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Penguin

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  1. Hi. This is my first time posting in this thread. I'll just introduce myself for now. I'm in my mid-fifties and my weight is healthy but not optimal. I'm somewhere between out-of-shape and fit. I eat a WFPB diet but I cheat. Usually with sugar. A bit too often with fats, refined grains, or cheese. Rarely with meat. My normal workouts were mostly group classes of various sorts, and I have been through the big adjustment of learning how to work out at home. I've actually lost a good bit of weight since the pandemic started, but now I have hit a plateau.
  2. A lot of books end up on the banned lists due to sexual content. The books by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker that I see on the B&N list have rape or sexual assault content. The American Library Association's List of Banned & Challenged Classics gives extensive detail on the specifics of the challenges to the classics. My concern is for access to books that contain LGBTQIA+ content. According to the ALA, eight out of ten of the Most Challenged Books of 2019 were challenged for LGBTQIA+ content. Please notice I said "access to" not "the disappearance of."
  3. Fun Fact: Tom Morello is a card carrying member. Have you read any Daniel Berrigan? I have lined up this trio for my Good Catholic/Bad Catholic 10x10: To Dwell in Peace: An Autobiography by Daniel Berrigan The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (play) by Daniel Berrigan The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era by Shawn Francis Peters
  4. I give up on the trivia question. Is it Mystery and Manners? I had some head scratching over the IWW reference. I was thinking Wait. What? Was FO'C in the Industrial Workers of the World union? And then I realized you meant the Iowa Writer's Workshop. Ha ha.
  5. Travel just kept getting easier, cheaper and safer. That, to me, is what made the world feel smaller. Now? Not so much.
  6. No, the world feels bigger. One of my children lives in the EU and I wonder when we will be able to see each other again. One of my other kids is an eight hour drive away. Visiting him would be an ordeal now, and it was nothing to me before. My mom lives a ten hour drive away, and I used to console myself with the idea that I could just hop on a plane and be there lickety split if something happened to her. I find myself thinking of previous generations, and how little people got to see each other after somebody moved away.
  7. No worries and no offense taken. Lots of thoughts and some questions follow! First, what kind of disappearing are you concerned about? Maybe we don't completely disagree. I already stated my sweeping, general distrust of amazon. When I say that I am unconcerned, what I mean is that I do not foresee all of her books going out of print and becoming unavailable. It's easy enough to buy Lovecraft. Being dropped from syllabi? That could happen. Pulled off the shelves at Barnes and Noble? Sales drive shelf space, so if she falls out of favor that could happen. I don't even know if she is currently on their shelves! Less fawning over her as a person by Georgetown University and the Iowa Writer's Workshop? That could happen and maybe it should happen. Maybe it already has happened. I wouldn't know. Which leads me to my next thought... Nobody much cared and now they do is not the same as scholars and critics have been covering up. Based on the quote that I made from the article, it seems to me that Elie was of the second opinion. I stand behind saying that protectionism is not OK. It appears to me now that protectionism was not what was actually happening in this case. And I am going to say loud and clear that you know far more about FOC than I do. It has probably been twenty years since I read her fiction, and prior to the other day I could have told you exactly three things about her: She was from Georgia, she was Catholic, and she died young. I could not have told you her opinion of James Baldwin. I fully acknowledge my ignorance. Believe me, my knowledge gaps never cease to amaze and dishearten me. Some of my knowledge gaps are irrelevant to me (I'm looking at you, sports) but I would indeed like to be smart about Southern Literature. You have enlightened me with regard to FOC, and I am grateful for that. I found this article last night: "On Flannery O'Connor And Race: A Response to Paul Elie" by Amy Alznauer (published on The Bitter Southerner). Again, I have only skimmed it. It was late 🙂But I will read it thoroughly today. The intro says that she "reveals some of the blind spots in Elie's essay," and I would love to hear your thoughts. A quote: "Maybe it shouldn't surprise me that much of the work he misreads or flat-out ignores has largely been done by women and Black Americans." Writers get reexamined, and I think that they should be reexamined. I just finished the biography of Tove Jansson: Work and Love and her arc was fascinating. I'm NOT comparing her with FOC in any way, but TJ provides an interesting V-shaped case study of reputation. Part One. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Tove Jansson published anti-Hitler and anti-Stalin political cartoons in Garm, an anti-Nazi satire publication. According to the biography, "Tove was daring; she defied official policies of the time, never trying to cover her back through silence or anonymity." Garm and similar publications "tended to cause deep offence among Finns" due to Finland's 1940 alliance with Germany. Part Two. After the 1946 publication of Comet in Moominland (which can - questionably, of course - be read as an anti-nuclear war story), she began writing a comic strip for Ny Tid, a leftist newspaper. But the comic strip did not last long in Ny Tid. It was dropped because Moominpapa was deemed to be too borgeouis. "After all, poor Moominpapa read a monarchist newspaper." Part Three. In 2017, the Huffington Post publishes this article: "Meet the Queer, Anti-Fascist Author Behind the Freakishly Lovable Moomins." In 2019, Tom Morello (political activist and guitarist from Rage Against the Machine) performed in a video wearing a T-shirt with a Moomin waving an anti-fascist flag.
  8. Harking back to last week: I read the Flannery O'Connor article, and found it very though provoking. Thank you for raising the topic, @Violet CrownPaul Elie notes that "as she developed into a keenly self-aware writer, the habit of bigotry persisted in her letters" and then he states that "the particulars have been held close by executors, smoothed over by editors, and justified by exegetes, as if to save O'Connor from herself." That's a problem, and that sort of protectionism needs to stop. I am not a fan of putting a writer/artist/musician etc. on a pedestal. The harder they fall and all that. There are some writers/artists/musicians etc. whom I find so personally distasteful that I have no interest in exploring their work. I certainly like to draw that line for myself - I don't want someone else deciding for me where to draw that line. However, I am not in the least concerned about books like FOC's disappearing. I just don't see that as a legitimate threat. I don't own or read many ebooks, but I do like Kathy's idea of backing them up with Calibre. I don't trust amazon, and I won't "buy" movies on amazon Prime. Rent them? Sure. I prefer not to buy books and movies that are really only a license, and that I would lose if and when the platform disappears or decides to be capricious. Back to the 10x10s: I have a number of perpetual challenges that I want to continue, and some topics that I want to explore as a cluster of three or so, but don't merit ten books. I think it would be fun to look for the patters retroactively. In other words, my intention is to finish my originally stated 10x10 challenge and then move on to a different framework. It was great to read your 10x10 updates @Violet Crown @Robin M and @mumto2
  9. Is anyone else still pursuing the 10X10 challenge? @Violet Crown You are still doing it, correct? My reading records have been a bit sloppy of late, but I think this is my status: If you want to know what I read for a category, just ask. The start date of the project was January 2019. The date listed is the date I finished the category. Overlaps were permitted. COMPLETED: Nordic (June 2019) Fantasy (January 2020) Politics (March 2020) Read in Danish (May 2020) The American South (May 2020) 1960s (May 2020) STILL WORKING ON: Non-tropical Islands (five done, five to go) Poetry (six done, four to go) Good Catholic Bad Catholic (two done, eight to go) Add 10 New Countries to my Perpetual Round-The-World Challenge (six done, four to go)
  10. I love snail mail, and would like to send out more of it. Thank you for the thread, @Margaret in CO I have previously read your mention of writing to your children every day, and I think that is one of the coolest things ever. Can you share a bit more? What kind of things do you write? I have one kid who lives overseas, one who lives an 8 hour drive away, and one who will (hopefully) be away at college in the fall. I'd like to send them more mail. As for meeting the challenge, I have a birthday card to write up and send out today. @Annie G and @mum your notecards are so pretty! Thanks for sharing!
  11. Interesting discussion about the banned books. There is much upthread to think about, but I'd have to think a little more before I would add to the conversation. I do know that I would not like my electronic books being altered without my knowledge. I only skimmed the article about Flannery O'Connor article and will read it properly later. I think this is case of can/should one separate the artist from the art? Based on my skim, the accusations of racism seem to be less about her fiction and more about her correspondence. Some people are more willing than others to differentiate between the work and the artist. JK Rowling recently caused some Harry Potter fans to search inside themselves and ask that very question. I picked up FOC's book of letters, The Habit of Being, in a used shop last year, but have never read it. I see that the author of the article, Paul Elie, wrote The Life You Save May Be Your Own, which is a study of Flannery O'Conner, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Walker Percy. This book has been sitting, unread, on my shelf for at least ten years. I just the other day went through my 10x10 lists and realized that I have only filled two slots of my Good Catholic/Bad Catholic category. @mumto2 I still have those VHS Star Wars movies, too. But my understanding was that even they are not the films that were shown in the theater. I don't know if that is true or not, it is just what one of my kids told me 🙂 @aggieamy I think you are brave to admit that you felt cowardly about being truthful on Goodreads. I bought some books about sex work when I was in The Bluestockings bookstore in NYC in December, and I think at least one of them isn't even in the GR database. I like GR, but I really don't feel like I owe it anything. I wouldn't hesitate to keep something off of there if I felt so inclined for any reason or no reason. I would not fake my star rating out of guilt, but I have felt that twinge of guilt when I rated something low.
  12. I should have clarified that I don't want to add to my online life. Although I suppose that growing local online relationships now could lead to seeing actual people in the future. Maybe I need to think about it that way.
  13. Pretend that you just moved to a new place. Assume that you are not much of a risk-taker with regard to COVID. How would you go about making new friends? I didn't just move to a new place, but I might as well have. My pre-COVID social life is no longer available to me, and I would love to make new IRL friends. This is what I used to do, if it helps. Regular road trips to my previous state where I have a super group of friends (that state is a current hotspot) A steady stream of house guests from other cities and states - nobody is traveling and I wouldn't feel safe welcoming them anyway A regular volunteer gig - the center is closed for the foreseeable future Hanging out with our musician friends (DH is the musician not me) within the local music scene. That is obviously not happening. Group dance classes. Lots of sweating and hard breathing. Nope. Not going back anytime soon, which is a bit of a shame because I had just started at a new studio and I really liked everyone. It's all gone and I can't figure out where to begin. I've moved A LOT as an adult, and am usually quite skilled at untangling this knot. I have great friends all over the world. What I don't have right here in THIS TOWN are close friends. The kind that you can sit outside with in a socially distant manner. I see this now as a glaring absence in my social life. I kind of knew it was there, but its absence didn't feel crucial. I might be feeling too gloom-and-doom currently to see my way out of this. Or maybe it really is just unrealistic to try to do anything about it right now, and I need to work on adjusting to the quiet and enjoying my (quite good) online social life.
  14. Only ten years? I surely have some TBRs on my shelf that have hit the twenty year mark, but I have moved so many times that they never get super dusty! Glad to read that the nanny situation is giving you more time to read. Enjoy!
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