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Book a Week 2016 - BW24: philosophical rabbit trails


Robin M
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Happy Sunday dear hearts!  This is the beginning of week 24 in our quest to read 52 books. Welcome back to all our readers, to those just joining in and 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 also below in my signature.

 

52 Books blog - philosophical rabbit trails:  I do so love following rabbit trails on the internet. I discover the most interesting and sometimes not so interesting, just time consuming, things.   :lol:    

 

I followed a few philosophical trails today and in my meandering discovered Revising Aristotle's Noun, Philosophy Now's The Wood that Finds itself a Violin as well as the Philosophy of Poetry which lead to Philosophical Society's article on Philosophical Poems and T.S. Eliot's Burnt Norton.  

 

This week is also the anniversary of William Butler YeatsPearl S. Buck and Dorothy Sayer's birthdays.

 

Stumbled upon Rebecca Goldstein's Plato at the Googleplex and her interview with the Atlantic - Why Study Philosophy: to challenge your own point of view.

 

And surprisingly Existential Comics How to Study Philosophy as an amateur.

 

 

Don't miss the donut by looking through the hole. ~Author Unknown

 

Have fun following rabbit trails! 

 

***************************************************************

 

History of the Renaissance World - Chapters 39 and 40

 

****************************************************************

 

What are you reading this week?

 

 

 

Link to week 23 

 

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I'm half way through the scary apocalyptic story Swan Song by Robert Mccarrom and offsetting it with the fluffy Rose Harbor series by Debbie Macomber and just finished Love Letters and about to start Silver Linings

 

 

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I finished 'The story of Western Science' from SWB in Dutch.
And I read 'lady Susan' from Jane Austen oddly enough translated as Friendship & Love according to the movie.
Fingerscrossing that the movie will come in our town.!

 

ETA

And Continuiing The Social Contract of Rousseau :)

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Thanks for the rabbit trails, Robin! Love those things!

 

Here's what I finished last week:

 

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson. Lovely feel-good read. Thanks to whomever recommended it!

 

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (Miss Marple #9) – Agatha Christie. Totally unexpected (and not fully explained down to the last detail) ending.

 

The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis. Am loving re-reading this series with DS. It's been, um, about 45 years since I last read it.

 

The Horse and His Boy – C.S. Lewis.

 

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia) – C.S. Lewis.

 

Miss Julia Stands Her Ground (Miss Julia #7) – Ann B. Ross. I love this series.

 

The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for a Perfect Garden – William Alexander. I read this as part of a rabbit trail from the gardening thread. The phrase "$64 tomato" has become a common reference to vegetable gardening costing much more than what you would pay in a grocery store for the same items. However, the author (as he himself admitted) lost his sanity. He takes on expenses for his gardening obsession that the average, well-grounded (ha!) backyard gardener wouldn't. His expensive gardening habit became "extreme gardening." I - for one - won't be using the phrase "$64 Tomato" ever again.

 

Currently reading way too many books, including: another Miss Julia novel (Ann B. Ross), the first in the Mrs. Pollifax series (Dorothy Gilman), Aristotle's Children (Rubenstein), HAW, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Lewis), A Cast of Falcons (the latest Steve Burrows, birder mystery), Looking Forward, Looking Back: 40 Years of Women's Ordination (Thompsett), and The Magical World of the Inklings (Knight).

 

I have some time for reading this afternoon and for the better part of the day tomorrow. On Friday I have to have a spinal tap and then lay flat on my back for a couple of days, so I am hoping to be able to read during that time.

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I have some time for reading this afternoon and for the better part of the day tomorrow. On Friday I have to have a spinal tap and then lay flat on my back for a couple of days, so I am hoping to be able to read during that time.

 

I'm traveling Friday, but I'll be thinking of you.

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but perhaps age has made me too cynical when it comes to computer programs. While I was reading, I kept thinking: what if Microsoft had an operating system in your head? You’d have to reboot constantly. You’d need anti-virus software. You’d be forced to upgrade to Windows 10! Not recommended.

 

:lol:

 

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff – A black man travels across the United States in the 1950s. I picked it for its retro-cover, and thus far, the first few chapters are really interesting.

 

I have to see if my library has this. I loved, loved Matt Ruff's Bad Monkeys.

 

Last night, I read a short Europa editions book: The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company, translated from the Catalan by Laura McGloughlin. It's a small, smart, mesmerizing nautical tale to rival the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson. If you want to read it, I wouldn't read many reviews or summaries or anything because that might ruin the plot. Just take a chance & read it. Finishing this one brought my total books to 30 so far this year.

 

I will post the info about it from Europa's website:

 

“I don’t remember who introduced me to Dr. Prendel. However, I do know that it was at the home of Martin Fleming, the psychiatrist, during a get-together of the faculty professors to celebrate his promotion from Assistant Dean to Dean, and I was immediately captivated by his reserved, taciturn attitude and the indifference with which he looked around him, as if he knew exactly what would happen and what would be said…â€

 

So begins The Island of Last Truth, a story of many mysteries, principal among them, the true identity of the enigmatic Dr. Matthew Prendel. Legend has is that Prendel, an expert sailor, had been shipwrecked years before the story opens in contemporary New York. His boat was attacked by pirates. He survived thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, while his entire crew perished. But then found himself embroiled in a ferocious fight for survival between two castaways on a desert island. There, too, he was lucky and came out the victor. Or perhaps luck played no part in it. Perhaps something darker was at play. And at stake. The only thing sure is that Matthew Prendel disappeared for five whole years. He has been back in New York now for a couple of years. That’s what they say at least. Though one should never rely entirely on hearsay…

 

Last night I also picked up & started yet another Europa book: The Mystery of Rio by Alberto Mussa, translated from the Portuguese by Alex Ladd. I had no idea what it was about, but now that I've started it, I will say the content may not be to everyone's taste. ;)  It does have a lot of history of Rio, though, which is interesting since the Olympics will soon be starting there. 

 

Rio de Janeiro, 1913. The Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic is murdered at the former home of the Marquesa de Santos, known as the House of Exchanges, a sophisticated brothel where secret meetings take place. Under the guise of a medical clinic, the brothel is run by a scientist obsessed with the study of female sexual fantasies. During the criminal investigation, a forensic expert who frequents the House comes face to face with a rogue from Cais do Porto possibly involved in the murder. The two begin a competition to figure out who is the greatest seducer.

 

 

2016 Books Read:

01. The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, trans. from the Spanish by Anne McLean, pub. by Riverhead Books. 4 stars. Latin America: Columbia. (Brilliant & bittersweet story showing the impact of the rise of the Colombian drug cartels on an entire generation of people growing up during the violent & uncertain times of the drug wars.) [baW Bingo: Picked by a friend – idnib]

02. Gnarr! How I Became Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World by Jón Gnarr, trans. by Andrew Brown, pub. by Melville House. 3 stars. Europe: Iceland. (A quick, easy, fun, & inspiring read with an emphasis on being nice & promoting peace. Just what I needed this week.) [baW Bingo: Non-fiction]

03. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, pub. by Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company. 2 stars. Africa: Zimbabwe. (Child’s-eye view of life in post-colonial Zimbabwe & as a teen immigrant to the US. Choppy & hard to connect with the characters. Disappointed.) [baW Bingo: Female Author]

04. The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail by Óscar Martínez, trans. from the Spanish by Daniela Maria Ugaz & John Washington, pub. by Verso. 5 stars. North America: Mexico. (Front-line reporting of the dangers migrants face – from physical challenges, terrain, kidnappings, robberies, murders, rapes, & more – when crossing Mexico while trying to reach the US. Required reading.) [baW Bingo: Library Free Space]

05. A Quaker Book of Wisdom by Robert Lawrence Smith, pub. by Eagle Brook/William Morrow and Company. 3 stars. North America: USA. (A quiet & inspiring look at basic tenets of living a life of love & service. Nice little book with valuable & thoughtful ideas for today's world.)

06. Good Morning Comrades by Ondjaki, trans. from the Portuguese by Stephen Henighan, pub. by Biblioasis. 4 stars. Africa: Angola. (Simple & charming child’s-eye view of life in Angola during revolutionary changes & civil war in the 1990s. Semi-autobiographical.) [baW Bingo: Set in Another Country]

07. The Three Trials of Manirema by José J. Veiga, trans. from the Portuguese by Pamela G. Bird, pub. by Alfred A. Knopf. 3 stars. Latin America: Brazil. (A mix of rural-life naturalism & the Kafkaesque in an allegory of life under [brazilian] military rule; captures the underlying fear & dread of a town. A serendipitous find.) [baW Bingo: Dusty]

08. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi, pub. by Riverhead Books. 5 stars. Europe: Various. (Exotic, surreal, & magical collection of slightly interlinked short stories. Slightly sinister, fun, compelling, & completely delightful.) [baW Bingo: Fairy Tale Adaptation]

09. Necropolis by Santiago Gamboa, trans. from the Spanish by Howard Curtis, pub. by Europa editions. 3 stars. Middle East: Israel. (Chorus of stories, mainly based around an author attending a conference in Jerusalem. One attendee commits suicide. Or did he?)

10. North to the Orient by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, pub. by Harvest/Harcourt Brace & Co. 3 stars. Asia: Various. (A.M. Lindbergh served as her husband’s radio operator during their trek to try mapping new air routes to Asia by travelling north. Diary-like observations of some stops.) [baW Bingo: Historical]

 

11. An Exaggerated Murder by Josh Cook, pub. by Melville House. 4 stars. North America: USA. (Super-fun mash-up as if Pynchon met Sherlock Holmes & they had a few too many beers while sparring with Poe & Joyce. Entertaining, untraditional, modern noir detective romp.) [baW Bingo: Mystery]

12. Smile as they Bow by Nu Nu Yi, trans. from the Burmese by Alfred Birnbaum & Thi Thi Aye, pub. by Hyperion East. 3 stars. Asia: Myanmar. (Fiery & feisty natkadaw [spirit wife] Daisy Bond performs during a nat festival while dealing with the wandering heart of his assistant & love Min Min.) [baW Bingo: Banned (in Myanmar)]

13. Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan, pub. by Atlantic Books. 3 stars. North America: USA. (Mini-novella prequel to Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Pleasant, nice, light reading about tracking down the single-surviving copy of a very old book.) [baW Bingo: Number in the Title]

14. Bossypants by Tina Fey, pub. by Little, Brown and Company. 3 stars. North America: USA. (Light & laugh-out-loud funny in places as Fey shares her life & fame. It’s easy to tell that she started as a writer -- her writing skill shines.)

15. The Expedition to the Baobab Tree by Wilma Stockenström, trans. from the Afrikaans by J.M. Coetzee, pub. by Archipelago Books. 4 stars. Africa: South Africa. (A haunting, stream-of-consciousness story of slavery, survival, solitude, strangeness, & strength. The language is lovely.) [baW Bingo: Translated]

16. A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power by Paul Fischer, pub. by Flatiron Books. 4 stars. Asia: North Korea. (Fascinating & sometimes depressing look at the cult of personality & power of propaganda & film in North Korea, based around the 1970s kidnappings of two of South Korea's most famous movie personalities.)

17. Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright, pub. by PublicAffairs. 4 stars. Various: mainly Latin & North America. (Interesting look at illegal drugs & cartels through an economist’s eyes, analyzing them like any other large global corporation.) [baW Bingo: Published 2016]

18. The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay, ARC copy, pub. by Melville House. 3 stars. North America: USA; Europe: Italy. (Interwoven stories linking “Venice†from the 1500s, 1950s, & present day. Mix of thriller, historical fiction, magic/alchemy, & philosophy.) [baW Bingo: Over 500 Pages]

19. West with the Night by Beryl Markham, pub. by North Point Press. 5 stars. Africa: Kenya. (Markham’s amazing & wonderful tales of her life growing up in Africa & her adventures as a pilot.)

20. A Dark Redemption by Stav Sherez, pub. by Europa editions. 4 stars. Europe: England. (Well done gritty crime/thriller, good detective duo, & nice twists involving international politics & African rebel groups. A series I might read more of….)

 

21. Harp of Burma by Michio Takeyama, trans. by Howard Hibbett, pub. by Tuttle. 3 stars. Asia: Burma [Myanmar]. (Slightly didactic view of a troop of Japanese soldiers & POWs in Burma at the end of WWII. The group is united by music. Probably revolutionary when written in 1946.)

22. Eleven Days by Stav Sherez, pub. by Europa editions. 4 stars. Europe: England. (Same comments as with his first novel – well done gritty crime/thriller, good detective duo, & nice twists involving international politics. Looking forward to future books in the series.)

23. Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks by Keith Houston, pub. by W. W. Norton & Company. 3 stars. (Book for font/typography/punctuation nerds tracing the history of various marks. Some chapters are better than others.)

24. Time and Time Again by Ben Elton, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. 3 stars. Europe: Various. (Time-travel book going back to 1914 to prevent the start of WWI. A bit uneven but quick to read. Thought-provoking ending.)

25. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, pub. by Doubleday. 4 stars. Asia: India. (A feminist retelling of parts of the Mahabharata, focusing on the viewpoint of Panchaali throughout her life. Makes me want to know more about the original.) [baW Bingo: Epic]

26. The Stranger by Albert Camus, trans. from the French by Matthew Ward, pub. by Vintage International. 4 stars. Africa: Algeria. (Camus’ famous tale, clipped & clinical, about malaise & murder on the beach in Algeria.) [baW Bingo: Nobel Prize Winner]

27. The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, trans. from the French by John Cullen, pub. by Other Press. 4 stars. Africa: Algeria. (Daoud’s rebuttal tale to The Stranger. Breathless [reminiscent of Camus’ narrator in The Fall] story poured out by the murdered man’s brother. Yin & yang to The Stranger – separate, opposite, yet twins too.)  

28. Sergio Y. by Alexandre Vidal Porto, trans. from the Portuguese by Alex Ladd, pub. by Europa editions. 5 stars. Latin America & North America: Brazil & USA. (This is a beautiful & inspiring book. A gem of understated beauty about the quest for happiness. Left me with a tear in my eye & a smile on my face. One of the very best I have read this year.)

29. An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel, pub. by Inkshares. 4 stars. North America: USA. (Really 3 stars, but extra points for the humor, cool cover art, & bringing old-school vampires back to life. Plus, vampires don’t need to wear seatbelts. Fiendishly fun.) [baW Bingo: Pick based on the cover]

30. The Island of Last Truth by Flavia Company, trans. from the Catalan by Laura McGloughlin, pub. by Europa editions. 4 stars. Other (unnamed island off the coast of Africa). (Small, smart, mesmerizing nautical tale to rival the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson.) [baW Bingo: Nautical]

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I'll check out that book. I've never read anything by the author, but I'm really excited about his writing thus far.

 

Bad Monkeys is definitely a book where you don't want to know anything about it ahead of time. Just jump in & read it. :thumbup1:

 

And, my library does have Lovecraft Country but all the copies are checked out. I'm now on the waitlist for it.

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Good afternoon ladies.

 

My heart is hurting for my Central Florida community. What awful news to wake up to. I've driven through that area many times. It's not far from the hospital where both my niece and youngest grandson were born. 

 

My heart is also swelling over the outpouring of love, support, and tangible help being offered from Central Floridians, as well as from around the world.

 

 

Last night I started reading Three Bags Full. It's kind of enjoyable so far, and definitely a new twist on detective novels. I suspect the reviewers who gave it one star were expecting literature.  :lol:

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Last week I finished:

 

With Rigor for All: Meeting Common Core Standards for Reading Literature - Carol Jago. I had read this before but am re-reading it as part of my summer teacher inservice training.  ;)  Although primarily focused on classrooms, I find her discussion and many of the activities she suggests inspiring.

 

The Castle Corona - Sharon Creech - read with Morgan. Kind of boring, plotless, predictable, didn't really go anywhere. She liked it ok, but I found it a slog to read aloud.

 

American Gods - Neil Gaiman. I liked this book, but not as much as Good Omens or other NG books I've read.  The main character was great, an entirely decent person doing the best he could while caught up in some fairly extreme situations. It actually reminded me a lot of The Stand, although they aren't similar on the surface.  I keep going between 3 & 4 stars, so I guess it's a 3 1/2 star book

 

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood.  Still the best Atwood book I've read, still amazing and thought-provoking even 25 year later.  It's a book I read first in college and has stuck with me, in remarkable detail, ever since, and I liked it just as much, and read it with even more sympathy for the narrator now than when I read it the first time. And I'm somewhat disturbed to realize that the scenario depicted in the book doesn't seem any less likely now than it did when it was first published.  I was inspired to re-read it after reading the Vivian Apple books - kind of a 21st century YA homage to The Handmaid's Tale, I think, though the plots are completely different.

 

Currently I'm still working on The Sunne in Splendor, which is a fantastic historical fiction about the Wars of the Roses & Richard III.  Best battle scene writing ever, and really amazing characterization. Knowing where this story goes, I'm so intrigued to see how she portrays the Princes in the Tower situation - this book is so sympathetic to Richard so far.  I also started Homegoing, which I've been eagerly waiting for, I think it will be wonderful.   Still reading The Age of Innocence and I had a little bit of a psychotic break with it last night - I'll have to think more and write more about it when I finish.  In a word, Ellen is starting to annoy me, which isn't how I felt the last time I read it. I wonder what has changed?  And still majorly struggling through The Autumn of the Patriarch.  So my reading is only halfway pleasant at the moment!

 

 

 

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Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – Literary Science Fiction. Two boys, limited and empowered by disabilities, discover friendship and shared history by writing letters to one another. Interesting book if your library has a copy.

 

Ah, I read and enjoyed that last year.  At the time I wrote that I enjoyed the fact that I was familiar with a passage quoted in the book.  It was from Frank Wedekind's 1906 Spring Awakening: A Play which was the basis of the very edgy musical Spring Awakening.

 

 On Friday I have to have a spinal tap and then lay flat on my back for a couple of days, so I am hoping to be able to read during that time.

 

I hope that the process and recovery go well and that you'll be able to enjoy some reading.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Currently reading way too many books, 

 

 

I hope your procedure goes smoothly and you don't have any nasty headaches as a result. As to the above phrase, I do not understand the words. Individually, I understand each word, but put together in that phrase makes no sense. Reading way too many books?  :confused1:

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I just finished Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, enjoyed it, and will be reading the others in the series. Beautiful writing. More character-driven than plot-driven. Even though it takes place in Naples in the late 1950s, there are people and themes you probably recognize anywhere--certainly found some similarities to my smallish central California hometown in the 1970's. Not sure what I'll be reading this week--have something waiting for me at the library, some stuff on my kindle, and there's always Kristin Lavransdatter 3 to continue.

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Hi!  I fell off the wagon for a while, but I think I'm back!

 

Over the past months I re-read some stuff about helping kids learn, and did some read-alouds with my kids.  Let's see, Anne of Green Gables and Heidi.  Maybe another one?

 

Currently I'm reading:

  • Grown-up book:  Louis Zamporini's Devil at my Heels.
  • Read-aloud:  The Black Stallion.
  • Audiobook in the car with my kids:  I Will Always Write Back.

I don't normally do audiobooks, but my kids need to read this book for a middle school book discussion at the library, and we couldn't find a hardcopy.  We are so busy that I decided to use our driving time for this.  We LOVE this book.  My kids are only 9 so some of it is a little old for them (realistic narrative re some poor teen choices), but they are fascinated and really touched by the story on both sides.  We do some charity work / donations involving students in developing countries, so this is helping them to better understand why we do that - as well as how privileged we are.

 

I bought the Louis Zamporini book along with Unbroken, which I will read sometime in the future.  Devil at my Heels is a pretty good book so far, but I hope Unbroken won't be too redundant.  I also bought Seabiscuit.  I hope to have some enjoyable reading in the near future.  :)

 

I bought some books about Ukraine and Poland since we are going there this summer.  They are middle-school level books, but so what?  :P

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I just finished Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, enjoyed it, and will be reading the others in the series. Beautiful writing. More character-driven than plot-driven. Even though it takes place in Naples in the late 1950s, there are people and themes you probably recognize anywhere--certainly found some similarities to my smallish central California hometown in the 1970's. 

Ali, me too!  :grouphug:

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I read My Brilliant Friend - 3 Stars - This is the first in a series about two girls growing up in Naples, Italy in the 1950s. It’s a story about their friendship as well as their painful rivalries. I don’t usually go for books like this, at least not anymore, but the setting and time period fascinate me and have kept me wanting more, so I do plan on reading more in the series, plus I’ve heard that the books improve. The main negative was trying to keep up with all of the characters. There are so many of them.

 

After finishing this book, I made a delicious batch of lentil and sausage soup. It was a perfect rainy day for soup. Interestingly, Italians or at least those in Naples where this story is set, make this soup for New Year’s Day. The lentils and sausage are said to be bring prosperity and good luck for the coming year. The soup was so good that I might make it a tradition also! 

 

9781925240009.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.

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I have some time for reading this afternoon and for the better part of the day tomorrow. On Friday I have to have a spinal tap and then lay flat on my back for a couple of days, so I am hoping to be able to read during that time.

 

Hope you are able to make use of that recovery time for reading (or listening to) some good books. It does sound particularly unpleasant, and sincerely hope the underlying cause for such a procedure turns out to be nothing.  I am not facing anything as unpleasant as a spinal tap, but the next few weeks of my life are filled with the kind of doctor's appointments generally reserved for older folk.  **sigh**  

 

My heart is hurting for my Central Florida community. What awful news to wake up to. 

 

I spent a glorious, music filled morning at church completely oblivious to the news.  Once home I opened FB before coming here and couldn't quite figure out what all the fuss was about til I clicked open the news.  What a shock. It is truly horrific news. 

 

And by the way, thank you once again, ladies, for the warm and positive atmosphere here on these threads. I should never, ever open FB before coming here!!

 

Last night I finished In the Dark Places, the most recent DCI Banks mystery by Peter Robinson.  Jane and I had given up on the series as it drifted into hackneyed, over the top tropes such as the rogue detective who is the only one who can see The Truth, and must, against orders, strike out on his own to get the bad guy.  I'm happy to report that with this title, Robinson is back in the business of a straight forward, well plotted police procedural.  It didn't totally suck me in -- I didn't have to stay up late to finish it, but it was nice to revisit the familiar old characters.  And funny to read all the clunky insertions of music titles and artists into the narrative!  Some reviewers of his books on goodreads and amazon really hate that every piece of music DCI Banks listens to has to be listed!! I don't think I had noticed it so much before. I was delighted, though with this bit:

 

He started off with the Bartok and Walton viola concertos. Other musicians made fun of the viola in orchestras, but he loved its sound, somewhere between the plaintive keen of the violin and the resonant melancholy of the cello, with a sweet elegiac strain all its own.

 

Of course, a true music snob knows that the plural of concerto is concerti, so in spite of his lovely defense of the poor viola, he isn't quite the music aficionado he thinks he is, lol!

 

Still slowing working my way through a lovely stack of good non-fiction, and am making strides in my epic-fantasy tome.  

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Thanks for the rabbit trails, Robin! Love those things!

 

Here's what I finished last week:

 

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson. Lovely feel-good read. Thanks to whomever recommended it!

 

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (Miss Marple #9) – Agatha Christie. Totally unexpected (and not fully explained down to the last detail) ending.

 

The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis. Am loving re-reading this series with DS. It's been, um, about 45 years since I last read it.

 

The Horse and His Boy – C.S. Lewis.

 

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia) – C.S. Lewis.

 

Miss Julia Stands Her Ground (Miss Julia #7) – Ann B. Ross. I love this series.

 

The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for a Perfect Garden – William Alexander. I read this as part of a rabbit trail from the gardening thread. The phrase "$64 tomato" has become a common reference to vegetable gardening costing much more than what you would pay in a grocery store for the same items. However, the author (as he himself admitted) lost his sanity. He takes on expenses for his gardening obsession that the average, well-grounded (ha!) backyard gardener wouldn't. His expensive gardening habit became "extreme gardening." I - for one - won't be using the phrase "$64 Tomato" ever again.

 

Currently reading way too many books, including: another Miss Julia novel (Ann B. Ross), the first in the Mrs. Pollifax series (Dorothy Gilman), Aristotle's Children (Rubenstein), HAW, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Lewis), A Cast of Falcons (the latest Steve Burrows, birder mystery), Looking Forward, Looking Back: 40 Years of Women's Ordination (Thompsett), and The Magical World of the Inklings (Knight).

 

I have some time for reading this afternoon and for the better part of the day tomorrow. On Friday I have to have a spinal tap and then lay flat on my back for a couple of days, so I am hoping to be able to read during that time.

Now I know who was reading the Miss Julia books. I put one on hold during my Overdrive issues. When I checked my account Saturday morning everything had been restored plus my new activity was merged. So thrilled. An unofficial wedding anniversary surprise.

 

:grouphug: Ethel

 

I went ahead and read the second Deborah Crombie book featuring Duncan Kincaid

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2805871-all-shall-be-well. If you read the description it has depressing subject matter. Duncan's terminally ill friend is found dead from probable suicide. He is on the case..... Definitely not my kind of book right now but I started it more because I prefer to read series in order and ended up being fine with the book as a whole. Heavy subject for a cozy but lite for a police procedural/crime series.

 

I also read a Flufferton book, the first one in the Hellions of Havisham series by Lorraine Heath. There was something really familiar about these characters but fairly confidant I have never read a book by this author.

https://www.goodreads.com/series/152999-the-hellions-of-havisham. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to get my hands on the second in the series which I have on hold.

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... When I checked my account Saturday morning everything had been restored plus my new activity was merged. So thrilled. An unofficial wedding anniversary surprise.

 

Happy anniversary!

 

**

 

I'm in the midst of two books (three really if you count the one I stopped reading about a week ago). One is a comfort read, the other is my book group book.  We're meeting this Thursday to discuss

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan

 

This is definitely not a book I'd be reading were it not for my book group, and, under other circumstances, I'd put it down unfinished.  That said, it's an educational read, and I'm learning a lot about a time and a situation about which I knew little.  I'm about a third of the way through and should have no problem finishing it in time for the meeting.  I'm curious to hear what others in the group will think of it.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Happy anniversary, mumto2!

 

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan

 

This is definitely not a book I'd be reading were it not for my book group, and, under other circumstances, I'd put it down unfinished.  That said, it's an educational read, and I'm learning a lot about a time and a situation about which I knew little.  I'm about a third of the way through and should have no problem finishing it in time for the meeting.  I'm curious to hear what others in the group will think of it.

 

I've had this one on kindle software for awhile now. But, seeing as how I rarely get around to reading my kindle books, I may never get around to it. I'd be curious to hear your group's reaction to it too, Kareni. 

 

Re: lentil soup. I'll have to make some this week. My version is vegetarian & ds & I love it. My dd, however, prefers the canned Progresso lentil soup. :tongue_smilie:

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I finally finished Redwall with my son sitting next to me watching me for my reactions. So many deaths in a children's book! It was your basic good against evil theme with lots of animals but mostly mice and rats. Guess which was good and which was evil. Okay, it was fun, just not my favorite flavor.

 

Right now I'm reading a cozy by Gladys Mitchell that I haven't read before, St. Peter's Finger.

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Ethel, uggh! That sounds terrible. I think I would need Valium. 

 

I finished listening to Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. It was different from her first book in that it focused on mental illness - rather than on her upbringing and wacky shenanigans (though that's in there too) and similar in that it was a mix of hilarious and sentimental. The author will be speaking at a nearby community college next month, so I hope to see her and am glad to have read (or listened to) both of her books.

 

I am currently listening to Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh and mainly reading Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. 

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Thanks for the rabbit trails, Robin! Love those things!

 

Here's what I finished last week:

 

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson. Lovely feel-good read. Thanks to whomever recommended it!

 

I really liked this one, too!

 

 

 

I have some time for reading this afternoon and for the better part of the day tomorrow. On Friday I have to have a spinal tap and then lay flat on my back for a couple of days, so I am hoping to be able to read during that time.

 

Hope it goes quickly and painlessly on Friday! :grouphug:

 

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Currently I'm still working on The Sunne in Splendor, which is a fantastic historical fiction about the Wars of the Roses & Richard III.  Best battle scene writing ever, and really amazing characterization. Knowing where this story goes, I'm so intrigued to see how she portrays the Princes in the Tower situation - this book is so sympathetic to Richard so far.  I also started Homegoing, which I've been eagerly waiting for, I think it will be wonderful.   Still reading The Age of Innocence and I had a little bit of a psychotic break with it last night - I'll have to think more and write more about it when I finish.  In a word, Ellen is starting to annoy me, which isn't how I felt the last time I read it. I wonder what has changed?  And still majorly struggling through The Autumn of the Patriarch.  So my reading is only halfway pleasant at the moment!

 

Just put The Sunne in Splendor on my must read list - thank you!

 

And I read The Age of Innocence about a year ago - actually I listened to it through the Craftlit podcast. I think I enjoyed the book so much more with Heather Ordover guiding me through it than I would have if I just read it on my own. I'm interested to hear what you think of it when you finish.

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I've been doing a LOT of reading about books, reading through the current summer book lists, etc. but not much actual reading OF books.

 

I did manage to read a thoroughly delightful YA book - Jackaby by William Ritter. Did someone read this last week?  from Goodreads:

 

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,†Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.â€

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

 

Really enjoyed this, handed it off to one of my teens and can't wait to hear what she thinks.

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I had to turn in several books half read to the library recently.  I hate when that happens!  But here's one I finished.


 


21. "Cheaper By the Dozen" by Frank Butler Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.  Listened in the car while driving my kids places.


 


20. "Murder on the Ballarat Train" by Kerry Greenwood.


19. "Over See, Under Stone" by Susan Cooper


18. "Sing Down the Moon" by Scott O'Dell.


17. "Soft Rain" by Cornelia Cornelissen.


16. "The Collapse of Parenting" by Leonard Sax.


15. ""Flying Too High: A Phyrne Fisher Mystery" by Kerry Greenwood.


14. "Cocaine Blues: A Phyrne Fisher Mystery" by Kerry Greenwood.


13. "Let It Go" by Chris Williams


12. "Writing From Personal Experience" by Nancy Davidoff Kelton.


11. "Writing the Memoir" by Judith Barrington.


10.  "Boys Adrift" by Leonard Sax.


9. "Girls on the Edge" by Leonard Sax.  


8. "Christ and the Inner Life" by Truman G. Madsen. (LDS)  


7. "Gaze into Heaven" by Marlene Bateman Sullivan. (LDS)


6. "To Heaven and Back" by Mary C. Neal, MD.


5. "When Will the Heaven Begin?" by Ally Breedlove.


4. "Four" by Virginia Roth.


3. "Allegiant" by Virgina Roth.


2. " Insurgent" by Virginia Roth.


1. "Divergent" by Virginia Roth.


Edited by Maus
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Some bookish links ~

 

Here's one from a WTM-er:

 

More Rum, Less Ruin: How I Found the Secret to Satisfying Summer Reading by Nicole Mulhausen

***

 

This link from NPR ties in nicely with the philosophy focus of the last couple of weeks ~

 

Green Eggs, Ham And Metaphysics: Teaching Hard Ideas With Children's Books by Byrd Pinkerton

 

"What is language? What is beauty? Who gets to decide?

 

Philosophers have grappled with these questions for centuries, and they've generated a pile of long (and often tortured) books in their efforts to answer them.

 

But for Tom Wartenberg, some of the best books about philosophy are much shorter and a lot more colorful: Frog and Toad Are Friends. Horton Hears a Who! The Paper Bag Princess."

 

The article includes a link that you might find of interest if you plan on

logo.png
You can see book modules for some hundred or so children's books.
**
 
Since we were recently talking about mermaid books:
 
The Aquatic World: 5 Books About Mermaids  by Bronwyn Averett

**

 

And some pencils that you clearly need:

 

GRAMMAR PENCIL SET

 

and

 

BRIGHT ANIMAL NOUNS Pencils Set

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Has anyone read The Social Contract here?

How do / did you deal with all the references to the Book of Grotius?

I know Grotius by name, some of his pov, but not well enough to know what he wrote in Chapter 3&4 in boek 1...

 

Rousseau seemed to write in reaction on Grotius and Hobbes.

And although Grotius (=Hugo de Groot) is Dutch, I have never read one of his writings.

His Major work is even only partly available in Dutch! (He wrote it in Latin, not Dutch)

 

Emile was so much easier to read...

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Loesje,

 

It's been a while but I'll try.

 

Grotius was one of the foremost European philosophers of the 17th century. While his main influence was in Natural Law, he also was important for political philosophy, which is what Rousseau is addressing.

 

His important contribution to political philosophy was a shift from the medieval view that saw "rights" (iura) as pertaining to things/ events/ actions to the modern view in which rights become powers of persons. Because they now pertain to persons, under this view rights are commoditized and can now be alienated: that is, transferred to others; this includes, in his view, the possibility of slavery if voluntarily entered into.

 

I assume Rousseau's reference is to the (in)famous Book 1, Chapter 3 of Grotius' De iure belli ac pacis, in which he sets forth a sort of contract theory of government by which the right of sovereignty is delivered to a ruler, retaining no right to themselves by which they could retract that transfer. To Rousseau this is an apology for despotism. But one can also see it as an important step away from the previous two dominant theories of Right of Sovereignty by either (1) divine right or (2) right through might.

 

Does this help?

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Loesje,

 

It's been a while but I'll try.

 

Grotius was one of the foremost European philosophers of the 17th century. While his main influence was in Natural Law, he also was important for political philosophy, which is what Rousseau is addressing.

 

His important contribution to political philosophy was a shift from the medieval view that saw "rights" (iura) as pertaining to things/ events/ actions to the modern view in which rights become powers of persons. Because they now pertain to persons, under this view rights are commoditized and can now be alienated: that is, transferred to others; this includes, in his view, the possibility of slavery if voluntarily entered into.

 

I assume Rousseau's reference is to the (in)famous Book 1, Chapter 3 of Grotius' De iure belli ac pacis, in which he sets forth a sort of contract theory of government by which the right of sovereignty is delivered to a ruler, retaining no right to themselves by which they could retract that transfer. To Rousseau this is an apology for despotism. But one can also see it as an important step away from the previous two dominant theories of Right of Sovereignty by either (1) divine right or (2) right through might.

 

Does this help?

 

Yes it does help!

 

Rousseau refers often to Grotius, and I know  several things about him, but it always stopped at his escape in a bookbox.

De iure belli ac pacis is written after that.

 

Thank you!

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Grotius was envolved in the religious and politic twists at the time (Arminius & Gomarus)

The Prince of Orange Maurits wanted to get rid of one of his opponents, a friend of Grotius.

Because of the relationship, and because he wrote for the Arminius party, Grotius became imprisoned: lifelong imprisonment in Castle Loevestein.

He was allowed to see his wife and children.

He also was allowed to get books, delivered in large bookchests.

 

After a while Grotius got health problems, and his wife found a solution:

Grotius would hide in the bookchest and escape that way.

Her plan worked, and Grotius could escape outside the Netherlands.

That is where he is well-known for in the Netherlands: the escape in the book chest :)

not his books :(

 

A more detailed version in better English can be found here:

http://www.entoen.nu/hugodegroot/en

 

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I second the idea of a patron philosopher!

 

Tonight my book club meets to discuss Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape.  I have already heard from a couple members that this was a hard book to read...we're all moms who met through our kids' private school (though I homeschool now).  I assume it was a difficult read because most of these moms have children who're--at most--preteens.  It is easy to put your head in the sand and not think about your children and sex when your children are still children.  But once your kid hits double digits?  I am not sure despair is the route to take!  It should be an interesting meeting tonight.

 

Goodreads tells me I am more than halfway finished with the 2016 Reading Challenge I set for myself this year, coincidentally 52 books.  Considering the philosophical bent pursued in these recent BaW threads, and considering it was too hot to garden on Saturday, I picked up and read Victor E. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning.  I had read it in a core class Freshman year of college; my only takeaway was one needs an external purpose in one's life or, as social beings, we'll just give up.  This message still stood for me, what 33 years after first reading it; it was a complement to the book I finished Sunday, Oliver Sacks' memoir On the Move.  Psychology, philosophy, history...

 

I will say I have been moving through books lately with a search for meaning myself.  Not *for* myself necessarily (I am old enough to know better and be set in my obstinate ways :closedeyes: ) but for understanding others...the motivations of others and the default empathy that I display for the same. It's a good reason to read, though (like my girlfriends' problems with Girls and Sex) nobody said it should be easy.

 

Hugs Ethel!

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((Hugs for Ethel))

 

((Hugs for our Florida peeps)) 

 

I missed a few weeks of chiming in here. My reading has been slow and uninspired.

 

I read MIndset: The New Psychology of Success. I wished it had more science and less self help. It was mostly anecdotes and I think the author made her point by the end of chapter one but somehow turned it into a whole book. Having said it that, I did find myself working towards a more "growth mindset" after reading it.

 

I am reading The Children of Odin The Book of Northern Myths with my kids right now. I am thoroughly enjoying it. My kids, through their love of all of the Rick Riordan books, have become way more interested in Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology than our year of ancient history gave them. 

 

My Kindle died. I cannot get a new one until we go to the States at the end of the month. This is assurance that I will read the books gathering dust on our shelf. I dusted off Child of My Heart by Alice Mc Dermott yesterday. 

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Good afternoon ladies.

 

My heart is hurting for my Central Florida community. What awful news to wake up to. I've driven through that area many times. It's not far from the hospital where both my niece and youngest grandson were born. 

 

My heart is also swelling over the outpouring of love, support, and tangible help being offered from Central Floridians, as well as from around the world.

 

 

Last night I started reading Three Bags Full. It's kind of enjoyable so far, and definitely a new twist on detective novels. I suspect the reviewers who gave it one star were expecting literature.  :lol:

 

We'll be at a vigil tonight for this (7:00 pm, east coast US time). Central Florida, the victims, their families, the family of the shooter, and the first responders are in my heart.

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I hope your procedure goes smoothly and you don't have any nasty headaches as a result. As to the above phrase, I do not understand the words. Individually, I understand each word, but put together in that phrase makes no sense. Reading way too many books?  :confused1:

 

Ha! I should have added: "...reading way too many books at the same time to be making any significant progress in any one book!" In other words, "here a chapter, there a chapter, everywhere a chapter, chapter" ... all spread out in different books.

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Hope you are able to make use of that recovery time for reading (or listening to) some good books. It does sound particularly unpleasant, and sincerely hope the underlying cause for such a procedure turns out to be nothing.  I am not facing anything as unpleasant as a spinal tap, but the next few weeks of my life are filled with the kind of doctor's appointments generally reserved for older folk.  **sigh**  

 

 

Last night I finished In the Dark Places, the most recent DCI Banks mystery by Peter Robinson.  Jane and I had given up on the series as it drifted into hackneyed, over the top tropes such as the rogue detective who is the only one who can see The Truth, and must, against orders, strike out on his own to get the bad guy.  I'm happy to report that with this title, Robinson is back in the business of a straight forward, well plotted police procedural.  It didn't totally suck me in -- I didn't have to stay up late to finish it, but it was nice to revisit the familiar old characters.  And funny to read all the clunky insertions of music titles and artists into the narrative!  Some reviewers of his books on goodreads and amazon really hate that every piece of music DCI Banks listens to has to be listed!! I don't think I had noticed it so much before. I was delighted, though with this bit:

 

He started off with the Bartok and Walton viola concertos. Other musicians made fun of the viola in orchestras, but he loved its sound, somewhere between the plaintive keen of the violin and the resonant melancholy of the cello, with a sweet elegiac strain all its own.

 

Of course, a true music snob knows that the plural of concerto is concerti, so in spite of his lovely defense of the poor viola, he isn't quite the music aficionado he thinks he is, lol!

 

Still slowing working my way through a lovely stack of good non-fiction, and am making strides in my epic-fantasy tome.  

Good luck with those "usually for older people" doctor appointments. No fun, I know.

 

Love the viola quote. I played viola in middle and high school and wish I still did.

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Ha! I should have added: "...reading way too many books at the same time to be making any significant progress in any one book!" In other words, "here a chapter, there a chapter, everywhere a chapter, chapter" ... all spread out in different books.

 

That's how I'm reading right now too.  Not sure if I'll ever actually finish another book.  :001_rolleyes:

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Quoting myself from last week ~

 

 

I hear you [stacia]. There are about ten books sitting in our two library boxes awaiting my attention.  We have one box per library to try to avoid mishaps.  And, my husband collected an additional five books for me while out doing errands earlier. And, I just received an email that yet another hold has come in.  And, my book group meets a week from today so I really need to get started on that since it's a non-fiction book and not something fluffy. And, if you're like me, you're likely to pick up an old favorite from your shelf and ignore the rest.

 

So, I picked up an old favorite and enjoyed re-reading it. 

Oracle's Moon (A Novel of the Elder Races) by Thea Harrison

and I've been reading one of the new library books

Zero Sum Game (Russell's Attic) by SL Huang,

but I need to get back to my book group book ....

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Back from my desert sojourn.  My husband needed to go to Phoenix for work so I tagged along.  This was my third trip to Phoenix in the last fourteen years or so, all of them being business related for my husband.  What this means is that I have seen a lot more of the area than he has since he spends his days in conferences or classes.

 

On this trip I did a small group tour (while my husband was working) of the Apache Trail and Canyon Lake with lunch at Tortilla Flat.  We were a group of five plus guide.  In our group was a retired, spry 88 year old geologist. So not only did we get the tourist info of the walls of Canyon Lake, we also had a scientist to consult. 

 

I spent a day at the Musical Instrument Museum which probably has the coolest ethnographic collection I have ever seen.  One is given a wireless headset so in addition to seeing instruments old and new, learning about the cultural and spiritual role of music, one hears the music and sees the performance, the celebrations.  One clip that blew me away was that of a Maori Haka at a wedding in New Zealand.  Here is the YouTube clip:

 

 

The good news is that my husband was able to join me at the Musical Instrument Museum in the late afternoon on Friday.  On Saturday we visited the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, east of Phoenix.  This was one of my discoveries on my last trip.  We have friends who live near there so they met up with us at the Arboretum.

 

On Sunday we took an early morning desert hike.  We saw the horrible news from Orlando while in the hotel breakfast room. My heart bleeds for Orlando and for all of us.  As the parent of a 20 something, my heart bleeds for the families of the slain and injured.  The grace with which the Orlando community responded to this tragedy gives one a shard of hope. 

 

Hugs to all here. Best wishes to you Ethel.

 

And Loesje rocks!  I had not realized that the BaW group needed a patron philosopher but obviously we do!

 

Books?  I guess that is what I am supposed to discuss on a book thread.  I'll report back on that minor subject later.

 

 

 

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