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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Seventeen

This is a continuation of the topic Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Sixteen.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Eighteen.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Sep 10, 2019, 10:37pm Top

^The Blue Ridge Mountains. We will be at or around these gorgeous mountains, on our trip to South & North Carolina. I have seen this beautiful range before but it never, ever gets old.

^Swainson's Thrush. I took this photo at Montrose Bird Sanctuary. I like the way it came out.

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 6:10pm Top




85) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead 4.7 stars ALA
86) Bernie by Ted Rall 4.2 stars GN
87) Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera 3.8 stars
88) Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography by Jack Hurst 3.3 stars (audio)
89) Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey 4.4 stars (audio)
90) The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 5 stars
91) Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz 4.2 stars GN
92) If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais 4.7 stars
93) Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson 3.8 stars (audio)
94) Big Sky (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson 3.8 stars (audio)
95) Mohawk by Richard Russo 4.2 stars
96) Instructions for a Funeral: Stories by David Means 4.7 stars
97) Moonbound: Apollo 11 by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm 4.2 stars GN
98) Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert 4 stars (audio)


99) Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton 4.5 stars ALA
100) God Save Texas by Lawrence Wright 4.6 stars (audio)
101) Lanny by Max Porter 4.4 stars
102) Recursion by Blake Crouch 3.7 stars (audio)
103) Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey 4.5 stars (P)
104) The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell 4.3 stars ALA
105) Norco '80:True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery by Peter Houlahan 3.8 stars (audio)
106) The New Order: Stories by Karen E. Bender 4.6 stars ALA
107) Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir by Jeff Tweedy 4.5 stars (audio)
108) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines 4.2 stars AAC
109) The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin 4.2 stars (audio)


110) A Truck Full of Money by Tracy Kidder 3.8 stars (audio)
111) Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko 4.2 stars AAC
112) Pilgrim's Wilderness: Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia 4 stars (audio)
113) They Called Us Enemy by George Takei 4.7 stars GN
114) Deep River by Karl Marlantes 4.3 stars
115) Beloved by Toni Morrison 5 stars (audio/print)
116) We Are Still Here: Stories & A Novella by Emily Koon 3.7 stars ER
117) Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang 4.4 stars
118) An American Sunrise: Poems by Joy Harjo 4.3 stars (P)
119) Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips 4.2 stars (audio)
120) The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 4.8 stars ALA
121) Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley 4 stars GN


122) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight 4.7 stars (audio)
123) Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko 4.2 stars AAC

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 6:12pm Top

^Someone, mentioned starting a "Birding" thread. Honestly, I was not up for hosting another thread but I thought it would be cool, if a few of us started a birdfeeder watch and kept it updated on the participant's own thread. I know there are several of my pals over here, that have feeders. I hope I can get you to join. I am only going to log in each species I see, for the year, along with the dates. The only species changes, I expect to find, are during the various seasons. Hopefully, this will inspire me to keep a better watch on my own feeders. As of now, the Feeder report will be in post # 6. Here is what I have so far:

1) Northern Cardinal 1/1/19
2) American Goldfinch 1/1/19
3) Downy Woodpecker 1/1/19
4) Black-Capped Chickadee 1/1/19
5) White-Breasted Nuthatch 1/1/19
6) Mourning Dove 1/1/19
7) Dark-Eyed Junco 1/1/19
8) House Sparrow 1/1/19
9) Pine Siskins 1/4/19 (F)
10) Red-Tailed Hawk
11) House Finch
12) Red-Bellied Woodpecker 3/12
13) American Robin 3/13
14) Starling 3/19
15) Northern Flicker
16) Mallards
17) Brown-Headed Cowbird 4/22
18) Chipping Sparrow 5/1
19) White-Crowned Sparrow 5/2
20) Red-Winged Blackbird 5/5
21) Ruby-Throated Hummingbird 5/5
22) Hermit Thrush 5/7 (F)
23) Gray Catbird 5/16 (F)
24) Baltimore Oriole 5/20 (F)
25) Blue Jay 6/7
26) Hairy Woodpecker

(F)- First time seen at the feeders.

Edited: Sep 10, 2019, 7:29pm Top

-Semipalmated Plover

-Olive-Sided Flycatcher

^I also photographed both of these beauties at Montrose Bird Sanctuary.

Edited: Sep 10, 2019, 7:32pm Top

"Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby."

Well, it looks like I may have been reading Beloved (my first time), just as I was joining LT, in early June of 2008. A perfect marriage. I did not do mini-reviews yet, but I did give it 5 stars. Duh! I was intending to read Paradise, in memory of Morrison's recent passing, but could not squeeze the print book in, in this time frame. Someone mentioned how outstanding the audio version of Beloved is, with Morrison narrating and my library had it available so I grabbed it and started it today. It is mind-blowingly good. Her writing and narration are a revelation. Ideal revisit. I am keeping the print book at hand too. I still intend to read Paradise, in the coming weeks.

^I am not very religious, but Toni Morrison reading a book to me, while I work, may be one of the most blissful things I have experienced. Of course it helps, that Beloved is such a DAMN good book, to boot. B.A.G. I am a 110 pages in.

Sep 10, 2019, 7:38pm Top

Thought you might appreciate Zoe's latest A Walk in the Woods. I think it has both great information and excellent photos. I need to get outside more.

Sep 10, 2019, 7:53pm Top

Happy new thread!

>1 msf59: First photo, The Blue Ridge Mountains, isn't displaying for me.

Sep 10, 2019, 9:04pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark.
The group is awfully slow just now with late summer taking many of our number away from their computers so I am pleased to see you at least ticking over.

Sep 10, 2019, 9:10pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. Love the topper. I would love to listen to Toni Morrison read one of her books.

Sep 10, 2019, 9:58pm Top

>6 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. I love Zoe's fall photos. Thanks for sharing them with me. I agree with her about the fall warblers. They are tough to ID.

>7 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I will check out the topper.

Sep 10, 2019, 10:01pm Top

>8 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. I just keep plugging away, like I normally do. I miss seeing your around.

>9 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. I am loving Beloved, read by Morrison. She is a pro.

Sep 10, 2019, 11:01pm Top

>10 msf59: It is lovely!

Sep 11, 2019, 12:07am Top

Happy new one Mark!! I plan to read They Called Us Enemy on my plane ride home tomorrow. Glad you liked it so much!

Sep 11, 2019, 5:22am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new thread!

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 6:18am Top

Happy New Thread, Mark!

Great photos up top of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Swainson's Thrush. Lovely ones in >4 msf59:, too, especially that first one. I've lost track, but I know you start your vacation soon!

I'm glad They Called Us Enemy got a high rating from you. The American Nightmare seems to always exist right alongside the American Dream, doesn't it.

I love your description of the blissful experience of having Toni Morrison reading Beloved to you. That book is just plain a knockout.

I'm back to reading Mythos, and appreciating Stephen Fry's wit and intelligence. I never had a "Myths" course or section in school, so I'm enjoying his playful sorting of it all.

Sep 11, 2019, 6:29am Top

>12 quondame: I had to switch images, Susan. Glad you can see it now.

>13 Berly: Thanks, Kim. You should be able to polish off They Called Us Enemy on the flight. It is excellent.

>14 scaifea: Thanks, Amber!

Sep 11, 2019, 6:34am Top

>15 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Happy Wednesday. Hooray for the Blue Ridge Mountains. We leave on Saturday morning. I saw and photographed the thrush at the same place we saw all those warblers, at Montrose, back in May, near the water puddle.

They Called Us Enemy was incredibly well-done. FDR's biggest and ugliest blunder. Shameful. I read Beloved eleven years ago but it is like I am reading for the first time. Just blowing me away.

Sep 11, 2019, 7:05am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy only-two-work-days-to-go Wednesday!

That's a beautiful photo of the Swainson's Thrush. I can see why you like it.

I guess it's really time for me to read something by Morrison - you finally got me. I tried to be good and get Beloved from the library but it wasn't available, so off to Ammy I went.

Sep 11, 2019, 7:31am Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 11, 2019, 10:36am Top

>18 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I still have problems IDing the thrush. There are 3, that are very similar. Fortunately, I had help with this one. I am so glad I got you to pick up Beloved. I cannot recommend it high enough.

>19 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs.

Sep 11, 2019, 12:28pm Top

>1 msf59: >4 msf59:

Photographs so beautiful, inviting, and evocative - they could win in the Bird Watcher's Magazine contests!

Happy to see that the Plovers made it safely at Montrose.

Sep 11, 2019, 1:21pm Top

Hi Mark! Happy New Thread!

Gorgeous photo of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It sounds like a wonderful trip planned.

I read Beloved BLT (Before Library Thing). I love the idea of listening to Ms Morrison reading it, so I've requested that from the library as my next audiobook. I'm definitely doing more rereading this year than I have in the past.

Thanks to >6 alphaorder: for posting the link to Zoe's blog. I usually miss it. Such amazing photos!

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 2:19pm Top

i liked your Swainson's Thrush photo in >1 msf59: too. Happy new thread and have a wonderful vacation break!

Sep 11, 2019, 2:33pm Top

Happy new thread! I'd like the Palm-Oil Pastrybird and the Olive-Sided Martinishaker to visit me.

My librarians saw I'd put a hold on The Testaments: A Novel and, if you can imagine such a thing, decided to buy a copy so I wouldn't be waaaay down the list for the system's many copies! It pays to visit them 3x/week every week.

Sep 11, 2019, 3:17pm Top

Love the toppers Mark, that is a great shot of the thrush. He/she is quizzically asking you what you are up to.

Have a great break. Breathtaking scenery.

Sep 11, 2019, 3:33pm Top

>24 richardderus: That is so cool. The Los Angeles City libraries have a "Hot Shelf" in some branches where bestsellers can circulate with no reservations - I can check online to see if one of the close ones has the title and scoot on over there - there are at least 4 branches I can get to within 1/2 hour and one within 5 min.

Sep 11, 2019, 4:00pm Top

>26 quondame: That's a great idea! As many branches as the system has, it's got to make sense for them to keep the holds manageable that way.

Sep 11, 2019, 4:09pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Beautiful photos! You're quite talented!
I just finished The New Order Dang! was it good!!
It will be on its way to Ellen in a few days. Thanks my friend :0)

Sep 11, 2019, 6:24pm Top

>21 m.belljackson: Thanks, Marianne. I have a long way to go in the photography department, but I appreciate the love. I hope to focus more on the mechanics in the next year. Hopefully, I can move up, to the big gear, post-retirement.

>22 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. We have another action-packed trip planned and this time my sister, from Oregon will be joining us. I think revisiting Beloved on audio is an excellent idea, especially with Morrison narrating. It is a revelation.

>23 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. Hooray for the thrush and the fast-approaching vacay.

Sep 11, 2019, 6:42pm Top

>24 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I did not see either a Palm-Oil Pastrybird or the Olive-Sided Martinishaker today but I will keep my eyes peeled. Obviously, both would be lifers. Grins...

Great idea ordering The Testaments. The early reviews have been fantastic. Atwood is a treasure. I think I may hold out for the audio. It supposed to be an excellent full-cast production.

>25 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline. Glad you like the thrush shot. Looking forward to returning to the Carolinas and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Edited: Sep 11, 2019, 6:47pm Top

>28 Carmenere: Aw, shucks, Lynda and thanks. I am surrounded with seasoned bird photographers, every time I go on a guided walk, so I am very, small potatoes, compared to these pros, but I hope to continue to get better and then upgrade my equipment.

I am so glad you also enjoyed The New Order: Stories. I loved that collection and I am glad you are passing onto Ellen and keeping the book joy going.

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 6:33am Top

^Well, it is official: Bree and Sean are engaged. We are happy and it looks like the dogs are too. Sean will make a fine son-in-law.

**I tried posting this last night and LT was being loopy.

Sep 12, 2019, 7:01am Top

>32 msf59:. Congratulations to Bree and Sean, and you and Sue! So great. I’m glad you like Sean as a SIL. Debbi sends her congrats and good wishes.

AND it’s your last day before vacay! Go Mark!

Sep 12, 2019, 7:05am Top

>33 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. We have been waiting patiently for this day and it has arrived. It will be a banner year in 2020, that is for sure. Off to work...

Sep 12, 2019, 7:11am Top

'Morning, Mark. Happy last day before vay-cay.

Congrats to Bree and Sean.

Sep 12, 2019, 7:15am Top

Congrats to Bree and soon-to-be-Mr. Bree! That's wonderful!

Sep 12, 2019, 7:17am Top

Big congrats, Mark! And to Bree and Sean, too, of course! Have they set a date yet?

Have a great vacation. How long?

Sep 12, 2019, 7:29am Top

Congratulations to Bree and Sean! (>36 scaifea: soon-to-be-Mr Bree, I like that!) That's wonderful news.

Have a great vacation Mark!!

Sep 12, 2019, 8:04am Top

Congratulations to Bree and Sean and their pooches! What wonderful news for you and Sue!
Mimosas for everyone!!!

Sep 12, 2019, 9:41am Top

Congratulations to Bree and Sean and all around! How exciting :)

Sep 12, 2019, 10:15am Top

Best wishes to the happy couple!

Sep 12, 2019, 10:41am Top

Sweet Thursday! Thanks for all the good wishes for Bree & Sean. Really appreciate it, everyone.

They are aiming for next May! I might just sneak a mimosa in between stops. Grins...

Sep 12, 2019, 10:45am Top

As you come south be prepared. The weather here is awful. It is a real heat wave. I have been miserable this last week.

Sep 12, 2019, 12:02pm Top

Happy new thread!

Sep 12, 2019, 12:36pm Top

>32 msf59: That's wonderful news, Mark, I'm happy for them!

Sep 12, 2019, 1:53pm Top

Such happy news for Bree and Sean.

Sep 12, 2019, 2:08pm Top

Congratulations to Bree and Sean, and the dogs, and happy parents Mark.

Sep 12, 2019, 3:09pm Top

>32 msf59:

Congratulations All Around and trust Engagement will speed healing!

Will the Best Dogs march up the aisle?

Sep 12, 2019, 3:12pm Top

Congrats to Bree and Sean! So you're not only gaining a son-in-law but a new granddog.

It's a great photo - all look so happy!

Sep 12, 2019, 5:08pm Top

>43 benitastrnad: Our family member in South Carolina, mentioned it is hot there. We will be prepared. It might effect the hiking but they have a boat, which will be nice.

>44 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

Thanks, Richard, Mary and Caroline.

>48 m.belljackson: I would not be surprised, Marianne. Bree loves her animals. Grins...

>49 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. Both dogs are Bree's but they love Sean.

Sep 12, 2019, 5:43pm Top

Felicitations to Bree and Sean!

Edited: Sep 12, 2019, 6:03pm Top

Thanks, Susan. Much appreciated.

Sep 12, 2019, 7:05pm Top

Oh what wonderful news Mark. Congratulations to Bree and Sean! And btw Bree is a real beauty.

Sep 12, 2019, 10:53pm Top

Such exciting news! Congrats to Bree and Sean. Great way to head off on vacation...

Sep 13, 2019, 6:53am Top

>53 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. We are proud of our Bree.

>54 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. First day of vacation. B.A.G.

Sep 13, 2019, 6:58am Top

Morning, Mark, and Happy Vacation!!!

Sep 13, 2019, 6:59am Top

Good morning, Mark, and Happy Friday and First Day of Vacation.

Sep 13, 2019, 10:05am Top

Happy Vacation, Mark!

Sep 13, 2019, 10:12am Top

Lots to be happy about, Mark. Enjoy yourselves.

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 10:18am Top

Thanks, Amber, Karen, Katie & Bill. Much appreciated. Just taking care of some stuff around the house. I will mow the grass and pack this afternoon and then we are meeting Bree and Sean for a celebratory drink...or two.

Edited: Sep 13, 2019, 9:10pm Top

^I am bringing a couple of story collections for our trip. I have all ready dipped into We Are Still Here: Stories & A Novella. It isn't bad. Fans of Kelly Link will like it. It is an ER book. It is relatively short, so I will probably finish it on the flight tomorrow. Then I can move onto Stories of Your Life and Others. I have not read Ted Chiang and I am getting pumped about this one. I am sure my reading time will be limited for the next week or so, so I thought short fiction would work better.

Sep 13, 2019, 4:28pm Top

Have a great vacation, Mark!

Sep 13, 2019, 7:14pm Top

Happy new thread! Enjoy your vacation

Sep 13, 2019, 9:10pm Top

>62 jnwelch: >63 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Joe & Chelle. Looking forward to it.

Sep 14, 2019, 8:26am Top

^Heading to the airport. I will check in when I can.

Sep 14, 2019, 8:46am Top

Safe travels and have a wonderful trip!!!

Sep 14, 2019, 11:09am Top

Have a great trip! Looking forward to hearing about it.

Sep 14, 2019, 4:34pm Top

A little late "happy new thread", Mark, I was only two days away from LT...

>32 msf59: Congratulations on the engament of Bree and Sean, nothing can go wrong if the dogs like eachother ;-)
>65 msf59: Enjoy your vacation!

Edited: Sep 14, 2019, 9:38pm Top

Speaking of vacations -

The Ozarks is, and has been, the vacation destination of most of the people I lived with for most of my life. It was the honeymoon destination, Senior Class sneak destination, and summer getaway for millions of people from the vast middle part of the country starting in the 1950’s and it is still going strong. It started out homespun kitschy and is now as sophisticated of a place to go as is Nashville. In fact, if you want to see or hear country music acts - this is the place most people from my home go. Nashville is too big city. Branson, Missouri is authentic country. When I saw the reviews for Bill Geists new book, Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America, I had to read it.

The book turned out to be a nice nostalgic trip down memory lane for the author, and I thought it would be for me. It wasn’t. I wish he had written more about the area and why Bagnell Dam was built in the first place turning a back water area, the Ozarks, into one of the most visited tourist spots in the U.S. THe book started out that way when the author writes about the early tourist entrepreneurs of the area and what they did to try to get people to drive to an out-of-the-way area in the vast middle of the country served by poor roads, but it soon becomes another teen-boy-obsessed-with-sex book making this an average memoir for me.

This book has one of the best designed dust jackets I have seen in years. If the text isn’t stellar the dust jacket is, and the home photographs included add to the book.

The writing is lighthearted and at times funny, but somehow it lacks the homespun folkseyness I wanted. In short this isn’t a great work of nonfiction but it isn’t a waste of time either.

Sep 15, 2019, 12:02am Top

Congratulations to Bree and Sean -- and safe and happy travels for you!

Edited: Sep 15, 2019, 7:07am Top

>66 karenmarie: >67 alphaorder: Thanks, Karen & Nancy.

>68 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Good to see you. We are happy for Bree, Sean and the dogs.

Sep 15, 2019, 7:15am Top

>69 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Thanks for your thoughts on the Ozarks and the Geists book. I have never been to the Ozarks but I did basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, which is nearby. We will get there someday. Sorry, the book wasn't more satisfying.

>70 EBT1002: Thanks, all around, Ellen.

Sep 15, 2019, 7:29am Top

Greetings from Lake Keowee, South Carolina. We are near Clemson University, in the western part of the state. Our family member has a big, beautiful home on this lake. And it is in the woods, which I love. We plan on going for a short hike around the marina, in a little while. Lots of cool places to explore in this area, so I will be reporting back.

Sep 15, 2019, 8:18am Top

Have a great time with family and exploring!

I finished off Writers & Lovers in a day. It was a perfect Saturday read for me. You know how I love books about writers...

Sep 15, 2019, 3:42pm Top

Hope you’re having a good time in the Carolinas, buddy. On the lake, in the Woods - sounds beautiful.

Edited: Sep 15, 2019, 6:50pm Top

Clemson University is also a great place to visit. The John C. Calhoun House is there and they give a great tour. I had no idea that Clemson was a plantation donated to the state of South Carolina by Thomas Clemson. How and why it got to be the site of Clemson University is a very interesting story.

You could also see the stadium in the Canyon. It is a very impressive sight and the structure is beautifully situated. It is an impressive place to play football and to attend a game.

You are also not to far from Cowpens National Battlefield. Since it is a National Battlefield the park service does some really good tours of the battlefield.

You could combine a Civil Wargasm with a Revolutionary War Tour and then go home and read or listen to the first Rick Atkinson book about the Revolutionary War.

If you go to Biltmore/Ashville area be sure to stop at King's Mountain National Battlefield - another Revolutionary War battlefield.

Sep 16, 2019, 7:24am Top

Hi Mark!

I hope you're having a wonderful time and adding a lifer or two to your bird list.

Sep 16, 2019, 7:29am Top

>74 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. We are having a great time. Glad you enjoyed Writers & Lovers.

>75 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. All good here, in the Carolinas. Gorgeous area. My kind of stuff.

Sep 16, 2019, 7:34am Top

>76 benitastrnad: Once you retire, Benita, you need to become a professional tour guide. You have so many terrific suggestions. Once again, time is limited on this trip, so we will mostly be hanging with family, but I hope to relocate to this area, in the coming years and will have time to check it all out.

>77 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We dipped into North Carolina yesterday, as we explored a couple of nearby state parks. The scenery is gorgeous. We are boating today.

Sep 16, 2019, 3:19pm Top

>79 msf59:
A few years ago I attended a wedding in Willmington, N.C. It was about the time that the Outlander TV series was starting. I had read the books when they first came out, so on the way back, I did a Jamie and Claire Fraser Memorial Revolutionary War tour. I stopped at the Moore's Creek National Battlefield, King's Mountain, and then Cowpens. I have to say that prior to reading the corresponding Gabaldon novel I had little to no interest in the Revolutionary War battlefields. Funny how reading makes one interested in things they never thought they would be.

I visited Clemson because I had a co-worker who graduated from Clemson and she took me on a drive around the campus. I then stopped at the Calhoun house to take the tour and found out all sorts of information that I didn't know. The area around Clemson is a very interesting historical area.

Sep 17, 2019, 7:07am Top

>80 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Our family member is living in S.C. permanently, so we will be coming back to do more exploring. I do like visiting historical sites too.

Sep 17, 2019, 7:20am Top

Greetings from Keowee Key! Either, I am busy with activities or socializing with family, so my online time is limited. I have been hiking this great path around the marina, every day and seeing some birds here and there. No lifers, but you never know.

We went boating yesterday. This reservoir is enormous. 17 miles long, so we explored a small chunk of it. With the mountains, lounging in the background, it is a beautiful panoramic view. It has been hot here. In the 90s, so being out on the boat was perfect.

Of course, we had dinner at a local brewery, last night. It will be our last full day here, so we will mostly hang out at the house and near the pool and soak up each other's company. I am sure I will squeeze in some reading too.

Sep 17, 2019, 8:04am Top

Sounds wonderful so far. Safe travels to Hendersonville!

Sep 17, 2019, 1:24pm Top

Sounds mighty relaxing, Mark. Enjoy!

Sep 17, 2019, 3:03pm Top

>80 benitastrnad:

My daughter recently became intrigued by the Outlander series released on Netflix enough to request 2 DVDs a month.
(First binge-watching event ever for me)

While waiting for their delayed arrival, I started reading (my 4th time) OUTLANDER to her every evening.
I've also been reading AND THE LAND LAY STILL by James Robertson. (zero Touchstones today)

Between the two, and with some Scottish "Bell" heritage, I've become totally interested in how the Scots
could not possibly have voted for independence, notably with Gabaldon's involvement and inspiration.

Edited: Sep 18, 2019, 6:54am Top

>83 karenmarie: >84 jnwelch: Thanks, Karen & Joe. We leave for North Carolina in a couple of hours. We will miss this place and our fine hosts.

>85 m.belljackson: I have never read the book or seen the adaptation of Outlander.

Sep 18, 2019, 7:27am Top

Hi Mark, and welcome to the Old North State today.

Outlander is more than one book or the series. There are 8 books so far. My combination of mass market paperbacks and hardcovers runs to about 7600 pages, as I recall. Time travel, high romance, nitty gritty life, violence, beautiful writing - you should dip a toe into the world of Claire and Jamie.

Sep 18, 2019, 3:09pm Top

Happy newish thread, Mark. Looks like you are having a great vacation kicked off by the exciting news about Bree and Sean. Congrats to the happy couple and Bree's parents, of course. Safe travels and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Sep 18, 2019, 7:50pm Top

>86 msf59:

The first OUTLANDER book of the Gabaldon series is great,
as is the first season of the movie.

I just don't recommend watching it with your daughter!

Sep 19, 2019, 7:09am Top

>87 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for N.C. I love your state. Thanks for your input on the Outlander series. Someday?

>88 Familyhistorian: Thanks, for all the good wishes, Meg. Always good to see you. We are having a terrific time.

>89 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Thanks for the nudge on Outlander. I may visit that world some day.

Edited: Sep 19, 2019, 7:25am Top

-View from Jump Off Rock. NMP

Greetings from the Blue Ridge Mountains! We are in Hendersonville, N.C. A nice reunion, with my brother and his wife, who live just outside of town. On our way up here, yesterday morning, we stopped at Whitewater Falls State Park. A gorgeous set of falls. Reportedly, the highest falls east of the Rockies. I will share photos when I get back home.
My brother showed us around a bit yesterday, stopping off at Jump Off Rock, where there is a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mtns. Of course, we ended up at a brewery or 2, after that. My brother and his wife, do not drink, so we applaud their patience. We are staying at a motel in town and my sister is staying with them. More adventures planned, for today...

Sep 19, 2019, 7:36am Top

-Whitewater Falls, NC (NMP)

Sep 19, 2019, 8:10am Top

Have fun today, Mark!

Sep 19, 2019, 1:12pm Top

Hi Mark, first off, congratulations on the engagement of your daughter. And before I forget, your bird photography is excellent!

I have a sister-in-law from North Carolina so the Carolinas have long been on my bucket list - obviously they are beautiful! Have a wonderful trip. :)

Sep 19, 2019, 1:27pm Top

>92 msf59: Whitewater Falls! Such an amazing sight. I love that part of NC.

Happy Blue Ridging and safe travels home.

Sep 19, 2019, 5:48pm Top

Sep 19, 2019, 9:21pm Top

Geez, Mark. I'm sure glad you didn't jump off that there rock. We'da missed you, fer sure.

Sep 20, 2019, 7:27am Top

>93 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. It has been a good time. Last full day here.

>94 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. Good to see you. We are excited about Bree. Yes, visit the Carolinas sometime. Beautiful here.

Sep 20, 2019, 7:31am Top

>95 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. As you can see, we are having a great time in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

>96 jnwelch: It sure is, Joe. Welcome home.

>97 weird_O: Life is good, Bill, so no fear of me jumping off anything. I just enjoy soaking in the view and there is plenty of that here.

Sep 20, 2019, 11:58pm Top

All good things end too quickly. Safe travels.

Sep 21, 2019, 6:49am Top

>100 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. It has been a good trip. I will miss my family members and mountains.

Sep 21, 2019, 8:59am Top

Safe travels, Mark! Come back to NC soon and come to the Piedmont.

Sep 21, 2019, 12:15pm Top

Safe travels home, Mark. It sounds like you had a most excellent trip, with family and the great outdoors. I'm glad you have a day off to regroup at home when you get back.

Sep 21, 2019, 2:50pm Top

Congratulations to Bree! And Sean! and the Dogs!

And I am glad that you had a nice trip!

Sep 21, 2019, 9:01pm Top

Sounds like a wonderful trip Mark. I love NC too.

Sep 21, 2019, 11:26pm Top

Hendersonville, NC - just down the road from where my sister lives. She is moving from Asheville to Black Mountain this week.
It sounds like a terrific trip, Mark. Have a safe trip home.

Sep 22, 2019, 8:07am Top

It's a small western NC world - a dear friend moved from Black Mountain to Hendersonville earlier this year and loves it.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 9:32am Top

>102 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. We intend to return to NC, for visits and are considering relocating to that area in a few years.

>103 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. It was a great trip and my regular day off is Monday, for next week, so I get 2 cushion days. B.A.G.

Sep 22, 2019, 8:33am Top

>104 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. I appreciate all the best wishes. It was a good trip.

>105 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. One of my very favorite parts of the country and it's proximity to Chicagoland is a bonus.

>106 EBT1002: We saw signs for Black Mountain, Ellen. I would be interested in hearing what your sister thinks of the area. We will be scouting that entire region for possible retirement locations.

>107 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We saw signs for Black Mountain, along with signs for a town called Bat Cave. Grins...

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 9:04am Top

^Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina.

I loved this location, just a few miles from east of Hendersonville. They filmed Dirty Dancing and Last of the Mohicans in this area. We got a nice hike in too. Plenty of trails to explore here. These photos are from my cell phone but I took many photos with my "good" camera, that I will share later.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 9:17am Top

^For some reason, I can't seem to find time to read while I am away on vacation. Just not enough down time, I guess. We stay pretty active through the day and I don't read much in the evenings. Mostly socializing. I did finish We Are Still Here: Stories and I started Stories of Your Life and Others, while traveling yesterday. 2 stories in. Very good stuff, but this guy is a deep thinker. I have to stay focused. I hope to get plenty of reading time in, today and tomorrow.

Sep 22, 2019, 1:15pm Top

>109 msf59:

Many years ago, I alerted my sister in Arizona to the Oglala Aquifer drying up,
so just mentioning now that you might want to investigate mounting projections for rising sea levels
& other heat climate changes around the beautiful Carolinas =
as well, though you have endured and survived Chicago's bonkers scary & shifting politics,
not sure how you would fare with the rising of the Klan and other baseline red state dealings.

Good Luck on finding a GREAT place to relocate!

Sep 22, 2019, 3:00pm Top

>112 m.belljackson: Thanks, for the fair warnings, Marianne. I have a few years, so plenty of time to investigate. Illinois is a tough state to live in and retire in, so I am definitely considering alternatives. If we do decide on NC, it will be in the western part of the state.

Sep 22, 2019, 3:14pm Top

>113 msf59: Curious to know what you mean by "Illinois is a tough state to live in and retire in".

Sep 22, 2019, 3:24pm Top

>114 alphaorder: Happy Sunday, Nancy. Good to see you. I was just going to PM you. I think Illinois is an expensive state to live in and the taxes are very high. It is not a retirement friendly state. I think I am also done with the harsh winters, although, that will get easier, after I leave the P.O.

Sep 22, 2019, 3:27pm Top

Ah, was just curious what you meant and that explains it. I like you being nearby though. :)

Sep 22, 2019, 3:53pm Top

Welcome home, Mark. Glad to learn you had such a fine vay-cay.

Sep 22, 2019, 4:10pm Top

Welcome back! Hope your two cushion days are wonderful.

Socializing instead of reading! Scandalous! Did you plunder visit any book stores on your journey?

Sep 22, 2019, 5:14pm Top

It sounds like your vacation was great, Mark.

Edited: Sep 22, 2019, 6:03pm Top

>116 alphaorder: Aw, thanks, Nancy. The good news is, we would be coming back here often. Of course, a lot can change before now and then too.

>117 weird_O: Thanks, Bill. It was a good trip and I have another full day off too.

Sep 22, 2019, 6:08pm Top

>118 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I am enjoying the first of my two cushion days. Yep, it was a scandalous week. Grins...I did not hit any bookstores, not even Malaprop in Asheville. My brother is having issues with his legs, so walking makes him uncomfortable. I didn't want to drag him around to much. At least he can sit in a brewery. Another grin...

>119 BLBera: It was a good time, Beth. Everything went smoothly.

Sep 22, 2019, 6:22pm Top

I would totally retire to Black Mountain. When I was there a couple of weeks ago we went to see the place they're moving into and it's quite pretty. The town is a little artsy community. We ate at a restaurant called the Black Mountain Bistro and it was quite tasty.

Sep 22, 2019, 6:24pm Top

Oh, and sorry you missed Malaprop's but honestly, when you have access to the kinds of bookshops you have in Chicago (or I used to have in Seattle), that little place isn't as special. It's nice to visit and has a wonderful indie bookstore feel but the selection wasn't that unique.

Sep 22, 2019, 6:49pm Top

>122 EBT1002: >123 EBT1002: I know this will require a compromise or two, between Sue and I, but I would like a place just a bit on the outskirts of town, with some trees and some privacy, preferably with a pleasant view from my front porch.

I loved Malaprop Bookstore when I visited it, for Booktopia. I will go back.

Sep 22, 2019, 6:59pm Top

Welcome home, Mark!

I'm with Nancy - it's better having you close by. Maybe you need to rethink this retirement plan. Harsh winters just make us better appreciate the two days of Spring we get, don't they?

I'm glad you get another day's cushion. Aren't those Chiang stories well done? What an imagination.

Sep 22, 2019, 7:09pm Top

Bonus: Retiring to NC will, by 2030, be like retiring to FL was in 2000. Climate change is moving that quickly...I'll be living in VA even if I don't move a muscle. And that assumes the Feds keep funding our beach reclamation projects.

Sep 22, 2019, 9:33pm Top

I know that feeling of missing mountains. That was one of the reasons I didn't think about moving after retirement. There is a lot to consider when thinking about relocating with a life change like that. Best of luck figuring it all out.

Sep 22, 2019, 10:05pm Top

>125 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. It was nice having a lazy day with the books. It will be a few years, before we make any move, plus anything could alter those plans.

The Chiang collection is very deep and impressive.

Sep 22, 2019, 10:12pm Top

>126 richardderus: Yes, there will be some catastrophic changes in the near future, Richard, but I am an optimistic person, by nature, so I hope we can navigate those looming events.

>127 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Yep, all ready missing those mountains. Both our kids live here, along with most of my wife's family. Lots to consider, in the next couple of years.

Sep 23, 2019, 6:52am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy R&R day to you.

Sep 23, 2019, 7:23am Top

>130 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Thanks. Looking forward to another quiet day off. Bird walk(s) and books.

Sep 23, 2019, 7:25am Top

-Tufted Titmouse (NMP)

^I saw a couple of these beauties while in South Carolina. One visited my feeder about 3 years ago, for about ten seconds. Not as common around here.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 7:40am Top

-Carolina Chickadee (NMP)

^These are very similar to our local Black-Capped Chickadees and I saw plenty in the Carolinas. My only lifer on the trip. Plenty birds seen and enjoyed but nothing else to add to the list. I do like the southern mockingbirds, though.

Bird Feeder Report: All feeders hopping yesterday, welcoming me back, with all the regulars in attendance, including the hummers, who were happy to get a fresh mixture.

Sep 23, 2019, 9:02am Top

Happy Cushion Day, Mark!

Love that bird feeder report - I'm sure they missed you. Lovely photos of the Tufted Titmouse and Chickadee, too.

We're back to training for the first time in a while today. Yikes. I pulled a muscle lifting one of our heavy suitcases, too (yes, acquired books had something to do with the weight!), so that'll make it even more interesting.

I finished and very much liked Mythos; what a treat it would be to be as brilliant as Stephen Fry. I hope his book ends up being used in some classes. It's a heck of a lot more entertaining than some of the dry alternatives.

Sep 23, 2019, 9:48am Top

>134 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. My cushion day is planned out: bird strolls, books and Bears tonight. Good luck getting back into the workout mode. Careful with that pulled muscle. I did my workout earlier and I am sore.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 12:42pm Top

>115 msf59:
I'm with Richard on this one. With climate change, Illinois will be in the future what North Carolina is now. North Carolina will be in the tropics prone to big heavy rain storms and drowned rivers. Even the mountains won't be exempt, excessive rainfall means landslides. For my retirement I can considering Western Nebraska. Maybe New Mexico - in the Rockies. Problem with the Carolina's are the politics and they may be tax friendly, but remember that means there are NO services because - who will pay for them? And think about those insurance rates in the future. Might be equal to those of Illinois. Who knows?

>126 richardderus:
I think the Feds are going to stop reclaiming the beaches. It is a losing battle. They are already planning on moving the lighthouse in North Carolina again due to beach erosion. You won't be living in Virginia - there aren't any statues to Bobby Lee and the Boys in New York. Even if the climate is the same.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 7:08pm Top

>133 msf59: One lifer! That is great, Mark, it looks lovely (and small)

On our walk along the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel) yesterday we saw an european stonechat (nmp):

Sep 23, 2019, 5:43pm Top

So while we were out watching bird, they've been disappearing: a 29 percent decline in the last fifty years. A story about the situation from the NY Times.


Sep 23, 2019, 6:07pm Top

>138 weird_O:
Along with the birds, we are also losing the bees. I have always had bees hanging around my blooming flowers at this time of year, but this year I am lucky LUCKY! to see one. In the past I had thought that perhaps I should get a hive and install it in the back yard, but I didn't think I, or my neighbors, had enough plants around for them to live off of. (no flowering plants - no nectar.) I think our wildlife needs all kinds of help or we simply aren't going to have any.

When are we going to realize that the HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

Sep 23, 2019, 6:48pm Top

>136 benitastrnad: Thanks for chiming in on my retirement choices, Benita. There is plenty for me to chew on, before we make our decision, including political concerns and climate issues. Fortunately, it will be a few years before a relocation happens, if at all. I love many of the western states but I want it to be in reasonable driving distance to the Chicago area. We also like the western Carolina area, because family is all ready in the vicinity and friends are possibly moving there too.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 6:58pm Top

-European Stonechat

>137 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. Your image of the stonechat did not appear, so I supplied one. I was not familiar with this bird but I really like it's looks. It's like a combination of our chickadee and the eastern bluebird. Do you see them often?

Sep 23, 2019, 6:55pm Top

You have a lot to think about over the next few years, Mark. North Carolina sounds and looks beautiful and I'm all for milder winters. We originally thought about moving to Vancouver Island when my husband retired but we are very attached to both our daughters and grandchildren so we decided to remain close to them for now.

Sep 23, 2019, 6:56pm Top

>141 msf59: Thank you, Mark, for providing an other picture of the european stonechat. I tried again in my message, can you see it now?
It is a small bird, I don't see them very often, maybe once or twice a year.

Sep 23, 2019, 6:57pm Top

>138 weird_O: I see many of these reports, Bill and it is disheartening. Between- cats, building and glass collisions and habitat change, it is not surprising at all. Birds have survived and evolved for millions of years, but this may be tough to recover from.

>139 benitastrnad: I am fearful of the decline in bee population too, Benita, so I am always happy to see them when I do.

Sep 23, 2019, 7:04pm Top

>142 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Good to see you. I am sure you would love the western Carolinas. And I am sure I will fall deeply in love with the Vancouver area, once I finally make it out there. I definitely prefer your weather. Once our grandchildren start arriving, everything could change.

>143 FAMeulstee: It is still not coming up, Anita. Very nice bird.

Sep 23, 2019, 7:12pm Top

>145 msf59: Last try to make the picture in >137 FAMeulstee: come up, time to go to bed!

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 7:17pm Top

>137 FAMeulstee: >146 FAMeulstee: It worked! It worked! He is a beauty too! Yah!!

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 7:24pm Top

"For fans of Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife: the kidnapping of two small girls on a remote peninsula in Russia sets in motion an evocative, moving, searingly original debut novel by a dazzling young writer."

^The best thing about returning to work, after vacation, is starting up my audiobooks. A couple of my LT pals really liked Disappearing Earth and I really like the premise. I start it tomorrow.

BTW- I LOVED A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and have a copy on shelf (When is Marra going to bless us with another book??). I never did get to The Tiger's Wife. Too many mixed LT signals, I guess.

Sep 23, 2019, 7:58pm Top

I loved Disappearing Earth Mark, but was surprised to see it on the recently announced long list for the National Book Award. I don't really see the connection to The Tiger's Wife which I also liked a lot.

Marra did have a book of short fiction that I may have even read.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 8:47pm Top

>149 brenzi: I remember you loving Disappearing Earth, Bonnie. One of the reasons I will be reading it. Marra did release a story collection, The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories soon after Constellation and it was excellent but I think that was 4 years ago.

Edited: Sep 23, 2019, 8:48pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Sep 23, 2019, 8:55pm Top

>144 msf59:

Bees love wild sunflowers and chickory - both easy perennials to grow even in small spaces.

Sep 24, 2019, 6:24am Top

>152 m.belljackson: We have very little garden space, but that is a wonderful idea, Marianne.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 6:39am Top

^I did get a couple of bird hikes in yesterday, my last day of vacation. This was at the Arbortetum, (not a bad photo, from my cell) and it was a beautiful day, to tromp around in the woods, plus I saw about 25 species. My thoughts will be on these various trails, as I walk the route today.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 7:29am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday. Sorry it's a work day, but I hope you see lots of birds at your bird watching place and enjoy the nice weather.

Sep 24, 2019, 10:41am Top

Morning, Karen. I am trudging along. Very quiet at the BBS. I only had a few minutes.

Sep 24, 2019, 3:13pm Top

>151 msf59: LOL!

>154 msf59: Good for you. Sounds great.

Hope the first day back is going okay. I finished Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (challenging last name!) and it was very good. Next up is the new Charles Simic you liked.

Sep 24, 2019, 3:40pm Top

Hope that thoughts of your vacation are keeping you going on your route, Mark.

Sep 24, 2019, 4:47pm Top

The Arboretum is lovely! I enjoy being among trees. Until the stillness of the air gets oppressive...I do better by the sea.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 6:06pm Top

>157 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Always a good time at the Arb, especially on a beautiful day. Oceanic is poetry, right? Think it would be my cuppa? I believe Nancy also recently read and enjoyed it.

>158 Familyhistorian: Thoughts of my Carolina adventures were dancing through my head, on the route today, Meg, but not enough to distract me from my audiobook. Grins...

>159 richardderus: I could not agree with you more, on your thoughts about the woods, Richard. That is why I enjoy a mixed habitat. I like entering a meadow now and then, giving you a chance to breath a bit and enjoy the sky. I have not been around the sea enough, to have a solid opinion about a preference, although I would probably go with woods and mountains.

Sep 24, 2019, 6:29pm Top

I have been really really enjoying the Ken Burn's film "Country Music' that is currently on PBS. It will be on tonight and tomorrow night for 2 hours each night. The program is just about up to 1970 and tonight they will be discussing George Jones and Tammy Wynette. It has been good stuff - just as was his program "Jazz" and "Baseball" and "National Parks" and ...

You really should be watching it, or at least recording it.

Sep 24, 2019, 7:26pm Top

Welcome back, Mark! I’ve enjoyed your vacation photos!

It’s fun to think of where you want to live - makes you feel footloose and fancy free! :) I’m lucky to live in Colorado and so didn’t even consider moving when I retired. On the one hand, happily, our property taxes are ridiculously low. But on the other, with housing costs astronomically high, we could sell our house, make out like bandits, and move elsewhere. Mountains have strong callings but the ocean still tends to beckon. (Although I’d never go back to NJ.)

And what’s up with Anthony Marra. I keep waiting for another book...

Sep 24, 2019, 7:46pm Top

>161 benitastrnad: I have been meaning to record the Country Music doc, Benita. I will do it now. I love country music, especially the early stuff. I loved nearly everything Burns has done. The Civil War is my favorite.

>162 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. Good to see you. It was a fine time in the Carolinas. Have you ever been? As you know, I also love Colorado but it might just be to expensive to buy something there. We will have to see where we end up. Anything could happen, right?

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 7:57pm Top

114) Deep River by Karl Marlantes 4.3 stars

I read Marlante's first novel, Matterhorn, in 2010, the year it was published. It ended up being the best book I read that year. Many book lovers felt the same way. A riveting look at the Vietnam war. Marlante has finally returned and he does not disappoint, delivering a big, sprawling epic, tracing a family over several decades. He based this on his own family's history.
It begins with the Koski family, living in Finland, as farmers. The country was still occupied by Russia, in the late 19th century and the father of the clan, was a strong nationalist and is soon arrested and imprisoned, forcing the family to flee to America. They take up residence in the Pacific Northwest, lured by the Homestead Act. They quickly establish themselves in the booming, logging community.
The author has done his research, adorning the narrative with rich historical detail, while keeping the dramatic elements of the story, moving along at a brisk clip and using the rugged wilds of Washington as a perfect backdrop. The reader will learn plenty about the early labor union battles, (yes, they were brutal) and everything you need to know about logging and salmon fishing.
Annie Proulx's novel, Barkskins, also covered the early logging industry. I liked that book but I think Marlantes did it a bit better. Terrific read.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 8:18pm Top

^I love Ann Patchett. Her last novel, Commonwealth was a true marvel. I was blessed to meet Ms. Patchett again at ALA, and get a signed copy of her latest, The Dutch House, which was just released. I am going to start it tomorrow. I am also crazy about that cover. Possibly my favorite cover of the year.

Sep 24, 2019, 8:31pm Top

>161 benitastrnad: Me too Benita. I'm loving it and I downloaded the soundtrack onto my Apple Music library and I'm not even a very big country fan.

>164 msf59: Oh boy I'll have to move this one way up I guess after both you and Donna loved it. Great review Mark.

>165 msf59: I just got a library notice that The Dutch House is ready for me Mark. I have to finish my Hemingway duo before I get to it but I'm excited it came to me so quickly.

Sep 24, 2019, 8:31pm Top

Hey Mark! Lots of great conversation here and lovely pics from your trip, birdies too!
I have a slu of books coming in for me at the library. One is Disappearing Earth and other National Book Award long listers. Gotta run, enjoy this wonderful fall weather

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 10:07pm Top

>166 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I wish I had recorded Country Music from the beginning, but I forgot to set it up, before I left town. I can watch the earlier episodes online. It looks really good and I love that early music.

I am sure you will really enjoy, both Deep River & The Dutch House.

>167 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Good to see you. I am enjoying Disappearing Earth, in the early going.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 10:13pm Top

For Earth’s Grandsons

Stand tall, no matter height, how dark your skin
Your spirit is all colors within

You are made of the finest woven light

From the iridescent love that formed your mothers, fathers

Your grandparents all the way back on the spiral road–

There is no end to this love

It has formed your bodies

Feeds your bright spirits

And no matter what happens in these times of breaking–

No matter dictators, the heartless, and liars

No matter– you are born of those

Who kept ceremonial embers burning in their hands

All through the miles of relentless exile

Those who sang the path through massacre

All the way to sunrise

You will make it through—

-Joy Harjo

This is from Harjo's latest, An American Sunrise: Poems, which I just finished and adored.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 10:15pm Top

I'm at the half way mark of Disappearing Earth and it's a different and interesting read.

Edited: Sep 24, 2019, 10:34pm Top

>161 benitastrnad:, >163 msf59: - I have to say, I am not a fan of country music at all but I have watched this doc series from the beginning last week and am loving it. It's the personal stories and the history I am enjoying the most. Ken Burns has a great style in telling his stories and this is no exception. I have seen *Jazz*, *Baseball* (of course), *The Civil War* and possibly a few others I am forgetting. One of the best, I think, was one of his much shorter ones, called *Horatio's Drive*, about the first American road trip across the country in an automobile. I think it was only one disc (dvd) when I borrowed it from the library. It's under 2 hours, for sure, and what a story!! I love Ken Burns

Sep 25, 2019, 6:33am Top

>170 mdoris: Hi, Mary. I agree, Disappearing Earth has an interesting narrative structure. I am enjoying it.

>171 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Yep, Ken Burns is a master of the form. I missed recording the first episodes but I did start the first ep, online. It looks fantastic. I am not much of a fan of cookie-cutter modern country but love all the classic stuff. Not familiar with Horatio's Drive. I will have to look for that one. His short film on the Brooklyn Bridge was excellent too.

Sep 25, 2019, 6:50am Top

>141 msf59: That's a familiar little fellow! We saw some last week, in the dunes, on our holiday.

Wishing you a good working day.

Sep 25, 2019, 6:55am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you. Bill and I like Ken Burns. I didn't realize he had so many films. Every one we've watched we've loved.

Sep 25, 2019, 7:03am Top

>173 EllaTim: Hi, Ella. Great to see you. Hooray, for the Stonechat! Nice looking little bird.

>174 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Since the baseball season is over for me (sad face), I am going to dive into the Country Music doc, among other things.

Sep 25, 2019, 8:41am Top

Happy Middle of the Darn Week, Mark. Yes, Oceanic is poetry, and I think you'll like it. Nancy and I tend to have similar tastes. If I get my act together, I'll post a poem from it. I'll track down the new Harjo; she's one of those I respect but have yet to get lift-off with. Maybe this one will work.

You read Friday Black, right? RD tipped me over the edge with his review, and I started it. Woo, I'm going to have to take it in small doses. Those stories are strong medicine!

The Marlantes sounds really good, so I've got that on my radar. I should get back to Ann Patchett. I loved Bel Canto, but never got further. That is a cool cover on the new one. I'll look forward to your reactions.

Sep 25, 2019, 10:39am Top

I'm with you on the Ann Patchett love, Mark! I'm going to her give a talk tonight (moderated by Edwidge Danticatand I hope to start Dutch House soon. I think I've read almost all of her novels and haven't found a single dud!

Sep 25, 2019, 10:46am Top

Wow! The BBS was hopping this morning, with a flurry of activity, especially from the robins and doves, who were zipping around everywhere, along with most of the usual suspects. And this was all in ten minutes. Sweet!


Sep 25, 2019, 10:49am Top

>176 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I will request Oceanic. Thanks. What did you think of the Harjo poem, I posted up there? I sure hope her new one, brings you into the fold.

Yes, I loved Friday Black, but I know you are a reluctant short story reader, so I probably didn't warble at you loud enough. Glad Richard got your attention with that terrific collection. I hope you can add more Patchett to your rotation too.

Sep 25, 2019, 1:30pm Top

>178 msf59: Yay for a busy BBS day! Happy it's fall? The great migrations should commence soon.

Sep 25, 2019, 5:43pm Top

>177 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Great to see you. The author event tonight sounds amazing. I wonder if they will be recording it? The Dutch House is off to a terrific start. It is sure shaping up to be another winner by Ms. Patchett.

>180 richardderus: I did not see much bird activity anywhere else, including my own feeders, but the BBS, was rockin'.

Edited: Sep 25, 2019, 7:33pm Top

110) A Truck Full of Money by Tracy Kidder 3.8 stars

“Someday this boy’s going to get hit by a truck full of money, and I’m going to be standing beside him.”

I have not read a Tracy Kidder book, in a few years, so I thought I would try another one. As usual, it does not disappoint. This one focuses on Paul English, a Boston inventor and entrepreneur and who became a driving force on the internet. He had a wizard-like talent for tracking down innovative enterprises and building teams that can develop them. After becoming a billionaire, he decided to give his fortune away.
Kidder is a true master of narrative nonfiction. He draws the reader in and keeps you engaged throughout.

112) Pilgrim's Wilderness: Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia 4 stars

I have mentioned this before but I think we are in a golden age of nonfiction and this one is a good example of it. It follows a family of homesteaders, who take up residence in the rugged wilderness of Alaska. Papa Pilgrim is the patriarch, along with his wife and fifteen children. He is also a religious zealot and a sexual predator. The author is an acclaimed Anchorage journalist and he interviewed and investigated this family for years. Gripping, fascinating and horrifying.

113) They Called Us Enemy by George Takei 4.7 stars

This is an excellent graphic memoir by actor/author/activist George Takei, as he looks back at his childhood imprisonment in an American concentration camp during World War II. It is beautifully written and illustrated. A impressive surprise. This could be the best GN I will read this year.

Sep 25, 2019, 7:28pm Top

The Country music documentary ends tonight. I am sure that you can stream it off of PBS or you can probably get the whole thing from a library somewhere.

The story it tells ends in about 1980. I missed most of last night because I was attending a documentary film premier here in Tuscaloosa. It was of personal interest to me because it was about The Strip - the 3 blocks just off campus that has become the place to be on game day's in Tuscaloosa. It turned out it was mostly about the four anchor bars located on The Strip, one of which, the Houndstooth, has become known as one of the best sports bars in America. Because I have been here so long and knew two of the three guys who put it together I went to that instead of watching Country Music. But I will watch the finale tonight.

Sep 25, 2019, 7:30pm Top

I have a copy of Deep River and I also have Barkskins. Guess I need to get to them. I missed seeing Ann Patchet at ALA - darn and dagnabit! I thought that Deep River looked like a goodun and so grabbed the ARC of it at ALA.

Sep 25, 2019, 7:50pm Top

“In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them.”

“In Ohio seasons are theatrical. Each one enters like a prima donna, convinced its performance is the reason the world has people in it.”

“There is no bad luck in the world but whitefolks”

“Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way, he thought, they were right. The more coloredpeople spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believed could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. But it wasn’t the jungle blacks brought with them to this place from the other (livable) place. It was the jungle whitefolks planted in them.”

115) Beloved by Toni Morrison 5 stars

There are a zillion glowing reviews of Beloved, so I thought I would just share a few quotes from my reread. This was tough, since I could bookmark nearly every page. The writing is absolutely stunning. This could easily qualify as the Great American Novel. It is also wonderful on audio, with Ms. Morrison narrating. If you are considering a revisit, PLEASE, try this format. You will thank me later.

Sep 25, 2019, 7:58pm Top

>183 benitastrnad: >184 benitastrnad: Thanks to you, Benita, I started the first ep of Country Music last night. You are correct, it is streaming online and it is excellent. Baseball season is over for me, (Damn, Cubs!) so it suddenly opens up my evening programming.

I suggest you start with Deep River. You will love the historical detail.

Sep 25, 2019, 8:31pm Top

>172 msf59: - Oh! I hadn't heard about the one on the Brooklyn Bridge. I will have to see if my library can get it. Do find Horatio's Drive. You will love it.

>183 benitastrnad: - Oh, it ends tonight? Damn. I am currently in Montreal, at my mum's and she doesn't get PBS. I guess I will have to find it online or wait till my library gets it.

Sep 25, 2019, 8:46pm Top

Wow, 178 posts and I just discovered your not so new thread.

I need to watch that PBS country music series from Ken Burns.

Sep 25, 2019, 9:53pm Top

I've really enjoyed the Ken Burns Country Music thing. So much more than I expected.

I will take your advice on Beloved Mark. I read it eons ago so the audio should be a great option and it's readily available on Overdrive.

Sep 25, 2019, 10:00pm Top

>187 jessibud2: PBS re-broadcasts everything multiple times....and there is a streaming option as well. Don't miss it. We have recorded the whole thing, and have only watched parts of it so far. Beginning this weekend, we'll be bingeing on Peter Coyote's voice and all that marvelous music history.

Sep 25, 2019, 10:35pm Top

>190 laytonwoman3rd: - I just reserved Brooklyn Bridge by Burns, from my library. Then I googled his filmography and wow, there are TONS more that I hadn't heard of. I will try to get to as many of them as I can. I have seen his big ones (Jazz, Baseball, Civil War, and now, Country Music, as well as, mentioned above, Horatio's Drive. Lots more to look forward to and I can't wait. I will also see if I can find them online.

Sep 26, 2019, 3:03am Top

Glad to hear you loved Beloved....was it terribly sad though? (I may have missed your review).

Hugs from the south to the Great Northern Warbling Birddude.

Sep 26, 2019, 6:33am Top

>187 jessibud2: >191 jessibud2: I watched the first ep of Country Music. It is 2 hours long and quite excellent. I am glad you requested Brooklyn Bridge and I will request Horatio's Drive. Also keep in mind his series on our National Parks, which is also wonderful.

>188 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Yep, I am my usual chatterbox. Always books, birds and others things to gab and share about. I highly recommend the Country Music series, although I have only seen the first one.

Sep 26, 2019, 6:39am Top

>189 brenzi: I am glad that Benita and you, nudged me into getting into Country Music sooner than later. 1st ep was great. Please, try Beloved on audio. It is a transcendent performance.

>190 laytonwoman3rd: I could listen to Peter Coyote, on a constant loop. A true American voice. I wonder if he has done any audio books?

>192 LovingLit: Hooray for the Great Northern Warbling Birddude! Close to being 11 months away from retirement. Yippee! Great to see you Megan. I did not review Beloved. It is a heart-breaking book, I cannot lie but it is also a masterful piece of writing. Highly recommended.

Sep 26, 2019, 7:04am Top

>182 msf59: Glad to see your appreciation for the Takei graphic memoir. I am so glad we both read it. I never got into Star Trek, but follow him on Twiiter. This is a history that we all need to remember, and he conveyed it in such an accessible but impactful way.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 7:22am Top

I agree the Takei was great. I had missed that he worked with some of the team behind March: what a brilliant way to share important histories.

Closer to me, I've just read Kate Charlesworth's new graphic memoir, Sensible footwear: a girl's guide which brings together her own story and that of the LGBTQ movement (mostly) in the UK. Beautifully done and funny with it. I'm not sure how much it will be available outside the UK though? But as a big GN fan I thought you might be interested.

Sep 26, 2019, 9:31am Top

>195 alphaorder: It was a terrific GN, Nancy. I hope we something else by Takei.

>196 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Good to see you. Thanks for the GN rec. I will add it to my list and see if it is available here.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 10:10am Top

Morning, Mark. Sweet Thursday!

That sounds like a very good Tracy Kidder book, and you know I agree with you on George Takei's. Although for me it can't dislodge Good Talk as my favorite GN of the year so far. A close race, though.

Great quotes from Beloved, and I can imagine it was wonderful having Toni Morrison narrating it.

I'm glad the fine weather continues, although it was chillier out at the start than I expected. Hope all goes well today.

P.S. I finished the Charles Simic - Come Closer and Listen. Really good! I love his writing voice. Thanks for the push.

Sep 26, 2019, 10:39am Top

>198 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Lovely day out here. Yes, I agree with you about Good Talk. Tough one to dislodge.

Glad you like the quotes from Ms. Morrison. That is stellar writing. I am also glad you enjoyed the Simic collection. I will have try more of his work.

Sep 26, 2019, 11:41am Top

Hi Mark - I'll report on the Ann Patchett evening on my thread. But here's a spoiler: I got to speak with her in the book signing line and (not unexpectedly) she was lovely! I have the hard copy but might listen to it since it's read by Tom Hanks.

I'm about to start Fleishman is in Trouble on audio - have you heard anything about it?

Sep 26, 2019, 12:42pm Top

>194 msf59: Looks like the retirement count down is beginning, Mark. It will go faster than you think.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 1:23pm Top

>194 msf59: Peter Coyote has narrated some of Gary Paulsen's books, and some guides to self-knowledge and inner peace based on Toltec philosophy.

Edited: Sep 26, 2019, 4:52pm Top

>200 vivians: I will stop by to see your report on the Patchett event. I am nearing the halfway point in The Dutch House and it has been excellent. I think an audio version with Tim Hanks narrating would be terrific.

Fleishman seems to be getting mixed reviews but many readers love it. I will watch for your thoughts.

Sep 26, 2019, 5:51pm Top

Today's online free BIRDWATCHING Magazine has a striking photo of a Red-legged Honeycreeper!

Sep 26, 2019, 7:02pm Top

>201 Familyhistorian: I hope the countdown goes fast, Meg, especially through winter. Grins...

>202 laytonwoman3rd: I am not sure what kind of money audiobook narrators receive, Linda but Peter Coyote could make a very comfortable living doing them. His down-home voice is amazing. I liked him as an actor too, but I don't think he has acted in quite awhile.

Sep 26, 2019, 7:05pm Top

^"The red-legged honeycreeper is a small songbird species in the tanager family. It is found in the tropical New World from southern Mexico south to Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, and on Cuba, where possibly introduced."

>204 m.belljackson: I had never heard of a honeycreeper, Marianne, but it is an amazing looking bird. I hope to get down to South America one of these days.

Edited: Sep 27, 2019, 6:28am Top

For Those Who Would Govern

First Question: Can you first govern yourself?

Second question: What is the state of your household?

Third question: Do you have a proven record of community service and compassionate acts?

Fourth question: Do you know the history and laws of your principalities?

Fifth question: Do you follow solid principles? Look for fresh vision to lift all the
inhabitants of the land, including animals, plants, elements, all who share the earth?

Sixth question: Are you owned by lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, lobbyists, or other politicians, anyone else who would unfairly profit by your decisions?

Seventh question: Do you have the authority by the original keepers of the lands, those who obey natural law and are in the service of the lands on which you stand?

-Joy Harjo. (From An American Sunrise: Poems)

Sep 26, 2019, 8:28pm Top

>206 msf59: Those legs! Like he’s wearing red tights!

>207 msf59: Nice. We’d do well to keep those questions in mind.

Sep 27, 2019, 12:40am Top

Just got back from a talk about hummingbirds, Mark. Somehow it made me think of you. I now know lots more about hummingbirds than I did before!

Sep 27, 2019, 6:30am Top

>208 Copperskye: Have you read Joy Harjo? If not, start with her memoir, Crazy Brave and then try some of her poetry.

>209 Familyhistorian: Hooray for the hummingbirds! You probably get more species, in your region, than we do. Have you ever put a hummer feeder?

Sep 27, 2019, 7:57am Top

'Morning, Mark!

Put your rain up in the cloud and download it to me on Monday!

Sep 27, 2019, 8:47am Top

>206 msf59:, >207 msf59: "Like"

Happy Friday, Mark!

I've started 1919 by Eve Ewing, a poetry collection about the Chicago race riots that year. She's a force. Sweet Tooth had a sweet ending, didn't it. As I mentioned over on my thread, the book has an interview with Lemire about it, so now I'm reading that.

Sending dryness vibes your way (I don't think I've ever done that before!). I hope the rain holds off until you get clear of it.

Sep 27, 2019, 10:10am Top

Tanagers are, as a family, some seriously spiffy birds! I love the scarlet ones we got migrating through Texas. That cobalt one is amazing, as well!

Spend a happy Friday.

Sep 27, 2019, 10:41am Top

>211 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. The clouds are building. Rain is eminent...sighs...turns up audiobook...grins.

>212 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Save the Ewing for me. I would like to read more of her. Hooray for Sweet Tooth & Lemire.

Rain is supposed to arrive around 11 and hang about for the rest of the day. Not sure I will stay dry but I appreciate the vibes.

Sep 27, 2019, 10:43am Top

>213 richardderus: Morning, Richard. I love tanagers too. We do see scarlet tanagers here but I keep missing summer tanagers. They visit here but are harder to find. Perseverance should pay off...

Sep 27, 2019, 11:41am Top

Did you read Eve Ewing's Electric Arches? If not, I've got it, and it would be a good starter for her.

Sep 27, 2019, 1:35pm Top

>207 msf59: Like, Mark.

Sep 27, 2019, 5:14pm Top

Hiya, Mr. Mark. Trying to catch up with at least some of the doing in the 75 group. I've spent too much time feeling in between things.

Sep 27, 2019, 5:40pm Top

>210 msf59: I haven’t read (or really heard of) Joy Harjo but my library does have a copy of Crazy Brave. Thanks for the rec!

Sep 27, 2019, 7:03pm Top

Hey, have you read The Nickel Boys yet? If not, you really should...

Edited: Sep 27, 2019, 7:13pm Top

>216 jnwelch: I do not think I have read Ewing, Joe. I don't think any of her work comes up in my library system. Bummer!

>217 Caroline_McElwee: B.A.G.

>218 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Always good to see you, whenever you can drop in.

>219 Copperskye: I think Crazy Brave will be a perfect introduction, Joanne and I hope it leads you into reading some of her poetry.

>220 drneutron: Thanks for the warble, Jim, but I did read it and warbled about it to boot! Great read! Possibly better than Underground Railroad.

Sep 27, 2019, 7:16pm Top

-Harry Bliss

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 6:28am Top

"In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands."

Okay, full disclosure: I normally do not read business books, or memoirs of entrepreneurs, (I did recently read A Truck Full of Money, but that was also accidental). Of course, I have heard of Nike and I had heard the name Phil Knight but knew nothing about him. Well, a Booktopia pal recommended this memoir and was she spot on! Wow! I am only a couple hours in to the audio and it is absolutely engaging. It came out in 2016, but I do not recall any LT activity on this one. I will have to change that. More warbling to come...

Sep 27, 2019, 8:08pm Top

>210 msf59: We only get two types of hummingbirds in my region, Mark, Annas and Rufus. They both used to migrate south but when the climate changed in 1964 the Annas started to overwinter here. I don't have any bird feeders of any kind because we can't have anything out that attracts wildlife.

Sep 28, 2019, 6:31am Top

>224 Familyhistorian: Thanks for replying on the hummers, Meg. I will have to get back out to the Pacific Northwest to finally see the Annas and the Rufous.

-Anna's Hummingbird

Sep 28, 2019, 7:20am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you! Today is $5/bag day at the book sale. I'm always glad when it starts and always glad when it's over.

Sep 28, 2019, 10:03am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark!

I'm glad you're getting such a kick out of the Phil Knight bio. I'm sure he'll talk about Michael Jordan at some point!

Thanks for the message about Aimee Nezhukumatathil - woo, I'm getting better at her last name! Yes, I've got her Oceanic and can lend it to you. I'm glad you enjoyed her poems. You can find some online, too - I got inspired to look after reading Oceanic.

Have a good one today - sounds like the audio book will help.

Sep 28, 2019, 10:29am Top

Hi, Mark. Just posting a note on your bulletin board. The AAC DRAMA thread is up.

Sep 28, 2019, 10:40am Top

>226 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Looking forward to hearing about your latest book booty!

>227 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I have all ready requested Oceanic, so I should get it soon. I love your enthusiasm about that collection. Always a positive sign.

The Phil Knight memoir continues to be excellent. Among so many other things, he is a terrific writer.

Sep 28, 2019, 10:40am Top

>228 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, for the heads-up, Linda. I will stop by later on.

Sep 29, 2019, 7:50am Top

Happy Sunday, Mark. I'm glad to see -- here and on Linda's thread -- that you're enjoying The Dutch House. It's been getting great reviews, including one in today's NYT Book Review. My library copy is now ready for me, so I'll pick it up tomorrow and dive in as soon as I finish my current book.

Also, did you know Jacqueline Woodson has a new novel out? A RL book club friend recommended it to me, and I added my name to the library list. NYT gave Red at the Bone a glowing review today as well. But I haven't seen much buzz here yet! Let's fire up the warbling machine shall we?

Sep 29, 2019, 8:14am Top

Sunday orisons, Birddude. Hope you're sleeping in.

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 8:18am Top

>231 lauralkeet: Happy Sunday, Laura. Always good to see you. Yep, I will wrap up The Dutch House today and it will be sad to let this story and these characters go. She just keeps getting better and better. I am glad you have it lined up. I have also heard very good things about Red at the Bone. It is high on my To-Read list.

Hooray for the Warbling Machine! I also have the new Winterson and Strout lined up for October.

>232 richardderus: Morning, Richard. My bird walk has been rained out. I didn't want to drive all the way out there and it was cancelled or rained the whole time. Sighs...
I guess I will just curl up and read.

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 8:22am Top

-I am finally getting around to posting a few photos from my Carolina trip. These two are from Lake Keowee, in South Carolina. The first is from my morning walk around the marina. It was about 2.5 miles total. The second photo is from our boat ride. This reservoir is 17 miles long.

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 8:28am Top

-The top photo, I believe is from the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC and the bottom one, is a white squirrel that was scurrying around outside our motel room, in Hendersonville, NC. What an absolute treat. These are quite rare and I saw him several times and he cooperated while I snapped some pics.

Sep 29, 2019, 10:01am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you!

Great vacation photos. And, an albino squirrel. Wow. You got some fantastic photos of him/her. Congratulations.

Sep 29, 2019, 10:44am Top

>235 msf59: - How cool! We have albino squirrels here in Toronto, mostly at one particular park, but I have not seen them in person yet.

Your vaca photos are wonderful, Mark!

Sep 29, 2019, 11:27am Top

The squirrel is beautiful. Its eyes don't appear to be red, though, so it may have been a genetic variation of a gray squirrel, and not a true albino. You can actually contribute to research on them by reporting your sighting on this site. Brevard, NC, which is very close to Hendersonville, is one of the places in the US with a noted population of white squirrels.

Sep 29, 2019, 12:05pm Top

>236 karenmarie: >237 jessibud2: Happy Sunday, Karen & Shelley. Glad you like the vacay photos. It does not appear that the squirrel has red eyes, in any of the photos I took, so I think this is a "morph", a genetic-alteration. They have been seen in a few different areas, in the eastern US.

Sep 29, 2019, 12:12pm Top

>238 laytonwoman3rd: You are correct, Linda. I did some research too, and Brevard NC came up immediately and I visited that website. Pretty cool stuff. They call these "morph" squirrels.

My brother and his wife, stayed at the same motel, last March, waiting to move into their new house and she spotted the white squirrel(s) and told me about them. So, I was keeping my peepers open and even spread out some peanuts. I was rewarded...grins.

And another squirrel story- While we were in South Carolina, we were visiting a state park, and the ranger in the hut, told us, a white squirrel was seen, so keep your eyes open. We did not see one there but it became a running joke.

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 12:24pm Top

-Fingers crossed, oh so tightly...

Sep 29, 2019, 12:25pm Top

>234 msf59: >235 msf59: lovely photos Mark. Gorgeous location. And ve never seen a white squirrel before.

Sep 29, 2019, 12:25pm Top

>241 msf59: YES PLEASE, along with his British counterpart....

Sep 29, 2019, 12:35pm Top

>241 msf59: LOL!

Happy Sunday, Mark. Sounds like you've got a good one planned. Go Bears!

Sep 29, 2019, 1:21pm Top

>241 msf59:

Please let this not be another two year Mueller Fiasco.

Not sure what the Westchester weather was up to on Saturday,
but here, I had to run back into the house to find Winter coat - geez.

Many LOUD geese flying in your direction this morning.

Sep 29, 2019, 2:25pm Top

>235 msf59: Funny coincidence, I was just searching the web, as I had seen a white (leucistic) great crested grebe, here a small picture I found with the white between two normal colored.

Sep 29, 2019, 3:18pm Top

>242 Caroline_McElwee: >243 Caroline_McElwee: Glad you like the photos and the white squirrel, Caroline. And a Big Boo to Trump and Johnson!

>244 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I missed my bird walk this morning but it still turned out to be a good day. Go Bears!!

>245 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. It was a damp, cool day in Westchester, yesterday, but not bad. Much the same today. I have not been outside much, so not hearing any geese.

>246 FAMeulstee: Very, cool looking grebe, Anita. What a beauty! Thanks for sharing.

Sep 29, 2019, 8:38pm Top

>241 msf59: Lets hope so Mark

I'll be starting The Dutch House later tonight after I watch Poldark, the new season's first episode.

Sep 29, 2019, 8:52pm Top

>241 msf59: - LOL! As it should!

I hear that Alec Baldwin is back on SNL in his trump role. And the very excellent British satire show from many moons ago, Spitting Image is coming back too, with brand new puppets (trump being one) and if you have never seen it in its first incarnation, watch for it. It is brilliant!

Sep 29, 2019, 11:20pm Top

Sep 30, 2019, 5:46am Top

>250 weird_O: Yikes, Bill - I do hope it will never be that foamy!

>241 msf59: Hahaha - bastard will only go and damage the fan.

Hope all is well, Mark as you near 5,000 posts on your thread for the year.

Sep 30, 2019, 6:30am Top

>248 brenzi: Hooray, for The Dutch House, Bonnie! I hope you love it, as much as I did.

>249 jessibud2: I do not watch SNL, but I might try Splitting Image. It sounds good. Thanks. 3 episodes into Country Music. It has been excellent so far.

>250 weird_O: Boo, to Mondays and crappy, foamy beer!

>251 PaulCranswick: 5,000 posts? I am sure a chatty warbler, ain't I? Always good to see you, Paul.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 6:34am Top

-Chimney Rock, NC

-Northern Mockingbird singing behind our motel, possibly to the white squirrel.

Sep 30, 2019, 7:52am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you.

I'm off to the salt mines today, 6 days left in the countdown to Retirement II.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 8:03am Top

Hi Mark. Only got 8 books in for September. Better pick up the pace if I hope to make 100 for the year. Starting Whose Story Is This? today. I am a big Solnit fan.

Sep 30, 2019, 11:02am Top

Hot and heavy Monday, so I only have a few brief moments to spare...

>254 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the fast-approaching Retirement Redux!

>255 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. I hope you get more reading time in, in October. So many promising books coming out, all the time. Maybe, you will get me to read more Solnit.

Sep 30, 2019, 12:11pm Top

Hi Mark! Thanks for your wonderful photos. I would love to hear a mockingbird as I never have heard one - singing to a white squirrel or not.

Sep 30, 2019, 1:29pm Top

>250 weird_O: Ha!

Happy All-Foam Beer Day, Mark.

I switched for now to the new Longmire, and it's a doozy! Hard to put down. Poor Walt's beat up from the last one, but hanging in there.

L'Shana Tovah - Happy New Year!

Sep 30, 2019, 6:02pm Top

>257 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I hope you get to see and hear a Northern mockingbird someday. They can get pretty noisy, although this one had a quieter melody.

>258 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I do not mind the beer foam, if it is a good beer. Grins...Hooray for reading the new Longmire. I just heard him interviewed on the NYT Books podcast. He is such an engaging guy. I am a couple of books behind. L'Shana Tovah!!

Sep 30, 2019, 6:11pm Top

Hey there, Birddude, happy new week.

Sep 30, 2019, 6:48pm Top

>260 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. The work day went fine, despite the heavy load and the return to August weather. It was warm and muggy, but a big cool down, by the end of the week.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 6:58pm Top

^"Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation."

I have had Ceremony on shelf for a few years, so I appreciate that the AAC is giving me the opportunity to finally yank it down. This novel is considered a Native American classic, but it doesn't seem to enthrall a couple of the folks over on the AAC thread. I will have to just see for myself. I read and enjoyed her book, Storyteller earlier in the month.

I think I will dip into it tonight.

Oct 1, 2019, 6:53am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Tuesday to you.

I like the idea of a mockingbird singing to a white squirrel. *smile*

Oct 1, 2019, 6:09pm Top

I finished my first book for this month. I read Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest by one of your narrative nonfiction heroes - Timothy Egan. I read it for the LT Nonfiction Challenge and finished it at lunch today. This book was written in 1990 and at the time Egan was the Pacific Northwest correspondent for the New York Times. Now he is a well known author of nonfiction books with a National Book Award winner to his credit for Worst Hard Time. This book is in many ways a companion to Egan's later (1998) book Lasso the Wind.

The book starts with a chapter on Egan taking his grandfather's ashes to the headwaters of a river in the Northwest. It then morphs as Egan becomes interested in what has happened to the land that he grew up on and that his grandfather helped to settle. As Egan does the research he comes across one of the best books about the early Northwest that was written and Egan begins to follow the trail of Theodore Winthrop as Winthrop travels by foot, canoe, and horseback in 1853 from Vancouver, B.C. to Astoria, Oregon. Each chapter of Egan's book is about a different section of the trail as followed by Winthrop and Egan contrasts the past and the present as he makes his journey following the same trail. The two journeys turn out to be very different. Egan manages to maintain a fair hand in dealing with all the changes, but there are times when his own prejudices show. He laments the loss of estuaries, free flowing rivers, and most of all the old growth forests.

There were times as I was reading this book, that I wondered if the statistics that he quoted would still be true because it is 30 years after the publication of the book, but in general I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book was still relevant and generally true. The biggest question I have is about the explosion of population that the Northwest has seen in the last thirty years and its effect on the environment. I would think that it has got to be the biggest problem for the area at this point in time.

I read Lasso the Wind last year and loved it and I had the same reaction to this one. I think I like these two books of essays better than his narrative nonfiction.

Oct 1, 2019, 7:01pm Top

>263 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I have been offline today, attending bird walks and squeezing in some reading. I will back tomorrow.

>264 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. You know I love Mr. Egan, so it is great to hear that you are enjoying some of his earlier work. Both of these essay collections sound really good. I have happily added them to the list.

Oct 2, 2019, 1:02am Top

You must have had a good Tuesday and good weather, Mark. Hope your Wednesday goes that well. (I think I got the days right. I'm still working on Tuesday myself.)

Oct 2, 2019, 6:27am Top

>266 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I did have good "off-day"Tuesday. It was hot and humid, though. Back to much cooler temps today and doe the rest of the week.

Oct 2, 2019, 7:49am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you. I heard a hawk this morning, screeching and shrilling. The usual suspects at my feeders, and I saw a hummingbird earlier this morning.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:47am Top

Happy Wednesday, Mark! It will be in the mid to upper 90s for the next three days in Atlanta, so I would appreciate it if you would send some of those seasonal temperatures down heah.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:50am Top

Morning, Mark!

The new Longmire was another good one. Can't wait to hear what you think of the South of the Border one - the one before Land of Wolves. It got a mixed reaction here, as far as I could tell, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. You just have to be willing to fetch from afar in a couple of places.

I'm going to try The Librarian now, I think, by Salley Vickers, while I finish SLAY by Brittney Morris. The next poet is Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic - son and DIL raved over this guy (son just saw him live), and it's NBA-nominated. I'm finishing Lazarus Third Collection as my GN - I'm hooked on this post-apocalyptic story by Greg Rucka.

Should be a decent day for work, yes? I hope so.

Oct 2, 2019, 10:59am Top

With the rain and heavier volume, I will have to come back, after work, for individual replies. As usual, I appreciate the visits...

Oct 2, 2019, 12:05pm Top

>265 msf59:
You will like either of these essay books by Egan. They will make you want to go to the Northwest and explore. I always find it amazing that Mount Rainer is so close to Seattle. In the book Egan talks about Mount Rainer - that is where he took his grandfather's ashes - and the other volcanic mountains so close to big centers of population. I love the Seattle area and would like to spend lots of time out there, and these books have just intrigued me even more about the area.

Oct 2, 2019, 6:44pm Top

>268 karenmarie: Hi, Karen! Hooray for the screeching hawk and bird feeder report. I am seeing the usual suspects too but no hummingbirds. I took down the feeder, but deciding if I will put it back up.

>269 kidzdoc: Hi, Darryl. Good to see you. It looks like we will be in the low to mid-60s through the weekend. I would gladly share the cooler weather...if I could.

Oct 2, 2019, 6:50pm Top

>270 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Glad you enjoyed the latest Longmire. I have Depth of Winter waiting in the audio stacks but I think I have, at least one more to get to, before that. I LOVED Deaf Republic and I can see no reason, why you wouldn't feel the same. Enjoy!

>272 benitastrnad: As you know, I love the PNW and have been visiting there, since the early 80s. I have not ventured into the Seattle area and that part of Washington yet, but I WILL. Thanks again, for the Egan warbling.

Oct 2, 2019, 6:57pm Top

Home, dry, and replete with readables?

Edited: Oct 2, 2019, 7:10pm Top

"Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn't have is talent - but he's not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don't need to be his own."

I loved Boyne's last novel, The Heart's Invisible Furies, which was my introduction to his work. Only a year later, he came out with A Ladder to the Sky. I remember it getting good reviews but I don't recall much LT activity on it. Well, I started it today and it is quickly shaping up to be another terrific read. Nancy gave me an advanced copy of it, quite awhile back, but when the audio became available, I decided to go with that format and it looks like that was a fine idea.

I am also into the second half Ceremony. Not an easy read, but I am glad I am sticking with it. She is quite a writer and this was 40 years ago.

Oct 2, 2019, 7:08pm Top

>275 richardderus: Yep, Richard- All of the above, plus my son just grilled up a few steaks, (they were primo) so I am completely sated, as well.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:47pm Top

Glad you weathered the weather, Mr. Postman. I believe that rain will be here tomorrow.

Sounds like you are ripping right through Ceremony, something I wasn't able to do. Right now I'm reading a collection of Father Brown stories, written in the first decade of the twentieth century by G. K. Chesterton. Meantime, trying to locate all the unread plays I have. Right now, I'm focused on early Eugene O'Neill. The Emperor Jones and The Hairy Ape. Maybe something else.

Did you get my reply to your PM?

Oct 3, 2019, 6:38am Top

>278 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Yes, I got your PM and responded. I am glad you stuck with Ceremony and finished it. It is a difficult read, for a couple of different reasons, but I am finding it rewarding. It is a dark, gloomy, one though.

Oct 3, 2019, 8:56am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday to you.

Oct 3, 2019, 10:56am Top

>280 karenmarie: Back at you, Karen. Cool and breezy here today.

Oct 3, 2019, 11:05am Top

Howdy, partner.

I am enjoying Deaf Republic - I'm maybe a third into it. I also picked up Jericho Brown's Tradition, which also got NBA-nominated. So far that Morgan Parker Magical Negro is the most exciting of the year for me - she doesn't pull any punches.

Fall weather, kinda gloomy. I hope it goes okay for you today.

Oct 3, 2019, 2:55pm Top

We got on the gloom train today as well. Coldish, dampish, drizzly. Blech.

No sooner do I type that than I think, "Best enjoy this now...not gonna happen in ten years..."

Oct 3, 2019, 4:39pm Top

>282 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Making my usual Thursday watering hole stop. Enjoying a Pipeworks. Not a bad day. Temps were near normal and we had some glimpses of the sun. Glad you enjoying Deaf Republic. I loved that collection.

>283 richardderus: Hi, RD. It looks like the southern states are broiling at the moment. I guess I will take cool and damp over oppressive heat.

Oct 3, 2019, 5:37pm Top

80+ degrees on Tuesday...ac blasting. The heat came on this morning for the first time this season. Cold and gloomy. And I finished The Dutch House and of course it was excellent Mark. Hope I don't suffer from great book syndrome as I move on to Out Of Africa.

Oct 3, 2019, 7:21pm Top

>285 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie! Hooray for The Dutch House. Boo to the hot weather. Cool weather on the way! It might not make 60 here tomorrow. I saw and enjoyed the film version, of Out of Africa, but never read the book. Maybe, you will nudge me?

Oct 3, 2019, 9:20pm Top

High 80s Wednesday, mid-50s today. I'll take today's temps.

Oct 3, 2019, 10:17pm Top

Hi Mark - you're the one who recommended John Boyne to me....now you have to catch up! I really enjoyed Ladder to the Sky and loved A History of Loneliness about the Irish priesthood.

I just started The Dutch House on audio today and so far Tom Hanks is the perfect narrator!

Oct 4, 2019, 6:31am Top

>287 weird_O: It looks like many of us, our going through some roller-coaster weather, Bill. It looks like it will stay in the low to mid-60s, the next few days. Enjoy the cooler temps.

>288 vivians: Hi, Vivian. I am really enjoying A Ladder to the Sky. Hopefully, I can spark a few more LTers to pick this one up. I have added A History of Loneliness to the list, along with The Absolutist.

Have a great time with The Dutch House and enjoy your visit with Mr. Hanks.

Oct 4, 2019, 6:59am Top

Happy Friday, Mark! I hope your work day goes well. May your BBS have multitudes.

Oct 4, 2019, 8:17am Top

What Karen said, Mark. Happy Friday!

I liked Invisible Furies, but not as much as you, I don't think. I know he has a lot of fans.

There's a sci-fi series I like, set in the Liaden Universe, so I've been reading some of those (there are a lot!). The new Phillip Pullmann (Book of Dust Volume Two) came in, so I'll be reading that one soon.

We saw a very good play last night at Steppenwolf, The Great Leap, about a 1989 U San Francisco - Beijing U basketball game in Beijing. What? Really well done, set during the time of the Tiananmen Square protests. We're hoping it gets good word of mouth; it deserves it.

Oct 4, 2019, 8:21am Top

Happy new-thread-making day!

Oct 4, 2019, 10:15am Top

>292 richardderus: I see what you did there.

Oct 4, 2019, 11:26am Top

>290 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. I got hung up with some other work obligations, so I was not able to visit the BBS properly. It will have to wait until next week.

>291 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Cool & breezy out here, but not bad. I always enjoy your book updates. Enjoy the Pullman. And thanks for the Steppenwolf warble. I would love to get back to that theater.

Oct 4, 2019, 11:27am Top

>292 richardderus: Hey, RD. That is the plan- either tonight or first thing in the morning.

>293 laytonwoman3rd: He is a clever one, Linda...

Oct 4, 2019, 1:06pm Top

Since you liked Dog Shoe so well here is the review of another business biography that was starred in this weeks Publisher's Weekly. It could also be considered history. It won't be out until November but this will give you plenty of time to get it on your reading list.

The Cartiers: The Untold Story of the Family Behind the Jewelry Empire by Francesca Cartier Brickell.

A French jewelry dynasty weathers war, financial collapse, and a trend toward casual fashions in this sparkling group biography. Brickell, great-great-great-granddaughter of Cartier’s founder, draws on family letters and records to recount the family-owned Cartier’s four-generation rise from a Paris jewelry shop to a global luxury brand that has outfitted movie stars, maharajas, princesses, and prostitutes. It’s a saga of heroic social climbing as the Cartier commoners edged into the aristocratic circles they catered to beginning in the late 19th century, featuring unhappy arranged marriages for money and a snub that almost precipitated a duel between scion Louis Cartier and a Rothschild in the 1920s. There is also adventure and peril, including gem-hunting expeditions to India in 1911, two German military occupations, and the Bolsheviks’ liquidation of Cartier’s prized Romanov clientele, but subtler forces posed graver threats: high post–WWII taxes that sapped heiresses’ disposable incomes, and the erosion of couture standards that once compelled fashionable women to wear diamonds to the opera. Brickell adds well-informed commentary on Cartier’s jewelry innovations, like the displacement of ponderous Victorian bling with lighter, elegant pieces in delicate platinum settings, and the pioneering of men’s watch designs. The result is an engrossing study of jewelry history and of high society at its flashiest, studded with entertaining anecdotes.

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 5:48pm Top

I have read 3 of Boyne's books but must read more of them. i have really liked them! Just started The Dutch House and it's off to a good start, I'm hooked!

Oct 4, 2019, 6:05pm Top

>296 benitastrnad: Yes, I loved Shoe Dog. Such a riveting story and very well-written. The Cartiers sounds really good too. Another BB, on my home turf. Thanks for the suggestion.

>297 mdoris: Hi, Mary. Good to see you. If you haven't read Invisible Furies & A Ladder to the Sky, I highly recommend both. And hooray for starting The Dutch House. I am not at all surprised, that you are hooked all ready.

This topic was continued by Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Eighteen.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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