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Book a Week 2017 - BW29: First Hugo Award - Alfred Bester for Demolished Man


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#1 Robin M

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:56 AM

Happy Sunday and welcome to week 29 in our 2017 adventurous prime reading year. Greetings to all our readers and those following our progress. Mister Linky is available weekly on 52 Books in 52 Weeks  to share a link to your book reviews.

 

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The very first Hugo Award for excellence in fantasy and science fiction was awarded to Alfred Bester for The Demolished Man.   

 

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"Back cover:  "In 2301 A.D., guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen.  In 2301 A.D., homicide is virtually impossible--but one man is about to change that.   In this classic science fiction novel, the first to win the prestigious Hugo award, a psychopathic business magnate devises the ultimate scheme to eliminate the competition and destroy the order of his society.  Hurtling from the orgies of a future aristocracy to a deep space game preserve, and across the densely realized subcultures of psychic doctors, grifters, and police, The Demolished Man is a masterpiece of high-tech suspense, set in a world in which everything has changed except for the ancient instinct for murder."

 

 

The people in Bester's futuristic world are peepers and can read each other's minds.   There are three different classes of Espers - the most common class three types hear what others are thinking at the moment, Class two peepers read a bit deeper and hear inner thoughts.     Class one go even deeper and pick up on peoples most inner urges before they even think about them and are therefore all involved in law enforcement and the government.   Bester illustrates how high evolved peepers think and converse telepathically with and at each other and it looks something like this:

 

 

 

Bester%2Bdemolished%2Bman%2Bconversation

 

 

Which makes for some rather interesting reading until the characters start to think in cohesive patterns.  So what happens when Reich decides to break the law and is determined to find a way to disguise his thoughts.   He goes to a songwriter who teaches him a song that he won't be able to get out of his head for a month.  

 

 

"A tune of utter monotony filled the room with agonizing, unforgettable banality.  It was the quintessence of every melodic cliche' Reich had ever heard.  No matter what melody you tried to remember, it invariably led down the path of familiarity to "Tensor, Said the Tensor."  Then Duffy began to sing.

 

 

Eight, sir; seven, sir;

Six, sir; five, sir;

Four, sir; three sir;

two sir; one!

Tenser, said the Tensor

Tenser, said the Tensor 

Tension, apprehension 

and dissension have begun. 

 

"Oh my God!"  Reich exclaimed.

 

"I've got some real gone tricks in that tune," Duffy said, still playing.  "Notice the beat after 'one? That's a semi-cadence. Then you get another beat after 'begun.' That turns the end of the song into a semi-cadence, too, so you can't ever end it.  The beat keeps you running in circles, like:  Tension, apprehension, and dissention have begun.  RIFF. Tension, apprehension, and dissension has begun. Riff..."

 

 

What would be more annoying? All the people talking or getting that song stuck in your head? *grin*     The Demolished Man is a fun and enjoyable read and has definitely withstood the test of time. Alfred Bester also wrote "Tiger, Tiger" which was released in the U.S. as "The Stars My Destination", plus many other short stories. He wrote the non fiction book "The Life and Death of a Satellite" in 1966. 

 

 

Be sure to check out Bester's books as well as the rest of the Hugo Award winners.

 

*******************************************************************************

 

War and Peace:   Volume two – Part one

Chat about what stood out for you, thoughts on characters and motives as well as favorite quotes.

 

**************************** 

 

Story of Western Science:  Chapter 24 with five  more chapters to go!

 

**************************

 

 

What are you reading this week?

 

 

Link to week 29

 


Edited by Robin M, 16 July 2017 - 11:57 AM.

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#2 Robin M

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:11 PM

I'm currently reading #5 in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire - One Salt Sea.  Still working my way through Fire Up Your Writing Brain in which they make the case that reading classics and literary novels are quite beneficial and will help ward off the problems of focus and retention caused by too much digital reading. Plus 

 

"Fifteen to twenty minutes of expressive writing, three to five times a week has been shown to have positive health benefits, including long term improvements in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms.  Those who experienced stressful or traumatic events and wrote about it had fewer illnesses, lower blood pressure, and spent less time in the hospital....writing in a journal and blogging result in the release of dopamine to create positive effects similar to the effect running or listening to music produces.  Moral: Write a blog and give your brain a rush."
 
Who knew writing daily could be good for your blood pressure.  Guess what. Yep, mine has been down and more consistently too as well.   How about that!
 
 

 


Edited by Robin M, 17 July 2017 - 09:20 PM.

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#3 Robin M

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:29 PM

This is cool - Audible's Nordic Expedition with the canons of Nordic literature.  Adding a few books to my want list.


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#4 Kareni

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:03 PM

A one day only currently free autobiography for Kindle readers ~

 

Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie by Andrew Carnegie

 

About the Author

Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist, railroad man, and steel magnate whose charitable giving and life philosophies (“The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced”) made him one of the most captivating figures in American history. After selling his Pittsburgh-based steel company to J. P. Morgan, Carnegie spent the remaining years of his life giving away roughly $350 million (the equivalent of almost $5 trillion today) to universities and charities around the world. A self-proclaimed positivist, his influence and beneficence are reflected in the names of institutions such as Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

 

 

"A critically acclaimed autobiography by one of America’s greatest philanthropists

Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie worked his way up from bobbin boy to telegraph operator to railroad man, learning key lessons along the way that would eventually lead to his unparalleled success in the steel business. Documenting a world of tariffs, insider deals, and Wall Street sharks, The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie opens a window into the great industrialist’s decision-making process. His insights on education, business, and the necessity of giving back for the common good set an inspirational example for aspiring executives and provide a fitting testament to the power of the American dream."

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#5 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:06 PM

Reading in 20 minute chunks today, as poor dd is doing a breath-test for SIBO and has to breathe into a bag every 20 minutes, fasting. After eating nothing but eggs and white rice yesterday.  Poor sweetie. The good news for her is that she gets to eat gluten for awhile, while we get ready to do more extensive allergy/celiac testing. She's eyeing a chocolate croissant . . . 

 

So: I'm currently reading Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions to Adulthood.  I haven't gotten very far, but so far my reaction is, "duh." Not really anything new yet, but it may come. Also Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram; River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey; Cane River; Children of Dune, and listening to Freedom at Midnight, about Indian independence & partition.

 

Recently finished:

The Driscoll theory, about POTS/EDS - very interesting and informative read

The Judas Rose - sequel to Native Tongue. Also very interesting, although thin on actual plot

Dune Messiah - a re-read. I appreciate these books more now than I did earlier in life, not sure because it's a 3rd time re-read, or because I'm older/wiser(?)

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - enjoyable, light. Just how I like my Astrophysics

An Everlasting Meal - finally read the whole thing!! Loved it. This will be an annual re-read, at least, or whenever I'm feeling uninspired about cooking

Lady Windermere's Fan - Oscar Wilde - lots of great one-liners & aphorisms, but not a very compelling plot, his later plays are much funnier and more engaging.

 

Finished a couple more Bingos:

2.Astronomy – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson (oops)

Dorothy Dunnett Send a Fax to the Kasbah

Cheesy –Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It – Larry Olmsted

Book you remember reading in high school – Dragonflight- Anne McCaffrey

Royalty – King John – William Shakespeare

 

20.Written by an author who uses a pen name – Epitaph for Three Women – Jean Plaidy

Ancient (BC) up to 100 AD- Cleopatra & Antony: Power, Love & Politics in the Ancient World – Diana Preston
Free Space –Henry V, William Shakespeare
Eastern Europe-Spaceman of Bohemia – Jaroslav Kalfar

One-word title- One – David Karp

 


Edited by Chrysalis Academy, 16 July 2017 - 03:51 PM.

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#6 Stacia

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:30 PM

Not sure which book I will start next... probably Ready Player One. (Ds loved it & has been hounding me to read it. It finally came in for me at the library.)

 

On a side note, movie talk for a minute. Ds & I went to see Baby Driver on Friday. I knew nothing about it ahead of time other than ds said he had heard good reviews & it had Kevin Spacey in it. We loved it. I looked it up afterward & read some different info on it. (It's got something like an 8.+ rating on imdb & ratings in the 90th% on rottentomatoes.) If you like movies with car chases & great stunt driving, this is one to see. Fyi, it does have an R-rating.

 

From rottentomatoes:

Critics Consensus: Stylish, exciting, and fueled by a killer soundtrack, Baby Driver hits the road and it's gone -- proving fast-paced action movies can be smartly written without sacrificing thrills.

 

I went again to see Baby Driver last night with a friend of mine who edits video for a living (for television). I knew she would love the editing as it was very tightly filmed & edited to match the music. Many times the actors are moving in time to the music (walking, lifting things, etc...). Good action movie that was lots of fun to see in a packed theater. (Friend & I had to sit in the 3rd row.)

 

And, for me, it's extra fun as it is set in Atlanta (home) & is recognizably Atlanta. Not just in scenery, but also the smaller things (sayings, music scene, cars, cars, & more cars -- along with psychotic driving, lol). It *feels* like Atlanta. (No, we're not all thugs & criminals, though, even though many of the characters are. ;) )

 

Ds told me they've released the first 6 minutes of the movie (opening scene). Takes place during the length of one song. Watch for the timing with the music. Great stunt driving. If you like this 6-minute clip, you will like the movie.

 


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#7 Negin

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:55 PM

Reading in 20 minute chunks today, as poor dd is doing a breath-test for SIBO and has to breath into a bag every 20 minutes, fasting. After eating nothing but eggs and white rice yesterday.  Poor sweetie. The good news for her is that she gets to eat gluten for awhile, while we get ready to do more extensive allergy/celiac testing. She's eyeing a chocolate croissant . . . 

:grouphug:

 

I read: Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington – 3 Stars - This was interesting at first, quite gripping actually, but as the book progressed it became a rather tedious read. I think that I would have appreciated it more had read this when it was published a few years ago, when it was current and fresh. I wish that I had read it then. 

 

and From Julia Child's Kitchen - 3 Stars - This cookbook is a delightful read, but I can’t really recommend it, since I don’t care for the layout as far as cookbooks go. I like recipes to be easy to read – line-by-line, short, and user-friendly, as opposed to long paragraphs. I got my copy used and I didn’t pay much for it, so I’m happy that I have it and I know that I’ll refer to it from time to time. I love Julia Child and all her stories, but I can’t imagine that I’ll use it much as a cookbook.

 

My favorite quote:

“I like to cook for 2, or for 4 or 6 at the most 8 people. Beyond that you get into quantity cooking and that is just not my field at all. The last time we had 12 for a sit-down dinner and I did all the cooking, and Paul and I did all the setting up, serving, and washing up afterwards, I said never again. I’ll do a buffet, but I don’t consider that civilized dining; it is feeding, and I like to sit down at a well-set table.”

 

and Because They Hate – 5 Stars - This was a fascinating and compelling read from an insider on the militant Islamic takeover of Lebanon by someone who was there. The author, a Lebanese Christian, is a survivor of terrorism and she warns the rest of the western world, telling it like it is. One starts to realize how terrorists take over a country one bit at a time and very gradually. I try to not push books very often, but to me this is a must-read.I highlighted so many quotes that I loved, that at times I felt as if I was highlighting most of the book. My quotes are included in my review on Good Reads and below it as well

 

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Finally, thought to share this photo that my daughter took in Shakespeare and Company while we were in Paris. This bookstore was magical. I thought of all of you and wish that we'd been there together. 

 

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MY RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars

Fantastic, couldn't put it down

4 Stars

Really Good

3 Stars

Enjoyable

2 Stars

Just Okay – nothing to write home about

1 Star

Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.


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#8 JennW in SoCal

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:14 PM

We saw Baby Driver the other night and loved it, too. Besides being a very fun and stylish movie it hit the sweet spot for the visual artist in the family (dh) as well as the musician (me)!

 

Ready Player One is a very fun read, Stacia. A good, mindless page turner. 

 

And Rose, I hope you find answers for your dd. I'm never a happy camper when I have to fast for any medical test -- it is cruel and unusual punishment. Your dd has fully earned that chocolate croissant!

 

This week I finished The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes. Highly recommended. Beautiful, sparse but rich writing about the stark realities of surviving Totalitarianism, specifically being a renowned artist under Stalin. In a passage about art approved and disapproved by Stalin, from music to poetry to theater which "tyrants hated and feared", he starts talking about Shakespearean tragedies. 

 

"Hamlet was banned for a long time; Stalin loathed the play almost as much as he loathed Macbeth.

 

And yet, for all this, for all that he was unparalleled in depicting tyrants knee-deep in blood, Shakespeare was a little naive. Because his monsters had doubts, bad dreams, pangs of conscience, guilt. They saw the spirits of those they had killed rising in front of them. But in real life, under real terror what guilty conscience? What bad dreams? That was all sentimentality, false optimism, a hope that the world would be as we wanted it to be, rather than as it was. Those who chopped the wood and made the chips fly, those who smoked Belomory behind their desk at the Big House, those who signed the orders and made the telephone calls, closing a dossier and with it a life: how few of them had bad dreams, or ever saw the spirits of the dead rising to reproach them."

 

 


Edited by JennW in SoCal, 16 July 2017 - 02:20 PM.

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#9 Onceuponatime

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:29 PM

I'm almost through Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Rose, I think you have the wrong author). I chuckled a lot through this book and had to read chunks out loud to my kids.

I've started The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova and am not sure where it is going but it is suitably mysterious.
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#10 Lady Florida.

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:36 PM

I started to write that I finished The Bridge of San Luis Rey last night until I realized I actually finished it this morning thanks to my mom-fear going awry. Ds works at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and last night he was scheduled to work a special event* until midnight. Also, dh was working midnight to 8 am (his usual Saturday-night-technically-Sunday shift), so I was alone from 11pm on. I woke up around 2am to go potty and something made me think ds wasn't home yet. I checked his room, and looked out the window for the car and my suspicion was confirmed. I texted him and called him and got no response. Now, I know that at the Saturn V Center the cell phone reception is bad so I kept telling myself that they probably had a lot of cleaning up and closing up work to do. An hour went by. Then a half hour. Finally at 3:30 he called (because he saw all my texts and knew I'd still be up worrying) and said his phone died in his pocket, they were one person short. and had finally just finished. My rational brain had been telling me for the past hour and a half that it was something along those lines, but the road from KSC to civilization (the space center is actually in the middle of a wildlife refuge) is long and dark and sparsely traveled except for KSC police occasionally patrolling it. So, my mom-brain had him overturned in a ditch with no one to drive by and find him. Sigh.

 

*This was the event he worked. I asked him if he could see anything and he said there was a curtain between the catering area where he was and where the event took place (I've been to events there - it's just a long open area like in a mall). He heard a lot of cheering but couldn't distinguish who was speaking and when.

 

So anyway, after he got home I needed to come down from my fear-induced adrenaline rush, so I read. I didn't know I was close to the end of the book and was surprised when I finished it. There's a rather long afterward that made it appear I had quite a bit left to read.

 

 

 

This is cool - Audible's Nordic Expedition with the canons of Nordic literature.  Adding a few books to my want list.

 

Thank you for the link. It doesn't show up for me when I go to the Audible main page so I don't know if I would have found it on my own. I've had Kristin Lavransdattar on my TR list for a while. Something weird was going on at Audible and I couldn't listen to the sample. It worked for other books, just not this one. I was unable to find a sample anywhere so I took a chance and used one of my credits for it.

 

Rose, hugs to you and your dd.  :grouphug:


Edited by Lady Florida., 16 July 2017 - 02:43 PM.

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#11 Lady Florida.

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:39 PM

Currently reading:

 

The Histories (Herodotus) - audio book. The narrator is really good. I could almost think Herodotus himself is telling me the stories. Well, if Herodotus was British and spoke in modern English that is.  :lol:

 

War and Peace - I'm near the beginning of Volume II, back in Moscow and just after the Battle of Austerlitz

Persuasion - a reread

 

Still reading sporadically my two long term reads -

The Basque History of the World

Floodpath


Edited by Lady Florida., 16 July 2017 - 02:40 PM.

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#12 loesje22000

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:47 PM

I finished last week:

The White Queen / Philippa Gregory
I expected to love it, so I got a little disappointed when it did not happen...

I loved Jane and Prudence though,
So I put another Pym on my Ipad for my journey back.

I read Hidden Figures today.
I prefer the movie I think, although I liked to book too.

I left W&P at home, but was already one part ahead, so I'll just have to pick up one other part when back home.

Someone mentioned 'the ladys choir of Chilbury' on Goodreads, and that I am reading in between.
I'm halfway the mayor of Casterbridge, too

@Mumoftwo:
We walked to Welmer's castle this afternoon, a lovely walk indeed!
It is just the part of path where we stay that had no pavement.
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#13 Stacia

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:03 PM

:grouphug: :grouphug:  for your dd, Rose.


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#14 Kareni

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:11 PM

... dd is ... eyeing a chocolate croissant . . .

 

I hope she'll enjoy her treat.  Wishing her well. 

 

Sending good thoughts to all who need them.

**

 

Some recent reads here ~

 

I enjoyed this contemporary romance: Until It Fades: A Novel  by K.A. Tucker

 
“Touching and complex…Tucker unerringly hits all the high notes of romance—the spark, the emotional depth, the mental and physical struggles—while creating a couple who seem perfectly attuned even when they are in conflict.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season).

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine...before the spark fades?
 
**
 
I read the following currently free fantasy because one of the Amazon reviewers compared it to Anne Bishop's The Others series.  Besides having shape shifters and vampires, I didn't see the resemblance!  Still, I enjoyed the book and would read on.  Be aware that it ends on a cliffhanger.
 
 

"Beyond the limits of mankind’s understanding there exists a City, created as a sanctuary for the survivors of a brutal and bloody war. Within the city of Summerfeld the last mythical creatures live out their days in peace, fiercely protected by twelve immortals: brave defenders known as the Guardians.

Now, a Guardian is dead. For the first time in one thousand years, no replacement has come forward. Following the murder of her twin sister, Quinn Harden abandons the Guardianship in order to take care of her sister’s children in the modern realm of man. Shortly after their second birthday, the children are taken, against her will, in an attempt by the Guardians to bring her back into the fold. Quinn will stop at nothing to find her niece and nephew, but as she is drawn deeper into the world of Summerfeld, she finds herself torn between her loyalty to her family and the wards she has sworn to protect.

As their enemies close in the Guardians must unite or Summerfeld will fall."

**

 

I also enjoyed the contemporary romance Summer Stock by Vanessa North.  (Adult content)

 

"Tabloid scandals have driven TV star Ryan Hertzog to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where he’s hiding out doing summer stock at his cousin’s seaside theater. When a hookup with local handyman Trey Donovan results in Ryan being photographed butt naked, he vows to keep his pants on and his hands off Trey. How was he supposed to know Trey would turn out to be the summer stock set builder?

Trey isn’t looking for a relationship; he’s still recovering from the emotional fallout of an abusive marriage. But Ryan’s laughter draws him in again and again, and he’s not about to say no to fooling around.

As the summer heats up, the paparazzi catch Ryan in increasingly compromising situations. Ryan might be too much drama for a summer fling — and Trey might be just an intermission from Ryan’s Hollywood life. But if they take their cues from Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well."

**

 

And I enjoyed the contemporary novella Saving Silas by SJ Himes.  I've read a couple of shape shifter novels by this author, so it was interesting to read one of her pieces without a paranormal element.  (Adult content)

 

"Haunted by his years at war, Boston paramedic Gael Dominic spends his time saving other people’s lives. An empty house, a single friend, and living at work, Gael is not content with his existence, but he’s close. Gael was expecting his overnight shift on Thanksgiving to be the same as always—manic crowds, heart attacks...until catastrophe strikes, and Boston’s streets run with blood.

On the run from an abusive and politically powerful father, Silas has been on the cold, mean streets of Boston for days, injured, hungry and alone. When he wakes up in the middle of a nightmare, he expects to die in the same alley he was calling home.

Brought together by tragedy, Silas and Gael can’t resist their attraction. Gael may have saved Silas, but it’s his alleyway angel who brings Gael back to life.

As Christmas approaches, Silas and Gael learn how to love, despite their pasts. And as Silas' past closes in, Gael learns the greatest gift he could ever give isn't something bought in a store, but freely given from the heart."

 

Regards,

Kareni


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#15 Matryoshka

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:15 PM

Finished two books last week, and another today, so I'll include it since I haven't posted yet. :)

 

72. Radium Girls (ebook) - About the women who painted the radium-dial watches in the early-mid 20th century and were encouraged by the companies to lick the radioactive brushes to make a sharper point and save paint at the expense of their lives.  4 stars.

 

73. The Round House (audiobook) - A horrible crime on a Native American reservation in the '80's, and what a 13-yo boy does about it.  I had no idea what to expect from this book, but I really liked it and think I'd like to read more by Erdich.  4 stars.

 

74. Menschen im Hotel / Grand Hotel - Also really liked this one, but found it a slow read for some reason.  Some really nice descriptions, and one thing that was nice about reading a book in German actually written in German (unlike the Icelandic books I've been reading more of lately) was some of the dialog being written the way characters spoke.  Thanks to whoever recommended it (I forget now, but I know it was someone here :) )  3.5 stars

 

 

Currently/Still reading:

 

- Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman (audiobook) - Almost 2/3 done and quite enjoying it.  I don't think I need to read more books in this series, but this is a welcome different flavor to other things I've been reading lately.  The audio is great.  (Rose, I realized later it was your review on Goodreads that pointed me to the audio :) )

 

- War and Peace - of course. ;)  I didn't read a single page of this this week, but I was all caught up already, so I'll start Book Two now! 

 

 

Coming up:

 

- Good Women of China by Xinran - this will finish up my A-Z challenge for authors. 

 

- The Sympathizer (ebook) - already on my Overdrive account, need to get started!

 

Not sure about my next audiobook; probably Essex Serpent.  

 

 


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#16 Matryoshka

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:29 PM

Recently finished:

The Driscoll theory, about POTS/EDS - very interesting and informative read

 

Would you mind elaborating on this at all?  I am very intrigued.  I've already recommended this to my EDS dd, but not sure exactly what the gist of her theory is?  Also, looks like it's only available on Kindle - is that how you read it?  I think dd has a Kindle app (I don't).

 

I'll also recommend the Muldowney book again.  Dd has taught two people in Europe how to put her hip back in place.  Her ribs are more problematic; she's got PT appts to put her back together two days in a row when she gets back.

 

 

Finished a couple more Bingos:

2.Astronomy – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Brian Greene

Dorothy Dunnett – Send a Fax to the Kasbah

Cheesy –Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It – Larry Olmsted

Book you remember reading in high school – Dragonflight- Anne McCaffrey

Royalty – King John – William Shakespeare

 

20.Written by an author who uses a pen name – Epitaph for Three Women – Jean Plaidy

Ancient (BC) up to 100 AD- Cleopatra & Antony: Power, Love & Politics in the Ancient World – Diana Preston
Free Space –Henry V, William Shakespeare
Eastern Europe-Spaceman of Bohemia – Jaroslav Kalfar

One-word title- One – David Karp

 

 

 

 

Yay!  I'm only close to one Bingo row in Big Bingo.  I could actually already count it if I re-categorized one of two different books, but I think I'll just read one more (it's the Emma Watson square).

 

I am close to three vertical 5-in-a-rows (columns??).  Are you just going for rows (on the path toward eventual black-out)?  I've just been randomly reading books from squares so far...  I know there are no 'rules', just curious what you're doing. :)


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#17 Matryoshka

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:31 PM

Currently reading:

 

The Histories (Herodotus) - audio book. The narrator is really good. I could almost think Herodotus himself is telling me the stories. Well, if Herodotus was British and spoke in modern English that is.  :lol:

 

Ooo, is this good?  Audio can be such a good way to get through things one might never otherwise get through.  I'd love to say I've 'read' Herodotus. :tongue_smilie:


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#18 Matryoshka

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:35 PM

I'm almost through Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Rose, I think you have the wrong author). I chuckled a lot through this book and had to read chunks out loud to my kids.

 

LOL.  I have The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene on my Overdrive holds list.  Now I need to know which one of these Rose read. :lol:


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#19 Lady Florida.

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:57 PM

Ooo, is this good?  Audio can be such a good way to get through things one might never otherwise get through.  I'd love to say I've 'read' Herodotus. :tongue_smilie:

 

I'm liking it so far. I've always been curious, wondering if it would even be something I could get through. The Ancient square in bingo gave me a push to try it. I did start reading the free Kindle version but I knew that even if I liked it I'd probably not finish because too many other books would call to me. The audio book will take longer because I don't listen as often as I read, but it will be easier to get through.

 

If you have Audible I can send it to you for free, but think carefully before you accept. You can send as many books as you want to as many people as you want, but can only ever get one free one. Choose wisely. :) 


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#20 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:07 PM

I'm almost through Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Rose, I think you have the wrong author). I chuckled a lot through this book and had to read chunks out loud to my kids.

I've started The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova and am not sure where it is going but it is suitably mysterious.

 

Sure enough, thank you! There I go mixing up my physicists again . . .  :001_rolleyes:

 

Would you mind elaborating on this at all?  I am very intrigued.  I've already recommended this to my EDS dd, but not sure exactly what the gist of her theory is?  Also, looks like it's only available on Kindle - is that how you read it?  I think dd has a Kindle app (I don't).

 

I'll also recommend the Muldowney book again.  Dd has taught two people in Europe how to put her hip back in place.  Her ribs are more problematic; she's got PT appts to put her back together two days in a row when she gets back.

 

 

 

 

Yay!  I'm only close to one Bingo row in Big Bingo.  I could actually already count it if I re-categorized one of two different books, but I think I'll just read one more (it's the Emma Watson square).

 

I am close to three vertical 5-in-a-rows (columns??).  Are you just going for rows (on the path toward eventual black-out)?  I've just been randomly reading books from squares so far...  I know there are no 'rules', just curious what you're doing. :)

 

The Driscoll Theory: this was fascinating and timely for me, I'm on a very steep learning curve about POTS/EDS and related disorders. Driscoll's theory is that hypermobile EDS is often associated with high intracranial pressure, reduced cranial blood & CSF flow (due to the weakness of ligaments/musculature in the neck/brain/spinal cord area) and vascular abnormalities which affect vagus nerve function. Of course the vagus nerve enervates both the cardiovascular system and the GI tract, so potentially both sets of symptoms can be attributed to this.  I'm trying to fit this into other things I'm reading and learning, but I really appreciate her approach, as a medical researcher, patient, and mother of two patients she had a lot of perspective to share from all sides. She also talks about pros and cons of existing therapies and suggests other potentially useful things, both medicines and supplements. I'd be interested to know what you, Heather, and others who are more knowledgeable think about this, but I think it's definitely worth a read. And yes, I read it on my Kindle.

 

Bingo: I'm reading pseudo-randomly, and just reporting out when I get a full row. I have a Bingo shelf for goodreads, where I put all the candidate books that I might read for Bingo. So there may be several options for a given square (hence there are more books on my shelf than books left to read for Bingo).  I sort the shelf by Average Rating, and then I'm reading more or less in popularity order, although not exclusively. It kind of keeps me reading a nice, sort of random variety of books . I hadn't thought about looking for 5-strings in columns: I've got 4 of those so far. 

 

 

LOL.  I have The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene on my Overdrive holds list.  Now I need to know which one of these Rose read. :lol:

 

:lol: I don't think I've actually made it through one of his books, but I did watch his Nova series, which is why I mixed him and Neil up, no doubt.


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#21 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:12 PM

Dd and I thank you for your support; she officially made it through the 4-hour fasting/testing period, then ate a mushroom/garlic/kale/yogurt stuffed omelet made by mom, and that chocolate croissant. She's going to go hang out with a friend this afternoon, and they're going to eat pizza.  Gluten crust and all! So she's pretty happy about that. I'm afraid she is going to be poked as full of holes as a pincushion for the next couple of weeks,so I'm glad she gets to have some fun and some indulgence in the meantime. It's 106 here (and no AC) so we're all on the edge of cranky at this point.


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#22 Ali in OR

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:50 PM

Lying around in bed today--third in our family to get the stomach bug. Not a fun week here, but I am getting some reading done.

 

I just finished a Captain Lacey Regency mystery, A Death in Norfolk which I enjoyed. I read books from 3 different Regecy mystery series (Sebastian St. Cyr, Captain Lacey, and John Pickett) and as I start one, I always get a little confused about which series I'm in. Is this the one where he has a prostitute friend? Was he injured fighting against Napoleon?

 

Also finished Hillbilly Elegy this week which I thought was very good and worth reading. And still enjoying W&P too--I'm somewhere in Book II, hating Dolokov.


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#23 mumto2

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:08 PM

:grouphug: Rose, I'm glad she gets to have some fun and indulge a bit. I can't even imagine that amount of heat with no a/c. The lack of a/c is probably the thing I might miss most and I only have to deal with the 80's on our hot days normally!

Loesje, I am glad you found the pavement and enjoyed the walk. :)

I am currently reading Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire https://www.goodread...ticks-and-bones which is the second in her new Wayward Children series. I'm only about a third of the way in and would have to class it as eerie. This will be my B for Ruby.

I also finished a quick cozy called Once Upon a Spine which is the latest in the Biblophile series https://www.goodread...ce-upon-a-spine. The rare book this particular cozy was built around was one from thd first printing of Alice in Wonderland. I suspect the author got the idea from this news article http://www.bbc.co.uk...shire-33334311. I always enjoy these. :) This is my U for Ruby.

War and Peace is going well. I am currently listening to Part 2 and loving it. Someone has put a hold on the audio version after me so I will be without for 2 weeks in 2 weeks. I plan to get as far ahead as my schedule will allow while I have access to the audio.
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#24 Melissa M

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:32 PM

Hello!

 

Here are my Week Three commonplace book entries from War and Peace:

 

p. 178
‘One step beyond that boundary line which resembles the line dividing the living from the dead, lies uncertainty, suffering, and death. And what is there? Who is there? — there beyond that field, that tree, that roof lit up by the sun? No one knows, but one wants to know. You fear and yet long to cross that line, and know that sooner or later it must be crossed and you will have to find out what is there, just as you will inevitably have to learn what lies on the other side of death. But you are strong, healthy, cheerful, and excited, and are surrounded by other such excitedly-animated and health men.’ So thinks, or at any rate, feels, anyone who comes in sight of the enemy, and that feeling gives a particular glamour and glad keenness of impression to everything that takes place at such moments.

 

p. 207
‘… Go back or I’ll flatten you into a pancake,’ repeated he. This expression evidently pleased him.

 

p. 299
Her son’s growth towards manhood at each of its stages had seemed as extraordinary to her as if there had never existed the millions of human beings who grew up in the same way.

 

p. 306
Besides, to tell everything as it really happened it would have been necessary to make an effort to tell only what happened. It is very difficult to tell the truth, and young people are rarely capable of it.

 

And here are my Week Four entries:

 

p. 448
There was no answer to any of these questions, except one, and that not a logical answer and not at all a reply to them. The answer was: ‘You’ll die and all will end. You’ll die and know all, or cease asking.’ But dying was also dreadful.

 

p. 451
Your view of life is a regrettable delusion.

 

I continue to progress in the “Shakespeare in a Year” project, too, making adjustments that suit my interests and scheduling needs. For example, I have read one hundred of the Sonnets and Don Patterson’s related commentary, which is a bit ahead of the plan, but I will read As You Like It this week, which is a tiny bit behind schedule.

 

In other reading, I finished Chang-Rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea last night. As others have pointed out, the first-person plural viewpoint contributes to the mythic quality of the narrative, but it also obscures the protagonist a bit, which may frustrate some readers. That said, I think others who share my enthusiasm for Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel) will appreciate this beautifully written novel.

 

p. 215
It’s our common character on display, which is why we invest so much of ourselves — often totally beyond reason — in particular figures and performers, both fictive and of flesh. And when that display is unsettling or notorious, we can collectively wring our hands and wail and then try to assuage the disquiet in our hearts by more coolly interrogating its antecedents, the conditions and causes of its expression, and debate about how we might curb a future recurrence, none of this cynically posed but subtly servicing the final hopeful notion that This Is Not We.

 

p. 219
But if we calm ourselves and open our eyes and step back far enough, we have to admit that our society, if not fundamentally unwell, has been profoundly wounded.

 

Joyce Carol Oates’ recent short fiction collection, Dis Mem Ber, was on the porch when I returned from the Faire last night. I couldn’t help myself: I read four of the seven stories before setting it down to finish On Such a Full Sea. Quick, quintessential JCO, particularly the title story. I plan to finish tonight.


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#25 Jane in NC

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 07:49 PM

Hello everyone. 

 

Glad to hear the slightly positive update, Rose.

 

Waving my hand at Matryoska--I recommended Grand Hotel which I read in English. Hats off to you for reading the original! 

 

I finished a book that I enjoyed for its jazzy writing style although the subject matter of Tram 83 was a challenge. The novel by poet/playwright Fiston Mwanza Mujila (translated from the French) takes us into the discomfort of the modern day Democratic Republic of Congo. Stacia sent this one to me and I will pass it along to another BaWer who is feeling sufficiently brave.


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#26 Angelaboord

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:38 PM

:grouphug:

and From Julia Child's Kitchen - 3 Stars - This cookbook is a delightful read, but I can’t really recommend it, since I don’t care for the layout as far as cookbooks go. I like recipes to be easy to read – line-by-line, short, and user-friendly, as opposed to long paragraphs. I got my copy used and I didn’t pay much for it, so I’m happy that I have it and I know that I’ll refer to it from time to time. I love Julia Child and all her stories, but I can’t imagine that I’ll use it much as a cookbook.

My favorite quote:
“I like to cook for 2, or for 4 or 6 at the most 8 people. Beyond that you get into quantity cooking and that is just not my field at all. The last time we had 12 for a sit-down dinner and I did all the cooking, and Paul and I did all the setting up, serving, and washing up afterwards, I said never again. I’ll do a buffet, but I don’t consider that civilized dining; it is feeding, and I like to sit down at a well-set table.”

]



I cook for 11 every day and must admit that sometimes it does feel somewhat more like feeding than civilized dining. Of course having 7 boys could also have something to do with it.

I only finished one book this week, and a good third of the book was taken up by checklists. How to Read Your Way to Heaven is a structured 1, 3, or 5 year plan for spiritual reading, in which the reader makes it through the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and a wide array of other titles relating to Catholic teaching. I wanted to like it more than I did. I liked the book lists, but really wish the author had provided descriptions instead of just listing titles. Then again, I guess I'm just not the sort of reader who's very good at following a structured plan.

I also started reading a Book of the Month July pick: American Fire by Monica Hesse. It's nonfiction,about a string of arsons in Tidewater Virginia, but also about the struggles facing rural American towns as they grow poorer and poorer and more and more people leave. I am not too far into the book, but I wonder if it wouldn't be a good companion to Hillbilly Elegy, which is still on my TBR list.


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#27 Mothersweets

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 10:40 PM

Happy Sunday everyone!

 

Still working on War and Peace although I haven't gotten much further.

 

I read and enjoyed The Tall Stranger by D. E. Stevenson of Miss Buncle's Book fame. https://www.amazon.c...g=UTF8&qid=&sr=  Ignore the cover art!! It's really terrible and has zero to do with the story. 

 

Escape by Carolyn Jessop. My word. So glad she was able to get out. https://www.amazon.c...g=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

and Abigale Hall: A Novel by Lauren A. Forry. A Gothic thriller set in London and Wales right after WW2.  Pretty good but about halfway through I started to feel as though this story was an older, darker cousin to a Series of Unfortunate Events. I was expecting the Beaudalaire kids to show up, haha. I also grew tired of certain aspects of the story that kept repeating-no one ever seemed to sleep or eat a decent meal, and someone was throwing up about every fifth page or so. https://www.amazon.c...ds=abigail hall


Edited by Mothersweets, 16 July 2017 - 11:12 PM.

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#28 Stacia

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:42 PM

Again -- totally nothing about reading.

 

I have to share a mom brag. Ds took the new SAT at the beginning of summer. He is getting ready to enter his junior year of high school but is very interested in enrolling in dual-enrollment at a local university full-time for his senior year. You have to do all the paperwork early in your junior year, though, to get in for your senior year. This means having high enough test scores to get in by very early in your junior year. I had no fears on his English/Reading skills (he always scores at the top for those), but he has a lot of math anxiety (as well as regular anxiety, not helped by our personal lives over the past year & a half) & is in on-level math courses. We just checked & his scores were good enough! What a relief. So, now he's set if he does decide to pursue the route for dual-enrollment (which I think would be a good fit for his personality). He's thrilled & I'm thrilled for him.

 

:)


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#29 Stacia

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:46 PM

:grouphug: , Ali. Hope you feel better quickly!


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#30 Mothersweets

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:16 AM

Again -- totally nothing about reading.

 

I have to share a mom brag. Ds took the new SAT at the beginning of summer. He is getting ready to enter his junior year of high school but is very interested in enrolling in dual-enrollment at a local university full-time for his senior year. You have to do all the paperwork early in your junior year, though, to get in for your senior year. This means having high enough test scores to get in by very early in your junior year. I had no fears on his English/Reading skills (he always scores at the top for those), but he has a lot of math anxiety (as well as regular anxiety, not helped by our personal lives over the past year & a half) & is in on-level math courses. We just checked & his scores were good enough! What a relief. So, now he's set if he does decide to pursue the route for dual-enrollment (which I think would be a good fit for his personality). He's thrilled & I'm thrilled for him.

 

:)

 

:hurray: congratulations!


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#31 mumto2

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:25 AM

 
I read and enjoyed The Tall Stranger by D. E. Stevenson of Miss Buncle's Book fame. https://www.amazon.c...g=UTF8&qid=&sr=  Ignore the cover art!! It's really terrible and has zero to do with the

 

I love DE Stevenson! They are always such gentle reads that manage to impart wisdom disguised as fluff. The cover is hilarious! Yes, I looked....


 

Again -- totally nothing about reading.
 
I have to share a mom brag. Ds took the new SAT at the beginning of summer. He is getting ready to enter his junior year of high school but is very interested in enrolling in dual-enrollment at a local university full-time for his senior year. You have to do all the paperwork early in your junior year, though, to get in for your senior year. This means having high enough test scores to get in by very early in your junior year. I had no fears on his English/Reading skills (he always scores at the top for those), but he has a lot of math anxiety (as well as regular anxiety, not helped by our personal lives over the past year & a half) & is in on-level math courses. We just checked & his scores were good enough! What a relief. So, now he's set if he does decide to pursue the route for dual-enrollment (which I think would be a good fit for his personality). He's thrilled & I'm thrilled for him.
 
:)


Congratulations to your DS!!!!


:grouphug: Ali, I hope you are feeling a bit better today.
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#32 Negin

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 05:12 AM

I cook for 11 every day and must admit that sometimes it does feel somewhat more like feeding than civilized dining. Of course having 7 boys could also have something to do with it. 
 

Oh my goodness! That's a lot of cooking. I hope that you're able to get a break from time to time. 


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#33 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:42 AM

Congrats to Stacia's ds! That's wonderful.

 

Ali, I hope you feel better soon. 

 

Angela, you humble me: sometimes I get cranky and uninspired about cooking, with a kid who's a picky eater and a kid who never feels like eating b/c of stomach problems, and being gluten-free, but my task pales in comparison to yours! 


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#34 fastweedpuller

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:51 AM

Hi everyone! 

Stacia, I am all for mom brags!  Ali and Rose, I do hope things are looking up, and especially that Rose can get through to a diagnosis so Shannon can just get on with things.  It sounds like Erin's daughter hasn't let her diagnosis hinder her life all that much:  can you imagine having to ask (maybe in a foreign language) someone help you pop your hip back in place?? (Whew! I feel faint just writing that.)  And Angela, my mom has the most delightful stories about growing up at the table as the eldest of 7.  Of course it helped that they owned a grocery store...!

 

I have been a very good girl and have stuck to my reading-through-that-halfread-pile plan.  I finished Arlie Russell Hochschild's Strangers in Their Own Land finally, after months of picking it up and putting it down again.  It redeemed itself somewhat; I had been rather down on the book when I began it, as it seemed such a conceit (Berkeley sociologist drops in on poisoned Red State Louisiana, hijinks ensue) but I do not doubt that she feels deeply for the people she met.  An interesting thing:  close to half the book is bibliography.  This is not unheard-of for a nonfiction book, but...if you're reading it on your Kindle and have your Kindle set to what percentage of the book you've read, it's VERY DISCOURAGING if you find the book a slog.  So bang 51% and I finished the book!  bonus!

 

But again I am all for dessert after supper, so I read, twice in a week, the utterly perfect The Summer Book by Tove Jansson.  I know a few of you have read it.  It was absolutely delicious.


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#35 Matryoshka

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:21 AM

But again I am all for dessert after supper, so I read, twice in a week, the utterly perfect The Summer Book by Tove Jansson.  I know a few of you have read it.  It was absolutely delicious.

 

Did you also just finish The Summer Book by Susan Branch, or was that a Goodreads oops? ;) ;)   I thought maybe you were checking the cookbook square. 


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#36 fastweedpuller

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:31 AM

Did you also just finish The Summer Book by Susan Branch, or was that a Goodreads oops? ;) ;)   I thought maybe you were checking the cookbook square. 

 

dang Goodreads on my Kindle!  I tried to delete it but not fast enough...!  (There are two translations of Jansson's book, I read the NYRB edition...and the only edition listed on GR is the British publication.  My navigation through the Kindle left me stranded on the wrong island as you can see.)
 


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#37 Matryoshka

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:45 AM

dang Goodreads on my Kindle! I tried to delete it but not fast enough...! (There are two translations of Jansson's book, I read the NYRB edition...and the only edition listed on GR is the British publication. My navigation through the Kindle left me stranded on the wrong island as you can see.)


Lol. My clumsy thumbs have gotten me into trouble on my phone. Noooo! Take it baaack! Durned touch screens. :lol:
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#38 JennW in SoCal

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:05 AM

In following yet another rabbit trail inspired by War and Peace, I stumbled upon an interesting website and blog by an author of alternative fiction. Shannon Selin's Napoleon in America looks really run and has positive reviews on Goodreads. And she is an active blogger, writing posts on history and interesting historical figures such as the Frenchman who wrote Westerns.

 

Imagining the Bounds of History


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#39 Penguin

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:18 AM

I finished Laurus while lounging around on the beach :) It lagged in the middle, but that wasn't enough of a complaint to warrant less than five stars. If you like these topics, this one might be for you: medieval mysticism and miracles, healing arts, herbalism, medieval Russia, the Orthodox Church. I found the writing to be brilliant, and Vodolazkin plays with time in a way that I have never seen before. 

 

After I was done, I read around about the book on Goodreads, and was delighted to find that the translator (Lisa Hayden) occasionally popped into the discussions. She is also translating another one of his novels, Aviator, and I will surely read it when it comes out in English. I also found out that she has a great blog about Russian literature, both contemporary and classic.

 

Oh, and I will mention one of my favorite documentaries: The Monastery: Mr. Vig and The Nun. Mr. Vig was an elderly man with a mission to covert a crumbling Danish castle into an Orthodox monastery.  I don't know how easy it is to find, but sometimes it is on Netflix.

 

 

 


Edited by Penguin, 17 July 2017 - 10:20 AM.

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#40 aggieamy

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:10 AM


 

I read and enjoyed The Tall Stranger by D. E. Stevenson of Miss Buncle's Book fame. https://www.amazon.c...g=UTF8&qid=&sr=  Ignore the cover art!! It's really terrible and has zero to do with the story. 

 

 

This is a DE Stevenson I haven't come across yet and no wonder why ... it's near impossible to find and not available on Kindle? Where did you manage to find it? I'm guessing you didn't pay $50 for the paperback version. :tongue_smilie: Or the hardback ... that's crazy!


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#41 aggieamy

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:56 AM

Here's something only this group can appreciate. An aunt gave my DD The Color Purple by Alice Walker to read. :scared:  Confiscated! You had a whole bookstore to choose from and you chose the Color Purple for a young sheltered 13 yo. Really? Were they all out of Flowers in the Attic and Lolita?


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#42 Mothersweets

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:15 PM

This is a DE Stevenson I haven't come across yet and no wonder why ... it's near impossible to find and not available on Kindle? Where did you manage to find it? I'm guessing you didn't pay $50 for the paperback version. :tongue_smilie: Or the hardback ... that's crazy!

 

No indeed! The price must have increased (greatly!) since I bought it.

 

I've had it on my bookshelf for over a year and just pulled it out last week. I must have bought it at least a year ago and at that time it couldn't have cost more than $5. I've loaned it to my oldest dd but if you're interested as soon as she is done I could loan it to you!

 

I was just looking at some of DE Stevenson's other books on amazon and my goodness they are all rather spendy! :( 


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#43 ErinE

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:25 PM

Ali, I hope you're feeling better. Stomach bugs are terrible, especially when everyone comes down with it.

 

Books read last week:

  • Straight Outta Tombstone by David Boop. Western Fantasy. A collection of werewolf, ghost, vampire, and other fantasy stories set in the Wild West.
  • The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg. Fantasy. A magician unwillingly assigned to fold paper seeks to save her mentor from a blood magician. Cool magic system, but half the novel was a montage of flashbacks.
  • The Just City by Jo Walton. Philosophical Fantasy. Child slaves are purchased and freed to be raised as ideal citizens using Plato's Republic as a model. I was frustrated with the book's premise until most of my personal objections appeared in the final few pages. It was a bit jarring, because it was an ideal city through 3/4 of the story until Sokrates gets a chance to argue. Is it terrible that I imagined him as Bill and Ted's excellent Socrates? I also think the focus suffers from the same problem as Too Like the Lightning - the most interesting character (Kebes in this book, Bridger in Lightninghas so little time and no point of view. I plan on reading the sequel as that was what drew me to the series.
  • Novels, Tales, Journeys by Alexander Pushkin, trans. by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. A collection of Pushkin's short stories, novellas, and travel journal.

Reading this week

  • Classics of Russian Literature lecturer Irwin Weil. This professor is so charming! In the most recent lecture (Turgenev), he sings a poem about the Georgian landscape and a woman. It was so lovely, I hit repeat several times. I could listen to an entire album of him singing in Russian. I am thoroughly enjoying this course.
  • Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke. A cozy mystery with recipes.
  • A History of Russia by Nicholas V. Riasanovsky. Recommended in the course History of Russia
  • War and Peace (Pevear and Volokhonsky) continued.

Some of my noted quotes from W&P:

 

Volume One, Part Three

The old prince, trying to suppress his nature out of love for his daughter:

"The old prince was extremely gentle and painstaking in dealing with his daughter that morning. Princess Marya knew this painstaking expression of her father's well. It was the expression he had on his face in the moments when his dry hands clenched into fists from vexation at Princess Marya's not understanding a problem in arithmetic, and getting up, he would step away from her and in a soft voice repeat the same words several times." (p. 230) 

 

Rostov's mother reflecting on her son:

"All the worldwide, age-old experience showing that children grow in an imperceptible way from the cradle to manhood, did not exist for the countess. Her son's maturing had been at every point as extraordinary for her as if there had not been millions of millions of men who had matured in just the same way. As it was hard to believe twenty years ago that the little being who lived somewhere under her heart would start crying, and suck her breast, and begin to talk, so now it was hard to believe that this same being could be the strong, brave man, an example to sons and people, that was now, judging by this letter." (p. 237)

 

 

Tolstoy's summary on the eve of Austerlitz

"As in a clock the result of the complex movements of numberless wheels and pulleys is merely the slow and measured movement of the hands pointing to the time, so also the result of all the complex human movements of these hundred and sixty thousand Russians and French - all the passions, desires, regrets, humiliations, sufferings, bursts of pride, fear, rapture - was merely the loss of the battle of Austerlitz, the so-called battle of the three emperors, that is, a slow movement of the world-historical land on the clockface of human history." (p. 258)

 

 

Volume Two, Book One

 

Pierre's difficulties with his wife reminded me of Pushkin's history. The poet received letters alleging his wife was cheating with another man and challenged the presumed lover to a duel. Pushkin was shot in the stomach, bit the snow to revive himself, and shot the other man, but the bullet ricocheted off a button. Pushkin died of his wounds, unlike Dolokhov who makes a recovery. I wonder if Tolstoy meant to remind the reader of Pushkin in this part or if such practices in duels were common occurrences then.

 

Andrei returns! in a very Gothic manner. A woman in labor and the house still except for the rushing of servants, when suddenly the wind forces the window shutters to fly open and the presumed dead Prince Andrei appears. Poor little princess and her motherless child.

 

The old prince, after blustering so when his son went off to war:

 

"... Prince Andrei went into his father's study with quiet steps. The old man already knew everything. He was standing just by the door, and as soon as it opened, the old man silently embraced his son's neck with his old, tough arms, as in a vise, and burst into sobs like a child." (p. 328)

 

And Rostov, gambling with a friend scorned, loses a fortune and forces his family further into debt. He tries to act casual, thinking that's what men do, but he cannot conceal his shame inside.

"He would have liked to kiss his father's hands, to go to his knees and ask forgiveness, yet he said in a careless and even rude tone that it happened to everybody." (p. 344)

 

Once he realizes his father won't rebuke him for his folly, Rostov cannot maintain his indifferent appearance and breaks down.


Edited by ErinE, 17 July 2017 - 01:47 PM.

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#44 Shawneinfl

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:04 PM

Here's something only this group can appreciate. An aunt gave my DD The Color Purple by Alice Walker to read. :scared:  Confiscated! You had a whole bookstore to choose from and you chose the Color Purple for a young sheltered 13 yo. Really? Were they all out of Flowers in the Attic and Lolita?

 

This cracked me up. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


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#45 JennW in SoCal

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:12 PM

 

Andrei returns! in a very Gothic manner. A woman in labor and the house still except for the rushing of servants, when suddenly the wind forces the window shutters to fly open and the presumed dead Prince Andrei appears. Poor little princess and her motherless child.

 

 

That was one of my "driveway moments" with the audio version of War and Peace. It was close to 11:30pm, I was driving home after a show and had just turned onto our street when Andrei returns. I was glad to be alone in my car as I blurted out some pithy exclamation like "No way! Get out of town!!" and then had to sit in my car in the garage to listen to the end of the chapter! 


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#46 EmmaNZ

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:44 PM

Following on from last week's Jane quiz…another one. This time courtesy of the BBC. I did rubbish again - I only got 4/10. Have fun!

http://play.bbc.co.u.../pen/gjj8ygsbg4
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#47 Matryoshka

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 02:57 PM

Following on from last week's Jane quiz…another one. This time courtesy of the BBC. I did rubbish again - I only got 4/10. Have fun!

http://play.bbc.co.u.../pen/gjj8ygsbg4

 

 

I did rubbish on the other one too (I have already mentally blanked out my score on that one, but it was baaad), but this one I managed a 7/10. :)  Better guessing. ;)


Edited by Matryoshka, 17 July 2017 - 03:07 PM.

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#48 fastweedpuller

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:23 PM

I did rubbish on the other one too (I have already mentally blanked out my score on that one, but it was baaad), but this one I managed a 7/10. :)  Better guessing. ;)

Me too me too!  More fun quiz though. 

 

For those of you (us??) who cannot get enough Jane Austen, the Guardian has a whole subsection of its website with all kinds of controversy, kind remembrances, and even Lucy Worsley webchatting about Jane. 

 

my favorite:  Jane Austen is completely wasted on teenagers

 


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#49 Negin

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:29 PM

I have to share a mom brag. Ds took the new SAT at the beginning of summer. 

Congratulations, Stacia!


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#50 Kareni

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 03:49 PM

A one day only currently free classic for Kindle readers ~

 

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

 

"A tale of love, class, and murder during the era of the trade-union movement in nineteenth-century England, from the author of North and South.

In Manchester, long-suffering John Barton and his daughter, Mary, both want a better future for each other.  John toils away with the trades’ union for better wages for his fellow workers in the textile mill, while Mary must consider whom she will marry. She decides to leave the working-class Jem Wilson, hoping instead to wed Harry Carson, the wealthy mill owner’s son. But when Harry is shot down in the street, Jem becomes the prime suspect—and learning the truth may yield a future Mary cannot bear.
 
A portrait of the working class’s struggles during the Victorian era, Mary Barton was Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel. She went on to write classics such as Wives and Daughters and was the creator of the town of Cranford, the setting for several BBC series."

 

Regards,

Kareni


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