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April 15 to 21 -- Reading


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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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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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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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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.

Quote

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.

 

Quote

Belief in Progress is a doctrine of idlers and Belgians.


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

Quote

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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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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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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