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  1. Happy Birthday, Emma! She is a beauty, and I love the colorful party decorations!
  2. @Mothersweets Congrats on finishing up the move! Enjoy getting settled in 🙂 Jonathan Strange was one of my favorite reads so far this year. -- I read a graphic novel that I very much enjoyed: The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. She tells the story of her parent's life in Vietnam, their immigration to the USA after the war, and her own story. Both the text and the illustrations were very well done. As a bonus, the opening pages gave an excellent, graphical overview of the history of Vietnam that I found quite helpful. I had a seven hour drive yesterday that was a bit of a harumph from an entertainment perspective. I did not like my chosen audiobook (Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich). I don't know what I was thinking - 22 hours long?! I really don't even like audiobooks. They are relegated to road trips. I just couldn't get into any of my albums that I downloaded on Spotify. Only the podcasts that I listened to were satisfying. I finally launched a re-listen of Lincoln in The Bardo, which is absolutely worth a second round. I returned Secondhand Time to audible, and purchased Travels with Charley by Steinbeck. Hopefully I will like this better one better. It is promising: (1) I like audio books that are about eight hours long, (2) it's road trip content (3), I like Steinbeck, and (4) it fits my 1960s category. I am also reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X. It is hard to put down. We are in NC for about the next ten days, and while I will be busy with family and friends I brought a lot of books. I hope to read a lot while I am here!
  3. I finished three books last week, and one today: I finished Cora Sandel's Alberta Trilogy. The second book was the weakest. Number three was just as good as the first book. Book three brings us back to Norway. It has been a long time since I've read Virginia Woolf, but I do think there are similar themes and writing styles. They were also contemporaries. Woolf was born in 1882, Sandel in 1880. I read Modern Mrs. Darcy's (Ann Bogel) I'd Rather Be Reading in one short sitting. It was pleasant enough as a Book About Books, but not at all memorable. I would have liked to have heard more about what it is like for her now that reading is her job. That would really change your reading life, I would think. Battles at Thrush Green (#4) by Miss Read. This was much better than #3, which had a soul-crushing ending. I'm happy to be feeling charmed again. Billedhuggerenes Datter (Sculptor's Daughter) by Tove Jansson. I really loved this little book. She tells, through a series of vignettes, about her childhood in Finland. Her parents were both artists, and she was a highly imaginative child. Beautifully written, as is everything that she writes. I could gush about Tove Jansson all day long.
  4. Sounds good. Just know that I read VERY slowly in Danish - it is still very much a foreign language for me.
  5. SusanC, yes the book was originally published in Danish as Kvinden i Buret (The Woman in The Cage) in 2007 and it was a Danish movie in 2013. I think the English version came out in 2012, based on a quick search. I'll look for those examples in the Danish text 🙂
  6. Wonderful news, Laura. Congratulations!
  7. I have not read a Dept Q book yet, but I remain tempted. Do they stand alone? Should I start with the first one, The Keeper of Lost Causes (Kvindet i Buret)?
  8. @aggieamy and @mumto2 You really made my day. I love love love hearing about WTM meet-ups. It really warms my heart. And photos make it even better!! Thanks for posting. -- I have been spending my reading week in the 1920s: Alberta Alone by Cora Sandel (Norwegian, 1880-1974) is the 3rd part of the Alberta Trilogy, a semi-autobiographical version of the author's life. The series is a classic of Norwegian literature, and Sandel was about the same age as Sigrid Undset (b. 1882). In this third part, Alberta is an unmarried, single mother living the bohemian expat life in post-WWI France. I am enjoying it immensely, and I think some of you would like it. I am also reading (in Danish) one of Tove Jansson's books for adults: Billedhuggers Datter (The Sculptor's Daughter). First published in 1968, it is a memoir of her magical childhood in Finland. Told as a series of vignettes, I am finding it to be a nice complement to the Moomins. My admiration for Tove Jansson as a writer continues to grow.
  9. I don't think I posted about the two books that I finished last week: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sanez: I listened to the audio version, which is read by Lin-Manuel Miranda. This is a YA, coming-of-age novel and I enjoyed it very much. Aspects of the ending irked me; otherwise, I would have given in five stars. I particularly enjoyed the writing. And we had a little bit of serendipity to go along with this book. My son just happened to pick up I Hate this About Me by Henry Alberto at one of our indie bookstores. It wasn't until after he read it and looked up the author that we found at that Henry Alberto is the filmmaker on the Aristotle and Dante project. I Hate this About Me is a book of affirmations. It speaks to boys, but also to those of us who raise boys and those who love boys. The recurring thought is that it is OK for boys to (fill in the blank). I would say that the target audience is late teens and young adults rather than children - there is candid discussion of rape, misogyny, and drug use. I am very glad that I read it. The publisher describes it as "a modern-day book of affirmations interwoven with personal narratives and reflections of filmmaker Henry Alberto’s grappling with the toxic masculinity innately embedded in the Latinx community."
  10. @mumto2 Thank you for sharing the photos and the info! I have yet to read Dracula, but have it on tap for my spooky read in October.
  11. While it is sound advice to suggest subsidized loans instead of unsubsidized, the subsidized federal government loans are only available for (1) undergrads and (2) those with financial need. For grad school, or a student without need, only unsubsidized loans are available. Also, if you want to keep current on the interest while in school, be careful with the timing of the payments. You have to wait until 120 days after the disbursement, otherwise the payment goes toward the principal instead of the interest. This is my understanding, but I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong.
  12. Hi, all. I have been on the road more often than not, and I have hardly read anything 😞 Hugs to all who need them, especially @Negin @JennW in SoCal I hope you feel better soon! I have indeed read the first two of the trilogy. I have heard good things about #3. In the beginning of the year, I asked for recommendations for my next Faulkner, and @Violet Crown mentioned Absalom, Absalom. Great rec, VC. Absalom, Absalom was fantastic. I took a long break at about the 75% mark, and that somewhat ruined the reading experience for me. That is not the fault of the book, though. I really loved the way the story was told - people sitting around telling a story over and over. But each time a little differently or told by someone else or with an added detail. Each perspective is a little different. And there is conjecture about what really happened, because the people sitting around talking were not actually present for the events. This is the way I have learned my family stories. Sometimes, decades later, I find out a detail that rocks my perception or that makes all of my previous knowledge fit together. And I am still in Moomin Valley, finishing up Book #3 Troldekarlens Hat (The Hobgoblin's Hat). If I liked audiobooks better, it would help me through this reading drought. But I don't generally care for them. That being said, I am currently listening to and enjoying a YA novel read by Lin-Manuel Miranda: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. We are getting serious now about renovating the house in North Carolina, and I have been deep cleaning this week. It has been good to have an easy audiobook to listen to. But in general, I prefer to use my listening time for podcasts and/or foreign language instruction.
  13. That is quite a decrease in size! I hope that you are feeling OK.
  14. I hope you find something useful in there, and I hope that most of the links are still active 🙂 I always appreciate thread follow-ups, so here is mine: My son would have been in 7th grade then, and he just graduated. We continued to homeschool through high school. If I recall correctly, we stayed with the path of writing without a curriculum through middle school. He took multiple Brave Writer classes in 9th and 10th grade and then AP English in 11th followed by AP Lit in 12th. I continued to come up with my own writing assignments for history in high school. He also started taking Dual Enrollment history classes at a four year college in 11th. It all worked out just fine 🙂 I don't know if the book Engaging Ideas came up in the thread, but that ended up being one of my favorite resources.
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