TalkJoe's Book Cafe 16

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75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Joe's Book Cafe 16

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Sep 28, 2019, 11:13am

Art by Georgy Kurasov

Welcome back to the cafe!

Edited: Oct 20, 2019, 12:09pm

Books Read in 2019


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


124. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts
125. Straight by Dick Francis
126. Odds Against by Dick Francis
127. To the Hilt by Dick Francis
128. Whip Hand by Dick Francis
129. Come to Grief by Dick Francis
130. Danger by Dick Francis
131. Decider by Dick Francis
132. Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb
133. The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire
134. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez
135. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers
136. Murder in the Blood by Anne Cleeland
137. Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn*
138. Mythos by Stephen Fry
139. The Other End of the LIne by Andrea Camilleri
140. Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
141. Come Closer and Listen by Charles Simic
142. Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Book Three by Jeff Lemire*
143. Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
144. 1919 by Eve Ewing
145. Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson (Longmire)


146. Magical Negro by Morgan Parker
147. Lazarus Third Collection by Greg Rucka*
148. SLAY by Brittney Morris
149. Fortune's Favor by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Liaden)
150. Shout of Honor by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Liaden)
151. Halfling Moon by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (")
152. Misfits by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (")
153. Skyblaze by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (")
154. Eidolon by "" "" ""
155. Technical Details by "" "" ""
156. Legacy Systems by "" "" ""
157. The Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
158. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
159. The Flowers of Vashnoi by Lois McMaster Bujold
160. With Stars Underfoot by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
161. Heirs to Trouble by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Illustrated Books

1. Jane Austen's Emma by Nancy Butler
2. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O'Malley
3. Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak
4. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
5. Livestock by Hannah Berry
6. Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce and Edith
7. Anne of Green Gables A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden
8. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung
9. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 4 by Nagabe
10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Reckoning by Joss Whedon
11. Space Boy Vol. 1 by Stephen Macranie
12. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 by Nagabe
13. New Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 2 by Kazuo Koike
14. Book Love by Debbie Tung
15. Royal City Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire
16. The Snooty Bookshop by Tom Gauld
17. The Day the Buddha Woke Up by Andrea Miller
18. A Bride's Story Vol. 10 by Kaoru Mori
19. Jane Austen Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuela Santoni
20. Legacy: House of Night by Daniel Krall
21. The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez
22. Stumptown by Greg Rucka (re-read)
23. Becoming Unbecoming by Una
24. Velvet Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker (re-read)
25. Mina vs. the Monsoon by Rukhsanna Guidroz
26. Woman World by Aminder Dahliwal
27. Samaris by Benoit Peeters
28. Velvet Volume 2 by Ed Brubaker (re-read)
29. Stumptown Volume 2 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
30. Lulu Anew by Etienne Davodeau
31. Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin
32. Captain Marvel Alien Nation by Margaret Stohl
33. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
34. Trish Trash Roller Girl of Mars by Jessica Abel
35. Weatherman by Jody LeHeup
36. Death or Glory Volume 1 by Rick Remender
37. Berlin by Jason Lutes
38. The Initiates by Etienne Davodeau
39. Is This How You See Me by Jaime Hernandez
40. Good Talk by Mira Jacob
41. Brody's Ghost by Mark Krilley
42. Out of This World: Leonora Carrington by Amanda Hall
43. X-23 The Complete Collection by David Lafuente
44. The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
45. Black Hammer Vol. 2 by Jeff Lemire
46. Black Hammer Vol. 3 by Jeff Lemire
47. American Gods Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman
48. Road to Riverdale Volume 1 by Fiona Staples
49. Road to Riverdale Volume 2 by Fiona Staples
50. Gideon Falls Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
51. Gideon Falls Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
52. Upgrade Soul by Ezra Clatan
53. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley
54. What a Wonderful World by Inio Asano
55. Black Hammer Volume 3 by Jeff Lemire
56. The Dark Tower: Gunslinger by Stephen King
57. Frida Kahlo: An Illustrated Life by Maria Hesse
58. Witchblade Volume 1 by Caitlyn Kittredge
59. New Kid by Jerry Craft
60. Tales Designed to Thrizzle by Michael Kupperman
61. Stumptown Vol. 3 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
62. Blackbird Volume 1 by Sam Humphries
63. Thor: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aron
64. All New Hawkeye by Jeff Lemire
65. Isola by Brendan Fletcher
66. Archie by Mark Waid
67. The Wisdom of Wonder Woman (collected)
68. 47 Ronin by Stan Saka
69. Firefly: The Unification War by Greg Pak
70. Girl from the Other Side Vol. 5 by Nagabe
71. Nancy Drew Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson
72. The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
73, The Score by Darwyn Cooke (re-read)
74. Flight of the Raven by Jean-Pierre Gibrat
75. Sweet Tooth Deluxe Edition Volume 2 by Jeff Lemire
76. Icaro Book 2 by Moebius and Taniguchi
77. Criminal: Lawless by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (re-read)
78. Joyride by Jackson Lanzing
79. The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 6by Nagabe
80. Philip K. Dick NBM Comics by Laurent Queyssi
81. Stumptown Volume 4 by Greg Rucka (re-read)
82. Kill or Be Killed Volume 4 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
83. Sleeper 2 by Ed Brubaker
84. Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle
85. The Magic Order by Mark Millar
86. Criminal Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Ed Brubaker
87. Bttm Fdrs by Ezra Clayton Daniels
88. Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston Flores
89. Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart Riri by Brian Bendis
90. Altered Carbon Download Blues by Richard Morgan
91. Ironheart Those with Courage by Eve Ewing
92. Invincible Iron Man Ironheart Choices by Brian Bendis
93. Generation Zero We Are the Future by Fred Van Lente
94. Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor by Jody Houser
95. The Graveyard Book Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman (re-read)
96. Moon Called Volume One by Patricia Briggs
97. Catwoman Copycats by Joelle Jones
98. This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
99. Middlewest Book 1 by Skottie Young
100. Jessica Jones Purple Daughter by Kelly Thompson
101. Old Man Logan by Jeff Lemire
102. Batwoman Volume 4 by J.H. WIlliams
103. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
104. Silk Vol. 0: The Life and Times of Cindy Moon by Robbie Thompson
105. Skyward by Richard Evelyn Byrd
106. Summit by Amy Chu
107. Abbott by Saladin Ahmed

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:34am

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:22am

In the Leeds Castle garden

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:23am

A favorite photo of Debbi in Camden Passage

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:25am

Becca with goddaughter/godsister Caitlyn

Edited: Oct 20, 2019, 12:15pm

Favorite Books of 2019

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

Overall favorite so far: Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 11:36am

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

Sep 28, 2019, 11:39am

After her brilliant translation of The Odyssey, Emily Wilson won a Macarthur grant. Great!

Sep 28, 2019, 11:53am

Another one by Georgy Kurasov

Sep 28, 2019, 12:40pm

Hi Joe! Are you ready for the onslaught of pumpkin-based goodie requests? Usually I'd wait until the first, but the urge to consume pumpkin-pecan pancakes has become unruly....

Sep 28, 2019, 12:41pm

Happy new thread, Joe!

Feeling right at home with the beautiful Georgy Kurasov paintings at the top, and the pictures of you, Debbi, Rafa and Becca.
All I need now is a double espresso :-)

Sep 28, 2019, 2:43pm

Happy new thread! >1 jnwelch: Those women all look to have something distracting them.

Joe's Book Cafe 15. >255 jnwelch: any democrat really doesn't include Mr. Sanders. Which I think is my biggest gripe about him, although if he had run as an independent in 2016 it would have been a bigger mess.

Sep 28, 2019, 3:28pm

Happy new thread!

As always, love all the pictures and art :)

Sep 28, 2019, 3:35pm

Happy new thread!

Sep 28, 2019, 6:05pm

Happy new thread, Joe! Love all the art and poetry news.

Sep 28, 2019, 6:43pm

Happy New Thread, Joe! I like the Kurasov toppers! A bit Picasso like. I love seeing Hollow Kingdom on your favorite list too. I hope we can get a few more LT pals on board with that one.

Sep 28, 2019, 7:19pm

Happy new thread!

Sep 28, 2019, 8:30pm

Happy new thread, Joe!

Sep 28, 2019, 9:49pm

Beautiful art and beautiful photos, Joe! Happy new thread.

Seconding Mark’s comment about Hollow Kingdom. Such a fun little apocalypse book!

Sep 28, 2019, 10:01pm

Happy New Thread, Joe, and welcome home!

Sep 29, 2019, 9:48am

>11 richardderus: Hi, RD. I'll bring the pumpkin when we get back. Hmm. Hold onto your pumpkin-pecan hat. That sounds mighty good.

>12 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I'm glad you're enjoying the pics and Georgy K.'s art. Hold onto that thought - the kitchen staff is still waking up.

>13 quondame: Thanks, Susan. Ha! I like that. What the heck is distracting them?

Yeah, that's part of my fuss with Bernie. He is an independent, and that's not what we need, IMO.

>14 figsfromthistle:, 15, >16 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Anita, foggi and Meg!

Sep 29, 2019, 9:50am

>17 msf59: Thanks, Mark! You're right, our friend Georgy definitely has some Cubism in him. I have been seeing more 75ers give Hollow Kingdom a go and liking it, so hopefully that'll continue.

Gotta go, but I'll be back.

Sep 29, 2019, 10:36am

Morning, Joe! Happy Sunday! Getting some reading in, nearly finished with the most excellent, The Dutch House and then going food shopping. This afternoon, we will be going over to Bree's to watch the Bears game.

BTW- I finally watched Anatomy of a Murder last night. Such a good film. Jimmy Stewart was excellent, as well as a terrific supporting cast, including your grandfather. He was a very likable and engaging character. I know you recently read the book.

Sep 29, 2019, 11:12am

Hi Joe!

Happy new thread. I love the Kurasovs!

And, from your last thread, thanks for sharing all those lovely photos.

Sep 29, 2019, 11:58am

>18 drneutron:, >19 tymfos: Thanks, Jim and Terri!

>20 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. I'm glad you're enjoying the art and photos. Such a fun little apocalypse book! Ha! I love that description of Hollow Kingdom. Right on target!

>21 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. It's nice to be home. We're well over the jet lag and enjoying the weekend.

>24 msf59: Hiya, Mark. We went out for breakfast at a new joint in our neighborhood - not bad. I've been catching up on magazine reading - I love the New Yorker, but it's infamous for piling up on your table or whatever (ottoman for us). Plus I get Publishers Weekly, the NY Times Book review, and Sports Illustrated. When we go away, there's a lot to plow through!

I'm glad The Dutch House is going well. Have fun at Bree's - big game for the Bears! I'll be watching, too. I sure liked that Redskins win.

Oh good - isn't Anatomy of a Murder a great movie? My grandfather had a blast doing it, as you probably could tell. That, and his hosting tv shows (kinda like Alastair Cooke), and the film of the McCarthy hearings (Point of Order) were some of the main ways I knew him growing up, as I was only 6 when he died.

For me, the book is just as good as the movie, which is saying a lot. Yeah, Jimmy Stewart is excellent - perfect. Ben Gazzara as the lieutenant fits that character really well, and George C. Scott is physically quite different as Dancer, but otherwise right on the money. The book is quite witty and charming - much more so than I expected, to be honest.

>25 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Aren't the Kurasovs wonderful? I love the boldness. You're welcome re the photos on the last thread - it's nice to hear, as LT doesn't make that an easy process, does it. :-)

I'm pretty sure I have a few more, so you'll probably see some more on this thread.

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 12:01pm

OK, for Richard and Anita, some goodies from the kitchen.

Sep 29, 2019, 1:06pm

>27 jnwelch: Perfect timing, Joe, we just finished our dinner :-)

Sep 29, 2019, 1:25pm

Where else can I write to advocate for the Washington team to change its name?
Except for Boeing, it's kind of a Progressive state, no?

Sep 29, 2019, 1:31pm

>28 FAMeulstee: :-) Thanks for your patience, Anita.

>29 m.belljackson: Which Washington team, Marianne?

Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago, so maybe the whole state is kind of progressive now?

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 1:38pm

Here's a timely autumn book for you. Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor and Park, has written a YA graphic novel called Pumpkinheads with illustrator pal Faith Erin Hicks, author of The Nameless City. It's a darn good one, sweet and charming. Deja and Josie (Josiah) have worked together at the Succotash Hut (!) of the autumn-themed Pumpkin Patch for the last three years. They've become close, joshing friends, with Deja dating both girls and boys there and Josie pining after "the Fudge Shoppe Girl", Marcy, but never speaking to her. On their last night at the Pumpkin Patch before life will lead them off to college, Deja is determined that her buddy will finally at least talk to Marcy and give it a shot. Marcy has been moved to a different spot than usual at the quite large Patch (apparently modeled after one in Nebraska), and they end up having to chase around it to find her, having various adventures along the way. Deja is witty and outgoing, while Josie has won the "Most Valuable Pumpkin Patch Person" more than once, but is shy around anyone but her. Only Deja could've talked Josie into a night of snacking, chasing and dealing with the unexpected thrown at them by the Patch. They learn a lot about their friendship during the eventful night, and the visuals are autumnal and appealing. If you feel like an uplifting diversion (I did!), you'll have a good time with Deja and Josie.

Sep 29, 2019, 1:38pm

>31 jnwelch: *sigh* I just loved that book.

Sep 29, 2019, 1:39pm

>31 jnwelch: Oh, good, foggi! Me, too. :-)

Sep 29, 2019, 2:32pm

>31 jnwelch: That looks lovely, Joe. I'll have a look out for it.

(And some pancakes!)

Sep 29, 2019, 2:33pm

>27 jnwelch: Yum! I'm happy to have punkinstuff for a minute. And what isn't better with pecans?

>31 jnwelch: The Succotash Hut...oh dear...

Edited: Sep 29, 2019, 8:01pm

I told you not to mix your whites with beets.

9/30/19 New Yorker: More evidence that beets should be avoided whenever possible. Don't eat them, don't do laundry with them. Keep them far away. This is a public service announcement.

Sep 29, 2019, 8:00pm

>34 charl08: Yes, I'm sure Pumpkinheads is one you'd enjoy, Charlotte. Pumpkin-pecan pancakes, too. :-)

>35 richardderus: Agree on the punkinstuff and pecans, RD. At least the Succotash Hut wasn't "The Beet Hut".

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 12:18am

Hiya Joe and congratulations on having three of your poems published! That is very cool.

Oh, I am immediately adding Pumpkinheads to the wish list. It looks charming and delightful. You are a good source for such things. As I head to bed this evening I'll be starting They Called Us Enemy and you know I adored Good Talk.

>9 jnwelch: I have a copy of her translation of The Odyssey and I've been thinking I'd start it once I hit book number 75 for the year.

Happy New Thread, my friend!

Sep 30, 2019, 2:13am

Happy new thread, Joe.

Love the photos and the pancakes which are sufficient carbs to help me in my efforts to catch up.

Sep 30, 2019, 8:13am

>38 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. It's a good feeling to have those three poems published. Fingers crossed I can get some more out there. I hope you're still writing them. It gets easier to find time when retirement arrives, I can promise that.

Yay for Good Talk! Debbi just read it and loved it. It's the one I've been pushing the most this year, in part because people are unlikely to hear about it through normal channels - it's too different. You know I love GNs, so I try to share the ones that stand out, like They Called Us Enemy. That one's actually on the bestseller lists now - a graphic memoir! Unusual. I'm glad Pumpkinheads looks good to you; it's pure fun - charming and delightful are good words to describe it.

Emily Wilson's translation of The Odyssey is so excellent! I read that Columbia University for the first time in decades has replaced the Richard Lattimore edition with hers in its curriculum. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Thanks re the new thread!

>39 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Ha! We'll keep the photos and carbs coming.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 8:24am

It's that time of year.

Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 10:12am

>26 jnwelch: >29 m.belljackson:

"Redskins" -

Headquarters may be in Chicago, but factories & workers still in Seattle.

And Yikes, I thought Washington meant the State, not DC, which makes the name even worse.

Sep 30, 2019, 10:37am


Pretty leafy crust, and that custard looks exactly the way it does in my most punkin-lusty dreams!

Today would've been W.S. Merwin's 92nd birthday. I blogged my review of The Lice and had hoped I'd have The Lost Upland: Stories of Southwest France finished and reviewed for today as well. The I.L.L. came in yesterday, so it was not to be, alas.

And the calumniation of Pomona's kindest gift to her hungry dependents, Beta vulgaris, continues unabated I see. *sigh* Consider your sins of vilification every time you spoon sugar into/onto your foodstuffs, young Welch, and recall the likeliest source thereof is the beet you revile.

Sep 30, 2019, 1:52pm

>42 m.belljackson: I wondered, Marianne. Yeah, you got it. The Redskins are a Washington, DC team, not Washington state. There has been a lot of litigation over the name, but unsuccessful so far.

>43 richardderus: Haaaaaaaaaaa! I know - that looks like a really well-made pie, doesn't it? Made by Reilly, the Ace of Pies? (groan)

Merwin was a force, and had some I liked a lot. Not a go-to poet for me, but well worthy of respect.

I know, I know, beet sugar. Just because I like the child doesn't mean I like the parent. You probably liked American Bandstand, too ("It's got a good beet and you can dance to it"). Actually, I liked American Bandstand, now that I think about it. And the Go-Gos ("We Got the Beet, We Got the Beet - We Got the Beet!"). But listening is a lot different than eating, or laundering.

Sep 30, 2019, 3:51pm

Happy new thread Joe and great art and photos mate, sending love and hugs to you and Debbi.

Sep 30, 2019, 4:20pm

Like the GN talk, Joe. There seem to be a lot of interesting ones around. I like GNs so much that I suggested that we do our posters for our next museum exhibit as GN pages. It's in the works now.

Sep 30, 2019, 6:14pm

L'Shana Tovah, Joe! Back to August weather today! I worked up a good sweat. It looks like I will have to request Pumpkinheads. It sounds, like a fun read. I am glad her first GN was a winner. I decided to finish off a GN today myself. Are you a fan of Lucy Knisley? I finished her latest, Kid Gloves, about the birth of her first child. At first I wasn't sure I would be interested in the subject matter but Knisley is so smart and funny, she makes any subject interesting. A good, informative read.

Sep 30, 2019, 8:04pm

>44 jnwelch: "we got the beet" OMG JOE "we got the beet" now I'll never hear that without Weird-Al-ing it into a veggie nightmare!

Sep 30, 2019, 9:43pm

Happy Sweet 16, Joe! Yes! to pumpkin pies!

Oct 1, 2019, 10:15am

>45 johnsimpson: Thanks, John. I'm glad you like the art and photos, buddy. Love and hugs back atcha from Debbi and me.

>46 Familyhistorian: Good to hear, thanks, Meg. Yes, the world of GNs has blossomed in recent years. As a lifelong fan who can remember when there basically weren't any, just single issue comics, this is a wonderfully welcome treat. What a great idea to do museum exhibit posters as GN pages. Can't wait to hear how it goes.

>47 msf59: Thanks, Mark! It was a good Rosh Hashanah weekend. You've really encouraged me on Kid Gloves. I am a Lucy Knisley fan, but like you, I wondered whether I'd be interested in the subject matter of the new one. Onto the WL it goes.

Yes, do give Pumpkinheads a go. It's a fun one. I like Rainbow Rowell's regular books like Eleanor and Park and Fangirl (she's got a lot of good ones), and I'm happy her first GN turned out so well.

>48 richardderus: Ha! Weird-Al-ing it - yes! "And the beet goes on . . ."

>49 Carmenere: Thanks, Linda! It is Sweet 16, isn't it? Hmm, a sweet and delicious pumpkin pie does seem appropriate, doesn't it. What next I wonder? I've been thinking of our beloved Mamie, who's been off on a frolic and detour for a while. Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins were her favorite.

Oct 1, 2019, 10:31am

By the way, we loved the musical finale for the series Transparent, with our niece Amy in it. They figured out a very clever way to deal with the Jeffrey Tambor departure (accusations of sexual harassment), and the music is quite good. As Madame MBH said, what a fabulous way to end the series. But if you're easily offended, especially about being Jewish, you may find it too much.

Oct 1, 2019, 10:47am

Shanah Tovah, Joe! I thought I'd share this apple cake I made:

Oct 1, 2019, 11:03am

I'll take a rain check, Joe.

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 1:48pm

>52 foggidawn:. Shana Tovah, foggi!

Wow, that apple cake looks delish. Did you make it or find it?

>53 weird_O:. Sure, Bill. For anything in particular, or just life in general?😀

Oct 1, 2019, 3:03pm

>54 jnwelch: I made it! My housemate is Jewish, so I baked an apple honey cake for the holiday.

Oct 1, 2019, 3:37pm

>55 foggidawn: How great, foggi! Your roommate must think you're the best person ever. My wife made an apple honey cake, too, but no drizzled frosting. Apparently you can do a cinnamon sugar covering, too - that would fit me well. Yours looks professional.

Oct 1, 2019, 3:59pm

>56 jnwelch: Thanks! Cinnamon sugar would be perfect with that, I agree.

Oct 1, 2019, 4:09pm

>53 weird_O: Apple honey cake is about the scrummiest thing ever, foggi, are you in a mood to share?
*Bambi eyes*

I miss Mamie. Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins aren't my personal bag, but the smell is divine; reminds me of how full of fabulous Mamie is.

Pumpkin pecan pie?

Oct 1, 2019, 6:27pm

>59 benitastrnad:
I used the last of my summer blueberries this last weekend to make a Blueberry Swirl Bundt Cake. It was yummy!

Oct 1, 2019, 6:45pm

>36 jnwelch: Heh I love beets but I've never considered throwing them in with my whites lol.

Oct 2, 2019, 7:47am

Morning, Joe. Happy Wednesday. Another crazy weather change, with a 20-plus degree drop. At least, it won't be hot and muggy.

I am just about done with Shoe Dog and it has been excellent. It looks like it will pretty much wrap up, in the early 80s, as Nike went public. I am also enjoying Ceremony, but it is dark and heavy, so not your cuppa, IMHO.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:06am

>57 foggidawn: Right, foggi? Hmm, let's see what we can find.

A different take on the form, but these look pretty darn good, don't they.

Edited: Oct 2, 2019, 8:20am

>58 richardderus: I'm guessing you're going for >52 foggidawn:, not >53 weird_O:, Richard? Good luck - I think the cake platoon has been after that one.

Your pumpkin pecan pie looks fantástico! Luckily, I always keep a spare fork on me.

>59 benitastrnad: Blueberry swirl Bundt cake sounds mighty good, Benita. Photos always welcome!

>60 brenzi: "To Beet or Not to Beet" - this establishment always comes out in the latter camp, Bonnie. Saves us a ton on apron-laundering. Rumor is that a few threads over is "Oh, For Beet's Sake" cafe, if you get a craving.

>61 msf59: Yeah, the temp drop is A-OK by me, buddy. Happy Mid-Week. BTW, I'm still not seeing a personal message on LT. Is it elsewhere?

I'm glad Shoe Dog has turned out so well. Good for you for trying something different. 80s? Does MJ get mentioned? Thanks for the heads-up on Ceremony. Yeah, usually I need some additional pull for your darker ones. I was going to take on The Nickel Boys, but it doesn't balance well with my others right now. That Morgan Parker collection, Magical Negro, was so good! I'm going to try to write a review later today or tomorrow.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:41am

>58 richardderus: You might be just in time to grab the last slice, Richard! And I wouldn't say no to some of that pie.

>62 jnwelch: Wow, those look scrumptious!

Oct 2, 2019, 9:06am

>64 foggidawn: Agreed! I'm a fan of tiny baked goods and other tiny desserts - I can have more without feeling too piggish about it. :-)

Oct 2, 2019, 9:09am

Happy new thread, Joe! The Kurasov paintings are fabulous.

Thanks for the reminder about beets. I should make another batch of borscht this week or next, using the recipe in The World-Famous Ratner's Meatless Cookbook.

Oct 2, 2019, 9:22am

>66 kidzdoc: Mmm, borscht! Once this hot weather that we are having breaks, I will be in the mood to make soups and stews, and borscht will definitely be on the menu.

Edited: Oct 2, 2019, 1:11pm

>66 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. Aren't those Kurasove paintings great?

As long as you keep that borscht in Atlanta, I'm fine with it. How about broccoli cheddar soup instead? Now there's a soup I'd be happy to ladle.

>67 foggidawn: Don't listen to that Enchanter about borscht, foggi. Broccoli cheddar - that's what you want.

Oct 2, 2019, 1:41pm

>68 jnwelch: Why not both? We're heading into the long cold months; I'm seeing a lot of soup in our future.

Oct 2, 2019, 2:52pm

>69 foggidawn:. We have a strict “no beets” policy here, foggi, although somehow they keep sneaking in. For borscht, try the cafe a few threads over called “Oh, For Beet’s Sake”. Non-beet soups of all types are, of course, welcome here. We’re dedicated to the proposition that non-world-beeters deserve a beet-free place to congregate and commiserate. By golly, this here Thread is that place.

Four score and seven years ago, lots of stuff better than beets was brought forth upon this continent. . .

No Beets! Beets Go Home! If You Can’t Beet ‘Em, That’s Good - Don’t! OK, maybe I’m getting a little wound up here. It’s just an innocent vegetable - that creates havoc everywhere it goes. Even with laundry, for goodness sake.

Oct 2, 2019, 3:07pm

>70 jnwelch: Well, I will keep my borscht at home, where it is appreciated, and not bring it here to the cafe, how's that? ;-)

Oct 2, 2019, 3:20pm

>62 jnwelch:, >64 foggidawn:, >65 jnwelch: My attitude is always, "I'll have just a great big piece, please" when it comes to non-chocolate desserts.

Hey! I know a delicious thing that'll unite us all in adoring the fall's beet-yoo-tee-full bounty: vegetarian Golden Beet Borscht!

Oct 2, 2019, 3:49pm

>71 foggidawn: Yes, that sounds fine, foggi. Or you can be like Darryl and Richard, and ignore everything I say. Either is fine. 😄

I’ll just keep making a racket about it. My borscht-loving wife thinks I’m crazy, too.

>72 richardderus: See, foggi, this is what I mean. Did you hear a word I said, Richard? Maybe if you took those darn Golden Beets out of your ears!

Oct 2, 2019, 4:08pm

>68 jnwelch: oooh, Yes... perfect. It's getting a little nippy here.

>72 richardderus: only discovered golden beets last year Richard, they are not common here, but yum (put your fingers in your ears Joe).

Oct 2, 2019, 4:31pm

>73 jnwelch: Oh, more beets, you said? Gracious goodness me, and here all this time I thought you were lukewarm at best about them! Here, let's us all have a carrot-and-beet cake with sour-cream and cream-cheese frosting!

Oct 3, 2019, 9:24am

>68 jnwelch: Ugh. Ixnay to broccoli (the only green vegetable I don't like, as it makes me sick) cheddar soup. How about broccolini, asparagus or zucchini instead?

>69 foggidawn: Yes to autumn and winter hot soups! I made several cold soups this summer, particularly a thick red beet gazpacho that tasted great.

>72 richardderus: Golden beet borscht! Now you're talking. I did use golden beets to make a very tasty beef borscht in my Instant Pot last year or early this year. I should make it again.

>73 jnwelch: My borscht-loving wife thinks I’m crazy, too.

😂 I hate to be the one to break this to you, but Debbi and Becca know that you're wack.

>74 Caroline_McElwee: Whole Foods Market, at least, sells golden beets. I'll go to some local farmers' markets next week to look for them as well.

>75 richardderus: Yes! I have an underdeveloped sweet tooth, but that looks divine.

Uh...good morning, Joe! 😎

Oct 3, 2019, 10:29am

>74 Caroline_McElwee: Right, Caroline? Soup time. I love it.

I've got my fingers in my ears, but it sure sounded like you said, hold my feets.

>75 richardderus: You need your feets held, too? Is there some kind of feet-thing happening I haven't heard about?

Oh man, that cake looks so good. I'll bet the beets were spiritually elevated to a more celestial form. It happens.

>76 kidzdoc: Oh right - broccoli is your kryptonite, Darryl. I'm so glad I posted that broccoli cheddar soup. I owe you for a few beet postings, don't you know.

Well, for old times' sake, substituting broccolini, asparagus or zucchini is fine by me.

I need some intel on Richard's kryptonite.

Red harumph gazpacho aside, I've seen some nice soups popping up in your Facebook posts.

Debbi and Becca think I'm the weirdest guy ever. Weirder than our LT Bill, even. the most perfect guy ever, and don't let either of them tell you anything different.

Whole Foods will hold them feets. Good to know.

Agreed re RD's carrot-and-celestial transformation cake.

Good morning!

Oct 3, 2019, 11:22am

>74 Caroline_McElwee: Caroline, golden beets aren't too common anywhere there isn't a thriving heirloom-veggie truck-gardening industry. They can't be used commercially, too thin-skinned. But they have a delicious, milder beet flavor and are perfect to use where beets as stars of the dish aren't the thing the chef needs.

>76 kidzdoc: Goddesses please bless the InstantPot's inventors. I'm on hiatus using mine as, strictly speaking, it's not kosher...but that kerfuffle will die down and I'll haul it out of hiding.

The carrot-and-beet is one I'll try soonest.

>77 jnwelch: Mine host! Happy to see you in this beet-infested patch of reality. Delicious things, beets.

Oct 3, 2019, 11:25am

Carrot cake pancakes

Oct 3, 2019, 11:28am

>78 richardderus: Wish I could hear you, man. Something about pleats? Golden pleats? Well, I'm sure you look grand in them.

Oct 3, 2019, 12:24pm

>80 jnwelch: ...not really...

Oct 3, 2019, 3:12pm

23andMe is releasing information linking aversion to Cilantro (Hello, Darkness, my Old Migraine)
to genes - maybe Beets will be next?!

Oct 3, 2019, 3:40pm

>81 richardderus: Ha! If not, just pass them on to MC Hammer.

>82 m.belljackson: Ha! There's nothing in our family history about beet-aversion, to my knowledge, Marianne, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were connected to genes. BTW, our daughter has that Cilantro Syndrome where it tastes like soap to her. We had no idea there was such a thing, and then found out it's pretty common. For her, the soap taste ruins any dish, so she avoids cilantro.

Edited: Oct 3, 2019, 4:44pm

Sweet Thursday, Joe. I don't recall if you liked Invisible Furies as much as I did, but I am really loving his last novel, A Ladder to the Sky. It might end up being better than Furies. A literary, All About Eve. Keep it in mind.

Oct 4, 2019, 8:28am

>84 msf59: Sweet Thursday and Happy Friday, Mark.

I liked Boyne's Invisible Furies, but I don't think as much as you did. I'll keep an eye out for r reactions; I'm glad it's started off so well.

I'm in a Liaden state of mind, and reading some more from that voluminous sci-fi series.

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 8:49am

We saw an excellent play last night, The Great Leap, by new-to-us playwright Lauren Yee, at Steppenwolf Theater. Set during the time of the Tiananmen Square protests, it's about a "friendly" basketball game between a U.S. college and Beijing University, in Beijing. As a liner note says, there are 300 million people who play basketball in that country, almost our U.S. population in total. A kid with, originally, Chinese parents, plays for the U.S., and brings personal concerns to the game. Beautifully acted by a four person cast, three of them new to us and one an area veteran:
Keith Kupferer
Deanna Myers
Glenn Obrero
James Seol

James Seol as the Chinese coach was particularly impressive, but they all captivated us. Glenn Obero as the kid must be very fit; he was in rapid motion for much of the play. This was an unexpectedly enjoyable play which reminded us of the difficult times China has been through, and how difficult it would have been to live through them.

Oct 4, 2019, 9:28am

Happy Friday, Joe! I hope that you and Debbi have a good weekend in store.

>77 jnwelch: Yep. I could happily munch on raw broccoli dipped in blue cheese dressing, but I would be doubled over in discomfort for many hours afterward.

Sweetcorn may be Richard's kryptonite. I could eat it until it's coming out of my ears, though.

I've been reluctant to post the four or five fabulous soup recipes I've tried from Soup for Syria, including the red beet gazpacho, as they are not available online. At the moment it's my favorite cookbook, and I'll look through it today to come up with ideas of soups to make next week.

Yep. Becca may roll her eyes at you all too frequently, and Debbi may still make you into stew if she finds a better cookbook, but they love their big guy to pieces.

>78 richardderus: I agree; the golden beets I used to make beef borscht in my Instant Pot were milder and sweeter, and they were superb in that soup.

A friend from work lent me The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook, which I'll look through next week. She gave away her Instant Pot, as she couldn't figure out how to use it, so I can hold onto this book for awhile.

>79 jnwelch: Ooh...

>83 jnwelch: I also didn't realize how common that gene variation that makes cilantro taste like soap is. That's a shame, as to me it has a wonderful citrusy taste that is a great addition to Indian and Mexican foods.

>86 jnwelch: That play sounds great, Joe. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Edited: Oct 4, 2019, 11:42am

>83 jnwelch:

Cilantro can be VERRA (too much Netflix Outlander) sneaky, showing up merely as "Spices" on ingredient lists.

Amy's (Pizza, Bowls, etc.) wrote back stating that the company did not want to list all separate Spice ingredients
to prevent revealing recipes, but would take Cilantro under consideration.

Mexican, Middle Eastern, and some Asian restaurants also both incorporate or sprinkle it over the tops of dishes.
We always have to remember to ask since it is rarely listed on menus.

Should Be!

Oct 4, 2019, 2:53pm

You are an Agatha Christie fan, right? I'm finishing up a collection of Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton (The Innocence of Father Brown). Have you read them? A recurring character called Flambeau appears in many of them. The first story Flambeau is a master thief. In a later story, Father Brown collars him yet again and convinces him to give up his criminal life. Then in later stories, Flambeau is a private detective.

In the last story I read, Chesterton revealed his full name: Hercule Flambeau.

The collection was first published in 1911, and I do believe Dame Agatha didn't publish until the 1920s.

Oct 4, 2019, 5:46pm

>87 kidzdoc: I think I have the cilantro=soap gene, but it's a soap I like the taste of - there was a lime anchar I became very fond of in the 70s that had a soapy aspect - I think I described it as floor wax - but somehow it so exactly went with the vindaloo that it became necessary.

Oct 4, 2019, 6:29pm

Happy Friday, Joe. I hope you had a good day. The Great Leap sounds fantastic. I am taking off tomorrow for a wedding, so I should be around a bit more this weekend.

Oct 5, 2019, 1:03am

>83 jnwelch: I’m with Becca on the cilantro-as-soap taste Joe. I had no idea there was a Cilantro Syndrome. No one else in my family has it.
Now I don’t feel alone!

Oct 5, 2019, 8:46am

Carrot Cake Pancakes prove the existence of a loving and benevolent God

Oct 5, 2019, 8:53am

>93 magicians_nephew: LOL

You've forgotten something:

Edited: Oct 5, 2019, 10:22am

>87 kidzdoc: Hiya, Darryl. Debbi and I do have a great weekend planned. Last night we went to a very fine storytelling event up at Sauce and Bread, a good ways north of our place but still very much in Chicago. A friend runs the event, and it was her first revamp at this new venue. Lots of laughs and things to think about - one guy told a story about his first gay experience and coming out to his parents. The parents took it well, and they ended up hugging - something that never happened in his no-touch family. He said they've been hugging each other ever since. He urged us all to "come out" - apparently Oct. 11 (if I got the date right) is "Coming Out Day", and he said come out about whatever it is, even if you're not gay. Intriguing to think about. Maybe I'll come out about my love for the not-very-literary Liaden Universe books, which I've been reading a bunch of lately.

Today is a Lord Peter Wimsey play adaptation (Whose Body at Lifeline Theater), and tomorrow is movie day at home, as we'll finally watch "A Quiet Place", and maybe "Mary Poppins Returns" for a full spectrum Emily Blunt experience. I'll have to timeshift the Bears-Raiders game (which is in London, btw), but that's okay.

I wish you could have been with us for the excellent "The Great Leap''. When I mentioned that to Debbi, her first thought was that might've made up a bit for the disappointing Bartholomew Fair we took you to. :-)

Cilantro is fine by me, too. Poor Becca. It's often a key ingredient in guacamole, as you know, and that sometimes leaves her out of eating it in a restaurant, if they can't omit it.

Becca has a lot of good reason to roll her eyes at me, doesn't she. And thank goodness Debbi's tolerant about my foibles, and usually knife-free when I get particularly exasperating. (I'm ready to run if necessary). (For readers new to this topic, when Debbi first met Darryl and we all went to the London Review Bookshop, she was way too enthusiastic about a book titled something like, "How to Cook Your Husband". It still gives Darryl and me the shiver-shakes). (She bought it, but luckily it turned out to be terrible, and she Pearl-ruled it),

>88 m.belljackson: I'm with you, Marianne - I wish restaurants would be sure to let you know if there's cilantro in a dish. Becca is a smart (cilantro-free) cookie, and asks when she's suspicious. It's rare for a waitperson to get it wrong - they'll usually go back and ask if they're not sure.

>89 weird_O: Hiya, Bill. I enjoyed Chesterton's odddball The Man Who Was Thursday, and consequently did read some Father Brown stories back in the day. (You're right, I love Agatha Christie's mysteries, and still re-read them). I didn't get far with the Father, and it sounds like I should give him another go. That general time is a fun setting for mysteries. I like the Flambeau connection.

>90 quondame: Ha! I like that exception to the soap-taste-dislike, Susan. Our daughter has a very negative reaction. We're not vindaloo eaters, but now you've got me curious. I guess I'll never know what you experience. It's like our friend Amber and her synaesthesia - an intriguingly different way to experience the world.

Edited: Oct 5, 2019, 10:42am

>91 msf59: Happy Friday/Saturday, Mark. The Great Leap was terrific - Chris Jones in the Tribune had some trouble with what he considered plot leaps, but I think he was just having a sour lemon day, as he sometimes does. (He also goes the other way sometimes - he loved The Wheel at Steppenwolf, with Joan Allen, and it was the most amateurish writing we've seen there - the theater wasn't even half-full by the time we saw the play (as subscribers), and that theater is always fuller than that). (He never did answer my email about it - he invites reactions to his reviews, but I guess that doesn't include writing back to the sender).

Enjoy the wedding, and we'll enjoy having you around more today.

>92 NarratorLady: Oh good, Anne. Becca has an adventuresome palate, and loves to eat, so we had trouble figuring it out when she was a little girl. It all tasted fine to us! I'm glad you now know you have a no-cilantro tribe. It's a real thing! She felt so vindicated when she finally tracked it down.

Here's an explanation from Encyclopaedia Britannica - it's genetic, but no one else in our family has it either:

>93 magicians_nephew: That is so lovely and true, Jim. I feel a carrot cake pancakes song coming on - you're lucky you're not here, as my voice is nowhere near as good as the pancakes.

>94 richardderus: You know I've never imbibed Ardbeg, Richard? I'm sure it's in the book of 1001 beverages you must drink before you die. (Wow, these days there might even be such a book!) Anyway, I'm ready to get your equivalent of Becca's eyeroll.

Oct 5, 2019, 10:45am

It's that time of year, and I'm a pushover for apple cider donuts. The best we've had were at Bartlett's Orchard in western Mass. Mary (bell7) might've tried them at some point.

Oct 5, 2019, 11:28am

>96 jnwelch: It's waaayyy expensive anyway, Joe, but now it's gone up 25% due know who's at fault.

>97 jnwelch: How very coincidental, I just got some locally-made apple cider donuts at the Farmer's Market in City Hall Square! They make even robusta-bean coffee palatable.

Oct 5, 2019, 12:21pm

>98 richardderus:. Then I’ll just dream about Arbeg, Richard - much cheaper!

You know that idiot ordered tariffs on educational books from China. Originally it looked like he was going to do it to all books from the UK, but now it looks like bound books are excepted from the printed matter tariff.

Apple cider donuts - one of the best reasons for trying to live forever.

Oct 5, 2019, 12:25pm

Bargains. The Sparrow is $1.99 on e-readers today. So is the pretty goodMieville, The Scar, and the pretty good P.D. James mystery, Devices and Desires.

Oct 5, 2019, 1:22pm

Happy Sunday, Joe. I just picked up Oceanic and the Parker collection. I think I read the latter but I can't believe I would not have commented on it. I will take another look.

We have a wedding today, so this is why I took off. The church is in Oak Park, this afternoon and the reception is out in Itasca tonight. We will be travelling a bit. Enjoy your day.

Oct 5, 2019, 2:36pm

>101 msf59:. I’m late with Happy Friday, Mark, and you’re early with Happy Sunday. What a couple of mugs!

The Morgan Parker smackedme upside the head and got my attention big time. For me, Magical Negro was better than her more celebrated More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce collection. What a strong voice! Oceanic is more lilting and nature-related. As you could tell, I loved it.

Have a good time at the wedding and reception - I know you will!

Oct 5, 2019, 3:01pm

Know what printed materials are exempt from the tariffs?

Christian religious materials.


Oct 5, 2019, 3:23pm

>97 jnwelch: It's far easier to find pumpkin donuts than apple cider ones here even though apple cider is big business around here. One can pick them up at places like the Apple Barn that sell the cider and have a bakery, but the donut places apparently sell pumpkin better than apple cider because that's what you find.

Oct 5, 2019, 3:40pm

>95 jnwelch: I sort of classify Liaden™️ books as guilty pleasures. The authors seem a bit too self indulgent for me - the clutch turtles - setting up fatal situations only to have them improbably avoided - gratuitous bows. But still fun to read even if my favorite character has had no plot line of her own for way too long.

>95 jnwelch: I like cilantro, but that's probably because of the early experience with that anchar, before cilantro was so ubiquitous in California - pico de gallo just wasn't that much of at thing before the 80s and Thai food was still exotic and uniformly fabulous in the first decade and a half that it spread through So. Cal. But the strange restaurant, the name of which is now recognized as a racial slur, served a pork vindaloo, horror of horror, but a delicious concoction.

Edited: Oct 5, 2019, 4:53pm

>103 richardderus:. Huh. Shocker, right? We’ve got to get the head bozo and his fellow bozos out of there.

>104 thornton37814:. We’re inundated with pumpkin spice everything around here, Lori, which delights our daughter but leaves me mystified. I can’t remember the latest weirdness we saw - Pumpkin Spice Deodorant, or something like that.

I’m okay with Apple cider donuts being harder to find - inundation takes some of the fun out of it for me - although our daughter would scoff at me.

>105 quondame:. Who is your favorite Liaden character, Miri? I’ve been getting some welcome time with her in a couple of short stories. The Clutch turtles actually are fine by me; I enjoy their appreciation of our “art.”

Oops, time to get off the train. I’ll be back. Lord Peter Wimsey play.

OK, in the lobby. My enjoyment of Edger and the Clutch may well be a minority view; he and they sure don’t show up much, although I liked their help getting the gang and the the Tree to Surebleak..

My fave character probably is Val, although I like Miri a lot, too. Theo is also all right by me, although I sense that she’s not everyone’s cuppa.

Edited: Oct 5, 2019, 4:48pm

>106 jnwelch: Priscilla. Well, technically she isn't Liaden, I guess. Miri is an annoyance mostly. The Clutch turtles are sort of fun, but used too much Deus Ex Machina for me. As I mentioned, it's the authorial self-indulgence that keeps the series from competing with say, Lois McMaster Bujold's work.

I hope the play meets your expectations. I have fond memories of LPW, and sharing the books with my dad.

Oct 5, 2019, 9:13pm

>99 jnwelch: Tariffs on books? Seriously? :( I doubt he's ever read one.

Oct 6, 2019, 12:56am

>94 richardderus: >96 jnwelch: I see that Ardbeg is an Islay whisky. I have been to Port Ellen, Islay a couple of times and have passed the Ardbeg Distillery but have never had the whisky. That might change on the Scottish rail tour I have booked for next year as I think it includes a tour of a distillery. Maybe one way to get a taste?

Oct 6, 2019, 10:36am

>109 Familyhistorian: Oh my heck, Meg. If the opportunity arises to tour Ardbeg, please make it the priority! It's a fine whisky, a delight of layers and subtle surprises, and while it's costly it's top value for currency outlaid.

Mornin' Joe. My sixth cup is sliding down well. Happy Sunday reads.

Oct 6, 2019, 11:55am

>107 quondame: Oh, Priscilla. Nice choice. Norbears! Frodo! I'm sorry you find Miri annoying; I get a kick out of her every time. Of course, I've been told on occasion that I'm annoying, so maybe that's it.

I think you're right on target with the self-indulgence. The writing and plotting gets sloppy at times. If they brought more discipline to it all, they could be up there with Lois McMaster Bujold. An editor they'd listen to and work with could probably help that. Meanwhile, the characters, ideas, places they create, the humor, the cultural characteristics the different alien species have, the problems and the clever ways they get solved, all continue to draw me in.

The LPW was a treat; it was Whose Body, which our daughter had found confusing in book form. This is the one with the seemingly completely unrelated body found in the bathtub. The necessary streamlining in the play clarified the plot for her and resolved her confusion. One of the play's strengths was depicting Lord Peter's PTSD from WWI, and the story also explains how he and Bunter came together. The adapter won an award for a previous LPW adaptation for this company, and she might get another for this one. Very well constructed.

>108 The_Hibernator: I think you put your finger on it, Rachel - he has no concept of what a book is. I suspect he paid others to read books for him in school. His ghost writer for The Art of the Deal is scathing about him, and says, "I put lipstick on a pig". Since he's slapping tariffs on other commodities, why not books, in his mind.

>109 Familyhistorian: That trip sounds so lovely, Meg. If you can fit in a visit to the Ardbeg distillery, I'd sure enjoy hearing about it. Sounds like you've had a similar experience - we got free pints of Guinness at their brewery. It would make sense to me that Ardbeg would give visitors a bit of it to taste.

Oct 6, 2019, 12:29pm

Hi Joe!

>27 jnwelch: Yum to pancakes, and I absolutely love that cute little espresso cup. So clever.

>36 jnwelch: *smile* And I know you love those of us who still indulge in them…

>41 jnwelch: Although I had pumpkin pie in August because it’s Jenna’s favorite birthday dessert, I always look forward to Thanksgiving because I make one then, too. I like the crust edges and center pieces in that pic.

>51 jnwelch: We love Transparent and look forward to seeing the last season.

>79 jnwelch: As you are adverse to beets, so am I adverse to pretty everything pumpkin except pie. So I just saved a large number of virtual calories by NOT eating those pancakes.

Edited: Oct 6, 2019, 1:24pm

>112 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. Isn't that little espresso cup cute? I could use some of those pancakes right now - our day started a little scattered.

You're right - I love our LT family members, even when they make unfortunate beet choices. It's just fun to banter and argue about something so unimportant.

Pumpkin isn't my first choice even for pies but in pancakes, muffins, etc., it fits my palate. For my birthday I go for carrot cake or key lime pie.

The musical finale for Transparent is, as far as I know, the final "season". It's two hours long. Please let me know what you think of it once you see it! In keeping with the whole run, they don't skirt around being controversial, but it's also chock full of heart.

I save a lot of calories by eating only zero-calorie virtual desserts. Our RL is ginger snaps and figs, that kind of thing, unless we're out at a restaurant or otherwise giving ourselves a break.

Oct 6, 2019, 2:14pm

Happy Sunday, Joe. I slept in both mornings, which is extremely rare for me. I also rarely stay up past midnight. That said, I knocked out some mini-reviews and cut the lawn, so progress was made.

Very frustrating Bears game in the 1st half, which I am sure is a complete shock to all fans. What is up with the offensive line?

Oct 6, 2019, 3:47pm

>97 jnwelch: >101 msf59:

My daughter added apple cider to a fresh root stew last night = totally excellent.

Was the Oak Park Church the Frank Lloyd Wright one?

How I miss my Hometown's Oak Leaves, Peterson's Ice Cream Parlor, Irving School with its tiny goldfish pond
in the Kindergarten room, Barrie Playground, one of the original Fanny May stores, and so much more -
a basement barbershop, Woolworths, trains docking in the backyard...

Oct 6, 2019, 5:13pm

Hi Joe. Some Chicago book news: The Seminary Co-op bookstores are now fully not-for-profit and "the first not-for-profit bookstores in the country whose mission is bookselling." (i.e., as a non-profit bookstore only--not as an adjunct to a cultural or educational institution). Book-selling and book-browsing, as their mission, is a "cultural good." Amen.

Oct 7, 2019, 8:27am

>114 msf59: Hiya, Mark. Woo, I'm still recovering from that lousy Bears loss. The Trib is calling it an "off day", and I hope that's right.

I'm glad you got to sleep in both days; that's one of my favorite things ever. I hope today goes okay.

>115 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Sounds like your daughter has the magic apple cider touch. I wouldn't mind sampling some of that creation.

You probably should ask Mark about the church over on his thread. He doesn't always catch everything on mine.

Are you a former Oak Park-er? Those sound like lovely memories.

>116 kac522: How intriguing. Thanks, Kathy. I'll read the linked article with keen curiosity. Jeez, I haven't been to the Seminary Bookstore in dogs' years. Good for them. I wonder whether others will follow their example. So often it's a labor of love and not a yearning for profit.

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 8:30am

Apple cider and mince with cheddar pastries

Oct 7, 2019, 2:03pm

>118 jnwelch: GIMME

Oh are those glorious little yum-yums. Apple cider as the cooking liquid for mincemeat is scrummeroons. Since I am a) weird and 2) strange, I like half apple cider and half apple cider vinegar.

Edited: Oct 7, 2019, 2:12pm

>119 richardderus:. LOL! I love that you’re a)weird and 2)strange, buddy. It’s your vi) super power.

Others are probably better qualified to comment on the half—and-half apple cider/apple cider vinegar choice, but I’m sure willing to give it a try.😎

Oct 7, 2019, 2:35pm is a super power, it brooms away the conventional thinkers whose company wears on one quite quickly.

I like sweets...but with a tart edge, wherever possible. That combo makes the sweet mincemeat edged with a sour note.

OMG I'm drooling

Oct 7, 2019, 3:30pm

>121 richardderus:. 😂😂😂

Oct 7, 2019, 4:37pm

>40 jnwelch: "...Columbia University for the first time in decades has replaced the Richard Lattimore edition with hers (Emily Wilson's) in its curriculum."
That is amazing. I mean, I don't mean to overreact but having had a father who was an English professor, and knowing how hard it is to nudge any changes in the canon, it seems to me that replacing the longstanding translation by a man with a new one by a woman is..... simply amazing. And wonderful!

Oct 7, 2019, 6:51pm

Hi, Joe. Late day check in. Gorgeous day in Chicagoland, right? Perfect walking weather, fun or work. I hope you had a good one.

Oct 7, 2019, 10:56pm

>111 jnwelch: Oh, I am sure that you have to pay for the taste, Joe, they are Scots after all.

Oct 8, 2019, 5:42am

>121 richardderus: Richard: I suspect that you would *love* my mom's raisin pie, then, which is made with apple cider vinegar and is extremely tart. One of my very favorite pies, and she made one for me this past weekend. *happy sigh*

>123 EBT1002: Ellen: As a classicist, I can tell you that the field of Classics is even slower to change than English, so yes, this is unexpected for certain. I'm surprised, though, that they have a standard text since generally each professor may choose their own textbooks, so this may actually be an inflation of 'the person who regularly teaches Greek Lit in Translation has decided to use the Wilson translation this year'...

Morning, Joe!

Edited: Oct 9, 2019, 9:28am

>123 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Isn't that great, Ellen? I see Amber has some insights on this, too. I thought maybe Columbia has a required freshman English course (mine did), and they changed from Lattimore to Emily Wilson. I gotta say, from this reader's POV, Lattimore = yawn, and Wilson = at a wonderful gallop. Hers is far better, and Columbia made a good call that I hope is followed. It should be influential. Lombardo's is controversial, I guess (very direct and plain English, but I loved it), and Fagles' is really good, but not as good as Wilson's (I heard it on audio read by Ian McKellan - what's not to love?). Wilson's is #1, and I can't wait for the Iliad that she's working on.

>124 msf59: Hey, buddy. The situation I mentioned to you continued yesterday, but everything seems to have settled down. Woo. It was so gorgeous yesterday, and I hear lower 70s today? We'll take it!

Oct 9, 2019, 9:34am

>125 Familyhistorian: LOL! Ain't that the truth? I'm pretty sure (it's been a while) that we paid some kind of entry fee at the Guinness Brewery (seemed modest at the time), and then the pints were included. Even the Irish don't mind making a bit of the pocket-fill.

>126 scaifea: Raisin pie? New to me. We'll check the cafe pantry after this post. Now you've got me wanting to try one.

As I mentioned to Ellen, I assumed Columbia had some kind of freshman English course that included The Odyssey. Mine did, way back when (my first Joyce - Dubliners). Do we have any Columbians in the house?

Morning, Amber!

Edited: Oct 9, 2019, 9:36am

Raisin pie, in honor of Amber's mother's superlative one

Oct 9, 2019, 12:45pm

>126 scaifea:, >129 jnwelch: Ooo! That sounds/looks fabulous and delicious.

Oct 9, 2019, 3:30pm

>130 richardderus:. 😀😎😃

Oct 9, 2019, 3:51pm

>128 jnwelch: Columbia has a two-semester Western Civilization course for freshmen that was attended and discussed by David Denby in his own book Great Books; he decided way after his college years to go back and audit this course and write about it and his reactions to it, as well as the freshmen and women who were studying it at the time. So maybe that is the class that is adopting the Wilson text.

Oct 9, 2019, 5:54pm

Oh my goodness, Judy, I read Great Books by Denby and didn't remember this. I think you've probably got it.

Oct 9, 2019, 6:28pm

From Neil Gaiman:

"Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant."

Oct 10, 2019, 12:29am

>86 jnwelch: This looks like a great play!

Oct 10, 2019, 1:36am

>3 jnwelch: Rafa cannot get any cuter!!

>8 jnwelch: Congrats on the poetry publication!!!

And, oh my gosh, the food!! I am so hungry now. LOL

Oct 10, 2019, 5:43am

>128 jnwelch: Ah, that makes sense, I suppose, as those bigger, more basic courses may be more regulated. Thinking about Greek (and Roman) texts being taught in English courses makes me break out in hives, so I tend to overlook it.

Yay for raisin pie! I definitely recommend trying it, if you haven't. So, so good.

Oct 10, 2019, 6:54am

Morning, Joe. Sweet Thursday! Busy off day yesterday, with little reading and even less LT time. I did spent another delightful 3 hours at Montrose, though. I always enjoy chatting with birders too. Went to lunch with Bree. Lots of wedding chatter. B.A.G.

Looking forward to our get-together on Sunday.

Oct 10, 2019, 9:22am

>135 banjo123: It was a great play, Rhonda. Wonderful surprise for us, as we had not seen a play by young Lauren Yee. The actor playing the father, James Seol, was superb and also new to us. Turns out he's from the New York acting community. They all were excellent, and it provided count-your-blessings insight into China at that time.

>136 Berly: Ha! Just you wait, Kim - I'm pretty sure that Rafa can get even cuter!

Thanks re the poetry publication! What a good feeling - it's been a long time. I hope to report more of that happening.

I know, the food is scrumptious, right? I do most of my feasting virtually these days - I just saw a cartoon in which a woman is saying, "I'm so tired of food having calories." Amen!

>137 scaifea: Right, Amber? Makes sense to me, too. I hope the hives calm down quickly. :-) It makes me very happy for Emily W. What a difficult task to take on - and now she's laboring away on translating The Iliad. Can't wait!

Yes, next time a raisin pie shows up in my life, I'm making its acquaintance. I'm going to keep a keen restaurant eye out.

>138 msf59: Morning, Mark. Sweet Thursday! Three hours at Montrose yesterday sounds great. What beautiful weather for it!

Lunch with Bree and lots of wedding chatter. A stellar day! I'm looking forward to Sunday, too. I see Keith and his bride Friday night, so I'll hear then if not sooner.

Oct 10, 2019, 9:24am

Another Chihuly sculpture at Kew Gardens. It also lets us play a game of "Where's Joe?"

Oct 10, 2019, 10:38am

A quick visit to let you know I finished Buddhism plain and simple a few days ago and to thank you for the recommendation. A lot was familiair, it is how I look at the world, some other parts are still spinning around in my head.
I haven't written a review yet, that will come when I am up to it, probably tonight or tomorrow.

I got two more related books from the e-library: Practicing the power of now by Eckhart Tolle and Siddhartha's brain by James Kingsland.

Oct 10, 2019, 10:50am

>140 jnwelch: That is one of the loveliest sights ever. Chihuly makes concrete what I feel when I call myself happy.

We're on the slide into the weekend! Yay.

Edited: Oct 10, 2019, 11:46am

>141 FAMeulstee: Oh, thanks for letting me know, Anita. It sounds like it went okay with Buddhism Plain and Simple? I'll stop over to see your review, but do you think it's a good one for folks starting out with Buddhism? I remember liking its concise, no-nonsense and practical approach.

I was just thinking, I don't know why more people in the U.S. don't identify as Buddhist. As Thich Nhat Hanh and others say, you can be Buddhist and at the same time Christian, Jewish, Muslim or whatever - it's not a deity system, although some flavors of Buddhism bring that in. It's practical, and there's a lot of scientific support for its results. We're seeing it here, and I bet you're seeing it where you are - a lot of professions, including the law, are bringing in mindfulness and meditation practices to help people cope with the stress and enjoy life more. Increased focus has other practical benefits, and if you can get all the way to enlightenment, well, how cool would that be?

P.S. I haven't read Eckhart Tolle or James Kingsland, so I'll look forward to your reactions. I've always been a bit skeptical of Tolle (he gets quoted a lot), and maybe that's unfair.

>142 richardderus: Isn't that Chihuly a beaut, Richard? I love how he captures the white and gold colors of the building and transmutes them into this happy, organic sculpture.

I've always loved Sweet Thursday. Like you, I see it as the beginning of the slide into the weekend. It helps this time that I'm at work today - and won't be tomorrow!

Oct 10, 2019, 12:46pm

I love Chihuly's work. The first time I saw any of it, was one of those PBS specials they run during fund raising time, and his stuff was just amazing and so gorgeous. I have traveled long distances to see his exhibits and will probably do so in the future.

Oct 10, 2019, 1:01pm

>144 benitastrnad: Good for you, Benita. Well worth it. Am I right in remembering that you made it to the Chihuly Museum (I guess that's what it is) in Seattle?

Oct 10, 2019, 1:34pm

>145 jnwelch:
yes. I went there and it is worth every penny of the entrance fee. I also went to Atlanta - twice - to see the Chihuly exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. I also saw the Chihuly at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, the Chihuly at the Corning Glass Museum in Corning, NY. I haven't been overseas to see any of his exhibits there, but will do so someday.

Oct 10, 2019, 2:09pm

>139 jnwelch: You, MBH, and BFF should come to Columbus for a visit and I'll make you a raisin pie...

Oct 10, 2019, 3:59pm

>128 jnwelch: Hi Joe - I'm a Columbia Bschool grad and that's one of the many reasons I loved The Dutch House - lots of references to the neighborhood and the Hungarian pastry shop! That was a regular haunt when I was there, and I could just picture the window seat that was mentioned.

Oct 10, 2019, 6:11pm

>140 jnwelch: I wonder if it would be dazzling in sunlight? Quite the view you have there Joe. I was in the vicinity at the right time, now I wish I had made some time to see the exhibits in Kew Gardens.

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 11:24am

>127 jnwelch: I have to admit that I'm reading your post, and Amber's, and feel compelled to confess that I have never read The Odyssey. Translated by anyone. Wilson's will be my first and I'm looking forward to it.

>140 jnwelch: I see Joe!!

You know, if you would come to Seattle, you could go to THE Chihuly Museum. And if you give enough advance notice, I'm guessing there are any number of Washingtonians and Oregonians who would meet you there.

Just sayin'.

Oct 10, 2019, 10:09pm

I’ll respond tomorrow to everyone, but I wanted to congratulate Elena Della Donne and the Washington (DC) Mystics in winning the WNBA Finals. I don’t know how she did what she did with a herniated disc. Great Game 5, great series.

Oct 11, 2019, 7:05am

Morning, Joe! Happy Friday! Big weather change today. I'll be ready for it but not particularly pleased about it. I will wrap up my current audio, Deep Creek today and I think I will move onto a Longmire. I am a couple behind.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 8:37am

>146 benitastrnad: Good for you, Benita. The Seattle one is a standout, isn't it? We had a Chilhuly exhibit here at Garfield Park Conservatory, but it was many years ago now. Like many places in Kew Gardens, the sculptures were placed among plantings, which in my favorite context for his works. I didn't know about the Corning Glass one - is it a small collection, or big?

>147 scaifea: Now there's a plan! I'll alert the brains of the operation, Amber. Maybe on one of our trundles across to Pittsburgh.

>148 vivians: Sounds good, Vivian. I know the Columbia area a little bit from my NYC days, but not with the affectionate detail you do. I liked Bel Canto; I should think about reading more Ann Patchett some day.

>149 Familyhistorian: Yeah, it was an overcast day for our Kew Chihuly visit, Meg. I don't know whether it dazzles in sunlight. Hmm, it looks similar, doesn't it.

Oct 11, 2019, 8:37am

>150 EBT1002: You're not alone on not reading The Odyssey yet, Ellen. I'm not sure why it captures my fancy so much. Well, beautiful language, rousing adventures, myths that still are so ingrained in our psyches, and the beginnings of our literature. And imagining it as an oral tradition. Those are some reasons, anyway. And the translation choices are fascinating. You're starting with the best, IMO.

We did go to Seattle's Chihuly museum when Jesse was at Microsoft. Gorgeous!

P.S. Did you see the final WNBA game? I'm really happy for Della Donne and her coach and the rest of the team.

>152 msf59: Happy Friday, Mark! Yeah, I'm hearing rain is a-comin'. Hard to complain after all that gorgeous weather we were gifted.

I'm glad you've been enjoying your recent reads so much - although that is much more often the case than not. A clunker for you seems like a rare event. The Longmires always make for an enjoyable change of pace, don't they.

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 8:42am

Here's another angle on those Chihuly balls in the Zen Garden in Kew Gardens.

Oct 11, 2019, 10:29am

Hi Joe!

>134 jnwelch: I watched my daughter change from loving to read before first grade to considering it homework in first grade. It made me so sad. It’s only been in in the last 3 years or so that she’s come to love reading again.

I love the Chihuly photos and photo of the Zen Garden. Thanks for sharing.

Also, since Why Buddhism is True absolutely didn’t work for me last year, do you have a recommendation for something else?

Oct 11, 2019, 1:38pm

>156 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

Re >194, isn't that the worst? Oh my. And she loved reading before the dull police got to her. I'm glad the love for reading has come back for her. We all love reading so much - it's a heartbreaker when even the best intentions take that away.

You're welcome - isn't that Zen garden with the Chihuly balls wonderful? It was very calming just to be around it.

I'm sorry Why Buddhism is True was a bust for you. I think I made a bad call on how advanced it was. In talking with Anita, one I now recommend starting with is Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen. It's concise and direct, and I'm optimistic that it's a good one for folks starting out. It worked for Anita - she found the last chapters a bit challenging, but in a good way, it seems.

I was thinking about it - one of the hardest parts is "right speech" - you're supposed to tell the truth. It's surprising how hard that is! I had to cure a habit of exaggerating, and with white lies unavailable, I've been called insensitive more than once. Woo, who knew.

But meditation is the key. Easy to do, hard to stick with. And it's sticking with it that changes everything.

Oct 11, 2019, 4:14pm

>153 jnwelch: Not dazzling like I thought, Joe, but impressive that there is a matching one.

Oct 11, 2019, 4:52pm

>157 jnwelch: Funny how different we all are, Joe.
The "right speech" comes natural to me, as my face gives away any untruth I try to tell. Frank always says if you HAVE to lie, lie the thruth... it isn't worth the trouble to remember what lies you have told to whom. Frank would also tell you he doesn't think exaggerating is a lie ;-)

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 5:47pm

>158 Familyhistorian: Right, Meg. It was a blast walking around and finding them all.

>159 FAMeulstee: I know, it's actually so much easier to tell only the truth once you get the hang of it, isn't it, Anita. :-) You don't have to remember the lie's details. Supposedly, that's one reason detectives ask suspects for their stories multiple times - it's hard to keep the details straight if it's not the truth. I've always been an honest guy, but white lies (that color looks great on you! I loved your talk on the benefits of watching paint dry!) and exaggerations - tough to do without. For me, exaggerating isn't the truth - when it's two, adding one or two more to make the story a little more . . . impressive? Sound better? I don't know, I didn't do it often, but it wasn't a habit I liked. I'm glad to be clear of it.

Which one(s) do you find tough in the eightfold path?

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 4:47am

>160 jnwelch: Living in the moment, right effort, meditation (although there seems to be some progress there) and the last one, not sure how translate...

And I have some trouble with his (and other Buddhists) look on fear, as I have suffered from anxiety for years. My problems turned out to be hormonal, so in those years the Buddhist way would not have helped me with that at all... Same goes for servere psychic trauma.

I like his non dogmatic look at the eightfolded path. There can always be circumstances it is better not to do as advised.

ETA changed some clumsy wording.

Oct 11, 2019, 8:36pm

>157 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Found a like-new copy on Amazon and it should arrive late October. That will give me time to jump back into retirement and settle down.

Oct 12, 2019, 9:38am

Did I read somewhere that your son is ditching Google for Amazon? If true, will he also be ditching Pgh? Inquiring minds want to know.

Oct 12, 2019, 10:03am

Happy Saturday! Permaybehaps some cinnamon buns grilled inside orange peels?

The flesh is in a fruit salad....

Oct 12, 2019, 10:41am

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. A chilly start to the day, I am bundled up, but it is nice having the sunshine.

I have The Initiates along with me today, so I can return it to you tomorrow. I am enjoying it very much. I also have Oceanic traveling with me today. It feels like a collection I am really going to like.

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 10:58am

>161 FAMeulstee: If by the last one you mean right concentration, Anita, it really is the hardest, IMO. If you make good progress on that one, you're going to be enjoying life in a mighty way. :-)

I remember your hormonal problems with anxiety, and I really don't know how Buddhism interacts with chemical imbalances. Studies have confirmed that meditation can greatly help anxiety, and Buddhist practices in general can. That's a big reason mindfulness and meditation are being urged in professional practices these days, and I suspect that's going to spread. We have chemically-imbalanced anxiety sufferers in our family who find meditation helps, but their imbalance isn't yours. And let's face it, if you're buried under suffering at a particular time, meditating ain't easy. That includes severe psychic trauma.

Yes, the practical is a strength of Hagen's book, isn't it. Our Western approach to Buddhism alarms some traditionalists, who worry we're simply turning it into meditation and mindfulness. But more M & M seems to be nothing but good to me, and the Eastern way isn't a neat fit for most of us. Should right livelihood mean only living by begging? Not for me, and not for most here. Should right intention mean giving up home and family to follow the Path? Not to me, and not to most here. It all has to be adapted, IMO, to how we live here. I love to read poems by Han Shan and other hermits who live purely, but that's not going to work for most of us.

So, to me, all eight are difficult in a way, because we have to reorient our thinking. And very simple in a way, once we do. Telling the truth is a great example. It's simple once you get used to it, but we're not raised that way (be polite, be kind (white lies), don't let your parents know what you're doing that they wouldn't like, that kind of thing).

Here are the eight parts of the path from my POV (others have been much more articulate about this):

Right intention = accept the Four Noble Truths (life always involves suffering, suffering comes from craving (which to me includes fear), that suffering can cease, and the way to have it cease is to follow the eightfold path), be kind and compassionate, do your best to follow the eightfold path.

Right resolve = stick with it (especially meditation, which is so tempting to let slide), and remember what's important here. To me, we've created a wonderful, ornate delusion, money being a great example. We all agree on what money is and what money can do - but what if we all stopped agreeing to that. The whole house of cards would fall. What's important is experiencing this world with calm and understanding. If you can experience this world and the universe and the whole of it as all tied together and wondrous in its wholeness of which you are part but also the whole, great - brief glimpses tell us how ineffably amazing that is.

Right speech = tell the truth, no rude speech, no gossiping. I like to be sarcastic and so on, and what is gossip exactly - we all talk about others, so this is a work in progress. Again, to me kindness and compassion are the guides.

Right conduct: don't kill or injure, don't steal, don't force sex (some would say no sex), don't be guided by material desires. This isn't easy - vegetarians wearing leather shoes and all that. The last part (material desires) - we're trying to get over the craving that leads to suffering. We don't need to be constantly chasing the car, the sound system, the whatever, that will finally (we think) make us happy, or for that matter, finally accomplish whatever it would be that would finally convince our parents that we're worth being proud of, or will impress our peers.

Right livelihood= try to work and live in a way that fosters the goals of this effort you're making. I was a Buddhist Managing Partner - how weird is that?

Right effort = "prevent the rising of unwholesome states". Huh? Stick with it, try not to get sidetracked by the many temptations out there.

Right mindfulness = well, books are written about this one. Pay attention, "be here now", as Ram Dass said. Bare attention - see and experience what you're doing fully in the moment. Don't daydream and walk through life like an absent-minded professor, one of the favorite things to do of a certain cafe owner.

Right concentration = whew, another tough one that a lot's been written about. One-pointedness. In my mind it means, right now, anyway, enlightenment - you meditated, you learned to pay attention all the time, you did all the etc.'s you can think of that you needed to do to overcome your impediments, and you're free - you're in union with the universe(s). Some call this right samadhi - that is, "you made it, grasshopper".

These are all pursued simultaneously, and of course have to be adapted individually. It's not a Boy or Girl Scout pledge, but it is a way to approach life. I admire it, and some really great human beings have practiced it and do practice it. And, I guess, number one for me, it makes for a great way to live. As the Dalai Lama says (more eloquently than this), it all boils down to kindness and compassion. When in doubt about what to do, be kind and compassionate. And when not in doubt, be kind and compassionate.

I hope all that's useful in some way, Anita!

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 11:12am

>162 karenmarie: Ha! Happy Re-Retirement, Karen! I think you'll like the Hagen book. I gave some of my thoughts on all this in >166 jnwelch: if you're interested.

>163 weird_O: You did read that, Bill. Son #1 is not leaving Pittsburgh, but he is moving to Amazon from Google. The tech world is located all over the place these days, and Pittsburgh has become a popular location, in part because of Carnegie Mellon, I'm sure. He starts next week, and is looking forward to it - he'll be working with multiple ex-Google friends, among other things.

>164 richardderus: Ha! That's a new one for me, Richard. I've never seen a cinnamon bun inside an orange peel before. I guess it keeps the cb from smushing all over the place? Madame MBH would make sure I ate that fruit salad, too.

>165 msf59: Morning, Mark! We're letting it warm up a bit, and then we're going to head over to the Botanic Garden. We'll wear that lovely fall layered look, and bring a portable igloo just in case. (Did you hear about Denver?! 83 F in the morning, snow at night?!)

Oh good, no worries about returning The Initiates, but isn't that a swell one? And Oceanic seems just your cuppa. There'll be a quiz on her last name later.

Hey, Keith said yes. He'll be here around 11:30 am tomorrow.

P.S. It's Octoberfestaversary again tomorrow in the Dovetail/Begyle Brewery area! Food trucks and all that. Our timing is good!

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 11:04am

How about some apple blossom pie? I just found out about these recently.

Oct 12, 2019, 11:27am

>151 jnwelch: YES!! Last year we were rooting against her since we wanted our Storm to win a championship but this year we were all-in for Della Donne. She is amazing.

Oct 12, 2019, 11:36am

I really liked Why Buddhism Is True but I have let my nascent medication practice slide since moving to this new town and this new job. I can feel myself creeping slowly back toward it, using my Headspace app to help with the radical insomnia that has settled itself into my nights. Your articulation of the eight parts of the path is interesting and helpful. And your sharing about the difficulty of right speech got me thinking. I think of myself as an honest soul and I think that is true up to a point. But I completely resonate with the challenge of "little white lies" and slight(?) exaggeration. Usually done "for the sake of the other," but really, it's to avoid conflict or the need to expend greater effort in relationship.

I'm going to pick up a copy of Buddhism Plain and Simple. Thanks for the tip!

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 6:01pm

>169 EBT1002: Right, Ellen? EDD had those back problems, but she still managed 19 points and a bunch of rebounds in Game 5. That Emma Meesseman (Belgium) was the MVP, and she deserved it - she was amazing in that final blitz by the Mystics (as was EDD, actually, but Meeseman deserved it).

>170 EBT1002: Thank goodness, someone who really liked Why Buddhism is True! Thanks for reminding me that you did, Ellen. I sure did. It even briefly made the NY Times bestseller list, which I don't remember happening with a Buddhism book before - maybe The Art of Happiness? Anyway, WBIT thudded with some LTers, and I speculate that it was too advanced.

I gotta say, it's a lot easier to daily meditate now that I'm retired. When I was working, I kept at it, but it was tougher - I'd meditate in the morning, but sometimes sleep was an imperative, or getting something prepared or done early was. Often I'd close my office door in the afternoon and meditate for 20 minutes, but of course that got disrupted or prevented at times. Now, working it into the schedule is much easier (usually mid-afternoon), and I can do it for longer periods of time.

I'm not a fan of guided meditation - it's not meditation, IMHO. I wish they'd call it something else, like Guided Peace or Guided Relaxation. Guided normally isn't a focusing on a single point type of meditation, which is what I'd recommend (breath, a candle flame), and the kind Robert Wright was talking about in WBIT, the kind with scientific support behind it.

Yeah, good one - white lies so often are used "to avoid conflict or the need to expend greater effort in a relationship." That sounds just right to me. As you calm down, conflict isn't a big deal, and relationships can just be whatever they are, good or bad or inert. :-)

You're welcome re Buddhism Plain and Simple. I have a feeling you're going to like it a lot.

Oct 12, 2019, 6:06pm

>166 jnwelch: Thank you, Joe, for your long and thoughtful response.
Everything is always useful in some way, I favorited this post to find it back easily.

Oct 12, 2019, 6:07pm

>172 FAMeulstee: Oh good, Anita. It actually was useful for me to pull my thoughts together on it!

Oct 12, 2019, 6:10pm

>173 jnwelch: My thoughts are still shattered all over the place, Joe.
I might come back with my response when I have pulled them together ;-)

Oct 12, 2019, 6:36pm

Hmm, so I'm thinking about the guided meditation vs. single-focus meditation and my experience. I am not a fan of guided imagery kinds of things but the guided meditation I've used is really just helping me focus on that breath. I think. I'll have to revisit and see how it lands. I guess while I'm still working, I may just need to give myself permission to do guided relaxation and assume it will have some benefit.

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 6:59pm

>166 jnwelch: I enjoyed reading this Joe. I'd say I share your perspective.

One year I did a couple of courses at the Buddhist Society in London, which was just along from where I worked. Aside from the things I learnt about the beliefs, I had an overriding sense of lack of trust in the building from many people, which felt very unBuddhistlike. Maybe they'd had some unfortunate experiences, but I stopped going.

Back then I used to meditate at lunchtime in the square garden, and had a very deep experience on one of those occasions. Not something you can strive to attain, but may come simply through daily practice. Or never. I have to get back to regular practice. My excuse not to is being out of the house, commuting and working, 12 hours a day, five days a week, isn't a good enough excuse, as we make time for less important stuff.

One of the questions I'm working with at the minute is why, when we have proven to ourself that something we do is working for us, beneficial to us, we can't sustain it. Yet we sustain the bad habits that do the opposite with ease.

Edited: Oct 12, 2019, 8:34pm

>174 FAMeulstee:. I look forward to it, Anita. 😀

>175 EBT1002:. Sorry, Ellen. I feel like I came on too strong about Guided Meditation without knowing exactly what you were doing, or what the heck I’m talking about. My apologies. I just went through this with a family member and . . . I don’t know. Some GM has rubbed me the wrong way, but there are lots of different kinds out there, and I’m sure some of it helps and wouldn’t rub me wrong. If it’s working for you, stick with it. I’ll try to curb my extremism!

>176 Caroline_McElwee:. Hi, Caroline. Yikes, that “Buddhist” building sounds worrisome. I’m glad you steered clear. Just about any place - yoga studio, dojo, etc., can turn out to be manipulative, can’t it.

It’s tough to be working those kinds of hours and still keep up with meditation. The more offices and other workplaces start creating time and space for it, the better off we’ll be. It is worth the effort to go after it as best you can, that much I know.

Oct 13, 2019, 6:21am

>177 jnwelch: I do go to a fortnightly mindfulness hour at work Joe, which I really like.

Oct 13, 2019, 8:13am

‘Morning, Joe!

>167 jnwelch: Thanks re my re-re. *smile*

Thanks, too, for your detailed answer to Anita, above. I’ve put it into a Word document and will pull it out before, during, and/or after I read Hagen’s book.

Oct 13, 2019, 10:02am

>166 jnwelch: Thay say "celibacy" and I say "toodle oo!"



maybe add "abstemious" to the bye-bye words

Oct 13, 2019, 10:22am

Morning, Joe. Happy Sunday! Bountiful sunshine. A nice day for a Meet Up. See you soon!

Edited: Oct 13, 2019, 10:54am

>178 Caroline_McElwee: Excellent, Caroline. Good for your workplace.

>179 karenmarie: 'Morning, Karen!

Retirement's so good, it's worth doing more than once. :-)

You're welcome re my Buddhism thoughts. Sometimes I despair at how clueless I am, but I keep plugging away. I hope the Hagen and those turn out to be helpful.

>180 richardderus: LOL! Can't blame you for the toodle-oo, RD. I'm not in favor either. And look at how screwed up the Catholic Church has gotten over it.

Ha! Yeah, no one wants to be abstemious when it comes to apple blossom pie, do they?

>181 msf59: Morning, Mark. Happy Sunday, buddy! What a good idea - let's meet up today!

Oct 13, 2019, 11:03am

Yesterday Madame MBH and I had a lovely day at the Chicago Botanical Garden. Here are a couple of pics. Those on FB can check out many more posted by Debbi. I'd like to post a couple more here later if I can get through the tech maze. Here we go:

Oct 13, 2019, 11:52am

>183 jnwelch: Nice outing pics, Joe. Nice to see you have sunshine and flowers especially when others are posting snow photos!

Oct 13, 2019, 12:03pm

>182 jnwelch: I spoke to my YGC this morning and mentioned in passing I was considering becoming celibate for Buddhist reasons.

He dropped the phone laughing.

Seems ungrateful, somehow, to pursue potential enlightenment certainly never guaranteed by The Buddha at the expense of being a source of genuine contentment to an otherwise lost soul, no? Selfish. Solipsistic, even.

That's the ticket!

Oct 13, 2019, 1:53pm

Regardless of the particulars, your comment that "It is worth the effort to go after it as best you can, that much I know" is spot on, methinks. And no need to apologize! I'm happy to be engaging in a discussion about mediation - and its variations - without need for defensiveness (I may have sounded defensive, though). Like Caroline, I allow my busy work schedule to get in the way of self-care in lots of ways. I get up extra early in the morning to read while I sip my coffee. I really could build a 10-minute meditation into that routine. I've also favorited >166 jnwelch: above so I can return to it later. And I have Buddhism Plain and Simple in my amazon shopping cart. Something about that seems paradoxical. Heh.

Your visit to the Botanical Garden looks lovely. I haven't been on FB in a couple of weeks, at least, but I will check out Debbi's photos when next I visit.

Oct 13, 2019, 4:14pm

Beautiful photo of the water lily, Joe (and the Botanical gardens).

I do love how LT reminds me that smart reading people can also be kind to each other and patient, and say sorry. Something for me to aspire to in these crazy times.

Oct 13, 2019, 10:37pm

Nice pics!

Edited: Oct 14, 2019, 7:52am


Hey, it worked! Mark described an easier way to get pics here from FB. Very cool. These are more from our Botanic Garden visit.

Got caught up in an Alfred Hitchcock movie in the last one.

Edited: Oct 14, 2019, 7:57am

Yesterday at Begyle Pub (after Revolution Brewing and Maplewood Brewpub), with Mark and non-LTer Keith Taylor.

Oct 14, 2019, 8:02am

Morning, Joe. You are up early! I love the CBG photos, especially your classic Hitchcock photo, at the bottom. Very cool.

Great time with you guys yesterday! Time sure flies, as we chatter, (and drink) away! So glad Keith could join us. He sure fits in.

Oct 14, 2019, 8:11am

>184 Familyhistorian: It was a gorgeous day, Meg. I posted a few more pics from it. It was on the cool side, but we like it that way. No snow! We liked that part. Some fall colors, too.

>185 richardderus: LOL! Yeah, I can imagine your YGC didn't buy that one for a second. You're right, our friend Buddha never promised enlightenment, and he might say, if you're having sex, pay attention! :-) That seems doable, right?

>186 EBT1002: Thanks for graciously putting up with me, Ellen. That was thoughtless on my part. It is worth the effort to work in meditation somewhere, I agree with you and me (ha!), and maybe a little spiritual reading, if you can. First thing, I do a daily calendar with Buddhist sayings, and a Dalai Lama saying a day book, both of which probably take less than 2 minutes. (I do a different book each year). I just got a Jewish prayer a day book for our son; I think it helps to start your day getting a bit grounded.

We had such a good time in the Botanic Garden. Mark showed me how to get FB photos over here more easily, so I posted some more from Debbi's - but you still get the full boat from her.

Oct 14, 2019, 8:20am

>187 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Thanks re the pics. We've got such a great group of folks here on LT, don't we. Mark and I were just talking yesterday about how it's always a pleasure to meet up with LTers in person - is it the shared interest in reading? They're always kind and thoughtful people.

>188 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>191 msf59: Ha! Morning, Mark. I did get up early, foolish man that I am. This is a workout day. The birds! The birds! We probably would've had a hard time getting you away from that Hitchcockian sculpture.

What a great time that was yesterday! I think we came close to breaking the Yak-o-Meter. Isn't Keith a great guy? I can't believe he did those cartoons while hanging with us! Well, I can - it's nonstop with him. I'm glad you guys have hit it off so well. I now know way more about the music scene than I did before, among other things. :-)

Oct 14, 2019, 8:49am

'Morning, Joe!

Yak-o-Meter. I like that.

Oct 14, 2019, 8:55am

'Morning, Karen!

We put a severe strain on that Yak-o-Meter. :-)

Oct 14, 2019, 12:50pm

>189 jnwelch: How lovely they all are. What a perfect day to spend in the beautiful Botanical Garden!

>190 jnwelch: Heh. Who says Old = Dull?

>192 jnwelch: You're right, our friend Buddha never promised enlightenment, and he might say, if you're having sex, pay attention!


I wouldn't dare do otherwise! Not like he ain't got other options....

Oct 14, 2019, 2:01pm

>189 jnwelch: I'd say the experiment worked and I love the Hitchcock pic! That was one scary movie.

I'm starting to put the word out that I expect to be in Chicago for a conference May 24-28, 2020..... It's Memorial Day weekend (what were the planners thinking???) which might make meet-ups a bit more challenging, but a girl can hope!

Oct 14, 2019, 2:47pm

>196 richardderus:. Ha! You remind me of an old story. An enlightened teacher has fallen over the side of a cliff. (Why, How- I can’t remember). (This story always makes me think of Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote). He’s fallen about 20 feet toward the bottom far, far below when he sees a bush sticking out from the side, and grabs it. It holds him up. On it is one, luscious red raspberry. Hanging by one hand, poised between life and death (and it sure looks like death is next), he uses the other hand to grab the berry and pop it in his mouth. After a moment, he says, “Mmm, that berry is delicious”.

That’s the attention we’re supposed to pay. Easy-peasy, right?

>197 EBT1002:. Yes, the experiment worked, Ellen! This is going to make that part of my life much easier.😀

May 24-28 next year?! That would be great. We should be around. We plan to go somewhere (LA) in April, so I like the timing. It would be lovely to have a chance to see you!

Oct 14, 2019, 3:38pm

>198 jnwelch: *snort* Nothing about mindfulness is easy, and that's sorta-kinda the point unless I'm just missing the whole deal which, goodness knows, wouldn't be the first time.

Oct 14, 2019, 9:23pm

Hi Joe! Congratulations on your new career as a published poet.

>134 jnwelch: Neil Gaiman is spot on. I think matching kids to books is imperative to keep them reading. I haven't kept up very well with children's literature since I'm no longer teaching, but I think the choices are so varied that there should be something to appeal to even the most reluctant reader.

I love your photo shoots. The Botanical Gardens look spectacular.

Good to know I'm not the only one who finds value in meditation. I do both guided (Calm at night) and I struggle through the me-myself-and I version in the morning. It's a great way to begin and end the day.

Oct 14, 2019, 10:14pm

In college in the 60s, I took the university's 4 course Asian philosophy series. It was taught by a Spanish former Jesuit priest who had a fascinating background.

"He was born April 7, 1925, in Alicante, Spain, the son of Bernardo and Carmen Chiva Verdu. He studied Japanese cultural history and literature in Japan from 1951 to 1954, and theology in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1954 to 1958. He set his special studies in Munich, Germany, in 1959 and received a Ph.D. in 1963.
Mr. Verdu became professor for religious studies and philosophy of religion at the International Jesuit University in Tokyo. He left the university and the Jesuits after he received dispensation from Pope Paul VI. He was accepted as a visiting lecturer by the department of philosophy at Kansas University in 1966 and in two years became associate professor of philosophy and east Asian studies. He was promoted to full professor in 1972 and retired in 1990. He authored books on Eastern and Buddhist thought."

He was nervous and voluble and hated the first course because, hey, it was the 60s and everyone was into Asian philosophy thanks to the Beatles and he hated crowds and strangers. But only a small group followed him on to the higher courses and he loved us like family. He always swore there was absolutely no conflict between Kegon Buddhism and Christianity.

My favorite early popular book on Buddhism was Playing Ball on Running Water. I think I still have it, but if so it is up in the attic and uncatalogued here.

Oct 14, 2019, 11:27pm

I hate when that happens.

Oct 15, 2019, 9:39am

>199 richardderus: You know, I suspect mindfulness was easy when we were kids and so much was new. Then we learned and thought we knew what was around us and got routinized and distracted and the fog rolled in. On the other hand, I think it would be tough for even a kid to savor that berry, while hanging from a bush over a steep drop.

>200 Donna828: Thanks, Donna! I guess it's a renewed career as a published poet. I got published as a young guy, and retirement kicked me back into gear. I'm hoping it happens some more. We'll see.

I think the choices are so varied that there should be something to appeal to even the most reluctant reader. Yes!

We were so entranced by the Botanic Gardens! We hadn't been in years, and won't let that happen again. One of the cool things they do is post small signs with tips for your home garden. The Japanese Garden was gorgeous, and did have some traditional plants that can survive in our weather, but a lot of it was pulled off with others suitable to our climate. That was one uplifting day, and we needed it - family issues have been a bit on the tough side lately.

I love the way you meditate! One point in the morning and guided at night. I do have the Calm app, but I just can't get going with it; I don't seem to be a Guided kind of guy. I can see it working well for relaxing before sleep though - great idea. Sometimes I'll stream the sound of a rainstorm before sleep, or other nature sounds like that.

>201 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. That is quite a background for Mr. Verdu, and it sounds like you had a great experience with him. I'm glad he, too, saw no conflict between that flavor of Buddhism and Christianity. I actually learned my breathing meditation in college; the author Daniel Goleman taught the course, and I feel mighty lucky that I had him. I love the title of Playing Ball on Running Water; I'll have to check it out.

>202 EBT1002: Ha! I love it, Ellen. Poor Wile E. Luckily, he always bounced back - sometimes literally. :-)

Oct 15, 2019, 9:45am

Harold Bloom was one smart guy. He died at 89 years old. For me, his writing style rambled a bit, but it was brilliant rambling. May his next adventure be peaceful.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 9:48am

It'll all be okay.

Oct 15, 2019, 10:08am

I really like the Hitchcock movie pic and, of course, the meet up pic. Looks like you guys had a great time as usual.

Oct 15, 2019, 10:22am

>206 Familyhistorian: Good to hear, Meg. They had some beautiful sculptures there. I'll see if I can find the Emerging Rock Guy one (my name for it). This was the best time ever with Mark and Keith - as I seem to say after each one!

That's Emerging Rock Guy behind Debbi, and then up closer

A nice one of Debbi in the waterfall garden

Oct 15, 2019, 10:49am

I have to say, Emerging Rock Guy makes me feel claustrophobic. *shudder*

Harold Bloom was strong meat for a delicate world. I liked his bravura, "yeah well, I really *am* that much smarter and better educated than you, so belt up and listen" attitude.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 12:32pm

>208 richardderus: Ha! Claustrophobic in the great outdoors. That's an odd combo, isn't it. In person, with lots and lots of garden around him, Emerging Rock Guy was fine.

Yeah, I agree with you about Harold Bloom's attitude. I was taken aback at first - "really?" and "can he pull this way of writing off?", and then I started enjoying it. Yes, he could pull it off.

P.S. I saw Linda's respectful comment on the In Memoriam thread, followed by her not regretting not having lunch with Bloom. Ha! Yes, I think any other ego in the room would be squeezed up against the wall, gasping for air.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 12:44pm

I'm bumming this from Nancy (alphaorder) over on Mark's thread. It's a list from LitHub of the top 10 poetry books of the last decade:

Nox by Anne Carson
Lighthead by Terrance Hayes
Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
When My Brother was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz
Thrall by Natasha Trethewey
Incarnadine by Mary Szybist
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankin
Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis
Night Sky with Wounds by Ocean Vuong
Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

I'm glad to say I've read all but the first one, except it was a selection from Trethewey's Thrall in her Monument collection. Oops, and I've read a bunch of other Terrance Hayes, but not this one. The list is fine by me, but I'd bookhorn (Mark's word) in The Long Take by Robin Robertson, which was amazing. I'd probably take off Incarnadine, which I wasn't as crazy about as some others have been.

I'm not sure Citizen: An American Lyric is even a poetry book, but it is a terrific book that I'd recommend to anyone.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 2:12pm

>210 jnwelch: Oh my, I've only read Life On Mars. Favoriting the post so I can find it later.
I have a copy of The Long Take on my bedside cedar chest.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 3:26pm

>211 EBT1002:. It’s a very good list, Ellen. I’m glad you have The Long Take. The one that jumps out at me that you’d appreciate is Citizen: American Lyric. Danez Smith, too. But they’re all really good.

P.S. Except I know nothing about Nox. I’ve read some Anne Carson along the way, but I don’t know her work well.

Oct 15, 2019, 6:44pm

>210 jnwelch: I am glad you shared Nancy's link over here, Joe. I am impressed on how many of these, you have read. Gentlemanly bow. I have read a measly six. Grins...Anything on here, you loved, that may have been off my radar? Looking forward to Sable Venus. And I completely agree with you on The Long Take. It deserves a place on here, alongside Olio.

Happy Tuesday, Joe. The Testaments is off to a good start.

Oct 15, 2019, 9:14pm

>213 msf59:. Olio!! Great call, buddy. Yup. I’d probably put it in place of Nox, but I haven’t read Nox.

It’s a good list, isn’t it? Six read is impressive. You could just read the ones you haven’t. As I mentioned, I don’t know Nox, and I wasn’t bowled over by Incarnadine. I’ll be reading that Terrance Hayes for sure.

I’m looking forward to The Testaments. I’m enjoying that Whopper-Pullmann first.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 10:36pm

>210 jnwelch: As a Brit - and in keeping with criticisms of the Nobel - the list is far too US-Centric buddy. Worthy stuff as it may be here is my alternative list of British and Irish poetry of the last decade:

The Unaccompanied by Simon Armitage
Human Chain by Seamus Heaney
Of Mutability by Jo Shapcott
Memorial by Alice Oswald
40 Sonnets by Don Paterson
Perserverance by Raymond Antrobus
Pink Mist by Owen Sheers
The Dark Film by Paul Farley
Over the Moon by Imtiaz Dharker
and, yes Robin Robertson, but
The Wrecking Light

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 10:22pm

>215 PaulCranswick:. Thanks, Paul. It’ll be fun to follow up on those, mate. Other cafe-goers may know more than me about some of the ones you’ve listed. I’ve tried Alice Oswald, but so far without liftoff. I like Seamus Heaney a lot, but for me his doesn’t place that high. I know you’re a big fan. Simon Armitage, ditto.

Thanks for the Robin Robertson tip. Have you read The Long Take? If not, give it a go. I think it’s a remarkable one.

P.S. Some of the touchstones could use a fix.

Edited: Oct 15, 2019, 10:37pm

>216 jnwelch: I haven't read it yet, Joe, which is why I couldn't list it. I struggled with Alice Oswald's Dart but I have read long sections of Memorial and it hit home. It is about the fallen in The Iliad and very enjoyable.

ETA Have corrected most of the Touchstones.

Oct 16, 2019, 9:44am

>217 PaulCranswick: I hope you like it, Paul. Mark and I sure did. I'll try Memorial. You know I'm a pushover for The Iliad. Thanks for fixing most of the touchstones. I'll follow up on most of those, too.

Oct 16, 2019, 9:46am

Oct 16, 2019, 9:49am

Some cake!

Oct 16, 2019, 9:56am

>220 jnwelch: - WOW! The work that went into this one!!!

It seems highly incongruous and of course, unlikely, but the first thing that came to my mind (after taking in all the visual details of Alice) was that, at the very back right of the checkerboard at the bottom, it looks a bit like a portrait of Van Gogh. Talk about surreal.... ;-)

Oct 16, 2019, 10:11am

>221 jessibud2: Ha! Isn't that cake remarkable, Shelley? The more surreal, the better. For me, it looks like some sort of door, but a Van Gogh-ish sort of door. :-)

Oct 16, 2019, 1:03pm

>203 jnwelch: I am totally mesmerized by Tamara's voice on Calm. She puts me into a trance most nights, and if that doesn't work, I can listen to a sleep story or my current audio book. I'm a lifetime Calm member. Best $150 I ever spent--after my $20/25 (can't remember) LT membership fee of course!I bought Playing Ball on Running Water and Rainbow Rising From A Stream back in the 1980s to help me chill out from dealing with a difficult teenager. Yes, they helped! I only catalog my books after I read them so many of my pre-LT books remain unacknowledged here even though they reside on my shelves. Oh, I am an Ekhart Tolle fan. I think he lives up to the hype.

Oct 16, 2019, 4:19pm

>220 jnwelch: Wow, just amazing.

Oct 16, 2019, 5:18pm

>220 jnwelch: Gorgeous. And now I am craving chocolate cake.
With a frothy coffee, if the cafe is still serving...

Oct 17, 2019, 9:07am

Morning, Joe. Sweet Thursday! I am off today, but as usual I have some running around to do. I hope to get a bird stroll in, despite the chill. I should also get some book time in. I plan on starting 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds today. I hope you have a good one too.

Oct 17, 2019, 10:03am

>189 jnwelch:, >207 jnwelch: Have had to skim a bit, since my LT time was limited the last couple weeks, but those photos caught my eye. Lovely.

Edited: Oct 17, 2019, 10:32am

>223 Donna828: Tamara on Calm; I'll have to check her out, Donna. Although I'm on the free one, so maybe I can't. Good for you. I know our daughter likes white noise for sleeping - rainstorm or the like. I could've used a book that helped me chill out with our difficult (then, not now) teen son back then. I'm like you - my LT catalogue only has books I've read, but when I remember oldies, I add them. Helpful to hear you're an Ekhart Tolle fan; I'll give him a chance instead of judging him without having really read him. :-)

>224 quondame: Right, Susan?

>225 charl08: Isn't that Alice cake gorgeous, Charlotte? I hope you haven't been waiting too long for chocolate cake and a frothy coffee. I swear, the service in this place sometimes . . .

Oct 17, 2019, 10:24am

That cake looks heavenly!

Oct 17, 2019, 10:30am

>229 foggidawn: Ha! Doesn't it, foggi? Good call by Charlotte.

>226 msf59: Sweet Thursday, Mark! Glad you have the day off. Enjoy 10 Minutes 38 Seconds. It's in my future. I'm just not keeping up with the hot 75er books right now. I'm having a very good time with the second Lyra Silvertongue book (The Secret Commonwealth) in Philip Pullman's Book of Dust follow-up to the His Dark Materials trilogy. As you saw, it's got some length to it.

>227 laytonwoman3rd: Nice to have you back, Linda. Understood re the skimming, and I'm glad you liked the photos.

Oct 17, 2019, 10:40am

Thank you for the cake, it was definitely worth waiting for! I'm jealous of you reading The Secret Commonwealth - I am tempted to get my own copy.

Oct 17, 2019, 10:46am

>231 charl08: Oh good, Charlotte. I did get my own copy of The Secret Commonwealth. I couldn't resist. :-) It's a great read so far; I'm about halfway.

Edited: Oct 17, 2019, 10:48am

By our pal Keith Taylor (see >190 jnwelch:)

Rest in peace, Mr. Cummings

Oct 17, 2019, 10:56am

Luckily my absence of any respect for boundaries led me away from all the ickyptooptoo chocolate gunge into the creamy delights of a butterscotch cake:

Thank goodness! I was beginning to feel faint from the chocofug.

Oct 17, 2019, 11:03am

>234 richardderus: Mmm. Nice addition, Richard. One of life's verities is a cafe can never have too much cake. And I love butterscotch, too.

Oct 17, 2019, 11:04am

Bargain Marlon James' remarkable A Brief History of Seven Killings is available on e-books today for $1.99.

Oct 17, 2019, 3:07pm

Meditation has kept me clear for many many years. I confess as i get older its a lot harder to clear away the cobwebs and find that still small space.

Thanks for the tip on Marlon James. A lot of people in my circle were talking him up, and i was starting to itch to read him

Edited: Oct 18, 2019, 8:19am

>237 magicians_nephew: Good to hear re the meditation, Jim. I'm glad you can still find that still small space. It's different for me - some days it goes deep and wide, some it doesn't. I'm trying to get to more of the deep and wide ones, but you takes what you gets.

You're welcome re the Marlon James. I appreciate your letting me know - I'm not sure how useful it is for me to mention these, but I'd want to know about them.

What a storyteller. Ellie Moses read Seven Killings on audio, which to me would be tough. There are an awful lot of names and intertwined story lines.

Oct 18, 2019, 8:29am

Oct 18, 2019, 10:11am

Bargain. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, the first in the Mercy Thompson series I’ve enjoyed, is available today for $1.99.

Oct 18, 2019, 10:17am

>265 Ha! >207 jnwelch: Emerging Rock Guy is impressive, Joe, and that is a great shot of Debbi in the waterfall garden. I better run class is about to start in a few minutes, last day so I don't want to be late. I am having a great time in Salt Lake City although it has turned cold here. The first of the week was quite balmy!

Oct 18, 2019, 10:30am

>239 jnwelch: Grins...

Morning, Joe. Happy Friday. You are probably heading to your workout. Chilly start out here but it seems to be warming up quickly. It should be a nice few days.

Both my current reads, 10 Minutes and the new Atwood are humming right along.

Oct 18, 2019, 12:18pm

>239 jnwelch: How'd they get 'em there? Our cords wouldn't've made it *near* the table!

Happy Friday! Still craving pumpkin pecan waffles with cinnamon syrup. Rob's next visit he's promised to take me to get some of the seasonal scrummys.

Oct 18, 2019, 12:42pm

Reporting back on Eckhart Tolle Practicing the power of now:
positive: realising I live more in "the now" then I thought
negative: a few times refering to the Bible
I will write short review later today.

Reading now Siddhartha's Brain by James Kingsland, who connects recent brain research with Buddhism, very interesting!

Oct 18, 2019, 3:43pm

Oct 19, 2019, 2:38am

Loving all the talk about meditation and appreciate your summary of the 8 major points. I currently am getting back into the practice because a daily meditation is one of the things I have to do (along the the pushups and sit ups) for my TKD test. I totally get why you think the guided meditations should be called something else --I find that I can never truly lose myself when a voice is coaching me. For someone who is not used to being still and inward at all, they are a great entry though.

>239 jnwelch: I loved this so much! It made me laugh and I showed my hubby and kid. I got a smile from both of them.

Oct 19, 2019, 9:37am

>241 Familyhistorian: Hiya, Meg. I'm glad you enjoyed those photos. What a day that was. I'll visit and hear more about your SLC trip and the class. Sounds great.

>242 msf59: Staring at a phone is so much better now, isn't it, Mark. But it all started a long time ago . . .

Happy Friday/Saturday. Yeah, we were at our workout, although it got interrupted a lot with what's been going on. Our trainer (the guy at the Super Bowl party) is great about adjusting, and patiently worked around phone calls. Yeah, I saw we're going to be in the 60s for a few days. Well, all right! The more of that, the better.

Yeah, your new reads sound most excellent. I wish I could get on board with something like that, but it's going to be a while. The Secret Commonwealth is my go-to right now. I love Pullman's intelligence, writing style and imagination - and his characters, especially, of course, Lyra.

>243 richardderus: Hey, RD. In our house in the 60s we invested in phone-friendly extension cords so that we each could have a phone at the table to stare at. Our parents didn't like talking to us either, so they had their own phones. Occasionally we'd talk, but mostly it was about how cool Facebook, Instagram and the like would be once they were invented.

Happy Friday/Saturday! That Rob's a good man. Here are some scrummys in advance of his arrival.

Oct 19, 2019, 9:59am

Hi Joe!

>219 jnwelch: An excellent way of looking at it. If I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep within about 15 minutes, I read.

>233 jnwelch: I like it.

>239 jnwelch: Reminds me that my mother almost always called TV “The Idiot Box” and we never had it on during dinner.

>247 jnwelch: In our house in the 60s we invested in phone-friendly extension cords so that we each could have a phone at the table to stare at. Our parents didn't like talking to us either, so they had their own phones. Occasionally we'd talk, but mostly it was about how cool Facebook, Instagram and the like would be once they were invented. You’re such a hoot.

Oct 19, 2019, 10:03am

>244 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Intriguing re the Bible aspect with Tolle, as I probably would have the same reaction. I get more of it than I used to going to Temple with Madame MBH and the kids, but the touch is pretty light, and applied to social concerns. (I asked Debbi what is the right way for a Jew to refer to what I was raised as thinking of as "the Old Testament." She answered, "The Bible". Ha!)

I look forward to hearing what you think of Siddhartha's Brain. That sounds like it might be my cuppa.

>245 Caroline_McElwee: Hee-hee! I'm glad you got a kick out of that, Caroline.

>246 Berly: Isn't >239 jnwelch: a hoot, Kim? Good to hear your esteemed hubby and kiddo got a smile out of it, too.

I thought daily meditation would probably be part of your TKD practice. What a great combo. I imagine that makes for a lot of happiness.

Very good point about Guided Meditation being a great entry into the interior world for those not used to looking inward. I hadn't thought of that. I can never truly lose myself when a voice is coaching me, So well put. That's the problem I have with it. But as Donna shows, you can do both that and one-point-type meditation.

We haven't talked about mantra meditation yet - like transcendental meditation, as I understand it. Our son is practicing metta meditation, that is, lovingkindness meditation, where you internally repeat phrases like "May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease," and then you can eventually extend it to others, i.e., thinking of someone else you love and silently repeating, "May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease." As time goes on you can continue to extend it to still others, including people you feel neutral about and people you dislike, with the goal of eventually including everyone, if I understand it right. Studies have shown it to be successful in alleviating anxiety disorders and depression. It's an easy one to try.

I'm a fan of one point, concentrate on the breath meditation, but there are a lot of different ways to do it, aren't there.

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 10:15am

>248 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

Yeah, we're like that, too - both Madame MBH and I will read until we feel like falling back asleep, if we wake up during the night. (Infrequent for us - we're good at wearing ourselves out during the day!)

We're going to miss Rep. Cummings, aren't we. That kind of integrity and moral compass is too rare right now.

Right, we didn't have the idiot box on during dinner either when I was growing up. It got tough when my older sisters left the house and it was just me (the youngest) with my parents. I was so different from them - into sports and acting crazy. I do remember when they decided I was old enough to watch "I, Claudius" on PBS with them - that was pretty racy, and so darn good! It made me a Derek Jacobi fan for life.

Ha! I'm glad you enjoyed my reverie about phones at the dinner table back in the day. :-)

Oct 19, 2019, 10:17am

>249 jnwelch: Siddhartha's brain was good, Joe, mainly focussed on what meditation and midfulness do inside the brain. Mantra meditation is mentioned as well. I found it a fascinating read and already put the review on my thread :-)

Oct 19, 2019, 10:19am

Bargain: The first Harry Dresden urban fantasy, Storm Front by Jim Butcher, is available on e-readers today for .99. I'm sure they're trying it as a loss leader - if you like it, you're going to want to read more. One of the early ones - is it the third? - is widely acknowledged as a weak entry, but the rest are potato chips for the snacking soul if you like this kind of thing.

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 10:26am

>251 FAMeulstee: Oh good, Anita, thanks. I forgot what a fast reader you are! I'll come over and read the review of Siddhartha's Brain. It does sound like one I'd like.

So many mental disorders seem to come from mis-wiring n the brain, and the fact that you (one) can purposefully re-wire it is exciting to think about. Suffering in the Buddhist sense can be viewed the same way. I sometimes wonder whether we're just trying to undo the harmful layering that has occurred since our open-eyed childhood, while adding the benefit of acquired experience and wisdom.

Oct 19, 2019, 10:30am

>250 jnwelch: ooh, I, Claudius! The hubs and I got hooked on that in the early/mid-80s, and like you we became Derek Jacobi fans. He can do no wrong. It's also fun to see others from that show in more modern productions (but then we love playing "name that British actor" when watching TV and movies).

Oct 19, 2019, 10:35am

Morning, Joe. Happy Saturday. Gorgeous day out here. I hope you guys get out for a stroll. Nothing beats, a lovely fall day.

Oct 19, 2019, 10:48am

>253 jnwelch: The percentages of patients helped aren't stellar yet, Joe, but seem better than other treatments.
And of course I wonder in how many cases hormone imbalance is part of the problem.

Edited: Oct 19, 2019, 11:15am

>254 lauralkeet: Ha! Right - there were so many great British actors in I, Claudius, weren't there, Laura. That was my first go-round with the terrific John Hurt, too, as the horrifying but mesmerizing Caligula. Sian Phillips as Livia - OMG. :-) Even Patrick Stewart was in it.

>255 msf59: Morning, Mark. We've been slow to get moving today, but we'll be out in that gorgeous day soon. I'm sure it'll include a stroll. I'm glad fall is treating you well.

>256 FAMeulstee: Right, so many different factors can contribute to mental disorders, Anita, including hormones, as you well know. My guess is they'll keep learning more about what kinds of people/problems are helped most by re-wiring practices. Meanwhile, as you can tell, I think meditation has great potential for everyone for improving quality of life. But as we talked about, many things can make meditation difficult, including psychic trauma. I wonder whether that lovingkindness meditation, with mantras to repeat, might be helpful for those in the last situation (psychic trauma).

Oct 19, 2019, 11:22am

Oct 19, 2019, 12:29pm

>247 jnwelch: Yum! Yeah, my Young Gentleman Caller's a fine man indeed.

>258 jnwelch: HA!!! Perfect.

Oct 19, 2019, 6:01pm

Hi Joe, I brought you a present from Vancouver Island:

Nanaimo Bars for all!

Oct 19, 2019, 6:40pm

>257 jnwelch: Mantra's could be easier for some, Joe.
And I just saw in an article that lack of vitamin B12 can also cause anxiety.

Oct 19, 2019, 7:04pm

>260 DeltaQueen50: *stuffcramjampackpackpackSTUFF*

..whmnn brrrs?

Oct 20, 2019, 8:01am

>260 DeltaQueen50: There's a bakery a couple blocks from my house owned by someone from Vancouver. Nanaimo bars are one of their standard menu items. And they are so good!

Oct 20, 2019, 8:47am

Well I had to look those up, but since they feature custard (no thanks) everyone else's portion is safe.

>239 jnwelch: Reminds me of a conversation I had last week with a ten year old. Did I have an iPhone when I was a kid? They weren't invented, I said. We had to phone from the house. Shocked look of disbelief at the horror of it all.

Edited: Oct 20, 2019, 11:44am

>259 richardderus:. 😀

>260 DeltaQueen50: Yum! Thanks, Judy. I'd never heard of Nanaimo Bars, but I'll remember them now. That layering looks challenging. Chocolate and custard, yes?

>261 FAMeulstee: I'm sure you're right that mantras would be easier for some, Anita. And could be combined with other types, as Donna reminded us.

That's new to me about vitamin B12 and anxiety. I know a lack of it can cause something like dementia in the elderly - my dad went through that. We thought we'd lost him down a rabbit hole, and then vitamin B12 shots brought him right back. I'll look into it re anxiety, thanks. I'm an insensitive lug, but there's anxiety in my family.

>262 richardderus: It's a little difficult to understand what you're saying, RD, but I'm sensing you like Nanaimo bars?

>263 lauralkeet: Nanaimos are a British Columbia specialty, as far as I know, Laura - kudos to your Vancouver baker for bringing them to Philly. I wonder whether anyone in Chicago makes them. This calls for some research.

>264 charl08: No custard for you, Charlotte? Well, you've made everyone else happy, I'm not the world's biggest chocolate fan, but these look good to me.

Ha! I know, the primitive conditions we grew up in have to be horrifying to the young ones. No iPhones?!! I tell tales of our one black and white tv when I was young (around the campfire, with a flashlight shining in my face), and I'm sure our son will tell Rafa about how our son and his sister fought over the one computer in our house when they were growing up.

Oct 20, 2019, 12:20pm

The new cafe is open - see you there!
This topic was continued by Joe's Book Cafe 17.