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Book a Week 2020 - BW37: In the Grass by Hamlin Garland


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Happy Sunday, dear hearts. Did you know that today is Grandparents day as well as Kids Take over the Kitchen day which coincidentally coincides with Positive Thinking day.  So let them have at it because it is the peanuttiest of days, while you have a fortune cookie and imbibe in a glass of wine or your favorite beverage and see what they come up with.  

 

In the Grass

By 

Hamlin Garland 

(09/14/1860 to 03/04/1940)

O TO lie in long grasses!
O to dream of the plain!
Where the west wind sings as it passes
A weird and unceasing refrain;
Where the rank grass wallows and tosses,
And the plains’ ring dazzles the eye;
Where hardly a silver cloud bosses
The flashing steel arch of the sky.

 To watch the gay gulls as they flutter
Like snowflakes and fall down the sky,
To swoop in the deeps of the hollows,
Where the crow’s-foot tosses awry,
And gnats in the lee of the thickets
Are swirling like waltzers in glee
To the harsh, shrill creak of the crickets,
And the song of the lark and the bee.

 O far-off plains of my west land!
O lands of winds and the free,
Swift deer—my mist-clad plain!
From my bed in the heart of the forest,
From the clasp and the girdle of pain
Your light through my darkness passes;
To your meadows in dreaming I fly
To plunge in the deeps of your grasses,
To bask in the light of your sky!

 

 Who is Hamlin Garlandliterary creedstorieshomesteadWisconsin marker 100, and Hamlin Garland's Colorado.

 Link to week 36

 Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews with other readers  around the globe.

 

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Welcome.  I am back in the classroom again after 15 years of homeschooling.  I chose to be. A parapro this year vs applying for a classroom.  Covid craziness would not have been a good year to return

I hope there’s room for one more participant on this thread! I’m an old boardie whose children went to school after a decade of homeschooling.  I am also working full time as a teacher again, so I don

Welcome! There is definitely room for one more. Regards, Kareni

Currently reading J.D. Robb's latest in her In Death series Shadows in Death  which is excellent and learning more about Roarke as a childhood rival, now an assassin, has a personal vendetta against him.

We watched Gamera vs Zigra last night which definitely wasn't made by TOHO.  Torturous to watch B monster movie with bad acting, but James loved it of course.

 

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I finished Catch and Kill which was excellent. I am now reading Spinning Silver and really enjoying that too. It's really reminding me of The Bear and the Nightingale, like the Amazon page should say "If you enjoyed The Bear and the Nightingale, then you might like Spinning Silver."

There was no library delivery this week, I'm guessing because of the hazardous air quality, so still waiting for all of my heart health books and now my Banned Book and Spooky Book reads too. But I think Spinning Silver will last me the week, especially being back in school.

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I have been busy reading the TimberCreek K9 series https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37778530-burning-ridge which has me totally hooked.  Also reading some fluffy romances in between......Susan Mallory’s The Friendship List was a good light read. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52703433-the-friendship-list

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I finished Bread and Wine, by Ignazio Silone. It's set in the Abruzzi region of Italy during the 1930s: a young communist, who's been living in exile, returns and lives in hiding in the countryside, organizing peasants while he convalesces.

For me the book was about two things -- the life of the people, and also the hero's struggle to make his ideals fit with the reality around him. (It doesn't take long for him to be kicked out of the communist party too.)  The book was a bumpy ride, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's so brutal in its realism -- the countryside here is not bucolic at all, it's filthy, violent, and smelly, and there are so many moments when everything feels absolutely hopeless. Then suddenly, a moment of understanding between people redeems everything.

On a different note -- I'm having my son read Treasure Island, so I've been reading it too. I haven't read this since I was his age and I'd totally forgotten how good it is : )

Editing to add -- this week I want to try and read the Return of the Native. I've never read it.

Edited by Little Green Leaves
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Today only, a free novella for Kindle readers ~

The Vile Desire to Scream by Oisín McGann

"The young wife of the most powerful man in Ireland has been kidnapped, and Nate and Gerald must save her—from their own family, if necessary

While her husband is away on business, Daisy Wildenstern buys a shape-shifting engimal from the charming adventurer Peter Barnum. The origins of the part-animal, part-machine being are a mystery.

Life is cruel in Daisy’s family. Trained from childhood to be merciless predators, the Wildensterns are taught to trust no one—especially not their treacherous relatives. As long as their reputation stays intact, nothing is considered unacceptable on their quest for wealth and power. But Daisy belongs to a new generation of Wildensterns who are determined to defy their elders and live a more honorable life.

When Daisy and the engimal go missing, it is of little surprise that most of her family doesn’t seem to care. It’s up to her brother-in-law, Nate, and his cousin Gerald to find Daisy and face her kidnapper, a ruthlessly cunning hunter.

With relatives like these, who needs enemies?"

Regards,

Kareni

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I read The Fall of Heaven : The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran - 5 Stars - Rather than write my entire review here, which I couldn't even fit entirely into Good Reads, I'll link my review here. This was a fabulous read on all the happenings in Iran and the devastating last days of the Shah. It's a lengthy book, almost 500 pages. I've always been a lover of monarchy, most especially when done right. I sobbed when the Shah left Iran and when he died. My parents had met him a few times. My dad received an award from him for coming first in all of Iran as a high school student. I have a picture of my dad receiving another award from him, but I'm sure that he wouldn't want me to post that online. One of my favorite childhood memories is when I saw Queen Farah and King Hussein of Jordan. I didn't recognize the latter until I was told afterwards. I loved the Queen. Many years later, in 2003, I emailed her after reading her memoir and loving it. She sent me the sweetest email back.

9781250304858.jpg

 

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I am still in Gabriel Allon's world so to speak.

Listening to The Confessor which I had on audio before and felt lost but now that I know all the players, I can follow easily. Next in line is Murder in Little Italy  by Victoria Thompson but just in case Overdrive will make me wait for the next book in line, I have downloaded Bluegate Fields by Anne Perry. Read this one a long time ago when I read through all the Perry books but never listened to an audio version.

I am reading The Operator by Gretchen Berg, concurrently with Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva.

 

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Some bookish posts ~

A fascinating post: IN SEARCH OF AMERICA'S RAREST UNKNOWN BOOKS BY RENOWNED WRITERS

https://crimereads.com/in-search-of-americas-rarest-unknown-books-by-renowned-writers/

Seven Books I Love From Seven “A” Authors by Jo Walton

https://www.tor.com/2020/09/09/seven-books-i-love-from-seven-a-authors/comment-page-1/#comment-882202

Selkie Stories: From Sea Songs to Tragic Romances!

https://www.tor.com/2015/02/11/selkie-stories-from-sea-songs-to-tragic-romances/

Regards,

Kareni

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Happy Sunday to everyone! and @Negin wow! that is soo cool! I always thought she was beautiful and it's even better to hear that she was nice, too.

Not sure where I left off last time I posted here so apologies if I am repeating myself.

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton I loved The Age of Innocence and had high hopes for this one but the main character was a shallow, manipulative twit. The story follows the life of a nouveau riche woman and her attempts to be the queen of Society. She stomps all over her parents, friends, husbands, lovers, etc. to get what she wants and I kept thinking that she reminded me of Scarlett O'Hara but Scarlett was smarter and much more likable. I listened to this one on Audible and the narrator was good. 

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff Heart-warming story of a artistic young girl in the foster system who is welcomed into a family but has trouble believing that she is truly wanted.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager Spooky haunted house story similar to the 'Haunting of Hill House' that is on Netflix. I enjoyed it and think it would be a good pick to read in October.

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. I've read this before and own the movie( which I watch every April) and thoroughly enjoyed the audio version. I'd forgotten how the book is a little different than the movie but it is still such a lovely story.

Passing by Nella Larsen Hmmmmm, not sure how I feel about this one. It is more about the feelings of the character who is friends with the woman who is passing as a white woman and how it makes her rethink her life. The ending surprised me. 

I'm in the middle of a biography of Emma Smith and an audio version of The Making of a Marchioness.

 

 

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The reading challenge I'm participating in on another site has me reading a new to me author this week.

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh -- this was an enjoyable novella. The main characters were Tobias Finch, who lives in Greenhollow wood and Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall and a folklorist. Henry's mother plays a role as do dryads and a malevolent spirit. If you like fairytales, you will probably like this. I will happily read the next book in the series.

Here is the blurb courtesy of Amazon:

"A 2020 World Fantasy Award Finalist
An ALA RUSA Reading List Selection

"A true story of the woods, of the fae, and of the heart. Deep and green and wonderful.”—New York Times bestselling author Naomi Novik


There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.

When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart."

**

Language Lessons by Jay Bell (owned since 2017; no longer for sale) -- almost 17 year old Joey hooks up with his old  crush who is now in college. That leads Joey to matchmaking and an encounter with Phillip who isn't interested in a fling. Joey matures (and grew more likeable) during the story as he begins his first relationship. (Adult content)

Regards,

Kareni

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I hope there’s room for one more participant on this thread! I’m an old boardie whose children went to school after a decade of homeschooling.  I am also working full time as a teacher again, so I don’t have a lot of time to read during the school year, but it is vital for my mental health, as is having someone to share my reading with.  
 

This week I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  Though this story is a bit out of my comfort zone with regards to s3*ual situations, I found the plot very compelling.  It’s the story of identical twin sisters who leave their all-Black community in Louisiana as teens to expand their horizons.  One of the sisters makes an entirely new life for herself by “passing” as white.  The story is about all the familial repercussions of this. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads because I was disappointed in the ending. 
 

I also finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to my boys early this week. 
 

Happy reading!

 

 

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Almost done with Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI. It very nearly became the first book I've read by a living author since starting BaW; but the author, Fr. Anthony Cekada, died Friday.

We watched The Heiress, based on Henry James's Washington Square. Few movies are very faithful to the book, but this one suffered especially, as James's heroine is unattractive and not clever, and the male lead is an unqualified villain; neither of which Hollywood could dare try with Olivia de Haviland and Montgomery Clift.

After finishing the late Fr. Cekada's book, it's back to The Ambassadors for me.

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1 hour ago, Mothersweets said:

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton I loved The Age of Innocence and had high hopes for this one but the main character was a shallow, manipulative twit. The story follows the life of a nouveau riche woman and her attempts to be the queen of Society. She stomps all over her parents, friends, husbands, lovers, etc. to get what she wants

But it's so hilarious! 

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42 minutes ago, hopeistheword said:

I hope there’s room for one more participant on this thread! I’m an old boardie whose children went to school after a decade of homeschooling.  I am also working full time as a teacher again, so I don’t have a lot of time to read during the school year, but it is vital for my mental health, as is having someone to share my reading with.  

Welcome! There is definitely room for one more.

Regards,

Kareni

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In re Peter Diamond series - some of them have an underlying literary theme. Some so far have figured Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Geoffrey Chaucer, and another had the Ancient Mariner.  They are situated mostly in Bath where Austen lived  for awhile, Mary Shelley reputedly wrote Frankenstein, and Chaucer’s The Wife Of Bath came into another.    It can possibly add a little something for readers to enjoy. 

 

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1 hour ago, hopeistheword said:

I hope there’s room for one more participant on this thread! I’m an old boardie whose children went to school after a decade of homeschooling.  I am also working full time as a teacher again, so I don’t have a lot of time to read during the school year, but it is vital for my mental health, as is having someone to share my reading with.  
 

This week I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  Though this story is a bit out of my comfort zone with regards to s3*ual situations, I found the plot very compelling.  It’s the story of identical twin sisters who leave their all-Black community in Louisiana as teens to expand their horizons.  One of the sisters makes an entirely new life for herself by “passing” as white.  The story is about all the familial repercussions of this. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads because I was disappointed in the ending. 
 

I also finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to my boys early this week. 
 

Happy reading!

 

 

Welcome.  I am back in the classroom again after 15 years of homeschooling.  I chose to be. A parapro this year vs applying for a classroom.  Covid craziness would not have been a good year to return to the classroom as a special education teacher.

Thanks for the review of the book.  I have it on hold but also hate explicit books.

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1 minute ago, Ottakee said:

Welcome.  I am back in the classroom again after 15 years of homeschooling.  I chose to be. A parapro this year vs applying for a classroom.  Covid craziness would not have been a good year to return to the classroom as a special education teacher.

Thanks for the review of the book.  I have it on hold but also hate explicit books.

Yes, I actually taught at a private school last year and was hired as the STEM teacher in a public system this year.  It hasn’t been too bad this year because we’ve been hybrid the first three weeks of school.  I have not been able to use my classroom and have instead been going into the grade level classrooms. However, that will begin to change next week. 
 

Regarding the book, it isn’t terribly graphic, but there is fair amount of adult content. 

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11 minutes ago, hopeistheword said:


 

Regarding the book, it isn’t terribly graphic, but there is fair amount of adult content. 

Maybe I will do the print version over the audio as it is easier to skip.  Is the book worth it though?

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1 hour ago, hopeistheword said:

I hope there’s room for one more participant on this thread! I’m an old boardie whose children went to school after a decade of homeschooling.  I am also working full time as a teacher again, so I don’t have a lot of time to read during the school year, but it is vital for my mental health, as is having someone to share my reading with.  
 

This week I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  Though this story is a bit out of my comfort zone with regards to s3*ual situations, I found the plot very compelling.  It’s the story of identical twin sisters who leave their all-Black community in Louisiana as teens to expand their horizons.  One of the sisters makes an entirely new life for herself by “passing” as white.  The story is about all the familial repercussions of this. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads because I was disappointed in the ending. 
 

I also finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to my boys early this week. 
 

Happy reading!

 

 

 

Hi. Good to meet you!

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13 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

Maybe I will do the print version over the audio as it is easier to skip.  Is the book worth it though?

Yes, I think so.  A pretty significant plot point turns on something s3*ual, but again, it’s not terribly graphic.  I have no difficulty abandoning books if I find them too ______ (anything—fill in the blank), but I was quite interested to see how this one works out. 

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Happy Sunday ! 

My reading time has become smaller, but my reading list has grown. Ah ! the joys of a bibliophile.

Starting Absalom Absalom by William Faulkner. This was directly based on the recommendation of @Little Green Leaves and the discussion on the thread. I hope Faulkner does not rampage in my head in ways like Sound and Fury did

The American Consulate library in my native city that had a huge influence growing up gave me access to magazines and one of my favorite ones was Gourmet Magazine. I never imagined that food could have a magazine and I would thumb through it always. When I came here, one of the magazines I subscribed to was Gourmet. The last editor-in-chief of the magazine Ruth Reichl and she was a chef and a food critic. Though I am not a big fan of memoirs, this has been on my TBR pile for a long time.

image.png.c3288bf109251ae8c9139c1ab8125b8b.png

The last book I finished, Genghis Khan and the making of the modern World made me identify potential rabbit trails. The most obvious one is the Silk Road. Since I discovered this book while Robin sent us on an assignment to choose a book by it's cover, I am killing two birds with one stone.

image.png.cbf122f56d7014552af5daf9ba00e65b.png

Some may get covered in one week, others may take many due to my shrinking reading time. But that's the plan.

Happy reading everyone !

image.png

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1 minute ago, Dreamergal said:

Happy Sunday ! 

My reading time has become smaller, but my reading list has grown. Ah ! the joys of a bibliophile.

Starting Absalom Absalom by William Faulkner. This was directly based on the recommendation of @Little Green Leaves and the discussion on the thread. I hope Faulkner does not rampage in my head in ways like Sound and Fury did

The American Consulate library in my native city that had a huge influence growing up gave me access to magazines and one of my favorite ones was Gourmet Magazine. I never imagined that food could have a magazine and I would thumb through it always. When I came here, one of the magazines I subscribed to was Gourmet. The last editor-in-chief of the magazine Ruth Reichl and she was a chef and a food critic. Though I am not a big fan of memoirs, this has been on my TBR pile for a long time.

image.png.c3288bf109251ae8c9139c1ab8125b8b.png

The last book I finished, Genghis Khan and the making of the modern World made me identify potential rabbit trails. The most obvious one is the Silk Road. Since I discovered this book while Robin sent us on an assignment to choose a book by it's cover, I am killing two birds with one stone.

image.png.cbf122f56d7014552af5daf9ba00e65b.png

Some may get covered in one week, others may take many due to my shrinking reading time. But that's the plan.

Happy reading everyone !

 

I've been wanting to read that Silk Roads book for a while, but it hasn't percolated to the top of the list!

I'm also going to be interested in what you think about Absalom, Absalom - I'd like to try another Faulkner, but am a bit gun-shy after the last one I tried!

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1 hour ago, hopeistheword said:

I hope there’s room for one more participant on this thread! I’m an old boardie whose children went to school after a decade of homeschooling.  I am also working full time as a teacher again, so I don’t have a lot of time to read during the school year, but it is vital for my mental health, as is having someone to share my reading with.  
 

This week I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.  Though this story is a bit out of my comfort zone with regards to s3*ual situations, I found the plot very compelling.  It’s the story of identical twin sisters who leave their all-Black community in Louisiana as teens to expand their horizons.  One of the sisters makes an entirely new life for herself by “passing” as white.  The story is about all the familial repercussions of this. I gave it four out of five stars on Goodreads because I was disappointed in the ending. 
 

I also finished reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to my boys early this week. 
 

Happy reading!

 

 

Welcome ! I joined in panic to HS my kid after COVID when we PS, we are still doing virtual PS, but one of the reasons I stayed is this thread. My TBR pile has both broadened and lengthened a lot fast thanks to them and most of all I found like minded who discuss books. Especially in COVID this is one of the bright spots of my week and as you so rightly said vital for my mental health.

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1 minute ago, Matryoshka said:

I've been wanting to read that Silk Roads book for a while, but it hasn't percolated to the top of the list!

Silk Roads percolated because of the Genghis Book. My next rabbit trail would be to Taimur probably and then plunge into the Mughals. I know the Mughals the way history teaches as in buildings and battles, not much personal history, just surface. I have identified some books, more historical fiction the way I like my history. But Silk Road seemed the most obvious one.

1 minute ago, Matryoshka said:

I'm also going to be interested in what you think about Absalom, Absalom - I'd like to try another Faulkner, but am a bit gun-shy after the last one I tried!

Absalom Absalom will probably be something I finish because of my bias towards the name and the story. But if Faulker and his words rampage in my head again, I may have to set him aside for a bit.

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Finished up 3 books this week - coming in to the home stretch, and goshdarnit, I want to at least catch up to what was once an extremely doable goal!  

63. Rosewater by Tade Thompson - Really liked this one, set in a Nigeria of the future.  Will likely, unfortunately, not get to the sequels right away because I have Too Much Other Stuff to read, as I'm trying to at least make it to a few paltry Reading Goals even though most of the ones I originally set for the year are going to be Huge Fails.  LOL.   4 stars.

64. Die Farm in den grünen Bergen / The Farm in the Green Mountains by Alice Herdan-Zuckmayer - An enjoyable book about a family of writers who flees Austria during WWII for a farm in Vermont.  It seems they planned to stay in the US but moved back to Europe after the war, as there were many more opportunities there for a German-language playwright (I think they settled in Switzerland).  I enjoyed the European perspective on life in the US in the 1940s - some things have changed a lot, others not so much.  Two whole chapters on how awesome the Dartmouth library is!  4 stars.

65. The White Book by Han Kang - The third book of poetic musings I've read recently, these musings on her mother's miscarriage before she (the author) was born, and the color white.  I liked it more than Split Tooth, but not as much as the Book of Embraces. 🙂   I've got one more in this vein that I'm planning before year's end... 3 stars.

Right now listening to A Burning by Megha Majumdar, reading Utopia Avenue, the new one by David Mitchell, and a historical fiction (Vovleré a buscarte) about emigres from Galicia to Argentina in the first half of the 20th century (linked stories about someone who emigrated right after the turn of the century, and another who emigrated in the 50's).

I had put the Overdrive audio of Rebecca on hold, and it told me it would be a long wait, so I also requested the Playaway audio from the actual library.  But then the Overdrive version came in today!  I think I'm not the only one who's trying to get it in October - the same thing happened with Frankenstein.  It came in way sooner than it said, so I put it back on hold (now it says I'm 4th in line again... so probably 4 other people did the same).  Guess I should decide which narrator for Rebecca I like better (they're not the same versions...)

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1 hour ago, Dreamergal said:

Happy Sunday ! 

My reading time has become smaller, but my reading list has grown. Ah ! the joys of a bibliophile.

Starting Absalom Absalom by William Faulkner. This was directly based on the recommendation of @Little Green Leaves and the discussion on the thread. I hope Faulkner does not rampage in my head in ways like Sound and Fury did

The American Consulate library in my native city that had a huge influence growing up gave me access to magazines and one of my favorite ones was Gourmet Magazine. I never imagined that food could have a magazine and I would thumb through it always. When I came here, one of the magazines I subscribed to was Gourmet. The last editor-in-chief of the magazine Ruth Reichl and she was a chef and a food critic. Though I am not a big fan of memoirs, this has been on my TBR pile for a long time.

image.png.c3288bf109251ae8c9139c1ab8125b8b.png

The last book I finished, Genghis Khan and the making of the modern World made me identify potential rabbit trails. The most obvious one is the Silk Road. Since I discovered this book while Robin sent us on an assignment to choose a book by it's cover, I am killing two birds with one stone.

image.png.cbf122f56d7014552af5daf9ba00e65b.png

Some may get covered in one week, others may take many due to my shrinking reading time. But that's the plan.

Happy reading everyone !

image.png

I am so curious what you'll think of Absalom Absalom, and especially of the language -- I like the way you describe Faulkner's rampaging words! It definitely felt like an onslaught to me, but I relished it.

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2 hours ago, Violet Crown said:

Almost done with Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI. It very nearly became the first book I've read by a living author since starting BaW; but the author, Fr. Anthony Cekada, died Friday.

We watched The Heiress, based on Henry James's Washington Square. Few movies are very faithful to the book, but this one suffered especially, as James's heroine is unattractive and not clever, and the male lead is an unqualified villain; neither of which Hollywood could dare try with Olivia de Haviland and Montgomery Clift.

After finishing the late Fr. Cekada's book, it's back to The Ambassadors for me.

I was wondering how that movie would be! I remember Catherine was supposed to be so plain and plodding, and it's very very  hard to imagine Olivia de Haviland in that role.

I'll bet the role of Catherine's aunt was fun to play though.

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@Negin -- my dad was a contractor in Iran when they were building up to revolution. He was helping with analysis and system design for public safety communications and recordkeeping. They left in June after the government tried to get the contractor to fire him so they could rehire him, but he said no. Had expat friends who were there up until armed revolution began. Such a sad, difficult time.

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5 hours ago, Laurel-in-CA said:

@Negin -- my dad was a contractor in Iran when they were building up to revolution. He was helping with analysis and system design for public safety communications and recordkeeping. They left in June after the government tried to get the contractor to fire him so they could rehire him, but he said no. Had expat friends who were there up until armed revolution began. Such a sad, difficult time.

Laurel, wow! That's so interesting! Thank you for sharing. Iran had the largest concentration of U.S. nationals living abroad. 

I may have mentioned this in my review. I had so much more to say, but Good Reads had a space limit. I spent two years at an international school. Most of my classmates and friends were expats. 

“The 52,000 Americans living in Iran in 1977 made up the largest concentration of U.S. nationals living abroad. Other expatriate communities in Iran included 8,000 Britons, 8,000 French, 16,000 West Germans, 20,000 Italians, and tens of thousands more Filipinos and Koreans employed as guest workers. ‘Look at them, crowed an Iranian businessman. ‘The flies have come to gather at the honeypot.’”

That last sentence, I didn't take it to be insulting or anything. It was a wonderful time of progress and growth. Not just materially, but as far as women's rights, literacy, and just all around. Then they had to throw it all away and go back to the seventh century. Now it's a shameful country with one of the worst human rights records ever. 

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I finished The Traveling Cat Chronicles last night after a couple weeks of reading a few pages most days.  It’s a Japanese translation by the same translator who works on the Murakami books..........😂cats.  This book was a huge bestseller in Japan and has been on my “want to read” list for quite awhile.  The book appeared to be a gentile story about an ally cat and his person for much of the book.  It actually has a deeper story underneath but for anyone interested simply read it as the adventures of the beloved cat of a really sweet guy and you will enjoy it!             https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40961230-the-travelling-cat-chronicles   

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I just ran into this anti Goodreads article https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/social-media/2020/08/better-goodreads-possible-bad-for-books-storygraph-amazon?utm_source=pocket-newtab and have to admit that I don’t find basic Goodreads use all that difficult and not sure if this just isn’t the anti amazon  😉. My saying that means it’s pretty easy.😂 I just type in my title (and author name if I suspect it’s a popular title )there is my book 99% of the time.  I get the occasional hilarious recommendation but overall my lists and the ability to sort those lists and shelves is awesome compared to my paper book journal of old.

So I am curious.....anyone tried The Storygraph.  I went into the website but decided I wouldn’t continue because I couldn’t seem to browse much without giving my email etc

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14 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

I just ran into this anti Goodreads article https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/social-media/2020/08/better-goodreads-possible-bad-for-books-storygraph-amazon?utm_source=pocket-newtab and have to admit that I don’t find basic Goodreads use all that difficult and not sure if this just isn’t the anti amazon  😉. My saying that means it’s pretty easy.😂 I just type in my title (and author name if I suspect it’s a popular title )there is my book 99% of the time.  I get the occasional hilarious recommendation but overall my lists and the ability to sort those lists and shelves is awesome compared to my paper book journal of old.

So I am curious.....anyone tried The Storygraph.  I went into the website but decided I wouldn’t continue because I couldn’t seem to browse much without giving my email etc

I saw another anti-GR rant from someone (recommending a different booksite than the one you cite here, I think...), and they were complaining that the search algorithm on GR was awful.  But, like you, I've never had any trouble finding a book on GR, and I read obscure books in multiple languages, some of which haven't even come out in English.  I think I may have had to add the book myself... once?  Even weird old out-of-print editions and alternate covers are almost always there.  The search works fine for me.  

I'll agree their recommendation algorithm is bananacakes (which is really odd, since they are owned by Amazon, and Amazon's recommendation algorithm seems to offer relevant recommendations rather than random weirdness that GR does), but I don't use GR to recommend books to me.  That's what you guys are for, LOL, or my friends on GR (a large overlap there...) rather than their algorithm.  Or I could look up the same book on Amazon itself.  

And, sadly, one of the main good things about GR to me is that's where everyone is.  Besides having to redo my entire database of 2000+ books if I moved elsewhere, I'd have to convince all my friends to move too, to get the same things out of another site...  I'm no Amazon/Beezos fan, at this point it's working too well for me to switch...  yes, I know, that's how The Man gets you... lol...

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5 minutes ago, Junie said:

I must be using goodreads wrong.  I don't find it very difficult to use at all.

Although, I did just get a book recommendation based on my Never Want to Read shelf. 😉 

I didn't read the article - what the heck is hard about it?  I find it immensely intuitive and very easy to use..  What the heck am I missing?

The recommendations, algorithm, though.  Oh, my.  It keeps on saying things like 'because you're reading this classic from the 1800s in German, you would most certainly like this children's board book about dogs'.  Or things in languages I don't actually speak (no, I don't read Thai). And it really, really wants me to read this 1970s SciFi book by James Tiptree Jr. - I get that suggestion multiple times a day, lol.  And not based on the fact that I read other SciFi, but supposedly based on other rando stuff that isn't.  And why that particular book over and over???

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8 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I didn't read the article - what the heck is hard about it?  I find it immensely intuitive and very easy to use..  What the heck am I missing?

The recommendations, algorithm, though.  Oh, my.  It keeps on saying things like 'because you're reading this classic from the 1800s in German, you would most certainly like this children's board book about dogs'.  Or things in languages I don't actually speak (no, I don't read Thai). And it really, really wants me to read this 1970s SciFi book by James Tiptree Jr. - I get that suggestion multiple times a day, lol.  And not based on the fact that I read other SciFi, but supposedly based on other rando stuff that isn't.  And why that particular book over and over???

It basically said that the title wouldn’t get you the book you are looking for....well it does for me many times.  My book is almost always one of the choices on the drop down menu.

During Covid I have been reading though a box of really old (90’s) Harliquins.........many with similar names.  I add the author and it comes up.  I have been amazed. 
 

My GR email recommendations are rather bad but I find the ones to the right of my book ..........I think titled “readers also enjoyed”.........to be really useful.  Of couse people like many of us who read quite a variety of genres are going to send the occasional odd one into those but good overall.

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19 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Right now listening to A Burning by Megha Majumdar

Would love your review on it. There are some books I read that I cannot review because I will have to censor myself and not as I want to because I see it through the eyes of current events and politics. I will most likely rant 😊. This book is one such so I would be very much interested in a review if you feel like it. 

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57 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Would love your review on it. There are some books I read that I cannot review because I will have to censor myself and not as I want to because I see it through the eyes of current events and politics. I will most likely rant 😊. This book is one such so I would be very much interested in a review if you feel like it. 

Lots of current events and politics in this one!  Told from many different points of view.  The main character is arrested for an event she had nothing to do with, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time and then posted (innocently) some stuff on Facebook that was taken the wrong way.  No one is interested in listening to her.  Not sure how it will turn out!  I'm not really that up on the details of very current Indian politics, but the situation seems depressingly familiar to things I've read about here...

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@mumto2I have a couple of gripes about Goodreads, but they are small things. I wish there was a better way to differentiate translations and editions. I don't use it to help me find things to read, so I don't care about that. The most useful GR thing for me is seeing the ratings and updates of my WTM friends. So, like Matryoshka, I would only migrate if the herd migrated!

I don't have my GR account connected to my amazon account, but I don't know if that really matters. I actually find keeping my TBRs on amazon wish lists to be a better system than multiple TBR shelves on GR. I like that I can make comments on the wish list. 

Glad to have you here, @hopeistheword and best of luck with your teaching year. 

@Violet Crown I have been around here long enough to have a sense of your reading choices. But I am now curious - is deceased author a normal requisite? What was it about Fr. Anthony Cekada's book that tempted you to venture so close to completing a book by a living author?

@Little Green Leaves Bread and Wine looks intriguing, and I see that it is #2 in a trilogy. Had you previously read #1 (Fontamara)?

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Last night I stayed up late finishing Paladin's Grace by T. Kingfisher --

Grace, a perfume maker in a vaguely medieval town, meets Stephen, a paladin whose god has died. Feelings ensue. There is romance, murder, a spy, a lawyer with they/them pronouns, and education about perfume making. I laughed a lot and will definitely read more by this author.

Incidentally, T. Kingfisher writes for children under the name Ursula Vernon.

Here's the Amazon blurb:

"Stephen’s god died on the longest day of the year…

Three years later, Stephen is a broken paladin, living only for the chance to be useful before he dies. But all that changes when he encounters a fugitive named Grace in an alley and witnesses an assassination attempt gone wrong. Now the pair must navigate a web of treachery, beset on all sides by spies and poisoners, while a cryptic killer stalks one step behind…"

Regards,

Kareni

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2 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

Lots of current events and politics in this one!  Told from many different points of view.  The main character is arrested for an event she had nothing to do with, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time and then posted (innocently) some stuff on Facebook that was taken the wrong way.  No one is interested in listening to her.  Not sure how it will turn out!  I'm not really that up on the details of very current Indian politics, but the situation seems depressingly familiar to things I've read about here...

I read the book. It's a straight rip off the headlines. So I did not want to review it anywhere because I don't trust myself not to bring politics into it or more importantly not rant. 😊

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