RebaRelishesReading in 2019 - 4th quarter
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Grandpuppies Molly (black lab mix) and Mia (Malti-poo).
I'm a Californian by birth and by residence although I've lived in Arizona, Connecticut, the Netherlands, England and Ireland at various times in my life. I've been a member of Library Thing for 12 years and this is my 8th year in 75er's. Checking the threads is still a joy as is meeting friends from the thread in real life. Book people are generally really good people I have found :)
I spend my summers at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York where more and more I concentrate on enjoying the music presented by professionals and graduate students participating in the summer program. There is also a visit by an author once a week which is often very good.
I read mostly fiction with a large helping of biography thrown in. A couple of years ago I finished a personal challenge to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winning fiction and earlier this year I finished another to read the entire Harry Potter series (with encouragement from Chelle, thank you Chelle). I've also challenged myself to read the Pulitzer wining biographies but I don't seem to be making much progress on that score.
1. Georgia by Dawn Tripp****1/2
2. The Library Book by Susan Orlean****
3. Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai****
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling****
5. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (audio)****
6. Snobs by Julian Fellowes ***1/2
7. Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes**** (audio)
8. The Chosen by Chaim Potok****
9. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? by Alan Alda***1/2 (audio)
10. Night in Bombay by Louis Bromfield****
11. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley***
12. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue by John McWhorter****(audio)
13. The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons*** (audio)
14. The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand** (audio)
15. The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton****1/2 (audio)
16. Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor** (audio)
17. A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton**** (audio)
18. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley** (audio)
19. Feeding the Dragon by Sharon Washington*****(audio)
20. Us Against You by Fredrik Backman****1/2 (audio)
21. A Mind of Her Own by Paula McLain**** (audio)
22. That Month in Tuscany by Inglath Cooper**** (audio)
23. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton****
24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling****1/2
25. Elephant Company by Vicki Constantine Croke*****(audio)
26. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling****1/2
27. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling*****
28. Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday**
29. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn **** (audio)
30. Moloka'i by Alan Brennert ****1/2
31. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai ***1/2
32. A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett ***1/2
33. Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns *
34. Book Towns: Forty-five Paradises of the Printed Word****
35. Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount****1/2
36. Tin Man by Sarah Winman ****1/2
37. In the Distance by Hernan Diaz ****1/2
38. The Pioneers by David McCullough ****1/2
39. A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith ****(audio)
40. The Mango Bride by Marvin Soliven ****
41. A Taste for Vengeance by Martin Walker **** (audio)
42. Honolulu by Alan Brennert *****
43. White Banners by Lloyd C. Douglas ****
44. Doc by Mary Doria Russell *****
45. Invitation to Live by Lloyd C. Douglas ***1/2
46. The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan****
47. Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell*****
48. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler*****
49. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent ****
50. In the Shadow of Death: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery by Deb Pines ***1/2
51. Art as a Way: A Return to the Spiritual Roots by Frederick Franck ***
52. Selected Prose of Robert Frost edited by Hyde Cox and Edward Connery Lathem ***
53. The Ensemble by Aja Gabel ***1/2
54. Geographic Influences in American History by Albert Perry Brigham***
55. A World Lost by Wendell Berry****
56. Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan****(audio)
57. Brookland by Emily Barton****
58. Andrew's Brain by E. L. Doctorow***1/2
59. Mother Tongue by Demetria Martinez ****
60. If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar *****
61. The Fourth Man by Howard Moody ***1/2
62. Among English Hedgerows by Clifton Johnson****
64. The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani***** (audio)
65. A Place in the Sun by Lois and Louis Darling ***
66. The Middle Heart by Bette Bao Lord****
67. A Women's Life by Susan Cheever****
68. Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse****
69. About Grace by Anthony Doerr***
70. The Boys in the Bunkhouse: Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland by Dan Barry****1/2
71. Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family by Daniel Bergner*****
72. One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman****
73. Dear Mrs Bird by A J Pearce****1/2
74. Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin ****
75. A Dashing Duke for Emily by Hanna Hamilton **
76. Sanditon by Jane Austen****
77. Educated by Tara Westover****1/2
78. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead ****1/2
79. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett****1/2
80. A Better Man by Louise Penny ****
81. The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives **** edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen
82. Swimmer Among the Stars by Kanishk Tharoor **
83. Wetware by Craig Nova**
84. Daily Life in Holland in the Year 1566 by Rien Poortfliet*****
85. The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield****1/2
86. The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith****(audio)
87. The Women of Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell*****
88. The Body in the Castle Wall by Martin Walker*** (audio)
89. Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar*****(audio)
90. 1947 Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Asbrink***
91. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel**** (audio)
92. Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson*** (audio)
93. Dead Wake by Erik Larson***(audio)
94. The Farm by Louis Bromfield**
95. With a Daughter's Eye:A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson by
Mary Catherine Bateson***
96. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson ****1/2
97. Places of Light by Gernot Candolini and Jennifer Brandon****
98. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo***
99. It's An Old California Custom by Lee Shippey***
100. Why Old Places Matter by Thompson M. Mayes****
101. Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank ***1/2
Happy new thread, Reba.
I really enjoyed the posts from England and think this hike was quite an accomplishment. I hope that you and your friend will do one like it next year. Your hike prompted me to do some research, and I found that I am also interested in doing something like this. The idea of trails as part of the National Trust amazes me and I have to congratulate the English for taking to it so whole heartedly. They have the most miles of National Trails of any of the nations in Europe! Other countries have a system of National hiking trails, but none as many miles as the UK. France has more miles of canals that are open to commercial tourist barges, but not hiking trails.
Thanks for putting me onto the idea of these walking trails.
All of that said -- it was a great experience. I challenged myself and was able to do it. I don't, however, plan to do it again...at least for a while and probably in Vermont if so. :)
Meet-ups, however, I hope to do many more times!
>9 susanj67: Hi Susan. Thanks for visiting early :)
>12 ronincats: You're right Roni-- home to New York. We're leaving for San Diego on Nov. 5 but going to Indiana to visit cousins, then Oregon to see baby grandson, then San Francisco to mind the fur-grandkids while son and lady travel and then home Thanksgiving weekend.
>13 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. We're getting some tiny touches of color here in western NY but hoping things are further along to the north and east of us.
>14 RebaRelishesReading: I presume you mean 5 or 6 miles a day?
Sounds like you have a busy scedule until returning to San Diego.
Sanditon by Jane Austen****
This volume contains three relatively unknown works by Jane Austen. Lady Susan was written by Austen before she became well know. It is believed that The Watsons was begun during "an unhappy period" in Bath and abandoned after her father's death. Sanditon was the last work she started and never finished because of her death. Even though none of them are complete or as polished as her main works, they are still a delight to read.
I loved this. It describes me so well. I get so lost in bookstores and I don't want to ever come up for air. I think that in the last two days I have added about 50 new titles to my TBR list in LT. I will never get them all read.
Reba, you've been doing some great reading. Congratulations on hitting 75!
Educated by Tara Westover ****1/2
What a riveting book! Tara was raised by a mentally-ill, religious fanatic father and a totally subservient mother who didn't allow her to go to school or visit doctors. Her "home schooling" revolved around a very few books found acceptable by her paranoid father and a literal interpretation of the Bible. Nevertheless, she persevered. I'm so glad I finally got to it and that I read it when I had time to devote to it. Started it yesterday afternoon and finished it this morning.
New tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on certain goods imported from the European Union will include books. According to Section 4 of a new directive from the U.S. Trade Representative, printed books, brochures, leaflets, and lithographs produced in Germany and the U.K. will be subjected to a 25% tariff beginning October 18.
The new tariffs, which cover up to $7.5 billion of products imported from the E.U., were in response to the E.U. providing subsidies to Airbus. The World Trade Organization signed off on the right of the Trump administration to impose the tariffs.
The first reaction to the tariffs came from Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the U.K.’s Publishers Association, who said: "We are deeply concerned about this development and raised it immediately with the Department for International Trade and the Intellectual Property Office. It is completely unacceptable that book exports are collateral damage in an unconnected trade matter. We will continue to argue in the strongest possible terms against tariffs that could be damaging to the trade and are in nobody's interest."
The new E.U. tariffs come as the U.S. publishing industry continues to grapple with the ramifications of earlier tariffs placed on books and related products imported from China. Although the Trump administration opted not impose 25% tariffs on virtually all books made in China, 10% tariffs were levied September 1 on trade, professional, and educational books. Other categories of books, including religious books, bibles, and children’s picture books either received a delay in the imposition of tariffs or were granted an exception.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett****1/2
I loved this book! Perhaps because I'm on vacation, or perhaps for some other reason, but I liked it better than Commonwealth. My only criticism would be that I didn't really like the final, wrap-up, chapter. It seemed somewhat like an after thought, or hurried "I guess I have to say what happened to everyone" -- whatever, that chapter didn't work for me but the rest of the book was wonderful imo.
Here are some shots of Knowlton.
These signs are in many shop windows in town.
Ok, there were two more that I wanted to include but one is sideways and won't respond to any tricks I know to change and the other responded by turning upside-down rather than sideways. So I'm going to leave them out (they're in my member gallery if you really, really want to see them).
Now I'm going to go and start reading A Better Man by one of my favorite authors :)
We went into "The Buzz' which seems to be attached to the bakery next door and where we had some lovely soup, sandwich and pastry. The waitress said Ms. Penny comes in often and usually has a "bowl of hot chocolate" (I did too and it was very good). I started A Better Man and there at the bottom of page one was Myrna having a "mug of hot chocolate" then on page 32 they go to visit the home of a missing woman in Cowansville, which is another small village we passed through very near Knowlton. I'm having a great time looking for details I can recognize now.
How nice to find a new book festival - hope you get there next year. Every year I want to do Wigtown, I might make it in 2020...
A Better Man by Louise Penny****
A young woman is missing and her father is worried but at the same time a huge storm is coming at just the wrong time and widespread flooding is likely. Gamache is about to take over as head of homicide because Jean-Guy is moving to France. This is not only a "who-done-it" but also a book about abuse within families and about family connections in general.
For the first time I really paid attention to Penny's short sentences and she certainly does use a lot of them. I found that many of them just made the dialog sound more natural to me and others seemed to make points hit "home" harder. By and large I decided they don't bother me much (whew! because I would hate to give up Three Pines lol).
This isn't my favorite Louise Penny novel but I still enjoyed it a lot and am looking forward to the next one :)
Our leaf-peeping trip was lovely. We had perfect weather (except one rainy day) and the leaves were at their peak. I am glad to be back in our New York home however because we spent too many hours in the car. Three weeks from today we'll head back west and spend even more days in the car...but I'm not going to think about that right now.
>41 RebaRelishesReading: I recently finished and loved The Dutch House. I even liked the ending!
>56 Familyhistorian: I knew Canadian Thanksgiving was in October but hadn't focused on what date until we were already in Toronto. When I realized I thought we would be OK since we were traveling on the middle day of a three-day weekend and I expected people to travel to their holiday location on Saturday and back home again on Monday. I'm not sure where all of those people were going on Sunday but it was a mess!
>60 ronincats: Thanks Roni. The running nose stage only lasted one day and now I'm hoarse and coughing but I don't feel all that bad besides it was lovely to have a reason to sit by the fire and read on two cold, rainy days :)
Funny about the bathroom. I went to play games at a friends house on Thursday night and she just renovated both of her bathrooms. She also found some tile at Loew’s that she loved and it turned out it was discontinued. However, they had enough in the store to do her main bathroom so she got it. She also got a good price!
But then she had to take time to figure out what she wanted for the second bathroom. Both turned out well.
A very belated happy new thread and congrats on reaching 75.
>19 RebaRelishesReading: I’m seriously toying with the idea of a Jane Austen read next year – all 6 novel and a sweet little volume that contains Sanditon and 4 other works, deleted chapters, etc.
>23 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks for sharing. It describes me perfectly, too.
>29 RebaRelishesReading: Educated was an amazing book. Harrowing, depressing, and ultimately victorious.
Sorry you’ve been sick and hope that you’re much better now. Have fun with the final planning stages on the bathroom.
>67 karenmarie: Thank you Karen. I'm feeling much better and am grateful this cold seems to be moving through pretty quickly. I love Austen and have read all of her books twice (except the ones in the Sanditon volume I just bought). I know you'll enjoy it.
I cleaned off part of my counter and set up my blender this afternoon. Now I only have to get my yogurt and make my Smoothie for tomorrow. I drink Smoothies for breakfast most mornings so I will use my purchase all the time.
>73 benitastrnad: I had to smile when I read your post because an Aussie friend gave me Wild Swans several years ago but I still haven't read it. Perhaps I should dig it out when I get home.
The bathroom project: We went to big box today and ordered the shower pan, the shower door and the vanities. While we were there we also bought the faucets, towel rods, and a new light. After I got home I realized we forgot door/drawer pulls, a grab bar and a TP holder. Dropped Hubby off after that outing (he can only stand so much shopping) and went to the flooring/tile store to order the counter top for the vanity. There are some questions they are going to have to get input on from supplier so I picked the material but didn't get completely finished. Bottom line is we're making a lot of progress but it seems that every time we take a big step forward someone moves the finish line a tiny bit. Nevertheless we WILL have this sorted before we leave!
Movie: We finally went to see Downton Abbey last night. We chose the 6:25 p.m. showing at a local mall which closes at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday so when we arrived things were pretty quiet there. There were 6 of us in the theater (at least we weren't totally on our own like you were, Susan) and when we came out we found the doors locked!! We looked around and found doors with "panic hardware" on them so we were able to get out of the theater but then we found the mall doors leading to where we parked locked. We saw another couple from our theater exiting through doors on the other side of the mall and we were able to get out there but then had to walk completely around the mall to get to our car. You'd think they might want to cancel that Sunday evening showing!
Oh no re the Downton experience! That must breach all sorts of regulations too - having people inside a locked building is a health and safety hazard as well as very annoying for the people. (I suppose at least the walk right around the mall would have been good for your steps). What did you think of the film?
The movie was OK but not great imo. It was fun seeing all of the cast/characters again and having their futures redefined. The story line was pretty thin though, I thought.
Wetware by Craig Nova**
Briggs is a biotech engineer for Wetware, a company that manufactures human clones who are destined to do unpleasant jobs humans don't want to do but Briggs starts adding things like a sense of humor, intellectual brilliance and the ability to have feelings.
I don't generally read science fiction so I'm probably not a good judge but I wasn't impressed by this book. It shows creativity in thinking of this future but the characters didn't engage me and the end left me totally cold.
>81 charl08: Thanks Charlotte -- me too :)
Daily Life in Holland in the Year 1566 by Rien Poortvliet*****
Rien Poortvliet was a wonderful artist who wrote and illustrated several books in his lifetime. I remember him from my time in the Netherlands when he did a TV special about rabbits and hares, illustrating as he talked. To this day I know the difference between the two thanks to that magical and instructive show. We stayed in an inn in the Shenandoah Valley last spring that had been in constant use since 1795 and they had this book of Poortvliet's available in one of the lounges. It looked interesting so I ordered a copy and spent a delightful afternoon today reading it, and savoring the beautiful illustrations, by the fire.
I like it when LT readers tell bout where they learned about a book and why they picked it up.
I am getting ready to spend my Sunday evening with Masterpiece Theater on PBS. It has been a cool and rainy weekend down here and i will be watching TV and doing some crocheting on a Christmas gift.
I am really getting into it and the recorded version is very well done. I am listening to it on my commute so it will take me a couple of weeks to get through it. You will probably be done with it before me.
Snagged the book funny to send to my book group!
Reba! You are backsliding in the book image department! Hardly a one image came through for me! If no one has uploaded the cover you can just do "copy image address" pop it in the 'grab' place and bob's yer uncle, darlin'
Oh I do love Doc Martin -- we're saving that for the depths of winter.
Safe travels next week!
If you are going along I90, my sister lives in Bozeman, MT as does an LT friend. I believe that there is also an active LT'er in, or around, Missoula. Are you up for Meetups?
You would have been so proud of me this morning - I made five purchases at the mall using just my phone :-) I would have used it for the other two as well, but I had loyalty cards so I had to get my purse out. I'm going to see if the loyalty cards will go onto Google Pay. I put one on there, but I don't remember now exactly how I did it, and I didn't need that one today. It's so nice to just get my phone out of my pocket and pay - no searching for my purse in my bag. And I owe it all to you and your good example :-)
I hope your drive back goes OK - we'll all be following along :-)
>93 ronincats:, >94 benitastrnad: Hi Roni and hi Benita! Fortunately we plan to be well north of those places (LOL). Actually we're going to Oregon first and then to San Francisco (visiting all of the "kids"). We will be in Bozeman but just a quick over-night so I'm afraid no meet-ups this trip. We will watch the weather maps as we travel but we have all-wheel drive and good tires so I'm comfortable we'll be fine. When we left to get the car serviced and run some errands about 9:30 this morning we found the car covered with an inch or so of snow. Hubby was able to laugh, even when I pelted him with a snowball while we were cleaning it off. (I don't think he knows that there are flakes falling as I write this though :>)
>95 susanj67: I'm so glad you're liking it, Susan!! I agree about just pulling your phone out of your pocket and "Bob's your uncle" :) The whole 2 1/2 weeks I was in the U.K. I think I only used the physical card once. It's getting better here but the U.S. is still well behind the U.K.. Thanks for good driving wishes. I'll try to post every day or so.
>96 benitastrnad: The errands I referred to were to pick up the tile, adhesive, grout and flooring. With that now safely stored next to the stairs we have everything in house except the big pieces (shower floor, shower door, vanity and vanity counter) which will be delivered in a couple of weeks. The contractor will be here to accept the delivery. So work hasn't begun but we committed to the design decisions made. Whew!! The actual work will be done sometime over the winter while we're not here. Contractor's like to do as much "outside" work as they can before winter really sets in so I'm not sure when he'll start here but it doesn't matter as long as he finishes by next May.
Have a good trip back to San Diego and of course you know there was snow in Chicago I'm sure.
>99 charl08: Thanks to you too Charlotte. We enjoy the road trips and this is a route we've not been on in many, many years so that should be fun. Just hope there's no snow to worry my Hubby!
The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield****1/2
My father owned four matched sets of books for as long as I can remember and when he died in 1971 they became mine. They were 1) a selection of "classics", 2)books by Steinbeck 3) books by Lloyd Douglas and, books by Bromfield. I had never heard of either Douglas nor Bromfield so for many years they sat unread on my bookshelves (I didn't even put them into Mt. TBR because I didn't plan to read them). When I decided to read the Pulitzer fiction winners I discovered Bromfield (Early Autumn 1927)and decided to read my father's books.
The Rains Came is set in a prosperous Indian state in the 1930's. The Maharajah is a caring and progressive man who has worked throughout his long life to make life better for all of his subjects by eliminating the caste system and providing education for everyone. The main characters are drawn from all nationalities and religions and they and their relationships are complicated and realistic. The book begins at the end of the dry season and everyone is waiting anxiously for the rains to come...and they do! This is a 600 page epic of dealing with nature, and society, and self. Bromfield deserves to be remembered.
P.S. Sorry about the uninspiring cover but, as one of a set, the cover on my book really is uninspiring.
There’s a pretty fair ancient movie of that Bromfield title out there somewhere.
The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith**** (audio)
Hubby and I enjoy listening to The Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency books when we travel and started this one on our New England trip last month. We finished it on our way to Indiana yesterday. This time Mma. Ramotswe is pressured to run for city council by her friend Mma. Potokwane who is strongly opposed to a new hotel that is proposed. Another minor thread is a case in which the Agency is trying to find out who "knocked over" an elderly doctor with their blue car. As always a simple story but so full of wonderful characters and clues to Botswanan culture that it's a pure delight.
I like listening to those books as well. The reader is excellent! And brings such color and life to the stories. I love reading in this manner while I am traveling. It makes the miles go by so quickly.
I finished listening to Mistress of the Ritz and it was really good. Historical fiction isn't all that hot right now in the reading world, but I really liked this one. The narrator is probably the reason why. She was excellent in this production. She made the book come alive.
It's cold in Chicago today but still we took the bus and then the "L" into the city for two of our favorite "traditions", a visit to the Art Institute and lunch at Berghoff's. It was a most successful trip and I learned that you can use Apple Pay on the busses and "L" trains in Chicago too :)
(OK, I'll fess up...these photos were taken in 2016, last time we were in Chicago. I didn't get any new ones today)
Roni, our hotel is around the corner from an Albi -- I'm tempted to check ;>
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell*****
I am so grateful to my LT buddies who introduced me to Maria Doria Russell this year! Her books are well researched, well written and delightful. This one tells the story of the 1913 strike at the Calumet & Hecla mine in Michigan's upper peninsula and the role played by the wives, mothers, and sisters of the miners. I checked WiKipedia and found that the story told is indeed accurate (I should have known, right?) and it's the story both of the greed and callousness of the company but also a beautiful story of female strength and courage. Highly recommended.
In Wisconsin (above) it was in the 20's but roads were dry and skies were blue. In Minnesota and eastern North Dakota it was in the 50's. Today temps started at 28 and dropped to 21 by noon, and it was wet and slick with "winter storm warning" messages along the road :( so instead of going to Gillette, WY as planned we stopped in Rapid City, ND where it is now seriously snowing. Good news is that we got a beautiful room for a great price and the hotel has a restaurant attached so we can shelter here in comfort until this nonsense is over :)
>127 brenzi: Thanks for the encouragement Bonnie. I plan to stick with it and hope it'll grab me soon. Or maybe it's just not the right time for me.
and that's why I don't keep Mt. TBR on my bedside table :)
The Body in the Castle Wall by Martin Walker*** (audio)
Together with the Ladies' No. 1 Detective Agency book, the Bruno, Chief of Police series is our favorite road trip listening. In this one the body of a young American scholar is found at the bottom of a well together with a tiny kitten. Was this a terrible accident? Perhaps she fell into the well while trying to rescue the kitten. Or was it murder? As always, the story includes descriptions of food, French provincial life and Bruno's social life. Delightful light reading/listening.
Of course, we've visited daughter #2's family, which includes our 22-month old grandson "Q", every day. Today we even got to babysit him for a few hours while parents toured a chocolate factory. Auntie came to help but actually we would have done fine on our own. Brunch with #2 family tomorrow morning and then we're on our way south to San Francisco to house/pet sit for my son while he and his lady spend a week in Paris. We love SF and are already deciding which of our favorite places we'll visit while there.
P.S. When we were in The Book Passage I was buying an Isabelle Allende and there she sat 10 feet away having coffee. I knew she lived in Marin County but never encountered her in the years I lived there. She was with a friend so I didn't bother her but it was cool to "run into her" like that.
I guess that proves that authors are people to. They drink coffee in coffee shops. It is easy to think of them as something else because the public either knows them from their books or they only see them on a stage or at a signing. It is easy to think of them as something other than “regular people.” Especially when it is somebody like Isabelle Allende.
Glad to see that you are having a great time in the Bay area.
Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar*****
I just realized that I didn't post this book when I finished it although I did mention along the way how much I was enjoying it. Mr. Tobar does a marvelous job of telling the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped under ground for 62(not sure that's exactly right) days in 2010. He obviously spent a great deal of effort and time interviewing everyone involved and does a wonderful job of describing what was happening from the perspective of the trapped miners, their families and those who were working to free them. I remember the incident and so knew what the outcome was but I was still captured by the story. I very highly recommend this book.
1947 Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Asbrink***
I had a hard time getting into this book but ended up liking it. It's interestingly written with the events of the year being reported chronologically and divided by month. Some topics, like the future of Palestine, are reported on each month while others only crop up from time to time. Some topics are huge, like the future of Palestine, the future of India/Pakistan, the recovery and future of Europe but some are almost tabloid like reports like the progress of the love affair between Simone de Beauvoir and Nelson Algren, the success of Thelonious Monk's career or of Grace Hopper discovering a bug in her computer. It provides an interesting overview of what was happening that year. I particularly liked the overview of the events concerning Palestine which both refreshed my memory and added a good bit of new informations about the history leading to the mess the world is still dealing with there now. For me it was a worthwhile but not riveting read.
I was looking at some links related to a friend's work on South Africa and remembered our conversation about your visit to Botswana. This article refers to the expulsion of the academic I mentioned hearing speak (more than 12 years ago, which seems unbelievable to me).
I recently read about Grace Hopper and her "Bug" as well. it was a story I didn't know, so it was fun to find out there is a reason why computer bugs are called "bugs." It was a children's book Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code and I enjoyed it. (and the bug was a moth.) The illustrations were very graphic and linear, but together with the print it worked well and would be useful in many an elementary classroom.
Jennifer on the left, me on the right with books
Hooray for meetups! Jennifer is fun on meetups. I met her once when ALA was in San Francisco. We had a good time at a Starbucks after picking up books in the exhibit hall. I think that was about 5 years ago now.
Hooray for books! I ordered 4 from Amazon today. I needed to use up some credits and I decided to gift myself. I have been trying to use the library and ILL more and more and I just decided that I was going to splurge. So I did.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel**** (audio)
This is a rather less dark post-apocalyptic novel than many and so I liked it more than most. In the first chapter a well known actor dies of a heart attack on stage while performing King Lear. Within a couple of weeks afterward, a new strain of flu races through the population killing 99% of humans on earth. With no one left to make repairs, operate machines, etc. modern life ends shortly later. The story moves back and forth between people trying to survive after the flu and the story of friends and family of the actor before the flu. There is much more to the story than just survival with strains of what is really important in life running throughout. There were a couple of leaps of faith (or willingness to suspend reality) that bothered me but all by all I enjoyed it at least in part because it was so well read.
It was a lot of fun talking to you and your husband (not sure if you/he want his name posted), Reba. You two kept asking me fascinating questions, and I kept forgetting to ask them back, though. So what's your favorite book, or one of them? I got started talking about Hellspark and never asked the return question.
>156 benitastrnad: Yes, that was a lot of fun! And I got a huge heap of books, some of which have become favorites. I'll believe you about the 5 years ago, I have no idea. Not recently is about the best I could do.
The champion LT meetup person is Daryl (Kidzdoc) from Atlanta. He has met LT’ers all over the U.S. and Europe.
I mostly meet people at the Library conferences.
>161 brenzi: Hi Bonnie! I've met 20+ LTers now I think and I've enjoyed every meet up. I hope to meet many more too.
>163 charl08: Hi Charlotte -- yes, art really mattered to the symphony and they drew great crowds so it seemed to matter to many people. Nice to think that would be the case if disaster ever comes.
>164 BLBera: Hi Beth. Glad your students liked Station Eleven. I think there's a lot in there to discuss so it should make a great book for a class or book club.
>170 Berly: I'm sorry I didn't get to see you all while we were in Portland. We may fly up in the spring and I will try really hard to plan in enough time for a meet-up 'cuz I really enjoy the Portland group.
>171 ronincats: We're glad to be home too, Roni. We kept an eye on the weather and heard that the Grapeview might be closed so we left after dinner on Thanksgiving and drove 101. We spent the night in Buellton and were home by noon on Friday. Certainly have had beautiful weather since we got here. I'm doing pretty well with getting settled. Everything is put away except the HUGE laundry which I started this morning. Now to concentrate on Christmas since it turns out that my son and co. are coming down the weekend of the 21st for birthday and Christmas. I was thinking about not putting the tree up this year but that's back on the to-do list :)
Have fun with the Christmas decorating :)
Bonnie, what part has NY not thought of yet? This was a written test and surely you have to do one of those to get a license. Is it that NY doesn't require a retest when you're over 70?
I was a surprised at how nervous I was about the whole thing and now I don't even know how well (or not) I did. It's on a computer and the only feedback was "you passed" that flashed up on the screen but no idea whether I just barely scraped through or got them all right. Oh well, things will probably have changed before I have to do it again in five years
When our daughter was doing the driving classes, she kept reprimanding me for holding the steering wheel "wrong" and not doing this or that, like distances from the car ahead, so I learned that things have changed. I don't think Vermont inflicts this sort of testing on us, but what do I know? When I moved here in 1980 Vermont's car insurance policy was that you didn't need to purchase any until AFTER you'd had an accident!!!!!
None of your books are showing up -- means they aren't LT covers but from Amazon . . . all you have to do is go to "change cover" and see if there is the one you want in LT covers and use that, or click on an amazon cover you want and then put it into the Grab and it will go into the LT covers and you can use it. I realize I am a bore about this but I find it very frustrating to look at a lot of question marks.
>187 sibylline: Hi Lucy. I was taught to hold the wheel at 10 and 2 but now they say that's dangerous with air bags so I'm trying to retrain myself to 9 and 3 -- but it feels really awkward. I got a good laugh about no insurance until you've had an accident.
If a group wants to form for the Vermont Inn to Inn I could be interested. The friend I walked the Kennet and Avon with said the other day that "we're going to do another one" and she wants to big the itinerary. I'll be sure she knows about the Vermont choice.
Right now I have a strained Achilles tendon so walking is pretty uncomfortable but when that gets better I might just be up for another cross country trek :)
As to the covers, I don't think you're being a bore but I just don't know how to do things like "put it into the Grab". I do get covers, especially audio book covers, from Amazon and I use "Grab one from the web" in the add a photo to the gallery section but I guess that isn't what you mean.
I don't know how to do the grab thing either. If that's any comfort.
How are you going to top your birthday-eve? That sounded pretty perfect :)
>195 susanj67: Yes it is -- thank you Susan. As to backing trailers, I've never dreamed of doing that and hope I never will!
>196 katiekrug: Thank you, Katie. Plans for today are to meet friends for lunch and otherwise...maybe read?
Dead Wake by Erik Larson*** (audio)
Mr. Larson goes into great detail about everything to do with the last crossing of the Lusitania from the various passengers who were aboard, cited plans for protection of the ship crossing the Atlantic during WWI, the German U-boat service, the captain of the boat that sank the Lusitania, survival, etc. It was actually quite interesting even if a bit more detailed than I probably would have preferred. The thing that will probably stick with me longest is the blame the British Admiralty (Winston Churchill) tried to place on the captain. Most interesting story there. Worth a read, especially if you're into 20th century sea warfare.
On the reading front, I seem to be stuck. I'm reading a book I don't enjoy much and finding everything else possible to do every time I sit down to read. If I wasn't so absurdly stubborn I would put it away to "finish later" or just reshelve it (it was my Dad's so don't want to get rid of it" and move on or at least put it aside to "finish later". I think I'm writing this to try to talk myself into doing that :)
Sorry, Katie, I got busy yesterday afternoon and finished it before I got your encouragement. I will admit that I skimmed it pretty lightly though.
The Farm describes family and small town life in Ohio for four generations from early settlement by European-Americans. It's beautifully written but there is no story line beyond the description and, beautifully written or not, 346 pages of description is too much for me.
With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead & Gregory Bateson by Mary Catherine Bateson***
The title describes the book completely. It was interesting to the extent that I took a number of anthropology courses in college and it provided an interesting picture of Margaret Mead as a person but it seemed a rather light-weight picture to have been written by a serious academic about two famous academics.
Had the chestnuts already and a sip or two of Gluhwein. Also ate some sausage and had one of those great German breakfasts! So far have not purchased anything from the market. Will do that this weekend.
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson****1/2
The book jacket describes this little book as "moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length" which hits the nail on the head. It's the story of three generations of two African-American families and the choices they have made. It's lovely and poignant and well worth a read. Thank you Katie for the BB that led me here.
Places of Light: The Gift of Cathedrals to the World by Gernot Candolini and Jennifer Brandon****
First a disclaimer -- Jennifer Brandon is my cousin's wife. That said, this is a beautiful little book with stunning photos of 20 cathedrals around the world and with information about their history, architecture, symbolism, etc. It gave me wonderful memories from ones I have visited and added some to the list of places I want to visit.
It's An Old California Custom by Lee Shippey***
Although this book is about California I chose it from a Chautauqua list of books toward CLSC recognition. It was written in 1948 and placed on the list in 1951. As a Californian both by birth and by residence I got a big kick out of it. The author claims "it is an old California custom too...:
- ride forth seeking romance
- gamble on anything
- be grandiosely hospitable
- seek short cuts to heaven
- eat, drink and be merry
- search for gold
- engage in banditry
- speak in superlatives
- live out of doors
- tell tall tales
- deal in real estate
- believe what isn't true
- throw dignity out the window
- dress dramatically
- tackle the impossible
Using these as chapter headings he provides an entertaining look at California history and culture with which I could certainly identify.
Why Old Places Matter: How Historic Places Affect Our Identity and Well-Being by Thompson M. Mayes ****
This was a Christmas gift from my BFF who knows me well. It's a beautiful book which discusses exactly what is promised by the title and concludes that in addition to having economic value:
Old places are deeply beneficial to people because of the way they give us a sense of continuity, identity and belonging; because they inspire us with awe, beauty, and sacredness; because they tell us about history, ancestry, and learning; and because they foster healthy, sustainable communities
Sullivan's Island by Dorothea Benton Frank(audio) ***1/2
I had a little time this afternoon and spent it listening to the end of an audio book I started last week. Susan is the next-to-oldest of six children who is now mother of a daughter. The book deals with her failing marriage with flash backs to her dysfunctional home life on a barrier island off the Carolina coast. It was a fun listen for the last book of 2019.
My aunt is a Boxing Day baby, too, as is a book club friend's son.
>236 RebaRelishesReading: I'm a Californian by birth, and spent 34 of my 66 years there. Amusing.
With that cheery bit I'm planning to close this thread and take up the new year tomorrow.
Happy New Year!
>243 RebaRelishesReading: SoCal. Born in Inglewood, raised in Hawthorne, moved to Diamond Bar when I was 13. Went to Pepperdine University when it was still at 81st and Vermont in LA, lived in Redondo Beach for the last year or so there, moved to Connecticut for 4 years, back to the Valley, Sunland, Glendale, and, finally, Tujunga before moving to North Carolina to marry Bill. That was 28 1/2 years ago.
That one sounds very interesting. Just came from old places and found them interesting.