Dejah_Thoris reads less in 2020!
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Welcome! Thank you for visiting my thread!
I'm a voracious reader from beautiful Georgia (US) who's been on LT since April of 2011 - I can't believe it's been that long!
Truth is, I have not been on LT consistently all these years - it's only been for the last 2 1/2 years or so that I've logged every book I've read. I don't post much on my own thread or on others, but I do visit other threads - yes, I'm a lurker.
One goal this year is, in addition to logging every book at the top of my thread, to post SOMETHING about it - even if it's just it's number and cover. Hopefully, I'll be able to do a little better than that. Another goal is to read less. I read 365 books in 2018 (I made certain I finished one more book that December to reach 365 - I mean, come on, how often am I ever going to reach that number?) and 335 in 2019. The more stressed out I am (among other things/situations) the more I read. So, I hope to cut back a bit in 2020. Ideally, I'd like to come in at 300 or fewer. We'll see.
In RL, I work, herd cats, garden, and participate in community theater - when not reading, obviously (I can, however, pet cats while reading). I'm planning to post more cat and garden photos this year. Theater photos if requested - I won't force those on anyone!
I participate in the TIOLI Challenges, the occasional Group Read, and many of the Category CAT/KIT Challenges over in the 2020 Category Challenge Group, but this is my primary personal thread.
I'm not setting any hard and fast goals, but in a general way, I'd like to read more nonfiction, read a play a week (unless I'm involved in a production), continue my reading of Pulitzer Prize Winners and Short Listed works, and read with more variety from works from throughout the 20th century.
I guess that's it - thanks again for dropping by!
Pulitzer Finalists and Winners
Over the last few years, I've been trying to read all the winning and nominated works for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama - and a few from other categories as well. Lists of the non-winning Finalists have only been made available since 1980.
Year or 'finalist' for works read in 2020 are in bold.
Drama: 0 / 33
1918: Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams
1938: Our Town by Thornton Wilder
1940: The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan
1943: The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder
1946: State of the Union by Russell Crouse and Howard Lindsay
1948: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
1955: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
1959: J. B.: A Play in Verse by Archibald MacLeish
1967: A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee
1977: The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer
1981: Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
1982: A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller
1983: 'night, Mother by Marsha Norman
1987: Fences by August Wilson
1988: Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry
1989: The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein
1990: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
1991: Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon
finalist: Prelude to a Kiss by Craig Lucas
finalist Conversations With My Father by Herb Gardner
finalist A Perfect Ganesh by Terrence McNally
1995: The Young Man From Atlanta by Horton Foote
1997: NO WINNER
finalistThe Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry
2000: Dinner With Friends by Donald Margulies
2001: Proof by David Auburn
2003: Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
2005: Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley
finalist: The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl
2007: Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
2008: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts
2009: Ruined by Lynn Nottage
finalist: In the Next Room, or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl
2011: Clybourne Park
2017: Sweat by Lynn Nottage
I'm also hoping to read some works from other categories.
Biography/Autobiography: 0 / 0
Fiction/Novels: 0 / 11
1923: One of Ours by Willa Cather
1928: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1937: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1945: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1948: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
1953: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1961: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1975: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
2017: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
2018: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
General Nonfiction: 0 / 6
1995: The Beak of the Finch: The Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner
finalist: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
finalist:Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler
1998: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
Finalist: Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl
2013: Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King
History: 0 / 2
1987: Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of Revolution by Bernard Bailyn
Finalist Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin
Poetry: 0 / 2
1918: Love Songs by Sarah Teasdale (special prize, officially pre-Pulitzer Prize)
1923: assorted works by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Special Awards and Citations:
1977: Alex Haley for Roots
1992: Art Spiegelman for Maus
Year by year….
I’m not trying to read a book for every year of the 20th century and beyond, but I do like to see where my reading falls on a timeline. Years for which I did not read a book in 2019 are marked with an * - if I missed it in 2018as well, it gets a double **.
2020 Sweep With Me
2019 Polaris Rising +3
2018 Stars Uncharted +1
2017 Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India
2013 The Human Division
2012 Servant of the Underworld
2010 A Few Right Thinking Men
1972 Tied Up In Tinsel
*1923 Whose Body?
January and February
1. Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik (TIOLI #4, reread, 2019)
2. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (TIOLI #15, reread, shared read, 1923)
3. Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief Hillsbery (TIOLI #3, GEOKit, TravelKit?, nonfiction 954.031/813.609/DS475, 2017)
4. Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall (TIOLI #1, AlphaKit, reread, 2018)
5. A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill (TIOLI #7, MysteryKIT, TravelKIT?, 2010)
6. Tied Up In Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh (TIOLI #5, AlphaKit, reread, 1972)
7. Resistant by Rachael Sparks (TIOLI #6, SFFKit, 2018)
8. Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik (TIOLI #8, 2019)
9. Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews (TIOLI #14, reread, 2019)
10. Sweep With Me by Ilona Andrews (TIOLI #15, 2020)
11. Hot Comb by Ebony Flowers (TIOLI #6, graphic short stories, 2019)
12. The Human Division by John Scalzi (TIOLI #10, shared read, 2013)
13. Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard (TIOLI #9, 2012)
Hooray! I finally got my thread posted.
Since it's day 6 of the new year, I am, of course, already behind on posting my books. I'm also starting rehearsal for a play tonight, so life will be busy for a bit.
At any rate, thank you for coming by. I've been quietly visiting a few threads, but not saying much. I'll try to do better about actually typing and posting the things I've thinking about what everyone is up to, and not just keeping it to myself.
Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!
Why thank you, Paul! I should have know you would be my first visitor!
I wish you a joyous new year!
Happy New Year, Dejah! Your thread topper made me laugh - cats are so funny. Looking forward to more photos this year - and I would love to see theater ones.
>12 Crazymamie: Welcome, Mamie - thanks for dropping by! Cats don't think they're funny - what a shocking thought!
As for theater photos, your wish is my command. I'll post something soon.
1. Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik (TIOLI #4, reread, 2019)
I read Polaris Rising last year and thought I didn’t remember all that much about it. The sequel, Aurora Blazing is out, so I thought I’d give the first a quick reread before moving on. As it turns out, I remembered more than I thought. It’s basically a space opera, with a nasty conspiracy and some politics thrown in - and more romance than I prefer. It’s entertaining enough, if you’re looking for something not particularly demanding.
2. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers (TIOLI #15, reread, shared read, audio only, 1923)
Over in the 2020 Category Challenge Group, majika is hosting a Lord Peter Wimsey read, which begins, of course, with Whose Body?. How could I not participate? I’ve read Whose Body? several times, but this was the first time I’ve ever listened to it. I enjoyed it - again. I love Lord Peter - he's my favorite amateur detective.
So glad to see your thread, Dejah. Happy New Year and Happy Reading this year!!
>19 lindapanzo: The same to you, Linda! And thanks for dropping by.
PaulCranswick mentioned on his thread that M.C. Beaton had died - back on December 30th, actually. As I mentioned over there, I was never a fan of the Agatha Raisin series, but I always enjoyed the Hamish Macbeth mysteries - I'm sorry there won't be any more (I don't seem to have all of them added to LT - something to correct.)
She also wrote Regency romances, a genre I read quite a lot of years ago, primarily as Marion Chesney, which was her birth name. I think I'll add one - possibly The Ghost and Lady Alice - to my reading plans for the month.
>20 Dejah_Thoris: Yesterday, on FB, her FB site mentioned that she had more manuscripts in both series in the works. Also said that the Acorn TV series involving Agatha Raisin would be returning and that a new Hamish MacBeth TV adaptation is in the works and is currently in pre-production with the same producers as the Agatha Raisin series.
>22 lindapanzo: Well that's good news! There was at least one TV adaptation of Hamish, but the production quality wasn't great and it was really hard to understand. And I love one more Hamish book.
Thanks for the info!
>23 Dejah_Thoris: I sent that to my elderly mother, who adores both of these series on TV, but never thought to post it on LT. I think the new Miss Fisher movie is due out on Acorn in a few months. It just made its debut at a film festival. I think that was on FB also. I spend way too much time on FB.
Oh, believe me, my mom has been waiting for the new Phryne movie for years now - ever since it was announced that they were making one. Somehow I doubt that it'll be in a theater anywhere near us, so hopefully it won't be too long until is makes it to Acorn.
I wish there were more Phryne novels! I'm reading a new to me author/series set in Australia in the early 1930s - the first book is A Few Right Thinking Men. The protagonist is an independently wealthy artist soon to be amateur sleuth. I keep wanting it to be Phryne, so I'm probably not enjoying it as much as I should. It's well written, though, so I imagine I'll continue with the series - I just need to get Phryne out of my head and expectations....
>21 Dejah_Thoris: Thanks for that Dejah. Your description of the photo made me laugh out loud!
>30 Crazymamie: You're welcome, Mamie. Blocking rehearsals are the worst - no set, no real acting, just back and forth and writing notes in your script. Plus, it's freezing in there! Not literally, of course; this is Georgia, after all. But, like most community theaters, they're on a budget, and keeping the heat up isn't a priority if no one is in the building. It's a big stage and house (I've often noted its barn-like qualities) and it takes a while to warm the place up!
>31 Carmenere: Thank you, Lynda! The reading is off to a good start, although I'll be spending more time learning lines for the next few weeks than reading, I'm afraid.
Dejah, I remember you talking a few years ago about how you like to read stage plays, Neil Simon or whatnot. Is that still true? Any that you'd recommend to someone, ahem, like me, who rarely does?
I'd like to branch out a bit more this year, though I still have tons of cozy mysteries plus all those Net Galleys I ask for.
>33 lindapanzo: I do still read plays, although not as often as I think I should. I have many theater friends who don't read plays for pleasure, but that's mainly because they don't read much of anything for pleasure. Obviously, as a reader, you won't have any difficulty visualizing plays in your head, although a script gives you much less to work with than a novel. Too, the more stage experience you have, the easier it is to envision how the work would be staged; as with many things, the more you do it, the better you are at it.
Neil Simon is actually a good playwright with whom to start. I'd skip some of his early comedies (they haven't aged particularly well) but his later semi-autobiographical works like Lost In Yonkers (which won a Pulitzer and the Eugene Trilogy are very well written. I'll probably read the Eugene Trilogy in February - early in the month I'll be auditioning for the first, Brighton Beach Memoirs.
I have to make a pitch for my favorite play of all time: Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. It's considered 'too intellectual' for most community theaters to produce, which just kills me. I think it's nothing short of brilliant. It has a dual timeline - Regency England and current (ok, mid '90s) a mystery, math, romantic poets, gardens - well, I could go on, but I won't.
Other reasonably recent plays I admire include Proof by David Auburn and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley. I'm rather fond of Wendy Wasserstein, although many aren't - try The Sisters Rosensweig, perhaps.
Mid 20th century plays can be very fun and straightforward - early 20th century plays can be an acquired taste. Picnic by William Inge, Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin, The Best Man by Gore Vidal, The Women by Clare Booth Luce and even Bell, Book and Candle by John Van Druten are all entertaining.
I'd avoid farces at first - they tend to be tough to visualize - too many slamming doors and perfect timing near misses. Once you figure out what types of plays you enjoy reading most, the possibilities are nearly overwhelming.
If you have any specific questions, please ask!
Hi Dejah! Just dropping my star so I can follow along with you this year. Your thread topper is adorable!
Welcome back Dejah! I love the little cat tongue in >1 Dejah_Thoris: :-)
>37 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather! She had a vet appointment this morning and the vet tech admired her cute pink tongue - she has it airing almost all the time, lol.
>39 cameling: Reading the Lord Peter books out of order shouldn't be a problem - Nine Tailors is one that stands alone particularly well, I think. That said there is, to me, a great deal of character development (and development of Sayers as a writer) that takes place over the series as a whole. I'd say enjoy Nine Tailors on your travels and then backtrack and pick up with Clouds of Witness. If you're so inclined, come join the smallish group of us over in the 2020 Category Challenge doing a series (re)read; Clouds of Witness is scheduled for February.
Here's the Whose Body? thread. You'd be more than welcome to join us!
We're allowed to have more than one series, you know. :D
My brother is a huge Stoppard fan and took me to a production of Arcadia at the Opera House a few years ago. I was both delighted and appalled to realise I got every single reference over the course of the play, not having set out to be an "expert" on those things! - it was a fascinating exercise in how much knowledge you absorb from reading without realising it.
>41 lyzard: Isn't it amazing how many bits of information you pick up from reading? I'll never forget when, during a directed, independent study class in Shakespeare, I made an offhand comment to my professor about Florizel and Perdita from The Winter's Tale (which I was studying at the time) and the Prince Regent's Florizel nickname/scandalous letters to 'Perdita' Robinson. The dear man had no idea what I was talking about, so I explained. He was terribly impressed with my erudition - I don't think I ever admitted that the knowledge came from neither two semesters of British History nor an extensive term paper on George IV, but from reading Regency romances!
As for Arcadia, I cannot express how much I love that play. I was lucky enough to see it during it's original, brief, Broadway run at Lincoln Center in 1995. At intermission, I walked out into the lobby and bought a copy - I knew it was brilliant, no matter what happened in the second act.
I frequently hear (when I try to convince someone to produce the show for community theater) that it's too intellectual, too elitist, too white - and I understand all of those objections, even if I don't necessarily agree. Even very intelligent people I know don't get many of the references, since it does draw from a fairly narrow range of knowledge. That said, I think there is a beautiful story there, regardless - and I think we have a tendency to underestimate our audiences. Er...sorry. Mild diatribe over.
>42 PaulCranswick: I believe the only one of Alan Ayckbourn's plays I've read is Bedroom Farce - and I have to admit that farce isn't my favorite theatrical style. I'll see if I can come up with a copy of Absurd Person Singular and join you! And I'm all in favor of everyone reading more plays. :)
>40 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you for the assurance I won't be too lost by reading Lord Peter out of order. I'll give Nine Tailors a read and if I like it, I'll go back to the first in the series and catch myself up reading them on order.
Thank you for the link to the group read thread. I'll keep that in mind and pop in to join you if I manage to get to Clouds of Witness in February.
>44 cameling: Enjoy Nine Tailors - and safe and healthy travels!
Like so many LTers, I've been under the weather the last few days - some reading, lots of napping. I need to write a few reviews, but I haven't felt very motivated. I'm working on that, lol.
I mentioned above that I planned to post more garden and cat photos, so here's on to get things started:
My pink camellias had just about finished blooming before the wind and rain of the last few days hit, taking the last of the flowers. They were beautiful while they lasted!
3. Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India by Kief Hillsbery (TIOLI #3, GEOKit, TravelKit, nonfiction 954.031/813.609/DS475, 2017)
As a child, Kief Hillbery heard about an “uncle” (obviously a great-uncle of some sort) who disappeared into British India under mysterious circumstances. As a college student in the early 1970s, embarking on an overland trip to India and Nepal, his mother, concerned that none of the family has ever found/paid their final respects to the missing uncle, extracts a promise from him that he’ll find the grave. Easier said than done. Empire Made is both the story of Nigel Halleck, the mysterious uncle, and of Hillsbery’s attempts to track him down.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Colonialism is an interest of mine, as is the East India Company, and Hillsbery does a very nice addressing both. There’s more to it than that of course - Nigel’s story, Hillsbery’s travels - and I found it fascinating. I’d highly recommend it to with an interest in at least one of the topics mentioned.
>45 Dejah_Thoris: Lovely picture, Dejah, I love camelias!
My red camelia has sadly no intention to give flowers this year :-(
4. Stars Uncharted by S. K. Dunstall (TIOLI #1, AlphaKit, reread, 2018)
I’m not sure how I came across Stars Uncharted by two Australian sisters who write as S. K. Dunstall last year (ronincats maybe?) but I enjoyed it so much I pretty much immediately went on to read (and thoroughly enjoy) their first trilogy, which begins with Linesman. While I enjoyed the Linesman series, Stars Uncharted definitely shows a leap forward in their writing. It space opera with interesting characters and lots of action - but it definitely feels like the set-up for what’s to come. And speaking of what’s to come, the next book, Stars Beyond, is being published January 21st. I reread Stars Uncharted just to be prepared.
>47 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita! I love the red varieties, too - I really need to add one. Drought the previous summer seems to be the biggest contributor to poor bloom where I am and I've often been warned to be careful not to over-fertilize. Any ideas why it's not blooming?
>49 Dejah_Thoris: We had two dry summers, last year it had less flowers, and this year no buds at all.
I planted it at a not easy accesable place in the garden, so the dogs would leave it alone. That is not the best place for it, now without dogs I should replant it at a better accesable spot, so I could water it more regular in dry times.
>50 FAMeulstee: If you're going to transplant it, I hope it's not too big! It's been raining for days here, and while it's not particularly pleasant, it's much better than drought. I keep thinking of all those poor people in Australia, wishing I could send a little rain their way....
>51 Dejah_Thoris: It never grew big, I think it is 75 cm in height. Best time would be early spring.
The situation in Australia is so sad for people and wildlife. It would be great if we could send rain where it is needed.
5. A Few Right Thinking Men by Sulari Gentill (TIOLI #7, MysteryKIT, TravelKIT, 2010)
I came across an article about the recent success of female mystery authors from Australia. It mentioned Jane Harper, whose The Dry and Force of Nature I enjoyed and The Lost Man which I absolutely loved (particularly the audio version by Stephen Shanahan). Also lauded was Dervla McTiernan for her police procedural series that opens with The Ruin, which I read last year and follows up with The Scholar, which I’ll get to soon. Kerry Greenwood, who has been on the scene for years with her fabulous Phryne Fisher novels was there as well, and a name I didn’t recognize: Sulari Gentill. Happily, my extended library system was able to get me A Few Right Thinking Men and I gave it a shot.
Unhappily, I spent the first 100 pages or so wishing Gentill’s 1930s Rowland Sinclair was Greenwood’s 1920s Phryne, but fortunately I got over it. This is a very promising amateur sleuth series and I’ve already requested the second, A Decline in Prophets.
>54 lyzard: I cannot imagine how worrisome it must be. To have so very many acres burning at once is mind boggling. I've long had a deep rooted fear of forest/brush/wildland fires, as I've often lived near woods that come close to my home and can be frighteningly dry during drought. I know that I am very fortunate that the southeastern United States where I live usually does not lack for rain.
I haven't seen you post anything about being personally in danger of the current fires so I've been assuming you were safe - I hope that's correct and that the air quality isn't too terrible.
ETA: *snort* Yeah, it took me a minute, but I got there.
No, these particular fires are not near me though I have had them come as close as three or four suburbs away in the past.
The air quality is an ongoing problem, particularly for people with respiratory problems. It's relatively clear here at the moment but Melbourne is being choked, to the point of some tennis players pulling out of the Australian Open or defaulting their matches.
6. Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh (TIOLI #5, AlphaKit, reread, 1972)
Tied Up in Tinsel was the next up in my glacially slow in order reread of Ngaio Marsh’s Superintendent Roderick (Rory) Alleyn mysteries. Given the Christmassy title, it should come as no surprise that I intended to read this one in December. Troy (Mrs. Agatha Troy Alleyn, Rory’s extremely successful artist wife) is on hand from the beginning of the tale, and I must confess I particularly like those few novels in which she makes a substantial appearance. This is the 25th out of 32 in the series; I suppose I’ll probably complete my reread this year. I think part of my slow down is simply a reluctance to be finished - I like Rory.
Will finish Absurd Person Singular today and whilst it makes me smile a fair bit, I am equally minded that some of the humour is very specifically British and that maybe Ayckbourn as a result may be of only parochial interest.
>45 Dejah_Thoris: What a gorgeous camellia! Do you have many camellias in your yard? I am a pathetic gardener and any plants that blossom in my yard do so in spite of me and are surely gladiators of the floral universe.
You've hit me with a book bullet with Empire Made and A Few Right Thinking Men.
I love Phryne Fisher .. both the books and the TV series. I'm so glad they went ahead with a Season 3 for the TV series and can't wait until it screening rights make it across the pond to me on Netflix.
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