I'll cut back from a 0.8 to a 0.7 FTE (FTE = full time equivalent), so I'll work 70% of what we've decided is full time. Hardly anyone in my group actually works a 1.0 FTE, with most working from 0.6 to 0.8 FTE, and since a couple of my newer partners want to increase their FTE this may happen very quickly, which would be great if I can drop my hours in advance of our busy autumn and winter months.
>41 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! I'll listen to that list while I'm making lunch.
>42 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! I haven't picked up Black and British for several weeks, due to my unexpectedly busy summer work schedule. I hope to get back to it the week after next.
>44 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. This weekend and last have been too short, as I spent both Saturdays either sleeping or brain dead and too tired to do anything useful, other than cook and do necessary household chores. Fortunately that will change in two weekends, when I'll spend it in the company of LTers and my local book loving friends at the Decatur Book Festival just east of Atlanta.
>45 weird_O: Thanks, Bill.
>46 bell7: Thanks, Mary. You have it right; my August reading plans are far too ambitious, and if I get to half of the books on that list I'll be happy.
I'm not making much headway on this year's Booker long list although I'm currently reading Lost Children Archive and it's quite engaging. So many of the books are simply not yet available here in the U.S.
As you know, I'm serving as interim executive director of our student health services. I'm learning a lot about administration in a medical setting and of course this is imbedded in the context of higher ed so it has additional nuances and vagaries. As I also know you know, the intricacies of compliance with regulations, medicaid rules, etc. are never ending. They consume an incredible number of hours just figuring them out, updating policies and protocols. We have a lot of work ahead of us in the coming year. :-|
I hope the Decatur Book Festival is fun. It gives me the idea of taking in several book festivals (around the world??) after I retire in three years (minus one day). :-D
When you're thinking about fall travel, you might want to consider a NYC trip when MoMA re-opens and this play is on stage.
Finished Elderhood while on a brief trip. It is quite good, though a bit repetitive at times.
It is great fun to have LT meet ups and I want to thank you for encouraging all of us to meet up with people who are LT’ers no matter where they are in the world. I know that I come nowhere near to you in the numbers of LT’ers you have met over the years, but it is great to meet and talk with people face to face about books and bookish things. Thanks Daryl for reporting on your meet ups and your trips.
Kay (RidgewayGirl) will come to town to attend this year's Decatur Book Festival tomorrow, and we'll go to the High Museum of Art in the afternoon and have dinner in a new Turkish restaurant that I've been eager to try. We'll spend all day Saturday and Sunday at the book festival, weather permitting. I'll report on the author talks I attend this weekend or early next week.
I am in a complete rut in terms of my reading, and I hope that being in London will get me going again. I was starting to make progress in 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak, but I left my copy of it in the car of my partner who I met for dinner and Tuesday's Atlanta United match against Minnesota United. I probably won't see Nisha before I leave town, so I'll start reading An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma later today.
My summer reading has been abysmal so far, but I hope that my upcoming nearly four full weeks in Europe will serve as a jump start. The Booker Prize shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, on the day I leave for London, and I'll focus on finishing those six books before the winner is announced. I'm still high on this year's longlist, but my motivation to read anything has been as low as it's ever been, along with my concentration.
I didn't know that you were the interim executive director of student health services at Wazzu. Congratulations (I think)! Good luck in the upcoming school year.
We had a blast during last year's Decatur Book Festival, and even though this year's lineup isn't as compelling to me as last year's was there are still plenty of authors who I'm eager to see. Other than Kay I'm not sure if anyone else from LT is actually going, and I'm hopeful that a few of my partners will be there as well.
Ooh, retirement in three years! That sounds great. I hope to hang up my stethoscope for good by 2026, and hopefully much sooner than that.
See you soon!
>52 EBT1002: Excellent, Ellen! Jericho Brown is giving a poetry reading on Sunday afternoon at the Decatur Book Festival, and I plan to go. Nearly all of the festival's events are free and tickets aren't required, and since there is another talk that I'm interested in going to during that time slot I may choose to go to that other one instead.
>53 ELiz_M: Thanks, Liz! My parents are doing well; thanks for asking. I hope that you're having a good summer.
Thanks for letting me know about the reinactment of For Colored Girls... at the Public Theater. There is a chance that I may be in the area in mid November, although I'll probably take my remaining week of vacation in December, so that I can see my parents in that month. I'll probably see them during Thanksgiving, but I'll likely work the five days that surround Christmas, as I usually do. Hopefully I can visit NYC during one of those visits and meet up with you again.
>55 benitastrnad: That sounds like a great meetup in Chautauqua, Benita; I'm glad that you were able to go. I'll look for photos later today.
Are you coming to Decatur this weekend? Kay and I are definitely going, but I'm not sure who else is.
LT meetups are the best!
Unfortunately the five of us didn't arrive until the 25th minute of the match, and by that time Atlanta United was already ahead 2-0. The score stayed that way until early in the second half, when Minnesota United struck gold in the 47th minute, narrowing Atlanta's lead to 2-1. The rest of the match was a tense and chippy affair, which was sullied by the worst referee I've ever seen officiate a MLS match, and after Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Atlanta United's best defender, was sent off with a questionable red card after a foul in the 74th minute the home club had to play with 10 men for the remainder of the match. Most of the last 20+ minutes after LGP was red carded was spent in Atlanta United's half of the pitch, and despite several good opportunities, including a point blank strike deep into stoppage time that sailed harmlessly over the crossbar, Atlanta United held on for a 2-1 win and claimed the 106th U.S. Open Cup, which is the United States's equivalent of England's FA Cup and Spain's Copa del Rey, and is awarded to the best football club in this country, regardless of division.
Some photos from the match:
The upper level of the stadium wasn't opened for this match, which fell on a school night, and it was covered by large drapes. Kayla was disappointed that the 300 level wasn't opened, but that was a good move, as only 35,700+ fans were in attendance, which was one of the smallest crowds of the season:
Two photos of our happy crew after the match:
I just finished Jericho Brown's Please Poems, and liked it. I'll be looking for more by him.
I'm quite taken right now by a collection titled Oceanic, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (woo, tough last name!) Strong nature poems.
Only a few days until we see you in London! Hooray!
>66 jnwelch: Ha! I may be old (I'll turn 60 in less than 19 months!), but I still have plenty of functioning neurons. Hopefully we can all meet at Daunt Books together again next month, along with Claire on one or more of her weekday lunch breaks.
I have yet to read anything by Jericho Brown, so I look forward to seeing him on Sunday.
Whenever I see a word like the surname of Ms Nezhukumatathil I'm reminded of the lessons I learned as a child on the PBS show The Electric Company in the early 1970s, which taught me to break up long and difficult words like that one into bite sized and easily digestible fragments, using consonants as break points: Nez + huku + mata + thil.
I'll definitely see you & Debbi on the 5th and 11th of September, and almost certainly on the 7th as well. After a quiet summer when I hardly got together with anyone things have picked up dramatically this week, starting with Tuesday's Atlanta United match, followed by this weekend's Decatur Book Festival and multiple meetups in London starting next week. It seems as though Hurricane Dorian will only serve a glancing blow to Atlanta next week, so hopefully my flight on Tuesday won't be cancelled or seriously delayed. See you soon!
These are the talks I plan to go to:
1000-1045: Algorithms of Oppression
1115-1200: Presumed Criminal
1230-1315: Furious Hours
1345-1430: The Deep End of Flavor
1615-1700: One Person, No Vote
1730-1815: The Impatient Dr Lange
1200-1245: Sacrifice in the Name of Love
1315-1400: Moral Machines
1430-1515: Poetry Reading: Jericho Brown/Lauren K. Alleyne
1545-1630: Race and the Obama Administration
1700-1745: Believers: Faith in Human Nature
I can get to the theatre by 5pm, the show starts at 7pm.
I hope your holidays jump start your reading. Reading slumps put me into a mild frenzy and I'm always happy when I can settle happily into a new book.
>60 kidzdoc: Because our daughter loves soccer so much and we've been watching FIFA World Cups, men and women, over the last number of years, I completely understood your details of the Atlanta United and Minnesota United match. Next step, I suppose, is actually going to a match. *smile*
Let's hope that Dorian fizzles out - barring that, let's hope it doesn't impact your travel plans.
Regarding your congratulations on my interim appointment as executive director of the health services, thank you. I'm learning a lot and there are things about it that I'm quite enjoying but it's not what I came here to do and having those responsibilities on top of the job I did come here for is pretty stressful. But I think I'm having at least something of a positive impact on the organization which has some serious morale issues and some back-work to do in tightening up and clarifying some important policies, many of them in the personnel areas (rather than patient care, although it's all part of a gigantic feedback loop, as you well know). So anyway, we'll post the position in the next month or so and hope for a strong pool of applicants. I do feel good about the work I'm doing and hope to hand it off to the next executive director with a reasonable and sane 5-year plan in place.
I started reading 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World yesterday and it caught my attention pretty quickly. As I am in Asheville helping my sister pack for her upcoming move to a progressive care community, I may not have as much reading time on this vacation as I sometimes do, but I should be able to finish this and at least one more book.
Have fun meeting up with Caroline and Joe and Debbi!
>67 kidzdoc: Hopefully we can all meet at Daunt Books together again next month, along with Claire on one or more of her weekday lunch breaks. Yes! That would be great.
Benita (benitastrnad), Kay (RidgewayGirl), Pattie (sophroniaborgia) and I spent a great weekend together here in Atlanta and in nearby Decatur from Friday through Sunday, although I foolishly chose to stay home and rest on Saturday and missed the first full day of this year's Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the United States. Benita joined the three of us on Sunday, and we had a blast together, although our wallets are lighter and our waists may be wider after two superb meals yesterday. I'll post descriptions and photos after I catch up.
I'm leaving for a two week vacation in London late tomorrow night, and will arrive at Heathrow late Wednesday morning. Debbi & Joe will be leaving soon, and we have at least three meet ups planned, with two plays, a visit to Tate Modern, and a performance at Sadler's Wells this week and next, along with meals in new and old favorite restaurants. I won't do much on Thursday, but Caroline, Debbi, Joe & I will have dinner in The Green Room within the National Theatre at 5 pm, and see The Secret River", which is based on Kate Grenville's Booker Prize winning novel of the same name. Sadly, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, the aboriginal actress who was one of the primary performers in this play, died in Edinburgh last week.
Several meet ups with my British LT friends will also take place, and others are still in the planning stages. I have tickets for three plays, but I hope to see three or four more while I'm there.
The Booker Prize shortlist will be announced early tomorrow, and that will dictate which books I bring with me to London.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your time with the other LTers in London town.
I opted to drive over on Saturday evening in order to avoid the gameday traffic and ended up staying out at Villa Rica. This is a town about 30 miles west of Atlanta because there wasn't a hotel room to be had any closer to town. There was one big party in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. Three big events were there.
1. University of Alabama football game at Mercedes Benz Stadium - 60,000 attendance
2. DragonCon - the biggest Science Fiction Fantasy convention in the Southeast. 80,000 in attendance in downtown Atlanta.
3. Decatur Book Festival - the biggest free book festival in the country - 80,000 in attendance in an eastern suburb/neighborhood of Atlanta.
It is easy to see why nary a hotel room was to be had closer than 30 miles out. Next year I will do what Kay did and book my hotel room far in advance of the weekend.
Not nearly in the same league as Daryl. He has met many an LT'er on his travels. I tend to meet librarians at my LT affairs. Only in the last month have I gotten out of the library mold and met other LT'ers.
I had not been to this area of Atlanta much. I have been to the DeKalb (pronounced Dee-cab in Georgia) Farmers Market and it is easy to get to from I-20. However, getting to the restaurant I got lost and had adventures getting there. I finally made it to the Inman Park MARTA station and asked a woman who was wearing a DragonCon badge how to get to Decatur. She gave me great directions and wished each other a good day at each of our events. I finally made my way to Decatur and her directions were good, but I couldn't find the restaurant. I finally texted Kay and she said it was the house next to the purple building. I knew where that was! I had driven by that purple building about three times.
Daryl had picked the restaurant and it was a winner. It is owned by an up and coming Atlanta chef. I think he can give more details on the Chef. I only regret that we were there too early to order any of the brunch drinks and by the time we were past the 11:00 a.m. ordering time, I had forgotten to get one ordered. Oh well! Next time.
We had a fabulous brunch. We had hash, and sausage biscuits and gravy, and a good old breakfast plate with grits. All of us had coffee and peach muffins. We had a great time getting acquainted. We were from all over the country. Kay is from Grenville, S.C. by way of Phoenix. Her friend, and I am ashamed to say I can't remember her name, was visiting from Phoenix for the purpose of attending the book festival with Kay. I drove over from Tuscaloosa but am from Kansas, and Daryl who lives in Atlanta. We had good coffee, good food, and good conversation. Can it get any better?
I met up with the LT gang back at the Inman Park MARTA station and Daryl took us to Barcelona Wine Bar where we had another delish meal. Barcelona is a tapas bar and we all got drinks. My drink was really really good. It was a Summertime Sling and it hit the spot after that long day. We decided to get the Chef's choice meal, which was tapas made at the Chef's discretion. It started with great bread and olive oil and didn't stop until we "celebrated" a birthday with two mini flans. I rolled out of that restaurant. There are pictures to prove how great the food was - but no people pictures.
We discussed the book festival and books. I learned that there are fans of Joyce Carol Oates out there and Kay is one of them. (I am a mediocre fan.) We talked about authors Philip Roth and Carson McCullers (Daryl said that McCullers got race in the South right in Heart is a Lonely Hunter) and what an impact certain authors or works had on us. I sang the praises of Bernard Malamud. We talked about how Librarything has upped our reading game. Daryl and Kay met on the Club Read group and we talked about hosting threads and who we have met through those threads. Daryl told us about his adventures meeting LT'ers all over the world in places exotic to my ears. We also talked about how friendships and travel buddies have developed due to LT. I told the group about my recent lunch with Reba and Bonnie up in Chautauqua, New York and how much fun I had with them.
We also talked a bit about book festivals and why more people didn't come to the Decatur book festival. I told them that this festival was much bigger than the one in Nashville - the first weekend of October. Now that I know the way, I will be sure to return to Decatur.
I parted company with the group and left for the return trip to Tuscaloosa. Traffic was heavy coming through downtown but once on the west side of Atlanta it thinned out. The trip home was just me, trucks, and my recorded book. (driving is quality time with recorded books.) Good ending to a lovely day.
Again it was great food, conversation, and books. It was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I am sure that we will do it again next year.
I told Daryl that I didn't want to burden him while he was on vacation, but I loved seeing his pictures of his trips and since I don't do Facebook, I hoped that he would post some of them here on LT. He assured me that he would do so. I look forward to seeing some of those pictures.
I escaped from Decatur Book Festival without purchasing any books, but others in the group were not so lucky. Kay said that she purchased the books for all the authors she heard speak. All. Of. Them. I say, "You go girl."
And just for the record, I finished listening to Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys on the way over to Atlanta, and started Flame in the Mist by Rene Ahdieh on the way back. These are two YA novels, I have been wanting to read for some time.
Hope your trip goes/went smoothly, Darryl, and I look forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing pictures.
>72 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! This two week vacation should jump start my reading, especially since the announcement of the Booker Prize shortlist yesterday means that I can focus on those six novels and read them all in advance of the prize ceremony on October 14th. I'll get started tomorrow, as I'll probably buy Quichotte by Salman Rushdie from the Foyles bookshop in Southbank Centre before I meet up with Caroline, Debbi & Joe. I had several hours to kill before I could check in to my apartment in Notting Hill, so I did make some good progress in What Dementia Teaches Us About Love by Nicci Gerrard while I had brunch in a gastropub at Heathrow Terminal 3 and coffee in the Starbucks in Paddington Station, even though I was sleepy and jet lagged.
Attending Atlanta United soccer matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is very enjoyable, especially when the home club and the opponent are playing well, as was the case last Tuesday. Erik's Minnesota United club gave Atlanta United all it could handle, and we all gave them a round of applause when they were awarded the runner up medals for this year's U.S. Open Cup.
Are you close to Cary, NC, where the Courage of the National Women's Soccer League play? We're hoping to get a NWSL club in Atlanta in the very near future, and Arthur Blank, the co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, has expressed interest in supporting a club here, especially given the unexpected and record setting success of our Major League Soccer team.
Dorian had no impact on last night's flight, but I hope that the Carolinas aren't too badly affected by her northward track.
>73 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline! See you tomorrow.
>74 EBT1002: I enjoyed the poetry readings that Lauren K. Alleyne and Jericho Brown gave on Sunday. I purchased the books that were available by them at the book festival, Difficult Fruit and Honeyfish by Alleyne, and The Tradition by Brown, and I brought them with me to London.
I hope that a strong candidate for the executive director of the health services department at Wazzu is hired soon, as it seems as though you had enough on your plate before taking on that extra position.
I left my copy of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World in the car of one of my partners last Tuesday, as she picked me up and drove us to the restaurant we dined in and to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the soccer match. I was less than 50 pages into it, but I did like what I read, and I'll resume reading it when I return to Atlanta in two weeks.
I'll touch base with Debbi & Joe tomorrow, to see if we can agree to a day to visit Daunt Books and see you. I could definitely do so on Friday, if that's okay with you.
>76 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. I'm kicking myself for not going to the Decatur Book Festival on Saturday, as I missed at least three talks that I very much wanted to attend. Sunday was a great day there, even though Kay and I missed seeing Ocean Vuong's talk about his novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, but this year's festival felt incomplete to me in comparison to last year.
I already have tickets to six plays, along with a performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which I'll see with Claire, Debbi & Joe on Saturday, and I'll make several visits to my favorite museums, starting with the Tate Modern with those three on Saturday afternoon. I only saw two or three plays in May, so this is more like it.
>80 PaulCranswick: I was disappointed that Lanny by Max Porter wasn't chosen for the shortlist; I haven't heard anything about Frankissstein, but I'll pick up a copy of it while I'm here. Their exclusion may speak to the strength of this year's longlist more than anything else.
>81 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Benita is certainly making a name for herself, with two LT meetups in very different locations within one month. I'm glad that I finally got to meet up, and, given her proximity to Atlanta, I'm sure that we'll get together on a semi regular basis, if only for the annual Decatur Book Festival.
Photos are forthcoming tomorrow! It's nearly 11 pm here, so I'll turn in soon.
There will be plenty of meet ups with current and past LTers in the next two weeks, specifically with Debbi, Joe, Caroline, Bianca, Claire, Heather, Rhian, Genny, Fliss, Rachael, Paul Harris and Bryony, at least. As usual I won't lack for company during this visit!
>84 benitastrnad:, >85 benitastrnad:, >86 benitastrnad: Thanks for those great descriptions of our day together on Sunday! Tomorrow I'll add photos and additional comments of that day, and my pre-book festival meet up with Kay and Pattie on Friday.
Kay made the reservation for brunch at Revival on Sunday, after we had an amazing dinner there last year. That was the only restaurant that we dined in a second time; last year we went to Rose + Rye, just across the street from Symphony Hall on Friday after our visit to the High Museum, The Iberian Pig for dinner on Saturday, and to Café Alsace for brunch and Revival for dinner on Sunday; the last three restaurants are all in downtown Decatur.
>88 Familyhistorian: Gasp! I didn't realize that Benita didn't purchase any books on Sunday! I bought eight books, and I'm all but certain that Kay and Pattie did some damage as well.
>89 Sakerfalcon: Right, Claire. As much as she enjoyed the book festival, Pattie admitted on Sunday that she had a slight preference for the meals we had last weekend.
The reason I didn't purchase any books was that the author events I attended were children's and YA authors. These were authors whose works we already have in the library, so I can get them most any time I want them. I have a house full of books and have been trying to cut down on my purchases. That money is going into a saving account to use for travel funds when I retire. I attended those mostly for work reasons even though this technically wasn't a work trip. However, the authors were people I had not seen at any of the ALA events I have attended in the past couple of years. Next year I plan on making it to both days of the festival and will take time for myself.
In reverse order, the three of us did quite a bit of damage at Daunt. If I haven't described it before the flagship branch is located on Marylebone High Street, a short walk from the Baker Street Underground station, Madame Tussaud's and The Regent's Park, one of the Royal Parks of London. It's probably best known as a travel bookshop, as much of it is divided into sections by country, and each section contains travel guides, maps, and works of fiction and non-fiction about each country, and their major cities and regions. It's also a superb general bookshop, with a moderate but rich selection of current fiction and non-fiction. The bookshop itself is absolutely gorgeous, warm and welcoming, set in an Edwardian building with high ceilings and wooden shelves. Now that I visit London at least twice a year and no longer go to San Francisco often, Daunt is almost certainly the bookshop where I purchase most of my books in person, although City Lights in San Francisco gets a slight edge as my favorite bookshop in the world, with the London Review Bookshop, Strand Book Store in NYC, and Joseph Fox Bookshop in Philadelphia in my top five.
Here are some photos. First, the interior of Daunt Books, taken when Debbi & I were sitting at a table, admiring our finds:
Debbi & Joe's massive book haul:
My almost insignificant pile of books:
Claire, a book enabler if there ever was one, took this photo of the three of us outside of Daunt after we had lunch. One of the other great things about Daunt is that customers who purchase enough books are given free tote bags, and the large ones are very sturdy and attractive. For the first time I was given a medium and large book bags, as I doubt that I've purchased more books at one time than I did today. Debbi is holding my larger bag:
The Penguin Portuguese Phrasebook, Fourth Edition, by Jill Norman, Antonio de Figueiredo, and Natália Pinazza: I intend to return to Lisbon from October 1-12, and even though I was in Portugal for three weeks last year I never purchased a dictionary or phrasebook. This one looks to be very useful.
Secret Lisbon by Vitor Manuel Adrião: I own several of these Secret Guide books, about London, Barcelona and one or two other cities, but I hadn't seen a guide about Lisbon before.
Emigration and the Sea: An Alternative History of Portugal and the Portuguese by Malyn Newitt: This book by a professor at King's College, London focuses on the history of Portuguese emigration to Europe, the Americas, the Atlantic Islands, Africa and Asia. Lisbon is filled with peoples from places like Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Macau, Goa and elsewhere, and I have yet to read anything that describes the colonization of their former homelands by the Portuguese. I'm still seriously considering to move there after I hang up my stethoscope, so I'll probably bring this with me when I visit Lisbon next month.
The Book of Disquiet: The Complete Edition by Fernando Pessoa, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa: This is the new version of one of the greatest works of Portuguese literature, which is finally available in a version that includes all of Pessoa's pages that were left after his premature death. I'll plan to read this during my visit to Lisbon as well.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi: Dr Kendi, who teaches at American University in Washington, D.C., is one of the leading African American intellectuals, who came to public attention after his previous book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016 (I own a copy of it, but, shamefully, I haven't read it yet). This book describes his personal journey from holding racist beliefs to becoming an antiracist, one who actively seeks to combat racism in all forms and become a agent for good, in order to advance our society toward an antiracist one, rather than a race neutral one. Sadly, Dr Kendi was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer last year, even though he is only 37 years of age, but he has been reportedly been cancer free for at least six months.
Afropean: Notes from Black Europe by Johny Pitts: This book is a great example of why I love Daunt Books, City Lights and the London Review Bookshop, which all feature books that are highly interesting and ones that I probably wouldn't have found out about otherwise. This book describes people from the African diaspora who have emigrated to major European cities, particularly Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Moscow, Marseilles and the French Riviera and Lisbon.
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep: I missed Ms Cep's talk about this book at the Decatur Book Festival on Saturday, and couldn't find it there on Sunday, so I was surprised and very pleased that Daunt Books had a copy amongst the new nonfiction titles.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo: This novel, chosen for this year's Booker Prize longlist, describes the lives of 12 people, "mostly women, mostly black", who call Britain home. I'll plan to read it next week.
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie: Also shortlisted for this year's Booker Prize, Rushdie's latest novel is centered on a modern day Don Quixote, an American of Indian descent, a "mediocre writer of spy thrillers", who is a salesman obsessed with American television and with the reality television star Salma R. He sets off on a quest across the United States to prove his worth to her. I started reading it this afternoon, and I think I'll love this book!
Can Medicine Be Cured? The Corruption of a Profession by Seamus O'Mahony: This former NHS (National Health Service) physician, who now practices in Cork County, Ireland, describes the pitfalls and shortcomings of modern industrialized medicine, which I suspect will have applicability to the practice of medicine in the United States as well.
>96 connie53: Thanks, Connie!
>97 benitastrnad: That makes sense, Benita. We didn't look at each other's book purchases over dinner on Sunday night (at least I don't think we did), so I wasn't aware that you hadn't purchased anything. Apparently Kay and I each purchased eight books, and I'm not sure how many Pattie picked up.
Thanks again for coming on Sunday! It was great to have met you, and I look forward to seeing you at next year's festival, if not sooner.
>99 mdoris: You're welcome, Mary! There are, and will be, many more photos to come during the next two weeks.
How did you like the play? It has always seemed to me that the the British, and BBC radio in particular, adapts lots of books into plays and television productions. The radio plays make very enjoyable listening. (Seems like we are talking about BBC rdaio adaptions on one of the other threads right now.) Some of my favorite Swedish mystery authors have had their books adapted for radio production.
When I was in Germany two years ago, one of the channels was getting ready to air a new multi-year series on Dr. Koch and the founding of the big teaching and research hospital in Berlin in the 1880’s. I thought it would be a fascinating series and had hoped that some channel in the U.S. would pick it up. So far I haven’t heard anything about such a program. Oh well, I guess that is one of the differences between the U.S. and Europe.
Have a great meet up today! Will you see Erik (Oberon)?
>103 connie53: Right, Connie. The only thing missing from Daunt Books would be a tea and cake service for its customers!
>104 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. I started reading Quichotte yesterday, and although I'm only 30 pages into it I love it so far.
Daunt is an outstanding bookshop, which is visually appealing, welcoming and filled with great books. I'll have lunch with Claire at least once during the coming week, and I'll return to Daunt while I'm in Marylebone.
I'll probably read Furious Hours and How to Be an Antiracist in October or November.
>106 benitastrnad: Thanks, Benita. You, and I suspect most LTers, would enjoy visiting the main branch of Daunt Books in Marylebone. I haven't been to any of the other branches, though.
Unfortunately Reba will arrive in London after Debbi, Joe and I leave the week after next, IIRC.
The play based on The Secret River was superb. I bought a copy of the script, and I'll post a review of the play after I finish reading it, either today or tomorrow.
The series about Dr Koch sounds very interesting. I'll have to look for it online.
ETA: If I have it right, that series has been titled 'Charité', and it's been available on Netflix since last year:
I'm feeling sleepy after breakfast, so I'll take a quick snooze and post some of our doings later today.
I see you picked up a couple of the Booker short list novels. I read the first page of Quichotte in a bookshop last week and it was all I could do to resist buying it (that bookshop would not have given me a sturdy and lovely tote bag). It captured my attention immediately.
Keep having fun!!
Tonight Debbi, Joe & I will see Bartholomew Fair at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre in Shakespeare's Globe, and we'll meet Claire for dinner beforehand. I'll spend the afternoon with Bianca tomorrow before I see The Doctor at the Almeida Theatre. Genny, Rhian & I will see Faith, Hope & Charity at the National Theatre on Friday night, and I'll see Appropriate at Donmar Warehouse on Saturday, after Heather, Lucy & I attend the Africa Utopia Festival that day.
Bryony took ill yesterday, so we weren't able to get together. I did have a very full day, though, starting with lunch at Cuzco, a superb Peruvian restaurant located just outside of London Bridge station. I had pato de ají, a classic Peruvian dish consisting of duck cooked in a rich sauce with rice and white beans, and calamares, which was delightful:
After lunch I took the Underground to Euston, and paid a visit to the Wellcome Collection, a free library and museum of "medicine, science, life and art" that is a combination of medical artifacts collected by Henry Wellcome, a noted British pharmaceutical entrepreneur, in the late 19th and early 20th century, along with new exhibitions. There are selected photos from these exhibitions, along with ones from the inaugural Wellcome Photography Contest, which are on Facebook.
Next was a visit to the flagship branch of Foyles Bookshop, which recently relocated to a larger building on Charing Cross Road, which formerly housed the St Martin's School of Art. The Testaments, Margaret Atwood's sequel to her bestselling novel The Handmaid's Tale, was released yesterday to more fanfare than I can ever remember a book receiving, including a midnight ceremony at Waterstone's Piccadilly and a talk by Atwood at the National Theatre last night, which was simulcast to cinemas around the world. I bought a copy of it, and was given a book bag that matched the book's cover, along with a commemoratory pin:
I bought two other books at Foyles: Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize along with The Testaments, and My Name Is Why: A Memoir by the acclaimed British/Ethiopian poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, who is also the Chancellor of The University of Manchester.
After coffee in the Café at Foyles I had dinner at 10 Greek Street, then saw the play Typical at the Soho Theatre, which was written by Ryan Calais Cameron and performed by Richard Blackwood. This one act play was based on a true story, in which a Black British former paratrooper who sacrificed his life for his country was arrested after a bar fight, and fights for his life while in the custody of the police. It was good, but not great, although Richard Blackwood gave a captivating performance.
>109 ELiz_M: Thanks, Liz. I'll take a look at Litsy next week, after I return to Atlanta. I've admittedly been reluctant to join another online book club, but I'll see what this one is about.
>110 johnsimpson: Cheers, John! I'm sorry that we couldn't get together this time as well; next time for sure! Give my best to Karen.
>111 avatiakh: Thanks, Kerry. I agree with you, I love the layout of books by city, region and country in Daunt Books.
>112 EBT1002: Great choice, Ellen! I suspect that you'll enjoy London, and I'm certain that you'll fall head over heels in love with Daunt Books. The large book bags given free to customers who buy enough books is easily the best of any bookshop I've been to, and it's a great pleasure to shop there.
I've only made modest progress into Quichotte, but I love it so far. I'd like to finish it by this weekend.
>113 drneutron: Definitely, Jim! Daunt is giving City Lights a run for the top spot in my list of favorite bookshops in the world, with the London Review Bookshop coming in at a close third.
I hope you are having a lovely London trip! The Daunt Books in Marylebone is a favorite London bookshop of mine. 'Tis a pity I won't be in London until after Bartholomew Fair closes. The costumes alone make me sad to miss it.
My third quarter reading output was abysmal, as I only finished six books, two of which were scripts of plays I saw last month in London. There is almost zero chance that I'll hit the 75 books mark this year, as I would have to finish a dozen books per month for the remainder of the year.
I just finished my second Booker Prize shortlisted novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak, which was very good. This year's winner will be announced on October 14th, and since I'll be off from work for the remainder of this week and all of next week I'm setting a very ambitious goal of finishing the remaining four books by next Sunday night, the day before the prize ceremony. I'll need to read The Handmaid's Tale (325 pp) before I can read The Testaments (419 pp), so I'll do that this week, and read Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (452 pp), starting today, and An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (449 pp) this weekend. I'll start the Atwood early next week, and the biggest challenge will be to finish Ducks, Newburyport (1032 pp!) by next Sunday. Wish me luck!
I'll have to catch up on my/our doings in London this week and next. To make it more likely that I'll reach my Booker Prize longlist goal I'll plan to do my reading for the day first, and catch up on LT when I'm done. I'd like to read the first 306 pages in Girl, Woman, Other by this evening, to get a good head start.
>119 magicians_nephew: I am nearly fluent, though not proficient, in Spanish, as I can speak that language with minimal difficulty here, including to Latino families I care for in the hospital, and in Spain. This will make it much easier to learn how to speak Portuguese. I intend to take a four week course in Intensive Portuguese in Lisbon next June, as a start to achieving fluency and proficiency in that beautiful language.
>121 Familyhistorian: I don't think there is a specific quantity that warrants receiving a large bag from Daunt Books, but I think that four hardcover or six paperback books would be a good gauge. That visit was the first time that I earned one large and one medium bag, and according to the photo I took of my haul I purchased six hefty hardback and four paperback books, and it would have been difficult to fit all of them in one large book bag.
>122 FAMeulstee: I'm glad that you liked Stone Upon Stone, Anita! Thanks for thumbing my review of it.
1. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (4.3 stars)
2. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak (4.2 stars)
3. Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (4.1 stars)
All three books have been very good, and Booker worthy IMO, but none has knocked my socks off, so I'm inclined to think that my favorite will lie amongst the three books I haven't read yet. I'll start reading The Handmaid's Tale this morning, and I should easily finish it and An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma by Sunday.
I just finished the script of a play I saw at the Almeida Theatre in Islington last month, The Doctor by Robert Icke, a modernized retelling of Arthur Schnitzler's 1912 play Professor Bernhardi, my favorite of the five performances I saw in London last month, just ahead of The Secret River by Kate Grenville, which Debbi, Joe & I saw at the National Theatre shortly after we arrived. I'll progressively post reviews of these books and the plays I saw over the next week and a half.
>126 scaifea: Thanks, Amber! I'm doing better, if only because I'm staying indoors, where it's a comfortable 69-70 F, and not venturing outdoors in the blast furnace that is Atlanta this week. It will hit 95 F today, 97 F tomorrow, and 95 F on Friday. It's supposed to eventually cool down to normal temperatures (upper 70s) next week, so I'll mainly stay indoors for the rest of this week, save for grocery shopping and other necessary errands.
>127 msf59: Thanks, Mark. I'll start catching up on threads today, since I'm well ahead of where I had hoped to be in terms of my reading goal for this week, and I'll look for Ellen's review of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, which was superb.
>128 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. I have quite a few chores and errands that I'd like to do by the end of next week, but now that I'll use this week and next as a staycation and not travel to Lisbon next week I have plenty of time to read as well.
I really enjoyed Anna Bella Eema at the Arcola theatre. I loved the way the story was told through song and sound as well as speech, and the three actresses were all outstanding. The tale contained a lot of magical realism and dreams so won't be to everyone's taste but I liked the Southern Gothic flavour of it. The play makes you think again about the people we stereotype as "trailer trash" and their inner lives - I loved how important books and reading were to the characters. That said, I think with a lesser cast the play wouldn't come across so well; it needs engaging actresses to connect with the audience as so much of the speech is directed at them, rather than dialogues with the other characters. I do recommend it if you get a chance to see it somewhere. I'm just sorry that we weren't able to see it together.
I'm glad that you enjoyed Anna Bella Eema; hopefully it will be staged in Atlanta at some point. It's a shame that the only day that no tickets were available was the day that we had planned to see it together.
>131 benitastrnad: I see that Tuscaloosa is supposed to hit 100 F today; it's supposed to reach 97 F in Atlanta today and tomorrow. We set an all time record for October yesterday at 96 F (the normal high temperature here at this time of year is 77 F), but that will likely be tied or broken. Fortunately it's only supposed to hit 79 F on Saturday, and the highs will be in the high 70s to low 80s for all of next week. The air quality here is poor, due mainly to the lack of rain, and even though I've stayed indoors since Sunday afternoon I'm still coughing and bringing up mucus from my lungs, so my lungs are far from healed. I'm inclined to stay indoors until Saturday morning, as I have plenty of cooked food and ingredients to make all the meals I'll consume for the next two days.
>132 richardderus: I enjoyed Night Boat to Tangier, so I hope that you continue to like it, Richard.
Grr. Fortunately the cold front will make its way through the Deep South late Friday, so we'll be out of the soup by Saturday.
>133 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Assuming that I finish An Orchestra of Minorities this weekend that gives me all of next week to read The Testaments and Ducks, Newburyport.
I'm impressed with your Booker reading. Ducks, Newburyport sounds like an awfully tough one to take on - not just the 1000+ pages, but all one sentence? Or did I misread that second part somewhere?
I have a ticket to hear the Booker shortlist read from their work on 13 Oct at the Southbank. As ever, I'm not going to have read the books before the announcement. I'm glad they are hitting good star ratings for you. Maybe I'll squeeze The Testaments in.
>130 Sakerfalcon: I'll have to see how long that is running Claire. I saw Until the Flood there last week, which was very moving.
I really, really hope that Atwood doesn't pocket a Booker for the deeply mediocre The Testaments. Shoulda been a novella about Aunt Lydia. As it is, well....
I'm ahead of my reading goal for the week so far, as I should finish An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma by Sunday, along with What Dementia Teaches Us About Love by Nicci Gerrard, which I'd like to finish by this evening. I'll start writing reviews this weekend or sometime next week.
>135 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I actually felt worse yesterday afternoon, with increased cough and mucus production, and I developed another low grade fever (100.6 F). I started myself on an antibiotic (clindamycin) that I had handy, as I suspect that I have a bacterial superinfection, whether sinusitis or bronchitis or both. I'm very happy that I have the rest of this week and all of next week off from work, so that I'll be, presumably, fully recuperated before I have to return to clinical service.
You're right about Ducks, Newburyport. There appear to be a couple of breaks in the novel after the second page of text, but it appears to be essentially one paragraph from pp 12-998. The text of the UK edition, which I bought at Daunt Books when Debbi, you & I went there, is quite small, so it will be a challenge to read it from start to finish. Hopefully I can complete The Testaments by Tuesday, which will give me five full days to read Ducks, Newburyport.
>136 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I still have 10 days off from work, so I should be in good health by the Monday after next.
I'm glad that you'll get to go to the Booker Prize event at Southbank Centre the day before the award ceremony. I look forward to your impression of it.
>137 richardderus: Yes, you did give me that excellent tip about reading Ducks, Newburyport, Richard; thanks again!
I'm sorry to hear that you, and others, weren't fond of The Testaments. I'll do my best to approach it with an open mind when I start it next week.
1. Girl, Woman, Other
2. Ducks, Newburyport
4. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
5. An Orchestra of Minorities
6. The Testaments
Girl, Woman, Other is my favorite of the three shortlisted books I've read so far as well. Based on this list perhaps I should read Ducks, Newburyport before The Testaments.
Almost bought Ducks, Newburyport last week but the scale of the thing spread out over a few measly paragraphs in 1000 pages is a bit daunting.
My several book groups recoil at the idea of reading plays - even classic plays - so we haven't done it.
Arthur Schnitzler wrote a ton of great plays. Tom Stoppard updated a few of them and they are very funny to watch -- or read.
Hope you're feeling better
The shortlists for this year's National Book Awards will be announced today. I didn't pay as much attention to the longlists as I usually would, but I'll be eager to see which books make the next cut.
>142 laytonwoman3rd: I've only read a few more pages in What Dementia Teaches Us About Love, so I'm not equipped to comment definitively about it, although I'd say it's very well written so far.
>143 jnwelch: I'm glad that Debbi enjoyed The Testaments, Joe. I liked Girl, Woman, Other a lot, but it doesn't feel like a Booker Prize winner to me.
I think I can say that my persistent bug has finally left the building, but only in the past couple of days.
>144 The_Hibernator: I won't finish What Dementia Teaches Us About Love this week, Rachel, but hopefully I'll do next week.
>145 PaulCranswick:, >146 banjo123: Despite the heft and intimidation factor of Ducks, Newburyport it seems like a book that one can sink one's teeth into, especially if Richard's excellent tip in >137 richardderus: is kept in mind. Once I got used to the style of José Saramago's Blindness I had no problem reading it, and I suspect that the same will hold true with Ellmann's novel.
>147 connie53: I'm glad that you also liked The Testaments, Connie. I started reading it on Sunday, but was distracted by watching that day's NFL (professional American football) games on television. I'm an admitted sports junkie, especially at this time of the year when there are loads of college and professional football games on the tube, along with the current Major League Baseball playoffs and the upcoming Major League Soccer playoffs. Atlanta United secured a second place finish in the Eastern Conference playoffs after beating New England at home on Sunday, which earns them an opening match at home against the same team the Saturday after next. Hopefully I can invite some friends to go to that match with me, as I'm off that weekend.
>148 Sakerfalcon: Thanks for that assessment, Claire; it seems to match the assessment of several members of LT and Goodreads who have also read it. I'll still want to read it soon, even if I don't get to it before Monday's award ceremony.
>149 magicians_nephew: Same here, Jim. This especially holds true for plays I see in London, especially ones in which actors speak with Cockney accents.
I won't get any of the Booker nominees read beforehand, so you are doing much better than I am. I am on the library queue for The Testaments. I never really enjoyed The Hand Maid's Tale, but have been enjoying the television series made from it. We shall see about The Testaments.
>153 benitastrnad: All of the 3-1/2 shortlisted books I've read so far have been very good reads, including 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. I wouldn't be surprised if it came out on top.
I just downloaded the Kindle versions of the two novels by Peter Handke that were published by New York Review Books, Short Letter, Long Farewell and Slow Homecoming. I'll read them, and at least two of the books I own by Olga Tokarczuk, this quarter, as the Reading Globally theme read for the fourth quarter is Mitteleuropa. I'll read The Tobacconist by the Austrian author Robert Seethaler as well.
Do you know much about Handke's political beliefs? There have been numerous comments on the Nobel Prize's Facebook criticizing him as a supporter of far right Serbian nationalism and his appearance at Slobodan Milosevic's funeral.
I'm about halfway through Jericho Brown's The Tradition, and really liking it, more than his Please Poems, which I think won some awards. Have you read Morgan Parker's Magical Negro? That one knocked me on my keister recently. It may end up my #1 for poetry this year.
I should be able to finish The Tradition by Sunday. That's the only book I own by him. I have not read Magical Negro, so I'll have to keep an eye out for it. TYIA.
>163 Berly: Thanks, Kim. Debbi, Joe & I had another fabulous vacation in London, along with our fellow LT friends. Other than a very intermittent cough I'm completely back to normal. Was the talk you saw by Margaret Atwood a rebroadcast of the talk she gave at the National Theatre last month? IIRC I saw a play the evening that it was on, so I didn't see the simulcast that was on in the cinemas in London and the UK (Fliss saw it in Cambridge that evening).
>164 benitastrnad: Whoa. I just read your comment about the latest Nobel Prize laureates on Paul's thread, Benita. Although I would have preferred that at least one of them be a non-European I have no complaint with the judges' choices, as both Tokarczuk and Handke seem to be very worthy candidates, unlike some from past years. I'm completely in favor of Tokarczuk being rewarded, and I may feel the same way about Handke after I read the two e-books of his that I purchased earlier today. Hopefully the prize will be awarded to a non-European and non-North American in 2020.
October 10, 2019
(New York)– PEN America issued the following statement from author and PEN America President Jennifer Egan, in response to the choice of Peter Handke for the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature:
“PEN America does not generally comment on other institutions’ literary awards. We recognize that these decisions are subjective and that the criteria are not uniform. However, today’s announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature to Peter Handke must be an exception. We are dumbfounded by the selection of a writer who has used his public voice to undercut historical truth and offer public succor to perpetrators of genocide, like former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. PEN America has been committed since the passage our 1948 PEN Charter to fighting against mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood, and distortion of facts. Our Charter further commits us to work to “dispel all hatreds and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace and equality.” We reject the decision that a writer who has persistently called into question thoroughly documented war crimes deserves to be celebrated for his ‘linguistic ingenuity.’ At a moment of rising nationalism, autocratic leadership, and widespread disinformation around the world, the literary community deserves better than this. We deeply regret the Nobel Committee on Literature’s choice.”
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
I was watching an item yesterday on local news about a $1 million grant to translate classic books into Maori which sounds great, but presenters and interviewees were rabbitting on about the Harry Potter books and The Alchemist. I was aghast thinking of the great novels, New Zealand novels, even Australian ones that I would have expected them all to be more excited about. Hopefully Auckland University Press which is involved in the venture will do it right.
The PEN links Milosevic and Karadzic, while in fact Milosevic already dissociated from Karadzic. Milosevic could have done more to prevent the genocide from occurring and wasn't without blame, but there lays a lot of history between the former Yugoslavic republics.
>169 richardderus: Handke is left wing, Richard, who might have been too loyal to his Serbian communist friend Milosevic.
>171 FAMeulstee: I don't at all think of Communism as practiced in the Comintern era as left-wing in its essence, Anita. It was authoritarian and imperialistic and most definitely not focused on the will or the wellness of the people. So, in the way I formulate political poles, Milosevic and Karadzic are reactionaries, and thus on the right of democracy-left, authoritarian-right axes.
That doesn't make Handke right-wing. Not all friends are in the same corner.
>123 kidzdoc: I’m sorry you’ve been so sick and missed at least part of your vacation.
I just picked up 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World at the library last night and am excited to start it today.
Good luck on your reading plans, it sounds like your home vacation is doing wonders for them.
>166 kidzdoc: Very interesting!
Just discovered a new reading list: Literature for Justice, chosen by the National Book Foundation. The 2019/2020 books are:
The Prisoner's Wife
Becoming Ms. Burton
Are Prisons Obsolete
The Mars Room
Until We Reckon
The Mars Room is the only one of these I've read. Have you heard of them, and think the list is worth reading?
PS Hope you're well, as you haven't posted in a while!
ETA: I'll have to go back and read your whole thread later. No time now!
As a result of this craziness I haven't finished a book since early October, and I'll be fortunate to finish two books this month, probably during Thanksgiving Week when I'll be off from Wednesday through Sunday. If I count the cookbook Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate Our Shared Humanity as a completed book then I'm up to 45 books for 2019, and it will be a challenge to get to 50, as I'll have to work nearly continuously during the second half of December, including Christmas and New Year's Day.
Since I'm a single guy I'm responsible for household chores such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc., and my weekends are dedicated to catching up on sleep (I usually only sleep 5-6 hours on weekdays, as I'm almost always wake up in the middle of the night thinking about patients and it takes me at least two hours to get back to sleep...if I'm lucky) and preparing for the coming week, especially on Sundays. Yes, I have been active on Facebook, but that doesn't require a huge time committment.
2020 will be an even busier year for me, due to increased work and career responsbilities, personal goals, and my parents' continued health problems and needs. After reading and thinking about a Facebook post from Fliss (flissp) last month I've decided to take at least a brief hiatus from this group next year. I'll probably maintain a thread in Club Read next year, and at best start a thread here in the spring, after the inpatient service cools down a bit. I love the company in this group, but staying active here is a major time sink, and, at the present time, a luxury that I no longer have.
Speaking of chores, I should get started on them, and I'll catch up here later today if I have time.
As for your social media activities, I think you have to do what you are comfortable with. Personally, I do far less than most, but still it absorbs time. My three hour daily commute is my frustration. I do work at home one day a week now, occasionally two, but next year I start working a 9 day fortnight, which will give me two extra days off per month. Can't wait, but want to plan to use the time well.
Your young patients are lucky to have you and your dedicated colleagues to look after them.
You know, you might consider and look into just hiring extra help at home for awhile, at least until your busy stretches ease off a bit, ie, someone to clean house, maybe do laundry. I know you like to cook so maybe having someone else do that isn't an option for you but if those other duller chores can be *out-sourced*, at least for awhile, your spare time can be eased up for cooking and just self-care.
Do what works for you, and thanks for letting us know. It is kind of startling when online friends just go AWOL.
I am reading less this year- but I have stopped reading books that don't resonate with me.
Keep in touch- I like your book lists!
Post when you can and know that we are thinking of you. I PLAN on seeing you in Decatur next year.
I'll have to find and star your Club Read thread next year. Sorry you can't join us here, but so it goes. And we plan to be in Venice (if it's still there) and Prague next fall, not London. So we're going to have to figure out a way to see you. It may be time for a visit to Atlanta when you're not too busy.
Sorry to read about your father, it must have been a great scare. I hope he is doing much better now.
I only glance at your food posts at FB, as I never cook myself, but each time I see one I am glad knowing you still have a little time to post there.
For next year on LT: do whatever suits you best!
It will be sad to not have you around, but I certainly understand not having time to come around here. I feel quite overwhelmed sometimes, too.
Best wishes to you and your family.
Wishing you the best. I sometimes see your pictures on Facebook, glad you are still cooking! I hope you find a way to manage everything, and if it helps to find someone to help with cleaning and laundry, please do so!
Everyone contributed equally to Thanksgiving dinner: my father made macaroni & cheese, cornbread and collard greens, my brother and Francesca brought a turkey with stuffing and gravy along with two pies, and I made a brown sugar & bourbon ham cooked in the Instant Pot (or, rather, the pressure cooker feature of my father's Ninja FOODI), along with roasted Brussels sprouts and parsnips. I'll post a photo and a link to the ham recipe, along with one for Instant Pot red beans & rice, which I made earlier this month and am cooking again now. My parents' preferred supermarket only had red kidney beans instead of proper red beans, though.
I still haven't finished a book this month, and it's been nearly two months since my last completed book, but I hope to finish Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson, one of the Black Male Writers for Our Time, by Saturday, or Sunday at the latest.
I'd better get back to the red beans and start cooking rice, but I plan to come back later this afternoon, catch up, and start a new thread today or tomorrow.
I'm in the middle of a pre-Christmas visit to see my parents for a week, which started on Tuesday, as I'll work over both the Christmas and New Year's holidays (December 23 to January 3, with off days on the 27th and 28th).
I finally finished a book for the first time in over two months, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family by Mitchell S. Jackson, one of The New York Times's Black Male Writers for Our Time, which was very good. That makes 46 books for the year, and my original goal of reading 50 books in 2019 is still in sight. At the moment I intend to finish December with these four books:
Lisbon Tales, edited by Helen Constantine: A collection of short stories, book excerpts and a travel blog written by Portuguese authors from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, with a mixture of prominent writers known outside of Portugal to others whose works have not previously been translated into English. I've only read the introductory sections so far.
Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson: I first heard about this book in June, when Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air interviewed Dr Aronson on her radio program. She is a professor of geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, and this book promises to be one of the best I'll read this year. I'm a quarter of the way through it, and it's excellent so far.
The Tradition by Jericho Brown: The author is one of the Black Male Writers for Our Time and a professor of Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta, and his latest poetry collection was shortlisted for this year's National Book Award for Poetry. I attended the excellent poetry reading he gave at the Decatur Book Festival during Labor Day weekend, and since I only read a couple of the poems in September I'll start reading it again later this week.
We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin: I "won" this novel by one of the Black Male Writers for Our Time in the December or January LT Early Reviewers program, but since I never received a copy of it I purchased it myself this summer.
I'll catch up with some of the messages in this thread, then create a new one to close out the year. Since I'll be off from work on the 27th and 28th I'll probably create new Club Read and 75 Books thread for 2020 then, although I'll definitely restrict my activity here next year.
>175 banjo123: I have read at least three of Victor LaValle's books, Rhonda, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, both of which I liked, and the novella Lucretia and the Kroons, which was okay at best.
>189 The_Hibernator: I haven't heard of any of those books, Rachel, save for The Mars Room, which I know nothing about.
>202 jnwelch: I'm glad your father is okay - "pulseless"?!
That was what my parents' close neighbor told me when he called after he and and an EMT who lived further down their street and responded to the 911 call assessed my father. They performed a round or two of CPR, and were able to "revive" him. I question whether he was truly pulseless, given that he had a pacemaker implanted after his last collapse in 2017, especially since his cardiologist who saw him on Tuesday told him that it didn't discharge during his collapse in October. I suspect that he had a thready and weak pulse that they couldn't feel. I didn't think about this at the time of the call, especially since I was on call at work and the ER was giving me admissions faster than I could see them, so I didn't have time to think about anything other than providing the best care of the patients I was seeing. The neighbor called me again an hour or two later, and when I saw his number I was expecting him to give me bad news, as in the original call he and the EMT thought that my father had a stroke, a reasonable concern since all of his deceased siblings ultimately died from significant or massive strokes, but fortunately that wasn't the case. He may have had an unwitnessed seizure, since he was only taking his anti-epileptic medication once a day instead of the three times a day he was supposed to. He's doing better from that standpoint, although he has suffering from sinusitis and bad headaches for nearly three weeks.
Thanks to everyone for your kind wishes and support! It means a lot to me. Reading these messages made me reconsider my original decision to leave this group in 2020.
We'll find you wherever you are! :)
Good to have some reading on hand for when you do get time. Has your own health improved now Darryl?
I'm certainly looking forward to some seasonal leave. I'll have a couple of days to myself, then my sister and I will be at my bro's for 3 days, before she drives us to her place for 3 days. Then I have a couple of days of recovery. I can't retire next year as I had expected to until a few years back, but I move to a 9 day fortnight from 2020, so 26 extra days off - hurray!