TalkMark's Reading Place: Chapter Eighteen
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-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.
85) The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead 4.7 stars ALA
86) Bernie by Ted Rall 4.2 stars GN
87) Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera 3.8 stars
88) Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography by Jack Hurst 3.3 stars (audio)
89) Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey 4.4 stars (audio)
90) The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai 5 stars
91) Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz 4.2 stars GN
92) If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais 4.7 stars
93) Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson 3.8 stars (audio)
94) Big Sky (Jackson Brodie) by Kate Atkinson 3.8 stars (audio)
95) Mohawk by Richard Russo 4.2 stars
96) Instructions for a Funeral: Stories by David Means 4.7 stars
97) Moonbound: Apollo 11 by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm 4.2 stars GN
98) Moloka'i: A Novel by Alan Brennert 4 stars (audio)
99) Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton 4.5 stars ALA
100) God Save Texas by Lawrence Wright 4.6 stars (audio)
101) Lanny by Max Porter 4.4 stars
102) Recursion by Blake Crouch 3.7 stars (audio)
103) Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey 4.5 stars (P)
104) The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell 4.3 stars ALA
105) Norco '80:True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery by Peter Houlahan 3.8 stars (audio)
106) The New Order: Stories by Karen E. Bender 4.6 stars ALA
107) Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir by Jeff Tweedy 4.5 stars (audio)
108) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines 4.2 stars AAC
109) The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth) by N. K. Jemisin 4.2 stars (audio)
110) A Truck Full of Money by Tracy Kidder 3.8 stars (audio)
111) Storyteller by Leslie Marmon Silko 4.2 stars AAC
112) Pilgrim's Wilderness: Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia 4 stars (audio)
113) They Called Us Enemy by George Takei 4.7 stars GN
114) Deep River by Karl Marlantes 4.3 stars
115) Beloved by Toni Morrison 5 stars (audio/print)
116) We Are Still Here: Stories & A Novella by Emily Koon 3.7 stars ER
117) Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang 4.4 stars
118) An American Sunrise: Poems by Joy Harjo 4.3 stars (P)
119) Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips 4.2 stars (audio)
120) The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 4.8 stars ALA
121) Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley 4 stars GN
122) Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight 4.7 stars (audio)
123) Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko 4.2 stars AAC
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)
132) 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak 4.5 stars
^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
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.
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—
^We are going out with friends for dinner, so I will be back later. Feel free to roam around...
>5 msf59: Have a good time with your friends, and enjoy dinner.
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.
>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.
>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.
>16 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. You just added a place to my bucket list. Sounds wonderful. I will stop by shortly.
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.
>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...
Anyway, hope you are well!
>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.
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.
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.
Happy Sunday! Read hearty.
>41 jessibud2: Mine too, Shelley. I will have to try her out.
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.
>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.
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?
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?
Here’s a photo (not mine, obviously). Such a pretty bird - have you seen one?
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...
>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...
"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.
Of course there was no bye week in Auburn. There are lots of tears in Mudville this weekend.
To chime in on the squirrel discussion, the ones around here are black with the occasional grey. Maybe black squirrels like Canadian cities?
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?
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!
>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.
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...
I’m reading a Molly Gloss book, The Hearts Of Horses. It’d been on my shelf for ages and it’s really good!
"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?
>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!
Reading lots of mysteries and the occasional sports-related book. Right now, a biography of old-time goalie Johnny Bower.
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!
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.
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!
>94 richardderus: I can understand the mixed reaction to Ceremony, RD. Not for all tastes.
>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...
-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...
>91 msf59: Pass, although thanks for the informative review.
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?
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.
>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.
>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...
-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.
...wonder if they're as tasty as ortolans...
>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...
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.
>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.
>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.
>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.
Max explains that the brain has to be fully functioning at clinical death."
I was thinking I would wait until Frankissstein comes out in paperback but your enthusiasm is compelling!
>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.
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.
>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.
Have a fine time at the theater tonight. Sounds like another good one.
^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.
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!
I'm glad you enjoyed Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country. Wasn't it a beautiful ode to Colorado and the outdoors?
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?
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.
My own "slippers on" read has to be Montalbano or Jack Reacher.
Have a great weekend, Mark
>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.
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!
>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.
^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.
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.
For some odd reason, in addition to the regulars, I have had woodpeckers at my feeder all week, both downies and hairies! Pretty cool
>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.
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.
Boo to the people filling your bird spot with cars Mark.
>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.
>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.
>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. :-)
-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.
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.
Always enjoy my time with Joe and Keith. Such good guys.
"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.
I'm glad you've found something dark and creepy to read for a change. Ha!
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.
>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.
Read well. Shafak and Mossfegh...what a pair...
>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.
>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.
I'm enjoying Girl, Woman, Other, one of the two Booker winners.
^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.
I forgot to mention that I saw a female Hummingbird at my feeder yesterday.
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.
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.
PS go Mets! (next year)
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.
>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.
I am LOVING Girl, Woman, Other. Loving.
>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.
^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!
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.
>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.
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.
>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.
>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.
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!
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.
>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.
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.
^"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.
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.
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...
>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.
>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.
He is a real gem.
>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.
"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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
>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.
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. :)
I'm reading The Kitchen God's Wife for November's book club discussion and liking it much more than I thought I would.
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. :-)
Let's catch up soon!
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.
Kitchen God’s Wife has been on my reading list forever. Maybe I should get to it as well.
>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.
>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.
"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.
^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?
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...
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!
^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.
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.)
>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.
Sorry your Bears lost. No Panther football yesterday as it was a bye week.
I read the Chicago Tribune and Harry Bliss is featured there.
>277 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Chicagoland is not happy with our Bears. They are just not a very good team. Sad face.
>278 richardderus: Hey, RD. Thanks for the reminder. It will either be tonight or tomorrow night.
I think Atwood is a good author. I just think that she won the Booker for her best book - to date - and so enough is enough. I think she won because of the TV success of her red covered book.
In the meantime, there are other books. Here is one. I am about 25 pages from the end of Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family and this has been a great book. I spent a good deal of time reading it over the weekend, and I can't wait to tell you guys about it. It is published by an Academic publisher - Rowman & Littlefield - and shouldn't be a readable book. But it is. If you liked Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Shanghai Faithful tags along with Wild Swans and gives great insight into China during the 1960's and the Cultural Revolution.
There are so many good books to read and I keep finding more and more of them.
"...a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities."
I was a big fan of Wison's earlier books, The Family Fang & Tunneling to the Center of the Earth: Stories, so I have been looking forward to his latest novel, Nothing to See Here. I tried unsuccessfully to snag one at ALA, (you can't win 'em all, folks) so I settled with an e-galley. Looks like a fun read. Any other Wilson fans out there? I do not see his name bandied about much around here.
On the audio front- I am having a very good time with The Lady From the Black Lagoon. Another nice surprise.
>282 msf59: Definitely an Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. *smile*
>288 richardderus: You are correct, RD. And the author is a movie producer, so she sees, firsthand that not much has changed in Hollywood, over these past 70 years. Pretty sad.
I didn't realize you read Black Lagoon. Such a nice surprise.
>282 msf59: :-)
All is well on my end. I'm liking Red at the Bone, and am nearing the end. Thank goodness Brown Girl Dreaming got me started on reading Jacqueline Woodson; I've liked everything I've read by her. I think I texted it to you - A Fortune for Your Disaster turned out to have a few excellent poems. I assume they're why he gets onto some "Best of" lists. The rest for me was just so-so. I'll try to post one or two on the Poetry thread if time permits - I'm hoping I won't have to retype any!
Another good GN: Whiteout Compendium, a Greg Rucka. I'm re-reading it - murders at an Antarctic research station that a female U.S. Marshal has to solve before more die. Very well done.
Hope it goes well for you today - wow was it windy early!
If you are looking for ideas for a get-up for your Halloween treat-or-treating, maybe this would help. The caption identified this as the "Cornish Owlman" spotted in 1976 near the village of Mawnan, Cornwall, England.
>291 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I NEED to get my greedy mitts on Red at the Bone. It looks like my LT pals are really connecting with that one and like you, I loved her last couple of books. I am glad you ended up enjoying the poetry collection. You just never know with poetry, right?
>293 weird_O: Weirdo stopped by! Weirdo stopped by! Yippee! Good to see you, Bill. I am not dressing up in costume anymore, but this would sure be a creepy costume to wear. I would just have to make sure I can drink a malt beverage through that beak. Possible?
>294 jnwelch: Could you imagine me, delivering mail like that, Joe? Grins...
Thanks for the beer tips, my friend!!