Joe's Second Book Cafe 2023

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Joe's Second Book Cafe 2023

helmikuu 4, 4:36 pm

("Tuesday Afternoon Reading Group")

Art by Shaun Tan, much of which can be found in his big new collection, Creature

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 4:29 pm

2022 Favorites


You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi (cast an unforgettable spell)

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus ( a close runner-up)

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (another close runner-up)

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (ditto)

The Maid by Nita Prose (ditto)


The Song of the Cell by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 4, 5:09 pm

Mark and Joe 2023 Meet-Up for Beer and Bulls Basketball

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 4, 4:50 pm

Top 5 Favorites Ever (Today)

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 8:38 pm

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 4, 4:54 pm

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.

“Stroke is the number one disabler in our society and four times more strokes occur in the left hemisphere, impairing language.”

This neuroscientist had a massive stroke in her left hemisphere, wiping out much of her ability to speak and understand language and math, or think in our normal linear fashion. Reading this profound and insightful book, it’s apparent she managed to make an impressive recovery. Because of her brain scientist background, she is able to colorfully take us through the experience of that stroke (including post-stroke surgery to remove a large blood clot) and her patient, difficult recovery that took eight years. It’s like having a trail guide with knowledge of the local terrain and flora and fauna so extensive that she can comfortably and entertainingly give you highlights you can understand.

Her stroke shutting down her left hemisphere had a huge silver lining. Our left hemisphere is the one that chatters all the time, making observations and judgments and telling us stories - not all of them true. It’s the one that in meditation we try to calm, quiet and eventually silence. In her case, it left her right hemisphere for the first time (in adulthood) unfettered and free.

“My consciousness no longer retained the discriminatory functions of my dominant analytical left brain. Without those inhibiting thoughts, I had stepped beyond my perception of myself as an individual. Wihout my left brain . . . My consciousness ventured unfettered into the peaceful bliss of my divine right mind.”

The right brain gives us gestalt, “big picture” thinking, and normally the two halves work together to create and understand our experience. The stroke left her with an oceanic feeling of tranquil connection with everything in the universe - a tempting place to stay and live. She felt “fluid” rather than solid and separate in the normal way.

“Although I rejoiced in my perception of connection to all that is, I shuddered at the awareness that I was no longer a normal human being. How on earth would I exist as a member of the human race with this heightened perception that we are each a part of it all, and that the life force energy within each of us contains the power of the universe? How could I fit into our society when I walk the earth with no fear? I was, by anyone’s standard, no longer normal. In my own unique way, I had become severely mentally ill.”

This desire to connect with others in a normal, human way motivated her to take on the arduous, humbling work of recovery. At the beginning, she could barely speak, barely (and not often) understand others, and could engage in linear thinking only briefly, after which she’d need a lot of sleep. Speaking loudly to her didn’t help - she wasn’t deaf! She humorously identifies some of her pet peeves with doctors, nurses and visitors. She credits her mother with incredible, patient care (the author had actually been somewhat neglected as a young child with older siblings). Her mother realized she needed slow, step by step learning, akin to a toddler. The ultimate result was this book (she’s also a frequent speaker, urging people to donate their post-death brains to Harvard for study).

How she learns to balance the two sides of her brain, and change the negative left side loops that had impeded her enjoyment of life is a fascinating story.

“My stroke of insight would be: Peace is only a thought away, and all we have to do to access it is to silence the voice of our dominating left mind.

Her ordeal left her with the enviable ability to experience “Nirvana” (which she describes as filled with “compassion and joy”) whenever she likes, and adeptly bring balance and joy to her experience of life. The abrupt smashing of her life and her arduous journey back to “normal” make for an exhilarating journey for the reader, full of life lessons to think about. All this in a slim, 180+ page volume. We just started February, but this may well end up my favorite book of the year.

P.S. My stroke happened in my right hemisphere, so none of this cool stuff for me, just re-educating the left side of my body in particular to move in a normal way. Actually, there were (somehow) some left side effects. Linear thinking left me in need of sleep; my typing was sloppy and exhausting; but my ability to read never left me.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 4, 4:59 pm

Shaun Tan

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 17, 1:05 pm

Books Read 2023

See >175 jnwelch: below

helmikuu 4, 4:45 pm

Mark and Joe Meet-Up for Beer and Bulls Basketball

helmikuu 4, 4:54 pm

Happy new thread Joe!

I was waiting for a picture of the grands before posting as a sort of sine qua non.

helmikuu 4, 5:02 pm

>10 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

I need to hire someone to do my thread. Phew. Okay, I'll look.

helmikuu 4, 5:05 pm

Someone won the game Pretty Pretty Princess, and someone lost. Guess which is which.

helmikuu 4, 5:18 pm

Happy new one!

>12 jnwelch: Quite adorable

helmikuu 4, 5:23 pm

>12 jnwelch: - ROFLMAO! This is the kind of photo that can be used for blackmail in about a decade or two (we have a few *blackmail* photos in our family, so trust me, I know!

Happy new thread, Joe!

helmikuu 4, 5:39 pm

Happy new one, Joe.

>12 jnwelch: Anita is right - that is simply adorable.

helmikuu 4, 5:43 pm

Happy new one, Joe! Love the topper art.

>3 jnwelch: Looks like the meet-up was full of fabulous.

>12 jnwelch: Love this!! Our kids used to play that game, and Birdy and I were just laughing that it came up in a GN we are reading - Cursed Princess Club. Birdy and I are doing a year long project where she chooses from her favorite manga and GNs for me to read.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 4, 6:01 pm

Happy new thread, Joe!

>12 jnwelch: I feel for Fina, she looks like me many moons ago after loosing a game ;-)
And I love how Rafa is all dressed up.

helmikuu 4, 6:42 pm

Happy New Thread, Joe! Love the Shaun Tan toppers! And hooray for posts #3 & 9. You had such a good time, you posted it twice. 😉

I hope you had a good day. I have been hanging out with Juno and the books.

helmikuu 4, 6:44 pm

Joe, as a follow-up from the last thread, Kermode's lectures were about how the Christian idea of the end of the world (eschatology) informs so much of the literature of Europe. Barnes uses it differently, of course, showing that the knowledge of the endpoint changes everything that came before in the novel. And that reminds me of The Good Soldier as well. I found Kermode difficult but not impossible, and took my time.

helmikuu 4, 6:47 pm

>12 jnwelch: Oh yes, that will do! What a great picture.

helmikuu 4, 7:41 pm

Hi Joe. Your comments are motivating me to pull out my copy of My Stroke of Insight and, you know, actually read it. I assume another stroke is inevitable since my small one seven years ago.

I love Shaun Tan's artwork! And the beer and Bulls meetup looks fun!

helmikuu 4, 8:23 pm

First of all, happy new thread!! Love the artwork.

>6 jnwelch: I have this book in one of my piles and I intend to get to it this year. Your review makes me want to go find it now!

>9 jnwelch: Totally jealous! Looks like you and Mark had fun as usual. : )

>12 jnwelch: LOL! So cute.

helmikuu 5, 5:50 am

Love the toppers, especially the reading group Joe.

Glad the guys migrated.

>12 jnwelch: That made me smile.

helmikuu 5, 10:24 am

>13 figsfromthistle:. Thanks, Anita! Those two crack us up all the time.

>14 jessibud2:. Thanks, Shelley! Yeah, I think future Fina’s going to get to see that photo more than once, and will groan and roll her eyes. She’s a pistol, that one. She’s the sunniest of days, but when the dark clouds roll in, look out!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 10:38 am

>15 PaulCranswick:. Thanks, Paul. We’re lucky to have that adorable duo in our lives.

>16 Crazymamie:. Thanks, Mamie. Isn’t Shaun Tan great? I wonder whether your daughters know his work. Inspiring, I would guess.

Ha! Pretty Pretty Princess has been a staple in our lives, too. We had a very “boy” nephew who used to regularly win it and love to crack up his girl cousins in his princess get-up.

What a great project with Birdy! (Favorite manga and GNs). If you think of it, l’d love to hear about any you think I might like. If you and Birdy haven’t seen Heartstoppers by Alice Oseman yet (there are four of them), they’ve become favorites in our house. Healthy for open-mindedness, too.

>17 FAMeulstee:. Thanks, Anita! I know, poor Fina. Losing to your sibling is the worst. It’s her game, too - a birthday present. Rafa makes for a proud and fashionable princess, doesn’t he.

helmikuu 5, 10:48 am

>18 msf59:. Thanks, buddy. Ha! You’re right, I had such a good time I posted the photos twice!

Thanks for the heads-up anout the movie RRR. What a fun one! I thought the special effects were amazing- often so unlike ours. And that dancing! They go at it hard!

It’s been a great lazy weekend for me, with Debbi away on a temple retreat. No to-do list! Ah, good times.

>19 ffortsa:. Thanks for following up. I get what you mean, with knowledge of the endpoint changing everything that came before. The one novel I can remember going back to re-read the beginning after finishing it was DuMaurier’s Rebecca.

I did read some Kermode in college, but he doesn’t tempt me now.

helmikuu 5, 11:02 am

>20 quondame:. Ha! Good, Susan. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

>21 EBT1002:. Oh, Ellen, as a stroke survivor you’ll appreciate My Stroke of Insight even more! I don’t remember the last time I found a book that exciting. The author is remarkable in multiple ways.

You probably heard that poor Richard Derus just suffered a stroke and is battling his way back in rehab.

You would’ve loved the beer and Bulls meetup, are we ever going to get you back out our way again? Mark and I miss you.

>22 Berly:. Hiya, Kim. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoy the artwork. He’s one of my favorites.

I’m glad my review inspired you. Methinks you would love My Stroke of Insight.

Yes, Mark and I always manage to have a great time.😀. The pandemic put a big dent in our get-togethers, so this one was particularly appreciated.

Aten’t those two cutie-pies?

>23 Caroline_McElwee:. Thanks, Caroline. Isn’t that a hilarious reading group?

The guys migrated twice, I was so enthusiastic.😀.

>12 jnwelch:. Is a hoot, isn’t it. That’s going to be a treasured family photo for many years to come.

helmikuu 5, 11:28 am

Happy new thread, Joe! Adding my adoration for those grandkiddos to the pile. So cute!

helmikuu 5, 11:33 am

>12 jnwelch: They are so darn cute! And growing so fast!

helmikuu 5, 12:34 pm

>28 scaifea:. Thanks, Amber! How was Loveless?

>29 mckait:. Hiya, Kath! Nice to see you. Those cuties are indeed growing up fast! They arrive in a week, hopefully in time for our Super Bowl get-together.

helmikuu 5, 1:12 pm

>6 jnwelch: Happy Sunday, Joe - My Stroke of Insight ordered for my therapist daughter.

Have you ever read WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT by Walpola Rahula?

I'm finding it more challenging than when first read in the 60s when
there were way fewer Buddhist commentaries to choose from.

Also enjoying Riding the Ox Home (Occam's Razor of Zen Buddhist texts)

(I was following the Dalai Lama's ideas closely until he came to Madison and
defended jerk-off scientist's animal experimentation.)

helmikuu 5, 1:39 pm

>30 jnwelch: I haven't read Loveless yet, but it's coming up on my list! Oh, and there will be a fifth and final volume of Heartstopper coming out soon, I think.

helmikuu 5, 1:41 pm

Happy new thread! Love the Pretty Pretty Princess pic!

helmikuu 5, 1:50 pm

>32 scaifea:. Sounds good, Amber. A 5th Heartstoppers is cool. I’ve been recommending those books all over the place. Such sunny, sane and charming storytelling.

>33 foggidawn:. Thanks, foggi! Isn’t that Pretty Pretty Princess photo hilarious? She was not well-pleased.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 2:02 pm

>31 m.belljackson:. I have had What The Buddha Taught recommended to me a million times and must shame-facedly admit that I haven’t read it yet. Good for you for doing a re-read. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I normally recommend Buddhism Plain and Simple as a starter book. A lot of folks instead recommend What the Buddha Taught.

Sounds like you’re doing a lot of Buddhism-related reading right now. Kudos! What an interesting side comment about the Dalai Lama. He certainly is pro-Western science, but animal experimentation does seem to conflict with a basic Buddhist tenet.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 2:32 pm

Today’s Bargain: Hardcastle by John Yount for $1.99 on e-readers. I was startled to see this one offered. I LOVED it when it came out, and pushed it in the store, but feel it remains a little-known gem. A terrific story set during the Great Depression that, IMO, deserves to be considered a classic.

helmikuu 5, 2:13 pm

>36 jnwelch: - You might want to edit the touchstone, Joe. It goes to a very different book!

Hope you're having a good Sunday.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 2:38 pm

>37 katiekrug:. Thanks, Katie. It’s somebody’s law: if I forget to check a touchstone, it’ll be the wrong book. I fixed it. A couple of years ago I lobbied management for better touchstones, with at least the identical title being the first one. No such luck. No doubt they have more pressing issues, but it gets frustrating.

I am having a good Sunday, thanks, and I hope you and the Wayne are, too.

helmikuu 5, 2:54 pm

Totally agree about the frustrating touchstones!

Good Sunday so far, thanks 🙂

helmikuu 5, 4:15 pm

Happy new thread, Joe!

helmikuu 5, 4:32 pm

>39 katiekrug:👍😀.

>40 drneutron:. Thanks, Jim!

helmikuu 5, 5:17 pm

>12 jnwelch: Hilarious! I have a similar photo of my two grands with the oldest winning pretty pretty princess and all decked out with his prize jewelry. He is a sophisticated eight year old now, so I’m sure he won’t go near the game, but he certainly enjoyed winning!

helmikuu 5, 6:47 pm

We have friends who own a condo in Chicago and they've said we can use it anytime we want. That will hopefully be one of our post-retirement adventures. 🙂

helmikuu 6, 8:39 am

>42 NarratorLady:. Isn’t that hilarious, Anne? I can’t think of any other game where you can get decked out in the prize after winning. Tim Gunn should give that some thought.

>43 EBT1002:. Perfect, Ellen. And that’s not your only option. I’ll pm you.

helmikuu 6, 4:42 pm

Hi Joe, mate, Happy New Thread and great thread topper photos. I love the photos of you and Mark having a catch-up and a couple of beers then food and of course the Bulls game. I would love to join you guys if ever we get over the pond.

helmikuu 7, 10:02 am

>45 johnsimpson:. Hey buddy, good to se you here, John. Man, we’d love to get you over here for a meetup. We’ll also eventually get back on track for our London trips. The pandemic screwed those up. Love and hugs to you and Karen.

I’m reading a doorstop fantasy novel called A Court of Silver Flames and thought of my favorite doorstop reader.😀

helmikuu 7, 12:55 pm

Hi Joe - not sure if you and Mark are doing The American Author Challenge,

but you are both covered for January with Children's Classics!

And, for February, Richard Powers' Generosity is at least starting off in Chicago -

subway, El, the Loop...

helmikuu 7, 4:23 pm

>46 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, i will be getting into some Sarah J. Maas books soon, glad you are liking them mate.

helmikuu 7, 6:36 pm

Hey, Joe. How is your week going? When do the grands come in? I am sure you both are getting excited. I finished the second Sean Duffy entry and really enjoyed it. I will continue. I am also reading Horse, which continues to be excellent.

Oh yeah- Happy Birthday to Debbi!

helmikuu 8, 12:28 am

Happy new one, Joe. I'm glad I got here soon enough to see the pictures. Love the artwork in the toppers but the picture of the winner and loser of the Pretty Pretty Princess game take the cake as to the two buddies at the game.

helmikuu 8, 9:00 am

>47 m.belljackson:. I’m not doint he American Author Challenge, Marianne , although I might join in for a particular author.

Generosity looks like a Powers’ book I’d enjoy at some point. I added it to my WL. Starting off in Chicago is a plus.

I just began reading The Family Izquierdo, which starts out in our DIL’s hometown, McAllen, TX.

>48 johnsimpson:. Cool, buddy. I didn’t know whether you enjoyed reading fantasy. I certainly got a kick out of reading that A Court of Thorns and Roses series; I think you’ll enjoy her writing. I was thinking I wished she’d (re)written some fantasy books I’ve liked that had great ideas but were a bit clunky, or had 2D characters. She’s asmooth writer and very good at getting the reader caught up in her characters.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 8, 9:18 am

>49 msf59:. All is well on our end, Mark. We had some teen idiots graffiti our fence, but the alderman’s office was impressively quick in getting it all cleaned off.

We get the grandkids on Sunday. Their parents are aiming to arrive in time for the Super Bowl. Sorry you ‘re heading to your cousins; we’ll have a friend’s 9 month old there, too.

Go Sean Duffy! I’m glad you’re continuing the series. I need to check on whether I’ve read the newest.

I’m likewise glad Horse is working well for you. I should read another of hers besides Year of Wonders, and maybe that’s the one.

I’m reading the newest “in Death” mystery from J.D. Robb, Encore in Death, and The Family Izqierdo by Ruben Decollado (not sure why the touchstones choked up on the last two).

Debbi says thank you for the Happy Birthday wishes here and on FB.

>50 Familyhistorian:. Hiya, Meg. Thanks. The Pretty Pretty Princess winner and loser are tough to beat, aren’t they, and I’m glad you love the photos of those lovable LT bums.

helmikuu 8, 10:17 am

So glad the alderman's office is taking care of the graffiti. It wasn't even creative! And frankly, I wouldn't have thought your area had this problem. Not a good birthday present for Debbi.

helmikuu 8, 10:58 am

It was my wonderful wife Debbi's birthday yesterday. She had a good one, and is looking forward to the visit from these two. Birthday week continues, and we'll celebrate again on Super Bowl Sunday with friends and family.

helmikuu 8, 11:05 am

>30 jnwelch: My daughter and granddaughter will be coming in March, and the same weekend my son is coming.. Drew hasn't seen her Uncle in years, she was a baby when he visited. So exciting for me!

Visits from the grands are the absolute best.. I know that you will have a wonderful time.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 8, 11:18 am

>53 ffortsa:. Agreed, Judy. Our son and our trainer both identified it as from some sub, sub, sub group of a larger gang- an inept “drunk 9th grader” was the conclusion. You’re right, there’s no gang activity in our neighborhood or most others. As neighborhoods keep improving and becoming expensive, the gangs reportedly are moving west and out to the suburbs. The quick removal was a much better birthday present for Debbi, and the police have been alerted.

You’re right, this was ugly, self-preening graffiti by some young ignoramus.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 11:50 am

>55 mckait: Hiya, Kath. How great that you get daughter, granddaughter and son visiting next month, and Drew gets to see her uncle again after a long time apart. I know there’ll be a lot of smiles and laughter at Casa Kath.

We do get a kick out of these two and look forward to a wonderful time with them and their resigned to lesser importance parents.😀

helmikuu 8, 3:12 pm

>54 jnwelch: I hope Debbi had a lovely birthday. What a perfect picture, and soon there will be more! Pictures that is..

helmikuu 9, 8:57 am

>59 jnwelch:. She did, Susan, thanks, with more to come. I don’t know about photos, but there’ll be more book reading to the li’l ‘uns for sure.

helmikuu 9, 4:12 pm

>54 jnwelch: Belated felicitations Debbi.

helmikuu 10, 8:46 am

>60 Caroline_McElwee:. Your felicitations are most welcome, Caroline, and as birthday week continues, an appropriate addition.

We’re going to continue the celebration on America’s most important holiday, Super Bowl Sunday.😀

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 10, 8:54 am

Everyday Hero Machine Boy by Irma Kniivila. Disappointing GN. I have no clue as to why Library Journal called this “The rare all ages title that will entertain, and perhaps even enthrall, adolescents and adults alike,” or why Publishers Weekly said, “ it’s a balm for those seeking connection, belonging and hope.” If anyone else does, please let me know. I found it a boring irritant for all ages with occasional mild humor.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 10, 11:04 am

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas. Long, satisfying “finish” to the series that started with A Court of Thorns and Roses. She even writes sex well, and there’s a lot of it in this one. The good news is the ending leaves room for more of the story, which I’m sure all fans would like to see. In particular, the story of one of the powerful three sisters remains to be told. Amazon Prime is developing the series for tv.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 10, 9:17 am

A Harvard study identified 8 factors that allowed prediction of death within four years:

“Prediction methods with a machine-learning tool called LASSO drew from 183 possible social predictors to reveal eight that predicted death within four years: poor neighborhood cleanliness, low perceived control over financial situation, meeting with children less than yearly, not working for pay, not active with children, not volunteering, feeling isolated, and being treated with less courtesy or respect.”

They pointed out that we overemphasize medical health while underappreciating the importance of social factors.

helmikuu 10, 11:23 am

Today’s Bargain: The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett for $1.99 on e-readers. A very good novel about black twin sisters, one of whom successfully passes for white.

helmikuu 10, 2:21 pm

Joe, you need to read Freewater, this year’s Newbery winner. I just reviewed it on my thread. I think you’ll love it.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 10, 5:54 pm

>66 foggidawn:. I read your ace review of Freewater, foggi. You know me well. Direct BB hit, and I added it to my WL.

helmikuu 10, 5:55 pm

Happy Friday, Joe. I am sure you are having a great time with the grands. Have they worn you out yet? Can't wait to hear more about the visit. I am having a good time with Baby Shark.

helmikuu 10, 10:16 pm

>Hey compadre. Grands arrive Super Bowl Sunday. Preparations are underway.

Baby Shark looks like a dark one. Are you warming up for Blood Meridian?

I’ve been enjoying Twilight Man. Good GN recommendation, thanks. I was thinking once again that memoirs and biographies work so well in graphic form. Matching the black and white Twilight Zone look for this one was a brainy idea that draws me in.

helmikuu 10, 10:29 pm

I have Court of Silver Flames on my giant retirement reading stack. In that same stack I have book 4 in the Bobiverse series. It is also a big'un, as we say at home. I will have plenty to occupy my time when I get full days at home. I have 12 more days till I am retired. That said - I am going to my knitting group tomorrow and need a book to listen to while driving there. I am about to finish Winners by Fredrik Backman and wanted to start Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby. I went to pull it off my shelf where I keep my books on CD and low-and-behold ---- it's not there. I may have to make new listening plans. But, it isn't as if I don't have other books on that shelf to choose from. Aren't the dilemma's of readers so much fun?

helmikuu 12, 3:37 am

>1 jnwelch: Love your opening pictures Joe! Like you I love Shaun Tan and I must get around to looking at Creature.

>35 jnwelch: I have added Buddhism Plain and Simple to the list. I have been doing a monthly meditation session with a Buddhist friend who runs that sort of thing, but everyone else has been doing it for much longer and I think I need a sort of primer.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 12, 11:25 am

>70 benitastrnad:. Congrats on being so close to retirement, Benita! How cool is that? You’ll enjoy it thoroughly, I’m sure.

A Court of Silver Flames, should work well for you, as you’ve obviously liked its predecessors. I don’t know winners or Pink Suit. The audiobook we loved and always recommend is Born a Crime. What an experience with Trevor Noah.

Which book to read is one of life’s most positive dilemmas, isn’t it. Hard to go wrong whatever you choose, and you can always re-choose if you don’t like what you picked.

>71 SandDune:. I’m happy to hear you’re having meditation sessions with your Buddhist friend, Rhian. I continuously educate myself about the Buddhist principles as, I guess, my way of attending church. I found Buddhism Plain and Simple straightforward and helpful, and I’m thinking about re-reading it. If you find yourself getting fascinated, Why Buddhism is True is another really good Western take.

I’m glad you’re surrounded by people who have been doing it much longer. As with so many things, sticking with it is where the benefits lie.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 12:39 pm

Rafa and Fina had a very active Super Bowl, filled with Sesame Street characters in cars on a track Rafa built, and playing with their new 9 month old friend Bier (“Bear”). This morning they worked out with us, doing what our kid-friendly trainer told them, including squats and working with one pound weights. Fina continued the female tradition in the family, showing great form like Bubbe and Tia Becca, and Rafa followed the male tradition by losing focus and forgetting what he was supposed to do, like his Banjo. They were so good he gave them Valentine’s Day candy, which they agreed not to eat all at once.

helmikuu 13, 12:57 pm

>73 jnwelch: Your post made me laugh out loud, Joe!! Thanks for sharing.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 1:14 pm

>😂Thanks, Mamie. Now they’re taking turns walking around the room with my lemonade and drinking it. Occasionally they graciously let me have some.

helmikuu 13, 6:40 pm

Hi Joe. Did I say happy new thread, I can’t remember.

>64 jnwelch: Oh yes, rings so true. I had a part-time job doing surveys in people’s homes. Some people were so glad to see someone, lonely, no job, that it was hard to finish the survey in time. Such a pity. Good people wasted.

Glad you are not one of them! Those grandkids are keeping you very busy, and happy!

helmikuu 14, 10:14 am

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann for $1.99 on e-readers.

helmikuu 14, 11:06 am

>76 EllaTim:. Hi, Ella. I don’t think you happied the thread before. What an experience that must have been, surveying the older folks. Yes, we all need to stay plugged in and connected to foster happiness.

These two chaotic kids certainly keep us up on happy toes. Right now they’re bantering Spanish with our tutor Ellie. Love it!

helmikuu 14, 11:10 am

>75 jnwelch: How lovely of them to share with you.

helmikuu 14, 12:05 pm

Checking in on the "new" thread, Joe. Hopefully I will keep up better after this week is over!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 14, 12:15 pm

>79 Crazymamie:. Ha! Apparently I always have the best lemonade, Mamie. They love to requisition it for their travels about the house, and get a kick out of offering me some back.

Fina just made me some strawberry (her favorite) carrot cake (mine) with apricots, and a present of a bag full of small plastic toys, for my “birthday”, which she was willing to play with on my behalf. She also let me brush her hair for my birthday. I’m not sure I completely understand this game.

helmikuu 14, 12:17 pm

>80 alcottacre:. No worries, Stasia. I’ll probably be better able to keep up with your keeping up after this kid-filled week.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 14, 12:45 pm

>81 jnwelch: LOL! I can see carrot cake with apricots, but I'm not sure about the addition of strawberries.

helmikuu 14, 5:57 pm

>83 foggidawn:. I think the theory is the more good things the better, foggi. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, Fina answered, “a strawberry.”😂. And for Halloween she wore her strawberry costume.

helmikuu 14, 7:13 pm

>84 jnwelch: One layer of my wedding cake was strawberry — it’s been a favorite of mine since I was her age. But the strawberry Halloween costume is real devotion to the theme!

helmikuu 14, 7:48 pm

>85 foggidawn:. She was so cute! And so happy to live her best life as a 🍓

helmikuu 15, 4:20 am

>73 jnwelch: Looks like you have a couple of mini-trainers in the making Joe. Made me smile too.

helmikuu 15, 11:03 am

>87 Caroline_McElwee: The mini-trainers are going to be training with us again in a half hour, Caroline. They crack our trainer up.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 15, 11:08 am

Reading and making cookie dough with Bubbe

helmikuu 15, 12:07 pm

Joe, thank you so much for the lovely books! I'm glad to have them. You're very kind indeed.

helmikuu 15, 12:26 pm

Oh, you’re welcome, Richard! Thanks for letting me know they arrived. I figured you would welcome some fun reading, so I held off on sending textbooks. I hope your stroke recovery is continuing to go well.

helmikuu 15, 1:32 pm

>89 jnwelch: - Joe, Rafa is getting so tall! Pretty soon, he'll need his own story time chair!

helmikuu 15, 4:00 pm

>89 jnwelch: What fun. They are growing so fast!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 16, 11:52 am

>92 jessibud2:. Isn’t he, Shelley? He loves to sit on the lap for books. I can still accommodate him and Fina, but with Debbi he needs to squeeze in on the chair. Maybe at some point we’ll all sit on his lap at reading time.

>93 quondame:. They sure are, Susan. It’s also nonstop chatter with the two of them, and the days of tiring them out has come and gone. It’s go-go-go from the moment they wake up. This morning there were a lot of (imagined, thank goodness) fires flaring up in our house that had to be put out by our brave firefighters with the help of Penguin and Otter.

helmikuu 16, 12:30 pm

>94 jnwelch: - That reminds me of something funny, your mention of sitting on Rafa's lap at some point. Once, when going through old family photos, we found a photo of my uncle holding a cousin in a head lock. They were on a beach somewhere. Years, later, we snapped a photo of this same cousin, who by then towered over said uncle, and they posed with him holding my uncle in the head lock. So, moral of this story: keep that pic of Rafa on the laps and once he surpasses you in height, snap the same pic with roles reversed. Frame them side by side. Surefire smiles, all around! :-)

helmikuu 16, 7:52 pm

>95 jessibud2:. I like your long term planning, Shelley. 😀. Maybe in a month or so?

helmikuu 16, 11:33 pm

>89 jnwelch: Love the pics!! Also the training description in >73 jnwelch:. And can't go wrong with strawberries. : )

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 17, 8:20 am

Happy Friday, Joe. How are those Energizer Bunnies doing? Getting close to wrapping up their visit? If so, get plenty of loving in. My books are treating me well. I recently finished The Trees. You might like this one. A scathing but humorous indictment on racism. I will picking up the Robert Service collection from the library. On the TV front, I am hooked on both "Trapped" (Prime) and "Single Drunk Female" (Hulu). I highly recommend both.

>89 jnwelch: Love the pics! I am so glad they enjoy reading.

helmikuu 17, 8:36 am

Hi Joe! Yikes to not visiting yet this year, so basically a line in the sand. I hope you’re doing well.

>1 jnwelch: Love the art by Tan.

>3 jnwelch: Love the meetup photos, which I also saw on Mark’s thread. It’s so good you guys get to see each other from time to time.

>8 jnwelch: Nice reading so far this year. I need to get caught up with Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard in Michael Connelly’s books, have the one before this one to read, then this one. Ditto needing to get caught up with Eve Dallas. I have #s 54, 55, and 56 to read.

>12 jnwelch: Sigh. Can’t see this, it tell me the URL signature has expired.

>73 jnwelch: Fina continued the female tradition in the family, showing great form like Bubbe and Tia Becca, and Rafa followed the male tradition by losing focus and forgetting what he was supposed to do, like his Banjo. LOL

>89 jnwelch: I can see these pics! Wonderful.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 17, 9:47 pm

>97 Berly: Hiya, Kim. We’re having fun with the wee ones. Off to the Garfield Park Conservatory this morning. Warm, green and flowery place on a cold white February morning.

helmikuu 17, 11:45 am

Trying to get out and about, Joe, after a period of composting. Good to see your grands are keeping you active. Happy birthday to Debbi.

helmikuu 17, 11:50 am

>89 jnwelch: I love the pictures! Rafa and Fina are growing up so fast.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 18, 1:05 pm

Today’s Bargain: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs for $1.99 on e-readers. A particularly good one in the highly enjoyable Mercy Thompson series.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 18, 5:12 pm

>98 msf59:. Happy Friday/Sweet Saturday, Mark. Those Energizer Bunnies are still going, and going, and going . . . We’ve now gone into tag-team mode, so one of us can take a breather while the other one keeps up with them. They’re good kids, and did help clean up from Hurricane Rafa-Fina, so we could have over guests today. Their parents are enjoying staying in the new digs next door, where they have privacy and some peace and quiet.😀

I’m glad your reading and show-watching is going so well. I’ll have to catch up a bit on both once the kiddoes leave on Monday. I’ve re-read a Jack Reacher and read the new Orphan X, which is the kind of reading I can handle at night during the visit.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 18, 5:14 pm

>99 karenmarie:. Hi Karen! No worries. I’m also still catching up with some folks.

Isn’t that excellent Shaun Tan art? I really enjoyed thst new collection. It was another fabuloso meet-up with Mark; the pandemic put a big crimp in our style.

Sorry, there’ll be more disappearing pics that I brought over from Facebook, thanks to that site’s coding. I’m glad you enjoyed the ones in >89 jnwelch:.

Rafa and Fina exercising with us was a hoot. It’s great to see the genetics passed on.

>101 weird_O:. Good for you for the composting and getting out and about, Bill. You know what a treat it is to have grandkids visit. Thanks re Debbi- I suspect, like me, that she’s all for birthday week turning into birthday month. Friends keep showing up with gifts (Garret’s caramel and cheese popcorn being the most recent) so it’s working for her so far.

>102 alcottacre:. Hi Stasia! Thanks!

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 11:30 am

Today’s Bargain: Wild by Cheryl Strayed for $1.99 on e-readers. The soulful account of her life-changing hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Loved this one.

helmikuu 19, 11:38 am

>105 jnwelch: Love to see photos of Rafa and Fina Training with you!

helmikuu 19, 12:23 pm

helmikuu 22, 9:47 am

I just realized that I own but never got around to reading The Vanishing Half. I need to bring it back up closer to the top of the pile!

Hi Joe.

helmikuu 22, 2:42 pm

>109 EBT1002:. Ooo, that’s a really good one, Ellen. Black twins, and the effects of one having lighter skin.

helmikuu 23, 2:24 pm

Today’s Bargain: A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean for $1.99 on e-readers. The eternally beautiful book set in Montana.

helmikuu 23, 3:20 pm

>111 jnwelch: "eternally beautiful" -- well-said. I love that book, and I think I've read it 3 times now.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 23, 6:09 pm

>111 jnwelch:, >112 laytonwoman3rd:
I've got a book of his essays on the TBR that I've been meaning to get to forever.

helmikuu 24, 8:29 am

Happy Friday, Joe. You must be laying low and recovering from the grands visit. I hope you guys are doing okay. We are taking off to WI for a long weekend with friends. It should be a winter wonderland up there. They just got slammed with a snowstorm. We will be indoors mostly, socializing and enjoying some beverages.

Reminder- I plan on starting Blood Meridian next week. On board?

helmikuu 24, 10:49 am

>112 laytonwoman3rd:. I’m happy that phrase rings true with you, Linda. Oh, how I love that book. You remind me to re-read it soon.

>113 kac522:. Great! Please report back when you’re done with his essays, Kathy. I’ve never read them. It reminds me of his hilarious letter to the publisher who’d rejected his work before he became successful and now wanted to publish him:

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 11:44 am

>116 jnwelch:. Hiya, Mark. Your instincts are spot-on. We’re still recovering from that great visit from the grands. Man, they are so funny and wonderful, but woo, they can wear us out. I used to facilitate adoptions in court and, surprisingly to me, it often was grandparents adopting grandchildren, after the parent/child had succumbed to drug addiction. I appreciate more now what a life upheaval the grandparents were accepting with love.

Poor Debbi got walloped again, when the kids were here, with an awful cold/asthma episode courtesy of our poor DIL, so bad that we took Debbi to urgent care. She’s only now starting to improve. Our son Jesse used to get sick every time after the adrenaline ride of competing in the weeks-long Louder than a Bomb poetry competition, and Debbi analogized to that. Luckily, we purposefully left this week pretty clear.

Enjoy your long weekend in WI. Staying inside in a winter wonderland and quaffing certainly sounds appealing; I’d join you if teleporting were available and the group wouldn’t mind one (or two) more.

We’re instead heading for warmer weather, going to LA for ten days, starting next Monday. We have a bevy of nieces and friends there. You probably remember that we used to do this trip in January every year pre-pandemic.

Yes, I’m still on board for Blood meridian in March. Looking forward to it!

Right now I’m reading my first Stephen King novel. Why now? I’ve always respected him, and Fairy Tale sounded like one I might enjoy.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 12:25 pm

My husband just finished Fairy Tale. He is a fan of Stephen King, and thought this one was pretty good overall. (Some reservations about one section, I think.)

helmikuu 24, 12:01 pm

>117 laytonwoman3rd:. Good to hear, Linda, thanks. So far I’m liking it.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 12:08 pm

Today’s Bargain: Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley for $1.99 on e-readers. Terrific mystery introducing one of my favorite characters, Easy Rawlins. Made into an excellent movie starring Denzel Washington as Easy and an electric young Don Cheadle as Mouse. If you haven’t read this one, please do. I’m excited to get my hands on the author’s newest, Every Man a King.

helmikuu 24, 12:16 pm

I’m fascinated by the overlap between neuroscience and Buddhism. For one thing, neuroscience keeps confirming the benefits of meditation and Buddhism. I also keep wondering whether someone is going to figure out how to technologically quiet the left hemisphere of our brain enough to let our right brain help us experience the peace, tranquility and connectedness of Nirvana, an idea implied in My Stroke of Insight.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 2:01 pm

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 24, 2:03 pm

This probably isn’t very good, but it’s inspired by that article:

My Forever Pal

My depression ghost won’t talk
It just lies there heavy and inert,
An unfortunate reminder.

My robo-dog can talk
But its mind is too simple
It hasn’t read Rilke or Walter Mosley.
It isn’t worth hugging:
The lack of anything happening there
Is only more depressing.

I could get on PunimLibro
But the reward is so undependable and fleeting.
A “like” or enthusiastic comment?
Meanwhile so many are angry and mocking.
So superior I’m a kick-magnet.
I could text so-and-so
But he feels out of reach even when nearby.

Could something be finagled
To love and comfort me?
My stuffed toys did
When I was small
What about now?
Something furry and huggable?
Large enough to be a mother/father?
Small enough to carry everywhere?
Whose death only needs a battery
Whose departure only needs a warrantied replacement?
A pal who will patiently love and comfort me

helmikuu 24, 4:55 pm

Joe - with Mark heading toward Wisconsin's Arctic,

I posted a poem on his thread with a Richard Powers quote to cover it all -

thought you might enjoy it too.

Hope everyone recovers for a sweet and peaceful weekend.

helmikuu 24, 6:24 pm

>116 jnwelch: Sorry to hear Debbi is unwell Joe. Hope she feels better soon.

helmikuu 24, 6:36 pm

>122 jnwelch: Oh ow. Artificial affection seems such a better goal that artificial intelligence. And dogs and cats are so not forever, but wonderful when we have them.
I hope Debbi get rapidly back to normal, being sick in winter is so harsh.

helmikuu 25, 12:41 am

>121 jnwelch: That was an interesting article, it really is a practice that is still highly limited and makes me think of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in how that book uses artificial animals to this effect, only on a much higher technological aspect than we currently have. I enjoyed your poem for this as well.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 25, 2:58 pm

>123 m.belljackson:. Hi, Marianne. I owe Mark’s thread a visit anyway, and I’ll look for your post. Debbi is much better today, and I think we’ll be recovered enough for a good trip to LA on Monday.

>124 Caroline_McElwee:. Thanks, Caroline. We have turned a corner, and Debbi’s much better. The darn asthma cough that the bug triggered is just so disruptive for her - particularly of sleep, which can be so healing.

>125 quondame:. Thanks, Susan. “Artificial affection seems such a better goal than artificial intelligence.” Beautifully put. We are hellbent on creating machines that match and exceed our abilities and attributes. What will that mean in the end? What makes us human and not machine? Will we ever straighten out our tribal global mess enough to consider our purpose beyond day-to-day? Will the environmental apocalypse render it all moot?

What an exciting (scary) time to be alive. We’re lucky.

I’m glad the poem intrigued you. Debbi is much better, thanks. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dogs and cats: not to be Debbie Downer, but their love and companionship is so important, irreplaceable and life-altering that we’re willing to go into the partnership knowing it’s not forever, and that we’ll suffer huge heartbreak when they die. Remarkable.

>126 WhiteRaven.17: Hi, WhiteRaven (great screen name!). What a great connection to make - there is a companionship element in Do Androids, isn’t there. As I remember it, there’s a prestige element, too? You’re lesser if you own an artificial animal, and special if you own a real one? Then there’s the whole question of what separates a human from an android, with his trick questions. What a brilliant mind Dick had. I’ve read a lot of his, but still not all. This one and his mind-boggling collection of short stories are my favorites.

Thanks for letting me know you liked the poem. I don’t usually post one immediately after writing it, but that connection with the article was too good to miss.

I think we’ll eventually get to the level of technological sophistication present in Do Androids, don’t you?

helmikuu 25, 9:56 pm

I had my retirement party yesterday and had a great time! Lots of people I haven't seen for a long time came to the party. This includes my cousin from Kansas. He and his family drove 1200 miles to get here just for a 2 hour party. It was great to see them.

I still have 2 days to work, and then I don't have to get up at 6:00 AM every morning. Oh Happy Day!

That said - it is also a day of trepidation. I have had a paying job since I was 12 years old and I am very scared that I won't have a paycheck on April 1. I know it is a foolish fear, but it is real enough to wake me late at night with mild panic attacks.

helmikuu 26, 12:06 am

>127 jnwelch: Thanks. Yes, there is that prestige element, there always seems to be and I imagine that would transfer in a real-life scenario as well. It is definitely an intriguing question, I think it also calls into the question of how one views humans on a scale - such as the opposing thought experiment of what separates a human from an 'animal'. And on a more simple, yet complex level, how does one determine what is 'real' and what is not when everyone has their own personal perception and experience of the world as it is? I think it's possible we could reach that level, but also possible that we reach our own apocalyptic existence as well, so who knows.
I've actually not read anything else by Dick yet, but I will be sure to note and look into his short story collection.
The poem was well integrated with reference to the article and I think that's one of the benefits of poetry - is that is can be quick and reactionary.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 26, 11:03 am

>128 benitastrnad:. What wonderful news, Benita! And how wonderful of your cousin and his family to do that to help honor you. I’m sure it was a memorable party.

I understand the trepidation - you started early (12!), but I started working in my teens and had to adjust to a life without paycheck. Like you, not having to get up early was the first treasured benefit of the change. Debbi and I used to get up at 5 am to get a long walk in before work. It helped keep my cheeks rosy and keep my kettle from boiling over at work (I had a short temper in my younger days).

It’ll be nice for you to have a more relaxed schedule, I’m sure, and maybe we’ll see you a little more often on LT?

>129 WhiteRaven.17:. Thanks for the thoughtful response WhiteRaven. I like your questions. What separates us from other animals, and what separates us from the intelligent machines we make? There’s a story in Sum: Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman ((great collection of very short stories) in which a race of beings works diligently to create machines that are better than they are, and the way he presents it, you ask yourself, why would they do that? Well, why are we doing it? Because we can, and some of our top brainiacs are fascinated with the problem of achieving it. And then there are these possible side benefits - a more sophisticated, walking, talking roomba to clean the house, an endlessly patient teacher with all the knowledge of the world that never loses her temper or makes a child feel lesser, a stalwart furry forever companion to hold loneliness at bay, and more. We never stop in our problem-solving, do we, and that’s why i think with enough time passing we’ll achieve these things.

There’s another fascinating sci-fi book called Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward in which humans help a primitive alien race on a rapidly spinning planet that evolves so quickly that it soon enough outpaces the humans.

As you say, we may meet the apocalypse before we achieve much more than our own destruction. We’ll see. And then there’s that random asteroid on a trajectory to smash us. Carpe diem!

What is real vs. non-real is a whole nuther kettle of flying elephants, isn’t it. What if we create virtual environments more attractive than our daily lives? In some ways we’re already doing that, as folks escape into video games and binge tv. LT member Amber and I both vividly remember Ray Bradbury’s scary short story “The Veldt” that explores that idea.

Phillip K. Dick: yes, you’ll want to give a go to his short stories. I also have a warm spot in my heart for Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said. I eventually want to read all of his because his imagination is so exceptional. It’s fun to see how many of his stories have been adapted into movies:

I agree with you on that being one of the benefits of poetry - being quick and reactionary. As a writer, I love it as a way to pull together my thinking/feeling after being moved by something.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 26, 6:17 pm

Today’s Bargain: $1.99 on e-readers:

The Green Man: Tales
Collected Authors

A World Fantasy Award winner! Exploring the connections between nature, magic, and myth, this engrossing collection of stories from acclaimed authors such as Neil Gaiman and Jane Yolen is “a tasty treat for fantasy fans” (Booklist).

Not one I’ve read, but tempting.

helmikuu 26, 3:00 pm

>122 jnwelch: From Robert Louis Stevenson -

"Poets - the best of them - are birds
Of passage; where their instinct leads
They range abroad for thoughts and words,
And from all Climes bring home the seeds
That germinate in flowers or weeds."

Thanks for this flower!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 26, 3:59 pm

>132 m.belljackson:. Ha! Thank you, and you’re welcome, Marianne. Great quote.

helmikuu 26, 3:58 pm

More Bargains: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson and Forfeit by Dick Francis, both for $1.99 on e-readers. The first is a very good novel set, eventually, in Brooklyn, by one of our top authors. The second is an excellent mystery set in the world of horse racing by a master of that genre.

helmikuu 26, 5:53 pm

>134 jnwelch: Dick Francis's books are among my comfort reads - though there is always some shocking violence the language, pace, and story always carry me through and I do enjoy the voice of his protagonists.

helmikuu 26, 6:07 pm

>135 quondame:. Ditto, Susan. A favored comfort read for both Madame MBH and me, too. He also manages to make the horse world interesting (enough) every time, doesn’t he.

helmikuu 26, 6:29 pm

>136 jnwelch: He mostly writes about middle class people who are very interested in what they do for a living, which isn't all that usual in any genre. Also, many times the women in the books are just as interesting as the men, which he (and I understand his wife) did much better than his son.

helmikuu 26, 6:50 pm

>137 quondame:. Yes, it sure seems like his wife had an awful lot to do with the success of the books. So much so it probably would’ve been appropriate to give her co-author credit. I haven’t been drawn to try the son’s.

helmikuu 26, 6:52 pm

>138 jnwelch: I couldn't finish one of them due to plot elements and haven't tried one since.

helmikuu 26, 7:32 pm

>139 quondame:. Too bad, but I get it.

helmikuu 27, 1:57 am

>130 jnwelch: What a thorough response, I hope you don't mind an equally long reply as I do find this an interesting discourse.
There is this dichotomy is how humans are perceived, as if we are two parts at odds, one being an 'animalistic' nature controlled by emotions and instinct and the secondary part that is a form of the artificial intelligence we create, our brains as a computer where we can think beyond the scopes of our own limitations and operate on a system. AI sometimes feels like humans attempt to perfect this side of themselves that feels flawed or held back by the other 'animal' side. Which half feeds into the notion you mention of trying to create something smarter or better than ourselves, because it could also be seen as a self-satisfying way of achieving our own perfection - to some. The possible benefits that you list as being a side effect of this type of technological pursuit would of course be beneficial. Of course, argument could also be made that with too many of our care needs left to automation and having ample free time to devout to knowledge and thoughts could start to press upon our own mental limitations.
I am very intrigued by both the Forward and Eagleman books, especially the Eagleman as I am always interested by this sort of thinking or abstract contemplation.

'A whole nuther kettle of flying elephants' is an excellent phrase and yes, indeed. That is certainly an interesting concept as you address it and something we are already doing. Noting the short story. I will say, I also mentioned it as determining the divide between human and AI, if an AI being is able to perceive the world and create it's own version of existence from this perception what is to say this experience of the world is any less real that that of a human? But I won't follow further down this rabbit hole of thinking as it could be endless.

Noted. Everything I see by Dick immediately peaks by curiosity to read it, I don't know how I managed to go so long never reading anything by him and need to work on correcting that. Too many books and too little time, as they say. Perhaps movies would hold in the meantime.

Couldn't agree more, I like using poetry to quickly capture high emotion and feeling of a piece or something I'm working on writing to then break down into longer form if need be. It's a good medium to capture moments.

Thank you for the wonderful recs and for hopefully not minding this rather long reply.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 7:36 am

>141 WhiteRaven.17: Thanks for the thoughtful response, WhiteRaven. Hmm. Animalistic nature vs. intelligence (artificial and original flavor). Buddha says everything is mind, and that seems to fit with quantum physics, where our perception determines the reality - and reality changes when perception changes? I never thought about animal instinct being a possible difference between human and machine intelligence. Interesting. I’ll ponder. Achieving our perfect state through machines is another good one to ponder. As a master of tools, our perfection lies in the tool?

Maybe we’re designing machines to be our caregivers, like the elderly needing help. The AIs can pay the bills, get the necessities and keep things running smoothly.

I’m glad the book recs intrigue you. Another that comes to mind is Ted Chiang’s great book of short stories, Exhalations. One of his stories is about our being visited by an intelligence that thinks quite differently from how we do. It was made into the excellent movie Arrival, starring Amy Adams.

Poetry is “a good medium to capture moments.” Well said again! Who are current poets you admire?

helmikuu 27, 8:49 am

Morning, Joe. When do you head to the airport or are you there? Have a great time in LA and I hope Debbi has bounced back. We had a great weekend in the Northwoods. Such a good group of friends. I see you are taking Fairy Tale & Blood Meridian with you. At least the first should be a fun vacation read. LOL. I have Exhalations on shelf. I hope to bookhorn that one in this year.

>122 jnwelch: I love the "Forever Pal" poem. I am so glad to see you are still writing some.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 9:59 am

>143 msf59:. Hiya, Mark. We’re at the airport, hoping the crummy weather doesn’t throw off our schedule. So far, so good.

Debbi is still recovering, but feels good enough to travel. I’m hoping that soggy SCal gets enough sun while we’re there to dry her out a bit..

I’m glad you had a good time in the North Woods. It looked like you were having most excellent beverages.

Yeah, can’t wait to dig into that light-hearted beach book Blood Meridian. I’ve also got the newWalter Mosley, Every Man a king for the plane ride. Fairy Tale continues to be quite good.

Thanks for letting me know you loved “Forever Pal”. Yeah, health issues can throw me off my routine, but I’m still writing. We plan to set aside some cafe/writing time on this trip. I’ve already got several poems in the “trim and polish” pit stop, so you’ll be seeing more soon. White Raven had some good comments on poetry up above.

P.S. Oh man, as our resident Short Story Meister, you are a natural fir that Ted Chiang collection. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

P.P.S. Wish were still getting cartoons from our friend Keith . His wife Rhona occasionally rolls one out from the archives on FB.

helmikuu 27, 10:03 am

Today’s Bargain: Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie for $1.99 on e-readers. Another good one fro Dame Agatha.

helmikuu 27, 10:10 am

>142 jnwelch: - Maybe we’re designing machines to be our caregivers, like the elderly needing help. Eek. Heaven help us. I hope you didn't mean that literally. I'm the first to admit I am somewhat of a luddite even though I know AI is probably here to stay. But as someone who is a caregiver for my mum (albeit she lives 500 miles away; I travel back and forth frequently to keep on top of things there), I certainly hope this never happens. I am slowly learning to accept that I can't control everything about her care facility and what they may or may not be doing. Unless I plan to move right in with her -- which isn't happening -- I have to just trust the humans there (not always easy, though for the most part they are good). I would hate to think that the human touch would ever disappear in care of the elderly (or infirm or otherwise needy). That is just plain wrong.

Maybe I misunderstood you in that post...maybe you were tongue in cheek. I hope so.

helmikuu 27, 6:18 pm

>144 jnwelch: As you have no doubt observed, we are summat short of sunshine today. In my part of the world it's not expected to show until Thursday. Your weather may vary.

helmikuu 27, 9:04 pm

>147 quondame:. Right, Susan. We flew from lots of rain in Chicago to lots of rain in LA. It’s supposed to clear up in a couple of days.

>146 jessibud2:. Yeah, you misunderstood me a bit, Shelley, but no biggie. I had the Robo-heads paying bills and getting necessities, and I think you’re talking about personal care, which would call for more sophistication and, as you say, the human touch. I must say though, a Robo-head that could lift my dad towards the end would’ve been welcome. He was big, and I was the only one who could lift him toward the end, so his caregivers couldn’t keep him cleaned up without me - and I couldn’t be around all the time. Eventually we had to move him to hospice.

helmikuu 27, 11:52 pm

>148 jnwelch: I've seen videos of equipment to do such lifting as you describe, though it was in that instance controlled by the person who required lifting, from bed to chair and back. I think there are a number of caring tasks that could benefit from AI where there is a shortage of people strong enough or with enough time. Best if people can care for people but better if some how they're cared for.

helmikuu 28, 5:42 am

>142 jnwelch: I am glad you found these as interesting ideas to ponder and think over, abstractly thinking about these kind of questions and theories is a favorite past-time of mine. The perfection through tools is a great comment on this as AI is essentially a tool and we strive to perfect our tools as a betterment of ourselves. Also, "where our perception determines the reality - and reality changes when perception changes" is exactly what I was trying to portray in my statements about real, only put much more succinctly and clear.

Yes, to caregivers, in the way of assisting in simple tasks that would better lives to a 'normal' level of functionality and living. I don't think there are clear ideas yet on the full extant advanced AI would have on the average mental health of people, often our technology moves faster than our ability to measure it's effects on us.

I believe I already have Exhalations on my list, but I will be sure to perhaps move it up.

Thank you! And here I must admit that I am rather lacking in reading published works of poetry. I read Poe when I was younger, but not much else. I'm attempting to fix that this year and have bought a few poetry collections by various authors, but it is turning into a lackluster task of trying to find anything that really sits with me. If you have poetry suggestions I will certainly take them to look into.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 1:42 pm

>149 quondame:. Man, that equipment sounds helpful, Susan. We might’ve used it if it was common and covered by insurance.

>150 WhiteRaven.17:. Agreed. WhiteRaven. This kind of exchange is one of my favorite pastimes, too, dating all the way back to wee hour discussions with high school friends and college roommates. I don’t get them much any more, so I appreciate it.

Poetry recommendation: I will consult our LT friend Mark (msf59), but the first poets that come to mind are Mary Oliver and Sharon Olds and Billy Collins.

P.S. Mark points out I recommended Adrienne Rich to him back in the day, and that’s a good addition. Diving into the Wreck and Dream of a Common Language are two of her standout volumes.

helmikuu 28, 2:46 pm

Today’s Bargain: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir for $1.99 on Kindle. I keep reading raves about this one, and couldn’t resist picking it up at this price.

maaliskuu 1, 12:10 pm

Wednesday’s Bargain: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz for $1.99 on e-readers. I’m not normally a Koontz reader, but I enjoyed this quirky one.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 2, 2:44 pm

We’re continuing to have a good time in LA. Finally, good weather today! In the 60s F and sunny. This afternoon we go to Pasadena to see our actress niece and her best friend, who is visiting, and our niece’s hubby Bradley and her daughter Iris. The pandemic prevented us all seeing each other, so this’ll be a treat. We had a great dinner with my godson Jimmy and his wife Norma when we got here. Lots of catching up going on. We’ll see my sister and her hubby this weekend.

maaliskuu 2, 5:02 pm

>154 jnwelch: a belated welcome to California. Our house just made it to 60 degrees a moment ago. This is the rainiest, snowiest winter that I can recall in decades. But the sun is out today and I hope you enjoy visiting your extended family. Storms are expected to return Saturday here in Northern Calif.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 3, 1:19 pm

>155 RBeffa:. Hiya, Ron. Good to see you, man.

Where in California are you? We were just in Pasadena, where it has snowed, and the mountaintops are snowy. But it was that beautiful 60s for our visit. They’re expecting 1-5 inches of snow in Chicago, so we’re congratulating ourselves on being here.

We are seeing family and friends we haven’t seen since the pandemic, and it’s been wonderful. We have a great-niece (I guess) who was 12 and very private when we last saw them (non-binary); now they’re outgoing and enthusiastic and happy with a vey nice non-binary partner (who to me appears male). What a wonderful development.

I just heard a piece about how we have the younger generation to thank for the last 3 elections (two midterms) going in the right direction, and they certainly filled me with optimism.

maaliskuu 3, 4:30 pm

>156 jnwelch: I'm many miles and hours from Pasadena - in Vallejo which is sort of the north bay area of San Francisco. We are pretty close to Napa if that helps.

Glad your visit came off well.

maaliskuu 3, 8:45 pm

>157 RBeffa:. They should divide your state up into two, Ron - South and North. One of my sisters just moved to Santa Barbara from Pittsburgh, and the other will move soon from Helena, MT to somewhere not far from SF - Alaneda County? Beautiful state.

maaliskuu 3, 8:53 pm

Fairy Tale by Stephen King.. A solid 4 star read. He’s a very relaxed and confident writer. The word I can think of for the tone of this book is “amiable”. I know that must be a departure for him, and there’s even a happy ending. He has a lot of fun playing around with fantasy tropes, and often lets the reader in on the joke. But probably my favorite part was the non-fantasy first quarter of the book in which teen Charlie helps an old man recover from falling off a ladder, and befriends his stalwart dog Radar, and also rebuilds his relationship with his off-the-booze father.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 4, 7:39 am

Happy Saturday, Joe. Sounds like you are having a fine time in CA and spending lots of time with family. When do you return? The good news is, the snowstorm completely missed us again and it will hit 50F today. No complaints here.

Glad you enjoyed Fairy Tale. I hope to bookhorn that one in this year. Fast- approaching the halfway point in Blood Meridian. Not always the smoothest narrative, but the writing is jaw-dropping at times. He was in a zone when he wrote this one.

maaliskuu 4, 10:20 am

Today’s Bargains: Swing Time by Zadie Smith an A Purple Place for Dying by John D. Macdonald.

A good one by Zadie Smith, and a Travis McGee mystery I haven’t read yet.

maaliskuu 4, 10:53 am

Have you read Swing Time, Joe? I also saw that it was on sale, but the reviews I've read of it haven't convinced me to buy it yet.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 4, 8:36 pm

>160 msf59:. Happy Saturday, Mark. Man, am I glad that you suggested re-reading Blood Meridian! It’s blowing me away even more than the first time. His writing, the vocabulary . . . Dark, creepy, bloody, crazy, but so good.

We come back Tuesday. Just saw my sister and hubby and her daughter and SIL. This is what we envisioned - catching up with lots of family. Beautiful visit.

I’m happy for you guys that the weather disaster never happened, but it detracts a bit from our patting ourselves on the back for being here, not there. It reminds me of the time Debbi was visiting here alone and Chicago was hit with a foot of snow. She kept sending us photos of her basking sunnily by the pool.🥲

I’ll look forward to your reactions to Fairy Tale. You have context that I lack, having read others of his.

>162 kidzdoc: Yes, Darryl. I don’t remember it well enough to give you an off-the-cuff review of Swing Time, but I thought her writing was excellent, per usual, and I enjoyed very much the story of the two girls growing up.

maaliskuu 5, 1:48 am

>151 jnwelch: A conversation well had, I'll have to keep up with your thread more closely now. Also thank you for the recs, I will look into them, I'm determined to read a decent amount of poetry this year.

>152 jnwelch: I'll be curious to see what you think of this one, I've also been hearing a lot of great reviews of this series and have been tempted.

maaliskuu 5, 1:51 pm

Today’s Bargain: When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson for $1.99 on e-readers. The third Jackson Brodie mystery, and a cracking good one.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 10:42 am

Monday Bargains: Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe, On the Road by Jack Keroac, and The Lord peter Wimsey Short Story Collection by Dorothy L. Sayers, each for $1.99 on e-readers. I’m ferklumpkered that these three are all offered for this price. Say Nothing is a terrific, book of the year quality NF set in northern Ireland. On The Road is the beat classic that helped cause this guy to hitchhike back and forth across the country a couple of times. Witty Lord Peter is one of my favorite sleuths.

maaliskuu 6, 12:22 pm

>164 WhiteRaven.17:. Sounds good, WhiteRaven. I’m glad the recs are helpful. I’ll likely post a review here of Gideon the Ninth after I read it. It sure has me curious.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 7, 9:41 am

We’re on our last day here. We’re going to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and the Academy library where our niece works. Looking forward to it.

P.S. Debbi made a good mistake - we come back Thursday, not today.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 3:59 pm

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston. An enjoyable LBGTQ rom-com for young adults. High school senior Corey Green is out as queer at a Christian school that frowns on gayness, and is the daughter of two moms. She’s surrounded by several who may have their same sex inclinations repressed by fear of parents, the school and the community. Shara Wheeler has kissed Chloe and others and disappeared, leaving concerns and confusion behind her. This is a bracingly healthy romp as near-adults try to find Shara and sort out their own beliefs while living in a non-progressive community.

maaliskuu 8, 12:48 pm

>168 jnwelch: Glad you have had a happy reunion with friends and family Joe. Three cheers for good mistakes. Is Debbi totally recovered from her lurgy?

I passed 'The Gate' in Islington, and it was open finally. It was closed until recently.

maaliskuu 9, 1:35 pm

Today’s Bargain: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks for $1.99 on e-readers. What a book, set during the Plague. Probably one of my Top Ten books ever.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 10, 1:14 pm

>170 Caroline_McElwee:. Thanks, Caroline. It was a happy reunion indeed. That pandemic really screwed up seeing each other.

Debbi is much better but unfortunately continues to have bouts with her asthma cough. Drat that thing.

That’s good news re The Gate. We took the people we were staying with in LA to The Gate when they were visiting London, and it turns out that they liked it so much that they went two more times!

maaliskuu 11, 10:38 am

maaliskuu 11, 10:40 am

Hiya Joe...I hope you'll forgive me for being so long absent from your welcoming cafe. Recovery is energy-expending, even, or especially, when it moves fast. One thing that's tougher now than Before is typing. But my Kindle popped up a treat I wanted to share with my fellow Montalbà fan...Camilleri wrote historical novels, as I know you know, but one's on Kindlesale for $1.99 today that I finished early this morning and felt you needed to know about: The Revolution of the Moon.
It's proof that Italian men aren't all terrible, sexist abusers of patriarchal privilege as the stereotype tells us. that it's also torn from the dreadful history of exploited and impoverished 17th-century Sicily makes it that much better.

I don't know when I'll be up to really writing again, but I didn't think it'd be fair to you if I didn't come scuttling out from under the sink to urge this one on you.

Hoping Debbi's asthmatic woes only improve, and that you're keeping well, too.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 4:22 pm

Books Read 2023

January 2023

1. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
2. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
3. The Guest List by Lucy Foy
4. Mass Effect by Drew Karpyshyn*
5. Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun
6. Rain by Joe Hill*
7. Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
8. A Spark within the Forge by Sabaa Tahir*
9. The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel.
10. Loveless by Alice Oseman
11. What’s the Furthest Place From Here by Matt Risenburg*
12. Desert Star by Michael Connelly
13. Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock by Linda Bailey*
14. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
15. A Court of Mists and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

February 2023

16. Creature by Shaun Tan*
17. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
18. Laura by Guillem March*
19. My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
20. A court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
21 Everyday Hero Machine Boy by Irma Kniivila*
22. Encore in Death by JD. Robb
23. The Twilight Man by Koren Shadmi
24. A Wanted Man by Lee Child
25. The Last Orphan by Gregg Hurwitz
26. By the Book by Jasmine Guilloty
27. In a Dark, Dark. Wood by Ruth Ware
28. Silk Vol. 1 by Maurene Goo

March 2023

29. Fairy Tale by Stephen King
30. I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
31. Storm Watch by c.j. Box
32. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (re-read)
33. Revenge of the Librarian by Tom Gauld*
34. Ducks Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton*
35. It’s Lonely at the Centre of the Earth by Zoe Thorogood*
36. Ms. Marvel Something New by G. Willow Wilson*
37. Number One Is Walking by Steve Martin and Harry Bliss*
38. Gideon the Ninth by Tamlyn Muir
39. A Different Kind of Normal by Abigail Balfe
40. Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami

*Graphic and illustrated books

maaliskuu 12, 2:02 pm

Ha! I’m not sure how >175 jnwelch: happened. I was updating the earlier list near the top.

Today’s Bargain: Defying the Nazis by Artemis Joukowsky.

“The official companion to the PBS film by Ken Burns, this “clear, unpretentious volume” (Kirkus Reviews) chronicles the little-known story of the Sharp family, who left their home in Massachusetts to rescue refugees, dissidents, and Jews across Europe during World War II. “Highly recommended” (Library Journal starred review).”

For $1.99 on Kindle.

maaliskuu 13, 12:11 pm

>174 richardderus:. No worries, RD. These days I’m absent from the cafe meself sometimes.

Thanks for the Camilleri tip. I snapped it up. It’ll be interesting to try a non-Salvo.

We surmise that Debbi’s persistent asthma cough derives from her contracting Covid back in January. Her personal form of long covid. She’s got an appointment scheduled with our doc. Thanks for the good health wishes. I’ve got a sleep improvement appointment tomorrow, and we’ve got fingers crossed it’ll lead eventually to less fatigue.🤞

I hope your situation is getting better. Sending lots of healthy vibes.

Are you still at the same address in Long Beach, NY?

Do you enjoy Walter Mosley? What authors do you follow? I’m reading Mosley’s new one, Everyone a King, and liking it a lot.

maaliskuu 13, 1:11 pm

>177 jnwelch: I'm glad to hear you're addressing the fatigue issue, since it's such a drain on Quality of Life. I hope Debbi's cough succumbs to theraputic intervention soon...asthma sufferers coughing is very anxiety-inducing behavior.

I'm going home to Long Beach on Friday, so everything resets to that addy, yes.

I was always fairly lukewarm about Mosley for some reason. I liked Valerie Wilson Wesley's Tamara Hayle series better than his Easy Rawlins or McGill stories.

maaliskuu 13, 1:39 pm

>178 richardderus: I’m sorry to hear about the tepid Mosley. I’m not sure why he so sings to me; his story world jibes with my understanding, I guess.

But thank you for the Valerie tip! I’ll check her out.

Good to know on the address. Any authors you’re craving?

We’ll get this health thing back on track. We’ve got too many plans to get ankle-cuffed like this.

maaliskuu 13, 1:45 pm

A good one today from Poem-a-Day:

A Lesson from My Father About Electricity

Monica Rico

When I wait
for my father, the stars

disappear. Only bats
dart and flutter,

hungry for the hum
of mosquitos, thick

as honey. Their bright
sting lingers and jumps

like electricity can.
It’s looking for a body.

He didn’t say
how production
stopped when the volt
distribution panel was
cleaned of calf and hip.
No matter how hot

the summer was, my father
said it was nothing compared
to coke, spelled coal. The way it
penetrated his skin like the breathlessness of asphalt
and the charcoal briquettes he set fire to—

the sizzle and curl of chicken skin
rubbed with paprika, salt, and black pepper.
The acrid spray of vinegar when turned and sealed
under lid. I stood next to the heat,
a sticky sheen of smoke,
and I wanted to eat

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 12:10 pm

Ducks Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton. I wasn’t expecting to like this one as a departure from the author’s humor-filled Hark! A Vagrant and the one after. But I did, a lot. It’s a poignant memoir of the two years Nova Scotian Kate Beaton worked for a company extracting oil from North Alberta sands with a steam process. “Ducks” refers to an incident in which hundreds of ducks died in oil sludge.

She worked there to pay off her exorbitant student loans, as it was the best-paying opportunity nearby. What makes the book exceptional, beyond her impressive story-telling skills, is her detailed, all too believable account of daily harassment and discomfiting behavior in a facility filled with men and very few women. She recognizes how many men treated her politely, quietly and well, but the rest of them, yikes. And there was no useful resort to higher ups. The likely result was a response to the effect of, you should have expected this, and the fear was, if someone was fired for it, the rest of the men would hate her. In my mind, the way she bore up under this was heroic. She also depicts how she bonded with the few other women, and how they supported each other.

Our daughter has experienced her share of catcalls and stupidity, but as far as I know, never experienced anything at the level Kate Beaton did. I’m grateful for that, although she should be totally free of such nonsense. Lonely, isolated and away from home, at a drab job whose only reward was the money, many of these men at KB’s facility degenerated, and many others tolerated behavior unacceptable elsewhere. The problem can’t be solved until it’s seen, and KB has given us an important work full of frank and honest seeing. She did pay off her student loans and thank goodness now is a successful comics artist. As I said, what she endured and survived seems heroic.

maaliskuu 14, 9:41 am

>181 jnwelch: This one is on my list, Joe, and I've heard nothing but high praise for it. I'll have to move it up to the "read soon" list.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 11:30 am

Thanks very much for letting me know, Mary. For some reason, these days the silence can be swimming pool-size.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 1:07 pm

This was a re-read with Mark. I was even more impressed this time through. His poetic language in this is . . . piercing and gripping, is the best way I can think to put it. Set in Mexico and the southwestern-est part of the USA IN the 1850s, it’s violent, debauched, bloody, harrowing, dark as dark gets, and did I mention violent. It’s the wild west with little to no law, with predatory gangs competing and plenty of misery to go around. And yet it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, maybe the best this acclaimed author has written.

“The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning. “

“The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man's mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.”

“They were watching, out there past men's knowing, where stars are drowning and whales ferry their vast souls through the black and seamless sea.”

“There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto”.

“A man seeks his own destiny and no other, said the judge. Wil or nill. Any man who could discover his own fate and elect therefore some opposite course could only come at last to that selfsame reckoning at the same appointed time, for each man's destiny is as large as the world he inhabits and contains within it all opposites as well. The desert upon which so many have been broken is vast and calls for largeness of heart but it is also ultimately empty. It is hard, it is barren. Its very nature is stone.”

“They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.”

We follow “the kid”, a 14 year old with the necessary violent survival instincts. His cordial nemesis along the way is the Judge, a huge hairless white man who is well-educated and prone to philosophizing. His skills are wide-ranging and he even loves to dance. He is inexorable, relentless, and unpredictable, and has been rightly called the Greatest Villain in literature.

Besides all the other possible emotional triggers in this book, the n-word is used several times. Its use fits for the time and circumstances described, IMO.

How does the author gather his vocabulary? It, too, is remarkable. Every time I looked one up, it not only was a suitable choice, but it added to the meaning and feel of what was transpiring.

I can understand some people not wanting to read this book. But what an extraordinary and worthwhile book it is.

maaliskuu 14, 12:42 pm

>181 jnwelch: I *almost* want to read it now. But it's still a comic book to me. I can't shake my early training in this matter for some reason I don't quite understand.

I've read and liked examples of this genre but still have a curled mental lip about it, and can not seem to reason myself out of it.

Kudos to you for making it sound so tempting!

>177 jnwelch: We're on the hundred-year plan Joe, so all three of us need to get our healthy back!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 1:05 pm

>184 jnwelch:. Thanks, Richard. I know you have conflicted feelings about comic books and have embraced some despite that. ( I think you were the one who bb’d me with Ginsberg’s Howl A Graphic Novel). I’m glad Ducks Two Years at least tempted you.

P.S. Yes, I’m on the 100+ year plan, too. Debbi is resolute that she’s not leaving, period.

maaliskuu 14, 2:34 pm

What a great last episode of “Last of Us”! What a masterpiece of a series.

maaliskuu 14, 6:54 pm

Great reviews of both Ducks Two Years in the Oil Sands & Blood Meridian. Great quotes in the latter. So glad we decided to do a reread of that one.

Hey, Joe. I hope you have settled back in, after your lovely CA trip. I did finish Night of the Living Rez. I liked it but cannot exactly warble loud and clear about it. He is still an author to keep an eye on.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 14, 10:50 pm

>187 jnwelch:. Thanks re the reviews, buddy. Man, I could’ve quoted the whole book, right? I’m so glad you suggested re-reading Blood Meridian. We’ve had good luck with our shared reads - our DIL told me you and I are the only two non-students she knows who started and finished infinite Jest. Apparently it’s common to start and give up.

Darn it re Night of the Living Rez. I was hoping it would turn out to be a gem. Kudos to you for the trailblazing.

I’m at my sleep study in NU hospital to see whether a CPAP (breathing device) will help my fatigue. (Post-stroke sleep apnea is common, and I have it). Man, it sure would be nice if it did help. Using one made a huge difference for a couple of friends. Fingers crossed.

I’m thoroughly enjoying that new Mosley mystery, Every Man a King.

P.S. How’d you like that last episode of “Last of Us”? Wow!

maaliskuu 15, 12:03 am

>189 jnwelch: I hope your sleep study gives some information your doctors can use to help with your fatigue. The CPAP machines have sure helped me.

maaliskuu 15, 7:56 am

>190 quondame:. Thanks, Susan. It went well. I can use the model I hoped for (just covering the nose), and I liked getting the air pressure. Now I wait to be contacted about the home device, and after that I’ll see what kind of difference it makes. There are reasons to be optimistic. Good to hear that the CPAP machines have helped you.

maaliskuu 15, 11:56 am

>181 jnwelch: Hey Joe, just a small correction for your review. Kate Beaton is from Nova Scotia but the oil sands are in northern Alberta. :)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 12:11 pm

>192 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! I should know my Canada better. I’ll fix it up tomorrow. Did you like Ducks Two Years?

maaliskuu 16, 10:15 am

>193 jnwelch: Oh I thought Ducks was fantastic and I'm so pleased to see it getting so much recognition.

maaliskuu 16, 12:15 pm

>194 MickyFine:. Good to hear, Micky! The change is made. I agree. I’ve never read a book like it (I don’t think there is one), and it addresses uncomfortable topics (adroitly). It’s also unexpected from this author based on her prior work. That it’s getting so much recognition is heartening.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 12:43 pm

The International Booker Prize longlist:

I’ve read zero - anyone here read any of them?

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 1:10 pm

maaliskuu 17, 10:47 am

The awesome poet Andrea Gibson performing on NPR Tiny Desk:

maaliskuu 17, 11:09 am

Happy Friday, Joe! I'm getting my in-house PT referral and my different med schedules and the like all wound up. It's an effort, but I'm glad to be able to make it. Hoping you're cruising into the weekend's reads on good prose and involving plots.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 17, 12:29 pm

>199 richardderus:. Hiya, RD. I’m glad that the post-rehab is rounding into shape - and that you are post-rehab! That was a big deal for me. They had “graduates” strike a gong, and of course made me do it left-handed.

My next hard copy book is by a not-Hiromi Kawakami, (Mieko) and my e-book is Gideon the Ninth. Have you read the second? Did you like it? I’m not far enough in yet to have been snared.

I hope you have a relaxing weekend full of good reading.

maaliskuu 17, 12:35 pm

>200 jnwelch: I have Gideon the ninth on my Kindle because "lesbian necromancers" is a phrase I simply can not ignore when procuring reading material. I haven't started it because reasons...I will...but not just now, I still need to cocoon myself in easier-to-digest stories. "Good farb," in Kath's formulation.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 17, 2:50 pm

>201 richardderus:. Is that a new niche? “Lesbian necromancers”? I didn’t know I was in for a horizon broadening - always a good thing. What does “ Good farb” mean? So far there are two main female characters being quite nasty to each other. They are probably the best candidates for later romance, as the world turns and the trope rolls . . .

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 18, 10:45 am

With our niece Amy and her hubby Bradley in LA

With our niece Meg and her hubby Jeroen (Yah-roon) added in. We stayed in LA with Meg and Jeroen. Meg is a research librarian at the Margaret Herrick Library, which is the Academy Awards library, full of fascinating archives.

maaliskuu 18, 11:03 am

>202 jnwelch: After Muir's success with the series, I'm bettin' big that there will be a niche there soon. The entire Ninth House series has made a splash.

"Farb" is the old-fashioned fannish term for "fun, if slight, fantasy/SF reading". I'm fairly sure Kath and I are the last two regular users of it.

maaliskuu 18, 11:44 am

Lovely family photos! (And so cool to see Bradley, as we enjoy our latest rewatch of The West Wing.)

maaliskuu 18, 11:51 am

>204 richardderus:👍😀. I’ll try to remember to make it three good farbers.

>205 laytonwoman3rd:. Debbi’s raving about him in Handmaid’s Tale and a recent SVU, playing a man with early dementia. He grew up in Madison, WI, and is a truly sweet guy (smart!). Our niece is very happy.

maaliskuu 18, 12:30 pm

>184 jnwelch: I read this years ago Joe. A reread sometime.

>186 jnwelch: re your PS, no, I don't want to get into 3 figures. If I'm lucky enough to get into my mid 80s and be coherent and not much more doddery than I am (which is already doddery), I'll be happy.

>203 jnwelch: Lovely photos. I'm sure I've said before how Meg looks like Becca, Joe. Glad you all got together after that long hiatus.

maaliskuu 18, 8:08 pm

Hi Joe! I keep meaning to read Gideon the Necromancer as my daughter really liked it. I didn't think necromancers were my thing, but it's good to push one's self.

maaliskuu 18, 8:18 pm

>184 jnwelch:. Hi, Caroline. Blood Meridian made for a great re-read. It got me big time the first time around, but I was even more struck in the re-read. It’s full of great writing.

I love doddering, and can do it with panache for at least three figures. I hope you hang around longer than you think.

You have a keen eye. Meg and Becca look a lot a like. Identical cousins - maybe they can get a tv show? Meg’s son Sam got confused by them when he was three or so. Debbi calls them “doppelgängers”.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 18, 8:26 pm

>208 banjo123:. Yeah, the necromancer thing is kind of Halloween-y, but I can see the potential for the story, Rhonda. It’s one of those where it’s taking me a while to get some reading momentum going.

It helps to know that so many people, like your daughter, have liked it. I make a point of stretching out (pushing myself) regularly- I’ve come across many a beloved read that way. Who would’ve guessed from the description that the Murderbot books would be so great?

maaliskuu 18, 8:54 pm

Lovely family photos, Joe. Looks like a good time was had by all!

maaliskuu 18, 9:07 pm

>211 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! It was a wonderful reconnection with family after that dratted pandemic screwed things up. Somewhere I’ve got one with my sister and her family, and another with our godson. Great trip. We plan to resume doing it annually.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 19, 11:00 am

Today’s Bargain: City of Thieves by David Benioff. for $1.99 on e-readers.
Engrossing WWII story of two prisoners charged with finding a dozen eggs for a cake, or else.

maaliskuu 19, 11:10 am

>213 jnwelch: Oh I really enjoyed this when I read it a couple of years ago.

maaliskuu 19, 11:10 am

>213 jnwelch: I remember laughing and feeling surprised that I could find something amusing in its brutal landscape. Benioff's novels are better than his TV credits. (I alone among all the people of the world didn't like GAME OF THRONES).

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 19, 1:30 pm

>214 ffortsa:. Right, Judy? It’s a special one and has stuck in my mind.

>215 richardderus:. Yes, what a concept, Richard. Humor and a frivolous premise in a brutal landscape. I just saw he was a writer for GOT, but it didn’t mean a lot to me. I alone among all the people of the world didn’t watch GOT. George R.R.Martin’s “make sure to kill off the good ones” writing strategy turned me off on the books, too.

P.S. Plus the Dragon Queen should’ve been the one to end up on the Iron Throne. A strategy of thwarting reader and audience wishes and expectations is interesting in theory, but this guy is no Calvino..

maaliskuu 19, 4:08 pm

I am also a reader who didn't care for the GOT books. I called them "Song of Ice and Fire: 1,001 ways to kill maim and torture people and describe it in gory detail." I think the author just got off on s&m. Not my thing. Read the first book and quit.

maaliskuu 19, 4:42 pm

Hi Joe. Love seeing the photos of your trip to L.A.
And I think I'll skip the lesbian necromancers.... tempting though the niche genre may be. ;-)

maaliskuu 19, 4:43 pm

Oh, and I bought Ducks Two Years but haven't yet read it. I need to go on a GN binge!

maaliskuu 19, 5:16 pm

Hi Joe, mate, lovely photos from your trip to the West Coast, i can see from them that you had a really good time. Hope all is well with you, Debbi and the family mate and sending love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

maaliskuu 19, 5:24 pm

>217 benitastrnad:, >216 jnwelch: I confess that I didn't read past 200pp in the first book. The show was its own thing for me, and a decidedly unsavory one.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 19, 6:26 pm

>217 benitastrnad:. I give you credit for making it through the first book before deciding, Benita. I didn’t. Amazing how popular it’s been.

>218 EBT1002:, >219 EBT1002:. Hi, Ellen. I enjoy a good fantasy novel, most recently from Sarah J. Maas. Great feat of imagination when done well. I wish I could tell you what I make of Gideon the Ninth, but I’m not far enough in. Any lesbian subplot has yet to appear, although the women generally are fair and fierce. Gideon is a young woman who’s expert with a sword.

Duck Two Years is my first outstanding GN of the year, unless you count the Shaun Tan art collection, Creature. I’m sure it’ll grab you. A GN binge sounds like a lot of fun.

I’glad you like the trip pics. It was very much a reconnect with family trip.

>220 johnsimpson:. Always good to see you, buddy. Thanks re the trip; it was indeed a really good time. Debbi’s coming out of an unfair streak of bad health; otherwise all is well on our end. Love and hugs to you and Karen.

>221 richardderus:. Sounds like we were similar re the GOT books, Richard. I read alot more than the Pearl rule 50 pages, but at about halfway had had enough. Madame MBH and i have a fond memory of walking in a park with our grownup son and having him tell us the entire GOT tv story ( to that point) as we walked around. That was way more fun than watching it would’ve been.

maaliskuu 19, 7:07 pm

>216 jnwelch: >217 benitastrnad: In contrast I thought that G.R.R.M. mostly killed off the (how could it possibly be a) "too stupid to live" Starks, and many of the other fatalities were real deserving of nasty ends.

maaliskuu 19, 7:41 pm

>223 quondame:👍. Thanks for weighing in, Susan.

maaliskuu 19, 8:58 pm

Hi Joe. I'm not much of a fantasy / sci fi reader, but I'll be interested in your take on Gideon the Ninth.

maaliskuu 20, 9:54 am

A well done one from a poet new to me, inspired by filling out a doctor visit form while grieving over a friend’s suicide:

Description of Symptoms

By Allison Benis White

Now my hands buried
in my hair, resting on piano keys
in the back of my head.
This is the music I am playing
through my mind: a dark room singing
a song that will not have children.


Lying on the floor tonight, snowflakes
cut from paper laid over my eyes, a hand
carved from wood laid over my mouth.
If the truth is the thing you must not say,
I will speak for the vase now
as it falls: it is better never
to be at all.


A hand on the back of my head
made of glass, my love, my eyes,
filled with wire, life. Once
I watched a bird’s shadow cross a field
in the wind: a black hat that could not stop
tumbling. My eyes are sore
from seeing, my lips from speaking.


How a ribbon curls when pulled
across a scissor’s blade, I am practicing
transformation, pain. How the dark hair
of imagination, uncut, grows down
to the floor. What is left
but to make a world, a war?


Or a landscape in which to stay alive
(ghost flower/house of breath). Another wish: language
drilled through ice, through my life.
If grief is love with nowhere to go, this is
my mouth turning into snow.
This is somewhere.

maaliskuu 20, 11:23 am

Today’s Bargain: Knickers in a Twist by Jonathan Bernstein for $1.99 on e-readers.

A guide to British slang that I couldn’t resist.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 1:10 pm

>225 EBT1002:. Growing up, Ellen, fantasy and sci-fi and mysteries were my bread and butter. They’re still a comfort food for me. (Have you had your fill of food analogies yet?). I’d be in quite a pickle without them. When I’m at sixes and sevens about what to read next, I usually turn to one of them for sustenance. Gideon the Ninth has picked up a lot and I’m enjoying it now.

maaliskuu 20, 1:56 pm

>226 jnwelch: So well-written, and so sad.

maaliskuu 20, 5:09 pm

>229 foggidawn:. Agreed, foggi. Beautiful and sad.

maaliskuu 21, 12:24 pm

Hi Joe - your Little Ones may well enjoy The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup -
review is on Whisper's thread.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 21, 9:26 pm

>231 m.belljackson:. 👍. Thanks, Marianne. They arrive for another visit in less than two weeks.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 10:46 am

Today’s Bargain: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor for $1.99. If you read my review, you know how excited I am about this book. A neurologist’s memoir about her stroke and 8 year recovery; a rare combination of expertise in the pertinent area, a life-changing experience, and superior writing chops.

maaliskuu 22, 12:38 pm

>228 jnwelch:
Like you Sci/Fi and mysteries (not thrillers) are my comfort reads. Right now I am listening to Broken Throne it is the latest collection of short stories that expands (both forward and backward) in time the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. I really enjoyed that series when I read it, and this book of three novellas just keeps the world alive. However, it has been several years since I read the series and I keep having to go back and look at the series synopsis to help me remember exactly who was who, and what all happened.

I am also a fan of Sarah J. Maas and both of her series. I am in the process of reading a new series Chorus of Dragons by Jenn Lyons. These are epic fantasy, and they are great fun. This series is complete so I won't have to worry about trying to remember what they were about three years from now when the last book comes out. Since the series is complete, when I am done - I am done.

This morning at the community coffee, I passed on my copy of White Rhino Hotel by Bartle Bull to the ladies at coffee. I warned them that it was the first in a trilogy and I didn't have the other books in the series. I hope they like the denizens at the White Rhino Hotel as much as I did. But I feel guilty as it will leave them wondering what happens next.

maaliskuu 23, 1:22 pm

>234 benitastrnad:. Thanks, Benita. I’ll have to check out Victoria Aveyard. You know I’m a fan of Sarah J. Maas. Let us know what you think of the Jenn Lyons series when you’re done.

After seeing enthusiasm for it on LT, I tried White Rhino Hotel years ago and, unfortunately, it wasn’t my plate of kippers. I hope your ladies feel differently.

maaliskuu 23, 1:23 pm

Some wisdom from one of my favorite poets, Andrea Gibson:

“A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, so does god. that’s why you can see the grand canyon from the moon.”

“Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.”

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 5, 12:30 pm

Happy Birthday to our son Jesse, who is doing us proud.

maaliskuu 23, 7:16 pm

>237 jnwelch: Happy birthday to Jesse! He has a lot to hold onto there!

maaliskuu 24, 8:16 am

Happy Birthday, Jesse. Great photos of a great Dad. We are celebrating my kid's birthdays tonight. Sue is making up a nice batch of corned beef. 😁

Happy Friday, Joe. As you can expect, I am loving Woman of Light. For a young writer, she really has a nice grasp on narrative flow. Maybe she will be a female version of Luis Alberto Urrea.

maaliskuu 24, 8:19 am

Delurking to say hello!

>237 jnwelch: Great pics! Who plays the instrument?

maaliskuu 24, 12:39 pm

>239 msf59:
I have Woman of Light on my TBR list. I want to get to it soon, but I picked up a cold and haven't done any reading now for two days. Too much headache to read.

maaliskuu 24, 12:48 pm

>238 quondame:. Thank you, Susan. Yes, that’s precious cargo he’s holding onto. Rafa and Fina sure do love their Papa.

>239 msf59:. Thanks, Mark. Jesse sure is a great Papa. Outshines his old man, IMO. You get to celebrate the kids’ birthdays together? Good scheduling! You and Sue obviously gave this more thought than we did. Happy Birthday to them both. Corned beef must be a favorite. Becca usually wants her Mom’s egg salad, and Jesse veggie burgers.

I’m happy that you’re loving Woman of Light. So good! I like that comparison of Fajardo-Anstine with Urrea. I don’t know the work of either of them well enough to comment otherwise. But I like them both a lot.

Did you ever read Evicted by Matthew Desmond? I was over the moon about how good it was, and now he’s got a new one out, Poverty by America. I snapped it up.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 24, 12:56 pm

>240 figsfromthistle:. Hello, Anita! Thanks for de-lurking.

The violin belongs to almost 5 year old Rafa. He’s been excellent about practicing it, and gave a lovely solo recital of “Pepperoni Pizza”. His Bubbe has only watched the video of him playing about 8000 times. Very cute!

>241 benitastrnad:. Sorry to hear about the cold and headaches, Benita. I hope they pass quickly. I’d love to hear what you think of Woman of Light.

maaliskuu 24, 1:00 pm

The Red Queen series is a dystopian SCI/FI series by Victoria Aveyard. I found them to be quite the attention holders. They are YA, and the first one was done about 10 years ago. The series is now complete, but every-so-often Aveyard comes out with a book of short stories, or novellas that takes the basic series backward and forward in time. The series was very popular among the YA people who read in that genre. I thought that it was a better done series than Veronica Roth's series - the writing was better. The story arc was also more complex and in places quite dark. It was also one of those fantasy series that took a surprise twist in the last two books that went straight as an arrow into Science Fiction.

You can tell that I liked this series. Broken Throne is the last one and the author says that there won't be any more in this series. She now has a second series out - Realm Breaker.

maaliskuu 24, 1:15 pm

>244 benitastrnad:. 👍. Thanks, Benita. Veronica Roth is a bit of a wooden, rudimentary writer, isn’t she. That’s a good endorsement of the Red Queen series. I’m sure you’re inspiring folks (including me) to take a look.

maaliskuu 24, 1:17 pm

>245 jnwelch:
I will warn you that the first books in the series were very much dystopian fantasy. The last ones took a sharp twist.

maaliskuu 24, 2:10 pm

maaliskuu 24, 2:44 pm

I think you should know about Theory of Bastards By Audrey Schulman...fascinating dystopian-results-of-cool-research story...on Kindlesale for $1.99. I'm not sure why I never reviewed it but it was a solid 4* read.

...oh wait...I bought it, that's why I didn't review it, of course.

maaliskuu 24, 2:46 pm

>237 jnwelch: Happy Birthday Jesse. Great photos as always.

maaliskuu 24, 10:36 pm

I love the photos of Jesse. I've had a beer with that man! :-)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 25, 8:32 am

>248 richardderus:. Thanks for the tip, RD. That’s a provocative title. I’ll take a look.

>249 Caroline_McElwee:. Thanks, Caroline.

>250 EBT1002:. You have indeed had a beer with the birthday boy, Ellen. You’d get a kick out of those kids of his.

We miss Seattle and Elliot Bay bookstore. That was a great meet-up.

maaliskuu 25, 8:38 am

Happy Saturday, Joe. Yep, like many of us here, I thought Evicted was outstanding. I think it was the best book that I had read that year. Looking forward to his follow-up. Thanks for the rec on Robert Service. I showcased him a bit over on my thread. It took me awhile to get through but there were enough nuggets for me to keep going. I would like to read a bio on him.

maaliskuu 25, 8:51 am

>227 jnwelch: Ooh, thanks for that! It was still $1.99 today and I couldn't resist either.

Happy belated birthday to Jesse!

Hope you have a great weekend :D

maaliskuu 25, 1:56 pm

>252 msf59:. Oh good, Mark. Yeah, after a while Evicted caught fire on LT. I’ll keep you posted on the new one. It got a good review in the NYT.

Happy Saturday, man. This is one of our days for Spanish after our tutor changed jobs. I’m glad the Robert Service collection worked well for you. You’re right, I hope someone’s done a good bio of the Bard of The Yukon. I see Robert Service Under the Spell of the Yukon has a five star rating.

>253 bell7:. Hiya, Mary. Great - we can take turns trying British slang on each other. Here’s your chance to call me a plonker.

Thanks re Jesse - he’s been having a fine time. I hope you’re having a good weekend, too.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 26, 1:40 pm

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. This fantasy was fine, but no great shakes IMO. Designees from Houses compete to become a near-Emperor level Lyctor, with puzzles to solve and combatants to overcome. What I guess is considered the “lesbian” element is some same sex attraction and appreciation, and a deep lifelong connection between two characters. I wouldn’t have used that label, although maybe it’s still unusual enough in a fantasy for some readers to single it out? I won’t be racing to find the second one, but I’d read it if someone gave it to me.

maaliskuu 26, 2:29 pm

A Different Kind of Normal by Abigail Balfe. My fascination with autism continues, and I appreciated and learned from this book. It supposedly targeted to 8-12 year olds and, as so often happens, this made it more understandable to this much older guy. The author was diagnosed on the spectrum in her 30s. She asks that we not use the phrase “high functioning” , which can be a microaggression (my word), but instead “low support needs”, and realize that it can be situational. She’s an artist, and the book is filled with cheerful illustrations. It’s a memoir about her struggles and successes growing up. She clearly loves who she is, and has a good sense of humor about her shortcomings. Her transparency about her daily experiences combined with her understanding of information that might help others like her, and the neurotypicals interacting with them, makes this one a standout. I’m going to follow her next projects with interest.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 27, 10:45 am

Today’s Bargains: Still Life by Sarah Weinman and One Damn Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor on e-readers. The first is one I loved and is available for $1.99 and the second is a time travel romp and 75er favorite for only $0.99.

Still Life

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 27, 11:05 am

Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things is being adapted on Hulu. It becomes available April 7. Right now it’s hard to imagine - the book was a charming collection of her “Dear Sugar” advice column. How do you adapt that? Well, I thought “how do you adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman” and they did a beautiful job with that.

I’m starting to realize that streaming services’ ceaseless search for creative content means we’re going to get a whole lot of adaptations of books, videogames and graphic novels. Hurrah!

maaliskuu 27, 11:28 am

>258 jnwelch: Sandman is a miracle...the casting is literally *perfect* and the writing is top-notch. Netflix spent wisely and got Art for its pains. Hulu never gets credit for making 11/22/63 which is, I argue, the best King adaptation yet. But it's od my favorite King book, so maybe I'm just not objective.

Jodi's books are all on sale, aren't they? What value for money!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 27, 12:13 pm

>259 richardderus:. Are Jodi’s books all on sale? Cool. A great mental escape. Worth getting all of them.

Agreed on Sandman. That show was a miracle. As you know, there was some controversy on the casting, e.g. a black woman as Death. I say screw ‘em. There are always doofuses out there. She was great and, as you say, they all were. I actually liked the adaptation librarian much more than the GN one. I think Gaiman gave that character more thought in the adaptation.

maaliskuu 27, 3:17 pm

>258 jnwelch:
I agree with you about the wealth of adaptions that are being done. I wondered for years why the networks didn't try to do more with series length adaptions. I think money is the answer. They simply didn't have the imagination to realize that the public was hungry for more than the pabulum they were being served with the cheap shows foisted on them. Consequently, there was a huge drop in eyes on the screen. took Netflix and HBO to push and shove the entire industry into long length adaptions. But then you would have thought that the success of previous mini-series such as Roots and Shogun would have set the stage long ago for adaptions of more than 2 hours (movies). Even the success of the PBS/BBC Masterpiece series would have opened eyes, but ...

I am glad for the authors of so many of these books as there are great stories out there just waiting to be translated to screens big and small!

maaliskuu 27, 3:28 pm

>260 jnwelch: Given the amount of time that's passed between when Gaiman wrote the comics and the TV show was being written, I'm unsurprised that he improved a few things. I thought American Gods was a big improvement on the book, f/ex, that got the axe far too soon. Generally speaking, the media landscape is much much more interesting and inclusive than it's ever been. Which is why idiots and fools are doing their goddamnedest (term used advisedly) to make it stop. Next thing you know, people might dare to be themselves without guilt or fear! Can't have that!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 27, 8:03 pm

>261 benitastrnad:. Right, Benita, it seemed to take a long time for tv channels and streaming services to pick up on the public’s appetite for quality adaptations and series. There’s sure no doubt now.

I’m happy for the authors, too. Cheryl Strayed has expressed her excitement about the upcoming TBT adaptation.

>262 richardderus:. That was a shame that American Gods got axed.

Man, I wish we could put those opposing diversity and inclusion on a slow boat to nowhere.

maaliskuu 28, 8:22 pm

Hi Joe! Speaking of adaptations, I am recommending 'Daisy Jones and the Six", especially fun for 60's music lovers.

maaliskuu 29, 9:10 am

>264 banjo123:. Thanks for letting us know, Rhonda. The book was well-liked among 75ers, I remember.

maaliskuu 29, 12:50 pm

>263 jnwelch: They're already on the boat to nowhere, Joe, and they know's what makes them so damn mad. THOSE PEOPLE shouldn't think they are as good as me is never, ever going to last because the ones who look at the proponents and don't see decency and kindness that we all prefer to have directed at ourselves...and finally realize we must offer it to receive it.

They will ultimately lose. It might take a while (too long for me), but that guy will lose and knows it.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 29, 3:35 pm

>266 richardderus:. Thanks, I like this a lot, Richard. I’m maintaining a sunnier outlook.

P.S. i know you’re not one to call the sky blue when it’s raining.

maaliskuu 29, 6:03 pm

>267 jnwelch: Not hardly! I'm more like the guy who says "take the umbrella, sure, you'll need it to help avoid the lethal dose of UV your stupid habit of voting idiots into power has gifted to the whole world."

maaliskuu 29, 9:06 pm

maaliskuu 30, 5:10 pm

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 30, 10:21 pm

>270 Caroline_McElwee:. Wasn’t Still Life great, Caroline?

huhtikuu 1, 8:58 pm

Finally caught up with you, Joe. Sounds like you had a fabulous vacation catching up with family and friends.

Good review of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands. I'm waiting for my hold on the book to come up at the library. It's a tradition for young people from Nova Scotia, particularly those from Cape Breton, to head out west for jobs and has been ever since I was living in Halifax in the '70s and piled into a car with a bunch of them. Sure, we were heading to Florida but ended up coming to the West Coast where we had better chances of getting decent paying jobs.

huhtikuu 2, 3:50 pm

Today’s Bargain: Dune by Frank Herbert for $1.99 on e-readers. One of my favorite books ever. Madame MBH’s too. We each have an autographed copy.

huhtikuu 2, 4:03 pm

>272 Familyhistorian:. We did, Meg, thanks. Nice to have you catch us.

Thanks re the Ducks Two Years review. It was a welcome surprise, how good it was. I look forward to hearing your reaction. It’ll probably add depth that you’re familiar with the journey.

Hope you’ve been having a good weekend. Our wee grandies from Pittsburgh have arrived for a week, so the joint is jumping.

huhtikuu 2, 4:14 pm

Another Bargain: I picked up Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff for $2.99 on Kindle. It has had lots of good buzz.

huhtikuu 2, 4:25 pm

This is a long one, but I liked this take on “Youth and Age” by Kahlil Gibran from Poem-a-Day:

In my youth the heart of dawn was in my heart, and the songs of April were in my ears.

But my soul was sad unto death, and I knew not why. Even unto this day I know not why I was sad.

But now, though I am with eventide, my heart is still veiling dawn,

And though I am with autumn, my ears still echo the songs of spring.

But my sadness has turned into awe, and I stand in the presence of life and life’s daily miracles.

The difference between my youth which was my spring, and these forty years, and they are my autumn, is the very difference that exists between flower and fruit.

A flower is forever swayed with the wind and knows not why and wherefore.

But the fruit overladen with them honey of summer, knows that it is one of life’s home-comings, as a poet when his song is sung knows sweet content,

Though life has been bitter upon his lips.

In my youth I longed for the unknown, and for the unknown I am still longing.

But in the days of my youth longing embraced necessity that knows naught of patience.

Today I long not less, but my longing is friendly with patience, and even waiting.

And I know that all this desire that moves within me is one of those laws that turns universes around one another in quiet ecstasy, in swift passion which your eyes deem stillness, and your mind a mystery.

And in my youth I loved beauty and abhorred ugliness, for beauty was to me a world separated from all other worlds.

But now that the gracious years have lifted the veil of picking-and-choosing from over my eyes, I know that all I have deemed ugly in what I see and hear, is but a blinder upon my eyes, and wool in my ears;

And that our senses, like our neighbors, hate what they do not understand.

And in my youth I loved the fragrance of flowers and their color.

Now I know that their thorns are their innocent protection, and if it were not for that innocence they would disappear forevermore.

And in my youth, of all seasons I hated winter, for I said in my aloneness, “Winter is a thief who robs the earth of her sun-woven garment, and suffers her to stand naked in the wind.”

But now I know that in winter there is re-birth and renewal, and that the wind tears the old raiment to cloak her with a new raiment woven by the spring.

And in my youth I would gaze upon the sun of the day and the stars of the night, saying in my secret, “How small am I, and how small a circle my dream makes.”

But today when I stand before the sun or the stars I cry, “The sun is close to me, and the stars are upon me;” for all the distances of my youth have turned into the nearness of age;

And the great aloneness which knows not what is far and what is near, nor what is small nor great, has turned into a vision that weighs not nor does it measure.

In my youth I was but the slave of the high tide and the ebb tide of the sea, and the prisoner of half moons and full moons.

Today I stand at this shore and I rise not nor do I go down.

Even my roots once every twenty-eight days would seek the heart of the earth.

And on the twenty-ninth day they would rise toward the throne of the sky.

And on that very day the rivers in my veins would stop for a moment, and then would run again to the sea.

Yes, in my youth I was a thing, sad and yielding, and all the seasons played with me and laughed in their hearts.

And life took a fancy to me and kissed my young lips, and slapped my cheeks.

Today I play with the seasons. And I steal a kiss from life’s lips ere she kisses my lips.

And I even hold her hands playfully that she may not strike my cheek.

In my youth I was sad indeed, and all things seemed dark and distant.

Today, all is radiant and near, and for this I would live my youth and the pain of my youth, again and yet again.

huhtikuu 2, 4:27 pm

huhtikuu 2, 6:02 pm

>277 banjo123:. Right, Rhonda? Older age can be a mighty fine time, can’t it.

huhtikuu 2, 8:53 pm

Just catching up, Joe and wanting to comment on my admiration of the hyperbolic style of Kahlil Gibran. I was given a selection of his work back in 1987 by our Levantine agent in Alexandria when I was working on the El Amria textile complex. I must say that his writings struck a chord on my still developing thoughts and I wrote a few things at the time aping his style which I have long ago buried bar one.

huhtikuu 3, 12:30 am

Hi Joe! Long time no see! I did not run a thread for several years, but started a thread about a week ago in the 75's. Drop by and see me if you get a chance. Unfortunately I cannot see your two grandchildren as for some reason the pictures are not visible to me. We know have two grandchildren, Melissa , age 5 and Miles, age 2.5. You have Rafa and Fina, if memory serves.

Glad you got a bargain on Bandit Queen. I just read it and enjoyed it. I got a semi bargain, paperback for $14.00 Cdn whereas I would usually expect to pay $24.00 Canadian. I like my paper books, though I have kindle.

huhtikuu 3, 10:14 am

>276 jnwelch: Oh, that's lovely!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 3, 12:31 pm

Today’s Bargain: Suite Francais by Irene Nemerovsky for $1.99 on e-readers. Loved this one way back when.

huhtikuu 3, 1:35 pm

>282 jnwelch: I gave my tree-book copy away a while back, so I got this to accomplish a re-read. Thanks, Joe!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 3, 1:55 pm

Those kids will keep you and Deb quite young. I finished Demon Copperhead and now I'm into a nonfiction counter called Drug Use for Grown-Ups, written by a tenured professor and researcher at Columbia University. The book is his pitch for legalizing drugs, from marijuana through amphetamines to opiates. Timothy Leary he is not.

huhtikuu 4, 7:24 pm

>279 PaulCranswick:. Hiya, Paul. KG struck a chord with me when I was a late teen, and I haven’t read him in forever. This one (Youth and Age) was new to me, and I like its unusual angle on aging. Maybe he deserves our renewed attention?

>280 vancouverdeb: Deb! Iy has been a while indeed. I’m glad you’ve returned to LT Land and started a new thread. I shall visit pronto.

I’m sure you’re having great fun with Melissa and Miles. Congratulations. Good memory - yes, Rafa and Fina are with us right now, for a week while their parents get a well-deserved vacation. Their ages now approximate M& M’s.

That’s good to hear re Bandit Queens. Looking forward to it.

huhtikuu 4, 7:30 pm

Joe, I will obtain a copy of Shaun Tan's new collection, Creature. He is amazing!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 4, 8:18 pm

>281 foggidawn:. Thanks, foggi. Isn’t that a lovely one?

Thanks again for the Freewater recommendation. It got me, and what a little-known part of history it’s based on.

>283 richardderus:. Oh good, Richard. Glad to help. I’ve been doing that, too- picking up lost loved books, often on Kindle.

>284 weird_O:. The Grandies have been a treat, as always, Bill. They wear me out at times, but that CPAP arrived today, and I’m hoping it helps energize me a bit. I’m told it should.

I’ll have to come over and see your reaction to Demon Copperhead. I’ve seeing a lot of upthumbs, but some heading the other way.

Drugs don’t garner much interest from me, but maybe your author will add some zip to the topic. As much as I like the author Patrick Radden Keefe, and as many raves for the book as I’ve seen, the idea of reading his Empire of Pain just seems tedious to me.

I was more of a Ram Dass guy than a Timothy Leary guy, as you’d probably expect.

huhtikuu 5, 8:21 am

Happy Wednesday, Joe. We had a great time in NOLA. We hit most of our target places, plus lots of eating and drinking. We may go back some day but there are so many places we still haven't been. Are you still immersed in Poverty, By America? I am getting ready to start The Winners. It is quite a chunkster. Have you read Beartown? Sorry, if I asked you this before.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 5, 10:00 am

Happy Wednesday, Mark. Welcome back! That sure looked like a fun trip, with good food and music. We loved NOLA, too, and I also would like to get back there some day.

Yes, I’m immersed in Poverty by America. He’s such a thorough researcher and thoughtful guy, and writes so well. It’s not only the usual suspects, it’s us. I told Debbi he reminds me of Dr. Paul Farmer with the good he’s doing in our world.

I loved A Man called Ove, but haven’t been drawn to others by him. You like?

huhtikuu 5, 10:04 am

Today’s Bargain: The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers for $1.99 on e-readers. One of my favorite Lord Peters, and maybe the most literary of the bunch.

huhtikuu 5, 10:16 am

A Couple of Classic Bargains: The Great Gatsby and A Passage to India for .99 an $1.99 respectively. If you haven’t read one, or you want a handy copy, here you go.

huhtikuu 5, 10:34 am

How did the CPAP machine go, Joe? I wish you luck with it. I did not last 5 minutes when I tried it, several years ago

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 5, 12:37 pm

>292 jessibud2:. It went pretty well, Shelley. Many years ago I didn’t last long either.

They’ve made a lot of improvements. Mine now is small and light, and only covers my nose (i’m not a mouth breather). I was able to sustain it for 6+ hours. It’s going to take a while, i imagine, to get completely used to it, but even that much helped. I’ve had a cloud of fatigue sitting on my head all the freaking time, and it’s much lighter this morning. Madame MBH said I looked very relaxed while sleeping with it. So all signs are positive so far.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 5, 12:36 pm

This post didn’t work

huhtikuu 5, 7:09 pm

>294 jnwelch: If you tell it to try harder, maybe it will then work.

huhtikuu 5, 8:07 pm

>295 quondame:. 😅 It won’t listen, Susan. It’s deaf as a post.

huhtikuu 5, 8:50 pm

>295 quondame: & >296 jnwelch: (:{D)

>294 jnwelch: Maybe it is still in the mail?

huhtikuu 6, 8:02 am

>273 jnwelch: The second part of the new Dune film is due here in November I think. I will probably rewatch the first part again before, they did a great job on that.

huhtikuu 6, 12:11 pm

>297 PaulCranswick:😀. Hey, buddy. In the mail may be right; I think it was coming all the way from the North Post.

huhtikuu 6, 12:15 pm

>298 Caroline_McElwee:. Hi, Caroline. I can’t wait for Part 2! They did do a great job on the first part. I loved the casting, and they were much more faithful to the book than other versions.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 4:32 pm

Welcome Home

"I asked an elderly woman once what it was like to be old and to know that the majority of her life was now behind her.
She told me that she has been the same age her entire life. She said the voice inside of her head had never aged. She has always just been the same girl. Her mother's daughter. She had always wondered when she would grow up and be an old woman.
She said she watched her body age and her faculties dull but the person she is inside never got tired. She never aged. She never changed.
Remember, our spirits are eternal. Our souls are forever. The next time you encounter an elderly person, look at them and know they are still a child, just as you are still a child and children will always need love, attention and purpose."
~ Author Unknown
Photograph is Tasha Tudor

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 5:19 pm

The new cafe is open! See you there.

huhtikuu 7, 7:04 am

>301 jnwelch: Love the image and words Joe.
Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: Joe's Third Book Cafe 2023.