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Stacia

April 15 to 21 -- Reading

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57 minutes ago, fastweedpuller said:

Rose!  look what is coming out soon!  The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder.  He's the author of Bloodlands, which a few of you have read, and On Tyranny:  Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.  (I am a fan.  He's a frequent contributor to NYRB.)

Already got it on hold!!

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Started a new book tonight, one from the library sale: Colomba and Carmen by Prosper Mérimée. (Colomba and Carmen are two separate stories by him.) I'm reading Colomba & am finding it quite delightful. It was first published in 1840 & the copy I picked up has a copyright of 1901.

Quote

Prosper Mérimée (1803-1870) was an author by hobby, not necessity, being the son of two talented and highly successful artists. He was also a lawyer, a public official, a senator, a painter, an authority on Russian literature and a member of the French Academy. As a public official, Mérimée travelled through France and Europe, from which he drew inspiration for his stories and novels. His first popular novella, "Colomba," was published in 1840. It is set in Corsica, and tells the story of the della Rebbia family, whose father has been murdered in an ambush, believed by his daughter to have been perpetrated by the town's mayor, Lawyer Barricini. She implores her brother, Lieutenant Orso della Rebbia, to avenge their father's death, but Orso does not share her passionate ancestral pride. His heart is torn between personal vendetta and a propensity to abide by the law.

Carmen is apparently the source/inspiration for Bizet's opera.

VC, have you read these?

ETA: Here is the copy I am reading.

The title page:

image.png.11a6ab3a554a9e142fbfbe1c1c33ccce.png

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Can I join? I do most of my reading these days through audiobooks. Currently I'm wrapping up A Storm of Swords (third book in Song of Ice and Fire, from which Game of Thrones was extracted). It's different enough from the TV show to be engaging despite having seen the show first. I'm debating whether to go straight into Book 4, or take a break, but my nonfiction audiobook list is a bunch of holds right now, so I'll probably just stay with it.

In print, I'm almost done with The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom.

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Speaking of kitties! I don't know if anyone remembers the kitten we rescued last August. Here he is napping on me while I read. This is a daily ritual. He is between nine and ten months old now. This new format lets me upload pictures from my ipad! 

image.thumb.jpeg.bd4380d448c19c5628a32e4de75afa06.jpeg

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Hi, Ravin! Welcome and jump right in!

OUAT, what an adorable kitty. He is gorgeous.

My hurricane rescue kitty makes me laugh because it's like she has observed other cats interacting with humans and is trying to do the same, but it's all just slightly off. She sits in my lap but rarely seems settled quite right and rather than rubbing on legs, she does extreme head butts on the back of my leg, lol. (Once knocked so hard my knee buckled.)

LOVED the Murakami rescue descriptions. The last one is indeed the best. Almost makes me want to read a Murakami if I wasn't in the middle of my 10-year reading hiatus from him (because I reached a level of Murakami burn-out).

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Trying to bring things over from last week... we'll see if this works!

On 4/11/2018 at 4:35 PM, Jane in NC said:

I also read The Door by Magda Szabó (translated from the Hungarian) which Pam had sent me ages ago.  It was my pleasure to mail it to Penguin who recently admired her writing.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is another of those really short volumes that I should probably not list but it did inspire me to cull the stack of dusties into something slightly more manageable (well maybe).

And then there was Sofi Oksanen.  Eliana and I read Purge a couple of years ago, an atypical book for both of us with the level of violence towards women but one of those books that seems necessary to those of us who keep vigil.  Her second novel that was translated into English, When the Doves Disappeared, has been on my to read list.  I am glad I did.  Set in Estonia during the Nazi occupation and twenty years later during the Soviet, this is a book about survival and the challenges of maintaining one's principles when the basics of life are lacking. It was not as heart wrenching as Purge (for which I am grateful) but this novel gave me pause.  I think it is very easy for us to assume how we would act in dire situations but I wonder...   Eliana, I think you can handle this one. Not a book for people who need happy endings...

 

 

I have The Door on my shelves.  I should pull it out soon...

I declutter regularly, but have learned that culling books only makes me unhappy... and costs me more time and money as I inevitably go searching to reread, discover the libraries don't carry it, and end up repurchasing... or paying for an interlibrary loan if it is unaffordably out of print.  

 

I started When the Doves Disappeared the other year, but it didn't immediately grab me the way Purge had, and I was unsure how intense it was going to get.  I've added it back to my TBR lists.  

I have been thinking for years now about how many of us believe we would act in certain ways under certain pressures, but how few people really manage that when it is real.   I have come to believe that what we would do in intense situations is reflected in what we are doing now, what patterns of reaction (or inaction) do we have?  How do we handle stress now?  How do we respond to those in need?  How do we deal with discomfort?  With potential conflict?   I mused at length about it here after reading A Train in Winter and learning that for almost all of the women on that train to Ravensbruck who'd been involved in some way in the Resistance, there hadn't been a real choice.  Their actions flowed out of who they already were, how they responded to need and injustice...    That realization changed my life and has led me to push myself to be now the person I would want to be in that kind of crisis.   ...which is the person I used to be, before kids and health and... well, life, weighed me down.   ...but, as Heather noted, teens and young adults have a capacity for daring that most adults cannot easily match...

 

On 4/11/2018 at 5:37 PM, Chrysalis Academy said:

I've had a bad couple of weeks, I am having some weird histamine intolerance/mast cell overload thing, which has rendered me pretty much allergic to being alive. At least the eating part of being alive. I had a bad run-in with two prescription meds and am now trying to figure out what alternatives help & don't make things worse. And what I can eat without flaring up. I'm off of cheese, chocolate, avocados, solanums, red wine, and anything else fermented. So on top of no gluten, that has me on a pretty limited diet. Silver lining, I've lost 5 pounds. But I really missed complaining to you guys!

I haven't been working and I've barely been teaching, so I have got quite a lot of reading in. I listened to Notes on a Foreign Country, which was great, and has inspired me to read even more widely - recent history and novels about American/Americans written by other people, whether immigrants or those who have been affected by the US's actions in the world. And I'm designing a cool & different US History class, assuming Shannon can ever do school again.

 

(((Rose)))

I hope you are starting to feel better!   I have digestive issues that leave me with a depressingly limited range of foods I can eat without symptoms, but nothing as dramatic (or, I imagine, frightening as what you're experiencing.)

 

I also loved Notes on a Foreign Country - and I would love to see your notes on the US History class when you're done!  I am unlikely to be teaching a high school history class again, but my teens read widely and love it when I suggest titles and resources to them... and who knows where my little guy will land by high school.  

On 4/11/2018 at 6:54 PM, Onceuponatime said:

I'm not sure how to answer the question. As good as he can be, I guess. He is not depressed. He had the first chemo round the week before last. Delayed chemo effects began while we were there last week. He lost his appetite and that irritated him more than anything else. The brother who does not live with my dad and I have done a lot of communicating what we hear. We both get slightly different stories from dad and my other brother. He has also been communicating with the cancer research nurse assigned to dad's case. The cancer is more extensive than we had been originally told by my dad. We've accomplished a lot of business stuff and mapping out schedules for the next couple of months. Dad was very helpful and willng to get stuff done. The chemo's first effect was to make his breathing easier, which helped. 

(((OUAT)))   Much love to you as you navigate this difficult time.  

On 4/11/2018 at 8:12 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

 

Boo on the food restrictions. I'm having a bit of trouble again too, because dd is home for the week, so I'm actually eating. 

 

I'm in the middle of Kintu as well! I am always surprised by what I've ordered from the library. Mostly by the time they come in, I've forgotten who told me to read it and why.

 

 

I am glad you are eating... and even more glad you have your daughter for the week.  (((Rosie)))

I have the same experience when I pick up books at the library... I often stare, somewhat bewildered at some of the books wondering what train of thought, what conversation, what recommendation inspired those holds...  

On 4/11/2018 at 10:12 PM, Stacia said:

The ALA (American Library Association) put out its list of the top ten most challenged books of 2017.

 

Is there a list which details the *kind* of challenge? 

I know there are titles there that I might as an elementary teacher not to use, for example.  ...or titles where I might not say anything, but I'd be puzzled why that book edged out others I feel have more merit, if they were being used for a literature class.  I would strongly object if a middle school, for example, were using 13 Reasons Why in the classroom, and I'd be really dubious if a high school were using Kite Runner for a lit class.   Having either of those books in the school library, or a classroom library would, in my mind, be really different than using them as works to study. ...and I see those types of 'challenges' as very, very different than trying to remove books from libraries, for example.   I, honestly, feel a little uncomfortable when the types get conflated and are all labeled as censorship.  

I am bewildered by some of the so-called grounds for these books - Kite Runner "may lead to terrorism" ?!?  

 

 

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And more replies from last week (for those I've quoted, does it notify you you've been quoted when I copy and paste like this?  I know it did on the old software... )

 

On 4/12/2018 at 2:58 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

Upper class, 60+ man, with a post grad education... how weird!

On 4/12/2018 at 12:27 AM, StellaM said:

Crying, cupcakes and telly.

Dd20 was back in hospital over Easter, while dd18 was visiting from uni in Melbourne. 

I binge read everything Mick Herron's written (spy stuff).

Read some Germaine Greer. 

Went to see my mum perform in a play. Outside the theatre, people could write their dreams on huge posters. Someone had written 'read Eliot's 4 Quartets.' This made me feel a bit better about binge reading spy fiction, because I have lived that person's dreams. 

Obsessively watched everything the British actress Nicola Walker is in. 

Learned a poet friend and mentor died - a copy of her last book found its way into my hands, through a series of co-incidences. I haven't read it yet, because I want to always have something of hers new to read.

Going to see the author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong in May.

Dd18 went home and I miss her (

 

(((Sadie)))

re:saving your friend's book: Jo Walton has a shelf of unread books she's saving for a terminal diagnosis or some other dire end of the road situation, so she'll have those small joys to close out with.   I admire the foresight and the self restraint, all the more so because I lack those qualities in my own reading...

 

On 4/12/2018 at 1:00 AM, StellaM said:

There are two on that list I would not buy for a school library, in the spirit of boycott, not ban.

The one that got my goat was The Hate U Give, cited for 'pervasive vulgarity'...what ?! I've read (part of) that book, and vulgarity didn't occur to me as a prime concern.

'

I'm curious which ones you would boycott.  My only guess is Alexie, but I wasn't sure where you hold about the assault allegations.  (I remember we were all appalled at the web site that was editing its history to remove him, but that's a much different issue.)

There is a fair bit of vulgarity in The Hate U Give, not more so than seemed reasonable or realistic, but if I were considering handing it to one of my kids, the language wouldn't even make it on my radar in making that choice...

 

(What made you set it aside?   I had some gripes, but ended up finding it very moving... but I was in a rather emotional space and might have been more susceptible to certain strands. )

 

On 4/12/2018 at 1:02 AM, EmmaNZ said:

I'm not reading much again. I finished Rethinking School (and promptly recommended it to my sister who has a little boy who is not enjoying his time in school). I have started reading Free-Range Kids, which is mindless, and preaching to the converted, but hey ho.

My time recently has been taken up by my kids and my house. Two of my boys have become obsessed with horses so we recently started a loan of a pony for one of them, and bought a little horse for the other one. It has been really exciting, but I've been out of the house even more than normal. My daughter is in training for a national climbing competition during the last week of April. She is hoping to be selected for the national team this year, so wants to do well.

We bought an old house at the end of last year. We have been living in it, but not very much works well - the bathrooms are all pink and the carpets all floral and the kitchen all brown :) It needs completely remodelling - which is hugely exciting, but very time consuming. After much deliberation, we have finally decided on the cooker we want. One decision down! (We are going to have an AGA if anybody is interested, because we have a big, old, rural farmhouse)

(And that concludes the longest post about myself that I think I have ever written on the internet!!)

 

I love hearing about everyone's lives.  I'm glad you posted this!   Wishing you much pleasure in remodeling.  We did some relatively minor repairs last year that we are very much enjoying now, but it left me a little twitchy at the thought of dealing with more...

On 4/12/2018 at 8:00 AM, fastweedpuller said:

  Eliana, you as ever seem such a font of strength, of course I am looking not just at your book tallies with admiration but with life too.  And it makes me wonder how many children you have! (says she with one who often feels overwhelmed).  I hope you feel better, physically...spiritually as well.

 

Thank you, love.  *hug* (I miss our emoticons!)

I have seven children, but three of them are launched and living on the other side of the country.  (Two with children of their own!)  The four at home are 21 yr old ds (on the spectrum, developmentally much, much younger), 16 year old twin daughters, and my not-so-little-any-more 8 year old little guy.  

 

On 4/12/2018 at 11:05 AM, Penguin said:

I feel like I've had a bunch of stuff going on.

Bookish Thing #1: The coolest thing that happened is that my son finished the first draft of his sci-fi novel. He worked on it for over a year, and it is over 100,000 words. I will be a beta reader whenever he is ready for me :)

Bookish Thing #2: I went to see The Winter's Tale at the Folger Shakespeare Theater in DC. Swoon. Also saw the cherry blossoms at peak bloom along the Tidal Basin. Swoon.

Health Thing #1: I had my annual  MRI done. It was the first time in this state. The report came back as incomplete because the imaging enhanced well circumscribed "somethings" on both sides. I had a bilateral mastectomy in 2006, and the "somethings" are in the vicinity of my scars/implants. The location and the regular borders (well circumscribed) were good signs. BUT it wasn't until the images could be compared with my previous images that the "somethings" could be declared stable since 2015 and therefore marked as benign findings on an amended report. I see my oncologist next week to discuss it all. I didn't cry about it, but I came close.

Health Thing #2: My skin has been flaring on my face since January. I haven't cried about it, but I have sure come close.

 

 

 

 

Have you seen the oncologist yet?  I've been thinking about you.   *hug*

(and if crying would be a release, I hope you can let yourself.)

Congratulations on your son's novel!! 

...and your trip sounds lovely!

On 4/12/2018 at 11:34 AM, loesje22000 said:

In the category learning new and exciting:

I have singing lessons since february or so, and while the board was down I reached a high note. Obviously there is no relationship :D But it is good to find my notes back :) 

I keep wanting to do singing lessons again... I did some as a teen, and was in a girls' choir, but I've lost so much skill and range in the years since.   Since I've been leading folks in songs and chants, I've really missed those skills (and the staying power!).  

 

What kind of music do you like to sing?

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I finished reading Out of the Blue by Gretta Mulrooney.  It was horrible to the very end.  Where it just... ended.  The characters were seriously the most selfish people ever.  So in addition to the one couple having an affair, the woman's husband also had an affair at the clinic where he went to get sober.  He slept with his therapist just because he could and she was willing.  Then it turns out this other guy (who I think is her uncle, but I'm not super clear) had an affair with her mom (who is dead now) and got her mom pregnant, but her mom miscarried.  And then the man's wife flipped out and tried to stab the woman.  And so the woman decided to go back to London where she was from and just basically start a new life.  Because, somehow, that would magically make it all better and the man could go back to his wife and daughter.  Horrid book.

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@Eliana The choir I belong to,  sings a broad repertoire, I prefer to sing longer pieces above individual songs, although our conductress? does a great job in picking and matching. I would love to sing more oratoria.

The singing teacher helps me to make a more mature sound now I am in my mid forties. Singing this way gives me some of  the high notes back. (And some will be complete new). But we are both surprised about my range.

 

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Eliana, yes. It does look like we get notified when you quote us.

I'm still struggling with the restricted diet and the Benadryl hangovers (I'm off the prescription stuff). But the really great thing is that I have lost 7 lbs! And I'm actually feeling more energetic and, when not itching horribly, better than I have in awhile. So maybe this is making me make some important life changes that will have good long-term benefits.  Shannon is really struggling right now, we're having trouble figuring out which way to go with her treatment, her liver and gut are not in good shape and she's reacting to almost everything at the moment. So healing energy sent her way would be welcome.

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46 minutes ago, Eliana said:

Trying to bring things over from last week... we'll see if this works!

 

I have The Door on my shelves.  I should pull it out soon...

I declutter regularly, but have learned that culling books only makes me unhappy... and costs me more time and money as I inevitably go searching to reread, discover the libraries don't carry it, and end up repurchasing... or paying for an interlibrary loan if it is unaffordably out of print. 

I started When the Doves Disappeared the other year, but it didn't immediately grab me the way Purge had, and I was unsure how intense it was going to get.  I've added it back to my TBR lists.  

I have been thinking for years now about how many of us believe we would act in certain ways under certain pressures, but how few people really manage that when it is real.   I have come to believe that what we would do in intense situations is reflected in what we are doing now, what patterns of reaction (or inaction) do we have?  How do we handle stress now?  How do we respond to those in need?  How do we deal with discomfort?  With potential conflict?   I mused at length about it here after reading A Train in Winter and learning that for almost all of the women on that train to Ravensbruck who'd been involved in some way in the Resistance, there hadn't been a real choice.  Their actions flowed out of who they already were, how they responded to need and injustice...    That realization changed my life and has led me to push myself to be now the person I would want to be in that kind of crisis.   ...which is the person I used to be, before kids and health and... well, life, weighed me down.   ...but, as Heather noted, teens and young adults have a capacity for daring that most adults cannot easily match...

 

I also loved Notes on a Foreign Country - and I would love to see your notes on the US History class when you're done!  I am unlikely to be teaching a high school history class again, but my teens read widely and love it when I suggest titles and resources to them... and who knows where my little guy will land by high school. 

 

In American popular cinema--and probably in much of Western literature--there seems to be the dichotomy of good and evil and the need to present everyone in terms of being a good guy or not. One of the appeals that Eastern European literature has for me is recognition that Things Are Not so Simple.  One from bad regime to another we go and yet there can be such joy in embracing a moment as slim as a gossamer thread.

I don't know if heroism always involves overt acts. I am reminded of the amazing narrator that Wiesław Myśliwski created who reminds us "Just keep shelling the beans." For some, basic survival without harm to others is all that can be done. 

Willful ignorance may be the one of the greatest modern sins. I know too many who don't want to think about things that they view as "unpleasant".  They have their moments of moral outrage by reacting to something seen on Facebook but otherwise let's not discuss the children of Syria or that corporation down the road that is dumping chemicals illegally into our water supply.

Let me take this opportunity to thank Fast Weed Puller for turning me on to Notes on a Foreign Country. Very worthwhile reading that helps one shift ones cultural lens.

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6 hours ago, Ravin said:

Can I join? I do most of my reading these days through audiobooks. Currently I'm wrapping up A Storm of Swords (third book in Song of Ice and Fire, from which Game of Thrones was extracted). It's different enough from the TV show to be engaging despite having seen the show first. I'm debating whether to go straight into Book 4, or take a break, but my nonfiction audiobook list is a bunch of holds right now, so I'll probably just stay with it.

In print, I'm almost done with The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom.

Welcome, Ravin. Nice to see you here!

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Welcome Ravin. I'm a convert to audio books after resisting them for years. I listen while I do mindless work around the house. I have to be doing something or my mind wanders but it can't be something that requires concentration. So, I listen while I fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc.

Dh has read the whole Ice and Fire series and we both watched Game of Thrones. I only read the first book. Dh has gotten so impatient with GRR Martin for not having the next book out yet. :)  I understand how he feels. I'm impatient with Hilary Mantel for not having her next Thomas Cromwell book out yet.

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2 hours ago, Eliana said:

And more replies from last week (for those I've quoted, does it notify you you've been quoted when I copy and paste like this?  I know it did on the old software... )

 

Upper class, 60+ man, with a post grad education... how weird!

(((Sadie)))

re:saving your friend's book: Jo Walton has a shelf of unread books she's saving for a terminal diagnosis or some other dire end of the road situation, so she'll have those small joys to close out with.   I admire the foresight and the self restraint, all the more so because I lack those qualities in my own reading...

 

I'm curious which ones you would boycott.  My only guess is Alexie, but I wasn't sure where you hold about the assault allegations.  (I remember we were all appalled at the web site that was editing its history to remove him, but that's a much different issue.)

There is a fair bit of vulgarity in The Hate U Give, not more so than seemed reasonable or realistic, but if I were considering handing it to one of my kids, the language wouldn't even make it on my radar in making that choice...

 

(What made you set it aside?   I had some gripes, but ended up finding it very moving... but I was in a rather emotional space and might have been more susceptible to certain strands. )

 

 

I believe I set it aside because I was only reading a Kindle sample, and wasn't moved to pay for the full book :)

I wouldn't buy the Jazz book for a school library - I feel that the poor child has been exploited and abused on live TV long enough; I wouldn't pay for the book, in the first place, because I find the ethics of turning your child into a business rather problematic and don't want to contribute. I have also read an endocrinologists review of the book, which  convinced me it is not appropriate in a school due to the many factual errors. 

I also - in my hypothetical job as a book buyer for a school library! - would avoid, wherever possible, purchasing contemporary books about suicide, or with suicide as a theme (yes, my imaginary library also keeps Sylvia Plath behind the desk, available on request to anyone who isn't a gloomy and gifted 16 year old girl) - hence, 13 Reasons Why. Much suicide and attempts at that age is via contagion, and books carry the virus as much as anything else.

This is more information that you wanted :)

I don't know if I will ever read Deb's book. I will say, that when it arrived in my hands, I heard her say 'write'. I haven't had much of a chance to feel anything about her death, because of dd and all the sheer fatigue of yet another hospitalization. I just know I'm keeping that book close. Here is my beautiful friend reading two of her poems.

https://varunathewritershouse.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/writer-a-day-deb-westbury-reading-from-the-view-from-here/

I did get a notification, btw. 

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1 hour ago, Lady Florida. said:

Welcome Ravin. I'm a convert to audio books after resisting them for years. I listen while I do mindless work around the house. I have to be doing something or my mind wanders but it can't be something that requires concentration. So, I listen while I fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc.

Dh has read the whole Ice and Fire series and we both watched Game of Thrones. I only read the first book. Dh has gotten so impatient with GRR Martin for not having the next book out yet. :)  I understand how he feels. I'm impatient with Hilary Mantel for not having her next Thomas Cromwell book out yet.

 

And I am mad at both of them! So mad at GRR for doing all his (lucrative, I'm sure) side projects and letting the tv writers essentially finish his series. While I find the HBO series entertaining, and much improved in later seasons vs. the former from a sexploitation POV, I was really wanting to get the "real" resolution to the story via GRR's brain. I'm not even sure that is possible now, even if he does finish the series. 

And Hilary Mantel! The Cromwell books are among my favorites, so I'm eager for the third, and she's another who got derailed by film making, but in that case the series was so wonderful I'm ok with it. How's that for inconsistency?

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This will interest some here, I'm certain.

Amazon Publishing is offering nine free Kindle books as part of their Read The World promotion. The books are, apparently, bestsellers in their native language and have been translated to English. Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/article/read-the-world

Regards,
Kareni

 

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

This will interest some here, I'm certain.

Amazon Publishing is offering nine free Kindle books as part of their Read The World promotion. The books are, apparently, bestsellers in their native language and have been translated to English. Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/article/read-the-world

Regards,
Kareni

 

Thank you! Normally I'd look up each one, read reviews, and so on but to save time I got all of them. I noticed most (I think all but one) there was also the option to add Audible narration for only $1.99.

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20 hours ago, Stacia said:

Started a new book tonight, one from the library sale: Colomba and Carmen by Prosper Mérimée. (Colomba and Carmen are two separate stories by him.) I'm reading Colomba & am finding it quite delightful. It was first published in 1840 & the copy I picked up has a copyright of 1901.

Carmen is apparently the source/inspiration for Bizet's opera.

VC, have you read these?

 

I've read Mérimée's collected stories, which included both; "Carmen" is the only one of them I really remember.

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

This will interest some here, I'm certain.

Amazon Publishing is offering nine free Kindle books as part of their Read The World promotion. The books are, apparently, bestsellers in their native language and have been translated to English. Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/article/read-the-world

Regards,
Kareni

 

Thank you!!!

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2 hours ago, Kareni said:

This will interest some here, I'm certain.

Amazon Publishing is offering nine free Kindle books as part of their Read The World promotion. The books are, apparently, bestsellers in their native language and have been translated to English. Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/article/read-the-world

Regards,
Kareni

 

Thanks. My husband downloaded several.

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6 hours ago, Kareni said:

This will interest some here, I'm certain.

Amazon Publishing is offering nine free Kindle books as part of their Read The World promotion. The books are, apparently, bestsellers in their native language and have been translated to English. Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/article/read-the-world

Regards,
Kareni

 

Thanks for this, Kareni. I just got four of the titles listed.

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I read the non-fiction book A Kim Jong-il Production a few years ago. The kidnapped South Korean actress, Choi Eun-hee, has passed away.

If you enjoy non-fiction, you might want to take a look at this book. It's definitely a case of truth being stranger than fiction.

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Before becoming the world's most notorious dictator, Kim Jong-Il ran North Korea's Ministry for Propaganda and its film studios. Conceiving every movie made, he acted as producer and screenwriter. Despite this control, he was underwhelmed by the available talent and took drastic steps, ordering the kidnapping of Choi Eun-Hee (Madam Choi)-South Korea's most famous actress-and her ex-husband Shin Sang-Ok, the country's most famous filmmaker.

Madam Choi vanished first. When Shin went to Hong Kong to investigate, he was attacked and woke up wrapped in plastic sheeting aboard a ship bound for North Korea. Madam Choi lived in isolated luxury, allowed only to attend the Dear Leader's dinner parties. Shin, meanwhile, tried to escape, was sent to prison camp, and "re-educated." After four years he cracked, pledging loyalty. Reunited with Choi at the first party he attends, it is announced that the couple will remarry and act as the Dear Leader's film advisors. Together they made seven films, in the process gaining Kim Jong-Il's trust. While pretending to research a film in Vienna, they flee to the U.S. embassy and are swept to safety.

A nonfiction thriller packed with tension, passion, and politics, author Paul Fischer's "A Kim Jong-Il Production" offers a rare glimpse into a secretive world, illuminating a fascinating chapter of North Korea's history that helps explain how it became the hermetically sealed, intensely stage-managed country it remains today.

 

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I've finished listening to Shrill and Dear Madam President with Trinqueta. They go together well, sort of flip sides of the same coin of how to be female in our current world. I also finished SWB's Rethinking School. It isn't new information if you're a board regular but it is well written and an excellent place to start for newbies.

I'm working on The Door, American Innovations and Can It Happen Here?. I'd recommend all of them with a few cautions. The Door is traumatic, it's well written and fascinating, but it's traumatic. American Innovations is a collection of stories mostly from the New Yorker so you might have read them already. If you haven't, you're in for a treat! Can It Happen Here? is a compilation of articles, some are more academic than others. Overall I've enjoyed listening to it but there are a couple of yawns in there too. I'd say it's best for people who enjoy political science and looking at the larger trends behind the headlines. There are no stunning revelations. It just puts current events in a broader perspective.

I'm going to start Less and The Gulf this week unless I get sidetracked. I've been meaning to read them and the Pulitzers gave me the jab I needed to put them on top of the pile.

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Finished last night (instead of sleeping; how I love middle age!) my Baudelaire. Much of it consists of a section called "My Heart Laid Bare," full of opinionated and often cryptic thoughts that passed through his head. One must read these keeping in mind that he was in his early 20s and French. If his calling it "My Heart Laid Bare" hadn't already told you that.

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One must work, if not from inclination at least from despair, since, as I have fully proved, to work is less wearisome than to amuse oneself.

 

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Belief in Progress is a doctrine of idlers and Belgians.


Baudelaire really had it in for Belgians. Also for George Sand:

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The woman Sand is the Prudhomme of immorality.
She has always been a moralist.
Only she used to work as an anti-moralist.
She has never been an artist. She has that celebrated flowing style, so dear to the bourgeois.
She is stupid, she is clumsy, and she is a chatterbox. She has, in her moral concepts, the same profundity of judgment and delicacy of feeling as a concierge or a kept woman.
What she says about her mother.
What she says about Poetry.
Her love for the working classes.
It is indeed a proof of the degradation of the men of this century that several have been capable of falling in love with this latrine.
See the preface to Mademoiselle La Quintinie, in which she pretends that true Christians do not believe in Hell.
Sand represents the God of decent folk, the god of concierges and thieving servants.
She has good reasons for wishing to abolish Hell.

 

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After all, the supreme glory of Napoleon III, in the eyes of History and of the French people, will have been to prove that anybody can govern a great nation as soon as they have got control of the telegraph and the national press.

(I swear when I first read that, I read "telegraph" as "twitter.")

Having finished my private Lemony Snicket mini-challenge consisting of Baudelaire and Oliver Twist (Wee Girl has been watching the new season of Unfortunate Events), I need to get reading on the Ovid I'm supposed to be doing with Middle Girl, and fit in Far From the Madding Crowd. Maybe in that lovely 2 to 4 a.m. slot again.
 

Chiguirre,

Is the title of Can It Happen Here? derived from Sinclair Lewis' novel, It Can't Happen Here? I gather there was a little renaissance in sales for that Sinclair recently.

 

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12 hours ago, Stacia said:

I read the non-fiction book A Kim Jong-il Production a few years ago.

And then you sent it to me for my husband; he enjoyed it.  I then passed it on to a woman in my book group.  She liked it, too.  Thank you again!

Regards,
Kareni

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WEIRD

I bookmarked our dear Lit Hub from the 2nd Topics tab, all the better to see what's new.  Having just wandered over to my saved bookmark, tapping it, I see that we're now...

the Essential Oils group!  Yay us.

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16 minutes ago, fastweedpuller said:

WEIRD

I bookmarked our dear Lit Hub from the 2nd Topics tab, all the better to see what's new.  Having just wandered over to my saved bookmark, tapping it, I see that we're now...

the Essential Oils group!  Yay us.

I just refreshed the page on my laptop and noticed that as well!!  What a hoot!

To stay on (ahem) topic:  olive, sunflower, walnut or sesame?

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36 minutes ago, fastweedpuller said:

WEIRD

I bookmarked our dear Lit Hub from the 2nd Topics tab, all the better to see what's new.  Having just wandered over to my saved bookmark, tapping it, I see that we're now...

the Essential Oils group!  Yay us.

I wish we were private again. I have a mini rant on that topic, having been recently subjected to a facebook article on essential oils and cancer that raised my blood pressure. It had nothing to do with dad, but he's not doing well. So, it made me more irritated than I might have been. 

I finished The Vintage Caper and the third book of Middlemarch. I need to read Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers for my next book club meeting. I've also started the Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits. Mysteries are wonderfully distracting. 

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3 hours ago, Violet Crown said:


 

Chiguirre,

Is the title of Can It Happen Here? derived from Sinclair Lewis' novel, It Can't Happen Here? I gather there was a little renaissance in sales for that Sinclair recently.

 

Yes, it's a collection of academic and general interest articles on authoritarianism edited by Cass Sunstein.

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@fastweedpuller I just added "The Road to Unfreedom" as a recommendation at my library. They usually buy recommended books, I just have to be patient! 

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1 hour ago, Jane in NC said:

I just refreshed the page on my laptop and noticed that as well!!  What a hoot!

To stay on (ahem) topic:  olive, sunflower, walnut or sesame?

Olive. Canola is also essential in my house, but I think some people don't count that as real. Or essential.

 

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2 hours ago, Jane in NC said:

I just refreshed the page on my laptop and noticed that as well!!  What a hoot!

To stay on (ahem) topic:  olive, sunflower, walnut or sesame?

At home I use both safflower and olive, but here in Spain, olive is definitely the essential oil! :D

(not posting much till I get back, because phone only, and only when I have WiFi)...

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11 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

At home I use both safflower and olive, but here in Spain, olive is definitely the essential oil! :D

(not posting much till I get back, because phone only, and only when I have WiFi)...

Maybe we should become the essential readers?

Safe travels!

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2 hours ago, Jane in NC said:

I just refreshed the page on my laptop and noticed that as well!!  What a hoot!

To stay on (ahem) topic:  olive, sunflower, walnut or sesame?

Olive for this Italian-American. 

2 hours ago, Onceuponatime said:

I wish we were private again. I have a mini rant on that topic, having been recently subjected to a facebook article on essential oils and cancer that raised my blood pressure. It had nothing to do with dad, but he's not doing well. So, it made me more irritated than I might have been. 

 

I wonder if other private groups are still having this problem.

1 hour ago, Ali in OR said:

Olive. Canola is also essential in my house, but I think some people don't count that as real. Or essential.

 

Yes, canola too. Canola is my regular cooking oil with olive oil being used for certain cooked foods and always the choice for cold dishes and salad dressings. Both are essential in my house too. :)

13 minutes ago, Jane in NC said:

Maybe we should become the essential readers?

 

I love it! :D

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The last time I came here I came by clicking on a notification which took me straight to this thread, so I didn't realize the name had changed until I read the posts mentioning it. I did see the words Essential Oils briefly pass by but I must have thought it was another club and I was seeing a club title from the front page as it took me to Lit Hub. If you read the site news thread you'll see that other groups have had strange name changes too. Hopefully it means they're working on the last of the club issues and that they'll be fixed soon.

I flew through Isaac's Storm in a day. It was written in such a way as to make it a page turner, even for me who already knew a lot about that hurricane and its aftermath. Funnily enough, I've tried to read Erik Larson before and was bored with both The Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts. The former I tried in both written and audio book form and just couldn't get far. 

I had 2 Audible credits and will be earning another in a few days so I went to browse and see if anything jumped out at me. On the front page I saw A Higher Loyalty and decided to get it. It's narrated by James Comey himself. Right now I'm about 1/3 of the way through listening to The Cider House Rules so it will be a while before I get to it.

I'm almost done with Book 5 of Middlemarch. I haven't read any further in my other books because I want to get caught up on this one. I shouldn't have detoured and read Isaac's Storm but I couldn't help it. When a book says "read me now" I must obey. :D

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Is anyone else seeing both Essential Oils club (where I am now) and Literary Hub in their clubs list? The Literary Hub has about half of this thread but no other content. Our clubs seem very Alice-In-Wonderland-ish at the moment!

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Alice in Wonderland indeed. I have to log in every 4th or 5th time I come to the WTM forums and as of this morning there is an icon informing me I've been invited to join the Lit Hub club. And now our current reading thread is under part of an essential oils club!!

I have a double roasted garlic infused olive oil that makes veggies and pasta quite yummy. I'm thinking it might just be an essential part of my kitchen going forward....

I'm going to sit in front of the tv now with my glass of wine. It has been a busy day of music and teaching -- no brain cells are available for reading tonight!

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29 minutes ago, Jane in NC said:

How timely is this?  The BBC Radio 4 program In Our Time focuses on Middlemarch today!  You can listen via the website or download the program.

Oh, thank you! I'm leaving soon to go babysit my grand nephew so I downloaded it. I'll probably listen tomorrow.

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