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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Eighteen

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

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 6:13pm Top



-A scenic overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I like this photo, although every where you pointed the camera, you could get a good shot.



-My white squirrel buddy.

2msf59
Edited: Oct 19, 6:03pm Top





Audiobook:



Graphic/Comic:



July:

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

Aug:

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

September:

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

October:

122) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight 4.7 stars (audio)
123) Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko 4.2 stars AAC
124) Turbulence by David Szalay 4 stars
125) A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne 4.5 stars (audio)
126) Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston 4.6 stars (audio)
127) Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson 4.4 stars ALA
128) The Initiates: A Comic Artist & a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs by Étienne Davodeau 4.5 stars GN
129) An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson 4 stars (audio)
130) Homesick for Another World: Stories by Ottessa Moshfegh 4.2 stars
131) The Testaments by Margaret Atwood 3.8 stars (audio)

3msf59
Oct 4, 6:12pm Top



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



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

(F)- First time seen at the feeders.

4msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 6:15pm Top

For Earth’s Grandsons

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

You are made of the finest woven light

From the iridescent love that formed your mothers, fathers

Your grandparents all the way back on the spiral road–

There is no end to this love

It has formed your bodies

Feeds your bright spirits

And no matter what happens in these times of breaking–

No matter dictators, the heartless, and liars

No matter– you are born of those

Who kept ceremonial embers burning in their hands

All through the miles of relentless exile

Those who sang the path through massacre

All the way to sunrise

You will make it through—

-Joy Harjo

5msf59
Edited: Oct 4, 6:17pm Top



^We are going out with friends for dinner, so I will be back later. Feel free to roam around...

6FAMeulstee
Edited: Oct 4, 6:41pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

>5 msf59: Have a good time with your friends, and enjoy dinner.

7mahsdad
Oct 4, 6:52pm Top

Happy New Thread. Enjoy your tasty beverage and toast the weekend (assuming you don't have to work tomorrow :( )

8Carmenere
Oct 4, 6:53pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Hope you're enjoying a wonderful dinner and a nice cold beer....or two!

9richardderus
Oct 4, 7:01pm Top

Happy beer-thirty hoistings, Birddude! Eat hearty.

10EllaTim
Oct 4, 7:25pm Top

Happy New thread Marc. Love that view on the top.

11richardderus
Oct 4, 8:56pm Top

You have Netflix, right? You really need to check out the 40-minute docmentary, Birders, set in Mexico's a.maz.ing. bird biome. Utterly absorbing.

12mahsdad
Oct 4, 9:27pm Top

>11 richardderus: My wife's an avid birder, I've added this to our watch list. I'm sure she'll want to see this. Thanks!

13richardderus
Oct 4, 9:34pm Top

De rien, mon ami.

14Familyhistorian
Oct 4, 10:04pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark!

15PaulCranswick
Oct 4, 11:06pm Top

Happy new one, Mark.

You have happily become the first to pass 5,000 posts in a year of much reduced activity. This post is #5,046 on your threads this year. I forecast that it might only be Joe that follows you past that landmark amount this year.

We are a long way from the highest yearly totals:

Paul 10,057 (2017)
Mark 9,817 (2017)
Amber 9,759 (2014)

Have a great weekend.

16lauralkeet
Oct 5, 6:48am Top

Hiya Mark! I just returned from a short trip to Skaneateles in upstate New York. We visited a National Wildlife Refuge where, thanks to a tip from the staff we went to a very out-of-the-way spot where there were tons of birds. There's a brief update on my thread. It was incredible -- I thought of you!

17msf59
Oct 5, 9:16am Top

>6 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. We had a great time last night, but it was very late. Glad I took off today.

>7 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff. We did have some tasty beverages last night and yes, I had taken today off. Whew!

>8 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda. It was a great evening with beer, games and good friends.

>10 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. Glad you like the topper.

18msf59
Oct 5, 9:20am Top

>9 richardderus: >11 richardderus: Thanks, Richard. I watched Birders last week. It was excellent. I loved the Rio Grande and Mexico angle. The raptor watch was amazing. I am hoping this becomes a series. I appreciate you thinking of me.

>12 mahsdad: I had forgotten that your wife is an avid birder. How often does she get out, on bird strolls?

>14 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg.

19msf59
Oct 5, 9:25am Top

>15 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul. Nice to see the "numbers" guy back. Yes, attendance and activity, on LT, is on a decline. I doubt we will ever return to our "heyday" but I am glad we are still around and I still have this cozy "nook" to take comfort in, nearly every day.

>16 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. You just added a place to my bucket list. Sounds wonderful. I will stop by shortly.

20msf59
Edited: Oct 5, 9:27am Top



-Harry Bliss

21katiekrug
Oct 5, 9:29am Top

Happy new one, Mark!

22msf59
Oct 5, 9:51am Top

>21 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

23karenmarie
Oct 5, 10:11am Top

Happy new thread and happy Saturday to you, Mark! Thanks for sharing your white squirrel buddy again.

24msf59
Oct 5, 10:49am Top

Thanks, Karen! And hooray for my white squirrel buddy! I miss him/her!

25jnwelch
Oct 5, 10:52am Top

Happy Weekend and Happy New Thread, Mark!

Lovely photo up top, and I'm intrigued by your white squirrel buddy. We saw a black squirrel here in the city the other day - a first for us. We normally only see the black ones out east.

I for one am A-OK with the somewhat diminished posting. It was hard to keep up in the big number days! Like you, I'm just glad to be able to come here and talk books and other stuff, and joke around, with our wonderful book nerd family.

26richardderus
Oct 5, 11:29am Top

27msf59
Oct 5, 1:19pm Top

After a speedy libbery run, I made a quick stop at a nearby forest preserve. The birds were non-existent, (I heard a few) but the brisk stroll through the woods was both soothing and refreshing. Lovely morning.

>25 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Funny, we saw a black squirrel last night, in Westmont, on a walk to an Oktoberfest gathering. I saw one at my feeders, earlier in the year, but just for a day or two.

I definitely agree with you on the posting or lack of. Easier zipping in and out.

>26 richardderus: Grins...

28charl08
Oct 5, 1:43pm Top

Sounds like a good start to the weekend, Mark. Happy new(ish) thread!

29thornton37814
Oct 5, 3:40pm Top

Happy new thread! I don't know that I've ever encountered a black squirrel. Most are on the gray or brown scale.

30msf59
Oct 5, 5:22pm Top

>28 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte. The weekend is off to a good start.

>29 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori. Great to see you. We see black squirrels now and then here, but I think they are more common in Michigan.

31drneutron
Oct 5, 8:05pm Top

Happy new thread!

32jessibud2
Oct 5, 8:07pm Top

Black squirrel own Ontario, or, at least, Toronto. I never saw a black one until I moved here but apparently, they are the same species as the grays. Of course, we get the little reds, too. I see more squirrels than birds here. And I never have figured out why they dig up my tulips bulbs but other houses on my street have lovely tulips. I wish I knew why. I stopped planting tulips after the second year. I'm a slow learner, I guess. There is a colony of white squirrels at one downtown park though I have never seen them, myself.

33The_Hibernator
Oct 5, 9:27pm Top

>5 msf59: Ah, me too! I'm trying to cut down my intake as a way to reduce calories. *silently cries (Not sure how long this will last before I devise a new ineffective weight loss plan, lol.)

Anyway, hope you are well!

34msf59
Oct 6, 8:52am Top

>31 drneutron: Thanks, Jim.

>32 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Thanks for chiming in on the squirrel chatter. Did you ever research squirrels and tulip bulbs? Maybe, yours were just extra tasty. Hope you get to see those white squirrels, one of these days. They are real beauties.

>33 The_Hibernator: Hi, Rachel. Really nice to see you. Good luck on reducing the calorie intake. Always an uphill battle. I definitely over-indulged this weekend. I need to give my body a break for a couple of days.

35karenmarie
Oct 6, 9:37am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday to you.

36BLBera
Oct 6, 10:05am Top

Lovely photos at the top, Mark.

Happy new one. Have a great Sunday.

37msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 10:11am Top

>35 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I am taking a "chill" day. Recovery time...

>36 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. You have a great day too.

38msf59
Oct 6, 10:15am Top



116) We Are Still Here: Stories & A Novella by Emily Koon 3.7 stars

This is a nifty little collection, of ghost and horror stories, mixed in with a fairy tale or two. The novella is a unique take on the continuing fascination with Lizzie Borden, offering an experimental structure, that I admired. A solid effort. This was an Early Reviewer copy.

119) Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips 4.2 stars

One summer day, on the peninsula of Kamchatka, in northern Russia, two sisters, mysteriously disappear, after taking a ride from a stranger. They are never seen again and the police are completely stumped. How this tragic event affects this small, tightly knit, community, by focusing on shifting character perspectives, (mostly female) is the crafty structure of this, haunting, atmospheric novel. The audio is quite good too.

39msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 10:28am Top

120) The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 4.8 stars

Okay, let me say this upfront- I love me some Ann Patchett and once again, she knocks it out of the park, with The Dutch House. I loved her previous, family novel, Commonwealth and she takes steady, aim, on another family here, following the Conroy clan, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. With the son, Danny, narrating, we move through the decades, through heart-ache, joy and loss. Patchett's prose remains clear and effortless. She just keeps getting better, IMHO.

122) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight 4.7 stars

Full disclosure- I rarely read any business-related books but a friend recommended this memoir, by Phil Knight, the founder and CEO of Nike and I was completely surprised and captivated by this man's journey. He is candid, whip-smart and steely. How a person overcomes the multitudes of trials and tribulations, while building a company like this, persevering on the teetering brink, at every turn, is truly remarkable. Fascinating and very rewarding. The audio was excellent too.

40alphaorder
Oct 6, 10:23am Top

Not getting much reading done because life has been busy. I decided to pick up Seasons: Desert Sketches by Ellen Meloy to get ready for my trip to Utah on Saturday. It was a collection I picked up on my book trip to Seattle in April.

41jessibud2
Oct 6, 10:51am Top

>40 alphaorder: - I had never heard of Ellen Meloy until recently when someone from another site I frequent recommended her book Turquoise. I purchased it but have not yet got to it. She does sound like my kind of writer, though.

42richardderus
Oct 6, 10:55am Top

Good stuff in the Lightning Round! Your praise for Shoe Dog makes me question my "uh huh, and?" response to it.

Happy Sunday! Read hearty.

43msf59
Oct 6, 10:56am Top

>40 alphaorder: Happy Sunday, Nancy. Sorry, to hear about your lack of reading time. Not familiar with Meloy but Seasons: Desert Sketches sounds really good. I will have to request it. Hooray for the fast-approaching Utah trip. BTW- I am really enjoying Turbulence.

>41 jessibud2: Mine too, Shelley. I will have to try her out.

44jnwelch
Oct 6, 1:36pm Top

Happy Sunday, Mark.

Good lightning reviews - I'm going to keep Shoe Dog in mind. I'm hopelessly behind on my reading, but what else is new. I did start Pullmann's The Secret Commonwealth and he's already drawn me in. On the GN front, you may take an interest in Abbott; so far it's a good mix of gritty 1972 Detroit, with a black female reporter protagonist, and horror.

The Bears's defense sure doesn't look very good so far; Gruden's play choices are working way too well.

45brenzi
Oct 6, 1:54pm Top

>38 msf59: I thought Disappearing Earth was excellent Mark, especially for a first novel. I'll be looking for her next book with interest. Shoe Dog sounds like a good one.

46msf59
Oct 6, 1:59pm Top

>42 richardderus: Happy Sunday, Richard. Just kicking back and watching the Bears struggle in London Town. Hope to get to the books later.

>44 jnwelch: Howdy, Joe. Rough first half for the Bears. Hope they can turn this around. I hope I caught you with a BB with Shoe Dog. Terrific memoir. Abbott sounds like my cuppa.

47msf59
Oct 6, 2:03pm Top

>45 brenzi: Yep, looking forward to seeing what this author does next. I hope I caught your interest with Shoe Dog. Excellent memoir. Terrific audio.

48lauralkeet
Oct 6, 2:15pm Top

>39 msf59: nice mini review of The Dutch House, Mark. Over on my thread you mentioned wanting to read some of her earlier stuff and I say go for it. I've read most of her books enjoyed them all.

49msf59
Oct 6, 2:44pm Top

>48 lauralkeet: Great advice on the early Patchett, Laura. I have wanted to get to State of Wonder for years. The mixed LT response, has kept me from pulling the trigger. I will have to finally get to it.

50msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 2:49pm Top



A few library loans, along with a couple of bookish gifts from Ellen, including 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds, which has been shortlisted for the Booker and the Lively memoir, that also looks promising. A couple of poetry collections that Joe recently loved and a Ken Burns doc, Horatio's Drive, that Shelley recommended. What would I do without my LT pals?

51katiekrug
Oct 6, 3:26pm Top

I absolutely loved Taft, which was Patchett's second novel. I think you'd like it, too, Mark.

52BLBera
Oct 6, 3:32pm Top

I can't wait to get to The Dutch House, Mark.

53msf59
Oct 6, 4:27pm Top

>51 katiekrug: Oh, that is right, Katie, I remember you warbling about Taft, in the past. Another Patchett to get to.

>52 BLBera: I can see no reason why you won't love The Dutch House, Beth.

54msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 7:16pm Top



124) Turbulence by David Szalay 4 stars

"...a stunning, virtuosic novel about twelve people, mostly strangers, and the surprising ripple effect each one has on the life of the next as they cross paths while in transit around the world."

One of my favorite literary styles, are stories that leap-frog off each other, taking a secondary character from one story and focusing on that character, in the next and so on. In this slim novel, the author pulls it off deftly, using air travel as a conduit and then directing a spotlight on the lives of these disparate individuals, looking at love, loneliness and the myriad of emotions in between. Artfully done.

**I know Lynda read and enjoyed this one over the summer. Has anyone else read Szalay before? If so, thoughts?

55Copperskye
Oct 6, 7:13pm Top

Hi Mark, We had an rare bird sighting in our neighborhood this past week. For several days, a Hooded Warbler was spotted on the trail just down the street. We had a lot of birders (identified by their binoculars and/or huge camera lens) hanging around. None of the folks I spoke to had seen it. I probably walk a little too late in the morning and missed seeing it, too.

Here’s a photo (not mine, obviously). Such a pretty bird - have you seen one?

56msf59
Edited: Oct 6, 7:23pm Top

>55 Copperskye: A hooded warbler is one, I keep missing. I did hear one, once or twice, thanks to a more experienced birder. They are secretive birds and beautiful ones as well. I do not think warblers travel through Colorado, that often, so this would be a treat. I hope you get out "early" and see it for yourself. Let me know, Joanne.

57Copperskye
Oct 6, 7:32pm Top

>56 msf59: Nope, they aren’t usually around here so it would be nice to see! We have a Wilson’s Warbler in the yard occasionally, but we are in their range.

58Donna828
Oct 6, 8:59pm Top

>39 msf59: I just finished The Dutch House today. It will definitely be in my Top Ten for the year. I’ve read all of Patchett’s fiction except for Taft and Commonwealth. It sounds like I should get busy on those.

Oh, nice new thread, Mark, and congrats on being the listing champ. I still love our group but don’t comment nearly as much as I used to. Guess I’m too busy reading!

The touchstones aren’t working for me...

59msf59
Oct 6, 10:20pm Top

>57 Copperskye: I have also seen Wilson's Warblers a few times. Glad you get to see those cute guys, Joanne.

>58 Donna828: Hi, Donna. It is so nice to several of my pals reading and enjoying The Dutch House. I also highly recommend Commonwealth. I need to get back to more of her earlier work.

I am just glad you can stop by when you can. Smiles...

60alphaorder
Oct 6, 11:05pm Top

>54 msf59: I listened to Turbulence and enjoyed it too. Like you, I am a fan of connected short stories.

61msf59
Edited: Oct 7, 6:30am Top

>60 alphaorder: I enjoyed Turbulence, very much, Nancy. Thanks for nudging it on to my radar. And speaking of linked stories, I will finally start Olive, Again in a couple of weeks. Yah!

62msf59
Edited: Oct 7, 6:56am Top



"From 'one of the most gifted writers working today' (New York Times) comes an audacious new novel about the bodies we live in and the bodies we desire."

Wow! This one sounds trippy and a whole lot of fun. I have been meaning to get back to Winterson, for several years now, after completely loving her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?. I was lucky to snag it an advanced copy at ALA. It was published here, this month. I will start Frankissstein: A Love Story today.

63karenmarie
Oct 7, 7:16am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Monday to you.

>50 msf59: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World is already on my wish list. The memoir by Penelope Lively is already on my shelves.

It's finally going to cool down here this week, and it's a nice crisp 57 right now. Autumn, here we come.

64jnwelch
Oct 7, 8:50am Top

Hi, Mark.

Bears? What Bears?

I hope you have a good time with Frankissstein. I know her Why Be Happy book has a lot of fans.

Our Sunday kinda landed with a thud, and not just because of the Bears. And here we are in pre-Tuesdayland. Oh well. I hope it's a good Autumn day for you.

65katiekrug
Oct 7, 8:54am Top

Turbulence sounds good. I've put it on my library WL.

66benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 7, 10:17am Top

Finally - rain in T-town! And cooler weather. Last week there were 6 record high temperatures set. Five of them the first 5 days in October. Four of those were days when the temperature reached 100 degrees or higher in Tuscaloosa. Unheard of! Saturday it was 101 in T-town. Thank goodness there was no football game, either here or in Auburn. The tyrannical TV networks could not make either team play at 3:00 p.m. Yeah for bye weeks!

Of course there was no bye week in Auburn. There are lots of tears in Mudville this weekend.

67msf59
Oct 7, 10:41am Top

>63 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray for the cool down. I think I will read 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds after the Winterson.

>64 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Looking forward to starting the Winterson. Looks like a delight. Rough Bears game, that is for sure.

68msf59
Oct 7, 10:43am Top

>65 katiekrug: I think you will like Turbulence, Katie.

>66 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Hooray for the much cooler temps. Enjoy!

69Familyhistorian
Oct 7, 11:49am Top

Hi Mark, good to see that you are still keeping your numbers up despite a slow down in the 75ers but I think that one of the drivers in previous years was a race to 10,000 and the racers being yourself and Paul. Anyway keep up the good work!

To chime in on the squirrel discussion, the ones around here are black with the occasional grey. Maybe black squirrels like Canadian cities?

70richardderus
Oct 7, 12:30pm Top

Happy new week of reading! I'm glad The Dutch House was a treat for you.

71weird_O
Oct 7, 1:00pm Top

Hi ho, Markarino.

Quiet weekend had we. Didn't start anything, didn't finish anything. Reading Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. I read Diary earlier this year; it was strange, but it worked for me. Survivor too is strange, but it too is working for me. I've got two or three more of his novels. His best known is Fight Club. Ever read anything by Chuck?

72vivians
Oct 7, 2:33pm Top

Hi Mark - I'm almost done with The Dutch House and am loving it! She's such a terrific storyteller.

Have you ever read Ben Lerner? I'm hearing a lot of good things about his new one, The Topeka School, but I'm wondering if I should read his other two first since there are common characters.

I'm eager to hear what you think about Frankissstein. It's on the Booker longlist but it just didn't appeal to me. Hope you'll change my mind!

73msf59
Oct 7, 5:55pm Top

>69 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I remember the historic posting race with Paul. I believe, he won. Grins...Hey, I don't think much about numbers, I just do what I normally do. I am more than happy with that. My fondness for this community has not diminished in the least.

>70 richardderus: Hi, Bill. Markarino, here! It was a fun weekend. I have read a couple of Palahniuk novels- Choke & Fight Club. I really liked both, but for some reason he doesn't call to me like other authors. Unless, a fellow LTer nudges me to do so, of course.

74msf59
Oct 7, 6:00pm Top

>72 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Hooray for enjoying The Dutch House! I love the fact, that several of us are reading or have read it, in a short time span. I agree, she is a terrific storyteller.

I have read 10:04, by Ben Lerner. I don't remember a whole lot about it but I gave it 4 stars and remember it being satisfying. His latest has been catching a lot of positive buzz.

Sorry, to hear that you are on the fence with Frankissstein. I am really enjoying it. Very, fresh and inventive. Look forward to the nudge...

75Copperskye
Oct 7, 7:52pm Top

>56 msf59: Yay! I saw the hooded warbler this morning on my regular morning walk! I heard it chirping and spotted him just across the creek. I watched him move from a low shrub to a tree branch and then sadly out of sight. I saw it long enough to register what it was and mutter “oh my god!”. If I hadn’t asked the birders what they were looking for and looked it up, I never would have noticed it. IDing would have been hard, too, since it’s so out of range. So yay for friendly birders! A lifer for me! Oh, and it was 11am so I didn’t need to be an early bird. :)

I’m reading a Molly Gloss book, The Hearts Of Horses. It’d been on my shelf for ages and it’s really good!

76msf59
Oct 7, 10:38pm Top

>75 Copperskye: Hooray for seeing the hooded warbler! Congrats, Joanne, on the lifer. You saw a beauty. Aren't birders cool and helpful? I appreciate the bird report.

77scaifea
Oct 8, 5:32am Top

Morning, Mark! I need to get round to some Winterson at some point, I think...

78msf59
Edited: Oct 8, 6:24am Top

>77 scaifea: Morning, Amber! Frankissstein is beginning very well. I could be a lot of fun on audio too. Just sayin'...

79scaifea
Oct 8, 6:26am Top

>78 msf59: I'll keep that in mind!

80msf59
Edited: Oct 8, 6:35am Top

>79 scaifea: I have still not read her most popular novel, Oranges are not the Only Fruit, which I hope to finally get to it the following months.

81msf59
Edited: Oct 8, 6:35am Top



"Beloved writer and teacher Pam Houston explores what ties her to the earth in essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air."

"A survivor of parental abuse and neglect, Houston also discovers how the natural world has mothered and healed her."

After finishing up the terrific A Ladder to the Sky, I am turning back to NF, with this essay collection, Deep Creek, which Donna and Joanne recently warbled about. The Colorado Rockies setting always calls to me. I start the audio today.

Anyone read anything else by Houston?

82charl08
Oct 8, 6:52am Top

Loved Frankissstein - lots to think about and some great gags too. Looking forward to hearing more about what you make of it.

Not heard of >81 msf59: - makes me want to travel just looking at that cover, though!

83msf59
Oct 8, 6:56am Top

>82 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. The Winterson is off to an entertaining start. I love her quick prose and sly wit. I am really looking forward to jump into Deep Creek.

84Caroline_McElwee
Oct 8, 8:50am Top

>81 msf59: This is near the top of my pile after Ellen warbled about it Mark.

85mdoris
Oct 8, 5:12pm Top

>81 msf59: I have Deep Creek on my tbr list. i have read her Cowboys Are My Weakness and Sight Hound but sorry, it was a very long time ago that I read them so can't remember much about them. So glad that you liked Ladder to the Sky. I did too!

86msf59
Oct 8, 5:17pm Top

>84 Caroline_McElwee: It has been excellent, Caroline. Move it further up, if you can.

>85 mdoris: Deep Creek has been terrific, Mary. Glad to hear you have read her short stories. I really want to get to those. They earned her enough money, to put a down payment, on the ranch, that the memoir refers to. And hooray for A Ladder to the Sky. What a gem!

87msf59
Oct 8, 6:03pm Top



-Harry Bliss

88lindapanzo
Oct 8, 6:14pm Top

Hi Mark, hope all is well. Now that our Cubs are out of it, my opera and symphony season is about to start, along with hockey.

Reading lots of mysteries and the occasional sports-related book. Right now, a biography of old-time goalie Johnny Bower.

89msf59
Oct 8, 7:06pm Top

>88 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. My evening time has opened up too. Catching up on a few TV series, along with a movie here and there. I am really enjoying Ken Burns' Country Music doc too. Only 2 eps left. Glad you are enjoying your sports books.

90Copperskye
Oct 8, 8:19pm Top

>81 msf59: So glad you’re enjoying Deep Creek. I knew you’d love it. Have you mentioned who narrates it? Along with Deep Creek, I’ve only read Cowboys Are My Weakness and Sight Hound. I recommend them both! I own every book she’s written except for Contents May Have Shifted, so no excuse not to get to them!

Also, the only books I’ve read by Annie Prouix are Fine Just the Way It Is and The Shipping News. Another author I need to catch up with!

>87 msf59: Aww, but the sweet pup looks so comfortable!

91msf59
Edited: Oct 8, 8:34pm Top



123) Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko 4.2 stars

“Everywhere he looked, he saw a world made of stories, the long ago, time immemorial stories...It was a world alive, always changing and moving; and if you knew where to look, you could see it, sometimes imperceptible, like the motion of the stars across the sky.”

“Every day they had to look at the land, from horizon to horizon, and every day the loss was with them; it was the dead unburied, and the mourning of the lost going on forever. So they tried to sink the loss in booze, and silence their grief with war stories about their courage, defending the land they had already lost.”

In the years, immediately after WWII, we are introduced to Tayo, a young Native American, who fought as a Marine in the Pacific and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He returns to his Pueblo reservation, as a shattered man and the novel is about Tayo's long, slow climb out of his own wreckage, using witchcraft and other traditional means to reach this difficult goal.
This is not an easy read. Watching these characters wallow in their suffering and alcohol abuse, can be painful but the narrative brightens as Tayo pulls out of his tailspin and begins to live again and appreciate the loved ones, who have supported him, through his trials. The writing grows stronger as the novel progresses, rewarding the reader, for hanging in there. This will not be for all tastes, but I can fully understand, it's lofty position in Native American literature.

**I read this for the September AAC.

92msf59
Oct 8, 8:41pm Top

>90 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. Yep, I am loving Deep Creek. No surprise, right? You and Donna know your books. I will now have to read more of her work, including Cowboys. I am sold. The Proulx memoir, I mentioned while texting was Bird Cloud, which is the name of the ranch she bought in Wyoming. It is very good. I also recommend her story collection, Close Range.

93Copperskye
Oct 8, 8:53pm Top

I’ll add Bird Cloud to the list. I just got Close Range at the library sale last month and hope to get to it soon!

I’m loving Molly Gloss’s The Hearts Of Horses. Then I need to get to The Jump-Off Creek which you gave me!

94richardderus
Oct 8, 9:37pm Top

>91 msf59: I'm glad it made its way into your good graces!

95EBT1002
Edited: Oct 9, 12:36am Top

The white squirrel is cool, Mark. I have never seen one of those.

You got me with Ceremony.

>81 msf59: I haven't read anything else by Houston but I absolutely LOVED Deep Creek. I hope you enjoy it! The Dutch House is getting some love around here. I finally put it on hold at the library but I'm like number 366 in the queue for one of 50 copies. People better read quickly!

96Berly
Edited: Oct 9, 2:15am Top

Look at you, already posting your review of book #123!! Glad to hear you enjoyed Shoe Dog by Phil Knight--I really enjoyed that one. I have Ladder to the Sky around here somewhere; since you enjoyed it so much I better go hunt it down. ; )

97msf59
Oct 9, 6:26am Top

>93 Copperskye: I am sure you will enjoy, Bird Cloud, Joanne. I had forgotten that I had passed The Jump-Off Creek to you. Maybe, you will nudge me into reading Horses. I would like to try something else by Gloss.

>94 richardderus: I can understand the mixed reaction to Ceremony, RD. Not for all tastes.

98msf59
Oct 9, 6:31am Top

>95 EBT1002: Hooray for white squirrels and black ones too! Have you seen any of the latter? Glad you caught a BB with Ceremony and nice to see more Deep Creek love. It sure is a good one. Looking forward to your thoughts on The Dutch House. It seems to be a hit around here.

>96 Berly: Hi, Kimmers! Great to see you. Yep, just chugging along. I didn't realize you had read and enjoyed Shoe Dog. Perfect Portland book, right? Try to get to A Ladder to the Sky sooner than later. Grins...

99msf59
Edited: Oct 9, 6:45am Top



-Dark-Eyed Junco (NMP)

I saw my first junco of the fall season. Some pass through, but many winter here. This was at work. Not at the BBS but the BBSII, ( a park/baseball field). I have not seen one at my house feeders yet.

Off, on a very early bird jaunt. I'll be back in a few hours...

100alphaorder
Oct 9, 7:02am Top

Morning Mark! My copy of Erosion arrived - just in time for plane reading on the way to Utah. We need to protect our public lands!

101karenmarie
Oct 9, 7:25am Top

Happy Wednesday and happy birding Mark!

>91 msf59: Pass, although thanks for the informative review.

102jessibud2
Oct 9, 7:37am Top

>99 msf59: - Oh, I love those juncos! It feels early to be seeing them, though. I usually have them in winter and they hop around my lawn, often several at a time. Love those cute little pink beaks!

103jnwelch
Oct 9, 9:50am Top

Hey, buddy. Happy Mid-Week!

Good review of Ceremony. It sounds like strong medicine and worthwhile, but that alcohol abuse rules me out. It takes one where everything else outweighs that element to get me to read it. Like the drug abuse in Last Exit to Brooklyn.

Man, I've got nothing on the reading front. With the situation going on that I mentioned to you, I've been reading nothing but Liaden Universe sci-fi. Wait, I did finish Deaf Republic, didn't I. I LOVED it. That may be my #1 poetry collection for the year so far. (Although Magical Negro is now up there, too). Powerful concept, and so well carried through. Thanks for helping on the nudge. I'm also a ways into Jericho Brown's The Tradition, and I have a feeling I'll be recommending it to you. Really good so far.

Looks like we're getting another gorgeous one. Can we save it and bring it back out in February?

104lindapanzo
Oct 9, 1:16pm Top

>89 msf59: What a beautiful stretch of weather we've been having but I understand that Saturday/Sunday will be a shock to the system. I'll be traipsing around in the Loop on Sunday for the opera when it's only in the low to mid 40's. Brrr. At least I'll have a lot of time to read on the Metra train.

I realized that I hadn't read a good disaster book in quite awhile so I picked up a book about the July, 1944 Hartford Circus Fire. Pretty good though I notice he has little, if any, on the scene survivor talk. Still interesting though.

105richardderus
Oct 9, 4:12pm Top

*popcorn bowl*

So whadja see?

106msf59
Edited: Oct 9, 4:25pm Top

Whew! I think my days off are busier than my work days. Don't get me wrong though, this is more fun. I was out of the house before 6am, for a bird excursion (another gorgeous day here, so I had to get out), hit Home Depot afterwards, for a few home improvement projects and then met Bree for lunch, (lots of wedding chatter. B.A.G.). Finally home, sitting down, but have not cracked a book yet...this will have to change.

>100 alphaorder: Hooray for getting a copy of Erosion: Essays of Undoing, Nancy. We love some TTW, don't we? I hope to get to the audio, in the coming weeks.

>101 karenmarie: Hi, Karen. The birding was fine. A definite kinglet day!

>102 jessibud2: We are big fans of juncos too, Shelley, although they are harbingers of winter, but lets not forget, they are also harbingers as spring, as they begin to migrate north. Still waiting to see my first one, this season, around my feeders.

107msf59
Oct 9, 4:32pm Top

>103 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I am having a very nice off day. Another gorgeous day in Chicagoland. I would not think Ceremony would be your cuppa, although I am tickled pink that Deaf Republic rang all your bells. It is such a terrific collection. I think I may have tried The Tradition, but I don't recall it at all.

>104 lindapanzo: It has been a wonderful stretch of weather, Linda. I had to get out and walk around a bit, on my day off. My next days off are Sunday & Monday, but it is supposed to be cruddy both days. Sue is going to Great America/Six flags on Sunday with her niece. Ugh, no thanks. I will visit brew pubs with Joe.

>105 richardderus: Hey, Richard. It wasn't a banner bird day but still plenty seen. Report to follow...

108msf59
Edited: Oct 9, 4:44pm Top



-Golden-Crowned Kinglet (NMP)

I went to the lakefront this morning, at the crack of dawn, to beat traffic, ( it was still a battle) and visited the Montrose Bird Sanctuary. The kinglets ruled the day. I literally saw dozens, both golden-crowned and ruby-crowned. They are usually one of the last migrants. A couple of warblers were seen too, but I expected more. A couple of Coopers Hawks swooped through, and they are always a joy to see. I met up with a few different birders & photographers, this is always a bonus. I have mentioned this before, but birders are much like us book nerds- Friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.



-Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (NMP) Kinglets are small and move quickly. Getting a photo is tough.

109richardderus
Oct 9, 5:55pm Top

>108 msf59: That top not-seagull reminds me of an ortolan:

...wonder if they're as tasty as ortolans...

110brenzi
Oct 9, 9:42pm Top

>106 msf59: I think my days off are busier than my work days.. Haha that's just prep for retirement Mark.

111banjo123
Oct 10, 12:25am Top

Hi Mark! Love your toppers. I liked Houston's Cowboys are my weakness and have been meaning to read more by her.

112Berly
Oct 10, 1:30am Top

Love the birdies. And I totally relate to life being busy...work day, day off. All of the above! Have fun with it. : )

113msf59
Oct 10, 6:29am Top

>109 richardderus: Believe it or not, I had not heard of a ortolan, until now. Pretty bunting, that is for sure. There is always an education to be had, on LT.

>110 brenzi: I have a good friend, that is a couple of years into retirement and he says the same thing, Bonnie. He is also juggling several grandchildren. Yep, I am jealous.

>111 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda. Thanks for chiming in on Ms. Houston. Try to track down Deep Creek, (it has been excellent) and I will find a copy of Cowboys.

>112 Berly: Hi, Kimmers. You are definitely a busy bee, my friend. I have nothing on you. Grins...

114karenmarie
Oct 10, 7:46am Top

Happy Thursday, Mark! I'm glad yesterday was a Kinglet day.

115jnwelch
Oct 10, 9:50am Top

Sweet Thursday, Mark! It's lovely here in Southern California, isn't it. :-)

I'm off to work today. Boo! It should be short though. I've got a YA for the train, Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead; it's gotten some LT love. I can't read anything too challenging right now - oh well, there are plenty of good ones out there that aren't. The Pullmann isn't, but it's also a doorstop and heavy for a train ride.

The Bulls (I'm still not ready to talk football after that defensive letdown!) are looking like they'll be fun this year. Lots of young, talented players; it'd be great if they surprised people in the win column.

116msf59
Oct 10, 10:41am Top

Sad news- It looks like my BBS is slowly turning into a used car lot. They seem to be adding more cars all the time. The nerve...

>114 karenmarie: Happy Thursday, Karen and hooray for the kinglet invasion.

>115 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Good luck at work. Warming up quickly out here but last day for the shorts, I fear. Good to hear, your positive thoughts on the Bulls. I have been meaning to ask you about them.

117FAMeulstee
Oct 10, 10:47am Top

>113 msf59: This bird has even a book with his name: De ortolaan (ortolan in Dutch).

118richardderus
Oct 10, 10:52am Top

>116 msf59: The nerve indeed! What a cheek.

119kidzdoc
Oct 10, 10:55am Top

Happy new(ish) thread, Mark! I'm eager to get your take on Frankissstein. I was thinking of purchasing a copy when I was in London last month, as it was chosen for the Booker Prize longlist, but since it didn't make the shortlist I decided to hold off.

120msf59
Oct 10, 4:44pm Top

>117 FAMeulstee: Have you seen an ortolan, Anita? Nice looking bird.

>118 richardderus: I can still walk around the BBS, but with the cars packed in there, it takes way something.

>119 kidzdoc: Thanks, Darryl. I am really enjoying Frankissstein. Winterson is a terrific writer, along with being smart and funny.

121Familyhistorian
Oct 10, 5:05pm Top

>106 msf59: I think my days off are busier than my work days. Multiply those days off work by 7 and that is retirement, Mark, so busy it is hard to fit everything in.

122richardderus
Oct 10, 5:07pm Top

>120 msf59: I can only imagine that it does.

Frankissstein is delighting me.

123msf59
Oct 10, 5:17pm Top

>121 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. I love the fact that you stay so busy on your retirement. Of course, I hope I get plenty of down time too, which includes the books. Grins...

>122 richardderus: It makes it feel like a junkyard, RD. At least, the birds seem to still stay active. Hooray for the Winterson. I like her subtle slams on Trump too.

124richardderus
Oct 10, 5:50pm Top

>123 msf59: The most grin-inducing parts!

125msf59
Edited: Oct 10, 7:15pm Top

"Is Donald Trump getting his brain frozen? asks Ron.

Max explains that the brain has to be fully functioning at clinical death."

-Frankissstein

126BLBera
Oct 10, 9:13pm Top

> 125 I saw a great bumper sticker this afternoon, Mark. "If you elect a clown, expect a circus."

127EBT1002
Edited: Oct 10, 10:12pm Top

Our juncos have returned for the winter season so when I fill the bird feeders, I scatter some seeds around the ground, especially under our spruce trees, for those ground feeders. Our goldfinches haven't yet departed although it was 24F this morning! Brr.

I was thinking I would wait until Frankissstein comes out in paperback but your enthusiasm is compelling!

128msf59
Oct 11, 6:34am Top

>126 BLBera: He is just to easy, Beth. A walking, talking punchline.

>127 EBT1002: Hooray for the juncos, Ellen. Cute little guys, right? I have not seen them at our feeders yet. I will wrap up Frankissstein & Deep Creek today. Plenty of Marky-Mark warbling on both of those gems.

129alphaorder
Oct 11, 6:55am Top

Morning Mark! Just stopping by to say hi.

130msf59
Edited: Oct 11, 7:00am Top

Morning, Nancy. Always good to see you. When do you leave for your trip?

131msf59
Edited: Oct 11, 7:00am Top



-Harry Bliss

132karenmarie
Oct 11, 7:23am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you. First morning in the 40s here - 45 - and it looks like autumn is finally here. There will be a final attempt by summer to crash back in, but I'm hopeful it's gone 'til next year.

>125 msf59: *smile*

Louise reported that a Northern Paruga Warbler zoomed in front of her while she was sitting on her front porch the other day - I've never heard of them and had to look them up.

133jnwelch
Oct 11, 9:00am Top

>125 msf59: Ha! I unfortunately can't read the Harry Bliss cartoon on my computer.

Happy Friday, Mark!

We're seeing "A Man of Good Hope" tonight at Chicago Shakespeare, about a Somalian refugee. It did well in London (not while we were there) and NYC, so we'll see. I got caught up in the WNBA championship game last night, but I'm still enjoying Bob and the Jericho Brown collection.

Jeez Louise, Debbi just ran down the big temp drop today for me, along with the rain. Hope you can get done before it gets too lousy out.

134msf59
Oct 11, 10:40am Top

Steady rain falling. It is gonna be a wet one, folks...

>132 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We will be dropping into the 40s, later today, with near frost temps tonight. Ugh!

Hooray, for the Parula! I saw my first here, last spring. I love the warblers! Rarely see warblers around my feeders though. Only once, that I can think of.

135msf59
Oct 11, 10:42am Top

>133 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. I will try to fix the images, when I get home. Yep, raining pretty good here, at the moment.

Have a fine time at the theater tonight. Sounds like another good one.

136msf59
Edited: Oct 11, 6:27pm Top



^After finishing the wonderful, Deep Creek, I decided to visit an old friend-Walt Longmire. I started the audio of An Obvious Fact today and, as usual, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Guidall quickly pulled me into the story, like slipping on a favorite pair of slippers. This is book #12, so I am not exactly current (I believe book #15 was just released). As you may have noticed, I read very little series fiction, these days, but this is one I decided to stick with because these characters are so fun to hang around with. I feel the same about the Dr. Siri books, which I need to jump back into.

137Familyhistorian
Oct 11, 10:17pm Top

I hope you weathered the change in your temperatures, Mark. We had unseasonably low temperatures overnight lately - frost indeed. I had to scrape my car windows one morning. At least we got sunshine during the day out of it.

138msf59
Oct 12, 6:31am Top

>137 Familyhistorian: If definitely was a sudden shift, yesterday, Meg. It dropped 20 degrees. Below normal temps for the next several days. It is far to early to have to scrap windows. Ugh! Enjoy the weekend.

139karenmarie
Oct 12, 8:51am Top

'Morning, Mark! I hope your work day goes well.

I've read the first Longmire The Cold Dish and have the first fourteen of sixteen on my shelves from the book sale this spring. I got the book of short stories at the fall book sale. Now I just need to make the time to read them!

140msf59
Oct 12, 10:37am Top

>139 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Hooray, for having the rest of the Longmire series on shelf. They are consistently good and should be read in order. Get crackin'...

141EBT1002
Oct 12, 11:21am Top

>136 msf59: Yay! Walt Longmire! I'm slowly listening to An Obvious Fact, too. George Guidall is so good. My very short commute does not give me adequate time for listening and I've been a mucket about going downstairs and walking on the treadmill. I keep saying that when my new phone arrives later this month, along with a better wireless earbuds capability, I will go down and walk 30 minutes every morning before work. That will move me through the audiobooks at a greater pace!

I'm glad you enjoyed Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country. Wasn't it a beautiful ode to Colorado and the outdoors?

142msf59
Oct 12, 5:37pm Top

>141 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. Yep, An Obvious Fact has been quite enjoyable. You may have to create more audiobook time. I know this is something I will have to think about, post-retirement. I think the 30 minute walk sounds perfect.

I adored Deep Creek and yes, it was a lovely ode to nature and Colorado. I want to read more of her work. Have you?

143msf59
Oct 12, 5:44pm Top



-Harry Bliss

144EBT1002
Oct 12, 6:46pm Top

>142 msf59: I haven't read anything else by Huston but I could well imagine doing so.

I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes this morning. I watched football to entertain myself but I think listening to audiobooks will be just the ticket. The new phone is supposed to arrive later in October.

145richardderus
Oct 12, 7:51pm Top

>143 msf59: How sad. Funny, but sad.

146benitastrnad
Edited: Oct 14, 5:58pm Top

>81 msf59:
I have copies of Contents May Have Shifted and Deep Creek on my shelves. I actually have Deep Creek on a pile on my bedside table that I bumped unto the TBR pile after Ellen read it. It sounds like I may need to move them up and read them next.

147jnwelch
Oct 12, 9:20pm Top

Go Longmire! You’re right about Dr. Siri. I need to get back to those, too.

See you tomorrow!

148PaulCranswick
Oct 12, 10:00pm Top

The Longmire series is impossible to find in Malaysia but the Dr. Siri series is popular.
My own "slippers on" read has to be Montalbano or Jack Reacher.

Have a great weekend, Mark

149msf59
Oct 13, 7:30am Top

>144 EBT1002: It looks like Houston has quite a few books out, but I have to start with her first story collection. That helped buy her ranch, after all. Have you been going on walks or runs outdoors too?

>145 richardderus: Sad smile...

>146 benitastrnad: I would love to hear your take on Pam Houston. She delivers a strong environmental message too. Deep Creek is also excellent on audio, so keep that in mind.

150karenmarie
Oct 13, 7:30am Top

'Morning, Mark and happy Sunday.

Panthers are playing Tampa Bay in England today, so our usual 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. or even 8 p.m. game will be at 9:30 this morning. Go Panthers!

151msf59
Edited: Oct 13, 7:41am Top

>147 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Hooray for Walt & Dr. Siri! I have read 10 of the latter. I think there are 14 out. I will have to add one to the rotation. See you in a few hours.

>148 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. Sorry, that to hear you can't sample the Longmire books. Have you tried the Dr. Siri series? The Reacher books are not really my thing, but I did try a couple. I would like to return to the Montalbano series, though.

>150 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Go Panthers! The Bears played in London last week. Enjoy your day.

152msf59
Edited: Oct 13, 8:03am Top





^They are turning my BBS (birding break spot into a friggin' used car lot. WTH? Trucks have been parked back here, for a few months. Now cars are taking over. As long as I can squeeze back there, I will continue to do so. Birds have still been active there.

153msf59
Edited: Oct 13, 8:55am Top



125) A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne 4.5 stars

“The more you read, the more you write, the more the ideas will appear. They’ll fall like confetti around your head and your only difficulty will be deciding which ones to catch and which to let fall to the floor.”

“You’ve heard the wonderful news, I presume?” “No. Has Mr. Trump died?”

Maurice Swift is young, handsome and utterly charming. He also possesses an unbridled ambition to become a famous writer. The key component he lacks, is talent. Using, his other beguiling attributes, he will find a way and does. This is the rise and inevitable fall of Maurice, as he moves through the years, climbing toward success leaving heartache and devastation in his wake.

I loved Boyne's previous novel, The Heart’s Invisible Furies and he has done it again here. The writing is strong and assured, an author at the top of his game, delivering a literary All About Eve, with a much nastier and ruthless streak. Highly recommended.

**This is the cover on the ARC I have. I appreciate the sly wit.

154lauralkeet
Oct 13, 9:06am Top

>152 msf59: that's such a shame, Mark! I hope the birds aren't all scared away.

155jessibud2
Oct 13, 9:13am Top

Hi Mark. How annoying, about all those vehicles!

For some odd reason, in addition to the regulars, I have had woodpeckers at my feeder all week, both downies and hairies! Pretty cool

156msf59
Oct 13, 9:23am Top

>154 lauralkeet: >155 jessibud2: I think the birds will still be there. It is just harder to maneuver around for me back there and the vehicles block much of the lower foliage. I am only there a few minutes each day, but it is always a highlight, in my work day.

>155 jessibud2: Hooray for the woodpeckers, Shelley. My suet feeder is empty. I NEED to pick up a few blocks of pepper suet, since the squirrels have been consistently chomping on the regular blocks, fattening up for winter, I guess.

157richardderus
Oct 13, 9:59am Top

>153 msf59: That ARC cover is witty indeed! Sad thing, that story, isn't it? Poor Boyne. He's still mired in depression about his marriage breaking up and being betrayed by "Maurice."

158BLBera
Oct 13, 11:21am Top

Great comments on the Boyne, Mark. I need to get to more of his work. I've enjoyed everything I've read.

Happy Sunday.

159msf59
Oct 13, 11:25am Top

>157 richardderus: Hey, RD! I don't know anything about Boyne's personal history, but I love his fiction. I wonder if Greer treated him this way?

>158 BLBera: Hi, Beth. I highly recommend A Ladder to the Sky and like you, I want to read more of his work.

160msf59
Edited: Oct 13, 11:25am Top

Off to meet Joe in the city...

161jnwelch
Oct 13, 12:09pm Top

See you soon, amigo!

162richardderus
Oct 13, 12:21pm Top

>159 msf59: According to Boyne, this is not-very-fictionalized autobiography. Greer doesn't seem to have made public comments about it.

Boyne's 11-year marriage to Brendan O'Connor, not an arty type, was hitting the rocks hard when Greer showed up. The saddest time in his life, apparently, as his mate left him for a younger, prettier guy and his own emotional affair with Greer ended up being grist for a salacious tell-all roman a clef. Poor guy tried to kill himself over the blows to his self-esteem.

People do rotten things to each other, don't they.

163Familyhistorian
Oct 13, 2:39pm Top

You think they could have waited until you retired before they parked all those vehicles in your break spot, Mark. My weekend is going well. I’m currently at YVR waiting for my flight. Have a fun meet up.

164charl08
Oct 13, 4:24pm Top

>125 msf59: Great quote (great book!)

>153 msf59: I want to read more Boyne, but am not sure about this one - the plot doesn't appeal (and even less knowing it's his life).

Was in a park outside London this morning watching green flashes of parakeets flying from tree to tree. Love them, so colourful.

165brenzi
Oct 13, 4:56pm Top

>153 msf59: Well I know now what my next Boyne will be Mark so thanks for that. I loved The Heart's Invisible Furies.

Boo to the people filling your bird spot with cars Mark.

166msf59
Oct 13, 7:45pm Top

>161 jnwelch: It was such a good time, Joe. I really enjoy hanging out with you and Keith.

>162 richardderus: "People do rotten things to each other, don't they." They sure do, Richard. Thanks for supplying a little Boyne, personal history. It explains a lot.

>163 Familyhistorian: I do not think industry, cares, in the least, about my retirement, Meg. They are selfish that way. Have a great trip.

167msf59
Oct 13, 7:48pm Top

>164 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Sorry, I didn't catch your attention with the Boyne novel. I will have to sharpen my warbling tool. Hooray for the parakeets, though. It must be an enjoyable sight.

>165 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I am sure you will have a good time with the Boyne novel. I think he is at the top of his game.

168richardderus
Oct 13, 8:11pm Top

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

169EBT1002
Oct 13, 11:26pm Top

>152 msf59: No!!! "Paved paradise and put up a parking lot..." UGH.

>153 msf59: Oh boy. I'm looking forward to that one.

You asked up above.... I have been going for walks outside but I'm not running at present. Still working to let this achilles tendon and/or heel thingy heal. But I'm happy to be walking. My early morning walks take me past a pond full of geese, ducks, red-winged blackbirds, and a couple of herons. At sunrise it is absolutely beautiful and the waterfowl are so chatty! On the other side of the road are now-fallow winter wheat fields in which I sometimes see deer grazing. And, of course, there is the occasional red-tailed hawk on a light post. With all the wheat fields around here, the raptors do very well for themselves. I assume the fields are full of miserable meeses. :-)

170msf59
Oct 14, 7:21am Top

>169 EBT1002: Your early morning strolls sound wonderful, Ellen. I wish I could leave the house and step into that bucolic setting. I need to get into my vehicle and drive a bit. Keep it up, my friend.

171msf59
Edited: Oct 14, 9:38am Top



-Another terrific visit with Joe and Keith. Keith is not an LTer but he could easily be one. We hit 3 different breweries, so tasty beer was sampled, along with a whole lot of chatter, covering books, history, music, politics, sports and nature.

172karenmarie
Oct 14, 7:39am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Monday to you.

I'm sorry your BBS is being taken over by cars. I hope the birds don't mind them so that you can still visit.

Glad you, Joe and Keith had a brewery/beer/chatter time of it. Excellent photo.

173msf59
Oct 14, 7:45am Top

Morning, Karen. Yep, I am bummed a bit, about my BBS, but I should still be able to navigate around there. Curious, what will happen in the dead of winter, back there.

Always enjoy my time with Joe and Keith. Such good guys.

174msf59
Edited: Oct 14, 7:55am Top



"There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous, while also being delightful, and even laugh-out-loud funny. Her characters are all unsteady on their feet in one way or another..."

As usual, I start getting an itch to read a story collection, so I cracked open Homesick for Another World yesterday. I liked her dark and creepy novel, Eileen, from a couple of years ago and look forward to trying her short fiction, which sure sounds like my cuppa.

175jnwelch
Oct 14, 8:27am Top

Love that photo by our new Aussie friend, Mark. What a great time! I love your topic list - it's always a wide-ranging discussion, isn't it?

I'm glad you've found something dark and creepy to read for a change. Ha!

176alphaorder
Oct 14, 8:59am Top

Morning, Mark!

Having a great time in Utah. Took a 4x4 tour of some backroads of Canyonlands yesterday - amazing! Today we are planning on hiking there. I can't remember if you have been here, but I am thinking not. Highly recommend. The tour too - there are a lot of people here, but on our tour we were pretty much by ourselves except for a few others here and there.

I ended up getting a copy of a forthcoming novel from a Milwaukee acquaintance the night before I left, so I brought it with me. It's The Second Home (touchstones not working) by Christina Clancy and it is quite an engaging story. Takes place in Cape Code and Milwaukee, so that adds to the enjoyment. Pubbing next June.

177msf59
Oct 14, 10:41am Top

>175 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Hooray for our helpful Aussie mate. He did a fine job. Hey, I left music off the topic list! DUH!! I have added it.

>176 alphaorder: Hi, Nancy. Sounds like you are having an excellent time in Utah. I have passed through small portions of Utah, but have never really visited it, the way I would like. It is high on the bucket list. Continue to enjoy yourself and that book sounds good too.

178richardderus
Oct 14, 12:53pm Top

Happy whatever-we're-calling-it-now day, hell happy postal workers' rest day!

Read well. Shafak and Mossfegh...what a pair...

179EBT1002
Oct 14, 1:12pm Top

Mark, I'm sure you have not yet started planning any travel for Memorial Day 2020, but I just wanted to let you know I'll likely be in Chicago May 24 - 28.

180msf59
Oct 14, 2:46pm Top

>178 richardderus: Hooray, for Postal Worker's Rest Day!! Not much rest yet, I have been on the go, but I think most of the afternoon will be earmarked for the books. I will start the Shafak, as soon as I finish the story collection.

>179 EBT1002: That is great news, Ellen. We should be taking it easy, at that time and getting ready for the wedding in mid-June. B.A.G.

181Caroline_McElwee
Oct 14, 2:53pm Top

>152 msf59: Baah humbug. Let their tyres down. Get the birds to poop on em Mark.

>171 msf59: Yay, a meet up.

182benitastrnad
Oct 14, 6:06pm Top

It is tenure time in T-Town and the angst level is sky high. In fact I spent the weekend working with a colleague who got an unsatisfactory review and likely won't be retained as a result. She is very down. Academe is not an easy world in which to work. I did manage to finish Daughters of Mars by the Australian author Thomas Keneally. This one is about Army nurses in WWI and it is very good with a whole bunch of historical detail. I did not like the ending and found it confusing and a cheap trick to play on the reader. That kept it from being one of my best fiction of the year reads. After reading 520 pages the last 8 pages were a head stretcher. I hate it when authors let the reader down.

183msf59
Oct 14, 6:35pm Top

>181 Caroline_McElwee: That is a great idea, Caroline. i will have to chat with a few of my bird buddies! Grins...

>182 benitastrnad: "Academe is not an easy world in which to work." Sounds like it, Benita. Good luck to your colleague. I have had Daughters of Mars on my WL and have wanted to read more Keneally, just never got around to him.

184PaulCranswick
Oct 14, 8:45pm Top

Hope the birds get their place back, Mark.

185msf59
Oct 14, 9:31pm Top

>184 PaulCranswick: Me too, Paul. Good to see you.

186EBT1002
Oct 14, 11:24pm Top

Hi Mark! It sounds like you had a busy day.

I'm enjoying Girl, Woman, Other, one of the two Booker winners.

187msf59
Oct 15, 6:25am Top

>186 EBT1002: I was running around a bit, until early afternoon, (although that did involve a bird stroll) but the rest of the day, was R & R. I read a nice chunk of my story collection. Good to know about Girl, Woman, Other. It is also high on my list.

188msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 6:55am Top



^Congrats to Margaret Atwood & Bernardine Evaristo for winning the Booker! In honor of Ms. Atwood, I am starting the audio, of The Testaments today, (okay, I planned to anyway, but that is just fine timing, right?). The Handmaid's Tale was my first Atwood and it blew me away. I didn't revisit it, but much of it, is still fresh in mind and some of that is because of the TV show, (I loved the first 2 seasons, but felt that was enough and did not continue).

I also want to read Girl, Woman, Other. High on my To-Read list.

189lauralkeet
Oct 15, 7:34am Top

>188 msf59: Hi Mark! I hope you enjoyed your day off. I'm a little over halfway through The Testaments and really liking it. I hope it works well for you too. When I saw the Booker Prize announcement yesterday evening I immediately put my name on the library list. It looks intriguing.

190karenmarie
Oct 15, 7:39am Top

Good morning, Mrk! I'm 2/3 of the way through 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World and so wish that Shafak had received the Booker. It's a wonderful book and you'll love it, I'm sure.

I forgot to mention that I saw a female Hummingbird at my feeder yesterday.

191richardderus
Oct 15, 9:10am Top

Hi Mark, happy birding among the trucks. Poor birds, no place is really safe for them to rest, is it.

192jnwelch
Edited: Oct 15, 10:10am Top

Happy Tuesday, buddy.

We've got The Testaments (Debbi snagged a signed copy at a London store), and I want to read Girl, Woman, Other, too. The latter has been highly rated by Darryl (if I remember correctly) and other LTers, besides getting the Booker. Oh, and Debbi also snagged a copy of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds (good to see Karen's enjoyment of it), so that's a future read, too.

I imagine you get an extra load of mail today because of the holiday? I hope it goes okay. At least the weather's cooperating so far.

193vivians
Oct 15, 10:15am Top

Hi Mark - just making a delayed post to agree with your thoughts way above on Longmire and Dr. Siri, both terrific series!

I just started Cantoras, after hearing an interview on one of the book review podcasts I listen to. It's about 5 women in Uruguay after the coup in the early 70's. So far very good!

>162 richardderus: I really enjoyed A Ladder to the Sky and am so fascinated by Richard's post about its autobiographical nature. I'll read anything of Boyne's but was not a fan of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I have My Brother's Name is Jessica high on my TBR.

194alphaorder
Oct 15, 10:29am Top

Saw this list of Best of Poetry and thought of you: https://lithub.com/the-10-best-poetry-collections-of-the-decade/

195jnwelch
Oct 15, 11:25am Top

>194 alphaorder: That's a great list, Nancy. I've read every one but the first, I'm glad to say. I think Mark just borrowed Voyage of the Sable Venus. I'd put The Long Take by Robin Robertson on there.

196richardderus
Oct 15, 11:37am Top

>193 vivians: It's always the case that a writer's autobiography finds its way into their work, but this was simply breathtaking in its naked vulnerable almost non-fictional tone. I hope the read will have extra resonance with this nugget of information.

PS go Mets! (next year)

197msf59
Oct 15, 11:39am Top

They are making the Old Warbler pay for the holiday, with a hefty amount of mail today. I will grind through and Ms. Atwood should help me along...

Despite, the vehicular onslaught at the BBS, it was hopping this morning. Robins zipping around everywhere and being quite vocal about it too. There had to be at least 2 dozen or more. Runners up, were housefinch and house sparrows. Not bad, for less than 10 minutes.

198katiekrug
Oct 15, 11:42am Top

FYI to anyone intrigued by the newest Boyne, A Ladder to the Sky is on sale for Kindle today - $1.99!

199msf59
Oct 15, 11:42am Top

>189 lauralkeet: I just dipped into the Atwood, Laura. It is a full cast audio, which is pretty cool. Did you watch the TV show? Ann Dowd, who played Aunt Lydia, voices her own part. Pretty cool.

>190 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I plan on starting 10 Minutes, in just a couple of days. Glad to hear you are enjoying it.

>191 richardderus: Morning, Richard. See my report. Not shabby at all.

200msf59
Oct 15, 12:03pm Top

>192 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Glad to hear you have copies of the new Atwood and 10 Minutes. Thanks, to Ellen, I also have a copy of 10 Minutes. I will start it very soon.

>193 vivians: Hi, Vivian. Hooray for Longmire and Dr. Siri! And Cantoras sounds really good. I will watch for your final verdict.

201EBT1002
Oct 15, 2:24pm Top

Morning Mark (well, afternoon where you are).
I am LOVING Girl, Woman, Other. Loving.

202msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 6:34pm Top

>194 alphaorder: This looks like a powerhouse, poetry list, Nancy. I am not quite as cutting edge as Joe, so I have only read 6, which is still pretty good. Almost everything else, looks well-worth reading. I better get crackin'...thanks for sharing, my friend.

>195 jnwelch: I am completely impressed that you read, all but one, on this poetry list. Gentlemanly bow. Anything on here, you loved, that may have been off my radar?

>198 katiekrug: Thanks for sharing that Katie! Terrific book for an excellent price. Did you grab a copy?

>201 EBT1002: You mentioned "loving", twice? Grins...Like most of us, I am currently flooded with books, Ellen, and I have to pick up 2 more novels from the library, but I would sure like to bookhorn in Girl, Woman, Other.

203lauralkeet
Oct 15, 6:31pm Top

>199 msf59: I watched the first season Mark. I bet Ann Dowd is great in the audiobook.

204msf59
Edited: Oct 15, 6:36pm Top

>203 lauralkeet: She sure is, Laura and so far, her sections are my favorite, but, of course I am early days...

205msf59
Edited: Oct 16, 6:36am Top



^I finished off Ken Burns' excellent documentary, "Country Music". I want to thank Benita, Shelley and others for nudging me into it. It is quite a commitment at 8, 2hr episodes, but worth the time. Great music throughout and I learned a lot, along the way. I wish Peter Coyote could narrate everything. I have Burns' doc, Horatio's Drive waiting in the wings, also courtesy of Shelley.



^Merle & Willie!

206karenmarie
Oct 16, 7:56am Top

Good morning, Mark!

Glad to hear that the BBS was hopping yesterday. So far, in an hour, I've seen one Cardinal. But, it's raining and the birds are sheltering.

I hope you have a good day.

207msf59
Oct 16, 10:36am Top

Chilly and blustery in Chicagoland today. The BBS was eerily quiet. The birds must be laying low, with all the wind.

>206 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Same bird situation here, minus the rain. The mail volume is light though, so this should make for a decent day.

208jessibud2
Edited: Oct 16, 11:54am Top

>205 msf59: - It sure was great, wasn't it, Mark? Tell me, since it's fresher for you, do remember the segment where they profiled Kris Kristofferson? Do you remember if they made any reference at all to his current health issues? I ask because last week I saw a film that was made last year - a tribute to Joni Mitchell for her 75th birthday and he made an appearance as one of the musical guests singing a song of hers. I was stunned to see him - at first I thought he was blind, he looked that feeble, but after googling, I learned that he has been treated for Alzheimer's for years, only to discover recently that he didn't have Alzheimer's at all but rather, Lyme disease! (my review of that film is on my thread). But I was shocked because I didn't remember the Country Music segment mentioning his health issues. And he is 83!! If I knew that, I had forgotten.

Anyhow, I am home today avoiding the heavy rains and I will go downstairs shortly to watch Ken Burns' Brooklyn Bridge, which I learned about from YOU! :-). It's due back at the library on the weekend.

209Donna828
Oct 16, 1:25pm Top

>136 msf59: Mark, listening to the Longmire series read by George Guidall is a double treat. I read them in print and loved the series. Thanks for the reminder about Dr. Siri. Like you, I don't read that many series books, but Dr. Siri books are fun and interesting with the Laos setting.

>153 msf59: You got me with that first quote. Reading as confetti. Love it!

We had the chill and bluster yesterday. Today is cool and sunny. Fall seems to be here…finally. We're still waiting for the leaves to change. I'm glad we got a Colorado "fix" a few weeks ago.

210msf59
Oct 16, 6:03pm Top

>208 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. No, I do not think that they addressed Kris Kristofferson's health issues, on Country Music. I had heard about his declining health, and on our Meet Up, this past Sunday, a friend confirmed that Kristofferson had been ailing, with Alzheimers. Very sad. I hope you enjoy Brooklyn Bridge.

>209 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Always good to see you. Hooray for Longmire & Dr. Siri! I glad to hear, I got your attention with A Ladder to the Sky. It is a good one.

Our weather improves tomorrow, although it will still be below normal.

211brenzi
Oct 16, 6:27pm Top

Well I'm at the top of the Overdrive list for The Testaments but now you have me wondering if I should wait for the audio which will be 14 weeks. On the plus side I will be getting Olive Again very shortly.

212msf59
Oct 16, 6:38pm Top

>211 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. Honestly, I think the audio of The Testaments is the way to go. There are 3 narrators, including the actress Ann Dowd, reprising her TV role as Aunt Lydia, in superb fashion. 14 weeks is a ridiculously long time though! Would you consider Audible? Grins...

213msf59
Edited: Oct 16, 7:29pm Top



126) Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston 4.6 stars

“I have spent most of my life outside, but for the last three years, I have been walking five miles a day, minimum, wherever I am, urban or rural, and can attest to the magnitude of the natural beauty that is left. Beauty worth seeing, worth singing, worth saving, whatever that word can mean now. There is beauty in a desert, even one that is expanding. There is beauty in the ocean, even one that is on the rise. And even if the jig is up, even if it is really game over, what better time to sing about the earth than when it is critically, even fatally wounded at our hands.”

“The language of the wilderness is the most beautiful language we have and it is our job to sing it, until and even after it is gone, no matter how much it hurts.”

Pam Houston experienced horrific parental abuse, as a child, but somehow rose above and conquered her fears and one of the catalysts of her life was acquiring a 120 acre ranch in Colorado, a place where she could find solace and heal, the wounds of her past. Despite the many challenges of running a ranch, alone, and with zero experience, she somehow persevered. This is her story. Well-written, gritty and heartfelt. A nice blend of Annie Proulx and Cheryl Strayed, along with a strong environmental message. Houston has written other books, fiction and nonfiction. I will be exploring these too.

*This is also excellent on audio, with narration by the author. BTW- She loves her wolfhounds!

214Copperskye
Oct 16, 7:45pm Top

>213 msf59: Wasn’t it good!! I may listen to the audio at some point, just to revisit.

>210 msf59: I believe it’s actually Lyme disease. (I’m not a big country music fan - at all, really - but I’ve been in love with Kristofferson since I was 12 and have most of his albums still.)

215jessibud2
Edited: Oct 16, 9:03pm Top

>214 Copperskye: 0h yes, it was Lyme disease. After getting home from the film, I had to google and the most recent bit of info I could find was an article from 3 years ago that explained it:

https://www.newsmax.com/Health/Headline/Kris-Kristofferson-Lyme-Disease/2016/06/...

By the way, I am also not a country music fan AT ALL but this Ken Burns doc was just so excellent. He combined a lot of history with interviews and actual performance clips and also showed how much crossover there is (or was) between genres such as jazz, country, rock, even folk. Also, he did some in-depth profiles of some of the biggest contributors and stars from early days to present, one of whom was Kristofferson. It was just so well done. And because it was done over days, at 2 hours a shot, it never felt too long and certainly never boring.

216msf59
Oct 17, 7:20am Top

>214 Copperskye: Well, I appreciate the nudge, on Deep Creek, from you and Donna. She is a good fit for me. I never owned any of Kristofferson's albums, but I always appreciated his songwriting and acting. What a tragic disease.

>215 jessibud2: Thanks for the confirmation, Shelley. Now, that it is mentioned, I remembered hearing something about that. I enjoyed your further thoughts on Country Music and agree with all of it, although I am a classic country/bluegrass fan.

217karenmarie
Oct 17, 7:30am Top

Good morning, Mark! I hope you have a great Thursday.

Even though I'm not a country music fan I'd be interested in the Ken Burns doc. Everything I've seen by him has been well-researched and interesting.

218msf59
Oct 17, 7:43am Top

Morning, Karen and thanks. Country Music will end up being one of my favorite docs from Burns, although the Civil War will always reign supreme.

219msf59
Edited: Oct 17, 7:44am Top



^"Yongqing Bao’s photograph of a Tibetan fox and a marmot in the Qilian Mountains in China won the grand title at this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest." Sadly, the marmot did not survive the encounter.

220msf59
Edited: Oct 17, 9:04am Top



127) Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson 4.5 stars

“Night has come with her starry sky. Sleep and the silent hours of dreams. The others dream and sleep.
The house itself breathes in and out like a phantom. I lie awake with the stars as my cold companions. I think of my monster, lying thus, outside and alone.”

“We destroy out of hatred. We destroy out of love.”

“How strange is life; this span that is our daily reality, yet daily countermanded by the stories we tell.”

In modern day Britain, a young transgender doctor, named Ry, meets and falls in love with Victor Stein, a famous professor, as they attend an AI expo. The narrative then shifts to the maker of advanced sex dolls and then explores the mysterious process called cryogenics. The reader then, is propelled back to1816, where a young woman, named Mary Shelley, is creating her horror classic, Frankenstein, in the company of her poet husband, with Lord Byron, in attendance.
How these threads are seamlessly woven together, is the magic behind this smart and inventive novel. I have only read Winterson's wonderful memoir, but her latest, reminded me, that I need to go back and read more of her fiction. This is terrific stuff and as a bonus she blasts Trump, a time of two.

**I received an advanced copy of this at ALA.

221jessibud2
Oct 17, 9:15am Top

>219 msf59: - I love the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest! The exhibit comes to our museum every year and I have been going for years! What a shot that is!!! ^

222richardderus
Oct 17, 9:23am Top

>220 msf59: ...and such good blasts they were...

I'm hoping you'll try Sexing the Cherry sometime fairly soon....

223laytonwoman3rd
Oct 17, 10:16am Top

Trying hard to catch up after a couple weeks of very little LT time. I've noted elsewhere that I'm glad to find another reader who admired Ceremony. Becoming acquainted with Silko would have made the whole AAC challenge worthwhile for me this year if I hadn't read one other thing (which, of course is not the case..)

I've made a note of the Szalay book...that sounds good to me.

Sorry about the usurpation of your birdwatching hideaway. I kinda like Caroline's suggestion, but I suppose it could backfire. Someone might put up chains or something...

224jnwelch
Oct 17, 10:56am Top

All sorts of good stuff here, Mark. Sweet Thursday! Love the wildlife photo - the marmot looks like a halfback trying to avoid a tackle - but the tackle consequences are more severe, aren't they! Deep Creek and Frankissstein sound excellent.

225BLBera
Oct 17, 11:13am Top

My library copy of Frankissstein is waiting, Mark, so I hope to read it before too long.

226Copperskye
Oct 17, 11:47am Top

>215 jessibud2: Especially since I enjoy Ken Burns, I’m going to give the doc a try. Thanks for the additional nudge!

227msf59
Oct 17, 12:51pm Top

Busy morning, as usual, but I did squeeze in a short bird stroll. Cool, but gorgeous fall day. Now, I am meeting my cousin for lunch. I will return...

228jessibud2
Oct 17, 1:08pm Top

>226 Copperskye: - You're welcome. I am glad I watched it, too. I came to watch Burns's Jazz the same way. I have never been a fan of jazz - or at least, didn't think I was. But I saw one episode in dvd format at the library and because it was Burns, I borrowed it. I ended up borrowing all 10 episodes and watched them all (not in order because some had to come from inter-library loan) and absolutely adored it. I am convinced it is because of Burns's style, his way of crafting a story by weaving history, biography, music and interview, that will forever convince me to try anything he creates.

229msf59
Oct 17, 2:54pm Top

>221 jessibud2: I got a kick out of that photo. I do admire the sheer dedication, from these wildlife photographers.

>222 richardderus: As you can tell, I really enjoyed the Winterson. I will add Sexing the Cherry to the list. Thanks.

>223 laytonwoman3rd: Hi, Linda. Good to see you. Hooray for Silko! I enjoyed both books I read for her, in the AAC, although opinion seems to be mixed, which isn't surprising.

230msf59
Oct 17, 2:58pm Top

>224 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. Glad you like the fox and marmot photo. An amazing capture. And yes, I have been on a nice book roll. May it continue...

>225 BLBera: Hi, Beth. I am hoping to see more opinions on Frankissstein, from my LT pals. I sure loved it.

>226 Copperskye: I hope you give it a try, Joanne.

>228 jessibud2: I am a big jazz fan, Shelley, so I liked that particular Burns doc, although it didn't cover that genre as effectively, as the Country Music one did. IMHO.

231richardderus
Oct 17, 3:14pm Top

Hey Birddude...you like them there Southren stories...Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears might should get a look-see here pretty quick. I'm-a say I liked it fine.

232jessibud2
Edited: Oct 18, 7:52am Top

>230 msf59: - Just finished watching Brooklyn Bridge, the first doc Burns ever made. It was excellent, not as polished as his later ones, obviously, but you can see the seed of genius there. What I loved best, though, were the extra features the dvd offered, the Making Of the doc and mostly, A Conversation With Burns. Two things he said really stuck out for me and as I slowly work my way through his works, these points bear out. He said that he has always approached his subject matter as an emotional archaeologist, and that the best attention he can give to something, or someone, or some detail, is the essence of his focus. Always.

He is a real gem.

233msf59
Oct 18, 6:29am Top

>231 richardderus: Hey, RD. You got me with Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears. Thanks. I am glad someone appreciates short fiction as much as I do.

>232 jessibud2: I am so glad you enjoyed Brookyln Bridge, Shelley. I had forgotten, that it was his first film. I will have to re-watch it again and get to those extra features. Yep, Burns is definitely a gem.

234msf59
Edited: Oct 18, 6:39am Top



"What if, after the moment of death, the human mind continues to work for a few more precious minutes? Ten minutes, thirty-eight seconds exactly..."

Thanks to Ellen, I have a copy of the Booker short-listed, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. I know a few of my LT pals have recently read and praised it and I thought I better get on board. I started it yesterday. Not far in, but I can all ready tell, this will be something special. Has anyone read, any of Shafak's other work?

I also did a lot of driving around yesterday, so I am also into The Testaments. I may even finish it today.

235jnwelch
Oct 18, 8:49am Top

Happy Friday, Mark! Good reads there.

All is well on our end. Fun Bulls game last night, as they walloped Atlanta in the last preseason game. This Bulls team is young, talented and deep. This should be quite an entertaining year.

I'm unexpectedly going back to poetry class via The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry. What a teacher he is! Amber tipped me off.

That Abbott GN by Saladin Ahmed was a good one, and worth your time - more for the gritty 1972 Detroit depiction than the horror story, although that was all right. I'm reading a really odd GN now called The Can Opener's Daughter. The author, Rob Davis, is swinging for the fences, and maybe he succeeds. I'm about halfway through. I continue to enjoy The Secret Commonwealth, too. I'm sure he's once again irritating the non-atheists.

Brisk fall weather, but I bet a bunch of our fellow Chicagoans still will be wearing their shorts. Have a good one, buddy.

236charl08
Oct 18, 8:50am Top

>220 msf59: Great quotes, Mark. I thought this book was just brilliant - so many ideas, and so many beautiful lines.

237msf59
Oct 18, 9:37am Top

>235 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Yep, pretty chilly out here, to start my day. It is supposed to warm up nicely. Thanks for the book report. Iwill have to request Abbott. It sounds like my cuppa.

And oh yeah- Go Bulls!

>236 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Good to see you. I hope to see more of my LT pals pick up Frankissstein. A fun read.

238karenmarie
Oct 18, 10:28am Top

'Morning, Mark!

I really need to read some of Winterson's fiction. I frequently buy things then don't read them and happily find them on my shelves when the urge hits, but not this time. :(

There are several of her books on Amazon with the 'read for free' option for Kindle today. Doesn't include Sexing the Cherry, but gotta start somewhere...

239msf59
Oct 18, 10:35am Top

>238 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Maybe, we could nudge each other into reading more Winterson. Just a thought...

240richardderus
Oct 18, 12:12pm Top

>233 msf59: I think short fiction is the bee's knees, but Sweet/Salty is a novel so don't go in expecting a collection!

241brenzi
Oct 18, 6:30pm Top

>212 msf59: 14 weeks is a ridiculously long time though! Would you consider Audible? Grins...

Hmmmmm, well, I won't say I haven't considered it Mark, but OTOH I am not in any real hurry to read The Testaments and I have lots and lots and lots of books to read or listen to. Actually too many books. There are so many books I want to read and I'm getting depressed that I'll never get to them all lol.

242msf59
Oct 18, 6:40pm Top

>231 richardderus: >240 richardderus: I think you threw me off track with southern stories, RD. Grins...Thanks for the clarification.

>241 brenzi: I completely understand, Bonnie. Every time I look at my glacier-moving TBR stacks, I want to weep. So many promising books, just sitting there. We need a moratorium on new book releases- nothing new comes out for 2 years, to give us a chance put a dent in those neglected reads.

243mahsdad
Oct 18, 7:06pm Top

Happy Friday Mark,

Got me with a couple BBs this afternoon, to add to the too long WL that is only shoring up the too big Mt TBR. (Frankissstein and 10 Minutes 38 seconds).

Finished Calypso, loved it. I don't think I ever (even though I own several) want to read Sedaris myself. Its much better when he reads it. Will probably finish The Library Book this weekend, too. Ever onward towards 75. :)

244msf59
Oct 18, 10:28pm Top

>243 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. Good to see you. Glad I got you with a couple of BBs. This is always the mission. I think you will like both. I agree with you on Sedaris- his audio narration is priceless. I really enjoyed The Library Book. I hope you feel the same.

245Berly
Oct 18, 11:08pm Top

I love Boyne's work and Ladder to the Sky was no exception.

I am so sorry 'bout all the cars and trucks in your bird spot! Grrrr.

I am busy reading scary October reads, currently the GN of Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.

Happy Weekend!!

246Familyhistorian
Edited: Oct 19, 12:25am Top

>242 msf59: A moratorium on new book releases? That would cut into your book warbling time, Mark, and cause a slow down in the economy not to mention drive writers crazy. I hope the books treat you well this weekend.

247msf59
Oct 19, 7:45am Top

>245 Berly: Hi, Kim. I hope to read a lot more Boyne. I am very impressed with his writing. I am sure you will have a fine time with the Gaiman GN. Enjoy.

>246 Familyhistorian: Okay, Meg, the moratorium idea is officially off the table. LOL. My current reads are treating me just fine. Thanks .

248karenmarie
Oct 19, 9:02am Top

Good morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you.

I'm reading The Kitchen God's Wife for November's book club discussion and liking it much more than I thought I would.

249msf59
Oct 19, 10:32am Top

>248 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. It has been a long time since I read that particular Tan, so I don't remember much of it but I did give it 4 stars. Glad you are enjoying it.

250jnwelch
Oct 19, 10:47am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark. I'm glad you have some decent weather out there, and good books for company!

Thank for for the text support (kinda like tech support, but better). It's moving in the right direction.

I'm going back to Lyra and the gang now. :-)

251alphaorder
Oct 19, 10:56am Top

Well, we're back home. It was such an incredible trip. Alina comes home from Europe tonight. Then it is back to the routine for all of us.

Let's catch up soon!

252richardderus
Oct 19, 12:48pm Top

Happy Saturday! A whole day to read in tomorrow. What's in the rotation?

I'm working on a complete review of Flames for my blog, but damn if this Tasmanian tyro magical realist author didn't blow my little two-volt nervous system to flinders. It's not perfect but it's better than good. It's close to great, in fact.

253benitastrnad
Oct 19, 3:02pm Top

>248 karenmarie:
Kitchen God’s Wife has been on my reading list forever. Maybe I should get to it as well.

254DeltaQueen50
Oct 19, 5:02pm Top

Hi Mark, I am slowly catching up with everyone here on LT but it's taking time. Of course as I travel around to various threads my wishlist is growing! I am planning on reading Elif Shafak next month, but the book I will be reading is one of her older ones, The Bastard of Instanbul. I'm looking forward to it.

255msf59
Oct 19, 6:14pm Top

>250 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It was a very nice day to walk the route and good books to keep me company as well. And no problem, on the text support, (love that expression, BTW). This is what friends do. Anytime, bud.

>251 alphaorder: Welcome back, Nancy. Great to see you. Sounds like you had a great time on your trip. Have fun with Alina tonight. Should be a fun reunion.

256msf59
Oct 19, 6:19pm Top

>252 richardderus: Hey, RD. As usual I have a few things going on tomorrow- I hope to get out on a bird stroll and then we are going over to Bree's in the later afternoon, to watch the Bears game, drink some beer and play with the dogs. I am really enjoying 10 Minutes, 38 Seconds. Have you read any of her other work? I know, I will be exploring further...

>253 benitastrnad: Hi, Judy. Always a bit of a chore to catch back up on LT, after being away. Good luck. I am sure you will love the new Shafak novel and I also want to read The Bastard of Instanbul, among others.

257msf59
Edited: Oct 19, 6:36pm Top



-Harry Bliss

258msf59
Edited: Oct 19, 6:50pm Top



"The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters."

^ Benita, (bless her little heart) sent me an ARC of this from ALA, early in the year. It has languished on shelf (with a whole lot of other books), until I spotted it as an Audible Daily Deal and quickly added it to my audio rotation. I started it today and was quickly sucked in. It is narrated by the author, who is smart, funny and completely refreshing, (and I love those tats). I have seen zero LT activity on The Lady from the Black Lagoon and I plan on changing that.

259richardderus
Oct 19, 7:07pm Top

>256 msf59: I got The Architect's Apprentice some time ago and, wicked naughty me, haven't made it far into it. I seem to have stalled out around page forty or so. No memory of why.

260msf59
Edited: Yesterday, 7:19am Top



^I LOVE my library runs but it is so easy to get swamped with books. I am cheerfully drowning. I added a pair of Booker longlist titles- Night Boat to Tangier (Thanks, Richard) and The Man Who Saw Everything. I have not seen any LT activity on that one. It looks like a challenging read. I picked up a trio of GNs. 2 serious and one fun. I know Joe enjoyed Pumpkinheads. Lastly, is a poetry collection, (great cover) that Ellen graciously sent me.

Anyone read Deborah Levy? Thoughts?

261msf59
Oct 19, 7:35pm Top

>259 richardderus: Hopefully, you'll be sparked to give The Architect's Apprentice another try, RD. I KNOW, I want to read more of her work. I am quite impressed with Safak.

262richardderus
Oct 19, 10:03pm Top

>260 msf59: Oh goody good good!

>261 msf59: ...it is brooding at me...menacing me...I must deal with it soon....

263msf59
Yesterday, 7:19am Top

>262 richardderus: You must end the brooding and menacing...looking forward to your thoughts.

264charl08
Yesterday, 8:17am Top

>260 msf59: Hey Mark. Yes to Levy - I had an ARC so I even reviewed it on the book page for once (v briefly - 255 words, don't be expecting a comprehensive take in RD's league). Glad to hear you've picked up Tangier too. I think the Booker list included some good ones this time round (and I'm looking forward to reading the two I've not yet read from the shortlist).

265msf59
Edited: Yesterday, 8:38am Top

>264 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. I will check out your Levy review. I like what I have read of the Booker nominees. I finished The Testaments yesterday. Liked it, but did not love it. Looking forward to Girl, Woman, Other. This one sounds like my cuppa.

ETA- I liked your review of The Man Who Saw Everything. I hope to get to this one, in a couple of weeks. So many books...

266karenmarie
Yesterday, 10:06am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you.

The hummingbirds have gone, I think. I haven't seen one since Sunday. If I get ambitious, I'll bring the feeders in, clean them, and put them up for the spring.

Enjoy your day - birds, Bree, Bears, brews, books.

>253 benitastrnad: Go for it, Benita!

267msf59
Yesterday, 11:02am Top

>266 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I will take my hummingbird feeder down today. Always a sad occasion. Sue is joining me on a short bird stroll. We may go up to a nearby overlook to check on the Hawk Watch too. Another beautiful day here.

268Familyhistorian
Yesterday, 1:18pm Top

Hi Mark, I have read some Levy. I had to after seeing her in person. She was very interesting and animated. Will have to see what I read and get back to you on that when not on my phone.

269msf59
Yesterday, 1:57pm Top

Hi, Meg. Looking forward to your thoughts on Levy. She sounds like an interesting author.

270msf59
Yesterday, 2:04pm Top



^I saw my first Dark-Eyed Junco, of the season, at my feeder this morning, (NMP). Yah! I have seen a couple on the route but have been on the lookout here. They winter in our area, so we will see them for the next 4 or 5 months. Such cute little guys.

Gorgeous fall day in Chicagoland. The wife and I went on a short hike and then went to an overlook, where the seasonal Hawk Watch is in progress. Nothing much being seen, but we got to enjoy a stunning view. This is not my type of birding but I like shooting the breeze with the guys.

271benitastrnad
Edited: Yesterday, 2:53pm Top

I have several Elif Safak books on my shelves. I have Architect's Apprentice - thanks to a warble by Ellen several years ago. I have Bastard of Istanbul, Flea Palace, Forty Rules of Love, Three Daughters of Eve, and The Idiot. She has been making noise in many literary circles for awhile, but so far not much public readership. The publicity surrounding this years Booker might have changed that. She should have been the winner - instead of that weird book that cashed in on the fame of its predecessor that didn't win a Booker Prize when it was published.

Of course, in my opinion the author of this years' Booker winner deserved to win for Blind Assassin as it was a wonderful book, but that book with the ugly red cover (that shall not be named here) was not her best novel. Her previous Booker winner was the best of her novels that I have read to date. But I haven't read The Penelopiad. That might unseat Blind Assassin as that Canadian authors best work. (A friend of mine thinks that The Robber Bride was good, so I might have to read that - just to placate her.)

272EBT1002
Yesterday, 8:15pm Top

>219 msf59: That photo is amazing. I'm sad for the marmot but that is nature.

>220 msf59: I'm looking forward to that one and I hope you enjoy 10 Minutes 38 Seconds. I read and very much liked The Architect's Apprentice; I recommend that one as well.

273brenzi
Yesterday, 8:42pm Top

Feeling no urgency to read The Testaments. Just sayin Mark.

274jnwelch
Yesterday, 9:33pm Top

>257 msf59: LOL!

Hey, buddy. I hope it's been a good Sunday for you and the fam. It sounds like it was - a beautiful day for a hike with Sue.

I just finished another good noir GN from Ed Brubaker, called The Sinners. I don't think I've ever been disappointed by him.

275msf59
Today, 6:33am Top

>271 benitastrnad: Thanks for chiming in on Shafak, Benita. I have added all those to the list. It seems we have differing opinions about Ms. Atwood. I would still like to read her earliest stuff, 70s era, which I have not got around to. I also want to read The Robber Bride.

>272 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. I am really enjoying 10 Minutes 38 Seconds and may come close to finishing it today. I now want to read more of her work.

>273 brenzi: Hard for me to argue with that one, Bonnie. Grins...

>274 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I wish we had time to hike a bit more yesterday. It was a glorious fall day. Not many more of those left, for the year. I am glad you are having a good time with the Brubaker. I have to get back to him. It has been awhile.

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