Joe's Book Cafe 15

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75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Joe's Book Cafe 15

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Sep 1, 2019, 9:59am

By Roequia Fris

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:20am

Books Read in 2019


1. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (re-read on audio)
2. Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
3. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
4. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
5. One Hundred Poems from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth
6. Happiness by Aminatta Forna
7. Milkman by Anna Burns
8. Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
9. The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
10. Nerve by Dick Francis
11. Killer Collective by Barry Eisler
12. Little Oceans by Tony Hoagland
13. Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan
14. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
15. The Promise by Chaim Potok
16. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano


17. Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
18. Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz
19. Forfeit by Dick Francis
20. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
21. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
22. Educated by Tara Westover
23. The Madness Vaseby Andrea Gibson
24. The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri
22. Amelia Cole Omnibus by D.J. Kirkbride*
23. American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes
24. Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
25. The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock


26. Battle Angel Alita by Yukiko Kishiro*
27. Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
28. Decider by Dick Francis (re-read)
29. Bryant & May Hall of Mirrors by Christopher Fowler
30. Darker Than Amber by John D. MacDonald
31. One Fearful Yellow Eye by John D. MacDonald
32. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
33. A Gentlewoman’s Guide To Murder by Victoria Hamilton
34. Recent Changes in the Vernacular by Tony Hoagland
35. Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield
36. Wolf Pack A Joe Pickett Novel by C.J. Box
37. Murder in Just Cause by Anne Cleeland
38. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
39. Trial Run by Dick Francis
40. When My Brother Was An Aztec by Natalie Diaz
41. Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
42. How Long Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin


43. Tap Out by Edward Kunz
44. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
45. Passing for Human by Jody Scott*
46. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
47. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
48. Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed
49. Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse*
50. The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
51. Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz
52. Number9Dream by David Mitchell
53. When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
54. An Elegant Defense by Matt Richdel
55. Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
56. Faro's Daughter by Georgette Heyer


57. The Rosie Result by Graeme Simision
58. The Truth as Told By Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
59. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
60. Sharks in the Rivers by Ada Limon
61. Sync by K.P. Kyle
62. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
63. Reflex by Dick Francis
64. Museum of Mistakes by Julia Wertz*
65. Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli
66. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
67. With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
68. Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy
69. Dress Her in Indigo by John D. MacDonald
70. Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer
71. Drive Here and Devastate Me by Megan Falley


72. Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz
73. The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker BradleHow
74. How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry
75. The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths
76. The Heavens by Sandra Newman
77. The Long Take by Robin Robertson
78. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
79. The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason
80. Ghosts in the Schoolyard by Eve Ewing
81. How to Love a Country by Richard Blanco
82. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
83. The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer
84. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
85. Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell
86. Rat Race by Dick Francis
87. Malice A Mystery by Keigo Higashino
88. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo


89. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
90. Time of Death by J.D. Robb
91. A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell
92. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz
93. False Colours by Georgette Heyer
94. X-23 The Complete Collection Volume 2 by Marjorie M. Liu*
95. Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey
96. Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
97. Jazz by Toni Morison
98. For Everyone by Jason Reynolds
99. Bones of the Earth by Eliot Pattison
100. Recursion by Blake Crouch
101. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai


102. Lanny by Max Porter
103. Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis*
104. The Reprieve by Jean-Pierre Gibrat*
105. Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver
106. Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord
107. The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera
108. Eternity Selected Poems by Tracy K. Smith
109. The Cookcamp by Gary Paulsen
110. The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
111. A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
112. Book of Hours by Kevin Young
113. Dream of My Return by Horacio Castellanos Moya
114. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
115. The Long Lavender Look by John D. Macdonald
116. The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
117. Please by Jericho Brown
118. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
119. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei*
120. Hound of Justice by Claire O’Dell
121. Falling Awake Poems by Alice Oswald
122. Break In by Dick Francis
123. The Lost Man by Jane Harper


124. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
125. Straight by Dick Francis
126. Odds Against by Dick Francis
127. To the Hilt by Dick Francis
128. Whip Hand by Dick Francis
129. Come to Grief by Dick Francis
130. Danger by Dick Francis
131. Decider by Dick Francis
132. Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb
133. The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire
134. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
135. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
136. Murder in the Blood by Anne Cleeland
137. Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn*
138. Mythos by Stephen Fry
139. The Other End of the LIne by Andrea Camilleri
140. Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
141. Come Closer and Listen by Charles Simic
142. Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Book Three by Jeff Lemire*
143. Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Illustrated Books

1. Jane Austen's Emma by Nancy Butler
2. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley
3. Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak
4. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
5. Livestock by Hannah Berry
6. Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce and Edith
7. Anne of Green Gables A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden
8. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung
9. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 4 by Nagabe
10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Reckoning by Joss Whedon
11. Space Boy Vol. 1 by Stephen Macranie
12. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 by Nagabe
13. New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 2 by Kazuo Koike
14. Book Love by Debbie Tung
15. Royal City Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire
16. The Snooty Bookshop by Tom Gauld
17. The Day the Buddha Woke Up by Andrea Miller
18. A Bride's Story Vol. 10 by Kaoru Mori
19. Jane Austen Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuela Santoni
20. Legacy: House of Night by Daniel Krall
21. The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez
22. Stumptown by Greg Rucka (re-read)
23. Becoming Unbecoming by Una
24. Velvet Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker (re-read)
25. Mina vs. the Monsoon by Rukhsanna Guidroz
26. Woman World by Aminder Dahliwal
27. Samaris by Benoit Peeters
28. Velvet Volume 2 by Ed Brubaker (re-read)
29. Stumptown Volume 2 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
30. Lulu Anew by Etienne Davodeau
31. Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin
32. Captain Marvel Alien Nation by Margaret Stohl
33. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
34. Trish Trash Roller Girl of Mars by Jessica Abel
35. Weatherman by Jody LeHeup
36. Death or Glory Volume 1 by Rick Remender
37. Berlin by Jason Lutes
38. The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
39. Is This How You See Me by Jaime Hernandez
40. Good Talk by Mira Jacob
41. Brody's Ghost by Mark Krilley
42. Out of This World: Leonora Carrington by Amanda Hall
43. X-23 The Complete Collection by David Lafuente
44. The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
45. Black Hammer Vol. 2 by Jeff Lemire
46. Black Hammer Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire
47. American Gods Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman
48. Road to Riverdale Volume 1 by Fiona Staples
49. Road to Riverdale Volume 2 by Fiona Staples
50. Gideon Falls Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
51. Gideon Falls Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
52. Upgrade Soul by Ezra Clatan
53. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley
54. What a Wonderful World by Inio Asano
55. Black Hammer Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire
56. The Dark Tower: Gunslinger by Stephen King
57. Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse
58. Witchblade Volume 1 by Caitlyn Kittredge
59. New Kid by Jerry Craft
60. Tales Designed to Thrizzle by Michael Kupperman
61. Stumptown Vol. 3 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
62. Blackbird Volume 1 by Sam Humphries
63. Thor: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aron
64. All New Hawkeye by Jeff Lemire
65. Isola by Brendan Fletcher
66. Archie by Mark Waid
67. The Wisdom of Wonder Woman (collected)
68. 47 Ronin by Stan Saka
69. Firefly: The Unification War by Greg Pak
70. Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 by Nagabe
71. Nancy Drew Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson
72. The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
73, The Score by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
74. Flight of the Raven by Jean-Pierre Gibrat
75. Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
76. Icaro Book 2 by Moebius and Taniguchi
77. Criminal: Lawless by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (re-read)
78. Joyride by Jackson Lanzing
79. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 6by Nagabe
80. Philip K. Dick NBM Comics by Laurent Queyssi
81. Stumptown Volume 4 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
82. Kill or Be Killed Volume 4 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
83. Sleeper 2 by Ed Brubaker
84. Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle
85. The Magic Order by Mark Millar
86. Criminal Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Ed Brubaker
87. Bttm Fdrs by Ezra Clayton Daniels
88. Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston Flores
89. Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart Riri by Brian Bendis
90. Altered Carbon Download Blues by Richard Morgan
91. Ironheart Those with Courage by Eve Ewing
92. Invincible Iron Man Ironheart Choices by Brian Bendis
93. Generation Zero We Are the Future by Fred Van Lente
94. Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor by Jody Houser
95. The Graveyard Book Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman (re-read)
96. Moon Called Volume One by Patricia Briggs
97. Catwoman Copycats by Joelle Jones
98. This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
99. Middlewest Book 1 by Skottie Young
100. Jessica Jones Purple Daughter by Kelly Thompson
101. Old Man Logan by Jeff Lemire
102. Batwoman Volume 4 by J.H. Williams

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:30am

Favorite Books of 2019

The Long Take by Robin Robertson
Milkman by Anna Burns
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
Tap Out by Edgar Kunz
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz
The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Overall favorite so far: Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Edited: Sep 9, 2019, 9:30am

Favorite Illustrated Books So Far

The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
Lulu Anew by Etienne Davodeau
Berlin by Jason Lutes
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung
The Snooty Bookshop by Tom Gauld
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Out of This World: Leonora Carrington by Amanda Hall
Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse
Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 10:03am

Indy often is curious about what Becca's doing.

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:34am

Rafa modeling a new chapeau during Debbi's recent visit - his idea, not hers

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:38am

Some fun news: three of my poems, Dream Baby, Awakening with Zeno, and Kingdom of Mu, are published on Academy of the Heart and Mind (see link below).

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 10:11am

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 10:13am

George Takei's They Called Us Enemy is a graphic memoir about his time in two of the WWII Japanese-American internment camps. More than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were imprisoned based solely on their race, with no due process, after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. It's a shameful episode in our history, and resonates today more than maybe it should, as we now engage in the shameful treatment of immigrants in similar camps. It reminded me in some ways of John Lewis's terrific March Trilogy about his experiences in the Civil Rights movement. It's an important story well-told in this graphic format, and it deserves a widespread readership.

Sep 1, 2019, 11:16am

Happy new thread, Joe. Such vibrant colours in those toppers!

Sep 1, 2019, 11:23am

>10 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Right? Those colors are what grabbed me, too. She's Dutch-Egyptian - there's an interesting combination.

Sep 1, 2019, 11:27am

We're now free to share some wonderful news: Rafa is going to be a big brother! Josefina Lyndon Welch is due to arrive next February. Her nickname will be "Fina", and Lyndon is my dad's name. He and son Jesse were very close.

Sep 1, 2019, 11:35am

Happy new thread
Also congrats! Josefina is a wonderful name

Sep 1, 2019, 11:57am

Wonderful news! And that photo is a great *announcement*! :-) As a first grandchild on both sides, myself, I should forewarn you, jealousy will make an appearance at some point. Happily, they will be close enough in age that it shouldn't be too difficult. I am 4 years older than my brother and was plenty old enough to realize that *sharing* meant it was no longer all about me. Just sayin....;-)

Sep 1, 2019, 12:07pm

Happy New thread, Joe. Love those vibrant toppers and we can never get enough of the photogenic Rafa. I have had a busy morning, with my workout, my chores and catching up on some mini-reviews. Now, I hope to huddle down with the books, before we meet with friends later on.

>12 jnwelch: Hooray for the great news! And hooray for Fina! How very exciting.

Sep 1, 2019, 12:44pm

>12 jnwelch:

And a new T-shirt may be RAFA/FINA!?

Sep 1, 2019, 12:48pm

Great new toppers Joe.

>12 jnwelch: Congratulations to parents, grandparents and Rafa. He's going to be a great big brother, for his hat style alone!

Sep 1, 2019, 12:50pm

>12 jnwelch: How delightful! I'm really happy for the whole family.

Happy travels to y'all, and may the visit be tranquil and pleasurable. (I'm trying reverse psychology on the goddesses, if you're wondering why I'm not trumpeting jealously about y'all's la-di-dah life of jetting off to here before flitting away to there.)

New thread orisons.

Sep 1, 2019, 3:45pm

Happy new thread!
So much good news here! Congrats on becoming a grandad again and publishing your poems!

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 4:34pm

>12 jnwelch: Congratulations! Wonderful news.

>7 jnwelch: Congratulations!

>1 jnwelch: All the color, I want the tent, the wardrobe, the world!

Sep 1, 2019, 4:04pm

Wowie zowie, Joe. Lots of news here. New thread. New toppers. New artist. New grandchild..and a new gender at that.

Thanks for dropping by my new thread, even if it is the same old sh*t, you know.

Sep 1, 2019, 4:25pm

Hi Joe, happy new thread mate and great pictures and photos once again. Hope your weekend has been a good one mate and that you have a good trip over the pond, we still hope that we can get down to London but may not make it. Have a great time and we send love and hugs to both of you from both of us dear friends.

Sep 1, 2019, 5:01pm

Happy new thread, Joe, and congratulations on your news about the expected newest addition to your family. Safe travels. I hope to see lots of great pictures.

Edited: Sep 1, 2019, 5:52pm

>13 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita. Our DIL wanted to tip a hat my way, sweetheart that she is, so Joseph/Josefina. I love it, too.

>14 jessibud2: Isn't that photo/t-shirt a great announcement, Shelley?

Ha! Right - Rafa isn't much for sharing yet, anyway, so we'll see how it goes with a little sister. I will say, he likes playing with their two small dogs, so maybe he'll just see Josefina as one more. :-)

>15 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Isn''t that great news about Josefina? We've known for a while, but waited for the parents to give us the go-ahead on letting others know.

I haven't gotten to the books much today, although I did finish Finding Dorothy this morning. I'm trying to balance out taking a couple of airplane books and putting some "emergency" reads on Kindle with the knowledge that we always buy a load of books in London (so many great bookstores there!) We're going to try to get to the famous GN store Forbidden Planet this time, so may the gods help me; we only bring two duffel bags for the books we find. :-)

>16 m.belljackson: I like it, Marianne. Maybe Fina can wear one with "Rafa", and an arrow pointing to him, and Rafa can have one with "Fina" pointing to her.

>17 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Those colors up top should pep up our day, right?

Ha! Yes, I'm sure Rafa will teach Fina the Ways of the Hat. He also can share many nuances about toys and uses for building blocks, including percussion.

Sep 1, 2019, 5:50pm

>18 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! It's going to be fun to meet Josefina in February. Right now she's the size of a turnip (we get comparisons like that on a regular basis from her folks).

Our lovely daughter kept saying in a fake-sympathetic voice today, "Mwah, mwah, mwah, you have to go to London; life is so hard." Of course, her school year just started, and it's always miserable at the beginning as the kids transition and adjust. I think she shares your parenthetical feelings about our upcoming adventures. Do you want to hear about how hard we worked pre-retirement? I didn't think so. She doesn't either.

>19 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! Ooo, I like the sound of that "granddad again". A neighbor of ours said I look too young to be a grandfather. Besides suggesting he see an optometrist, I'm going to slip some money in his mailbox in gratitude.

>20 quondame: Thanks for the congrats, Susan! I'd love to live in that world of color; I want all of it, too - I'm sure the wardrobe can be adapted for gents.

>21 weird_O: A whole lotta "new" going on here right now, Bill, for sure. We'll try to get back to the same old sh*t asap!

If that's the SOS going on over on your thread, it sure suits me.

>22 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. We'd love to see you and Karen in London if you can make it.

>23 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. We're really looking forward to the trip. Photos: are we connected on Facebook? If so, Debbi will no doubt be posting pics there during the trip; it's a bit of a circuitous route to get them posted on LT, so mine will likely show up here after we get back.

Sep 1, 2019, 6:51pm

Oh what great news. I'm sure Rafa will be a great big brother once he gets used to the idea that someone else is going to get a bit of attention Joe. Congratulations.

Sep 1, 2019, 8:37pm

Hi Joe. You are having a great time these days, it seems. Indy and Rafa photos are so fun -- that grandson of yours is growing so fast and his facial expressions are just priceless. And, as always, lovely art to top off your new thread. And >12 jnwelch: Oh my! Congratulations! That is very exciting.

Sep 2, 2019, 6:12am

Happy new thread, Joe, you found some lovely toppers again.

I love the picture to announce Rafa will have a little sister next year!

Sep 2, 2019, 7:45am

Happy September thread, Joe! Congratulations! Having your poems published is such an awesome achievement!!

Your toppers make my eyes happy!!

>5 jnwelch: Hahaha, Looks like Indy is helping Becca order from
>6 jnwelch: So cute! Rafa, at such a young age, is incredibly stylish!
>12 jnwelch: Awe! Congratualations to Rafa and all the Welch clan on the announcement of little Josefina! Hugs to all!

Sep 2, 2019, 8:03am

Congrats on the new grandbaby-to-be! What exciting news. Here's hoping the adjustment for Rafa isn't too tough.

Sep 2, 2019, 10:04am

>26 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. Agreed. Becca and Jesse did well together from early on, and are good pals as older sibs. It's going to be fun to see Rafa with his little sis.

>27 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. 'Tis a very fine stretch we're in. Rafa is a crack-up. He's starting now in a Spanishi/English pre-school, and already likes it. He still speaks Pterodactyl, so we'll see how this develops. Thank you re Josefina - what's she going to be like? Can't wait to find out!

>28 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Isn't that a fun way to announce that Rafa has a little sister coming?

>29 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda! It's been a great feeling to have those poems published and folks reading them.

Yay for Happy Toppers! I feel the same way when I see them.

Ha! Indy has many fine ideas, but no fingers, so she likes to help Becca use her phone. is a good guess. Isn't Rafa stylish? He likes to augment whatever his parents put together for him. Thanks for the congrats and hugs re the announcement of little Josefina!

>30 bell7: Thanks, Mary! Rafa has shown a great ability to adjust to changes so far in his life, so with any luck this'll be smooth. Having sibs is a plus, isn't it - I know you just got some exciting news about your bro and his fiancee. :-)

Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 10:06am

Sep 2, 2019, 11:26am

Lots of congratulations to offer today! I’m sure Rafa will be a wonderful big brother - how very exciting for all! And congrats on your poetry publication, Joe!

Sep 2, 2019, 1:56pm

>33 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne! His parents think Rafa will be a wonderful big brother, too - he's played with other little girls and done just fine. Not the same, but still . . . It is exciting; I wish the pregnancy were easier for our poor DIL, but she's as excited as the rest of us. And thank you re the poetry publication! Feels good to have them out there.

Sep 2, 2019, 2:02pm

>31 jnwelch: Having sibs is a plus, isn't it

It is! I'm the oldest of five, which is certainly a large family by today's standards, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love being auntie to my sister's kids, and I'm super excited for my youngest brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law.

Sep 2, 2019, 2:12pm

>35 bell7: Five is a big family these days, isn't it, Mary. I had a college roommate who was 1 of 12. Wow! Eating at his house was an experience I'll never forget. I love being uncle to my sister's kids, like you do as auntie, and still remember my middle sister's wedding well, although I'm older than Ivanhoe.

Sep 2, 2019, 2:30pm

Happy new thread, Joe! Congratulations on the upcoming birth of Josefina! Safe travels to London tonight, and I look forward to seeing you, Debbi and Caroline at The Green Room on Thursday! (I'm taking the last Delta flight from ATL to LHR tomorrow night.)

Sep 2, 2019, 2:34pm

Happy Labor Day, Joe. I had a nice stroll at Montrose this morning. Gorgeous down there, although not as quite as productive, as it was in May. I like hanging out with birders, especially the more experienced ones. I am going to try and read a bit before we visit friends later on.

Good luck getting ready for your trip tonight. Sounds exciting.

Sep 2, 2019, 2:38pm

I wanted to put in a plug for Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton, originally recommended to me by Mark, before we take off. Dr. Jim also loved this one. Mark described it to me as "bonkers', and of course I found that irresistible. It is bonkers, in the best way - fresh and original. Something has screwed up humans so that they're going cuckoo and are obsessed with technology. S.T. is Big Jim's pet crow in Seattle, S.T. loves humans, and he's desperate to do something to help them. He's also pals with Big Jim's bloodhound Dennis. When Big Jim becomes incapacitated, S.T. and Dennis set out together to remedy what they can. In doing so they come across all sorts of other intelligent animals, including a regal crow who tells S.T. he is The One Who Keeps, whatever that may mean. Animals freed from zoos and animals from the wild take to the streets, and much sorting out needs to be done. They all are able to communicate in various ways. S.T. is a hilarious rebel who won't take crap from anyone, but who is also good at organizing others to, e.g., free pets imprisoned in abandoned houses. This is a funny and charming book - as Mark told me, you'll know within the first few pages whether it's your flavor or not.

Edited: Sep 2, 2019, 2:45pm

>37 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl! Isn't that great news about Josefina?

We leave for the airport in a couple of hours; can't wait to see you and Caroline on Thursday!

>38 msf59: Happy Labor Day, Mark. You make great use of that Montrose Harbor bird sanctuary; I want to get Debbi over there again. Yeah, May there was phenomenal, wasn't it. I had no idea they got that many different types of birds, or that it was on a major migration route. I love the way birders help each other; the camaraderie and sharing of knowledge is impressive.

Nice day to find a comfortable spot for reading. We're nearly ready for the trip; we've learned that night flights work best for us, so we've got a couple of hours before we head to the airport. I'm liking I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter so far, and I'm looking forward to starting Mythos when we're on the plane.

You'll see I just gave another plug for Hollow Kingdom, to help spread the word. Thanks again for recommending it!

Sep 2, 2019, 3:06pm

Safe travels and have a great time across the pond!

Sep 2, 2019, 3:48pm

^^^What Shelley said.

Sep 2, 2019, 4:14pm

>41 jessibud2:. Thanks, Shelley!

>42 richardderus:. What Richard said. No, that’s not right.

Thanks, Richard!

Sep 2, 2019, 4:16pm

See you all in 2+ weeks!

I’m taking my laptop and will be checking in. Have fun in the cafe while we’re gone!

Sep 2, 2019, 4:31pm

>39 jnwelch: Great review, Joe! Thumb! Hollow Kingdom may be my biggest surprise of the summer.

Safe travels, my friend. Looking forward to getting those updates.

Sep 2, 2019, 4:32pm

...okay looks like he's everybody gets one of these!

Sep 2, 2019, 5:06pm

Yum! But I think we'd better cancel the seed-spitting contest..... ;-)

Sep 2, 2019, 5:44pm

Don't worry about the cafe - I'm sure they will clean up before you get back. In the meantime, congratulations on the poetry, the soon-to-arrive, the trip across the pond, and anything else good that will surely accrue.

Sep 2, 2019, 8:31pm

Congrats on the poems being published, and thanks for the link, I really enjoyed reading them.

And congrats on the new grandbaby-to-be!

Sep 2, 2019, 10:24pm

What a wonderful start to a new thread, Joe.

Published Poetry & Pending Progeny to carry on the alliterative mood a reading of your poems has given me.

Happy new one, buddy.

Sep 2, 2019, 10:32pm

Have a great time in London! D and I are off to Oxford tomorrow. Ok, Oxford, Maryland, but at least I get to sit under a big oak tree along a river and read! 😀

Sep 3, 2019, 2:51am

>12 jnwelch: Oh congratulations! I wonder who she's (will be) named after ;0)

Enjoy your trip to London (she said with no jealousy).

>46 richardderus: Thanks Richard. I won't tell if you won't.

We're going healthy now?

Sep 3, 2019, 3:05am

I guess you might be landing in London about now, hope you had a good flight. I'm sure you'll have a great time especially since you're so familiar with the city and know how you want to spend your time.

Congratulations on the new grandchild-to-be! That's wonderful news.

Sep 3, 2019, 5:43am

Hi, Joe! Wonderful news about Rafa's little sister! Woot!!

Sep 3, 2019, 10:27am

Hi Joe! Congrats on so many things: published poems, Rafa being a big brother, good X-ray results, your trip to England, a recent birthday and anniversary (I was behind a thread or two). Wow!! And we are reading the same books--I just finished Finding Dorothy and have They Called Us Enemy waiting for me. Safe trip. I leave for MN tomorrow. : )

Edited: Sep 3, 2019, 4:56pm

>12 jnwelch: Great news! Rafa will grow up some between now and February---and I wouldn't be surprised if Fina will teach him a thing or two about sharing!

Sep 3, 2019, 6:42pm

Hi Joe! Congratulations on the published poetry, new granddaughter (love the name!), and your trip to England. May it nothing but smooth-sailing (smooth-flying doesn't sound quite the same) and lots of wonderful books, beautiful sights, and laughs with friends while you're there.

Sep 3, 2019, 8:18pm

Be sure and tell Daryl to post his photos - of the trip to London. Don't forget to take meetup pictures. Even if you are engrossed in great food and good conversation.

Sep 3, 2019, 11:43pm

Happy new thread and have a nice trip!

Sep 4, 2019, 4:04am

We’re here and enjoying London!

>47 jessibud2:. It’s probably always a good idea to avoid the seed-spitting contest, Shelley.😄

>48 ffortsa:. Thanks, Judy. We’re busy trying to accrue more good stuff. Wartime museum today - we’ve never been. Churchill’s rooms and all that.

>49 banjo123:. Thanks, Rhonda! Great to hear that you enjoyed the poems. We’re looking forward to this grandbaby making her debut.

>50 PaulCranswick:. Thanks, Paul. “Published Poetry & Pending Progeny” - love it!

Wish we were seeing you and your bride on this visit. I hope all is going well.

>51 drneutron:. Ha! Have a great one in Oxford, Jim. Sitting under a big oak tree by the river and reading sounds like paradise.

>52 humouress:. Ha! Thanks, Nina. Your instincts are right on target on the naming of Josefina. The trip is off to a grand start, with a walk in a beautiful community garden and dinner ( fish and chips for me, of course) at the Angel Pub. Museums today.

Sep 4, 2019, 9:04am

>53 lauralkeet:. Thanks, Laura. The flight was a bit tough for yours truly - my beat-up legs don’t seem to get younger, and I’m a lousy sleeper on planes. But the reward is well worth it. We love it here.

Thanks re Josefina!

Edited: Sep 4, 2019, 1:00pm

>54 scaifea:. Hi, Amber! Thanks re Fina!

>55 Berly:. Thanks, Kim!

It’s been a good stretch of time for us, for sure. Last year was a tough one, but it all balances out.

What did you think of Finding Dorothy? I must admit, I as hoping for a bit more oomph. I hope They Called Us Enemy works as well for you as it did for me.

>56 laytonwoman3rd:. Ha!! You’re right, Linda. He’ll learn some more about sharing in pre- school, and he’ll grow up some more by February, and then Fina will bring a whole new perspective to his life. I told our son, if he’d like to have something for them to fight over as they get older, have them share one computer. He laughed - that’s the one thing he and his sister fought over growing up. For me and my sisters, it was the one tv we had.

>57 LauraBrook:. Hi, Laura! Nice to hear from you!

Thank you re the poems and for all the good wishes. We had a great day today that included the Winston Churchill WWII rooms (fascinating), beautiful St. James Park, and a revisit to Buckingham Palace, It’s been smooth sailing and good times so far, and we hope that continues.

>58 benitastrnad:. Ha! I don’t know about Darryl, Benita, but Debbi is posting photos on Facebook every day. In the past we’ve been pretty good about meetup photos; we’ll see how it goes. We’ll see Darryl tomorrow.

>59 foggidawn:. Thanks, foggi!

Sep 4, 2019, 1:05pm

>61 jnwelch: Ah! I see it’s time for my annual “Vicariously traveling to London with the Welches and trying to control my jealousy trip”! Say hi to Mr. Fry for me...can’t wait to hear about your other theater adventures.

And many congratulations on the wonderful news about your impending granddaughter. (We truly are leading parallel lives.) The t-shirt announcement was so clever and sweet.

Sep 4, 2019, 3:29pm

Since Joe and Debbi are cavorting amongst the fleshpots of London, the kitchen has delivered a Mary Berry, Queen of Cakes, speciality (note misspelling common to Yookies):

A whole-orange spice cake with mascarpone frosting.

In order to not feel abandoned, left out, ignored.

Sep 4, 2019, 5:15pm

>45 msf59:. Thanks, Mark! Hollow Kingdom was an exciting read. The originality in it actually was more enjoyable for me than Max Porter’s in his more celebrated books.

Thanks for the thumb!

As you know, we’ve safely arrived and are already having a grand time. Pictures from today are up on FB.

>46 richardderus:. I don’t understand why you only gave out the watermelons after I left, Richard. My proclivity for starting food fights? My greediness when it comes to watermelon-eating? The embarrassment of seeing watermelon covering me head-to-toe from my overly-enthusiastic eating? All of the above?

Sep 4, 2019, 5:36pm

>63 NarratorLady:. Hi, Anne. Yesterday we went to the beautiful Culpeper Community Garden near the Angel Pub in Islington, then had dinner at that pub, and managed to get back to our flat before jet lag/the time change knocked us out. Today we went to the fascinating underground Churchill War Rooms, and then wandered about lovely St. James Park and renewed our acquaintance with Buckingham Palace. You would’ve enjoyed it all, I’m sure.

Our first theater outing is tomorrow night at the Olivier theatre with Darryl and Caroline: Secret River, based on the Kate Grenville book. Unfortunately, the aboriginal actress Ningali Lawford-Wolf featured in it passed away just recently in Edinburgh, but her family has blessed the play going ahead. Can’t wait for the Stephen Fry performance next week or so. I’m reading Mythos right now, but I doubt I finish it before the show - it’s a bit cerebral for my vacation-mode brain, which right now is more inclined to re-read Dick Francis mysteries.

>64 richardderus:. Oh yeah! One of your best ever, RD. I just stubbed my fork on the screen.

Is there any queendom to be had that’s better than Queen of Cakes? I think not. Mary Berry is baking royalty all right.

Sep 4, 2019, 6:04pm

>65 jnwelch: Yep. All them.

>66 jnwelch: Nope. None anywhere ever.

Sep 4, 2019, 10:34pm

>66 jnwelch: The Churchill War Rooms....fascinating! Imagine living underground as all that staff did during the he war, being assured it was bomb-proof ... and it wasn’t! Just luck that they didn’t take a direct hit.
The Huz worked at HM Treasury in the late 60s and knew the rooms were nearby but they weren’t opened and made public until the late 80s.

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 5:07am

>67 richardderus:. Huh. OK. Yup.

>68 NarratorLady:. Oh, how smart they were to open the Churchill War Rooms in the 80s! People continue to flock to them. Per advice, we got our tickets ahead of time. Yes, imagining that time and working underground like that - wow. One woman from that time recounted (on audio) how the “girls” all spent a few minutes each day under a sun lamp, which was essential to them because they never saw the sun. And they all were told the war rooms were “bomb proof”, which, as you point out, they most definitely weren’t. What good luck they didn’t get bombed. It seems like such an obvious target. A tour guide said one parachute bomb (I think) came close, but floated past and hit a nearby church instead (killing 500 congregants).

We marvel at St. Paul’s church surviving intact. We were told a German bomb landed right by it, but didn’t go off and was defused.

Off for breakfast - we’re going to try Otolenghi’s, if I spelled that right.

Sep 5, 2019, 8:47am

Sweet Thursday, Joe. I am so glad you are able to check in. I am sure you are having a fantastic time, with The Organizer! She knows how to get things done.
I will watch for FB updates.

Enjoying the day off and yes, it will involve birding and books.

Sep 5, 2019, 12:23pm

The news of Baby Fina is so exciting. I'm certain Rafa will make a wonderful big brother. Congratulations to the whole family!

I've been curious about Hollow Kingdom. I have no trouble with talking animals so I'll be sure to give it a whirl once I get caught up with my library holds that are coming in at a furious pace.

I'm looking forward to some meetup pictures from London. I'm another LTer living vicariously through your travels, Joe. I hope you and Debbi are having a wonderful time.

Sep 5, 2019, 12:48pm

>32 jnwelch: I saw this, Joe. And I thought, this was a lot of work. Icing all those cupcakes. The stylist fending off sneaky, greedy photo assistants whilst getting all the cupcakes arranged and oriented. Wow.

Edited: Sep 5, 2019, 3:03pm

Accck - catching up after missing a few days!

Congrats on all your babies - your poetry, Debbie's essay and of course, your name sake. Fina is a very cute name, but she'll always be little Joe-sy in some quarters. :)

Cute, cute pics of Rafa in his hat and with his announcement shirt.

Enjoy your London trip! I'm also green with jealousy!

And I added Hollow Kingdom to the library list. Looks like it will be a while until it's my turn, which is a GOOD THING as I eye my pile of library check outs.

Sep 5, 2019, 5:42pm

Mad People

Only birds and animals these days
Are sane and worth talking to.
I don't mind waiting for a horse
To stop grazing and hear me out.

Even a tree is better company.
Some oak proud of its branches
Heavy with leaves too polite
To address a stranger above a whisper.

A crow would make a good friend.
The one I have my eye on
Knows me well, but is currently
Busy with something he has spotted

In my neighbor's yard, going over
The scorched ground where
Years ago a dozen hens used to roam
And a rooster who crowed all day.

Charles Simic

^This one reminded me of Hollow Kingdom, Joe. Grins...I really enjoyed his latest collection, Come Closer and Listen. A nice introduction to his work.

Edited: Sep 7, 2019, 7:37am

>70 msf59:. Hiya, Mark. All is swell here. Saw an excellent play last night with Darryl, called “Secret River”. It’s based on the Kate Grenville book, and involves “transported” Brit prisoners with a new life unwittingly claiming land belonging to the Aborigines. Attempts to get along, misunderstandings, and conflicts ensue. Powerful.

A day off with birding and books sounds excellent. I’m on my third Dick Francis, and we head to Daunt Books today to meet up with Darryl and Claire Shapiro (Sakerfalcon).

The Organizer is doing her usual splendid job of keeping us on track. 😄

>71 Donna828:. Thanks, Donna! Can’t wait to meet Josefina. She’ll be a grand addition to the family, and it’ll be fun to see Rafa become a big brother. You have the cutest grandkids around; thank you for the warm wishes.

As Mark told me, you’ll know in the first few pages whether Hollow Kingdom works for you. My suspicion is it will. A library copy is a safe way to give it a go.

We have some meetup pics with Darryl up on FB. We’ll be adding Sakerfalcon Claire briefly today and then a lot tomorrow.

Sep 6, 2019, 1:46pm

>72 weird_O: Isn't that peacock cake with a cupcake tail a wowser, Bill? I wish we could try one of those cupcakes to make sure it tastes good. If so, I think even Paul Hollywood (Great British Baking show) would be impressed.

>73 streamsong: Ha! Thanks for all the congrats, Janet! I've always liked the name Josie (that's the name of a close friend's wife, among other things) - that would work for a Joe-sy girl, right? Not a Jersey Girl, a Joe-sy girl. :-)

Thanks re the Rafa pics, too. I've got some fun ones of him getting ready for his first day of pre-school (for very young 'uns!), too, with his little backpack on. I'll post a couple when we get back.

It's been a great trip so far; Daunt books with Darryl first (such a great bookstore!), then a meetup with Claire (Sakerfalcon) at Le Pain Quotidien (great food!) Then a clothing store for Madame MBH called Uni qo, or some thing like that, that had wonderful casual clothes at reasonable prices, but unfortunately the ones that attracted her were all in wool, which skritches for her (and for me). Then a goofy gift store that we like called Magma on Clerkenwell St., where we found some artist playing cards for our game-playing son and DIL.

Yesterday we wracked up 21,000 Fitbit steps; today it was a mere 15,000. Not bad for a couple of senior citizens.

I'm glad you're going to try Hollow Kingdom, once it comes in. I have a feeling it'll be just your cuppa.

>74 msf59: Nice Simic poem, Mark! You'll be happy to hear that, on your say-so, I picked up hid Come Closer and Listen book today at Daunt books.

Darryl already posted on FB our respective book hauls at Daunt, and Claire sent us a photo she took of the three of us at Daunt that I'm sure Debbi will post as part of her Day 4 travelogue.

Sep 6, 2019, 1:48pm


Sep 6, 2019, 2:44pm

Hi Joe - I love reading about your London adventure! You and Debbi are poster children for a great retirement. I've been reading about "The Son", starring Amanda Abbington (a favorite of mine and a very entertaining twitter account as well) which has a limited run this fall in the West End. I'd fly over just to see it if circumstances allowed! Do you have any free evenings?

Congrats on the impending arrival! Our little Rafa is still an "only" but then again he's just 8 months old. We're loving every minute with him.

Sep 6, 2019, 4:50pm

Joe - hope you can move the Facebook photos over so those who gave up on FB long ago can share your Grand Tour - What fun and Gracias.

Sep 6, 2019, 11:46pm

( >75 jnwelch: No, not 'dying'!)

>77 jnwelch: Imagine living above that - or better yet, opposite so you can drink in all that gorgeousness every day.

Sep 7, 2019, 6:39am

>77 jnwelch: Hooray for Daunt Books!

Happy Saturday, Joe. So glad to hear you picked up the latest Simic collection. I hope it doesn't disappoint. I just started Harjo's new one, An American Sunrise. I am sure this one will be a treat too. Have a great weekend in London town.

Sep 7, 2019, 8:02am

>78 vivians:. Thanks, Vivian. I’m glad you’re enjoying our tales of London! Today is a “take it easy” day, with dinner with Darryl and Claire tonight and the Alvin Ailey dancers at Sadler’s Wells, which is quite close to us.

Thanks for the tip on “The Son”. We’re pretty booked on this trip (we do our schedule and buy theater tickets before we get here), but I’ll take a look.

Go Rafa! And Rafa! And also Rafa the tennis player, who’s still going in the U.S. Open.😀

>79 m.belljackson:. Hi, Marianne. Yeah, we have other friends who’ve given up on Facebook. Understood. It’s too time-consuming to bring them all over here, unfortunately, but I’ll definitely post some when we get back.

>80 humouress:. Thanks, Nina, re the “dying”! I fixed it. That had to be autocorrect, as the “o” is nowhere near the “y” on the keyboard. Arggh.

Oh, my. Living above or across from Daunt Books would be heaven, wouldn’t it. I love their “curating”, in addition to it being such a physically beautiful store. Almost every book I got was from a display. The only exception I can think of is one from the shelf in the Japan section by the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo and Nakano Thrift Shop, Hiromi Kawakami, called Record of a Night Too Brief.

>81 msf59:. Hooray for Daunt Books!

We’re going to try to get to Forbidden Planet this time, a Mecca for sci-fi, fantasy and graphic novels. When I mentioned to Claire (Sakerfalcon) that we’d be going for the first time, she gasped and said, “That’s where most of my paycheck goes.”😀

Happy Saturday and Weekend, Mark. I’m sure I’ll like the new Simic collection. Thanks for the tip. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of the Joy Harjo book.

Sep 7, 2019, 8:52am

Sounds like you're having a great trip over there! (Oh hang on, over here!) I'm also intrigued to hear what you bought but I'm sure they'll be popping up in your reading lists :-)

Sep 7, 2019, 10:36am

>82 jnwelch: YESSS!!! Forbidden Planet!

Say 'Hi!' from me.

Sep 7, 2019, 3:32pm


I had to have comfort food after that blow. Deconstructed chicken pot pie with puff pastry and a side of fried okra and mustard dipping sauce.

Edited: Sep 7, 2019, 5:00pm

For someone who is traveling and "wouldn't be on LT half as much," your thread is hopping, Joe!

>77 jnwelch: On my bucket list!! It sounds lovely; I love it when the displays are so well done.

I'm not commenting on each of your theater and other adventures, but I did skim through and it sounds like you're having a great trip. Keep having fun!

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 5:04am

(Not my photos)

Wow! We saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Company at Sadler's Wells last night, and they were amazing. What a night. They did his Revelations as the last piece, which was as powerful as Madame MBH said it would be. My favorite may have been a section of The Call, where most of the troupe was dancing in a relaxed, rhythmic style to what sounded like Cuban music as if they were out in the street, and it felt like they could dance that way for hours, and I was wishing they would . . .

Great meal at the vegetarian restaurant The Gate beforehand (I had a Marinated (in maple) Tofu appetizer, Wild Mushroom Risotto, and Pressed Chocolate Cake dessert).

At the Gate: Darryl (kidzdoc), Debbi (Walklover), Claire (Sakerflacon) (behind Debbi) and What'shisname. As Darryl reminded me, Debbi described this as "two roses between two thorns".

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 4:59am

Good morning, Joe! Thanks for a lovely evening yesterday; dinner was superb, and Alvin Ailey were even better. I also enjoyed 'The Call'; according to the program the music in that piece came from Trio Sonata No. 6 in G Major by Johann Sebastian Bach; Blues for Timme by the Mary Lou Williams Trio's album Live at Nice Grand Parade Jazz; and The Love by Yao Ababio and Komi Osei Williams.

Have a great day out today! I'll probably go to Tate Modern later, as today is the last day of the Natalia Goncharova exhibition, and get some good reading in. See you on Wednesday (if not before)!

Sep 8, 2019, 4:49am

>87 jnwelch: Good morning, Darryl! Thank you, buddy. What a great night! Thanks re the music. I suspect the Cuban-sounding music was the last; I need to find it and listen to it for hours while dancing poorly but happily.

Enjoy the Tate and reading (find any good books at Daunt Bookshop, by any chance?) We'll report back on the street art walking tour and Spitalfields.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 4:58am

>89 jnwelch: You're welcome, Joe. Please tell Debbi that I wouldn't have found the musical selections if I hadn't bought a program 😎. I was definitely swaying to the last two pieces.

I need to go back to Daunt Books, as I didn't find anything there that struck my fancy.

Yes, I'm curious to learn more about the street art walking tour. Will you & Debbi visit Old Spitalfields Market while you're there? It's very close to Liverpool Street station.

ETA: Our waiter took a great photo of the two thorns between the two roses, as Debbi said.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 11:31am

>83 charl08: You have a wonderful "here" over here, Charlotte. We're having a blast. We were so glad we finally got to Sadler's Wells; it's near where we stay in Islington, and we hadn't been drawn to a program there before Alvin Ailey. So good!

Hmm. I believe I can tell you what books I got; wish it was easier to just post a photo. Here you go:

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri

The Librarian by Salley Vickers (do you know this one? It was new to all of us)

Come Closer and Listen by Charles Simic

The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri

Record of a Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami

>84 humouress: Ha! I will say hi to the Forbidden Planet for you, Nina. You and Claire have me keen with anticipation!

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 5:25am

>90 kidzdoc: LOL! Please keep buying programs so we can borrow them, Darryl. Yeah, I think there was a whole lot of swaying going on at Sadler's Wells.

Huh. Nothing struck your fancy at Daunt? Evidence would indicate otherwise. You're the first person we've known to be awarded two cloth bags by the Daunt staff to carry out his book haul.

Yes, we're going to Spitalfield's first, then the street art tour. We're taking the tube to Liverpool to hopefully save some walking stamina for the fun stuff.

Ha! Oh, thank you for reminding me. Yes, two roses between two thorns, as Debbi said. (You got it backwards - trying to get me in trouble again?) I'll put that in. :-)

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 5:17am

>85 richardderus: OK, given the enthusiasm, Richard, I may have to set aside everything else and go to the Forbidden Planet immediately! Well, that won't happen, but I can't wait to get there later next week.

I'll let others indulge in the deconstructed chicken pot pie.

>86 EBT1002: Ha! Hi, Ellen. Half as much but twice as good? I wonder whether that math works out . . .

You will lose your mind with happiness in Daunt. It's lovely, and a treasure trove of literary gems. Here's an inside photo, not mine. This is only part of the store.

Sep 8, 2019, 6:08am

>87 jnwelch: You went to London to watch American Dance Theatre? Each to his own, apparently. Beautiful photos. Yummy food. Great meet up picture.

>89 jnwelch: Dancing is dancing, no matter the supposed quality. It's the joy of movement.

>90 kidzdoc: Ah, a man after my own heart. If at first you don't find books, go back for more.

Sep 8, 2019, 6:53am

>87 jnwelch: Sadlers Wells, is one of my favourite venues Joe, I am glad you saw something spectacular there. And of course I love The Gate. Good to see you all.

Sep 8, 2019, 7:17am

>91 jnwelch: Hi Joe - nice haul! I have read the Vickers - and Tokyo Ueno station. Look forward to hearing what you make of them all too. I think there are some Vickers fans on LT - she has quite a back catalogue (but was new to me).

Great to see the theatre visits too, I really like what they've done with the colours in >87 jnwelch: Always amazed how much LT travellers pack in: impressive stuff.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 11:41am

>94 humouress:. Ha! Life is global these days, Nina. We’re happy to see great theater and dance anywhere. It was a first for me with the Alvin Ailey troupe, but I imagine it won’t be the last - wherever the next may be.

Thanks re the photos and food.

>95 Caroline_McElwee:. We wish you could have been with us, Caroline! It was indeed spectacular. We were saying that the last time we were at The Gate, we were with you. The food was again delicious. We all agreed it’s our favorite vegetarian restaurant in London so far.

>96 charl08:. Thanks, Charlotte. Oh good. Can’t wait to try the Vickers, and it’s encouraging to hear that you read Tokyo Ueno Station. Aren’t those colours rich? The sets were simple but, along with the costumes, so beautiful.

Today we just left Spitalfield Market (Madame MBH had great success- scarves, tunics and more; penguin and rubber duck socks for this guy). In a few minutes we’re starting a street art tour by Liverpool station. We do this one every year - it’s always changing,

Sep 8, 2019, 8:44am

>93 jnwelch: I LOVE this bookstore! Wow!

I also love the "rose between the thorns"! Grins...Happy Sunday, Joe. 4 more work days and I will be on a much needed vacation.

Sep 8, 2019, 8:56am

>91 jnwelch: - Hi Joe. Sounds and looks like you guys are having a terrific time! I read The Man Who Planted Trees many years ago and it is on my shelf in my permanent collection. Just fyi, the touchstone to The Librarian isn't going to the cover you show. Sounds like a book I will need to add to my shelf of books about books :). Your picture of Daunt Books is very enticing. Toronto has an lovely small indie bookstore called Ben McNally's (unofficially known as Toronto's most beautiful bookstore). It looks very much like Daunt but on a much smaller scale. Word came just this week that they will be forced to close early in the new year due to stupid city construction (to create an alleyway! Can you believe such idiocy?). They have vowed to find another venue but who knows if they can replicate the interior beauty. Sigh.

Enjoy the rest of your visit in London!

Sep 8, 2019, 9:21am

>97 jnwelch: Huh; Spitalfields makes me think of foodstuffs. London has moved on without me.

>99 jessibud2: Oh no! :0(

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 11:41am

>98 msf59:. Isn’t it a great bookstore, Mark? They have so many good ones here, but Daunt may be our favorite.

Four more days! Four more days!

>99 jessibud2:. Touchstone fixed, Shelley. I’m glad you were that interested!

Very good to hear about The Man Who Planted Trees. New one to me!

Sorry to hear that about Ben McNally’s. I hope it works out. Sounds lovely.

>100 humouress:. There is lots of food at Spitalfield’s, Nina, but also clothing, jewelry, and quirky gift items. A lot of what’s on sale is made by the vendors (including the clothing), which we get a kick out of.

The street art tour was excellent; we think our best ever. Very knowledgeable and entertaining guide. I’ll post photos when we get home.

Edited: Sep 8, 2019, 1:51pm

Bargain Geraldine Brooks' terrific Year of Wonders is available on e-readers for $1.99. Madame MBH says, "Tell everybody to read it." So, read it, everybody. :-)

Sep 8, 2019, 2:00pm

Joe - bet you and your Family will love The Man Who Planted Trees - so quietly and gently inspiring,
from the writing through the eternal message and the art.

What variety and balance you have on this journey!

Off to look at The Gate menu...

Sep 8, 2019, 2:07pm

The Gate Menu is worth a visit in itself - reminds me of Charlie Trotter's old Chicago Restaurant with the (50 course - or so it seemed)
Vegetarian Feast with Champagnes...

Sep 8, 2019, 4:20pm

>87 jnwelch: Great meet up pic!

>93 jnwelch: Oh my! That bookstore is a dream! I think I would spend all day in there :)

Sep 8, 2019, 4:34pm

>102 jnwelch: - Already have! I remember sitting in the waiting room at my doctor's office while reading it and being very aware of how blessed we are in our time, regarding health care, compared to during the time of the plague. It was a really excellent book.

Sep 8, 2019, 5:02pm

Hi Joe, it looks like you and Debbi are having a very good time over here mate, I have been following your exploits on Facebook and am sad that we could not meet-up with you all. Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Sep 8, 2019, 6:49pm

>93 jnwelch: OH MY! That photo made me drool all over my laptop keyboard!!

Sep 8, 2019, 6:53pm

>93 jnwelch: In fact, this seals it. I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about what to do for my next birthday which ends in zero. London has been on the possibilities list, along with Yellowstone, Paris and the Dordogne, and several other places. I just showed this picture to P and said "I want to go to London for my birthday."

I'm not committing to this yet as I am sort of having fun thinking about what to do to celebrate the impending six-oh, but that photo is amazing.

Sep 8, 2019, 8:01pm

>109 EBT1002: I too will be celebrating 60 next year Ellen, it would be great if you were celebrating part of yours in London.

Edited: Sep 9, 2019, 5:58am

>103 m.belljackson:, >104 m.belljackson:. Hi, Marianne. Thanks for the encouragement re The Man Who Planted Trees. It sure looks like a lovely book; I’m looking forward to reading it.

You’d love The Gate. The food is terrific, the staff friendly and helpful, and it’s a good-feeling space.

Charlie Trotter’s! I love that you know that now by-gone restaurant. You’re right, he/they did well by vegetarians.

>105 figsfromthistle:. Thanks, Anita! It was a delightful meetup. We should be getting the gang back together on Wednesday.

It would be easy to spend all day at Daunt’s. But you might want to bring someone along to help with the book haul, or a wheelbarrow.😀

Sep 9, 2019, 5:56am

>106 jessibud2:. Isn’t Year of Wonders excellent, Shelley? My sister recommended it to me, and that’s probably her best ever. I hope any cafe-goer who hasn’t read it gives it a try.

>107 johnsimpson:. Thanks, John. Other than missing pals like you and Caroline, it’s been a grand visit so far. Love and hugs to you and Karen.

>108 EBT1002:, >109 EBT1002:. LOL! I can’t wait to hear your reaction when you eventually get to Daunt Books, Ellen. And this is just plain a booklover’s town - there are so many great bookstores here.

>109 EBT1002:, >110 Caroline_McElwee:. Sounds like a plan! If it happens around this time of year, we might even join you. But if you decide to go to some lovely hiking area or whatever instead, Ellen, no worries. We can always parachute in some books for you.

Edited: Sep 9, 2019, 3:32pm

Los Tres Americanos (named by Darryl) in front of Daunt Books, with complimentary cloth Daunt Books bags. Two of the bags actually are Darryl's; pikers Joe and Debbi only qualified for one bag between them. Oh, that avaricious bibliophile; they love him there. Claire believes that the airport notifies Daunt whenever he lands at Heathrow, so they can get the book displays ready.

Sep 10, 2019, 6:41am

>113 jnwelch: I think every bookstore loves Darryl! Red carpet treatment, right?

Happy Tuesday, Joe. Back to August weather here for a few days. Pushing 90 today. Back to turning on the A/C, after a nice respite. Let me know how your "secret walk" goes.

I am really enjoying the sprawling, chunkster, Deep River and my audio is a revisit of Beloved. This could qualify as the Great American Novel.

Sep 10, 2019, 11:33am

Yo ho ho, Pirate Joe, pillager of Blighty's bookeries! Mary Oliver's collection Dream Work is only two bucks on Kindle today. I wonder if you can download UK books on your US Kindle. (Has nothing to do with Mary Oliver, just got kinda curious.)

Sep 10, 2019, 2:19pm

>114 msf59: Ha! You're probably right, Mark. Darryl gets the red carpet treatment, while the rest of us get the shabby astroturf.

Happy Tuesday, buddy. Wow, I didn't know it had heated up back home. We've lucked out here with the 60s and 70s; yesterday was a little rainy, but that's it.

The secret walk was a fun one. For those just tuning in, Madame MBH organized the day and wouldn't tell me where we were going. Our first stop was a farm, in the middle of London. Go figure! She was right in thinking I'd never guess. It was a charmer, with goats and pigs and chickens and so on, with a big park next to it where we read for a while. Then we went to our new favorite pub for the first time, The Duchess of Kent, where I had the best fish and chips I've ever had here, along with an outstanding apple crumble and ice cream. Check Facebook for her photos. Then we went to Camden Passage, a cool little shop mecca, where we're going to return later in the week for the market they have there. Anyway, it was grand, it was.

>115 richardderus: Interesting question, RD. I can download U.S. Amazon books here; I don't know whether I could reconfigure to do UK ones. Here's a Joe secret: I can't read poetry on Kindle. Why? I don't know. I have to read a tree-book when it comes to poetry, and the same for graphic novels.

Sep 10, 2019, 2:34pm

>116 jnwelch: It makes perfect sense that GNs would be tree-only, given the importance of images to the experience of the story; and with poetry, I suppose the formatting is so important to the experience that the Kindle's sometimes spotty performance in reproducing formatting identically to the page is an issue.

Sep 10, 2019, 2:34pm


THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE, a new novel with Rafa as a main character, though not happy-joy-joy given the Franco dominated setting in 1957
and an uneven ending, is definitely worth the illumination on relations between Spain and the U.S.

Sep 10, 2019, 2:43pm

>117 richardderus: That sounds right, Richard. The poetry seems to get bled of its oomph when it's auto-formatted on a Kindle, at least for me. And even with good reproduction on a screen, the GN experience isn't the same.

>118 m.belljackson:


Are we talking about the U.S. Open winner, Vivian's Rafa, or our grand-Rafa, Marianne? Or a different Rafa in Fountains of Silence? The last, it sounds like.

Oh, I read and very much liked her Salt to the Sea. I'll have to take a look at this one.

Sep 10, 2019, 4:05pm

This time the applause was for the U.S. Tennis Star - your Rafa ALWAYS has our applause!

FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE Rafa deserves a monument.

Salt to the Sea sounds like another promising history challenge.

Sep 10, 2019, 4:51pm

Reposting this here from my thread, so you pick it up sooner Joe:

Have you seen if there s anything you fancy on here during your stay, it's where I saw Andrea Gibson, great venue.

Sep 10, 2019, 7:05pm

"Darryl gets the red carpet treatment, while the rest of us get the shabby astroturf." I love it! I hope you guys didn't mess up your knees on that turf.

I have Fountains of Silence on my radar too. I have really enjoyed her last 2 books.

Sep 11, 2019, 3:03am

>112 jnwelch:, >116 jnwelch: Ha! The two of you purchased more books (12) than I did (10), so I think you & Debbi have earned a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I look forward to the reunion of Los Tres Americanos at Shakespeare's Globe tonight to see Bartholomew Fair. Hopefully this won't be our last meet up of this trip.

Sep 11, 2019, 5:54am

>120 m.belljackson: Wasn't U.S. Open Rafa terrific, Marianne? I only got to see highlights, but what will and stamina for a guy who's been doing it for a long time. Really impressive.

Our Rafa would thank you by waving a toy or two at you.

I need to add Fountains of Silence to the WL. Thanks for the tip. Salt to the Sea should fit you well.

>121 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. What's the latest from Prague? I'll stop by your thread.

Unfortunately, nothing at Union Chapel beckons, although we were near there yesterday when we went to Freightliner Farm on Liverpool Road. I hadn't fully appreciated how large an area Islington is. Have you ever been to the Duchess of Kent pub? We loved it.

>122 msf59: Yeah, it's touch being out on the shabby astroturf, man. That Darryl is one lucky guy.

I should check - I can't remember whether I read the second one by Ruta Sepetys. Good to hear you liked it, if not. I'll track down Fountains of Silence, too.

>122 msf59: There's Mr. Red Carpet! For some reason, the Daunt folks didn't get as excited about 2 people buying 6 books each as they did about your 10. It's probably because you're Daunt royalty and we're just a couple of wouldbe couldbes.

Debbi told me we're confirmed for meeting at that Tidbits (?) restaurant before the show. Looking forward to it! Agreed - let's figure out another time to get together before we all head back.

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:25am

I love this one of Madame MBH leaving a knitting store in Camden Passage. She planned our day without my knowing where we were going. Those on FB can see the whole extravaganza in her post. We went to a farm in west Islington - no, I never would've guessed that one, and Camden Passage, a cool little no-car area with boutique shops like the knitting one, with adventures along the way, including our now-favorite pub, The Duchess of Kent on Liverpool Road.

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 6:25am

These are from our first day, when we ventured to Culpeper Community Garden, a beautiful tucked away spot in a busy part of the city where locals grow whatever on their own small plots.

Sep 11, 2019, 7:28am

‘Morning, Joe! Happy Wednesday to you. Happy new thread.

Congrats on the February arrival of Fina! I love Rafa’s t-shirt.

>32 jnwelch: Gorgeous Peacock Cake – as a ‘retired’ cake decorator (made perhaps a dozen over the years for daughter’s birthday parties) my first thought was how much work had to have gone into it, the second was how clever it is.

>39 jnwelch: Hollow Kingdom is an LBB – Library Book Bullet – not quite as lethal as a BB, but still dangerous enough to get me to go to our library’s website and place a hold. We’ve such a small library – they only have one copy so who knows when it will be available.

>93 jnwelch: The pic of the book store makes me whimper.

Your trip sounds absolutely wonderful, thanks for sharing!

Sep 11, 2019, 7:38am

Hi Joe, just catching up on your travels and noticing all the things I have to see if I ever get back to London (someday!). Glad to see you and Debbie and Darryl & the gang are having a great time with great books and all other adventures.

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 8:09am

>124 jnwelch: Yes, the three of us are meeting at tibits at 17.00; Claire will join us at ~17.30, once she gets off from work. I was thinking of going to Tate Modern beforehand, but I'll go there tomorrow after Bianca & I have lunch at Niche, the gluten-free restaurant next to Sadler's Wells that we saw after Alvin Ailey on Saturday night.

Yes, we should try to meet up at least once more before I leave on Tuesday. Monday is now open, save for afternoon lunch or tea with Rachael at the London Review Bookshop and Cake Shop, as I bowed out of a late dinner with her and Fliss in Cambridge that evening. Maybe we can chat during dinner or after the play.

>125 jnwelch:, >126 jnwelch: Great photos of you & Debbi!

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 8:17am

I love the whole idea of a surprise day! She's a clever one, that Madame MBH. How did she come up with the locales? Did she know about them ahead of time, or did someone suggest them? So much fun! I love that ceramic in >126 jnwelch: and the book bags in >113 jnwelch: (and of course, the rest of that bookstore!). We have a farm in the middle of our city, too, but isn't that always such a fun and surprising find?

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Sep 11, 2019, 1:01pm

Hello Joe! I hope all is well with you.

>6 jnwelch: OF course the Rafa pics are a breath of fresh air. That kid if growing!

>123 kidzdoc: Nice to see another meet up! Always fun.

>126 jnwelch: That is one giant sunflower! My friend owns a farm locally any they recently added a sunflower area. Beautiful and they get so tall.

>I recently started Words of Radiance by Brain Sanderson on audio. As with the first, it will be a long journey, but I enjoyed the first one so I expect the same hear. Still floundering at the moment on a print read, but have The Girl Behind the Red Rope coming from the library.

One more thing: I watched 'What We Left Behind' last night. It a recently released documentary about the show Star Trek: Deep Sapce Nine. It was a joy to see the gang back together and also a little bit of different take on a retrospective documentary. If you liked DS9, I highly recommend it.

Sep 11, 2019, 2:21pm

Wow! Lovely lovely photos of well... everyTHING and everyBODY. Thanks for sharing.

Your trip looks like one to remember... (should I say one for the books?)

I'm glad you are having so much fun!

Sep 11, 2019, 4:18pm

Nice pics! The sunflower one scares me. They're so HUGE and that never fails to creep me out....

Happy rest of vacay.

Sep 11, 2019, 5:02pm

Hey Joe, I'm glad to see you and Madame MBH are having a wonderful time in England! How nice to hang with Darryl and shop for, of all things, books! Carry on and enjoy the remainder of your trip!!

Sep 12, 2019, 5:04am

>127 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! Rafa and Fina should be quite a duo. Isn't that peacock cake cool? Madame MBH is watching Great British Bake-Off on her computer sometimes, and I think even Paul Hollywood would approve its looks.

LBB sounds like a good choice to me - if you don't like Hollow Kingdom at the start, it's free-sies. If you do, off you go on a bonkers adventure.

Daunt is a booklover's dream. We're off to more great bookstores today - Foyles on Charing Cross, and Forbidden Planet nearby.

>128 bell7: Thanks, Mary. If you FB, get a hold of me there, and you can see Madame MBH's daily posts. We saw Darryl and Claire again last night, Claire for dinner at Tibits on Southwark, and then Darryl joined us for Ben Jonson's play, Bartholomew Fair, at the Sam Wanamaker, which is part of the Globe.

>129 kidzdoc: Hey, buddy. Great to see you last night, and Claire at dinner. Thanks re the photos.

We have our calendar now (!), so we'll figure out a chance to see you. We're off to Foyles and Forbidden Planet and thereabouts today.

>130 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. That Madame MBH is a clever one, isn't she. She just researched and put it together herself. She figured I'd never guess we'd be going to a farm! She wanted to explore west Islington, so that's where the initial idea came from. What a great day!

We had another great one yesterday. We like to spend a day on the south bank of the Thames - buskers, Dinky Donuts (a tradition), a great book market.

Ah, our haul:

The Warden by Anthony Trollope (nice old edition)

The History of Mr. Polly by H.G. Wells (first ed. ppbk)

Winter in Thrush Green by Miss Read (first ed. ppbk)

Charles Dickens A Ladybird Book by L. Du Garde Peach

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 5:53am

>131 brodiew2: Hello Brodie! Yeah, that Rafa is growing fast - we spend a month away and he changes. I'll try to remember to post a couple of him going off to his new pre-school when we get back.

We had another meetup with Darryl and Claire last night, although no photo this time. We were too busy eating and chatting (a good bit about books - go figure. Although Claire is a church bell-ringer, so that was fascinating, too).

Those sound like a couple of good reads. My linking is a bit wonky, so I'll have to check out the touchstones later.

I did like Deep Space 9, but I have a sister who LOVED it. I'll have to let her know about the "What We Left Behind" documentary. Netflix?

>132 streamsong: Ha! You're welcome, Janet. It's a circuitous process to get personal photos up here, but I'm trying to post at least a few while we're here. In fact, here are two from the farm in the city that we visited:

We're having a blast, and this is definitely one for the books. Each visit we say "this is the best ever!"

>133 richardderus: Thanks, RD. I wonder why someone hasn't done a scary sunflowers movie? "Children of the Sunflowers"? Maybe they're just too cheerful. I don't get the creep vibe, although this one did tap me on the shoulder and snicker after the photo.

>134 Carmenere:. Thanks, Lynda! We need more books, wouldn’t you know it, so we’re going out to find some today.😀

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 6:39am

Sweet Thursday, Joe! I tried posting last night but LT was being wonky. Extra sweet for me, since it is my last work day, before vacay. I am not surprised you guys are having a terrific time and I like that walking path. Stop by my thread, there is some good news to be shared over there.

Sep 12, 2019, 6:57am

>137 msf59:. Morning, Mark - Sweet Thursday! Wish you were here for bookstore day.😀

Good news? I’ll be right over!

Sep 12, 2019, 1:34pm

>136 jnwelch: 'What We Left Behind' is not on Netflix. I was able to get mine through the library which may be the best bet.

Sep 13, 2019, 7:27pm

Wow, looks like you are having a great trip! Awesome pictures!

Sep 14, 2019, 7:45am

Happy Saturday, Joe. We leave for the airport, shortly. Looking forward to revisiting the Carolinas and seeing my siblings. It has been over 10 years since I seen my brother. I will check in when I can. Enjoy the rest of your time, in London Town.

Sep 15, 2019, 9:11am

>139 brodiew2:. Thanks, Brodie. Good info on “What We Left Behind”.

>140 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle! We’ve been having a swell time. I’ll post more photos here soon.

>141 msf59:. Happy (oops) Sunday, Mark! I hope you’re having a grand start to your vacation in the Carolinas, and fun visiting your brother. Man, those year numbers get big fast, don’t they. I’ll check in on your thread to keep up,

Sep 15, 2019, 9:14am

'Morning, Joe! Or, 'Afternoon, I guess.

Edited: Sep 15, 2019, 2:11pm

>143 karenmarie: And now, evening for us, Karen! Thanks for stopping by. It's been a goer here.

Here are some photos from a meetup at Southbank Centre Food Market, not far from the National Theater.

Darryl (kidzdoc) and Bianca (drachenbraut25)

Bianca and Joe cracking up

Genny (gennyt), Bianca, Claire (Sakerfalcon), Joe, Rhian (SandDune)

Sep 15, 2019, 3:16pm

>144 jnwelch: lovely to see you all, and Rhian too, I have been worried about her absense from LT for a while.

Sep 15, 2019, 3:25pm

>145 Caroline_McElwee:. Wish you’d been here with us, Caroline! Rhian seems to be doing well. I’ve been missing Bianca on LT, but with her new London job and things more settled back in Germany, she hopes to be on LT more.

Edited: Sep 15, 2019, 7:01pm

I am so happy that ou guys didn't forget to take a picture of the group and thanks for posting it here. It looks like you had fun and I'll bet there was lots of book talk going on. Not to mention the food.

I am reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and am loving it. I laugh out loud and find myself smiling. I didn't take a BB from you but I did get nudged that way by your report on it. Certainly is a fun read. I am sure that somebody is goin to make a movie out of it.

Sep 16, 2019, 12:52pm

Sorry to report that Forbidden Planet in New York City is a shadow of its former self though still a good place for the new sci-fi and comics.

We've been looking for a Geraldine Brooks to do in our Book Group - have to give this new one a look

Sep 16, 2019, 12:59pm

>148 magicians_nephew: - Just for what it's worth, a lesser known book by Geraldine Brooks that I thoroughly enjoyed was (I think) her first: Foreign Correspondence, about her early life to how she became a journalist. I love her writing, whether fiction or NF.

Sep 16, 2019, 5:01pm

>144 jnwelch: Thanks for sharing the meet-up pictures, Joe.
London is a good place to meet fellow LTers :-)

Sep 17, 2019, 6:10am

>147 benitastrnad: You're welcome, Benita. There was lots of book talk, you're right. Bianca gave me I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody by Sinan Antoon, and further tempted me to read it by telling me it's Kafkaesque. She knows I'm a sucker for Kafka. And I picked up Rosewater by Tade Thompson on Claire's recommendation. So far we're bringing back 44 books - but there may be more today. Good thing we brought the empty duffel bags!

I'm glad you're loving Eleanor Oliphant. I just tell people to hang in there with it. Making a movie out of it: I hadn't thought about that, but I bet you're right. It makes me think of Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day - terrific cast for the movie; I just wish it had been a bit better. It's still very good.

>148 magicians_nephew: Too bad about Forbidden Planet in NYC, Jim. Are the two connected in any way?

Year of Wonders is a great book.

>149 jessibud2: Sounds like a good tip, Shelley. Foreign Correspondence is a new one to me.

>150 FAMeulstee: You're welcome, Anita. London is a good place for meeting LTers. One year we had a very big group that included Paul Cranswick and Hani. We see Darryl more here than we do in the U.S.!

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:22am

These are some photos from our day trip to Leeds Castle and Canterbury. The gardens at Leeds were spectacular. This post is all Leeds.

Edited: Sep 17, 2019, 6:45am

Garden at Leeds

Idyllic in Canterbury

Back to Leeds

That's Canterbury Cathedral in this last one. I'll post more from Canterbury at some point.

Yesterday we spent all day at Kew Gardens - so gorgeous. And there was a big Chihuly outdoor and indoor exhibit there. I'll post some of that, too, when time permits.

We're into our last few days here - head home on Thursday. Today it's Trafalgar Square and that area, including bookstore-lined Cecil Street, and then Stephen Fry at the London Palladium tonight.

Sep 17, 2019, 7:33am

Greetings from South Carolina, Joe. We are also having a good time, but sadly no Meet Ups. I love your Leeds & LT photos. A very happy bunch. We head to North Carolina, tomorrow morning.

Sep 17, 2019, 7:51am

Great photos, Joe. Thanks for sharing them with us non-facebookers! Looks like this vacation has been a big success.

Edited: Sep 17, 2019, 8:00am

Looks like you are both having a great time Joe. It's years since I was at Leeds Castle. Does it still have the aviary?

Love the horse outside Canterbury Cathedral.

Sep 17, 2019, 10:53am

Did you get to see the Peter Pan Statue in Kew Gardens?

Edited: Sep 17, 2019, 12:10pm

>154 msf59:. Greetings to you in South Carolina, Mark! We’re in Covent Garden right now, sounds like you’re having a grand time. Do we have any 75ers in the Carolinas? Have fun in NC; I remember it as beautiful from years ago.

>155 jessibud2:. Thanks, Shelley. I wish they were easier to share here- there are a lot more over on Facebook, thanks to Madame MBH. But at least I can get you some of them. I’m glad you’re liking them. Yes, it’s been a big success; every year we say it’s “our best trip ever”, and this year that fits again.

Sep 17, 2019, 12:14pm

>156 Caroline_McElwee:. We’ve been having a great time here, Caroline. If Leeds Castle still has an aviary, we missed it. But we sure do love those gardens!

Isn’t that horse by Canterbury Cathedral cool?

>157 magicians_nephew:. I believe you’re thinking of Kensington Gardens, Jim, and yes, we’ve seen that most excellent Peter Pan statue there.

Edited: Sep 18, 2019, 9:17am

I'll circle back when we get home and post some Chihuly at Kew Gardens and Canterbury pics for those not on Facebook. We fly back tomorrow. We had a lovely day yesterday that included the Moomin Shop (how many have read from the wonderful Tove Jannson series?) and an evening with Stephen Fry at the London Palladium. The large venue was packed (!), and Madame MBH had gotten us wonderful seats maybe 20 rows from the stage. No shocker, he was brilliant -erudite, witty, entertaining, none of it seeming rehearsed, and much of it obviously spontaneous (including audience choices and questions). He took us from primordial chaos up through the original gods, the Clash of the Titans, the toppling of Kronos by Zeus and cohorts, up to Zeus's good friend Prometheus helping humans learn to use fire and being punished for it, all in three hours, with various fascinating side stops and detours. At one point, after explaining how it was really Pandora's Jar, not Box, due to an ancient mistranslation, he told us we could now correct people at parties who say "Pandora's Box". "After you get punched in the face for it, you'll better understand my life." He was terrible at sports as a kid (no surprise), but was a natural storyteller even then, and would entertain the boys at night at boarding school with Greek myths. At age 8 or 9, a teacher who knew he loved Latin asked if he wanted to learn Greek. "Yes!" So the teacher gave him a primer so he could learn on his own(!) It made connections with English to help the reader, and that's where his fascination with the Greek and Latin roots of English words began - examples of which he sprinkled throughout the night.

We loved it.

The show is derived from his book Mythos, which I'm about 1/3 of the way through - it is most excellent.

Sep 18, 2019, 3:13pm

>160 jnwelch: Sooooo jealous! I’m part of the way through Mythos myself and I swear I can hear his voice as I read. Thanks for giving us a peek into the performance Joe!

What an excellent vacation you two have had. And from all the photos the weather looked magnificent.

Sep 18, 2019, 4:31pm

Glad you've been having such a good vacation Joe. I've been meaning to go on a trip to Kew Gardens for years but somehow never quite manage to get there.

Sep 19, 2019, 5:30am

Did Stephen also tell you that the Greek pithos (jar), when turned upside down, looks uncannily like an uterus? So the story of opening Pandora's jar is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting involved with a woman (the Greeks were infamous for peppering their myths with cautionary tales about the dangers of women - they were clearly terrified of their potential power). And I'd love to know whether he interprets Hope being left in the jar in the jar-half-full or jar-half-empty way...

Sep 19, 2019, 7:48am

Sweet Thursday, Joe. Have a safe return home, my friend. I really enjoyed following you along, on your trip. We will head back on Saturday.

Sep 19, 2019, 1:35pm

Hi Joe, what a great time I've had catching up with you here. Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your grandaughter. What a wonderful addition to the family. Best wishes to the Mom and Dad as well. My daughter's second child was a girl and her big brother was very protective and caring - actually he still is now that he's 20 and she's 15!

Thank you for sharing with us your London trip, I love how you and Debbie really get out and explore that historic and fantasic city.

Sep 19, 2019, 2:41pm

>160 jnwelch: Oh myyyy to quote Takei. I am mortally jealous of y'all's evening with Le Fry!

>163 scaifea: "potential" LOL "potential" LMAO

The uterus is the ONLY means by which A Man may grasp for immortality. Explain how the power to make/prevent its occurrence is "potential" power? And, had y'all heeded Lysistrata as the clarion call it was, y'all'd have it now!

Sep 19, 2019, 4:42pm

Looks like you had a fantastic trip, Joe. Safe travels home.

Sep 20, 2019, 9:20am

Hi, everyone. We're home, jetlagged but happy. Great trip, and it's nice to be back. Laundry, grocery shopping and getting re-organized are on the agenda.

>161 NarratorLady: Stephen Fry was so outstanding, Anne. As Debbi said, the experience of a lifetime. I know, I was hearing his voice while reading Mythos, too (I wouldn't put it past him to have dictated the whole thing!), and now I will even more so.

The weather was very good to us while we were there. 60s and 70s F, with many blue-skyed days, including that wonderful one at Leeds Castle and Canterbury. I didn't use my umbrella at all, and Debbi only once. I will say, we're fine with rainy days (in fact, I love them), but the good weather was mighty enjoyable. Most unusual for us was no traditional museums this time - we did see the Churchill War Rooms, which is a kind of museum, but that was it.

>162 SandDune: We loved Kew Gardens, as you can tell, Rhian. If you can swing it, now's a good time to go, with the Chihuly exhibit there. We were just talking about how we've always enjoyed being in beautiful outdoor spaces where there's an outdoor sculpture show sprinkled throughout.

>163 scaifea: We got to hear a fair amount about Ouranus's "man package" and various other synonyms being thrown across the water, Amber, but he didn't mention the Pandora's Jar/uterus idea. I am intrigued by how irresistible curiosity plays a role there and in the Adam and Eve story - and I'm suspecting others. What was up with them Greeks re women and the uterus? Were they Republicans?

I was hoping Stephen Fry would talk about the nixie (is that the right word?) Hope being the only one left in the jar when it was re-sealed, but unfortunately he didn't. He doesn't in the book either. What is the meaning of Hope left in the jar, from your POV?

Edited: Sep 20, 2019, 9:41am

>164 msf59: Sweet Thursday and Happy Friday, Mark. Thanks. We're back safe and sound. The flight was smooth and uneventful - I finished Murder in the Blood, the new Doyle and Acton mystery (another excellent entry) and read a good bit of the newest (translation in the U.S.) Inspector Montalbano mystery, The Other End of the Line, which is one of the best I've read so far. Looks like you're having a wonderful nature-filled trip in the Carolinas. Safe travels back on Saturday.

>165 DeltaQueen50: Thanks so much, Judy. We're all excited about Josefina, and I think Rafa will be a wonderful big brother like your daughter's son. I'll post a new photo of him soon.

We love to explore London. What a city! One of our favorite parts always is just hanging out in Trafalgar Square and enjoying the buskers and watching people from all over the world come through. There was a great guitar player and singer named Andrew John Jones busking there this time; I want to follow up with his music. He was so good that it reminded me of times when successful professional musicians like Joshua Bell show up in a public space and start playing, with onlookers not knowing who they are.

>166 richardderus: You would've loved seeing Le Fry, Richard. He lived up to what we imagined and then some. How great to be that brilliant and entertaining. Three hours of a "lecture" on Greek myths, and the whole crowd is mesmerized and goes crazy at the end?! How is that possible?

Your Lysistrata comment makes me think of The Power by Naomi Alderman, a fictional take on that issue that I enjoyed. We're seeing women assume positions of power in many parts of the world, and I hope it's a tidal wave. It's not a guarantee of better decisions, of course, but I think it's much needed, and the direction we're headed in with old white men at the helm is demeaning and a disaster. Plus it's about time. Finally received the right to vote in 1920? What kind of stupidity was rampant pre-1920?

>167 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. We're safely back home, and what a great trip it was. The best ever, we agreed - which is a longstanding joke between us, as we say that every time!

Sep 20, 2019, 9:44am

Welcome home!

Sep 20, 2019, 12:10pm

>170 karenmarie:. Thanks, Karen!

Sep 20, 2019, 12:38pm

As a welcome-home offering, I thought a hummingbird cake would do the trick:

The cream-cheese frosting's heavy in the middle, but that's just how I roll.

Sep 20, 2019, 7:09pm

Glad you arrived home safely, and had a fun visit Joe, just disappointed not to have been able to get together with you, Debbi and Darryl this time. Still, we'll enjoy it all the more next time.

Sep 21, 2019, 7:08am

Happy Saturday, Joe. Welcome home. It is our last day in the Carolinas. We head back to Greenville SC, to catch our flight. We arrive later tonight. I will miss my family members and the splendid mountains.

Sep 21, 2019, 8:51am

>168 jnwelch: Ἐλπὶς is the word Hesiod uses for Hope in his version of the Pandora story, and his is the most canonical version. I'm surprised that Fry doesn't talk about it - it's a key element in the story. I don't know that I have a solid opinion on what hope being left in the jar means. I do love the ambiguity of it, which the Greeks were so good at in their stories: it's trapped in the jar so life is forever hopeless? Or, we still have control over hope, at least, so things can't be all bad? I guess I sort of prefer thinking of it as this: we still have hope with us, but it's a substance that must be controlled. Open the lid too much and it will escape as well, so use it wisely. Of course, with the uterus bit, Hope can be seen as the hope of future generations, but that jar is pretty dangerous, too. *cue eye roll at how misogynistic those Greeks were* Strong women can only be portrayed as monsters (Medea) or essentially asexual (Athene).

Sep 21, 2019, 11:26am

>172 richardderus: Yum! Thank you, Richard!

I'm all for extra cream cheese frosting in the middle of a hummingbird cake. I'm just trying to show patience and use a fork, rather than shoving my face into it.

>173 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. That was the one sadness from our trip - we sure would've liked to have seen you. I'm glad, at least, that the sciatica cleared up enough for you to get to Prague. You've inspired us; neither of us has been, so we're talking about getting to Prague next year, along with Venice, which Debbi has never seen.

>174 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Happy Saturday. Enjoy that remaining time in the Carolinas. I'll bet you'll miss your family, and the splendid mountains. You hadn't seen your brother, in particular, in quite a long time, right?

It's warm but drizzly back here, and a neighbor said it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow. That's okay by us, as we gradually get our internal clocks back where they need to be.

>175 scaifea: You make me think of the viciously vindictive Hera, too, Amber, among those dangerous women. Athena comes off pretty well in coaching Odysseus and Telemachus, seems to me. Demeter and Persephone do all right, too. Plus the male gods are a vicious bunch, aren't they, as are many of the male mortals. I personally don't get a big misogynistic vibe from the myths, but maybe I just don't know enough. It's definitely out of balance, that's for sure, with Zeus and other males forcing themselves on women in particular, and patriarchy existing everywhere. The recent Circe book by Madeline Miller also comes to mind.

I like your interpretation of Hope being sealed in the jar. I really don't know what to make of that. It's going to take some mulling. All the bad stuff let loose into the world, but not Hope, who stays sealed in the jar. Hmm. I need to think about your uterus idea, too. Hope for future generations. Hmm, again. Lots to think about.

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:21am

I'll post some more from our trip in the next few days, but first, we need one of young Rafa, after conquering his poor Dad.

Sep 21, 2019, 1:17pm

>176 jnwelch: Athene comes off non-threatening because she's asexual. But she's also a god, so there's both danger inherent in that and a sort of free pass. As far as the misogyny goes, I'm fairly happy not to be a woman living in those myths...

Sep 21, 2019, 2:16pm

It looks like a great trip! Love the photos. And Rafa is quite the handsome little dude, isn't he?

Sep 21, 2019, 3:04pm

>178 scaifea:. I get what you’re saying about Athena, Amber. She’s my favorite, and I could see being her, although asexual doesn’t sound like much fun! Other than her, I can’t think of a man or woman I’d want to be, living in those myths.😀

>179 banjo123:. Thanks, Rhonda! We’re totally unbiased, as you’d expect, but we do think that Rafa is a mighty cute little kid. I’m glad you find him a handsome little dude, too.😅

Sep 21, 2019, 3:38pm

>178 scaifea: >179 banjo123: I'm pretty sure Athena was asexualized deliberately to shove her into the mold required by the Mycenaean conquers and she could be pretty wrathful from time to time!

Sep 21, 2019, 4:01pm

>181 quondame: Good tales of Athena's wrath, Susan. I sense a theme - don't open that box! I mean, jar.

I didn't know that's how Tiresias became blind.

Sep 21, 2019, 11:35pm

What a wonderful vacation you had! Thank you for being so good about posting photos. If we do go to London (and surrounding area?) next year for my birthday, it would probably be in September. My birthday is in August but it's right as the start-of-semester activities are at their most intense. Besides, the weather would likely be much nicer in September, right?

Sep 22, 2019, 7:13am

I enjoyed following you and Debbi around on FB, Joe.

>175 scaifea: >176 jnwelch: On the discussion of hope being left in Pandora's box, in Dutch despair and hope are words close to eachother. Not sure about ancient Greek. But to me hope has two faces, it can be nice to have hope, but it can also lead you away from accepting reality.

Thanks for recommending Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagan on Ella's thread, it sounds like a good starting book for me.

And thanks for sharing the latest Rafa picture :-)

Sep 22, 2019, 8:22am

>183 EBT1002: I'm sure Joe will chime in on this Ellen, but I'd definitely go in September. Travel will be less expensive than in August, the prime month for European holidays. And there will be far fewer tourists with all the kiddos back in school. I can't vouch for the London weather though, that's too much of a crap shoot any time of year.

Hi Joe!! I've been lurking through your travels, which looked wonderful as always.

Sep 22, 2019, 9:47am

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday. Thanks, for keeping my thread warm, while I was away cavorting. I hope you are slowly getting back to normal after your wonderful trip. I am a bit frazzled today, after a long travel day, but I do have a pair of cushion days, to get some more R & R in, before returning to work on Tuesday. I am having a good time with the Chiang collection. Enjoy your day.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 9:49am

^Whitewater Falls NC.

Sep 22, 2019, 12:45pm

>183 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. It was a great vacation, and thank you re the photos. It just takes a while to post personal ones, doesn't it.

I can unreservedly recommend September for going to London. We originally picked it because we thought students would be back in school and it would be outside the traditional tourist season - and because it would be cooler weather. All proved to be true. It was in the 60s and 70s F while we were there this time, perfect for us. It's gotten into the 80s sometimes in the last 6 years (we've been in London 5 of the last 6), but only briefly. I do bring a pair of shorts, but normally end up only wearing them around the airbnb flast.

We probably won't be there next September - we're talking about going to Venice (Debbi's never been) and Prague (neither of us has been) - but we plan to be back the year after.

We also always pack two empty duffel bags to bring back books. We set a new record this time - 44 of them. So many great bookstores!

>184 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. Oh, I'm so glad you had fun following us on Facebook. I encourage people to do that, because Debbi does that daily report, and there are so many more photos. But I understand those who just don't want to be on it.

That's a really important point about the two faces of hope. Very Buddhist, actually.

I'm glad you saw that mention of Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen on Ella's thread. As you could tell, I now believe that, in the past, I've recommended "starter" Buddhism books that are just too advanced, as much as I've loved them. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and Why Buddhism is True, two of my favorites ever, fit that. The Hagen should be much better for an initial grounding. Please let me know what you think. I get asked this on a pretty regular basis.

Thanks re the Rafa-man. We got to spend a good bit of Facetime with him this morning, as he played at their house. What a busy boy! His parents tell us he loves his new school, and especially its garden that the kids get to play in. When he comes back inside from it, he and a friend hold hands and come back in together. How cute must that be?!

Sep 22, 2019, 12:57pm

>185 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. Thanks for chiming in on going to London in September. We sound pretty good playing the chimes together, don't you think?

I'm glad you've been a travel report-lurker, and have enjoyed it. It was a wonderful trip. We were saying today, it's hard to get up and not have more London adventures ahead of us, but it's also nice to be home.

>186 msf59:, >187 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Oh, that's great. How smart you were to give yourself two cushion days before heading back to work. I always tried to do something like that - going directly from vacation back to work is like getting smashed in the face with a not very pleasant pie. Some cushion time makes it a lot better.

What a beautiful photo of Whitewater Falls NC. I love unfamous waterfalls in the woods. Did you hang out there for a while? Sure is a lovely spot.

I'm glad you're enjoying that Chiang collection. Really top shelf, isn't it. I'm closing in on finishing the Stephen Fry Mythos book; wow, have I learned a lot. I was talking today to Debbi about Sisyphus - if I ever knew why he kept pushing that boulder up the incline, I'd forgotten it. Not at all what I expected. Next up is a weird (I'm guessing) Japanese time travel book called Before the Coffee Gets Cold, that I found on our trip. (I love the staff recommendations in good bookstores!)

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 1:06pm

Here are some photos from our Canterbury visit.

This is where religious pilgrims entered Canterbury.

This is Chaucer blessing the multitudes on the main drag.

While we were there, there was a "Festival of Hops" going on. "Hops" are a key ingredient in beer. Mark would've loved this. Many paraders were decorated with garlands of hops or otherwise wearing hops.

Here they are "Morris Dancing" in the parade. Morris is an ancient, not very complicated but certainly merry, dance.

Sep 22, 2019, 1:33pm

Good travels, Joe.

Sep 22, 2019, 1:58pm

Your trip sounds really wonderful Joe. I guess I've enjoyed the photo of Rava best though lol. Thanks for the tip on the best time to visit London.

Sep 22, 2019, 2:02pm

>188 jnwelch:

Joe and Mark - VICTORIAN POETRY, ed. by Andrews and Percival and dated 1931,
has a just read poem halfway through the never-ending volume, FROM THE BOTHIE OF TOBER-NA-VUOLICH,
Part III, Lines 19-83,
which features a hidden steam and waterfall.

Written in 1848 by Arthur Hugh Clough.

Favorite line: "You are shut in, left alone with yourself
and perfection of water."


Sep 22, 2019, 2:16pm

>188 jnwelch: I might take you up on the Buddhism plain and Simple book as well. Following our visit to Thailand where we visited numerous Buddhist temples all of which had a certain number of local worshippers I am interested to know more about it.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 5:51pm

It’s been so much fun following Debbi’s travelogue. I looked forward to it every day! Please thank her for me.

We were in Prague earlier this year and Venice two years ago and adored them both; so when the time comes to plan I’ll be happy to share my info with you. Both times we went in April and had lovely weather - as you know, that’s serendipitous and not due to excellent planning. We managed to get in and out of Venice before the cruise ships arrived and avoided those huge crowds. Shuffling your way along canals and over bridges is no fun so check cruise schedules!

(Can you tell I was a travel agent in a previous life?😀)

Sep 22, 2019, 7:20pm

Facebook is such a blessing! Like a slideshow you can leave, get a snack, and come back to without earning the stinkeye.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 8:06pm

>191 weird_O: Thanks, Bill. I'm trying to think of what was weird on the trip. The Chihulys kinda were, although they were gorgeous. Black pudding and blood sausage sure seem weird to me. Cricket - with apologies to Paul and John Simpson, that's one weird sport.

>192 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. Rafa's always our favorite, too. :-) September is a great month to visit London and the UK.

>193 m.belljackson: Nice line, Marianne, thanks - very apropos! And who can resist a poem titled From the Bothie of Tober-Na-Vuolich. Not me, anyway. I'll try to find it.

>194 SandDune: Oh good, Rhian. I'm optimistic that Buddhism Plain and Simple will work well for you. He lays it out in a well-ordered, concise way, and doesn't mess around. Fingers crossed! I may re-read it myself, once I make a dent in our London purchases.

>195 NarratorLady: Oh, that's great to hear re Debbi's travelogue, Anne - I just let her know about your and Anita's kind comments and you made her happy. She did a number of those late at night after we'd been at it all day and most of the evening. The positive reactions really helped.

Oh, when we get closer to it I'll take you up on sharing your info on Venice and Prague! Great point about cruise schedules - I'll make sure to tell Debbi and make that part of our planning. We may ask you how the heck we comprehensively check on the cruise schedules!

How excellent to be a travel agent in a previous life - there's a skill set that keeps paying off, I'm sure.

Sep 22, 2019, 7:41pm

>196 richardderus: Agreed, Richard! I learn a lot from Facebook, as information gets shared. And I also get some big laughs. That guy photoshopping himself into the Kylie Jenner fashion photos really got me today. Brilliant!

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 8:06pm

Thanks for posting the photos here. I like seeing them.

I finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine today and had such a good time laughing. That is a fine book and not at all intended as only ‘women’s fiction.” This is a novel that deserves wider readership than that! Lots of fun. I listened to the recorded version and it was very well done. Easy nighttime listening when I wasn’t watching the PBS Country Music series.

I also finished Red Rising this weekend. What a great YA Sci/Fi dystopian adventure. My local B&N book club read it and we had a good discussion about it. I am going to try to find the second book as a recorded book and listen to it.

Sep 22, 2019, 9:50pm

Forty-four books! Nice.

Sep 22, 2019, 9:51pm

>199 benitastrnad: Noting the comments about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I think I have to get over my preconceived notions and give this one a try. Perhaps it would be a good vacation book in December. :-)

Sep 23, 2019, 12:00am

Planning next year's travels when this year's are barely over, Joe? Isn't retirement great? I'm doing that too even though my travels aren't yet over for this year. There is just so much to see and do!

Sep 23, 2019, 7:35am

I enjoyed your travel photos, Joe. You had a great time.

Nice to make travel plans for next year, already! Yes, avoid the cruise ships, very wise;-)

Sep 23, 2019, 8:20am

>199 benitastrnad: You're welcome, Benita. I"m glad you've enjoyed the photos.

And enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine! Such a fine book, isn't it. I agree, not just for women at all. I think it's done pretty darn well on the bestseller lists, probably due to word of mouth like Where the Crawdads Sing. But an even wider readership would be welcome. I liked Red Rising, too, and the rest of the series was good.

>200 EBT1002: Ha! Thanks, Ellen. A new record for us. The next highest was 42 - which happened the year we bought the two duffel bags to bring them home!

>201 EBT1002: Do give Eleanor Oliphant a try, Ellen. I think you'll be glad you did. Just remember that at the beginning you may think all we appreciators of it are crazy. It's well worth hanging in there.

>202 Familyhistorian: LOL! Yes, retirement is great, Meg. We want to make sure we get to wished-for places while we're still a flexible and mobile unit. We've got a bit more travel this year, too, but all in the U.S. That's been one of the most appreciated boons of retirement - the freedom to travel.

>203 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. It was a great time, although last year meeting you all in Amsterdam was right up there.

It is nice to start making those travel plans; we're used to planning way ahead, mainly due in the past to theater in London, where we often need to get tickets well ahead of time. But it's also fun just to put together a loose itinerary and dream a bit.

Sep 23, 2019, 8:25am

Close-ups! Here we are eating at Le Pain Quotidien in Covent Garden. The food was so good! We've become fans of the restaurant; we ate at one near Daunt Books, too, with Darryl and Claire. There are a couple now in Chicago, so we plan to try one here.

Sep 23, 2019, 9:46am

>205 jnwelch: Love the close-ups! Good looking folks!

Morning, Joe. Happy Monday! I only utter those last two words, every now and then. Gorgeous A.M. I am heading out for a bird stroll or two and then saving the afternoon for the books. Should be a nice, last vacay day.

Sep 23, 2019, 12:52pm

>206 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Ha! I do like the looks of that Madame MBH. I'm going to try to get her phone number.

Happy Cushion Day! It is a pretty one out. We survived our workout, and ran an errand, and now can join you in taking it easy for a bit. I'm caught up in another Dick Francis - in my defense, they keep popping up in a nearby Little Free Library. They sure have held up well over time.

Enjoy a relaxing last vacay day, buddy.

Sep 23, 2019, 3:59pm

>188 jnwelch: >184 FAMeulstee: I found a copy of Buddhism Plain ans Simple at the e-library. Despite my vow not to get any books from the library until I have finished my project, I did lend it. So I have to read it somewhere in the next 3 weeks.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 12:32pm

>208 FAMeulstee: Oh good, Anita. I'll look forward to your reaction to Buddhism Plain and Simple. It should work well for you (fingers crossed).

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 6:28pm

Let's catch up on some short reviews.

I wanted to like Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts more than I did. It tells the story of Maud Gage Baum, the free-thinking wife of L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz books. A novel based on the real facts, it has great ingredients. Maud's mother was a leading suffragette, and Baum was just the kind, progressive, energetic dreamer we like to imagine. Maud gets involved with young Judy Garland and the making of the famous movie, while trying to protect the late Baum's vision of Oz. The movie of course turned out to be spectacular, and the novel delves into the jaw-dropping true story that the iconic song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was almost left on the cutting room floor.

I LOVED the Oz books as a kid, and a new one was my request for every birthday and Christmas for a while. I read beyond Baum to the continuations by Ruth Plumly Thompson and others. (Our son loved them all, too, and he now has my old collection). I'm also a big fan of the movie, and of independent thinking and the suffragette movement. So why did the book fall short?

I know others liked it better, but for me it too often felt like painting by numbers. The points made were fine, but for me too much of it felt a little too superficial. I did enjoy moments like Maud debating the movie choice to make Emerald City green, when in Baum's vision was it was white, with everyone entering required to put on emerald glasses to give it that color. Maud relents when she's persuaded that "Technicolor" will provide the needed magic touch - and, of course, it did. So for me it was a worthwhile read, but one that didn't achieve liftoff.

Decider is one of my favorite mysteries by Dick Francis, and that was reconfirmed when I just re-read it along with a bunch of his others. Protagonist Lee Morris is an architect who likes to locate ruins with potential and restore them. He and his sorta wife stick together for their five sons, and get along well enough. One of the things I love most is the big barn he has converted into their home, with a private room for each boy and lots of cool shared spaces. It sounds wonderful, and I'd like one just like it, please. His relationship with the boys is also appealing. His mother had married into the viciously dysfunctional Stratton family, and on her passing Lee became a part-owner with them of - wait for it - a race track. (Francis's mysteries always have some connection to horse racing). That family includes his mother's physically abusive first husband Keith, who detests Lee (child of her second husband) with a barely controlled rage. The race track is in trouble, and someone is trying to make it worse with explosives and nefarious deeds. The matriarch is determined to keep the track going, and to use any available tool to do it. Lee has practical effectiveness lacking in her brood. The skill he brings to the track's disrepair and need for emergency help is well-described and another reason this is a favorite for me. Needless to say, his expanding role is unpopular with the brood, and one or more seemingly would be happy if his role, and Lee, were eliminated. Can he outwit them? Hmm.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 12:36pm

The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire is a fine new entry (the 13th) in the October Daye fantasy series. She's a Knight and Hero of the Realm, and full of fun snark and unpredictable actions. In this one the frighteningly powerful Luidaeg (Loo-shack), a sea witch, wants to settle an old debt by bringing back the Roane (sea fae) at the expense of the Selkies (humans that can shapeshift into seals), and needs October's help. October has a lot of sympathy for the selkies, and now her daughter is one. What to do, what to do? Like its predecessors, this one has a complicated but well-mapped plot, engaging characters old and new, and plenty of that snark.

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez is a well-done YA that gives many insights into life as a first generation Mexican-American. Julia's older sister Olga was seemingly perfect - she stayed at home after graduating high school, went to community college at night, and dedicated herself to the family. Julia instead wants to go away to college and become a writer, and leaving her always-critical mother and her taciturn father behind seems A-OK. And then Olga dies in an accident (no spoiler - it starts the book), and Julia's lack of perfection becomes magnified. Plus there seem to be mysteries in Olga's life that indicate she was not-so-perfect. Julia is driven to unravel them.

Julia is difficult and sometimes annoying to the reader, but there are reasons, and her strength and determination hooked me. There's a song out now with the refrain, "I'm broken, and I'm beautiful", and Julia fits that. Except that she learns she's not really broken at all. The importance of friends and family, of self-honesty, and finding a place for grief to live, are all successfully explored by this new author.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 12:30pm

To Be Taught If Fortunate is a return to form by Becky Chambers after the disappointing (but still highly rated) Record of a Spaceborn Few. I disliked ROASF, and questioned whether I'd continue reading this author, even after loving her first two (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit). This one brought me back to being a fan.

It's a novella set in the near-future, with four diverse and liberated astronauts on a very long journey to explore specific Earth-like planets and moons and find out whether life exists on them. Through something called somaforming, their bodies can be altered to meet the needs of the particular environment, whether it's, e.g., greatly enhanced strength to offset 2G gravity, or the ability to feed via absorbed radiation. Ariadne O'Neill is our narrator, and her relationships with crewmates Elena Queseda-Cruz, Jack Vo, and Chikondi Daka are both practical and intriguing. Meanwhile, their connections with home and Earth (it's supposed to be a round trip) become more attenuated as they get further away, and the trip begins to raise questions, as history is happening on Earth without them. The mix of believable science, wonder at the environments they encounter, and issues of home, family and crew, made this a standout and a credit to her growing canon.

Mythos by Stephen Fry was exciting for me for at least two reasons. First, I'd never had a school course that encompassed Greek myths, and have picked up what knowledge I have from mentions in non-mythology books and follow-ups on my own. Second, the man is brilliant and funny, and simply a pleasure to spend time with.

Chaos at the start, Ouranos, Kronos, Zeus, Titans, Olympian Gods, nixies and naiads and dryads, all sorts of God-fathered (no, not Mario Puzo) via humans children - he covers a lot of ground. My understanding is that this actually is a small part of all the Greek myths out there, but it hit the high notes for me. Why Prometheus was punished for helping humans, why Sisyphys chose (!) to keep pushing that boulder up the incline, the story behind Pandora's Jar (it wasn't a box) - all sorts of my questions got answered here. And not dryly, but with wit and a keen ear for effective storytelling. Some self-deprecation, too. Fry tells of, at age 16, playing one of the Gods on stage. "I got reviews. I'll say no more."

Nobody's like him, of course, but just as it's uplifting to spend time with a brilliant mind like, say, Atul Gawande's, it's uplifting to spend time with Fry. My wife and I were lucky enough to see him tell many of these stories in person on stage, and it was an electric experience we'll never forget.

Sep 24, 2019, 1:37pm

>212 jnwelch: - Hi Joe. I read your review of the stage show with Fry and I noticed that, coincidentally, there was an article about this very book in last weekend's online blog I subscribe to, Brain Pickings:

I have only ever seen him in interviews on tv or heard him on radio but I just know I'd enjoy a stage performance if I ever had an opportunity. Like you, I never had any courses in school on mythology, Greek or otherwise but though I have always wanted to learn more, I have just never pursued it. Yet.

Sep 24, 2019, 4:36pm

>211 jnwelch: Joe, I agree completely with your review of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Very layered, interesting tale. I’ll be looking out for more from this author.

Keeping to the “Mexican” theme, I just finished The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver and I am gobsmacked! How did I miss this when it was published in 2009? Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera and Trotsky are vivid characters in this masterpiece of fiction. Highly recommended!

Sep 24, 2019, 4:41pm

I really really really hate y'all. Like a real real lot. You *saw*Stephen*Fry* and heard the myths being told.


Good news about the new Becky Chambers!

Sep 24, 2019, 6:13pm

Hi, Joe! I like the flurry of mini-reviews. I NEED to do the same. Getting backed up again. Glad you are enjoying your revisit with Dick Francis. I read several of his, in the 80s & 90s and remember really enjoying him. I am glad you had a good time with I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. I enjoyed that one too.

I really admired Stories of Your Life and Others. What a brainiac this guy is and what a deep, complex imagination. I will now have to re-watch Arrival, which I liked but did not love. I also highly recommend An American Sunrise: Poems, although I expect this one is all ready on your radar. Harjo is a treasure.

Sep 24, 2019, 7:04pm

>212 jnwelch:

YouTube has a couple of short Stephen Fry Mythos readings.

Sep 25, 2019, 8:19am

>213 jessibud2: Thanks for the link to the Brain Pickings discussion of Mythos, Shelley. I'll check it out later today.

Fry's a delight and "an experience of a lifetime", as my much better half said, if you get a chance to see him perform. And if you decide to put on your myth-pursuit gear, he's a great one to ride with in that book.

>214 NarratorLady: Oh good, Anne. I'm glad you had the same experience with I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter that I did. Yes, that's an impressive outing from a first-time author, and I'll be looking out for more from her, too.

Thank you for the tip on The Lacuna! I'll add it to the WL. I'm underread with Barbara Kingsolver, so this'll be an inspiration to read another of hers.

>215 richardderus: Thank you for those lovely, hate-filled sentiments, Richard. You would have had the best time at Stephen Fry's performance. At one point he mentioned "my friend Hugh"in passing and, as Debbi said, we were all hoping Hugh Laurie would make a surprise appearance. (Laurie made a surprisingly good villain in The Night Manager!) Debbi wants to watch their old Bertie and Jeeves shows again now.

You'll love the new Becky Chambers. Phew! As I said, I was near giving up.

I was so focused on getting the reviews done that I failed to mention over on your thread that you convinced me on Friday Black. I've started it but, woo, that is strong medicine! I'm going to have to take the short stories in small doses. I'm going to give a lauded new YA book, Slay, a try as an alternate with it.

Sep 25, 2019, 8:26am

>216 msf59: HI, Mark! I'm glad you like the review-flurry. I'm starting to enjoy this mini-review form. It sure gets me to distill my thoughts. Completely different books, but in a way akin to Eleanor Oliphant, I had to bear with Julia for a while in Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter like I did Eleanor. And in both, it was well worth it.

I'm happy that Stories of Your Life and Others hit the sweet spot for you. Isn't he impressive? Yes, do watch Arrival again; Debbi and I loved it the first time, but appreciated it even more the second. I think in some ways the movie improved the short story in expanding it.

>217 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I'm glad a couple of the Stephen Fry Mythos readings are on Youtube. I find Youtube sometimes flattens the performance vibe - how do they come across? Anyway, something is better than nothing. He probably does an audio book, and that would be a great way to read this one, if so.

Edited: Sep 25, 2019, 8:31am

This is a new one to me - caramel apple skillet pie. I didn't know there was such a thing as a skillet pie. I hope to track one of these down in RL some time.

Sep 25, 2019, 1:14pm


Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey, has received a MacArthur Fellowship!

Sep 25, 2019, 2:48pm

>220 jnwelch: yum.

>221 richardderus: Well deserved too Richard.

Oops, I've been reading and not commenting. Lovely to see you both >205 jnwelch: Joe and Debbi.

Sep 25, 2019, 3:48pm

>210 jnwelch: Sorry Finding Dorothy wasn't a dream come true, Joe. I have that on my TBR stacks, along with another of Letts' works, The Perfect Horse. Which leads me to Dick Francis...I think I read everything he wrote, but I don't have much recollection of Decider. I wonder if that's still around here... I could revisit his world.

Edited: Sep 25, 2019, 5:07pm

>221 richardderus:. Right, Richard? Must find the oh-so-droolworthy skillet pie . . .

Go Emily Wilson! Thanks for letting me know. She’s so deserving.

>222 Caroline_McElwee:. Yum for the tum, Caroline.

Agreed. Well-deserved, Ms. Wilson.

Ha! I’ve caught myself reading and not commenting and, even better, commenting in response in my mind and neglecting to post it.

Thanks re the lovely Debbi and that bodyguard of hers.

>223 laytonwoman3rd:. Hi, Linda. I can’t really explain my reaction to Finding Dorothy better than in that mini-review. But it was okay. Maybe you’ll like it more.

Revisiting Dick Francis’s world has been a pure pleasure. They hold up really well. If you look up near the top at my September reads, it was maybe half Dick Francis. It all started with Julia’s Dick Francis group read - once I started the re-reads, I didn’t want to stop.😀

Sep 25, 2019, 5:31pm

>224 jnwelch: I set out to join Julia's group read, but then discovered that I had de-accessioned most of my Francis collection, except for a few hardcovers packed away in the attic somewhere. I did read one from the library, but then didn't follow up.

Sep 25, 2019, 5:54pm

Happy Wednesday, Joe. Another beautiful fall day in Chicagoland. The Dutch House is off to a terrific start. You might want to keep this one in mind. I am glad you are enjoying Friday Black. I know you are reluctant short fiction reader, so that is why I didn't nudge you harder on this one. An excellent collection.

Sep 25, 2019, 6:40pm

>225 laytonwoman3rd: Ah, too bad, Linda. The Dick Francis group read has been fun. It's the only challenge I'm doing this year.

>226 msf59: Happy Wednesday, Mark. Another beaut of a day! We're going to become a great weather destination for tourists if this keeps up. Sorry, got a little crazy there. Remind me in February that I said that.

Glad to hear it re Dutch House. I'm going to inch along with Friday Black. It's impressive, but man, those first couple of stories are rough going. I'm enjoying Before the Coffee Gets Cold - this may be an out of left field one I recommend. On the GN front, I'm winding up Sweet Tooth with the Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Book Three. Lemire keeps the quality high. He even manages to work in some hockey background!

Sep 26, 2019, 12:28am

>227 jnwelch: Enjoy your lovely weather while you can, Joe, and it looks like you had weather warm enough to eat outside in London while you were there. Maybe you could send some warm sunny stuff over in this direction?

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 10:15am

>228 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Wish I could send you some warm sunny stuff! It's another good one in these here parts. I'm going into work (gasp!), but I should be able to get out in it a fair amount later in the day.

P.S. If you were in Michigan, or even further east, I'd have a good chance of sending you the warm sunny stuff. But the winds make sending it your way tough.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 10:01am

Chihuly sculpture in Kew Gardens.

I plan to post a few more today or tomorrow. So lovely.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 10:42am

Morning, Joe. Sweet Thursday. Beautiful start to the day out here. For some reason I thought you didn't care for the Sweet Tooth series, although I know you are a big fan of Lemire. I loved it, but like much of his work, it was very dark.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 10:51am

>231 msf59:. Sweet Thursday, buddy. You said it: “Lemire”. I even just read his Old Man Logan (Marvel character Wolverine) which, alas, is much more predictable than his work with his own characters. In Sweet Tooth, the Big Man (Jeppard) just died protecting the hybrids, and they’ve headed south to find a safe home.

Sep 26, 2019, 3:49pm

>230 jnwelch: Wow! I wish I lived a bit nearer to just pop in and catch this one. Great picture.

Sep 26, 2019, 5:34pm

>230 jnwelch: Nice. I don't think I'm going to manage to get there this time though.

Sep 26, 2019, 5:54pm

>233 charl08:. Thanks, Charlotte. Isn’t that cool? We felt lucky to be there at the right time. I wish it was closer to you.

>234 Caroline_McElwee:. Hi, Caroline. Thanks. We were surprised how far it was from our Islington flat!

I’ll post some more pics at some point. We’ve seen his work here in Chicago (Garfield Conservatory) and Seattle (his museum), and elsewhere now that I think about it, but Kew was such a wonderful (and big!) setting for his pieces. We loved it and them.

Sep 26, 2019, 6:35pm

SF fun for the day =

"On 26 September, two Midwich residents, Richard Gayford and his wife,
spend the night in London, celebrating his birthday."

Sep 26, 2019, 7:53pm

>230 jnwelch: Beautiful Joe. They remind me of elegant birds in a jungle setting. Thanks for posting.

Sep 27, 2019, 6:53am

Morning, Joe! Happy Friday! It looks like we are going to have rain in the area today. Wish me dry.

Hooray for Sweet Tooth! I loved the Jeppard character.

Sep 27, 2019, 8:16am

>236 m.belljackson: The Midwich Cuckoos - thanks, Marianne. I hope no town had a bubble descend over it yesterday.

>237 EllaTim: I see it, Ella. They do look like elegant birds. Nice. You're welcome. I plan to post a couple of more this morning.

>238 msf59: Morning, Mark! Yahoo - we made it to Friday! I wish you plenty dry, my friend. Debbi told me storms are a-comin'.

I finished Sweet Tooth - I loved the Jeppard character, too (I guess it's Jepperd with a second e - my bad). The deluxe edition has an interview with Lemire about the series. He knew the ending first, and said he didn't know how many books he'd be able to do to get there. In other words, if the series had been less successful, he'd have had to get there more quickly. That was a good ending.

Edited: Sep 27, 2019, 8:20am

More Chihuly sculptures at Kew Gardens, The second made me think of Henri Rousseau.

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:43am

Sep 27, 2019, 8:55am

Supposedly the drumpf now wants to throw Pence under the bus. I love the daydream of Trump and Pence being impeached, Pelosi becoming President under the Constitution, and her appointing Hillary as the VP. The dream's conclusion then has Pelosi voluntarily resigning and Hillary becoming President, as the majority of voters wanted. Ha! Lovely.

Sep 27, 2019, 10:08am

>230 jnwelch:, >240 jnwelch: I am entranced anew with Chihuly pieces in that context. Gorgeous!

>242 jnwelch: ...such a dream, such a sweet, sweet dream....

Sep 27, 2019, 12:28pm

>243 richardderus: Me, too, Richard. I love it when his pieces are placed in nature.

Isn't that a sweet, sweet dream in >242 jnwelch:? Sigh. Oh, wouldn't it be luverly.

Edited: Sep 27, 2019, 12:37pm

This poem is from Aimee Nezhukumatathil's fine collection, Oceanic:


By Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Come in, come in. The water’s fine! You can’t get lost
here. Even if you want to hide behind a clutch
of spiny oysters — I’ll find you. If you ever leave me
at night, by boat, you’ll see the arrangement

of red-gold sun stars in a sea of milk. And though
it’s tempting to visit them — stay. I’ve been trained
to gaze up all my life, no matter the rumble
on earth, but I learned it’s okay to glance down

into the sea. So many lessons bubble up if you know
where to look. Clouds of plankton churning
in open whale mouths might send you east
and chewy urchins will slide you west. Squid know

how to be rich when you have ten empty arms.
Can you believe there are humans who don’t value
the feel of a good bite and embrace at least once a day?
Underneath you, narwhals spin upside down

while their singular tooth needles you
like a compass pointed towards home. If you dive
deep enough where imperial volutes and hatchetfish
swim, you will find all the colors humans have not yet

named, and wide caves of black coral and clamshell.
A giant squid finally let itself be captured
in a photograph, and the paper nautilus ripple-flashes
scarlet and two kinds of violet when it silvers you near.

Who knows what will happen next? And if you still want
to look up, I hope you see the dark sky as oceanic — 
boundless, limitless — like all the shades of blue in a glacier.
Listen how this planet spins with so much fin, wing, and fur.

Sep 27, 2019, 12:41pm

This is not in the collection, but I get a kick out of it. Note the attempt to spell her last name in the title.

Dear Amy Nehzooukammyatootill,

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil

(a found poem, composed entirely of e-mails from various high school students)

If I were to ask you a question about your book
and sum it up into one word it would be, Why?
I think I like Walt Whitman better than you. I just don't
get literature, but for a fast hour and a half read, your book

takes the cake. I like how you organized the lines
in that one poem to represent a growing twisting bonsai tree.
Are you going to get a rude reaction when you meet
that one guy in that one poem? I guess you never know.

You are very young to be a poet. I also like how your poems take
up an entire page (it makes our reading assignment go faster).
In class we spend so much time dissecting your poems
and then deeply analyzing them. I think I like Walt Whitman

better than you, but don’t take offense—you are very good too!
You are young, You are young and pure and really just want
to have a good time. Thank you we have taken a debate
and you are a far better poet than Walt Whitman. And I loved

how your poems were easy to read and understand. Hello
my name is Alicia. We read you book and I just loved it.
We also read Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There
was no competition there. I liked your book a whole lot better.

It was an easy read. But poetry is not my favorite type
of literature. Sometimes I am offered drinks and guys
try to talk to me but I too just brush it off and keep dancing.
Every once and a while the creepy mean guys try to offer you

things and then they say something. What would you do?
Lastly, I was wondering if you ever wrote a poem that really
didn’t have a deeper meaning but everyone still tried
to give it one anyways? Walt Whitman is better than you.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, "Dear Amy Nehzooukammyatootill" from Lucky Fish. Copyright © 2011 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.
Source: Lucky Fish (Tupelo Press, 2011)

Sep 27, 2019, 1:45pm

>240 jnwelch: I've been going to Kew since I was a kid, and it was a penny at the turnstile. It's a far more involved operation now, and deserves its ticket price.

I go a bit less as my walking has slowed in recent years, it's one thing to walk out, but you gotta get back, and it can then take a couple of hours to get home too. But a visit is never disappointing. Great photos.

>242 jnwelch: I love your dreaming Joe.

>245 jnwelch: >246 jnwelch: love them.

Not being able to explore the Oceans will be my biggest disappointment in life, I have to do so via someone else's camera. I started at my dad's side watching Jacques Cousteau. More recently there were adventures in amazing glass submarines, I'd go in a heartbeat.

Sep 27, 2019, 4:27pm

>242 jnwelch:

And, in charge of Hillary's new White House Tweets = Chelsea Clinton!

Sep 27, 2019, 6:08pm

>242 jnwelch: I like that dream too, Joe. Somehow, some way, we need to get to a better place.

Sep 27, 2019, 7:06pm

You’ll get a kick out of this, Joe. Apparently, the DC statutes covering liquor licenses requires owners of establishments to be of “good moral character”. A group of pastors and rabbis in the city petitioned the Liquor Board to revoke the license of the Trump Hotel because the owner didn’t meet the requirement...

Unfortunately, request was denied. 🙁

Sep 27, 2019, 7:47pm

>242 jnwelch: I've seen that scenario articulated elsewhere, Joe. Personally, I'd like to see drumpf impeached and, once out of office, prosecuted. Like to see Bill Barr facing impeachment and prosecution. How about a Nuremberg Trials kind of round up, prosecuting all the grifters in drumpf's circle: all his kids, Mulvaney, Giuliani, McConnell and Wife, Mnuchin, Ross, all the EPA and Interior vandals, Kelly Ann Conway.

Elizabeth Warren in the White House.

But that's just me.

Sep 27, 2019, 8:08pm

>251 weird_O: Don't forget Ajit Pai! The douche who gifted us with the end of net neutrality at the behest of his corporate owners based on justifications even the FCC found specious.

Sep 27, 2019, 8:49pm

>242 jnwelch: Love that dream Joe. If only...

Sep 28, 2019, 9:32am

>247 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, I envy you going to Kew since you were a kid, Caroline. So beautiful there! A penny at the stile - wow, that's a memory to treasure. Agreed that the price to get in is worth it - everything is so well taken care of, and the docents were all helpful and upbeat. We enjoyed the palace and the kitchens, too, and liked our meal there a lot - some kind of haloumi zucchini savory cake was the main part.

We didn't pay to go up in the Pagoda - have you? That one didn't seem worth it.

Sorry the walking's gotten tougher. We've had to adjust, too, and are using the tube more these days.

Isn't that dream, with Hillary ending up Prez, a dream worth having?

I'm glad you like the poems. I got quite taken with Aimee N., and read more I found online.

Don't give up on your Ocean dream - maybe a glass submarine opportunity for the likes of us will unexpectedly turn up.

>248 m.belljackson: Chelsea sounds good to me, Marianne.

>249 lauralkeet: Isn't that dream a lovely one, Laura? Somehow, some way, we need to get to a better place. Yes.

Sep 28, 2019, 9:41am

>250 drneutron: I love it, Jim. It would've been even more fun if the license had been revoked, but the pastors and rabbis certainly made their point about our lacking in good moral character drumpf.

>251 weird_O: I do think drumpf is going to be gone after in court once he's out of office, Bill. New York state is chomping at the bit. I don't agree with the blanket policy that he can't be prosecuted while in office, but the thinking is the legislature should get him out of office first if it's that bad.

Man, that's quite a list of grifters. The sliminess surrounding him is staggering. This was the guy who promised to "drain the swamp"!

Elizabeth Warren would be fine by me. I like Kamala Harris's toughness. I'd take any Democrat, although I'm not a Bernie fan.

>252 richardderus: Good addition, Richard. It's going to take years to undo the damage the Trump supporters have inflicted on this country. I'm not sure we can get that one back.

>253 brenzi: Right, Bonnie? Oops, I just remembered that, with Debbi, I'm in our no-politics time, Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. I hope she doesn't read my posts today! I'll zip it and get back to any others tomorrow. :-)

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 9:51am

Here's an example of Kew Gardens without Chihuly. Gorgeous. Lots of old trees, too, with some dating back to the 1700s. Maybe even further?

Chihuly across the water:

Sep 28, 2019, 10:58am

>251 weird_O: I am with the Weirdo!

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. Another damp one out here. Ugh! At least I have a pair of terrific books to keep me company. That always helps.

Very bummed and disappointed about the Cubs season. What a meltdown. I hope they can regroup and contend next year.

Sep 28, 2019, 11:12am

>257 msf59: Ha! Weirdos of the World Unite! I'm with you, brother.

Morning, Mark. Damp but no rain, says weather forecaster Debbi. A pair of terrific books? I saw Shoe Dog. What's the other?

Yeah, that was one lousy way to end the season for the Cubs. I'm really surprised. They seemed loaded and experienced. Hard to figure.

Well, time to turn to football and basketball. That ain't all bad. Big one for the Bears tomorrow. I love watching Kahlil Mack!

Sep 28, 2019, 11:44am

The new cafe is open - see you there!
This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 16.