Ardene (Markon) attunes herself to words and music

KeskusteluClub Read 2023

Liity LibraryThingin jäseneksi, niin voit kirjoittaa viestin.

Ardene (Markon) attunes herself to words and music

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 9:30 pm

Path in the forest from Pixabay.

I'm Ardene and I love to read. I live in a "small town" near Atlanta, Georgia. (I grew up in Iowa, so saying small town about a city of 30K is an oxymoron, but I've learned to do it.)

I work in a public library and can see retirement possibilities on the horizon. It's exciting and a bit scary at the same time. I would like this year to be a beginning of "clearing out the clutter" to prepare to downsize, but am not sure how to begin or structure things over the course of the year. Any suggestions about how to motivate myself/ make it fun?

I also hope to pay more attention to music this year, and intend to report on concerts I attend and music I listen to, as well as my reading.

Welcome to my thread - please join me as I meander through 2023.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 4:13 pm

The books that checked all the boxes for me this year were

Other favorites included


Science Fiction

Literary fiction (a catch all category)


The invisible guardian
Discovered two new-to-me series: Inspector Bruno by Martin Walker & Bastards of Pizzofalcone by Maurizio de Giovanni


I read 7 nonfiction books this year; all of them were memorable in their own way

Hyperbole and a half
Next time this year we'll be laughing
The dead are arising
The cello suites
A thousand trails home

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 6, 10:06 am

1st Quarter Reading

  1. Winter counts by David Weiden (mystery)

  2. The rising tide by Ann Cleeves (mystery)

  3. In a dry season by Peter Robinson (mystery)

  4. The wild hunt by Emma Seckel (fantasy)

  5. A woman of the iron people by Eleanor Arnason (science fiction)

  6. Little Miseries by Kimberly Olson Fakih (literary fiction)

  7. Fox Creek by William Kent Krueger (mystery)

  1. At the feet of the sun by Victoria Goddard (fantasy)

  2. A sweep of the heart by Ilona Andrews (fantasy)

  3. and a variety of rereads

  1. The Kaiju preservation society by John Scalzi

  2. more re-reads and the executive summary of the January 6th report
  3. Beyond by Mercedes Lackey

  4. Into the west by Mercedes Lackey

  5. The black gryphon

  6. The white gryphon

  7. The silver gryphon

  8. parts of Kin by Miljenko Jergović

      This section will move down my thread, helping me track what I read.
      Bingo Dog
      Quarterly reads
      1st quarter
      2nd quarter
      3rd quarter
      4th quarter
      Music posts
      January: The blue hour (A Far Cry and Shara Nova), classical, vocal HBU

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 6:47 am

Best laid plans . . .
Spent yesterday with family, and changed my mind about how to arrange my thread.


Muokkaaja: syyskuu 11, 5:20 pm

Duplicate thread

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 6:47 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 6:47 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 6:48 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 6:48 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 6:48 am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

tammikuu 1, 11:19 am

Happy new year Ardene. I look forward to following your reading this year. Retirement! I retired in summer of last year and it's great. I don't know how I ever made time to work. I've been working on decluttering (must be a retirement thing) and try to do a small bit every day. Listening to music or audiobooks helps me.

tammikuu 1, 11:59 am

Welcome to Club Read 2023, Ardene! Looking forward to another year of book talk on your thread. I enjoyed Hyperbole and a Half last year too.

tammikuu 1, 2:20 pm

Happy new year, Ardene, and good luck with the decluttering.

tammikuu 1, 4:12 pm

Happy New Year! Noting several books from your list above.

Nothing spurs decluttering more than moving. I've always been highly resistant to getting rid of stuff. What I think is working for me is to do it as I unpack. I just couldn't face it at the time of packing, except for the obvious things. (And I did throw out quite a lot!) Now I have the leisure of doing a box at a time as I unpack, and find places for things. Yesterday I was dealing with kitchen stuff, and I happily threw away two springform pans that had a great deal of corrosion, a pan with no handle, and another pan where the non-stick coating was coming off. To be fair, I would have thrown those away in packing, but I didn't pack them. And that is my second tip - hire someone to pack for you! It's worth the extra cost!

Anyway, best of luck to you!

tammikuu 2, 1:59 am

Happy 2023 and happy pre-retirement. My star has been dropped off.

I second Beth's suggestion of doing a little bit every day, where "little bit" can be defined by time (e.g. 20 minutes) or space (e.g. one shelf).

I've designated 2023 as my "year of invisible corners" which I have listed and will tick off as they're done. Some are big (my bookshelves which is about reorganising) and will probably take me a whole month, while some are small (beside drawers) which I'll knock off over a couple of days. I haven't decided whether to do a whole item start to finish or intersperse them, though am leaning towards the latter.

I'm not sure about how to make it fun - maybe find a podcast to listen to?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 7:02 am

>11 BLBera: & >15 rhian_of_oz: I think that little bit every day is a good approach. I may use Fly lady's room a week to make it more varied.

>12 labfs39: Also looking forward to another year of reading.

>13 LolaWalser: Thanks Lola.

>14 WelshBookworm: Thanks for the good wishes. I have a few years left before moving, so I hope a little a day with a an occasional day off will help me pare down.

>15 rhian_of_oz: Yes Rhian, that little bit a day approach is doable. And I may use Flylady's room a week to give myself some variety.

tammikuu 2, 2:18 pm

>1 markon: prepare to downsize
I've generally done it with a general idea of the next step, either a known destination or known criteria, so able to envision the positive of things that are necessary as well as the negative. A useful starting point is to carve out a staging area for things that will go away, so you can do it on a sort of time delay, put things there without making a permanent commitment just yet. Then you can move things in little bits when you don't feel like making a project of it. I often find that the process itself is enjoyable once I get started, it's the getting started that's difficult.

Happy New Year!

tammikuu 3, 1:45 am

>16 markon: Having time sure helps! Staying motivated might be the hard part. At least it would be for me. I kind of did the whole "buy a house" thing backwards. Saw the house listing first, THEN scrambled to get approved for a mortgage loan and found a realtor to show it to me! Didn't have a clue what I was doing. It was the only house I looked at. And 3 weeks later I was a homeowner. It happened so fast! I had held out for a year, hoping I wouldn't have to move. Still can't quite believe the whole thing!

tammikuu 3, 8:07 am

Happy New Year, Ardene, and good luck with pre-retirement! I found it helpful to build in some extra free time along the way in my last months at work, because there were all sorts of things that needed to be done before I actually stopped working.

As to successful decluttering— I don’t know. Planning helps, and so do deadlines, but I’m beginning to suspect that those of us who are good at accumulating stuff we don’t need are by definition also highly skilled in finding reasons for not doing anything about it yet. Maybe the secret is to start by getting rid of something large and conspicuous and hope that makes you feel so good that it will motivate you for the more detailed work. Or to get other people involved who aren’t likely to be sentimental about keeping things.

tammikuu 3, 10:20 am

Hello! I don't know that I have anything helpful to suggest with decluttering/getting rid of things. We've moved so many times with just suitcases (leaving some things in containers at my mother-in-law's house) that it felt like a luxury to actually ship some stuff coming to Istanbul. That doesn't mean that I don't accumulate things, really, just that I try to make sure everything I have is something I have a use for.

Anyway, I'll be interested to see what you share throughout the year here, in reading and in listening.

tammikuu 3, 2:05 pm

Someday I will retire and de-clutter, but right now I'm happy to read about your journey and take notes—and, of course, about your books. I love the photo and everything it represents. Did you take it?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 9:06 pm

Winter counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an own voices mystery set on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. This was available at my local library as an ebook and was a quick read on the plane back from my sisters today.

This book has won several awards, including the Anthony for best first novel. I thought the mystery was a bit predictable, but would be willing to check out the next in this series and see how the writer's skill develops.

Bingo Dog #14: Rural or small-town setting

Bingo Dog
Quarterly reads
1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter
Music posts

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 9:31 pm

>17 qebo: Thanks for the idea about staging. I do have a corner in the front room for things going to a charity shop, but may need to enlarge the area.

>18 WelshBookworm: And as I'm trying to downsize, you're settling in and nesting. Enjoy!

Yes, motivation will be the hard part.

>19 thorold: those of us who are good at accumulating stuff we don’t need are by definition also highly skilled in finding reasons for not doing anything about it yet. Yep.

Currently inspired by wanting some open space, and hope that and some short range goals will help.

And thanks for the tip about scheduling time for getting ducks in a row the year of retirement.

>20 ursula: Thanks Ursula. I'm looking forward to trying some new-to-me music from your thread.

>21 lisapeet: Alas, I did not take the photo - it's from Pixabay, and I must put a note to that effect up.

I've pre-ordered Little Miseries on Kindle and am looking forward to it coming out next week.

tammikuu 4, 9:40 pm

Happy New Year, Ardene. Wish you great reading between the decluttering and work. :)

tammikuu 5, 5:41 am

Happy New Year! We downsized 4 years ago and decluttering was hard, stressful and time-consuming, but necessary and mostly regret-free.

tammikuu 6, 6:32 pm

>19 thorold: I’m beginning to suspect that those of us who are good at accumulating stuff we don’t need are by definition also highly skilled in finding reasons for not doing anything about it yet.

Yep thats me to a tee. Since Ive retired Ive been able to gift many of my teaching supplies, lesson plans and books to my former colleages it was hard to do but I knew they were all going to very good homes. But I still have lots of papers I need to sort from school including thank you cards. One thing I did do this year was go through our office file, and get rid of anything older than 5 years. My insurance files, car repair files, home repair files were getting ridiulcous, so I gleaned, and broought them all to our friendly UPS store that does shredding (think it cost 25 for all I had) still not done but its something.

I like the idea of a staging area, thats what we did when our program was shut down' each area had their own, we just boxed, labeled and delivered. Think Ill try that here

And what does everyone do with old family photos? Ive put the ones of people I know into albums but gosh theres so many...

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 8, 9:27 pm

The story behind The Blue Hour.

First album purchase of the year. Text of music is based on lines from the poem "On Earth" from the The blue hour by Carolyn Forché. So now I have to buy the book too, correct? 😘

Track 2: Opening on YouTube

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 8, 9:52 pm

>24 dchaikin:, >25 Dilara86: Thanks Dan & Dilaria.

>26 cindydavid4: Photos? I've got em on paper/negatives, CD and electronically. Not sure when/whether I'll get around to looking at them.

This section will move down my thread, helping me track what I read.
Bingo Dog
Quarterly reads
1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter
Music posts
January: The blue hour (A Far Cry and Shara Nova), classical, vocal

tammikuu 8, 9:43 pm

>27 markon:

Interesting. My mind went first to French music (because of "l'heure bleue", the period between daylight and night when the sky goes dark blue for a few moments). I've been listening to women composers in the Naxos catalogue (via my library's access), have made hundreds of bookmarks, and that's still ending in about 1960s (trying to go chronologically from earlier to later).

Do you like contemporary classical in general or is it something else?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 9, 5:10 pm

There are loads of decluttering resources online, of course, but one I ran into two years ago is one I really like. Taylor has everything broken down into 15 minute daily sessions for the whole year. Two years ago I couldn't do it because I was decluttering 2/3 of my possessions in 6 months in preparation for the move, and then last year I was still settling in. But this year I am going to try to participate. Although she has a package she'd like to sell you, you can get the 12 month calendar AND the daily email with the specific task of the day for free. Here is her site:

and here is the free calendar:

or even better, links to each month's calendar here:

If you want to give it a try, we can partner on this. The first month is mostly kitchen stuff, and I'm keeping up only a week in.

tammikuu 11, 5:35 pm

tammikuu 12, 12:52 pm

After two years of not attending the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (, I'm looking at this year's in-person offerings and trying to decide which to attend. I have the weekend to figure it out and tickets go on sale Wednesday at noon.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 12, 1:54 pm

For anyone working on decluttering/organizing your stuff, ronincats of the 75r's group has set up a thread to share ideas and support each other here.

tammikuu 13, 11:57 am

Caught by a 10¢/item sale at the library.

tammikuu 16, 3:59 am

>34 markon: Hard to walk past at that price.

tammikuu 18, 3:15 pm

>35 rhian_of_oz: Impossible.

Miracle of the Lily was published in 1928, the year my father was born. It shows its milieu of faith in science to make things better, and a worldview that is not nearly as interconnected as the one I grew up with a generation later. (1st story in The future is female, a Library of America collection edited by Lisa Yaszek.)

The overall arc of the story covers the war with and extermination of insects on earth, destroying plants on the way. Humans live in huge cities, eating artificially produced food and producing oxygen as a utility. Apparently, few people miss plants/the outdoors. (It’s not safe outside for awhile, as insects have gotten larger and more aggressive.)

This was not a pleasant story to read, even though there is, eventually, one person who discovers some seeds an ancestor has stored away, manages to acquire some soil, and grows a few plants. I found myself diving down a couple of rabbit holes.

1928: What was going on?

  • Margaret Mead publishes Coming of age in Samoa.

  • Alexander Fleming rediscovers penicillin.

  • An iron lung medical ventilator is used for the first time in the USA in a children’s hospital in Boston (polio).

  • Color transmission of television demonstrated.

  • First flight across the Pacific Ocean.

  • The Muslim Brotherhood is founded in Egypt

  • The Chinese Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, capture Peking.

  • British bacteriologist Frederick Griffith reports the results of an experiment, indirectly proving the existence of DNA.

  • The Ford River Rouge Complex at Dearborn, Michigan, an automobile plant begun in 1917, is completed as the world's largest integrated factory.

  • The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (ICRM) is formally established.

  • 1st appearance of Micky & Minnie Mouse.

What was she thinking?
Sure, I’d love a world without biting or stinging insects, but a world without plants? Ugh! And what would the birds and the fish eat? And what would break down organic garbage? I guess in this world it all, including the bodies, gets recycled. So microrganisms haven’t gotten aggressive . . .

And this article, The collapse of insects, from Reuters.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 20, 1:47 pm

I've hit a wall - too many things I want to read.

I can take three of these home, but my self-imposed limit of physical titles out is maxed out at 10. Decisions, decisions.

The ones I have at home are
Creating black Americans
The white mosque
Dragon man (Disher)
Provinces (Milosz)
How to keep house while drowning

tammikuu 20, 2:35 pm

Dinosaurs is beautifully written and is a quick read if that makes a difference. I share your pain of library visits where there are several books that want to go home with me and yet I already have a stack at home waiting to be read. I have two to return today and I am going to not bring any home with me (maybe).

My only decluttering advice is to take small bites (a drawer, a closet shelf) and throw away as much as possible.

tammikuu 20, 4:55 pm

My picks would be Dinosaurs because I'm hearing good things by CRers whose tastes are similar to mine, My Century for the Baltic Sea theme read, and Jollof Rice for the African novel challenge.

tammikuu 20, 6:07 pm

>37 markon: … but they’re so pretty all together.

tammikuu 21, 12:23 pm

I think a lot of us have read/are reading Dinosaurs—I have it started but had to leave it for a bit to read some library holds that came in. So you'll be in good company if you bring it home.

1928 was the year both my parents were born. So wild to think of all those other events happening at the same time.

tammikuu 21, 2:23 pm

>39 labfs39: Good reasoning Lisa.
>40 dchaikin: Yes, and I'm sure they'd look pretty at home too . . .
>41 lisapeet: So wild to thing off all those other events happening at the same time. Yes, and of my dad not being aware of any of them that year.

I think I'll take home Dinosaurs: a novel and The dove in the belly tonight for my one day off, and see if I can bring back two on Monday.

tammikuu 21, 2:36 pm

Now, on to my next decision. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival will have in person screenings this year, and tickets go on sale next week. Here are some movies for my viewing pleasure. Any recommendations?

Lost Transport
Serial (Bad) Weddings
Love gets a room
Broken Barriers
Israel Swings for Gold
Simone: Woman of the Century
David Baddiel: Jews don't count

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 21, 3:33 pm

The rising tide by Ann Cleeves
I listened to two mysteries on audiobook on the way to sleep recently. Both of them were well read, but the motive/discovery of the murderer in the Vera Stanhope (The rising tide) wasn't convincing for me. I did enjoy listening to it, just wasn't satisfied as I looked back. This is the latest Vera book, and it packs a punch at the end.

Using it for #18, Involves an accident, on my Bingo Dog.

In a dry season by Peter Robinson
This is the first novel in the Inspector Banks series that I've enjoyed all the way to the end, bleak as the ending is. Banks is in the bad books of Chief Riddle, and is assigned the case of a 50-year-old skeleton that has just been discovered due to a drought. The case goes back to wartime (World War II). Constable Annie Cabbot, also in Riddle's bad books, is the local officer on the case. Good characterization, satisfying personal and plot developments.

This section will move down my thread, helping me track what I read.
Bingo Dog
Quarterly reads
1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter
Music posts
January: The blue hour (A Far Cry and Shara Nova), classical, vocal

tammikuu 23, 5:48 pm

>37 markon: I love the Gary Disher Hal Challis crime series of which Dragon Man is the first. And I had a very difficult time ending My Century--a lot of German political history went over my head. I mostly like Lydia Millet but haven't read Dinosaurs yet. But I'm late getting here so I guess you've already chosen.

tammikuu 23, 7:06 pm

>45 arubabookwoman: Dragon Man and Dinosaurs are at home, but not started yet.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 24, 1:38 pm

The Otherwise Award: an award encouraging the exploration and expansion of gender.

The winners of the 2021 Otherwise award are Ryka Aoki (Light from uncommon stars) and Rivers Solomon (Sorrowland).

tammikuu 24, 7:09 pm

>47 markon: Have you read either yet, Ardene? Sorrowland sounds intense.

tammikuu 25, 2:54 pm

>48 labfs39: I have not read either. And don't know whether I'll read Sorrowland.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 31, 1:44 pm

Fox Creek by William Kent Krueger is the latest in the Cork O'Connor series set in northern Minnesota. Much of the action takes place in the Boundary Waters in this novel.

Cork and many of the characters in the book are of Anishinaabe descent. Graphic shows the distribution of Anishinaabe people around 1800 from Wikiipedia. (

Bingo Dog #4: Next in a series

A combination of historical fiction and fantasy, The wild hunt by Emma Seckel is set on a Scottish island a few years after World War II. What it really is, is a retelling of the story of the Wild Hunt as the sluagh in a Hebridean setting. For this book, the best definition of sluagh is the spirits of the unforgiven dead.

A woman of the iron people by Eleanor Arnason is a story of first contact ©1991, featuring a human anthropologist struggling to balance what her shipmates want with what she thinks is ethical in interacting with a new-to-human species. Won the Tiptree (now Otherwise) award.

Little Miseries (Kimberly Olson Fakih) came onto my radar via Lisa Peet, and I had to read it since it is historical fiction set in Iowa and Minnesota in the 1960s and ‘70s.* Told from the point of view of the middle child, Kimmy, it is both funny and dark, covering serious material with a light hand. It shows adult themes from a tween/teen perspective in a family that doesn’t talk easily (or at all) about these issues, so Kimmy is trying to figure things out as they come up. It was really fun and heartstopping.

*I grew up in Iowa in the ‘60s & ‘70s. This is the author’s first book for adults. And here is an interview Lisa Peet did with the author for Bloom.

ETA: Unable to get graphics to function.

helmikuu 4, 10:37 pm

>50 markon: Aww, thanks for the shout out! And glad you liked the book. I thought it was such a strong debut.

helmikuu 6, 5:09 pm

>50 markon: great post. I’m fascinated by the Anishinaabe map.

maaliskuu 1, 7:01 pm

Ardene, you've disappeared on us again! Don't tell me you've been buried by the clutter!!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 3, 6:37 pm

My dad died a year ago March 4, and I'm struggling a bit emotionally. But no, the clutter hasn't conquered.

Finished The Kaiju presentation society today, a fun Scalzi romp.

Also spent much of February attending The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, so read fewer new books than usual.

maaliskuu 3, 6:44 pm

Hugs and glad to hear from you!

maaliskuu 4, 6:28 am

>44 markon: I have the Robinson book somewhere in the house. You remind me to go on with this series.
I wish you a wonderful weekend.

maaliskuu 4, 11:35 am

Take care of yourself, Ardene, and I would love to hear about the films you saw when you feel up to it.

maaliskuu 6, 1:40 pm

My sympathies, Ardene. Anniversaries are always tougher than you think they'll be... take care.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 15, 2:12 pm

Here's hoping I'm back. Like a lot of other people we are having weird weather - but in our case, we've had weather so warm that things are blooming a 2-3 weeks early!. Now it's gotten colder again, and I may have to cover my blueberry bushies tonight in case it freezes.

I'm planning to do a small straw bale garden this year (cherry tomato, herbs, and greens.) I just couldn't face spading up the small garden space this year. Has anyone else tried this? While I still stoop and bend at the library, it's getting more challenging to get up once I'm on the ground, but I'm not ready to invest in a raised bed and buying soil. So this is seems like a way to transition.

My reading lately has been of the comfort variety mostly. Latest is a Valdemar kick (Mercedes Lackey.) The founding and magewinds series. I'm listening to Circe by Madeline Miller and The broken kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

I'm also reading the executive summary of the January 6th report. Sigh :(

And would love to read Resistance: the underground war against Hitler by Halik Kochanski, but am not sure I have the discipline to read a nonfiction book that's over 800 pages. I think an big picture of this time period would be quite interesting. We'll see.

Greatly enjoyed the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival this year.

45th anniversary showing of Girlfriends with interesting discussion from the director after the show about getting funding and distribution for a film with a Jewish female lead in the 1970s.

The ones that stuck most in my mind were the first and last ones I saw plus a musical set in the Warsaw ghetto.

Last Transport follows one of the last three trains leaving the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp with 2,500 Jewish former prisoners aboard. The train comes to a stop near a German village which is in the path of advancing Russian troops. The interaction of three women, a Dutch Jew, a Russian soldier, and a German is the focus of the film.

Love gets a room follows a group of Jewish actors in a musical comedy (Love Looks For An Apartment by Jerzy Jurandot) put on in the Warsaw Ghetto. The bulk of the action takes place on and off stage on one night of the play. An actress is trying to decide how to handle a former lover's ofer of a chance to escape Warsaw that would involve leaving her current lover and his preschool age sister behind. The comedy contrasts with the rundown stage they're performing on and the dangerous situation of the thespians and the audience.

Simone: woman of the century is a biopic on the life of Simone Veil, a French survivor of several concentration camps who later became a lawyer and a policitian, reforming French prisons and leaing a successful fight to legalize abortion in France, as well as being president of the European parliment for several years.

There were several others I saw and enjoyed, but I may save them for another post.

maaliskuu 15, 6:05 pm

I was reminded of the Valdemar books this week as I moved all my kids books into a separate LT account (labfs39kids). I loved some of her books and was meh about others. My favorites were Queen's Own, Mage Winds, Brightly Burning, and Exiles. I'm in a reading slump at the moment, and should really try something like this to flip my reading mood.

maaliskuu 16, 3:25 am

>59 markon: I hope you liked the biopic on Simone Veil. We watched it as well and, despite some flaws, I thought it was very good. M'ni Raton has watched it twice (once with her class and once with us), and now Simone Veil is her role model. She is reading Une Vie, Simone Veil's memoires (and the book we see her writting in the film) and I should do the same.
I don't know if it's because of Simone Veil's resilience and personnal struggle following her return from the camp or because of her battle in favour of the abortion law, but well, it's not a bad choice as a role model for a teenage girl!

maaliskuu 27, 5:59 pm

>61 raton-liseur: I did really like the biopic of Simone Veil. I'm glad I read a brief entry of her biography before I saw the movie. I'm hoping my library might buy a copy of this one when it's available.

maaliskuu 28, 2:09 pm

Kin by Miljenko Jergović translated by Russell Scott Valentino

I’ve been chewing on this one since January, enjoying the rhythm as well as being confused by changing borders and languages. I finished the first “book” The Stublers: a family novel yesterday, and read the much shorter section on the family of Marko Klujić Šumonja at lunch today. I suspect I’ll be working on this one on and off all year. At over a thousand pages, I’m OK with that.

The Stublers covers the Banat Swabian (German) branch of the narrator’s family and their life in Sarajevo from the 1920s through World War II. It’s not a chronological account, but an account that circles around people, incidents, and neighbors. I found I needed quiet and at minimum half an hour of reading time to immerse myself in the world created in the pages.

Miners, smiths, drunks, and their wives briefly describes some members of the Klujić Šumonja family, who live in the Kakanji coal mining region of what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are/were Christians in a region settled by Muslims. The narrator must have a parent in this family as well, because he refers to them as aunts (and uncles), with a digression on words for uncle that are used in various cultures (ethnic, religious.)

This is my first foray into literature written by/about people in the former Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian Empire, so I am both confused and enticed by the ethnic and religious complexity that shapes this region.

This quote from the first section, Where other people live: a presentation, describes the narrator’s perspective on identity, a theme that seems to be carried throughout the stories.

Happiness keeps us in this place, and happiness - I really believe this - has often cost us our lives. Reconciled to being who we are, while carrying inside us the idea of who we are not, we represent identities that cannot be defined by a single word, passport, identity card, entry pass. The masses know who they are from a coat of arms, a flag, a name, and then they chant it out, but we are left with winding, uncertain explanations, novels and films, true stories and invented ones: left with the need to visit a village in the Romanian Banat where - although now without Germans - the horizon is the same as when Opapa Karlo was a boy; left with empty villages in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland - where people went away in a puff of smoke - and with vague memories, the feeling that today we are one thing, tomorrow another, that our hymns and state borders constantly elude us.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 28, 3:47 pm

Peach blossom spring, a debut novel by Melissa Fu was an enjoyable read covering the travels and travails of a family of kerosene and antique dealers during and after the War of Aggression (the invasion of China by the Japanese, also known as World War II.) It follows the family, primarily through the voice of Shui Meilan, the mother of Dao Renshu, the only grandson of the family patriarch, as the family attempts to keep itself safe and fed in China, then in Taiwan, and finally in the USA.

maaliskuu 28, 5:53 pm

Enjoyed reading your review of Kin, Miljenko Jergovic

maaliskuu 29, 7:43 am

>64 markon: I would like to read this author, but think I'll start with Sarajevo Marlboro. I had won an Early Reviewer copy of Mama Leone years ago, but it never arrived. I was too much of a newbie to think of following up with Archipelago Press. Have you read anything else by him?

maaliskuu 31, 10:15 am

Thanks for your thoughts about Kin, Ardene. I received it as part of my Archipelago Books subscription, but its length was daunting, especially since I was only marginally interested in the story. I may give it a try, but it won't be anytime soon.

maaliskuu 31, 12:05 pm

I replied to your post on the organization thread with photos. This is my second year doing a straw bale garden.

huhtikuu 2, 5:56 pm

>64 markon: I'd probably like this. Along with a million other books but I've added it to the WL.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 5, 2:01 pm

OK, I've bought three ebooks recently (not that I need any more, but I WANT TO READ ALL THE BOOKS!)

In Dependence & Like a mule bringing ice cream to the sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika: In dependence is for our "banned books" read on global reading. It's not banned, but has been removed from novels approved for teaching at secondary schools in Nigeria.

Arboreality by Rebecca Campbell is a novella based on a climate fiction short story that won the Theodore Sturgeon award a couple years ago. I liked it quite a bit, so I'm curious to see what's it's like in this format.

And two paper books that I've purchased recently:
Straw bale gardens, complete by Joel Karsten
The sky weeps for me by Sergio Ramirez This is the first in a trilogy set in Managua, Nicaragua. The third in the trilogy is banned (but widely read) in Nicaragua, and the author is one of over 100 people who were stripped of their citizenship by the current government early this year. Ramirez has won many writing awards, including Spain's Cervantes prize, so I'm expecting good writing on this one. And I'm curious about how it compares with Parker Bilal/Jamal Mahjoub's Makana series, set in Cairo, Egypt.

I am also currently trying to finish The man who spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirahk for a quarterly read of literature from countries bordering the Baltic Sea.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 7, 11:49 am

huhtikuu 6, 9:54 am

OK, I've bought three ebooks recently (not that I need any more, but I WANT TO READ ALL THE BOOKS!)

In Dependence & Like a mule bringing ice cream to the sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika: In dependence is for our "banned books" read on global reading. It's not banned, but has been removed from novels approved for teaching at secondary schools in Nigeria.

Arboreality by Rebecca Campbell is a novella based on a climate fiction short story that won the Theodore Sturgeon award a couple years ago. I liked it quite a bit, so I'm curious to see what's it's like in this format.

And two paper books that I've purchased recently:
Straw bale gardens, complete by Joel Karsten
The sky weeps for me by Sergio Ramirez This is the first in a trilogy set in Managua, Nicaragua. The third in the trilogy is banned (but widely read) in Nicaragua, and the author is one of over 100 people who were stripped of their citizenship by the current government early this year. Ramirez has won many writing awards, including Spain's Cervantes prize, so I'm expecting good writing on this one. And I'm curious about how it compares with Parker Bilal/Jamal Mahjoub's Makana series, set in Cairo, Egypt.

Edited to list hope to read/currently reading list for April

huhtikuu 7, 10:38 am

I loved The man who spoke Snakish and (in a very different style) The Warden! Happy reading :-)

huhtikuu 7, 1:22 pm

I finished On love and tyranny this morning, and it did what I wanted, gave me an overview of her life. I may also watch the 2012 biographical movie before tackling anyy of her writings. I've seen her quoted so many different places, that I want to try some of her writing.

I also read a short science fiction mystery this week, Malka Older's The mimicking of known successes, enteraining and short.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 1:42 pm

The British Science Fiction Association just announced winners for 2022. Best novel went to Adrian Tchaikovsky for City of last chances. I, however, am more interested in reading another title on the short list, The coral bones by E. J. Swift, a climate change novel told from three perspectives and three historical periods, one in the future.

I'm also eager to read Terry Pratchett: a life with footnotes by Rob Wilkins, winner of the nonfiction award, and the Strange Horizons article “The Critic and the Clue: Tracking Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker“ by Maureen Kincaid Speller (Strange Horizons 1/21/22).

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 1:39 pm

For bedtime reading, I'm listening to several of Ann Cleeves Shetland Islands mysteries. So far this has included a re-listen of the first novel, Raven black, as well as Blue lightning, Red bones, and Thin air. I'm currently on Wild fire, and then will have to wait for something to be checked in or place a request.

huhtikuu 14, 7:19 pm

>75 markon: The coral bones by E. J. Swift
This looks interesting.

huhtikuu 15, 1:43 pm

>77 qebo: I think so too. :)

huhtikuu 19, 10:56 am

>75 markon: And right now it's a fairly inexpensive Kindle deal (about $6), so I bought it.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 16, 10:53 am

>79 arubabookwoman: I did too. But I haven't started it yet.

Finished an Inspector Banks mystery on audio this weekend, which was very good. Close to home by Peter Robinson (also published as The summer that never was.)

Read and enjoyed Emma Bull's Bone Dance: a science fantasy for technophiles.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 1:14 pm

Arboreality by Rebecca Campbell

This is a quiet novella that grew out of Campbell's Theodore Sturgeon award winning story An important failure, published in Clarksworld magazine. This is a story of ordinary people living in extraordinary times, their choices and the directions these choices move them in slowly, incrementally.

huhtikuu 25, 1:28 pm

The warden by Anthony Trollope
I liked the writing, found the characters amusing and frustrating, and eventually DNF'd this one because I couldn't bear a story where all the middle class characters had things work out well (enough) and the poor did not. All at the instigation of a well-meaning but self-righteous gentleman. Of course, this is how things often work in real life too.

So now, will I read more Trollope? I'd like to, now that I'm not afraid of him anymore. This is entertaining slice of life writing. I'll probably try some more Barchester chronicles at some point.

huhtikuu 28, 1:47 pm

Two more books purchased. One of them. The house of rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber, I'll read soon, as the MENA group on Goodreads is doing a group read. The other one I'm not sure when I'll get to: The coral bones by E. J. Swift.

huhtikuu 28, 1:59 pm

>83 markon: I loved The House of Rust last year :)

huhtikuu 28, 5:45 pm

>83 markon: House of Rust looks right up my alley. I just ordered a copy.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 29, 9:47 am

>84 AnnieMod: Glad to hear it! Don't know why it took me so long to buy this, as I knew it was a must read for me, but the group read spurred me on. I'm also curious to see if I will place it as fantasy or magical realism once I read it.

>85 labfs39: Hope you enjoy it Lisa.

edited to correct spelling.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 29, 7:44 pm

Finished another of the 2022 short list for the Ursula LeGuin prize, After the dragons by Cynthia Zhang. Worth reading, but it won't be one of my favorites this year. The writing is good, the characterization is excellent. It was interesting to watch Kai and Eli navigate their relationship with the unequal power dynamic in fits and starts. I liked it but didn't love it the way some people do.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 3, 3:40 pm

I read 13 titles in April. At first glance, these were my favorites. Now, how do I narrow it down to favorite?

On love and tyranny: the life and politics of Hannah Arendt by Ann Heberlein
All the young men by Ruth Coker Burks
Close to home (also The summer that never was) by Peter Robinson
Bone dance: a fantasy for technophiles by Emma Bull
Arboreality by Rebecca Campbell
Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome

toukokuu 3, 3:42 pm

>88 markon: I'm happy to see that Swallowdale was a favorite. I have yet to get a copy, but I want to. Did you like it as much as the first?

toukokuu 3, 3:48 pm

>89 labfs39: Lisa, I didn't read the first one, and didn't realize there are so many in the series. I'll probably come back around to the first one at some point. Right now I have Coot Club at home. I'm not reading in any particular order.

toukokuu 4, 12:59 am

That'll be funny, when you get around to Swallows and Amazons - knowing who Nancy and Peggy are before the Swallows do (since you met them in Swallowdale). Sounds like fun. I read them in order (I nearly always do).

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 6, 3:17 pm

>91 jjmcgaffey: Yes, it will. Coot club was weird for me too, as neither the swallows or amazons are active figures in this outing, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 6, 3:48 pm

Finished 3 novels this week and enjoyed all of them, but The terraformers was by far the most engrossing. A long view of a planet terraformed for profit, but with Environmental Rescue Team (ERT) Rangers built in and Homo archeans that were supposed to obsolesce/die out and didn't. What is person? Who owns this planet? Who (and how) will people decide what happens next? (climate fiction, science fiction)

Lone women by Victor Lavelle
A western set in Montana with monsters. But who are the real monsters? Inspired by true stories from nonfiction like Montana women homesteaders: a field of one's own, African Americans on the western frontier, African American women confront the west, 1600-2000, and Letters of a woman homesteader. (horror combined with historical fiction)

Coot club by Arthur Ransome
This lovely series can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Lots of sailing and adventurous girls and boys. Named for one of the nesting birds they are protecting, the Coot club teach two visitors to the area how to sail while trying to dodge the Hullaballoos on a yacht. (juvenile fiction)

toukokuu 7, 9:51 am

Hi Ardene.
>72 markon: I smiled when I read "I want to read all the books." Yes!

The Terraformers sounds interesting. I think I saw it on my library shelves, so I'll have to give it a try.

I have enjoyed the Cork O'Connor series. Lately I've been listening to them and they work well as audiobooks. And speaking of audiobooks, I'll have to check to see if my library has Ann Cleeves on audio. Generally mysteries work well for me as audiobooks.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 16, 10:48 am

>94 BLBera: I also do well with mysteries on audiobooks. And I am currently listening to The secret of life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the discovery of DNAs double helix while walking. I hoped having Howard Markel's book to listen to would help me increase my walking, but I still have to decide to walk and put on the right shoes. :)

I really like how the author has worked through the history of genetics starting with Mendel, making individuals involved in various discoveries real people.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 24, 1:33 pm

Currently reading

I returned several items to the library today, so I'm only 2 items above my self-imposed limit of 10 items. :)

toukokuu 16, 11:24 am

>95 markon: walking
I have the opposite problem, that audio books are so entangled with walking that if I don't walk my usual traffic-free route, I have no alternative scenario for reading the book.

toukokuu 18, 2:50 pm

>97 qebo: That would make walking a must.

I did walk early this morning to learn a little more about James Watson as he moves in the middle of two year fellowship from Denmark to England.

toukokuu 18, 2:52 pm

Well, I finally read and enjoyed The house of rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber. You can follow the story just fine, but I also have a lot of questioins I'd like answers to. What is the house of rust? What is the significance of the title, since we don't ever see it, and no one in the village talks about it? Do they know about it? Or is it just Hamza and Aisha and Almassi and White Breast?

What is Zubeir's connection to the world that Aisha discovers (and that doesn't seem to surprise her that much), where a cat talks and and other unusual things happen? I want to know more about the mythology that shapes this world.

I understand many people are uncomfortable with the second half of the story. I see a lot of comments about it needing editing or not cohering or not being as polished. And I understand this, but I think it's because we expect the first part of the story, and are not prepared to go on with the 2nd. I think if Bajaber had told the story of an adolscent who goes to sea with a talking cat to search for her missing father and what happens on the voyage, that is an expected structure. But when that arc is ending, Aisha has to make a choice, really two choices. Her voyage and her choices have changed her, and she struggles to determine what to do now. And that part of the story is unexpected and we flounder along with Aisha trying to figure out how to go on.

toukokuu 18, 2:55 pm

Feels like home by Linda Ronstadt is a love letter (with recipes) to the region and hispanic roots of northwest Mexico/Arizona where she grew up. Light and fun.

Sea of tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. I've finally read one of Mandel's books. I've heard about her often in various online and work contexts. I did enjoy this novel about ? What is it about? Well, you have to read it to find out. I guess it's about a time travel paradox. Or maybe time bleed? It was fun, kept me guessing and interested.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 3:05 pm

I'm reading The language of butterflies by Wendy Williams with a Litsy group, and finding it fascinating. Who discovered the connection between worms (catepillars) and butterflies and moths? Who led the first science-focused voyage to the Western hemisphere? (Maria Sibylla Marian in the 17th century.) Did you know the proboscis acts like a sponge or a straw depending on what the butterfly or moth eats? I didn't.

Readable and interesting.

toukokuu 18, 7:24 pm

>101 markon: The language of butterflies
Added to my WL. There's a biography Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis which I read about a decade ago.

toukokuu 20, 8:46 pm

>101 markon: You know, I've seen that book in stores, online, etc. a million times and just kept scrolling past because of the title—I thought it was one of those The Secret Life of Bees-type novels. I'm a dope, and that looks like a book I'd really like.

toukokuu 21, 9:20 am

>95 markon: I've been interested in reading this since reading The Double Helix with my book club.

>99 markon: Hmm, I purchased House of Rust recently, but am now unsure whether I'll like it. Only one way to find out!

>101 markon: Another book that sounds interesting that I'll probably never get to :-(

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 24, 1:33 pm

>102 qebo: & >103 lisapeet: I recommend it. It's informative and quite readable. And thanks for mentioning the biography of Memrian.

>104 labfs39: I also recommend The secret of life by Howard Markel when your schedule permits Lisa.

This section will move down my thread, helping me track what I read.
Bingo Dog
Quarterly reads
1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter
Music posts
January: The blue hour (A Far Cry and Shara Nova), classical, vocal

kesäkuu 22, 3:42 pm

To each this world, by Julie Czernada

I saw this at the library and grabbed it because I’ve enjoyed other light reads by Czernada, and her biologically inspired sentients. This one definitely had some quirky sentients, but was not as light as expected. That isn’t a bad thing.

Synopsis without spoilers
(from the publisher’s website) Biologist Julie E. Czerneda's new standalone science fiction novel, To Each This World follows a desperate mission to reconnect with long lost sleeper ships, sent centuries earlier from Earth to settle distant worlds.

A trio of Humans must work with their mysterious alien allies to rescue any descendants they can find on those worlds. Something is out there, determined to claim the cosmos for itself, and only on Earth will Humans be safe.

Or will they?

What kept you reading
I wanted to find out what the Kmet are really up to, and whether the humans will be able to save any of the other planets where they have established settlements. An exercise in communication and trying to figure out another culture that humanity has had a relationship with for a long time, but doesn’t really understand.

A little confused about what happens with the Kmet.

I think this one qualifies as hope punk.

The epitomes (clones that communicate with their originals via telepathy) were interesting.

Recommended for science fiction and space opera fans

Rating: 3.75

kesäkuu 22, 3:59 pm

The thick and the lean by Chana Porter

This is the second book I’ve read by Porter, and I enjoyed it, but found it uneven. There are three point of view characters, well, two plus the point of view expressed in a book that the main characters both discover.

The theme of women and their bodies and relationship to food is developed well in the character of Beatrice, a teen at the beginning of the book who is part of a religious cult that discourages an appetite for food, but teaches their young to explore sexuality in their adolescence. Beatrice, however, craves delicious food and wants to learn to cook, but can’t tell anyone.

Reiko, born to a marginalized indigenous ethnic group, is given a scholarship to a prestigious university, then has it yanked away her 2nd year and chooses to make her way by a variety of cons and electronic thefts. This strand of the story exploring class is not as well developed, and the brief point where Reiko and Beatrice meet seemed unnecessary to me. I’m also not convinced that the action Reiko takes at the end of the book will have the effect she expects.

Nevertheless, I’ll keep my eyes open for Porter’s next book.

kesäkuu 22, 6:25 pm

Welcome back, Ardene. Happy summer!

kesäkuu 23, 10:38 am

Thanks Lisa! Hope it won't be another month before I post again!

Here is the latest list of books I want to read, but don't have time for, from library browsing.

Theological territories by David Bentley Hart
The Chinese myths: a guide to the gods and legends by Tao Tao Liu
On savage shores by Caroline Dodds Pennock
Harold by Steven Wright

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 11:05 am

Meanwhile, what am I reading?

The baby on the fire escape: Creativity, motherhood, and the mind-baby problem by Julie Phillips
Islands of abandonment: nature rebounding in the post-human landscape by Cal Flyn
and rereading C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner series when I need a break.

Hope to get to
The dragonfly sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
River Sprit by Leila Aboulela

kesäkuu 23, 12:51 pm

Finished The rise of wolf 8: witnessing the triumph of Yellowstones' underdog, by Rick McIntyre, at lunch today. An account of the first years of adding wolves back into Yellowstone's ecology.

kesäkuu 23, 12:55 pm

>110 markon: My plans for the African Novel Challenge have been completely derailed by the demands of my garden and summer madness with my nieces. I'm still interested and collecting recommendations, thus I'll look forward to your thoughts on The Dragonfly Sea and River Spirit, if/when you get to them.

kesäkuu 27, 11:21 am

>112 labfs39:, Still working on getting to these two.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 27, 11:47 am

I ran across another interesting book on reparations - this time the Roman Catholic church and reparations, specifically Georgetown University and the Jesuits. The 272: the families who were enslaved and sold to build the American Catholic Church by Rachel L. Swarns
Two relatively recent articles related to the topic

Also interesting is this list on the U. Massachusetts library website of An Historical Timeline of Reparations Payments Made From 1783 through 2023 by the United States Government, States, Cities, Religious Institutions, Universities, Corporations, and Communities

heinäkuu 7, 10:31 am

River spirit by Leila Aboulela

I don't know if my reading tastes have changed, or if this writer has changed, but I was not as enthused about this book on finishing it as I expected to be. I enjoyed it, but . . . I wished it had delved into the causes of conflict/ideology of various factions in Sudan than it did. Historical fiction, focusing on one woman in particular as she, with little control of her narrative, moves through time and space in the late 1880s while Brittain is taking over Egypt, who controls Sudan. 3.2 stars.

heinäkuu 7, 11:15 am

I got away with adding only 3 books I'm interested in reading from ridgewaygirl's linked list of translated books.

My library owns The postcard by Anne Berest, translated by Tina Kover. (nonfiction)

I will have to purchase the other two to read them. On to Mt. TBR they all go!

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 7, 11:41 am

What am I reading now?

Islands of abandonment: nature rebounding in the post-human landscape by Cal Flyn
This is a report of several places on earth where humans have used the land and then abandoned it for various reasons.

The baby on the fire escape: creativity, motherhood, and the mind-baby problem by Julie Phillips
I loved Phillips' biography of Alice B. Sheldon/James Tiptree. This one is just as thought provoking, looking at various artists and writers and how they continued to work while mothering.

The dragonfly sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Just now getting re-started on this novel following a girl growing up on the archipelago off the coast of Kenya. When I left off she had been offered a scholarship to study in China.

heinäkuu 8, 2:55 am

OOh Al Qata'i: Ibn Tulun's City Without Walls and The baby on the fire escape have gone into my wishlist. Off to look at Ridgewaygirl's list :-)

heinäkuu 8, 2:00 pm

>117 markon: I'm hearing a lot of buzz about The Postcard, but I don't know anyone yet who has read it. I'll look forward to your impressions. It sounds excellent.

heinäkuu 11, 12:45 pm

They called us enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott; illustrated by Harmony Becker
I learned more detail about the imprisonment of citizens of Japanese descent turing World War II. The loyalty questionaires, the "opportunity" to renounce citizenship to stay safely in the camps, deportations, and the fight to regain citizenship.

heinäkuu 11, 2:50 pm

>120 labfs39: I don't know when I'll get to it Lisa. I'm trying to focus on one or two books at a time and not get 20 million things going at once.

heinäkuu 12, 9:23 am

>122 markon: Read it next! Read it next! Ha! Just kidding, but I, too, will be very interested to know what you think of The Postcard.

heinäkuu 13, 7:05 am

>121 markon: I enjoyed They Called Us Enemy when I read it a couple of years ago. Which other books on the topic have you read?

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 13, 3:33 pm

>124 labfs39: I've read two novels. Obasan (Joy Kogawa) was excellent (set in Canada.) I discovered this year that there is a sequel, Itsuka that I want to read. I also read Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet which was an easier read, but not as good in my opinion.

I've poked around a little, and think there are three others I'd like to try. One is Citizen 13660 by Miné Okubo (another memoir). I'm also curious about No-no boy by John Okada, a novel about a young man who answers no to both the loyalty questions that are put to all the adults in the camp. This follows the protagonist to his journey "home" after he serves 2 years in prison, and is shunned by his family and friends. And my library owns Farewell to Manzanar, another memoir.

See link regarding loyalty questions.

heinäkuu 15, 10:26 am

>116 markon: Great comments, Ardene. I had wondered about this one. For me, Aboulela has been uneven.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 27, 10:57 am

Islands of abandonment by Cal Flyn
Feral cattle, slag heaps, exotics out of bounds, barren earth for 100 years - what happens when humans abandon a site that has been heavily used? Journalist Cal Flynn gives us a glimpse of various places around the world. None have come back to what they were before we were there, but many have regrown and diversified.

This isn't a book that makes an argument, but one that gives us a snapshot of a variety of places. This book is hopeful at times (at least that earth will survive and grow, even if humans don’t) and sobering as well.

heinäkuu 16, 11:38 am

>127 markon: That looks very interesting. Thanks.

heinäkuu 19, 7:00 am

>125 markon: I agree with you on Hotel on Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I have No-No Boy, but haven't read it yet. (Not sure where the link was headed) Farewell to Manzanar is good. Another well-written one was When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 16, 1:41 pm

The secret of life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick and the discovery of DNAs double helix by Howard Markel, ⓒ2021

I finished the audio of this recently, and while I’m glad I listened to it, I think I missed things by doing audio rather than reading the words. The first two sections were great, giving the history of what humans learn about DNA and short bios of many of the people who learn about heredity.

The next three sections seemed awfully drawn out and convoluted to me. Yes, the main topic of the book is Watson, Crick, and Franklin. Perhaps if I’d looked at the table of contents online I would have known better what to expect?

Worth reading, but I think it could have used some editing.

Table of Contents
Part I: Prologue
Part II: The players’ club
Part III: Tick-Tock, 1951
Part IV: Moratorium, 1952
Part V: The home stretch, November 1952 - April 1953
Part VI: The Nobel prize

elokuu 1, 7:23 am

>130 markon: Oh, too bad. This one has been on my wishlist since reading The Double Helix.

elokuu 1, 9:50 am

>130 markon:, >131 labfs39: I OTOH loved it and was interested in the minute by minute details, so YMMV.

elokuu 2, 3:20 pm

>131 labfs39:, >132 qebo: You'll have to try it and see Lisa!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 2, 3:41 pm

Urusla LeGuin Prize shortlist for 2023

I've read and enjoyed two: Spear (Griffith) and Arboreality (Campbell). I'd also like to read Jimenez' The spear cuts through water and Lemberg's Geometries of belonging ( I liked her Four profound weaves.) Some of the others interest me as well, but I'll be lucky to get two read before the winner is announced in October.

elokuu 2, 6:58 pm

>134 markon: That an interesting list of novels

Muokkaaja: elokuu 26, 2:37 pm

The cherry tomato in my straw bale garden this spring did amazingly well. The herbs, not so well, though the sweet basil and Thai basil are hanging in there.

Planting in April

After much pruning of the tomato at the end of July.

We had so much rain this spring that the oregano rotted, and the thyme got shaded out. I'd love to do this next year for the tomato, but I'll have to plant the herbs in the ground I think.

elokuu 17, 9:58 am

>136 markon: Very cool idea. I love cherry tomatoes.

elokuu 18, 2:09 pm

>136 markon: What an excellent way to plant tomatoes. We've given up on that, given that the farmer's market has nicer tomatoes than I can grow, in abundance, at the same time mine come ripe.

elokuu 24, 7:47 am

>137 BLBera:, >138 RidgewayGirl: These were lovely. I snacked on them shared them, and used them in salads. There are a few more waiting to ripen, but I'm coming to the end of the season.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 26, 2:33 pm

Coral bones by E. J. Swift

I heard about this novel via the Arthur C. Clarke shortlist. It also made the long list for the Subjective Chaos award (another list for me to watch) "

I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. Set primarily in the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia, it focuses on three women in three different time periods, and their interaction with the environment.

Judith's story (19th century) is different than the others, in that she is living during England's “discovery” of Australia and its environs. It is an age of seeming abundance of resources, discoveries, and new technology. This abundance contrasts with the limits society and her parents try to impose on Judith, who wants to explore the sea and become a natural historian. Judith seizes an opportunity and persuades her father to let her accompany him on an exploratory sea voyage, and most of the action in her story takes place on this voyage.

I enjoyed Hana's (the present) and Telma's (the future) story the most, although in their stories abundance is long past. Hana is struggling with depression exacerbated by her work trying to find species of coral that are resistant to coral bleaching, as well as the end of a relationship. Tema is earning her living working for an organization checking out sitings of unusual wildlife, and the report of a leafy seadragon, long thought extinct. She is also doing this work at the expense of her relationship with her daughter and young grandson.

Why, since I enjoyed the present and future sections the most, did I spend so much time writing about the past section? Trying to find meaning in it? I'm not sure.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 26, 2:40 pm

My "main course" of reading continues to be Dragonfly sea and The baby on the fire escape. Others I'm picking up and browsing or listening to are

Holding the note by David Remnick - essays on various muscians of the 20th century.
Femina by Janina Ramirez - reevaluation of women's roles in Medeival England via archaology. (audio)
Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (audio - I suspect I won't finish this this time around, though I hope I'll circle back to it.)
Thinning blood by Leah Myers
A siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows - new-to-me mystery series featuring a detective who loves bird watching.

I bought a 5-year-old RAV 4 this month and sent off my passport application for a trip I'm taking next summer. And am concerned about a friend whose husband's health is poor. Caretaking is such hard work, and their relationship wasn't great to begin with.

elokuu 24, 5:46 pm

>141 markon: Where are you off to?

elokuu 26, 2:21 pm

Heading to Italy in June next year - Florence and Rome with a side trip to Pompei.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 26, 2:36 pm

I read and enjoyed Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker awhile ago, so when I needed something light (and full of good food) I found three more in this series from the library. I enjoyed Black Diamond, The crowded Grave, and The dark vineyard this month.
Now I'm off and running with another mystery series, beginning with A Siege of bitterns by Steve Burrows.

This section moves down my thread, helping me track what I read.
Bingo Dog
Quarterly reads
1st quarter
2nd quarter
3rd quarter
4th quarter
Music posts
January: The blue hour (A Far Cry and Shara Nova)classical, vocal

elokuu 26, 4:27 pm

>143 markon: Ooh, nice! Have you been to Italy before? I was in Florence and Rome in 1988 and 1990. Ages ago now.

syyskuu 4, 11:54 pm

>136 markon: I had cherry tomato volunteers come up all over the place, including way outside my row of planters and pots. It's been a nice surprise.

syyskuu 7, 1:37 pm

>145 labfs39: Next summer will be my first trip. I'm looking forward to it, and encouraging myself to walk more in preparation.

>146 lisapeet: Lisa, did you let any of them grow? I'm planning to take mine down this weekend, as they have pretty much stopped bearing. Hope I'll get a bit more basil before I'm done for the year.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 8, 3:50 pm

I seem to be burying myself in series right now. I've started a mystery series by Steve Burrows featuring a Canadian detective living in the Norfolk saltmarsh who is also a bird watcher. And I discovered Catherine Asaro has a new-to-me series set in the Skolian Empire. So I've read the followng in the past few weeks.

A siege of bitterns and A pitying of doves by Steve Burrows
I enjoyed these, but am confused about how Dominec Jejeune got into policing since he doesn't like it? Perhaps this will get fleshed out in further installments, as it begins to be in the second novel.

Undercity, The bronze skies, The vanishing sea, and The jigsaw assassin by Catherine Asaro
These were fun with Major Bhaajan straddling the culture she grew up in and the dominant culture of the Skolian empire. And in intriguing take on the development/meshing of EI (evolving intelligence) technology and humans in The jigsaw assassin.

Also a YA fantasy, The left-handed booksellers of London by Garth Nix

syyskuu 11, 10:28 am

Started Philosophy in the Islamic world: a short introduction by Peter Adamson last night. I'm reading it with a group on Litsy, and am enjoying getting my mind around this. It's pretty dense, but I'm up for it.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 11, 12:42 pm

Finished the audio of a fantasy by C. J. Cherryh this weekend. I'm a little confused about the title. The dreaming tree is the title of the omnibus I bought. It contains two novels: one I think is called The dreamstone, which is an edited combination of her story The dreamstone (1979) and novella Ealdwood (1981). This is the one I finished.

I found it a little "dreamy" or "soft," to start, but as I got into it I got more intrigued. Arafel (Thistle) is the last sidhe/elf in the age of iron (her folk have all faded - perhaps to somewhere else, perhaps gone completely) and she remains, dreaming in her shrinking land. Her attention is caught by three mortal men: Niall, a king's man on the run from those who killed the king and seized power, later Fionn the king's harper, and last (after a war to reseat a rightful king) Ciaran, trying to deliver a message to Niall's adopted son.

So, very high fantasy, celtic myths and either of a reflection of the myths Tolkien drew on or Tolkien's idea of the fading/migration of the elves.

That's a description, not a review. Perhaps I'll be moved to write one after I finish the 2nd novel, The tree of swords and jewels?

syyskuu 11, 2:03 pm

Alas, my new-to-me car was in an accident this weekend, and we will be making a visit to a local bodyshop sometime soon.

A nice pick-me-up Saturday night was Bach and Bluegrass with some friends, and I discovered a concert I want to attend in January, Jazz Meet Classics “Chopin Etudes en Jazz" featuring pianist & composer Matt Herskowitz. Anyone ever heard him play? I think I need to acquire a copy of Matt Herskowitz plays Gershwin to preview his style:)

syyskuu 11, 7:21 pm

>151 markon: oh no, Ardene! Are you okay?

syyskuu 11, 7:56 pm

I'm fine except for being discombobulated and trying not to kick myself because I made a mistake. Luckily no one was injured. I'm unhappy because I just dropped a bundle on hearing aids, and now I'm going to have a $1,000 deductible for the car too. But such is life, and I'm grateful I have enough in savings to cover it.

syyskuu 12, 7:35 am

Why do these things always seem to happen in clumps? Maybe that means things will be smooth sailing for a while. I'm glad you are okay.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 15, 1:44 pm

The Journey That Matters is a series of six short videos from Arwen Curry, director and producer of Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, a 2018 feature documentary about the author. The shorts are currently being released once a week at LitHub. What it was like about the illegal abortion she obtained in the 1950s is introduced with comments from her daughters.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 17, 3:09 pm

The National Book Awards Longlists are up.

I'm sure I won't get any read before the awards are made, but here are the three I'd most like to read.

Now I have to go try to catch up on some reading I'm doing with other people.

syyskuu 17, 3:20 pm

>156 markon: I'll be very interested to find out what you think of The Making of Biblical Womanhood.

syyskuu 17, 5:33 pm

>156 markon: The three you mentioned from the National Book Awards lists were three that I also have my eyes on!

Sorry about your car. I'm glad you are unhurt.

syyskuu 18, 8:45 am

Sorry about the car—those are always disconcerting. But glad you're OK.

>147 markon: I let them all grow, and some of them ended up as big as the ones I planted early in the summer. They bore a bit later, but they've still got a lot of green tomatoes on them and the season's not quite over yet. They were a nice surprise, though... and the morning glories came back on their own, super robust, in my planters out front.