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Posts posted by Colleen

  1. I didn't realize you were heading to Paris, Jenn. Lovely! Enviable! I tend to do a good bit of traveling here & there, but it's been a fistful of years since I was in Europe. Live vicariously for us, won't you? And in return, I shall live vicariously for you while in the nearly-comparable destination of Columbus, Georgia. Ahem! I do always find that every place, with a few notable exceptions (Wells, Nevada comes to mind) has something to offer. Columbus, with its river walk, historic district, and a handful of surprisingly good museums, proves the case. 


    Look forward to hearing more about Parisian book shops and so on ~ and of course you now have to tell us the name of the comic book series!



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  2. That's what I love about these threads. We read fluff, great literature both classic and contemporary, fiction and non-fiction, and all books in between. We read many different genres. And the best part is there's no judgment. We don't always agree on whether we like an author or book but we don't judge others who do (or don't). Also, if you stick around long enough you'll find your to-read list growing and growing and growing. ;)


    Yes, it's a great vibe. Fortunately for all of you, I'm primarily gleaning so won't be adding exponentially to your own lists. :p 


    Yesterday, I did a quick and delightful read-through of a childhood favorite: The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes. 


    Such a fun read! Eleanor Estes was a favorite of mine, too. 


    I'm low on time ~ need to make travel arrangements & hopefully fly out Tuesday night. Yes, my guy got the "go" and graduates Friday! I was honestly a bit taken by surprise since going straight through is rather rare. Super impressed & amazed, but from a logistical standpoint...ack! Thanks for the good thoughts, all. 

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  3. So glad you're in a safe place, physically & emotionally, Rose. Fwiw, I am a not-prudish adult who even in ideal circumstances doesn't want to read about sex. The very phrase "steamy vampire sex"makes me laugh, lol.


    Love the video, Jane. A good friend & I have Iceland on our mutual bucket list.


    I'm another Hemingway non-enthusiast (though It's been a long while since I gave him a read), but this talk of Nick Adams stories piques my interest. Have never heard of them and for that matter, didn't even know he had a Northern MI connection. Definitely want to check it out. 


    In response to your resounding recommendations (lol), I started my Carson McCullers reading with The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and am thoroughly enjoying it so far.  


    Last week I put in an inter-library loan request for Afghan author Atiq Rahimi's The Patience Stone, assuming it would be some time in coming. It's already here! So I may read that soon & also watch the movie version.


    On a personal note, I'd appreciate good thoughts for my oldest son & his classmates today & tomorrow as they finish the penultimate days of Ranger school. On Sunday they'll find if they receive the "go" to graduate on Friday. Some will have to recycle (re-do) swamp phase. Some will be dropped (sent home) after 62 days of grueling training. It's nerve-wracking to bide the hours, thinking of these soldiers and waiting for the call. Hope for the best, prepare for the, er, alternative!




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  4. I did run into this list of 80 award winning books set\from around the world that I suspect was already linked but is something I might (might over a decade or so!) be able to work through.


    I clicked on the link with trepidation ("Just what I need; another list!") and am happy to report that it doesn't work for me ~ the list, not the link, lol. As compelling as I found Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Piers Paul Read's Alive, I wouldn't read them "for" Nepal or Uganda. Ann Patchett's Bel Canto for Peru? No. I wonder what awards some of these received? ("You're all winners in my book!" (pun intended).) 


    It is not my intention to play devil's advocate but, given my interest in Eastern Europe, this is one of those things that I think about.


    Yep, I'm with you, having studied Russian language & history. And like you, I wonder, too, if he would have moved were it not for the circumstances. Just saying that I wouldn't describe him (or anyone) as "Soviet". 


    I highlighted this:

    "...What I want to say to you, Holmesy, is that yes, you are exhausting, and yes, being your friend is work. But you are also the most fascinating person I have ever known, and you are not like mustard. You are like pizza, which is the highest compliment I can pay a person.â€

    and sent it to my best friend because that's how I feel.  It's a lot of work to be the friend of someone with mental health issues, but it's worth it.


    What great lines ~ both from the author and from you, Heather. 


    I think I'm going to steal the phrase "free range personality" and use it to describe myself instead of "rebellious non-conformist".  


    How have I gone all these years and without identifying myself as a "free range personality"? Ha! Love it. Fits well with "I am large, I contain multitudes." 


    I think I might have water trying to escape from my eyes.


    I'm picking up all manner of good quotes here today!


    Does anyone who's read Carson McCullers have a recommendation as to where I should start? I was so sure I'd read some of her work, but upon perusal, it's not ringing a bell. So which to delve into first: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, or The Member of the Wedding

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  5. Bother. I just multi-quoted & responded to a number of comments, only to have the post rejected by The System. For sake of ease, I'll skip the quoting and just offer up my tidbits:


    ~ Eliana, hope your meeting went well, and thanks for the clarification. I hear you, don't disagree, but am thinking more along Penguin's line. That being, for this particular challenge, setting matters to me. (I don't like referring to it as a challenge, but can't think of another, better word. Venture? Endeavor?)


    ~ Sidebar re Krzhizhanovsky: I don't agree that he's ultimately Soviet. That's a political term, and our application of it to individuals was/is political in nature. I think I'd say he was Russian, though the Kiev birthplace can present a challenge, you have a point there, Jane. 


    ~ I read some of Walker's book when I was in my El Camino de Santiago phase. When our (intact) family was last in Europe, in 2012, I declared that I'd do the pilgrimage the year I turn 50 (2019). I then immersed myself in the subject for a time. Despite my own penchant for humor & sarcasm, Walker's tone wore on me. Came across as trying too hard, or somewhat immature; I can't recall what it was exactly. At any rate, I'm less certain now of the walk, through no fault of Walker's. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll do another marathon instead. Although Hawaii 5-0 sounds appealing, too. ;-D


    ~ thinking of you, Rose!!! ~

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    Although I appreciated works that were 'about' the region, I felt strongly that I should not make that requirement.  



    Feeling rather dense because as many times as I read this, I'm not sure what you mean. I  absolutely don't see this list/challenge (or any other) as a means of box checking, and I hold loosely any notions of what does or doesn't count for this or that. But of course a book has to have some connection in some way to the given place. Sorry to be thick, but I'm not sure I understand you...? : )

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  7. Mumto2 and Kareni - Based on your recommendations John and I read My Father's Dragon. Loved it! Absolutely perfect for both of us. 


    Words can not express my love for My Father's Dragon. I first read it with my oldest son (now 22) when he was a very small person. Reread with each of the next four sons ~ with many readings in-between. Did I mention I adore this book? Makes for a great gift along with Elmer & the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland, too. I think I need to read it again. Seriously!

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    On a bookish note, I don't think I have told you guys that I am an ESL tutor for adults. One of the pleasures of the gig is reading books along with my student. We recently read Pippi Longstocking and Charlotte's Web, and we are now finishing Paddington the Bear. My student loves quality children's lit and so do I. It is lovely to be discussing these books with someone encountering them for the first time.


    That does sound lovely! I did some ESL training back in the day, when I intended to put it to use in Slovakia. Ended up in Switzerland instead, lol. I'd enjoy getting back to ESL tutoring, but I need actual paid employment and I've yet to come across options there. Still, it's such a pleasure to share books & language with others. 



    I have been pondering the whole around the world challenge...I have gone and made a nice table for myself (I am the queen of tables for organizing info! :D)


    Interesting! I'm systematic, an organizer ~ must have "an approach". When I was a girl, I'd check out a stack of library books and then create a chart, ranking each book on various categories before deciding which one to read first. Haha! 


    There's also so many authors from countries where there's been war or repression and they almost have to leave to be able to write honestly about what happened there or to get enough education  to become a writer.  How long do they have to have lived there before they are counted as not really being from there anymore?...Where is the cut-off?  I might make it 'grew to adulthood in that country', where your formative experiences are from....I do think I would like a book to be about the country that I'm checking off the box for. 


    Absolutely, for me, the book has to be about that country. And generally, I'd say an author should have grown to adulthood in that country. But then we have the case of the book I mentioned in a previous post, In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddy Ratner, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime. She came to United States around age 11 or so, but this book is very much a book about Cambodian experiences, by a woman whose life was inexorably shaped by those realities. So file it under Cambodia, yes. 




    Musing on Isak Dinensen: Since Babette’s Feast is set in Norway, I’m not even sure she has a book I would count for Denmark. I have not read the short story collections in ages; my recall of them is fuzzy. 


     I do believe she has a number of "Danish" stories, but like you, it's been a long while since I read those collections.

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  9. I want to respond to various quotes but this thread is moving too fast for me. Thanks for the international suggestions, Eliana. Also love the takeouts from Catch-22, a book I gifted my oldest son a handful of years ago. I should suggest when he finishes Ranger school that he give it a reread to better appreciate the sardonic wit.


    So many other great mentions here! I have nothing revelatory to contribute. Am quickly reading through Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Mom's Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Home Front. Rather specific to the moment and not the sort of thing I'd typically read, but I need the comfort & company.  Along those lines, Rose, I am thinking about you. Yes, it's hard to be the only grownup ~ sorry to say, I know the feeling all too well. Hugs!



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  10. I was pleased yesterday to come across a $8 excellent condition copy of some Carson McCullers. The volume includes The Heart is A Lonely Hunter, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, and The Member of the Wedding.  This Georgia start to my States tour will keep me satisfied when I head to Columbus soon. 


    I am still waffling as to how to tackle the World Tour list.  My library happened to have In the Shadow of the Banyan Tree (Cambodia) and Broken April (Albania) readily available so I checked out & perused them. Both are enticing. But unlike you mega-bibliophiles, I'm not stellar at reading multiple fiction books at once. I like things interrelate. Maybe I should start with a book from the nation of Georgia, lol. 


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  11. Kei Miller's Augustown, the 2017 winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. Miller is Jamaican.



    I have a few possibilities for Jamaica on my World Tour list, and this one is at the very top. I'm partial bc of the author's name; wondering if he pronounces it like my Kai. It's not currently in our library system, but I requested they purchase it so I imagine it will be soon. Probably long before I get around to reading it. 


    Jane, that W&P quote sounds similar to something one would find in Catch-22.



    Haha! It really does.


    I read Loner - 1 Star - This was a disturbing and strange book. In all fairness, the author is a good writer and he did a great job portraying the protagonist, but the story was a challenge for me. There wasn’t a single character that I thought was interesting, never mind any that I liked. Neither are good signs for me. This was just a creepy and sad read. 



    I'm amazed you stuck with it!



    I actually read The Amityville Horror when I was 9 or 10. Not sure what my parents were thinking  :eek: but maybe they didn't notice what I was reading? lol



    Right?! I wonder the same wrt to some of my youthful reading & viewing habits.


     I should close this browser window and get back to my task du jour, editing my quilt guild's by-laws and standing rules in preparation for next week's board meeting. The fun just never stops around here!


    "The Amateur's Guide to Quilt Guild By-Laws", lol ~ could be a hot commodity, lol!

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  12. Rose (Chrysalis Academy), I've been meaning to tell you how much I love the quote in your signature. It's been so long since I read Love in the Time of Cholera, I don't recall that line. As well, I didn't have children when I read it, so it likely didn't make an impression on me. I'm so keenly aware now of the fact that in part bc of homeschooling, I did form a friendship with my sons while raising them. Which is lovely, and yet, hard as they grow up & away. 


    Re the states you still need to read, there are so many great Montana choices, including of course Norman Maclean's stories and his Young Men and Fire. But I'll also recommend a book near & dear to my heart, Mildred Walker's Winter Wheat. I grant that she wasn't a Montana native, but her vivid descriptions of that landscape speak otherwise. Perhaps not award-caliber writing, but a thoughtful, lovely book. 




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  13. You do become rather caught in your memories of certain places and it is very hard to stay current when you no longer live there. 


    I think my former husband suffers from this, lol.



    Oh, and I have decided to do both the 50 states and the world. I am going to backdate the 50 states a bit and start the world list in 2018.


    Nice! Will you approach the world list geographically, or...?


    Looking at my states - it looks like I just need to read books from 14 states to have at least one book from all 50.


    I thought about backdating the states list, which would whittle it down significantly, but I like the idea of starting fresh and there's plenty that I've not read ~ or want to reread. I read a bit of Carson McCullers back in college, for example, but I'm headed soon to her native Columbus, GA so good reason to read her again. I like to associate what I'm reading with my immediate location, the weather, my mood. Reading Southern lit while in the South is good & right. During winter in WA, I'll want to read "cold" states. I could not read about an ice storm while on a Big Island beach; and on the flip side, I can't be in a ski lodge & transport to the Everglades. Just doesn't work for me. 


    I had a point when I started that paragraph, but I lost it. Thinking in general about the order of the books, I guess. The states list isn't an issue, but I can't decide how to approach the world list. Maybe no particular order, just go with whatever speaks to me in the moment (and is available!).  

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  14. :thumbup1:


    Any books to share/recommend from your 2010 list...??? :D



    Well, it was pretty much non-fiction and children's lit. I was in an Uruguay phase, thanks largely to forward Diego Forlán, lol. But I didn't read any Uruguayan lit, more articles about the history. I got very into the 1972 national rugby team's plane crash and read Alive and Miracle in the Andes.


    Spain was in the final four (and ultimately won). Our second son was a huge Barca fan, and I hoped to go to Spain & Camp Nou on our next visit to Han's family. (Which we did, in 2012.) So I went through Robert Hughes's Barcelona in fits & starts. An uncle of Hans's who is a Barcelona native & historian recommended to me a number of books, not one of which I ever found in English translation. 


    I'd read some Nadine Gordimer when I was younger and always meant to revisit her. Bc the tournament was in South Africa and in July, I read July's People ~ or tried to, anyway. I couldn't get into it. Anyone here a Gordimer fan or have a particular book of hers that you recommend?

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  15. The fact that I am posting this during Thursday NFL is a tribute to you all. ;-)


    (W)hat I love about (challenges) is that they get me to read things I wouldn't have read otherwise. Of course I will apply my own criteria - I always do! But I'm interested in the criteria others have used or would use.



    Yep, yep. 



    Consider a person:




    Were I to write a book, how would I be categorized?


 're 55? Or was it not a math question? LOL


    (E)ven though I have lived in my current town for over 30 years, I don't necessarily feel like I'm from here. But I also don't feel like I'm from where I was born. When people ask me where I'm from, I usually don't know how or what to answer, lol.



    I hear you. I'm imprinted, being born in Germany to a German mother, though I lived there so briefly. And my time in New Orleans influenced me so deeply, as did, of course, living in Switzerland, marrying there & birthing my first son there. And yet of my 48 years, the vast majority are in Western WA. And I've been here, in this town, now for 21 years. So I am of here. And yet...not. So interesting, how the puzzle pieces fit together.



    I see challenges posted in other reading groups, it isn't exclusive to our group. They just don't motivate me at all, but your rave reviews often inspire me to try something new.


    I guess to me it's semantics. I didn't interpret the world book list as a challenge. Just an idea, no different than reviews & suggestions that offer inspiration. : )

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  16. (Re: The Book of Embraces)


    Not sure that it's what you mean or not & you may already know, but I just want to point out that The Book of Embraces has nothing to do with sports. The list itself was just recommending books from countries that were in the World Cup at that time.



    Oh, yeh, I gotcha. I phrased that poorly. I do realize the book has nothing to do with sports. Only meant that the list's origins ~ inspired by a sporting event ~ resonated. Very much the sort of thing I'd do. Come to think of it, I did something similar during the 2010 World Cup finals but more non-fiction based.

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    The thing I simply cannot fathom is the reading of a book simply to check off a box in a challenge. 



    Hmm...I'm not thinking in those terms and I'm not sensing that from anyone else here.  I don't force myself to read things just because. I think it's fun to come up with angles and themes, but I don't go through motions in intellectual pursuits simply to check off boxes. I see lists, suggestions, and discussion in general ~ like discussion here ~ as a a means of gleaning & sharing ideas & information

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  18. Can I lodge a protest against Into the Wild as an Alaskan read? 


    Absolutely. I had the same reaction. It's not about Alaska, it's not by an Alaskan author, just happens to involve Alaska. (Thanks to the subject's ill-based idealism and lack of common sense. But I digress.) Each list (some more than others) have some selections that I'd never consider go-to books in a literary state tour. Thus the trade-outs. 

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