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Charl08 reads the year through #4

This is a continuation of the topic Charl08 reads the year through #3.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Mar 20, 3:21pm Top

Hi, I'm Charlotte and I'm looking forward to another year of reading in the group.

I tend to read a lot of fiction, but throw in poetry, history, biographies and can be persuaded by a good review. I'm keen to try new authors, enjoy using my local library and like to keep an eye on my stats. I do love a bookshop and have plenty of books on the shelves to get to!

I'm wfh at the moment. 🤔🤷‍♀️🙋‍♀️

Edited: Yesterday, 4:09pm Top

Books read in 2020 - 78

(In a new move, I'm keeping an excel spreadsheet with the stats in: not entirely sure how that's going to work with this update post)

January 25 (January 2019: 23)

February 22

March 30
The Truth about Sascha Knisch
The Five: the lives of Jack the Ripper's women
The Zulus of New York
The German House
Chasing the Sun
A Daring Masquerade
An Elderly Lady is up to no good
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
The Masque of the Black Tulip
Down and Dirty (Seattle Bruisers)

We Germans
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
Just Friends
Rome: the Eagle of the Twelfth
A False Report: a true story
To Be Taught, if Fortunate
Beach Read
Death Comes Staccato
View to a Kilt

I was their American Dream
Winter in Sokcho
For the Dead
The Courtship of Chloe
Number Neighbour
Lord of all the Dead
Kind of Cursed
Murder by Milk bottle

April 2

The Narrow Land
Where the Wild Ladies Are

Where the authors come from:

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

(Thanks to Paul S for this map link)

Edited: Yesterday, 4:09pm Top

Books read in translation

(Pictures from places I want to visit - or revisit - via Unsplash)

The German Room Argentina
Maggy Garrisson France
The Mist (Iceland)
Basquiat (Italy)
The Memory Police Japan
Where the Wild Ladies Are
Signs Preceding the end of the World (Mexico)
Rock, Paper, Scissors and other stories (Russia)
Nada Spain
Lord of all the Dead Spain
Diary of a Murderer South Korea
The Truth about Sascha Knisch Sweden
For the Dead Sweden
The German House (Germany)

Edited: Mar 20, 3:07pm Top

Books to read from the shelves...

From top left:
The Ungrateful Refugee (from a reading)
Close to the Knives (from the shop linked to the Keith Haring exhibit)
Rock Paper Scissors Reading in translation
The Slynx Reading in translation
My Antonia (I've still not read it. I feel left out)
Nada (Fiction in translation)
An Imperfect Blessing SA fiction
Our Endless Numbered Days One I've had on the wishlist for a while
Age of Iron SA fiction
Bird By Bird I've started, so I really should finish...
John Clare: faber A gorgeous new edition of the poet.
Lifting the Veil
Words will break cement
Balthasar's Odyssey Bought in the gorgeous mill at Saltaire. Referenced repeatedly in a book about Turkey.
The Beautiful Summer Fiction in translation.
The Gypsy Goddess She spoke at the same venue as Nayeri - very compelling.
House of Stone Picked up in Edinburgh, I think.
Respectable Heard her speak at work - she's impressive.
Why this world Fascinating writer, but I've still not picked up this biography.
Travels with my Aunt A beautiful orange penguin, a sad hole in my reading.
Sunburn I read a Lippman earlier in the year, mixed feelings, but have been assured her others vary, so thought I'd try this one when I saw it for A Reasonable second hand price.
The East Edge By a small press.
In Dependence One I wanted to find from when I read the list of 50 African women writers.
The Devil's Dance The first book of fiction to be translated from the Uzbek.
Manchester Happened
Whatever Happened to Harold Absalom
Insurgent Empire clearly a little light reading (!)

Edited: Mar 20, 3:29pm Top

I keep coming across new resources / resources made free in these 'extraordinary times' for children stuck at home. I am going to keep this post updated when I find others. Feel free to share / ignore.

Everywhere: Audible have set up a free kids page. https://stories.audible.com/discovery
(includes 6 languages, different age groups)

US: Penguin Random House (US - so I'm not sure if this applies in the UK) have opened up their licencing so you can tell a story online from their books - might be fun to make a video of a favourite story?

UK (only?): BBC Bitesize (so called because all the content is in small chunks) is expanding its content

How much toilet paper do you need?
Work it out (sneaky maths here)

Everywhere: Alex T Smith #Storystarters (Instagram) - new story images every day

UK - CLPE - range of resources aimed at teachers but includes lots of lit resources, eg videos of poets - https://clpe.org.uk/poetryline/poets
eg A F Harold's - Teeth https://clpe.org.uk/poetryline/poets/harrold-f
and Jackie Kay https://clpe.org.uk/poetryline/poets/kay-jackie

Everywhere - Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Everywhere - Storytime and art artivities with children's illustrator / writer Chris Haughton

Children's picturebook for children about coronavirus: https://nursedottybooks.com/dave-the-dog-is-worried-about-coronavirus-2 (free download) (ETA did I mention it's for children?! Good grief.)

Oliver Jeffers' stay at home storytime (new videos each day)

See >249 for interactive Jigsaws and Nature webcams

Museums have expanded their digital content - for example, you can come visit (virtually) near me - tour the World Museum in Liverpool

There's more global museums here - https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/75809/12-world-class-museums-you-can-visit-o...

US (mostly) Seesaw (scroll down for list of useful links) https://web.seesaw.me/remote-learning-for-families

Everywhere: A coping calendar https://twitter.com/actionhappiness/status/1240267615379116032/photo/1 (via actionforhappiness.com )

Cambridge textbooks (HE/ older school) free https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks
(site is down at time of update)

Edited: Mar 20, 3:13pm Top

Indy publisher alert:

Get your name in print with And Other Stories (next deadline 26th March) Slash and Burn


"Through war and its aftermaths, a woman fights to keep her daughters safe.

As a girl she sees her village sacked and her beloved father and brothers flee. Her life in danger, she joins the rebellion in the hills, where her comrades force her to give up the baby she conceives. Years later, having outlived countless men, she leaves to find her lost daughter, travelling across the Atlantic with meagre resources. She returns to a community riven with distrust, fear and hypocrisy in the wake the revolution."

Edited: Mar 20, 3:58pm Top

Happy new one, Charlotte!

No penguins up top? :(

ETA: Ah, now I can see your topper. Very appropriate!

Mar 20, 3:20pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 20, 3:29pm Top

Happy new one, Charlotte.

How is the working from home going?

>5 charl08: Thanks again.

Edited: Mar 20, 3:47pm Top

>1 charl08: - Ha! I remember that but forget from where. That's what you get when working at home... ;-)

Happy new thread

Mar 20, 3:52pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte! I love your topper :-) However bad WFH is, we're not going to end up as a gif.

Mar 20, 4:10pm Top

Happy new thread!

Mar 20, 4:36pm Top

>7 katiekrug: If I was better at computers, I'd replace the little one with a column of them!

>8 figsfromthistle: Thank you. Weird times to start a new thread. (Or do anything)

>9 BLBera: I really need to get a decent office chair. I love my chair but it and the laptop don't work.

Mar 20, 4:43pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte! May our tbr piles be sufficient to sustain us until the libraries open again.

Edited: Mar 24, 4:46am Top

>10 jessibud2: It's genius, isn't it.

>11 susanj67: I certainly hope not! Maybe it's time to put a post it on my webcam.

>12 drneutron: Thanks.

I've just been given a new book, A Book of Book Lists. This includes a list of the books on the international space station.

Some surprising ones (or at least surprising to me) Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words and State of Fear.

In contrast, Foundation and Empire and Around the World in Eighty Days makes more sense!

Mar 20, 4:49pm Top

I don't care how many times I watch the whole video clip of that beleaguered dad, his determined children and his frazzled wife, it never gets old! The best thing about all the people working from home now is the prospect of getting more wonderful videos like that. Although let's hope they don't end up on national television. :-)

Mar 20, 4:49pm Top

>14 RidgewayGirl: Amen to that.
My library closes on Monday. They've extended loans to 30 each. Can I carry ten extra books home? I'm going to try...

Mar 20, 4:51pm Top

>16 rosalita: I love it too. I was listening to the radio this morning and the weather presenter had his two small children with him on the sofa at home as he presented (they made a guest appearance. It was very cute. )

Mar 20, 4:53pm Top

I like when the people on television and the radio who always sound so authoritative get to show a little of their human side. I'm holding out for a good dog videobombing in my next Zoom meeting!

Mar 20, 5:59pm Top

Happy New Thread, Charlotte! I'm seeing a lot of penguin cams around in the on-line offerings.

Mar 20, 7:27pm Top

Good luck with the ten extra books, Charlotte. I brought home five when my library closed. With the extended due date, I might actually finish all the books before they are due!

I have two chairs by my desk and switch; neither is very comfortable for long times. As long as school is open, I will try to go to my office. I have a standing desk, which I love.

Mar 20, 7:46pm Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte.

>1 charl08: Another lover of your topper and topical for the times.
My Korean colleague stopped by my house two days ago on the second day of lockdown for us to strategise a few things and it was 10.30 am or thereabouts. I asked Erni in Malay to go and tell Belle to get up. She replied "but she has only just gone to bed!". Me and my insomniac family.

Mar 21, 2:48am Top

happy new thread and happy (hopefully) homeoffice-free weekend

Edited: Mar 21, 6:12am Top

>19 rosalita: One of the best things I've seen is a collaborative page for a group to post pictures of their pets. Lovely way to create a community feeling.

>20 ronincats: Sounds good Roni. I imagine the ones in some busy nature reserves will be enjoying the peace and quiet.

>21 BLBera: I have plenty of books, really. I'm over-reacting. I will miss the library being open a lot.

>22 PaulCranswick: Aw, hope Belle is ok. Difficult times for young people having to make a lot of changes about how they see their friends.

Being an introvert seems like a kind of bonus.

>23 Deern: Thanks Nathalie. I did what I said I would do for the home working last week, so am clear to read.

Edited: Mar 21, 11:27am Top

Embarrassing times. Got what I thought was a new non fiction book home, only to find I read it last year. In my defence, the hardback and paperback covers look nothing like each other.

I took out loads, and bought my mum another couple for Mothering Sunday. I'm a bit worried how she'll cope without being able to get out to the library and charity shops to get hold of crime novels.

Mar 21, 12:00pm Top

Love the thread topper. It so sums up working from home. It's just that bit unpredictable and things always happen when you least want them to. Not having pets or children, my theory is that delivery drivers have a sixth sense that tells them just when you're on an important phonce call and can't really come to the door to collect a parcel for next door...

Mar 21, 12:14pm Top

>25 charl08: Charlotte, I would never have thought that was the same book! Good to hear you got lots of other things, though - my library has actually kept its promise and changed all the return dates to 30 April (which they said they would do, and then didn't, and didn't...but finally they have).

Mar 21, 4:05pm Top

>26 Helenliz: I fear I'm going to start ordering things to relieve the tedium, Helen.

>27 susanj67: Ours have said they're just extending them until they open again. I hadn't thought to check the online new books. Will do that.

Edited: Mar 22, 6:40am Top

View to a Kilt
This made me laugh: tongue in cheek crime mystery (although Nina informs me that Loch Lochy does actually exist, which I am quite surprised by). This is the third in the series (I know!) but there is minimal Basil Exposition, so that's quite good. Our fearless heroine Laura is a magazine editor, forced to try and up ad revenue by a new (and evil) managing director. We know she's evil because she wants advertorial, not hard hitting stories about fashion houses' labour practices. Also she fires a lot of people. A themed Scottish issue is proposed and Laura is tasked with staying in a Scottish castle currently for sale. Are there ghosts? Why doesn't the wifi work? And where has her boyfriend disappeared to? (And are they connected?*)
Near Perfect COVID19 distraction (although marks deducted for repetitive reference to Laura's French heritage, with every cliché in the book).

I was their American Dream
I tried to get the library to get hold of this and they weren't able to (not sure why). I caved and ordered it myself.
Delighted it arrived yesterday, and I couldn't resist reading it. Memoir of a Philippino-Egyptian-American growing up in California and coming to terms with her identity and her choices about fitting in with the many aspects of her culture(s). I really loved it: I cam imagine it would be a good gift for a young teen reader thinking about these issues for themselves. Incorporates innovative form (e.g. she adapts pages of her diary into a "tear out make your own zine").

Winter in Sokcho
I feel like I have yet to read fiction from Korea that is in any sense conventional. This slight novel explored the growing relationship between a young French-Korean woman working in Sokcho and a French graphic novelist. It appears to be going in a fairly conventional, if dysfunctional, relationship choices narrative, in a depressing, empty seaside town in off-season and then she makes him dinner with the well-known-to-be-poisonous (if not correctly prepared) blowfish...
He'd never understand what Sokcho was like. You had to be born here, live through the winters. The smells, the octopus. The isolation.

*What do you think?

Mar 21, 6:57pm Top

Winter in Sokcho sounds intriguing! I think a lot of Korean novels are depressing... maybe some intergenerational trauma? Apparently I like that in a novel.

Did you like the book?

Mar 21, 9:54pm Top

>29 charl08: They all sound good.

Mar 22, 2:07am Top

Happy new thread, Charlotte. At least they gave you fair warning when they decided to close the library. I just lucked out last Sunday when I went to pick up my library holds, they closed down the next day. Murder by the Book is one of the books I am reading right now. Those two covers do make it look like different books, it's aggravating when they do that especially when you buy both of them.

Mar 22, 5:02am Top

>30 banjo123: I wondered how much was what gets translated, Rhonda? I liked the writing, and it being about somewhere I'd never read about before. But in some places I found it was quite vague, I'd have liked a bit more clarity.

>31 BLBera: Although all fiction, the variety was good, Beth. I have got to have a think about how I make sure I keep that despite not being able to ask my library for new ones.

>32 Familyhistorian: I went in and was glad to see my 2 reserved books were still there waiting for me. And if I really think calmly I have so many on kindle to read of course, so should be good! (even before I think about the option of rereading books I have loved).

Mar 22, 6:35am Top

>24 charl08: Yeah Belle is OK, she is an introvert of the first degree but even she is feeling the pinch as two of her friends were supposed to stay over yesterday and, of course, couldn't.

Have a good Sunday despite everything.

Mar 22, 11:45am Top

I was sure I had been here before and wished you a happy new thread, Charlotte, I guess that was only imaginary ;-)
So now for real: Happy new thread!

I picked up my reserves at the library a week before they closed down. De desicion to close came last Sunday, so I had no opportunity to get more books. The books I have here have now a return date in May.

Mar 22, 4:44pm Top

>34 PaulCranswick: I do really feel for kids (and their parents) just now. Thank goodness for skype and all the other ways they can still talk to each other.

>35 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! It's so strange to me hearing about all the libraries being closed. I hope we get a chance to celebrate when they open again.

I went to amazon to check the price on a crime novel and found lots of 99p crime. Tempting.

Edited: Mar 23, 5:02am Top

Happy New Thread, Charlotte! I hopeyou and your family enjoyed a nice Mothering Sunday. I was sad to read that our libraries closed over a week ago. And I only have two books out from the library. Like most LT'ers I have a fairly large TBR list, so things will be okay. After scouring 6 stores yesterday, I finally placed an online order for TP! We are going to run short by the end of the week. I guess the TP panic really is a thing :-)

Mar 23, 5:31am Top

>37 vancouverdeb: Hi Deborah - thanks for the message. We went for a walk and had a nice dinner, and then I mostly slept.

I was worried I didn't have enough TP but we still haven't opened the pack of 4 I bought the weekend before last. (I appreciate some people have medical conditions that mean they need more.) I'm sad about the libraries but appreciate they have to close.

Edited: Mar 23, 6:24am Top

I saw these books reviewed on the Guardian site and wondered if they might be relevant for current situation.

A History of Solitude by David Vincent; A Biography of Loneliness by Fay Bound Alberti

"Solitude is not the same as loneliness. Lonely people feel the need for company, while solitary types seek to escape it. The neatest definition of loneliness, David Vincent writes in his superb new study, is “failed solitude”. Another difference between the two groups is that hermits, anglers, Trappist monks and Romantic poets choose to be alone, whereas nobody chooses to feel abandoned and bereft. Calling yourself “self-partnering”, meaning that you sit in the cinema (should they be open) holding your own hand, may be either a genuine desire for solitude or a way of rationalising the stigma of isolation. The greatest difference of all, however, is that solitude has rarely killed anyone, whereas loneliness can drive you to the grave."


Mar 23, 6:34am Top

Happy new Thread, Charlotte. I hope you made the best of your weekend. A History of Solitude sure seems like an apt title, for our current situation. I will have to request I was their American Dream. Sounds like a good one.

Mar 23, 6:46am Top

>40 msf59: Thanks Mark. It was nice to participate in the readathon Mary organised (although I did sleep for much of Sunday!). I did like I was their American Dream. The author also works for NPR, I will look out for more of her work.

Mar 23, 6:54am Top

My library has I was their American Dream but it might be awhile before I can get it. Sad face.

Mar 23, 7:06am Top

Charlotte, happy new thread! I have been here before, and I thought I had posted, but I don't see me up there, so...

>39 charl08: So interesting - I am a very solitary person. Too much social stuff is very draining for me, and I begin to crave my own quiet space.

Mar 23, 7:18am Top

>39 charl08: - Oh, this one calls to me, the one on solitude. Thanks, Charlotte.

Mar 23, 9:29am Top

>42 msf59: Same here Mark, but with different books!

>43 Crazymamie: I am reminded that (somewhere) I have Quiet on the shelf. I wonder whereabouts, exactly though...

>44 jessibud2: It does look interesting: I wonder if it still will in a few weeks time!

Mar 23, 9:50am Top

>39 charl08: An apt read for these days. Have a great week, Charlotte.

Mar 23, 1:08pm Top

>46 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I've finished for the day and am contemplating moving some books around :-)

Mar 23, 4:41pm Top

>39 charl08: The Vincent book is tempting Charlotte, but I have two books on Solitude as yet unread on the shelves.

Mar 23, 4:45pm Top

>49 Caroline_McElwee: Hope they're keeping each other company... (!)

Mar 23, 4:57pm Top

>39 charl08: Well put. Loneliness and solitude are definitely not the same thing. I treasure my alone time, but also require some socialization. I just can't take too much of it or I get really tired. ; )

>48 charl08: I've read several of these:

1. Looking for Alaska
2. Fifty Shades of Grey
3. I am Jazz (I've never heard of this one! Is it worth reading?) -- Yes!
5. The Curious incident of the dog in the night-time
6. The Holy Bible
7. Fun Home

What does "most challenged" mean?

Edited: Mar 24, 4:16am Top

>51 Berly: I have too!

Apparently these are books challenged in libraries and schools. I must find the formal text.

Mar 24, 4:21am Top

Another day at home.

I think I have persuaded my dad that going for his paper every day from the local shop is not a good idea right now. Thank goodness for digital options.

Edited: Mar 24, 5:13am Top

Charlotte, here is a place to list your best to worst Women's Literature Long list choices - https://www.librarything.com/list/21371/all/2020-Womens-Prize-for-Fiction-Longli...

Raidergirl aka Elizabeth created the list. I'm currently reading The Dutch House. I'm glad you've convinced your dad that a digital copy of the paper will work for him.

Mar 24, 5:57am Top

>54 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deborah.

Now listening to the 'Morning After Mix' which claims to be 'music to get you back on an even keel'.
Well, I suppose there's a first time for everything, right?

Edited: Mar 24, 7:05am Top

Hi Charlotte! Agreed re the papers, but it's so nice to have a paper...I'm considering subscribing to the Times online again, but the Telegraph also an offer that keeps popping up on my phone - "Just £1 per month for your first three months" and "Cancel at any time". But I haven't read the small(er) print yet. When I had the Times it was such a hassle to cancel it, but maybe they've changed.

ETA: The Times has a digital offer of £1 per week for the first eight weeks.

Mar 24, 9:19am Top

>56 susanj67: I was thinking the same thing, and that I would subscribe to the Guardian. However, it turns out that the subscription is only in the M25 region. Everywhere else you have to take a token to the newsagent. So a no to that, then! Regretting cancelling my TLS (well, a bit. They never really got read "properly", except by my Dad).

Mar 24, 9:28am Top

>56 susanj67: & >57 charl08: One of the things I used to miss most about the UK was the absence of decent newspapers - especially on a Sunday. I used to read The Observer from cover to cover. Took The Grauniad and The Yorkshire Post and liked to buy the Daily Telegraph (shh) for the sport and the crossword and occasionally The Times.
I daily visit the online Guardian and The Independent on a daily basis and it is enough for me from here!

If I was back home I would still walk for my paper.

Mar 24, 12:12pm Top

>58 PaulCranswick: Well, I suppose the plus of digital is that you don't have to recycle it (or get your fingers covered in ink).

I really want this to be real, but suspect it's just a very good hoax.
The Cowboy Museum has a new head of social media, and he's not too sure of what he's doing...

It made me laugh a lot though, so either way =win.

Mar 24, 12:47pm Top

>59 charl08: love it!

Mar 24, 1:01pm Top

>59 charl08: Charlotte, I love it too! Particularly #Hashtag

Mar 24, 1:53pm Top

>60 Helenliz: >61 susanj67: My favourite one is the selfie stand!

Mar 24, 2:56pm Top

'Cause why not? : )

Mar 24, 3:05pm Top

Happy New Thread, Charlotte.

>59 charl08: Go, Tim! #Hashtagamidoingthisright?

Mar 24, 3:45pm Top

Hi Charlotte! You got me with I Was Their American Dream - looks like a really good one.

Mar 24, 5:09pm Top

>63 Berly: Why not indeed!

>64 jnwelch: #hashtagnicelydone

>65 AMQS: It's really good. I'm trying to work out if it's suitable for an 11 year old ESOL reader. Maybe next year?

Mar 24, 5:16pm Top

I am struggling settling to anything today.

Books picked up and discarded (don't laugh) include:
The Air Raid Killer another Nazi crime book? Harumph. Not Phillip Kerr enough.
Murder by Milk Bottle Too knowingly tongue in cheek for my mood.
Conjure Women I was just getting into it and there was a jump to a parallel narrative.
Full Dark House too deliberately weird.
How it was too miserable (failed affair and palliative care in the first 10%)

Hoping for better things tomorrow.

Mar 24, 5:49pm Top

Sigh, yes, I've borrowed The Air Raid Killer via Kindle Unlimited and never really got into it.

Thinking I might waste some time by creating an Excel spreadsheet of all my borrowed books from the Providence Athenaeum, and then checking them off after I read them. I can also read/listen to books borrowed from a site called Hoopla thanks to the Athenaeum, but thought they meant the total of 12 was at a single time. Turns out they meant PER MONTH. Gulp. So now I have several audiobooks downloaded, along with a stern warning that I can't borrow anything else this month. Lucky for me that it's almost March!!!

Mar 25, 3:51am Top

>68 Chatterbox: That does seem like a strict limit! I use my library's option a lot. You've reminded me to reserve a few (there can be a bit of a wait).

Audible have made some classics free access as part of its kids offer.

Mar 25, 4:06am Top

I've downloaded a sample of Actress as I struggled to focus yesterday. Maybe this will help!

Mar 25, 5:44am Top

Hi Charlotte! I hope today goes better for you. I did laugh a *little bit* at all your discarded books :-) Thank goodness for ebooks or you might actually - gulp - run out.

Mar 25, 7:30am Top

>71 susanj67: You were meant to, really. It's an embarrassment of riches. My 10 year old self would be shaking her head at me.

Trying to help some munchkins access school resources on their mum's phone. Suspect the main problem is local internet capacity rather than the websites, as I can access them from here but they can't (from That There Down South). I need to be more creative in my non-digital suggestions!

Mar 25, 7:32am Top

Hi, Charlotte! I hope you can find a book to sink your teeth in. Something should click.

Mar 25, 9:32am Top

>73 msf59: Thanks Mark. I think I might revisit my GN collection, I have a few I'd like to reread.

My back has gone out, so fun times ahead.

Mar 25, 9:41am Top

London Zoo -

Why do penguins waddle?

Edited: Mar 25, 9:58am Top

>75 charl08: - Oh no. Do you have a heating pad, or something similar, for your back?

Loved the penguin video. If you want some more animal fixes, here you go:

Toronto zoo: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-creature-fix-toronto-zoo-and-aquarium-let-yo...

Eagle cam: https://www.raptorresource.org/falcon_cams/

Be well.

Mar 25, 10:42am Top

>51 Berly:, >52 charl08: I imagine the lists are from the ALA, American Library Association. They track the reports of books challenged every year. You can find many lists on their website.

Mar 25, 11:08am Top

Challenged Books. Instead, how about challenging books? We should all challenge ourselves once in a while. I thought The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time was a revelation. Challenge-worthy?

Mar 25, 3:05pm Top

>67 charl08: Oh I hate days like that Charlotte.

Mar 25, 3:31pm Top

>76 jessibud2: Yes, this is an advantage of being at home: access to the microwave and the heating pads! (Also wine. After work, that one.)
I had a look at Toronto but I think I was too early in the day. Must try again.

>77 BLBera: Yes, that's it. Thanks Beth.

Edited: Mar 25, 3:35pm Top

>78 weird_O: I don't think it's me you've got to convince, Bill! I liked the dog in the nightime, and know people who use it as a prompt to talk in schools about inclusion and different ways of "seeing". I remember reading it as a lightbulb book, gave me a new way of thinking. But apparently it has swear words in it, so the kids shouldn't go near it (!!)

>79 Caroline_McElwee: Today is better. I'm reading Lord of All the Dead and enjoying it.

Mar 25, 3:51pm Top

>78 weird_O: Exactly. I wasn't sure why they were called "Challenged" books. Because they are a challenging topic or because they are books that shouldn't be read by certain age group, etc.?

>81 charl08: Glad you found something that appeals.

Edited: Mar 25, 4:38pm Top

>82 Berly: Thanks Kim. Kudos to Beth for explaining.

This is the latest ALA list that I could find on their site.

Top Eleven for 2018

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 347 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2018. Of the 483 books challenged or banned in 2018, the Top 11 Most Challenged Books are:

George by Alex Gino
Reasons: banned, challenged, and relocated because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints

Captain Underpants series written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: series was challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reasons: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Reasons: banned, challenged, and restricted for addressing teen suicide

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Reasons: banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and certain illustrations

Skippyjon Jones series written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
Reason: challenged for depicting stereotypes of Mexican culture

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: banned and challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint

This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten
Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Reason: challenged and burned for including LGBTQIA+ content

Mar 25, 5:10pm Top

The Captain Underpants series has been responsible for many a child's discovery that reading can be fun. It does offend parents with its silliness, but it was not written for them.

Mar 25, 5:17pm Top

I caught a bit of the cartoon and laughed a lot! When I think of all the things in the world people could be protesting about...

Still reading Lord of all the Dead
All Kafka's novels are more or less the same, and all of Faulkner's as well. And who gives a fuxk? A novel is good if it comes out of a writer's guts; nothing else: the rest is rubbish.

Mar 25, 6:37pm Top

Hi Charlotte: Many of my students are Captain Underpants fans, and they always laugh at the reasons people have challenged the books.
LGBQT books have been at the top of the list the last couple of years, it seems.

Mar 25, 6:57pm Top

>5 charl08: I do not have children stuck at home - my youngest is 29 - but I appreciate the links nonetheless.

>29 charl08: Adding I was their American Dream to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Charlotte!

I hope you do not fall into a full-blown book funk! I hate those things.

Mar 26, 3:34am Top

>86 BLBera: I was shocked to read that most of the protests go unreported, Beth. When I think of the Victorian dreck I read as a kid, full of ridiculous ideas of how women should behave. (I don't know where I'm going with this comment. Sorry!)

>87 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia. It turns out introspective meta fiction on the consequences of the Spanish civil war was what I needed. Who knew?

Mar 26, 4:06am Top

Speaking of Captain Underpants, I just scored 246 rolls of loo paper , Charlotte! I've been searching in the stores and online and finally I found a source. Not sure where we will store it all, but I'm sure we will find a place! Exciting news in these times!

Mar 26, 4:58am Top

>89 vancouverdeb: Wow, that's a lot!

Mar 26, 6:59am Top

Hi Charlotte! I hope your WFH is going OK and your back is feeling better. My office chair didn't seem to be anything special when I was in the office, but I am now appreciating it more than I did before :-)

>86 BLBera: Deborah, you could export that to the UK and start your own business :-)

Mar 26, 7:51am Top

>91 susanj67: Susan, it turns out my Fabulous Reading Chair (that my whole family mocked, I might add) is brilliant for typing on the laptop if I just add my Fabulous Laptop Writing stand (that looks like a cheap bit of metal, but is marvellous). What a relief. Also, thank ***** for whoever came up with reusable heating pads that just go in the microwave.

Also, lovely family from my topper is back speaking on the news :-)

omg our favourite family have returned to bbc world news pic.twitter.com/lP7vIqD37V

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 26, 2020

Mar 26, 8:08am Top

>92 charl08: Charlotte, thank you for that Twitter link. Hasn't the baby grown up! I love that the BBC got them back as the world's best-known WFH family.

Excellent news about the chair and laptop!

Mar 26, 10:30am Top

Nice to see you so chipper, Charlotte, even if you are struggling to decide what to read.

Edited: Mar 26, 1:07pm Top

>93 susanj67: I loved that the eldest one was still as ungovernable as before :-)

>94 PaulCranswick: Brought to you by the magic of painkillers and heating pad thingamijigs, Paul. I am enjoying Javier Cercas a lot, although he does have a weird tendency to refer to himself in the third person.

Mar 26, 10:49pm Top

>95 charl08: Yeah, I noticed the tendency to slip himself into his novels from Soldiers of Salamis.

Mar 26, 11:23pm Top

These penguins at the Shedd Aquarium have had several videos in the last week as they walk around the aquarium.


Edited: Mar 27, 4:32am Top

I'm a bit sad to see Call the Midwife on the list of left behind books. I suppose some are accidentally rather than deliberately left behind though.

Mar 27, 4:34am Top

>96 charl08: It kind of makes sense in this one, but I could have done with a bit less of it.

>97 PaulCranswick: They're adorable. Thanks for sharing it.

>98 ronincats: I'm going for "I finished it, and I can't fit it in my bag with all the free hotel toiletries" rather than: "I can't get into it, I'm leaving it behind."

Edited: Mar 27, 4:57am Top

Lord of all the Dead
I finally finished a library book! Mercas explores the story of his great uncle, who volunteered to fight for Franco and was killed. He repeatedly assures us that this is not a novel, that he is not allowed to imagine, only work out what happened. Since most of the generation who knew his uncle are now dead, this proves challenging. He (of course) in common with most people, sees Franco's regime as the "wrong" cause, but by exploring the messy history of his small.village, shows how people were terrified on both sides, as much of the dramatic social change promised/ threatened by the Republic, as the wipe out of democracy by Franco. A very moving section explores his interview with an elderly man who saw his father taken away and shot, for no apparent reason other than believed support for the left.

However, there is quite a bit of navel gazing: does he feel ashamed of his roots? Is he trying to justify his family's support of the right? He also tries to bring in the story of Odysseus, which (for me at least) is a bit of a stretch. The richness of this book, for me, is his interviews with people from the village and beyond who experienced the conflict, or have memories of the impact on the family, from across the different allegiances. Here, a former European socialist politician who returned home on retirement:
But I also get very irritated by the sectarian or religious or childish interpretation of the war, according to which the Republic was an earthly paradise and all Republicans were angels who didn't kill anyone and all the Francoists were demons who never stopped killing; that's another lie...

Mar 27, 6:31am Top

Hi, Charlotte. I hope your week went well. You mentioned up there, that you may revisit your own GNs. I think that is a terrific idea, since, once I finish up Almost American Girl, I will not have any new ones to read...for a long time. I don't have many, around a dozen or so, but they are favorites.

Mar 27, 6:40am Top

Hi Charlotte! Yay for the library book finish!

I have been Out, which felt naughty, but it was to buy groceries and I didn't linger.

Edited: Mar 27, 7:25am Top

>102 msf59: Thanks Mark. I have quite a few. I started trying to "collect" ones by women writers, as it (initially) seemed to me to be a small number, kind of manageable. I think I'm going to have to think of a new subset, as it's getting far from a small group (which is a good thing for everything except my wallet).

>103 susanj67: I have been out to the chemist, as medicine runs out tomorrow.

1.Standard NHS guidance (at least in this area) is that you shouldn't 'hoard' medicine, so they won't issue a prescription more than a week before you run out.
2. This is still stated on the latest advice I could find on our prescription line (from this week).
3. When I get to the chemist, the pharmacist tells me I should be giving them 7 days notice...

4.And this is to add, that when I tried to get through to the prescription line the first time (Tuesday) I couldn't even get through to the phone queue, and
5. when I did get through it said "Monday is usually our busiest day!" (and
6. they don't work Saturday and Sunday).

Which day should I have called?
Answers on a postcard please.

Mar 27, 8:19am Top

>104 charl08: Charlotte, that is precisely the problem with so much of the advice. We are constantly reassured that everything is fine and continuing as normal, when clearly it isn't. It makes individuals feel that *they* are doing something wrong when in fact the advice is hopeless, whether it's "shop online!" (when there are no delivery slots available anywhere) or "don't stockpile" at the same time as "also, don't go out". I'm just waiting for "shops will not admit you without a face mask" when there are none of those available either. I hope you got your medicine sorted.

Mar 27, 10:36am Top

>88 charl08: I understand what you are getting at, Charlotte. Children's books are so great now.

I'm happy to hear about your chair and laptop.

I love your lists.

Mar 27, 10:42am Top

Re prescriptions, there are one or two things that mine doesn't always have in stock, even in good times. So before I get the renewal or new Rx, I talk to my pharmacist and discuss the timing, eg, I'm planning to request a refill on the 3rd or 5th, etc., can you make sure you'll have what I need and order it? Even in good times, it can be hard to get my person on the phone (they cut back the assistants behind the pharmacy counter from 2 to only 1...) but generally it has worked for me. Of course, in the Current Situation, it's all about the "new normal"... I just wish that insurers or the NHS, etc., were more flexible about this. I know people who have to leave home simply to pick up prescriptions. I certainly did, a week ago.

Mar 27, 1:30pm Top

>105 susanj67: It's interesting, isn't it. I hated the feeling of being in the shop, feels weirdly panicky (even though noone was behaving particularly oddly, and most people were trying to do the social distancing thing).

>106 BLBera: The lists book was a genius present. I must thank my friend again.

>107 Chatterbox: It's not a matter of the local pharmacist ordering drugs in: they have centralised the order system to a hub that deals with the orders for several towns. The hub is basically a factory that seals them in a plastic bag with your name on (I know!) and those bags are delivered to the individual chemist. The theory is it frees the chemist to give advice. All of that is then governed by NHS buying policy, so several years ago my drug of choice was replaced by a cheaper version, which (imho) doesn't work as well. But it's all subsidised to the nth degree (£9 for three months of drugs) so really, I should be counting my blessings...

Edited: Mar 27, 1:35pm Top

Thanks to another Litsy post, I've signed up for an international translated book group. The next book is Where the Wild Ladies Are by Tilted Axis Press. Isn't that an amazing title?

More info here:

Mar 27, 1:52pm Top

From the garden.

Mar 27, 2:05pm Top

>110 charl08: Pretty! It is so odd to find myself anxious about the proximity of other people, I am normally easing going about crowds.

Edited: Mar 28, 6:45pm Top

And although you might think you can’t help, it’s been scientifically proved that in police interviews people who think they know nothing often provide invaluable clues. In my detective training we were taught that people are generally wrong about not knowing anything. The acronym is PAGWANKA.’
Brunswick nearly choked on his biscuit.
‘Is that right, son?’ he said.
‘Yes, sir.’ Twitten shrugged. ‘Or WANKA for short.’

Mar 27, 4:32pm Top

Lovely article about how you can help history projects from home - from New Yorkers' memories, Rosa Parks' papers, or Jeremy Bentham's...


Edited: Mar 28, 5:30am Top

Found this when looking for maths puzzle books (not for me!)

Website lists designed to support kids wanting to find out more connected to Usborne's many many Non-fiction kids books (but you don't need the books to access the links). From space to religion, sport to fiction.


Mar 27, 7:43pm Top

>110 charl08: Lovely pictures, Charlotte, all signs of spring!!

Mar 27, 8:13pm Top

>110 charl08: Lovely signs of spring, Charlotte!

>112 charl08: Sound like fun, Charlotte.

My husband was out trying to do grocery shopping today, but said there were long line ups and he could not be bothered. I guess I'll go tomorrow. Thankful for my TP!

Mar 28, 5:02am Top

>110 charl08: lovely Charlotte.

Mar 28, 6:26am Top

>111 banjo123: I am not used to even thinking about other people in shops, I realise now. Weird trying to dodge people.

>115 FAMeulstee: I am looking forward to more blooms, Anita.

>116 vancouverdeb: I am really glad I don't think about the shopping for another week. We have enough (I really hope).

>117 Caroline_McElwee: They make me happy!

Edited: Mar 28, 11:08am Top

Murder by Milk Bottle

This book continues Lynne Truss' witty series about the hopeless Inspector Stein, the earnest Constable Twitten and the unfortunate Sergeant Brunswick. Policing the streets of 1950s Brighton, Stein manages to ignore everything but his own self-importance, whilst Twitten notices everything except his impact on others. Brunswick is urged not to go undercover for this case, as threats are made against the opening of a "milk bar". At the same time, a mysterious series of killings by milk bottle are discovered. Are they connected? And what has Mrs Groynes got to do with it all this time, or is she really just making the tea at the police station?
ARC provided by Netgalley

Mar 28, 1:04pm Top

Hi, Charlotte.

Jeez, that banned book list could almost be a list of favorites for me. I never read Captain Underpants, although I leafed through one, but our son loved those. As Kay says in >84 RidgewayGirl:, The Captain Underpants series has been responsible for many a child's discovery that reading can be fun. Being banned is largely an assurance of good quality reading.

Mar 28, 5:06pm Top

>110 charl08: Lovely photos, Charlotte. Spring is here!

>119 charl08: Hmm. I'm not familiar with this series. This sounds like a good light read.

>109 charl08: I've popped into this as well, Charlotte.

Mar 28, 6:38pm Top

Hello Charlotte, how is your back today?

Mar 29, 4:15am Top

>120 jnwelch: It has made me want to reread The Curious Incident of the Dog, Joe.

>121 BLBera: Lynne Truss has her tongue very firmly in cheek here, Beth. It's a bit like Agatha Raisin - the humour is more important than the crime.

>122 AMQS: Hi Anne, thanks for asking. It's better than it was, but doesn't much like sitting down all day.

Mar 29, 7:38am Top

Meh. The things I think of to do, I remember that my back is still a bit rubbish and they probably aren't that sensible. So no moving my bookshelf, no yoga, no digging up (bits of) the garden and replanting.

Privileged problems, of course.

Hope everyone is keeping well.

Mar 29, 7:44am Top

>124 charl08: Charlotte, I think a day of sitting quietly is probably the best thing for you :-)

While I am generally incredibly happy sitting in my chair with books and the TV at hand, I also want something else to do - probably because I can't have it.

Mar 29, 11:23am Top

>125 susanj67: Found something to do! Updated my spreadsheet which I had been shamefully neglecting. I'm now all up to date.

Edited: Mar 29, 5:18pm Top

Another list! (From The Book of Book Lists

Scottish prisons first published prisoners' favourites in 2015.
This is from HMP Grampian (Aberdeenshire) - actually a young offenders' institution

(Books listed in order from the most popular, 1-10)

Animal Farm
Heroes and villains: the good, the mad, the bad and the ugly
Honour amongst thieves
The Catcher in the Rye
Two Women
The Body Art Book
100 Tips for Acoustic Guitar
Chocolate Cakes for Weddings and Celebrations
The Art of Walt Disney

Mar 30, 2:59am Top

In the midst of chaos, reading to a child can create a small oasis of calm, for both of you, so try not to think of it as just another task. It’s not about powering through the book as quickly as possible. It’s about exploring the highways and byways as you go. If the one thing this awful crisis has given us, it’s time. Books and children respond well to that. So let’s all take a breath, crack a spine and try to read through these very strangest of days together.

Books for children (of all ages) recommended by Lucy Mangan https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/30/kids-at-home-the-books-you-should-...

Mar 30, 5:49am Top

It's not April 1st yet, right?

Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck up nose while inventing coronavirus device
Australian Dr Daniel Reardon ended up in hospital after inserting magnets in his nostrils while building a necklace that warns you when you touch your face


Mar 30, 6:07am Top

>129 charl08: Charlotte, I have only a weak grip on dates or days now - they are all sort of the same :-)

I hope your back is better for another week of WFH.

Mar 30, 6:40am Top

>130 susanj67: I know what you mean, it's weird, isn't it.

Mar 30, 6:46am Top

>131 charl08: I have to rely on my work calendar to remind me. Things appear and I think "Oh, that's *today*". Like the call I have at 2.30 to talk about an issue that I must read up on...I need to set all my appointments to a 5-hour reminder, instead of 15 minutes :-)

Mar 30, 10:47am Top

Take care of your back, Charlotte.

Chocolate cakes? That's an interesting choice.

>128 charl08: Thanks for that list.

Mar 30, 4:54pm Top

>132 susanj67: I am hoping I am going to be much better at zoom and all that stuff by the end of this.

>133 BLBera: I moved around a bit more today and it seems to have worked. Maybe I'll look at pilates again too.

I liked the idea that book gave me of those young guys enjoying Bake off and maybe finishing their sentence to do something with cooking. Not impossible (I hope).

Edited: Mar 30, 4:55pm Top

Nothing really taking this evening so have picked up Scrublands. Reminds me of The Dry. I have a feeling I'm going to be reading a lot of crime in the next few weeks.

Mar 30, 5:57pm Top

>135 charl08: Oooh, Scrublands sounds intriguing, Charlotte. And I loved The Dry so that comparison really made me take notice. I'll see how you get on.

Mar 31, 2:01am Top

I confess I've never read Captain Underpants. I'm not sure if they were around in my son's younger days. I've not seen my little grand daughter since she got out of the hospital, but my DIL sent me some very cute little videos of her putting her Peppa Pig figures to bed, and singing Ensy Weensy Spider to them. She is also busy singing happy Birthday to you. Oh she is cute and she has an extensive library! :-) I do my best and DIL is a kindergarten teacher so - well, enough said.

The chocolate cakes are making my mouth water. Currently sucking on a Werthers Sugar free caramel chocolate candy, which I have become addicted to . YIkes.

Mar 31, 3:22am Top

>104 charl08: Can you order your prescriptions online Charlotte? I can order online from the G.P. and then the authorised prescription is sent online to the pharmacy (Tesco for me, although I can choose which one) and then the pharmacy texts me when it is ready. The whole process is quite quick.

Mar 31, 7:56am Top

Urgh. Having a rubbishy day today. General sense of "meh".

>136 rosalita: Mostly reminded me of Jane Harper in the sense of the small outback town clinging on to existence. Gripping stuff - I didn't want to put it down last night.

>137 vancouverdeb: According to wikipedia (which as we all know, is Always Infallible (!)) the first one was published in 1997.

>138 SandDune: I could, Rhian. I've not been a fan of putting that kind of data online in the past, but the chemist also recommended it. A text would be brilliant (especially now).

Mar 31, 7:58am Top

On a cheerier note, here is one family's take on the Lockdown - via Les Mis.


Mar 31, 8:05am Top

>140 charl08: - That was hilarious, Charlotte! They sure have talent! :-D

Mar 31, 8:21am Top

>138 SandDune: we have that ability, but it's not terribly efficient. No matter how a repeat prescription is ordered it's a 7 day turnaround, and that was before the current situation. Someone in this house sometimes finds being that organised a bit tricky...

Edited: Mar 31, 9:12am Top

>141 jessibud2: Made me laugh this morning! (they interviewed the family on breakfast tv)

>142 Helenliz: Mine is literally over (a very small) road from the GP, but they've never been great at communicating (imho). I once went back and forward twice when they told me completely conflicting advice. Good times.

Mar 31, 9:34am Top

>140 charl08: - Oh, I love that SO MUCH! Thank you for sharing it.

Sounds like your day today is like mine was yesterday. Hang in there...

Mar 31, 10:37am Top

>144 katiekrug: - Ha! I just *borrowed* this, Katie and posted it on your thread, to give you a laugh!

Mar 31, 2:31pm Top

>144 katiekrug: It made me smile this morning.

>145 jessibud2: I guess we're all looking for a bit of a pick me up!

Edited: Mar 31, 4:55pm Top

This was brilliant! Twisty turny thriller set in a dried out Australian outback town that has witnessed a mass shooting. And that's all you need to know. Not high literature, and some of the character names made me laugh, but gripping reading. Recommended.

Apr 1, 2:57am Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Charlotte!

Apr 1, 4:11am Top

Thanks Anita. Reading has been a bit distracted lately, so nice to finish a couple of books.

Apr 1, 4:34am Top

Hi Charlotte! Congratulations on getting to 75 already *and* in these strange times.

>147 charl08: Ooh, I have that one. On the Kindle. Somewhere.

I hope your day WFH goes well.

Apr 1, 5:56am Top

Wow!Congratulations on reaching 75 books so quickly, Charlotte!https://www.librarything.com/topic/317930#

Apr 1, 9:26am Top


Edited: Apr 1, 9:34am Top

>147 charl08: I just went on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster ride, Charlotte. I checked the library's website and was surprised to see that they had the ebook of Scrublands. But when I clicked "Place a Hold" I learned that the license to the ebook has expired, so my hold is only theoretical unless they choose to re-purchase the book. Boo to the stupid rules (and outrageous prices) that libraries have to jump through to offer ebooks!

On a much happier note, congrats on reaching 75 books in the first three months of the year!

Apr 1, 9:52am Top

Well done on reaching 75 already.

Apr 1, 11:36am Top

>150 susanj67: Thanks Susan. If I manage the same over the year, I'll hopefully get to 300 without a mad scramble at the end.*

>151 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deborah. I wondered if you were reading to your grandaughter online? I have yet to persuade the small people I keep in touch with that this is a Thing.

>152 drneutron: Thank you for the visit!

>153 rosalita: Oh, that sucks. Sorry to hear that. I'd send you my copy, but technically it belongs to my mother (I bought it for Mother's day) and she hasn't read it yet.**

>154 PaulCranswick: Thank you! Hope you are keeping well, Paul.

*The numbers matter not, of course.
**Yes, I'm a terrible daughter. I did ask permission first, honest.

Apr 1, 11:44am Top

Whilst looking for resources, stumbled on this Scottish library site, with digitised ancient books, including this one, The Ship of Fools. (The image shows the Bibliofool.)

I am sorely tempted by the "Woe to Drunkards" tea towel in their shop...


Apr 1, 12:22pm Top

>147 charl08: Scrublands is 99p for UK kindle readers. Not sure how long that price will last!


Edited: Apr 1, 2:43pm Top

Congratulations on 75 books read Charlotte.

>157 charl08: Clicked. Ta.

Apr 1, 3:51pm Top

>140 charl08: There is some talent in that family.

Congrats on reaching 75, Charlotte.

Apr 1, 4:19pm Top

Hope you like it, Caroline!

My RL bookgroup met using tech today, and it worked really well. I think it helped we usually only meet for about 50 minutes, but still - cheered me up no end, and we had a really interesting discussion about The Five and how good the book was. Members discussed the ongoing narrative that blames women for being in "the wrong place" (nope, it was the murderer's fault!), the way working class women had such hard lives in Victorian England, how they were "othered" as prostitutes (so that the middle class didn't have to worry?), how well written the book was. I think one of the few books that everyone has liked.

Edited: Apr 1, 4:21pm Top

>159 BLBera: I agree, it's impressive stuff - especially as they are coping with being stuck in the house!

Apr 1, 4:30pm Top

Penguin visitor at home (thanks to google 3d)

Apr 1, 5:18pm Top

Wow, 75, that's AMAZING! Congrats.

Apr 2, 4:19am Top

Thanks Mary! I was more impressed I managed to get the 3D penguin working, myself :-)

Work have uploaded a central webpage with links for home schooling.
It's sorted by age group (roughly translated UK terms in ages: Early Years are 2-4, Primary is 4-11 and Secondary is 11-18).

Here - http://tiny.cc/2kicmz

Apr 2, 7:38am Top

Happy 75 Charlotte! :)

I'm really glad I don't need any prescriptions currently, but I told M a couple of days ago he should better "stock up" on his thyroid pills, i.e. not wait until the last minute.
At least now you don't have to go to your doctor anymore for the prescriptions in Italy and wait for hours, they somehow do it electronically.

Apr 2, 8:01am Top

Congrats on reading 75 books.

Cool penguin!

Apr 2, 12:51pm Top

>162 charl08: WOW, Charlotte, you made that yourself? (With a little help from Google)
So cool that is possible!

Apr 2, 1:59pm Top

>165 Deern: Thanks! Hope you are well and keeping your spirits up. Our doctors do it electronically: but the nhs is not great at getting computer systems to "talk" to each other.

>166 figsfromthistle: Thank you. It's a fun way to spend ten minutes!

>167 FAMeulstee: Well, more that I pressed the button and it appeared in the living room. I was expecting a problem with my phone, but it really is very straightforward. Modern tech, eh?

Apr 2, 2:42pm Top

>109 charl08: The translated fiction group meets tonight.

They've circulated the questions ahead of time:

Which story stood out the most to you, and why?

What does it actually mean for something to be scary or not scary?

Why are we scared of ghosts? Are these stories scary?

How do these stories respond to and reflect Japanese society?

What do you think Matsuda tells us about the changing lives of women in Japan today?

Apr 2, 4:53pm Top

Fascinating discussion on Zoom, and I have just gone ahead and ordered the book for the next one.

The next books are

Week 3 (April 9th): Charco Press with Fate by Jorge Consiglio, tr. Carolina Orloff and Fionn Petch

Week 4 (April 16th): Nordisk Books with Restless by Kenneth Moe, tr. Alison McCullough (please note that while the release date is set for May, preorders WILL arrive in time for book club!)

Week 5 (April 23rd): Comma Press with Thirteen Months of Sunrise by Rania Mamoun, tr. Elisabeth Jaquette
(really excited about this one - Sudanese activist writing her first book)

Week 6 (April 30th): Istros Books with Singer in the Night by Olja Savičević, tr. Celia Hawkesworth

The book club mailing list is here: https://peirenepress.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd4e0929ccef64cdb9b372602&a...

and more info about other online book clubs - https://time.com/5809322/social-distancing-book-clubs/

Apr 2, 5:19pm Top

>143 charl08: I was impressed today that my GP’s surgery phoned up to check that I was OK and understood what I should and ahouldn’t be doing. It made me feel quite looked after!

Edited: Apr 2, 6:04pm Top

The Narrow Land
One of the books that came through just before the library closed. Beautifully written, in some places (for me) almost unbearably so: the author creates a horribly authentic picture of a relationship that has been all but destroyed by jealousy. At the same time, a fascinating, gripping story revolving around characters that I cared about. It really resonated for me with some reading I've done around feminist artists. I was struck with how Hopper's wife is trapped as a figure of ridicule for continuing to hope that her work will be recognised too.

Apr 2, 5:58pm Top

>171 SandDune: That is impressive. Glad to hear that.

Apr 2, 6:38pm Top

>140 charl08: That is great!

>147 charl08: Adding that one to the BlackHole!

Congratulations on hitting 75!

Apr 2, 9:15pm Top

Congrats on reaching 75, Charlotte!

Yesterday, 2:10am Top

>147 charl08: I also was impressed by Scrublands and enjoyed the sequel, Silver, as well.
Hope you are keeping well in your lockdown zone. Your translated fiction group sounds great.
I'm currently reading Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen which is quite captivating, the initial lie is snowballing.

Edited: Yesterday, 3:07am Top

>174 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia.

>175 bell7: Thanks Mary. Looking forward to the readathon!

>176 avatiakh: I will look out for Silver Kerry, thank you. I loved the beautiful view you posted on your thread. I'm glad I'm in a relatively rural area so I can walk and see "nature" - but nothing compared to yours! I liked Gundar-Goshen's One night Markovitch.

Yesterday, 4:56am Top

>162 charl08: Goodness, that's amazing! I tried one of the apps last night and first I got a small duck. Then I got an antelope upside down in the laundry basket, so I think it takes more skill than I have :-)

>170 charl08: The book group sounds excellent. I hope that some of these new web-based events carry on after things are back to normal.

Happy Friday, Charlotte!

Yesterday, 5:09am Top

>172 charl08: I really enjoyed this novel too Charlotte. It is fine craft to make us still like gritty, not easily likeable characters.

Yesterday, 5:45am Top

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Yesterday, 6:41am Top

>178 susanj67: I think it might be your phone settings rather than the skill level, Susan! The penguin was pretty awe inspiring. A friend said it had kept her daughter busy, which is equally impressive.

>179 Caroline_McElwee: I did like it, but I'd love to talk some more about the representation of women in it. I felt really conflicted about how Hopper's wife was portrayed partly because I couldn't work out how the author was expecting us to feel about Jo - were we really supposed to sympathise with Hopper, who had so much of what she wanted, and didn't really seem to be able to feel his wife's struggle at all. I felt almost as though the author wanted to have both sides - to acknowledge that women struggled and were systematically ignored in the art world, but to still mock a woman who had those hopes taken away and had to live with someone who appeared to have it easy.
But maybe that is more in my reading of it than in the writing of it.

Edited: Yesterday, 6:43am Top

Yesterday, 7:32am Top

>181 charl08: - a few thoughts I primarily felt that the writer was showing a relationship between quite an erasable couple, but creatively it was a disbalanced relationship because he had the fame/power, that she craved. I didn’t feel it had to be that way, that he craved it in any way. He was more likely to shun it, would have been happy to be less visible than he had been able to make himself. So I didn’t feel he ever intended to rub his position in the art world in her face, but I don’t know how she could have changed the balance. I don’t think it is ever even in creative couples, unless they live relatively separate lives, thinking of O’Keefe/Stiglitz for example.

I thought it was written true to the context of the era. I would have maybe liked to have more idea of what her art was, I couldn’t imagine it. I did look a few of her paintings up, but not surprisingly his work came up. The novel didn’t give me it in my mind’s eye.

For her, I thought she was so well drawn, the kind of person who just can’t help putting her finger on the sore point. I would wince. Or seeing it coming mentally shout ‘no… don’t, too late, oh shit’.

I also enjoyed how the boys changed them both in different ways, and allowed us to see other aspects of the Aitche’s because of those relationships.

Yesterday, 7:46am Top

>182 charl08:. hmmm. We have a big box that's not yet been broken down. I may just try it... >;-)

Edited: Yesterday, 11:55am Top

>183 Caroline_McElwee: That's a lot to chew over, thank you Caroline. I wasn't sure that the boys had changed them, although maybe the other way round.
I agree she was very 'real'. I didn't see it so much as being about the fame / power, as the recognition - that she was a professional rather than 'just' the wife. But perhaps that's splitting hairs.

One of the local galleries has a collection of her drawings (as well as his) -

However, this article says much of her work is lost - https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/02/26/jo-hopper-woman-sun-woman-shadow/

I did like how the author described the process of painting. I don't know how she did it, but I found it very evocative.

>184 Helenliz: I'm sadly cardboard box free. One of the tweets that made me laugh this week was from a (I think? medieval) historian who was home schooling their small kid. They had built a cardboard-box castle in the garden!

Yesterday, 10:33am Top

The Narrow Land sounds excellent - did I also hear about it on Caroline's thread? One to read when my library is open again!

Love your penguin.

I must check out the book club; I got an invite too, but ignored it. It sounds like fun.

>182 charl08: :)

Yesterday, 4:10pm Top

>186 BLBera: Yes, yes you did. She wrote a beautiful review. I recommend it.

The book group was really good, I took notes!

Edited: Yesterday, 6:07pm Top

Where the Wild Ladies Are
When she put together all the information she’d accumulated over time, Enoki had no choice but to conclude that human beings derived joy from twisting things and attaching a sexual meaning to them. It was pathetic. Were they idiots, was that it?

I didn't quite know what to make of these stories initially, and certainly wasn't particularly tempted when I heard they were ghost stories. So that was a good start. But they grew on me.

The discussion meeting (the second of six, but I missed the first one) took place over Zoom, and there were about 68 people at ome point when I looked, I was genuinely impressed. The translator (who is also an essayist), one of the publishers (from Tilted Axis) and the chair of the group.

I love hearing people talk about translation, so this was perfect for me. In breakout groups there was a chance to talk about our impressions when reading it, and I learned many of the stories were connected (not obvious when jumping around between the stories in the ebook). We all really liked the tone of the stories: the author's really playful with her use of fables about hauntings: these ghosts are funny as well as powerful. Sometimes they work in a factory, sometimes they do door to door selling, as well as the more familiar building haunting (although even then, there's more to a ghost's life than scaring people). These stories are a critique of Japanese gender roles and attitudes: the translator Polly Barton, talked last night about the author's commitment to feminism. There's lots here about how society has changed, but not necessarily for the better,
Eg the loss of secure jobs for men but not really matched by improved work chances for women. Being a spirit offers some historical women a chance to reclaim freedom, whether from mediocre husbands or low expectations. I especially loved the story about the spirit who provides childcare, so a single mum who has to leave her child while she works doesn't have to worry. It is such a sweet story about such a horrible situation.

Yesterday, 5:36pm Top

I may have missed my thingaversary, but definitely made up for it - have ordered all the books for the next four meetings (>170 charl08:), plus some extras as they sounded really interesting (and nice to be able to order direct from the publisher for a change).

Yesterday, 6:18pm Top

Hi, Charlotte.

I like your idea of re-reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Did you ever see the stage adaptation? My wife and I had discussed how unlikely it was that anyone would adapt it for theater, because so much of it went on inside his mind. But they did, and we loved it. Very cleverly done.

Yesterday, 10:07pm Top

>182 charl08: Love it, Charlotte!!

Today, 11:21am Top

>190 jnwelch: I never did, Joe. I wish I had though! I haven't found my copy yet. I think I still have it. Somewhere...

>191 ronincats: I'm saving the next big box that comes home.

Today, 11:51am Top

>189 charl08: HappyThingaversary Charlotte. Missed mine in Feb too, but certainly bought enough books this year to cover it!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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