TalkMahsdad's (Jeff) 2019 Thread - Q4

This is a continuation of the topic Mahsdad's (Jeff) 2019 Thread - Q3.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Mahsdad's (Jeff) 2019 Thread - Q4

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Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 5:10pm

Welcome to thread #4 for 2019.

New Quarter = New Thread.

If you're new, my name is Jeff. I live in Southern California. I'm an avid reader. My wife might say I'm bordering on the obsessive. But then, I think that could apply to a lot of us in this group. I also enjoy photography, movies, hiking and playing games and hanging out with my family. Book-wise, I have a pretty eclectic taste in what I read and I hope to give you not so much reviews but my impressions about what I read.

What you will find here is mostly my rambling, way too many (according to some :) ) Wishlist and TBR pile temptations and a smattering of my photography. I don't really make a plan for what I'm going to read thru out the year. Its mostly what strikes my fancy from the TBR piles. Like last year, I received many wonderful books from our Christmas Swap and SantaThing, so I think that will provide me with a good list to start with.

This is my 7th year in the group, but my 6th after stepping out of the shadows and started being an active participant.

2013 Reading Thread
2014 Reading Thread
2015 Reading Thread
2016 Reading Thread
2017 Reading Thread
2018 Reading Thread

Come on in and sit a spell...

(BTW, if images aren't working try to switch to the non-secure address. HTTP, instead of HTTPS)


Edited: Dec 28, 2019, 3:21pm

2018 Statistics - Q4

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
K - Kindle
LL - Life's Library


85. Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones (LL)
84. Randomize (Forward) - Andy Weir (K)
83. Three Jack Reacher Novellas - Lee Child (A)
82. Emergency Skin (Forward) - NK Jemisin (K)
81. The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King (A)
Favorite : Randomize

80. The Worst Hard Time - Timothy Egan
79. Being There - Jerzy Kosinski
78. Elevation - Stephen King (A)
77. Stiff - Mary Roach (A)
76. The Coroner's Lunch - Colin Cotterill (A)
75. Ark (Forward Collection) - Veronica Roth (K)
74. Umbrella Academy Vol. 3 - Gerard Way (GN)
73. Summer Frost - Blake Crouch (K)
Favorite : The Worst Hard Time

72. The Summer Book - Tove Jansson (LL)
71. The Gunslinger - Stephen King (A)
70. The Murders of Molly Southborne - Tade Thompson
69. Paper Girls Vol 6 - Brian Vaughan (GN)
68. The Library Book - Susan Orlean
67. Calypso - David Sedaris (A)
66. To Sir with Love - ER Braithwaite (A)
Favorite : The Library Book

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 5:23pm

2018 Statistics - Q3

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
K - Kindle
LL - Life's Library

65. Parable (The One) - Jess Walter (K)
64. The Way the World Ends - Jess Walter (K)
63. Wrecked - Joe Ide (A)
62. Mountains Beyond Mountains - Tracy Kidder (LL)
61. Don't Panic - Neil Gaiman (K)
60. Righteous - Joe Ide (A)
59. Artemis - Andy Weir
58. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett (A) (Full Cast)
57. Stories of Your Life and others - Ted Chiang (LL)
Favorite : Mountains Beyond Mountains

56. IQ - Joe Ide (A)
55. We Are What We Pretend To Be - Kurt Vonnegut
54. A Brief History of Seven Killings - Marlon James
53. Mage Against the Machine - Shaun Barger (A)
Favorite: A Brief History of Seven Killings

52. Transcription - Kate Atkinson (A)
51. Mr. Adam - Pat Frank
50. Heaven Part 5 : War - Mur Lafferty (A)
Favorite: Mr. Adam

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 5:16pm

2018 Statistics - Q2

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
LL - Life's Library

49. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon (LL)
48. Heaven Part 4: Wasteland - Mur Lafferty (A)
47. Heaven Part 3 : Earth - Mur Lafferty (A)
46. Heaven Part 2 : Hell - Mur Lafferty (A)
45. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
44. Heaven : - Mur Lafferty (A)
43. The Kitchen - Ollie Masters (GN)
42. The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende (LL)
41. What Dreams May Come - Richard Matheson (A)
Favorite: Things Fall Apart

40. Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly (A)
39. The Magic Order, Vol 1 - Mark Millar (GN)
38. The Outsider - Stephen King (A)
37. Tipping: A Short Story - Gregor Xane
36. Confederates in the Attic - Tony Horwitz
35. Farewell My Lovely - Raymond Chandler (A)
Favorite: Confederates in the Attic

34. The Boys Vol 1 - Garth Ennis (GN)
33. Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi - John Scalzi
32. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins (A)
31. Eternals - Neil Gaiman (GN)
30. The Re-Births of Tao - Wesley Chu
29. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins (A)
28. Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins (A)
27. We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled - Wendy Pearlman (LL)
Favorite: We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 5:26pm

2018 Statistics - Q1

A - Audio
ER - Early Review
GN - Graphic Novel
LL - Life's Library

26. Sacred Stone - Clive Cussler (A)
25. Caliban's War - James S.A. Corey
24. Daily Show: An Oral History - Chris Smith (A)
23. Cinnamon and Gunpowder - Eli Brown
22. We Were Liars - E. Lockhart (A)
Favorite: Cinnamon and Gunpowder

21. The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
20. Likely Stories - Neil Gaiman (GN)
19. Friday - Robert Heinlein (A)
18. Ex-Heroes - Peter Clines
17. A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit (LL)
16. A Gambler's Anatomy - Jonathan Lethem (A)
15. Friday Black - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
14. Umbrella Academy Vol 2 - Gerald Way (GN)
13. Johnstown Flood - David McCullough (A)
Favorite: Friday Black

12. Umbrella Academy Vol 1 - Gerald Way (GN)
11. The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie
10. Long Way Down - Jason Reyolds (A)
9. I'll Be Gone in the Dark - Michelle McNamara (A)
8. Uncommon Type - Tom Hanks (A)
7. Leviathan Wakes - James S.A. Corey
6. Paper Girls 5 - Brian K. Vaughan (GN)
5. Hillbilly Elegy - J.D. Vance (A)
4. Captain America - Vol 1 - Ed Brubaker (GN)
3. Star Wars - Darth Vader - Kieron Gillen (GN)
2. From a Certain Point of View - Elizabeth Schaefer (A)
1. If You Come Softly - Jacqueline Woodson (LL)
Favorite: Long Way Down

Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 8:33pm

Audiobook Narrators

Jonathan Davis
Ashley Eckstein
Janina Gavankar
Jon Hamm
Neil Patrick Harris
January LaVoy
Saskia Maarleveld
Carol Monda
Daniel José Older
Marc Thompson - From A Certain Point of View
J.D. Vance - Hillbilly Elegy
Tom Hanks - Uncommon Type (plus a few others for 1 story)
Gabra Zackman - I'll Be Gone in the Dark
Jason Reyolds - Long Way Down
Edward Hermann - Johnstown Flood
Mark Deakins - A Gambler's Anatomy
Hillary Huber - Friday
Ariadne Meyers - We Were Liars
Oliver Wyman - Daily Show An Oral History (Plus MANY others to read all the correspondents and guests)
J Charles - Sacred Stone
Carolyn McCormick - Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Elliott Gould - Farewell My Lovely
Will Patton - The Outsider
Robin Miles - Hidden Figures
Robertson Dean - What Dreams May Come
Mur Lafferty - Heaven Parts 1 - 5
Fenella Woolgar - Transcription
Robin Eller, Gibson Frazier - Mage Against the Machine
Sullivan Jones - IQ, Righteous, Wrecked
BBC Full Cast Recording - Good Omens
Ben Onwukwe - To Sir, With Love
David Sedaris - Calypso
George Guidall - The Gunslinger
Clive Chafer - The Coroner's Lunch
Shelly Frasier - Stiff
Stephen King - Elevation
Frank Muller - The Drawing of Three
Dick Hill - Three Jack Reacher Novellas

Edited: Jan 17, 2:41pm

Life's Library Book Club

Life’s Library was created by John Green and Rosianna Halse Rojas to celebrate two of their favourite things: good books and good communities. Every 6 weeks or so, they send out a new book. Hopefully, from authors that I've never heard of.

Season 1
1. If You Come Softly - Jacqueline Woodson -
2. A Field Guide to Getting Lost - Rebecca Solnit -
3. We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled - Wendy Pearlman -
4. The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende -
5. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon -
6. Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang -
7. Mountains Beyond Mountains (The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World) - Tracy Kidder -
8. The Summer Book - Tove Jannson -
9. Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones -

Edited: Nov 1, 2019, 7:28pm

Early Review Books

- 4
- 18
- 1
- 4
- 1
- 2 (DNF)

Total Won - 38
TBR - 5
Total Read - 28
Didn't Receive - 3
DNF - 2
Not received yet - 0

Top Down - Jim Lehrer -

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere - Julie T. Lamana -
Acts of God- Ellen Gilchrist -
Invisible Beasts - Sharona Muir -
Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie (DNF) -
Dr. Mutter's Marvels - Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz -
The Future for Curious People - Gregory Sherl -
Furious Cool - David Henry -

Get in Trouble - Kelly Link -
He Wanted the Moon - Mimi Baird -
All The Days and Nights - Niven Govinden (Never Received)
Among the Ten Thousand Things - Julia Pierpont -
Tenacity - J.S. Law -
Slade House - David Mitchell -

God of Beer - Garret Keizer -
Dodgers - Bill Beverly -
The Invoice - Jonas Karlsson -
I Am No One - Patrick Flanery -
Souvenirs and Other Stories - Matt Tompkins -
The Sunlight Pilgrims - Jenni Fagan -
The Vegetarian - Han Kang -
Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood -
Human Acts - Han Kang -
Things We Lost in the Fire - Mariana Enriquez -

New Boy - Tracy Chevalier -
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker - Gregory Maguire (Never Received)
Strange Weather - Joe Hill -
The Feed - Nick Clark Windo (DNF) -
The Parking Lot Attendant - Nafkote Tamirat -

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) - Terri-Lynne DeFino -
Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything - Martin W. Sandler -
Agent of Utopia - Andy Duncan -
Amsterdam Noir - Rene Appel - TBR

Berlin Noir - Thomas Wortche - TBR
Country - Michael Hughes - (Never Received)
Tiny Love - Larry Brown - TBR
Sudden Traveler - Sarah Hall - TBR
The Day I Died - Lori Rader-Day - TBR (Didn't actually win this, it was a freebie)

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 5:46pm

Pulitzer's Read

Ongoing bucket list to read all the Pulitzer winning novels. Santa was very good to me this year on this front, so I got plenty to work with

Bold : On the Shelf
Strikeout : Completed

Total Read - 28

2019 - The Overstory
2018 - Less
2017 - Underground Railroad
2016 - The Sympathizer
2015 - All the Light We Cannot See
2014 - The Goldfinch
2013 - The Orphan Master's Son
2012 - NO AWARD
- Swamplandia - Nominee
2011 - A Visit from the Goon Squad
2010 - Tinkers
2009 - Olive Kitterridge
2008 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2007 - The Road
2006 - March
2005 - Gilead
2004 - The Known World
2003 - Middlesex
2002 - Empire Falls
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
2000 - The Interpreter of Maladies
1999 - The Hours
1998 - American Pastoral
1997 - Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
1996 - Independence Day
1995 - The Stone Diaries
1994 - The Shipping News
1993 - A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
1992 - A Thousand Acres
- My Father Bleeds History (Maus) (Special Awards & Citations - Letters)
1991 - Rabbit at Rest
1990 - The Mambo Kings
1989 - Breathing Lessons
1988 - Beloved DNF
1987 - A Summons to Memphis
1986 - Lonesome Dove
1985 - Foreign Affairs
1984 - Ironweed
1983 - The Color Purple
1982 - Rabbit is Rich
1981 - A Confederacy of Dunces
1980 - The Executioner's Song
1979 - The Stories of John Cheever
1978 - Elbow Room
1977 - NO AWARD
1976 - Humboldt's Gift
1975 - The Killer Angels
1974 - NO AWARD
1973 - The Optimist's Daughter
1972 - Angle of Repose
1971 - NO AWARD
1970 - The collected Stories of Jean Stafford
1969 - House Made of Dawn : DNF
1968 - The Confessions of Nat Turner
1967 - The Fixer
1966 - The Collected Stories of katherine Anne Porter
1965 - The Keepers of the House
1964 - NO AWARD
1963 - The Reivers
1962 - The Edge of Sadness
1961 - To Kill a Mockingbird
1960 - Advise and Consent
1959 - The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
1958 - A Death in the Family
1957 - NO AWARD
1956 - Andersonville
1955 - A Fable
1954 - NO AWARD
1953 - The Old Man and the Sea
1952 - The Caine Mutiny
1951 - The Town
1950 - The Way West
1949 - Guard of Honor
1948 - Tales of the South Pacific
1947 - All the King's Men
1946 - NO AWARD
1945 - A Bell
1944 - Journey in the Dark
1943 - Dragon's Teeth
1942 - In This Our Life
1941 - NO AWARD
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 6:05pm

Hugos Read

Ongoing bucket list to read all the Hugo winning novels.

Bold : On the Shelf
Strikeout : Completed

Total Read - 36

2019 - The Calculating Stars
2018 - The Stone Sky
2018 - All Systems Red - Novella
2017 - The Obelisk Gate
2016 - The Fifth Season
2015 - The Three-Body Problem
2014 - Ancillary Justice (DNF)
2013 - Redshirts
2012 - Among Others
2011 - Blackout/All Clear
2010 - The Windup Girl
The City & the City
2009 - The Graveyard Book
2008 - The Yiddish Policemen's Union
2007 - Rainbows End
2006 - Spin
2005 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
2004 - Paladin of Souls
2003 - Hominids
2003 - Coraline (novella)
2002 - American Gods
2001 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2000 - A Deepness in the Sky
1999 - To Say Nothing of the Dog
1998 - Forever Peace
1997 - Blue Mars
1996 - The Diamond Age
1995 - Mirror Dance
1994 - Green Mars
1993 - A Fire Upon the Deep
Doomsday Book
1992 - Barrayar
1991 - The Vor Game
1990 - Hyperion
1989 - Cyteen
1988 - The Uplift War
1988 - Watchmen - category : Other forms
1987 - Speaker for the Dead
1986 - Ender's Game
1985 - Neuromancer
1985 - The Crystal Spheres - David Brin - Short Story
1984 - Startide Rising
1983 - Foundation's Edge
1982 - Downbelow Station
1981 - The Snow Queen
1980 - The Fountains of Paradise
1979 - Dreamsnake
1978 - Gateway
1977 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
1976 - The Forever War
1975 - The Dispossessed
1974 - Rendezvous with Rama
1973 - The Gods Themselves
1972 - To Your Scattered Bodies Go
1971 - Ringworld
1970 - Left Hand of Darkness
1969 - Stand on Zanzibar
1968 - Lord of Light
1967 - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
1966 - Dune
This Immortal
1965 - The Wanderer
1964 - Way Station
1963 - The Man in the High Castle
1962 - Stranger in a Strange Land
1961 - A Canticle for Leibowitz
1960 - Starship Troopers
1959 - A Case of Conscience
1958 - The Big Time
1956 - Double Star
1955 - The Forever Machine
1953 - The Demolished Man

Retro Hugos - this are given for years when no award was given (more than 50 years ago). Of those...

1939 - The Sword in the Stone
1951 - Farmer in the Sky
1954 - Fahrenheit 451

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 6:07pm

National Book Award Winners

2015 - Fortune Smiles
2014 - Redeployment
2001 - The Corrections
1988 - Paris Trout
1985 - White Noise - Don Delillo
1983 - The Color Purple - hardback award
1981 - The Stories of John Cheever - paperback award
1980 - The World According to Garp - paperback award
1953 - Invisible Man

Man Booker Books
2002 - Life of Pi
2009 - Wolf Hall - sadly I never finished this, never hooked me.
2015 - A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016 - The Sellout

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 6:08pm

2018 Recap

Total Read - 67

Didn't quite meet the goals for the year, but plenty of good reads were perused. The full list is still in my 2018 Thread (see above), but in no particular order, here are my 5 favorites from last year.

A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing - Hank Green
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
Moonglow - Michael Chabon

Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 6:19pm

I don't normally report on statistics, but this year I started keeping track of things on a big-ass spreadsheet that I got (from Book Riot, I think). It tapped into my inner data analytics geek.

2019 Reading Stats - so far

Books read: 65
Jan : 12
Feb : 9
Mar : 5
Apr : 8
May: 6
Jun : 9
Jul : 3
Aug : 4
Sep : 9

Authors read
Male: 48
Female: 17

First published
Before 1970s: 4
70's : 1
80's : 4
90's : 4
00's : 15
10's : 15
2018 : 9
2019 : 2

Novel : 30
Non-fiction Prose : 8
Novella : 6
Short Stories : 8
Graphic Novel : 10
Essays : 2
Poetry : 1

Paper : 21
Digital : 15
Audio : 29

Buy : 18
Library : 40
Life's Library : 7

Book Length
-100 : 4
101-200 : 10
201-300 : 10
301-400 : 6
401-500 : 2
501-600 : 3
601-700 : 1

Audio Length
-5 hours : 6
5 - 6 hours : 1
7 - 8 hours : 3
9 - 10 hours : 6
11-12 hours : 7
+12 hours : 6

Oct 2, 2019, 6:47am

Happy new thread, Jeff!

You are well on your way this year.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:27am

Happy new thread, Jeff!

Oct 2, 2019, 8:27am

Happy New Thread, Jeff!

I may have missed it, but I hope you enjoyed Mountains Beyond Mountains. It's still my favorite of his.

Oct 2, 2019, 8:51am

>16 jnwelch: I need to read that book; it's been on my shelf for donkey years.

Oct 2, 2019, 9:09am

Happy new one!

Love the stats

Oct 2, 2019, 11:52am

>14 FAMeulstee: >15 kidzdoc: Thanks Anita, Darryl

>16 jnwelch: >17 kidzdoc: You didn't miss it Joe. I haven't posted my thoughts on it yet. I'm perpetually behind. But it was very good. Makes me feel glad that there are dedicated people like Farmer out there in the world, to make up for slackers like me. :)

>18 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita. For a long time I was just keeping track of what I read. I saw other people post stats about the types of things they read, categories, etc and thought, wow that's WAY too much work, then I found a spreadsheet that Book Riot put out and it makes it much easier. Granted now I'm tracking books in 3 places (on a paper , in a Moleskin journal), in LT and in a spreadsheet. Plus I eventually post my books read in GR. I guess I am one of those book tracking obsessives. :)

Oct 2, 2019, 7:59pm

Happy new quarter, Jeff!

Edited: Oct 3, 2019, 1:16am

Thank you kind sir. 4 threads is about all I can manage nowadays. 😊

2014 was my high water mark I made it to 6

Oct 3, 2019, 12:54pm

Happy new thread!

Edited: Oct 3, 2019, 1:07pm

Whoopie, Jeff.

For what it is worth, I see the ferris wheel but none of the book covers.

ETA: I usually use Chrome, but I just tried Firefox with the same results. Same with Microsoft Edge.

Oct 3, 2019, 1:31pm

>22 drneutron: Thanks doc

>23 weird_O: I think the problem is with HTTP vs HTTPS. If you are on and go to a book and grab the link address of the cover image from amazon it is unsecured (http). But if you go to and get the exact same book you'll get a secured link (https) that is completely different.

It used to work that it didn't matter which link you got or which LT you were on (secured or unsecured), it would always show the amazon book covers. Something changed (probably with amazon) and how you only see unsecured images when on HTTP, and secured images when you are HTTPS.

My pictures come from, and apparently they are handling the image links differently and I haven't had any issues with my own stuff.

At least this time I was able to get all the touchstones to work on my longer posts without too much pain and suffering.

Oct 3, 2019, 5:12pm

Happy New Thread, Jeff. Sweet Thursday, my friend. I am not sure if you read many business related books, but I highly recommend the memoir, Shoe Dog, which was incredible. It was also fantastic on audio. Just sayin'...

Oct 3, 2019, 5:41pm

>25 msf59: Hey Mark, thanks for stopping by. I typically don't read business books, I get enough of that at work (tho I probably should, I'd probably be a CEO somewhere by now :) ), but I did see that you were reading Shoe Dog and I saw it somewhere else and I am definitely intrigued. I've added it to the wish list.

I think I'm going have to do a lightning round this weekend, I'm way behind on my book ramblings (I can't really call the reviews, cause that aint' what I do)

Edited: Oct 3, 2019, 10:41pm

I read current business biographies - sometimes - and some of them are good reading. Some of them aren’t. The person, or the company, has to really interest me in order for me to want to read a biography of them. A few years ago I read a biography of Martha Stewart and found it fascinating how she cracked the endorsement ceiling and made her billions. I have the Katherine Graham biography somewhere on my shelves and I do want to read that. But Steve Jobs - forget about it.

Oct 4, 2019, 2:32am

>27 benitastrnad: I think that's a good benchmark for all biographies, or all books for that matter. If it interests me, I'll read it.

Speaking of interests me. My wife had a meeting tonight so instead of staying home, I went with her, dropped her off, and went to B&N to bide my time. I got...

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem : They're making a movie of this with Bruce Willis and Ed Norton. Didn't know it was Lethem, love his stuff. Gun, with Occasional Music is a favorite of mine.
Library Book by Susan Orlean : Story of the massive fire at the LA Central Library. A story of my current home town that I never knew. I was HOOKED 10 pages in. Love it and am saddened and horrified by the descriptions of the fire (and I'm only on page 26).

(After growing up with parents who didn't believe in buying books, but borrowing them from the library, Susan describes her college experience) All I know is I lost my appreciation for the slow pace for making your way through the library and for having books on borrowed time. I wanted to have my books around me, forming a totem pole of the narratives I've visited.

That is, perhaps, the motto of us all. I'm sure this has been warbled a lot and I'm late to the game, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year and I'm less than 10% in.

Oct 4, 2019, 9:06am

Good to see a fellow fan of Lethem; Gun, with Occasional Music is a favorite of mine, too. I do wish Lethem would get back to the short, weird books he started with. He seemed more of a rebel then and, for me, his books were more interesting.

Oct 4, 2019, 11:15am

A fabulous Foto Friday Folks!

I'm getting an early start today, mostly because I can't wait for this day to be over. Looking forward to the weekend. Today's image is from an abandoned no-tell motel that was across the street from the modern Courtyard Marriott I was staying at last week in Riverside, CA. I just loved that it wasn't air-conditioning, it was refrigerated air, which is more to the point of what it actually is.

Have a great weekend all!

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 books
>6 mahsdad: Audiobook narrators

Reading -
Berlin Noir - collection of noir stories set in Berlin (ER book)
Reading - The Library Book by Susan Orlean. See my above gushing
Listening - To Sir With Love by ER Braithwaite. Someone (I think it was Paul) mentioned this a while ago. Saw it was available on Libby and dove in. Enjoying it a lot.

Oct 4, 2019, 11:20am

>29 jnwelch: Hey Joe. I agree. I read Fortress of Solitude and Gambler's Anatomy and they were pretty good (Gambler's being the weirder of the two), but Gun is my favorite so far.

Oct 4, 2019, 1:32pm

Another Lethemian! Another adorer of Gun, with Occasional Music!

The Farm House That is an, uh, hmm, unusual choice for a hot-sheets hostelry. Sounds almost wholesome...oh wait....

Oct 4, 2019, 1:43pm


Oct 4, 2019, 2:27pm

The Farm House Motel sign seems to have the roofline of a barn. Hmmm.

>28 mahsdad: I'd like to find a copy of The Library Book.

My experience with books growing up matches yours. I have a lot of old mass-market paperbacks I bought in (and for) high school, then college. I did use the libraries wherever we lived, but I've been away from library use so long, I'm reluctant to use any. (I do have a card at the first library I used, partly because it doesn't charge non-residents for borrowing privileges, partly for the nostalgia of seeing it so unchanged in 70+ years.) I just like to have the book.

Oct 4, 2019, 5:38pm

Hey Bill,

I'm sure you'll have no problems finding The Library Book. If you're going to indulge at getting your own copy and you have a B&N around, its currently on the 10% off table in paperback and I also saw it on the "Reese Witherspoon Bookclub" table (cause yeah that's a thing now) in hardback.

I didn't go looking for it (nor do I for most books I get), but it jumped out out me when I saw it.

Just got to the point where she lists out everything that was lost after the fire was put out. It made me cry.

Now adays since my TBR pile is so big I don't actually goto the library that much, but I heavily use it for my audiobook habit. All the books I've listened to over the last couple years have come exclusively from the library thru Libby or Overdrive

Oct 4, 2019, 6:29pm

>35 mahsdad:
My audio books come from the library too. I get them on CD. Don't have a cell phone with internet access, so no Overdrive. But I love them for the CD's so that I can listen to books in my car. I have even gotten the audio books through Inter-Library Loan from the library. Gotta love libraries.

Oct 5, 2019, 7:05pm

>36 benitastrnad: That's too bad you can't use Libby (if you ever do get a phone or tablet that handles it, I highly recommend it), but I agree, libraries and inter-library loans are invaluable.

Book Rant - I've said it before and I'll say it again, I HATE deckled edges. I'm sorry if I'm in the minority, but I can't fight the feeling. They make it hard to turn the pages of a book and in the case of The Library Book are perhaps the ugliest I've ever seen, deep, uneven. They look like someone just couldn't afford to cut the paper on the outside edge. Plus the cover printing wasn't lined up correctly. Part of the spine design is folded over onto the front. Rant Over.

I'll leave you with a beautiful passage from the book after Orlean struggles with the decision to burn a book to see what its like.

I felt like I'd just jumped out of an airplane, which is perhaps the natural reaction to doing something I'd resisted so mightily - there was the elation at overriding my own instincts, elation at the fluid beauty of fire, and the terrible fright at the seductiveness of it and the realization of how fast a thing full of human stories can be made to disappear

Oct 6, 2019, 11:19pm

Happy new thread (belatedly so, Jeff, SORRY).

>36 benitastrnad: Agree with that Benita. Gotta.

Oct 7, 2019, 2:19am

No need to be sorry, I'm just happy that you stop by. You're like Santa Claus, so many threads to visit in one night. :)

Oct 7, 2019, 3:00am

Hahaha Jeff - you should see my stockings!

Edited: Oct 8, 2019, 2:36am

>40 PaulCranswick: Ha!

For all... The Library Book

In Senegal, the polite expression for saying someone died is to say his or her library has burned.

What a very poignant way to look at it.

Oct 9, 2019, 3:34pm

>41 mahsdad: Wow, that's neat!

Oct 9, 2019, 6:09pm

>41 mahsdad: Poignant and repugnant...imagine a library burning and tell me it doesn't give you nightmares.

Oct 9, 2019, 6:29pm

>42 drneutron: :)
>43 richardderus: You know it. If you haven't read it, the first 30 pages or so of The Library Book will give you more nightmares than any horror novel you've ever read.

Oct 9, 2019, 6:32pm

>44 mahsdad: I hadda Pearl-Rule it for that (primarily that) reason. *shudder*

Oct 9, 2019, 7:22pm

>45 richardderus: I don't blame you, I actually cried when I read what was lost. I'm about a 100 pages in, and she starts branching out, talking about the aftermath of the fire, the history of the suspected arsonist and the history of libraries and library fires.

An article in the LA Times just recently talked about a piece of sculpture from the front of the building that was lost after the fire, it was just found after getting mentioned in the book.

Oct 9, 2019, 9:15pm

It was a major library in a major city...the losses were...are...too horrifying to let into.

Oct 10, 2019, 10:24am

I couldn't read The Library Book. When she wrote about the staff watching the library burn I had to put it down. Perhaps I can revisit it at a later date.

Oct 10, 2019, 6:11pm

>48 Deedledee: I hear ya, Dee

Oct 11, 2019, 12:45pm

A fabulous Foto Friday to you all...

Its October, so I thought it would be okay to be a little creepy with today's image. This past year Laura participated in a wildlife survey that was being done with the LA Natural History Museum. She would periodically survey our yard and document what animals (birds, lizards, insects, etc) she saw. The museum is going to use the data to document native and invasive species diversity in the LA basin. This past weekend was the end of year party at the museum. Part of it was a behind the scenes tour where we got to see the storage area where they store thousands of specimens of just about every creature you can think of. This is Barn Owl and is incredibly creepy with out the eyes. Enjoy? :)

Book Update

Reading :
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Reading : Berlin Noir edited by Thomas Wortche. Short stories that I put on the back burner for The Library Book.
Listening : Calypso by David Sedaris
Graphic Novel : Paper Girls Vol 6 by Brian Vaughan

Oct 11, 2019, 12:59pm

Here's a bookish video for your perusal. Its a profile of several authors who are writing books in and around Pittsburgh. Most notably...

Stewart O'Nan
Willa Cather (well DID write, in her case)
Thomas Sweterlitsch

Oct 11, 2019, 1:06pm

Creepy is right! *shiver*

Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 1:49pm

>50 mahsdad: - That looks the wrong colour for a barn owl, with or without eyes. (why are the eyes missing?)

Maybe it's a Barred Owl? Yep, I think that may be it:

Oct 11, 2019, 2:46pm

>52 richardderus: :)
>53 jessibud2: Thanks for the assist Shelly. We were in a cramped space between rows of storage cabinets and there was a lot of us, it was a little noisy. The eyes are missing because its just the skin that we're looking at. They are stored as reference specimens but not truly taxidermied. For the owls in this case, the oldest they had was collected in 1908 and the newest was in 2017. Here's some more pictures for context.

Each square is a cabinet of drawers specimens. The paper on the outside lists the species inside. There was at least 15 or 20 rows of cabinets in this room. All with bird and mammal specimens.

Oct 13, 2019, 4:43pm

Okay, its time..... Lightning Round!

57. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang. Read for the Life's Library Book Club. Its a collection of short stories, most famous of them being the Story of Your Life, which was the basis for the movie "The Arrival". Some where hits some near misses, but a worthwhile read. My favorite was probably the first story; Tower of Babylon, a literal story of the building of the famed tower. Very trippy.
(Understand)I walk down the street, watching people go about their business, and though not a word is spoken, the subtext is conspicuous. A young couple strolls by, the adoration of one bouncing off the tolerance of the other.... A woman wears a mantle of simulated sophistication, but it slips when it brushes past the genuine article.

(Division by Zero) There is a well known "proof" that demonstrates that 1 = 2.... Hidden inconspicuously in the middle is a division by zero, and at that point the proof has stepped off the brink, making all rules null and void. Permitting division by zero allows one to prove not only that one and two are equal, but that any two numbers at all - real or imaginary, rational or irrational - are equal.

58. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett. This was a BBC full cast recording and was wonderful. One of my favorite books. Read again so I can watch the Amazon series. Just have to wait for my wife to finish.

59. Artemis by Andy Weir. Weir's followup (not sequel) to The Martian. A good, not great story of a young woman living on the Moon and how the darker side of a "wild west" colony affects her life.

60. Righteous by Joe Ide. Book 2 of the IQ series. Not quite as good as the first one, but fun crime thriller set in urban LA/Long Beach fare.

61. Don't Panic by Neil Gaiman. "The Official Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion". Neil takes us thru the life of Douglas Adams and the creation of Hitchhiker's in its many forms and many offshoots. Pretty interesting read.

Oct 13, 2019, 5:10pm

Lightning Round crashes on...

62. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Read for the Life's Library Book Club. This is the story of Paul Farmer and his early life and the creation of his Partners In Health organization. An excellent read that, if nothing else, reminds me that there are still good people in the world that do more than make up for the majority of us slackers.
Outside the Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston, you're aware of the relative urban quiet...Even Boston drivers, famously deranged, don't honk much when passing through the neighborhood.

"I'm very good at spinal taps" he's told me. He seems to be, and besides he's left-handed, and to my eyes left-handers at work have always seemed adroit.

How could a just God permit great misery? The Haitian peasants answered with a proverb: "God gives but doesn't share"

One can guess a lot about the economic condition of a country by inspecting the baggage people carry there from the United States, the shopping mall for the poor countries of the world.

63. Wrecked by Joe Ide (audio). Book 3 of the IQ series. Ultimately a pretty good urban crime series. Look forward to read more by Ide

64. The Way the World Ends by Jess Walter An amuse bouche of a story by one of my favorite authors. The paths of 3 strangers cross in Mississippi during a freak ice storm that might be final end game of climate change.

65. Parable (The One) by Jess Walter. Another short short story by Walters. This one is about his life, his family and a dog that he didn't want to love.

66. To Sir With Love by ER Braithwaite (audio). The story of a black former WWII pilot and his experiences teaching in an inner city school in the East End of London. Written in 1959, my jaded 2019 mind was waiting for the drama and the proverbial shoe to drop, but it delightfully does not. Was the basis for the Sidney Poitier movie (which the author didn't really like). I never knew that it was based on Braithwaite's actual experience.

Oct 13, 2019, 5:34pm

Because I like spread my data around, I always post my books read list to GR. In doing so, I noticed that right now I'm at 66 books read, which is one less than I read all last year. Looks like this is going to be a good year. Will more than likely hit our magic number. :)

Oct 13, 2019, 8:09pm

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

Oct 13, 2019, 10:45pm

Nice lightning round! I’m glad you’re running ahead of last year.

Oct 14, 2019, 2:02pm

>58 richardderus: Thanks RD, that last one (Ducks, Newburyport) looks interesting. I like an odd book every now and then

>59 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

Oct 14, 2019, 2:24pm

>60 mahsdad: It is very much worth your time, Jeff. Even if you end up DNFing it, the experience is worthwhile for itself.

Oct 14, 2019, 6:56pm

Lots of good book chatter over here, along with one creepy, dead Barn Owl. I NEED to read more Lethem. I have a few of his on shelf. I hope you are enjoying Calypso on audio, as much as I did.

And hooray for Mountains Beyond Mountains. I loved that one.

Oct 14, 2019, 7:04pm

>61 richardderus: On the list it goes. Might not get to it before the heat death of the universe, but at least its there. :)

>62 msf59: Thanks buddy! Yeah that owl was a bit creepy, no more so than the porcupine that was just lying in a box on a shelf in the hall. I checked and the musuem has over 121,000 bird specimens, most of which are study skins (what I showed), but they also have 17,000 skeletons.

I truly don't think there's any reason to get David Sedaris on paper (unless its to read along), he is a most distinctive narrator and I love him. Got to see him live several years ago (when his first diary collection was coming out).

Oct 15, 2019, 2:18am

Librarians should "read as a drunkard drinks, or as a bird sings or a cat sleeps, or a dog responds to an invitation to go walking, not from conscience or training, but because they'd rather do it than anything else in the world". Athea Warren. Head Librarian - LA Public Library, 1935.

I want to be a librarian when I grow up.

Oct 15, 2019, 3:24am

I am a tad late to the party, but happy 4th Q thread!! I was a big fan of The Library Book and Susan Orlean is coming to Portland on February 20th and I am really looking forward to her talk! I even liked the deckled pages.

Oct 17, 2019, 7:27pm

...and the countdown to Friday's events begins...

Oct 18, 2019, 3:11pm

.... countdown concludes, a Fabulous Foto Friday to you all!

And boy am I glad its Friday. That seems to be a trend for me. :) This will be a busy one. My wife is selling at a craft show on Saturday that I'll be helping with and on Sunday we have to go back over to her sister's house to finish up the bittersweet task of getting her house ready to sell. Last week we had a garage/estate sale and hopefully thru apps like LetGo we'll be able to sell the rest of the big furniture. The take away is, if you don't want your family to have to sort thru your stuff when you pass, let it go ahead of time. Do you really need 2 toaster ovens, or a drawer full of batteries. Let it go. :)

Today's image is from our party the other night (where the creepy owl came from). We left after closing and this is a picture of the main lobby of the museum and you can never get a shot with no people in it. It was a little dark, thus the flares, but I think they're cool. Have a great weekend.

Book Update>
>2 mahsdad: Q4 books

Reading :
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Once you get past the horror of a library on fire in the first 40 pages, it becomes a pretty good history of LA and libraries and the investigation of the crime. Probably will finish this weekend.
Listening : The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It was in the "What's Available" list on Libby. Looked interesting. Its about 17 hours long, so this might take a while.
Graphic Novel : Paper Girls Vol 6 by Brian Vaughan.

Oct 18, 2019, 3:31pm

>67 mahsdad: That's not a fun way to spend your time, I agree...

...but the foto for our Friday is C.O.O.L!

Oct 18, 2019, 8:14pm

Glad you like. :)

Oct 18, 2019, 10:31pm

Happy Friday, Jeff. I like the Foto! Nice capture! I hope you are enjoying The Library Book. I really enjoyed that one. 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds is off to a very good start. Have a great weekend.

Oct 20, 2019, 9:01pm

>70 msf59: Thank you kind sir. I am enjoying the Library book, about 10 pages left to go. Very interesting history of the library and the investigation of the fire.

Oct 23, 2019, 1:21am

So I used LT to assist my wife in cataloging her sister's books and CDs. I used the app to scan in all the CDs. Very efficient. I did it quickly just get them in and brought the stuff back to our house. Now I'm organizing them. I printed out an Excel export of the collection.

Its funny using a book cataloging tool that expects the author to be Last Name, First for the Artist/Band name. Its really funny seeing Van Halen listed as Halen, Van, or Deep Purple as Purple, Deep.

Oct 23, 2019, 6:54pm

>64 mahsdad:
I agree with this librarian. I am a librarian and I read all the time. However, I work with many librarians who don't read and can't remember the last time they picked up a book. Worse than that - in our library most of the library staff with whom people come in contact with aren't even librarians. They are staff with no training and very little knowledge. In fact our university policy is that library staff only has to have a high school diploma. That means that the majority of people working at the library are staff or student employees. What do they know? Most people asking questions don't even get to see a librarian.

Oct 24, 2019, 2:10am

Seriously, I would quit my job today and go work in a library if I could. :)

Oct 24, 2019, 10:20am

>74 mahsdad: ...but Benita just said a high-school diploma was long would that take you to get?


Oct 24, 2019, 11:04am

One of these days Alice, one of these days.... :)

Oct 25, 2019, 2:19pm

A fabulous Foto Friday to you all.

The only thing I remember from high school german class is : Gott sei dank es ist Freitag. :) Nothing earthshattering to report today, except that yesterday and today its been surface of the sun hot out here. Sitting in a dark office with several fans blowing. Supposed to be 70 on Sunday, one can only hope.

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 Books Read (hit 70, only 5 more to go)

Reading : The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. Book 8 of the 2019 Life's Library Book Club. If you're curious about LL, check out
Listening : The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Graphic Novel :The Umbrella Academy Vol. 3 by Gerad Way

Edited: Oct 25, 2019, 3:16pm

>77 mahsdad: Beautiful! I love that shade of cerise.

Happy weekend, and I hope it gets cooler soon. Love, the sweater-wearing 60° breezy day guy

Oct 27, 2019, 7:52am

Happy Sunday, Jeff. Love the Foto Friday. A welcome blast of color. How is the Evelyn Hardcastle coming along?

Oct 28, 2019, 12:40am

>78 richardderus: It did finally get cool. 9:30 right now and its around 62. Huzzah, perfect sleeping weather.

>79 msf59: Hey Mark thanks for stopping by. TBH, Evelyn just isn't working for me. It seems a great premise and under different circumstances I think I'd like it, but just not in my wheelhouse right now. I switched to an old standard, started listening to Stephen King's The Gunslinger, think I'll power thru the Dark Tower on audio (tho that might take a while as book 2 had a 5 week waiting list).

I also added The Coroner's Lunch to Libby Shelf. I think I heard about this series from you (or maybe it was RD), so that will probably be next.

Oct 31, 2019, 11:08am

Nov 1, 2019, 2:34am

Happy Halloween All!

Been watching LOTR on Netflix. I think its about time for a re-read

Nov 1, 2019, 12:05pm

A Fabulous Foto Friday to you all.

Nothing new to report, so I'll just leave you with a creepy post-Halloween pumpkin

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 Books

Reading : The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. Haven't started it yet. Just finished The Summer Book by Tove Jansson last night
Reading : Berlin Noir edited by Thomas Wortche. Still muddling thru this an occasional story at a time..
Listening : The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
Graphic Novel : The Umbrella Academy Vol 3 by Gerard Way

Nov 1, 2019, 7:37pm

The LTER gods smiled on me today. I got 2 books this afternoon that I wasn't expecting.

Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall. Not an actual ARC, but a first edition HB. A collection of short stories. "Science Fiction meets folktale and philosophy meets morality"
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day. This was the extra one, wasn't expecting it. A mystery tale of a mother's desperate search for a lost boy

Nov 2, 2019, 6:38am

Happy Saturday, Jeff. I hope Dr. Siri works for you! I love these on audio. Never fails to put a smile on my face. Sudden Traveler sounds good. You know I love my short stories. I will watch for your thoughts.

I am also a huge fan of The Worst Hard Time. My introduction to Egan and it remains my favorite. That says a lot, because I love all of his books.

Nov 2, 2019, 9:53am

>83 mahsdad: Gourd, have mercy! heh

Nov 2, 2019, 8:14pm

>85 msf59: Hey Mark, thanks for swinging by.

>86 richardderus: That’s more like it. BAG

Nov 5, 2019, 11:54am

I have liked all of the books by Timothy Egan that I have read. Not a clunker among'em.

Nov 5, 2019, 1:30pm

This is my first of his and I'm liking it quite a bit. Boy were we all pretty much idiots back in the day. It seems so obvious looking with 20/20 hindsight.

Nov 8, 2019, 12:48pm

For anyone who cares, FF is coming. I have a bunch of meetings (damn I hate when work gets in the way of my fun) that I have to attend to.

Nov 8, 2019, 4:46pm

Ugh, meetings. I always hated meetings.

Nov 8, 2019, 5:23pm

Happy Friday, Jeff. Boo, to meetings! We want FF! FYI- The package is in the mail and I threw a bonus collection in there, to boot!

Nov 8, 2019, 5:30pm

Oh how I wish I was independently wealthy.

Happy Foto Friday Folks!

Today's image is just a happy little flower taken at a local botanic gardens. Enjoy

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 Books

Reading :
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Listening : The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill
eBook : Ark (Forward Collection) by Veronica Roth

Nov 8, 2019, 5:32pm

That color is delight in physical form. Bronze-orange-peach-ish shades are perfect summations of why fall is the Grand Imperial Pooh-Bah of the seasons.

Nov 8, 2019, 9:05pm

Thank you kind sir!

Nov 10, 2019, 2:35pm

I have to do a lightning round to fill in the gaps, but I just hit 75! Yippee for me.

It was Ark (Forward Collection) by Veronica Roth. Sure it was a shortie, but it was pretty darn good.

Nov 10, 2019, 5:39pm

Its 75'er Christmas Swap Time! :

Nov 10, 2019, 5:58pm

>96 mahsdad: Congratulations on reaching 75, Jeff!

Nov 10, 2019, 9:15pm

>96 mahsdad: Congrats on 75!
>97 mahsdad: Hooray for Christmas Swap!

Nov 10, 2019, 9:31pm

>97 mahsdad:, I'm quite new, joined the 75-er's group just this year, so never knew about this particular swap.

The 75-ers are a congenial bunch and it's been fun finding so many similar reading tastes. Maybe I'll have a think about the idea! *just starred*, so I'll see what folks are saying.

Nov 10, 2019, 9:46pm

Happy Sunday, Jeff. Hooray for the Christmas Swap! You know, I am in. And congrats on hitting #75! Yippee!

>92 msf59: Did you miss my post up there?

Nov 10, 2019, 11:17pm

>99 thornton37814:. Thanks Lori!
>100 SandyAMcPherson:. Sandy, thanks for stopping by. So glad you’re joining us. Yeah our little swap is on the DL, until about this time of year.
>101 msf59:. Hey buddy, I knew you’d be in. And YES, I did miss your FF post. Bad Jeff. THANKS for the package. I await it with baited breath

Nov 11, 2019, 9:21am

>93 mahsdad: Beautiful!

Congrats on reading 75, Jeff. I've seen nothing but positive reactions to The Worst Hard Times, and I love that Dr. Siri series you've started with The Coroner's Lunch.

Nov 11, 2019, 11:15am

Brave-oh Jeff!!

Nov 11, 2019, 8:05pm


Nov 13, 2019, 12:38am

Thanks, Joe, RD, and Doc!

Edited: Nov 13, 2019, 1:59am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Nov 15, 2019, 7:41am

Happy Friday, Jeff. Norco 80 is today's Audible Deal. Terrific NF. Just sayin'...

Nov 15, 2019, 10:37am

Hey Mark, thanks for the tip

Sad to report there’ll be no FF until late tonight at the earliest. I’m on jury duty and I won’t have access to my computer until I get home. My humble apologies.

Nov 15, 2019, 11:05am

>109 mahsdad: Your Jury Duty has your excuse in the title: DUTY. Serve well, see you on the flipside.

Nov 15, 2019, 3:10pm

It’s Federal and I can’t wait to be able to talk about it

Nov 15, 2019, 9:27pm

I'm back! Happy Foto Friday (or Saturday for most of you).

I wish I could tell you about the trial I'm on. I'll probably be able to talk next Friday. So in the mean time, here's the building I'm in. Its US District Court in downtown LA. Building's only been open for about 3 years.

Book Update

Reading :
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Listening : Stiff by Mary Roach

Nov 15, 2019, 9:29pm

And as an added bonus, here's the view from hallway outside the courtroom.

Good news, its another Frank Gehry building going up in front of the Disney. Downside it will take away the full view of one of my favorite buildings.

Nov 15, 2019, 9:30pm

A bonus bonus shot. Here's my picture of said Disney Concert Hall, I took several (ok many years ago)

Nov 16, 2019, 9:53pm

>113 mahsdad:, >114 mahsdad: I always wonder what the heck the attic in places shaped like that looks like.

Nov 17, 2019, 8:59am

>115 richardderus: What I want to know is ~ how does the light get in?

Nov 17, 2019, 9:32am

>116 SandyAMcPherson: Via PG&E, one presumes.

Nov 17, 2019, 5:15pm

>115 richardderus: >116 SandyAMcPherson: >117 richardderus: Ha! As its a concert hall there really isn't a need for windows in the thing. :)

Nov 17, 2019, 5:34pm

Lightning Round. October Reads.

67. Calypso by David Sedaris. As with most of his works, this is better experienced by listening to him read his work. Its a excellent series of vignettes about his life (tho I never know how much literary license he takes)

68. The Library Book by Susan Orlean. An excellent history of City of LA's Central Library and the fire that devastated it. Plus its an overall history of the whole library itself. Excellent read.
I wanted to have my books around me, forming a totem pole of the narratives I'd visited. As soon as I got my own apartment, I lined it with bookcases and loaded them with hardcovers.

69. Paper Girls Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan. Last in the series. What's not to like

70. The Murders of Molly Southborne by Tade Thompson. Can't remember where I got this one, probably from Tor's ebook club. Interesting premise. Every time Molly bleeds, a new version of herself appears. One that wants to kill the original.

71. The Gunslinger by Stephen King. Reading this favorite again on audio. Going to read the whole Dark Tower series again, as soon as the library wait lists kick in.

72. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. Read for the Life's Library book group. A short book about a girl and her grandmother on their island home during one summer. Really just a series of fun stories of their summer exploits.

Nov 17, 2019, 8:32pm

Great lightning round, Jeff. I also loved the Sedaris & the Orlean books.

Nov 22, 2019, 7:00pm

Hey folks, a fabulous foto friday to you all.

My apologies for it being an afternoon FF, rather than a morning one. Fall finally arrived. I can wear pants again, jackets are coming out and the cats are more apt to curl up in the crook of a knee at night. Today's image I took when I was on the way home from court the other day. Traffic was high so it was easier to take a shot.

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 books

Reading -
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Listening - Die Trying by Lee Child. Haven't actually started it, but its next in the que.

Nov 22, 2019, 7:08pm

Love the FF! Nice colors! How are you enjoying the Egan? Fingers crossed...

Nov 22, 2019, 7:26pm

Nice that you're wearing pants. :-)

Nov 22, 2019, 7:48pm

>122 msf59: Yes I am. I did take a couple day break to read Being There. I needed a smaller book one night for dinner one night and got hooked. Its a shorty. I made a lot of progress on Egan during the beginning part of trial last week, but once we got into deliberations this week I didn't read as much.

>123 weird_O: I work out of the house, so you're not far off with wearing any pants. I get up, make some tea and commute the 20 feet to my desk. Most days I might get in the shower around lunchtime. :) I am definitely in the NO videos in the online meetings camp.

Nov 24, 2019, 10:37pm

Hi Jeff. I have not visited your thread enough.... I'm just learning that you do Foto Friday and I am now planning to make it a regular check-in.

Congrats on making it to 75 with room to spare!

Nov 24, 2019, 11:09pm

>125 EBT1002: Hi Ellen, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I'm a bit of a photography enthusiast. I've been doing FF off and on for a while, but this year, I've tried to be pretty consistent.

Glad you're here.

Nov 27, 2019, 5:44pm

Happy Turkey Day! Rob's working, so I'll see him Friday. He's requested green goddess seafood rice for our dinner. Carrot cake with pineapple cream cheese frosting *drool* and whatever he brings to drink. And no effin' Old Stuff (my deeply unloved roommate, gone to visit his son in Connecticut)!! Yay!!

Nov 27, 2019, 9:14pm

Happy Turkey Day to you too! Not sure what green goddess seafood rice is but it sounds good. Way on board with you on carrot cake. Enjoy. We, too are going the non-traditional route this year. Stocking up on junk and comfort food and spending the day in bed watching old movies. Its just the two of us (well 3, my kid's here, but we hardly ever see him. :) )

And enjoy the time away from your insignificant other. :) I live in close proximity to my wife, whom I love dearly, and sometimes we get on each others nerves. I can't imagine what you all go thru. Take solace in fact that he probably hates you too. LOL! But I don't. I'm glad you're around.

Nov 27, 2019, 9:29pm

>128 mahsdad: Thanks, that's a sweet sentiment heartily returned. I'm grateful anew for this group of good souls every time I catch a whiff of The World Out There. Yech.

Nov 28, 2019, 7:45am

Happy Thanksgiving, Jeff

Dec 1, 2019, 4:42pm

>130 jessibud2: Thanks Shelly, right back at ya.

Dec 1, 2019, 4:50pm

Just finished The Drawing of the Three, book 2 of Dark Tower on audio.

I thought Will Patton was the best at reading Stephen King books, but I think Frank Muller is just as good.

Dec 6, 2019, 2:28pm

A Fabulous Foto Friday to you all.

My apologies for missing last week. With the holidays and all, I didn't even turn my computer on most of the weekend. (I can only post these gems from my PC, not from my mobile devices). Today's image comes from our local marine aquarium where my wife is a docent. Its a cool little educational facility where they primarily do tours for school children throughout the year. Many of whom, despite living in California, have never been to the ocean. This old girl is a favorite. Surprisingly, octopus's only live about 3-5 years. The hormonal triggers that cause them to spawn eggs, also causes the digestive system to shut down. Octopus are aliens living amongst us. :)

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 Books

Reading -
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. The last book for this year's Life's Library Book Club. I didn't know that it was a book, I only knew about the Miyazaki movie of the same name.
Listening - Jack Reacher Novellas by Lee Child. A collection of 3 stories. According to the Libby series list, this is book 3
Graphic Novel - Finished Emergency Skin by NK Jemisin from Amazon Prime's Forward series. Very good. I'm going to read Andy Weir's Randomize next.

Dec 6, 2019, 3:11pm

>133 mahsdad: Oo! Isn't she lovely?! I hope her spawn live long and prosper.

I hope you like Randomize! I found it fun, if fairly slight.

Dec 9, 2019, 6:14pm

>134 richardderus: I really liked Randomize! Like The Martian (not so much Artemis), this one is near science fact, not so much future sci-fi.

Dec 11, 2019, 7:34pm

I'm not going to count it towards my total, but I just read a pretty interesting comic book called DCeased, its all your favorite DC characters battling what is essentially a zombie virus.

Not too bad.

Dec 13, 2019, 5:24pm

Fabulous Foto Friday to you Fine Folks.

Work and Life have been pretty crazy, haven't really left the house all week (except to go get take out). Both of us are sick, head full of snot and hacking cough. No fun. But its the weekend, so we have that to look forward to. This year has been a better photography year than the last couple, but it has tapered off the last month or so. So nothing new and spectacular to share, so instead I dipped into the back catalog to select something I thought you'd like. This one's about 10 years old. Enjoy...

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 Books

Reading -
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Still enjoying it, just haven't been up to reading it (small form paperback) most nights after getting sick
Listening - A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle. Speculative short stories about where we are going or might end up here in the good ol' US of A. Pretty wild.
Graphic Novel - They Called Us Enemy by George Takei. Just started this
Kindle - You Have Arrived At Your Destination by Amor Towles. From the Forward collection. Just started this too.

Dec 13, 2019, 5:51pm

Love the Friday Foto, Jeff. Sorry, to hear that you are both sick. Get well soon. You are in for a treat with They Called Us Enemy. One of my top GNs of the year.

Dec 13, 2019, 6:15pm

Thanks Mark. Its not too bad (the sickness), just mostly annoying

Dec 13, 2019, 6:48pm

>137 mahsdad: Ew! Y'all're all sick and stuff when you've got a weekend to enjoy...dang. I really like the fire escape! The shadows, the lines, the spaces that read as volumes, and that movie-magic light!

Feel better soon.

Dec 13, 2019, 7:55pm

Security Talk - Reason's why to come up with long passwords...

I was resetting my work password, who has a policy of long passwords and after I created one and updated my password manager (Last Pass, highly recommend it), I was curious and found a password checker and tried one of my old passwords to see how long it would take to crack.

It was "Stihlher0onfa1d" (three words, mixed case, misspellings and numbers). It would take about 8.7 billion years to brute force crack (don't worry I'm not going to use that one anymore.

My "default password" which is only 8 characters long, mixed case, numbers that most would consider "secure" would take about 21 hours to crack.

I checked and my current LT password would take about 53 years to brute force. Might have to change it and make it more complicated.

My suggestion, get a password manager (like Last Pass), make a complicated, but memorable to you master password, and then let the manager software generate random passwords for all the sites you goto. The longer the better.

For your edutainment, here's a cool video about selecting passwords.

Dec 16, 2019, 4:41pm

Interesting endorsement from Bill Gates - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

About a guy, who's on spectrum and goes about trying to find a wife"

Gates said it was one of the most profound books he's read in long time.

On the WL it goes.

Dec 16, 2019, 4:45pm

Okay, the problem of having an, almost, 600 book wish list is that you're not sure what you've got. The good thing about LT is that you won't have duplicates.

The Rosie Project has been on my list for 5 years. D'oh

Dec 17, 2019, 10:44am

I have that problem with my wishlist. Thank goodness for LT. But I still get duplicates because I don’t carry my iPad or phone around with me.

Dec 17, 2019, 1:57pm

>143 mahsdad: *chuckle* time to implement rankings...leave it in Wishlist, add it to "Cart This" or something similar, then check the new collection on your phone whenever you go to the library or bookery.

Dec 17, 2019, 5:18pm

>144 benitastrnad: I'm a wannabe millenial, I can't go anywhere with out my pacifier, I mean phone.

>145 richardderus: That's a very good idea. My WL, has always been a large bucket that I throw in anything that sounds remotely interesting. I should move stuff around a bit. Thanks!

Dec 19, 2019, 7:02pm

I'm with Gates on The Rosie Project. And - it's very funny! I hope you have a good time with it.

Dec 20, 2019, 6:07pm

Happy Penultimate 2019 Foto Friday!

I think I did pretty good this year sharing images with you all that you never knew you wanted to see. :) I'm glad we have this place to congregate, and I consider you all my friends. Merry Christmas!

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q2 Books

Reading : Northern Lights by Tim O'Brien
Listening : A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle
Graphic Novel : They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

Dec 20, 2019, 8:58pm

>148 mahsdad: Lovely message and touche, Jeff.

Have a great 2019 penultimate weekend.

Dec 21, 2019, 3:12am

Hey Paul, thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great weekend too. Happy Reading!

Dec 21, 2019, 3:44pm

>148 mahsdad: Beautiful!
Soviet Santa says "Happy Yule!" Solstice Greetings to all. Read more here:

Dec 22, 2019, 6:56pm

Thanks RD. Happy Yule to you too!

Dec 24, 2019, 10:10am

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Dec 24, 2019, 8:03pm

Merry Christmas Chelle!

Dec 25, 2019, 8:36am

Have a great holiday with the family, Jeff and I hope you get some bookish gifts.

Dec 25, 2019, 9:23pm

Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

Dec 25, 2019, 10:34pm

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, some other tradition or none at all, this is what I wish for you!

Dec 26, 2019, 11:48pm

Best wishes this holiday season!! See you in 2020!

Dec 27, 2019, 5:08pm

Happy Final Foto Friday!

Almost ready to start off my 2020 thread, but I wanted to post a couple more times over here. Had a pretty good Christmas. Had a nice roast for dinner, and then went to see Star Wars. A Christmas tradition of going to see some cheesy sci fi.

This year's final image comes from the bar we were at last night for dinner. Just the right amount of smoke (stage smoke, there was a band, not cigarette)

Book Update
>2 mahsdad: Q4 Books

Reading -
Northern Lights by Tim O'Brien
Reading - Lincoln at the Bardo by George Saunders. My MIL let me borrow this, but now she needs to get it back. To the top of the list it goes
Listening - A People's Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle
Graphic Novel - They Called Us Enemy - George Takei

Dec 28, 2019, 12:27pm

See you on the next year, Jeff. Don't do anything weird until then.

Ahhh. Go ahead and be weird. It's fun.

Dec 28, 2019, 12:31pm

>159 mahsdad: Their lighting designer knew their onions! That's a lovely, atmospheric effect, and the cobalt color is pretty spectacular.