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Book a Week in 2015 - BW11


Robin M

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Happy Sunday, dear hearts.   Today is the start of week 11 in our quest to read 52 Books. Welcome back to all our readers, to all those who are just joining in and to all who are following our progress. Mr. Linky is all set up on the 52 Books blog to link to your reviews. The link is below in my signature.

 

52 Books Blog - Cozy MysteriesCozy mysteries are so much fun to read. They usually involve a casual sleuth in a small town and a variety of settings (bookstore, museum, crafts shop, restaurant) as well as a variety of occupations (librarian, coffee house, reporter) with various side kicks including cats or maybe a dog or two or even a ghost.  The crime usually takes place off screen as well as any romantic interludes.  One of my favorite cozy mystery author's is Cleo Coyle with her Coffee House Mysteries as well as her Haunted Bookshop series. Check out her virtual coffeehouse full of coffee and muffin recipes.  Start with On What Grounds and she'll not only get you hooked on the story, but coffee recipes as well.  *grin*   I also lean toward bookstore themed stories and have enjoyed Lorna Barrett's Booktown Mystery series starting with Murder is Binding.

 

Check out Cozy Mysteries Unlimited where you'll find every kind of cozy mystery possible.  

 

*******************************************************
 
History of the Medieval World 
 Chapter 13 (pp 91 - 94) - Seeking Homeland (410 - 418 AD)
 Chapter 14 (pp 95 - 99) - The Gupta Decline (415 - 480 AD)
 
 
************************************************
 
What are you reading this week?
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Last night amidst multiple interruptions from my guys *grrr* I finished Anne Bishop's Vision in Silver and since I read it far to quickly and not ready for it to end, going to reread again, more slowly and savor and enjoy. 

 

On my nightstand waiting  is Cleo Coyle's Billionaire Blend, #13 in her Coffee House Mysteries.

 

Still immersed in multiple non fiction writing books and chugging along with my writing classes. Added two more books to my writing stacks - Jeff Vandermeer's Wonderland: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction (got it for James but yes, it 's really for me.)  and The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction.

 

James and I are still reading together - Inside Hitler's Bunker:The Last Days of the Third Reich.  Told him when we are finished with this one, then his studies of the Nazi era is done.   Do you think he believed me.  :leaving:

 

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I've got quite the reading to-do list going on.  On my nightstand (or iPhone) I've got the following books and the plan to finish them all this month.  Alrighty-then!  I better get reading.

 

Rebecca

Wings of Fire (the second Ian Rutledge book so I can report back here)

Brat Farrar (to finish my March Mystery Month Trifecta - Tey, Christie, and Sayers)

Towards Zero (Christie - audiobook)

Mistborne (real life book club)

 

and ...

 

just a few read alouds with DD and DS!

 

 

James and I are still reading together - Inside Hitler's Bunker:The Last Days of the Third Reich.  Told him when we are finished with this one, then his studies of the Nazi era is done.   Do you think he believed me.  :leaving:

 

Is this what read alouds look like with teenage boys?!?!?   :huh:   You are an awesome mom ... and probably quite knowledgeable on WWII by now!  

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I finished three books this week - The Fall of Troy, which was an enjoyable fictional story about Schliemann and his wife Sophia and the excavation of Troy.  Also In Search of a Homeland, which I read with Morgan, and Sense & Sensibility.  I also read Arsenic & Old Lace and The Daughter of Time, both short and enjoyable reads.

 

I will hopefully finish The Reluctant Mr. Darwin, and I'm still working on A Room of One's Own. I also started Darkness at Noon, getting back to my Russian/totalitarian gov't theme of earlier in the year. I had to take a break from that stuff for awhile, but I'm looking forward to this and Rue de Retour now.

 

Still reading HotMW, Harvard Classics in a Year, and with the girls From Then Till Now, Sapiens, Trout Reflections, The Forest Unseen, and Taran Wanderer.

 

 

Books of 2015:

37. The Fall of Troy - Peter Ackroyd

36. Arsenic and Old Lace - Joseph Kesselring

35. In Search of a Homeland - Penelope Lively

34. The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey

33. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

32. The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes

31. Whose Body? - Dorothy L. Sayers

30. Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic - David Quammen

29. Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

28. The Castle of Llyr - Lloyd Alexander

27. The Shadow in the North - Philip Pullman

26. The Ruby in the Smoke - Philip Pullman

25. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Vol. 2 - Arthur Conan Doyle

24. The Friendly Persuasion - Jessamyn West

23. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

22. My Antonia - Willa Cather

21. The Secret History of the Mongol Queens - Jack Weatherford

20. Amsterdam - Ian McEwan

19. The Creation of Anne Boleyn - Susan Bordo

18. Girls on the Edge - Leonard Sax

17. Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie

16. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

15. The Black Cauldron - Lloyd Alexander

14. 1984 - George Orwell

13. My Real Children - Jo Walton

12. The March of Folly - Barbara Tuchman

11. Day - Elie Wiesel

10. The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne

9. The Wikkeling - Steven Aronson

8. Whole Earth Discipline - Stewart Brand

7. The Ghost-Feeler - Edith Wharton

6. Dawn - Elie Wiesel

5. The Strange Library - Haruki Murakami

4. Ancillary Justice - Anne Leckie

3. The Case of Comrade Tulayev - Victor Serge

2. Night - Elie Wiesel

1. The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells

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I finished The Art of Description by Mark Doty. This little book contained many musings, observations or short essays on description. Here are a couple of things I marked in the book.

 

 

The best description is never merely decorative, but makes meaning in itself, building an argument about the nature of the real.

 

What is veracity in description? It must be fidelity to the truth of perception - that is, attention and allegiance to the process of KNOWING. Our knowledge of the sensory world is nothing fixed, but a continuing reappraisal, a set of processes that figure and refigure the world. ... [A]rt's work is to return us to the process of perception and awaken us to the shifting and perennially challenging nature of what's in front of us.

 

I also finished The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Interesting, terrifying, hopeful, then just nothing.  :crying:

 

I continue with Sin and Syntax and Narrative Design and I started How to Haiku and The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction

 

All those writing books are my excuse for still not having finished OrlandoI've got about 50 pages left (the last chapter). I'm still enjoying it; I'm just making slow progress with fiction this year.

 

Oh, and I also just barely started a book of poetry. No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay. 

 

Still immersed in multiple non fiction writing books and chugging along with my writing classes. Added two more books to my writing stacks - Jeff Vandermeer's Wonderland: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction (got it for James but yes, it 's really for me.)  and The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction.

 

 

The VanderMeer book is on my to-read list. I got as far as flipping through it once. Great pictures. Glad you brought it back to my attention.

 

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I've got quite the reading to-do list going on.  On my nightstand (or iPhone) I've got the following books and the plan to finish them all this month.  Alrighty-then!  I better get reading.

 

Rebecca

Wings of Fire (the second Ian Rutledge book so I can report back here)

Brat Farrar (to finish my March Mystery Month Trifecta - Tey, Christie, and Sayers)

Towards Zero (Christie - audiobook)

Mistborne (real life book club)

 

and ...

 

just a few read alouds with DD and DS!

 

 

Is this what read alouds look like with teenage boys?!?!?   :huh:   You are an awesome mom ... and probably quite knowledgeable on WWII by now!  

 

I'm in the same boat with a lot of books to read!  I am reading the book I picked based on its cover for my book club meeting later this week.  I still need to read my Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None, and I would like to find time to fit in Murder on the Orient Express!  I need to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as I'm already way behind in reading Harry Potter if I want to be done by May!  And I need to pick a new read aloud for me and Aly.

 

Is Mistborn the Brandon Sanderson book?

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This week I read The Deal by Elle Kennedy and Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen. Other than that all my reading has been student essays (and a few pages of Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett). Not sure what I will be reading this week because I really just want to go to bed now :blush: :zombie:

 

1. The Child Catchers by Kathryn Joyce

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

3. The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

4. The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

5. The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

6. Blond Date by Sarina Bowen

7. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

8. Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

9. After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson

10. With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

11. Falling from the Sky by Sarina Bowen

12. Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb

13. Murphys Law by Rhys Bowen

14. Än finns det hopp by Karin Wahlberg

15. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

16. Shooting for the Stars by Sarina Bowen

17. Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen

18. The Deal by Elle Kennedy

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Still early in Portrait of a Lady.  I have a slight problem:  no electricity in my bathroom.  I would tell you why that pertains to Book a Week, but that would be TMI.  :eek:

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Still early in Portrait of a Lady.  I have a slight problem:  no electricity in my bathroom.  I would tell you why that pertains to Book a Week, but that would be TMI.  :eek:

 

:lol:  :smilielol5:  :rofl:

 

 

Not sure how to follow up after that!

 

Still reading Under a Wide and Starry Sky, about Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, which is pretty good, but only skims along the surface of 2 interesting lifetimes.  Now I need to actually read more of his works as the only one I've read and treasured was A Child's Garden of Verses. I still have my childhood book, and realized with sadness that I didn't properly introduce it to my own children. I'll have to rectify that with grandchildren someday...

 

Still listening to In the Kingdom of Ice about the USS Jeannette.  I've now read up on the expedition on the internet and am not hugely motivated to listen to the last 7 hours, yes seven hours, of men trudging across Siberia and dying of starvation and the like.  

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Stacia did not lead me astray with her recommendation of The Good Lord Bird.  McBride takes a difficult subject--slavery--and sends us on a wild and often humorous ride while giving the reader much to ponder. I associate John Brown with Harper's Ferry, but McBride introduces us to Brown in Kansas territory where abolitionists and pro-slavery militias meet in skirmishes prior to the start of the American Civil War.  The novel ends with Harper's Ferry.  This is obviously not a happy book although our narrator surely gives us many chuckles as the tale unfolds. 

 

McBride won the National Book Award in '13 for this work.  This fiction reader is sufficiently intrigued by the tidbits I have learned about the author that I may pick up his memoir, The Color of Water.  Stacia--you might want to read about that one.

 

Next up is Beryl Bainbridge's Every Man for Himself, the winner of the Whitbread prize in '96 and recently made available by our dear friends at Europa. Here is a quote from the narrator, the fictional nephew of the banker J.P. Morgan shortly after he boards a ship called the Titanic:

 

Dreaming there, my mind racing the clouds above Southhampton Water, I resolved, not for the first time, to spend the next few days pursuing fitness of mind and body;  visit to the swimming pool and squash court each morning, the library in the afternoon followed by two courses at dinner, absolutely no alcohol and retirement by ten o'clock at the latest.  No sooner had I dwelt on the satisfaction to be gained from such a puritanical regime than I was compelled to order a brandy.  I wasn't irresolute by nature, merely shaken at the prospect.

 

 

I continue to read John Buchan's short stories, enjoying both Space and 'Divus' Johnston very much.

 

HoMW:  Bookmarked at 24 of 85 chapters

 

The Golden Legend:  Bookmarked at 35 of 182 vignettes

 

The medieval mind continues to amaze me not by how different it is but by how similar it is to modern mindsets.  For some reason I thought we had evolved in some ways.  Perhaps we have--but devolved in others!

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I didn't make huge amounts of reading progress the past few days. It's full-on Irish dance mode here (practices, appearances), plus I've had a nasty intestinal bug the past couple of days. So, just getting through the day has been a major achievement & reading hasn't even been a part of it.

 

That said, I'm still working on Orlando by Virginia Woolf. I'm 2/3 of the way through & have been up & down on it. Parts I've enjoyed & I'm glad I read some background as to why she wrote the book, while other parts have gotten a little tedious for me. (I have a sneaking feeling -- or is it a prejudice on my part? -- that Woolf sometimes likes the sound of her own prose so much that she goes on a bit too long.) When I've gotten a little fed up, though, & put it aside thinking that I don't like it all that much, I'm then entirely surprised when I next pick it up & like it again. Not sure what my final vote for it will be, but I am glad to finally be reading it, reading her. And, I'm musing... what if I don't end up liking it? Does that make me a bad feminist?

 

I haven't picked up the book of West African short stories & myths this week either. Perhaps I will get back to it. I don't know. Maybe it's because Spring is in the air, I've been swamped, I've been sick, but I'm itching to start something new, something different. Don't know which way that will pull me this week.

 

2015 Books Read:

Africa:

  • Rue du Retour by Abdellatif Laâbi, trans. from the French by Jacqueline Kaye, pub. by Readers International. 4 stars. Morocco. (Poetic paean to political prisoners worldwide by one who was himself in prison for “crimes of opinionâ€. Explores not only incarceration but also readjusting to a ‘normal’ world after torture & release.)
  • Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotum, pub. by Unnamed Press. 4 stars. South Africa & Nigeria. (Scientists lured back home in a ‘brain gain’ plan to start up Nigerian space program. But, things go awry. Is it legit, a scam, or something more sinister?)
  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, pub. by Viking (Penguin Group). 3 stars. Nigeria. (YA fantasy lit in the vein of HP but with a West African base of myth & legend.)
  • Under the Frangipani by Mia Couto, trans. from the Portuguese by David Bookshaw, pub. by Serpent’s Tail. 3 stars. Mozambique. (Murder mystery that ultimately examines the things that kill a people, a country, a place; told through a magical realism lens of the living & the dead, traditions vs. modern mores, colonization against freedom, & war facing off against peace.)
  • Gassire’s Lute: A West African Epic, trans. & adapted by Alta Jablow, illus. by Leo & Diane Dillon, pub. by Dutton. 4 stars. West Africa, incl. Ghana & Burkina Faso. (Children’s poetic book [part of the epic of Dausi], telling of Gassire who gives up his noble lineage & warrior life to become a bard/griot.)

Asia:

  • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami, a Borzoi book pub. by Alfred A. Knopf.  4 stars. Japan. BaW January author challenge. (Creepy campfire style story; thought-provoking ending made me rethink the entire story.)
  • The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford, pub. by Crown Publishers. 4 stars. Mongolia. (Non-fiction. Even with gaps, fascinating pieces of lost &/or censored history.)

Caribbean:

  • The Duppy by Anthony C. Winkler, pub. by Akashic Books. 3 stars. Jamaica. (A duppy [ghost] relates ribald & amusing anecdotes of Jamaican heaven.)

Europe:

  • The Affinity Bridge by George Mann, a Tor book pub. by Tom Doherty Associates. 3 stars. England. (Entertaining steampunk with likeable characters.)
  • Extraordinary Renditions by Andrew Ervin, pub. by Coffee House Press. 4 stars. Hungary. (Triptych of stories in Budapest touching on the Holocaust, racism, corruption, the power of music,…)
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, pub. by Scribner Classics. 4 stars. France & Spain. (Lost generation of post-WW1 expats living, loving, & arguing in France & Spain.)
  • Kismet by Jakob Arjouni, trans. from the German by Anthea Bell, pub. by Melville House (Melville International Crime). 4 stars. Germany. (Tough Turkish-German PI in the middle of a turf war as a Croatian organized crime group tries to take over territory of Albanian & German mobs in Frankfurt. Darkly funny & nicely paced.)
  • The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham, pub. by Penguin Books. 5 stars. France. (Interlinked stories of friends in post-WWI France as they move through life & each finds his or her own version of success.)
  • Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss, pub. by Melville House. 3 stars. England. (Creepy, frivolous fun horror/mystery mash-up… and a cat who wants Daniel Craig to voice him if there’s a movie version.)

Middle East:

  • The Jerusalem File by Joel Stone, pub. by Europa editions. 2 stars. Israel. (Noir detective tale re: jealousy. Ambiguous, unsatisfactory ending.)
  • Goat Days by Benyamin, trans. from Malayalam by Joseph Koyipally, pub. by Penguin Books. 3 stars. Saudi Arabia. (Simple tale of enslaved Indian forced to herd goats in the Saudi Arabian desert.)

North America:

  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, pub. by Riverhead Books (Penguin Group). 5 stars. USA. (Sharp satire, historical fiction & folly, standing on top of heart, soul... & freedom.)
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I read A House in the Sky: A Memoir - 3 Stars? - I’m quite torn as to what rating to give this – really not sure whether to give it 2, 3, or 4 Stars – or even something in between. For much of the book, I felt that the author and her ex-boyfriend were extremely naive and stupid. How could someone lack basic common-sense and be so dumb and naïve as to keep going from war zone to war zone :confused1: ? As the book progressed, I put those feelings aside and felt pain and anger for what they went through. I was surprised that she felt some misplaced compassion towards her captors. That was weird and quite disturbing (Stockholm Syndrome perhaps). All in all, I’m happy that I read it. 

 

9780670920860.jpg

 

 

MY RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars

Fantastic, couldn't put it down

4 Stars

Really Good

3 Stars

Enjoyable

2 Stars

Just Okay – nothing to write home about

1 Star

Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.

 

My Good Reads page - if anyone is interested in adding me as a friend.

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I didn't make huge amounts of reading progress the past few days. It's full-on Irish dance mode here (practices, appearances), plus I've had a nasty intestinal bug the past couple of days. So, just getting through the day has been a major achievement & reading hasn't even been a part of it.

 

 

I hope you are feeling better today, Stacia.

 

Sending you and those under the weather some air kisses--note that I am keeping my distance.  ;)

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I'm reading "Oliver" and "The Bride of New France" which is historical fiction and is a fun beach read. It's entertaining enough that I didn't notice that a bird had crapped on me.

 

For some reason, most of my fiction readings these days start with someone dying and I'm starting to get annoyed with this way of hooking an audience into paying attention and continuing a story.

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 (I have a sneaking feeling -- or is it a prejudice on my part? -- that Woolf sometimes likes the sound of her own prose so much that she goes on a bit too long.) 

 

 

I think most stream of consciousness writers like the sound of their own prose. :)

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I finished As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust and am now reading Death At Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn. It is a British cosy that takes place in the roaring twenties.

I have read several Carola Dunn mysteries. They are nice and light.

 

Robin, Thanks for the Coffee House cozy recommendation. My overdrive library has them and I keep seeing them as a choice. I will get one to try soon!

 

 

Stacia, Hope you start feeling better soon and that the rest of your family stays heathy especially your dd.

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I didn't make huge amounts of reading progress the past few days. It's full-on Irish dance mode here (practices, appearances), plus I've had a nasty intestinal bug the past couple of days. So, just getting through the day has been a major achievement & reading hasn't even been a part of it.

 

 

 

:grouphug:  Feel better soon!

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Thanks for the well-wishes, friends. :grouphug:  I decided to climb into the treehouse, have my face in the full sun, & sat there & finished Orlando.

 

The story revolves around Orlando (who starts as a man in the story, later to wake up as a woman) & treks through over 300 years of Orlando's life in England (& a short while overseas). Between the longevity & gender changes/flexibility of our protagonist, it gives a somewhat fantastical/magical realist bent to the story. It's sort-of a meandering picaresque (except Orlando is high-born, not low-born) that is sometimes too wordy (imo), but is also redeemed by the flashes of profound beauty & brilliance that grace the pages. The book itself has been described as Virginia Woolf’s love letter to Vita Sackville-West; I think it's pretty touching that in the story, Orlando gets to keep her ancestral home, unlike V S-W who, in real life, lost her ancestral English manor home because of the standard inheritance customs that prevented a female from inheriting. I was very hesitant to try reading Woolf, but I think this book was a good choice for me (with its fantastical, magical realism tinges). I'm not sure I'd rush to read other works by Woolf, but I am glad I read this particular one. 4 stars.

 

The version of the book I have has various portraits of Orlando throughout his/her life. Does anyone know who it really is in the portraits/photos?

 

Jane, glad to hear that you enjoyed The Good Lord Bird. McBride gives lots of food for thought. I read about some of his other books & am definitely interested in reading more of his work.

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Listening to/reading Orlando and Night and Day by Virginia Woolf and Paul Johnson's A History of the American People. I started and finished Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny.  (I don't always care a whole lot about the murder mystery, but I do love her characters.)

 

My girls are over in London for the week.  They saved their summer job money and are there for their spring break.  The boys and I are still doing school because of an online class.  

 

 

 

14. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny - good/very good (not a great mystery, but I love her stories)

13. The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen by Lindsay Ashford - eh, okay, but not great

12. The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny - I love Gamanche (and Ruth and Gabri and Beauvoir)

11. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor - okay, much better than the other Jane knock-off, but not great

10. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - excellent

09. Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan - good, great characters

08. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James - awful, wish I hadn't bothered to read it

07. Plea of Insanity by Jilliane Hoffman - pretty good, but not great

06. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - good

05. Emma by Jane Austen - very good


04. First Grave on the Right - meh (great narrator, lots of potential, but mostly    

     disappointing)


03. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami - weird but good

02.  Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler - pretty good

01.  A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny - pretty good

 

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I am carrying on with Redeployed. I highly recommend it, if only because it is the rare author who wins the National Book Award with his or her first novel length work. The subject matter is heavy, but not overwhelming (so far) and I am finding it very worthwhile.

 

I am getting through it quickly enough that I am already planning out my next book, lol. I am hoping to get Good Lord Bird or Roundhouse...or maybe We Need New Names...We'll see what is available from the library

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Well, I'm on strike from life and responsibilities today.  I finished The Reluctant Mr. Darwin. I really enjoyed it.  It details Darwin's life after the Beagle Voyage, during the years when he was developing and writing up his theory. This is my second David Quammen book, and it won't be my last.

 

I also finished A Room of One's Own. I very much enjoyed it.  Whew, I'm still a good feminist!  ;)  "this poet . . . still lives.  She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her.  For my belief is that if we live another century or so . . . and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habits of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting-room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality . . . if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come."

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Earlier I finished the contemporary romance Rise: a ROCK SOLID romance by Karina Bliss; I enjoyed it.

 

"Even rock stars deserve redemption...

 

Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes. So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir. Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions–manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous. In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject. When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another. Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke. She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister’s daughter. She thought wrong.

 

Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier–many would say an outcast–for most of his life. But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation. His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph–if his golden voice holds out. Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth’s integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats. All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think. Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out. And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life. Turns out he is scared of something: being known."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm reading "Oliver" and "The Bride of New France" which is historical fiction and is a fun beach read. It's entertaining enough that I didn't notice that a bird had crapped on me.

 

:w00t: :smilielol5: :ack2:

 

Is this what read alouds look like with teenage boys?!?!?   :huh:   You are an awesome mom ... and probably quite knowledgeable on WWII by now!  

It's been quite interesting, I'll give you that. Can't wait for world history. No telling what we'll be reading then.

 

Still early in Portrait of a Lady.  I have a slight problem:  no electricity in my bathroom.  I would tell you why that pertains to Book a Week, but that would be TMI.  :eek:

 

I think we get it. Maybe, kind of, sort of. Thanks for sharing. 

 

 

I didn't make huge amounts of reading progress the past few days. It's full-on Irish dance mode here (practices, appearances), plus I've had a nasty intestinal bug the past couple of days. So, just getting through the day has been a major achievement & reading hasn't even been a part of it.

 

That said, I'm still working on Orlando by Virginia Woolf. I'm 2/3 of the way through & have been up & down on it. Parts I've enjoyed & I'm glad I read some background as to why she wrote the book, while other parts have gotten a little tedious for me. (I have a sneaking feeling -- or is it a prejudice on my part? -- that Woolf sometimes likes the sound of her own prose so much that she goes on a bit too long.) When I've gotten a little fed up, though, & put it aside thinking that I don't like it all that much, I'm then entirely surprised when I next pick it up & like it again. Not sure what my final vote for it will be, but I am glad to finally be reading it, reading her. And, I'm musing... what if I don't end up liking it? Does that make me a bad feminist?

 

I haven't picked up the book of West African short stories & myths this week either. Perhaps I will get back to it. I don't know. Maybe it's because Spring is in the air, I've been swamped, I've been sick, but I'm itching to start something new, something different. Don't know which way that will pull me this week.

 

2015 Books Read:

Africa:

  • Rue du Retour by Abdellatif Laâbi, trans. from the French by Jacqueline Kaye, pub. by Readers International. 4 stars. Morocco. (Poetic paean to political prisoners worldwide by one who was himself in prison for “crimes of opinionâ€. Explores not only incarceration but also readjusting to a ‘normal’ world after torture & release.)
  • Nigerians in Space by Deji Bryce Olukotum, pub. by Unnamed Press. 4 stars. South Africa & Nigeria. (Scientists lured back home in a ‘brain gain’ plan to start up Nigerian space program. But, things go awry. Is it legit, a scam, or something more sinister?)
  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, pub. by Viking (Penguin Group). 3 stars. Nigeria. (YA fantasy lit in the vein of HP but with a West African base of myth & legend.)
  • Under the Frangipani by Mia Couto, trans. from the Portuguese by David Bookshaw, pub. by Serpent’s Tail. 3 stars. Mozambique. (Murder mystery that ultimately examines the things that kill a people, a country, a place; told through a magical realism lens of the living & the dead, traditions vs. modern mores, colonization against freedom, & war facing off against peace.)
  • Gassire’s Lute: A West African Epic, trans. & adapted by Alta Jablow, illus. by Leo & Diane Dillon, pub. by Dutton. 4 stars. West Africa, incl. Ghana & Burkina Faso. (Children’s poetic book [part of the epic of Dausi], telling of Gassire who gives up his noble lineage & warrior life to become a bard/griot.)

Asia:

  • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami, a Borzoi book pub. by Alfred A. Knopf.  4 stars. Japan. BaW January author challenge. (Creepy campfire style story; thought-provoking ending made me rethink the entire story.)
  • The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford, pub. by Crown Publishers. 4 stars. Mongolia. (Non-fiction. Even with gaps, fascinating pieces of lost &/or censored history.)

Caribbean:

  • The Duppy by Anthony C. Winkler, pub. by Akashic Books. 3 stars. Jamaica. (A duppy [ghost] relates ribald & amusing anecdotes of Jamaican heaven.)

Europe:

  • The Affinity Bridge by George Mann, a Tor book pub. by Tom Doherty Associates. 3 stars. England. (Entertaining steampunk with likeable characters.)
  • Extraordinary Renditions by Andrew Ervin, pub. by Coffee House Press. 4 stars. Hungary. (Triptych of stories in Budapest touching on the Holocaust, racism, corruption, the power of music,…)
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, pub. by Scribner Classics. 4 stars. France & Spain. (Lost generation of post-WW1 expats living, loving, & arguing in France & Spain.)
  • Kismet by Jakob Arjouni, trans. from the German by Anthea Bell, pub. by Melville House (Melville International Crime). 4 stars. Germany. (Tough Turkish-German PI in the middle of a turf war as a Croatian organized crime group tries to take over territory of Albanian & German mobs in Frankfurt. Darkly funny & nicely paced.)
  • The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham, pub. by Penguin Books. 5 stars. France. (Interlinked stories of friends in post-WWI France as they move through life & each finds his or her own version of success.)
  • Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss, pub. by Melville House. 3 stars. England. (Creepy, frivolous fun horror/mystery mash-up… and a cat who wants Daniel Craig to voice him if there’s a movie version.)

Middle East:

  • The Jerusalem File by Joel Stone, pub. by Europa editions. 2 stars. Israel. (Noir detective tale re: jealousy. Ambiguous, unsatisfactory ending.)
  • Goat Days by Benyamin, trans. from Malayalam by Joseph Koyipally, pub. by Penguin Books. 3 stars. Saudi Arabia. (Simple tale of enslaved Indian forced to herd goats in the Saudi Arabian desert.)

North America:

  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, pub. by Riverhead Books (Penguin Group). 5 stars. USA. (Sharp satire, historical fiction & folly, standing on top of heart, soul... & freedom.)

 

Hugs and enjoy your sunshine.

 

 

My girls are over in London for the week.  They saved their summer job money and are there for their spring break.  The boys and I are still doing school because of an online class.  

Cool Beans!  What an adventure.

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Housekeeping note:  We are at three month mark and book lists are starting to get sort of long.  I think we decided last year to not include list of books with each and every post we do, but limit it to just the first post we make of the week. Something like that. At the halfway point, then it will be time to start new list from that point, at whatever # book you are.   Make sense or clear as mud?

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I'm in the same boat with a lot of books to read!  I am reading the book I picked based on its cover for my book club meeting later this week.  I still need to read my Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None, and I would like to find time to fit in Murder on the Orient Express!  I need to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as I'm already way behind in reading Harry Potter if I want to be done by May!  And I need to pick a new read aloud for me and Aly.

 

Is Mistborn the Brandon Sanderson book?

 

It is.  Normally my book club picks short books but this month we got a loooooong one.  I'm excited to read it!  

 

 

I didn't make huge amounts of reading progress the past few days. It's full-on Irish dance mode here (practices, appearances), plus I've had a nasty intestinal bug the past couple of days. So, just getting through the day has been a major achievement & reading hasn't even been a part of it.

 

 

 

Oh no!!! I hope you get feeling better!

 

 

Listening to/reading Orlando and Night and Day by Virginia Woolf and Paul Johnson's A History of the American People. I started and finished Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny.  (I don't always care a whole lot about the murder mystery, but I do love her characters.)
 
My girls are over in London for the week.  They saved their summer job money and are there for their spring break.  The boys and I are still doing school because of an online class.  
 
 
 
 

 

I'm envious of your girls!  I love London.  Even though I've only been there once I feel a sort of homesickness for it.  The Germans probably have a word for that type of the thing but unfortunately the Americans don't!  

 

I love Louise Penny's characters too.  She does a fantastic job of making you feel like the characters are real people and I find myself caring for them.  Either she's a great writer or I'm going a bit loony.  

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I also finished my audiobook Towards Zero by Agatha Christie.  Loved it.  

 

Impossible murder?  Check.  

Country house?  Check.  

Rich beautiful people? Check.

 

No Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot to be seen although Superintendent Battle does make an offhand comment about our beloved Belgian.   Rated ****

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I always so enjoy seeing what everyone here is reading!

 

I've been on a Barbara Pym jag the last couple of weeks, all rereads.  After Jane and Prudence last week, this week I reread Excellent Women and am now nearly done with rereading Some Tame Gazelle.    Confession:  I own all of Barbara Pym's books but have been 'saving' a couple of them to read for the first time at some point in the indefinite future.  Because, you see, Barbara Pym is dead and can't write any more books, so once I've read them all I will have, well, read them all.  

 

However, it recently occurred to me that this may be one of those (many) goofy things that made a lot more sense to me at age 25 than it does now in my early forties.  Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and all that.  

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I always so enjoy seeing what everyone here is reading!

 

I've been on a Barbara Pym jag the last couple of weeks, all rereads. After Jane and Prudence last week, this week I reread Excellent Women and am now nearly done with rereading Some Tame Gazelle. Confession: I own all of Barbara Pym's books but have been 'saving' a couple of them to read for the first time at some point in the indefinite future. Because, you see, Barbara Pym is dead and can't write any more books, so once I've read them all I will have, well, read them all.

 

However, it recently occurred to me that this may be one of those (many) goofy things that made a lot more sense to me at age 25 than it does now in my early forties. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and all that.

I read all of Pym's novels in my 20's. Given my sieve like memory, I can read them again not for the first time, but certainly with an element of freshness. May I pretend that the wisdom of age gives one new eyes?
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Just dropping in to say hello.  :seeya:

 

I have done very little reading this week because we are moving. I managed to get ahead of the goodreads group in Ulysses and am riding that until after the move. I read the intro for On Politics a few weeks ago because I didn't realize there would be time in the group schedule for it so I'm good there too. As for my other non-group books, they're probably around here somewhere, packed in a box along with my mind. 

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I finished four books this week! (you all are supposed to be impressed)

 

The Girls of Atomic City--about the thousands of women involved in the project at Oakridge, Tennessee to enrich uranium for the atomic bomb--was very interesting. I get to discuss this with my book club.

 

I started reading P.D. James' An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, the first Cordelia Gray mystery, thinking that I would be starting Atul Gawande's Being Mortal at the same time. Someone in my group that will be discussing Being Mortal found it depressing at times, and I thought I would need to read it along with some fiction at the same time. But I got really caught up in the mystery and finished it before I even started Being Mortal. It was a good mystery, well-written, I liked young Cordelia, and Adam Dalgliesh even gets a small role.

 

Being Mortal was next. It is about our messed-up way of approaching end-of-life decisions in this country--too many medical procedures, few good options for nursing home/assisted living type care, avoiding the hard discussions with family. It discusses hard issues but I did not find it depressing, probably because I'm not immediately in that situation with myself or family members at this time. I think he discusses these issues very well.

 

Finally, youngest and I finished Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as a read-aloud. I had never read it before. All part of giving my kids a better education than I got! And we finished right before the Ides of March (happy Ides of March everyone--hmmm, that doesn't sound quite right).

 

I don't know what's up next, but got a few fun things lying around here.

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I did part 2 of my childbirth educator workshop today  - which was so much fun and reminded me all over again how much I want to be involved in the care-giving end of birth.

 

Two weeks from now I hope to be lying in bed replaying happy memories from the wedding earlier that day... and look back on these frantic plannings with a contented eye...

 

On the just about as exciting front: my eldest daughter and her husband and baby are, G-d willing, moving here the end of this summer!!!  My s-i-l will be applying to graduate school here and my daughter will be going to school as well... and I'll get to see my gracious grandaughter in person!  (Very much in person since they'll be living with us for the first few months as they transition!)  ...my cup overfloweth

 

I finished 4 things last week (though 2 of them are books I've been reading over a prolongued time period):

 

Epicoene by Ben Jonson: I wasn't surprised to see 12th Night listed as a possible inspiration, but it was the nasty, mean-spirited strand, not any of the more transcendent parts... there were amusing bits to this, but the underlying spirit seemed so unkind - I cannot find jeering mockery funny, mockery that wounds body and spirit...

 

Twice a Prince by Sherwood Smith (the sequel to Once a Princess) Smith's YA fantasy romances are so much the opposite of mean-spirited!  This duology is less polished than Crown Duel (which is probably the best of her romances to start with), but has a similar spunky spirit... her books are one of my happy places to go - idealism is real and matters, love involves companionship as well as chemistry, the main characters strive for integrity & growth, and the author has an ayin tovah (lit a good eye = sees the best in people)... it is done with more nuance in her Inda series, but these sketches have it too... the antagonists have motivation and feelings and strivings too and are seen with a measure of compassion, but no lack of clarity on the ethical balancing.

 

Likkutei Sichos on Shemos = commentary on Sefer Shemos (the book of Exodus) by Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.  Partly because I will soon have two daughters in the Chabad strand of Judaism, and partly because I always find insights that speak to me in the Rebbe's commentaries. I'm trying to decide what I'll be reading for Vayikra (Leviticus)

 

Collected Writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch Volume II - this is one of two volumes that goes through the Hebrew months with 6 essays per month.  I have loved these so much - some more than others, of course - so I'll do volume I next (which covers the next half of the months)

 

 

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I sat up late reading The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.  We'll be studying Ancients next year so I'm trying to read eclectically, both for my own enrichment and with an eye toward picking things for my dd to read. This one qualified as the former, though it's probably a little disturbing for my girl. It tells Penelope's story, in her words, with a particular focus on the events following Odysseus' return - the killing of the maids is highlighted. It's a wonderful book, it sheds light on a particularly enigmatic woman and on an almost inexplicably brutal part of The Odyssey - one I've always felt takes something away from the story as a whole. And the perspective on what it must have been like to be a female slave in a Greek house.  Chilling.

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I have wanted to read The Penelopiad for a while now. I doubt I will get to it this year, but maybe I need to prioritize for next.  I love Margaret Atwood. She is on my personal list of 'should win a Nobel'. I like how she doesn't give any f'ks.  She writes genre lit, she writes straight up literature, she does poetry.. She just follows the story where it needs to go and doesn't worry about how it will be categorized.  She says what needs to be said.

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Last night I finished The King of Threadneedle Street by Moriah Densley which is a historical romance.  It was a pleasant read though I preferred the first book I read in the series.  It could stand alone however.

 

"Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle. He knows Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin, and Morse code, and his assets net thirteen million. But the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street†wants the one prize money can’t buy: his childhood sweetheart.

Alysia Villier can’t decide if it’s worse having Andrew’s father in control of her inheritance or Andrew in control of her heart. He’s ruined her for any other man, but she simply can’t give in to him. Andrew is destined for great things—marrying a courtesan’s daughter isn’t one of them.

Keeping Alysia away from eager suitors is a cross-continental quest for Andrew, and he won’t be stopped by his old-fashioned family or the disapproval of the ton. He’s a man with the power to play newspapers and investors like pawns, tumble world markets and incite riots…but can he win the biggest gamble of his life?"

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm no fan of Atwood (gah -- I really am a bad feminist ;) :p ), but I've often wondered if I might like The Penelopiad; maybe it would be 'the book' that changes my perception of her writing?

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I'm no fan of Atwood (gah -- I really am a bad feminist ;) :p ), but I've often wondered if I might like The Penelopiad; maybe it would be 'the book' that changes my perception of her writing?

 

I liked The Handmaid's Tale, but I haven't really clicked with any of her other books.  This was . . . different? Not necessarily a typical Atwood, I don't think, but a really great retelling of a modern myth through a female - not necessarily feminist - lense.  So I'd be more inclined to suggest it to anyone who is interested in The Odyssey, Greek mythology, and the role of women in ancient times/ancient lit, rather than to Atwood fans per se.  Though they will like it to, most likely!

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I'm no fan of Atwood (gah -- I really am a bad feminist ;) :p ), but I've often wondered if I might like The Penelopiad; maybe it would be 'the book' that changes my perception of her writing?

 

I've got Bad Feminist on my list for this year, lol.

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Today's mail brought a lovely prize, Selected Poems by Cape Verdean author Corsino Fortes, published by Archipelago.  Purchasing a subscription to Archipelago was probably the nicest thing that I did for myself last year.  A new voice from an exotic place--well, new and exotic for this reader anyway.

 

From the inside cover:

 

 

Corsino Fortes’ collection Pão & Fonema [bread & Phoneme] appeared in 1974, the year that Portugal’s dictator Antonío Salazar was overthrown, which triggered the decolonization of the Cape Verde Islands in 1975. Though not overtly political, the images in these poems reverberate with approaching renewal – drums surround the island, dead caravels await revival, children scatter seeds near the quiet strings of instruments. Growing out of a Modernist tradition yet composing with a distinctly singular vision, Fortes excavates the gut, heart, and mind, giving us vivid and often hallucinatory glimpses of the land, sea, and people of Cape Verde. His poems become earth- and word-scapes rooted in the land and the body. This first substantial English-language collection, selected and evocatively interpreted by Sean O’Brien and Daniel Hahn, pulls from Fortes’ entire body of work.

 

Fortes is a poet, lawyer, diplomat, and educator who served Cape Verde as an ambassador and in Angola as a judge.  One wonders how some people find time to sleep!

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Today's Kindle Deal is Martin Cruz Smith's December 6th.  I thoroughly enjoyed Gorky Park although it's been years since I read it.  Download December 6th to check out.

 

On Cozy Mystery's check out Favorite Dogs in Cozy Mystery's.  Also links to favorite cats.  *grin*

 

Check out Tor's 13 Fantasies inspired by Mythology from the British Isles.

 

St Patrick's day tomorrow - check out 10 Historical Novels for St. Pat's.

 

One of my super all time favorite children's books for St. Patty's is St. Patrick's Day in the Morning.   We read this one over and over and over.  Might pull it out tomorrow I'm sure to the embarrassment of my 15 year old. 

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I always so enjoy seeing what everyone here is reading!

 

I've been on a Barbara Pym jag the last couple of weeks, all rereads.  After Jane and Prudence last week, this week I reread Excellent Women and am now nearly done with rereading Some Tame Gazelle.    Confession:  I own all of Barbara Pym's books but have been 'saving' a couple of them to read for the first time at some point in the indefinite future.  Because, you see, Barbara Pym is dead and can't write any more books, so once I've read them all I will have, well, read them all.  

 

However, it recently occurred to me that this may be one of those (many) goofy things that made a lot more sense to me at age 25 than it does now in my early forties.  Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and all that.  

 

 

I've found that most books I read 20+ years ago are relatively fresh for me now - if I haven't been rereading them in the interim.  It can't even read a book for the first time again, but I can experience some of the thrill and discovery of a first read.  I think it is because I am such a different person now, in some ways, so those newer bits of me are encountering it for the first time...

 

 

Just dropping in to say hello.  :seeya:

 

I have done very little reading this week because we are moving. I managed to get ahead of the goodreads group in Ulysses and am riding that until after the move. I read the intro for On Politics a few weeks ago because I didn't realize there would be time in the group schedule for it so I'm good there too. As for my other non-group books, they're probably around here somewhere, packed in a box along with my mind. 

 

You're amazing!  I am very behind on Ulysses - I should have tried to get ahead, but I didn't realize there'd be a wedding I'd be dealing with now!

 

Good luck with the move - I hope it all goes as smoothly and calmly as possible and you're all settled happily in your new space before you know it!

 

 

I think most stream of consciousness writers like the sound of their own prose. :)

 

I don't think Woolf wrote any of her prose out of a fondness for her own voice - at least not from the letters and diaries of hers I've read.  ...and she trimmed her manuscripts rigorously.  Her goal was that everything that was there was part of conveying impressions, often of trying to make manifest something intangible... things she felt couldn't be described directly.

 

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Just dropping in to say hello.  :seeya:

 

I have done very little reading this week because we are moving. I managed to get ahead of the goodreads group in Ulysses and am riding that until after the move. I read the intro for On Politics a few weeks ago because I didn't realize there would be time in the group schedule for it so I'm good there too. As for my other non-group books, they're probably around here somewhere, packed in a box along with my mind. 

Hi and wishes for a non stressful move

 

I finished four books this week! (you all are supposed to be impressed)

 

The Girls of Atomic City--about the thousands of women involved in the project at Oakridge, Tennessee to enrich uranium for the atomic bomb--was very interesting. I get to discuss this with my book club.

 

I started reading P.D. James' An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, the first Cordelia Gray mystery, thinking that I would be starting Atul Gawande's Being Mortal at the same time. Someone in my group that will be discussing Being Mortal found it depressing at times, and I thought I would need to read it along with some fiction at the same time. But I got really caught up in the mystery and finished it before I even started Being Mortal. It was a good mystery, well-written, I liked young Cordelia, and Adam Dalgliesh even gets a small role.

 

Being Mortal was next. It is about our messed-up way of approaching end-of-life decisions in this country--too many medical procedures, few good options for nursing home/assisted living type care, avoiding the hard discussions with family. It discusses hard issues but I did not find it depressing, probably because I'm not immediately in that situation with myself or family members at this time. I think he discusses these issues very well.

 

Finally, youngest and I finished Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as a read-aloud. I had never read it before. All part of giving my kids a better education than I got! And we finished right before the Ides of March (happy Ides of March everyone--hmmm, that doesn't sound quite right).

 

I don't know what's up next, but got a few fun things lying around here.

 

:hurray:

 

I did part 2 of my childbirth educator workshop today  - which was so much fun and reminded me all over again how much I want to be involved in the care-giving end of birth.

 

Two weeks from now I hope to be lying in bed replaying happy memories from the wedding earlier that day... and look back on these frantic plannings with a contented eye...

 

On the just about as exciting front: my eldest daughter and her husband and baby are, G-d willing, moving here the end of this summer!!!  My s-i-l will be applying to graduate school here and my daughter will be going to school as well... and I'll get to see my gracious grandaughter in person!  (Very much in person since they'll be living with us for the first few months as they transition!)  ...my cup overfloweth

 

Yeah, how awesome.  :grouphug:

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May I please have a link for the good reads ulysses guide/group/whatever? I am not on good reads but I know I can read what is there.

 

I want to try to tackle Ulysses at some point, but I would like to get an idea of what that looks like. 

 

I have googled etc but didn't get a hit.

 

I also have downloaded a podcast that is about reading Ulysses.....

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I didn't make huge amounts of reading progress the past few days. It's full-on Irish dance mode here (practices, appearances), plus I've had a nasty intestinal bug the past couple of days. So, just getting through the day has been a major achievement & reading hasn't even been a part of it.

 

 

 

 

Ugh.  Tummy bugs are the worst!!  Hope you feel better soon!

 

finished this week:

34.  Treasures of the North

35.  Sixty Acres and a Bride

36.  To the Lighthouse - my first Virginia Woolf!!  I liked it!!

37.  The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

 

currently reading

History of the Ancient World

History of the Medieval World

East of Eden

North and South - Gaskell

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