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Book a Week 2021 - BW8: Bridge to Nowhere


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Happy Sunday, my lovelies.  Did you know Monday is Walk your Dog day, National Margarita day, and International Thinking day? So make a pitcher of margaritas, take a walk with your fur baby, and ponder life, the universe and everything.  Oh, and please share your favorite margarita recipes.  Don’t forget to buy some Girl Scout Cookies since thinking day was created in 1926 during the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference Plus. Plus the 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale day so read a fairy tale or make up one of your own.  

 

 

Bridge to Nowhere

 

On a bridge to Nowhere

To see No One

Who could be Anyone,

Who has traveled,

Happy and safe,

Everywhere and somewhere.

Music leads Them

From near to far

Across the bridge

to Nowhere.

The sky is full of light

Sparkling and clear.

The air is full of love,

Plenty and dear.

There, They sing

And dance and play,

Making up lines

And have plenty to say.

Past the bridge that Leads

to Nowhere.

They live to the rhythm

Of bass, cymbals, and drums

And maybe

A horn or flute or two.

Feet stamp, hands clap

And hips sway

To the beat

Of the drum.

Who laughs, What sings

And Baby laughs with joy.

And all the voices ring,

 

Welcome to Nowhere.

 

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

 

Count of Monte Cristo Readalong 

 

You might have noticed I messed up the chapters last week (fixed the count in previous post) and repeated 7 and left out nine. I'm a bit behind myself so no worries and will add in an extra week to catch up if needed. 

 X Little Cabinet in the Tuileries

XI The Corsican Ogre

XII Father and Son 

What things stood out in the last chapters read? Share your thoughts on the characters and their actions so far. 

  

Link to week 7  

 

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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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars – I started off listening to the audiobook in the car, but soon couldn’t stand waiting for the next car trip to find out what happened next, so ended up buying the book.  Now that I’ve finished the hardcopy, I can enjoy listening in the car, listening at a slower pace, familiar with the story, and not having to click back 30 seconds because I missed something.

I had to recover from a book hangover before I could put my thoughts together on this story.  A space opera that I imagine mirrors long sea cruises in which there are many long days, with nothing to do but sleep and eat and talk and think, mixed in with shore excursions where one tries to fit in everything they can in a day, then off to another port of call.  It’s every thing I imagine how space travel would be.  At the center of it all is Cara, a xenobiologist, who discovers an ancient relic, the Soft Blade.   A sentient alien, the last of her kind, who melds with Cara as a living skin suit.  Then mix in two different alien groups out to conquer the world and want the Soft Blade,  and the shore excursions become space battles and a race to save the universe.  Between the space battles are period when the crew hibernates in cryosleep, except for Cara because the Soft Blade has made her resistant to it. During those periods of time in which it seem to take forever and a day,  Cara and the Soft Blade must figure out how to communicate and work together.   I totally enjoyed the story, the world building, the characters and the relationships building among all of them.  Amazing and entertaining story and really appreciate Paolini’s creativity.  

We watched an old science fiction movie last night - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension - Hubby's choice, which was actually pretty good and more fun since I am familiar with all the stars.  Especially since I couldn't remember watching it way back when in the 80's. 

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I've been working on both Isabel Wilkerson's Caste and Jung Chang's Wild Swans this week, and I finished Caste yesterday. It was so very good, and it really opened my eyes. Though hard to read, the whole end of it really made me think about our idea of American Exceptionalism where in contrast to many other countries, our foundation in slavery and refusal to move past that caste system is a hindrance to all of us in ways I didn't understand. Like our refusal to provide healthcare for all has some basis in our foundation that some people aren't worth it. This is one I'll continue to think about and talk about.

The library wants Wild Swans back and I'm not even half way through. It's been slower going. I'll give it another week and see if I can make significant progress. And the library just delivered a new one, I think it's How Much of These Hills is Gold. I'll try to hold off on starting that to focus on Wild Swans.

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I read The Sociopath Next Door - 3 Stars (Enjoyable) - Since I have known a few sociopaths, this book was eye-opening for sure. Most sociopaths are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They’re difficult to spot, are walking around among us, and often destroying the lives of others.

Sociopaths (about four per cent of the population) usually exhibit the following:
lack of guilt and remorse
lack of empathy
lack of conscience
inability to form emotional attachments to others
constant lying and unreliability
using people easily
chronic boredom
ignoring social norms
inability to accept responsibility
devoting themselves to winning, “domination for the sake of domination”
desire for pity – this, by the way, is the one possible tell-tale sign that she mentions. It’s also when others often start to excuse the sociopath’s behavior.

The topic fascinates me, but I didn’t care for the writing style or presentation. The case studies were the most interesting parts, as well as the practical advice. The one possible tell-tale sign is the call for pity. This is when others start to excuse their behavior.

If you wish to see my favorite quotes, here's a link to my Good Reads review. Also, if we're not friends on GR yet, feel free to send me a friend request!

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I seem to be wallowing in my stack of books and having to work really hard to finish some.  My audiobook The Badlands by CJ Box was reclaimed by the library and I am back on the wait list in order to finish it.  It was good, I really like this series.  Next up on my audio list is Ringworld by Larry Niven https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61179.Ringworld.  I am not sure about this one for some reason.....classic Sci Fi and has been on my list for years.  

I did finish Tea with a Black Dragon which is also an award winner from the 80’s in Science Fiction.  I liked it, not sure I would class it as Sci Fi in today’s book world, more of an Urban Fantasy or paranormal romance.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37642215-tea-with-the-black-dragon

I also finished Aurora Rising which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a modern space opera about a crew of misfit graduates of the space academy end up going rogue on their first official mission in order to help a survivor from a space mission from 200 years in the past who was found on her ship in a cryogenic sleep.  My biggest irritation with this book is it was told in first person by different members of the crew.  The only way to tell who the narrator is of what you are reading is to look at chapter headings.  This made for a very painful book to read a few pages at a time.  I liked this book and will probably read the sequels which I am sure are coming if they are availiable but I won’t be putting purchase requests in. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30075662-aurora-rising
 

I am currently reading The Honjin Murders a recently translated Japanese classic murder mystery.  It’s a classic locked Room mystery written back in 1946 and the first in a long series.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52706058-the-honjin-murders
 

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I just finished reading Driving the Deep (The Finder Chronicles Book 2) by Suzanne Palmer.

I enjoyed it. I'm glad that I read it fairly soon after the first book as I was already starting to forget some details.  If interested, this is a series that absolutely needs to be read in order. Start with Finder (The Finder Chronicles Book 1).

Regards,

Kareni

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I finally finished Condi Rice's Democracy book!  Took me forever.  I still want to read some parts of it to my kids before putting it away.

I'm also reading a history of India written for Indian school kids, and a book about using scripture to teach kids values.  (I also plan to share that with my kids in some way, but not yet.)

I started reading a new spy book to my kids - "Crime Travelers - Brainwashed" by Paul Aertker.  It was supposed to be so great, but so far it isn't as good as the Spy School series.  Also, I was not pleased to find that the main character is trying to find out who stole him from his Argentinian birth mom for an illegal adoption as a baby.  (My kids were adopted from Latin America, so this doesn't sit well.)  I'll probably finish the book, unless it gets much worse.

I've been doing lots of cleaning in my room, which means inventoring and re-organizing books, and priortizing what to read next.  So many books, so little time.  (That and puzzles.  I have a ridiculous number of puzzles waiting to be assembled.)

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15 hours ago, mumto2 said:

I seem to be wallowing in my stack of books and having to work really hard to finish some.  

This has been true for me as well!

I did finish The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd yesterday. Historical novel set in early 1800's Charleston, South Carolina that follows the lives of the daughter of a wealthy family and the enslaved woman she was "given" on her 11th birthday. The story goes back and forth between their two points of view and is based on the actual life of Sarah Grimke, one of the first female leaders in the abolition and suffragist movements in America. This was recommended to me by my aunt and I very much enjoyed it. It was also fascinating to learn how much of it actually happened and to follow the rabbit trails of the real life of Sarah Grimke and her childhood home (its still there in Charleston!) and the other places mentioned in the book.

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Good morning~

I hope you are all having a good week. We finally are above 32 degrees! Let the sun shine!

One of my goals for the year is to work on my penmanship (it's actually been a goal for a number of years) and I went on a shopping trip to find a book on lettering. After visiting the local dollar and craft stores, I gave in and decided to head to Walmart.  On my way there, I remembered the small, family owned bookstore that opened during the pandemic. I immediately turned around and went to that store. Praises, she had the exact book I was looking for. It was actually the only lettering book she had on the shelf.

The owner and I chatted for a bit (I was the only customer in the store). We talked about current reads, books we've enjoyed, etc. With me being such an avid reader, she asked why I hadn't been in before. By her reaction, telling a book store owner about my 3 year No Spend Reading Challenge was a major faux pas.

I did buy the lettering book as well as a magazine featuring David Bowie so I broke my no spend challenge and she made a sale.

Oh well, it's not the first time I have upset someone nor will it be the last. She did wish me well on reading The Count of Monte Cristo so maybe there is hope we will become friends (as long as I can think of reasons to go to the book store and buy something while maintaining the integrity of my No Spend Challenge.

__

DS has informed me he is now on his ninth book of the The Wheel of Time series. He projects he will be finished by the end of March.

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17 hours ago, Kareni said:

I just finished reading Driving the Deep (The Finder Chronicles Book 2) by Suzanne Palmer.

I enjoyed it. I'm glad that I read it fairly soon after the first book as I was already starting to forget some details.  If interested, this is a series that absolutely needs to be read in order. Start with Finder (The Finder Chronicles Book 1).

Regards,

Kareni

I'll have to give these a look. Thanks for the recommendation.

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As a follow up to my Wodehouse  & coincidence post from last week...
I play Words with Friends and Edmond Dantes was one of the characters in last week's Solo Challenge puzzle. Before reading CMC, I would not have known who that was or why he would be included in a list of Romance characters.

Also, I selected another book from my sister's book box, The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Literary Society (loving it BTW), and there was this tidbit...

"Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person's name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and "fruitfulness" is drawn in." Letter from Juliet to Dawsey
 

What a lovely way to describe the phenomenon. I love the idea of throwing energy into the world and receiving fruitful bounty.

 

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1 hour ago, Granny_Weatherwax said:

Oh well, it's not the first time I have upset someone nor will it be the last. She did wish me well on reading The Count of Monte Cristo so maybe there is hope we will become friends (as long as I can think of reasons to go to the book store and buy something while maintaining the integrity of my No Spend Challenge.

I'm guessing the No Spend Challenge pertains to books for you. If so, perhaps you can shop for books for others at her store. Another possibility would be to ask family members to buy you a gift certificate for upcoming occasions (Easter, Mother's Day, birthday, Fourth of July...).

Regards,

Kareni

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Some bookish posts ~

Turkish Garbage Collectors Open a Library from Books Rescued from the Trash

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/turkish-garbage-collectors-open-library-from-books-rescued-trash

10 Australian Women Writers You Should Be Reading

https://electricliterature.com/10-australian-women-writers-you-should-be-reading/

DON’T YOU WANT TO WATCH FUN, CHARMING MYSTERY SHOWS ABOUT COOL WOMEN SOLVING BAFFLING CRIMES? I REALLY DO.

https://crimereads.com/dont-you-want-to-watch-fun-charming-mystery-shows-about-cool-women-solving-baffling-crimes-i-really-do/

Regards,

Kareni

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On 2/21/2021 at 5:30 PM, mumto2 said:

I seem to be wallowing in my stack of books and having to work really hard to finish some.  

 

On 2/22/2021 at 9:24 AM, Mothersweets said:

This has been true for me as well!

 

Add me to the list. 

Most of my reading time is being spent trying to finish King Leopold's Ghost. I'm also reading our three chapters a week in The Count of Monte Cristo, and before bed I read a bit in Romantic Outlaws

I'm not a romance fan and though I don't mind romance on the side in any fiction I'm reading, I don't choose romance novels. I am however, a sucker for a period dramas and have been caught up in the Bridgerton craze. I just started this weekend and have only watched two episodes. I plan to watch more tonight while dh is at work, which will cut into my normal reading time. I will blame the duke, or perhaps Lady Whistledown, for my lack of book progress. 😄

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I just finished Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate Book 1) by Megan E. O'Keefe. This was definitely a book that kept the reader guessing -- who is telling the truth?, what is happening? I hope to read the second book at some point ... hopefully before I forget too much of what happened in this book!

"Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction.

However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe.
Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right."

Regards,

Kareni

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Shout of thanks to @Shawneinfl for recommending Miss Benson's Beetle.  It finally came available on library load (ereader) and I devoured it in a couple of days.  I rated it 4-stars on Goodreads (short review here) which begins:

Quote

This book struck me as a modern "old-fashioned" story where the basic plot ("Will Miss Benson Find Her Beetle?") is really a vehicle for delving into human nature....

I'll be seeking out other literary works by the author Rachel Joyce.  If any of you have particular recommendations, please post!

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I just finished Finder - recommended here. Quite enjoyable, though I have trouble with keeping all those habitats in my head and which goes where. I have the next book on hold at the library.

Read the Art of Detection (Det. Kate Martinelli) for a change of pace from Laurie King. Did not like it as well as the Mary Russell series. On to Rivera Gold next week.

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Some bookish posts ~


Cruelty is nothing new...
WHEN VALENTINES WERE VICIOUS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE VINEGAR VALENTINE

https://crimereads.com/when-valentines-were-vicious-a-brief-history-of-the-vinegar-valentine

7 Stories About Mermaids, Selkies, and Sea-Wolves

https://electricliterature.com/7-stories-about-mermaids-selkies-and-sea-wolves/

7 More Swoon-Worthy Fantasy Romances

https://www.tor.com/2021/02/12/7-more-swoon-worthy-fantasy-romances/comment-page-1/#comment-900927

Regards,

Kareni

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Read "News of the World" and quite enjoyed it although it was a bit simplistic. Looks like it could be a good movie though.

Read "Bookworm" by Lucy Mangan which goes through all the books she read as a kid. If you were in UK, Australia etc in the 70s and 80s you will recognise almost all of them, in the US you might recognise a fair few. It's a deliberately funny book, comparing life in the 70s/80s to now, but oddly enough she seems like the kind of person that would really really annoy me in real life. 

Read a new Jo Walton "Or What You Will" - a good one. A love letter to Florence, lots of Shakespearean references, lots of big ideas. Reread her Lifelode (an interesting book) and Among Others (one of her best, a real comfort read). 

Read, for free on kindle, the code of Hammurabi. No luck for you if you're a slave there. Not much luck for a woman (although they had divorce). And if you're a doctor? If someone dies, you die. Who'd be a doctor??

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On 2/24/2021 at 4:40 PM, Laurel-in-CA said:

I just finished Finder - recommended here. Quite enjoyable, though I have trouble with keeping all those habitats in my head and which goes where. I have the next book on hold at the library.

I'm glad that you enjoyed it, too. FYI: The second book also had lots to keep track of.

4 hours ago, bookbard said:

Read "Bookworm" by Lucy Mangan which goes through all the books she read as a kid. If you were in UK, Australia etc in the 70s and 80s you will recognise almost all of them, in the US you might recognise a fair few. It's a deliberately funny book, comparing life in the 70s/80s to now, but oddly enough she seems like the kind of person that would really really annoy me in real life. 

This does sound intriguing even though I left Australia in 1970. Unfortunately, my library does not own it.

Regards,

Kareni

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@KareniI just finished The Binti Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor and I thought you might like it. It is science fiction and has bonding between different species (a la The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet), strong central character trying to figure themself out (a la Muderbot), and interesting space flight mechanism (vague similarity to Linesman)

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On 2/22/2021 at 11:31 AM, Kareni said:

I'm guessing the No Spend Challenge pertains to books for you. If so, perhaps you can shop for books for others at her store. Another possibility would be to ask family members to buy you a gift certificate for upcoming occasions (Easter, Mother's Day, birthday, Fourth of July...).

Regards,

Kareni

Yes, it's just for me. I am putting in requests for future gifts. There are some non-book items I would love. Star Trek mints, soap, and a book mark for example.

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I've finished Guernsey Literary and the first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock. I am on to Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson. This was found in a Free Little Library and satisfies one of my non-fiction TBR boxes. It's a bout the 1900 hurricane which destroyed much of Galveston, TX. I'm on page 28 and I've already been down multiple Google trips looking up cloud formations and pictures of Galveston.

Still reading The Count of Monte Cristo.

Haven't listened to my audiobook in a few days.

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37 minutes ago, Granny_Weatherwax said:

Star Trek mints...

I'd not seen these so went hunting and found them. Very cute!

Are you a fan of the original series books? If yes, I'm always happy to hear your favorite titles and share mine.

Regards,

Kareni

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@bookbard I enjoyed News of the World. It was just a nice story. I'm curious about the movie but won't go to a theater yet nor will I pay the cost of streaming it. I guess I'll just have to wait.

Last night I finished King Leopold's Ghost. I'm old enough to have heard of it called the Belgian Congo and remember when it was named Zaire, but I had no idea about the brutal history of the area. 

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I'm currently reading and rereading Karen Marie Moning's final book in her Fever series - Kingdom of Shadow and Light. Completed my speed read and now going back to savor and absorb.  The final book is all the more poignant because Moning reveals she had been battling a chronic illness which left her unable to write for a couple years which is why it took so long for this book to come out. 

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14 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I enjoyed News of the World. It was just a nice story. I'm curious about the movie but won't go to a theater yet nor will I pay the cost of streaming it. I guess I'll just have to wait.

Just noticed it's both on Netflix (which we have) and at our local cinema (in Australia, quite safe). I might try to watch it this weekend. I read a non-fiction book about children captives of Indians, captured at the behest of the French when it was French vs British in Nth America - terrifying and complex. 

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1 minute ago, bookbard said:

Just noticed it's both on Netflix (which we have) and at our local cinema (in Australia, quite safe). I might try to watch it this weekend. I read a non-fiction book about children captives of Indians, captured at the behest of the French when it was French vs British in Nth America - terrifying and complex. 

It's not on Netflix in the U.S. - I just checked. 😞 It's on Prime Video for $20. And that's just to rent it. I didn't see a buy option. 

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On 2/27/2021 at 10:33 AM, bookbard said:

Just noticed it's both on Netflix (which we have) and at our local cinema (in Australia, quite safe). I might try to watch it this weekend. I read a non-fiction book about children captives of Indians, captured at the behest of the French when it was French vs British in Nth America - terrifying and complex. 

Interested to hear your review of the movie (at some stage) as I really enjoyed the book,  a few years back, as a read aloud with one of my teens.

We can access the movie too here in NZ. 

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