Kidzdoc Has 20/20 Vision in 2020, Part 5

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KeskusteluClub Read 2020

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Kidzdoc Has 20/20 Vision in 2020, Part 5

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 25, 2020, 10:13pm


Natasha Trethewey, another of my favorite living poets, was born in Gulfport, Mississippi on April 26, 1966, the 100th anniversary of Confederate Memorial Day, which remains an official state holiday in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. Her mother, Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, an African American resident of Mississippi, and her father, Eric Trethewey, a White Canadian from Halifax, Nova Scotia, met as undergraduate students at Kentucky State University. The miscegenation laws in Mississippi at the time did not allow them to marry there, but they did so in Cincinnati and returned to the Magnolia State for Natasha's birth and childhood upbringing. She was educated at the University of Georgia (BA), Hollins University (MA), where her father taught in the Department of English for nearly three decades, and the University of Massachusetts (MFA). She has won numerous literary and personal accomplishment awards, most notably the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2007 for her collection Native Guard, and she served as the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2012 and 2013. She was a member of the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta for many years, as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, along with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Yale University, where she was the James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies, and she currently teaches at Northwestern University as the Board of Trustees Professor of English.

Her most recent book is Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir, which was published exactly one month ago, a chilling and brilliant book about the lives of her parents, who divorced when Natasha was six years of age, and her single mother's move with her daughter from Mississippi to Atlanta, where she obtained a master's degree in Social Work and married her second husband, an abusive man who beat her and abused her daughter repeatedly until he eventually murdered her in 1985, when Natasha was a student at UGA.

Currently reading:


Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales
A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Books read in 2020:

1. Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life by Louise Aronson
2. The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom
3. Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen
4. A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley

5. My Mother, Your Mother: Embracing "Slow Medicine," The Compassionate Approach to Caring for Your Aging Loved Ones by Dennis McCullough, M.D.


6. Afropean: Notes from Black Europe by Johny Pitts
7. Ualalapi: Fragments from the End of Empire by Ungulani Ba Ba Khosa
8. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
9. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
10. Dumba Nengue: Run for Your Life by Lina Magaia
11. The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

12. Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease by Mark Harrison
13. Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera
14. Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire
15. Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
16. The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia by Nathan Filer
17. Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
18. American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes
19. Mean by Myriam Gurba
20. Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy

21. The Tradition by Jericho Brown
22. A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson
23. In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae
24. Beloved by Toni Morrison
25. Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid by William D. Lopez
26. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
27. The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane
28. The Magnificent Conman of Cairo by Adel Kamel
29. March: Book One by John Lewis
30. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
31. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

32. If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
33. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
34. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli
35. March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

36. Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou
37. Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
38. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

39. How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang
40. Difficult Light by Tomás González
41. That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu

42. Apeirogon by Colum McCann

43. Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi (DNF)

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2020, 1:34pm

20 Classic Works of Fiction by Authors from the African Diaspora from the Shelves to Read in 2020

Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
Beloved by Toni Morrison ✅
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Fisher King by Paule Marshall
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin ✅
In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming
The Interpreters by Wole Soyinka
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison ✅
Maps by Nuruddin Farah
Moses, Man of the Mountain by Zora Neale Hurston
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o ✅
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
A State of Independence by Caryl Phillips
Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2020, 1:35pm

20 Non-Fiction Books from the Shelves to Read in 2020

Afropean: Notes from Black Europe by Johnny Pitts ✅
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Birth of a Dream Weaver: A Writer's Awakening by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o ✅
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch
Contagion: How Commerce Has Spread Disease by Mark Harrison ✅
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy ✅
Flesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundation of Body and Soul by Roy Porter
Frantz Fanon: A Biography by David Macey
The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla
The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia by Nathan Filer ✅
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi ✅
Journey to Portugal by José Saramago
Letter to Jimmy by Alain Mabanckou ✅
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
Volume Control: Hearing in a Deafening World by David Owen ✅
Why Niebuhr Matters by Charles Lemert
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom ✅

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2020, 1:37pm

Black Male Writers for Our Time

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah: Friday Black
Jeffery Renard Allen: Song of the Shank
Jamel Brinkley: A Lucky Man
Jericho Brown: The Tradition
Marcus Burke: Team Seven
Samuel R. Delany: Dark Reflections
Cornelius Eady: Hardheaded Weather
Percival Everett: Glyph
Nelson George: City Kid: A Writer's Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success
James Hannaham: Delicious Foods
Terrance Hayes: American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin
Brian Keith Jackson: The Queen of Harlem
Major Jackson: Roll Deep
Mitchell S. Jackson: Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family
Yusef Komunyakaa: The Chameleon Couch
Rickey Laurentiis: Boy with Thorn
Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom
James McBride: The Good Lord Bird
Shane McCrae: In the Language of My Captor
Reginald McKnight: He Sleeps
Dinaw Mengestu: All Our Names
Fred Moten: The Service Porch
Gregory Pardlo: Digest
Rowan Ricardo Phillips: Heaven
Darryl Pinckney: Black Deutschland
Brontez Purnell: Since I Laid My Burden Down
Ishmael Reed: Juice!
Roger Reeves: King Me
Maurice Carlos Ruffin: We Cast a Shadow
Danez Smith: Don't Call Us Dead
Colson Whitehead: The Nickel Boys
Phillip B. Williams: Thief in the Interior
De'Shawn Charles Winslow: In West Mills
George C. Wolfe: The Colored Museum
Kevin Young: Book of Hours

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2020, 1:42pm

Literature and nonfiction by contemporary Latinx authors, as recommended by Myriam Gurba, author of the memoir Mean:

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera ✅
Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli
Black Dove by Ana Castillo
Bless Me, Última by Rudolfo Anaya
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez
Across a Hundred Mountains by Reyna Grande
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester
Native Country of the Heart by Cherríe Moraga
A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande
The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero
Dominicana by Angie Cruz
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli ✅

Also: Mean by Myriam Gurba ✅

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 2, 2020, 12:21pm

Apeirogon, Colum McCann (Ireland/USA)
Burnt Sugar, Avni Doshi (USA)
How Much of These Hills Is Gold, C Pam Zhang (USA) ✅
Love and Other Thought Experiments, Sophie Ward (UK)
The Mirror & The Light, Hilary Mantel (UK)
This Mournable Body, Tsitisi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
The New Wilderness, Diane Cook (USA)
Real Life, Brandon Taylor (USA)
Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler (USA)
The Shadow King, Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA) ✅
Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA)
Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid (USA)
Who They Was, Gabriel Krauze (UK)

2020 Booker International Prize Shortlist:

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (German – Germany), translated by Ross Benjamin
The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi – Iran), with an anonymous translator
The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish – Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish – México), translated by Sophie Hughes ✅
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese – Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder
The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch – Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison ✅

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 1, 2020, 11:38am

Planned reads for September:

Apeirogon by Colum McCann
Difficult Light by Tomás González
Epidemics and Society: From Black Death to the Present by Frank M. Snowden
How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang
The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey
Real Life by Brandon Taylor
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Summerwater by Sarah Moss
That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2020, 3:09pm

Book #37: Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

My rating:

Of course, we're made up of what we've forgotten too, what we've tried to bury or suppress. Some forgetting is necessary and the mind works to shield us from things that are too painful; even so, some aspect of trauma lives on in the body, from which it can reemerge unexpectedly.

Memorial Drive is a busy thoroughfare well known to Atlantans, as it is a major street that runs from Downtown Atlanta in the west to Stone Mountain in the east. It is also where the award winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey lived with her mother, Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, an African American woman from Gulfport, Mississippi, after her mother divorced her husband and Natasha's father Eric Trethewey, a White Canadian from Halifax, Nova Scotia, when Natasha was six years of age, in order to seek a new life. Her parents met and fell in love as undergraduate students at Kentucky State University, but the miscegenation laws in Mississippi at that time did not allow them to marry there, so they took their vows in Cincinnati and returned to the Magnolia State for Natasha's birth and childhood upbringing. Turnbough's family warmly accepted the new members of the family, but the deep seated racism from Whites in Mississippi in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped to slowly disintegrate the bonds of the loving couple, and led to their eventual divorce. Trethewey stayed with their mother, although her father, who became a beloved and longstanding Professor of English at Hollins University in Virginia, maintained a close relationship with his daughter for the remainder of his life.

Turnbough obtained a master's degree in Social Work shortly after she and Natasha moved to Atlanta, and achieved a comfortable middle class life as a social worker and government administrator. She met Joel Grimmette, a Vietnam War veteran, and she soon married him, going against her family's advice to avoid marrying a man without an advanced education and a good job. Grimmette was traumatized by his experiences in the war, was insanely jealous of his beautiful, well educated and independent wife, and was incensed because she did not truly love him, and he took out his anger on his wife and daughter. Turnbough separated from him and sought police protection, but he ultimately found and murdered her in 1985, when Natasha was a freshman at the University of Georgia.

Trethewey taught at nearby Emory University for many years, but avoided going back to Memorial Drive until nearly 30 years after her mother's death. Although she had written about her mother's murder in her Pulitzer Prize winning poetry collection Native Guard she could not bring herself to document the lives of her parents, her mother's rebirth in Atlanta and her troubled relationship with her second husband.

Memorial Drive is a loving memoir of her parents, who deeply loved their only daughter in a deeply racist and segregated city in Mississippi, a chilling and captivating account of her mother's relationship with Joel Grimmette, and her own struggle to understand why her mother stayed with a man who abused and threatened to kill her for as long as she did. Trethewey does not provide the reader with easy answers to the situation her mother found herself in, or the difficult relationship she had with her daughter, who protected Natasha from Joel's wrath yet continued to support him until it was too late for her to escape his extreme jealousy and mental decline. This page turner is one of the best memoirs I've ever read, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

elokuu 28, 2020, 2:02pm

Do you know anything about the book by Debora Mackenzie about the current pandemic? Covid-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened

elokuu 28, 2020, 3:13pm

>11 LadyoftheLodge: No, I haven't heard of and don't know anything about that book.

elokuu 28, 2020, 3:19pm

Happy new one, Darryl.

elokuu 28, 2020, 3:23pm

>13 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! Happy weekend, as well.

I'm long overdue to pay visits to the threads of my favorite LTers, including yourself, but I plan to catch up this weekend.

elokuu 28, 2020, 4:45pm

Happy new thread, Darryl.

elokuu 28, 2020, 5:01pm

>10 kidzdoc: This one is already on my list of books to read, but you've certainly bumped it higher on the (imaginary) stack. Excellent review!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2020, 6:22pm

>15 jessibud2::Thanks, Shelley.

>16 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay! My review doesn't do justice to Memorial Drive, as it's a far more complex and introspective memoir than my comments would suggest. I quickly devoured it in less than 24 hours, as I wanted to read it ASAP, and I'll almost certainly give it another go soon. One of my closest friends at work, who recently moved into a gorgeous home in East Lake just off of Memorial Drive, read and loved it as well. Hopefully you'll get to meet Erin and her husband, who is now the very modest General Manager & CEO of MARTA, during next year's festival. She's a fellow bookworm, excellent cook, and a major league foodie; after several failed attempts to get together for dinner in Atlanta or Decatur we finally met three years ago, along with her youngest daughter, for Paris!

BTW, Trethewey will be one of the featured authors for next month's Decatur Book Festival.

elokuu 29, 2020, 7:54am

I want to read Memorial Drive too, and your review gave it a bump for me. If you're interested in hearing her speak on something other than the book, she and Interfaith Youth Core founder Eboo Patel did a very good episode of the On Being podcast just before the 2016 election. At least it was good at the time, and comforting in the face of that difficult runup to the last election. I'm not sure how I'd feel hearing their words now, knowing what I know. But I have a feeling it's still worth listening to, and I may give it another shot.

To pull from your previous thread, Darryl, if you do come to New York and want to get together with LT folks, let me know. I haven't been to a museum or gallery or restaurant in nearly six months and am thinking it would be good to start doing things, judiciously. Starting with getting a haircut—my big bushy covid hair is starting to drive me crazy.

I really appreciate your taking the time to set up these reading lists at the head of your thread. They're all good and give me ideas, not that I need more on the pile...

elokuu 29, 2020, 9:10am

Nice review of Memorial Drive, Darryl. I had the privilege of reading an advanced reader's copy but may want to read the final paper copy at some point. It was chilling to read in many ways, and really brought home the challenges of domestic violence and the fact that the victims are often not protected. I really liked Monument too, and hope you're enjoying the collection.

I, too, would love to hear more details if you have a meetup in New York. The state is one on our "safe" list that I can travel to without quarantining/testing, and October will be after my brother's wedding so I may be more willing to venture out.

elokuu 30, 2020, 1:54pm

>18 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa. That podcast sounds most interesting, so I'll listen to it sometime next week.

There seems to be plenty of interest for a group NYC meet up, especially since past LT meet ups in the US and Europe have been successful and very enjoyable. There are plenty of folks who live in or close to the city, or, like me, have parents who live relatively close to it. I could make it anytime between October 3-14, but I would imagine that one of the weekend days, the 3rd/4th or the 10th/11th, would work best for everyone. I'll post an invitation in the LibraryThing Gatherings and Meetups group to see who might be interested in coming, and what day would be best to get together.

my big bushy covid hair is starting to drive me crazy

Ha! I can only go three weeks between haircuts before I start to lose my mind. I've worn my hair very short for all of my adult life, and because of a bad hair twisting childhood habit my hair becomes very uneven if I let it go for more than that period of time, which looks rather unprofessional and unattractive to me. It's been a little over two weeks since my last haircut, but I'll see my barber tomorrow morning.

I really appreciate your taking the time to set up these reading lists at the head of your thread. They're all good and give me ideas, not that I need more on the pile...

I'm glad that you like my lists. TBH they are mainly for me, as they serve as a reminder of what my perpetually lofty and unattainable goals are for the year, and to get ideas of what I should read next. Rebecca (rebeccanyc), my late "book sister" and one of this group's key members before her death a few years ago, used to tease me at the beginning of each year when I would post my plans, in the certainty that there was zero chance that I would achieve any of them. Sigh...I miss her.

>19 bell7: Thanks, Mary. I wanted to know more about her Gwendolyn's state of mind and reasons for staying with Joel as long as she did, especially since he was horribly abusive to her and Natasha and because she was financially independent and didn't love him. I also wonder what attracted him to her in the first place, especially since her first husband seemed like a great match.

Great! I would love to meet you in person. I'll definitely reach out to Zoë, as it's been several years since I've seen her.

syyskuu 4, 2020, 12:04pm

Hi Daryl,
Great review of Memorial Drive. I've been ambivalent about my hold on a copy from the library. I've put down two books in the past two weeks that had main characters that exhibited despicable behavior (both nonfiction). With so much of it going on IRL right now, I just can't spend time with it.

I did just finish Hamnet and found it to be a wonderful late summer interlude.

Hope all is well with your parents.

syyskuu 4, 2020, 1:10pm

>21 tangledthread: Hi, tangled,

I think you have the wrong thread. You're welcome to stay, though, of course. I just made cookies...

syyskuu 4, 2020, 1:42pm

>22 scaifea: - Ummm, Amber? Have you been hitting the sauce again? :)

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 4, 2020, 2:10pm

>21 tangledthread: >22 scaifea: >23 katiekrug: *SNORK!* What is the matter with me?! Why would I think this is my thread?! I am clearly both on the sauce and on the crazy pills. Apologies both to tangled and Darryl!

I'm leaving it up because it's just too funny not to. Sheesh, what a dummy.

(I think I know what happened: I starred your thread here, Darryl, because I wanted to be able to follow your reading but I'm not an active part of this particular group. I generally only star my own threads so I can find them more easily, so I saw the star and assumed it was mine. Yoicks.)

Also, I did promise cookies, so regardless of whose thread it is, here you go:

syyskuu 4, 2020, 8:08pm

>21 tangledthread: Thanks, tangledthread. Even though it hasn't been out long one of my partners, who I share an office space with, and another close friend of work have also read Memorial Drive, and both loved it as well.

I've put down two books in the past two weeks that had main characters that exhibited despicable behavior (both nonfiction).

Although I don't know what books you're referring to, I wouldn't be surprised if those characters were less despicable than Trump.

I'll have to buy and read Hamnet later this year.

Thanks for asking about my parents; they are doing relatively well.

>22 scaifea: 😳

>23 katiekrug: I'll take one of what Amber's having! 😂

>24 scaifea: I loved your post, Amber!! No apologies necessary; on the contrary, I thank you for a good laugh, which I sorely needed after being a bit down in the mouth today.

Thanks for the cookies! Who made them, you or Charlie? Either way, they are assuredly delightful.

syyskuu 4, 2020, 8:13pm

Good to find your new thread. Happy Labor Day!

syyskuu 5, 2020, 8:41am

The two books: The Game of Birds and Wolves spent a fair amount of time delving into the mind set of Nazi submariners. The tendency was to think only in the tonnage of what they thought for human lives, even noncombatants. That sort of thing.

Then Yellow Bird, though an interesting and important story, I just couldn't stomach the greed of people around the oil fields. Especially tribal members who would swindle their own.

I'm just starting In the Country of Women, I'm sure there's despicable behavior but if you just look at the cover photo, how could you not feel joy? (Yeah, I know....judging a book by its cover)

syyskuu 5, 2020, 8:42am got me. I had to check twice to see if I had posted before my second cup of morning tea!
I'll have a cookie, thanks!

syyskuu 5, 2020, 9:07am

>25 kidzdoc: Oh, whew! I'm so glad my stupidity made you laugh instead it made you irritated! Sheesh, what a dope.

>28 tangledthread: Apologies again for the confusion! Clearly I *did* post before my second cup!

syyskuu 6, 2020, 9:02pm

>26 rocketjk: Thanks, Jerry; Happy Labor Day to you as well. I finally went back to work yesterday, for a five day stretch, so I'll be working that day. That's fine with me this year, as the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA, the lovely city immediately east of Atlanta, is an online event this year, so Kay, her close friend Pattie, Benita, Lisa and I won't spend the long weekend together.

>27 tangledthread: Interesting...I can't find the cover of In the Country of Women on LibraryThing.

>28 tangledthread: Save me a cookie!!

>29 scaifea: I don't think you could irritate me, Amber! I could see myself doing something similar, which makes it that much more amusing.

syyskuu 7, 2020, 1:15pm

>30 kidzdoc: A little sad about the book festival. No wandering happily through the High. No spectacularly delicious meals accompanied by even better conversation. No meeting authors or listening to interesting sessions or buying books in a hurry before rushing to get a seat in the next session. Looking forward to the 2021 Decatur Book Festival twice as hard.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 7, 2020, 5:24pm

>31 RidgewayGirl: Right on all counts. The weather was especially nice in Atlanta this weekend, with high temperatures in the low to mid 80s, sunny skies, no rain, and low humidity readings. I've been working since Saturday, so I haven't experienced any of it, and naturally it will be rainy from Thursday through Sunday, when I'm off service. Sigh...

syyskuu 11, 2020, 11:07am

Book #38: The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

Longlist, 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction

My rating:

This historical novel about the Second Italo-Ethiopian War opens in the main bus station in Addis Ababa in 1974, just prior to the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie I, the revered head of Ethiopia since 1930. Hirut, the central character of this historical novel, carries a box containing the personal effects of Ettore Navarra, a photographer in the invading Italian army, whose task is to chronicle the successful war effort against the Ethiopians, in the face of Italy's humiliating defeat in the First Italo-Ethiopian War in the late 19th century. Ettore, whose ancestry put him and his Jewish father at risk of persecution and deportation during the war, has returned nearly 40 years after its conclusion to photograph the Ethiopian people at a time of turmoil, and wishes to reconnect with Hirut, who was captured by General Carlo Fucelli, the driven and sadistic leader of the invading forces.

Hirut is a beautiful young servant in the household of Kidane, a high ranking officer in the Ethiopian Army, and his wife Aster, a haughty and cruel woman who is jealous of Hirut's beauty and Kidane's attraction towards her. The narrative begins in 1935, as the Italian Army was set to invade Ethiopia from Italian Somaliland. Hirut is an orphan, and Kidane vowed to her mother before her death that he would look after her with kindness, although he could not protect her from the wrath of his headstrong wife. As Kidane and his men go off to war Aster and other women in the community desire to fight alongside the men, as they were taught to fire rifles and fight by their fathers, but they are instructed to stay behind and support them instead.

The badly equipped and trained Ethiopian Army, although superior in numbers, was overwhelmed by the Italian forces in early 1936, and before the capital of Addis Ababa could be captured Emperor Haile Selassie fled to England, which sapped the spirit of his people. Hirut, who was now no longer a servant to Kidare and Aster but a valuable member of the women who assisted Kidare's troop, noticed that one of the men looked exactly like the exiled emperor, and suggested that he be dressed as a "shadow king", in order to boost the morale of their countrymen during the war effort. She served as his loyal companion, but during a fateful battle against Fucelli and his army she fought bravely, but was captured and taken to a hilltop jail built by the Italians, where she and other Ethiopian fighters were cruelly tortured and killed, and escape seemed to be an impossible wish.

The Shadow King is filled with heroic and memorable but deeply flawed characters on both sides, and Hirut overcomes terrible cruelty from her masters and the Italians with a laudable toughness and bravery that inspire both those fighting alongside her, along with the Italian photographer Ettore, who sympathizes with her plight despite the danger it puts him in.

I struggled reading The Shadow King, but that was largely due to my own difficulty concentrating, and in retrospect this is a superb and very well written novel about a little known conflict that could be considered the first battle of World War II, which is deserving of its place on this year's Booker Prize longlist.

syyskuu 12, 2020, 11:36pm

Happy new thread, Darryl. I see Amber made herself right at home. Those are good looking cookies.

Thanks for the link to the Edinburgh International Book Festival events that are now on You Tube. You saw a few of the events that I did in the festival itself. I found out they had recordings if you didn't see the live event so I did get to see Sarah Moss. One that I found very interesting which wasn't on your list and is one of the ones that came out on You Tube is the talk by William Dalrymple If you are at all interested in the history of India - he takes the East India Company to task in his book The Anarchy. It was an interesting talk and looks like a fascinating book.

syyskuu 13, 2020, 9:18am

>34 Familyhistorian: Yep, ridiculously socially-awkward entrances are my specialty. *takes a bow* *nearly falls over doing so*

syyskuu 13, 2020, 8:33pm

>35 scaifea: It was kind of charming as awkward moments go, Amber.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 14, 2020, 8:01am

>36 Familyhistorian: *snork!* Well, as I said, they *are* my specialty.

Morning, Darryl!

syyskuu 15, 2020, 12:53pm

Just stopping by, Darryl.

syyskuu 16, 2020, 8:43pm

Great review of The Shadow King Daryl. I'm next in line for the library ebook.
Just finished In the Country of Women by Susan Straight which is a memoir, and a case study in how racial divisions are an artificial social construct. Also listening to Isabel Wilkerson's Caste which is very well done.
Happy weekend!

syyskuu 17, 2020, 10:53am

>34 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. Amber is always welcome here, especially if she brings cookies or other sweets, as long as she doesn't make one of her Jell-O molds. You have an open invitation here as well, sweets or no.

I haven't watched any of the online author events for the Edinburgh International Book Festival or the Decatur Book Festival yet, but I'll probably do so during the first half of October, as I'll fly to Philadelphia to visit my parents for two weeks.

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company sounds interesting, so I'll plan to watch William Dalrymple's talk.

>35 scaifea: *catches Amber as she nearly falls, then nearly accidentally drops her while laughing uncontrollably*

That reminds me...a few years ago I did make a rather nice catch of one of my favorite people, a former Child Life specialist at Children's who tripped over a wheelchair left outside of a patient's room in the hospital while saying hello as I was on hospital rounds with the medical students and residents. Hillary's arms were full, and she was about to sustain a potentially serious face plant before I managed to catch her before she hit the floor. She was very grateful, and the team was quite impressed that the old man had such quick reflexes.

>36 Familyhistorian: Charming, indeed, and very sweet (even without the cookies).

>37 scaifea: Belated good morning, Amber!! You're welcome to have some of the "Good Luck for New Orleans" crawfish étouffée I made on Monday, which I am certain saved New Orleans from a direct hit by Hurricane Sally:

Yesterday I brought a container of it for another favorite colleague, an emergency medicine physician who works in our ED who also went to Tulane University. I intended to send Sarah L. a text to let her know that I had brought it, but instead I texted Sarah S., another Children's ED physician I like who was also working that day. Fortunately I brought two containers of étouffée, so I could give each of them one, and both Sarahs loved it. Several of us had a good laugh about my mix up in the morning, and especially after Sarah L. posted a photo of the Tupperware container that I put hers in on Facebook yesterday afternoon.

>38 sallypursell: Hi, Sally!

>39 tangledthread: Thanks, tangled. I'm glad that The Shadow King was chosen for this year's Booker Prize shortlist, and I hope that you enjoy it at least as much as I did. How did you like In the Country of Women? The description of it on the book's home page on LT sounds interesting. Caste is at the top of my list of books to buy soon, especially since I enjoyed The Warmth of Other Suns.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 11:01am

This year's Booker Prize shortlist was announced on Tuesday:

Burnt Sugar, Avni Doshi (USA)
This Mournable Body, Tsitisi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
The New Wilderness, Diane Cook (USA)
Real Life, Brandon Taylor (USA)
The Shadow King, Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA)
Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA)

This year's winner will be announced on 27 October. I'm greatly surprised that The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel and Apeirogon by Colum McCann, which I'm currently reading, didn't make the cut. I've only read one of the shortlisted books, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste, which was worthy of the shortlist, IMO. I now own copies of all six shortlisted titles, and I intend to finish all of them in advance of the prize ceremony.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 11:30am

>40 kidzdoc: Your catch story sounds like something right out of a romantical Hallmark movie! Are you sure she tripped over the wheelchair and didn't in fact swoon at the sight of you?

*squints at photo of étouffée* That's green onion and not Devil's Lettuce, right? It looks amazing.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 12:04pm

Oh wow, that étouffée looks really good... another dish I'll have to try someday!

I'm surprised as you are that both The Mirror & The Light and Apeirogon didn't make the shortlist, and I was kind of pulling for How Much of These Hills Is Gold since I'd read it. But I should definitely move The Shadow King up the TBR list and I'll look forward to your thoughts on the others.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 12:07pm

>42 scaifea: Ha! I don't believe so, especially since I'm probably old enough to be Hillary's father.

Right. That is sliced green onion, and there is no cilantro in the crawfish étouffée. None of the Creole or Cajun recipes I make call for cilantro, although a few suggest chopped parsley as a garnish. However, I'm about to try a recipe that Abby, another ED physician friend, made earlier this year, a Green Frittata with Avocado Cilantro Mash, but the avocado and cilantro are only in the topping and can easily be left off.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 17, 2020, 12:41pm

Hi, Mary! I love crawfish étouffée (pronounced AY-too-FAY), dating back to the years I lived in New Orleans, and the recipe I got from Heather, my group's former administrative assistant who grew up in New Orleans, isn't hard to make. I suspect that the biggest challenge you'll have is finding frozen crawfish tails. Publix, one of the larger supermarket chains in Florida and Georgia, always has them in stock, and most of the Walmart stores in metro Atlanta have them as well. They are already cooked, and only need to be thawed and added to the Holy Trinity (bell pepper, celery and onion, the core of practically all Louisiana cuisine). If you can't find crawfish you could substitute shrimp.

Here is Heather's recipe. It's easier than a more traditional étouffée recipe, as it uses Campbell's cream of shrimp soup instead of a medium or dark brown roux as a base.

6 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 pound peeled crawfish tails
1 (10 ¾-ounce) can cream of shrimp
½ cup water
½ to ¾ cup dry white wine
Salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce to taste
Minced green onions for garnish
Add Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning to taste

• In a heavy pot, melt the butter and sauté the onions, garlic, bell peppers, and celery until wilted.
• Add the crawfish tails and cook for 10 minutes.
• Add the soup, water, and wine and stir. Simmer for 30 minutes.
• Add the seasonings and simmer another 10 minutes, add the green onions and serve over steamed rice.

Note: If you have extra serve it over baked fish.

I always make a double batch of étouffée, using two large Vidalia sweet onions, and leave out the water, otherwise I follow her recipe exactly. I always use Uncle Ben's Original Parboiled Rice in my Cajun and Creole recipes, but you don't have to, and you can make your own Creole seasoning from scratch, although I always have Tony Chachere's on hand.

The son of one of my parents' closest neighbors was in New Orleans this past weekend, and he posted a photo of Catfish Napoleon that he had at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar on St Charles Avenue, which consists of blackened catfish, whipped potatoes and maque choux, a Cajun corn side dish, which is covered with crawfish étouffée. It looked absolutely delightful, and I plan to give it a try this weekend, so that I can make it for my mother on her birthday next month.

I also liked How Much of These Hills Is Gold, although slightly less than The Shadow King. Unless I get called to work this evening I'm off service for the rest of the week, and I plan to finish Apeirogon and start and finish Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi this weekend. I had originally intended to read the entire longlist by the end of next month, but I'll plan to do so by the end of the year, as I now own all 13 books and each one is of interest to me.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 1:49pm

>41 kidzdoc: There was some grumbling on twitter about neither Mantel or McCann making the shortlist, but as recognition means more to newer and lesser known authors, I think it was a good move. I like the diversity of this list, even if I've only read one book on it!

syyskuu 17, 2020, 4:32pm

>46 RidgewayGirl: I'm not the least bit surprised. Several of the members of The Mookse and the Gripes Booker Prize group in Goodreads are up in arms about this shortlist, as I expected. Some of the more vitriolic and opinionated comments:

"A massacre of the favourites!"
"What a mess - this year’s booker shortlist is a complete disaster. I never say f bombs but I let a couple loose now"
"Oh, well. Over the last few years it feels like the Booker has gone a step further each year in its attempt to stop me reading the books. I think it may finally have succeeded."
"Ugh. I read one chapter of The New Wilderness and sent it back to the library thinking it was badly written nonsense."
"An easily skippable shortlist for me."
"A weak long list begets a weak shortlist, in my opinion."
"Maybe they should rename it the Chlorinated Novel prize?"
"This is not the way to obtain and encourage diversity."
"I can’t believe that The New Wilderness was picked over all the other longlistees. If I was Hilary Mantel, that would be the ultimate slap in the face."
"I would say the Booker became more overtly political from the start of the Trump presidency."

One member of the group had a very pointed response to the extreme criticism:

"Consistently and pointedly, since I've been a member of this group, many of you dismiss and or belittle my offered opinions to carry conversations, or you reply with thinly veiled insults wrapped as humor. It is for the sake of decorum and professionalism that I do not reply to some of you the way I'd prefer. The complacent country-club clique that this group has become, even in the less than two years I've been a member, is disheartening. But as I stated, it is not surprising."

"This group has a tendency to think as a herd, rarely entertaining an opinion that is not fawning to veteran authors, and the group is not welcoming to opinions that are not acquiescing to members who participate the most. If you choose to revoke my membership, be my guest, your group is not what gives me air. Just be sure to leave this comment up so others see that I am one who speaks up, rather than be railroaded out as you have done recently to other members."

That person's comments perfectly explain why I follow this group, but don't dare to stick out my neck and express my opinions in what seems to be a very conservative group that is seriously lacking in diversity and open mindedness. I do want to read the entire longlist, and as I go through the Booker Dozen I'll make separate longlist and shortlist rankings, and let the books fall where they may.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 4:44pm

>47 kidzdoc: - Dear Lord, it's just a book prize! These people need to relax.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 17, 2020, 5:00pm

>48 katiekrug: Exactly. Some of these folks need to get a life.

ETA: I should add that several of the more vociferous members of this group were part of the discussion group on the Booker Prize's web site, whose extreme negativity, particularly after the 2011 longlist was announced, led to the elimination of any such threads on that website. To be fair, the group was very critical of last year's dual prize selection, as they felt that Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo should not have had to share the prize with The Testaments, which many thought was a mediocre and inferior novel. I haven't read Atwood's book yet, so I don't have an opinion about it, although I loved The Handmaid's Tale.

syyskuu 17, 2020, 5:21pm

I don't care who wins the various prizes, but the shortlists are great for finding interesting novels to read. I'd far rather see newer authors listed as being on the shortlist of a prestigious award is a great way to establish a career. I'm sure that Hillary Mantel and Colum McCann are not crying themselves to sleep or filling out applications for day time employment because they weren't included! Nor are they less likely to be widely published as a result. Shortlists should, in my opinion, challenge readers and present them with books by authors outside the mainstream, writing in different ways.

Goodreads is a good site, all in all, and I love the community that discusses the Tournament of Books (the reason I joined goodreads), but there's no question that the people commenting loudest are very much invested in protecting a literature that is traditional and located well within a certain comfort zone.

syyskuu 18, 2020, 12:45am

Catching up on LT in general. Glad to see such a good review of the Trethewey. I do feel like poets write some of the best memoirs.

syyskuu 18, 2020, 1:06am

Hi Darryl, I was thinking of you and thought I would pop by. I have been doing letters and postcards to voters, with Swing Left and Reclaim Our Vote, to encourage voting, and we have now been assigned Georgia as a new sister-state. (previously we were writing to Arizona) It's exciting because apparently there has been a lot of grass roots effort, in Georgia, to encourage more progressive voting, and our work will support those efforts.

I will look forward to reading your takes on the Booker Prize books. I think I will wait for some reviews before reading any myself... I am TRYING to concentrate on my to-read shelves.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 18, 2020, 1:35am

>50 RidgewayGirl: I'm sure that Hillary Mantel and Colum McCann are not crying themselves to sleep or filling out applications for day time employment because they weren't included!


Ten points to House Ridgeway

syyskuu 18, 2020, 9:46am

>45 kidzdoc: Thank you! I'll definitely try it out - crawfish tails might be tough for me to find, as you say, but I certainly should have some shrimp. I can be a wimp about spicy food so may add a pinch of red pepper flakes instead of hot sauce :)

>47 kidzdoc: Wow, those comments are unreasonably harsh. As Kay says, it's not like Hilary Mantel or Colum McCann will lose readership over not being on the list, so while I'm surprised, I'm rather intrigued by seeing so many titles I wasn't aware of, and I love seeing a diverse list including debut authors whose works may not have received fanfare when they were published but are still deserving of a look. I am also surprised at how many US authors made the short list, but I know that's within the rules of the prize. I honestly don't follow many prizes too closely, mostly because I often prefer some of the honors and runners up over the actual winners, and I often read in genres that are sometimes snubbed by more literary fans and prizes (and, honestly, have their own prizes and issues with that, as seen by some of the recent outcry at the Hugo awards). And sorry if this is kind of vague and not well-explained. I haven't read any of the short listed books, so feel like I can't really comment too specifically about which books made the cut.

Oh, and I found an article from the NY Times (may be a paywall if you've seen your limit of articles) on how the pandemic affected the process of reading and judging. Interesting to think about.

syyskuu 18, 2020, 1:09pm

Hi, buddy. Great reviews of Memorial Drive and Shadow King. I'm a fan of Natasha Trethewey's poetry, and plan to read Memorial Drive. It sounds like an emotionally tough but worthwhile read.

Forgive me if I asked this before, but how did you like Terrance Hayes' American Sonnets? It's a fairly recent favorite of mine, and we got to see him perform poems from it on a Zoom program with Adriana last month.

BTW, I love your reading lists. Plenty of inspiration there.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 8:52am

>47 kidzdoc: Ooof. I don't think I could be a member of that group for fear I'd be continually rolling my eyes so hard I'd detach a retina.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 9:51am

Rest in peace and rest in power Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the monumental Supreme Court justice who fought recurrent episodes of cancer as bravely and doggedly as she did for the rights of women and the underserved, starting from her days as a law professor at Rutgers University, my undergraduate alma mater. May her memory be both a blessing, and a revolution.

As Shakespeare would have said about her, “Though she be but little, she was fierce!”

The Kindle version of the biography Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart is currently on sale for $5.99 in the US, so I just purchased a copy of it.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 10:08am

>50 RidgewayGirl: I don't care who wins the various prizes, but the shortlists are great for finding interesting novels to read. I'd far rather see newer authors listed as being on the shortlist of a prestigious award is a great way to establish a career. I'm sure that Hillary Mantel and Colum McCann are not crying themselves to sleep or filling out applications for day time employment because they weren't included! Nor are they less likely to be widely published as a result. Shortlists should, in my opinion, challenge readers and present them with books by authors outside the mainstream, writing in different ways.

Very well said, Kay. I do care a wee bit who wins these awards, but otherwise I agree with you completely.

I also agree with your assessment of the loudest voices in Goodreads. I follow the Booker Prize group there, and will record my shortlist and longlist rankings, but that's the extent of my participation there.

>51 mabith: Hi, Meredith! I've enjoyed the nonfiction books written by poets, although I'm blanking at the moment on other memoirs written by them, except for The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey by Toi Derricotte, which earned 5 stars from me. Which memoirs written by poets have you read?

>52 banjo123: Hi, Rhonda! Thank you and Swing Left and Reclaim Our Vote for working to bring out the vote in Georgia, which is a battleground state in the upcoming presidential election for the first time in decades. Perhaps more importantly, and as you undoubtedly know, both US Senate seats here are up for grabs in November, and we have two particularly despicable senators running for election or re-election, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who are both in competitive races. If both races go to the Democrats that would go a long way towards shifting the balance in the Senate away from the Republicans, and taking power away from the vastly more despicable Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

I'll get started on the remainder of the Booker Prize shortlist today, starting with Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi.

>53 Nickelini: House Ridgeway earned at least 100 points for that reply!

syyskuu 19, 2020, 11:06am

>54 bell7: You're welcome, Mary. If you have a Walmart nearby you could go to their website, enter your zipcode, and search for frozen crawfish tails. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Walmart in Northeast Philadelphia, a few miles south of my parents' house, has them in stock. If I didn't say so already, the nice thing about frozen crawfish tails is that they are already peeled and cooked, and they just need to be thawed and added to the Holy Trinity toward the end of the cooking process. Similar to other Cajun and Creole recipes crawfish étouffée tastes much better after it has rested in the refrigerator at least overnight, which allows time for the flavors to blend and the flour in the soup to thicken it.

Do let me know how you like the étouffée after you've made it!

I agree with you and Kay; the best thing about literary prizes, especially lately, is that the works of little known and previously unpublished authors are now receiving greater attention, and I'm reading books that would have escaped my attention otherwise; The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton is one such book, as I probably wouldn't have read it if it hadn't made the Booker Prize longlist in 2013. (Actually, now that I think of it, I probably would have read it, as my good friend Rachael (FlossieT) recommended it before the longlist was announced.)

Thanks for sharing the link to the NYT article; I've subscribed to the paper for over 20 years and bought the Sunday paper since I was in high school so I could read it. I suspect that the inclusion of American authors has been a problem for the Booker Prize judges, who have to read 150+ books that are submitted for consideration. That's far too many books to be properly digested and appreciated, IMO. The National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, our country's two most prominent literary awards, restrict books from non-American authors, and the flood of American novels that are up for consideration for the Booker Prize probably means that some books by Commonwealth authors are being left off of the longlist. I would like to have seen Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell, Summer by Ali Smith, and especially Summerwater by Sarah Moss on this year's longlist, although I'll buy and read those books anyway.

>55 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. Memorial Drive isn't nearly as harrowing as it may sound. I went to dinner last night in the home of one of my partners, who is Thai and his wife, who is from Taiwan, and another partner that was there is from Nanjing. We talked about China and the Nanking Massacre by the Japanese, and I mentioned the well written and unforgettable but deeply disturbing book The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, which Shwu-Fang and Duo had both read. Memorial Drive is a children's story compared to that book.

Unfortunately I wasn't overly fond of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, at least on a first reading. I was much more impressed with The Tradition by Jericho Brown, and especially A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson, the winner of this year's T.S. Eliot Prize, which is one of the best poetry collections I've ever read. I need to post a review of that book.

>56 scaifea: Ooof. I don't think I could be a member of that group for fear I'd be continually rolling my eyes so hard I'd detach a retina.

Right? Given some of the comments I might wish to detach someone else's retina as well.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 12:24pm

>59 kidzdoc: I agree re A Portable Paradise Darryl.

My heart sunk to read of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What an extraordinary woman she was, and her acts have changed and will change the lives of many, be they as at some time marginalised, or be they inspired.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 1:01pm

>60 Caroline_McElwee: I'll post a review of A Portable Paradise soon, probably next month when I visit my parents.

RBG was an inspiration to millions of Americans, especially younger women. I hope that many of them will recognize the importance of voting in November, and come out in droves to the polls in honor of her.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 5:29pm

I was so sad to hear about RBG last night. I think I had never quite believed she was mortal. Thanks for the info on the ebook sale—I clicked.

I don't do discussions over at Goodreads and that isn't much of a testimonial for them. But people are so weird about book prizes... my opinion is that they have to have changed since the 1950s-70s when there was more of a national conversation about literature. That all served its purpose, but reading is so diversified and often niche-oriented now, it needs to have fresh eyes on fresh voices. I love that the Booker and National Book Awards are paying so much attention to first-time authors and amplifying less-heard voices.

>47 kidzdoc: "This is not the way to obtain and encourage diversity."
Um... really? I'd be curious to think how they think it should be done.

That crawfish étouffée looks fantastic... more so because it will never be made in this house, as I live with a Texan who can't stand crawfish. Ah well, a girl can dream.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 7:39pm

I was so depressed last night when I heard the news about RBG. Even my before-I-sleep book didn't help. Strangely, I was surprised by what The Orange Ass-Hat had to say about her death. I figured he would have something ridiculously rude, but he didn't. It was weird. Him? Showing some respect? As my mother says, wonders never cease.

I always look at the linguists and the short lists for the big book prizes, but I seldom read the books. I am not sure if that is a sign I have lowbrow tastes or what. I sometimes read these winners, but I am almost always late. I just read Lincoln at Gettysburg and it won the Pulitzer in 1992.

I have just discovered Bernice L. McFadden. I am not sure where I have been for the last 20 years - that is how long McFadden has been writing, but I am impressed with both of the books I read by her. I learned about her from an article I read on women authors of color in the world of fiction. I read Sugar and it was a 5 star read for me. I then requested This Bitter Earth through Inter-Library Loan and read it in 2 days this last week. I am going to have to read more of her work. She certainly knows how to write historical fiction.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 26, 2020, 9:51am

>40 kidzdoc: I loved In the Country of Women I guess you could call it memoir and it seems to be written for her adult daughters to understand the women they are descended from.

Sheesh, your thread just zooms along! Hard to keep up.

I recently finished Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid which is one of those books that moves right along and is hard to put down because you want to know what happens next. Here's NPR review link:

It was even more fun to see her interview with Trevor Noah on Youtube after I read it. But I was disappointed that they didn't talk about the motivations of the main male character.

Hope you have a good weekend!

syyskuu 27, 2020, 10:34am

>62 lisapeet: Same here, Lisa. I saw the announcement of her death during a dinner party with several of my work colleagues, and we were all stunned and morose afterward. As we all expected, Trump and McConnell are hell bent on railroading a social conservative onto the Supreme Court as the country is still mourning the death of RBG, which would give the SCOTUS a commanding 6-3 conservative majority that would exist for decades. I hope the highly principled progressives, young voters, my fellow African Americans and others who stayed home in 2016 and didn't vote for HRC now understand the consequences of their foolish decision and will vote for Biden/Harris in November, although the damage to the fabric of this country under four years of Trump will not be undone during my lifetime.

Regarding Goodreads I haven't participated in any of the discussions in The Mookse and the Gripes group, which includes the Booker Prize discussion board, but I do intend to participate much more in the Literary Fiction by People of Color group, which is probably the most diverse online book discussion group I've ever seen. I like following literary awards, so I'll continue to follow The Mookse and the Gripes, albeit as a lurker more than an active participant.

I agree that the best thing about literary awards is that little known authors from different backgrounds and experiences are now being highlighted and appreciated much more than in the past. OTOH a group like LibraryThing is just as important, if not more so, in informing me of outstanding off-the-radar books and authors who have become my favorites.

"This is not the way to obtain and encourage diversity."
Um... really? I'd be curious to think how they think it should be done.

Right. I suppose they arrogantly view themselves as the judges of what is quality literature and which books should be nominated for and awarded the top literary prizes. Thanks, but no thanks.

That crawfish étouffée looks fantastic... more so because it will never be made in this house, as I live with a Texan who can't stand crawfish. Ah well, a girl can dream.

I refuse to deny myself pleasures because another person doesn't like them, which admittedly is easy to do as a single person who doesn't often cook for other people. I won't make anyone eat anything I've made that contains ingredients that they are allergic to, morally opposed to, or dislike the taste of, and I'll often tone down the spices in foods I make for others and consider leaving out ingredients that aren't absolutely essential for them, such as cilantro, but giving up foods I like or recipes I want to try because of other people is not something I'm willing to do. Feel free to call me a culinary militant if you like. 😎

>63 benitastrnad: I was depressed enough about RBG's death and Mitch McConnell's excited comments about filling her seat before she was laid to rest to want to read any comments about her by Trump or anyone else.

I may not always read the winners or shortlisted books of major literary prizes, but I certainly follow them with interest.

I haven't read anything by Bernice McFadden yet, so I'll have to pay more attention to what she's written, although I plan to dive headfirst into Toni Morrison's work in 2021, after I read and absolutely loved Beloved earlier this year.

>64 tangledthread: In the Country of Women sounds interesting; I'll be on the lookout for it.

Sheesh, your thread just zooms along! Hard to keep up.

Right! My thread has a life of its own whether I post on it or not, thanks to my LT friends.

I'll read Such a Fun Age later this year, as it was longlisted for this year's Booker Prize and I have a copy of it on my Kindle.

I was too busy at work this week to get any reading done, but I hope to finish Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, one of this year's Booker Prize shortlisted novels, later today or tomorrow.

syyskuu 30, 2020, 12:30pm

Speaking of literary prize efforts toward inclusivity and own voices, this was an interesting article by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Not insanely informative in terms of his inner process, but a good take:

Viet Thanh Nguyen, 1st Asian American Pulitzer board member, on how his new role transcends literature
"I take the idea of citizenship seriously, whether it's service to the country or service to literature and Asian Americans, so I had to say yes."

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 30, 2020, 8:41pm

>66 lisapeet: Thanks for posting a link to that article, Lisa. I'm mildly surprised that it took over 100 years for an Asian American to be nominated to the Pulitzer Prize board, although there are far fewer prominent Asian — and Latinx — writers in this country than White or African American authors.

I was interested to learn from that article that a majority of Vietnamese Americans prefer Trump over Biden. I have far fewer Vietnamese friends and physician colleagues (one) than Chinese ones (well over a dozen, including several of my closest friends from medical school and two of my partners), so I have nothing to say about that, other than surprise that this is apparently so.

Speaking of elections, is anyone else getting inundated with dozens of emails and numerous text messages and phone calls from the campaigns of candidates? I often donate to Democratic candidates, both locally, regionally and nationally, but never have I had anywhere near as much requests from their campaigns as this year.

lokakuu 1, 2020, 9:43pm

>67 kidzdoc:
I have also received a large number of solicitations. Both mail and e-mail. I also get phone calls. I think it is because I have donated in the past. I think it is a case of once on those lists - never off.

I am surprised, and happy, to note that there is a good chance that Kansas might elect a Democrat Senator. The race is said to be close. If so, that would be the first Democrat Senator elected in the state of Kansas since 1932.

I was also very very surprised to learn that Lindsey Graham is in trouble in South Carolina. Perhaps there is a chance that things may change there.

lokakuu 1, 2020, 10:04pm

>68 benitastrnad: I would very much like to see Lindsey Graham retire!

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 2, 2020, 4:17pm

>69 RidgewayGirl:
I was appalled at the Alabama senate race this spring - between a 73 year old and a 78 year old. Jeff Sessions looked positively sickly. Why do we keep getting candidates who are so old? The only time that younger candidates are needed is when they are nominated for Supreme Court positions.

lokakuu 4, 2020, 11:16am

>68 benitastrnad: Right. I've been receiving text messages, mail, e-mail and phone calls well over a dozen times per day, much more than in previous years, including some from Republican volunteers. I've donated to candidates outside of Georgia, especially the candidates running against Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham, along with Kamala Harris when she was a presidential candidate and her and Joe Biden after the Democratic ticket was announced, so I've been receiving solicitations from numerous other candidates as well.

I hope that the Senate flips blue after the November elections, and that at least one of Georgia's Senate seats is one of those which turns the table. One of the races (David Perdue vs Jon Ossoff) will be decided next month, but the other one has more than 20 candidates and will undoubtedly be decided in a run off election between the two candidates with the most votes in December.

>69 RidgewayGirl: Yes!!!

>70 benitastrnad: I would be in favor of a mandatory retirement age for political candidates, preferably at age 70 — of course, that would eliminate Joe Biden and Donald Trump from eligibility for this year's presidential elections. Nancy Pelosi is 80, and Chuck Grassley is 87, which is completely ridiculous. I'd support an age limit on Supreme Court justices as well.

lokakuu 4, 2020, 11:50am

>71 kidzdoc:
I think the answer to the age problem is the endemic power structure. I keep telling myself to be patient. The demographics will force a change, but I find myself impatient with the pace of the change. Isn't it time for some of these people to retire? For instance, Diane Finestein. She is 85. I remember watching the panel of elderly white men grill Anita Hill. The panel that sat in judgment on Brett Kavenaugh looked the same in 2018 as it did in 1992 as far as age goes. The only thing that had changed was at least there was a woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee. An 83 year old Diane Finestien. The only time it appears to be important to pick younger people for positions of importance is for Supreme Court judges, when logic seems to indicate that these appointees should be older and wiser people with years of experience in the logic and consequences of laws.

California is going to elect a Democrat so why doesn't she retire? California is full of talented younger people who could fill her seat. We need those fresh voices in Congress and all throughout the system. Logically I know this will happen, but it is taking far too long. I grow impatient.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 4, 2020, 12:06pm

>71 kidzdoc: >72 benitastrnad:

I sympathize generally with the points you are making but, at least in terms of the Senate, we have to take into account, I think, that in most (not all!) cases a Senate seat is the pinnacle of a long career in public service. People begin by holding local and/or statewide positions, move on to a few terms in the House, and then run for the Senate. It's not necessarily so, of course. I think of JFK and Barack Obama right off the top of my head. But as for, say, Pelosi, I personally am extremely grateful that she's still filling the Speakership. Did anybody think RBG was not sharp enough to fill her Supreme Court chair? I know a lot of younger Americans who don't think Bernie Sanders is too old to be president. I'm just saying that it's not cut and dried, which is what makes me wary of the idea of age limits. As a Californian, I agree with you 100% about Feinstein. But then, I haven't really liked her since the days of her mayoralty of San Francisco when she presided over the Manhatanization of downtown SF.

Anyway, like I said, I sympathize in general, and it's frustrating when people want to hold on to power longer than seems productive for them or for the constituencies they serve.

lokakuu 4, 2020, 2:39pm

Kamala Harris is on the Senate Judiciary Committee and did quite a number on Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.

lokakuu 4, 2020, 3:04pm

>71 kidzdoc: Looking at it as an outsider Darryl, it does seem a peculiarity of U.S. politics that it is full of really old people. And I’m sure that can’t be healthy, especially when you have roles where it is virtually impossible to get rid of people before the next election. I can’t think of a single person I’ve ever met who was more capable (or even equally capable) at 75 than they were at, say, 50. And even if they are capable at the start of a campaign what are the chances of them still being so in a few years time? Given average life expectancy pretty low I would have thought.

lokakuu 4, 2020, 4:31pm

I'm sure we're in for a new wave of 40- and 30-something elected officials in the next five or ten years—the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez effect. She defeated Joe Crowley here in NY—a longtime democrat with nothing terribly wrong with him other than being established and not super progressive. (I was going to say older, but I just checked and haha he's one year older than me, so I'm not gonna play that card.) I think (hope) the voters are going to be very hungry for new blood.

lokakuu 8, 2020, 7:13am

The winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature is the American poet Louise Glück, “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

Louise Glück was born 1943 in New York and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Apart from her writing she is a professor of English at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. She made her debut in 1968 with ‘Firstborn’, and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature. She has received several prestigious awards, among them the Pulitzer Prize (1993) and the National Book Award (2014).

Louise Glück has published twelve collections of poetry and some volumes of essays on poetry. All are characterized by a striving for clarity. Childhood and family life, the close relationship with parents and siblings, is a thematic that has remained central with her. In her poems, the self listens for what is left of its dreams and delusions, and nobody can be harder than she in confronting the illusions of the self. But even if Glück would never deny the significance of the autobiographical background, she is not to be regarded as a confessional poet. Glück seeks the universal, and in this she takes inspiration from myths and classical motifs, present in most of her works. The voices of Dido, Persephone and Eurydice – the abandoned, the punished, the betrayed – are masks for a self in transformation, as personal as it is universally valid.

With collections like ‘The Triumph of Achilles’ (1985) and ‘Ararat’ (1990) Glück found a growing audience in USA and abroad. In ‘Ararat’ three characteristics unite to subsequently recur in her writing: the topic of family life; austere intelligence; and a refined sense of composition that marks the book as a whole. Glück has also pointed out that in these poems she realized how to employ ordinary diction in her poetry. The deceptively natural tone is striking. We encounter almost brutally straightforward images of painful family relations. It is candid and uncompromising, with no trace of poetic ornament.

It reveals much about her own poetry when in her essays Glück cites the urgent tone in Eliot, the art of inward listening in Keats or the voluntary silence in George Oppen. But in her own severity and unwillingness to accept simple tenets of faith she resembles more than any other poet, Emily Dickinson.

Louise Glück is not only engaged by the errancies and shifting conditions of life, she is also a poet of radical change and rebirth, where the leap forward is made from a deep sense of loss. In one of her most lauded collections, ‘The Wild Iris’ (1992), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, she describes the miraculous return of life after winter in the poem ‘Snowdrops’:

“I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring –
afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy
in the raw wind of the new world.”

It should also be added that the decisive moment of change is often marked by humour and biting wit. The collection ‘Vita Nova’ (1999) concludes with the lines: “I thought my life was over and my heart was broken. / Then I moved to Cambridge.” The title alludes to Dante’s classic ‘La Vita Nuova’, celebrating the new life in the guise of his muse Beatrice. Celebrated in Glück is rather the loss of a love that has disintegrated.

‘Averno’ (2006) is a masterly collection, a visionary interpretation of the myth of Persephone’s descent into hell in the captivity of Hades, the god of death. The title comes from the crater west of Naples that was regarded by the ancient Romans as the entrance to the underworld. Another spectacular achievement is her latest collection, ‘Faithful and Virtuous Night’ (2014), for which Glück received the National Book Award. The reader is again struck by the presence of voice and Glück approaches the motif of death with remarkable grace and lightness. She writes oneiric, narrative poetry recalling memories and travels, only to hesitate and pause for new insights. The world is disenthralled, only to become magically present once again.

I haven't read and don't own anything by Glück, so I just purchased the Kindle edition of Poems: 1962-2012.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 8, 2020, 10:45am

>77 kidzdoc: I'm going into a real bookshop tomorrow Darryl, so I'll be looking out for her. She is new to me.

I can't get on with poetry on Kindle.

lokakuu 9, 2020, 2:52pm

>77 kidzdoc: Thank you for the information about Louise Glück, Darryl. Frank was just asking what my American friends thought of this years Nobel prize winner :-)
There are no Dutch translations, sure there will be soon.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 9, 2020, 3:03pm

>77 kidzdoc: I've seen Louise Glück quoted many times in reading material, but I've never looked her up. Thanks for this summary. I'm going to try Faithful and virtuous night.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 11, 2020, 8:18pm

I finished reading Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson and really enjoyed it. I have watched as many of the episodes of No Passport Required on PBS as I can and have really enjoyed them over the years. As autobiographies go this one was a good'un. This is one chef with lots to say about cooking, restaurants, the restaurant biz, and how minorities do and don't fit into the picture. This was an eye-opener in many ways. I would not have considered this to be a book about diversity but it turned out to be. It didn't mince words and told me about one of the seamier sides of fine cooking and dining. Might be a book you would like.

I started this book I was surprised to see that I have all three of his cookbooks in my cookbook collection. I have never cooked a single recipe from them. I am not sure why. I need to rectify that. I think it might be exactly what Samuelsson described - a lack of education about spices and tastes because I haven't traveled enough. Samuelsson believes that Americans need to taste spices and foods that are grounded in the traditional foods from where they came, but they also need to try them in more adventuress foods. We need to educate our palates. I think this book will make me watch his TV shows in a different light. I would never have thought of this as a book about diversity but it is - in many ways.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 14, 2020, 5:52pm

>81 benitastrnad: I really liked that book as well. I second your recommendation of it.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 12:53pm

Catching up again...

>78 Caroline_McElwee: Did you buy a book by Louise Glück, Caroline?

Although I slightly prefer to read a paper novel than one on my Kindle, I have even less of a problem reading poetry on it, such as A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson.

>79 FAMeulstee: You're welcome, Anita!

>80 markon: You're welcome, Ardene.

BTW, did you watch any of this year's Decatur Book Festival online events? It was too depressing for me to not be there in person, so I haven't looked at any of them yet, nor any of this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival sessions.

>81 benitastrnad:, >82 SqueakyChu: I bought the Kindle version of Yes, Chef several years ago, but I haven't read it yet. I'll have to move it higher on my TBR list...and start reading again, as my reading output has been subpar all year. Hopefully I'll be able to focus on books after November 3rd.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 1:18pm

>83 kidzdoc: I skipped the online events for the Decatur Book Festival for the same reason, although I know Pattie watched a few of them. Next year!

lokakuu 22, 2020, 1:25pm

>84 RidgewayGirl: Definitely!!

lokakuu 22, 2020, 3:30pm

>83 kidzdoc: I passed on the online book festival - there weren't any authors I was excited about. Hopefully next year!

lokakuu 22, 2020, 4:11pm

>83 kidzdoc: i bought a volume of her poetry, and 1 of essays Darryl. Still awaiting arrival.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 5:45pm

I voted today - by mail. Now I have to wait on needles and pins.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 8:15pm

>86 markon: I was eager to hear Natasha Trethewey talk about Memorial Drive, and the talks by Jericho Brown and Kevin Young, all current or former Emory University faculty members. There weren't many, if any, authors I was especially eager to watch, unlike the past two years of the Decatur Book Festival.

>87 Caroline_McElwee: Sounds good, Caroline.

>88 benitastrnad: Hurrah! I deposited my ballot in the ballot drop box outside of the Auburn Avenue Library in downtown Atlanta last Thursday. I'm heartened to see many more Facebook posts from my local friends with photos of them holding "I'm a Georgia Voter" stickers or ones of ballot drop boxes or early voting sites. The energy and passion of early voters, especially in Georgia, has been inspiring, and I'm hopeful that Biden will win the state, and that our two loathsome Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler (who has been correctly labeled "Buckhead Barbie" by one of her Republican opponents) and David Perdue, will be ousted on Election Day, or after a runoff election later this year.

lokakuu 23, 2020, 9:36am

I signed up for a few events at the Texas Book Festival in November—that's one I've always wanted to visit and never have. Nothing is the same as a live event, but they have some cool sessions lined up.

lokakuu 23, 2020, 12:12pm

Back to >88 benitastrnad: I received confirmation today, by e-mail and text message, that the absentee ballot that I had deposited into a ballot drop box outside of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History last Thursday was accepted and counted by the Fulton County Board of Elections:

Georgians who request absentee ballots can track them after submission using BallotTrax, or by going to the My Voter page on the Georgia Secretary of State's web site. Earlier this week PC Magazine posted an article with links for voters in most states to track their ballots:

How to Track Your Absentee Ballot by State

>90 lisapeet: Sounds good, Lisa.

lokakuu 23, 2020, 12:35pm

>91 kidzdoc: I voted last week -- the line looked very long, but the whole thing took me only an hour and twenty minutes. Apparently, the lines are just as long at the satellite voting centers here. The man behind me in line was 35 and had recently registered and was voting for the first time and he was so excited. The woman behind him was also voting for the first time, but she was 18 and said her parents expected her to go vote.

lokakuu 23, 2020, 12:50pm

>92 RidgewayGirl: Well done, Kay. How is the turnout in South Carolina? My good friend Karen, a pediatric hospitalist in Greenville who is very politically active (and a good liberal), cast an absentee ballot IIRC, but I would assume that y'all are setting records for early voting as we are in Georgia. My office mate and her mother voted on Monday of last week on the first day of early voting, in Cobb County, and it took them six hours to do so.

If I didn't say so earlier I've donated twice to Jamie Harrison's senatorial campaign; the second donation was made in anger, after Lindsey Graham's comment that Blacks and immigrants were free to go anywhere in the Magnolia State, as long as they were conservative and not liberal.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 24, 2020, 11:14am

>91 kidzdoc: That's a cool tool for tracking absentee ballots. In Indiana we vote by faith, no idea if it even ends up in the right place. Got to be on a Grand Jury were there was a decent chance I threw my own vote out.

lokakuu 24, 2020, 10:48am

>94 stretch: Indeed. It seems that most states have similar systems for voters to track their absentee ballots. I drove my parents to their county government center just north of Philadelphia earlier this month to deposit their absentee ballots into a drop box, and my father was able to confirm that their ballots had been received and accepted by looking up their names, birthdates and county of residence on the Pennsylvania Secretary of State's website.

lokakuu 24, 2020, 10:58am

I voted in Virginia this past Monday, taking advantage of our early in person voting. Virginia has had early voting since the beginning of October and lines have been 1-4 hours long at every location in our large county. Locations also have drop boxes for mail in ballots if a voter prefers that to the mail. We also have ballot tracking. My mom voted mail-in and was able to see that her ballot was received and counted.

I drove 20 minutes to the central county voting location because the lines were shorter than our 14 county satellite locations. Voting took 55 minutes and was a very safe and organized process. I'm so relieved to have my vote counted already.

lokakuu 24, 2020, 11:28am

>96 japaul22: Well done, Jennifer. A 55 minute process seems very reasonable, indeed, and I'm glad that you've also received confirmation that your vote has been counted. Georgia is at the end of the second of its three weeks of early voting, and if I was going to vote in person I would have done so this week.

The downside of not voting in person, at least in Georgia, is that absentee voters don't receive the highly coveted "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker, which is a source of pride for me and many of my friends.

It's highly likely that I and other Atlantans will vote twice more before Inauguration Day, on December 1st to decide who will fill the remainder of Congressman John Lewis's current term, and almost certainly in January for the expected runoff election in one or both Georgia Senate races. I'll probably have to vote in person for these elections, and I'll get my stickers then.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 24, 2020, 1:36pm

Early, in-person voting started in NYC today. I am planning to vote on Monday, hoping to find a quieter time than the (expected) busier weekends. I had requested an absentee ballot, just in case, but thanks to a printing error on more than 100,000 ballots mailed to Brooklyn residents, we've all received two absentee ballots and I no longer trust that, due to the extra complication, my absentee ballot will be counted and uncontested.

What's really cool this time around is that my early voting location is the Brooklyn Museum! (I'm assuming the tiny basement room in the school across the street that was last year's location wasn't able to meet social distancing requirements).

ETA: apparently the wait at my early polling place is 4-1/2 hours!

lokakuu 24, 2020, 3:53pm

We’re hoping our move to Florida in June will help turn Florida Blue this year. We voted by mail a few weeks ago, and have now confirmed that both of our ballots have been counted. I’m terrified of another Trump term, not to mention the sycophantic Senate Repubs. I’ve sent contributions to 8 Democratic candidates for the Senate who appear to have a chance to flip a Republican seat, including the two in Georgia.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 7:08am

I find the US election process fascinating. That you can vote so early is very different to our UK system. We can only vote on one voting day. Is there an assumption that despite the huge amount of money spent on rallies nothing will change people's voting decision?

Also, why are there so few voting stations and hence the huge queues? Here every small village even has a voting station, usually a school or council hall.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 25, 2020, 8:52am

>100 AlisonY: The early voting has been immensely expanded this year with COVID concerns. I know, for myself, I wanted to vote early (the first time I've ever done so) because of fears that I, or someone in my household, would get coronavirus or exposure and be quarantined or sick on election day. This election feels so important. And, yes, for this particular election I can't imagine there are too many undecided voters. This has been less the case in other election years.

The long lines in Virginia are because record numbers of people are doing early voting and because there are fewer early voting stations open than there will be local polling places on Election Day. For Election Day, my polling place is our local elementary school and I've never had any sort of wait there, even for a Presidential election. There are probably dozens of local election day polling places that feed into each early voting location. And, actually, with all the early voting in my community I doubt that there will be any line at all at my local polling place on election day. Another factor to the long early voting lines, in my opinion, is that so many people are working from home still because of coronavirus and so can duck away to vote during the day more easily.

I hope to see voter participation at an all time high this year and greatly hope it means that we will get the outcome I'm hoping for!

lokakuu 25, 2020, 9:28am

>95 kidzdoc: deposit their absentee ballots into a drop box
I walked my (100% blue) ballot to the one and only drop box in the county and received email confirmation of receipt two hours later. So that's partial relief, but a major concern in Pennsylvania is the numerous lawsuits devoted to rejecting ballots for trivial mistakes unrelated to clear candidate preferences, and a ballot received doesn't necessarily mean a vote counted. I double- triple- quadruple- checked that I'd followed instructions precisely, but...

lokakuu 25, 2020, 10:28am

>98 ELiz_M: Yikes. You would have thought that those involved in creating the ballot forms would have double and triple checked them for errors before submitting them to the printer. Given that massive screw up I wouldn't trust those ballots either.

I love the Brooklyn Museum! I went there quite often when I worked in Manhattan, but it's been at least a decade since my last visit.

Yikes...4-1/2 hours?! Can you vote early in other locations? I just saw that Barclays Center, the home of the Brooklyn Nets, is an early voting site in Brooklyn. Early voters in Atlanta and Fulton County have the option of voting in State Farm Arena, the home of the Atlanta Hawks, which is downtown adjacent to CNN Center, which is a very short walk from the closest metro station. It reportedly has 300 polling booths, and the lines there have been shorter than in other early voting sites in the county.

>99 arubabookwoman: I hope so too, Deborah! I'm sure you're aware that Georgia is in play this year, and the latest polls show the race between Biden and Trump to be a dead heat, or within the limits of error for one candidate or the other. The turnout so far in Fulton County and the state has been unprecedented; as of Friday nearly 2.7 million of the 7.6 million Georgians registered to vote had done so, versus 1.2 million at the same time before the 2016 election, and, thanks to a relatively new state law that offers voter registration to everyone who applies or renews their driver's license, one million new voters have been added in the past four years, with large percentages of them being younger voters and members of minority groups, which bodes well for Biden and the Democrats. Kamala Harris was in town on Friday, and Joe Biden will visit Atlanta on Tuesday, as they are well aware that they have a good shot of winning Georgia, which would be the first time that the state has chosen a Democrat as President since 1992. If Biden/Harris win Georgia the presidential election will likely be a landslide, which would be ideal to avoid a realistic challenge by Trump and the Republicans of foul play.

So far I've donated to the Senate campaigns for Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Jamie Harrison in South Carolina, along with Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia, and, needless to say, the Biden/Harris ticket.

If I didn't say so already I've noticed that many of my local Facebook friends have submitted posts of them voting early, many more so than in major elections in past years. The vast majority of them have been friends who are liberals, mainly physicians and advance practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants). Many of the nurses I'm friendly with are conservatives, and I've only seen one or two "I Voted" posts from them so far, possibly because Trump is encouraging his flock to vote in person rather than by mail.

Like you I am also terrified about what could happen if Trump wins re-election, and/or if the Senate remains in Republican control.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 25, 2020, 10:52am

I think that Biden has a good chance of winning this election, but I fear. The reason I fear is because of 2016. I don't think I will ever forget that horrible feeling I had about 11 p.m. on Election night in 2016.

My sister has a court date and she was appalled to find out that she has to pay for the use of a computer inside of the Court House. The system was installed this summer and was purchased with Covid 19 relief money. She can't believe that she has to pay to use a computer inside of the Court House that was purchased with her money. I told her to say hello to Jim Crow. She was astonished when I explained to her how so many of those court cost laws came into being. I think I need to buy her a copy of The New Jim Crow and Caste. I still find it amazing that poor white American's don't see that the deck is stacked against them just as it is for most Blacks in this country. My sister does read and generally reads the books I send her. I sent her a copy of Being Mortal when her husband was so sick a year ago and she told me at Christmas time that she greatly appreciated it. She and her husband have started making arrangements for end-of-life decisions due to that book. Towards the end of our phone call I asked her if she thought that perhaps she should go to Topeka and march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. She might not be ready to go that far yet - but she is moving in that directions as the connections between her situation and other poor people are becoming increasingly clear to her.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 10:45am

>103 kidzdoc: It was the printer that made the mistake -- somehow there was a mis-match between the mailing envelops and the ballots inside. So you'd receive your mail, open it and the ballot/return envelop inside were addressed to another person!

Early voting locations are assigned in NYC. As far as I know, I can only vote at the assigned location. It's a short walk, so if the wait is too long on Monday, I can keep checking back.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 11:00am

>100 AlisonY: I find the US election process fascinating. That you can vote so early is very different to our UK system. We can only vote on one voting day.

Until fairly recently, at least in my experience, eligible citizens could only vote on Election Day, and only in person. This is the 11th presidential election in which I've voted, in Louisiana (1980), Pennsylvania (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996) and in Georgia since 2000. I think we Georgians were able to vote early during the 2016 presidential election, but I highly doubt we could have done so in 2012, and there was definitely no early voting when I lived in New Orleans, suburban Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.

Is there an assumption that despite the huge amount of money spent on rallies nothing will change people's voting decision?

The overwhelming majority of American electorate is now sharply divided between the two major parties, as no more than 10-15% of voters are either undecided or independent. There were a substantial number of Americans who chose Obama in 2012 but voted for Trump in 2016, but now that he's been in office for four years and is a known commodity there are presumably far fewer voters who are having difficulty deciding between the two candidates, especially since Biden is familiar to most Americans as well. The races for local officials are more likely to field candidates that voters are less familiar or unfamiliar with, especially those for seats in city council, county officials, or the government of one's state. It takes more effort to learn more about these candidates, especially since many of them don't have much money to spend to air television and radio advertisements, save for the states' gubernatorial and senatorial candidates.

There is often a huge variation in the number of races that we Americans have to vote on, which also includes local and statewide referenda. I and most Atlantans voted for 13 local, statewide and national representatives, two amendments to the Georgia Constitution, a statewide referendum, and a City of Atlanta referendum, according to the sample ballot I just pulled up from the Georgia League of Women Voters. My parents' ballot had fewer than half that number of races and referenda to vote on.

Also, why are there so few voting stations and hence the huge queues? Here every small village even has a voting station, usually a school or council hall.

Despite the long delays that residents of metropolitan Atlanta experienced on 12 October, the first day of early voting in Georgia, there are many more polling stations now than there have ever been. By my count Fulton County has 30 such locations, including the High Museum of Art, the city's main museum, which is a short walk from where I live. I previously drove to the Fulton County Government Building downtown to vote early, as the museum was not available for early voting before this election. The problem this time around, at least here, was not the limited number of polling stations, but the software used to check voters' registrations, which took up to 15 minutes per voter in some cases. Apparently those problems have been largely fixed, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that voting times were significantly shorter this weekend than they were last weekend. It will be interesting to see what happens next week, and on Election Day.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 11:23am

>100 AlisonY:, >101 japaul22: Right, Jennifer. This is the first year that Georgians could cast absentee ballots without providing a reason to do so, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and IIRC 45 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia permitted and in many cases encouraged their voters to do so. I think this is the first year that Pennsylvanians could vote early in person, but Katherine (qebo) could definitely confirm if that's the case or not.

I also agree about the importance of this presidential election; it's easily the most important one of my lifetime, and I'm highly excited, nervous and obsessed about it, but I doubt that I'm alone.

with all the early voting in my community I doubt that there will be any line at all at my local polling place on election day.

I'll be very curious to see what the experiences of those who vote in person on Election Day are, both locally and nationally. Let's see...looking at Georgia, it has 7.6 million registered voters, and if the projected turnout of 65% is accurate that would mean that 5 million Georgians will vote on or before Election Day, and 2.3 million of them will do so between yesterday and November 3rd. I imagine that 1 to 1.5 million will vote this week, in person or by submitting absentee ballots, which would mean that less than a quarter of the votes will be cast in person on Election Day, which should make for much shorter lines than in past presidential elections.

I agree with your thought that the pandemic has allowed more people to vote during weekdays that, in past years, many of them would be in their work places.

>102 qebo: Yikes. There is only one ballot drop box in Lancaster County?! There are three in Bucks County, where my parents live, but 20 in Fulton County, where I live.

There are also challenges being posed to the voting process in Georgia, due mainly to the closeness of the presidential and both senatorial elections. Earlier this month I helped my parents with their ballots, as my mother has progressive dementia and my father's mental status took a major hit after his stroke and subsequent seizures that took days to control earlier this year. Fortunately I stopped him from incorrectly signing the envelopes that contained the ballots, which could have invalidated their votes.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 11:33am

It's good to hear that the long waits voters in certain areas of Georgia have previously faced are shorter now.

While you are getting the Biden/Harris campaign in Georgia, Greenville is getting Mike Pence on Tuesday. Given that his chief of staff and many others in direct contact with him now have COVID, I am even less delighted by this.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 11:44am

>107 kidzdoc: I think this is the first year that Pennsylvanians could vote early in person, but Katherine (qebo) could definitely confirm if that's the case or not.
Until this year, absentee voting required an excuse, and it couldn't be just any excuse, there was a specific list. This year, we could request mail-in ballots for the primary and check a box to get them automatically for the general election also (lotsa confusion because people forgot whether they'd checked the box several months before so made a duplicate request). These ballots can be cast by mail, into a dropbox, or in person.
>107 kidzdoc: There is only one ballot drop box in Lancaster County?!
And even that was doubtful for awhile because of a pending lawsuit.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 11:47am

>108 RidgewayGirl: Yeah, we got Pence in September and are getting Trump next week. The joys of living in a red county in a swing state. Biden / Harris go to Philadelphia; out little blue dot of a city doesn't do enough for them.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 25, 2020, 10:16pm

>103 kidzdoc: I think that Biden has a good chance of winning this election, but I fear. The reason I fear is because of 2016. I don't think I will ever forget that horrible feeling I had about 11 p.m. on Election night in 2016.

I had a horrible feeling about the election, but that occurred several days before Election Day, when the print edition of the NYT had a two page map of the United States, which showed each county in every state in color, based on projections on which candidate would win a majority of the residents' votes. The map was a sea of red, save for much smaller fields of blue along the East and West Coasts, isolated islands of blue in cities like Atlanta and Pittsburgh, and scattered smaller patches in counties of the rural Deep South that have a majority or large minority of African American residents. Obviously there are far more people in Philadelphia County (1.58 million) than equally sized Glascock County, Georgia (3,142), but that map was startling, sobering, and most depressing.

Did you see the Election Night skit on Saturday Night Live just after the 2016 election? It took place in an apartment in Manhattan, in which four or five White liberals were confident that Hillary Clinton would easily win the election before the polls closed, whereas the African American comedian Dave Chappelle was highly skeptical about her chances. As the results came in the Whites were still optimistic that she would win, whereas Chappelle, and then Chris Rock once he joined the party, weren't at all surprised. When Trump was announced as the winner, the Whites were despondent, but Chappelle and Rock in essence shrugged their shoulders, and essentially said "I told you so". That is almost exactly how I felt on Election Night, as I didn't believe the polls and thought that Trump would win, although my heart held out hope that Clinton would somehow pull off what my brain told me was an upset in the Electoral College.

Here's a link to that skit:

It is still astonishing to me that poor and working class Whites continue to think that Trump and the current version of the Republican Party has their best interests in heart, and that they continue to drink the Kool Aid and believe that their problems are largely due to minorities, immigrants and federal spending, rather than the horribly bloated defense budget and the rich, along with the politicians who support them, who get progressively wealthier while refusing to enact legislation to allow many Americans to earn a living wage. Several years ago I saw a very poignant cartoon in which a working class White man was infuriated and distracted by a (mis)perception that the Democratic donkey would take away his guns at the front door of his shotgun house, whereas the Republican elephant was stealing money (meant to represent Social Security, IIRC) from his house and sneaking out his back door. Perhaps in my lifetime these people will wake up and realize that they have been had, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that happening.

>105 ELiz_M: The printers are operated by humans, I think, so someone should have been responsible for checking it for errors, IMO.

That's a shame that you're limited to only one early polling station. I can go to any of the 30 stations in Fulton County, both within and outside of the City of Atlanta. I can't vote in another county in the state, though, and residents of other counties can't vote here.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 12:07pm

>108 RidgewayGirl: Ugh. Both Pence and Trump visited Atlanta late last month, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of them returned to Georgia sometime next week, especially since Greenville is very close to Atlanta.

>109 qebo: Similar to Pennsylvania Georgians had to have a specific reason to be eligible to receive an absentee ballot before 2020. However, we have had early in person voting in place for several years, and my question pertained to early voting in Pennsylvania, both now and in the past.

That's very surprising that Lancaster County only has one ballot drop box, though not as much as there being only one drop box in Harris County, Texas's most populous county and the one in which Houston is located.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 12:19pm

>112 kidzdoc: Until this year it was voting in person on election day, otherwise absentee with a legitimate excuse; no provision for normal early voting.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 12:28pm

>113 qebo: Thanks, Katherine. That's what I thought, but I wasn't completely sure.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 12:45pm

Hi, buddy. Just checking in.

The early voting results are encouraging, although anyone would have to be crazy to start counting their Biden chickens after what happened in 2016. I was one of those who foolishly thought we were going to have our first female president. What a gut punch to find out otherwise.

If the youngsters turn out in force, they could have a huge effect on all this.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 1:16pm

>95 kidzdoc: Sounds like your father must be doing well. I'm sure you are relieved.

My vote is in and is listed as accepted. Montana is entirely mail in/drop off this year thanks to our Democratic governor.

I remember the SNL skit. Was Trump's election a surprise for you or did you see it coming? I was definitely on the clueless white person side of the room.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 1:55pm

Washington state has had 100% mail in voting for the last several elections (and very liberal vote-by-mail rules for years prior to that). However in the distant past there were voting places in many, many neighborhood schools and I don’t recall ever having a long wait. I think a lot of the long lines we see nowadays are due to voter suppression efforts by the Repubs. For example, the Texas governor decreed that there could only be one drop off box per county, regardless of size. So in Houston, where my daughter is, with 4.7 million people, there is only one drop off place. Fortunately, Florida where we are now has liberal vote by mail rules.
The first election I voted in was 1972 (the voting age was still 21 in the 1968 election, so I was unable to vote). We were in New Orleans, and I proudly voted for George McGovern. We were having friends over for dinner to watch election results, but by the time they got there the election had been called for Nixon. I was very sad!

lokakuu 25, 2020, 9:18pm

Like Eliz_M, I was concerned about voting lines up here in the Bronx. I also received a mail-in ballot and then chose not to send it, for the same reason—though as it turns out, people dropping off their ballots were allowed to go to the front of the line to drop them in the box. But I went this morning and it wasn't terrible—got there half an hour before the polls opened at 10, and while the line was really long it moved relatively quickly once the doors opened. I think I was only standing for a bit over an hour, which I guess is long but it's sure not four hours! And I was dressed warm and had a good book, and everyone was orderly and polite. It was SO satisfying to color in all the little boxes in the lefthand column and feed the ballot into the scanner, though I really really miss the ka-chunk! of pulling that lever.

BUT I did my part to further democracy, such as it is these days.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 12:57am

>115 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I completely agree that none of us should breathe easily (if at all) until the winner of the presidential election is officially announced, which hopefully will come by the morning of November 4th. I'm much more optimistic about this election than I was in 2016, due to the massive early turnout and the poll projections, but similar to that year I wouldn't be shocked if Trump managed to get reelected.

>116 streamsong: My father is doing better than he was when I picked him up from a rehabilitation center at the beginning of this month (he was admitted to a hospital in Philadelphia for extreme weakness and altered mental status in late September, which was probably due to Dilantin toxicity, then transferred to a rehabilitation hospital just outside of the city after a week long stay there). He is considerably worse off than he was before his stroke and seizures at the end of January, though, both physically and cognitively, and he has not and unfortunately will not make a full recovery from that hit, so I can't say that I'm relieved.

Wow, Montana has a Democratic governor? I don't know much about the northern Plains states, but I would have assumed that they are overwhelmingly White and vote almost entirely for Republicans.

Similar to the reactions of Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock in that SNL video I and most of my African American friends were not as surprised that Trump won the 2016 election as our White friends and colleagues were.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 7:13am

>117 arubabookwoman: I also can't remember having to wait in line for hours during past elections anywhere I've lived, starting with the 1980 election when I was an undergraduate student at Tulane; I think we voted in a school on or just off of Carrollton Avenue, and, like many college students during that election, I voted for John Anderson, as I thought that Jimmy Carter was inept and Ronald Reagan was too conservative.

>118 lisapeet: I also miss those voting booths with the private curtains and levers!

lokakuu 26, 2020, 7:41am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 26, 2020, 9:01am

>120 kidzdoc: "like many college students during that election, I voted for John Anderson, as I thought that Jimmy Carter was inept and Ronald Reagan was too conservative. "

Got you beat by four years. In 1976 I voted for Gene McCarthy, who was making his final quixotic run as a third party candidate, because I couldn't bring myself to vote for Carter or Ford. I was in college at Boston University. My parents said, "You wasted your vote." I said, "Well, let's see how Carter does and then we'll see who wasted their vote." I did vote for Carter in 1980, though, because I could see how evil Reagan was. Ah, youth.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 9:08am

>122 rocketjk: Well done. In retrospect I wish I had voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 11:27am

>122 rocketjk: Hah, me too, also in college in MA, a few weeks after turning 18, nostalgia from high school. Not a thing I've ever done again.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 11:47am

I did vote for Carter in 1980. That election was a turning point for me. My family had always been politically active and up to that point I had not been. However, I was so turned off by Regan and within four years his economic policies had managed to destroy my family financially. My father, who was a farmer, lost all of his land and had to buy back his home from the bank no the steps of the county court house in 1984. It took less than four years for the orange gasbag to do the same thing to my sister and her family this time around. They will have an auction for their farm land scheduled for January 2021. The bank has already foreclosed on them. I just don't understand why poor whites don't see that they are in the same boat as are minorities in this country. The economics of the situation are stacked against them. My sister was outraged that they have to pay the court costs for the bankruptcy. I told her welcome to the world of Jim Crow, and then had to explain how most of the bankruptcy laws are an outgrowth of the Jim Crow vagrancy laws.

The election of 1980 turned me into an out-and-out socialist.

>116 streamsong:
My sister lives in Bozeman and she and her husband campaigned for Steve Bullock when he ran for governor and now that he is running for Senate. She believes that Montana will elect a Republican for Governor this time around.

>119 kidzdoc:
historically Montana is a pro-labor state. It has to do with all the shenanigans that surrounded the Copper King and his purchase of his U.S. Senate seat in the early 1900's. Butte was a heavily Union area due to the influx of politically active miners from Europe. If you ever visit Montana be sure to allow a day to explore Butte. It is a fascinating area with a history to match.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 12:00pm

>124 qebo: "Hah, me too, also in college in MA, a few weeks after turning 18, nostalgia from high school. Not a thing I've ever done again."

I've never turned 18 again either. Or isn't that what you meant? :)

I've never voted third party since then either, in case by any wild chance that's what you were referring to.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 12:03pm

>126 rocketjk: Both, perhaps correlated events. :-)

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 26, 2020, 12:48pm

>119 kidzdoc: I'm very sorry about your father. When you mentioned that he had checked his vote status online, I assumed he was doing much better than he is.

Although eastern Montana consists of plains, western Montana is mountainous, not unlike the east/west split of Colorado.

Montana's governor, Steve Bullock, actually was part of the crowded Democratic field for President this year. I believe he declared rather late. I think he was only in the second Presidential primary debate, as his war chest/polling numbers were not high enough to meet the standards for the first debate.

Montana has a lot of Libertarians, who act as spoilers for the Republicans since the combined votes for Libertarian + Republican candidates are usually higher than for the Democratic candidate. We also have a Democratic Senator, Jon Tester.

We do have pockets of Democrats in the state, including liberal Missoula county. The county that I'm in, Ravalli, is pretty split between rabid Republicans and progressive democrats - many of the Democrats work at Rocky Mountain Lab, one of the crown jewels of the NIH.

As head of the NIH, Tony Fauci visited RML several times a year. World reknown visiting scientists often gave seminars to the scientific staff as well as community programs at the local high school. A friend pointed out that it was almost exactly a year ago in October 2019 that Dr. Fauci gave a community program here called "From AIDS to Zika: Is the US ready for the Next Pandemic?"

It's hard to believe there are so many people in the county who believe Covid is a hoax. No county could ever had had better info than we did. Gov. Steve Bullock is fighting an uphill battle with Covid restrictions, and we are now one of the states posting record high cases.

>125 benitastrnad: I'm afraid you're right, Benita. Fingers crossed that the Libertarian candidates once more rack up piles of votes!

lokakuu 26, 2020, 5:29pm

>125 benitastrnad: I'm very sorry to hear that your family's finances were ruined by the economic policies of Reagan and Trump, Benita. No matter how much I read I still cannot understand why so many poor and working class White Americans continue to believe that the modern version of the Republican Party has their best interests in heart. However, it could easily be argued that the Democratic Party hasn't represented them well, either.

Thanks for the education about Montana, a state that I've never visited or been anywhere close to. A good friend of mine from residency has now moved from Atlanta to Boise, Idaho, and it's conceivable that I may visit him sometime in the future; that's about as close as I'm likely to get to Montana.

>124 qebo:, >126 rocketjk:, >127 qebo: Ha! I doubt that I'll vote for a third party candidate in a presidential election again, either.

>128 streamsong: Thanks for the additional information and education about Montana, Janet!

lokakuu 27, 2020, 3:49am

Thanks for the answers on my US voting system. So interesting.

But wait, you used to have a lever and now you have scanning? We just tick in a booth and then come out and push our slips onto a hole in a box! I feel hard done by.... I want a special lever!

(Oh hang on - stupid me. I forgot we don't touch things anymore. I don't want a lever....).

lokakuu 27, 2020, 11:05am

lokakuu 27, 2020, 1:44pm

Whoa, politics. Great thread. Unfortunately it reminds that i’m still sick to my stomach for voting Nader in 2000. I was painfully naive but also angry at the years of Clinton/Gramm deregulation. My first election was 1992. I voted Bush senior because I thought he was capable and I was young and clueless. I wasn’t conservative, but I wasn’t liberal yet either. That doesn’t bother me as much as 2000 does. Of course he lost to Clinton. I voted Clinton in 1996 and I’ve been well left of the American center ever since.

Anyway, I’m freaking out. Trump sucks. His supporters suck too. I hate this.

lokakuu 27, 2020, 4:55pm

>132 dchaikin: Politics, indeed; that will be my primary focus for the next week and a half, at least. I've voted for every Democratic candidate for the presidency since 1984, and, needless to say, I chose the Biden/Harris ticket earlier this month. I'm nervously optimistic about Election Day, but my anxiety level is about 15 on a scale of 1 to 10.

lokakuu 27, 2020, 10:32pm

Hi Darryl. Just reading through, feeling the same anxiety, obsession, and distraction that you are feeling as we close in on November 3. I do not believe it will be a peaceful week. I fear civil unrest, most especially emboldened white supremacist groups engaging in violence.... Those in power have boldly demonstrated that holding onto power is the only thing they care about.

My first time voting was 1980. I have always voted for the Democratic presidential ticket. The first time my choice one was in 1992. I remember my colleagues wondering why I was so excited. Clinton turned out to be good in some ways and massively disappointing in some critical areas. In my opinion, Obama was the best president we have had in my lifetime. He wasn't perfect, but he was damn good.

By the way, I know you're distracted, but how is Burnt Sugar?

lokakuu 28, 2020, 12:59am

>134 EBT1002: Hi, Ellen! It doesn't help that most of my partners are also solid liberals, and are also anxious about the elections, both the presidential election and the two Senate elections in Georgia. The latest poll on Monday shows Biden ahead in the presidential election 47% to 46%, the Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff ahead of Senator David Perdue 46-45%, and Democrat Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where "Daddy" King, MLK's father, was the senior pastor for many years, leading a pack of 20 or more candidates with 34% of the vote, followed by Congressman Doug Collins with 21%, and Kelly Loeffler, the current senator who was appointed by Governor Brian Kemp to replace Johnny Isakson due to poor health, with 20%. Georgia law requires the winner to have 50% + 1 vote, otherwise a subsequent runoff election involving the top two candidates, regardless of party, must be held, and given the way these races are going both senatorial elections will likely not be decided on November 3rd, but in run off elections in January.

I agree with you that next week will probably be tumultuous, unless there is an overwhelming turnout for Biden across the country, which could certainly happen. Now that Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed and Brett Kavanaugh wrote a very worrisome opinion in the Wisconsin voting case yesterday, I fear that a close election will end up in the Supreme Court, and that Trump's appointees will allow him to be re-elected.

I've only read the first 88 pages of Burnt Sugar, so I'm struggling with it. I'm not sure that it's the book, or, more likely, my inability to concentrate on reading for pleasure. I'm working nights (5 pm to 1 am) Monday through Thursday this week, and I'm only off on Friday before I have to work days from Saturday through Tuesday, so I may not finish it, or anything else, this month.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 30, 2020, 10:29am

Earlier this week I learned that Strand Book Store, one of the largest and oldest independent bookstores in Manhattan, was in financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I've probably purchased more books there than anywhere else, as I've been going there since at least the mid 1980s and especially after I started working in the city in the late 1980s, so I placed an online order for four nonfiction books that were on the top of my wish list:

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson (I had a great but far too brief conversation with one of the pediatric surgeons in the hospital I work in, who happens to be White, about this book last week. He was reading and enjoying it, and we talked about it and Wilkerson's previous book The Warmth of Other Suns, the winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and my mother's family's experiences as members of the Great Migration during World War II, when they moved from Troy, Alabama to NYC in 1943 to escape segregation in the Jim Crow South while my maternal grandfather was in the US Army.)
The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity by Kwame Anthony Appiah
Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire by Roger Crowley

lokakuu 30, 2020, 2:44pm

I'm wary of the Strand bookstore, given their recent behavior toward their long-time employees and how the owner has recently purchased a large amount of amazon stock with PPP loans. The laid off employees are more direct in their disapproval, but the NYT article lays out the basics.

lokakuu 30, 2020, 6:25pm

>119 kidzdoc: I'm sorry to hear about your father.

>136 kidzdoc: It is always comforting to enter ones regular bookstore. Great acquisitions. Have a lovely weekend.

lokakuu 30, 2020, 9:53pm

>137 RidgewayGirl: I'm not a fan of The Strand's current owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, and her shoddy treatment of her employees, but the bookstore is bigger and more important than her, so I'll support it and hope that the negative criticisms about her causes her to become a more responsible and caring boss.

>138 figsfromthistle: Thanks for your concern about my father, Anita. I'll return to Philadelphia to see them next week.

The Strand used to be my #1 favorite bookstore, but it's certainly slipped as I've traveled more broadly, and learned more about its treatment of its employees. It's a NYC institution, though, and it would be tragic if the pandemic forced it to close.

lokakuu 31, 2020, 12:56am

Hi Daryl, I just dropped in to say hello but if I'd known you had a political conversation going on I would have been hanging around regularly. Since 2008 I read everything I can lay my hands on about your election (our provincial election last week hardly elicited headlines). I'm looking forward to a big shake-up party at the White House although I have to say one or two of the comments above are not reassuring.

>134 EBT1002: In my opinion, Obama was the best president we have had in my lifetime. He wasn't perfect, but he was damn good.

When Obama came to visit Canada shortly after his inauguration it was like the arrival of every imaginable superstar all wrapped up in one person.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 31, 2020, 7:18pm

>140 VivienneR: Thanks for visiting, Vivienne! I'm also looking forward to a big shake up next week, as Nate Silver, the highly respected statistician who is the mastermind behind the web site FiveThirtyEight, gives Joe Biden a 90 in 100 chance of winning reelection, and the Democrats a 78 in 100 chance of taking control of the Senate and a 98 in 100 chance of maintaining control of the House of Representatives. He also predicts that Biden will take Georgia, where I've lived since 1997, which is the first time that Georgia will have voted for a Democrat for President since 1992. Both sides are bringing out the heavy hitters, as Kamala Harris will return to Atlanta tomorrow, and Barack Obama will be here on Monday, to support the Biden/Harris ticket as well as the two leading Democratic candidates in our two senatorial races, Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, who are running competitively in very tight races. However, every fellow Democratic voter I've spoken with has not forgotten what happened in 2016, when the polls and prognosticators underestimated and undercounted the support of uneducated Whites for Trump, and none of us will breathe easily until the official announcement comes that Biden has been elected President.

When Obama came to visit Canada shortly after his inauguration it was like the arrival of every imaginable superstar all wrapped up in one person.

He and his wife certainly have an aura unlike that of any president in my lifetime other than John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. I'm proud to be a "Kennedy baby", as I was born in the first few weeks after his inauguration, and JFK would be the only president that comes close to Barack Obama, although, as Ellen said, he wasn't perfect.

lokakuu 31, 2020, 7:14pm

From Nate Silver's lips to everyone's ears, and everyone's voting fingers as well.

Did you see the little video making the rounds on social media today of Obama just casually shooting a 3-pointer on some indoor basketball court somewhere? He really does have an aura, and I for one am glad I was around for both of his terms (I'm too young to remember Kennedy, who was assassinated when I was a baby).

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 31, 2020, 7:32pm

From Nate Silver's lips to everyone's ears, and everyone's voting fingers as well.


I just saw that video; I didn't know about it before! His comment after he drained the 3 pointer was classic: "That's what I do!" Unfortunately the video I watched was preceded by an ad in support of Kelly Loeffler, a.k.a. "Buckhead Barbie", the despicable junior Senator from Georgia who was appointed to that position by current Governor Brian Kemp after Johnny Isakson resigned due to poor health. She is the owner of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, and the commercial lauded her for being supportive of women in sports. I nearly put a fist through my monitor, as she tried to encourage her team to refrain from showing support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which backfired on her and brought out the wrath of her team and the entire league, and she stood alongside Marjorie Taylor Greene, the wacky, racist and QAnon supporting Republican candidate to replace the retiring Congressman Tom Graves in Georgia's 14th congressional district, who will almost certainly be elected in that fire engine red part of North Georgia. Watching that ad took a bit away from Barack Obama's sweet jumper.

I don't remember JFK, as I was 2-1/2 when he was assassinated, but my first childhood memory was hearing my mother sobbing on the phone while talking with my father while he was at work about what had happened.

lokakuu 31, 2020, 8:21pm

>133 kidzdoc: I feel you. My fingers, toes, arms and legs are all crossed! Wondering what the backlash will be if Rump loses....I got my email verification that my mail-in ballot (Oregon is 100% mail) was received and verified.

>136 kidzdoc: Book hauls always help my mood. : ) Powell's, like the Strand, is hurting for business. I am trying to support my local Indie bookstores because they sure better be around when this COVID thing is over!!

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 31, 2020, 9:32pm

I hope Nate Silver is right, but I am anxious through and through. The current occupant of the White House is behaving so very badly in these last days to the election and today he explicitly thanked the Supreme Court for his anticipated victory in the days following the election.

On a more cheerful note, I will share the story of our next-door-neighbor in Seattle. Raymond and his wife Dorothy were an elderly African American couple who had lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. Raymond had worked at the nearby VA and talked about how much change he had seen in the area; really, how much change he had seen in the world, having lived through Jim Crow and the Civil Rights marches of the 1060s. He would shake his head as he told his stories. Our immediate micro-neighborhood was (still is, but we moved away a couple years ago) a sort of shoulder space between what is still a largely African American and immigrant micro-neighborhood and a (more affluent) largely white micro-neighborhood. Anyway, Raymond was a wonderful neighbor who had seen a lot. In 2008, his joy at seeing a Black man making a serious run for the highest office in the land was infectious and moving. And Obama was coming to Seattle. Raymond did not own a computer so he could not go on line to purchase tickets to see him. He showed up on our doorstep one afternoon with a $100 bill in his hand, asking if we would do the on-line purchasing for us. Well, of course we would! We did and he got to see Obama in person and he never stopped talking about it. Both Raymond and Dorothy have since passed, but to this day, we get emails addressed "Dear Raymond" and it makes us smile. Obama may not have been perfect (of course he wasn't), but he gave an 85-year-old man the sense that he had seen the world change more than he ever imagined possible.

marraskuu 1, 2020, 1:17am

>141 kidzdoc: Thanks for that positive reply, Daryl. I've been watching FiveThirtyEight's forecast map, which doesn't really tell me much because I'm told the popular vote and electoral college votes differ, although that's beyond my understanding.

I always felt a sort of affinity with JFK because I was in a shooting accident in Ireland on the same day he was assassinated. As I left the hospital someone said "the president is dead". No need to say which president.

>145 EBT1002: What a heartwarming story.

marraskuu 1, 2020, 9:03am

>136 kidzdoc: Gosh Darryl I hope The Strand survives. Powell's, City Lights and The Strand are on my lifetime bucket list and you can guess the damage I will do my wallet there (possibly saving the places) when I do make it to NYC, Portland and San Francisco. Shakespeare & Co in Paris is also in serious difficulty.

marraskuu 1, 2020, 11:50am

There was a fascinating program on NPR this morning that came from Maureen Fiedler. She has program on religion on NPR titled InterFaith Voices. The program today focused on American Evangelical religious groups and why they are voting the way they do. Here is the link to the program.
The part of the program that was the most interesting to me was the last 30 minutes where Dr. Ryan Burge was interviewed. He is a pastor in a Baptist church in Illinois and is also a professor of Political Science at Eastern Illinois State University. He has lots to say about why Evangelicals vote for the Orange Gasbag. I found it enlightening and that it explained much about what is going on. He says that the white Catholic vote is going to be crucial in this election and he thinks Biden will get that vote.

I find Maureen Fiedler's program to be a great resource and as a supporter of NPR I am happy that such a person and the organization she founded is supported through my donations. I also like Brooke Gladstone's program On The Media. Both of these programs explore so many issues that are important today and are not talked about much in other media outlets. I get frustrated because InterFaith Voices airs on Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. on my local station and On The Media at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. For that reason I try to listen to the podcasts since both programs do stories about under reported areas.

marraskuu 1, 2020, 4:34pm

>148 benitastrnad: I really like the On the Media podcast, too.

Just a few more days and hopefully we can all begin to breathe again. And no matter who wins the SC senate race, as of Tuesday night, South Carolinians will be Graham-free for at least six more years.

marraskuu 1, 2020, 4:45pm

>145 EBT1002: Love your story about Raymond, Ellen. So glad he got to see Obama.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 2:02pm

>144 Berly: Wondering what the backlash will be if Rump loses...

It appears as though we'll find that out very soon, possibly as early as this evening. There is a good to excellent chance, as you're probably aware, that Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania will all eventually go for Biden. Trump's lead in Georgia has shrunk from roughly 300,000 votes early yesterday to just over 13,500 votes currently, with over 50,000 ballots yet to be counted. The vast majority of those uncounted votes appear to be mail in ballots in heavily Democratic counties. Trump led by over 28,000 votes this morning, so if this holds there is a good chance that Biden will pass him by this evening, when the final tally is expected to be announced. A CNN reporter just appeared on the network in Bucks County, which is just north of Philadelphia County and is where my parents live, and it was heartening to see several dozen people chanting the slogan on the signs they held, "Count Every Vote."

I'm not the least bit sympathetic, but these past two days have to be tough for Trump, as he watches his leads in Michigan, Wisconsin, and especially Georgia and Pennsylvania, slowly evaporate, along with his chances at re-election. I'm very pleased that the three metropolitan areas that I've lived for most of my life, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, will be key to Joe Biden's

The other good news in Georgia is that both Senate races appear to be headed for runoff elections in January, as Georgia law requires the winner to have 50% of the vote plus one. The race for Senator Kelly Loeffler's seat will definitely go to a runoff, as she will face the Reverend Raphael Warnock, the head pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church here in Atlanta, which is where Daddy King, MLK Jr's father, was the head pastor for decades in the mid 20th century. Warnock got more votes, mainly because the leading two Republican candidates, Loeffler and Doug Collins, split the bulk of the Republican vote, whereas Warnock didn't have any serious challengers on his side. Loeffler, a.k.a. "Buckhead Barbie", is deeply unpopular here, as she was appointed to her seat last year by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to replace Johnny Isakson, the state's senior senator, who resigned due to poor health, and she flaunts her wealth with her private jets and monstrous Buckhead mansion. She is also the owner of the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA, and she was openly critical of her players when they chose to wear "Black Lives Matter" and other slogans on their jerseys and other apparel during games, and, even worse, she has aligned herself with Marjorie Taylor Greene, the despicable racist and QAnon supporter who won election as the representative for the state's 14th congressional district in the northwest corner of Georgia, which is blindingly red (conservative, if not fascist) and would probably vote to reinstitute slavery if given the chance. Taylor Greene is even worse than Trump when it comes to posting irresponsible and blatantly false tweets, and 19 or 20 of the ones she posted yesterday about the presidential election were removed by Twitter for being misleading. I have no doubt that she will be censured by Speaker Nancy Pelosi shortly after she is sworn into office.


I am trying to support my local Indie bookstores because they sure better be around when this COVID thing is over!!


>145 EBT1002: Trump continues his dangerous and undemocratic behavior, as I'm sure you're aware. I'm waiting to be served a lawsuit from his lawyers for casting an absentee ballot (for Biden & Harris) in Georgia, which wasn't counted until after the polls closed here. Isn't it rather hypocritical that the Republican dominated legislatures in Georgia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere forbade election officials from counting absentee ballots before the in person votes Election Day, yet Trump and his cultists are protesting because they weren't counted sooner?

I'm worried about what Trump will do in the 2-1/2 months left in his term if he loses, but I hold some faint hope that Mike Pence and his Cabinet, and Mitch McConnell (soon to be the country's most powerful Republican) and the Republicans in the House and Senate will grow some semblance of backbones and do their best to keep him in check. I'll bet a month's salary that he doesn't attend Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony, or offer him any help prior to then.

That's a great and very heartwarming story about your late neighbor! My father will turn 86 next month, and he and my mother were also extremely proud that an African American man was elected President of the United States, when it seemed for most of their lives that it would be an impossible thing to hope for. I wish my maternal grandmother could have seen it, though. She, her husband and her three daughters, including my mother, were part of The Great Migration, as they left Troy, Alabama in, I think, 1943 and traveled by train to NYC to escape the Jim Crow Deep South and seek better opportunities for her girls. All three graduated from college with at least associate's degrees, and used their education to better themselves. She wanted to take me and my oldest cousin with her to the 1963 March on Washington, when I was only two years ago, but my mother and her eldest sister vetoed that plan, unfortunately.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 5, 2020, 2:34pm

>146 VivienneR: I've been watching FiveThirtyEight's forecast map, which doesn't really tell me much because I'm told the popular vote and electoral college votes differ, although that's beyond my understanding.

Right, Vivienne. In 2016 Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than three million votes, but lost the Electoral College, which is a relic of and a concession to the slave owning states, which is far less democratic than the overall popular vote. IIRC George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 but won the Electoral College as well. This time around Joe Biden will definitely win the popular vote, with a current lead of over three million, and he is currently leading in the Electoral College vote by 253 to 213, according to CNN, or 264 to 214 if you're following NPR (National Public Radio) or Fox News, which have both awarded Arizona's 11 votes to Biden, and the first candidate to reach 270 Electoral College votes wins the election. Each state is awarded at least three Electoral College votes, based on its population, but not size, and the more populous states are given more votes. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River, and has 16 Electoral College votes, but Pennsylvania (20 votes), Florida (29) and New York (29) have considerably higher populations. It's not yet a done deal, but it seems very likely that Georgia's and possibly Pennsylvania's votes will go to Joe Biden by early evening, and that Biden will give an acceptance speech tonight. As Wolf Blitzer of CNN said a few minutes ago, "It's looking good for the former vice president right now."

I always felt a sort of affinity with JFK because I was in a shooting accident in Ireland on the same day he was assassinated.


>147 PaulCranswick: I also hope that City Lights, Strand Book Store, Powell's and other independent bookstores, major and minor, survive the pandemic. In addition to the books I purchased from The Strand I also gave a sizable donation to City Lights, my favorite bookstore, this summer after I learned that it was in trouble. I've never been to Portland, so I haven't given a donation or purchased books from Powell's. I did visit Shakespeare & Company when I visited Paris in 2017, and I may donate to or purchase a gift card for it.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 5, 2020, 2:48pm

>148 benitastrnad: Thanks for mentioning and describing InterFaith Voices, Benita. Neither WABE, Atlanta's PBS station, nor apparently Georgia Public Broadcasting, which includes WRAS in Atlanta, broadcasts that show. I'll listen to the latest version online later this week.

Joe Biden is a good Catholic, and that will play well in the Northeastern states, including Pennsylvania.

I don't believe that WABE broadcasts On the Media, either. We get BBC World Service from 2-7 am on Sundays, and Hidden Brain at 2 pm those days.

>149 RidgewayGirl: And no matter who wins the SC senate race, as of Tuesday night, South Carolinians will be Graham-free for at least six more years.

I admittedly don't understand your statement, Kay, especially since Lindsey Graham won reelection to his Senate seat on Tuesday. Explain, please.

>150 Caroline_McElwee: I agree, Caroline.

On the reading front, I only read one book in October, and after numerous attempts to get into it over the past three weeks I've finally given up on Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, after completing roughly ⅔ of it. I'm too distracted by the elections to care much about this year's Booker Prize longlist, although I'll try to read Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart by next week in advance of the award ceremony.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 3:12pm

>153 kidzdoc: Darryl, Lindsey Graham rarely visits SC and when he does, it isn't to speak to regular South Carolinians. He hasn't held a public town hall in years. So back he goes, to perform for the tv cameras in Washington again.

This election was terrible for Democrats serving in the state legislature. Several long serving and very popular legislators were voted out. But it's worth it if Trump loses his job.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 4:21pm

I am not at all heartened by this election. Even if Biden wins it will do little good with Moscow Mitch and cronies still in power. I don't know what voters were thinking when they didn't vote the bums in Congress out. I despair.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 5:01pm

Keeping our fingers crossed, Darryl.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 5:03pm

Darryl, I wish I had the talent to be a cartoonist. If I did, the political cartoon I would draw right now would show baby trumpty-dumpty throwing a major temper tantrum on the floor, fists and feet thrashing, all because things aren't going his way.

We watch and wait with you all......

marraskuu 5, 2020, 6:00pm

>151 kidzdoc: heartening to see several dozen people chanting the slogan on the signs they held, "Count Every Vote."
Yeah, here too, and all over the state. Watching the counts with anxiety...

marraskuu 5, 2020, 7:48pm

I'm just saddened that it was this close. Not 100% surprised, I guess—I always thought those polls were a bit too rosy, and that a votership aligned by white supremacy and xenophobia wouldn't be so easily swayed by something logical like Trump's ineptitude and moral bankruptcy. But I'm still disappointed. This country really is a mess.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 8:17pm

>154 RidgewayGirl: Ah...I now understand your point about Lindsey Graham, Kay.

I haven't paid one bit of attention to the races in the Georgia legislature or even the race to fill the seat of my late US congressmen, John Lewis, as my district in Midtown Atlanta is overwhelmingly Democratic and these races are never in doubt here, and the Georgia House and Senate will remain in Republican control for the foreseeable future. Nikema Williams, the head of the Georgia Democratic Party, easily won the election to replace John Lewis, with 85.1% of the vote.

>155 benitastrnad: If the trend holds Georgia will have two runoff elections for its Senate seats in January, and if both Democratic candidates win the Senate will likely be split 50-50, assuming that Thom Tillis holds onto his seat in North Carolina, with soon to be Vice President and former Senator Kamala Harris serving as the tie breaking vote. Hmm...if that is the case, does Chuck Schumer become the Speaker of the House, or does Mitch McConnell stay in that position?

>156 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. It seems to be just a matter of time before Joe Biden is formally announced as the winner of this year's presidential election, which I assume will occur early tomorrow, rather than tonight as I and the major networks had originally thought. Trump and his cronies realize that they are about to lose the election, and they are pulling out all the stops and engaging in undemocratic, frivolous and dangerous stunts to dispute the election progress.

>157 jessibud2: I agree with your assessment of Donald Trump, Kay!

>158 qebo: Same here, Katherine, except that I'm following both Georgia and Pennsylvania with great interest.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 8:29pm

>155 benitastrnad: Even if Biden wins it will do little good with Moscow Mitch and cronies still in power.

That's what's bothering me as well, but isn't he like 130 years old? Can we just hope he keels over? So many of them are ancient. They can't go on forever, can they? I don't understand what Moscow Mitch gets out of this. How much power does he need. Time to take his ill-gotten dragon hoard and go away.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 8:34pm

>159 lisapeet: I agree with you, Lisa. This election is far closer than I expected it to be, and the country has a long road ahead to heal itself and repair the damage to its fabric caused by Trump, his cronies, and the cultists that believed in him.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 8:36pm

>161 Nickelini: Amen, Joyce! The biggest disappointment in this election is that Mitch McConnell was reelected.

marraskuu 5, 2020, 8:37pm

>160 kidzdoc: - Neither Schumer nor McConnell would become Speaker of the House :)

marraskuu 5, 2020, 10:14pm

>160 kidzdoc: I'm following both Georgia and Pennsylvania with great interest.
Pennsylvania looks promising and would do the job alone. Georgia is exciting.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 6, 2020, 1:32am

>164 katiekrug: *smacks forehead* I meant to say Senate Majority Leader.

>165 qebo: Right, Katherine. Trump's lead in Georgia has nearly completely evaporated, and Biden will probably overtake him there and in Pennsylvania later today (Friday).

I'm flying to Philadelphia later this morning to visit my parents for a few days. I normally take an Airport Line train from PHL to Center City, get off at Jefferson Station (formerly known as Market East Station), visit Reading Terminal Market, and go back into the station to take a West Trenton Line train to Langhorne, which is where my parents live. However, the Market is next to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, as you know, and it's where the votes in Philadelphia are being counted. There are protestors on both sides outside of the center, and CNN just reported that Philadelphia police foiled an apparent plot by armed out of state agitators inspired by Trump's reckless, dangerous and undemocratic tweets and words to disrupt the legitimate and democratic election process. Needless to say I won't visit the Market today, and I may stop for lunch in 30th Street Station instead.

marraskuu 6, 2020, 3:52am

>166 kidzdoc: Safe travels, and have a good time with your parents Darryl.

marraskuu 6, 2020, 5:19am

>166 kidzdoc: Take care Darryl. I hope that by the time you arrive in Philly there will some good news.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 6, 2020, 6:22am

>166 kidzdoc: Safe travels, Darryl, stay safe, and enjoy your stay with your parents.

marraskuu 6, 2020, 7:20am

Hope your travels are easy and uneventful, Darryl, and that your time with your parents is good. And GO GEORGIA! (And Pennsylvania.)

marraskuu 6, 2020, 9:51am

I love it that you will be an on-the-ground reporter from one of the two states that is still undecided. I am sorry that you will miss the Reading Market. I love that place and could eat every meal I might have in Philadelphia inside it. It is a really amazing place.

I had an outstanding meal the other day in Birmingham at the one Frank Stitt restaurant that is currently open. It was Bottega and the meal was really good. The most unusual taste experience was the appetizer which was a chicken liver pate. I also had a Burretta salad with radicchio and arugula. My main course was a southern take on a Bolognaise sauce. The coffee at the end of the meal was delicious as well. Stitt owns three restaurants in Birmingham, but only this one is open because it is the only one that has space for outdoor seating. In Birmingham, with the aid of some of those space heaters, outdoor dining is possible year round. I hope it is enough to keep him and his staff in business.

Our Governor extended our face mask mandate to December 11. We have been so lucky here in Tuscaloosa. The local hospital has the lowest number of Covid patients since June. I think it is due to the University quick, and some would say draconian, response to the student behavior displayed the first two weeks of school in August. It nipped that behavior in the bud which directly lead to our low Covid-19 rates now.

marraskuu 6, 2020, 10:59am

>166 kidzdoc: Enjoy your visit. I wish we weren't in a place where we needed to worry about crazies running rampant every time Trump dreams up a random excuse to blame someone else for his loss. I had hoped that this election would break the collective fever on the right but apparently we are still a long way from a cure.

marraskuu 6, 2020, 1:14pm

Enjoy your visit to Philadelphia to see your parents and to rejoice with the city of Philadelphia.

marraskuu 6, 2020, 5:01pm

I had really hoped there would be a clear winner in this election. I'm hopeful that Biden will eventually take office, but it seems as a nation we're still divided.

Hope you have a good visit with your parents.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 5:55am

It's 5:30 am on Saturday of Election Day Week on the East Coast of the United States, and it's still not completely certain that we have chosen a new President, although the numbers, and the math, are strongly in favor of Joe Biden. I made it to my parents' house in suburban Philadelphia safely yesterday afternoon, and I have a lot of sleep to catch up on, as up until then I had hardly slept since Election Night, watching and listening to the coverage of the election on CNN, PBS and NPR, as many of my fellow citizens have been doing. (I was awake from 10 pm Thursday until 4 pm on Friday afternoon, as I was excitedly but anxiously watching the vote count in my home state of Georgia, which didn't flip Blue (Democratic) until 4:30 am yesterday morning.) Hopefully there will be some clarity on the state of the races in the four states that haven't finalized their election results, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania, but I expect that we won't be able to declare a clear winner in the election until sometime next week.

>167 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline.

>168 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire. The news in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Atlanta, and Georgia continues to be very good for Joe Biden, but the number of ballots yet to be counted significantly overweighs the difference in votes between the two candidates, so we'll have to continue to watch, and wait.

Apparently I've did something to my left foot and ankle last weekend while working, as it continues to be swollen and very painful to walk on. Walking through the airports in Atlanta and Philadelphia yesterday was very uncomfortable, so I'll take it easy for the next day or two, especially since there isn't anything that I absolutely have to do for my parents (we visited their eldercare lawyer yesterday, to update my father's Last Will and Testament and other important documents). If my foot and ankle are still swollen and painful next week I'll go to a local Urgent Care Center, to have it looked at and have X-rays done, to see if I may have a stress fracture in one of the bones of my foot.

>169 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. This will be a relatively short visit, as I'll fly back to Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon. I'll return for Thanksgiving Week later this month, and, God willing, I'll spend my New Year's break with them as well.

>170 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa! I follow a few cooking groups on Facebook, and some members have suggested making or having Philadelphia cheesesteaks and peach cobbler or pie in celebration of Joe Biden's expected win. (Georgia, as you know, is the Peach State.) We may have to do that this weekend or early next week.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 6:55am

>171 benitastrnad: Thanks to my trick foot & ankle I won't do much on the scene reporting from Philadelphia, Benita, although I'm sure we'll all be watching CNN on a regular basis this weekend. Unless my foot returns to normal by next Wednesday I won't visit Reading Terminal Market on my way back to Atlanta, either. For some reason SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) decided to close the entrance to Jefferson Station that is immediately across the street from the Market, so you now have to walk the equivalent of two blocks away, then walk back those two blocks to get to the Market: very frustrating!!

Your meal in Birmingham sounds fantastic. Among the many things I miss doing in the Year of the Pandemic is dining in superb restaurants. Hopefully we can all do that again sometime next year.

Kay Ivey isn't someone I would describe as a progressive governor, but I'm glad that she instituted a mask wearing mandate on Alabamians. I would love it if our governor, Brian Kemp, would do the same thing, but, as one of my colleagues bluntly but correctly stated earlier this year, Kemp's head is too far up Trump's ass to take that step.

>172 Oberon: Thanks, Erik. As you said, we are a long way from a cure, for our fractured and troubled country and for the pandemic, but Joe Biden has a great opportunity to begin to unite the country and heal its deep wounds, although that won't happen completely during his watch. I was pleased that people who I encountered or saw in Atlanta and Philadelphia were very polite and civil to one another, which I expect will continue in those cities, although I fear that folks in small towns, exurbs and rural areas will express their anger and hostility towards those who don't look or think like them.

>173 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay.

>174 markon: Thanks, Ardene. This country is still deeply divided, as more than 70 million Americans voted against Joe Biden, and his comment last night about having a "mandate" to heal this country is quite inaccurate. As usual, Florida was a massive disappointment to Democrats, and had that state gone Blue Biden would have been declared the winner several days ago. We Georgians have a chance to flip the Senate, so we need to regroup and marshal that energy that we used to choose Joe Biden into supporting Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in their January runoff elections, and send Mitch McConnell to the back of the Senate chambers.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 11:51am

>176 kidzdoc:
Wouldn't it be amazing if Georgia elected two Democrat Senators? Especially when one of them would be Black!

I hope that the people of the American South begin to put Stacey Abrams in the same group of stalwarts from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's. Her stand as candidate for governor and then after that debacle of an election has made her a leader that the country can be proud of. Her work to restore voting rights is so very important. It is probably the reason why Georgia is in the position it is in today. Her example should make each one of us visible and tacit supporters of maintaining those voting rights and make us recognize that our voting rights are in danger. The campaign to register voters and make it easier for them to vote must not stop! Especially in the states that have such a long successful history of suppressing voting. (and yes, I am talking about the American South.) It behooves us to be reminded that voting rights are in danger everywhere - look at Wisconson.

There are bright spots. The demeanor of the Secretary of State in Pennsylvania is so reassuring. His calm delivery of reminding people that the state is following the laws was outstanding. It was pointed but did not single out any group. He is a star!

I hate to report it, but the governor of Alabama is facing backlash regarding her extension of the FaceMask mandate. State legislators have been calling for a reconvening of the state legislature, but in Alabama only the governor can do that. Now there are calls from several state legislators for a change in the state constitution that would allow state legislators to convene themselves without the governors consent. I know that the facemark mandate is not well liked, but Tuscaloosa is proof positive that is works. We have strict enforcement here, and as a result, we have the lowest levels of Covid hospitalizations we have had since June. That is amazing in a state were Covid cases have reached the red zone levels. It is also amazing considering that we have 40,000 students at UA and 4,000 employees, and last week we had only 11 new cases of infection among the university population. Face masks work - as much as I hate to wear them.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 1:20pm

Congratulations on your new president.

I was impressed with what Biden said last night: "We have to remember the purpose of our politics isn't total unrelenting, unending warfare. No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn't to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot."

I only see America from an outsider's point of view but like many Canadians I'm looking forward to having a neighbourly neighbour again – even though I recognize that as countries we do things differently (including spelling!).

Enjoy the visit with your parents. I hope your foot problem clears up soon.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 1:38pm

Yes!!! It's a new day in America, and our long national nightmare will end in January.

>177 benitastrnad: It would be amazing if we Georgians chose two Democratic Senators, and flipped the Senate Blue. It will be a tall order for many reasons, and those of us whose votes allowed Joe Biden to apparently win the state must keep our eyes on the prize, and turn out in even higher numbers to achieve that goal, as Republican voters in the Peach State are likely to do the same.

The Secretary of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was very reassuring and confident in the democratic process of counting votes.

I'm still unsure why so many otherwise intelligent people are so opposed or unwilling to wear masks, and make such a big deal about it. As a physician I've had to wear surgical masks and the much more obstructive and protective N95 masks for minutes to hours at a time, as have all of us who are front line health care providers.

I'm enjoying the video coverage on CNN of young people celebrating in the streets after the announcement that Joe Biden will be our new president. You probably recognize the location of the coverage in Atlanta, on 10th St & Piedmont Road in Atlanta, and in Piedmont Park, both of which are within walking distance from where I live.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 1:39pm

So happy for all of you, Darryl!!!

marraskuu 7, 2020, 2:26pm

>179 kidzdoc:
I think my problem with the masks is that I didn't want to purchase masks because I had no clue this would go on for 8 months. I have a sewing machine and so sewed my own - with linings. The problem I have is that I didn't put wire in around the nose and so my glasses fog up - continually. It makes it hard to do my job. But other than that I don't have a problem with the masks. They are like wearing glasses.

I get why we need to wear them. There is no doubt in my mind that this is an airborne disease and so we must wear masks.

I find the German approach to the crisis very interesting. They have closed down the bars and restaurants and left schools and daycares open. The evidence they have says that the super-spreader sites are small groups of adults and young adults socializing - not school children or daycare centers. They also think that it is important to keep women working. That whole approach seems so very different than our approach. Of course, I have hopes now that we will get a reasoned response to this crisis.

I also hope that we can restore the governmental infrastructure that has almost been wrecked. I hope that these things are able to be restored. I loved what Biden said last night.

Now I am going to bake a ginger plum pie and make Alton Brown's onion dip to put on toast. I the dip will make a great addition to my supper of chicken stew and toast.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 4:50pm

>179 kidzdoc: I believe that many people arounds the world ( including myself) are happy about the results.

Enjoy your visit with your parents.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 5:11pm

>179 kidzdoc: Congratulations Darryl!

>182 figsfromthistle: Quite right Anita.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 5:17pm

Hooray for Pennsylvania and Georgia!! Today is definitely a day for celebration.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 8:13pm

To quote Gerald Ford, "Our long national nightmare is over." I want reconciliation, but I hope that Biden doesn't do a Gerald Ford and pardon Trump for his crimes known and unknown.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 8:33pm

>185 arubabookwoman:

He freakin' better not. I don't think he will though. Ford and Nixon played for the same team, so not the same situation. But I'm afraid Biden with pull an Obama and say "let's just move on and do better things."

marraskuu 7, 2020, 10:22pm

Virtual fist bump, Darryl! Have a great visit.

>185 arubabookwoman: I think he's indictable under so many charges—very technical ones, starting with tax evasion and moving on to, I don't know, genocide?—there would be no point in pardoning him for one thing and Biden would have to be crazy to give him a blanket pardon.

marraskuu 7, 2020, 11:32pm

>180 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! I was elated and overjoyed when Barack Obama was first elected President in 2008, but this day iseven better and more meaningful to me. It feels like America has won a war, against fear, hatred, xenophobia and divisiveness, and to me it compares more favorably to V-J Day on August 14, 1945, when Japan surrendered to the United States and World War II officially ended.

Joe Biden gave a great speech in Wilmington, Delaware, not far south of Philadelphia, and he spoke of the healing and reconciliation that must take place in this country for us to move forward. Over 70 million Americans voted for Trump, many of whom are not racists and have legitimate fears and concerns that must be heard and addressed. Biden reemphasized what he said for months on the campaign trail, that he will represent all Americans, and not just those who voted for him. I hope that Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership will work with Biden, their former colleague on Capitol Hill, instead of blocking his every move as they did during most of Barack Obama's presidency.

>181 benitastrnad: If you're having a problem with your glasses fogging while wearing a mask I would strongly suggest purchasing mask brackets. They attach to the inside of your mask, and I find that they make a huge difference in keeping my glasses from getting foggy, and from moisture build up on the inside of my mask. I purchased a package of 12 from Amazon for less than $10.

Joe Biden announced today (or possibly yesterday) that he would hold a press conference on Monday to announce the creation of a 12 member coronavirus task force:

Biden will announce a 12-person coronavirus-task force on Monday, two sources with knowledge tell CNN. The announcement is meant to signify how seriously the president-elect plans to focus on a pandemic that has reached a record number of daily infections in the last week.

The task force will be headed by three co-chairs: former surgeon general Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Yale University's Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith. The additional members are due to be announced on Monday.

I particularly love the addition of Dr Nunez-Smith to the task force, as she is a professor of Internal Medicine at Yale who is a well known and respected national expert on health disparities in minority groups, as COVID-19 has caused disproportionate morbidity and mortality in many poor, Latinx and African American communities. I suspect, and certainly hope, that Anthony Fauci will serve on this task force as well.

Your dinner sounds good. Several of the cooking sites I follow suggested a meal of Philadelphia cheesesteaks with peach cobbler or pie, in honor of what Pennsylvania and, presumably, Georgia accomplished in putting Joe Biden over the top. we have a great local Italian restaurant that makes top notch cheesesteaks, and I may make a peach cobbler early next week.

It's now just past half eleven in the evening, so I'll finish catching up tomorrow.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 8:43am

>182 figsfromthistle: Right, Anita. There is reason to criticize what the Democratic Party has become, in terms of its relative abandonment of the working class of this country, especially Whites without a college education, who felt that they had a savior in Trump, and their disappointing performance in House and Senate races. However, the knowledge that Trump will be evicted in no more than 72 days (or hopefully sooner, if he goes completely off the deep end and his Cabinet chooses to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution) is reason to rejoice, and recognize that a majority of American voters rescued this country from its four year fascist nightmare. Unfortunately he, his supporters, and his flock won't be going anywhere, and we'll be dealing with the aftermath of his chaotic and destructive presidency for decades to come. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that he is the worst President, and the most dangerous American, in our history.

>183 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella! I look forward to a much delayed celebration with you, Anita, Frank and others in The Netherlands soon, hopefully next year.

>184 banjo123: Indeed, Rhonda! I'm a bit surprised that the Associated Press hasn't called Georgia for Joe Biden yet. As of this morning he has a lead of 10,195 votes, which I would think would be an insurmountable deficit for Trump to make up. I assume that we'll get the official announcement in the next day or two.

>185 arubabookwoman: I want reconciliation, but I hope that Biden doesn't do a Gerald Ford and pardon Trump for his crimes known and unknown.

Oh, f*** no!! Trump is a traitor, serial liar and the greatest danger to our democracy in its history, and he must be held accountable for his innumerable crimes and, once convicted, spend his remaining days in prison, along with a dozen or more of his cronies.

>186 Nickelini: If Biden decides to give Trump a pass the good will and support he has from Democrats, and especially Progressives, will evaporate instantaneously. Even if he wants to do that I expect that Kamala Harris will talk him out of it.

>187 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa! It's been a very enjoyable visit so far.

I completely agree with your assessment.

Now that President-reject Trump's days are numbered, I think I can concentrate on reading for pleasure. Hopefully I can finish at least Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart and Real Life by Brandon Taylor in advance of the Booker Prize award ceremony next Thursday, and maybe even finish the entire shortlist by then.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 8:52am

All I can say from Canada is ...whew! Now back to books!
One of the major book awards here-the Giller-will be announced on Monday night.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 8, 2020, 9:45am

>189 kidzdoc: I believe NY General Attorney Letitia James can still prosecute for state crimes, even if Trump or his cronies receive Federal pardons.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 11:56am

>191 ELiz_M:
I think that case has started moving through the process. It has to do with the evasion of paying New York state taxes.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 11:58am

>189 kidzdoc: "There is reason to criticize what the Democratic Party has become, in terms of its relative abandonment of the working class of this country, especially Whites without a college education, who felt that they had a savior in Trump, and their disappointing performance in House and Senate races."

I tend to think that the first factor led to the second. The only disappointment I had about Biden's otherwise admirable and heartwarming speech last night was, when he was enumerating the many constituencies he wanted to govern for, ethnic and otherwise, he did not mention specifically the working class folks struggling across the country. Let's hope his policies manage to convince such folks that he is on their side, too.

All that said, it is a great day for America. I couldn't wrap my brain around the darkness and pain that would have accompanied four more years of Trump. We have reason to hope for positive change. I, too, was greatly heartened by the announcements about the soon to be established Covid Task Force. As an example of how Biden will govern, that, I think, is an extremely helpful indicator.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 1:14pm

Tonight, my father is bringing over Philly cheesesteaks to celebrate with us. We'll see how they pair with the Prosecco.

I look forward to spending most of my free time reading, reading about, thinking about, browsing for, and talking about books, although these past years have taught me that it's not enough to just show up to vote anymore. And the GA senate races are next. Georgia gives me hope that someday South Carolina will move forward.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 2:04pm

I am so releived that Georgia's vote went to Biden, and that he appears to be the President elect! I did a few hours of poll cure canvassing with the democratic party, and expect I will do so again after the Senate run-off, if my work schedule permits. (I might even use some vacation time if necessary.)

Glad to hear you are with your parents. Hope resting takes care of your ankle/foot problems.

My dad broke his leg last weekend, and is in the hospital waiting for insurance approval for rehab. Alas, I couldn't visit him even if I flew up, so I'm trying to call every other day & keep it touch with my siblings.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 10:04pm

>190 torontoc: Right, Cyrel! I'll have to tune in to find out who wins this year's Giller Prize.

>191 ELiz_M: That's great news, Liz. I suspect that part of the reason that Trump is trying to hold onto hope for reelection as long as possible is that he knows that he will no longer have presidential protection once he is evicted from the White House, and that he will finally be liable for prosecution for his numerous crimes.

Did you see the latest bombshell? I posted this on my Facebook thread earlier today:

From the "You Can't Make This Ish Up" Department: Rudy Giuliani, President-reject Trump's personal lawyer, held a press conference yesterday to state that the results of this week's election were fraudulent and that the administration was going to continue to fight it with lawsuits and other means. The conference was meant to be held at the 4 star Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center in Center City; however, someone on his staff made the reservation at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, Inc. in the Holmesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia, in an industrial park next to Fantasy Island Adult Bookstore and the Delaware Valley Cremation Center, and not far from the ruins of Holmesburg Prison, a notorious 19th century former correctional facility best known for riots by badly mistreated prisoners and medical experiments conducted on inmates, which was mercifully shut down in 1995. This event was notable for its spectacular incompetence, in keeping with the daily operations of the terminally dysfunctional Trump administration, but also its appropriateness, as a refurbished Holmesburg Prison would be a perfect retirement "home" for Trump, his family, and select members of his inner circle.

The story has taken off like wildfire across the world, and social media has gone absolutely bonkers since the news broke yesterday afternoon. This was my favorite tweet:

This seems to be a fitting end to the terminally incompetent and hopelessly dysfunctional Trump administration, easily the worst and most destructive one in the history of this formerly great country. How 70 million Americans could have chosen him to win a second term is beyond my comprehension.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: No, not that Four Seasons. How Team Trump’s news conference ended up at a Northeast Philly landscaping firm.

>192 benitastrnad: Ah.

marraskuu 8, 2020, 10:58pm

>193 rocketjk: I hope so too, Jerry. Biden has said on numerous occasions that he wants to be president for all Americans, and not just those who voted for him. His early years spent in a blue collar town in northeastern Pennsylvania (Scranton) PA) in a family that struggled to make ends meet until they moved to Wilmington, the capital of Delaware, and his father became a successful used car salesman should help him relate to the fears, concerns and hopes of working class and small town Americans, who have been left behind by both major parties.

In addition to the COVID task force, President-elect Biden intends to have the US quickly rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization, and undo as much and as quickly as possible the frayed and fractured relationships we now have with our allies, trade partners, and countries across the world.

>194 RidgewayGirl: Those cheesesteaks sound great, Kay! Other than making swordfish tacos for dinner tonight I haven't cooked anything substantial since I arrived at my parents' house on Friday, but I'll probably pick up cheesesteaks for my father and I tomorrow or Tuesday.

Georgia gives me hope that someday South Carolina will move forward.

I am almost completely ignorant about South Carolina, as my only experience there is spending the night in a hotel in Spartanburg when I drove from Pittsburgh to Atlanta to start my pediatric residency at Emory after I graduated from medical school at Pitt. I don't need to tell you that metropolitan Atlanta, is very different from the rest of the state, due to the massive influx over the past 25 years by non-Georgians, and in many cases non-Southerners. If I didn't mention this earlier, Georgia would not have turned blue without the efforts of Stacey Abrams, who was key to the addition of 800,000 Georgians to the voting rolls since 2018, 49% of whom are younger than 30, and 45% of whom are people of color. I'm sure that there is a somewhat similar influx of new residents to South Carolina, but is it enough to change the character of the state's major metropolitan areas, as has happened here?

>195 markon: I'm also thrilled that Georgia turned Blue, but I readily recognize that we have a lot more work to do.

My foot was doing better this morning, but now that I've walked on it throughout the day it's begun to swell and throb again. I'll get it looked at next week, probably on Tuesday, before I head back to Atlanta on Wednesday. I hope that I'm wrong, but I suspect that I have a stress fracture somewhere in the foot.

marraskuu 9, 2020, 1:56am

Do prisoners in the US still wear orange jumpsuits? That would be so appropriate.

My celebration was Philadelphia Cream Cheese on toast for breakfast.

marraskuu 9, 2020, 11:19am

>198 VivienneR: Ha! At least some do. Maybe they can find a colored jumpsuit that matches his skin dye.

You can't go wrong with Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

marraskuu 9, 2020, 10:53pm

And the winner of the 2020 Giller Prize is How to Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa. She also won the " Shadow Giller" ( a group of book bloggers decide who they think should win and post a day before the actual award). The ceremony was of course virtual although someone did knock on the author's door and bring her the award.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 10, 2020, 2:21am

>200 torontoc: I actually watched it (first time watching the Gillers). I didn’t really care who won, but I thought her book sounded the most interesting. And she’s a new-to-me author who I’d didn’t know previously. Loved Diana Krall singing “Departure Bay”. Always a poignant song

marraskuu 10, 2020, 8:46am

I liked How to Pronounce Knife a lot—it's also the only one of the finalists I've read, so that's convenient. But I think it's a well deserved prize, because it's a very interesting book on a lot of levels.

marraskuu 10, 2020, 10:48am

>196 kidzdoc: Ha! Well said.

Hey, buddy. I was just talking (well, posting) with Anita and Ella about the need to celebrate the Biden-Harris ticket in Amsterdam when time and the pandemic permit.

We're doing what we can to help in the Georgia senate run-offs. What a great turnout in your state. Stacey deserves lots of credit, but I know there were other groups working hard on that, too, right?

marraskuu 10, 2020, 10:58am

I'm glad to hear that you're getting to spend some time with your parents.

But oh no about your foot! I'm sending best wishes, and hope it feels better soon. My sprained hand/fingers are still acting up. Perhaps a stress fracture would actually be the feeling better faster dx. It's difficult when you are on your feet as you are. Do your parents have anti-fatigue maps in their kitchen that you can use as you cook for them?

Not much reading on my end, either. I keep waiting for the other-Trumpian shoe to fall.

marraskuu 12, 2020, 11:26am

I just saw this and immediately thought of you.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 15, 2020, 9:15pm

>200 torontoc: Thanks for letting me know about How to Pronounce Knife, Cyrel. It sounds quite interesting, so I'll be on the lookout for it.

>201 Nickelini: I'm a fan of Diana Krall, so I'll have to see if I can find that performance of "Departure Bay".

>202 lisapeet: I'm glad that you liked How to Pronounce Knife, Lisa; I'll definitely have to look for it now.

>203 jnwelch: Yes!! I would love to see Anita (& Frank), Ella, Connie, Sanne, Jacqueline and other Dutch LT friends from past meetups in Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands.

Yes, there were several grassroots efforts that united to turn Georgia Blue on November 3rd. Georgia, unlike other Deep South states, continues to have a massive influx of residents, many of whom are not from the South, with sizable percentages of people of color and younger people, and thanks to a new Georgia law offering voter registration to anyone who applies for a new Georgia driver's license or renews their current license, along with the efforts of Fair Fight, the organization headed by Stacey Abrams to increase the number of Georgia voters, the turnout in the state was massive, and unprecedented, in terms of number of voters, and percentage of registered voters who cast ballots.

>204 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I returned to Atlanta this past Wednesday, but I'll be back from Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving Week. I didn't return to work until Friday, which allowed me to get an appointment with the orthopaedic surgery group I use on Thursday. X-rays of my left foot showed that I have arthritis in the foot, likely related to my flat feet. I was provided with orthotic supports, and my foot now feels much better, and at this rate the pain should be completely gone by mid week.

I could definitely use some sort of anti-fatigue support whenever I visit my parents! I have very little down time, especially during weekdays, which are often harder than all but my worst work days. I was so tired on the flight from Philadelphia to Atlanta on Wednesday that I fell asleep as we were taxiing to the runway at PHL, didn't even wake up for take off, and was dead to the world until about two minutes before we landed at ATL, almost two hours later. I'm now on day three of an eight day work week (Friday through Friday), so I probably won't get any significant reading done until next weekend, at the earliest.

>205 Sakerfalcon: Thanks, Claire! How cool is that?!

marraskuu 16, 2020, 3:48pm

I find that the time I spend at home with my mother is very busy as well. I can't imagine how much time it takes for my sister to deal with our mother. She lives right across the street from Mom and I know that Mom calls her about everything.

marraskuu 17, 2020, 10:35am

>206 kidzdoc: I'm a fan of Diana Krall, so I'll have to see if I can find that performance of "Departure Bay".

It's from "The Girl in the Other Room" album:

The reason I mentioned it was because I was surprised THAT was the song they played -- it's my favourite Krall song, but it's deeply personal and I didn't know it had wider appeal. It's a song that was specific to a time in her life (her mom had just died of cancer), and love with Elvis Costello, and also precisely specific about place -- Vancouver Island. The Island is a magical place, and she captures that, but she's from Nanaimo, which is blue collar, and the song captures that too. And the "Departure Bay" is FUNNY -- singing "sailing from Departure Bay" and "diving in Departure Bay" sounds like they're in one of those gorgeous secret coves that you see on tourism ads, but Departure Bay is actually the major ferry terminal that connects mid-Island with Vancouver, and sees 10 of thousands of people every single day.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 19, 2020, 2:12am

Woo! To my great surprise and delight I was called off from work today, due to our low inpatient census. That means that my probable 7 day work week with a 3 day weekend, or possible 8 day work week with a 2 day weekend, will likely now be a 5 day work week with a 5 day weekend, as there is an excellent chance that I'll also be called off tomorrow, and won't be needed for my backup shift on Friday. This will give me time to catch up on sleep, relax, and possibly finish Shuggie Bain in advance of tomorrow's Booker Prize award ceremony. Shuggie Bain is also a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, which will be announced this evening, so it has a chance to make history if it wins both awards.

>207 benitastrnad: Yep. I get that. My father, following his stroke and days long seizure earlier this year, is having difficulty with routine problem solving tasks that he has been able to handle with ease, and he tends to call me, my brother, or a close neighbor to help him. I've been pushing back a little on that, especially when I think the request is something that he can do himself, such as calling a doctor's or dentist's office to reschedule an appointment when I'm on hospital rounds. I want to be as supportive as I possibly can, but there are times that he can run me ragged with his numerous requests and occasional impatience. One day last month I went to the supermarket, called to make appointments for them, filled out paperwork, was cooking lunch and simultaneously cleaning the kitchen, and while I was doing so my father expressed frustration that I hadn't yet showed him how to use his new mobile phone, which I had spent several hours setting up the day before. (ETA: I had promised him that I would do so that afternoon, and that was the third or fourth time he complained about it that day.) I didn't yell, but I was quite angry and fed up, and I sarcastically apologized for being a poor excuse for a son, and said that I would quit my job and move in with them ASAP to meet their needs. He immediately backed off, apologized to me, and I subsequently apologized back for getting frustrated with him, knowing that he and my mother value and respect me most highly, and are grateful for the love and support I have shown to them over the past three years since my father's first seizure. (Yes, I am a bad son for letting my emotions get the better of me and doing that.)

Even though Pennsylvania and Philadelphia instituted strict new restrictions on the citizens of and visitors to the Commonwealth this week, I'll go ahead and visit my parents from Wednesday through Saturday of Thanksgiving Week. The Governor of Pennsylvania announced that all visitors would have to get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival to the Commonwealth; I don't know how enforceable that mandate is, but I'll take it seriously and get tested on Sunday.

>208 Nickelini: Thanks, Joyce! I own that album, and once I listened to the YouTube recording of "Departure Bay" I recognized it. Thanks also for the backstory on that song.

marraskuu 18, 2020, 12:29pm

Shuggie Bain is the only one that appeals to me from the blurb out of all the short-listers, Darryl. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it.

I'll be watching too, although I do feel that the Booker has lost its way a bit in recent years.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 18, 2020, 1:48pm

Enjoy your time off. We moved my mother to assisted living Monday in Philly. They weren’t supposed to let me in the facility because I came from out of state, but i had a negative covid test and she clearly needed me, so they let me slide. But the new restrictions make me nervous as I want to return to Philly on about two weeks. Fingers crossed.

I’m ready for Jan 20. Phew. Thanks Ga, by the way. : )

marraskuu 18, 2020, 1:57pm

>209 kidzdoc:
Yep - vacations at home with my mother are not vacations. They are very stressful and full of work.

marraskuu 18, 2020, 2:38pm

>209 kidzdoc: there are times

Yeah. My father had a stroke (mind is fine, body not so much) in July and we (2 brothers and I) discovered that my mother needs far more assistance than we'd previously realized (deteriorating vision and memory). For 15 years they've had a house in a retirement community, my father is now in its rehab facility and we just last week after a long involved process got my mother moved to an apartment in the same building, where staff is available 24/7. It has been exhausting; we'll drop by the house to do one specific thing and are met with a list of ten things plus a repetitive litany of anxieties. I too have snapped on occasion, e.g. when she asks me to do some task then worries that I might not have done it correctly, or expects instant action when my brothers and I are all juggling around full time jobs. We're vastly relieved that she is now monitored because there have been several episodes of stumbling and of confusion. Still, she is finding the adjustment difficult and we're trying to remain supportive but also redirect her to staff.

marraskuu 18, 2020, 6:40pm

>206 kidzdoc: We would love to see you too, Darryl.
It might take a while, first COVID-19 must be under control...

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 20, 2020, 11:13am

>209 kidzdoc: (Yes, I am a bad son for letting my emotions get the better of me and doing that.)
You misspelled 'human,' Darryl. You're human, and, it seems to me, an excellent son. *hugs*

marraskuu 19, 2020, 7:30pm

>206 kidzdoc: Whoops, while it feels that an anti-fatigue map may be exactly what you need with your schedule, I meant to write anti-fatigue mat in >204 streamsong:. Years of standing on concrete lab floors took a huge toll on my feet. The mats are high density and make standing much more foot friendly. You can find them at kitchen supply or big box stores.

I know how easy it is to get tired and overstressed as parents ask for more and more. Mom often wanted me to do something after I got off work - which always varied from day to day, and sometimes I was tired to the bone while she was calling multiple times to ensure that I was still coming. Snappy, yes. I often blew it. Stressful times. But remember, that whatever is going on now, there will be a time when you will look back and wish you could have one more of these stressful days.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 5:55am

Congratulations to Douglas Stuart, whose novel Shuggie Bain won this year's Booker Prize yesterday evening:

1981. Glasgow. The city is dying. Poverty is on the rise. People watch the lives they had hoped for disappear from view. Agnes Bain had always expected more. She dreamed of greater things: a house with its own front door, a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect – but false – teeth). When her philandering husband leaves, she and her three children find themselves trapped in a mining town decimated by Thatcherism. As Agnes increasingly turns to alcohol for comfort, her children try their best to save her. Yet one by one they have to abandon her in order to save themselves.

It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. But Shuggie has problems of his own: despite all his efforts to pass as a ‘normal boy’, everyone has decided that Shuggie is ‘no right’. Agnes wants to support and protect her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her, including her beloved Shuggie.

Laying bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride, Shuggie Bain is a blistering and heartbreaking debut, and an exploration of the unsinkable love that only children can have for their damaged parents.

I've just started reading it, and it's very good so far.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 10:01am

>217 kidzdoc: I'm irked that I'll have to read this depressing book now. I know that I'll likely find it brilliant, but my capacity for reading about suffering is low. Still, Stuart's acceptance speech was lovely and heartfelt. I did find it funny that after an entire production with the theme of "look how amazingly inclusive and multi-cultural we are, no need to look back, because we are all about diversity now" that they then gave the prize to the one white guy. No doubt highly deserved, but yikes.

I watched The National Book Awards, too and preferred the lack of polish and the emphasis on the writers instead of self-congratulations. I'll read Interior Chinatown soon.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 10:03am

One of my partners called out sick on Thursday, so I unexpectedly had to work yesterday, but I'm on backup call today and probably won't be needed, unless someone else falls ill or calls out sick for the evening and overnight shifts, so I should have a three day weekend to spend relaxing and reading. I hope to finish Shuggie Bain, at least, and make some progress in Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture by Ed Morales. I still hope to finish 50 books this year, and I have seven books to read by the end of next month to reach that modest goal.

>210 AlisonY: Although I didn't finish it in advance of the Booker Prize announcement I'm glad that Shuggie Bain won. I've barely started it, but I expect that I'll like it a lot, and I'll dive back into it shortly.

I do feel that the Booker has lost its way a bit in recent years.

I agree. The inclusion of non-Commonwealth authors, especially American writers, has diluted and diminished the Booker Prize, IMO, and I've only liked a couple of the books by American authors that have been longlisted for the prize since 2015, namely Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, and How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang, and I absolutely hated the 2017 winner, The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Many if not all non-American novels are ineligible for our major literary prizes, the Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Awards, and the National Book Critics Circle Awards, so I see no reason why the Booker Prize has to include American writers, and exclude worthy books from superb British authors such as Ali Smith and Sarah Moss, and works from unheralded Commonwealth authors who could use the attention that a Booker Prize longlisting would provide. I'll have to take a closer look, but I would suggest that the inclusion of popular middlebrow American authors has led to the exclusion of books by authors from Africa, India, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.

>211 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan. I'll now only have to work two of the next 10 days, assuming that I don't get called in to work this evening or overnight, so this will be a nice break heading into what is normally our busiest time of the year, December through February.

I'm sorry that you had to move your mother to an assisted living facility this week, but I'm glad that you were able to get up there. My parents are getting close to the point where that will likely be necessary, especially with my mother's worsening dementia, and this may be the last Thanksgiving that we spend together in their home, although I'm hopeful that they can stay there, with assistance, for at least another year or two. I hope that you can make it back there in two weeks' time.

I registered for a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test on Sunday at a CVS just outside of Atlanta, so I'll have the proof that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is mandating when I arrive at PHL on Wednesday, assuming that I go ahead with this trip. I'll talk to my parents later today, but I'm all but certain that they will still want me to spend Thanksgiving with them.

I’m ready for Jan 20. Phew. Thanks Ga, by the way. : )

Amen, brother. I'm curious to see if Trump leaves willingly, or if his sorry ass has to be dragged out of the White House, in the manner that Dr David Dao was shamefully and outrageously dragged off of a United Airlines flight three years ago. Talk about must see TV!

>212 benitastrnad: Yep - vacations at home with my mother are not vacations. They are very stressful and full of work.

I enjoy my visits to my parents' home, and I'm grateful that they are still alive, and that I can be of help to them when they need me the most. It ain't easy, though.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 10:34am

>213 qebo: I'm sorry to hear about your father's stroke and your mother's declining health, Katherine. I can easily envision my parents having the same adjustment problems when it becomes time for them to move into an assisted living facility, and relying on staff to meet their daily needs, instead of myself, my brother, or their trusted neighbors.

I would ideally like to finish my career at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in 2026 or 2027, when I turn 65/66, but I'll apply for a Pennsylvania (and possibly a New Jersey) medical license next year, to keep open the option of working in the Delaware Valley, at least for the short term, although I would probably prefer a non-clinical position. Pennsylvania requires 100 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every two years, versus 40 hours/2 years in Georgia, so I'll have to spend time accruing CME before I can qualify for medical licensure in Pennsylvania.

>214 FAMeulstee: Absolutely, Anita. As a front line health care worker I'll probably get one of the messenger RNA (mRNA) SARS-CoV-2 vaccines very soon, perhaps as early as next month, which may make it easier and safer for me to travel domestically and internationally next year; I'll be curious to find out if the EU will permit American recipients of one of the vaccines to travel abroad. My 2021 travel plans are likely to be hindered by my parents' declining health, though.

>215 scaifea: Aw...thanks, Amber! I needed that. *big hug*

>216 streamsong: Ah...that makes more sense. I wasn't completely sure what you meant by an anti-fatigue map! Now that I found out that I have arthritis in my left foot, at least, an anti-fatigue mat would be very useful. Fortunately my foot pain is all but completely gone now, and I can walk normally again.

Stressful times. But remember, that whatever is going on now, there will be a time when you will look back and wish you could have one more of these stressful days.

Absolutely. I couldn't agree with you more.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 12:39pm

>217 kidzdoc: as I mentioned on fb, I liked Shuggie Bain but did not love it or it’s excessive length.

>218 RidgewayGirl: I would not call it brilliant. I might call it nice, sad, interesting. It has some flair too.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 7:50pm

>218 RidgewayGirl: I enjoy coming of age stories, and possibly more so if they involve main characters, especially boys, who overcome gritty situations and challenges to find some degree of personal satisfaction or success, so I was drawn to Shuggie Bain as much as any book on this year's Booker Prize longlist.

I don't have a problem with the award going to the one "White guy" on the shortlist, as long as his book was one of the better ones, which would seem to be the case with Shuggie Bain. I was more disappointed that Apeirogon wasn't chosen for the shortlist, especially since I could barely stomach Burnt Sugar, which I couldn't be bothered to finish. It's often the case that I don't agree with the judges' selections for the shortlist and the prize, but I'm happy enough if deserving books by authors of color and women receive attention by inclusion in this prize's longlist.

I did watch the National Book Award ceremony online, but I had to work on Thursday, so I missed the Booker Prize ceremony.

>221 dchaikin: I'll definitely keep your comments in mind when I read Shuggie Bain this weekend, Dan.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 8:15am

2020 has been an unusually difficult and trying year for many families in this country, both my own and especially those of the hundreds of thousands who have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the millions who are now unemployed or underemployed as a result of it, and the countless others who are sick, homeless or hungry on this Thanksgiving Day. Let us remember those who are less fortunate and have suffered more than ourselves, give thanks to God for our many blessings, and pray for healing, love and compassion in this divided land, and for a much better year for all of us in 2021.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 8:22am

I purchased a copy of A Promised Land, the new memoir by former President Barack Obama, in a bookshop in Atlanta International Airport yesterday morning before I flew to Philadelphia to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and brother. I'll participate in the One LibraryThing, One Book group read that began earlier this month, and hopefully keep up with the proposed four week reading plan:

Monday, November 30. Part One.
Monday, December 7. Part Two and Three.
Monday, December 14. Part Four and Five.
Monday, December 21. Part Six and Seven.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 8:51am

>223 kidzdoc: Well said. :) Wishing you and your family a peaceful, happy holiday.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 9:06am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 26, 2020, 10:18am

>225 ELiz_M: Thanks, Liz. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

My father is making his beloved macaroni & cheese now. Once it's in the oven I'll make Eggplant Pecorino, using a recipe that my mother and I watched together on the PBS show Cook's Country two weekends ago, along with Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Shrimp), a classic tapa which my parents loved when I made it for them early this month, and collard greens with ham hocks. I bought a half ham from the local HoneyBaked Ham store yesterday, and my brother will make and bring a Sweet Potato Pecan Pie.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 10:47am

>223 kidzdoc: An apropos sentiment, Darryl. Wishing a happy and restful Thanksgiving to you and yours.

>227 kidzdoc: Your menu sounds delicious. I was especially interested in the eggplant pecorino, but it looks like the recipe's been hacked? Take a look.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 10:50am

Happy Thanksgiving, Darryl. I'm glad you get to spend it with your family.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 11:01am

Hi Darryl. Happy thanksgiving to you, too. I am happy to hear that you are spending it with your parents.

Maybe it's just me, noticing this, but the date on that piece by JFK seems a little odd to me. Thanksgiving, to my understanding, is the 4th Thursday of the month. So, that year, 1963, wouldn't that have worked out to be the day before he was killed? I remember his assassination being on a Friday. A bit eerie....

marraskuu 26, 2020, 11:25am

Everyone seems to come to your thread, Darryl, so I'll say Happy Thanksgiving to you, and to everyone, here, too. We have two friends coming over for an afternoon meal outside around the fire pit. It remains to be seen whether we'll have to light a fire mid-afternoon. Happily, though, we've had some rains here (Mendocino County, CA), so we are allowed to have small fires again. My wife is putting the finishing touches to a turkey and made the stuffing last night. Feeling grateful to be healthy and relatively safe, and not to be alone today. I have friends who are. Best to everyone.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 2:57pm

>224 kidzdoc: I plan to start this at the weekend Darryl.

I watched this earlier:

Scroll down for the interview, just under an hour long.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your parents.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 26, 2020, 3:18pm

>227 kidzdoc: Happy Thanksgiving, Darryl, enjoy your dinner.

>230 jessibud2: Can't help myself, I had to search that, Shelley.
The Thanksgiving event at the White House was held early on November 19th, the actual date of Thanksgiving in 1963 was November 28th, so that was six days after the assasination of JFK.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 4:16pm

>233 FAMeulstee: - Thanks, Anita. They probably did it because of his (tragic) travel plans the following week. Wow.

marraskuu 27, 2020, 7:04pm

>228 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa! I hope that you and your family had a lovely Thanksgiving as well.

No, that's the right recipe. Don't forget to leave out the gummi bears and butterscotch caramel lollipops! 😂

WTH happened to that link?! 😂

Cook's Country, where this recipe came from, requires you to register for an account to be able to view it. I did so, and copied and formatted it.

Eggplant Pecorino

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
¾ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 (10- to 16-ounce) eggplants
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (2 cups)
4 ounces fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)

Do not use eggplants weighing more than 1 pound each or the slices won't fit in the baking dish. Use a rasp-style grater to grate the Pecorino Romano; shred the fontina on the large holes of a box grater. Depending on the size of your eggplants, you may not need to use all three to get the 20 slices needed to assemble the casserole.

1. For the sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, anchovies, salt, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and their juice, and sugar; increase heat to medium-high; and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours.)

2. For the eggplant: Cut stem end off eggplants and discard. Cut ¼-inch-thick slice from 1 long side of each eggplant and discard. Using mandoline or slicing knife and starting on cut side, slice eggplants lengthwise ¼ inch thick until you have 20 slices total (you may not need all 3 eggplants).

3. Place flour in shallow dish. Beat eggs in second shallow dish. Line baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees (to take temperature, tilt skillet so oil pools on 1 side). Working with 3 or 4 slices at a time (depending on size of eggplant), dredge eggplant in flour, shaking off excess; dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off; then place in hot oil. Fry until lightly browned on both sides, about 1½ minutes per side. Transfer to prepared sheet. (As eggplant slices cool, you can stack them to make room on sheet.)

4. Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1 cup sauce in bottom of broiler-safe 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Starting with largest slices of eggplant, place 4 eggplant slices side by side over sauce in dish. Spread ½ cup sauce over eggplant, then sprinkle ½ cup Pecorino over top. Repeat layering 3 times to make 4 stacks of 4 slices. Place remaining eggplant slices on top. Spread remaining sauce over top layer of eggplant, then sprinkle with fontina.

5. Bake until bubbling around edges and center of casserole is hot, about 30 minutes. Broil until fontina is lightly browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes. Serve.

6. To make ahead: Casserole can be assembled through step 4, without fontina, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to cook, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with fontina, and continue to bake as directed in step 5.

The Eggplant Pecorino was a huge hit, and well worth the effort to make it. I'll probably make it again for the Christmas Day potluck lunch with the nurses and doctors on the 3rd floor of the hospital I work in. I'm on call that day from 8 am to 8 pm, so I'll share a nice meal with my work family.

>229 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay! I hope that you enjoyed Thanksgiving with your family as well.

marraskuu 27, 2020, 7:21pm

>230 jessibud2: Maybe it's just me, noticing this, but the date on that piece by JFK seems a little odd to me. Thanksgiving, to my understanding, is the 4th Thursday of the month. So, that year, 1963, wouldn't that have worked out to be the day before he was killed?

According to this article, President Kennedy wrote that year's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation on November 4th, which was issued the following day. As we all know, he was assassinated on November 22nd, but the proclamation was still released to the public on Thanksgiving Day, which took place six days later. New President Lyndon Johnson also gave a message that day:

President Johnson's Thanksgiving Message, 11/28/63

>231 rocketjk: Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wife, Jerry! How did your dinner turn out?

>232 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks for that link, Caroline. I'll watch that interview this weekend, probably sometime on Sunday after I return to Atlanta. I haven't started A Promised Land yet, but I'll do so tonight after dinner, or during my return trip tomorrow evening.

>233 FAMeulstee:, >234 jessibud2: The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Pardoning Ceremony always happens before the holiday itself; this year's ceremony took place on Tuesday. President Kennedy's ill fated trip to Texas may have played a role in that unusually early ceremony, although he was supposed to fly back to Washington a day or two after he was assassinated on November 22nd, so he probably would have had time to do so after he returned to the White House.

marraskuu 28, 2020, 2:43pm

I am going to be baking today. I collect bundt cake pans and I got one last year after Christmas that features Christmas trees in the pan. I am going to be making the Gingerbread Bundt Cake recipe from King Arthur Flour complete with the rum glaze for my Christmas gifts. I thought about putting a chocolate glaze on the cake as well. It would also look very pretty with just powdered sugar on it.

I have made it a custom to give baked goods to friends for Christmas gifts because so few people actually cook anymore. However, this year might find my gifts less of a novelty as many more people have taken up baking.

That ATK recipe looks delicious. I have a subscription to their magazine "Cooks Country" and love looking through it every other month. It is full of great recipes. I also like their equipment recommendations. They have not steered me wrong yet.

I have been lazy yesterday and today and am spending lots of time watching a Julia Child marathon on PBS's create channel.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 28, 2020, 11:28pm

>235 kidzdoc: Well, much as I do love gummi bears, your version of the recipe looks better—thanks for copying that all out, Darryl. That looks labor intensive but really good... maybe for our Christmas dinner. This year I made a wonderful recipe from a friend, pasta with delicata squash, meatless sausage, and spinach—it's a winner. Though dinner was incidental to dessert, which we had first—the sun came out unexpectedly so a friend came by with her dog and a cranberry-apple tart. I had made cranberry-lemon bars, so we sat in the yard until the sun started to go down and drank tea and had a nice visit. Dinner was a bit of an afterthought, but that was fine. My son and his girlfriend are coming by tomorrow and I'm going to repurpose the leftover pasta (of which there was a lot) with some green beans and salad and another dessert tbd.

Hope everyone's day was good, if not ideal, and had something delicious in it.

marraskuu 28, 2020, 9:16pm

>237 benitastrnad:
I baked the gingerbread spice bundt cake and now the house smells of spices. It came perfect and I even have a box that it fits into perfectly as well. I can box it in an hour or so and it is ready for gifting.

Tomorrow it will be the same cake recipe two more times.

marraskuu 28, 2020, 9:54pm

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 29, 2020, 12:10pm

>237 benitastrnad: Ooh...that Gingerbread Bundt Cake looks fabulous! How did it turn out? I'll give that a try sometime in the future, although I'll probably make two more loaves of my mother's South African Coconut Gingerbread when I see my parents again after Christmas. That reminds me...I'll have to call my father to ask him to put their overripe bananas in the freezer, so that I can make Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread as well. Their neighbors loved the gingerbread, and one of my partners devoured the banana bread I made earlier this year and didn't share it with anyone else!

I have made it a custom to give baked goods to friends for Christmas gifts because so few people actually cook anymore. However, this year might find my gifts less of a novelty as many more people have taken up baking.

Nothing says "I love you" more than homemade food, IMO. I love cooking for others, and I've definitely taken after my parents, particularly my father, in that regard. Even though we had plenty of leftovers after Thanksgiving I made a batch of jalapeño cream cheese chicken enchiladas on Friday afternoon, and gave several of them to one of my parents' closest neighbors, who checks in on them practically every day. She "hates" cooking, as she said on Friday, so she appreciated the lunch I made for her and my parents, and the plate of enchiladas and eggplant pecorino I made for her and her husband for dinner that evening.

It seems so variable who cooks and who doesn't! I know plenty of people who, like me, cook on a regular basis, others who regularly use meal kit companies like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron, and others who seem to be allergic to cooking. I agree, it seems that more of my friends and colleagues are baking, if not cooking, this year. I was one of those who hardly cooked until about 10 years ago, and my freezer was filled with frozen foods from Marie Callender's and other companies. I divorced Marie in ~2010, and now my freezer is filled with homemade foods and seafood and meats to be used in recipes. I bought frozen crawfish tails and alligator meat from my local Publix earlier this morning, which I'll use to make alligator sauce piquante and more crawfish étouffée next weekend. I'll make Crunchy Chinese Chicken Salad and Zuppa Toscana this afternoon, using two of my favorite recipes from Budget Bytes.

The eggplant was a huge hit, with my parents, brother and neighbor, and I'm eager to make it again soon (the photo I posted in >236 kidzdoc: is one of the pans of eggplant that I made on Thursday). Today looks to be a cloudy and rainy day here, and I assume in Tuscaloosa as well, so I won't go out until I leave for work tomorrow morning.

>238 lisapeet: You're welcome, Lisa! Your pasta with delicata squash, meatless sausage, and spinach sounds delightful, as do the tart and cranberry lemon bars. Do you have a recipe for the pasta?

>239 benitastrnad:, >240 Nickelini: Fabulous! I love gingerbread, so I'll definitely have to give that cake a try soon. There are few things better than a house that smells of homemade food or spices.

marraskuu 29, 2020, 12:46pm

>241 kidzdoc: So what turned you from a heater upper to a cook Darryl?

I turn and turn about. I definitely don't do as much cooking as you, despite knowing I enjoy home-cooked better than anything else.

marraskuu 29, 2020, 2:16pm

>242 Caroline_McElwee: I daresay that you answered your own question, Caroline! I enjoy home cooked meals far more than frozen or prepared ones, and grew up in a home where both parents were superb cooks who enjoyed preparing tasty food. I did cook a bit during my first two years of medical school but got away from it for roughly 15 years once we left the classroom and trained in the clinics and hospitals. The biggest inspiration was my best friend from medical school and especially his Belgian wife, who cooked for Dave and their two children practically every day. She bought a slow cooker and began to use it, and after one visit there I decided to do the same, especially since I loved the aroma of soups, stews and other foods cooking for hours in the kitchen. One recipe led to another, and I slowly built a group of foods I enjoyed making, as I simultaneously gained more confidence in trying more complicated recipes. I keep my recipes on my boards in Pinterest, and I now have over 100 recipes that I've tried successfully and liked.

marraskuu 29, 2020, 5:13pm

>243 kidzdoc:

Oh, I love Pinterest! I just started following you.

marraskuu 29, 2020, 6:52pm

>244 Nickelini: Same here, Joyce! For me it's an invaluable tool to save recipes, both favorite and interesting ones, and getting ideas from other friends and from Pinterest itself. A former Emory pediatric resident and I share a page titled "Recipes", and I follow several nurses and other colleagues I work with who are amazing cooks.

Thanks for following me! I'll look for your page as well.

marraskuu 29, 2020, 8:39pm

>245 kidzdoc:

I sometimes forget my cookbook collection and just go straight to Pinterest! My tried and true recipes are under Recipes - favourites. Hope you can find me (same name as FB)

marraskuu 30, 2020, 5:39am

>246 Nickelini: Thanks, Joyce! I found you.

marraskuu 30, 2020, 7:45am

>235 kidzdoc: Thanks for sharing the recipe Darryl! I'm going to try making that myself, although being a lazy cook myself I may use pre-made tomato sauce from the supermarket. I appreciate the use of Pecorino in place of the more usual Parmesan, as the former is vegetarian friendly.

I'm glad you got to enjoy food and company with your family.

marraskuu 30, 2020, 11:59am

Darryl, glad you had a good holiday. Here's the pasta recipe—my son and his girlfriend came by last night for a raincheck Thanksgiving (she was working on Thursday), so I reheated our large amount of pasta leftovers, along with shrimp cocktail and green beans gremolata. We finished up the cranberry lemon squares and I also made a cranberry orange coffee cake. It was a very nice evening—he regaled us with stories of his clinical rotations, and seeing them will feed my jones for seeing friends and family for a while.

Squash-sausage-spinach pasta

4 veggie sausages (you can no doubt use regular sausage, but the meatless is SO good in this one)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots sliced thin
2 cloves garlic diced
Garlic powder
One large Delicata squash - Peeled, seeded and diced into very small pieces
Hot pepper flakes in oil
Sprig of fresh Sage
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
Flake salt
Ground black pepper
I box imagine vegetable broth
3 cups spinach
Cup fresh grated Parmesan
Penne or other pasta that will capture the sauce.

1. Peel and dice squash set aside
2. Slice shallots and garlic
3. Heat oil in deep frying pan add shallots & garlic sauté until soft and golden
4. Add sausages, cook until fully heated then cut into pieces and sprinkle with garlic powder. Cook until browned. Put into bowl and set aside. Do not clean pan.
5. Into same pan add squash add a little butter and spices. More oil if needed. Sauté for a while stirring until getting soft.
6. Add broth, sprigs of fresh herbs & cook until very soft. Add pasta (add more water if needed), cook until pasta is fully cooked. Add sausages towards the end (make sure they re-heat).
7. Once pasta is done turn off heat, discard sprigs of herbs & stir in spinach until all spinach is wilted.
8. Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 30, 2020, 4:32pm

>248 Sakerfalcon: You're welcome, Claire! Yes, you could certainly use a good premade tomato sauce in place of making it yourself, although making it from scratch wasn't particularly hard or tedious. I presume that you'd want to leave out the anchovies if you did make it yourself.

I had no idea that Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan aren't vegetarian cheeses! Is that because rennet is used to make them? (Yikes!) I learned this only now, when I did a Google search.

Thanks for the pasta recipe, Lisa!

I also made collard greens with smoked ham hocks; if anyone is interested in the incredibly easy recipe for it, please let me know.

marraskuu 30, 2020, 5:15pm

>248 Sakerfalcon: I thought virtually all hard cheeses were non-vegetarian. In the U.K. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Parmesan are the same thing, as under E.U. rules nothing else is allowed to be called parmesan. Whether that will continue after January, who knows...

marraskuu 30, 2020, 8:16pm

>251 SandDune: That's interesting. In the US Parmigiano Reggiano is the real thing (made in Italy according to a specific recipe), whereas what we call Parmesan can come from anywhere, doesn't necessarily have to be made according to the traditional recipe, and is widely considered to be an inferior product. It's more expensive, but I now always purchase Parmigiano Reggiano.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 1, 2020, 12:04am

>252 kidzdoc:
Same in Canada - the "Parmesan" stuff varies - some of it is okay for a quick Tuesday night dinner (found in the deli section of a good grocer), but it goes down and the Kraft brand that comes in a green can and you can keep in your cupboard is pretty scary stuff.

Somehow since our last trip to Italy, we've been using the Parmigiano-Reggiano too. I think when the kids were small I didn't have the energy to grate my own cheese, but now I enjoy it

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 3, 2020, 8:27pm

>253 Nickelini: Exactly. Now that I'm cooking on a regular basis I've learned the often great difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmesan.

joulukuu 1, 2020, 6:10am

>250 kidzdoc:, >251 SandDune: Yes, most hard cheeses contain rennet. I have bought Pecorino that doesn't, and most UK supermarkets do a vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese which is not hard to find. The taste and texture are comparable in my opinion. I haven't been tempted to explore vegan variations though!

joulukuu 1, 2020, 11:58am

I just put a batch of Oatmeal Dinner Rolls in the oven. This is a recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I experimented a bit with this recipe. I made the dough last night. Left it in the bowl on the counter to do a long slow rise overnight. I keep my house cool at night and since it was cold here in Tuscaloosa yesterday and last night when I got up this morning the temperature in the house was 58 degrees. The dough had risen nicely, so I proceeded with the recipe and baking from there. I am going to deliver these dozen rolls to a friend tonight and will make another batch or two of them this weekend. They have molasses in them so they will be a very different kind of dinner roll. I think they will go very well with soup.

joulukuu 2, 2020, 7:57pm

It’s been a while since I visited, Darryl, and now, for some strange reason, I’m hungry. Enjoy your more relaxing work schedule.

joulukuu 2, 2020, 9:26pm

>255 Sakerfalcon: Kosher supermarkets all have vegetrian Parmesan. My favorite brand is Millers'. I always prefer to freshly grate Parmesan cheese.

joulukuu 3, 2020, 8:03am

>258 SqueakyChu: Me too! The taste is so much better.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2020, 2:40pm

>255 Sakerfalcon: To my knowledge I've never tried a vegan cheese, or at least not one that wasn't in a dish I've had in a vegan restaurant. I would be interested in giving one a try.

>256 benitastrnad: Mmm...those Oatmeal Dinner Rolls look delightful! I'll definitely give that recipe a try, probably at the end of the month when I visit my parents again.

I have a huge pot of collard greens with ham hocks simmering on the stove now. After I made it for Thanksgiving dinner I've had a taste for it all week, so I purchased a 2 lb bag of precut greens from Publix this morning, along with two large ham hocks, after I got my biweekly haircut. My method is cooking them is the same as my father's, with a few slight variations. He normally buys the greens fresh from a local farmer or farmer's market, washes them thoroughly, then cuts them into slivers; for me, buying precut greens saves at least half an hour of work. I still wash these greens twice, drain them, and add them to a large pot, with the ham hocks (he prefers smoked turkey neck bones), and cover the greens barely with water. I add a diced Vidalia onion and 4-6 large diced garlic cloves, but I don't think he does that. Let the pot come to a boil on high heat, then cover the pot and lower the heat to achieve a slow simmer. It normally takes 3-4 hours to cook, but I take a peek at it at the two hour mark, to see where it's at. Cooking collard greens Southern style is very easy, and I don't understand why anyone would buy canned greens!

This is my version of collard greens from Thanksgiving:

I'll probably make the Budget Bytes version of Zuppa Toscana later this afternoon. I follow her recipe exactly, except that I substitute 1 lb of ground turkey in place of the 1/2 lb of Italian sausage she uses. Tomorrow I'll make another batch of crawfish étouffée, both because I'm out of it, and because one of my physician assistant friends, asked me to do so. She's Chinese-American, and in exchange she promised to make me Chinese dumplings, which I'm even more addicted to than crawfish étouffée. I found frozen alligator fillets at my preferred local Publix (Ansley Mall in Midtown) last weekend, when I bought the crawfish tails, and I'll use them to make Alligator Sauce Piquante next week, another favorite Louisiana recipe of mine, as I'm only scheduled to work Monday through Wednesday.

>257 Familyhistorian: Good to see you, Meg! Hmm...I can't imagine why you're hungry, since this is obviously a thread dedicated to books.

>258 SqueakyChu: Yes. Freshly rated Parmigiano-Reggiano is always preferable to pre-grated Parmesan.

I should create a new thread...

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2020, 4:28pm

The Zuppa Toscana recipe looks delicious, although I always confuse it with ribollita, the Tuscan peasant soup, which is a huge favorite in my house and an excellent use of leftover bread. We discovered it while on vacation in Tuscany (just outside of Arezzo) one November and we'd order it anywhere we found it - since it's peasant food intended to prevent waste, each restaurant's version is different. This is similar to the recipe I use except I add more beans and use any good bread that is leftover and slightly too stale to eat straight.

joulukuu 5, 2020, 7:47pm

Hi kidzdoc!

Exactly what face brackets from amazon do you recommend?

joulukuu 5, 2020, 8:47pm

>261 RidgewayGirl: Thanks for sharing the ribollita recipe, Kay! I'll have to give it a try soon.

The Zuppa Toscana recipe is a healthier variation of the soup served at Olive Garden. I've only dined at Olive Garden once in my life, many years ago, and I didn't try their Zuppa Toscana, but I do like the recipes in Budget Bytes, and this one sounded interesting when I first tried it at least five years ago. It's one of my favorite soups, but oddly enough I haven't made it this year.

>262 avidmom: Hi, avidmom! The face mask brackets I bought are made by Jinhao, and I paid just under $10 for a dozen of them. It seems that Amazon is no longer selling them, but it has other brackets for sale that look just as good.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2020, 9:55pm

Hi Darryl! I finally got my new laptop and I am making the rounds on LT. So far behind, LOL. I am very glad to be reading this just before dinner--I'm suddenly very hungry. We are having sushi tonight, but Zuppa Toscana is a favorite recipe here. Might have to make that later this week now. : ) We made all the favorite family recipes for Thanksgiving. Mushroom rollups, yam soufflé, stuffing, both mashed potatoes and cauliflower mash and marionberry pie. Yum! I am sad though. All the leftovers are gone. Sigh.

And you got a haircut! I haven't been to a real hairdresser since December last year. I've been cutting my own, but it is super hard to get the back right. I have to sit with my back to the mirror and use a hand mirror to get the picture and then feel the hair and imagine what I want the scissors to do. I am actually not doing too badly though!

Well, I hope you are enjoying your weekend. And food.

Oh, and I always get the Parmigiano Reggiano. : )

joulukuu 5, 2020, 10:05pm

That Zuppa Toscana recipe looks fantastic—definitely bookmarked. I'd leave the bacon out entirely and substitute meatless sausage, which is my new obsession... the meat substitute makers are really hitting their stride and I'm so happy. The Gardein version is the bomb!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 6, 2020, 1:07pm

>264 Berly: Hi, Kim! I'm glad that your new laptop has arrived. How was your sushi dinner?

I do like Beth's take on Zuppa Toscana, and I'll make it while I'm watching one of the football games later this afternoon.

Your Thanksgiving feast sounds delightful. What are mushroom rollups, BTW? I posted my Thanksgiving food photos on my Facebook timeline, and in two Facebook groups dedicated to food and recipes, and numerous people liked my non-traditional take on Thanksgiving; given my parents' declining health I accepted my father's request to plan Thanksgiving dinner this year, the first time I've ever done so. I became used to this idea back in the late 1970s, when I was an undergraduate student at Tulane University. I usually stayed in town during the short Thanksgiving break, and have dinner with my great aunt, who lived close to campus and was our family's undisputed Best Cook Ever. She usually made seafood gumbo and red beans & rice, two NOLA staples, along with a Creole ham, macaroni & cheese, and sweet potato or pecan pies.

I'm already looking ahead to Thanksgiving 2021, and since my Thanksgiving plan was a huge hit with my parents and brother, and the one neighbor who I gave a plate of leftovers to on Black Friday, I'll do something similar next year, either a New Orleans themed one, or possibly a Puerto Rican/Dominican one. Before that, though, I need to plan New Year's Day dinner for them. That will be easy, though, as I'll definitely make Hoppin' John and collard greens, a common tradition in the Deep South, and ask my father to make his macaroni & cheese again. I'll probably also make Ensalada Rusa Dominicana, Dominican Russian Salad, which the father of one of the patients I cared for last week told me about. It's a common food served during Christmas or New Year's Eve in the Dominican Republic, and it would be a nice accompaniment to Hoppin' John.

I insist on getting my hair cut every other week, both because having shaggy hair on the back of my neck drives me out of my mind, and because it looks very unprofessional, at least IMO, to have unkempt hair; I wouldn't have much respect for a physician that looked disheveled. My longtime barbershop has now instituted an Appointments Only policy, and I normally go first thing in the morning, when my barber and I, and maybe one other barber and possibly one other customer, are the only ones there. I wouldn't feel comfortable going to a packed "first come, first served" barbershop on a Saturday morning, which was the case before the pandemic took hold here in March.

Yes!! to Parmigiano Reggiano.

>265 lisapeet: Thanks, Lisa. This Zuppa Toscana recipe does leave out the bacon; Beth uses smoked paprika in its place, which does give the soup a bacony flavor.

I haven't had good luck with meat substitutes, so I'll have to look for Gardein when I go grocery shopping next week. Are there particular supermarkets that carry it? My neighborhood has two Whole Foods Markets, a Trader Joe's, a Sprouts Farmers Market, several Publix and Kroger supermarkets, and other smaller specialty stores, all within two miles from where I live, so I have plenty of shopping options.

ETA: Publix stocks Gardein products, so I'll look for them there.

joulukuu 7, 2020, 2:02am

So mushroom rollups...mushrooms, onions, spices and cream with flour added to thicken it up a bit and then it is spread onto white bread (no crusts) which has been flattened. Then you roll 'em up, cut into little bite size pieces and toast them. Yummy appetizers. I can send the recipe if this sounds appealing. : )

joulukuu 12, 2020, 9:44am

Daryl's thread: Come for the books, stay for the recipes!! ;)

I've entered the Zuppa Toscana into my Paprika app. and will put it on the menu in the coming week. Thanks!

joulukuu 12, 2020, 12:28pm

>268 tangledthread: Ha! You're welcome, tangledthread! I'll make Zuppa Toscana this weekend, as it's one of my favorite cold weather soups.

I keep my recipes, both ones I've tried and liked and interesting ones, in my Pinterest account.
Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: Kidzdoc Has 20/20 Vision in 2020, Part 6.