TalkKidzdoc Reads Black Male Writers for Our Time in 2019, Chapter 6

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Kidzdoc Reads Black Male Writers for Our Time in 2019, Chapter 6

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Edited: Aug 22, 2019, 6:41am


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.

Edited: Dec 12, 2019, 8:26am

Currently reading:


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

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 4:40pm

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

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 4:56pm

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

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 5:03pm

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) ✅

*shortlisted book

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 5:11pm

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

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 5:20pm

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

*shortlisted book+

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 5:26pm

Books to read in August:

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

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 5:33pm

Aug 10, 2019, 4:55pm

Its been an hour, I hope I'm not stepping in the middle of your posts. Its so hard to keep up with everyone, but looks like I'm first.

Happy New Thread!

Aug 10, 2019, 5:09pm

Happy new thread. Sorry to hear that the temps in Atlanta are so terrible. Stay cool.

Aug 10, 2019, 5:40pm

Happy new thread, Darryl!

Edited: Aug 10, 2019, 5:54pm

>13 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff! I reserve the number of messages I'll need as soon as I create my first post, and as long as I'm allowed five minutes to do that no one needs to worry about interrupting my opening flurry.

>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.

Aug 10, 2019, 5:41pm

>15 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

Aug 10, 2019, 8:30pm

Happy new one, Darryl. Sorry about the heat in Atlanta. It's been a gorgeous weekend here - high around 83F today with a lovely breeze :)

Aug 10, 2019, 8:39pm

>18 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! I wish that the weather was as nice here as it is there, but 95 F in early August isn't much above normal for Atlanta.

Aug 10, 2019, 9:26pm

Happy new thread, Darryl.

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.

Aug 10, 2019, 9:26pm

Popping in a bit earlier than usual for me on a new thread...can't wait to see what's cooking around here!

Edited: Aug 13, 2019, 9:23pm

>20 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! Good luck on your move into your new abode, and with Hani's redecoration plans. I'm sure you'll be happier to have her and her cooking skills back, though.

>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.

Aug 10, 2019, 9:43pm

>22 kidzdoc: Anything made with chicken thighs is a hit with me. You have barber who works on Sundays? Wow.

Aug 10, 2019, 9:48pm

Happy New Thread, Darryl!

Aug 10, 2019, 9:50pm

>22 kidzdoc: & >23 laytonwoman3rd: I am strictly a breast man!

Aug 10, 2019, 9:59pm

Happy new thread!

Edited: Aug 11, 2019, 5:47am

>23 laytonwoman3rd: Yep. Smitty works on Sundays by appointment only for his most loyal and long term customers, starting at 7 am. We're both early risers by nature, and since I normally go to Publix shortly after it opens at 7 am, that works well for both of us. He usually cuts a couple of heads, tidies up the shop, then, like me, goes to the supermarket and starts cooking, unless his wife does so.

>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.

Aug 10, 2019, 10:11pm

>26 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

Edited: Aug 11, 2019, 6:03am

Back to >23 laytonwoman3rd: Late last night I decided to look in one of my newer cookbooks, Soup for Syria: Recipes to Celebrate Our Shared Humanity, as I've already tried and liked two or three of the recipes within it, for summer soup ideas, and I'll make two cold soups today: Red Beet Gazpacho, and Avocado, Cucumber and Mint Soup, which both look to be quick recipes. I'll make a tortilla as well, to have as a tapa to go along with soup, and on Monday or Tuesday I'll make Avocado Chicken Salad. I'll also cook fish for dinner at least twice next week, as I have salmon and striped bass fillets in my freezer, and have it with roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts.

Edited: Aug 11, 2019, 8:25am

Happy Sunday, Darryl. Happy New Thread! I am enjoying two days off, after my long work week. I picked up a copy of Miss Jane Pittman from the library. That will be my AAC pick. Sadly, I have not read Gaines before. I will most likely do a second one, later in the year.

Aug 11, 2019, 8:51am

Hi Darryl!

Happy new thread.

>27 kidzdoc: I prefer thighs/drumsticks too, for the same reason.

>29 kidzdoc: Your cooking plans sound wonderful, especially the Avocado Chicken Salad. Have fun!

Aug 11, 2019, 9:14am

Happy New Thread, Darryl!

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.

Edited: Aug 11, 2019, 9:38am

>30 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I'm glad that you have a break after your work week. I also haven't read anything by Ernest J. Gaines yet, but I did purchase the Kindle edition of A Lesson Before Dying a couple of weeks ago, and hopefully I can get to it before the end of the month.

>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!

Aug 11, 2019, 9:33am

>32 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe!

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.

Aug 11, 2019, 9:41am

Happy new thread, Darryl!

Aug 11, 2019, 10:22am

>35 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

Aug 11, 2019, 10:53am

Happy new thread, Darryl!

It is always a pleasure to browse though your lists at the top of your thread.

Aug 11, 2019, 11:00am

>37 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! Hopefully I can make progress in those lists later this year and especially starting in 2020, when I decrease my work hours to be able to spend more time with my parents.

Aug 11, 2019, 4:13pm

Happy newthread!

Aug 11, 2019, 6:08pm

>38 kidzdoc: Are you going to work long shifts for four months, Darryl, and be off the rest of the year?

Aug 11, 2019, 10:20pm

Happy new thread, Darryl. What do you think of Black and British so far?

Aug 12, 2019, 8:39am

Happy new thread Darryl! Looking forward to book chat in real life soon!

Aug 12, 2019, 2:59pm

Happy new thread Darryl mate, hope you had a good weekend mate. Sending love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.

Aug 13, 2019, 1:44pm

Have a good day, doctor.

Aug 16, 2019, 7:52am

Happy new thread, Darryl.I hope you're able to enjoy whatever you get to from your ambitious August list.

Edited: Aug 18, 2019, 9:42pm

Happy Sunday, everyone! I was exhausted after a busy week on hospital service, and slept for 11 hours from Friday night through Saturday morning, along with a two hour afternoon nap, and for another nine hours last night until this morning. I'm now bright eyed and bushy tailed, and hopefully I'll get some reading time in on what will be a busy Sunday. The weather continues to be oppressively hot with high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s F (34-37 C) with heat indices approaching or above 100 F (37-42 C) and poor air quality, which isn't great for my asthma, as I'm starting to cough and wheeze again after my lungs had returned to normal when I was in Philadelphia. I had planned to go to an arts festival in Piedmont Park, a short walk from where I live, but I'll stay indoors all weekend, and continue to drive to work instead of taking public transit, as I have done all summer.

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.

Aug 18, 2019, 1:04pm

Catching up...

>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.

Aug 18, 2019, 1:12pm

>43 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire! I look forward to seeing you in London next month.

>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.

Aug 20, 2019, 12:28am

Hi Darryl, I hope you're able to drop down to 0.7FTE as you wish. It will be good to have that extra bit of time to spend with your parents (and perhaps, you know, just to read?).

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

Aug 20, 2019, 11:43am

I just finished one of your London recommendations, Darryl, The Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya. Weird and good.

Aug 21, 2019, 1:48pm

Jericho Brown is going to be speaking on my campus in November. I'm hoping I can go hear him!

Aug 21, 2019, 10:02pm

Hi Darryl, I hope all is well with you and your parents!

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.

Edited: Aug 23, 2019, 9:45am

Happy New Thread!

Finished Elderhood while on a brief trip. It is quite good, though a bit repetitive at times.

Edited: Aug 24, 2019, 9:54pm

Reba,(Rebarelishesreading) Bonnie, (brenzi), and I had a wonderful meetup at Reba’s place on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, New York. Included in our group was my friend Sharon, who it turns out, is a fellow CLSC (Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Society alumni), and Reba’s husband Emory, who can’t be all bad even if he got his PhD from the University of Kansas. We had a great time talking about Chautauqua and books and lots of stuff in between. Reba cooked us a great lunch and Bonnie’s desert was outstanding. Reba posted pictures of us on her thread, as did Bonnie on hers.

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.

Aug 29, 2019, 10:05am

Happy Thursday, everyone! I finished my last long work stretch of the summer on Sunday, and, except for a backup shift on Labor Day that I probably won't be called in for, I'm off until September 19th. I'll leave for a two week stay in London on Tuesday night, barring any significant impact from Hurricane Dorian, and I'll work two weeks before I leave for a two week trip to Lisbon in early October.

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.

Edited: Aug 29, 2019, 10:26am

>50 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. I had hoped to decrease my FTE by November, when we move into our busy autumn and winter season, but January 2020 may be more realistic. My two newest partners want to increase their hours, so this should be doable. I'll hardly notice the decrease in salary and PTO, but the increase in days off will be well worth it.

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.

Aug 29, 2019, 10:46am

>51 jnwelch: I'm glad that you liked The Dream of My Return, Joe. IIRC I purchased it from Daunt Books when we were there together in the ground floor of the bookshop. Thanks for reminding me about it; I haven't read it yet.

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.

Aug 29, 2019, 10:52am

>54 tangledthread: Thanks, tangledthread! I look forward to attending Louise Aronson's talk about Elderhood at the Decatur Book Festival Saturday afternoon.

>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!

Aug 29, 2019, 11:41am

One of the nurses at Children's who I'm most friendly with is a fellow foodie and a rabid soccer fan, and she and her husband are avid supporters of Atlanta United, our beloved Major League Soccer club. Kayla's husband is out of town this week, and since she wanted to go to this week's U.S. Open Cup final against Minnesota United she invited me and Nisha, one of my newest and most favorite partners, to join her when she saw us on rounds on Sunday. We all readily agreed, and since I was able to get a great deal on a block of six tickets on StubHub we invited two more of my partners, along with the very pregnant wife of one of them (Loretta is in her 39th week of gestation). Everyone except Kayla met for dinner at a very good Southwestern restaurant across from historic Oakland Cemetery, and we drove to nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium from there.

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:


Aug 29, 2019, 12:58pm

I don't follow soccer, Darryl, but it sounds and looks like it was fun. With no further report, can I safely assume your friend didn't give birth until after the game? ;-)

Aug 29, 2019, 1:19pm

>61 jessibud2: Ha! Yes, you can assume that, Shelley. I just checked Jason's Facebook page, and the last entry on his timeline is a photo of him and Loretta at Tuesday's match.

Edited: Aug 29, 2019, 2:17pm

I think I am going to drive over for the Book Festival on Sunday and drive back on Monday. I want to avoid the Saturday traffic going into Atlanta from Alabama, so have to check the game times as well. I haven't looked at the schedule yet, to see which day has authors I want to see. I will get back to you about it.

Aug 29, 2019, 2:58pm

>63 benitastrnad: Sounds good.

Aug 29, 2019, 4:42pm

Sweet Thursday, Darryl. Hooray for having a long stretch off. Enjoy, my friend. I am expecting some serious reading going on over here.

Aug 29, 2019, 4:49pm

>58 kidzdoc: Good memory! Yes, the Moya book was on the ground floor of the Marlyebone Daunt's.

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!

Aug 29, 2019, 5:17pm

>65 msf59: Thanks, Mark; sweet Thursday, indeed! I need to get it going ASAP if I have any hope of reading 75 books this year, after an abysmal summer so far. Being abroad for four weeks between now and mid October should provide me with a good jump start, along with this weekend's Decatur Book Festival.

>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!

Aug 29, 2019, 8:04pm

I just checked the lineup for the Decatur Book Festival and all I can say is WOW! That'sa lineup. There are several YA authors that I would like to hear, so am thinking that maybe I can do the events at the Decatur Library and the Decatur Recreational Center.

Aug 29, 2019, 11:31pm

>68 benitastrnad: Sounds good, Benita. All of the venues are within walking distance from the Decatur MARTA station. Kay and I will meet tomorrow afternoon, to go to the High Museum of Art and have dinner, as we did last year, and we'll make plans for Saturday and Sunday at that time.

These are the talks I plan to go to:

Sat 8/31
1000-1045: Algorithms of Oppression
1115-1200: Presumed Criminal
1230-1315: Furious Hours
1345-1430: The Deep End of Flavor
1500-1545: Elderhood
1615-1700: One Person, No Vote
1730-1815: The Impatient Dr Lange

Sun 9/1
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

Aug 30, 2019, 7:09am

Dropping this here and on Joe's thread Darryl, this place is just behind the National theatre.

I can get to the theatre by 5pm, the show starts at 7pm.

Aug 30, 2019, 7:18am

>70 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I looked at The Green Room's menu, and it looks good to me. There are tables available at 5-5:30, but I imagine we should book one in advance if we all agree to dine there. I'm happy to do so.

Aug 30, 2019, 7:41am

Hi Darryl!

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.

Aug 31, 2019, 2:05pm

>71 kidzdoc: restaurant booked for 5pm in my name Darryl.

Sep 1, 2019, 9:43pm

>69 kidzdoc: The "menu" of talks sounds good. I look forward to hearing how you liked Jericho Brown's reading (along with Lauren K. Alleyne, of course!).

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!

Sep 2, 2019, 5:05am

Darryl, I really enjoyed your photos from the Decatur book festival on Facebook. It looks like you had a fantastic time. Can't wait to hear all about it.

>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.

Sep 2, 2019, 2:51pm

The Decatur book festival sounded good, Darryl. I hope you enjoyed the talks and got to all that you wanted to see. Safe travels. Have a great time in London!

Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 7:27pm

Happy Labor Day, everyone! On a Monday when many Americans aren't working, and given the current political climate in this country, I would like to honor the much maligned and underappreciated immigrants who do the hard work and pick produce for our tables and the restaurants that we dine in:

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.

Sep 2, 2019, 6:28pm

Happy and safe travels, Darryl. Seems quite a few 75ers are travelling somewhere or other this week!

Sep 3, 2019, 5:35am

This year's Booker Prize shortlist has just been announced:

Margaret Atwood, The Testaments
Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport
Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other
Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities
Salman Rushdie, Quichotte
Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

Sep 3, 2019, 6:00am

>79 kidzdoc: Interesting Darryl. Two literary heavyweights there in Rushdie and Atwood. Little bit surprised that Max Porter and Jeanette Winterson both missed out.

Sep 3, 2019, 6:29am

Happy Travels, Darryl. I am so glad you guys had a good Meet Up over the weekend. Benita has become quite the LT ambassador! No photos?

Have a safe trip and enjoy your time with the other LTers in London town.

Sep 3, 2019, 12:04pm

It was a hot time in HotLanta over the weekend.

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.

Edited: Sep 3, 2019, 12:05pm

>81 msf59:
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.

Edited: Sep 3, 2019, 12:16pm

I met up with Daryl, Kay, and Kay's friend at a restaurant in Decatur named Revival. We had a fantastic brunch! There are pictures! of the food. Not the people. We forgot to take a picture of us - but got the important thing - the food.

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?

Edited: Sep 3, 2019, 12:41pm

We split up for the afternoon to attend different book venues. I spent the day at the YA and Children's Stages. The highlight of who I saw was Roshani Chokshi at the YA stage and children's graphic novel authors Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham. Chokshi's latest book is Gilded Wolves and Hale and Pham's latest children's graphic novel is Best Friends. I also went to the Culinary stage and watched Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin the authors of New Pie for two scientists who work for the CDC in Atlanta they were fun to watch and had some pie hints and tips that were things I might use. If I get around to doing so, I will purchase their cookbook.

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.

Sep 3, 2019, 12:46pm

Since there are no photographs of this LT meetup, I hope that the word pictures above will suffice. I want to thank Daryl for making all the reservations and providing the transportation. He did good ya'all.

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.

Sep 3, 2019, 7:20pm

Thanks for this update Benita. It sounds like a great time. I'd love to go to a Book Festival like this but I don't see it in my future.

Sep 4, 2019, 12:33am

>86 benitastrnad: No books, Benita, that is showing a lot of restraint. I bet that Darryl picked up a few while there. He had a small stack when I met with him in the London Review Bookshop.

Hope your trip goes/went smoothly, Darryl, and I look forward to hearing about your adventures and seeing pictures.

Sep 4, 2019, 4:46am

>86 benitastrnad: Your write up combined with the pictures Darryl took give a great flavour of the book festival. I'm glad you all had such a good time.

Sep 4, 2019, 5:25pm

Good evening from London! I arrived here safely this morning, and last night's overnight flight was uneventful and smooth. I'm still quite groggy, so I'll reply to messages tonight and post photos and descriptions of this past weekend's Decatur Book Festival and meet ups with three LTers tomorrow, before Caroline, Debbi, Joe & I meet for dinner and a play at the National Theatre. Thanks to Benita for providing a summary of Sunday's meet up in my absence. It was a great pleasure to meet her for the first time, and to see Kay and Pattie again.

>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.

Edited: Sep 4, 2019, 5:55pm

>75 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire. My few photos do no justice to Decatur, or the book festival. I mentioned to Benita, Kay and Pattie that I, and many of my partners, would choose to buy a house in that lovely city if it wasn't such a tough commute to and from the hospital. It's the seat of DeKalb County, pronounced just as Benita said in >84 benitastrnad:, and it's only five miles away from Midtown Atlanta, where I live. The square in downtown Decatur is charming, it's filled with over a dozen superb restaurants within a short distance, and there is a MARTA subway station in the heart of the square, which is essential since parking there is very limited. The city is very liberal, diverse and highly educated, thanks in no small part to the close proximity of two notable schools, Emory University and Agnes Scott College. I may find some book festival photos online tomorrow, and post them along with the ones I took on Sunday.

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.

Sep 4, 2019, 5:54pm

>78 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! I know that Katie is (or was) in Dallas, and Debbi & Joe arrived in London yesterday; who else is traveling this week?

>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!

Edited: Sep 4, 2019, 6:08pm

>83 benitastrnad: You're definitely making your mark with LT meet ups, Benita! It's all the more impressive because you have to travel outside of Tuscaloosa in order to do so (have you met any LTers there?).

>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.

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 7:35am

>91 kidzdoc: Friday would be great, I'm free from 1-2. or after work at 5. Hope you have a good meetup this evening; I'd have joined you for dinner but I've got choir practice.

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 8:22am

>94 Sakerfalcon: Sounds good, Claire. I'll probably join you for lunch tomorrow, and I'll see if Debbi & Joe are interested in coming.

Sep 5, 2019, 10:38am

Enjoy Londen, Darryl!

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 7:03pm

>93 kidzdoc:
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.

Sep 6, 2019, 4:47pm

Happy Friday, everyone! Debbi, Joe & I, Los Tres Americanos, are having a splendid time in London so far. We met for dinner last night, and saw a superb play at the National Theatrebased on followed by a superb interpretation of Kate Grenville's Booker Prize shortlisted novel The Secret River. Today the three of us met at the flagship branch of Daunt Books in Marylebone, met Claire (Sakerfalcon), who works nearby, for lunch at the Le Pain Quotidien boulangerie on Marylebone High Street close to Daunt Books, and bought cheese from the Marylebone branch La Fromagerie, located on a side street close to Daunt. I was supposed to meet Bianca (drachenbraut23) for dinner, but she had to cancel our date, so it was an early night, which for me was far from disappointing, as I'll see her at least once next week. Claire, Debbi, Joe & I will spend most of the day together tomorrow, starting with lunch, a visit to Tate Modern, one of my favorite modern art museums, dinner in Islington, and a performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at Sadler's Wells.

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:

Sep 6, 2019, 5:07pm

Darryl thank you so much for sharing. What a wonderful time you are having and from your wonderful descriptions and adventures it feels like i am almost there. Great pictures of the books and the book haulers!

Sep 6, 2019, 5:28pm

My book haul:

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.

Sep 6, 2019, 5:32pm

I'll start the process of catching up tomorrow morning, before our meet up. It's half ten in the evening here, so I'll reply to outstanding posts, read for a bit, and call it a night.

>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.

Sep 6, 2019, 6:01pm

>98 kidzdoc: Darryl--You overachiever, you: I mean not one, but TWO bags at Daunt!! LOL. Looks like another highly successful meetup. I am looking forward to mine of Sunday. Post more photos please!!

Sep 7, 2019, 3:06am

You really have a good time in London. I love the bookshop. It looks so English to me.

Sep 7, 2019, 7:25pm

Sounds like some great times! I am looking forward to hearing how you like Quichotte; it seems that there have been some mixed reviews. I am a Rushdie fan.

Sep 7, 2019, 7:45pm

Happy Saturday, Darryl. I love following your vacation adventures. Hooray for Daunt Books and hooking up with Joe & Debbi. Nice book haul too. Furious Hours was excellent. Enjoy. I am also interested in How to Be an Antiracist.

Sep 7, 2019, 8:37pm

Love the pictures of the bookstore. I hope to go there someday. Reba has left Buffalo and should be in England so there are lots of LT’ers in that city right now!

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.

Sep 8, 2019, 4:49am

>102 Berly: Hi, Kim! Debbi and I have been posting all of our photos on Facebook, which is very easy to do, but it's a time consuming chore to post all of them here. It would be great if LT could somehow make it possible to post photos as easily here as it is on Facebook; wishful thinking, I know.

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.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 5:20am

>105 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Yes, Debbi, Joe & I had a great time together the past three days, and Claire's company on Friday and Saturday was an added plus. I'll see the Welches at least once more during this trip, as we're seeing Bartholomew Fair at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on Wednesday night.

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.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 8:03am

>107 kidzdoc: LT has made it possible to post photos as easily as facebook, but that makes it a different format. It's called Litsy. There is an app and a website.

Sep 8, 2019, 4:38pm

Hi Darryl, it looks like you are having a good time in London mate, I have been following your exploits on Facebook and you Debbi and Joe are really enjoying being together. So sad that we couldn't make it but we will get to meet-up. Sending love and hugs mate and Karen has been baking today, yum, yum.

Sep 8, 2019, 6:06pm

Oh you are having a great time. I loved reading The Secret River. Daunt Books is a great store, love how they arrange the books.

Sep 8, 2019, 7:11pm

I love the photos of Daunt books. I'm thinking London (including that bookshop!) may be my birthday trip next year.

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!!

Sep 8, 2019, 9:40pm

Looks like you had a great haul from Daunt!

Sep 11, 2019, 4:04am

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Today marks the beginning of the second half of this so far superb trip to London, as I have six full days remaining before I return to Atlanta on Tuesday. So far I've seen two plays and a modern dance performance, met up with Debbi & Joe three times and with Claire twice, had plenty of good food, and contributed mightily to the British publishing industry by purchasing 15 books so far.

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.

Sep 11, 2019, 4:14am

>144 you certainly are having a fine time as usual Darryl.

Sep 11, 2019, 4:22am

Catching up:

>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.

Sep 11, 2019, 4:23am

>115 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I hope that you're feeling better, and that you're enjoying yourself in Prague.

Sep 12, 2019, 9:16pm

Emigration and the Sea sounds fascinating.

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.

Sep 16, 2019, 1:04pm

Portuguese is not the easiest language to pick up

Sep 16, 2019, 3:16pm

Have a safe trip back, buddy. It was great (as always) to spend time with you here!

Sep 20, 2019, 1:02am

>116 kidzdoc: So, just what constitutes enough books to merit a deluxe book bag at Daunt's, Darryl? I hope that you and your books made it back to Atlanta safely. Looks like you had a wonderful trip.

Sep 22, 2019, 5:13am

Hi Darryl, I just finished Stone upon Stone and thumbed your review. Thanks for recommending this great read back in 2013.

Oct 1, 2019, 9:35am

Happy October, everyone! Apologizes for my prolonged absence from LT. I was supposed to have arrived in Lisbon today, to spend a two week vacation there, but I contracted a bad viral upper respiratory tract infection the weekend before last, which turned into bronchitis and a moderate asthma exacerbation. I'm very slowly improving, but I thought that it would be a better idea to stay in Atlanta for at least this week, although there is a slim chance that I may decide to fly to Lisbon next weekend to spend next week there.

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!

Oct 1, 2019, 9:47am

>118 libraryperilous: Emigration and the Sea is highly interesting to me, as it's about the Portuguese diaspora across the world. I anticipated bringing with me to Lisbon to read this week, but I'll try to get to it later this year.

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.

Oct 1, 2019, 9:54am

>120 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! I had a blast with you, Debbi and our dear friends in London, and I look forward to the reunion of Los Tres Americanos in Blighty in 2021.

>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.

Oct 2, 2019, 5:27am

I'm sorry that you've been sick, Darryl - I hope you continue to improve!

Oct 2, 2019, 6:35am

Happy Wednesday, Darryl. Nice to see you checking in. I hope you are feeling better. I have a copy of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World waiting for me on shelf, thanks to Ellen. Glad to hear you liked it.

Oct 2, 2019, 7:17am

>123 kidzdoc: What bad luck Darryl. Get well soon. Wishing you a nice restful time reading your books.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:01am

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I had a better reading day yesterday than I had intended, as I nearly finished Girl, Woman, Other before I fell asleep before midnight. I polished it off early this morning, as it was a quick read despite its length. I'm now suddenly halfway through this year's Booker Prize shortlist, and this is my rank list so far:

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.

Oct 2, 2019, 10:45am

Great to see that you're well enough to be back posting again! I hope this is a better reading month for you.

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.

Oct 2, 2019, 12:13pm

Alabama is a real "blast furnace" as well. We had no 100 degree days during the summer and in the month of September had 2. The last two days have set record highs - both 100 - in Tuscaloosa for these dates. It will cool down to the lower 90's over the weekend. Worst for us is that there has been no rain. We had only 1/2 inch in the entire month of September. Wild fires are now becoming a problem in the National Forest's in Alabama. There was a sizable wild fire in the Mount Cheaha National Forest last week. It burned a couple of hundred acres. This is just over the border from the western suburbs of Atlanta. That is not large by Western U. S. standards, but for this area it is cause for concern. This might be another reason that your asthma has been a problem.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:22pm

I hope you'll enjoy An Orchestra of Minorities, Darryl, since it's glowering at me from the TBRverse. I should finish Night Boat to Tangier far so good.

I feel for y'all sweltering in the triple digits down there in Hell. It's been hot here, too, up to almost 80 today!


Oct 3, 2019, 1:51am

Looks like you are well on the way to finishing your Booker reads, Darryl. You must have your reading mojo back. Hopefully your health will improve the same way that your reading did.

Oct 3, 2019, 9:07am

>130 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire! I wasn't quite as productive yesterday as I would have liked, but I hope to be able to finish The Handmaid's Tale by this evening.

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.

Oct 3, 2019, 10:59am

I'm glad you're feeling a bit improved, my friend, and that you have time to recover before work starts up again.

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?

Oct 3, 2019, 11:15am

>123 kidzdoc: Sorry to hear you were unwell and had to cancel your trip Darryl, but glad you are on the mend and steaming ahead with some reading.

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.

Oct 3, 2019, 12:12pm

Hi Darryl, did I already give you the pro tip on how not to feel overwhelmed by Ducks, Newburyport? Mentally replace every instance of "the fact that" with a period? I think I did, but better to know twice than not at all, eh what?

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....

Oct 4, 2019, 8:47am

Happy Friday, everyone! I had another good reading day yesterday, as I finished The Handmaid's Tale just before midnight, along with the script for the play Professor Bernhardi by Arthur Schnitzler, which was adapted into the superb play The Doctor by Robert Icke that I saw at the Almeida Theatre in London last month.

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.

Oct 4, 2019, 9:02am

>137 richardderus: I just looked at the dynamic rank list of the Booker Prize shortlisted novels in The Mookse and the Gripes group in Goodreads. Here's the weighted list:

1. Girl, Woman, Other
2. Ducks, Newburyport
3. Quichotte
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.

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 10:26am

Hi Darryl. What do you think of the Nicci Gerrard book, What Dementia Teaches us About Love? Is it a good read, an easy one? Going through this now with my mum, I am ping-ponging between wanting to read and learn as much as I can, and just wanting to bury my head in the sand or sleep until it's all over. Obviously, I am not really doing the latter - there is far too much to do - but I have been both seeking to find books that can help me, and at the same time, avoiding the issue. Weird, but maybe not so much. Just wondered if this might be something I could use.

Oct 4, 2019, 10:09am

>140 jessibud2: I've been carrying around What Dementia Teaches Us About Love for months, but I haven't sunken my teeth into it...until today. I'm only on page 44, but I hope to finish it this evening or sometime tomorrow. It's good so far, but I'll give you my thoughts about it ASAP.

Oct 4, 2019, 10:12am

>140 jessibud2: I could have written that post, Shelley. I feel utterly unequipped to deal with my mother's memory and judgment loss, so I'm eager to hear what Darryl thinks about this book too.

Edited: Oct 5, 2019, 11:33am

Debbi LOVED The Testaments, Darryl, so maybe that helps. She couldn't put it down. I plan to read it soonish.

I need to take a look at Girl, Woman, Other. That one snuck up on me.

Sorry the lousy bug continues to pester you. It's got to give up sooner or later, right?

Oct 5, 2019, 9:32pm

I'm interested in your thoughts on What Dementia Teaches Us About Love. I'm currently taking care of my mom with Alzheimer's (as you probably know) and it's nice to read books that help me cope with what's happening to her.

Oct 6, 2019, 10:51pm

>139 kidzdoc: Will be interested to see whether Atwood wins by sheer bravura of the hype her book has generated or because it is really good (yup, I haven't read it yet).

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.

Oct 7, 2019, 1:10am

I really liked The Testaments, but can't compare it as I haven't read any of the others. I took a look at the Duck book, and was slightly horrified by the length and sentence structure. I think I would need to read that sometimes when I have more patience.

Oct 7, 2019, 4:45am

I really liked De testamenten and read it in a day and a half, just because I had to sleep.

Oct 7, 2019, 8:02am

I enjoyed The testaments too, but it doesn't feel "literary" enough to win the Booker. The plot and worldbuilding are very satisfactory but it lacked the impact of The handmaid's tale for me.

Edited: Oct 8, 2019, 8:47am

I enjoy reading playscripts especially plays I have recently watched.

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

Oct 8, 2019, 9:07am

Happy Tuesday, everyone! After a great start to the week the wheels came off last weekend, as I've hardly read anything the past four days. It will be very hard, though not impossible, for me to read the remaining three books on the Booker Prize shortlist, so I'll focus on the two that seem to be the better candidates to win the award, An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma, and Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann. I very much want to read The Testaments, and if I can't finish it by Sunday I'll read it next week. I'll write reviews of the shortlisted books I've already read, Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak, and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, later this week.

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.

Oct 8, 2019, 12:35pm

>145 PaulCranswick: I think it's entirely possible that The Testaments is chosen as the Booker Prize winner, in order to reward Margaret Atwood for her laudable career, given her age, and to make up for The Handmaid's Tale losing out to The Old Devils for the 1986 Booker Prize. I can't exactly say why, but at this point I predict that Ducks, Newburyport will win. I hope to start it tomorrow or Thursday, after I finish An Orchestra of Minorities, and if I read a very doable 250 pages per day in both books over the next six days I'll be done with them on Sunday. With an even better effort I might be able to squeeze in The Testaments as well.

>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.

Oct 8, 2019, 1:53pm

Hi Darryl! I hope when you say 'the wheels came off the bus' you are only referring to your reading and not to a setback with your illness. Good health to you! I'm sorry you missed your trip.

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.

Oct 9, 2019, 1:59pm

I am hoping that 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak wins the Booker. I have not read that one, but I have several of her other books on my shelves and want to get to them sometime soon.

Oct 10, 2019, 7:03am

Breaking news: After a year's hiatus the Nobel Prizes in Literature for 2018 and 2019 have just been announced: Olga Tokarczuk for 2018, and Peter Handke for 2019.

Oct 10, 2019, 9:40am

>152 streamsong: Hi, streamsong! I was only referring to my reading; I'm now nearly 100% back to normal health. My reading output so far this week still hasn't been good, as I'm only halfway through An Orchestra of Minorities and haven't finished a book since last Tuesday, IIRC. I've been cooking, shopping, and running lots of errands this week (my new eyeglasses will be available soon!), so Real Life has a lot to do with this. Since I only have four more days off, including today, I think I'll set An Orchestra of Minorities aside for the moment and start Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann, as I think this book has a much more likely chance to be chosen for the Booker Prize on Monday. If I read an average of 250 pages per day I'll finish it by Sunday.

>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.

Oct 10, 2019, 10:20am

I just started Flights by Olga Tokarczuk ( although I interrupted my reading to start a book that I read when current events look grim)I'll have to get back to it soon.

Oct 10, 2019, 10:44am

I look forward to your thoughts about Flights, Cyrel. I'll probably read it in November, after I finish Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

Oct 10, 2019, 11:03am

I was happy to see Peter Handke winning the Nobel, he is one of Frank's favorites, he has something with odd Austrians like Elfride Jellinek and Thomas Bernhard...
I have read two of Peter Handke's books and liked A sorrow beyond dreams best.

Oct 10, 2019, 11:10am

>158 FAMeulstee: I also liked A Sorrow Beyond Dreams from what I recall, even though I only rated it 3 stars.

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.

Edited: Oct 10, 2019, 11:20am

>159 kidzdoc: As far as I know he is not right wing at all. He just stood up for Serbia when everyone was pointing in their direction after the Yugoslavian war and declaring Kroatia "innocent"... He believes strongly everyone should think by themselves and not only believe "what is said" in the papers, on TV etc. And I think he likes to stirr up a bit, by going against the stream.

Oct 10, 2019, 11:23am

>160 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Handke has been labeled as a fascist and a supporter of the far right by an impassioned few. I'll be interested to get a more balanced and rational take on who he really is and what he stands for.

Oct 10, 2019, 12:15pm

Hi, Darryl. I don't think of Handke as right wing either, although I may be behind the times. It was quite the opposite when he and I were younger.

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.

Oct 10, 2019, 12:40pm

Darryl--I am so far behind on LT, but a quick skim glad you had a wonderful time abroad and met up with the fabulous Joe and Debbi. So sorry you've been under the weather--hope you stay well now. I have the GN version of The Handmaid's Tale arriving tomorrow--I read the original years ago and thought this would be a good refresher. Then I will get to The Testaments! I saw Atwood speak here about a week ago and loved her. Now, here's to hoping RL interferes less with my LT time!

Oct 10, 2019, 12:41pm

You can see my opinion on this ludicrous award over on another thread. Stupid hat asses. When will they see that literature doesn't stop at the borders of the EU?

Edited: Oct 10, 2019, 1:49pm

>162 jnwelch: I'm glad you also agree that Handke isn't a right wing fascist nut, Joe. I feel better about reading him now.

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.

Oct 10, 2019, 5:12pm

There seems to be an increasing swell of opposition to Peter Handke's selection as the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature. This statement comes from PEN America:

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.

Oct 10, 2019, 5:26pm

>165 kidzdoc: No, Atwood was live on stage here in Portland. Only 1 of 5 appearances in the US I think. I brought three of my friends and she was awesome.

>166 kidzdoc: Whoa.....

Oct 10, 2019, 5:34pm

>166 kidzdoc: - And this is why I don't follow, care about, or give any credence to literary (or other artistic) awards. There are always questionable (rightly, as would seem in this case) selections, and as the PEN America statement says, they are completely subjective anyway.

Oct 10, 2019, 5:56pm

>166 kidzdoc: I'm glad the PEN board and president took this step; but Handke is their choice, so there it is. To be brutally honest, Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize for Literature offends me quite a lot more than right-wing mouthpiece Handke's. At least he can write a reasonably good novel, even if his politics are more on the Brad Thor end than mine.

Oct 10, 2019, 6:35pm

>169 richardderus: I know nothing about Handke but agree with you Richard, Dylan's award was too woke for me, it's a prize for writers of great literature.
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.

Edited: Oct 10, 2019, 6:47pm

>166 kidzdoc: Handke did follow his ideals, and we were as outraged as he was about the NATO bombings in 1999. They started bombing the Serbs without the consent of the United Nations General Assembly! Milosevic was trying to protect his country against brutal capitalism, ended up in a war and in the end got all the blame.
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.

Oct 10, 2019, 7:25pm

>170 avatiakh: ...waitwaitwait...HARRY POTTER not, oh let's say Maurice Gee or Christina Stead if we're talking about kid's books, could even get a look-in for translation?!? Yow. That is disheartening. I hope the Press exerts serious control and steers things away from the popularity contest format.

>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.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 6:46am

>172 richardderus: Agreed with your Comintern assessment, Richard, although I think they stated with good intentions towards the wellness of the people.
That doesn't make Handke right-wing. Not all friends are in the same corner.

Oct 11, 2019, 3:54pm

Whoa, lots of controversial opinions about literary prizes! Hope your Booker short list reads are going down well, Darryl.

Oct 11, 2019, 10:37pm

Hi Darryl! Nothing to add about prizes, but I was wondering, have you read anything by Victor Lavelle? He is in your Black Male Writers list, and I am reading The Changeling now. It is good, but doesn't seem like your thing.

Oct 12, 2019, 4:28am

Darryl - there's a good summing up of the Booker shortlist in the Irish Times -

Oct 12, 2019, 9:20am

Hi Darryl!

>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.

Oct 13, 2019, 7:54pm

I reviewed the last three Booker nominees I'll have time to read before the award in my thread, post 213.

Oct 13, 2019, 11:37pm

Hi Darryl. As tomorrow is Booker announcement day, I thought I'd come over and see what's happening on your thread. I see you made a valiant effort to get the entire short list read. I didn't even give it much of an effort this year although I think it's an interesting list of finalists. I've only read two of the short-listed novels, An Orchestra of Minorities (3.5 stars) and 10 Minutes 38 Seconds (4.5 stars).

>166 kidzdoc: Very interesting!

Oct 14, 2019, 11:31am

I just finished Flights by Olga Tokarczuk You can read my review on my thread- I don't know... I think that I have read better... I can think of Italo Calvino and W.G. Sebald......

Oct 14, 2019, 4:52pm

Dual winner, neither one anything like the quality I'd expect. Depressing, if I'm honest.

Oct 21, 2019, 12:28pm

Hope all is well on your end, Darryl. We are missing you.

Oct 22, 2019, 12:17pm

I'm guessing you're working ridiculous hours right now? Hope all is well.

Oct 29, 2019, 4:38am

Hi Darryl, I hope you are doing fine!

Oct 29, 2019, 1:00pm

We're missing you around here, Darryl. I hope all is well and that you tell us your take on the Booker this year.

Oct 31, 2019, 6:10pm

The November thread for the 2019 AAC is live. Come join us in a discussion of W. E. B. Du Bois's work.

Oct 31, 2019, 9:50pm

Hi Darryl!

Nov 2, 2019, 5:34am

Hi Darryl! Happy Halloween, a little late. Hope you are well.

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 2:10pm

Hey Darryl! I posted this on my own thread, but thought I'd ask you (as the one I know of who'd be most likely to know about these books):

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!

Nov 7, 2019, 2:32pm


Nov 7, 2019, 2:32pm


Edited: Nov 9, 2019, 6:19pm

Phew! Finally found your thread! Be on the lookout for Joaquim! I think I finally convinced him to join LibraryThing! :D

ETA: I'll have to go back and read your whole thread later. No time now!

Nov 13, 2019, 4:36pm

Starting to worry about you! Hope you're ok!

Nov 16, 2019, 4:23pm

Missing you around here, Darryl.

Edited: Nov 17, 2019, 12:38pm

Happy Sunday, everyone, and apologies for my protracted absence. I've had a crazy last month and a half, starting with a prolonged illness at the beginning of last month (RSV bronchitis + asthma attack + secondary bacterial pneumonia and sinusitis), a serious health scare involving my father that required an emergency trip back home (his close neighbor and an EMT who lives on their street found him unresponsive and pulseless at home), and the busiest work stretch of the 19 years I've been at Children's. We set a record on one of the nights I worked last month, with 37 admissions to the General Pediatrics service from 8 pm to 8 am. Our census has been in the low triple digits for the past two weeks, and those of us working days have been running like crazed rabbits to see patients as quickly as we can, as we are under pressure from Admin to discharge them ASAP, since the hospital is completely full, the ER is admitting patients to us as fast as we can send them home, and elective non-same day surgeries are being cancelled or postponed due to a lack of beds to place the postoperative patients on the regular patient care areas and the ICUs (surgeons make money for the system; we don't). After a typical work day it's all I can do to drive home, make dinner, and finish up progress notes before I fall asleep at 9-10 pm.

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.

Nov 17, 2019, 1:42pm

Sorry to hear you have had such a lot to deal with Darryl. I hope your health issues are on an even keel now. I hope too, that your dad is on the mend. I know how hard it is to see once strong loved ones, more vulnerable and frail as they grow older.

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.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:02pm

>195 kidzdoc:, >196 Caroline_McElwee: - What Caroline said, Darryl. I add my wishes to hers for your better health and for your parents, as well. I so well know how difficult it is from a distance, to have to deal with this. I can't imagine having to do so while still working full time!

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.


Nov 17, 2019, 7:25pm

It's good to see an update from you, Darryl. I hope that your father is doing much better. Your work life sounds crazy right now and I can see why you would want to cut down on your stress. It will be odd not seeing you around the 75ers at the beginning of the coming year.

Nov 18, 2019, 9:34am

Glad to hear from you although I am sorry about the workload and family health issues. I second Shelley's suggestion!
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!

Nov 18, 2019, 10:36am

I figured that you were ill and probably had elder care to deal with as well. I have the same things going on and, like you have been absent from this group for the last couple of weeks. I feel like my life has become busier and busier and while I keep trying to slow it down the beat goes on and gets faster.

Post when you can and know that we are thinking of you. I PLAN on seeing you in Decatur next year.

Nov 18, 2019, 10:47am

I have been worried about your silence here, Darryl, although seeing your occasional post on FB told me you were at least still above ground. I hope life becomes a bit calmer for you soon, and that you Dad is doing OK now. Will miss you if you decide to take a break from the '75'ers, but it's completely understandable. And do think about having someone in to could give you a lift to come home to a sparkling apartment at the end of a tough day.

Nov 18, 2019, 2:25pm

Joining those giving you sympathy for the tough times dating back to October, Darryl. I'm glad your father is okay - "pulseless"?!

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.

Nov 18, 2019, 6:33pm

It's me...just echoing the thoughts and concerns of others here...about your health and that of your parents...and the exceedingly high toll the stress of a busy workplace takes. Even if I don't hear from you often, I'll be sure to check in on you either on Club Read, FB or Instagram. On my bucket list is still to meet you. I WILL do that some day. Stay well. Good wishes for your mom and dad as well.

Nov 19, 2019, 7:54am

Like all others I am glad to see a message from you, Darryl.
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!

Nov 19, 2019, 12:21pm

Sorry to hear you've been through so much. I'm glad you're feeling better and that your father survived! Wow, that must have been scary.

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.

Nov 21, 2019, 7:24am

Thanks for the update, Darryl. I echo what everybody else has said, with the additional comment that I just got to know you a bit here this year and am sad you won't be here next year. BUT, I'll track you down on Club Read, and see how things are going with you.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Nov 21, 2019, 11:43am

Sending best wishes to you and family too Darryl. It is so important to take care of yourself.

Nov 21, 2019, 2:20pm

Good to see you again, Darryl. I hope your dad is doing better. Good choice to give up some threads and just keeping one going. That's what I did last year.

Take care!

Nov 22, 2019, 1:14pm

Glad to hear all is well now, and sending you best wishes for continued health and strength! So many people depend on you, and I imagine that can become really exhausting. I hope to catch up with you again in your travels!

Nov 25, 2019, 12:40am

Darryl, sorry that things have been so intense for you. I will also plan to track you down in Club Read.

Nov 25, 2019, 6:35am

Hi Darryl. Sorry to hear how busy you have been, and still are. I hope your father has recovered?

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!

Nov 26, 2019, 10:49pm

Is anybody on this thread going to be in Munich or Augsburg, Germany sometime between December 21 and the 24? I will be there and would be happy to meet LT’ers from the area.

Nov 28, 2019, 7:48am

Happy Thanksgiving, Darryl. I hope you get some down time to relax. Will you be with your family?

Nov 28, 2019, 12:38pm

Happy Thanksgiving Darryl.

Nov 28, 2019, 3:37pm

Hi Darryl mate, hope you have a really lovely Thanksgiving Day with your Mum and Dad and send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Edited: Nov 29, 2019, 4:45pm

Happy Black Friday, everyone! I hope that my American friends had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving with family yesterday, and that all of you have the remainder of the long holiday weekend off from work. I flew from Atlanta to Philadelphia on Wednesday morning to spend Thanksgiving Week with my parents, brother and his partner, and I'll stay here until late Saturday afternoon. I have to work all seven days next week (Monday through Sunday), and I'll return here for a seven day visit starting the Tuesday after next.

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.

Nov 29, 2019, 6:06pm

Darryl--Hope you are enjoying your time in Phillie with family and the food sounds absolutely yummy! Best of luck with all that you have going on in your life and we will just have to find you on the Club Read thread until you can come back to us. And I hope you have time to get back to reading one of these days soon. Best wishes!!

Nov 30, 2019, 1:47am

Darryl, so sorry to read about the family and personal health troubles, you are clearly dealing with a lot. Like others here I will star your thread in Club Read, I hope that you are able to find some time for the books.

Nov 30, 2019, 3:05pm

I'm glad you had a good Thanksgiving, Darryl. How great that your brother and Francesca could join you. Sorry to hear you've got another tough, full week ahead of you, but I'm glad you get some time with your folks after that.

Edited: Dec 12, 2019, 10:43am

Woo! My seven day work stretch ended on Sunday, and I'm off from work all this week, and with any luck I may be off all of next week as well; I'm the backup doctor for my group next Wednesday through Friday, but the inpatient census plummeted this past weekend, so I may not be needed if the census stays this way.

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.

Dec 12, 2019, 11:01am

>162 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! Did you finish The Tradition? If so, what did you think of it? I don't own and haven't read Magical Negro, but given its high praise from you I'll be on the lookout for it.

>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.

Dec 12, 2019, 11:14am

>221 kidzdoc: Reading these messages made me reconsider my original decision to leave this group in 2020.

We'll find you wherever you are! :)

Dec 12, 2019, 11:27am

>221 kidzdoc: Glad to hear your dad is doing better than expected. Hopefully with some rest he will continue on a positive path.

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!

Dec 12, 2019, 11:59am

>222 SqueakyChu: Right!

>223 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. I'm dealing with an asthma exacerbation, but it's manageable and hardly worth mentioning.

Cheers for nearly an extra month off from work!

New thread here!

Dec 12, 2019, 12:02pm

Good to see you back, Darryl

Dec 12, 2019, 12:49pm

>225 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

Dec 12, 2019, 3:53pm

I did finish The Tradition, and liked it very much. Magical Negro should impress you when you track it down. Mark and I just read Felon: Poems, by Reginald Dwayne Betts, and it's another standout collection by a black male writer.

Dec 12, 2019, 6:43pm

>227 jnwelch: Sounds good, Joe. I'll have to keep an eye out for Felon: Poems. LT tells me that I own his memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, which describes his journey from spending most of his teenage years in prison to graduating from Yale Law School. I haven't read it yet, so I'll have to look for it.

Dec 13, 2019, 6:21am

I missed the news about your dad earlier, and I'm *so* happy to see that he's okay! What an awful day that must have been for you, getting the call at your work like that and pushing through with your patients. *hugs for the amazing doctor*

Dec 13, 2019, 3:37pm

>229 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. I knew that I couldn't do anything to help my father at that moment, and that I needed to focus my attention on the patients I was admitting to hospital that evening, as they and their parents deserved the best care I could give them.

Dec 14, 2019, 11:00am

>230 kidzdoc: make it sound so matter-of-fact, Darryl. But I'm with Amber---you deserve hugs and much much more. I once had to make what I thought at the time was a life-or-death decision over the phone for my uncle hundreds of miles away, in the middle of a workday. Not my parents, just a man I was responsible for all of a sudden, and one I wasn't emotionally attached to---and my work in no way compared to yours, but it pretty much wrecked my ability to concentrate on anything else, I'll tell you. Just give your parents a little 75ers love from all of us, and do think about keeping your slot in the group next year.