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Everything posted by Penguin

  1. Any suggestions for which town to stay in?
  2. @Negin and @JennW in SoCal thanks for the beautiful travel photos! I got The Beleaguered City by Mrs. Oliphant through ILL. Old, not-so-in-demand-books are always fun to request through ILL because they usually come from the venerable Enoch Pratt Library in downtown Baltimore, and you often get an actual old book. The Pratt Library was founded in 1882 and is one of the oldest public libraries in the USA. It was just that novella, not a set of stories - but I was not disappointed since I got to enjoy a deliciously old and somewhat dusty copy of The Beleaguered City. Thank you, @Violet Crown for the suggestion. While I enjoyed it enough, it was not what I expected. I did not do any research so I mistakenly assumed that it would be set in Scotland. Finding myself in France was unexpected. I also discovered that it could fit my Good Catholic/Bad Catholic category. That was a plus. But I had wanted something spookier, and it was not very spooky. So I stayed up too late last night reading Edgar Allen Poe stories. I am alternating between beloved stories and new-to-me stories. I've also been meaning to comment on Gossip at Thrush Green (#6). I liked it, but there was one eye-roll-worthy subplot. Some of the young folks were (gasp!) smoking marijuana. Of course, much of the gasping and gossiping about this tsk-tsk situation was done at a cocktail party where the upstanding residents of Thrush Green were slugging down their whiskey. The whole subplot just felt out of place in this series. @tuesdayschild you mentioned #8 upthread. How was it?
  3. Where would be a good place to stay for one night on the Jersey side of NYC? We have booked a long weekend at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and will be driving in from the DC area. I would like to stay somewhere more reasonably priced the night prior so that we can get up in the morning and drive into NYC early in the day. Any suggestions?
  4. @mumto2 The Goblin Emperor is one of my top 10 this year, too. And I am nearly finished with another book that will definitely make my Top 10 - the audio version of Milkman by Anna Burns. I see on GR that you also gave it 5 stars. I drove my son back to college this weekend, and had many many hours of listening time. We have another road trip this coming weekend, and I have about four hours left to go. I'll save those hours for that journey.
  5. @Violet Crown I have already resolved myself to the fact that my 10x10 project is going to take me two years! I do still like my categories enough to keep going. I might read The Beleagured City for spooky. Thanks @mumto2 for letting know that a free version is out there.
  6. Hello, All. I have been on the same two books for quite some time: De nærmeste by Lotte Kirkeby Hansen. It is a better-than-average family drama. It is taking me a long time to read because I read slowly in Danish. 1968: The Year That Rocked The World by Mark Kurlansky. It is taking me a long time to read because it is 480 pages long. Its primary focus is on the student protests that took place in the USA and Europe in 1968. I have learned a lot about what happened in both Western and Eastern European countries. And because I needed a change, I started Thrush Green #6 (Gossip From Thrush Green) last night.
  7. I am glad that your surgery is behind you now. WIshing you a speedy recovery.
  8. Invite me, please. All three of mine are young adults. I stopped opening up to my IRL friends about my kids a long time ago, and I have never been comfortable doing it on the boards. But I have written countless imaginary posts to all of you, asking for your advice 🙂
  9. I am sorry, Quill. Hugs. And I truly don’t mean to pick on a previous poster, but while 5 year survival rates are comforting, I recall researching 15, 20, and 25 year rates for young women with breast cancer and being not-quite-so-comforted. As for survival guilt, no, I do not have that. There are enough cases of bc raging its ugly return 15+ years later for me to feel survivor guilt. ETA: Sorry if I am being negative. I went to a funeral for a peer last week. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack, and it was indeed so sad and shocking.
  10. Jenny, your thread inadvertently did me a favor. I had been putting off looking into whether or not I have the textured implants that are now under recall. I now know that my implants are the smooth type, not the textured type. I had to call the plasitc surgeon's office because I could not find the card with the data. Fortunately, the surgeon's office still had easy access to my surgery report and I was able to quickly find out the answer. Learn from my mistake: If you get the implants, keep track of the card that describes them in detail. Forever. I probably have it somewhere, but I can't find it. In my defense, I have moved three times since 2006 - including moving overseas and back. And yes, I did intentionally put this off. I have been through the wringer with health scares too many times. Unless the health scare would benefit from IMMEDIATE action, I wait until it suits me mentally to deal with whatever it is. I had learned about the recall over the summer, and decided I could wait a bit when I read that the FDA was not recommending removal of the recalled implants unless there are symptoms. But your thread reminded me not to wait TOO long. Breast Recall of textured implants and tissue expanders due to rare lymphoma (ALCL) concerns
  11. My son had three years of Russian. He had my course descriptions and his tutor wrote a LOR. That was perfectly fine for admissions. He did also meet with some faculty, but certainly not at every school. And then he had a Russian placement test at orientation.
  12. I hope you get to go see her, Quill. Being able to visit my overseas son makes it bearable. I just booked a ticket for November. I wish I could have stayed until the Christmas markets open, but I wanted to get back here for Thanksgiving. I will be there during the off-off-off season, but prices are better and crowds are light. That's the silver lining, I suppose. Hugs to you!
  13. I finished three books this week. Shocking! Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy. It was just OK. I do indeed read a lot of children's literature, so I felt a bit validated by reading this book. I disagreed with some of the author's opinions, but I expect that in a book-about-books. There was something irritating about the book that I just can't quite pinpoint. My favorite parts were the biographical sketches of authors like Margaret Wise Brown. She was a very interesting woman, and I had no idea of that! The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. It was also just OK. I like existentialism well enough, but I was just never grabbed by the characters or the story. It won the National Book Award in 1962, beating out Revolutionary Road. Now I am quite curious to read Revolutionary Road. Travels with Charley by Steinbeck (audio). This one was great to listen to while driving. It was always entertaining and occasionally brilliant. I wanted to find out more about the history behind the events Steinbeck wrote about in New Orleans (desegregation), and I stumbled upon a book that I am not going to link here. It attempts to do a James Frey-style-takedown, but after reading a bit on this other book's website, I remain perfectly OK with Steinbeck's book. But {shrug}, I always take memoirs with a big fat grain jar of salt.
  14. I don't have anything useful to add, because I rarely send anything to my overseas son. I make up a small box of inexpensive items for his birthday and Christmas, and that is usually the extent of it. I do keep it to inexpensive items, because, as xahm noted, he would end up having to pay a steep price to get the package released from customs.
  15. Hugs, Jenny. I had bc in 2006 at age 41. I opted for the bilateral because my cancer type (lobular) is considered “sneaky.” I also think that a unilateral would have left me feeling unbalanced. I had reconstruction (tissue expanders plus saline implants). I was pleased with my recon results. I can easily wear tank tops, bathing suits, and camisoles. I did not have nipple reconstruction done since my motivation was to look nice in my clothes. I have no regrets with regard to my treatment choices. Of course, there is no right answer here.
  16. I'll add one that has not been mentioned yet: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. It is one of the few books that I feel confident recommending to nearly everyone. Fun thread, Kareni! Some of my other favorites that have already been mentioned include Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell, The Goblin Emperor, Deathless, The Ferrante quartet, and All Creatures Great and Small
  17. Hope you feel better soon, Robin. I am reading The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. It fits two of my 10x10 categories: The American South and Good Catholic/Bad Catholic.
  18. No, I would not, and that is how I voted. But I wouldn't think you were out of your mind. After all, you are one of the most reasonable, responsible people that I know 🙂 ETA: I also would not have any qualms about asking someone for help. I have done such a favor for people plenty of times, and I have also asked for it plenty of times. It does not feel like such a big ask to me. But neither would I be upset if someone said, no, I can't help. In your case, I would probably try for a friend whose kid is on the same school schedule.
  19. @Robin M Belated happy anniversary wishes. @mumto2 I always appreciate your Brit Tripping photos. A belated thanks! I have been trying to keep up with the threads, but have been completely consumed with family matters - all good things, fortunately. Just very time consuming. Over the summer, I got to enjoy spending time with all three boys. I even had the rare pleasure of seeing all three of them together for a few brief days. DS25 has returned to the Netherlands, and just last weekend we dropped the youngest off at college about six hours from home. We had house guests over the weekend, and this weekend will be heading south to spend time with my mom, DS27, and DS27's girlfriend. While we have had an empty nest for exactly one week, we really have not yet experienced the quiet of an empty nest. Some overdue bookish updates. I think it has been a long time since I have posted any. Here you go: FINISHED The Autobiography of Malcolm X: Engagingly written, and I learned a lot. He went through a lot of changes in thinking over the years, and it was interesting to read through the evolution of his mindset. I was left wanting to explore Malcolm X through other sources, and am also now interested in reading Alex Haley's Roots. Farewell Summer, Ray Bradbury's sequel to Dandelion Wine, was a disappointment. The writing was great (well, if you like Bradbury's writing), but the plot was thin. Because Dandelion Wine is one of my favorite books, the disappointment was rather sharp. Thanks to a suggestion from @Kareni , I read The Little World of Don Camillo . I enjoyed the book quite a bit. I had to get it through ILL, and the copy that came was very old with the type of thick, soft paper that one seldom finds in modern books. ACTIVELY WORKING ON I have been pecking away at the Diary of Anne Frank in Danish since January. I did quite a bit of pecking last week. My current Danish read is Den, Der Lever Stille by Leonora Christina Skov. The book begins with the death of the main character's mother. The main character is named Christina but later changes her name to Leonora. I have not read anything about the author yet, but maybe this is semi-autobiographical fiction. Christina/Leonora was raised in a strict, oppressive household. When she came out as a lesbian, she was rejected by her parents. Christina/Leonora is a successful novelist, and after the death of her mother she feels free to tell her own story. I am at the 40% mark. It is a good book, but not amazing. At least not yet. Return to Thrush Green (Thrush Green #5) by Miss Read. The series continues to delight and relax me. And, as was promised to me by BaW member @tuesdayschild, it does indeed seem that Harold just might get the happy ending this time. I fervently hope so! -- Last but not least, I'd like to mention that I continue to appreciate the BaW threads and the ability to drop back in after an absence.
  20. Happy Birthday, Emma! She is a beauty, and I love the colorful party decorations!
  21. @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!
  22. 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.
  23. Sounds good. Just know that I read VERY slowly in Danish - it is still very much a foreign language for me.
  24. 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 🙂
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