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Penguin

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  1. I have two book reviews to add. I finished both of these last week: The Icelandic novel (2011) Heaven and Hell by Jón Kalman Stefánsson was excellent. Now I know that it is the first of a trilogy. I will definitely plan to read on. The writing was A++. Bonus points that it fits both my around-the-world challenge and my Non-Tropical Islands category. Set in a remote part of Western Iceland in the late 1800s, life is hard, dangerous, and ruled by fishing. At times, the novel was very bleak and somewhat the Icelandic version of life-sucks-and-then-you-die. But it doesn't sink into desp
  2. I will have to finish Dracula first. I read multiple books at once, but I can't do two fantasy novels at once. Dracula is taking me longer than I thought it would. It doesn't help that I am reading Norton's annotated edition, which I have mixed feelings about. I really enjoy the sidebars about things like the history of blood transfusions and explanatory notes about archaic terms. I despise what the editor did by creating "gentle fiction" wherein he pretends that the story is true. I'm ignoring almost all notes now anyway, otherwise I'll never finish the book!
  3. @Violet CrownI hope things smooth out for you. @mumto2 Maybe I missed it, but did you comment on Piranesi? I see from Goodreads that you abandoned it. I just picked it up from the library, and am not sure that I really want to read it right now. I haven't heard any high praise for it yet. It is short, so I don't need to overthink it. But of course I do so anyway 🙂
  4. I'm glad that trick or treating was a success for him 🙂
  5. New thread for November 🙂 Learning Foreign Languages Thread - November
  6. I've loved reading about your language learning adventures. During the second half of October, I got behind on nearly everything. I am enrolled in a Latin class, and have struggled to catch up. And it reminds me of getting behind in math. Everyone else has moved on, and catching up is dreadful. Ugh. The good news is that this is just a for-fun class and the only pressure is what I put on myself. I'm continuing on with Danish and Dutch, and plan to give Norwegian some attention in November.
  7. New month, new thread 🙂 October's Thread is here.
  8. @MatryoshkaYes, that is likely the cover you had as a child. You and I are roughly the same age, and that is the cover I remembered. That photo is of a copy I bought off ebay a few years ago. Hugs to everyone dealing with and/or having close calls with illness.
  9. Happy Halloween 🙂 The Witch Family is one of my favorite books ever. At the moment, I am reading Dracula for the first time.
  10. I used to tolerate people who only posted occasional distasteful (to me) political opinions, but no more. One post in that direction and I unfollow. It no longer feels like just politics but rather a completely different worldview. Hardly anybody writes anything anymore anyway. They just share what other people wrote. I might be interested in what they had to say, but I am not interested in their memes. I also decided to mostly take my politics elsewhere. I still don’t like FB but it is better for me now. I have some groups there that are important to me. Otherwise I would only drop i
  11. Congrats @Junie! I don’t know Puppy Patrol but I can’t think of a more adorable name for a series.
  12. Ooh, I really need to start watching The Crown, now that I see that Helena Bonham Carter is in it. I love her work.
  13. I’ve not been there for ages. They had shut down at one point, if I recall correctly. I’ll have to give it a revisit -thanks.
  14. What I really want is someone to correct my Danish writing. I have no trouble finding people to talk with, but even paid tutors for writing are hard to come by. Saying this out loud to hold myself accountable: I am very embarrassed by my level of Danish writing. I have plenty of ideas how to improve it, but never follow through. And why do I have this mental block? As a lover of the written word, I detest appearing illiterate, and feel ashamed. With speaking, my mistakes disappear into the ether. And Danish is so famously mumbly that it is easy for me to just shrug off verbal mistake
  15. I have a new idea for free conversation practice to share. Take a look at Meetup. Now that nearly everything is virtual everywhere, Meetups are no longer limited to our location. I belong to a Scandinavian Language Meetup group that went dormant when the pandemic hit, but we just had our first virtual meeting and we went into breakout rooms (Danish, Norwegian, etc.). @wintermom PM me if you want the info. I have a different group that I want to try out for Dutch but have not yet been able to participate. They say they host 20+ languages. Both Chinese ( Mandarin and Cantonese) and Portugue
  16. It got designated the beach read because it is one of the books I brought to my mom's place that could withstand getting sandy and wet. Nope, no fog. We are on the NC/SC border and it feels like summer. I'm here so I could see my mom, but I'm certainly not complaining about the weather 🙂 We got very lucky. My next beach read is a history of the Greensboro sit-ins: Lunch at the 5 &10 by Miles Wolff. I bought this used and it was already a beat-up paperback, so it can withstand the beach.
  17. Oops that was my fault for declaring VC at the finish line when she did indeed say she was on the last book. @mumto2Did you end up in a Christmas mood? An animal park filled with giraffes is a great image. I also felt incongruous this week as I am at the beach. Rebecca doesn’t exactly match up with sunny and 80 degrees.
  18. @Violet Crown Congrats on finishing a 10x10 category. I’d love to see the list of your 10 Bad Catholic books if you are so inclined. It does feel like we have been working on these since 10x10s since 1919, chuckle.
  19. I finished three books since my last update: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. This was my first encounter with Rebecca, and I am glad to finally know what it is all about! Somehow I managed to go into it without any spoilers. I enjoyed the atmosphere, but the plot was blatantly obvious even to me, the most inept mystery reader on the planet. I always see this on lists of spooky books, but I didn't consider it spooky. I guess I prefer a bit of supernatural in my spooky. I'm hoping to read Dracula later this month. Our Malady: Lessons in Liberty from a Hospital Diary by historian Timothy
  20. Hi. I have not had a chance to post an update this week. An American poet won the Nobel Prize for literature this year. I have read a bit of her poetry, but it was long ago and I can’t even recall if I liked it. I’ll have to take a fresh look.
  21. I have not reached the subjunctive yet, @Violet CrownI am, however, delighted to report that I now know what that mysterious 4th principal verb part is for: The Perfect Passive Tense!
  22. Bringing this over from the September thread so it does not get overlooked.
  23. Thanks! I came here to ask for some board friends. Their names and passwords are not being recognized.
  24. Here are two screenshots from my app. The hearts are in my upper right corner. Every mistake costs me a heart, but I can get a new heart with a practice round. I forget what the gems do, and I don’t know why they are greyed out. I think I can use them to refill my hearts when I run out? The hearts auto-refill each day. I just skip over the speaking bits when I was in public.
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