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Book a Week 2021 - BW4: Alexandre Dumas and The Count of Monte Cristo Readalong


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Happy New Year everyone!  Since the country we live in celebrates Orthodox Easter on Jan. 7, followed by several other holidays, I always consider Feb. my reset month.  

I am so very, very pleased with meeting last year's 52BinaY challenge.  My "reading plan" pretty much consists of which books I can actually get (free through the online library) or cheaply (via Amazon).   I admire you all with well-thought out curated lists! However, considering my limitations, when I look over my range, I definitely branched out beyond mysteries and classics--I have you all to thank for that as you mention the books you are reading and I busily take notes. 

I most recently finished Caste. I loved The Warmth of Other Suns and told everyone I know they ought to read it; this one surprisingly fell flat for me.  My Goodreads review begins:

Quote

I absolutely loved The Warmth of Other Suns and still count it as among my top 5 books ever. So please, if you have not read it yet, put it on your must read list and read it first.

Obviously I had high expectations going into reading this one; sadly it fell short for a number of reasons. 

If you want to read a few of those reasons, my review can be found here: Short review of Caste

I'm currently reading Killers of the Flower Moon, chosen because several of you mentioned it in short order; it was available via our online library; and I recognized the author who wrote The Lost City of Z which I read and enjoyed last year.  This book is eye-opening, fascinating, and altogether tragic, too.  I'm holding my breath hoping for a good outcome but since this is rooted in fact, not fiction, my hopes aren't high.....

Happy Reading everyone!

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5 minutes ago, VickiMNE said:

Happy New Year everyone!  Since the country we live in celebrates Orthodox Easter on Jan. 7, followed by several other holidays, I always consider Feb. my reset month.  

I am so very, very pleased with meeting last year's 52BinaY challenge.  My "reading plan" pretty much consists of which books I can actually get (free through the online library) or cheaply (via Amazon).   I admire you all with well-thought out curated lists! However, considering my limitations, when I look over my range, I definitely branched out beyond mysteries and classics--I have you all to thank for that as you mention the books you are reading and I busily take notes. 

I most recently finished Caste. I loved The Warmth of Other Suns and told everyone I know they ought to read it; this one surprisingly fell flat for me.  My Goodreads review begins:

If you want to read a few of those reasons, my review can be found here: Short review of Caste

I'm currently reading Killers of the Flower Moon, chosen because several of you mentioned it in short order; it was available via our online library; and I recognized the author who wrote The Lost City of Z which I read and enjoyed last year.  This book is eye-opening, fascinating, and altogether tragic, too.  I'm holding my breath hoping for a good outcome but since this is rooted in fact, not fiction, my hopes aren't high.....

Happy Reading everyone!

Thanks for the review of Caste, I’ve thought about adding that to my tbr stack. Now I’ll add Warmth of Other Suns instead. 
 

Sad to say my stack is getting dusty. Other things have kept me very busy and my book falls out of my hand when I try to read at bedtime. 

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@Lady Florida. sending good thoughts your way for Friday.

 I actually had a laminectomy back when I was 30 with the old non laser methods.  Two discs L4 and L5.  No back brace, lots of physical therapy but I had pretty significant nerve issues with my legs due to pre surgery numbness.....3 months of not feeling my legs.  My recovery was great, I went on to have both kids and have been pretty active mom.  I don’t think Dh spent a single day off work beyond picking me up from the hospital.......I think I spent two nights in hospital. 
 

One tip that I remember.  My doctor was very upfront about one area of recovery where he differed greatly from all the other doctors doing the surgery.........he wanted me to sit very little during the recovery period.  I was to lay down or stand as much as possible for the first six weeks after surgery in order to make the scar tissue stronger.  

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16 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

@Lady Florida. sending good thoughts your way for Friday.

 I actually had a laminectomy back when I was 30 with the old non laser methods.  Two discs L4 and L5.  No back brace, lots of physical therapy but I had pretty significant nerve issues with my legs due to pre surgery numbness.....3 months of not feeling my legs.  My recovery was great, I went on to have both kids and have been pretty active mom.  I don’t think Dh spent a single day off work beyond picking me up from the hospital.......I think I spent two nights in hospital. 
 

One tip that I remember.  My doctor was very upfront about one area of recovery where he differed greatly from all the other doctors doing the surgery.........he wanted me to sit very little during the recovery period.  I was to lay down or stand as much as possible for the first six weeks after surgery in order to make the scar tissue stronger.  

Thanks for the well wishes, and for giving your experience. Mine will also be L4 and L5. No physical therapy - maybe the back brace takes the place of it. I have nerve pain going down my back, into my left side cheek, and down my leg. That's what this should relieve when he releases the nerve impingement. My post-op instructions say not to sit for periods longer than 45 minutes, so even if I was watching a movie at home I'd have to get up and move around. The doctor wants me to walk at least twice a day, ideally three times a day, once my surgery pain levels out. He said that should be in 2-3 days after the procedure. 

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Different surgery but the best thing I did after my total hysterectomy 3 1/2 years ago (vertical incision that went above my belly button - there was a lot of very big... stuff in there to remove) was to get up and walk as soon as I possibly could in the hospital.  I held a folded up towel over my tummy incision so that walking wouldn't jiggle the staples (ouch!) and I walked up and down the hallway pulling my IV stand.  The nurses always smiled at me so they must have thought it was a good idea. 🙂  It definitely helped the scar tissue to not heal shortened up and I've never had any issues at all with the scar.  Other than the fact that my "bikini days" are probably over.  Frankly, I never really had any bikini days as a young person so I'm not terribly worried over the scar. 😉 🙂

Calming pre-surgery thoughts headed your way, @Lady Florida.!

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I finished The Riddle of the Labyrinth this week. The audiobook is only around seven hours, I think, but took much longer due to the number of naps induced! The content was interesting, but I’ve fallen asleep reading books out loud to my kids, so...... It is about the decipherment of the Linear B tablets from Knossos and Alice Kober who played such a key role in breaking the code of the unknown language. She died too young, and was hampered by the man’s world she lived in, but had such great ideas.

Still reading The Year 1000, which is also interesting, but an actual physical book that I keep forgetting to take to work with me.

Looking forward to starting CMC (is that what we’re going with?) with you all!

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23 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

Anyway, I wanted to let you all know. Please keep me in your thoughts on Friday. I'll update when I can, which probably won't be until Saturday. 

Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers on Friday and after with well wishes for a speed recovery. Hugs and love.

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On 1/25/2021 at 1:07 PM, Dicentra said:

I mostly colour mandalas and florals.  I cannot draw AT ALL 🙂 so I buy books to colour out of.  Because I prefer markers, I need books with thick, smooth paper so there isn't any bleeding.  I've found that the Mandals to Color books by ColorIt are great for marker colouring:

https://www.amazon.ca/ColorIt-Mandalas-Original-Drawings-Anti-Stress/dp/0996511210/ref=sr_1_34?dchild=1&keywords=mandala+color+it&qid=1611608389&sr=8-34

Great minds!  Hubby bought me Volume III of the same ColorIt and I'm having fun with it.  I have multiple coloring books including Into the Garden, Country Charm, and an animals one that I can't remember the name of right this moment.  James loves to share youtube reviews with me of video games, comic books, etc and some of the video is so repetitive that I listen more than watch and need something to do with my hands so I don't fall asleep. Here's a couple I finished a while back.  Remind me to take some shots of the mandalas and share when possible. 

 

Robin's color owl.jpg

robin's coloring wolf.jpg

Edited by Robin M
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I unplugged for a couple days and basically read, well reread Nora Robert's Born in trilogy.

Just now seeing the news that Sharon Kay Penman passed away last week at the age of 75.  I was just about to set aside When Christ and his Saints Slept to concentrate on the Count.  Now I feel like I need to finish. 

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I got the call this evening with my arrival time. I have to be there at 10:30 tomorrow. That's going to be a long morning without coffee. I told dh that maybe I should just sleep until it's time to leave so I won't miss having my morning coffee. 😄 

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2 hours ago, Robin M said:

Great minds!  Hubby bought me Volume III of the same ColorIt and I'm having fun with it.  I have multiple coloring books including Into the Garden, Country Charm, and an animals one that I can't remember the name of right this moment.  James loves to share youtube reviews with me of video games, comic books, etc and some of the video is so repetitive that I listen more than watch and need something to do with my hands so I don't fall asleep. Here's a couple I finished a while back.  Remind me to take some shots of the mandalas and share when possible. 

 

Robin's color owl.jpg

robin's coloring wolf.jpg

Beautiful, Robin!!  I've been watching a few YouTube videos on colouring techniques and I had no idea all the different things one can do with just markers and coloured pencils!  The science behind the pigments and the solvent bases and the fillers is SO fascinating!!!

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The Bell in the Lake is a Norwegian novel that has recently been translated into English.  I loved so much about this one.......It’s the several stories intertwined into something that was just a bit mystical.  Long ago in an isolated village in Norway conjoined twins were born.  The girls grew up to weave incredible tapestry and after their death the sister bells were forged for the local stave church in their memory. In the “present day.....1880” portion of the book the stave church has been sold to the city of Dresden (Germany) and a young German architect is sent to supervise the move. There is much much more........ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50157931-the-bell-in-the-lake

 

image.png.27adc5b07de00d4179f179b6496afef0.png

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Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai 

image.png.f3e512dde8bd1403c9f0c3c74c6f4014.png

is now on Netflix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQOlnuJxU4Y

The blurb from Amazon for the book

Arjie is “funny.”

The second son of a privileged family in Sri Lanka, he prefers staging make-believe wedding pageants with his female cousins to battling balls with the other boys. When his parents discover his innocent pastime, Arjie is forced to abandon his idyllic childhood games and adopt the rigid rules of an adult world. Bewildered by his incipient sexual awakening, mortified by the bloody Tamil-Sinhalese conflicts that threaten to tear apart his homeland, Arjie painfully grows toward manhood and an understanding of his own “different” identity.

Refreshing, raw, and poignant, Funny Boy is an exquisitely written, compassionate tale of a boy’s coming-of-age that quietly confounds expectations of love, family, and country as it delivers the powerful message of staying true to one’s self no matter the obstacles.

 

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Just popping in to say all went well. My surgery was scheduled for 12:30 but the doctor was running early so they took me back around 11:30. We were home by 3:15 and I went right to sleep. I'm up and about now. Bill went out to get us some dinner - he didn't want to cook something not knowing how long I'd sleep as well as how my stomach would feel when I got up.

Pain isn't bad. I took some pain meds just before I went to bed so it's probably wearing off about now, and if the pain was bad I'd probably know it. As for the pain this was supposed to fix, it's hard to tell. They did say it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effect. Nerve pain is weird and doesn't always disappear instantly after surgery.

I'll post more tomorrow but just wanted to check in and give you all an update. 

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4 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

Just popping in to say all went well. My surgery was scheduled for 12:30 but the doctor was running early so they took me back around 11:30. We were home by 3:15 and I went right to sleep. I'm up and about now. Bill went out to get us some dinner - he didn't want to cook something not knowing how long I'd sleep as well as how my stomach would feel when I got up.

Pain isn't bad. I took some pain meds just before I went to bed so it's probably wearing off about now, and if the pain was bad I'd probably know it. As for the pain this was supposed to fix, it's hard to tell. They did say it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effect. Nerve pain is weird and doesn't always disappear instantly after surgery.

I'll post more tomorrow but just wanted to check in and give you all an update. 

Thanks for the update, Kathy!  So glad that things went well and that you're home!

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10 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

Just popping in to say all went well. 

Pain isn't bad. I took some pain meds just before I went to bed so it's probably wearing off about now, and if the pain was bad I'd probably know it. As for the pain this was supposed to fix, it's hard to tell. They did say it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effect. Nerve pain is weird and doesn't always disappear instantly after surgery.

I'll post more tomorrow but just wanted to check in and give you all an update. 

Thanks for letting us know!  May you have a full and speedy recovery with true pain relief.

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15 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

Just popping in to say all went well. My surgery was scheduled for 12:30 but the doctor was running early so they took me back around 11:30. We were home by 3:15 and I went right to sleep. I'm up and about now. Bill went out to get us some dinner - he didn't want to cook something not knowing how long I'd sleep as well as how my stomach would feel when I got up.

Pain isn't bad. I took some pain meds just before I went to bed so it's probably wearing off about now, and if the pain was bad I'd probably know it. As for the pain this was supposed to fix, it's hard to tell. They did say it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effect. Nerve pain is weird and doesn't always disappear instantly after surgery.

I'll post more tomorrow but just wanted to check in and give you all an update. 

Did they tell you to ice the heck out of it? That always helps, unless they specifically told you not to for some reason. 
 

Thanks for the update, I was thinking about you yesterday. 

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Thanks for checking in Kathy and glad to hear you are doing well.  Good thoughts and prayers winging your way that you are pain free or at least the pain is manageable enough to rest and recover.  😘

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I finished The House in the Cerulean Sea and loved it. It was a nice escape for me, and I think the relationships in the story were so well developed. The characters were so charming. I will say that I was prepared to hate the book and toss it if Linus had made a different choice about Calliope early on in the book. I'm a cat person, and DH being a cat person is one of the first things I loved about him. All that to say, how a man treats his cat is very important to me. LOL

I read The Graveyard Book after that, which is the first book I've read from Neil Gaiman. I don't know if it's typical of him? I liked it, but it's not a typical read for me. I am glad I read it though. I'd like to expand my horizons to new genres. I do want to pick up his mythology book for school.

I'm still plugging away at Caste. It's a thoughtful read for me, and I find myself expounding on her analysis with thoughts and connections of my own. I'm taking notes so I can get my thoughts to come together. 

I am going to do the Count of Monte Cristo read along. I have never read Dumas, and I have that exact Penguin Classics version of the book on my shelf, which I think I purchased to go with a literature curriculum. We haven't gotten to that one yet though. 

This weekend I started reading The New Plant Parent by Darryl Cheng and How to Make a Plant Love You by Summer Rayne Oakes. I notoriously had a black thumb, but I started keeping succulents about five years ago and have been successful, which improved my confidence. After we moved into our forever home almost two years ago, I started buying a plant for each room and now I want to branch out into more exotic types of houseplants, which will require more knowledge and lighting/placement strategy. I just read somewhere that some plants produce their oxygen at night (?) and so they are best to keep in the bedroom. If true, so cool, so I'm going to explore that more. 

 

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I started reading CMC, and decided to switch to reading it in French. I have no idea if it’s the original French, or if it’s been modernized, but it’s free on Kindle 😉 And, of course, it is practically the same, but I am enjoying the flow of the language.

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