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Mark's Reading Place: Chapter Seven

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

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Mar 22, 4:59pm Top

^Peggy Davis. I do not understand a lot of abstract art but I was seeking out nature art and this one caught my eye.

^This is a Song Sparrow, I managed to catch in mid-tune. Love this song, which I hear regularly, through spring and summer.

Edited: Apr 2, 3:28pm Top




1) Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss by Margaret Renkl 4.5 stars
2) Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells 3.8 stars (audio)
3) Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson 4.5 stars (audio)
4) The Last Whalers by Doug Bock Clark 3.6 stars (audio)
5) Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo 5 stars
6) Nightwoods by Charles Frazier 4.3 stars (audio) AAC
7) Dopesick by Beth Macy 4.6 stars (audio)
8) The Chaneysville Incident by David Bradley 4.5 stars
9) Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift 4.4 stars (E) BAC
10) Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver 4.2 stars (audio)
11) Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson 4.4 stars BAC
12) Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz 4.3 stars (audio)
13) Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro 4 stars
14) Maggy Garrisson by Lewis Trondheim 4 stars GN


15) A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler 3.7 stars
16) LaRose by Louise Erdrich 4 stars (audio)
17) Shark Drunk by Morten Stroksnes 4 stars (audio)
18) Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel by Lynda Barry 4.3 stars
19) Black Light: Stories by Kimberly King Parsons 4.6 stars
20) Equinoxes by Cyril Pedrosa 3.5 stars GN
21) That Wild Country by Mark Kenyon 4 stars (audio)
22) Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump 4.2 stars (E)
23) Solitary by Albert Woodfox 4.3 stars (audio)
24) Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis 3.7 stars
25) Sudden Traveler: Stories by Sarah Hall 4 stars
26) Long Bright River by Liz Moore 4.3 stars (audio)
27) Me: Elton John Official Autobiography by Elton John 4.6 stars (audio)
28) The Weight of Dreams by Jonis Agee 3.8 stars


29) The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry by David L. Carlson 4 stars GN
30) The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez 4.6 stars
31) The Institute by Stephen King 4 stars (audio)
32) A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit 4.6 stars (audio/print)
33) The Yellow Bird Sings by Jennifer Rosner 4 stars
34) Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller 4.4 stars (audio)
35) The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields 4.7 stars
36) The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories by Sam Pink 4.2 stars E
37) The Pioneers by David McCullough 3.2 stars (audio) AAC
38) Deacon King Kong by James McBride 4.5 stars ALA
39) Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo 4.2 stars (audio)
40) Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir by Robin Ha 4 stars GN
41) Deceit and Other Possibilities: Stories by Vanessa Hua 4.3 stars
42) The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson 4.4 stars (audio)


Edited: Mar 19, 6:56pm Top

You Must Read This:

"American Salvage is rich with local color and peopled with rural characters who love and hate extravagantly. They know how to fix cars and washing machines, how to shoot and clean game, and how to cook up methamphetamine, but they have not figured out how to prosper in the twenty-first century."

^I cannot warble loud enough about this excellent story collection. This is one of the reasons I LOVE short fiction and Campbell is a complete pro. If you have not read it and are looking for a collection, look no further.

Edited: Mar 19, 6:58pm Top


Crows assemble in the bare elm above our house.
Restless, staring: like souls
who want back in life.

—And who wouldn’t want again
the hot bath after hard work,
with soft canyons of splitting foam;
or the glass of spring water
cold at the mouth?

To be startled by beauty—drops of bright
blood on the snow.
To be radiant.

All morning the crows watch me in the garden
putting in the early onions.
Their bodies look oiled.
Back in, back in,
they shake the wooden rattles.

-Jenny George

Edited: Mar 19, 7:22pm Top

"In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range."

Deacon King Kong is McBride's first novel since The Good Lord Bird, his award-winner from 2013. Well, thanks again to Marianne and Benita for snagging me a copy at ALA and it is a signed copy to boot. I just dipped into it today and it appears that it will be well worth the wait.

Mar 19, 6:54pm Top

Happy new thread!

>1 msf59: Now that's stained glass I'd love in my very own windows!

Edited: Mar 19, 6:56pm Top

Happy new thread. I was going to jump in when you had 3 posts, but I didn't want to step on anything.


ETA - post 3 just refreshed and American Salvage is going on the list.

Mar 19, 6:56pm Top

Happy new one!

Looks like you are having a stellar reading month so far!

Mar 19, 6:58pm Top

Happy new one, Mark!

Mar 19, 7:29pm Top

>6 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I would love a stained glass window, with that design too.

>7 mahsdad: Thanks, Jeff. I reserved a couple of additional spots. Glad I got you with a BB, with American Salvage. There is a reason I have it on the "Keeper" shelves.

>8 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Figs. I am very happy with my 2020 reading. May it continue...

>9 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley.

Mar 19, 7:43pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Looks like you've got some great books going, and love the photo of the singing sparrow.

Mar 19, 7:44pm Top

Hi Mark, You had asked about Little Fires Everywhere on your last thread. Personally, I thought it was pretty much “meh”, which is also how I felt about her first book. I kept thinking it was going to take off but it never did. That said, I’ll try the TV adaptation. I like Reese Witherspoon.

Lots of folks thought both books were great. Different books for different folks, I guess.

Also, loved your eagle photos!

Edited: Mar 19, 7:50pm Top

Happy new thread Mark!
Speaking of stained glass, I think I have sent you this before but maybe it's time for it again.

Mar 19, 8:06pm Top

>1 msf59: Beautiful!

>3 msf59: Beautiful!

>5 msf59: Beautiful!

Mar 19, 8:36pm Top

>3 msf59: when is Campbell going to come out with a new collection Mark? I keep waiting and waiting and waiting.......

Mar 19, 8:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark.

Mar 19, 8:55pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark.

Mar 19, 9:01pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 19, 9:05pm Top

Happy new thread Mark, and I love the artwork and the bird in >1 msf59:.

Edited: Mar 19, 9:18pm Top

>11 bell7: Thanks, Mary. Glad you like the song sparrow. They are fairly common here.

>12 Copperskye: Hi, Joanne. I sampled Little Fires and decided to move onto something else. I know many readers love her books, but I just don't think she is my cuppa.

>13 mdoris: Thanks, Mary. I love that sign. I could find a place for it, in the Man Cave.

>14 richardderus: Hey, RD. You were a fan of American Salvage, right? For some reason, I thought so.

Mar 19, 9:20pm Top

Happy new one, Mark!

I'm looking forward to the new JAmes McBride.

Mar 19, 9:23pm Top

>15 brenzi: I would love to see a new one by Campbell, Bonnie. Sadly, she has a few other books, that I have still not read. Have you read her other books?

>16 PaulCranswick: >17 BLBera: >18 drneutron: Thanks, Paul, Beth & Jim.

>19 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen. Glad you like the toppers. I did not plan either image, ahead of time, but it sure worked out.

Mar 19, 9:49pm Top

>22 msf59: yes Mark I also read Once Upon a River which was excellent and I have Q Road on my shelf.

Mar 20, 6:32am Top

>21 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. I plan on digging a lot deeper in the McBride today.

>23 brenzi: I have been meaning to read Once Upon a River since it came out and like you, I have Q Road on shelf. I hope to get to one or both of those this year.

Edited: Mar 20, 6:35am Top

^This fits perfectly for the Midwest, this first day of spring. Chilly, windy, with falling temps. We might drop into the 30s, later on today. Ugh! Where is the sunshine, the flower buds, the bluebirds?

Mar 20, 7:54am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Spring. I hope your work day goes well. It's dreary here and going to get to 84F today. Ridiculous.

I can't seem to focus on anything that's not familiar right now, so am continuing the In Death series with #49, and Pride and Prejudice.

Edited: Mar 20, 8:18am Top

Morning, Mark! Happy new one. "Where is the sunshine, the flower buds, the bluebirds?" They are in Georgia. 62F right now and going to 85F today, but um...94% humidity.

Mar 20, 9:08am Top

Happy New Thread, buddy.

Woo, chilly wet weather lately. I hope you're doing okay. We're going to start our second training session via Facetime soon. The first one worked well, so I'm hoping that continues in this weird time period. We've been catching up on movies we missed, and just saw that "Yesterday" one in which, for some reason, no one remembers the Beatles and their songs except a knockabout bar performer, and he proceeds to skyrocket to fame, while possibly losing some valuable parts of his life in the process. Charming.

I hope you're setting up for a good weekend.

Mar 20, 9:41am Top

Happy new thread, Mark! Here's to the birds, books, and beer!

I still haven't found a book I can settle into. I will keep hunting.

Mar 20, 9:42am Top

Hi Mark, happy new thread!! So you didn't like the David McCullough book?

Mar 20, 10:40am Top

>26 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Ooh, warm weather. I wonder how that would feel? Is this your first go around with P & P?

>27 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. Good to see you. Hot & humid, you say? Not sure I would be up for that either.

Mar 20, 10:45am Top

>28 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Glad you are able to do your workouts online. I think exercise is important. I have been watching plenty of movies too. Have not seen Yesterday, though, although I have heard decent things.

>29 alphaorder: Thanks, Nancy. Hooray, for the 3 B's! Sorry, you haven't found a book, to lock into. Did you sample the Solnit memoir, yet?

>30 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda. This was a weak McCullough, IMHO. I really enjoyed his last one, The Wright Brothers, but this was just "meh". How is your reading going? Racking up those numbers?

Mar 20, 11:54am Top

We are having out typical Colorful/Colorado (ha, auto-correct changed my Colorado to Colorful) spring weather. It was 67° a couple days ago. Yesterday, we had 8” of wet, heavy snow. The tulips are a couple inches out of the ground, though, so spring flowers are on their way. At this point, I’m not sure what’s better, the snow or the sunshine. At least when it’s snowing, I feel like we should just be hunkered down.

Stay safe out there!

Mar 20, 12:17pm Top

>32 msf59: I finished my first baseball book. Yay!! Now I'm reading a World War 2 mystery.

We are getting swamped from work, though, due to all the Coronavirus legislation.

Edited: Mar 20, 12:53pm Top

Mark, a little music to uplift:


It's terrific.

Mar 20, 1:50pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark. The sunshine and the flower buds are here. Yesterday and today our high was 14 C. We are into spring big time now but the rains will come so we have to make the best of this while it lasts so people are out on the walking trails which is one thing that is still open.

Edited: Mar 20, 6:41pm Top

"Governor JB Pritzker has ordered Illinois residents to stay at home, beginning 5 p.m. Saturday through April 7, to help avoid spreading the novel coronavirus, but there are exceptions allowing people to run essential errands."

^I am not surprised, but this is still a big move. Illinois is only the 3rd state in the US to take these measures. I am assuming the US Post Office will continue to operate, as an essential service, but I will find out more tomorrow. Crazy times, my friends. I did hit the liquor store on the way home, to stock up. I did not need to hit the bookstore, since I am more than fine in that department.

Edited: Mar 20, 7:06pm Top

>33 Copperskye: Hooray for Colorful Colorado and your crazy weather. I am sure the snow will not stick around for long. Are you guys getting out for any strolls? How are those bird feeders? Busy?

>34 lindapanzo: Hooray for finishing your first baseball book, Linda! You go girl! Glad to hear you are busy at work. May that continue.

>35 jessibud2: Truly uplifting, Shelley. Thanks for sharing.

>36 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Glad you are seeing some sure signs of spring. Not here. It has been cold and rainy here and will remain chilly through the weekend. All browns & grays. Ugh!

Mar 20, 6:51pm Top

Happy new thread, Mark, lovely pictures at the top.

We just returned from our short vacation, where we saw many birds around.
I was finally able to show Frank the difference between a Carrion Crow (Corvus corone, we see those every day at home) and a Rook (Corvus frugilegus), as we saw a few of them on our walks.

Mar 20, 7:10pm Top

>39 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Glad you had a nice vacation and saw some interesting birds. I didn't realize a Rook was a Corvid. Always learning something around here.

Edited: Mar 20, 7:23pm Top

"Richard Russo, at the very top of his game, now returns to North Bath, in upstate New York, and the characters from Nobody's Fool (1993)."

^I attended an author event, with Mr. Russo, shortly after Everybody's Fool came out, (2016, I believe). The thing was, I had not read Nobody's Fool. I wanted to read that one first and of course, it took me forever to get to it. It was a fantastic novel. Well, following my OTS Challenge, I finally started this one and it grabbed me immediately. Unlike, Little Fires Everywhere, which I did sample, but her chops lack the bite and wonderful wit of Mr. Russo. He is a treasure.

There were distractions today, with our local news, so I did not read as much of Deacon King Kong as I would have liked but this guy is another master storyteller, right up there Russo, IMHO.

Mar 20, 7:23pm Top

>41 msf59: ooh, great choice Mark. I loved Everybody's Fool just as much as its predecessor. Have you seen the movie version of Nobody's Fool starring Paul Newman? It's very true to the book, I watched it recently and enjoyed it.

Mar 20, 7:43pm Top

Happy new thread, and happy Spring. Glad you're keeping safe and healthy.

Mar 20, 8:01pm Top

>42 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura. I had seen the film version of Nobody's Fool, many years ago, probably at the theater, (I LOVE Paul Newman), but once I finally read the book, I watched it again and it is a terrific version. Everybody's Fool is off a great start.

>43 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. I hope you and everyone in NY, is doing fine.

Edited: Mar 20, 8:04pm Top

Mark, did you ever start that new Erik Larson book?

I think the postal service is essential. How about Binny's and places like that? Just saw something about home delivery of beer being legal now. Maybe someone got a license to do that.

ETA: Aha. Craft brewers can now deliver.


Mar 20, 10:01pm Top

New thread, Mark? Looks that way, since it has only 45 posts.

I'm kind of stuck in the soft earth shoulder of the road. Counting on your counterpart in the
Kempton P. O. to deliver a fresh new copy of Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Whimsy novel called Unnatural Death. Tow the reading out of its mudhole. I have the six novels that follow UD, and I've already one of those because Whimsy.

Expecting to find a copy of Lillian Boxfish... in the mailbox on Monday.

Mar 20, 10:08pm Top

>45 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I plan on starting the new Larson, after I finish the Russo audiobook. Hooray, for brewery deliveries. This will be our savior. Grins...

>46 weird_O: Hi, Bill. Yep, the Old Warbler is on his 7th thread. I do not think I have ever read a Lord Whimsy novel. Bad Mark?

Hooray for Lillian Boxfish. I had a lot of fun with that one.

Edited: Mar 21, 1:28am Top

Happy New thread, Mark. Good news on the granddaughter front. She tested negative for the Covid 19 and has RSV - a common virus that sometime hits kids hard and she also had asthma. She is still in hospital and we hope she will be able to come home Saturday or Sunday. I had lovely walk today, along the dyke. Lots of birds, red winged black birds among others and a couple of coyotes howling out on the marsh. Even in broad daylight. Those coyotes!

Mar 21, 5:49am Top

'Morning, Mark. Glad you stocked up on a few liquor-store essentials. Priorities, right?

To answer your question above, I read P&P many years ago, pre-LT for sure.

Good luck with shelter in place. Except for going to the dump and grocery shopping I'm not going out, although Bill is still going to work.

Mar 21, 6:30am Top

>48 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb. Good to see you. I am so glad to hear that your granddaughter tested negative. I am sure her parents can't wait to get her back home.
Glad you are getting out for your walks, although watch out for those wily coyotes. I hope to get out for a hike tomorrow.

>49 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I had to stock up a bit on my beer and rye. Not sure yet, if this shutdown will affect liquor stores or not, but you should still be able to buy it at food stores. I am sure my commute into work, will be like traveling through a ghost town.

Mar 21, 6:49am Top

-Harry Bliss

Mar 21, 7:28am Top

We can buy beer and wine at the grocery stores, but hard liquor is sold at ABC stores only. There is one in town but I haven't been there in years. In the Great Pantry Clean Up of last week I threw all the hard liquor out. There wasn't much, and it wasn't a hardship to do so.

Mar 21, 9:59am Top

I appreciate getting my mail, Mark. Stay well.

Mar 21, 10:25am Top

>46 weird_O: Oh I LOVE Lillian Boxfish. It makes me happy whenever anyone else reads it.

Mark, finally found something that is breaking through for me. Needed light. You know I loved The Bookish Life of Nina B. so I am reading an earlier novel by Abbi Waxman, The Garden of Small Beginnings. She has another book coming out this summer I think - a novel about a woman taking her daughter on college tours.

Mar 21, 10:26am Top

Be glad you're not this poor mail guy whose, um, charisma? led this Wisconsin turkey to stalk and attack him.

Mar 21, 10:35am Top

>52 karenmarie: You don't drink much beer or wine either, do you, Karen? It is nice that it is available anyway.

>53 BLBera: Nice to hear, Beth. Definitely seeing a big increase in parcels, which is to be expected.

>54 alphaorder: Glad you found something to snap you out of that book funk, Nancy. And hooray for Lillian Boxfish.

>55 richardderus: I remember reading this story, Richard. Pretty damn funny.

Mar 22, 7:20am Top

^This was at a set of feeders at a Nature Center, I frequent. Always cool birds here. I have seen blue jays now and then around my own feeders, although they seem to prefer a platform feeder, which I do not possess. They do like peanuts in the shell but the squirrels usually gobble them up first.

Edited: Mar 22, 7:33am Top

^This will be our first full day of the Shelter in Place order. We are able to go out for a walk and most forest preserves will remain open. Weather permitting we will try to get out today. Otherwise, I will hunker down with the books. I will continue to work next week. Sue will find out more tomorrow, about her chiropractic job. Most likely my son, will continue to stay home, since his job, is not considered "essential". Bree is able to work from home and since my future SIL works in the corn product industry, he will continue to work also.

I am really enjoying both Deacon King Kong & Everybody's Fool. Both of these authors are at the top of their game. Such rich characters and such a strong sense of place, along with a heavy dose of humor. I am also having a good time with my current GN, Almost American Girl.

Mar 22, 7:54am Top

Good morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you!

>56 msf59: Bill and I will have an occasional glass of wine. I do not drink beer anymore and only ever drank it when I was eating sushi at a sushi bar. Asahi was the brand, I believe. Bill has made beer in the past but that was long before we married.

I’m sorry your son’s job isn’t considered ‘essential’. Glad Bree and future SiL are still able to work, hope Sue’s job doesn’t evaporate tomorrow.

My nephew discovered that one of his favorite nature trails in California is now overcrowded as folks who normally go to gyms are taking to the trails.

Mar 22, 8:17am Top

>59 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Crazy times for sure. Honestly, Sue working with the public, is not all that healthy, so if they pull the plug, she won't be disappointed. And if they do work, scale it back to more safer levels.

I am not surprised by California's overrun nature trails but people NEED to maintain their distances, there too.

Mar 22, 11:18am Top

Hi Mark, some snow in the forecast this evening maybe. We might venture out and go to Portillo's drive through for beef sandwiches later. Besides Tuesday voting, I've been out only once this past week so even a drive around with the windows open a bit will be nice.

I might even try one of those White Claw hard sparkling waters my sister gave me.

Last night, we watched Dial M for Murder on Turner Classic Movies. I need to check out their schedule a little bit more. Otherwise, my TV watching consists of news and an occasional Me-TV show.

Still not reading as much as usual but still reading an hour or two a day, at least. Right now, it's the Susan Elia MacNeal WW2 mystery, The King's Justice

Mar 22, 2:06pm Top

Hi Mark. I love your topper art >1 msf59: I think it is by Peggy Davis https://fineartamerica.com/featured/abstract-nature-peggy-bowie-davis.html (via google image search)

She does birds too!

I just read the GN I was their American Dream after I cracked and ordered a copy when the library couldn't get hold of one for me. I really liked her account of growing up Phillippino -Egyptian. I do find GNs almost always work when I am feeling restless and other books don't quite grab me. Keep the recommendations coming!

Mar 22, 2:17pm Top

for a new thread!! And I love your topper.

>41 msf59: I haven't read that Russo, so now I guess I better! Happy Sunday. And best of luck with the lockdown. I think we start Monday. I am guessing the mail is an essential service?

Mar 22, 5:07pm Top

>61 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. It is snowing here and sticking on the grass. Not sure how much you will get up north, since it has been tracking from the south, all day. Glad you are knocking out some films. I have been doing the same. I love Hitchcock. Eagle Claws are very popular. Much of my family enjoys them. Did you crack one open?

>62 charl08: Hi, Charlotte. Thanks for tracking down my topper art. You are quite the sleuth. I really like Peggy Davis and will be exploring more of her work. Thanks for recommending I was their American Dream. I always appreciate GN recs. I will request it, but it might be awhile before I get it, with our libraries shutting down.

>63 Berly: Happy Sunday, Kimmers. I hope you and the family are doing well. Yep, we are essential, and I will be working my usual schedule and, as of now, so will Sue. Yep, loving the Russo novel.

Mar 22, 8:28pm Top

I haven't read that Russo yet either Mark so I will look forward to your comments. I kind of bogged down on Russo after being disappointed by That Old Cape Magic. So may be Everybody's Fool will work for me.

Mar 22, 8:56pm Top

Just finished - and loved - Deacon King Kong! What great characters! McBride has that kind of wry wit and humorous turn of phrase I just adore. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Mar 22, 9:51pm Top

>58 msf59: We are one week in here in Malaysia and I cannot say I'm exactly getting used to it.
Stay safe buddy.

Mar 22, 10:07pm Top

>65 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I never did read That Old Cape Magic, but I remember it getting mixed reviews. Everybody's Fool is off to a strong start. Did you read it's predecessor, Nobody's Fool? If not, I suggest you read it first.

Mar 22, 10:11pm Top

>66 michigantrumpet: Hi, Marianne. Great to see you. I am only about a 120 pages into Deacon King Kong but enjoying it very much. I am not surprised you loved it.

>67 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul. How are the COVID cases there? Under control?

Mar 22, 10:25pm Top

My mail deliverer came through and delivered both Lillian Boxfish and Unnatural Death. I'm about halfway through LB. What a lady.

Mar 23, 12:13am Top

Sorry to hear about your snow and cold weather, Mark. With a shelter in place order are people able to go out and get groceries?

Mar 23, 6:26am Top

>70 weird_O: Hooray for the postal service and Lillian Boxfish! Both winners, in my book. Grins...

>71 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. It is not a complete shutdown. People can go food shopping, go to the bank, get gas, go for a walk. They just want people to minimize contact.
Lets hope it works and slows this virus down.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:30am Top

^It started snowing yesterday afternoon and we got more than predicted. There is a good 3-4 inches out there but it is mostly on unpaved surfaces. Still a pain in the butt but it will get up into the mid-40s today, so the snow shouldn't stick around long. A normal work week for me.

Mar 23, 6:48am Top

'Morning, Mark! You've got snow, we've got rain. At least it's filling the bird bath so I don't have that errand this morning. Stay safe and warm on your rounds today.

Speaking of birds - Louise told me that neighbor Gary and his daughter built a wood duck nest box and placed it down by his part of the creek in mid-February. He thinks the nesting pair have been using it for 2-3 weeks! There look to be 18 eggs - he was able to get a zoom shot of them without disturbing the ducks or the eggs. Simple joys.

Mar 23, 6:55am Top

Snow! Thanks for sharing. Morning, Mark!

Mar 23, 7:03am Top

>74 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. We will also get rain this week, which at least should erase the snow. Hooray for the successful wood duck box.
And 18 eggs too? These are such beautiful birds. I hope you get over to see them. I don't think I have seen any this year.

>75 Crazymamie: Morning, Mamie. I wish I could share this snow with you. We would both be happy. Grins...

Mar 23, 7:07am Top


Mar 23, 11:33am Top

Hi Mark -

Geese returning to Wisconsin: 2 flying northeast to Horicon yesterday and 3 more this morning, honking their arrival over the cornfields,
houses, and barns.

2 fat, happy Robins this morning near the mailbox -

we're all still waiting for the joyous songs of the Red-winged Blackbirds along the phone lines of Portage Road -

usually here when I gather the first spring trash =

Vodka Man still going strong, but nothing yet from Banana Peel Woman.

Mar 23, 12:35pm Top

Hi Mark, American Salvage is on my shelves and I loved her Once Upon A River so I don't know why I haven't gotten to it yet. I will pull it down and try to fit it in soon.

My husband and I are still in isolation here (actually I like the term Shelter in Place much better). We had a gorgeous weekend that unfortunately brought too many people out to the parks, nature walks and beaches. They have now closed many of them for the duration. Many people just don't seem to get it and are socializing, playing basketball etc., and even having group picnics. The mayor of Vancouver was quite angry. British Columbia is getting hit pretty hard with the virus so people should know better.

Strange times we are living in!

Mar 23, 1:55pm Top

>79 DeltaQueen50: - Justin Trudeau was pretty angry, himself, in his morning address earlier today. And justifiably so. People are being stupid and once money penalties come crashing down on them, maybe they'll get it. Sad that that's what it will come down to but there will always be people like that. Someone once said, you can't legislate intelligence...

Edited: Mar 23, 4:52pm Top

You asked where I was? I don't have internet at home so am sitting in front of Barnes & Noble waiting on their slow internet to download. Up side - since I have no internet I don't have to work! Yeah! More time off.

This panicdemic will highlight more and more the digital divide. My cousin teaches third grade in Kansas. She has 17 students in her class. Half of them don't have Internet at home. A colleague in a rich white middle school in the suburbs of Birmingham told me that 30% of the 1200 students in her school don't have Internet. How is that going to work for education? So far my sisters school in rural Montana has the most sensible approach. They are starting school April 6. In the meantime - call the library there and they will bag your requests and deliver them to your car in the parking lot. Go Montana!

Did you see those stats Paul posted on your last thread? Kinda puts this panicdemic in perspective.

See ya later alligator.

Mar 23, 4:51pm Top

>80 jessibud2: Sadly, one cannot.

Hoping your day was brighter than the cloudy, rainy, yucko day we had here.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:36pm Top

>78 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Always like to hear those bird reports. I am surprised that you haven't heard red-winged blackbirds yet. They have been here a couple of weeks now and once it begins to warm up steadily, they should be everywhere.

Vodka Man? Banana Peel Woman? LOL.

>79 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. I hope I nudged you into pulling American Salvage down off the shelf. I still need to get to Once Upon A River. I hope your local government, gets a better grip on the pandemic. It can get out of control quickly.

Mar 23, 6:42pm Top

>80 jessibud2: That is too bad, Shelley. I didn't realize that this was happening in Canada. You are supposed to be smarter than us. LOL.

>81 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Yep, we wondering how you were doing. Since, you don't have internet, I am sure you are in a reading frenzy. I can't wait to hear about all of those books. Oh yeah- Go Montana!

>82 richardderus: Hey, RD. Believe it or not, our snow has disappeared all ready. We had more than 3 inches in our area. Everything is mushy but that is okay. Temps hovering around normal.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:48pm Top

This is from a letter that David Mitchell sent to Penguin Random House:

"I hope that the current crisis and quarantine bring out the best in all of us, as individuals, neighbourhoods, societies, and one species within a planetary ecosystem—and that this “best” lasts into the long-term. How much we can do, how quickly, if only we put our minds to it.

I also hope that you have a mighty pile of books for the duration, and that we rediscover—if the memory has faded a little—the nourishment, escapism and joy of reading. On this subject of mighty books, if we still want local bookshops to be around on the other side of COVID-19, the time to support them is right now. Many are offering contactless collections and home deliveries within reasonable distances. A bookshop is a brains trust, a think tank, a fortress of tolerance, and a wellspring of a community’s mental health. Let’s keep them in robust shape. Please: find out if your local store is staying open in some form, and if it is, place an order."

^I love this guy!

Mar 23, 7:23pm Top

>85 msf59: - Interesting that you posted this, Mark. I am currently reading a book translated by Mitchell and his wife, The Reason I Jump and will finish it tonight. I haven't read his other stuff yet but having worked with many autistic kids over the years, this called to me. I did not know he has an autistic child. His intro to the book alone was terrific. Review will be on my thread when I'm done. And to his point, I have enough books in my house for a few lifetimes. But that hasn't stopped me from ordering a few more.... ;-)

Mar 23, 8:00pm Top

Not sure if you ever shop at Binny's, Mark, but they'll have special senior hours every day from noon to 1 pm. Everyone else can go there from 1 to 5 pm.

Mar 23, 10:38pm Top

>85 msf59: I saw that. Somehow I'm on his email list. Its definitely on the list.

>86 jessibud2: I read The Reason I Jump way back in 2013. I thought it was a profound little book.

Edited: Mar 23, 11:01pm Top

>83 msf59:

Photos of Vodka Man's many bottles were pretty boring,

but I have enough variety of Woman's Banana Peels to make a calendar!

Mar 24, 6:33am Top

>86 jessibud2: I think I get those emails from Mitchell, because I follow him on Good Reads or get the Penguin Random House updates. It is interesting that you are reading The Reason I Jump. I read and enjoyed it, several years ago.

>87 lindapanzo: Thanks for the Binnys senior update, Linda. Grins...I do have a Binny's that I pass by, on the way home from work. It is in Oakbrook.

>88 mahsdad: Hi, Jeff. I know Mitchell's new novel Utopia Avenue is coming out in June. It sounds like a bit of a departure for him, subject-wise.

>89 m.belljackson: You are slowly filling in the pieces, Marianne. Grins...

Mar 24, 6:33am Top

-Harry Bliss

Mar 24, 7:03am Top

Morning Mark! Still having a hard time reading. I may have to switch to poetry or short stories to see if they do the trick.

Edited: Mar 24, 7:04am Top

^I saw my first turkey vulture of the year, on Sunday. Grins...

Mar 24, 7:11am Top

Hey, we're doing a Facebook live event with our Turkey Vulture today at 11:00 am CST!

Mar 24, 7:16am Top

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

>93 msf59: I'm glad to see 'physical distancing' as opposed to 'social distancing' and congrats on your FoY Turkey Vulture.

Edited: Mar 24, 9:32am Top

>92 alphaorder: >94 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Sorry, to hear the book funk is still in place. I hope the poetry and short fiction, can snap you out of it.

Hooray for the live turkey vulture event. I am sure this is the same vulture I saw at Raptor Day.

>95 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Mail is fairly light and no snow to trudge through, so it shouldn't be bad. Glad you like the physical distancing term.

Mar 24, 1:55pm Top

Thank goodness for no snow to trudge through!

Another beautiful day outside and I can't enjoy it! Waahh

Mar 24, 2:47pm Top

'Cause why not? : )

Edited: Mar 24, 4:01pm Top

Hiya, Mark. Hope your day went well. Not bad out, although I believe it's going to get warmer in the next few days. We took a very long walk and now are catching our breath.

The new C.J. Box Joe Pickett novel is out, so of course I'm going to be all over that. I've started an ARC GN that I'm liking much more than I thought I would - it's an artist doing accompanying visuals for poems from well-known poets like Emily Dickinson and W.H. Auden, and it's surprisingly good. I'll find out the title and the artist and let you know. Operation Mincemeat continues to be good - another bizarre but true story, but for me it isn't quite at the level of ones like Agent Zigzag. Still impressively researched and good, though.

Mar 24, 6:37pm Top

>97 richardderus: Yep, RD, the snow is a faint, memory. Did it even happen?

>98 Berly: Happy Tuesday, Kim! Why? I am off tomorrow. Yah!

>99 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. It turned out to be a pretty good day. I am glad you guys got out for a lengthy walk. I always enjoy your book report. The GN sounds interesting. I will watch for your final thoughts.

Mar 24, 7:11pm Top

Only 100 posts behind on your 'new' thread, Mark :)

Happy Tuesday!

Mar 24, 7:21pm Top

Just got word from ALA that the Annual Conference scheduled for Chicago is canceled. Bummer. Reminds of the summer of the great SARS panicdemic that wasn't. Oh well guess that's life.

Mar 24, 7:38pm Top

Hi, Mark! Happy new(ish) thread. Well, new for me. I wasn't on LT much lately. Or any social media. Too depressing. Love your topper.

Glad you're doing well, staying safe and healthy! Have a great day off tomorrow!

Mar 24, 8:57pm Top

Hi Mark! I always enjoy visiting your thread. I particularly liked your You Must Read This up top (added to list) and your David Mitchell quote in >85 msf59:. Like you I did not feel a pressing need to stock up on books - I'm set for a long, long quarantine on that front, but my husband suggested I ration my wine last night, so desperate times and all that...

Hope you are well.

Mar 24, 9:17pm Top

I'm coming out of the viral funk, I think (hope). Walking around Manhattan with Lillian. I expect to finish that shortly, then I'll pick up The Lord Whimsey novel I just got. Then back to them Nazis.

Mar 24, 10:14pm Top

Hi Joe - your poetry book may be POEMS TO SEE BY by "Comic Artist" Julian Peters.

I also won a copy and love the visuals, yet given his self-described "Comic" affect, I was surprised
at the dark tone of most of the selections, starting with the lovely Emily Dickinson that he ends with the bird in a cemetery.

So good to read that you and your Family are staying safe,
vigilant as most people with children are,
and ignoring the delusional virus deniers.

Mar 25, 6:58am Top

'Morning, Mark, and Happy Day Off. I hope it's a good'un.

Still dark so I can't see any birds, but do know that I'll have to fill the feeders today. Louise reported seeing a Pileated Woodpecker fly near my barns heading towards the pastures - this was two days ago but I forgot to mention it.

Mar 25, 7:14am Top

>101 alcottacre: Thanks for catching up, Stasia!

>102 benitastrnad: Well, that's a bummer, Benita. I was so looking forward to ALA coming to Chicago. I appreciate the heads-up.

>103 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. Crazy times, that is for sure. Glad to hear and see that most of us are safe & sound. Did you ever get your feeders up?

>104 AMQS: Hi, Anne. Good to see you. It sounds like most of us are months away from any real book shortage, so no worries there. cutting back on wine consumption? Not that might be pushing it a bit, don't you think? Grins?

Edited: Mar 25, 7:19am Top

>105 weird_O: Howdy, Bill. Boo, to the viral funk. I was sure Lillian was going to knock that right out of you. She is a nice character to hang around with.

>106 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. It think this was meant for Joe's thread? It was late, so you must have been sleepy. Poems to See By does sound like a winner.

>107 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I have a couple of walks planned and the weather looks like it will cooperate too. Dry, sunny, mid to high 50s. Probably the best day of the week. I will have to freshen my feeders up today too. Hooray for the pileated!! I have not got one this year...yet.

Edited: Mar 25, 8:40am Top

35) The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields 4.7 stars

This wonderful novel follows Daisy Stone Goodwill's life, starting with her unusual birth in 1905 and her subsequent journey through the decades. Told mostly from the view points of people, that were closest to her, including letters and photographs. The writing is smart, vivid and beautiful. I am glad I finally got to this award-winning gem.

36) The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories by Sam Pink 4.2 stars

This is a terrific collection of stories. It is rare they we get stories, told from the viewpoint, of the lower working class. The folks that toil as dishwashers, assembly line workers and yes, ice cream delivery drivers. This could have been a bleak reading experience, but the author injects enough humor and optimism, that it keeps the dark subject matter buoyant.

37) The Pioneers by David McCullough 3.2 stars

I was not familiar with the opening of the Ohio Territory, which started in the late 1700s, so I learned quite a bit about that epic thrust westward. This is a weaker entry into McCullough's historical tableau. It rambles more than informs, so I wish he would have kept a narrower focus on just a couple of the characters, instead of a more sprawling approach. I read this for the AAC.

Mar 25, 9:01am Top

Enjoy your day off, Mark! Nice that the weather is cooperating for you :)

And so glad you also loved The Stone Diaries. It's one of my very favorites.

Mar 25, 12:15pm Top

Happy Wednesday, Mark, and may it be a light one.

I don't remember if you've already read With the Fire on High, one of my surprise favorite books read last year, but if not it's $2.99 on Kindle today!

Mar 25, 12:32pm Top

>109 msf59: >106 m.belljackson: >99 jnwelch:

Nah, Joe mentioned the poetry book on your #99, so added information for both of you here.

Mar 25, 2:21pm Top

>111 katiekrug: Hi, Katie. It has been a great day off so far and the weather has been beautiful. The afternoon will be reserved for the books. I am so glad that I finally decided to try The Stone Diaries. What a terrific read.

>112 richardderus: Hey, RD. I am off today so it has been a wonderful day so far. Thanks for the heads-up on With the Fire on High, but I snagged it on an audio deal, a couple months back. I need to bookhorn it in.

>113 m.belljackson: We are back on track, Marianne. Hopefully you will be seeing and hearing red-winged blackbirds very soon. I saw a mess of them today, on my walk. Lots of song sparrows singing too.

Edited: Mar 25, 6:47pm Top

-Scott Stantis

Edited: Mar 25, 10:13pm Top

>115 msf59: - That sign needs to be adjusted to read: "... and delusional *leaders* who ignore facts, reality and medical experts for their own benefit"... !

Mar 25, 9:56pm Top

Amen, to that, Shelley!

Mar 26, 6:55am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday. Glad that you had a good day off yesterday, I hope your work day goes well.

Mar 26, 8:55am Top

Morning Mark! Glad you had a nice day off.

Found a book you may be interested in: American Birds: A Literary Companion.

Mar 26, 10:30am Top

Hi Mark -

First Good News on the internet this morning:

LitHubDaily:March 26 = "12 Great Writers on 12 Great Birds"

This is definitely worth finding!

Mar 26, 10:35am Top

>118 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. The mail is light and the rain should hold off until I am done. All good here. Thanks.

>119 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. American Birds sounds like a perfect fit for me. Thanks. I will check it out more closely tonight.

>120 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. We can always use good news, my friend. I will check out the LitHub article later, on. It sure sounds like a winner.

Mar 26, 12:35pm Top

Happy new(ish) thread and happy Thursday!

Mar 26, 9:52pm Top

>122 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I hope you and the family are doing well.

Edited: Mar 26, 10:34pm Top

Mar 27, 3:33am Top

: )

Mar 27, 6:23am Top

>125 Berly: Big, loving waves to, Kim!!

Mar 27, 7:44am Top

Did I say happy new thread, Marc? And how much I love that tree in your first post? Makes me feel sheltered every time I see it.

Mar 27, 9:03am Top

‘Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you!

>124 msf59: LOL

Mar 27, 9:21am Top

>127 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella. Good to see you. Glad you like the comforting shelter of the topper. Smiles...

>128 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Chilly and overcast, as I start the route.

Mar 27, 9:28am Top

Happy Friday, Mark!

>106 m.belljackson:, >113 m.belljackson:, Thanks, Marianne. Yes, that's the right book, Poems to See By. I'll probably finish it this weekend. I like the poems he picked, some of which have been new to me, and his varied illustrations. I really like this way of presenting poems, and I hope he does more.

I join Richard's enthusiasm for With the Fire on High, Mark. She's now written two standouts, so I'll be watching for her next one.

Sorry to hear that The Pioneers wasn't up to snuff. I can remember how I got it, but I have a copy and will probably read it soon. Sub-par McCullough should still have some value, right?

Mar 27, 10:37am Top

Mar 27, 10:42am Top

Friday orisons, Mark, and a lovely lightsome bird-enriched time.

Mar 27, 10:58am Top

Hey Mark! Like Illinois, Ohio is #stayathome. Personnally, I'm loving it, it's not too different from the way things usually are but I know there is a downside for people who have lost their income. We're to shelter in place till 4/6. Our development has been great. Everybody's walking and waving, writing messages on their driveways, making face masks. It's brought out a lot of good in people.
I think in 20/20 people are beginning to see everything more clearly.
Have a good weekend, stay safe out there!

Mar 27, 12:21pm Top

>124 msf59: LOL I haven't been in the mood to buy any books since this all started, but yesterday, I finally did.

Also finished my second book of this "shelter in place" period. Next up will be another cozy mystery, I think, and then the new Erik Larson book.

Mar 27, 6:46pm Top

Hi Mark! Happy almost weekend. Congrats on the turkey vulture sighting. They are weird birds, aren't they?

Mar 27, 6:46pm Top

>130 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. I hope to track down Poems to See By at some point. It sounds good. I will also bookhorn in With the Fire on High in the near future. At least I have it on audio. Since, you have a copy of the latest McCullough, I think you should read it, although it is not one of his best.

>131 BLBera: >132 richardderus: Big Waves to Beth & Richard!

>133 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda. Glad everyone in the Cleveland area has adapted well to this crisis. My wife and are continuing to work, so business as usual here. It just sucks not being able to socialize with our friends.

>134 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Glad to hear you have bought a new book. I started the new Larson and it is off to a good start.

Edited: Mar 27, 7:03pm Top

"On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end..."

^Like many of my LT pals, I was very excited about reading a new Larson, (one of the best NNF authors out there) so I knew I had to bookhorn in The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, as soon as I had a chance. I started the audio today and it is off to a fine start.

Mar 27, 7:18pm Top

>135 banjo123: Happy Friday, Rhonda. Yes, vultures are weird but I think they are also cool and very important in the food chain. Nature's clean-up crew!

Edited: Mar 27, 7:28pm Top

"In this powerful debut collection, Vanessa Hua gives voice to immigrant families navigating a new America. Tied to their ancestral and adopted homelands in ways unimaginable in generations past, these memorable characters straddle both worlds but belong to none."

After finishing the excellent Deacon King Kong, (I LOVE McBride) I decided to go with Deceit and Other Possibilities, which I requested from the library. I must have found this story collection on a Must Read S.S. list somewhere. It was first published in 2016 but was recently released in paperback, with additional stories. Two stories in and it has me in it's grip. All good in my book world!

Mar 27, 8:20pm Top

Gorgeous topper, Mark! I'm so glad you enjoyed The Stone Diaries. I really loved it. I took delivery of nearly 300 rolls of toilet paper today, much to the laughs of my extended family. My son inquired - do you have diarrhea ? No, but I could not find toilet paper anywhere in the stores and I checked out 6 stores. I finally sourced it online. I decided go big or go home. I've offered to sell it t my immediate family for $20 / roll should they find themselves running short. ;-)

Mar 27, 9:16pm Top

Hi Mark, I'll look forward to your thoughts on the new Larson. I certainly hope to get to it soon. I hope you've got a very underwhelming weekend planned like I do.

Mar 27, 10:16pm Top

>140 vancouverdeb: LOL. You crack me up, Tonto! I hope you have decent storage space for all that TP. At least you might be able to make some money off of it. Yep, I really enjoyed The Stone Diaries.

>141 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. The Larson is off to a strong start. I work tomorrow. We may pop over to Bree's house tomorrow night for a quick visit but, otherwise we will be laying low.

Mar 28, 7:51am Top

'Morning Mark. I hope your work day goes well. Yay for the new Larson.

Our governor has signed an official shelter in place order effective Monday at 5 p.m. until April 29th. I'm so glad I went grocery shopping yesterday morning. Our only errands today will be trash to the dump and the PO for 2 small packages to daughter and a friend of hers.

Mar 28, 10:29am Top

Morning, Karen. I am glad to see most states have decided to go this route. Yes, it is inconvenient but vastly important. I hope we can begin to flatten that curve, soon.

Mar 28, 11:04am Top

>144 msf59:

To keep postal workers safer, why not fewer deliveries?

Mar 28, 11:33am Top

Happy Saturday, Mark, hope it's a nice if not pleasant...that weather!...one.

Mar 28, 12:03pm Top

I don't understand the fear of running out of t.p. There are ways to deal with it. Rags, buckets, and Clorox or bleach, then wash in hot water. Doesn't anybody wonder how people dealt with life in the 1950's? Before t.p. Or disposable diapers? Come on people!

Mar 28, 12:45pm Top

>103 Storeetllr: >108 msf59: No, not yet. I'm going to get to it soon tho.

>137 msf59: Looking forward to your thoughts on this one.

Stay safe, Mark. Happy weekend!

Mar 28, 1:15pm Top

Hi Mark, I hope that you and your family are healthy. We are now two weeks behind the strict Covid19 rules. People stick to the measures very well. This regulation is likely to continue for several weeks. I am at home except on Mondays and Tuesdays. Thomas is the one who does the shopping.
I think you have a lot to do. I love our postman who brings us our mail every day like clockwork. It is nice to see him and to exchange a short greeting.

Take care and stay healthy.

Mar 28, 2:05pm Top

Enjoy your weekend and stay safe during your rounds, Mark.

So glad to hear the new Larson is working out. I have it on hold at the library ... so who knows when I'll be able to get my hands on it since our library is closed as long as schools are closed. Still, it's not like I don't have enough books here to read anyway.. haha

Mar 28, 3:49pm Top

>147 benitastrnad: Many of us don't get newspapers anymore....

Mar 28, 5:12pm Top

>145 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. It is tough to change the mail delivery system, but if it gets really bad, they may have to take drastic measures.

>146 richardderus: Hey, RD. It turned out to be a decent weather day. Only drizzled for a few minutes. Storms arrive later, but that matters little to me, as I am safely home.

>147 benitastrnad: I don't get the T.P thing either, Benita. Pretty ridiculous, if you ask me.

Edited: Mar 28, 5:20pm Top

>148 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary. Hope you get your feeders up soon. Migrants will be coming through, anytime now. The Larson is off to a terrific start. Learning a lot about the Blitz.

>149 Ameise1: Hi, Barb. Nice to see you. All good here. Glad you guys are doing fine and are happy with your mail delivery.

>150 cameling: Thanks, Caroline. Always good to see you. Hope you are getting out for some walks. The Larson has been really good. No surprise there.

>151 quondame: Grins...

Edited: Mar 28, 5:20pm Top

^This pandemic sure makes a guy thirsty and several breweries and brew-pubs are offering growler specials...to go of course. I am heading out. Yeah, baby!

Mar 28, 5:47pm Top

Hi Mark. Stop by my thread, if you get a chance...;-)

Mar 28, 6:32pm Top

Hi Mark, you got me with your review of The Stone Diaries, thank you. I look forward to your thoughts on the new Larson book. We can only dream of (and read about) such leadership.

Mar 28, 9:29pm Top

>147 benitastrnad: Just pointing out here that I was born in 1951, and there's been toilet paper all my life, even in my grandmother's outhouse and the privy of the one-room school I attended through 5th grade. It wasn't Charmin, but it wasn't the Sears catalog, either.

Mar 28, 9:34pm Top

>154 msf59: I'm with you there buddy!

I don't keep booze at home (a concession to my faith) and I haven't had a drink in 12 days (the lockdown period so far) with no prospect for another 16 days at least.

Stay safe, Mark.

Edited: Mar 29, 2:33am Top

>157 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks for pointing that out, Linda. I didn't notice a lack of toilet paper in the '50s either. I looked it up and toilet paper was first available in the US in 1857.

Hope you lucked out on the growler specials, Mark. Enjoy your Sunday!

Mar 29, 7:21am Top

'Morning, Mark. Happy Sunday to you.

Yay growler! I'd never heard of growlers before a microbrewery set up in our town about 20 years ago. We have one friend who modified an old refrigerator to store his growler with an external tap - on the side, I think. I'm sure he's suffering now with the bar/restaurant portion closed but not missing out on his beer.

Edited: Mar 29, 7:42am Top

>155 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. I will stop by, as soon as I start to visit the threads.

>156 AMQS: "We can only dream of (and read about) such leadership." You sure have that right, Anne! Always good to see you. The Larson has been excellent. More warbling to come on that one.

>157 laytonwoman3rd: >159 Familyhistorian: Benita might have been having a glass of wine or two. Grins...

Mar 29, 7:42am Top

>158 PaulCranswick: A month without beer? Shudders...Can you at least smoke a joint now and then? Good luck with the lockdown, Paul.

>159 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg. Yep, the growler special worked out fine. I filled one for my daughter and 2 for me. They only ran out of one of the beers, I was looking forward to. Making the best of our Shelter in Place.

>160 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Yep, growlers are half gallon containers. In the past few years, we have seldom used them, since I prefer having a draft beer, while I am out and about. They sure came in handy this time. And I am glad to help out our local businesses, to boot. they were also doing a brisk carryout service for meals.

Mar 29, 9:25am Top

Mar 29, 10:57am Top

>163 msf59: I love that one. Earlier, I saw Edward Hopper's Nighthawks with no one in the diner.

Hope you and your family are staying healthy, Mark.

Reading a baseball book now. Or at least I will later, because I'll be spending a half day at the kitchen table with my laptop doing work work.

Mar 29, 11:11am Top

>163 msf59: I love it! Stay well, Mark.

Mar 29, 11:32am Top

Mar 29, 12:13pm Top

>163 msf59: Ha! Perfect message. *chuckle*

Mar 29, 1:09pm Top

Actually, I was referring to the days before disposable diapers. I am old enough to to remember that when Baby used a diaper it went into the diaper pail. That was a bucket (I am young enough to remember these as tall narrow plastic things, usually in either pastel pink or blue, but sometimes yellow or green and usually stat out on the porch. Nobody wanted it in the house!) that held a solution of clorox and water in which the diapers were soaked for a day or two. They were then washed in the washer (not an automatic washer like today but most people had wringer wash machines by then) using hot water, detergent, and Clorox. They were then hung out to dry on the clothes line (that was my job) and when dry they were brought into the house and ironed (again, that was my job). Nobody used newspaper in privies. It was rags. That newspaper thing is just an old urban legend.

None of this was very long ago. I was born in 1956. People just forget easily. And poorer people don't like to talk about such things because it calls attention to their poverty.

Mar 29, 1:57pm Top

Haha, I'm old enough to remember my mom making me, at around age 6, carry the baby's poopy diaper to the toilet to "rinse." Ick, ick ick. And I remember my reaction to it. Ick, ick, ick. No mercy from my mom, tho. I don't remember if we had a "modern" washing machine then or still had the wringer washer. When I had my daughter 36 years ago, I used cloth diapers pretty much exclusively, except when traveling, but for the first year I had a diaper service and, after, used a washing machine & dryer. (I didn't have a clothesline.) I also remember going to my great-uncle's farm in Indiana when I was small and using an outhouse. I think there was t.p. to use in it. I'm pretty sure I'd have remembered if not.

I was born in '48.

Mar 29, 2:06pm Top

>164 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. You probably know this but "American Gothic" is by Grant Wood, not Edward Hopper, although people do make that mistake. We are all dong fine. Thanks. Laying especially low today, since it is so windy and chilly out there.

>165 BLBera: You too, Beth. Thanks!

>166 jessibud2: >167 richardderus: As soon as I saw that on FB, I knew I had to share it.

>168 benitastrnad: Thanks for clarifying the toilet paper statement, Benita. I had a feeling you meant something else. I remember the yucky, cloth diapers, with my younger siblings. Always the same smell lingering. I always heard that people in outside privies used Sear's catalogs. Never heard the rag thing, though.

Edited: Mar 29, 2:25pm Top

Mar 29, 2:26pm Top

>171 msf59: Isn't that the truth!

Mar 29, 3:44pm Top

>170 msf59: yes American Gothic and Nighthawks are among two of my favorites but I was trying to see that I’ve seen “updated” versions with a nod toward the COVID virus pandemic. I think I’ve shared both updates on FB.

Edited: Mar 29, 3:57pm Top

Well, Americans don't have a toilet paper backup ever since SEARS stopped sending out their catalogues - these WERE in the outhouses.

Deer have been eating from our bird feeders at night - one with BIG hoof prints - 3rd morning in a row to empty feeders.

Yep, the horror story goes on,
with Americans too stupid to comprehend where their phony thousand dollar bailout is coming from...
like maybe simply adding to the trillion dollars of debt
or maybe from the income taxes we are paying
or maybe borrowing EVEN MORE from China (guess not anymore)
or Russia & other countries lying about their virus numbers...

Hey, maybe Cuba will cover our latest international borrowing spree...?!?

Mar 29, 4:06pm Top

>171 msf59: Couldn't've been by Nora Roberts and directed by Steven Spielberg, nooooo

Mar 29, 5:55pm Top

Hi Mark! Hope your weekend is going well, even if on lockdown. We have several places that do take out beer, here and even some craft beer delivery. Banjo, jr is a cider fan, so we had a cider and IPA delivery last week, from Reverend Nat's.

Mar 29, 6:22pm Top

Here's my take on the toilet paper shortage Mark: you hear there's a shortage and as soon as you get to the store you grab as many rolls as you can because well, there's a shortage isn't there. The more people hear about it the more toilet paper they grab in the store if they can get it. Multiply that by the millions of shoppers across the country and you've now created a REAL shortage. My store had toilet paper last week. I didn't need it so I didn't buy it. Come on people use your heads.

Mar 29, 6:42pm Top

>172 Storeetllr: B.A.G.!

>173 lindapanzo: I have seen both of these great pieces of art at the Art Institute. I think this is their home base, if I remember correctly.

>174 m.belljackson: "or maybe borrowing EVEN MORE from China (guess not anymore)". I wonder where else we could borrow this kind of money? Do the deer actually feed from the feeders or just forage on the ground?

>175 richardderus: That imagined film version could work too, RD. Grins...

Mar 29, 6:48pm Top

>176 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda! All good here, at the Freeburg homestead, but it is becoming scary, with the drastically rising numbers in Illinois. Chicago is quickly becoming a HOT SPOT. Shudders...

Hooray for a cider and IPA delivery! Our cavalry!

>177 brenzi: Happy Sunday, Bonnie! Thanks for chiming in on the Great Toilet Paper Debacle! I am down to 6 rolls. Oh, sh*t!!

Mar 30, 7:29am Top

'Morning, Mark! I hope your work day goes well and that Sue's work closes. Cook and DuPage county numbers are disturbing. Stay safe out there, Warbler!

Edited: Mar 30, 10:39am Top

>180 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. So far so good out here. And the weather is definitely better than yesterday. I am afraid to hear our new virus cases for the day. Shudders...

BBS was fairly quiet today, but I did still see a few cedar waxwings hanging around, along with a singing redwing blackbird and Cardinal.

Mar 30, 10:45am Top

>162 msf59: Hahaha Mark. No scruples on this, but Malaysia is pretty strict on drugs, Kyran and Hani do occasionally enjoy a smoke or two but I cannot inhale with my asthma and never having smoked so they wouldn't waste the stuff on me!

Take care, buddy.

Mar 30, 2:16pm Top

Hi Mark, I've been lurking for awhile. Thought I'd better post so you would know I'm still alive and kicking!

>110 msf59: I loved your thoughts on The Stone Diaries I see I've read it twice now, the second time for an online book group. I had totally forgotten there was online book life before LT!

The Splendid and the Vile is on hold for me at the library. Right now it is shut down until the end of April. Wahhhh! My shelves at home are rejoicing after I finished my last library book yesterday. It takes a pandemic to get me to read my own books.

Mar 30, 6:05pm Top

>182 PaulCranswick: Well, I am glad to hear that Kyran and Hani like to party now and then. Grins...

>183 Donna828: You have been lurking over here, without commenting? The nerve...Hi, Donna! Always good to see you. I am so glad I gave The Stone Diaries a try. It was a wonderful novel. And The Splendid and the Vile has been an excellent read, as I enter the second half. Larson is a master of NNF.

Mar 30, 11:16pm Top

>171 msf59: Oh, so true.

>137 msf59: Adding that to my wish list! Erik Larson, one of the best.

Hi Mark! One of my least favorite things about this pandemic is that the conference I was to attend in Chicago the end of May has been canceled. No Chicago meet-up at Memorial Day. Sad Ellen.

Mar 31, 2:10am Top

Hmm, as for toilet paper, I failed to panic buy. So then I was left with nothing around. Staples Canada came through with 280 rolls of some no name brand. I hope we will be good for a while. Yesterday while out on my walk, I saw my first Great Blue Heron of the year. I am sure they hang around all year, but it was good to see one again. Saw a rufous humming bird sharing a tree with another bird. There was a feeder nearby, thus the attraction , I suppose.

Mar 31, 5:31am Top

Morning Mark!

Have a fantastic Tuesday.

Mar 31, 6:32am Top

>186 vancouverdeb: Hi, Ellen. I am sure you will love the Larson. Oh, bummer about your May conference being canceled. I really miss seeing you and it has been a long while.

>187 figsfromthistle: Hi, Deb. Always enjoy the toilet paper and bird report. Grins...I got my FOY, GBH, about 3 weeks ago. It was in an area where they nest, so there were several of them. It looks like I need to come out to the PNW, to see a rufous hummingbird, since they do not travel this far east.

>187 figsfromthistle: Happy Tuesday, Figs! Good to see you.

Edited: Mar 31, 6:36am Top

-Keith Taylor

Mar 31, 7:08am Top

Morning Mark.

Putting this list of new and noteworthy poetry here for you, Joe, and others:

Mar 31, 7:16am Top

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

Yay for the BBS. I've put out a hummingbird feeder but so far haven't seen any.

>189 msf59: *smile*

Mar 31, 10:31am Top

Good morning, Mark. I saw the longer range forecast and am excited by the prospect of springlike weather late week/weekend. Yippee!!

Still reading my second baseball book. Then I'll switch over to a cozy and then the new Erik Larson.

Edited: Mar 31, 10:33am Top

>190 alphaorder: Morning, Nancy. Thanks for the poetry link. I am sad I can't request anything from the library. That is where I usually get my poetry and GNs.

>191 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. So far, so good. Ooh, let me know when you start seeing hummers. I will probably wait another 2 weeks, unless I start hearing reports.

>192 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. I saw that extended forecast too. Good news. At least, when I can, I want to be able to get out and hike in decent weather. Thursday, my next off day, looks pleasant enough.

Mar 31, 11:09am Top

>124 msf59: *sigh* No booze for us here in PA. Beer and wine, yes, but none of the "extra strength" stuff as the state liquor stores are closed down.

Mar 31, 11:50am Top

I am in the process of setting up my work-at-home station. I am now waiting on delivery of my mobile hot spot and then I won't have to go to Paners and sit in my car for hours. I will be able to do this from my house. At least for a while.

The reading is going great - especially since I stopped watching the news. I am reading book 3 in the science fiction series Binti and should finish this series today. It is a comfort to know that there are so many good books out there.

Mar 31, 1:09pm Top

>178 msf59:

Where else we could borrow trillions...maybe the manufacturers of toilet paper?

The deer, with his/her great huge prints in the mud around the feeders, just eats and eats and eats right out of the feeders.

Yesterday's solution was to fill feeders only 1/3 full to leave little at the bottom.
(There's always spilled seeds on the ground for the deer, raccoons, possum, groundhog, etc., and now a million chipmunks.)

If I could throw a rope accurately and high enough, I'd tie the feeder hanger to it and pull the feeder up way high every night.

Other ideas (beside bringing feeders into the house) welcome.

Mar 31, 5:26pm Top

>194 laytonwoman3rd: Bummer, about the booze, Linda. How close is the next state-border, if things become desperate?

>195 benitastrnad: Hi, Benita. Glad you are finally getting set up with WiFi. It should make things much easier. Glad you are enjoying those books. I also had a good time with those Binti books.

>196 m.belljackson: Hi, Marianne. Yep, it sounds like the deer are having a field day, at your feeders. I have never had to deal with deer, so I don't have any suggestions. Maybe, you can ask around. Maybe, at your feed store? They can't get seed out of a tube feeder, right?

Edited: Mar 31, 5:36pm Top

We lost 26 lives in Illinois, in the past 24 hours, pushing our death toll to a 100. 6,000 have reported positive. Our governor has extended the Shelter in Place order until the end of April.
Our local government has been doing a terrific job, dealing with the virus and reporting it. No comment on the federal side.

Mar 31, 5:47pm Top

>198 msf59: This was our worst death toll day, though the new cases was down a bit from what was it, Sunday. I heard somewhere that the federal labs take a week or more to provide results to tested patients and the state ones are quicker and, as a result, on days the feds dump the responses, the total number of positives is skewed. Sunday was it, we had over a thousand new cases and today's was high, too, but most days, we are right around 400 to 500.

I've been closely monitoring Lake County which posts its numbers daily around 4 or 5 pm. We also have a map with the number of cases per town, though they only show a range. Hoping ours remains in the 5 to 9 category for awhile, though even that doesn't say whether they patients at our one nursing home or in the regular population.

I think Cook and Du Page health departments both have town by town maps with numbers as well. Kane and McHenry do not.

Mar 31, 5:57pm Top

>199 lindapanzo: Hi, Linda. Thanks for the additional information. I haven't been following the exact Dupage County numbers, just the state. I did hear a Downers Grove mail-carrier and a postal supervisor tested positive. I hope it wasn't my carrier.

Mar 31, 6:16pm Top

>200 msf59: Mark, just a huge THANK YOU to you and all postal workers for keeping the mail coming. I think you guys fly below the radar for most of us; we just expect you'll always be there, that we'll always have mail in our boxes. You take enormous risks, and I know everybody appreciates it, even if it isn't always expressed.

Stay safe!

Mar 31, 6:28pm Top

>201 kac522: I wholeheartedly agree!

Looking forward to your thoughts on The Splendid and the Vile, Mark. Larson is one of my favorite nonfiction writers.

Mar 31, 6:28pm Top

>201 kac522: - I second that!

Mar 31, 7:10pm Top

>197 msf59:

The genius Wisconsin deer knock/pull/enchant the bird feeder right off the hanger and eat seeds around and fallen from the tube feeder.

Then they drag it off and hide it. Last time it was next to the Groundhog's silo; yesterday under the patio bushes.

Mar 31, 7:17pm Top

>204 m.belljackson: - This is what our raccoons here do, and did, to my single feeder. After lifting it off the hook, dropping it to the ground, they then roll it back and forth till the seeds pour out of the 4 ports. By the time I caught on to what they were doing, the first feeder I had was broken, the spring mechanism that allows the outer tube to lower over the ports, keeping out squirrels, had cracked from falling to the ground so many times. I ended up buying a new one and have taken it in every night ad put it back out every morning, ever since.

Frustrating but not a lot of options.

Mar 31, 7:42pm Top

>201 kac522: Thank you very much, Kathy. Good to see you. I am fortunate that I can continue to work, compare to many others and mostly in a safe manner too. I hope this dedication can flatten the curve.

>202 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia. You will not be surprised, but the Larson has been excellent so far.

>202 alcottacre: Thanks, Shelley.

>203 jessibud2: Thanks for the clarification, Marianne. Deer are big animals, so it probably takes little effort to knock feeders off their perches. I hope you can figure out a solution.

>205 jessibud2: I am very lucky that raccoons do not mess with my feeders. Fingers crossed.

Mar 31, 8:45pm Top

Hey, buddy. I love the Keith Taylor cartoon. Maybe we’ll get a chance to meet that guy some day.:-)

Looks like you’re in the midst of some excellent reading. I ended up loving Poems to See By. You’re so surprised, I’m sure. Thanks for putting up with my gushing. Man, I hope the book does well. I want him to do a bunch of these.

Mar 31, 9:05pm Top

>124 msf59: >194 laytonwoman3rd: Haha, liquor stores in Springfield, MO have been deemed to be essential!

>198 msf59: We are also sheltering in place until the end of April. My bookshelves are going to get a workout!

Mar 31, 9:45pm Top

I sigh with great gustiness. This is a Biblical disaster.

Mar 31, 9:47pm Top

>207 jnwelch: Hi, Joe. You know I like to share Keith's comics, now and then. The dude nails it, right? Can't wait to get to the Poems book.

>208 Donna828: Hi, Donna. Our liquor stores are essential too. Yeah, baby! I am sure I will get in some extra reading too, although I want the weather to warm up, so I can get more trail time in.

Edited: Mar 31, 9:59pm Top

"The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart."

Like many of us over here, I LOVED News of the World, so I am quite pumped about, reading her latest, which is finally being released in mid-April. Thanks, to Marianne for snagging me a copy at ALA. I have read and enjoyed 3 of her other books.

Mar 31, 9:56pm Top

>197 msf59: Well, the next state is New York....don't think we'll chance that. Anyway, they're locked down tighter than we are, I think.

Edited: Mar 31, 10:03pm Top

>209 richardderus: Hey, RD. You snuck in there. Quite stealthy, I must say. Yep, Biblical Disaster, just about sums it up.

>212 laytonwoman3rd: Good luck riding this one out, Linda. Should I send you a bottle?

Mar 31, 10:05pm Top

>213 msf59: Thanks, Mark...I think we'll manage as long as the supermarkets still sell wine and beer.

Mar 31, 11:16pm Top

>198 msf59: So terrible. Our Stay Home order is still only in effect until April 6 but all of us are expecting it to be extended to the end of April.

My work has me very close to the public health territory every day. It's so interesting. One thing I heard today: the clock on social distancing won't really start until ALL states have orders in place. Our borders are so permeable, the whole country has to be staying home to really cut off the virus' spread. Given that some states are just now taking it seriously, we'll likely all need to engage in serious social distancing through at least the end of April and likely through the end of May. This is starting to feel normal. How weird is that.

I coincidentally ordered a case of TP from Who Gives a Crap right before this all happened. Truly, I had no idea we were going into this territory. But it's nice to have that case of 48 rolls of recycled TP in the closet. :-)

I hope you enjoy Simon the Fiddler. I liked it a lot. Perhaps not quite as wonderful as News of the World but still very good.

Stay safe and healthy, my friend.

Mar 31, 11:17pm Top

Oh, in Washington we seem to be flattening the curve. Social distancing does work!

Apr 1, 2:29am Top

Mark, I'm not sure why bookstores are not deemed essential services, along with libraries. Who can understand? At least most of us have shelves of TBR's . Whoot- you saw two baby Great Horned owls. How fun!

I mentioned the other day seeing my first Great Blue Heron. Well, today my husband told me that the past few nights when he has been walking our dog, he's had a Great Blue Heron come flying up from the ground and screeching at him. Same location as I saw my Blue Heron, though she/ he was in the water. I suspect he must be walking by a nest of the Herons.

Apr 1, 6:34am Top

>214 laytonwoman3rd: Hooray supermarkets that sell beer and wine! Lifesavers!

>215 EBT1002: >216 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen. I appreciate your comments on the Covid. I know your state was hit hard. And yes, a lot of the more rural states have been dragging their feet, getting this order in. Crazy times, my friend. Hooray for "Who Gives a Crap"! Looking forward to diving into Simon the Fiddler later this morning.

>217 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. I can't believe how much I miss my library. It was definitely essential to me. Sad face. I like the GBH reports and you are right, this pair might be nesting nearby, so be careful.

It will be fun watching the GHO babies, especially as they start to branch out. They grow up fast.

Edited: Apr 1, 6:40am Top

^The Great Horned Owl babies. There are three in the box but it is tough to get a good luck at all of them at once. I did manage two of them. This sure brightens my day. I am also keeping my visits to once a week and only for a few minutes at a time. I also saw Papa GHO, standing watch in a nearby pine. I did not see Mama, so it could have been her.

Edited: Apr 1, 7:08am Top

Apr 1, 7:37am Top

‘Morning, Mark. I’m sorry that Illinois is getting hit so badly. This is not the time to be #7 in the hit parade!

I hope your work day goes well. Stay safe. I hope the Downers Grove carrier and supervisor are okay and and especially that the carrier was NOT yours.

>201 kac522: What Kathy said.

>219 msf59: I’m glad you posted this pic. Thank you for a bit of joy in an otherwise rather bleak landscape. They’re ‘dorable.

>220 msf59: So absolutely true.

Apr 1, 8:40am Top

Morning, Mark.

>220 msf59: Ain't that the truth! >219 msf59: Cool beans. I'm glad you got to visit them.

Can't wait to hear what you think of Simon the Fiddler.

I've started one called The Ten Thousand Doors of January. So far, so good.

Hope the day treats you well, buddy.

Apr 1, 9:21am Top

>221 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Thank you and hooray for the adorable GHO babies!

>222 jnwelch: Morning, Joe. Getting ready to hit the route. Mail has been very light, but parcels are picking up, which is to be expected.

Looking forward to starting Fiddler, a little later on.

Apr 1, 9:31am Top

After the first quarter we are neck and neck Mark with 41 books each read. It is good to be in such great company!

Apr 1, 10:09am Top

>219 msf59: So cute! It's so nice that you are still able to get out and do your bird hikes during this time. I think our walking trails have stayed open but all our parks and beaches have been closed.

Apr 1, 10:28am Top

>224 PaulCranswick: Glad to know we are neck to neck, in our reading life, Paul. Finding joy in trying times, right?

>225 ChelleBearss: Morning, Chelle. Our parks and beaches are closed too but I hope the trails remain open. Of course, we have to maintain our distances there, too.

Apr 1, 10:37am Top

>220 msf59: Heh. I got this in my monthly SFFBC newsletter: "We've further decided to end 2020 this month and take some time so that we start 2021 right. Please tell us how your challenges fared."

After picking up my jaw from the floor, I realized what the date was and had a good chuckle.

Edited: Apr 1, 11:22am Top

Glad to read you are holding your own. May the Force continue to be with you and yours.

How is it that the owls have that nice nesting box?

Edited: Apr 1, 5:22pm Top

Apr 1, 2:17pm Top

>220 msf59: Yes!

I also loved Simon the Fiddler, Mark. Enjoy.
Stay well.

Apr 1, 2:45pm Top

April is National Poetry Month on my blog! I will Celebrate The Art all April long!

Apr 1, 2:47pm Top

>219 msf59: Awww. Ugly but cute in that state. Great catch Mark.

>220 msf59: pffftt.

Apr 1, 5:17pm Top

>220 msf59: Truer words were never spoken! Stay well!

Apr 1, 6:13pm Top

>227 richardderus: I love it, Richard! How is that jaw?

>228 weird_O: Howdy, Bill. Always good to see you. Yep, hanging in there, getting the mail delivered safely. I believe they put that nesting box, in there several years ago, hoping to attract a GHO family or too. It has succeeded.

>230 BLBera: Hi, Beth. Due to different distractions, I have only managed to read 30 pages of Simon the Fiddler so far, but I really like it so far.

>231 richardderus: I will stop by RD!

>232 Caroline_McElwee: Hi, Caroline. You have heard the expression, so ugly that they are cute. That certainly fits the GHO babies and I can't get enough.

>233 mdoris: B.A.G.

Edited: Apr 1, 6:38pm Top

Apr 1, 6:51pm Top

>211 msf59: I ordered that one yesterday with the gift card my husband got me for my birthday. I cannot wait for it to arrive.

>219 msf59: Cool beans!

>220 msf59: Isn't that the truth?

Apr 2, 2:17am Top

Totally in love with the GHO owlets Mark! So cute! I saw my GBH today, just sitting in the pond. They are such cool birds and quite plentiful around here. In fact many of our pump stations around the island of Richmond have the GBH on them as big decals. I thought they were painted on , but my husband tells me that they are large decals. What do I know ? Saw a chickadee today too, along with the usual suspects.

Apr 2, 7:20am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy Thursday, happy day off!

Apr 2, 7:27am Top

>236 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia! I could have sent you my copy of Simon the Fiddler, once I was through with it, but you didn't know that, of course. Hooray for the owlets!

>237 vancouverdeb: Hi, Deb. I hope to see more of the owlets and get better photos. I hope to see another GBH and a great egret, on one of my rambles, which will include one I will do today.

>238 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. Still working on my first cup of coffee and mustering up the energy for a home workout.

Apr 2, 8:05am Top

>239 msf59: Such a coincidence Marc, I'm doing exactly the same right now, mustering up the energy, that is.

Apr 2, 8:44am Top

>240 EllaTim: LOL. Like minds, right, Ella? I did get my workout in. I have been backing off, for a couple of months, due to my shoulder issues but I am trying to ease back into it. If you get to far away from an exercise regime, it takes a lot of effort to get back into it. I hope you and the family are doing well.

Edited: Apr 2, 8:47am Top

The Conditional

Say tomorrow doesn't come.
Say the moon becomes an icy pit.
Say the sweet-gum tree is petrified.
Say the sun's a foul black tire fire.
Say the owl's eyes are pinpricks.
Say the raccoon's a hot tar stain.
Say the shirt's plastic ditch-litter.
Say the kitchen's a cow's corpse.
Say we never get to see it: bright
future, stuck like a bum star, never
coming close, never dazzling.
Say we never meet her. Never him.
Say we spend our last moments staring
at each other, hands knotted together,
clutching the dog, watching the sky burn.
Say, It doesn't matter. Say, That would be
enough. Say you'd still want this: us alive,
right here, feeling lucky.

-Ada Limón

Man, I love her poetry!!

Apr 2, 12:12pm Top

Hey Mark! How goes it? Still working? Everybody around you ok?
I've got Simon the Fiddler in my TBR stack beside my reading lamp. It's funny, you'd think being #stayathome I'd get a lot of reading done..............but noooo! Crazy!

Apr 2, 1:12pm Top

>242 msf59: Oh, I do like that.

Apr 2, 1:39pm Top

>219 msf59: Seeing these two is a treat. Mark, glad you managed to take a picture.

Apr 2, 3:33pm Top

>243 Carmenere: Sweet Thursday, Lynda. Yep, Sue and I are still working and we are doing fine. Looks like the weather is starting to improve, so at least I can get out of the house, during my time off. I am having a good time with Simon the Fiddler and hope to spend a nice chunk of time with him, this afternoon. Glad you have a copy sitting nearby.

>244 Storeetllr: Hi, Mary. Have you read Limon before? If not, she is a Must Read!!

>245 FAMeulstee: Hi, Anita. It is going to be fun watching these owlets grow up and begin to fly.

Apr 2, 3:37pm Top

No, I haven't. Putting her on my "must read" list. (The TBR list is so long it's daunting.)

Apr 2, 6:30pm Top

>247 Storeetllr: She is an absolute favorite, Mary! Worth tracking down.

Edited: Apr 2, 6:46pm Top

"The #1 international bestselling author delivers his first stand-alone novel, a psychological thriller set in World War II Nazi Germany and 1970s England...
Millions of fans around the world—and in this country—know Adler-Olsen for his award-winning Department Q series. His first stand-alone, The Alphabet House, is the perfect introduction for those who have yet to discover his riveting work."

Keeping up with my OTS Challenge, I decided to finally get to The Alphabet House, which has sat on shelf for 5 years, which is a bit puzzling since I really enjoyed the first 5 books in the Department Q series, (although it started to run a little thin, in the last 2 books). I also have had it saved on audio, so I will go with that format. I will start it tomorrow. I can't remember anyone reading this stand-alone. Thoughts?

Apr 2, 7:05pm Top

>249 msf59: That one sounds pretty good to me. My local library has a copy. If it ever opens back up again, I will have to check it out!

Happy Thursday, Mark! I hope you and yours stay health and safe.

Apr 2, 7:08pm Top

Hi Mark, just catching up. Looking forward to your thoughts on Simon the Fiddler as I recently read News of the World. My reading has really dropped off but I'm doing a lot of jigsaw puzzling. And watching Ozark. Are you a fan?

Edited: Apr 2, 7:11pm Top

>250 alcottacre: I have a copy too, Stasia, if you are interested. Let me read it first and see if it is worth it. I am always willing to take one for the team. Grins...

>251 brenzi: Hi, Bonnie. I am really enjoying Simon the Fiddler in the early going. Sorry, your reading has dropped off. I hope it picks up. We only watched the first season of Ozark and liked it a lot. I take it, it is worth catching up on? I am watching "Tiger Wild". OMG, what a trip!

Apr 2, 7:09pm Top

Mark, just heard that the Morton Arboretum has to close because people going there weren't doing social distancing. Yikes. Hope our Lake County Forest Preserves stay open.

Apr 2, 7:14pm Top

38) Deacon King Kong by James McBride 4.5 stars

“ Sportcoat was a walking genius, a human disaster, a sod, a medical miracle, and the greatest baseball umpire that the Cause Houses had ever seen...”

“After practice on lazy summer afternoons, he’d gather the kids around and tell stories about baseball players long dead, players from the old Negro leagues with names that sounded like brands of candy: Cool Papa Bell, Golly Honey Gibson, Smooth Rube Foster, Bullet Rogan, guys who knocked the ball five hundred feet high into the hot August air at some ballpark far away down south someplace, the stories soaring high over their heads...”

It is the late summer of 1969, in south Brooklyn, a seventy year old church deacon, drunk as usual, pulls a gun and shoots the local drug dealer. This shooting sets off a whole series of events that rock this neighborhood. Sportcoat, having no memory of this violent incident, is forced to go underground, with the help of his community. It is an absolute marvel to get lost in McBride's storytelling and he clearly knows Brooklyn, with a deep passion and understanding. He is a true master and the cast of characters, he creates here, are all wonderful, but leading the pack is Sportcoat, who is one of the great literary creations. Nice to have McBride back.

*Another ALA gem, thanks to Marianne and Benita and this one is signed. B.A.G.

Apr 2, 8:06pm Top

Hi Mark, I've been missing my library as well but I have been pulling down books from my shelves that have been up there far too long. I am hoping to get caught up in a number of my series as they seem to have slipped over the last few years. I am looking forward to getting a copy of Simon the Fiddler as I have loved everything else that I have read by Paulette Jiles.

Yesterday, 6:25am Top

>255 DeltaQueen50: Hi, Judy. Good to see you. This is a perfect time for books off the shelf and we both know, we have a LOT of them. No question, you will love Simon the Fiddler.

Edited: Yesterday, 7:01am Top

-Harry Bliss

Yesterday, 7:38am Top

'Morning, Mark! Happy? Friday to you!

I've been enjoying the Cowbirds on my feeders - Louise calls them garbage birds but except when they're raiding the feeders I rather like them. Since my feeders are squirrel-proof they're also more-than-two-cowbird-proof. I love watching the feeding ports close when there's too much weight, meanie that I am.

Yesterday, 7:40am Top

>254 msf59: That one is probably one of the boxes that arrived at our library Monday and Tuesday. I was quarantining them to open next week (since I was working only one day/week in the office and the rest from home). Looks like it will be at least a couple more weeks before I get to open that box.

Yesterday, 9:25am Top

>258 karenmarie: Morning, Karen. I have seen a few cowbirds all ready but not at my feeders and once they do start to visit, it is sporadic. Nice looking birds.

>259 thornton37814: Hi, Lori. Good to see you. I hope the new McBride is in that box. It is a terrific read.

Yesterday, 7:45pm Top

>205 jessibud2:

It sounds like, even though the big deer prints are there, that raccoons could be working in tandem.
Deer hauling a feeder around seemed pretty odd.

Bringing feeders with food into the house for the night will unfortunately attract mice.

The keeping the feeders empty outside strategy has worked for 2 nights - or the newly sprung grass is more attractive, for deer at least.

I've had to use 2 strong tie-down straps over the outside garbage can to deter raccoons.

Today, 6:38am Top

>261 m.belljackson: Thanks for the pointers, Marianne. Fortunately, we don't have to deal with deer and our other outside critters have been leaving the feeders alone, but like munching on the scraps. I do need to get a metal container to store my bird seed though, because the chipmunks have chewed through the plastic ones.

Today, 6:57am Top

'Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you!

>261 m.belljackson: I made the mistake of bringing in a feeder every night about 5 years ago. We didn't notice the mice, but when I moved the sofa out to vacuum I found thousands of sunflower seed shells.

>261 m.belljackson: We have a metal trash can for sunflower seed and one for wild bird seed. Nothing would keep the raccoons out when we kept them on the back porch, so into the garage they went.

Today, 7:00am Top

Morning, Karen! My faithful visitor! I will order one of those metal bins soon. I have been keeping the mixed seed in the house, in a container of course. It is a hassle.

Edited: Today, 7:11am Top

Today, 8:38am Top

Morning, Mark!

I saw a beautifully bright cardinal just outside my office window yesterday and of course thought of you. I know cardinals are NBD, but they're one of my favorites and it brightened my day.

Today, 9:32am Top

>266 scaifea: Morning, Amber. No matter how many times I see a cardinal, it brings a smile to my face, so I completely understand. And I hear them singing, pretty much throughout the day, as a bonus.

Today, 9:43am Top

>265 msf59:- LOL! No kidding!

>266 scaifea:, >267 msf59: - Mark, you must have missed my cardinal story that I posted on my thread the other day. I witnessed something really special. A male cardinal got a seed from my feeder, flew up to the branch the feeder hangs from, fed his Mrs. who was perched there, waiting, then flew back down to the feeder, and repeated it over and over, for a good 5 minutes. It's a behaviour I knew about but have seldom witnessed. So lovely. :-)

Sorry to read about Bree's wedding. I expect there's a lot of that going on and may that be the only reason, for her.

>261 m.belljackson: - I have a tiny bathroom just inside my front door, in the hallway. It has a door, of course that is always closed and I keep the feeder in there at night. I have been doing this for years and have never had a problem. There is only a toilet and a sink in there and the toilet lid stays closed and I keep a drain mesh (for catching hair, etc) in the sink drain. So far, so good, but now you re scaring me!

Today, 10:35am Top

>268 jessibud2: Hi, Shelley. Sorry, I missed your Cardinal story. I have seen this behavior too and when their fledglings, are out and about, it is usually Papa who feeds them too. Incredibly cute. I just saw two golden-crowned kinglets at my break spot. You talk about cute...

We are bummed about Bree's wedding but we were expecting it. I hope she can slot it in, sometime in the fall.

Today, 10:39am Top

Good morning, Mark. Watching westerns on Me-TV today. First up was Have Gun Will Travel. Now Maverick. Later, Wagon Train, Big Valley, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Rawhide, and The Rifleman.

Also looked through my supply of Kindle westerns. A couple of years ago, I absolutely loved Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove so I think I might soon start his Streets of Laredo.

Today, 10:55am Top

Hey, buddy. Happy Saturday. I hope you've been staying dry.

As if there weren't enough good tv shows, they've started re-broadcasting Bulls playoff games from the championship years. Man, it's fun to watch Jordan and Scottie and the gang. They were so darn good.

I've got to remember to tell Brodie how much we're enjoying Star Trek: Picard. Really well done, and the Next Generation was our favorite ST. Great to see Patrick Stewart back at it again.

My next David Mitchell is Black Swan Green. You liked this one, yes?

Today, 11:26am Top

>271 jnwelch: Hi Joe hope you guys are doing OK. What channel are those old Bulls games on? If I get tired of westerns, maybe I'll switch over. Comcast Sports Chicago?

Edited: Today, 11:41am Top

>271 jnwelch:
I eventually Pearl Ruled Black Swan Green but others have loved it. It was also on the Alex Award list back in the day. I will be interested to know if you like it. I may just be a outlier in that I found it boring and decided there were other books I wanted to listen to more than that one. It was unusual in that I generally like David Mitchell books.

Today, 11:41am Top

>265 msf59: Ha! Too funny (and true)

Sorry to hear about Bree's wedding. Hopefully thinks are back to normal by fall so she can have the wedding the way she wants it

Today, 11:49am Top

>265 msf59: tee hee.

Today, 12:12pm Top

Hi ho, Mark-a-reno. Got my fleece-lined hoodie on and I'm sitting on the deck. Cuppa joe at hand. Overcast and gloomy (in more ways than one), but it is nice to be outdoors.

Did some grocery shopping this morning, got up at 6 and drove to the store at 7 when the doors opened. At least a dozen other shoppers waiting; a lot more than the last time I shopped. Gasoline selling at $1.97/gal. for regular, and I don't need any. Shucks.

Finished Easy Rawlins and started Nero Wolfe and his henchmen. An investigator occasionally hired by Wolfe is arrested in connection with a murder, and Wolfe is polling 3 others for their opinions on whether or not Orrie, the bloke in question, did or didn't commit the murder.

  "Fred. You have known Orrie longer than I have. The situation has been fully described to you. What do you say?"
  "Jesus," Fred said.
  "That doesn't help. He would merely tell him to go and sin no more. Did he kill her?"

I've only read one Nero Wolfe, and Death of a Doxy was the only other on the TBR. How come I haven't more of these books?

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