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Ellen (EBT1002) counts books, months, & adventures in 2020 - Stave 3

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Feb 12, 11:04pm Top

Sunset Beach, Oahu
I'll be sitting here (well protected from the sun) in March.

Edited: Feb 12, 11:19pm Top

.. ..

Abby, aka "The Bean," whom I miss every single day

Edited: Feb 12, 11:06pm Top

My Rating Scale:

= Breathtaking. Perfect for me at this moment.
= Excellent! Among my favorites of the year.
= Particularly enjoyable or thought-provoking.
= Really good. I'm glad I read this.
= A solid read. Generally recommended.
= This was an okay read.
= Meh. Pretty much a waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.

Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

Here is the rating scale Karen (karenmarie) has outlined on her thread. I'm thinking I'll give this a try:

= Masterpiece
= Stunning.
= Excellent.
= Very good.
= Good.
= Average.
= Bad.
= Very bad.
= Don't bother.

Of course, it still holds true that I'm rarely going to complete a book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

Edited: Yesterday, 9:44am Top


1. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 4.5 stars
2. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell 4 stars
3. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe 4 stars
4. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 4.5 stars
5. Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame by Erin Williams 3 stars
6. Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith 3.5 stars
7. The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths 3.5 stars
8. Little Gods: A Novel by Meng Jin 3.5 stars ~ Early Reviewers
9. Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall 3.5 stars


10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 4.5 stars
11. Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner 3.5 stars
12. The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas 3.5 stars
13. Still Waters by Viveca Sten 3 stars
14. Red Bones by Ann Cleeves 3.5 stars

Edited: Feb 15, 7:14pm Top


✅ January: New Years Resolutions ~ Oryx and Crake and The Bone Clocks
✅ February: Still LEAPing into the new year! Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (1984)

March: Seasons of Love ~ Love and Summer or Summer Will Show
December (my call!):

Edited: Yesterday, 4:50pm Top


A & U January
-- U: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
-- A: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

F & B February
-- F: The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
-- B: Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

G & C March
-- C: Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee /// Copperhead by Alexi Zentner /// The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
-- G: G by John Berger

S & T April

L & P May
-- L: Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke /// The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy
-- P: Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt

K & Y June
-- K: How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman

J & R July
-- J: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
-- R: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

O & H August
-- The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende (?? - with Beth?)

M & E September
-- M: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

D & V October
-- D: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley

I & Q November

W & N December

Yearlong letters: X and Z
-- Z: Grand Union by Zadie Smith
-- X:

Edited: Feb 12, 11:05pm Top

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist ... and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance***
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late***
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things***
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace***
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
2018: Anna Burns, Milkman
2019: Margaret Atwood, The Testaments, and Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other

***On my shelves

Edited: Feb 12, 11:20pm Top

I like short stories and I seem to like them better when I read them more frequently. They require a slightly different mindset, a sort of patience that I want to foster in myself. In fact, PATIENCE is my new mantra for 2020.

I am still counting down the months until retirement but the counting down tends to keep me focused on the future, wishing away these precious months of my life as I complete my 60th decade on this Earth. SO, if when work gets stressful, instead of thinking to myself "Thirty-one months...," I will take a deep breath and think "patience, Ellen." Yoga is helping with this.

Back to the challenge. I'm going to read at least one collection of short stories each month in 2020.

✅ January - Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith 3.5 stars (very good)
February - Dear Life by Alice Munro currently reading
March -
April -
May -
June -
July -
August -
September -
October -
November -
December -

Edited: Feb 12, 11:24pm Top

This is my fluffy, nonspecific, take-it-as-it-comes Margaret Atwood Challenge for 2020.
I will read some of her work this year.

January: Oryx and Crake ~ completed

Feb 12, 11:04pm Top

Feb 12, 11:28pm Top

Feb 12, 11:30pm Top

Happy new one, Ellen! I am so sorry to hear about your carcinoma. Good luck with the surgery. Enjoy a restful time off with lots of reading.

And I still need to read some Atwood!

Feb 13, 12:05am Top

Happy new thread Ellen!

Feb 13, 3:20am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. Thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that the surgery goes well.

Feb 13, 6:35am Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen. That Oahu topper sure looks mighty inviting, especially since we are getting blasted with some serious winter weather. Sorry, to hear about the carcinoma. You will be in all of our thoughts.

Feb 13, 7:36am Top

Happy new thread!

Good luck on the surgery

Feb 13, 7:38am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen. That topper is looking good ight now. We are dipping into double digit C temps by the end of today, brrrr!

Deep breaths.... {{hugs}}

Feb 13, 8:12am Top

Happy new thread, Ellen.

I didn't realize you read Oryx and Crake last month - so did I, and I've got the 2nd and 3rd books of the trilogy in my shopping cart on Ammie but haven't clicked Place Order yet.

Feb 13, 9:26am Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 13, 9:37am Top

A new thread, a new beginning. Hoping for the best result with that $%*#& carcinoma.

Feb 13, 10:45am Top

Happy new one, Ellen! Your topper is full of gorgeous.

From your previous thread, I was sorry to read about the carcinoma - keeping you in my thoughts, my friend.

Feb 13, 4:41pm Top

Happy new thread, Ellen.

>1 EBT1002: That beach looks inviting especially after a tough working week.

Feb 13, 5:28pm Top

Happy new thread, Ellen!

>1 EBT1002: That is a very nice place to be.

Feb 13, 10:42pm Top

I just got caught up on your threads and read your notice of your diagnosis. I had Squamous Cell Carcinoma. I ended up with 12 stitiches and as I said for two years I had to go back in for exams every 6 months. So far no reoccurances. I had no problems with the surgery. My biggest complaint was that when it was over the Dr. gave me a prescription for 30 OxyContin pills. That was enough for 15 days. Who needs that for an incision with 12 stitches? And we wonder why this country has an Opiod problem? I took one pill and that was the end of that. I had the worst weird dreams ever that night. I didn’t sleep at all so didn’t take another. The pills were scattered in my back yard because I was afraid to put them into the water system.

The best thing about this minor surgery. I got three days off from work, and I loved that part.

Feb 14, 7:28am Top

>24 benitastrnad: - Why would you throw them in the yard? Where I live, people are encouraged to bring old pills back to the pharmacy so they dispose of them safely. By throwing them in the yard, animals could get them, or they decompose and get into the soil.

Feb 14, 7:35am Top

>25 jessibud2: I don't know what it's like in Alabama, but I suspect not much different than in Tennessee. Our pharmacies won't take them back. About once a year, the substance abuse coalition offers a day where people can bring in old prescription medications to a location. I was out of town last year. I had a few "pain killers" remaining from a dental procedure so they are still in the house awaiting this year's event.

Feb 14, 8:31am Top

>25 jessibud2: - That was my thought, too, about throwing the pills in the yard.

Our town has a drop off for unused medication, which I think is great. My husband mentioned seeing a drop-off at a CVS, too.

Feb 14, 9:11am Top

I will speak up for appropriate pain medication. I know for a fact that different people respond differently to both the pain of medical procedures and to the efficacy of medications. Rheumatoid Arthritis in its early stages can be completely debilitating. I could not walk fifteen feet with a cup of coffee in my hands. I am very grateful for all of the various pain medications I have been given, and even more grateful for the biologic medications which finally put the RA under control.

And yes, please, dispose of unused medications appropriately at a pharmacy, clinic or drug store.

Best of good luck to you, Ellen.

Feb 15, 5:26am Top

Happy new thread Ellen. Sorry to hear about the not so great result. Wishing you best of luck for the procedure.

Edited: Feb 15, 5:16pm Top

>11 richardderus: That is pretty cool, Richard. I usually always let Prudence open the bubbly. Yes, I'm a wee bit afraid of the cork!

>12 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I'm mostly ready to have the surgery behind me. I'm also enjoying sorting through what books I'll want to read while recovering. Ann Cleeves and other easy options!

>13 mdoris: and >14 Ameise1: Thanks Mary and Barbara!

>15 msf59: Thanks Mark. I'm looking forward to the brief visit to Oahu. It's worked out rather well to have that to look forward to just three weeks after the surgery.

Feb 15, 5:08pm Top

>16 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita!

>17 jessibud2: Ugh, it sounds like your part of the world is in the deep freeze. It's not so bad here, mostly in the 30s, but Oahu is looking like paradise anyway! And thank you for the hug and the breathing reminder. It's an odd thing to have steadily in the back of my mind that in two weeks I'm having surgery. It's Moh's surgery; I won't even be given a general anesthetic! But I also don't know how large the patch for removal is. So I'm walking through life with a general unease as baseline right now. Fortunately, I have enough going on in my life to keep me distracted!

Feb 15, 5:10pm Top

>18 karenmarie: I love that I'm not the only one who does that, Karen. I sometimes leave things in that ammie cart for quite a long time. Sometimes I click on "save for later" instead of "purchase." It's all about managing access to books I want! :-)

>19 drneutron: Thanks Jim.

>20 weird_O: Thanks Bill. Me too.

>21 Crazymamie: Thanks Mamie. All thoughts appreciated greatly!

Feb 15, 5:16pm Top

>22 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I know, that beach looks like heaven, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to seeing it in late March.

>23 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita and yes, indeed!

>24 benitastrnad: Thanks for sharing your experience, Benita. I'm hoping they are able to do sutures with my surgery; since it's on my scalp they don't yet know (a) how big the patch for removal is or (b) whether they will be able to suture the wound. Of course, with no sutures it will heal more slowly. Like you, I will be reluctant to take much in the way of Oxycontin. I've been given same before and didn't take it all. I'm laughing though: if I scattered the pills around my back yard, I'd worry that I was overdosing our local Magpies!

I'm taking the whole week off for recovery. The surgery is first thing Monday morning and part of the need for time off is that we'll have to drive back across the state at some point, probably on Wednesday. Hard to say, but Prudence will probably have to do all the driving. So, like you, the best part is the days off from work! Yay for that!

Feb 15, 5:25pm Top

>25 jessibud2: I had the same worry, Shelley, especially since I feed the birds and squirrels in my back yard. We're trying to get a permanent prescription-recover box installed at our student health service building; working with a company to get it set up.

>26 thornton37814: Yes, Lori, the prescription recovery efforts are somewhat hit-and-miss. The PD at my former university did two recovery days each year; here in eastern Washington it's much harder. That's why we're trying to get a permanent box set up (it's all very secure).

>27 katiekrug: Where those options are available they are wonderful, Katie! I'm hoping we can get something established in my little rural town here in eastern Washington. We thought it was all ready to go and then the company let us know that something had gone weird. It has to be coordinated with local department of health and federal government regulations and....

>28 maggie1944: I agree, Karen. Appropriately prescribed and used, pain medication can be life-saving. After Prudence had her hip replacement, they said they wanted her to use enough pain meds to be able to do the exercises -- better that than avoid the pain meds and not be able to engage in the necessary rehab activity. She used the Oxy for a few days (I tracked and distributed it to her, especially in the first couple of days) and then felt able to stop taking it. We took the remainder to the Bartell's in our then-city of Seattle. I think urban areas are more likely to have the prescription-recovery programs in place.

>29 fairywings: Thanks so much Adrienne.

Feb 15, 5:30pm Top

Hoping the surgery goes well Ellen, and enjoy the time off too. Just working 9 day fortnights has given me quite a lift.

Feb 15, 5:41pm Top

>35 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. I'm glad the schedule has been good for you.

Feb 15, 5:46pm Top

Today Prudence and I went for a walk before the predicted rain and snow could arrive. Then we spent a bit of time in the local public library (P gets to go there whenever she wants). I picked up Gilead, The Thing Around Your Neck, and a Ruth Rendell. I also discovered a series by Imogen Robertson, a mystery series set in 18th century England. They didn't have the first in the series, Instruments of Darkness, so I waited. Now I've read the reviews and I think I'm not so interested.

We're starting to plan hikes in this area to get ourselves ready for Peru in July.

Feb 15, 6:53pm Top

I was inspired by Mark to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I watched my back yard feeders for 16 minutes and observed

14 American Goldfinches
7 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 House finches
2 House sparrows
1 Red-breasted Nuthatch.

I usually see Black-capped Chickadees, ground doves, Magpies, and Northern Flickers but it was raining and these birds were off finding shelter somewhere. I do also see the occasional Cooper's Hawk; I love them but I'm always glad not to see them around my feeder, to be honest.

Edited: Feb 15, 8:59pm Top

A bit of planning for March.... these are all just possibilities.

For AlphaKIT (C & G)
G by John Berger
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
Copperhead by Alexi Zentner
Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves
Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves

For RandomCAT ("Seasons of Love")
Love and Summer by William Trevor
Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner
If On a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (also for AlphaKIT)

With Beth
Tracks by Louise Erdrich

This post subject to editing.

Feb 15, 7:35pm Top

>38 EBT1002: I LOVE seeing this list!! Hooray for the GBBC! I filled my feeders when I got home from work but did not see one bird. I will be participating tomorrow and Monday. I am sure I will be seeing the same finches, juncos and house sparrows, that you did, along with a few more species, including a woodpecker or two. Fingers crossed, of course.

Happy Weekend, Ellen.

Feb 15, 7:36pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ellen! While I'm sorry to hear about the carcinoma, it seems much more manageable that the melanomas, so I'm happy about that. Enjoy your week off!

Feb 15, 8:08pm Top

I don't do the bird watch but know of it. We have an avid birder who lives here at SG, and I should ask him if he does. He has been a bit down in the dumps since his wife died and he might be a good bird watching partner. We have a bird walk next to the big dog park in Marymoor Park, and also there is the Nisqually Delta. The photography committee at The Mountaineers has a scheduled trip to that!

Ellen, I think you had a very respectful group of bird sightings (-:

Good luck on Monday!

Feb 15, 9:05pm Top

>40 msf59: I'll do another watch tomorrow, Mark, and I expect to see our Northern Flicker and the doves. If I'm lucky, the Downy Woodpecker will make an appearance but he is only an occasional visitor.

>41 ronincats: Hi Roni! Yes, I think I'm getting lucky with a carcinoma found early. I'm not happy about the squamous part but it's only "features" (whatever the heck that means).

>42 maggie1944: Hi Karen. Yes, do ask your neighbor if he does the GBBC. It was kind of fun sitting at my dining table with my binoculars, seeing birds I see every day but really paying attention to them and nothing else.

It wasn't a great bird watching area, necessarily but I remember going for walks at Mercer Slough there in Bellevue. P would walk and I would run (slowly). It was good for the soul and there are some lovely paths and boardwalks there.

It's still two weeks away if your "good luck" was for the surgery. March 2. That is the day I need this group to send me lots of positive energy. :-)

Edited: Yesterday, 9:47am Top

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction -- Winners


1918 HIS FAMILY - Ernest Poole
1921 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE - Edith Wharton
1922 ALICE ADAMS - Booth Tarkington
1923 ONE OF OURS - Willa Cather
1924 THE ABLE MCLAUGHLINS - Margaret Wilson
1925 SO BIG - Edna Ferber
1926 ARROWSMITH - Sinclair Lewis (Declined)
1927 EARLY AUTUMN - Louis Bromfield
1928 THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY - Thornton Wilder
1929 SCARLET SISTER MARY - Julia Peterkin
1930 LAUGHING BOY - Oliver Lafarge
1931 YEARS OF GRACE - Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932 THE GOOD EARTH - Pearl Buck
1933 THE STORE - Thomas Sigismund Stribling
1934 LAMB IN HIS BOSOM - Caroline Miller
1935 NOW IN NOVEMBER - Josephine Winslow Johnson
1936 HONEY IN THE HORN - Harold L Davis
1937 GONE WITH THE WIND - Margaret Mitchell
1938 THE LATE GEORGE APLEY - John Phillips Marquand
1939 THE YEARLING - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1940 THE GRAPES OF WRATH - John Steinbeck
1942 IN THIS OUR LIFE - Ellen Glasgow
1943 DRAGON'S TEETH - Upton Sinclair
1944 JOURNEY IN THE DARK - Martin Flavin
1945 A BELL FOR ADANO - John Hersey
1947 ALL THE KING'S MEN - Robert Penn Warren
1948 TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC - James Michener
1949 GUARD OF HONOR - James Gould Cozzens
1950 THE WAY WEST - A.B. Guthrie
1951 THE TOWN - Conrad Richter
1952 THE CAINE MUTINY - Herman Wouk
1953 THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA - Ernest Hemingway
1955 A FABLE - William Faulkner
1956 ANDERSONVILLE - McKinlay Kantor
1958 A DEATH IN THE FAMILY - James Agee
1960 ADVISE AND CONSENT - Allen Drury
1962 THE EDGE OF SADNESS - Edwin O'Connor
1963 THE REIVERS - William Faulkner
1965 THE KEEPERS OF THE HOUSE - Shirley Ann Grau
1967 THE FIXER - Bernard Malamud
1969 HOUSE MADE OF DAWN - N Scott Momaday
1972 ANGLE OF REPOSE - Wallace Stegner
1975 THE KILLER ANGELS - Jeff Shaara
1976 HUMBOLDT'S GIFT - Saul Bellow
1978 ELBOW ROOM - James Alan McPherson
1980 THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG - Norman Mailer
1981 A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES - John Kennedy Toole
1982 RABBIT IS RICH - John Updike
1983 THE COLOR PURPLE - Alice Walker
1984 IRONWEED - William Kennedy
1985 FOREIGN AFFAIRS - Alison Lurie
1986 LONESOME DOVE - Larry McMurtry
1987 A SUMMONS TO MEMPHIS - Peter Taylor
1988 BELOVED - Toni Morrison
1991 RABBIT AT REST - John Updike
1992 A THOUSAND ACRES - Jane Smiley
1994 THE SHIPPING NEWS - E Annie Proulx
1995 THE STONE DIARIES - Carol Shields
1996 INDEPENDENCE DAY - Richard Ford
1997 MARTIN DRESSLER - Steven Millhauser
1998 AMERICAN PASTORAL - Philip Roth
1999 THE HOURS - Michael Cunningham
2002 EMPIRE FALLS - Richard Russo
2003 MIDDLESEX - Jeffrey Eugenides
2004 THE KNOWN WORLD - Edward P. Jones
2005 GILEAD - Marilynne Robinson
2006 MARCH - Geraldine Brooks
2007 THE ROAD - Cormac McCarthy
2009 OLIVE KITTERIDGE - Elizabeth Strout
2010 TINKERS - Paul Harding
2011 A VISIT FROM THE GOOD SQUAD - Jennifer Egan
2014 THE GOLDFINCH - Donna Tartt
2015 ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE - Anthony Doerr
2016 THE SYMPATHIZER - Viet Thanh Nguyen
2017 THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD - Colson Whitehead
2018 LESS - Andrew Sean Greer ON SHELVES
2019 THE OVERSTORY - Richard Powers

Hmmmm. Do I want to try to read all of these? Maybe just most of them.
BOLD font means I have read that one, thirty-one all told.

Feb 16, 7:59am Top

>44 EBT1002: Double my score. Let's see if I can catch you up some. xx

Feb 16, 8:45am Top

>44 EBT1002: - I have read 10, own a few others (as yet unread) and have actually started and abandoned a few others. Oh well. C'est la vie. Thanks for that complete list, Ellen.

Feb 16, 9:17am Top

>22 PaulCranswick: and a few still in the mountain.

Feb 16, 9:57am Top

>44 EBT1002: I read Less last year with the PBS Now Read This group. I thought it was sort of sadly, sweetly, laugh-so-you-don't-cry funny, but I persisted. And ... the ending is great, feel good, made me glad I read it. It may be the one to help you get out of your reading doldrums.

Oh - and happy new thread!

Edited: Feb 16, 3:38pm Top

>44 EBT1002: Fun to see a list of the Pulitzer fiction prize winners.. I have read 17 of them but see I should read more.

Feb 16, 10:47am Top

I could do the bird thing with my eyes shut: Seagulls–10437629847654424

You wanted the beautimous agate bookends? Or permaybehaps these?

Around $60. So so pretty, no?

Edited: Feb 16, 12:00pm Top

>45 PaulCranswick: You can and certainly will catch me up, Paul. There are a couple more that I think I might have read but so long ago and I don't remember for sure: The Fixer and The Optimist's Daughter. Maybe I can get to reading A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain and The Orphan Master's Son this year, at least.

Feb 16, 4:08pm Top

wish you a good new week

Feb 16, 4:08pm Top

I have enjoyed the Imogen Robertson books, Ellen. They are set in England during the Revolutionary War, so it's interesting to get a different point of view on the war. I think the protagionist's husband is a soldier -- although it's been a while since I read them. I think I read the first three. I got them from the library, or I would send you a copy.

I'm reading Grass right now, and when I finish it, I will start Simon the Fiddler. I want to be timely with my ER books. This one arrived quickly.

Feb 16, 4:14pm Top

>44 EBT1002: Surprisingly, I have read every winner, all the way down to 1999. I have not read '98 or '97, but would like to. I really NEED to get to The Stone Diaries, which I have had on shelf for ages.

The Orphan Master's Son is outstanding! Just sayin'...

Feb 16, 7:09pm Top

Hi Ellen! Good luck with the surgery, hopefully it is uneventful and leads to lots of reading time. But one can't help but worry.

I think that I have read about the same number of Pulitzer's as you have. Honestly, I am not sure they are all worth reading. But I do agree with Mark about The Orphan Master's Son.

Feb 16, 10:58pm Top

Love your Booker list (again) and have posted it on my thread (again) to see if I can jump start some Booker reading!!

Now to consider the Pulitzer list.....

Yesterday, 9:24am Top

Happy new thread!

Hope you are having a great Monday!

Yesterday, 9:50am Top

>46 jessibud2: I borrowed the list from Paul, Shelley. It's a fun one to explore but I don't think I'll set myself up with the expectation of reading all of them. I'm not even sure I'm going to stick with my personal Booker Prize Winner completist challenge!

>47 Caroline_McElwee: :-)

>48 streamsong: Hi Janet. I keep thinking I'll get around to reading Less; it sounds rather interesting. I may save it for the "L" month of AlphaKIT or something.

>49 mdoris: I think there are some good ones in there, Mary, but there are a few in which I have no interest at all. Still, I agree that the list is a fun one.

>50 richardderus: LOL at the seagulls. The pleasures of living by the sea. I remember when I first moved from Oregon to Seattle and started working at UW (known as U-Dub). The presence of seagulls everywhere on campus took some getting used to.

Beautiful bookends, Richard! I have a set of books on the top shelf of one of my bookcases and I think lovely bookends would do them justice. But the idea of having those rocks shipped to me is a bit daunting.

Yesterday, 9:53am Top

>52 paulstalder: Thanks Paul -- we have snowdrops blooming in our yard. Yay!

>53 BLBera: Okay, Beth, I will start Simon the Fiddler this week. Like you, I want to be timely with my ER books when I can. I just finished Red Bones by Ann Cleeves. I have too many library books here at my elbow and I want to complete the stories in Dear Life before the end of the month. But it's Leap year so we have an extra day in February! :-D

Yesterday, 9:58am Top

>54 msf59: Wow, that is great, Mark. I had American Pastoral on the shelves for a long time, never got around to reading it. It is one I'd like to read.

The Orphan Masters Son is definitely on my to-read list. Maybe I can get to it this year. So many books....

>55 banjo123: Thanks Rhonda. Yes, the surgery is worrisome but I'm holding optimistic. Mostly I want it over with at this point. I hate knowing I have carcinoma with squamous cell features on my body!!

I agree that I'm not sure every Pulitzer is worth reading. There are some in which I have no interest. But The Orphan Master's Son is on my shelves and I definitely plan to read it!

>56 LovingLit: Careful, Megan, the lists can be daunting. I'm more invested in the Booker list than the Pulitzer list, though I can't say exactly why.

>57 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! So far my Monday is fine. I'm on my second mug of coffee and I need to get moving so I can go to work. I have a couple of powerpoint slide decks I need to get put together today.

Yesterday, 10:02am Top

14. Red Bones by Ann Cleeves

This was a complicated but engrossing installment in the Jimmy Perez series. An old woman is accidentally shot on a dark and foggy night by a neighbor out shooting rabbits. Later a young woman involved in an archaeological dig in the area is found dead at the dig site, apparently by suicide. Old stories swirl around the old woman and the families on this small island in the Shetlands and Jimmy Perez can't shake the feeling that old secrets might reveal what really happened.

Last night we watched a couple episodes in season five (I think) of the BBC series and it was so fun to see the windswept tree-less islands.

Yesterday, 10:03am Top

>59 EBT1002: Perfect. I am ready to start as well. I think it will be a quick read, so we can get back to those library books. Yes, that extra day will help!

Yesterday, 10:03am Top

>62 BLBera: I'll start it tonight!

Yesterday, 10:04am Top

>61 EBT1002: I love the TV series. It has put Shetland on my bucket list of places to visit. I've only read a couple of the novels. I enjoyed them. I should continue with this series.

Yesterday, 10:05am Top

Great minds!

Yesterday, 10:06am Top

Yesterday Prudence and I drove the 90 minutes or so to the Turnbull Wildlife Refuge south of Spokane. It was so beautiful! We walked several trails and had picnic lunch (well, cheese sandwiches in the front seat of the car -- it was cold!!). Ponderosa Pine woods, lakes and ponds with water fowl scattered about, and a moose! We saw a moose! She was lying in the woods, resting. It was fun to see her ears twitch. We didn't get very close. We also saw lots of evidence of other wildlife: deer and elk, coyote, etc.

We're excited to know that this wildlife refuge is so close to home. We'll be going back again, and frequently.

Yesterday, 10:07am Top

>64 BLBera: Me too. Last night I kept saying I wanted to go to the Shetland Islands. I even looked up hotels. There are not very many of them. We've been to Scotland twice and have been as far north on the Scottish mainland as one can go, and could see Orkney across the water, but I'd love to go as far north in the islands as possible.

>65 BLBera: :-)

Yesterday, 10:19am Top

>64 BLBera: Me too! We're planning our first trip to Scotland this summer but won't have time to get to the Shetlands. I'm thinking that has to be an entire trip on its own.

Yesterday, 10:44am Top

>66 EBT1002: - Sounds gorgeous!

Yesterday, 12:35pm Top

Wow, that wildlife refuge sounds excellent. I enjoy visiting places like that at different times of the year, to see how it changes with the seasons. It's nice that it's a fairly easy trip for you.

And add me to the list of people who'd like to visit the Shetland Islands. In addition to the Shetland series, we really enjoy watching This Farming Life (also on Britbox), where they follow ~6 farming families for a year. Most are in rural parts of Scotland and IIRC, the current season features a farm in Shetland. The scenery is stunning. Anyone up for an LT meetup in Shetland?!

Yesterday, 12:53pm Top

>68 vivians: Vivian! I have been to Scotland twice, once in 2002 and again in 2014. I agree that a trip to the Shetlands might need to be its own excursion. I would love to hear where you're planning to visit .... I'll check your thread, see if there are details. :-) I could travel to Scotland every year and not grow bored.

>69 jessibud2: It was a really special day, Shelley. It felt so good to be out in nature, enjoying the trees and sky and water and evidence of critters. We did also see a couple of Harriers, one with a vole in his claws.

>70 lauralkeet: We have been thinking we'd go to Turnbull at least once a month for the next year for that very reason, Laura. We want to see it change with the seasons. On one of yesterday's walks it was sleeting on us with a good bit of energy. At the same time, the sun was shining. It was wild.

Oh, I have not heard of The Farming Life but that sounds right up our telly-watching alley!!

Count me in for the Great LT Shetland meetup!!

Edited: Yesterday, 12:55pm Top

Oh, and in reading,

Up next:

Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles (Early Reviewer ARC)

and continuing the stories in

Dear Life by Alice Munro

Yesterday, 1:07pm Top

>33 EBT1002: Hope the surgery goes well, that it's not too painful and you heal quickly!! Happy bird watching, book reading and I'm jealous of your wildlife refuge walk. ; ) Be well and happy!!

Yesterday, 2:00pm Top

>66 EBT1002: It sounds like a wonderful day.

Yesterday, 2:03pm Top

>67 EBT1002: I have been to Orkney twice. We've spent two holidays of a fortnight there: one in the mid-nineties and one in 2003 when J was little. Absolutely loved it and would happily go back, and would love to visit Shetland as well, but I think Shetland is a lot more barren and windswept whereas Orkney is surprisingly green. We had an interesting incident at Kirkwall airport when we were travelling home with J. He'd picked up a stone on the beach which he was insistent we take home and so we'd packed it in our check-in luggage. Apparently stones and plastic explosive look surprisingly similar under the airports Xray machines! They took it very well - probably just as well it wasn't Heathrow.

Yesterday, 4:21pm Top

>73 Berly: Thanks so much for all the various wishes, Kim!

>74 BLBera: We are so pleased to have found this wildlife refuge so close to home, Beth. It will help with the 896 days I have left until retirement. *grins*

>75 SandDune: I love that story about J and the stone, Rhian. I'm glad it was at a small enough airport that they took it in stride. I've only viewed Orkney from Dunnet Head, the northern-most point on mainland Scotland. I could have stood there gazing out over the water and enjoying the seabirds for hours. As it was, I think we stood there for at least one full hour. It wasn't this clear but you get the idea....

Yesterday, 4:22pm Top

And here's the Dunnet Head Lighthouse. I want to go back!

Yesterday, 4:29pm Top

Buy land there! As global warming bites, that area will become subtropical by the 2050s.

Today, 11:42am Top

Hi Ellen! I hope all is well with you.

>76 EBT1002: The pictures are lovely.

Are you familiar with Mike Rowe? I am really enjoying his book The Way I Heard It. He credits Paul Harvey as his inspiration.

Today, 9:12pm Top

>78 richardderus: Won't those Islands be underwater by then? (Just asking...)

Ellen, your tropical holiday topper looks so inviting. I hope you will have a really fabby time.

So what beach reads do you have in mind??

PS. Maybe TMI, but I also had that basal cell carcinoma. Healed up a treat (bridge of my nose).
FYI, basal cell cancers (non-melanoma) don't metastasize, according to my surgeon. Ask for the pathology report and have a knowledgeable person explain the analysis. I was lucky to have that all explained to me ~ so reassuring!

Today, 9:18pm Top

I do love the British Isles as a place to visit, Ellen, as there are so many hidden corners there.

The entire West Coast of Ireland and its delightful and surprising hinterland, most of Cornwall, West Wales, the whole of Scotland North of Edinburgh, the North West of England above Preston, the Fenland. Some of our old cities and Market towns.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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