Alcott Acre's Home, Room 9

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Diskutera75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Alcott Acre's Home, Room 9

sep 18, 11:35 pm

Well, let's get the introduction out of the way. My name is Stasia and I have been happily married to Kerry for almost 35 years. We have 6 children, 4 of whom are my stepchildren and 2 of whom are ours together. We also have 8 grandchildren. My second stepdaughter, Nichole, lost her fight to pancreatic cancer on February 4, 2023. She left behind grieving parents, sisters, brother, and an 18-year-old son.

I love to read and it has been a huge solace to me over the past few months - I call it "burying myself in books." I am actually hoping to read less in 2023 than I did in 2022, a year in which I read 450+ books. I am shooting for between 300-350 this year. I have a lot of household projects I want to take care of in 2023! Unfortunately, between CFS and taking care of my father's estate, I am getting no time for things I want to do around my house.

That's about it, I think, so come on in and grab a cuppa!

Redigerat: okt 11, 3:08 pm

Excellent Reads from 2023 (in the order in which I read them):

5 Stars
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
The Colony by Audrey Magee
People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch
Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

4.5 Stars
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Bridge on the San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 by Lucy S. Dawidowicz
Cuba: An American History by Ada Ferrer
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1 by Marcel Proust
Beyond Belief: The American Press & the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945 by Deborah Lipstadt
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
Betty by Tiffany McDaniel
The Guermantes Way by Marcel Proust
The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh
The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield
Pillar of Fire by Taylor Branch
Greenwood by Michael Christie
The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse by Rich Cohen
Out of the House of Bondage by Thavolia Glymph
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
"A Problem from Hell" by Samantha Power
The World Broke in Two by Bill Goldstein
Time Regained by Marcel Proust
A Grand Army of Black Men edited by Edwin S. Redkey
The Trees by Percival Everett
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz
The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman
I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

4.25 Stars
Reunion in Death by J.D. Robb
Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
The Return of Fitzroy Angursell by Victoria Goddard
Network Effect by Martha Wells
The Color of Distance by Amy Thomson
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin
Eventide by Kent Haruf
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Bee Sting Cake by Victoria Goddard
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
A Shot in the Moonlight by Ben Montgomery
The Rape of the Nile by Brian M. Fagan
Storyteller by G.R. Grove
Whiskeyjack by Victoria Goddard
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
The Day of the Scorpion by Paul Scott
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
Dinners with Ruth by Nina Totenberg
The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
Tom Lake by Ann Patchett
Best of Enemies by Gus Russo and Eric Dezenhall
Origin in Death by J. D. Robb
Payback in Death by J. D. Robb
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Love-in-a-Mist by Victoria Goddard
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb

Redigerat: sep 30, 8:36 pm

September TIOLI Challenges

Challenge #1: Read a book tagged "racism"
At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch - Completed September 1, 2023
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - Completed September 10, 2023

Challenge #2: Read a book with a headline character count of 23 or less
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - Completed September 17, 2023

Challenge #3: Read a book with a word in the title from the September Songs List
Love-in-a-Mist by Victoria Goddard - Completed September 12, 2023
The Road to September 1939 by Jehuda Reinharz and Yaacov Shavit - Completed September 19, 2023

Challenge #4: The "Three's the Bees Knees" Challenge: Read a book whose author's either first or last name has only 3 letters in it
The Boy Who Went Away by Eli Gottlieb - Completed September 23, 2023
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng - Completed September 8, 2023
Windhall by Ava Barry - Completed September 5, 2023

Challenge #5: Read a Debut Novel First Published Since 1 January 2020
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara - Completed September 4, 2023
Pearl by Sian Hughes - Completed September 20, 2023
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt - Completed September 22, 2023

Challenge #6: Read a book whose title would fit as a name for the posted picture
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown - Completed September 11, 2023
Into the Silence by Wade Davis - Completed September 27, 2023
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden - Completed September 24, 2023
The Towers of Silence by Paul Scott - Completed September 13, 2023

Challenge #7: Read a book about contact with extraplanetary aliens or alien abduction
The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis - Completed September 6, 2023

Challenge #8: Read a book you were planning to read for one of the August 2023 challenges
The Brontes: A Life in Letters by Juliet Barker - Completed September 16, 2023

Challenge #9: Read a book with a place name in the title
China Room by Sunjeev Sahota - Completed September 26, 2023
Montana 1948 by Larry Watson - Completed September 9, 2023
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys - Completed September 1, 2023

Challenge #10: Read a book, fiction or nonfiction, about a war that took place before you were born
Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn - Completed September 25, 2023
Days without End by Sebastian Barry - Completed September 15, 2023

Challenge #11: Read a book with 5 or more words in the title, at least two of them the same length
I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai - Completed September 14, 2023
. . . the real war will never get in the books by Louis Masur - Completed September 28, 2023

Challenge #12 Read a book, F/NF, where either the word libraries or librarians is included in the initial tags section
Bibliophile by Jane Mount - Completed September 11, 2023

Challenge #13: Read a book where you can make a word, with at least three letters, with the first letters of title and/or author
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson - Completed September 30, 2023
How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney - Completed September 18, 2023
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery - Completed September 10, 2023
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen - Completed September 29, 2023
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear - Completed September 18, 2023
Not for All the Gold in Ireland by John James - Completed September 12, 2023
Origin in Death by J. D. Robb - Completed September 2, 2023
Payback in Death by J. D. Robb - Completed September 7, 2023

Challenge #14: Read a book with a person or animal's name in the title
The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by S. A. Chakraborty - Completed September 21, 2023

Challenge #15: Read a book where one of the main page (primary) tags is a subject you might study in school
Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda - Completed September 16, 2023
Our Town by Thornton Wilder - Completed September 22, 2023

Redigerat: okt 29, 7:01 pm

Proposed reads for October - since I will be out of town half the month, I doubt I will get to them all. . .

My series reading
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
Memory in Death by J.D. Robb
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

Black Studies Reading
I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams - National Book Award (Nonfiction) longlist

Jewish Studies Reading
A Time for Building by Gerald Sorin
In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz

The “Read More Sci-Fi” Challenge
This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

The "Indie List" Challenge
Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry

The Around the World in 80 Novels Challenge
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

Asian Authors Challenge
A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam - also on the 2021 Booker Prize shortlist

The Monthly Nonfiction Challenge
Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall

The American Authors Challenge
The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Shared Reads

The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb - shared read with Paul
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray - shared read with Paul and Deborah
Plum Duff by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary

Just Because I Wanna
Promise Boys by Nick Brooks - a recent recommendation from Amber
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman - I love the Thursday Murder Club!
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan - several recommendations for this one
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee - a recent recommendation from Katie
Diary of a Tuscan Bookshop by Alba Donati - several recommendations for this one
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny - both Roni and Reba recommended this one
Western Lane by Chetna Maroo - Booker reading
Old God's Time by Sebastian Barry - Booker reading

Redigerat: okt 29, 8:12 pm

My Journey through Proust:
Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1 - Completed February 10, 2023
Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 2 - Completed May 24, 2023
Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 3 - August 16, 2023

Series Reading - I will post these as I read them:
The In Death series by J.D. Robb
Reunion in Death - Completed January 2, 2023
Purity in Death - Completed February 8, 2023
Encore in Death - Completed February 26, 2023
Portrait in Death - Completed March 15, 2023
Imitation in Death - Completed May 9, 2023
Divided in Death - Completed June 4, 2023
Vision in Death - Completed July 1, 2023
Survivor in Death - Completed August 13, 2023
Origin in Death - Completed September 2, 2023
Payback in Death - Completed September 7, 2023
Memory in Death - Completed October 3, 2023
Born in Death -

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
Voyager - Completed January 15, 2023
Drums of Autumn - Completed July 14, 2023
The Fiery Cross - Completed October 14, 2023

The St. Mary’s books by Jodi Taylor
A Trail Through Time - Completed April 27, 2023

The Decker/Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman
False Prophet - Completed May 16, 2023

The Three Pines series by Louise Penny
The Cruelest Month - Completed June 5, 2023
A Rule Against Murder - Completed August 28, 2023

The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
Pardonable Lies - Completed April 27, 2023
Messenger of Truth - Completed September 18, 2023

The Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson
Case Histories - Completed September 30, 2023

The Shetland Series by Ann Cleeves
Raven Black -

The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott
The Jewel in the Crown - Completed June 7, 2023
The Day of the Scorpion - Completed July 19, 2023
The Towers of Silence - Completed September 13, 2023

Redigerat: okt 12, 2:57 pm

Black Studies Reading
Must reads for this year - Taylor Branch Trilogy: Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, and At Canaan’s Edge
1. Passing by Nella Larsen - Completed January 16, 2023
2. Parting the Waters - Completed January 23, 2023
3. Unforgivable Blackness by Geoffrey C. Ward - Completed April 13, 2023
4. All Blood Runs Red by Phil Keith and Tom Clavin - Completed May 5, 2023
5. Pillar of Fire by Taylor Branch - Completed May 21, 2023
6. I Wonder As I Wander by Langston Hughes - Completed May 28, 2023
7. Out of the House of Bondage by Thavolia Glymph - Completed June 3, 2023
8. A Shot in the Moonlight by Ben Montgomery - Completed June 18, 2023
9. The Big Sea by Langston Hughes - Completed June 18, 2023
10. The Original Black Elite by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor - Completed July 28, 2023
11. A Grand Army of Black Men edited by Edwin Redkey - Completed August 18, 2023
12. At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch - Completed September 1, 2023
13. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - Completed September 10, 2023
14. I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams - Completed October 10, 2023

Jewish Studies Reading
Must reads for this year:
The “Jewish People of America” series: A Time for Planting, A Time for Gathering, A Time for Building, A Time for Searching, and A Time for Healing
1. The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 by Lucy S. Dawidowicz - Completed January 26, 2023
2. Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll - Completed January 28, 2023
3. A Time for Planting by Eli Faber - Completed February 16, 2023
4. Beyond Belief: The American Press & the Coming of the Holocaust, 1933-1945 by Deborah Lipstadt - Completed February 26, 2023
5. Rachel Calof’s Story by J. Sanford Rikoon, editor - Completed April 11, 2023
6. The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield - Completed May 7, 2023
7. The Abandonment of the Jews by David S. Wyman - Completed May 28, 2023
8. A Time for Gathering by Hasia R. Diner - Completed June 11, 2023
9. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish - Completed July 31, 2023
10. People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn - Completed August 16, 2023
11. The Road to September 1939 by Jehuda Reinharz and Yaacov Shavit - Completed September 19, 2023
12. In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz - Completed October 1, 2023
13. A Time for Building by Gerald Sorin - Completed October 12, 2023

Redigerat: sep 23, 8:41 pm

The “Read More Sci-Fi” Challenge - using the Esquire list found here ( and the book Science Fiction, The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010 by Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo
1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Completed January 3, 2023 (#39 on the Esquire list)
2. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - Completed March 8, 2023 (#49 on the Esquire list)
3. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson - Completed April 18, 2023 (recommended by the book and #33 on the Esquire list)
4. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich - Completed May 28, 2023 (#25 on the Esquire list)
5. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - Completed June 22, 2023 (#26 on the Esquire list)
6. Contact by Carl Sagan - Completed July 10, 2023 (#48 on the Esquire list)
7. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. - Completed August 28, 2023 (#47 on the Esquire list)
8. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - - Completed September 17, 2023 (Not on the Esquire list)

The “Indie List” Challenge with the list supplied by Berly
1. Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron - Completed January 10, 2023
2. Battleborn: Stories by Claire Vaye Watkins - Completed February 12, 2023
3. I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson - Completed April 30, 2023
4. The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison - Completed May 29, 2023
5. With or Without You: A Memoir by Domenica Ruta - Completed June 29, 2023
6. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - Completed July 31, 2023
7. How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millett - Completed August 14, 2023
8. The Boy Who Went Away by Eli Gottlieb - Completed September 23, 2023

Redigerat: okt 13, 7:34 pm

The Around the World in 80 Novels Challenge inspired by the book of the same name. I want to try and expand my reading horizons to places I have rarely or never been.
1. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (Scotland) - Completed January 8, 2023
2. Palace Walk (Book 1 of the Cairo Trilogy) by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt) - Completed January 20, 2023
3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Japan) - Completed January 30, 2023
4. Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada (Germany) - Completed February 28, 2023
5. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk (France) - Completed April 26, 2023
6. The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh (Vietnam) - Completed April 30, 2023
7. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria) - Completed May 14, 2023
8. Ali & Nino by Kurban Said (Azerbaijan) - Completed May 15, 2023
9. The Beach by Alex Garland (Thailand) - Completed June 27, 2023
10. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (India) - Completed July 26, 2023
11. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (USA) - Completed July 31, 2023
12. Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood (Germany) - Completed August 25, 2023
13. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica and Dominica) - Completed September 1, 2023

Continuation of the Asian Authors Challenge from 2022 - I have so many unread books from this challenge that I am going to continue it into the new year
1. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - Completed January 30, 2023
2. The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh - Completed April 30, 2023
3. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid - Completed May 30, 2023
4. The White Book by Han Kang - Completed June 2, 2023
5. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - Completed June 22, 2023
6. Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu - Completed July 5, 2023
7. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga - Completed July 26, 2023
8. Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam - Completed August 17, 2023
9. The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng - Completed September 8, 2023
10. A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam - Completed October 13, 2023

Redigerat: okt 13, 1:28 pm

The Monthly Nonfiction Challenge - I try to read at least 100 nonfiction books a year and this challenge is instrumental in helping me achieve that goal
January: Cuba: An American History by Ada Ferrer - Completed January 31, 2023
February GameTek by Geoff Engelstein - March 3, 2023
April Submerged by Daniel Lenihan - Completed April 16, 2023
May Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin - Completed May 18, 2023
June As Long As Grass Grows by Dina Gilio-Whitaker - Completed June 8, 2023
August Last Stand by Barbara Kingsolver - Completed August 27, 2023
September The Child Who Never Grew by Pearl S. Buck - Completed September 24, 2023
October Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall - Completed October 13, 2023

The Chunkster Challenge (Books at least 500 pages in length) - Shooting for at least 6 over the course of the year
1. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver - 548 pages
2. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon - 870 pages
3. The Sway of the Grand Saloon by John Malcolm Brinnin - 552 pages
4. Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch - 924 pages
5. History of the Second World War by B.H. Liddell Hart - 713 pages
6. Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll - 616 pages
7. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow - 738 pages
8. Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1 by Marcel Proust - 1,018 pages
9. The Red and the Black by Stendahl - 532 pages
10. The Winners by Fredrick Backman - 673 pages
11. Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson - 572 pages
12. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi - 507 pages
13. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks - 503 pages
14. Pillar of Fire by Taylor Branch - 768 pages
15. Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 2 by Marcel Proust - 1,197 pages
16. The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay - 501 pages
17. Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon - 506 pages
18. On the Oceans of Eternity by S.M. Stirling - 630 pages
19. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - 1,157 pages
20. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon - 880 pages
21. The Day of the Scorpion by Paul Scott - 504 pages
22. The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant - 642 pages
23. "A Problem from Hell" by Samantha Power - 620 pages
24. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - 771 pages
25. Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 3 by Marcel Proust - 1,128 pages
26. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese - 724 pages
27. At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch - 1,039 pages
28. Into the Silence by Wade Davis - 655 pages
29. Little Thieves by Margaret Owen - 504 pages
30. The Bee Sting by Paul Murray - 643 pages
31. Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall - 602 pages

The American Authors Challenge - This is one that I dip into and out of as the case may be

January: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Completed January 3, 2023
January: The Giver by Lois Lowry - Completed January 12, 2023
April: Floating in My Mother's Palm by Ursula Hegi - Completed April 24, 2023
April: Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi - Completed April 22, 2023
May: Philadelphia Fire by John Edgar Wideman - Completed May 5, 2023
June: Joan of Arc by Mary Gordon - Completed June 7, 2023
July: The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant - July 22, 2023
August So Much Blue by Percival Everett - Completed August 12, 2023
September Origin in Death and Payback in Death by J. D. Robb - Completed on September 2 and 7, 2023, respectively

Redigerat: okt 29, 8:24 pm

Shared Reads:
The Return of Fitzroy Angursell by Victoria Goddard - Completed February 11, 2023
Whistling Season by Ivan Doig - shared read with Paul - Completed February 19, 2023
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott - shared read with Mamie - Completed February 28, 2023
The Redoubtable Pali Avramapul by Victoria Goddard - Completed March 28, 2023
Belgarath the Sorceror by David Eddings - shared read with Mamie - Completed March 11, 2023
The Winners by Fredrik Backman - shared read with Mark - Completed April 12, 2023
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - shared read with Kro - Completed April 26, 2023
Eventide by Kent Haruf - shared read with Mark - Completed May 26, 2023
I Wonder As I Wander by Langston Hughes - Completed May 28, 2023
Stargazy Pie by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary - Completed May 6, 2023
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - shared read with Kro -Completed June 14, 2023
Bee Sting Cake by Victoria Goddard - Completed June 13, 2023
Stone Speaks to Stone by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary - Completed June 16, 2023
Whiskeyjack by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary - Completed July 3, 2023
Blackcurrant Fool by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary - Completed August 8, 2023
The Colony by Audrey Magee - shared read with Mark - Completed August 10, 2023
Love in a Mist by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary - Completed September 12, 2023
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - shared read with Caroline - Completed September 10, 2023
Prophet Song by Paul Lynch - shared read with Deborah and Paul - Completed September 15, 2023
The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb - shared read with Paul - October
Plum Duff by Victoria Goddard - shared read with Mary - Completed October 4, 2023
Hild by Nicola Griffith - shared read with Mary - November/December
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - shared read with Paul - November
The Warburgs by Ron Chernow - shared read with Peggy - November
The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng - shared read with Ellen and Mark - November/December
War Diaries, 1939-1945: Field Marshall Lord Alanbrooke by Viscount Alan Brooke Alanbrooke - shared read with Paul - December

sep 18, 11:41 pm

The “Pick a Shelf” Challenge - Goal is 2 a month - I literally just chose a shelf in my library and emptied it of books. I will mark them as I complete them - and then pick another shelf!

I am eliminating this particular challenge as I have been reading so many books off my own shelves due to the TIOLI Challenges that this one is moot!

sep 18, 11:42 pm

This is my obligatory post about fixing Touchstones. Kind of like watching grass grow or water boil or paint drying or something equally scintillating. . .

sep 18, 11:50 pm

Happy new thread Stasia!

sep 18, 11:57 pm

Happy New Thread! I see you enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series, which I loved too . Have you read her latest, The White Lady? I really enjoyed it this past spring. I’m glad Kerry is feeling better . I am enjoying Western Lane very much . A slow start , perhaps , but now I am very much appreciating it .

sep 19, 12:01 am

>12 alcottacre: Thank you, Susan!

>13 quondame: No, I have not read The White Lady yet, Deborah. Because I was in school for so long, I decided to restart several of my ongoing series and (hopefully) catch up to them, so I have a way to go to get to that point in the series.

Glad to hear that you are enjoying Western Lane!

Redigerat: sep 19, 12:13 am

Finished tonight:

238 - How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney - Another book from the Booker Longlist, this one sees us visiting Northern Ireland and meeting young (13 years old at the beginning of the book) Jamie, his father Eoin, and his grandmother, Marie. Jamie's mother died at his birth, which causes problems for him at school, as the bullies there latch on to that as a reason to bully sensitive Jamie. Jamie is a very literal minded lad - if you tell him to "Go take a hike" he likely will - and this also presents problems for him at school. I very much enjoyed the way Jamie's story was told in the book. However, less to my liking is the story of Tess, one of Jamie's teachers, and the way her story is presented. I saw on Kirkus Reviews that the critic says, "Tess’ sections, written in a more traditional style, seem flat by comparison" and that is exactly my problem with Tess' part of the story - her part of the story slows the book inexorably, IMHO. The third major character at the school is Mr Foley, who takes Jamie under his wing, and helps the boy develop some confidence while working with his hands to build a currach (a one man Irish boat) as well as working with a team of others. A worthy effort, but I doubt this one takes the Booker; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

sep 19, 12:48 am

>16 alcottacre: Sets up nicely my own reading of it shortly.

Happy lodgings in room #9. xx

sep 19, 12:51 am

> Excellent review of How to Build a Boat. What great progress you are making with the Long List of the Bookers, Stasia . I put How To
build A Boat on my wish list .

sep 19, 12:53 am

>17 PaulCranswick: I am not sure what to deem room #9. Maybe this one will be the library.

I will be very curious to see what you think of the Feeney book when you have a chance to read it, Paul.

sep 19, 12:56 am

>18 vancouverdeb: I still have Pearl set aside to get to yet this month, Deborah, but as to the others on the list, I have no idea when I might read them. I am going to be out of town for half of October, so that puts a serious crimp in my reading for the month.

sep 19, 3:25 am

Happy new thread, Stasia!

sep 19, 5:26 am

Hi Stasia!

From your last thread, Caring For Your Books is available on Amazon for $6.45. Gaack about the your potential passport woes.

I hope your week goes well.

sep 19, 5:42 am

HAppy new thread!

sep 19, 6:58 am

Happy new thread, Stasia

Redigerat: sep 19, 8:39 am

Happy new thread, Stasia!

By the way, I was looking through your lists and goals you'd set yourself. If you'd like an additional joint read after our next Victoria Goddard book, my book club is reading Demon Copperhead next month, so I'll be reading it roughly from October 9-16.

Edited to add - never mind, I wasn't reading that carefully apparently, as it was your first 5-star book of the year. I got confused because your "chunkster" list didn't have dates completed listed. Don't mind me, haha...

sep 19, 8:38 am

Happy new thread. Now I’ll go back and dig in deeper.

sep 19, 9:14 am

Happy new one, Stasia!

sep 19, 10:14 am

Happy to see you settling in here, Stasia! I'm sorry that the passport visit wasn't easy. You can write to your county registrar for a copy of the birth certificate, can't you? (Mama, btw, was the Vital Statistics Clerk for Robco for several years. She would delight me with names like Navy Blue and Ipana Emanuel.)
Stay healthy! Read and Comment!

sep 19, 3:22 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!!

sep 19, 3:30 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

sep 19, 6:12 pm

>21 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita!

>22 karenmarie: I will definitely be looking for a copy of Caring for Your Books, Karen, although I generally stay away from Amazon these days. As far as the passport woes go, I really hope they get resolved before the ship sails in January!

>23 figsfromthistle: >24 jessibud2: Thank you, Anita and Shelley!

>25 bell7: Mary, the books on my chunkster list are in the order in which I read them. I really did not see any reason to date them, but maybe I should have? I hope you enjoy Demon Copperhead!

>26 Kristelh: >27 drneutron: Thank you, Kristel and Jim!

>28 LizzieD: I have already contacted the state of Pennsylvania for an "official" copy of my birth certificate, Peggy, and it is supposed to be here by mid-October - when I will be in Longview visiting my mother.

>29 RebaRelishesReading: >30 curioussquared: Thank you, Reba and Natalie!

sep 19, 6:15 pm

So today was my meet up day with Beth and Catey. Catey and I got started early this morning as the game we were playing takes a good 2 (and 2+) hours to play even online. It took an hour and 50 minutes to play Ark Nova today and Catey beat me for the first time (granted, we have only played 3 times), 116-86. I love this game!

Beth joined us later and the three of us played Isle of Cats, another game that I love, and this time Beth beat both Catey and I soundly! Poor Catey ended up with a -1 points.

We all three have a good time playing games and enjoying each others company!

sep 19, 6:46 pm

Hi, Stasia. I am back and now I am trying to catch up on my reading. 200 pages into Fourth Wing. It has been fun. A bit more YA than I expected. Glad you also have a copy. I still want to read I Have Some Questions for You. I also want to read Prophet Song, due to your effusive warbling.

sep 19, 6:49 pm

>33 msf59: Thanks for coming by, Mark. I am glad to hear that you are enjoying Fourth Wing. I have no idea when I might get to it. As far as Prophet Song goes, do not just believe my warbling. Be sure and check out Deborah's and Paul's thoughts on the book too.

sep 19, 6:54 pm

>31 alcottacre: no, no need, I just wasn't reading as carefully as I should've haha.

>32 alcottacre: glad you were able to spend such a great time with your daughters!

sep 19, 7:54 pm

>35 bell7: No worries, Mary.


sep 19, 8:03 pm

Finished tonight:

239 - The Road to September 1939 by Jehuda Reinharz and Yaacov Shavit - Nonfiction; I think that the audience to whom this book will appeal is limited, but for those who have an interest in European Jewry and/or Palestine, this is a good read. Reinharz and Shavit make their case that, contrary to popular belief, the Zionists of the Yishuv (Jewish residents of Palestine prior to 1948) and the Zionists in Europe were working together to help with emigration to Palestine. Most of the book is centered on Poland, the book details what amounted to a very complicated political situation, not only among the Jews themselves, but in Germany and Czechoslovakia as well. In hindsight we know what was coming and can only wish that the Zionists had been more successful in convincing the British to allow more Jews into Palestine rather than remaining in Europe. Expect a heavy read with this one; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

"On June 30, 1933, Hazit Haam wrote: 'Nazism's anti-Jewish policy is not antisemitism. It is extermination. It is racial sadism that has received political validity.' "

sep 19, 10:44 pm

>32 alcottacre: Sounds like a lot of fun, meeting up with Beth and Catey, earlier today, Stasia. I finished Western Lane last night, my latest from the Booker Long list. I have short review on my thread, and it was very good! I hope to start of This Other Eden tonight, as I have it out from the library. I was going to order Pearl from amazon, but was waiting for it to go on sale on amazon today, but instead, if you didn't not pre- order, I would know have to wait for it to ship from the UK even via amazon ca. Oh well. I think I will wait until the Booker Short List is announced before I order any other Booker Books.

As much as you might miss reading, a trip away should be wonderful!

sep 20, 9:41 am

>38 vancouverdeb: I missed visiting for my mother for her birthday in May due to being entangled in my father's estate matters, so I dare not miss this visit to her. My life would not be worth anything if I did :)

Glad to hear that Western Lane is a good one! That one is small enough that I can probably pack it for the trip to Longview and Joplin. I will be curious to see what your thoughts on This Other Eden are.

When does the Short List get announced?

sep 20, 9:57 am

>39 alcottacre: The short list gets announced Thursday, September 21st , in the evening UK time . I’m not sure what time that will be over here, Stasia . I’m about 50 pages into This Other Eden. It is grabbing me know , but too soon to judge . Western Lane is nice and short and small, as you say .

sep 20, 10:01 am

>40 vancouverdeb: Thanks for letting me know, Deborah. I will probably hold off on any more Booker reads until the Short List is announced and then prioritize those.

sep 20, 10:20 am

Good morning, Stasia. I thought I spoke to you last night, but I guess not ......

I wrote another couple of appreciations of *Roswell* over on my thread if you care to look again sometime. I loved it, and I thank you!

I don't know about the Booker list, but the National Book Award list came out this week, and I saw nothing that called to me in either fiction or non. What a sad thing! I wait to be corrected.

sep 20, 10:24 am

>42 LizzieD: Oo, I will have to check out the National Book Award list too. Thanks for the mention, Peggy. I am more interested in the nonfiction than the fiction at this point.

I have been over to your thread already this morning :)

sep 20, 1:57 pm

I was disappointed with the National Book award list, too. I was trying to find a birthday book for myself. I settled on giving my husband 3 board game choices instead.

sep 20, 6:59 pm

>44 The_Hibernator: Oo, what 3 choices did you give him? Inquiring minds want to know!

Redigerat: sep 21, 1:58 pm

Finished this evening:

240 - Pearl by Sian Hughes - Well, color me disappointed in this one. This was actually one of the books on the Booker Longlist that I was looking forward to reading the most, so maybe that is why I am so disappointed. Marianne, at age 8, loses her mother, who simply disappears. She does not know how to deal with her grief and her father, seemingly, really does not know how to help her. She also has a baby brother, but obviously he is no help. As Marianne grows up, she seeks solace in a poem called Pearl and in art. She learns some secrets along the way, including the fact that she had an older brother she never knew of. So, what is my issue here? The writing, for one thing. There is nothing wrong with it - but to be on the Booker Longlist, I was expecting the book to be magical or get me completely caught up (like I did with Prophet Song and that just did not happen for me; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

"Had I stopped to think for a minute that the fracture in my family, the rift that opened in my own heart, would be passed down to the next generation, through my own damage if nothing else?"

sep 20, 7:32 pm

>44 The_Hibernator: I have noticed that the National Book Award seems to get more and more leftfield every year, Rachel. Whilst I certainly look out to see what gets nominated there are a number of the books this time that I simply have no interest in whatsoever.

sep 21, 12:07 am

>46 alcottacre: Thanks for those comments, Stasia. I looked at Pearl and decided I could do without it..... You should probably know that when I was in medieval studies mode, I asked our local bookstore to get a copy of the medieval poem. I was downcast when what came was a collection of Victorian porn. I bought the pb since I didn't want to leave the bookseller stuck with it, but I've never tried to read it.

sep 21, 1:49 pm

>48 LizzieD: I had never even heard of the medieval poem (at least I do not think I have). Sorry your experience turned out to be nonexistent with it!

sep 21, 1:56 pm

>46 alcottacre: That certainly is a stilted sentence -- thanks for saving me from this one.

sep 21, 1:57 pm

>50 RebaRelishesReading: I may be in the minority on this one - I mean it did make the Booker Longlist - but I just do not see it.

sep 21, 2:01 pm

>51 alcottacre: I'm afraid I often dislike books that are on the Booker list

sep 21, 2:22 pm

>52 RebaRelishesReading: Well, I can say that two of the books on the list that I have read, Pearl and If I Survive You were disappointments, A Spell of Good Things and How to Build a Boat I found to be OK, and Prophet Song was outstanding. I still have 8 books on the Longlist yet to read. I need to move to Venus as I simply do not have enough time here on Earth!

sep 21, 3:28 pm

The short list was just announced and I know you're going to be excited to see If I Survive You there.

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo (UK)
Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (Ireland)
The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Ireland)
Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein (Canada)
If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (US)
This Other Eden by Paul Harding (US)

sep 21, 6:21 pm

Well, I am quite excited about the Booker Short List, Stasia! Just ordered The Bee Sting from amazon com, as it not it not readily available in Canada, though it will still take two weeks to arrive from amazon com.

sep 21, 7:19 pm

>54 Kristelh: As I just posted on Paul's thread, there is no justice in this world when Escoffery makes the shortlist but Tan Twan Eng does not.

>55 vancouverdeb: Whenever you and Paul are ready to read it, just let me know and I will jump in too!

sep 21, 8:26 pm

Finished tonight:

241 - The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty - This is one of those books that you read just for the plain old fun of it. Set in the 12th century, it tells of the adventures of one Amina Al-Sirafi, a retired pirate, who comes out of retirement to do one last big job to earn the money to keep her, her mother, and her daughter for the rest of their lives. Of course, things do not go according to plan and the "kidnapped" granddaughter of the woman who hired her is neither kidnapped nor willing to go back to her grandmother - and an arranged marriage that she wants no part of. Al-Sirafi manages to make new enemies along the way and catches up to some old friends (and one not so friend-ish who happens to be her husband); Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

sep 21, 9:00 pm

>56 alcottacre: Great news that you will join us. It is quite a big book so having both of you along should keep me going!

sep 21, 10:16 pm

Happy New Thread!

sep 21, 10:16 pm

sep 22, 10:10 am

Good morning, Stasia! Just a passer-by's hope that you have a good day!

sep 22, 10:23 am

>58 PaulCranswick: I hope we enjoy this one as much as we did Prophet Song!

>59 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Silver.

>60 SilverWolf28: I am in!

>61 LizzieD: Thank you so much, Peggy!

sep 22, 1:34 pm

Finished this afternoon:

242 - Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt - This is Van Pelt's debut novel and I am of two minds about it. Do not get me wrong - the book is not badly written. My main problem with the book is in lending Marcellus, the octopus, almost omniscient powers. I read and loved Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an Octopus (Van Pelt does give a nod to her and the book in the Acknowledgements section) so I know that octopuses are highly intelligent animals, but Van Pelt's Marcellus is over the top IMHO. The story revolves around loss and grief - Tova lost her son Erik when he was only 18 years old; Cameron is abandoned by his mother when he was but a child. That brings me to my second problem with the book - there is just too much coincidence for my taste. However, I do not regret reading this one and I had a pretty good time with it. I would love to have a Marcellus in my life!; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

sep 22, 1:47 pm

>63 scdoster: I agree, Stasia. I enjoyed this one overall but found it a teensy bit too saccharine and convenient. But I loved Marcellus.

Redigerat: sep 22, 2:23 pm

>63 scdoster:. I rated it 3.4 stars; here's some of my reveiw; I found the story to be maybe way too much to believe but I did like it. It is a quest and a mystery. Emotional read with humor and pathos.

Redigerat: sep 22, 5:59 pm

Hello Stasia! I finally made it over to your thread, returning your visit. I will try to keep up, but no guarantees. Thank you for stopping by my thread!

It looks like you've had lots of good reading this year. I was surprised to see that you read The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curse which I also read earlier this year. Are you another Cubs fan? I'll have to take a closer look at what you've read for recommendations.

sep 22, 7:26 pm

>64 curioussquared: Marcellus definitely was a hit with me too, Natalie, even if he was too good to be true.

>65 Kristelh: "Too much to believe" sums the book up nicely, Kristel.

>66 atozgrl: I have been a Cubbies fan for almost 50 years now, Irene, despite never having lived anywhere close to Chicago :) I think that it was your recommendation that got me to read the book, in fact.

sep 22, 7:45 pm

Finished tonight:

243 - Our Town by Thornton Wilder - My reading of the play right now was because 1) it is one of the centerpieces of Ann Patchett's excellent Tom Lake - if you have not read that yet, please do! and 2) Cyrel reminded me of it and I thought it was a great idea to read it close to reading the Patchett book (thank you, Cyrel!). The edition of the play that I got from my local library has a forward by Donald Margulies and an afterward by Wilder's nephew, Tappan Wilder, as well as a short biography of Wilder himself. I was first introduced to this play when I was about 15 years old thanks to a television production starring Hal Holbrook and (my hearthrob at the time), Robby Benson. Let me say that the intervening 46 years have changed my perspective on it somewhat. As Margulies says in his introduction, "Our Town is anything but dated, it is timeless; it is simple, but also profound; it is full of genuine sentiment, which is not the same as being sentimental; and, as far as its being uneventful, well, the event of the play is huge: it's life itself." I cannot put it any better than that; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

If you really want to do yourself a favor, do as Margulies suggests in the Foreward: watch the production of the play from 1988 at the Kennedy Center. It is available on YouTube here:

Redigerat: sep 22, 7:57 pm

>67 alcottacre: Oh, goodness, if you picked it up from me, then I really do apologize for not commenting on your thread before now! I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the threads when I first got on LT this year.

I grew up in downstate Illinois, and decided to start watching baseball in the spring of 1969. Our local station carried the Cubs games every Sunday. I got hooked. Heck of a year to fall for the Cubs! Got my heart badly broken at the end of the first year I watched. But I was hooked for life.

I am really glad that you enjoyed the book so much!

>243 alcottacre: My English class in high school studied Our Town and even performed the play in class. It is a classic, and I remember that I liked it very much.

Redigerat: sep 22, 10:20 pm

Good idea Stasia to read Our Town before reading Tom Lake, I should have! Thanks for the link to the play. I still really enjoyed reading the new Patchett book but the knowledge and experience of the play would have made it richer. Have a great weekend!

sep 23, 6:52 am

That's an excellent assessment of Remarkably Bright Creatures, Stasia. I really liked it despite the flaws you pointed out. It was a comfort read, and worked on that level.

I love that you read Our Town before reading Tom Lake.

sep 23, 8:06 am

Happy Saturday, Stasia. I also had such a good time with Remarkably Bright Creatures and also overlooking the flaws. Great idea to read Our Town, right after Tom Lake.

sep 23, 10:33 am

I may be repeating myself, but there are 3 outstanding versions of the play Our Town, in my opinion, and I have video copies of all of them which I revisit periodically. They feature as Stage Manager, Spalding Gray (I believe that's the one Stasia links to above), Hal Holbrook, and Paul Newman. You can't go wrong with any of them. I also saw a high school crush perform in that role (he was several years older than I was, and went on to a be a stage manager and prominent actor in local theater in real life!).

sep 23, 10:49 am

>70 mdoris: No, I read it after I read Tom Lake, Mary. I am sorry if I gave the impression it was the other way around! I probably would not have thought of it had Cyrel not lead the way :)

>71 lauralkeet: I agree, Laura, Remarkably Bright Creatures does work as a comfort read. As I said to Mary, Tom Lake came first :)

>72 msf59: That seems to be the concensus with Remarkably Bright Creatures - it is a good read despite its flaws.

>73 laytonwoman3rd: Yes, the one with Spalding Gray is the one that I linked. The Stage Manager is so critical for this play, isn't he? I have not seen the one with Paul Newman yet, but I believe it is also available on YouTube.

sep 23, 12:29 pm

>57 alcottacre: This sounds like a lot of fun! Going to see if the library has a copy.

>63 scdoster: I enjoyed, especially Marcellus, though I agree there were a few little problems with it. One thing, it inspired me to read Soul of an Octopus, which was so good!

Have a lovely weekend!

sep 23, 1:53 pm

I have Remarkably Bright Creatures in my Audible library -- I think I'll listen to it next

sep 23, 4:37 pm

Yes! Our Town is a wonderful play. A Toronto theatre company ( Soulpepper) produced it a number of years ago.

sep 23, 8:30 pm

>75 Storeetllr: Do not expect anything deep from The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, but do expect some fun! I completely agree about The Soul of an Octopus and am seriously considering a re-read.

>76 RebaRelishesReading: I hope you have a good time with it if you do give it a listen, Reba.

>77 torontoc: Oh, I agree. Our Town is a terrific play and I do not regret either reading it or rewatching it (I did both).

sep 23, 8:40 pm

Finished tonight:

244 - The Boy Who Went Away by Eli Gottlieb - This is one of the books that I pulled off Berly's Indie list to read. It is the story of the very dysfunctional (and in many ways, odd) Graubart family composed of Dad, Max who is well on his way to becoming an alcoholic; mother Harta, suspected of having an affair; oldest son James, who goes by Fad for some unknown reason, and who is autistic; and youngest son, Denny, who seems to be largely ignored and thinks of himself as a "Harriet the Spy" type of character. The book is set in the late 1960s as the Vietnam War continues to rage on and both Max and Denny are watching the war on the nightly news. There is deadline that is looming for them all - Fad is going to be taken to some kind of home if the family cannot prove that he can function well enough at home and Harta is desperate not to let them take her oldest son, almost to the exclusion of everything else, including her husband and youngest son. Denny feels that "sickness was attention; sickness, above all, was a way to swing the focus of the family away from Fad." The tension in the book builds up to the ending as we are not sure until then what is going to happen with Fad; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

sep 23, 11:46 pm

I kept putting off reading Remarkably Bright Creatures but can't do so any longer. It is the October selection for one of my real life book clubs. That means that tomorrow I will have to make a trip to the public library and get it since that is a title I don't have on my shelves. I was afraid that as popular as it was that it would be checked out. Fortunately, it is on the shelves at the public library.

sep 24, 11:10 am

>80 benitastrnad: I hope you enjoy Remarkably Bright Creatures when you get a chance to read it, Benita.

As usual, this Sunday is my "day off" technology (although I am planning to finish 2 books today and will be back to report on those), so I will be back tomorrow to catch up to everyone!

sep 24, 12:32 pm

Enjoy your tech-free Sunday!

sep 24, 12:44 pm

>78 alcottacre: I started it yesterday, Stasia and I'm enjoying it a lot...especially the octopus.

sep 24, 4:24 pm

>82 Storeetllr: Thanks, Mary!

>83 RebaRelishesReading: Oh, I am glad to hear it!

sep 24, 4:36 pm

Finished this afternoon:

245 - The Child Who Never Grew by Pearl S. Buck - Nonfiction; Buck, who was the child of missionaries, met and married John Lossing Buck while they were both residing in China. In due course, they had a child, Carol, who was mentally retarded, something they did not discover until the little girl was about 3 or so. Buck wrote an article for Ladies Home Journal in 1950 that became the basis of this book and in so doing was "the first prominent person to acknowledge publicly a child with mental retardation" according to the introduction. Buck relates what it was like to realize that her daughter was different (Lossing Buck is never mentioned in the book so everything is told from Buck's own perspective), trying to figure out how and the best way in which she could help Carol, the struggles to understand why the child was the way she was - all of the things that I am sure every parent of a child with mental and/or physical disabilities must contend with - and she did it in a public forum at a time when these kinds of things were never discussed openly. Because the book was written 80 years ago, obviously things have changed and some of the information that Buck relates is dated, but a nice job was done not to break the flow of the narrative, but to include footnotes that the reader can reference. The edition of the book that I read had a Foreword (written by James Michener), an Introduction, and an Afterword (written by Buck's daughter, Janice); Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

"The essential question remains the same for all of us who have these children who never grow up. We have to think beyond ourselves for them."

sep 24, 5:06 pm

>85 alcottacre: - This sounds like a very good read.

sep 24, 6:30 pm

>86 jessibud2: It is not a very long book even with the intro, foreword, and afterword, Shelley - just over 100 pages so it would not take you long to read if you wanted to give it a try.

sep 24, 6:34 pm

Hi Stasia. I love skimming through your TIOLI list. When I first joined LT in 2011 I participated in those challenges a lot. Maybe I'll resume in 2024, post- retirement. 😎

sep 24, 6:36 pm

Finished this evening:

246 - Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden - A book told through dual narrators, this is a pretty good one in which each narrator is given a distinctive, strong voice. Will lies in a hospital bed and his niece, Annie, is relating to him how she has been hunting for her missing sister Suzanne, a successful model in NYC, who got tied up with the wrong guy and the wrong crowd. Will, on the other hand, is telling in retrospect how he got where he currently is. Of the two subplots (? not sure if that is the right term or not), I thought his was the stronger - I loved the glimpses into the native culture. However, I hated all of the stuff about NYC and felt that some of it was just padded for paddings sake. I was also not a big fan of the ending of the book; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

sep 24, 6:37 pm

>88 EBT1002: I hope you do join in again, Ellen! We would love to have you.

sep 24, 7:57 pm

>89 alcottacre: I have a few books by Boyden on my shelf. I will have to read one and see how I like the writing style.

sep 24, 9:54 pm

>91 figsfromthistle: Anita, I enjoyed his Three Day Road, the only other one of his I had read prior to Through Black Spruce, more than I did that read.

sep 24, 9:55 pm

I am heading to bed early tonight. I have been fighting CFS for a few days now and it is really getting to me tonight.

sep 24, 10:19 pm

I hope you are feeling better soon, Stasia. Sorry that the CFS is troubling you extra. I wish you a good sleep.

sep 24, 10:25 pm

>89 alcottacre: I really loved The Orenda by him which I read almost a decade ago.

Redigerat: sep 25, 8:26 am

^I saw this book come up in an email and thought of you instantly. Board to Death is tailor-made for Stasia. It came out in August.

sep 25, 1:35 pm

Hope your CFS is not too bad this time, Stasia!

sep 25, 3:08 pm

>94 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah. With CFS getting good sleep is not really an issue.

>95 PaulCranswick: I have The Orenda in the BlackHole, Paul, I just have not gotten to it yet. One of these days. . .

>96 msf59: I will have to see if I can find a copy of that one! My upcoming cruise is a board gaming one :) Let us hope that no one dies on it!

>97 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie!

sep 25, 3:30 pm

Happy Monday/Tuesday, Stasia. I am struggling with insomnia this morning. Managed an hour or two of sleep and I am awake and buzzing from 1.45 a.m. Tuesday morning.

sep 25, 3:34 pm

You have picked eight 5-star reads so far in 2023, Stasia - two of which I have also read and loved this year. If you were forced to choose one from the eight to recommend to other above the other seven which would you choose?

sep 25, 3:39 pm

>99 PaulCranswick: Sorry to hear that, Paul. I wish I could give my CFS to you for a day :)

>100 PaulCranswick: Oh, wow. That is such a tough question! I think that since two of Taylor Branch's books made the list, I would select one of those, Parting the Waters, since it is the beginning of his Civil Rights trilogy.

sep 25, 5:46 pm

Stasia, I was just on Ellen's thread and I see your husband will retire in 88 days or so. You mentioned that you thought boredom would be an issue. Best wishes finding helping Kerry find stuff to do. I'm looking forward to Dave retiring sometime in 2024, I'm not sure when . I think we will both enjoy that, but he will be 67 and likely approaching his 68th birthday. He likes to read, he loves to fly these crazy stunt kites, with or without his buddies , plus we have our dog to walk and a couple of grandchildren. I don't anticipate any problems, except for sneaking my books and puzzles into the house . Of course, we may drive each other a little crazy. He likes quiet , I like background noise. My sister's husband retired from the Vancouver Police Department this spring, sooner than he would have liked. He was on a contract basis towards the end of his employment, and his contract was not renewed. He is finding himself bored and is now applying to be Superintendent with the RCMP, which will also be a contract to create a security team for FIFA when it comes to Vancouver in 2026, I think it is. My sister still works, so I hope Mike gets the job . Retiring is a bit of an issue for some.

sep 25, 6:51 pm

>101 alcottacre: Then I must go and look for that one. xx

sep 25, 7:52 pm

>102 vancouverdeb: Retirement was not an issue for me, even though I did not want to retire and was forced to for health reasons, but for Kerry, it is going to be an issue. I had reading and board gaming as hobbies that I could fall back on for entertainment, plus I have a social outlet both her and on BGG. However, Kerry has no hobbies to speak of - does sitting in front of the TV count? - so I fear he is going to be bored within about a week! We are going on a board gaming cruise in mid-January because he is gradually getting more into that hobby and hopefully we can have some serious talks on how to stave off boredom for him then.

>103 PaulCranswick: Look for the entire trilogy, Paul. They are all 3 worth reading!

sep 25, 8:00 pm

Finished tonight:

246 - Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn - From what I understand, this is Coburn's first historical fiction novel and she did a good job with it. She gives us three very different points-of-view: We have Gundi, who works in the Jewish resistance, and gets pregnant by her Jewish lover, Leo; Hilde, who is a true believer in the Nazi cause and is thrilled to bear a baby for the cause; and we have Irma, a nurse who eventually gives in to her conscience. All three women meet at Heim Hochland, a home for women who are pregnant and giving their babies up for adoption. The home houses not only women already pregnant, but those hoping to become so by Nazi officers who frequently visit just for the purpose of impregnating the young ladies. The Lebensborn program, as it was called, was a real thing in Nazi Germany, as they touted motherhood in Germany as basically a woman's highest ideal; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

sep 25, 9:34 pm

Heading to bed again early - stupid CFS - doesn't it know I need time to read?? I have a terrible feeling that I am not going to get all of the books on my TIOLI list read. Harrumph.

sep 25, 10:14 pm

>106 alcottacre: Take care of yourself dear Stasia.......the books will still be there.

sep 26, 6:58 am

Stasia, does anything affect your CFS such as seasonal, weather, etc? I am not going to make my TIOLI reads either.

Redigerat: sep 26, 7:18 am

>102 vancouverdeb: "Retiring is a bit of an issue for some." Well, it has sure has suited me well. 😁

Happy Tuesday, Stasia. Looking forward to diving into The Singapore Grip today.

sep 26, 11:27 am

>107 PaulCranswick: I know that the books will wait for me, Paul, but I was on a roll in September! Lol

>108 Kristelh: No, there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to my CFS, Kristel. I really wish there was! Sorry you are not going to make all of your TIOLI reads either.

>109 msf59: Once I got used to the idea that I had to retire, it has suited me as well. I hope you enjoy The Singapore Grip, Mark. Farrell sure could write. It is too bad he died so young.

sep 26, 11:27 am

Meet up with Beth and Catey is on the agenda today. I hope to be back later as I have stuff to do before then, but with the stupid CFS, you never know.

Everyone have a terrific Tuesday!!

sep 26, 12:00 pm

My brother took up woodworking on his retirement and is having a great time! ( just one suggestion) He makes charcuterie boards, bowls, and boxes. He took some courses offered by our local hardware store and set up a small workshop at home.

sep 26, 3:56 pm

>112 torontoc: That is cool, Cyrel - and thank you for the suggestion. I wonder if our local community college could help out as well?

sep 26, 7:27 pm

Finished tonight:

247 - China Room by Sunjeev Sahota - Since I am only about 60 years behind in reading the Booker nominated books, I am trying to catch up a little bit at a time. This book was on the Longlist in 2021 and I am very glad it did not win (Damon Galgut's The Promise, which I have read and thought was excellent, won.) The main problem for me in the dual timeline, dual narrator China Room was that I felt neither story was completely told - there needed to be more flesh on the bones in both cases. Overall, this was a disappointing read for me; Guardedly Recommended (3.5 stars) Mine

sep 26, 8:00 pm

Hi Stasia! My daughter's school did Our Town some years ago (feels recent to me) so I should be in good shape to read Tom Lake... except that my library system just switched from Axis 360 to Boundless TODAY and Boundless appears to be having some problems. Sigh.

Thinking of you.

sep 26, 8:18 pm

I can't recall if you have read Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris, Stasia, but if you haven't I would recommend you do. Very good.

sep 26, 9:01 pm

>115 AMQS: I hope you can get hold of Tom Lake soon, Anne! It is very good.

>116 PaulCranswick: I have not yet read Black Butterflies, Paul, but I now have it on order. Thanks for the recommendation.

Heading to bed early again tonight, folks. See you tomorrow!

sep 26, 11:14 pm

>115 AMQS: I will try to get to Tom Lake and Our Town next month.

sep 27, 1:58 am

I've also read Black Butterflies and can recommend it, Stasia. I hope you and Catey and Beth had a good day together.

sep 27, 9:36 am

Hi Stasia. I’ll echo the recommendation for Black Butterflies. It was a 5-star read for me. I’m currently reading Prophet Song which is SO good. It may land at the top of my Booker choices although all that I’ve read from the list this year have been good.

sep 27, 11:42 am

>118 PaulCranswick: I do not think you will regret that decision, Paul.

>119 vancouverdeb: I am hoping that Black Butterflies before I leave for my mother's on the 14th so that I can get it read this month, Deborah. My girls and I always seem to have a great time together.

>120 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. I am very glad to hear that you are enjoying Prophet Song and I completely agree about it being "SO good." I wish that I could say that all the Booker choices that I have read from this year's list have been good.

sep 27, 5:42 pm

Hello Stasia. I'm so sorry to find out that you have CFS. I hope this latest flare-up passes soon.

I too need to catch up on Booker nominees and winners. I'm as far behind as you are--actually more so. I also need to catch up on other prize winners as well. I certainly won't run out of books to read in retirement! I hope Kerry can find some activities that he really enjoys in retirement! Maybe the board gaming will work.

Wishing you a great rest of the week!

sep 27, 6:27 pm

>122 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene. I really hope the flare up goes away soon too - although they never go away soon enough for me :)

Yeah, I am trying to catch up with any number of prize winning books because I figure they must be the best of the best, although in some instances I really wonder what the respective committees were thinking, lol.

I hope you have a great rest of the week too!

sep 27, 6:47 pm

Finished tonight:

248 - Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis - Audiobook; This is a big book - and that is part of the problem that I had with it. Davis is extremely thorough in his research and his knowledge of the facts, but man, he could have used a good editor in the midsection of this book. Yes, there were expeditions to Everest prior to the ill-fated one that Mallory and Irvine undertook, but I do not think so many details were necessary to this book. I do applaud the sections that addressed what the men were doing in WWI - if anything (Sandy Irvine was too young to serve) - because it really helped establish the backgrounds from which these explorers sprang. I listened to almost the entire book with the exception of the last couple of chapters and I really thought the narrator, Enn Reitel, did an admirable job. I wanted to be able to rank this book higher, but even with the lengthy middle section, I still thought it was very good; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

sep 27, 10:01 pm

>123 alcottacre: Reading some of the comments on various LT threads, I also wonder what the judges must be thinking with some of the awards. Of course, with older awards, taste changes over time, so we may just have to give some of those a little grace. It will be interesting to see what I think as I start to get into all of it.

sep 28, 8:21 am

Not sure when you leave on your trip. I leave today. Enjoy yourselves!

sep 28, 12:59 pm

>125 atozgrl: I am wondering about some of today's awards, Irene, let alone those of the past, lol.

>126 Kristelh: I am leaving on October 14th and will not be back until late on the 29th. I hope you enjoy your travels as well, Kristel!!

sep 28, 1:12 pm

Finished this morning:

249 - . . .the real war will never get in the books by Louis P. Masur - Nonfiction; You all know that I am a big fan of the "I was there" type of books and that is largely what this book is. The subtitle is "Selections from Writers During the Civil War," and Masur chose writers who are well-known still even today (Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, et al) and others who were well-known at the time, but not so much today (John Esten Cooke, Charlotte Forten, William Gilmore Simms, etc). He chose writers from both sides of the conflict, Union and Confederate, and did not neglect either gender, so I felt like I got a good, well-rounded look at opinions on both sides and from both sexes. My biggest complaint about the book - other than I really wish it could have been longer, but I guess you have to stop somewhere - is the size of the print, which is tiny. And I do mean tiny, which made it difficult for me to read; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

sep 28, 3:06 pm

>127 alcottacre: Agreed. That's what I was referring to when I mentioned what I had read on other LT threads this year. Some of the books on long and short lists for this year's prizes don't sound like something I want to read, based on comments here by folks who have read them.

But I do hope to start catching up on at least some of the prize winners. This year I've been working more on my ROOTs, and I've still got more of those to go. But I do want to work on prize winners as well.

sep 28, 3:09 pm

>129 atozgrl: I have been working on reading off my shelves too - largely using the TIOLI challenges to do so - and replacing the books that I get rid of with prize winners, lol. I cannot tell you how many disappointing (at least to me) books I am finding on the longlists, especially.

sep 28, 3:13 pm

>124 alcottacre: Even the title is wordy.

sep 28, 3:14 pm

>131 The_Hibernator: Well, I included the subtitle too. . .

sep 28, 3:15 pm

>130 alcottacre: That is a sad state of affairs, to me. You'd sure like to be excited to read the books listed for the prizes. Maybe next year will be better?

I might look at getting into the TIOLI challenges in the future. This year I've been using the Nonfiction Challenge as well as the Reading Through Time group for the challenges to inspire my reading. I've got so much that fits both of those, and really have not had time to add anything from TIOLI. I'll have to check it out next year.

sep 28, 3:19 pm

>133 atozgrl: I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out books that fit into each of the TIOLI challenges, but a lot of people only try a few in any given month. TIOLI stands for "Take It Or Leave It" after all. You can take one challenge or take them all. They also allow me not to neglect my local library either as I use "shared reads" there to fit in library books or if there is a particularly challenging category for which I have no books, I will check out the library.

I also use the Nonfiction challenge and the American authors challenge as well, although next year I am considering moving over to the British author challenge since I seem to read a ton more American authors than any other author group.

sep 28, 10:11 pm

sep 29, 12:46 pm

How the heck do you sneak in entire hundred-plus post threads without my knowledge? I think you're a thread0-Romulan engaging your sneaking cloaking device.

sep 29, 1:07 pm

>136 richardderus: I think you're a thread0-Romulan engaging your sneaking cloaking device. You have found me out!

sep 29, 7:48 pm

Finished tonight:

250 - The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane - This was a recent recommendation from Beth (thanks!) and I am very glad that I got to this historical novel based in Australia, thanks to my local library. The year is 1883 and young Denny Wallace gets separated from his mother during a dust storm. When he does not show up back at home, the word gets out and soon a lot of the locals are out looking for the boy. The book really is not about the boy or even the search for the boy - the book is about the characters who are out searching and those that, for whatever reason, are holding down the home forts. These characters are not drawn as caricatures of themselves - they are fleshed out characters and I think that McFarlane does a remarkable job presenting even the most incidental of them; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

sep 29, 8:55 pm

>134 alcottacre: I do blow a little hot and cold with the TIOLI challenges. I love the concept and the brilliance of its organisation - Madeline is an international treasure.
There are some months when I will go all out to try and sweep all the challenges - some months when I know I won't be able to do so and I will be more selective and then some months still that I will get so wrapped up in my own personal challenges that I will try to not see what is in the challenge as it will distract me (in a good way too sometimes).

The Challenge is one of the absolute bedrocks of the 75ers and it would not be the same without it. It does help me choose what from my unwieldy TBR I will prioritise in a particular month.

Have a great weekend. xx

sep 29, 11:03 pm

>139 PaulCranswick: I completely agree about Madeline being an international treasure! The TIOLI challenges are a brilliant way to help us read together, give more thought to what we are reading, and encourage us to spread our reading wings a bit.

Are you about ready to start on October's reads? I sure am!

sep 29, 11:09 pm

Finished tonight:

251 - Little Thieves by Margaret Owen - Young Adult; I think Natalie is the first person who put this book on my radar (thanks!) and I am glad that she did as I really liked this retelling of The Goose Girl. Vanja basically steals the identity of her mistress, Gisele, and then proceeds to lie, cheat, and steal from everyone around her. After all, why should she care about them when no one has ever cared about her? However, all of that lying, cheating, and stealing does not help her in the end as she ends up cursed by the gods because of her greed. Vanja is definitely the character that makes this story - you must believe in her or the entire book falls apart. This is a very good young adult novel that I would recommend to any YA interested in fairy tale retellings or fantasy (of a sort); Recommended (4.25 stars) Mine

sep 29, 11:14 pm

>140 alcottacre: Indeed I am. I have them waiting on my reading table. Night of the Hunter and Study for Obedience will hopefully be a great start to October.

sep 30, 12:03 am

>142 PaulCranswick: Great! Just let me know when you get started and I will begin them as well.

sep 30, 12:24 am

I'll be off and running with Study for Obedience in about 12 hours time, Stasia with The Night of the Hunter hot on its heels.

sep 30, 4:39 am

>141 alcottacre: I had to check to see if I'd read that. I hadn't but last year did read Thorn, also a retelling of Goose Girl, which rated at 3.5, good but not an automatic recommendation.

sep 30, 10:31 am

>124 alcottacre: This was my non-fiction of the decade when I read it in the teens. I thought the WWI section was the best I've read for recreating the horror of trench warfare. Unlike you, I guess, I ate up his treatment of the geology and culture of the Himalayas. Anyway, it made me a Wade Davies fan forever, and I've read at least one other, maybe two.

I do hope that you have kicked CFS away this time. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!!!! (((((Stasia)))))

sep 30, 10:32 am

>144 PaulCranswick: Ok, thanks, Paul. Keep me posted as to how far you get so I can catch you up!

>145 quondame: I believe I already have Thorn in the BlackHole, but I will check.

sep 30, 10:34 am

Kerry is home for the weekend, but he is going out of town next Tuesday, so we have a lot to get done before he leaves. I leave on the 14th and will be gone clear until almost the end of October, coming home on the 29th, so weekends are going to be very busy around here - especially since it is college football season too :) I am not sure how much I will be online today at all and of course, Sundays are my normal "days off." I like to give myself a break from technology once a week!

sep 30, 10:54 am


sep 30, 11:52 am

>127 alcottacre: Stasia, do those dates include a side trip to Joplin on October 20?

I liked Through Black Spruce more than you did. I rated it 4.5* in 2015. I was also a big fan of The Orenda so I will second Paul’s recommendation.

I hope that your CFS has let up so you can enjoy this early Fall weekend with the more summerlike temperatures.

Redigerat: sep 30, 1:54 pm

Hi, Stasia. I noticed A Night in the Lonesome October on your potential agenda. What a fun one for this time of year. I may need to work in a re-read.

I’ amazed at how many reading challenges you take on! I’m such a mood (whim) reader that I don’t do that often.

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

sep 30, 8:29 pm

>149 richardderus: ((Hugs)) and **smooches** right back at you, RD!

>150 Donna828: You better believe I will be in Joplin, Donna. Catey is coming with me this year too. CFS has been better since yesterday, so it seems this was just a short attack - just long enough to mess up my last-week-of-September reading.

>151 jnwelch: Reba just read A Night in the Lonesome October and I think Roni recommended it about this same time last year, so I figured I should try and get it into my October reading, Joe.

As far as my reading challenges go, by using TIOLI I allow myself some flexibility. I normally allow myself more than one book per challenge so that if one will not do, maybe the other will.

I hope you are having a great weekend too!

sep 30, 8:35 pm

Finished tonight:

252 - Case Histories by Kate Atkinson - This is a re-read for me (I first read it about a dozen years ago) as I am going through some of my series books and deciding if I am going to keep hold of them or not. This is the first book in which we are introduced to investigator Jackson Brodie. The theme of the book seems to be missing children. Brodie is contacted by 2 sisters whose father has just died. The sisters want to see if Jackson can locate their sister Olivia who went missing as a child. The second case that Jackson works on is the case of Laura, who is murdered, and her father Theo wants her murderer found. The last case involves Tanya, whose mother murdered her father and whose aunt is now searching for her. All of these cases manages to entwine with Jackson being the center. That is the biggest problem with the book for me - too much happenstance. Still, I thought this was a good beginning to the series; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

okt 1, 1:14 am

>150 Donna828: Great to be in good company. There are few whose views and taste of reading material I find more reliable than Donna.

Just started Study for Obedience. Despite it being quite oppressive somehow, I reckon it will be a quick read.

Happy Sunday. xx

okt 1, 1:39 am

>139 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul. That’s so sweet!

okt 1, 2:42 am

>155 SqueakyChu: Yikes, Madeline, you weren't meant to see that! xx

okt 1, 8:46 am

Happy Sunday, Stasia. Wow! You are churning through some fine books. Case Histories definitely hooked me into the series. Atkinson was riding pretty high there for awhile but seems to have tailed off. I hope she rebounds.

okt 1, 12:42 pm

>156 PaulCranswick: I pointed it out to her, Paul. I think she deserves to know how high the esteem we hold for her is around these parts :)

>157 msf59: I have had some really good reads this year, Mark, which is good considering how terrible the rest of my life has been in 2023.

okt 1, 12:45 pm

Just a reminder that Sundays are my "day off" technology. I am hoping to finish at least one book today, so I am sure I will be back later :)

Redigerat: okt 1, 1:30 pm

Hi Stasia! I've found you again.

I'm gradually cleaning and polishing all my bookshelves and then I can start reshelving my books. It's probably safest to say I can get to Polgara next month, rather than this, if you'd like to read it to round off the Belgariad.

Redigerat: okt 1, 1:44 pm

>156 PaulCranswick: LOL! Stasia sent me over to her thread!

If truth be told, I created the TIOLI
challenges because that’s the way I like to read—just grab books at random and quit if I don’t like them without ever feeling guilty that I must/should complete such books.

What makes me not want to read a book is to have it on a list of books I have to read!

I used to be on tons of other LT challenges, but the only one I still do is the TIOLI challenges, not because I created it, but because of its randomness. I love that!

okt 1, 10:18 pm

>160 humouress: I am glad you said next month, Nina, as there is no way I could get to Polgara in this one. Yes, I would love to round off the Belgariad! Just let me know when you would like to start it in November.

>161 SqueakyChu: I love the diversity of the books I get to read with the TIOLI, although they are a little light in the nonfiction variety, which is why I have challenges of my own.

okt 1, 10:24 pm

Finished tonight:

253 - In the Garden of the Righteous by Richard Hurowitz - Nonfiction; Sometimes I just need to be reminded that there is good in people. Hurowitz's book takes a look at 10 people (and in some cases, groups of people) who were responsible for saving the lives of multiple Jewish individuals during WWII at great risk to their own lives. Hurowitz deliberately chose non-Jewish individuals for this book as he felt that Jewish rescuers deserved their own book. Some of the people in this book I had heard of (Varian Fry, for example), but the vast majority of them were unknown to me (Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, for example). Many of them lost their jobs because of the help that they provided to the Jews. All of the stories in the book are inspirational and well worth reading; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Library Book

okt 1, 10:38 pm

>162 alcottacre: I also love the TIOLI and its consistency is in its diversity of content. It is also proof positive that we have some ingenious so and sos in the group!

Stasia, I have finished Study for Obedience and must admit that it is the only one of the Booker longlist that I have finished and cannot say that I was enriched by having done so.

okt 1, 10:40 pm

>164 PaulCranswick: I was just posting on your thread about it, Paul. I am halfway through the book and asking myself how it made the Booker shortlist. *sigh*

okt 1, 10:51 pm

>165 alcottacre: I want to say form over content but even so some of the sentences are amazingly obtuse.

okt 1, 11:53 pm

>166 PaulCranswick: "Amazing obtuse" may even be an understatement, Paul.

okt 2, 10:40 am

Kerry and I have errands to run again today - not the least of which is closing down my father's estate account - so I will be out and about. I hope to be back later in the day!

Have a marvelous Monday everyone!

okt 2, 10:59 am

Monday *smooch*

okt 2, 11:00 am

>170 richardderus: Thanks, RD. I was just on my way over to your thread. . .

okt 2, 2:34 pm

>141 alcottacre: Yay, I'm so glad you liked Little Thieves, Stasia!

okt 2, 6:08 pm

>172 curioussquared: Yes, I did and I am hoping to get to Painted Devils before the year is out. Thanks, Natalie!

Redigerat: okt 2, 6:50 pm

Hi, Stasia. I will finish The Singapore Grip tomorrow. It has been a bit exhausting but it also such an impressive novel. I am then going to read This Other Eden, (a much shorter read). I plan on starting Skippy Dies over the weekend.

okt 2, 8:04 pm

>174 msf59: Thanks for the update, Mark. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying The Singapore Grip! I am going to get to This Other Eden one of these days.

okt 2, 8:05 pm

Another DNF for this year for me - and this one is on the Booker shortlist - Study for Obedience by Sarah Bernstein. Someone needs to explain to me what the Booker committee was thinking??!!

okt 2, 10:13 pm

Finished tonight:

254 - The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb - I have not seen the classic film of the same name, which was written by Grubb, James Agee, and Charles Laughton, and now after having read the book, I have no desire to do so - it would probably scare the pants off me. Grubb does such a fantastic job of building up the suspense in this novel, it is uncanny. For those who do not know the story, it is set in the Depression and Ben Harper commits a robbery, killing 2 men in the act. While he is in prison, his cellmate, "Preacher" Powell tries numerous means to get Ben to reveal what he did with the stolen money, to no avail. Ben Harper takes his secrets to the grave with him - he did not even reveal to his wife where he hid the money - but he did tell his children, nine-year-old John and four 1/2-year-old Pearl. Powell heads straight to Ben's old haunts, woos and marries his widow, and does all he can to get the family to reveal where the money is hidden. I must say that "Preacher" Powell is a scary character as written. I would certainly not want to meet him in real life!; Recommended (4.25 stars) Mine

okt 2, 10:34 pm

>177 alcottacre: Good review and pretty much my thoughts on it other than I do want to seek out the film. I understand from Amanda that Robert Mitchum is scary as Hell as Preacher Powell.

>176 alcottacre: I'm surprised she managed to get the book published never mind that it has been Booker shortlisted.

okt 2, 11:59 pm

>178 PaulCranswick: It does not surprise me at all that Robert Mitchum was good in the role of Preacher Powell. He was an excellent actor.

Yeah, I am just not getting how this book and the Escoffery book were on the Booker list at all! Pearl did not blow me away either.

okt 3, 2:09 am

I have the Escoffery book out from the library, but I'm going to skip it, unless it wins the Booker and then I might try it. Likewise with Study for Obediance .

Just so you know, as I posted on Paul's thread, I will not get Bee Sting until October 6 th, according to amazon com. Then it is Canada's Thanksgiving weekend. I think the maximum pages I can read in a day is 50. I also have another book I need to read for Oct 16, for a book club read. If you and Paul want to go ahead without me, please do. I know you are going away in the later part of October.

okt 3, 12:37 pm

>180 vancouverdeb: I may have to go ahead with Bee Sting without you, Deb, because I leave the 14th my Longview/Joplin trip as it is just too big to haul around.

I do not blame you for skipping those two books!!

okt 3, 12:39 pm

Well, I got Kerry off on his Longview/Nacogdoches trip this morning and am now waiting to hear if he made it safely. I am still meeting up with the girls today although it will be later than normal because Kerry, Catey, and my mother will be heading to Mother's bank to deposit the proceeds from Dad's estate and then going out to lunch. From Mother's house, he is heading to Nacogdoches to visit his daughter, Felisha, and our grandchildren McKenzie and Axel. Axel had his tonsils out last week and is not feeling up to snuff yet, but I bet a visit from his "Papaw" perks him right up!

okt 3, 7:00 pm

Finished tonight:

255 - Memory in Death - This entry into the In Death series delves deeper into Eve's past as she meets a woman who purports to be her "mother" originally, but in fact turns out to be an abusive foster mother of Eve's instead. She knocks Eve off her feet for a bit, but Eve rapidly recovers, just in time to find the woman dead. Eve has to set aside her ill feeling for the woman to try and find her killer. I very much enjoyed the interplay between Eve and Roarke in this book as they try and straddle the line without stepping over it; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

okt 4, 11:56 am

Still home alone as Kerry will not be home until Friday. I did not get as much reading done last night as I would have liked, so I am hoping to catch up a bit during the day today. I would like to finish 2 books today, so we will see how it goes.

okt 4, 12:08 pm

Hope you're making good progress with your reading plans, Stasia.

okt 4, 12:14 pm

>185 RebaRelishesReading: Not as much as I had hoped, but then I never make as much progress as I would like, lol. Thanks, Reba!

okt 4, 6:53 pm

Finished this evening:

256 - Plum Duff by Victoria Goddard - This is the last book in the Greenwing & Dart series at this point and I must say I will very much miss them. After the almost frantic antics of the past couple of books, I was expecting more of the same. What I got instead was almost sedate in comparison. It is the holiday season, after all. That is not to say that nothing of importance happens in this book. It certainly does and some more questions are answered along the way as well. Once I got used to the sense of calmness in the book, it was fine, although I must say that the beginning of the book seemed very slow. Still, I am looking forward to more of Greenwing & Dart if Goddard ever decides to write more for them; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

okt 4, 8:51 pm

>184 alcottacre: I agree with your thoughts, Stasia. I think the pace matched Jemis's reflections on everything that had happened before, but I was surprised by the change and it took me awhile to get in the rhythm of it. I very much enjoyed that series and the characters, though, and I very much hope she continues their story in some fashion. (My thoughts are posted on my thread now, too.)

okt 4, 9:20 pm

Happy Wednesday/Thursday, Stasia.

Nobel winner for literature will be announced later today (tomorrow for you) and at least I am confident that neither Bernstein nor Escoffery will win!

okt 4, 11:01 pm

>188 bell7: Oh, I am glad you were able to finish the book today too, Mary. Off to check on your final thoughts shortly!

>189 PaulCranswick: Yay!

okt 4, 11:06 pm

Finished tonight:

257 - Promise Boys by Nick Brooks - Young Adult; This was a recent recommendation from Amber and it is a good one. Ramon, J.B., and Trey all attend Urban Promise Prep School which specializes in teaching underprivileged youths, encouraging them to go on to pursue higher education. The only problem is that the principal is murdered and these three young men are all suspects. Not only do they have to work extra hard because of the color of their skin or their family situation or whatever, now they have to prove their innocence or be implicated in Principal Moore's murder; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

okt 5, 12:18 am

Another DNF for me and another book that is highly touted (it is on the shortlist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction), Liliana's Invincible Summer. I read 50+pages and just cannot go on.

I find the author's style highly irritating!: Page 150 - "The crockery. The coffee cups. The tall bookcases."

Page 23: "A hoarder of bad news. . .An apparition. Her hair."

Page 25: "Carbon monoxide. Ozone. Sulfur dioxide."

You get the picture. This happens every couple of pages and I can only handle so much.

okt 5, 7:32 am

Hi Stasia! Short catch up, long on good wishes.

>192 alcottacre: Sounds like this author is getting paid by the punctuation mark.

okt 5, 8:02 am

Sweet Thursday, Stasia. I have about 3 days of reading before starting Skippy Dies. This Other Eden has been excellent so far. It has been a stellar year for book releases.

okt 5, 10:20 am

>193 karenmarie: Hey, Karen! I just could not take it any more. Her abbreviated "sentences" happen about every 2 pages or so and the thought of 250+ pages just did me in.

>194 msf59: I am looking forward to Skippy Dies, Mark! I am starting Murphy's The Bee Sting today. I am also looking forward to reading This Other Eden. As far as being a stellar year? I am not so sure given my recent problems with DNFs and disappointments on the Booker longlist.

okt 5, 12:16 pm

Hiya, Stasia! Just stopping by to see what’s up with you. Almost time for your traveling, isn’t it? Have a great rest of the week!

Karen O

Redigerat: okt 5, 2:00 pm

Stasia, my copy of The Bee Sting arrived early , late yesterday instead of Friday as scheduled. I’ve read 83 pages , and hope to read another 50 pages today . I think 50 pages per day will be my maximum, but I’ll let you know each . Very readable, I think , so far .

okt 5, 2:01 pm

>196 klobrien2: Thanks for dropping by, Karen. Always lovely to see you on the Acre!

>197 vancouverdeb: Yay for The Bee Sting arriving early. I will be starting on it shortly. I am glad to hear that you are finding it readable, Deb.

okt 5, 2:29 pm

Well, it’s good so far! I think it will be an enjoyable read, but I’m only 83 pages in so far.

okt 5, 7:20 pm

Hi Stasia! *smooch*

okt 5, 10:00 pm

okt 6, 12:13 am

>198 alcottacre: The Bee Sting is quite good, so far, Stasia. I have made it page 150 this evening. I didn't even notice the lack of quotation marks until I picked it up today. I guess that doesn't bother me. I understand from other reviews that the book will be told from 4 points of view, Cass, PJ, Imelda and Dickie. The section(s) told from Imelda's point of view don't have periods as it supposed to represent her stream of consciousness. I've not read that far, but I think that won't bother me. Or maybe I won't even notice?

And you are reading Skippy Dies at the same time! Wow!

okt 6, 12:08 pm

>199 vancouverdeb: As I posted on Paul's thread (and will post on yours as well), I read a little over 70 pages yesterday and that is probably going to be my pace as I have a lot of books to read before I go out of town on the 14th.

>200 richardderus: **smooches** back at you, RD!

>201 SilverWolf28: Thank you, Silver, I will be there!

>202 vancouverdeb: You are going along like gangbusters, Deborah. I will be following in your wake. . .

I knew nothing about the book before, so I did not realize it was going to have multiple points-of-view (not that that is a problem for me).

I am starting Skippy Dies on Sunday with Mark.

okt 7, 12:33 am

Kerry made it home safely today! All is right in my world.

okt 7, 1:41 am

>202 vancouverdeb: I'm very happy for you that Kerry is home! I'd don't like if Dave has to be away either. No worries about the pace of the book. I'm reading away and am in the section narrated by Imelda. It's really fascinating. I'm really enjoying The Bee Sting. Yes, I know you are reading so many books at once! I'm only able to grasp one book at time.

okt 7, 8:13 am

>195 alcottacre: Maybe I am only seeing the positive books, Stasia. 😁

Is The Bee Sting off to a good start?

okt 7, 10:47 am

Glad that Kerry is home! That's mostly what I came to find out. Glad to see that your reading progresses, and I do so want to read more Jemis and Co. Just so you'll know, when I sit down with the Warburgs, I generally manage 4 pages or so. It is really good. I'm just really - old? I fall asleep. Y'all have a fine weekend!

okt 7, 1:09 pm

>205 vancouverdeb: Yeah, neither of us is happy when the other is gone and poor Kerry is going to have to deal with my being gone for slightly more than 2 weeks. I am glad to see that you are enjoying The Bee Sting so much! As far as reading multiple books at a time goes, I have been doing it for so long it is like second nature to me.

>206 msf59: Well, I will say that the good has outweighed the bad, Mark, but they are still there. Yes, The Bee Sting is off to a great start!

>207 LizzieD: Yes, he made it home safely early yesterday afternoon. I hope you get back to Jemis and Co. soon. That is such a fun series! As far as The Warburgs go, I will not be starting that until November. Depending on the size of the print, I may only get to 4 pages myself. I am glad to hear that it is "really good" though. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

okt 7, 8:58 pm

Finished tonight:

258 - Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho - I very much enjoyed this introduction into Cho's work. She takes fantasy, mixes it with a smidgen of adventure and romance, and makes it into her own thing as she takes on the topics of both racism and misogyny in this book. Set in an alternate universe England (think 1800 or so) in which magic is forbidden to women and people of color are looked down upon, we have a Sorcerer Royal who is a black man and a sorceress of incredible power both coming on the scene. Zacharias, the Sorcerer Royal, was adopted by the previous Sorcerer Royal and his wife, and is still fighting to overcome the prejudices of the other thaumaturges. Prunella accidentally discovers some familiars and must take pains to hide them and her magic until something can be arranged where she is taught magic; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

okt 7, 10:18 pm

>209 alcottacre:
I have had Zen Cho ever since I read the novella Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water. I haven't gotten to her other books - yet. I plan to do so as soon as my TBR pile shortens. (yeah! right. Like all my books I will get to it when I get to it because the TBR pile keeps growing)

okt 7, 10:46 pm

>209 alcottacre: >210 benitastrnad: The Sorcerer Royal weren't my favorites, but I can get very enthusiastic about other Zen Cho books. I'll have to get Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water.

okt 7, 11:26 pm

>210 benitastrnad: >211 quondame: Unfortunately my local library has exactly one of Zen Cho's books, the one I read, so I will have to look further afield.

I completely understand about the TBR pile growing, Benita. Why do you think mine is called the BlackHole? It is ever expanding!

okt 8, 10:38 am

Just a reminder that Sundays are my normal "day off" technology. I will be back at some point today, I am sure. I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday!

okt 8, 11:23 am

Sunday *smooch*

okt 8, 12:16 pm

Happy no-tech Sunday, Stasia!

okt 8, 4:25 pm

Hi Stasia my dear, a very belated Happy New Thread my dear friend.

okt 8, 9:03 pm

>214 richardderus: ((Hugs)) and **smooches**, RD!

>215 EBT1002: Thanks, Ellen. It has been a good day!

>216 johnsimpson: Thank you so much, John!

okt 8, 9:06 pm

Finished tonight:

259 - The Last Devil to Die by Richard Osman - The next entry into the Thursday Murder Club finds some sadness mixed in with the madcap doings of the group. It seems like someone has smuggled some heroin into the country and when it turns up missing things turn out murderous and one of the group's friends is killed. Of course, that only means that the group must find out who killed their friend and just for kicks, find the missing heroin as well. Along the way they get involved with drug dealers and art forgers. Just another day in the life; Highly recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

okt 8, 10:32 pm

>218 alcottacre: That is a series I must get started with, Stasia.

Have a lovely week.

okt 9, 11:08 am

>218 alcottacre: I'm a little more than halfway through The Last Devil,and loving it.

okt 9, 11:27 am

>219 PaulCranswick: I think you would enjoy the series, Paul, even though it is fairly lightweight compared to most of your reading :)

>220 laytonwoman3rd: I am glad you are loving it too, Linda! I hope you continue to do so.

Redigerat: okt 9, 11:28 am

OK, it has been a day already. I was fighting vertigo starting about 2:30 this morning until about 9:30 and am very behind on my day, so I will be back later at some point to visit. I have things that must be done before I am out of town for 2+ weeks. Sorry!

okt 9, 12:27 pm

Uh oh. I'm sorry too. I wish you didn't have that added pressure since you have quite enough to be going on with. I'm glad it's gone and may it be way far gone! !

Redigerat: okt 9, 5:43 pm

Well, I am nearly a third of the way through Skippy Dies. Like you, I wasn't even paying attention to the length. I thought it was 550. Turns out it is 650. Hope it keeps my attention. So far so good.

okt 9, 6:08 pm

>223 LizzieD: Yes, I am glad the vertigo is gone too, Peggy, but it sure threw an unexpected monkey wrench into my day!

>224 msf59: Yeah, I should never have signed up for the group read had I realized how long it was and how little time I would have between when the group read started and when I leave for Longview. I hope the book keeps your attention too, Mark!

okt 9, 7:31 pm

Sorry to read about the vertigo. I get that very occasionally and it's not nice at all! Glad the vertigo is gone. I'm one page 483 or so of The Bee Sting, I hope to get some reading done today. As yet none. I really loving it. I expect you have not been able to read much between Kerry's return and then the vertigo.

okt 9, 11:07 pm

>226 vancouverdeb: I am at page 383 and am done reading for the night. I cannot say that I love the book, but I am liking it quite a lot. Murray has done a great job of giving every character a unique voice!

I am still doing quite a bit of reading although I did not get as much reading in over the weekend as I normally do. I was not reading when the vertigo hit this morning anyway, lol.

okt 10, 8:07 am

Stasia, hope all clears up before you leave on your trip. I am back from my trip and had little time to read or be on-line. Trying to catch up on reading as well as other chores.

okt 10, 8:11 am

Sorry about the vertigo- I had a mild case after I had COVID.
I read Skippy Dies a few years ago and did like it.

okt 10, 12:32 pm

>228 Kristelh: The vertigo only lasts for part of a day, luckily, although how long it lasts varies. I am glad you made it back home safely, Kristel! Good luck with the catching up!

>229 torontoc: I have vertigo off-and-on for some reason. Not sure why. Thanks for the input on Skippy Dies, Cyrel.

okt 10, 1:56 pm

Finished this afternoon:

260 - I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams - Nonfiction; This book is on the National Book Award longlist for nonfiction and IMHO, deservedly so. The subtitle of the book, "A History of Terror and Survival in the War against Reconstruction" sums up what the book is about. Williams' premise is that Reconstruction did not fail, but that 'white southerners overthrew it, and the rest of the nation let them.' She details case after case of blacks who were persecuted by white night riders just for trying to vote, for being successful after slavery ended, or for no reason whatsoever. The families, many of whom were slaves, then had to pick up and build their lives again, having pretty much no recourse in the law. Indeed, at least one sheriff raped a female whose family was being persecuted. It was not just the parents who suffered either. One man talked about how his daughter, who was about 12 at the time, never recovered, and died about 6 months after the attack. As the parents were often killed or disabled so that they could no longer work, many of the skills that they possessed could not be handed down to their children. It was a sad situation for the persecuted all the way around although courts were set up to which they could testify about their persecution, although little was done in the outcome, if anything. This book is well worth the read especially since we see the echoes of Reconstruction continuing to haunt us today in the United States; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

"The white American majority's combined inability and refusal to see the atrocities made it hard for progressive lawmakers to take more purposeful steps preventing Reconstruction's overthrow."

okt 10, 9:45 pm

>230 alcottacre: Stasia, quite often the feeling of vertigo is caused by sudden spikes or dips in our blood pressure. Be careful dear lady.

okt 10, 10:42 pm

>230 alcottacre: Paul, almost every attack I have had of vertigo has happened during the middle of the night/early morning hours so I am not sure if my blood pressure would be the issue. I appreciate your concern!

okt 10, 11:09 pm

>233 alcottacre: Nothing worse than the room spinning round when you are trying to sleep and haven't had at least the benefit of a bottle or two of single malt to exacerbate the cerebral roller-coasting! Just take things as steady as you can. x

okt 11, 12:08 am

>233 alcottacre: Stasia, in my case, my vertigo is not caused by my blood pressure. I'm not sure of the cause, but it's not my blood pressure. I had it once for about 1.5 years - it gradually waned, and I saw a number of doctors , it was thought that it was some sort of inner ear infection. Now, it's just random, brief and quite rare. My mom has had vertigo as well, and her's is brief , hours to a day or two, and it is Meniere's Disease. My brother also had a problem and it was an unknown cause - he may have burst an ear drum while flying smaller planes in the earlier days of his career. But I guess check and be sure when you get a chance.

I finished off The Bee Sting tonight and I really loved it! The ending is ambiguous, but still, I'm pretty sure it's a 5 star read for me.

okt 11, 12:14 am

>231 alcottacre:
I often think that the dates for the American Civil War are wrong. They should be 1861 - 1875 and the history books should tell the truth - that the Confederate States won the war.

okt 11, 11:20 am

>234 PaulCranswick: No, no single malt here, Paul. I will try and take things steady.

>235 vancouverdeb: Yeah, my vertigo is random as well, Deborah. The longest it has lasted has been about 8 hours, so Monday's incident was close to that at 7 hours. I am thinking that I may finish The Bee Sting today. We will see how the day goes though.

>236 benitastrnad: I had not thought of that, Benita, but you have a good point!

okt 11, 1:43 pm

*smooch* for a non-vertiginous voyage through the Wednesday that's left.

okt 11, 2:56 pm

>238 richardderus: Thank you, RD!

Redigerat: okt 11, 7:56 pm

Finished this afternoon:

261 - The Bee Sting by Paul Murray - This is one of the books from the Booker Prize shortlist for this year and I think it is a worthy entrant although it still does not top Prophet Song for me. The Bee Sting started slowly for me and that is part of my reticence about the book - that and, as Deborah put it, the ambiguous ending. The book is the story of a family coming apart and told from the point-of-view from each family member so we see the disintegration before it takes hold and then as the wheels come completely off. Cass is about to leave for college and PJ is a tween struggling to get along with anyone in school as it seems as though his friends are abandoning him. Dickie, the father, has a business that is failing and his wife, Imelda, is trying to sell things off so as to maintain her status quo. Each of the characters' history is slowly revealed like peeling back the layers of an onion. Honestly at first I only cared about the kids - they were caught up in something for which they had no responsibility, but as the book continued on, I got wrapped up in the stories of the parents as well and started to care about them too; Highly Recommended (4.5 stars) Mine

"You keep having dreams in which they're (the children) disintegrating: pieces dropping from their faces, limbs falling off, while you run around frantically after them, trying to pick up noses, lips, arms, and stick them back on, like some nightmarish game. In others you watch helplessly as they are submerged in an invisible tide, eyes bulging, white with panic, not understanding that they're drowning."

okt 11, 3:20 pm

That is an excellent review, Stasia! I still have not created a review, but you have captured the book so well!

okt 11, 5:47 pm

Hooray for The Bee Sting. Looking forward to reading it.

okt 11, 7:56 pm

>241 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deborah!

>242 msf59: I hope you enjoy the book once you read it, Mark!

okt 11, 8:32 pm

>240 alcottacre: Well done, Stasia. I estimate I am three days behind you guys. We are moving office at work out of the building basement and into a separate building nearby (we need to convert the current office space into car parking for the tower) and this is also draining my time and energy.

okt 12, 11:16 am

>244 PaulCranswick: How dare work interfere with your reading, Paul! I hope when you get back to the book that you enjoy it as much as Deborah and I did.

okt 12, 3:14 pm

Finished this afternoon:

262 - A Time for Building by Gerald Sorin - The third entry into The Jewish People in America series discusses the years 1880-1920, a time where anti-Semitism really rears its ugly head. The Drefyus case in France and the pogroms in Russia take place during this time period and those are only a couple of the incidents that took place. One thing I appreciated about Sorin's book is that it did not just look at the immigration into New York City, but the immigration of the Jews across the United States. I also especially liked the section that discussed the Jews and how instrumental they were in the labor unions. Of course, there was discord among the different groups of Jews - eastern European vs German, conservative vs progressive, etc and Sorin discusses this as well. I thought this was a good all around look at this particular time period, including the first looks at Zionism; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

"Inspired by America's commitment to democracy and pluralism, Jews, albeit through a variety of redefinitions of their original culture, retained their Jewishness. This was a response to individual and communal needs and led to an enrichment of American society, in which Jews found not only a refuge but, increasingly, a home."

okt 12, 10:21 pm

okt 13, 11:08 am

Hi Stasia!

>218 alcottacre: I have this newest one, but just loaned it out to a friend of mine, who was dying to get her hands on it.

>225 alcottacre: Vertigo is scary, glad it’s gone now.

>233 alcottacre: I have low blood pressure but am on blood pressure and other meds since my heart attack almost 2 years ago. I take one med that is used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and left ventricular dysfunction in people who are otherwise stable. Since I don’t have high blood pressure, I have to make sure I eat when I take it, otherwise my blood pressure could drop too low.

okt 13, 12:06 pm

I'm always impressed at people who read a chunk of a shortlist before the award comes out. I am lucky to do one.

Redigerat: okt 13, 12:10 pm

>247 SilverWolf28: Unfortunately I am going to be missing the next several, Silver, due to being out of town.

>248 karenmarie: I hope you enjoy Osman's book whenever you get it back, Karen!

Yeah, I am glad that the vertigo is gone too. I do not need that nonsense.

>249 The_Hibernator: This is an unusual year for me, Nina. I normally do not pay all that much attention to the Booker list, lol.

okt 13, 12:11 pm

So, today is going to be all about wrapping up a couple of books before I head out of town and then getting ready for said trip! Not sure if I will be around much at all.

While I am gone, I am going to TRY and check in daily, but my mother's Internet is notoriously horrible, so I cannot even guarantee that.

okt 13, 1:35 pm

Finished this afternoon:

263 - Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall - Nonfiction; Do not go into this book thinking that it is going to be an indepth investigation into the death of the Princes in the Tower. It is not that (which is honestly what I thought it was!), but it is a very good biography of Richard the Third and really puts paid to the reputation that was in large part besmirched by Shakespeare (no withered arm here!) Yes, the book is dated, but for the time it was written (1956), Kendall did a great job with the research to which he had access. Yes, there has been more research into Richard since then, but this book is still highly readable and a wonderful starting point to those interested. Kendall does speak at length in a 30 page appendix (the first of two appendices) about the Princes in the Tower. He does not believe that Richard caused their deaths - he holds the Duke of Buckingham responsible. The second appendix discusses Richard's reputation and how it is considered in the historical record; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

okt 13, 7:17 pm

>253 quondame: Thanks for letting me know, Susan!

okt 13, 7:32 pm

Finished tonight:

264 - A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam - I believe that Bonnie is the person that I can thank for this read, a darn good one despite there not being a lot of plot to speak of (I am reminded of Proust in that regard - lengthy lovely prose passages). We meet Krishan, a young man who learns that his grandmother's aide, Rani, has died - and thus begins a young man's ruminations on death. He also gets an email from his long lost girlfriend, so while he is musing on death, he is also contemplating this 'dead' relationship as well. Along the way, we also learn some Sri Lankan history (about which I know nothing at all). The book was shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize and I can understand why; Recommended (4 stars) Mine

"They scarcely seemed to advance as they walked through this vastness, making no discernible progress against the palmyra trees that stood solemnly in the distance, their tall figures turning into silhouettes as the sun began tracing the visible portion of its descent, as the afternoon moved toward its climax and the golden-yellow light began enfolding the land around them, as Rani began making her last, silent journey into the distance beyond."

okt 14, 11:12 am

My final check in before I head out shortly. You all take care of each other!

okt 14, 11:52 am

okt 14, 2:28 pm

>252 alcottacre: Kendall’s book about RIII sounds right up my alley!

Safe travels, Stasia!

okt 14, 2:49 pm

>257 humouress: Fascinating. I knew about the discovery but hadn’t read much about it before. Now I want to watch the documentaries about it.

okt 14, 4:43 pm

Safe travels. Hurry back. Have a great time.

okt 14, 9:53 pm

Safe travels and enjoy yourself, Stasia!

okt 15, 7:36 am

Have an excellent time, Stasia. *smooch*

okt 17, 5:04 pm

Some good reading going on Stasia. Glad Kerry is back. Grrr re the vertigo, I've had it from time to time. Low iron for me.

I should get the new Osman. I understand it is the last for a while, and a new series will start next year.

Happy holidays.

okt 18, 10:34 pm

I am alive and kicking still. I have been very busy here with my mother and her terrible Internet does not help much as far as getting online. Catey and I are leaving tomorrow for the Joplin meetup on Friday.

Thank you everyone for the good wishes!

okt 19, 8:29 am

Thinking of you on your travels, and hope you and Catey have a fantastic time at the Joplin meetup!

okt 19, 9:40 am

>264 alcottacre: Have a wonderful time in Joplin, Stasia!

okt 19, 10:32 am

Enjoy Joplin, Stasia.

Just to let you know that this laggard has finally finished The Bee Sting. Very good but not as exceptional as Lynch, Barry or Tan for me.

okt 19, 1:55 pm

I've finally caught up with you and you're gone for a bit .... I hope you're having a wonderful time!

I'm glad you enjoyed The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi. I thought it was fun - I enjoy reading things that are outside my 'normal' reading. The occasional fantasy does my heart good!

I'm so far behind with everything bookish - visiting my friends' threads, writing reviews etc. This month even my reading is lagging behind as I push to get fall chores completed.

okt 19, 10:28 pm

okt 20, 1:11 am

>268 streamsong: Janet, I am experiencing the same regarding my reading for the past few months. Part of the reason is health, and then plain lethargy which leads to not reading. I'm hoping November and December will be good months.

Stasia, my dear, so good to chat with you recently.

okt 20, 4:08 pm

We had a great time at the meet up today! I posted my haul on both the "This Just In" thread and the Joplin meet up thread.

Catey bought more books than I did! I will see if I can get her to post her haul as well.

I am taking advantage of the Internet here at the hotel to catch up on emails and such. To say that the Internet at my mother's is awful is an understatement.

okt 21, 1:15 am

Jealousy reigns here, Juana, with meet-ups and hauls!

Enjoy the rest of your travels and get home safely dear lady.

okt 21, 7:51 am

Happy Saturday, Stasia. I can't wait to hear more about the Meet Up and maybe some pics? 😁

okt 21, 10:01 am

And I can't wait to have you safely home and back in touch regularly!

okt 21, 10:27 am

Hi Stasia.

Just a quick note, with nothing more to say than I hope you're feeling well and that your visit is a good one.

okt 21, 12:07 pm

I am so regretting that I couldn't make it. However, duty calls. My mother is not doing well and I am unsure about how long to stay here. I had planned to hit Joplin on my return trip but I am not leaving until Tuesday. The upside is that I got the financials straightened out at the nursing home - for the time being.

okt 21, 9:55 pm

Catey and I arrived back at Mother's a couple of hours ago. After the whirlwind trip, we are both tired!

okt 22, 12:04 am

I'm glad your Joplin meet up went well, Stasia! I hope you can get some rest at your mom's.

okt 22, 8:36 am

Glad the trip went well, you found books to buy, and now we'll have to wait for your to find your way through the murky internet to hear more.

okt 22, 9:16 am

Rest well, Stasia. Glad your travels were fun! *smooch*

okt 22, 3:41 pm

Glad you and Catey made it back to Texas safely, Stasia. You had a much longer drive than I did. Thanks for making the meetup fairly convenient for me. ;-) So good to get together with some of my favorite people.

okt 22, 8:22 pm

Glad you are back in Texas but sad that I didn't make it to Joplin. Next year I will.

okt 23, 2:32 pm

Thank you all! Yes, we made it home safely - despite discovering when we arrived home that one of the tires has a split in the side wall :(

okt 23, 11:07 pm

Stasia, I'm glad you were able to attend the Joplin meet up! Drat that a tire had a split in the side wall, but happy that it didn't cause difficulty for your drive on the way home.

okt 23, 11:31 pm

YAY!!!! Rest well!

okt 26, 10:29 pm

okt 26, 10:37 pm

A few days of recuperation, Juana?
Hope all is well. xx

okt 27, 5:41 am

>283 alcottacre: Glad you made it home safely despite a bad tire. Glad you were able to find some books as well.

Happy (almost) weekend.

okt 29, 6:43 pm

I have finally made it home after 2+ weeks at my mother's and Joplin! I am so happy to be home.

Thank you all for keeping my thread warm while I have been gone!
Den här diskussionen fortsatte här: Alcott Acre's Home, Room 10